1-20 of 159 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
One of the most promising things about the promos for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" so far have been how spare it is. There's much more of a reliance on practical than most modern blockbusters, and the style certainly harkens back to the classic trilogy in more ways than the prequels did.
In a new feature piece for Empire (via Sw News Net), director J.J. Abrams said he looked at John Ford westerns, several Terrence Malick works, and Akira Kurosawa's classic "High and Low" to try and adopt specific qualities for the film - confidence, stillness, and choreography and composition respectively. The aim was for a spare visual style, a less-is-more quality partly seen in the original trilogy (before the Special Editions).
One of the other changes is that of the lightsaber battles. Gone is the overly choreographed dance routines of the prequel fights, instead Abrams wanted something much more down, »
- Garth Franklin
Setsuko Hara, a Japanese actress best known for her work in the films of Yasujiro Ozu, died of pneumonia on September 5, her family revealed to the press today. She was 95. Perhaps best known for playing a widow who befriends the parents of her late husband in Tokyo Story, Ozu's 1953 masterwork, Hara also appeared in several other iconic postwar films before retiring from public life at the age of 42.Born Masae Aida in Yokohama in 1920, Hara made her screen debut at 15 in Don't Hesitate, Young Folks (1935), and later starred in the German-Japanese propaganda film The Daughter of the Samurai in 1937. After World War II, Hara worked with Akira Kurosawa, in No Regrets for Our Youth (1946) and Hakuchi (1951) (the director's adaptation of Dostoevsky's The Idiot), and Kozaburo Yoshimura, in A Ball at the Anjo House (1947). In 1949, she appeared in her first Ozu film, Late Spring, which marked the beginning of an artistic »
- Jackson McHenry
Japanese screen legend Setsuko Hara, most famous for her role in Yasujiro Ozu's classic Tokyo Story, died of pneumonia on Sept. 5. She was 95. The actress, born Masae Aida in Yokohama, had been a virtual recluse since her retirement in 1962, and news of her death only reached the public when her family made the announcement, as Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported Wednesday. Hara appeared in films by Tadashi Imai and Akira Kurosawa, but it was her roles in six Ozu productions that she is most remembered for. Among these, her most well-known and highly regarded performance was her
- Gavin J. Blair
Having been born in 1920, it’s hardly any shock that Setsuko Hara has passed away; and having entirely disappeared from the public spotlight by 1963, it isn’t so odd that only today, November 25, do we learn of a death that occurred on September 5. But the actress, as iconic as any that Japanese cinema has ever given us, radiated such grace, warmth, and kindness through several masterpieces of the post-war era that many a cinephile, yours truly included, take the news with a heavy heart.
If there’s any consolation — other than the knowledge that she died sans media attention, as was very likely wished — it’s that several films showcasing her brilliance can be streamed online. (Assuming you have a Hulu subscription, that is.) The collection of directors represented here, who were pulled towards and made her a regular collaborator, speaks volumes: Yasujiro Ozu, Akira Kurosawa, and Mikio Naruse. There »
- Nick Newman
Tokyo — Setsuko Hara, the muse of Yasujiro Ozu as well as other directors of Japanese cinema’s 1950s and ’60s Golden Age, died on September 5 of pneumonia in a hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture, according to Japanese press reports. Hara was 95.
Born in 1920 in Yokohama, she made her film debut at age 15. Hara shot to fame for her starring role in 1937’s “The New Earth,” a German-Japanese co-production, with Hara playing a woman who ventures to Manchuria, then a Japanese colony, with her new husband. Audiences were attracted to her Western-like features and air of fresh-faced purity.
In the postwar period, with directors such as Akira Kurosawa and Keisuke Kinoshita, Hara portrayed modern women unbound by shackles of feudal mores, with critics making comparisons to Katharine Hepburn and Joan Crawford. In her films with Ozu, such as “Late Spring” (1949), “Early Summer” (1951) and “Tokyo Story” (1953), she also embodied more traditional virtues, including »
- Mark Schilling
"Legendary actress Setsuko Hara, who starred in the Yasujiro Ozu movie Tokyo Story, died of pneumonia on Sept. 5 at a hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture, her family said Wednesday," reports the Nikkei Asian Review. "She was 95." Nick Pinkerton in the Voice in 2011: "Born Masae Aida, Hara was the very image of ravishing fortitude; the actress met the head-on gaze of Ozu’s camera with her headlamp eyes in six films, made four with Mikio Naruse, and played against type in the bad-girl Anastassya role in Akira Kurosawa’s 1951 The Idiot." We're collecting remembrances and tributes. » - David Hudson »
Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Ikiru (Criterion) Kanji Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) has worked at city hall for three decades, and he has the plaque to prove it. What he doesn’t have is happiness or real satisfaction, and that doesn’t look to be changing after he’s diagnosed with stomach cancer. Bereft at the realization of a wasted life, Kanji searches aimlessly for a purpose, and finds it in part in a young co-worker named Toyo. Her zest for life and ability to remain joyous in the face of adversity ignites a newfound passion in him, but finding a way and a place to make a difference seems out of reach in his final days. Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 film is an incredibly affecting look at one man’s life against the backdrop of what it means to truly live »
- Rob Hunter
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
Note: With Black Friday approaching and many deals already underway, this week’s column will be dedicated to the event as we highlight some of our favorite deals (see all of them here). Check out our rundown below, with updates as they arrive, and if you’re looking for new Blu-ray releases, there are four definite essential releases this week: Akira Kurosawa‘s Ikiru, D.A. Pennebaker‘s Dont Look Back, the excellent animation Shaun the Sheep, and The Quay Brothers: Collection. »
- TFS Staff
Written and directed by Satyajit Ray
The Criterion Collection set of Satyajit Ray’s Apu trilogy has been one of the more eagerly anticipated releases in recent years. These masterworks of world cinema, widely acclaimed for decades, have been long overdue a much-deserved superior treatment on home video. Now though, benefitting from a 4K digital restoration by the Academy Film Archive and L’Immagine Ritrovata, and with a wealth of bonus features, these exceptional films are available in the superb presentation so many have been waiting for.
But to start at the source, such a treatment would not have been warranted in the first place were the films themselves not so remarkable, and that they most certainly are. As no less an authority than Akira Kurosawa puts it, “To have not seen the films of Ray is to have lived in the world without »
- Jeremy Carr
Iain Canning won an Oscar for producing the 2010 Best Picture champ "The King's Speech," which chronicled a trying time in the life of King George VI in the early days of World War II. His new film "Macbeth" recounts the fabled story of a king who ruled Scotland at the start of the last millennium that inspired Shakespeare to write this tragedy four centuries later. As Canning reveals during a recent conversation (listen below), with acclaimed adaptations of this play having been done already by filmmakers as diverse as Roman Polanski, Akira Kurosawa and Orson Welles, the challenge was to find a unique approach. “In terms of storytelling, we were really attracted by the idea of this post-traumatic-stress-disorder aspect of it. ''You layer in the things that are going to be important in terms of the contemporary retelling, not in the sense that it’s a contemporary set piece, but »
The Affair was fractured into even more perspectives this season, and while the obvious guiding influence of the show is Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon, showrunner Sarah Treem also cited the Neopolitan novels by Elena Ferrante as a lodestar. "I’ve been particularly influenced this year by the Elena Ferrante novels, the Neapolitan cycle," Treem told the New York Times. "What I think is really fascinating about those novels is you’re highly aware as you’re reading them that you’re seeing the stories through the P.O.V. of Lenu, and that Lila has her own story that you’re kind of privy to, but also not. You become aware as you go further in the novels that Lenu’s perspective is deeply biased and heavily influenced by her insecurities. That’s always been the idea behind this kind of storytelling. That it’s not objective, and we don »
- E. Alex Jung
By Alex Simon
Brazilian cinema has traditionally been a mix of fantasies about the bourgeois class (Dona Flor and her Two Husbands) or dark tales of life in its slums, the flavelas (Pixote). Fellipe Barbosa delivers a debut feature that takes a serio-comic look at the changing face of the upper class in his country, with Casa Grande, winner of the Rio De Janiero International Film Festival’s Best Film prize, which opens November 15 at Cinema Village in New York and debuts online simultaneously via Fandor.
Casa Grande tells the story of a posh Rio family whose carefully-manicured façade is slowly crumbling as father Hugo (Marcello Novaes) runs out of money after a series of bad investments go south. Meanwhile, his teenage son Jean (Thales Cavalanti) attends a fancy prep school and is thinking about college, until finding love with a girl from »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Heaven’S Floor screen Saturday November 14th at 1:00pm at The Tivoli Theater as part of this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival. Director Lori Stoll and storyboard artist Jeanie Everett Mitchell will be in attendance. Ticket information can be found Here
In director Lori Stoll’s semi-autobiographical Heaven’S Floor, La-based photographer Julia (Clea Duvall) meets an expedition leader who convinces her to join a trip to the Canadian Arctic. Desperate for more meaning in her life, Julia chooses to go despite growing tension with her husband. But a journey that starts on a whim soon becomes a life-threatening disaster, as an ill-equipped Julia finds herself stranded on sea ice with temperatures plummeting to minus 30 and darkness falling. Rescue arrives when Julia spots a lone skidoo racing across the frozen tundra. Malaya, an 11-year-old orphaned Inuit girl, and her uncle take Julia to a small Inuit community by the Arctic Circle, »
- Tom Stockman
Welcome to today's edition of Nerd Alert, where we have all the quirky, nerdy news that you crave in one convenient spot. What do we have in store for you on this wondrous Wednesday? A new video breaks down the most influential directors of all time, Back to the Future Part II gets a "real" 2015 edit and we take a look at movies hidden in popular TV shows. But wait, there's more! Terminator Genisys gets an honest trailer and two fencers create an epic lightsaber duel! Sit back, relax and check out all that today's Nerd Alert has to offer.
Terminator Genisys Honest Trailer
This week, Screen Junkies' Honest Trailers crew breaks down the summer flop Terminator Genisys, which gleefully skewers how this sequel "ruins" the only good movies in the franchise, recycles numerous lines of dialogue and much more. Despite its box office failure domestically, we reported last month »
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.The biggest news of the week for us is the online release of new films by two Notebook contributors: Gina Telaroli's Here's to the Future! and Kurt Walker's Hit 2 Pass, two fundamentally undefinable and wildly adventurous movies made and released independently. (The two filmmakers discussed their independence in a conversation published on the Notebook.) Both films will be be available to stream through November 22, 2015, and all proceeds they make on the release will go towards their future film projects.The full trailer for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight has been released, above, and it looks like the man generally derided (unfairly, we must add) as a kind of adolescent film nerd has made a film that looks akin to Alain Resnais' late films—and we couldn't be happier. »
Read More: Takashi Murakami on Bringing Art to Life in Directorial Debut 'Jellyfish Eyes' Ask most cinephiles to define Japanese film today, and they're likely to cite the usual suspects: Akira Kurosawa and his "Seven Samurai." Yasujiro Ozu and his "Tokyo Story." Hayao Miyazaki and his "Princess Mononoke." While their golden years may have ended over a decade ago (or, in some cases, several), their legendary works have left indelible marks not only on contemporary filmmakers within Japan, but on the styles of significant American cinema from Martin Scorcese and Quentin Tarantin to Pixar. But their era — the indisputable height of the nation's cinematic history — is one that the Japanese film industry hasn't been able to replicate or even come close to reviving ever since, a grievance expressed all the more emphatically by the many independent filmmakers presenting their work at last week's 2015 Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff). At first. »
- Anisha Jhaveri
(Region B) Akira Kurosawa's unquestioned top rank classic remains a fascinating study of truth and justice. A forest encounter left a man murdered and his wife raped. Or did something entirely different happen? The witnesses Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura and Machiko Kyo give radically differing testimony. This UK edition offers a full commentary by Japanese film expert Stuart Galbraith IV. Rashômon Region B UK Blu-ray BFI 1950 / B&W / 1.33:1 / 88 min. / Street Date September 21, 2015 / Available at Amazon UK / £15.99 Starring Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Kichijiro Ueda, Fumiko Honma. Cinematography Kazuo Miyagawa Art Direction So Matsuyama Film Editor Akira Kurosawa Original Music Fumio Hayasaka Written by Shinobu Hashimoto, Akira Kurosawa from stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa Produced by Minoru Jingo, Masaichi Nagata Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
This reviewer doesn't review most foreign discs, but with major studios licensing out their libraries, there are »
- Glenn Erickson
Other winners include All Three of Us, Cold of Kalandar, Land Of Mine, God Willing and Family Film.
Roberto Berliner’s Nise - The Heart of Madness, based on the true story of a Brazilian psychiatrist, took the top prize at the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival on Saturday.
“We all felt that it was a very believable world full of sadness, of humour and of triumph,” competition jury president Bryan Singer said in presenting the Tokyo Grand Prix, which comes with a cash prize of $50,000.
Berliner described the film as a “cruel job” in that it took 13 years out of his life to make but he never lost his determination to bring Nise da Silveira’s story to the screen »
Shakespeare is one of the most frequently adapted playwrights in the English language, to the point that Shakespearean adaptation studies has become its own academic sub-field, and Macbeth, with its gothic elements and relatively streamlined tragedy of ambition, is a strong contender for his most frequently adapted play. Aside from more straightforward versions like the upcoming Michael Fassbender movie, the film Scotland Pa, for instance, reimagined it as the story of a ruthless fast-food entrepreneur, Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood transposed it into feudal Japan, Mickey B filtered it through the experiences and language of Northern Irish inmates, and no fewer than two heavy metal bands have turned it into concept albums. Tom Slot’s adaptation, Macbeth (of the Oppressed) is less radical in »
- Leah Richards
An android actress, giant anime robots and the legacy of Akira Kurosawa were among the offerings at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff), which as always presented an interesting mix of old and new.
Android Geminoid-f – created by robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro – is an eerily convincing lead actress in Koji Fukada’s Sayonara, which received its world premiere in Tiff’s competition section.
Both Geminoid-f and Japanese-speaking actress Bryerly Long are reprising their roles from the short stage-play from which the film is adapted.
Although set in a near-future Japan contaminated by radiation, the film is more of a riff on mortality and the fear of death than a comment on the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
More startling than the story was the range of emotions that Geminoid-f was able to convey. “Sometimes robots can express more than humans,” said Ishiguro at a post-screening event.
The giant robots came courtesy of a focus on iconic »
- email@example.com (Liz Shackleton)
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