4 items from 2016
Meg Rickards is no stranger to the spotlight in Durban, where she won the documentary audience award two years ago for “1994: The Bloody Miracle.” This year she returns with “Tess,” a powerful adaptation of the award-winning South African novel “Whiplash,” about a 20-year-old prostitute in Cape Town whose life is torn apart by drug addiction, rape, and an unwanted pregnancy. Rickards spoke to Variety about the challenge of confronting a difficult subject head-on, and whether South Africa might be at a turning point in its fight against sexual violence.
Variety: Your movie is adapted from Tracey Farren’s award-winning novel “Whiplash,” about a 20-year-old prostitute and addict in Cape Town whose life is turned upside-down by an unexpected pregnancy. Had you read the book before you came onboard for the movie? How did that source material influence how you made “Tess”?
Rickards: I read “Whiplash” in 2009 and became besotted »
- Christopher Vourlias
September tends to be the time of year that movie studios start busting out the big guns, and 2016 finds the Criterion Collection following suit, as the boutique home video label will be releasing one of the most significant cinematic landmarks on which they’ve yet to put their stamp.
Krzysztof Kieślowski’s mammoth “Dekalog” makes the company’s September lineup something of a bumper crop in and of itself, but — lucky for us — it’ll be accompanied by an essential Kenji Mizoguchi classic, two ample doses of Jacqueline Susann-inspired campiness, some old school Coen brothers and much more. Check out the full release slate below, listed in rough order of our excitement for each title.
1.) “Dekalog” (dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1988), Spine #837
This would be at the very top of the list regardless of what else Criterion is releasing in September. One of the greatest achievements in all of film (though »
- David Ehrlich
A major talent of the New German Cinema finds his footing out on the open highway, in a trio of intensely creative pictures that capture the pace and feel of living off the beaten path. All three star Rüdiger Vogler, an actor who could be director Wim Wenders' alter ego. Wim Wenders' The Road Trilogy Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 813 1974-1976 / B&W and Color / 1:66 widescreen / 113, 104, 176 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date May 30, 2016 / 99.95 Starring Rüdiger Vogler, Lisa Kreuzer, Yetta Rottländer; Hannah Schygulla, Nasstasja Kinski, Hans Christian Blech, Ivan Desny; Robert Zischler. Cinematography Robby Müller, Martin Schäfer Film Editor Peter Przygodda, Barbara von Weltershausen Original Music Can, Jürgen Knieper, Axel Linstädt. Directed by Wim Wenders
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
In his 1969 short film 3 American LP’s, the 24-year-old Wim Wenders, in the kind of feat of earnestness that can befit a young man, attempts to match his two greatest interests” America’s landscapes and its rock-and-roll music. If we’re to pick perhaps the most endearing eye-roller from this “rockist” mission statement, one can look no further than Wenders describing a Creedence Clearwater Revival album as being “like chocolate.”
But this isn’t necessarily an atypical moment in his filmography, as Wenders has always skirted the line of, for lack of a better word, corniness — if not just telegraphing his influences to at-times-obnoxious degrees, also with a kind of sentimentality both formally and politically speaking. Consider Wings of Desire‘s glossy look, which could so easily be reconfigured into a perfume-commercial aesthetic, or even just the title of one of his later, forgotten films; The End of Violence.
- Ethan Vestby
4 items from 2016
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