16 items from 2015
It’s the most uncomfortable type of horror scene, but if done correctly, can pack a gut punch. The violation scene is the moment when the character’s vulnerability is betrayed and our empathy immerses us deeper into their dreadful ordeal. The young child possessed by an evil spirit. The unlucky bystander assaulted in a tunnel. The crazed woman submitting to a creature of non human origin. The violation scene can be emotional or it can be exploitative, but it’s almost always guaranteed to get us talking.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)- Cesare abducting Jane
Even though it was one of the originators of German Expressionist film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is often regarded as the pinnacle for the movement. Two of the movement’s basic tenets were distorted lines and shapes and overly theatrical movements from the actors, and both are well on display in this creepy scene. »
Exclusive: Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s comedy snapped up for Benelux and Switzerland.
TF1 International handles world sales and will be repping the film at Tiff, where it screens in Special Presenations
Families marks Rappeneau’s first film in more than 10 years and stars Mathieu Amalric as a French expat who takes a life-changing trip to his hometown. The cast also includes Marine Vacth (Young and Beautiful), Gilles Lellouche and Gemma Chan.
TF1 International’s Sabine Chemaly said: “Since we hadn’t shown the film to buyers before the premiere, we look forward to unveiling it to distributors »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
The directorial debut of the once revered action auteur John McTiernan comes to Blu-ray release, a little known cult favorite known as Nomads. Considering this predates his most lucrative and iconic trio of films, including Predator (1987), Die Hard (1988), and The Hunt for Red October (1990) should be reason enough to revisit the title, even if on the surface it promises to be like any number of forgettable genre titles churned out in the same period. Beyond McTiernan, the film is notable as presenting us with the first starring role of Pierce Brosnan, playing an improbable Frenchman, as well as featuring supporting turns from notable cult figures like Mary Woronov, Frank Doubleday, and Adam Ant. Ultimately, the title’s perplexing and often inexplicable narrative thwarts its overall effectiveness as a thriller, yet McTiernan manages to convey expert skills as a visual artist.
Flax (Lesley-Anne Down) is an emergency room doctor who gets bit by a rambling madman, »
- Nicholas Bell
Read More: Locarno Review: Lesbian Drama 'Summertime' Takes 'Blue is the Warmest Color' to the Countryside Polish auteur Andrzej Żuławski may be best known worldwide for his 1981 body horror whatsit "Possession," in which Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani play a couple whose relationship crumbles in increasingly bizarre, expressionistic terms. For the outrageous dark satire "Cosmos," his first feature in 15 years, Żuławski savages a much broader target — the inherent chaos and desperation of human consciousness. It's often hilarious, confounding and downright strange; if not the director's most polished work, it nevertheless delivers a demented philosophical puzzle that's fun to scrutinize in all of its baffling uncertainties. Żuławski's French-language production, which adapts the 1965 novel by Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz, follows a crazy-eyed law school dropout named — for symbolic purposes that immediately endow the material with meta quality from »
- Eric Kohn
Glenda Jackson: Actress and former Labour MP. Two-time Oscar winner and former Labour MP Glenda Jackson returns to acting Two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Glenda Jackson set aside her acting career after becoming a Labour Party MP in 1992. Four years ago, Jackson, who represented the Greater London constituency of Hampstead and Highgate, announced that she would stand down the 2015 general election – which, somewhat controversially, was won by right-wing prime minister David Cameron's Conservative party. The silver lining: following a two-decade-plus break, Glenda Jackson is returning to acting. Now, Jackson isn't – for the time being – returning to acting in front of the camera. The 79-year-old is to be featured in the Radio 4 series Emile Zola: Blood, Sex and Money, described on their website as a “mash-up” adaptation of 20 Emile Zola novels collectively known as "Les Rougon-Macquart." Part 1 of the three-part Radio 4 series will be broadcast daily during an »
- Andre Soares
We won't know the full 2015 Locarno Film Festival lineup until July 15, but so far the fest has booked world premieres from two top-flight auteurs. Cult Polish director Andrzej Zulawski returns for his first film in 15 years with "Cosmos," a metaphysical noir thriller that played the Cannes market. The Swiss film festival has served a home for Zulawski before, as in 1981 when he presided over the jury and his arthouse horror-psychodrama "Possession," a vanishing rarity starring a gloriously unhinged Isabelle Adjani that is well worth seeking out, screened out of competition. Zulawski has been polishing "Cosmos" since January. It's based on the 1965 seriocomic novel by Witold Gombrowicz and centers on two young men (Jonathan Genet and Johan Libereau) whose country retreat takes a turn for the sinister and mind-bending. The "Cosmos" cast includes French actress and Alain Resnais muse Sabine Azéma. Here's a more detailed »
- Ryan Lattanzio
You no doubt know of a crazy local or two that mills around your town in a daze, occasionally causing disturbances, but otherwise remains fairly harmless. If you stop to think about it, it’s possible that they may have had an entirely different life with a past rich with fame, fortune and family, but sadly, their final warped reality is often the result of something as tragic as mental illness. In the case of François Truffaut‘s true to life telling of French literary master Victor Hugo’s increasingly demented daughter’s obsessive breakdown in The Story of Adèle H., the vagabond fate stems from haughty infatuation and swiftly disintegrates into detached delirium not unlike those familiar empty faces asking for bus fare or something to eat on your local street corner.
The Story of Adèle H. followed Truffaut’s Best Foreign Picture winning Day For Night, gleaning its »
- Jordan M. Smith
Once Bitten: Cailley’s Unique Exploration of Summer Lovin’
Since premiering at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it picked up the Fipresci Prize in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar, Thomas Cailley’s directorial debut, Love at First Fight has been treated to generous critical acclaim. Nabbing three César Awards in February, including for Best First Film, Most Promising Actor, and a Best Actress award for Adele Haenel (trumping competition that included Juliette Binoche and Marion Cotillard). Basically a romantically inclined drama that subverts its conventions by playing around a bit with gender norms, its winning protagonists make this strangely and unpredictably funny film quite charming. Its original title, Les Combattants literally means The Fighters, which would have been much preferred to the horrid English language surrogate.
With their father recently deceased, brothers Manu (Antoine Laurent) and Arnaud Labrede (Kevin Azais) are forced to take over the family woodcutting factory, which »
- Nicholas Bell
Ioncinema.com’s Top 3 Critics’ Picks offers a curated approach to the usual quandary: what would you recommend I see in theaters this month? All appearing on the 2014 film festival circuit, the latest from the Safdie Brothers and French filmmakers Quentin Dupieux and Thomas Cailley are an alluringly fresh trio of options for May ’15.
May 1st – Limited Release
Distributor: IFC Midnight
Awards & Fests: This premiered in the Horizons section at the 2014 Venice International Film Festival and got plenty of fest play with notable stops at Sitges ’14, AFI Fest ’14 and Rotterdam ’15.
What the critic’s are saying?: Despite the mixed-bag reactions out of Venice, IFC Midnight acquired the rights last November to this micro-nutty versioner of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. IndieWIRE (A-) cautions future audiences by saying that “some viewers may find grating — is that it’s guaranteed to leave audiences scratching their heads »
- Eric Lavallee
“A 19th Century Stalker”
Around the time of America’s Civil War, Adèle became fixated on a British soldier, one Lieutenant Pinson. She followed him across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia, where he was stationed, for she was convinced that he loved her and would marry her. In fact, the couple had experienced a brief relationship in England (while Victor Hugo was living in Guernsey, in exile from France), but Pinson ultimately rejected Adèle and wanted no more to do with her. Even though he was obviously a rakish cad, the girl became obsessed with the man and went to great lengths to pursue him.
These days we would call it stalking.
François Truffaut’s The Story of Adèle H. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
It was last August that I first got to view Starry Eyes and since that early Saturday screening at Frightfest I have been completely smitten. If you look closely at the packaging on the UK DVD, which is released on the 16th March you might spy some familiar stars and quotes, a proud moment in any writer’s life but it is even more special when it is a movie that truly stole your heart. Needless to say that when an opportunity to interview co-directors Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, I jumped at the chance.
Widmyer and Kolsch have been working together for a number of years, producing short film Identical Dead Sisters and feature Absence before going onto make Starry Eyes with the help of Kickstarter funders. Starry Eyes chronicles a young and determined actress, Sarah Walker (Alex Essoe) as she goes to the darkest of lengths to achieve her Hollywood dreams. »
- Kat Smith
Qui aime les films français ?
If you do and you live in St. Louis, you’re in luck! The Seventh Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival — co-presented by Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series begins March 13th. The Classic French Film Festival celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1930s through the early 1990s, offering a comprehensive overview of French cinema. The fest is annually highlighted by significant restorations.
This year features recent restorations of eight works, including an extended director’s cut of Patrice Chéreau’s historical epic Queen Margot a New York-set film noir (Two Men In Manhattan) by crime-film maestro Jean-Pierre Melville, who also co-stars; a short feature (“A Day in the Country”) by Jean Renoir, on a double bill with the 2006 restoration of his masterpiece, The Rules Of The Game, and the »
- Tom Stockman
abstew here. Only 15 women in the 87 year history of the Academy have scored a Best Actress nomination for a foreign language performance. In contrast, British actresses have won Best Actress 14 times. While the Academy has always warmed to Brits, their European neighbors have had to struggle to breakthrough with recognition in the acting races. (There has still never been a Best Actress nominee for a performance in any language outside of a European origin.) The first actress to even score a nomination for a foreign language performance was Melina Mercouri for Never on a Sunday in 1960, over 30 years into the Academy's history. Only two women have actually won Best Actress for a foreign language performance and both those women have the even rarer distinction of being honored twice with nominations for foreign language performances. The first was Sophia Loren who won for 1961's Two Women and was nominated again for »
By Anjelica Oswald
With the addition of Marion Cotillard’s lead actress nomination for the Belgian film Two Days, One Night, 32 actors and actresses have been nominated for their performances in foreign-language films. Cotillard was nominated for her role as a young mother and wife struggling to salvage her job in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes’ film, which was chosen as Belgium’s submission to the foreign-language category but failed to secure a spot on the Oscar shortist.
Though her performance did land a Critics’ Choice Award nomination, the Oscar nomination did come as a surprise for many pundits.
Cotillard was previously nominated for the French foreign-language film La Vie En Rose (2007) and won. She is one of six actors or actresses to win for a non-English role and is also the most recent winner.
The first acting nomination for a foreign-language performance went to Sophia Loren in 1962 for »
- Anjelica Oswald
Good Morning Oscar fans! Today is nomination day!
Wamg was in the thick of nomination morning fever at the home of the Oscars – the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Prior to the announcement, A.M.P.A.S. and the show’s producing team, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, gave the press assembled in the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre a first look at the new Oscar promo featuring host Neil Patrick Harris, titled “Anything Can Happen,” and given what went down this morning, that’s certainly the case.
Let’s get right to the big shockers – No Lego Movie for Best Animated Feature or Life Itself in Best Documentary Feature.
Also missing among the presumed nominees were Ava DuVernay (Selma, directing), Clint Eastwood (American Sniper, directing), Jennifer Aniston (Cake, best actress), David Oyelowo (Selma, best actor), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, best actor), Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel, best actor), Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, »
- Movie Geeks
2015 marks the ending of a fifteen year hiatus from filmmaking for Polish auteur Andrzej Zulawski, whose last film was 2000’s La Fidelite, which starred the director’s then wife French actress Sophie Marceau. Known for capturing some of the most memorably gonzo performances ever committed to film, Zulawski’s most celebrated title is 1981’s Possession, which starred Isabelle Adjani (who nabbed Best Actress at Cannes for her unforgettable performance) and Sam Neill. Infamous for its inclusion on the dreaded “Video Nasties” list of the 1980s, the title slowly nurtured a cult audience and is still, by far, the most easily accessible title of Zulawski’s impressive filmography. Plagued by Polish censors, the critical success following his first two features, 1971′s The Third Part of the Night and 1972’s The Devil saw Zulawaski migrate to France for the magnificent The Most Important Thing is »
- Nicholas Bell
16 items from 2015
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