1-20 of 323 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
★★★☆☆ With 39 features to his name, each as unique and innovative as the next, there are few American directors who come close to matching the prolific career of Robert Altman. Ron Mann would go one step further, describing Altman's films as distinctively "Altmanesque", a term he spends 95 minutes attempting to define in his latest documentary, Altman (2014). An affectionate exploration of Altman's life, Mann invites a wealth of this maverick filmmaker's best known collaborators and contemporaries to discuss his legacy, including the late Robin Williams, The Long Goodbye star Elliot Gould and Inherent Vice (2014) director Paul Thomas Anderson - who simply describes Altman in one word: "inspiration".
- CineVue UK
In Cannes the pervasive mood of buzz and business really begs for comedy, and Yorgos Lanthimos's English-language debut The Lobster, so far the best film in the competition, was a much-needed intervention of the absurd at the festival. This came additionally as a surprise to me because I've never been a fan of the Greek director of Dogtooth and Alps, preferring instead the work by his producer, Athina Rachel Tsangari, who made Attenburg. But in a festival whose thread of a theme this year of the intrinsic human difficulty of romantic relationships (In the Shadow of Women, My Golden Days, Carol), The Lobster wonderfully refracts these concerns of grave emotional drama into a precise, gimmick-bound dark comedy. Surprisingly touching, it takes adult worries over loneliness, solitude and coupledom and sends them into a perverse alternate world where single people are punished for their social status by being sent to »
- Daniel Kasman
The wrester said that Miller turned his life into a "horror story" by focusing on the murder of his brother Dave, who was played by Mark Ruffalo in the 2014 film.
He told ShortList: "I'm happy that my brother was immortalised. That was the main reason I did it.
"I'm very happy that it got five Oscar nominations and that they got Channing Tatum to play me, I keep telling people the only guy they could come up with to play me was the sexiest man in the world!
"But I didn't expect Miller to choose the darkest part of my life to focus on - Dave's murder - and expand that into a movie. I thought they'd focus on the wrestling, becoming the ultimate cage fighter, being victorious.
"It ended up being almost the complete opposite - a nightmare, »
Todd Haynes' highly anticipated "Carol" hits the Cannes Film Festival very, very soon, and for most us, we can't be there. Our team will deliver a review, but for everyone else, we'll have to take whatever we can until the movie gets released (hopefully) later this year. But one thing we can dive into is the soundtrack, and no surprise, it's period specific. Read More: The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival To recap, the film is based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, stars Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett, and tells a '50s set story about the relationship that develops between an older married woman and a young clerk at a department store. To that end, swoony tunes of the era and before will be heard throughout, many of them provided by Grammy-winning Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks, while Paul Thomas Anderson fans will recognize Jo Stafford's "No Other Love, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Every other Tuesday, Matt Marlin posts a new “Framing the Picture” video to his Vimeo channel. And last week, the astute student of cinema broke down the memorable, awkward, and tense botched drug deal scene from Paul Thomas Anderson’s low hanging, intoxicating, porn world classic, “Boogie Nights.” As he regularly does, Marlin both edited and narrated the analysis, this episode of which is dubbed “Sound and Tension in Boogie Nights's Drug Deal Sequence.” He starts off with his thesis, that “one of Paul Thomas Anderson’s most effective maneuvers in this sprawling tale of the ‘70s and ‘80s is his use of sound; mainly, it serves as a tool for settings, and songs from the era play throughout. They’re diegetically, as characters from the scene put them on, or non-diegetically, as Anderson sees most appropriate.” Essentially, “the music of the time is a constant presence throughout.” Read More: »
- Zach Hollwedel
As summer movies keep creeping earlier and earlier in April (ahem, Furious 7), the Cannes Film Festival is maybe the only big cinema experience that marks the beginning of actual movie summer. International celebrities annually flock to the biggest, grandest red carpet by the French Riviera—where deals are made, cameras flash, and write-ups on the applause and boos from within the theaters are quickly written up—all this will kick off again on Wednesday, May 13th. Granted the films that grace the Croisette are generally more artistic and exploratory than your standard "summer movie"—but programmers never shy away from the opportunity to show upcoming Hollywood fare. This year the already critically-approved Mad Max: Fury Road will officially debut, along with both Pixar and Woody Allen's newest offerings (Inside Out and Irrational Man, respectively). But all of that noise and flashiness is out-of-competition. What cinephiles and film curios »
- Brian Formo
While the topic of wealth inequality is a hot-button issue, the indie market place has blossomed as a new breed of producer — several are independently wealthy, all are smart, savvy — has stepped in. They are making the kinds of mid-budget movies that Hollywood isn’t making anymore, self-financing their own projects and making an effort to fill the void created by the studios’ overall change in strategy to one that focuses on tentpoles.
Producers like Megan Ellison, Jeff Skoll, Gigi Pritzker and Teddy Schwarzman have lately been joined by new players like Monika Bacardi and Todd Courtney, with their own philosophy about filmmaking, as well as specific criteria about the kinds of projects they choose to develop and, ultimately, produce.
- Neil Turitz
Kristen Stewart 'On the Road' dancing, with Garrett Hedlund on the right Down memory lane: Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart 'On the Road' images At the time best known as The Twilight Saga's conflicted human Bella Swan, Kristen Stewart was cast as the exuberant Marylou in Walter Salles' film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's iconic 1950s novel On the Road. Salles had been impressed with Stewart's pre-Twilight work in Sean Penn's Into the Wild. Based on LuAnne Henderson, Kerouac's close buddy Neal Cassady's first wife, Marylou is described as a "beautiful little sharp chick." Apparently, one who also likes to move seductively to the sound of music – as can be attested by the Kristen Stewart picture above, which first came out online in early 2011. Besides Stewart, On the Road also features Garrett Hedlund – at the time best known for Tron: Legacy – as Dean Moriarty, »
- Zac Gille
Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham on the Oscars' Red Carpet Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham at the Academy Awards Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham in a red-and-golden outfit are pictured above on the 2011 Academy Awards' Red Carpet, just outside the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Oscar ceremony was held on Sunday, Feb. 27. Wahlberg, decades ago known as underwear model Marky Mark, was an Oscar nominee as one of the producers of Best Picture contender The Fighter – which ultimately lost to odds-on favorite The King's Speech. Mark Wahlberg was the only major player in the David O. Russell-directed boxing drama who failed to be nominated for an Academy Award in the acting categories. Co-stars Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, and Christian Bale were all shortlisted; Leo and Bale ended up winning in their respective supporting categories. Wahlberg, however, was a Best Supporting Actor nominee four years ago: for »
- D. Zhea
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
Once again, Make it the Same Only New
With this biopic on the great French fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent, Bertrand Bonello streamlines for himself a reputation as one of contemporary cinema’s keenest voices on the concept of time. Coming off his Palme d’Or-contending masterpiece, House of Tolerance – a film concerned with the dichotomy between slow and rapid evolutions of people, places, and culture – Bonello once again sweeps across years of a life in a startlingly arrhythmic procession. The central theme in this case is re-materialization, namely, Saint Laurent’s propensity for reinvigorating the status quo by injecting it with the new. Unfortunately, one of the prime examples in Saint Laurent’s life of this trait was in his reliance on various mind-altering drugs – a chapter of his life that consumes and befouls roughly a full hour of the lengthy, two-and-a-half hour dalliance.
Chalk that up to the »
- Blake Williams
Sasha Grey’s latest film is ‘about as transgressive as a 16-year-old showing off their hickeys’
Last year, former porn star Michelle Sinclair got a text from Joaquin Phoenix, asking her if she’d like to audition for an upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson movie. Sinclair queried whether the role – a small but pivotal one in Anderson’s inscrutable Thomas Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice – would require her to undress, and when Phoenix said it would, she politely declined. According to an interview Sinclair gave Vice earlier this year, Anderson himself was bewildered by the decision. “Paul was like, ‘What are you talking about? This is a major motion picture. Are you crazy?’”
Sinclair ultimately relented, but it’s not hard to see why she might have been reluctant to disrobe in her first mainstream performance. While Hollywood has finally started taking its sibling industry’s calls, the roles afforded to porn retirees remain shallow and cynical. »
- Charlie Lyne
Listing the Coen Brothers, Spike Jonze, and Paul Thomas Anderson as her Bucket List of directors with whom to work, Juno Temple’s film choices are best described as eclectic. The daughter of rock and roll filmmaker Julien Temple, Juno had a creative, rebellious spirit instilled in her at an early age, and her career has reflected that greatly.
Starring opposite Matthew McConaughey in Killer Joe and Daniel Radcliffe in Horns, she’s never been one to back away from darker roles. On the other hand, she’s also completely willing to play dress-up every once and a while. You may remember her as a fairy in Maleficent or as Queen Anne, dripping in pearls and lace, in Paul W. S. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers.
- Sasha James
Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice came and went theatrically. Much like Spike Jonze’s Her, it seems an expensive arthouse film that didn’t connect with the public, though both were nominated for Screenplay Oscars. Vice made $8 million, while Anderson’s last film The Master only made twice as much. The filmmaker hasn’t ever scored a big hit (his biggest success was There Will Be Blood, which made $40 Million), and that’s a little sad because he’s one of the greatest filmmakers working today. This noted, Vice is destined to live on as a cult favorite. It’s too drugged out not to eventually find an audience, though its resemblances to films like The Big Lebowski and The Long Goodbye are mostly superficial. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello, who works as a sort of private investigator, and the »
- Andre Dellamorte
All week our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. It’s perhaps a little quaint to choose a year that I wasn’t even alive during to represent the best year of cinema. I was not there to observe how any of these films conversed with the culture around them when they were first screened. So, although I am choosing the glorious year of 1973, I am choosing not just due to a perusal of top ten lists that year—but because the films that were released that year greatly influenced how I engage with movies now, in 2015. Films speak to more than just the audiences that watch them—they speak to each other. Filmmakers inspire each other. Allusions are made. A patchwork begins. These are the movies of our lives. Having grown up with cinema in the 90s, »
- Brian Formo
At one time long ago, Robert Downey Jr. and Charlize Theron were tossed around as the potential leads in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice." It's an interesting what-if to consider, but according to Iron Man himself, it was never really in the cards. "I’m really fortunate that, first and foremost, I’m friends with PTA. And he is so much more than a filmmaker. He’s just someone that you go, 'If I could spend a big chunk of every day with this guy, then I’d be a better person.' So, that’s great. He and my dad are pals," he told Grantland about his relationship with the filmmaker. But when it comes to "Inherent Vice" he makes it clear the gig was not his from the start and that Joaquin Phoenix was always the man for the job. "(a) Nobody should have done that movie besides him, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
As we discussed in our feature "Inherent Vice" From Page To Screen: The 6 Biggest Changes From The Book, Paul Thomas Anderson didn't exactly take the straight page-to-screen route when tackling Thomas Pynchon's book. That said, as he stated in numerous interviews in the press run for the movie, Anderson did first do a draft of the screenplay that was a direct adaptation before striking out in his own interpretation. And like "The Master" before it, the director shot plenty of footage that didn't make it into the movie, that highlights different avenues he could've gone down. And now you can check it out. The movie is hitting Blu-ray this week, and while the four trailers that came packaged with it as the sole extras might seem slim on the surface — just four "special trailers" — they reveal quite a lot. Within the twelve minutes of presumed marketing material is a »
- Kevin Jagernauth
This week’s new Blu-ray releases include a pair of underrated films from 2014—a Paul Thomas Anderson masterwork and a critically hailed family film starring an animated bear—as well as the next film from Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt, and more. Click on the links below to purchase. Inherent Vice (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) - $22.99 (36% off) Paddington [Blu-ray] - $19.91 (50% off) The Gambler [Blu-ray] - $19.99 (50% off) The Wedding Ringer (Blu-ray + UltraViolet) - $19.99 (43% off) The Friends of Eddie Coyle [Blu-ray] (Criterion Collection) - $26.19 (34% off) Masterpiece: Wolf Hall [Blu-ray] - $23.69 (41% off)
- Adam Chitwood
For aspiring, young filmmakers, there are generally two modern-day archetypes of Hollywood heroes. The first is the George Lucas model: majored in film at USC, became a global pioneer in the use of digital filmmaking and went on to create cinematic history’s most iconic sci-fi franchise of all time in “Star Wars.” The second is the Quentin Tarantino model: dropped out of high school, worked in a video store and, in 1992, wrote and directed the cult classic indie crime drama “Reservoir Dogs.”
Two celebrated filmmakers, two very different roads to success.
But the landscape of filmmaking has changed so dramatically over the past several decades — a short posted on YouTube can launch a bigscreen career, while “Tangerine,” a breakout hit at this year’s Sundance fest, was shot entirely on an iPhone 5S — and fledgling screenwriters, producers and directors are faced with a dizzying number of choices as to how to pursue their careers. »
- Malina Saval
Receiving a mixture of raves, polite applause, and a handful of outright naysayers, Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest concoction Inherent Vice comes to Blu-ray for critical reconsideration. Snagging two Academy Award nominations (Best Adapted Screenplay; Costume Design) and a Golden Globe nod for Joaquin Phoenix, it was an uncustomarily muted awards season for Anderson, while the box office take didn’t really pick up the slack. Still, its bizarre loopiness and distinction as the first cinematic adaptation of Thomas Pynchon should instill a healthy shelf life.
For his seventh film, we receive a queasy mix of gonzo comic neo-noir basted in the seedy nostalgic twinge of sleazy 70s era Los Angeles teased with a numbing carnival of multifaceted tangential characters diluting the film’s potency to the reductive force equal to a generous clusterfuck of all things strange. Fluctuating styles and clashing tones further enhance the film’s resounding detachment from a core ‘mystery, »
- Nicholas Bell
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