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As part of Indiewire's ongoing Awards Season Spotlight, director Joshua Oppenheimer discussed his harrowing documentary "The Act of Killing," a frontrunner for an Oscar nomination. The film, which asks former Indonesian war lords to reenact atrocities as if they were in a Hollywood action or crime film, has the likes of Werner Herzog and Errol Morris executive producing. Herzog, who came on board after an early screening, told Indiewire:"He asked to show me the unfinished film, in London. Director’s cuts are usually so boring, but after 15 minutes I knew I had to support this film. 'The Act of Killing' tells a story that is at once so powerful and so absurd —documentaries like this come around once every quarter century.”Oppenheimer's responses are articulate and fair-minded. Check out some video snippets, below. On boastfulness masking denial: On needing to find the distinction between "someone has done »
- Beth Hanna
From "Twilight" hunk who couldn't walk into a corner store without a legion of girls screaming and passing out, to an actor making all the right moves, Robert Pattinson continues to leave his vampire past far behind him. With a re-teaming with David Cronenberg and films with James Gray and Werner Herzog on the horizon, Pattinson continues to be cashing in his Respectable Actor chips and is now set to work again with a famed French actress. Pattinson is re-teaming with "Cosmopolis" co-star Juliette Binoche for "The Childhood Of A Leader." Tim Roth rounds out the leading trio in the film co-written by Mona Fastvold and actor Brady Corbert ("Melancholia," "Simon Killer") that will tell the story—as you might have guessed from the title—of the childhood of a post-wwi leader. Which one? Don't ask because for the moment, Variety isn't saying. That being said, we should know more soon. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
News Simon Brew 10 Dec 2013 - 06:22
Last year's Jack Reacher movie was worth it in our book for one of the most brilliantly bizarre villain performances of recent times. We're talking about Werner Herzog's brief but impactful turn in the film. That, and the excellent opening sequence, remain highlights of the movie.
Jack Reacher didn't do badly at the box office either, pulling in a worldwide gross of $218m. That might not sound a lot in the days of Marvel movies routinely breezing past $500m, but Jack Reacher cost an economical $57m to make. And whilst Tom Cruise's performance in the title role didn't win over every fan of Lee Childs' books, the project remains something of a success.
There was speculation that Paramount and Skydance may try to work in the sequel before production begins on Mission: Impossible 5, which is set for release on December 25, 2015. Although Paramount denied that claim, they did confirm that this sequel is on the fast track.
Never Look Back, which was published this fall, follows the title character returning to his old military base in Virginia, where he is set to take the new female commanding officer out to dinner. When Reacher arrives there, she has been arrested, with Jack also facing charges of assaulting a man and fathering a child with another woman. While Jack can't remember either of these events happening, he becomes determined to get to the bottom of both cases. »
Director Joshua Oppenheimer and Producers Werner Herzog and Errol Morris have stunned film festival audiences from SXSW, Toronto, Berlin, Telluride, and True/False with their imaginative documentary The Act of Killing. They travelled to Indonesia to examine the place of Indonesian death squads in contemporary society. In 1965, the Communist government [...]
Continue reading: Home Entertainment News: December 9, 2013: The Act Of Killing, Cbgb »
- Romney J. Baldwin
Academy shortlisters were the toast of the evening when the International Documentary Association unveiled their 2013 Ida Documentary Award winners at the DGA in Los Angeles. The top honor for Best Feature went to Jehane Noujaim's Egyptian revolution doc "The Square", set to premiere on Netflix in January and currently sitting on the 2014 documentary Oscar shortlist. From Ted Hope to Werner Herzog and Morgan Spurlock -- who won the Best Limited Series Award for his incisive CNN series "Inside Man -- the who's who of the indie film world assembled Friday night to honor 2013's top documentaries. Joining "The Square," two other Oscar-shortlisted films won prizes: "WikiLeaks: We Steal Secrets" and "The Armstrong Lie" director Alex Gibney took home the Career Achievement Award, while Zachary Heinzerling picked up the Emerging Filmmaker Award for his feature debut "Cutie and the Boxer." In his acceptance speech, Heinzerling thanked mentor Albert Maysles for telling. »
- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
Whatever opinion one has of atheism won’t be changed, or even challenged, by “The Unbelievers.” This superficial documentary from first-time feature helmer Gus Holwerda follows scientists and avowed atheists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss on a supposed “rock ‘n’ roll tour” of media and public appearances. While every moment is captured with the reverence of a fawning fan, Holwerda’s star-struck approach neglects to shed new light on his subjects or even showcase their greatest hits. Perhaps it’s appropriate that any meaningful afterlife following limited theatrical engagements appears to be wishful thinking.
Evolutionary biologist and “The God Delusion” author Dawkins is the clear headliner, but theoretical physicist and “A Universe From Nothing” author Krauss gets a bit more screentime (he’s an executive producer, natch) as the two make a series of appearances both individually and together in the U.S. and Australia. A prolonged stretch Down Under »
- Geoff Berkshire
Monday, December 2 - Los Angeles, CA - The Cinefamily has released the lineup to their 2013 Fantastic Elastic 24-hour Holiday Telethon--a marathon fundraiser with 24 straight hours of special events featuring guests, interviews, live music and comedy. The event will be held December 14th-15th, from 1pm to 1pm at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles’ West Hollywood, and the first lineup announcement includes appearances, Q&A's, and surprise events to be announced featuring cultural icons luminaries, including Anjelica Huston, Bruce Dern, Mike Judge, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Father John Misty, and Bushwick Bill.
According to Cinefamily’s Executive Director Hadrian Belove, “We didn’t think the CInefamily should have the usual kind of fundraiser, cause we’re not the usual kind of cinematheque. The 24 hour Telethon allows us to echo the wide range of programming for which Cinefamily has become known, and include the many parts of Los Angeles we love. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Nosferatu the Vampyre, 1979.
Written and Directed by Werner Herzog.
After taking over a small German village, Count Dracula attempts to spread his influence and activities to the rest of the world. All that prevents Dracula from continuing his demonic practices is the self-sacrifice of Lucy Harker.
Remaking an established, classic, staple of German expressionist cinema in 1979 must’ve been a tough sell. Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre, primarily a re-telling of F.W. Murnau’s silent masterpiece, is also a deeply eerie, unsettling and haunting film in its own right. Herzog is not averse to remakes, as he has proven recently with Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Unlike Bad Lieutenant, Herzog chose Nosferatu so he could play with Murnau’s story and expand upon minor-moments in his own unique manner. Combining elements from Browning’s »
- Gary Collinson
This is a tough awards season! Lots of great movies to see, so little time! I'm catching up like crazy before we vote for the Critics' Choice Movie Awards for the Broadcast Film Critics Association. So I apologize if I haven't updated you with the latest on the awards season 2013-2014! And there were many award-giving bodies announcing nominations.
We already told you about the Rome Film Festival and the Film Independent Spirit Awards, now let's talk about the 2013 Gotham Awards, the Ida Documentary Awards, the Cinema Eye, and the Producers Guild announcing its best documentary choices.
First stop, we have the 2013 Gotham Awards where Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" topped the nominations with three nods including best feature, best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor and breakthrough actor for Lupita Nyong'o.
Christian Bale has an intensity that seeps into performances which leave fans awestruck. His passion for his craft, however, does not include self-promotion. With a pair of compelling perfs to tubthump, the excruciatingly private star now has to do his least favorite thing: face the media.
Christian Bale is the reluctant movie star.
Despite being regarded as one of the best actors of his generation, the enigmatic 39-year-old Brit has no interest in fame. His dashing, tall, dark and handsome looks are often concealed by the unattractive physical appearances and appurtenances of the characters he portrays. In an era when many of his contemporaries take to social media to connect with fans, he chooses to fly beneath the radar, straining to keep details of his personal life private and relying strictly on gut rather than a career strategy when picking roles. He is notoriously press shy, which has no doubt »
- Jenelle Riley
Blue Is the Warmest Colour, the award-winning French film, is already notorious for its fisticuffs between stars and director. It's the latest in an unhappy tradition of histrionics and control-freakery. Here are some vintage feuds
Directors and actors being what they are, they like a good argument. On one side are obsessive perfectionists, on the other self-involved exhibitionists – or so the theory goes. It's often proved a combustible mix in the past, with what is euphemistically termed "creative tension" often adding to the dynamic of the final film.
The media, obviously, is the silent third partner in all this; though you, the reader, ought to be equally ashamed, gleefully drinking in all the foul-mouthed resentment and high-decibel score-settling. You don't have to look far: actors Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopolous turned on Blue Is the Warmest Colour director Abdellatif Kechiche, accusing him of traumatising them during the extended periods shooting sex and fight scenes. »
- Andrew Pulver
Pity the poor Academy documentary branch voter. Under democratic new rules pushed through by then-Academy governor Michael Moore and implemented for the first time last year, over the course of 2013 the 210 doc branch members were supposed to screen some 149 would-be eligible Oscar contenders, up 23 from last year. (Before that, various branch committees each viewed a small selection of the entries, which meant that personal taste played a huge role in dive-bombing films by the likes of Errol Morris and Werner Herzog.) So this year, each voter had to plow through a tall screener pile. What was on top, and what remained unseen? More than ever, festival play, reviews and awards, publicity, marketing and distribution played a bigger role in determining the choices these documentarians made as they handed in their preliminary nominations ballot November 22 for the Oscar shortlist of 15 documentaries. Moore was fighting for docs that he considered »
- Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
Reviewed as part of the 27th Leeds International Film Festival (6-21 Nov,2013)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Dir: Tom Berninger, 2013
Your typical rockumentary is nothing more than a checklist of clichés, a bingo game of boozy excess and unbridled egos. Is there a scene in which we follow the band out from backstage, grinning and gurning to camera as thousands of fans chant their name? Is there a scene in which the drummer speaks candidly for the first time about their addiction or invites us in to admire their paintings; what they call their sanctuary from the pressures of fame? Is there a scene in which the lead singer and guitarist squabble over a suggested key change or songwriting credit, resulting in one -or both- walking out of the band for good, only to return onstage for the final night of the tour? Does anyone, cast member or crew, at any »
- Dan Wakefield
Robert Pattinson and David Cronenberg ‘Maps to the Stars’ gets German distribution, Toronto screening Starring Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and Mia Wasikowska, Maps to the Stars has found a German distributor. Screen Daily reports that Christian Meinke’s Mfa+ has acquired the rights to the David Cronenberg-directed Hollywood satire at the American Film Market, recently held in Santa Monica. Mfa+ also picked up Vincent Grashaw’s feature debut Coldwater and Tobias Lindholm’s Danish thriller A Hijacking / Kapringen, which has a similar premise to that of the Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks hit Captain Phillips. (Photo: Robert Pattinson on the set of Maps to the Stars.) In Map to the Stars, John Cusack (replacing Viggo Mortensen) plays a Los Angeles analyst and self-help guru whose wife (Olivia Williams) is immersed in the career of their teen star son (Evan Bird), fresh off of rehab. Their daughter (Mia Wasikowska »
- Andre Soares
Odd List Ryan Lambie 20 Nov 2013 - 06:57
The constantly busy Ridley Scott always has lots of potential films in production, so here's a look at what he might be up to next...
Since his debut in 1977 with the historical drama, The Duellists, director Ridley Scott has gradually built up an eclectic body of work. His Hollywood career began with the stunning one-two sci-fi punch of Alien and Blade Runner, before heading off into fantasy (Legend), thrillers (Someone To Watch Over Me, Black Rain) and road-trip drama (the Oscar-winning Thelma And Louise).
As James Clayton pointed out in his recent Friday column, the 70-something Sir Ridley shows no sign of slowing down, and if anything, his slate of forthcoming films is somewhat bewildering - in what seems like every other interview, the director will mention another project of one sort or another, which makes working out what he's likely to be »
Damian Lewis has been largely absent from "Homeland" in Season 3, and according to him it's because he has had to have a few weeks to grow himself a new mustache. Brody was hairless when he was last seen on the show, but Lewis has a brand new 'stache that he showed off on "Good Morning America."
Though the new facial hair is for Werner Herzog's "Queen of the Desert," he's also doing it to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer as part of "Movember." Eventually it will turn into a handlebar mustache, and Lewis says his wife Helen McRory is not a fan.
"My wife does not like it. She's being polite and saying she does," he says with a laugh.
Cinema, as Jean-Luc Godard wrote, is truth 24 times a second. Documentaries both prove and disprove the point; but the truth is their strongest weapon. Here, Guardian and Observer critics pick the 10 best
• Top 10 arthouse movies
• Top 10 family movies
• Top 10 war movies
• Top 10 teen movies
• Top 10 superhero movies
• Top 10 westerns
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
To best understand this 1929 silent documentary, one ought to know that its director, the exotically named "Dziga Vertov", was actually born David Abelevich Kaufman in 1896. Some say the name derives from the Russian word for spinning top, but the pseudonym is more likely an onomatopeic approximation of the sound made by the twin reels of film as the director ran them backwards and forwards through his flatbed editor. For Vertov, film was something physical, to be manipulated by man, and yet, paradoxically, he also saw it as a medium »
Well, it's been a long time coming, nearly a year in fact since its 2012 Rome Film Festival debut, where it picked up three awards—editing, screenplay and the coveted Audience Award—but "The Motel Life" (our review here) is finally making its way onto screens this week. The debut film from producing-turned-directing brothers Gabe and Alan Polsky, starring Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff with Dakota Fanning in a small role, the film is based on the 2006 novel by musician and writer Willy Vlautin and tells the story of two brothers who flee their Reno motel after getting involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident.While they're new on the scene as directorial talents, the brothers have been around for a while, producing Werner Herzog's lunatic "Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call - New Orleans" and the Juno Temple film "Little Birds," and having an in-development slate that currently boasts no fewer than seven titles. »
- Jessica Kiang
Twilight Saga heartthrob Robert Pattinson is doing all he can to shake off the curse of the shit supernatural franchise (that even he hates). After joining David Cronenberg for a spot of crazy Cosmopolis and the Map To The Stars, we’ll also see him star in projects like Werner Herzog’s Queen Of The Desert, David Michod’s futuristic crime-thriller The Rover and fact-based military drama Mission: Blacklist, directed by Jesper Ganslandt. Now we’ve news of another addition to his upcoming slate.
The actor who received his big-break in the Harry Potter franchise will join Benedict Cumberbatch in acclaimed writer/director James Gray’s adaptation of the David Grann best-seller The Lost City Of Z. The book centres on the true-story of British explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett (said to be the inspiration for Indiana Jones), who meant missing in the Amazon while searching for the mythical city in »
- Craig Hunter
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