17 items from 2017
Any list of the greatest foreign directors currently working today has to include Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. The directors first rose to prominence in the mid 1990s with efforts like “The Promise” and “Rosetta,” and they’ve continued to excel in the 21st century with titles such as “The Kid With A Bike” and “Two Days One Night,” which earned Marion Cotillard a Best Actress Oscar nomination.
Read MoreThe Dardenne Brothers’ Next Film Will Be a Terrorism Drama
The directors will be back in U.S. theaters with the release of “The Unknown Girl” on September 8, which is a long time coming considering the film first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. While you continue to wait for their new movie, the brothers have provided their definitive list of 79 movies from the 20th century that you must see. La Cinetek published the list in full and is hosting many »
- Zack Sharf
This year Locarno International Film Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary. It is one of the most admired and respected film festivals in the world and historically a festival that has been combining tradition and innovation. We had the privilege to discuss some ideas on cinema, curatorship and festivals worldwide with its artistic director Carlo Chatrian, who has been running Locarno for 5 years now.Notebook: Can you share a few thoughts of what we can expect from the 70th edition of the Locarno Film Festival?Carlo Chatrian: Locarno reaches its 70th edition, but we do not want to make a simple celebration. Instead, we want to look ahead rather than look back to the great history of the festival. That's why we decided to have a special section called the Locarno70 which will show debut films that have premiered in Locarno all through its long history. For me, it’s a »
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.NEWSViennale director Hans HurchWe are heartbroken to learn the the director of the Vienna International Film Festival, Hans Hurch, has died unexpectedly in Rome over the weekend. The Viennale—which we have covered for many years—has long been a beacon of aesthetically bold, politically engaged and defiantly personal programming. Hurch and his work will be greatly missed. In his honor, we're revisiting a fabulous interview with the festival director published by Sight & Sound in 2012:i would be happy if it’s a festival that’s not doing harm to the people. It sounds very defensive, but it isn’t. There are so many things in the world that are doing so much harm, and I believe in an old leftist idea – everything you experience does something to you. So if you drink something that is not good, »
The largely nonsensical debut by the electronic musician follows the survivors of an earthquake and inflicts on them unimaginable cruelty of the corporeal sort
There are horror films in which the persistence of violence and torture serves as a vehicle for a broader social commentary, like Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Saló, which, when I first saw it, was perhaps the most unruly thing I’d ever witnessed. It was equal parts captivating and unwatchable, driven by a withering critique of fascism and its practitioners’ cruel, sadistic thirst for power and pleasure.
Then there are ones like Kuso, the debut feature by the electronic musician Flying Lotus. Kuso could scarcely be called a film proper; it’s more like a feature-length sequence of moving pictures and disparate narratives that seem perpetually engaged in a game of one-upmanship, the point being for each image to be grosser than the one that came before. »
- Jake Nevins
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)
This week’s question: Inspired by Baby Groot’s “Mr. Blue Sky” dance sequence at the beginning of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” what movie has the best opening credits sequence?
April Wolfe (@awolfeful), La Weekly
Hands down, it’s R.W. Fassbinder’s “The Marriage of Maria Braun.” I watch the opening sequence at least three times a year and show it to every filmmaker I can. I love any film that begins with a bang, and this one does quite literally: We open up on an explosion that rips out a hunk of brick wall, exposing a German couple in the middle of a rushed marriage ceremony. »
- David Ehrlich
This is my seventh TCM Classic Film Festival. At a certain point, some things become routine – one learns to expect the exhaustion at the dawn of day three (of four), the constant negotiation between personal viewing whims and rare presentations, the way plots and aesthetic choices start to run together, and the suspicion that explaining the draw of such an event to those not immediately inclined to attend it may come across a touch insane. Film festivals are innately demanding experiences, but between the pleasure of its programming, the consolidation of the venues, and the brevity of most of its films’ running times, few make it so easy to watch four, five, six movies in a day. You tell your coworkers on Monday what you did all weekend, and it starts to not make a lot of sense. But somehow, in the midst of it all, the point of it couldn’t be clearer. »
- Scott Nye
The woods hold an unmistakable allure, familiar yet unknown, idyllic, yet fraught with peril. They are the heart of Happy Times Will Come, shot in natural light, which often means that viewers are abandoned in darkness to develop our senses. Indeed, the film thrusts us into the stark indigo night where a pair of fugitives scurrying up a steep hill are long heard before they are seen. Once the sun peeks out, dappling everything in its midst to beguiling effect, it’s not difficult to acclimate to the sights–the crooked crags aside a crisp brook or a verdant curtain of trees. Meanwhile, the young men, peculiarly unplaceable in time, forage for mushrooms or tussle in the high grass. Combining personal history and fabricated folklore, Italian director Alessandro Comodin imbues the alpine setting, already easy on the eyes, with a spectral glow and timelessness. The effect extends to a brief interlude of talking head interviews, »
Tomas Milian, the Cuban-born actor who made a name for himself in Italian genre movies in the 1960s and ‘70s, has died, Deadline reports. Outside of his starring roles in a number of spaghetti Westerns, Milian worked with big-name Italian directors like Michelangelo Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Bernardo Bertolucci. In his later years, he had notable roles with American directors Steven Soderbergh and Steven Spielberg as well. The Italian news agency Ansa broke the news of Milian’s death, reporting that he had died of a stroke at home in Miami. He was 84.
Milian was born Tomás Quintín Rodríguez Milián in 1933 in Havana, the son of a general who was imprisoned during the Cuban revolution. Soon after, he moved to New York City to study acting under Lee Strasberg; he found his niche in Italy, though, where he made his big-screen debut in the Pasolini-penned The Big ...
- Katie Rife
Rome – Versatile Cuban-American-Italian actor Tomas Milian, known for the intensity he brought to disparate roles, whether in dramas by directors like Bernardo Bertolucci and Steven Soderbergh or as the Roman lowlife character that made him a household name in Italy, died Thursday. He was 84.
Milian died of a stroke in his Miami home, according to Italian news agency Ansa.
A Method actor who studied with Lee Strasberg, Milian played in about 120 movies during a career spanning six decades. Most of the films were shot in Italy, where he worked with directors Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti and Pier Paolo Pasolini besides acting in Spaghetti Westerns, cop movies, and the franchise based on his Roman lowlife character “Er Monnezza” (“Mr. Trash”).
Later in his career, Milian moved to the U.S. where, among other films, he appeared in Sydney Pollack’s “Havana,” in Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad,” and played corrupt General Arturo Salazar in Soderbergh’s “Traffic, »
- Nick Vivarelli
Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. The retrospective The Many Sins of Walerian Borowczyk is showing February 12 - June 18, 2017 in the United States and in many other countries around the world.As the reverberation of horses fervently neighing and clomping their hooves begins to permeate the opening credit soundtrack of The Beast, one may recall the similarly orchestrated donkey brays that introduce Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar (1966). Or, given its title, and the very basic concept of a young woman becoming enamored with an savage creature, one may be tempted to compare this 1975 feature to the many variations of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s classic fairy tale, La belle et la bête. One would be more than a little confounded, however, by making either inadequate association. If Walerian Borowczyk’s semi-porn-semi-art-semi-monster movie bears any resemblance to another film or story, it would be »
Bruce Baillie. Courtesy of Lux. The first time he saw Bruce Baillie, a fiery Peter Kubelka recounted in front of an amused audience at the Austrian Film Museum, the American filmmaker was pulling off a headstand in a classroom before taking his students out on the campus to collect garbage. In the filmmaking of Baillie and his organization Canyon Cinema, which was showcased from January 30 to February 3 in five programs curated by Garbiñe Ortega, ideas of life and community are transformed into sounds, colors and film. Sometimes those ideas exceed the films. As Mr. Baillie has put it himself in an interview with Richard Corliss in 1971, “I always felt that I brought as much truth out of the environment as I could, but I’m tired of coming out of. . . . I want everybody really lost, and I want us all to be at home there. Something like that. Actually I am not interested in that, »
Looking for something to celebrate today? On this day in history as it relates to showbiz...
1874 Oscar nominee Henry Travers (Mrs Miniver) was born in England
1908 Future Oscar winner, "Henry Higgins" and "Dr Dolittle" himself Sir Rex Harrison is born
1922 Fw Murnau's silent classic Nosferatu premieres in its home country of Germany. On the same day in Italy the future super controversial auteur Pier Paolo Pasolini (120 Days of Sodom, The Gospel According to St Matthew) is born
1936 Dean Stockwell is born in California. He will go on to have an epically lengthy career starting as a child star in the 40s and still working occasionally today. On the same day the '35 Oscars were held with Mutiny on the Bounty taking Best Picture and Bette Davis winning her first Oscar for Dangerous. Oscar was already doing "sorry about last time" awards as that one was obviously for her far superior work in Of Human Bondage. »
- NATHANIEL R
Continue reading on Women and Hollywood »
- Laura Berger
There is a recognizable tradition of arthouse home invasion movies, one that includes Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Theorem” or more recently, 2013 Cannes Competition entry “Borgman.” Chilean helmers Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez collaborate in their riff on this sub-genre with the beguiling “Family Life,” part of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Continue reading ‘Family Life’ Is A Strange, Caustic & Funny Chilean Cinema Discovery [Sundance Review] at The Playlist. »
- Bradley Warren
What for American satirist Jeff Baena (“Life After Beth,” “Joshy”) must have felt like a radically innovative idea — take a medieval piece of literature, such as Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron,” and recreate it with an irreverent modern sensibility — is in fact a strategy that Euro auteurs have been doing for decades. Not that a somewhat overinflated sense of novelty makes Baena’s twisted nuns-gone-wild comedy “The Little Hours” any less entertaining.
Only the most ascetic of filmmakers sets out to create a starchy period piece about naïve maidens pining away in airless old castles. The trouble is that even when such racy directors as Benoit Jacquot and Catherine Breillat attempt to modernize such material, between the subtitles and cultural differences, too much is lost in translation. “The Little Hours” is, then, a medieval convent comedy for the megaplex crowd, one that dispenses with the notion of nuns as prim-and-proper »
- Peter Debruge
Like a prodigal son, Hollywood is again returning to religion.
Since the 1980s, Hollywood has been criticized (with justification) for depicting any religious believer as mindless, evil or both. Filmmakers this year treat them with respect.
“Silence” and “Hacksaw Ridge” daringly center around devout Christians. Religious beliefs have a positive effect on the lead characters in other 2016 films, including “Fences,” “Hidden Figures,” “Jackie,” “Mr. Church,” even “The Conjuring 2.”
Studios have their own belief system, and it’s based on recent hits. Hollywood loves stories about an individual whose principles are challenged, but usually the protagonist is a superhero, cop or animated creature.
“Silence” depicts the culture clash of Western Christians with Japanese. The long legacy of the “white savior” is turned upside down, and the film raises issues of faith, doubt, personal integrity, and the fine line between belief and stubborn pride. To its credit, “Silence” raises questions that audience members must answer. »
- Tim Gray
Since scooping up the Camera d’Or in Cannes with her directorial debut “Divines,” Houda Benyamina, the ambitious 36-year-old French-Moroccan – one of France’s rare Arab female filmmakers of North African origin — has become one of the country’s hottest emerging directors.
“Divines,” which was picked up by Netflix off of Cannes’ Directors Fortnight, will vie for a foreign-language Golden Globe on Jan. 8, alongside Paul Verhoeven’s “Elle.” Benyamina has just signed up with Wme agent Jerome Duboz, whose wide-ranging client list includes South Korean film master Park Chan-wook (“The Handmaiden”), up-and-coming Indian helmer Ritesh Batra (“The Lunchbox”), and multi-hyphenate film vet Wim Wenders (“Submergence”).
Benyamina, whose acceptance speech in Cannes gave a taste of her acerbic, bold personality and ruffled the feathers of some high-profile French industry figures, hasn’t been blinded by the spotlight.
“Since Cannes, I have been approached by many American agents, but I immediately clicked with Jerome Duboz, »
- Elsa Keslassy
17 items from 2017
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