10 items from 2015
The Burning Kiss, a new Australian feature film, is nearing completion. The film has drawn inspirations from southern gothic psychodrama, poolside chic, pop art and the French New Wave. A set of VFX stills has been made available exclusively to TwitchFilm. Director Robbie Studsor, a firm believer that VFX should serve a film and not the other way around, talks about his film and the use of VFX:"Firstly, the film is obviously a little more Ken Russell than Ken Loach, so I wanted to push the VFX in a way that's quite lurid and fun. This requires talent, bravery and insanity on the part of our head VFX artist and he has totally over delivered! I couldn't be happier.It's a cliché but it's true, the...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Set in Mexico during the “10 days that shook” Russia’s greatest silent filmmaker, “Eisenstein in Guanajuato” marks Peter Greenaway’s raucous attempt to capture his all-time cinema idol at his moment of greatest personal discovery and deepest professional frustration — which, the film takes great delight in suggesting, coincided with the loss of his virginity, at age 33, so far from his (still) homophobic homeland. Determined to breathe fresh life into a medium he insists has scarcely evolved in the 90 years since Sergei Eisenstein made “Strike,” Greenaway has wrought an outrageously unconventional and deliriously profane biopic that could take decades to be duly appreciated.
Unspooling like some sort of blasphemous passion play, the film depicts Eisenstein’s symbolic death and subsequent resurrection via an act of gay sex. “Somebody has opened the door to a wet and weepy dirty hurricane,” the Russian gushes not long after his studly Mexican guide, Palomino Canedo »
- Peter Debruge
The UK’s very own Nucleus Films, who brought us the excellent Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide Parts 1 & 2 plus the Grindhouse Trailer Classics series, are set to release 50 Shades of Erotica, a collection of the sauciest trailers from the golden age of erotica.
Featuring remastered trailers ranging well-known classics such as The Story of O, All Ladies Do It and Emmanuelle and including the works of Jess Franco, Tinto Brass, Ken Russell and Radley Metzger to name a few, 50 Shades of Erotica will appeal to those adventurous souls intrigued by the recent release of Fifty Shades of Grey and possibly looking for more in the way of cinematic thrills.
Says Marc Morris of Nucleus Films: “We felt that those who enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey may want to delve deeper into the world of kinky S&M and erotica, so we spent a considerable amount of time seeking out »
- Gary Collinson
The last time we spoke to Mark Kermode, he'd just launched his book about the state of movie criticism, Hatchet Job. Since then, he's embarked on a nationwide tour with the book, and undertaken dozens of Q&As with audiences about it.
And that, as Hatchet Job continues to thrive in paperback, is where we started...
I spoke to you just as you launched Hatchet Job, and in your words, since then you've "toured the arse off it". You've done Q&As with the people who've read your book, and who you wrote it for.
So what have you learned about what audiences feel regarding film critics, and where they sit in the world?
I think the most important thing was when I started writing it, I was, as you know, »
Nineteenth-century Italian violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini was rumored to have made a Faustian pact in order to play like the devil, though the flexibility that enabled him to cover three octaves across four strings with one hand was more likely a side effect of a genetic connective-tissue disorder. Bernard Rose's elegantly staged but tonally flat biopic embraces the myth, even underscoring Paganini's rising fame, scandalous hedonism, and womanizing as an anachronistic form of rock-star fantasy. (It's like a humorless take on Ken Russell's Lisztomania, and who wants that?) Unlike the writer-director's 1994 success Immortal Beloved — owned by Gary Oldman's chameleonic transformation as Beethoven — Rose's cult-of-personality approach here suffers »
He added that "the stress became unbearable" prior to his exit, and was subsequently forced to accept that the 'Perez problem' was not going to go away.
But Alexander is not the only disgruntled celebrity housemate to voluntarily leave, and we doubt he'll be the last.
Some, like Claire King, withdrew from the show due to illness, while others have been removed by producers.
But can you remember some of the former CBB stars »
Amid an awards season even more than typically cluttered with solemn, respectful if not always stringently factual biopics, there’s a certain guilty pleasure in seeing something as gaga as “Chagall-Malevich.” In many respects, octogenarian Aleksandr Mitta’s first feature in more than a decade could pass as one made in his heyday as a leading light of Soviet state cinema many decades ago. It also recalls “The Music Lovers”-era Ken Russell, deeming no dramatic or aesthetic stroke too broad for the job of depicting the fevered internal and external lives of artistic geniuses. This freely imagined screen “folklore ballad” dramatizes the rivalry between Russian painters Marc Chagall and Kazimir Malevich in a spirit of vodka-soaked, color-saturated, shtetls-on-fire abandon. Outside former Soviet territories, it will fare best as a niche home-format item, particularly among Jewish audiences and programmers.
An almost cartoonish tenor is set from the outset, as Chagall »
- Dennis Harvey
One of the casualties of awards season is the great David Cronenberg film, Maps to the Stars – totally buried and forgotten because it was deemed “too rough” for the delicate sensibilities of industry voters. »
- Sasha Stone
Marco Bellocchio is a key figure from mid-60s radical Italian cinema with his 1965 film Fists in the Pocket. He’s gone on to enjoy a steady filmography with intermittent renewals of interest in his work, such as critical hits with titles like Good Morning, Night (2003), and, most recently with his scalding Vincere (2009). While we found his Isabelle Huppert/Toni Servillo headlined euthanasia film Dormant Beauty (2012) to be a bit overwrought (we interviewed the filmmaker then) , we’re excited to see his latest, which has received a provocative new title, L’ultimo Vampiro (The Last Vampire)—formerly known as La Monaca. Bellocchio reunites with Rohrwacher and his regular cast mate Roberto Herlitzka for this tale based on the true tale of a 17th century noblewoman forced to become a nun, but whose free-spirited love affairs inside the convent lead to incarceration. »
- Nicholas Bell
As Deliver Us From Evil lands on disc in the UK, we look back at key lessons the movies teach us about possession...
The idea of demonic possession goes back thousands of years, to before we had film. Most religions carry their own interpretation of what it means for a person to be 'possessed' by a demon or a spirit and it's a complicated, arcane subject shrouded in mystery and ritual.
The Sumerians, thousands of years before Christ, believed all diseases were caused by 'sickness demons' and had their sorcerers attempt early exorcisms as cures. The Quran talks extensively of Jinn (demons) that can drive people to insanity and may only be expelled via worship. In the Bible, Satan and his demons are very much at large using human beings as vessels for devilish deeds. Jesus casts a whole bunch of them out before he's accused of being demon-possessed himself »
10 items from 2015
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