10 items from 2016
It’s hard to believe another Flashback Weekend is almost upon us, but in just a few days, Chicago’s longest-running horror convention will descend upon the Crowne Plaza O’Hare (5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, Il), where thousands of fans will gather to celebrate everything they love about the genre. Flashback Weekend kicks off on Friday, August 5th and runs through Sunday, August 7th, complete with a star-studded line-up, nightly screenings, Q&A panels, costume contests, and much more.
This writer is pleased to be returning to Flashback Weekend for my sixth year as co-host. Two personal highlights for me at this year’s convention have to be the Scream Reunion Screening and Q&A on Saturday evening, featuring Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, and Matthew Lillard, as well as seeing Don Coscarelli returning to Flashback, this time with Phantasm: Remastered in tow.
- Heather Wixson
One of my very favorite horror conventions has always been Flashback Weekend in Chicago, Illinois. For years, I attended Flashback as a fan and for the last six years, it’s been a huge honor for me to head back to serve as one of the convention co-hosts and work with Mike and Mia Kerz, two of the most selfless folks you’ll ever meet working in the industry.
Flashback Weekend will be celebrating its 15th anniversary this August 5th through the 7th and is being held at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare (5440 N. River Road, Chicago). This year’s schedule is shaping up to be yet another incredible time for midwestern horror fans, and there are still many announcements to come! So far, attendees can look forward to a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Scream, with a cast reunion featuring Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, and Matthew Lillard. »
- Heather Wixson
Like so many iconic genre films before it, Andrew Fleming's cult 1996 teen horror-thriller The Craft has a remake in the works, this one with Honeymoon helmer Leigh Janiak attached to co-write and direct. But as producer Douglas Wick tells HitFix, the word "remake" doesn't quite do the project justice. "I wouldn't say that we wouldn't so much call it a remake as a 'twenty years later,'" Wick told us during an interview for the 20th anniversary of the seminal teen classic. He continued later: "There will be callbacks to the original movie, so you will see there is a connection between what happened in the days of The Craft, and how these young women come across this magic many years later." See also: The Craft Turns 20: Rachel True, Andrew Fleming and Douglas Wick reflect on the making of a teen classic Wick, who also produced the original film, »
- Chris Eggertsen
While I enjoyed The Loner, I’ll admit that it doesn’t initially have its bearings straight. Writer/Director Daniel Grove opens on an Iranian child being beckoned into martyrdom, but then a tonal shift to 1980s Los Angeles brings about neon-drenched noir settings that some may struggle to interpret. We try to make connections, yet the puzzle is still unclear in its early stages.
Fortunately, as clarity explains itself, a neo-noir-ish, stranger-with-no-name kind of gangster film plays out, exploring an Iranian/Russian underground region of La that few have witnessed (if it even exists?). Patience is certainly a virtue, but you’ll be paid off in time – just don’t jump to any jumbled conclusions too quickly.
Reza Sixo Safai stars as Behrouz, a former Iranian gangster who finds himself being sucked back into a sleazy underworld crime syndicate. His old boss, Cirrus (Parviz Sayyad), accuses him of stealing merchandise, »
- Matt Donato
The innovative Viewpoints section celebrates the distinctively bold visions of underrepresented perspectives, styles and characters. Featuring 25 unique and fascinating viewpoints from 15 countries, films in this category vary from realised, hyperreal worlds such as in High-Rise, Equals, Nerdland and The Loner to real world perspectives including Syrian refugees in After Spring, solitary confinement inmates in Solitary and adult students at Night School.
Here are the films selected in this year’s Viewpoints:
Chris Prynoski (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative
Nerdland is an R-rated cartoon comedy about celebrity, excess, and two showbiz nobodies, John (Paul Rudd) and Elliott (Patton Oswalt), with a plan to become famous—or even infamous—by the end of the night. Featuring an army of comedy cameos including Hannibal Buress, Laraine Newman, Mike Judge, Kate Micucci, »
- Sacha Hall
“You know that’s actually Devon in the portrait?”
Looking in the mirror and realizing you don’t know who’s looking back, and that no one else knows either, sucks. ‘Whispered Secrets’ ends with Richie staring at a hole in the world where his wife’s portrait used to be, its pale spot on a wall a blocky halo for a head mired in a swamp of confusion. These people haven’t just lost track of each other; they’ve lost track of themselves. In a world like the record business where identity is a commodity and managers spin personas out of necessity and bullshit, all that shit is up for grabs even before you watch a sleep-deprived Italian beat a dude to death with his own radio award.
Devon spends the episode trying to dredge something up out of the chaos and confusion her life with Richie has bcome. »
- Gretchen Felker-Martin
Team Experience is celebrating Valentines Day with favorite love scenes. Here's Lynn Lee on an 80s classic
Everyone who loves this film remembers The Kiss. It’s the moment proper Edwardian girl Lucy Honeychurch (a very young Helena Bonham-Carter), vacationing in Italy, discovers romantic passion for the first time. She doesn’t know it yet, but the odd free-thinking young man she’s only recently met (Julian Sands) is her soulmate. He knows it, though.
Besides being (literally) storybook-romantic—a sun-drenched poppy field in Italy! lush soprano aria in the background!—the kiss is also wreathed in comedy, as the film cuts back and forth between Lucy, wending her way uncertainly towards George, and her fussy chaperone Charlotte (Maggie Smith) bonding with another fellow tourist, a hacky romance novelist (Judi Dench), over scandalous love stories before she starts to worry about Lucy. Meanwhile, the Italian driver who led Lucy to »
- Lynn Lee
Exclusive: Shoreline Entertainment is co-producing and will be handling worldwide rights excluding Benelux at the Efm to Calach Films and Gardner & Domm’s film.
Toy Gun is described as a “fun and gritty” dark comedy about a meek young man who impulsively robs a bank to prove to his ex-wife that he is courageous and masculine.
The ensuing investigation swallows up everyone including corrupt bank executives except the protagonist.
“The project is a piece of myself: it tells the passionate love story of a humble gentleman, who causes spectacular damage and comical situations in a thrilling and heart-breaking fable,” said Serafini.
“This is what my cinema is about – the cinema »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
February’s home entertainment releases are kicking off in a big way, as horror and sci-fi fans have an extraordinary number of brand spanking new titles to choose from this Tuesday. From indie horror to cult classics to cult classics in the making, February 2nd’s Blu-ray and DVD releases truly do offer up something for everyone.
Scream Factory is offering up two modern genre films this week, Hellions and Zombie Fight Club and Cinedigm is keeping busy too on Tuesday with their releases of Extraordinary Tales and The World of Kanako. Vin Diesel’s latest, The Last Witch Hunter, arrives on both Blu and DVD and if you call yourself a Henry Rollins fan, you will definitely want to pick up He Never Died this week as well.
- Heather Wixson
Mark and Aaron start the New Year as members of CriterionCast, and jump into the world of Merchant Ivory’s A Room with a View. With such a lavish, large production with quite an ensemble of characters, there is a lot to say. We discuss the social constraints placed upon the characters, and how some groups have opposing world views that resemble traditional versus modernity, while also touching on the nature of wealth, class, and even gender. We also enjoy discussing how the film surprisingly works as a dry comedy, and we are pleased to have Merchant & Ivory back in print in the Criterion Collection.
About the film:
Merchant Ivory Productions, led by director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, became a household name with A Room with a View, the first of their extraordinary adaptations of E. M. Forster novels. A cherubic nineteen-year-old Helena Bonham Carter plays Lucy Honeychurch, »
- Aaron West
10 items from 2016
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