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December is the heart of Oscar season, yet by the time we finally see who wins the trophies on March 2, we will have heard the nominees answer the same red-carpet questions and tell the same late-night television anecdotes — about process and weight loss and legacy, etc — that we’ll practically be able to write the winners’ acceptance speeches for them. It’s refreshing, then, that right in the middle of this circus will be the Sundance Film Festival.
Every January, in Park City, Utah, a fresh crop of movies is unveiled at independent film’s grandest showcase. What separates Sundance from other prestigious festivals, »
- Jeff Labrecque
The actor and dilletante talks about his new pornographic arthouse film Interior. Leather Bar and how he's challenging Hollywood's beige treatment of sex
If you're an A-list Hollywood actor you need to have a "thing"; something beyond being just really, really good looking. For George Clooney it's politics, for Leonardo DiCaprio it's saving the tigers, Gwyneth Paltrow has her quinoa muesli, and as Mark Ruffalo's Twitter reveals, he's very much invested in the anti-fracking scene. For James Franco, though, his thing appears to be, well, everything. Once you start researching the 35-year-old's recent antics, it quickly becomes clear just how bizarrely prolific he is: he's currently making five films, with six more in post-production; he's a fervent blogger, tweeter and Instagrammer; he publishes short stories and poetry, famously penning a poem to commemorate the second inauguration of President Obama back in January; he is a sometime multimedia artist, and »
“Out of the Furnace” is not just a typical revenge thriller.
The film explores certain American themes such as violence, posttraumatic stress disorder from war, illegal bareknuckle fighting, the Great Recession and small town environments.
The movie is about an older brother who takes justice in his own hands after his younger brother mysteriously disappears in the mountains for a bare knuckle fight.
Latino-Review had an exclusive phone interview with Cooper on this drama. We discussed the cast, Braddock and the humanity in America. Please note we discuss some spoilers in the movie.
“Out of the Furnace” is currently out in theaters.
Read the full transcript below.
Latino-Review: What was the inspiration behind your story?
- Gig Patta
Decadence, violence, love and space – Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw shares his fantasy award nomination list for 2013
• The 2012 Braddies
Awards season is now upon us and here, as every year, is my personal fantasy award nomination list for 2013, whimsically called the Braddies, which covers the period running from the beginning of the calendar year to the present. There are 10 nominations in eight categories: film, director, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, screenplay and documentary.
The reader is invited to nominate the winner in the comments section below, and perhaps to note omissions and evidence that the list betrays suggestions of sociocultural bias.
I like to think that these awards will one day evolve into an actual ceremony with chrome-and-glass statuettes, sponsorship from Sky Atlantic and a televised evening presided over by Dara Ó Briain or Mariella Frostrup. But until then, it exists in a world of fantasy only. And so, »
- Peter Bradshaw
By Søren Hough
* * *
Television has apexed once again. If the Emmys have proven anything over the past few years, it is that we live in what celebrated filmmaker Steven Soderbergh refers to as “a second golden age of television.” The networks — cable and streaming, more than broadcast — are investing more than ever in smart, original and ambitious shows, and are consequently producing more high-quality material than ever before. So successful have these networks become that major figures in the film industry have begun to make the once-unthinkable jump from the big screen to the small screen. Indeed, everyone from Steven Spielberg to Kevin Spacey seems to be hopping on the bandwagon.
But at what cost? Has this shift in production value brought with it narrative strength? Maybe not.
Along with this resurgence in television has come a recurring and potentially sinister theme: the abrupt excision of the protagonist. Consider the Emmy-winning fantasy series, »
- Søren Hough
Steven Soderbergh followed The Underneath, a superb neo-noir that expertly uses widescreen framing and color photography to its full potential, with Schizopolis, a film motivated by his feelings of artistic impotence. This concept is somewhat surprising, as The Underneath is one of his best films, one of the best neo-noirs from the nineties, and one of Soderbergh’s more underrated works. Schizopolis is more well-known and seen (thanks to Criterion) but unfortunately, it is a stale work that only exists for the director’s edification. After Schizopolis, Soderbergh reportedly felt rejuvenated and made Out of Sight, which ended his commercial slump so we can all thank this experimental film for Soderbergh’s commercial and artistic turning point. However, this exercise is far more interesting to think and write than it is to watch. Schizopolis is ultimately more interesting in the abstract than it is in reality
The main problems with »
- Cody Lang
From Wes Anderson to Steven Soderbergh, contemporary filmmakers are often unambiguously influenced by the French New Wave. Through the 50s to 60s the French New Wave brought with it an explosive fountain of art and inspiration that became not merely a pioneering trend in French cinematic culture, but a major source of influence that continues to manifest itself in class and on set around the world. French New Wave classics such as Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" or Francois Truffaut's "Jules et Jim" are either central additions to a cinema studies curriculum if not the curriculum itself, and for good reason. They were among other films technically, structurally and thematically game-changing in their respective historical contexts. But while the French New Wave might reasonably have had its fair share of fans as well as critics at the time and to this day, as Martin Scorsese put it: "The New Wave »
- Ramzi De Coster
While he doesn't create his own obstacles to success that Llewyn Davis might, Oscar Isaac likely related to being perpetually on the cusp of stardom before landing the lead role in the latest from the Coen brothers. With films like "Robin Hood," "Drive," "Che" and "The Bourne Legacy" filling his CV, and experience working with filmmakers like Ridley Scott (twice), Steven Soderbergh, Nicolas Winding Refn and more, it's clear to anyone who caught those performances that it was just a matter of time until Isaac got the opportunity to show what he could do with a leading part. And luckily for him and us, the Coens did just that by putting him front and center of "Inside Llewyn Davis" (our review). Wearied but never defeated, not always making the best choices but never unlikeable, folk singer Llewyn Davis spends a week trying to keep his personal life in order while »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Written by Stephen Gaghan
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
In his review of King of the Hill, Zach Lewis skewers Steven Soderbergh’s fascination with political structures throughout the director’s filmography and reading the 1993 film’s Depression-era survivalism as a “residual effect of those outside any political sphere.” Seven years after King of the Hill, Soderbergh’s fixation on politics would reach its peak in Traffic, an endlessly complex examination of America’s War on Drugs.
Traffic‘s genesis is simple enough, beginning with a pair of cops. Having run down a Mexican drug courier mid-transport, officer Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) and his partner find their score short-lived when high-ranking General Salazar (Tomas Milian) pulls rank and takes over the drug bust. Here, the simplicity of Traffic dissipates with the monochrome yellows of the Tijuana desert. Though Rodriguez’s would-be arrest implies it, smuggling cocaine from Mexico »
- David Klein
4 posters are in from Godfrey Reggio's Visitors documentary which was seen at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. Cinedigm releases the film some time in January 2014. Thirty years after Koyaanisqatsi, Godfrey Reggio–with the support of Philip Glass and Jon Kane–once again leapfrogs over earth-bound filmmakers and creates another stunning, wordless portrait of modern life. Presented by Steven Soderbergh in Black and White digital 4K projection, Visitors reveals humanity’s trancelike relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species. The film is visceral, offering the audience an experience beyond information about the moment in which we live. Comprised »
As awards season is well underway, it's a good time to look back at some of the unsung films of 2013. While these films might be long shots in terms of critics' prizes and Academy Awards, they deserve your attention and will probably outlive many of the year's prestige movies. And you can stream them at home. "Side Effects" (Netflix) Rooney Mara gives a wicked and beautiful performance in Steven Soderbergh's cinematic swan song "Side Effects," in which she plays the cunning, duplicitous Emily Taylor who is the victim of a prescription drug experiment gone wrong. One minute she has our sympathies and the next, you want to strangle her. That's the brilliance of young Mara, who is oh so good at playing complicated women (Fincher's underrated "Dragon Tattoo" anyone?) -- but aside from her work, the film stands on its own as a mesmerizing noir-thriller that is utterly impossible »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Hot Jennifer Lawrence, Wet Robert Redford: New York Film Critics Awards 2013 winners (photo: Jennifer Lawrence in ‘American Hustle’) A crime drama featuring con men, mafiosi, and FBI agents, the David O. Russell-directed, real-life inspired American Hustle won three New York Film Critics Circle Awards earlier today, December 3, 2013: Best Picture; Best Screenplay for Russell and Eric Singer; and Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence for her performance as con man and FBI mole Christian Bale’s steamy, big-mouthed wife. (Full list of Nyfcc 2013 award winners.) Last year, Jennifer Lawrence was the New York Film Critics’ runner-up in the Best Actress category for both The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook. The latter film, also directed by David O. Russell, earned her the Best Actress Academy Award earlier this year. Besides Jennifer Lawrence, whose The Hunger Games: Catching Fire may turn out to be the biggest 2013 blockbuster in North America, »
- Andre Soares
After working with Nicolas Winding Refn, Ridley Scott, Zack Snyder, Steven Soderbergh and hell, even Madonna, you would think that plenty of doors are already open for Oscar Isaac. Well, we're sure teaming with the Coen Brothers for "Inside Llewyn Davis" (and knocking it out of the park) kicked down a few more. So when Javier Bardem exited "All Is Lost" director J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year," Isaac got called up to replace him. And he'll co-star with Jessica Chastain in the 1981-set movie—which Chandor describes as "one of the most violent years on record," hence the title—about "a Hispanic man who immigrates to America and winds up a very successful businessman." Stanley Tucci is also being courted for a supporting role. Sounds great to us, and with filming kicking off in January, perhaps we'll see Isaac back in the awards hunt next fall. [THR/The Wrap]Though Jim Carrey »
- Ken Guidry
Check out this exclusive clip from writer-director J.R. Hughto's psychological and sonal mystery "Diamond on Vinyl," starring Sonja Kinski (a brunette ringer for her mother, Nastassja). I got to catch up with this strange, hypnotic film back at the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival, where it made its debut. At the time, I wrote for Indiewire in a fest highlight piece:Husky-voiced, sleepy-eyed Sonja Kinski (daughter of Nastassja, granddaughter of Klaus) stars alongside Brian McGuire in this kinky, unsettling portrait of sound-recording fetishists rambling around the wilds of a bright white Los Angeles. When Henry (McGuire) repels his fiancée after recording them having sex, he meets Charlie (Kinski), an aimless soul looking for “adventures,” as she puts it, and willing to indulge his peculiarities. J. R. Hughto’s film, which moves from one sparsely decorated room to another, with patches of palm tree-lined streets in between, recalls the stripped-down aesthetic of Steven Soderbergh, »
- Beth Hanna
Liberace (Douglas) basks in the spotlight
Written by Richard Lagravenese
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Steven Soderbergh thoughtfully details the purported destructive indulgence of Liberace’s most intimate relationship in Behind the Candelabra. A film replete with the salacious dirt and glamorous high living of a legendary celebrity, this project is perfectly tailored to Soderbergh’s nuanced flair for revealing the conceits behind success.
It isn’t difficult to believe that living such a loud life under constant public scrutiny could take its toll and lead Liberace’s story to reckless places. These places entertain as much as they convey a deep restlessness and melancholy that comes with the drive to be in the spotlight at any cost. Matt Damon plays Scott Thorson, a sweet young man unaccustomed to fame and fortune who is drawn in by the magnetic talent of Liberace. As the flamboyant Liberace, Michael Douglas »
- Lane Scarberry
Steven Soderbergh’s HBO film Behind the Candelabra is full of Wtf moments, but Rob Lowe’s physical transformation as Liberace’s plastic surgeon Dr. Startz might be the most jaw-dropping. Back in May, EW’s Stephan Lee got Lowe’s take on his disturbing yet fascinating makeover, the similarities between Dr. Startz and Lowe’s Parks and Recreation character, and what it was like to see “Gordon Gekko banging Jason Bourne.” Revisit the conversation below.
Click here for more of EW.com’s Best of 2013 coverage.
Entertainment Weekly: Did any of your friends or family see you in costume? »
- EW staff
Few filmmakers manage to traverse the line between the art house and the multiplex as fluidly as Steven Soderbergh. Over the course of his career, he has ping-ponged between independent films and mainstream fare repeatedly, carrying some stylistic flourishes across his career, and playing with some similar questions in both strains. His experience makes him uniquely qualified to evaluate and analyze Hollywood, and many of his most successful films work both as independent narratives and as sly commentaries on mainstream cinema.
Perhaps nothing captures this commentary better than the director’s work with George Clooney. The two have paired six times (for Out of Sight, the three Ocean’s films, Solaris, and The Good German). Each of these films functions in some way as commentary on Hollywood and, more particularly, on the nature of celebrity.
George Clooney is many things as an actor, but perhaps most importantly, he is a full-on movie star. »
- Jordan Ferguson
Following the release of Sex, Lies, and Videotape in 1989, Steven Soderbergh was poised for stardom as the darling of the indie scene. He sat at the head table in a push to change the face of cinema. Unlike contemporaries like Tarantino, his predicted rise didn’t happen right away. He followed the popular debut with Kafka and King of the Hill, and neither came close to earning a significant return. The talent was there, but Soderbergh needed more than critical praise to keep his career intact. His next step was 1995’s The Underneath, a low-key noir film that didn’t change his perception as a director with limited appeal. Despite a convincing lead performance from Peter Gallagher, it earned just over $500,000 on a more than $6 million budget. Was Soderbergh doomed to slip completely off the map? Despite the lack of financial rewards, this movie contains the elements that served him well several years later. »
- Dan Heaton
Guns, dames and hats: you can't have a film noir without them, can you? Take a look at the Guardian and Observer critics list of the best 10 noirs and you'll realise things aren't that simple …
• Top 10 westerns
• Top 10 documentaries
• Top 10 movie adaptations
• Top 10 animated movies
• Top 10 silent movies
• Top 10 sports movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
Nicholas Ray's astonishingly self-assured, lyrical directorial debut opens with title cards and lush orchestrations over shots of a boy and a girl in rapturous mutual absorption: "This boy … and this gir … were never properly introduced … to the world we live in …" A shriek of horns suddenly obliterates all other sound – their shocked faces both turn toward the camera, and the title appears: They Live by Night.
Meet 23-year-old escaped killer Bowie Bowers and his farm-girl sweetheart Keechie Mobley (Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell), in an imaginary idyll »
Written by Lem Dobbs
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
France/United States, 1991
Steven Soderbergh is a name that carries either plenty of weight or none whatsoever depending on who you talk to. For those who went to see the Ocean’s trilogy mostly for its star-studded cast, namely George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, perhaps the director’s name will fall on deaf ears. For others, the film nerds, Soderbergh is akin to a demi-god. His contributions to modern American cinema in both its mainstream commercial and art house forms are not to be overlooked. Arguably his most interesting works are those for which he chooses to meld star power with his more artistic inclinations, as with The Informant!, Che, and his 1991 oddball neo-noir, Kafka, starring Jeremy Irons and a host of other familiar faces.
Set in Prague a short few years after the first World War, the story »
- Edgar Chaput
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