6 items from 2011
If you’ve seen Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn‘s culty arthouse noir starring Ryan Gosling, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say Nightcall immediately and effectively set the tone for the entire film. Music turned out to play an unexpectedly important role in the movie, but then again, what about that movie ended up as expected?
I loved Drive and could gush about it here all day, but if I did that I’d never get around to telling you the good news. Johnny Jewel, the mastermind behind Drive‘s brilliant soundtrack and part of the featured Chromatics and Desire, just released Symmetry: Themes for an Imaginary Film. At 2.5 hours long, it’s every bit as 80′s synth-driven as the real film score we’ve come to love, plus we’ve got it streaming free. Check it out below.
This 36-track work is a behemoth, and I »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Running Time: 2 hrs 7 mins
Release Date: November 23, 2011
Plot: A boy (Butterfield) who lives in the walls of a Paris train station seeks to understand the meaning behind an automaton given to him by his father.
Who’S It For?: Hugo’s length and patience with its story might be difficult for some attention spans. While this movie could certainly excite children, it’s as if the movie is made for adults who have still maintained child-like wonderment when witnessing breaths of true cinema. Or those who thought “History of Cinema” was the best class in film school. That being said, this movie is especially made for Martin Scorsese.
Expectations: Hugo was especially curious on two levels: how would a Scorsese film look in 3D, and what business does he »
- Nick Allen
Oslo, August 31st
Directed by Joachim Trier
Screenplay by Joachim Trier
“I always thought happy people were morons,” says Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie), the hero of Joachim Trier’s witty but inevitably rather downbeat drama, Oslo, August 31st. No one could accuse Anders of being a moron, but after months holed up in a clinic, this 34-year-old drug addict definitely isn’t cured. When he leaves the scene of a one-night stand, Anders has what you might call a dry run at suicide – immersing himself in a lake with a large rock. Neither of these episodes leads us to believe that his future looks bright.
Oslo, like Louis Malle’s acclaimed Le Feu Follet/The Fire Within (1963), is based on a novel by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle. Trier’s challenge here is to make the Norwegian capital come alive in the same way that Paris did in Malle’s film. »
A lot of artists use the well-worn tactic of escaping a stylistic rut by looking back. On Night Of Hunters, Tori Amos looks back 400 years. Recorded for renowned classical label Deutsche Grammophon, Hunters comes after a decade where Amos was mired in adult contemporary gunk and self-parody. It’s a sprawling story-song cycle that features variations on pieces by classical composers like Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert, and Erik Satie. Just describing the album makes it seem like Amos has completely disappeared down the rabbit hole, but Hunters is actually her most enjoyable album in years. The album’s »
Terrence Malick's 1978 movie Days of Heaven was never a huge hit, but it was such a departure and so deliberate an attempt to have the audience stirred by beauty that it felt calming and inspiring. Without shame or caution it was trying to address the pre-modern era of American history, the natural conflict between landowners and newcomers. But it was just as interested in the vanity of men and women trying to tame and organise the wild parts of the country. Beyond that, was this perhaps the most beautiful picture ever made? Second films are famously hard, but with Days of Heaven, Malick was announcing that he would do things his way.
By common consent, his first film, Badlands (1973), was one »
- David Thomson
Directed by: Sylvain Chomet
Running Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Release Date: January 14, 2011 (Chicago)
Plot: A talented magician (Donda) struggles to find work while becoming friends with a young girl (Rankin) who snuck away from her village.
Who’S It For? Fans of Jacques Tati will be delighted to see his original story brought to life, but those who can get lost in animation that doesn’t have spunky characters or even dialogue for that matter will enjoy themselves.
The Illusionist is a piece of art hand-drawn with undeniable charm from the unique style of director Sylvain Chomet, but its a movie truly made by the man given an “Original Story” credit – Jacques Tati. The classic French director’s original concept does more than just provide the tale with a course of events, it provides the soul that Chomet’s »
- Nick Allen
6 items from 2011
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