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In a Venice Film Festival lineup full of cynicism, suicide and despair, who would expect the new Roy Andersson picture — “the final part of a trilogy on being a human being” — to be the most life-affirming? And yet, from its comic title to the wistful smile that accompanies its over-too-soon last shot, , perched at a comfortable enough distance from this coterie of sad sacks and lonelyhearts to recognize the humor in such painful subjects as mortality, aging, unpaid debts and unrequited love.
Just last year, Ethan Hawke was quoted as referring to “Before Sunrise” and its two sequels as “the lowest-grossing trilogy in the history of motion pictures.” But even he probably hasn’t bought tickets to Andersson’s incomparable triptych — rapturously received by critics, though audiences have proven all but allergic to the first two films, which have cleared barely $100,000 so far in the U.S. The result of »
- Peter Debruge
It’s hard to believe that 2001 was 13 years ago. People that were born in 2001 are 13 years old! Actual teenagers! How wild is that?
The 13 year olds of today have at least one thing going for them: They were born in a pretty good year for movies. 2001 was the year of literary adaptations making their way to the big screen for the first time (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), mind-bending thrillers (Mulholland Dr., Donnie Darko), and off-the-wall comedies (Wet Hot American Summer, A Knight’s Tale).
2001 also saw the release of a couple indies that have since gone on to gain cult status. We’re looking at you, Ghost World. We are Also looking at you, The Royal Tenenbaums. This gem is still considered by many to be Wes Anderson’s biggest triumph, and has influenced countless other filmmakers »
- Amanda Wood
She's Funny That Way, Peter Bogdanovich's first narrative feature in thirteen years has premiered out of competition in Venice. The Telegraph's Robbie Collin finds that it turns the "worn-out, dishonest Pretty Woman premise on its head by rewinding cinema to the point where men were the ones who often had to be rescued, from women and themselves: it’s a hysterical screwball fantasia that openly steals from Lubitsch, Hawks, Capra and Sturges and wants to be caught with its fingers in the till. The result is a highly-sexed Jenga-pile of silliness, to which Bogdanovich can’t resist adding block after teetering block." But not all critics are fans. Plus: Wes Anderson's interview with Bogdanovich. » - David Hudson »
Usually it’s a lot easier and quicker for me to review films one by one but I thought for this release from Vinegar Syndrome, it’s only right to review the release as a whole.
In Search of Bigfoot
First up on this Drive-in Collection double feature, we have the 1975 documentary In Search of Bigfoot, directed by Lawrence Crowley (Bigfoot: Man or Beast) and William Miller (Cowboy Spirit, Mysteries From Beyond the Triangle). The documentary focuses on Robert Morgan (Blood Stalkers, Mako: The Jaws of Death) and his team who set out to locate the legendary Bigfoot. While on their expedition they meet loggers and eyewitnesses who all claim to have either witnessed or interacted with the mythical creature. There are highs and lows for Robert and his team and although an »
- Mondo Squallido
Thirty-two years after They All Laughed opened the Venice Film Fesitval, Peter Bogdanovich is back on the Lido with screwball comedy She’s Funny That Way. He spoke to the press this afternoon about the star-studded project coming together and noted that today, the kinds of smaller films he likes can only be made independently. “I don’t want to bite the hand that doesn’t feed me,” he said to much laughter, “but unfortunately, Hollywood has gone in the wrong direction.”
The out of competition She’s Funny That Way itself got a lot of laughs when it screened this morning. It stars Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Kathryn Hahn, Imogen Poots, Rhys Ifans, and Will Forte — along with blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cameos from Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter and Bogdanovich’s Paper Moon star Tatum O’Neal, as well as a longer turn by a very famous director. The »
- Nancy Tartaglione
There's a lot of star wattage in Peter Bogdanovich's new screwball comedy (which premiered out of competition in Venice on Friday) but none of it shines very brightly. The film, executive produced by Bogdanovich's admirers Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, is closer to a Ray Cooney bedroom farce than it is to the great Hollywood films of the 1930s and 1940s that it self-consciously invokes. Bogdanovich elicits a fair amount of laughs along the way. »
Chicago – iO Chicago continues the Grand Opening at its new venue with one of its most famous alumni – the illustrious Joel Murray. Besides opening the seventh season of “Mad Men” with a brilliant monologue as Freddy Rumsen, Murray brings his “Joel Murray & Friends” show to the new iO Chicago on August 30th.
Murray is the youngest of the famous “Murrays of Wilmette, Illinois,” which includes brothers Brian-Doyle, Bill and John, plus sister Nancy. He is also one of the earliest members of the former Improv Olympics – now called iO – which grew from its modest beginnings in Chicago with founders Del Close and Charna Halpern to their latest multi-theater venue on Kingsbury Street. Joel Murray comes back to his roots with “Joel Murray & Friends” in The Mission Theater at the venue, which will feature some other famous iO alumni including Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”), Mitch Rouse (“According to Jim”), Kevin Dorff (“Conan »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Brody learned the magic trade when he was six years old from one of his mother’s coworkers at The Village Voice who “had all these crazy gadgets and weird tricks and gizmos that he would review and discuss,” Brody said. “He would let me take a coin trick or something and show it to me, and I’d go around and practice on all of my mom’s coworkers and develop a pattern. »
- Jacob Shamsian
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
Written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar
No matter if his protagonists are deranged or distraught, happy or sad, or if his stories are light or dark, comedic or tragic, the films of Pedro Almodóvar are usually at the very least enjoyable. Even at their most disturbing, there is something inescapably jubilant about his lavish use of color, his vibrant characters, and his unceasing passion for life and filmmaking. And when he aims to make something purely amusing, the results can be astonishing. It is for all of these reasons that Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, surprisingly the first Almodóvar film released by the Criterion Collection, is such a treat.
In this 1989 feature, made just after Almodóvar’s award-winning breakthrough Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Victoria Abril stars as junkie porn star turned respectable leading lady Marina Osorio, the object »
- Jeremy Carr
Alexa here. Each year at this time I'm a little nostalgic for the school supply run of yore. I'm old enough to remember the original Trapper Keepers, and personalizing them with my own doodles and stickers. So in the back-to-school spirit I've been scouring for the best film fan notebooks, pencils and stickers to use for journaling or reviewing. For that dream trip I'll take some September to Tiff, maybe?
With the release of his brand new album, People Keep Talking, slated for October 14th, it looks like Hoodie Allen wants to butter us up with a date to the movies before the big day hits. Allen has already shown us what he’s made of with the release of his first single off the upcoming album, aptly titled “Show Me What You’re Made Of,” and today Hoodie celebrated People Keep Talking‘s pre-order date by unleashing a second unheard single, “Movie.”
Accompanying the brand new single is a film-inspired music video that runs a gamut of genres, because as you can guess, “Movie” is absolutely loaded with references to popular cinema and television. While most of the video showcases Hoodie wooing his “leading lady beauty,” he does so by recreating genres such as film noir, romance and action – more specifically The Shining, Wes Anderson, and Michael Bay. As a film critic, »
- Matt Donato
Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, who co-wrote 2011′s breakout black comedy Horrible Bosses, are teaming up again to produce All Day and a Night, a prison-set action-comedy scribed by Paul Ruehl and the late Lester Lewis from an idea by Goldstein and Daley.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, All Day and a Night (which is prison slang for a life sentence without possibility of parole) will follow “a TV news crew that heads to prison to chronicle the life of two guards. But when a violent prison riot breaks out, the crew becomes stranded inside with the guards.” No cast has yet been set for the comedy, but Relativity Studios is attached to produce, finance and distribute.
Ruehl was a writer and co-producer for MTV’s raunchy high school comedy series The Hard Times of Rj Berger, while Lewis, who died in March of last year, worked as a »
- Isaac Feldberg
50 to 1
Directed by Jim Wilson
Imagine, if you will, a horse race that starts and finishes in a blink of an eye. We see your choice winner bucking behind the starting gate. His chances of winning are slim to none, fifty to one in fact. You may not know anything about the horse, but you like the sound of his name on the program, and figure you can make some nice cash from a long shot. The gate opens and your horse bellows out the door. Immediately cut to the first bend and he is trailing behind the team. Now, immediately cut to the last and he strides to the finish line by a large margin. Victory is yours, but to what fulfillment? Sure you’re happy that your horse won, and heck, you might have made a serious winning. You probably »
- Christopher Clemente
Open Road Films will release Barry Levinson's "Rock the Kasbah" nationwide April 24, 2015. The comedy written by Mitch Glazer stars Bill Murray as washed-up rock manager Richie Vance, who takes his sole client (Bruce Willis) on a Uso tour of Afghanistan. Alone in Kabul without money or passport, Vance discovers a girl (Zooey Deschanel) with a great voice and manages her through "Afghan Star," the Afghan "American Idol." Levinson's latest film "The Humbling," adapted by Buck Henry from Philip Roth's novel, stars Al Pacino and will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Murray played supporting roles in Wes Anderson's 2014 hit "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and Lisa Cholodenko's upcoming TV series "Olive Kitteridge." He also stars with Naomi Watts in Weinstein Co. fall comedy "St. Vincent." Willis currently stars in Robert Rodriguez's "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For." »
- Anne Thompson
Namely, the cinematic cold war between the Toronto and Telluride festivals, which escalated after Toronto organizers announced they will screen only world or North American premieres during its first four days.
“If there has to be this frenzy to have a world premiere at all costs, meaning that you’ll take a film just so that you can have the world premiere, that’s a game I’m not playing,” Barbera says.
If he can have certain studio titles, fine. But if he can’t, “That’s Ok too,” he says. “There are plenty of great movies out there around the world,” the Venice topper philosophically points out.
Despite his indifference, 54 of the 55 films in the lineup are world preems. And of course Barbera is delighted that the Lido opener is Alejandro Gonzalez »
- Nick Vivarelli
It’s hard to survive as an independent label at a major studio. Paramount Vantage and Warner Independent are gone; Universal Pictures’ Focus Features has been retooled. Miramax is a shell of its former self. But Fox Searchlight, now in its 20th year, endures. The division that has backed such critical and commercial hits as “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” has had a particularly enviable past few months, picking up the best picture Oscar for “12 Years a Slave” and scoring an arthouse breakout with “The Grand Budapest Hotel” ($171 million global gross, and counting). Fox Searchlight co-presidents Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley and president of production Claudia Lewis sat down with Variety to talk about their film strategy, the rise of video-on-demand, and how they keep top movies running through the pipeline without the division spinning off the financial rails.
Do you try to find movies that appeal to Oscar voters? »
- Brent Lang
Criterion releases Pedro Almodóvar's Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) on DVD and Blu-ray today and not only have they posted Almodóvar's own notes on what inspired him to make it, they've also a conversation about Almodóvar between Kent Jones and Wes Anderson. Also in today's roundup of news and views: How Samuel Fuller killed off classic noir to make way for neo-noir; a fresh reading of David Simon's The Wire; thoughts on Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language; an excerpt from Ted Hope's new memoir; and more. » - David Hudson »
Ari Folman, visionary director of Waltz With Bashir, brings us a journey beyond imagination in his upcoming movie The Congress. Robin Wright (pictured above) plays a version of herself in this thought-provoking film, which merges live-action and colourful animation. To celebrate the release of The Congress today (our review is here), we take a look at some other movies which have embraced a live-action/animation mash-up.
1) Mary Poppins
Family favourite Mary Poppins delighted audiences when it first burst onto screens in 1964, and now 50 years later the magical tale continues to enchant a brand new generation of film fans. The hit adventure’s wonderful mix of live-action and fantasy animation was surely one of the elements which won it five Oscars at the 1965 Academy Awards, including Best Visual Effects.
- Phil Wheat
Wes Anderson movies are just as celebrated for clichés like quirky heroines, '70s-inspired color palettes, and outlandish locales as they are easy to skewer. In his new video, "The Kid in Every Wes Anderson Movie," comedy troupe Upright Citizen Brigade's Matthew Starr pretty much nails the director's quirky point of view. Playing fictional Anderson character Thomas E. Fredericks - "the 'E' stands for Echinacea" - Starr homes in on everything that makes these films either lovable or eye-roll-inducing, depending on whom you ask. Give it a watch! »
If you follow the internet with any amount of regularity, the one thing it as a collected whole loves to do is complain. Amongst other things, one top which both movie fans and established film critics seem to like to do is complain about Wes Anderson and his films. To set the record straight, Wes […]
Read 7 Films That Try to Ape Wes Anderson’s Style on Filmonic.
- Matthew Geoffino
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