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Mubi is showing Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Last Life in the Universe (2003) in the United States from August 13 - September 11, 2016.“Let’s not know too much about what we’re going to do, let’s just look for the film.” —Pen-ek RatanaruangThere are films that you sleep through and films that guide you through sleep. Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s 2003 film Last Life in the Universe falls under the latter category, invoking that lull between wake and slumber. That slow-motion moment when your eyes are still open as you’re dreaming, where the most nonsensical fantasies make perfect sense. It is also a film labeled as quintessentially “art-house” and “Thai New Wave,” known as the hit that propelled director Pen-ek Ratanaruang into the international spotlight once dominated by his friend and colleague, Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Yet with each viewing Last Life in the Universe ceases to be anything at all. Maybe that is the point, »
Next year is going to be a very packed and very promising year for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only are we getting the highly anticipated sequel to James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy as well as the first solo Spider-Man movie in the McU, Spider-Man: Homecoming, but we are also getting what could be the best Thor movie yet with Thor: Ragnarok. While Thor: Ragnarok has added a ton of new talent for the third installment of the franchise, it looks like some friendly faces will be returning as well.
Thanks to a couple of posts to Instagram, it seems all but confirmed that the Warriors Three will indeed be coming back for Thor: Ragnarok. The movie is currently filming in Australia, and a tattoo shop there called Punktured Tattoo recently got a visit from none other than Ray Stevenson, who plays Volstagg. The actor stopped »
When the full cast of Thor: Ragnarok was announced back in the spring, fans were confused when there was no mention of the God of Thunder’s trusty companions, the Warriors Three. While not the most important characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they did play a fairly significant part in both Thor and Thor: The Dark World, which led us to believe they’d be back for thirds.
Turns out that we were right, as despite not being included in the official cast announcement, we will indeed be seeing the Warriors Three in Thor: Ragnarok. How do we know this? Well, both Ray Stevenson and Tadanobu Asano have been spotted down on the Australia set, while Zachary Levi hinted during Comic-Con that he’d have a few scenes in the film.
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It’d be easy to see Marvel not having room for the Warriors Three in Ragnarok, »
- Mark Cassidy
It is almost hard to imagine Chris Hemsworth as the God of Thunder in his third solo outing without his faithful Asgardian companions portrayed by Jaimie Alexander, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi and Tadanobu Asano by his side, but that seemed to be where Thor: Ragnarok was headed when those actors were excluded from the cast announcement back in May. However, fans of the Warriors Three can stop worrying because both Ray Stevenson and Tadanobu Asano, who play Volstagg the Voluminous and Hogun the Grim, respectively, have been spotted on the Gold Coast of Australia where Thor: Ragnarok is currently filming. Asano had revealed his whereabouts on his own Instagram yesterday, while Stevenson was included in a different post by user PunkturedTatto who had captioned the photo, “Look who just stopped by our Gold Coast studio to get some ink in between filming Thor.” About the third charter member of the Warrior Three, »
Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.
– Sony Pictures Classics have announced they have acquired the rest of Pedro Almodóvar’s full library of films, including “Pepi, Luci, Bom”; “Labyrinth of Passion”; “Dark Habits”; “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”; “High Heels” and “Kika.” Spc will release his latest, “Julieta,” in theaters on December 21.
Based on short stories by Nobel laureate Alice Munro, “Julieta” is “about a mother’s struggle to survive uncertainty. It is also about fate, guilt complexes and that unfathomable mystery that leads us to abandon the people we love, erasing them from our lives as if they had never meant anything, as if they had never existed. The cast includes Adriana Ugarte, Emma Suárez and Rossy de Palma. It »
- Kate Erbland
The New York-based film distributor has picked up Koji Fukada’s family drama and upcoming North American premiere Special Presentation selection at Toronto.
Harmonium premiered in Cannes where it won the Un Certain Regard jury prize and will open theatrically in 2017 followed by digital and home video release.
The film is intended as a companion piece to Fukada’s black comedy Hospitalité and chronicles the collapse of a seemingly ordinary Japanese family.
Film Movement brokered the North American deal with MK2. »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
It was just yesterday we noted that Shusako Endo’s new edition of Silence: A Novel, which follows a story of two Jesuit priests in seventeenth century Japan “is a very difficult read, but a wholly rewarding one as well. It’s easy to see the appeal this story had for Martin Scorsese, especially its powerful ending.” While we’ve been waiting some time for any word from Paramount on when the adaptation will see a release, we’ll have to wait a little longer for an official date, but it’ll at least be completed by the year’s end.
Scorsese spoke to Roger Friedman at Showbiz 411, who revealed he’s nearly wrapping up the post-production process with scoring to be completed in October for the drama starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, and Ciarán Hinds. With the film “golden” for a release in 2016, the »
- Jordan Raup
Locarno, Switzerland — New York-based Film Movement, a distributor in the U.S. and Canada of some of the world’s biggest festival hits, has acquired all rights to Koji Fukada’s Un Certain Regard winner “Harmonium,” sold by Paris-based MK2 Films.
The deal was announced by Film Movement at the Locarno Film Festival, where company president Michael E. Rosenberg will be on the lookout for further first-run, award-winning foreign or indie titles, Film Movement’s stock-in-trade.
Reprising much of the set-up, but hardly the tone, of black comedy “Hospitalite,” Fukada’s admired second feature, “Harmonium” won Un Certain Regard’s Jury Prize, its runner’s-up plaudit, this May at Cannes.
“Harmonium” will make its North American premiere at September’s Toronto Film Festival. This will be followed by a theatrical opening in early 2017, then a digital and home-video bow.
“Harmonium” was the film for which “Hospitalite” was intended as a pilot, »
- John Hopewell
Kiyoshi Kurosawa made his name directing mystery, horror, and action movies (most familiarly to U.S. audiences, the original Pulse, which was remade in America and spawned a whole franchise); in this way, his 2015 feature Journey to the Shore could be considered something of a departure. But there is still mystery to it, and the slight chill of horror.
Mizuki (Eri Fukatsu) is a piano instructor unable to move on since her husband, Yusuke (Tadanobu Asano) was lost at sea some three years prior. When he suddenly reappears in their home, she wonders not where he’s been or what’s become of him, just what took him so long coming back. He explains that he died, quite horribly, his body completely destroyed. He asks her to join him in revisiting people along the road back to the sea, where he can find his final rest. Then she wakes up »
- Scott Nye
Finnish boxer drama The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Maki, directed by Juho Kuosmanen, has won the Un Certain Regard prize at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.
Review: The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Maki
After two Cinefondation-selected shorts, Kuosmanen has made his feature debut with this film inspired by the real life of Olli Maki, the first Finn to fight for the world championship in featherweight boxing, who is distracted by his first love on the day of the big fight.
Jarkko Lahti, Oona Airola and Eero Milonoff star in the black-and-white film, which shot on 16mm. B-Plan will release in Finland in September, with theatrical releases also secured for Germany, France and Denmark.
The Finland-Germany-Sweden co-production is produced by Aamu Film Company, One Two Films »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Finnish boxing biopic “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki” scored a knockout in this year’s Un Certain Regard competition at the Cannes Film Festival, beating 17 other titles to take the top prize from a jury headed by Swiss actress Marthe Keller, while “Captain Fantastic” and “The Red Turtle” also joined the winners’ circle.
“Thank you for your weird taste in cinema,” stammered flabbergasted “Olli Mäki” director Juho Kuosmanen upon accepting the final award for the black-and-white period piece — his first feature film. “I am so surprised and happy.”
The film, set in 1962, covers a few weeks in the life of the eponymous Finnish pugilist, a former European lightweight champion, as he gruelingly prepares for a world featherweight title fight against American champion Davey Moore. Shot in richly textured, monochrome 16mm format, the film spends less time in the ring than it does on the underdog fighter »
- Guy Lodge
While most Marvel fans were pleased with yesterday’s official cast list for Thor: Ragnarok, which featured such surprise names as Jeff Goldblum and Karl Urban, many also couldn’t help but noticed that the name of Thor series regular Jaimie Alexander was nowhere to be found. Alexander, who portrayed fan favorite character Lady Sif in both 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, was, despite some conflicting reports, expected to return for the third installment, so her exclusion from the list left a large number of people confused. The Hollywood Reporter writer Borys Kit even tweeted out the following…
— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) May 20, 2016
- Justin Cook
In Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s graceful drama, a widow’s cooking summons the ghost of her husband
Lonely piano teacher Mizuki (Eri Fukatsu) makes boiled sweet bean dumplings one day and somehow this summons the ghost of her dead husband Yusuke (Tadanobu Asano). He calmly explains to her that he drowned himself three years ago and his body is gone now, eaten by crabs. And yet he seems very much corporeal, able to eat the dumplings and up for taking Mizuki on an expedition around Japan to meet others, some of whom are also dead, so they can help restless souls move on to the next world or bid their own ghosts farewell.
Continue reading »
- Leslie Felperin
A quietly combustible tale of punishment and crime set in motion when a family lets a mysterious man move in with them, “Harmonium” makes the viewer question neat causal equations of sin, retribution, and atonement. Director-writer Koji Fukada offers an off-kilter take on that most venerable of Japanese genres — the family drama. In the process of revealing hidden strains in marital life and parenting, he ponders the enigma of human motives. Shot in a meticulous yet unmannered style, the film provides the veteran cast with an ideal framework to mount masterful performances. Though mainstream audiences may not sing along to “Harmonium’s” tune, its cinematic and intellectual rigor should resound at quality festivals.
Fukada’s wry, airy works like “Hospitalite” (2010) and “Au revoir l’ete” (2013) have been likened to the spirit of Eric Rohmer’s “Moral Tales” cycle. Whereas “Hospitalite,” which, according to the director, was intended as a pilot to “Harmonium, »
- Maggie Lee
Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Bright Future is playing May 20 - June 19, 2016 in the United States.As cinematic monsters go, a jellyfish—luminescent red but home-aquarium-sized—is a perverse choice. Left alone, it floats in a saltwater ecosystem resistant to humans on a large scale; only when poked does it react with precognitive venom. But Bright Future (2003) is another of Kiyoshi "No Relation" Kurosawa's piecemeal apocalypses, where the destructive force presents itself anew to all victims. Unlike the planetary threats of kaiju, alien armies, or environmental collapse, Kurosawa imagines society's end as something closer to mass suicide than massacre. It requires individual complicity. Coming after his definitive J-Horror entry Pulse (2001), for which Kurosawa is probably best known, Bright Future was somewhat off-handedly derided for a category error about objects of fear: small things in aquariums are only as threatening as observers are stupid. However, »
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Journey to the ShoreSTORY75%ACTING80%DIRECTION80%VISUALS75%MUSIC75%POSITIVESArt-house film at its bestGreat script, direction and actingVery beautiful technical, although in minimalistic and realistic fashionNEGATIVESNot for fans of mainstream cinema or action films2016-05-0777%Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote)75%
Winner of the Un Certain Regard Best Director award in Cannes, this film confirms Kurosawa’s place as a master of drama films, after his already established status in the horror genre.
Mizuki, a young piano teacher, returns home after work and sets about her regular, melancholic routine. Eventually, Yusuke, her dead husband appears in the apartment unexpectedly, a fact that does not seem to scare or surprise her.Instead, she acts as if she expected his return, gets him something to eat, and begins asking about the three years since his death. Subsequently, she embarks with him on a journey through all of the places he has wandered, »
- Panos Kotzathanasis
Andrew Garfield’s all-too-brief spell in the Spidey suit may not have panned out as expected but, in arriving soon after The Social Network, Sony’s brace of Amazing Spider-Man movies thrust the actor into the spotlight for all to see, resulting in Garfield snapping up a series of roles in the likes of 99 Homes and Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-tipped Silence.
Adding another feather to that cap today, Variety has confirmed Andrew Garfield has been tapped to headline Under the Silver Lake, a “modern-day noir crime thriller” coming by way of David Robert Mitchell, best known for horrific sleeper hit It Follows and The Myth of the American Sleepover.
Mitchell penned the script for this one, sending Garfield to the bright lights of La to experience a journey that is being kept largely under wraps for now. We do know that Michael De Luca is attached to produce on behalf »
- Michael Briers
Ma’Rosa. Directed from festival’s regular, Philippino Brillante Mendoza. Not much is known regarding the film.
Gokseong. Na Hong-jin’s third time in the festival, after “The Chaser” and “The Yellow Sea.” Set in a remote village set into turmoil by a series of deaths, his ultra-stylish new film is told from the perspective of a police detective who comes to suspect that the crimes have something to do with his own daughter.
- Panos Kotzathanasis
Boasting a cast that comprises Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Ciaran Hinds and Tadanobu Asano, an extended post-production meant that an official release timeline remained up in the air, but Screen Daily has unearthed a report suggesting that Paramount is aligning Scorsese’s passion project with an awards-friendly November release.
Inspired by Shûsaku Endô’s novel of the same name, Silence is situated in 17th century Nagasaki, Japan and charts Andrew Garfield’s Jesuit priest and his gruelling pilgrimage to reunite with a lonely mother. Along the way, both Garfield and Liam Neeson’s gaunt, bearded and deeply religious mentor hope to spread the gospel of Christianity in the face of violence and persecution.
In a previous interview, Neeson outlined the spiritual tenets of Scorsese’s religious opus, »
- Michael Briers
With production having wrapped in May of last year, we've had to take whatever morsels of information have been offered about Martin Scorsese's dream project "Silence." Last month we learned that the director and cast members — Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Ciaran Hinds and Tadanobu Asano — all worked for scale to get the movie made, and that picture was aiming to "come out at the end of the year." Now, we have a slightly more specific timeline for when we'll see the movie. Screen Daily reports that Paramount Pictures is aiming to release "Silence" in November. Of course, the question is whether or not it'll pop up on the festival circuit before then. Scorsese's picture is not expected to be done in time for Cannes next month, so perhaps Venice or Tiff? Guess we'll have to wait and see. The adaptation of Shüsaku Endō’s novel is set »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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