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Written for the screen and directed by Jon Stewart
Rosewater, the directorial debut of The Daily Show host and stand-up comedian Jon Stewart, is a modest retelling of one man’s prolonged imprisonment for honestly reporting about Iran. It’s an engaging exercise about political transparency made possible by the modern media that’s obviously close to Stewart’s heart. This is serious content interlaced with sporadic interludes of comedy that in Stewart’s hands sails smoothly along without seeming inappropriate or misplaced.
The amiable journalist Maziar Bahari (Gael García Bernal) falls into the role of responsible witness while filming protests that turn deadly following the questionable re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the President of Iran. Bahari spending time with citizens who oppose Ahmadinejad to get a broader perspective for his writing, forwarding the bloody protest video to media outlets, and taping a silly interview for The Daily Show »
- Lane Scarberry
The punishing ordeal of Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari — imprisoned for 118 days on charges of espionage — is brought to the screen with impressive tact and intelligence by writer-director Jon Stewart in “Rosewater,” . Largely a two-hander between Bahari (played by Gael Garcia Bernal) and the interrogator who puts him through a gauntlet of soul-crushing mindgames, Stewart’s confident, superbly acted debut feature works as both a stirring account of human endurance and a topical reminder of the risks faced by journalists in pursuit of the truth, minus the caper antics and flag waving of Ben Affleck’s populist Oscar winner. Strong reviews and smart, targeted marketing should help this Nov. 7 Open Road release find its niche with politically savvy adult moviegoers, and perhaps a dark-horse position in the awards-season derby.
Stewart (whose prior screen credits consist of supporting roles in a string of forgettable ’90s comedies) may seem like a left-field choice to adapt Bahari’s 2011 memoir, »
- Scott Foundas
Marr's portrait of James Boswell is a pertinent exploration of Scottish identity, nationhood and the lust for adventure
Do we choose heroes who are similar to ourselves, I wonder? I'm thinking about mine Patrick Vieira, Ernest Shackleton, and Leonard Cohen, say without giving it too much thought. And yes, I do think I have that kind of inspirational leadership, bravery and towering strength, plus the ability to move people to tears and touch the soul.
Andrew Marr also seems to have much in common with his hero, James Boswell, the first of Andrew Marr's Great Scots: The Writers Who Shaped A Nation (BBC2, Saturday). I don't know if Andrew had a difficult relationship with his father (probably, he's male, after all), or if he was a lonely boy, haunted by fears of damnation and overprotected by his mother. But, if so, he too blossomed to become flamboyant, colourful and gregarious. »
- Sam Wollaston
With Beyond Fright, we like to focus on things somewhat on the fringe of horror. Whether it be great music or just films that might be on the tip of something based in genres that might not be considered “horror” by most standards, but still have that great genre vibe. While brainstorming ideas for articles, it occurred to me that I write with rituals in the back of my mind. Now before you jump to conclusions and picture me with a black and red robe on while sacrificing a virgin, let me clarify: I don’t mean rituals in that sense, but in the terms of specific things that i find myself doing before and during the actual writing of an article, review or various other forms of doing what I enjoy: creating. Music has always played a huge part in my life, and when sitting down to write something for Icons, »
- Jerry Smith
When it comes screen legends Al Pacino (Dog Day Afternoon) does not appear to be slowing down as he appears as an aging stage actor in The Humbling directed by Barry Levinson (Men in Black) and as a heartbroken small town locksmith in Manglehorn helmed by David Gordon Green (Joe); both dramas will be getting a North American Premiere at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival.
The Oscar-winning thespian will also kicking off the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival by having an on-stage conversation about his career at the Tiff Bell Lightbox on September 3, 2014 at 7 p.m.. “We’re thrilled to have Al Pacino participate in our third annual Tiff Gala,” stated Maxine Bailey, VP of Advancement at Tiff. “This important event raises much-needed funds that allow Tiff to continue our free year-round activities like Reel Comfort, a programme that brings films and special guests to mental health patients at Toronto hospitals, »
- Trevor Hogg
While there'll always be a place for down-the-line observational stand-up, there are thankfully also some comics doing stranger stuff at the fringes.
From the mid-1990s on, Simon Munnery has intrigued and innovated. Ahead of his spot on Stewart Lee's The Alternative Comedy Experience, Digital Spy got on the phone with Simon to talk singing Kierkegaard, "fylm" and whether or not we'll ever get Attention Scum! on DVD.
"It's perhaps less mainstream acts, a bit more quirky, a bit more interesting."
Of almost half the comics on the show being women, he added: "There are a lot of very good women comics and quite a lot of them are on this.
"There just are quite a lot of good »
(This review pertains to the limited edition Region 2 UK release from the BFI)
By Paul Risker
If the BFI have the final word this summer, it will be remembered as the summer of Herzog, as they align themselves with the German filmmaker and journey headlong into his cinematic world. This rendezvous starts with a descent into the past with two distinct forms of horror - the hallucinatory horror of human obsession in Aguirre, Wrath of God and the genre horror Nosferatu.
Aguirre, Wrath of God represents an important entry in Herzog's career, and by coupling it with his 1971 feature documentary Fata Morgana, this release highlights the spatial thread that runs through his cinema. From the jungle, the desert, Antarctica »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has revealed the lineup for its brand new summer film showcase “The Wave Film Festival.”
This inaugural showcase will focus solely on an eclectic mix of eleven brand new French films, including “Playing Dead (Je fais le mort)” directed by Jean-Paul Salomé, “Not My Type (Pas son genre)” directed by Lucas Belvaux and “9 Month Stretch (9 mois ferme)” directed by Albert Dupontel.
“It’s fitting that as we approach the 30th anniversary Sbiff expands its programming and have more of a year round presence with the Wave Film Festival,” said Sbiff Executive Director Roger Durling. “In the future we hope to have several editions — or ‘waves’ — throughout the year, allowing for longevity and continued growth for Sbiff as well as the Santa Barbara community.”
The five day festival begins Wednesday, July 16 through Sunday, July 20 at the Riviera Theatre.
The full lineup is below, along with their official synopses. »
- Nikara Johns
Lana Del Rey has come a long way from her debut “Born to Die.” New “Ultraviolence” is legions more cohesive, conceptually stronger and packaged better than her scarlet starlets of 2011. The improvements are still in want. Del Rey is wearing, again, the troubled, beautiful and bored persona for this experiential album, which upfront demands a certain suspension of reality. From psyche-lilting opener “Cruel World” to dead-eyed cover “The Other Woman,” “Ultraviolence” doesn’t so much get exhausted as it exhausts you on this lethargic fantasy. She and producer Auerbach need for you to go there, even as you side-eye the payoff. Del Rey battles some of the tiresome tropes of fame (“Money Power Glory”) or the bitter backbiting (“Fucked My Way To The Top”) that have nipped at her heels during the last couple of years, during her rise to pop prominence, co-writing every song. But she does it in »
We're still buzzing from the excitement of this past weekend's first-ever Vulture Festival, and one of the highlights of the weekend was a long session of music and conversation with Rufus Wainwright. The iconic singer-songwriter spoke with Vulture's Julie Klausner about everything from his late mother to his love of Lana Del Rey to his operatic career and beyond. Watch the full conversation in this video, as well as two of the songs he performed ("Walking Song," by his mom, and his legendary rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"). Rufus forever! »
- Abraham Riesman
Toni Collette as Ellie on Charlie: "The fact that we are so opposite. The thing that I live for, you despise."
On the afternoon before the Us Premiere of Megan Griffiths' spirited comedy Lucky Them at the Tribeca Film Festival, screenwriter/producer Emily Wachtel, stars Thomas Haden Church and Toni Collette and Ryan Eggold met the media at the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue.
Wachtel spoke about transitioning over from Sam Shepard and what it's like to see a version of herself come to life. Tom and Toni talked drinks, Sam Raimi's favourite, Bryan Adams, Rufus Wainwright, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and the importance of limes, while I gave Ryan Eggold a T-shirt idea.
Lucky Them is set in the world of Seattle music »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
London, April 25: Peaches Geldof's devastated husband Tom Cohen sang a heartbreaking tribute at her funeral, it has been revealed.
Sources revealed that 23-year-old performed Leonard Cohen's hit 'Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye', the Mirror reported.
The insiders claimed that it felt like a gig, as it was very lovely, a real celebration of her life and Cohen was brave to sing as he was tremendously upset.
Bob Geldolf also paid a moving tribute to his 25-year-old daughter,. »
- Lohit Reddy
On her 11th birthday, Angeliki (Chloe Bolota) plunges four stories to her death to the foreboding soundtrack of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love" leaving her highly dysfunctional Greek family to pretend that everything is hunky dory in their household. Just as the minutely detailed and perfectly framed cinematography (Olympia Mitilinaiou) solicits a milieu of falseness, the clan's middle-aged patriarch (Themis Panou) -- referred to as "Father" by the multi-generational household -- is all about keeping up appearances. Child Protection definitely senses that something is amiss, especially since no one in the family seems to know the identity of the father of the deceased child, or the other young children in the household -- Myrto (Sissy Toumasi), Filippos (Konstantinos Athanasiades) and Alkmini (Kalliopi Zontanou). All of the familiar relationships are blurred to curious extremes, though we are left to assume that Eleni (Eleni Roussinou) is the mother of all (or, »
- Don Simpson
Prior to "Miss Meadows," Karen Hopkins has only one directing credit under her belt. She's also appeared in some small roles and helmed the screenplay for the Susan Sarandon drama "Stepmom." Her latest film, satire "Miss Meadows," which will appear at Tribeca this year, stars Katie Holmes as a "proper lady" gone bad. Hopkins also told Indiewire that getting the film done required "touches of a wand." Tell us about yourself? I came to Hollywood from Sandusky, Ohio to work as an actress. I taught exercise classes for years and drove a lawn mower for a car until I got my first "big break." I then got cut out of three major films. My twin was studying to be a shrink and figured I made up all these scenarios of being cast then cut out up as a way of survival. My mother lovingly told me "you're a failure come home, »
- Eric Eidelstein
While many horror fans came out of this year’s South By Southwest film festival giving Oculus and Exists top honors as far as the Midnighters programming went, there was another movie that I thought stole the show. A horror musical featuring a slasher villain who hates musical theaters and enjoys chopping up characters who could easily be featured on Glee? Sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong. Stage Fright is a hilarious horror comedy that blends thrashing metal, gross-out kills, and genre insanity in a way that had me begging for more, and that’s thanks to creators Jerome Sable and Eli Batalion.
After screening the film, I was able to sit down with writer/director/composer Jerome Sable and co-composer Eli Batalion, two very enthusiastic musicians whose personalities injected so much energy into Stage Fright. After talking to the duo, I could see why their film was »
- Matt Donato
What makes films about religion so interesting is the way some manage to tread a line between support and criticism, while some are vehemently anti-religion or pro-religion. When all is said and done, it’s up to the audience to decide whether or not the film (or the faith portrayed) is a respectful or perceptive study on faith and the dogmatic principles that may or may not surround it. Not every religious film is uplifting. In fact, there are plenty of non-religious films that do a better job of building viewers’ faith. But that’s another list for another time.
30. Beyond the Hills (2012)
Directed by Cristian Mingiu
Five years after his punishing 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Christian Mingiu delivered an interesting look at a lifelong friendship formed at an orphanage. Beyond the Hills tells the story of two women, based on non-fiction novels by Tatiana Niculescu Bran: Alina (Cristina Flutur) has fled to Germany, »
- Joshua Gaul
This year, Robert Lepage was honoured as the recipient of the Glenn Gould Prize awarded for “a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human conditions through the arts.” Previous winners include Leonard Cohen, Yo-Yo Ma, Oscar Peterson, and R. Murray Schafer. In association with The Glenn Gould Foundation, Tiff presented a retrospective on his directorial work. One of the most famed working filmmakers in Quebec, Lepage’s influence extends far beyond the screen and he is also one of the foremost directors of the stage. Considered an important figure in the theatrical avant-garde, he brings his multi-media and theatrical approach to the screen to create unique and layered visions of the world.
Back in 1995, Lepage made his feature film debut with Le Confessionnal, a post-modern Hitchcock pastiche set in Quebec. The film is the story of the Lamontagne family and spans two different eras and the issues and crises »
- Justine Smith
The 61st Sydney Film Festival today announced 32 films to be featured in this year.s event (June 4-15) in advance of the full program launch on May 7.
The line-up includes the world premiere of The Redfern Story, 19 Australian premieres, 13 features, 11 documentaries and an eight-film retrospective on maverick American filmmaker Robert Altman. Altman.s son, filmmaker Michael Altman, will attend festival and introduce several of the Altman screenings.
Darlene Johnson.s The Redfern Story chronicles the volatile birth of the first all-Indigenous theatre company, the National Black Theatre. It features interviews with indigenous media pioneer Lester Bostock, writer Gerry Bostock, actor Lillian Crombie, activist-academic Gary Foley, academic Marcia Langton, actors Rachael Maza, Bryan Brown and Bindi Williams. .We are pleased to present this sneak preview of 32 of the 180-plus films in this year.s program,. said Festival Director Nashen Moodley. .We have gathered a selection of the best films from the »
- Staff writer
After a long campaign waged by their fans, Kiss will finally be inducted into the Rock & Roll of Fame this spring. While Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott is happy for Kiss, with whom his group will tour this summer, don’t expect for him to care one iota whether he and his band mates ever make it into the hallowed halls. My colleague, Liane Bonin Starr, and I taped our CulturePop podcast with Elliott this week and he was so expansive on so many topics that we’re breaking the podcast into two parts: Part 1 will be posted next week and Part 2, the week after, but we couldn’t wait to put up his thoughts on the Cleveland-based Rock Hall. First off, like a lot of us, he’s wondering exactly which acts get in and why, but he knows for sure it’s not the fans (although the »
An enthralling family drama about a teenage mother's destructive relationship with a charming criminal
"Suzanne takes you down… and you know that she's half crazy… " Nina Simone's rendition of Leonard Cohen's classic makes a fitting end-credits theme for this enthralling, award-winning second feature from the director of Love Like Poison. Sara Forestier is the eponymous force of nature (and teenage mother) whose reckless independence takes her away from her sister and her father and into a self-destructive relationship with a charismatic law-breaker.
Covering more than two decades in its economic running time (years pass between scenes), this intelligent, insightful gem presents a series of snapshots of a disintegrating family, blending acute social vision with heartbreaking intimacy, cementing Quillévéré's reputation as one of France's most remarkable young film-makers.
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- Mark Kermode
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