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If the reception to Ewan McGregor’s American Pastoral has shown us anything, it’s this: those who adapt one of the great living authors would be best-advised to go small or, at the very least, head into their endeavor with a bit of experience. Benoît Jacquot is doing both with a big-screen take on Don DeLillo‘s slim and, in all honesty, little-loved 2001 novel The Body Artist. It’d previously been in the hands of Luca Guadagnino, who’d, at various points, cast the likes of Isabelle Huppert, Sigourney Weaver, Denis Lavant, and David Cronenberg, the one man who’s already taken a DeLillo text to the big screen. (Game 6 doesn’t quite count, though it’s a Cosmopolis first draft nevertheless worth seeking out.)
Now titled Never Ever (À jamais in its native tongue), it’s arriving under his supervision, with the none-too-small help of Mathieu Amalric and, »
- Nick Newman
Although he’s one of the great post-modernist novelists — or perhaps because of that — Don DeLillo’s work has mostly resisted adaptation. The sole one of his books to reach the screen until now was “Cosmopolis,” in the form of David Cronenberg’s disappointing translation, with the rest of his work being too dense, or too ambitious, to bring for the screen.
But a number of filmmakers have, over the years, been interested in making DeLillo’s 2001 book “The Body Artist” into a film — “A Bigger Splash” director Luca Guadagnino nearly made a version with Isabelle Huppert a few years back.
- Oliver Lyttelton
If Olivier Assayas’s “Personal Shopper” took a step down from Hermès to H&M, the result would be something like “Never Ever,” an enjoyably slinky but disposable divertissement from director Benoit Jacquot that is unlikely to leave viewers quite as haunted as its characters. Adapting Don DeLillo’s short, New York-set novel “The Body Artist” into a more Gallically terse ghost story of sorts, breakout scripter-star Julia Roy has perhaps shed a few too many of the text’s complications — but adds her own enigmatic shading to proceedings via her terrific leading turn as a grief-stricken performance artist preserving her husband’s presence in more ways than one. Jacquot treats this elliptical material with a certain directorial curtness that may freeze out some viewers, but the alluring premise — plus typically charismatic work from a top-billed Mathieu Amalric as the potential specter — should scare up interest from international distributors.
First up, »
- Guy Lodge
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
Despite a loose script that justifies little, Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s follow-up feature to his glorious melodrama I Am Love is a sweaty, kinetic, dangerously unpredictable ride of a film. One is frustrated by the final stroke of genius that never came, but boy was it fun to spend two hours inside such a whirlwind of desires, mind games, delirious sights and sounds. Based on the 1969 French drama La piscine (The Swimming Pool »
- The Film Stage
Screen reveals the burning questions ahead of this year’s festival…
Anticipation for the 73rd Venice Film Festival (Aug 31 - Sept10) has been building for weeks.
Now, ahead of the world’s oldest film showcase (and the autumn’s first major awards barometer), Screen highlights ten burning questions…
1. Awards race under orders…
This year’s awards race will get underway in earnest on the Lido. In the last three years the festival has kickstarted major Oscar runs for three movies: Gravity, Birdman and Spotlight, while last year’s crop also included popular awards titles The Danish Girl and Anomalisa.
This year’s line-up is starrier than ever with Venice’s competition alone featuring Damien Chazelle’s La La Land (more of which below), Tom Ford’s blue ribbon drama Nocturnal Animals, Jacqueline Kennedy biopic Jackie, starring Natalie Portman, Denis Villeneuve’s big-budget sci-fi Arrival and Michael Fassbender-Alicia Vikander romance The Light Between Oceans.
Which films, if »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
“‘2016 is a bad year for film’ is just another way of saying ‘I really blew it when I chose what films to watch in 2016,'” producer Keith Calder recently said. Taking this statement to heart, as summer winds down, there’s no shortage of writing about how the season was a disappointment overall — but, on the contrary, there have been gems throughout the last four months, and we’ve set out to name our favorites.
All of the below films received at least one-week theatrical runs in the United States from May to August, and while some are still in theaters, many are now currently available to stream. Check out our favorites below and let us know what you most enjoyed this summer. One can also see our fall preview series, which just kicked off this week, here.
Despite a loose script that justifies little, »
- The Film Stage
Every week, the CriticWire Survey asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday morning. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?” can be found at the end of this post.)
This week’s question: What was the best film of summer 2016?
Charles Bramesco (@intothecrevasse), Rolling Stone
Gosh, where to start! It’s been a banner summer if, like me, you enjoy submerging yourself in vast unending ocean of incomprehensible bullshit at the movies. There was “Suicide Squad,” which is to plot structure what the Elephant Man is to facial bone structure. Loved me some “X-Men: Apocalypse,” an epic battle between an uncomfortable-looking ensemble of interesting-to-talented actors and a script intent on turning them all into cardboard cutouts. “The Shallows” was fun in the way that completing the maze on the back of a cereal box is fun, »
- David Ehrlich
An ambitious tale about the rise of a fictitious dictator could do with some of the straightforward power of its brutal score
This accomplished directing debut by actor Brady Corbet is clearly the work of a film-maker already fluent in the language of cinema, even if he is not quite certain what he wants to say. The key elements of this fable about the early years of a fictitious fascist dictator (loosely based on Mussolini) are impressive. The cinematography by Lol Crawley uses natural light to arresting effect. The thunderous orchestral score by Scott Walker, used principally in an overture and a coda, is magnificent. It’s a blast of ominous portent into the film, which reminded me of Luca Guadagnino’s use of the music of John Adams in I Am Love. By contrast, the actual body of the story lacks some of the brutal clarity of the music. »
- Wendy Ide
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
The most fascinating part of Steve Hoover‘s latest documentary Almost Holy is how its subject Gennadiy Mokhnenko parallels the life of well-known Russian cartoon Krokodil Gena. The latter deals with a lonely crocodile zoo worker named Gena and his friend Cheburashka: a young, abandoned creature rejected by the establishment employing him. The two therefore construct a home for the lonely as »
- The Film Stage
I remain intrigued by director Luca Guadagnino's planned remake of Suspiria, mostly because the Bigger Splash and I Am Love helmer seems to have a real personal investment in the material. As the filmmaker told me back in May, "It's something that speaks much about my childhood, that movie...I saw the poster when I was ten and I was mesmerized by it. I finally saw the movie when I was 14, and I became obsessed. I grew up as a big fan of Dario Argento. It made a great impression on me. So I look forward to try to translate the impression I had." It's an ambitious goal, and I am curious how Guadagnino plans to capture the kind of bold, haunting magic that made Dario Argento's original so mesmerizing while making something that isn't a simple retread of the 1977 film. As revealed in a new interview with Indiewire, »
- Chris Eggertsen
Any serious horror movie fan worships at the altar of Dario Argento. The Italian giallo legend has been directing gorgeous, haunting films for nearly 50 years, starting with 1970’s “The Bird With the Crystal Plumage” and continuing with such frightening achievements as “Inferno,” “Phenomena,” and perhaps his most famous work, “Suspiria.” That movie, the eerie tale of a ballet student who attends a haunted school, has been set up for a remake for close to a decade. Originally in the hands of David Gordon Green, “Suspiria” was briefly considered as a TV series before it fell to director Luca Guadagnino, who recently said that Tilda Swinton and Dakota Fanning had been cast in the film.
All of this is news to the 75-year-old Argento, who’s currently watching movies as the president of the “Filmmakers of the Present” jury at the Locarno Film Festival. The director took a break from his »
- Eric Kohn
The touching tale of the life destinies of two sisters over three decades, from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, “Eurídice Gusmão” is set up at Teixeira’s Sao Paulo-based Rt Features, a producer on James Schamus’ “Indignation” and Ira Sachs’ “Little Men” and a producer with Martin Scorsese on Josh and Benny Sadie’s upcoming “Uncut Gems.”
Aïnouz, whose stock has consistently risen since his 2002 debut, “Madame Satã,” culminating in a 2014 Berlin competition berth for the well-received “Futuro Beach,” is currently penning the script with Brazilian screenwriter and stage director Murilo Hauser.
A first draft of “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão” should be ready by the end of September, with the aim of shooting in 2017, said Teixeira.
Aïnouz’s second »
- John Hopewell
The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop, confirming that Chalamet now joins a cast that boasts Christian Bale – reuniting with Cooper after Out of the Furnance – Rosamund Pike, Jesse Plemons and Adam Beach, who will soon be rubbing shoulders with the remainder of Task Force X in next month’s Suicide Squad.
Chalamet, meanwhile, will assume the role of Private Philippe DeJardin, a member of the military stationed at an outpost in New Mexico. From what we understand, Scott Cooper’s period Western chronicles the story of an Army captain (Christian Bale) who escorts a Cheyenne chief through war-torn territory, utterly ignoring common sense and the very near and present danger.
- Michael Briers
The new documentary “Sons of Ben” tells the story of a band of obsessive soccer fans who did the impossible. In 1996, Major League Soccer debuted, and even though Philadelphia is a top five media with storied sports franchise, a team never materialized. Ten years later, a group of die-hard Philly soccer fans decided to take matters into their own hands: They formed a supporter’s club called the Sons of Ben, named after Benjamin Franklin, for a soccer team that did not yet exist.
Read More: Kaleidoscope Acquires Soccer Legend Documentary ‘Bobby’
Hoping to expand to 100 members by the end of the year, they ended up with 1,500 loyal fans who desperately wanted to bring professional soccer to their beloved city. Not only did the Sons of Ben succeed in changing the Philadelphia soccer landscape, but they also helped revive the struggling Chester community, which had been abandoned by the government, »
- Vikram Murthi
Later this week, 2016 will cross the halfway mark, so now’s the time to take a look back at its first six months and round up our favorite films thus far. While the end of this year will bring personal favorites from all of our writers, think of the below 30 entries as a comprehensive rundown of what should be seen before heading into a promising fall line-up.
As a note, this feature is based solely on U.S. theatrical releases from 2016, with many currently widely available on home video, streaming platforms, or theatrically. Check them out below, as organized alphabetically, followed by honorable mentions and films to keep on your radar for the remaining summer months. One can also see the full list on Letterboxd.
Forget the Cloverfield connection. The actors who were in this film didn’t even know what the title was until moments before the first trailer dropped. »
- The Film Stage
A decadent summer gathering turns sour in the sparkling A Bigger Splash, while a vital documentary gives refugees a voice
If the British summer would just play ball, the DVD release of A Bigger Splash (Studiocanal, 15) would be perfectly timed. Luca Guadagnino’s slinky, shimmery indulgence is the cinematic equivalent of a beach read: it slips by in a pleasurable daze, our concentration divided between the words and the sunlight on the screen. The David Hockney allusion in the title is no accident. The setting of this lackadaisical daylight noir may be the Sicilian island of Pantelleria rather than Beverly Hills, but this is a sparkling lifestyle study, fascinated with the surface luxuries – the pools, the meals, the linen kaftans – of the rich and famous.
As the lazily decadent summer plans of Tilda Swinton’s mute rock star and her surrounding party curdle in the heat, Guadagnino’s gaze isn’t critical, »
- Guy Lodge
Year after year film releases from January through June get the short end of the stick during the Oscar season, when latter-year entries — many of them fresh off exposure-boosting festival circuits — drown everything out.
There are exceptions, of course, but mostly, without the help of critical kudos and other precursor awards that deign to have long memories, quality work is frequently left in the also-ran pile. In an effort to keep the spotlight trained on deserving contenders, here is a long list of players we’d like to see remembered by the Academy later this year.
[Note: This list only includes films theatrically released to the public through the year’s midway point. Not all festival entries are eligible.]
Best Picture: “Weiner”
Rather than save it for the documentary feature category, why not just call one of the year’s best movies exactly what it is? This Sundance hit is somehow the perfect movie for now: Flawed heroes, media obsession with titillation yielding obfuscation of substance — it’s brilliantly in tune with the zeitgeist. »
- Kristopher Tapley and Jenelle Riley
Europe’s refugee disaster is illuminated in this potent, prize-winning documentary set on the island of Lampedusa
Sometimes real life provides us with symbolic imagery that is every bit as potent and sophisticated as anything you would find in a fictional narrative. And one of the great strengths of Gianfranco Rosi’s Berlin film festival prize-winning documentary is that the director is able to look at a dauntingly huge topic of global import – the migrant crisis – and find within it the little moments of poetic resonance that illuminate the human lives behind the stark statistics.
The film takes place on, and around, the island of Lampedusa, 20 sq km of arid scrubland and arcane traditions. Since the early 00s, this isolated fishing community, located 127 miles from the southern coast of Sicily, has become one of the main entry points to Europe for refugees risking the treacherous sea crossing from north Africa. By focusing on Lampedusa, Rosi juxtaposes insular old Europe with a very 21st-century global reality. Lampedusa also served as the location for Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, which touched upon the migrant issue as an afterthought.
Continue reading »
- Wendy Ide
After a five-year hiatus from the directing scene, it is as though filmmaker Luca Guadagnino is making up for lost time, now that he’s making serious headway on both A Bigger Splash – teeing up a reunion with Tilda Swinton in the process – and his remake of Suspiria.
But as The Film Stage reveals, another of Guadagnino’s creative ventures is inching closer to release, now that Call Me By Your Name has officially entered production. Starring Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg and Timothée Chalamet, the movie is pitched as an adaptation of André Aciman’s eponymous novel, and will be co-written by James Ivory (A Room With A View).
Rooted in an ’80s setting, Call Me By Your Name chronicles the blossoming romance between two young Italian men. There’s no mention of a release timeline in today’s report, but an official synopsis does outline the story at the heart of Guadagnino’s latest. »
- Michael Briers
While the news that Luca Guadagnino would be shooting his “Suspiria” remake this fall grabbed headlines, less reported was the revelation that the director was going to sneak in another picture first. “I am doing a movie from the novel by André Aciman called ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ ” he told us earlier this […]
- Kevin Jagernauth
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