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We now know that theatreland can sustain a musical about a calculating yuppie serial killer. But dare you take this lot on, Mr Lloyd Webber?
In theatres, the call for hot water and towels means an emergency nasal steaming is about to go down. But it wasn't always this way. In 50s England there were things that could not be spoken about. Could they be sung about? "Bloomin' Nora, Mrs Drake/ The rozzers will giva ya more than a caution/ When they find out you've been carryin' on/ With illegal backstreet abortions!" No, I guess not.
A man wearing six duffle coats pushes a trolley around a silent, post-apocalyptic wasteland, wondering whether to shoot his own son. There are no tap steps, only a silent, protracted dance with death. On celluloid, even the intermittent Warren Ellis soundtrack felt like a crass intrusion. Could the stark, post-everything »
- Rhik Samadder
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 5 Dec 2013 - 06:54
Our voyage through history's underappreciated films arrives at the year 2001, and a vintage year for lesser-seen gems...
Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke may have seen 2001 as the year we'd head off to meet alien intelligences in the depths of space, but in reality, its cinematic landscape was dominated by fantasy rather than extra-terrestrials. Rowling and Tolkien dominated the box office, with Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone and The Fellowship Of The Ring earning almost $1bn each, while Monsters, Inc and Shrek thrilled old and young audiences alike.
At the other end of the spectrum of success, 2001 was such a vintage year for movies that we had to whittle our usual selection of 25 films down from an initial selection of more than 40. This is why the decision was made - with heavy heart - to exclude some of our favourite films, »
It's that busy time of year with tons of screenings, reviews to be written and awards handed out, and rising from the ashes of the chaos is yet another episode of the RopeofSilicon podcast. Today's episode is rather straight forward as we address several of your questions, play our regular round up of games and dig into the latest news including Paul Walker's sudden passing. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. An »
- Brad Brevet
A lot of our favorite genre films are categorized explicitly as horror. Films like Halloween or Friday the 13th fit pretty neatly under the horror heading. However, there are a lot of quality horror titles that are more readily classified as science fiction or thriller than horror. There are myriad reasons why films with obvious horror overtones are marketed and classified as something other than horror: horror pictures often do lower box office number than sci-fi and thriller films; also, horror titles generally appeal to more of a niche audience, so studios appear to favor leveraging the thriller or science fiction elements of a film in order to attempt to interest a larger audience.
In the name of appropriate classification and equitable marketing practices we are spotlighting five films that aren’t always explicitly categorized as horror but we fondly regard as such.
One of the greatest films of its kind, »
- Tyler Doupe
Despite competition from Doctor Who, the fantasy saga's latest instalment enjoyed the third biggest UK opening of 2013
• More on the UK box office
• Donald Sutherland: 'I want Hunger Games to stir up a revolution'
It always looked to be one of the most anticipated films of the year, and so it has proved. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opened in the UK with a mighty £12.19m, including Wednesday midnight and Thursday takings of £2.07m. That compares with £4.90m (including £431,000 in Thursday midnight previews) for the original Hunger Games. Comparing like-for-like Friday to Sunday figures, Catching Fire is 126% up on The Hunger Games, rising from £4.47m to £10.12m.
Including previews, the biggest openings of 2013 are Despicable Me 2 with £14.82m and Iron Man 3 (£13.71m); Catching Fire takes third place. Going strictly by Friday to Sunday takings, the biggest openings »
- Charles Gant
Spanish arthouse distributor-exhibitor Golem Cinemas has won the Best Entrepreneur of the year nod awarded during their annual confab by the EU-backed Europa Cinemas network of exhibitors which support European pics.
The Europa Cinemas confab, held Nov. 21-24 in Athens, also picked Pawel Pawlikowski’s pluriprized “Ida” for the Euro exhibs’ “Coup de Coeur” prize.
Golem Cinemas, which is based in Madrid and the northern city of Pamplona, owns 35 screens at seven movie theatres, ranging from upscale multiplexes to its flagship Alphaville arthouse in central Madrid.
Despite Spain’s economic woes, the company, co-headed by Josetxo Moreno and Pedro Zaratiegui, has been dogged in its determination to persevere, actually increasing its acquisitions, as a risk-spreading strategy, rather than cutting back. Golem’s current lineup includes high-profile Euro-produced pics including Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past,” Bertrand Tavernier’s “Quai d’Orsay,” and Michael Haneke docu-feature “Michael H. Profession: Director.”
The Kino Artis loop in Talinn, »
- Nick Vivarelli
The Americanization of Fertility: Scott’s Sterile Remake a Stale Venture
With Delivery Man, which is a remake of his 2011 French Canadian hit, Starbuck, director Ken Scott joins an elite group of filmmakers, such as Michael Haneke and George Sluizer, who have taken on the responsibility of directing English language remakes of their own prolific titles. Though these carbon copies, while even from the same authorial voices, are often subpar when compared to the first film, it often seems a protective and intriguing gesture. But even for those unfamiliar with Scott’s first film, which was just as ridiculous but managed to muster a reasonable amount of hangdog charm to coast by, there’s an unmistakable taste of canned inspiration at the center here, a tired formula that lazily regurgitates itself into the ill-fitting dress of the Hollywood star system.
David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) is one of those loveable underachievers »
- Nicholas Bell
From Hitchcock's "Psycho" to Siegel and McGehee's "The Deep End," cinema loves its messed up mother-son relationships. But rarely are they handled with the mastery of Calin Peter Netzer's tale of smotherly love "Child's Pose," Romania's submission to the 2014 Academy Awards and also one of the country's strongest films in a surprising, prosperous New Wave of films by Cristian Mungiu and Cristi Puiu. Add Netzer to that list. Luminita Gheorghiu plays Cornelia, a wealthy, weathered, swilling matriarch who manipulates her entire family. Especially her son Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache) who, after a hit-and-run, is about to undergo criminal prosecution for the manslaughter of a child. All wringing hands and cold calculation, Gheorghiu's is the sort of iconic performance that would get more plaudits if this weren't such a crowded year of other iconic performances. She has worked with Puiu and Mungiu before, as well as Michael Haneke, and once again »
- Ryan Lattanzio
After Lucia (Spanish: Después de Lucía), 2012.
Directed by Michel Franco.
After the tragic death of his wife, a father and his daughter move to Mexico City looking for a fresh start only to find that starting over can be complicated when so much has been left behind.
For around the first 45 minutes of After Lucia, the film is a quiet, straightforward examination of a father and daughter dealing with the after-effects of his wife/her mother Lucia’s death in a car accident. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’ll continue this way to the end – the film is tenderly titled ‘After Lucia’, after all. The father starts getting his life in order, daughter Alejandra (Ale) finds a welcoming group of friends at her new school; Ale even finds a potential new love, »
- Gary Collinson
Although there’s no “Pardon Our Dust” sign adorning the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Wilshire Boulevard headquarters, even the casual observer will have noticed that the Academy has spent the past few years engaged in an extensive and seemingly endless home-improvement project.
And nowhere have Oscar’s renovations been more extensive than in the foreign-language film competition, where both the nominating and voting protocols have been extensively overhauled, with more changes possibly in the offing.
The latest and most significant foreign-language rule change, announced in spring and to be implemented this Oscar cycle, abolishes the longstanding requirement that Academy members have to see all five nominated films in a theatrical setting in order to cast ballots in that category. While that rule theoretically created a level playing field among the nominees (which might include a box office behemoth like “Amelie” alongside the relatively unknown Bosnian import “No »
- Scott Foundas
Above: The music video for "Suit & Tie".
Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" video—which premiered online way back in February—is part retro menswear fantasy, part razzle-dazzle tech demo. Directed by David Fincher and photographed by Matthew Libatique, "Suit & Tie" was the first widely-seen work to have been shot on Red's Epic Monochrome, a sensor that only images in black & white.
The Monochrome isn't the first dedicated black & white sensor. Sweden's Ikonoskop introduced one—called, no joke, the A-Cam dll Panchromatic Carl Th. Dreyer Edition—last year. The Monochrome does, however, have the distinction of being 5K—about as high-end as you can get. It represents the cutting edge of anachronism.
Last year, the Academy Award for Best Picture went to a black & white film—The Artist. Additionally, at least five major 2012 arthouse releases were in black & white: Hong Sang-soo's The Day He Arrives, Guy Maddin’s Keyhole, Béla Tarr's The Turin Horse, »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Another grab-bag of Netflix picks from the various territories around the world showcases the eclectic nature of the acquisitions of the service. stop-motion animation from Australia, science fiction found footage from Ecuador, P.T. Anderson's "Master" case study on the culture of Scientology, cults and scoundrels, an Omnibus Horror Anthology, an overlooked American indie, and a Michael Haneke classic. Onward!...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Two films about slavery in the United States have been released barely a year apart. One is by a renegade American auteur starring American actors; the other, based on a memoir, brought to the screen by a British video artist and a cast led by Brits playing American. Despite their similar subject matter, they are so vastly different in every other way that they barely deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence. However, their production, consumption by audiences, and subsequent responses raise important questions regarding contemporary society’s relationship to history.
The films in question are Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti western revenge epic Django Unchained, which sees the titular slave join forces with a German bounty hunter to rescue Django’s wife from an evil plantation owner, and Steve McQueen’s adaptation of the Solomon Northup memoir 12 Years a Slave, which recounts the trials faced by a free black »
- Misa Shikuma
As an auteurist, Best Director, maybe even more than Best Picture, is the Oscar category that most fascinates me. The interesting thing about the category is that it tends to simultaneously be both a point of pride and shame for the Academy Awards. On the one hand, the Directors branch has done a decent job of nominating directors who push and expand the boundaries of cinema, regardless of the genre they work in and from whichever country they hail from. Directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Federico Fellini, Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman, John Cassavetes, Francois Truffaut, David Lynch, Akira Kurosawa, and Spike Jonze have all seen recognition in this category (some multiple times) for films that received very little attention from any other branches of the Academy.
On the other hand, when it comes to actually crowning a Best Director (which is a job given to the Academy as a whole, »
- Christopher Lominac
Here's a fact of which not all awards-watchers are entirely aware: Michael Haneke hasn't won an Oscar. Neither has Francois Truffaut, nor Luis Bunuel. Pedro Almodovar has one for writing, but that's it. Ang Lee has two for directing, but nothing for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” And Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa each won honorary Oscars, but no competitive ones between them. At this point, some of you might be crying foul. You expressly remember Haneke accepting his Oscar only a few months ago. You've definitely seen Almodovar give two acceptance speeches. And you know your Oscar history: Fellini »
- Guy Lodge
This French movie released in India under the PVR Director's Rare banner with English subtitles is a work of art. Its ambiguous title, "love" is as coherent as the emotion itself.
Staged in a non-linear narrative, Michael Haneke's "Amour" is an inspiring, upsetting and tragic story that delicately portrays the intimate lives of an elderly couple Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva).
Both music teachers with a passion for fineness and all things classy, they live in their insulated world rarely stepping outside their elegant apartment, where the walls are. »
- Diksha Singh
Don't let all the nominations for Amour at last year's Oscars fool you... foreign films always have an uphill battle to be noticed by the Academy anywhere besides in their own category of Best Foreign Language. Michael Haneke's flick defied the odds the last time around, but could it be the start of a trend? We'll find out this year with Abdellatif Kechiche's Blue is the Warmest Color, which also is a Palme d'Or winning foreign flick hoping to score Oscar attention. This year's big foreign player has some striking similarities with last year's, but also some notable differences that make it one of the season's real puzzling contenders. For any of you that don't know, Blue is the Warmest Color has just now begun its limited theatrical run this weekend after making an impressive debut at the Cannes Film Festival. Alex loved the movie and he wasn't alone either, »
- Joey Magidson
Elitist and pretentious, or an endangered species? Whatever your feelings, there's no doubt that arthouse movies are among the finest ever made. Here the Guardian and Observer critics pick the 10 best
• Top 10 romantic movies
• Top 10 action movies
• Top 10 comedy movies
• Top 10 horror movies
• Top 10 sci-fi movies
• Top 10 crime movies
Peter Bradshaw on art movies
This is a red rag to a number of different bulls. Lovers of what are called arthouse movies resent the label for being derisive and philistine. And those who detest it bristle at the implication that there is no artistry or intelligence in mainstream entertainment.
For many, the stereotypical arthouse film is Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin was a classic art film from the 1920s and Luis Buñuel investigated cinema's potential for surreality like no one before or since. The Italian neorealists applied the severity of art to a representation »
★★★★☆ Distinctive British filmmaker Joanna Hogg returns to London after holidaying in Tuscany (2007's Unrelated) and the Isle of Sicily (2010's Archipelago) with Exhibition (2013), a methodically constructed portrait of bourgeois self-loathing and middle-class paranoia told through an artistic couple whose lives have slowly begun to emulate their art. Hogg takes an intimate and supercilious perspective towards the couple, known only as D (Viv Albertine) and H (Liam Gillick), whose lives are about to be thrown into disarray by the sale of their home of 18 years - a monument to modernist architecture.
Both working from home with offices on different floors, D and H communicate primarily through a telecom whenever they wish to discuss their evening plans or arrange a quick fumble. Their relationship has hit a stumbling block, seemingly held together by the nostalgic memories that permeate the walls of their stylish abode. However, with sexual frustration, incapacitated creativity and social »
- CineVue UK
By Søren Hough
* * *
Few things have aided the rise of horror on television more than the decline of horror at the movies.
There is a rich history of great horror at the movies. Consider the early Universal monster flicks of the 30s and Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary, contemplative re-imagining of the thriller sub-genre. Think about the classic slasher films in the ’70s and ’80s and the Oscar-sweeping The Silence of the Lambs in 1991. These movies left a permanent imprint on the industry; James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) alone has influenced masterworks ranging from Victor Erice’s political-drama The Spirit of the Beehive (1976) to Mel Brooks’ parody Young Frankenstein (1974).
In recent years, however, moviegoers looking for great horror films have been left wanting. The genre has fallen from its lofty heights at the expense of gory, unsubtle shock films. Higher budgets and improved special effects have paved the way for endless remakes of older films, »
- Søren Hough
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