1-20 of 123 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
Jayro Bustamante finds inspiration at home but applies the filmmaking skills he learned in Paris and Rome. His feature debut “Ixcanul” (“Volcano”) is only the second Guatemalan pic to vie for a Foreign Language Oscar, and has been reaping awards across key festivals including the 2015 Berlinale Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize. Film school studies in Paris and Rome have informed Bustamante’s work, which includes his Cannes-winning short “Cuando Sea Grande.” “I knew its ending first and worked my way backwards,” says Bustamente of penning “Ixcanul.”
Now shuttling between Paris and Guatemala, Bustamante credits his multilingual skills to his early Montessori education in Guatemala where he lived in the highlands populated by the Kaqchikel (Mayan) tribe until age 14. Between the ages 17 to 19, he was an in-house commercials director at Ogilvy and Mather where he saved to fund his European film education. “I learned a lot from the creative people around me, »
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
Read More: Attention, Filmmakers: Here's Your Chance to Attend Werner Herzog's Film School Acclaimed filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami ("Taste of Cherry," "Close-Up," "Certified Copy") will be hosting a 10-day workshop for 35 students, each of whom will get the opportunity to make a short film mentored by the Iranian master. The "anti-film school, film school" will be held from January 26th to February 5th. This will be Kiarostami's third "Workshop for Auteurs" — the previous two were held in Bogota, Columbia and Barcelona, Spain, while the most recent one in Austria (to be co-taught by Michael Haneke) had to be cancelled due to the fact Kiarostami was shooting his new film in China. Here's what applicants can expect if they're expected to the latest one. Face Time With AbbasAccording Cristina Sanchez, who was a student in a Kiarostami-led workshop in Barcelona and is now helping produce the Cuban workshop through her Black Factory. »
- Chris O'Falt
Eddie Redmayne is earning a lot of praise for his performance in The Danish Girl, but just as impressive is the woman by his side: Alicia Vikander. The Swedish actress portrays Lili Elbe's wife, Gerda, in the film, and Vikander is extraordinary. If you look closely, you'll find that she's actually all over the screen this year, appearing in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Ex Machina, and Burnt. While she's been acting for years, Vikander has had one hell of a year, and it's likely she'll be a household name by the time she turns up in 2016's Jason Bourne installment. I got the chance to chat with her about her role in The Danish Girl, and while she's not certain that she'll be walking the red carpets during award season, I sure am. Popsugar: How did you walk the line between the real Gerda and the version of Gerda that »
- Maggie Pehanick
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles wird gut, 2015)
Directed by Patrick Vollrath.
A divorced father picks up his eight-year-old daughter Lea. It seems pretty much like every second weekend, but after a while Lea can’t help feeling that something isn’t right. So begins a fateful journey.
“Intense and well told. An exceptionally well performed and touching film that captivates from the first second to the last.”
He’s also Vollrath’s former lecturer at film school, so that’s probably also biased.
- Oli Davis
This intelligent, deeply personal work explores the often overlooked domestic lives of older people, to outstanding effect
Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years recently exploited the relatively unnoticed cinematic potential in the domestic lives of older people: the secret existences of a long marriage. Michael Haneke’s Amour, in its more exacting and terrifying way, did too.
Now this excellent debut from British writer-director Tom Browne approaches the same territory: an intimate, micro-budget drama which is absorbing, subtle and outstandingly acted. (Browne was the co-writer of Ben Hopkins’s The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz in 2000, and has had a substantial acting career under the name Tom Fisher.) His co-writer, Daniel Cerqueira, plays Daniel, a lonely middle-aged teacher in London, who receives a desperate telephone call from his elderly mother, Maria (Gemma Jones). His cantankerous and impossible father, Leonard (Richard Johnson), has evidently taken to lying on the downstairs couch, apparently stricken »
- Peter Bradshaw
Imagine how crowded the aforementioned best picture race sounds and narrow it down to just five slots. Add in the tendency for the director's branch to reward more challenging work than the general Academy (hence recent nominations for Benh Zeitlin, Michael Haneke, Pedro Almodovar, Julian Schnabel, etc.), and the best director race seems incredibly crowded. As last year proved with Bennett Miller, a best picture nomination is not necessarily needed for a director to sneak in here. Could Todd Haynes ("Carol") or George Miller ("Mad Max: Fury Road") or Cary Fukunaga ("Beasts of No Nation") land a slot even if their films don't make the best picture cut? Maybe. But like that race, this one is going to be far from clear until we have a stronger picture of what the latest from Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell and Alejandro González Iñárritu have in store. Collectively, that trio has been »
- Peter Knegt
It’s the nature of the beast: a quiet, left-of-center project that a famous woman writes, directs, and leads alongside her also-famous husband is labeled a “vanity project” and disposed of by know-nothing entertainment journalists before it has any fighting chance of making an impression. This is the fate that’s been assigned By the Sea, Angelina Jolie Pitt‘s third feature as a director, her first as a screenwriter, and a work that’s deeply fascinating because of who is making it.
Also responsible for its creation is Christian Berger, a cinematographer best-known for his multiple collaborations with Michael Haneke. By the Sea shows off a different set of skills, however, being a far warmer and intimate work, though voyeurism, a favorite focus of the Austrian director’s, becomes a major part of its fabric. (While using it rather excellently, I should add.) When the film came to Poland’s Camerimage International Film Festival, »
- Nick Newman
Read More: Horror Fans: Don't Miss Austria's Shocking Oscar Entry 'Goodnight Mommy' “If you told us our film would be the Austrian entry for the Oscars when we started, we would’ve said no way,” said Severin Fiala, co-writer/director of subtitled horror sensation “Goodnight Mommy,” whose co-conspirator Veronica Franz agreed. As first-time feature directors from Austria, they've found themselves, as if from outer space, doing the awards rounds in Los Angeles. “It’s a pity our film is such an exception,” Franz said in our recent telephone interview, adding there should be more horror films in the Academy mix. “‘The Exorcist' was nominated, and that was one of the nightmarish experiences of my childhood.” Though Austria has launched many edgier foreign Oscar entries (including the films of Michael Haneke), it's not often we see genre fare in the running, especially a film this scary, and violent. "Goodnight Mommy »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Long-buried truths are exhumed, and a foreign-language Oscar winner gets a clever but workmanlike Hollywood retooling, in “Secret in Their Eyes,” a time-shuffling tale of murder, corruption, paranoia and the many varieties of obses sion. Neatly swapping in post-9/11 counterterrorism for late-’70s Argentinean political upheaval, writer-director Billy Ray’s thriller-procedural plays like a serviceable feat of narrative surgery, though it does boast one masterstroke in the reworking of a key role, played here by Julia Roberts with a piercing restraint that silences any lingering doubt that she was born to be more than just America’s sweetheart. This second major release from Stx Entertainment (after the recent sleeper hit “The Gift”) should parlay its cast names, including Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor, into solid year-end counterprogramming.
- Justin Chang
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.Guy's CollagesThe Criterion Collection is highlighting the collage work by The Forbidden Room co-director Guy Maddin.Richard Linklater's SXSW Opening Night FilmVery exciting news for fans of Richard Linklater (sure to be a much larger number after the wide success of Boyhood): his next feature, Everybody Wants Some, will be the Opening Night Film of the 2016 South by Southwest Film Festival.Berlinale's RetrospectiveSpeaking of festival lineups, the Berlin International Film Festival has announced its first major programming strand for 2016: their retrospective will be dedicated to German cinema in 1966.Rosenbaum's Ten Best Movies of the 90sIt feels like every week Jonathan Rosenbaum (the latest guest, by the way, on the podcast The Cinephiliacs) has republished a fabulous piece of criticism on his website. Most recently, it's his essential »
One of the biggest revelations in Scandinavian films at Cannes this year was Magnus von Horn’s feature debut, “The Here After,” a Swedish-Polish-French production, shot by “Ida” cinematographer Lukasz Zal. It’s played to acclaim at several international festivals on its way to Stockholm. TrustNordisk has sold “The Here After” to France, U.K., Ireland, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland and Korea.
The drama follows John, a man who returns to his small town hoping to start a new life after serving time in prison. Feeling abandoned by his former friends, John loses hope and decides to confront his past.
Magnus von Horn was born in Goteborg, Sweden, but was educated at the Film School in Lodz, Poland, where he teaches.
“The Here After” is competing for the Bronze horse at Stockholm.
The film had a great reception at this year’s Cannes, in a strong selection of films in Directors’ Fortnight. »
- Jon Asp
He's a fuck-up, but he's here now, mopping the sweat off his mother's forehead, carrying her frail body to the bathroom — "like a princess," he jokes — doing everything he can to make it through the night with her. She's deep into Stage IV cancer, and he's finally giving a hard look to that 24-hour hospice number taped to the refrigerator. There will be time later to think about whether he did the best he could for her, but for now he can only pray the morning comes soon.
It's a »
In today's roundup: A book-length roundtable on Buster Keaton, remembering Sight & Sound editor Penelope Houston, Jonathan Rosenbaum's 90s top ten, the "101 Funniest Screenplays" (#1: Woody Allen's Annie Hall), the art of David Lynch, Michael Haneke's Code Unknown, Fellipe Barbosa’s Casa Grande, new books on William Cameron Menzies, Mad Men and Richard Pryor, interviews with Mathieu Amalric, John Sayles, Rick Alverson, Sean Baker, Catherine Hardwicke, Gaspar Noé and Paul Bettany, Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham in conversation, plus news of forthcoming films by Richard Linklater, Xavier Dolan, Ben Wheatley and more. » - David Hudson »
Written and directed by Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke’s Code Unknown, the director’s 2000 follow-up to his brilliant 1997 film Funny Games, opens on group of deaf children playing sign-language charades. It’s an oddly provocative opening, in that it instantly leaves one to speculate where such a scene is heading, and yet is curiously soon forgotten as the film proper begins, only to be recalled again at the very end of the movie. While this may appear as an arbitrary insertion of an apparently irrelevant parenthesis, there proves to be more to the inclusion than one could initially gather when the scene is first presented. It would indeed be impossible to understand its full significance until the film concludes, for like these children attempting to guess the phrase or word mimicked by another, Code Unknown is itself about figuring out behavior, trying to deduce and »
- Jeremy Carr
Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.
The potential series will be based on the 2013 film that was written and directed by Bong Joon Ho in his first English-language production. The movie, which starred Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton is set in a post-apocalyptic Ice Age where the only remaining life on the planet »
- TFS Staff
When I was in my mid-to-late teens and movie crazy, there was a period where I fell in love with European art films and convinced myself that I needed to move to France so I could smoke and think constantly about death and have a beautiful detached girlfriend who would join me as we robbed banks, drank coffee, and spoke in magnificent ellipses. Looking at the sun-drenched coasts of France and Italy and Spain, I ached to someday go to those places so I could stand around and be morose and hopefully look half as good as those people did while doing so. My guess is that many audiences will attend "By The Sea" hoping to learn something about the real relationship between the uber-famous husband and wife who star in the movie, but that's a sucker's game. This isn't a documentary, and they're not playing themselves. Instead, "By The Sea »
- Drew McWeeny
The Sterile Cuckoo: Jolie’s Handsome Relationship Drama is Long in Tooth
Moving on from last year’s suffocatingly honorable Pow reenactment drama Unbroken, Angelina Jolie returns with her third and most simplistic narrative to date with By the Sea. A small scale passion project which finds the director acting alongside her real-life husband and Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) co-star Brad Pitt, Jolie proves, once again, she has great curatorial tastes as far as who she assembles both in front of and behind the camera.
Though this familiar scenario (Jolie’s first screenplay) is enhanced majestically by the public’s fascination with the celebrity couple, one gets the sense Jolie, inspired by a tradition of late 60s to 70s European influenced cinema examining dark nights of the soul, is a master of dissection and exhibition rather than homage. Sometimes visually stunning to behold, the film more often feels like an animated corpse, »
- Nicholas Bell
Andrew Bujalski's turned in a terrific piece on Sylvester Stallone's Rocky franchise for the New Yorker. Also in today's roundup: Interviews with Todd Haynes, Gregg Turkington, Woody Harrelson, Tom Dicillo and David Shapiro, plus pieces on Thelma & Louise, Alfred Hitchcock, Julien Duvivier in the 30s, Michael Haneke's Code Unknown, Aleksey German and Frederick Wiseman. And Nathaniel Dorsky in San Francisco, Manoel de Oliveira in Vienna, Elvis Costello and D.A. Pennebaker on Bob Dylan, and a new podcast focuses on Alan J. Pakula's All the President's Men (1976) and Tom McCarthy's Spotlight. » - David Hudson »
Over the past two decades, Austrian auteur Michael Haneke has grown into one of the most formidable cinematic titans currently working today. Winning five awards for his six times competing at Cannes (including Palme d’Or wins in 2009 and 2012), several of his prominent early titles tend to be overlooked in broad discussions concerning the filmmaker’s continued observation of humankind’s increasing inability to communicate.
A purveyor of social maladies, usually within an isolated microcosm, Criterion’s restoration of his first French production, 2000’s Code Unknown, is a perfect opportunity to revisit a prescient example of greater cultural shifts and conflicts to come. Although contemporary audiences might be tempted to lump this early title from Haneke into a movement of cinema from this particular decade wherein interconnected vignettes became a popular format, this compilation of one shot, single-takes is beyond comparison with the glut of busy-bodied melodramas eventually running this composition tactic into the ground. »
- Nicholas Bell
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.
Along with very possibly being Michael Haneke’s greatest work, Code Unknown so impresses in combining the helmer’s typically “austere” dressings and grim worldview that even many of his vocal detractors are left stunned. (Not all, of course, but there’s just no getting to certain people.) A freer work than, say, The Piano Teacher or Amour, it uses the well-known hyperlink form (which he himself worked with in 71 Fragments) but elevates above »
- TFS Staff
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