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On Halloween, the tradition is to indulge in films replete with monsters, zombies, and creatures that go bump in the night. But those types of films don’t always provide the psychological terror cineastes may be craving. International and alternative cinema has always been willing to tread where conventional genre cinema dares not be it in films with strong themes, abrasive tones, or emotional depravity. Halloween can be a time not just to indulge in slimy viscera, but in the general suffering of humanity. These are eleven films whose punishment of the viewer with intense emotions and ideas make them not unlike horror films.
The original king of despair, Carl Dreyer didn’t just gravitate toward miserable material, he embraced it with a technique so perfected, it felt predestined. In The Passion of Joan of Arc, a film consisting almost solely of close-ups, »
- Shane Ramirez
Damon Lindelof wears his heart on his sleeve, which at once makes him an ideal person to run a show like "Lost" or "The Leftovers," and the absolute last person you would want to wish that burden on. He holds nothing back, whether in his writing or in his discussion of his writing, and he takes every criticism of his work very deeply. (He quit Twitter two years ago because it wasn't healthy for him anymore to wake up every day to people cursing at him and demanding six years of their lives back.) That openness and sincerity was on display in "Leftovers" season 1. The show was despised by some for being too depressing, too slow, too opaque, and spending far too much time with the mute, chain-smoking members of the Guilty Remnant cult. But it was adored by others (like me) who fell right into the show's parallel world — one just like ours, »
- Alan Sepinwall
For A 1000 Lives
San Sebastian International Film Festival director José Luis Rebordinos has announced the festival's backing for the For A Thousand Lives: Be Human campaign, which was launched September 2. The campaign calls for people fleeing war, terror, or political persecution to be provided with legal means of receiving protection from the EU. It calls on EU countries to work in solidarity, repealing the Dublin convention that says refugees mus seek asylum in the first country they reach, and ensure better distribution of those in need between different nations. The emphasis mus be on showing respect and giving people the chance to work, study and rebuild their lives, it argues.
The campaign already has the support of over 5,000 film industry professionals, including Brits Daniel Craig, Jonathan Pryce, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh. Other big names involved include Isabella Rossellini, Michael Haneke, Bertrand Tavernier, Agnieszka Holland, Thomas Vinterberg and Michel Hazanavicius. »
- Jennie Kermode
In the new Film Quarterly, Megan Ratner talks with Roy Andersson about what he calls his "trivialist cinema." Also in today's roundup: A new book, The Feel-Bad Film, addresses work by Lars von Trier, Michael Haneke, Gaspar Noé, Claire Denis, Lucile Hadzihalilovoc, Stan Brakhage, Gus Van Sant and Brian De Palma. Plus a fresh look at Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool and early word on forthcoming projects by Steven Soderbergh, Yorgos Lanthimos, David Simon, Jeremy Saulnier, Roger Michell and Felix van Groeningen. » - David Hudson »
Review by Stephen Jones
The New Girlfriend is the sort of middle-brow, forgettable movie you’d stumble upon while watching Showtime in the mid 90’s. It has what it views as a tantalizing hook, seems to know very little about it, but thinks that knowing about it at all is enough. With the movie’s particular hook, cross-dressing, that probably Would have been enough in the mid 90s. But that was 20 years ago.
I’m not really in a position to delve into a movie from the perspective of trans issues. It’s not an experience I know well enough to speak from. But the main characters agreeing that “gay is less embarrassing than tranny” even had me cringe a little. This isn’t a movie I’d throw under the “transphobic” label, because in the end it seems to be on the side of David/Virginia being alright after all, »
- Movie Geeks
Best Foreign Language Film Oscar 2016: 'Viva' with Héctor Medina. Multicultural Best Foreign Language Film Oscar 2016 submissions Nearly ten years ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changed a key rule regarding entries for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar;* since then, things have gotten quite colorful. Just yesterday, Sept. 16, '15, Ireland submitted Paddy Breathnach's Viva – a Cuban-set drama spoken in Spanish. And why not? To name a couple more “multicultural and multinational” entries this year alone: China's submission, with dialogue in Mandarin and Mongolian, is Wolf Totem, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud – a Frenchman. And Germany's entry, Labyrinth of Lies, was directed by Giulio Ricciarelli, who happens to be a German-based, Italian-born stage and TV actor. 'Viva': Sexual identity in 21st-century Cuba Executive produced by Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro (Traffic), Viva tells the story of an 18-year-old Havana drag-club worker, »
- Steve Montgomery
Youth On The MARCHThere are 48 individual films screening in the Wavelengths section of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The relative importance of this section, amidst the vast array of offerings in this relatively huge festival, depends on your taste in movies, of course, to say nothing of your specific objectives. If you’re coming to Toronto to try to score a hot tip in this year’s Oscar race, well . . . I feel sorry for you on a number of levels. But Wavelengths is unlikely to be your jam. Originally conceived exclusively as a showcase for experimental and non-narrative films (hence the section’s title, a direct tribute to avant-garde master and Toronto native son Michael Snow), Wavelengths now encompasses the edgier, less commercial side of art cinema. This is the first of two preview essays, and my aim is to cover everything in the section. These are the »
- Michael Sicinski
Yves Montmayeur, director of the penetrating documentary Michael H - Profession: Director on the career of Michael Haneke has won the Venezia Classici Award for Best Documentary on Cinema this evening at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival for his latest exploration looking into the man and the myth of another mysterious filmmaker, Guy Maddin, in The 1000 Eyes Of Dr Maddin.
Maddin's The Forbidden Room, co-directed with Evan Johnson, is one of the highlights of the 53rd New York Film Festival. With an all-star cast that includes Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Maria de Medeiros, Louis Negin, Udo Kier, André Wilms, Clara Furey, Roy Dupuis, Noel Burton with a contribution by John Ashbery, the stories told here may very well resemble one side of the Janus bust, auctioned off and desired by a man and his double. »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
★★★☆☆ The subject of guilt is one that cinema often returns to for its potential to be expressed in inventive and thought-provoking ways. In Radu Muntean's pared-down and naturalistic One Floor Below (2015), he and co-screenwriters Alexandru Baciu and Razvan Radulescu choose to take a similar route to Michael Haneke's highly-regarded Hidden (2005) by giving corporeal form to the externalised spectre of remorse. "We need to lose some weight," says Sandu Patrascu (Teodor Corban) to his equally paunch dog Jerry as they jog around a park. His conscience is soon a far greater burden, however, in this absorbing investigation into the culpability of inaction.
Returning home with Jerry, Patrascu happens upon two of his neighbours in a heated argument but carries on up to the apartment he shares with his wife Olga (Oxana Moravec) and son Matei (Ionut Bora). The next day, the young woman from downstairs, Laura, is found dead, »
- CineVue UK
It's been awhile since a horror trailer captured the public imagination as strongly as "Goodnight Mommy's," which has inspired endless YouTube reaction videos and hyperbolic headlines proclaiming it "the scariest trailer of all time." The film itself is less extreme than the hype would suggest; belying its unintended reputation, it is less a wall-to-wall shocker than a quiet, slow-burning exercise in dread that builds to a truly horrifying finale. What I was most struck by, however, was how much the film moved me with its story of ten-year-old twin boys (Lukas and Elias Schwarz) who become convinced that their post-cosmetic surgery mother (Susanne Wuest) is an impostor. "Goodnight Mommy" is also very good, and the critical community seems to agree: the film has racked up a number of impressive reviews and was recently chosen by Austria as the country's official entry at the 2016 Academy Awards. I sat down with writer »
- Chris Eggertsen
★★★★★ Part of the Orizzonti sidebar at the 72nd Venice Film Festival, actor Brady Corbet's debut feature The Childhood of a Leader (2015) combines an Ibsen-like austere family drama with a cinematic verve that's been sadly lacking on the Lido this year. A pounding orchestral overture (courtesy of the legendary Scott Walker) sets the scene as The Great War draws to a bloody, muddy and exhausted conclusion. It's 1919 and as President Wilson convenes European leaders in Paris to draw up a treaty of reparations and carve once more at the map of Europe, in a small house in the French countryside a seven-year-old boy, Prescott (Tom Sweet), collects stones to sling at parishioners leaving a local church.
It's the first of three tantrums which will divide the film into chapters. The child flees into the darkness, hurts himself and is carried back to his mother (Bérénice Bejo). They return to the »
- CineVue UK
The federation, comprised of 500 of the world's top critics, will honour Miller its Fipresci Grand Prix 2015..
The award will be presented to the Australian writer/director/producer at the opening ceremony of the 63rd Annual San Sebastián International Film Festival on September 18 in San Sebastian, Spain.
Since its early 2015 release, Mad Max has become one of the best-reviewed films of this or any year, earning a 98 per cent fresh rating on the online review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, which lists Mad Max: Fury Road as the 12th best-reviewed film of all time.
Miller said he was proud of the Aussie cast and crew, "big time".
"Their skill set, their unfailing grace under pressure. This was a tough movie to make. It's so lovely to have our many labours acknowledged in this way. »
- Inside Film Correspondent
Without fail, as the end of the year approaches, we, as film fans, have a collective discussion about awards season getting earlier and earlier. Well, this year that chatter is going to begin sooner than you might have expected, as one critics group has already named their best movie of the year: George Miller.s action opus Mad Max: Fury Road. According to The Hollywood Reporter, 493 members of the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) have voted to award Fury Road with their Grand Prix. In the past the prestigious award has gone to directors like Michael Haneke, Paul Thomas Anderson, Jean-Luc Godard, and Pedro Almodovar. Miller, who now finds himself in rare company, will accept the award at the San Sebastian Film Festival, which begins on September 18. If September 1 seems a wee bit early in the going to start handing out awards, Fipresci goes on a different calendar than »
Mad Max: Fury Road wasn't the biggest blockbuster of the summer, in the states or worldwide. It didn't even come close to earning the same kind of box office as other summer movies like Jurassic World and Avengers: Age of Ultron. But none of that nonsense seems to matter now. The film has just earned its keep on an international scale. Yes, critics across the globe have voted it the best movie of the year.
George Miller, who created the character of Mad Max and directed the first three movies in the franchise, returned this summer with the apocalyptic action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road. It quickly went onto earn rave reviews in the states, from critics and fans alike. Now, the film has gone onto beat out some very coveted art house titles, including Jafar Panahi's Taxi and Laszlo Nemes' Son of Saul, to be awarded the best »
Director George Miller to collect critics prize at San Sebastian Film Festival.
Mad Max: Fury Road has been voted best film by the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) and director George Miller will collect the Grand Prix at the San Sebastian Film Festival (Sept 18-26).
The vote for the Fipresci Grand Prix 2015 saw the participation of 493 Federation members around the world, who made their choice from among films to have premiered after 1 July 2014.
Mad Max: Fury Road was screened in the Official Selection out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Miller said: “You could have knocked me over with a feather! It’s lovely to have this great cohort of critics acknowledge our collective labours in this way.”
The action film will receive a special screening on Sept 18 at »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
In a post-Apocalyptic world, a survivor hooks up with a mysterious woman to face off against murderous gangs in Mad Max: Fury Road, which is screening Out Of Competition in Cannes. Mad Max: Fury Road has been voted best film by the International Federation of Film Critics, Fipresci. The vote for the Fipresci Grand Prix 2015 saw the participation of 493 Federation members around the world, who made their choice from among films to have premiered after July 1, 2014.
Director George Miller says: “You could have knocked me over with a feather! It's lovely to have this great cohort of critics acknowledge our collective labours in this way”
Mad Max: Fury Road was screened in the Official Selection out of competition at the last Cannes Festival. This is the first time that a film by George Miller has won the Fipresci Grand Prix, presented since its creation in 1999 to Richard Linklater, Michael Haneke, »
- Amber Wilkinson
Amongst a summer movie season awash in sequels, remakes and presold tentpole properties, it’s rare to find a sleeper at the multiplex, an unknown quantity with the ability to surprise an audience. Such is The Gift, an unnerving psychological thriller that begins as a post-Fatal Attraction variant before veering into the domain of Roman Polanski and Michael Haneke. Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall star as a married couple leaving behind personal tragedy in Chicago to start a new life in Los Angeles. Shortly after their arrival, Bateman bumps into former high school classmate Joel Edgerton, who begins to insinuate himself into […] »
- Matt Mulcahey
Robert Pattinson: Actor to play E.T. astronaut. Robert Pattinson to star for Claire Denis If all goes as planned, Robert Pattinson will get to star in French screenwriter-director Claire Denis' recently announced – and as yet untitled – English-language sci-fier, penned by Denis and White Teeth author Zadie Smith and her novelist husband Nick Laird, from an original idea by Denis and writing partner Jean-Pol Fargeau. Among Claire Denis' credits are the interracial love story Chocolat (1988), the sociopolitical drama White Material (2009), and the generally well-regarded Billy Budd reboot Beau Travail (1999), winner of the César Award for Best Cinematography (Agnès Godard). Robert Pattinson, for his part, is best known for playing the veggie vampire in the wildly popular Twilight movies costarring Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. Robert Pattinson, astronaut In Claire Denis' film, Robert Pattinson is slated to play an E.T. astronaut. But what happens to said astronaut? Does »
- Zac Gille
Peter Debruge: Looks like Toronto is the latest film festival to add a television section to its lineup. These days, everywhere from Sundance to SXSW to the Canadian “festival of festivals,” smallscreen content is getting a big push, which is intriguing — and even ironic — for all sorts of reasons (ironic because the state of distribution being what it is, many of the films in Toronto will end up trickling down to VOD, rather than ever getting a commercial theatrical run). On one hand, the trend isn’t exactly new: Classy longform features like “Carlos” (which premiered at Cannes in 2010), “Top of the Lake” (Sundance 2013) and “Olive Kitteridge” (Venice 2014) made their bows at top-tier film fests before going on to air as miniseries on Canal Plus, BBC Two and HBO, respectively.
But Toronto’s Primetime program — like SXSW’s Episodics, which launched last year — represents something different: Rather than expanding the »
- Justin Chang and Peter Debruge
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