7 items from 2016
Abbas Kiarostami (June 22, 1940 - July 4, 2016) Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Composer Grégoire Hetzel (Catherine Corsini's Summertime, Anne Fontaine's The Innocents, Arnaud Desplechin's My Golden Days), filmmaker Roberto Andò (The Confessions, Long Live Freedom), and cinematographer Ed Lachman (Todd Solondz' Wiener-Dog, Todd Haynes' Carol and Far From Heaven) salute Abbas Kiarostami, who passed away in Paris on Monday, July 4, 2016.
Grégoire Hetzel: "Kiarostami forced entry into my childhood memories by retrospective invasion." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
"Kiarostami is one of my most beloved filmmakers. On hearing the news of his loss, I was instantly reminded that his films like The Traveler, Homework, Where is the Friend's Home? »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Iran’s Isna news agency confirmed his death. He had been receiving treatment for gastrointestinal cancer and had traveled to France for a series of operations.
Often applying a non-narrative and experimental approach, the poetic and highly visual filmmaker was revered by cineastes around the world. “Film begins with Dw Griffith and ends with Abbas Kiarostami,” director Jean-Luc Godard, with whom he shared a devotion to breaking cinematic rules, once said.
Born in Tehran, he started the film department at Kanun, Iran’s Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults. He made his first film, “Bread and Alley” while running the institute.
Kiarostami stayed in Iran after the revolution, while other filmmakers of the Iranian New Wave left the country to seek more creative freedom. »
- Pat Saperstein
David’s Quick Take for the tl;dr Media Consumer:
Profound Desire(s) of the Gods is a sprawling, disturbing, ambitiously weird would-be epic about a clash of societies within the territorial boundaries of a rapidly modernizing Japan. It’s set on the fictional southern island of Karuge, where ancient tribal customs and animistic worship rituals still held most of the inhabitants in a strong (though inevitably loosening) grip. The narrative conflict stems from outsiders who want to convert the arable land into a sugar cane plantation and exploit the island’s inherent value as a tourist destination. But the forces of commerce and technological efficiency are ill-prepared to deal with the stubborn resiliency of the people they encounter, or the baffling complex of myths and taboos that compel them.
The film was a major throw down by Shohei Imamura, a director who had achieved enough commercial success with his »
- David Blakeslee
The final awards ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival has concluded, with veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach winning the second Palme d’Or of his career for the impassioned protest drama “I, Daniel Blake.”
The film, chronicling the social-welfare battle fought by a struggling Newcastle carpenter, scored a strong emotional reaction from Cannes audiences when it unspooled early in the festival — though many critics were more reserved in their praise. This year’s jury, led by “Mad Max” director George Miller, evidently voted with their hearts, handing the 79-year-old Loach the festival’s top honor exactly 10 years after his Irish historical drama “The Wind That That Shakes the Barley” landed the prize.
Loach now joins an elite group of two-time Palme champs, including Michael Haneke, Francis Ford Coppola, Emir Kusturica, Bille August, Shohei Imamura, Alf Sjoberg and Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne — the latter duo among the »
- Guy Lodge and Owen Gleiberman
The Nikkatsu logo, especially in the late 1950s and early 1960s, was a bit of a promise – 80-100 minutes of wild guys, sexy ladies, mob showdowns, a handful of visually-striking locations (get ready for nothing but bars, nightclubs, and docks), and a good deal of brooding over morality before the inevitable eruption of violence. These were as programatic as they come, yet within those strictures, the filmmakers under contract to the studio found enough room to practice some pretty wild stuff, or at least have some fun in so doing. Though the true classics from the studio (especially those by Shohei Imamura and Seijun Suzuki) were definitely outliers, to the point that the directors behind them were punished or fired for making them, that baseline promise captured the imaginations of young moviegoers at the time and have remained steadfast pleasures for today’s cinephiles.
For those whose curiosity was piqued »
- Scott Nye
Shohei Imamura’s brutalist depiction of female resilience in his masterwork of 1963, The Insect Woman, echoes the beloved French filmmaker Marcel L’Herbier‘s monumental silent avant-garde narrative L’inhumaine, which translates to The Inhuman Woman, in both name and loosely, in theme. Centering its Frankensteinian tale of high class love, loss and reanimation around a hardened woman of the world whose apathy toward men of all classes guides her way through parties and performances, L’Herbier’s brilliant collaboration with fellow art deco artists like the painter Fernand Léger, the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens, and soon-to-be-filmmakers themselves, designers Alberto Cavalcanti and Claude Autant-Lara, is nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece of modern invention.
Making use of a beautiful and thrilling combination of highly stylized studio sets and on location shoots on the outskirts of Paris, L’inhumaine trains its often matted eye on the famed singer Claire (real life opera star Georgette Leblanc, »
- Jordan M. Smith
In this special episode of Off The Shelf, Ryan and Brian take a look at the best DVD and Blu-ray 2015.
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Follow-Up Ryan buys the Ernest and Celestine Blu-ray from Plain Archive Ultra HD Blu-ray Pre-orders Live, March 1st release: Fox, Sony, WB, Shout! and now Lionsgate Curzon Tarkovsky Ryan’s Top 10 List of 2015 Classics from the Van Beuren Studio (Thunderbean Animation) Thunderbirds: The Complete Series (Timeless Media Group / Shout! Factory) The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (Arrow UK) Twice Upon A Time (Warner Archive Collection) Journey to the Center of the Earth (Twilight Time) Watership Down (The Criterion Collection) Walt Disney Animation Studios: Short Films Collection (Disney) 3-D Rarities (Flicker Alley) Spartacus: Restored Edition (Universal) The Apu Trilogy (The Criterion Collection)
- Ryan Gallagher
7 items from 2016
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