Blu-Ray Review: ‘Antichrist’ Receives Pristine Treatment on Criterion

Chicago – One of the most reliable scenarios in the horror movie playbook is the satanic possession of a human character. “Antichrist” is about a woman who isn’t possessed, but is nevertheless absolutely convinced that she is an instrument of the devil. This is a much scarier premise, since the greatest horrors externalized in the film are spawned entirely from the woman’s unstable psyche, deranged by guilt.

It’s a sad day in film criticism when a daring and exhilarating work of art like Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist” is widely labeled as a “joke” directed by a “fraud.” Say what you will about von Trier, but he is nothing if not sincere. Using this latest effort as a catalyst to free him from paralyzing depression, von Trier delved into his own lifelong struggles with anxiety, exorcising his psychological demons onscreen. While the film is certainly not devoid of von Trier’s irony-laced humor,
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Hurt Locker, Sherlock Holmes, Avatar Honored at Art Directors Guild Awards

  • ShockYa
Hurt Locker, Sherlock Holmes, Avatar Honored at Art Directors Guild Awards
The Art Directors Guild (Adg) honored ‘The Hurt Locker,’ ‘Avatar’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ at its 14th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards on February 13 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. Karl Juliusson won for best contemporary film for ‘The Hurt Locker,’ Rick Carter won for best fantasy film for ‘Avatar’ and Sarah Greenwood won for best period film for ‘Sherlock Holmes.’ Production designers were also honored for the categories of television, commercials and music videos during the black-tie ceremony. Among the winners for television were Dan Bishop for the single-camera series category for the ‘Souvenir’ episode of ‘Mad Men;’ Kalina Ivanoy won for ‘Grey Gardens’ in [...]
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"Holmes", "Avatar" And "Locker" Win @ Adg Awards

  • SneakPeek
The Art Directors Guild (Adg) gathered for the 14th Annual 'Excellence in 2009 Production Design Awards' February 13, @ the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills.

Established in 1937, The Art Directors Guild (Iatse Local 800) represents 2,000 members from the Us, Canada and internationally, as Production Designers, Art Directors, Assistant Art Directors, Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists, Illustrators, Matte Artists, Set Designers and Model Makers.

Over 700 attended the event, presided by Adg Chairman Thomas A. Walsh, with comedian Paula Poundstone hosting, starting off with a short film by director Cindy Peters.

Honorary awards were presented to Production Designer Terence Marsh for 'Lifetime Achievement', to Warren Beatty for 'Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery' and to Production Designer Michael Baugh for 'Creative Leadership'.

Presenters included Kevin Alejandro ("Southland"); director Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker"); Jim Bissell (Governor, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences); Albert Brenner (Production Designer); Rick Carter (Production Designer); Richard Chamberlain ("Shogun
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ADG honors 'Avatar,' 'Hurt Locker'

"Avatar," "The Hurt Locker" and "Sherlock Holmes" were the feature winner's at the Art Directors Guild's 14th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards, where they topped the categories for fantasy, contemporary and period film, respectively.

ADG Awards recognition goes to the production designer, art director and assistant art director of each nominated and winning project.

Winners "Avatar" and "Sherlock Holmes" are both nominated for Oscars in art direction. At the Academy Awards, that category is rounded out by "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," "Nine" and "The Young Victoria."

ADG winners in the television categories included "Mad Men," "Grey Gardens," "Weeds" and "Hell's Kitchen."

Held Saturday evening at the Beverly Hilton, the ADG Awards attracted an estimated 700 guests, including "Avatar" director James Cameron and "Hurt Locker" helmer Kathryn Bigelow, who was also a presenter.

Gene Wilder presented the lifetime achievement award to Terence Marsh -- who earned Oscars for "Oliver!" and "Doctor Zhivago.
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Art Directors Guild (Adg) Loves "Sherlock Holmes," "Avatar," "Hurt Locker"

The Art Directors Guild (Adg) has announced winners of its Excellence in 2009 Production Design Awards. "Sherlock Holmes," "Avatar," and "The Hurt Locker" were the big winners in the film categories.

From film, to TV, to commercials and music videos, here's the complete list of winners:

Winners For Excellence In Production Design For A Feature Film In 2009

*** Period Film

Sherlock Holmes

Production Designer: Sarah Greenwood

*** Fantasy Film


Production Designers: Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg

*** Contemporary Film

The Hurt Locker

Production Designer: Karl Juliusson

Winners For Excellence In Production Design For Television In 2009

*** Episode of a One-Hour Single Camera Television Series

Mad Men "Souvenir"

Production Designer: Dan Bishop

*** Television Movie or Mini-Series

Grey Gardens

Production Designer: Kalina Ivanov

*** Episode of a Half Hour Single-Camera Television Series

Weeds "Ducks and Tigers"

Production Designer: Joseph P. Lucky

*** Episode of a Multi-Camera Variety or Unscripted Series

Hell's Kitchen "Episode 6004"

Production Designer: John Janavs

*** Awards, Music
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Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Sherlock Holmes: Art Directors Guild Award Winners

Sam Worthington, Stephen Lang in Avatar (top); Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker (middle); Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes (bottom) Avatar, The Hurt Locker, and Sherlock Holmes were the motion picture winners at the Art Directors Guild Awards announced Saturday (Feb. 13) night at the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The awards took place before an audience of more than 700 guests, including guild members, industry executives, studio heads and the media. Adg Chairman Thomas A. Walsh presided over the awards ceremony with Paula Poundstone serving as host. The individual winners in the motion picture categories were Karl Juliusson for The Hurt Locker (contemporary film), Rick Carter and Robert [...]
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Art Directors Guild Awards- February 13

  • SneakPeek
The 14th Annual Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Awards, hosted by Paula Poundstone, will be presented Saturday, February 13, 2010 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles, celebrating accomplishments of Production Designers and Art Directors, recognized in eight categories of Feature Films, Television, Commercials and Music Videos.

This year's feature film nominees include best Period film contenders, “A Serious Man,” Jess Gonchor, “Inglourious Basterds,” David Wasco, “Julie & Julia,” Mark Ricker, “Public Enemies,” Nathan Crowley and “Sherlock Holmes,” Sarah Greenwood.

For best Fantasy film, nominees are “Avatar,” Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg, “District 9,” Philip Ivey, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” Stuart Craig, “Star Trek,” Scott Chambliss and “Where the Wild Things Are”, K.K. Barrett.

For best Contemporary film, nominees are “Angels & Demons,” Allan Cameron,

The Hangover,” Bill Brzeski,“The Hurt Locker,” Karl Juliusson,“The Lovely Bones,” Naomi Shohan, “Up in the Air,” Steve Saklad.

Established in 1937, Adg represents nearly 2,000 members who work throughout the Us,
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Art Directors Guild Nominations

Obvious picks were Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek, And Avatar. Once again, no love for Nine, but I was pleased to see an embrace from this guild for The Lovely Bones. Now that Art Directors, Producers, Directors, and Screen Actors guilds have announced their nominees, the only other “countries” to be heard from are the Writers Guild and American Cinema Editors. We’ll hear from the WGA on Monday and the Ace on Tuesday.

From THR by way of Awards Daily, here are the nominations announced earlier on Friday by the Art Directors Guild. The Adg will hold its 14th annual Excellence in Production Design Awards on Feb. 13 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Feature Film Nominees

Period film:

A Serious Man,” production, designer, Jess GonchorInglourious Basterds,” David Wasco “Julie & Julia,” Mark RickerPublic Enemies,” Nathan CrowleySherlock Holmes,” Sarah Greenwood

Fantasy film:

Avatar,” Rick Carter, Robert StrombergDistrict 9,” Philip Ivey
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Art Directors Guild unveils nominations

Art Directors Guild unveils nominations
The lush and iridescent forests of "Avatar," the sooty Victorian London of "Sherlock Holmes" and even the trashed, morning-after Vegas suites of "The Hangover" all caught the collective eye of the Art Directors Guild, which announced its nominations Friday.

The Adg, which will hold its 14th annual Excellence in Production Design Awards on Feb. 13 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, unveiled noms in nine categories, covering movies, TV, commercials and music videos.

In the category of fantasy film, "Avatar" will do battle with two other sci-fi titles -- "District 9" and "Star Trek" -- as well as the book adaptations "Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince" and "Where the Wild Things Are."

The nominees for period film range from "Sherlock Holmes," set in the 19th century, to the Depression-era America of "Public Enemies" to the World War II France of "Inglourious Basterds" as well as the post-war France of "Julie & Julia" and
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A Couple of Notes on Antichrist

I had intended to open this post with an image of Lars von Trier's head almost floating in the space of a giant gray screen. It was a real image that I had snapped from my camera while attending the Skyped press conference at the Nyff weeks ago (von Trier, as you know, doesn't fly so cross-Atlantic festival appearances are out of the question). While Von Trier gazed down impishly at the crowd from the screen that had just shown his latest firebomb Antichrist, my thoughts jumped to Shosanna's "Giant Face" in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. It wouldn't have surprised me at all to find that the doors had been locked and von Trier was planning to burn down the theater. Figuratively! Though Lars is kind of a sick puppy, he's more of a prankster than a true nihilist.

...I lost that image and also lost my notes. Very ill the day of the screening,
See full article at FilmExperience » Hookup: 2 Signed ‘The Hurt Locker’ Posters With Star Jeremy Renner

Chicago – In our latest edition of Hookup: Film, we have 2 signed “The Hurt Locker” posters by star Jeremy Renner and a few other cast members and filmmakers! “The Hurt Locker” stars Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly and Christian Camargo.

“The Hurt Locker,” which opens on July 10, 2009 in Chicago, is the winner of the 2008 Venice Film Festival Signis Grand Prize. The film will be showing at AMC River East and Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema in Chicago as well as CineArts in Evanston, Ill.

To win your “The Hurt Locker” signed poster courtesy of, all you need to do is tell us your danger story in this Web-based submission form. That’s it! Directions to enter this Hookup and win can be found beneath the graphic below.

The movie poster for “The Hurt Locker” with Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce and Jeremy Renner.
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Film Review: The Hurt Locker

Film Review: The Hurt Locker
Venue: Venice Film Festival, In Competition

The definitive film about the U.S. involvement in Iraq has yet to be made, and "The Hurt Locker" doesn't aspire to compete in the category. Tensely action-packed and muscularly directed by Kathryn Bigelow, this tale of an elite U.S. army bomb disposal unit in Baghdad is a familiar story in new clothes, targeted at the young male demographic. Its Iraq setting is downplayed as incidental, perhaps to avoid the commercial disappointment of the two Iraq-themed titles screened in Venice last year, "Redacted" and "In the Valley of Elah." "Locker's" refusal to take a moral stance on the war should widen its audience to the U.S. military, while lowering its chance for a a major festival prize.

Bigelow (Point Break, K-19: The Widowmaker) and screenwriter Mark Boal (who has story credit on "In the Valley of Elah") here toy with the idea
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Dear Wendy

Dear Wendy
PARK CITY, UTAH -- Written by Lars Von Trier and directed by Thomas Vinterberg, Dear Wendy is not a conventional romance -- it's a love story about a gun. This is what happens when a bunch of alienated teenagers in a poor southwest mining town are exposed to weapons of individual destruction. Part parable, part wild west shoot-out, yet totally original, "Dear Wendy" is a powerful indictment of American gun culture that is sure to draw controversy and heated discussion wherever it plays -- just as the filmmakers must have intended.

The leader of the pack is a young man named Dick (Jamie Bell) who is saved from a life in the mines by his black nanny Clarabelle (Novella Nelson). She says he is too sensitive and weak for the mines and will one day do something great to save the world one day. He gets a job at a super market and wanders aimlessly through life until he meets and falls in love with a small, sleek and stylish handgun he names Wendy, although he professes to be a devout pacifist.

Dick is befriended by his sullen co-worker Stevie (Mark Webber), who happens to know everything about guns, and the two boys form an instant bond over their fascination with weaponry. Stevie's a pacifist too.

After a while they decide to spread their wealth and recruit a handful of the town's young misfits--a cripple and his brother, Huey (Chris Owen) and Freddie (Michael Angarano), Susan (Alison Pill), a pretty girl who was unfortunate enough to be the one in high school without breasts, and later, Dicks's nemesis, the street smart black kid Sebastian (Danso Gordon).

What draws them together is that they have absolutely nothing in life to look forward to--until they get their guns. Hiding out in a deserted mine shaft, they create a home for themselves where they practice, shoot and create an elaborate secret society dubbed The Dandies.

Dressing in costumes ranging from a union soldier's coat to a revolutionary war stove pipe hat and a coonskin cap, they look like a ragtag survey of American history. Brilliantly accompanying them throughout the film as they swirl their guns around, is the music of the Zombies, singing stuff like "let me tell you about the way she acted, the color of her hair..."

In a conventional American film, Dick would fall for Susan and ride off into the sunset, but here he only has eyes for Wendy. Sex is not part of the equation. Any erotic feelings are directed towards their weapons, and, in fact, one of the rituals they study is a technique used by German soldiers in World War II in which they bind their genitals to the point of excruciating pain so that they will fight more fiercely.

Although it is not their intention, exposed to enormous firepower, which they have no trouble acquiring, it is inevitable that they will one day use it. As police chief Krugsby (Bill Pullman) says, they are "the kind of boys this country is built on." And like many innocent young men in this country introduced to the mystique of guns, they will eventually be led to slaughter.

For a time these kids feel empowered by the guns and can look people in the eye. Bell's perpetual sneer and hawk like gaze make it hard to take your eyes off him. Equally compelling is Pullman, who gives a complex performance as a sincere man who sends out mixed messages only because he doesn't have all the answers. All the kids seem to have been melded into their roles with Webber and Pill bringing a deep understanding to the tortures of growing up in an absurd world.

The filmmakers appropriate bit and pieces of American culture and film history, but these are Europeans commenting on our society. The iconic town of Etherscope with its sad center know as Electric Square was modeled, fittingly, after Pocahontus, West Virginia and magnificently reconstructed in Denmark by Karl Juliusson and Jette Lehmann.

Strutting and fretting across this stage, the kids are alternately fascinating and far fetched. Vinterberg's storytelling is straight forward and unadorned, imbuing the stylized and timeless setting with a believability that, for the most part, allows one to suspend disbelief, although the action is at times frustratingly slow. With The Battle Hymn of the Republic playing softly in the background, Vinterberg is not being subtle. But the cumulative power watching these kids self-destruct for nothing is heartbreaking and angering. Any impatience with the film is dispelled by the power of the ending, a ballet of violence right out of Peckinpah. This is Von Trier and Vinterberg's vision of America today and it's sobering.


Lucky Punch I/S/A Nimbus/Zentropa Production

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Writer: Lars Von Trier

Producer: Sisse Graum Jorgensen

Executive producers: Peter Aalbaek Jensen, Bo Ehrhardt, Birgitte Hald

Director of photography: Anthony Dod Mantle

Production designer: Karl Juliusson

Music: Benjamin Wallfisch

Co-producer: Marie Cecile Gade

Costume designer: Annie Perier

Editor: Mikkel E. G. Nielsen

Cast: Jamie Bell, Bill Pullman, Michael Angarano, Danso Gordon, Novella Nelson, Chris Owen, Alison Pill, Mark Webber;

MPAA rating: unrated

Running time -- 100 minutes.

K-19: The Widowmaker

K-19: The Widowmaker
"K-19: The Widowmaker" is an impressive achievement all around. At once a story about human folly and heroism, a historical near-miss, political and military brinksmanship and men displaying grace under pressure, this submarine drama earns the right to be favorably compared to "Das Boot", arguably the greatest of all submarine movies. The film provides juicy roles for top-billed Harrison Ford (who executive produces) and Liam Neeson. There is brilliant film craftsmanship in every frame. And, finally, director Kathryn Bigelow gets a chance to show what she can do with a first-class script.

"K-19"'s appeal skews heavily male without any female role. Nevertheless, good reviews and a strong marketing push could turn this Paramount/Intermedia production into a top summer movie at the boxoffice.

Desperate to counter the psychological damage and military imbalance created during the Cold War when the United States sent its first Polaris missile subs on patrol in 1960, the Soviet leadership rushes its own ballistic missile sub into service the following year. The early scenes emphasizes how unready that boat, the K-19, is. Leaks are everywhere. Wiring is substandard. And the crew is unfamiliar with the sub. After 10 men die building the K-19, a champagne bottle used to dedicate the ship fails to break. "We are cursed", moans a superstitious crew member.

Troubling the crew further is a bizarre change in command. Capt. Alexei Vostrikov (Ford), a politically connected skipper, takes over for Capt. Mikhail Polenin (Neeson), who becomes second in command. Once under way, Alexei subjects the sub and its crew to grueling tests, culminating in a dive to "crush depth" and a fast resurface that sends the K-19 crashing through the Arctic ice shelf.

After the successful launch of a test missile, Moscow orders the sub to patrol waters off the U.S. coastline. Here, the reactor cooling system springs a leak, raising its core temperature close to meltdown. An eruption could set off missile warheads near a NATO base and trigger World War III.

In the film's key sequence, crew members take turns entering the reactor compartment to try to stabilize the temperature, exposing each to huge doses of radiation. The doctor on board, a last-minute replacement, knows nothing about radiation poisoning. The men emerge like characters in a cheesy horror film, staggering and vomiting as reddened skin slides from their bodies.

It's hard to know how much of the narrative in Christopher Kyle's script (based on Louis Nowra's story) derives from actual events. Much of the conflict and incidents could come from any number of military movies: Clashes between the two main officers escalate to the point of mutiny. The kid with a gal back home stands little chance of surviving the mission. Men exchange brave talk they only half believe.

The highly conventional approach of Kyle's script does smooth over the unfamiliarity of watching a peacetime submarine story in which the battle is as much emotional as physical. The main conflict also undergoes a curious switch midstream that is meant to take an audience by surprise but does so by not fully disclosing all factors.

Ford is the personification of military steel, a hard-headed captain focused single-mindedly on his mission. Neeson, as the more crew-friendly captain, is his counterpart, roiling beneath Ford's command with undisguised disdain for his willingness to jeopardize everyone's safety. Among 50-odd roles, another standout is Peter Sarsgaard's Vadim, the rookie reactor officer who must prove his valor.

Bigelow gracefully choreographs the shipwide action without ever losing focus. Her effort is greatly enhanced by Jeff Cronenweth's fluid camera, Walter Murch's sharp editing and Karl Juliusson and Michael Novotny's military-gray design. A major plus is Klaus Badelt's score, shifting from ominous rumbles beneath the action to full-throated shouts of alarm and, in the core reactor sequence, choral music.


Paramount Pictures

Paramount and Intermedia Films present a National Geographic/Palomar Pictures/First Light/IMF production


Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Screenwriter: Christopher Kyle

Story by: Louis Nowra

Producers: Kathryn Bigelow, Joni Sighvatsson, Christine Whitaker, Edward S. Feldman

Executive producers: Harrison Ford, Nigel Sinclair, Moritz Borman, Guy East

Director of photography: Jeff Cronenweth

Production designers: Karl Juliusson, Michael Novotny

Music: Klaus Badelt

Co-producers: Steven-Charles Jaffe, Basil Iwanyk, Brent O'Connor, Mark Wolfe, Mary Montiforte

Costume designer: Marit Allen

Editor: Walter Murch


Capt. Alexei Vostrikov: Harrison Ford

Capt. Mikhail Polenin: Liam Neeson

Vadim Radtchenko: Peter Sarsgaard

Pavel Loktev: Christian Camargo

Demichev: Steve Nicolson

Suslov: Ravil Isyanov

Running time -- 138 minutes

MPAA rating PG-13

See also

Credited With | External Sites