6 items from 2015
Iranian writer-director Reza Mirkarimi’s Today, Iran’s Oscar submission, has been screening at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr) this week.
Speaking at Iffr (Jan 21-Feb 1), Mirkarimi gave a relatively upbeat assessment of the Iranian film industry.
Under President Hassan Rouhani, he said, the filmmakers have been allowed to re-establish “The House Of Cinema,” the syndicate/guild to which almost every Iranian filmmaker and technician belongs. This is the non-governmental institution that defends filmmakers’ rights.
The syndicate was closed in 2011 when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still in power but was re-opened under Rouhani in 2013. Meanwhile, Iranian directors are finding it easier to get their movies into cinemas - not least because of the lack of Hollywood competition.
“There is a supportive politics in Iranian cinema which does not allow American movies to be shown in the theatres,” he said. “The cinemas work for Iranian movie makers. Art movies have more opportunity to be shown.”
The director »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoffrey Macnab)
The Killers Inside Me: The Mo Bros’ International Serial Spree
Directing duo Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, better known as the Mo Brothers, team for the slice and dice serial killer thriller Killers, which should at least get credit for being a bit more psychologically advanced than one might otherwise assume. Produced by a variety of notables, including Gareth Evans and Sion Sono (you’d be forgiven if the hyper-choreographed bits of bloody violence didn’t remind you several times of either of those more infamous, stylized directors) and with its two leads hailing from The Raid 2, there’s certainly a core audience for this type of material from which the Mo Brothers do not deviate, though its violence as mindset motif seems to prize subtexts we often find swimming in the carnage of Sono’s films. Women, as are often the case in these hyperviolent explorations of the devious masculine id, »
- Nicholas Bell
“I disappear between these two moments of speech/ self-portrait not autobiography” – Jean-Luc Godard
Never has Godard been so melancholic and comedic in one film. Jlg/Jlg: self-portrait in December (hereafter referred to as Jlg/Jlg) is a portrait of an artist, the artist of cinema, at sixty four. Part documentary, part film essay, Jlg/Jlg is a poignant and tender depiction of Jean-Luc in his apartment in Switzerland. The icy beaches and snowy landscapes depict Jean-Luc entering the winter season, nesting at his desk with pen and notebook, quoting from the history of cinema, literature, and philosophy in the voice-over, intertitles, and the dialogue, pensively ruminating about his place in the history of cinema.
“Self-portrait not autobiography” Jean-Luc tells us and this distinction is important for understanding Jlg/Jlg. Typical documentary-biopics proceed in this manner: begin with subject’s childhood; list their achievements; pad the film with talking head interviews »
- Cody Lang
In today's roundup of best-of-2014 lists and awards, we've got fuller lists from Film Comment, a DVD/Blu-ray poll from Sight & Sound, nominations from guilds and from abroad, but the most intriguing of the bunch is the poll conducted by Kevin B. Lee: "Now that we are midway through the 2010s, what are the best films of the decade so far?" The top five: Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret and Leos Carax's Holy Motors. » - David Hudson »
Untitled Abbas Kiarostami Project
While it had been long rumored that Juliette Binoche would be reteaming with Abbas Kiarostami after their celebrated 2010 film Certified Copy, the actress put the kibosh on those assumption that it was a project once called Horizontal Process. In a recent interview, Binoche let it slip that Kiarostami was currently working on a film in China about a cleaning woman taking care of thousands of rooms in a big building. And that’s about all we’re going to get since Kiarostami famously remains mum about his projects until they happen to be programmed. While we don’t have any idea when or exactly where filming transpired (or even if it’s finished), this as yet untitled film will be Kiarostami’s third film outside of Iran, following Certified Copy and 2012’s Like Someone In Love. So while he’s »
- Nicholas Bell
How would you program this year's newest, most interesting films into double features with movies of the past you saw in 2014?
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2014—in theatres or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2014 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2014 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch »
6 items from 2015
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