10 items from 2015
Special Mention: Clean, Shaven
Directed by Lodge H. Kerrigan
Screenplay by Lodge H. Kerrigan
Genre: Crime / Psychological Thriller
Lodge H. Kerrigan’s Clean, Shaven is not an easy film to watch. Kerrigan, who wrote, produced and directed this unsettling psychological thriller, traps us inside the mind of a madman for the entire viewing experience. Peter Winter (Peter Greene) appears to be a killer–even worse, a child killer–but not much about him is objectively clear, and we are never sure if what we are seeing is real or a product of his tormented imagination. The film heightens the tension by restricting its focus to Peter’s unsettling, confused, and angry view of the world. The most gruesome violence inflicted on Peter comes by his own hand. In the most unforgettable scene, Peter slowly mutilates his body in order to remove what he believes are a receiver in his »
- Ricky Fernandes
"What Does ‘Cinematic TV’ Really Mean?" reads the headline over Matt Zoller Seitz's introduction to a video at Vulture that features examples of imaginatively directed television such as Fargo, True Detective, The Leftovers and The Knick. Also in today's roundup: Reverse Shot has launched a new symposium in which writers argue that the director isn't the true auteur. So far: "Leon Shamroy's Leave Her to Heaven" and "Juliette Binoche's Clouds of Sils Maria." Plus: A review of Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan highlighting the work of composer and sound designer Tôru Takemitsu, interviews with Eric Khoo, John Cameron Mitchell and Tab Hunter—and more. » - David Hudson »
With the impossibly fun Tales of Halloween now in wide release, it seems like as good a time as any to dig deep into one of my favorite subgenres of horror: the anthology film. From Tales from the Crypt to Tales from the Darkside to Tales from the Hood, the horror anthology offers something for everyone. And apparently that something is “tales.”
In speaking with most of the directors from Tales of Halloween, there was consensus in their feelings about what makes for a great anthology film: singularity of vision and consistency of quality. Both can be difficult to achieve, as the format practically dictates that some segments be stronger than others or express a different voice. But when an anthology can achieve even one of those things, there’s the potential for real horror movie magic.
- Patrick Bromley
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.
As all good sequels must learn, the key to success is delivering on the promise set forth by the original while also providing something fresh and improved. Just ask James Cameron, a master at the task, who injected action-packed life into both Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day without negating or watering down the mythology still relevant beneath those newfound popcorn blockbuster sensibilities. Neither The Lost World nor Jurassic Park III did it. They »
- TFS Staff
What makes a Ghost Story scary? This classic was almost too artistic for the Japanese. Masaki Kobayashi's four stories of terror work their spells through intensely beautiful images -- weirdly painted skies, strange mists -- and a Toru Takemitsu audio track that incorporates strange sounds as spooky musical punctuation. Viewers never forget the Woman of the Snow, or the faithful Hoichi the Earless. Finally restored to its full three-hour length. Kwaidan Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 90 1964 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 183 161, 125 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date October 20, 2015 / 39.95 Starring Michiyo Aratama, Rentaro Mikuni; Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiko Kishi; Katsuo Nakamura, Tetsurao Tanba, Takashi Shimura; Osamu Takizawa. Cinematography Yoshio Miyajima Film Editor Hisashi Sagara Art Direction Shigemasa Toda Set Decoration Dai Arakawa Costumes Masahiro Kato Original Music Toru Takemitsu Written by Yoko Mizuki from stories collected by Kiozumi Yakumo (Lafcadio Hearn) Produced by Shigeru Wakatsuki Directed by Masaki Kobayashi
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson »
- Glenn Erickson
Like any studio, with the invention of each new, better iteration of physical home video mediums, the Criterion Collection begins anew the process of making its massive library of culturally significant classic and contemporary films available on the new format. Ever since Blu-ray made its mark, Crtierion Collection has been releasing 4-6 of its films a month in the HD form, and in October, we get a couple of titles that fans have been clamoring for including: David Lynch's twisting mystery, Mulholland Dr.; David Cronenberg's tale of psychotherapy gone mad, The Brood; Masaki Kobayashi's ghost story anthology, Kwaidan; Ettore Scola's World War II drama, A Special Day; and Gus Van Sant's lauded tale of hustlers and sexuality, My Own Private Idaho.
It's one of Criterion Collection's best monthly slates of contemporary films in a while, and for a full-run-down of what each release has to offer, »
- Lex Walker
Blu-ray distributors The Criterion Collection have announced its line-up for its October releases, which once again include some of cinema’s finest actors, directors and creators. David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho and David Cronenberg’s The Brood are amongst the latest list of films to get the Criterion touch.
You can view all the Blu-ray details and artwork below…
River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves star in this haunting tale from Gus Van Sant, about two young street hustlers: Mike Waters, a sensitive narcoleptic who dreams of the mother who abandoned him, and Scott Favor, the wayward son of the mayor of Portland and the object of Mike’s desire. Navigating a volatile world of junkies, thieves, and johns, Mike takes Scott on a quest along the grungy streets and open highways of the Pacific Northwest, in search »
- Scott J. Davis
Takashi Miike‘s The Happiness of the Katakuris begins with a woman probing a freshly delivered bowl of soup only to fish out a miniature angel/gargoyle/teletubby? whose presence seems to instigate the onscreen conversion of the world into claymation before tearing out the poor woman’s uvula and tossing it into the air to float away like a heart-shaped balloon. This is a film that, even in an oeuvre that includes works as disparate as gross out shocker Visitor Q and the kid friendly The Great Yokai War, is pure unpredictable insanity that baffles as much as it entertains. Essentially a horror comedy musical, Miike’s genre mashing farce is loosely based on Kim Jee-woon’s The Quiet Family, in which a family owns a remotely located bed and breakfast whose customers always happen to die during their stay, yet takes that simple premise to its outermost extremes in the silliest of ways. »
- Jordan M. Smith
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Time's inimitable critic, Richard Corliss (1944 - 2015), pictured above. Visit David Hudson's roundup at Keyframe Daily for coverage. In the past week there's been more additions to the Cannes Film Festival lineup, including new movies by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Naomi Kawase and Gaspar Noé.When Manoel de Oliveira died earlier this month, word spread that he had made a film that would be released only upon his death, Memories and Confessions. Now word has come that its premiere screening will be on the 4th of May in Porto.Above: We're on the fence whether we should be excited for this, but the trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit certainly has us intrigued.New York's essential film listing site Screen Slate has turned to Kickstarter to help fund its project. Speaking of New York, this May the Museum of the Moving »
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi
In the early 17th century, the Iyi clan abides by the bushido code to the letter in all its facets, sepukku, the traditional samurai suicide ceremony by which a warrior disembowels himself before being decapitated, being no exception. It is on a bright sunny day that one Tsugumo Hanshirô (Tatsuya Nakadai) arrives at the Iyi estate, currently run by Saitô Kageyu (Rentarô Mikuni), to plead for space in order to perform a honourable act of seppuku. He claims that the regional peace has led to unemployment, and rather live like a dog, suicide as ordained by bushido seems preferable. Knowledgeable of the occurrences of bluff requests made by other ronin samurai that were merely looking for pittance, Saitô is suspicious of Hanshirô’s motives and begins to relate a recent story of another, younger former warrior (Akira Ishihama »
- Edgar Chaput
10 items from 2015
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