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Criterion Collection Announces August 2017 Additions, Including Restored ‘Sid & Nancy’ and Mike Leigh’s ‘Meantime’

Criterion Collection Announces August 2017 Additions, Including Restored ‘Sid & Nancy’ and Mike Leigh’s ‘Meantime’
Late summer is all about reflection over at The Criterion Collection, as the library is spending August offering up a handful of unsung classics and new look at some longtime favorites.

Michael Curitz’s “The Breaking Point,” a mostly overlooked Hemingway adaptation, starring John Garfield and Patricia Neal, will be available on Blu-ray for the first time, while Sacha Guitry’s “La poison” arrives on home video for the first time ever. Elsewhere, Mike Leigh’s revelatory “Meantime” is getting a 2K restoration, all the better to enjoy the early work of Tim Roth and Gary Oldman. That’s not all for Oldman fans, however, as Alex Cox’s “Sid & Nancy” hits the collection with a brand new 4K digital restoration. Finally, Walter Matthau stars in the charming comedy “Hopscotch,” also available on Blu-ray in a 2K digital restoration.

Below is the complete list of August additions, with descriptions provided by Criterion.
See full article at Indiewire »

When rockumentaries get real – starring Metallica, Madonna and Bob Dylan

With Penelope Spheeris’s 1981 landmark The Decline of Western Civilization set for a long-overdue DVD release, what other music documentaries have dared to show more grit than glamour?

Alot of people must enjoy watching tawdry glamour and alienated youth. As soon as it was announced in March that Penelope Spheeris’s cult The Decline of Western Civilization trilogy would finally be released on DVD, it immediately entered the Amazon pre-order chart. They can’t all be musicians watching on the tour bus.

The three films certainly set a standard for realism and bleakness in rockumentary, probably only surpassed by the work of Lech Kowalski, chronicler of junkies and skinheads, whose grey Doa captured England in 1977, Year of Punk, and made the opening titles of The Office look like the colour sections of The Wizard of Oz. The original film follows La’s early punk scene, the second and most famous
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Tiff’s 25 Years of Midnight Madness: Best of the Fest #2

Tiff’s Midnight Madness program turned 25 this year, and for two and half decades, the hardworking programers have gathered some of the strangest, most terrifying, wild, intriguing and downright entertaining films from around the world. From dark comedies to Japanese gore-fests and indie horror gems, the Midnight Madness program hasn’t lost its edge as one the leading showcases of genre cinema. In its 25-year history, Midnight Madness has introduced adventurous late-night moviegoers to such cult faves as Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused and Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. But what separates Midnight Madness from, say, Montreal’s three and half week long genre festival Fantasia, is that Tiff selects only ten films to make the cut. In other words, these programmers don’t mess around. Last week I decided that I would post reviews of my personal favourite films that screened in past years. And just like the Tiff programmers,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

From the Pussy Riot Trial to 'Psychic Spy' Uri Geller: Sheffield Doc/Fest

Pussy Riot, Uri Geller: Sheffield Doc/Fest 2013 line-up The United Kingdom’s Sheffield Doc/Fest 2013 kicks off on June 12, featuring 27 World Premieres. Topics range from "psychic spy" Uri Geller (Uri Geller and Vikram Jayanti’s The Secret Life of Uri Geller — Psychic Spy) to shale mining (Lech Kowalski’s Drill Baby Drill), from the science behind Planet Earth’s fast-approaching climactic armageddon (David Sington and Simon Lamb’s Thin Ice: The Inside Story of Climate Science) to the life and times of international professional thieves (Havana Marking’s Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers). Below are a few Sheffield Doc/Fest 2013 highlights. (Photo: Pussy Riot — A Punk Prayer.) Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s Pussy Riot — A Punk Prayer follows the Pussy Riot trial in which three of the band’s members stood accused of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” following a performance staged at Moscow
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

French Experimental Cinema 2010-2011

  • MUBI
Above: Zoulikha Bouabdellah's Al Attlal (Ruines), left, and Pierre Léon's À la barbe d'Ivan, right.

Nicole Brenez has curated two programs of new work from the French avant-garde for this year’s Rendezvous with French Cinema 2011 in New York; below she has offered her program notes in French. Program one (on Saturday) concentrates on filmmakers reappropriating images; program two (Sunday) is the new feature by Ange Leccia, Nuit bleue. Below, I’ve translated Brenez’s extended appreciation of Leccia and Nuit bleue; as usual, I’ve tried to stay faithful to the sound and rhythm of the original where possible. Beneath the translated extract you'll find the full article by Ms. Brenez in its original French. —David Phelps

***

…Although Ange Leccia has also practiced re-appropriating images (especially Jean Luc-Godard’s) in his installations and his films, Nuit bleuetakes up a different aesthetic vein, one rich with a long tradition of the French avant-garde.
See full article at MUBI »

Winners and Losers

Extinkt Films

LOCARNO, Switzerland -- Anyone who has seen a soccer game in a bar or a big international stadium knows that some of best entertainment comes from watching the crowd. That's just what London-born Lech Kowalski does in Winners and Losers, an engaging documentary about French and Italian fans watching the 2006 World Cup Final on screens large and small.

The closing film in the Piazza Grande at the Locarno International Film Festival will find audiences wherever there are people who like to watch what most of the world calls football. It probably helps to know what happened in that final match when Italy won on penalty kicks and French hero Zinedine Zidane was sent off for head-butting an Italian player, but most of the world does.

The director-editor placed fixed cameras in private homes, public spaces and packed stadiums to observe the curious activity of supporting a national football team. There is no narration, just the comments of the viewers. The result shows snobbery, humility, insecurity, bravado, casual racism and the bonding of fans in victory and defeat. Much like life, really.

60th Locarno Int. Film Festival Winners

[/link], Saverio Costanzo, Irène Jacob, Jia Zhang-ke, Romuald Karmakar and Bruno Todeschini gave out a bunch of leopards on the weekend. Masahiro Kobayashi (see pic above) won the Golden Leopard for his film Ai no yokan (The Rebirth). Best Director was awarded to Capitaine Achab by Philippe Ramos (France) and the Special Jury Prize went to Memories (Jeonju Digital Project 2007) by Pedro Costa, Harun Farocki and Eugène Green. Spanish actress Carmen Maura and the French actor Michel Piccoli both received an Excellence Award (Michel Piccoli also received the prize for best actor in Sous les toits de Paris, joint winner was Michele Venitucci in Fuori dalle corde). And finally (and not surprisingly), Death at a Funeral (the Brit comedy by Frank Oz) won the audience award – this making it the 5th or 6th time that it has walked away from an international festival with such honors.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Locarno to celebrate 60th in U.S. style

Locarno to celebrate 60th in U.S. style
MILAN -- The world premiere of Fumihiko Sori's animated film "Vexille" will open the 60th annual Locarno International Film Festival on Aug. 1, organizers said Wednesday, ushering in a program that includes a host of Hollywood films and projects from up-and-coming international directors.

The selection of the anime title -- about a female agent investigating the development of prohibited robotic technologies -- represents a departure from last year's opening film, "Miami Vice". But second-year artistic director Frederic Maire is hardly avoiding Hollywood fare.

Slated for world or European premieres in Locarno's famous Piazza Grande are "Planet Terror" and "1408" from the Weinstein Co., "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "Knocked Up" from Universal, "Waitress" from Fox Searchlight and "Hairspray" from New Line Cinema.

The Franco-American co-production "Winners and Losers", Polish director Lech Kowalski's 2006 World Cup documentary told from the perspective of the spectators, will close the festival Aug. 11.

Hong Kong's "The Drummer", starring Jaycee Chan, son of action icon Jackie Chan, also will screen in the Piazza Grande, along with the Brett Morgen documentary "Chicago 10", about the violence-ridden 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Among the top-shelf Hollywood talent expected to attend the lakeside festival are Anthony Hopkins and Christian Slater, co-stars in the competition comedy "Slipstream". The film represents Hopkins' third directorial effort and first writing credit.

The only other U.S. film in competition is "Joshua" from George Ratliff.

Hey Is Dee Dee Home

NEW YORK -- Comprising interview footage shot in 1992 for a documentary about rocker Johnny Thunders, Lech Kowalski's "Hey Is Dee Dee Home" is a portrait of the late Ramones star that has clearly now been released because of its subject's death in summer 2002 from an overdose. Essentially a static, hourlong monologue in which the legendary punk rocker candidly discusses some of the more sordid aspects of his life -- including his longtime, on-and-off heroin addiction -- the film ultimately fails to satisfy because of the limitations of both the format and subject. Still, it serves as a valuable addition to the Ramones archives and will no doubt augment the collections of many of the band's fans when it is released on DVD this month. The film is playing an exclusive theatrical engagement at New York's Pioneer Theatre.

Providing a structure to Ramone's not-always-clear-minded recollections are the numerous tattoos covering his body. Proudly displaying them and recounting their origins and meanings, the rocker uses them as a symbolic road map through his not-so-easy life.

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