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A Guide to ‘Annihilation’ Director Alex Garland’s Trailblazing Sci-Fi Career

[Editor’s Note: This article is presented in partnership with Paramount’s “Annihilation” – in theaters February 23rd. Click here for more details.]

From his screenwriting debut, the 2002 sci-fi classic “28 Days Later,” to his directorial debut, the 2015 breakthrough “Ex Machina,” filmmaker Alex Garland has proven himself to be a trailblazing force in modern sci-fi cinema.

His latest, “Annihilation,” follows a biologist (Natalie Portman) who teams up with a group of scientists (played by Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, among others) to explore an environmental disaster zone that has claimed the lives of nearly every other person who has entered Area X — including her husband (Oscar Isaac), who is gravely ill.

First reactions to the film have called it “brilliant,” “riveting,” and “wickedly disturbing” — a worthy follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Ex Machina.” Ahead of “Annihilation,” which debuts this Friday, get up to speed with the rest of Garland’s oeuvre in this quick primer.

“28 Days Later” (2002)

While Garland first achieved pop culture
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The Party movie review: bring your own battle

MaryAnn’s quick take… Sally Potter’s brutally snappy take on the classic British drawing-room comedy hauls it into the 21st century with a cutting takedown of the anxieties and hypocrisies of well-off left-wingers. I’m “biast” (pro): love the cast; desperate for stories about women

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto) women’s participation in this film

(learn more about this)

Politician Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas: Darkest Hour, Suite Française) is hosting a small gathering of close friends to celebrate her new job: shadow health minister (sort of like a minority leadership position in American legislatures). It doesn’t go well, to say the least.

It’s been five years since writer-director Sally Potter’s last film — the poignant and powerful teenage girl’s coming-of-age tale Ginger & Rosa — and she is back with a wicked vengeance. The Party
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Scott Reviews Sally Potter’s The Party [Theatrical Review]

A party has many connotations, at least two of which – a festive gathering and a political organization – are the direct subjects of Sally Potter’s new film. Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) is throwing a small soiree to celebrate her new appointment as the opposition party’s minister of health (never stated, but based on her stated views, presumably the left-leaning Labour group). This two-fold approach, of a celebration amongst similarly-minded individuals, suggests a unity that is not there. Indeed, in most common understandings of any type of party, a sense of shared purpose and harmony is almost assumed. Potter doesn’t see much of that going around.

Those gathered are Janet’s husband Bill (Timothy Spall), his college roommate Martha (Cherry Jones) and her newly-pregnant partner Jinny (Emily Mortimer), and Janet’s oldest friend April (Patricia Clarkson) and her own significant other Gottfried (Bruno Ganz). Banker Tom (Cillian Murphy) also wanders in,
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Sally Potter Throws ‘The Party’; Spc Bows ‘Loveless’ – Specialty B.O. Preview

Several foreign productions lead the pack of this weekend's Specialty newcomers just as future foreign contenders take the spotlight at the Berlin International Film Festival. Berlinale '17 prize winner The Party by Sally Potter takes its bow in the U.S. via Roadside Attractions. The black and white feature, which along with Kristin Scott Thomas and Timothy Spall also features Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Cherry Jones and Cillian Murphy, peppers in a decent shake of…
See full article at Deadline »

Join "The Party"

Sneak Peek new footage, plus images from the comedy feature "The Party", written and directed by Sally Potter, starring Timothy Spall, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy and Bruno Ganz:

"...'Janet', a politician for the opposition party, has just been announced shadow minister for health and is having a small celebratory party at her house. 

"Invited are her friends 'April', with her estranged German partner 'Gottfried', a life coach and self-proclaimed spiritual healer, Women's studies professor 'Martha', with her partner 'Jinny', a cook, and Janet's colleague and subordinate 'Marianne' with husband 'Tom', a banker.

"Before the party begins and even after the guests arrive, Janet's husband 'Bill' sits in his chair, listening to music, staring vacantly, and drinking wine. All invited guests come, with the exception of Marianne, who Tom says will arrive later. 

"Tom is extremely nervous and immediately locks himself in the bathroom, where
See full article at SneakPeek »

'The Party' Review: Caustic War of Words Will Knock the Wind Out of You

'The Party' Review: Caustic War of Words Will Knock the Wind Out of You
The laughs hurt so good, and the guests at this shindig treat each other like dartboards for 71 minutes. Yes, that's short for a movie, but your nerves couldn’t take more. The Party is the work of Sally Potter, the gifted experimental filmmaker who had a seismic effect on world cinema with Orlando (1992), based on the Virginia Woolf novel and starring Tilda Swinton as an Elizabethan gent who morphs into a woman over the next four centuries. We bring this up only to prepare novices for the fact that Potter,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Greta Gerwig Reveals the ‘Dunkirk’ Scene That Made Her Cry and More of Her Favorite Moments From Oscar Nominees

Greta Gerwig Reveals the ‘Dunkirk’ Scene That Made Her Cry and More of Her Favorite Moments From Oscar Nominees
Greta Gerwig knows a thing or two about crafting a perfect scene. After all, what is “Lady Bird” but the agglomeration of dozens of perfect scenes? Gerwig recently attended the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (via Collider) to talk all things “Lady Bird,” but Gerwig made sure to spend some time talking about the scenes from the films directed by her fellow nominees.

Gerwig has caught up on her fellow Best Director nominees’ movies, and she was able to speak clearly about the moment in each film that affected her most. In Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” it was the naked embrace between Sally Hawkins’ character and Doug Jones’ fish creature. In “Get Out,” it was the combined effect of watching the film with a packed house at the movie theater and the moment when Kaluuya’s performance becomes undeniable tender.

Lady Bird” is nominated for five Oscars,
See full article at Indiewire »

Home Entertainment: ‘The Party’ DVD Review

Upon viewing Sally Potter’s The Party, traditional theatergoers in particular may be disillusioned with the fact that this is a story that looks meant for the stage. It takes place in a single setting, runs for a mere 71 minutes, and paces itself through the skillfully written conversations and performances of its cast. In spite of its theatricality however, the film cements itself as an art house gem through its stylish black-and-white aesthetic and an engagingly thorough series of twists that expertly grips its audience into the numerous primary and secondary dramas boiling underneath this ensemble of intellectuals. A film in which each line of dialogue feels meticulously composed, The Party may very well be one of the most purely intellectual comedies of the year, as its humor comes not from any form of slapstick or excessive profanity but through its biting wit alone.

The Party revolves around a gathering
See full article at The Hollywood News »

The Last Word on ‘Dunkirk’

(Shrugs) Well, I liked ‘Dunkirk‘ better than Christopher Nolan’s last film, ‘Interstellar‘; I’ll say that. (Sigh)

Has Nolan ever seem like a filmmaker who would make a straight-ahead war movie to you? I mean, I guess most people don’t begin with a war movie, so it’s probably always a bit of a shock to see somebody make one. I mean, until Spielberg made ‘Schindler’s List’, so… although in hindsight I can’t imagine anybody was surprised Oliver Stone made ‘Platoon‘, so, there goes that theory. Seriously though, I love Nolan, but for as popular a filmmaker as he currently is, the trick to him is that he’s always been a little more ethereal with his choice of projects than people realize. I mean, okay, I might not think much of ‘Interstellar‘, at all, but he didn’t just make a normal space adventure, he
See full article at Age of the Nerd »

2018 Oscar Previews: Part 1

  • Cinelinx
The 90th Annual Academy Awards will take place Sunday March 4th at 7pm Eastern time. Here is our overview of the major awards nominees in case you didn’t get to see them yourself.

There’s always a lot of talk leading up to the big day about who will win what awards. We try to make our predictions based on trends from the past, but we can’t help to be swayed by our own personal opinions. Some movies truly strike a chord with us, while others aren’t interesting at all. Furthermore, Oscar films are usually heavy in the drama department and therefore they aren’t always the easiest or most entertaining movies to watch.

That’s why we’re here. Here is your guide to the nominees of this year’s Academy Awards. We’ve compiled the following brief summaries, interesting facts, and critical reviews for all these films and people.
See full article at Cinelinx »

The Party Movie Review

  • ShockYa
The Party Movie Review
The Party Roadside Attractions Reviewed by : Harvey Karten Director: Sally Potter Screenwriter: Sally Potter Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas Screened at: Critics’ link, NYC, 2/8/18 Opens: February 16, 2018 This is the kind of party that only academics might enjoy, professors in a graduate faculty […]

The post The Party Movie Review appeared first on
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Case Study: How a 1994 Nick Cave Song Became a Favorite of Music Supervisors

Case Study: How a 1994 Nick Cave Song Became a Favorite of Music Supervisors
“You’ll see him in your head/On the TV screen/Hey buddy, I’m warning you/To turn it off”

That’s the refrain to “Red Right Hand,” a clanging, gloom-and-doom, six-minute-plus blues noir penned by Nick Cave and his fellow Bad Seeds, guitarist Mick Harvey and drummer Thomas Wydler, for the band’s 1994 album, “Let Love In,” originally released on Mute Records. Some 24 years later, the darkly foreboding track, reputedly a nod to the vengeful hand of God in John Milton’s epic “Paradise Lost,” has gained an unlikely second act as a sync magnet for a wide range of high-visibility movies, TV shows and ad campaigns.

Mute Song’s David McGinnis has been working with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for the past 18 years and helped engineer a variety of sync usages over that time. Mute Songs, the music publishing arm for Daniel Miller’s groundbreaking label, has published
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Peaky Blinders: Cancelled or Renewed for Season Five on Netflix?

Vulture Watch What's next for Tommy Shelby and his gangster family? Has the Peaky Blinders TV show been cancelled or renewed for a fifth season on Netflix? The television vulture is watching all the latest TV cancellation and renewal news, so this page is the place to track the status of Peaky Blinders, season five. Bookmark it, or subscribe for the latest updates. Remember, the television vulture is watching your shows. Are you?   What's This TV Show About? Streaming on the Netflix paid subscription platform, Peaky Blinders stars Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Sophie Rundle, Joe Cole, Ned Dennehy, Tom Hardy, Finn Cole, Natasha O'Keeffe, and Aimee-Ffion Edwards. The early 20th Century historical drama unfolds in Birmingham, England, where ambitious crime boss Tommy Shelby (Murphy) leads the "Peaky Blinders" gang. The fourth season kicks off in 1925. While Tommy is estranged
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

Dublin Film Festival unveils 2018 line-up

Lance Black’s Black 47 to open the event, which features seven world premieres.

Source: Iffr

‘Black 47’

The Audi Dublin International Film Festival (Feb 21- Mar 4) has announced its 2018 line-up.

Opening the 16th iteration of the event is the Irish premiere of Black 47. Lance Daly’s Great Famine-set thriller stars James Frecheville, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford, Hugo Weaving and Stephen Rea.

The closing night gala is C’est La Vie, from Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano (The Intouchables).

Playwright and screenwriter Mark O’Rowe’s directing debut The Delinquent Season is one of seven world premieres. The cast includes Cillian Murphy and Eva Birthistle, both of whom will attend.

Other world premieres include Stacy Cochran’s Write When You Get Work and artist Alan Gilsenan’s The Meeting.

Guests at the festival include Bill Pullman, presenting his new western The Ballad of Lefty Brown; Lynne Ramsay with a special presentation of You Were Never Really Here; Nora Twomey with Oscar-nominated
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan, Hans Zimmer And Hoyte van Hoytema On Dunkirk’s Eight Nominations

Christopher Nolan’s epic action thriller Dunkirk has received eight Oscar nominations, and here’s what the filmmakers had to say about Tuesday’s announcement.

Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan:

“We are thrilled that the Academy has recognized the craft and talent of so many of the incredible people that brought the story of ‘Dunkirk’ to life. But most of all, this recognition helps us to believe that we have done some justice to honouring all those whose lives were affected by the real life events at Dunkirk.”

Hans Zimmer – Original Music

“Thank you to the academy for this extraordinary honor and to be in the company of such great talent. I would especially like to thank Chris Nolan for his vision in making such a bold, and experimental movie into a success. This score is as much Chris Nolan’s work as it is mine and our collaborative spirit is infused through this film.
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​French cinema drew 80.5m international spectators in 2017

Lack of EuropaCorp hit sees number dip below 100m.

The international box office for French films recovered some of its élan in 2017 after a difficult 2016, although the absence of a big hit from Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp meant admissions remained well below the 100m of recent years.

According to preliminary annual figures released by export body UniFrance on Friday evening (January 19) as part of its Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris programme, French films drew 80.5m spectators internationally in 2017 for a total box office of €468m ($572m).

The international box office also generated more admissions for French cinema than France, where local pictures sold 78.2m tickets in 2017. Unifrance said the 2017 international box office figure represented a 98% rise on 2016 figures, when French films drew 34m spectators worldwide.

Breaking the box office figure down, majority French productions accounted for 60.7m, or 76%, of these admissions. French-language productions generated 38m entries, accounting for 47% of the international box office.

UniFrance noted that French-language
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Valerian Failure Results in Big Job Losses at EuropaCorp

Valerian Failure Results in Big Job Losses at EuropaCorp
After the box office failure that was Valerian last summer, which was the most expensive movie in French history, Luc Besson's French production company EuropaCorp is looking to slash its staff by 28%. The company has entered into negotiations with its employees to begin a consultation procedure that could result in 22 employees being laid off, bringing the company's entire staff down to 57 employees. The company issued a brief statement that revealed these actions, "correspond to the needs of the company in France to carry out its strategy of refocusing on its core activities."

EuropaCorp posted a whopping $83 million net loss in September, and a $136 million loss for the fiscal year. This covered the period where not only Valerian, their mind-bending adaptation of the iconic French graphic novels, was released, but also EuropaCorp's underperforming The Circle and Their Finest was released. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets only earned
See full article at MovieWeb »

Luc Besson's EuropaCorp plans job cuts in France

22 jobs could be axed from operations in France.

Source: Europacorp


Luc Besson’s beleaguered film production and distribution company EuropaCorp announced on Monday that it could axe 22 posts from its operations in France.

“EuropaCorp began a consultation process with staff representatives on 11th January to put in place a new structure in France,” the company said in a statement.

“If the plan were adopted, the workforce in France would number 57 personnel once it has been carried out,” it added.

The company said that such a workforce would correspond to its operational needs as it puts in place a strategy – announced end-November - to re-focus on its core activities of film production, TV series and international sales.

Under that strategy, EuropaCorp plans to produce two to three English-language features and up to two French-language films annually.

The strategy also envisaged continued involvement in English-language TV series even though the company had sealed a deal for the sale of
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Ben Wheatley begins production on mystery new project Colin You Anus

Although it was thought that his next project would be the sci-fi thriller Freakshift starring Alicia Vikander, Armie Hammer and Sasha Lane, British filmmaker Ben Wheatley has taken to Instagram to announce that he’s started production on a mystery new project, which is going by the working title of Colin You Anus.

Details on the film are being kept tightly under wraps, but Wheatley has announced that filming will last for just 11 days.

The filmmaker’s previous credits include Down Terrace, Kill List, Sightseers, A Field in England, High-Rise and his most recent release Free Fire, which starred Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Sharlto Copley, Babou Ceesay and Jack Reynor. In addition to Freakshift, he is also said to be attached to the Frank Miller comic book adaptation Hard Boiled, an adaptation of the classic video game Gauntlet, and a remake of Wages of Fear.

The post Ben
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Five Reasons to See Dunkirk

  • Cineplex
Five Reasons to See DunkirkFive Reasons to See DunkirkAmanda Wood1/2/2018 2:55:00 Pm

Christopher Nolan’s latest film Dunkirk was released months ago, yet it's quickly becoming one of 2017's most buzzed-about movies heading into the awards season. If you haven’t seen Dunkirk yet, we can’t recommend it enough. While it’s an admittedly harrowing experience, it’s worth seeing to fully absorb and enjoy this piece of really masterful film-making that's sure to garner plenty of awards recognition.

We’ve put together a list of 5 reasons to watch Dunkirk, whether it's in a theatre or at home, because we seriously love this one. Dunkirk is now playing in Cineplex theatres, and is available to rent or own on the Cineplex Store.

The Score

Longtime collaborators Hans Zimmer and Christopher Nolan aren’t letting up at all on this one. Dunkirk’s score is one of the main
See full article at Cineplex »
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