16 items from 2016
This was a busy year at Tiff, where I was a juror for Fipresci, helping to award a prize for best premiere in the Discovery section. Not only did this mean that some other films had to take a back burner—sadly, I did not see Eduardo Williams’ The Human Surge—but my writing time was a bit compromised as well. Better late than never? That is for you, Gentle Reader, to decide.Austerlitz (Sergei Loznitsa, Germany)So basic in the telling—a record of several days’ worth of visitors mostly to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienberg, Germany—Austerlitz is a film that in many ways exemplifies the critical theory of Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin. What is the net effect for humanity when, faced with the drive to remember the unfathomable, we employ the grossly inadequate tools at our disposal?Austerlitz takes its name from W. G. Sebald’s final novel. »
Cover artwork by Mark Reusch for Wolfmen of Mars' new album, Warp Suburbium, aims to depict the album's theme: liven up a suburban neighborhood with fun Halloween mayhem. Also in today's Highlights: program details for the 8th Annual Knoxville Horror Film Fest 2016, the Satanic Panic Room at Fantastic Fest, and the HellsGate Haunted House opening.
Wolfmen of Mars' Warp Suburbium Release Details: From Wolfmen of Mars: "We wanted the album to have a Twilight Zone / Halloween vibe. Artist Mark Reusch (http://misterreusch.com) took the concept of skeletons causing gremlin-esque chaos in an old suburban neighborhood on Halloween night, and came up with the album art."
To learn more about Warp Suburbium, visit:
The latest album from Wolfmen of Mars, Warp Suburbium will be released on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and more on Friday, September 16th, and it is now available on Bandcamp.
- Tamika Jones
Ryan Lambie Sep 9, 2016
For over a decade, Oregon-based studio Laika has honed its own unique kind of animation. Mixing traditional stop motion techniques with 3D printing and CGI, Laika has produced such captivating movies as Coraline, Paranorman and this year’s Kubo And The Two Strings. The indescribably busy studio co-founder, lead animator, producer and now director Travis Knight describes Laika’s hybrid approach as “Cavemen side by side with astronauts”; whether a scene is brought to life with puppets, CGI or a hybrid of both, his films have a foot in both the past and the future.
Kubo And The Two Strings, Laika’s most ambitious film to date, also has one foot in the far east. Set in Heian-era Japan, it’s Knight’s love »
In a medium founded on expanding one’s imagination and perception of reality, no genre does it better than science fiction. We’ve come a long way from the days when Georges Méliès took us to the moon, for today’s filmmakers look far beyond our universe and into the deepest corners of our soul to reflect the current society.
With the latest entry in the Star Trek franchise arriving in theaters this week, we’ve set out to reflect on the millennium’s sci-fi films that have most excelled. To note: we only stuck with feature-length works of 60 minutes or longer and, to make room for a few more titles, our definition of “the 21st century” stretched to include 2000.
Check out our top 50 below and let us know your favorites in the comments. We’ve also put the list on Letterboxd to keep track of how many you’ve seen. »
- The Film Stage
Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Dorothy Davenport becomes a judge and later State Governor in socially conscious thriller about U.S. women's voting rights. Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Will women's right to vote lead to the destruction of The American Family? Directed by and featuring the now all but forgotten Willis Robards, Mothers of Men – about women suffrage and political power – was a fast-paced, 64-minute buried treasure screened at the 2016 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held June 2–5. I thoroughly enjoyed being taken back in time by this 1917 socially conscious drama that dares to ask the question: “What will happen to the nation if all women have the right to vote?” One newspaper editor insists that women suffrage would mean the destruction of The Family. Women, after all, just did not have the capacity for making objective decisions due to their emotional composition. It »
- Danny Fortune
The documentary film “Women Who Run Hollywood” from sister filmmaking team Clara and Julia Kuperberg (“This Is Orson Welles,” “John Ford and Monument Valley”) is only 52 minutes long. That is perhaps as eloquent a comment as this rather cursory Cannes Classics title makes about its hot topic — just try to imagine how many hundreds of hours a male-focused counterpart film would run to. But despite evident good intentions, and some excellent interviewees, it is a frustrating effort in many ways, not least of which is its slightly misleading title, which suggests a more contemporary than historical slant. Its more evocative French title translates as “And Women Created Hollywood,” riffing on Roger Vadim’s majestic 1958 monument to paternalistic sexism “And God Created Woman.” It would have been a more accurate and enticing choice.
Following a tried-and-true if largely uninspired format of talking heads and archive footage, “Women Who Run Hollywood” does »
- Jessica Kiang
The new Film Comment is out with articles on Terence Davies, Alan Clarke, Lucile Hadzihalilovic and Juliet Berto in Jacques Rivette's Duelle, reviews of Athina Rachel Tsangari's Chevalier, Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship, Luca Guadagnino's A Bigger Splash, Hong Sang-soo's Right Now, Wrong Then and more. Also in today's roundup: David Bordwell on Orson Welles, Andrew Sarris's 1994 interview with Jean-Luc Godard, Jonathan Rosenbaum on Nicholas Ray and Alain Resnais, Ben Rivers on his influences, appreciations of the work of Georges Méliès, Terrence Malick and Stephen Chow—and much more. » - David Hudson »
An absorbing study of the evolution of a film-making niche that will hold most weight with the movie buffs
A wide-ranging, informative and nicely generous documentary about the unsung – or perhaps more accurately, rarely sung – heroes of the monster-movie universe. Everything from King Kong to Avatar gets a namecheck, via Georges Méliès, Ray Harryhausen, An American Werewolf in London, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. We get an intense, and necessarily concise, account of the development of technique – how stop-motion evolved into animatronics and on to CGI.
Continue reading »
- Andrew Pulver
Georges Méliès’ A Trip To The Moon, Apollo 13, The Right Stuff, HBO’s “From The Earth To The Moon.” Since the birth of cinema, audiences have been preoccupied with trips to our closest celestial body. Hollywood and Nasa merge once again – this time to tell the story of Captain Gene Cernan in the documentary The Last Man On The Moon.
This is the story of one of the very few men who went to the moon not only once, but twice. He first went to the moon on the Apollo 10 mission. It was the dress rehearsal for Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. His next flight was Apollo 17, the last time men would go to the moon. Riding aboard a Saturn V rocket, the largest and most powerful and impressive rocket that ever successfully flew, he was on man’s last mission to explore earth’s closest neighbor. »
- Michelle McCue
I’m nominated for an Oscar for Ex Machina’s visual effects, but the increasing sophistication and falling costs of CGI means almost all movies feature it – and it’s no longer the scapegoat for shoddy work elsewhere
Visual effects are not new. They’ve been integral to cinema from the start, from Georges Méliès’s 1902 film A Trip to the Moon to Citizen Kane; from Star Wars to, well, Star Wars again. But unlike other departments such as costume design or sound mixing, the technology that drives VFX advances quickly. This innovation is directly reflected on screen, and when a film seems shoddy, it’s the new and unfamiliar which are often blamed.
Computer-generated imagery has been the technology pushing change in VFX for the past 20 years. The term is something of a misnomer: these effects are no more created by a computer than Microsoft Word creates the modern novel. »
- Andrew Whitehurst
If you’re expecting to see women tied to train tracks or actors running around making fast jerky movements when you watch a silent film, think again
This incorporates several myths all at once. Silent films can be slippery creatures; silent film history more slippery still. So to avoid some smart aleck showing you up at the cinematheque, it is always best to avoid saying that a film is the first example of this, that or the other. You may have seen Metropolis (1927) described as the first science-fiction film, for example. It’s patent nonsense, as anyone who has seen Georges Méliès’s The Trip to the Moon (1902) can attest. So, was The Trip to the Moon the first science-fiction film? Possibly not. With around 80% of silent films currently missing, possibly lost for ever, even the most diligent archivist can’t guarantee that there isn’t an earlier example of anything. »
- Pamela Hutchinson
Paris -. France is increasingly vying with the U.K. as the leading hub in Europe for animation and visual effects services.
The sector has been one of the prime beneficiaries of France’s Trip tax rebate scheme since its launch in 2009, and the recent rate hike to 30% will further intensify the sector’s growth.
“This is the sector where the Trip scheme has had its biggest impact,” says Olivier René Veillon, executive director of the Paris region Ile de France Film Commission. “We have five-to-six companies that have attained an international level and are able to work on major projects with American companies.”
Since 2009, 26% of the 96 projects approved under Trip have been animation or VFX projects – eight animation features, 11 animation series and six VFX feature film projects – but they rep 48.5% of the total spend under the scheme.
In 2015, the sector was responsible for two-thirds of total spend under Trip »
- Martin Dale
The five-event Paris Images Trade Show (Jan. 28 – Feb. 6) – one of the world’s biggest film production and post-production trade fairs – kicked off Jan. 28 with a three-day Digital Summit, dedicated to cutting-edge digital production and post-production techniques.
“The Digital Summit sends out an important message to the industry in France and abroad,” explains Yann Marchet, general delegate of the Paris Images Digital Summit. “This is a genuine international event. We have a good position in France in this field but we won’t just be talking about French subjects or promoting the domestic industry. We’ve invited people from the U.K. and the U.S. to showcase their skills to the French production industry.”
The Digital Summit is hosted and co-produced by the Centre des Arts in Enghien-les-Bains, a state-funded center specializing in the digital arts, founded in 2004.
The event includes case studies, round tables, a masterclass and career tributes »
- Martin Dale
Fury of the Demon – Most Dangerous Movie of all Time
A legendary filmmaker. A lost movie. A legacy of death. An investigation that takes us on the traces of violent riots having taken place throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, caused by a rare, fascinating and dangerous film: Fury of the Demon (La Rage du Démon), attributed to French cineaste Georges Méliès. Through conversations with ...
Hnn | Horrornews.net - Official News Site »
Hell hath no fury like a... demon scorned? In this round-up, we have a look at the official poster for Fury of the Demon. Also: an I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday poster, a new Alienween trailer, details on the screening of Romero's vampire film, Martin, Frankenstein on Blu-ray / DVD, and Director's Cut.
Fury of the Demon: "An investigation that takes us on the traces of violent riots having taken place throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, caused by a rare, fascinating and dangerous film: Fury of the Demon (La Rage du Démon), attributed to French cineaste Georges Méliès. Through conversations with journalists, filmmakers, historians, experts and psychologists, this documentary pulls back the veil on the most cursed and disturbing movie ever made. From mysteries to mysteries, from questioning to questioning, discover the truth about the lost movie that has been shaking the film world for over a century! »
- Tamika Jones
New Year, new broom. Or rather mop in the case of Jennifer Lawrence, as her latest movie Joy rolls into cinemas. She takes the role of entrepreneurial dynamo Joy (based on Joy Mangano), inventor of a revolutionary cleaning product that carries her to fame on a sea of elbow grease.
It doesn’t sound like something that’ll polish off the competition at the box office, yet one look at the roster of talent involved suggests this isn’t the film you might expect, directed as it is by one of the ultimate left-field helmers, David O Russell.
In Hollywood, the best offerings are usually those with the best ideas, and as innovative personalities are all about snappy concepts they make perfect camera fodder for the moviemaking machine.
So join us on the path to enlightenment as we bring you some of celluloid’s best thinkers from outside the box. »
- Steve Palace
16 items from 2016
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