18 items from 2015
Submarines, snow and brain surgery collide in these dazzling but bewildering tales within tales
Guy Maddin’s typically bewildering latest has its creative roots in the 2010 film-loop installation Hauntings, which grew into the internet Seances project; a series of short films nominally inspired by lost titles of the 20s and 30s. Created in conjunction with Evan Johnson (who gets a co-director credit), The Forbidden Room is a cinematic Russian doll of tales within tales – tales of the snow and the cave; of submarines laden with Wages of Fear-style unstable blasting jelly; of doppelgängers, demons and two-faced gods; of volcanic sacrifices and monstrous couplings; of brain surgery, memory and madness. The heavily post-produced images jump from faux-scratchy black and white to the damaged hues of two-strip Technicolor, silent movie intertitles overlapping with sound-era dialogue in a postmodern meringue of pulp cliche as the screen pulsates like infernal internal organs, or »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
AFI Fest will take place November 5 – 12, 2015, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings, Galas and events will be held at the historic Tcl Chinese Theatre, the Tcl Chinese 6 Theatres, Dolby Theatre, the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian, the El Capitan Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt.
World Cinema showcases the most acclaimed international films of the year; Breakthrough highlights true discoveries of the programming process; Midnight selections will grip audiences with terror; and Cinema’s Legacy highlights classic movies and films about cinema. World Cinema and Breakthrough selections are among the films eligible for Audience Awards. Shorts selections are eligible for the Grand Jury Prize, which qualifies the winner for Academy Award®consideration. This year’s Shorts jury features filmmaker Janicza Bravo, »
- Melissa Thompson
The American Film Institute has completed its AFI Fest lineup: 127 films from 45 countries will screen from Nov. 5 to 12.
The festival includes 38 films directed/co-directed by women, 17 documentaries and 10 official foreign-language Oscar contenders, including Argentina’s entry “The Clan,” Hungary’s “Son of Saul” and Romania’s “Aferim!” along with Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Dheepan.” The screenings and events will take place at the Tcl Chinese Theatre, Tcl Chinese 6 Theatres, Dolby Theatre, Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian, El Capitan Theatre and Hollywood Roosevelt.
AFI has already announced a trio of world premieres: the opening night film, Angelina Pitt Jolie’s “By the Sea,” on Nov. 5; the Will Smith drama “Concussion” on Nov. 10; and the closing night film, Adam McKay’s “The Big Short” on Nov. 12. It’s also scheduled galas for Michael Moore’s documentary “Where to Invade Next” on Nov. 7 and the Chilean miners drama “The 33” on Nov. »
- Dave McNary
Dreams! Visions! Madness!: Maddin & Johnson’s Extravagant Symphony of Silent Cinema Fantasia
Those familiar with the works of auteur Guy Maddin, sometimes referred to as the Canadian David Lynch, know to expect strange hybrids of silence film techniques mixed with zany weirdness that often reflect delightfully perverse and sometimes queer dynamics mixed in with its dashes of visual inventiveness and extreme narrative playfulness. While he still creates a healthy amount of short film projects and is involved with other installations in-between feature films, including several notable unions with actress Isabella Rossellini, who has starred in The Saddest Music in the World (2003), Keyhole (2011) and as narrator of the brilliant Brand Upon the Brain! (2006), his latest has been in gestation over a period of several years, at one point known as Seances and Spiritismes, and it was uncertain whether this would ever be a theatrical release. Known finally as The Forbidden Room, »
- Nicholas Bell
Imagine this. As you sit down in a full theater, the lights dim, curtain opens, and the projector strategically placed in the back of the room begins playing what you assume will be a relatively standard narrative feature film akin to the rest of the fall film slate. Oscar bait is on your mind, as all of a sudden, a prologue begins instructing the viewer on how to properly take a bath. Surreal, experimental, absurdest and delightfully childish, this is not the opening of the latest awards hopeful. Instead, this is how one of today’s greatest surreal auteurs has begun his latest masterpiece, one of 2015’s most dream-like, breathlessly original motion pictures.
Guy Maddin is at it once again with The Forbidden Room, a film beyond description. Opening with the aforementioned ode to proper hygiene, the film then shifts to what one could possibly describe as its central narrative, »
- Joshua Brunsting
Guy Maddin’s silliest and (relatively speaking) starriest feature since “The Saddest Music in the World,” “The Forbidden Room” looks set to gain his widest audience since that 2003 opus as well. It’s not necessarily one of his best, however, as this project originally conceived for the internet still plays as the series of disconnected pranks and whimsies it began as, refusing to coalesce into any focused whole. As with “Music,” those hitherto unacquainted with the helmer’s unique sensibility should have no trouble getting the joke. But it’s also a repetitious, rather formless jest that will wear out its welcome for many viewers long before jerking to a halt at the two-hour mark. It opens its U.S. theatrical run on Oct. 7, and should slightly expand on Maddin’s prior niche b.o. in friendly arthouse markets.
“Room” is an offshoot of “Seances,” an interactive online menu of »
- Dennis Harvey
The four-man crew of a submarine is trapped underwater, running out of air. A classic scenario of claustrophobic suspense—at least until a hatch opens and out steps… a lumberjack? As this newcomer’s backstory unfolds (and unfolds and unfolds in over a dozen outlandish tales), Guy Maddin, cinema’s reigning master of feverish filmic fetishism, embarks on a phantasmagoric narrative adventure of stories within stories within dreams within flashbacks in a delirious globe-trotting mise en abyme the equal of any by the late Raúl Ruiz. Collaborating with poet John Ashbery and featuring sublime contributions from the likes of Jacques Nolot, Charlotte Rampling, Mathieu Amalric, legendary cult electro-pop duo Sparks, and not forgetting muses Louis Negin and Udo Kier, »
- Gary Collinson
Yves Montmayeur, director of the penetrating documentary Michael H - Profession: Director on the career of Michael Haneke has won the Venezia Classici Award for Best Documentary on Cinema this evening at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival for his latest exploration looking into the man and the myth of another mysterious filmmaker, Guy Maddin, in The 1000 Eyes Of Dr Maddin.
Maddin's The Forbidden Room, co-directed with Evan Johnson, is one of the highlights of the 53rd New York Film Festival. With an all-star cast that includes Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Maria de Medeiros, Louis Negin, Udo Kier, André Wilms, Clara Furey, Roy Dupuis, Noel Burton with a contribution by John Ashbery, the stories told here may very well resemble one side of the Janus bust, auctioned off and desired by a man and his double. »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Michael Almereyda's Experimenter stars Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder with Jim Gaffigan, John Leguizamo, Lori Singer, Taryn Manning, Kellan Lutz, Anton Yelchin, Josh Hamilton, Dennis Haysbert and Ned Eisenberg supporting the research. Margherita Buy, Giulia Lazzarini, Beatrice Mancini and John Turturro in Nanni Moretti's Mia Madre (My Mother) explore private emotions and public movie work. Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson's The Forbidden Room will haunt your dreams and submarines with Louis Negin, Charlotte Rampling, Udo Kier, Roy Dupuis, André Wilms, Geraldine Chaplin, Adèle Haenel, Maria de Medeiros and Mathieu Amalric. Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin (Nie Yin Niang) engages blow by blow with Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Sheu Fang-yi and Hsieh Hsin-ying.
Here are four early highlights of the 53rd New York Film Festival that dazzle with their superb ensemble casts. »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
One of the most distinctive 2015 Sundance premieres was Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson's "The Forbidden Room," which Kino Lorber is opening in New York on October 7 after screenings at Tiff and Nyff. The film has already had a healthy festival run. Co-directed by Johnson, Maddin's 11th feature-film foray into avant-weirdness stars a top-drawer cast including Mathieu Amalric, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Maria de Medeiros, Jacques Nolot, Adèle Haenel, Amira Casar & Elina Löwensohn as a clown car of misfits, thieves and lovers. Read More: Kino Lorber Grabs Guy Maddin's Delightfully Demented 'Forbidden Room' Inspired in part by American modernist poet John Ashbery (who gets a writing credit) and structured like a Russian nesting doll, "Forbidden Room" is the highwire cinematic equivalent to LSD, giddily juggling multiple film stocks and kooky set pieces involving cavemen, wolf-hunters, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Get a load of this! What a funky teaser trailer. The first official teaser trailer for Guy Maddin's new film The Forbidden Room has debuted online, and it's a quite a doozy. This wacky, experimental film premiered at Sundance in the New Frontier section. If you're familiar with Maddin's past work, you may know his style already. But if not, this fun teaser will give you a brief glimpse. The introduction of the cast is a bit tiresome, but at least it looks nice. Directed by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, The Forbidden Room stars Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Udo Kier, Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Rampling and Victor Andres Turgeon-Trelles. If abstract stories that dive six layers deep are your thing, then give this a whirl. Here's the teaser trailer for Guy Maddin's The Forbidden Room, on YouTube (via The Film Stage): You can see even »
- Alex Billington
Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, will make its World Premiere at the 53rd New York International Film Festival, running from September 25 to October 11. The film was one of 26 announced as part of the festival’s main slate, along with one of four World Premieres.
Some of the main slate highlights include Todd Haynes’s Carol, featuring Cannes Best Actress Winner Rooney Mara alongside Cate Blanchett, Miguel Gomes’s three part saga Arabian Nights, Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Assassin, the Us premiere of Michael Moore’s latest Where to Invade Next, Michel Gondry’s French film Microbe et Gasoil, and the World Premiere of the documentary Don’t Blink: Robert Frank, about the life of the fames photographer and filmmaker.
- Brian Welk
The Toronto International Film Festival, whose 40th edition will run from September 10 through 20, has announced a round of Canadian titles strewn across several programs. Highlights include Robert Budreau's Born to Be Blue with Ethan Hawke, Patricia Rozema's Into the Forest with Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood, a new short by Denis Côté, Bruce McDonald's Hellions and Evan Johnson and Guy Maddin's spectacular The Forbidden Room with Mathieu Amalric, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Maria de Medeiros, Jacques Nolot, Adèle Haenel, Amira Casar and Elina Löwensohn. » - David Hudson »
The festival program unveiled today includes 33 world premieres (including 22 shorts) and 135 Australian premieres (with 18 shorts) among 251 titles from 68 countries.
Among the other premieres will be Daina Reid.s The Secret River, Ruby Entertainment's. ABC-tv miniseries starring Oliver Jackson Cohen and Sarah Snook, and three Oz docs, Marc Eberle.s The Cambodian Space Project — Not Easy Rock .n. Roll, Steve Thomas. Freedom Stories and Lisa Nicol.s Wide Open Sky.
Festival director Nashen Moodley boasted. this year.s event will be far larger than 2014's when 183 films from 47 countries were screened, including 15 world premieres. The expansion is possible in part due to the addition of two new screening venues in Newtown and Liverpool.
As previously announced, Brendan Cowell »
- Don Groves
The Forbidden Room debuted at Sundance Film Festival, and a significant portion of the audience left the screening within the first 15 minutes of the opening credits. This polarizing film is a symphonic cacophony of visual and aural stimulation, with interludes of absurd humor to relieve the pressure. Co-directors/writers Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson along with co-writers Robert Kotyk, John Ashbery and Kim Morgan crafted the story like a traditional Russian nesting doll, with tales within tales -- and sometimes within inanimate objects such as a urine stain within which a battle rages. Lovers, murderers, chanteuses, vampire bananas, motorcycle girls and skeletons are just a few of the macabre players in this delightfully demented and disturbing tale.
The challenge of The Forbidden Room is to follow the threads of each of the stories that are interwoven in a crudely but lovingly handcrafted tapestry. After a brief introduction on "How to Take A Bath, »
- Debbie Cerda
Kino Lorber has announced the acquisition of all Us rights to Guy Maddin’s (My Winnipeg, The Saddest Music in the World) The Forbidden Room (2015), following the film’s world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
The Forbidden Room was produced by Phi Films, Buffalo Gal Pictures and the National Film Board of Canada (Nfb), with the participation of Telefilm Canada and with the financial investment of Manitoba Film & Music and Sodec.
“I feel fantastic about Richard Lorber and his team handling The Forbidden Room,” wrote director Guy Maddin. “When we first met, before he saw the movie, I felt that rare pleasure of tastes synching up every second moment, but immediately after the screening we connected with wondrous electrified crackles! It was like we were giddily letting this film finish each other’s sentences for us! Our movie instantly galvanized a shared experience. It’s only right, and extremely thrilling, »
- Michelle McCue
Kino Lorber has acquired all Us rights to Guy Maddin's "The Forbidden Room," planning a Fall theatrical release for the Sundance premiere, which heads to Berlin this week and more fests throughout 2015. Co-directed by Evan Johnson, Maddin's 11th feature-film foray into avant-weirdness stars a top-drawer cast including Mathieu Amalric, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Maria de Medeiros, Jacques Nolot, Adèle Haenel, Amira Casar & Elina Löwensohn as a clown car of misfits, thieves and lovers. Inspired in part by American modernist poet John Ashbery and structured like a Russian nesting doll, "Forbidden Room" is the highwire cinematic equivalent to LSD, giddily juggling multiple film stocks and kooky set pieces involving cavemen, wolf-hunters, skeletons, bloodsucking bananas, damsels in distress and the memories of a dead man's mustache. To name a few. The film was produced by Phi Films, Buffalo »
- Ryan Lattanzio
One of our most anticipated Sundance 2015 titles is Guy Maddin's latest foray into avant-weirdness, a cinematic hybrid project the Canadian auteur's been cooking up since his docu-fantasia "My Winnipeg" bowed in 2007. The director's 11th film, "The Forbidden Room" stars a top-drawer Euro cast including Mathieu Amalric, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Maria de Medeiros, Jacques Nolot, Adèle Haenel, Amira Casar & Elina Löwensohn as "a cavalcade of misfits, thieves and lovers, all joined in the joyful delirium of the kaleidoscopic viewing experience," per the press release of this elusive new movie. Made with the help of American poet John Ashbery, who aided in defining modern poetry in the mid-20th century, "Forbidden Room" premieres at Sundance next week before heading to Berlin in February. Below, check out the "living poster" for the film, which apparently »
- Ryan Lattanzio
18 items from 2015
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