19 items from 2017
14 September 2017 5:48 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
It’s been a couple of years since the graphic cold open of Gaspar Noe’s Love 3D, but actor-director Koichi Imaizumi puts that to shame with Berlin Drifters, an explicit, willfully confrontational romance that will split audiences down porn-versus-art lines while debating whether the characters found what they were looking for. (For the record, there’s too much awkwardness and unsightly hair for this to be porn.) Two Japanese men in Berlin are seeking genuine connection in their own ways, and in doing so come together and drift apart over the course of a few lusty weeks.
A low-budget, all-hands-on-deck affair, Berlin »
- Elizabeth Kerr
Using every cliche in the serial-killer manual, the new BBC show fancies itself as the next Scandi murder-mystery
Such is the ubiquity of crime dramas nowadays that, were I to come across a blood-spattered corpse while walking the dog, I would be more inclined to look around for the attendant film crew than call the police. So how to breathe new life into serial killer series? If you’re Rellik (11 September, 9pm, BBC1), you look to Christopher Nolan’s Memento or Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible for inspiration, and tell the story backwards. If only Midsomer Murders had thought of this.
Rellik (it’s “killer” backwards – geddit?) tells the tale of a murder investigation in reverse chronology. Thus, after seeing the apparent perpetrator cornered, the action spools back in time, pressing play at crucial points to dump great big slabs of exposition into the story while wilfully upending our understanding of »
- Fiona Sturges
Barcelona — Italian actress Monica Bellucci and French Nouvelle Vague icon Agnès Varda will be honored at the 2017 San Sebastián Film Festival with Donostia Awards for career achievement. John Malkovich will serve as the president of the main competition jury.
The awards and jury president announcements come as the Spanish Festival has announced that festival guests include Arnold Schwarzenegger, voicing “Wonders of the Sea 3D,” Javier Bardem, Bérénice Bejo, Steve Coogan, Penélope Cruz, and Jean-Pierre Léaud. Also attending: Benoît Magimel, Paz Vega, winner of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Prize to Latin Cinema, and Alicia Vikander-
Of directors, Darren Aronofsky, Raymond Depardon, Ildikó Enyedi, Robert Guédiguian, Todd Haynes, Aki Kaurismäki, Hirokazu Koreeda, Ruben Östlund, Lynne Ramsay, Carlos Saura, Wim Wenders, Michael Winterbottom and Frederick Wiseman will present their latest films. Boasting a dazzling beauty which evokes Italian divas such as Sofía Loren and Claudia Cardinale, Bellucci has demonstrated her range and language abilities in such noteworthy works as Giuseppe Tornatore’s »
- Emilio Mayorga
Over at La Weekly, lead film critic April Wolfe has rolled out a deeply reported and utterly fascinating look inside the professional world of stunt choreographers — and other cast and crew — who are tasked with enacting rape scenes on the screen. The story focuses primarily on the toll such work takes on even the most dedicated of professionals, with the added caveat that many of them are eager to see the kind of widespread industry change that would make this particular set of skills far less in demand.
Business, however, is booming. As Wolfe writes about choreographer Deven MacNair, one of the main voices in the story: “She picks up the phone when producers call with a potential scene. She has continued to pick it up — rape scenes are everywhere. MacNair is grateful, always positive, ready to do what’s asked of her. At the same time, she — and others »
- Kate Erbland
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)
Kate Erbland (@katerbland), IndieWire
It will come as no surprise to anyone that, as a child, I watched a lot of television. A lot. I was mostly obsessed with HBO — our single movie channel, number 2 on the dial; yes, my childhood TV had a dial, don’t ask — with intermittent deviations into mostly inappropriate mini-series (thus explaining my rarely disclosed expertise on “The Thornbirds”), and was pretty much given free range to watch whatever the hell I wanted, whenever I wanted. This is why my favorite »
- David Ehrlich
Taking a fictionalized approach to a mass murder in Seattle a decade ago, Jagger Gravning’s “Wallflower” arrives at something more idiosyncratic and ultimately haunting than a standard docudrama-style true crime tale. Focusing less on the perpetrator than on the raver milieu he briefly infiltrated — to tragic results — this culture-clash snapshot provides a moving if also mysterious portrait of fragile mental health snapping tether entirely amid the alien environs of blithe hedonism.
Those looking for a more explanatory approach to Kyle Aaron Huff’s fatal shooting of six and himself in 2006 may be frustrated by the writer-director’s impressionistic view. But “Wallflower” is complex, empathetic and often poetical, emphasizing the flow of life that was interrupted rather than the interruption itself — in a way comparable to (though not as narratively abstract as) Gus Van Sant’s “Elephant.” It’s also a sort of nostalgia piece for the rave scene, whose »
- Dennis Harvey
The 70-year-old festival has never been far from controversy.
A row over the inclusion of Netflix titles in official competition has cast a shadow over this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with boos for the Netflix logos, clashes between Jury members and a rule changes for next year.
Perhaps it’s appropriate however that a row has been front of centre on Cannes 70th birthday, as the festival is no stranger to a controversy…
Actress Simone Silva’s decision to go topless at a photocall resulted in a scrum which caused several broken bones.
New Minister of Cultural Affairs Andre Malraux formalised Cannes’ burgeoning film market, which has since become integral to the festival and the largest industry event in the global industry. At the time, however, it was a decision not welcomed by all; as a direct reaction to this commercialisation, the French Syndicate of Film Critics (Afcc) was founded.
La Dolce Vita won the »
The Cannes Film Festival doesn’t get its due as a platform for horror. But as this year’s festival begins, two of the most anticipated titles — Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” and David Lynch’s new season of “Twin Peaks” — are artful interpretations of the genre. Several more buzzy entries are expected to be dark and dire, including Lynne Ramsey’s “You Were Never Really Here,” David Robert Mitchell’s “Under the Silver Lake,” and Jane Campion’s series “Top of the Lake: China Girl.”
Cannes’ love of the gothic is nothing new. The festival has long been a melting pot for bold visions, and this includes some of the world’s scariest films. From established risk-takers like Lars von Trier and Nicolas Winding Refn to once-green directors like Gaspar Noé and Sam Raimi, the strength of the talent has left some indelible impressions on the horror scene. »
- William Earl
In late April, genre fans crowded into the Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, Ore., for a new horror film festival, but they didn’t spend the whole weekend watching movies. Instead, the newly founded Overlook Film Festival used its contained setting to showcase an emerging creative field that may point the way to the future of entertainment: the immersive experience.
“The value of showcasing immersive storytelling at film festivals, to me, is that it can only stand to add texture and flavor to the overall programming,” said Dylan Reiff, co-founder of Bottleneck Immersive. The gaming company, which presented an escape room at Fantastic Fest in Austin last fall, invited Overlook participants to opt in to an immersive horror game. “It adds this underbelly of energy that permeates the space.”
For his Overlook project, Reiff and his collaborators gave participants wristbands when they arrived at the hotel, and throughout the weekend »
- Eric Kohn
Commentary Commentary“Now this is especially hideous. There’s no possible reason that this shot is in the movie.”Multiple Maniacs (1970)
Commentator: John Waters (director, writer, producer, cinematographer, editor)
1. Frequent Criterion Films partner, Janus Films, has been a big part of Waters’ life, and he’s thrilled to be recording this track on the day this film was actually premiering in a Janus art theater. They “were the first ever to show [Ingmar] Bergman to me when I was in high school, I’d see art movies and it was always Janus Films. Criterion always was a class act with what kind of films they’d pick, so I’m incredibly honored that they’d pick to distribute this movie.”
2. “Is it ironic, or is it a natural ending to my career in the best kind of way,” he says regarding his arrival on the Criterion label. He adds the film is what he started with (it was »
- Rob Hunter
Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel died in 1983, but his films continue to inspire many filmmakers today, including Woody Allen and David O. Russell. New York’s Metrograph theater is presenting a series of the surrealist filmmaker’s work from March 30 to April 6 entitled “Buñuel in France” that will feature five of his films. Buñuel directed 35 movies between 1929 and 1977.
Read More: Watch: Was Luis Buñuel a Fetishist? A Video Essay
Here are seven filmmakers who have listed a Buñuel film in their top 10 movies of all time.
Allen’s favorite Buñuel film is 1972’s “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie,” the famous comedy about six middle-class people attempting to have a meal together. Allen wore his inspiration on his shirt sleeve in his 2011 fantasty-comedy “Midnight in Paris,” casting the actor Adrien De Van to play Buñuel in a scene also featuring the surrealist painter Salvador Dalí (Adrien Brody) and visual »
- Graham Winfrey
Monica Bellucci: a frequent visitor over the years at the Cannes Film Festival will host the opening and closing ceremonies. Photo: UniFrance
The figure in the spotlight as master of ceremonies at the opening and closing ceremonies of this year’s 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, which beam out live worldwide, will be Italian actress Monica Bellucci, the organisers have announced.
Bellucci, a frequent visitor to the Festival either on her own or with her ex-partner Vincent Cassel with whom she co-starred in Gaspard Noé’s controversial Irréversible in 2002, has carved out her career with many prestigious French and Italian directors as well as in the international arena. She appeared in Cannes for the first time with Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman for Stephen Hopkins’ Under Suspicion in 2000.
She has had previous form in taking on the dual role in Cannes, presiding over the opening and closings »
- Richard Mowe
France has a rich history of horror. There’s the sadomasochistic novels of the Marquis de Sade as well as the blood and guts of Grand Guignol theatre. In cinema, the horror lineage runs deep. There’s Georges Méliès’ shorts and trick films (The Haunted Castle , The Four Troublesome Heads ); the eye-slicing of Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel’s Un chien andalou (1929); Georges Franju’s nauseating documentary on slaughterhouses, Blood of the Beasts (1949), as well as his clinical and poetic Eyes Without a Face (1960); there’s Henri-Georges Clouzot’s nasty Diabolique (1955); and the rotting poetry of Jean Rollin’s collective work. Flash forward a few decades, to the mid-1990s and 2000s, where we find the intense and brutal "New French Extremity" films by Philippe Grandrieux, Bruno Dumont, Gaspar Noé, Marina de Van, and others. And there are the genre filmmakers creating work around the same time as the more »
The final day of February has many home entertainment offerings that horror and sci-fi fans are definitely going to want to add to their Blu-ray and DVD collections. Scream Factory is resurrecting the anthology Deadtime Stories in HD this week, and Tibor Takacs’ creature feature cult classic, The Gate, is getting the Vestron Video Collector’s Series treatment on February 28th as well.
This Tuesday, Vinegar Syndrome is giving a high-def overhaul to another cult classic, Slaughterhouse, and for those who may have missed it during its successful festival run, Arrow Video is releasing We Are The Flesh on multiple formats, too.
Your favorite nightmares come to life in a salute »
- Heather Wixson
If the saying "no guts, no glory" holds true, then there's a serious discrepancy happening in the world of horror. Though women -- your scream queens, your final girls -- have so often offered up their guts to genre films, men are still predominately pulling the strings behind the scenes. That's not the case with Xx, a horror anthology featuring four killer tales by four female directors: Annie Clark (aka rocker St. Vincent, making her directorial debut), Jovanka Vuckovic, Karyn Kusama and Roxanne Benjamin. The story of how Xx came to be -- and how it hopes to upend the horror industry -- is best told by the women behind it.
A director and student of horror maestro Guillermo del Toro, Vuckovic conceived Xx after noticing that despite the horror anthology's extensive history, female creatives have been virtually absent. She partnered with producer Todd Brown of Xyz Films to change that.
Jovanka Vuckovic (writer-director »
Judy Garland’s infamously difficult, traumatizing childhood has become a disturbing Hollywood legend in the year since her untimely death at age 47. But now, a new autobiography claims that Garland’s experiences on the set of Victor Fleming’s “The Wizard of Oz” are worse than previously reported. According to Garland’s late husband Sid Luft, whose autobiography “Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland” is finally being posthumously published, says that she was frequently groped and molested by the actors playing the Munchkins.
Read More: ‘Emerald City’ Producer: NBC’s Crazy ‘Wizard of Oz’ Adaptation Will Be ‘100% Less Rape-y’ Than ‘Game of Thrones’
“They would make Judy’s life miserable on set by putting their hands under her dress,” he writes in the book. “The men were 40 or more years old. They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small.” The book does not »
- Vikram Murthi
Tom Jolliffe on the death of good screenwriting in Hollywood…
Awards season is in full swing, so it seems somewhat ironic to come and bemoan the dearth of good screenwriting within the modern studio system, but I’m going to anyway. Putting aside the award nominated films, my focus is more on those films that are more financially motivated or targeted toward genre fans. Let’s face it, La La Land, whilst it won’t redefine screenwriting, is going to be hard to pick apart. There is still good work out there, but it’s fewer and far between, and those films where the returns matter above all else, seem to be becoming increasingly more and more dumbed down. It seems like writers now get hired to write any old guff and the quality of the final draft is of no consequence.
The first subject of my ire is Avi Lerner, »
- Amie Cranswick
“You are nothing but rotting meat,” the grinning hermit declares from deep within the bowels of the cavernous hideout he’s made for himself in post-apocalyptic Mexico. His name is Mariano (“Miss Bala” star Noé Hernandez), his face is twisted into a demonic gnarl of primitive desire, and he’s ready to prove his point with depravities so vile they make Gaspar Noé and the rest of the world’s reigning shock auteurs look prudish by comparison.
Unfolding like a Nuevo Cine Mexicano response to “Saló,” Emiliano Rocha Minter’s “We Are the Flesh” takes the defining tropes of his country’s contemporary filmmaking, liberates them from the burden of narrative logic, and stretches them across the screen like Hannibal Lecter hanging a victim by the flaps of his skin. Whereas “Heli,” “Battle of Heaven,” and other recent Mexican breakouts have told stories that were punctuated with acts of extreme barbarity and sexual violence, »
- David Ehrlich
Above: Mondo poster for The Graduate (Mike Nichols, USA, 1967); artist: Rory Kurtz; lettering: Jay Shaw.On my daily movie poster Tumblr I don’t make a habit of posting fan art or art prints—call them what you will—because I’m most interested in the intersection of commerce and art that is the theatrical movie poster. But I make an exception when something stands out, and nothing stood out last year quite like Rory Kurtz’s beautiful, elegant and unexpected Mondo illustration for The Graduate, which quite rightly racked up over 200 more likes than even its nearest competitor. But its nearest competitor was fan art too: a brilliant poster for Badlands by the insanely talented Adam Juresko, whose art poster for In the Mood for Love (featured in my Maggie Cheung article) was also in the top four. What makes art posters easy to like—beyond their extraordinary artistry »
19 items from 2017
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