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Alcoholism in the movies have been played for both dramatic and comical effect. In fact some of the binge drinking done on the big screen have garnered considerable praise and pathos resulting in many performers winning Oscars and Oscar nominations based on this very serious addiction.
The alcoholic in cinema is larger in life because it is a societal reflection of the demons and destruction that affect millions of people globally. Film allows for the liberty to use creative licenses to highlight the physical and psychological pain and false feelings of pleasure to convey the true face of alcoholism and its hold on fictional characterizations that are bound by the poisonous allure of the bottle. However heavy-handed or hearty it may seem in portraying the detached drinker or happy drunk one thing is for certain…the depth and dimensional range of the chronic cinema sipper has never disappointed in giving »
- Frank Ochieng
The contradiction in film criticism certainly does not go unnoticed. Sure, there are countless films that are praised and applauded for its excellence in quality and creativity. Unfortunately, the overlooked cinema fare that deserves just as much attention (more so than some of the recognized critically-acclaimed selections on an impressive selection of critics’ and moviegoers’ radars) get lost in the proverbial shuffle. It is simply the professional hazard of the movie industry because not every well-received and standout gem will get its rightful due come major awards season in Hollywood.
Just how many times have we as movie reviewers and/or movie fans become indignant when we realized that the special piece of entertainment we personally and critically cherished came up short and empty in expectations? Again, every smart kid in the classroom cannot get a gold star as we remain a competitive society in the world of celluloid superiority. »
- Frank Ochieng
20th Century Fox
Whether it be fought with swords and shields, tanks and machine guns or laser cannons and space ships, the medium of film has given us some truly epic battles across the years. Sometimes we cinephiles don’t need the witty dialogue and word-play of directors like Alexander Payne or Robert Linklater – instead we want to see explosions, gore and awesome displays of combative skill. Oftentimes these set-pieces see the heroes overcoming the odds either by defending a position against a seemingly irresistible force or launching a kamikaze-style assault almost certain to end in a gruesome death. The audience is left to suffer as we see the tense violence play out on screen.
These budget-consuming sequences act as visceral, visually captivating moments in the movie which keep you talking about it long after the final credits roll. Epic battle scenes are generally used either to end the film »
- Sam Heard
If Alexander Payne had been born in Normandy rather than Nebraska, he might have made a film like “Paris Follies,” a gently comedic portrait of a rural cow farmer trying to cope when his restless wife, Brigitte, leaves him for a big-city fling. Though a bit too provincial to be much of a draw even in its native France, Marc Fitoussi’s slyly observant romance offers a welcome opportunity to re-enlist actress Isabelle Huppert after their keen collaboration on “Copacabana,” a superior film that remains undistributed in the U.S. — no doubt a discouraging sign for this relatively banal reunion.
Claudia Llosa’s recent Berlinale entry “Aloft” opened with a gritty scene of Jennifer Connelly plunging her arm deep into a cow’s insides to help pry forth a calf. As fearless an actress as they come, Huppert would no doubt welcome such a challenge, and though “Paris Follies” takes »
- Peter Debruge
Damián Szifrón’s Cannes Competition film Wild Tales and Palm d’Or winner Winter Sleep to open the T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival in Wroclaw.
A total of 20 films from Cannes Film Festival have been secured for the 14th New Horizons International Film Festival (July 24-Aug 3), Poland’s largest film event.
The festival, held in Wroclaw, will comprise screenings of around 365 films, including 199 features.
A second opening film will be this year’s Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep, by Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
The festival will close with Cannes Grand Prix winner The Wonders by Italian director Alice Rohrwacher.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
“Are you happy?” the woman asks her husband midway through Paul Mazursky’s “Blume in Love” (1973), to which he replies, “I’m just not miserable.” It is a flashback to earlier, relatively happier times in the busted-up marriage of the divorce lawyer Blume (George Segal) and his wife, Nina (Susan Anspach). But one can find the same scene or its close equivalent in most of Mazursky’s 15 feature films, which time and again centered on small-time American dreamers striving to feel a little less miserable in their lives.
The time was the early 1970s — that much-mythologized moment in Hollywood cinema — and Mazursky was among the directors whose work most embraced the new personal and sexual freedoms then taking hold in American culture and American movies. Divorce and adultery were laissez-faire subjects in his films when they were still taboo around the water cooler. Four years before “Blume,” his debut feature, »
- Scott Foundas
Tom Perrotta, who helped adapt his pseudo-Rapture novel The Leftovers into HBO’s big summer series (premiering Sunday), joined the show as a writers’-room virgin but a veteran self-adapter. All six of his novels and one of his two story collections have been optioned, and Perrotta’s had a hand in every screenplay but one (Alexander Payne’s Election); he has also written a couple of original scripts. A rare sideline for a literary writer, it’s as instructive for its failures as its hits. On a recent visit to Perrotta’s home in the verdant Boston suburb of Belmont, Vulture asked the author to take us on a walk-through of what he calls “the systematic exploitation of my work.”Election (1998 novel)In 1995, the year after he published his debut story collection, Bad Haircut, Perrotta read at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference from a novel in progress called The Wishbones. »
- Boris Kachka
The duo will present six films, focusing on new ideas and overlooked titles. As with the rest of the lineup, the names will be unveiled on opening day.
“Guy and Kim have long been a part of Telluride,” said Telluride Film Festival executive director Julie Huntsinger. “There was no question that they were the perfect choice for this year’s Festival. Their energy, knowledge and enthusiasm is a winning combination – our audience will benefit from that when their selections are unveiled at the Festival!”
The duo told Variety that they have already selected the six films, which include one restored print.
“What we particularly like about Telluride is that they’re willing to take a chance,” Maddin said. “We want people to be »
- Dave McNary
Watching an estimable quintet of character actors do their thing is the chief pleasure of “Cut Bank,” a largely routine thriller dressed up as a quirky small-town morality play. The feature helming debut of Matt Shakman, a former child actor turned prolific director of episodic television, does well by all but the youngest members of its core cast — a creative stumble that unfortunately leaves a gaping hole where the film’s heart should be. Quality supporting performances, including another excellent turn from Bruce Dern, aren’t enough to guarantee theatrical play after a Los Angeles Film Festival premiere, but should help boost the pic’s profile wherever it lands.
Disaffected young dude Dwayne (Liam Hemsworth) longs to leave the sleepy town of Cut Bank, Mont., notable only as the “coldest spot in the nation,” for sunnier surroundings. Employed as a mechanic by the no-nonsense father (Billy Bob Thornton) of his pretty pageant-queen-wannabe g. »
- Geoff Berkshire
The release this week of Jon Favreau’s Chef provides a new addition to the popular sub-genre of Food Cinema. From Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (1994) to Julia & Julia (2009), film directors have often created meals so mouth-watering that the thought of another handful of chewy, over-toffeed popcorn makes a mockery of one’s very soul.
Here then is the ultimate HeyUGuide to the ultimate Cine-Banquet, for any budding chefs out there to prepare for like-minded friends (please consult Alexander Payne’s Sideways for your wine selection).
Amuse-bouche: ‘Rillettes du Canard’ Red Dragon (2002)
“Hannibal, confess. What is this divine looking amuse-bouche?” Dr. Lecter is perhaps wise to keep back some of the secrets of the lavish banquet he has prepared for The Baltimore Opera Society. Few of them would suspect that the missing (and talentless) flutist from their own woodwind section is not just the ghost at the feast, but the key ingredient. »
- Cai Ross
Oscar winners Nat Faxon and Jim Rash have signed with Wme in all areas, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. They previously were with CAA. The duo won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for Alexander Payne's The Descendants, starring George Clooney and Shailene Woodley. They made their directorial debut last year with The Way Way Back, starring Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell and Toni Collette, which they also wrote, executive produced and co-starred in. Story: Jim Rash on 'Writer's Room': A 'Group Therapy Session' for Shonda Rhimes, Robert Kirkman For acting, Faxon, who starred opposite Fifty Shades of Grey's Dakota
- Rebecca Sun
Shailene Woodley may owe much of her success of her breakout performance in “The Descendants,” but as it turns out, the success of the Alexander Payne drama starring George Clooney nearly broke her spirit. “Somebody came to me and said, ‘I can't wait to see what you do next.’ I took that as pressure–that I had to live up to somebody else's expectations,” the 22-year-old actress says in the Vanity Fair July cover story. “There were a few months where I was like, ‘I don't want to act anymore.’ And then I got over it and realized it's none of. »
- Greg Gilman
June 2014. So what does the month of June usually remind one of during this time of year? Well, besides Father’s Day and possible scheduled weddings this sixth month in the calendar year marks the celebrated occasion for the ending of the school semester. Whether students are simply looking forward to their summer vacation or managed to complete a milestone in graduating from said grammar school, middle school, high school or college the month of June is closely identified with the school season coming to a close (unless one can escape the doldrums of a summer school session).
So to mark this auspicious occasion we should take a look at some random films with an educational theme. Hence, “Too Cool for School: Top 10 Random Films Making the Grade” will briefly examine a selection of higher education ditties that taught us something (or perhaps nothing) during our heyday of cramming for tests. »
- Frank Ochieng
Woodley's critically-acclaimed performance opposite George Clooney in 2011's most talked about indie has propelled the actress to stardom and plenty of starring roles, such as in "The Spectacular Now" (2013) and "White Bird in a Blizzard" (2014). The films proved she could carry a movie and, in turn, have led Woodley to become the face of the popular "Divergent" franchise. This summer, the actress plays a cancer patient in love in the acclaimed weep-fest "The Fault in Our Stars."
From her unusual toothpaste substitute to her iconic (yet deleted) superhero role, here are 17 things you probably don't know about Shailene Woodley.
1. Woodley was born on November 15, 1991, in Simi Valley, California to Lori and Lonnie Woodley.
2. Lonnie is a school principal, while Lori is a middle school counselor.
3. When Woodley was four, »
- Jonny Black
Twentieth Century Fox topper Jim Gianopulos and actress Tracy Spiridakos (“Revolution”) have been added as Orpheus Awards presenters at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival’s closing night gala on Sunday, June 8.
Fest will screen a total of 29 features, docus and shorts, including 14 U.S. premieres and two world preems: Yiannis V. Lapatas’ docu “Passage Into History” and Konstantinos Mousoulis’ romantic thriller “Birthday Surprise.”
Over one third of the films showcased at Lagff’s are by women filmmakers.
“We are overwhelmed by the list of talented industry professionals that are joining us in 2014,” said fest co-founder Ersi Danou. “It is a testament that the festival is making »
- Peter Caranicas
Chicago – With the recent popularity of road trip movies in both mainstream films and the art house, it is a fitting pleasure that the Criterion Collection has released Dino Risi’s “Il Sorpasso,” a jazzy road trip movie that takes the story structure to its basics. Two opposing types meet unexpectedly, travel to random exotic locations, and interact with people who are rest stops in themselves.
The film has two great performances from leads Vittorio Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant, and various bits of Italian culture from a different time. For those who find road movies to be repetitious (especially considering the movies that use the formula like a crutch), “Il Sorpasso” is enlightening to an intriguing type of wild fun that can be had when watching characters throw their fate and sense of direction into the wind. While the movie might seem like the foundation for many that follow, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Justin Chang: Shortly after the Cannes Film Festival lineup was unveiled more than a month ago, I cautioned festival-goers against jumping to the conclusion that this year’s slate would be dull, disappointing, a waste of time, etc. I’m happy, if hardly surprised, to report that my optimism was well founded: No festival that gives us movies as rich and varied as “Foxcatcher,” “Leviathan,” “Two Days, One Night,” “Winter Sleep,” “Mr. Turner” and “Timbuktu” — and those are just the competition highlights — could possibly be deemed a wash. And what I’m struck by yet again, as I am year after year, is the mysterious, intuitive (sometimes counterintuitive) way that films from different filmmakers, different countries and different sections of the festival wind up in dialogue with one another (such as the great “Tree of Life”-”Melancholia” smackdown of 2011). To wit: Were the festival programmers aware that two English-language pictures in the competition, »
- Justin Chang, Scott Foundas and Peter Debruge
Everyone has to start somewhere, and for Oscar-nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, he got his first professional credit on the Roger Corman production, "Stripped To Kill II: Live Girls." But from there, Papamichael hasn't looked back. Momentum has put together a substantive, 20-minute profile on the lenser who counts Alexander Payne, George Clooney, Wim Wenders, James Mangold and Gore Verbinski among the directors he's worked with. Papamichael himself shares his story, delving into his early career, his shooting style, his music video and commercial work, and much more. Filled with clips of his work, this is fascinating look into the cinematographer's work and process. Check it out below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Cannes - Charged with devising a character name that immediately conveys staunch feminine pluck and perseverance, I'm not sure any writer could do much better than Mary Bee Cuddy -- the disarming heroine of Tommy Lee Jones' handsome, elegiac neo-western "The Homesman," until she rather unsettlingly isn't. Just listen to the way those pithy syllables roll (or march, rather) off the tongue: a Mary Bee Cuddy can only be as square and grounded and business-meaning as a pair of sensible shoes. As played by the eternally purposeful Hilary Swank, moreover, she's an anchor of sincerity in a film in a film that needs one, shifting as it often does from loutish comedy to sticky sentimentality in the turn of a wagon-wheel. Only superficially, then, is "The Homesman" the directorial follow-up you'd expect to Jones's debut feature "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," a similarly handsome, burnished and serious-minded western »
- Guy Lodge
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
new to stream
Easy Money (Snabba cash): a smart, affecting, slow burn of a movie, a spectacular example of Nordic noir [my review] [at Netflix] Nothing But the Truth: flawed but earnest and honest journalism drama, with a great performance by Kate Beckinsale [my review] [at Netflix]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Tim’s Vermeer: must-see, chills-inducing documentary looks at the intersections of art, craft, and technology [at Amazon UK Instant Video] The Wolf of Wall Street: a debauched end-of-empire horror story disguised as an outrageous comedy, with remarkable performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill [my review] [at Amazon UK Instant Video]
new to Prime
Chronicle: the superhero origin story in its purest form, stripped of all the pulp and all the camp that has accreted around the genre [my review] [at Amazon UK Instant Video] The Descendants: the meaning of life, via Alexander Payne and George Clooney: funny and brutal, crazy and »
- MaryAnn Johanson
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