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40. Night Moves
Since 2006, Kelly Reichardt has found a way to reach inside of the hearts of her audiences, plucking out strings one by one with desolate re-imaginations of the American Pacific Northwest, seen through the eyes of people not so different than ourselves. With Meek’s Cutoff, she departed from her typical genre and moved in to the old west, but you could still see her stark realism, perfectly imagined on screen. Now, Reichardt has shifted gears again, this time to present day (still in the Pacific Northwest), following three environmental activists as they plan to blow up a dam. But this time, Reichardt has eschewed all sense of dry, dirty characterization for a much more flowing story where the characters emerge from their settings more fully. It’s still methodical, but somewhere in between the planning and heist itself, Reichardt’s star Jesse Eisenberg finds notes we haven’t »
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
A Kansas City man who filed a civil suit Friday against Edward Snowden, director Laura Poitras and others involved in the making of the documentary Citizenfour has also taken his case to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, arguing that the movie should be disqualified for Oscar consideration. He based his claim on the fact that footage that Poitras shot of Snowden appeared online in 2013, arguing that violates Academy rules that require a film to have a theatrical run before it appears online or on TV.
But after reviewing the case, the Academy has decided that the movie is eligible, an Academy spokesman told THR.
Read the rest of this entry…
- Anjelica Oswald
A Kansas City man who filed a civil suit Friday against Edward Snowden, director Laura Poitras and others involved in the making of the documentary Citizenfour has also taken his case to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, arguing that the movie should be disqualified for Oscar consideration. He based his claim on the fact that footage that Poitras shot of Snowden appeared online in 2013, arguing that violates Academy rules that require a film to have a theatrical run before it appears online or on TV. But after reviewing the case, the Academy has decided that the movie
- Scott Feinberg
Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language comes in at #1 on La Furia Umana's list of the top ten films of 2014. For Michael Atkinson at In These Times, it's Sergei Loznitsa's Maidan. Christopher Orr, film critic for the Atlantic, goes for J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year. Meantime, the The New York Review of Books gathers 20 reviews it's run this year, including David Bromwich on Laura Poitras's Citizenfour, Zoë Heller on David Fincher's Gone Girl, J. Hoberman on Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez’s Manakamana, Geoffrey O'Brien on Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin and Francine Prose on Agnieszka Holland's Burning Bush. » - David Hudson »
One of this year's must see documentaries is Citizenfour, directed by Laura Poitras, an inside look at the story of whistblower Edward Snowden. Poitras was contacted by Snowden early on and was right there with him, filming the entire event, as he leaked the information from Hong Kong about the Nsa's spying program that stunned the world in May of 2013. Poitras has made two other provocative docs previously, The Oath and Flag Wars, and she's back with another one that is a bit more intimate, but still as powerful. I raved about Citizenfour after catching its premiere at the New York Film Festival, and I met up with Laura for an interview in New York City. What follows is a fascinating discussion about the power of storytelling. I wrote in my Nyff review, "The film exceeds on all levels because it is so expertly made by a filmmaker who can »
- Alex Billington
The Palm Springs Film Festival announced its lineup Thursday, including the world premiere of “Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha,” starring James Franco.
The festival, which runs from Jan. 2-15, will feature 192 films from 65 countries, including seven world premieres. Along with Franco’s “Don Quixote,” world premieres include “Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson” (USA), “Some Kind of Love” (Canada), “Spirit / Will / Loss” (USA), “Walter” (USA) and “Twenty-Five Palms” (Luxembourg), a documentary directed by Fabrizio Maltese from the 25th anniversary of the Psiff in January 2014.
“This year’s lineup is particularly noteworthy not only for the overall excellence of the 190-plus films included, but for the extraordinary quality of storytelling involved,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald. “In this era of mega-blockbusters, filmmakers worldwide seem to be reacting by eschewing traditional genres and formats in favor of innovative and audacious new approaches to storytelling, »
- Kevin Noonan
It was a year of many tortured geniuses onscreen — Alan Turing, Stephen Hawking, J.M.W. Turner, Brian Wilson — and behind the scenes, where directors like Bong Joon-ho, James Gray and Paul Schrader fought producers and distributors over final cut, and the right to see their films properly released. Of course, the very idea of distribution has become nearly as diffuse in the digital era as that of film itself, a material on which few movies are still made and even fewer shown — unless you happen to be Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino or Christopher Nolan, who earned the ire of some theater owners when he demanded they reinstall 35mm projectors if they wanted to screen his “Interstellar” two days early. In light of the film’s $600 million worldwide gross (and counting), one can only say: poor them.
Speaking of “Interstellar,” if there was one undeniable constant at the movies in 2014, it was time, »
- Scott Foundas
The surprise trailer for Terrence Malick's new film, Knight of Cups, dropped this week, as did news it would premiere at the Berlinale in 2015. Above: no, Godard's Goodbye to Language didn't top Film Comment's Best of 2014 list, it finished 2nd to Richard Linklater's Boyhood, but at this rate we'll be leading with pictures from Boyhood every week with how many lists it's topping. Below are Film Comment's Top 10 of 2014 as well as their Top 10 Undistributed films of 2014. They have larger lists for your perusal here and here.
2. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, France)
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, USA)
6. Stranger By the Lake (Alain Guiraudie, France)
8. Birdman (Alejandro G. »
By Anjelica Oswald
This year’s Oscar race could make history with two possible best picture nominees directed by women — Ava DuVernay’s Selma and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. If both women are nominated for best director, that would also be a historical moment. But though these accomplishments in the narrative field are possible, more women directors are breaking into the documentary categories. Four of the 15 shortlisted documentaries feature women at the helm: Jennifer Grausman (co-directed with Sam Cullman and Mark Becker) with Art and Craft, Tia Lessin (co-directed with Carl Deal) with Citizen Koch, Laura Poitras with Citizenfour and Rory Kennedy with Last Days in Vietnam. Additionally, three of the eight shortlisted documentary shorts feature female directors: Ellen Goosenberg Kent with Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Aneta Kopacz with Joanna and Lucy Walker with The Lion’s Mouth Opens. More often than not, women directors tend to »
- Anjelica Oswald
Global cyber threats and attacks have become increasingly more evident in light of the recent security attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and the questionable activities of the Nsa whistleblown by Edward Snowden and documented by Laura Poitras’ in her gripping documentary Citizenfour.
In Blackhat, Hemsworth plays Nicholas Hathaway, a coding genius released from prison to assist American and Chinese authorities hunt down a mysterious cyber criminal. Written by Morgan Davis Foehl (Click) and Michael Mann (who also directs the film), Blackhat also stars Viola Davis, William Mapother, Wang Leehom, and Wei Tang. Check out how safe you are in the latest trailer below:
Blackhat opens in UK cinemas on 20th February, 2015 and in the Us on 16th January, 2015.
Source: Legendary Pictures »
- Sacha Hall
The San Francisco Film Critics Circle has announced its 2014 awards. Boyhood takes Best Picture, Director (Richard Linklater), Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette) and Editing (Sandra Adair). Birdman's won Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Supporting Actor (Edward Norton) and Best Original Screenplay. Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida has won Best Foreign Language Picture and Cinematography (Ryszard Lenczewski and Lukasz Zal). Laura Poitras's Citizenfour wins Best Documentary and Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's The Lego Movie wins Best Animated Feature. Best Production Design: Adam Stockhausen for The Grand Budapest Hotel. » - David Hudson »
We surveyed 100 of our favorite film critics and cineastes for their top films* and cinematic experiences of the year. The winners for top 25 films are listed below. Look back for the top feature films and performances of the year; look forward for the most memorable moments and best/worst trends, which will appear by month’s end. 1. Manakamana (Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez) 2. Citizenfour (Laura Poitras) 3. National Gallery (Frederick Wiseman) 4. Actress (Robert Greene) 5. What Now? Remind Me (Joaquim Pinto)>> - Susan Gerhard »
As is usually the case, 2014 held a rich vein of great nonfiction cinema … that went mostly untapped by any wide audiences. But just because documentaries are perpetually under-served by popular (and even critical) attention doesn’t mean that we should neglect these films. This is a celebration of all the best docs to come out this year.
But first, for the sake of full disclosure, here are all the notable docs of 2014 that I haven’t gotten around to seeing yet:
1989, 20,000 Days on Earth, Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, Big Joy, Big Men, Code Black, Evolution of a Criminal, The Great Flood, The Great Invisible, The Kill Team, National Gallery, The Missing Picture, Maidentrip, Manakamana, The Naked Opera, Virunga, Watchers of the Sky, What Now? Remind Me, Whitey
Next,we have some honorable mentions — other docs of 2014 that are well worth seeking out:
- Dan Schindel
"Citizenfour," the Edward Snowden documentary from director Laura Poitras, was named the Best Feature documentary of the year according to the International Documentary Association which revealed the winners of the 2014 Ida Documentary Awards.
Here's the complete list of the winners of the 2014 Ida Documentary Awards"
Career Achievement Award
Preservation And Scholarship Award
Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award sponsored by Red Fire Films and Modern VideoFilm
Best Feature Award
Director: Laura Poitras
RADiUS-twc, Participant Media, and
Best Short Award
Best Curated Series Award
Executive Producer: Sally Jo Fifer
Deputy Executive Producer: Lois Vossen
Independent Television Service (Itvs) in association with PBS
Best Limited Series Award
Co-Executive Producer: Miggi Hood, »
“Boyhood,” Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in-the-making epic of childhood, won four prizes from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. on Sunday: best picture, director, actress for Patricia Arquette and editor for Sandra Adair.
The IFC Films release, a critical favorite ever since its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, was also tapped for picture and director honors by the New York Film Critics Circle. The Gotham group also honored Arquette for her turn as a college professor and mother of two in “Boyhood,” but for supporting actress, not lead.
Running a close second among the group’s favorites was Wes Anderson’s 1930s mittel-European caper pic “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which was honored for Anderson’s screenplay and Adam Stockhausen’s production design. The Fox Searchlight release was the runner-up for picture and director.
- Justin Chang
Editor's Note: We're featuring individually chosen Fyc's for various longshots in the Oscar race. We'll never repeat a film or a category so we hope you enjoy the variety of picks. And if you're lucky enough to be an AMPAS, HFPA, or Critics Group voter, take note! Here's Glenn on Citizenfour.
Only one documentary has ever been nominated for an editing Oscar, which is actually rather shocking given the pure logistics of the craft. How much footage of various and how many points of view they have to juggle, not to mention how quickly the sands of reportage can shift in a film that doesn't have a clear start and finish. That one film was Steve James' Hoop Dreams, which followed the schooling and personal lives of two aspiring professional basketball players. It was one of the first documentaries I recall being truly gobsmacked by, flawed by the fact that »
- Glenn Dunks
The filmmaker was presented with the award on Friday night (December 5) in a ceremony held at the Paramount Studios lot.
"What [Snowden] did was probably the most extraordinary act I've ever seen so we could know more as citizens," Variety quotes Poitras as saying.
She met Snowden whilst working on an investigative programme into government surveillance following 9/11, receiving emails from Snowden under the alias "citizenfour."
Poitras eventually met Snowden, who handed over classified documents that revealed surveillance programmes being carried out by the Nsa.
It is believed the as-yet-untitled film »
The International Documentary Association has given its Best Feature award to Laura Poitras's Citizenfour and the Boston Online Film Critics Association has declared Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer to be the Best Picture of 2014. More lists: Time Out New York's Joshua Rothkopf goes for Richard Linklater's Boyhood, Time's Richard Corliss for Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, EW's Chris Nashawaty for Damien Chazelle's Whiplash, Sean Burns for Alex Ross Perry's Listen Up Philip, and we've got more: TV, soundtracks, books, the works. » - David Hudson »
Hosted by Carol Leifer at the Paramount Theatre, the night's top honors predictably went to Best Feature winner "Citizenfour," directed by Laura Poitras. Last year, she received Ida's Courage Under Fire Award back when her Oscar-shortlisted Snowden doc was still shrouded in mystery. (Full list of winners below.) Two other Oscar-shortlisted documentaries also got boosts at the Ida Awards: "Last Days in Vietnam" editor Don Kleszy picked up the Best Editing prize, and "Finding Vivian Maier" scribes John Maloof & Charlie Siskel took Best Writing. Read More: Academy Unveils Documentary Shortlist of 15 Though no longer an Oscar contender, first-time filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe won the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award in honor of his autobiographical, Indie Spirit-nominated crime doc "Evolution of a Criminal." Director Rithy Panh, a 2014 Foreign Language Oscar nominee for "The Missing Picture," received the »
- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
Poitras received the award Friday night in ceremonies at the Paramount lot.
“What he did was probably the most extraordinary act I’ve ever seen so we could know more as citizens,” Poitras said in her acceptance.
Poitras met Snowden while working on a documentary about governmental surveillance in the post-9/11 era. She began receiving emails from “citizenfour,” who wrote, “I am a senior government employee in the intelligence community. I hope you understand that contacting you was extremely high-risk.”
Poitras and reporter Glenn Greenwald journeyed to Hong Kong to meet with the person she had been corresponding with, who turned out to be Snowden. Snowden ultimately handed over top-secret documents that revealed covert surveillance programs run by the Nsa.
- Dave McNary
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