1-20 of 24 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
Family Matters: Wolfe’s Unsettling Debut a Thriller with a Mean Streak
Premiering in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, director Daniel Wolfe’s directorial debut, Catch Me Daddy, is most likely to inspire awe or ire as a denuded genre thriller, pared down to the barest essentials of abject miserabilism. There’s no one to innately empathize with, beyond being exposed to a central victim whom we must logically root for given her ambitious rebellion against the patriarchal straightjacket she was weaned from. Unfolding with methodical calm, the first time filmmaker manages to instill a mounting dread thanks to surprising, even shocking moments of gruesome violence, and that’s despite its lack of emotional posturing. Down and out working class folks thrust into dire straits is the name of the game here, and though a bit of additional context would’ve enhanced the basic premise, »
- Nicholas Bell
The Fantasia International Film Festival has, over the years, offered a showcase to promising filmmakers and intriguing features from a wide range of genres and countries, and the 2015 incarnation of the festival is no different in that regard.
Among the features at the 2015 Fantasia Festival is the UK Drama Catch Me Daddy. Written and directed by the duo of Daniel and Matthew Wolfe, the film sees them make the jump from music videos to feature films. The movie’s synopsis is below.
Laila (Sameena Jabeen Ahmed) ran away from home. She’s been living a low-key, low-income, but evidently happier life with her drifter boyfriend Aaron. They have a trailer set up smack in the middle of nowhere, West Yorkshire. He’s unemployed, bakes drugs; she works a hairdressing salon, gets milkshakes for the both of ’em. In the evenings, they hang out, get intoxicated and dance furiously to Patti Smith. »
- Deepayan Sengupta
My original plan was to publish a list of my ten most anticipated films screening at the Fantasia Film Festival but considering the incredible line-up this year, I find it near impossible to narrow it down to only ten. So instead I’ve decided to select one movie a day, or better yet, the movie that you should choose if you only had time for one.
Day 1. Tangerine
Christmas Eve in Tinseltown!
If you’re not familiar with director Sean Baker start taking notes. The man is a genius and one of the best indie American filmmakers working today. In Starlet, Baker spun an unlikely friendship between a young porn actress and an old lady in the San Fernando Valley. In Prince of Broadway, he chronicled the struggles of a hustler balancing fatherhood while working in New York’s wholesale district. Baker’s work avoids labels by refusing to adhere »
Always a film festival that prides itself on giving its audiences a hell of a lineup, filled to the brim with standout titles every year and world premieres for films that are greatly anticipated, the 2015 Fantasia Film Festival has now revealed its final lineup. Like we’ve all come to appreciate, this year is no exception, with films such as Tales Of Halloween, Ant-Man, the greatly anticipated Cop Car (which will be screened with Kevin Bacon in attendance!!) and Jeruzalem all being standout films to look out for, along with a pretty epic list of other films that are sure to leave viewers entertained and excited throughout the entire event (July 14th-August 4th).
If the full lineup wasn’t already enough to make your horror loving heads explode, the new announcement that Fanstasia will host the July 30th premiere of Cody Calahan’s sequel to 2013’s Antisocial, Antisocial 2, »
- Jerry Smith
The 19th Annual Fantasia Film Festival is only a week away, beginning July 14 and running through August 4. And as promised for today, they’ve revealed their full line-up of films screening at 2015’s festival in Montreal.
This year’s line-up boasts 22 World Premieres, 13 International Premieres, and 21 North American Premieres. Both Marvel’s Ant-Man and the animated Miss Hokusai were previously announced, but now they’ve added the much anticipated Attack on Titan movie as their closing night film. Other highlights include the Sundance darlings Cooties, starring Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson, Cop Car, starring Kevin Bacon and directed by the upcoming Spider-man director Jon Watts, and a trio of films from horror auteur Sion Sono.
See the full line-up announcement of films below via Fantasia’s Facebook page, and be sure to check out their website at fantasiafestival.com for additional information.
36 Countries, 135 Features, and Nearly 300 Short Films
- Including 22 World Premieres, »
- Brian Welk
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. It was announced here in Cannes that Ken Loach, who had long mooted this year’s Competition entry “Jimmy’s Hall” as his last film, had at least partially relented (possibly in the face of the general rending of clothes and gnashing of teeth that greeted the suggestion here: Cannes loves Ken), and is thinking of embarking on another project. Good thing too, because “Jimmy’s Hall” would be no great cap to a long, singular filmmaking career--it’s a twee and tweedy period “Footloose,” into which Loach’s trademark left wing sympathies are not so much woven as photocopied and stapled onto alternate pages of the script. The Robbie Ryan cinematography ensures everything looks tremendous, all emeralds and warm browns and autumnal Irish ochers, but it’s a richness and texture that isn’t matched by anything else in the film. »
- Jessica Kiang
Slow West, 2015.
Written and Directed by John Maclean.
A young Scottish man travels across America in pursuit of the woman he loves, attracting the attention of an outlaw who is willing to serve as guide.
The western film is dead say some, a lost art of genre that very rarely makes the mustard with Hollywood these days amongst the multi-million pound extravaganza’s that are slowly clogging up cinemas quicker than you can say Fast & Furious. But the myth that westerns just don’t work in modern cinema is a ridiculous premise. Anyone who saw Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman last year will agree that when they are done right and with care and love, they are marvellously entertaining and cling to an old-fashioned part of cinema that is slowly, and sadly, being eradicated.
- Scott J. Davis
It’s only slow in the way a rattlesnake or a predatory killer is slow. This terrific film is actually tense, twisty and brilliant. Don’t be put off by the dull poster or the heartsinking critical talk since its Sundance premiere about it bringing a “European” sensibility to the western. Writer-director John Maclean makes a lethally stylish feature debut with this tale of murder and survival in the old west. He has put together a drum-tight picture with elegant and dust-dry humour; it’s wonderfully shot by cinematographer Robbie Ryan, and Maclean incidentally brings off a brutally outrageous digression that would make Quentin Tarantino proud.
- Peter Bradshaw
After the foolish fondness of The Angel’s Share (2012), Ken Loach is back in familiar ground with the story of Jimmy Gralton, who built a community hall in Ireland’s County Leitrim in the early 1920s that enraged the local haves. Also involved with reinstating an evicted tenant farmer, he fled to America for ten years or so, before returning to do the same thing all over again. The heart of the film is expressed in the words of his mother, at the hearing on his deportation in 1933 (the only Irishman ever to be deported from his country): “Why is an old tin hall so dangerous?”
The first cause of all the trouble is that education is the preserve of the church, and Father Sheridan is royally pissed – the hall is a place (the only place) for local kids to learn drawing, literature, boxing, and so on. The priest »
- Tom Newth
Slow West. 2015
Directed by John Maclean
A young Scottish man travels across America in pursuit of the woman he loves, attracting the attention of an outlaw who is willing to serve as a guide.
Slow West is a methodically paced Western that is tonally butting heads. Normally, that results in a disjointed mess of a movie unsure of what it wants to be, but here it is first-time director John Maclean’s offbeat style that makes for a memorable viewing experience.
For some perspective, Slow West is a very downer and melancholy take on the Western genre, juxtaposed with bursts of sharp humor that work even when in any other movie they probably wouldn’t. This cynical thematic vibe is also contrasted by the naïve hopefulness of Jay (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a 16-year-old Scotland native traversing across the »
- Robert Kojder
A 16-year-old boy and a world-weary man make their way through a dense forest on horseback. "That's just a shame," the boy says to his older counterpart as the two discover a felled tree, a man crushed beneath it, the hand of his rotted corpse still clenching the axe he used to chop it down. "Is itc" the man asks, chortling. The boy responds with a smirk, "No, no it isn't." His once-naive mind, now all but tainted by his companion's cynicism. The scene described above is one you might find in a Coen brothers film, or perhaps a Quentin Tarantino joint -- though devoid of the popular music Tarantino would use to contrast the 1870s American frontier backdrop. Yet here it is smack dab in the middle of Slow West, the feature directorial debut of John Maclean, and while the film is clearly inspired by Maclean's predecessors both classic and contemporary, »
- Jordan Benesh
Western Dreams: Maclean’s Accomplished, Stylized Debut
Scottish musician John Maclean makes a handsome directorial debut with Slow West, a period western set mainly in 19th century Colorado. But if Sergio Leone’s famed retro genre films earned the moniker ‘spaghetti western,’ than Mclean’s recapitulation and relocation is worthy of its own unique label, perhaps an Anzac (or kiwi?) western. Maclean’s pan-Euro flavoring is exactly what gives this familiar genre piece a high dose of unexpected flair, at times comedic and bloody, while maintaining a fatal romantic fixation for a societally primordial period.
Sixteen year old Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has fled his family’s privileged heritage in Scotland to pursue his love interest, Rose Ross (Caren Pistorius), a young woman of meager means who left for America with her father (Rory McCann). Alone and running out of money as he wanders through the woods of Colorado to find the Ross’ homestead, »
- Nicholas Bell
Oscilloscope Laboratories have made a pre-Cannes double deal. Slightly misleading, they’ve actually picked up a pair that had not yet to be picked up since they had their premieres at the 2014 edition of the festival. O-scope have landed Alice Rohrwacher’s Grand Prix winning (2nd place award after the Palme d’Or) The Wonders which was high up on several Best undistributed films of ’14, while Daniel Wolfe’s directorial debut Catch Me Daddy was a Directors’ Fortnight entry that had it’s supporters. O-Scope will release both films later this year. Additionally, they’ve landed one of the better undiscoverd gems from the Toronto Int. Film Fest last fall in Javier Fuentes-León‘s The Vanished Elephant.
Gist: Rohrwacher’s sophomore film is set at the end of summer and follows Gelsomina and her three younger sisters. She is the designated heir of the strange, secluded kingdom that her »
- Eric Lavallee
Director: John Maclean
Run Time: 84 minutes
Synopsis: A young Scottish aristocrat bewitched by love heads on a journey across the American Frontier to find her accompanied by a mysterious and inscrutable frontiersman and pursued by a band of iniquitous opportunists
In his feature debut, musician and filmmaker John Maclean has created a perspective of the American frontier that is as refreshingly entertaining as the violent degenerates who inhabit this new, vibrant and majestic landscape. With blurring convention subversions and inversions, a slow but fast tempo, and unexpected flashes of absurdity and violence, it’s a fantastical world meticulously designed to surprise you when you least expect whilst simultaneously reminding you of its unforgiving desolation and desperation.
Even if you’re not a fan of Westerns, you’ll be a fan of this one.
Scottish aristocrat Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee »
- Sacha Hall
A24 picked up John Maclean's Slow West out of Sundance and will bring the film exclusively to DirecTV on April 16th before going into theaters/VOD May 15, following the Tribeca Film Festival and the first trailer for the film is now online. Starring Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), the nineteenth century western centers on 16-year-old Jay Cavendish (Smit-McPhee) as he journeys across the American frontier in search of the woman he loves. He is joined by Silas (Fassbender), a mysterious traveler, and hotly pursued by an outlaw along the way. Ben Mendelsohn and Caren Pistorius co-star. Just skimming through the trailer I can say Robbie Ryan's cinematography really stands out here. You'll most notably remember his work on Andrea Arnold's features Wuthering Heights and Fish Tank, both of which he shot using a 1.33:1 aspect ratio and here he's shooting »
- Brad Brevet
Before donning the cape and swearing by the Creed for Ubisoft’s video game adaptation, star Michael Fassbender has a jam-packed year in front of him with the likes of The Light Between Oceans and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic. But before all of that, the actor will channel his inner Clint Eastwood for John Maclean’s upcoming western drama, Slow West.
Having premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Maclean’s project has already garnered attention from critics, picking up the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in the dramatic category in the process. Now, as Slow West gears up for its full release, the studio has unveiled the first trailer for the film that showcases Fassbender in action as a mysterious gunman who takes Kodi Smit-McPhee’s bumbling teenager under his wing.
- Michael Briers
Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future), Max Records (Where The Wild Things Are) and Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad) star in the feature, which charts the story of a teenage boy hunting for a supernatural serial killer in his snowbound mid-western town.
Production started on February 28, with Nick Ryan, Robbie Ryan and Billy O’Brien of Floodland Pictures (The Summit) producing alongside The Tea Shop and Film Company’s (Tower Block) James Harris and Mark Lane.
The Irish Film Board, Quickfire Films and The Fyzz Facility provide finance while post-production will be handled by Egg in Ireland and London-based sales outfit Independent handles international sales.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
One of the finest cinematographers working in British film talks to us about his latest project, a gripping, gruelling Yorkshire-Asian noir
When you look at the crew of a film shoot, which one would you like to be?” asks Robbie Ryan. “I tell you cinematographer. As Orson Welles said: ‘You get in late and you get out early.’ You don’t do the prep and you don’t do any of the post. You just do the shoot, and that’s a buzz that is really addictive.”
Continue reading »
- Tom Horan
This flawed but ambitious film about a British Pakistani family who hire a posse of thugs to hunt down their errant daughter is a tough look at contemporary gender politics
Daniel Wolfe’s debut movie arrives in the UK after its premiere at Cannes last year: a tough drama about contemporary Britain’s tribal and gender politics. This is ambitious work from a promising talent. There are big scenes, bold ideas and great images – created with Robbie Ryan’s tremendous cinematography. It is based on the murderous phenomenon of “honour killing” in British Pakistani communities. When Laila (Sameena Jabeen Ahmed) runs away to be with her white boyfriend, Aaron (Conor McCarron), her family hires a posse of tough guys to get her back, a little like John Ford’s The Searchers.
Continue reading »
- Peter Bradshaw
Catch Me Daddy, 2015.
Laila is hiding from her family in West Yorkshire with her boyfriend, Aaron. During the course of a night her life changes forever when her brother, accompanied by hired thugs discover her whereabouts and force both the runaways to once again flee.
Catch Me Daddy will forever be remembered as my very first screening. I note this for no other reason than to show my appreciation to the fine folks who sent an invite Flickering Myth’s way and to Flickering Myth for passing that onto me. Was it one that I’ll remember for its cinematic endeavour, I hear no-one ask. Well, let me answer.
Before entering the screening the host was telling the waiting audience about its heavy subject matter and he certainly wasn’t lying. »
- Gary McCurry
1-20 of 24 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
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