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Horror movies have given us no shortage of overprotective mothers over the years, though Samantha Morton takes that archetype to new extremes in “The Harvest,” a powerful coming-of-ager with the potential both to scar and strengthen the psyches of an entire generation — if only it could find a distributor as daring as the folks who made it. Pitting two impressive teenage newcomers against an as-yet-unseen side of Morton creepy enough to rival Kathy Bates in “Misery,” this deeply unsettling child-endangerment dramamarks director John McNaughton’s welcome left-field return to the bigscreen after an absence of nearly a dozen years.
Always a bit of an outsider owing to his gift for blending dark humor and taboo subjects, McNaughton made his name with “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” before entering the freeze-frame hall of fame with “Wild Things,” but has worked only in television since 2001. Though hardly an obvious project with which to return, »
- Peter Debruge
Harvest Home: McNaughton’s Return Yields Blighted Crop
Fans of director John McNaughton, known for his gruesome cult classic Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1990), as well as that tawdry neo-noir Wild Things (1998), will be happy to realize he’s returned to filmmaking with The Harvest, his first feature film since 2001. An indie thriller written by first time screenwriter Stephen Lancellotti, it’s headlined by the likes of Michael Shannon and Samantha Morton. While there are several standout moments in the film, it’s constantly marred by an underwhelming screenplay that has a few too many inconsistencies to support the development of tension or believability. The insistent need for extravagant twists undermines the logic of the narrative, something unnecessary here considering the intensity of the performances.
Katherine (Morton) and Richard (Shannon) care for their son Andy (Charlie Tahan) in their isolated home in the countryside. Both working in the medical profession, »
- Nicholas Bell
Okay, folks, it's now time to get into the ever so serious fall festival season. Toronto made their first announcements just the other day and now it is time for the Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia to show us what they've got for their 71st edition, from August 27 - September 6.You can catch the full lineup linked below, but for those that don't want the slog, here are some highlights. In the official selection (all world premieres by the by) we've got German director Faith Akin's latest The Cut, Rahmin Bahrani's 99 Homes, with Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon. We then have a new doc from The Act Of Killing's Joshua Oppenheimer, The Look Of Silence, plus Tsukamoto Shinya's Fires On...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The 71st Venice Film Festival announced its lineup this morning, highlighted by films from American directors, including David Gordon Green, Barry Levinson, Peter Bogdanovich, Lisa Cholodenko, Andrew Niccol, and James Franco. As had been previously announced, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, starring Michael Keaton and many others, will be the opening film when the festival begins on Aug. 27.
Click below for the entire list of 55 films playing in Venice.
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, directed by Roy Andersson
Starring Holger Andersson, »
- Jeff Labrecque
With all the crazy internet rumors flying around regarding Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s refreshing to finally see something concrete. DC Entertainment has seen fit to unveil the cape and cowl of Ben Affleck’s new Batsuit at Comic-Con, teasing fans with a dark and somewhat intimidating take on the Caped Crusader’s iconic get-up.
In the pictures, which you can check out below, we see that the cape and cowl are both extremely black, in keeping with the gritty first image we got of the Dark Knight from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. According to /Film’s Angie Han, who snapped the shots:
“The photographs also don’t do justice to the cape. It was made of leather (or leather-like material at least), with a rough texture that made it look both elegant and tough. In short, it was just the kind of material a »
- Isaac Feldberg
David Gordon Green's “Manglehorn,” Andrew Niccol's “Good Kill,” Abel Ferrara's “Pasolini” and Joshua Oppenheimer's “The Look of Silence” will join Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's “Birdman” in the competition lineup of the 71st Venice International Film Festival (the Venice Biennale), Venice organizers announced at a press conference in Rome on Thursday. Stars who could make the trek to the Italian festival include Al Pacino, who stars in “Manglehorn”; Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern and Michael Shannon, in Ramin Bahrani's “99 Homes”; Ethan Hawke, who appears in both “Good Kill” and Michael Almereyda's “Cymbeline,” the latter with Ed Harris and Milla Jovovich; Willem Dafoe, »
- Steve Pond
Ariel Vromen's The Iceman is a solid film with an excellent performance by Michael Shannon, and the director will be working with some other fantastic actors for his next movie, Criminal. Gary Oldman and Kevin Costner were previously cast in Vromen's new film, and THR is reporting Tommy Lee Jones will be joining them for the thriller. The script for Criminal was written by The Rock and Double Jeopardy scribes Douglas Cook and David Weisberg. Criminal might have a generic »
- Jesse Giroux
We've already seen two trailers for Jake Paltrow's upcoming Pa drama Young Ones but with the movie's release quickly approaching, the studio has seen fit to cut a third, rather short but effective teaser for the movie.
Starring Michael Shannon, Kodi Smit-McPhee (now a regular when it comes to Pa fare), and Dakota Fanning all star as members of a family surviving in the desert of the future and their attempt to subvert Nicholas Hoult who has more in mind than simply rejuvenating the soil.
The new teaser features much of the same footage from the earlier trailers but it promises a movie that is a lot more action packed than we've previously seen and I expect this is a [Continued ...] »
Some brief international teaser trailers just surfaced for the intriguing sci-fi flick Young Ones, which debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and now a short teaser trailer for the film's release in the United States has arrived, showcasing more of the cool desert landscape that director Jake Paltrow has created. The film has flares of Steven Spielberg with hints of Mad Max, and a sweeping, grand score, complete with a truly incredible cast that features Michael Shannon, Dakota Fanning, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Nicholas Hoult. This is what indie sci-fi strives to be, and it's very cool. Watch below! Here's the new Us trailer for Jake Paltrow's Young Ones from Vulture: Young Ones is written and directed by Jake Paltrow. Set in a near future when water has become the most precious and dwindling resource on the planet, the land has withered into something wretched. The dust has settled on a lonely, »
- Ethan Anderton
It’s a dystopian near-future, water has run dry and America’s in a debilitating drought. That’s what sets the stage for Jake Paltrow’s new picture “Young Ones.” But it’s actually from many accounts, including our own review, more of a morality drama with a patriarchal struggle for power. The movie stars Michael Shannon as a father trying to protect his land and family. His children are played by Elle Fanning and Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Nicholas Hoult plays a young man with his eye on more than just the previous land the father owns. We described it as having both Spielberg-ian and Bresson-ian elements to it—the latter expressed through a dilapidated anthropomorphic robot perhaps not unlike the poor donkey in “Au Hasard Balthazar.” And I dunno about you, but any movie that can carefully balance those two filmmakers successfully is something I’d wanna see. The »
- Edward Davis
Comic-Con starts up this weekend with a full roster of megabudget spectaculars on display, but spare a moment for another sci-fi movie coming out soon that cost a lot less but still looks like a million bucks. Directed by Jake Paltrow (yes, you've heard of his sister), the dystopian Young Ones takes place in a future that's almost totally devoid of water, which makes farming a difficult task for hardened frontiersman Michael Shannon and his two children, played Elle Fanning and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Once Fanning's boyfriend Nicholas Hoult sets his sights on stealing Shannon's land, the stage is set for all the characters to clash, and they pursue their agendas in a visually stunning, barren futurescape that's shown off to great effect in this exclusive new trailer. Robots! Electronic spinal cords! Nifty, low-tech face masks! This rather different sci-fi Western arrives in theaters on October 17, so save the date. »
- Kyle Buchanan
The Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff), which runs from September 4 to 14 this year, has announced its initial lineup of films. This is the first of a handful of announcements for the festival, and as always, the first announcement focuses on its Galas and Special Presentations -- the films with the flashiest names.
The initial slate of fifty-nine films includes thirty-seven world premieres, boasting those from Noah Baumbach,Lone Scherfig, and Chris Rock – yes, that Chris Rock. Premieres have been a contentious subject this year on the film festival circuit, as Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Tiff, threw down the gauntlet, announcing that the festival would not play a film in the first four days of its schedule if it was also programmed concurrently for the Telluride festival.
- Sasha James
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival has announced its initial slate of galas and special presentations, which includes 37 world premieres and several films with Oscar ambitions. The Judge, which stars Robert Downey Jr. as a big-city lawyer who reluctantly returns home and ends up defending his revered father (Robert Duvall) against criminal charges, will have its world premiere in Toronto. His Avengers pal, Chris Evans, will unveil his own directorial debut in Toronto, titled Before We Go.
- Jeff Labrecque
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced over 40 titles — a mix of awards contenders, star-powered indies, and international art-house fare — screening in its Gala and Special Presentations program this September, including Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer,” a pair of Reese Witherspoon projects and closing night film “A Little Chaos,” Alan Rickman’s period pic starring Kate Winslet as a landscape gardener assigned to construct the garden at Versailles.
World-preeming Galas announced this morning at the Tiff Bell Lightbox also include “Pawn Sacrifice,” Ed Zwick’s biopic on the legendary Cold War-era chess match between Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber), and “Black and White,” Mike Binder’s tale of a grieving widower (Kevin Costner) in a custody battle, as well as WB fall releases “The Judge” (Robert Downey Jr.) and Shawn Levy’s dysfunctional family comedy-drama “This Is Where I Leave You.”
International titles world-preeming on the »
- Jennie Punter
The Toronto International Film Festival announced its initial wave of 2014 premieres and galas this morning and it features some familiar awards titles, some big stars and some unexpected studio titles. Among the major studio films, David Dobkin's "The Judge" with Robert Downey Jr. and Antoine Fuqua's "The Equalizer" each received gala slots and should premiere over the festival's opening weekend. Other announced galas so far include Bennett Miller's acclaimed "Foxcatcher," which debuted at Cannes, and Mike Binder's "Black and White" starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie. Toronto has also scheduled special gala screenings for David Cronenberg's "Map to the Stars" with Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson, François Ozon's "The New Girlfriend," Ed Zwick's "Pawn Sacrifice" with Tobey Maguire, Lone Scherfig's "The Riot Club," Jean-Marc Vallée's "Wild," Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano's "Samba" and Shawn Levy's "This is Where I Leave You »
- Gregory Ellwood
Written by Stephen Lancellotti
Directed by John McNaughton
The Harvest is a modern gothic horror set in small-town America. On one hand embracing the mythology and horror of gothic sensibilities, the film also utilizes naturalism to create a sense of comfort and to help root emotions in reality. Katherine (Samantha Morton) and Richard (Michael Shannon) are a married couple caring for an ailing son, Andy (Charlie Tahan). Their apparent familial bliss is disrupted by the arrival of a pre-adolescent neighbor, Maryann (Natasha Calis). While Maryann’s intentions are nothing but cordial, the couple is wary of her curiosity, and tensions rise as she continually subverts their desires to stay away from their home. Maryann’s quest for truth and Andy’s friendship unravels a dark stain on the American family.
Illness is the central catalyst for the film’s tension as Andy’s sickness has become the »
- Justine Smith
"Boardwalk Empire" will be taking its final journey along the coast of New Jersey this fall, and it's going to bring some big changes with it. The last season of the period drama will apparently jump the timeline forward to the early '30s, just as prohibition is about to end. They're also going to have a lot less time to wrap up their final season. Instead of the regular twelve episodes, HBO is only giving them a shortened eight ep season. But it looks as if it'll be an intense one. HBO has dropped a brand new teaser for the final season, and from Chalky White intoning that "Jesus was wrong" about forgiveness to the closing tagline announcing "No One Goes Quietly," big things are on horizon. The faces you'll want to see are here with Steve Buscemi, Michael K. Williams, Michael Shannon, Kelly Macdonald and more all glimpsed, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The cycling movie is an expansive genre, covering everything from sports documentaries like the recent Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist to quirky comedies such as Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and fondly remembered children's adventure movies, like the oh-so-1980s BMX Bandits.
Cycling as a professional sport is also well represented on screen, whether it's the Indiana University Little 500 race in classic comedy-drama Breaking Away, an animated Tour de France in Belleville Rendez-vous or the Paris–Roubaix in Jørgen Leth's stunning documentary A Sunday in Hell.
With the Tour de France about to enter its final week, Digital Spy takes a look at the ten best cycling movies.
1) Breaking Away (1979)
Peter Yates' wonderful small town comedy-drama won an Oscar for Best Screenplay and was nominated for four more, including Best Picture. Dennis Christopher stars as Dave Stoller, an Indiana teenager obsessed with the Italian cycling team, who gets »
This is my tenth year attending the Fantasia Film Festival, though it is my first with a press pass. Gone are the days where I pay for tickets and try to snatch interview subjects for a blog no one really reads. This year’s line-up will certainly be keeping me busy. Here are five to which I’m particularly looking forward.
Welcome to New York
Directed by Abel Ferrara
Ferrara’s work almost always comes with the pre-requisite of controversy, and here we find him back in his own personal playground: New York City. Granted, it’s been some time since the likes of Bad Lieutenant, and the city itself has changed a great deal from Koch to Giuliani environs. It has also been home to the unspeakable financial crimes of the past decade, which makes New York all the more interesting »
- Kenny Hedges
London — Entertainment One is well-placed to retain its position as the U.K.’s top independent distributor after a strong first half of the year, and a muscular slate for the remaining months. But, as Alex Hamilton, managing director, eOne Films U.K., tells Variety, the company has aspirations to be considered on a par with the Hollywood majors.
EOne has been the top indie in the U.K. for three of the past four years, and last year finished ahead of two studios, Sony and Paramount, with its box office totaling more than £100 million ($171 million) for the first time.
- Leo Barraclough
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