10 items from 2016
The prestigious New York Film Critics Circle, founded in 1935, is always a force in the early awards conversation.
But there is always some debate about how early they can reasonably vote for the year’s best films. Traditionally, they like to set the tone for the awards season (while protesting that it has no bearing on how they vote). Will they be able to see all the late-breaking entries by their voting date December 1? They’ve insisted on voting around the same time for the last five years.
While they will likely catch Ben Affleck’s “Live By Night” and Denzel Washington’s “Fences” in time, the film they are most likely to miss is Martin Scorsese’s “Silence.” He’s working with Paramount on a last-minute marketing campaign for the period film set in Japan, but there are concerns about when that movie starring Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson »
- Anne Thompson
Don’T Blink – Robert Frank Screens September 23rd – 25th at 7:30pm at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood).
Robert Frank, now 91 years old, is among the most influential artists of the last half-century. His seminal volume, The Americans, published in 1958, records the Swiss-born photographer’s candid reactions to peculiarly American versions of poverty and racism. Today it is a classic work that helped define the off-the-cuff, idiosyncratic elegance that are hallmarks of Frank’s artistry. Director Laura Israel (Frank’s longtime film editor) and producer Melinda Shopsin were given unprecedented access to the notably irascible artist. The assembled portrait is not unlike Frank’s own movies – rough around the edges and brimming with surprises and insights – calling to mind Frank’s quintessential underground movie, the 1959 Beat short, Pull My Daisy (co-directed by Alfred Leslie). Don’t Blink includes clips from Frank’s rarely seen movies, among them Me and My Brother »
- Tom Stockman
NEWSWe wish we were at the Telluride and Venice film festivals, but since we're not that lucky, we've been voraciously following the buzz. To see what the critics are saying from the Telluride, which was last weekend, and Venice (on-going) check out David Hudson's round-ups at Keyframe. From the former, we're particularly excited about Barry Jenkins' Moonlight and Clint Eastwood's Sully, and from the latter, can't wait to see Uhlrich Seidl's Safari.Recommended VIEWINGSince we just wrapped our Kelly Reichardt retrospective on Mubi, we're feeling much need for her new film, Certain Woman. Starring Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, and Kristen Stewart, its first trailer is only getting us even more excited.We love Spanish filmmaker Víctor Erice. And we also love the video essays by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin. Sight & Sound has made made the connection and presents Haunted Memories, exploring "the joy and regret »
The BAMcinématek series The Films of Robert Frank features the notorious Rolling Stones documentary Cocksucker Blues (1972) and "includes some 25 moving-image works of varying lengths and genres," notes Amy Taubin, writing for Artforum. "The series as a whole cannot be summarized, nor can the individual films except to say that they share the characteristic of having been made by someone who stubbornly insists on walking out on a high wire without a net. If you’ve not seen Pull My Daisy, it is the classic. But do not miss Conversations in Vermont (1969), Life Dances On (1980) and True Story (2008)—all of them naked in their confusion and anguish about fathering. Best of all is the seemingly casual Paper Route (2002), as close to a perfect movie as you’ll ever see." » - David Hudson »
The Film Society of Lincoln Center announces Ava DuVernay’s documentary The 13th as the Opening Night selection of the 54th New York Film Festival (September 30 – October 16), making its world premiere at Alice Tully Hall. The 13th is the first-ever nonfiction work to open the festival, and will debut on Netflix and open in a limited theatrical run on October 7.
Chronicling the history of racial inequality in the United States, The 13th examines how our country has produced the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with the majority of those imprisoned being African-American. The title of DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing film refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution—“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States . . . ” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass incarceration and »
- Kellvin Chavez
If the languid summer tentpole season has you down, fear not, as the promising fall slate is around the corner and today brings the first news of what we’ll see at the 2016 New York Film Festival. For the first time ever, a non-fiction film will open The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s festival: Ava DuVernay‘s The 13th. Her timely follow-up to Selma chronicles the history of racial inequality in the United States and will arrive on Netflix and in limited theaters shortly after its premiere at Nyff, on October 7.
“It is a true honor for me and my collaborators to premiere The 13th as the opening night selection of the New York Film Festival,” Ava DuVernay says. “This film was made as an answer to my own questions about how and why we have become the most incarcerated nation in the world, how and why we regard »
- Jordan Raup
NEWSPoster for Abbas Kiarostami's The ReportIt's been a devastating series of days for film lovers. First, Heaven's Gate director Michael Cimino passed away at 77, silencing one of American cinema's most importance visionaries. Then, Palme d'Or-winning Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami has died at the age of 76. It is very hard—very—to imagine cinema without these voices.Some good news from the much-criticized Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences: they are increasing the scope of their voting pool. Included in the roster, but strangely as writers and not directors, are such international luminaries as Mia Hansen-Løve, Jia Zhangke, and Takeski Kitano (Kiarostami was also added, as a director).With so much death in the news, let's celebrate a birth. Specifically, the 100th anniversary of Olivia de Havilland's birth. Farran Nehme Smith has penned a lovely homage for Sight & Sound:She continued to work all the way up to 1988, and her life has been full, »
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, the Academy Award–winning Bicycle Thieves, directed by Vittorio De Sica, defined an era in cinema. In poverty-stricken postwar Rome, a man is on his first day of a new job that offers hope of salvation for his desperate family when his bicycle, which he needs for work, is stolen. With his young son in tow, he sets off to track down the thief. »
- TFS Staff
The name Bob Hawk may not be familiar beyond independent circles, but as an early champion of filmmakers like Kevin Smith, Edward Burns, Rob Epstein, and Scott McGehee and David Siegel, he’s been an important guy-behind-the-guy, with good instincts for talent and sage advice for newcomers. The affectionate documentary “Film Hawk” gives Hawk a well-deserved curtain call, but feels like the sort of half-realized project he’d send back for retooling. Though directors Jj Garvine and Tai Parquet have rounded up numerous filmmakers to speak on his behalf, Hawk himself remains an elusive figure, utterly winning but not so readily drawn into the spotlight. After Sundance, other American festivals stand to give the consultant an ovation, but “Film Hawk” won’t travel far beyond the micro-indie circles whence it came.
Garvin and Parquet open the doc with its most affecting scene, as Smith tearfully recalls Hawk’s crucial role »
- Scott Tobias
Screened at SXSW last year, after a restoration overseen by Demme and festival co-founder Louis Black, the six short films presented together in "Made in Texas" (Ut Press, $19.95) came out of Austin's cultural hothouse of the late '70s and early '80s, when punk/new wave music and avant-garde filmmaking were de rigeur. The result was the creation of a regional space in which innovative, indie cinema could thrive—as evidenced by the steady stream of directors to come out of the U.S. South since, from Texas-born Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, and Wes Anderson to Arkansan Jeff Nichols and the New Orleanian brothers Duplass. Read More: "SXSW Opens with Austin's Own Richard Linklater" The films, several of which Demme saw in Austin in 1981 and brought back to New York's Collective for Living Cinema, earned positive notices from the likes of Carrie Rickey and Amy Taubin—and comparisons to Godard and Sirk, »
- Matt Brennan
10 items from 2016
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