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10. The Leftovers
There have been a number of new and returning shows that have enthralled, horrified, excited, and caused numerous other emotional reactions among the viewing public. However no show, new or old, has left an impression as deep as that of HBO’s The Leftovers. While the series’ 10 episode first season ended its run in early September, its impact has lasted much longer, making it a strong entry in the list of the best shows of 2014.
The key strength of The Leftovers is its seeming disinterest in what caused the event at the center of the show. The series’ decision to focus on the effect rather than the cause not only sets it apart from nearly everything else on television, it also helps develop the show’s wide swath of characters. In addition, putting the disastrous event as the backdrop, rather than at the forefront, allows the audience to »
248 features and nearly 150 shorts will screen at the 58th BFI London Film Festival and, while you'll already know about quite a few of these titles, e.g., tonight's opener, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, there's plenty, of course, yet to discover—including the film that closes London 2014 on October 19, David Ayer's Fury. Here, I'll be gathering notes throughout the festival on films of particular interest that haven't yet been written up in the Daily. For starters: Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern's Near Death Experience with Michel Houellebecq and Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton's Björk: Biophilia Live. » - David Hudson »
Heart to Heart to Heart: Jacquot’s Romantic Drama Can’t Cover Every Angle
Despite sporting the likes of Charlotte Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve, Three Hearts, the latest from Benoit Jacquot often feels like a rather stilted endeavor. The follow-up to his most internationally renowned title to date, Farewell, My Queen, Jacquot’s underwhelming love story uses a contrivance often seen in romantic comedies, only he replaces the comedy with a somber indifference that seems to work against the believability of the film.
The film seems as if it belongs to an earlier era of filmmaking, a time where repressed feelings would roil just beneath the surface until they boiled over to cause living hell for all affected parties lost amidst the unmitigated power known as love. This is the stuff of classic melodrama, and the three hearts at the center of this triangle often feel more like archetypes than actual people, »
- Nicholas Bell
In some sense, all of anarchic French duo Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern’s films are road movies: In “Aaltra,” “Louise-Michel,” “Mammuth” and “Le Grand Soir,” misfit characters split with society, veer off into the wilderness and wreak black-comedy havoc. “Near Death Experience” is their darkest and least commercial film yet, though also their most serious and soulful, , then spends three nights wandering alone near his home before deciding whether to go through with the deed.
Like Antonioni’s “Zabriskie Point” without the pyrotechnics, the pair have crafted a a stark, off-the-grid disavowal of the hollowness of modern society, though their approach seems more resigned than radical. Audiences aren’t exactly clamoring for films about suicide, and to complicate matters further, “Near Death Experience” has the curious fortune of arriving less than a month after Robin Williams took his own life.
In order to shoot such a disquieting project on their own terms, »
- Peter Debruge
Venice -- The no-budget, fascinating-as-a-trainwreck feature Near Death Experience, from eccentric French directorial duo Gustave Kervern and Benoit Delepine (Le Grand Soir, Mammuth), stars French literary giant Michel Houellebecq as an absolutely average and totally burnt-out employee of a call center who’s driven to suicide. This intimate psychological drama is set in the great outdoors, as it follows the protagonist into the mountains where he might end it all. A one-man-show for practically its entire running time, Nde, as it’s also being called, manages to stay dramatically grounded despite its possibly pretentious casting choice
- Boyd van Hoeij
Gustave Kervern and Catherine Deneuve in Pierre Salvadori's In The Courtyard The French Film Festival UK has unveiled its selection for its 22nd edition this November - with highlights featuring some of the brightest lights of French cinema, including Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Isabelle Carré, Jean Reno, Guillaume Canet, Mathieu Amalric, Albert Dupontel and Jean-Pierre Darroussin.
In locations across the country stretching from Inverness to London via Edinburgh and Glasgow, the event styles itself as “a celebration of Francophone cinema in all its guises.”
As well as an eclectic selection of contemporary titles from the past 12 months, the Festival will pay tribute to the late Alain Resnais who died earlier in the year, with screenings of a restored copy of his first feature Hiroshima Mon Amour with Oscar-nominated Emmanuelle Riva (from Amour) and Eiji Okadan, and the director’s last film Life of Riley (Aimer, boire, et chanter), his »
- Amber Wilkinson
If one says the words "Preston Sturges' 1929 comedy," one already has a good sense of how Strictly Dishonorable will work out: Southern transplant Isabelle’s decision to have a few drinks at a New York City speakeasy with her New Jersey fiancé spirals into a series of life-altering realizations and choices, and true love prevails. The characters are written as types -- the gesticulating Italian waiter, the drunk but paternal judge, the genially corrupt Irish cop, the smooth-talking Lothario with an apartment designed for seduction, the provincial bourgeois (would-be) husband -- but you know what you’re getting, and the actors here do an excellent job making the characters more than types, creating of them well-rounded people about whom the audience genuinely cares. This performance is well-executed, »
- Leah Richards
The Venice International Film Festival is in the process announcing the lineup for its 71st edition. Here's what we know so far:
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Roy Andersson)
99 Homes (Ramin Bahrani)
Tales (Rakhshan Bani E'temad)
La rancon de la gloire (Xavier Beauvois)
Le dernier coup de marteau (Alix Delaporte)
Three Hearts (Benoît Jacquot)
Sivas (Kaan Mujdeci)
Anime Nere (Francesco Munzi)
Loin des hommes (David Oelhoffen)
The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)
Nobi (Shinya Tsukamoto)
Red Amnesia (Wang Xiaoshuai)
Out Of Competition
Joe Date. Photo by Evan Dickson.
This morning in Rome, Biennale president Paolo Baratta and Venice Film Festival chief Alberto Barbera unveiled the lineup for the 71st Venice Film Festival, which features some extraordinarily exciting titles and intriguingly under-the-radar picks.
Twenty films will be competing in the main competition, 19 of which are world premieres with one international premiere out of the lot. Out of all the titles at Venice this year, Birdman, which stars Michael Keaton and features a star-studded cast including Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts, is undoubtedly the title with the most chance of gaining Oscar attention this year after making the rounds on the festival circuit (it’s heading to the Toronto International Film Festival next).
Also anticipated are Manglehorn, a collaboration between Prince Avalanche helmer David Gordon Green and Al Pacino, and Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill, with Ethan Hawke, Bruce Greenwood, January Jones and Zoe Kravitz. »
- Isaac Feldberg
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
This morning came the announcement of the 2014 Venice Film Festival lineup and we already knew Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman would serve as the opening night film and for the most part a lot of the more recognizable entries are those we already discussed as part of the Toronto Film Festival lineup. This includes Ramin Bahrani's 99 Homes, David Gordon Green's Manglehorn starring Al Pacino, Abel Ferrera's Pasolini, Barry Levinson's The Humbling and Andrew Niccol's The Good Kill. There are, however, some titles worthy of note such as the latest film from The Act of Killing director Joshua Oppenheimer, The Lord of Silence, Fatih Akin's The Cut, She's Funny that Way from Peter Bogdanovich, Lisa Cholodenko's Olive Kitteredge and a new film from James Franco in The Sound and the Fury based on Faulkner's novel. Joe Dante shows up with a new horror-comedy in Burying the Ex, »
- Brad Brevet
The Venice Film Festival’s Horizons section (aka Orizzonti) is logically comparable to Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section. As well as including about a dozen shorts in the programme (Ramin Bahrani is among those listed with an eight minuter called Life You Up), this year’s pack of seventeen unquestionably highlighted by the presence of Moshen Makhmalbaf’s The President, also includes the much anticipated sophomore film by Duane Hopkins’ youth portrait Bypass (see pic above – youth portrait), the Safdie Bros.’ Heaven Knows What – a docu-fiction hybrid starring Caleb Landry Jone and newcomer Arielle Holmes, the latest from frenzied pace working Hong Sangsoo (Hill Of Freedom) and a new item from actress Katherine Heigl (who knows this might actually be good) starring in Ami Canaan Mann’s Your Right Mind, about a modern day train hopper fighting to be a successful musician and a single mom battling to maintain custody »
- Eric Lavallee
The line-up for the 71st Venice Film Festival (Aug 27-Sept 6) has been revealed this morning by Biennale president Paolo Baratta and film festival director Alberto Barbera at Rome’s St. Regis Grand Hotel.
Early standouts include Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini, which centres on the final days of the Italian filmmaker and his death in 1975; David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, starring Al Pacino as a locksmith in a small town who never got over the love of his life; and The Look Of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer’s highly anticipated follow-up to his award-winning documentary, The Act of Killing.
As previously announced, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, starring Michael Keaton, will open the festival on August 27 and is among the 20-strong competition titles, of which all »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Rome – Venice topper Alberto Barbera has unveiled a promising lineup of fresh fare from around the world set to unspool at the 71st Venice Film Festival, with a rigorous focus on quality, discovery and diversity, likely to reveal some under-the-radar awards-season contenders and also bolster the Lido’s status as a global launching pad for prime auteur pics.
The robust U.S. contingent, largely from the indies, comprises new works from David Gordon Green, Andrew Niccol, Peter Bogdanovich, Lisa Cholodenko, Joe Dante, James Franco, Barry Levinson, Michael Almereyda, and Ami Canaan Mann.
As is customary at Venice, new works from name global auteurs, including Fatih Akin, Xavier Beauvois, Abel Ferrara, Andrei Konchalovsky, Shinya Tsukamoto, Amos Gitai, and Moshen Makhmalbaf, will play alongside pics by lesser-known helmers.
At a packed presser at Rome’s Hotel St.Regis Venice topper Alberto Barbera noted that “our job is more complex, more painful, because »
- Nick Vivarelli
Films by David Gordon Green, Andrew Niccol and Abel Ferrara will bring world premieres to the Lido di Venezia this year, as the Venice Film Festival has announced its selections for the 71st edition of the oldest such event in the world. Green's "Manglehorn" with Al Pacino, Niccol's "Good Kill" with Ethan Hawke and Ferrara's "Pasolini" with Willem Dafoe promise to bring a fair share of star power to the event, while actors such as Viggo Mortensen, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver feature in films sprinkled throughout the Competition. "The Act of Killing" director Joshua Oppenheimer will also continue his look at the Indonesian genocide with a new documentary, "The Look of Silence." Playing out of competition are films by Barry Levinson ("The Humbling," also starring Pacino), James Franco ("The Sound and the Fury") and Lisa Cholodenko ("Olive Kitteridge"), while Focus Features will bring the new Laika film, "The Boxtrolls, »
- Kristopher Tapley
What’s better than one successful movie adaptation of a Ya book? All together now: four movies based on a Ya book. In any other Ya scenario, the box office success of Fault in Our Stars — $48 million on its opening weekend — would surely guarantee an onslaught of sequels, but Fault is not a series; there are no more books to adapt. So Vulture has dreamed up five possible spinoffs and sequels for the good people in Hollywood. We would watch all of these! Especially the ghost love triangle.Augustus Waters: The PrequelBefore he was Hazel’s annoyingly perfect boyfriend with one leg and minimal interior life, Augustus Waters was ... another girl’s annoyingly perfect boyfriend. In this prequel, Gus and Caroline fall in love, then her brain tumor flares up and she becomes a total bitch until she dies on him. (This is all from the book! We’re not »
- Lindsey Weber,Amanda Dobbins
Exclusive: German sales company Films Boutique has snapped up world rights to several new titles.
Here at the Cannes market, the company is unveiling Monument To Michael Jackson, which will have a closed screening for buyers.
Directed by Darko Lungulov, the bittersweet comedy is set in a dying town in Serbia, where daydreamer Marko is on the verge of divorce from the love of his life.
When an old communist-era monument is removed front he Main Square, he comes up with the idea to build a monument to Michael Jackson in order to save his town and seduce his wife again. But the town’s mayor has his own plans.
During the festival, Films Boutique will also be introducing buyers to Directors’ Fornight title Next To Her, the debut feature by Asaf Korman who worked as editor on The Slut by Hagar Ben Asher. The film stars Dana Ivgy and Liron Ben-Shlush.
Based on autobiographical »
- email@example.com (Geoffrey Macnab)
Legendary actor Mickey Rooney died Sunday in Los Angeles, Calif. He was 93.
Mickey Rooney Dies
The Brooklyn-born Rooney, who got his first acting gig at just 17 months old, is best known for the series of Andy Hardy films that came out in the 1930s. Starring alongside Judy Garland, Rooney became the most bankable actor throughout the Depression-era. Among the Andy Hardy films were, Love Finds Andy Hardy, Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever, Andy Hardy Meets Debutante and Love Laughs at Andy Hardy.
Following his incredible success at such a young age, Rooney struggled to remain a major player in Hollywood as an adult. In the 50s, there was the short-lived TV series, The Mickey Rooney Show that lasted just two years in which he played Mickey Mulligan. He had another TV vehicle in the 60s titled simply Mickey that lasted for 16 episodes.
Rooney went on to get minor parts in films, »
It’s appropriately odd that the best series finale to come along in quite a while was not meant to be a series ending episode at all. Last night’s Psych episode “The Breakup” was written to be the eighth season closer, but the word that Psych wouldn’t be renewed came after filming on year eight had wrapped up, so the season finale became the series finale…and it was an excellent one! Longtime Psych fans have little to complain about because Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill) went out in style.
Many fans were no doubt worried that the show’s ending wouldn’t live up to the show’s legacy, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
The hour revolved around Shawn (Roday) trying to find a way to break the news to best friend Gus (Dulé Hill) that he was leaving him and Santa Barbara to go to San Francisco to be with Juliet (Maggie Lawson). In the end, he did it by recording a message on DVD. If you teared up when it first became clear that Gus was watching a disc, you’re not alone. Another great »
- Mandi Bierly
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