5 items from 2015
Michael B. Jordan in “Fruitvale Station.” Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley in “The Spectacular Now.” Oscar nominees Quvenzhané Wallis and Abigail Breslin in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” respectively.
All of those performances were once the talk of Sundance, where stars threaten to break-out each year. The 2015 edition of the frosty festival is no different, with no shortage of young stars poised to launch their careers in Park City and make a name for themselves in Hollywood. »
- Jeff Sneider
Venezuela’s economy may be in turmoil but its film community is rejoicing. “The Liberator,” a sweeping biopic about South American independence icon Simon Bolivar, is the first Venezuelan pic ever shortlisted for a foreign-language film Oscar.
“Just making it to this list is a great honor,” said the pic’s helmer-producer Alberto Arvelo. This is not the first time he’s had a crack at the prize. His earlier pics “One Life and Two Trails” and “A House With a View of the Sea” repped Venezuela at the Academy Awards in 1998 and 2002, respectively.
“The Liberator” features another great source of national pride for Venezuela: L.A. Philharmonic music director and conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Dudamel composed the score — his first — and like Arvelo, is a graduate of Venezuela’s lauded music education program, El Sistema. They have been friends ever since Arvelo interviewed him for “To Play and to Fight, »
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
As Deliver Us From Evil lands on disc in the UK, we look back at key lessons the movies teach us about possession...
The idea of demonic possession goes back thousands of years, to before we had film. Most religions carry their own interpretation of what it means for a person to be 'possessed' by a demon or a spirit and it's a complicated, arcane subject shrouded in mystery and ritual.
The Sumerians, thousands of years before Christ, believed all diseases were caused by 'sickness demons' and had their sorcerers attempt early exorcisms as cures. The Quran talks extensively of Jinn (demons) that can drive people to insanity and may only be expelled via worship. In the Bible, Satan and his demons are very much at large using human beings as vessels for devilish deeds. Jesus casts a whole bunch of them out before he's accused of being demon-possessed himself »
Alberto Arvelo entrusted the film score for “The Liberator,” Venezuela’s Oscar entry, to a young composer who’d never before written music for film — but it was a pretty safe gamble on the part of the director, because the first-timer happened to be Gustavo Dudamel, the musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and one of the most vital and exciting figures in the world of classical music.
His presence at screenings and events certainly helped raise the profile of the epic film, in which actor Edgar Ramirez plays the South American revolutionary Simon Bolivar. And when the nine-film »
- Steve Pond
Stars: Eric Bana, Joel McHale, Édgar Ramírez, Olivia Munn, Chris Coy, Dorian Missick, Sean Harris, Mike Houston, Lulu Wilson | Written by Scott Derrickson, Paul Harris Boardman | Directed by Scott Derrickson
Sometimes it can be easy to dismiss a horror film simply based on the premise. By now we have seen nearly every type or person and inanimate object possessed by some sort of demon or demonic presence. However, all genres are just as guilty of sticking with stereotypical tropes. The key is how those tropes are executed. Director Scott Derrickson’s latest film Deliver Us From Evil is far from groundbreaking, but it at least subverts expectations enough to create something worth watching.
In many ways Deliver Us From Evil is a crime drama with a few occasional supernatural elements. Eric Bana plays Sarchie, a veteran police officer with a special talent for solving disturbing crimes. His partner, played by »
- Dan Clark
5 items from 2015
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