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This brilliant experimental film about life on a fishing trawler uses nifty camerawork to put the audience in a freaky place
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel have created an experimental documentary with audacity and brilliance, a film that could as well be shown on a wall at Tate Modern as on a cinema screen. It is about the experience of working aboard a fishing trawler on dark, grim and dangerous waters, filmed in the North Atlantic. Using a range of tiny cameras that can be passed from hand to hand, or fixed to objects or clothing, the film gives us unexpected views from unexpected angles: we can see what the humans see – and get the freaky, hallucinatory sense that we are also seeing what the fish see, what the gulls see, even what the ship sees.
For the first 10 minutes, all is chaos, as if at the beginning of the world or out in space. »
- Peter Bradshaw
The Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking has announced the five nominees for its fourth annual Cinema Eye Heterodox Award, sponsored by Filmmaker Magazine. The Cinema Eye Heterodox Award honors a narrative film that imaginatively incorporates nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production. The five films nominated for the 2014 Heterodox Award are: Andrew Bujalski's "Computer Chess," Randy Moore’s "Escape From Tomorrow," James Franco and Travis Matthews’ "Interior. Leather Bar.," Kleber Mendonça Filho’s "Neighboring Sounds" and Carlos Reygadas’ "Post Tenebras Lux." "The 2014 Cinema Eye Honors Heterodox nominees prove once again that the contested space between narrative and documentary is the ideal cinematic environment to delve deep into our most modern tensions," said Esther Robinson, Chair of the Cinema Eye Honors. "Bringing us to settings as diverse as rural Mexico, dystopian Disneyland, and a forgotten leather bar, these films break convention to move »
- Peter Knegt
In partnership with Filmmaker, Cinema Eye Honors announces the nominees for this year’s Heterodox Award, its fourth annual recognition of a narrative film that successfully and imaginatively weaves documentary strategies, content, and/or modes of production into its fabric. The five nominees are Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess; Randy Moore’s Escape From Tomorrow; James Franco and Travis Mathews’ Interior. Leather Bar.; Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Neighboring Sounds and Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux. These selected films are intended to demonstrate the formal possibilities of non-fiction filmmaking, in addition to probing the ever-tenuous boundary between reality and its embellished analogue. “The 2014 Cinema Eye Honors Heterodox nominees prove once again that […] »
- Sarah Salovaara
Chloé Robichaud’s Sarah Prefers To Run prevailed in the $15,000 Los Cabos Competition section as the second Baja International Film Festival came to a conclusion in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Over the course of four days the festival presented 35 films, of which six were world premieres, 14 were Mexican premieres and one was a Latin American premiere.
The municipality of Los Cabos hosted more than 80 producers and representatives from Mexico, the Us and Canada, as well as the UK, Chile, Colombia, Spain, France, Germany, Mexico, Switzerland, Argentina and Brazil.
Mexican star Gael Garcia Bernal was the subject of a career tribute and Carlos Reygadas, Amat Escalante, Jaime Romandia and Peter Greenaway attended a celebration marking the 15th anniversary of production company Mantarraya Producciones.
The festival ran from November 13-16 and closed with a screening of Oscar contender Dallas Buyers Club and the awards ceremony.
Sarah Prefers To Run (pictured) won the Los Cabos Competition section and a $15,000 prize. [link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Los Cabos – Three awaited Mexican movies – “Mexico’s Most Wanted,” “Flying Low” and “Natural Philosophy of Love” – all world preem at the 2nd Baja International Film Festival whose Hollywood industry presence underscores that the U.S. is at least beginning to take Mexico’s talent pool more seriously.
Baja’s U.S. presence includes Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media, agencies CAA, Paradigm, Management 360, investor Palmstar Media Capital/Merced Media Partners and sales agents Voltage Pictures, Panorama Media, Xyz Films, FiGa Films and Shoreline Entertainment.
Produced by Billy and Fernando Rovzar’s Lemon Films (“After Lucia,” “Saving Private Perez”), “Mexico’s Most Wanted” is Im Global/Canana’s Mundial first third-party sales pick-up out of Canana’s native Mexico.
A propulsive crime thriller, “Wanted” also reps Lemon’s »
- John Hopewell
At the outset of Albert Serra's Birdsong (2008), the Three Wise Men, caught in a sudden rainstorm and retreating into a cave to wait it out peruse the boulders around them. One of the Magi declares, “If you look close enough, you can see a lot of things. Sometimes what we see is so beautiful it petrifies us,” perfectly, if unwittingly, encapsulating the director’s method of operation. As the trio literally dissolves into a backdrop of majestic landscapes, the Biblical plot also withdraws from the foreground: a maneuver not unfamiliar to those who have seen Serra’s previous feature, Quixotic/Honor de Cavelleria (2006), a less than faithful adaptation of de Cervantes's Don Quixote. Calling it an adaptation, however, should be taken with a grain of salt insofar as Serra deliberately emptied the canonical chivalric novel of all its contents save the two lonely souls at its core, »
- Vladimir Lukin
★★★★☆ Heli (Armando Espitia), the protagonist of Amat Escalante's 2013 Palme d'Or nominee of the same name, is a young Mexican who lives with his father, his son, his young wife (Linda Gonzalez) and 12-year-old sister, Estella (Andrea Vergara). He's prone to bad luck, keen on his naps and, when a census taker comes to the house, hesitates about how many people live there with him. However, when 17-year-old army cadet Beto (Juan Eduardo Palacios) falls in love with Estella and makes plans for the two of them to run away together, Heli's cataclysmic knee-jerk reaction will plunge the family into pitiless and brutal violence.
Narrative films concerned with roving drug gangs, political corruption and barbaric acts of extreme and horrendous violence are depressingly common nowadays and have formed the backdrop for several high profile Hollywood movies in recent years, including Oliver Stone's Savages (2012) and Mexico's own Miss Bala (2011). However, »
- CineVue UK
Venice — Alfonso Cuaron and Jonathan Glazer are no strangers to the Venice Film Festival. Cuaron was previously here in 2006 with “Children of Men,” while Glazer turned up in 2004 with “Birth” — two formally sophisticated, richly atmospheric dramas that were underappreciated on their initial release but have aged particularly well over the years. And in a happy coincidence, Cuaron and Glazer returned to Venice this year to stage an extraordinary dual comeback of sorts, with a pair of films that, although they could scarcely be more different, might generically be classified as science fiction.
By now you’ve probably heard a thing or two about Cuaron’s “Gravity,” an electrifying lost-in-space thriller that premiered out of competition as Venice’s opening-night attraction and immediately threatened to eclipse the rest of the lineup. As any programmer will tell you, curtain-raisers can be a tricky proposition: It’s always good to avoid starting off »
- Justin Chang
Ioncinema.com’s Ioncinephile of the Month feature focuses on an emerging filmmaker from the world of cinema. Following Ryan Coogler (July) and Destin Daniel Cretton (August), this September we’ve added yet another exciting new American indie writer-director voice to our, sorta speak, depth chart. This one made waves with micro-budgeted feature debut at both the Sundance (view our coverage) and SXSW (Chicken & Egg female narrative directing award winner) Film Festivals. Picked up by distrib label Oscilloscope Laboratories, Hannah Fidell’s A Teacher recently hit VOD and will be released theatrically September 6th. Hannah details her early memories associated with cinephilia and how recent masterworks might have influenced her own stylistic choices and as part of our profile, we ask the filmmaker to include their personal top ten. Here’s our profile on Hannah and make sure to check out her current Top Ten Films of All Time list. »
- Eric Lavallee
An over-honest judge is made voiceless after a drive-by shooting he’s convinced isn’t accidental in Daniel and Diego Vega’s largely deadpan black comedy, “The Mute.” The brothers’ follow-up to their debut, “October,” has a similarly restrained style but delivers more of a bite, with a damning portrait of a society where corruption is endemic and betrayal so common it barely rates a raised eyebrow. While there are moments of power, the pic’s metaphor of enforced silence — the one person wanting to shout against the system is muted — renders the concept overly obvious. Fest chatter will be more vocal.
Lead Fernando Bacilio’s win in Locarno as best actor, notwithstanding his deliberately one-note perf, should boost the film’s profile, along with Carlos Reygadas’ attachment as one of the co-producers. It also helps that Peruvian cinema is riding the wave of interest in Latin America, which means »
- Jay Weissberg
The Cinema Guild has picked up the U.S. digital and non-theatrical rights to "Agnes Varda From Here To There," a documentary series directed by Agnes Varda Made up of five 45-minute episodes, the series chronicles Varda's travels around the world as she examines the global art scene, meeting with different artists and filmmakers, including directors Alexander Sokurov and Carlos Reygadas, sculptor Christian Boltanski and his partner, artist Annette Messager. She visits with Chris Marker at his home shortly before he passed away, and dances with Manoel de Oliveira. "Agnes Varda From Here To There" originally aired in Europe on Arte in 2011. The deal was negotiated by Ryan Krivoshey of The Cinema Guild and Cecilia Rose of Cine-Tamaris, and the series will be released across multiple digital platforms later this year.
- Alison Willmore
The Cinema Guild has picked up the U.S. digital and non-theatrical rights to "Agnes Varda From Here To There," a documentary series directed by Agnes Varda Made up of five 45-minute episodes, the series chronicles Varda's travels around the world as she examines the global art scene, meeting with different artists and filmmakers, including directors Alexander Sokurov and Carlos Reygadas, sculptor Christian Boltanski and his partner, artist Annette Messager. She visits with Chris Marker at his home shortly before he passed away, and dances with Manoel de Oliveira. "Agnes Varda From Here To There" originally aired in Europe on Arte in 2011. The deal was negotiated by Ryan Krivoshey of The Cinema Guild and Cecilia Rose of Cine-Tamaris, and the series will be released across multiple digital platforms later this year. »
- Alison Willmore
Locarno — Over 2009/10, Peru broke out, thanks to Claudia Llosa’s Berlin Golden Bear winner “The Milk of Sorrow,” Javier Fuentes-Leon’s “Undertow,” which took Sundance’s World Cinema Audience Award, and Daniel and Diego Vega’s “October,” which walked off at 2010’s Cannes with its Un Certain Regard Jury Prize.
Finally, a New Peruvian Cinema was born.
Three years later, there are few more anticipated Latin American second features than the Vega brothers’ “El mudo” which screens in competition Wednesday at Locarno.
“El mudo” underscores the filmmakers’ counter-establishment courage to make a putdown of a seemingly corruption-sodden modern-day Peru at a time that the country has become the darling of the financial world.
But the dramedy-thriller also says a lot about the paths top-end Latin American movies are now exploring.
“Sorrow” and Hector Galvez’s “Paradise,” which played Venice Horizons in 2009, were both set in Lima’s marginalized, humble outer-burbs. »
- John Hopewell
As previously reported, Amat Escalante's Heli opens in Mexico on Friday, August 9. So the director and his cast are here supporting their film and getting ready for the Mexico City premiere, to be celebrated at the Cinematheque (Cineteca Nacional) on August 6. Escalante, Armando Espitia (Heli), Andrea Vergara (Heli's sister Estela), Eduardo Palacios (Estela's boyfriend Beto), Linda González (Heli's wife Sabrina), Ramón Álvarez (Heli's father) and Reina Torres (Detective Maribel) already met with the press for a conference. Many topics were discussed, including violence in Mexico, Escalante's relationship with Carlos Reygadas, and, of course, the Cannes 2013 Best Director award. "Even if you don't like this type of cinema, you should give Heli an opportunity. Even (Steven) Spielberg liked it!" said Escalante. Here I...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
★★★☆☆ The title of Mexican arthouse director Carlos Reygadas' fourth feature, 2012's Post Tenebras Lux, means 'light after darkness' in Latin - and unwittingly, it perhaps alludes to the polarised reaction it has received since its world premiere at last year's Cannes Film Festival. Met, at its very first screening, with the absurd chorus of boos that spoilt Cannes audiences often like to dole out to unsuspecting filmmakers, it went on to win Best Director award for Reygadas, and opinions continue to diverge sharply. As with his earlier efforts, Reygadas' approach - artful, unhurried, often bafflingly aloof - has delighted and infuriated.
There's much to compare here with Terrence Malick, that other Cannes darling, in the reverence and quiet esteem it gives to the natural world, and our relationship with it. Like Malick, Reygadas presents ideas slowly, thoughtfully and with an impassive precision. Minutes pass without any dialogue or notable action. »
- CineVue UK
Mexican auteur Carlos Reygadas' fourth film, Post Tenebras Lux (2012), has been described by some as his masterpiece. It's a bracingly intelligent and formally daring picture; a confrontational, yet moving work of subversive autobiography which is open to many interpretations. It's a film that bridges the personal and the political, using one Mexican man's personal crisis to signify larger fissures in the national consciousness. Post Tenebras Lux has proven typically divisive with critics, but is just the kind of film which demands an audience's attention, adventurousness and, ultimately, faith. CineVue's Craig Williams spoke to the director about art, politics and cinema as an act of life.
- CineVue UK
Beware Of Mr Baker
Ginger Baker is not one to suffer fools gladly. Actually, he's not one to suffer anyone or anything gladly. As sticksman alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce in what was arguably the first supergroup, Cream, he laid down the template for what a rock drummer should be. If you're looking for similar clues on how a human being should behave, look elsewhere.
Ginger Baker has pretty much done it all as far as drumming goes, and done most of it before it even occurred to anyone else. With bags of natural talent he excelled in some of the UK's greatest jazz and blues bands. He hit superstardom in Cream and then, after the world of rock presented no further challenges to him (and he imploded spectacularly in a storm of »
- Phelim O'Neill
Directed by Sebastian Hofmann
Flies in a jar, basking in filth: grimy, unclean, and uncaring for the dirt – clamouring for it, even. The scurrying bugs constitute natural life at its base level, most negligent and sickly. Their movements form the opening and closing shots of Halley, forming an opening statement that stays static to the very end, carried through with the action, or inaction, of the film’s subject. Nothing may ever change the immovable disposition of Alberto Trujillo’s Beto, a gym security guard flattened under the weight of an invisible black cloud of depression, permanently cursed with eyes and lips that are helpless but to look downwards. As the ‘beautiful’, sculpted bodies around him enhance their capabilities, his literally rots away from the inside; each night, he pulls maggots from his rotting torso, desperately applying embalming fluid to counteract any further decomposition.
Sebastian Hofmann’s debut feature is a brutal, »
- Ed Doyle
Directed by Carlos Reygadas
Written by Carlos Reygadas
The body of work put forth by Mexican auteur Carlos Reygadas has been nothing short of polarizing. At 42, and now with four features under his belt, Reygadas has been earmarked as one of the most ambitious and daring filmmakers working in modern cinema and in the arthouse. With his latest, Post Tenebras Lux (Latin for After Darkness, Light), his status grows; this very personal and seemingly scattered autobiographical account should further mystify the Reygadas faithful and detractors alike. As a symbol of creative ambition, few come close to matching Reygadas, an artist unaware of boundaries and safe zones within the medium. His cinema, and especially Post Tenebras Lux, is miraculous, almost overwhelmingly flowing with flaws and passion. For better or worse, his natural instincts depict a constant beauty amid tragedy and turmoil.
Reygadas sure knows how to open a film, »
- Ty Landis
The Summer 2013 issue of Cineaste has hit shelves, and features interviews with Carlos Reygadas and Sarah Polley. Online you'll find the conclusion to "Film Criticism: The Next Generation" and other exclusives. The Human Rights Watch Film Festival begins tomorrow in New York. Co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the IFC center, the doc fest features acclaimed films such as The Act of Killing (pictured above) and Camp 14 – Total Control Zone (which I wrote on here). Takashi Miike is in talks to make The Outsider, his first English language film, with Tom Hardy set as the prospective lead. The film tells "an epic story set in post-World War II Japan, chronicling the life of a former American G.I. who becomes part of the Japanese yakuza."
Vulgar Auteurism is being hotly debated on Twitter, blogs and other publications. The term, which originated with Andrew Tracy and Cinema Scope, »
- Adam Cook
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