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One of the most gripping films I've seen in ages, Nima Javidi's fiction feature debut Melbourne just won the Golden Pyramid for Best Film at the Cairo International Film Festival, and deservedly so. It proves that you don't need an unbelievable, far-fetched scenario to create great suspense. Ostensibly a domestic drama, Melbourne sets up its scene in 20 minutes, and then spends the remainder of the film keeping its audience on the edge of their seats, all in one location, with a simple yet plausible and all-too-frightening turn of events that will leave a couple shattered.Amir (Peyman Moaadi) and Sara (Negar Javaherian) are preparing to move to Melbourne later that night. They and Sara's sister are packing up their things and having typical yet light...
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Why give an Iranian film an Australian title? In the misleadingly named “Melbourne,” the distant city is but an abstract idea — like Michael Haneke’s “The Seventh Continent” — of a new life far removed from the hassles and stress that hound its central couple. Set almost entirely in a Tehran apartment, where the action unspools virtually in real time, Nima Javidi’s unnerving debut takes an incredibly relatable premise (impossible to discuss without revealing the surprise) and invites auds to speculate what they might do in the characters’ shoes, effectively minimizing the distance that can sometimes limit Western interest in Iranian cinema.
“Melbourne” debuted at the Venice Film Festival, where it kicked off the Intl. Critics’ Week sidebar, but has since managed to confuse potential champions as it travels the circuit, the title inadvertently disguising its true cultural identity. Fest programmers are constantly on the hunt for strong new Persian voices, »
- Peter Debruge
Chicago – The haunting setting of Guantanamo Bay is used for elementary emotional effect in “Camp X-Ray,” a prison drama electrified more by its performances than its hopes of a profound narrative about the interactions between gatekeeper and captive.
In a role that further expands her dramatic potential, Kristen Stewart stars as Cole, a member of the United States Military Police Corps assigned to the ethics battle within Gitmo. Soon after stepping into her new workspace, she is sternly warned about its different moral conditions to those of regular prisons: Per the definitions in the Geneva Convention, the men locked up here are known as “detainees,” not prisoners; most aggressively, these inmates are considered as part of an active war against America, though their reasons for such acts are rarely discussed. Taking on aggression as a character feature to the role she must play as a guard, Cole works the different cell blocks, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
A man, a woman, and a baby that doesn’t belong to them – this is the backdrop of writer/director Nima Javidi’s Melbourne. Set in present-day Tehran, the film bears strong influence from Asghar Fahardi’s 2011 hit A Separation, not least because it also features leading man Peyman Moaadi. Tense and expertly edited, Melbourne digs deep into what goes on behind closed doors in an urban apartment building and how far people will go when responsibility, morality and self-interest collide.
Set almost entirely within the same apartment, Melbourne follows married couple Amir (Moaadi) and Sara (Negar Javaherian) on the day that they are set to leave for Australia on student visas. With personal effects packed up and appointments set for furniture removal and building inspection, it seems that the worst of the couple’s problems is the constant flow of friends and family lamenting and agonizing their departure. However, »
- Misa Shikuma
Of all the contentious issues that have plagued Barack Obama in his two terms as U.S. President, and there have been many, perhaps none are more simplistic and complicated in equal measure than the question of what to do with the detainee camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A facility that’s outlived its usefulness but remains politically sensitive for the implications of shutting it down, it still sits on the south-eastern shore of Cuba, with 149 men in custody, 76 of whom will never leave.
Camp X-Ray, the feature film debut of Peter Sattler, doesn’t offer an answer to that burning question, and even though the crux of the film is to unnecessarily remind us that Guantanamo’s detainees are people, too, it must be said that Camp X-Ray without a doubt a very well-acted and compelling reminder.
The story is a fictionalized account of life inside “Gitmo,” as a »
- Adam A. Donaldson
Kristen Stewart has long been maligned for her seemingly unshakeable performance tics – the hair-playing, the lip-biting, the huffy breathing – and despite being gifted with a compelling character in Peter Sattler’s ambitious Camp X-Ray, Stewart simply can’t kick her bad habits in service to a good performance. Sattler’s debut feature is set at Guantanamo Bay, requiring Stewart to play a young U.S. soldier who finds her worldview forever altered by her experiences, and the actress simply isn’t up to the task, bringing down the quality and power of the entire film in the process. The film opens with a shot of the Twin Towers smoking on 9/11, as seen on television in a foreign country that we only, much later, learn is Germany. Aware of the events and confoundingly kitted out with a bag of cell phones, Ali Amir (Payman Maadi) turns his attention away from the news for afternoon prayer. He »
- Kate Erbland
Perched at the top of this week’s flock of specialty film debuts is Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance), a possible Oscar contender starring Michael Keaton. Though it’s a limited release, Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s complex film about a fading action-hero trying to reclaim his mojo on Broadway nevertheless combines elements of a superhero franchise that could tap fans well beyond the art house.
It’s part of yet another big flock of specialty film debuts coming this weekend, including the controversy-minded Sundance award-winner Dear White People, William H. Macy‘s directorial debut Rudderless, Kristen Stewart‘s Camp X-Ray, Jason Schwartzman‘s Listen Up Philip, The Golden Era, Summer Of Blood, and one great revival, Alain Resnais’ 1959 landmark Hiroshima Mon Amour.
To get a sense of Fox Searchlight’s ambitions for Birdman, the film closed the New York Film Festival last weekend to strong reviews, but then »
- David Bloom
In the current volatile climate of increasing international tension caused by terrorism, Peter Sattler chose to tackle a boiling hot subject with his first feature as a director. He’s dipped his fingers in an assortment of filmmaking jars, from being an on-set dresser for David Gordon Green to dabbling in graphic design for "Star Trek," but with his directorial debut, “Camp X-Ray,” Sattler zooms in with a microscopic look at the current political milieu and paints the ideology of the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention camp (Gitmo) with one brush. Thanks to his friend Green (who executive produced the project and was instrumental with his support), media magnet Kristen Stewart, and one of Iran’s most recognizable thespians in Peyman Moaadi, Sattler was successful in getting his film off the ground for a subject that’s clearly close to his heart (he wrote the original screenplay). Unfortunately, as clear as »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
What to do with the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, many of whom have not been charged with any crimes, or are being tried via secret trials, is still a political hot button. But writer/director Peter Sattler's "Camp X-Ray" approaches the issue from a different angle, rather than as a straight polemic. Starring Kristen Stewart, Peyman Moaadi, and John Carroll Lynch, the film follows a young U.S. soldier who goes from her small town to the surreal world of the notorious detention center. While there, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees. So yes, there's a lot to chew on here, but a recent 42-minute talk with Stewart and Sattler at the Apple Soho Store, hosted by Indiewire's Nigel Smith, finds them diving into the characters, political commentary, and more that "Camp X-Ray" tackles. It's worth watching either before you seen the movie or after. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Our resident VOD expert tells you what's new to rent and own this week on the various streaming services such as cable Movies On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical exclusives for rent, priced from $3-$10, in 24- or 48-hour periods Life After Beth (zombie rom-com; Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan; rated R) Camp X-Ray (drama; Kristen Stewart, Payman Maadi; premieres 10/17 on Mod and in theaters; rated R) Extraterrestrial (sci-fi horror; Brittany Allen, Freddie Stroma; pretheatrical release premieres 10/17; not rated) Felony (thriller; Joel Edgerton, Tom Wilkinson, Jai Courtney; premieres 10/17 on Mod and in theaters; not rated) Rudderless (drama; Billy Crudup, William H...
- Robert B. DeSalvo
When we listed Jess Stroup as an honorable mention in our feature On The Rise 2014: 12 Film Composers To Watch, it was based off his work in the upcoming drama "Camp X-Ray." His unique contributions to the film caught our ear and lingered long after "Camp X-Ray" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and today we have an exclusive preview of his score for the film, so you can get a sense of what put Stroup on our radar. Starring Kristen Stewart and Payman Maadi, "Camp X-Ray" follows a young woman who joins the military and winds up stationed at Guantanamo Bay. Once there, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees. It's provocative, powerful stuff, but Stroup didn't want to hold the audience's hand with his music. “The most challenging part about scoring 'Camp X-Ray' was to avoid leading the viewer too much emotionally, »
- Edward Davis
What really happens to those souls on either side of the cell walls in Guantanamo Bay? Camp X-Ray strives for an authentic representation, opening with real news footage depicting the smouldering Twin Towers on 9/11. Yet it frequently fails to merge those aspirations of realism with the narrative structures and conventions of Hollywood cinema.
Lead actors Kristen Stewart and Peyman Moaadi deliver highly-convincing portrayals as camp guard Amy and 'detainee' Ali - the word 'prisoner' is significantly forbidden from use. Initially devoid of emotion, Amy is worn down by Ali's persistence to strike up a rapport from his cell, with their interactions and her changing outlook forming the crux of the movie.
Amy's transition is problematic, »
Following the second trailer for Camp X-Ray that debuted earlier this week, IFC Films has released a four-minute behind-the-scenes featurette with stars Kristen Stewart, Peyman Moaadi, John Carroll Lynch and writer-director Peter Sattler.
Along with new footage from the set and the movie itself, Kristen Stewart reveals what drew her to the character of Amy Cole, a young woman who joins the military to be part of something bigger than herself and her small town roots. After Amy is assigned to Guantanamo Bay, she forms a bond with a detainee played by Peyman Moaadi, who discusses working with writer-director Peter Sattler. We also hear from John Carroll Lynch, who plays Amy's superior officer Drummond, as he discusses digging into the human elements of this story.
Camp X-Ray Trailer 2. Peter Sattler‘s Camp X-Ray (2014) movie trailer 2 stars Ser’Darius Blain, Cory Michael Smith, Yousuf Azami, Peyman Moaadi, and Kristen Stewart. Camp X-Ray‘s plot synopsis: “A young woman joins the military to be part of something bigger than herself and her small town roots. [...]
- Rollo Tomasi
Director: Peter Sattler
Running Time: 117 minutes.
Synopsis: Kristen Stewart stars as a guard in Gauntanamo Bay who strikes an uncomfortable bond with one of her prisoners.
Stop laughing. I can hear you chortling away at the very notion of Kristen Stewart starring in a powerful drama set in Guantanamo Bay. Stop that, it’s rude. Okay, so the Twilight films were appalling. But that’s not her fault! Okay, so she has not exactly been brilliant in the past, but she’s doing the best she can with what she has. Will you please stop laughing.
Alright, you know what? Haters gon’ hate, but Kristen Stewart gives the performance of her life as Private Amy Cole in a character led drama that proves that she Can act. Yes, she Is extremely good in this, so chew on those truth tomatoes. Private Cole has to emotionally »
- John Sharp
Kristen Stewart was all smiles on Monday night when she attended the New York premiere of her latest project, Camp X-Ray, at the Crosby Street Hotel. While she worked her red carpet magic with her costar Peyman Moaadi, we spotted her friend Nicholas Hoult making a discreet entrance into the screening. Nicholas, who is in the Big Apple to promote his new movie, Young Ones, didn't pose for photographs and went by relatively unnoticed. Kristen and Nicholas have forged a friendship after they worked on Equals together over the Summer. The pair was spotted exploring Japan during filming, and they even took part in the Als Ice Bucket Challenge together. The pair had a connection before they started working together, as Kristen is close to Nicholas's ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lawrence. »
IFC Films just unveiled a new trailer for Kristen Stewart's upcoming "Camp X-Ray," a war-on-terror drama that's directed by Peter Sattler, who's making his helming debut. Check it out below. In "Camp X-Ray," Stewart plays a female soldier who is stationed at Guantanamo Bay, where she forms an unlikely bond with one of the prisoners (Payman Maadi). The title refers to one of the more controversial facilities at Guantanamo Bay. "Camp X-Ray" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It's set to hit theaters on October 17th. Trailer: »
The Twilight Saga star plays a Guantanamo Bay soldier in director Peter Sattler's debut feature.
The movie follows the young woman's arrival and acclimation to the infamous prison.
She finds herself forming a strong bond with a detainee (Peyman Moaadi), much to the displeasure of her superiors.
Camp X-Ray will screen at the London Film Festival on October 9. It will arrive in Us cinemas on October 17. »
Kristen Stewart stars as Amy Cole, a young woman who joins the military to be part of something bigger than herself and her small town roots. But she ends up as a new guard at Guantanamo Bay instead, where her mission is far from black and white. Surrounded by hostile jihadists and aggressive squadmates, she strikes up an unusual friendship with one of the detainees. A story of two people, on opposite sides of a war, struggling to find their way through the ethical quagmire of Guantanamo Bay. And in the process, they form an unlikely bond that changes them both.
With less than two weeks to go before its U.S. release IFC Films has debuted a new trailer for Camp X-Ray, writer-director Peter Sattler’s upcoming Guantanamo Bay drama which stars Kristen Stewart (Twilight) as a guard who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a detainee, played by Payman Maadi (A Separation).
See Also: Read our review of Camp X-Ray here
A young woman joins the military to be part of something bigger than herself and her small town roots. But she ends up as a new guard at Guantanamo Bay instead, where her mission is far from black and white. Surrounded by hostile jihadists and aggressive squadmates, she strikes up an unusual friendship with one of the detainees. A story of two people, »
- Gary Collinson
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