5 items from 2016
Ryan Lambie Jul 26, 2016
They cost millions and they’re very, very odd. We take a look at 12 expensive and eccentric Hollywood films from the past 40 years...
The risk-averse nature of filmmaking means that the world’s more maverick and outrageous writers and directors have to make do with relatively low budgets. Nicolas Winding Refn drenched the screen in all kinds of sordid, violent and startling imagery in such films as Only God Forgives and this year’s The Neon Demon, but the combined budget of those probably didn’t even match the catering budget for something like Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
Every so often, though, a truly bonkers film slips through the Hollywood studio system - often by accident. From horror sequels to original sci-fi adventures, here are 12 incredibly expensive and gloriously eccentric Hollywood movies from the past 40 years.
The Exorcist II (1977)
Budget: $14 million
Like most films made for purely financial reasons, »
The opening dream sequence of A Hologram For The King finds status symbols of the American dream evaporating into puffs of purple smoke as Alan Clay (Tom Hanks) paraphrases the opening of Talking Heads' Once In A Lifetime - “You may find yourself looking for your large automobile... without a beautiful house, without a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?”- to the fourth wall and then the heavens above.
This is representative of writer-director Tom Tykwer's slightly sunnier take on Dave Eggers' acclaimed novel, in which struggling salesman Alan travels to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to pitch a virtual reality conferencing system to the king. Unfortunately, Alan is on thin ice with his company, who »
Even while it was in production, Tom Tykwer’s A Hologram for the King fostered a dual atmosphere of intrigue and questionability. After all, it was based off a lesser and somewhat inconsequential novel by Dave Eggers, whose own evocative prose styling was the sole reason to experience it on the page. It didn’t boost confidence that most of the book’s most compelling virtues were precisely the sort of nuances that get cut in a cinematic adaptation. On that proverbial other hand, Tykwer isn’t exactly a filmmaker who travels traditional Hollywood pathways when adapting challenging works; he found the odd and distinctive hearts of both David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (which he co-directed with the Wachowskis) and Patrick Suskind’s Perfume. Perhaps then, it isn’t surprising that Hologram ends up somewhere in the middle of what we would expect; instead of trying to overcome its slight, »
- Nathan Bartlebaugh
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Fresh off negotiating a deal to rescue a captured ally in Steven Spielberg’s wartime drama Bridge of Spies, Tom Hank’s next role will have the Oscar-winner make tracks to Saudi Arabia, where his hapless Alan Clay will negotiate a decidedly different set of deals in A Hologram For the King.
Reteaming with his Cloud Atlas helmer Tom Tykwer – he co-directed the time-spanning adaptation alongside the Wachowski siblings – the German filmmaker’s latest adaptation also represents a change of pace from David Mitchell’s sprawling sci-fi insofar as A Hologram For the King is rooted in the harsh reality of international commerce.
Headlining the feature as Alan Clay, it is Tom Hanks who stars as the washed-up business in desperate need to close a lucrative It contract. Should pen meet paper, it’ll pave the way for a huge new complex to begin construction out in the Saudi Arabia desert. »
- Michael Briers
The right book, it’s said, can change your life. Some books can alter perceptions of the world, or let a reader see life from a perspective they may never have considered before. Others expand the sense of what’s possible within the confines of a narrative; still others tell stories that the reader might not have ever expected to find themselves hearing. With a New Year just beginning, it’s an ideal time to seek out books that have a track record of changing your life. So we asked a number of writers across the board — from Eileen Myles to David Mitchell to Chuck Palahniuk to Alexander Chee to leading genre authors — about the books that changed their lives. Here’s what they had to say, in their own words.Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas and Grace Land “I was ten when I read James Baldwin’s Another Country. »
- Tobias Carroll
5 items from 2016
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