12 items from 2015
“Oddballs And Young Love”
Wes Anderson’s marvelous 2012 comedy, Moonrise Kingdom, was previously released on Blu-ray and DVD, but The Criterion Collection has seen fit to issue an edition that blows the old one away. With an abundance of fun, entertaining supplements and packaged ephemera—Criterion’s disc is in keeping with the other fine releases the company has done for the filmmaker.
Moonrise Kingdom is the first Wes Anderson movie I truly fell in love with. While I liked and appreciated his earlier pictures, Moonrise is a flawless masterpiece of style and wit—as is Anderson’s following film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. For my money, these are two slam-bang pieces of comic brilliance.
The setting is a small fictional New England island, during one summer in the Sixties. A Boy Scout troop camps out there. Some families live on the island, others visit for the season. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Courtesy of the San Francisco Film Society.
Love & Mercy
Directed by Bill Pohlad
Based on the life of The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, Love & Mercy depicts the singer’s descent into mental illness at the peak of the band’s popularity in the 1960s, while in the 1980s a chance meeting with a car saleswoman promises to save him from the brink of destruction. Paul Dano, as the young Wilson, is endearingly awkward yet creatively brilliant, capable of creating harmonies that most wouldn’t dream of. While years later his forward-thinking vision would earn the 1966 album “Pet Sounds” a place in the pop music canon, at the time it caused major tension within the band. Twenty years later, Wilson, now played by John Cusack, is a neurotic, washed-up and over-medicated version of his former self thanks to a dangerous codependency on his »
- Misa Shikuma
Chicago – As the Chicago Critics Film Festival (Ccff) – a film festival as programmed by the members of the Chicago Film Critics Association – heads into its last four nights, the variety and depth of the films that are being screened continues to astound and entertain. It all takes place at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, May 4 through 7, 2015.
HollywoodChicago.com contributors Nick Allen and Patrick McDonald have been sampling the best of the festival, and offer this preview of the final four nights of films. Each capsule is designated with Na (Nick Allen) or Pm (Patrick McDonald) – to indicate the author – or encapsulates the official synopsis from the festival.
’Quitters’ Screens on Monday, May 4th, at the Chicago Critics Film Festival
Photo credit: Chicago Critics Film Festival
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The Criterion Collection has announced its new release line-up for June with five new titles set for a Blu-ray release in June.
On July 7, it will release Robert Siodmak’s The Killers (1946) and Don Siegel’s The Killers (1964). On July 14, it will release Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour, Jan Troell’s Here’s Your Life, and Carroll Ballard’s The Black Stallion. And on July 21, it will release Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.
Ernest Hemingway’s simple but gripping short tale The Killers is a model of economical storytelling. Two directors adapted it into unforgettably virile features: Robert Siodmak, in a 1946 film that helped define the noir style and launch the acting careers of Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner; and Don Siegel, in a brutal 1964 version, starring Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, and John Cassavetes, that was intended for television but deemed too »
- Scott J. Davis
With a title like The Sisterhood Of Night, images of Hammer Horror classics may come to mind, but director Caryn Waechter and screenwriter Marilyn Fu have something on their hands far more enriching of the teenage experience than just genre alone.Adapted from a short story by Stephen Millhauser, The Sisterhood Of Night evokes a time in a young woman's life when self-actualization, empowerment and community are key. Starring Georgie Henley (The Chronicles Of Narnia movies), Kara Hayward (Moonrise Kingdom) ,Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar movies) and Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad), The Sisterhood Of The Night acts as a modern spin on the Salem Witch trials, exploring what happens when a group of teenage girls shed the world of social media, and retreat into the woods,...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
A secret society of teenage girls stirs up waves of panic and paranoia in “The Sisterhood of Night,” an alternately sensitive and heavy-handed small-town drama that turns the Salem witchcraft trials into a tenuous metaphor for the intense pressures brought to bear on today’s female youth. A self-styled “Crucible” for the cyberbullying era, Caryn Waechter’s feature directing debut spins a programmatic and not always persuasive tale of high-school pettiness and jealousy spiraling toward tragedy. Still, it does offer an appreciably even-handed, non-judgmental panorama of teens and adults flailing their way toward a place of greater empathy and understanding, presented with enough teasing intrigue to draw coven-sized pockets of viewer interest in theatrical and VOD release.
Adapted from Steven Millhauser’s 1994 story (which was previously filmed as a 2006 short), Marilyn Fu’s screenplay assumes the perspectives of several residents of Kingston, N.Y. — a suburban town that, we’re told in an opening voiceover, »
- Justin Chang
Movies about teenage girls more often than not fall into one of two categories these days — either the young ladies are wrapped up in an epic romance, or they’re falling victim to some supernatural, PG-13 threat — but it may surprise you to learn that there’s more to their lives than hymens and horrors. Mary (Georgie Henley) is something of a free spirit accustomed to holding herself apart from most of the student body at her school, but that divide grows exponentially when she and two of her friends form a mysterious and exclusive club. Catherine (Willa Cuthrell) is struggling with a mom who’s dying slowly from cancer while Lavinia’s (Olivia DeJonge) mother dates a new man every night, but together with Mary they’re able to find a comfortable distraction in the woods late at night. The trio begins to handpick other girls to join the “Sisterhood” with the understanding that no part »
- Rob Hunter
If you were to somehow distill into a single movie character the most insufferable attributes of Holden Caulfield, Max Fischer and the self-absorbed grown-up version of Antoine Doinel, you might come up with someone like the charisma-challenged protagonist of helmer Noah Pritzker’s debut feature, “Quitters.” Pritzker and co-scripter Ben Tarnoff earn grudging admiration for daring to construct their fitfully amusing dramedy around a central figure who, at his frequent worst, comes across as borderline sociopathic. And Ben Konigsberg displays an undeniably impressive fearlessness while playing the lead role as written, without subtle pleas (or, really, pleas of any kind) for sympathy and understanding. Barring an improbable outburst of critical hosannas, however, it’s unlikely that even venturesome audiences will want to spend much time with this character, or the movie that contains him.
Clark Rayman (Konigsberg), the teenage son of a well-to-do San Francisco couple, appears to have emotionally »
- Joe Leydon
If you’ve been waiting for Kara Hayward to make another film appearance since her days as Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom in 2012, then do we have a treat for you. Hayward, playing a schoolgirl partaking in a modern-day Salem witch hunt, will be coming to a theater near you this April in her new movie The Sisterhood of Night. The cast also includes Georgie Henley, Laura Fraser, and Kal Penn.
The film, directed by Caryn Waechter, follows the story of a young woman claiming to be the victim of a group calling themselves the Sisterhood of Night. Accusations are made, teens take to social media, and the innocent are dragged through the mud in this 21st century retelling of the Salem witch trials.
The film premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival back in October of 2014, and will be appearing at the Atlanta Film and Video Festival at the end of March. »
- Caitlin Marceau
With Sundance in the rear view mirror and Berlin just around the corner, another huge festival that’s now very much in mind is the 2015 South By Southwest Film Festival (SXSW 2015), to be held in Austin, Texas, this March. And this year, the lineup looks no less eclectic than in any previous year for the festival.
SXSW 2015 will see the debut of two big-studio comedies (Paul Feig’s Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy; and Etan Cohen’s Get Hard, starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart), some red-hot documentaries (none more so than Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine) and a vast array of smaller indie titles. Intriguingly, Judd Apatow’s Amy Schumer vehicle Trainwreck will be screened as a work-in-progress.
- Isaac Feldberg
South by Southwest, the multi-faceted film, music and technology festival held annually in Austin, TX will feature such upcoming films as Paul Feig’s Spy, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, and Ondi Timoner’s Russell Brand profile Brand: A Second Coming as headliners in this year’s film festival lineup.
SXSW runs from March 13 to 21 in Austin and is now in its 22nd year. Variety has details of the 145 films and 100 world premieres bowing at this year’s festival. Brand, as previously reported, will be the festival’s opening night film.
Other notable titles on the list are the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, a rough cut of Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, the directorial debut of 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland, Ex Machina, and a new comedy by Michael Showalter, Hello, My Name is Doris.
On the small screen, »
- Brian Welk
Top brass at the 22nd South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival have announced the feature line-up for the upcoming festival, set to run from March 13-21 in Austin, Texas.
SXSW will showcase 145 features. The line-up includes 60 films from first-time film-makers and comprises 100 world premieres, 13 North American premieres and 11 Us premieres.
Head of film Janet Pierson and her team of programmers culled selections from a record 2,385 feature-length submissions composed of 1,614 Us and 771 international features. The record of 7,335 total submissions marks a 13% gain on 2014.
For the first time the number of films in the juried Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature selections have risen from eight to ten. The complete Conference line-up and schedule will be released on February 17.
Besides the Narrative Feature Competition and Documentary Feature Competition selections listed below, feature entries include Judd Apatow’s work-in-progress comedy Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer in Special Events, music film 808 (pictured) in 24 Beats Per Second and Alex Garland’s sci-fi »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
12 items from 2015
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