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17 articles


Blu-ray Review: Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky on Criterion, Vital, Promising, More Quirky Than Funny

15 hours ago

Surprise! The delightful, self-deprecating audio commentary by Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin is what sold me on Jabberwocky, a very British film loosely inspired by Lewis Carroll's poem. Released in the U.K. and the U.S. in April 1977 -- two months before Star Wars -- the film was savaged by critics, as Gilliam recalls, though it did better in territories where Monty Python and the Holy Grail had not been released, such as Germany. Indeed, the original release did not leave a mark in my memory, though I recall it frequently playing on the lively repertory circuit in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and early 80s. Of course, I was a latecomer to the entire Monty Python phenomenon, since the show was broadcast on...

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Interview: Justice League's Ray Fisher On Becoming Cyborg

19 hours ago

What do you if your acting debut is as one of the legendary characters in a long-awaited superhero series? If you are rising star, Ray Fisher, you handle your appearance as Cyborg in director Zack Snyder’s Justice League with coolness and grace.   In an exclusive chat, Fisher spoke with me about playing Victor Stone’s mecha-man alter-ego, Cyborg, being the new kid on the DC block, Apokoliptian tech, fandom, and making the choice to be a man or a monster.     The Lady Miz Diva:  Speaking with you before our interview, you mentioned that during promotion for Justice League is a labor of love.  Tell us about that?   Ray Fisher:  It’s a labor of love because this is something that I’ve loved as...

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Review: Darkest Hour Illuminates Wartime Anarchy in the UK

21 hours ago

It’s often observed that moviemaking, large scale moviemaking in particular, is akin to orchestrating a war. That’s not to belittle or demean the very real horror and cost of true war; in filmmaking the severity of casualties don’t usually stem beyond the sacrifices of pride, vision, money, relationships, and sanity. War devours all of that and considerably more. This includes no less than global balance and most importantly, human lives.   Though now unpopular -- who today, under the age of sixty, voluntarily watches classic military combat films? -- the chaotic, visceral verisimilitude and/or tense hyper-focus of war stories have long proven a formally ideal match for the language of cinema. Never mind the correlation in their very execution, considered above. It’s the very ability...

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Psycho Pompous: Expressionist Horror, Part II: The Man Who Laughs, An Expansion

21 November 2017 1:50 PM, PST

The Man Who Laughs is, for the most part, not a horror film. It is a melodrama and a tragic love story in which many of the melancholy elements are twisted into a haunting gothic representation of the emotional states of the main characters. Now... Why are we spending yet another installment of this column talking about this film? Besides finally getting to the movie itself, it’s because The Man Who Laughs injected the right elements into the horror scene at precisely the right time. This is when (in American horror filmmaking) the priority would shift from light to shadow, from daydreams to nightmares. German expressionism had arrived to upset the storytelling pastimes and ideals of American romanticism, from which horror films would never be...

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Giveaway: Win The Limehouse Golem on DVD

21 November 2017 11:00 AM, PST

Rlj Entertainment released Juan Carlos Medina's period thriller The Limehouse Golem on DVD at the beginning of the month. We've been a little lax giving stuff away this month, tis the season, but it is better late than never to give away something to our faithful readership.    The city of London is gripped with fear as a serial killer – dubbed The Limehouse Golem – is on the loose and leaving cryptic messages written in his victim’s blood.  With few leads and increasing public pressure, Scotland Yard assigns the case to Inspector Kildare (Bill Nighy) – a seasoned detective with a troubled past and a sneaking suspicion he’s being set up to fail.  Faced with a long list of suspects, including music hall star...

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Lifechanger: New Shapeshifter From Justin McConnell Begins Production

21 November 2017 10:00 AM, PST

Our friend Justin McConnell is back in the director's chair. Taking a hiatus from doing film things for other film people he is back in creative control on his new shape-shifting horror/thriller Lifechanger.    Production began last week, so we are a little late to the party announcing the new project. We hope to be visiting the set near the end of the shoot next month, and will report back to you in kind. Pictured above is Justin's best side as he gazes upon, it looks like Elitsa Bako in the monitor.    Justin McConnell’s Lifechanger begins production in Toronto Production continues until early December   The shape-shifting horror/thriller Lifechanger, written and directed by Justin McConnell, has begun production in Toronto.   Justin McConnell’s (Broken...

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Cinema One Originals 2017 Review: Changing Partners Satisfyingly Delivers Catharsis

21 November 2017 9:02 AM, PST

In the first minutes of Changing Partners, Agot Isidro’s Alex (don’t be confused, there’ll be two Alex’s here — that’s kind of the concept of the whole film) expresses her excitement over watching the new season of her favorite prime-time musical soap opera.   Her much younger boyfriend Cris (Sandino Martin, one of the Cris’s, that is) finds the notion of characters breaking into song quite absurd. Isidro’s Alex explains that when characters burst into song, it is so emotions can be more untethered and thus more felt — the tempered voice inside one's self breaking free. Then a few minutes later, both this Alex and Cris start belting high notes on the magic and peculiarity of their love.   With this first scene, there’s a...

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Gareth Evans Developing London Gangland Series For HBO Offshoots

21 November 2017 8:00 AM, PST

According to a report from Deadline The Raid's Gareth Evans is developing a gangland drama series for HBO's Cinemax and Sky Atlantic. The series will be called Gangs of London and is being developed by Evans and his long time cinematographer Matt Flannery.   The drama, which will launch in 2019, is set in contemporary London as it is becoming torn apart by power struggles involving a number of international gangs. The series begins as the head of one criminal gang is assassinated and the power vacuum threatens the fragile peace between the other underworld organisations.   Evans said he hoped the show would bring a “cinematic viewing experience” into U.S and UK homes.   “It has been a thrilling experience to leap into longform...

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Have Your Say: Crisis On Infinite Universes

21 November 2017 7:00 AM, PST

Fans of super-hero films sure will not have experienced a shortage of them in the past decade. Ever since Marvel's massively successful Avengers film, their "Cinematic Universe" has been a purring engine, raking in cash for Disney in jaw-dropping amounts for years now already. And of course when one studio has such a magnificent shiny toy, all others want one as well. Warner Brothers had the benefit of having their own comic-books empire attached and began setting up their "DC-Extended Universe", and is even trying to make a mega-monster-verse out of Godzilla and Skull Island as well. Universal tried to do a similar thing with its own recent re-imaginings of their horror classics. That's not to say Marvel's success is easy to copy though. Universal...

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The German Shivers Film Festival's Line-up Will Set Hearts Aflutter...

21 November 2017 12:00 AM, PST

From November the 23rd till November the 28th, the German city of Constance will be hosting the Shivers Film Festival. It's the third time the festival is being held and the organizers have just revealed the entire line-up, which happens to be a very impressing one. For starters they have Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missoury, and you can take "starters" literally, as it is the fest's opening film. Other Screen Anarchy favorites include Can Evrenol's Housewife, Yorgos Lanthimos' The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Bill Watterson's Dave Made a Maze and Nabwana I.G.G's utterly fantastic Wakaliwood extravaganza Bad Black. And hey, any festival which plays Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce and Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers gets our thumbs-up. And while Germany has had a (25...

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AFI Fest 2017 Dispatch: Metaphysial Masterworks and Nerve-Jangling Debuts

20 November 2017 12:00 PM, PST

AFI Fest closed out their 2017 edition last Thursday in Los Angeles with a star-studded showing of the Jessica Chastain starring Molly's Game, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. And while the American Film Instituite certainly likes their gala premieres and big homgrown fare, it is often when you dig beyond the mainstream and English language that you will be most greatly rewarded. From an astounding metaphysical masterwork to the two best narrative feature debuts I have seen this year, the following is my sampling of the titles I had the pleasure of seeing at AFI Fest 2017 -- enjoy these capsule reviews!     ...

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Notes on Streaming: The Punisher, Geysers of Blood, Torture and Violence

20 November 2017 10:02 AM, PST

After sampling The Punisher, Marvel's latest small-screen series, I shared my reaction on social media: "Unrelenting brutality of Frank Castle + extreme bloodshed through 3 eps. is wearisome." Boy, was I wrong -- I vastly underestimated the capacity for torture and violence that's on tap in the remaining 10 episodes of the series, now available on the Netflix streaming service. Dramatically speaking, the structure of the series is the usual usual from the Marvel stable on Netflix. Introduced in the second season of Daredevil in 2016, this particular iteration of Frank Castle, a merciless, murderous character who first appeared in comic book form in 1974, is a nasty vigilante whose actions and approach served as an effective counterpoint for Daredevil's non-murderous, 'do no permanent harm'...

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AFI Fest 2017 Dispatch: A Tour Through the Vr at AFI's 'Tech Showcase'

20 November 2017 9:00 AM, PST

AFI Fest wrapped up last Thursday but not before a host of cool awards movies, indie darlings, and international gems played for the Hollywood audience (see our preview for a few highlights). But another main element of the AFI Fest experience is the Tech Showcase. As in the last few years, this has focused mainly on Vr and 360 content. In particular, there was a fair amount of narrative content at this year's fest. Some of the notable pieces at AFI Fest that we've covered in past articles included Lytro and Within's Hallelujah (Cannes), Penrose's Arden's Wake and Within's Life of Us (Tribeca), and Saschka Unseld's Dear Angelica and (along with Lily Baldwin) Through You (Sundance). Here's a look at some of the pieces on...

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Blu-ray Review: Landmark Lesbian Drama Desert Hearts Looks Tremendous and Feels Almost as Good

20 November 2017 8:00 AM, PST

A woman arrives in Reno by train and will leave the same way, with one seismic difference: she has met and fallen in love with Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), a local artist and resident free-spirit. The year is 1959, and Vivian (Helen Shaver) is in Reno to get divorced. (In 1959, did people always have to go to Reno to get divorced?) She's an academic leaving a loveless, functional marriage. The idea of falling for a woman has never entered her wildest speculations. Modern audiences will inevitably connect Donna Deitch's 1985 independent film, Desert Hearts, with Todd Haynes' masterpiece of twenty years later, Carol. Both are set in the 1950s and feature older/younger relationships forming between an experienced woman and a woman only beginning to discover...

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Our Favorite Faces Of Jeremy Irons

20 November 2017 7:00 AM, PST

This weekend saw the arrival of Zack Snyder's and Joss Whedon's Justice League, and while Pierce Conran mentioned in his review that the film is overstuffed, he also noted that it "...manages to stand its ground as reasonable popcorn entertainment." It's a suitably star-studded affair, and among them is veteran actor Jeremy Irons. He plays Bruce Wayne's butler-slash-gadget-mechanic Alfred, and this week Jeremy is our Favorite Face. When Jeremy Irons was the subject of our weekly quiz, I wrote that he "... is known to have an eclectic career, popping up with brilliant performances and barmy scenery-chewing alike, switching between impressively introvert and hilariously extrovert at will." All true. So what is your favorite performance by him, and was he impressively introvert or hilariously extrovert?...

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The Black Cat Short Film Now Online for Your Viewing Pleasure

20 November 2017 6:00 AM, PST

Fairy tales are ripe fodder for films, especially short films, and Indian director Bhargav Saikia knows a good fairy tale when he reads it. His latest short film The Black Cat, an adaptation of Indian author Ruskin Bond's short story. Quiet, mysterious, with (yes) an adorable but perhaps a little evil cat, the film ahs been making the rounds at film festivals this year, and is now available to watch online. Mr. Bond buys an interesting broom at one of his favourite shops. But the broom comes with an unexpected addition in the form of a strange black cat that seems intent on staying with its new unwilling owner. Saikia takes his time with the tale, paying great attention to detail, and drawing the viewer...

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Review: After Love, The Anger and Sadness of Divorce

20 November 2017 5:30 AM, PST

A while ago, a judge in the UK proposed to make it harder for people to get married, and easier for them to get divorced. The logic being, that too many people get married without properly thinking it through; love is not enough to sustain a long-term relationship, and too many factors, such as money, can ruin a relationship. In Joachim Lafosse's After Love, money indeed is the culprit that finally brings what was once a happy marriage to ruin. So how do you start to untie such as relationship, when not only money troubles, but the care of children is involved? Unlike most romantic dramas, Lafosse looks not so much to the love that once was but the strain and often tedium of ending...

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