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Scott Reviews Ira Sachs’ Little Men [Sundance 2016]

5 February 2016 3:57 PM, PST

Like his last film, Love is Strange, Ira SachsLittle Men is a film about transition. It starts with the death of a grandfather, which leads 13-year-old Jake (Theo Taplitz) and his family (dad played by Greg Kinnear, mom by Jennifer Ehle) to move into his Brooklyn building – an upstairs apartment and a downstairs retail space, currently occupied by a failing clothing store. The grandfather had long kept rent low for Leonor (Paulina Garcia) so she might stay in business, but Jake’s parents have no such attachments. He, however, has become fast friends with Leonor’s son, Tony (Michael Barbieri), no small thing when he’s regarded as the weird kid at his own school.

Sachs co-screenwriter Mauricio Zacharias pull no punches with their premise, seeing it all the way through to its inevitable conclusion. But they do imbue so much of the film with warmth and honesty. This is not a film »

- Scott Nye

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Criterion Close-Up 27 – Canadian Close-Up

5 February 2016 12:30 PM, PST

Mark and Aaron take a trip north to the wonderful world of Canada. This is a special, unscheduled episode to celebrate the O’ Canada Blogathon. We talk about all things Canadian, including our Canadian Connections, film and media culture from Canada, and two particular films from The Criterion Collection — Videodrome and My Winnipeg.

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Episode Links & Notes

0:00 – Introduction to Canadian Close-Up

2:10 – Canadian Connections

9:30 – O’ Canada Blogathon

15:30 – Celebrating Canadian Culture

29:20 – Videodrome

50:10 – My Winnipeg

O’ Canada HQ Aaron’s review Episode Credits Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email

Next time on the podcast: Fat Girl »

- Aaron West

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Scott Reviews Joshua Marston’s Complete Unknown [Sundance 2016]

4 February 2016 5:53 PM, PST

Now here’s a premise for a movie – a beautiful woman shows up to a party; a man recognizes her, but she denies his claim as to who she is. The woman, Alice, is played by Rachel Weisz. The man, Tom, by Michael Shannon. Really, honestly now…how could you lose?

She’s a research scientist; he’s a business advisor. He’s married, but his wife wants to move across the country to attend an exclusive academic program; he’s less convinced this is the right move for both of them. She just happened to meet his business partner at lunch, who invited her to Tom’s birthday party. Is it really all such a coincidence that she should secure such an invitation when he is so sure he recognizes her? And if her recognizes her and feels the need to call her out, just how close must they have been? »

- Scott Nye

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Scott Reviews So Yong Kim’s Lovesong [Sundace 2016]

4 February 2016 4:52 PM, PST

I’ve never been a young parent who suddenly fell in love with my same-gendered best friend, but boy if Lovesong didn’t nail what it felt like to be in my early twenties. This is a film all about the difficulty to say what you truly want to say, and the distance that crops up between people as a result of that prideful fear. It’s a fear of both rejection and acceptance, what Joni Mitchell was talking about when she warned against expressing honest feeling in “Both Sides Now.” A “no” could end everything between you and this one other person. A “yes” could end everything between you and everyone else.

Sarah (Riley Keough) and Mindy (Jena Malone) are around 23 when we meet them. Sarah already has a young daughter, but her husband, Dean (Cary Joji Fukunaga) is away for months on end for business. She’s lonely »

- Scott Nye

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The Newsstand – Episode 53 – In A Lonely Place, Gance’s Napoleon and more!

4 February 2016 5:00 AM, PST

This time on the Newsstand, Ryan is joined by Scott Nye, and Mark Hurne to discuss the latest in home video rumors, news, packaging, and more.

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Shownotes Follow-up Scott’s trip to Sundance News Wacky newsletter drawing Napoleon Criterion UK Flicker Alley Bd on demand Second Run joins forces with Arrow Video Jacques Rivette passing Misc. Links 39th Portland International Film Festival Rest in peace, Jacques Rivette Film director Jacques Rivette, stalwart of the French new wave, dies aged 87 | The Guardian Céline and Julie Go Boating The latest wacky email newsletter drawing from the… In a Lonely Place – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Napoléon (1927 film) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Napoleon (1927) – IMDb The Many Lives of Abel Gance’s ‘Napoleon’ – The New York Times How we made – Napoleon | The Guardian Abel Gance’s Napoleon Returns – From the Current »

- Ryan Gallagher

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Scott Reviews George Stevens’ Shane [Masters of Cinema Blu-ray Review]

3 February 2016 4:20 PM, PST

A tyrant is trying to force decent people off their land to take it all for himself. The decent people are willing to stand their ground, but are looking for ways to avoid violence. They’re trying to teach their children not to solve matters with guns, and if something should happen to the men in battling this tyrant, their families would be left with nothing. Yet it becomes increasingly clear the tyrant must be stopped. Along comes a young man with the skills and resolve to do their killing for them, and with no apparently attachments to anyone else to leave behind. He’s their hero, their greatest hope; they can honor him, thank him, even give him work; but we can never truly repay the way he put his life on the line so that we might enjoy our freedom.

This is the plot of Shane, George Stevens’ 1953 western. »

- Scott Nye

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Scott Reviews Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship [Sundance 2016]

3 February 2016 10:37 AM, PST

Love & Friendship begins in good faith, introducing the audience to its large cast via a series of medium still shots of the actors looking directly to camera, with text telling us their name, relation to another character, and perhaps a personality trait, all in the manner of a police record (“Brother of ______; bit of a rattle” goes one). These facts are only of use if you’re the type to remember the names of every guest at an unfamiliar dinner party; for most, the task will prove largely impossible. But by giving us a moment to look at them, how they pose and situate themselves in their environment, we may not learn who they are, but we can associate immediately what they are, whether they’re prideful or shy or cunning or honest. By the time they then show up in the main action of film, we have predetermined associations, »

- Scott Nye

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Off The Shelf – Episode 76 – New DVD & Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday, February 3rd 2016

3 February 2016 5:00 AM, PST

In this special episode of Off The Shelf, Ryan and Brian take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for Tuesday, January 26th 2016.

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Follow-Up Depatie-Freleng Supplements News Arrow Video: Cult Cinema sold out directly (Available from Amazon UK), BFI: Napoleon Criterion Collection: In A Lonely Place Disney: Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Blu-ray 4/5 Flicker Alley: Blu-ray Mod, film noirs John Carpenter Lost Themes II Kino: Tijuana Toads, Roland and Rattfink, Beware! The Blob, Eleni, Fuzz, Absolution, Masters of Cinema: April announcements tomorrow Olive Films: April titles Second Run: teaming up with Arrow Video Shout! Scream: Manhunter cover, MST3K Vol 2, NightHawks, I Saw What You Did / You’ll Like My Mother Thunderbean: Flip the Frog and Cubby Bear Twilight Time: New February titles available for pre-order on Wednesday February 3rd: Where The Sidewalk Ends, Cowboy, The Big Heat, »

- Ryan Gallagher

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Criterion Close-Up – Episode 26 – Jellyfish Eyes

2 February 2016 5:00 AM, PST

Mark and Aaron are joined by Matt Sheardown of … Criterion Close-Up. You heard right. Long story. Matt is also a video games expert, so we borrowed his expertise as we broke down and evaluated the controversial Criterion release of Takashi Murakami’s Jellyfish Eyes. We discuss the visuals, the influences, the intended audience, and how to classify it as a genre. We also ask the big question, which many have asked since the announcement — is it worthy of Criterion?

About the film:

The world-famous artist Takashi Murakami made his directorial debut with Jellyfish Eyes, taking his boundless imagination to the screen in a tale of friendship and loyalty that also addresses humanity’s propensity for destruction. After moving to a country town with his mother following his father’s death, a young boy befriends a charming, flying, jellyfish-like sprite—only to discover that his schoolmates have similar friends, and that »

- Aaron West

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Joshua Reviews Southbound [Theatrical Review]

1 February 2016 8:40 AM, PST

There are few things in the film world more difficult to successfully cobble together than the dreaded horror anthology. With its mixture of narratives, creative voices and actors/actresses, more often than not the horror anthology picture feels closer akin to the type of short film programs many people are flocking to this Oscar season than a fully formed, singular motion picture. For every great one like Trick r’ Treat or Three Extremes there’s a complete dud like the dreadful ABC’s Of Death or the unwatchable Little Deaths. A tough balance to strike between genuine terror and shifting creative visions, the success stories seem to be the exception to the lesser picture’s rule.

That’s what makes the latest attempt at mastering this concept, Southbound, so special. Four directors are accounted for here, including Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath and the runaway stars of this show »

- Joshua Brunsting

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The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 38 – Raffaelo Matarazzo’s Runaway Melodramas

1 February 2016 5:00 AM, PST

This podcast focuses on Criterion’s Eclipse Series of DVDs. Hosts David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett give an overview of each box and offer their perspectives on the unique treasures they find inside. In this episode, David and Trevor discuss Eclipse Series 27: Rafaello Matarazzo’s Runaway Melodramas.

About the films:

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, film critics, international festivalgoers, and other studious viewers were swept up by the tide of Italian neorealism. Meanwhile, mainstream Italian audiences were indulging in a different kind of cinema experience: the sensational, extravagant melodramas of director Raffaello Matarazzo. Though turning to neorealism for character types and settings, these haywire hits about splintered love affairs and broken homes, all starring mustachioed matinee idol Amedeo Nazzari and icon of feminine purity Yvonne Sanson, luxuriate in delirious plot twists and overheated religious symbolism. Four of them are collected here, chronicles of men and women on »

- David Blakeslee

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