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Review: 'Go Down Death' A Unique, Strange & Unforgettable Directorial Debut

3 hours ago

This is a rerun of our review from the 2013 Fantasia Film Festival. "Go Down Death" is available this week on various VOD platforms, including iTunes and Amazon.  Jonathan Mallory Sinus is credited as the “folklorist” responsible for the vignettes that follow at the beginning of “Go Down Death,” the closing film at the Fantasia Film Festival. What follows is a beautiful woman applying makeup and a man on guitar. Some of the world’s greatest filmmakers would argue that these are the only elements one needs to make a great film. The picture continues through its opening credits, introducing us to a doctor that overshares to a kind-eyed boy, and a double-amputee emphasizing liberation from his own legs as if his body were originally a vessel for a lie. Director Aaron Schimberg’s credit appears over the screams of a woman trapped inside a car, fighting for her life. This »

- Gabe Toro

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Release Dates: Jon Stewart's 'Rosewater' Readied For Oscar Season, 'The Huntsman' Coming In Spring 2016

3 hours ago

You can have a great movie, but if you don't position it properly, it won't find the audience it deserves, nor maximize the profitability you were hoping for. That's a longwinded way of saying some movies have announced some new release dates, so let's dive right in. First off, "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart's directorial debut "Rosewater" has been slated for a November 7th release date, so yes, you can now adjust your Oscar picks accordingly. The based-on-a-true-story tale is led by Gael Garcia Bernal, who plays Iranian/Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari who was arrested during the 2009 Iranian election protests, which led to him spending 118 days in jail. While detained, he was interrogated, often while blindfolded and facing away from interrogators, and forced to confess to a number of crimes. Potent stuff. Switching gears, Universal's prequel to "Snow White & The Huntsman" is getting more real. They've slated it to hit theaters. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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20 New Photos Of The Tiff-Bound ‘Riot Club’ Starring Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Jessica Brown Findlay & More

4 hours ago

Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig’s has a zig-zagging trajectory. Her debut "Italian for Beginners" was an inventive and populist take on the Dogme 95 manifesto via a romantic comedy which won several plaudits including the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2001. She made a few well-received films since, but it was 2009’s “An Education” that dropped the filmmaker on the global map in a big way. She stumbled with the mostly tone deaf romantic dramedy "One Day" starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, but critical redemption is right around with her latest film “The Riot Club.” Formerly titled “Posh,” the movie is a scathing dissection of the British class system and centers on two young men who are inducted into the exclusive, debaucherous company of Oxford’s elite "Riot Club.” Her cast is impressive too; a who’s who of English up and comers including Sam Claflin (“Snow White and the Huntsman »

- Edward Davis

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Watch: Walter Murch & Jon Favreau Talk Editing Of 'The Conversation,' 'Birdman,' 'Gravity' And More In 7-Minute Video

4 hours ago

The art of film editing isn't exactly a subject that will get even the most devoted of cinephiles excited. It's a hidden art, a laborious task and often an undersung skill in the filmmaking world, with few "celebrity" practitioners. Martin Scorsese's regular collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker is probably the most "famous," and ranking right up there with her is Walter Murch. The Oscar winner was the man who brought "Apocalypse Now" down to size, helped reshape Orson Welles' "Touch Of Evil" and lend his touch to "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "The English Patient." And if you're going to listen to someone talk editing, he's the guy you'll want to pay attention to. Murch recently sat down with Jon Favreau at the Academy event "Movies in Your Brain: The Science of Cinematic Perception," and this excerpt of their talk is pretty fascinating stuff. The discussion kicks off with Francis Ford Coppola »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Interview: John Michael McDonagh Talks The Anger And Anarchy Of 'Calvary' And Beyond

4 hours ago

This Friday, a film featuring a motley collection of characters of dubious motivation, centered around a costumed hero on a mission, will roll into theaters. That’s, right, we’re talking about John Michael McDonagh’s “Calvary” the complex, biting, pitch black follow-up to the director’s more comedic debut “The Guard.” The film stars regular collaborator Brendan Gleeson, this time in a cassock as a Roman Catholic priest, the one good man in a rotten rural parish, going about his week as a countdown to the Sunday on which he’s been told one of his parishioners will kill him. And it’s an ambitious, multilayered movie that impressed us hugely in Sundance, and that provided us with a great deal to talk about when we met the director at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. McDonagh is garrulous and forthcoming in person (and speaks in a London accent »

- Jessica Kiang

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20 Sophomore Films From Celebrated Debut Directors

5 hours ago

This week sees the release of John Michael McDonagh’s “Calvary.” Among the many things the film is—a black comedy; a murder mystery; a dark-hearted fable; an anti-authoritarian screed—it is also a second film, coming on the heels of an admired debut, “The Guard.” “Calvary” is such a specific film, so unlike most anything else you’ll see this year, that it doesn’t easily lend itself to generalizations about the shape of the director’s career at this early stage, however in the feel of McDonagh digging in, getting into heavier, darker and less compromising territory, we can see a valid, some would say admirable, response to the challenges of the sophomore film. The “difficult second album” syndrome affects filmmakers as much, if not more than musicians, especially those who have found a degree of success with their first outing. Do they try to replicate that film’s success? »

- The Playlist Staff

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Casting: Spike Jonze To Guest On 'Girls,' Emily Ratajkowski Joins Zac Efron In ‘We Are Your Friends’ & More

5 hours ago

While rightly celebrated for his films, Spike Jonze is also an ace actor, who excels and showing up in small roles and knocking them out of the park. His turn as a penny stock mover and shaker in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf Of Wall Street" was memorable stuff, as was his brief appearance in Bennett Miller's "Moneyball." And now he's bringing talents to Lena Dunham's fourth season of "Girls," where he'll show up as a character named Marcos. And as per usual, not much else is being shared about his role in the show. [The Wrap] After bouncing around naked in Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" video, Hollywood came calling for model-now-actress Emily Ratajkowski. She nabbed a role in David Fincher's upcoming "Gone Girl," and now she's bagged a part opposite Zac Efron in "We Are Your Friends." Max Joseph will direct this one about "an aspiring 23-year-old »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Stephen Daldry’s 'Trash' With Rooney Mara Is Hitting The Fall Film Festival Circuit, Just Not One You’ll Probably See

6 hours ago

So the trailer for Stephen Daldry’s “Trash” is out there. Set in Brazil, it chronicles impoverished street kids who find themselves involved in a political scandal when they make a discovery in a garbage dump. Soon the trio are running from the cops and trying to right a terrible wrong. It stars Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen as an Ngo worker and priest, respectively, and highlights a triad of young Brazilian boys played by Rickson Teves, Eduardo Luis and Gabriel Weinstein. And yes, these non-actor discoveries are actually the leads with the Americans providing the support (Brazilians Wagner Moura and Selton Mello also co-star). “The three lead actors in the film have never acted in a film before, they’ve never been to a cinema before,” Daldry said in a recent interview with Screen Daily. "The reason I made this film is because it’s about the underbelly, the difficult side of Rio, »

- Edward Davis

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Watch: First Trailer For 'Stonehearst Asylum' Starring Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, Michael Caine & Ben Kingsley

6 hours ago

When you pair up Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley—reunited over two decades on from "Without A Clue"—you can bet we'll watch. But we certainly have to give pause when the project in question, "Stonehearst Asylum" (formerly known as "Eliza Graves"), is hitting VOD the same day as theatrical. Granted, the stigma with VOD isn't the same as it once was, but that said, the strategy still does make you consider the quality of some projects. Anyway, you can judge for yourself as the first trailer for the movie has landed. Kate Beckinsale and Jim Sturgess co-star in this one, directed by Brad Anderson ("The Machinist," "Session 9"), and based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, that follows a med school grad who takes a position at an asylum where things aren't what they seem. It would appear that the inmates and the doctors running are equally crazy, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Interview: Werner Herzog On 'Herzog: The Collection'

7 hours ago

The new box set “Herzog: the Collection,” released by Shout Factory, collects 16 of Herzog's films, presented on Blu-ray for the first time, from his 1970 debut "Even Dwarves Started Small" to 1999's “My Best Fiend." Herzog has 57 films to his name, of course—and counting—but these early works pulse with energy and strangeness, charm and power, gigantic ideals somehow being borne out of small budgets and limited resources by seemingly limitless passion and sheer force of will. Meeting Herzog to talk about the collection, the 71-year old director is in a back room at Shout Factory, in a less-than-starry part of Los Angeles, where industrial parks contain secret creations and creators; with his reading glasses at hand, Herzog is passing the time between interviews autographing a number of the box sets or special orders. Talking with Herzog about his early work can't help connect to his later work, his current »

- James Rocchi

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Watch: Lego Trailer For 'Guardians Of The Galaxy,' Marvel's Latest May Break August Opening Records

7 hours ago

Whatever Marvel is paying their marketing department, they probably deserve a raise. They've managed to take "Guardians Of The Galaxy" — initially perceived as a Wtf risk — and turned it into a movie that, Variety reports, is already Fandango's biggest pre-seller in history. In fact, predictions are already coming in that this weekend, 'Guardians' might break the August box office opening record currently held by "The Bourne Ultimatum," which banked $69 million when it debuted. 'Guardians' is expected to take in more than $65 million at the very least, and in a crucial statistic that shows just how far the Marvel brand has gone: 58% of those buying tickets have no previous knowledge of the 'Guardians' comics. All this to say that the promotion machine is not only well oiled, but honed to perfection. And part of that includes a new spin on an old promo — a Lego version of the "Guardians Of The Galaxy »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: First Teaser Trailer For ‘Into The Woods’ Starring Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp & More

8 hours ago

It’s got a huge cast: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski and Johnny Depp. It’s a musical based on a Stephen Sondheim play and it’s a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Yep, the first teaser trailer for Rob Marshall’s “Into The Woods” is here. Yesterday, new photos from the film surfaced, but today we get a larger taste of this dark fairy tale that intertwines the plots of a few classic fables exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy)—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a »

- The Playlist

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'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Director James Gunn Discusses Working With Joss Whedon, Sequels, Marvel "Risks" & More

8 hours ago

This week's "Guardians of the Galaxy" pushes the Marvel Cinematic Universe into strange and surprising places. And the person piloting that particular spaceship is co-writer/director James Gunn, who took a relatively obscure property about a group of intergalactic outlaws and turned it into one of the summer's more outrageously entertaining confections. It's both a break from your standard superhero fare and keeps totally within the pre-existing mythological framework—and it should both expand the brand and reinforce its power in the cinematic landscape. We talked to Gunn about how he snagged A-list stars, what the movie's chief influences were, the situation with "Ant-Man," and where Gunn (and the 'Guardians') fit into the larger cinematic puzzle. "Guardians of the Galaxy" takes place in the far off cosmos and follows a group of outlaws—goofy thief Star Lord (Chris Pratt), the lethal Gamora (Zoe Saldana), hulking brute (Dave Bautista) and two. »

- Drew Taylor

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Lorde To Curate & Lend Song To 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1' Soundtrack

9 hours ago

Who cares if none of the music is actually in the movie? It makes for good press, right? These days if there's a millennial Ya-aimed movie in the works, a hip soundtrack usually isn't far behind. Usually it's some studio making a deal with some record label – often an umbrella conglomerate company – and off you go credibility win-win for the movie and more sales for the album. "The Hunger Games: Carching Fire" had a “cool" soundtrack but other than the credits, you didn't hear nary a note of it in the movie. This isn’t really being cynical, by the way, it just seems to be the order of the day and we suppose it does raise awareness for some bands. But let’s not kid ourselves in pretending it’s anything more than a marketing sales tie-in (“Divergent” was much the same too). Anyhow, the latest in the series »

- Edward Davis

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Watch: 3-Minute Supercut Retrospective Commemorating Best Picture Oscar Winners Of 1990s

9 hours ago

With the awards season on the horizon, now is as good a time as any to look back on the movies that won favor with the Academy. Earlier this year, a supercut emerged highlighting the Best Picture Oscar winners of the 2000s, and now video editor Miguel Branco has turned his eye to the 1990s, with a fresh video celebrating the movies that defined a decade. And indeed, the 1990s seemed to mostly be defined by the epic drama, with "Dances With Wolves," "Braveheart, "Schindler's List" and "The English Patient" taking home Oscar gold. But the Academy took chances too, honoring Jonathan Demme's horror "Silence Of The Lambs," Clint Eastwood's western "Unforgiven" and Sam Mendes' "American Beauty" as well. Take a look a the full video below, and let us know if these winners still stand the test of time, or if you would have chosen differently. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: 1984 Restoration Of Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis' With Soundtrack Featuring Freddie Mercury, Adam Ant & Pat Benatar

9 hours ago

In an era where special effects are common place, it’s startling to go back and see how filmmakers from a different era built fantastical worlds without so much as a pixel. One of the most staggering examples of using practical effects to bring a new and strange world to life remains Fritz Lang’s landmark and iconic “Metropolis.” In 1984, the synth pioneer Giorgio Moroder used his cultural cachet to produce a controversial new version of Lang’s film. Thanks to the powers of the internet and Open Culture, you can now see this cultural oddity for yourself. Because the original intended frame rate for Lang’s film was unknown, one of the most controversial aspects of the Moroder version of “Metropolis” is that its 24 frames-per-second, and that’s even before you factor in the splashes of color replacing the original black-and-white photography, sound effects and many cut scenes. Cinephiles »

- Cain Rodriguez

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Watch: New International Trailer For Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's 'Birdman' Starring Michael Keaton & Emma Stone

10 hours ago

Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu's "Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)," has quickly skyrocketed to the top of the year's most anticipated films along with "Inherent Vice," and "Gone Girl" (a trifecta that will hopefully make this year's New York Film Festival one of its best years ever). Why? Well, outside a stellar cast (which we'll get to), it's a pitch black comedy about a washed up actor famous for a superhero role who tries to mount a comeback on Broadway. Trailers so far suggest a delusional dark psychology that the hero has to battle and possibly even a sly meta commentary in the nature of super hero hegemony on screen. The film's shot by academy award winning Dp Emmanuel Lubezki ("Gravity," "The Tree of Life"), the movie is said to feature massive long takes meant to look like its one long shot, a la Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope." That alone »

- Edward Davis

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Watch: 8-Minute Vintage 'Aliens' Featurette Goes Behind-The-Scenes With Sigourney Weaver And James Cameron

10 hours ago

While there are many who will argue that Ridley Scott's "Alien" is still the pinnacle of the franchise, there is an equal number who argue passionately for James Cameron's "Aliens" as the high point in the series. But no matter which side of the fence you're on, it can't be denied that the director took the monumental task of making the followup, and delivered in a big way.  So let's travel back to nearly three decades ago (damn, we're old) with this vintage press kit featurette for the film. Running eight minutes long, it goes behind-the-scenes of the making of the movie, laying out the story, with insights from Sigourney Weaver, James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd. The director describes his movie as a "dark action piece, with a very warm human center," adding that it's his goal to connect with the characters. Meanwhile, Hurd contends that »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Tiff Trailer: Sion Sono's Wild, Hip Hop Driven 'Tokyo Tribe'

10 hours ago

After delivering gonzo efforts like "Why Don't You Play In Hell?," "Love Exposure" and "Cold Fish," Sion Sono is coming to the Toronto International Film Festival Midnight Madness lineup with his latest "Tokyo Tribe." And the filmmaker is once again ready to drop a whole lotta crazy. Blending hip hop, the yakuza and the director's trademark visuals, we'll leave it to the synopsis to try and explain what the heck is going on in the trailer for this musical thing: Set in an alternate Tokyo of the near future, director Sion Sono continues his run of sensational films with the explosive street gang tale Tokyo Tribe. Tokyo Tribe is the first live-action adaptation of the best-selling manga series Tokyo Tribe 2, by Santa Inoue, which has sold two million copies and has been published in Asia and the west to great popularity. Okay, that didn't help much, but this is one you gotta see to believe. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Sex & Nachos Come Together In New Clips, Featurette And Pics For 'What If' With Daniel Radcliffe

11 hours ago

Let's say you meet someone at party, and you really hit it off. You spend the night talking together, you walk her home and you even exchange numbers... only to find out this perfect person you've already started falling for has a boyfriend. This is the predicament facing Daniel Radcliffe's Wallace in "What If." The rom-com follows Wallace as he develops a friendship with Chantry (Zoe Kazan), all while harboring a secret crush on her. Should he tell her how he feels? Or is he being foolish and risking ruining what is already a solid relationship the pair have? And what right does he have to nudge his way into Chantry's long term union with Ben (Rafe Spall), an accomplished copyright lawyer? It's all tricky territory to navigate, and as you'll see in these clips and behind-the-scenes featurette, each decision has its own set of consequences. "What If" opens »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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