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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2007

1-20 of 29 items from 2015   « Prev | Next »

[Review] Love the Coopers

17 November 2015 6:36 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Love the Coopers is as problematic as its title. Does it mean love from the Coopers or is it a statement that someone loves the Coopers (perhaps its narrator — we’ll get to that a moment), or perhaps something else? Unlike its title, the message here is painfully simple. Here’s a film that’s so sincere it forgets to spice things up a bit. Told though a narrator who spells it all out without any wit or commentary (we later find out why this narrator, voiced by Steve Martin, is all knowing and God-like), we’re introduced to a wide ensemble spanning four generations in suburban Pittsburgh.

They include John Goodman and Diane Keaton as Sam and Charlotte Cooper, respectively. Their marriage is falling apart for multiple reasons, ranging from past tragedy to their current emotional isolation from each other. Their psychological games aren’t quite as cruel as those in Le Weekend, »

- John Fink

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Film Review: ‘Love the Coopers’

12 November 2015 8:12 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Fittingly given that its title sounds like a demand, “Love the Coopers” peddles holiday sorrow, cheer and uplift with off-putting insistence. Director Jessie Nelson’s dramedy follows a familiar family-reunion template in detailing the Yuletide get-together of the Coopers, a clan fracturing under the weight of divorces, unemployment, unrealized dreams and loneliness — as well as past joys that all its members desperately want to reclaim. Decked out in the usual tinsel-and-mistletoe trappings, the film lurches awkwardly between gloominess and giddiness, never hitting the boisterously bittersweet groove it seeks. Failing to carve out an identity distinct from its many subgenre predecessors, this slushy feel-good saga faces a stormy theatrical forecast at best.

Ten years after “The Family Stone,” Diane Keaton again takes the lead of a contrived getting-the-relatives-back-together film that eventually employs the threat of tragedy as a device for familial reconciliation. Before “Love the Coopers” ventures down that misbegotten path, »

- Nick Schager

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The 101 Funniest Screenplays of All-Time, According to the WGA

12 November 2015 5:38 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Perhaps the most subjective genre in cinema, the same comedy can cause one viewer to have tears of laughter and another to not crack a smile. So, while knowing there can be no definitive list of the finest in the genre, the Writers Guild of America attempted to narrow down the 101 funniest screenplays. Noting the distinction from the best in the genre, these 101 films should simply produce the most laughs.

Topping the list is Woody Allen‘s Best Picture-winning Annie Hall, a choice difficult to argue with. Rounding out the top five were Some Like it Hot, Groundhog Day, Airplane! and Tootsie, while films from the Coens, Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson, and Edgar Wright were also mentioned. There are also some genuine head-scratching inclusions, including The Hangover at 30, and, as much as I enjoy the film, Bridesmaids nearly making the top 15, but overall, if one is looking to brighten their mood, »

- Jordan Raup

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‘Annie Hall’ Named Funniest Screenplay by WGA Members

11 November 2015 9:46 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Annie Hall” has been named the funniest screenplay in voting by the members of the Writers Guild of America.

The script by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman topped “Some Like it Hot,” “Groundhog Day,” “Airplane!” and “Tootsie,” which make up the rest of the top five. “Young Frankenstein,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House” rounded out the top 10.

The awards for the 101 funniest screenplays were announced at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood at the conclusion of two hours of panel discussions and clips, hosted by Rob Reiner. He noted that his “This Is Spinal Tap” script had finished at the No. 11 spot — a coincidence that recalled the “go to 11” amplifier joke in the film.

The “Annie Hall” screenplay won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1977. Allen had six other scripts on the list — “Sleeper,” “Bananas,” “Take the Money and Run, »

- Dave McNary

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The Cultural Impact of James Bond

6 November 2015 10:32 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published May 5, 2015.

Ian Fleming’s James Bond is one of the most recognizable and successful characters in modern popular culture.  The novels have sold over 100 million copies, and the film franchise is the second most successful in history, having been recently displaced by the Harry Potter series.  For most readers and viewers, 007 is merely a Western pop icon. However, there is much more at work in the novels and films than appears on the surface.  In fact, there are deeper undercurrents, themes, symbols, and messages that operate as psychological warfare propaganda and an in-depth semiotic analysis of the novels and films yields an interpretation that confirms this thesis.  Much has been written on the subject of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. From Umberto Eco’s older essay “Narrative Structures in Fleming” to Christoph Linders’ modern collections The James Bond Phenomenon and Revisioning 007: James Bond and Casino Royale, »

- Jay Dyer

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Interview: Director Jack C. Newell Has ‘Open Tables’ at 51st Chicago International Film Festival

20 October 2015 7:42 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chicago – Jack C. Newell will ride his bike when he meets you for an interview in Chicago, naturally. The locally based director is a welcome original, with credits in both documentary and narrative films. His latest feature, “Open Tables,” will screen at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival on October 20th, 2015.

Open Tables” is operating within the “Taste of Cinema” theme at the film festival, and features couples and groups meeting in restaurants, talking about their lives and relationships. Although the centerpiece is food, the meal is the conversation, including a story about a sojourn into Paris – shot in black and white. Newell directed the film in the improvisation style rooted in the Chicago comedy scene, much like his first narrative film, “Close Quarters,” which featured many local legends in the art of improv. He also takes on the leadrole as Ryan, who defines himself through the adventure in Paris. »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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Blu-ray Review: 'Chaplin Collection: Vol. 3'

6 October 2015 12:55 PM, PDT | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★★☆ That the onset of sound in cinema was going to be a problem for Charlie Chaplin, no one appreciated more than the little tramp himself. For several years he persisted in making essentially silent film or for the best part wordless films - i.e. City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) - with sound effects and score synchronised. His contempt and perhaps fear of the development can be heard in his comment that putting sound on film was like painting a statue. He had a vested interest, but his analogy was also wrong.


- CineVue UK

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Avicii – Stories Review

1 October 2015 1:29 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

As a vehicle for a dozen or so singers from various musical walks to broaden their audience on an international scale, Avicii‘s Stories is a glowing success. As a cohesive album that serves to reinforce his emerging identity as an artist, though, it’s a bit of a failure.

On 2013’s True, Avicii had already laid the foundation for the pop and folk-infused brand of main stage Edm that had become his trademark sound. Songs like “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother” blended crisp hoover synths with rich instrumentals and vocals, resulting in a fusion with such mass appeal that it made the former track the most played video on YouTube in 2014.

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Avicii’s sound was instrumental to Edm reaching mainstream audiences. However, Stories doesn’t even boast such a stylistic balance. In this album, Avicii has all but »

- John Cameron

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Identity in ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ History of Animation, Sex in the Films of David Lynch, and More

17 September 2015 1:32 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.

Jeff NicholsMidnight Special will premiere at Berlin Film Festival ahead of a March release, according to Michael Shannon.

Watch a video essay on identity in Ghost in the Shell:

The Toast‘s Lauren Carroll Harris on what David Lynch movies say about sex:

Of all the terrifyingly true things David Lynch has said, this rings the loudest bells for me: “Sex is a doorway to something so powerful and mystical, but movies usually depict it in a completely flat way…” He’s dead right. Despite the ubiquity of sexual imagery and objectified women, sex is still one of our biggest taboos, and its representation in mainstream and »

- TFS Staff

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Avicii Releases New Single Ahead Of Album Release

28 August 2015 11:24 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

After suffering a couple unexpected setbacks, Avicii‘s Stories is finally on its way. The producer’s highly anticipated sophomore album has been scheduled for an October 2nd release, and the news comes along with two new singles, “Pure Grinding” and “For A Better Day.”

The first track, “For A Better Day,” centers on a jive piano climbing around the vocal talent of Alex Ebert. The second, “Pure Grinding” with Kristoffer Fogelmark & Earl St. Clair, depicts a surprisingly different side of Avicii, implementing a more trap influenced structure than anything we’ve seen before.

Avicii says of the album:

“[It] refines what I didn’t feel was perfect last time. I think there are more layers to the songs than before, and every song has been written on acoustic guitar, so the structure is different.”

Apparently there were numerous records that didn’t make it onto the album, teasing the potential »

- Tim Kusnierek

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Blu-ray Review: 'The Charlie Chaplin Collection: Vol. 2'

25 August 2015 1:06 AM, PDT | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★★★ City Lights (1931) begins with a scene of splendour as the gathered dignitaries and the jubilant crowd attend the unveiling of a new monument, a group of statues personifying valour, industry and justice. As the nattering speeches finish and the veil is finally drawn a slumbering figure is revealed: Charlie Chaplin's Tramp, using the civic statuary as a hammock of sorts. His awkward attempt to extricate himself produce a series of rude gestures at the attendant powers-that-be and do-gooders, who are forced to pause in their fury at him when the national anthem is played. The scene could stand as emblematic of Chaplin's use of comedy to attack the po-faced guardians of morality.


- CineVue UK

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Icons of Fright Chats With Sinister 2 Star James Ransone!!

22 August 2015 4:24 PM, PDT | | See recent Icons of Fright news »

One of the many unexpected surprises from Scott Derrickson’s Sinister was the supporting character of “Deputy So and So”, a young police officer who right up until the end, did his best to help Ethan Hawke’s character solve the mystery behind the evil that was Baghuul. The character of the deputy was easily one of the fan favorites in the film, and when Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill were writing Sinister 2, the sequel that Citadel director Ciaran Foy would eventually direct, they listened to fans and made the Deputy character one of the lead characters this time around. Instead of showing up here and there, James Ransone’s Deputy So and So (now Ex- Deputy So and So) would be for the most part, front and center, looking for a way to stop Baghuul and his quest for children.

We thought it would be nice to have a chat with Ransone, »

- Jerry Smith

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Interview: Sinister 2 Star James Ransone on Returning for the Sequel, His Approach to Deputy So & So, and More

20 August 2015 4:28 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

This Friday, Sinister 2 arrives in theaters everywhere courtesy of Gramercy Pictures. The sequel follows James Ransone’s character from the first film, Deputy So & So, as he tracks down Bughuul to an isolated farmhouse where a mother (Shannyn Sossamon) and her twin sons (Robert and Dartanian Sloan) are currently living and must stop the demonic force before it claims another family.

Daily Dead had an opportunity to speak with Ransone earlier this week about returning for another Sinister, becoming a main character for the sequel, collaborating with director Ciarán Foy as well as his co-stars. Ransone also offered some hilarious insight into his process as an actor and even chatted with us about his time working on The Wire.

Thanks for speaking with me today, James—you were great in the film and it’s cool to see how the Deputy has evolved since the first Sinister. How much »

- Heather Wixson

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Daily | Welles, Doctorow, Ai Weiwei

22 July 2015 5:05 AM, PDT | Keyframe | See recent Keyframe news »

Whatever you think of the results of the poll of critics the BBC's conducted to come up with its list of the "100 greatest American films," we can surely all agree that we're glad to have the notes on the top 25: Glenn Kenny, for example, on #1, Orson Welles's Citizen Kane, Stephanie Zacharek on #2, Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, Ali Arikan on #4, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Bilge Ebiri on #6, F.W. Murnau's Sunrise, Molly Haskell on #11, Welles's The Magnificent Ambersons, Jonathan Rosenbaum on #18, Charles Chaplin's City Lights and so on. Also today: Ai Weiwei gets his passport back; remembering E.L. Doctorow—and more. » - David Hudson »

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BBC Culture curates 100 best American films, courtesy of 62 international film critics

22 July 2015 5:01 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

BBC Culture has this week unveiled a new list of the top 100 American films, as voted for by a pool of international film critics from across the globe. The format of the poll was that any film that would make the list had to have recieved funding from a Us source, and the directors of the films did not need to be from the USA, nor did the films voted for need to be filmed in the Us.

Critics were asked to submit their top 10 lists, which would try to find the top 100 American films that while “not necessarily the most important, but the greatest on an emotional level”. The list, as you may have guessed, is very different to the lists curated by say the BFI or AFI over the years, so there are certainly a few surprises on here, with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (2013), Terrence Malick »

- Scott J. Davis

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Scratching our heads at the BBC's top 100 American Movies of All-Time

21 July 2015 5:07 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

First off, let's make one thing clear.  We're not scratching our heads at Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" making the BBC's 100 greatest American films.  That movie, of which an image accompanies this post, not only made the list, but ranked appropriately at no. 25.  It's the rest of the selections that have us scratching and, yes, shaking our heads in disbelief. A wonderful page view driver, these sorts of lists make great fodder for passionate movie fans no matter what their age or part of the world they hail from.  There is nothing more entertaining than watching two critics from opposite ends of the globe try to debate whether "The Dark Knight" should have been nominated for best picture or make a list like this.  Even in this age of short form content where Vines, Shapchats and Instagram videos have captured viewers attention, movies will continue to inspire because »

- Gregory Ellwood

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'Citizen Kane' Tops BBC's List of "100 Greatest American Films", Where Does Your Favorite Landc

21 July 2015 11:46 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Leave it to the Brits to compile a list of the best American films of all-time. BBC Culture has published a list of what it calls "The 100 Greatest American Films", as selected by 62 international film critics in order to "get a global perspective on American film." As BBC Culture notes, the critics polled represent a combination of broadcasters, book authors and reviewers at various newspapers and magazines across the world. As for what makes an American filmc "Any movie that received funding from a U.S. source," BBC Culture's publication states, which is to say the terminology was quite loose, but the list contains a majority of the staples you'd expect to see. Citizen Kane -- what elsec -- comes in at #1, and in typical fashion The Godfather follows at #2. Vertigo, which in 2012 topped Sight & Sound's list of the greatest films of all-time, comes in at #3 on BBC Culture's list. »

- Jordan Benesh

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BBC Names 100 Greatest U.S. Films

21 July 2015 9:56 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Every now and then a major publication or news organisation comes up with a top fifty or one hundred films of all time list - a list which always stirs up debate, discussion and often interesting arguments about the justifications of the list's inclusions, ordering and notable exclusions.

Today it's the turn of BBC Culture who consulted sixty-two international film critics including print reviews, bloggers, broadcasters and film academics to come up with what they consider the one-hundred greatest American films of all time. To qualify, the film had to be made by a U.S. studio or mostly funded by American money.

Usually when a list of this type is done it is by institutes or publications within the United States asking American critics their favourites. This time it's non-American critics born outside the culture what they think are the best representations of that culture. Specifically they were asked »

- Garth Franklin

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Talents Sarajevo unveils 2015 line-up

13 July 2015 6:50 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Names include actors, directors and producers.

The 2015 Talents Sarajevo has unveiled the 71 rising actors, directors, DoPs, film critics, producers and screenwriters from Southeast Europe and Southern Caucasus that will attend a week of masterclasses, panel discussions, networking and training opportunities.

The Sarajevo Film Festival’s training platform for emerging talent was founded in 2007 in collaboration with the Berlinale Talents program.

It has become a regional hub where aspiring film professionals train, meet and exchange ideas, and the number of people interested in participating in the six-day programme has been growing.

This year, a record number of 320 applications were made for participation in Talents Sarajevo. Film directors formed the majority among the applicants with 164 applications.


The interest is also growing for participation in the Pack&Pitch segment of the program, with 55 applications received this year compared to 19 in 2014.

This segment of the programme is dedicated to film directors and producers and offers them a chance to learn »

- (Michael Rosser)

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Listen: 90-Minute Talk With James Gray About 'Nights Of Cabiria,' His Film Career, And More

7 July 2015 12:39 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

It’s been over two years since “The Immigrant” made its world premiere at Cannes, and writer/director James Gray is hard at work getting "The Lost City Of Z" ready to shoot later this year. Nevertheless, he managed to find the time to stop by film critic Peter Labuza’s podcast “The Cinephiliacs” for a candid hour-long chat. The conversation covers Gray’s career in film, but what’s perhaps most revealing is hearing the two talk in depth about Federico Fellini's 1957 classic “Nights of Cabiria.” Read More: James Gray Talks 'The Immigrant,' Diving Into TV With 'Red Road,' And His Own Favorite Films  Having talked about the importance of storytelling early on in the episode, Gray singles out “Nights of Cabiria” for its astonishing simplicity and how it still manages to evoke “a vaguely operatic silent film feeling." The director notes Fellini’s »

- Ken Guidry

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2007

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