13 items from 2013
Without superheroes or aliens, the F&F franchise has made speed, laced with rage, one of film's most beloved intoxicants
The reason for the burgeoning success of the Fast & Furious films eludes some people. This apparently humdrum franchise manages without superheroes, intergalactic conflict, aliens, zombies, vampires or 3D. What has it got? Perhaps the clue's in the title. Speed and rage have come to form an alluring combination.
Speed, said Aldous Huxley, "provides the one genuinely modern pleasure." Until the 1820s, no one had travelled faster than a galloping horse; by the 1840s, trains were zipping along at 70mph. Speed began to redefine human life, as the acceleration of output yielded previously unimaginable benefits. The Gpo documentary Night Mail, with its pulsing pistons, captured the exaltation this engendered. But if the hastening tempo of the railway age brought collective liberation, it imposed a new tyranny on the individual.
As Marxists put it, »
- David Cox
Written by Shane Carruth
Directed by Shane Carruth
In William Gibson’s 2003 novel Pattern Recognition a mysteriously binary filmmaker slowly and anonymously drip feeds footage of his homebrew masterpiece to an eagerly seduced audience of intellectually curious, avant-garde aligned internet film fanatics. Christened as a ‘garage Kubrick’ by the fictional on-line community this was prescience as normal from Gibson, as a year later filmmaker Shane Carruth released his paradoxical puzzler Primer, a film he had written, directed, edited, acted, produced and scored for an infinitesimally small sum, mostly capturing his doppelgänger debut on the off-cuts and donations from industrial and corporate sources. An instant cult classic the films time travel programming and unconventional disregard for plot progressions has fostered a deluge of debate on its contortions and purpose, with every year seeing the electronic publication of a new workflow to interrogate its syncretic structure, each of which »
Directed by Nicole Kassel
Airs Monday nights at 9pm Et on Sundance
Daniel Holden’s exoneration from prison ripped a deep, tender scar off the town of Paulie – and unsurprisingly, many of the people living in it, from mothers, to politicians, and even those who weren’t born when the murder and subsequent trial of Daniel rocked the city. In an hour almost completely devoid of plot, ‘Modern Times’ takes a long, hard look at the Holden siblings (and those around them) trying to come to terms with this new reality, one where a confessed killer seemingly escapes the grips of justice.
For the first fifteen minutes of ‘Modern Times’, Daniel doesn’t even leave his bedroom. He’s spent his entire adult life in prison; having a choice of whether to open the door or »
Chicago – Charles Chaplin’s “Monsieur Verdoux,” recently released in a lavish Criterion Blu-ray set with new special features and a glorious 2K digital restoration, is such a unique film that it has kind of gone under the radar when the career of its beloved star/director is discussed. His first post-wwii film, “Verdoux” doesn’t feature his iconic Tramp character, contains a ridiculously dark anti-hero, and is more socially demented than most films of its era. While it can be easy to look at the satire of films like “The Great Dictator” and “Modern Times” and apply them not just to today but Chaplin’s era, “Verdoux” can be a more difficult film to dissect. Which is not to imply that you shouldn’t. You really, really should.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
A clock with the seconds-needle soundlessly completes a circle and a half around it, setting the opening tone for Chaplin’s satirical “story of industry, of individual enterprise – humanity crusading in the pursuit of happiness”: Modern Times, inhabited in the Depression years by the famished populace, jobless or underpaid as a consequence of industrialization.
Immediately following is the image of a black sheep in the midst of white ones, all hurrying to get ahead. This merges into that of people rushing for work. Oddly, the sheep have no bearing to the film, and further, having made their point, do not bother to make another appearance. We must, of course, accept this as one of the many unformed techniques of the pioneering days of cinema.
Incessantly racing to keep up with the production pace, »
Is Season 12 of American Idol being produced in a freakish alternate universe?
It would certainly be one explanation for last week’s baffling Top 7 results-show telecast, where America thrust He Who Cannot Remember His Lyrics into its Top 3, and everyone except Mariah Carey: Voice of Reason (Tm pending) left Candice Glover out of their personal leaderboards.
On this week’s Idology, my cohost Melinda Doolittle and I discuss/rant whether the judges were flat-out lying during the infamous “who’s on top?” segment, and then counter by offering our own Top 3 selections. »
- Michael Slezak
Ioncinema.com’s Ioncinephile of the Month feature focuses on an emerging filmmaker from the world of cinema. This April, we’ve got a first: two for the price of one. Husband and wife filmmaking team of Ron Eyal and Eleanor Burke premiered Stranger Things at such fests as Slamdance (Winner Grand Jury Prize Best Narrative Feature), Raindance (Winner Grand Jury Prize Best U.K. Feature), Woodstock, Karlovy Vary, and is now they’ve got a one week theatrical run (April 5 – 11) at the reRun Theater in Brooklyn. Here is our profile on the filmmaker team and worth checking out is our accompanying original/combined personal Top Ten films list.
Eric Lavallee: During your childhood…what films were important to you?
Eleanor Burke: I remember going to the cinema as a very young child. The ceremony of it all was impressive: the velvet curtains, the hush as the lights went down. »
- Eric Lavallee
Article by Dan Clark
The Academy Awards have a long tradition of awarding the best and the brightest in the world of movies. Hollywood’s biggest night is the ideal time for film legends to be recognized. Unfortunately the Oscars are also well known for dropping the ball on occasion. Some of the best actors to ever have graced the silver screen never hoisted that golden statue. Sure they attempt to remedy that at times by giving out Honorary Awards to make up for their biggest oversights, but to me that’s nothing more than a giant comp out. With that in mind I have compiled a list of the greatest actors to never have won an Oscar. Like the Oscars I’m sure there are many that deserve to be on this list that didn’t make the cut so feel free to honor them in the comment section »
If you thought you were going to go on a camping trip to your local National Park, to get some solid work done on that tree fort you’re building or to edit all the Russian meteor footage into a totally sweet dubstep mash-up this weekend, you are sadly mistaken, friend. The Criterion Collection has made your plans for you, and they include all of their movies playing for free on Hulu from February 14th-18th. And, no, I’m not at all sure why the Most Popular movies (as seen above) prominently feature female breasts on their DVD covers. By my math, you could watch anywhere from 30-38 movies depending on their individual runtimes and your willingness to pee into a case of plastic bottles you keep by the couch. My suggestion would be to start with Modern Times, swing over to Diabolique, follow it up with Tokyo Story and then just free-style it for the »
- Scott Beggs
By Joey Magidson
I’ve always had a soft spot for films that are directed by actors. In one of my recent pieces, I spoke about how the Academy looks at actors who direct. Now, I’ll be continuing my interest by focusing in on which of these multi-hyphenates are the best at what they do.
By and large, the films that actors make when they choose directorial projects have some sort of significance for them or at least play to their strengths, so disasters are few and far between. This makes it a lot of fun to celebrate the best of the bunch, since I’m able to draw from a larger pool than you normally can when looking at one particular type of filmmaker.
I take some comfort in knowing that most films directed by actors tend to be at least decent, if not better. I »
- Joey Magidson
Our daily countdown continues, with part 24 out of 30, in our list of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 70-61.
70) Snow White & the Seven Dwarves (1937) Walt Disney USA Animated
66) American Grafetti (1973) George Lucas USA
65) Rocky (1976) John Alvidsen USA
Numbers 60-51 coming next.
film cultureClassicslist300 »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
Since I started writing for Sound on Sight during Fantasia 2011, 2012 was my first full year of writing for the site. I started the year by joining Josh on the Mousterpiece Cinema Podcast. During the year I attended Fantasia for the 15th time in 16 festivals and I attended Ridm (Québec’s only Documentary Film Festival) for the first time.
The following is an expanded version of my Sound on Sight ballot for the best feature films of 2012. I should probably explain that I see fewer feature films every year than say Ricky or Josh. On the other side of that, as the Festival Director of the YoungCuts Film Festival, I watch more short films than most (over 1,000 short films per year). It is entirely possible that I didn’t see your favourite feature film this year. On the other hand, I also probably watch some feature films that you never saw. »
- Michael Ryan
Just released in UK cinemas, Quartet is Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut. He has followed the path of many great actors before him that have turned their attentions and talents towards directing. In this Top 10 we take a look at some other note-worthy actors turned directors to put on your must watch list.
Sean Penn - With a career like Sean Penn’s, which includes award-winning films Dead Man Walking, I Am Sam and Milk, he was set as a Hollywood legend. Wanting more, Penn decided to follow in his father Leo Penn’s footsteps and begin directing. Thankfully he did pick up the camera or we wouldn’t have film greats like The Indian Runner, The Crossing Guard, The Pledge and Into the Wild.
13 items from 2013
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