13 items from 2014
The Oscar-winning director of 12 Years a Slave has pushed back the boundaries of film because of the fearlessness that comes with a background in art
When the director Steve McQueen was an art student learning basic film-making skills at Goldsmiths College, London, he joked he was already aiming for the time when his name would eclipse that of his glamorous namesake, star of The Great Escape and Bullitt. "One day," he told his tutor, Professor Will Brooker, "when people talk about Steve McQueen, I am going to be the first person they think of."
Now, with an Oscar for his film 12 Years a Slave, the transition from Turner prizewinning artist to celebrated director has been made in style. It is a path to cinematography also taken by the British artist Sam Taylor-Wood, nominated for a Turner prize in 1998 and now editing her high-profile film of the erotic bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey. »
- Vanessa Thorpe
City of Lights, City of Angels (Colcoa), a week of French film premieres in Hollywood, has rolled out a terrific lineup of seven classic films for the 18th edition of the festival, running April 21-28 at the DGA. Screenings will supplement new films in the competition lineup, which will be announced April 1. Colcoa will honor writer honor writer-director Cedric Klapisch on Thursday, April 24 with a special presentation of "L'Auberge Espagnole" (2002) as well as the Premiere of his new film "Chinese Puzzle" that will be released in May in the U.S. by Cohen Media Group. The fest will also screen late writer/director Patrice Chereau's 1994 director's cut of "Queen Margot," based on a novel by Alexandre Dumas and starring Isabelle Adjani, Jean-Hugues Anglade and Daniel Auteuil. Digitally restored prints of Jean Cocteau's 1946 classic "Beauty and the Beast" starring Josette Day and Jean Marais, and a new print of »
- Ryan Lattanzio
For the first time a daily matinee of a classic film will accompany the new films shown in competition at the upcoming City Of Lights, City Of Angels: A Week Of French Film Premieres In Hollywood.
Classic film screenings include restored versions of Jean Cocteau’s Beauty And The Beast, René Clément’s Purple Noon, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s L’Assassin Habitue Au 21 and Otar Iosseliani’s Favourites Of The Moon.
The 18th edition of the festival will run at the Directors Guild Of America headquarters from April 21-28. »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Paris– L.A.-based Colcoa (City of Lights, City of Angels) festival will turn the spotlight on Cedric Klapisch, the popular French helmer of “Auberge Espagnole” and more recently “Chinese Puzzle” with Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou and Cecile de France.
Succeeding to Bertrand Blier, Alain Resnais and Costa Gavras, among other famed French directors, Klapisch will be the Focus on Filmmaker honoree of the 18th edition. He will be on hand to present his 2002 hit dramedy “L’Auberge Espagnole” followed by the premiere of his latest pic, the New York-set pic “Chinese Puzzle,” ahead of its U.S. release which will be handled by Cohen Media Group in May. Klapisch will also meet the audience for a Happy Hour Talk panel discussing his work.
- Elsa Keslassy
When approaching such treasured cinematic territory, and following on from the likes of Jean Cocteau and Walt Disney in adapting Beauty and the Beast, to justify the endeavour you must be able to offer something original, and imaginative in your re-telling of the cherished fairytale. However Christophe Gas’ rendition can’t boast to have succeeded in this area, as the filmmaker walks away from his preceding horror flick Silent Hill, to try something a little out of his comfort zone, though regrettably this is not quite the worthy venture anticipated.
When an affluent merchant (André Dussollier) falls upon hard times, he and his family move out to the countryside, to lead a simpler, less demanding life. Though two of his daughters are fervently against the idea, his youngest child Belle (Léa Seydoux) longs for the tranquillity that beckons. However before too long her father discovers the magical kingdom of the »
- Stefan Pape
“I use antlers in all of my decorating,” sang Gaston, the lunkish villain of Disney’s 1991 “Beauty and the Beast,” in a self-titled ode to macho excess. He’d no doubt have approved of Christophe Gans’s garishly mounted, emotionally vacant and, yes, lavishly antler-strewn interpretation of the evergreen fairytale, though it’s hard to see many others being similarly satisfied. Borrowing piecemeal from manifold tellings of the 18th-century chestnut — from de Beaumont to Disney, via Cocteau — but cut from the same CGI-enhanced cloth as 2012′s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” this busy update plays up the sword-swishing action while playing down the Gothic romance, with no clear audience in mind. With stars Lea Seydoux and Vincent Cassel given little to do but admire the scenery, the pic is nothing if not a robust showcase for the world-class work of European visual effects houses; whether it warrants a look in »
- Guy Lodge
People’s Republic of China
By Yinan Diao (Night Train, Uniform)
By Yoji Yamada (Tokyo Family, About Her Brother)
Historia del miedo (History of Fear)
Argentina / Uruguay / Germany / France
By Benjamin Naishtat - feature debut
The 64th Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 6-16) has added 15 titles to its Competition programme, completing the line-up of 23 films - of which 20 will vye for the Golden Bear and Silver Bears.
The programme includes 18 world premieres and three feature debuts.
The line-up includes the international premiere of Boyhood, from Before Midnight director Richard Linklater. The film, which will premiere at Sundance, was shot over short periods from 2002 to 2013 and covers 12 years in the life of a family, featuring Mason and his sister Samantha. Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater star.
World premieres include In Order of Disappearance, directed by Hans Petter Moland, which stars Stellan Skarsgård as a snow plough driver whose son’s sudden death puts him in the middle of a drug war between theNorwegian mafia and the »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream on Netflix, blinkbox, BBC iPlayer, and Curzon on Demand.
new to stream (and starring Golden Globe winner Amy Adams
Enchanted: delightful spoof on Disney’s fairy-tale princess stories, with Adams wonderfully pink and sparkly [my review] [at Netflix] The Muppets: wickedly funny musical-comedy with everyone’s favorite hand puppets [at Netflix]
stream now, before it’s on dvd
The Call: tense, effective popcorn pulp that smashes to smithereens the tired trope of woman-as-victim, with energetically engaging performances by Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin [my review] [at blinkbox]
sci-fi hot now
Man of Steel: magnificent, majestic, and soulful, bringing a familiar story to fresh new life; Henry Cavill is powerful and expressive as an alien lost among humans [my review] [at blinkbox] Robot & Frank: thoroughly charming and cleverly original sci-fi comedy with a wonderful performance by Frank Langella [at blinkbox]
Golden Globe nominees
Behind the Candelabra: utterly »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Review the films you've seen over the last few days – in 17 syllables, if you can
We're always asking you to tell us about the films you've recently watched. This time, for no reason whatsoever, we're asking you to tell us in haiku form.
Points (of the imaginary kind) will be awarded for posts that indicate both what the film in question is And what you thought of it. If you want to be a stickler about the corrent haiku format, it's 17 syllables across three lines – 5-7-5.
Here's some readers have been sending our way on Twitter – for more, check out the #filmhaiku hashtag, or see the sterling work undertaken at reviewinhaiku.com
@BFI: La Belle et la Bête / Love turns a beast beautiful / And in magic we believe again
@mikeharvkey: Coughing broke out when // Blue Is the Warmest Color // got all soixante-neuf #filmhaiku
@GYShiftGems: Wayne's World was re-watched / The passage of time, »
★★★★☆Cited by numerous contemporary fantasy filmmakers - Mexican maestro Guillermo del Toro included - as a major influence on their own consequent bodies of work, French movie magician Jean Cocteau is commemorated by the BFI once again with the 4K rerelease of his 1946 fairy tale, La Belle et la Bête. Based on the 18th century novelist Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont's classic story of corrupting curses and woodland witchcraft, it's Josette Day's eye-catching Belle who eventually falls for the titular Beast - one half of a superb double performance from Jean Marais - following an encroachment by her father.
- CineVue UK
Almost 70 years on, the Jean Cocteau classic has lost none of its wonder and mystery
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The BFI's gothic season reaches its delirious conclusion with this remastered print of Jean Cocteau's exotic old fairytale; a film that does not look so much imported from the 1940s as blown in from another world. Jean Marais plays the hirsute Beast, a self-loathing cousin of the Cowardly Lion, who keeps Beauty (Josette Day) captive in a haunted mansion, proposing marriage with a forlorn persistence.
"You caress me as you would an animal," he complains, when the prisoner leans in to stroke his head. "But you are an animal," replies Beauty, who learns to love him all the same.
Cocteau's film is antic and playful, but there is real pain (and genuine eroticism) behind its flamboyant façade. La belle et la bête is full of wonder and mystery. »
- Xan Brooks
Prestige dramatisation finds little to add to a true story that's already inspirational enough, and has already been much retold, especially since Mandela's death. That leaves this as a slightly redundant exercise in biopic box-ticking and corner-cutting, puffed up with awards-friendly grandeur and less interested in the political questions than the personal heart-strings. Still, Elba conveys something of the man as well as the icon, and Harris is a spirited Winnie.
Last Vegas (12A)
If that title and cast had you thinking "is this The Hangover for seniors?", you wouldn't be far off. It's another Las Vegas bachelor-party adventure, in which four decaying dudes cement their buddyhood and lose their dignity – often assisted by people a fraction of their age, »
- Steve Rose
13 items from 2014
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