6 items from 2015
How nice it's been to anticipate another set of tales from modern Portugal in the form of Miguel Gomes's Arabian Nights! The film's three parts have been shown every other day here in Cannes, and I've finally caught the last and I must say I already miss the idea that Gomes and his Scheherazade will unspool even more for me two days hence. If she told the stories to her king to stave off her death, I feel Gomes is telling me stories, among many others reasons, in order to stave off the powerful aura of respectable averageness prevalent at Cannes 2015.Arabian Nights Volume 3: The Enchanted One had me smiling for a good forty-five minutes in a row. After a brief glimpse of Gomes's modern version of Scheherazade in Volume 1, we finally get to spend some time with her in "Baghdad," wandering the landscape encountering lovers and bandits, »
- Daniel Kasman
Directed by Jean Renoir
As the camera looks down upon an ornamental design created from rice powder and water, the narrator (voiced by June Hillman), who speaks throughout the film, welcomes us to the world of The River. This is Bengal, “where the story really happened,” and this is Harriet speaking, reflecting back on her life at a very confusing and significant time. For all intents and purposes, The River is primarily her story. And in this, the film is an intimately personal cinematic memoir. But The River is also something else. In its depiction of the “river people” who inhabit this region of India, the film also takes on an ethnographic appeal, capturing the “flavor” of the setting and its inhabitants.
Guiding this journey is the great French director Jean Renoir, fresh off a tumultuous sojourn in Hollywood, »
- Jeremy Carr
Criterion repackages Jean Renoir’s 1951 classic The River for Blu-ray, one of the master filmmaker’s several titles in the collection (fans may recall that Renoir’s Grand Illusion was the very first Criterion title). A title significant in many respects, being the first Technicolor film in India and Renoir’s first color feature, it’s simplistic beauty has gone on to influence future generations of filmmakers, including its prominently vocal champion Martin Scorsese. It also served as a launching pad for Satyajit Ray, who worked as an assistant on the film, and who would go on to create his own stunning debut four years later with the first chapter of his Apu trilogy, Pather Panchali (1955).
We experience the childhood of Harriet (Patricia Walters) in retrospect, her off-screen adult voice recounting one particular stretch of time while growing up in India with her mother (Nora Swinburne) and father (Esmond Knight »
- Nicholas Bell
★★★★☆ The technicolor mastery of the films of Powell and Pressburger is legendary. It is a hallmark of their oeuvre, a signpost of their significance. Add to that a mastery of technical, dramatic film construction and you find yourself in the presence of twentieth century icons. Such is the nature that surrounds this directorial duo who rose to prominence in the forties and fifties. Following hot on the heels of Black Narcissus (1947) and The Red Shoes (1948), they adapted The Tales of Hoffman (1951), based on Jacques Offenbach's fantastical opera. Building on the musical and fantastical themes of these earlier films, it arrived in an era that can be noted for its high output of musical films.
- CineVue UK
Editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who has collected three Oscars (“The Aviator,” “Raging Bull” and “The Departed") shares with Martin Scorsese, her collaborator on 22 movies over three decades, an infectious enthusiasm for the movies she loves. Last week I got on the phone with her in Taiwan, which Ang Lee suggested to Scorsese as a location for shooting “Silence,” which is set in 17th century Japan. They’ve been shooting for almost a month. I told her that when I was working for editor Richard Corliss at Film Comment Magazine in the early 80s, British director Michael Powell submitted via mail his typed Guilty Pleasures manuscript. “Marty probably put him up to that,” Schoonmaker said. I adore Powell and his writer-producer partner Emeric Pressburger’s output in the 40s and 50s, from the stunning color masterpieces “The Red Shoes,” “Black Narcissus,” and “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp” to the black-and-white »
- Anne Thompson
Av Club deep screen capture to reveal how well constructed shots in Divergent dont make for a good film
BuzzFeed great essay on the current relevancy of Before Sunrise (1995) and instant nostalgia
Decider 10 essential movies about nuns from our beloved Black Narcissus to less impressive but famous offerings like Doubt
HuffPo Adam Scott and Jason Schwarzmann discuss their prosthetic penises in The Overnight. (Takeaway: no actor will ever truly be naked again onscreen. That's only for actresses)
THR talks to the director of Book of Life - though disappointed by the lack of an Oscar nomination, he cherishes stories from fans about how it effected their families
Towleroad arts teacher in Texas does "Uptown Funk" with students. Cute. But I only share it because »
- NATHANIEL R
6 items from 2015
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