5 items from 2015
"Carol could put a film together like a watchmaker puts together a watch," stated director Michael Powell, himself not exactly notorious for his slapdash approach to filmmaking, speaking of fellow Brit Carol Reed. Though undoubtedly a statement of admiration, this quote also points to the still-standing difficulty in assessing Reed's work in totality: while he may have turned in three more-or-less unassailable classics, one of which, "Odd Man Out" came out on Criterion Blu Ray yesterday, there's a sense today that Reed has not got enough of a personal authorial imprint across his entire output to earn him a real spot in the auteur pantheon. In fact, his name is often unfamiliar even to those who count one or more of his films among their favorites — compare that relative retrospective anonymity with the reputations of contemporaries like Hitchcock or Wilder or Ford. Partly this probably comes down to the fact that Reed himself, »
- Jessica Kiang
The Babadook Along with It Follows, The Babadook is a bit of a re-energizer in the horror genre, delivering mood and atmosphere over jump scares and gore. I will say the little kid played by Noah Wiseman got on my damn nerves early and often, but overall this is an effective little feature. You can read my theatrical review here.
Sullivan's Travels (Criterion Collection) I am woefully behind on my Criterion reviews as I have been inundated with my day-to-day duties and screeners, but I will be catching up soon and Preson Sturges' Sullivan's Travels will be one of the first ones I get to. I have heard plenty about this movie, but never seen it myself. I can't wait to give it a look. Here's the description from Criterion: Tired of churning out lightweight comedies, Hollywood director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) decides to make O Brother, Where Art Thouc--a serious, »
- Brad Brevet
Kristen Stewart, 'Camp X-Ray' star, to join cast of 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' Kristen Stewart to join 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' movie After putting away her Bella Swan wig and red (formerly brown) contact lenses, Kristen Stewart has been making a number of interesting career choices. Here are three examples: Stewart was a U.S. soldier who befriends an inmate (Peyman Moaadi) at the American Gulag, Guantanamo, in Peter Sattler's little-seen (at least in theaters) Camp X-Ray. She was one of Best Actress Oscar winner Julianne Moore's daughters in Wash Westmoreland and the recently deceased Richard Glatzer's Alzheimer's drama Still Alice. She was the personal assistant to troubled, aging actress Juliette Binoche in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria, which earned her a history-making Best Supporting Actress César. (Stewart became the first American actress to take home the French Academy Award. »
- Andre Soares
In The Front Row, Richard Brody writes on Amos Vogel (pictured above), and the ever-influential (yet contrastive) strands of cinephilia born in Paris and New York:
"Vogel’s dream of American independent filmmaking offering a significant artistic counterweight to Hollywood films has been fulfilled: independent films are now better, more original, more forward-looking than ever. The French cinephile stream exemplified by the New Wave filmmakers has won the hearts and minds of these independent filmmakers, and inspires them to this day. But the American cinephilia launched by Vogel, with its emphasis on ideological scrutiny, holds sway over many critics and viewers, perhaps more firmly than ever. That’s why the gap that Vogel lamented—the one dividing the best of independent filmmaking from the critical community and the audience—is also larger than ever."
The Coen brothers will serve as the co-presidents of the jury for the 68th Cannes Film Festival this May. »
Criterion has announced five titles for Blu-ray release in April, which are sure to get film lovers on both sides of the pond excited.
All details of each release, as well as the artworks are below, and all available to pre-order over at Amazon.com.
Tired of churning out lightweight comedies, Hollywood director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) decides to make O Brother, Where Art Thou?—a serious, socially responsible film about human suffering. After his producers point out that he knows nothing of hardship, Sullivan hits the road disguised as a hobo. En route to enlightenment, »
- Scott J. Davis
5 items from 2015
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