17 items from 2013
Following the release of Sex, Lies, and Videotape in 1989, Steven Soderbergh was poised for stardom as the darling of the indie scene. He sat at the head table in a push to change the face of cinema. Unlike contemporaries like Tarantino, his predicted rise didn’t happen right away. He followed the popular debut with Kafka and King of the Hill, and neither came close to earning a significant return. The talent was there, but Soderbergh needed more than critical praise to keep his career intact. His next step was 1995’s The Underneath, a low-key noir film that didn’t change his perception as a director with limited appeal. Despite a convincing lead performance from Peter Gallagher, it earned just over $500,000 on a more than $6 million budget. Was Soderbergh doomed to slip completely off the map? Despite the lack of financial rewards, this movie contains the elements that served him well several years later. »
- Dan Heaton
New strands include pop-up events, a focus on Chile and Oscar nominated Hollywood films from 1939.Scroll down for full list of strands
The Glasgow Film Festival has unveiled its line-up of strands for its 10th edition, which will run Feb 20 to March 2.
New strands include Pop-Up Cinema, comprising “boutique screenings and cinematic experiences” in a range of unusual locations.
Its builds on last year’s festival, where The Warriors screened in the Glasgow Subway system; Jaws and Dead Calm were shown in the cargo hold of the Tall Ship Glenlee; silent classic The Passion of Joan of Arc was accompanied by a live soprano soundtrack at Glasgow Cathedral; and Calamity Jane was played at the Grand Ole Opry country and western saloon.
At the 2014 festival, there will be a themed pop-up event on every night of the Festival apart from the opening and closing galas. Selected events will be announced next month.
New strand »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
The 49th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is calling for feature films, feature documentaries and short documentaries for its competitive and non-competitive sections.
The sections in the festival are: Official Selection (Competition), East of the West (Competition), Forum of Independents (Competition), Documentary Films (Competition), Documentary Films (Out of Competition), Horizons, Another View, Imagina, Variety’s Ten Euro Directors to Watch, Midnight Screenings, Retrospectives and Tributes, Out of the Past and Czech Films.
All films must have been completed within twelve months before the start date of the festival. The feature films must be over 60 minutes in length and must not have been internationally premiered before September 1, 2013. Feature length documentary films must be over 60 minutes and must not have been internationally released before January 1, 2014, while the short documentaries should not exceed 30 minutes of duration.
The first deadline for submissions is March 10, 2014. There is no entry fee for this deadline. »
My Noir | Urban Wandering: Film And The London Landscape | Cambridge Film Festival | Encounters
My Noir, Manchester
Film noir's hard-boiled loners certainly suit late-night viewing, so what better way to start this celebration of double crosses and femmes fatales than a 24-hour "noirathon". Starting with Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity (paired with an exhibition), the weekend marathon brings classics old and new, from Out Of The Past to Brick, ending somewhat aptly with The Big Sleep, plus special events such as writer Walter Mosley talking about the adaptation of his Devil In A Blue Dress (16 Oct).
Cornerhouse, Sat to 29 Dec
Urban Wandering: Film And The London Landscape, London
Like the capital itself, this promising season is sprawling, eclectic and difficult to get a handle on. It's a survey of the changes the city has experienced postwar, via a myriad of media, but above all, cinema. The guest list is a »
- Steve Rose
Kirk Douglas movies: The Theater of Larger Than Life Performances Kirk Douglas, a three-time Best Actor Academy Award nominee and one of the top Hollywood stars of the ’50s, is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" featured star today, August 30, 2013. Although an undeniably strong screen presence, no one could ever accuse Douglas of having been a subtle, believable actor. In fact, even if you were to place side by side all of the widescreen formats ever created, they couldn’t possibly be wide enough to contain his larger-than-life theatrical emoting. (Photo: Kirk Douglas ca. 1950.) Right now, TCM is showing Andrew V. McLaglen’s 1967 Western The Way West, a routine tale about settlers in the Old American Northwest that remains of interest solely due to its name cast. Besides Douglas, The Way West features Robert Mitchum, Richard Widmark, Lola Albright, and 21-year-old Sally Field in her The Flying Nun days. »
- Andre Soares
Labor Day weekend is here for 2013 and if you don't have any plans, there are plenty of great shows to check out over the weekend. You can catch up on "Continuum" Season 2 on Syfy, or watch the first three episodes of "The White Queen" on Starz. Sunday, Sept. 1 there's a killer Alfred Hitchcock movie marathon running all day on TCM.
Also, it's college football kick-off weekend, so settle in Saturday for the guys' returning to the gridiron.
Set your DVRs and check your local listings for times and channel numbers. All times Eastern below.
Friday, Aug. 30
The CW: New "America's Next Top Model" episode, 9 p.m.
Discovery: "Alaskan Steel Men" premiere, 10 p.m.
Espn: Cfb, Texas Tech at Southern Methodist, 8 p.m.
Espn 2: 2013 U.S. Open Tennis, men's second and women's third round, 1 p.m. to 7 p. »
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Oct. 15, 2013
Price: DVD $24.95, Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Olive Films
Powell is Rocky, an innocent man just released from prison who’s on the hunt for both the $100,000 bankroll he allegedly stole and the people who framed him. Then there’s Delong (Richard Erdman, The Men), a disabled Marine veteran who produced the evidence that led to Rocky’s release and who now wants part of the stash in exchange for his help. But Rocky has a different plan,…
The lineup for the 48th annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has been set. The festival held in the Czech Republic will run from June 28-July 6 and screen more than 200 films with six world and seven international premieres. While the slate for the main competition was announced last week, the films included in the Out of the Past section were just announced today and include the premiere of "All My Good Countrymen" by Vojtech Jasny, a restored version of "Heaven's Gate," and the world premiere of Pavo Marinkovic's documentary "Occupation, the 27th Picture." Marinkovic's film focuses on director Lordan Zafranovic's film, "Occupation in 26 Pictures" which screened at the Cannes Film Festival 35 years ago. Zafranovic will be in attendance for the world premiere. The festival will also host two restored silent films from the 1920s. The first is J.S. Kolar's "The Arrival of Darkness," a Czech film »
- Ben Travers
As part of their Marilyn Monroe celebration this summer, Austin Film Society will show Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (pictured above) 7 pm Tuesday at Alamo Drafthouse Village. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell on a boat! In addition, tonight and Sunday Afs hosts Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra at the Marchesa (free, but you should RSVP). And In Bed with Ulysses, a documentary about James Joyce and his work Ulysses, plays 7 pm Wednesday at the Marchesa.
The Paramount continues the summer classic film series with a focus on musicals this weekend (Singin' in the Rain and The Sound of Music on Saturday and Sunday). Then it's film noir at both Paramount and Stateside on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Double Indemnity, Out of the Past, Sunset Boulevard and The Maltese Falcon all on the schedule.
For something completely different, the Alamo Kids Club at the Slaughter Lane location is screening The Muppets Take Manhattan this month. »
- Elizabeth Stoddard
Two of the most terrible people in the world, Isaak Sidorov and Marcel Janvier, both returned to wreak havoc in the NCIS: Los Angeles season finale. When criminal masterminds like those two are involved, it's dangerous to let your guard down even for a second.
In "Descent," that's exactly what happened... with tragic results.
Before I get into the core of the NCIS plan and where it all went wrong, I have to complain and complain Loudly to the writers and producers of NCIS: La. I don't mind cliffhangers throughout a season and I don't even mind them in finales. Television is a serial storytelling format, so it's understandable for there to be unresolved questions. If done well, cliffhangers create an emotional connection for viewers with the characters and with the show.
That is not how NCIS:la season 4 ended though. Instead, the finale was the first half of a story. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Carla Day)
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 363 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies, the Up docs and Decalogue) and of those 363, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 362 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies and Decalogue) and of those 362, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
Written by Daniel Mainwaring
Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Sometimes, there is no eluding one’s past, regardless of how hard one tries. The reasons are numerous. Perhaps the emotional and psychological weight of an event in one’s life are too great to shake off. In other instances the shackles exist because an individual is condemned to spend years actively correcting previous errors in judgement in the hopes of earning long sought after redemption. There exists another set of circumstances, the most deceptively simple of the lot, that being when a person merely walks away from an embarrassing, shameful and deeply regrettable episode, but deliberately creating separation from their history is no guarantee that the old ghosts will acquiesce to letting them be. When one least expects it, a new challenge presents itself from…Out of the Past.
Jeff Baily (Robert Mitchum) has »
- Edgar Chaput
The Berlinale has come and gone so quickly, so intensely. Everyone was catching the flu or a cold, and I was left with the sniffles. My last two days I was lucky to be able to catch some films. Before that I only saw Don Jon’s Addiction which I was charmed by. Scarlett Johanssen played the best role of her life, she is a great comedienne. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt was delightful. Upstream Color bit off more than it could chew. The reviews express my feelings about it better than I can.
A quick list of films seen by me and by other discerning women:
Concussion, starring Catherine Deneuve, a bored house wife story has been told before. This time, the two protagonists were attractive lesbian women and it was beautifully filmed, but nothing beats Belle de Jour also starring Catherine Deneuve.
The Weimar Touch is a series of films from the Weimar era in Germany which preceded the Nazi era and films which were influenced by filmmakers of the Weimar era. MoMA Chief Curator of Film, Rajendra Roy and Laurence Kardish, the former Senior Curator of Film at MoMA were members of the Curatorial Board (along with Rainer Rother, Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, Connie Betz (Deutsche Kinemathek, Programme Coordinator Retrospective, and Hans-Michael Bock (Cinegraph, Hamburg). Maybe I could catch more of these fantastic sounding films in New York.
Hangmen Also Die! by Fritz Lang sounded so great. I got the ticket, but damn I missed the film because of a meeting. The notes written for Hangmen Also Die by Rainer Rother of the Deutsche Kinemathek, "Prague 1942. Following the assassination of Nazi Reich Protector Heydrich...a professor’s daughter hides the culprit in her parents’ apartment…sadistic, elegant and effeminate." Doesn’t that sound great? The gender bending in Vicktor Viktoria was charming and funny. Julie Andrews saw this actress and copied her style perfectly. They look like twins. Other films in the Restrospective had me going to the Film Museum to ask for the boxed set, but the prints are from so many places, the clearance on them would be nearly impossible I guess…no boxed set. Other films in The Weimar Touch were so enticing! I had seen A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Max Reinhardt himself and William Dieterle, (U.S. 1935) the last time when I was in high school and then didn’t know who Max Reinhardt was. Car of Dreams was a favorite of those who saw it. Casablanca in which Victor Lazlo and Ilse Lund play out their doomed love was directed by Hungarian born director Mihaly Kertesz (Michael Curtiz) and Humphrey Bogart is almost the only “real” American in the ensemble. I had never been aware of how The Weimar Touch formed that film. Others: The Chase, Confessions of a Nazi Spy, Le Corbeau – what a great film that is, a film that was saved only by Sartre and Cocteau’s speaking out in favor of director Henri-Georges Clouzot. This is a film Michael Haneke saw when he created The White Ribbon. A Dutch film, Somewhere in the Netherlands by Ludwig Berger in 1940, Gerhard Lamprecht’s Einmal Eine Grosse Dame Sein, British film, First a Girl, by Victor Saville, Fury by Fritz Lang, Gado Bravo from Portugal 1934, Gluckskinder from Germany in 1936, The Golem, The Mystery of Moonlight Sonata, Hitler’s Madman, How Green Was My Valley by John Ford in 1941 which was influenced by his friend F.W. Murnau, Max Ophuls’ Comedy About Gold, Letter from an Unknown Woman by Max Ophuls, M by Joseph Losey, Mollenard by Robert Siodmak, None Shall Live by Andre de Toth, Out of the Past by Jacques Tourneur, Peter, Pieges, The Queen of Spades, The Small Back Room, Some Like it Hot, To Be or Not to Be by Lubitsch, Touch of Evil by Orson Welles, Cabaret by Bob Fosse, Dial M for Murder, On the Waterfront, The Student of Prague, Tokyo Story were all touched by The Weimar Touch. What a collection!
Tokyo Kazoku (Tokyo Story) by Yoji Yamada was sweet and sad as the parents travel from their hometown of Hiroshima to visit their grown children in Tokyo – different from Ozu’s Tokyo Story, but “the story of family estrangement and the isolation inherent in modern society” as expressed in the story notes of Rainer Rother along with the reminders of the recent tsunami and its losses make this story deeply touching.
Interesting was Dark Blood by George Sluizer. It was not as spooky as The Vanishing, but to see River Phoenix, so beautiful in this role with such a sexy Judy Davis was a treat, if a bit dated. Elle s’en va with a Catherine Deneuve, aged after Umbrellas of Cherbourg and perhaps the same character takes a funny tour through rural France that I enjoyed. I missed Pourquoi Israel, part of the Homage to Claude Lanzmann but got to see Sobibor, 14 Octobre 1943 which was astounding. The bravery of the hero who was on screen the entire time, Yehuda Lerner, looked like a movie star. The entire story was so unexpected for me; how did it happen that I had never heard the story of the uprising at Sobibor before? I know Shoah and sat through it without a minute of disinterest – but that was in college. Claude Lanzmann justifiably said that this story was too unique and special to include in Shoah.
An odd Romanian film, the comedy A Farewell to Fools directed by Goodan Dreyer and starring child actor Boodan Iancu, Gerard Depardieu, Harvey Keitel and a cruelly beautiful Laura Morante, (and dubbed!) it is being sold in the market by Shoreline. It stands out in contrast to the Golden Bear Winner, the Romanian film Child’s Pose directed by Calin Peter Netzer and produced by Ada Solomon. This feisty portrayal of the nouveau riche seems like a fictional continuation of the doc her husband directed and which she produced in 2010: Kapitalism: Our Improved Formula.
Ada Solomon’s speech at the Awards Ceremony Closing Night deserves an award itself. Starting with the comment that she is more used to fighting than to winning, she pointedly thanked not only those who helped her but also those who did not help her whose resistance to her making this film made her stronger and more powerful. She pointed out the great need to have equal representation of women in the ranks of directors and producers as well, a theme which has been expressed repeatedly during this festival in many forms. (Read Melissa Silverstein’s blog on the joint meeting of women's films festivals initiated in Berlin by The International Women's Film Festival Dortmund|Cologone and the Athena Film Festival entitled "You Cannot Be Serious" in which women from many countries discussed the statistics and the status of women directors and other positions in the industry and continued the creation of a worldwide network pushing towards a more level playing field. Check out The International Women's Film Festival Network for more information).
Child's Pose, good in the vein of Separation, went head to head with the Chilean critic's choice, Gloria whose star Paulina Garcia, won the Best Actress Award. Could have gone both ways. The two older women were both great.
Jay Weissberg of Variety describes Child's Pose best as a "dissection of monstrous motherly love" and a "razor-sharp jibe at Romania's nouveau riche (the type is hardly confined to one country), a class adept at massaging truths and ensuring that the world steps aside when conflict arises."
I would like to suggest to the festival event planners that next year the Awards Ceremony’s onscreen presentation (which goes on simultaneously with the announcements of the prize winners) post the name of the winner along with the film title in its own language and in English as well as the country of origin. It’s difficult enough to follow the film with simultaneous translation in English via earphones; at least put the film titles in English for us foreigners.
A friend of mine remarks that the 2 most prestigious prizes at the festival went not to American or West European films, but to those from smaller countries with developing film cultures, Child’s Pose from Romania and Denis Tanovic’s Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker from Bosnia/ Herzogovina.
She goes on with her commentary of what she saw:
"Competition film Gold by Thomas Arslan provoked mixed response, but I liked it – Nina Hoss as the lead is excellent, plus there are long passages of the group on horseback trekking thru Alaska to the Klondike amidst spectacular landscapes. And the camerawork is wonderful. So that’s enough to keep me in my seat.
Night Train to Lisbon has been panned by virtually every trade publication critic as boring at the least. Nevertheless I enjoyed all the famous actors –Jeremy Irons, Lena Olin, Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, and yes Bruno Ganz. It is a story about the oppressive regime and a secret resistance group of in 1970s Portugal. Circles is a powerful and tough film by Srdan Folubovic about the revelations amidst survivors of a terrible event 12 years after the end of the war in Yugoslavia. Terrific performances support a complex and tough tale of how history permeates memory and behavior down thru the generations. Cold Bloom is the 4th feature of Atsushi Funahashi, who made last year’s powerful Nuclear Nation documentary about the effects if the tsunami. A drama about how the tsunami affected young workers and small businesses in the region is told thru the tragedy of a young couple. The title refers to a fantastic closing sequence under the cherry trees at night illuminated by street lamps, at once beautiful and bizarre. Gloria winner of the Golden Bear was clearly everyone’s favorite (although I could not get into the screening). Portrait of a middle aged woman in Chile (and winner of Best Actress award) it will hopefully make it across the ocean to these shores.
And finally, it is worth noting that the Forum Expanded section was extensive this year, showing diverse kinds of work including off site installations from every corner of the globe. Probably it is the single most important showcase for artists work in the film festival world. Kudos to the curators and the artist/filmmakers for keeping this exciting new work in front of the public year after year!"
Another friend who can’t decide whether to be credited here, a transplanted Los Angeleno who was born in Germany and lives in Berlin now had a very interesting insight into Two Women, wondering out loud if the two women and the two boys were transferring their homosexual feelings upon their cross parental lovers and likewise whether the two mothers were not actually acting out their lesbian affinities.
She also noted the sexual complexities of many of the films was of great interest to her. Examples she sites are the homosexual (But Not) pedophiliac feelings of a priest as depicted in In The Name Of; Gloria – not breaking news that a 58 woman is sexually alive – this film has a popular crowd pleasing charm which almost disqualifies it from the “festival” seriousness of a film like Child’s Pose, but both women are stellar.
My unnamed friend also said that, Camille Claudel failed to engage as did The Nun.
I would like to take this further, but it is very late for Berlin and now on to Guadalajara, a fascinating city and the seat of international, Iberoamerican co-productions which I think will become my obsession for the rest of the year.
- Sydney Levine
The Friday Noir column has been tugging along at a steady pace for well over a year at this point. After being privy to so many double-crosses, back stabbings, bleak outlooks and cynical one-liners, it feels like the right time to shine some proverbial light on the sinister world of film noir. What follows is a list of five previously movies reviewed that best exemplify many of the alluring qualities of this fondly remembered and frequently emulated genre.
Some pertinent details details about the list below need be shared with the readers in the hopes of anticipating and preventing any head scratching. First, the list is comprised strictly of films from the classic noir era, thus limiting the candidates to such films made and released in the mid 1940s up until the late 1950s. Neonoirs, and there are excellent ones, make no mistake about it, are therefore ineligible. The list »
- Edgar Chaput
Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Written by Daniel Mainwaring
USA, 97 min – 1947.
“I never saw her in the daytime. We seemed to live by night. What was left of the day went away like a pack of cigarettes you smoked. I didn’t know where she lived. I never followed her. All I ever had to go on was a place and time to see her again. I don’t know what we were waiting for. Maybe we thought the world would end.”
In Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past, Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) owns a gas station, in a small California town. He has been courting local girl, Ann (Virginia Huston), despite the disapproval of her parents. Out of nowhere, Jeff’s past comes knocking in the form of a henchman, who orders Jeff to meet with gangster, »
- Karen Bacellar
This article is dedicated to Andrew Copp: filmmaker, film writer, artist and close friend who passed away on January 19, 2013. You are loved and missed, brother.
Looking at the Best Actor Academy Award nominations for the film year 2012, the one miss that clearly cries out for more attention is Liam Neeson’s powerful performance in Joe Carnahan’s excellent survival film The Grey, easily one of the best roles of Neeson’s career.
Along with negligence, other factors commonly prevent outstanding lead acting performances from getting the kind of critical attention they deserve. Sometimes it’s that the performance is in a film not considered “Oscar material” or even worthy of any substantial critical attention. »
- Terek Puckett
17 items from 2013
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