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Carnivorous rats are mickey mouse compared with the heinous humans in “The Piper,” South Korean helmer-scribe Kim Gwang-tae’s chilling transposition of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” to a Korean hamlet in the early ’50s. As a bleak fable on human nature (“Crimes committed for survival should be forgiven,” notes one character), it’s pretty old hat, but as an allegory on Korean history and politics, the movie proves cynically observant, with starkly economical storytelling and sharp visual effects to boot. Despite the fantasy-horror trappings, gorehounds expecting a typically grisly K-thriller payoff may be disappointed by the film’s tone of controlled anger. Though it’s not exactly hit material, a few genre festivals should dance to its tune.
- Maggie Lee
"The music seemed extraordinarily fresh and genuine still. It might grow old-fashioned, he told himself, but never old, surely, while there was any youth left in men. It was an expression of youth–that, and no more; with sweetness and foolishness, the lingering accent, the heavy stresses–the delicacy, too–belonging to that time."—"The Professor's House," Willa CatherHis last words, in a hospital four months later, are said to have been 'Mind your own business!' addressed to an enquirer after the state of his bowels. Friends got to the studio just before the wreckers' ball. Pictures, a profusion, piles of them, littered the floor: of 'a world that will never be seen except in pictures'"—"The Pound Era," Hugh Kenner***Heart Of FIREOften when I go to a movie, usually one made before 1960, I think about the opening scene of The Red Shoes, of Marius Goring and his »
- gina telaroli
This is the first letter in the first series of what will be an ongoing installment of correspondences between Scout Tafoya and Veronika Ferdman on the topic of Soviet cinema. Each series will be organized around a theme—director, genre, time period, mood or more whimsical connectors such as color or season. In short, the writers reserve the right to let Soviet cinema be their muse and guide the orientation of the letter writing. For this inaugural dispatch from the celluloid wonders of the Soviet bloc the subject can best be described as love in a time of discontent.Dear Veronika,I’m excited to be writing to you about the many, many undiscovered, unsung gems hiding in the vast canon of Russian cinema. There’s so much to cover that it’s frankly a little overwhelming to me. A whole world of movies I’ve never heard of just waiting to be watched. »
- Scout Tafoya
London — Variety has been given exclusive access to a clip from Steven Cantor’s feature-length documentary “Dancer,” about the “bad boy of ballet,” Ukrainian dancer Sergei Polunin. Movie sales and finance company WestEnd will be showing a clip from the film to buyers at the Toronto Film Festival, which opens Thursday. Variety spoke to Polunin, who was described by the Daily Telegraph as the “James Dean of the ballet world,” and the film’s producer, Gabrielle Tana, who picked up a nomination for the best picture Oscar with “Philomena.”
“Dancer” has been a passion project for Tana since she first met Polunin in 2012, after he quit the Royal Ballet in London. “He was interested in acting so that’s what we were really talking about, and exploring possibilities for that, and then, together with friends like Julie Kavanagh, who wrote a piece about him in Intelligent Life magazine, I realized »
- Leo Barraclough
In today's roundup on events and screenings from coast to coast: Sundance's Next Fest in Los Angeles, Tadanobu Asano in San Francisco, samurai movies in Austin and, in New York, James Szalapski's Heartworn Highways, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes, Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris, Chang Cheh's Five Deadly Venoms and Bruce Weber's Let’s Get Lost. Back in San Francisco: Robert Montgomery's Ride the Pink Horse, Joseph H. Lewis's So Dark the Night, Seymour Friedman's Chinatown at Midnight, Leigh Jason's Dangerous Blondes and William Castle's Mysterious Intruder. » - David Hudson »
It seems that the summer has inspired publications to take the long view of cinema history. Just last week, BBC Culture published their ranking of the 100 Greatest American Films. Now Time Out is doing them one better, going with their list of the 100 Best Movies Of All Time. And their top selection might surprise you. Read More: Read New All-Time Top 10 Lists From Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Quentin Tarantino & More Time Out's survey didnt't turn to critics, but to a select group of actors (whose individual lists you can see here) who provided their personal top tens, which in turn were used to calculated the top 100. So you won't see Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" or Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" in this particular top ten. Instead, it's a surprising selection, including Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights," Powell & Pressburger's "The Red Shoes," Woody Allen's "Annie Hall, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
You have to admire the latest reboot from Under The Dome, the show that goes through sci-fi ideas at a rate of knots…
This review contains spoilers.
For a few beautiful months, there was hope in the world. Free from the dome, free from Chester’s Mill, life began to take direction. Things started to make sense. All that bonkers business to do with magic eggs and rains of blood was in the past. A future outside the orbit of Big Jim’s ego and beyond the whims of an impenetrable, unending wall of nonsense suddenly seemed possible.
And then? Under The Dome got renewed.
And we, its puzzlingly loyal viewers, were dragged from the gloopy safety of our cocoons and trapped inside for another thirteen weeks.
You have to admire this show’s stamina if nothing else. When it runs one idea into the ground, there are always »
Secret Cinema is still relatively green, so with more than 100 years of movie history at its disposal there's plenty of potential for future instalments to embrace more classics. Digital Spy picks out seven films we'd love to see get the Secret Cinema treatment.
1. Die Hard
Imagine a London skyscraper getting a Nakatomi Plaza-style makeover for a showing of Bruce Willis's '80s action movie classic?
Ok, so the immersive cinema experience of being held hostage by Hans Gruber and his goons might be mildly terrifying, but think of this more like live theatre with an actor playing John McClane and scuttling through the building. Participants would not be asked to: 1) walk barefoot over broken glass; 2) swing »
David Stratton is the curator and patron of the inaugural Great Britain Retro Film Festival. Nineteen classic British films, rarely seen on the big screen, will feature in the festival from August 6-19 at the Hayden Orpheum Cremorne, Melbourne's Cinema Nova and the Windsor in Perth. Stratton says there will be many highlights, not least the opportunity to see some of these classic films painstakingly digitally restored and presented for the first time in Australia in the 4K format. .I.m really excited about this retrospective film festival, particularly as I spent my first twenty years in Britain and have always been very fond of British movies. To see this collection of films, on the big screen, as they were intended to be seen, is indeed a rare pleasure," he says. Highlights of the inaugural Great Britain Retro Film Festival include:
. Australian premiere screenings of The Tales of Hoffmann (1951), the »
- Staff writer
There's nothing like a good dance flick to bring people together. Catchy tunes, sweet moves, and the inevitable romance that follows have made for entertaining and touching stories since the earliest days of cinema. Whether you’re a professional dancer or the owner of two left feet, here are 20 fun and inspiring dance films to get you moving this summer! “Shall We Dance”This 1937 dance love story tells the tale of ballet dancer Peter P. Peters (Fred Astaire) and his passionate pursuit of tap dancer Linda Keene (Ginger Rogers). With a score by George Gershwin and plentiful dance numbers in numerous styles, it’s a can’t-miss classic for actors and dancers alike. “The Red Shoes”Loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name, this 1948 classic follows a talented ballerina as she chooses between the love of her composer husband and the artistic power of a jealous director. »
"Dance, dance, feel it all around you Dance, dance, dance, Never thought love had a rainbow on it See the girl dance See the girl dance."- Neil Young, "Dance, Dance, Dance"***When I watched Katy Perry’s recent Super Bowl performance I got very excited. There was a lot of shrieking. So much so that my roommate, who had been diligently watching screeners of important art films one floor below, came up to see what was happening. A friend who was over to watch the game, who I often go to repertory movies with, later told another friend he had never seen me so excited. The third friend watching it with us, she’s a writer, was also excited. In her excitement she sent all of her twitter friends a picture. In my own excitement I sent yet a fourth friend a text message. ******My text message may have been sent off haphazardly, »
- gina telaroli
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
From Alessandro Nivola, over breakfast, we learn how Nicolas Winding Refn poached an entire family, including Elle Fanning and Christina Hendricks, from Sally Potter's Ginger And Rosa and spun them into The Neon Demon, with Alessandro channeling Anton Walbrook's portrayal of Boris Lermontov in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes wrapped into Tom Ford.
Coco Chanel is the link between Jean Renoir's masterpiece La Règle Du Jeu (The Rules Of The Game) and Anne Fontaine's Coco Before Chanel, in which Alessandro plays Chanel's lover who "borrowed" her for two days. How James Gray, Darren Aronofsky and Matteo Garrone will factor in is yet to be determined. Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells with Olivia Wilde and Evan Rachel Wood »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The Overnight starring Jason Schwartzman will close the event and as previously announced Spy (pictured) with Melissa McCartney will kick off proceedings. Kevin Bacon will receive career achievement in acting award.
“This year’s festival is bigger and more international than ever, with a record 92 countries represented,” said Siff artistic director Carl Spence. “Adding to our diverse international line-up is our new programme, Culinary Cinema, which features 11 fantastic new films.
Galas and premieres include Max Landis’ directorial debut Me Him Her, Chris Evans in Before We Go, Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segal in the Centerpiece Gala End Of The Tour . Inside Out, Mr. Holmes and [link »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
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
We spend years viewing the world through the eyes of a child before abandoning it. Not the world, that is—but we grow into players in the game of Life, rub our heavy eyelids, and take to ever-trippy existence from a heightened perspective in which our formative fears and fantasies are filtered through a scope less blurry, unadulterated. And then in doing so we leave a little something behind. For a grown-up to be considered “childish” comes with more negative connotations than posi, but to retain one’s inner child is a paramount strength. So what is the difference?Theodore Geisel, also known under the pseudonym Dr. Seuss, authored the most celebrated children’s literature of his time. He presented generations upon generations whimsical visions which, in proper auteur style, require just a single glance to recognize as work of his. Geisel’s simply-worded fables were praised for encouraging youth »
- Oliver Skinner
★★★★☆ 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
Cinderella hits UK this Friday. A traditional take on the classic fairy tale, Kenneth Branagh directs Downton Abbey‘s Lily James as the titular heroine. The film is a true live adaptation of Disney‘s iconic cartoon and features a plethora of fine actors and actresses, most of them British. Kenneth Branagh’s name on the directors chair obviously helped get a few to sign the dotted line; the film stars Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi and Stellan Skarsgard to name but a few.
Ahead of Cinderella’s cinematic release (which feature new Frozen short film Frozen Fever) we were invited to the luxurious Claridges to attend a very special press conference. We felt just like Cinderella as we walked through the historic building. There were many questions that people were dying to ask, but we had but one – had Prince Kit not learned anything from Rob Stark’s marital choices? »
- Kat Smith
Above: French poster by Boris Grinsson for You’ll Never Get Rich (Sidney Lanfield, USA, 1941).In the new edition of Film Comment, out this week, I write about British airbrush artist Philip Castle and his iconic poster for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. The other man behind that poster, aside from Kubrick himself, was producer, director and writer Mike Kaplan who, at the time, was Kubrick’s marketing guru.Kaplan, who has been collecting movie posters, as well as art directing them, for 35 years, is a tireless proselytizer for the art form and his latest project is a labor of love and a pure delight. Gotta Dance! The Art of the Dance Movie Poster, a book he wrote and curated, was born out of a touring exhibition of his own personal collection that he has been exhibiting around the country for the past few years. Its latest stop is »
- Adrian Curry
The Tales of Hoffmann, 1951.
An opera, Hoffmann tells of his romantic history with three beautiful women; Olympia, Giulietta and Antonia
“I have to say”, says director Michael Powell prior to working on The Tales of Hoffmann, “I didn’t know much about the opera”. That makes both of us Mr Powell. On Extended Run at the BFI this month is the Technicolor triptych-narrative, The Tales of Hoffmann. Released in 1951, this was made three years after Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s celebrated masterpiece The Red Shoes. Rather than incorporating dance into a story, Powell and Pressburger decided to adapt a full performance in its entirety, presenting an epic story of romance, lost-love and tragedy.
In the interval of a ballet, Hoffmann (Robert Rounseville) regales a crowd with talk of his previous exploits. Drunkenly holding court, »
- Simon Columb
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