5 items from 2015
A favourite of film buffs, this Japanese classic about a Kabuki actor finding his muse is elegant, rich and ultimately heartbreaking
New Yorkers looking to duck into a theater over Christmastime without having their Force awakened have an option whose speed couldn’t be more different from Jj Abrams’ hyperspace velocity. Director Kenji Mizoguchi is best known to wider audiences for his 1950s films Ugetsu and Sansho the Bailiff, but one can see glimpses of his signature style of long takes, dolly shots and an emphasis on strong women characters in his earlier, pre-war work.
Among the most celebrated is 1939’s The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums which, despite being a favourite of film buffs, is making its first official theatrical bow with a two-week engagement at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. With a stately pace and classicist intentions, this drama about an actor finding his muse is a »
- Jordan Hoffman
Of the Big Three new wavers of German cinema—Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders-- who “came of age” as it were in the ‘70s, when I was in college and my own stake in the movies was budding into something more learned and substantial than what it was when I first discovered my love for them, Herzog has emerged as the director who most speaks to me now as an adult. I think that’s true at least in part because when his movies do speak to me it never feels like a one-sided conversation. I feel like I’m in there engaging in a push-pull with Herzog’s ability to seduce me (disarm me?) with his simplicity of approach, an ability which rarely seems satisfied to consider subjects from the less-perverse of two perspectives, and his tendency to rhapsodize and harangue and sidestep visual motifs »
- Dennis Cozzalio
This week Joakim and Trevor Barrett from the Eclipse Viewer podcast discuss Ugetsu Monogatari.
From the Criterion Collection:
“Quite simply one of the greatest of filmmakers,” said Jean-Luc Godard of Kenji Mizoguchi. And Ugetsu, a ghost story like no other, is surely the Japanese director’s supreme achievement. Derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, this haunting tale of love and loss—with its exquisite blending of the otherworldly and the real—is one of the most beautiful films ever made.
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Masters Of Cinema Cast (Twitter / Website / Instagram / Tumblr / Facebook) Joakim Thiesen (Twitter) Tom Jennings (Twitter / Website) Trevor Barrett (Twitter / Website) »
- Tom Jennings
If Roger Deakins were cast in a movie, he might play a big game hunter, or a celebrated explorer — he has that kind of physical presence. He’s a manly man. Yet there’s sensitivity behind the virility. His nature is calm; his manner soft-spoken; his sartorial style consistent: white cotton Oxford shirt, casual windbreaker and scruffy boots. The outward simplicity reflects an approach he applies to the craft of cinematography. But the result is anything but.
“Everybody uses the same tools, the same technology, the same work flows. But it’s all about your taste and how you apply it,” says Richard Crudo, president of the American Society of Cinematographers. “And I think that’s what makes Roger so compelling. His approach to everything is filtered through his eye and his taste in a way that only he is capable. It’s that simple, if that can be thought »
- Steve Chagollan
Fandor, the premiere streaming service for independent, classic and critically-acclaimed films, shorts and documentaries, in a partnership with the Criterion Collection and Hulu Plus, is currently home to a rotation of uniquely curated bundles of Criterion films available to watch instantly via desktop, set top and mobile devices.
Every Tuesday, Fandor rolls out a new collection of films that share a common theme, genre, time period, film style, etc. These films are available on the site for 12 days before being replaced by a fresh new batch of featured Criterion masterpieces.
Fandor’S Criterion Picks For March
March 17-28: The Sixteenth Century
Carnival in Flanders(1935, Director Jacques Feyder): A small village in Flanders puts on a carnival to avoid the brutal consequences of the Spanish occupation. Ivan the Terrible(1944, DirectorSergei Eisenstein): As Ivan ascends to lead Russia, the Boyars are determined to disrupt his rule. Ivan’s relationship »
- Robert Greenberger
5 items from 2015
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