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As 2011 draws to a close, James looks back over the year’s films, and concocts his very own awards ceremony to celebrate the best of them…
Drum roll and peppy fanfare, please. 2011 is coming to a close, which means it's time to construct end of year lists. "Build it and they will come," as Kevin Costner once said in a baseball movie. I, however, don't like this sort of activity, and don't think I can do it, partly because I find it impossible to work out what my favourite thing is.
How, after all, can you compare, say, X-Men: First Class, The Tree Of Life, Immortals, The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adèle Blanc-Sec, Submarine and The Troll Hunter? And, indeed, which one is 'best'?
The answer is you can't – none of them are better, and you shouldn't even try to find a favourite 'superior' flick, because moods are fleeting, minds and memory are fickle monsters, »
Paramount Pictures today unveiled a new company logo that commemorates the studio’s 100th Anniversary in show business. The new logo can be seen on the new Tom Cruise starrer, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The movie will open in IMAX and on other premium large format screens on Friday, December 16th, 2011 and in theatres [...]
Continue reading Paramount Pictures Unveils New Logo in Celebration of the Studio’s 100th Anniversary on FilmoFilia.
Related posts:Paramount Pictures to Launch Paramount Animation Akira Kurosawa’s 100th Anniversary Celebrated With Free Seven Samurai Showing in L.A. Sony Pictures Animation Teams with Platinum Studios Again
- Allan Ford
Black and white images flicker across absorbed young faces as timeless stories unfold. To the delight of the education charity Filmclub, classic films are captivating children as young as seven.
In the past year, a quarter of all the films watched by its members have been pre-1979 movies and some, such as The Electric Edwardians (1900), date right back to the birth of cinema.
Launched in 2008 by film director Beeban Kidron and educationist Lindsay Mackie, Filmclub (@filmclub) helps schools set up film clubs and supplies a huge range of thoughtfully curated films.
Libby Serdiuk, aged 10, was "pleasantly surprised by The General (1926):
"I had never watched a film without sound or colour. Before I knew it my eyes were glued to the screen! The stunts were exhilarating to watch, Buster Keaton was mind blowing, »
- Judy Friedberg
Laurence Topham continues our writers' favourite film series with Kurosawa's epic about 16th-century Japanese swords-for-hire
Does this review cut it? Write your own here or have your say in the comments section below
A group of samurai, along with a motley gang of armed villagers, await the arrival of 13 formidable bandits on horseback. With piercing rain beating down on them, Kambei, the leader of the samurai, solemnly says: "This is the final battle." With hellish cries, the mounted invaders charge through the black mud and into the village, where they are annihilated by a frenzy of makeshift spears and deadly arrows. Samurai swords cut into the horses, bodies drop into the mud – mud that lurched off the screen and into my socks.
Long before I was to experience the technical marvels of 3D, I was experiencing something much more cinematically powerful – the percussive power of Akira Kurosawa's editing. The subtitles didn't even register. »
- Laurence Topham
We've been enjoying your responses to our My favourite film series, for which Guardian writers have selected the movies they hold closest to their hearts.
Commence to dancing! For in the sixth week of our My favourite film series you achieved something pretty much unheard of – a Guardian article that provoked absolutely no dissenting opinion whatsoever. Just 156 comments worth of awe and affection for Laurel and Hardy with the odd smattering of praise for Jonathan Glancey's take on their "happily inconsequential" classic Way Out West. Debate be damned! We could get used to this.
"Strung between songs and a creaking plot are gags aplenty and a gloriously wayward score," said Glancey of James W Horne's collaboration with the pair, which sees the boys pop »
Check out designer Barry Blankenship’s artwork for Plan 9 from Outer Space, Ed Wood Jr’s infamous worst film ever made. The poster was created to promote a screening event happening up in Seattle on December 8 in a few weeks. They’re hosting a showing of Plan 9 complete with two Mystery Science Theater commentators and comedian Dana Gould. If anyone’s interested, you can get info/tickets from Siff. To see more of Blankenship’s art and designs, visit his website at barrytheartguy.com.
via First Showing
Inspired by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, this beautiful artwork comes courtesy from artist Anton Marrast, who puts a clever spin on the classic, drug-fuelled Hunter S. Thompson tale by staging it in the Star Wars universe.
You can purchase the print for $28 right here.
Here is a poster by Matt Needle for Another Earth
Here is »
In our writers' favourite film series, Richard Vine finds his appetite is sated by Juzo Itami's classic 'ramen western'
Does this review have all the right ingredients? Or is it a recipe for disaster? Dish up your own verdict here or in the comments below
In the years since first stumbling across Tampopo, I've rewatched many other films many more times, but Juzo Itami's "ramen western" has always stayed in my mind. It was the first film I'd ever seen that seemed to want to do something more than stick to one linear story, that played with the language of film as it tried to do it all: to be a comedy and a drama, to show death, sex and food all together – sometimes in the same scene.
On the surface, it's a simple story – a cook tries to find the perfect recipe for making noodles – but along the way »
- Richard Vine
I've never done this before, but since I stumbled across the deals I felt I would pass them on to you as Amazon has begun listing their 2011 Black Friday deals on their DVD and Blu-rays running from November 21-28. By the looks of it there appears you'll have a lot to choose from and they will be updating and adding to the list as the week goes on. As of right now, the best deal is Pulp Fiction on Blu-ray for $3.99, but few prices have been revealed and Amazon has already promised in the coming days deals for the The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Blu-ray), Jurassic Park Trilogy (Blu-ray), Bridesmaids, The King's Speech and X-Men: First Class will be announced. And on Thursday, November 24, titles such as The Social Network, The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and more will be announced, »
- Brad Brevet
It’s that time of the year when stores give us offers we can’t refuse. From now til the end of November, you might be able to find good deals on all those DVD and Blu-ray movies and TV shows that were a little too pricey over the last year.
We’ve got a round up of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and everything in between deals.
The online retailer has different deals each day morning, afternoon and evening, plus all-day Gold Box Deals. Some of our favorites from…
Monday Nov. 21: The Cider House Rules Blu-ray $4.99 (8.30am – 12.30pm Pst), Burn Notice Season 3 $9.99 (12.30pm – 4.30pm Pst), Pulp Fiction Blu-ray $3.99, I Am Legend Blu-ray $4.99 (4.30pm – 8.30pm Pst)
Tuesday Nov. 22: Office Space Blu-ray $4.99 (8.30am – 12.30pm Pst), Weeds DVD season 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 $7.99 each (12.30pm – 4.30pm Pst)
Wednesday Nov. 23: Princess Bride Blu-ray $4.99 (8.30am – 12:30pm Pst), 300 Blu-ray $4.99 (12.30pm – 4.30pm Pst)
Thursday Nov. 24: »
There’s a decidedly oriental tinge to this year’s Gold Coast Film Festival. Jiang Wen’s extremely successful rice-noodle Chinese comedy western Let The Bullets Fly (which had its premiere at the Brisbane International Film Festival – read my review Here) has been chosen as the opening night film and there’s a ‘Cool Japan’ line-up which features the Australian premieres of Makoto Shinkai‘s (Voice of a Distant Star) exquisitely rendered anime Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below - a nostalgic and mystical adventure concerning family loss which firmly places the young director in a league with the laudable likes of manga masters Katsuhiro Ohtomo, Mamoru Oshii and Hayao Miyazaki. On the non-animated front we have the welcome return screenings of Anh Hung Tran‘s Sydney Film festival favourite Norweigan Wood and Takashi Miike‘s kinetic Seven Samurai throwback 13 Assassins. Two further manic manga adaptations, Shinsuke Sato »
- Oliver Pfeiffer
There was no a-ha! moment, no seeing of the light, no epiphany. I’d loved movies since I was a kid, had been a buff since my early teens, but there was no one, shining instance of enlightenment where my relationship with film graduated to something — … Well, the kind of thing my Sound on Sight colleagues have been talking about this month with their “gateway” films. Instead, it was a cumulative experience for me; my road to that point was a long, winding, gradual one. Here and there along that road something would lodge in the ol’ gray matter, tickle at some deep place, until enough of those somethings gathered up over the years finally coalesced into a critical mass.
But I can tell you where that first turn in that road was; that first stop where I picked up that first something. I was six years old, it was »
- Bill Mesce
When I first heard Criterion would start releasing titles from their Collection onto Blu-ray I thought of several of their highest profile films that I would love to see and own in high definition. Obvious titles such as Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, Bergman's Seventh Seal, Godard's Breathless, Fellini's 8 1/2 and several others, most of which (including all four I just mentioned) are already available on Criterion Blu-ray. Now you can add one more that immediately came to mind... Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander, the prolific director's final feature film and one hell of a film at that. If you're a fan of Bergman's work you simply must own this film as it has everything you've ever found intriguing in the director's work all wrapped into one master opus. While the Criterion jacket calls it the director's "warmest" film there is still plenty of darkness to be explored as the story of »
- Brad Brevet
If you are a fan of the Criterion Collection, I have some good news for you. A select few of the films from the collection have begun to appear on the iTunes movie page. iTune availability is starting out small, only 46 titles are available which is fewer than the 150 films that Hulu Plus started out with. Don't worry you can watch the classics like Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, or Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. You can rent films for $2.99 or buy for $14.99.
The only downside is that there are no special features on iTunes. The whole reason for me having my Rushmore Criterion collection is the extensive special features. Special features could easily be made available on iTunes, but there are no plans at this time to do so. Out of my extensive DVD collection I only own one or two Criterion discs. »
 You can already access the Criterion Collection on DVD, on Blu-ray, or through Hulu -- and now, as of this month, you can also get some of its titles through iTunes. With very little hype, the Criterion Collection has quietly started to appear on the iTunes movie page, as you can see in the image above. The initial offering is comprised of just a few dozen of the hundreds of films from their library, but it's a decent start. Besides, I'd imagine that enough consumers seem interested, the selection will begin to expand. More details after the jump. Criterion has put up just 46 of their titles at present, compared to 150 at the start of their deal with Hulu Plus . The films that are available seem to be some of the catalog's best-loved classics, including Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, and Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows. »
- Angie Han
Director: Tsui Hark.
When Chinese producer, director and writer Tsui Hark is heavily involved in a production, he often leaves a huge cinematic stamp on it and the international world pays attention. The last film he directly worked on was Seven Swords (2005), which borrowed on some ideas from Akira Kurosawa's Shichinin no Samurai (Seven Samurai). But these days, his most recent work that’s getting noticed is Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.
Although Hark is not involved in the writing of this detective mystery thriller, his trademark for phantasmagorical storytelling and gorgeously framed visuals is certainly consistent throughout. The only shame is the larger dependence on CGI in modern Hong Kong Cinema to recreate the sprawling cityscape around Daming Palace, which is the backdrop for most of this film. Also, not all of the »
- email@example.com (Ed Sum)
Undoubtedly inspired by the wave of Navy SEALs-related media that has come out in the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s death at the hands of the elite military division, The Usual Suspects writer Christopher McQuarrie is basing a new project on the real experience of war, from the point of view of the men on the ground. Spanning a movie, graphic novel and video game, the new property entitled Rubicon aims to explore the real experience of war, from the perspective of the soldiers on the ground.
McQuarrie explains: ‘I’ve always been fascinated with Navy SEALs in general and their role in Afghanistan in particular. With Rubicon, Mark Long and Dan Capel have created the perfect environment for an intense action franchise.’ Co-producers Mark Long and Don Capel announced the project at this year’s NY Comic-Con, telling fans that they can expect Seven Samurai in Afghanistan. At the announcement, »
- Nash Sibanda
Announced at New York Comic-Con, Christopher McQuarrie (The Wolverine, The Usual Suspects) will take on the challenge of writing, producing, and directing Rubicon, a new property intended to be made into a film, graphic novel, and videogame.
Deadline reports that co-producers Mark Long and Dan Capel describe the project as Seven Samurai meets Navy SEALs in Afghanistan to “explore the true nature of war, for both its heroes and its victims.” Since Navy Seal Team Six took out Osama Bin Laden this year, Seals have become the patriotic force of choice in Hollywood.
Long explains the origin of Rubicon:
“The three of us wanted to do a Seal project, Dan was a founding member of Seal Team Six and Chris’s brother commanded a team, but we wanted a new way in to the world of Tier One operators.”
“I’ve always been fascinated with Navy SEALs »
- Lillian 'zenbitch' Standefer
Building a name by writing films like The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie has started to lead Christopher McQuarrie into the world of directing. Yes, he did helm 2000′s forgotten The Way of the Gun, but early 2013 will see the release of One Shot, his Lee Child adaptation starring Tom Cruise. Not exactly a rough transition for him.
Now, Deadline informs us that he’ll also direct Rubicon, a film centered around Navy SEALs that’s heavily inspired by Seven Samuai. The story is inspired by, in addition to Akira Kurosawa‘s indisputable classic, a forthcoming graphic novel and video game; they’re doing the whole multimedia thing here. Although they’ll all be created at once, we’ll be getting “separate but complementary storylines,” so be prepared for the sensation of getting cheated because you didn’t read the comic. I haven’t mentioned the actual film’s story yet, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie is currently shooting One Shot in Pittsburgh. It seems he already has a follow-up planned with Rubicon, a multi-platform project which will be turned into a movie, a graphic novel, and a video game.
Christopher McQuarrie will write, direct, and produce the movie, which centers on a Navy Seal team battling the Taliban. The project is described as Seven Samurai set in Afghanistan. Mark Long and Dan Capel will produce alongside Christopher McQuarrie. Here's what Christopher McQuarrie had to say about the project.
"I've always been fascinated with Navy SEALs in general and their role in Afghanistan in particular. With Rubicon, Mark Long and Dan Capel have created the perfect environment for an intense action franchise."
The movie, graphic novel, and video game will be developed simultaneously, with each version featuring separate story lines. It isn't known when production on Rubicon will begin. »
Ever since Osama Bin Laden got capped, Hollywood really wants to be in the Navy SEALs business. While nobody has yet announced an "America, Fuck Yeah! Edition" re-release of the Charlie Sheen/Michael Biehn movie Navy Seals on Blu-ray, there have been plenty of Seal-related projects announced recently, including movies from Peter Berg, director Kathryn Bigelow, and Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh. Now another big Hollywood name is planning to explore Navy Seal badassery: Deadline is reporting that Christopher McQuarrie will write, produce, and direct Rubicon, a multimedia project that will tell a Navy SEALs story as a movie, graphic novel, and video game. Rubicon is described as being in the vein of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, and will be set in modern Afghanistan. Seven Samurai focuses on a group of seven ronin samurai who are hired to defend a small farming village from bandits. That film was reimagined »
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