The Lower Depths (1957) - News Poster


The Seven Greatest Director/Actor Combos

  • Cinelinx
Some actors and directors go together like spaghetti and meatballs. They just gel together in a rare way that makes their collaborations special. Here is a list of the seven best parings of director and actor in film history.

7: Tim Burton & Johnny Depp:

Edward Scissorhands; Ed Wood; Sleepy Hollow; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Corpse Bride; Sweeney Todd; Alice in Wonderland; Dark Shadows

Of all the parings on this list, these two make the oddest films. (In a good way.) Tim Burton is one of the most visually imaginative filmmakers of his generation and Johnny Depp was once the polymorphous master of playing a wide variety of eccentric characters. They were a natural combo. Depp made most of his best films with Burton, before his current ‘Jack Sparrow’ period began. The duo had the knack for telling stories about misfits and freaks, yet making them seem sympathetic and likable.
See full article at Cinelinx »

Episode 169 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2016

This time on the podcast, Ryan is joined by Scott Nye, David Blakeslee, Mark Hurne and Trevor Berrett to present their Blu-ray upgrade wish lists for 2016.

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Episode Links Past Wish List Episodes Episode 63.9 – Disc 3 – Top Criterion Blu-ray Upgrades for 2011 Episode 110 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2012 Episode 136 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2013 Episode 146 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2014 Episode 154 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2015 David’s list Wise Blood Onibaba 4 By Agnes Varda Mark’s list Les Enfants Terribles Viridiana The Adventures of Antoine Doinel Ryan’s list: Monsters and Madmen The Lower Depths Jeanne Dielman Scott’s list Complete Mr. Arkadin When A Woman Ascends The Stairs A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman Trevor’s list An Angel at My Table Pepe le Moko Twenty-Four Eyes Episode Credits Ryan Gallagher (Twitter / Website) David Blakeslee (Twitter / Website) Scott
See full article at CriterionCast »

Daily | Arturo Ripstein’s Bleak Street

Bleak Street is "the latest film from the great Mexican auteur Arturo Ripstein," announces Josef Braun. "Based on a true story about two midget wrestlers accidentally murdered by two middle-aged sex workers in a dingy Mexico City love hotel, the film is one of Ripstein’s finest." José Teodoro in Cinema Scope: "More than any living director, Ripstein has taken up the mantle of his friend and early mentor Luis Buñuel." Notebook editor Daniel Kasman "found it enthralling in its immersion, with twisted touches, into something like a far more grim version of The Lower Depths or The Crime of M. Lange." We've got more reviews and the trailer. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Tiff 2015. Correspondences #10

  • MUBI
Dear Fernando,I think we have a queen of the Toronto International Film Festival 2015: Taiwanese actress Sylvia Chang. Here she has a supporting role in Jia Zhangke's Mountains May Depart, co-stars in and co-wrote Johnnie To's Office, and culminates her contribution by directing the lovely Murmur of the Hearts.A dramatically slender, subtly fragmented and heartfelt melodrama, Chang's story is of three young adults trying to move forward in their lives emotionally long after each of their parents let them down as children. Two are brother and sister of the small Green Island off the eastern coast of Taiwan, siblings whose beloved mother took the girl away from their abusive father to live in Taipei, stranding the boy geographically and emotionally from his mother, sister and mainland, and isolating the sister from her roots. The third man, the sister's boyfriend, is a bit of an outlier in the story,
See full article at MUBI »

'Hopefuls', 'Beatriz' among Festival do Rio's Première Brasil entries

  • ScreenDaily
'Hopefuls', 'Beatriz' among Festival do Rio's Première Brasil entries
Top brass at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival announced that 41 feature and 19 shorts from Brazilian filmmakers will screen in the 17th edition, set to run from October 1-14.

The Première Brasil competition section will screen 13 features, of which ten will receive world premieres. An additional two features and two documentaries will screen out of competition.

Other Brazilian productions such as a restoration of Walter Lima Jr’s 1965 classic Menino de Engenho (Plantation Boy) will screen in special Première Brasil sidebars such as New Trends, Panorama, Expectation and Fronteiras.

Première Brasil is the only competitive section of the festival and Redentors will be presented on closing night. The audience will vote on three awards for best Brazilian feature film, best documentary and best short film.

As part of this years commemoration of the 450 years of the founding of Rio, the festival will screen six films that have the city as its setting or reflect the theme of Rio
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Depardieu's Viktor to premiere in Russia

  • ScreenDaily
Depardieu's Viktor to premiere in Russia
New films from Krzysztof Zanussi and Ralph Fiennes to also world premiere at Window To Europe Film Festival.

New films by Gérard Depardieu, Krzysztof Zanussi and Ralph Fiennes will have their world premieres at the 22nd edition of the Window To Europe Film Festival (Aug 8-15) in the Russian town of Vyborg situated close to the border with Finland.

French director Philippe Martinez’s tale of redemption and revenge Viktor, which stars Depardieu, Elizabeth Hurley and Eli Danker, will open a competition section dedicated to films co-produced with Russia.

Viktor, which was shot in Chechnya and Moscow last summer and is being handled internationally by UK-based sales agent Saradan Media, will be released by Paradise in Russian cinemas on September 4.

Co-production competition

Other co-productions selected include Zanussi’s Foreign Body, produced by his own company Studio Filmowe Tor with Italy’s Revolver Film and Russia’s Ineureka and Bella Vostok Ltd; Uzbek director Dilmurod Masaidov’s thriller
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Ida triumphs in Warsaw

  • ScreenDaily
Ida triumphs in Warsaw
Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida scored a second top festival prize in one night, after success in London.

The international jury of the Warsaw Film Festival has awarded the City of Warsaw Grand Prix to Pawal Pawlikowski’s Ida, which won Best Film at the BFI London Film Festival on the same night.

The black-and-white film set in the 1960s, which the international jury praised for “the superb combination of script, directing, cinematography, acting and music”, also received the prize of the Ecumenical Jury in Warsaw.

Speaking to ScreenDaily after the awards ceremony, producer Ewa Puszczynska of Lodz-based Opus Film said the film will be released on 90 screens in Poland this Friday (Oct 25) by distributor Solopan Spólka.

Fandango Portobello Sales is handling international distribution, and Music Box Films are planning the North American release for the second quarter of 2014. It debuted at Toronto last month.

Puszczynska was joined on stage to receive the Grand Prix by the non-professional
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Seven Films To Watch and Celebrate Akira Kurosawa's Birthday On Hulu

Tomorrow, March 23, is Akira Kurosawa's birthday. The iconic and influential director would have been 103-years-old had he lived long enough to see it, but that isn't to say he hasn't left a lasting legacy keeping him alive in the hearts of cinephiles. To celebrate the occasion, Criterion and Hulu have made available 24 of Kurosawa's films on Hulu free of charge to nonsubscribers (with commercial interruptions, and only in the U.S.) through midnight Sunday, March 24 and it includes all the hits and then some. Now I haven't seen all of Kurosawa's films, but I would like to at least offer up some suggestions for those of you looking for a starting point, or just a diversion from all this Ncaa Basketball. 1.) Seven Samurai - The obvious starting point is Seven Samurai. It's the film most everyone immediately associates with Kurosawa even if it isn't necessarily one they consider his best or their favorite.
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Clip joint: ghettos

From the narrow streets of medieval Prague to the rubbish dumps of Rio De Janeiro, here are five of the best ghettos featured in films

This week's clip joint is from Claire Adas - check out more of her writing on her blog here. If you have an idea for a future clip joint, email

Every city has its shantytowns, tenements, projects and favelas; ghettoes in which people are thrown together, joined by race, religion or, most frequently, poverty. Theses spaces form a teeming world of their own within the larger macrocosm of the city, connected but self-contained. Life is stacked upon life in a confined area, making the situation rife for story telling; a perfect stage setting of tension and drama.

The term "ghetto" has expanded somewhat from its original use in the 11th century, when it specifically described the part of a city where Jews could live.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Bolivian film “Pacha” to open 1st Kochi International Film Festival

Bolivian film “Pacha” to open 1st Kochi International Film Festival
Pacha, a Bolivian film by Héctor Ferreiro will open the first edition of the Kochi International Film Festival today. The festival that will run from December 16-23 will be inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy.

The festival will screen films from Latin America, Europe, Asia and USA, apart from films on the 100 Years of Indian Cinema and Centenary of Masters.

A total of 50 international films and 24 Indian films will be screened. Five films from Thailand, eight from Poland six films from Iran will be a part of the international section. While 18 Malayalam, one Tulu film and three Hindi films are in the line-up.

Line up of films:

100 Years of Indian Cinema

Malayalam Golden 10:

Elippathayam (The Rat Trap) by Adoor Gopalakrishnan

Chidambaram by G. Aravindan

Danny by T. V. Chandran

Amma Ariyan by John Abraham

Oppol by K. S. Sethumadhavan

Nirmalyam by M. T. Vasudevan Nair

Uppu by Pavithran

Olavum Theeravum by P.
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Waiting for the Whole Sky All Diamonds

  • MUBI
The first-ever manufacturer of light bulbs in Portugal, Manoel de Oliveira’s father died in 1932, nine years after Raul Brandão wrote a play called Gebo and the Shadow. In the year 2012 Oliveira turned the play into a film, making a grimy, dim oil lamp its legitimate character: elderly accountant Gebo burns the midnight oil in it as he plods away at his books. In an early scene, meanwhile, his wife lights the lanterns outside their house with a match. No one seems yet to have heard of electricity; the time setting is unclear; presumably, it’s the turn of the century.

Presumably. Oliveira’s Benilde, or The Virgin Mother (1975) opens with a title-card of this word to gradually lure us into a province of utter chronological disorder. This very same word has ever since been unchallenged as the most accurate description of the bizarre, atemporal effect that grows stronger in each subsequent Oliveira film.
See full article at MUBI »

Isuzu Yamada obituary

One of the greatest female stars of Japanese cinema

Isuzu Yamada, who has died aged 95, was among the greatest female stars of Japanese cinema. In a career that lasted more than half a century, she shone in both Jidai-geki (period films) and Gendai-geki (films with modern settings) and was renowned for her appearances in films by such leading directors as Kenji Mizoguchi, Mikio Naruse and Akira Kurosawa.

Yamada's range was remarkable. She was fortunate to have emerged at the time that Mizoguchi, whose focus was always on persecuted women, was changing his attitude towards them from being destroyed victims of male society to characters vital enough to fight, often in vain, for survival against the social system.

She played fallen women in her first films for Mizoguchi. These included the title roles in The Downfall of Osen (1935), in which she played an ex-geisha who pays for the education of a
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Kurosawa: Classic Collection

(Akira Kurosawa, 1952-70, 15, BFI)

The highlight of this five-film box is Ikiru (aka Living), one of the greatest films ever made and Kurosawa's finest non-samurai movie. Set in modern Japan it takes a hackneyed subject – a middle-aged civil servant (superbly played by Takashi Shimura) reacting to a diagnosis of terminal cancer – and turns it into a profound, moving, unforgettable statement about the human condition. Three of the other films star the charismatic Toshiro Mifune: I Live in Fear (1955), the nuclear-angst tale of a man bent on taking his family to safety in Brazil; the rarely shown The Lower Depths (1957), a fascinating transposition of Gorky's play to a changing 19th-century Japan; and Red Beard (1965), a medical epic about a dedicated doctor (Mifune's last Kurosawa movie) in a country clinic. The fifth film, Dodes'ka-den (1970), a mosaic narrative about dreamily eccentric slum-dwellers, was Kurosawa's first colour picture and influenced by Antonioni's Red Desert.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Why Hollywood can't get enough Akira Kurosawa remakes

Akira Kurosawa remakes such as The Magnificent Seven led a Hollywood revolution in the 1960s – and now a new wave of Us adaptations could be coming

Akira Kurosawa and Hollywood may find themselves working together soon for the first time since the late director's abortive involvement in the war epic Tora! Tora! Tora!, one of several traumatic episodes that led him to attempt suicide in 1972. The remake rights to the lion's share of his movies and unproduced screenplays have been granted by the Akira Kurosawa 100 Project to the Los Angeles-based company Splendent, whose chief, Sakiko Yamada, told Variety he aimed to "help contemporary film-makers introduce a new generation of moviegoers to these unforgettable stories". The Kurosawa Project said it had received "countless" requests from Us and European film-makers, "expressing intense interest in remaking Kurosawa's movies".

The prospect of Kurosawa's influence being funnelled through Hollywood again is enticing; after all, the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Remaking Kurosawa? People Have Been Doing It For Years

Akira Kurosawa's Centennial last spring is still causing ripples. Splendent Media extends the celebration in a potentially controversial way. They have the rights to an enormous part of the Kurosawa catalogue should anyone want to purchase them for a remake. Kneejerk reaction is NOOOOooooooooo. But then you realize that Rashomon, The Hidden Fortress, and The Seven Samurai (and to a lesser extent many of his other films) have already been ripped off hundreds of times for movies and television. Hell, I've even seen an Off Broadway musical based on Rashomon!

So why would a straight up remake be any different?

Here are the 26 Kurosawa directed pics (of the 32 he made) that they're offering rights to:

Sanshiro Sugata (1943)

The Most Beautiful (1944)

Sanshiro Sugata Part2 (1945)

The Men who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945)

No Regrets For Our Youth (1946)

One Wonderful Sunday (1947)

The Quiet Duel (1949)

Stray Dog (1949)

Scandal (1950)

Rashomon (1950) -- Honorary
See full article at FilmExperience »

What’s All The Hulu-baloo About? This Week In Criterion’s Hulu Channel

It’s another week which means another round up of all the titles Criterion has put up on their Hulu Plus page. And it’s a great smorgasbord of releases that will keep your eyes full until the next installment. Also, thanks again to everyone who has signed up for Hulu Plus via our referral page. Please sign up and let us know what you think of the service. Enough of this small talk, let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Last week’s article spoke about Louis Malle’s films being put up and sure enough, only a few days later they finally released Black Moon to their page, showing a film that will be coming out on June 28th. I love that they’re doing that with releases that are coming out, just to give their audience the film itself and if you like it, you’ll want to grab the whole package.
See full article at CriterionCast »

Seven Samurai Criterion Blu-ray Review

For years now Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai has been ranked as one of the best movies ever made, and is usually considered one of the finest achievement in cinema. In the most recent Sight and Sound poll of the best films ever made, critics ranked it eleventh (its highest charting was in 1982 at #3) while filmmakers ranked it ninth. It’s ranked thirteenth on’s list of the greatest films of all time. Ain’t no denying that Kurosawa and his cast (including Toshiro Mifune) made a masterwork. And my review of The Criterion collection’s Seven Samurai after the jump.

A band of marauding Ronin spot a village and are about to raid it when their leader notes that the village’s crops won’t be ready for another couple of weeks. They ride off, but a villager hears their plans. After a discussion, the villagers decide
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Actors We Miss: Takashi Shimura

Actors We Miss: Takashi Shimura
Note: for the purposes of this article, all Japanese names are presented in the Western fashion, with the given name followed by the family name.

There's a Kurt Vonnegut story called "Who Am I This Time?" about a quiet and formless small-town man named Harry Nash who comes to life only during productions at the local theater, in which he becomes entirely consumed by whatever character he's playing. A tabula rosa defined only by his current role, Nash is a complete mystery beyond his otherworldly talent. This story springs to mind almost every time I watch one of Takashi Shimura's rapturously immersive performances - he's perhaps the most accomplished actor in film history to have a mere stub for a Wikipedia page.

When people think of actors closely associated with the films of Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune is rather understandably the first person to come to mind. Mifune's raw,
See full article at Cinematical »

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Brings Akira Kurosawa To The Stage With Throne Of Blood Adaptation

Very few filmmakers have drawn their inspiration from famous literature, more than the legendary Japanese auteur, Akira Kurosawa.

With films like Ran and The Lower Depths, Kurosawa was not one to hide behind his appreciation for literature, but instead appropriated works from the likes of Gorky and Dostoevsky into something wholly original.

And then there is his work with Shakespeare, in the form of the aforementioned Ran, and Throne of Blood, which itself is seeing a return to its stage roots.

According to The Oregonian, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival will be putting on a performance of Throne Of Blood during the run of the festival. Blood is Kurosawa’s take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, that instead of being based in Scotland, is transferred to feudal Japan, and this will be a world premiere of a brand new stage adaptation.

Personally, Throne Of Blood is one of my favorite Kurosawa films,
See full article at CriterionCast »

Celebrating Akira Kurosawa at 100

Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) was one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time and yet, I’d bet most people have never even heard of him. That’s a shame, because his long and extremely accomplished career has produced some of the most beautiful, most influential films the world has ever seen. Viewing, no… experiencing Kurosawa films such as Rashoman, Ikiru, Ran or Throne Of Blood are simply a necessity of life, something that must be done before one dies. Period.

Filmmakers across the globe have drawn endless inspiration from Kurosawa’s work, including the Hollywood remake of Seven Samurai (The Magnificent Seven), the spaghetti western remake Yojimbo (Fistful Of Dollars) by Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone and even George Lucas himself has cited Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress as the inspiration for his creating C3PO and R2-D2.

So, with such a powerhouse of cinematic prowess and one of my top 3 favorite filmmakers of all-time,
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