1-20 of 31 items from 2013 « Prev | Next »
Film-makers have tried sex, murder and intrigue, and yet that most intellectual of spectator sports remains remarkably difficult to depict on screen
• Computer Chess: watch the trailer
Throw a rock at the sports genre and you'll hit a film about baseball or football, or hockey, or racing. Odds are, you won't strike a film about chess. Chess isn't generally considered a stadium filler (although it can be). It's perceived as a game for eccentric intellectuals and elderly historians. It doesn't have the glamour or sex appeal of more sedentary sports, such as pool, as demonstrated by Paul Newman in The Hustler. Chess won't even fit snugly in to other genre films, where the banality of cards, for example, naturally lends itself to a seedy, gambling gangster underworld (Rounders), the exotic highlife of a casino (Casino Royale), or even more piquant, a combo »
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 35 Mins.
So relentlessly bleak that you’d have to be a masochist to make it to the end credits, Sunlight Jr. stars Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon as doomed Florida lovers who can’t catch a break. He’s a drunk drowning in self-pity in a wheelchair while she busts her hump working the graveyard shift at a convenience store. Here’s one snapshot of the Sunshine State that no one wants a postcard of. (Also available on iTunes and VOD) C- —Chris Nashawaty
R, 1 Hr., 45 Mins.
After Superstorm »
- EW staff
Alfonso Cuarón's glorious creation, less sci-fi and more a thriller set in space, makes you breathless with excitement
Alfonso Cuarón's incredibly exciting, visually amazing film is about two astronauts floating in space. The title refers to the one big thing almost entirely absent from the film: it's like The Seventh Seal being called Levity or Last Tango in Paris Chastity. With gorgeous, tilting planet Earth far below in its shimmering blue aura, a bulkily suited spaceman and spacewoman veer, swoop and swerve in woozy slo-mo as they go about their business tethered to the station, like foetuses still attached to their umbilical cords. The movie's final sequence hints at some massive cosmic rebirth; a sense that these people are the first or last human beings in the universe, like something by Kubrick.
Sandra Bullock plays a scientific engineer, Dr Ryan Stone, who after six months' specialist Nasa training »
- Peter Bradshaw
Directed by Georges Franju
France and Italy, 1960
The idea of what a quintessential French horror film might be, especially in the middle of the last century, would be a conflicting concept, the French being culturally revered as the custodians of the high-brow, the poetically human, and the avant-garde (we even import the word in its French form); horror is a genre maintained to provoke the base and primal, better left to B-movie thrills. Enter Georges Franju, a co-founder of the Cinémathèque Française, to helm Eyes Without a Face, a work to arrive with scorn from both French and Anglophone audiences as it had not been crafted to either of their palettes, but rather an amalgamation of tastes and something completely new.
When Dr. Génessier (Pierre Brasseur) identifies the body of his daughter Christiane »
- Zach Lewis
Elitist and pretentious, or an endangered species? Whatever your feelings, there's no doubt that arthouse movies are among the finest ever made. Here the Guardian and Observer critics pick the 10 best
• Top 10 romantic movies
• Top 10 action movies
• Top 10 comedy movies
• Top 10 horror movies
• Top 10 sci-fi movies
• Top 10 crime movies
Peter Bradshaw on art movies
This is a red rag to a number of different bulls. Lovers of what are called arthouse movies resent the label for being derisive and philistine. And those who detest it bristle at the implication that there is no artistry or intelligence in mainstream entertainment.
For many, the stereotypical arthouse film is Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin was a classic art film from the 1920s and Luis Buñuel investigated cinema's potential for surreality like no one before or since. The Italian neorealists applied the severity of art to a representation »
Heritage festival spearheaded by Thierry Fremaux bumps up industry presence.
Thierry Fremaux’s cinema heritage-focused Lumière Film Festival in the French city of Lyon kicked off its inaugural Classic Films Market (Cfm) on Wednesday, dubbing it the first event of its kind in the world.
“When we started the festival five years ago we focused on the films, the artists and the public. Now that’s working well, we’re turning our attention to the professionals without which the increased interest in classic films would never have occurred,” Fremaux, who swaps his Cannes artistic director duties for the Lumiere festival in the autumn, told ScreenDaily.
The festival, running Oct 14-20, opened on Monday with a gala screening of the 1962 comedy A Monkey in Winter (Un singe en hiver) in honour of its now 80-year-old star Jean-Paul Belmondo, who was in the audience alongside festival guest of honour Quentin Tarantino and French actress Claudia Cardinale.
Fremaux hopes the »
Chicago – “Autumn Sonata,” Ingrid Bergman’s last film and first collaboration with cinema’s other great Bergman (Ingmar), is a challenging film. Is it pure melodrama or is it raw human emotion? The line is a fine one, enhanced by the theatricality of the film, one that opens with a character breaking the 4th wall. And yet I choose to take “Autumn Sonata” seriously and not as emotional manipulation, a decision enhanced by the enlightening essay in the Criterion edition by Farran Smith Nehme, which reveals how much of both Bergman’s own issues with parenthood may have impacted this caustic commentary on how we don’t really change, even as death is staring us in the face.
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
When I really began digging into classic cinema, one of the films I started with was Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, and it wasn't that long ago. According to Netflix, I returned the disc on January 8, 2008 after returning Bergman's Wild Strawberries about a month earlier (I wrote about them both briefly right here). I'd actually received both discs at the same time, but kept Seventh Seal a little longer because it had so truly captured my imagination. I've written about it a few times since, including a review of the Criterion Blu-ray a little over four years ago. I've found Bergman's work captivating ever since, several as a result of the Criterion Collection including reviewing Smiles of a Summer Night, Summer Interlude and Summer with Monica, Fanny and Alexander and The Magician along with my discovery of Persona two years ago, whose two-shot imagery is repeated in a highly »
- Brad Brevet
Two of the 20th Century’s best actresses team up – or square off, to be more precise – in Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata from 1978. This simple, austere production peels away every layer of a tortured mother/daughter relationship, revealing decades of toxic damage deep within. The film presents an uncomfortably frank appraisal of one family’s stark dysfunction, and the bonds of codependency that ensure a continuing spiral of guilt. And after the wreckage is thoroughly surveyed and assessed, most viewers will recognize scattered bits of their own lives amid the emotional debris.
Here we meet Eva (Liv Ullmann), a mousey preacher’s wife in the rural south of Norway. She spends her quiet days performing musical selections for her husband’s church and dusting the tidy parsonage they call home. One morning Eva composes a letter to her mother Charlotte, a globetrotting concert pianist, inviting her for a visit. »
- David Anderson
The upcoming week is absolutely packed with incredible archival screenings to tell you about, and there are a couple of new releases that are worth making time for as well. First up, let's focus on the Austin Film Society, who are continuing their Johnnie To series with 35mm screenings of 1999's Running Out Of Time this weekend. In advance of the upcoming local opening of Computer Chess, Afs is also hosting Andrew Bujalski on Sunday afternoon for a Q&A at a rare 35mm screening of Funny Ha-Ha. Essential Cinema presents the outrageous pre-code Night Nurse with Barbara Stanwyck and Clark Cable in 35mm on Tuesday night while director Matt Wolf is stopping by on Wednesday for a Doc Nights premiere of his new film Teenage.
The Paramount Summer Classic Film Series has a some tremendously well-programmed 35mm double features on deck this week including Spirit Of The Beehive and Pan's Labyrinth on Sunday, »
- Matt Shiverdecker
Riffing on Terek Puckett’s terrific list of director/actor collaborations, I wanted to look at some of those equally impressive leading ladies who served as muses for their directors. I strived to look for collaborations that may not have been as obviously canonical, but whose effects on cinema were no less compelling. Categorizing a film’s lead is potentially tricky, but one of the criteria I always use is Anthony Hopkins’s performance in Silence of the Lambs, a film in which he is considered a lead but appears only briefly; his character is an integral part of the story.
The criteria for this article is as follows: The director & actor team must have worked together at least 3 times with the actor in a major role in each feature film, resulting in a minimum of 2 must-see films.
One of the primary trends for the frequency of collaboration is the »
- John Oursler
I've been thinking about this a lot lately since a podcast listener recently asked about our favorite movies and so many of my favorites were films I saw at home on DVD and/or Blu-ray and not in the theater. We talk about the exalted theater experience a lot and there is no doubt seeing a movie in a theater is a better experience, but is that where we end up seeing most of our favorite filmsc Obviously some of my more recent favorites from Pulp Fiction, Se7en, In Bruges (which I caught the tail end of just last night on HBO), The Matrix, The Dark Knight, Before Sunset and Collateral I've seen on the big screen. It's only natural movie lovers will see current favorites on the big screen a lot of the time, but there are several others where DVD and Blu-ray are the only option. Films »
- Brad Brevet
I probably could have waited to post the following graphic on Monday and had more takers, but I never intended to post it in the first place as it merely came out of the result of me working on a new feature for the site. That said, many of you still got in the game and I had a lot of fun on Twitter last night with people guessing some of the more difficult titles. As it turns out, it was numbers 13, 19, 22 and 23 that gave people the most trouble, 13 proving to be the hardest of the lot as only Andre Marques got that right in the comments (as of 9 Am Pst this morning) and one person on Twitter last night finally guessed it after several hints and attempts. I applaud all of you for your efforts! I was astonished how many people got #33 correct and quite honestly, surprised any of you got #22. That said, »
- Brad Brevet
Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the release of John McTiernan's "Last Action Hero." Ostensibly a spoof of hyper-violent action movies, wherein a young boy named Danny (Austin O'Brien) is magically transported into the world of his favorite action star (Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course), the film went on to become one of the most notorious flops in Hollywood history – an example of the fateful collision of artistic arrogance, unreasonable expectations and a faulty product whose concept never fully solidified. It's a movie that should have been a straightforward send-up of things like “Lethal Weapon” but included jokes about cartoon cats and references to “The Seventh Seal.” McTiernan, who is currently serving a year sentence in federal prison for lying to a federal officer, gravely described "Last Action Hero" to Empire Magazine as "the worst time I’ve ever had in this business.” It was that traumatic.The movie »
- Drew Taylor
Madrid — Quentin Tarantino will receive the 5th Lumiere Award at France’s 2013 Lumiere-Grand Lyon Festival, a unique film event held in the city of Lyon, whose program is made up almost entirely of theatrical screenings of movie re-runs, restorations and re-issues.
Running Oct. 14-20, the highly popular Lumiere Festival is organized by Lyon’s Institut Lumiere, which is headed by Bertrand Tavernier and Thierry Fremaux.
A highly popular figure in France, where “Django Unchained” has grossed $37.3 million at French theaters, just shy of current 2013 chart topper “Iron Man 3,” Tarantino will receive his award on Oct. 18 at Lyon’s Convention Center Amphitheater, in all probability before a full-capacity 3,000 crowd.
A Lumiere Festival press release noted Thursday that Tarantino will receive the 2013 Lumiere Award “for his entire film career, »
- John Hopewell
At this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival, we had the chance to sit in on a few conversations with the legendary Max von Sydow. As part of the festival’s tribute to the actor, TCM screened two excellent von Sydow films – the existential and cinephile must-see “The Seventh Seal” and the 1970s spy thriller “Three Days of the Condor" (both featured in our The Essentials: 5 Great Max von Sydow Performances). During the introductions to these films, the Swedish actor discussed his career, the directors he had worked with and what’s next on his plate with TCM hosts Ben Mankiewicz and Robert Osborne, respectively. On Ingmar Bergman: “It was a continuous, very inspiring working relationship… He had a talent of making his actors getting into the parts with 100% attention, not always with 100% respect or it was a matter of not being too impressed of this fantastic character you were going to play. »
- Diana Drumm
This is my second year in a row reviewing The TCM Classic Film Festival, which is quickly becoming one of the largest, most important, and most fun fests in Los Angeles. Like last year, I ran from screening to screening, giddy with excitement and wired from the constant stream of images.
The festival ran from Thursday through Sunday. I was only able to attend the last two days, but over the course of the weekend I managed to watch ten feature films and a 90-minute program of Bugs Bunny cartoons.
Usually, when I go to things like this I try to watch as many film noir and pre-code movies as I can. On Saturday, I was determined to make variety my theme of the day, and TCM made this easy for me. At any given time, there were five or six movies playing — everything from silent films and early classics to musicals, »
- Jonathan Weichsel
Tinseltown is ready to greet film fans from around the world again for the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival.
Beginning this Thursday, April 25 and running through Sunday, April 28 in Hollywood, the festival will open with a gala presentation of the newly restored musical classic Funny Girl (1968).
Over four big days, TCM will welcome legendary stars, award-winning filmmakers and classic movie fans for the cinematic celebration, which this year will center on the theme Cinematic Journeys: Travel in the Movies.
But first on the schedule is Funny Girl!
Legendary superstar Barbra Streisand demonstrates why she’s the greatest star in her Academy Award winning role (Best Actress, 1968) as “Fanny Brice” in the celebrated musical biography Funny Girl. Commemorating its 45th anniversary, the classic film was meticulously restored from the original negative by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 4K at Sony Pictures’ Colorworks.
- Melissa Thompson
Screenwriting isn’t quite as hard as novel writing or literary writing of any kind, but it is still a difficult thing. Forming a character and its words is a most disagreeable endeavour – imagine what Tolstoy went through – but there are some people who have gone a long way in making screenwriting as important as the film itself – almost. The script is as we know a blueprint for what could be a great thing. There are thousands of screenwriters but only a few who have gone on to utter greatness but in my mind there is only one who has never failed, and he ranks at number 1 on this list. That person’s films are so enjoyable that even the bad ones are fun to watch.
Considering a small list like this means considering an awful lot of people and making it a small list – 5 points – makes it that much »
- Quinn Steers
The film-maker Les Blank, who has died aged 77, explored the margins of America's music, capturing and framing idioms such as Louisiana Cajun and zydeco, the norteño music of the Texas-Mexico border, blues, polka, and Appalachian old-time music. He was also fascinated by traditions of eating and cookery, and when screening his film Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (1980) he sometimes created what he called "smellovision" by cooking garlicky dishes in the auditorium.
Blank made more than 40 films, including Burden of Dreams (1982), about the shooting of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo. While few of his documentaries were known to a wide public, many were admired by other directors. In 2007, he received the Edward MacDowell medal, an annual award for achievement in the arts, only twice before given to film directors, »
- Tony Russell
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