17 items from 2013
Having paved the way two years ago with his 15-hour cine-essay “The Story of Film” (and before that, the handsome coffee-table volume of the same name), film critic-cum-director Mark Cousins returns with a 100-minute companion piece focused entirely on the depiction of kids onscreen, a too-easy but still-captivating spinoff, unimaginatively entitled “A Story of Children and Film.” As specialty offerings go, this latest collage of film clips and personal footage shares the earlier project’s principal virtue — namely, its capacity to enrich casual moviegoers’ way of consuming cinema — as well as its harmless little idiosyncrasies.
In the hands of any other guide, such an eccentric offering would surely be relegated to the wee hours of public television, though Cousins’ films have found a home at the very same sprocket operas where the festival gadfly has become a regular fixture (this one premiered at Cannes). One part evangelist for the noble cause of humanist cinema, »
- Peter Debruge
It’s no secret, though it’s often forgotten, that the heyday of art film — roughly speaking, the ’50s through the ’70s — depended, to a much larger degree than we may like to think, on the promise of erotic adventurousness, the kind that Hollywood couldn’t hope to match. I don’t mean to say that the European and Asian films that explored sexuality, sometimes the outer limits of sexuality, were glorified porn. It’s not just that we saw more flesh in them; it’s that we saw more of the internal experience that flesh is really about. Yet »
- Owen Gleiberman
Trevor Hogg chats with Academy Award nominated cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt about being a teenage photojournalist, working with director Mike Nichols, the Oscars and the current state of filmmaking...
My sister is a painter and architect, my father was a doctor but he always wanted to be a musician, and my mother was interested in painting. I was surrounded by art in my childhood,” states Stephen Goldblatt who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and moved with his family to the United Kingdom at the age of seven; four years later he became obsessed with photography and later as a teenager Goldblatt was hired to work for London Life Magazine owned by the Sunday Times. “I was working as a photographer when I was 18. The thing about old style film photojournalism was that you were telling a story in still pictures and not being digital, you tended to try to do »
The French film industry has always been among the worlds most important……at least to film studies professors. Most French movies are either funded by the French government or made with the support of government-linked media companies. Filmmakers face little market pressure in the creative process. That helps explain why they’re so boring!
Starbuck opens this weekend so we here at We Are Movie Geeks have decided to post this article about our favorite French films. Okay, so Starbuck is technically a Canadian film shot in Quebec, but its French language so, in our eyes that makes it French! The Hollywood remake is already in the can. It stars Vince Vaughn. The remake was originally tilted Dickie Donor but they’ve changed it to Delivery Man, so you just know they’ve screwed it up bad. This list may not line up with that of your typical French Cinema scholar. »
- Movie Geeks
I’ve had something of a soft spot for coming-of-age stories ever since I read Jd Salinger’s perennial classic The Catcher In The Rye. Whether it’s the tough but good-hearted lessons of Stand By Me and Almost Famous or bleak but profound entries into adult like The 400 Blows and Kes, they usually contain a great deal that I can relate to on an emotional and thematic level, even if I never grew up in Paris, toured with a rock band or found a dead body in my youth. I did get drunk in a park once, but that’s about it. Realistically I think I still enjoy these stories because, despite having been legally adult for quite some time, I still haven »
- Mark Allen
The Critics’ Circle, the UK’s only professional association of critics of drama, music, film, dance, and visual arts and the oldest organisation of its kind anywhere in the world, celebrates its centenary this year with high profile events open to the media and public audiences. We’ve got the official announcement over the events, and talks happening for their 100-year celebrations!
27 April – 11am to 4pm: Victoria and Albert Museum (free event in the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre) presents ‘The Art of Criticism’, a public event hosted by two of the UK’s most popular broadcasters, Paul Gambaccini and Mariella Frostrup. ‘The Art of Criticism’ promises to be a day of lively discussion and debate with questions and answers flowing freely between the audience and the day’s guest panels about what makes a critic, what the job entails, what its significance is in the world of music, dance, »
- Dan Bullock
Mumbai's King, 2012.
Directed by Manjeet Singh.
A mischievous adolescent and a streetwise balloon seller roam the rain-soaked slums of Mumbai, looking to escape the harsh realities of life.
Mumbai’s King is just about as far away from the glamour of Bollywood as you can get. It’s Truffaut’s The 400 Blows relocated to Mumbai, the city as an urban playground for an under-privileged young man to escape his turbulent family life. At home, the grotty, unhealthy misery of young Rahul’s life is truly apparent, his abusive alcoholic father and doting mother constantly in conflict. But outside those walls, Manjeet Singh’s film becomes magic.
Shooting handheld in natural light, Singh’s camera snaps Mumbai’s swamp of trash and dirt with documentarian truth, but still imparts a sense of wonder and naive possibility to the viewer. »
- Flickering Myth
(Claude Chabrol, 1958/59, Eureka!, 12)
Coined in 1957 by the French journalist François Giroud to describe a rebellious generation of young French people polled by L'Express, the term "nouvelle vague" was rapidly applied to an amorphous group of innovative film‑makers, the most vociferously self-publicising of whom were the critics working for Cahiers du Cinéma, who embraced "la politique des auteurs".
The first of them to direct a feature film was Claude Chabrol, co-author in 1957 of the first book on the Cahiers hero Alfred Hitchcock. Chabrol used his wife's windfall inheritance to make what has been called the first new wave movie, Le beau Serge, followed immediately by a companion piece, Les cousins. Both were shot in a naturalistic manner by key nouvelle vague cameraman Henri Decaë, and star Jean-Claude Brialy and Gérard Blain.
- Philip French
The Film That Changed My Life | Argentine Film Festival | Daniel Day-Lewis | Jameson Cult Film Club
The Film That Changed My Life, London
A simple idea to mark the centenary of the Critics' Circle: 14 well-known film critics introduce their favourite movies, and try to change your life. Understandably, most the movies are classics, from Kate Muir's choice (and Martin Scorsese fave) I Know Where I'm Going! to If… and The 400 Blows. From the Guardian/Observer stable, Peter Bradshaw goes for Raging Bull, Philip French Bad Day At Black Rock, and Jason Solomons Annie Hall. For something more alternative, the Evening Standard's Derek Malcolm presents Ship Of Theseus, an acclaimed Mumbai drama made just last year, while Empire's Kim Newman offers an obscure 1960s double bill from Nathan Juran: First Men In The Moon and East Of Sudan.
Barbican, EC2, Fri to 2 May
Argentine Film Festival, London
Cinema won't settle the Falklands/Malvinas dispute, »
- Steve Rose
Considered to be two of the finest examples of British art house cinema, director Joseph Losey and writer Harold Pinter’s first two collaborations, The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967), were re-released this week on DVD courtesy of StudioCanal.
These two films explored the waning English class system previously vacated by British filmmakers. Though this was a subject explored by Evelyn Waugh in his novel Brideshead Revisited, first published in 1945 and is one of the motifs of the current running television drama Downton Abbey.
The Servant and Accident came at a crucial time in film history, an important spell in the history of art house cinema. By 1963 the Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave) was in full force. Francois Truffaut had directed The 400 Blows, Shoot the Pianist and Jules et Jim by 1963, and Jean-Luc Godard Breathless, A woman is a Woman »
- Flickering Myth
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 363 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies, the Up docs and Decalogue) and of those 363, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 362 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies and Decalogue) and of those 362, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
Hi everyone! Amir here, to bring you exciting festival news at month's end. Nathaniel is heading to the Nashville Film Festival as a jury member and for the first time at The Film Experience, we’re also going to cover the Hot Docs Festival, North America’s largest documentary fest, which is held in Toronto. It’s a record breaking year for their ever-expanding programme: there are 205 documentaries screening, 44 of which are world premieres.
The Manor, Hot Docs' opening film
Hot Docs hits two important milestones this year. First, the festival turns 20: “It’s not a teenager anymore” as the director announced at the press conference; it's a major triumph for a niche festival to become a mainstay. Second, Bloor Cinema, the theatre that hosts most of the screenings turns 100! It’s one of Canada’s oldest and most nostalgia inducing cinemas. Had it not been for their incredibly »
- Amir S.
Ioncinema.com’s Ioncinephile of the Month feature focuses on an emerging filmmaker from the world of cinema. This April, we’ve got a first: two for the price of one. Husband and wife filmmaking team of Ron Eyal and Eleanor Burke premiered Stranger Things at such fests as Slamdance (Winner Grand Jury Prize Best Narrative Feature), Raindance (Winner Grand Jury Prize Best U.K. Feature), Woodstock, Karlovy Vary, and is now they’ve got a one week theatrical run (April 5 – 11) at the reRun Theater in Brooklyn. Here is our profile on the filmmaker team and worth checking out is our accompanying original/combined personal Top Ten films list.
Eric Lavallee: During your childhood…what films were important to you?
Eleanor Burke: I remember going to the cinema as a very young child. The ceremony of it all was impressive: the velvet curtains, the hush as the lights went down. »
- Eric Lavallee
Ioncinema.com’s Ioncinephile of the Month feature focuses on an emerging filmmaker from the world of cinema. This March, we feature Tim Sutton, whose debut film Pavilion premiered almost one year to the day at the 2012 edition of the SXSW Film Festival. Factory 25 just released the film in New York (March 1st) with further dates to come. Below you’ll find our profile and Tim Sutton’s personal Top Ten films of all time can be found here.
Eric Lavallee: During your childhood…what films were important to you?
Tim Sutton: The first film I ‘saw’ in a movie theater was Bambi. And all that I can recall (through memory combined with the story told to me over the years) was that my father cried. As a kid, I dug Star Wars, Breaking Away, Ode to Billie Joe – I just remember feeling really sad during the scenes on that bridge) and loved, »
- Eric Lavallee
Odd List Aliya Whiteley Feb 19, 2013
Covering 85 years of cinema, Aliya provides her pick of 25 stylish, must-see French movies...
I’m going to kick this off in best New-Wave style by pointing out that we should be praising each great director’s body of work rather than showcasing favourite movies in a list format; after all, France came up with the concept of the auteur filmmaker, stamping their personality on a film, using the camera to portray their version of the world.
Yeah, well, personality is everything. So here’s a highly personal choice, arranged in chronological order, of 25 of the most individualistic French films. They may be long or short, old or new, but they all have one thing in common – they’ve got directorial style. And by that I don’t mean their shoes match their handbags.
The Passion Of Joan Of Arc (1928)
There are no stirring battle scenes, »
By Joey Magidson
For a filmmaker, it’s rare to make a real impact with your debut feature. Most of the time, you begin your career with a calling-card movie or a work that doesn’t fully express your true talent. There are, however, certain instances when a director is able to wow audiences and leave his or her mark on the film world right from the get-go.
This year, we’ve seen Benh Zeitlin make his debut with a film that many absolutely love in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Zeitlin’s freshman feature has been mentioned as one of the top debuts by a filmmaker in some time, so that got me thinking: What are the 10 best of all time?
Of course, there’s some level of subjectivity to this kind of a list. If I were strictly going off of my personal favorite debuts, people such as Judd Apatow, »
- Joey Magidson
17 items from 2013
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