9 items from 2014
It’s set in Algeria in 1954 at the start of that country’s bloody rebellion against French colonial rule that would engulf both sides, memorably depicted in an urban environment in Gillo Pontecorvo‘s The Battle Of Algiers and given a fresh perspective here.
Vigo Mortensen plays Daru, who lives by himself in the high plateau and teaches the local Algerian children, about 5 – 8 years old, who adore him. We assume he’s covering a wide range of topics because he’s on geography when the story starts.
But Daru’s teachings are interrupted. As a reservist in the French army he is charged with taking a man to justice in Tinguit, a town a day’s walk away. »
I'm not sure what the deal is this week, but there are pretty much no new releases to discuss seriously in terms of purchasing. Thankfully, that opens the door for you to use all that money you've saved up for the Barnes & Noble 50% Off Criterion sale. I posted an article yesterday with a bunch of recommendations, which you can check out here, but here were the top eleven suggestions: Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Persona Breathless 8 1/2 Seven Samurai Yojimbo and Sanjuro The Battle of Algiers The Seventh Seal Sweet Smell of Success The Wages of Fear The Night of the Hunter The fact you can now get the Zatoichi collection of 25 films for only $112 when it's regularly $224 is a steal. I own this set and have been watching Zatoichi movies since Christmas and have gone through 23 of them so far and still have the special features to watch. So check out those titles, »
- Brad Brevet
Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and while it's impossible to suggest titles that will suit everyone looking to beef up their collection at this perfect time of year, I will do my best to offer some suggestions. Let's get to it... My Absolute First Pick I am almost done going through this collection and it was a collection I got for Christmas under these exact circumstances. Typically priced at $224.99, you can now get this amazing set of 25 Zatoichi films for only $112. Box sets, in my opinion, are what sales like this were made for. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Next Ten Recommendations It isn't easy so this is a collection of just some of my favorite films (of all-time and within the collection) and a little variety, though pretty much my standard, go to Criterion first picks, especially if you are just starting out. Persona Breathless »
- Brad Brevet
Top twenty. Now we start to see the more widely recognizable films that people have some emotional attachment to. World War II gets a few mentions in this portion of the list, but this is one of the more diverse sections, overall. We get a mention of the Boer War, the Algerian War, and the Korean War, as well as the only movie about the American Civil War on this list.
20. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
Conflict: Boer War, World War I, World War II
The only film on the list that spans multiple wars is also probably the least battle-focused film on the list. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is told through an extended flashback, following Major-General Clive Wynne-Candy (Roger Livesey) as he rises through the ranks of the British military from war to war. The flashback is »
- Joshua Gaul
“Proposition for a Revolution” is a feature documentary chronicling the journey of India’s Aam Aadmi Party (Aap), from its birth to fighting its debut elections in New Delhi.
Over the last few years, the world saw a wave of spontaneous peoples’ movements, from Arab Springs to the Occupy Movement to India’s very own anti-corruption Janlokpal movement, where people came out on the streets in large numbers, asking for stronger anti-corruption laws. What is unique in the Indian story is that some of the protesters decided to form a political party and fight statewide elections in New Delhi. Our film chronicles the journey of the Aam Aadmi Party or the Common Man’s Party from its formation in November 2012 to the Delhi state elections in December 2013. Our documentary film is currently in post-production stage with over 400 hours of footage. We are editing right now. We seek your support to »
- Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla
I recently came across this image (on the lovely black and white photography Tumblr Green Eyes 55) and was of course struck by the element at its center. The 1961 photograph is of a street corner bar in Algeria, taken by the great French documentarian Raymond Depardon, but its focal point is a French movie poster for a 1956 British espionage thriller, Passport to Treason.
The poster is striking even from a distance so, once I tracked it down, it wasn’t a surprise to find out that it is by the great French poster artist Constantin Belinsky (1904-1999). The prolific and talented Belinsky was always capable of turning the dreariest of B-movies (which, from the little I’ve been able to read about it, Passport to Treason seems to have been, despite the participation of future Miss Moneypenny, Lois Maxwell) into something luridly spectacular and eye-grabbing, and the thought of these colors »
- Adrian Curry
Looking for any excuse, Landon Palmer and Scott Beggs are using the 2012 Sight & Sound poll results as a reason to take different angles on the best movies of all time. Every week, they’ll discuss another entry in the list, dissecting old favorites from odd angles, discovering movies they haven’t seen before and asking you to join in on the conversation. Of course it helps if you’ve seen the movie because there will be plenty of spoilers. This week, they bow to the ethical and empathetic complexity of a movie violently opposed to the inhumane destruction of conflict: Gillo Pontecorgo’s The Battle of Algiers. In the #48 (tied) movie on the list, resistance fighters hoping for Algerian freedom from France square off against French soldiers — each employing their own methods of madness — with regular citizens in the crossfire. But why is it one of the best movies of all time? Scott: »
- FSR Staff
With all due respect to Godard, who declared, “Every cut is a lie,” Paul Greengrass has pioneered a style that relies on editing to bring audiences closer to reality than any other studio director working today.
That achievement more than justifies the American Cinema Editors’ choice to name Greengrass the org’s Filmmaker of the Year, to say nothing of the edited feature (dramatic) nomination awarded to his chief cutter, Christopher Rouse, for “Captain Phillips.”
Over the span of 10 years, Greengrass and Rouse have rewritten the rules for action editing, bringing an illusion of spontaneous immediacy to carefully choreographed set pieces. The duo wouldn’t dare take credit for inventing this immersive, documentary-style aesthetic — which has roots in such pseudo-newsreel productions as 1966’s “The Battle of Algiers” (placing auds in the midst of dynamic, unpredictable situations) — though they have virtually perfected it in their five features together.
“Paul is one »
- Peter Debruge
The Oscar race is never a dull one and that couldn’t be any more apparent than in the race for Best Foreign Language film. This year is certainly shaping up to be a battle of David vs. Goliath if you looked at the histories of the countries competing. In one corner, you have Italy, with a whopping 12 wins in this category, facing off with a country like Cambodia, with no Oscar nominations. But such is the beauty of the awards season and the Oscars. So before the nominations come out, here’s an Oscar primer to get you caught up on the Foreign Language films.
Belgium – 2013 Nominee: The Broken Circle Breakdown
Logline/Synopsis: Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He’s a romantic atheist, she’s a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, »
- Terence Johnson
9 items from 2014
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