9 items from 2015
Director of Guatemala-u.S. road movie-thriller “La jaula de oro” (The Golden Dream), a standout Latin American debut, Spain-born Mexican Diego Quemada-Diez is readying political thriller “Operacion Atlas” as he launches an Academy Award campaign for his first feature.
Winner of a Cannes Un Certain Talent Award, “Jaula” tracks three teens, one a young Tzxotzil native, from Guatemala across the length of Mexico as they dodge migration cops, clash with gangs and travel on train-tops to a white-knuckle climax on the U.S.-Mexico border.
After immigration, “Operacion Atlas” takes another hot-button issue: Civil resistance to multinational corporation development projects backed by local governments – hydroelectric dams, massive deforestation and various fossil-fuel programs (oil, mining, fracking) – which is a recurrent narrative throughout Latin America.
As he made his own shorts – such as American Film Institute graduation film “A Table is a Table” which won an Asc Best Cinematography award, Quemada-Diez »
- John Hopewell
The Barnes & Noble sale may have ended a couple of weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still buy some Criterion Collection releases for 50% off. Best Buy is currently having a 50% off sale on a number of Criterion releases, and Amazon has begun to match their prices.
Thanks to everyone for supporting our site by buying through our affiliate links.
A note on Amazon deals, for those curious: sometimes third party sellers will suddenly appear as the main purchasing option on a product page, even though Amazon will sell it directly from themselves for the sale price that we have listed. If the sale price doesn’t show up, click on the “new” options, and look for Amazon’s listing.
I’ll keep this list updated throughout the week, as new deals are found, and others expire. If you find something that’s wrong, a broken link or price difference, »
- Ryan Gallagher
Werner Herzog is no less a showman than he is an artist (some would readily say more so), making it no surprise that his film school is driven by the same wild man, God-against-all attitude that’s allowed a New German Cinema figurehead to make guest appearances on Parks & Recreation. The outlet, Rogue Film School, has an about page stresses that spirit, or so I’m inclined to think when it says they “will not teach anything technical related to film-making” — heading to “your local film school” is encouraged if you wish for something else — but do tell their students about how to pick a lock, enjoy being shot at (while also missed), “[the] creation of your own shooting permits,” etc. [Open Culture]
Also on their page is a required-reading and -viewing list, albeit one far shorter than you’d otherwise expect. (They don’t teach the technical sides of filmmaking, after all. »
- Nick Newman
Quentin Tarantino first met composer Ennio Morricone at the Cannes premiere of “Inglourious Basterds.” A longtime fan of Spaghetti Westerns like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” featuring some of Morricone’s most iconic work, and “The Grand Duel,” scored by Morricone contemporary Luis Bacalov, Tarantino used some of the maestro’s work from “The Battle of Algiers,” “The Big Gundown” and “Allonsanfàn” in the film. He also later used elements from “Two Mules for Sister Sara” and “The Hellbenders” in the 2012 slavery drama “Django Unchained,” as well as an original song, “Ancora Qui.”
However, Morricone reportedly told a group of film students in Rome in 2013 that he wasn’t happy with the way Tarantino “places music in his films without coherence,” and reportedly said he “wouldn’t like to work with him again, on anything.” He later said all of that had been misconstrued. “I never made a »
- Kristopher Tapley
People always ask me what my all time favorite film is. That’s a question with an impossible answer. I can’t name just one. But, stuck for an answer, I always tell them it’s the 1966 film "The Battle of Algiers" by Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo.. The film (which is available in a deluxe 3 blu-ray DVD set from Criterion) is a searing and exciting docudrama which deals with the beginnings of the Algerian Resistance movement in the late 50′s to throw French colonialists out of the country and gain independence. I don’t have enough words to tell you about that film. It’s perfect as far as I’m concerned, and I urge all readers out there to check it out. But this piece »
Yet another European art film director tries his hand at cerebral Sci-fi. Alain Resnais' openly experimental movie uses a generic time travel framework to, what else, explore the phenomenon of memory. Suicidal melancholic Claude Rich is projected back exactly one year, for exactly one minute. What could go wrong? Je t'aime, je t'aime Blu-ray Kino Classics 1968 / Color /1:66 widescreen / 94 min. / Street Date November 10, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Claude Rich, Olga Georges-Picot, Anouk Ferjac. Cinematography Jean Boffety Film Editors Albert Jurgenson, Colette Leloup Original Music Krzysztof Penderecki Written by Jacques Sternberg, Alain Resnais Produced by Mag Bodard Directed by Alain Resnais
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
My very first UCLA film class in the Fall of 1970 dispatched us to the Vagabond Theater to see a double bill of two 'art' movies that play fast and loose with narrative conventions: Luis Buñuel's Ensayo de un Crimen and Alain Resnais' Je t'aime, »
- Glenn Erickson
Criterion has announced six new Blu-ray releases as part of its May line-up of the digitally remastered Criterion Collection. Two of the most notable releases are Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight and Bette Midler-starrer The Rose, which are scheduled for release on May 19th.
The full line-up, with technical specifications and artworks, are listed below:
Bette Midler exploded onto the screen with her take-no-prisoners performance in this quintessential film about fame and addiction from director Mark Rydell. Midler is the rock-and-roll singer Mary Rose Foster (known as the Rose to her legions of fans), whose romantic relationships and mental health are continuously imperiled by the demands of life on the road. Incisively scripted by Bo Goldman and beautifully shot by Vilmos Zsigmond (with assistance on the dazzling concert scenes by a host of other world-class cinematographers, including Conrad L. Hall, László Kovács, Owen Roizman, and Haskell Wexler), this »
- Scott J. Davis
Editor's Note: RogerEbert.com is proud to reprint Roger Ebert's 1978 entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica publication "The Great Ideas Today," part of "The Great Books of the Western World." Reprinted with permission from The Great Ideas Today ©1978 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
It's a measure of how completely the Internet has transformed communication that I need to explain, for the benefit of some younger readers, what encyclopedias were: bound editions summing up all available knowledge, delivered to one's home in handsome bound editions. The "Great Books" series zeroed in on books about history, poetry, natural science, math and other fields of study; the "Great Ideas" series was meant to tie all the ideas together, and that was the mission given to Roger when he undertook this piece about film.
Given the venue he was writing for, it's probably wisest to look at Roger's long, wide-ranging piece as a snapshot of the »
- Roger Ebert
Having made his debut feature with the acclaimed 2008 thriller The Escapist, British filmmaker Rupert Wyatt directed the hugely successful Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes in 2011. Reviving a franchise that had long since slipped into the doldrums, it was hailed as a summer film with an all-too-rare streak of intelligence.
Wyatt's latest film is a very different proposition: a remake of the 1974 film starring James Caan, The Gambler is a slickly-written drama about a college professor (an against-the-grain Mark Wahlberg) in hock to some very dangerous people. With his debts mounting, Wahlberg's gambler resorts to a series of schemes to try to pay his way out of trouble, only for his self-destructive nature to send him sinking further into the mire.
As The Gambler's UK release approaches, we catch »
9 items from 2015
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