12 items from 2014
Filmmaking doesn’t get more traditional or timeless than Chinese master Zhang Yimou’s “Coming Home,” a family drama of guilt, love and reconciliation set during the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Heartbreaking in its depiction of ordinary lives affected by political upheaval, this ode to the fundamental values that survive even under such dire circumstances has an epic gravity that recalls another great historical romance, “Doctor Zhivago.” While younger viewers may find Zhang’s classical style and grungy period backdrop too unfashionable to engage, the film’s rich melodramatic thrust has opened the floodgates for domestic audiences, grossing nearly $19.6 million in five days. Sony Classics will release the film Stateside.
“Coming Home” is adapted from the novel “The Criminal Lu Yanshi” by American-based novelist Yan Geling, whose “The 13 Flowers of Nanjing” was adapted into Zhang’s “The Flowers of War.” While Yan’s fiction traced Lu’s life from »
- Maggie Lee
Here we go again folks with another Top 25. Today I’ll be knocking off another one of the technical categories, with this one being the always elaborate Best Production Design field. The category is usually a feast for the eyes, but there’s plenty more to it than that. The sets and the environment on the whole are put on display here in an often magical way. I have a few specific titles I’ll be citing below, but I know the game here. You all mostly just want to see the lists anyway, so I have no problem obliging you there in that particular regard. All you have to do is just be patient over the next few paragraphs once again… This time around, I’m once again going the overview route, since as mentioned above the look of these winners is really what matters here. Also, it really »
- Joey Magidson
I absolutely need to watch more films starring German actor Klaus Kinski. Outside of his Werner Herzog appearances I've only seen him in Sergio Leone's For a Few Dollars More, David Lean's Doctor Zhivago and Sergio Corbucci's The Great Silence and with IMDb crediting him in over 130 films, I've clearly missed a few. Kinski had a raw intensity Herzog clearly knew how to exploit, most notably in Aguirre, The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo, films where the production was as harrowing if not more so than the stories they were telling making it hard to tell where Kinski the actor ends and his character begins. Within the confines of Herzog's 1999 documentary My Best Fiend - Klaus Kinski, we get a small glimpse of the man Herzog met when he was only a child as he returns to the now-renovated apartment where he first met Kinski. He takes us on a walking tour, »
- Brad Brevet
Tagline: "The Darkest Nazi Secret... is about to be Revealed." It has been a year since there has been any news on the horror feature Panzer Chocolate. Since 2013, the film has released in Spain and a trailer has also been released for the film. The clip looks inspired by 3D elements as chains cut through the camera lens. As well, the film stars Melina Matthews (Mama), Geraldine Chaplin (Doctor Zhivago), Ariadna Cabrol (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer), Tony Corvillo (Sleep Tight) and Mark Schardan. Film fans can see the latest on this title below. In the story, three friends and part time archaeology students set off in search of missing art. Lost in World War II, these three colleagues are looking for stolen prints, taken by the NAZIs. Instead of finding the artwork, they find a hideous beast, Das Kommandant Frank. Their encounter with Frank shortens their lifespans, considerably. »
- email@example.com (Michael Allen)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki; Screenwriter: Hayao Miyazaki; Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, William H Macy, Stanley Tucci, Werner Herzog; Running time: 127 mins; Certificate: PG
Hayao Miyazaki's big screen swan song The Wind Rises is a film as elegant and masterfully-constructed as the aircraft that lie at the heart of its story. More mature in outlook and thematic weight than Miyazaki's recent offerings Ponyo and Howl's Moving Castle, his 11th feature centres on Jiro Horikoshi, the Japanese engineer who pushed the boundaries of aircraft design in between the World Wars.
Jiro is an idealist and a dreamer, as a young boy he yearns to be a pilot but weak eye sight means he must settle on building planes. Legendary Italian engineer Giovanni Battista Caproni serves as his inspiration, mentoring Miyazaki's bespectacled hero in a series of stunningly-realised fantasy sequences.
"Airplanes are beautiful dreams," Caproni tells the young Jiro at one point. »
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The single greatest aspect of the wide expansion and adoption of blu-ray on home video is that underseen films like The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) are reborn for a new generation looking as good or better than they ever did in cinemas. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness is an epic biography of Gladys Aylward (Ingrid Bergman) and her joyfully tenacious attraction to missionary work in China in the early half of the 20th century. While it is not a masterpiece, it is a thoroughly pleasant film that will appeal to many, whether fans of Bergman, historical epics, exotic travel, or plain old classics. Most plot summaries describe the long trek Gladys undertook to bring children out of harm's way, but there is a great deal more to it than that. It is a film like many others--South Pacific (1958), The King and I (1956), Dances with Wolves »
- Jason Ratigan
Last Monday, “Captain Phillips” director Paul Greengrass gave an hour-long speech as part of the David Lean Lecture, an annual event held by BAFTA where they bring in some of the world’s greatest filmmakers. Greengrass talked about his early years and how he went from making documentaries in the UK to commercial films in Hollywood. And, on a serious note, he talked about the struggles that British directors have to face on a regular basis, as they constantly fight for control over their work. Greengrass’s passionate speech displayed a great concern for the future of UK cinema. He spent much time extolling the greatness of David Lean, but worried about “the David Leans of tomorrow.” Paul Greengrass told the audience at the lecture that directing movies is a futile, but worthwhile attempt to recapture the childhood experience of watching a movie. Greengrass’s passion for movies came from »
- Ken Guidry
For the rest of his career, the words "Oscar winner" will precede the name of Alfonso Cuarón, and it's certainly been a journey to get there. The director's latest, "Gravity," was a labor of love, technology and the faith it would turn out, with the years-in-the-making film turning out to be not only a box office hit, but an awards season favorite, ultimately walking away with two of the three major trophies it was nominated for. But before he had the golden statue to put on his mantle, he was still another flimmaker with an excellent body of work hoping to get to the next level. Back in January, Cuarón sat down with BAFTA for an hour-long talk about his career, and for any fans, it's well worth a watch. The director discusses how films like "The Bicycle Thief" and "Doctor Zhivago" first stirred his interested in moviemaking, his opinion »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Amazon has two great deals going on right now for a couple of impressive Blu-ray collections. The first is the Bond 50: The Complete 23 Film Collection, which also includes Skyfall along with over 120 hours of extras, including "World of Bond", "Being Bond", "Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style" and "Skyfall Videoblogs" for only $119.99, which is 60% off the $300 list price. This week's deal also includes three HD digital copies of past Bond movies. If you're interested, click here to buy it. Next is the Best of Warner Bros 50 Film Collection, which includes the following 50 titles along with Ultraviolet digital copies of each with the * noting Best Picture winners. Grand Hotel* (1932) Mutiny on the Bounty* (1935) Wizard of Oz (1939) Gone with The Wind* (1939) Maltese Falcon, The (1941) Mrs. Miniver* (1942) Casablanca* (1942) Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948) Streetcar Named Desire, A (1951) American in Paris, An* (1951) Singin' in the Rain (1952) Gigi* (1958) North By Northwest (1959) Ben-Hur »
- Brad Brevet
Berlin — Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are set to star in rising British helmer Andrew Haigh’s “45 Years,” which is being repped in international markets by The Match Factory. Haigh is the director and exec producer of the well-received HBO show “Looking.”
“45 Years,” which will start to shoot this spring, follows Kate Mercer in the five days leading up to her 45th wedding anniversary. The planning for the party is going well, but then a letter arrives for her husband. The body of his first love has been discovered, frozen and preserved in the icy glaciers of the Swiss Alps. By the time the party is upon them, five days later, there may not be a marriage left to celebrate.
- Leo Barraclough
‘Ryan’s Daughter’ actor Christopher Jones dead at 72: Quit acting following nervous breakdown after Sharon Tate murder, in later years turned down Quentin Tarantino movie offer Christopher Jones, who had a key role in David Lean’s 1970 romantic epic Ryan’s Daughter, died of complications from gallbladder cancer last Friday, January 31, 2014, at Los Alamitos Medical Center, approximately 35 km southwest of downtown Los Angeles. Christopher Jones (born William Franklin Jones on August 18, 1941, in Jackson, Tennessee) was 72. After growing up in a children’s home, joining the army at 16 and then going Awol, being handpicked by Tennessee Williams for a small role in the playwright’s The Night of the Iguana in 1961, and starring in the television series The Legend of Jesse James (1965-1966), Christopher Jones began getting film roles. His first was the title role in Allen H. Miner’s 1967 clash-of-generations drama Chubasco, in which Jones plays a misunderstood youth »
- Andre Soares
Moments in to our interview with T-Bone Burnett, the creative, musical force behind the Coen brother’s latest production, Inside Llewyn Davis, the esteemed producer set fire to a small piece of Palo Santo (a Peruvian wood). Giving off a striking, memorable smell to create a placid and relaxed ambiance, Burnett then proceeded to sit back and discuss his continuous work with the Coens, while also delving into a series of conspiracy theories.
Giving off an inherent scepticism towards the world wide web, it probably means that Burnett, whose previous credits include O Brother Where Art Thou? And Crazy Heart, is unlikely to be an avid follower of HeyUGuys – which is a shame, because let’s just say this is one of the more intriguing conversations we’ve ever had (and yes, the prominent aroma of the burning incense probably helped).
This isn’t the first time you’ve collaborated »
- Stefan Pape
12 items from 2014
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