13 items from 2015
It’s nice to watch indie filmmakers take a leap and stick the landing. Filmmaker Alex Ross Perry went from the world of micro-indies to bigger budget indies and while that jump may not seem so big to the outsider, his astronomical growth has positioned him as an heir apparent to Woody Allen, Noah Baumbach, Whit Stillman and their ilk thanks to the hyper literate world of last year’s “Listen Up Philip.” But perhaps to show that he’s got lots of tricks up his sleeve beyond just erudite and acidic characters, Perry takes a strong left turn with his latest film, “Queen of Earth.” A psychological drama with caustic humor, Perry takes a page out of the Roman Polanski playbook (think “Repulsion” and “Rosemarie’s Baby”) to create a claustrophobic, paranoid chamber drama about eroding sanity and crumbling friendship between two females mired in class and privilege issues »
- Edward Davis
His first name may translate as "cool breeze over the mountains" but it's more a case of "shitstorm in the kitchen" for Keanu Reeves in exploitation homage Knock Knock. The Eli Roth home-invasion thriller has a new trailer to watch below.Knock Knock finds Reeves as a seemingly happily married man living with his wife (Ignacia Allamand) when two beautiful young women (Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas) show up. They seduce him and end up wrecking his perfect life. With knives and guns and whatever else comes to hand. Ouch.It's another chance to see Reeves doing genre work, with John Wick's success - and planned sequel - showing there's plenty of appetite for that. On this evidence, though, he's on the receiving end of the majority of the punishment, until the tables, presumably, get turned.Roth has billed this one as a "psychosexual thriller" in the spirit »
This is a tale of chance encounters.1) René Clair is in London, making The Ghost Goes West (1935). Something of a flaneur, he has strolled down to the East End, and his noctivagation leads him to a Limehouse pub which strikes him with an intense but mysterious feeling of déjà vu."Of course!" he suddenly thinks. "D.W. Griffith: Broken Blossoms!" The pub is the very image of Griffith's Hollywood recreation of Victorian London from his 1919 film.And there, at the bar, sits D.W. Griffith himself. Clair approaches this mirage and learns that Griffith is in London to direct a remake of Broken Blossoms at Twickenham Studios. Drink is taken.2) All this comes from screenwriter Rodney Ackland's bittersweet memoir of his work in British cinema, The Celluloid Mistress, co-written with Elspeth Grant. He further explains that his idolisation of Griffith prompted him to volunteer his services in any capacity as »
- David Cairns
We’re going back to the Overlook Hotel! Okay fine, it’s technically one of the three “Overlook Hotels” related to Stephen King’s classic novel, The Shining, but for our money it’s the coolest due largely to the Stanley Film Fest. This year’s fest will be its third incarnation after debuting in 2013. We attended and loved that inaugural weekend, and while we missed last year’s festivities their latest announcement has us excited to return to Estes, Co later this month. The lineup includes twenty feature films consisting of festival favorites (The Final Girls, The Treatment, The Invitation, Deathgasm and We Are Still Here to name a few) and three world premieres (Sun Choke, Some Kind of Hate and the highly intriguing-sounding Director’s Commentary: The Terror of Frankenstein). They’re also screening five older films including the likes of David Cronenberg’s Shivers, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and the eternally awesome Re-Animator which »
- Rob Hunter
Earlier this week, we gave you details on first wave of special experiences and events taking place at the 2015 Stanley Film Festival. We now have details on their impressive slate of features, short films, and additional special events, including screenings of The Final Girls, Deathgasm, Stung, The Invitation, and We Are Still Here.
We're teaming up with the festival for live coverage and special opportunities for Daily Dead readers, so be sure to check back all month for contests, features, and more.
"April 2, 2014 (Denver, Co) - The Stanley Film Festival (Sff) produced by the Denver Film Society (Dfs) and presented by Chiller, announced today its Closing Night film, Festival lineup and the 2015 Master of Horror. The Festival will close out with The Final Girls. The film, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, is the story of a young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, »
- Jonathan James
The most acclaimed film of this weekend's theatrical release crop? Not "Cinderella," as it turns out. No, the critical winner is actually writer/director David Robert Mitchell's "It Follows," a low-budget horror film about a group of teens being stalked by an evil sex-monster. Not even kidding! From own Drew McWeeny's review out of Cannes: "At its best, the film has moments that are creepy and that work on some strange primal level. Many of the manifestations of the angry force in this film are played by people who are oddly visually striking, like an enormously tall and oddly-shaped man or a guy with a weird pinched rodent face and jug ears." Can't help it, I want to see this. Where better to learn about the perils of intercourse than from a horror movie? Not that it would be the first time -- from Roman Polanski's 1965 Catherine Deneuve »
- Chris Eggertsen
(This review pertains to the UK Region 2 video releases).
By Adrian Smith
Michael Armstrong, the writer and star of Eskimo Nell,once said, "It's hard to wank and laugh at the same time". In the 1970s filmmakers gave it a very good try however, and the British sex comedy was virtually the only kind of film being funded. The problem is that the majority of them were neither funny or sexy. They were generally grubby and embarrassing for the actors and the audience. One of the pioneers of the British sex film was director and producer Stanley Long, responsible for The Wife Swappers (1969) and Adventures of a Taxi Driver (1975) and many others. An occasional cinematographer on prestigious films like Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965), Long often recognised and nurtured new talent, particularly if he could see a financial reward.
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Alex Ross Perry is a more than promising young director. He courageously combines intimacy, humor and a sense for cinematic language and form. Nevertheless, his latest, Queen of Earth, is a step back for the young director in terms of maturity and individuality, especially compared to his impressive Listen Up Philip. In Queen of Earth, the director aims at the same time for greatness and modesty. The modesty comes from working with fewer people, fewer locations, and a smaller budget than in his previous film while the greatness follows in the footsteps of directors like Ingmar Bergman and Roman Polanski. To be frank, one can easily speak of a rather cheap copy/combination of Persona and Repulsion. But there is something in the faces of his characters...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Early in “Female Pervert,” someone describes a novel as — wink, wink! nudge, nudge! — “sort of fun, like a quirky indie comedy.” That line may be meant as a cue, or perhaps even a plea, to the audience. But it only serves to underscore what a laugh-free zone this self-indulgent trifle really is. At once fleeting and plodding, writer-director Jiyoung Lee’s film focuses on a young Asian-American woman whose social awkwardness and sexual obsessions evidently are intended to be amusing and engaging. Trouble is, they are neither. After a spin through the fest circuit, oblivion awaits.
Phoebe (Jennifer Kim), an attractive videogame designer, finds it difficult to meet Mr. Right, quite possibly because of her eccentric requests — she asks one guy to play her Theremin with his penis, and another to let her clip his pubic hair — early in the dating cycle. It helps little that her clueless therapist is a conspiracy buff and 9/11 truther, »
- Joe Leydon
Kristen Stewart, Catherine Deneuve make César Award history (photo: Kristen Stewart in 'Clouds of Sils Maria,' with Juliette Binoche) Kristen Stewart and Catherine Deneuve are two 2015 César Award nominees making history. The French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Crafts announced the nominations on Jan. 28, 2015; the César Awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 20, 2015, at Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet. Kristen Stewart is in the running in the Best Supporting Actress category for Clouds of Sils Maria / Sils Maria. Catherine Deneuve has been shortlisted as Best Actress for In the Courtyard / Dans la cour. So, how are Stewart and Deneuve making César history? Well, let's begin with "the expected one": Deneuve. Catherine Deneuve One of the biggest film icons ever, Catherine Deneuve is one of those relatively rare international film superstars who has never bothered with – or needed – a Hollywood career. Deneuve, who turned 71 last October 22, has been »
- Steve Montgomery
In today's roundup of news and views: Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin suggest that we "re-imagine" Roman Polanski's Repulsion "as a Béla Tarr film." Plus Adrian Martin on Walerian Borowczyk, Jonathan Rosenbaum on Tsai Ming-liang's Stray Dogs, Jason Z. Resnikoff on the contrasting views of the future between Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and Ridley Scott's Alien, Wayne Koestenbaum and Sérgio Dias Branco on Guy Maddin, Joshua Rothman on Werner Herzog, Grady Hendrix on Tsui Hark, Michael Sicinski on Gabe Klinger's documentary on James Benning and Richard Linklater—and more. » - David Hudson »
“Inside every narrative film is a non-narrative film struggling to get out.” Here is a wonderfully distinctive video essay from critics Adrian Martin and Christina Álvarez López that reimagines Roman Polanski’s Repulsion as the work of Béla Tarr. Zeroing in on “the dank spaces and the dead moments, the images of food-as-object, the cycle of everyday activities, the endless, implacable passages of walking,” and other Tarr associated imagery, Martin and López explore filmmaking as elementary particles, tonally rearrangeable in line with a director’s vision and story. In a supplementary write-up at Mubi, the two cite Jonathan Rosenbaum’s review of The Tenant, wherein […] »
- Sarah Salovaara
The fifth entry in an on-going series of audiovisual essays by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin.
Inside every narrative film is a non-narrative film struggling to get out. A film of details, of in-betweens, of atmospheres; of nothing-much-happening and everyday banality. A film of redundant repetition and obligatory scene-setting. A film where glances fall into the void rather than guiding a drama; where gestures and actions happen for their own sakes rather than for the symbolic or thematic meaning they project. A film where the background surges forward and becomes the foreground; where rooms and objects for once really do become (as that lousy reviewing cliché loves to say) ‘characters in their own right.’
A film without intrigue. Or, at any rate, only the most minimal filigree of intrigue, perhaps a single turning point or shock. In their great and too-little-known 1998 book To Dress a Nude: Exercises in Imagination, »
- Cristina Álvarez López & Adrian Martin
13 items from 2015
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