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Rome — Jane Birkin, the British actress, singer and muse known for roles in films by Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean-Luc Godard, and Agnes Varda, among others – as well as for the Birkin Bag by Hermes – will be celebrated by the upcoming Locarno Film Festival.
Birkin, 69, is expected to attend the Swiss fest dedicated to indie and auteur cinema, which in a statement hailed her as “a transgressive voice, persona and epitome of panache in the 1960s.”
Birkin is also famous for her 1969 duet with French singer Serge Gainsbourg, her husband at the time, in the worldwide hit “Je t’aime…moi non plus.” The song segued into a film with the same title, directed by Gainsbourg.
- Nick Vivarelli
In a career fixated on the machinations of filmmaking presented through both a carnal and political eye, Brian De Palma’s fascinations converged idyllically with Blow Out. In his ode to the conceit of Blow Up — Michelangelo Antonioni’s deeply influential English-language debut, released 15 years prior — as well as the aural intrigue of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, De Palma constructs a conspiracy thriller as euphorically entertaining as it is devastatingly bleak.
In a fake-out opening — shot by Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown — that combines the voyeurism, nudity, and threat of murder that are De Palma’s calling cards, we see Coed Frenzy, the fifth movie in two years that sound technician Jack Terry (John Travolta) has done for the shlock director employing him. By showing the artifice of the B-movie, this film-in-a-film positions Blow Out as a more mature offering from the filmmaker, explicitly foreshadowed during the split-screen opening »
- Jordan Raup
Spoilers for The Neon Demon, which I recommend everyone see at least twice. Looking is everything in Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon. Besides being the kind of cinematic scopophilia masterpiece that we only seem to get every couple of decades (Blow Up; Peeping Tom), its narrative turns on two different definitions of the word "look." How good do you look? And who is looking at you? But first, another word on scopophilia. I admit to having an indulgent fondness for the male gaze. This is partially because (of course) I have one; and partially because for all its sinister primacy and connotations, the male gaze just seems so sweetly idiotic to me. As such, it's thrilling to me to see a male artist own...
[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »
Three films from 12 teams will be greenlit for production.Scroll down for full list of projects
UK film-making initiative iFeatures has revealed the teams and projects that will make up its fourth development slate.
Twelve teams and projects have been selected, of which three will be greenlit for production in 2017, each with a budget of £350,000 ($455,000).
The scheme, which has previously produced regional productions such as Guy Myhill’s award-winning The Goob, is overseen by Creative England with partners the BFI Film Fund, BBC Films and Creative Skillset.
The selected teams include Screen International Stars of Tomorrow Rob Savage, Emily Morgan and Joy Wilkinson; Sundance Fellowship winner Naz Sadoughi; and Ted Evans, one of the UK’s leading deaf filmmakers who directed and co-wrote the Paralympic Opening Ceremony film Look Up.
Between them the chosen teams have made films which have screened at Toronto, London and Sundance film festivals as well as FrightFest.
The selected »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Ryan Lambie Jul 4, 2016
Brian De Palma's 80s thriller Blow Out contains one of the era’s great shock endings. It shows why we need movies that challenge us...
Nb: This article contains spoilers for the 1981 film, Blow Out.
It all begins with a scream. Jack (John Travolta) is a sound technician working on a tawdry, low-budget slasher movie where the usual gaggle of photogenic teenagers gets hacked up by a knife-wielding maniac. The big problem for Jack is, the director doesn’t find the strangled, squeaky cry of the killer’s latest victim convincing enough. Jack and the director sit in the editing bay, glumly reviewing the footage, listening to the co-ed’s keening wail over and over again. Nope: it simply doesn’t work.
Jack’s quest to find a truthful-sounding, blood-curdling scream for the B-slasher provides the jumping-off point for Blow Out, director Brian De Palma’s mind-melting thriller murder, »
When one considers the work of Michelangelo Antonioni, the terms "crackling pace" and "dialogue heavy" likely do not spring to mind. Yet, both apply quite prominently to the director's 1955 female-centric drama, Le amiche (The Girlfriends). Within five short years the director's reputation would be cemented as one of the foremost auteurs on the buzzing "world cinema" landscape. With 1960's radically groundbreaking L'Avventura, Antonioni would permanently turn a corner into the philosophical and sociological avant-garde. When it came to crafting stylized visuals while communicating themes of alienation in the modern world, he was the undisputed maestro. This phase gave way to Antonioni, via his latest works, being loudly proclaimed, debated and anticipated. Films such as Red Desert (1964) and Blow-Up (1966), love them or hate...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The month of May’s home entertainment releases are ending on a strong note, especially if you’re a purveyor of cult cinema. This week boasts an incredible selection of classic films resurrected on high definition including Blood Bath, Venom, The Terror, Psychic Killer and a 12-movie collection from Film Chest.
Sony Home Entertainment is releasing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on various formats on May 31st and, for those of you who may have missed it in theaters, Alex Proyas’ Gods of Egypt is also coming home this Tuesday as well.
The films of Roger Corman are often as well-known for their behind-the-scenes stories as they are the ones unfolding on the screen. He famously made Little Shop of Horrors in just two days using sets left over from A Bucket of Blood and shot The Terror over »
- Heather Wixson
We’re living in the golden age of sad comedies. As The Sopranos heralded a darker and more complex era for antiheroic dramas, Louie has done the same for auteur-driven sitcoms. Transparent, BoJack Horseman, Baskets, and the upcoming Tig Notaro series One Mississippi (the latter two executive-produced by Louis C.K.) have injected isolation, melancholy, and existential... Lady Dynamite: Maria Bamford Tries To Blow Up the Sitcom For Netflix">Read more » »
- Inkoo Kang
Anne Marie here, bringing you the concrete facts from TCM Film Festival.
Francis Ford Coppola was honored twice at TCM Film Festival today. First, the legendary director added his hands and feet to the stars imprinted in the cement outside the Tcl Chinese Theatre. Son Roman Coppola, wife Eleanor, and fellow director and friend Peter Bogdonavich were also in attendance to honor the 77 year old legend at the ceremony.
Later, Coppola sat down at the Tcl Chinese Theatre with TCM host Ben Mankiewicz before a special screening of The Conversation. Mankiewicz and Coppola discussed the director's full 50 year career, and his (in)famous struggles to get his now-iconic films made in the first place. From fighting studio casting vetoes during The Godfather to self-financing Apocalypse Now, there seems to be no film in the director's oeuvre that he didn't have to fight for in some way. Quipped Mankiewicz, "Your stories »
- Anne Marie
It’s 50 years since Time declared London ‘swinging’ and foreign film-makers flocked to the capital to tells its stories. From A Hard Day’s Night to Blow-Up, the era-defining movies rolled out. But beneath the glam, paranoia, madness and violence were never far away
“This spring, as never before in modern times, London is switched on,” declared Time magazine in April 1966. “Ancient elegance and new opulence are all tangled up in a dazzling blur of op and pop. The city is alive with birds (girls) and Beatles, buzzing with Mini cars and telly stars, pulsing with half a dozen separate veins of excitement.” It’s the Swinging London we like to remember – through rose-tinted John Lennon glasses and a haze of incense and marijuana smoke. And you would have to admit, 50 years on, the city hasn’t swung like it since (no, “Cool Britannia” doesn’t come close), and probably never will, »
- Steve Rose
Nick Simon’s terrifying slasher film The Girl In The Photographs is currently impressing audiences in theaters and on VOD and rightfully so, it’s scary as hell. A very unique approach to the genre, Tgitp bypasses a lot of horror tropes, giving horror fans something different and is a film that will most definitely stay with you long after the credits roll. We had a chat with Nick regarding the film, as well as it being the last film master of horror Wes Craven produced before his passing last year. Read on!
How did this project come to fruition and at what point did Wes become involved?
The script was first conceived in 2010. Oz Perkins and myself were talking about how we would love to see something in the slasher realm that hasn’t been done for a while. We came up with the original ideas based on the »
- Jerry Smith
In the buildup to the release of the new Doom game, Shaun Eddleston takes a retrospective look at each of id Software’s Fps games series. First up is the pioneering Nazi-massacring Wolfenstein series…
In the 21st century, the “First Person Shooter” game is one of the most immensely popular (and commercially viable) type of video game available, and one which covers an astounding amount of different variations. From the modern hollywood-style action mainstays in the Call of Duty series, to the tactical multiplayer brilliance of CounterStrike, to the incredible open-world RPG-inspired shooters such as the FarCry series, it’s safe to say that it’s incredibly difficult to imagine a gaming world that doesn’t include this type of game; but it cannot be argued that every single one of these modern releases owe their existence to just one game. That game is 1992’s Wolfenstein 3D.
The game follows »
- Shaun Eddleston
Nick Simon‘s The Girl in the Photographs seems to be a story reverse-engineered from its final image — which, for a low-budget horror film, is an effective one. No spoilers here, and it wouldn’t matter if there were. By that point, it’s too little and far too late to redeem the film after we’ve been subjected to recycled horror tropes, which predictably clunk their way toward an unsettling final moment. Perhaps this should have been a short and not a ponderous, forgettable feature. In a sense, it’s a horror picture for the selfie generation — fitting, as the narrative is utterly vapid and shallow.
Colleen (Claudia Lee), a South Dakota waitress, begins finding posed photographs of murdered women left at the coffee shop where she works, uncertain if they’re real or staged. They indeed are: the photographers are a pair of deranged backwoods boys who lock »
- Tony Hinds
Chicago – There is a tremendous excitement when a fresh director voice is realized, and writer/director/actor Benjamin Dickinson is one such discovery. His feature film debut is ‘Creative Control’ – which like previous futuristic films ‘Ex Machina’ and ‘Her’– explores sex and relationships through our technological evolution.
The film is set in the near future, in Brooklyn, and involves an advertising agency on the cusp of landing their biggest account, a company whose application creates Augmented Reality (Ar). David (Benjamin Dickinson is lead actor as well) is the account facilitator, and begins to use the technology for strange purposes, as in building a hyper-realized version of his best friend’s girlfriend, Sophie (Alexia Rasmussen). This begins a rift with his own live-in girlfriend, Juliette (Nora Zehetner), and a change in relationship with his best friend Wim (Dan Gill), not to mention a downward spiral regarding the important client.
Director Benjamin Dickinson »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Hey creeps, as ya know I gave my two cents on the action adventure romp (with strong horror biz roots) Camino a few columns back (click here if the use of a search function is too much for ya). Anyway, I’m bringin’ this whole thing up because none other than that films die-rector Josh C. Waller just strolled into the Crypt o’ Xiii!
Famous Monsters. Welcome to my humble hovel Josh! How did Camino come about, and were there any ass-paining elements to the shoot?
Josh C Waller. The original idea came about while shooting The Boy in Colombia, but the project itself came together as a result of Daniel [Noah] and I having a last-minute gap in our production schedule and needing to fill that gap. The challenges that faced us aren’t necessarily ones unique to our film. They were the same types of obstacles that all independent filmmakers face. »
As a supplement to our Recommended Discs weekly feature, Peter Labuza regularly highlights notable recent home-video releases with expanded reviews. See this week’s selections below.
In 1987, Agnès Varda, one of the few female directors to emerge from the French New Wave, began a friendship with English superstar and model Jane Birkin. While Birkin had appeared as a cinematic object of desire as far back as Antonioni’s Blow-Up, Varda had no interest in continuing this trend. Instead, she listened. The resulting two films — one a documentary-like fiction, the other a fiction-like documentary — are signs of two major feminist icons of very different sorts finding ways to explore their own stories.
Their first collaboration might win an award for the most surprising title, given the subject matter, but Kung-Fu Master! does aptly describe one of the central metaphors in this gender-flipped Lolita narrative. Birkin plays a single mother named Mary-Jane »
- Peter Labuza
One of the best double features you could treat yourself to this year would be a back-to-back viewing of two Agnes Varda films starring Jane Birkin, rescued from obscurity in 2015 thanks to Cinelicious Pics. Both released originally in 1988, the imaginary bio-pic Jane B. Par Agnes V. and the provocative fictional narrative Kung-Fu Master! are available on a lovingly restored disc set (as the playful Venn diagram cover art implies, the titles are more inextricably connected than initially seems apparent). Both titles received a theatrical release at New York’s Lincoln Center, followed by a VOD release.
Jane B. Par Agnes V.
A playful exploration of the multi-faceted actress, singer, and icon Jane Birkin as she balances career choices and motherhood long after the initial scandals that brought her international attention. Filmed in tandem with their other collaboration, the fictional narrative Kung Fu Master!, both titles were released theatrically in 1988 when »
- Nicholas Bell
Cinelicious Pics, after releasing the films in theaters late last year, are releasing two of director Agnes Varda’s most interesting, and yet underseen, features on DVD and Blu-ray this week. Teaming Varda with actress Jane Birkin (best known for her turn in Blow Up), a pairing of a French New Wave icon and a multi-hyphenate actress/singer/model that would foster two truly breathtaking experiments the likes of which are rarely seen.
Entitled Jane B. Par Agnes V. and Kung-Fu Master!, we’ve previously reviewed both films during their theatrical run in Los Angeles, and here are a few thoughts about each film from your’s truly:
Jane B. Par Agnes V.:
Jane B. Par Agnes V. finds Varda at her most playful. Described by Varda, in the film itself, as “an imaginary bio-pic,” Jane is a faux-documentary about actress and singer Birkin, coming out of the idea »
- Joshua Brunsting
Great news for fans of Joel Schumacher's The Lost Boys—an auction of Dwayne's leather jacket and costume is going on right now and will continue until February 26th. Also: a Q&A with Refuge director Andrew Robertson and release details for MST3K: Vol. Xxxv, Venom, and The Hours Till Daylight.
The Lost Boys & Other Entertainment Memorabilia Auction: Press Release: "Prop Store is pleased to bring vampire Dwayne’s (Billy Wirth) Death Scene Leather Jacket and Costume from the 80’s classic The Lost Boys to their online auction site. Joel Schumacher’s 1987 vampire classic pitted a deadly group of vampires against a pair of brothers in a battle to save their family. The Dwayne vampire jacket on offer comes from the character’s death scene in which Sam (Corey Haim) shoots the vampire with an arrow, sending him back into a stereo which electrocutes him. Resembling a heavily worn biker outfit, »
- Tamika Jones
Stabbings, scaldings, hideous lacerations from broken glass and even more brutal manglings for our sanguinary delectation! Dario Argento's smartly directed murder mystery gives us David Hemmings as a jazz man in Rome, studying not photographic blowups but the hidden artwork of a disturbed child. With music by Goblin and striking Techniscope imagery by Luigi Kuveiller. Deep Red Region A+B Blu-ray Arrow Video (UK) 1975 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 127 & 105 min. / Street Date January 25, 2016 / Profondo Rosso / Available from Amazon UK £24.99 Starring David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia, Macha Méril, Eros Pagni, Giuliana Calandra, Piero Mazzinghi, Glauco Mauri, Clara Calamai, Nocoletta Elmi. Cinematography Luigi Kuveiller Editing Franco Fraticelli Original Music Goblin Written by Dario Argento, Bernardino Zapponi Produced by Claudio Argento, Salvatore Argento Directed by Dario Argento
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
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