15 items from 2016
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 »
- email@example.com (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
Above: UK one sheet for The Man Who Fell to Earth (Nicolas Roeg, UK, 1976). Designed and illustrated by Vic Fair.David Bowie, who left our planet this week, appeared in some 20 movies, but his appearances on movie posters are restricted to just a handful of films. Many of his roles, especially in later years, were cameos or small, but significant, character parts. He memorably played Pontius Pilate in Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Andy Warhol in Julian Schnabel’s Basquiat (1996), and Nikola Tesla in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige (2006); he appeared as himself in films as varied as Christiane F. (1981), Zoolander (2001) and Bandslam (2009); and he was endearingly strange as an FBI agent in the opening section of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992).His most important and iconic film role by far is his starring role as the titular alien in Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth »
- Adrian Curry
David Bowie in 'The Hunger' with Catherine Deneuve. David Bowie movies: Iconic singer memorable as fast-aging vampire in 'The Hunger,' Nikola Tesla in 'The Prestige' Singer and sometime actor David Bowie, one of the iconic figures of the English-language music scene of the second half of the 20th century, died of cancer yesterday, Jan. 10, '16. Bowie (born David Robert Jones in the London suburb of Brixton) had turned 69 on Jan. 8. His son, filmmaker Duncan Jones (Moon), has confirmed Bowie's death on Twitter. Bowie was seen in only a couple of dozen movies during his four-decade show business career. Among his most memorable film roles were those in the titles listed below. The Man Who Fell to Earth Directed by Nicolas Roeg (Walkabout, Don't Look Now) from a screenplay by Paul Mayersberg (based on a novel by Walter Tevis), The Man Who Fell to Earth »
- Andre Soares
15 items from 2016
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