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Could 1990 comedy Home Alone be the best Christmas movie of all time? James lays out his argument...
Gremlins is great and Elf is ace. Bad Santa is bitchin' and The Muppets Christmas Carol is sensational, inspirational, celebrational and Muppetational. Die Hard is dead good, Miracle On 34th Street is magic and It's A Wonderful Life is truly, erm, wonderful.
None of them, though, can confidently state that they are the Best Christmas Movie of All Time. Only one film can claim that title, and that film is Home Alone, which is undoubtedly and without question the Best Christmas Movie of All Time. There's legitimate space for a debate as to whether Home Alone 2: Lost In New York deserves the prestigious label but, really, with Home Alone being the original article I think it's only right that we let it stand as number one.
There's a chance that this might be news to you, »
That Swedish legend directed her in more than ten films including Persona, Cries and Whispers, and Face to Face for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. She offers me a warm smile, touches my shoulder and says “oh, thank you”. During our conversation I realize how much she “talks” with her hands, which she uses to draw figures on a table, to mimic camera moves and also to touch her face in an expression of awe, as she talks about the work of the actors she directed in her adaptation of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie (opening today in NYC).
She hadn’t directed a film in almost fifteen years (since 2000’s Faithless), but was compelled to return »
Chicago – Evoking the name Liv Ullmann is to bring back one of the more glorious and creative periods of Scandinavian cinema, especially the films of Ingmar Bergman. The actress has directed her seventh film, the passionate adaptation of an August Strindberg play, “Miss Julie,” featuring Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell.
Ms. Ullmann’s film was the opening night feature of the 50th Chicago International Festival, and will be released in New York City on December 5th, and selected cities thereafter. Written by famed playwright August Strindberg, and adapted by Ullmann, the three person drama takes place in 1890 at an Irish baron’s estate. Two characters – a male valet and mistress of the manor – have a sexually tense struggle to reconcile their feelings for each other. Ullmann conjures up a charged and tragic atmosphere, and the three actors – Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton – give memorable performances.
Liv Ullmann at »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
It’s always interesting to see actors get involved with different levels of movie making and both Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell hold a great presence in the big movies and the smaller ones, the latter applying to this first trailer for Miss Julie.
Directed by Liv Ullmann (Faithless, Persona) and co-starring the excellent Samantha Morton, this first look is full of a sensual nature that’s simmering around boiling point, Miss Julie depicts a fierce battle between a man and a woman, a struggle for power and dominance shown through a cruel and compulsive game of seduction and repulsion – And already looks miles more intelligent than the likes of 50 Shades…
Set on a country estate in Ireland in the 1880s and over the course of one midsummer night, Miss Julie and John, her father’s valet, dance and drink, charm and manipulate each other. As things turn seductive and savage, »
- Dan Bullock
Though director Olivier Assayas’ latest project, Idol’s Eye, looks to have been shelved due to funding issues, his film Clouds of Sils Maria is just getting prepped for theatrical distribution here in the states after wowing audiences on the festival circuit. The film premiered at Cannes to a warm reception thanks to its charactorially complex and mysterious tale of an aging actress and her personal assistant which coaxed a pair of stunning performances out of Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart in the leading roles.
After the film’s North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September, I had the opportunity to sit down with the soft spoken, but cinematically articulate Assayas to discuss how he came to center the film around aging and how a person’s relationship with art changes as one ages, as well as the film’s strong resemblance of Ingmar Bergman »
- Jordan M. Smith
I am walking into a play, my most highly anticipated production of the year – Ivo Van Hove’s adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s 1973 film Scenes from a Marriage at New York Theater Workshop in the East Village. Obviously Bergman is a cinematic legend; he’s also my personal favorite artist. Van Hove’s stage adaptations tend to have a very different aesthetic than the films upon which they are based, but they are colored with the same emotional hysteria that deeply affected me when first watching Persona at the impressionable age of 20. Years later, Persona still takes my breath away. In […] »
- Taylor Hess
Following the trailer that heralded its premier at the Toronto International Film Festival a couple of months ago, here's a Miss Julie promo for the rest of us. Jessica Chastain takes the title role in Liv Ullmann's adaptation of the August Strindberg play. Collin Farrell and Samantha Morton make up the other two points in the psychologically fraught love triangle.Strindberg wrote the play in 1888, but while Ulllmann's film keeps to that period, the location has been changed from Sweden to Northern Ireland. The drama plots the events of a single night on the estate of an aristocrat. Chastain Miss Julie is the Count's daughter, who in an upstairs-downstairs tryst that would probably make Downton Abbey explode, first toys with but gradually falls for footman Jean (Farrell). Their mind-gamey shenanigans tale place under the baleful gaze of the cook, Christine (Morton) who also happens to be Jean's fiancee.If »
Justin Simien’s Sundance-awarded campus comedy “Dear White People” has made a real buzz at Stockholm, with screening sold out and additional screenings added during festival’s last weekend. Since its U.S. release last month through Roadside Attractions, the film has earned more than $3 million. Pic is also about to be sold to Scandinavian territory.
Variety’s Jon Asp chatted with the director during the fest in the Swedish capital.
Variety: How has a year with the film been like, from Sundance till now?
Simien: It’s been enlightening and profound to say the least watching this film with so many different audiences. I’m so happy and grateful the response has been both
enthusiastic and thoughtful on the whole.
Variety: Could you foresee all this attention?
Simien: Since American filmmakers, particular ones dealing with racial subject matter, are oftentimes told by industry “experts” their films won’t travel »
- Jon Asp
While we have some new titles to look at this week, I want to point out to you that Barnes & Noble is having its 50% off Criterion sale right now and I've already posted a massive article offering a look at several titles I would personally recommend, including The Complete Jacques Tati and Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman as well as a selection of favorites and new 2014 titles to consider... Here's a snippet of that: A Selection of My Absolute Favorites Persona Breathless 8 1/2 Seven Samurai Yojimbo and Sanjuro The Battle of Algiers The Seventh Seal Sweet Smell of Success The Wages of Fear The Night of the Hunter New Recommendations for 2014 2014 offered plenty of new titles to consider from top directors and classics in desperate need of a proper upgrade. Here are a few of my favorites. New David Lynch and David Cronenberg Eraserhead Scanners read my review here New Federico Fellini »
- Brad Brevet
It's that time of year again and it's time to update the list for the second half of 2014 as Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and as impossible a task as it is to cut things down to just a few titles, I have done my best to break Criterion's titles down into a few categories. Hopefully those looking for box sets, specific directors or what I think are absolute musts will find this makes things a little bit easier. Let's get to it... First Picks I was given the Zatoichi collection for Christmas last year and being a collection that holds 25 films and another disc full of supplementary material it is the absolute definition of a must buy when it comes to the Criterion Collection. It is, once again, on sale for $112.49, half off the Msrp of $224.99, and worth every penny. I spent the entire year going through it. »
- Brad Brevet
StreamFix keeps you up to date on the best streams of the web. Here's the best of what's up and coming for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Crackle this November. Netflix "Portlandia, Season 4" Here is what you need to do: Go right now and watch the episode where Toni and Candice take over the Portland Trailblazers dance team. It is painfully funny, and their final dance routine is a shocking horror for the ages. "Snowpiercer" (Nov. 22) Chris Evans. On a post-apocalyptic train. With Tilda Swinton in her wildest getup yet. What are you supposed to do, not watch this? "Nebraska" (Nov. 8) Alexander Payne's black-and-white Midwestern pseudo-road movie has a bunch of fabulous moments. The shot of Bruce Dern's relatives watching TV in the living room is sincerely one of the most memorable things I saw in 2013. And all hail June Squibb for showing us how to really »
- Louis Virtel
Racial tension in the Obama era is given a sharp analysis in the satire Dear White People, a microcosm of modern America that takes place on a college campus, following the lives of four different students. Elements of identity and power vividly come into play, as black students confront racism at its most ridiculous and grotesque. For example: Troy (Brandon P Bell) is looking to fit in with the leaders of a satire magazine, but has to conform his ideals to do so; Coco (Teyonha Parris) wants to use what she considers to be her black identity to get a reality show contract. Writer/director Justin Simien’s film is a hilarious reflection of a society that still needs to get itself together, regardless of a black president living in the White House.
This film marks the feature debut of Simien, who has previous experience with an online series called “Inst Msgs, »
- Nick Allen
Before he was the one-line-loving, crassly, campy class clown known as Freddy, Fred Krueger was the stuff of genuine nightmares. Scarred and grinning in his striped wool sweater, Fred prowls the dreamscape realm of the local high schoolers, the children upon whom he once preyed before their parents got smart and burned him alive. Years ago, Fred was a janitor at the elementary school; he lured children into the boiler room, where, it’s insinuated, he molested and maimed the kids. Now, years later, he returns to haunt the dreams of the children of Suburbia, America. Craven conjures the most surreal imagery of his wildly uneven career here, and Robert Englund instills Craven’s iconic creation with sharp, wry kind of terror, his playful delivery still ironic before the sequels declawed him. He wears his ratty old fedora like »
- Greg Cwik
The film starring Michael Keaton to receive a simultaneous UK premiere with the Brighton Film Festival.
The 28th Leeds International Film Festival (Nov 5-20) is to close with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as a unique joint UK premiere with Brighton’s CineCity film festival, which will open with the film on the same date, Nov 20.
The black comedy, which debuted at Venice in August, stars Michael Keaton as a washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero and must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory. Co-stars include Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis and Andrea Riseborough
Speaking of the joint premiere, Liff director Chris Fell said: “Regional film festivals like Liff and Cinecity are working together increasingly to grow the UK audience for films, both with and without distribution, and the joint »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Festival time once more, for me the most valuable time. Time to soak in contrasting cinematic visions from across the globe, of course, and time to run into old and new friends. My first couple of days at a place like Toronto, I’m rather ashamed to say, mainly consist of playing catch-up. Not just catching up with titles which have already received coverage in other festivals, but also with fellow writers and cinema-lovers whom I practically only get to see once a year. As lonely as the basic act of movie-watching can be, to me the atmosphere here has always been an intoxicatingly communal one. The joy of leaping from screening to screening is matched only by the pleasure of discussing those discoveries with others—a dialogue that flows fluidly from contemporary releases to classic obscurities and gives a festival as vast as Tiff the intimate sense of shared exploration. »
- Fernando F. Croce
You know the hair. The glasses. The voice. The sheer talent. Richard Ayoade spoke to HeyUGuys about The Double, which is out now on DVD and Blu Ray. Other subjects included The It Crowd, a new book, Ingmar Bergman, and trying not to bore audiences.
I’d like to start by going back a little bit to your first feature, which was obviously Submarine. I think for many people, they didn’t realise that a comedy actor was also going to be a great director. So I was wondering, did you feel that was a liberating experience?
Erm, I don’t know. I’d directed TV before – I directed a show called Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, and music videos and things, so the main thing at the time [was I] felt the writing of something that was much longer than anything I’d done, and the structure of doing a film that has ninety minutes to it. »
- Gary Green
With a holiday weekend ahead of us, Movies This Week is getting an early run so you can determine which flicks are best worth your time. Since it's a few days ahead of schedule, there are a few repeats from last week's column here in the rundown of repertory screenings.
The Austin Film Society is launching a new Essential Cinema series featuring some of the best collaborations of Liv Ullman and Ingmar Bergman this Thursday at the Marchesa. Read Chale's preview for more details. The first movie of the series is 1966's Persona and next Thursday (July 10), you'll be able to catch 1969's The Passion Of Anna, both in 35mm. A newly restored 35mm print of Alain Resnais' Je T'aime, Je T'aime is on the books this Sunday afternoon and Monday evening. Also, catch a rare screening on Tuesday night of Eggshells, a 1968 film by Tobe Hooper that was »
- Matt Shiverdecker
The next Austin Film Society Essential Cinema Series, "Liv and Ingmar," will run on Thursdays at 7:30 pm from July 3-31 at the Marchesa. The following column from programmer Chale Nafus provides some context for the films.
Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Sternberg, John Wayne and John Ford, Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini, Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater. Throughout film history there have been directors who frequently work with one particular actor through whom they can realize their cinematic dreams. Familiarity with an actor's face, body, voice, mannerisms and psychological depths can provide a director a preview of how a movie might look and sound even before the cameras roll.
Such was the 12-year relationship between Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann and Swedish writer/director Ingmar Bergman. Together they made eight feature films and one television miniseries, beginning with Persona (1966) and ending with Autumn Sonata (1978). They »
- Chale Nafus
The Austin Film Series is wrapping up its "Rebel Rebel" series this weekend with a 35mm print of Female Trouble, the raunchy 1974 comedy from enfant terrible John Waters. It screens tonight and Sunday afternoon at the Marchesa. That's also the place to be on Thursday night as a new Essential Cinema series launches featuring some of the best collaborations of Liv Ullman and Ingmar Bergman. The first film of the series is 1966's Persona, screening in a 35mm print. Look for an article about the series on Monday by programmer Chale Nafus.
The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz has another eclectic week ahead of specialty screenings. On Saturday afternoon, you can view the late-era Marx Bros. classic, 1946's A Night In Casablanca. Also this week, there's a Bill & Ted double feature on Sunday that will include two new Mondo posters available for purchase, Russ Meyer's Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls »
- Matt Shiverdecker
One of the most complex and powerful women in cinema, Liv Ullmann is a force of nature channeled both on and off-screen as Ingmar Bergman's muse, actress and at a later date independent director. Melbourne Cinematheque is a sublime curated mix of auteur and period driven cinema that aims to reignite the passionate and educate the eager. This upcoming season highlights the Bergman period for actress and collaborator Liv Ullmann, looking at her performances in his films, but also her own directorial efforts adapted from his work. The season is book-ended perfectly, opening with Bergman's masterpiece Persona, in which Ullmann stars, and concluding with the epic 196 minute feature Private Confessions, which Ullmann directs.Click through below for highlights of the program, which runs from May 28 to...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
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