11 items from 2010
Interviewed by Tom Stockman
Conducted: November 12, 2010
Veteran actor Stacy Keach has been on stage and in front of the camera for well over fifty years. He’s performed in the highbrow ranks of Broadway, Shakespeare, and critically acclaimed films. He’s also participated in the lowbrow humor of Cheech and Chong and grindhouse quickies churned out by Italian exploitation auteurs. He’s worked for some of the great directors including John Huston, Walter Hill, John Carpenter, and Robert Altman, as well as playwright Arthur Miller. When he’s not performing, his charity work as chairman of the Cleft Palate Foundation keeps him busy. Stacy Keach was invited to St. Louis last weekend to receive an honorary Lifetime Achievement Award from Cinema St. Louis. Three of his films were screened including the classics Fat City and The Long Riders as well as his newest project Imbued, a film in which he »
- Tom Stockman
A family of cannibals pull together to put meat on the table in a clever, unremittingly grim Mexican horror debut
Anthropophagy, better known as cannibalism, is a taboo activity but is by no means a taboo subject. It has shocked and fascinated audiences from the heyday of Greek tragedy through Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus to Sweeney Todd and Hannibal Lecter, and it figures as reality and metaphor in We Are What We Are (aka Somos Lo Que Hay), the debut feature of the young Mexican writer-director Jorge Michel Grau.
His movie begins strikingly with a scruffy, grey-bearded man uneasily coming up the escalator of a brightly lit shopping mall in what is presumably Mexico City. He staggers across a polished floor to ogle some dummies wearing bikinis in a smart shop and puts his hands on the plate glass. An angry shop assistant comes out to drive him away and wipes the fingerprints off the window. »
- Philip French
In honor of the September 28th release of The Killer Inside Me on DVD, JustPressPlay is giving you a chance to win a copy.The work of the great pulp novelist Jim Thompson has been brought to the screen before in such crime classics as The Grifters and The Getaway, but perhaps no Thompson adaptation is as unyieldingly dark and disturbing as The Killer Inside Me, the widely praised and argued-over shocker starring Casey Affleck as a Texas lawman with a deep secret.
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The contest ends on September 30th.
And now, here's a summary:
Director Winterbottom’s impressive work ranges from the lesbian crime thriller Butterfly Kiss to »
- Lex Walker
Director: Michael Winterbottom Writers: Michael Winterbottom, John Curran (screenplay), Jim Thompson (novel) Starring: Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Bill Pullman, Ned Beatty, Tom Bower, Elias Koteas, Simon Baker, Brent Briscoe, Matthew Maher, Liam Aiken, Jay R. Ferguson Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) – the narrator, a blatantly unreliable one at that – is a soft-spoken and seemingly mild-mannered deputy sheriff in Central City, a small rural town in west Texas in the early 1950s. Lou doesn’t even carry a gun because crime in this oil boomtown is utterly nonexistent. He lives alone in the same home where he was raised. In the evenings, like a wayward European aristocrat, he tinkers around classically on his piano, reads books from his well-stocked library and listens to opera records. He has a beautiful girlfriend, his childhood sweetheart, named Amy (Kate Hudson) and has earned the utmost respect of his alcoholic boss, Sheriff Bob Maples »
- Don Simpson
Directed by Michael Winterbottom
For a while, it's hard to know for sure which Lou Ford is the real one, the guy beating a hooker three-quarters to death with leather-gloved right crosses to the face or the man apologizing to her all the while, saying meekly when the assault is mercifully over, "I love you."
It isn't the first time Ford has shown a violent streak. His entire relationship with the prostitute this deputy sheriff was only supposed to escort out of town stems from a back-and-forth punch out. For a while, Joyce could give as she gets, but this is obviously different. And so is Lou.
- Colin Boyd
Of all the films I caught at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, none was more controversial than The Killer Inside Me. Based on the classic piece of fifties pulp fiction by Jim Thompson, whose previous film adaptations include The Grifters and The Getaway (once in .72 by Sam Peckinpah, with Steve McQueen, and again in .94 with Alec Baldwin & Kim Basinger), The Killer Inside Me is a harrowing look at the psyche of a madman. In the lead, Casey Affleck gives a chilling performance, and certain »
- Chris Bumbray
Shocking murder scene every bit as painfully memorable as in the book; now that's a successful adaptation
Finally, someone gets Jim Thompson just right, and still nobody's happy. I'm surely not alone in thinking that the crime writer's violent, nihilistic essence has never arrived on the screen unalloyed. In Stanley Kubrick's The Killing, for which Thompson wrote the screenplay, his black-hearted sensibility is mediated through Kubrick's competing aesthetic. Steve McQueen slashed pages of Thompson's dialogue from the screenplay of The Getaway (1972), while Sam Peckinpah, ordinarily no slouch in the realms of nihilism, quailed before the hellish bleakness of the original ending. Stephen Frears's The Grifters is adequately nasty but a little too bright, and Burt Kennedy's 1976 version of The Killer Inside Me, starring Stacy Keach as psychotic Texas sheriff Lou Ford, simply lacks the author's true venom.
To get Thompson right, one has to take him cloven »
The works of noted genre author Jim Thompson have made for some surprisingly interesting films over the years. The Steve McQueen / Ali McGraw rendition of The Getaway (1972) is fairly well-remembered, and I myself am a fan of the Alec Baldwin / Kim Basiniger version from 1994. There's also James Foley's After Dark, My Sweet and Stephen Frears' The Grifters, both of which hit in 1990 and did solid justice to the author's work. The most recent filmmaker to tackle the beloved scribe's hard-boiled tales is Michael Winterbottom, whom you probably know from Wonderland, 24 Hour Party People, and Tristram Shandy -- but I don't think you've ever seen Winterbottom like you see him with The Killer Inside »
In the new film "Breaking Upwards," struggling twentysomething couple Daryl and Zoe decide to address their relationship problems by planning and then executing their own breakup. Daryl is played by director/producer/editor/co-writer Daryl Wein, Zoe is played by producer/co-writer Zoe Lister-Jones, and the breakup in the film is based on the one the two went through in real life. In his director's statement, Wein says that the duo "thought it would make it more interesting to explore the nature of performance by casting ourselves in the roles. To be in the story, as opposed to having a fictional couple play us, gives the film a true sense of authenticity."
Actors act, and people who hate each other off-screen can spark with electricity on it and vice versa. But there is something innately fascinating, and extremely voyeuristic, about movies in which people who are or who were intimate »
- Matt Singer
When you think of ultra-cool Hollywood leading men, a few names immediately spring to mind -- Clint Eastwood, Robert Mitchum, Lee Marvin. But the one guy who probably deserves to be at the top of that list of macho men is Steve McQueen. The bad-boy star of The Great Escape, The Cincinnati Kid, and Bullitt would have been 80 years old on Wednesday. (He died at age 50 from cancer in 1980.) To help commemorate his outlaw career on and off the silver screen, Life.com has opened its vaults and unearthed 20 candid shots taken by photographer John Dominis in 1963, right after the »
- Chris Nashawaty
The prolific, mercurial British director has unveiled his latest film, a truly disturbing film noir, at the Sundance film festival
He's directed everything from high-end literary adaptations to science fiction, contemporary comedy to family drama, a Gold-Rush western and a lesbian psycho-killer road movie. So it was only a matter of time before the prolific, mercurial Michael Winterbottom directed a film noir. And this most no-nonsense, hardboiled of genres fits the director's sensibility perfectly.
Winterbottom's adaptation of Jim Thompson's 1952 crime novel The Killer Inside Me had its world premiere at Sundance this week. The film features a superbly cast Casey Affleck as the Texas small-town deputy sheriff who happens, himself, to be a serial killer, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson as the unfortunate women in his life, and mouth-watering character support from Elias Koteas, Ned Beatty and Bill Pulman. Shooting for the first time in the Us, and dipping his bread into 50s Americana, »
- Demetrios Matheou
11 items from 2010
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