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Gaspar Noé’s bid to shock us into submission with 3D sex is let down by two-dimensional performances
“I want to film that which cinema has rarely allowed itself, either for commercial or legal reasons,” says Gaspar Noé, writer/director of cause celebre Cannes favourites Seul Contre Tous, Irréversible and Enter the Void. For his fourth feature, Noé sets out “to film the organic dimension of being in love”, free from “the ridiculous division that dictates no normal film can contain overly erotic scenes”. Thus we have a Last Tango in Paris-tinged tale of amour fou in which a disconsolate young American in Paris drifts from the responsibilities of fatherhood back into memories of lost love, Noé taking us on a lurid three-way tour of appendages and orifices, physical and psychological.
This of course is nothing new. Since the post-Deep Throat days of Nagisa Oshima’s Ai No Corrida »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Steamy sex scenes are nothing new in cinema. We.ve had decades of uninhibited simulated sex on screens by now. From Midnight Cowboy (1969) to Last Tango in Paris (1972), and 9 ½ Weeks (1986) to Unfaithful (2002), the use of sex on screen has done a lot to tantalize and surprise movie goers. Actors are usually sheepish about the experience and will, generally, claim to have no favorites when it comes to such things. But, lucky for us, Ralph Fiennes is not one of those actors. While appearing on Watch What Happens Live recently, host Andy Cohen asked the actor what his favorite love scenes were that he.s performed in. And Ralph Fiennes had an answer ready to go for Cohen. He states that he has a number of favorites and then goes on to say that he "liked making love" to Kristin Scott Thomas in The English Patient (1996), Julianne Moore in The End »
“The movies that represent love and passion in a complicated way are extremely rare. Many doors were opened in the ‘70s by daring directors, and also daring, new laws that opened the representation of sex in underground cinema. Now almost all those doors are oxidized because no one is using them,” director Gaspar Noé recently told us. “In the Realm of the Senses was in the ‘70s, and, since then, who took advantage of that sexual revolution from the ‘70s?
Indeed, there’s not many answers to that question, but one filmmaker that would qualify is Abel Ferrara. With the release of Love, the brilliant folks over at The Talkhouse have now facilitated a conversation between the two boundary-pushing directors. Due to some connection issues, the first half is a bit awkward as they talk over eachother, but it soon evolves into a great conversation about censorship, getting their movies banned, »
- Jordan Raup
It’s hard to talk about Gaspar Noé’s Love without talking about its opening scene, so let’s get it out of the way: It’s a lengthy, fixed 3-D shot — running for something like three minutes — of a naked couple in bed, manually pleasuring each other. (“A sweet double hand job” was how Noé himself described it to my colleague Jada Yuan in this great profile here.) Nothing is left to the imagination, as she finishes him off. Shocking? Scandalous? I’m not so sure. We’re far removed from the days when Last Tango in Paris almost landed Bernardo Bertolucci in prison and Henry and June broke ground on the Nc-17 rating. I daresay it’s not the explicitness that makes Love feel new, or controversial; it’s that it makes sex look awesome, which is something most movies stopped doing a long time ago.Noé can »
- Bilge Ebiri
A medium-height, slightly nervous, shy-seeming, fast-talking man, Gaspar Noé doesn’t really announce himself as the formally audacious director behind some of this millennium’s most assaultive and, speaking broadly, extreme narrative films. Perhaps that (altogether friendly) personality more clearly befits his latest film, Love. What’s been referred to for the years of its development as a “3D porn movie,” but hews closer to Last Tango in Paris or The Mother and the Whore: a slow, sad, and only intermittently confrontational picture that mostly uses its format as a tool for rendering spaces and memories more immediate. The inevitably downbeat ending, communicated early, lends the sex an uncomfortable air — one where even 3D cum shots carry a certain sort of melancholy.
Despite his work’s general reliance on images over words, Noé is a very verbose artist, taking a question about one thing and providing an answer about two others. »
- Nick Newman
Using an archive of the star’s recollections, Brando’s gradual decline from giant of the screen to bloated bit-part player is carefully teased out
Built upon Brando’s archive of self-analysing audio tapes, Stevan Riley’s intimate documentary gets under the actor’s skin to reveal a troubled, fragile, self-obsessed soul. From the triumphs of A Streetcar Named Desire to the cheque-collecting of The Formula (an earpiece meant he didn’t have to learn his lines), Brando is seen slipping gradually into the slough of disillusioned despond, accentuated by near-Shakespearean family tragedy. Significantly, Riley opens with Brando describing having his face electronically mapped to produce an avatar that speaks to us from beyond the grave (a la 2006’s Superman Returns), enabling Marlon to dispense with the drudgery of acting altogether. We hear of our subject’s sense of shock at Bernardo Bertolucci’s invasive insight in Last Tango in Paris »
- Mark Kermode Observer film critic
Danièle Delorme. Danièle Delorme: Actress who starred in original 'Gigi' dead at 89 Danièle Delorme, an actress in nearly 60 films and a producer on more than 20 titles in a career spanning more than seven decades, died on Oct. 17, '15. Delorme was 89. She was born Gabrielle Danièle Marguerite Andrée Girard in Levallois-Perret, in commune in the outskirts of Paris, on Oct. 9, 1926. Her father was painter and, later, Resistance worker André Girard. Delorme received training as a pianist, but eventually started landing film roles in the early '40s. Danièle Delorme movies Among Danièle Delorme's best-known films are the following: Jacqueline Audry's Gigi (1949), starring Delorme in the title role: a 16-year-old being trained by her aunt (veteran Gaby Morlay) to become a high-class sex worker. This original – unabashed, in-your-face politically incorrect – film version of Colette's story, directed by a woman no less, is usually hated by those who love MGM's glitzy, »
- Andre Soares
Polish provocateur Walerian Borowczyk remains one of the great obscure artists who managed to successfully blur the lines between definitions of high art and pornography. Directing short films as early as 1946, he would begin a career making feature films in 1967 and experienced his most prolific period in the 1970s with a variety of infamous French language projects, the most notorious of those being 1975’s The Beast. Just prior to that film, however, Borowczyk premiered his first venture into erotic exploration with the vignette film, Immoral Tales (a structure the director would return to time and again). Initially a quintet of five separate tales spanning across various periods of time, the film is modeled after several historically based figures who’ve transcended into a realm of mythological urban legend. Playing at the Locarno Film Festival, it would go on to win the Prix de L’age D’or, but Borowczyk would »
- Nicholas Bell
In today's roundup on events and screenings from coast to coast: Sundance's Next Fest in Los Angeles, Tadanobu Asano in San Francisco, samurai movies in Austin and, in New York, James Szalapski's Heartworn Highways, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes, Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris, Chang Cheh's Five Deadly Venoms and Bruce Weber's Let’s Get Lost. Back in San Francisco: Robert Montgomery's Ride the Pink Horse, Joseph H. Lewis's So Dark the Night, Seymour Friedman's Chinatown at Midnight, Leigh Jason's Dangerous Blondes and William Castle's Mysterious Intruder. » - David Hudson »
"Listen to me, Marlon...This is one part of yourself speaking to another part of yourself. Listen to the sound of my voice and trust me. You know I have your interests at heart. Just relax, relax, relax. I'm going to help you change in a way that will make you feel happier, more useful...I want you to accept what I say as true. What I tell you here and now is true."
- Marlon Brando, self-hypnosis tape, 1996
By Alex Simon
In addition to being widely regarded as the greatest film actor of all-time, Marlon Brando, who died in 2004, remains one of popular culture's great enigmas. A man who fiercely guarded his privacy and shunned the spotlight whenever he could, Brando purchased an island in the South Pacific, a place so remote and removed from the western world and its media. It was »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
It sure has been a hell of a year for the artist biography in the world of documentary cinema. With films like Montage of Heck, Amy and What Happened, Miss Simone, giving us a view of their central focus in their very own words, 2015 has been the year not only of boundary pushing documentaries like The Look Of Silence, but form challenging and introspective meditations on fame like the three mentioned above. Be it the audio recordings in Montage of Heck or the video founds in the Amy Winehouse picture Amy, we are becoming more and more privy to insights into our artists that one could never have thought of gaining.
And now the greatest film of the bunch is finally seeing a release.
Following very much in the mold of recent from-the-horse’s-mouth style documentaries like the ones above, Listen To Me Marlon is arguably the crowning achievement of this new movement of sorts. »
- Joshua Brunsting
“I coulda been a contender! I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.” That classic scene from “On The Waterfront” was part and parcel behind Marlon Brando's release into the stratosphere of supercool. Beginning with his stage debut as Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire” (which he, of course, reprised in the 1951 film adaptation), his film debut in “The Men,” and a string of larger-than-life roles culminating with his Oscar-winning turn as Terry Malloy in 'Waterfront,' Hollywood was Brando's oyster in the 1950s, and a man became a cultural symbol. Through these roles, and future titanic turns in “The Godfather,” “Apocalypse Now,” and “The Last Tango in Paris,” we know and remember Marlon Brando as one of the greatest screen actors of all time. But what of the man behind the actor? This question fuels Stevan Riley's documentary, »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
Ron Moody as Fagin in 'Oliver!' based on Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist.' Ron Moody as Fagin in Dickens musical 'Oliver!': Box office and critical hit (See previous post: "Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' Actor, Academy Award Nominee Dead at 91.") Although British made, Oliver! turned out to be an elephantine release along the lines of – exclamation point or no – Gypsy, Star!, Hello Dolly!, and other Hollywood mega-musicals from the mid'-50s to the early '70s. But however bloated and conventional the final result, and a cast whose best-known name was that of director Carol Reed's nephew, Oliver Reed, Oliver! found countless fans. The mostly British production became a huge financial and critical success in the U.S. at a time when star-studded mega-musicals had become perilous – at times downright disastrous – ventures. Upon the American release of Oliver! in Dec. 1968, frequently acerbic The »
- Andre Soares
By Alex Simon
Stress kills, goes the old saying, and can cause a host of maladies before it does. Hypertension, heart disease and even Bruxism, otherwise known as grinding of the teeth, can be its unfortunate products. In that spirit, here are ten examples of stress in on-screen, and its most masterful portraits.
Jack Lemmon took home a Best Actor Academy Award for his incendiary turn as Harry Stoner, a once-prosperous businessman who finds his carefully-tailored life crashing down around him. His garment business in downtown La is going bust, his marriage is dead in the water, and the crazy hippies who hitchhike on the Sunset Strip just don’t match his Ww II era sensibilities. When Harry decides to have his business “torched” for the insurance money, he goes on a self-destructive odyssey through early ‘70s La. His word association game with a cute »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
This week Neil Calloway looks at what winning the Palme d’Or can do to your box office…
So we are in the middle of the Cannes Film Festival, and it’s easy to dismiss it as a two-week publicity vehicle for beautiful actresses to get photographed next to middle-aged European film directors on the Croisette, or a time for oligarchs and their trophy wives to entertain fading Hollywood stars on their super yachts. However, the importance of the festival to the film industry cannot be understated.
Cannes is the biggest film industry event of the year; the Oscars comes close but that only lasts one night. It is, in fact, one of the biggest annual events of any kind. As William Goldman points out in Hype and Glory, his entertaining memoir of sitting on the juries for both Cannes and the Miss America Pageant, the World Cup and Olympics are bigger, »
- Neil Calloway
What do Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango In Paris, Elia Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and Viva Zapata!, Daniel Mann's The Teahouse Of The August Moon, Edward Dmytryk's The Young Lions, Gillo Pontecorvo's Burn!, Lewis Milestone's Mutiny On The Bounty, Guys And Dolls directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and One-Eyed Jacks have in common? Brando the movie star in Stevan Riley's documentary, Listen To Me Marlon, becomes Marlon, the man.
"Brando was himself fascinated by these same topics of truth and lies, of myth and fantasy and reality."
Hundreds of hours of Brando's audio recordings had gone unheard until Riley took his pick and put together this fascinating portrait. »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Even if you can’t immediately place his name, you’ve undoubtedly seen his work. “Apocalpyse Now,” “The Last Emperor,” “Last Tango in Paris,” "Ladyhawke,” “Reds,” and “Dick Tracy” to name but a few. Vittorio Storaro is a master cinematographer who has contributed his immense talent to over five dozen film and television projects during his epic (and ongoing) 50-plus year career. His work has garnered him three Oscars for Best Cinematography (for “The Last Emperor,” “Reds,” and “Apocalypse Now”), as well as a fourth nomination (“Dick Tracy”). One of the defining elements of Storaro’s work is his use of color. As a 3-minute supercut from Vimeo user movement_of_time professes, Storaro is “the man who uses color shades as a poet uses words. In every [one of] his film[s] the choice of a specific color is rigidly connected with the 'ideology' of history, and the color does not simply duplicate the scene information, »
- Zach Hollwedel
“I coulda been a contender! I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.” That classic scene from “On The Waterfront” was part and parcel behind Marlon Brando's release into the stratosphere of supercool. Beginning with his stage debut as Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire” (which he, of course, reprised in the 1951 film adaptation), his film debut in “The Men,” and a string of larger-than-life roles culminating with his Oscar-winning turn as Terry Malloy in 'Waterfront,' Hollywood was Brando's oyster in the 1950s, and a man became a cultural symbol. Through these roles, and future titanic turns in “The Godfather,” “Apocalypse Now,” and “The Last Tango in Paris,” we know and remember Marlon Brando as one of the greatest screen actors of all time. But, what of the man behind the actor? This question fuels Stevan Riley's documentary, »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
The Ribald Tales Of Canterbury
(dir: Bud Lee, 1985)
We’ve all been there at some point. A long journey with nothing to do. All of a sudden, someone comes up with the idea of sharing stories and laughs to help pass the time. Yeah, maybe not everyone has been there, but I had to set the scene somehow right? The first film on this double feature release from Vinegar Syndrome follows the journey of a group of noblemen and women headed by the Hostess Hyapatia Lee (Let’s Get Physical) en route to Canterbury. She proposes a wager with her fellow travellers. Each places the grand sum of 20 pence in to a small pouch and whoever can recall the best erotic tale on their journey wins all. It’s certainly a novel way to pass the time! The stories range from a humble knight having a surprising (in the best »
- Mondo Squallido
Despite mostly negative reviews, the Fifty Shades Of Grey movie has been a massive hit. It could be good news for cinema as a whole...
I’m in a coffee shop in the middle of London, and I keep overhearing the same two words murmured at neighbouring tables or from passers-by: Fifty Shades. I look at my phone, and Fifty Shades is trending on Twitter.
A bus has just gone past in the pouring February rain, and there’s Fifty Shades Of Grey on the side: Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in a clinch, lips parted, her arms raised above her head. It’s an image just sexy enough to advertise the film’s erotic promise, but not so filthy as to cause alarm: presumably, the handcuffs and nipple clamps are all just out of shot.
Meanwhile, a news story’s doing the rounds about a man glassed by a »
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