4 items from 2017
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Wes Anderson has one of the most original voices of any filmmaker working today, but his movies are full of clues as to which directors have influenced him the most. From Orson Welles to François Truffaut to Federico Fellini, some of the most iconic filmmakers in the history of cinema have had a hand in inspiring Anderson’s distinctive style. Here are 10 films that had a lasting impact on the indie auteur.
“The Magnificent Ambersons” (1942)
Orson Welles’ period drama about a wealthy family that loses its entire fortune at the turn of the 20th century »
- Graham Winfrey
Read even just a couple of interviews with him and you’ll realize that James Gray — in his humor, candor, self-effacement, knowledge, and general kindness — is better at the process than almost anybody else. So I’d experienced twice over, and now a third time on the occasion of his latest picture, The Lost City of Z. Although I liked the film a whole lot upon seeing it at last year’s Nyff and found it a rich source of questions, our conversation proved too casual and genial to be intruded about with a query about sound mixing — which I, of course, just knew I’d ask before entering a hotel room and sitting at a tiny table, complementary chocolate cake between us, and realizing that my muse then and there was instead a question about Steven Soderbergh’s Twitter account.
It’s not every day you can bring it up, »
- Nick Newman
As the art film revolution of the late 1950s and 1960s gave way to more populist manifestations of its stylistic inventions, so too did the “foreign language drama” become a codified form. As Bergman, Antonioni, Kurosawa, Fellini, and other renowned directors of that earlier time aged out of their peak years of financial viability, a new class found a framework in which to ground their career. They didn’t always have the training in commercial art that their forerunners had worked in and helped develop before eventually resisting, subverting, or overthrowing, but they had the stamina and the work ethic to invest in the trappings that made earlier more revolutionary works so galvanizing.
Ermanno Olmi made his start in documentary shorts, making more than two dozen from 1953-1959, before making his feature narrative debut with Time Stood Still (1959), an avalanche drama about a generational divide. He gained considerably more acclaim for 1961’s Il Posto, »
- Scott Nye
‘Toni Erdmann’ (Courtesy: Tiff)
By: Carson Blackwelder
It’s not too often that foreign-language films get recognized for anything at the Oscars beyond the best foreign-language film category — but it does happen. And, believe it or not, it happens more for best original screenplay and best adapted screenplay than many other categories. A prime example of that is Toni Erdmann, Germany’s submission this year that is proving to be a cross-category threat, which could score a nomination — or a win — for its writing.
The story of Toni Erdmann — which has a solid Rotten Tomatoes score of 91% — follows a father who is trying to reconnect with his adult daughter after the death of his dog. It sounds simple enough but, of course, the two couldn’t be more unalike. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 and where it won the Fipresci Prize. Since then, it »
- Carson Blackwelder
4 items from 2017
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