This week’s question: Inspired by Baby Groot’s “Mr. Blue Sky” dance sequence at the beginning of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” what movie has the best opening credits sequence?
April Wolfe (@awolfeful), La Weekly
Hands down, it’s R.W. Fassbinder’s “The Marriage of Maria Braun.” I watch the opening sequence at least three times a year and show it to every filmmaker I can. I love any film that begins with a bang, and this one does quite literally: We open up on an explosion that rips out a hunk of brick wall, exposing a German couple in the middle of a rushed marriage ceremony.
And yet, judged in broadly cinematic terms, “Silence” is not a great movie, despite having been directed by one of the medium’s greatest masters at a point of great maturity (this is
About the film:
Lars von Trier shook up the film world when he premiered Antichrist at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. In this graphic psychodrama, a grief-stricken man and woman—a searing Willem Dafoe and Cannes best actress winner Charlotte Gainsbourg—retreat to their cabin deep in the woods after the accidental death of their infant son, only to find terror and violence at the hands of nature and, ultimately, each other. But this most confrontational work yet from one of contemporary cinema
Artistic and Programming Director Jacob Perlin says in a press release, “Jean Eustache in a Rocky t-shirt. This is the image we had in mind while making this first calendar. Great cinema is there, wherever you can find it. The dismissed film now recognized as a classic, the forgotten box-office hit newly resurrected, the high and the low,
Salò is a notorious adaptation of the Marquis de Sade’s equally infamous novel The 120 Days of Sodom. In Pasolini’s film, however, the novel’s four wealthy,
Embedded for your viewing pleasure, then,
Directed by David Cronenberg
Written by David Cronenberg and Norman Snider
Genre: Thriller / Drama
Dead Ringers is one of David Cronenberg’s masterpieces, and Jeremy Irons gives the most highly accomplished performance of his entire career – times two. This is the story of Beverly and Elliot Mantle (both played by Irons), identical twins who, since birth, have been inseparable. Together, they work as gynecologists in their own clinic, and literally share everything between them, including the women they work and sleep with. Jealousy comes between the two when Beverly falls in love with a new patient and decides he no longer wants to share his lady friend with Elliot. The twins, who have always existed together as one, have trouble adapting and soon turn against one another. Unlike the director’s previous films, the biological horror in Dead Ringers is entirely conveyed through the psychological
Abel Ferrara has been toying with the idea of making a film on the life of late Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini since the early 1990s. The original idea was set to be quite different from the one we’ve got, mind, and would see actress and collaborator Zoe Lund (Ms. 45, Bad Lieutenant) playing a sort-of female version of Pasolini living the life that he did (the project was scrapped when Lund tragically died in 1997).
It’s easy to understand why Ferrara, the enfant terrible of New York cinema, was and is attracted to Pasolini: both men have been accused of peddling exploitation from those who find their work morally objectionable but, conversely, they have also been hailed as genuine auteurs and makers of important art (Pasolini more so than Ferrara, it must be said).
Pasolini chronicles the final 24 hours in the late director, novelist, critic and intellectual’s life.
“Narrative art is dead – we are in a period of mourning”; “To scandalise is a right, to be scandalised a pleasure”; “Refusal must be great, absolute, absurd…” Abel Ferrara’s infatuated tribute to Pier Paolo Pasolini is littered with such gnomic bon mots, which could apply equally to either director. Like Pasolini, Ferrara has courted both outrage and admiration; he made his name with The Driller Killer, and remains most celebrated for Bad Lieutenant, a film drenched in equal parts with Catholic ideology and censor-baiting exploitation.
This handsomely oblique film focuses on the very end of Pasolini’s life, as he completes work on Salò, Or the 120 Days of Sodom and makes plans for Porno-Teo-Kolossal, the unmade magnum opus which is here reimagined by Ferrara in startling, elegiac fashion. Willem Dafoe
From Afar (Desde Alla), the first Venezuelan production to appear in Competition at the Venice Film Festival, has won the Golden Lion for Best Film.
The directorial debut of Lorenzo Vigas concerns a middle-aged man (Alfredo Castro) who pays young boys to spend time with him. One day he befriends an 18-year-old delinquent (Luis Silva), a development that affects both profoundly.
The film, sold by Celluloid Dreams, is produced by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, who co-wrote the script.
The Silver Lion for Best Director went to Argentinian film-maker Pablo Trapero for kidnap drama The Clan (El Clan).
Trapero has a good relationship with Venice, having won two prizes for his 1999 debut, Crane World, returning in 2004 with Rolling Family and sitting on the Golden Lion jury in 2012.
The Clan is based on the real-life exploits
“I want to dedicate this prize to my amazing country, Venezuela. We’ve been having some problems, but we’re very positive. We’re an amazing nation and we’re going to start talking to each other more,” said the beaming debuting director.
The jury was presided by Alfonso Cuaron. This edition of the fest was marked by plenty of prizes going to Latin American cinema and also to debut directors. Cuaron said it’s the first time a Latin American film wins the Golden Lion.
Variety critic Guy Lodge called “From Afar” a “smart, unsensationalized examination of the slow-blossoming relationship between a middle-aged loner and a young street tough.”
Chilean veteran Alfred Castro (“No,” “The
Akahige, Amarcord, Aleksandr Nevskij and A Matter of Life and Death are among 21 titles announced today to screen in Venice’s (September 2-12) Classics section, which will reveal further titles later this month.
Director Bertrand Tavernier, who is to receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement award, has selected and will present four films for the Classics strand: Pattes Blances (White Paws) by Jean Grémillion, La Lupa (The Vixen) by Alberto Lattuada, Sonnenstrahl (Ray of Sunshine) by Pál Fejös and A Matter of Life and Death by Michael Powell and Eric Pressburger.
The 21 restorations:
Akahige (Red Beard) by Akira Kurosawa (Japan, 1965, 185’, B&W), restoration by Tōhō Co., Ltd.
Aleksandr Nevskij (Alexander Nevsky) by Sergej Michajlovič Ėjzenštejn (Ussr, 1938, 108’, B&W), restoration by Mosfilm
Amarcord by Federico Fellini (Italy, 1973, 123’, Color) restoration by Cineteca di Bologna with the support of yoox.com and the
Closely Observed Trains – released September 27th
Shy teenage virgin Miloš gets his first job as a railway dispatcher and is suddenly forced to confront the realities of the adult world, not least the temptations of the opposite sex. But they in turn are more attracted to his more experienced colleague Hubi?ka and his distinctive way with an inkpad and rubber stamp…
This could easily have fuelled a light comedy, but Ji?í Menzel’s bittersweet feature debut is set during World War II in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia,
Willem Dafoe will take on the eponymous role as the controversial filmmaker in the biopic.
Pier Paolo Pasolini was best known for his work on films such as Marquis de Sade adaptation Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom and The Gospel According to St Matthew.
The film focuses on the filmmaker's final days.
After Pasolini was murdered, a prostitute confessed to the crime but later claimed that he had been forced to do so when his family was threatened.
Pasolini's muse Ninetto Davoli also features in the movie.
The film is yet to announce a release date.
For the unfamiliar: Italian director, screen writer, essayist, poet, critic and novelist, Pier Paolo Pasolini is best known for his controversial and provocative films, most notably Salo. He demonstrated a unique and extraordinary cultural versatility, and has since, come to be valued by
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