9 items from 2017
Santiago De Chile — Teaming up with producer Isabel Orellana at Araucaria Cine (“Nunca vas a estar solo”), Alicia Scherson (“Family Life,” “Il Futuro”) is tackling the world of men for the first time in her second adaptation of a Roberto Bolaño novel after “Il Futuro,” her 2013 screen adaptation of the Chilean novelist’s “Una Novelita Lumpen.”
“Most of my films have displayed a more female perspective; it was a challenge to immerse myself in the world of a male, one obsessed with war games, to boot,” said Scherson.
After struggling with the script for a year, changing the original setting from Spain in Bolaño’s novel “The Third Reich” to Chile made all its disparate elements fall into place.
Scherson’s “1989” takes place in Chile during a time of transition after military dictator Augusto Pinochet has stepped down but before a democratic government has established itself.
“It’s a time of great uncertainty, the »
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
Of all the films I saw at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, Nathan Silver’s “Thirst Street” was easily the best one. Starring Lindsay Burdge (“A Teacher”), the movie is influenced by the erotic 1970s dramas of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, but gives a deviously funny edge (think Roman Polanski’s “The Tenant”) to what is a delicious psycho sexual drama.
- Rodrigo Perez
When it comes to discussing ’60s British horror, most conversations usually begin and end with Hammer’s gothics and their sleazy derivatives. Mind you, it’s not hard to see why—the studio practically revived the genre in the UK during the late ’50s, and competitors would have to be fools to not want to ride their coattails, creating their own bloody (and occasionally brilliant) gothics chock-full of sex and violence. But the ’60s also saw the rise of a different, darker sub-genre—the modern psychological thriller, birthed from Alfred Hitchcock’s visual vocabulary and directors focused less on the supernatural and more on the depths of human cruelty and depravity. These thrillers are violent, sexual, and no stranger to controversy, and on today’s entry of the Crypt of Curiosities, we’ll be looking at three of the best and most noteworthy films.
The first big British thriller of »
- Perry Ruhland
To keep it indie 100 for a minute and hopefully not sound too obscure, if indie filmmaker Alex Ross Perry was to Roman Polanski what his paranoiac feature “Queen Of Earth” was to Polanski’s “The Tenant,” then director Nathan Silver is to Rainer Werner Fassbinder what “Thirst Street” is to the German New Wave director’s “Lola.” Plus, well, throw in a little additional devilish Polanski for good measure, too.
- Rodrigo Perez
In the last 30 years, has any movie form been debased and degraded more than the horror film? Most fans of the genre probably wouldn’t agree, but it always astonishes me the extent to which mainstream horror movies have become blood-soaked funhouse video-game rides full of lurching logic, driven by shocks and jolts and soundtrack gongs and the same old “Amityville”-meets-“Exorcist” devil-in-the-haunted-house tropes.
The first revelation of “Get Out,” Jordan Peele’s exquisitely creepy and fun African-American nightmare movie, is that while it does have its moments of extreme violence (your jaw will drop, your spine will shudder), it’s a classical piece of old-school moviemaking: a drama of pace and suspense and motifs and relationships and three-dimensional space and psychology. In telling the story of Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a black photographer in his mid-twenties who drives upstate with his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), to visit her parents, »
- Owen Gleiberman
During the summer of 2015, while shooting A Cure for Wellness in Germany, Dane DeHaan went through what he describes as “my month of torture”. In the space of a few weeks, the then-29-year-old star of Chronicle and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was strapped down and subjected to drill-induced dental abuse; had a tube rammed down his throat; and was immersed in a huge, water-filled sensory-deprivation tank.
They call it ‘suffering for your art’, but DeHaan has taken it to a whole new level.
“The dentist scene was more or less shot in a day, but for me it was just a terrifying circumstance to be in,” he explains, a good year and a half later and now sitting very comfortably in a London hotel suite. “That was fast and psychologically demanding.” The tube-gagging sequence, meanwhile, »
The French-language thriller will be distributed by Sony Classics in partnership with RatPac Entertainment. It’s the second deal for Sony Classics on a Polanski project following 2011’s “Carnage.”
The thriller marks Polanski’s first project since making his 2013 drama “Venus in Fur.” “Based on a True Story” was published in 2015 and won the Prix Renaudot and high school prize Goncourt des Lyceens. »
- Dave McNary
Warning: if you’re not a Kate Jackson fan, today’s column may not work in your favor. Plus, we probably shouldn’t hang out. I first fell in love with Ms. Jackson (if you’re nasty) when I was six. At the time, she was starring on Charlie’s Angels, along with Farrah Blah-Blah and Jaclyn What’s Her Name, but I think maybe I liked Kate best. Her long black hair, radiant smile, and raspy sing song drawl mesmerized me for the remainder of that show’s run. But for fans of horror, Kate worked with Dan Curtis on Dark Shadows, before landing one of the leads in Satan’s School for Girls (1973), producer Aaron Spelling’s venture into one of the ‘70s greatest capitalist ventures, Satanic Panic. It’s a fun romp; and spoiler alert - Kate is great in it. (She’s just the most, don’t you think? »
- Scott Drebit
Brett Ratner loves cinema. When speaking with the 47-year-old filmmaker, it’s abundantly clear that movies are unspooling through his veins, and if our discussions felt more like two movie buffs just enjoying great conversation, it’s because of his general enthusiasm for the medium.
“It was always my dream to direct movies,” he says, rarely pausing for a breath. “I always knew I’d do it. I had the drive and the desire. I was determined. But I never knew I’d be making movies of this size, stuff like the ‘Rush Hour’ films and ‘X-Men’ and ‘Red Dragon.’ When I was in film school, I knew I wanted to make entertaining movies. But I don’t think I could have prepared for how fast my rise would be. I was 26 when I got my first film.”
But it was before he’d set foot on a movie set »
- Nick Clement
9 items from 2017