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Below you will find our favorite films of the 68th Locarno Film Festival, as well as an index of our coverage.Daniel Kasmantop Picksi. L’Accademia delle Muse, CosmosII. Thithi, Happy Hour, Right Now, Wrong ThenIII. Deux Rémi, deux, 88:88COVERAGEDay 1: James White (Josh Mond), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel)Day 2: Infinitas (Marlen Khutsiev), I Am Twenty (Marlen Khutsiev), The Ballad of Cable Hogue (Sam Peckinpah)Day 3: Cosmos (Andrzej Żuławski), The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah)Day 4: Thithi (Raam Reddy), Te prometo anarquía (Julio Hernández Cordón), Chant d'hiver (Otar Iosseliani), July Rain (Marlen Khutsiev), Year of the Dragon (Michael Cimino)Day 5: L’Accademia delle Muse (José Luis Guerín), Les idoles (Marc'o), Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (Sam Peckinpah), The Killer Elite (Sam Peckinpah)Day 6: Good Morning, Night (Marco Bellocchio), No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman), Epilogue (Marlen Khutsiev)Day 7: Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari »
From title changes to the addition of rubber demons, here's a selection of some rather strange movie alterations from cinema history...
The course of film production seldom runs smooth, and even the greatest films can suffer from all sorts of behind-the-scenes problems. For a very recent example, just look at Fantastic Four, a film with which suffered the kind of difficult production that will no doubt inspire books on the subject in the near future.
At any rate, the movies on this list are all examples of strange (and sometimes last-minute) changes, often imposed by producers or executives. In some unfortunate cases, the changes haven't been particularly beneficial, but one alteration turned out to be a pioneering moment in cinema history.
In every instance, the changes are unusual, surprising, or sometimes downright baffling ...
The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari (1921)
A classic of German cinema, Robert Weine's silent horror film is widely »
There's nothing good about the "Goodnight Mommy" trailer. Better words to describe it are creepy, haunting, confusing, and -- more than anything else -- nightmare-inducing.
While the trailer plays coy with the plot, we do know a thing or two about "Mommy." The story centers on twin boys whose mother comes home to their idyllic country home after having undergone what appears to be a very extensive array of cosmetic surgeries (hey, nothing wrong with a little nip-tuck these days). The twist? Momma's a bit different now -- in more than just the looks department -- and the boys start to suspect an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" type situation. Also, cockroaches are somehow involved.
The trailer sets a very clear, horrific tone, and with plenty of creepy shots and an established, eery ambience, "Goodnight Mommy" will surely bring a lot to the party in the visual department, but will »
- Tim Hayne
My second day in Locarno I've shamefacedly dedicated to what some of the critics here call "the old movies." To be honest, while I am very much thrilled to be one of the first people to see new films by my favorite filmmakers as well as be surprised ones by those I don't know, almost every one of these films, most shot digitally and certainly projected digitally here in Locarno, I will be able to catch again somehow, whether in the "digital library" at the festival itself, through a link from a filmmaker/producer/publicist/friend, or at the next festival stop they make. The 35mm films in Locarno are obviously therefore a much more rarified commodity and experience, something David Bordwell testified to in his report from the nearly all film (and certainly all "old movies") festival in Bologna in June: namely, the increasing popularity of festivals which cater to these now-unique celluloid experiences, »
- Daniel Kasman
James WhiteFour films by Truffaut, one each by Kubrick, Kazan, Mackendrick, Donen, Lumet, Aldrich, Spielberg, Henry King, John Huston, Hawks, Hitchcock, Tourneur, William A. Wellman, John Ford, Brooks Mel (two films) and Richard (one), Michael Mann, and two by David Lynch. Classic Arabic movies, Pakistani movies, Romances & Musicals, Indonesian and Vietnamese films, films in Tagalog, Sinhala, Bengali, Mandarin and Cantonese, and six contemplative long take studies ranging in length from ten minutes to an hour. No, this is not the line-up for the Locarno Film Festival; it is but a taste of what was offered on demand on the video screen on my flight from New York to the small Swiss town's nearest large international airport, in Milan. Seeing as I was en route to a festival with several 35mm retrospectives, a competition section of adventurous fare anticipated and unknown, and scads of other program strands I've yet to fully understand, »
- Daniel Kasman
Teresa Wright ca. 1945. Teresa Wright movies on TCM: 'The Little Foxes,' 'The Pride of the Yankees' Pretty, talented Teresa Wright made a relatively small number of movies: 28 in all, over the course of more than half a century. Most of her films have already been shown on Turner Classic Movies, so it's more than a little disappointing that TCM will not be presenting Teresa Wright rarities such as The Imperfect Lady and The Trouble with Women – two 1947 releases co-starring Ray Milland – on Aug. 4, '15, a "Summer Under the Stars" day dedicated to the only performer to date to have been shortlisted for Academy Awards for their first three film roles. TCM's Teresa Wright day would also have benefited from a presentation of The Search for Bridey Murphy (1956), an unusual entry – parapsychology, reincarnation – in the Wright movie canon and/or Roseland (1977), a little-remembered entry in James Ivory's canon. »
- Andre Soares
Some actors are chameleons. With each performance, they transform themselves almost unrecognisably, whether it's Christian Bale's haunted, emaciated factory worker in The Machinist, Charlize Theron's haggard serial killer in Monster or Jake Gyllenhaal's sinewy boxer in the forthcoming Southpaw.
Then there's Jeff Goldblum, whose approach to acting is very different - but no less valid - than those chameleons. In each of his roles, he brings charisma, intrigue and restless energy. He's a fascinating actor to watch because, whether he's playing the lead or a supporting role, he somehow manages to project so many opposing forces in one performance: he's at once an extrovert and an outsider. Geeky and awkward yet also flirtatious and comfortable in his own skin. Intellectual yet sometimes naive. Gentle but also commanding and sometimes even scary. »
Is "The Visit" M. Night Shyamalan's comeback film? He certainly thinks so. "It's a contained movie and I love contained movies," he said Thursday in San Diego, where Comic-Con is now underway. "The posters on my wall are 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers,' 'Diabolique,' '12 Angry Men.' It's part of a deep aesthetic philosophy that I have that the film needs to be incomplete. 'Is she good? Is she evil?' There's passive entertainment and it's all over the place. But we contribute just a little bit to every great [movie]." Of course, it helps that "The Visit" (opening September 11 from Universal) is a return to what Shyamalan does best: small, personal, scary fables that get under our skin. And he has indie producer Jason Blum ("Whiplash," "Paranormal Activity") protecting his vision, and his back, with the studio, after making the movie on his own. "When »
- Bill Desowitz
Federico Fellini’s classic piece of cinema, La Dolce Vita won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, as well as an Oscar for Best Costume. It’s a cultural landmark of the big screen, an existential struggle between different lifestyles as journalist Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni) makes his way through a number of encounters in Rome, over seven days, including one with Sylvia (Anita Ekberg). And it’s about to be remade.
The Fellini estate has just closed an option agreement with Ambi Group to do a “homage” to the 1960 original. The project is being spearheaded by Federico Fellini’s niece, Francesca, who’s the last blood descendent.
Apparently the new incarnation is going to be translated into a contemporary setting. So perhaps Marcello will be orchestrating his encounters with women via social media and iPhone?
It’s hard to say how this will pan out. I don’t want »
- Claire Joanne Huxham
Directed by Luigi Cozzi.
Pod-like alien spores filled with an explosive acid are brought to Earth after a mission to Mars and distributed through a South American coffee company by alien clones.
Contamination is what you get when you mash together Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Ridley Scott’s Alien, which could be a dream recipe for some but when you consider that it was directed by Italian filmmaker Luigi Cozzi (Starcrash/Hercules) and was part of a succession of Italian knock-offs of Hollywood blockbusters then the shine is considerably duller than what you may have first thought.
Beginning very much like Zombie Flesh Eaters by having a deserted boat afloat in a New York harbour, Contamination stars that film’s lead Ian McCulloch as Ian Hubbard, an astronaut who lead a mission to Mars where his »
- Gary Collinson
Sound on Sight undertook a massive project, compiling ranked lists of the most influential, unforgettable, and exciting action scenes in all of cinema. There were hundreds of nominees spread across ten different categories and a multi-week voting process from 11 of our writers. The results: 100 essential set pieces, sequences, and scenes from blockbusters to cult classics to arthouse obscurities.
If you’ve seen a film montage in the last 10 years, then you’ve been witness to at least one of the scenes mentioned on this list: the vibrating water glass from Jurassic Park signaling the T-Rex prowling nearby. It’s the perfect type of image to tell the audience: something is coming. These flashes of exhilaration are fan-favorites, and it’s no surprise to see them featured prominently as the centerpieces for some of the greatest films ever. It’s the invasion when the aliens come out of the sky, the »
- Shane Ramirez
Directed by Steven Spielberg
“What have they got in there, King Kong”, quips Dr. Ian Malcolm as a computer-driven Land Cruiser slides along its railed path through a massive wooden gate that is designed to look prehistoric, welcoming them to “Jurassic Park”. Billionaire John Hammond has done the impossible and brought dinosaurs back from extinction—then built a park around them as cheesy as any zoo attraction or Disney theme park.
For many who came of age around 1993, both the novel and the movie Jurassic Park are likely to both be pop culture milestone experiences. The film is a beautiful marriage of material and talent, bringing to life a childhood dinosaur fantasy with state of the art filmmaking technology. Steven Spielberg had been refining his instincts as both a director and producer of some of the best family-friendly adventures of the previous decade, »
- Charlie Sanford
1971 was an incredibly violent year for movies. That year saw, among others, Tom Laughlin’s Billy Jack, with its half-Indian hero karate-chopping rednecks; William Friedkin’s The French Connection, its dogged cops stymied by well-heeled drug runners; Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, banned for the copycat crimes it reportedly inspired; and Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, featuring the most controversial rape in cinema history. Every bloody shooting, sexual assault and death by penis statue reflected a world gone mad.
It seemed a reaction to America’s skyrocketing crime. Between 1963 and 1975, violent crimes tripled; riots, robberies and assassinations racked major cities. The antiwar and Civil Rights movements generated violent offshoots like the Weathermen and Black Panthers. Citizens blamed politicians like New York Mayor John Lindsay (the original “limousine liberal”), who proclaimed “Peace cannot be imposed on our cities by force of arms,” and Earl Warren’s Supreme Court, »
- Christopher Saunders
"They’re here." The 1982 horror classic Poltergeist, directed by Toby Hooper of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre fame, and highly influenced by Steven Spielberg, has been an influence for many horror films since its release. It's no surprise, especially for a horror film, that a remake would be inevitable. How does one fill the shoes of the original Poltergeist? You don’t. It’s impossible. Director Gil Kenan, who directed 2006’s animated Monster House, takes on the unenvied task of updating Poltergeist. With a few accomplished scenes and set pieces, this updated product hits all the highlights, but looses all the substance that made the original a portrait of quaint suburban life turned into a nightmare.
The Bowen family move into a suburban community and strange occurrences begin happening in their new home. Eric (Sam Rockwell) is looking for a fresh start after being recently laid off from his job »
- Monte Yazzie
Our look at underappreciated films of the 80s continues, as we head back to 1988...
Either in terms of ticket sales or critical acclaim, 1988 was dominated by the likes of Rain Man, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Coming To America. It was the year Bruce Willis made the jump from TV to action star with Die Hard, and became a star in the process.
It was the year Leslie Nielsen made his own jump from the small to silver screen with Police Squad spin-off The Naked Gun, which sparked a hugely popular franchise of its own. Elsewhere, the eccentric Tim Burton scored one of the biggest hits of the year with Beetlejuice, the success of which would result in the birth of Batman a year later. And then there was Tom Cruise, who managed to make a drama about a student-turned-barman into a $170m hit, back when $170m was still an »
The “Most Appealing Movie With the Least Appealing Subject” prize on the festival circuit in recent months has surely been owned by “The Creeping Garden,” an improbably delightful documentary about — deep breath now — slime molds. Packaged to recall 1970s sci-fi classics (like “Phrase IV” and the ’78 “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”), good-humored but not campy in its regard of some genuinely fascinating research, and full of trippy visuals, this science-fair bonanza would have been a midnight staple in the era of “The Hellstrom Chronicles.” Today, Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp’s feature will have to build its cult following primarily via download sales, though it certainly rewards bigscreen exposure. Following several festival dates and a brief U.K. theatrical run last year, it’s slotted to open at New York’s Film Forum in the fall.
Thriving mostly out of sight under rotting logs and other places where moisture and bacteria are plentiful, »
- Dennis Harvey
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
Hit horror Unfriended takes place entirely on social media and computer screens. So if the genre really is a barometer for the anxieties of an age, what does that say about the world we now live in?
‘Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep,” cautioned the tagline for A Nightmare on Elm Street back in 1984. Thirty years on, having your dreams interrupted by some old codger with a pair of scissors is the least of your worries. These days, you can’t even open your laptop.
More than any other genre, horror acts as a barometer on exterior fears. The bogeymen of our times are stumbling ciphers for outside concerns. In the 50s, Invasion of the Body Snatchers fretted about McCarthyism. In the 80s, The Thing riffed horrifically on the emerging Aids epidemic (watch that blood-test scene again). And post-9/11, the torture-porn subgenre, spearheaded by Saw and Hostel, placed viewers in the position of prisoners, »
- Benjamin Lee
Got your Summer film calendar planned yet? On Wednesday The Academy announced their May and June programs which will explore the past, present and especially the future of moviegoing, as the availability of a wide variety of platforms for viewing films alters the habits of today’s audiences.
“The New Audience: Moviegoing in a Connected World,” a live panel presentation on May 12, complements “This Is Widescreen,” an eight-week screening series beginning May 1 that illustrates one of the ways filmmakers more than a half-century ago responded to the competition of that era, television.
The New Audience: Moviegoing In A Connected World
Tuesday, May 12│7:30 P.M.│Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills
Moderator Krista Smith, Vanity Fair’s executive West Coast editor, will lead an onstage panel discussion of how filmmakers and studios seek to take advantage of the wide variety of viewing platforms available to contemporary audiences.
Scheduled guests include Walt »
- Michelle McCue
1981 was an amazing year for horror. An American Werewolf in London. The Beyond. The Evil Dead. The Funhouse. The Howling. The list goes on and on. However, one that always seems to fall through the cracks of time and memory is Dead & Buried.
Released in May 1981, Dead & Buried did not set any box office records. This is due to the fact that it is very hard to categorize. Is it a slasher ala Friday the 13th Part 2? No, but there are some gruesome and realistic deaths courtesy of late effects whiz Stan Winston. Is it a monster movie like The Howling? Not exactly, but the movie involves transformations (of a sort). Is there a mystery to solve? Definitely, and this is what drives the story forward and through the disparate elements at play.
60’s and 70’s TV survivor James Farentino stars as Dan Gillis, Sheriff of the seaside town of Potter’s Bluff. »
- Scott Drebit
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