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The schedule for the 25th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (Sliff) has been announced and once again film goers will be offered the best in cutting edge features and shorts from around the globe. The festival takes place November 3-13, 2016.
Sliff kicks off on November 3 with the opening-night selection St. Louis Brews, the latest home-brewed documentary by local filmmaker Bill Streeter, director of Brick By Chance And Fortune: A St. Louis Story (read my interview with Bill Here)
According to Sliff, the festival will feature more than 125 filmmaking guests, including honorees: Actress Karen Allen (Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Animal House), director Charles Burnett (Killer Of Sheep, To Sleep With Anger), winner of the Cinema St. Louis Lifetime Achievement Award; and director Steve James (Hoop Dreams).
Full information on Sliff films, including synopses, dates/time, and links for purchase of advance tickets is available on the Cinema St. »
- Tom Stockman
Horror movies can give you nightmares, but they can also give you belly aches because you laughed too hard. This is our list of the ten best films that are a perfect blend of comedy and horror.
Horror films allow us to explore our fears. They find the ideas and concepts that frighten us the most, and then they bring those things to life. One of the most universal concepts explored in horror films is death. A universal fear among the living. Death, it turns out, is actually an excellent topic for comedy as well. Since death is something that haunts us all, it is a perfect universal target for comedy. Different perspectives can paint death in a less frightening light. In doing so, it gives our fears a new perspective. We can laugh at them.
Horror-comedies are, therefore, not as juxtaposed as they might first seem. They play off »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
You can tell Halloween is right around the corner, as September 27th has over 20 different horror and sci-fi home entertainment releases looking to put a dent in your wallet. As far as new movies go, The Shallows, The Neon Demon, and Warcraft are all coming home on Tuesday, and for all you classic horror fans, there are new releases of An American Werewolf in London, Blood Diner, Chopping Mall, Lady in White, Slugs, and the 30th anniversary Blu-ray for Highlander.
Re-discover one of the most gripping horror films of all time with the cult classic An American Werewolf in London Restored Edition. Blending the macabre with a wicked sense of humor, »
- Heather Wixson
The frathouse comedy is almost as much of an all-American institution as fraternities themselves. In 1978, National Lampoon’s Animal House became one of the most profitable movies of all time and Hollywood realised that there was gold in them there locker rooms. Animal House’s uproariously wacky tone, however, couldn’t have been further removed from Goat, the dark drama starring Nick Jonas about a fraternity’s brutal hazing ritual. Out in the Us this Friday, it’s an indication of how America’s attitude has changed towards fraternities, from harmless hijinks to something much more sinister.
- Noah Gittell
It starts like some kind of violent ballet: A semicircle of shirtless young men scream at something on the ground offscreen, in slow motion and without a sound, veins popping out of their necks like roided-out riverbeds. We can't see the object of their animalistic aggression, but that's not the point. Drunk on testosterone and plain old drunk, the hulking boys are not predators huddled over a zebra carcass; they're fraternity gentlemen. Welcome to Pledge Week.
Booze, babes, and brotherhood: This is the image of Greek life that’s dominated movie screens in the four decades since Animal House basically invented the modern campus comedy. No wonder young men keep subjecting themselves to the rigors of rushing; to hear the movies tell it, good times are but a paddling away. But there’s a university football field separating these onscreen bacchanals from the harsh reality painted by every headline controversy. Without even touching upon sexual-assault charges or recent racism scandals, Goat reveals something uglier than the usual endless party. For once, the frat boys are depicted not as lovable dolts or harmless pranksters, but as sadistic bullies. Likewise, their excessive initiation rites are played not for lowbrow comedy, but for something closer to horror. This is basically the anti-Animal House.
The story is true, which lends it an extra-disturbing charge, though certain details of the »
- A.A. Dowd
Nick Jonas, the youngest JoBro – he's 24 – makes good on some promising TV acting (Kingdom, Scream Queens) with an outstanding performance in Goat, a fact-based fratboy movie it might be helpful to think of as Animal House minus the laughs.
Jonas plays Brett Land, a member of Phi Sigma Mu, a fraternity now being pledged by his younger brother Brad (Ben Schnetzer), who wrote the 2004 anti-hazing memoir on which the film is based. It's already been a traumatizing summer for Brad: After leaving his alpha brother at a party, he's pressured »
Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.
This Past Weekend:
Yikes. What a terrible weekend we just had, not only for the new movies released but also for the Weekend Warrior’s predictions. Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks’ Sully won its second weekend in a row with just under $22 million, but as far as the new movies, neither Lionsgate’s Blair Witch nor Universal’s Bridget Jones’s Baby did very well, putting the last nail in the coffin (hopefully) for sequels/remakes trying to play upon nostalgia that just isn’t there. (Good luck to the Rings movie opening next month!) Blair Witch ended up with $9.6 million to take second place and both Bridget Jones’s Baby and Oliver Stone’s Snowden ended up with around $8 million, so »
- Edward Douglas
It may be tasteless, but National Lampoon captured the campus experience in a way no UK film has ever managed
I once saw National Lampoon’s Animal House at a back-to-school midnight show at the University of California at Santa Barbara in September 1984. I hadn’t counted on the entire two rows of frat-boys behind me who recited every single line of dialogue, in unison, just seconds before the characters onscreen did. It was the first time I realised the term “cult movie” really meant something. Here were a group of people who were modelling their lives – for good or ill, mostly ill – on a movie that spoke directly to their own college experience. One that, as a few epic, real frat-house parties soon showed me, was infinitely more colourful than my own, albeit infused with a sinister sense of everyone growing up way too fast.
Compared to my monochrome, »
- John Patterson
Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes, and clips and puts it all in perspective. The Goat trailer looks so meaningless and derivative, I thought I had to be missing something. I searched the Interwebs to find out more, and yes, it turns out this film's intent is complexity. You wouldn't necessarily know it from the trailer but Goat is a drama. A drama that explores how hard it is to be a douche-bro. Just like the movie, I sound like I'm trying to be funny but I'm serious. It is hard to be a douche-bro. It's a lot of pent up hostility, man. Exploring male anger can be an interesting subject. I mean it is to me. Maybe because I'm a man, I don't know. (I also like Sour Patch Kids.) Anger is just a protection against hurt and sadness. It's a masking »
- Jon Davis
Far removed from the days of Animal House, Andrew Neel’s Goat takes a look at the initiation process to enter a fraternity (aka hazing) and the strength and limits of loyalty. Led by pop-star-turned-actor Nick Jonas and Ben Schnetzer, with a cameo by producer James Franco, as evidenced in a new Nsfw trailer, the script is co-written by David Gordon Green.
We said in our review from Sundance this year: “Telling us little new about the horrors of hazing that Todd Phillips’ documentary Frat House didn’t already do at Sundance nearly two decades ago, Goat is a compelling watch, but in the end, its themes are a bit muddled, and certainly not unique.”
- Leonard Pearce
by Kyle Stevens
Professor Indiana JonesAfter teaching for years as a graduate student, then as a postdoc, and then as a Visiting Assistant Professor, I’ve finally started a proper position as Assistant Professor of Film Studies. As semesters begin all over the country, I turned to thinking about my favorite on-screen professors. High school movies tend to serve as microcosms of society; they’re all emotional peaks and valleys, in-groups and out-groups, and the goal is to get out. In college movies, from Animal House and Old School to Legally Blonde and The House Bunny, the goal is to stay on the rip-roaring ride of university life.
Not surprisingly, college teachers don’t feature heavily in these movies. And in other genres where professors pop up, they’re not exactly realistic. Think Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor, Natalie Portman in Thor, Hugh Grant in The Rewrite, »
- Kyle Stevens
The long Labor Day holiday is a perfect time to catch up on beach and back-to-school faves. “Weekend at Bernie’s” is maybe the ultimate Labor Day movie, a dark comedy about two guys running around the Hamptons with their dead boss’s corpse (long story). If you came of age in the ’90s, “Saved by the Bell” was unavoidable. Binge old episodes on Hulu. If you like to watch good-looking people in bathing suits running on the beach, “Baywatch” is your Labor Day show. John Belushi starred in “Animal House,” about a wild frat house in the early 1960s. »
- Scott Collins
Donald Trump finally has entered the TV ad wars for the November general election, and he got a familiar face — if not necessarily a familiar name or voice — to narrate it. Bruce McGill, the prolific character actor who co-stars on Rizzoli & Isles but is locked into movie comedy lore as D-Day from Animal House, does the voice-over for the spot titled “Two Americas: Immigration.” The ad begins with verbiage that has been pounded into our collective brains during the past… »
It's bad enough to be a werewolf, hunted by the light of the full moon. But to be a foreign werewolf? That's beyond cruel. An American Werewolf in London squirms with comic unease from the get-go, and almost immediately from its release 35 years ago — August 21st, 1981 — the bipolar horror-comedy has been celebrated on two impressively different fronts: as a landmark in startling makeup effects that legitimized the gross-out, and as a riotous piece of fish-out-of-water college humor. Calling the film a sick joke is perfectly apt. It's a sweaty, shuddery experience, »
In the real world, every person tends to have a very different high school and college experience. If you happen to live in a movie, however, everyone's school experience is almost guaranteed to include one thing: a ridiculous, probably life-changing party. In honor of students everywhere gearing back up to hit the books this fall, FandangoNOW held a survey to find out fans' Top 20 "Party School" Movies. Check out the results: The Top 20 “Party School” Movies: 1. American Pie 2. Pitch Perfect 3. Neighbors 4. Monsters University 5. National Lampoon’s Animal House 6. National Lampoon’s Van Wilder 7. Accepted 8. Dazed and Confused ?9. Superbad 10. Revenge of the...
- Peter Hall
I’ve been back from my Oregon vacation for a couple of weeks now, and though the getaway was a good and necessary one, I’m still in the process of mentally unpacking from a week and a half of relaxing and thinking mostly only about things I wanted to think about. (I also discovered a blackberry cider brewed in the region, the source of a specific sort of relaxation that I’m still finding myself pining for.) It hasn’t helped that our time off and immediate time back coincided with the bombast and general insanity of the Republic National Convention, followed immediately by the disarray and sense of restored hope that bookended the Democrats’ week-long party. The extremity of emotions engendered by those two events, coupled with a profoundly unsettling worry over the base level of our current political discourse and where it may lead this country, hasn »
- Dennis Cozzalio
There haven’t been a lot of movies in the last decade that have been forced to deal with outright hatred long before they were released, and the unique difficulties of such a situation made for some odd moves when it came to the marketing for Ghostbusters.
While the fact that the film was remade with a set of female Ghostbusters obviously got most of the attention, the internet was also buzzing with the ire of those who weren’t thrilled that the thing was being remade at all.
When the first trailer hit, and quickly became one of the most “disliked” videos in the history of YouTube, director Paul Feig, some of the cast, and anyone else with a dog in the fight, quickly decided that it might be possible to make lemonade out of the situation, and tried to create a misogyny PC shield out of the firestorm »
- Marc Eastman
“Sophomore dies in kiln explosion? Oh My God! I just talked to her last week… She was going to make me a pot.”
You know it makes you wanna Shout! Time to grab your toga and return to Faber College for the wildest frat party ever when “National Lampoon’s Animal House” returns to movie theaters as part of Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies’ TCM Big Screen Classics series. The event will take place at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. local time on August 14 and 17 only and includes specially-produced commentary from TCM host Ben Mankiewicz before and after the feature.
From Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, “National Lampoon’s Animal House” stars comedy legend John Belushi and follows the uproarious escapades of the Delta House fraternity as they take on Dean Wormer (John Vernon), the sanctimonious Omegas, and the entire female student body. Directed by John Landis (“The Blues Brothers »
- Tom Stockman
So, the world has survived the (gasp!) Ghostbusters female reboot (did it really “ruin your childhood”, fellas?). Are we ready for another “lady led” comedy, one that’s a bit edgier than the new phantom-fighters? You know, not as “all-ages’ friendly, in others words, “R” rated (for raunchy). Yes, Edina and Patsy went from the small screen to the big screens last weekend. And Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates is still roaming the multiplex with Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick as a formidable comic duo, so there are lots of funny women in adult-themed comedies around. But this current flick addresses the somewhat new social media concept of “mom shaming”, though it was probably done in whispers in pre-tech days. This weekend’s new comedy attempts to put a funny spin on all this judgemental nonsense with a story that owes a lot to Mean Girls, filtered through Bridesmaids, »
- Jim Batts
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