7 items from 2014
Seoul — The 17th edition of PiFan got underway Thursday in Bucheon, a far-flung suburb of western Seoul.
Considering the anonymity of the destination, the Bucheon International Festival of Fantastic Film to give it its full name, has built a standout reputation as Asia’s leading genre film festival.
It does so through a generously ambiguous definition of what constitutes ‘fantasy film.’ Should the programmers like, it can mean pretty much anything other than a documentary could be selected.
This year one, interpretation of fantasy is sexual.
Unafraid of either challenging or kitsch material, the festival is celebrating Italian porn meister Tinto Brass in a special section called ‘Crossing the boundary between Eroticism and Perversion.’ The sidebar is an exploration of sex films that has been the long-cherished ambition of programmer Thomas Nam.
“This retrospective is a wonderful opportunity to realize he is much more than just ‘tits and asses’ director that, »
- Patrick Frater
We don’t go to the cinema much, because we hate people. We also don’t go because there’s always the risk of accidentally going to see the wrong film. It's not helped by the fact that there's no way of telling until it’s too late, because there are no bloody opening credits on lots of modern films. And by the time you do realise, you’ve eaten all your popcorn and you can’t be bothered to move.
The movies on this list won’t give you that problem. These opening credits are perfect scene setters for the movies that follow, so you won’t have to worry about awkward popcorn wasting moments. It's not a top 50, rather a selection of 50 interesting credits sequences, »
She insists that she needs to wear towering "stripper heels" because she's only 5'4", but Helen Mirren - who memorably twerked for a bunch of Harvard students earlier this year - insists that people shouldn't call her a sex symbol. "Oh, they're not thinking straight," the 68-year-old says in the June/July issue of Aarp The Magazine. Even though she's stripped off on screen in films like Caligula and Calendar Girls, Dame Helen admits to being "vaguely embarrassed" by the fuss that has gone along with her baring it all. Sex appeal "becomes less relevant with age, which is a good thing, »
- K.C. Blumm
We all know history is written by the film producers. After all, the past is big bucks for Hollywood, what with all its ready-made stories and epic happenings. And luckily for us Vesuvius erupted in 79 Ad, spewing out lava, pyroclastic flows and poisonous gasses. Some in nearby Herculaneum died instantly, others in Pompeii had a more drawn out affair and even the dog got it (noooo, not the dog!). Whatever – it’s good cinema right?
So to celebrate the release of new historical disaster movie Pompeii, let Thn take you on a magical history tour into the past. Yes, it’s time to pull the annals of antiquity down from the shelf, dust them off and explore ye olden times with five historical renditions from cinema and television.
It’s hard being on the side-lines isn’t it? Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Milos Forman’s biopic of l’enfant terrible of Classical, »
- Claire Joanne Huxham
Some actors like to chew the scenery. Hamming it up is mostly a fun alternative to grimly spewing out dull lines, but even Shakespeare’s plays can work well with an actor who’s prepared to commit to the most overdramatic interpretation possible (take Richard III). Still, there’s a difference between overacting on occasion and playing all your roles as if you’re in a Warner Bros. cartoon, and all of these actors crossed that line a long time ago.
When you see these actors onscreen, you aren’t seeing the character they’re playing but waiting impatiently for the bizarre line reading or grandiose monologue which you know is coming. It’s sometimes a welcome distraction and sometimes it takes you right out of the film. Some of these actors have made a whole career out of their stylised performances, and others are wasting their talent »
- Grace Murray
'Why audiences might prefer to watch his oeuvre – a 40-year mass of frequently explicit sex films – at home rather than at the multiplex, is an enigma that may never be unravelled'
Though few of his films have secured UK cinema releases since his notorious sex-and-sandals epic Caligula sent British authorities into the mother of all censorship tizzes in 1979, self-proclaimed Italian "master of the erotic" Tinto Brass remains a popular fixture on the home entertainment scene. Why audiences might prefer to watch his oeuvre – a 40-year mass of gluteally fixated, frequently explicit sex films – at home rather than at the multiplex, is an enigma that may never be unravelled.
Two Brass films that have long been available only on ancient VHS tapes make the leap to Blu-ray this week: 1998's Frivolous Lola and 2000's Cheeky, both courtesy of Arrow Films. In the latter, Venetian model Carla (Yuliya Mayarchuk, pictured) arrives in »
- Charlie Lyne
As Helen Mirren is due to be presented with BAFTA’s highest honour, the Fellowship, on February 16th at the BAFTA Awards Ceremony, it is the perfect time to remind ourselves of and celebrate the Dame’s pure awesomeness. A lady of talent and class, she is the mixture and embodiment of all the best female archetypes. She is the cool aunt who covered for you when your mom found pot in your room; the intense mistress who made you do stuff that makes you blush just thinking of it until this day; the elegant, sophisticated wife you take to business dinners and opera nights – she is everything you ever dreamed of and she knows it.
1. Gifted Actress
Mirren is the winner of an Oscar, three Golden Globes and four Emmys. Her acting career spans across almost half a decade and is still thriving as the actress keeps on undertaking a variety of roles, »
7 items from 2014
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