9 items from 2015
While the Academy has accepted 81 submissions for the foreign language Oscar, it rejected the initial would-be entry for China. The country's first swing was for China Film Co's big-budget Mongolian wilderness adventure "Wolf Totem" (Columbia Pictures, September 11), the 13th feature from French director Jean-Jacques Annaud ("Quest for Fire"), who shot in Mandarin and Mongolian. In 1976, Annaud won the foreign Oscar for France for Africa-set "Black and White in Color," which brought him as a young man to Cameroon, so he understood "Wolf Totem," which is based on a 2004 bestseller by Jiang Rong, about city dwellers discovering a strange landscape. In the film two young Beijing students are sent to live among the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Mongolia. Read More: How Jean-Jacques Annaud Made Mongolian Survival Tale 'Wolf Totem' (Exclusive Video) China had reason to be confident in their choice, which »
- Anne Thompson
Truly supporting creativity occasionally means giving artists the latitude to fail, and HBO — fresh off its Emmy haul — has done that, rather spectacularly, with “The Leftovers.” A creative reboot ostensibly intended to address the program’s shortcomings has merely exacerbated them, leaving behind a drama that is arty and provocative, but also pretentious and opaque to the point of infuriating. Admittedly, that appraisal’s based on an incomplete picture, after watching three second-season episodes, each told from a different perspective. Yet while season one featured some haunting moments that couldn’t quite offset the flaws, it’s hard to see this go-round recovering to that modest level.
A prologue within the premiere, frankly, will likely serve as a Rorschach test on how people respond to the program’s new direction. Those who consider the silent flashback sequence — and by that, the implication is way back, a la “Quest For Fire »
- Brian Lowry
Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance was on CBS last night (September 30, 2015) for the second episode named “Survivor MacGyver.” The two tribes, Ta Keo and Bayon competed against each other in a reward challenge and an immunity challenge tonight while host Jeff Probst refereed. Last week’s immunity/reward was called “Quest for Fire,” which was the very first challenge in the first episode. Tribe Bayon won immunity and a firemaking kit as the reward. While tribe Ta Keo was distracted after the challenge was over Kelly Wentworth was able to grab the hidden immunity idol at the challenge location. Tribe Ta Keo voted out Vitas Baskauskas at the first tribal council. AbiMaria received four of the votes making her ponder that she might be the next player who is eliminated. Tvguide.com offered this synopsis: “One tribe is completely puzzled at a classic immunity challenge. Later, one castaway attempts »
In order to make his 13th movie "Wolf Totem" without CG wolves, Jean-Jacques Annaud ("Quest for Fire," "Wings of Courage"), who has made a career out of shooting with animals in exotic locations, had to grow wolf cubs--as he did with "The Bear"-- over two to three years and train them to trust humans. The production had to wrangle 480 technicians, 200 horses, nearly 1,000 sheep, and 50 trainers and handlers, including armed guards and local farmers. Annaud dreaded filming one sequence involving an aerial drone filming 200 horses and 25 wolves running together in a blizzard at night, which was more difficult and dangerous than you can imagine. "Digital can’t capture the soul or the instinct of an actor - human or animal," says Annaud, who prefers to use CG for post-production fixes. He's never happier than when he's working with his crew on remote terrain away from the comforts of home. It's when he. »
- Anne Thompson
Can Evrenol’s film centers on a Turkish police unit discovering a blood-soaked den used for satanic rituals in a desolate area. Salt Co. has been handling international sales.
The film was produced by Muge Buyuktalas of Mo Films and executive produced by Todd Brown of Xyz Films and Mike Hostench. It stars Gorkem Kasal, Ergun Kuyucu, Mehmet Cerrahoglu, Sabahattin Yakut, Mehmet Fatih Dokgoz and Muharrem Bayrak.
The film is based on Evrenol’s 2013 short film of the same name, and draws upon such films as “Quest for Fire,” “Apocalypse Now,” and “Hellraiser” along with the paintings of Caravaggio, Bosch, and Giger.
- Dave McNary
Animal movies aren't just for kids anymore, but nobody made one better than this French production, which stars a pair of talented Ursine thespians doing their thing amid more beautiful mountain scenery than seems decent. It's guaranteed perfect 'watch something with the kid' material, and more than intelligent enough for consenting adult fans of the great outdoors. The Bear 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition Shout! Factory Savant Blu-ray Review 1988 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 96 min. / 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition / L'ours / Street Date September 29, 2015 / 19.99 Starring Bart the Bear, Youk the Bear, Tchéky Karyo, Jack Wallace, André Lacombe. Cinematography Philippe Rousselot Film Editor Noëlle Boisson Original Music Philippe Sarde Animal specialists Dieter Krami, Steve Martin, Doug Seus, Lynne Seus, Clint Youngreen, Jean M. Simpson. Written by Gérard Brach from the novel by Jame Oliver Curwood Produced by Claude Berri Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
Ahead of its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, a trailer has arrive online for the Turkish horror Baskin, which we have for you here…
What should be a routine night on patrol becomes a trip into the darkness of the mind and soul for a squad of unsuspecting cops in this tour-de-force feature debut from the ferociously talented director Can Evrenol. Based on Evrenol’s terrifying 2013 short of the same name, and drawing upon a diverse range of inspirations — not only such films as Quest for Fire, Apocalypse Now, and Hellraiser but also the paintings of Caravaggio, Bosch, and Giger — Baskin offers up a nightmarish compendium of imaginative frights that will leave even seasoned horror-movie fans reeling.
Responding to an emergency call for backup, the squad arrives at an old building to find an abandoned patrol car and no sign of their comrades. Entering the building and making their way to the basement, »
- Gary Collinson
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
The high-concept film sees the film's actors favouring grunts for traditional dialogue, a la Quest for Fire. That's really all we know at this point.
Let's just say we're extremely excited to see what
Recommended Release: Sightseers
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9 items from 2015
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