9 items from 2009
Cologne, Germany -- Swedish public broadcaster Stv is bringing together two of Sweden's most successful cultural exports -- film director Ingmar Bergman and best-selling crime author Henning Mankell. Mankell has signed on to write a four-hour mini-series based on Bergman's life, to be shown on Svt in 2012.
Mankell is best known for his Inspector Kurt Wallander novels, which have been adapted into successful series by Svt and, more recently, by the BBC in a BAFTA-award winning procedural starring Kenneth Branagh.
Mankell's script for the Bergman series will cover a wide swath of the director's life and not shy away from the darker sides of his character.
"What interests me is what one might call the 'price of obsession'," Mankell said in a statement. "What fascinates me is the price Bergman had to pay for his uncompromising creativity -- it darkened many aspects of the rest of his life."
Widely recognized »
- By Scott Roxborough
In the past decade, foreign films became slightly less foreign as directors moved from country to country, funding came from all over the globe, and various international artists teamed up for the benefit of a single work. American Clint Eastwood made a film in Japanese, Taiwanese Hou Hsiao-hsien made a film in French, and Chinese Wong Kar-wai made a film in English. There was even a film with a writer from Poland, a director from Germany, lead actors from Australia and USA, dialogue in Italian and funding from France. So for my list, I'm not choosing "foreign" films so much as I am films whose primary language is not English. Following is my ten best in ranked order.
1. Yi Yi (2000)
This was the seventh feature film by Taiwanese filmmaker Edward Yang, and his first to be distributed in the United States. Sadly, it was also his last film, as »
- Jeffrey M. Anderson
Chicago – When American filmmakers throw a colorful familial ensemble under one roof for the holidays, the result often feels like a forced sitcom. Consider 2005’s “The Family Stone,” an ungainly fusion of slapstick laughs, scathing satire and feel good fuzziness.
The family members and their significant others each came equipped with their own specially designed quirks, including a matriarch battling cancer, and a deaf son with a black male lover (they’re portrayed as the only “normal” people in the film). French filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin’s “A Christmas Tale,” has the same basic outline, yet its style is more evocative of the New Wave than bad television.
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Not since Ingmar Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander” has a film so enchantingly merged jubilant holiday magic with melancholy family drama. It’s an exhilaratingly off-kilter picture, with a story both sprawling and simple. The film opens with a man, Abel »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Ronald Colman, centenarian Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Madeleine Carroll, and Mary Astor (in the Ruritanian classic The Prisoner of Zenda); Fairbanks again, with Irene Dunne and Lucille Ball (in the not-so-classic comedy Joy of Living); Bette Davis, Monty Woolley and Ann Sheridan (in the comedy classic The Man Who Came to Dinner); John Gilbert and Renée Adorée (in the anti-war classic The Big Parade); Humphrey Bogart, Joan Bennett, and Peter Ustinov (in the demi-classic allegorical comedy We’re No Angels); Woody Allen and Diane Keaton (in the middle-age-crisis classic Manhattan); James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, and Gloria Grahame (in the horror classic It’s a Wonderful Life); Ingmar Bergman’s Oscar-winning classic Fanny and Alexander; and, inevitably, several Walt Disney classic shorts [...] »
- Andre Soares
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I don't know if any of you took my advice on the 50% off Criterion sale at Barnes and Noble I mentioned two weeks ago, but you have one more week and I have already taken advantage of it by getting Battle of Algiers, the Fanny and Alexander box set and upgraded my single-disc version of Seven Samurai with the three-disc edition. I basically paid about $70 for the whole thing with my Barnes and Noble Membership card and it's about $160 worth of DVDs so that's a good deal in my book. Take advantage of it and use this coupon to save an extra $5.
Now, for this week's DVDs.
Gone With the Wind (70th Anniversary Ultimate Collection) I just reviewed the Blu-ray edition of this and was incredibly impressed. What's even more impressive is Amazon is charging only $45.49 for both the »
- Brad Brevet
... 150 hours long.
You may have thought that Titanic was long with its 3 hour and 14 minute running time, but that's nothing. Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander is an impressive 312 minutes. Cleopatra lounges in a director's cut of 320 minutes. The 1968 Soviet film War and Peace boasts an impressive 484 minutes, and Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz had to be shown in segments on television since it's a whopping 15+ hours long.
But now all of those have been trumped, made to look like short films with this new sucker. As foreign sister site Moviefone Canada reports, there's a new film called Cinematon, which is the world's longest film. What length does it take to get such an honor? One hundred and fifty hours. In this short-attention-span world, that's pretty much unfathomable. But luckily, it's not one continuous story -- that would take almost a week without sleep to see all at once. The film is »
- Monika Bartyzel
When you sit down to a horror film, you know, at least on a basic level, what you're getting into. Whether or not the movie delivers, what you've been promised, and what you're braced for or looking forward to, are scares. Which is why, when we look back on those truly traumatic movie memories, the titles that come to mind often are not horror films at all.
The most frightening movie moments can arrive out of nowhere, in the midst of where they shouldn't belong, catching you when you're vulnerable -- which is why there are a few alleged children's films on this list. But they can also creep up on you, working a different kind of dread, which is where some of the documentaries included below fit in. Fear is a funny thing. It comes in different varieties, it can work its way on you in unanticipated, and, as our collection here proves, »
- Alison Willmore
I wasn't quite sure how to properly word the headline for this post considering I want to make sure you understand I am talking about the season pretty much running from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but I also want to make sure you know the film itself doesn't have to necessarily be about the holidays.
Take Die Hard for instance, it's set during Christmas time, but it isn't a Christmas film. However, it fits in with what I am looking for here. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Eyes Wide Shut, Fanny and Alexander, Batman Returns, Gremlins, The Thin Man and When Harry Met Sally are other examples. Hell, I would even say Rocky IV and Lethal Weapon count. As a matter of fact, I would say the non-Christmas, Christmas movies are the more interesting additions. How about The Shining or even Psycho?
Then, of course, I personally love films such as Love, »
- Brad Brevet
I'm of the mind that when you're a fan, it makes a lot more sense to save for the big things than throw away $20 here and there for something mediocre. For example: Would you want to spend a couple hundred bucks on some collectibles that will probably never be worth a whole heck of a lot, or spend $150 on a collection of glasses, or $100 on a chair that belonged to Ingmar Bergman.
Come on. If you're a fan or cinema, what can be cooler than that? A Swedish site called Bukowskis is auctioning off a lot of the filmmaker's stuff -- art, furniture, and movie equipment. (Unless, pray tell me Swedish speakers, this is something else, lost in translation?) Some of the items can be quite expensive, heading into thousands of Swedish kronor (approx 6,500 sek equals $1,000), but some are set under $100, which I think is beyond reasonable for something owned »
- Monika Bartyzel
9 items from 2009
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