14 items from 2010
For Part One of my look back at The Company of Wolves click here before reading on.
And so, what of the aformentioned FX?. Whilst time has, understandably, not been the kindest to them the sheer creativity on display is enough to make up for any technical shortcomings. Only 3 years earlier Rick Baker had wowed audiences with his stunning work on John Landis’ “An American Werewolf In London” (still, arguably, the greatest man to wolf transformation scene ever comitted to celluloid) and so it was perhaps wise for the FX team to avoid a similarly extended, fully lit transformation sequence.
Nonetheless the finished film does boast some extraordinary, albeit dated, scenes including Stephen Rea tearing the very skin from his face (his eventual metamorphosis sadly looks decidedly mechanical), a gypsy woman transforming an entire wedding party into a pack of slobbering wolves (the decision to shoot parts of this scene »
- Nick Turk
The horror movie, in all its multitude of cinematic guises, has offered up many a piece of friendly advice throughout the years. Whether it’s a deranged old man warning a bunch of witless teenagers to skip this year’s camping vacation, an urban legend warning the curious amongst us all to avoid speaking a certain name out loud five times whilst staring into a mirror or a pub full of especially suspicious punters suggesting we all just “stick to the roads” and “keep clear of the moors” as many an important life lesson has been learnt from the silver screen as from our dear and loving parents.
And so, for an overly imaginative teenager of the Nineteen Eighties, it’s understandable that a great deal of curiosity was to be aroused when Angela Lansbury kindly warned us all to “never stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple »
- Nick Turk
Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke seems to have come up with what looks to be the most atmospheric version of the ancient 'Red Riding Hood' tale ever put on screen. This time round, the wolf is a werewolf, the human identity of which is hidden among the village in which our heroine lives. What with the snow and oppressive paranoia, Red Riding Hood (2011) has overtones of The Thing (1982).
It's not the first time that movies have added a distinctly lycanthropic take on the tale, as Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves (1984) was another fantasy-take on werewolves within the 'Red Riding Hood' tale. However it was also a rather disjointed anthology of wolf-related tales, charming but unfocused and very patchy.
Coming off what appears to be a very successful pairing on the upcoming The Immortals, Relativity Media super producer Ryan Kavanaugh and Tarsem Singh are reteaming for the company's untitled Snow White project. With a script by Melissa Wallack (based on the original Brothers Grimm tale) the film is gearing up for a March shoot date. With several Snow White Projects being prepped across Hollywood, it looks like Relativity's will be the first one out of the gate.
And on account of these rival projects they are keeping pretty mum on story details beyond the basic idea that it will be a rather modern take on the classic fairy tale, which could mean a number of things at this point. Typing this Neil Jordan's Little Red Riding redo The Company of Wolves comes to mind, but who knows.
One thing I do know is I'm intrigued by the choice of Tarsem. »
Death by catflap and other heinous ways to go … here are your suggestions for the genre's most creative demise
@Sokket The bed eating a victim in the original Nightmare on Elm Street
@mcragg Scream. Death by catflap.
@theythinkitsallover Meaning of Life – exploding fat man.
@gembird My favourite is the one in The Happening where a man starts his lawnmower and then lies down in front of it so it chews him up.
@Sipech I think drowning in sand in The Omen. It made me aware of a phobia I never realised I had. Surely, the worst possible way to die.
@ATG66 I'll never forget the scene in Dr Phibes Rises Again where the man is trapped by a huge scorpion »
Carrie becomes Kate
Sarah Jessica Parker has seen off Nicole Kidman to land the big-screen role of Kate Reddy, heroine of Allison Pearson's 2002 novel I Don't Know How She Does It. Sj, as she always tells me to call her, will be playing Kate as an American because the action has been entirely transposed from the book's London setting to Manhattan. I'm told Sj was handed the role after the book's fans responded negatively to rumours that Kidman was in line to play over-stretched working mum, Kate. The film is being overseen by producer Harvey Weinstein and directed by Douglas McGrath, the urbane director who co-wrote Bullets Over Broadway with Woody Allen and most recently made the "o for the lead? »
- Jason Solomons
Catherine Breillat sets aside her characteristic dans ton visage eroticism, but clings to her usual feminism to retell with crisp dispatch Perrault's blood-curdling, much-analysed fairy tale of how a medieval virgin did for the serial uxoricide, Barbe Bleue. Breillat's tactic is to have the story read in a cosy attic in a modern French chateau by an eight-year-old girl (by implication Breillat herself) to her slightly older sister as a way of terrifying her. An interesting conceit, a clever film but somewhat perfunctory and altogether less interesting than, for instance, Neil Jordan and Angela Carter's The Company of Wolves.
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- Philip French
We've already argued that 1982 was a terrific year for geeky movies - but, wonders Jeff, did 1984 top it?
Earlier this week, it was put forth on this site by Ryan Lambie that 1982 was a great year to be a geek at the movies. While it's hard to disagree with this, it's my contention that the 84 vintage was even more refined.
Need nostalgic refreshment? Take a sip of these...
Somewhere between the original Conan and this film, Ah-Nuld became a bona fide mega-star (see Conan The Destroyer below). With this first instalment in the Terminator franchise, James Cameron showed that he knew how to craft a movie that's basically one extended chase sequence wrapped around a highbrow concept lifted from some Harlan Ellison-penned episodes of The Outer Limits. Relentless, cut so tightly you could bounce coins off it, and with Schwarzenegger at his emotionless best, it's the kind »
Roll up, roll up: there's a special offer on today's Clip joint – buy one, get one free. Georgie Hobbs goes four-eyed looking at movies within movies, little cinematic treats buried Kinder Surprise-style within the main feature
Some days it seems all new releases come with a two-for-one offer. You expected a single movie. But thrown in – totally free, probably somewhere round the middle – you got another. The film within a film looks like a device on the rise, from the not-yet-made The Spirit 3 that plays in a cinema in Kick-Ass, to the phoney trailers that kick off Tropic Thunder or Death Proof.
But it's not new, of course. As long as film-makers have been making films, they've been interested in getting metaphysical. So who's done it best? This month the BFI celebrates the work of the sole female director to emerge from the French new wave: Agnes Varda. Eighty-two last birthday and still going strong. »
- Georgie Hobbs
Chicago – Foreign film fans and art house aficionados rejoice! The Annual European Union Film Festival is back at the Siskel Film Center, offering Chicagoans a rare and illuminating journey through contemporary world cinema. Sifting through five dozen titles may prove to be formidable for moviegoers deciding what to see. Let us guide the way.
This year’s edition, running from March 5th to April 1st, includes high profile films from world renowned filmmakers like Peter Greenaway, Jacques Rivette, Neil Jordan, Catherine Breillat, Amos Gital, Bruno Dumont, Jan Hrebejk and Caroline Link. Moviegoers should take note of the fact that several of these titles won’t be screened outside of the EU festival in Chicago, making their appearance here all the more priceless.
The 13th Annual European Union Film Festival includes 59 feature films, all of which are making their Chicago premiere. If you’ve had your fill with Hollywood, or are »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
In case you haven’t noticed all the hype and TV spots, Tim Burton returns to theaters this Friday, March 5 with Alice In Wonderland. No, despite it’s name, this is more of a sequel than a remake, with Alice returning to Wonderland, all grown up, but finds it’s a far darker and twisted place than even before. The new Burton-esque Wonderland got us thinking about movies with the fairy tale feel, but a darker edge. With that in mind, we Movie Geeks have conjured up our own bit of twisted darkness and created our list of the Top Ten Dark Fairy Tale Movies.
The list begins with what may be the least child-friendly pick. This version of Snow White — starring Sam Neill, Monica Keena as Snow White and Sigourney Weaver as the wicked stepmother — is said to be much closer to the »
- Movie Geeks
The trailer for Neil Jordan's new fantasy drama Ondine is now online. Starring Colin Farrell, it's the story of lonely fisherman Syracuse, who one day discovers a woman in his trawl (don't worry: any similarities to Lady in the Water end right there). Syracuse's daughter believes it's a mermaid, but as in all the best fairytales, there's darkness underneath the enchantment.Mythologically speaking, the Ondine or Undine is a water spirit (or "selkie") able to earn a soul by marrying a mortal man, at the cost of losing her immortality. Their beautiful voices can be heard in the flow of running water, which perhaps explains the trailer's glimpse of Alicja Bachleda-Curus' Ondine singing fish into the fishermen's nets.Filmed in and around Ireland's Beara Peninsula, the film was a labour of love for writer/director Jordan, and it's fantastically exciting to have the man who brought us The Company of Wolves »
Neil Jordan’s filmography is full of powerful, fantastical tales with Mona Lisa and The Crying Game two iconic early works. His 2009 film, Ondine, was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival last year is due out sometime this year and there’s a nice new trailer out today.
Telling the story of an Irish fisherman, played by Colin Farrell who catches a mermaid in his net, this would appear to play nicely alongside Jordan other supernatural films such as The Company of Wolves and In Dreams. What is certain from the trailer, cinematographer Christopher Doyle has made the most of the haunting Irish seascapes and with Jordan regular Stephen Rea making an appearance this looks to be one to watch.
Thanks to The Playlist for the heads-up, Ondine will be released through Paramount Vantage on the 5th of March in the UK.
- Jon Lyus
I have to say, I love Werewolves. More so than vampires, more so than zombies, these shape-shifting, femur gnawing, jugular slashing, hounds of hell (for me) stand far above the slew of other mainstream monster menace. Regrettably however, these carnivorous canines, by comparison, seem to be miserably underrepresented in popular cinema. Only two, maybe three, genuinely great werewolf movies come to mind; John Landis’ An American Werewolf In London and Joe Dante’s original Howling (and, if we must round out a top three The Company Of Wolves by director Neil Jordan). Now I know some of you will try and pitch me Ginger Snaps, Dog Soldiers, or the original Wolf Man with Lon Chaney, and yeah, sure, those are all ok. Others of you, the less cultured, may recommend something from the Underworld/Van Helsing lot (crap), but, by and large, when it comes to werewolf flicks, we’re »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Compton)
14 items from 2010
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