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Walking After Midnight: Amirpour’s Expressive, Moody Debut
Described as an Iranian vampire film with all its characters speaking Farsi, yet filmed in California and set in the fictional locale of Bad City, there is an enigmatic, surreal aura to Ana Lily Amirpour’s exciting debut, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. An exploration of loneliness utilizing a set of nighttime creatures while evoking nostalgic cinematic traditions of the film noir and the adolescent rebel, Amirpour’s ambient film is startling in its rendering of expressive black and white cinematography in a film whose themes and sound designs recall the alternate universes of David Lynch.
Living at home with his junkie father (Marshall Manesh), Arash (Arash Marandi) is forced to give up the car he’s finally paid off to Saeed (Dominic Rains), the dealer and pimp to whom Arash’s father owes a large sum of money. Saeed »
- Nicholas Bell
Even if David Lynch had never crafted mind-bending, award-winning films like Blue Velvet or reinvented what television could be with Twin Peaks, he would still have made an indelible impression on the art world as a painter. Before he found his way to cinema, painting was his passion, and in 1965 Lynch moved to Philadelphia and enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in order to follow his muse. According to Lynch, there was something about the city and the people around him that triggered his boundless creativity and opened up a worldview that carries through his work to this day. »
- Kyle Anderson
It takes a committed performance to make a character like Miss Meadows fly, and Katie Holmes goes all in. She's introduced in a scene that plays like a cheeky Blue Velvet homage: Wearing a 1950s-inspired ensemble complete with long gloves and Mary Jane tap shoes, Holmes's Meadows walks down a quiet street as deer leap across lawns and bluebirds serenade her from treetops. A nasty man drives alongside and interrupts her blissful stroll with rude comments that devolve into threats, so Miss Meadows calmly unclasps her demure handbag, pulls out a lovely little pistol, and kills him with one well-placed shot. Veteran screenwriter (Stepmom) and first-time director Karen Leigh Hopkins fashions Miss Meadows as a black comedy with serious undertones. This f »
Pointing to a specific seat in the front orchestra section of the vast Dolby Theatre before Thursday’s AFI Fest opening-night world premiere of his new film A Most Violent Year, writer-director Jc Chandor said “the last time I was in this room I was sitting right there and I lost to Woody Allen. Let’s hope it goes a little better tonight.”
Chandor was referring to the 2012 Oscar show, in which he was nominated for Original Screenplay for his first feature Margin Call. Although (unfairly I thought) overlooked by the Academy last year for his second film, All Is Lost — which at the very least should have snagged star Robert Redford a Best Actor nod but didn’t — I have a feeling he could perhaps find himself back at the Dolby in February in that same category where he duked it out with Woody.
More than one observer compared this dark, »
- Pete Hammond
Directed by David Lynch
Aired April 19, 1990 on ABC
“Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds: Fire… walk with me. We lived among the people. I think you say… convenience store. We lived above it. I mean it like it is, like it sounds. I, too, have been touched by the devilish one. Tattoo on the left shoulder. Oh, but when I saw the face of God, I was changed. I took the entire arm off. My name is Mike. His name is Bob.” – The One-Armed Man
Throughout his career, David Lynch has always paid tribute to the role of dreams in his art and storytelling. He once described his appreciation of the form as such: “Waking dreams are the ones that are important, »
- Les Chappell
Stars: Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Samantha Mathis, Dennis Hopper, Fisher Stevens, Richard Edson, Fiona Shaw, Dana Kaminski, Mojo Nixon, Gianni Russo, Francesca P. Roberts, Lance Henriksen | Written by Parker Bennett, Terry Runte, Ed Solomon | Directed by Rocky Morton, Annabel Jankel
Let’s be honest, Super Mario Bros: The Movie is not a great movie. It’s not even a great video game adaptation. As a movie-loving teen the film was high on my must-see radar, so imagine my disappointment when I eventually saw the film on VHS… However since then I’ve come to appreciate the film for the bizarre Sf-tinged adventure movie that it is, rather than an adaptation of my all-time favourite video game franchise.
A critical and commercial failure on it’s original 1993 release, Super Mario Bros: The Movie has, in the intervening years, become something of a cult classic. So much so that the out-of-print DVD »
- Phil Wheat
Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman, »
- Andre Soares
Quantum Leap, Season 3, Episode 5, “The Boogieman”
Written by Chris Ruppenthal
Directed by Joe Napolitano
Aired Oct. 26, 1990 on NBC
Scott Bakula has one of those likable personalities that immediately connects him to audiences. This heart is at the core of Quantum Leap and its lead, Sam Beckett. It’s easy to expect that he’ll do the right thing, no matter how crazy the situation. The NBC series premiered in 1989 and aired for five seasons during a much different TV era. The theme song, episode structure, and overall style spring from that era and lack the rough edges of many notable shows today. There were certain beats to most stories that brought a familiarity that can be comforting. Viewers shared the journey with Sam and only knew the information that he received. The audience’s connection with Bakula made the show work because his persona made the adventure worth taking. There »
- Dan Heaton
10. Deliverance (1972)
Scene: Squeal Like a Piggy
Word to the wise: just because someone plays a mighty fine banjo, it doesn’t mean he or any of his kin should be invited to your family picnic. Based on the James Dickey novel of the same name, Deliverance follows four businessmen as they decide to spend a weekend canoeing down a fictional river before it needs to be flooded. Lewis (Burt Reynolds) leads the crew as the most experienced, followed closely by Ed (Jon Voight). The two novices Bobby and Drew (Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox) also join them. So, in remote Georgia, the four men set out to take in the beauty of nature. Before setting off, they come across a group of mountain men, all of which appear to be inbred. Drew engages in a banjo duet with one of the teenagers, but he doesn’t »
- Joshua Gaul
Written and directed by David Lynch
David Lynch’s last film is his most mentally exhausting and participatory, coming in at a minute under three hours. For as long as he has been active – approaching five decades now, from when he started making short films in the late ’60s – Inland Empire, a howling panic attack of deformed sights and sounds on top of one another, is his most artistic and abstractly made film, and one that mostly feels inspired by himself and his entire lead-up to it.
Insofar as emotions and stimuli, the results are, while astounding, something that demands more experimentation, mostly because of its effects on the viewer. That it is as effective as it is makes the case for why narrative conventionality is less a crucial element in matters of filmmaking than what the mind makes out of carefully treated scenes, bopping, quavering and »
- Fiman Jafari
Directed by David Lynch
Aired April 8, 1990 on ABC
“Diane, 7:30 am, February 24th. Entering town of Twin Peaks. Five miles south of the Canadian border, twelve miles west of the state line. Never seen so many trees in my life. As W.C. Fields would say, I’d rather be here than Philadelphia. … Lunch was $6.31 at the Lamplighter Inn. That’s on Highway Two near Lewis Fork. That was a tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat, a slice of cherry pie and a cup of coffee. Damn good food. Diane, if you ever get up this way, that cherry pie is worth a stop.” – Dale Cooper
In the nearly 25 years since Twin Peaks debuted on ABC, the show has achieved an almost mythic status in the canon of television. Not only has it influenced a legion of other shows, »
- Les Chappell
First we got to premiere a still from Bruno Samper and Kristina Buožytė’s ABCs of Death 2 segment, then we got to talk to Samper about creating the film and now we’re wrapping up our string of “K is for Knell” exclusives with Samper and Buožytė’s favorite big screen death scenes. Hit the jump to find out what they picked and to catch a supercut with all of the ABCs of Death 2 directors’ picks in it. ABCs of Death 2 is currently available on VOD and hits select theaters on October 31st. Bruno Samper’s Pick: King Kong (1976) “The 1976 King Kong's death was one of my first concrete, intimate, experiences with death. The brilliant idea of hearing this heartbeat slowing down bit by bit until it stops, created an amazing empathy. This sound seems to echo all around, like if suddenly King Kong became the »
- Perri Nemiroff
Archie Andrews is dead (sort of) in his long-running comic, but he may yet get one more chance to live, thanks to Fox. The network is developing a TV show called Riverdale that will follow the red-headed teen and his gang of squeaky-clean friends. Actually, take out the "squeaky-clean" part — Deadline says the project will be a "bold, subversive" drama that explores the "the darkness and weirdness" underpinning the Archie universe. That could mean anything from Desperate Housewives to Blue Velvet! The show will be produced by Everwood's Greg Berlanti. This is Berlanti's second attempt at bringing Archie comics to television (the first was Dawson's Creek). »
- Nate Jones
Before he was the one-line-loving, crassly, campy class clown known as Freddy, Fred Krueger was the stuff of genuine nightmares. Scarred and grinning in his striped wool sweater, Fred prowls the dreamscape realm of the local high schoolers, the children upon whom he once preyed before their parents got smart and burned him alive. Years ago, Fred was a janitor at the elementary school; he lured children into the boiler room, where, it’s insinuated, he molested and maimed the kids. Now, years later, he returns to haunt the dreams of the children of Suburbia, America. Craven conjures the most surreal imagery of his wildly uneven career here, and Robert Englund instills Craven’s iconic creation with sharp, wry kind of terror, his playful delivery still ironic before the sequels declawed him. He wears his ratty old fedora like »
- Greg Cwik
Twin Peaks fans are still reeling over the announcement that the cult classic is returning to television. Although we'll have to wait until 2016 for the Showtime revival, we're brewing a pot of damn good coffee and flashing back to 1990 when Et was on the set in Snoqalmie, Wash., with the relatively unknown cast.
News: TV show comebacks we couldn't help but cheer for!
Kyle MacLachlan was a frequent collaborator of Lynch—he’d starred in Blue Velvet—and became the show's breakout star. His character, Special Agent Dale Cooper, was the oddball officer tasked with solving the mysterious murder of teenage Laura Palmer.
News: Go behind »
We’re still a couple of years away from any new work directed by David Lynch—the new “Twin Peaks” episodes won’t hit Showtime until 2016—but in the meantime, why not take a peak behind the scenes of “Blue Velvet,” a film that in many ways serves as a nice jumping-off point for the cult TV show. The 70-minute-long, 2002 documentary "The Mysteries Of Love" dives deep into the 1986 film, with interviews with key members of the creative team, including Lynch himself, along with Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Laura Dern, and Dennis Hopper. It has some great insight into how the film came to be, both in terms of the financing and in the creative origins, as well as some great Lynch anecdotes from the actors, almost all revolving around Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank. The doc also talks about the use of nudity, the first reaction from producers and test audiences, »
- Cain Rodriguez
Last year, the celebrated American film maker David Lynch expressed the view that television is way more interesting than cinema now it seems art house has gone to cable. Just last week it was announced that Lynch, the one-time prince of the art house, is heading the same way.
He and Mark Frost are to reprise their hit 1990 TV series Twin Peaks for the cable company Showtime. Almost a quarter of a century ago, Lynch effectively told television viewers to wake up and smell the damn fine coffee.
Continue reading »
- Andrew Anthony
Last week, when word broke that David Lynch and Mark Frost might be making more Twin Peaks, I responded with the excitement of the ridiculous Twin Peaks fan I happen to be. "Let's rock!" I tweeted, quoting The Man From Another Place. (Of course, if I were a real fan, I would have run the line backwards.) The show changed me—then a nerdy wannabe cinephile—the same way that it changed television, capturing my imagination for ambitious, challenging vision and cultivating both an appreciation of and a desire for auteur storytelling. But another tweet from another critic, Time's James Poniewozik, »
- Jeff Jensen
Where does one even start with David Lynch? The mind-bending director/writer/producer of such perplexing fare as "Twin Peaks,” “Mulholland Drive,” and “Blue Velvet” is in a league of his own. Perhaps the best way to understand his work is through his own words —and believe us, they’re pretty unique words, idiosyncratic to Lynch and Lynch alone. Thompson on Hollywood contributor Carrie Rickey recently sat down with the legendary filmmaker at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute to discuss his work, filmography, and the new Lynch exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Lynch is a graduate of the program there). We highly recommend taking the time to view it in its entirety. In the interview, Lynch talks about his early life, his transition from painting to moving pictures, his meditation techniques, and what it would be like to live in the world of his characters, plus countless other topics. »
- Zach Hollwedel
10. Altered States (1980)
Directed by: Ken Russell
Is it a horror film? Many of Ken Russell’s films could be argued as such, but there’s enough in Altered States that makes it less horror and more science fiction/psychological thriller. Based on the novel by Paddy Chayefsky, Altered States introduced the world to William Hurt (and also featured the film debut of Drew Barrymore). Edward Jessup (Hurt) is studying schizophrenia, but branches out into sensory deprivation experimentation with a floating tank. Eventually, he travels to Mexico to visit a tribe that provides him with an extract which he begins to take before his trips into the flotation tank, resulting in bizarre imagery and eventual physical devolution, once to a primitive man and to a near primordial blob. Side effects start to occur, causing Edward to suffer from episodes of partial regression even without the hallucinogenic drug. Russell’s direction shifts »
- Joshua Gaul
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