10 items from 2015
Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival. Two recurring themes in Woody Allen's filmography are murder and dangerous love affairs. His latest is Irrational Man and it continues this trend with mixed results. But mostly it will leave you with thoughts of revisiting Allen's better efforts like Crimes and Misdemeanors, Match Point and Cassandra's Dream. His latest film (which just premiered at Cannes) takes place in a concentrated college town where everyone seems to know each other and privacy is nonexistent. Insecure philosophy professor Abe Lucas (played by Joaquin Phoenix) has just been hired at the fictional Braylin College and it's treated like an atom bomb of gossip by the faculty and student body. Everyone has a theory about the professor before he's even reached the campus, with rumors flying of alcoholism, erratic behavior and sexual affairs with female students. It doesn't matter if the rumors are true, it's still »
- Marco Cerritos
By Alex Simon
There are few rituals in life more chaotic, confounding and magical than the wedding. Appropriately, marriages have provided the backdrop for many a story spun through the ages. Whether it’s sending out multitudes of wedding invitations, choosing the right dress, or whether to seat Aunt Mabel next to her second or fifth ex-husband at the reception, weddings both in life and on film are almost always guaranteed to bring forth a surge of emotions. Below are a few of our favorite cinematic nuptials:
1. The Searchers (1956)
John Ford’s western masterpiece is full of many iconic moments, not the least of which is one of the screen’s greatest knock-down, drag-out fights between Jeffrey Hunter and Ken Curtis for the hand of comely Vera Miles. Martin Scorsese loved this scene so much, he paid homage by having his characters watch it in Mean Streets (1973).
- The Hollywood Interview.com
The trailer for Woody Allen's new film, Irrational Man, sells it as a light entertainment where college professor Joaquin Phoenix finds himself reinvigorated by young student Emma Stone, so imagine our surprise at Cannes today when the film premiered and revealed one extra, essential wrinkle: It's yet another Allen film preoccupied by getting away with murder. Phoenix's potbellied prof finds himself consumed with the notion of committing the perfect crime against an obstinate judge whose rub-out might actually make the world a better place, and this theme of ordinary, murderous men circumventing justice is one that Allen has returned to so often — in films like Crimes and Misdemeanors, Match Point, and Cassandra's Dream — that a journalist at today's Cannes press conference straight-up asked Allen, "Have you ever considered murdering someone?"Allen peered at the man for a beat, then replied, "Even as you speak!"For many of his critics, »
- Kyle Buchanan
After Alfred Hitchcock and his Gallic disciple, Claude Chabrol, has any filmmaker devoted more screen time to contemplating the mechanics of the “perfect” murder than Woody Allen? Allen’s latest, “Irrational Man,” adds to a tally that also includes “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “Match Point” and the little-seen “Cassandra’s Dream” — only, unlike those films’ homicidal protagonists, the philosophical anti-hero of Allen’s 45th feature kills not for love or money, but rather for a kind of existential clarity. That conceit puts a fresh spin on a familiar premise and marks “Irrational Man” as one of the Woodman’s more offbeat and ambitiously weird projects since the fragmented “Deconstructing Harry” in 1997, though less conventionally entertaining than recent home runs like “Blue Jasmine” and “Midnight in Paris.” Arthouse traffic should be decent but modest for the July 17 Sony Classics release.
In a role that suits his laconic, rum-soaked rhythms nearly as well »
- Scott Foundas
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
Twilight Time is celebrating its 4th anniversary with a major promotion that sees some of their limited edition titles reduced in price through April 3. These are the titles on sale.
Retail price point: $24.95
Bell, Book, And Candle
Retail price point: $19.95
Roots Of Heaven
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
“My name is Elmer J. Fudd, millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht.” “Hey! Who turned out the lights?” “I’ve made a huge mistake.” And now, thanks to The Good Wife, we have yet another example of a line of TV dialogue that only gets more delicious (and more meaningful) every time it’s repeated: “All options are open to me, and I plan to decide in the next 48 hours.”
One of the great things about “Undisclosed Recipients” — aka the episode after Alicia Florrick wins the »
The trio of executive producers who created FX’s “Damages” — Daniel Zelman, Todd A. Kessler and Glenn Kessler — are at it again, with their new twisty tale “Bloodline.” The family drama-meets-thriller, which debuts on Netflix on March 20, boasts a star-studded cast, including Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard as the parents of a clan burdened by secrets, which come bubbling to the surface when black sheep son (Ben Mendelsohn) comes home. It falls to favorite son Kyle Chandler to protect them — and in true “Damages” fashion, nothing is at seems.
Variety talked to Zelman about how and his fellow EPs created their new thriller.
How did you come up with the idea for “Bloodline”?
It really started simply as a scene. We had finished “Damages.” We were partners with Sony, and we knew were going to do another project with them. We just wanted to make sure that whatever we were »
- Debra Birnbaum
It’s Oscar time! The biggest party after the show, The Governors Ball, was revealed today for the press by The Academy.
Permeating the air with imaginative dishes, master chef Wolfgang Puck showed those gathered at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center the incredible feast he’s creating for the evening.
Puck and Matt Bencivenga, chef partner of Wolfgang Puck Catering, have drawn upon vintage and contemporary Hollywood glamour to create a menu that’s both legendary and innovative. The menu will feature more than 50 scrumptious delights, from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening. Guests will enjoy such signature Puck favorites as smoked salmon Oscars, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, and mini American Wagyu burgers with aged Cheddar.
Puck also will present classic dishes re-imagined for Hollywood’s big night, including lobster “Blt”; beet latkes with pastrami duck »
- Michelle McCue
Everyone knows Woody Allen. At least, everyone thinks they know Woody Allen. His plumage is easily identifiable: horn-rimmed glasses, baggy suit, wispy hair, kvetching demeanor, ironic sense of humor, acute fear of death. As is his habitat: New York City, though recently he has flown as far afield as London, Barcelona, and Paris. His likes are well known: Bergman, Dostoevsky, New Orleans jazz. So too his dislikes: spiders, cars, nature, Wagner records, the entire city of Los Angeles. Whether or not these traits represent the true Allen, who’s to say? It is impossible to tell, with Allen, where cinema ends and life begins, an obfuscation he readily encourages. In the late nineteen-seventies, disillusioned with the comedic success he’d found making such films as Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), and Annie Hall (1977), he turned for darker territory with Stardust Memories (1980), a film in which, none too surprisingly, he plays a »
- Graham Daseler
10 items from 2015
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