8 items from 2013
The first images from a feature film inspired by the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal and directed by the American Abel Ferrara, have been released, two years after the former head of the Imf was arrested in New York over the alleged attempted rape of a hotel worker.
The trailer for Welcome to New York is a frenzied and explicit rampage through the champagne, orgies and debauchery behind a French power figure at the highest levels of Washington before his arrest over attempted rape.
The Strauss-Kahn figure is played by Gérard Depardieu in what appears to be such a scathing performance it could help rehabilitate the actor's own image in France, where he caused a storm this year by taking Russian nationality in a row over tax.
"It is a [Strauss-Kahn] only Depardieu could play," said »
- Angelique Chrisafis
He’s one of cinemas most intense performers and one of my all-time favourite movie icons, but Oscar-winner Christopher Walken has more in his locker than a menacing thousand-yard stare and gravity-defying hair-do. This week sees the UK DVD and Blu-ray release of Martin McDonagh’s brilliant black comedy, Seven Psychopaths, in which Walken steals the show from under the nose of Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson, as a loveable dog-napping petty crook, devoted pal and husband.
Over his 60 year career, which currently features over 12o credits, he’s featured in superhero blockbuster Batman Returns, gothic horror Sleepy Hollow; taken on suave British super spy 007 in A View To A Kill; chased rodents and marsupials in family favourites, Mousehunt and Kangaroo Jack, and tripped the light fantastic in Fatboy Slim’s memorable music video for Weapon Of Choice. Now Thn has picked out some of our favourite, and »
- Craig Hunter
Currently starring in A Late Quartet, Walken has been a striking presence since his early film roles in the 70s. Here are a few of his most memorable performances
Christopher Walken, star of A Late Quartet, is a prolific performer with more than 100 film and television roles under his belt. Here are just five of his most memorable on screen moments, including suggestions from @guardianfilm Twitter followers @claudism_, @antnield, @missnvholt and @Steph78205. Spoilers and adult material feature in all of the following clips – what scenes would you add to the list?
Christopher was awarded the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Michael Cimino's film. Having been forced to play Russian roulette by his captors as a Vietnam PoW, his character remains deeply affected by the experience once free. This is his last scene in the film.
Reading on mobile? Watch the clip on »
- Adam Boult
Above: Filmmaker Andrei Ujică in conversation with Dennis Lim.
Dennis Lim is the new year-round Cinematheque programmer for the Film Society at Lincoln Center. Not too long ago we reported Robert Koehler had taken the position, but due to family health issues, he has stepped down. We congratulate Dennis Lim and our thoughts are with Robert Koehler. He may not be a household name, but he meant a lot to those who knew him: Ric Menello passed away at the age of 60 last week. Menello is known for co-writing Two Lovers and Lowlife with James Gray, and for directing this. Take a look at the Ditmas Park Corner blog's remembrance of Menello.
Editor of The Chiseler and Notebook contributor Daniel Riccuito has a new book coming out, and it's a humdinger: The Depression Alphabet Primer, with illustrations by Tony Millionaire. You can find a sample of the delights »
- Adam Cook
This article is dedicated to Andrew Copp: filmmaker, film writer, artist and close friend who passed away on January 19, 2013. You are loved and missed, brother.
Looking at the Best Actor Academy Award nominations for the film year 2012, the one miss that clearly cries out for more attention is Liam Neeson’s powerful performance in Joe Carnahan’s excellent survival film The Grey, easily one of the best roles of Neeson’s career.
Along with negligence, other factors commonly prevent outstanding lead acting performances from getting the kind of critical attention they deserve. Sometimes it’s that the performance is in a film not considered “Oscar material” or even worthy of any substantial critical attention. »
- Terek Puckett
In September 2001, when Jay-z dropped his sixth album, The Blueprint, fans and critics alike wondered whether or not Jay had lost his edge. Other rappers greedily clutched at his King of New York crown. Then we heard the album, which was masterful, and specifically Blueprint’s second track, “Takeover,” in which Jigga addressed his rivals, laying into them with the kind of abandon Texas state troopers save for pulled-over motorists with New York license plates. Now it’s 2013 and Jay-z is a billionaire businessman married to one of the world’s most beautiful women. Jay-z is doing okay. “History 101,” the first episode of Community’s fourth season, is the show’s “Takeover.” It’s an explicit address to the critics who find the show insular and heartless as well as the fans who worry the quality will slip after the ugly departure of creative dynamo and alleged dickhead Dan Harmon. »
- Josh Gondelman
30 Rock, Season 7, Episode 10, “Florida”
Directed by Claire Cowperthwaite
Airs Thursdays at 8pm Et on NBC
“Florida” proves a nice bounce back from “Game Over,” whose title, it now seems, overstated things. Over the last year or so, 30 Rock has proven to be better at doing focused, character-driven episodes rather than sprawling omnibus episodes that attempt to incorporate every character, and that is the case here. Jack talks Liz into accompanying him to the titular state in order to tie up the remaining affairs with his mother’s estate and Tracy and Jenna realize they are in charge of things, which goes about as well as you would expect it to.
The A-plot serves to deepen Jack’s understanding of his mother while addressing any sexual tension that may have built up between he and Liz over the past seven years. The B-plot tracks Hazel »
- Justin Wier
One of the first things I ever wrote for Den of Geek was a review of Abel Ferrara’s King Of New York, a wonderfully scuzzy crime epic with Christopher Walken in the lead role. In that film, Walken gives us everything that makes him great – that off-kilter delivery, gesticulating body language, a calculatedly terrifying intelligence – and those things also play a part in how his performances become over-familiar, bordering on clichéd.
Walken playing Walken in every role has become Alex Ferguson securing another cup title, Dave Grohl howling unintelligibly live instead of singing his lyrics, Nick Hornby writing intelligently about music, and so on. We are in the domain of great men ploughing their greatness into the ground until it inevitably turns tiresome.
And yet Walken remains an unusual screen presence in mainstream Hollywood films, »
8 items from 2013
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