20 items from 2014
Directed by Sang il-Lee.
An aging swordsman is lured back to perform one final job.
Walking into the showing of Yurusarezaru Mono, the remake of the 90s western Unforgiven, with it’s poster echoing the original directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, the question has to be asked whether the sentiments of following another film’s story so closely in a remake can be seen as a positive. Is it just as high an achievement to bend and change details from a film to better fit the original and achieve a good story, as it is to take an original movie and take it to entirely new places?
This film slaves to be as close to the original as possible, with a steely determination to stick to the story that came before it, but there »
- Gary Collinson
Released to widespread acclaim back in 1992, Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning revenge tale Unforgiven is fondly remembered as a valiant last stand by an American movie genre that had been slowly dying a death for decades. The West, as it transpired, had been well and truly won, despite several sporadic attempts to spur the old horse back into life (see Open Range, the Coen brothers' True Grit and, most recently, Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained). Now, 22 years on from Eastwood's original, director Lee Sang-il presents Yurusarezaru mono (2013), a loose remake transposed to nineteenth century Japan. »
- CineVue UK
We Are What We Are (18)
The story of an archaic backwoods family with very good reasons for their insularity, this spends such a long time laying out its twisted domestic set-up, it's almost as if it's in denial about being a horror movie (remade from a Mexican original). It's a wise decision. If you don't know the family's Big Secret already, it would be a shame to spoil it; let's just say it pulls the story into real shock and gore territory.
The Book Thief (12A)
- Steve Rose
As much as we talk about the stats and trends of the Oscars, each year of the awards seems to present us with a new piece of history. This year, Dallas Buyers Club could make history as the first film to win both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in a film that did not receive a Best Director nomination. While Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto seem to be locked into their wins, this did provide an interesting jumping off point to look at the recent history of this category.
Here are the films in the past 25 years that have managed a Best Actor and Supporting Actor nomination:
1989: Driving Ms. Daisy – Morgan Freeman and Dan Ackroyd
1993: Schindler’s »
- Terence Johnson
It’s not often that American films get a foreign language adaptation (it’s usually the other way around), but director Lee Sang-il has taken Clint Eastwood’s revisionist Western, Unforgiven and placed it in Eighteenth Century Japan. We’ll get to watch the critically acclaimed when it comes out in UK cinemas this Friday, but let’s take a look at other surprising remakes of foreign language remakes (and vice versa!).
Title: Yurusarezaru Mono (2014)
Who Made It?: Ken Watanabe stars as a lone former samurai who is drawn back to his violent past when he’s enlisted by prostitutes to exact revenge on a no good John.
There Was An Original?: Yes! Unforgiven, 1992’s Best Picture winner directed by Clint Eastwood. Watanabe took Eastwood’s lead role in the remake, while Akira Emoto makes for an excellent counterpart to Morgan Freeman as his partner in crime.
- Paul Heath
Stranger By The Lake (18)
Sex and death take a synchronised swim in this bold thriller, shot at a single lakeside location. It's a popular cruising spot, and the rituals of its regular (and regularly naked) male visitors are observed with a combination of frankness, lyricism and mischievous satire. But a more mysterious tone takes hold when newcomer Franck sees his Selleck-moustachio'd crush commit a terrible crime. The riptide of desire drags him into a dangerous game.
Making Twilight look like Sesame Street, Jarmusch gives us the coolest vampires imaginable – too cool to even do much vampire stuff. »
- Steve Rose
That Lars von Trier, he's a naughty one, eh? And befitting its subject matter, his latest grandiose provocation has been preceded by a prolonged foreplay-session of teaser trailers and titillating rumours. Now, for one night only, you can watch both halves of the movie back to back before it goes on release in two halves later this month. Despite being four hours long and sexually explicit, it's far from the sado-masochistic experience it sounds, with digressions into baroque music, fly fishing and dessert forks, and a steady procession of familiar faces including Uma Thurman, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell and Willem Dafoe. Afterwards, you'll be rewarded with a satellite Q&A, live from the Curzon Chelsea, in which three of the film's stars – Von Trier veteran Stellan Skarsgård and Britons Stacy Martin »
- Steve Rose
Kind of a good news/bad news situation this week. Bad news for those of us who like to watch sitcoms of 30 minutes in length whilst we eat dinner during the week, Channel 4 has decided to remove most of its good content including Peep Show, The It Crowd and Black Books from Netflix and Lovefilm as of February 15th. You can still watch these online but you have to go through their frankly useless 4Od app which I have never managed to watch a full episode of anything on without it crashing at the bloody adverts. Whilst its admirable that Channel 4 are taking things back in-house, they really need to improve their software first, or maybe they already have because I gave up on it back in 2012 and never finished season two of The Killing.
The good news is that Netflix have debuted season two of political drama House of Cards, »
- Chris Holt
Ahead of its UK release later this month, Warner Bros. has debuted a new trailer for Yurusarezaru Mono (A Thing That Can't Be Forgiven) - a.k.a. the Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood's western classic Unforgiven, which sees Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Inception) taking on the Eastwood role, albeit as an aging samurai in feudal Japan.
Yurusarezaru Monu is directed by Lee Sang-il (Akunin) and also stars Koichi Sato (The Magic Hour) in the Gene Hackman role and Akira Emoto (Villain) as the main character’s old friend, portrayed by Morgan Freeman in Unforgiven.
Yurusarezaru Monu is set for a UK release on February 28th.
Why not head on over to our newly-launched Flickering Myth Forum to discuss this story, or anything else that takes your fancy »
- Gary Collinson
The story takes place on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido in the 1880s, during a time when Japanese settlers were displacing the native Ainu people. Watanabe plays a samurai with a fearsome reputation as a swordsman who is living in retirement with his Ainu wife when poverty and a large bounty tempt him into action again.
The movie also stars Kunimura Jun, Yagira Yuya, Sato Koichi, Emoto Akira, Koike Eiko, and Kutsuna Shioli. Unfortunately there's still no U.S. release date, but hopefully we get one soon. »
- Joey Paur
Warner Bros. U.K. has posted a trailer for the Japanese remake of Unforgiven. For those who haven’t seen Clint Eastwood’s 1992 masterpiece, it centers on an old gunfighter who reluctantly joins his former partner and a swaggering hotshot to claim the bounty on two men who attacked a prostitute. The remake changes the setting to Hokkaido in 1880 and from gunslingers to samurai, but the general plot remains mostly intact. When I saw the film at Tiff last year, I thought the technical craft was superb, but director Lee Sang-il has trouble figuring out how to significantly separate his picture from Eastwood’s. Hit the jump to check out the trailer, which we posted last year, but this new one now has subtitles. The film stars Ken Watanabe, Akira Emoto, Jun Kunimura, and Shiori Kutsana. Unforgiven opens in the U.K. on February 28th. »
- Matt Goldberg
I’ve only seen the Japanese trailer for Lee Sang-il’s “Unforgiven” so far, but even then it looked like a pretty faithful retelling of the Clint Eastwood Western. Here’s the English-subtitled trailer, which was cut for the film’s upcoming UK theatrical release later this month, which is odd, because though it’s based on a very well-known and Award winning Hollywood movie, I don’t think the film is getting any Stateside love at all. Weird. Anyways, the UK trailer confirms my initial conclusion that the remake is very faithful (to a fault, in some cases) to the original. Check it out below, check it outers. For the first time in Japanese cinematic history, an American Academy Award is coming to life. Released worldwide in 1992, Unforgiven, starring and directed by Clint Eastwood, was hailed by critics as a cinematic masterpiece. It was nominated for nine Oscars and bought home four, »
Acclaimed director Terry Gilliam will attend the première of his new film, The Zero Theorem, in Glasgow later this month, it was announced today. The Glasgow Film Festival has announced several big name guests who will be present at this year's events, including Richard Dreyfuss and Jason Priestley for Cas & Dylan and Thomas Imbach for Mary, Queen Of Scots. Japanese director Sang-il Lee will introduce Unforgiven, his adaptation of the Clint Eastwood classic, and Jean-Paul Salomé will discuss Playing Dead.
Alongside this international line-up will be Scottish talent including Paul Brannigan, star of The Angels' Share, and David Mackenzie, who directed Perfect Sense and will be introducing his new film Starred Up. There will also be a chance to meet Ricky Jay, the celebrated stage magician whose work has appeared in everything from Boogie Nights to The Prestige.
You can read our full coverage of the festival <a »
- Jennie Kermode
Manager Leonard Hirshan, who represented Clint Eastwood from his days in television to his turn as a multi-Academy Award-winning filmmaker, died on January 31 at his home in Beverly Hills. The cause of death for the longtime former William Morris agent was Merkel cell carcinoma. He was 86. Hirshan was a longtime William Morris agent — he spent 50 years at the agency and at one point was head of the agency’s motion picture group. He represented Elvis with Colonel Tom Parker, Walter Matthau, Sophia Loren, Eva Marie Saint, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Edward G. Robinson. He passed away with his two daughters, Karen Hirshan and Sarah Dey Hirshan, by his side. He and Eastwood were close and have what is likely the longest business relationship in Hollywood; they celebrated birthdays together; they were there for each others’ marriages; and Hirshan celebrated Eastwood’s triumphs such as when the filmmaker won Best Picture »
- ANITA BUSCH
Let's hope the director's decision to abandon his latest film following a script leak is just a minor Tarantantrum. The western genre desperately needs his rejuvenating influence
For every cinephile that delights in Quentin Tarantino's penchant for opulent dialogue and magpie film-historian's eye, there's another who sees the Us director of Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bill movies as a garish charlatan who survives on a habit of plundering the past. But the news today that the film-maker is to shelve his recently announced followup to Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight, should be cause for no one who cares about the future of the western to celebrate.
Having seen the Oscar-winning screenplay for Django leaked only a few days after it was completed in May 2011, Tarantino says he was aghast to discover that his new script is also now in the public domain. In an interview with Deadline, »
- Ben Child
Producers Guild of America Awards 2014: ‘Gravity’ and ’12 Years a Slave’ tie for Best Picture (photo: ‘Gravity’) Earlier this evening, January 19, 2014, the Alfonso Cuarón-directed Gravity and the Steve McQueen-directed 12 Years a Slave shared the Producers Guild of America’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures — in other words, the PGA’s Best Picture Award. That’s the first such tie in the PGA Awards’ 24-year history. A mix of adventure thriller and mother-love soap opera, Gravity was written by Alfonso Cuarón and his son, Jonás Cuarón. The Cuaróns’ film received ten Academy Award nominations, but failed to be shortlisted for its screenplay. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star. Based on the story of a free black man forced into slavery in the mid-19th century United States, 12 Years a Slave stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt (who also co-produced the film), and »
- Steve Montgomery
Failure is inevitable. Success is elusive.
As HBO’s CEO, Michael Fuchs, who’d come up through the company’s programming side, had spent 11 years working to transform the service from a movie channel with some pleasant original filler into a true programming platform. Ironically, Fuchs’ vision wouldn’t come to full fruit until after he’d left the company in May 1995, and it would happen under a guy who had no programming experience at all: Jeff Bewkes, who took over the CEO’s slot after Fuchs’ departure.
A friend of mine in the company who’d worked with Bewkes once explained his programming philosophy while we were talking about some of the company’s big dollar extravaganzas, like Band of Brothers. Bewkes didn’t interfere with the creative side. “If you can make it make business sense to him, Jeff’ll say, ‘Go ahead.’ If you can »
- Bill Mesce
Credit: Mike Lamonica
Morgan Freeman will present the SAG 50th Life Achievement Award to Rita Moreno at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, Executive Producer/Director Jeff Margolis and Executive Producer Kathy Connell announced today.
SAG-aftra is honoring Rita Moreno for her career achievement and humanitarian accomplishments. Past recipients of the Life Achievement Award include Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Ernest Borgnine, Betty White, James Earl Jones, Charles Durning, Julie Andrews, Shirley Temple Black, James Garner, Karl Malden, Clint Eastwood, Edward Asner, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, Kirk Douglas, Elizabeth Taylor, Angela Lansbury, Robert Redford, and George Burns.
Credit: Mark Hill
In 1971, Freeman and Moreno were among the stars of “The Electric Company,” a comedy variety show created by the Children’s Television Workshop (Ctw) featuring live-action sketches, cartoons, and songs. Inspired by The Motown Sound, “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” and Broadway, the series was designed »
- Michelle McCue
Some actors work far past their prime, some die or fade away too young and others just disappear without much explanation at all. Whether it’s because they’ve had enough of Hollywood, gone crazy, retired or can’t find work, there’s a whole slew of awesome actors that simply disappear from film and we are occasionally left wondering: “where the hell did he/she go?”
Pop in a film like Goodfellas and you’ll easily become nostalgic for Joe Pesci and wonder why the brilliantly unique actor doesn’t work anymore or throw in Unforgiven and see one of Gene Hackman’s finest performances and you’ll be wondering why he’s not scooping up some of the many senior citizen roles Robert De Niro seems to relish in.
Let’s feed into that mystery and nostalgia here by taking a look at ten awesome »
- Zachary Leeman
Since 1988, there have been 30 instances where the actor and supporting actor for the same film were nominated. This year, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are hoping to make it 31 films as both are in contention for Oscar nominations. With that, I decided to take a look at the past 25 years in Oscar to see what might bear out this year for these actors.
List of Films with Actor and Supporting Actor Nominations
1989: Driving Ms. Daisy – Morgan Freeman and Dan Akroyd
Oscar Fate: 9 nominations/4 wins (Picture, Actress, Adapted Screenplay and Makeup)
Oscar Fate: 10 nominations/2 wins (Art Direction, Costume Design)
Oscar Fate: 9 nominations/4 wins (Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, and Film Editing)
Oscar Fate: 6 nominations/1 win (Original Screenplay)
1993: Schindler’s List »
- Terence Johnson
20 items from 2014
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