14 items from 2012
There was a time when I was in love with stop motion animation. It was the era of Gumby, Rudolph: the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Year Without A Santa Claus. However, over the past two decades, CG has slowly nudged stop motion out of mainstream family entertainment.
When you think of the top animated movies of 2012, Brave or Wreck-it Ralph probably come to mind. Superb CG and the Disney distribution label made these films household names. Yet, in the trenches of cinema, where only the most audacious viewers dare to go, another feature was the unsung animated gem of the year. Laika’s ParaNorman coupled a delightful voice cast with a layered story that was chock full of spooky twists. This thrilling adventure is filled with wonderful, hand-made character models and smart comedy. Thanks to the team at Laika, the beating heart of stop motion lives on.
Editor’S Pick: »
- Bags Hooper
As the nation recovers from its Newsnight affair, there could hardly be a more relevant movie than this new one from 43-year-old Danish director Thomas Vinterberg about a wrongful accusation of child abuse. Vinterberg has created a drama-thriller with the atmospheric grip of a horror film; there are echoes of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs and Lars von Trier's Dogville, but the film has its own exemplary power, maturity and intelligence. To see The Hunt is to be reminded of our own recent history: we watched as a flagship news programme suffered a spasm of misjudgment that could have been avoided with a Google image search, and as a TV interviewer solemnly handed to the prime minister his piece of paper, apparently under the impression »
- Peter Bradshaw
Way back in the 1970s, before he became a film-maker and travelled the world, Thomas Vinterberg was just a little kid on a Danish commune, a naked infant amid a herd of naked adults. He sets the scene with gusto. Genitals here and genitals there; children climbing on to undressed laps; the whole place full of generosity and love. In third grade the kids demanded a sex education class and their teacher Olin ("half-pissed, a lovely guy") duly obliged by pulling down his pants. "Today he'd get 15 years in prison," marvels Vinterberg. "He would never work again."
The director – now a handsome, hearty 43 – makes no bones about pining for the commune; of feeling bounced out of Eden and adrift in a constraining modern age. One »
- Xan Brooks
The man, often hailed as the greatest screen actor of his generation, is famous – some say notorious – for his obsessive attention to detail in building character. His latest role, playing Abraham Lincoln, is no exception
Thick mud and blood mingle in the opening scenes of Steven Spielberg's latest film, Lincoln. In a brutal demonstration of what happens when politics fails, bodies pile up across a boggy battlefield. The rest of the film, also full of dark and muddy tones, looks steadily at how politicians might end or prolong such a grim civil war. And at the heart of the matter, trying to abolish slavery and adorned with a representation of one of the most famous beards of all time, stands Daniel Day-Lewis.
In playing the revered 16th president of the United States, the 55-year old actor adds to the series of New World archetypes he has tackled on screen. »
- Vanessa Thorpe
There must come a time in the organisation of the next dramatic smash that all the crew look at the casting director with a mix of fear and trepidation to announce; we need Daniel Day-Lewis.
Why the fear and trepidation? Well, I’m not sure you know this, but Day-Lewis is bats**t insane. He’s an outrageously talented actor, but what goes into this requires lunacy of the highest order.
You see, he ascribes to a school of acting preparation known as ‘method acting’. You might’ve heard of it. What defines this approach is the willingness on the part of the actor to adopt their role in real life, thus making for a more convincing portrayal.
- Edward Owen
Chicago – Joan Allen, the extraordinary Midwestern born actor, came back to her old Steppenwolf Theatre stomping grounds to accept the Career Achievement Award from the Chicago International Film Festival on Sunday, October 14th. Known for her Academy Award nominated roles in “Nixon” and “The Contender,” Allen has had a film career full of highlights.
Joan Allen at the Chicago International Film Festival, Oct. 14th, 2012
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com
Born in Rochelle, Illinois, Joan Allen studied theater at both Northern Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University – where she met John Malkovich – and that connection led to her joining the famed Chicago company Steppenwolf Theatre in 1977. In the midst of pursuing a theater career, her first major film role was in “Compromising Positions” (1985). After notable parts in “Manhunter” (1986), “Peggy Sue Got Married” (1986) and “Tucker: The Man and His Dreams” (1988), she broke through with the Oscar nominated »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Throughout the month of October, Editor-in-Chief and resident Horror expert Ricky D, will be posting a list of his favorite Horror films of all time. The list will be posted in six parts. Click here to see every entry.
As with all lists, this is personal and nobody will agree with every choice – and if you do, that would be incredibly disturbing. It was almost impossible for me to rank them in order, but I tried and eventually gave up.
Special Mention: Gremlins
Directed by Joe Dante
Written by Chris Columbus
Gremlins gets a special mention because I’ve always considered it more of a comedy and a wholesome Christmas flick than an actual horror film. This tribute the 1950s matinee genre stands the test of time from a time when parents would take their children to family films that pushed the boundaries of the MPAA. Joe Dante is »
Among the Korean independent fare at this year's PiFan there were some wonderful works that will likely enjoy healthy festival runs and should find wider audiences but along with the good there is inevitably going to be some bad. One film that will quickly be forgotten is a low-budget take on Arthur Miller's famed play 'The Crucible'. However, please don't confuse this film with last year's much-ballyhooed and far more worthwhile Silenced, which was originally known as The Crucible In English. Though not particularly familiar with Miller's play, it's easy to see that the filmmakers behind this work got themselves a little too caught up in the mechanics of putting on a theater piece as well as their attempt at forging a meta-narrative around »
Jeremy Renner: new The Bourne Legacy trailer The Bourne Legacy trailer offers lots of action, murders, and senseless brutality to entertainment the whole family. However murky its plot may be, expect the Tony Gilroy movie starring The Hurt Locker / Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol / The Avengers‘ Jeremy Renner to be a big hit. Gilroy also co-wrote the screenplay with Dan Gilroy. The Bourne Legacy also features the following actors in its prestigious cast: Oscar winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener), two-time Oscar nominee Edward Norton (American History X, Primal Fear), five-time Oscar nominee Albert Finney (Tom Jones, Murder on the Orient Express), three-time Oscar nominee Joan Allen (The Contender, The Crucible), and Oscar nominee David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck). Plus Scott Glenn, Donna Murphy, Oscar Isaac, Stacy Keach, Michael Chernus, and Corey Stoll. Matt Damon isn’t featured in the film, but his face can be seen on »
- Zac Gille
Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu is undoubtedly a Cannes darling, with his debut feature film Occidental having premiered in the Director’s Fortnight in 2002 and his follow-up 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days taking the Palme D’Or in 2007. In his third film, Beyond the Hills, the director attempts to tackle the universal subject of faith and love in an unusually particular manner. Using his trademark single-take shots for each scene and completely devoid of any music, the film plays out like a solemn sabbatical about the hardships of committing oneself completely to God. Despite the promising approach to a controversial issue, the film is a chore to sit through, reminiscent of a child bored in Sunday school.
The film opens with a solemn tracking shot of Voichita (played by newcomer Cosmina Stratan) a nun from an orthodox monastery picking up her childhood friend Alina (played with silent brutality by another newcomer Cristina Flutur »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
Vivacious Irish actor best known for her role opposite Albert Finney in Tom Jones
The red-haired, vivacious and provocative Irish actor Joyce Redman, who has died aged 93, will for ever be remembered for her lubricious meal-time munching and swallowing opposite Albert Finney in Tony Richardson's 1963 film of Tom Jones. Eyes locked, lips smacked and jaws rotated as the two of them tucked into a succulent feast while eyeing up the afters. Sinking one's teeth into a role is one thing. This was quite another, and deliciously naughty, the mother of all modern mastication scenes.
Redman and Finney were renewing a friendship forged five years earlier when both appeared with Charles Laughton in Jane Arden's The Party at the New (now the Noël Coward) theatre. Redman was not blamed by the critic Kenneth Tynan for making nothing of her role as Laughton's wife. "Nothing," he said, "after all, will come of nothing. »
- Michael Coveney
Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford hasn’t had a TV gig in nearly 50 years; his last small-screen credit is an episode of The Defenders that aired in 1964. But that will change this Saturday, when Robert Redford Presents begins airing on Sundance Channel.
Redford — who serves as the channel’s creative director — will curate and critique independent movies in this new program. “Our aim with Sundance Channel has always been to showcase independent productions that broaden viewers’ minds and hopefully inspire them,” Redford said in a statement. “I am pleased to share some great films and further strengthen the outstanding »
- Hillary Busis
The Sundance Channel will feature a series of indie films curated and introduced by creative director Robert Redford. Starting at 10pm, April 28, and continuing each Saturday night, "Robert Redford Presents" will showcase some of the most distinguished indie films of recent years to bring them to the channel's audience along with his personal critique. First up is "The Crucible," from director Nicholas Hytner and starring Danie Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder. Other films currently scheduled include "Wendy & Lucy" (Dir: Kelly Reichardt, with Michelle Williams), "Blue Velvet" (Dir: David Lynch, with Isabella Rossellini, Kyle Maclachlan, Dennis Hopper and Laura Dern), "The Deep End" (Dir: David Siegel and Scott Mcgehee, with Tilda Swinton and Goran Visnjic), and "The Imperialists Are Still Alive" (Dir: Zeina Durra, with Élodie Bouchez, José María de Tavira). Says Redford: “Our aim...
- Sophia Savage
New York, NY – April 23, 2012– Sundance Channel announced today that Creative Director Robert Redford will appear on Sundance Channel to introduce some of the most distinguished independent films of recent years. Airing every Saturday night beginning April 28th, Redford will introduce each film and offer a personal critique. Some of the films being screened include: The Crucible, Wendy & Lucy, Blue Velvet, The Deep End and The Imperialists Are Still Alive. Robert Redford stated, “Our aim with Sundance Channel has always been to showcase independent productions that broaden viewers’ minds and hopefully inspire them. I am pleased to share some great films and further strengthen the outstanding independent film offering on our channel.” Sundance Channel General Manager Sarah Barnett commented, “Independent film is more relevant today than ever before, and Sundance Channel is proud to support the overall Sundance mission and provide a platform for independent artists to share their stories.” Robert Redford »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
14 items from 2012
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