18 items from 2015
Gaspar Noé’s bid to shock us into submission with 3D sex is let down by two-dimensional performances
“I want to film that which cinema has rarely allowed itself, either for commercial or legal reasons,” says Gaspar Noé, writer/director of cause celebre Cannes favourites Seul Contre Tous, Irréversible and Enter the Void. For his fourth feature, Noé sets out “to film the organic dimension of being in love”, free from “the ridiculous division that dictates no normal film can contain overly erotic scenes”. Thus we have a Last Tango in Paris-tinged tale of amour fou in which a disconsolate young American in Paris drifts from the responsibilities of fatherhood back into memories of lost love, Noé taking us on a lurid three-way tour of appendages and orifices, physical and psychological.
This of course is nothing new. Since the post-Deep Throat days of Nagisa Oshima’s Ai No Corrida »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
The Wind Beneath Her Wings: Kavaite’s Sapphic Sophomore Sighs
Sophomore is an adjective that serves as a pun to describe Alante Kavaite’s latest film, The Summer of Sangaile, a coming of age tale concerning a young woman that discovers herself over the course of one very important summer. However, a similar interest in her woes isn’t extended to the audience. Though featuring a handful of sexual encounters, Kavaite’s film seems to be dabbling in the homoerotic tendencies of its protagonist, an emotionally troubled youth with little drive to pursue her greatest dreams. But beat by strained beat, there’s nothing innovative or subtle in this adolescent’s journey to spreading her wings and, literally, flying high.
- Nicholas Bell
Variety has named its 10 Directors to Watch for 2016, spotlighting feature helmers from across the filmmaking landscape. The list represents a cross-section of studio and independent talents, working both in Hollywood and overseas, all of whom are expected to go on to great things — some as soon as the year-end awards race.
All but three of the directors are making their feature debuts. Joining these impressive tyros, Colombian helmer Ciro Guerra has premiered two films in Cannes; Peter Landesman’s sophomore pic, “Concussion,” bowed this week at the AFI Film Festival; and actor-turned-director Matt Ross (“28 Hotel Rooms”) is a Sundance alum whose “Captain Fantastic” is positioned for a 2016 festival launch.
The 10 Directors to Watch are:
Don Cheadle (“Miles Ahead”) Deniz Gamze Erguven (“Mustang”) Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”) Ciro Guerra (“Embrace of the Serpent’) Slavek Horak (“Home Care”) Duke Johnson (“Anomalisa”) Peter Landesman (“Concussion”) Laszlo Nemes (“Son of Saul”) Matt Ross (“Captain Fantastic »
- Peter Debruge
Gaspar Noe’s new hardcore 3D romance “Love” is finally in theatres, and although the film is said to be a mite less incendiary than the brutal likes of “Irreversible” and “I Stand Alone,” even Noe’s less shocking work is capable of making his contemporaries look like a bunch of timid schoolchildren. The polarizing Argentinian/Chilean filmmaker’s cinematic celebration of all things carnal has already attracted wildly mixed reviews, including one from our own Jessica Kiang (here’s her write-up) where she praises Noe’s unmistakable stylistic verve while also lamenting his inability to reign in his indulgences. The jury is still out on whether or not “Love” will eventually be seen as one of the director’s most memorable works, but this should not diminish the fact that the finished film itself is an uncompromising —and indeed extremely indulgent— work of screw-you radicalism. One of Noe’s »
- Nicholas Laskin
Special Mention: Dressed To Kill
Directed by Brian De Palma
Written by Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma’s films, like Tarantino’s, are a cinematic mash-up of influences from the past, and in De Palma case he borrows heavily from Alfred Hitchcock. Obsession is De Palma’s Vertigo, Blow Out his Rear Window, and with Dressed to Kill the director set its sights on Psycho. Dressed To Kill is more thriller than horror but what a stylish and twisted thriller it is! The highlight here is an amazing ten-minute chase sequence set in an art gallery and conducted entirely without dialogue. There are a number of other well-sustained set pieces including a race in the subway system and even, yes, a gratuitous shower murder sequence. Dressed To Kill features an excellent cast (Michael Caine, Nancy Allen, Angie Dickinson), a superb score (courtesy of Pino Donaggio) and »
- Ricky Fernandes
Argentinian filmmaker Gaspar Noé is back with his first feature film in five years, and it's a doozy! Love debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, and today, Vice has debuted the first trailer for this 3D porn film, featuring real sex scenes that weren't simulated. The romantic drama has been picked up by Alchemy and given an October 30 release date. The film will expand into additional markets and VOD platforms starting November 6, but it isn't known exactly what markets the film will expand to.
January the 1st, early morning. The telephone rings. Murphy (Karl Glusman) wakes up next to his young wife and 2-year-old child. He listens to his voicemail: Electra's mother, sick with worry, wants to know whether he has heard from her daughter. Electra (Aomi Muyock) has been missing for a long time. She's afraid something really bad has happened to her. Over the course of a long rainy day, »
A while back, when we released the 400th episode of the Sound On Sight podcast, a few close friends and longtime listeners requested we compile a list of our favorite shows we recorded over the years. Now that the podcast has officially come to an end, I decided to finally set aside some time in my schedule and give them what they want. Initially, I set out to pick ten, but after 500 recordings and 8 long years, it was simply too hard to choose so few, so I opted for 20 instead. In selecting these episodes, I tried to show the wide range of genres we covered over the years, including Spaghetti Westerns, Italian Horror, Southern Gothic, underground cult, family friendly, foreign language and even Hollywood classics. We’ve been blessed with several guest hosts and interviews with many filmmakers including genre legends George A. Romero and John Landis, to name a few. »
“The fear in her eyes and the knife in the chest. That’s my last memory of my mother. That’s why I had to go to prison for four years, even though she survived.”
Angst screens midnights this Friday and Saturday Night (June 10th and 11th) at The Hi-Pointe Theater (1005 McCausland Ave, St. Louis) as part of Destroy the Brain’s monthly Late Night Grindhouse
After serving time, a troubled man gets released from prison and starts taking out his sadistic fantasies on an unsuspecting family living in a secluded house. That’s the premise of Angst, an Austrian serial killer flick from 1983 that I am completely unfamiliar with. Angst is loosely based on the true story of Werner Kniesek who killed three people in Austria in 1980 and was never released theatrically in the U.S. Apparently director Gaspar Noé (Irreversible) has embraced it and is behind the film »
- Tom Stockman
It’s only his fourth feature film, but his eighth trip to Cannes, Gaspar Noé hasn’t let go of the short or long format. He first broke into the fest with the Directors’ Fortnight included Carne (1991), La Bouche de Jean-Pierre (short – 1996), Seul Contre Tous (short – 1998), Irreversible (2002), Sida (short – 2006), Enter the Void (2009), 7 Days in Havana (one of seven short films – 2012). If we only received a small sampling of critic grades for the 8:30 a.m. screening of Jacques Audiard’s Dheephan, it might have a lot to do with the conflict of interest and sleep deprivation associated to Noé’s Love 15 minutes past midnight screening. This year we made an exception in our Critics’ Panel, including this tantalizing 3D offering which our Nicholas Bell only reminds us that “Noé was already beaten to the punch by Michael Winterbottom with his film 9 Songs“. For many, this might be the filmmaker’s »
- Eric Lavallee
Love was the hot ticket in Cannes, both in terms of the massive scrum trying to get into the midnight screening, and the explicit poster, which promised hardcore sex and lots of it. All in 3D. It is directed by Gasper Noé, the French director famous for transgressive movies like the ultra-violent Seul Contre Tous and Irreversible, which featured a graphic 9-minute rape scene. »
"Gaspar Noé may be the only director in history who could make a two-and-a-quarter-hours-long pornographic film in 3D and then have it legitimately described as his least offensive picture to date," begins Robbie Collin, reviewing Love for the Telegraph. "Unlike his previous three features, I Stand Alone, Irreversible and Enter the Void, which stupefied the viewer with shocks, here the aim is to suck shock out of the moving image like venom from a snakebite. Love is interested in showing us one of the last movie-world taboos, real sex, over and over again, until watching it feels like the most natural thing in the world." We've got more reviews and a clip. » - David Hudson »
The cast holds nothing back in Gaspar Noe’s “Love,” but it’s the ever-provocative writer-director who exposes the most in his sexually explicit, semi-autobiographical Cannes scandal-in-the-making, a courageously personal account of an aspiring filmmaker torn between the mother of his child and the one that got away. The helmer of such transgressive pics as “Irreversible” and “Enter the Void,” Noe resolved to make a relationship movie that was honest about human sexuality, and though the stereoscopic 3D result thrusts plenty of the old bump-and-grind in audiences’ faces, it would be disingenuous to pretend that other directors haven’t gotten there first — and to more revealing effect. Still, you’ve gotta hand it to Noe for leaving no taboo unturned, and for putting so much of himself into a film that’s bound to leave titillation seekers resenting its creator during the long stretches of wallowing introspection between climaxes.
- Peter Debruge
Gaspar Noé is that rare director whose movies you can see from space. The lurid and dazzling colors, the howling dervish of his camera and the intensely trippy psychosexual themes all form a connective tissue that binds his three films thus far: "I Stand Alone" (1998), "Irreversible" (2002) and "Enter the Void" (2009). Anyone who's seen "Irreversible," the sicko auteur's time-bending rape revenge opera, knows you can't un-see it. This week, Cannes audiences will finally be treated to his 3D sex opus "Love," a three-hour melodrama about the sexual awakening of a boy, a girl and another girl. "Love" marks the Argentine-born French filmmaker's first film since "Enter the Void," Noé's candy-colored free-fall into the unconscious of a dead drug dealer as his soul floats high above the twinkling Tokyo vista. As an exasperating assault on the senses as any of his films, "Enter the »
- Ryan Lattanzio
French-Argentinean filmmaker Gaspar Noe is no stranger to controversy. Having made several films that had crossed lines of decency and art such as I Stand Alone, Enter The Void, and Irreversible, Noe is a lightning rod for films that get people talking. His latest film, Love, is set to screen at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and looks to be on the verge of the same kind of buzz like Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac. Filmed in 3D, Love tells the story of a man and two women and, well, »
- Alex Maidy
Kristen Stewart has some brand new body art! The actress stopped by the "Late Late Show with James Corden" this week, where she showed off her new ink and revealed her family's fellow love of tattoos. Check out the clip above to see how her mom helped her with the new piece! Stewart just recently got the now-permanent tat -- the same one she temporarily rocked while filming her new flick "Clouds of Sils Maria" -- and showed off her ink to Corden during their interview. "I had it for two months, so it's a perfect little test drive," Stewart said about her arm piece. While the 24-year-old actress is no stranger to tattoos, she recruited the help of her mom for this particular addition. "My whole family's really tatted, and for years and years I was like 'I do not need that,'" she explained. "'I'm pure, and I stand alone. »
- tooFab Staff
There are still three weeks to go before the Cannes Film Festival unveils its official-selection lineup, but so far, the latest Pixar 3D animated extravaganza and new films from Woody Allen, Todd Haynes, Jeff Nichols, Denis Villeneuve and Arnaud Desplechin appear to be securing their positions in the event’s 68th annual edition (May 13-24).
In keeping with his longtime habit of avoiding festival accolades, Allen will likely receive an out-of-competition berth for his 45th feature, “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone (who starred in the director’s “Magic in the Moonlight”). Among other U.S. fare, Cannes will get an early start on the summer blockbuster season with Disney/Pixar’s feature toon “Inside Out,” marking a second trip to the Croisette for director Pete Docter (who co-helmed with Ronaldo Del Carmen) after his “Up” opened the festival in 2009. As already announced, George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
A first sampling of Sundance offerings reveals illuminating documentaries and compelling, if not perfect, narratives
A bit of friendly advice to the producers of “Ten Thousand Saints”: Please, please, please get rid of the opening narration in which the protagonist observes that life is like a river. It’s the worst line of dialogue in the whole movie, and it starts the proceedings off with a cringe.
Luckily, the script (by directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, adapting the novel by Eleanor Henderson) gets better from there. After the death of his best friend Teddy (Avan Jogia, also »
- Alonso Duralde
The most controversial director in our top ten list has to be Argentinean director Gaspar Noé, who has made an infamous name for himself with a trio of French titles, beginning with 1998’s I Stand Alone, which starred a grizzled Philippe Nahon (who many should recognize for an equally unsettling role in Aja’s 2003 film High Tension) as a butcher spiraling into a violent rampage. But it was Noe’s 2002 title, Irreversible, which still makes entries on many lists documenting the most shocking or disturbing films ever made, thanks mostly to a nine minute rape scene featuring Monica Bellucci. And if we thought he couldn’t outdo himself there, Noe managed to do so with controversial Enter the Void (2009), in which the soul of a drug dealer is our guide through the underbelly of Tokyo, starring Paz de la Huerta in a terribly underrated performance. »
- Nicholas Bell
18 items from 2015
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