12 items from 2015
"The Triplets of Belleville" (Sylvain Chomet, 2003) Sylvain Chomet's 2003 masterpiece was an international co-production between France, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Canada, and each culture gets its fair share of respect in this wonderfully textured adventure about an elderly women's quest to find her kidnapped grandson with the help of his loyal dog and three music hall singers she meets in the surreal city of Belleville. Hijinks abound left and right as the film creates its own unique and universal language, substituting a majority of dialogue for music and pantomiming. The result is a buoyant animated adventure that owes much to the frenetic rhythm of Buster Keaton and the pathos of Charlie Chaplin, animated like a golden-hued Saturday morning cartoon by way of Ralph Steadman and E. C. Segar. No wonder it was a breakout at Cannes and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Film. "It's Such a Beautiful Day" (Don Hertzfeld, »
- Zack Sharf
Charlie Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson's "Anomalisa" is certainly an anomaly: it's an R-rated animated film geared to adults. That makes it unlike any film ever to compete for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, but it doesn't look like that will stop the idiosyncratic toon. It ranks second in our predictions behind "Inside Out" from awards juggernaut Pixar. -Break- Which Pixar movies got Oscar hugs and which were cruelly shunned? There had been mature films nominated for Best Animated Feature in the past. PG-13 contenders "The Triplets of Belleville" (2003), "Persepolis" (2007) and "The Wind Rises" (2013) as well as the unrated "Chico and Rita" (2011) and Wes Anderson's wry "Fantastic Mr. Fox" (2009) weren't strictly kids' stuff, but "Anomalisa" would be the first R-rated nominee. Animation on the big screen is largely perceived as »
More propulsive than many a car chase and as bone-crunching as any chopsocky fistfight, the pro-cycling races that drive Dante Lam’s “To the Fore” rep a feat of action choreography and virtuoso lensing seldom seen in a Hong Kong sports movie. Shot in locations all over Taiwan and Asia, the film merges diverse cycling styles with the stunning terrain to evoke the raw excitement of a live sports program. Plot and character, however, are stiffly shoehorned into a plethora of setpieces, and for all the film’s upbeat, motivational feel, the three protags’ conflict between camaraderie and personal glory comes off as formulaic. Still, the film is dynamic and entertaining enough to pedal its way to great B.O. gains in Chinese-speaking markets.
The Cantonese title, “Por Fung” (which unintentionally translates as “breaking wind” in English), refers to the cyclist’s need to push aside the air in front of him. »
- Maggie Lee
There's not much time left to watch Ever After, Jack Reacher, and a handful of other movies on Netflix! While you may still be chugging along trying to catch up with Grace and Frankie and the rest of May's new releases, the clock is ticking on these titles. Take a look below, and figure out what you need to watch tonight before it's gone! Expiring on June 1 Drugs, Inc.: Seasons 2 and 3 Ever After G.I. Jane Ink Master: Season 1 Rain Man Silence of the Lambs Bram Stoker's Dracula City of Ghosts Dance With Me Deep Blue Sea Dream Lover Frankie and Johnny Last Action Hero Picture Perfect Reign Over Me Snatch Swept Away Syriana The Triplets of Belleville Waking Life Expiring on June 6 Crash Expiring on June 20 Amadeus Practical Magic Collateral Damage The Guilt Trip Expiring on June 28 Stand-Up Guys Expiring on June 29 Texas Chainsaw Expiring on June »
While we recently shared the list of titles that are coming to Netflix Instant Watch in June, now’s the time to take a look at the movies and TV shows that will be departing the streaming service next month. Your last chance (at least for a while) to watch Rain Man, The Silence of the Lambs, The Rocketeer, Taxi Driver, and the somewhat underrated Syriana. If you haven’t it, I highly suggest checking out the excellent Jack Reacher. And if for some reason you want to watch Crash again, now’s the time. Check out the full list of titles departing Netflix in June below. Leaving June 1st Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) City of Ghosts (2003) Dance with Me (1998) Deep Blue Sea (1999) DeRay Davis: Power Play (2010) Dream Lover (1994) Drugs, Inc.: Season 23 Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998) Frankie and Johnny (1991) I. Jane (1997) Garfield and Friends: Vol. 12 Hatchet II »
- Adam Chitwood
Sylvain Chomet, the director of several beautiful animated films including The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist, has unveiled his music video for Belgian singer and songwriter Stromae’s “Carmen.” The video style, which is everything you would come to expect from the Academy Award nominated director, draws on the 1800s opera by French composer Georges Bizet, and features an animated Stromae being consumed by his Twitter addiction. Premiering on Buzzfeed, the video garnered over five million views in less than 24 hours.
In the past five years, the 29-year-old discovery has become a sensation across the Atlantic, beginning with his song “Alors on danse”, which became number one in several European countries. The Belgian rapper is redefining what it means to be a contemporary male pop star, and much like Michael Jackson in the early 80’s, he’s using the visual medium to further thrust him into the spotlight. Check out the video below, »
★★☆☆☆ Sylvain Chomet's feature-length foray into live action, Attila Marcel (2013) sees him making stylistic nods to the auteurs of his homeland - think Tati, Jeunet and Gondry - while maintaining his own sense of whimsical tenacity that has become a hallmark of his trade. Chomet has made a name for himself in constructing animated worlds that hearken back to the glory days of cartoonish delight. Indeed, his previous works, The Triplets of Belleville (2003) and The Illusionist (2010), have been praised for their surreal charms and comforting qualities. But while Attila Marcel is altogether a saccharine diversion, it fumbles with tone and direction.
- CineVue UK
Treading Water is a modern-day fairytale complete with hero and heroine, seemingly insurmountable obstacles, a fairy godfather (of sorts) and an unexpected all-dancing / all-swimming finale.
Mica (Douglas Smith) faces a number of challenges. He’s grown up in a house that’s actually a museum celebrating the renowned Mexican crooner Guillermo Garibai (Gonzalo Vega). Mica’s mother Sophie (Ariadna Gil) is the guardian and tour guide of this wildly over-the-top shrine. And then there’s the fact that Mica smells like fish…
Mother and son are both too much (or not enough) for Mica’s father Richard (Don McKellar), who ends up abandoning them. No one around Mica, not even his therapist Catherine (Carrie-Anne Moss), is able to get him on track, until his childhood crush Laura (Zoë Kravitz) swims back into his life. For the first time in his life he feels happy, but Mica ends up losing her as well. »
- Michelle McCue
While this year’s nominations included another Disney short from the makers of The Paperman and a 20-minute emotional rollercoaster from some animators that left Pixar, the Oscar field for animated short included a director who would go on to earn a feature length animation nomination a few years later.
The debut short by director Sylvian Chomet, who would later direct The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist, was released online. The film, titled The Old Lady and The Pigeons, runs 22 minutes long and came out in 1997 before being nominated for a best animated short Oscar (it would lose to Pixar’s Geri’s Game).
The short tells the quirky story of a skinny, starving French policeman who dresses up as a pigeon and forces an old lady to feed him. And things get weirder from there as he keeps returning to the old woman’s house and ballooning in size. »
- Zach Dennis
yt id="MqhVcRrrauY" width="500" Directed by Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville, The Illusionist), below is his 1997 short film The Old Lady and the Pigeons (La Vieille Dame et les Pigeons), which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. It lost the award to Pixar's Geri's Game (included below). An emaciated Parisian policeman discovers an old lady who feeds pigeons in the park excessively. After having a nightmare ending in giant pigeon-men pecking at his stomach, the policeman constructs a pigeon mask, which he wears to the old lady's home. She welcomes him inside and, despite his rude behavior, allows him to gorge himself. As weeks pass, the policeman grows increasingly fat. As he goes up flights of stairs to the woman's home each day, he passes a maid sweeping the floor. Eventually, the policeman discovers the old lady's other pet: the woman who swept the floor, »
- Brad Brevet
Sylvain Chomet's beautiful, distinct animated films take time to make. It was seven years between his feature film debut "The Triplets Of Belleville" and "The Illusionist," and while he did most recently knock out the live action "Attila Marcel," he's got another animated feature cooking with "Ten Thousand Miles." But right from the start, Chomet's talent and style made itself known with the short "The Old Lady And The Pigeons." Kicking off Chomet's career, this 22-minute 1997 short tells the quirky story of a skinny, starving French policeman who dresses up as a pigeon and forces an old lady to feed him. And things get weirder from there as he keeps returning to the old woman's house and ballooning in size. And yet, even in this surreal tale, Chomet's unique visuals are impressive. So much so, that the short won a nice handful of awards around the world, and was »
- Kevin Jagernauth
By Anjelica Oswald
When the 87th Oscar nominations for best animated feature were announced Jan. 15 and excluded The Lego Movie, the Internet exploded with confusion and disbelief. The film, which was largely expected by many pundits to win the Oscar, was a critical (holding a 96 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes) and commercial hit (earning $257.7 million stateside). It also earned Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations and won the Critics’ Choice Award for best animated film. It seemingly had everything going in its favor, so what went wrong?
One sentiment is that the animation branch of the Academy, which chooses the nominations, admire hand-drawn traditional animation and want to celebrate and preserve a fading craft rather than nominate solely computer animated and digital films.
The first computer animated film was Toy Story, which was released in 1995 and was nominated for original screenplay, original song and original score. Director »
- Anjelica Oswald
12 items from 2015
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