15 items from 2012
CineVue has once again teamed up with the BFI this month to offer Two lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to see French enfant terrible Gaspar Noé's hugely controversial 2002 film Irréversible on Thursday 29 November at the BFI Southbank (8:40pm), as part of their Uncut season. With not one, but two of the most graphic scenes in recent cinema history to its name - and featuring fine turns from Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci - Noé's hard-hitting tale of love and vengeance is not to be missed. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
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- CineVue UK
After a century looking out for the nation's sensibilities and a new president taking charge, the British Board of Film Classification has much to scrutinise – not least its own history
After 100 years of trimming the naughty and nasty bits from films, the board that classifies all entertainment for theatrical release in Britain is training up its new chief censor, a solicitor.
But if you, like the new man, had already worked at the cutting edge of censorship for some time and were an expert in the legal arguments surrounding the public screening of scenes of violence and depravity, would there really be anything left to learn?
Apparently so, for Patrick Swaffer, who was appointed president of the British Board of Film Classification last month, is undergoing an "induction period" in a job that will see his signature projected on to cinema screens across the land on certification cards for years to come. »
- Vanessa Thorpe
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.
Directed by Mary Harrron
Written by Mary Harron
Bret Easton Ellis’s dark and violent satire of America in the 1980s was brought to the big screen by director Mary Harron. Initially slapped with the MPAA’s kiss of death (an Nc-17 rating), American Psycho was later re-edited and reduced to a more commercially dependable “R”. Perhaps the film works best as a slick satire about misogyny, »
Written by Harmony Korine
Directed by Harmony Korine
Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers is a frenzied cornucopia of sex, drugs, alcohol, and neon hued imagery; further proof that the 39-year-old filmmaker continues to operate under the guise of his own dynamic form. Known for such films as Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy, and Trash Humpers, Korine has at once made his most commercial film while also displaying a tangible maturity as a filmmaker – doing so in the only way he knows how.
The dynamic cast is mainly comprised of a foursome of small-town girls looking to shed their boredom and cut loose on spring break in Florida: Faith (Gomez), Brit (Benson), Candy (Hudgens), and Cotty (Rachel), Korine’s wife. Looking to score some extra cash to fund their trip, the girls knock of a diner much to the chagrin of Faith who dismisses the act at first, but eventually »
- Ty Landis
Chicago – Graphic violence is a double-edged sword. It can shock viewers into acknowledging the tragic nature of carnage so often belittled in mainstream cinema, yet it can also repel viewers straight out of the theater before the end credits roll. Ben Wheatley’s “Kill List” is far from the most violent film in recent memory, but its few instances of onscreen bloodshed are unbearably savage.
This makes the film a perfect fit for IFC Midnight, which has specialized in distributing ultra-grisly indies. “Kill List” is one of their better releases this year, but it lacks the emotional and psychological depth of a film like Justin Kurzel’s “The Snowtown Murders.” Whereas Kurzel’s fact-based tale was about people who seemed frighteningly human, Wheatley’s film centers on a group of characters so witless that audiences may find it difficult to become involved in their plight. “Kill List” is entertaining enough »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Directed by François Truffaut
The Bride Wore Black has a reputation that precedes it. It’s critically lauded, from the 1960’s, in French, by the legendary François Truffaut, a paean to Alfred Hitchcock, and the afflatus to Quentin Tarantino. This should be a great film by design, right?
Even though the film’s standing with critics seems to be universal, it’s not nearly as good as advertised, which makes the film’s shortcomings even more disappointing. Like it’s apocryphal prestige, The Bride Wore Black sets up an experience of high potential and intrigue, only to flounder in an anti-climatic misfire.
The bride in question is Julie Kohler (Jeanne Moreau). A recent widow, ‘widow’ being the impetus, Kohler leaves town following an unsuccessful suicide attempt.
Once out, she makes it her duty to track down five men who do not know her, »
- Justin Li
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
The anthology film, in its successes, is so often a serendipitous art; after all, how much control can any one contributor have over the project as a whole? This fact is painfully reminded to us in Cuban travelogue 7 Days in Havana, a visually dazzling but thematically sparse tableau.
Quite possibly a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, even if those cooks are by-and-large first-rate film directors, 7 Days of Havana aims disappointingly low with its ambition, telling tales that either feel derived from soap opera, or fail to adequately convey the aspect of Cuban culture that they so desperately want to.
With each story comprising one day of the titular week, Benicio Del Toro’s “El Yuma” is first up to bat, starring Josh Hutcherson as a film student enjoying the city’s sights before he begins class. Following that, Pablo Trapero (Carancho) depicts despondent »
- Shaun Munro
Two of my all-time favorite performances were given by Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassell in Gaspar Noé's 2002 French-language film "Irreversible." I loved Noé's film "Enter the Void" and went back to watch his earlier work. "Irreversible" stayed with me. There's one long shot in particular where Bellucci and Cassell come down from an elevator, walk across a subway platform, and the camera then follows them onto the train. They're having a very heated conversation about women and sexual desire and how it has affected their relationships. It's so well-written that it has to be scripted, but it's so well-acted it feels fully improvised. That's something that I go back to and watch a lot. It seems like a completely natural, off-the-cuff conversation. And it's done as a "oner" -- all in one take -- so the director is not cutting back and forth. It makes it that much more. »
- email@example.com (Erica Dasher)
The first teaser we saw for David Cronenberg’s upcoming film Cosmopolis gave us a glimpse of a stylish, violent work that not only looked like a throwback to the disturbing genre pictures the director made his name on, but that also seemed to be taking a page out of the playbook of Gaspar Noé, a director of French films who made waves in the U.S. with a couple of mind-bendingly stylized films in Irreversible and Enter the Void. That was probably enough to get film fans to mark this one on their calendars already, but after the movie was announced as being a big part of this year’s Cannes lineup, anticipation for Cosmopolis has reached a fever pitch. Or, at least, that’s what its producers are hoping, because they’ve put some new trailers out to capitalize on the Cannes announcement. This one comes from French site Allocine, and »
- Nathan Adams
Gaspar Noé has made his mark in a cinema which has generally gone under the name ‘New French Extremism’, a body of films which mark French cinema’s attempts to rehabilitate itself after being virtually done in by Hollywood’s continued success in Europe. Some of the other directors held as belonging to this group are Francois Ozon, Catherine Breillat, Bruno Dumont, Patrice Chereau, Jean-Claude Brisseau and Leos Carrax. While the complex eco-system of French cinema has also been cited as the cause of this cinema – which has been deliberately transgressive and determined to break all taboos – a simpler explanation is that this body has arisen as a direct consequence of Hollywood’s (and America’s) cultural hegemony.
The relation between American cinema and French art cinema was a much friendlier one in the 1950s and 1960s when directors like Godard, Truffaut and Chabrol were even inspired by Hollywood. The Auteur Theory, »
- MK Raghvendra
Everyone.s been making a big deal about the entire American Pie gang reuniting for American Reunion. Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Chris Klein, Tara Reid . the whole Pie gang is back. Even the pie. Yes, Biggs' infamous co-star pops up in a Nsfw Funny or Die clip that spoofs the horror genre as it highlights the terror Biggs has endured for the past 13 years, continuing his legacy as "the guy who fucked the pie." See for yourself. It.s worth your time: Who is voicing that rapist of a pie? It sounds like a malevolent Pillsbury Doughboy. And the clip itself somehow combines Deliverance and Death Wish with the can.t-look-away intensity of Gaspar Noe.s Irreversible. Yes, it.s that horrible. Biggs continues to get credit for milking the main joke of the original Pie, though we have to assume the pastry punch line »
It’s been a month since we last reported on Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Only God Forgives, at which point The Weinstein Company’s Radius label announced that they’d be handling the distribution of the film. It was around that point, too, that production on the film went underway in Thailand, and if you’ve been itching for an on-set update, well, we’ve just received our first major one: aggressive auteur Gaspar Noé (Enter the Void, most recently), has been spotted on the lot walking alongside a brutally bloodied Ryan Gosling. [The Playlist]
Refn, as some of you may remember, openly consulted Noé for advice on how to handle a certain beat in Drive‘s instantly infamous elevator scene. (If you’ve seen Irreversible, you’ll know which beat I’m talking about.) Meanwhile, a rumor from December of last year, which cited Gosling as a potential cast member in »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
From animation to epic sci-fi to intimate dramas, here’s our pick of the 50 finest foreign language films of the past ten years…
It is quite clear that mainstream cinema no longer applies just to Hollywood blockbusters, or the odd British comedy. With the advent of mass home cinema in the last decade, and the increasing availability of pretty much anything and everything on DVD, Blu-ray, or streaming services like Netflix, world cinema has finally crossed the divide of being the preserve of the connoisseur, or the type of thing you’d stumble on late at night on TV.
In the last ten years, world cinema has made a massive impact on film-of-the-year lists, and many people’s personal favourites. Starting from 2002 and ending here in 2012, it’s safe to say that you’ll have seen many of the films below, and enjoyed them simply as great pieces of filmmaking, »
The actor, trained ballet dancer, and husband of Monica Bellucci is a man of hidden depths. In his latest role, he plays an anarchic disciple of Sigmund Freud. So, asks Elizabeth Day, did he get to the bottom of why he's drawn to the dark side?
Vincent Cassel is very charming. He knows it. I know it. Everyone in the room – the photographer, her assistant, the make-up artist, the fashion team – knows it, too. When he speaks, his every witticism is greeted with a tinkling outburst of communal laughter. When he moves his leg ever so slightly to alter his pose, the photographer becomes breathless with admiration: "Perfect. That's perfect." It's only a matter of time until we all break into a round of applause and throw long-stemmed roses at his feet.
Once the photos are done, we take a seat in an adjoining room in what is quite possibly the hippest hotel in Paris, »
- Elizabeth Day
A sound somewhere between a muffled cheer and a collective sigh of relief could be heard echoing around the hushed corridors of the "British film industry" last Tuesday when the brilliant Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011, Optimum, 15) received at least some of the recognition that it so richly deserved at the Oscar nominations.
Having been first snubbed by the unaccountable bozos of the increasingly embarrassing Golden Globes and then feted by the far more discerning voters of Bafta, Tomas Alfredson's low-key masterpiece walked away from round one of the Academy Awards with three significant nominations to its name: best actor for Gary Oldman (amazingly, his first sniff of Oscar glory); best music for Alberto Iglesias; and a posthumous adapted screenplay nod for Bridget O'Connor, whose partner in crime, Peter Straughan, deserves to carry off the statuettes on both their behalfs come awards night. »
- Mark Kermode
15 items from 2012
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