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DVD Playhouse: September 2010

DVD Playhouse September 2010

By

Allen Gardner

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Music Box Films) Follow up to the hit The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo finds Lisabeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) joining forces once again as Blomkvist is about to break a story on Sweden’s sex trade, which leads unexpectedly to a dark secret from Elizabeth’s past. Starts off well, then quickly nose-dives into sensationalism and downright silliness, with a pair of villains who are straight out of a Roger Moore-era James Bond film. A real letdown for those of us who felt Dragon Tattoo had finally breathed life into the cinema’s long-stagnant genre of the thriller. Bonuses: English language track; Trailer. Widescreen. Dolby 5.1 surround.

The Killer Inside Me (IFC Films) Michael Winterbottom’s adaptation of Jim Thompson’s classic, and notorious, novel about the psychotic mind of a small town sheriff (Casey Affleck,
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

IFC Midnight And Fantastic Fest Team Up To Simultaneously Release Four Films, Day And Date

  • CriterionCast
Two of the biggest names within the world of film distribution and film festivals are set to team up for what appears to be another step in the ever growing popularity of video on demand and film festival partnerships.

Following experiments like YouTube’s attempt at bringing in new viewers by streaming a collection of Sundance films, IFC and their genre label, Midnight, are set to team up with Fantastic Fest, to release four films, premiering at the festival, on their on demand channel.

The Philip Ridley film, Heartless will join High Lane (Abel Ferry), Primal (Josh Reed) and Red White & Blue (Simon Rumley) as the four feature films that premiere day and date at both the Austin, Texas based festival, as well as the IFC Midnight on demand channel.

Midnight has played home to films like The Human Centipede and Doghouse, as well as upcoming releases like Enter The Void
See full article at CriterionCast »

IFC/Fantastic Fest Form Partnership to Simultaneously Bring Festival Films to VOD

  • Dread Central
Some pretty great news has come in for those of us who don't have the funds or the time off from work to attend this year's Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas: IFC Midnight, the new genre label of IFC Films, has announced that four brand new IFC Midnight acquisitions screening at Fantastic Fest (Sept. 23-30) will simultaneously be available nationwide via the movies-on-demand platform.

Here are the details from the press release:

IFC Midnight and Fantastic Fest will be making the following four films available nationwide on major national cable systems that include Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House in conjunction with their screenings at Fantastic Fest 2010: Philip Ridley’s demonic thriller Heartless (review) (making its Us debut); Abel Ferry’s mountain climbing nightmare High Lane (making its Us debut); Josh Reed’s Ozploitation horror flick Primal (review) (making its Us debut); and Simon Rumley
See full article at Dread Central »

TIFF10 Galas and Special Presentations

Here comes the 35th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, and the line-up thus far of Galas and Special Presentations (that is code for High Profile Films) is looking quite stellar. In this first taster, there are new films from Kim Ji-Woon, Andrew Lau (and not even in the Midnight Madness portion, those films have not been announced yet!) Stephen Frears, Mark Romanek, Darren Aronfosky, Michael Winterbottom, Sylvain Chomet, Mike Leigh, François Ozon, Tran Anh Hung, Guillaume Canet, John Cameron Mitchell, Danis Tanovic, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Julian Schnabel and Im Sang-Soo. Please sirs, I want some more! 

No signs of Terrence Malick yet, but fingers crossed!

Full Press Release from Tiff:

"On the occasion of our 35th anniversary, we are thrilled to announce this selection of important and notable films," says Piers Handling, Director and CEO of Tiff. "The richness and diversity of this year's Galas and Special
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Los Angeles Acting Schools & Coaches

The following is a list of Los Angeles-area stage and film acting schools, teachers, and acoaches organized by category and alphabetically.Each of the entries contains the following information, if applicable: name of teacher or school; address; phone and fax numbers; email address and/or website; average number of students per class; whether beginning, intermediate, or advanced students are taught; whether auditing is permitted; whether classes are ongoing or by sessions; any special emphasis used in classes or coaching; whether a work/study program is offered. Descriptions of the class, schoool, or coaching are provided by the instructor or institutions and edited by Back Stage.Schools or teachers who have been omitted may contact, in writing, Listings, c/o Back Stage, 5055 Wilshire Blvd., 6th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036, so that we may include you in our next list.Acting Technique/Scene StudyAARON McPherson STUDIOWest Hollywood, CA aaron@aaronmcphersonstudio.comwww.aaronmcphersonstudio.
See full article at Backstage »

Paris, Texas: Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

Wim Wenders' 1984 film Paris, Texas, now available on Blu-ray disc from the Criterion Collection, centers around a man named Travis (Harry Dean Stanton). Long thought to be dead since disappearing four years ago, Travis reappears from the desert near the Mexico border, mute, world-weary and an amnesiac. After collapsing at a rundown gas station, a doctor manages to connect the mysterious stranger back to his brother Walt (Dean Stockwell), who lives in Los Angeles with his wife Anne (Aurore Clement) and Hunter (Kit Carson), the abandoned seven-year-old son of Travis and his estranged wife, Jane (Natassja Kinski).

Bringing his brother back to Los Angeles, Walt begins the slow process of reconnecting his long-lost brother to his past. Hunter and Travis, who really don't know each other, begin to build a guarded friendship that leads to the estranged duo to plan a road trip back to Texas to track down and reunite with Jane.
See full article at TheHDRoom »

My Life Is Not a Romantic Comedy (Ma vie n'est pas une comedie romantique)

PARIS -- Romantic comedy is clearly identified worldwide as an all-American genre. Ma vie n'est pas une comedie romantique is a French attempt to add a Gallic touch to the recipe. It works out quite well. In fact, the debut feature by Marc Gibaja quotes openly some successes of the '80s and '90s, such as When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle. But the adaptation to the French environment undoubtedly adds a cynical touch and cold humor to the romance.

An eloquent example of the characterization of a classical situation is how and where the two characters meet: at the supermarket, in front of the toilet paper. This awkward setting -- chosen to illustrate the French poster -- clearly states the film is not always going to be of the finest taste. Some sequences, especially those involving the hero's best friend, a fat guy working as a videogame tester who keeps eating potato chips, are borderline gross humor. Overall the film is really funny, which could, together with the interest worldwide audiences have for the genre, open markets to this low-key movie.

After the opening sequence in which Thomas is dumped by his girlfriend, the film, like every good romantic comedy, really gets started when the two characters meet. So there he is meeting Florence, an old and forgotten friend from school, who invites her for dinner in the splendid house her husband is so proud of. Thomas makes a mess during dinner, and causes a separation between the spouses. It will take the whole movie for Thomas and Florence to understand they were made for each other.

The directing is not particularly remarkable except for the funny documentary-like New York based sequences of the end credits. Mostly, the film relies on terrific actors' performances. Good news: Gilles Lellouche and Marie Gillain are at their best. Lellouche has somehow become the new ordinary face of commercial French cinema, alternating villain parts in thrillers (Tell No One) and supporting roles in big productions (Paris, Family Hero). He obviously took a lot of pleasure in portraying a loser who will be saved by love. The sequence in which he sings Sinatra's "Let's Fall in Love" is a must-see. Marie Gillain has the freshness of her sparkling eyes. She is astonishing in avoiding cliches as the model wife torn between her newly born love and the voice of wisdom.

With its homage sequences on the edge of pastiche (such as a walk in the forest on a ground covered with autumn leaves), its omnipresent jazzy music and its conscientious respect of all the codes of romantic comedies, My Life proves some American formulas are better exported than others.

MY LIFE IS NOT A ROMANTIC COMEDY

Agat Films & Cie, France 3 Cinema, StudioCanal

Credits:

Director: Marc Gibaja

Writers: Marc Gibaja, Laurent Sarfati

Producer: Nicolas Blanc

Director of photography: Gilles Porte

Production designer: Severine Baehrel

Costume designers: Chouchane Abello-Tcherpachian, Cecile Dulac, Claire Begin

Editors: Sabine Emiliani

Music: Vincent Courtois

Cast:

Thomas Walkowic: Gilles Lellouche

Florence Baron: Marie Gillain

Gros Bill: Laurent Ournac

Lisa: Stephanie Sokolinski

Pascal: Philippe Lefebvre

Secretaire Super Gamer: Frederique Bel

Running time -- 92 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

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