1-20 of 23 items from 2013 « Prev | Next »
From the point of view of world sports, Brazil is about to have its blazing moment in the sun. Will this period of high visibility also extend to other sectors of its culture?
Andre Sturm, prexy of film promotion agency Cinema do Brasil, thinks it will. “As Brazil hosts the soccer World Cup next year and the Olympic Games in three years, there’s also tremendous interest in Brazilian cinema,” he says.
Even without the boost from sports, Brazil’s film market has exploded since 2008, with 10% more screens at 2,517; 64% more admissions at 146.4 million; 108% higher box office take at $808 million; and 260% more pay TV subscribers at 16.2 million.
Brazilian cinema has the highest domestic box office share of any Latin American country — 13% on average since 2001, with 18% forecast in 2013 and producers targeting 25% to 30% in two years.
The booming Latin American pay TV business is also opening new revenue streams and, in the wake of a 2012 TV Law, »
- Martin Dale
When I look at the slate of Best Picture nominees from 2003, it appears to have been a true high-water mark for the industries’ “epic” films. While we still suffer from the aftershocks of Hollywood’s obsession with “the epicness of epicdom” (two made up words, I know, but that’s just how self-consciously epic these films are), in 2003, the tone still felt new and fresh. These epic films were not only rewarded with successful box office receipts, but high critical praise as well (thus the Oscar nominations).
In the years following, while the box office receipts have remained consistent (or even increased), the grades from critics and enthusiasts have slowly fallen away as the genre has become increasingly stale. In 2003 though, we had mostly good films from the genre in our rear-view mirror, so the potential for the genre was promising and people were ready to bite on anything that »
- Christopher Lominac
Sean Ellis’ Metro Manila is, so far, most likely to snap up a distribution deal. It’s a thriller in the same vein as City of God; a faux-gritty depiction of indigent struggle that can’t help but give way to generic signposting and neat resolutions. A passable genre entry professing to be something more, the film takes matters seriously enough to be considered as a critique on exploitation and corruption, though its priority is to simply entertain.
The film dives headfirst into its conceit in the opening minutes. Oscar Ramirez (Jake Macapagal) and his wife Mai (Althea Vega) promptly decide they’ve had quite enough of poverty-stricken existence in the Philippine mountains, and set forth with their two children to Metro Manila in the hopes of starting anew. What awaits them there is a less-than-idyllic arrangement; Ramirez joins an armoured truck company and naively walks into a setup with violent repercussions, »
- Ed Doyle
Amit Kumar’s ten year long journey culminates in a midnight screening at the 66th Cannes Film Festival. Amit first pitched Monsoon Shootout to the UK Film Council in 2003 but waited for eight years to start shooting in 2011. In an exclusive interview to DearCinema.com, Amit Kumar talks about his film, working with international co-producers and his decade long struggle to make Monsoon Shootout happen.
How does it feel to have your film in the official selection at Cannes?
It’s a great honour. Waves of excitement interspersed with tonnes of work!
For the two years while I was hunting for finance, it was by and large the same story- okay we love your short film and your script but…let’s cast some star in it. I just wanted to work with good actors; I wanted to make a certain kind of film. So, it took much longer
- Nandita Dutta
Brazilian publication Folha de S.Paulo (thanks to Thiago from Judao.com for alerting us) has some new stills of Elysium and some insight into the back stories of the characters introduced in them.
The stills show Matt Damon (just first photo) and also introduce us to the characters played by Brazilian actors Alice Braga (City of God, I Am Legend) and Wagner Moura (Elite Squad, Upcoming Fellini Black and White).
Just a few days ago, a new viral website for the Elysium space station was launched: Welcome To Elysium. This site gives information on what living on this prestigious space station is like and announces plans to build future Elysiums.
In the year 2159, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, »
- Alex Corey
Filmmaker Janet Tobias makes her feature directorial debut with the powerful documentary No Place on Earth, after a successful career as a TV documentary producer for shows such as Dateline NBC, 60 Minutes, and Frontline. The film's inception came from Chris Nicola's National Geographic article that chronicled the incredible journey of the Stermer family, who survived in a Ukranian cave for 18 months (the longest recorded sustained underground survival) while hiding from the Nazis in World War II.
I read that you initially had some trepidation about taking on this story, when you first heard about it. Can you talk about discovering Chris' article and what lead you to decide to make this? »
Delivering an alternately striking and ominous vision of gangland London, My Brother the Devil, the directorial debut from British-Egyptian director Sally El Hosaini, is an excellent film. Abstaining from all-encompassing grimness and moroseness in favour of character-driven showcases of potency, it’s rewarding, gripping and the best film of this young year.
The story is made up of familiar parts – ones we’ve seen in other gang-centric entities from HBO’s The Wire to City of God – but El Hosaini’s vision is one of complexity, nuance and moreover is a film that approaches those tropes with distinction. For most audiences My Brother the Devil will provide a unique fusion of cultures. The intermittently bleak aesthetic of London meets the violent, drug-peddling gangs of the projects and more specifically the Arab ethnicities caught in the mix.
At the center of these struggles are two brothers, Rashid (James Floyd) who goes »
- Simon Brookfield
A quiet, richly-layered ensemble piece, Neighbouring Sounds is an absorbing social melodrama, that’s low on the drama (and pretty mellow, for that matter).
It offers a convincing glimpse at a contemporary Brazil, a country which is rapidly shifting up the global economic ladder, and bringing about a noticeable social polarity in the process.
Some of that is observed in the film, where rivalry and tension is rife between residents and family members of a (mostly) affluent, palm tree-strewn urban community, housed by the sea in one the country’s largest metropolitan areas, Recife. Interweaving the lives of a dozen or so characters, we witness a bored, pot-smoking housewife, with a physical penchant for the spin cycle on her washing machine, who is driven to distraction by the neighbour’s incessantly noisy mutt. After some petty crimes occur in the close-knit neighbourhood, the block’s aging patriarchal figure (and wealthiest »
- Adam Lowes
The trailer for this one looks like one part City of God, and one part Chief Keef video. Which means I'm probably going to end up seeing it. La Cite Rose opens in France on March 27. No word yet on a U.S. release. La Cite Rose is directed by Julien Abraham, and stars Azize Diabate Abdoulaye, Idrissa Diabate, Ibrahim Koma, Juliette Lamboley, and Ismael Quazzani. The film's producers are Nicolas Blanc and Ex Nihilo. Distributor Ugc Distribution/TF1 International's website lists this film as a "Comedy Drama", but I'm not too sure about that. Check out the synopsis and trailer for La Cite Rose (Asphalt Playground), and let us know what you think. Twelve-year old Aimé, »
- Emmanuel Akitobi
Before any political or societal context enters the brutal cinematic depictions seen in “Come and See” and “City of God,” each effort can first speak clearly enough from the image of a child holding a firearm. Gawky, nervous, and with an expression of terrified power, the isolated sight holds many questions to a decayed rationality and natural order, but as Canadian director Kim Nguyen shows within his searing look at African child soldiers, “War Witch," those two aspects are the first to be excised in warfare. Blending a surrealist perspective of battle-tinged faith with the harrowing tale of one girl's resilience, the film is a laser-focused fable threatened occasionally by its drifts into character shorthand, but equaled by a wrenching lead performance by Rachel Mwanza that results in one of the finest of the year. As clear and evocative a picture of Sub-Saharan Africa that Nguyen paints, the film (only »
- Charlie Schmidlin
Los Angeles — Although it sometimes accompanies fine films such as "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Argo," the phrase "inspired by a true story" tacked onto the front of a movie too often warns you that you're about to see something "inspiring" in the most hackneyed, triumph-of-the-human-spirit sort of way.
What's surprising about "Snitch" is that, rather than taking the reductive path of offering innocuous emotional uplift or one-man-army action, it generates a feeling of real desperation and fear as it shows a man getting in way over his head when he takes on some very bad guys. In other words, this is a pretty good film starring an actor named Dwayne Johnson, not a commodity with The Rock as a hood ornament.
Summit's main commercial hopes still rest with the mainstream action crowd – which likely will be satisfied despite the film's refusal to dish out doses of bodily harm like clockwork – but for Johnson, »
Kim Nguyen's "War Witch," Canada's entry in the Oscar foreign-language sweepstakes, is the very definition of an international film: It's in French, set in Africa and made by a Canadian director with a Vietnamese name (courtesy of his father). Further solidifying this film's sense of internationalism, it's influenced by films like Brazilian Fernando Meirelles' "City of God," Brit Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank" and American John Cassavetes' work. Shot in Congo-Kinshasa, the film tells the wrenching story of a teenage girl forced to kill her own parents and become a child soldier »
- Steve Pond
If you've never seen Matteo Garrone's film, "Gommorah," you really should. It's a Mafia movie, but not the way we've come to think of them over the years. Garrone made a film that captured a very organic, very lived-in ecosystem that is run by thugs and punks. "Gomorrah" plays like a refutation of every single movie every made that's made the criminals look good. The closest comparison I can make is "City Of God," the film that opened my eyes to how the favelas work and how society has reconfigured itself, leaving this lawless space to its own devices. The unobtrusive »
- Drew McWeeny
This is part 20 out of 30 in our daily January countdown of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 110-101.
109) Nosferatu (1922) F. W. Murnau Germany Silent
108) Romeo & Juliet (1968) Franco Zeffirelli British/ Italy
106) Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Irvin G. Kirshner USA
104) The Thin Man (1934) W. S. Van Dyke USA
103) Tokyo Story (1953) Yashujira Uzu Japan
102) M (1931) Fritz Lang German
101) City Of God (2002) Fernendo Meirelles Brazil
Numbers 100-91 coming next.
film cultureClassicslist300 »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Screenwriter: Michael Starrbury
Official Synopsis: Separated from their mothers and facing a summer in the Brooklyn projects alone, two boys hide from police and forage for food, with only each other to trust. A story of salvation through friendship and two boys against the world.
It's always a treat to see young actors who can run a whole gamut of emotions. With the help of a stellar supporting cast, newcomers Skylan Brooks (Mister) and Ethan Dizon (Pete) are able to pull off both the comedic and emotional with ease. The chemistry between the two is built so naturally. Dizon has an amazing deadpan delivery, and I wouldn't be surprised if Brooks gets some well deserved awards buzz thrown his way.
Story and Direction:
The film opens very strong. »
- Eli Reyes
Director Fernando Meirelles made one of the strongest directorial debuts of the last twenty years with his film City of God and followed this up with the equally well received The Constant Gardener in 2005. He then went on to direct the film Blindness which despite having a neat central idea was less than the sum of its parts. Hopes were high for his next film as he was collaborating with screenwriter Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) on a truly international stage.
360 is loosely based on a play by Arthur Schnitzler written in 1897 called La Ronde. The original play is a study of the morals and ideology of people of various classes and the role that sex plays in their lives. The point of this is that Schnitzler is saying that sex crosses all boundaries and classes. The play has been loosely adapted into film thirteen times over the last sixty years and 360 is the latest version. »
- Chris Holt
Hollywood loves sequels, especially when they’re for lucrative movies that could be squeezed and squeezed until something awful, but still marketable pops out and flops straight into cinemas. Sequelizing isn’t always done with the integrity of the property or its fans in mind, which is why last year we got a completely unnecessary Taken 2, and sometimes it’s completely without reason or justification – as with the forthcoming Grown-Ups sequel.
But just occasionally, Hollywood can surprise us all, and events conspire to turn down some of the most ludicrous sequel pitches ever heard. Because, believe it or not, Hollywood sometimes does have a finger on the creative pulse, and the powers that be can occasionally recognise when something is even too much of a bad idea to be a cynical exercise in churning out money.
There is a special classification of ridiculousness that fits these special films, and »
- Simon Gallagher
Directed by Fernando Meirelles.
An international look at what happens when partners from different social backgrounds engage in physical relationships, that ultimately intersect and interact.
.360 is a drama of ambitious scope, that skips through themes like heartbreak, desire and the importance of seizing the day during its globe-trotting runtime. It sets out with the grand intention of taking us on a tour of modern love and sex, aiming to unmask the universal reality of it all, by contrasting struggling prostitutes with high flying business types, and ultimately concluding that they all have their interacting problems of infidelity, lust and broken trust. The film comes in under the two-hour mark, this is not an overly lengthy essay, and yet it is perhaps extremely telling that I found my mind wandering vaguely towards, of all people, »
- Liam Trim
Following a break for Christmas and New Year Thn’s rundown of the weeks home entertainment releases recommences with some bangers:
John Hillcoat’s The Road sent Viggo Mortensen into a year-long sabbatical, thankfully his follow up Lawless is a much lighter affair, a simple story told with fantastic performances trying to be nothing else.
Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a bootlegging gang is threatened by a new deputy and other authorities who want a cut of their profits.
The Judge returns (Dredd not Reinhold) with action, chin and more action which will please some, but didn’t satisfy us with poor direction, wafer-thin plotting and a dull premise colliding to make Dredd a dreary experience.
In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams »
- Sam Carey
★★☆☆☆ Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles first came to the attention of the wider cinemagoing public with 2002's City of God, a wildly successful tale of gangsters in the slums of Rio. His follow-up adaptation of John le Carré's The Constant Gardener (2005) was similarly well received but 2008's Blindness was considered somewhat disappointing. Many a cinephile had pinned their hopes on his new film recapturing the magic. Meirelles' 360 (2011) is a panoptic view of the consequences of desire featuring several unrelated characters whose lives, inevitably, end up intertwining. Recapture the magic, however, it sadly does not.
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
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