7 items from 2016
Perhaps the most acute and uncompromisingly grim murder mystery to come out of China in years, “What’s in the Darkness” exposes the putrid minds lurking in a sexually and politically repressed society. First-time helmer-scribe Wang Yichun may have consciously used Bong Joon-ho’s “Memories of Murder” as an artistic blueprint, but her depiction of a schoolgirl’s sexual awakening getting entangled in a serial-murder case represents a femme-centric and wholly Chinese take on police ineptitude and authoritarianism. Insidious and gripping from beginning to end, the film announces a formidable talent with much to contribute to China’s burgeoning demand for cerebral genre films. Her screenplay has already been optioned for a remake, to be helmed by mainland actor Zhang Jingchu (“Peacock”).
Playing a haunting central role is a dreary northern Chinese town on the edge of economic reform, with all the attendant social restructuring. Like “Twin Peaks” with Confucian characteristics, »
- Maggie Lee
Korean Cinema is known for producing high quality action thrillers. In fact , when it comes to crime thrillers its pretty difficult to beat the quality that comes out of Korea. They just have a gift for producing masterpiece after masterpiece.
Given the volume of thrillers produced by the industry, it can be difficult for those just getting into Korean cinema to find the right where to start.
Below are our picks of what we consider to be the very best Korean thrillers. This list is a great starter for those new to Korean cinema or those who may be unfamiliar with some of the movies on this list.
1. Oldboy (Park Chan Wook, 2003)
After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days.
In 1986, in the province of Gyunggi, in South Korea, a »
- Panos Kotzathanasis
"Directing is a matter of emphasis - you emphasize what is important, by under-emphasizing what is less so." Need filmmaking inspiration? Watch this. We don't feature enough of the videos made by YouTube user Every Frame a Painting, and they're always fascinating to watch. The latest one is a profile on ensemble staging, or the art of setting up an ensemble of actors within scenes as part of visual storytelling. The film used to explain this is Bong Joon-ho's Memories of Murder, a fantastic murder mystery thriller, and the perfect reference for this technique. There's some great quotes at the beginning as well, and plenty to learn. Thanks to Kottke for the tip on this. Description from Every Frame a Painting's YouTube: "How do you emphasize to the audience that something is important? Well, you could always cut to a close-up, but how about something subtler? Today I consider »
- Alex Billington
Rarely do I watch a contemporary film, even those I enjoy, without once thinking, “If only the shot-caller knew that they didn’t have to make a cut,” or at least without wishing a cut to someone was somehow handled differently. (Free piece of advice: conversations along these lines make women very excited.) If the rare exceptions to that thought process (e.g. The Hateful Eight) thus feel like something of a gift, you can imagine how pleased I am to see this matter covered in a new video essay.
1) Let Them Speak
2) Make Them Brighter or Bring Them Closer
3) Let Them Move (Especially Hands or Eyes)
4) Put Them in the Center of Frame
5) Turn Them Towards the Lens »
- Nick Newman
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.Vilmos ZsigmondNEWSVilmos Zsigmond, 1930 - 2016: In December we lost Haskell Wexler, and now another one of cinema's great photographers has passed. Zsigmond was paramount to such films as Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Spielberg's Close Encounter of the Third Kind, Cimino's Heaven's Gate, De Palma's Blow Out, and many more. Keyframe has a roundup.After many, many years under construction the new home of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Bampfa) will open in Berkeley, CA on January 31. "For the first time in sixteen years, Bampfa film screenings will take place under the same roof as the institution’s art galleries." Included in the announcement is the terrific news that the Pfa "will expand the number of film screenings it presents, hosting programs 52 weeks per year." Retrospectives devoted to Maurice Pialat, »
Tony Zhou’s latest begins with a few stern words from Samuel L. Jackson about his intense dislike for having to repeat his performance over and over for multiple angles of coverage. Given that The Hateful Eight is nothing if not an exercise in ensemble staging, it’s timely that that’s the intro for Zhou’s examination of how this technique works in Bong Joon-ho’s masterful Memories of Murder. Much to chew on here, as ever. »
- Filmmaker Staff
Pico Iyer considers how his view of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru (1952) has evolved over the years. Also in today's roundup: Remembering Chantal Akerman and Natalie Cole, Kenji Mizoguchi in New York, short pieces on Lionel Atwill and Zasu Pitts, Wim Wenders in Austin, Sergei Eisenstein in London, a video essay on Bong Joon-ho's Memories of Murder, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Michael Mann discuss The Revenant—and we have a fresh round, and quite a huge one it is, too, of best-of-2015 lists. » - David Hudson »
7 items from 2016
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