1-20 of 26 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” essentially came and went without much notice from the general public upon release in 2007 (the film did receive a handful of raves from critics at the time). But over the subsequent eight years, the movie has cultivated a small but devoted following. Scout Tafoya is one of those devoted followers. He has a video essay series on Vimeo called “The Unloved,” where he analyzes films that were underappreciated at the time of their release. With 'Jesse James,' Tafoya expounds on the strong impression the film has made on him and how the the film's devotees eerily mirror the cult left behind by the real Jesse James. Read More: 'The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford' Returns To Big Screen For Showing At Museum Of Moving Image Tafoya touts Roger Deakins’ masterful cinematography, the film’s strong, »
- Ken Guidry
Musician-turned-director John Maclean strikes gold with this haunting mix of genres in the old west
Musicians have long been drawn to the cinematic myths of the old west. From the singing cowboys of early sound cinema (Ken Maynard, Gene Autry et al) through such big-screen Elvis vehicles as Flaming Star (1960) and Charro! (1969), to Glen Campbell in True Grit (1969) and Bob Dylan in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973), the western has proved the natural home of the troubadour.
More recently, Australian rocker Nick Cave has done some of his very best work writing and co-scoring The Proposition (2005) and even having a cameo as a storytelling saloon singer in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), on which he collaborated once again with long-term musical compadre Warren Ellis. Little surprise, then, that this first feature from former Beta Band musician John Maclean should be a western, albeit one »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
The Old West becomes a distant dreamland as seen through the eyes of Kodi Smit-McPhee, playing a Scottish lad who crosses an ocean and navigates hostile territory to find the girl he loves. Substance doesn't quite match up to the high style of this ethereal western, but Michael Fassbender lends weight as the gruff gunslinger who rides along with the kid, shooting holes through his romantic view of the world.
Jay Cavendish is only 16, fresh-faced (almost a blank canvas in McPhee's rendering) and ripe for a kicking in the backwoods of Colorado where he finds himself in 1870. He strays into the crossfire when a local tribe of Indians are hunted like animals through the trees, a situation that clearly offends Silas (Fassbender) who appears from nowhere to put an end to »
Sound on Sight undertook a massive project, compiling ranked lists of the most influential, unforgettable, and exciting action scenes in all of cinema. There were hundreds of nominees spread across ten different categories and a multi-week voting process from 11 of our writers. The results: 100 essential set pieces, sequences, and scenes from blockbusters to cult classics to arthouse obscurities.
Shootouts, unlike any other type of action scenes, put death in the forefront of the audience’s mind. Whereas a car chase draws the attention onto the race, or a fight scene onto the pursuit of victory, shootouts test the mortality of our protagonists and anti-heroes. It’s more than just a hail of bullets that matters on screen, it’s who those bullets are clipping down or propping up. Legends can be made in a flurry of lead. The last man standing after the fray isn’t always the best or »
- Shane Ramirez
With Harrison Ford back as Rick Deckard, Denis Villeneuve in the director's chair, and Ryan Gosling eyeing a key role, the Blade Runner sequel was already in good hands, but now fans have another big reason to get excited, as it was recently announced that cinematographer Roger Deakins joined the film's crew:
Press Release (via The Playlist) -- "Los Angeles, CA, May, 20, 2015 – Twelve-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins will join director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Incendies) on Alcon Entertainment’s sequel to Blade Runner, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-ceo’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.
Deakins, who will be presented with the Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography Award at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22 reteams with Villeneuve on what will be their third feature collaboration, havingpreviously worked together on Alcon’s Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal as well as Villeneuve’s upcoming film Sicario, a drug-trafficking drama starring Emily Blunt, »
- Derek Anderson
It's fitting that Clint Eastwood and John Wayne both have the same birthday week. (Wayne, who died in 1979, was born May 26, 1907, while Eastwood turns 85 on May 31). After all, these two all-American actors' careers span the history of that most American of movie genres, the western.
Both iconic actors were top box office draws for decades, both seldom stretched from their familiar personas, and both played macho, conservative cowboy heroes who let their firearms do most of the talking. Each represented one of two very different strains of western, the traditional and the revisionist.
As a birthday present to Hollywood's biggest heroes of the Wild West, here are the top 57 westerns you need to see.
57. 'Meek's Cutoff' (2010)
Indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt and her frequent leading lady, Michelle Williams, are the talents behind this sparse, docudrama about an 1845 wagon train whose Oregon Trail journey goes horribly awry. It's an intense »
- Gary Susman
Chicago – Now playing at Chicago’s Music Box Theater and on VOD (but best seen on the largest screen possible), “Slow West,” is a tight genre journey pic that invigorates the western while confirming that its territory remains open, despite the many who have passed through.
It’s a progressive western; recognizable for Fassbender’s Clint Eastwood impression, but offering something new with its ideas of gender and violence. Not for nothing, it also features “The Place Beyond the Pines” actor Ben Mendelsohn in a coat that will change the way you look at fashion.
The story follows a young man (Kodi Smit-McPhee), as he ventures across 19th century America in search of a woman (Caren Pistorius) that he loves. He receives some help from independent traveler Silas (Fassbender), while encountering unpredictable forces of nature (played by Mendelsohn) and brutal inhumanity.
Before his debut film, director John Maclean was in »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Over at the Cannes Film Festival, the buzz seems to change each and every single day to the fancy new toy, or in this case…movie. Recently, the big exciting debut was Sicario, which got some of the fest’s best reviews a day or two ago. Chief among the praise was the cinematography of Roger Deakins, a legend in his field. He’s my choice for the best Director of Photography in the business right now, and one of the most overdue people in the industry in terms of not having an Oscar on his mantle. Could Sicario give him his first Academy Award win? When I ran down my picks for the best cinematographers right now in Hollywood, I made Deakins my number one pick. This is what I had to say: “My pick for the best in the business right now, Deakins is the most overdue cinematographer ever, »
- Joey Magidson
Denis Villeneuve to direct sci-fi sequel.
Deakins, who will be presented with the Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography Award at the Cannes Film Festival tomorrow (May 22) reteams with Villeneuve.
Deakins received his latest Oscar nomination this year for his work on Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. He was previously nominated for Joel and Ethan Coen’s Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men and True Grit; Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption; Martin Scorsese’s Kundun; Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Stephen Daldry’s The Reader, which he shared with Chris Menges; and, more recently, Prisoners and Sam Mendes’ Skyfall.
Film is scheduled »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Ridley Scott may be stepping away from the director's chair for the long-gestating Blade Runner 2, but another filmmaking legend will be getting behind the camera, at least. Cinematographer. Roger Deakins, the director of photography who has been nominated for a total of 12 Oscars - yet inexplicably has yet to be awarded one by the Academy - has been tapped to reteam with his Prisoners collaborator Denis Villeneuve, the latter of whom has taken on directorial duties for Blade Runner 2.
While Deakins was not part of the 1982 original cult classic that featured Scott loosely adapting Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? into a hypnotically noirish mood piece, the cinematographer has a long career that includes many genre films. Most recently, he was the director of photography on Skyfall, but his career also includes such unforgettable work as No Country For Old Men, »
Though Chicken with Plums and The Gang of the Jotas missed my radar, Marjane Satrapi proved herself to me as a distinct and vibrant filmmaker with a vision and voice to watch thanks to both Persepolis and this year's The Voices, the former co-directed with Vincent Paronnaud. Still with earnest hopes to stretch her potential, the graphic novelist-turned-filmmaker now signs on to adapt Romain Puertolas's best-selling and mouthful-of-a-title novel "The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe" as her fifth feature. The upcoming film, Satrapi's second English-languge feature, follows Ajatashatru Oghash Rathoda, a New Delhi trickster, who ends up in France and eventually falls in love with a Parisian woman, only to be deported accidentally with African refugees to the far corners of Europe. Indian star Dhanush is in talks to play the titular Fakir, while the director searches for three English-speaking actors to fill in three other pivotal roles. »
- Will Ashton
While we know next to nothing about the plot for the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, we do know that at the very least, it's going to look gorgeous, as renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins has joined the team. Come inside to learn more.
Blade Runner 2 is moving full steam ahead. Just a couple months ago it was announced Denis Villenueve had been hired on to direct the sequel, with Harrison Ford set to return, and it looks like they're starting to build up the rest of the necessary behind the scenes crew to get production moving. Announced at Cannes, Roger Deakins, the cinematographer behind Prisoners, Skyfall, Fargo, and Many others has been hired on as the Dop for the new movie. Deakins has worked with Villenueve on his last two movies, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
The original Blade Runner is still a visually striking movie, and »
- email@example.com (Jordan Maison)
Deakins will be presented with the Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography Award at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22. Deakins teamed with Villeneuve on Alcon’s “Prisoners” and “Sicario,” starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, which is in competition at Cannes.
Deakins received his latest Academy Award nomination this year for his work on Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken.” He was previously nominated for “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “No Country for Old Men,” “True Grit,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Kundun,” “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “The Reader,” “Prisoners” and “Skyfall.”
- Dave McNary
Deakins, whose work includes "Skyfall," "No Country for Old Men," "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "Unbroken," "A Beautiful Mind" and "Jarhead," will re-team with the movie's director Denis Villeneuve following their previous collaborations on both "Prisoners" and the upcoming "Sicario".
Filming on the follow-up to the iconic Ridley Scott classic is slated to begin next Summer with Harrison Ford reprising his role of Rick Deckard, while Ryan Gosling has also been linked to the project.
Source: Variety »
- Garth Franklin
Aferim!This year, Tribeca moved back home, swapping out the East Village’s AMC Loew’s 7 for the venue they once used, the nearly invisible Regal Battery Park Stadium 11 as one of the festival’s main theater locations. Whether it is coincidence or just one of the festival’s grand themes, the finest films I saw were about movement. Characters search high and low for someone or something. While carrying strange cargo, they journey to the West, to the East, wherever, going from point A to point B. If not travelling, then characters are stuck, stranded, or even trapped in a spot, but desiring to move, move, move. There’s a whole lotta riding and talking going on in Radu Jude’s Aferim! Shot on black-and-white film (Kodak Double-x), the film is set in 1855 Wallachia, a time in which the Romani people had subhuman status, being slaves to landowning Boyars, »
- Tanner Tafelski
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Check here for a complete list of our essays. Just one glance at the Oscar nominees for 1998 might make it seem less a questionable choice for “best year in film” — and more an insane one. Instead of a 1974 – The Godfather II, The Conversation, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc – or even a 1994, where Shawshank, Quiz Show, and Pulp Fiction lost to Gump – you choose a year where the Oscars would allow Roberto Benigni to climb atop both the figurative and literal chairs of the Shrine? Fine, step away from the Oscars. Would you still celebrate a year that saw not one, but two movies about asteroids threatening the Earth? A year that saw such scars carved across cinematic history as Patch Adams, My Giant, Stepmom, and Krippendorf’s Tribe? It bears repeating: Krippendorf’S Tribe? »
- Michael Oates Palmer
You might guess that "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" is the cinematic equivalent of a greasy paper plate that should be wadded up and thrown away outside a Sbarro, and you, sir or madam, are a good guesser. Critics and Twitter pundits agree that the new Kevin James flick is bad for humankind. But there's an upside here: Hilarious comments about bad movies are good for humankind. We've rounded up ten good (and/or just irreverent) takedowns of "PBMC2" and ranked them for your disgusted pleasure. 10. The philosophical take. "This oft-ridiculed screen giant is here to answer a question that has plagued mankind for decades now: what would a film be like if every single person involved made as little effort as humanly possible?" -Tom Huddleston, Time Out London 9. Does Blart imitate life? "[Paul Blart] is barely anything at all; a stereotype of a stereotype; a half-remembered punchline; a stomach with a mustache and wheels. »
- Louis Virtel
The winner of this year’s Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Dramatic films at Sundance, the first trailer has been released for Slow West, the revisionist Western from first time filmmaker John Maclean, and it’s anything but slow.
The young Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road, Let Me In) plays a traveler from Scotland on a quest across the West to save his love from a “Dead or Alive” bounty placed on her life. Michael Fassbender is Silas Selleck, a mysterious drifter who accompanies him and teaches him about survival in this region. Slow West also stars Ben Mendelsohn and Rory McCann. Here’s the full plot description via IMDb:
‘Slow West’ follows a 16-year-old boy on a journey across 19th Century frontier America in search of the woman he loves, while accompanied by mysterious traveler Silas.
Two of our initial reviews out of Sundance, one from Dylan Griffin and another from Lane Scarberry, »
- Brian Welk
Costume designer Patricia Norris, who won an Emmy Award and was nominated for six Oscars, has died of natural causes at the age of 83. Norris died peacefully in her home Feb. 20 in Southern California, according to her representative. She was known for her frequent collaborations with director David Lynch (“The Elephant Man,” “Blue Velvet”) and Brad Pitt‘s production company, Plan B (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “12 Years a Slave”). Also Read: ‘Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘Birdman’ and ‘Into the Woods’ Win Costume Designers Guild Awards The costume designer won an Emmy for the pilot episode of. »
- L.A. Ross
Patricia Norris, the Oscar-nommed and Emmy-winning production designer and costume designer who helped craft distinctive looks for “12 Years a Slave,” “Scarface” and numerous other films, as well as TV’s “Twin Peaks,” died of natural causes on Feb. 20 in Van Nuys, Calif. She was 83.
Working with noted directors including David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Robert Altman, Wim Wenders and Brian De Palma, she was Oscar-nommed six times, for “12 Years a Slave,” “Sunset,” “Victor, Victoria,” “The Elephant Man” and “Days of Heaven.”
Though she didn’t win the Oscar for “12 Years,” she did win the Costume Designers’ Period Film Award. Norris, who was known as Patty, was the only person to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Costume Designers Guild and the Art Directors Guild.
“At a time when women were new at the creative table, Patricia made a place for herself,” said Marcia Hinds, chair of the Art Directors Council at the Adg. »
- Pat Saperstein
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