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Round-Up: Cherry Falls Blu-ray Release Details, Darling Trailer, The Eyes Of My Mother, Nitehawk Cinema’s March Programming, Baskin, Everlasting

22 hours ago | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Cherry Falls, starring the late Brittany Murphy, is getting the Blu-ray treatment courtesy of Scream Factory on March 29th! Also: a trailer for Darling, The Eyes of My Mother acquisition news, Nitehawk Cinema's programming schedule for March, Baskin release details, and Everlasting at the Nevermore Film Festival.

Cherry Falls: Press Release: "Lose your innocence…or lose your life. On March 29th, 2016, Scream Factory presents teen thriller Cherry Falls in its Blu-ray debut packed with new extras including audio commentary with Geoffrey Wright and interviews with writer/co-executive producer Ken Selden and producer Marshall Persinger.

A serial killer is stalking the peaceful town of Cherry Falls. At first, it seems that he is just targeting teenagers, but after the third killing, it becomes clear that all the victims have been virgins. When the town's students hear about this, they realize that there is only one way to protect themselves and »

- Tamika Jones

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Recommended Discs & Deals of the Week: ‘Crimson Peak,’ ’99 Homes,’ ‘Whiplash,’ and More

9 February 2016 7:15 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

99 Homes (Ramin Bahrani)

Ramin Bahrani made a name for himself with three independent films over the last decade, focusing on humanity’s daily struggles, reinvented foreign lives in America, and a fundamental sense of decency. With 2012’s At Any Price and this year’s 99 Homes, Bahrani has twice returned to the festival that launched his career, presenting the evolution of those themes. Not coincidentally, the worst years of the financial crisis stand between his acclaimed Goodbye, Solo and the tepidly received 2012 picture, »

- TFS Staff

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'Rams' Director Grímur Hákonarson on Icelandic Pastoral Life and Casting the Right Sheep

5 February 2016 1:57 PM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Rough tenderness forged from a life of silent hard work and self-imposed isolation is the defining quality of Grímur Hákonarson’s

characters and the trials they endure in “Rams,” a story about brotherly love gone awry set in the vast Icelandic countryside mostly populated by highly-regarded sheep. As is often the case with Scandinavian cinema, the film’s narrative is enhanced by its clever and precise use of dark and dry humor. However, Hákonarson’s rural portrayal of a relationship in need of mending is grounded on compelling human interpersonal afflictions, which serves as a sensible vehicle for the comedy to be delivered.  

During a local competition between sheep farmers, Gummi, a levelheaded man who enjoys the pleasures of solitude, notices that his brother Kiddi’s most precious ram shows signs of a scrapie, a deadly and infectious disease that can kill entire flocks. Though the simplest way to ensure the safety of everyone’s sheep would be to talk to his brother, Gummi is aware this is not a viable path because, despite living on the same property they entire lives, they haven’t spoken in several decades. The looming possibility of losing their shared livelihood will widen the emotional gap between the two, one that can only be resolved if they join forces against the mortal virus and the authorities. Authentically Icelandic in content and execution, "Rams" was Iceland's official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards.

In our recent conversation with the Cannes-winning Icelandic filmmakers, Hákonarson discussed the relationship between the location and the film's visual approach, his homelands deeply ingrained love for sheep, the emerging local film industry, and the casting process to find the right four-legged stars for "Rams."

Carlos Aguilar: Tell me about the importance of sheep in Icelandic culture. Why do you think Icelandic people relate to these animals in such endearing fashion? They seem to not only be part of the pastoral lifestyle but of their interpersonal relationships.

Grímur Hákonarson: When the first settlers came to Iceland, the Vikings who came from Norway, they brought the sheep with them. Sheep were the main livelihood throughout the centuries. They used the wool for clothing and the meat and milk to feed themselves. It was their main livelihood. We didn’t have so many cows. People ate or use every part of the sheep except the anus. The anus was the only part people didn’t utilize. It stayed that way until the 20th century. Older people lived in farms until the 19th century and then it totally changed. Now older people live in the cities. There is this historical and cultural connection between Icelandic people and sheep. The farmers take the sheep to the highlands in the spring, then they have a competition, they hang around drinking and singing songs about sheep, so there is definitely a culture around sheep. But there also seems to be some kind of unexplained spiritual connection between farmers and their sheep. Many farmers say they relate in a stronger emotional way to sheep than to cows. Numerous farmers have told me this. I know farmers that have lost their sheep because of scrapie, and even though they had horses and cows, it was somehow much more difficult for them to get over losing their sheep. 

CA: What was the motivation for using a story of two estrange brothers to tackle this singular aspect about Icelandic culture? Was any part of the premise based on actual events or stories you heard from people who made a living as sheep farmers?

Grímur Hákonarson: The film is based on a true story that my father told me years ago about two brothers who lived on the same land next to each other for 40 years and didn’t speak. I thought that story was interesting. I think it’s very Icelandic and it describes us a bit as a nation being an island and being isolated. People tend to be very independent and nationalistic. I also thought these idea could be a tragicomedy. The basic idea of these brothers is funny and sad at the same time. It’s sad that they don’t speak, but it’s also unique situation. I though that was interesting, and on the other hand I also wanted to make a film about this relationship with sheep, so I combined these two ideas.

CA: Both brothers seem to very territorial and they use concrete, not always well-intentioned, acts rather than using language to express their feelings. 

Grímur Hákonarson: The reason they don’t speak to each other, of course, is because they don’t need to speak to each other. They act more than they talk. They rather speak to the sheep and they become very close with them. That’s also the reason there is not a lot of dialogue in the movie. It’s told mainly through images and through actions. The story I’m telling affected the filmmaking process in a way because it creates a unique kind of atmosphere. I was trying to capture life in this part of the world, which is kind of slow and relaxed. People live alongside sheep. The visual style of the film is also a bit slow-paced. This visual style is also trying to capture this way of living and its atmosphere.

CA: Did you based these two brothers on real life characters in the story your father told you, were they the result of different traits from people you know, or were they entirely fictitious? Once you have brought them to life on paper, how challenging was it to match them with the right actors?

Grímur Hákonarson: I had some prototypes to base them on. The real life characters died in the 90s because it’s an old story. I never met them, but I had some prototypes based on a pair of brothers I know. These brothers were living together and they were good friends, but they were very different characters. One of them was an introverts and the other was more of an extrovert. One was an alcoholic and the other was more feminine and cleaned and took care of things. I used these guys as prototypes for the characters, and when I selected the actors I knew the actor a little bit and I knew they shared some personality elements with the characters. In a way they were typed-cast both mentally and physically, Sigurður Sigurjónsson who plays Gummi is a small guy, and Theodór Júlíusson, who plays Kiddi, looks more macho and is bigger. They were physically and mentally perfect for the roles. I think that’s a good thing when you are picking an actor. It's important that the actor has experienced something similar or knows something about the inner emotions of the character.

CA: Loneliness comes across as an underlying theme in "Rams." These brothers who live so close to each other are still very lonely by choice. Is this concept something that you decisively considered when creating the characters?

Grímur Hákonarson: Of course, that makes it really tragic. They actually need to talk to each other but they are so stubborn that they never call a mediator or psychiatrist. The dog is the only link between them.  Of course there is loneliness. Gummi, the main character, I think he is an introvert and he enjoys his life a lot. He enjoys his life, he is not unhappy. He is quite satisfied with his life, but his older brother is not and that’s because of this division of the land. He is unhappy. The idea was that the older brother Kiddi had had some girlfriends or wives before, but they got sick of him and moved out. Gummi, on the hand, was kind of this puritan who had never had any sex in his life. This loneliness is one of the reasons we shot on CinemaScope with anamorphic lenses. Also, the framing, which is kind of wide and static, was trying to capture this loneliness. They live lonely lives.

CA: In terms of the visual style and your decisions regarding the film's cinematography, how did the landscape and the nature of the story influenced these choices? 

Grímur Hákonarson: The characters are living very close to nature and they spend a lot of time on the field with the sheep, so we wanted to capture the landscape and the nature around them and to connect them to it. That’s why we shot it using anamorphic lenses. I think 10 years ago we probably would have shot it on 35mm or 16mm because it’s that kind of film. It’s about these old farmers stuck in the past and it takes place in nature, so we tried to imitate this film look with the anamorphic lenses. The look of the film it’s a bit like a Western, if it had cows perhaps they would look like cowboys. We might have been a bit inspired by a movie like “There Will Be Blood.” There are some shots and scenes in “Rams” that were shot very similarly to those in “There Will Be Blood.” It’s an Icelandic Western with sheep and guns.

CA: I'm curious to know how was the casting process and working dynamic with the sheep.  They are the stars of the film. Were they difficult to work with in a film like ths in which they play a very integral part? How did you know which sheep were the right ones to appear on camera?

Grímur Hákonarson: The most important thing was to find the right sheep. We had to select the right sheep and we did sheep casting. We saw a lot of sheep because the sheep that were living on the farm were too afraid of people. They would just ran away from you. We then found these sheep that looked really pretty because they are a good breed, but they were also very calm and they ere used to people. The reason for that is that their owners treat them as pets. They talk to them and pet them like if they were dogs. Those sheep were not afraid of humans. Then we hired a professional sheep farmer to train them and to be with us on set. We rehearsed all the sheep scenes before shooting them, like when Gummi bathes the ram. We said, “Ok lets bathe this ram,” and we found out that we needed five people to hold the ram in the bathtub but we couldn’t have all of them in the shot. When we filmed I told the actor, “ Ok Sigurður they are going to hold the ram but then they are going to run away and you just have to do it yourself and we’ll see what happens.” I said, “Action,” and the guys ran away and the actor was alone trying to hold the ram - it was interesting.

Thomas Vinterberg, who made “Far from the Madding Crowd,“ said that it was a disaster to work with sheep and that it was very difficult, but I have a different opinion about that. We usually didn’t have to shoot many takes with the sheep. Usually we did less than five takes in the scenes involving sheep. The sheep were very professional. Some of the actors went to 12 or 15 takes, but the sheep usually didn’t. They were one-take sheep.

CA: When the disease, scrapie, threatens the farmers way of life in the film a lot of them contemplate leaving it all behind and moving away. Would you say this this way of living is slowly dying not only because of occurrences like this but also because it's being overpowered by modern farming practices?

Grímur Hákonarson: Today there are not many sheep farmers like these brothers who live only from their sheep. It’s becoming more like a hobby today. It’s lees of a business. It’s difficult to make a living from sheep farming. There are not so many farmers like the brothers in the film who can only live from that. They have a tough life. They are quite poor. They can’t afford much. Sheep farming in Iceland has been declining and it’s struggling. It’s always going to be there and it’s always going to be a part of our culture, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to live from it. The brothers in the film are a bit like the last Mohicans. They are the last remains of this old farming society. This disease, scrapie, has caused a lot of harm in Iceland. Sheep are becoming less abundant. About 30 years ago, in the 1980s, there were three times more sheep in Iceland.

CA: Scandinavian humor is clearly idiosyncratic and definitely dry, but you managed to blend the comedy elicited from the characters' circumstance with the emotional poignancy of the story rather organically. How did merging these two tonal elements come about when crafting the film?

Grímur Hákonarson: The basic idea about these brothers living so close together but not speaking to each other is a good premise for black comedy. It has a tragicomic element. That’s why humor is a naturally underlying element throughout the whole film because the basic idea is a bit humorous itself. Then there are some scenes that are very funny of course, and those are supposed to make you laugh. I don’t like to make films that are too serious or too heavy. I try to pick stories that have a little bit of lightness in them and in “Rams,” maybe, I managed to master this balance. Some people cry in “Rams” and it can get really emotional. It has a strong message, but it’s also entertaining. I’m inspired by filmmakers like Aki Kaurismäki, known for his Finnish dark comedies, Bent Hamer in Norway, or Swedish director Roy Andersson. I’m inspired by these Scandinavian directors. My humor is pretty dry and people who know me see Grímur’s humor in the film. If I wasn’t a humorous person I would make different films.

CA: Despite the overall comedic tone of the film, the ending is particularly moving and shows a tenderness we hadn't fully seen before in the film. Why did you feel this was the correct way to conclude this tale about two brothers whose broken relationship gets a second chance thanks to the sheep?

Grímur Hákonarson: I think the ending is symbolic. It’s  about these two brothers and their relationship. It’ a very powerful ending and it’s also an open ending. It makes people think and it stays with people. I’m really happy with it. It’s also a kind of risky ending, many people who read the screenplay warned me, “Grímur, you really think it should end like this? You don’t want to explain it a bit more?” But I went for this ending. When I was shooting, making the ending work was one of the most difficult things. It was worth the risk.

CA: Do you have any brothers? If so, is anything in "Rams" specifically related to your personal relationship with your brothers or siblings and what did they think of that being depiction in the film?

Grímur Hákonarson: Yes I have a brother. We were just Skyping recently. He’s seen the film and I think he never though it was about him because we have a good relationship. There is nothing in my family like in the film. My family is quite peaceful, so the story of the brothers is not connected to me personally. What’s connected to me personally is that my mother passed away when I was writing the script. The film is dedicated to her. She grew up on a sheep farm, so I feel like “Rams” is a bit a film about my ancestors, my family, and where we come from.

CA: Considering the acclaim and attention "Rams" received abroad, how as the reaction to the film in Iceland? Was it embrace by your compatriots? 

Grímur Hákonarson: It was good. We decided to go straight to cinemas after Cannes to use the attention we got there. We won the Un Certain Regard Prize, it was a big prize for the Icelandic film industry. It’s maybe the biggest prize an Icelandic film has won, so of course it was a big thing. Iceland is a small country. People were really proud of it. I think about 10% of the nation’s population saw the film. 

CA: How difficult, financially and logistically, is it to make films in Iceland? It appears that in recent years there has been an explosion of talent that has made a mark in the international festival scenes. What makes these new Icelandic voices distinct from the rest of the world?

Grímur Hákonarson:  It’s a small industry. The Icelandic Film Fund is not very big, so we depend on doing co-productions and getting money from abroad. Icelandic films are cheaper to make than those in the rest of Scandinavia - like three times cheaper. “Rams” was made for 1 million Euros, mostly made up of Icelandic money. We got maybe 15% of the money from the Danish Film Fund. We don’t make so many movies so we have to be practical and we have to make contemporary simple stories. We can’t really make an expensive sci-fi film or large period movies in Icelandic. Maybe it’s a bit sad that we haven’t. I think it would be nice to do a costume drama set in the 30s, but it’s not possible to do that in Iceland.

What connect these new directors from Iceland like me, Dagur Kári, Rúnar Rúnarsson, or Benedikt Erlingsson, is that we are making contemporary, humanistic, and simple stories. We are not trying to hunt Hollywood. We are not trying to make blockbusters. Maybe because we don’t have so much money we have to make simple stories and we make films taken from Icelandic reality. Maybe that’s the right recipe for our films. Maybe that’s the reason they are special. Maybe that’s the reason people want to see them.

"Rams" is currently playing in La at the Laemmle Royal and in NYC at the Film Forum and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

»

- Carlos Aguilar

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Sundance Film Review: ‘Ali and Nino’

5 February 2016 10:23 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A young Azerbaijani nobleman falls for a Georgian princess, crossing religions (he’s Muslim, she’s Eastern Orthodox), cultural backgrounds and even ambitions for their country’s future in “Ali and Nino,” and though we take it on faith that this photogenic couple love each other very deeply, director Asif Kapadia’s handsome yet relatively heartless big-screen adaptation confuses romance for beautiful imagery, leaving us cold. Perhaps Kapadia, having delved so deeply into the real-world dreams of “Senna” and “Amy,” simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to simplify Kurban Said’s pseudonymous 1937 literary classic, stripping the material of all but its most David Lean-ian grandeur. Unfortunately, the Oscar-nominated nonfiction helmer’s return to fable-like narrative filmmaking captivates more with its exotic landscapes than with anything that occurs between its characters.

Admittedly, the landscapes in question seldom grace American screens, and despite the fact that the average moviegoer couldn’t locate Azerbaijan on a map, »

- Peter Debruge

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Recommended Discs & Deals of the Week: ‘Bridge of Spies,’ ‘Snow White,’ and More

2 February 2016 8:49 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg)

Tom Hanks has a cold, and he needs to save America. A natural follow-up to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln in its immersion into nitpicky political discussion, Bridge of Spies also distinguishes itself with a wittier, frequently downright sarcastic screenplay (mostly courtesy, one imagines, of the Coen brothers), more agile camerawork (the ten-minute opening jaunt through Mark Rylance’s Brooklyn morning has been a justified source of attention), and a different kind of lead »

- TFS Staff

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The 100 Video: Will the Arkers Return to Mount Weather to Save a Friend?

28 January 2016 7:30 AM, PST | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Before you proceed, here’s a four-word warning about TVLine’s first look at tonight’s episode of The 100 (The CW, 9/8c): There will be blood.

RelatedThe 100 Season Premiere: Ep Reveals Aborted Clarke Twist, Talks Bellamy’s New Girlfriend

No, really, Nyko is literally bleeding out on Abby’s operating table in our exclusive clip above — and that’s not even the part that’ll turn your stomach.

The truly revolting part of this clip comes when Jackson, apparently suffering from a fatal case of amnesia, proposes a return to Mount Weather.

RelatedThe 100 Season 3: Clarke’s Rebirth, New »

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The 'Little House on the Prairie' Movie Finds a New Home in Hollywood

27 January 2016 7:19 AM, PST | Fandango | See recent Fandango news »

Four years ago Little House on the Prairie, the beloved book and television series about a simple family living a simple life in the old West, kicked off a new journey to the big screen. It got set up by power producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network, There Will Be Blood) at Sony Pictures with a script by Abi Morgan (Shame, Suffragette) and David Gordon Green (Your Highness, Pineapple Express) in the director's chair. However, like so many seeking fame and fortune in 19th-century America,...

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- affiliates@fandango.com

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The 100 Best Films of the 21st Century (So Far) - Part 4: #25-1

26 January 2016 11:17 PM, PST | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

Our countdown of the top 100 films of the 21st Century (so far) concludes here with the top 25.

Click here for Part 1! (#100-76)

Click here for Part 2! (#75-51)

Click here for Part 3! (#50-26)

The first decade and a half of the 21st century has brought a lot of changes to the landscape of film. The advancement and sophistication of computers has made realistic computer generated effects a mainstay in both big-budget and small-budget films. The internet and streaming technologies have given big Hollywood new competition in films produced independently and by non-traditional means. We went from purchasing films on yards of tape to plastic disks, and now we can simply upload them to the cloud. Advertisements for films have reached a higher, more ruthless level where generating hype through trailers and teasers is crucial for a film’s commercial success. Movie attendance has fluctuated along with the economy, but that hasn »

- feeds@cinelinx.com (G.S. Perno)

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The 'Little House on the Prairie' Movie Finds a New Home In Hollywood

26 January 2016 6:00 PM, PST | Movies.com | See recent Movies.com news »

Four years ago Little House on the Prairie, the beloved book and television series about a simple family living a simple life in the old west, kicked off a new journey to the big screen. It got set up by power producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network, There Will Be Blood) at Sony Pictures with a script by Abi Morgan (Shame, Suffragette) and David Gordon Green (Your Highness, Pineapple Express) in the director's chair. However, like so many seeking fame and fortune in 19th century America, those dreams didn't pan out as expected. Maybe it got a rattlesnake bite. Maybe it got dysentery and died. Maybe we're mixing our Little House on the Prairie with too much of The Oregon Trail. The point is, that movie obviously never ended up happening. Little House on the...

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- Peter Hall

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Harry Potter Star’s ‘Farting Corpse’ Flick Spurs Walkouts at Sundance

23 January 2016 5:41 AM, PST | shocktillyoudrop.com | See recent shocktillyoudrop news »

Farting zombie comedy prompts mass audience exodus at Sundance premier. Rock video directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s feature film Swiss Army Man is sharply dividing audiences at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Some love it. Some are calling it a stinker. Literally. The deranged, surrealist black comedy stars Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood)…

The post Harry Potter Star’s ‘Farting Corpse’ Flick Spurs Walkouts at Sundance appeared first on Shock Till You Drop. »

- Chris Alexander

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Oscar Isaac and Scarlett Johansson: Who’s most overdue for an Oscar nomination now?

21 January 2016 1:22 PM, PST | Hollywoodnews.com | See recent Hollywoodnews.com news »

Continuing to feed off of last week’s Academy Award nomination announcement (as well as yesterday’s piece on the snubs found within those nominations, in one or two cases), today I want to look at who happens to be most due a nod at this point. An Oscar nom is certainly no easy achievement, but you can usually look around at the actors and actresses who have never been nominated and find at least one missed opportunity on the part of the Academy. As such, today I’m again putting out a list of who deserves a nomination the most, updated since certain contenders like Jennifer Jason Leigh finally have their citation… Here now are ten actors or actresses overdue for an Oscar nomination: 10. Zoe Kazan – Anyone who doesn’t consider Kazan to be overdue for a citation just isn’t paying attention. Look at The Exploding Girl or »

- Joey Magidson

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McKay, Ferrell, "Loop" Writer Plan A New Comedy

20 January 2016 6:40 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Coming off the Oscar nominated success of his Gfc comedy/drama "The Big Short" and his work on the script for "Ant-Man," filmmaker Adam McKay has spoken about his potential upcoming projects with one of them seeing his re-teaming with his "Step Brothers" and "Talladega Nights" co-stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.

In a new The Director's Cut podcast released this week but recorded late last year at the DGA studios in Los Angeles , McKay sat down for a half-hour interview with questions being asked by none other than "There Will Be Blood" and "Inherent Vice" filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. In the funny conversation, McKay says he plans to continue his new polticial and social edge in his comedies - this time taking on anti-immigration rhetoric:

"I'm actually talking with [Will] Ferrell and John C. Reilly about doing a comedy about two guys who go down to defend America's borders against the immigrants, »

- Garth Franklin

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Recommended Discs & Deals of the Week: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ ‘Gilda,’ and More

19 January 2016 7:06 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Marielle Heller)

Writer-director Marie Heller paints an accurate, honest, and vibrant portrait of her young protagonist, Minnie (Bel Powley), in The Diary of a Teenage Girl. With the use of some beautiful hand-drawn animation, an enlightening and funny narration, and Powley’s versatile performance, this is about as intimate as a subjective picture gets. We experience the world as this young girl does. What’s exciting for Minnie feels truly exciting, and »

- TFS Staff

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What the Critics’ Choice Awards Can Tell Us About Oscar

18 January 2016 6:00 AM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Patrick Shanley

Managing Editor

The Broadcast Film Critics Association handed out their Critics’ Choice Awards last evening in Los Angeles and is the first awards ceremony since the Academy released their official nominations last Thursday.

Those looking to the Critics’ Choice Awards in hopes of fleshing out their Oscar predictions will notice a few differences between last week’s Golden Globes and Sunday’s awards in the major categories. Most notably is the fact that Spotlight won best picture after being entirely shut out by the HFPA at the Globes.

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Sylvester Stallone (Creed), and Brie Larson (Room) all repeated their Globes success with acting wins, but Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) took home the best supporting actress award in lieu of Kate Winslet’s (Steve Jobs) win the week before.

Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller took home the night’s best director award, »

- Patrick Shanley

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Oscar Nominee, Production Designer Jack Fisk Talks His Career With Terrence Malick, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Lynch And More

14 January 2016 10:28 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Having cut his teeth on one hand by the chaotic poetry of Terrence Malick and David Lynch’s first films, and the other by gonzo ‘70s exploitation efforts like “Terminal Island,” and “Darktown Strutters,” production designer Jack Fisk knows how to complement a film’s tone and story. His expertise has established Fisk as a creative draw for cinephiles on par with the work of a celebrated actor or director. “Badlands,” “Mulholland Drive,” “Tree of Life,” “There Will Be Blood” are just a few examples of his oeuvre in which the environments are just as memorable as the events that take place within them. Read More: The 100 Most Anticipated Films Of 2016 So it's fitting that Fisk’s most recent project is “The Revenant,” for which he earned an Oscar nomination this morning. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy has become notorious for its physically demanding shoots in Canada, »

- Charlie Schmidlin

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TV Review: ‘Mercy Street’

13 January 2016 11:00 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Mercy Street” tries to be a lot of things at once: It’s a historical exploration of the divided loyalties of the Civil War, a costume drama with mild comic elements, an occasionally harrowing medical saga, and a coming-of-age story for several of its lead protagonists. At times, the show’s attempts to knit these strands into a unified whole get tangled or frayed, but its cast is generally quite good, and for aficionados of period pieces and 19th century history, “Mercy Street” offers a number of enticements.

Be forewarned, however: There will be blood. The drama shows characters boozing, taking drugs, having sex and cutting into diseased flesh — but this is still PBS, and nothing is inserted just for shock value. That said, one or two “Mercy Street” medical interventions may cause the queasy to look away. Along with “The Knick,” “A Young Doctor’s Notebook” and elements of “Outlander, »

- Maureen Ryan

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Recommended Discs & Deals of the Week: ‘Out 1,’ ‘The Martian,’ ‘The Look of Silence,’ and More

12 January 2016 6:43 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)

Calling Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence the year’s finest documentary is not inaccurate; the film certainly deserves that crown. Yet it’s hard not to feel like such a classification does Silence a slight injustice. The film is, after all, an overwhelmingly emotional modern classic. Like Oppenheimer’s 2012 masterpiece The Act of Killing, this stunning follow-up features the actual perpetrators of the Indonesian killings of 1965–66. With shocking openness, these »

- TFS Staff

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Free State of Jones Trailer: Matthew McConaughey Will Found His Own Nation, Thank You Very Much

10 January 2016 8:20 AM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Matthew McConaughey's upward ascent into prestige filmmaking seems to have reached its natural zenith with Free State of Jones, a Civil War film written and directed by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games). As all prestige Civil War films must inevitably do, Free State of Jones follows a white Southerner (Newt Knight) who realizes his wrongs (after witnessing horrors on the battlefield) and then decides to fight against the South (in a rebellion against the Confederacy in Mississippi that actually happened). Free State of Jones hits theaters May 13. There will be fife music. There will be blood and mud. There will be supporting turns from Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Keri Russell. And after witnessing one good white guy's stand against the system, our country, once divided by racial hatred, will be made whole once again.Also, your dad is going to see this five times in theaters. »

- Jackson McHenry

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The Revenant's Jack Fisk on Outdoor Movies & His Life with Sissy Spacek

8 January 2016 11:50 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Jack Fisk at the Oscars for "There Will Be Blood" with his Best Actress wife Sissy SpacekThe Revenant, just nominated for eight (!) BAFTAs, opens nationwide today so here's our last interview of the week to celebrate this wilderness epic. 

Jack Fisk, the Oscar-nominated Production Designer (There Will Be Blood) is no stranger to outdoor challenges. Many of his most famous films, due in no small part to his long collaboration with Terrence Malick, feel the spiritual pull of nature as does the man who designs them. He prefers to build on location and with the tools that would have been present at the time, whatever time the movie happens to take place in.

When he signed on for The Revenant, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu gave him a copy of Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev which he used for inspiration of scale and detail. His longtime collaborators Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki (Cinematographer) and »

- NATHANIEL R

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This week’s new films

8 January 2016 5:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Hateful Eight | A War | Partisan | Bolshoi Babylon | Sanam Teri Kasam

There are epic, snowy vistas to admire, but at heart this is a one-room, almost three-hour chamber piece. It’s a storytelling test for any film-maker, one that Tarantino passes with flying colours (mostly red). As the title suggests, there are no discernible good guys – or gals – here; only eight vividly rendered shades of bad. They’re a gallery of old west archetypes: bounty hunters, civil war veterans, lawmen, “cowpunchers” and, almost stealing the show, Leigh’s demented murderer. Holed up together in an isolated cabin by a blizzard with a mystery to thrash out, they engage in a delectable game of lies, threats, interrogations, reveals, reverses and, of course, eloquent, Tarantino-spun yarns. It’s like some unholy fusion of Agatha Christie, Bonanza and Reservoir Dogs, with the escalating distrust and plentiful weaponry leading inevitably to a violent climax. »

- Steve Rose

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