1-20 of 151 items from 2017 « Prev | Next »
Looking back on this still-young century makes clear that 2007 was a major time for cinematic happenings — and, on the basis of this retrospective, one we’re not quite through with ten years on. One’s mind might quickly flash to a few big titles that will be represented, but it is the plurality of both festival and theatrical premieres that truly surprises: late works from old masters, debuts from filmmakers who’ve since become some of our most-respected artists, and mid-career turning points that didn’t necessarily announce themselves as such at the time. Join us as an assembled team, many of whom were coming of age that year, takes on their favorites.
“I can’t figure it out. Do want to be like me or do you want to be me?”
From the opening frames of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Andrew Dominik stokes »
- Jordan Raup
Fantastic Fest is facing a jarring backlash, but studio discomfort is the least of its problems. Fox Searchlight’s decision to pull its Oscar season hopeful “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri” from Austin genre festival Fantastic Fest makes total sense: The festival’s decision to quietly re-hire Devin Faraci after he was accused of sexual assault ignited a firestorm of controversy that no studio wants to touch. But while the decision by the studio reflects the national reverberations of this scandal, it’s not the most serious.
Fantastic Fest fans drove this PR nightmare; some Fantastic Fest fans also actively contributed to an environment that enabled rampant sexism, even if there has always been an undercurrent of sincerity behind its existence. In order for Fantastic Fest to recover, it will need to rewire the community that gave it clout in the first place.
Needless to say, Fantastic Fest is »
- Eric Kohn
Dan Gilroy’s 2014 debut “Nightcrawler” was an astonishing portrait of a fiercely driven Los Angeles character who roamed the city in search of an opportunity. Elevated by an eerie Jake Gyllenhaal performance at its center, the movie showed Gilroy’s eye for maniacal social climbers driven by pure narcissistic desire. It’s surprising, then, that Gilroy’s sophomore effort focuses on a sincere figure from the opposite end of the spectrum. In “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”, Denzel Washington portrays an earnest criminal defense attorney alienated by his staunch desire to do the right thing. Washington does what he can with a schmaltzy character, but Gilroy’s talky, half-hearted screenplay suffers from a stubborn commitment to bland law-and-order chatter in search of the bigger picture.
Which is not to »
- Eric Kohn
The last time Dan Gilroy brought a film to the Toronto Film Festival he had “Nightcrawler” in tow, a dark urban drama focused on a nocturnal bottom-feeding stringer who peddles his video wares to the highest broadcast news bidder. This year he’s back with another rich character study, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” about a good-souled Los Angeles attorney used to toiling away at the impossible on behalf of the ungrateful, a sort of assured activist foil to “Nightcrawler’s” craven careerist.
Gilroy, speaking to Variety ahead of the film’s Sunday night festival premiere, says he wrote the eponymous role with two-time Oscar winning actor Denzel Washington in mind.
“There’s a quality about Denzel — he’s a very big believer in the human spirit and human dignity, and that is something that really defines the character in many ways,” Gilroy says. “He’s someone who really believes in people. It »
- Kristopher Tapley
The response to George Clooney’s latest drama, the Coen brothers-penned “Suburbicon” has been mixed to say the least. Our own Jessica Kiang called it “Coen brothers karaoke,” but at the end of the day gave it a review perhaps a little bitt more charitable writing, “‘Suburbicon’ has two storylines, the funny one about white people killing each other and the serious one about real-life-inspired black people stoically resisting injustice and they are separate, not equal.” And note she says the cinematography of Robert Elswit (“There Will Be Blood,” “Inherent Vice”) is aces, so there’ that.
- Edward Davis
Daniel Day-Lewis is recovering from a motorbike accident.
The actor’s representative confirmed to People that he broke his arm but assured that “he is fine.”
The Oscar winner appeared to be wincing in pain as he made his way to his New York City home on Wednesday, according to Page Six. He was spotted wearing a cast and a hospital bracelet. He also sported a shaved head and donned a purple t-shirt with striped pants.
A source told the outlet that Day-Lewis was wearing a helmet and that the crash “wasn’t his fault.”
Related Video: Daniel Day-Lewis Quits Acting
The London-born star, »
- Stephanie Petit
Dwayne Johnson is one of the most active stars on social media, often taking to Twitter and Instagram to provide updates on his projects for his fans, a tradition which continues now with a new video and photo from the set of his new action-thriller Skyscraper. Here's what The Rock had to say about his set photo, which was taken during the third week of production on this action-thriller.
"Bloody and battered w/ my director Rawson Thurber between takes. Week 3 complete of our action thriller #Skyscraper. This is my second film with Rawson putting my trust in his hands. A very smart, ambitious, extremely focused and methodical guy who wants to deliver a f*cking intensely breathtaking and epic film for the fans. Our story takes place in China. In the penthouse of the world's tallest skyscraper... on fire. More details to come down the road. Until then, Week 3 complete »
From Venice to Toronto, film festivals signal the beginning of the movie award season. Here are the upcoming movies we.ll be talking about come Oscar time:
.mother!. . A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice. (Paramount Pictures) Release date: Sept. 15th wide
.Victoria & Abdul. . The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria's (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen's Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an »
Related storiesPaul Thomas Anderson Shares 5 Reasons Why Jonathan Demme Was His Favorite FilmmakerLars von Trier on Kanye: The Five Best Music Documentaries that Haven't Been Made Yet'There Will Be Blood': What You Learn About Paul Thomas Anderson By Counting All 678 Shots -- Watch »
- William Earl
Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.
Museum of the Moving Image
A new print of The Green Ray screens this weekend, while Antonioni films continue running and “A to Z” runs.
Museum of Modern Art
The sci-fi series winds down, with Children of Men among its ranks. »
- Nick Newman
There’s been a push in recent years for the elder statesmen of alt-music—your Trent Reznors or your Jonny Greenwoods, say—to slide into the world of film score composing, applying skills honed through years of meticulous album work and touring toward big emotional movie moments in films like The Social Network or There Will Be Blood. Now, Greenwood’s long-time Radiohead collaborator, drummer Philip Selway, is getting in on the game, composing the soundtrack for the upcoming drama Let Me Go.
Directed by Polly Steele, the film is based on Helga Schneider’s memoir of the same name, about Schneider struggling with learning that her mother was a guard in a German concentration camp. Selway’s soundtrack for the film—described in a press release as “otherworldly” and “jagged”— will arrive on October 27; outside his work with Radiohead, Selway is also responsible for two other full albums »
- William Hughes
One of the best ways to learn about any given filmmaker is to study his or her shot list. Just last month, an invaluable video essay broke down all 678 shots in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” to explore how the filmmaker uses shot lengths and edits to create a particular tone for the viewer that matches the character’s experience. If Anderson loves letting the camera linger, then consider David Fincher his polar opposite.
Film editor Vashi Nedomansky, who worked on Fincher’s “Gone Girl,” has created amazing new graphics (via No Film School) that take a birds eye view at all of the shots in both “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “Gone Girl.”
Just to provide some perspective: There are 678 shots in “There Will Be Blood, »
- Zack Sharf
The fall movie season kicks off early in September with the Toronto Film Festival, which showcases a large crop of movies that will dominate awards consideration for the rest of the year. But if you favor edgier fare, such as horror movies, thrillers and truly odd, 'adults only' comedies from all corners of the world, you'll find it worthwhile to pay attention to what screens at Fantastic Fest. Past selections have included the world premieres of notable fare like John Wick, Frankenweenie, Machete Kills, Zombieland and There Will Be Blood. Many of the titles will making their way to theaters and video on demand platforms in the weeks and months ahead. The first wave of selections has now been released. Out of the 24 movies that have been announced so far, five are...
Read More »
- Peter Martin
Programmers at Brooklyn’s BAMcinématek had already been planning Jonathan Demme month when news of his death broke, the comprehensive retrospective of one of American cinema’s most influential voices took on new meaning in the wake of his passing — and brought some of his disciples out of the woodwork. These included Paul Thomas Anderson, who moderated a series of conversations throughout the program’s opening weekend.
The series kicked off with the 1986 slapdash comedy and road movie “Something Wild,” and Anderson was on hand to interview the film’s producer Ed Saxon and SXSW founder Louis Black, a longtime friend of the late director. But it was Anderson, who’s currently in post-production on his December release “Phantom Thread,” who naturally consumed the spotlight. “This is so thrilling for me, and nerve-wracking to be here,” he said by way of introduction, calling himself the “master of ceremony for the weekend. »
- Jude Dry
News of Todd Haynes making his first documentary should’ve come as something of a curveball, but it was reported that the “Carol” director is planning a non-fiction project about the Velvet Underground, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. Haynes’ “Velvet Goldmine” is such a knowing, textured, and vividly remembered reflection on the glam rock era that it can be easy to forget that its story merely alludes to the likes of Lou Reed.
But the fascination the Velvet Underground holds for Haynes isn’t the only thing that makes this newly announced documentary feel like such a perfect pairing between subject and storyteller. With the landmark “The Velvet Underground & Nico” LP, Reed and his cohorts effectively forged a new language for countercultural expression, synthesizing the subversive pop stylings of Andy Warhol into a rock movement that had already been neutered of its rebellious beginnings. With films like “Poison” and “Safe, »
- David Ehrlich
Here we go again folks! As promised (though perhaps a bit later than initially planned), I’m diving back into the world of previous Oscar ceremonies. This time, I have my sights set on the 80th Academy Awards ceremony. You should know the drill by now. I’m going to state what I would have picked in the major eight categories if I had been lucky enough to have been able to vote. In most cases, it deviates from the actual winner. You’ll see how much that was the case this time around, and sit tight, as I do hope to make this a bit more of a consistent thing (excuse the gap again) and really go back as far as I can go. Until then, just enjoy this new one… Alright then, once again here goes nothing ladies and gentlemen…behold my picks for this particular ceremony: Best »
- Joey Magidson
In an age where special effects reign supreme, there’s one aspect of the filmmaking process that hasn’t gone through a radical transformation — music. Some of the best movies in any given year would be sorely lacking without their memorable scores, and this has remained true well into the first two decades of the 21st century.
Film composers play an integral part in the filmmaking process, and there are a handful whose bodies of work stand out in recent years. Of course, this list of 12 major composers only begins to scratch the surface of the talent out there. There are plenty of other worthy contributors to the medium who didn’t make the cut — Danny Elfman and John Williams, we’re looking at you — but rest assured that this top dozen represent the cream of the crop.
- Gabrielle Kiss
After the commercial failure of the second part of his Apu Trilogy, Bengali auteur Satyajit Ray opted for more commercially viable material for his next project. He turned to writer Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay, and a short story about a landlord clinging to his last motes of power as his empire crumbles around him. The result was 1958’s Jalsaghar, released internationally as The Music Room.
The landlord (or zamindar) in question is Lord Roy, played by Chhabi Biswas with a gravitas that matches his contemporary, Laurence Olivier. The film opens halfway through the narrative, with Roy as a bent old man, and the last of his servants, Ananta (Kali Sarkar), still at his side. We jump back four years to show what brought Roy to near-ruin, before the second half of the movie shows us how he »
- Rupert Harvey
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more seminal year in movie-going history than 1977, which unspooled such game-changers and genre-benders as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Saturday Night Fever,” “Airport ’77,” “Sorcerer,” and many, many more.
In honor of the fortieth anniversary of one of the wildest years in recent cinema history, The Film Society of Lincoln Center has programmed their ambitious ’77, a 33-film series surveying the sweeping cinematic landscape of a prolific year in cinema, in the United States and around the world.
Read MoreHow ‘Jaws’ Forever Changed the Modern Day Blockbuster — And What Today’s Examples Could Learn From It
While the debut of George Lucas’ original “Star Wars” is likely the most notable name in a long list of ’77 titles, the year also played home to “Jubilee,” “Eraserhead,” “Hausu,” “Wizard,” and “Smokey and the Bandit.” That startling breadth of film options speaks to the changing times — both »
- Kate Erbland
If you’re one of those people who don’t believe the editor holds just as much power over a film as the director, then you really need to watch more Paul Thomas Anderson movies, especially “There Will Be Blood.” The latest video essay from Nerdwriter1 takes a fascinating look at Anderson’s 2007 masterpiece by studying what you learn about the movie just by counting all of the shots.
Read MoreAttention, Filmmakers: Here’s How You Can Direct Shots Like Paul Thomas Anderson — Watch
There are a total of 678 shots in “There Will Be Blood,” which runs 158 minutes. This means that Anderson and editor Dylan Tichenor’s average shot length is approximately 13.3 seconds, well over the 3-4 second average among Hollywood movies today. Utilizing longer shots in no way makes a film better or worse, but Anderson uses it to his advantage. He not only uses longer shots, but he »
- Zack Sharf
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