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After winning two awards at the Venice Film Festival last year (Best First Film and Best Director in the Horizons section), Brady Corbet’s striking “The Childhood of a Leader” is now in theaters. Le CiNéMa Club is celebrating that release by screening the actor-turned-filmmaker’s short film “Protect You + Me,” which he wrote and directed when he was 18.
Darius Khondji (“Alien: Resurrection,” “Midnight in Paris,” “The Immigrant”) shot the film on 35mm; he and Corbet also worked together on Michael Haneke’s English-language remake of his own “Funny Games.” “Protect You + Me” won an honorable mention at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. Here’s the 11-minute short’s synopsis: “The reminder of a long forgotten event, combined with a challenging situation, provokes a man to extreme reaction while at a dinner with his mother. »
- Michael Nordine
Michael Haneke is a filmmaker who demands his audience’s attention. Known for examining social issues and extensive use of static long-takes depicting characters suffering, he has been called everything from a genius to a sadist. A new video essay by Elsie Walker, titled “Taking Time to Hear: Accented Rests in Michael Haneke’s Cinema,” argues that the director is the opposite of a sadist.
Instead, he is a filmmaker who cares deeply enough for his characters that he takes the time to sit with them through their anguish, their fear, and their exhaustion. By allowing sound, including silences, to take center stage, Haneke is transferring this burden of compassion to his viewers. What results are contemplative, difficult works such as Caché, Funny Games, and Benny’s Video.
Watch the essay below (with a hat tip to The Playlist) as Haneke gets ready to shoot his next film Happy End. »
- Mike Mazzanti
A 27-year-old dude from Scottsdale, Arizona, Brady Corbet has somehow become the go-to guy for major European auteurs in need of a young American who can pick up what they’re putting down. We may never fully understand how he parlayed a one-episode cameo on “The King of Queens” and a recurring appearance in the fifth season of “24” into a series of brilliant collaborations with titans of international cinema like Michael Haneke (“Funny Games”) and Lars von Trier (“Melancholia”), but it’s clear why Corbet might have a special appreciation for how public figures are often seen through the lens of their beginnings. With his unusually accomplished directorial debut “Childhood of a Leader,” Corbet delivers a strange and startling film that reflects the unique trajectory of his career, as well as the influence of the iconoclastic directors with whom he’s already worked.
The first strains of Scott Walker’s panicky score slice into the soundtrack like Penderecki having a heart attack, the strings cutting into archival footage of World War I troops marching in formation. The opening titles are draped in terror, and they steel audiences for an ominous origin story on par with the horrors presaged by “Max” or “The Omen.” And on that promise, Corbet delivers — albeit it in his own elliptical, psychically tormented, and increasingly hypnotic way.
“The Childhood of a Leader” tells the story of a young American boy (Tom Sweet) coming of age in a snowbound pocket of rural France circa 1918. His young yet severe mother (“The Artist” star Bérénice Bejo) is fed up with her son from the start, and takes out most of her frustration on the various employees who rear the boy for her by proxy. The child’s father (Liam Cunningham, who “Game of Thrones” fans will better recognize by the name of Davos Seaworth), is an assistant on President Wilson’s staff, and is often away in Versailles working on the peace treaty that would ultimately end the war. On the rare evenings during which he returns home, the boy’s father is sometimes accompanied by a widower politician played by Robert Pattinson (a glorified cameo during which he willfully melts into the musty furnishings of Corbet’s sets).
The film seldom ventures outside of the boy’s house, pushing deeper and deeper into the opaque void of its protagonist’s malleable young mind. Corbet’s doggedly anti-dramatic script (co-written by his partner, Mona Fastvold) stakes the boy’s future on a debate between nature vs. nurture in which neither side ever seems to earn a clear advantage. Sweet, whose character is outwardly defined by a blank expression and a head of flowing blond hair (he’s often confused for a girl), delivers a tense performance that often feels modeled after his director’s seething turns in “Simon Killer” and “Funny Games.” You almost never know what the kid is thinking, but it’s telling that his moments of paranoid anxiety are by far his most visceral — an early nightmare sequence suggests that Corbet has a natural talent for eerie visual abstractions.
He also has a natural talent for the strain of winking, comically exaggerated gravitas that makes it tempting to suspect that hyper-severe auteurs like Haneke and von Trier are actually just taking the piss. Ostentatiously divided into five sections (an overture, three ‘Tantrums,’ and a coda), and refusing to speak the boy’s name until late in the film (so that viewers might tie themselves into knots trying to work out which fascist leader the kid will grow up to become), “The Childhood of a Leader” pits the intensity of its context against the banality of its incident.
The first two Tantrums are all portent and no plot; the most exciting thing that happens is when the boy paws at the breast of his pretty young French tutor (“Nymphomaniac” ingenue Stacy Martin). There’s much talk of language skills, and fluency becomes its own kind of power, but how that factors into Corbet’s grand design is no better explicated than the fact that Sweet’s character is exclusively raised by hired help, or the tidbit that his dad had been hoping for a daughter. And yet, the raw anxiety of Corbet’s vision only grows more palpable as Sweet retreats further from our understanding; by the time the film reveals itself to be more of a mind-fuck than a historical drama, you’re too rattled to feel tricked.
On one hand, the indelibly disorienting final scene feels like a hit from behind; on the other, it feels as though the film has been building to it from the start. Either way, “The Childhood of a Leader” leaves behind a squall of unanswered questions that linger in the mind long after it squelches to a finish. Is this a story about the merits of Freudian psychology, or its limitations? Is it about the making of a monster, or is its distance meant to mock the thinking that sociopaths can be so easily explained? Early in the first Tantrum, Pattinson’s character lifts a quote that novelist John Fowles would ultimately coin in regards to the Holocaust: “That was the tragedy. Not that one man has the courage to be evil, but that so many have not the courage to be good.” Other than Corbet’s promise, that sentiment may be the film’s one clear takeaway: Whether born or raised, leaders are only as powerful as the people who neglect to stop them.
“The Childhood of a Leader” plays at BAMcinemaFest on June 23rd. It opens in theaters and on VOD on July 22nd.
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Related storiesReview: Ti West's 'In A Valley Of Violence' Is A Western 'John Wick,' But Mostly Shoots Blanks12 Must-See Films at BAMCinemaFest 2016'The Childhood of a Leader' Trailer: Robert Pattinson Toplines Brady Corbet's Period Directorial Debut »
- David Ehrlich
This month, Brooklyn plays home to the annual BAMCinemaFest, featuring both some tried and true festival favorites (imagine if Sundance just happened to take place in New York City in the summer) and some brand-new standouts. Here’s the best of what’s on offer, as curated and culled by the IndieWire film team.
“Little Men” New York City-centric filmmaker Ira Sachs has long used his keen observational eye to track the worlds of the city’s adult denizens with features like “Love is Strange” and “Keep the Lights On,” but he’s going for a younger set of stars (and troubles) in his moving new feature, “Little Men.” The new film debuted at Sundance earlier this year, where it pulled plenty of heartstrings (including mine) with its gentle, deeply human story of two seemingly different young teens (Theo Taplitz as the worldly Jake, Michael Barbieri as the more rough and tumble Tony) who quickly bond when one of them moves into the other’s Brooklyn neighborhood. Jake and Tony become fast friends, but their relationship is threatened by drama brewing between their parents, as Jake’s parents own the small store that Tony’s mom operates below the family’s apartment.When Jake’s parents (Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Ehle) are bothered by looming money troubles, they turn to Tony’s mom (Paulina García) and ask her to pay a higher rent, a seemingly reasonable query that has heart-breaking consequences for both families and both boys. It’s a small story that hits hard, thanks to wonderful performances and the kind of emotion that’s hard to fake. – Kate Erbland “Kate Plays Christine”
It’s usually easy enough to find common themes cropping up at various film festivals, but few people could have anticipated that this year’s Sundance would play home to two stories about Christine Chubbuck, a tragic tale that had been previously unknown by most of the population (the other Chubbuck story to crop up at Sundance was Antonio Campos’ closely observed narrative “Christine,” a winner in its own right). In 1974, Chubbuck — a television reporter for a local Sarasota, Florida TV station — killed herself live on air after a series of disappointing events and a lifetime of mental unhappiness. Robert Greene’s “Kate Plays Christine” takes an ambitious angle on Chubbuck’s story, mixing fact and fiction to present a story of an actress (Kate Lyn Sheil) grappling with her preparations to play Chubbuck in a narrative feature that doesn’t exist. Sheil is tasked with playing a mostly real version of herself, a heightened version of herself as the story winds on and even Chubbuck in a series of re-enactments. The concept is complex, but it pays off, and “Kate Plays Christine” is easily one of the year’s most ambitious and fascinating documentaries. – Ke
This eye-opening documentary focuses on Brooklyn-based tailoring company Bindle & Keep, which designs clothes for transgender and gender fluid clients. Produced by Lena Dunham and her “Girls” producer Jenni Konner, the HBO Documentary looks at fashion through the eyes of several people across the gender identity spectrum, including a transitioning teen in need of a suit for his Bar Mitzvah and a transgender man buying a tuxedo for his wedding. The film has a deep personal connection to Dunham, whose gender nonconforming sister Grace has been a vocal activist within the transgender community. “Suited” is the first solo-directing effort from Jason Benjamin, who previously co-directed the 2002 documentary “Carnival Roots,” about Trinidad & Tobago’s annual music festival. – Graham Winfrey
Todd Solondz’s first directorial effort since 2011’s “Dark Horse” is literally about an animal this time. “Wiener-Dog” follows a dachshund that goes from one strange owner to the next, serving as a central character in four stories that bring out the pointlessness of human existence. The offbeat comedy’s stellar cast includes Greta Gerwig, Danny DeVito, Julie Delpy and “Girls’” Zosia Mamet. Amazon nabbed all domestic media rights to the film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, while IFC Films is handling the theatrical release. Financed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures and produced by Christine Vachon’s Killer Films, the film marked Solondz’s first movie to play at Sundance since 1995’s “Welcome to the Dollhouse.” – Gw
Eagle Pennell has become lost to film history, despite making two of the most important films of the modern indie era. His 1978 film “The Whole Shootin’ Match” inspired Robert Redford to start Sundance and his 1984 classic “Last Night at the Alamo” has been championed by Tarantino and Linklater, who along with IFC Films and SXSW founder Louis Black is responsible for the restoration that will be playing at Bam. “Alamo,” which tells the story of a cowboy’s last ditch effort to save a local watering hole, is credited for having given birth to the Austin film scene and for laying the groundwork for the rebirth of the American indie that came later in the decade. Pennell’s career was cut short by alcoholism, but “Alamo” stands tribute to his incredible talent, pioneering spirit and the influence he’s had on so many great filmmakers. – Chris O’Falt
Read More: Indie Legend Who Inspired Sundance, ‘Reservoir Dogs’ And More Will Have Classic Films Restored
“Author: The J.T. LeRoy Story”
J.T. Leroy was an literary and pop culture sensation, until it was revealed that the HIV-positive, ex-male-prostitute teenage author was actually the creation of a 40 year old mother by the name Laura Albert. Jeff Feuerzeig’s documentary, starring Albert and featuring her recorded phone calls from the hoax, is the best yarn of 2016. You will not believe the twist-and-turns of the behind the scenes story of how Albert pulled off the hoax and cultivated close relationships (with her sister-in-law posing at Jt) with celebrities like filmmaker Gus Van Sant and Smashing Pumpkins’ Bill Corgan, both of whom play key supporting roles in this stranger-than-fiction film. Trust us, “Author” will be one of the most entertaining films you see this summer. – Co
Loosely based on the 2012 shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a multiplex screening of “The Dark Knight,” Tim Sutton’s elegantly designed “Dark Night” contains a fascinating, enigmatic agenda. In its opening moments, Maica Armata’s mournful score plays out as we watch a traumatized face lit up by the red-blue glow of a nearby police car. Mirroring the media image of tragedy divorced from the lives affected by it, the ensuing movie fills in those details. Like Gus Van Sant’s “Elephant,” Sutton’s ambitious project dissects the moments surrounding the infamous event with a perceptive eye that avoids passing judgement. While some viewers may find this disaffected approach infuriating — the divisive Sundance reaction suggested as much — there’s no doubting the topicality of Sutton’s technique, which delves into the malaise of daily lives that surrounds every horrific event of this type with a keen eye. It may not change the gun control debate, but it adds a gorgeous and provocative footnote to the conversation. – Eric Kohn
Musa Syeed’s tender look at a Somali refugee community in Minneapolis puts a human face on the immigration crisis through the exploits of Adan (Barkhad Abdirahman), a young man adrift in his solitary world. Kicked out by his mother and unwelcome at the local mosque where he tries to crash, Adan meets his only source of companionship in a stray dog he finds wandering the streets. Alternating between social outings and job prospects, Adan’s struggles never strain credibility, even when an FBI agent tries to wrestle control of his situation to turn him into a spy. Shot with near-documentary realism, Syed’s insightful portrait of his forlorn character’s life recalls the earlier films of Ramin Bahrani (“Man Push Cart,” “Chop Shop”), which also capture an oft-ignored side of modern America. With immigration stories all too frequently coopted for political fuel, “A Stray” provides a refreshingly intimate alternative, which should appeal to audiences curious about the bigger picture — or those who can relate to it. – Ek
After making a blistering impression at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Andrew Neel’s fraternity psychodrama “Goat” comes to Bam with great acclaim and sky high anticipation. Starring breakout Ben Schnetzer and Nick Jonas, the film centers around a 19-year-old college student who pledges the same fraternity as his older brother, only to realize the world of hazing and endless parties is darker than he could ever imagine. In lesser hands, “Goat” would be a one-note takedown of hedonistic bro culture, but Neel’s slick direction brings you to the core of animalistic behavior and forces you to weigh the clashing egos of masculinity. By cutting underneath the layers of machismo, Neel creates a drama of insecurities buried beneath the war between predator and prey. It’s an intense and intelligent study of a world the movies have always been obsessed with. – Zack Sharf
Brady Corbet has been one of the most reliable supporting actors in films like “Funny Games,” “Force Majeure,” “Clouds of Sils Maria” and more, and he even broke through as a lead in the great indie “Simon Killer,” but it turns out Corbet’s real skills are behind the camera. In his directorial debut, “The Childhood of a Leader,” the actor creates an unnerving period psychodrama that evokes shades of “The Omen” by way of Hitchcock. Set in Europe after Wwi, the movie follows a young boy as he develops a terrifying ego after witnessing the creation of the Treaty of Versailles. Cast members Robert Pattinson and Berenice Bejo deliver reliably strong turns, but it’s Corbet’s impressive control that makes the film a tightly-wound skin-crawler. His ambition is alive in every frame and detail, resulting in a commanding debut that announces him as a major filmmaker to watch. – Zs
Meet your new obsession: A spellbinding homage to old pulp paperbacks and the Technicolor melodramas of the 1960s, Anna Biller’s “The Love Witch” is a throwback that’s told with the kind of perverse conviction and studied expertise that would make Quentin Tarantino blush. Shot in velvety 35mm, the film follows a beautiful, sociopathic, love-starved young witch named Elaine (Samantha Robinson, absolutely unforgettable in a demented breakthrough performance) as she blows into a coastal Californian town in desperate search of a replacement for her dead husband. Sex, death, Satanic rituals, God-level costume design, and cinema’s greatest tampon joke ensue, as Biller spins an arch but hyper-sincere story about the true price of patriarchy. – David Ehrlich
Coming-of-age movies are a dime a dozen (and the going rate is even cheaper at Sundance), but Chad Hartigan’s absurdly charming follow-up to “This Is Martin Bonner” puts a fresh spin on a tired genre. Played by lovable newcomer Markees Christmas, Morris is a 13-year-old New Yorker who’s forced to move to the suburbs of Germany when his widower dad (a note-perfect Craig Robinson) accepts a job as the coach of a Heidelberg soccer team. It’s tough being a teen, but Morris — as the only black kid in a foreign town that still has one foot stuck in the old world — has it way harder than most. But there’s a whole lot of joy here, as Hartigan’s sweet and sensitive fish out of water story leverages a handful of killer performances into a great little movie about becoming your own man. – De
BAMCinemaFest 2016 runs from June 15 – 26.
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Related storiesChristine Chubbuck: Video Exists of Reporter's On-Air Suicide That Inspired Two Sundance Films'Wiener-Dog' Trailer: Greta Gerwig Befriends a Dachshund in Todd Solondz's Dark Sundance Comedy'Little Men,' 'Wiener-Dog' and More Set for BAMcinemaFest 2016 -- Indiewire's Tuesday Rundown »
- Kate Erbland, Eric Kohn, David Ehrlich, Zack Sharf, Chris O'Falt and Graham Winfrey
After nearly two weeks of viewing some of the best that cinema will have to offer this year, the 69th Cannes Film Festival has concluded. With Ken Loach‘s I, Daniel Blake taking the top jury prize of Palme d’Or (full list of winners here), we’ve set out to wrap up our experience with our 10 favorite films from the festival, which extends to the Un Certain Regard and Directors’ Fortnight side bars.
It should be noted that The Nice Guys, which screened out of competition, was among our favorites of the festival (review here), but, considering it’s now in wide release, we’ve elected to give room to other titles. Check out our top 13 films below, followed by the rest of the reviews and all of our features. One can also return in the coming months as we learn of distribution news for all of the mentioned films. »
- The Film Stage
It takes all of zero seconds for the first rape to occur in Paul Verhoeven’s Elle. The film opens on a black screen and to the sounds of breaking glass and stifled struggle. When it then cuts to a cute kitty spectating the off-screen assault, we know we’re in Verhoeven territory. The ensuing countershot reveals Michèle (Isabelle Huppert), her blouse ripped open, pinned to the floor by a black-clad man with his face hidden inside a ski mask. Funny Games-like, this is our warning: run for the door now or keep watching and be implicated. Unlike Haneke, however, Verhoeven renders what follows irresistibly enjoyable, and the resulting implication is all the more severe.
Elle would be unimaginable without Huppert, who delivers a performance of such virtuosity that she turns what is essentially a raving sociopath into one of the most alluring protagonists in recent memory. Beautiful, refined, »
- Giovanni Marchini Camia
We love a man who keeps his word and Frank Grillo is definitely a man who stands by his promises. We spoke to him a while back during the press run for the home entertainment release of The Purge Anarchy and he promised a third film in the series. He also promised he’d return and shared that the story would focus on the shadowy politicians behind the purge festivities.
This new trailer ticks all three boxes and then some. The Purge: Election Year is shaping up to be a very action-packed affair. The clip below sees Grillo doing everything in his power to keep a senator safe, think London Has Fallen, but when everyone wants to murder everyone else, not just disgruntled bad guys, that’s easier said than done. It also shows just how depraved the human race can be, though as hundreds of tourists from all over »
- Kat Hughes
Lisa Loven Kongsli (upcoming Wonder Woman, Force Majeure), Sophie Cookson (Kingsman: The Secret Service), and Peter Franzen (History Channel’s ‘Vikings’, The Gunman) have joined 2016 BAFTA Rising Star nominee Bel Powley (upcoming Carrie Pilby, The Diary Of A Teenage Girl), Jonah Hauer-King, and Martin Wallstrom (FX series ‘Mr. Robot’) in Marius Markevicius’ riveting Ashes In The Snow, it was announced by Radiant Films International President and CEO, Mimi Steinbauer.
Rounding out the newly announced cast are Sam Hazeldine (The Huntsman: Winter’S War, Monuments Men), James Cosmo (HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’, upcoming Ben-hur), Adrian Schiller (The Danish Girl, Suffragette) and Tom Sweet.
Currently in production, Radiant will present the project to international buyers at the upcoming Marche du Film in Cannes.
Ashes In The Snow is the poignant story of a 16-year-old heroine Lina Vilkas (Powley) who is separated from her family amidst Stalin’s reign of terror in the Baltic region during WWII. »
- Michelle McCue
Following up Noah, Darren Aronofsky is headed back to more modest-sized territory and getting back in business with Paramount. While we still don’t have a title for his next feature, we do know that Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem are leading the domestic drama, and ahead of a 2017 release, more casting has arrived.
THR reports that Domhnall Gleeson, his brother Brian Gleeson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris are all in talks to join the film, which “centers on a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.” While we recently floated the idea that he was inspired by Michael Haneke for a Funny Games-esque drama, we could certainly see that dynamic play out with this new casting.
Since no character details are being provided, in our imagined scenario, the couples played by Pfeiffer & Harris and Lawrence & Bardem get terrorized by two menacing brothers. »
- Jordan Raup
If you've had the privilege to see a film lensed by D.P Adam J. Minnick, you'd have recognized an eye disciplined by the story it's telling rather than by personal inclinations or some sybaritic style that steals from the story. Buzzard, was shot super raw and cold on a 5D, The Alchemist Cookbook was shot formally composed with a warm palllete on an Alexa, and Actor Martinez (Us Premiering this April at Tribeca) was shot with Altman inspired slow zooms on a Red Epic Dragon. The aesthetic decisions and stories speak for his adaptability and understanding of the form. And, his latest release, The Alchemist Cookbook, which hit SXSW hard when it world premiered, has audiences, critics, and filmmakers predominately sitting on the 'loved it' side of its divisive disposition.
We were fortunate to talk with the cinematographer on how the hell the team pulled it off.
Could you »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Aaron Hunt)
Could you give us a general overview of your working relationship with Joel?
Joel and I are first and foremost friends...he's always been one of my closest. We've been making music, watching films and making little movies together starting in high school. He and I were really the only two buddies in our tight group that pursued visual arts of any sort through college and beyond, so it made sense that one day we could ultimately work together on a professional level, too. There's a trust that I can't really put into words, but we know that it's there. The Alchemist Cookbook was a new endeavor into a different filmmaking experience for both of us, and his trust in me as an image maker was very clear from the beginning. As far as collaborative art goes, I've never been more aligned with anyone, so I consider myself very fortunate »
- email@example.com (Aaron Hunt)
Landmine Goes Click, 2015
Written and directed by Levan Bakhia
Trapped standing on an armed landmine, an American tourist is forced to watch helplessly while his girlfriend is terrorized and brutally assaulted.
There’s an audacity to Levan Bakhia’s Landmine Goes Click, a film drenched in misogyny, trying desperately to find existential reasoning in its warped examination of patriarchy. Bakhia isn’t saying anything about the male mind-set, or making a statement on parents, he’s simply playing out a misogynist fantasy of male driven power under the guise of a poorly made, lamely nasty genre flick.
Three American backpackers, Alicia (Spencer Locke), her fiancé Daniel (Dean Geyer) and Chris (Sterling Knight) wander through the mountains of Georgia where Daniel has Chris perform a non-binding marriage ceremony. Devi, a local park ranger arranges for a photo which “inadvertadly” leads to Chris stepping on a landmine. »
- Luke Owen
Exclusive: Director Kasra Farahani’s upcoming thriller The Waiting comes off like an inversion of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, or perhaps what might happen if that earlier film were crossed with Gran Torino. Starring James Caan, Logan Miller, and Keir Gilchrist, the film sees two boys conducting a cruel experiment on their elderly neighbor: can they convince him he’s being haunted? They set about prodding the older man further and further, only to realize too late that… »
Four episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
You wouldn’t think sex and scandal could ever mesh with slavery on a would-be legacy series. You wouldn’t be wrong, either, but because peak TV rewards risk, here’s giving credit where credit is due. To its credit, Underground, Wgn America’s newest breath into the original programming bubble, works hard to slip a sleek cable skin over everything ugly about America’s darkest chapter (if a chapter can last 250 years). Feats that big fall hard, though, and the difficult legacy the show shoulders means that every misstep it takes stands to cripple it.
The story Underground tells is familiar enough. Outside the lush white walls of the Macon plantation, men, women, and children toil in the Georgia summer steam, forced to carry King Cotton on their beaten backs. The slaves “owned” by Tom Macon live as best they can, which »
- Joe Incollingo
An effective horror story about a woman transformed in more ways than one after she undergoes facial surgery
Hats off to Austria for selecting this increasingly alarming chiller from writer/directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (respectively the partner and nephew of film-maker Ulrich Seidl, who produces) as its foreign language entry for the 88th Academy Awards. Opening with an image of Von Trapp family harmony, Goodnight Mommy finds twin boys (Lukas and Elias Schwarz, both brilliant) playing hide-and-seek in the trees and cornfields around a remote modernist house. When their mother (Susanne Wuest) returns from facial surgery, her bandaged visage hides a changed personality. How do they know it’s really her? Suspicion turns to hostility and worse; by the third act, you’ll be hiding your face in wincing terror.
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
The Lesson was released via new digital platform Frightfest Presents earlier this week. The film screened as part of last summer’s festival and was hand picked by festival organisers Alan Jones and Paul McEvoy to open the second wave of releases. We at team Thn were very pleased to hear this news as The Lesson was one of our festival favourites.
Writer and director of The Lesson, Ruth Platt, started her career in the industry as an actor. She had roles in Sparkling Cyanide and The Pianist, but stepped away from in front of the camera to get behind it. Prior to The Lesson she created two short films (which you can find out more about here) before making the plunge into features.
The Lesson is a tense and traumatic tale of a young, wayward student and a strung-out teacher whose paths collide in spectacular fashion. »
- Kat Hughes
“Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Deadly” could work as both an alternate title and shorthand synopsis for “Emelie,” a familiarly premised but stringently executed home-invasion chiller that rarely goes for the straight-up scare when a more insidious one will do. Likeliest to prey on the sensibilities of younger parents — and to unnerve anyone who still thinks of gifted Irish actress Sarah Bolger as that preciously innocent pre-teen from “In America” — music-vid helmer Michael Thelin’s lean, lo-fi debut feature calmly pushes against the nastier bounds of its genre territory as it places two young children in the care of Bolger’s profoundly unhinged imposter. This ambiguous protagonist’s backstory emerges a little more predictably than it should, but even with that knowledge in place, Thelin succeeds in keeping any presumption of eventual sanctuary impressively at bay.
From the quiet, the flash-free sangfroid with which he stages a few »
- Guy Lodge
An idyllic summer at a lakeside house turns nasty horror for two brothers in this gruesome debut from Austrian film-maker Veronika Franz
This icy Euro-arthouse horror from Austrian film-maker Veronika Franz has an American-style title, like Michael Haneke’s Funny Games. The original is Ich Seh Ich Seh, or I See I See, which better captures its theme of twins. Franz makes her debut, co-directing with Severin Fala; she is married to the film’s producer, the renowned and terrifying director Ulrich Seidl, known for his own type of extreme ordeal cinema. This movie had its premiere at last year’s Venice film festival, where I first saw it, and now arrives in the UK, where audiences may want to compare it to early Michael Haneke and Jessica Hausner. The twist ending is worthy of a Hollywood director who can’t be named without giving it away. Elias (Elias Schwarz »
- Peter Bradshaw
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.NEWSVoyage of TimeWell, the Academy Awards, of course! Here's the list of winners. Who made us smile most for his win of the golden statue? Ennio Morricone and his gracious speech for his ace score to The Hateful Eight. Biggest gaff beyond the central controversy? Setsuko Hara, Manoel de Oliveira, and Jacques Rivette not included in the "In Memoriam."And yet another filmmaker has left us this year. The New York Times reports that Syrian director Nabil Maleh has died at the age of 79.With Terrence Malick's dividing film Knight of Cups about to be released in cinemas in the Us this week, images have come in (including one above) of the filmmaker's mysterious documentary we keep hearing about, Voyage of Time.In New York, the big news this »
Having sold over 4 million copies across multiple platforms, Rocket League has now had a physical release confirmed by officials at Psyonix. The announcement came from Psyonix’s VP of marketing and communications, Jeremy Dunham, earlier today.
Dunham’s announcement also confirmed that the game has generated over $70 million in revenue for the company across the 4 million-odd downloads, but no other release details were revealed at this time. The announcement came in an interview with Kinda Funny Games.
Dunham did go on to explain that further details for the physical, retail version would be confirmed “soon,” and it’s expected that this will include content information, the release date and the details of who will partner Psyonix for the launch.
Rocket League most recently made its way to Xbox One systems with the downloadable version being made available on February 17th. It’s likely that console and PC versions of the physical release will simultaneously, »
- Gareth Cartwright
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