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Although the latest Turner prize went to a video artist, the 12 Years a Slave director shows that the art form is just a finishing school for serious film-making
The rise of video and film art appears irresistible. The Turner prize has just been given to a video for the second year in a row.
Yet in spite of the successes of Laure Prouvost and Elizabeth Price, the triumph of video art is an illusion. It is not a stable, enduring art form; it may not even be an art form at all. It is in reality an experimental space at the margins of a much bigger culture of the moving image – a place for talented film-makers to mess around with a freedom they could never enjoy in commercial cinema or mainstream television, but which the true artists among them hunger to apply in those bigger, more important arenas.
For it »
- Jonathan Jones
Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto: New York Film Critics go for movie stars in each acting category (photo: Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’) (See previous post: "Hot Jennifer Lawrence, Wet Robert Redford: New York Film Critics Winners.") Cate Blanchett was chosen as the New York Film Critics Circle’s Best Actress for Woody Allen’s comedy-drama Blue Jasmine. Blanchett, already touted as an Oscar 2014 favorite, plays a role with elements in common with Vivien Leigh’s Blanche DuBois in Elia Kazan’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Leigh was both the New York Film Critics’ and the Academy Awards’ Best Actress of 1951. (Full list of Nyfcc 2013 award winners.) Cate Blanchett has already won an Oscar — Best Supporting Actress for Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator, in which she plays Katharine Hepburn — but this is her first Nyfcc win. Back in 2007, Blanchett, as one of several Bob Dylan characters in Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There, »
- Andre Soares
With already an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, does Jennifer Lawrence need to clear room at home for even more trophies? Looks like the answer is Yes. Tuesday, the Hunger Games: Catching Fire star and this year's Best Actress Oscar winner for Silver Linings Playbook was named best supporting actress by the New York Film Critics Circle for her performance in the '70s crime caper American Hustle, which also took the top honor as best picture. Other winners announced Tuesday were best actor Robert Redford, for All Is Lost; best actress Cate Blanchett, for Blue Jasmine; and best supporting actor Jared Leto, »
- K.C. Blumm
Continuing our annual tradition of posting Thanksgiving and Christmas Movie Guides every holiday season, our San Francisco contributor, Marco Cerritos, has once again put together a holiday movie guide for Thanksgiving 2013, giving a recap and rundown of what's playing and what's worth seeing (or skipping). Marco has seen everything playing, and while you may not always agree with his opinion, he provides the best reviews he can to make it a bit easier for everyone to choose. There are quite a few wonderful films now playing in theaters, so if you're still a bit unsure of what to watch or need extra tips, then look no further! "I don't want to survive. I want to live." -Solomon Northup "Remember who the real enemy is." -Haymitch This is an alphabetized list containing 10 films that, as of today, are playing in most theaters nationwide. 12 Years a Slave Marco's Rating: A Directed by: Steve McQueen (Hunger, »
- Marco Cerritos
What had ETonline readers buzzing this week?
1. Jackman Credits Wife for Spotting Cancer Scare
Hugh Jackman posted a serious photo of himself with a bandaged nose on Instagram today, declaring that he had a cancerous spot removed -- thanks to his wife.
The Oscar-nominated X-Men star wrote, "Deb said to get the mark on my nose checked. Boy, was she right! I had a basil cell carcinoma. Please don't be foolish like me. Get yourself checked. And Use sunscreen!!!"
Just last month, the busy star celebrated his 45th birthday with a star-studded bash and performance for 4,500 guests, which raised $1.85 million for the Motion Picture & Television Fund, which provides health care and other services to entertainment-industry workers and retirees.
2. 'People' Names Adam Levine Sexiest Man Alive 2013
As many suspected, People's coveted title of Sexiest Man Alive has gone to Adam Levine.
"As a musician, you have fantasies that you want to win Grammys, but I didn't »
The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (Psiff) will present Steve McQueen with the Director of the Year Award for his critically-acclaimed slavery epic “12 Years a Slave.” “12 Years a Slave” follows the incredible true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), born a free man and living with his wife and children in upstate New York only to be abruptly and brutally drugged, kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. The film chronicles Solomon’s everlasting will and struggle through his harrowing predicament to survive and return to his family unharmed and free of his shackles.The film is directed by McQueen and in addition to Ejiofor, stars Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Brad Pitt and others. Having marked his first feature debut with the Bobby Sands I.R.A drama “Hunger”, which won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, McQueen has only sharpened »
- Ramzi De Coster
Steve McQueen, a red hot Oscar contender for 12 Years A Slave, will receive the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival’s (Psiff) Director Of The Year Award.
“Director Steve McQueen captivates his audiences by challenging them with often unorthodox and unrelenting subject matter and technique,” said festival chairman Harold Matzner.
“McQueen is a master of utilising the senses to create the essence of his works. In his latest effort, 12 Years A Slave, audiences become integrally involved in the unbearably violent nightmare of a free black man, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, eventually to return home to freedom.”
The awards gala takes place on January 4 and the festival runs from January 3-13 2014. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Feature James Clayton 22 Nov 2013 - 06:25
If you go to the cinema today you may find that you're able to see Dom Hemingway, which stars Jude Law. You'll also find that you're able to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which stars Jennifer Lawrence.
They are very different films - one an indie Brit black-comedy crime flick and the other an American dystopian adventure franchise sequel - but they have one crucial similarity: they are both fronted by a J-Law.
Law and Lawrence share a nickname bestowed on them by fans and lazy journalistic types who have no respect for formal standards. This is problematic because the rules of nicknaming are similar to the credo of Highlander. "There can be only one", so we need to work out who that one is. »
• More on the UK box office
• Gravity - review
• The Counselor - review
With a dip of just 14% from the previous weekend, Gravity easily resisted the challenge of a bunch of mid-level newcomers, retaining the box-office crown with £4.84m. After 11 days, Alfonso Cuarón's space-set drama has grossed an impressive £14.71m, with 3D contributing 90% of the tally.
Although Gravity has a long way to go to match the year's very biggest live-action hits such as Les Misérables, Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel, the film is a dead cert to be the top grosser for a film not based on an existing property or established characters. Currently, the top live-action non-sequel that is not based on familiar elements is Django Unchained, with £15.7m, although some might argue that Quentin Tarantino »
- Charles Gant
In the current era of The Avengers and Batman Vs. Superman, it’s impossible to be a fan of the comic-book genre and not have a well-considered argument to the question, “Who’s the Most Powerful Superhero?” Superman, of course, is the most obvious answer in any superpower battle-royale debate, but there are strong and more interesting claims to be made for the others, too. (Except Hawkeye. Sorry, guy.)
In Hollywood offices, there are similar conversations going on all the time about their own legion of superheroes, those famous actors and actresses who can open a movie in New York, »
- Jeff Labrecque
It’s hard to imagine that some of the greatest names in Hollywood today, like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, and Quentin Tarantino, aren’t getting any younger and will, eventually, stop making movies. Tarantino himself has announced his plans to retire after his tenth film (he’s made seven so far), while other longtime greats have either already tossed in the towel or have fallen into disappointing trends; never fully reaching the great heights they enjoyed earlier in their careers.
Luckily, new directors arrive on the scene each year, and though not all of them hit a homerun their first time at bat, there are a few gems here and there that give us high hopes for the future. Neil Blomkamp’s directorial debut, District 9, was met with widespread acclaim and was even nominated for best picture. Joe Cornish, who up until two years ago spent much »
- James Garcia
“12 Years A Slave” tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man living in New York who- in 1841- is kidnapped and sold into slavery. It’s a harrowing tale with many moments that are hard to watch, yet it’s told in such an engrossing way- with no frills, and hardly any “Hollywood” touches- that I was too riveted to look away.
Director Steve McQueen (“Shame”) tells the story with a very sure hand, never shying away from his attention to detail, and- at times- you can almost feel his hands on your head as if to say, “Don’t turn away. You need to see this. This happened.” Indeed, the film is brutal and unrelenting. The situations depicted are sure to haunt anyone with a sense of empathy.
The pacing of the movie feels like a character in and of itself because, while certain things occur »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
Don Jon (18)
Never one to shy away from a risky project, Gordon-Levitt dives into sexual politics and pornography addiction for his first directing job, and just about pulls it off. He's charming as ever, playing a cocksure Italian-American casanova who secretly prefers online onanism to real sex – until dream girl Johanssen prompts him to take a hold of himself. It's snappy, funny, and pertinent, though the Noo Joisey stereotyping is an unnecessary let-down.
The Butler (12A)
Old school but illuminating take on American history and the civil rights struggle, viewed through the eyes of a black White House butler who served eight presidents. The dazzling cast is almost a distraction, »
- Steve Rose
So, James Franco has seen "12 Years A Slave" three times already. And after the second viewing, he penned a review for Vice because that's what he does sometimes these days. And leave it to Franco to reference Alexis de Tocqueville and two of his own movies ("Homefront," "This Is The End") in the process. But he also talks about "12 Years A Slave," the book versus the movie and the previous movies of director Steve McQueen, notably "Shame," which Franco has some problems with. Mostly, he thinks being a sex addict probably isn't so bad, and more crucially, he thinks the downward spiral culminating in a gay sex club visit during the third act was a bit offensive: Watch Michael Fassbender in Twelve Years a Slave. He has been in every McQueen film to date—did McQueen’s parents like the actor Steve McQueen? Just wondering...—first as the hunger striker, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
In an essay posted last week on James Franco's film criticism column on the website for Vice, Franco takes on "12 Years a Slave" and the careers of its director, Steve McQueen, and one of its stars, Michael Fassbender. In what is now becoming his trademark style, Franco rambles and follows tangents to boggling conclusions in "Fassy B. Heats Up 'Twelve Years a Slave.'" But more than his other screeds, this one has some interesting nuggets. He thinks that -- jussayin' -- it's weird that a Brit is making a film about American history -- jussayin'. "Not that he shouldn’t, but it's funny to think about. A bit of the old Alexis de Tocqueville approach? I suppose Steve helped tell about the brutality of his own country in his first film, 'Hunger,' about »
- Bryce J. Renninger
“I can’t even say the word storyboard; I want to vomit.” Such a statement may seem odd coming from 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen, whose films are renowned for their visual precision and their carefully paced long takes. But, believe it or not, this most exacting of directors often likes to arrive on set not knowing what, exactly, he’s going to shoot. Or how. “For me, it’s all about trusting the location and the actors, and embracing what you find,” he says. McQueen honed that approach working in the world of short films and art installations, before making the leap to features with 2008’s Hunger, about a jailed Ira operative, and 2011’s Shame, about a sex addict in modern New York. Even so, those were smaller, insular films. 12 Years a Slave, on the other hand, is an elaborate period piece — an epic based on the experience »
- Bilge Ebiri
Having fast become one of the leading lights of his generation of actors, Michael Fassbender adds Ridley Scott’s The Counsellor to an impressive string of roles in films as diverse as they are popular and critically acclaimed. He broke through in Zack Snyder’s 2006 blockbuster 300 – his first feature film role – and cemented his talent in the indie one-two punch of Steve McQueen’s Hunger in 2008 and Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank in 2009.
Subsequently, Fassbender has worked with directors such as Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method) and Steven Soderbergh (Haywire). His first collaboration with Ridley Scott, Prometheus, grossed more than $400m at the worldwide box-office.
Fassbender’s talents are much in demand, and in 2013 and beyond he will be seen in Steve McQueen’s third film, 12 Years a Slave, alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch; in Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank, »
- Gary Collinson
Update: Only minutes after posting this article Fox bumped Roland Emmerich's Independence Day 2 from July 2015 to July 1, 2016. Update #2 Focus has set a February 13, 2015 release date for Fifty Shades of Grey. Update #3 Paramount has now set a Christmas Day release for Mission: Impossible 5. Back in July I took a look at the mess of franchises and sequels hitting theaters in 2015 (find that here), but things have picked up a little since then. A few films such as Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and Finding Dory have moved out of the 12 month timeframe, but the studios have found plenty to fill in. I felt it was worth a little update as Fox recently shuffled their deck and moved their Fantastic Four reboot back three months and it's always good to make sure our 36 month calendars are up to date. 2015 won't waste anytime getting into familiar territory when Fox releases yet another »
- Brad Brevet
The Norse god's return gives Marvel Studios the ninth biggest November opening weekend in history
• Thor: The Dark World – review
• More Us box office analysis
Thor delivers hammer blow
He's landed in North America with a big thump. Chris Hemsworth returns as the caped god of thunder in Thor: The Dark World and the results were impressive as an estimated $86.1m (£54m) delivered the ninth biggest November opening weekend in history. That was considerably bigger than the 2011's original's $65.7m (£41m) bow and propelled Marvel Studios' superhero saga to $327m (£204m) worldwide through distributor Disney, factoring in the $241m (£151m) international running total. A $600m (£375m) worldwide finish is not out of the question.
The Book Thief: a quiet, but confident opening
- Jeremy Kay
A movie to restore your faith in special effects, 3D and cinema in general, Cuarón's space movie arrives here already heaped with well-earned adulation. Like, say, Avatar or Toy Story, it really does expand the frontiers of what cinema can do; unlike them, Gravity is set in, or at least around, the real world. The story is admirably minimalist: two astronauts get stranded in space and try to get home. The visuals are out of this world but there's much more: riveting tension, sympathetic performances, and a spiritual undertone that only adds to the movie's transcendent nature.
(David France, 2012, Us) 110 mins
A true story with all the elements of a mythic struggle, this bracing documentary recounts how Aids activists – many potential »
- Steve Rose
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