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1-20 of 43 items from 2009   « Prev | Next »

Ten (and more) Great Films of 2009 from Around the World

29 December 2009 9:53 PM, PST | Screen Anarchy | See recent Screen Anarchy news »

It seems that the Cannes film festival got things right this year, even if audiences seemed to not quite get the quality of the competition.  After consideration of a wealth of films from around the world, big and small, I find my end of year top-10 list peppered with films of heady considerations tackled with both visual bombast and narrative elegance.  While 2007 will likely be remembered as the strongest year of the aughts for cinema, 2009 is one of sheer variety.  There be lots of surprises and pleasures of both the cerebral and visceral kind.  

10) The Limits of Control - Jim Jarmusch's deliberate ode to architecture, form and patient viewing is bumped into masterpiece territory by the wonderful cinematography of Christopher Doyle and the handsome (dude can Wear a suit) figure of Isaach De Bankolé.

9) Mr. Nobody - Has quantum physics and romantic love ever been successfully combined in a large-scale science fiction epic? »

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Soul Kitchen Review

20 December 2009 1:18 PM, PST | Screen Anarchy | See recent Screen Anarchy news »

[Our thanks to Michel Thein for the following review.]

Considering Fatih Akin's catalog of films, one might not think that he could write and direct a comedy that wouldn't  feel bleak like Head-on or excessively passionate like Solino. One might go as far as to say that it might turn out to be not that much of a funny movie. Then came the trailer  and it looked exactly like the man's films always look, a sense for detail in composition of frame and a sense for color and colorfulness of life and sure enough there were some laughs in the trailer that looked clever and natural but would he be able to pull it off for 99minutes?

Going into the movie the cast list is already impressive; it's a real who's who of Akin's previous movies. We follow Adam Bousdoukos and Moritz Bleibtreu as Greek brothers from Hamburg as they transform their snack shop into a real thriving hot spot for music, »

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The Quiet Earth team shares their favorite films of 2009

16 December 2009 10:15 AM, PST | | See recent QuietEarth news »

Looking over the team's top-five of 2009 lists today it struck me what a diverse year for genre cinema it was. Oh sure, there are certain titles that managed to make it onto almost everyone's lists (Moon and Antichrist being two clear winners), but, put together, the titles run the gamut of film styles - like the best film festival program you could image.

I certainly didn't think I'd see films like The Hangover bumping up against The Road, or a double bill of Ursula Meiers' French oddity, Home, and Stingray Sam, but it's all just too cool of a mash-up to ignore and I may have to program a little private festival of some of these titles for viewing over the holidays.

But anyway, sit back, grab a drink, peruse the lists and refresh your memory of all the films you should be netflixing, buying or borrowing in the new year. »

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Fatih Akin protests Swiss minaret ban

7 December 2009 2:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Cologne, Germany -- Director Fatih Akin has canceled a trip to Switzerland to promote his new film, "Soul Kitchen" in protest of the recent Swiss referendum vote banning the construction of minarets in the country.

"This referendum conflicts with my understanding of humanism, tolerance and the belief that harmonious co-existence of peoples of differing backgrounds, races and religions must be possible," Akin said in an open letter explaining his decision not to attend the planned "Soul Kitchen" premiere in Zurich Dec. 16.

More than 57% of Swiss voters backed a proposal last month to ban the building of minarets on mosques in Switzerland. A right-wing party gathered the signatures necessary to force a referendum on the issue. Public referendums are a cornerstone of Swiss law and override the wishes of the Swiss parliament and main political parties, all of which opposed the minaret ban.

The result has been internationally condemned as racist and xenophobic. »

- By Scott Roxborough

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Tiff 2009 Day 7: Fatih Akin's Soul Kitchen

30 November 2009 1:32 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Soul Kitchen takes a nose-dive once we figure out that storyline is dull, that the characters come across as stereotypes and that plenty of them get lost in the shuffle. - I can tell you what I was expecting: something unlike his previous films, since Fatih Akin was going the comedy route. I can tell you what I was hoping for: perhaps some dramatic, or dark elements. What I wasn't expecting to find is a bland mainstream offering that German audiences will likely flock to, but will hardly be mentioned on the art-house circuit. Soul Kitchen takes a nose-dive once we figure out that storyline is dull, that the characters come across as stereotypes and that plenty of them get lost in the shuffle, specifically the misuse of what could have been a potentially fun juxtaposing between the chummy protag played by Adam Bousdoukos and Birol Ünel. Full review coming soon. »

- Staff

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Tiff 2009 Day 1: Getting a Free Ride

30 November 2009 1:32 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

If you had middle class parents like my own, you've probably been told there is no such a thing as free ride - but Tiff organizers have definitely gone Park City this year, handing out free transit passes along with accreditation. Damn cool. - If you had middle class parents like my own, you've probably been told there is no such a thing as free ride »

- Staff

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Fatih Akin Finds His Comic Timing With Soul Kitchen

19 November 2009 7:56 AM, PST | Screen Anarchy | See recent Screen Anarchy news »

Turko-German director Fatih Akin must surely be one of the most diverse talents currently working in Germany.  He blew our minds with the hard edged, cathartic drama of Head On before moving on to the fabulous music doc Crossing the Bridge and now returns to the kind of light comedy where he began his career with Soul Kitchen.  Find me another director with three more different films packed so tightly into their resume and I'll eat my shirt.  Here's how the Toronto International Film Festival described Akin's latest when it screened there:

Zinos Kazantzakis (Adam Bousdoukos) runs Soul Kitchen, a vast warehouse diner where the food might be spectacularly bad, but it's edible. Regulars show up every day to chow down on bland lumps of carbs washed down by cheap beer. Beats sitting at home.

Zinos seems to have a knack for bad luck, but he's used to it. His »

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Fangoria Musick's Icp iPod Nano Giveaway!

21 October 2009 6:07 AM, PDT | Fangoria | See recent Fangoria news »

Fangoria Musick and Insane Clown Posse are teaming up to give away an iPod Nano and an autographed copy of Icp’s latest album, Bang! Pow! Boom!

Entering for your chance to win is as simple as sending us an email.

Get the details below!

To enter, send an email to

Include your Name, Age, Phone Number, and Mailing Address. You May Only Enter Once! Incomplete and/or duplicate entries will be discarded. Contest open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen at random on or about November 2nd, 2009.

Get the Faygo flowing and Good Luck!

Bang! Pow! Boom! which debuted at Number 4 on the Billboard albums chart, is a return to the Posse’s Dark Carnival concept. To pick up a copy of the album head over to

Hungry for more? Check out Matt Molgaard's review of the album here, or »

- (James Zahn)

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Insane Clown Posse release 4 new streams

11 October 2009 9:39 PM, PDT | Fangoria | See recent Fangoria news »

Fangoria Musick just got word that Insane Clown Posse have released four new streams from their latest album Bang! Pow! Boom! (see our review here) which is in-stores now. The album, which is a return to the bands "Dark Carnival" concept, made a splash on the Billboard Top 200 chart, debuting at Number 4 by selling 50,000 copies in its first week.

The tracks "To Catch A Predator", "Juggalo Island", "Zombieslide", and "Love" are all featured on  Bang! Pow! Boom! and are now streaming in Windows Media format direct from the Icp's official website.

The band is currently on the road through The Fall.

For more Icp, check out Matt Molgaard's Exclusive interview with Violent J right here.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

10/13/09 @ Amos' South End, Charlotte, Nc

10/15/09 @ Electric Factory, Philadelphia, Pa

10/16/09 @ The Norva, Norfolk, Va

10/17/09 @ Webster Theater, Hartford, Ct

10/18/09 @ The Palladium, Worcester, Ma

10/20/09 @ Main Street Armory, Rochester, NY

10/22/09 @ The Agora, Cleveland, Oh

10/23/09 @ Expo Five, »

- (James Zahn)

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Toronto Rights RoundUp and Other Fall Festivals

24 September 2009 7:16 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

The Toronto and Other Fall Festivals Rights RoundUp list looks quite sizeable for what is claimed to have been a quiet festival season. Though it's true business down, the large number of acquisitions has not been viewed as such and yet is the result of a new trend which has been sneaking up over the past few years and has now taken hold. Distributors and sales agents now acquire Before the festivals rather than during. It developed out of Cannes' prescreenings which have mostly been discontinued, and it could go so far as to change the pre-Sundance adage Not to show the film to anyone before Sundance.

This Rights RoundUp for acquisitions executives, distributors, international sales agents, investors and producers is different from my previous Rr Reports. It is no longer a report based on data and FilmFinders is out of the equation. This listing of rights acquired Before the actual festival, »

- (Sydney)

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Ghent focus on Germany, Turkey, Israel

24 September 2009 1:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Berlin -- German, Turkish and Israeli cinema will have pride of place at the 36th Ghent International Film Festival (Oct. 6 -17), with films from the three countries accounting for half of the titles in competition.

Andreas Dresen's "Whiskey With Vodka" and Florian Gallenberger's German Film Prize winner "John Rabe", the Israeli films "Zion and his Brother" from Eran Merav and "Eyes Wide Open" by Haim Tabakman and both Miraz Bezar's "The Children Of Diyarbakir" and "There" from directors Hakki Kurtulus and Melik Saracoglu will compete for this year's Ghent Grand Prize.

Other titles in the competition lineup include "Applause" from Danish director Martin Pieter Zandvliet, and "Altiplano" from Belgians Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth, Dutch director Ester Rots' drama "Can Go Through Skin," and Norwegian title "Troubled Water" by Erik Poppe.

Cyrus Nowrasteh's "The Stoning of Soraya M.," a drama set in 1980s Iran starring James Caviezel and Shohreh Aghdashloo, »

- By Scott Roxborough

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Toronto 2009: "Micmacs"' Charming Arms Race

17 September 2009 8:06 AM, PDT | | See recent IFC news »

Why there were a few scattered empty seats left at the world premiere of "Micmacs," I don't know. This is Jean-Pierre Jeunet, dammit, and after putting the excess of "A Very Long Engagement" behind him, he arrived in Toronto with a leaner and meaner comedy that seems to have been designed as a playground for his visual ingenuity and boundless imagination.

His partner in crime, the French star Dany Boon ("My Best Friend"), stars as Bazil, a video store clerk who's introduced to us playfully mouthing along to the dialogue in "The Big Sleep" before a freak gun accident leaves him with a bullet lodged in his brain. (The operating surgeon flips a coin to decide whether to keep it in or remove it and risk putting him into a coma.) Already having lost his father to a landmine during war, Bazil becomes an unlikely peace activist, igniting a feud »

- Stephen Saito

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Toronto 2009: "Soul Kitchen"'s Chaotic Warmth

15 September 2009 7:54 AM, PDT | | See recent IFC news »

German helmer Fatih Akin's latest, "Soul Kitchen," is a lark, but an enjoyable one. The film sees the director of "Head On" and "The Edge of Heaven" doing schtick for the first time -- not as odd a transition as one might think from his previous dramas, which have in common a deeply felt human touch and sense of interconnection. In fact, Zinos (Adam Bousdoukos) wishes he were a little less connected at the start of "Soul Kitchen" -- his brother Illyas (Moritz Bleibtreu) is out on conditional probation and needs a job at his restaurant, a high school acquaintance is going after the land that restaurant sits on, the Hamburg Tax Office is looking to collect back taxes and the one person he wishes were around, his girlfriend, is headed to Shanghai for six months for work. He also has chronic back pains, which don't do him any »

- Stephen Saito

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Venice Film Festival 2009 Winners

14 September 2009 1:12 PM, PDT | Filmofilia | See recent Filmofilia news »

Venice Film Festival’s jury announced the movie “Lebanon” was the winner of the Golden Lion on the last day of the 11-day screening of films from around the world.

Lebanon,” tells the story of Israeli paratroopers searching a hostile town. The movie is a look at war from inside a military tank by Israeli helmer Samuel Maoz, based on his personal experience as a young soldier during his country’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

“I dedicate this award to all those thousands of people all over the world who came back from the war, like me, safe and sound. Apparently they are fine. They walk, get married, have children. But inside them, the memories will remain stuck in their souls,” said Maoz at the award ceremony.

The Silver Lion for best director went to New York-based Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat for her first feature “Women Without Men,” an Iranian film about women and repression. »

- Fiona

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Fourteen Toronto Reviews (and Counting…)

14 September 2009 7:22 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Catch up with indieWIRE‘s first batch of reviews from the Toronto International Film Festival: Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love StoryAtom Egoyan’s “Chloe” Jon Amiel’s “Creation” Mia Hansen-Love’s “The Father of My Children” Bruno Dumont’s “HadewijchSteven Soderbergh’s “The Informant!” Grant Heslov’s “The Men Who Stare At GoatsJaco van Dormael’s “Mr. Nobody” Francois Ozon’s “Refuge” John Hillcoat’s “The Road” Joel and Ethan Coen’s “A Serious ManFatih Akin’s “Soul Kitchen” … »

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Review | Hamburg with Cheese: Fatih Akin’s “Soul Kitchen”

14 September 2009 7:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

German-Turkish director Fatih Akin’s penchant for plot contrivance and convolution would seem to have found the perfect fit in the high-decibel comic confection “Soul Kitchen.” Appropriately broad (as opposed to his last film, “The Edge of Heaven,” which could have used more subtlety in place of its narrative glibness), Akin’s new one, concerning a young man’s desperate attempts to keep his roadside restaurant open and thriving amidst many setbacks, is overstuffed, … »

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List of winners at Venice Film Festival

13 September 2009 1:40 PM, PDT | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

The 66th Annual Venice Film Festival ended on September 12. Here’s a quick list of winners.

Not on this list is the man who stripped for George Clooney after Brad Pitt and Matt Damon told the reporter that Clooney is gay. Though shouldn’t Pitt and Damon win something for this?


Golden Lion “Lebanon” (Samuel Maoz, Israel-France-Germany)

Silver Lion “Women Without Men” (Shirin Neshat, Germany-Austria-France)

Grand Jury Prize “Soul Kitchen” (Fatih Akin, Germany)

Actor Colin Firth (”A Single Man,” Us)

Actress Ksenia Rappoport (”The Double Hour,” Italy)

Marcello Mastroianni Prize For Young Performer Jasmine Trinca (”The Big Dream,” Italy)

Best Screenplay Todd Solondz (”Life During Wartime,” Us)

Technical Contribution for Set Design Sylvie Olive (”Mr Nobody,” Jaco Van Dormael, France)

For a complete list head to

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- Jeff Bayer

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Venice: Two Trophies for A Single Man

13 September 2009 1:38 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

By now you've heard the news that Colin Firth received the papal blessing in Venice.


The only church I believe in is the church of cinema and Ang Lee is a holy man. Don't tell me otherwise, blasphemer!

If you have to receive a blessing from an auteur, a vote of confidence if you will, what better man than Ang Lee? He has exceptional taste. Colin Firth might be floating up towards heaven even as we speak since Ang Lee and his Venice International Film Festival jury named Colin Firth Best Actor. The honor came for his work as a grieving gay academic in Tom Ford's A Single Man (see: related posts).

I'd like to intone "The Oscar race has begun" in sotto voce right about now, but has it? A Single Man's distribution is still up in the air. Though the movie, based on the Christopher Isherwood novel, »


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Israeli War Drama Tops Venice Film Festival! See Complete List of Winners!

13 September 2009 11:58 AM, PDT | Manny the Movie Guy | See recent Manny the Movie Guy news »

"Lebanon" a gripping account of war from inside a military tank by Israeli director Samuel Maoz took the top prize at the 66th Venice Film Festival. "Lebanon" won the festival's Golden Lion.

The Silver Lion for best director went to New York-based Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat for her first feature "Women Without Men."

Meanwhile, Fatih Akin's super funny "Soul Kitchen" took the Special Jury prize. The Turkish-German director's film is set in his native Hamburg.

Colin Firth won best actor for his role as a gay college professor in Tom Ford's directorial debut "A Single Man." This film is based on a book by Christopher Isherwood.

Todd Solondz's dark comedy "Life During Wartime" won for best screenplay. This is Solondz's quasi-sequel to "Happiness."

Russian actress Xenia Rappoport won the best actress prize for her role as a mysterious chambermaid in Giuseppe Capotondi.s "The Double Hour." This »

- Manny

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Israeli Film Fund Backed Lebanon Wins Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival

12 September 2009 3:24 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Does this prize do anything to alleviate the protests against Israel's films being shown at such festivals as Toronto, Melbourne or Edinburgh? Are the protesters finding their actions are an unpopular distraction from the purpose of the festivals themselves to showcase world cinema and the visions of filmmakers? Thank you to the jury led by director Ang Lee of Venice Film Festival for awarding the Golden Lion to Samuel Moaz’s directorial debut Lebanon. Silver Lion for Best Director went to Lebanese woman director Shirin Neshat for Women Without Men, and a special jury prize went to Fatih Akin’s Soul Kitchen.

Jane Fonda has reportedly repudiated her stand with the letter writers condemning the choice of Tel Aviv in the inauguaral City to City Section of Tiff. Jane Fonda abandons protest against Israel at Toronto film festival

Screen International - Film industry news from UK, Us, Europe, Asia and »

- (Sydney)

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