3 items from 2014
Damian Szifron, whose “Wild Tales” is repping Argentina in the Oscar foreign-language race, is no stranger to rousing success. His first project, the darkly comic 2002-03 TV series “Los Simuladores” (The Pretenders), achieved cult status in Argentina, and was remade in Spain, Mexico, Chile and Russia by Sony Pictures TV Intl. He went on to write and helm equally acclaimed feature films, starting with “El Fondo del Mar” (The Bottom of the Sea) in 2003 and police comedy “Tiempo de Valientes” (On Probation) two years later. In 2006, he wrote and directed TV skein “Hermanos y Detectives” (Brothers and Detectives), which has been remade in various countries, including Mexico, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Russia.
Despite his quick rise to success, getting film projects off the ground continued to be a challenge. “Wild Tales” sprang from this frustration. “Like an unwanted child who one ends up loving deeply, ‘Wild Tales’ was an involuntary project, »
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
We’re back with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting the recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes a trailer for Exists, Don’t Blink, and The Wolves of Savin Hill, an announcement of the Fifth Annual PollyGrind Film Festival, Dead Rage first details, and more:
New Clip from Exists: “For five friends, it was a chance for a summer getaway – a weekend of camping in the Texas Big Thicket. But visions of a carefree vacation are shattered with an accident on a dark and desolate country road. In the wake of the accident, a blood curdling force of nature is unleashed – something not exactly human, but not completely animal – an urban legend come to terrifying life and seeking murderous revenge.
- Tamika Jones
For pure viewing pleasure, the one wild card in the Cannes competition this year is unlikely to be beaten. Argentine helmer Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales” is a wickedly delightful compendium of six standalone shorts united by a theme of vengeance — the kind that explodes in spectacular bursts after a put-upon soul is screwed over too many times. While not all the episodes are equally successful, and most are variations on formulas seen elsewhere, the overall enjoyment rarely flags. Sony Classics’ Cannes pickup bodes well for a modestly fruitful Stateside release, though Euro and Latin American play will likely be more rewarding.
The Almodovar brothers’ names on the producers’ roll call correctly signals a subversive humor that manages to be both psychologically astute and all-out outrageous, something not immediately apparent in Szifron’s generically amusing buddy/cop caper “On Probation.” It’s not just that his budget is greater here, »
- Jay Weissberg
3 items from 2014
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