18 items from 2012
Title: Wild Horse, Wild Ride Directors: Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus Director Cindy Meehl’s soulful, Sundance-minted “Buck,” which told the story of quietly charismatic horse whisperer Buck Brannaman, illustrated just about as well as any film could the unique and poignant connection between man and horse, and how taming wild or otherwise unruly mustangs is a process that often reveals as much about the owner as it does the horse. Following in its nonfiction footsteps (or horseshoe tracks, I guess) is “Wild Horse, Wild Ride,” an engaging look at a bunch of folks who try to do just that. As with many other documentaries of sub-cultural curiosity, “Wild Horse, Wild [ Read More ] »
Oddly enough, I can say for certain that I appreciated Robert Redford’s The Horse Whisperer more before I saw the 2011 documentary Buck which focused on Buck Brannaman, the man upon whom Redford’s character was based. Upon re-examination, Redford’s overly sappy and far too long fictionalization spends too much time on a romance that’s as obvious a half hour in as it is when the credits roll, unfortunately Redford decided it necessary to spend about three hours watching it unfold when two would have easily sufficed. At least it has some great performances by Redford, Chris Cooper, and Kristin Scott Thomas driving that ridiculously long germination period forward. The turn by the young Scarlett Johansson, on the other hand, stands as one of the most overwrought and unrealistically characterized children the screen has ever seen.
- Lex Walker
You'll wonder how you swallowed Robert Redford's ersatz Americana after watching this Sundance-praised horse-whisperer doc
Saddle up for a one-way ticket to inspirationville: this Sundance-wowing documentary gives an insight into the real-life horse whisperer, child abuse backstory and all. Buck Brannaman is the sort of copper-bottomed authentic that makes you wonder how you ever swallowed Robert Redford's blow-dried impression. Half nag, all guru, he burrs wise words about wrangling men and beasts, one's primal nature and one's animal altruism. Yet he's also acid enough to balance out the slight tang of treacle in Meehl's treatment. There's a whole heap of Americana to wallow in here, but it's testimony to the director and subject that Buck still trots along at such a lick. Catherine Shoard
DocumentarySundance film festivalCatherine Shoard
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- Catherine Shoard
Among the charges most regularly levelled at Steven Spielberg is that his movies are over-egged puddings that trade in rank melodrama and infantilising sentimentality. A whinnying chorus of such dismissive jeers greeted the arrival of War Horse (2011, DreamWorks, 12) late last year, with some predictably sniffy manure being thrown at this most populist auteur's emotional Grand National. Admittedly neither understatement nor brevity has ever been Spielberg's strong point, hence the much repeated joke: War Horse walks into a bar, barman says: "Why the long film?"
Yet to complain that this nostalgically cinematic adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's bestselling book (and feted stage adaptation) is somewhat soft around the edges is to forget that the source story was specifically aimed at younger readers. No, this is not a four-legged revisiting of the beach scenes from Saving Private Ryan, which portrayed the horrors of war in shockingly visceral form. »
- Mark Kermode
Thanks to the wonderful guys at Revolver Entertainment, we have Five copies of Cindy Meehl's critically-acclaimed documentary Buck (2011) plus Five quad posters signed by Buck Brannaman himself to give away to our lucky readers, ahead of the film's UK DVD release on 7 May. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue.
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He can rope a cow in a snowstorm and perform a caesarean with a penknife. Buck Brannaman tells Catherine Shoard why city folk are galloping to see his new documentary
Buck Brannaman is aware he has enormous hands. But as befits the "Zen master of the horse world", he's pretty modest about them. "Perhaps it's just that people in Britain don't have very big hands," says the wrangler who has been tossed off just about every troubled steed from Montana to Idaho. "I've shook hands with a lot of guys today and I was thinking, 'Well, mine just covers yours up completely.'"
It's not just the warm swaddle of those big mitts that makes a meeting with the original horse whisperer (the man who turned fixing abused and injured animals into an art form) feel like a soothing dose of ketamine. It's also the easy formality with which he wears his Stetson, »
- Catherine Shoard
As enjoyable a documentary as I've seen this past couple of years, Buck is a lively portrait of Buck Brannaman, an altogether remarkable Montana cowboy now aged around 60, who spends 40 weeks a year driving around the States from Maine to California putting on clinics to help people handle and understand their horses. His loving mother died when he was 12, leaving him and his brother in the care of a violent, overbearing alcoholic father, from whom they were taken by the law and handed over to sympathetic foster parents. From this traumatic experience he learned how to treat people and animals, and there is something beautiful about the way he deals with horses and their owners. He was an adviser on Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer and, so one gathers, virtually took over the direction of a key sequence in which a wary horse and its troubled owner (played by Scarlett Johansson) are brought together. »
- Philip French
Damsels In Distress (12A)
Stillman casts a wry eye across the college campus, and settles on Gerwig's clique of preppy girls who confuse charity with condescension. The result is distinctively articulate, witty, gently surreal and hilariously sarcastic. But as well as parodying these misguided teens, Stillman clearly has great sympathy for them. It's good to have him back.
Avengers Assemble (12A)
Considering the lack of leeway Whedon had with this superhero juggernaut, he pulls off a remarkable feat, keeping all the plates spinning with as much irony as he can get away with. It descends into a numbing effects orgy, but it's fast and fun along the way.
Albert Nobbs (15)
Close's committed performance anchors this »
- Steve Rose
Cindy Meehl's study of the real-life horse whisperer will have you falling at his feet, but it's no less fine for its partiality
Saddle up for for a one-way ticket to inspirationville: this Sundance-wowing documentary gives an insight into the real-life horse whisperer, child abuse backstory and all. Buck Brannaman is the sort of copper-bottomed authentic that makes you wonder how we ever swallowed Robert Redford's blow-dried impression. Half nag, half guru, he burrs wise words about wrangling men and beasts, one's primal nature and one's animal altruism. Yet he's also acid enough to balance out the slight tang of treacle in Meehl's treatment. There's a whole heap of Americana to wallow in here, but it's testimony to the director and subject that Buck still trots along at such a lick.
DocumentaryAnimalsRobert RedfordCatherine Shoard
guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. »
- Catherine Shoard
Another busy weeks of cinema releases this week but despite the wide array of movie offerings, there’s clearly one fantastical, latex-clad, cross-over blockbuster which towers above all the others. I am of course referring, to Strippers Vs Werewolves.
Apparently there’s some small, niche movie about a bunch of crazy vigilantes who gang up to fight with one of their mentally disturbed brothers, but I doubt you’ve heard of it.
No, but seriously folks, stitch your sides back together and i’ll level with you, The Avengers Assemble is out this Friday and after the months of trailers, stills, clips and more trailers, the anticipation is as they say at fever pitch. I imagine many of us have tickets booked up for the opening weekend already and after near unanimously positive reviews in the press, expectations are sky high.
As one might expect, few studios have bothered putting »
- Rob Keeling
★★★★☆ Buck Brannaman appears to be your average modern-day cowboy; yet in the equestrian world and beyond, he is nothing short of a superstar. In the inspirational and emotionally-charged documentary Buck (2011), the first feature release from Cindy Meehl, we meet an enigmatic man who possesses an extraordinary gift to communicate and heal troubled or misbehaving horses across the United States.
Read more » »
It’s a star-studded list that includes some interesting, and surprising, names, which is just what you’d expect from the Tribeca Film Festival. The juries have been announced, and you could hardly got a more varied mix.
Juries Announced For 2012 Tribeca Film Festival And Tribeca Film Institute Programs
Academy Award-Winning Producer/Director Irwin Winkler To Serve as Jury President
Patricia Clarkson, Hugh Dancy, Rosario Dawson, Dakota Fanning, Whoopi Goldberg, Susannah Grant, Kellan Lutz, Michael Moore, Mike Newell, Brett Ratner, Susan Sarandon, Olivia Wilde, and Shailene Woodley are among the Jurors
The Tribeca Film Festival (Tff), presented by founding partner American Express, today announced its jurors – a diverse group of 39 individuals, including award-winning filmmakers, writers and producers, acclaimed actors, respected critics and global business leaders. Irwin Winkler has been named President of the Jury. The Jury will be divided among the six competitive Festival categories and will announce the winning films, »
- Marc Eastman
It's that time, I just finished watching the last film from 2011 I had time to watch before offering up my final 2012 Oscar predictions and I'm glad I did as it is now among my nominees whereas before it wasn't. Tomorrow the 2012 Oscar nominations will be announced and many questions will be answered while new ones will sprout up. Most categories have their clear front-runners, but down near the bottom of each list the potential nominees became a bit hazy not to mention the technical categories where damn near anything can happen. For Best Picture I batted around several possibilities after I got beyond the six films I feel are absolute locks and the idea of just how many films will the Academy end up nominating? This year there can be anywhere from five to ten nominees for Best Picture and we won't know how many there are until tomorrow's announcement. »
- Brad Brevet
By now, everyone knows that while Sundance 2011 had a record year in terms of acquisitions, the proceeding box office did not follow suit. That said, ragging on Sundance sales prospects is as old as the festival itself. This year, as with every other, there's no doubt that films will sell; the only thing that changes are what guides buyers toward their purchases. So here's Indiewire's Top Five Guidelines For Successful Film Buying at Sundance 2012. All are subject, if not guaranteed, to change. A cast is good; a character is better. As Indiewire detailed last month, the success of "Buck" had as much to do with the marketing of its subject as its subject matter. Horse-whispering cowboy Buck Brannaman is an honest-to-god unique character who easily translated the documentary's concept to millions via in-theater and festival appearances as well as rapturous Today Show slots (where he was described as a "chick, »
At last night's documentary community love fest that is the annual Cinema Eye Honors, Steve James' Oscar-snubbed "The Interrupters" took home the award for best feature film and best director. "The Interrupters" examines a group of Chicago citizens who organize to intervene in street disputes. "Tonight, I really don't care about the Oscars," said James. Ameena Matthews, the charismatic subject of his film who was recently named 2011's best film performance by Time Magazine, countered, "I still care about the Oscars!" Cindy Meehl's horse-whisperer documentary "Buck" won the Audience Choice Prize. After receiving the inaugural Hell Yeah Prize, given to honor a documentary with real-world impact, "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" director Joe Berlinger recounted the experience of debuting the first "Paradise Lost" film on HBO. "Something magical happened," Berlinger »
Steve James' The Interrupters Steve James' The Interrupters, Frederick Wiseman's Harrowing Expose Titicut Follies Win Cinema Eye Honors Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking: The Interrupters directed by Steve James; produced by Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James Outstanding Achievement in Direction: Steve James, The Interrupters Audience Choice Prize: Buck, directed by Cindy Meehl Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film: Clio Barnard, The Arbor Outstanding Achievement in Production: Gian-Piero Ringel and Wim Wenders, Pina Outstanding Achievement in Editing: Gregers Sall and Chris King, Senna Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: Danfung Dennis, Hell and Back Again Outstanding Achievement in an Original Music Score: John Kusiak, Tabloid Spotlight Award: The Tiniest Place, directed by Tatiana Huezo Sánchez Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design and Animation: Rob Feng and Jeremy Landman, Tabloid Heterodox Award: Beginners, directed by Mike Mills Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking: Diary, directed by Tim Hetherington Hell Yeah Prize: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, »
- Andre Soares
Frederick Wiseman's Titicut Follies Steve James' The Interrupters topped the 2012 Cinema Eye Honors announced earlier this evening. The Interrupters received honors as Best Nonfiction Film and for Best Director, a first in the organization's five-year history. [Full list of Cinema Eye Honors winners.] Despite generally positive reviews and several Us-based critics' awards, The Interrupters is not in the running for the 2012 Oscars. Curiously, seventeen years ago the absence of James' Hoop Dreams from the list of Academy Award nominees sparked a furor against the Academy's Documentary Branch. "Tonight, I don't care about the Oscars!" James exclaimed while accepting his award from Michael Moore, the Academy's current Documentary Branch governor. Moore recently came up with new (and somewhat controversial) rules that are intended to open up the selection of semi-finalists and nominees for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar. Among this year's other Cinema Eye Honor winners were Cindy Meehl's Buck, which took home the Audience Choice Prize; Wim Wenders' Pina, »
- Andre Soares
Cindy Meehl's Buck, a Cedar Creek Productions documentary about the amazing, revolutionary, almost spiritual horse trainer Buck Brannaman, made the Oscar shortlist and Roger Ebert's list of the Best Documentaries of 2011. Meehl tells The Hollywood Reporter how she made a hit her first time in the director's saddle. THR: Brannaman inspired the novel and the 1998 film The Horse Whisperer, and Robert Redford explains in your film how as a consultant, Brannaman helped him nail some of the trickiest scenes in his movie -- including a sensitive scene with a horse that did great things for young Scarlett Johansson's career.
- Tim Appelo
18 items from 2012
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