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‘Alpha’ DVD Review

Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Morgan Freeman, Natassia Malthe, Leonor Varela, Mercedes de la Zerda, Jens Hultén, Priya Rajaratnam, Spencer Bogaert, Marcin Kowalczyk | Written by Albert Hughes, Daniele Sebastian Wiedenhaupt | Directed by Albert Hughes

An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age, Alpha tells a fascinating, visually stunning story that shines a light on the origins of man’s best friend. While on his first hunt with his tribe’s most elite group, a young man is injured and must learn to survive alone in the wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before winter arrives.

It’s somewhat difficult to articulate a considerably insightful review of Alpha, not because its a poor film as such, but in the vein
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

‘Alpha’ Review

Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Morgan Freeman, Natassia Malthe, Leonor Varela, Mercedes de la Zerda, Jens Hultén, Priya Rajaratnam, Spencer Bogaert, Marcin Kowalczyk | Written by Albert Hughes, Daniele Sebastian Wiedenhaupt | Directed by Albert Hughes

An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age, Alpha tells a fascinating, visually stunning story that shines a light on the origins of man’s best friend. While on his first hunt with his tribe’s most elite group, a young man is injured and must learn to survive alone in the wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before winter arrives.

It’s somewhat difficult to articulate a considerably insightful review of Alpha, not because its a poor film as such, but in the vein
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Alpha- Review

With the Summer winding down, and Labor Day well in sight, are moviegoers nostalgic for an adventure set it the “good ole’ days”? Hmmm, not sure if they were all that “good”, but the emphasis is on the “ole”, er “old” in the week’s new release. We’re going way, waaay back with this epic, around 20,000 years to be exact to the “cave man” tribal days, when humans were both hunters and the hunted. It’s not fun in fur skin time as in the comic strip “B.C.” or The Flintstones, nor is it the fantasy of early man evading dinosaurs as in the One Million Years B.C. films or the comedy Caveman (loved the stoned “stop -motion” T-Rex in that). . No, it’s a bit closer to the 1980’s double bill of Quest For Fire and Clan Of The Cave Bear, though more “family friendly” but
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘Alpha’ Film Review: Early Boy Meets Early Dog in Straightforward Prehistoric Adventure

  • The Wrap
‘Alpha’ Film Review: Early Boy Meets Early Dog in Straightforward Prehistoric Adventure
Everyone loves a dog who can play basketball, learn karate, save children from wells or help Tom Hanks solve mysteries. Heck, everyone seems to love dogs, period. But where did all that love come from?

Albert Hughes’ “Alpha” tells the story of the first wolf who became man’s best friend, in a film that could have been cheap and saccharine — like so many dog films before — but instead feels almost, but not entirely, mythic.

“Alpha” stars Kodi Smit-McPhee (“X-Men: Apocalypse”) as Keda, a teenage caveman from thousands of years ago, whose father Tau is chief of their tribe. Keda is about to embark on his first hunt, and along the way earns his tattoo of the Big Dipper (which might be important later) but also earns scorn for his inability to kill a captured boar.

Also Read: 'Dog Days' Film Review: Intertwined Lives of Owners and Pets
See full article at The Wrap »

Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Barbara Albert — “Mademoiselle Paradis”

Mademoiselle Paradis”: Tiff

Barbara Albert is a director and writer whose short films have been introduced at festivals around the world. Her first feature film “Nordrand,” or “Northern Skirts,” premiered at Venice International Film Festival in 1999 and earned her international acclaim. In the same year Albert founded the production company coop99, together with Martin Gschlacht, Jessica Hausner, and Antonin Svoboda. In 2016 she co-founded Berlin-based production company Cala Film, together with the producers of “Mademoiselle Paradis,” Martina Haubrich and Michael Kitzberger.

Mademoiselle Paradis” will premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on 8.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

BA: “Mademoiselle Paradis” is the coming-of-age story of a 18-year-old blind pianist, composer, and contemporary of Mozart. When she gets back her eyesight due to treatments by the ambitious doctor Franz Anton Mesmer, she, at the same time, loses her virtuosity.

How does one deal with the huge family and societal pressure in this situation? And how does a woman have to be, look like, and act to be accepted as an adequate human being and artist?

W&H: What drew you to this story?

BA: I read the novel “Mesmerized” by Alissa Walser and was immediately thrilled by the character of young, blind Maria Paradis. At the same time, the novel gives so many visual opportunities of telling this story. Both the story and the film deal with the act of seeing and being seen.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

BA: About their own opportunities and abilities, about who they see and who they don’t see — and about how and by whom history is written.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

BA: Finding the right pictures for a film that deals with pictures and sight. The movie’s cinematographer, Christine A. Maier, and I asked ourselves this question many times — if and when we should give Resi a point of view, even though she is blind.

A huge challenge for Maria-Victoria Dragus, the main actress, was the interpretation of a blind woman in the 18th century, and especially this ambivalent historic character.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

BA: The film was — also thanks to the power of endurance of my producers Michael Kitzberger and Martina Haubrich — financed by several Austrian and German public film funds and TV stations, as well as by the European Cinema Support Fund (Eurimages).

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at the Toronto International Film Festival?

BA: I am very happy and pleased that the film will be seen by an international audience and industry. It’s important to me that this universal story is seen not only in the country of its origin, but by a broader audience.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

BA: To be honest, I don’t listen very much when I receive advice. So the best advice I likely don’t remember, and the worst I probably also ignore.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

BA: I don’t believe so much in advice. Every one of us has to find her way of working and living by herself. Nevertheless, I would give the advice to find or create a lobby, so that you don’t have to be alone all the time. This helps! And continue your work with partners you had good experiences with, although I did not always do this myself.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

BA: Still “An Angel at My Table” by Jane Campion for its visual strength, pureness, emotional narration, and its narrative and visual details. For the great performance of the actresses, and for how Jane Campion shows the female body.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

BA: When I started with filmmaking in the early ’90s it was very common to talk about films made by “girls”— only once I was invited to panels/discussions on “girls make films” or “girl power.” At least now we talk about films by women and not “girls.”

In the meantime, there are activist groups like Fc Gloria and Pro Quote Regie and great platforms for female directors, as well as cinematographers, editors, production and costume designers, etc. This is something new and came up only in the last decade, which does make me optimistic. It is, however, a very slow process and just reflects the backlash of our history and times.

Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Barbara Albert — “Mademoiselle Paradis” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

European Film Awards: first seven winners announced

European Film Awards: first seven winners announced
Land Of Mine, Suffragette win early awards.

The first seven winners for the 29th European Film Awards - which take place on 10 December in Wroclaw, Poland - have been announced.

Martin Zandvliet’s war drama Land Of Mine leads the way with three awards.

The jury picked the winners for the cinematography, editing, design, costumes, hair and make-up, music and sound categories.

The winners are:

Cinematography: Camilla Hjelm Knudsen for Land Of MineEditing: Anne Østerud and Janus Billeskov Jansen for The CommuneDesign: Alice Normington for SuffragetteCostumes: Stefanie Bieker for Land Of MineHair and Make-Up: Barbara Kreuzer for Land Of MineMusic: Ilya Demutsky for The StudentSound: Radosław Ochnio for 11 Minutes

The seven jury members were production designer Benoît Barouh, costume designer Paco Delgado, cinematographer Martin Gschlacht, sound designer Dean Humphreys, editor Era Lapid, make-up artist Waldemar Pokromski and composer Giuliano Taviani.

Pierce Brosnan will receive the European Achievement in World Cinema award at the ceremony, which this year
See full article at ScreenDaily »

[Venice Review] Safari

Isn’t it strange how cinema’s greatest misanthropes always seem, deep down, to be the most empathetic. It’s as if the total lack of sentiment for (and complete fascination with) human nature somehow clears the way for a more profound understanding. Lars von Trier often shows warmth for his most debased subjects before pulling them apart. Michael Haneke might not portray it in his films quite so much, but he comes off as quite the softy when interviewed in the right light. In both his narrative features and, more recently, stylized documentaries, Ulrich Seidl has always been drawn to the seedier corners of Austrian society. Naturally, he feeds his subjects plenty of rope, but there’s always a lingering suspicion he might be on their side. His new doc, Safari, follows a group of so-called “canned hunters” in Africa, a subculture of people that choose to pay great
See full article at The Film Stage »

Goodnight Mommy review – alarming Austrian chiller

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.

Comparisons with Michael Haneke’s Funny Games and George Franju’s Eyes Without a Face seem inevitable, but
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Best Cinematography of 2015

“A cinematographer is a visual psychiatrist — moving an audience through a movie […] making them think the way you want them to think, painting pictures in the dark,” said the late, great Gordon Willis. As we continue our year-end coverage, one aspect we must highlight is indeed cinematography, among the most vital to the medium. From talented newcomers to seasoned professionals, we’ve rounded up the 22 examples that have most impressed us this year. Check out our rundown below and, in the comments, let us know your favorite work.

Amour Fou (Martin Gschlacht)

As if Dreyer had been sprung into the 21st century, Amour Fou stands with feet in formally classical and aesthetically modern doors — as rigid in composition as it is lucid in palette. Writer-director Jessica Hausner and cinematographer Martin Gschlacht have created a world in which it seems nothing will escape, making those moments of visual discord — an object
See full article at The Film Stage »

European Film Awards winners: Youth, Amy, The Lobster lead field

The European Film Awards were dished out over the weekend. At a ceremony in Berlin on Saturday evening, the Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel led comedy/ drama Youth won Best European Film with Caine also receiving Best Actor for the same film, and the Honorary Award for his extensive career. Charlotte Rampling got Best Actress for the stunning 45 Years, and also was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Best Director was also awarded to Youth and its helmer Paulo Sorrentino, while Yorgos Lanthimos won the screenwriting award for the brilliantly funny The Lobster. The animation award went to Song Of The Sea, while Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse documentary Amy won Best Documentary.

Michael Caine said of his duel win: “It’s been 50 years and I’ve never won an award in Europe. And now I’ve won two in one evening. It’s so strange because I [usually] sit
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Youth takes top prize at the European Film Awards 2015

The 2015 European Film Awards were presented in Berlin on Saturday evening, with Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth taking home the top prize, Best European Film, along with Best European Director (Sorrentino) and Best European Actor (Michael Caine). Meanwhile, Charlotte Rampling was named Best European Actress for her role in 45 Years.

You can see a full list of all the winners here…

Best European Film

The Lobster

“Mustang”

“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflection on Existence”

“Rams”

“Victoria”

Youth

Best European Director

Malgorzata Szumowska, “Body”

Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Lobster

Nanni Moretti, “Mia Madre

Roy Andersson, “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflection on Existence”

Sebastian Schipper, “Victoria”

Paolo Sorrentino, “Youth

Best European Actor

Michael Caine, “Youth

Tom Courtenay, “45 Years”

Colin Farrell, “The Lobster

Christian Friedel, “13 Minutes”

Vincent Lindon, “The Measure of a Man”

Best European Actress

Margherita Buy, “Mia Madre

Laia Costa, “Victoria”

Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”

Alicia Vikander, “Ex Machina

Rachel Weisz,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

European Film Awards full of political resonance

  • ScreenDaily
European Film Awards full of political resonance
Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth was among the big winners on an evening of political messages.Click Here For Full List Of Winners

Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth was the big winner at this year’s 28th European Film Awards on Saturday night in Berlin, taking home the top honour for European Film 2015 as well as the awards for European Director and European Actor.

These awards came only two years after Sorrentino’s previous film The Great Beauty bagged the same clutch of awards (plus Best European Editor) at the corresponding event.

Michael Caine was visibly moved when he came on stage to accept the European Actor trophy for his portrayal of an elderly composer and conductor. “It’s been 50 years and I’ve never won an award in Europe, and I’ve now won two in one evening,” the veteran actor quipped.

Earlier in the evening, nerves had almost got the better of Efa President Wim Wenders when he
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Caine, Rampling Take Home 2 Efa Awards Each

2015 European Film Awards winners and nominations Best European Film A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. En Duva Satt På En Gren Och Funderade På Tillvaron. Sweden, France, Germany, Norway, 96 min. Written and directed by: Roy Andersson. Produced by: Pernilla Sandström. Mustang. France, Germany, Turkey, 100 min. Directed by: Deniz Gamze Ergüven. Written by: Deniz Gamze Ergüven and Alice Winocour. Produced by: Charles Gillibert. Rams. Hrútar. Iceland, Denmark, 93 min. Written and directed by: Grímur Hákonarson. Produced by: Grímar Jónsson. The Lobster. U.K., Ireland, Greece, France, Netherlands, 118 min. Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos. Written by: Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou. Produced by: Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Ceci Dempsey and Yorgos Lanthimos. Victoria. Germany, 138 min. Written and directed by: Sebastian Schipper. Produced by: Jan Dressler. * Youth. Youth – La Giovinezza. Italy, France, U.K., Switzerland, 118 min. Written and directed by: Paolo Sorrentino. Produced by: Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima and Carlotta Calori. Best
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

EFAs 2015: full list of winners

  • ScreenDaily
EFAs 2015: full list of winners
Youth proved the big winner of the night scoring a hat-trick; Amy Winehouse documentary, The Lobster and Mustang among other winners.

The more than 3,000 members of the European Film Academy – filmmakers from across Europe – voted for this year’s European Film Awards. At the awards ceremony in Berlin on Saturday (Dec 12) the following awards were presented:

European Film 2015

Youth – La Giovinezza

Written & Directed By: Paolo Sorrentino

Produced By: Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima & Carlotta Calori

European Comedy 2015

A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence (En Duva Satt PÅ En Gren Och Funderade PÅ Tillvaron) by Roy Andersson

European Discovery 2015 – Prix Fipresci

Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven

European Documentary 2015

Amy by Asif Kapadia

European Animated Feature Film 2015

Song Of The Sea by Tomm Moore

European Short Film 2015

Picnic (Piknik) by Jure Pavlović

European Director 2015

Paolo Sorrentino for Youth (La Giovinezza)

European Actress 2015

Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years

European Actor 2015

Michael Caine in Youth (La Giovinezza
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Nominations for the 2015 European Film Awards announced

The nominations for the 2015 European Film Awards have been announced, with Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth and Yorgos LanthimosThe Lobster leading the pack with five nods apiece, including Best European Film and Best European Director. Check out a full list of the nominations here…

Best European Film

The Lobster

“Mustang”

“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflection on Existence”

“Rams”

“Victoria”

Youth

Best European Director

Malgorzata Szumowska, “Body”

Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Lobster

Nanni Moretti, “Mia Madre

Roy Andersson, “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflection on Existence”

Sebastian Schipper, “Victoria”

Paolo Sorrentino, “Youth

Best European Actor

Michael Caine, “Youth

Tom Courtenay, “45 Years”

Colin Farrell, “The Lobster

Christian Friedel, “13 Minutes”

Vincent Lindon, “The Measure of a Man”

Best European Actress

Margherita Buy, “Mia Madre

Laia Costa, “Victoria”

Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”

Alicia Vikander, “Ex Machina

Rachel Weisz, “Youth

Best European Screenwriter

Radu Jude and Florin Lazarescu, “Aferim!”

Alex Garland, “Ex Machina

Andrew Haigh,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Amour Fou | Blu-ray Review

It’s with great pleasure to see Austrian director Jessica Hausner’s fourth feature Amour Fou available on Blu-ray in the Us, considering several of her previous exemplary titles have failed to secure distribution altogether. Winner of Best Screenplay and Best Film Editing at Austrian Oscars, premiering her latest at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard sidebar, it’s an innovative exploration of the strange thing called love. Film Movement released the title in three theaters in early summer of 2015, and only managed to rake in around thirteen thousand in a three month run. Although it ultimately didn’t manage to heighten Hausner’s international profile as much as one would’ve hoped, with a little luck this should end up on some year-end best lists and continue to grasp a wider, more deserving audience.

Hausner reveals her strongest work yet, a droll, romantic exploration of sorts
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

'The Lobster,' 'Goodnight Mommy' Win European Film Awards

'The Lobster,' 'Goodnight Mommy' Win European Film Awards
Austria's terrifying Oscar submission "Goodnight Mommy" and director Yorgos Lanthimos' popular Cannes entry "The Lobster" are among the first winners of the 28th annual European Film Awards, which will be handed out by the European Film Academy Dec. 12 in Berlin. Nominees for European Film, Comedy, Director, Screenwriter, Actress, and Actor will be announced Nov. 7 at the Seville European Film Festival. Read More: "Horror Fans: Don't Miss Austria's Shocking Oscar Entry 'Goodnight Mommy'" A seven-member jury chose the prizewinners in cinematography, editing, production design, costume design, composer, and sound design from the Efa Selection list and additional film entries. Read the full list of honorees below: Read More: "Cannes: 'Dogtooth' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Scores with Surreal, Macabre 'The Lobster' (Review and Roundup)" European Cinematographer 2015 – Prix Carlo di Palma: Martin Gschlacht for Goodnight Mommy (Ich Seh Ich...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Review: Goodnight Mommy

  • DailyDead
It’s hard to discuss what truly makes Goodnight Mommy such a powerhouse cinematic experience without revealing some of the ingenious twists to it; suffice to say, very rarely does a film come along that leaves my proverbial jaw on the floor, but such is the case with this Austrian thriller from directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, who have crafted a film that’s thoughtful, intense and wrought with emotion and palpable tension throughout. Without a doubt, Goodnight Mommy is truly one of the best pure horror films of 2015.

Goodnight Mommy follows twin brothers Lukas and Elias (played by Lukas and Elias Schwarz) as they eagerly await the return of their mother (Susanne Wuest), who has been undergoing radical cosmetic surgery. When she returns, her face is completely bandaged and her disposition is chilly and confrontational with her children. Suspecting that the woman in their home is not their mother,
See full article at DailyDead »

Facing the music by Anne-Katrin Titze

Goodnight Mommy directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz on Ulrich Seidl and Michael Haneke: "It seems to be true because many artists reflect that kind of atmosphere." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala's Goodnight Mommy starring Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz and Susanne Wuest, produced by Ulrich Seidl is the corner of your mind where Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Georges Franju, Damien Hirst and Michael Haneke meet in Nobuhiko Obayashi's House (Hausu) and invite Gregor Samsa to converge with the von Trapp family.

After a short prelude in the form of a clip from an Austrian version of the Sound Of Music story, starring Ruth Leuwerik, we settle into the country house of a woman (Wuest) who has just undergone extensive facial surgery. Her twin sons, Lukas and Elias, are seen spending the time on the grounds around the isolated house.

Hello Mommy Susanne Wuest:
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Amour Fou | Review

Love Fool: Hausner’s Latest an Exquisitely Shot, Humorous Exploration of Love and Death

With her fourth feature film, Amour Fou, Austrian director Jessica Hausner reveals her strongest work yet, a droll, romantic exploration of sorts that manages to expertly blend her unique tone with exquisite digital compositions from her longtime cinematographer Martin Gschlacht. In comparison to their first outing together, 2001’s Lovely Rita, their mastery of the digital image couldn’t be more strikingly apparent. Whereas that film’s complex subject suffered greatly from the rather jarring presentation of image and jagged zooms, here they’ve controlled the medium fantastically. The film’s look is so remarkably beautiful that non-German speakers will be hard pressed to keep up with subtitles as they soak in her unique tale of dying for love.

In 1811 during the last several months of German poet Heinrich von Kleist’s (Christian Friedel) life, his search
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »
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