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Criterion Picks on Fandor: Cats!

Each week, the fine folks at Fandor add a number of films to their Criterion Picks area, which will then be available to subscribers for the following twelve days. This week, the Criterion Picks focus on eight films featuring cats!

Need we say more? Meet the furry feline familiars that have graced some of the world’s greatest movies with their mercurial and mesmerizing presence.

Don’t have a Fandor subscription? They offer a free trial membership.

L’Atalante, the French Classic Drama by Jean Vigo

In Jean Vigo’s hands, an unassuming tale of conjugal love becomes an achingly romantic reverie of desire and hope.

Cléo from 5 to 7, the French Drama by Agnès Varda

Agnès Varda eloquently captures Paris in the sixties with this real-time portrait of a singer set adrift in the city as she awaits test results of a biopsy.

Grey Gardens, the Documentary by Ellen Hovde,
See full article at CriterionCast »

200 Greatest Horror Films (80-71)

Special Mention: Spirits Of The Dead (Histoires extraordinaires)

Written and directed by Federico Fellini (segment “Toby Dammit”), Louis Malle (segment “William Wilson”), Roger Vadim (segment “Metzengerstein”)

France, 1968

The first thing you should notice is the three directors: Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, and Roger Vadim. Secondly, take notice of the cast, which includes Brigitte Bardot, Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda, Alain Delon, Terence Stamp, Salvo Randone, James Robertson Justice, Françoise Prévost and Marlène Alexandre. Spirits Of The Dead is an adaptation of three Edgar Allan Poe stories, one of which demands to be seen.

The first segment of the film, Vadim’s “Metzgengerstein”, is unfortunately the least impressive, but is still great in its own right, and features a marvelous performance by Jane Fonda. Malle’s segment, which is the second of the three, turns Edgar Allan Poe’s 1839 story into an engrossing study in cruelty and sadism. This episode is an engaging enough entry,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Definitive Foreign Language Horror Films: 30-21

What is it about foreign horror films that makes them more interesting than so many English language horror films? You would have to think that the language barrier makes it more terrifying; people screaming is already difficult, but speaking a language you don’t understand can only make it worse. So, why are the remakes typically so bad? On this portion of the list, we are treated to a few of the more upsetting films in the canon – one movie I wouldn’t wish for anyone to see, a few that blazed the trail for many more, and one that I would elevate above the horror genre into its own little super-genre.

30. Janghwa, Hongryeon (2003)

English Title: A Tale of Two Sisters

Directed by: Kim Ji-woon

Another excellent Korean horror film America had to remake to lesser results. 2003’s A Tale of Two Sisters is just one of many film adaptations of the folktale,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Man, God and ‘Island Life’

The island setting’s tangible existentialism made it a key figure for the burgeoning art cinema movement of the early 1960s: Through a Glass Darkly (1961), the first of many Ingmar Bergman films set on Fårö; Naked Island (1960), Kaneto Shindô’s lyrical depiction of a farming family’s hardships; Peter Brook’s adaptation of Lord of the Flies (1963); and Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’avventura (1960). Contra Rossellini, these are all films that marshal considerable aesthetic resources to suggest man’s estrangement from God. Most influentially, Antonioni allows his narrative to unspool when a society woman disappears during a pleasure cruise through the same rocky Aeolian Islands.>> - Max Goldberg
See full article at Keyframe »

Man, God and ‘Island Life’

The island setting’s tangible existentialism made it a key figure for the burgeoning art cinema movement of the early 1960s: Through a Glass Darkly (1961), the first of many Ingmar Bergman films set on Fårö; Naked Island (1960), Kaneto Shindô’s lyrical depiction of a farming family’s hardships; Peter Brook’s adaptation of Lord of the Flies (1963); and Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’avventura (1960). Contra Rossellini, these are all films that marshal considerable aesthetic resources to suggest man’s estrangement from God. Most influentially, Antonioni allows his narrative to unspool when a society woman disappears during a pleasure cruise through the same rocky Aeolian Islands.>> - Max Goldberg
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Top 100 Horror Movies: How Truly Horrific Are They?

Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Definitive Foreign Language Horror Films: 30-21

What is it about foreign horror films that makes them more interesting than so many English language horror films? You would have to think that the language barrier makes it more terrifying; people screaming is already difficult, but speaking a language you don’t understand can only make it worse. So, why are the remakes typically so bad? On this portion of the list, we are treated to a few of the more upsetting films in the canon – one movie I wouldn’t wish for anyone to see, a few that blazed the trail for many more, and one that I would elevate above the horror genre into its own little super-genre.

30. Janghwa, Hongryeon (2003)

English Title: A Tale of Two Sisters

Directed by: Kim Ji-woon

Another excellent Korean horror film America had to remake to lesser results. 2003′s A Tale of Two Sisters is just one of many film adaptations of the folktale,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

31 Days of Horror: 100 Greatest Horror Films: Top 75

Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. I am including documentaries, short films and mini series, only as special mentions – along with a few features that can qualify as horror, but barely do.

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Special Mention:

Häxan

Directed by Benjamin Christensen

Denmark / Sweden, 1922

Häxan (a.k.a The Witches or Witchcraft Through The Ages) is a 1922 silent documentary about the history of witchcraft,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Blu-ray Review: 'Kuroneko' (MoC)

  • CineVue
★★★★☆ The latest welcome addition to the Masters of Cinema's growing Kaneto Shindô catalogue, the cult Japanese director's 1968 film Kuroneko (Yabu no naka no kuroneko) feels like the near-perfect partner piece to his demonic earlier effort, Onibaba. Celebrating both pictures' atmospheric, effortlessly sensual and often terrifying feudal Japan-set ghostly narratives, the restoration and ongoing preservation of these two mini masterworks has rightly helped the late Shindô to earn the kind of acclaim and reverence previously reserved for iconic figureheads such as Akira Kurosawa and Yasujirō Ozu.

Loosely based on the Japanese folktale The Cat's Return, Kuroneko begins with the brutal rape and murder of a poverty-stricken mother and daughter-in-law (Nobuko Otowa and Kiwako Taichi) at the cruel hands of a pillaging band of low-life samurai. Brought back from the dead as vengeful, vampiric cat spirits, the unholy duo take it upon themselves to prey on wayward soldiers trespassing across their accursed place of rest.
See full article at CineVue »

Blu-ray Review: 'The Naked Island' (MoC)

  • CineVue
★★★★☆ Kaneto Shindô's Naked Island (Hadaka no shima, 1960) receives the Blu-ray treatment this week thanks to the UK's foremost purveyors of highly acclaimed filmic artefacts - Eureka's Masters of Cinema label. Presenting the intolerably difficult life of a peninsula-dwelling family, Naked Island is a cinematic ode to life separated from civilisation and a masterfully crafted portrait of devotion. Each day, the family travel via boat across the precarious sea to a neighbouring island, gathering fresh water to irrigate their barren fields and pouring it by hand over each of the plants fighting against the odds in this desolate terrain.

Shindô perfectly captures the monotony of this daily chore, crafting a seemingly endless cycle of repetitiveness and the futility of life on the edges of humanity. This incessant sequence of tiresome survival is only broken twice, once for a day trip to a neighbouring town where the advancements of technology are met with fear and trepidation,
See full article at CineVue »

Kuroneko released per Entertainment’s Masters Of Cinema Series on Blu-ray

Kuroneko, the classic 1960s Japanese ghost-story by Kaneto Shindô, will be released as part of Eureka Entertainment’s Masters Of Cinema Series on Blu-ray on 24 June 2013.

Eureka Entertainment have announced that they will be releasing an updated 1080p edition of Kuroneko, the cult-classic film by Kaneto Shindô, the director of Onibaba, recently re-released in the West to great acclaim and theatrical success. This classic of ’60s Japanese ghost-story cinema will be released on blu-ray, … Continue reading →
See full article at Horror News »

100 + Greatest Horror Movies (Pt.1)

Throughout the month of October, Editor-in-Chief and resident Horror expert Ricky D, will be posting a list of his favorite Horror films of all time. The list will be posted in six parts. Click here to see every entry.

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Enjoy!

150: Session 9

Directed by Brad Anderson

Written by Stephen Gevedon and Brad Anderson

2001, USA

If there was ever a perfect setting for a horror movie, it would be the abandoned Danvers State Mental Hospital. Built in 1878 on an isolated site in rural Massachusetts, it was a multi-acre, self-contained psychiatric hospital rumoured to have been the birthplace of the pre-frontal lobotomy. The hospital was the setting for the 2001 horror film Session 9, where an asbestos clean-up crew discover a series of nine tapes, which have recorded a patient with multiple personalities, all of which are innocent, except for number nine. With a shoestring budget and no real special effects, Session 9
See full article at SoundOnSight »

DVD: DVD: Kuroneko

In Kaneto Shindô’s 1968 Kuroneko (“Black Cat”), a beguiling supernatural horror-romance that doesn’t seem to belong to either genre, the spirit world not only co-exists with the material world, but is literally carved into it, like a secret portal or booby trap. Set in a feudal Japan where samurai are more scourge than savior to the peasant class, the film opens with a harrowing scene of weary warriors invading a country home, raping and murdering the two women inside, and burning it to the ground. When the victims return as vengeful spirits, they reside in a fog-shrouded netherworld ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Greatest Horror Movies Ever Made Part 7: The 62 Greatest (# 62-32)

Choosing my favourite horror films of all time is like choosing between my children – not that I have children, but if I did, I am sure I would categorize them quite like my DVD collection. As with all lists, this is personal and nobody will agree with every choice – and if you do, that would be incredibly disturbing. Also, it was almost impossible for me to rank them in order, but I tried. I based my list taking into consideration three points:

1- Technical accomplishments / artistry and their influence on the genre.

2- How many times I’ve revisited the films and how easily it makes for a repeated viewings.

3- Its story, atmosphere and how much it affected me when I first watched them.

Finally, there are many great films such as The Witchfinder General, The Wickerman and even Hour Of The Wolf that won’t appear here. I
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Blu-Ray Review: ‘Kuroneko’ Hauntingly Foreshadows Modern Asian Horror

Chicago – Halloween just isn’t the same without an Onryō. Thanks to America’s tireless remakes of Japanese horror films, the materialization of Onryōs in pop culture has become as much of a seasonal tradition as witches and goblins. They’re often characterized by long black hair, white robes, bodily contortions, tragic backstories and an unquenchable thirst for vengeance beyond the grave.

In short, Onryōs unnervingly embody the old adage that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…even a dead one.” It’s easy to see how spine-tingling modern classics like “Ringu” and “Ju-on: The Grudge” followed in the ghostly footsteps of Kaneto Shindô’s overlooked 1968 masterwork, “Kuroneko” (“Black Cat”). Though the film is more hypnotic than scary, it still manages to creep under the skin as it spins a tale of real emotional and erotic power.

Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

As in Shindô’s better-known 1964 classic, “Onibaba,” this film
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

New Blu-ray and DVD Releases: Oct. 18th

Rank the week of October 18th’s Blu-ray and DVD new releases against the best films of all-time: New Releases Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

(Blu-ray & DVD | PG13 | 2011)

Flickchart Ranking: #1487

Win Percentage: 47%

Times Ranked: 8433

Top-20 Rankings: 50

Directed By: Rob Marshall

Starring: Johnny DeppPenélope CruzIan McShaneKevin McNallyGeoffrey Rush

Genres: Action • Adventure • Costume Adventure • Fantasy • Sea Adventure • Swashbuckler

Rank This Movie

Bad Teacher

(Blu-ray & DVD | R | 2011)

Flickchart Ranking: #3281

Win Percentage: 42%

Times Ranked: 3361

Top-20 Rankings: 19

Directed By: Jake Kasdan

Starring: Cameron DiazJustin TimberlakeJason SegelLucy PunchPhyllis Smith

Genres: Comedy • Farce • Sex Comedy

Rank This Movie

Red State

(Blu-ray & DVD | Nr | 2011)

Flickchart Ranking: #2738

Win Percentage: 53%

Times Ranked: 1781

Top-20 Rankings: 12

Directed By: Kevin Smith

Starring: Michael ParksJohn GoodmanMelissa LeoKevin PollakMichael Angarano

Genres: Drama • Horror • Religious Drama • Thriller

Rank This Movie

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest

(Blu-ray & DVD
See full article at Flickchart »

This Week in Dork: February 13 – 19

This Week in Dork is a new feature that will attempt to encapsulate all of the dorky events happening in and around Toronto every week. Sure, “This Week in Geek” sounds better, but there’s a little thing called copyright which prevents us from calling it that.

You can see more events happening this week here, but these are some of the highlights:

Kuroneko

This 1968 medieval-horror film directed by Japanese auteur Kaneto Shindô (Onibaba) sees the ghosts of two murdered women out for revenge against samurai-class responsible for their deaths. Kuroneko is definitely not your typical Valentine’s Day fare.

Feb. 14, 4:30Pm @ Bloor Cinema

$5 members /$9 non-members

More details here.

Anti-Valentine’s Day Event

Alone for Valentine’s Day or looking to do something a little different with your sweetheart? Check out the Anti-Valentine’s Day Event at the Toronto Underground Cinema, featuring the classic 1975 adult-film Sensations. The film was
See full article at DorkShelf.com »

See also

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