Bicycle Thieves (1948) - News Poster

News

'Bhayanakam' director Jayaraj, Malayalam cinema's non-conformist who treads his own path

Mollywood'Bhayanakam' won three National Awards this year.CV AravindFacebook/Jayaraj NairMalayalam cinema has reaped a rich harvest at the National Awards for 2017 and three of those awards were won by the yet to be released film Bhayanakam. The awards were for Best Direction (Jayaraj), Best Adapted Screenplay (Jayaraj) and Best Cinematography (Nikhil S Praveen). For director Jayaraj who helmed his first film Vidyarambham in 1988 and is still going strong, this was his second National Award for Best Director. The first came way back in 1997 for the internationally acclaimed Kaliyattam starring then mainstream hero Suresh Gopi in the lead role. Apart from several National Awards, Jayaraj's work has also won international honours at various film festivals. An engineering graduate, Jayaraj was drawn to films after being fascinated by classics like Akiro Kurosowa’s Rashomon and Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves. Fortunately for the young man, he had as his neighbor one of Malayalam cinema’s most celebrated directors, Bharathan. Bharathan took Jayaraj under his wing and their first collaboration together was Chilambam. Jayaraj assisted the veteran in six more films, including the lavishly mounted Vaishali. After getting his first break with Vidyarambham, Jayaraj went on to direct several films that did precious little to further his career. Most of them were commercial ventures like Aakasha Kottayile Sultan, Johnnie Walker, Highway, Arabia, Kudumbasameham etc. But the first film in which Jayaraj showed flashes of his brilliance was Desadanam, released in 1997. The film which eschewed commercial ingredients in toto, narrated the story of a young boy all set to renounce material life and embrace the life of a sanyasi and the emotional churn in the lives of his parents who are loath to part with him. The film turned out to be a commercial success and also won the National Award for the Best Regional Film. But the film that created a greater impact was Kaliyattam, also released in 1997 an adaption of Shakespeare’s Othello. The principal characters of Theyyam artistes were played by Suresh Gopi, Lal and Biju Menon, with Lal playing Iago to Gopi’s Othello and Manju Warrier, with her large expressive eyes was cast as Desdemona. Misled by Paniyan ( Lal), Kannan Perumalayan (Suresh Gopi) suspects his wife’s fidelity and slays her, only to realise later that she was innocent of his suspicions. Stung with remorse, Perumalyaan kills himself. Jayaraj won the National Award for Best Director for the film and Suresh Gopi was adjudged the Best Actor. After flirting with comedy in Thilakkam, starring Dileep and Kavya Madhavan, Jayaraj again captivated audiences with his hard hitting film 4 The People, a story of four engineering college students who raise a banner of revolt against corruption. The major highlight of the film, however, was Jassie Gift’s music score with a few numbers turning into chartbusters. While 4 The People was a hit, the other two films which were part of the trilogy - By the People and Of the People turned out to be damp squibs. Jayaraj embarked on a series of films, dubbing them as a ‘navarasa’ series and the culmination of the journey was Bhayanakam. The films were titled Shantham, Karunam, Bheebats (Hindi with Seema Biswas and Atul Kulkarni), Adhbudham, Veeram and Bhayanakam. Except Bhayanakam which is expected to hit the screens this month, all the other films were released commercially to varying degrees of success. Veeram, which had Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor in the lead, was an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and was a period film set in 13th century Kerala. A painstaking effort by Jayaraj, his cast and technicians, the film which had Kerala’s celebrated martial arts discipline ‘kalari’ as a backdrop met with little success at the box-office. Bhayanakam was based on a couple of chapters that were a part of Jnanpith winning author Thakazhi Sivashankara Pillai’s epic novel Kayar. A simple film with a few characters, Bhayanakam is set in the days of World War II and the protagonist isa postman (Renji Panikkar) who delivers money orders from soldiers to their kin in a village in the pre-war days. With the outbreak of war, the same postman turns into an omen of death, carrying telegrams conveying tragic news of ultimate sacrifice on the war front and becomes a dreaded figure. Among the oeuvres of this director who has always trodden his own path, was Naayika, the story of an actor. It had Urvashi Sharada in the role of a diva past her prime and Padmapriya as her younger version. Jayaram, as the evergreen hero of Malayalam cinema Prem Nazir, played his part to perfection, bringing to life the mannerisms of the star and his perfect diction as well. Naayika won critical acclaim but bombed at the box office. But, perhaps the one film that should deserve a pole position among Jayaraj’s works was the much admired Ottaal, the plot of which he borrowed from the play Vaanka by the Russian playwright and author Anton Chekov. The film narrated the story of an emotional bond between a young orphan boy and his grandfather, with their simple joys and profound sorrows forming the nucleus. Brilliant acting by Ashank Sha as the young boy and Kumarokom Vasudevan (a fisherman in real life), as the grandfather, haunting visuals and Jayaraj’s deft directorial touches were the highlights of the film. Ottaal won all the major awards at the International Film Festival of Kerala and also the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. The film also had the distinction of being the first Malayalam film to be released in the theatres and online simultaneously. While Jayaraj has worked with superstar Mammootty in three films Johnnie Walker, Loudspeaker and The Train, he is yet to make a single film with the other reigning superstar Mohanlal. Jayaraj has plans to direct films based on the arts, Shringara, Roudram and Hasyam in the coming days. His greatest strength so far has been the discerning viewer and most of his films have catered to that segment of film aficionados.
See full article at The News Minute »

Cannes 2018. Lineup

  • MUBI
The Festival de Cannes has announced the lineup for the official selection, including the Competition and Un Certain Regard sections, as well as special screenings, for the 71st edition of the festival:COMPETITIONEverybody Knows (Asghar Farhadi)At War (Stéphane Brizé)Dogman (Matteo Garrone)Le livre d'images (Jean-Luc Godard)Netemo Sameteo (Asako I & II) (Ryūsuke Hamaguchi)Sorry Angel (Christophe Honoré)Girls of the Sun (Eva Husson)Ash Is Purest White (Jia Zhangke)Shoplifter (Hirokazu Kore-eda)Capernaum (Nadine Labaki)Burning (Lee Chang-dong)BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee)Under the Silver Lake (David Robert Mitchell)Three Faces (Jafar Panahi)Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski)Lazzaro Felice (Alice Rohrwacher)Yomeddine (A.B. Shawky)Leto (Kirill Serebrennikov)Un couteau dans le cœur (Yann Gonzalez)Ayka (Sergei Dvortsevoy)The Wild Pear Tree (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)Out Of COMPETITIONSolo: A Star Wars Story (Ron Howard)Le grand bain (Gilles Lelouch)The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier)Un Certain REGARDGräns (Ali Abbasi
See full article at MUBI »

‘Lady Bird’ Was Snubbed By the Oscars, But It’s a Historic Coming of Age Movie

‘Lady Bird’ Was Snubbed By the Oscars, But It’s a Historic Coming of Age Movie
This article was originally produced as part of the Nyff Critics Academy.

“Lady Bird always said she lived on the wrong side of the tracks, I didn’t know there were actual tracks.” So says Danny (Lucas Hedges) almost flippantly in “Lady Bird.” In the film, class plays a large role in how the titular character interacts with everyone she comes in contact with. The movie is seemingly a coming of age story about a girl who’s simply trying to make her social ends meet as she transitions from high school to college, but that would almost be too superficial of a reading. “Lady Bird” and “The Florida Project” didn’t win any of the Oscars they were nominated for on Sunday, but their legacies are secure as part of a growing trend to break the mold of the old coming-of age model. In doing so, have become more
See full article at Indiewire »

Oscar-Winning Director Claude Lelouch to Shoot Feature Film With Cellphone (Exclusive)

Oscar-Winning Director Claude Lelouch to Shoot Feature Film With Cellphone (Exclusive)
Oscar-winning French director Claude Lelouch (“A Man and a Woman”) will shoot a film entirely with his cellphone this summer titled “La vertu de l’imponderable,” a project born after he was robbed of a bag containing his latest screenplay and 50 years of notes.

The title, which translates roughly as “The Virtue of the Imponderable,” will “show that all the bad things that come your way are actually formidable,” the 80-year-old Lelouch said, speaking during the International Monte Carlo Film Festival, which is dedicated to comedies. Lelouch presided over the jury.

He added that he got the idea for this film after the theft, which took place in early January as he was locking his car in front of the Paris offices of his production company. “I’ve tried to have a positive attitude,” Lelouch said, noting that he wants to make this film with non-professional actors, “a bit like [Vittorio de Sica’s] ‘Bicycle Thieves.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Witches (1967) Now Available on Blu-ray From Arrow Academy

The Witches (1967) is now available on Blu-ray from Arrow Academy. It can be ordered Here

In the mid-sixties, famed producer Dino De Laurentiis brought together the talents of five celebrated Italian directors for an anthology film. Their brief was simple: to direct an episode in which Silvana Mangano (Bitter Rice, Ludwig) plays a witch.

Luchino Visconti (Ossessione, Death in Venice) and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini (Bicycle Thieves) open the film with The Witch Burned Alive, about a famous actress and a drunken evening that leads to unpleasant revelations. Civic Sense is a lightly comic interlude from Mauro Bolognini (The Lady of the Camelias) with a dark conclusion, and The Earth as Seen from the Moon sees Italian comedy legend Totò team up with Pier Paolo Pasolini (Theorem) for the first time for a tale of matrimony and a red-headed father and son. Franco Rosso (The Woman in the Painting) concocts a
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

January 9th Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include It (2017), 68 Kill, Bad Day For The Cut

  • DailyDead
Even though everyone is pretty much amped that Pennywise and the newest adaptation of It are making their home entertainment debuts this Tuesday, we also have more great Blu-rays and DVD releases to look forward to as well. It’s a big week for Troma, as not only their latest feature, Hectic Knife, comes home on Blu this week, but Troma alum Trent Haaga’s wickedly wild crime caper 68 Kill is being released by Scream Factory and IFC Midnight.

Arrow Academy has put together a Special Edition release of The Witches, and a film that I really enjoyed out of Sundance 2017—Bad Day for the Cut—gets released this week via the fine folks over at Well Go USA. Other notable releases for January 9th include Friend Request and Nails.

68 Kill (Scream Factory/IFC Midnight, Blu-ray & DVD)

Trailer-dwelling, sewage-pumping Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler, Criminal Minds) may not lead the most glamorous life,
See full article at DailyDead »

The Last Laugh

The cream of German Expressionist filmmaking of the 1920s is increasingly accessible to modern audiences. The curated restoration of F.W. Murnau’s expressionist masterpiece is a beauty — we finally can experience the film in its full original form.

The Last Laugh

Blu-ray

Kino Lorber Kino Classics

1924 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 90 min. / Der letze mann / Street Date November 14, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring: Emil Jannings, Georg John.

Cinematography: Karl Freund

Film Editor: Elfi Böttrich

Production Design: Edgar G. Ulmer

Original Music: Giuseppe Becce

Written by Carl Mayer

Produced by Erich Pommer

Directed by F. W. Murnau

Back in the early 1970s film school professors had limited resources. They lectured, assigned readings from a short list of authoritative film scholars and screened 16mm prints of renowned world classics. The only problem is that it was often difficult to correlate the classics described in the texts with the ragged film prints available.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Lessons For Hollywood From Foreign Films — Nyff Critics Academy

  • Indiewire
Lessons For Hollywood From Foreign Films — Nyff Critics Academy
The following essay was produced as part of the 2017 Nyff Critics Academy, a workshop for aspiring film critics that took place during the 55th edition of the New York Film Festival.

In today’s intense political climate, the battle between nationalism and globalism is a widespread conflict, one that emerges in part from being alienated by a system that is unsympathetic and uncaring. Hollywood reflects this alienation by what it chooses to ignore: The industry continually avoids touchy film subjects, such as the lives of working-class Americans. The studio’s largest, mass-produced films play it safe by focusing on the all-inclusive entertainment value of superheroes and furry animals.

One might argue that the onus lies on American audiences, who may not be interested in realism, and perhaps it’s just a business decision on part of the studios. However, within the past seven years, American independent cinema has produced successful,
See full article at Indiewire »

The Best Child Performances in Movie History — IndieWire Critics Survey

The Best Child Performances in Movie History — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: In honor of “The Florida Project,” which has just started its platform release across the country, what is the greatest child performance in a film?

Jordan Hoffman (@JHoffman), The Guardian, Vanity Fair

I can agonize over this question or I can go at this Malcolm Gladwell “Blink”-style. My answer is Tatum O’Neal in “Paper Moon.” She’s just so funny and tough, which of course makes the performance all the more heartbreaking. She won the freaking Oscar at age 10 for this and I’d really love to give a more deep cut response, but why screw around? Paper Moon is a perfect film and she is the lynchpin.
See full article at Indiewire »

'West of Sunshine': Film Review | Venice 2017

'West of Sunshine': Film Review | Venice 2017
The testy dynamic between a down-on-his-luck father and his prepubescent son is given a sweeping panoramic treatment in Australian director Jason Raftopoulos' debut feature West of Sunshine. Unfolding over one day and clearly indebted to The Bicycle Thief, this story of a courier racing against the clock to pay off a debt boasts a vivid sense of place, as well as some awkward dialogue and a lead performance not quite flavorful enough to make the character's self-sabotage compelling.

Shot in the suburbs and inner city of Melbourne, the town's ubiquitous cranes and construction sites form an elegant widescreen metaphor for...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

"Red Desert" & "Husbands and Wives": Two Visions from Carlo Di Palma

Carlo Di Palma and Woody AllenThe only thing more consistent than the quality of Carlo Di Palma’s cinematography is the routine variance of his work. Though his most prominent titles were primarily those done in collaboration with two key directors—Michelangelo Antonioni and Woody Allen—what he demonstrated over the course of his career, in these films and dozens more, revealed a remarkable exhibition of visual range. His decades-spanning career produced a gallery of fluctuating colors, lighting techniques, temperatures, movements, and tones. And more often than not, what he refined in this richly varying field proved to be a directly corresponding realization of profound psychological consequence.Born April 17, 1925 in Rome, the son of a camera repair man, Di Palma’s cinematic commencement went from focus operator on Neo-Realist essentials like Rome, Open City (1945) and Bicycle Thieves (1948) to serving various capacities on largely subpar Italian fare. A turning point came
See full article at MUBI »

All of the Films Joining FilmStruck’s Criterion Channel this August

Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This August will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.

To sign up for a free two-week trial here.

Tuesday, August 1

Tuesday’s Short + Feature: These Boots and Mystery Train

Music is at the heart of this program, which pairs a zany music video by Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki with a tune-filled career highlight from American independent-film pioneer Jim Jarmusch. In the 1993 These Boots, Kaurismäki’s band of pompadoured “Finnish Elvis” rockers, the Leningrad Cowboys, cover a Nancy Sinatra classic in their signature deadpan style. It’s the perfect prelude to Jarmusch’s 1989 Mystery Train, a homage to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the musical legacy of Memphis, featuring appearances by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Joe Strummer.
See full article at CriterionCast »

Video Compares Master Of None Episode to The Bicycle Thief

If you haven't seen Master of None season 2 by now, what are you waiting for? Aziz Ansari's Netflix series is truly fantastic, and the second season — some of which takes place in Italy — is jaw-droppingly beautiful. It's also indebted to the Italian neorealism movement, and editor Nelson Carvajal has cut together a side-by-side comparison with one of the episodes to the 1948 classic The Bicycle Thief to show us those references as they happen. Check it out:
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Critics Slam ‘The Book of Henry’ as ‘Beatriz at Dinner’ and ‘Paris Can Wait’ Expand Well

Critics Slam ‘The Book of Henry’ as ‘Beatriz at Dinner’ and ‘Paris Can Wait’ Expand Well
At the specialty box office, reviews can have a huge impact. This weekend, “The Book of Henry” (Focus Features), Colin Trevorrow’s return to indie films, was scorched by critics and summoned only a mediocre start in 579 theaters ($1.4 million). On the other hand, the best per-theater-average came from “Hare Krishna” (Abramorama), a documentary the New York Times, normally critical in launching any specialized release, chose not to include among its reviews. It managed over $21,000 in one Manhattan theater.

While IFC’s Northern Ireland political story “The Journey” also delivered a surprisingly strong New York opening, the most encouraging news of the weekend was the impressive expansion for “Beatriz at Dinner” (Roadside Attractions).

Opening

The Book of Henry (Focus) – Metacritic: 28

$1,407,000 in 579 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $2,431

Trevorrow broke out with Sundance indie “Safety Not Guaranteed,” which grossed a healthy $4 million, followed by blockbuster “Jurassic World.” This anemic personal project will
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Il Boom’ Trailer: Vittorio De Sica’s Underseen Comedy Bound for Restoration and First-Ever U.S. Release — Watch

‘Il Boom’ Trailer: Vittorio De Sica’s Underseen Comedy Bound for Restoration and First-Ever U.S. Release — Watch
Italian director and actor (and neorealist luminary) Vittorio De Sica is best known to most stateside audiences for his honorary Oscar winners like “Sciuscià” (the first foreign film to be recognized by the Academy) and his enduring classic “Bicycle Thieves,” but there are still gems from the long-deceased filmmaker for fans to discover.

Like his 1963 comedy “Il Boom,” which has never had a U.S. release…until now! “Il Boom” will finally come to the States — complete with a new restoration — later this month, and we have a fresh trailer to celebrate.

Read More: ‘La Strada’ Restoration First Look: Federico Fellini’s Oscar-Winning Masterpiece Heads Back to Theaters — Watch

The film’s title refers to the Italian economic “miracle” that took place from the late 1950s until the 1970s after World War II. “Il Boom” follows Giovanni Alberti (Alberto Sordi), a small building contractor who is deeply in debt because
See full article at Indiewire »

Here’s Everything Aziz Ansari Ate In ‘Master of None’ Season 2 (Photos)

  • The Wrap
Here’s Everything Aziz Ansari Ate In ‘Master of None’ Season 2 (Photos)
So much of our lives revolve around food. Whether it’s a date, a happy hour with friends, a hungover brunch or family dinner, a lot of our social time involves eating. In Season 2 of Aziz Ansari‘s “Master of None,” food is not only a central plot point, but almost a character of its own. Scroll through to learn exactly how the food in every episode influenced Dev, Arnold, Denise and the rest of the gang. Episode 1: “The Thief” In a tribute to old Italian films like “The Bicycle Thief,” the premiere of Season 2 is shot in black ad.
See full article at The Wrap »

Master of None Season 2 Review

Liam Hoofe reviews Master of None season 2…

Aziz Ansari has always been an affable presence on screen – his turn as Tom Haverford on Parks and Rec won him a huge audience and his consistent stand-up work helped solidify his name as one of the best comedic talents around. It wasn’t until he was given the chance to write and produce his own show, though, that it become clear just what a talent the 34-year-old really is.

Master of None, the Netflix original about an Indian actor living in New York, debuted on Netflix in 2015 to critical acclaim. The season holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for several major awards, including a Golden Globe and four Emmys.

The first season of Master of None was pretty much perfect. Ansari’s script was, like his performance, full of intricate little details, humour and an incredibly human look at
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Master Of None Season 2 Review

Season 1 of Master of None was such a pleasant surprise. The series that followed the trials and tribulations of Dev (Aziz Ansari), a 30-year-old Indian actor in New York City, came out of nowhere to steal the hearts of viewers and Emmy voters alike. Season 2 manages to not only retain its signature humor and knack for tackling social and cultural issues facing minorities, but it also pushes the cinematic artistry of the show to new heights. Series co-creator Aziz Ansari is back playing the perfect everyman with his particular sense of humor and never ending appetite for pasta, and surrounding him is another set of incredibly diverse and unique supporting cast members including plenty of guest stars and of course, his main buddies, Arnold (Eric Wareheim) and Denise (Lena Waithe).

The immensely delightful black and white first episode sets the tone for the season, letting viewers know right away to
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Movies to Show My Son: ‘The Bicycle Thief’

Welcome to another installment of Movies to Show My Son. This is the blog series were I discuss movies I can’t wait to show my son in the future. I’ll be covering my own personal experience with the movie, movie lessons and life lessons I hope he will learn, and lastly my concerns about showing said film. This week’s film is The Bicycle Thief.

Personal Memories:

When I was growing up I never watched foreign films. It is not that I avoided them it is more so that I did not realize they existed. At that time I assumed everything was made at Hollywood and by Disney. As I grew older and wiser I realized that was not the case but still tended to stay away. The first time I ended up seeing a foreign film was around 2002 when I saw Yimou Zhang’s Hero in theaters.
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Showtimes | External Sites