Slow West (2015) - News Poster

(2015)

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Damsel review – Robert Pattinson goes a-crooning in twisty Old West quest drama

Pattinson cast off more of his matinee-idol past as a gauche galoot seeking his bride in the Zellner brothers’ grotesque, beautiful and unpredictable movie

While the western as a living genre continues to fade into a folk memory, the postmodern neo-western – melancholic, world-weary and demystifyingly ironic – is well established as its inheritor. Jim Jarmusch arguably provided the modern template for this strain with his 1995 Dead Man, and the British director John Maclean rode in that film’s wake with his recent Slow West. Jacques Audiard looks as if he’ll be continuing the tradition with his forthcoming The Sisters Brothers, based on the supremely knowing, not to say Coens-y novel by Patrick deWitt. Meanwhile, playing in the Berlin competition, here is Damsel from eccentric film-making duo David and Nathan Zellner.

The Texan brothers weighed in with a quest narrative with their last film, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, about a young
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Sundance Review: ‘Damsel’ is a Humorously Eccentric Feminist Anti-Western

Two men sit on a bench in the vast desert of the American west waiting for a stagecoach that’s nowhere to be found. One, a grizzled preacher (Robert Forster), is fed up with the ways of the great unknown and headed back east; the other, Parson Henry (David Zellner), is headed west and eager to start a new life. “Things are going to be shitty in new and interesting ways,” Forster’s character warns the newcomer, dashing his hopes that what awaits isn’t the land of his dreams. For the beautiful Penelope (Mia Wasikowska), however, this terrain is far more dangerous. Surrounded by desperate men at every turn, the mission of the west is not just to survive, but live by her own romantic means.

Before we get to know her, though, Damsel introduces us to Samuel Alabaster (Robert Pattinson), who travels with his gun, guitar, and a miniature pony named Butterscotch.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Michael Fassbender: After a Year of Flops, Here’s How He Can Recover from ‘The Snowman’

Michael Fassbender: After a Year of Flops, Here’s How He Can Recover from ‘The Snowman’
Welcome to Career Watch, a vocational checkup of top actors and directors and those who hope to get there. In this edition, we take on Michael Fassbender.

Bottom Line: Fassbender is an asset in any ensemble, from the “X-Men” franchise to “Inglourious Basterds.” Those franchises inflate his bankability in foreign territories, and he’s had two Oscar nominations, but he lacks marquee value. He was the biggest star in well-reviewed $97-million sequel “Alien: Covenant” (Metacritic: 65), which scored just $240 million worldwide, down dramatically from the $430 million earned by its predecessor, “Prometheus.” Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin didn’t even know who Fassbender was when his name came up to play the lead in hot project “Steve Jobs” (Metacritic: 82); and sure enough, even with a full-tilt Oscar push that brought him his first Best Actor nomination, the $30-million movie tanked with just $34 million worldwide. Fassbender tends to be cast as troubled antiheroes (Magneto, Macbeth,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Michael Fassbender: After a Year of Flops, Here’s How He Can Recover from ‘The Snowman’

Michael Fassbender: After a Year of Flops, Here’s How He Can Recover from ‘The Snowman’
Welcome to Career Watch, a vocational checkup of top actors and directors and those who hope to get there. In this edition, we take on Michael Fassbender.

Bottom Line: Fassbender is an asset in any ensemble, from the “X-Men” franchise to “Inglourious Basterds.” Those franchises inflate his bankability in foreign territories, and he’s had two Oscar nominations, but he lacks marquee value. He was the biggest star in well-reviewed $97-million sequel “Alien: Covenant” (Metacritic: 65), which scored just $240 million worldwide, down dramatically from the $430 million earned by its predecessor, “Prometheus.” Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin didn’t even know who Fassbender was when his name came up to play the lead in hot project “Steve Jobs” (Metacritic: 82); and sure enough, even with a full-tilt Oscar push that brought him his first Best Actor nomination, the $30-million movie tanked with just $34 million worldwide. Fassbender tends to be cast as troubled antiheroes (Magneto, Macbeth,
See full article at Indiewire »

Westerns, Redefined: How Two New Movies Provide Fresh Meaning to a Dated Genre — Nyff

  • Indiewire
Westerns, Redefined: How Two New Movies Provide Fresh Meaning to a Dated Genre — Nyff
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.

The western is an iconic genre tied to the very genesis of cinema itself, but it doesn’t have the currency it held decades ago. That’s why it’s such a thrill to see Chloe Zhao’s “The Rider” and Valeski Grisebach’s “Western” — two highlights from this year’s New York Film Festival — reshape the genre from the ground up.

It’s only possible to appreciate that if you consider how far the genre has come. The western reigned Hollywood for decades—particularly from the ‘30s to the ‘60s. The genre’s appeal was that its unequivocal good vs. evil narrative could translate to any cultural zeitgeist. It wasn’t until Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns and
See full article at Indiewire »

Alpha Trailer: Watch Out For That Cliff!

A cliff marks a turning point in a young man's life. In Alpha, the young man is learning how to hunt buffalo in an ancient civilization when he is trapped in the wrong place at the wrong time; the beast takes vengeance and our hero plunges off a very high cliff. Naturally, he survives, but he's cut off from everything -- and everyone -- he knows. As the first trailer shows, he must still learn to become a warrior, but he must also form a partnership with an animal if he is to have any hope of long-term survival. Kodi Smit-McPhee stars as the young man, and he's a very fine actor, as his past performances in Let Me In, The Congress, and Slow West...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Theo James’ Political Thriller ‘Backstabbing for Beginners’ Lands at A24, DirecTV

Theo James’ Political Thriller ‘Backstabbing for Beginners’ Lands at A24, DirecTV
A24 and DirecTV have bought domestic distribution rights to the political thriller “Backstabbing for Beginners,” starring Theo James, Ben Kingsley, and Jacqueline Bisset.

Danish director Per Fly shot the film last year in Marrakech, Morocco. James plays an idealist who lands his dream job as a program coordinator for the U.N.’s Oil-for-Food Programme and is thrown into an already fraught post-war Iraq, where government agents and power-hungry nations are circling the country’s oil reserves.

Bisset portrays a French Ngo activist overseeing food aid. Kingsley plays a seasoned diplomat and James’ character’s boss.

Fly co-wrote “Backstabbing” with Daniel Pyne (“The Manchurian Candidate”), inspired by Michael Soussan’s memoir “Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy.”

The producers are Lars Knudsen, Daniel Bekerman, Malene Blenkov, and Nikolaj Vibe Michelsen. The film was financed by Houndstooth, Hoylake Capital, and the Danish Film Institute. UTA Independent Film
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes Review: Adam Sandler Finds the Right Note Amongst the Scattered Charms of ‘The Meyerowitz Stories (New & Selected)’

Adam Sandler has acted in nearly 50 feature films, the majority of which he’s played the lead. It won’t come as any great surprise to learn that The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is amongst the best works of his career, comfortably scaling the lower denominators to reach those sparse upper peaks. Director Noah Baumbach draws from the 51-year-old’s main talents as both comedic songwriter (as in his early standup and his time at SNL) and ticking time bomb (his signature switch from toddler-voiced timidity to raging lunatic that Paul Thomas Anderson harnessed so effectively in Punch Drunk Love).

Meyerowitz is a lesser film than that PTA masterpiece, more a scattered selection of parts than any kind of convincing whole (a fact that the cumbersome title in no way excuses). It does, however, have the welcome casual feel of a mid-career Woody Allen New York-set picture — all starry ensemble casting,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Alien: Covenant movie review: game over, man

MaryAnn’s quick take… A rote disappointment. There is nothing shocking or even mildly unexpected here. But there is an ironic weakening of the power of the xenomorphs to terrify. I’m “biast” (pro): love Alien and Aliens

I’m “biast” (con): wasn’t crazy about Prometheus

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

It’s difficult to imagine that there will ever be a movie scene as unexpected and as shocking as that bit in Alien — yeah, that bit — when a tiny horrifying alien creature, all teeth and slither, bursts out of poor John Hurt’s chest and slowly gawps around as if to say, “That’s right, meatbags: I, your worst nightmare, have arrived.” We sure as hell are not going to see a replication of the paralyzing terror those of us in the cinema darkness shared with the human onlookers onscreen if no
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

A24 After ‘Moonlight’: Why They’re Finally Ready To Conquer the Older Arthouse Crowd

A24 cemented its perception as the new-model indie distributor when Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” won three Oscars, including that dramatic best-picture win. So what does the upstart indie, hailed for holding the skeleton key that unlocks the precious millennial demo, do for an encore?

The Tribeca Film Festival showcased two upcoming A24 releases, both of which seem oddly retro: World War II costume drama “The Exception,” starring Oscar-winner Christopher Plummer as Kaiser Wilhelm II, and “The Lovers,” starring Debra Winger and Tracy Letts as an unhappy older married couple. They also dropped the trailer for Yiddish-language Hasidic family drama “Menashe” and suddenly, the new boss looks a lot like the old one.

What gives? This older-demo arthouse trio could easily carry the signature blue-and-white logo of venerable specialty distributor Sony Pictures Classics. But don’t be deceived by appearances. A24 is a far cry from older-generation studio indies like Spc and Fox Searchlight,
See full article at Indiewire »

A24 After ‘Moonlight:’ Why They’re Finally Ready To Conquer the Older Arthouse Crowd

A24 After ‘Moonlight:’ Why They’re Finally Ready To Conquer the Older Arthouse Crowd
A24 cemented its perception as the new-model indie distributor when Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” won three Oscars, including that dramatic best-picture win. So what does the upstart indie, hailed for holding the skeleton key that unlocks the precious millennial demo, do for an encore?

The Tribeca Film Festival showcased three upcoming A24 releases, all of which seem oddly retro. There’s Yiddish-language Hasidic family drama “Menashe,” World War II costume drama “The Exception,” starring Oscar-winner Christopher Plummer as Kaiser Wilhelm II, and “The Lovers,” starring Debra Winger and Tracy Letts as an unhappy older married couple. Suddenly, the new boss looks a lot like the old one.

What gives? This older-demo arthouse trio could easily carry the signature blue-and-white logo of venerable specialty distributor Sony Pictures Classics. But don’t be deceived by appearances. A24 is a far cry from older-generation studio indies like Spc and Fox Searchlight, which tend to follow an established playbook.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

London Screenings 2017 dates unveiled

  • ScreenDaily
Details of UK showcase for global film buyers announced.

Film London has revealed the dates for the 2017 edition of London Screenings, the UK’s export market dedicated to British film.

Running June 19-22 this year at London’s BFI Southbank, the event will give buyers the chance to see a wide range of new British titles, and to meet UK companies.

Titles to appear at recent editions of London Screenings include The Girl With All the Gifts [pictured] and Slow West.

The event will also include a ‘coming soon’ strand showing works-in-progress and other unseen glimpses at forthcoming titles.

The ‘breakthrough’ strand will also return this year. Last year, four emerging British filmmakers were spotlighted, with two of those projects picked up by sale companies: Hi-Lo Joe was acquired by The Little Film Company and Us And Them was taken by Parkland Pictures.

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, commented: “London
See full article at ScreenDaily »

A24 teases a mystery film with this gripping teaser trailer

  • JoBlo
A24 Films is responsible for producing and distributing some amazing low-budget genre films over the years, such as Ex MacHina, Slow West, The Witch, Green Room, Swiss Army Man and 20th Century Women, just to name a few. So whenever they have a new title to announce, I sit up and take notice. The following teaser is very different, in that A24 hasn't said what film this is for! Check it out! I... Read More...
See full article at JoBlo »

Michael Fassbender confirms meeting about a role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Michael Fassbender has been attached to numerous franchises in the past five years alone, between his work as Magneto in the X-Men films, David in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant and Aguilar in Assassin’s Creed, but he missed out on one that would have been the biggest of them all.

During an appearance on Happy Sad Confused (via EW), a podcast hosted by MTV News correspondent Josh Horowitz, Fassbender revealed that he spoke with J.J. Abrams and folks at Disney/Lucasfilm about having a role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, after Horowitz questioned him about old rumors. The long-awaited seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise, of course, went on to become the third-highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide.

“We talked about a role. We had a conversation. I’m pretty sure I was busy doing something else in the summer [J.J. Abrams] was kickstarting that,” said Fassbender.

Fassbender’s comment
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Game for Anything: Interview with Assassin's Creed star, Michael Fassbender

  • Cineplex
Game for Anything: Interview with Assassin's Creed star, Michael FassbenderGame for Anything: Interview with Assassin's Creed star, Michael FassbenderBob Strauss - Cineplex Magazine12/21/2016 2:51:00 Pm

Consider the dilemma of the great actors from the British Isles. Stage-trained, versatile and geared toward the classics and the experimental, these days they must commit to some big Hollywood fantasy franchise — Harry Potter, Super-something-or-other — or find their careers forever relegated to a Downton Abbey TV knockoff.

Ireland-raised Michael Fassbender is a case study of such a situation. Highly praised for his challenging work in director Steve McQueen’s Hunger, Shame and 12 Years a Slave, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and the Aaron Sorkin talkathon Steve Jobs, the actor stays in demand by bringing the same passionate, cerebral commitment to the X-Men film franchise and Ridley Scott’s revived Alien encounters.

But a videogame movie? So far,
See full article at Cineplex »

Daniel Henshall on 'Ghost in the Shell', Bong Joon-ho and life after 'Snowtown'

  • IF.com.au
For me, your performance in Snowtown was the most exciting breakout male performance since Michael Fassbender in Hunger. Why aren.t you getting as many lead roles as Fassbender?

(Laughs) Thanks mate. The first few years after [Snowtown] I kind of feared the work because of the expectation that I put on myself, and I had led myself to believe that everyone was thinking that. I didn.t want to mess with that performance. It was seen as something — maybe a significant contribution to film in recent years, or whatever. And I was so afraid that I wouldn.t get close to that ever again. So I didn.t work a lot the first couple of years. Prior to Snowtown, I.d usually been cast as the likable loser. So in the beginning it was hard for people to place me or know what to do with me, and [that] probably went
See full article at IF.com.au »

Has ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Resolved Its Soundtrack Problem? Listen to Jed Kurzel’s Score

  • Indiewire
Has ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Resolved Its Soundtrack Problem? Listen to Jed Kurzel’s Score
When the first trailer for “Assassin’s Creed” was released earlier this year, many took notice of one especially incongruous element: the music. Kanye West’s “I Am a God” seemed an odd choice to accompany footage of a 15th-century assassin played by Michael Fassbender, but the actual film score appears to have been much more well received. Listen to it below.

Read More: ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Trailer: Michael Fassbender Hopes To Save The Video Game Genre In Visionary Style

Notably, these compositions are not the work of Jesper Kyd, who’s responsible for scoring the video games on which Justin Kurzel’s film is based. Kurzel’s brother Jed handled the music for the movie, as he did on last year’s “Macbeth” (which likewise starred Fassbender opposite Marion Cotillard). Though Kyd has also worked on film scores, his silver-screen efforts have mostly been on smaller projects.

Read More:
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Assassin’s Creed: Original Motion Picture Score’ Review

It is fair to say that while I review a lot of movies, the scores aren’t really something I look at. This is why when I was offered the chance to review the Assassin’s Creed: Original Motion Picture Score composed by Jed Kurzel, I jumped at the chance. performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra it is a score full of power. While I may have some doubts about the film itself, I found myself enjoying the music that it will include.

Looking at the track listing (which I will list at the end of the review as there are mild spoilers, and it makes it easier to skip over) there are various prompts as to what to expect. We see tracks that are obviously based in reality (and the past lives), and then we have ones such as “Abstergo” which are more futuristic in manner.

The tracks based
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie review: the high price of hope

MaryAnn’s quick take… There’s genuine fun here, but the humor is cynical, the heroics are tinged with regret, and it’s all delivered with a cold smack of — yes — political relevance. I’m “biast” (pro): massive Star Wars fan, don’t even get me started

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Damn.

Did we think, at the end of the very first Star Wars movie, that Luke Skywalker was a hero? He was nothing. Nothing.

Did we think Luke Skywalker was a hero? What he did was nothing to what we see here.

Okay, not nothing. But, as Rogue One reveals with brutal clarity, Luke’s lucky Force-assisted like–bulls-eying–womprats bombing run at the Death Star was only the final link in a very long chain of people doing way more brave and way more daring things.
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Rogue’s Gallery: Star Wars actor Ben Mendelsohn’s greatest villains

With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story imminent, Sean Wilson explores the litany of memorable bad guys from Orson Krennic actor Ben Mendelsohn

There are many reasons to be intergalactically excited about the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, not least because it will reveal the events leading up to Darth Vader’s majestic entrance in A New Hope. It also has an outstanding international cast on its side, chief among which is Aussie character actor extraordinaire Ben Mendelsohn, poised to add to his gallery of memorable rogues with his role as Death Star Director Orson Krennic. So what better time to celebrate Mendelsohn’s most memorably creepy roles so far?

Animal Kingdom (2010)

Although he had enjoyed a multifaceted and lengthy career beforehand (including appearances in Australia and Knowing), it was the release of David Michod’s disturbing and gripping Aussie crime drama that brought Mendelsohn to international attention.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »
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