Film

Oh Look, Here’s a Trailer for a Good, Multicolored S&M Film: ‘The Duke of Burgundy’

Berberian Sound Studio director Peter Strickland has been rousing festival audiences with The Duke of Burgundy, a lush S&M drama named, oh… Read More

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Like It Or Not, ‘The Interview’ Is a Battle Worth Fighting

It was a no-win situation, which was probably why the hackers made the play they did. When the “Guardians of Peace,” drunk with the power of infiltrating and publicly humiliating one of the biggest entertainment conglomerates on the planet, fired off their comically villainous missive Tuesday (I mean, seriously, “how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to”?) threatening 9/11-style attacks on theaters showing Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Kim Jong-un assassination comedy The Interview, it put Sony Pictures in a helluva spot. If they kept the release date and (contrary to all available intelligence) an attack did occur, then moviegoers and theater employees could be hurt or killed, and the narrative would be, “Greedy Sony is responsible for this, because of their greed.” If they pulled the movie from release, it would mean that any hackers worth their salt — and, as is probably the case here, the totalitarian government behind them — could dictate what we see. It would be a loss of backbone and credibility and “face,” but that’s not the kind of thing that results in liabilities and lawsuits, so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Sony made the call they did. Corporations gonna corporate, after all, and there’s really nothing we can do about that. But what we can control is what our takeaway will be from this whole affair — how to deal with it, and what we’ve learned from it. … Read More

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Why ‘Selma’ Is the Film of the Year

In the opening sequence of Ava DuVernay’s Selma, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. accepts his Nobel Prize. In the next scene, four little girls are murdered at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. In the scene that follows, Selma activist Annie Lee Cooper attempts to register to vote, and is unable to pass the ridiculous oral examination (“How many county judges in Alabama?” the white registrar asks. “Sixty-seven,” she replies. “Name them,” he sneers.) The juxtaposition of these three scenes is purposeful, clarifying the film’s drama, and its stakes: in addition to MLK, it is a story of racially motivated murder, and of the battle for the right to vote. Selma is the year’s best film because it is great filmmaking — powerful, moving, inspiring. DuVernay makes history live and breathe and vibrate. But it is also more than just a dramatization, or a relic; as its strangely timely release suggests, none of this is as historical as we’d like to think. This is a 50-year-old story. Except it isn’t. … Read More

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Flavorwire Interview: Amy Sedaris on ‘Broad City,’ Tinder, and Her New Movie ‘Goodbye to All That’

In the new comedy Goodbye to All That — which, thankfully, is not based on the classic Joan Didion essay — the charming, handsome Paul Schnieder (All the Real Girls, Parks and Recreation) plays a hapless recent divorcé diving into the brave new world of contemporary dating, from Facebook to women looking for hookups. It’s the directorial debut of Angus MacLachlan (who also wrote the screenplay), who may be best known as the writer of 2005’s Junebug, one of the best films of that decade, and the one that introduced Amy Adams to the world. … Read More

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Viola Davis Cast as Amanda Waller in ‘Suicide Squad’

While DC Comics’ Suicide Squad won’t be released until 2016, information keeps coming about the distant sort-of-superhero film, and people continue… Read More

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10 Great 2014 Movies You Can Stream (or Rent) Right Now

Well, moviegoers, the year is drawing to an end, and ‘tis the season for “best of 2014” lists. Ours will arrive later this week — and as with most, thanks to the Oscar-courting release patterns that have become the norm, it’ll be full of films you’ll either have to go to theaters to see, or that aren’t even at your neighborhood theater just yet. There’s nothing we can do about that, but in the meantime (as a kind of appetizer), we thought we’d offer up a few great movies that didn’t quite make the final cut, but have the advantage of immediate availability for streaming or rental. Add them to your queue for the holidays, or just click the title link to watch right now. … Read More

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