Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, there’s good stuff from Bradley Cooper, Ethan Hawke, Paul Rudd, Julie Delpy, Amy Poehler, Zach Galifanakis, and Akira Kurosawa, plus a must-see documentary and one of our favorite stand-up specials. Check them out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
The Robot Shakespeare Company is apparently a thing that exists, and last week they released The Tragedy of Macbeth, a CGI-animated, fun-for-the-kids version of the classic Shakespeare play, complete with plain-English subtitles. As bizarre as the project, which is available in full on the RSC website, sounds, it’s not the first unconventional twist on the dark story of ambition, murder, and court intrigue. Perhaps that’s because the original play was itself an adaptation: the Bard found his inspiration in the story of Scotland’s King Macbeth, documented in the 1587 historical volume Holinshed’s Chronicles. Or maybe it’s because, like most of Shakespeare’s material, the themes of Macbeth are universal; just as it’s easy to compare Romeo and Juliet to any story of star-crossed lovers, all a Macbeth adaptation needs is a goal, a slightly disturbed protagonist, and a seriously twisted power couple. We compiled the best of Macbeth‘s unorthodox reinterpretations, from the story of a Pennsylvania burger flipper to the choose-your-own-adventure style take of an experimental theater company. … Read More
In honor of the launch of the purty new Flavorwire 2.0, we decided to return to one of our most popular features: images of your favorite people together. We’ve previously rounded up pictures of great comedians, musicians, and writers killing some leisure time in each other’s company; today, we’ve assembled 25 shots of filmmakers chewing the fat. Again, some of the match-ups are surprising (Warhol and Hitchcock? Get outta here), some less so (spoiler: Lucas and Spielberg hang out a lot off-set too). There are even some special guest stars (BOWIE ALERT). With our thanks to the tons of Tumblrs and blogs that collect such things — especially the heroes over at Awesome People Hanging Out Together — we present this latest gallery; check it out after the jump. … Read More
The best of this week’s (admittedly lean) DVD releases is Coriolanus, the sleek and muscular Shakespeare adaptation from star and first-time director Ralph Fiennes. He’s been angling to bring the play to the screen for nearly a dozen years now, since he first played it on the London stage, and when the time came to do so, he did what many a filmmaker before him has done to make Shakespeare tenable to today’s audience: he modernized it. But the text is so open, and his staging is so robust, that the interpretation works; it couldn’t feel more timely and appropriate, with (perhaps intentional, perhaps accidental) allusions to the Tea Party, Congressional dysfunction, and the Occupy movement that land without the clumsiness that so often batters political cinema.
In honor of a job well done, we’ve assembled ten other films that altered the Bard’s plots and texts in a similarly entertaining fashion. Check them out after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More
Dark Shadows opens this week, whether we like it or not, but it does give us cause to pause for numerical consideration. No, we’re not talking about the amount of time since Tim Burton’s last film that was based on an original idea — that would be seven years, since Corpse Bride. Before that, you have to go clear back to 1990′s Edward Scissorhands, which was also (coincidentally enough) his first time working with Dark Shadows star Johnny Depp. Dark Shadows marks their eighth collaboration, which got us thinking about some of our favorite (and most productive, with a minimum of four pairings) actor/director teams. After the jump, we’ve compiled a dozen of the best from movie history; add your own in the comments, won’t you? … Read More
Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa wanted to become a painter in his younger days, but financial struggles and his distaste for political involvement forced him to abandon his dreams. Turning to film, the director was able to invent a new and stunning visual language for the big screen. As his filmmaking career progressed, he found himself drawing and painting entire frames before composing them for the cinema — often to help explain a shot to his crew.
When budget negotiations for war epic Kagemusha started to take a toll on the director, he created several hundred drawings in order to convey his enthusiasm for the project — which he explained in his book Something Like an Autobiography. “My purpose was not to paint well,” he wrote. “I made free use of various materials that happened to be at hand.” He continued this approach with his 1985 jidaigeki story Ran, and eventually galleries began to take notice. Kurosawa described the late publicity of his art “a dream,” since he had always fantasized about having his own exhibitions.
The artworks were exhibited several years ago at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and thankfully This Must Be the Place gathered several of the images in one spot. We’ve featured a few of them past the break. It’s fascinating to see how the compositions match up with the movies in a side by side comparison. Click through for more Kurosawa. … Read More
Most poster art reflects the aesthetics of its creator — and Turkish designer Gizem Vural’s posters for the 30th Istanbul Film Festival definitely reflect her taste. But what’s really wonderful about her portraits of legendary filmmakers, from Alfred Hitchcock to Akira Kurosawa, is that they also reference the signature style of the directors themselves: Surrealist Luis Buñuel’s face is swirled beyond recognition, while Federico Fellini is rendered in bold colors and the kind of playful patterns we might find in his visually rich films. Enjoy the posters, found on Behance, after the jump, and visit Vural’s website to learn more about the 23-year-old designer’s work. … Read More
Hollywood wouldn’t be the obsessive, all-conquering dream factory that it is if people weren’t fascinated with the on-screen and off-screen antics of their favorite stars. But for many cineastes, the same preoccupation extends to their favorite directors, who occasionally wield unorthodox techniques to craft their cinematic masterpieces. Some of these fascinating filmmakers are merely eccentric, while others seem to be toeing the fine line between genius and insanity. Regardless, the filmic fusion of their quirks, phobias, chutzpah, and bizarre stunts combined have helped to shape some cinema’s most memorable works. Here’s our dossier of famed filmmakers and their weird ways that proves sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Who would you add to the list? … Read More
We tend to associate our favorite auteurs with “serious cinema” — high-minded dramas that don’t delve too far into goofy genres like sci-fi, horror, or westerns. But recently, watching Kelly Reichardt’s fantastic new western Meek’s Cutoff, we got to thinking about how many important mainstream and independent filmmakers have tried their hand at the genre. Our list of must-watch westerns by great directors (excluding those who are known primarily for their westerns, like John Ford and Sam Peckinpah) is after the jump.