“Marxist critique” and “listicle” don’t exactly go hand-in-hand, but immediately following Christmas, some of you might find yourselves feeling shellshocked by the month of excessive consuming you just endured (and likely to some extent enjoyed). What better way to remind yourselves of the troublesome makeup of this country — and many others — than through watching some particularly sharp critiques of the consumerist culture in which we all just rabidly partook? With such a wealth of examples of cinematic critiques of capitalism, it seems like due time for a list. … Read More
One of our must-see movies this fall celebrates its theatrical opening this weekend. Nightcrawler by first-time director Dan Gilroy finds Jake Gyllenhaal as the driven, out-of-work Lou Bloom who falls into the fast-paced world of freelance L.A. crime journalism. Time called Gyllenhaal’s character a “mesmerizing cipher” and “spiritual descendant of Robert De Niro’s Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.” We unlocked the doors to other underground worlds and set the scene for several secret societies in film that share an element of danger. … Read More
Though it lasted under 15 years and prefaced Hitler’s rise to power, the Weimar Republic’s contribution to international cinema was enormous. From horror classics like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to the futurist dystopia of Metropolis, Germany’s filmmakers were among the leading creative forces in film between 1918 and 1933. … Read More
We’ve always known Patrick Bateman was into Journey, but over the weekend we learned that the banker turned serial killer will be the protagonist of an American Psycho musical based on the the hit novel and its movie adaptation. It’s not exactly an obvious choice for the Broadway (or in this case, West End) treatment: will Bateman belt out a power ballad on the trials of scoring an 8:00 dinner reservation? Isn’t Sweeney Todd the end-all, be-all of dramatically scored murder sprees? Still, there have been stranger movies to be retrofitted for the stage, including a rumored transformation of Mean Girls. Here are the most head-scratching screen-to-stage adaptations of beloved movies, from A Clockwork Orange to Silence of the Lambs. … Read More
Despite anime’s popularity amongst Western audiences, the Japanese genre is still a divisive topic with cineastes. Dismissive audiences often perceive an impenetrable generational/cultural divide and associate anime with hentai and its lurid subgenres like lolicon and shokushu goukan. Some moviegoers will never get past visions of rampant tentacle sex and their own pop culture blind spots to appreciate anime for what it can be: artistic and expansive animation that has the power to portray fantastical worlds with conviction. Several anime titles are set to release this month, and we wanted to offer ten recommendations that even the staunchest haters can appreciate — a variety of emotional, action-packed, and beautifully composed works that make great introductions to the genre. Feel free to leave your own recommendations, below. … Read More
Welcome to Flavorpill’s streaming movie guide, a new feature 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, we’ve got some newly streaming indies, recent favorites soon to be remade and sequelized, and a couple of classics that have been on our minds as of late. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
Fritz Lang’s Metropolis has never been just a movie — this hugely expensive epic created its own aesthetic, shocking and delighting audiences with its large-scale special effects, setting an impossibly high bar for science fiction films, and representing the cinematic apex of the German expressionist movement. The fact that remains as impressive today as it must have been when it premiered, in 1927, is the ultimate testament to its influence. So, what could be more fascinating than taking a peek behind the scenes of this classic? Retronaut tracked down a handful of photos from the set, to which we’ve added a few of our own finds, and they’re predictably fascinating. Some pictures find crew members working amid detailed, miniature city sets, while another finds Brigitte Helm being styled and fed while confined inside her Robot Maria costume. A bit of research suggests that these images were shot by Horst von Harbou, set photographer and brother-in-law to Lang; check them out after the jump. … Read More
Chris Marker’s haunting, fractured memory tale La Jetée is getting a Criterion Blu-ray release tomorrow (along with experimental essay Sans Soleil). Dubbed “one of the most influential, radical science-fiction films ever made … ” Marker’s 1962 black and white film is composed almost entirely of still photographs, using voice-over narration to tell the 28 minute-long tale about a man held prisoner after World War III who traverses time, sees the future, and uncovers the secrets of his past.
The film’s themes are palpable in modern science fiction, where the exploration of time travel as an agent of self-discovery, use of looped narrative and multiperiod storytelling, experimental filmmaking, dystopian themes, and more have been carried into the present. Just look at Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys, which is directly inspired by Marker’s film.
With that in mind, we wanted to celebrate a few other influential sci-fi movies that have made their mark on filmmakers and cinemagoers throughout history. Check out our picks below, and share yours in the comments section. … Read More
Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of Michel Hazanavicius’ critical darling The Artist, we’ve all had the silent film genre on the brain lately; Flavorwire film editor Jason Bailey even rounded up ten great “silent” scenes from the sound era in homage to the bygone era. If all this talk has merely whet your appetite for more (or if you’d like to brush up on your film history), then you’ll want to check out Turner Classic Movies’ new list of the 10 most influential silent films, which the French auteur helped the network compile.
“People don’t really know how a silent movie works,” Hazanavicius has said. “Usually they are amazed by the experience of watching a silent movie, which is another form of expression. It works with another part of the brain. They come expecting to be bored, and they’re amazed by the fact that it’s easy to watch and it’s a story.” Click through now to see which vintage titles made the cut; in many cases, we’ve got the entire movie streaming for your viewing pleasure. … Read More