It’s been thirteen long years since Leos Carax made his last feature film, and as you watch Holy Motors, the film that ended that long drought, you get the feeling that the filmmaker wanted to use it to make all of the movies he should have made in the interim. It almost has the feel of a completed checklist, a film comprised of what appear, at first, to be incompatible parts: oddball romance, family drama, black crime comedy, musical, etc. Only as the loose ends and odd bits begin to stack up do we get a sense of what Carax is up to — and it’s something peculiar and rather marvelous. … Read More
New York Film Festival
Tuesday night, the New York Film Festival celebrated the 25th anniversary of The Princess Bride (and the release of a new Blu-ray tied to said anniversary) with a special screening of the film, followed by a Q&A with several members of the cast and crew. The movie was raucously received by the rowdy audience: they applauded their favorite lines, cheered the entrances of its many memorable characters like old friends arriving at a party, and generally ate it up with a spoon. After the closing credits, director Rob Reiner, screenwriter William Goldman, and co-stars Billy Crystal, Mandy Patinkin, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Carol Kane, and Chris Sarandon sat down for a Q&A with NYFF Associate Programming Director Scott Foundas. A few highlights from that chat after the jump. … Read More
New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center kicks off the fiftieth (that’s right, 5-0) New York Film Festival today, with (as expected) a terrific selection of domestic indies, foreign films, documentaries, and big fall movies on tap. Many of our most anticipated pictures (like David Chase’s Not Fade Away, Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, Leox Carax’s Holy Motors, Olivier Assayas’ Something in the Air, and the opening night selection, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi) have not yet screened for critics, but here are our favorites from what we’ve seen so… Read More
The 49th annual New York Film Festival drew to a close last night with screenings of The Descendants, the new (and rather wonderful) comedy/drama from director Alexander Payne (Sideways, Election, About Schmidt). Its centerpiece performance is a magnificent, nuanced turn by George Clooney, but there’s another one well worth mentioning: that of Shailene Woodley, the heretofore-unknown-to-your-author actor (she apparently co-stars on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, whatever the hell that is) who plays his 17-year-old daughter Alexandra. Woodley appears in nearly as much of the picture as Clooney, in a role just a complicated and difficult as his, and in scene after scene, she just nails it. Woodley’s complex (and relatively unsung, thus far anyway) performance puts a final spotlight on perhaps the most encouraging trend at this year’s NYFF: a rich assortment of extraordinary female performances. … Read More
1. Here’s your first look at the teaser trailer for Joss Whedon’s highly-anticipated adaptation of The Avengers. Unfortunately for fans, it doesn’t contain any new footage that we haven’t already seen before.
2. “At it’s core, it is the most expensive and creative Film History 101 course of all time.” – … Read More
We don’t generally find ourselves getting worked up about film festival announcements, but reading this Variety item about additions to this year’s New York Film Festival line-up, we nearly did a spit take. You see, NYFF has announced plans to do a handful of anniversary screenings — including The Royal Tenenbaums and what we consider to be Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece, Spirited Away. Because they came out ten years ago. In 2001. If this makes you feel old, we’re right there with you. Continue to freak yourself out with a list of 20 more seemingly recent movies that actually premiered a decade ago after the jump. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we went around the world in just 80 seconds. We tried to imagine The Office with Dwight as the boss (Mindy Kaling, we think you’re adorable, but it’s a horrible idea). We were excited to hear that David Fincher’s Facebook movie will be opening this year’s New York Film… Read More
Mother knows best in Bong Joon-ho’s sinuous, first-rate whodunit, the South Korean director’s first feature since The Host in 2006.
Exquisitely played by Kim Hye-ja (an actress who spent decades in Korean minds as a TV mother), the title character coddles her unpredictable idiot of a son as if the 27-year-old were 7. They eat and even sleep beside each other until, one hazy night, he’s charged with the brutal murder of a poor high-school floozy. With her maternal instinct in overdrive, Mother conducts a town-wide probe to exonerate her child, leading to Hitchcockian suspense and a Pandora’s Box of repressed secrets. … Read More
In Michael Haneke’s latest film, The White Ribbon, a series of mysteriously random acts of violence disturb a small and puritanical Northern German village on the eve of World War I. We never get a satisfying explanation of their origin because Haneke is more interested in how people react in the face of fear, and he uses this setting to offer a glimpse into the formative years of the generation who would grow up to form the Nazi party. For nearly two and a half hours, he demands the utmost attention from his audience, providing subtle clues hidden inside seemingly banal dialogue, long and expansively bleak shots, and acting that often appears flat. Emblematic? Sure, but it takes a toll on the… Read More
Ramin Bahrani‘s lovely 18-minute whirlwind, Plastic Bag documents the existential and eye-opening afterlife of a poster-child for pollution. It is voiced by Werner Herzog. The Bavarian auteur — who has been in the blogosphere of late with a new, $1450-priced seminar called the Rogue Film School — lends his familiar brogue to the plain-brown plastic as it goes from the checkout line into its “Maker’s” life.… Read More