Roman Polanski

The 10 Best Faithful Shakespeare Adaptations on Film

This week, Roman Polanski’s scorching 1971 adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth makes its Blu-ray debut (thanks, once again, to the fine folks at the Criterion Collection). It’s a terrific movie; and noteworthy as being a Shakespeare adaptation that is mostly done “straight” — i.e., basically as written, rather than relocated to outer space or a high school or the mob underworld or anything crazy like that. In fact, it seems more difficult to just do the play, without all the bells and whistles. Here are a few savvy filmmakers who’ve pulled it off. … Read More

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The 10 Best Movies of 2014 So Far

The film calendar is so awards-driven, so targeted specifically towards the fall festivals and (heavy sigh) Oscar season, that it’s easy to presume little of note hits theaters in the first half of the year; it’s for Liam Neeson action movies and flicks that got bumped from their holiday slots because they weren’t good enough (hey there, Jack Ryan reboot). But rounding up the best titles from the year’s first six months actually yields a more eclectic and unpredictable selection, with genre titles, documentaries, indies, and oddities making up a rich and varied half-year at the… Read More

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Character Actor Eli Wallach Dies at 98

Eli Wallach, the gifted and prolific character actor who livened up the films of Sergio Leone, Elia Kazan, John… Read More

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A Brief Survey of BDSM on the Big Screen

This weekend, Roman Polanski’s reimagining of David Ives’ play, inspired by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s erotic novella Venus in Furs, arrives in theaters. In Polanski’s Venus in Fur, Emmanuelle Seigner (Polanski’s wife, in a casting choice ripe for interpretation) takes on the adapted role of the book’s cruel Wanda von Dunajew. Mathieu Amalric co-stars as a writer-director staging a modern-day production of Sacher-Masoch’s work who becomes obsessed with Seigner’s character, reminiscent of the enslaved Severin in the 1870 novel. Slant’s review reveals that the film is reminiscent of the director’s early work, featuring a “specific nexus of humor and horror, a sense that fleetingly returns here, in a film that feels maniacally inspired by the joys of perversity.” We felt compelled to explore other films that delve into the psychosexual realm of power exchange relationships — cinema that examines gender and cultural dynamics, sexual politics, or exists for pure titillation. … Read More

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10 Mystery Movies That Will Blow Your Mind

Forty years ago this week, Jack Nicholson redefined cool, Faye Dunaway redefined icy, and director Roman Polanski and screenwriter Robert Towne redefined film noir with the masterful detective thriller Chinatown. It isn’t just that the period drama boasts terrific performances, crackerjack cinematography, and all the period bells and whistles; it’s also a mighty good mystery, offering twists and turns that blindside the first-time viewer. And isn’t that what really great mystery movies are all… Read More

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Photos of 20 Directors Working on Their First Feature Films

Every great filmmaker had to start somewhere. The Tumblr Cinephilia and Beyond shared some photos from the set of George Lucas’ directorial debut, the dystopian THX 1138, depicting a frightening future in which human emotions are suppressed through mandatory drugs and people are controlled by an android police force. The images inspired us to search for other snapshots of young filmmakers — from Stanley Kubrick to Sofia Coppola to Spike Lee — working intently on their debut features.… Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in June

Temperatures are up, sandals are out, and multiplexes are crowded — though variety’s not really the name of the game, since the aim seems to be getting this week’s Designated Blockbuster onto as many screens as possible. But occasionally, tucked away on the smallest screen, or across town in the art house, you’ll find a release from the relentless commerce of the summer movie parade, and this June finds several fine independent pictures providing an alternative to the guns, bombs, and superheroes of the season. … Read More

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25 Summer 2014 Movies You Need to See

Though we’ve barely put away our parkas here in NYC, summer movie season is apparently underway, since there’s now a new Spider-Man movie playing on basically every vertical surface in the country. It could be argued that “summer movie season” began a month ago, when Captain America: The Winter Solder came out, because Hollywood is stuck in a PERPETUAL COMIC BOOK TENTPOLE BLOCKBUSTER SUMMER, but I digress. Let’s not fight it; here’s our look at 25 of this summer’s most promising releases, big and small. Plan your vacations… Read More

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25 Great New York Movies You Can Stream on Netflix

Plenty of movies have been set and shot in New York City, the metropolis becoming a character of its own for each film. Part of the excitement of living in New York comes from seeing our city depicted in various ways on screen. It’s also fun to see different sides of the city than the one we know, particularly from decades past when New York looked drastically different. The good news for us is that many of the most important and iconic films set in New York are available to stream on Netflix; here’s a collection of 25 you can watch tonight.… Read More

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