Wim Wenders

James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain in "The Disppearance of Eleanor Rigby"; John Cusack in "The Sure Thing"

The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ ‘The Sure Thing’

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Your “new” DVD and streaming releases are pretty dire this week, consisting as they do of the dull would-be Oscar contender Unbroken, the charmless Into the Woods, and the merciful conclusion of the Hobbit trilogy. But, as usual, the catalog titles save the day, with two vintage documentaries from Criterion, an off-brand sleeper by Robert Altman, a Rob Reiner sex comedy, and a forgotten but fascinating Wim Wenders odyssey. Plus, Netflix offers a chance to see how two films become one.
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50 Inspiring and Revolutionary Quotes From Avant-Garde Artists

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A key figure in the New German Cinema movement, Wim Wenders is also an accomplished playwright, author, and photographer. His analytical essays, collected in volumes like Emotion Pictures: Reflections on Cinema and experimental documentaries such as Room 666, confirm Wenders’ status as a questing, medium-blurring artist. Wenders is in that sense an avant-garde icon. In time for the Museum of Modern Art’s exhaustive retrospective of his film work, we’ve compiled a series of quotes on art, process, and philosophy from like-minded boundary-leveling… Read More

Sandra Bullock and Kiefer Sutherland in "The Vanishing"

10 Terrible American Remakes of Great Foreign Films

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This week, the Criterion Collection unveiled a new Blu-ray edition of The Vanishing, George Sluizer’s critically acclaimed and bluntly effective 1988 Dutch thriller. But it’s also a film with a tainted legacy, as most American moviegoers are far more familiar with the inferior and ill-conceived 1993 remake, starring Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, and Sandra Bullock. Yes, it was another case of the disastrous American remake, and rest assured, for every Departed or Birdcage, there are three or four stinkers like these.
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Essential Art House Road Movies

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A commedia all’italiana classic arrives on Blu-ray via Criterion next week. Dino Risi’s Il sorpasso finds an unlikely duo — the young, shy Roberto (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and the older, freewheeling Bruno (Vittorio Gassman) — on a madcap road trip through Rome, Lazio, and Tuscany. The odd couple’s adventures veer from comedy to tragedy as themes of love, masculinity, repression, and self-discovery are explored. The influential film is a striking portrait of the struggles of modern life in Italy during the 1960s, using the road as a metaphor for discovery and expansion — not only in the case of Roberto and Bruno, but also the national identity. Here are other 10 other art house road films that journey down similar paths.
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The Most Emotional Scenes on Film

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For many filmmakers and audiences, cinema is the search for and realization of emotional truths. Countless studies have been done to examine the way movies elicit, and often manipulate, our emotions — but sometimes scientists or computers cannot measure these responses. This resonated with us earlier in the week when we discussed the poignancy of posthumous performances, in relation to James Gandolfini’s final starring role in Enough Said. There are a number of subjective reasons why people connect with a film, but they all have to do with an honesty and openness that invites us to embrace the characters, the story, or even a single scene we can relate to. We wanted to examine a few of those moments — when a scene captured our hearts and shared the beauty, sorrow, and joy we felt in our own lives and the world around us. Here are ten of the most emotional scenes captured on film. We’ve included video, and there are a few spoilers. Share your own favorites with us, below.
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diana

10 Essential Fashion Documentaries

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New York Fashion Week opened earlier this week, and we’re celebrating with a list of essential fashion documentaries that go behind the scenes of the industry. Legendary designers, the business of modeling, and Fashion Week itself are all explored in these insider docs covering the catwalks of Italy and Paris, art galleries during the 1980s, and the streets of New York City on an old Schwinn with camera in hand. Feel free to add to add your own picks, below.
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European Cinema’s Best Smoking Scenes

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The European Union has inched closer to America — at least regarding their stance on smoking. The European Parliament is banning menthol and other flavored cigarettes. They’re also setting their sights on “slim” cigarettes, and hoping to regulate e-cigarettes. It’s a bold move for a continent populated with the world’s biggest smokers and drinkers. We know smoking is detrimental to our health, but the movies often make it seem worldly or bohemian — especially European cinema, where characters are eternally shrouded in smoke. But a cigarette between the lips is often present for more than just show. Sometimes it’s a prop that reveals more about the personality of a character or it becomes a pivotal part of the story. Join us after the jump for ten of the greatest smoking scenes in European film.
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lastrada

Beautiful Behind-the-Scenes Photos from 20 Art House Films

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We make no secret about our fascination with behind-the-scenes photos and footage from our favorite films. So, after spotting a collection of photos from Robert Altman’s surreal dream study 3 Women on Kino Images, we went searching for more beautiful shots from art house films. Most of these stills could be artworks themselves, and several provide a humorous respite from an otherwise serious subject. Click through for more beautiful, fascinating… Read More

The 10 Most Mysterious Vanishing Acts on Film

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Missing person tropes were a familiar staple of the mystery genre long before cinema, but movies have without a doubt become the ultimate medium for the thrill of a character suddenly going MIA. We love vanishing acts in all their different forms: they appeal to the amateur sleuth in us, intrigue our most childlike sense of wonder, and sometimes just freak us out — especially when they seem to defy reason. Cinema, much like sleight of hand, is all about spectacle, and creating the spectacle of disappearance requires certain elements of suspense, surprise, and above all else, a feeling of uneasiness. We’ve made a list of ten of the most classic, unsettling vanishing acts on film that are sure to keep you guessing.
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