myfilmblog

Oscars Recap
by Kam Wiliams

Ben Affleck got the last laugh after being snubbed by the Academy in the Best Director category when his film, Argo, won the award for Best Picture. However, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi landed the most Oscars overall, four, including an upset of Spielberg for director.

The only other major surprise arrived at the outset of the telecast when Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor (Django Unchained) in a race thought to be between Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) and (Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln). As for this critic’s prognostications, I got 15 of 21 correct, including Argo.

Much of the pre-Oscar buzz had been about Seth MacFarlane’s hosting the Oscars, and how his irreverent brand of humor would be received by the crowd. Although he didn’t take many potshots at Hollywood royalty, his monologue, performances and banter did reflect a disappointing coarsening of the culture.

Whether invoking the name of porn star Ron Jeremy or doing a song and dance celebrating nude scenes “We Saw Your Boobs”, MacFarlane frequently resorted to racy material inappropriate for children. He also took a few jabs at Jews, implying that claiming to be at least half-Jewish or a big supporter of Israel was a prerequisite to making it in show business.

But he leveled the lion’s share of his acerbic barbs at African-Americans. For example, in a skit inspired by Denzel Washington’s film Flight, he had a black, hand puppet drinking alcohol and snorting coke,

Then there was his shockingly-pedophilic sexualizing of 9 year-old Best Actress nominee Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) by speculating about when she’d be too old to date George Clooney. And he made light of domestic abuse when he suggested that Chris Brown and Rihanna considered Django Unchained a date movie because it was about a man trying to get back a woman who’s been subjected to unspeakable violence.

Seth also quipped that it’s okay for Quentin Tarantino to use the N-word “because he thinks he’s black,” and he wondered whether Daniel Day-Lewis might’ve tried to free Don Cheadle had he bumped into him on the studio lot while still in character.

The offensive fare revolving around race was ultimately offset somewhat when they had First Lady Michelle Obama open the envelope for Best Picture from the White House. Still, this Oscar show was anything but a family affair.

Complete List of Oscar Winners:

BEST PICTURE
Argo

BEST ACTOR
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

BEST ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

BEST DIRECTOR
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Argo

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Django Unchained

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Brave

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Amour

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
"Skyfall" (Skyfall)

BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Life of Pi

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Lincoln

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Life of Pi

BEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
Searching for Sugar Man

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Life of Pi

BEST MAKEUP
Les Miserables

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Anna Karenina

BEST FILM EDITING
Argo

BEST SOUND EDITING
Tie: Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty

BEST SOUND MIXING
Les Miserables

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Paperman

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
Curfew

BEST DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)
Inocente


News
Userpic2013 Golden Globes Recap (FEATURE)
Posted by Kam Williams
14.01.2013

2013 Golden Globes Recap
by Kam Williams

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association jumpstarted the 2013 awards season Sunday evening with its annual recognition of the best in film and television. An early indicator of Academy Award potential, the Golden Globes have established Argo and Les Miserables as favorites in the Oscar race, much to the chagrin of fading-fast Lincoln. That much-ballyhooed historical drama prevailed only in an acting category (Daniel Day-Lewis), attendee President Clinton's stamp of approval notwithstanding.

Les Mis won for Best Musical, with Hugh Jackman and Anna Hathaway's performances also being feted. And Argo won for Best Drama and Best Director.

Meanwhile, in terms of television Homeland, Girls and the made-for-TV movie Game Change, walked away with the most trophies, with 3, 2 and 3, respectively.

The Globes were marked by its trademark, champagne-fueled informality, starting with co-hostesses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's taking potshots during their dialogue at everyone from their predecessor ("Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight because he is no longer technically in show business.") to Quentin Tarantino ("The star of all my sexual nightmares.")

Some of the presenters proved to be just as hilarious, such as when their fellow, SNL alums Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig feigned familiarity with the Best Actress nominees' performances. Later, Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger exchanged barbs about each other's poor command of English before opening the envelope for Best Foreign Language Film (Amour).

As for acceptance speeches, Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Jodie Foster came off as uncharacteristically-uncomfortable in front of the camera during a rambling rant during which she complained about her lack of privacy, came out of the closet, announced that she was available, and retired from show business. The camera caught several audience members crying in response to her emotional dump, although most appeared nonplussed.

As for sore losers, Taylor Swift frowned after losing to rival Adele as if the Best Original Song-winner had rushed to the stage and just pulled a Kanye West on her. Fey reacted equally-ungraciously to being beaten in the TV comedienne category when 26 year-old Lena Dunham thanked the also-rans for getting her through middle school.

In the end, co-host Poehler proved to be a better sport when she brought down the curtain on the festivities with the suggestive, less-catty sendoff, "Goodnight! We're going home with Jodie Foster."

 

Complete List of 2013 Golden Globe Winners

 

FILMS

Picture, Drama: "Argo"

Picture, Musical or Comedy: "Les Miserables"

Actor, Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"

Actress, Drama: Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"

Director: Ben Affleck, "Argo"

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"

Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"

Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"

Foreign Language: "Amour"

Animated Film: "Brave"

Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained"

Original Score: Mychael Danna, "Life of Pi"

Original Song: "Skyfall" (music and lyrics by Adele and Paul Epworth), "Skyfall"

 

TELEVISION

Series, Drama: "Homeland"

Series, Musical or Comedy: "Girls"

Actress, Drama: Claire Danes, "Homeland"

Actor, Drama: Damian Lewis, "Homeland"

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Lena Dunham, "Girls"

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"

Miniseries or Movie: "Game Change"

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Julianne Moore, "Game Change"

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Kevin Costner, "Hatfields & McCoys"

Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"

Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Ed Harris, "Game Change"


CECIL B. DeMILLE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Jodie Foster


Michael MooreMichael Moore gracefully accepted the Cinema Eye award for co-Directors Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi.

New York, NY - January 10, 2013 - The critically acclaimed Palestinian and Israeli co-production 5 BROKEN CAMERAS, co-directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi and distributed in the United States by Kino Lorber Inc., has been nominated by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in the Best Documentary category for the 85th Academy Awards®.

5 BROKEN CAMERAS has also won the top prize (Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking) at yesterday's Cinema Eye awards, presented at The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. Michael Moore gracefully accepted the award for co-Directors Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi.


News
Userpic2013 Oscar Nominations (FEATURE)
Posted by Kam Williams
11.01.2013

2013 Oscar Nominations
by Kam Williams

"Lincoln" and "Life of Pi" Lead Academy Award Sweepstakes
Quvenzhane Wallis, 9, and Emmanuelle Riva, 85, Nominated

Lincoln and Life of Pi emerged as the early favorites in the Academy Award Sweepstakes with 12 and 11 nominations respectively. Buy don't forget that just a year ago this critic warned of irrational exuberance when Hugo landed the most, only to ultimately be beaten by The Artist on Oscar night, thanks in part to an ad campaign carefully orchestrated by Harvey Weinstein.

And the Weinstein Company has a few horses in this year's race, most notably, Silver Linings Playbook, which has netted a nomination in every major category. So, don't be surprised to see that picture's stock rise considerably in the coming weeks. Another dark horse which might blossom into the favorite is Zero Dark Thirty, a film which suffered from political controversy and the fact that it only went into wide release on January 11th.

In terms of the acting categories, most of the buzz surrounds cutie-pie Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and grand dame Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) as the youngest and oldest actresses ever to be nominated, at 9 and 85 years of age, respectively. A lot of attention is being been paid to the contenders in the Best Supporting Actor category, too, since they all are former winners.

But practically overshadowing the nominees is the conspicuous absence of Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), Ben Affleck (Argo) and Kathryn Bigelow) in the Best Director category. Joining them in the snub club are actors John Hawkes (The Sessions) and Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi), as well as actresses Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea) and Ann Dowd (Compliance).
Regardless, the 85th Academy Awards show is set to air live on ABC on Sunday, February 24th at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, and will be hosted by the ever-irreverent Seth MacFarlane.

 

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Amour

Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)

Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)

Denzel Washington (Flight)

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)

Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)

Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin (Argo)

Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)

Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)

Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams (The Master)

Sally Field (Lincoln)

Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)

Helen Hunt (The Sessions)

Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

 

Best Achievement in Directing

Michael Haneke (Amour)

Ang Lee (Life of Pi)

David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

 

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Amour: Michael Haneke

Django Unchained: Quentin Tarantino

Flight: John Gatins

Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola

Zero Dark Thirty: Mark Boal


Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Argo: Chris Terrio

Beasts of the Southern Wild: Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin

Life of Pi: David Magee

Lincoln: Tony Kushner

Silver Linings Playbook: David O. Russell

 

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Brave

Frankenweenie

ParaNorman

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Wreck-It Ralph

 

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Amour (Austria)

War Witch (Canada)

No (Chile)

A Royal Affair (Denmark)

Kon-Tiki (Norway)


Best Achievement in Cinematography

Anna Karenina

Django Unchained

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall

 

Best Achievement in Editing

Argo

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

 

Best Achievement in Production Design

Anna Karenina

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln


Best Achievement in Costume Design

Anna Karenina

Les Misérables

Lincoln

Mirror Mirror

Snow White and the Huntsman


Best Achievement in Makeup

Hitchcock

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Misérables


Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Anna Karenina

Argo

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall


Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Chasing Ice: J. Ralph("Before My Time")

Les Misérables: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer("Suddenly")

Life of Pi: Mychael Danna, Bombay Jayshree("Pi's Lullaby")

Skyfall: Adele, Paul Epworth("Skyfall")

Ted: Walter Murphy, Seth MacFarlane("Everybody Needs a Best Friend")

 

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Argo

Les Misérables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Skyfall

 

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Argo

Django Unchained

Life of Pi

Skyfall

Zero Dark Thirty

 

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

The Avengers

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Life of Pi

Prometheus

Snow White and the Huntsman

 

Best Documentary, Features

5 Broken Cameras

The Gatekeepers

How to Survive a Plague

The Invisible War

Searching for Sugar Man

 

Best Documentary, Short Subjects

Inocente

Kings Point

Mondays at Racine

Open Heart

Redemption


Best Short Film, Animated

Adam and Dog

Fresh Guacamole

Head Over Heels

Paperman

The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare


Best Short Film, Live Action

Asad

Buzkashi Boys

Curfew

Death of a Shadow

Henry


The 10 Best, No, the 100 Best Films of 2012
by Kam Williams


It's impossible for me to limit my favorite films of 2012 to just 10 of the year's 1,000 or so releases After all, it feels unfair even to compare most of them to each other, since they represent so many different genres, countries and cultures, and enjoyed such a range in budgets.

Therefore, as per usual, this critic's annual list features 100 entries in order to honor as many of the best offerings as possible. And despite the cloud of controversy swirling around Kathryn's Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty for its depiction of torture and Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained for its violence and use of the N-word, both of these movies are nevertheless deserving of high accolades in my humble opinion.


10 Best Big Budget Films

1. Zero Dark Thirty

2. Silver Linings Playbook

3. Django Unchained

4. Looper

5. Argo

6. Life of Pi

7. 21 Jump Street

8. Cabin in the Woods

9. Flight

10. Magic Mike

 

Big Budgets Honorable Mention

11. The Hunger Games

12. Skyfall

13. The Amazing Spider-Man

14. Safe House

15. The Sessions

16. Savages

17. The Avengers

18. Think Like a Man

19. Hitchcock

20. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

21. Mirror Mirror

22. Anna Karenina

23. Lincoln

24. Sparkle

25. Promised Land

 

10 Best Foreign Films

1. Amour (France)

2. Turn Me on, Dammit! (Norway)

3. Nobody Else but You (France)

4. Let the Bullets Fly (China)

5. The Other Son (Israel)

6. Putin's Kiss (Russia)

7. Sound of Noise (Germany)

8. Attenberg (Greece)

9. I Wish (Japan)

10. The Fairy (Belgium)

 

Foreign Films Honorable Mention

11. The Well Digger's Daughter (France)

12. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Japan)

13. Ikland (Uganda)

14. Elles (France)

15. Simon and the Oaks (Sweden)

16. The Intouchables (France)

17. Unforgivable (Italy)

18. Dolphin Boy

19. Oslo, August 31st (Norway)

20. A Royal Affair (Denmark)

21. Busong (Philippines)

22. Gerhard Richter Painting (Germany)

23. Somewhere Between (China)

24. Crazy Horse (France)

25. 360 (Brazil)

 

10 Best Independent Films

1. Beasts of the Southern Wild

2. The Deep Blue Sea

3. Quartet

4. Take This Waltz

5. Middle of Nowhere

6. Safety Not Guaranteed

7. Compliance

8. Restless City

9. Goon

10. Changing the Game

 

Independent Films Honorable Mention

11. God Bless America

12. Ginger & Rosa

13. Yelling to the Sky

14. Nobody Walks

15. V/H/S

16. Tim & Eric's Billion-Dollar Movie

17. Model Minority

18. The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best

19. 28 Hotel Rooms

20. Velvet Elvis

21. Deadfall

22. Mosquita & Mari

23. Happy New Year

24. 96 Minutes

25. Jack & Diane

 

 

10 Best Documentaries

1. The Central Park Five

2. Head Games

3. Chasing Ice

4. Bully

5. The Loving Story

6. The Queen of Versailles

7. Hoodwinked

8. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

9. 65_RedRoses

10. Heist

 

Documentaries Honorable Mention

11. Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story

12. The Revisionaires

13. Six Million and One

14. Marley

15. High Ground

16. Bonsai People

17. Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story

18. Soul Food Junkies

19. Brooklyn Castle

20. Chimpanzee

21. Detropia

22. Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment

23. Never Stand Still

24. 5 Broken Cameras

25. Samsara

 

 


News
Userpic10-5 Kam's Kapsules
Posted by Kam Williams
04.10.2012

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam's Kapsules: Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

For movies opening October 5, 2012

by Kam Williams

 

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Frankenweenie (PG for scary images, mature themes and action sequences) Oscar-nominee Tim Burton (for Corpse Bride) directed this animated horror comedy about a young boy (Charlie Tahan) whose scientific experiment to bring his beloved pet dog (Frank Welker) back to life results in unintended consequences. Voice cast includes Winona Ryder, Robert Capron, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Landau and Christopher Lee.

The Paperboy (R for violence, profanity and graphic sexuality) Oscar-nominee Lee Daniels (for Precious) directed this crime thriller revolving around a big city reporter (Matthew McConaughey) who returns to his tiny Florida hometown to try to exonerate a Death Row inmate (John Cusack) with the help of his brother (Zac Efron), a colleague (David Oyelowo) and a sultry groupie (Nicole Kidman) With Macy Gray, Ned Bellamy and Scott Glenn.

Taken 2 (PG13 for sensuality, action sequences and intense violence) Principal cast reunites for this adrenaline-fueled sequel which finds retired CIA Agent Mills (Liam Neeson) vacationing with his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) in Istanbul where they end up abducted by a revenge-minded gang of Albanian sex traffickers. With Maggie Grace, Rade Serbedzija, Leland Orser and Luenell.

 

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Bel Borba Aqui (Unrated) Reverential biopic chronicling the career of Bel, the Brazilian artist whose oversized, outdoor sculptures dot the landscape of his beloved hometown of Salvador. (In Portuguese with subtitles)

Butter (R for profanity and sexuality) Social satire, set in small-town Iowa, about a young, adopted girl (Yara Shahidi) who squares-off against an ambitious housewife (Jennifer Garner) in the annual butter-carving competition. Cast includes Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde and Alicia Silverstone.

Escape Fire (PG-13 for mature themes) Medical crisis documentary addressing the question of whether the broken, American healthcare system can be fixed. Featuring appearances by Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Dean Ornish and insurance executive Wendell Potter.

Fat Kid Rules the World (R for sexuality, drug use and brief violence) Coming-of-age comedy about an overweight, suicidal 17 year-old (Jacob Wysocki) who forms a rock band with the street musician (Matt O'Leary) who saved his life by stopping him from jumping in front of a bus. With Billy Campbell, LILi Simmons and Jeffrey Doombos.

The House I Live in (Unrated) War on Drugs documentary takes a penetrating look at the human rights implications of the American criminal justice system's incarceration of over 45 million non-violent, narcotics offenders since 1971.

Now, Forager (Unrated) Marital crisis drama about a counter-cultural couple (Tiffany Esteb and Jason Cortlund), subsisting by selling wild mushrooms to Manhattan restaurants, whose relationship is tested when the wife tires of living hand to mouth. With Almex Lee, Gabrielle Maisels and Marty Clarke.

The Oranges (R for profanity, sexual references and drug use) Romantic comedy, set in suburban N.J., about the strain placed on two couples' close friendship when one husband (Hugh Laurie) has a scandalous affair with the other's (Oliver Platt) daughter (Leighton Meester). With Catherine Keener, Allison Janney, Alia Shawkat and Adam Brody.

Pitch Perfect (PG-13 for sexuality, profanity and drug use) Musical comedy about a college freshman (Anna Kendrick) who overhauls the repertoire of her all-girl singing group in preparation for a big showdown on campus with an all-male rival ensemble in an a cappella competition. Featuring Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson and Skylar Astin.

Sister (Unrated) Class-conscious drama, set in Switzerland, about a 12 year-old mountain urchin (Kacey Mottet Klein) who supports himself and his big sister (Lea Seydoux) by stealing from wealthy guests at a posh ski resort. With Gillian Anderson, Martin Compston and Simon Guelat. (In French and English with subtitles)

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You (Unrated) Introspective character study about a Brown University-bound high school grad (Toby Regbo) who spends a summer of discontent talking about his troubles to his grandmother (Ellen Burstyn) and psychotherapist (Lucy Liu). Support cast includes Marcia Gay Harden, Peter Gallagher and Deborah Ann Woll.

Trade of Innocents (PG-13 for mature themes and violence) International thriller about a couple (Dermot Mulroney and Mira Sorvino) grieving the death of their daughter who venture to Southeast Asia to rescue young girls caught up in child prostitution. With John Billingsley, Trieu Tran and Kieu Chinh.

V/H/S (R for gory violence, graphic nudity, explicit sexuality, drug use and pervasive profanity) Found footage horror flick about a gang of crooks who get the surprise of their lives after agreeing to break into a dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere to find a videotape for an anonymous third party. Starring Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes and Adam Wingard.

Wuthering Heights (Unrated) Screen adaptation of the Emily Bronte classic about the love which blossoms between an orphan (James Howson) and the teenage daughter (Kaya Scodelario) of the Yorkshire farmer (Paul Hilton) who adopts him, much to the chagrin of the girl's overprotective brother (Lee Shaw). With Solomon Glave, Shannon Beer and Simone Jackson.

 


News
Userpic9-21 Kam's Kapsules
Posted by Kam Williams
20.09.2012

OPENING THIS WEEK

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

by Kam Williams

For movies opening September 21, 2012


BIG BUDGET FILMS

Dredd 3-D (R for profanity, sexuality, drug use and graphic violence) Karl Urban assumes the title role originally played by Sly Stallone in this reboot of the futuristic, sci-fi franchise which finds America an irradiated wasteland patrolled by a formidable judge/jury/executioner committed to cleansing the country of undesirables with the help of an attractive rookie sidekick (Olivia Thirlby). Supporting cast includes Lena Headey, Wood Harris and Jason Cope.

End of Watch (R for sexual references, drug use, graphic violence, disturbing images and pervasive profanity) Grisly crime saga about a couple of LAPD cops (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena) who land on a drug cartel's hit list after confiscating a cache of guns and money during a routine traffic stop. With America Ferrara, Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez.

House at the End of the Street (PG-13 for profanity, terror, intense violence, teen partying, mature themes and brief drug use) Haunted house horror flick about a recent divorcee (Elisabeth Shue) whose hopes for a fresh start after relocating with her daughter (Jennifer Lawrence) to a quaint rural town are dashed by the creepy recluse (Max Theriot) living next-door. Ensemble includes Gil Bellows, Eva Link and Jon McLaren.

 

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

17 Girls (Unrated) Baby mama drama set in Lorient, France but inspired by actual events which transpired in a Massachusetts town where a clique of bored high school coeds entered a pact to get pregnant after one of them (Louise Grinberg) was accidentally knocked up. Cast includes Juliette Darche, Roxane Duran and Esther Garrel. (In French with subtitles)

About Cherry (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and drug use) Coming-of-age drama, set in San Francisco, revolving around a troubled teen (Ashley Hinshaw) introduced to the adult entertainment industry by a sleazy attorney (James Franco) and a washed-up porn star (Heather Graham). With Dev Patel, Lili Taylor and Diane Farr.

Dear Mandela (Unrated) Dream deferred documentary highlighting the efforts of a trio of activists spearheading a revival of the South African civil rights movement on behalf of the black masses yet to benefit from independence. (In English and Zulu with subtitles)

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (PG-13 for nude images) Reverential retrospective takes a fond look back at the life and times of fashionista Diana Vreeland (1903-1989), the influential editor of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.

Head Games (PG-13 for mature themes) Brain trauma documentary explores the oft-devastating consequences of concussions suffered while playing football, hockey, soccer and other sports.

How to Survive a Plague (Unrated) AIDS documentary chronicling the efforts of ACT UP and other gay organizations which successfully pressured the federal government to fund the research that turned the epidemic from a death sentence into a manageable medical condition. Featuring file footage of Larry Kramer and Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.

Knuckleball! (Unrated) Baseball documentary deconstructing the mechanics of the knuckleball with the help of such proponents of the unorthodox pitch as Tim Wakefield, R.A. Dickey, Charlie Hough and Phil Niekro.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13 for mature themes, profanity, and teen sexuality, fighting drug use and alcohol abuse) Screen adaptation of the Steven Chbosky novel of the same name about a lonely freshman's (Logan Lerman) attempt to adjust to high school while simultaneously struggling to cope with a crush on a classmate (Emma Watson), a friend's suicide and his own mental illness. With Paul Rudd, Ezra Miller and Dylan McDermott.

They Call It Myannar: Lifting the Curtain (Unrated) Bamboo Curtain expose' offering a rare peak at Burma via interviews conducted secretly with over a hundred of the repressive regime's political dissidents, including recently-released, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

Three Stars (Unrated) Delightful gourmet documentary delineating the culinary philosophy of nine of the world's greatest chefs. Featuring Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Yannick Alleno and Olivier Roellinger. (In Dutch, English, German, Japanese, Italian and Spanish with subtitles)

Trouble with the Curve (PG-13 for profanity, smoking, mature themes and sexual references) Clint Eastwood stars in this minor league diamond drama about an aging baseball scout with failing eyesight who grudgingly agrees to make one last road trip prior to retiring after his daughter (Amy Adams) agrees to accompany him on the trek. Cast includes Justin Timberlake, John Goodman and Scott Eastwood (Clint's son).

You May Not Kiss the Bride (PG-13 for sexuality, coarse humor and violence) Romantic comedy about a mild-mannered pet photographer (Dave Annable) forced to marry the daughter (Katharina McPhee) of the Croatian mobster (Ken Davitian) who wants his little girl to become an American citizen. With Mena Suvari, Kathy Bates, Rob Schneider, Tia Carrerre and Vinnie Jones.


News
UserpicIDFA Festival Winners and Favorites
Posted by myfilmblog.com
26.11.2011

Just back from IDFA, where there was a plethora of great docs. The official prize for Best Feature Length Doc went to the South Korean film Planet of Snail and the Audience Award to 5 Broken Cameras. Other festival favorites: Putin's Kiss and Mads Bruegger's newest film, The Ambassador. We released his prior film, Red Chapel, which you can download here.

Sushi: The Global Catch also had its European premier and will be coming to a featival or theater near you soon.

Stay tuned for more.


News
UserpicEl Bulli at Film Forum
Posted by myfilmblog.com
19.07.2011

The linup of guest speakers for selected screenings of EL BULLI: COOKING IN PROGRESS at Film Forum has been announced! Read More


News
UserpicLighthouse International Film Festival to Open with
Posted by myfilmblog.com
02.06.2010

It also fits his vision for the festival. Mr. Prince has tried to model Lighthouse—now in its second year—on festivals like those in Nantucket and the Hamptons "that bring in films from the top festivals around the world." Of this year's 70 movies, several are hot off the reels from Sundance and Berlin. Opening night will feature "The Red Chapel," a movie best described as "Borat" in North Korea. Named best world documentary at Sundance, it features two Danish comedians and one journalist traveling in the Communist state under the pretense of a cultural exchange.

Read more here.

Go Charlie!


News
UserpicItaly's culture minister boycotts Cannes Film Festival
Posted by myfilmblog.com
10.05.2010

Italy's culture minister has snubbed an invite to the Cannes Film Festival in protest at a decision to screen a film about the L'Aquila earthquake. Sandro Bondi has objected to the satirical documentary which criticises Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's handling of the disaster. Read more


Announcements, Distribution, News, Noteworthy, Offbeat
UserpicMeditate and Destroy- Now on VOD!
Posted by myfilmblog.com
22.07.2009

Meditate and DestoryMeditate & Destroy is now accessible to viewers from the comfort of their homes or on the go exclusively via Alive Mind's Video On Demand service. Meditate and Destroy is an 81-minute documentary about punk rock, spirituality, and inner rebellion. The film focuses on the bestselling author of Dharma Punx and Against the Stream, Noah Levine. Tattoos, motorcycles, and Buddha are featured in this hard-hitting look at how Buddhism has a place in the world of punks. This inspiring film opens our perception to the possibilities of finding new paths- even in our darkest hours.

This film provides an up-close look at how the driving forces in Noah’s life changed from violence, addiction and rebellion to taking on the role of dedicated meditation teacher and community leader - an individual whose candor inspires others to integrate Buddhist teachings of nonviolence and inner peace with a Western lifestyle.

Available to all U.S households or mobile devices with a high-speed Internet connection, Meditate & Destroy will inspire viewers to embrace the transformational power of Buddhism. 

Watch Meditate & Destroy now

I hope you enjoy this quirky, unconventional film. 

Love and Light,

Sarah Fisher


Elizabeth Sheldon, Christo and Jeanne-ClaudeBack from Silver Docs, where Albert Maysles was awarded the 2009 Guggenheim Lifetime Achievement Award. A fun time was had by all at the after-party with Al, Christo, Jeanne-Claude and the entire Maysles team basking in the limelight and enjoying the champagne.


By Chris Knight, National Post

You might expect the director of programming at Toronto’s Hot Docs film festival to have a fixed notion of what is and isn’t a documentary, but Sean Farnel, now in his fourth year in the job, says it’s a moving target.

“I’m becoming less of a purist about the form as I see filmmakers doing impressive things,” Farnel says. “This is a case where the term ‘non-fiction’ is better than ‘reality’ — whatever that is. Documentary as a non-fiction form has become very fluid in the last 10 years ... You see docs consistently pushing the form in new directions.”

Two popular, form-pushing films released last year illustrate his point. Waltz with Bashir, by Ari Folman, recreates the Israeli filmmaker’s memories of the 1982 war with Lebanon through animation. Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg was part monologue, part travelogue and partly made up, though clearly even the imaginary parts of Manitoba’s capital are close to Maddin’s heart.

This year’s festival, which opens next Thursday with a screening of Jennifer Baichwal’s Act of God, includes a number of what Farnel calls “creative documentaries.”
Cooking History, about soldiers’ food during wartime, uses tableaux and elaborate reconstructions. Antoine, a Canadian film by Laura Bari, immerses the viewer in the universe of a blind five-year-old boy. Big River Man, which Farnel calls a “demi-documentary” in the festival’s program notes, “might be another example of walking the line between fiction and non-fiction to achieve what Werner Herzog would call poetic truth.”

Read the rest of this story »


News
UserpicTony Manero
Posted by Elizabeth
01.03.2009

tony-manero-dance.jpgAnother coup for Lorber HT Digital, who acquired North American theatrical and home video rights for the 2008 New York Film Festival winner, Tony Manero. Set in Chile during the grim days of the military dictatorship of General Pinochet, the film opens with the seemingly benign protagonist, Raul, protecting a little old lady from neighborhood thugs (where are the ubiquitous Chilean police when you need them?). Any sympathy is quickly shattered when Raul bashes her brains out with his bare hands and then absconds with her color television set, although not before taking care to feed her cat.

A macabre political parable, Raul's obsession with Saturday Night Fever is an apt metaphor for the dictatorship. The film's use of violence and sexual disfunction is appropriate and powerful. Raul's fantasy, and his single-minded pursuit of it, paints a dark picture of life under a dictator.

Read more at Indiewire.

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