COMMENTARY TRACK: Gilliam Compares Spielberg to Kubrick

Thanks to Boing Boing for bringing this wonderful clip to my attention.

Visionary director, ‘Monty Python’ member, and commercial failure Terry Gilliam discusses the differences between Stanley Kubrick and Stephen Spielberg. Gilliam’s words have a lot of relevance due to the upcoming release of War Horse and the sentimental sensationalism evident in the trailer.

For fun, compare the trailer for War Horse with Kubrick’s 1957 anti-war film Paths of Glory.

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REVIEW: The Updated Muppets a Timeless Classic

The Muppets

The Muppets have been around for so long, I cannot recall when I was first introduced to them. As a child I was taken to see the occasional movie, but by this point (1992-2000) the Muppets franchise had become stale and suffered from the death of the creator, Jim Henson. It was only as I got older that I was introduced to their full body of work. I felt an instant connection to the loveable characters from films such as The Muppets Movie and Muppets Take Manhattan. The Muppets were, and are, a loveable group of misfits, each of whom found a place to belong despite their weirdness. Even one of the characters, Gonzo the Great, is of species “Weirdo.”

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SHAME Poster

Above is the absolutely ravishing new poster for Steve McQueen’s Shame. Reviews out of New York, Toronto and Telluride have built upon the momentum gathered way back in Venice. The buzz makes this one of the most anticipated films of the year, and the same can be said for Fassbender’s performance. Will he become the Bardem of 2011? Can Fox Searchlight’s campaign wizards strike a fire under this work, and get it into more Academy categories despite its testy NC-17 rating? Only time will tell.


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TRAILER: My Week With Marilyn

I have been interested in this film for some time now because of all the major acting chops on display. Very glad to finally get a trailer. Some first impressions, it looks gorgeous. The era’s set pieces and fashion will get me in the theatre alone. I will note that Williams does not seem to be doing Monroe’s signature breathy voice. Also, I’m starting to get sick of the emotionally manipulative music at the end of trailers.

Theme wise, it seems to be dealing with similar issues of identity like the iconic Elton John and Bernie Taupin song ‘Candle in the Wind’ about the same woman. I understand putting this at the forefront of the trailer because of its significance in the cultural lexicon, but I hope the film gives me a bit more to chew on.


Trailer after the jump.

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VIFF: Program Changes

The festival runners will be announcing additional screenings of popular films and festival favorites as VIFF continues throughout the next two weeks. These updates will be announced in the theater before screenings, posted on bulletins in the cinemas, and updated on the VIFF website. We will also post the updated program changes here, along with any changes to our coverage.

Additional Screenings:

  • LAS ACACIAS (dir. Pablo Giorgelli) – Wed, Oct 5, 8:45pm
  • BULLHEAD (dir. Michael R. Roskam) – Thurs, Oct 6, 10:30am

Coverage Change:

  • TAKE THIS WALTZ (dir. Sarah Polley) will not be covered, due to time constraints.
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Like Crazy made a big impact at Sundance earlier this year, winning the grand jury prize for best picture, so it seemed like a reasonable choice for my first film at VIFF. After picking up my tickets at will-call, I rushed into the cinema on Granville St, and joined the excited throng being herded into the theater. I found the atmosphere of a festival to be unlike a normal movie-going experience. There is a kinship among festival goers, as every one understand that each other person, like them, has had their adoration of the cinema, at least once, classified as fanatic. Soon, the curtains opened and the excited chatter is hushed.

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Six Character Posters Emerge for MELANCHOLIA

Six new posters have hit the web for Lars von Trier’s upcoming apocalyptic film Melancholia. 

An absolutely stunning tagline for the Dunst/Sutherland prints as well, highlighting some of Trier’s trademark nihilism.

Check out the rest over at MovieWeb.


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VIFF 2011: Opening Day

Opening day for the Vancouver International Film Festival is upon us. I will be NewFoundFilm’s man on the ground for the next two weeks, trying to take in as many of the festival showings as humanely possible.

The calendar for the movies I wish to cover at VIFF are below. A full schedule of the festival screenings can be seen here.

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TRAILER: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011, Daldry)

It’s not that it looks good, per se, but it sure looks right up Oscar’s alley. The most important thing about this trailer is simple: Max Von Sydow, who has jumped to the front of the Supporting Actor race.

The Bergman regular has had some flirtations with Oscar in recent years, getting closest for a two-scene performance in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly back in 2007. If you can actually believe it, Sydow has only one Oscar nom, coming for his lead turn in 1988’s Pelle the Conqueror. 


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REVIEW: In Need of Help

Isn’t Autumn a wonderful time of year for the movie enthusiast? This is when the reign of the summer blockbuster ends and studios begin releasing their, well, their more serious films. The reason for this is twofold. First, most film festivals have ended and studios have purchased independent films for wider distribution. Second, there is a window between September and December where a studio can release movies with the highest chance of being awarded an Oscar (too early in the year and it’ll be forgotten, too late and there won’t be time for buzz to generate).

The Help is Autumn’s first wide-release with potential of garnering a coveted Academy Award nomination and, for reasons to which I’ll come to, a nomination would not be undeserved (The Help was technically released in August, which is Autumn in the movie studio calendar in the same way that March is the beginning of Summer blockbuster season). The Help has superb acting, a script that delivers a few clever lines, but a meandering, humdrum plot. Usually at this point in a review I like to delve into the questions raised by the film, but I found The Help to contribute nothing new to a tired theme, so instead I will look closer at the pros and cons.

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