Trailer: Enter The Void

We have talked about it at length in these parts. Three of the regulars (Kurt & the Mamo! Matts) think it was the cinematic highlight of 2009 on the festival circuit and it is coming to a few select screens in 2010 courtesy of IFC. Do what ever you can to catch Gaspar Noe’s hallucinogen (Warning: photosensitive epileptics beware!) on as big of a screen possible. Kurt reviewed the experience at TIFF.

Apple.com has the new North American Trailer and it is tucked under the seat!
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TIFF 09 Review: Ondine

Director: Neil Jordan (The Company of Wolves, We’re No Angels, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire, Breakfast on Pluto, The Brave One)
Screenplay: Neil Jordan
Producers: Ben Browning, James Flynn, Neil Jordan
Starring: Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Alison Barry, Stephen Rea, Dervla Kirwan
MPAA Rating: 14-A (UK)
Running time: 111 min.


A craftsman film maker, Neil Jordan almost always know how to deliver. Not always with plot or characters (though that’s obviously still a part of it), but quite often with tone, mood and set. One could argue that with his latest, Ondine, the gorgeous locale off the coast of his home country of Ireland plays just as big of a role in bringing this film together as any of the principal cast members. To say the film is breathtakingly gorgeous would be quite the understatement. From opening to closing shot, Ireland is showcased profoundly in all of its wonder, glory and mysteries in this adult fairy tale of love found and lost and found.

Syraceuse (Collin Farrell) is a simple man living a simple life as a fisherman off the coast of Ireland. Sharing responsibility with his estranged wife of their special needs daughter, who is undergoing kidney dialysis, Syraceuse has given up the bottle and though still a bit on the irresponsible side, he is a genuinely caring man and only yearns to make an easier life for his struggling daughter. While trolling the waters for fish one day, Syraceuse nets a beautiful young woman who appears dead. With some resuscitation and a little luck, Ondine is revived; though apparently with no memory and no wish to be seen by anyone. With her safely aboard his boat, Ondine inexplicably brings about near impossible good luck for Syraceuse and he allows her to stay at his dead mother’s cottage on the sea side. As the mysterious luck continues and more and more evidence mounts, Syraceuse and his daughter, Anna, concoct a story that maybe Ondine is actually some sort of sea creature or fairy and of course a love begins to blossom (both as a companion and a mother for Anna). Reality and fantasy are soon blurred and all involved in this story begin to realize who and what they are and what they are not.

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Trailer: The Disappearance of Alice Creed

 

 
Back in September a few of us around here were lucky enough to attend the Toronto International Film Festival. Still luckier were those of us who managed to catch one of these hidden gems that for some unfathomable reason didn’t seem to get a whole lot of buzz or chatter going on. The Disappearance of Alice Creed (Andrew’s review) was a treat of the highest caliber goodness.

Going in to this film with as little information as possible is really important. While I’d almost say that there shouldn’t even be a trailer at all, obviously there has to be some bit of marketing. Thankfully Anchor Bay and filmmakers know how to keep things fairly tight under wraps and only give you just a taste of what’s in store for you here.

The chemistry between the two leads (Marsan and Compston) is magnificent and I had the chance to meet both of them and can confirm their graciousness and friendly demeanor. Two nicer guys, happy as hell to have fans and talk with them I’ve never met. Trust me, you’ll want to see this one when it gets out. Those who have seen it can confirm. Best of indie thrillers is personified right here…

 

New Poster and Trailer for “I Am Love”

Didn’t hear anything from anyone about this seemingly surreal drama at last year’s TIFF until Kurt posted the glorious, Criterion-looking one-sheet almost a month ago to the day. And now with the trailer, the description from that posts sounds like it will be quite accurate – at least in terms off the aesthetics. The cinematography is obviously breathtaking, but some of the camera work here look exquisite as well (love that shot coming over the railing on the stairs).

Apparently drawing a lot of praise coming off of the festival circuit, just from the trailer it’s easy to see why. As just a knee-jerk observation, this looks like Gosford Park meets The Royal Tenenbaums with the beauty of something like Diving Bell and the Butterfly. God bless Tilda Swinton as she seems to do zero wronging. It looks like we’ve got another possible hidden gem in our hands.

I Am Love, or Io sono l’amore, is slated for a June 18th limited release.
The trailer is tucked under the seats…
 
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Review: The White Ribbon

The White Ribbon

A tightly scheduled film festival is admittedly the wrong circumstance under which a person should watch, let alone review, a film such as Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winning masterpiece, The White Ribbon. Even under optimal conditions one viewing is probably insufficient. This is a film that demands your attention, and in the tradition of earlier work (i.e. Cache) it provides few easy answers as to what you have just witnessed. One must be part detective piecing together the information onscreen to bring into relief the finer details of its moral parable.

In an idyllic village in the north of Germany, a series of inexplicably violent acts stir the inhabitants’ puritan assumptions, forcing them to confront the ugly side of the human spirit. Weaving together a cross-section of the village, focusing especially on the education of the youth, The White Ribbon is Dickensian in scope, and at times confusing as one tries to keep a tally of all the characters involved. The story is told as prologue to the fascist uprising in Germany, the sins of the parents ushering in a new generation of frenzied idealists. The eponymous ‘white ribbon’ is a kind of scarlet letter used by one family in the film to single out impure behavior. Once marked with a white ribbon tied around their upper arms, the children are supposed to be reminded of their sin in the hopes of cleansing themselves, a clear analogue to the WWII Star of David badges this generation will later help enforce. This example barely scratches the surface of what struggles, familial, religious, even sexual come to a boil in this frank portrait of puritan values in corrosion. Would you like to know more…?

Jeunet | Micmacs | Trailer | Rejoice

A director we don’t often talk about around here but definitely should be is Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Easily in my personal list of top 3 directors working today, I just love his signature auteur style that invokes a little bit of Almodóvar, a little bit of Terry Gilliam and whole lotta charm (which almost always includes the fantastic Dominique Pinon). Look at the guy’s filmography and you’d be hard pressed to find a film that isn’t simply exquisite (please no jokes about Alien 4 – that movie is awesome).

The film screened at The Toronto Film Festival in September and has since been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics who have put together and released a trailer. The film revolves around Bazil (Dany Boon) who is accidentally shot in the head and finds his whole life turned upside down. Homeless, he ends up being taken in by a group of eccentrics, and starts to plot with them to take down the source of all his woes: the weapons manufacturers responsible for the bullets that hit him and killed his father years before.

While this latest trailer is a bit on the goofy side and possibly even a little messy, one can’t deny the visual heart put into this as well as what appears to be some pretty fun “Jerry Lewis”-esque performances. If this ever makes it anywhere near my neck of the woods (which is likely to be a long time from now) I can guarantee my butt will be comfortably warming one of the theater seats.

See the trailer below the seats…
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TIFF 09 Review: Broken Embraces

 

Director: Pedro Almodóvar (Dark Habits, Bad Education, All About My Mother, Talk to Her, Volver)
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Producer: Esther García
Starring: Penélope Cruz, Lluis Homar, Blanca Portillo, Jose Luis Gomez, Ruben Ochandiano
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 127 min.


 

Few, if any, film makers in the world today can be classified as auteur in their strikingly obvious work as readily as Pedro Almodóvar. You won’t find a director working today with a better eye for color theory and technique and it is equally doubtful you’ll find someone who is so obvious in their painstaking, meticulous attention to set detail and lighting. He’s been doing this type of film for so long that one would think at some point he would almost become a parody of himself as he churns out yet another delicious operatic yarn of colorful drama. But the beauty and brilliance of each and every shot (and I mean every shot) in his latest film, Broken Embraces just goes to show that a director can keep on doing what they do well and continue to amaze audiences without pandering or becoming a stale caricature of themselves.

The narrative in hindsight is really rather simple. A blinded screenwriter/director recalls his past to a young protégé in which he accounts for his time with a beautiful young actress with whom he falls in love. Unfortunately she is attached to an older, sugar daddy who also happens to be financing the film the two are making. As he slowly uncovers the love affair between the two, things begin to get hairy with a camera spying son and a jealousy bordering on psychotic which slowly unveils shocking truths leading up to the director’s blindness, loneliness and subsequent working block.
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TIFF 09 Review: An Education

an_education_nick_hornby

A beautifully told, classic coming of age tale through the eyes of a mature, cultured 16 year old growing up in suburban London in the 1960’s, Jenny (Carey Mulligan). Attending an all-girls school, she is by far the most inspired of her peers, the biggest dreamer. Though the dreams of her stern parents have their little girl studying at Oxford next year (and Jenny has the credentials and talent to see it through) her greatest joys come from listening to her Juliette Greco albums, as oppose to playing her cello, and speaking French instead of her dry school-book Latin. With Jenny’s cross into womanhood playing out for the duration of the film, this familiar struggle is an on going battle between her institutional obligations, and the new world she is carefully escorted into as she seeks her path in life.

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Antichrist One-Sheet For Fantastic Fest

While we burned ourselves out at TIFF and aren’t able to cover much from Fantastic Fest this year, we were still lucky enough to catch Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist (our review) on opening night back in early September. Fantastic Fest has pulled out all the stops for the film however and had their own poster for the film created specifically for their festival. I must say, artist David D’Andrea has done a bang-up job with this one.

Here’s a film not to be missed if you’re man enough to stomach it. It’s beauty and brutality all rolled into a psychological mind-bash. It’s very unforgiving yet spectacular. I think this poster showcases its darkness rather well…

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