Trailer: Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups

Instantly recognizable as a Terrence Malick film, Knight of Cups has the same low-and-wide photography, the philosophical voice-overs, the general human malaise peppered with joy, that has been his signature directorial style since his coming out of hiatus with 1999s The Thin Red Line. Christian Bale plays a rich asshole in California who is reflecting on whether rich asshole was a good of life-goal. Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman co-star, and he extended cast is across the board exceptional: Imogen Poots, Kevin Corrigan, Brian Dennehy, Jason Clarke, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Shea Whigham, Ryan O’Neal, Ben Kingsley, Michael Wincott, Nick Offerman, Wes Bentley, (and Antonio Banderas is apparently on hand in the trailer to reflect women as fruit flavours.)

Whether or not the subject matter is appealing to you, the West coast vistas, and insides of mansions and nightclubs make this one of the top visual looking films of the year.

Cinecast Episode 413 – Playing the Black Keys

While many in the media and social media are spinning it otherwise, Matt Damon is Science Jesus. Who else better than to charm the pants off of Andrew and Kurt but Science Jesus, really? Ridley Scott’s The Martian is a straightforward crowd-pleaser to be sure, but there is a wisp of metaphor still to be had in the Wadi Rum valley.

October is here and the boys have decided to hit up a different first-run (ish) horror movie each week in the Cinecast for the month. This week is an Iranian black and white, vampire film shot in California mimicking Jim Jarmusch: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

The Watch List offers balcksploitation, blood and guts in the Star Wars franchise, trailers as deconstructionist/reconstructions art, journeys to the centre of the earth, and the case for Jason Bateman getting an Oscar nomination this year.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

 

 
 

 
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VIFF 09 Review: Redland

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RedlandMovieStillOver the last few years, the term “American Independent Film” has come to mean something very specific which often has little to do with independent. Indie cinema has turned into a huge business supported by many of the big studios and the result are films that feel more like blockbusters than indies and first time filmmakers are left with the decision to either buy into the machine or strike out on their own via the DIY route which usually leads to small films, shot on video and marketed on the web in hopes of finding the support to get them noticed. Once in a while, a film comes along that suggest the method, however broken is still producing great films and filmmakers (I have foremost in mind Lance Hammer’s brilliant Ballast) and then a true visionary comes along and smashes through every expectation.

Having seen Redland, it’s little surprise Asiel Norton is one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 new faces of Independent Film. Heck, there should be a category for Norton as the single greatest visionary to come out of the US film scene in decades because not only is Norton a talented artist with vision, he’s also a man willing to push the medium in a new direction.

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Cody Moves to Sweet Valley High

DiabloCodyI haven’t decided on whether this is the greatest news for teen films in a while or the worse anyone could imagine.

If you’re a girl between the ages of 15 and 35, you probably remember “Sweet Valley High.” The long running series about twins living in Sweet Valley, California, this was the series one grew into from “The Babysitters Club.” Originally created by Francine Pascal, the series eventually turned into a machine operated by ghost writers and running for 20 years before eventually calling it quits in 2003. At one point, the books even spawned a short lived TV series so it comes as little surprise that at some point it would be considered for rebirth but it never occurred to me that the birth could be so potentially unwelcome.

According to THR, Universal has picked up the rights to Pascal’s series to be adapted by none other than Diablo Cody. Cody’s track record may be full of high school drama but I simply can’t imagine what her take on the series will look like. Will Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield go from the popular girls to quirky teen outsiders who see the world through adult glasses? Sure, that could be fun but it’s not exactly “in the spirit” of the original (though if I remember correctly, the Wakefields were always bringing people together).

I’m not close enough to the source material to care either way but I would love to see another teen comedy on level with Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You. Not sure Cody with her unique brand of quirky kidspeak is the one to provide it but I’m hopeful.