Trailer: Map To The Stars

MapToTheStars

After watching this trailer, I’m still not sure entirely what the latest David Cronenberg film is actually about, but it has Julianne Moore trying to recapture her youth, and an ambitious Mia Wasikowska with burn scar-tissue on her face. In orbit these two are John Cusack, Olivia Williams, Carrie Fisher, Sarah Gadon and Robert Pattinson. Map To The Stars is described as “A tour into the heart of a Hollywood family chasing celebrity, one another and the relentless ghosts of their pasts.” I’m liking Cronenberg in dry/hysterics comedy mode, and that it polarized the Cannes audience last May is only a positive in my book. Check it out below.

Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

OnlyLoversLeftAlive

Detroit is the new Transylvania in Jim Jarmusch’s delightfully detached vampire reverie, Only Lovers Left Alive. The film manages to significantly build upon and outdo Neil Jordan’s recent Byzantium in terms of clawing back the genre from its more recent sparkly teen-focus. The mature tone is pregnant with the kind of disaffected slow gaze that would probably result from a century or three on this imperfect earth with its revolving social cycles. It achieves a modern-Gothic romanticism better than pop culture’s own aging vampire-queen Anne Rice ever managed in novel form or when adapted to celluloid It evokes the people exodus and urban decay of Motor City in such a transcendent fashion that it nearly renders Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Detropia redundant. Undoubtedly, this is the white-haired director firing on all cylinders even as he is not in much of a hurry drive any sort of plot. The patience in pacing echo the lifestyles of the quasi-immortals caught up in music, art and ennui.

At first glance, some might label the movie slight due to its complete lack of concern for plotting, but any film which allows the viewer to breathe in so deeply, to revel in its dark spaces and eclectic moods is anything but. Only Lovers Left Alive is akin to listening to an exceptionally good album from end to end. The film even visually suggest this in the opening shot of the camera spinning and fading into vinyl spinning on its turntable. Jarmusch’s own band, Sqürl provides a droning, but warm and fuzzy, score that is wonderful thing in which to get lost in itself.

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Trailer: Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive

Jim Jarmusch is at his most Jarmuschian as he envisions immortal vampires who have seen it all, traversing around urban centres of the world before settling in old Detroit, as gothic a place as one might find in America in 2013. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston listen to rock and roll, talk science, art and cuddle in the dark before a spunky Mia Wasikowska comes along to break up the oh-so-romantic ennui. I believe it is fair to say that the trailer here captures the tone of the film pretty well, right down to the spinning record, and the jet-setting. One of the strengths about this particular take on the vampire is that it is not in any hurry to get anywhere, and that is just fine. The greek subtitles on this international trailer for the film only add to its own sense of the cosmopolitan decay.

My review of the film can be found here.

TIFF Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

OnlyLoversLeftAlive

Detroit is the new Transylvania in Jim Jarmusch’s delightfully detached vampire reverie, Only Lovers Left Alive. The film manages to significantly build upon and outdo Neil Jordan’s recent Byzantium in terms of clawing back the genre from its more recent sparkly teen-focus. The mature tone is pregnant with the kind of disaffected slow gaze that would probably result from a century or three on this imperfect earth with its revolving social cycles. It achieves a modern-Gothic romanticism better than pop culture’s own aging vampire-queen Anne Rice ever managed in novel form or when adapted to celluloid It evokes the people exodus and urban decay of Motor City in such a transcendent fashion that it nearly renders Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Detropia redundant. Undoubtedly, this is the white-haired director firing on all cylinders even as he is not in much of a hurry drive any sort of plot. The patience in pacing echo the lifestyles of the quasi-immortals caught up in music, art and ennui.

At first glance, some might label the movie slight due to its complete lack of concern for plotting, but any film which allows the viewer to breathe in so deeply, to revel in its dark spaces and eclectic moods is anything but. Only Lovers Left Alive is akin to listening to an exceptionally good album from end to end. The film even visually suggest this in the opening shot of the camera spinning and fading into vinyl spinning on its turntable. Jarmusch’s own band, Sqürl provides a droning, but warm and fuzzy, score that is wonderful thing in which to get lost in itself.

Would you like to know more…?

Cinecast Episode 314 – Punchy, Punchy

 
Thanks to our buddy Anthony (@fullantho) for dropping by to be Superman’s bodyguard as Kurt and Andrew flop around with Zack Snyder’s very expensive wet noodle of a Superhero film. Since three’s a charm, we have three feature reviews in this episode before getting to The Watch List. We will not only be talking about Man of Steel, but also the quasi-indie thriller The East and the current who’s who of young stars facing the book of Revelations and more dick jokes than you can shake a stick at, in This is the End. Jerry Seinfeld makes somewhat of a return in our Watch List as a man with exotic cars and famous friends and a taste for java and pastries. Kurt talks wuxia films both past and present while focusing on the awesomeness of King Hu on the big screen. We wax positively on the careers of Tom Cruise and Mark Ruffalo as well as how to elevate a simple genre film into a classic using just great cinematography and good screenwriting. Have at it, folks.

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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[mp3player width=560 height=76 config=cinecast.xml file=http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_13/episode_314.mp3] DOWNLOAD mp3 | 122 MB
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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Cinecast Episode 299 – Techincally, Literally and Actually

We don’t have much to get into today. Mostly were just shaking in our boots about the expectations for Episode 300. So far we’ve got nothing but we’ll figure out what to do for something at least a little bit different. For today, it’s all Park Chan-Wook and trying to pronounce Mia Wasikowska. Love doesn’t quite do it justice. Be prepared for SPOILERS though. We look forward to the next couple of episodes and Kurt gives brief impressions of his thoughts on Dreamworks’ The Croods, which we’ll talk a little bit more about later this week.

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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[mp3player width=560 height=76 config=cinecast.xml file=http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_13/episode_299.mp3] DOWNLOAD mp3 | 49 MB
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Full show notes and VIDEO version are under the seats…
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Review: Stoker

When Pauline Kael wrote off The Coen Brothers’ 1984 debut, Blood Simple, she had this to say: “Reviewers who hail the film as a great début and rank the Coens with Welles, Spielberg, Hitchcock, and Sergio Leone may be transported by seeing so many tricks and flourishes from sources they’re familiar with. But the reason the camera whoop-de-do is so noticeable is that there’s nothing else going on.”

Nearly 30 years later, style as substance has pretty much won the day as much as extruded franchised dinguses (and at the risk of boiling American Cinema down to two camps, I certainly prefer the former to the latter endless string of blockbuster product.) The South Koreans have been elevating arch style and glossy violence since the start of this young century. After dominating Japanese culture for a number years, and getting every single person on the goddamn planet to watch Psy’s Gangnam Style video on YouTube, it was only a matter of time before Busan’s top directors started coming to America to make Hollywood movies with caucasian A-listers. Earlier this year, it was Kim Ji Woon with The Last Stand, and later this year it will be Bong Joon Ho with Snow Piercer, but right here, right now, it is Park Chan-Wook with Stoker. Put aside any concerns that the Korean auteur’s particular style of filmmaking would be in any way dulled, diluted or even perverted by his entrance into Hollywood system. Putting his more literal vampire film, Thirst, aside for a moment, Stoker feels like the logical cultural transition from his cult ‘Vengeance’ Trilogy, a set of films that seemed to get more classy -and classical- as they went along. Here, his collaboration with screenwriter Wentworth Miller, handsomely merges Shadow of a Doubt and Let The Right One In together inside the tasteful glass house of Joseph Losey’s The Servant. Stoker is a hermetically sealed coming of age film with a taste for blood and emotional straight jackets. One of many exquisite images in the film is of candles on a birthday cake so casually extinguished whereupon a crystal casing is put over top of the lit flames, effectively and cutting off the oxygen, but allowing the smoke to linger in suspension. It is a telling enough portrait of the family dynamic to follow.

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TIFF Review: Restless

“Things go a certain way. Then they don’t.” Almost a fitting description of the love story at the heart of Gus Van Sant’s Restless. The story of a suicidal Enoch (Henry Hopper, son of Dennis) who draws himself into chalk-outlines for morbid fun and his pixie-dreamgirl, Annabel (Mia Wasikowska – excellent), who is more serene than manic, luminously dying of brain cancer. The film charts their budding romance as fall turns to winter in Portland, Oregon and how both of them come to terms with death. The film might have just a bit too much quirk for the rather heavy subject matter, but for those willing or able to get emotionally invested beyond the directors self-awareness, things can, perhaps, be extrapolated to a universal human condition. Self denial, or at the very least, a healthy suspension of disbelieve is required of the viewer as much at the characters practice this at every turn. An awareness of the typical cliches inherent in this type of movie, and how Gus Van Sant both both embraces and subverts them are at times revealing. They are are onto something even as they often jerk the audiences chain. If not for the bittersweet blend of earnestness and sly self-awareness, Restless would surely fall into the tar-pit of sugary schmaltz that plagues Good Will Hunting and Finding Forrester. Call this film a curious hybrid of the directors ‘mainstream’ mode and more experimental ‘Death Trilogy’ (Gerry, Elephant, Last Days) mode, although it very much leans towards the former.

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Cinecast Episode 225 – We Saw the Future

Thanks so much to Jandy Stone for dropping by to help talk movies this week. It would not have been much of a conversation without her. Hope you kicked arse for the lord with your trivia contest! At any rate, there’s surprisingly lots to dig into this week despite it being that odd time of year when not much is going on in the multi-plexes and people are spending their time tooling up for school and enjoying the beautiful weather. That of course, does not deter us from sitting indoors, ignoring the children and watching film. In limited release, we talk about Miranda July’s sophmore feature, The Future. Also on the platter is some British, sci-fi, humor action in Attack the Block and lastly Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle in The Guard. Grab some Pepsi for our discussion on the ins and outs and what have you’s of Kubrick’s Spartacus, Disney showing signs of life and film noir is still alive and kicking in the Netflix Instant realm. We remain relatively spoiler free throughout, so enjoy!

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


 
 

 

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Trailer #2 for Gus Van Sant’s Restless

 

Wow has it seriously been over half a year since we last had a trailer for Gus Van Sant’s latest, and the film hasn’t made it into the cinema yet? Restless is getting released in the USA on September 16th and yes, here is the second trailer for the quirky looking film (Mia Wasikowska as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl?) about a terminally ill teenage girl who falls for a boy who likes to attend funerals and their encounters with the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot from WWII. Imaginary Friends, Ethereal dying girlfriends, a riff on the soundtrack of Badlands, earnest medical melodrama. My head just exploded with twee, but I still want to see this. (It will still likely be better than Good Will Hunting…)

The trailer is tucked under the seat.

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