Briefly: Woody Allen continues to work at a pace that other directors can only dream of. He’s following To Rome With Love with a new film that stars Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard and now Michael Stuhlbarg. And now the movie has a title, Blue Jasmine, and a distribution deal with Allen’s regular partner Sony Pictures Classics.
Allen scripted (of course) and the film follows “the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife.” In form typical to the director, that’s just about all we know beyond the cast roster. We do know the film will shoot in the US, making it the director’s first film at home since the 2009 release Whatever Works. The fact that this will be Allen’s fourth movie since that picture came out is a testament to his wonderfully relentless work habit. [THR]
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Even for people who aren’t predisposed to love action films, Gareth Evans‘ The Raid earned a spot on many a 2012 top ten list. When Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film, the company also grabbed distribution rights to the planned sequel, The Raid: Berandal.
Casting details for the sequel hit before the new year, with Iko Uwais, star of the first film, set to appear again, alongside Julie Estelle (Macabre) as Hammer Girl, and Alex Abbad, Marsha Timothy, and silat fighter Cecep Arif Rahman playing an unknown but reportedly significant role.
Now Evans confirms that the sequel shoots very soon, and explains that the new film picks up right after the end of the first. Read More »
The film NO made waves at Cannes back in May, and the trailer has just arrived late in the year to become one of my fave trailers of the season. The film features Gael Garcia Bernal as an ad executive who comes up with a televised ad campaign to unseat Chilean leader General Augusto Pinochet in a vote that took place in 1988. Rather than crafting the typical political ads featuring images depicting an abuse of power, he chose to sell democracy as an attractive lifestyle.
The film was shot on video to emulate the look of the time, and the trailer sells a film that could sit alongside Argo as an effectively dramatized social and political snapshot. No has been a film I very much wanted to see all year, and I quite like this trailer from Sony Classics, which will release the film in the US next year. Read More »
One thing we can probably all use today is a light, colorful, perhaps even strange comedy.
I’m So Excited! is the new film from Pedro Almodovar, and it couldn’t appear to be more different from his last, The Skin I Live In. This brief teaser shows a few bored or irritated passengers on an airplane, and then focuses on three male flight attendants who break into a rendition of ‘I’m So Excited,’ by the Pointer Sisters.
No, I don’t know what that’s all about, either. But I kinda love it.
The film features Javier Camara, Cecilia Roth, Lola Duenas, Raul Arevalo, Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre, Hugo Silva, and “special collaborations” with Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Paz Vega. I don’t know what “special collaborations” means, either, but we’ll find out soon. Read More »
Michael Haneke‘s latest film Amour (aka Love) is probably the saddest happy movie ever made. It tells the harrowing story of an elderly couple’s long time love for each other and how their bond is tested when one of them falls incredibly ill. Depressing? More than you can imagine. But Haneke’s realism and the unbelievable performances of his leads, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, somehow takes terrible pain and transforms it into an affirmation of life.
Audacious in its attempt to make opposite ends of the emotional spectrum into perfect complements, Amour is a true feat that’s not to be missed. The film won the Palme D’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and just played AFI Fest presented by Audi. Read more after the jump. Read More »
Peter Jackson has not one, but two films coming out in late December. We all know about his little hobbit movie, but he’s also a producer of West of Memphis, the important and emotional documentary telling the story of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, three young men who, in 1993, were accused and convicted of murder. When the case became the subject of a documentary called Paradise Lost, it became a worldwide sensation, spawning several other films and tons of support for the boys who spent 17 years in prison before finally being released last year.
West of Memphis, directed by Amy Berg, is most likely the definitive work on the story and it’ll be released on a limited basis on December 25. After the jump, watch the brand new trailer. Read More »
At a time when even the most basic films feature once-impossible and now all but invisible digital effects and editing, it’s easy to look past the fact that the power of cinema lies in the simplest things: image and sound, and the way that two or three small elements can be combined to create a complex and very powerful effect.
One of the best moments in the trailer for Michael Haneke‘s new film Amour was a combination of an edit between two simple shots and an action in the latter shot. The edit cuts across time and through memory, and the action — a simple, mundane little thing — turns the construction into a montage that communicates deep, inescapable sadness.
Two clips of Amour are now online, and one highlights that moment. It’s one that should be studied by anyone interested in the construction of a film, because it is a lesson in pure cinematic storytelling delivered in one minute. If someone asked me what movies are, as a medium, I might point towards this clip. Read More »
One of the big hits of both Sundance and SXSW this year was the doc Searching For Sugar Man, about the singer Rodriguez, whose records bombed in the US in the ’70s even as it became a major cultural force in South Africa. Sony Classics picked up the film after Sundance, but no trailer has been released at this point. But last night 60 Minutes profiled both the film and its subjects, and that segment is now online.
I haven’t seen the doc, and so I can’t say whether or not this segment ultimately undercuts any narrative suspense built into the film. (I suspect that it does.) But if you’re willing to take that chance, or are more interested in the story than any reveals in the documentary, I’d recommend taking a a look.
When you do watch, I expect (just as Sony Classics hopes) that you’ll be eager to see the movie, as an interview with Rodriguez reveals him to be a wonderful subject, and the story of filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul is also wild. (He says he shot much of the doc on his iPhone.) Read More »
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