After a few intense weeks, the 2016 Seattle International Film Festival is finally winding down. While the breadth of the festival always impresses me, this year I’ve been even more taken with how much the local filmmaking community comes together to support the festival.
After the jump, read a few more mini-reviews of some films I was able to catch this year, including an extraordinary new documentary that won the Grand Jury prize at SXSW.
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The life of an aging rock star can be a depressing one as the raging lifestyle of sex and drugs begins to turn into a lonely, quiet time of reflection. That’s exactly what Rhys Ifans experiences in the new drama Len and Company as his son (Jack Kilmer) seeks his father’s approval for his own musical career.
The first Len and Company trailer has debuted, showing a pretty typical family drama from the festival circuit. But with music at the heart of the story, it should have a pretty decent soundtrack. Watch below. Read More »
This year will be my fourth attending the Seattle International Film Festival, and it remains an intense and overwhelming experience. Spanning 25 days, this year’s festival will include over 420 films representing 85 countries, making it the largest film festival in the United States. Here at /Film and on the /Filmcast, I’ll do my best to keep up with some of the highlights of the fest, and let you know what films might be worth checking out when they hit wide release.
After the jump, you can read a few of my mini-reviews of Weiner, The Last King, and Tickled. If you see me at the festival, feel free to say hi, and leave comments below if you think there are any films on SIFF’s full calendar that one should not miss this year.
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The 69th annual Cannes Film Festival just wrapped up overseas with Ken Loach‘s film I, Daniel Blake taking home the coveted Palme d’Or, the top prize from the French cinema exhibition. However, there have been plenty of other films from Cannes that didn’t take home the top prize that are worth paying attention to. One film critic decided to put together a video running through what they thought were the best films from Cannes, regardless of whether or not they won any prizes.
Watch the best movies of Cannes Film Festival video after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2016 by Angie Han
Mike Birbiglia started out as a stand-up comedian before transitioning into filmmaking with 2011’s loosely autobiographical Sleepwalk With Me, based on one of his stand-up acts. It was solid and sweet and lots of fun, but it’s his second film, Don’t Think Twice, that should really mark him as an indie director to watch.
The dramedy, which premiered at SXSW this spring and is now headed for a summer release, follows the members of a scrappy New York improv troupe played by Birbiglia, Gillian Jacobs, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Gethard, Kate Micucci, and Tami Sagher. The close-knit circle finds itself in disarray when one of their number gets catches a huge break. It’s laugh-out-loud hilarious and painfully honest and above all, deeply empathetic, and it’ll ring all too true to anyone who’s ever found themselves feeling stuck in life. Watch the Don’t Think Twice trailer after the jump. Read More »
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Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2016 by Angie Han
Note: With Love & Friendship in limited release this weekend, we’re re-running our review from the Sundance Film Festival.
Jane Austen may have a reputation as a romantic, but I’d argue that her real forte is as a humorist. She’s second to none when it comes to elegantly written, sharply observed comedies about the foibles of England’s upper classes, combining a wry, biting wit with a genuine sense of affection for the characters she’s created.
Naturally, this makes Austen’s work the perfect source of inspiration for Metropolitan and Last Days of Disco director Whit Stillman, who has brought her novella Lady Susan to life in the laugh-out-loud hilarious Love & Friendship. Kate Beckinsale plays Lady Susan herself, a cunning widow out to secure her position in society via favorable marriage matches for herself and her daughter. Read More »
Director Kevin Smith is back with a movie that just might be his most insane yet. Yes, even though the Clerks filmmaker has done movies with a giant poop monster and Mark Hamill as a villain called Cock Knocker, and a horror movie with a walrus man, his Canadian-set, teenage horror comedy Yoga Hosers is the most bat shit crazy movie he’s ever made.
Some of the /Film crew caught Yoga Hosers at Sundance, and now the first trailer for the flick proves just how crazy it is. Johnny Depp is back as his goofy detective character Guy Lapointe from Tusk, but Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp (daughters of both Smith and Depp) play the chatty teens known as “The Colleens” in their first lead roles on the big screen.
Watch the Yoga Hosers trailer after the jump. Read More »
Last weekend Tribeca Film Festival hosted a special chat between filmmaker J.J. Abrams and comedians Chris Rock (who is also a filmmaker himself) as part of their 15th anniversary festivities. We already featured some tidbits when their discussion turned to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, mainly its similarity to Star Wars: A New Hope and Mark Hamill’s hesitancy to return for the sequel. But now you can watch the whole discussion yourself.
Tribeca Film Festival has made the entire 74-minute J.J. Abrams and Chris Rock discussion available to watch online, and it’s chock full of some great moments between the two entertainment icons. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2016 by Angie Han
At first glance, the 1970 picture of Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon shaking hands in the Oval Office looks flat-out bizarre. The flamboyantly attired musician makes for a striking contrast to the staid politician, and it’s a little jarring to realize that not only did these two people once inhabit the same universe, they actually crossed paths once. Somehow, the story behind that picture is even stranger: To Elvis, at least, this was no mere photo up but a meeting to discuss his swearing-in as an undercover federal agent-at-large for the Bureau of Narcotics.
Liza Johnson‘s Elvis & Nixon is about that how that meeting came to be and what happened when these two larger-than-life figures finally collided, with Michael Shannon as the King and Kevin Spacey as Tricky Dick. But it’s less about the vast differences between this two men than the one thing, even more than a shared distaste for the counterculture of the times, that truly bound them together: the strangeness of fame. Read More »