nightmare before christmas halloween

It’s one of the greatest cinematic controversies of all time. Since international law allows you to only watch The Nightmare Before Christmas once per year, fans of the 1993 stop-motion animated musical have long debated the more appropriate time to view the film. Is it a weird and creepy Christmas movie, or a Halloween movie with with a peppermint-flavored candy shell? It only took 22 years, but someone finally decided to ask director Henry Selick, who gave the definitive answer: it’s an October movie.

Find Selick’s reasoning for the Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween movie label after the jump.

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Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa reviews

You probably know Charlie Kaufman from his screenplay contributions to Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry’s filmography, which includes Being John Malkovich, Adaptation. and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Or you might even have even seen his 2008 directorial debut Synecdoche New York, which we’ve analyzed on the podcast and in a series of videos.

Kaufman’s newest film Anomalisa made its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival over the weekend, and we have rounded up the early buzz. The film is notable not only because Kaufman’s involvement but it is the auteur’s first stop-motion film. The story is about “a man crippled by the mundanity of his life” and $406,237 of the project’s projected $8 million budget was funded on kickstarter. Hit the jump to find out the early reactions in the first Anomalisa reviews.

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Steve Jobs early buzz

The simply titled biopic Steve Jobs premiered at the Telluride Film Festival over the weekend, and the first reviews coming from the mountains of Colorado seem to indicate that we have our first Oscar frontrunner.

Michael Fassbender takes the titular role as the Apple co-creator and tech genius who brought us innovations such as the iPod, iPhone and perhaps most importantly, the first mainstream home computer. The supporting cast is nothing to scoff at either with Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg and more giving plenty more reason to pay attention to this drama.

Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle is behind the camera this time with a script by The Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin driving the whole film. And if the Steve Jobs early buzz from reviews and reactions following the film are any indicator, this team of talent has delivered an intense, powerful, home run of a biopic that finally paints a portrait of Steve Jobs that’s worth hanging on the wall. Read More »

Laurent Durieux's 2015 Telluride Film Festival Poster

Each year the Telluride Film Festival commissions an artist to create a poster for the event. We usually don’t feature the posters on the site because often they are more on the experimental side of things (although, Pixar’s Ralph Eggleston created the fantastic 2010 poster).

But we are featuring the 2015 Telluride Film Festival poster because its beautiful, and it was created by Belgian artist Laurent Durieux, an artist we’ve featured many times over the years on /Film. I personally have Durieux’s Back to the Future 2, Metropolis and Peter Pan posters on my walls. Check out Durieux’s Telluride Film Festival poster in full, after the jump.

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Tims Vermeer

Of all the films that got incredible buzz out of last week’s Telluride Film Festival (12 Years A Slave, Labor Day, Gravity, etc.) one stood out just because it sounded so very different. That film was Tim’s Vermeer, a documentary by noted magicians Penn and Teller. Penn produced and Teller directed the film, which follows inventor Tim Jenison on his attempt to duplicate the famous painting The Music Lesson by Johannes Vermeer. Jenison surmises that Vermeer may not have painted all his famous works by hand, instead using technology to aide in the creation. By attempting this, Jenison (as well as Penn and Teller) question the very nature of art itself.

Below, we’ve got a clip from the film that makes that above paragraph a bit more clear, as well as some early buzz from noted film critics. Read More »

Ramin Bahrani‘s most accessible film to date ends up being my favorite film of the 2012 Telluride Film Festival (yes, besting Ben Affleck‘s Argo).

Ramin has developed a cult following from his three minimalist slice-of-life micro-budget films starring non-professional actors (if you havent yet seen Man Push Cart or Goodbye Solo, put them on your “to see” list). But with At Any Price, Bahrani is gearing up to step out of the film festival shadows and find an audience beyond cinephiles. Indie filmgoers may be turned off by this but I welcome Bahrani’s attempt to tell more expansive stories.

Dennis Quaid plays a fourth generation farmer trying to survive in a time when big corporations are pushing in and devouring the American heartlands. Fighting to keep his family afloat, and losing the battle of keeping his family unit together, Henry comes face to face with the consequences of his amoral actions.

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The lone secret premiere of the 2011 Telluride Film Festival ended up being Ben Affleck‘s dramatic thriller Argo.

I’ve never understood the negativity regularly thrown at Ben Affleck. When given the right material, he’s delivered some great performances as an actor (Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love, Boiler Room, Hollywoodland…etc). And in recent years he’s made the transition and proven himself to be a great director (Gone Baby Gone, The Town). Argo is his third feature film and it’s his smartest yet.

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Note: Portions of this post are republished from an earlier blog post.

Every September, a small rustic mountain ski town in Colorado becomes host to one of the most elite film festivals in North America — The Telluride Film Festival. It’s not the most accessible film festival, and its certainly not cheap. So why do we attend the Telluride film Festival each year?

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Peter Sciretta is traveling to Telluride, CO today for the 39th Telluride Film Festival, which kicks off the fall festival season. The interesting aspect of Telluride is that the film lineup is not announced in advance; instead, the opening night of the festival sees the release of the program. So today we’ve got the bulk of the 25 Narrative and Documentary Films in the main program, and that Marion Cotillard, Roger Corman and Mads Mikkelsen are being honored.

The 39th Telluride Film Festival’s program will be posted in its entirety on Friday, August 31, 2012, and given that Baraka is noted as being screened in 70mm, we figure The Master might be added as a sneak screening. (Edit: and while Ben Affleck’s Argo is meant to premiere at TIFF, there will be a ‘sneak peek’ screening of the film in Telluride.) In the meantime you can get info on the first announcement wave from the press release after the break.

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