The last time we checked in with Extraterrestrial, the new film from the director of the acclaimed Timecrimes, we had a couple new images, and those had followed on the heels of two really fun posters. (One of which is captured in part above.) Now we’ve got those two images in better quality along with a couple more.

Why should this flick, from Nacho Vigalondo, be on your radar? Those who’ve seen Timecrimes (which, yes, is still the object of a US remake effort) will know right off; for those who haven’t, let’s just say that it is an alien invasion love story. If it displays even part of the warped but adroit skill of Timecrimes, it will be worth prioritizing. Check out the images below. Read More »

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One of the more appealing TIFF premieres is 360, from director Fernando Meirelles (City of God). We’ve covered the film a bit in the past year and change as it cast Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster and more, but things have been a bit quiet since then.

The film is written by Peter Morgan based on Arthur Schnitzler‘s play Reigen. (Also adapted by Max Ophuls as La Ronde; a Schnitzler story was also the source for Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.) The play is an erotic drama that features a number of couples, with one half of the couple from one scene appearing as half the couple in the next, and so forth. (So the couples would be essentially: AB, BC, CD, DA.)

With the film about to premiere at the festival, we’ve got some new images, which you can see below. Read More »

Warning: this isn’t going to be quite the ideal easygoing Friday afternoon post. But when new info arrives on the latest documentary from Werner Herzog we’ve got to run with it, even if the subject matter is pretty dire. Specifically, Into the Abyss is a film about several death row inmates in the Texas prison system: three men convicted of murder, including one man who killed his girlfriend and her two mentally handicapped sons, and a woman convicted of kidnapping and murder. Werner Herzog talks to these people as well as to their families and victims, and by the looks of the three clips below, the result may be his most intense film in some time. Read More »

British documentarian Nick Broomfield has been on the film scene for years, and has made a few notable contributions such as the Spalding Gray movie Monster in a Box. But since the 1998 film Kurt and Courtney his documentary exposés have been characterized by sensationalism more than anything else. It’s as if the emerging influence of Michael Moore took root and helped mutate his style in just the wrong direction.

His latest film is Sarah Palin – You Betcha!, which is now scheduled to play as part of the Toronto International Film Festival documentary program. A teaser — really just a clip from the film — is now available, and you can see the Michael Moore influence in glowing neon. Read More »

Today the Toronto International Film Festival announced many new films, including the full feature documentary slate and the Midnight Madness picks. The latter is the suite of ten films that represents the festival’s genre offerings; the program is one of the best at any festival, period.

I was thrilled to see that one of the 2011 Midnight Madness offerings is God Bless America, the new film from Bobcat Goldthwait. His last picture, World’s Greatest Dad, is one of the best and most bleak comedies of the past few years. It can be so savage that it almost edges out of the comedy realm and into the lands of pure discomfort; that’s one of several reasons I love it. That movie has balls. I’m hoping for nothing less from God Bless America, in which a middle-aged guy and a young girl go on a killing spree inspired by hatred for the garbage glut of MTV ‘reality’ shows. Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

The Toronto International Film Festival has just announced the first fifty or so films from its 2011 line-up today, including new works by Alexander Payne, the Duplass Brothers, Sarah Polley, and Madonna, and many, many others. In the process, TIFF also released a crop of brand-new photos from several films from the schedule. Hit the jump for new photos from the following:

  • Derick Martini’s Hick, starring Blake Lively and Chloe Moretz
  • The Duplass Brothers’ Jeff Who Lives at Home, starring Jason Segel and Ed Helms
  • Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea, starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston
  • Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz, starring Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby, and Sarah Silverman

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Mike Mills is a famous New York graphic artist who designed promotional material and album covers for such acts as Beastie Boys, Beck, Sonic Youth, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. He moved on to directing music videos for such artists as Moby, Yoko Ono and Air, and became a very successful commercial director. Mills made his feature directorial debut in 2005 with a big screen adaptation of Thumbsucker, a novel by Walter Kirn. The film was met with moderately positive reviews, but was considered a disappointment by those who had been following Mills’ short films (watch one of my favorite of his short films, Architecture of Reassurance).

His second feature film, Beginners, premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. The movie is an independent drama about a young man (played by Ewan McGregor) who “is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover.” Christopher Plummer plays Oliver’s father Hal, and Inglourious Basterd’s Mélanie Laurent plays a young French actress whom he meets at a costume party and develops a relationship. I screened the film at TIFF this year but for some reason or another didn’t write a proper review for the site. I can tell you that this film is both well made and touching. Great performances, but a less-than-mainstream plot. I especially love the more quirky touches, like montages that Mills uses to express a sense of year and time (which you’ll see in the trailer). Watch the trailer embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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