There’s an implied threat in the title of the film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Those words together suggest menace and victimization. An image forms, not of a woman out for an enjoyable stroll, but of one who might not make it home.
A reversal of that threat is the core of this vampire film written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. Luminescent black and white photography buttresses a very spare approach to story. Into the tale are woven supernatural tropes, and elements of westerns and ’50s rebel movies. Shot in California but set in Iran, with dialogue in Farsi, the film’s images and characters are a collision of Iranian and American cultures, specifically with respect to social politics of sex and gender. This is an inversion of classic horror, because it is not about victimization of the person described in the title, but rather that person’s retaliation against forces that seek to dominate and subjugate.
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The world premiere screening of Gareth Evans‘ highly anticipated sequel, The Raid 2, just finished at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and the response was electric. We’ll have a review and video blog soon but, for now, we’ve compiled a bunch of tweets from movie bloggers and filmmakers alike to give you an idea of what you can expect when the film hits on March 28. Here are two to get the ball rolling:
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Posted on Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 by Angie Han
The marketing campaign for Gareth Evans‘ The Raid 2 is off to a damn good start. The first teaser was light on plot but heavy on thrills, and the Indonesian trailer was a violent good time. Then there’s the fact that the first movie was pretty damn great, which really is the best advertisement of all for the sequel.
The new full-length trailer doesn’t disappoint, either. The follow-up picks back up with Iko Uwais‘ Rama, who’s now going undercover to protect his family and expose the bad guys. Naturally, this latest endeavor provides plentiful opportunities for both sides to kick, punch, shoot, stab, and beat the hell out of each other, in glorious fashion. Watch the video after the jump.
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There’s one really good reason to see the German film Wetlands, and her name is Carla Juri. She’s a firecracker; I keep hearing people refer to her as “the German Greta Gerwig,” and the comparison is easy to see. But Juri has her own skills and appeal, and her performance is the most watchable one I’ve seen so far at Sundance this year.
That’s saying something, as the subject matter of Wetlands can be… off-putting. The story hinges on — and there’s no delicate way to put this — an anal fissure suffered by Juri’s character Helen during a grooming session gone wrong. Helen is a young woman who has an unusually deep body consciousness; she’s more intimately in touch with her body than any young woman in a recent film. While she’s a prat clearly damaged by her parents’ divorce, Helen is still a promising, even inspiring character. By the end, however, Wetlands throws away her potential in favor of a too-familiar quirky love story.
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A newly minted Oscar-nominee for Best Animated Feature is premiering its English Language version at this week’s Sundance Film Festival and we’ve got your exclusive first look at the poster. The film is called Ernest & Celestine; it tells the story of a rivalry between mice and bears. Directed by Benjamin Renner, Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, the film was a festival darling and was recently named Best Animated Film by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The English voice cast is second to none – Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Jeffrey Wright — and it’ll have three screenings in Park City, UT this week before a theatrical release March 14.
Check out our exclusive debut of the Sundance poster below. Read More »
The horror anthology V/H/S/2 featured a great segment called ‘Safe Haven,’ directed by Gareth Evans (The Raid) and Timo Tjahjanto. Now Tjahjanto has a new project hitting Sundance this week. Killers was co-directed by him and ‘Safe Haven’ producer Kimo Stamboel, and the film looks like a dark, mean genre exercise. Killers follows two men, from Indonesia and Japan, who post videos of their crimes online in an effort to one-up each other. The result looks ugly, but also captured with a kinetic energy that offers some appeal to balance the grimy goings-on.
Kazuki Kitamura, Oka Antara, Rin Takanashi, Luna Maya, Ray Sahetapy star in the film. Check out a trailer below. Read More »
As things tend to go in Iranian film, we don’t hear about a lot of westerns, and probably fewer films that involve vampires. So when the claim can be made that A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is the first Iranian vampire western, and one directed by a woman, to boot, there’s plenty reason to be curious. The film is Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut as a director, and will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month.
Oh, and the film comes from SpectreVision, which is the relatively new genre-oriented company created by Elijah Wood, Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller.
Check out a brief teaser and a striking poster, below. Read More »
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Posted on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 by Angie Han
After a triumphant premiere at Cannes this spring, Blue Is the Warmest Color got some negative attention this fall when stars Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos told press that working with director Abdellatif Kechiche was a “horrible” experience and that they’d never work for him again.
The question of whether Kechiche pushed his stars too hard is still open, and based on the director’s statements may even be headed to court. But it can’t be argued that his methods, however brutal, got results. Overnight, Blue Is the Warmest Color transformed Exarchopoulos from a virtual unknown (at least in the States) into an international sensation.
And IFC Films would very much like you to remember that. The U.S. distributor for the French film has just released a red-band For Your Consideration trailer highlighting Exarchopoulos’ stunningly raw, tender performance. Check it out after the jump.
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