Posted on Friday, November 27th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Of the hundreds of “best of the year” lists assembled by various publications around the world, Sight & Sound magazine’s top 20 always tends to be the most fascinating. This year is no different. It’s hard to argue with any list that finds room to contain brutal holocaust immersions and artful LGBT romances and post-apocalyptic action adventures and tear-jerking animated family movies and stirring stop-motion animated dramas and high-concept horror movies and unrelenting documentaries about genocide and stoner film noir.
As usual, the list skews arthouse (there are a few titles here that we aren’t familiar with at all), but consider this list a homework assignment – if it’s on this list, it’s surely going to be worthy of any serious movie fan’s time. Check out the complete Sight and Sound best of 2015 ranking after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 by Angie Han
Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer turned out to be one of the best films of 2014, but you may recall that its path to U.S. cinemas was a rocky one. The Weinstein Co. picked it up and then tried to chop it up against the director’s wishes. Bong finally emerged victorious — the cut that ultimately got released was the one he wanted — but only after lots of public disagreement and controversy.
Fortunately, Bong’s next effort should have a much easier time making it to American audiences intact. Netflix has just signed on to finance Bong’s Okja to the tune of $50 million. Brad Pitt‘s Plan B is also on board to co-produce. As we reported last month, the star-studded cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, and Bill Nighy. Get more details on the Netflix Okja news after the jump. Read More »
UPDATE: An updated A Tale of Love and Darkness trailer with English subtitles has just been released, and you can check it out after the jump. Original story from 08/12/2015 follows.
For her feature directorial debut, Natalie Portman also wrote and starred in A Tale of Love and Darkness, an adaptation of the autobiographical novel by Amos Oz, effectively an account of the founding of the state of Isreal as recounted through events in Oz’s own life. The story begins in 1945 in Jerusalem, honing in on Oz’s family — young Amos (Amir Tessler), parents Arieh (Gilad Kahana) and Fania (Portman) — as tensions mount between Jews and Arabs towards the end of the Mandate for Palestine.
There’s no domestic trailer for the film just yet, but we do have an international trailer for A Tale of Love and Darkness. While there’s no English language dialogue here, the trailer still communicates quite a lot through the imagery captured by Portman and her cinematographer Slawomir Idziak (Black Hawk Down, Gattaca). Have a look after the break. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 by Angie Han
Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho pulled together an all-star lineup for his first English-language film, Snowpiercer, and got some of the most memorable performances of the year out of them. No surprise, then, that heavyweight talents are eagerly lining up to join his new film Okja. Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Kelly Macdonald, and Bill Nighy are looking to board the multilingual monster pic, joining Tilda Swinton.
Read more about the Jake Gyllenhaal Okja casting after the jump. Read More »
Son of Saul is a significant achievement made all the more astonishing by the fact that it is the director’s debut feature. This intimate story from within the Holocaust avoids World War II movie cliches, turning away from convention to embrace an unflinching vision of one man’s quest for redemption in the inferno of Auschwitz.
The phrase “Holocaust movie” may inspire an instinct to avoid rather than rush towards a film; in this case please don’t give in. Son of Saul approaches its subject without gingerness or caution, but this film’s spirit never falls into exploitation. More important, focusing on one man’s experience does not trivialize the weight of the story’s context. Seeing the Holocaust through Saul’s own personal mission gives us a view of the genocide that is unlike any other in cinema. Read More »
Here’s the first Ip Man 3 teaser, complete with some footage of Mike Tyson as the antagonist of the film. (He’s not playing himself, by the way.) Donnie Yen returns as Ip Man, most famous for teaching Bruce Lee, though that point in his life is only one of many achievements.
Bruce Lee, by the way, has been said to be appearing in this film through the demonic magic of CG, despite attempts from the Lee estate to contest that plan. We’ll see how that goes; fortunately there’s no CG Lee in this footage. Read More »
Posted on Monday, September 28th, 2015 by Angie Han
Note: While the first page of this review is spoiler-free, the second goes deep into spoiler territory. We ask that you mark spoilers in the comments, but proceed into the comments at your own risk.
To the best of my memory, I’ve only ever walked out on three movies in my life. Twice, it was at the behest of other people; once, I was simply bored. All three times were years before I began watching movies for work.
I did not walk out on Goodnight Mommy. But I came as close as I ever have in my professional career, which is a testament to how disturbing the film gets. And yet, in the end, I had to admit it more than paid me back for my deep discomfort, which is a testament to how ultimately brilliant it is. Read More »
After playing Cannes this summer and the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, Takashi Miike‘s latest flick is on the way to theaters in October, and it looks positively insane.
Yakuza Apocalypse is a crime thriller with a whole lot of martial arts action, and this one also has vampires for some reason. For those who need to see what this movie is all about, a red band trailer has just surfaced showing off just how wacky this movie is going to be. Stay until the end of the Yakuza Apocalypse red band trailer to see a guy in a big frog suit kicking some ass. Read More »
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Toho Studios in Japan owns Godzilla, and licensed the character to Legendary and Warner Bros. for the 2014 film directed by Gareth Edwards. Toho ended its own giant lizard series in 2004 with the film Godzilla: Final Wars, but don’t think that doesn’t mean that the studio is beyond feeling competitive about the character.
A new Japanese Godzilla film, announced last year, is in production now for release in 2016. While the studio is being quiet about that move into production, the stated intention for the film is to outdo Hollywood’s version. Read More »
The Assassin, the latest film from Chinese master Hou Hsiao-hsien, was Hou’s seventh Palme d’Or nomination at Cannes, and won the filmmaker the Best Director award at Cannes 2015.
The film is also Hou’s long-in-development foray into Wuxia, making a significant change from the reservedly composed dramas we expect from the director. That doesn’t mean the film is a parade of action, however. The film, judging by reviews out of Cannes, is slow going and even challenging, but as The Assassin trailer shows, it may reward viewers with some wildly beautiful sights. Read More »