FILM-TORONTO/

Sitting opposite Ed Norton in an empty conference room in a skyrise, one can’t avoid thinking about the hyper-charged situations he’s glared down on film. Clad in a black shirt and noticeably relaxed, he takes a moment before responding to a question, pressing a small washer-like object into the table and letting it spring back. It allows a brief window to search for the chiseled Nazi skinhead who forced a thug to tooth a curb in American History X. And for the office drone who scaled barbwire fences late at night to steal the excess fat of women and absorbed grueling punches in Fight Club. And for the smack dealer in 25th Hour who walked man’s best friend by a World Trade Center-less horizon, as unprepared for a future in the clink as the U.S. was for its uncertain present.

Norton is obsessively drawn to characters whose scariest adversary is in the mirror. It doesn’t matter if the playing field is a study in madness or a testy, possibly concluded, stint in the Marvel Universe as Bruce Banner. His latest film, a thoughtful thriller entitled Leaves of Grass, puts a literal spin on his interest in duality. He plays formerly estranged, highly intelligent twins—one a respected and reserved philosophy professor, the other a shaggy distributor of hydroponic marijuana.

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If a male filmmaker desires to throw up grim truth and reality before the eyes of moviegoers and also swoon critics, many of whom subsist on darker themes, he will at some point consider making a film about war or prison. There are no greater immediate settings for tapping perennial sentiments of a mad world, or for demystifying masculinity by scraping it and reducing it to a primal essence. Unlike the ambitious gangster or mob film, reputable prison dramas tend to feature a protagonist that is closer to us, a person thrown to hell rather than embodying it, nakedly amidst wolves as opposed to running with them. (Ironic, given these characters’ punishments at the hands of society and/or government.)

Engrossing and well-crafted but formulaic and borderline genre-fare, A Prophet is the latest prison film to follow this mold and punch its way creatively outward. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, A Prophet has landed on a number of top 10 lists for 2009; with a domestic release forthcoming, we’ll likely see its inclusion on many of this year’s as well.

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Cool Stuff: Olly Moss’s Poster Remakes

21-year old UK artist Olly Moss is probably best known for his popular t-shirt designs which have virally spread across the interwebs. You might recognize some of his designs below.

Olly has decided to create a series of movie posters reinterpreted in a kinda minimalistic post modern German-ism style. Six more posters (The Dark Knight, Die Hard, Deer Hunter, Rain Man, The Great Dictator, and American History X) after the jump.

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VOTD: Movie Scenes Recreated in GTA4

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Movie Scenes Recreated in GTA4 by Mentok

The Pitch: Mentok recreated famous movie scenes in Grand Theft Auto 4. Films include Godfather, Goodfellas, Reservoir Dogs, I Am Legend, American History X, and Fight Club.

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Video of the Day is a daily feature of /Film showcasing geekarific video creations. Have a video we should be feature on VOTD? E-Mail us at orfilms@gmail.com.

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