At a time when even the most basic films feature once-impossible and now all but invisible digital effects and editing, it’s easy to look past the fact that the power of cinema lies in the simplest things: image and sound, and the way that two or three small elements can be combined to create a complex and very powerful effect.

One of the best moments in the trailer for Michael Haneke‘s new film Amour was a combination of an edit between two simple shots and an action in the latter shot. The edit cuts across time and through memory, and the action — a simple, mundane little thing — turns the construction into a montage that communicates deep, inescapable sadness.

Two clips of Amour are now online, and one highlights that moment. It’s one that should be studied by anyone interested in the construction of a film, because it is a lesson in pure cinematic storytelling delivered in one minute. If someone asked me what movies are, as a medium, I might point towards this clip.  Read More »

.

Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

Over the weekend the top Cannes prize, the Palme d’Or, was awarded to Amour (Love), the latest film from Austrian director Michael Haneke. It’s Haneke’s second Palme d’Or in a stretch of two films; his movie The White Ribbon took the award in 2009. (Other films of his, Cache and The Piano Teacher, have been nominated for the prize, too.)

Today Sony Pictures Classics set a December 19 release date for the film. While that seems like a serious attempt to court Oscar votes, the serious end-of-life story will have an uphill battle come Oscar time. Still, Haneke’s films, somber though they may be, are often extremely powerful, and reviews of Amour out of Cannes were positive. Check out a great trailer below. Read More »

The primary lineup for the competition slate at the 2012 Cannes has been unveilend, and it is a very strong list of films. There are quite a few expected entries: David Cronenberg‘s Cosmopolis, Lee DanielsThe Paperboy, John Hillcoat‘s Lawless (formerly The Wettest County), and Andrew Dominik‘s Killing Them Softly (formerly Cogan’s Trade), and we already knew that Wes Anderson‘s Moonrise Kingdom would open the festival.

But the international lineup is even more exciting, with films such as Rust & Bone from Jacques Audiard, Amour from Micheal Haneke, The Hunt from Thomas Vinterberg, and Mekong Hotel from 2010 Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul. As is occasionally the case with Cannes, this year’s lineup features many returning Cannes award winners; it’s a world-class program.

The downside to all of that is that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master and Terrence Malick‘s as-yet untitled romance starring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem didn’t show up in the list. There is some time for them to be added to the festival lineup in some measure, but (as expected) we’ll likely have to wait until this fall for The Master. As for the Malick movie… well, it’s Malick, so who knows?

You’ll find the lineup as it has been announced so far after the break. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web: