Posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2016 by Angie Han
It’s no secret that filmmaking tends to be a boys’ club. Just today, USC released a study of 109 movies put out by major studios in 2014; just 3.4% of movie directors represented were female. But it’s a mistake to overlook or ignore the major contributions women have made to the medium, as evidenced by this elegant video essay of the best female-directed films of all time. The titles were pulled from a survey of 50 critics, and they all sorts of genres and topics across seven decades. Watch “The 20 Greatest Films by Women Directors” after the jump.
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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we talk about self-centered citizens of the world who think they’re precious little snowflakes, talk about gender identification inside Cuba, patent trolls, a tour of Greece you wouldn’t have expected, showcase an oldie but goodie from director Kelly Reichardt, and OG Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferringo, stars in a cinematic car accident that looks truly delicious.
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Posted on Thursday, March 27th, 2014 by Angie Han
Following the release of an international promo last week, a second Night Moves trailer has been released, this time for the U.S. market. The Kelly Reichardt-directed thriller stars Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard as a trio of radical environmentalists who join forces to blow up a dam.
Though all three profess to live by the ideals that led them to this extremist act in the first place, it’s not long before paranoia, doubt, and distrust set in. Watch the video after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Angie Han
Following well-received debuts at Toronto and Venice last fall, Kelly Reichardt‘s Night Moves is now gearing up for a theatrical release. The thriller stars Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning as a couple of young environmentalists who go a little extreme for their cause — like, blowing up a dam extreme — and then have to deal with the consequences. Peter Sarsgaard also stars, as explosives expert who’s also involved in the plot.
The first Night Moves trailer has just hit the web, and you can watch it after the jump.
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The long Labor Day holiday weekend is upon us, and between that and the Venice and Telluride film festivals, it seems like a lot of Hollywood has shut down in anticipation of the last relaxing days of summer. But we’ve got a few new casting bits to throw your way regardless. After the break,
- Ed Helms will remake a French pimp comedy,
- Paul Dano is among the cast additions to Kelly Reichardt’s new film Night Moves,
- The unlikely duo of Stephen Dorff and Steve Coogan are in an adaptation of the novel The Catastrophist,
- and found footage film Evidence gets new players.
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This is a serious little casting break that follows either movies with serious intent (there’s one below about ‘unwitting incest,’ which I hope isn’t a comedy) or serious filmmakers like Kelly Reichardt. So, after the break, you’ll find:
- Juliette Lewis stars in the ‘unwitting incest’ movie Blood or Water,
- Ted Levin is in an indie inspired by secret CIA programs,
- and Peter Sarsgaard is going to be in Kelly Reichardt’s new film, Night Moves. Read More »
“We’re not lost, we’re just finding our way.”
I’ve heard nothing but good things about Kelly Reichardt‘s Oregon Trail western Meek’s Cutoff, which premiered at Venice last year and has gone on to do well at other festivals. Michelle Williams stars as one member of a multi-family wagon train that is led into the wilderness by co-called frontier expert Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood). Check out the trailer for the film after the break. Read More »
When 2009 is reflected on later, it won’t be the clunky, predictable Oscar-bait pics that standout but rather a new crop of outspoken auteurs that came into their own in ’09 with stealthy, highly confident fare. A charged determination and can’t-fail idealism is instilled in these directors that makes the filmmaking process once again exciting and truly daring: A young man’s game. Writer/director, Ti West, is one such auteur. Not yet 30 years of age, West has crafted a horror film with an attention to detail, sex appeal, color and sound so as to evoke the paranoid trips of early Roman Polanski and the vintage, pop-darkly appreciation of early Richard Linklater and Paul Thomas Anderson.
Bearing a title that is epic and playfully dry, The House of the Devil reconnects the horror genre with roots-y, genuine, teetering suspense. By doing so, West also manages to grasp viewers in the claws of doom by way of a foreboding graveyard or a pitch black basement, as opposed to, say, a phallic torture chamber aired simultaneously on forty live surveillance cameras. Stylistically, West forwent mining homage from the Grindhouse well—so exhausted this decade—and instead made a film set in the ’80s that not only looks period, but feels of it. The era’s mundane pace of life and lack of social interconnection can be sensed from the movie’s start and is incensed by the decade’s “Satanic Panic”: a media-exploited phenomenon that did for Satanism what coverage of the Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam did for serial killers in the ’60s and ’70s. At Devil‘s heart is the lead performance by newcomer, Jocelin Donahue, 27, who gets my vote for movie crush of 2009. Donahue plays Samantha, a smart, unsure college sophomore in dire need of a payday who eventually responds—in that ’80s way—to a nondescript babysitter flyer. No one ever said that $atan doesn’t have great taste.
From the way in which Donahue walks in high-waisted jeans to the way Samantha and her BFF eat and critique pizza, it’s a luscious thrill to witness such a dope actress and director get it and get it some more. Moreover, West appears supported by one of the cooler, simpatico filmmaking crews working in indie films today. Unlike the stereotypical proto-auteur of past and present, West’s horror movie shines as both the work of a driven perfectionist and a clear vision by a superlative collective; this enables the viewer to fall into, and fall in love with, all the creepy, masterful foreplay before West’s plot rocks wildly alongside a devilish eclipse. Afterward, I desired to open a pack of THoTD trading cards showcasing the film’s collaborators and characters alike rather than scan IMDB. Ti West discussed his creative process with /Film, as well as the film’s titular House, its mystic pizza, and why his experience helming the yet-to-be-released Cabin Fever 2 was an effing nightmare straight outta Hell Hollywood.
Hunter Stephenson: Hi Ti. I found this to be a very uncompromising horror film. I think what many are finding to their surprise is that The House of the Devil is not an homage to the ’80s a la Thanksgiving but a real period piece.
Ti West: Thanks, I’m glad you see it like that because that’s how I see it: as a period piece. I appreciate that. I mean, the film is basically about a cultural phenomenon in the 1980s, the Satanic Panic. So, I wanted to create a very accurate depiction of that and not do it tongue-in-cheek, or as a parody, because then people wouldn’t care about the characters in the movie. That’s why there’s a really nice primer to the beginning of the film [explaining the Satanic Panic, complete with statistics], because so much of the film is a contrast between a lot of realism and then these very fantastic horror elements. And that’s why, with the beginning, I wanted it to feel like this is something that could have really happened.
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