The Alamo Drafthouse Picks the Top 10 Films of 2012

The Alamo Drafthouse brand is beloved among moviegoers for their plush theaters, but it’s revered for their impeccable taste in movies. Whether programming a film festival or picking up indies for distribution, they’ve demonstrated an eye for films that aren’t just good, but unique.

With 2012 on its way out, the company has just released its list of their ten favorite movies from the year. Some of the titles were as successful at the box office as they were with critics, while others are more off the beaten track, but all are well worth checking out. Read their picks after the jump.

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Love it or hate it, Holy Motors is a movie that gets people talking. Already a darling on the festival circuitLeos Carax‘s first feature film in over a decade follows a man played by Denis Lavant who travels in a limo going from place to place and inhabiting different characters. The connective tissue is minor, each role is radically different, some are all together disturbing, and in the end you’ll be scratching your head about what it all means more than you did at The Master. Still, the whole thing is done with such skill that you’d be hard pressed not to want to sit down and talk about it for hours, days, months after your first viewing.

Holy Motors is currently playing in limited release but will likely expand to other art houses soon. If you love film, you owe it to yourself to check it out. The official U.S. trailer is below. Read More »

I can say without hesitation that Leos Carax‘s Holy Motors is not just one of the best films I’ve seen this year, but one of the most impressive I’ve seen in a long time. The movie rocketed to the top of my list at Fantastic Fest in the past two weeks, and it is one that I have continued to think about in the days since my first viewing. That seemed to be the case with almost everyone I talked to at the fest, and the organizers responded by adding multiple additional screenings, each of which created new admirers for the picture.

There is a trailer, which we ran some weeks ago, but I would advise most people not to watch it. The trailer is good, but it presents a rather different vision than the movie actually represents. Which, in many ways, is in keeping with the film. But I went into Holy Motors mostly blind and unaware, and was very happy I did. I really hope people see this movie, because I think it will capture the imaginations of most who do see it, but it’s not the sort of thing that makes for an easy sell.

I’ll say this: actor Denis Lavant, who plays the film’s central role, outdoes not only his own excellent previous work, but the work of nearly every other actor I’ve seen on the screen this year. I can see ways in which Holy Motors is not for absolutely everyone, though the film isn’t truly as strange as it first seems. But Lavant’s performance is one of those beautiful, living, thriving things that you only see every few years. He’s exceptional in a role that is varied, and very demanding. And, yes, the encounter with the figure pictured in the center of the poster is an unusual and memorable one.

Check out the first US poster for the film below. Read More »

We haven’t talked much about Leos Carax‘s Holy Motors in the run-up to its Cannes debut, but now that the festival’s underway it’s already emerging as a strong candidate for the most buzzed-about title of this year’s event. Since premiering on Wednesday, Carax’ first feature since 1999′s Pola X has drawn tons of fervent admiration and a bit of withering scorn — but the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that it’s totally freaking off-the-wall insane.

Frequent Carax collaborator Denis Lavant stars as a mysterious figure who spends 24 hours zipping across town in a limousine, completing various “assignments.” Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, Edith Scob, and Michel Piccoli also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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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 »

Robert Zemeckis is collecting quite a cast for Flight, his return to live-action filmmaking. Oscar winner Melissa Leo and Rubicon star James Badge Dale are the latest additions to the project, which stars Denzel Washington as an alcoholic, drug-addicted pilot who becomes a public hero when he rescues a troubled flight. However, his own issues may have contributed to the flight’s problems to begin with. Bruce Greenwood and John Goodman are also set to appear, while Don Cheadle, Brian Geraghty and Kelly Reilly are in negotiations to board the project as well.

Leo would play the role of an investigator who believes the pilot is guilty of negligence, and wants to expose the truth about him. Dale is negotiating to play a dying cancer patient. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Kylie Minogue makes a movie with Juliette Binoche and Footloose remake star Kenny Wormald may be up for another ’80s classic.

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Tokyo!

Another bunch of photos direct from the Cannes Film Festival, which begins this week. Tôkyô! is the upcoming three part anthology project, a triptych film in the same tradition of New York Stories or Paris, je t’aime, from directors Bong Joon Ho (The Host), Leos Carax (Bad Blood) and Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine). Each director tells an odd little story set in Japan’s capitol.

Tokyo

Michel Gondry’s 30-minute segment is titled “Interior Design”. Written by Gondry and comic author Gabrielle Bell, Design is based on Bell’s comic book “Cecil and Jordan in New York” from “Kramer’s Ergot #5″. The surreal fable of a young couple who moves to Tokyo in search of a future. While the boy’s ambition is clear – be a movie maker- the girl drifts gradually apart. Both of them will be drowned in the imensity until the girl [Ayako Fujitani, Steven Seagal's Japanese daughter], feeling alone, discovers something strange … she eventually turns into a chair. Sounds like something Gondry would make.

Tokyo!

Bong Joon Ho’s segment is tentatively titled “Shaking Tokyo”, stars Yu Aoi (All About Lily Chou-Chou), Kagawa Teruyuki “Sway (Yureru)”, Takenaka Naoto (Ping Pong/Swing Girls). He is a hikikomori – like many others in Japan, he has withdrawn from all contact with the outside world .When the pizza delivery girl faints during an earthquake, the unthinkable happens – the man falls in love. Will he take the unimaginable step : leaving the dead security of his apartment for the streets of Tokyo ?

Tokyo

Leos Carax’s segment Merde, follows a mysterious man who spreads confusion on the streets of Tokyo through a succession of irrational and provocative acts. ” The Creature of the Sewers ” as the media have dubbed him, arouse passion or repulsion. He will be captured, judged and then…

You can also watch the teaser trailer we posted earlier in the week.

Tokyo Teaser Trailer

Tokyo Teaser Trailer

TwitchFilm has the first movie trailer for Tôkyô!, the upcoming three part anthology project,a triptych film in the same tradition of New York Stories or Paris, je t’aime, from directors Bong Joon Ho (The Host), Leos Carax (Bad Blood) and Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine). Each director tells an odd little story set in Japan’s capitol.

Michel Gondry’s 30-minute segment is titled “Interior Design”. Written by Gondry and comic author Gabrielle Bell, Design is based on Bell’s comic book “Cecil and Jordan in New York” from “Kramer’s Ergot #5″. The story follows a girl [Ayako Fujitani, Steven Seagal's Japanese daughter] who tries to move into Tokyo with her boyfriend. Unable to find an apartment or a job, she eventually turns into a chair. Sounds like something Gondry would make.

Bong Joon Ho’s segment is tentatively titled “Shaking Tokyo”, stars Yu Aoi (All About Lily Chou-Chou), Kagawa Teruyuki “Sway (Yureru)”, Takenaka Naoto (Ping Pong/Swing Girls), centers around a guy who hasn’t gone outside out of his apartment in 10 years. Then, because of an earthquake, he finally leave his apartment, all the while being in love with a pizza delivery girl played by Yu Aoi.

Leos Carax’s segment Merde, follows “a man, or rather a ‘creature’ living in sewers begins terrorizing people in the city. After the imperial army launches a few grenades, it is stopped. Master Voland, a shabby french lawyer, is one of only 3 people in the world to understand its language.

Watch the trailer after the jump.

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