son of saul trailer

There’s a strong chance you’ve heard about László Nemes‘ directorial debut, Son of Saul. This harrowing drama is the current frontrunner for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards. It took home the foreign film award at the Golden Globes last week. It even made my personal top 10 of 2015, which is surely the greatest honor of them all.

While you have heard about it, chances are strong that you haven’t had a chance to actually see Son of Saul. It’s not like brutal Hungarian Holocaust dramas are a common sight at your local multiplex. However, a new trailer for this incredible film has arrived, which should serve as a reminder to check out this movie as soon as you have a chance (and on the big screen, if you can make that happen).

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2016 DGA Awards

The Golden Globes have come and gone, but we’re still in the full swing of awards season. Last week brought the nominations for the Writers Guild Awards, the BAFTAs across the pond, and the Producers Guild Awards. Now it’s the Directors Guild of America Awards chiming in with their annual nominees, and while fans of Mad Max: Fury Road will be happy, those who enjoyed Carol will not. Hit the jump for the full list of 2016 DGA Awards nominees. Read More »

Jacob Hall’s Top 10 Movies of 2015

top 10 movies of 2015

When I sat down to create my top 10 movies of 2015 list, I decided to jot down a quick list of every single movie that I felt was a contender. You know, just to get the creative juices flowing. Over 30 titles later, I realized I had to start getting picky.

2015 was one hell of a year for cinema and the rare year where major Hollywood productions often seemed to match the independent scene step-for-step. One of the distinct pleasures of this past year wasn’t just the sheer number of good movies, but the variety. Animation and comedy and horror and drama and action films all found a place on my top 10. The fact that the mold-shattering biopic Steve Jobs and the effortlessly entertaining and inspiring The Martian didn’t make the cut boggles my mind. How could I not find room for the oddly romantic and deeply funny S&M oddity that is The Duke of Burgundy? The sobering Spotlight probably should have been on this list. The Big Short, too. In any other year, the elegant thrills of  Bridge of Spies would have been a shoo-in for this list.

But try as I might, there is only room for 10 movies in my top 10 list. These are the movies that still cling to me in the early days of 2016, the films that, for one reason or another, feel like they matter the most. Not all of them will cling to you in the same way and that’s okay. These lists are less about making definitive statements and more about encouraging conversation. No, I didn’t “forget” anything on my list, but I’d certainly love to hear what’s on your personal top 10. Let’s start talking.

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sight and sound best of 2015

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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son of saul trailer

Son of Saul may be a masterpiece. Hungary’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards is stunningly technical accomplishment, a two-hour tour through hell that will leave your emotions battered and leave your soul black and blue. Holocaust dramas are tough sells by their very nature, but director László Nemes‘ debut feature demands to be seen. This is bold, accomplished filmmaking, providing a crushing, fresh new angle on a subject that has already been filmed countless times.

The Son of Saul trailer only hints at the what the film is, but it’s all the better for it. Watch it after the jump.

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Son of Saul Review

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 »

Anomalisa

The final wave of Fantastic Fest 2015 announcements is here, and this set of films features a few recent festival standouts and some great genre entries. Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson will attend the fest with their stop-motion animation film Anomalisa, which just broke brains at Telluride. The Cannes Grand Prix winner Son of Saul will play, as will the new film from Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone, Tale of Tales.

Then there’s Camino, with Zoe Bell and Nacho Vigalondo (playing a religious psychopath) and a few repertory screenings, including Evilspeak (complementing the Satanic Panic book release) and the Godon Liu Hong Kong classic Eight Diagram Pole Fighter. Check out the full list below. Read More »