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In an interesting and slightly surprising move, the Venice Film Festival jury headed by Quentin Tarantino has awarded the Golden Lion to Sofia Coppola‘s film Somewhere. (Trailer here.) The film got mixed to positive notes out of the fest, but Tarantino said today, “This was a film that enchanted us from our first screening…Yet from that first enchanting screening, it grew and grew and grew in both our hearts, in our analysis, in our minds, and in our affections.” The jury’s decision was unanimous.

The Silver Lion (aka Best Director) went to Alex de la Iglesia for A Sad Trumpet Ballad — that’s also something of a surprise, but I love seeing a long-time sort-of genre filmmaker like de la Iglesia take the prize. His film also won for Best Screenplay.

And Essential Killing, the movie with Vincent Gallo as a Taliban soldier on the run (trailer here), won Best Actor for Gallo as well as the Special Jury Prize. Quite a surprising and intriguing set of awards all around, really. Mila Kunis was also handed the Marcella Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Actress for her work in Black Swan. Full list of winners is after the break. Read More »

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After that last big interview we posted with Vincent Gallo, a lot of readers probably think he’s a total jerk, if not quite a cultural terrorist. That being the cast, perhaps his role in Essential Killing is playing directly to the audience who loves to hate him: Gallo plays Mohammed, a Taliban soldier who is captured by Americans in Afghanistan and transferred to Europe for interrogation. But he escapes captivity and has to navigate an unfamiliar land. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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It’s tax week, so you might not have a lot of money right now, which could be limiting your weekend entertainment options. Sure, there’s Kick-Ass opening, and Exit Through the Gift Shop if you’re in New York or LA (seriously the best movie I’ve seen yet this year — my current draft of a review has 10/10 as the score) but maybe you don’t have the cash to hit a theater tonight.

If that’s the case then pour a drink and spend forty minutes at home with Vincent Gallo. An audio interview recorded several years ago has just surfaced, and it may be the best piece of entertainment Gallo has yet produced. Read More »

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Jerzy Skolimowski‘s best known films are likely those he was a writer on and of these none is better known than Roman Polanski’s Knife in the Water, a great thriller that was like Dead Calm but 27 years earlier and not actually rubbish. Amongst his work as director are two films from the 70s that I found quite lastingly disturbing since my youth, the supernatural horror film The Shout and obsession thriller Deep End. More recently, you likely saw him acting in Eastern Promises, where he played Stepan, or Mars Attacks or Before Night Falls where he had smaller roles.

I’m glad to report that Jerzy Skolimowski is back on location in director mode and shooting his next film right now. The Essence of Killingfollows the story of a Taliban member who lives in Afghanistan, kills three American soldiers and then is taken captive by the Americans. He is transferred to Europe for interrogation but manages to escape from his captors and becomes an escaped convict on a continent he does not know”.

And who has Skolimowski cast as this Taliban member? Why, none other than Vincent Vito Gallo, perhaps the most head-scratch/shake inducing character in modern cinema. Just like a great one-liner, every little move Gallo makes is structured as a intriguing set-up followed by confounding pay off. When Gallo signs on to appear in a film, my ears prick up.

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Metropia Movie Trailer

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It takes a lot to wow me when it comes to animation stills, especially ones conjuring yet another rainy, dreary, effing dystopia. Part of me still hopes for a vibrant comeback for traditional animation and the swathing warmth and human connection that computer animation simply cannot match, at least in my opinion. But there is a mesmerizing and bewitching appeal to the following stills, and coinciding trailer, for Metropia that, as you may have guessed, I’m a bit gaga for. Add voice/character work from Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis, and Stellan Skarsgård (the first two POTC) an adult rating, and years in the making to further alleviate the Philip K. Dickian tropes.

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Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro Movie Trailer

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The movie trailer for Francis Ford Coppola‘s Tetro is now online. Coppola’s second film in the last 12 years, his first original screenplay since The Conversation, and is the movie is being billed as his most personal film yet. Based from memories and emotions from his early life, though totally fictional, Tetro is the “bittersweet story of two brothers, of family lost and found and the conflicts and secrets within a highly creative Argentine-Italian family.”

Judging from the trailer, Tetro looks and feels like a film from 60 years ago. The black and white cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. Could Tetro be a return to form for Coppola? I really hope so. Watch the trailer after the jump, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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No, it’s not a tidbit about Terminator 4, it’s one regarding a real director and one of the best ever. Over on the official site for Tetro, his latest film set for release this year, Francis Ford Coppola has posted a brief video update on the $15 million drama (shooting has completed in Argentina), the actors involved, including lead actor Vincent Gallo (Buffalo 66, Tumblr), and so forth. We also get a handheld panorama of his nic-nac-friendly work station out in Napa Valley. Personally, I get overly-occupied with looking at creative spaces online. Todd Selby should get out there stat.

Coppola looks and sounds pleased with how the process is going, calling Gallo “brilliant,” and remarking that Tetro is the first “original screenplay” he’s written since The Conversation (not too shabby, that one). He then points the camera over to a new, unrelated  script he’s writing. As we reported last year, Tetro follows two brothers, the titular eldest played by Gallo, the other by newbie Alden Ehrenreich, who endure “rivalries born out of creative differences passed down through generations of an artistic Italian immigrant family.” Also co-starring are Maribel Verdu (Pan’s Labryinth) as a love interest, and Carmen Maura (Volver) in a role originally intended for Javier Bardem, who not uncharacteristically dropped out. This is subject matter that Coppola knows like a glass of wine—referring to it as semi-autobiographical—and I get a damn good feeling about it. If only Michael V. Gazzo were alive to shout at Gallo about the good ol’ days.

via Motion/Captured

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