5 Buzzworthy Films From Sundance 2014

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Big News, Festivals | 0 comments

Twenty years ago, one of my favorite films and filmmakers got their big break, so to speak, at Sundance: Clerks and its mastermind Kevin Smith. This year, keeping up with the buzz surrounding the festival has been particularly exciting for me, with acquisitions being made for some films that seem just as odd and out-there in spirit and charm as Smith’s black and white low budget comedy about nothing had been before ever even being picked up by Miramax and the Weinsteins. Compiling this buzz I’ve been hearing (and doing a little bit of further research into the final distribution rights bought by whom and for what films), I’ve managed to pick five standout selections from Sundance 2014 that I, personally, cannot wait for, and which seem to reflect the festival’s lasting reputation, at least in my mind, as one...

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4 Existential Short Films At The Berlinale 2014

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Festivals | 1 comment

The big screen arrives once again to the exciting and cosmopolitan capital of Germany. Berlinale, which has been celebrated since 1978, will be hosting 25 short films from 21 different countries competing for the Golden Bear. The 64th International Short Film Jury will be composed by Edwin E. from Indonesia, Nuno Rodrigues from Portugal and Christine Tohme from Lebanon. For another year, Berlin brings us the chance to test the limits of our comprehension thanks to a wide variety of radical and independent short films. Without any doubt, The Berlinale 2014 is another reason to visit this amazing capital. Afronauts (USA) Afronauts by Frances Bodomo tells us the alternative story of the Space Race in 1960. While the Americans are trying to send the Apollo to the Moon, a group of exiles in the Zambian desert are trying to...

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Telluride Announces 2013 Line-Up, Including BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Awards, Festivals | 0 comments

And we’re off. As of today, Oscar season officially begins with the start of the Telluride Film Festival. This year’s fest, the 40th, like most years includes a heavy list of Oscar contenders from the Coens, Alexander Payne, Werner Herzog, Errol Morris and Jason Reitman. One of the best parts of the Telluride Fest is that the line-up is keep secret until right before the festival begins. So yesterday, the good folks at this unlikely major festival announced the line-up for the main program, simply called “The Show:” ALL IS LOST (d. J.C. Chandor, U.S., 2013) BEFORE THE WINTER CHILL (d. Philippe Claudel, France, 2013) BETHLEHEM (d. Yuval Adler, Israel, 2013) BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (d. Abdellatif Kechiche, France, 2013) BURNING BUSH (d. Agnieszka Holland, Czech Republic, 2013) DEATH ROW: BLAINE MILAM + ROBERT FRATTA (d. Werner Herzog,...

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First Look: Xavier Dolan’s TOM AT THE FARM Image and Poster

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Festivals, Images, Posters | 0 comments

Good god, how I love Xavier Dolan. I caught Dolan’s Laurence Anyways at the Cleveland International Film Festival in March and still haven’t seen anything that comes close to the cinematic virtuosity Dolan exhibits with that film. It’s a masterpiece. But Laurence Anyways has been around for more than a year and half now, after premiering at Cannes in 2012. Dolan’s latest film Tom at the Farm will premiere at the 2013 Venice Film Festival. And whatever the wait to see the movie is this time around (probably in 2014), it’ll be worth it. Here’s the official synopsis courtesy of The Playlist: In this psychological thriller Stockholm Syndrome, mourning and latent violence permeate a story of lies and imposters. A young ad executive travels to the country for a funeral and discovers that no one there knows his name or his relationship with the...

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Full Line-Up For The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival Features Plenty Of Oscar Hopefuls

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Awards, Festivals | 0 comments

One of the most important fests in the lead-up to the Oscars is the Toronto International Film Festival. And this year, the opening spot at the fest goes to The Fifth Estate, the drama about Wikileaks and Julian Assange.  In addition to that Oscar hopeful films like August: Osage County starring Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom starring Idris Elba, The Dallas Buyers Club starring Matthew McConaughey and Palme d’Or winner Blue is the Warmest Color will all screen at the fest. In the last 23 years, 8 best picture winners have come out of Toronto. Will one of these films join that list? OPENING NIGHT The Fifth Estate Bill Condon, USA (World Premiere) CLOSING NIGHT Life of Crime Daniel Schecter USA (World Premiere) GALAS American Dreams in China Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Hong Kong/China (North American Premiere) The Art of the Steal Jonathan Sobol, Canada...

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CIFF 2013 Review: INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR. starring James Franco

Posted by on Apr 7, 2013 in Festivals, Movie Review | 0 comments

Interior. Leather Bar. (2013) – No Stars Interior. Leather Bar., director Travis Mathews’s mock-doc (co-directed by James Franco) covering the filming of his re-imagining of 40-minutes cut from Billy Friedkin’s Cruising, boils down to this: A faux-intellectual exercise in queer theory that works more in concept than in practice. As it stands, the film feels like a second year film school student’s attempt to make a statement about the biases and prejudices of our hetero-sexist society in the most superficial way. The film follows actor Val, the story’s literal straight man, as he takes on Al Pacino’s character in Cruising for his buddy James Franco. He is constantly confronting his own discomfort with the gay sex that we see on screen and he sees in production. And this is the film’s fatal flaw. It’s too aware of it’s own mission to...

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