It’s been a while. What better way to get back than with the trailer for Alfonso Cuaron’s long-awaited, bizarre, seemingly kick-ass Open Water meets Solaris trailer for Gravity. Cuaron’s established himself in the last few years as an “important” filmmaker, able to navigate mainstream and art house cinema. Interestingly, he’s made exactly zero films (save a handful of doc shorts) since the stunning 2006 turn, Children of Men. While the involvement of George Clooney and Sandra Bullock couldn’t help but ground some of my excitement for his newest, this trailer gives me renewed hope.
Posted in Films, Movies, Trailers
Tagged Alfonso Cuaron, black swan, Children of Men, cinema, Films, george clooney, Gravity, Movies, Open Water, sandra bullock, Solaris
I’m a bit unclear as to whether this video attempts to say that Paul Thomas Anderson was consciously making a trilogy out of these films or that they simply contain strong thematic links. I think it’s pretty obvious that the latter is at work as these themes are examples of Anderson’s thematic preoccupations throughout his movies. Still, relatively little ink has been spent on critically analyzing Anderson’s films, so every little bit is worth sharing.
Posted in Films, Movies, Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master, There Will Be Blood
Tagged Boogie Nights, cinema, Critical Analysis, Films, Magnolia, Movies, Paul Thomas Anderson, Punch Drunk Love, The Master, There Will Be Blood
This might be one of the best things I’ve come across on the internet in a while. And if you are a Paul Thomas Anderson fan you will agree. PTA does a commentary for the John C. Holmes documentary called Exhausted. In it, Anderson not only gives us his strangely astute knowledge of porn history but also points out specific portions that directly influenced Boogie Nights. The similarities are strikingly apparent. Anderson, like so many great filmmakers, isn’t shy about explaining the other films that he has ripped off for his work. Like Shakespeare said, “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” Apparently this commentary was originally recorded for the Criterion laser disc release of Boogie Nights, but was removed from the DVD version (and all subsequent versions).
This might be the all time low of my geekdom, but I really enjoyed listening to Paul Thomas Anderson’s passion on this.
NOTE: I didn’t find anything specifically crude or offensive in here, but this is about pornography, so proceed with caution if you are sensitive to this sort of thing.
More after the cut:
Posted in Boogie Nights, Films, Movies, Paul Thomas Anderson, Uncategorized
Tagged Boogie Nights, cinema, Commentary, Criterion, Exhausted, Films, John C. Holmes, Laser Disc, Movies, Paul Thomas Anderson, Pornography, television, TV
The first film featuring Jesse and Celine bowed almost 20 years ago with 1995′s Before Sunrise. These little films by Richard Linklater have struck a cord with people through now three generations, encapsulating a sense of love and classic romance that defies what might otherwise have been goopy or amateurish. It’s difficult to place just what makes these films so special, but they have a transcendence virtually unseen in love stories nowadays. Given the glowing reviews out of Sundance, the upcoming installment, Before Midnight, might be the best yet.
Posted in Films, Movies, Trailers
Tagged Before Midnight, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Ethan Hawke, Films, Julie Delpy, Movies, Richrd Linklater, television, trailer, TV
Ahead of the Criterion Collection’s restored Blu-ray release of Harold Lloyd’s massively influential masterpiece, Safety Last!, Janus films has released this pristine new trailer:
If you haven’t seen Lloyd’s film, here it is in its entire non-Criterion enhanced form:
I generally dislike breaking the fourth wall, unless it’s in a first person documentary (I’m one of the few who still champions Michael Moore). The idea is ripe for lazy exposition and on-the-nose cuteness, which is the way I find it used more often than not. However, in theory and in short bursts it can be a refreshing bit of self-conscious reflection, from the filmmaker by way of his mouthpiece character or clever blocking. That, amongst other reasons, is why this video is a perfect dosage:
Posted in Films, Movies
Tagged Annie Hall, Breaking the Fourth Wall, cinema, Films, Great Train Robbery, Movies, Norman Bates, Press Play, Psycho, TV, Videos
Spring Breakers appears as a refreshing change for Harmony Korine, if only because for the first time in his strange filmmaking career, his battle of conspicuous storytelling tropes and self-aware naturalism collides in a way that adds up to something symbolic. A Lynchian nightmare that turns the camera away from the dreams of small town America and trains it on the fun of naked beach romps, Spring Breakers must be consumed as a metaphor for a culture hooked on the drugs of now. These drugs, according to Korine, range from snorting coke off other humans to playing video games, an element that in Spring Breakers morphs into the reality of holding up a chicken shack only to morph back into a video game when the main characters are in the thick of partying. Elliptical in structure and often repetitive, the film is eager to probe at the moral core of a national epidemic of debauchery. Of course, to buy into what many will see as nonsense, is also to question whether the film might be memorable only because of it’s borderline pornography and graphic violence. To my mind, this very question only enhances precisely what Korine is attempting to express.
Posted in 2013 Movies, Films, Movies, Reviews, Spring Breakers
Tagged 2013, Ashley Benson, cinema, Django Unchained, film, Harmony Korine, James Franco, KIDS, Movies, Rachel Korine, Reviews, Selena Gomez, Spring Breakers, television, Vanessa Hudgens
Full disclosure, I’ve never been a huge Steven Soderbergh fan. His films always seem like useful watches, primarily because of their varied, always intriguing, premises. For the most part, I align with the filmmaker’s worldview and ideals, so there’s nothing necessarily grating or off-putting about the experience of watching his work. Sometimes there’s a standout, like The Girlfriend Experience, or a film with a few outstanding parts, like Magic Mike, but most often I find the films – notably Contagion or Haywire – to be less than the sum of their own compelling initial conceits.
For as chameleon-like as Soderbergh has been advertised to be, I’ve found his work to be held together by captivating, often static, sometimes sterile images. Since Traffic, Soderbergh has lenses all of his movies himself. While the content is varied and wide-ranging, the looks of these films are comparable, making him a unique auteur in Hollywood. Instead of returning to themes, or tones, or ideas, Soderbergh tends to come back to a literal way of seeing the worlds he captures.
Once again, this video was swiped from Press Play. Another of their wonderful video essays.
Posted in Films, Movies
Tagged cinema, Contagion, Films, Haywire, Movies, Ocean's Eleven, Press Play, Steven Soderbergh, television, The Girlfriend Experience, Traffic
A rapidly unfolding spy thriller without a clear semblance of stakes and a spine of dynamic relationships without distinguished truth between characters, The Americans continues to be a surprising and challenging entry in cable TV. As numbers hover only a few points above the Mendoza line, Americans (the real people out there) are missing out on a show that’s as cinematic as it is thoughtful and exciting as it is heady. The correlation to critics darling Homeland becomes more pronounced in COMINT (1.5) and Trust Me (1.6), however, unlike Showtime’s juggernaut, the stakes for The Americans remain in shadows. Still, by episode six, I defy any viewer to make a definitive statement on what Phillip and Elizabeth intend to get from the United States, save just being on the ground to do the motherland’s biding. There’s something Mamet-like about the humanity behind the games and the raw emotions that crawl under the skin of logistical and political work.
Posted in Reviews, Television, The Americans
Tagged Cable TV, Children, cinema, Elizabeth Jennings, Emmys, film, FX, Homeland, Keri Russell, Mad Men, Matthew Rhys, Media, Phillip Jennings, Reviews, television, The Americans, The Sopranos, TV