December 2010 - Posts

This Year, Next Year: Viewing 2010 Through the 2011 Release Calendar

Imposing expectations of existing movies on those that haven't yet been released is unabashedly superficial, but fun. With that in mind, here's some anticipated 2011 releases that call to mind cinematic experiences from 2010. Of course, I offer this list with the caveat that it's only intended as a tidy way to survey movies past and future in a single package. I look forward to the next year's releases (occasionally) ...
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indieWIRE Top 10s: "Black Swan" & "Last Train Home" Take Lead Narrative & Doc

While "The Social Network" by David Fincher took the top spot in indieWIRE's recent 2010 Critics Poll from 125 ballots compiled by mostly, well, critics; this much smaller grouping of indieWIRE editors, contributors, freelancers as well as a smattering of industry friends, picked Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" as the title that dominated their individual top 10 lists. "Network," however, did well, as did "Carlos" by French director Olivier Assayas. Lixin ...
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Eric Kohn | Baby Bumps and Pixar: Oscar Campaigns in Focus

As 2010 draws to a close, certain cultural standards remain firmly in place: "American Idol" is still the top show, and the Oscar season is still a popularity contest. Studios work so hard to make sure their movies get noticed that the media hoopla almost entirely revolves around how much various marketing efforts can make voters notice the hype. Movies? What movies? Less about the actual product than the quality ...
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REVIEW | Oliveira's Romantic Oddity: "The Strange Case of Angelica"

Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira has generated plenty of press simply because of his age—at 102, he is recognized as the oldest working filmmaker alive today—but his latest works appear to exist outside of time. "The Strange Case of Angelica," the Portuguese director's latest feature, falls in step with other recent outings like "Christopher Columbus, the Enigma" and "Eccentricities of a Blonde Girl" by drawing attention to its abnormalities in ...
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HONOR ROLL 2010 | "12th & Delaware" Directors Grady & Ewing

After nearly four decades since the Supreme Court legalized abortion, the debate continues to rage on in the United States about when life begins and just how much power a woman has over her own body. The broader controversy is told in a personal doc, "12th & Delaware," from veteran filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Gradywhich, was one of the most talked about films at this year's Sundance Film Festival. ...
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Video & Interview: "Blue Valentine" Director On the Mysteries of Love

This interview was originally published during indieWIRE's coverage of the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. "Blue Valentine" director Derek Cianfrance sat down to chat with Eugene Hernandez at the Filmmaker's Lounge during the festival. Below is the interview, along with the video recording from the event. The intimate relationship drama "Blue Valentine," from director Derek Cianfrance, doesn't appear to have anything in common with anything out of Quentin Tarantino's oeuvre. ...
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"House" Added to 2011 Sundance Lineup

Chris Kentis and Laura Lau ("Open Water") will return to the Sundance Film Festival with their latest feature, "Silent House," which will have its world premiere in the out-of-competition Park City at Midnight section. A psychological thriller, "Silent House" follows the growing panic of its lead, Elizabeth Olsen, who's trapped in an unnerving nightmare, according to a description by Sundance Institute. Including "House," the 2011 Sundance Film Festival will screen ...
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Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "The Flaw" by David Sington

"The Flaw" makes one thing clear from the outset - there was nothing simple about the U.S. financial collapse of 2007. Within minutes, experts had identified plenty of culprits: market failure, a credit culture, a wage crisis, a debt crisis, and upward redistribution of income. That's economic shorthand for fasten your seatbelt. David Sington's rigorously constructed analysis of the meltdown, told entirely by economists, brokers, bankers, and borrowers, plays like ...
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HONOR ROLL 2010 | "Enemies of the People" Director Rob Lemkin

Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath's searing doc "Enemies of the People," premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival and walked off with the World Documentary Special Jury Prize. Since the win, the film has continued its winning streak by collecting gongs and critical accolades at Full Frame, True/False, One World and Human Rights Watch New York. The film was released last week in New York and runs in Los Angeles ...
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Meet the 2011 Sundance Filmmakers | "Abraxas" Director Naoki Kato

Jonen is having a crisis of faith. In his youth, he was a punk-rock musician, creating noise and onstage spectacles. Now he's settled into a life as a Buddhist monk with a wife and five-year-old son. During his career-day speech at a local high school, however, Jonen has a public breakdown that leads to a deep depression when he realizes the importance of music to his life. In an attempt ...
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Eric Kohn: The "Biutiful" Conspiracy

No amount of profound sadness registering across Javier Bardem's dejected face can save "Biutiful" from its numerous flaws. Seven months after first encountering Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu's lethargic melodrama at the Cannes Film Festival, I remain convinced of this much. But on my first attempt, the dissatisfaction didn't quite come out right. The unfortunate onset of festival fatigue led to an especially crabby pan, which happens sometimes; I can deal with ...
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REVIEW | Cinema of Attraction: Derek Cianfrance's "Blue Valentine"

Light on plot and heavy on expression, Derek Cianfrance's "Blue Valentine" is a study in extremes. Essentially the anatomy of a break-up, it places exclusive focus on a young couple (Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams) as their marriage disintegrates. Cianfrance, whose directorial debut "Brother Tied" premiered at Sundance in 1998, spent over a decade working on this lyrical follow-up; his efforts come through in every artfully composed frame. Aided by ...
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Small Screen | Clooney, Oprah, "Handsome Harry," 50 Cent all Rush to the Tube

Taking in the Small Screen this week, a trip to Europe with a gun-slinging George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey's new cable network, an Australian outback love story, a rehashing of Vietnam, and Joel Schumacher's Upper West Side mess are this week's top picks on indieWIRE's column looking at entertainment off the silver screen. 1. George Clooney's 2010 Entry "The American" (criticWIRE rating: B-) Anton Corbijn's international thriller "The American" didn't succeed ...
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Kino International Takes On "City of Life and Death"

Kino International, the theatrical releasing arm of Kino Lorber Inc., has acquired North American rights to Lu Chuan's Chinese blockbuster "City of Life and Death." The company plans to have it premiere in the U.S. on May 11 at Film Forum in New York. Set during the 1937 occupation of Nanking by Japanese forces, Chuan's black and white film - which took the top prize at the 2009 San Sebastian ...
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HONOR ROLL 2010 | "Biutiful" Actor Javier Bardem

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part of a daily December series that will feature new or previously published interviews, profiles, and first-persons of some of the year's most notable cinematic voices. For over three decades Spain's hottest male export, Oscar-winner Javier Bardem, has used his imposing figure, roguish good looks, and bracing machismo to play a slew of varied roles that showcase his penchant for taking risks. The three he's likely ...
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