Check out the second half of Catherine’s year-end list over at Cinema Enthusiast!
“…it bears the mark of a successful franchise just beginning to hit cruising altitude. The sword fights and other requisite elements are all in place, but much time is spent showing the lead character in a more comical light.”
“Over 70 students, who previously attended one of the many workshops held by Kiarostami, comment on his cinema in the documentary entitled ‘Long Shot’, director Mohsen Sharafinia said in a press release on Monday.”
There’s been a lot published about how hard director Adellatif Kechice was on you and Léa. Do you think you could have done the film without so many friends supporting you in the cast?
Of course, it was one of the biggest chances and most beautiful role I ever had. He took me from shadows and put me into light. He gave me the freedom and pleasure to play. The shoot was a big adventure with ups and downs. Everyone likes to speak about the controversy but it’s more complicated than, ‘Are you friends?’ ‘Are you not friends?’ It was difficult, of course. All work is difficult and you always fight with people you love but for me it will stay the best of schools. Abdellatif was like a spiritual father for me. After the shoot, I felt like I had more maturity about myself, the world, life…
"Frances Ha is a love story, but it’s a love story about friends (especially female friends, a highly relatable subject for most women), and one that places a premium on the emotional repercussions of a crumbling relationship that doesn’t have any romance to it. The girls might not be lovers, but Baumbach and Gerwig give their friendship the same weight (and even the same language and patterns) as any great love story, and it works to staggering effect."
Looks like Fantastic Mr. Fox is on the way!
"Join Criterion Collection President Peter Becker and Producer Kim Hendrickson as they share the compelling history of the company and provide a behind-the-scenes look at Criterion’s operation, focusing on recent and upcoming releases such as Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha (2013), Robert Altman’s Nashville (1975), Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), and Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights (1931), among others. Following the talk, stick around for a 35 mm screening of City Lights, perhaps Chaplin’s greatest achievement, which follows the iconic Tramp as he falls in love with a blind flower girl. (87 mins., 35 mm)"
New releases for Jan/Feb 2014:
KHARTOUM (1966) BLU-RAY - Jan 21st (from the 65 mm elements)
ZULU (1963) BLU-RAY - Jan 22nd (on the 50th anniversary of the film’s premiere, and the 135th anniversary of the battle of Rorke’s Drift)
TITUS (1999) BLU-RAY - Jan 21st
MAN IN THE DARK (1953) 3D - Jan 21st
CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989) BLU-RAY - Feb 11th
THE FRONT (1975) BLU-RAY - Feb 11th
THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT (1974) BLU-RAY - Feb 11th
THE BLUE MAX (1966) BLU-RAY - Feb 11th
THE EDDY DUCHIN STORY (1956) - Feb 11th
I had such a blast watching Gravity earlier this week, and would highly recommend you all see it on the biggest screen possible. That being said, I don’t know if I need to see it again (unless it’s with a commentary track), and agree with most of Brody’s review:
"It’s hard to recall a movie that’s as viscerally thrilling and as deadly boring as ‘Gravity,’ a colossal and impressive exertion of brain power aimed at overriding—at obviating—the use of brain power. Seeing the movie in 3-D and close to the screen (as I did) delivers the sensation of jetting about in a space walk, and then, when catastrophe strikes, of floating untethered in space, with a breathtaking immediacy. The free-floating camera is a glorious trick; when satellite debris blasted toward the camera, I ducked."
“‘Gravity,’ ultimately, is a perfect example of the liberal cinema of excitement, of quietly moralized entertainment that’s self-congratulatory in its choice of method and perspective. It rigs the rooting by fixing its meticulous gaze on characters endowed with fine feelings that admit of no wild excess, filtering out any troubling desires and controversial ambitions. It celebrates humanity by reducing the spectrum of human life to a narrow consensus of decency. ‘Gravity’ is a thriller that passes muster of seriousness, but its amazing technological extremes are yoked to the service of a musty, mild worldview. Neither vulgarity nor fantasy, neither visionary scientific ambitions nor strange personal impulses intrude on its earnest methodical complacency.”
“In Ray’s films, and in the popular imagination in general, the city is a symbol of modernity. But in the films he made in contemporary Kolkata (‘The Big City’ and ‘The Adversary’ are the finest), the old and the new are inextricably joined. This is the great theme of all his movies: the way the past in India forever bleeds through the present.”
"This doubleness was everywhere I looked in Kolkata — in the streets, the temples, the hovels — but most of all it was in the faces. About the casting for his films, Ray once said: ‘You are looking for flesh and blood incarnations of the characters you are in the process of writing.’ I expected my trip would bring me closer to Ray’s movies, and it did, but in ways ultimately more mysterious than I imagined. As it came time to leave, I felt an infinite tenderness for the faces I looked into, the ancient, aghast, supernal faces that I recognized from Ray’s films — faces that brought you back through time."
Rainer’s new book: Rainer On Film is available now.