Archives for April 2012

Monday Poll: Avengers Edition

Well we all know what this week has in store … time to ASSEMBLE!

When I went online with the prospect of purchasing my ticket, my head began to spin with the various options that lay before me.

It got me wondering, how everyone else is planning on seeing The Avengers this weekend (or next, like me); so please respond to the poll below and be sure to comment!

How do you plan on seeing "The Avengers."

View Results

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TFF 2012 Winners Announced

Congratulations to all the winners at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.

 

The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature 
WAR WITCH
Directed by Kim Nguyen (Canada)

 

Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film
Dariel Arrechada and Javier Nuñez Florian as Raul and Elio
UNA NOCHE, directed by Lucy Mulloy

 

Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film
Rachel Mwanza as Komona
WAR WITCH, directed by Kim Nguyen

 

Best Cinematography in a Narrative Feature Film
UNA NOCHE
Cinematography by Trevor Forrest and Shlomo Godder, directed by Lucy Mulloy

Special Jury Mention: Alex Catalan for UNIT 7.

 

Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature Film
ALL IN (LA SUERTE EN TUS MANOS)
Written by Daniel Burman and Sergio Dubcovsky and directed by Daniel Burman (Argentina)

 

Best New Narrative Director
UNA NOCHE: Lucy Mulloy (UK, Cuba, USA)

Special Jury Mention: P. Benoit, director of STONES IN THE SUN; and Sharon Bar-Ziv, director of ROOM 514.

 

Best Documentary Feature
THE WORLD BEFORE HER
Directed by Nisha Pahuja (Canada)

Special Jury Mention: THE REVISIONARIES, directed by Scott Thurman.

 

Best Editing in a Documentary Feature
THE FLAT (HADIRA)
Edited by Tali Halter Shenkar and directed by Arnon Goldfinger, (Israel, Germany)

 

Best New Documentary Director
WAVUMBA: Jeroen van Velzen (Netherlands)

Special Jury Mention: Christian Bonke and Andreas Koefoed, directors of BALLROOM DANCER.

 

Best Narrative Short
ASAD
Directed by Bryan Buckley (USA)

Special Jury Mention: Ritesh Batra, writer and director of CAFÉ REGULAR, CAIRO.

 

Best Documentary Short
PARAÍSO
Directed by Nadav Kurtz (USA)

Special Jury Mention: David Darg and Bryn Mooser, directors of BASEBALL IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA.

 

Student Visionary Award
STITCHES
Directed by Adiya Imri Orr (Israel)

Special Jury Mention: Tati Barrantes and Andinh Ha, writers and directors of ADIRAKE.

Tribeca (Online) Film Festival Best Feature Film
ON THE MAT
Directed and written by Fredric Golding (USA)
Tribeca (Online) Film Festival Best Short Film
CATCAM
Directed by Seth Keal (USA)

 


 

 

ANY DAY NOW
Heineken Audience Award Winner: Narrative
Director: Travis Fine


 

BURN

Heineken Audience Award for Best Documentary

Directors: Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez


Stay tuned this week for my recaps of the festival!

Think Like a Man is a Winner in My Book

Based on the book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by comedian Steve Harvey, the film Think Like a Man is an ensemble rom-com that distills the spirit of the New York Times’ bestseller (adapted by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman) into a pleasant and entertaining comedy.

At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to the (male) characters by their common ‘types’:

  • MOMMA’S BOY (Terrence J),
  • THE PLAYER (Romany Malco),
  • THE NON-COMMITTAL (Jerry Ferrara), and
  • THE DREAMER (Michael Ealy).

Rounding out the sextet are the HAPPILY MARRIED MAN (Gary Owen) and the HAPPIER DIVORCED MAN (Kevin Hart).

After the introductions, we see “love’s battlefield” play out in all its glory as the women* in the men’s lives (and apparently every other woman) use Harvey’s text to get what they want out of their relationships. The men soon catch on and decide to subvert the women’s plotting … well we know where this story is headed … Throw in a couple of surprise cameos for good measure, and you have a recipe for a fun night at the movies.

I surprised myself just at how much I laughed out loud at what I saw on screen. The film manages to develop several of the subplots while telling a larger story.

After the missteps into superhero land (Fantastic Four franchise), Tim Story does a good job at handling this comedic material.

On the acting side, I guess the point of an ensemble piece is that no one individual stands out among the rest. But in this film, the clearly Kevin Hart is at the center of what holds the story together.

If I were to point out any shortcomings I would just say this – it is a movie, so do not expect any real earth-shattering revelations about members of the opposing sex. Sometimes you just have to go with it and enjoy what you are watching on screen.

In the realm of cinematic ventures into romantic comedies, I’d say that this one holds up pretty well.


*The women are Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson.

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” Official US Poster

(From Fox Searchlight Press Office)

In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions.

Release Date: June 27, 2012

After reading about Beasts of the Southern Wild at Sundance*, I have been looking forward to it. It looks like I will get my opportunity later this summer.

Have you heard about this film? Are you looking forward to it?

*Grand Jury Prize Winner, 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Weekend Releases

Let’s start looking at this weekend’s releases with the ‘certified fresh‘ (as of the time of this writing) …

PIRATES: BAND OF MISFITS

 

THE RAVEN

Really? Cusack as Poe? Guess we will have to wait and see …

 

SAFE

It’s Statham … therefore it is probably fun.

 

FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT

 

BERNIE

Will lightning strike twice with duo of Linklater/Black

 

SOUND OF MY VOICE

 

One film in particular caught my interest on the weekend release list, Elles will feature on iluvcinema next week in the form of one of my recaps.

As for me, I will work on the writing for my recaps and I may go see Think Like a Man. Besides that I am going to try to recover from the past couple of weeks and to prepare for the start of SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER SEASON (starting with The Avengers).

 

How’s about you all? Any particular plans for this weekend?

Check out the latest “Prometheus” Featurette

This one is short (1:39) but packs a real wallop – I love it. My favorite part is that we get to see a few more bits of the film 🙂

What is amazing to me about this campaign is that with all of the footage, etc. I still have no idea exactly what to expect – except that it will be epic!

Let me know what you think below.

Inside Tribeca: “Wagner’s Dream” Panel Discussion (Photo)


Panel following world premier of documentary Wagner’s Dream.
Taken Wednesday April 25, 2012 at the SVA Theatre, Chelsea, NYC.

There’s An App for That!

Photo Credit: Andy Kennelly

Take a look at these images for the just-released TCM Hollywood Tour app:

     

Some of the cool features for this app include (taken from Official Press Release):

Over 100 locations covered: the app serves as a guide to 100 Hollywood locations – including movie-star mansions, studio lots, celeb hangouts, legendary film locations and more.

Welcome by Robert Osborne: a special video introduction from the TCM host with the most.

A Virtual Tour: this tour allows users to explore by neighborhood or browse the list view from anywhere in the world. They can also use the play button and forward/reverse controls to explore all the locations in a photo gallery view.

Badges: Fans can collect badges for each place they visit, whether they are using the guided or self-guided tour while in the LA area (anyone who succeeds in collecting all 100 badges – by visiting all of the guided tour’s destinations in person – will be awarded a special prize)!

Geo-location: this services guide users to each destination. Rate and Review options for each location.

The TCM Hollywood Tour app is available only for the iPhone and iPod Touch and can be purchased from the iTunes Store (purchase price = $2.99).

Personally, I am a bit reluctant to buy an app if it exceeds $0.99-$1.99 ($0.99) if I am being totally honest, but app looks very useful especially when trying to navigate a city as spread out as Los Angeles. Maybe I will get it in time for the 2013 TCM Film Festival!

 

Is this something you would be interested in?

Revisiting “Dracula”

The latest installment in my continuing series celebrating Universal Studio’s 100th Anniversary.

Poor Bela Lugosi. When asked to transfer his stage success the silver screen by starring in Tod Browning’s  Dracula (apparently he was NOT even the first choice), little did he know that this would be the role that would define his career (and life).

While not the first filmed version of Bram Stoker’s ‘undead’ (most notable in my mind the nightmarish Nosferatu), it is the Dracula imprinted on our collective memory. Lugosi’s portrayal of the Count is that of a haunting, seductive bloodsucking nightwalker.

Today’s cinemagoers will probably not be convinced by the stagey nature of the film and its performances, but that does not make it any more impactful. First of all it should be noted that while this is based on Stoker’s source material, the direct text, etc. is taken from the aforementioned stage play Dracula. Second and most importantly, I imagine what also terrified audiences at the time was down to the cadence of Lugosi’s delivery and the deliberate pacing of his movements. As a child I remember mimicking him, walking around saying, “I vaunt to suck your blood!” It has been a while now so I am not even sure those exact words are even uttered in the film.

One element that I never fully resolved myself was the fact that while many of the characters are wearing contemporary clothes, they traverse the landscape in horse-drawn carriages. It is possible that automobiles have not reach Carpathian Mountains; anyone have a clue?

In 2000, Dracula was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. (Source: Wikipedia)

Tuesday’s Overlooked: Eyes Without a Face (Les yeux sans visage)

Up until recently the only thing I knew about this title (Eyes Without a Face/Les yeux sans visage, in France) was that it was a Billy Idol song:

 

Then I was watching TCM and saw guest programmer Anthony Bourdain talking about the film and thought – what the heck, a French horror film, co-starring Alida Valli. Can’t be too bad. I had no idea of what was in store …

SYNOPSIS (from the Criterion Collection):

Secluded in the French countryside, a brilliant, obsessive doctor attempts a radical plastic surgery to restore the beauty of his daughter’s disfigured face—but at a horrifying price. At once ghastly and lyrical, Eyes Without a Face is a true rarity of horror cinema and has influenced countless films.

That about sums it up. Check out this (rather long) trailer to get a better sense of where the film is going:

This film (directed by Georges Franju) is “horrific” in the truest spirit of the word. Not like the modern-day slash and thrash that we often associate with the genre, this film is disturbing and even oddly romantic in places.
In addition, it is beautifully shot in an “Expressionist-lite” black and white, with many scenes evoking sharp, contrasting shadows and light.

Originally released in France in 1959, the film originally hit our shores in 1962, was dubbed and given a new title: The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus; in addition, it was double-billed with The Manster, a Japanese horror film.

Currently, Eyes Without a Face is available on DVD for your enjoyment 🙂