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Article Archive for January 2012

Green’s Screens

January 31, 2012

Brent Green’s shorts bear the stamp of quiet annihilation; his sculpture on display at the Sundance Film Festival 2012 is, like his films, a deceptively grand project.

Rushes: Tigers | Garbage | Belvaux | Dialogues

January 31, 2012

As the International Film Festival Rotterdam heads into its second week, the first set of Tiger Awards (for short film) have been announced. The three winners are Japanese experimental filmmaker Makino Takashi, for GENERATOR (“An explosive, pulsating experience of an environment on the brink of disaster”), Dutch director Jeroen Eisinga’s SPRINGTIME (“A monumental and transfixing cinematic portrait created out of a fearless performance etched in buzzing bees and 35mm grain”), and Mati Diop’s BIG IN VIETNAM (“Raw, defiant and elliptical”).

Rushes: Awards | Cronenberg | USC

January 30, 2012

The Sundance Film Festival came to a close Sunday, with upwards of 25 awards handed out Saturday night. You can see the full results as live-blogged by Eric Hynes and Clairborne Smith. No big surprise that the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film went to BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, the most unanimously praised debut of the festival by some distance. Perhaps the most meaningful critical approval came from Manohla Dargis’s festival wrap-up for The New York Times: “The standout of this year’s Sundance and among the best films to play at the festival in two decades, Beasts of the Southern Wild isn’t an obvious studio-

Strange Fates at Sundance

January 27, 2012

This year’s outsiders and short filmmakers offer hope to a believer; two 2012 Sundance features surprise a skeptic.

Rushes: Python | Ishioka | Africa | Kubrick

January 27, 2012
ROOM 237

Monty Python fans rejoice. Terry Jones (LIFE OF BRIAN and THE MEANING OF LIFE) told Variety that he is set to direct the science fiction film Absolutely Anything with a little help from his friends: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin. The BBC reports, “In the new CGI movie, the Pythons will provide voices for a group of aliens who grant a human being immense power, which eventually leads to all sorts of disruption.”
Designer Eiko Ishioka, whose bold costumes were seen in Bram Stoker’s DRACULA and THE CELL, in addition to Broadway’s Spider-Man and the colossal Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics

Rushes: Compliance | Slamdance | Siren

January 26, 2012

‘Compliance’ stirs debate; Slamdance, sized up; Siren’s call for saving cinema. A few days after Craig Zobel’s Compliance sparked a heated volley during its Sundance Q&A, the critics are responding with more evenhanded assessments. The plot, inspired by real events and the Milgram experiment, concerns the rapid escalation of abuse after a prank caller posing as a police officer persuades a fast food restaurant manager that a female employee is a thief and subject to strip search. “As exploitative as it may be of an audience’s good will,” Karina Longworth

Method, Madness and the Films of Bret Wood

January 25, 2012

Bret Wood plumbs the history of horror film and the annals of psychiatry for shock, awe, and edification with ‘Psychopathia Sexualis’ and ‘Kingdom of Shadows.’

Rushes: Angelopoulos | Nominations | Sundance

January 25, 2012

Angelopolous passes away; Sundance awards shorts makers, including Safdie brothers.
The Associated Press reports that Greek director Theo Angelopoulos died Tuesday in a road accident while working on his upcoming film, The Other Sea. He was 76. Kevin Jagernauth writes for Indiewire, “Filmmaking wasn’t the first career chosen by the director, who studied law and later attended the Sorbonne before finally studying film at the IDHEC (Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies). Over the course of his career, Angelopoulos directed only thirteen feature

Video Essay: The Existential Noir of Michelangelo Antonioni

January 24, 2012

On how Italian modernist Michelangelo Antonioni fashioned his first film, ‘Story of a Love Affair,’ after 1940s Hollywood noir.

Rushes: Ray | Red Hook | Nominations | Hammer

January 24, 2012

Bingham Ray dies suddenly at Sundance; Spike Lee’s RED HOOK SUMMER opens to passionately mixed reviews.

Party Favor: The Films of Jim Finn

January 23, 2012

A wayward visionary as well as a ‘supremely self-reliant’ inside joker, Jim Finn has arrived.

Rushes: Beasts | Rodriguez | Wood

January 23, 2012

Sundance shines light on BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD; Slamdance offers up a lost Ed Wood.