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Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2020: #14. Il Buco – Michelangelo Frammartino

#14. Il Buco / The Hole

It’s been a full decade without a new narrative feature from Italy’s Michelangelo Frammartino, whose Le Quattro Volte was one of 2010’s most notable films. After spending years developing a project called Late Spring, which was said to be a Pinocchio-like fantasy told in reverse, this past September Frammartino finally commenced a new project, Il Buco (The Hole), a period piece on some noted spelunkers, lensed by famed Dp Renato Berta.…
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Film Review: Abnormal Family (1984) by Masayuki Suo

Can porn be art? This question seems to be contradicting itself. Art calls for our contemplation, while porn requires our bodily involvement. How can a film excite its viewers on these two fronts? Masayuki Suo’s pink film (“pinku eiga”; it refers Japanese softcore pornographic films produced since the sixties) “Abnormal Family” seems to be a rare beast that combines stylistic commitments with titillating imageries. Once studying film with Japan’s leading intellectual Shigehiko Hasumi, Suo’s film is a love (erotic?) letter to Ozu’s films.

“Abnormal Family” screened at Japan Cuts 2018

Unmarried daughters. Bickering relatives. Taciturn fathers. A teapot. A vase. A Noh performance. A Coca-Cola signpost. A corner of the Kita-Kamakura station. These are the basic elements of the Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu’s cinematic world. In these quiet corners of Japan, there will always be a father who is worried about marrying off his daughters. The tradition must go on,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Film Review: Abnormal Family (1984) by Masayuki Suo

Can porn be art? This question seems to be contradicting itself. Art calls for our contemplation, while porn requires our bodily involvement. How can a film excite its viewers on these two fronts? Masayuki Suo’s pink film (“pinku eiga”; it refers Japanese softcore pornographic films produced since the sixties) “Abnormal Family” seems to be a rare beast that combines stylistic commitments with titillating imageries. Once studying film with Japan’s leading intellectual Shigehiko Hasumi, Suo’s film is a love (erotic?) letter to Ozu’s films.

Abnormal Family is screening at Japan Cuts 2018

Unmarried daughters. Bickering relatives. Taciturn fathers. A teapot. A vase. A Noh performance. A Coca-Cola signpost. A corner of the Kita-Kamakura station. These are the basic elements of the Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu’s cinematic world. In these quiet corners of Japan, there will always be a father who is worried about marrying off his daughters.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

New to Streaming: Yasujirō Ozu, ‘Psychokinesis,’ Early Alfred Hitchcock, and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (Alexandra Dean)

The tell-all “autobiography” Ecstasy and Me: My Life As A Woman was exactly what Hedy Lamarr’s agent wanted to make quick money. But it wasn’t her life. Whether her ghostwriter’s words were true or not, the story dealt with everything she hoped wouldn’t define her legacy. Sadly she never had the chance to set the record straight with
See full article at The Film Stage »

Unseen Pleasures: My 20 Most Unmissable New Films of 2018

  • MUBI
Below is a strictly personal, unapologetically idiosyncratic list of the twenty films I'm most looking forward to in 2018 and which have so far yet to be seen by any paying audiences. Among those seriously considered but ultimately excluded on the basis that they're more likely to be ready next year are Ad Astra (James Gray), Blessed Virgin (Paul Verhoeven), The Fire Next Time (Mati Diop), Late Spring (Michelangelo Frammartino), the particularly-dynamite-on-paper Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello), Mektoub, My Love: Canto Due (Abdellatif Kechiche) and Motorboats (Yuri Ancarani). I also reluctantly discarded a couple of highly tantalising projects whose status, at the time of writing, was frustratingly unclear, namely Tijuana Bible (Jean-Charles Hue) and the worryingly long-in-gestation You Can't Win (Robinson Devor). Omitted because they're made primarily for TV rather than cinemas: Martin Scorsese's The Irishman (Netflix) and Bruno Dumont's Coincoin and the Extra-Humans (Arté). Finally, Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir: Part I
See full article at MUBI »

10 Great Directors Who Should Make Horror Movies — IndieWire Critics Survey

10 Great Directors Who Should Make Horror Movies — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: What filmmaker would you most like to see try their hand at a horror movie?

Kristy Puchko (@KristyPuchko), Pajiba/Riot Material

I struggled with this question, because a lot of the directors I have adored have worked in horror, be it Tim Burton (“Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands”), Robert Zemeckis (“Death Becomes Her”), Edgar Wright (“Shawn of the Dead”), Frank Oz (“Little Shop of Horror”), Guillermo del Toro (“Crimson Peak”), Bong-Joon Ho (“The Host”), Jim Jarmusch (“Only Lovers Left Alive”), or Taika Waititi (“What We Do In the Shadows”). Part of what I love about the genre is the way is can be reshaped with vision, color,
See full article at Indiewire »

Tiff 2017. Correspondences #10

  • MUBI
Dear Kelley and Fern,As you both noted earlier, John Woo’s Manhunt was a thrilling, tongue-in-cheek compendium of the director's best qualities. This kind of masterful self-reflexivity may rub some the wrong way—remember, at the time, the hostility to De Palma’s Femme Fatale and Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. as if they were only Directors' Greatest Hits?—but when done smartly this is no mere masturbation, but a celebration and self-questioning, honed to deft precision, of an artist’s perennial themes.Such is the case with one of the few great feature films I've seen here in Toronto, Paul Schrader’s First Reformed. In remarkable contrast to his last film, the coked-up cartoon Dog Eat Dog, it is is a self-consciously austere drama of a wearied priest (a tremendous, hollowed-out Ethan Hawke) of a minuscule congregation housed in the oldest church in America, one dismissively dubbed the ‘souvenirs shop’ by the newer,
See full article at MUBI »

Watch the trailer for South Korean action-thriller The Villainess

A UK trailer has arrived online for the award-winning South Korean action thriller The Villainess. Directed by Jung Byung-gil (Confessions of Murder), the film received its world premiere earlier this year at the Cannes Festival where it received a four minute standing ovation, and features a cast that includes Kim Ok-bin (Thirst), Shin Ha-kyun (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) and Kim Seo-hyung (Late Spring); watch it below…

Trained killer Sook-hee (Kim Ok-bin) is the architect of an unforgettable opening sequence, breathtakingly shot from a first person point-of-view, as she breaks into a warehouse and lays waste to the multitude of thugs contained within. When the pregnant young woman eventually goes down, she’s picked up by the mysterious National Intelligence Service.

Given the choice to join them or die, she reluctantly accepts a new identity and trains in order to complete a future assignment and eventually win freedom for herself and her daughter.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

New to Streaming: ‘T2: Trainspotting, Bong Joon Ho, ‘Mimosas,’ ‘Daughters of the Dust,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash)

That there’s a fair chance you’ve never seen Daughters of the Dust — full disclosure: I am among these people — should be taken as a failure of distribution and exposure, not the film’s quality and impact. There’s also a fair chance that the closest you’ve really come to Julie Dash‘s 1991 film is Beyoncé’s Lemonade, which paid a direct visual tribute that,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Filmadrid & Mubi: The Video Essay—"永遠の処女 - The Eternal Virgin"

The Video Essay is a joint project of Mubi and Filmadrid Festival Internacional de Cine. Film analysis and criticism found a completely new and innovative path with the arrival of the video essay, a relatively recent form that already has its own masters and is becoming increasingly popular. The limits of this discipline are constantly expanding; new essayists are finding innovative ways to study the history of cinema working with images. With this non-competitive section of the festival both Mubi and Filmadrid will offer the platform and visibility the video essay deserves. The seven selected works will be shown during the dates of Filmadrid (June 8 - 17, 2017) on Mubi’s cinema publication, the Notebook. Also there will be a free public screening of the selected works during the festival. The selection was made by the programmers of Mubi and Filmadrid.永遠の処女 · The Eternal VirginVideo essay by Jorge Suárez-Quiñones RivasThe understanding of domestic,
See full article at MUBI »

David Reviews Yasujiro Ozu’s Good Morning [Criterion Blu-ray Review]

The long anticipated, seemingly inevitable but frustratingly overdue upgrade of Yasujiro Ozu’s second color film Good Morning finally became a reality earlier this week. A pristine new edition of Spine #84 has just landed on the shelves, and it’s a cause for joyful celebration for Ozu aficionados and newcomers alike, who now have the opportunity to rediscover one of the great director’s most enchanting films. It’s hard to overstate just how much a new transfer and a tidy array of supplemental features allow Good Morning‘s virtues to shine, but I can attest without reservation that this release feels every bit as essential and fully realized as any of the other three Ozu Blu-rays that Criterion has previously made available.

Yes, Tokyo Story, Late Spring and Autumn Afternoon, the director’s final film, are all widely esteemed as monumental works, whereas Good Morning is often relegated to “lesser Ozu” status.
See full article at CriterionCast »

Exclusive Interview: Jonathan Sothcott for We Still Steal The Old Way

This week sees the release of British action sequel We Still Steal The Old Way on digital download, with DVD and Blu-ray following on 17th April. The film is a follow-up to the 2014 crime drama We Still Kill The Old Way and sees the return of the old-school Archer gang, led by the charismatic Richie Archer, who this time hatches a plan to pull off an audacious robbery. Halfway through the heist, the gang get caught, and they’re sent down. So far, so good – now they’re in prison they can put into motion their plot to spring fellow inmate George, who desperately needs to get out before his wife dies. Trouble arises when Richie’s arch enemy Vic Farrow gets himself transferred into the prison, wanting to settle some old scores.

We caught up with the film’s producer Jonathan Sothcott to talk about his new film, reuniting the cast,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Criterion Close-Up – Episode 59 – Late Spring and the Films of Yasujiro Ozu

Mark, Aaron and Matt Gasteier explore the filmmaking world of Yasujirō Ozu, centering on his pivotal masterpiece Late Spring (1949). It would be impossible to explore all of his dozens of his films in one episode, so we give an overview of his work, his style, and his contributions towards international cinema.

3:00 – Ozu Introduction

15:00 – Ozu biography & style

29:00 – Setsuko Hara

39:00 – Late Spring

Criterion Current – Ozu and Setsuko Hara David Bordwell – Ozu Book Criterion Collected Episode Credits Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Matt Gasteier: Twitter | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email

Next time on the podcast: French Series, Part Three
See full article at CriterionCast »

Criterion Close-Up – Episode 58 – Punch-Drunk Love and the Films of Paul Thomas Anderson

Mark and Aaron get back to this century with a look at Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love. Naturally we talk about Adam Sandler’s dramatic acting jobs, and well, what happened to them? We go further into PTA’s career, film by film, chronicling the evolution of his craft and style. We explore why he is so popular, and question whether he belongs in the conversation of greatest living filmmakers.

3:40 – Punch Drunk Love

47:40 – Paul Thomas Anderson

Criterion – Punch-Drunk Love Criterion – Paul Thomas Anderson’s Favorite Films The Film Faculty – PTA Retrospective Mark’s Amazon Wish List. Happy Birthday, Mark! Episode Credits Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email

Next time on the podcast: Late Spring
See full article at CriterionCast »

David Reviews Howard Hawks’ His Girl Friday [Criterion Collection Blu-Ray Review]

News Flash! (Dateline: Chicago Il. January 10, 2017.) The Criterion Collection launches its 2017 campaign today with a raucous one-two punch that summons fond memories of Hollywood’s Golden Age while jabbing its finger into the chest of today’s corrupt media hacks. His Girl Friday, that epitome of classic screwball comedy, gets the deluxe treatment in a handsome dual-disc Blu-ray edition that also serves as a fancy showcase for its influential predecessor The Front Page. This winning effort by the whipsmart Criterion team spares no expense, as both flicks leap off the screen with a frenetic urgency that almost seems improper for relics of such venerable age.

But it’s not the longevity that sells this package, it’s the the relevance of how concisely the parallel stories, each with their own sharp accents of distinction, speak to today – how the brilliant cynicism of Ben Hecht’s snappy dialog simultaneously captures the
See full article at CriterionCast »

Yasujirō Ozu’s 1929 Short Film ‘A Straightforward Boy’ Has Been Found

  • Indiewire
There’s been an epic find for serious film buffs this week. A nearly-finished 1929 film called “Tokkan Kozo,” or “A Straightforward Boy,” by the hugely-influential Japanese filmmaker Yasujirō Ozu has been uncovered. A representative of the Toy Film Museum in Kyoto and professor at the Osaka University of Arts, Yoneo Ota, announced the news at a September 6th conference.

Read More: 5 Essential Films By Yasujirō Ozu

“A Straightforward Boy” was gifted along with a collection of other films to the Toy Film Museum from the estate of a film fan. The found comedy is a shorter version of the 38 minute original movie, which remains lost, like many Japanese films shot before WWII. The museum is working to restore the film before it is screened later at the Kyoto International Film and Art Festival.

“A Straightforward Boy” depicts an abducted young boy who turns out too troublesome for his captor. The
See full article at Indiewire »

Futures Past Tour: Guest Post by Julie Czerneda and Giveaway

Futures Past Tour: Guest Post by Julie Czerneda and Giveaway
Today I’m delighted to welcome Julie Czerneda as part of the Futures Past Tour celebrating the release of her upcoming science fiction novel! The Gate to Futures Past, the second book in the Reunification trilogy after This Gulf of Time and Stars, will be released on September 6, and I have a guest post by the author and a book giveaway of both Reunification books—plus Daw Books is offering a tour-wide giveaway of all eight Clan Chronicles books!

Cover Credit: Matt Stawicki

Move in the Midst? Oh, why not?!

Let me count the ways, shall I? First, to set the scene.

We’d lived in the same spot for a staggering (for us) 24 years. Time to go, we decided. Late spring, 2015, we put our house on the market for a month—a trial run, so to speak—then took it off again. No takers and, after all, I’d a book to finish.
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

Watch: Celebrate the Greatest Cinematography of All-Time With New Video Essay

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then there will never be a definitive list of the greatest cinematography, but for our money, one of the finest polls has been recently conducted on the matter. Our friend Scout Tafoya polled over 60 critics on Fandor, including some of us here, and the results can be found in a fantastic video essay below. Rather than the various wordless supercuts that crowd Vimeo, Tafoya wrestles with his thoughts on cinematography as we see the beautiful images overlaid from the top 12 choices.

“I’ve been thinking of the world cinematographically since high school,” Scout says. “Sometime around tenth grade I started looking out windows, at crowds of my peers, at the girls I had crushes on, and imagining the best way to film them. Lowlight, mini-dv or 35mm? Curious and washed out like the way Emmanuel Lubezki shot Y Tu Mamá También,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Biff Asian Cinema 100 List: Top 5 Japanese Films

The Asian Cinema 100 list was released last year at the Biff (Busan International Film Festival), which marked its 20th anniversary with a poll of prominent Asian filmmakers and international critics of Asian film, who were all asked for their top ten of all time.

Japan accounted for 26 films on the list, followed by Iran (19) and Korea (15).

The oldest film chosen was Yasujiro Ozu’s I Was Born, But (1932), ranked 48th of all time. And the top animated film to make the cut was Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2001), joint 18th.

The top 5 Japanese films are listed below in rank order.

1. Tokyo Story (1953), #1

Routinely hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. Tokyo Story is Yasujiro Ozu‘s restrained masterpiece of an ordinary family life, chronicling human behavior in ordinary situations.

It opens with the putt-putt sound of a boat and the wisps of smoke rising from the chimneys of
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »
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