Posts Tagged ‘Martin Scorsese’

The Slate: Twilight, Jean-Luc Godard and Mountain Goats

March 17, 2010

Gus van Sant, Sofia Coppola, Bill Condon … are any of them crazy enough to say “yes” to directing an installment of Twilight: Breaking Dawn? Probably not. Y’know, van Sant just might do it. (EW)

The line-up of this year’s 32nd Cinema du Reel Film Festival in Paris will include Godard/Mieville’s The Old Place and Reportage Amateur, as well as Richard Dindo’s promising Gaugin in Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. Fest kicks off on March 18. (Cineuropa)

Speaking of Godard: “His devotion to the concept of the archive—including archival footage—is based in a sense of the object’s relic-like, totemic power that transcends evocation and memory to achieve a quasi-metaphysical incarnation of the past that restores its force through mythopoetic power, through the fact of its iconic contact with the past.” Right. (The Front Row)

Rian Johnson’s Life of the World to Come, starring the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle, is released on DVD on Record Store Day, sounds a lot like that Jonsi doc, Go Quiet. (Pitchfork)

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Western Union: Martin Scorsese

March 2, 2010

“It’s very difficult for me to go to theatres these days. Also, when I did go a few years ago, the nature of the audience, the noise – it’s not taken seriously. And it hurts. I mean comedies too. There’s an attitude, there are phones going off, people talking. It’s crazy.”

— Martin Scorsese has the same problems you do a the cinema. (via Time Out)

Berlin 2010 Preview: Competition, Part 2

February 4, 2010

This year’s Berlinale features established filmmakers wandering into unfamiliar territory. Martin Scorsese gives a Dennis Lehane tale all the gaudy trappings of a Hammer horror film. Zhang Yimou puts down his ornate sword-play films for a farcical take on the Coen Brothers. 24 hour party person Michael Winterbottom even takes Texas by the tail in a full-blown film noir. Matters of faith also loom large in films from Germany, India and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Berlin is a broad church.

Read the first part of our Berlin Film Festival Competition preview.

The Killer Inside Me

Lou Ford is one of author Jim Thompson’s greatest antiheroes. Ford’s a psychotic charmer who keeps the peace in a town populated by mattress-happy dames and lowdown double-crossers. Guerilla filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (The Road to Guantanamo) isn’t everyone’s first choice to helm a Lone Star noir, but Casey Affleck seems just the right feller to fill Ford’s bloodstained boots.

Mammuth (Mammoth)

It’s easy to take Gerard Depardieu for granted, yet the shaggy icon delivers. Here he plays a worker who can’t retire until he finds his last six employers. That sends him on a journey around France astraddle his Mammoth motorcycle. Among the figures from his past is Isabelle Adjani, asleep for the last four decades. Written and directed by Benoît Delépine and Gustave de Kervern (Louise-Michel).

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Must See Movies: February 2010

January 31, 2010

With the dregs of January swirling down the drain, audiences can prep themselves for classier fare. This month marks the return of two cinematic masters in the form of Scorsese and Polanski. Their works might look a little loosey-goosey, but there’s little doubt about the razor-sharp talents behind a pair of crime dramas from Israel and France. Finally, get some uplift as Shah Rukh Khan battles Homeland Security for his dignity.

Ajami
Release date: Feb. 3
The pitch: Israel’s problems—and lord knows there’s a lot of them—are filtered through several interlocking stories set in a tough neighborhood of Jaffa. It’s an Arab-Israeli Wire!
Fun fact: Jaffa gets a nod in the Bible as the port where Jonah boarded a ship on his ill-fated escape to Tarshish.
Why it could be great: After earning acclaim on the festival circuit, this tough drama won Best Picture and Director at the Israeli Oscars last year.
Why it could suck: There are very few happy endings in Israel.

My Name is Khan
Release date: Feb. 12
The pitch: An autistic Muslim (Shah Rukh Khan) finds happiness with a single mom (Kajol) in San Francisco. Then 9/11 turns his world upside down.
Fun fact: Last August, Khan was detained by Newark Airport security for questioning while promoting the film.
Why it could be great: SRK stars in a story that’s sure to tug the heartstrings of discriminated-against immigrants and angry liberals alike. There’ll be a few musical numbers, too.
Why it could suck: The emotional maelstrom reaches fever pitch when Khan embarks on an odyssey to meet Barack Obama himself.

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Heavy Traffic: Walk Don’t Walk

January 21, 2010

Deeply personal and willfully repellant, Ralph Bakshi’s Heavy Traffic is not the most coherent film in the entire world. It depicts the world of an aspiring underground cartoonist through a mixture of live action and animation, both of which are rendered in grotesque strokes.

Our hero is the virginal artist Mike (Joseph Kaufmann), who is introduced playing pinball. He lives a monkish existence inside a tenement apartment whose environment is a little like The Honeymooners if it were designed by Breughel and written by Tennessee Williams at his most Sophoclean. The women are mile-a-minute shrews who always seem to have a mammary breaking free from their blouse. The men are thick-lipped ethnic caricatures. They think with their dicks—which inevitably are also put on display—and are unable to control their bodily functions. Eking out an existence in the New York underbelly, they take out their impotence on their women.

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Trailerama: Shutter Island

June 11, 2009

“All I know is it’s a mental hospital.” “… For the criminally insane.” Martin Scorsese is regularly acclaimed as one of America’s greatest directors. So why has he been making such shitty movies? The Departed gets worse and worse with each re-viewing. And why has the premier chronicler of New York relocated to Boston? Squally is going to hazard that Scorsese is indulging a certain jones, using these Beantown-set tales to flex his generic muscles and indulge his love of B pictures. Consider The Departed a sort of Underworld, U.S.A. on a medicine cabinet stocked by Balco. So what to make of this take on Dennis Lehane’s thriller, which the studio clearly doesn’t know what to do with? The trailer is pure corn: giving away most of the plot, showing off some crummy special effects, and bristling with devices straight from the Hammer horror stable. Leonardo DiCaprio is the Boston cop looking for an escaped Shutter Island inmate. A hurricane traps him and his partner on the island, and lets Scorsese slam plenty of doors shut. Stop waiting for Scorsese to top Goodfellas and just revel in the nonsense.

Away We Go … to the Edinburgh Film Festival!

April 15, 2009

Away We Go has a trailer, and the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival has an opening film. In a happy coincidence, that opening film is Away We Go.

Sam Mendes‘ follow-up to Revolutionary Road has been attracting plenty of notice because a) it won’t be as heavy going as Revolutionary Road and b) it’s written by husband and wife Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. The film is a road movie, with couple John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph trying to find some place to raise their first-born, and discovering a little bit of America on the way.

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Authorexecobit: Steven Bach

March 31, 2009

Heaven’s Gate is one of those legendary Hollywood disasters that actually lives up to its reputation. Yep, it’s ambitious, telling the story of a Wyoming range war in the style of Soviet social realism. It looks like money has been thrown on the screen: writer-director Michael Cimino built a town complete with working street-car. It’s incredibly long, clocking in at nearly four hours. At times it’s inexplicable, as when half-an-hour is spend watching a Harvard graduation scene that was actually lensed in Oxford. It’s also unbearable.

Steven Bach was the United Artists studio executive who fell on his sword when Heaven’s Gate was released in 1980. Its $7.5 million budget had nearly quintupled. Cimino’s magnum opus was jeered out of theatres. Its failure led to United Artists’ collapse, and the death knell was sounded for the second golden age of Hollywood cinema. But Bach had the last laugh with 1985’s Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of Heaven’s Gate, an account which has become a textbook on how not to make a film. Bach died of cancer in Vermont last Wednesday, aged 70.

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Scorsese Revisited in American Prince

March 11, 2009

american-princeSteve Prince is quite the character. Film buffs will remember him from Martin Scorsese‘s Taxi Driver, where his gun salesman educates Travis Bickle in hardware. The camera lovingly caresses gun barrels via tracking shots while Prince provides the prose poems (“It’s a real monster. It’ll stop a car at a hundred yards.”).

It’s one of the great one-shot performances, and Scorsese found Prince a compelling enough character to make him the subject of his 1978 documentary American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince. Now Prince, whose resume includes appearances in New York, New York and Richard Linklater‘s Waking Life, gets a “chapter two” in Tommy Pallotta‘s documentary American Prince, which is set to screen at the SXSW Film Festival on March 14 and March 17. Clips and more (with a little Pulp Fiction-ania after the jump.
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