news aggregator

GreenCine: In honor of storybook revamps, Retro Active: THE COMPANY OF WOLVES @nschager on Neil Jordan's dark red-riding-hood tale http://t.co/pTQvyThK

Greencine - Twitter - April 3, 2012 - 9:09am
GreenCine: In honor of storybook revamps, Retro Active: THE COMPANY OF WOLVES @nschager on Neil Jordan's dark red-riding-hood tale http://t.co/pTQvyThK

INTERVIEW: Guy Maddin

GreenCine Daily - April 2, 2012 - 10:26am
by Steve Dollar

One loquacious greybeard, that most Canadian of Canadian filmmakers (or should we say "most Winnipeggian"?) Guy Maddin never so much sits for an interview as he does take occasion to deliver what sounds like a old-time radio drama, only far more wild and vivid and philosophical. Images whirl through the air. Ideas take shape and dissolve. Time collapses into a black hole that suddenly reopens like the iris of a camera lens. One senses—while processing the bitter jolt of a Starbucks coffee, alert to the home movie flickering across the director's eyes—that, for Maddin, everything really is cinema.

Visiting SXSW 2012 to show his latest film Keyhole, Maddin has made what might seem to be a more mainstream work: a gangster flick based around The Odyssey. But this haunted house hallucination is quite a bit more than that begins to describe. As Maian Tran noted in her recent review:

The protagonist Ulysses' (Jason Patric) psyche manifests an entire labyrinth of a house, filled with ghosts and painful memories. The film is a whirling, disorienting, psychedelic odyssey that feels like a '60s avant-garde film with '40s gangster-noir flourishes. Though beautiful to behold, the film's emotional impact hovers over each scene like the spirits that inhabit it... Like finding an ex-lover's hair on a pillow when you tried your best to obliterate those memories, Keyhole reminds us that our emotional baggage keeps a permanent residence in the deep, murky, phantasmagoric labyrinths of our minds.

Continued reading INTERVIEW: Guy Maddin...

RETRO ACTIVE: The Company of Wolves (1984)

GreenCine Daily - March 30, 2012 - 12:19pm
by Nick Schager

[This week's "Retro Active" pick is inspired by another fantasy revamp of a storybook classic, Mirror Mirror.]

Red Riding Hood's signature shawl symbolizes the eroticism and menace at the heart of The Company of Wolves, Neil Jordan's sensuous reimagining of the iconic fairy tale. Jordan blends realities with the same dreaminess that characterizes his entire film, opening with a wolf's dash through a misty fantasyland forest that ends at a manor house and the arrival of a modern car, out of which appears the parents of Alice (Georgia Slowe) and, in an upstairs room behind a locked door, Red Riding Hood herself, Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson). Via a pan across her room, Rosaleen is discovered asleep in bed and apparently wracked by a feverish nightmare that seems to bleed into the real world—or does it actually become real?—once Jordan's camera reaches a window overlooking a mountain range, and we're transported back into an ancient forest. There, Alice flees a horde of wolves, along the way racing by life-size versions of the doll, teddy bear and doll house that exist in Rosaleen's room, with Alice eventually being eaten alive by her ferocious, glowing-eyed pursuers. The next morning, Alice is actually dead, and Rosaleen receives her sister's crucifix courtesy of Granny (Angela Lansbury), who on their subsequent stroll cautions Rosaleen to never trust a man with eyebrows that connect, and to never stray from the forest's path.

Continued reading RETRO ACTIVE: The Company of Wolves (1984)...

GreenCine: New Directors/New Films '12 Critic's Notebook. @vrizov on NEIGHBORING SOUNDS, Mads Brügger's THE AMBASSADOR, more http://t.co/6H0R2oxS @NDNF

Greencine - Twitter - March 28, 2012 - 5:42pm
GreenCine: New Directors/New Films '12 Critic's Notebook. @vrizov on NEIGHBORING SOUNDS, Mads Brügger's THE AMBASSADOR, more http://t.co/6H0R2oxS @NDNF

NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS 2012: Critic's Notebook

GreenCine Daily - March 28, 2012 - 11:18am
by Vadim Rizov

Kleber Mendonça Filho's Neighboring Sounds opens with contextless black-and-white stills implying a history of subjugation: villagers interviewed by tailored officials, laborers hoeing a field. "Slavery is very much present in our everyday life in Brazil," Filho noted Saturday night after a New Directors/New Films screening. He's a critic and director making his fiction feature debut after a series of shorts and a feature mockumentary. Part of the inspiration, he said, came from a bad job where the boss treated workers like sugar cane plantation laborers. Unspoken but fraught class tensions are the subject, examined in an often oblique fashion.

The balcony view from the condo managed by João (Gustavo Jahn) is spectacular, all blue skies and massive buildings. It's not exactly Do the Right Thing, but João has Mookie's awkwardly hunched, walk-no-faster-than-required gait. When asked if he likes his job, he frankly replies "I hate it," and the reason's clear. Not just a broker but an temperature taker of neighborhood goodwill, João's daily routine accords equal importance to showing prospective residents apartments and roaming the block, maintaining good terms with remaining non-tower neighbors without pushing them too hard about who might be robbing his latest hook-up's car.

Continued reading NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS 2012: Critic's Notebook...

GreenCine: Also out today EL BULLI: COOKING IN PROGRESS http://t.co/OZfA1DCM it's not your traditional Food Network porn (review: http://t.co/KnHKHZ4P)

Greencine - Twitter - March 27, 2012 - 11:59am
GreenCine: Also out today EL BULLI: COOKING IN PROGRESS http://t.co/OZfA1DCM it's not your traditional Food Network porn (review: http://t.co/KnHKHZ4P)

GreenCine: Small week for new DVDs, but we've got CORMAN'S WORLD, and @criterion's DAVID LEAN DIRECTS NOEL COWARD SET, more http://t.co/n34jcAjW

Greencine - Twitter - March 27, 2012 - 10:06am
GreenCine: Small week for new DVDs, but we've got CORMAN'S WORLD, and @criterion's DAVID LEAN DIRECTS NOEL COWARD SET, more http://t.co/n34jcAjW

GreenCine: Retro Active: BATTLE ROYALE (2000) @nschager looks back at Fukasaku's pre-HUNGER GAMES death sport http://t.co/hAcdmsIs, now out on Blu!

Greencine - Twitter - March 26, 2012 - 8:48pm
GreenCine: Retro Active: BATTLE ROYALE (2000) @nschager looks back at Fukasaku's pre-HUNGER GAMES death sport http://t.co/hAcdmsIs, now out on Blu!

GreenCine: RT @cobblehillis: "Stay Hungry" @dollarama3k on THE HUNGER GAMES, that tiny micro-budget indie you might'a heard of. (@GreenCine Daily) ...

Greencine - Twitter - March 26, 2012 - 8:46pm
GreenCine: RT @cobblehillis: "Stay Hungry" @dollarama3k on THE HUNGER GAMES, that tiny micro-budget indie you might'a heard of. (@GreenCine Daily) ...

Stay Hungry

GreenCine Daily - March 26, 2012 - 5:25pm
by Steve Dollar

As much a spectacle for Halftime in America as the GOP primary circus, if vastly more sober-minded, The Hunger Games serves itself up as an Orwellian reality show in which a future parallel USA has ceded democracy to the totalitarian rule of the 1%, made recognizable by their goofy Ziggy Stardust costumes with hair by Edward Scissorhands. Nothing if not cross-reference-able, this adaptation of the Suzanne Collins' young-adult blockbuster is far too many movies in one to merely merit accusations of ripping off Battle Royale. Unfortunately, that's one of the more entertaining things about it.

A pop-culture phenomenon that's had Hollywood salivating for years, apparently, to get a sure-fire film franchise in front of the Twittering masses, the movie is itself much of what it describes: a grandiose and ballyhooed display designed to turn an unvarnished performer (Jennifer Lawrence/Katniss Everdeen) into a digital superstar—an inspiration, an icon, an ideal. That it succeeds, in spades, doesn't really mean that it's a success. The dystopian landscape and defiant, starving-class teen heroine would have been pure brain candy for my 14-year-old self, although in the 1970s, we fed our warped imaginations on Soylent Green, The Omega Man and A Boy and His Dog—way weirder and racier fare with the unapologetic zest of exploitation. This squeaky-clean episode feels antiseptic in comparison: though the story pivots on a stage-managed romance, sexuality surfaces only in a symbolic rubbing of miracle salve on an open wound.

Continued reading Stay Hungry...

RETRO ACTIVE: Battle Royale (2000)

GreenCine Daily - March 23, 2012 - 11:45am
by Nick Schager

[This week's "Retro Active" pick is inspired by the battle royale within the new franchise du jour The Hunger Games.]

Generational conflict takes on gory dimensions in Battle Royale, Kinji Fukasaku's 2000 cult classic about a dystopian future where unruly kids are dealt with via death sport. Released to widespread controversy in its native Japan—and never given a proper American theatrical release, in part because of post-Columbine fears about its focus on murderous kids—Fukasaku's sci-fi actioner sets itself in a Japan overrun by unemployment and teen delinquency, a problem that the government combats by holding lotteries in which a random middle school class is selected to participate in a fight to the death. That's the unfortunate fate handed to Shuya (Tatsuya Fujiwara), Noriko (Aki Maeda) and the rest of their classmates, who—believing they're on a school trip—are secretly drugged, awakening to find that their substitute teacher Kitano (a menacingly placid Takeshi Kitano) is in fact a government agent overseeing their participation in Battle Royale, a three-day competition on a remote island in which each student is given an explosive collar, a bag full of supplies (replete with one weapon), and a simple directive: murder your fellow classmates to become the last kid standing, and thereby achieve your freedom.

Continued reading RETRO ACTIVE: Battle Royale (2000)...

GreenCine: .@trustmovies, a huge fan of ONCE, reviews THE SWELL SEASON, on DVD with over 40+ min of live performance footage http://t.co/aHTbRJY7

Greencine - Twitter - March 23, 2012 - 10:32am
GreenCine: .@trustmovies, a huge fan of ONCE, reviews THE SWELL SEASON, on DVD with over 40+ min of live performance footage http://t.co/aHTbRJY7

GreenCine: We loved @criterion and @janusfilms' WORLD ON A WIRE so much we reviewed it again for the pristine Blu-Ray/DVD release http://t.co/M71r2uvx

Greencine - Twitter - March 22, 2012 - 9:51pm
GreenCine: We loved @criterion and @janusfilms' WORLD ON A WIRE so much we reviewed it again for the pristine Blu-Ray/DVD release http://t.co/M71r2uvx

GreenCine: "I really don’t want to say a thing about World on a Wire. I wish you could just take the above five-star rating to... http://t.co/HRb08zDo

Greencine - Twitter - March 22, 2012 - 8:35pm
GreenCine: "I really don’t want to say a thing about World on a Wire. I wish you could just take the above five-star rating to... http://t.co/HRb08zDo

GreenCine: Another look at the films of the DEEP BLUE SEA Dir. RT @House_Next_Door Aaron Cutler on the films of Terence Davies http://t.co/5nkk2U9a

Greencine - Twitter - March 22, 2012 - 11:41am
GreenCine: Another look at the films of the DEEP BLUE SEA Dir. RT @House_Next_Door Aaron Cutler on the films of Terence Davies http://t.co/5nkk2U9a

GreenCine: Film of the Week: THE DEEP BLUE SEA. @vrizov surveys the gloomy, swoony, David-lean inspired brit drama http://t.co/HIx4QQ5m

Greencine - Twitter - March 22, 2012 - 11:39am
GreenCine: Film of the Week: THE DEEP BLUE SEA. @vrizov surveys the gloomy, swoony, David-lean inspired brit drama http://t.co/HIx4QQ5m

FILM OF THE WEEK: The Deep Blue Sea

GreenCine Daily - March 22, 2012 - 11:11am
by Vadim Rizov

Terence Rattigan's 1952 play The Deep Blue Sea has been filmed before, but all director Terence Davies remembers of the 1955 incarnation (which he saw during childhood with his mother) is a shot of Kenneth More walking down a staircase. It makes sense that his version is less an adaptation than a hallucinatory recollection, a mostly wordless rendition of a wordy drama. Rachel Weisz is Hester Collyer, her most tightly coiled and miserable screen character since 2005's The Constant Gardener. The ostensible source of Hester's unhappiness is her adultery, which at the film's beginning has led to a suicide attempt. As she slips deeper into a death-spiral reverie, we see a compressed version of her affair with ex-RAF pilot Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), until she's slapped awake, a brutal return to the real world after a failed escape.

In honor of her Scarlet Letter namesake, Hester's literally a woman in red, her bright dresses accentuating her rebellion against the gray landscape of Davies' 1950s childhood. ("It was drab," he recently noted. "You rarely saw primary colours.") Husband William (Simon Russell Beale) means well but cowers before his maliciously/piously class-standard-bearing mother (Barbara Jefford). "Beware of passion, Hester," she says over dinner, suggesting instead "a guarded enthusiasm. It's much safer."

Continued reading FILM OF THE WEEK: The Deep Blue Sea...

GreenCine: #SXSW 2012 Critic's Notebook #3, "Life on the margins" ed.: SUN DON'T SHINE, TCHOUPITOULAS, FRANCINE, THE IMPOSTER+more http://t.co/vVSojusZ

Greencine - Twitter - March 21, 2012 - 3:35pm
GreenCine: #SXSW 2012 Critic's Notebook #3, "Life on the margins" ed.: SUN DON'T SHINE, TCHOUPITOULAS, FRANCINE, THE IMPOSTER+more http://t.co/vVSojusZ

SXSW 2012: Critic's Notebook #3

GreenCine Daily - March 21, 2012 - 2:15pm
by Steve Dollar

Inspired by a recurring nightmare, the lovers-on-the-lam psychodrama Sun Don't Shine has the vivid evanescence of a fever dream. The movie opens with a gasp and a shout, as Kate Lyn Sheil's face, lensed in extreme close-up, snaps back across the screen against a bright blue sky. Before you can process anything, the camera shoves into a wrestling match between Sheil's volatile, hyper-aware Crystal and Leo (Kentucker Audley), who's trying to shake her into settling down as the mud flies. Something is happening here and you don't know what it is, but whatever it is you can feel the emotional torrents spilling over like the South Florida heat, flaring in every dancing grain of the Super 16mm stock.

Continued reading SXSW 2012: Critic's Notebook #3...

The Ward

GreenCine Guru DVD Reviews - September 26, 2011 - 5:37pm

Reviewer: Jeffrey M. Anderson
Rating (out of five): *** 1/2

After an absence of ten years, master director John Carpenter's new film The Ward was treated as if it were suddenly deposited in a kitty litter box. It only opened in a couple of theaters, and after disastrous reviews and poor box office, a wider release never materialized. There were cries of Carpenter being "rusty" or "in decline," similar to claims made against Hitchcock, Hawks, Welles, and Chaplin during their later years. Perhaps worse, Carpenter chose to tell a rather old-fashioned ghost story, wherein a ghost sometimes pops out from the shadows. Additionally, the script has a twist ending that further irritated his detractors.

Continued reading The Ward...

Comments (0)

Comments on this Entry:

* You can comment on articles

* Private messaging to others in the GreenCine community -- and more features coming soon!

* Keep apprised of happenings in the world of films festivals, independent, international, cult, classic, horror movies and more!

* As a free registered member, you can upgrade your account to a rental subscription -- or if you want a rental subscription right away, click here.