Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Keep an Eye Out For: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

A little late to the party....but wow....just wow...

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya - Official Teaser Trailer from GKIDS on Vimeo.

I personally cannot wait to see this! The North American release is October 17 of this year. Hope you all keep an eye out for it in a theatre near you. Happy Moviegoing folks!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Keep an Eye Out For: Ari Folman's The Congress

Since the 2008 release of Waltz with Bashir, I've been waiting for another Ari Folman Film. When The Congress was announced a year or so back, excitement was immediate. A loose adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's "The Futrological Congress," the film will be part live action and part animation. It'll follow a version of Robin Wright as herself, as she decides to sell her likeness to a movie studio. The rest, as you can imagine, will go from there as she travels within an animated world of wild imagination. To hear that it's now finally been picked up for North American release is quite exciting. Fresh from Cannes Drafthouse together with Films Will Like will be taken care of distribution, which is said to be sometime in 2014.

You can make up your own mind about it and check out the trailer below. But one thing I know is for sure, I cannot wait to see this.

Keep an eye out for it and happy moviegoing folks!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Room 237

    I was anticipating this film and it certainly did not disappoint. Lucky enough to have the director, Rodney Ascher, introduce the film at the screening I attended, he started by saying "I hope you like The Shinning." and that's as true as it'll ever ring because if you kinda like it or really don't then you wont enjoy the film. Interviewing five people concerning their deeper thoughts and conclusions about Stanley Kubrick's The  Shinning Ascher manages to weave quite a report.
    Some are calling this film more of an essay than a documentary and I would agree but that doesn't at all diminish it's quality in execution and overall meditation on the film. We never see the interviewees but their theories on The Shinning range from denouncing the genocide of the Native Americans to Kubrick giving an apology for staging the fake footage of the Apollo 11 moon landing. In my opinion some seem to be stretching their conclusions about the film a bit much but what I thought would be the more far fetched of the bunch like Kubrick giving an apology for staging the moon landing footage aren't and seem rather plausible. It's amazing just how these people have dissected the film even going so far as to map out the entire set and provide shot by shot analysis of the film.
    Overall this film is further documentation on how amazing The Shining is and furthermore how it'll be rare we'll see a filmmaker like Stanley Kubrick in this industry ever again. Definitely worth your attention, Room 237 will hopefully allow Ascher the opportunity to make more films. I look forward to seeing them when he does.

Check it out where you can, here is the film's official screening schedule, or you can check it online on your iTunes or Amazon accounts. You can even inquire about setting up a screening of your own here.

Happy moviegoing folks!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Keep An Eye Out For: Reality pt. 2

March is here and so are two of the films I've been writing about recently. One being the documentary Room 237 which comes out on the 29th of this month and the other being Matteo Garrone's Reality which I spoke about here. This film will be a really interesting look into the modern family and its relation to each other, to society, to media and ultimately reality. I must say, my viewing experience of Garrone's Gamorra was intense and like no other I've had, so I cannot wait for this film.

Check the trailer out here:

This will definitely be something different and worth the wait since his last film almost 5 years ago. If you're on the fence about it though I would surely check out Gamorra which I wrote about here, so you can get a taste for how this man works. Otherwise you can check out the film on the 15th of this month in limited release. Hopefully it'll be in a theatre near you, but keep an eye out for it nonetheless!

Happy moviegoing folks!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Life of Pie: Thoughts

     Firstly I must say that this film is one of the better adaptations of literature I've seen to date. Having read the book before, overall I believe it includes the right amount without really tearing away from the majesty of the story. It's stunning and the visual effects are jaw dropping, not because of likeness but because of it's perspective and it's wonderful sense of magical realism that one seems to find so rarely in film these days. 

     I must address that it's rather awful what the company Rhythm & Hues, that did all of the VFX for Life of Pi, has been dealing with since the film and some of the protests that have been going on recently for the VFX industry in general. Besides the company having had to file for bankruptcy, the poor visual effects team that accepted the award at the Oscars this past Sunday were shooed off stage with none other then the Jaws theme just as they began to address the issue. I don't think it was clever or funny for the Jaws theme to be used in that manner, it was simply disrespectful, for any of the winners it was used on to sweep offstage. 
     Besides that take a look at an open letter that one of the lead compositors of the film addressed to Ang Lee. For a film and story that relies so heavy on one's imagination, the manner in which VFX was used was remarkable. It just shows the quality that VFX can produce if done properly, and it's unfortunate that all this negativity is being swirled up with all of this. 

     In the end, the film is outstanding and it should be viewed. It's a wonderful adaptation of a beautiful piece of writing by Yann Martel which you can grab from your local bookstore, library or even form Amazon. I'm sure most cities are extending their screenings of Life of Pi because of the recent awards it's garnered. So keep your eyes out.

Happy moviegoing folks!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Holy Motors: The Faculty of Film

With the Oscar's happening this Sunday and my disappointment that Holy Motors was not recognized at this gathering I feel it's about time I write about this glorious film.

It is, for me, a true love letter to the art of filmmaking. It allows the viewer to take a long ride with Monsieur Oscar, driving into many forms of cinema and the very act of honesty and authenticity in film today. All the while breaking every rule and paying due homage to all the wonder and magic that is film.

There are moments that require mentioning, because I feel like these attributed to why this film spoke to me in the fashion it did. There is a point where a man visits M. Oscar and says "it looks like you're getting tired...if your performance continues to disappoint, maybe you should stop..." Oscar replies he wont until he is dead..."it is the beauty of the act." How perfect is this? why tired? why would that matter? poor performance? why is this even contested? how can one even think to dispute the beauty of the act?

Another is when Oscar talks about the "machines" once being bigger than himself and now they're smaller than our heads.  It's mentioned more then once that "these machines" aren't wanted anymore as if to question why. The very performance of Denis Lavant is heart breaking because it's as if he represents pure truth in the act itself. Why he hasn't got extensive praise for his performance is beyond me and it just goes to show how rare acting like that is in today's cinema. As if to say most audiences today can't even comprehend such an ability.

The film itself begins in a theatre, whilst a child is present, as are the hounds as they prowl through the audience threatening to snatch them all. Overall this film captivated me, it ensnared my thoughts about film and filmmaking, and transfigured every notion I had about contemporary cinema's path. Forget ideas of narrative, because unfortunately our thoughts about it only condition us to assume it must be undeviating and straight as an arrow by today's standards. However remember your heart and open it up to the grandeur of the act.   Film is not dead my friends, it is only hiding, as if in a safe house, you just have to go find it.

Happy moviegoing folks!

Keep an Eye Out For: Room 237 pt. 3

Finally a US release date has happened. The film will be showing in select theaters March 29th 2013 my friends and if you're close to your iTunes, Xbox, or Amazon Instant accounts then I would check those venues out as well. Hope you all get a chance to see it and if you're in Los Angeles also check out the Kubrick retrospective at LACMA it's very fun.

Here is one more trailer for you...just to make sure you're listening:

Again it wont give away too much which is mounting my anticipation for this film. However fan of Kubrick or not, this will be a, sure to please, documentary about passion, insight and the power of observation, and subjectivity.

Happy movie going folks!