Originally made as part of the intermission for, “Grindhouse,” Eli Roth’s, “Thanksgiving,” trailer now stands alone as a testament to pure B-movie trailer bliss! The trailer is fake, but years later rumors still circulate that Eli Roth will turn this into a feature…
We missed this one at the recent AFI Fest in Los Angeles, where it won the Audience Award, but considering the worldwide acclaim it has received, it won’t be long before, “The Selfish Giant,” finds distribution in the U.S.
The trailer immediately evokes thoughts of the early work of Ken Loach. That alone has us excited to watch this film…
Writer/director Ti West’s sixth feature, “The Sacrament,” follows three Vice journalists in a horrific investigation of a Socialist, cult-like commune. Taking what is normally used as a gimmick for cheap scares, Ti West instead uses the “found footage,” genre as a springboard for various journalistic and political ideas.
Widening his scope from 70′s inspired horror films, and willing to branch out and touch upon larger moral and ethical questions, Mr. West takes an inspired leap forward as a filmmaker. The question on your mind after walking out of, “The Sacrament,” will be whether you watched a “horror” film or simply a devastating tragedy played out in realistic fashion.
No trailers or release dates have been revealed yet for, “The Sacrament.” We will keep you posted as this film becomes available…
A tracking shot takes place early on in, “My Dog Killer,” that perfectly illustrates the predicament of young Neo-Nazi, Marek. In the shot, Marek’s dog, Killer follows Marek and a group of skinheads. The group moves purposefully and Killer struggles to keep up. Killer falls behind, then stops occasionally, turning around as though looking for other options, but there aren’t any. Killer continues following Marek, who also simply follows the group. In this instance, they are tethered to a chain of masters and followers. The decision to make this a tracking shot, creates a sense of following for the audience as well. It is a perfect cinematic choice.
Marek and Killer exist in a historically racist Slovakian countryside, often left to their own devices. Likening the training of skinheads to that of a dog, “My Dog Killer,” dares to question who the killer is, when you stop and consider the various levels of training and following involved.
Director, Mira Fornay has crafted a subtle, hypnotic film that moves at a disciplined, masterful pace. My Dog Killer is quiet in it’s approach yet contains a constant controlled sense of being on the verge of exploding.
“My Dog Killer,” was this year’s staff pick for the AFI Film Fest in Hollywood, the Czech Republic’s official 2013 Oscar submission and won the Tiger Award at the 2013 Rotterdam Film Fest. No word yet on U.S. distribution, but we suspect it will be coming soon…
Claire Denis’ latest, “Bastards,” was called, “The true punk film at Cannes.” That remark and her growing list of provocative films are all we need to make this the trailer of the week. Available for viewing now in Itunes.
We are officially into the 2013 Fall, pandering for awards season. Here is the updated list:
1. Blue is the Warmest Color… Set aside the gratuitous sex scenes in this film and you are left with a romantic epic that expresses an unparalleled level of intimacy. Add the sex scenes back in and you have a love story that transcends homosexuality and opens the door for the audience to relate, depending of course on your interpretation of the sex. Simply a staggering work of art.
2. Short Term 12… Rarely are films better off for wearing their heart on their sleeve. Dennis stated it best on our show when he claimed that this film isn’t a “tear-jerker.” Short Term 12 earns every tear through genuine authenticity.
3. Before Midnight… After the pitch perfect conclusion of, “Before Sunset,” it seemed there was no need for a sequel. I have never been more happy to be wrong. The “Before Series,” uses our ability to communicate our innermost thoughts, feelings and ideas to create a romance that rings more true than any film you will find. Scroll down for more on this film and this series…
4. Blue Jasmine… Woody Allen’s 46th film finds him in top form. Here is a film about appearances. The way they shape us and our view of others. And eventually, the way they make us lose our minds. Viewing this film makes sifting through Allen’s previous disappointments worth the journey.
5. The Hunt… Thomas Vinterberg effortlessly takes the simplistic meat of the dogma filmmaking credo and adds grace by relying even more heavily on simple storytelling, powerful acting and moral dilemmas. This is a film that grabs your gut and twists it to the breaking point while somehow allowing you to occasionally breathe.
6. Stories We Tell… A documentary that begins as a search for Sarah Polley’s biological father that folds in on itself and becomes a meta rumination on varying narratives and subjectivity. See this film and prepare to be moved and enriched in ways very few documentaries can hope for.
7. Upstream Color… Shane Carruth’s follow up to the indie breakthrough, “Primer,” takes a major detour from what we might have expected from this filmmaker’s second film, yet maintains his striking voice of intellect and exploration. To explain the plot would reveal everything and nothing all at once. That alone speaks volumes about the groundbreaking subversion taking place here.
8. Frances Ha… Noah Baumbach uses an endearing performance from Greta Gerwig to create a character that is immature, yet wiser than we might initially suspect. Here is a film where the intellect and subtext sneak up on you without ever feeling false or forced.
9. Mud… The third film in what I consider to be a trilogy dissecting the morals and ethics of family from writer/director, Jeff Nichols. This time around we watch the kids as they learn hard life lessons on idealistic romance and family from the adults. The beauty of this film is that it’s wrapped in a sort of suspense thriller/coming of age adventure. Something for everyone.
10. In a world… Writer/Director/actor Lake Bell crafts a clever, offbeat comedy that never loses momentum as it travels with a light heart and a smart mind. Here is a film about feminism trapped in a misogynist bubble that never preaches or pushes a message to the audience. It is about being smart, and understanding how important it is for women to speak in a dignified voice. Pencil me in for whatever Ms. Bell does next…