Archive for August, 2013

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Seen Your Video #24: Too Deliberate to be Accidental

August 25, 2013

Fiona-Apple-Hot-Knife

On the latest episode of Seen Your Video, Chris and I discuss Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha and Edgar Wright’s The World’s End, two (generally) comedic tales of stagnation and sorting one’s life out, one of which Chris thinks may have a very deliberate anti-Tory message. We also take a look at Paul Thomas Anderson’s recent return to the music video medium with Fiona Apple, as well as the benefits of DVD and Blu-ray extras for documenting the progress of directors like Anderson that emerged around the advent of the former format. I additionally discuss my experience with two notorious critical and box office bombs back on the big screen: Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate and Cleopatra from director Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

Stream the episode here.
Alternatively, you can download the episode or subscribe to the podcast by looking up Seen Your Video on iTunes.

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Lovelace (Rob Epstein/Jeffrey Friedman, 2013)

August 23, 2013

Lovelace

A very strong performance from Amanda Seyfried anchors this biopic of the most notorious period of Linda Boreman’s life, that of her troubled marriage to the abusive control-freak Chuck Traynor (the reliably unnerving Sarsgaard) and subsequent foray into pornography as Linda Lovelace, star of 1972’s infamous Deep Throat.

Painting a relatively light portrait of Linda’s journey from Floridian innocence to superstardom, albeit with certain marital tensions intact, the narrative later rewinds and exposes a much darker truth to prior incidental details, fully exposing Traynor’s violent tendencies and how he exploited and coerced his wife into both pornography and prostitution…

Click for full review for The Skinny

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Elysium (Neill Blomkamp, 2013)

August 22, 2013

Elysium

South Africa-set District 9 had a clear apartheid allegory built into its hyper-violent sci-fi stylings, and writer-director Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up film is similarly concerned with social commentary, this time to do with accessible healthcare and immigration. District 9 wasn’t subtle, but the solemn Elysium is even more thinly veiled and oppressive with its socialist slant; it also proves a much weaker film overall…

Click for the full review for The Skinny

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One. On. One: Filmmaker Mania Akbari in conversation

August 3, 2013

One-Two-One-2

Iranian director Mania Akbari talks to The Skinny about her fascinating work, recently represented at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, via a BFI retrospective and through the efforts of UK distributor Second Run…

Full interview for The Skinny here
Prior reviews of mine of Akbari’s work

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My Month in Films: July 2013

August 1, 2013

Before-Midnight

31 films, 24 first time viewings

Best first time viewings
1. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013, USA)
2. Blow Out (Brian De Palma, 1981, USA)
3. Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, 1980, USA)
4. Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992, USA)
5. Behind the Candelabra (Steven Soderbergh, 2013, USA)
6. How the West Was Won (Henry Hathaway/John Ford/George Marshall, 1962, USA)
7. Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Pedro Almodóvar, 1990, Spain)
8. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012, Denmark/Norway/UK)
9. Pacific Rim (Guillermo del Toro, 2013, USA)
10. This Is the End (Evan Goldberg/Seth Rogen, 2013, USA) Read the rest of this entry ?