At long bloody last, Bong Joon Ho's Korean box office hit, Snowpiercer, starring all manner of major international stars, has been granted a release date in the US. A rather public argument between its American distributor, The Weinstein Company, and the film's main cast and crew, over Harvey Weinstein's plans to trim the film by a whole 20 minutes, has resulted in a compromise: it'll open in limited release Stateside on the 27th of June, but in its entirety, and ofc an expansion will surely take place should prospects improve for the futuristic action epic. Weinstein is notorious for his habits of a) ruthlessly cutting films he doesn't deem marketable enough, and b) dumping foreign features into a few screens with as little advertising as possible. But online chatter for the film, which stars Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer and Ed Harris, is strong, so getting this one past its fervent fanbase may be difficult for the maverick producer. No details on a UK release as yet - it's being repped by TWC across major English-speaking territories, none of which (bar the US) have yet to be given a confirmed release.
Sunday, 9 March 2014
Anton Corbijn's got the cool crowd behind him, so online anticipation for Life is palpable already, despite the fact that the film won't be released until 2015! We've got a whole Oscar season to get through first, and the last one's only just over! The above image, featuring Dane DeHaan as James Dean and Robert Pattinson and Dennis Stock, is our first look at it. It looks annoying. Because of Dane DeHaan and Robert Pattinson.
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Having now refined and concentrated his self-styled directorial design to the nth detail, Wes Anderson's films have become formalist delights, for those who are amenable to those delights therein. If it's a thoroughly manufactured design, at least it feels true to Anderson's desires and intentions, and he is thrillingly aware of its artificiality. He has here devised a most wonderful, whimsical fantasy, in which the whimsy has been attended to with such reverence and such precision that it has developed genuine substance, and that is the substance of Anderson's films these days. Appreciative of the sensory and narrative restrictions that his rigorous mise-en-scene and poetic affectations have, he fills his film with colour, humour, motion and a number of winningly crude touches. He may present those rare moments of disorder, or flashes of unexpectedly racy content (we're talking Wes-Anderson-racy, now) as, themselves, strictly controlled elements of a larger cinematic arrangement, but there remains a certain glee in occasionally witnessing these flashes of relative abandon - they break up the somewhat stifling sense of scrupulousness in Anderson's style, as charming and as idiosyncratic as that might often be. And it is that idiosyncrasy that permits The Grand Budapest Hotel to flourish as its own artistic entity. Anderson is knowingly constructing a cinematic discipline unique to himself, and who cares if that's nauseatingly obnoxious of him? At the least, he knows what he's good at, and is producing works of art that are likely to be recalled for years to come as examples of contemporary auteurism in American cinema.
Friday, 7 March 2014
A few miles west of Monaco, Grace of Monaco will open the Cannes Film Festival in May. That, ofc, doesn't mnean it'll be any good, and nor does this trailer, which isn't any good itself. Not my lovely Nicole Kidman. She doesn't need this. She needs another Rabbit Hole. But the costumes!! A UK release is slated for the 6th of june atm; no word yet on a US release.
This is the trailer for Frank, which it seems, Maggie, people already love! The director is Lenny Abrahamson, who made a film called What Richard Did that I didn't see because it looked awful. Has that ever stopped me before? I will see Frank, though, because it doesn't look awful, and who knows, I might not love it, Maggie! A British and Irish release is scheduled for the 2nd of May.
I know it's the 'cool' thing to do, and thus probably not 'cool' at all any more, but I do think Sin City's a terrific film, and I'm looking forward to seeing this sequel, so long in transition to cinema screens. I've already braced myself for Eva Green. The biggest sin of all in the above trailer is that horrible music. I'd rather watch Elijah Wood suck the meat off of my fingers than hear that again. Out in the US on the 22nd of August and in the UK on the 29th. Has nobody told the studios that we're actually several hours ahead of you Yanks?
To everyone who thought it was just the influence of Benh Zeitlin that drew such a good performance out of Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild, check out what she does in the trailer for Annie, and then check out what director Will Gluck gets out of Cameron Diaz... kk, so she's Cameron Diaz, but still. So Lil' Q can act! Whether or not she can sing is kinda up for debate though. Oscar-nominated child star gets big role in musical? All she needs to do next is come out as gay in 40 years and our Quvenzhane is the new Jodie Foster! Hell yeh I can get on board with that.
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Arnaud des Pallieres takes a low-spirited approach to his film adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist's novella, instead diverting the film's energies toward its technical and artistic qualities. He thus creates a dichotomy between the subdued, respectful contribution of the script and the acting and the relative flamboyance (as far as that term could apply to anything in Michael Kohlhaas) of elements such as the score, the sound mix and the cinematography. It renders the film, as a whole, somewhat uninvolving, yet individual aspects or scenes do frequently possess a distinct beauty in their presentation. des Pallieres' approach may be tinged with hints of pretension, but even the most pretentious directorial devices can have their uses, and he is surprisingly benevolent at finding them here, considering the restraint he seems to coax out of his performers. But von Kleist's story being over 200 years old, there's plainly too much going on in the most basic narrative framework of Michael Kohlhaas that a strictly minimalist technique wouldn't have fit, so des Pallieres' propensity for embellishment, however subtle or brief, doesn't feel as out of place as it could have. von Kleist's (posthumous) input is perhaps of the greatest worth: this is a story of an ilk we don't have the privilege of seeing much of any more, wherein the obvious dramatic marks are not all necessarily hit, and the easy options not all taken. He, like so many novelists of bygone times and so few of contemporary, had conviction in the content of his prose to buoy interest in his story, and possibly also in the value of devising a plot that follows more a realistic trajectory than a crudely satisfying, melodramatic one might have had. It is a positive attribute of this film, then, that des Pallieres has taken such a low-spirited approach. He resists any modern urges to sensationalise a tale that undeniably would have suffered under anything of that sort.
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
They don't want you to know Mickey Rourke and Powers Boothe are in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. They want you to know Joseph Gordon-Levitt's in it. And Jessica Alba. In her underwear! Out in the US on the 22nd of August and in the UK on the 29th.
One of this Christmas' rivalling musicals, the other being Rob Marshall's Into the Woods, Sony are clearly confident at present about the prospects of Will Gluck's (Easy A) Annie. They plan to release it in the US on the 19th of December, right in time for the holidays, and then in the UK curiously late - the 6th of February. An indication that they're hoping for major awards attention? Could this finally be the year of the musicals that the Academy has been craving for years now?