Wednesday, 29 July 2015


Festival season is fast approaching, as yesterday's TIFF lineup announcement is followed up by today's Venice announcement! It's a lengthy list, as several slates are unveiled at once, with many of the year's most hotly-anticipated titles present. It looks to be yet another strong year for La Biennale di Venezia, after a recent shake-up in the selection process, with major international films joining lesser-known ones to make for a particularly promising lineup. Check it out in full below:

Venezia 72
  • 11 Minutes (Jerzy Skolimowski)
  • Anomalisa (Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman)
  • l'Attesa (Piero Messina)
  • Beasts of No Nation (Cary Fukunaga)
  • Behemoth (Zhao Liang)
  • A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino)
  • El Clan (Pablo Trapero)
  • The Danish Girl (Tom Hooper)
  • Desde Alla (Lorenzo Vigas)
  • The Endless River (Oliver Hermanus)
  • Equals (Drake Doremus)
  • Francofonia (Aleksandr Sokurov)
  • Frenzy (Emin Alper)
  • Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson)
  • l'Hermine (Christian Vincent)
  • Looking for Grace (Sue Brooks)
  • Marguerite (Xavier Giannoli)
  • Per Amor Vostro (Giuseppe M. Gaudino)
  • Rabin, The Last Day (Amos Gitai)
  • Remember (Atom Egoyan)
  • Sangue del Mio Sangue (Marco Bellocchio)

More selections after the cut:


There'll be more, but here are the first additions to the official lineup for the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF has been the premier launching pad for American awards fare for years now, though the fest's large scale provides plenty of space for indie and international titles to reach buyers and audiences. This year's festival runs between the 10th and the 20th of September. Check out the current slate below:

  • Beeba Boys (Deepa Mehta)
  • The Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse)
  • Eye in the Sky (Gavin Hood)
  • Forsaken (Jon Cassar)
  • Freeheld (Peter Sollett)
  • Hyena Road (Paul Gross)
  • Lolo (Julie Delpy)
  • Legend (Brian Helgeland)
  • The Man Who Knew Infinity (Matt Brown)
  • The Martian (Ridley Scott)
  • The Program (Stephen Frears)
  • Remember (Atom Egoyan)
  • Septembers of Shiraz (Wayne Blair)
  • Stonewall (Roland Emmerich)

Special Presentations
  • Anomalisa (Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman)
  • Beasts of No Nation (Cary Fukunaga)
  • Black Mass (Scott Cooper)
  • Brooklyn (John Crowley)
  • The Club (Pablo Larrain)
  • Colonia (Florian Gallenberger)
  • The Danish Girl (Tom Hooper)
  • The Daughter (Simon Stone)
  • Desierto (Jonas Cuaron)
  • Dheepan (Jacques Audiard)
  • Families (Jean-Paul Rappeneau)
  • The Family Fang (Jason Bateman)
  • Guilty (Meghan Gulzar)
  • I Smile Back (Adam Salky)
  • The Idol (Hany Abu-Assad)
  • The Lady in the VAn (Nicholas Hytner)
  • Len and Company (Tom Godsall)
  • The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos)
  • Louder Than Bombs (Joachim Trier)
  • Maggie's Plan (Rebecca Miller)
  • Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhang Ke)
  • Office (Johnnie To)
  • Parched (Leena Yadav)
  • Room (Lenny Abrahamson)
  • Sicario (Denis Villeneuve)
  • Son of Saul (Nemes Laszlo)
  • Spotlight (Thomas McCarthy)
  • Summertime (Catherine Corsini)
  • Sunset Song (Terence Davies)
  • Trumbo (Jay Roach)
  • Un Plus Une (Claude Lelouch)
  • Victoria (Sebastian Schipper)
  • Where to Invade Next (Michael Moore)
  • Youth (Paolo Sorrentino)

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


Who knows what to call Alice Winocour's thriller, which has been listed both as Maryland and as Disorder since being announced. The film screened at Cannes earlier in the year, in the Un Certain Regard sidebar, where it received mixed reviews from critics. Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger star. No official US release yet, but it's expected some time this year; no UK release either.

Monday, 27 July 2015


Pixar turn it around for themselves in their own film, mitigating every minor deficiency in their story so comprehensively you have to strain to see them. They make you care about something almost careless, a redundant, passe plot about rich white people - who ever knew a movie about rich white people could be so emotionally stirring?! Inside Out, past all its contrivances, past its smugness, past the staid familiarity of its ethical codes, is a wondrous film. It is as emotive as it is emotional, which is emblematic of the ingenuity with which the filmmakers integrate their every narrative and stylistic notion into the fabric of the film. A thrilling flight of fancy is utilised for pragmatic purposes, quaint little quips amass immense power when contextualised and running gags bear as much purpose in making us think or feel as in making us giggle. It's appropriately joyous to witness Pixar's artists deploy their artistry, and it's neither the concepts nor the desired results, but the application of those concepts to achieve those results that makes Inside Out the superior work of art that it is - better still, in dedicating their efforts to executing their aims, rather than to the development of the aims themselves, they permit the audience to enjoy the film without even noticing those efforts (if you're a casual viewer, alas). The film is well-rounded, complete, yet not enclosed, as it has a breadth achieved through the specificity of its concerns - as aforementioned, Inside Out not only makes you feel, it makes you think too, specifically about your own emotions, and it's thus that it amasses its most potent power. For this rich white person in particular, this imperfect little gem was a richer experience still.

Saturday, 25 July 2015


Man has everything. Man has the world at his feet, or at the end of his gloved fist. Man has money - not as much as he needs, but more than he should - and knows not what to do with it. Man has money for himself, and performs for a paying crowd, but not for charity. Man's charity is other men, defending their women, defending their country, defending their descendants, the carriers of their name. Man has a woman. Man defends woman. Man mourns woman. Man thinks woman exists to serve him, whether in comfort or in torment, and man alone experiences the grief of himself and his family when woman is taken from him. Man thinks woman belongs to him; man makes the rules, thus man is correct. Man must work, because it is what men do. Man is flawed, but man respects the system - if only the system respected man, in all his glorious manliness. Man tries, which is hard for man. Man succeeds, which is not hard for man, because man is man, and success belongs to man too. Man fights for girl who can fight for herself because it is his place, man works himself to the bone because it is his place, man defines the course of his life and of the lives of those around him because it is his place, the place that other men defined for him. Man is oblivious to why, because what sort of world would man live in if admitting to why exposed the deficiencies in man's plan for man's world, and what sort of review would this be if every sentence didn't begin with man? Man writes. Man designs. Man produces. Man directs. Man shoots. Man acts. Man edits. Man scores. Man watches. Man sees men being men, and women being boobs, men loving women, never loving men, men with everything, men with nothing... and yet everything. Man writes review. Man has everything. Man has the world at his feet, or just this movie, perhaps. Man kicks movie very hard into the dirt.

Thursday, 23 July 2015


Sebastian Schipper's profile takes a big upturn with Victoria, the Berlinale award-winning thriller that bests Birdman by a long shot, and even Russian Ark - as ambitious a gambit as you can get, a 140-minute action film literally shot in one take. No wonder it won an award at Berlin for its cinematography. The film could become a breakout hit when it opens theatrically in the US - no date is yet available, but the reviews (mentioned profusely in the above trailer) indicate that an awards-qualifying run, and most likely a Foreign Language Film Oscar qualification, could be in the pipeline.


Freeheld is directed by Peter Sollett, trying his best(...?) to overcome the movie-of-the-week qualities inherent in the concept. It's written by Ron Nyswaner, trying his best(...?) to overcome the deficiencies in the Philadelphia script... at least as it was cut in the end. It's acted by JULIANNE MOORE and ELLEN PAGE and MICHAEL SHANNON and, ok, Steve Carell, but you can't have it all. Out on the 2nd of October in the US. One to watch? Let's hope so!


Did someone give Peter Sarsgaard a leading role in a half-decent movie? Did this just happen? How long's that been? Experimenter has been picking up such strong reviews on the festival circuit since its Sundance premiere in January that distributors Magnolia have it scheduled for a 16th of October release in the US... awards season anyone? Michael Almereyda and Peter Sarsgaard? At least the reviews are good!


After the last trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 failed to generate the level of online interest anticipated, they've cut a new, better one. There's also this teaser. And there'll probably be at least another trailer before the film comes out... four months from now. So... yeh. That release date, btw, is the 18th, the 19th or the 20th of November, depending on your location.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Spectre will no doubt open very big, following on Skyfall's heels. Does it look as strong as Bond 23? Or Bond 21, among other Daniel Craig offerings? Not on the basis of this trailer. But impressive effects, beautiful cinematography (from Hoyte van Hoytema) and the presence of a perfect pair of femmes fatales in Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci are enough to stoke my interest. No doubt they'll be enough for audiences too, as we shall find out when Spectre opens in the UK and Ireland on the 26th of October and in the US and Canada on the 6th of November.