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Frears (The Queen) returns to Downing Street, tracing the relationship between Gordon Brown (David Morrissey) and Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) from unlikely officemates to fellow MPs to rivals for the leadership of the Labour Party.
Kicking off on a late night Valentine's Day screening of George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead, the ninth edition of the Film Comment Selects festival included films by Jacques Rivette, Olivier Assayas, Fatih Akin and Philippe Garrel and special appearances by Crispin Glover and Alex Cox.
With its linking of the supernatural to nature and landscape, The Last Winter builds upon Fessenden’s 2001 horror film, Wendigo, and expands the canvas for the director’s distinctive brand of unnerving, mood-driven horror.
"a lean horror machine designed to simply wring the audience dry across barely 75 minutes of almost real-time action..." — David Cox, Film Comment
Based on Mailer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, this docudrama was directed by the Mailer’s collaborator, Lawrence Schiller. Film Comment editor Gavin Smith will sit down with Schiller & Rosanna Arquette, who was nominated for an Emmy for her outstanding performance in the film, for an onstage conversation following the screening.
An unsettling experience, this award-winning film creeps under your skin and stays there; its ambiguities will provoke plenty of post-screening debate with director/co-screenwriter George Ratliff (Hell House), producer Johnathan Dorfman and other cast members.
Big cops. Small town. Moderate Violence. From the makers of the zombie
comedy Shaun of the Dead, comes an over the top, breakneck-paced Britcop
parody. Hotshot London police officer Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is
reassigned to the sleepy village of Sandford and paired up with bumbling
country copper Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). All looks decidedly sedate
until a series of grisly murders occur. Packed with references to the buddy
cop genre and featuring a stellar British cast (Jim Broadbent, Timothy
Dalton, Paddy Considine, Edward Woodward, Steve Coogan, Bill Nighy and
Martin Freeman), Hot Fuzz takes the unglamorous British police drama and
gives it a U.S.-style action blockbuster treatment à la Tony Scott and
Michael Bay-to hilarious effect. Fans of Point Break and Bad Boys (and let's
face it, that means everyone) will be rolling in the aisles.
Record producer James William Guercio's first and last film is a visually extravagant, behaviorally loopy story of an Arizona motorcycle cop named "Big" John Wintergreen (Robert Blake) who aspires to be a big shot L.A. detective. The film is longer on mood and sun-soaked atmosphere than narrative complication, and it revels in the antics of its twitchy, hyped-up cast, a motley crew of character actors which includes Billy Green Bush as Blake's partner, Mitchell Ryan, Elisha Cook, Jr., and assorted members of the band Chicago. Stunningly shot by the legendary Conrad Hall, Electra Glide in Blue features a bravura final shot, a capper to the film's Easy Rider -in-reverse ending.
The eighth edition of Film Comment magazine’s ever eclectic and adventurous showcase offers a wide assortment of previews, discoveries and rediscoveries, many of them New York if not U.S. premieres. Some have been cherry-picked from the international festival circuit by the magazine’s editors and contributors. Still others have been championed in our pages over the past year – or soon will be.
How dry do you like your humor? If the answer is "extra," then Charles Grodin, the genius of deadpan, is your man. Few comic actors have ever had as light a touch as Grodin, and he has managed to create a collection of memorable characters during his half-century-plus in show business in films as diverse as The Heartbreak Kid, Heaven Can Wait, Real Life, The Lonely Guy, Ishtar, and of course Midnight Run.
Artist and filmmaker Sharon Lockhart has crafted an exquisite, meditative portrait of youth in rural America. Pine Flat is a complex as it is spare, as endearing as it is demanding. Ms. Lockhart in Person! Reception & book signing in the Furman Gallery before the screening.
The 6th annual series salutes Elaine May, William Eggleston and Raul Ruiz. An eclectic assortment of NY premieres from Iran, China, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Greece, Thailand and Sri Lanka, features work by new filmmakers like Vimukthi Jayasundara, and proven auteurs like Stanley Kwan.
Film Comment Selects and Capital Entertainment
presented an event with Rip Torn
and Ira Sachs. The legendary
cult actor and the indie filmmaker were on hand for a special double
feature: a sneak preview of Sachs’s trenchant
Sundance-winning love triangle, Forty Shades of
Blue, an onstage conversation between Sachs and
Torn, and a rare screening of Torn’s classic 1973
road movie, Payday.
In 2003 the newly formed Director’s
Label released three DVD collections dedicated to
the work of Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, and Chris
Cunningham. The discs contain music videos, short
films, documentaries, commercials, video installations
and other rarities. Newsweek promptly proclaimed
the titles, “some of the best cinema made in
the last decade.” The New York Times
hailed the artists as “directors who transcend
music.” And, most importantly, rabid fans sent
the lavishly designed DVDs into certified gold and
platinum orbits. Film Comment Selects, Palm
Pictures, and the Director’s Label presented
a special event celebrating the release of the next
volumes in the series by four of today’s most
innovative filmmakers: Anton Corbijn, Jonathan
Glazer, Mark Romanek, and Stéphane
The evening’s 90-minute program sampled highlights
including rare director’s cuts and previously
unseen content, such as Sednaoui’s short film
inspired by Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild
Side”; Romanekian, a short film on
Mark’s work featuring Ben Stiller, Chris Rock
and Robin Williams; and an excerpt from NotNa,
Lance Bang’s new documentary on Corbijn. Both
Romanek and Glazer have already ventured into features
(Romanek directed One Hour Photo and Glazer
Sexy Beast and Birth), Corbijn is
working on his first (based on the life and death
of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis), and we assume
there will be a preproduction announcement any day
now from Sednaoui. Following the screening, all four
directors participated in a roundtable Q&A, MC'ed
by Michael Stipe, and moderated by
Robinson Devor’s Police Beat provides
a dreamy slice of Pacific Northwest life. A black Muslim West African immigrant,
working as a bicycle cop in Seattle, suffers from relationship woes. As he cycles
between oddball crime scenes, his mind gradually
devolves into an uncanny morass of self-doubt. Visually mesmerizing and sonically
accentuated by a soundtrack featuring the Aphex Twin, Erik Satie, and other quixotic
Chris Cunningham’s 6-minute masterpiece (over four
years in the making), Rubber Johnny takes the viewer deep into the
extremely dark world of an inbred 16-year-old mutant and his abusive TV-addicted
parents. Featuring music by the legendary Aphex Twin—a
regular Cunningham cohort—Rubber Johnny is guaranteed to shock.
As one industry insider warns: “See it at all costs. But do not see
2046 is many things at once - the year
when mainland China assumes absolute control of Hong Kong;
the number of the hotel room across from Tony Leung's Mr.
Chow, inhabited by a parade of women he pursues and discards
with impunity; and the place where disappointed lovers escape
to in Chow's erotic sci-fi novel. Tony Leung's reprisal of
the affable, self-mocking Mr. Chow, this time with a bitter
edge, is extraordinary. Faye Wong, Carina Lau, Gong Li and
an utterly electrifying Ziyi Zhang are the women who pass
through his life, as vivid as ghosts from out of a forgotten past.
Director Wong Kar Wai was present for a Q&A with the audience
after the screening.
Blasting out of sub-Tinseltown San Pedro, California,
in the early 80s, the Minutemen changed the course of music
history. Fueled by proletarian angst and itchy-indie fingers,
they made Nirvana possible - in every sense of the word.
Utilizing archival footage of the band in various stages
of action, plus an amazing array of interviews, including
extensive face time with bassist Mike Watt, director Tim
Irwin's much-needed documentary provides a riveting (i.e.,
loud) exposition of the Minutemen's achievement and premature
demise. The band's meteoric rise ended with guitarist D.
Boon's tragic death in 1985. Fans be warned: you'll shed
a few tears. Everyone else: Get in the van.
Director Tim Irwin and producer Keith Schieron were
present to introduce the film and answer questions after