Even if one hasn’t seen Buster Keaton’s films, they are sure to have seen one of the many gags he created in other iconic films and television. Buster Keaton was not only an incredibly comedic performer, but also a filmmaking pioneer. In this entertaining tribute, Director Peter Bogdanovich shows just how his comedy bits and setpieces, especially in the 1920s, kept pushing the boundaries of what could be possible on the silver screen.
It is hard to quantify the true face of war. Everyday, people look at the news and hear stories about mass deaths, violence and acts of pure evil in different war-torn countries, where ordinary people have become victims ─ victims who need to have their stories told. Most are lucky to have a safe detachment from these warring corners of the world, but some brave few are tasked to bring those stories back home, who feel compelled to inform the public about these injustices. Marie Colvin was one of those people.
“The Other Side of the Wind” had a long journey before it made its way to screens. It was Orson Welles’ final outing as a director before he passed. He spent years trying to get funding to finish this film. Welles, by the 1980s, had garnered an enormous amount of respect, but that didn’t mean people were willing to sign on to something that was experimental. Welles was a man who was emboldened by his eccentricities, especially in the tail end of his career. When he passed in 1985, hours of shot footage were forgotten for years. This made Frank Marshall and Peter Bogdanovich (who also stars as Brooks Otterlake) spend years trying to get the movie off the ground again.
Those who watched Luca Guadagnino’s previous film “Call Me By Your Name” will undoubtedly remember a now infamous scene with a peach. If you can, try and recall your emotions as you squirmed in your seat, uncomfortable as you tried to come to terms with the obscenity unfolding before your eyes. It’s not so much the outrageousness that shocks you, but the intimacy in which the director and cinematographer handle such strangeness. If your feelings in that moment could be amplified into an entire film, then you’d have Guadagnino's reimagining of the cult classic “Suspiria.”
“Wildlife” is a film that oozes potential. The cast, for one, is enough to get anyone excited: Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal staring side by side. It’s the directorial debut of Paul Dano, an actor whose portfolio includes some of the greatest pieces of cinema from the last couple of years (“There Will Be Blood,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “12 Years a Slave” to name a few). It has a premise that lends itself so well to the screen: a father leaves his family to fend for themselves as he goes to fight a wildfire in the backwoods of Montana in the 1950s.
“Studio 54” recounts the vibrant life and scandalous death of Studio 54 through the owners’ journey from beloved revolutionaries to criminals. While the written history of the 1970s nightclub tells us about abuse of power and greed, the documentary, “Studio 54,” reveals another story; one of emotional turbulence and being the victim of one’s own success.
You wouldn’t expect the film to begin with a boy being thrown against a wall, tossed to the floor and then punched multiple times by his older brother. You wouldn’t expect a film about the mid ‘90s, aptly titled “Mid90s,” to show you anything other than the cartoons, burgeoning technologies and baggy pants that were becoming popular in America. You wouldn’t expect comedic actor Jonah Hill to write and direct a film that transcends its setting and becomes more about the people we see than the time that it happens.
Director David Gordon Green and writer Danny McBride have an interesting take on the “Halloween” franchise. 40 years after the original, Michael has been locked up in an institution this whole time, while Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) lives as a recluse, alienated by her family for her paranoia. The sequels following the original are retconned, and all that’s left is the memory of that fateful night 40 years ago, when the senseless, grizzly murders occured.
Sending a man to the moon was one of the most difficult and dangerous missions ever attempted in human history. Its toll, in finances and human life, are ever-apparent in “First Man.” So is the cost of Neil Armstrong’s personal journey, one full of pain and tumult.
In his 2012 directorial debut, Drew Goddard quite literally deconstructed the horror genre in his dextrous and clever “The Cabin in the Woods.” The film plays on many tropes familiar to the genre, all culminating in a perplexing final act that defies all logic and expectation but still manages to entertain.
Powerful and chilling from start to finish, “The Hate U Give” is a riveting movie based on the best-selling novel by Angie Thomas. The novel and film deals with the heated ideological debate between Black Lives Matter, an activist organization creating a world without “anti-blackness,” versus Blue Lives Matter, a support organization for law enforcement agents.
Movies about stardom tend to be too self-aggrandizing. “Maybe Hollywood isn’t interested in making fine art, but hey, we are!” is usually how the script goes. Now, peppered with some song and dance, and boy have you got a mediocre picture. It’s just that films of that nature don’t have anything important to say aside from the happy Hollywood ending the story already told.
In the late 19th century, the last thing France seemed to want was an intellectual, romantic and self-assured woman authoring the most popular novel of the time.
What is the role of the documentarian? Should they maintain a certain distance in their filmmaking or is it their duty to insert themselves in their art and take a stand? Should they let the facts speak for themselves or tell us what to make of the bits and pieces presented? Is documentary filmmaking a form of journalism or simply a glorified Op-ed?
The movie theater subscription service MoviePass has been in the news quite a bit recently -- for all the wrong reasons. Amid mounting skepticism as a result of the myriad changes to its business model, CEO Mitch Lowe sent an email to subscribers saying, “MoviePass members will be able to see up to three standard movies a month for $9.95, and be given up to a $5.00 discount to any additional movie tickets purchased.” While still a great deal, this is a far cry from their previous too-good-to-be-true model that allowed subscribers to see as many movies as they wanted for the same low price.
“Support the Girls” is a fun, earnest comedy that takes an honest look at a day-in-the-life of the staff of a small-time Texas “breastaurant” and its long-suffering general manager Lisa, played with attention-grabbing sincerity by Regina Hall (“Girls Trip,” the “Scary Movie” series). Over the course of one stressful day, Lisa tries to span the gap between the waitresses she has vowed to take care of and the demands of an unsympathetic business; all while dealing with her own personal crises.
Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, “Love, Cecil” is a dive into famous British photographer and designer Cecil Beaton’s diaries. The diaries are incredibly personal, and reveal to us the artist’s suppressed emotions, reflections of his life, the mistakes he’s made, how his childhood formed him and his inspirations for the work that he did. But what makes this documentary more interesting is seeing Cecil’s constant attempts to become part of the elite, and rub shoulders with the most famous and powerful, and how he does it through art.
“Mission: Impossible” is not the first thing that comes to mind when considering Hollywood blockbuster franchises, but maybe it should be.
We often correlate high school to uneasiness and anxiety. Bo Burnham relates it to the frightened thirteen-year-old in us all in “Eighth Grade,” a film about the final week of eighth grade for Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher). She records YouTube videos speaking words of motivation and advice for her next-to-invisible audience but struggles with shyness in day-to-day life and worries about her impending high school social life. Kayla’s father (Josh Hamilton) tries his best to make her feel okay about her situation, usually falling on earbud-filled ears.
“I immediately started crying.”