Showing all posts tagged: film

100 years a film by John Malkovich locked in a safe for 100 years

12 August 2022

Written by American actor John Malkovich, who also stars with Marko Zaror and Shuya Chang, and directed by Robert Rodriguez, 100 Years, teaser/trailer, is a film made in 2015 that will not be released — all things remaining equal — until 2115.

The only physical copy of the movie was placed in a time controlled safe at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, which apparently will not open until Monday 18 November 2115. While details of the plot remain sketchy, it seems a certain brand of cognac features prominently.

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Trailer for Blaze a film by Del Kathryn Barton

2 August 2022

Sydney based Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton has turned her hand to filmmaking. Her debut feature Blaze, trailer, which premiered at this year’s Sydney Film Festival, tells the story of a girl, Blaze (Julia Savage), who retreats into an imaginary realm after witnessing an act of violence.

Although she has made a couple of short films previously, Barton is probably best known for winning the Archibald Prize for portraiture in 2008, with her painting You are what is most beautiful about me, a self portrait with Kell and Arella.

Looking at the trailer though, I couldn’t help but thinking Blaze — which opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday 25 August 2022 — is like one of Barton’s artworks come to life.

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Restored colourised 100 year old film of well known cities

30 July 2022

Taking one hundred year old film footage found in the Prelinger Archives, YouTuber NASS has added colour and ambient sound to create an eight minute slice-of-life glimpse of cities across Europe and America, as it was in the 1920s.

New York, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagan, Amsterdam, Nice, Geneva, Milan, and Venice, are featured, along with Paris, and some aerial footage of the French capital. Today that would be as simple as sending a drone up, but one hundred years ago the undertaking would have required a little more planning.

The novelty of being on camera, in an age when cameras were still something a novelty, is also apparent. In one segment a police officer appears to be amused at being filmed, as does a boy in another part of the clip. Today a film crew on the street would probably go virtually unnoticed.

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A trailer for Not Okay a film by Quinn Shephard

30 July 2022

What’s a wanna-be writer who no one takes seriously, who also aspires to be an influencer, despite only having a handful of followers, to do? Fake it, of course. Fake it til she makes it. What else?

But.

Be careful what you wish for. Twenty-something New Yorker Danni (Zoey Deutch), finds she has bitten off more than she can chew when a faux trip to Paris goes horribly awry, in Not Okay, trailer, the second feature of American actor and filmmaker Quinn Shephard.

This is one I’ll be looking out for on streaming (no word to date of an Australian cinematic release).

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A trailer for The Princess a documentary by Ed Perkins

27 July 2022

Directed by British documentary maker Ed Perkins, The Princess, trailer, which opens in Australian cinemas on Friday 12 August 2022, looks at the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Made up mostly of archival footage, in a similar style to Asif Kapadia’s 2010 documentary Senna, The Princess also examines the lasting influence Diana’s life, and death, had on the British monarchy.

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Where the Crawdads Sing adaptation fails to impress critics

23 July 2022

Where the Crawdads Sing, the 2018 debut novel of North Carolina based wildlife scientist Delia Owens, was a hit on Bookstagram, but the recently released film adaptation is not faring quite so well.

Both the major film review aggregation services, Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, score the Olivia Newman directed feature forty-two and thirty-five out of one hundred, respectively. In other words, readers of the book loved the story, but film critics are far from impressed by its big-screen counterpart.

Carlos Aguilar, writing for The Wrap, described the adaptation as bland and mediocre:

Submerged in the muggy waters of the North Carolina marsh — which per the voiceover, is not a swamp — British actress Daisy Edgar-Jones tries to save “Where the Crawdads Sing,” the film adaption of Delia Owens’ best-selling novel, from drowning in its own bland mediocrity.

Rachel LaBonte, film writer for Screen Rant, notes that while the adaptation is largely faithful to the novel, much of the book’s tension fails to transpose to film:

Additionally, in its attempt to bring as many book moments to life as possible, the movie finds itself grappling with a few awkward moments that, while reading fine on the page, don’t exactly translate well to a visual medium.

Meanwhile, Leigh Monson, writing for The A.V. Club, was more positive, lauding Daisy Edgar-Jones’ portrayal of protagonist Kya, the so-called “Marsh Girl”, although she found the pacing of the film at odds with the novel:

The weakest link in the cinematic adaptation is the courtroom procedural that feels crowbarred between bits of Kya’s history. In a novel, chapter breaks can signal a natural demarcation between disparate story beats, but in a two-hour film, the transition between scenes should feel more natural, or at least thematically interconnected. Courtroom scenes pop up without warning, and they only function in parallel to, and never in conjunction with, the flashback scenes that proceed or follow them.

The consensus among critics mirror LaBonte and Monson’s thoughts, the film closely resembles the book, yet doesn’t quite excite in the same way. A case of so close, yet so far, perhaps. It seems there are some novels that are simply best not adapted to film.

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A trailer for Nope, the 2022 film by Jordan Peele

22 July 2022

Nope, trailer, being released in many parts of the world today, is the third feature of American actor and filmmaker Jordan Peele, and is being billed as a sci-fi horror comedy:

After random objects falling from the sky result in the death of their father, ranch-owning siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood attempt to capture video evidence of an unidentified flying object with the help of tech salesman Angel Torres and documentarian Antlers Holst.

But what does the title Nope mean? That, nope, there are no aliens in the film, because they don’t really exist in the first place? Nope, I don’t think so.

Peele chose Nope as the title because he wanted to acknowledge movie audiences and their expected reactions to the film. He also said, however, that he had considered titling the film Little Green Men to reference a theme in the film about humanity’s “monetization of spectacle.”

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4k restoration of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors films

12 July 2022

Late Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy of films, Blue, White, and Red, have been given the full 4k restoration treatment.

Released in quick succession between 1993 and 1994, and starring Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, and Irène Jacob, the trilogy became an arthouse sensation, with Red, the third and final film in the series, collecting a coveted Metascore of one hundred.

The trilogy looks absolutely stunning in 4k, if the trailer is anything to go by. This I’m looking out for.

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A trailer for Clerks III by Kevin Smith, Clerks meta sequel

8 July 2022

Clerks III, trailer, billed as the “meta sequel” to the dark 1994 comedy Clerks (and Clerks II from 2006), is being released in the United States in September, with Kevin Smith returning to direct.

Clerks III sees the original gang, Dante Hicks, Veronica, Jay, and Silent Bob, reunite after Randal Graves suffers a heart attack, and asks his friends to make a tribute film about the convenience store where they first met nearly thirty years ago.

I have to say I’m not sure about Clerks III. This could be because the scenes presented in the trailer seem overly contrived (even though maybe they’re meant to be), or the choice to film in colour, in contrast to the black and white of the first movie, Clerks, feels out of place.

But let’s see.

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Book detective Toby Wools-Cobb will help find that lost book

1 July 2022

It sounds like a scene from Adam Brooks’ 2008 film Definitely Maybe, where Ryan Reynolds’ character trawls through American bookshops, searching for a particular copy of Jane Eyre. But for Launceston, Tasmania, based bookshop owner Toby Wools-Cobb, it is something the self-professed book detective does all the time.

Mr Wools-Cobb uses the investigative skills from his career as a librarian and the archaeological expertise from his studies in Egyptology to find copies of books from his shop, Quixotic Books. Special algorithms help him scan the millions of titles listed in publisher databases, but he also must understand the “life cycle of books to figure out where they may have ended up”.

Some of Wools-Cobb’s clients are people who sold a little-known book, perhaps at a garage sale, and are trying to locate it years later. And incredibly, he often succeeds in tracking down a copy.

“I managed to find some information that the author had partnered with a book chain to do a promotion,” he said. He tracked down the shop and asked the staff if any promotional stock had been left behind in the storeroom. “They were saying, ‘Oh, we don’t have it in stock on our system’, but sure enough, they go out and sheepishly come back and say, ‘We’ve got a whole box of them’.

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SXSW is coming to Sydney Australia in October 2022

1 July 2022

Long running Austin, Texas, based American music, film, and interactive conference and festival South by Southwest, better known as SXSW, is hosting a week-long event in Sydney, from Saturday 15 October 2022 until Saturday 22 October.

While SXSW has held a number of spin-off events in the past, usually in North America, this is the first time the festival is being replicated outside of the United States. While details are yet to be finalised, most events will be taking place at the International Convention Centre (ICC), in Darling Harbour.

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Elvis Presley’s Edge of Reality remixed by Tame Impala

28 June 2022

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis bio-pic has a lot of talking points. But then again what films by Baz Luhrmann don’t? The near three hour runtime (four for the director’s cut apparently), and the accent Tom Hanks uses in his portrayal of Colonel Tom Parker, for starters.

Then there’s the contemporary remixes of Presley’s classic hits, including Edge of Reality, reimagined by Perth based Australian one-person act Tame Impala. Plenty to talk about here.

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Brouhaha buys film rights for The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

22 June 2022

Here’s the book to screen adaptation we’ve been waiting for. The film rights for Sydney based Australian author Charlotte Wood’s highly acclaimed 2019 novel The Weekend, have been bought by Brouhaha Entertainment, a production company with offices in London and Sydney.

The 2019 book, published by Allen & Unwin, follows three friends for one last, life-changing long weekend, during a subtropical Sydney Christmas. As they declutter the beach home belonging to the fourth member of their quartet, who died the previous year, there is an escalating sense of tension as frustrations and secrets bubble to the surface.

And to the obvious question, who are they going to cast?

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Close by Lukas Dhont wins 2022 Sydney Film Prize

21 June 2022

Belgian film director and screenwriter Lukas Dhont’s 2022 feature Close was named winner of the 2022 Sydney Film Prize, on the closing night of this year’s Sydney Film Festival.

Thirteen-year-olds Leo and Remi are best friends. We meet them running happily through vast fields of flowers. They dream of unimaginable wealth, of being stars on YouTube. Remi is an aspiring musician, and Leo is his greatest fan. Theirs is a loving and genuine friendship. And then they start high school. For the very first time, their closeness comes into question as they are teased and taunted by their schoolmates. Gradually a rift develops between the friends, with tragic consequences.

So far I can’t find any information about a theatrical season in Australia, so at the moment it looks like streaming or the film festival circuit are your best bets. No actual trailer that I can find either, but there is this short clip from the film here.

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SmartFone Flick Fest 2022, a smartphone film contest

21 June 2022

Making a film is easy, especially when just about all you need on the production side is a good smartphone. Making a good film though? That’s another story. Still, I’m willing to bet the standard will be pretty high in this year’s SmartFone Flick Fest, which is accepting entries across five categories until Thursday 1 September 2022. I’m curious to see what difference technologies such as the iPhone’s cinematic mode will make to submissions this year.

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Beneath Clouds, a 2002 film by Ivan Sen

20 June 2022

Beneath Clouds, trailer, Ivan Sen’s 2002 feature debut, seen twenty-years later, takes viewers into an Australia that is at once familiar, yet quite different. Racism, indigenous displacement, violence to women, police brutality, S-set trains, Sydney Tower in the distant skyline, mentions of NRL football teams, and even one or two Holdens, it’s all there.

Sixteen year old Lena (Dannielle Hall), born to an Aboriginal mother and Irish father, sees no future in her small country hometown. Putting together what money she can rustle up, the savvy Lena sets off for Sydney in search of her father, who left the family years ago.

Along the way she meets Vaughn (Damian Pitt), a troubled teenager, who has escaped from a youth correctional facility, and is being pursued by the police. Neither is happy to make each other’s acquaintance at first, but gradually a reluctant cooperation begins to spawn a closer bond.

Beneath Clouds is a movie worth seeking out. It won a slew of awards, including Best Direction, and Best Cinematography, from the Australian Film Institute. The Berlin International Film Festival also recognised Sen’s title, where it won First Movie Award, while Dannielle Hall scooped the New Talent Award.

Despite the accolades the film received, and the outstanding performances of the two leads, Hall and Pitt, disappointingly neither actor has found film work since. In a Sydney Morning Herald article written in April 2005, Hall said aside from being sent one script to look at, she had not been offered any further acting roles.

At the time she was working as a bookkeeper in the NSW town of Quirindi. Pitt, who was living in Coffs Harbour, said the same thing. Both actors showed talent and promise, and it is unfortunate they weren’t able to build upon their work in Beneath Clouds.

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Star Wars Fan Film: A Blaster in the Right Hands

20 June 2022
A Blaster in the Right Hands, a Star Wars Fan Film, poster

Made in 2021, A Blaster in the Right Hands, a fan made Star Wars film, is a treat for admirers of bounty hunters in the long running film series. A Blaster in the Right Hands is the work of Australian filmmakers Lunacraft Productions, and was filmed, I believe, near the NSW town of Picton.

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Wait a minute, Joker: Folie à deux is going to be a musical?

16 June 2022

A sequel to American filmmaker Todd Phillips’ 2019 feature Joker, trailer, is on the way. We’ve seen the photos of the cover of the script, and, although he’s yet to confirm his participation, Joaquin Phoenix reading it. We’ve been told the working title is Joker: Folie à deux. It has also been reported that Lady Gaga may co-star, portraying Harley Quinn. So far, so good.

But then someone goes and says the sequel is going to be a musical. I’m not sure what to make of this. On one hand it seems quite apt. The Joker is a theatrical character. I can see how that would work. But for a story imbued with the darkness that permeates the world’s favourite villain? I’m not sure about that. This will be something to see…

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Star Wars tops the ABC Classic soundtrack music poll

14 June 2022

The soundtrack for the Star Wars series of films, by American composer John Williams, has been voted the number one favourite by listeners of Australia’s ABC Classic, in their recent Classic 100 poll.

Despite spanning forty-odd years, Williams’s Star Wars scores are a coherent, singular musical project. ABC Classic’s Screen Sounds presenter Dan Golding described the music’s timeless appeal: “John Williams’s music emphasises what is emotionally familiar about this young boy who dreams of saving the galaxy. It is much more myth than metaphor, more Camelot than Brave New World.”

In addition to the Star Wars soundtrack, other works by Williams also featured in the top ten of the poll, including Schindler’s List, the Harry Potter films, and Jurassic Park.

While there’s only one hundred entries though, looking through the full list seems to reveal the presence of just about every known film or TV series. How can that be?

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Julia Garner takes lead role in Madonna biopic

10 June 2022

According to Empire, American actor Julia Garner has been offered the lead role in the upcoming Madonna biopic. I always say you know you’re doing something right when a biopic is being made of your life, but the difference here is Madonna herself is behind the production.

Biopics are often subject to greater critic scrutiny than other features, because of the way they deal with their subject matter. Filmmakers have the difficult task of selecting which part of a subject’s life to include, and what not to, and can also be chastised for appearing to show bias of any sort.

In many cases the subject of a biopic has died, which can result in further complications. Not this time though. But the story of Madonna, by Madonna? That will be something to see.

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