28 January 2010

R.I.P. Zelda Rubinstein, J.D. Salinger

Both with their oh-so-memorable voices... only one could you hear. I like to imagine them sharing a bottle of brandy in the sweet hereafter.

24 January 2010

César Nominees 2010; SAG Winners 2010

The César nominations were announced this past week, with Jacques Audiard's Un prophète [A Prophet] leading the pack with 13 nominations. Un prophète won the Grand Prix at last year's Cannes Film Festival and is France's official Academy Award submission; lead actor Tahar Rahim also took home the Best Actor prize at the European Film Awards this past December. Audiard has won in the Directing category for The Beat That My Heart Skipped [De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté] (which also won the Best Film that year), in addition to winning in the screenwriting category for Beat and Read My Lips [Sur mes lèvres] and the Best First Film Award for See How They Fall [Regarde les hommes tomber]. Following closely behind Un prophète with 11 nods was Xavier Giannoli's À l'origine [In the Beginning], which also premiered at Cannes last May. Three American films (yes, one of them was directed by Clint Eastwood), last year's big Oscar winner, two francophone films that also premiered at Cannes and last year's Palme d'Or winner will be competing in the foreign category.

Meilleur film français [Best French Film]

À l'origine [In the Beginning], d. Xavier Giannoli
Le concert, d. Radu Mihaileanu
Les herbes folles [Wild Grass], d. Alain Resnais
La journée de la jupe [Skirt Day], d. Jean-Paul Lilienfeld
Rapt, d. Lucas Belvaux
Un prophète [A Prophet], d. Jacques Audiard
Welcome, d. Philippe Liorand

Meilleur réalisateur [Best Director]

Jacques Audiard, Un prophète
Lucas Belvaux, Rapt
Xavier Giannoli, À l'origine
Philippe Lioret, Welcome
Radu Mihaileanu, Le concert

Meilleur premier film [Best First Film]

Les beaux gosses [The French Kissers], d. Riad Sattouf
Le dernier pour la route [One for the Road], d. Philippe Godeau
Espion(s) [Spy(ies)], d. Nicolas Saada
La première étoile, d. Lucien Jean-Baptiste
Qu'un seul tienne et les autres suivront [Silent Voices], d. Léa Fehner

Meilleur film étranger [Best Foreign Film]

Avatar, d. James Cameron, USA
Gran Torino, d. Clint Eastwood, USA
J'ai tué ma mère [I Killed My Mother], d. Xavier Dolan, Canada
Milk, d. Gus Van Sant, USA
Panique au village [A Town Called Panic], d. Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Belgium/Luxembourg
Das weiße Band [The White Ribbon], d. Michael Haneke, Austria/Germany

Meilleur film documentaire [Best Documentary]

La danse, le ballet de l'Opéra de Paris, d. Frederick Wiseman
L'enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot [Henri-George Clouzot's Inferno], d. Serge Bromberg, Ruxandra Medrea
Himalaya, le chemin du ciel, d. Marianne Chaud
Home, d. Yann-Arthus Bertrand
Ne me libérez pas, je m'en charge [My Greatest Escape], d. Fabienne Godet

Meilleur acteur [Best Actor]

Yvan Attal, Rapt
François Cluzet, À l'origine
François Cluzet, Le dernier pour la route
Vincent Lindon, Welcome
Tahar Rahim, Un prophète

Meilleure actrice [Best Actress]

Isabelle Adjani, La journée de la jupe
Dominique Blanc, L'autre [The Other One]
Sandrine Kiberlain, Mademoiselle Chambon
Kristin Scott Thomas, Partir [Leaving]
Audrey Tautou, Coco avant Chanel [Coco Before Chanel]

Meilleur acteur dans un second rôle [Supporting Actor]

Jean-Hughes Anglade, Persécution
Niels Arestrup, Un prophète
JoeyStarr, Le bal des actrices [All About Actresses]
Benoît Poelvoorde, Coco avant Chanel
Michel Vuillermoz, Le dernier pour la route

Meilleure actrice dans un second rôle [Supporting Actress]

Aure Atika, Mademoiselle Chambon
Anne Consigny, Rapt
Audrey Dana, Welcome
Emmanuelle Devos, À l'origine
Noémie Lvovsky, Les beaux gosses

Meilleur espoir masculin [Best Male Newcomer]

Firat Ayverdi, Welcome
Adel Bencherif, Un prophète
Vincent Lacoste, Les beaux gosses
Tahar Rahim, Un prophète
Vincent Rottiers, Je suis heureux que ma mère soit vivante [I'm Glad That My Mother Is Alive]

Meilleur espoir féminin [Best Female Newcomer]

Pauline Etienne, Qu'un seul tienne et les autres suivront
Florence Loiret-Caille, Je l'aimais [Someone I Loved]
Soko, À l'origine
Christa Théret, LOL (Laughing Out Loud)
Mélanie Thierry, Le dernier pour la route

Meilleur scénario original [Original Screenplay]

À l'origine - Xavier Giannoli
Le concert - Radu Mihaileanu, Alain-Michel Blanc
La journée de la jupe - Jean-Paul Lilienfeld
Un prophète - Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri, Nicolas Peufaillit
Welcome - Philippe Lioret, Emmanuel Courcol, Olivier Adam

Meilleur scénario adaptation [Adapted Screenplay]

Coco avant Chanel - Anne Fontaine, Camille Fontaine
Le dernier pour la route - Philippe Godeau, Agnès de Sacy
Les herbes folles - Alex Réval, Laurent Herbiet
Mademoiselle Chambon - Stéphane Brizé, Florence Vignon
Le petit Nicolas [Little Nicholas] - Laurent Tirard, Grégoire Vigneron

You can find the full list of nominees via this link. Yesterday apparently was the day the Screen Actors Guild dished out their awards, and the results ranged from expected to irritating (I don't know that I've ever hated a movie I've not seen as much as The Blind Side). Winners below.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Inglourious Basterds, awarded to Daniel Brühl, August Diehl, Julie Dreyfus, Michael Fassbender, Sylvester Groth, Jacky Ido, Diane Kruger, Mélanie Laurent, Denis Menochet, Mike Myers, Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Til Schweiger, Rod Taylor, Christoph Waltz, Martin Wuttke

DVD Release Update, 24 January

More DVD updates. You'll find a number of new additions to the TCM Vault/Universal catalogue for 27 April. From Facets, the performance art piece Roy Cohn/Jack Smith (which stars Ron Vawter as Cohn and Smith, produced by Jonathan Demme), Raoul Ruiz's Dialogues of the Exiled and Harun Farocki's documentary How to Live in the German Federal Republic will all be available on 27 April as well. There's a slew of Roger Corman-produced B movies from Shout! Factory. And from Microcinema, a remastered re-release of Hal Hartley's Surviving Desire and the second set of short films from Hartley will hit shelves on 27 April (a busy week, no doubt). Surviving Desire will also include the shorts Theory of Achievement and Ambition, which were also featured on the now long out-of-print Wellspring disc. Via Microcinema's website, they are also planning new DVDs of Lynn Hershman-Leeson's Conceiving Ada and Teknolust, both starring Tilda Swinton, as well as a set of her early experimental works, which should be out by the end of the year.

On the Blu-ray front, Palm will be releasing The Basketball Diaries on 20 April. The Who's The Kids Are Alright will be released by Sanctuary Records on 2 March. Troma will be releasing Steve Balderson's teen slasher satire Pep Squad and Peter George's Surf Nazis Must Die on 25 May. And it looks as though Hannover House will be releasing a Blu-ray in addition to the DVD of Abel Ferrara's Chelsea on the Rocks on 4 May.

- Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak, 2009, d. Lance Bangs, Spike Jonze, Oscilloscope Pictures, 2 March, w. Maurice Sendak, Jonze, Catherine Keener, Meryl Streep, James Gandolfini
- Up in the Air, 2009, d. Jason Reitman, also on Blu-ray, Paramount, 9 March
- William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe, 2009, d. Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler, Arthouse Films/New Video, 30 March
- Irene in Time, 2009, d. Henry Jaglom, Breaking Glass Pictures, 6 April, w. Karen Black
- Jade Warrior [Jadesoturi], 2006, d. Antti-Jussi Annila, Lionsgate, 6 April
- Party Down, Season 1, 2009, d. Fred Savage, Bryan Gordon, Anchor Bay, 6 April
- Tetro, 2009, d. Francis Ford Coppola, also on Blu-ray, Lionsgate, 6 April
- Humanoids from the Deep, 1980, d. Barbara Peters, Jimmy T. Murakami, Shout! Factory, 13 April
- Tenderness, 2009, d. John Polson, Lionsgate, 13 April, w. Russell Crowe, Jon Foster, Laura Dern
- Three Kingdoms, 2008, d. Daniel Lee, Lionsgate, 13 April, w. Andy Lau, Sammo Hung, Maggie Q
- Duska [Dushka], 2007, d. Jos Stelling, Cinema Vault/MVD, 20 April
- Return to Hansala [Retorno a Hansala], 2008, d. Chus Gutiérrez, Cinema Vault, 20 April
- Wind Man, 2007, d. Khuat Akhmetov, Cinema Vault, 20 April
- Beginning of the End, 1957, d. Bert I. Gordon, Hens Tooth Video, 22 April
- Because of Him, 1946, d. Richard Wallace, Universal/TCM Vault, 27 April, w. Charles Laughton
- Dialogues of the Exiled [Diálogos de exiliados], 1975, d. Raoul Ruiz, Cnemateca/Facets, 27 April
- For the Love of Mary, 1948, d. Frederick De Cordova, Universal/TCM Vault, 27 April
- How to Live in the German Federal Republic [Leben - BRD], 1990, d. Harun Farocki, Facets, 27 April
- Mad About Music, 1938, d. Norman Taurog, Universal/TCM Vault, 27 April
- Possible Films, Volume 2: New Short Films by Hal Hartley, d. Hal Hartley, Microcinema, 27 April
- Red Rowan [Jarzębina czerwona], 1970, d. Ewa Petelska, Czesław Petelski, Polart/Facets, 27 April
- Roy Cohn/Jack Smith, 1994, d. Jill Godmilow, Facets, 27 April
- Surviving Desire, 1991, d. Hal Hartley, Microcinema, 27 April, w. Martin Donovan
- Sympathy, 2007, d. Andrew Moorman, Breaking Glass Pictures, 27 April
- That Certain Age, 1938, d. Edward Ludwig, Universal/TCM Vault, 27 April
- Three Smart Girls Grow Up, 1939, d. Henry Koster, Universal/TCM Vault, 27 April
- The Unquiet Death of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, 1974, d. Alan Moorman, Facets, 27 April
- The Muse, 1999, d. Albert Brooks, Universal, 4 May, w. Brooks, Sharon Stone, Andie Macdowell, Jeff Bridges, Cybil Shepherd
- Suburbia, 1984, d. Penelope Spheeris, Shout! Factory, 4 May
- Love Games [Sette ragazze di classe], 1979, d. Pedro Lazaga, MYA Communication, 25 May
- Phyllis and Harold, 2008, d. Cindy Kleine, Breaking Glass Pictures, 25 May
- Sandok [Sandok: La montagna di luce], 1965, d. Umberto Lenzi, MYA Communication, 25 May
- Somebody's Knocking at the Door, 2009, d. Chad Ferrin, Breaking Glass Pictures, 25 May, w. Noah Segan
- True Blood, Season 2, 2009, also on Blu-ray, HBO, 25 May
- The Red Baron [Der rote Baron], 2008, d. Nikolai Müllerschön, Monterey Video, 1 June, w. Til Schweiger, Joseph Fiennes, Lena Headey
- Forbidden World [aka Mutant], 1982, d. Allan Holzman, Shout! Factory, 20 July
- Galaxy of Terror, 1981, d. Bruce D. Clark, Shout! Factory, 20 July, w. Robert Englund, Sid Haig, Grace Zabriskie

21 January 2010

Foreign Oscar Short-List, BAFTAs, IFC Deals for Noé and Solondz, Berlinale Competition

The Academy announced the nine finalists in the Foreign Language Oscar category yesterday, which will be narrowed down to five once the Oscar nominations are announced on 2 February; 65 films were submitted for the category, which I listed a couple of months ago. Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon [Das weiße Band], from Germany, and Jacques Audiard's A Prophet [Un prophète], from France, made the final cut, as expected. Sony Pictures Classics has The White Ribbon in a limited release now, and A Prophet will expand on 26 February. Another SPC title, Juan José Campanella's The Secret in Their Eyes [El secreto de sus ojos] from Argentina, was also among the nine; Campanella was previously nominated for Son of the Bride. Rounding out the rest of the pack are Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani's Ajami from Israel (to be released by Kino this spring), Claudia Llosa's The Milk of Sorrow [La teta asustada] from Peru (which won the Golden Bear at the 2009 Berlinale), Warwick Thornton's Samson and Delilah from Australia, Martin Koolhoven's Winter in Wartime [Oorlogswinter] from The Netherlands, Stephan Komandarev's The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner from Bulgaria and Ermek Tursunov's Kelin from Kazakhstan. Campanella is the only previous nominee in this category (Haneke's Caché was disqualified from the running when Austria submitted it in 2005). Among the upsets, the omissions of Corneliu Porumboiu's Police, Adjective [Poliţist, adj.], from Romania, and Bong Joon-ho's Mother, from South Korea, were the biggest surprises. Xavier Dolan's I Killed My Mother [J'ai tué ma mère], from Canada, and Giuseppe Tornatore's Baarìa were also expected to make the list from the former's festival credentials and the latter director's previous Oscar win (thank God for no Tornatore is all I have to say).

In distribution news, IFC announced their acquisitions of both Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void and Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime. Both played at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, though Enter the Void made its official premiere, in an unfinished version, at Cannes in May. Life During Wartime will make its way onto screens in the U.S. over the summer, as well as on IFC's On Demand program. Enter the Void will bow sometime later this year.

The official line-up for the 2010 Berlinale Competition titles was unveiled yesterday, including films from Kôji Wakamatsu, Noah Baumbach, Nicole Holofcener, Benoît Delépine and Gustave de Kervern, Zhang Yimou, Thomas Vinterberg, Lisa Cholodenko, Wang Quan’an and Michael Winterbottom. As usual David Hudson at The Auteurs Notebook has a fabulous round-up of the titles.

And finally, the BAFTA nominations were announced yesterday, with both Clint Eastwood's Invictus and Jane Campion's Bright Star left out of the race. Though even without Campion, two female directors made the cut this year, and three of the five nominees for British Film of the Year were also directed by women. Each year, the BAFTAs come closer and closer to mirroring the Oscars, so fingers crossed that the Academy follows suit with snubbing Lee Daniels, Nine and Sandra Bullock. Nominees below, full list at IndieWire:

Best Film

Avatar, d. James Cameron
An Education, d. Lone Scherfig
The Hurt Locker, d. Kathryn Bigelow
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, d. Lee Daniels
Up in the Air, d. Jason Reitman

Outstanding British Film

An Education, d. Lone Scherfig
Fish Tank, d. Andrea Arnold
In the Loop, d. Armando Iannucci
Moon, d. Duncan Jones
Nowhere Boy, d. Sam Taylor-Wood

Film Not in the English Language

Broken Embraces [Los abrazos rotos], d. Pedro Almodóvar, Spain
Coco Before Chanel [Coco avant Chanel], d. Anne Fontaine, France
Let the Right One In [Låt den rätte komma in], d. Tomas Alfredson, Sweden
A Prophet [Un prophète], d. Jacques Audiard, France
The White Ribbon [Das weiße Band], d. Michael Haneke, Austria/Germany/France/Italy

Animated Film

Coraline, d. Henry Selick
Fantastic Mr. Fox, d. Wes Anderson
Up, d. Pete Docter, Bob Peterson


James Cameron, Avatar
Neill Blomkamp, District 9
Lone Schefig, An Education
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

Leading Actor

Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Andy Serkis, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

Leading Actress

Carey Mulligan, An Education
Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Audrey Tautou, Coco avant Chanel

Supporting Actor

Alec Baldwin, It’s Complicated
Christian Mckay, Me and Orson Welles
Alfred Molina, An Education
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Supporting Actress

Anne-Marie Duff, Nowhere Boy
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Mo’nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Kristin Scott Thomas, Nowhere Boy

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson, Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock, David Pearson - Mugabe and the White African
Eran Creevy - Shifty Stuart
Hazeldine - Exam
Duncan Jones - Moon
Sam Taylor-Wood - Nowhere Boy

Original Screenplay

The Hangover - Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
The Hurt Locker - Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds - Quentin Tarantino
A Serious Man - Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Up - Bob Peterson, Pete Docter

Adapted Screenplay

District 9 - Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
An Education - Nick Hornby
In the Loop - Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire - Geoffrey Fletcher
Up in the Air - Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner


Barry Ackroyd, The Hurt Locker
Javier Aguirresarobe, The Road
Mauro Fiore, Avatar
Trent Opaloch, District 9
Robert Richardson, Inglourious Basterds

18 January 2010

Thanx, HFP

Embarrassment and/or trainwreck just about sum up the past evening's Golden Globes telecast, which generally unraveled like a slightly more lubricated version of The People's Choice Awards. Every once in a while the Hollywood Foreign Press surprises with a noteworthy, maybe unexpected winner, like Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky or Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, but tonight again placed the Globes at the punchline of an easy joke I never mind hearing. While Michael Haneke's win in the Foreign category for The White Ribbon was certainly well-deserved, the description of the rest of the ceremony as a "popularity contest" is pretty dead-on, with the top film honors bestowed upon James Cameron, his Avatar and Todd Phillips' The Hangover (both the highest domestic gross-ers of their respective categories). Toss Sandra Bullock (over Helen Mirren, mind you), Sherlock Holmes, Julie & Julia (though Ms. Streep's speech was expectedly lovely) and Mo'Nique, and you've got yourself one lame-ass awards show. Aside from Christoph Waltz and Jeff Bridges (I haven't seen Crazy Heart), I'd be plenty happy to not have to hear any of the Globe winners' names read when the Oscars nominations are announced on 2 February. At least it won't take much for the Oscars to not grate as hard (as they usually do) this year.

16 January 2010

US DVD Update, 16 January

In taking time off from film writing for the past few weeks, I've been surprised how much I don't particularly miss doing it. At least, not yet. So, I apologize for the only updates on here being DVD announcements, but I'll be returning to actual writing soon. So for now, here's probably the most exciting release update so far this year, with dates announced for Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox, Serge Bozon's La France (one of my favorite films of the past decade), Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Tokyo Sonata, Jennifer M. Kroot's It Came from Kuchar and Ondi Timoner's We Live in Public. Also, Blu-rays for Death Race 2000 and William Friedkin's hilariously awful Jade (in its unavailable-on-DVD director's cut, as far as I've heard), as well as Michael Mann's Collateral. And Sony has also announced a Hammer box-set, including Joseph Losey's These Are the Damned (also known as The Damned) with Oliver Reed, which is posted below the Blu-rays.


- Bitch Slap, 2009, d. Rick Jacobson, 20th Century Fox, 2 March
- We Live in Public, 2009, d. Ondi Timoner, Indiepix, 2 March
- Gentlemen Broncos, 2009, d. Jared Hess, also on Blu-ray, 20th Century Fox, 2 March
- Dread, 2009, d. Anthony DiBlasi, Lionsgate, 23 March
- Fantastic Mr. Fox, 2009, d. Wes Anderson, also on Blu-ray, 20th Century Fox, 23 March
- Hidden [Skjult], 2009, d. Pål Øie, Lionsgate, 23 March
- An Education, 2009, d. Lone Scherfig, also on Blu-ray, Sony Pictures, 30 March
- Focus/Refocus: When Porn Kills, 2009, d. Tony DiMarco, Breaking Glass Pictures, 30 April [A "softcore" edit of the most expensive gay porn film of 2009]
- AIR: The Musical, 2009, d. Jeremy Osbern, Cinema Epoch, 6 April
- Five Minutes of Heaven, 2009, d. Oliver Hirschbiegel, also on Blu-ray, IFC Films, 6 April
- La France, 2008, d. Serge Bozon, Lorber Films/Kino, 6 April
- All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, 2010, d. Tim Rutili, Indiepix, 13 April
- Evening Primrose, 1966, d. Paul Bogart, Koch Vision, 20 April, w. Anthony Perkins
- The Horse Boy, 2009, d. Michel O. Scott, Zeitgeist, 20 April
- Mammoth, 2009, d. Lukas Moodysson, IFC Films, 20 April
- Uncertainty, 2008, d. Scott McGehee, David Siegel, IFC Films, 20 April
- Dark Nature, 2009, d. Marc de Launay, also on Blu-ray, Troma, 27 April
- Raging Sun, Raging Sky [Rabioso sol, rabioso cielo], 2009, d. Julián Hernández, TLA Releasing, 27 April
- Matinee, 1993, d. Joe Dante, Universal, 4 May
- No Time for Sergeants, 1958, d. Mervyn LeRoy, Warner, 4 May, w. Andy Griffith
- Tokyo Sonata, 2008, d. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, here! Films, 4 May
- The World Unseen, 2007, d. Shamim Sarif, here! Films, 4 May
- Misconceptions, 2008, d. Ron Satlof, here! Films, 18 May
- Murder in Fashion [aka Fashion Victim], 2008, d. Ben Waller, here! Films, 18 May
- It Came from Kuchar, 2009, d. Jennifer M. Kroot, Indiepix, 15 June


- Collateral, 2004, d. Michael Mann, DreamWorks/Paramount, 30 March
- Jade, 1995, d. William Friedkin, Lionsgate, 6 April
- Lords of Dogtown, 2005, d. Catherine Hardwicke, Sony Pictures, 6 April
- The Natural, 1984, d. Barry Levinson, Sony Pictures, 6 April
- The Relic, 1997, d. Peter Hyams, Lionsgate, 6 April
- Rock 'n' Roll High School, 1979, d. Allan Arkush, Joe Dante, Jerry Zucker, Shout! Factory, 4 May
- Death Race 2000, 1975, d. Paul Bartel, Shout! Factory, 22 June

Icons of Suspense: Hammer Films, Sony Pictures, 6 April

- Stop Me Before I Kill! [aka The Full Treatment], 1960, d. Val Guest
- Cash on Demand, 1961, d. Quentin Lawrence, w. Peter Cushing
- Never Take Candy from a Stranger [aka Never Take Sweets from a Stranger], 1960, d. Cyril Frankel
- Maniac, 1963, d. Michael Carreras
- The Snorkel, 1958, d. Guy Green
- These Are the Damned [The Damned], 1963, d. Joseph Losey, w. Oliver Reed

15 January 2010

Assayas, Godard, Lumet and Lee on Criterion's April Schedule

Criterion announced their April titles this afternoon, with DVD and Blu-ray for Olivier Assayas' Summer Hours [L'heure d'été], Jean-Luc Godard's Vivre sa vie and Ang Lee's director's cut of Ride with the Devil. Sidney Lumet's The Fugitive Kind, with Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward and Maureen Stapleton, will also be available on DVD only. In addition to the mainline releases, the fifth volume of their Essential Art House Collection will be released, with the Region 1 debut of Gillo Pontecorvo's Kapò. The other five titles are Fellini's , David Lean's Brief Encounter, Ozu's Floating Weeds, Truffaut's Jules et Jim and Miloš Forman's Loves of a Blonde.

13 January 2010

Moi, ailleurs

In addition to my own proceedings, I participated on two other sites' '00s round-up, both of which were posted today. Firstly, over at The Auteurs Notebook, a collection of writers submitted a single image from a single film from the past ten years and then defended that with a single sentence. The image I selected came from Claire Denis' L'intrus.

Over at Out 1 Film Journal, I was asked to contribute my Top 13 Films of the '00s (which you can find here), as well as 5 performances and directors (for their entire output over the past ten years). You can see the results at the link above.

The performances I selected, in order, were:

1. Isabelle Huppert - La pianiste
2. Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
3. Tilda Swinton - Julia
4. Laura Dern - Inland Empire
5. Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson

So to conclude my list-making of the '00s, I came up with 20 runners-up, alphabetically. It's predictably female-heavy. Had I seen Inglourious Basterds before a few days ago, I probably would have included Mélanie Laurent... but I'm always reluctant to make such high claims without allowing time to set in first.

Asia Argento - Boarding Gate
Javier Bardem - Before Night Falls
Juliette Binoche - Code inconnu (or Le voyage du ballon rouge)
Björk - Dancer in the Dark
Maggie Cheung - Clean
Penélope Cruz - Volver (or Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
Béatrice Dalle - À l'intérieur
Julie Delpy - Before Sunset
Emmanuelle Devos - for really every single film I saw her in during the '00s, I couldn't choose just one
Charlotte Gainsbourg - Antichrist
Olivier Gourmet - Le fils
Gene Hackman - The Royal Tenenbaums
Sally Hawkins - Happy-Go-Lucky
Ashley Judd - Bug
Samantha Morton - Morvern Callar
María Onetto - La mujer sin cabeza
Clive Owen - Closer
Rebecca Romijn-Stamos - Femme Fatale
Carice van Houten - Zwartboek
Jürgen Vogel - Die freie Wille

Announcing the Universal Vault Series, Part 1: Schrader, Huston, Leisen, Schumacher

After releasing Mitchell Leisen's Remember the Night and a couple of B horror flicks through the Turner Classic Movie Vault, Universal has taken a cue from Warner and their Archive Collection by partnering with Amazon.com to release DVD-R's of catalogue titles. The Universal Vault Series unveiled the first 25 titles, all available for $19.95, which include Paul Schrader's directorial debut Blue Collar, John Huston's star-studded mystery The List of Adrian Messenger, Bruce Beresford's A Good Man in Africa and Mitchell Leisen's Death Takes a Holiday, which was made available previously on Universal's "Ultimate Edition" of the epic bore Meet Joe Black. I've highlighted the titles making their Region 1 debut in bold. I'll try to keep you updated on the newly available Vault titles as I hear of them.

- 40 Pounds of Trouble, 1962, d. Norman Jewison, w. Tony Curtis
- The Black Shield of Falworth, 1954, d. Rudolph Maté, w. Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh
- Blue Collar, 1978, d. Paul Schrader, w. Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto, Ed Begley Jr.
- The Brass Bottle, 1964, d. Harry Keller, w. Tony Randall, Burl Ives, Barbara Eden
- A Bronx Tale, 1993, d. Robert De Niro, w. De Niro, Chazz Palminteri
- The Chalk Garden, 1964, d. Ronald Neame, w. Deborah Kerr, John Mills, Hayley Mills
- Death Takes a Holiday, 1934, d. Mitchell Leisen
- Dragnet, 1954, d. Jack Webb
- Gambit, 1966, d. Ronald Neame, w. Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine, Herbert Lom
- Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain, 1995, d. Kevin James Dobson, w. Anna Chlumsky, Christina Ricci, Diana Scarwid, David Keith
- A Good Man in Africa, 1994, d. Bruce Beresford, w. Sean Connery, John Lithgow, Diana Rigg, Louis Gossett Jr., Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
- The House of the Seven Gables, 1940, d. Joe May, w. Vincent Price
- The Incredible Shrinking Woman, 1981, d. Joel Schumacher, w. Lily Tomlin, Charles Grodin, Ned Beatty
- Kitten with a Whip, 1964, d. Douglas Heyes, w. Ann-Margret
- The Last Remake of Beau Geste, 1977, d. Marty Feldman, w. Ann-Margret, Michael York, Peter Ustinov, James Earl Jones, Trevor Howard
- The List of Adrian Messenger, 1963, d. John Huston, w. Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, George C. Scott
- The Perfect Furlough, 1958, d. Blake Edwards, w. Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh
- Pure Luck, 1991, d. Nadia Tess, w. Danny Glover, Martin Short
- Resurrection, 1980, d. Daniel Petrie, w. Ellen Burstyn, Sam Shepard, Richard Farnsworth
- Ruggles of Red Gap, 1935, d. Leo McCarey, w. Charles Laughton, Mary Boland
- Shoot Out, 1971, d. Henry Hathaway, w. Gregory Peck, Susan Tyrrell
- Shout, 1991, d. Jeffrey Hornaday, w. John Travolta, Heather Graham, Linda Fiorentino, Gwyneth Paltrow
- Spawn of the North, 1938, d. Henry Hathaway, w. Henry Fonda, Dorothy Lamour, John Barrymore
- Stick, 1985, d. Burt Reynolds, w. Reynolds, Candice Bergen, George Segal
- Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, 1969, d. Abraham Polonsky, w. Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Robert Blake

12 January 2010

Doctor Zhivago, African Queen, Bergman in Spain: DVD Update 12 January

New DVDs. Another African Queen date change (but... cover art has surfaced, so things are looking more and more official). Scarcely few Blu-ray announcements. However, good news for Bergman fans: the Spanish studio Cameo has announced a Blu-ray release of Fanny & Alexander the mini-series (the UK BR from Palisades Tartan is only the theatrical version), as well as a Collector's Edition DVD of its sequel The Best Intentions [Den goda viljan], which is still MIA on DVD in the US, for 23 February. Written by Bergman, directed by Bille August, winner of the Palme d'Or in 1992, the Collector's Edition will contain both the theatrical version and the little-seen (outside of Sweden) 323-minute television version. This is, as far as I'm aware, the first release of the television version of Fanny & Alexander on Blu-ray, as well as the television version of The Best Intentions on DVD. Sadly, the discs only come with Spanish subtitles, but again, perhaps this is a good sign for an upcoming release in the US. The DVD and Blu-ray announcements below are in descending order of release, and the italicized ones are for date changes.

- The Box, 2009, d. Richard Kelly, also on Blu-ray, Warner, 23 February
- Easier with Practice, 2009, d. Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Breaking Glass Pictures, 2 March
- Where the Wild Things Are, 2009, d. Spike Jonze, also on Blu-ray, Warner, 2 March
- Pirate Radio [The Boat That Rocked], 2009, d. Richard Curtis, also on Blu-ray, Focus Features, 9 March
- Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, 2009, d. Lee Daniels, also on Blu-ray, Lionsgate, 9 March
- The African Queen, 1951, d. John Huston, also on Blu-ray, Paramount, 23 March
- Son of Man, 2006, d. Mark Dornford-May, Lorber Films/Kino, 23 March
- Once Upon a Time in a Battlefield, 2003, d. Lee Jun-ik, CJ Entertainment/Virgil Films, 30 March
- Separation, 1968, d. Jack Bond, Microcinema, 30 March
- Voice of a Murderer, 2007, d. Park Jin-pyo, CJ Entertainment/Virgil Films, 30 March
- Fighter in the Wind [Baramui Fighter], 2004, d. Yang Yun-ho, Cinema Epoch, 6 April
- Strictly Ballroom, 1992, d. Baz Luhrmann, Special Edition, Buena Vista, 6 April
- The Missing Person, 2009, d. Noah Buschel, Strand Releasing, 13 April
- The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela, 2008, d. Olaf de Fleur Johannsesson, Here! Films, 20 April
- Big Heart City, 2008, d. Ben Rodkin, Vanguard, 20 April, w. Seymour Cassel, Shawn Andrews
- The Blue Tooth Virgin, 2008, d. Russell Brown, Here! Films, 20 April
- Crime of Passion [Delitto passionale], 1994, d. Flavio Mogherini, MYA, 27 April
- Dogora [Dogora: Ouvrons les yeux], 2004, d. Patrice Leconte, also on Blu-ray, Severin, 27 April
- Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight, 2009, d. Wendy Keys, New Video, 27 April
- Oresama, 2004, d. Marumo, Eastern Star, 27 April
- Pornô!, 1981, d. David Cardoso, Luiz Castellini, John Doo, Impulse Pictures, 27 April
- Sweet Teen [Frittata all'italiana], 1976, d. Alfonso Brescia, MYA, 27 April
- Without Trace [...a tutte le auto della polizia], 1975, d. Mario Caiano, MYA, 27 April
- Chelsea on the Rocks, 2008, d. Abel Ferrara, Empire/Hannover House, 4 May
- College Boys Live, 2009, d. George O'Donnell, Water Bearer, 4 May
- Doctor Zhivago, 1965, d. David Lean, 45th Anniversary Edition, also on Blu-ray, Warner, 4 May
- No Orchids for Miss Blandish, 1948, d. St. John Legh Clowes, VCI, 1 June


- Versus, 2000, d. Ryuhei Kitamura, Tokyo Shock, 30 March
- A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1984, d. Wes Craven, New Line/Warner, 6 April
- Class of Nuke 'Em High, 1986, d. Richard W. Haines, Lloyd Kaufman, Michael Herz, Troma, 27 April