It's been, perhaps, a week or two since we last heard anything about The Dark Knight Rises. I know you're all fiending for more and contemplating robbing your own grandmothers, just for another hit of flimsy Batman information.
Does anyone work harder than Steven Spielberg? When he works, he really works, it's not uncommon to see the man knock out two films in a release year and the internet was aflutter with ideas that The Beard would return to the Jurassic Park franchise to direct the fourth installment.
The New Year brings with it a comprehensive push from the studios of those films deemed likely contenders during awards season. Front runner The Artist snuck in just before Janus said goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012, but the first two weeks of the year will reward cinema goers with Meryl Streep’s uncanny Maggie Thatcher, Steve McQueen’s uncompromising tale of sex addiction and Spielberg’s equine adventure. All are expected to perform admirably.
The love fest for Oscar frontrunner The Artist is over and the gloves are finally coming off. It all began on Monday when former Hollywood starlet, Kim Novak, placed a full-page trade ad expressing her disgust that the Awards Season darling dared to use a piece of Bernard Hermann's Vertigo score.
The charge is that writer/director Michel Hazanavicius is piggybacking on the emotional weight associated with that score thanks to the work done in Vertigo and called it tantamount to "rape".
Twitter, among other sources, were quick to ridicule Novak for her extremely misguided choice of words but, to an extent, I can sympathise with her reaction here because if anyone is entitled to be a little precious about Vertigo, it would be someone whose entire legacy hinges on it. Her claims that repurposing previous music sets a dangerous precedent are indicative of someone who would probably shit their own hearts out if they ever saw a Tarantino movie, but her rant is part of a bigger issue that is far more worthy of discussing. The Oscar smear campaign.
You know the awards season race is in full flow when the smear campaigns begin. The Oscars are as political as any Presidential election, with studios investing heavily in muck-rakers and spin-doctors for their respective champions. Dirty tactics are part of the game.
In case you believe this dirty little practice is an invention of the past few years, think again...
Having forged such an effective working relationship on Hunger, Shame reunites McQueen with the megalithic Michael Fassbender for his second directorial feature. Fassbender, who so elegantly portrayed Bobby Sands in McQueen’s debut Hunger, plays Brandon, a bored New York yuppie who indulges in his burgeoning sex addiction at any given opportunity.
Brandon lives a repetitive, unfulfilling life, the tedium of his corporate desk job only interrupted by visits to prostitutes and continual masturbation. He’s a haunted soul, utterly consumed by his craving for sexual satisfaction, with Harry Escott’s haunting score testament to his internal conflict and strife.
Upcoming sci-fi film Upside Down, has debuted its first French trailer online.
Actually, scrap that. That should read: Fuck you, film fans.
The level of contempt that the current crop of corporate big wig studio execs have for cinema goers has reached new heights as exemplified by New Line Cinema, who have just greenlit a remake of Police Academy.
Cut from the same untarnished cloth as Studio Ghibli’s finest, from the fantastical Spirited Away to the whimsical My Neighbour Totoro, Whisper of the Heart once again exemplifies the animation studio’s interest in depicting imaginative narratives meshed with invenerated realms of mundanity, where even the most distinctive flight of fancy is seen as nothing more than an extension of the everyday. Made back in 1995, but only just given the buffed up restorative treatment on Blu-ray,the film marks the sole directorial effort of long-time Ghibli animator Yoshifumi Kondô, and is perhaps one ofthe studio’s most sober, mature and sweet-natured films to date.
From Oscar winner James Marsh, the director of 2008’s barmy documentary Man on Wire, comes Project Nim, another controversial true story of 70s absurdity and fascination. Told with intricately woven talking heads and home video footage, amongst other indicative techniques, Marsh’s latest is an absorbing and thought-provoking assessment of this intriguing investigation of human-chimp relations, which builds to a devastatingly frank conclusion.
90% of people reading this will be thinking ‘Margaret? Never heard of it.’ That’s because this intelligent and gripping drama has barely been shown anywhere, and even then, it’s a tough sell. As I walked into the (crowded) screening, the usher dragged me to one side and whispered in panicked tones ‘This film is really, really long, over 2 ½ hours ‘. I nodded sagely, wondering if this was a bad thing. But to me, this wonderful movie deserves its long running time. Now I just have to convince everyone else...