In the late 1930s, as WWII loomed on the horizon, Jean Renoir, French film director par excellence, made two films which have beguiled cinephiles ever since – La Regle du Jeu (1939,) the tale of a country house party which turns into a merciless dissection of society, and La Grande Illusion (1937,) a meditation upon the stupidity of war.
There is a scene in Zoolander where Derek Zoolander challenges fellow model Hansel to a walk off, overseen by David Bowie. As Bowie explains "Now, this'll be a straight walk-off, old school rules. First model walks; second model duplicates, then elaborates. Okay, boys - let's go to work!"
The Woman in Black's worldwide box office gross of $112 million (£20 million in the UK alone, making it the top grosser of the year so far) has not gone unnoticed, as Hammer Studios have proven by greenlighting a sequel to their smash hit ghost story.
Warning: The following article contains potentially fatal levels of nerd.
To people like me, the question of who the invading army that assists Loki in decimating New York City has been a hotly contended issue. Common sense would dictate that the true identity of Loki's Army would be the Skrulls, a common fixture in the Marvel Comic Universe and a threat worthy of The Avengers, but this is starting to look unlikely.
The designs (vaguely spoiled by obscure looking toy merchandising photographs) pouring out did not fit the conventional design work of the Skrull, and the latest clear close-ups of the alien brutes from a revealing TV spot only confirm this:
Ashton Kutcher has officially signed on for the role of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in Joshua Michael Sterns' indie biopic Jobs. Yes, it was reported yesterday and no, it wasn't an April Fool. I checked.
Stars of both big and small screens since the mid-1950s, The Muppets are planted firmly in the hearts of many and now they have the 2466th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to prove it.
Another fairytale revision is moving closer to production with Walt Disney Pictures' Sleeping Beauty re-telling, Maleficent, now progressing towards a June start date with Angelina Jolie as the titular evil fairy.
The death penalty is as incendiary a subject as any, whatever side of the debate you stand on, you're sure to stand there defiantly.
Werner Herzog is staunchly opposed to the death penalty but, in making this intense and insightful look at the death penalty in contemporary America, he refuses to make a political statement. This is one of the boldest aspects of Into the Abyss; he avoids grandstanding, he refuses to massage the truth to strengthen his case. There are no staggering statistics offered, no comparisons to other countries in the developed world that have abolished the death sentence, even the story he follows would be the worst possible option for someone crafting a polemic.
Documentaries are now the most powerful form of investigative journalism according to Robert Redford. Musing on the decline in moral standards of the newspaper industry, Redford maintained that the documentary had come to the fore and taken the lead in delivering hard-hitting, agenda setting change. Fortuitously perhaps, Redford’s comments came in the same week as three very different documentaries received their bows at the UK box office. Iran’s This is Not a Film, Werner Herzog’s death row opus Into the Abyss and Jon Shenk’s The Island President are an eclectic credit to the genre and a timely reminder that the documentary has never been more important. Away from real life we’re treated to a claymation piratic Hugh Grant, a 3D dance off and titans wrathing it to the max.
I made my thoughts on The Human Centipede series quite clear (more than once) when I last reported on movements regarding the third movie, the prospect of having to sit through Tom Six performing cinematic onanism is just too much to bear.
So it comes with the faintest satisfaction to hear that production on The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence may have been delayed, after actor Dieter Laser pulled out of the production after script disputes with Six, prompting Six's production company to announce legal action against the Human Centipede star.