February 8, 2014 |
Documentary filmmakers are known to go to extraordinary lengths to get their stories on film, but few have gone as far as Hubert Sauper. In order to achieve the unusual access to the reality of Africa he provides in his exceptional "We Come as Friends," which premiered last month at Sundance in Park City, Utah, and is screening Saturday at the Berlin International Film Festival, Sauper flew into the continent on a tiny ultra-light airplane he...
February 7, 2014 |
Early in the development of "The Lego Movie," Jill Wilfert, the executive who oversees Lego's licensing efforts in Southern California, had a question for her bosses at company headquarters in Denmark: Can we have a character die? "It wasn't something we ever had to really think about before," Wilfert said. "But we had to think about it now. " Their conclusion was yes, and it became one of a number of freedoms the company allowed Warner Bros., producer Dan Lin and writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller in creating the most freewheeling and reference-packed picture to come out of film's branded-movie era. PHOTOS: Actors who've been turned down for famous roles "Lego"--which as of Thursday had garnered a rare 100% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and was expected to open upward of $50 million this weekend--is a rare Big Hollywood entertainment with a playful subversiveness, the world's first postmodern toy film.
February 6, 2014 |
Several months ago, I watched Woody Allen's 1979 film "Manhattan" for the first time since I was in my 20s and for perhaps the 10th time total. "He adored New York City," Allen's character, Isaac Davis, says in voice-over in the opening lines. "He idolized it all out of proportion. " Once upon a time, I idolized this movie all out of proportion. Though I was too young to see it when it was first released, I became obsessed with its Gershwin soundtrack and black-and-white, wide-screen cinematography in high school, right around the time I began romanticizing some mythic notion of becoming a New York sophisticate.
February 5, 2014 |
George Clooney and Grant Heslov describe themselves as two of the least cynical people in Hollywood. But when the longtime collaborators looked back at their recent work, they realized the movies had an unshakable gloom: "The Ides of March," "Good Night, and Good Luck," "The American" and "August: Osage County" were hardly films that made you feel better about the world. So Clooney and Heslov decided to change course and put together a crowd-pleasing tale. The resulting work, Friday's "The Monuments Men," is a curious departure for the filmmakers - a sometimes lighthearted account of a largely untold chapter of World War II history that recalls some of the less serious movies about the conflict.
February 1, 2014 |
Woody Allen's adopted daughter Dylan Farrow on Saturday repeated - and elaborated on - her assertion that the filmmaker sexually assaulted her when she was a child. Farrow's open letter, published on the New York Times website, is part of a renewed public scrutiny of allegations first leveled against Allen in 1992, shortly after the end of his relationship with actress Mia Farrow. In a Vanity Fair story published in October, Dylan Farrow (who now goes by another name) also laid out details of what she said happened to her. Allen, who has long maintained his innocence, could not be reached for comment Saturday.
January 30, 2014 |
"The Great Flood," an all-archival clip documentary revisiting the events and effects of the devastating Mississippi River flood of 1927, is by turns hypnotic, playful, wildly evocative and even a bit trippy. But most of all it's a unique, highly immersing audio-visual experience that would be as at home in a museum as it is in a movie theater - and that's a first-order compliment. Experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison ("Decasia," "The Miners' Hymns") has masterfully assembled a collage of silent, monochrome archival footage of this largely forgotten catastrophe - call it the Hurricane Katrina of its day - in which the Mississippi's levees broke in 145 places, engulfing 27,000 square miles of land from southern Illinois to New Orleans.