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Alicia Vikander cast as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Only supporting actress winners are allowed to play this role!

"What on earth can Alicia bring to this role, and why bother? Good luck." - Tom F

"How long must we wait for Dianne Wiest as Lara Croft!?" - Mike

 

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Entries in Asian cinema (84)

Tuesday
Apr262016

Throne of Blood's Best Shots - A Visual Index

After realizing that we'd never featured an Akira Kurosawa on Hit Me With Your Best Shot, we obviously had to. Ran (1985) was tempting but it gets a lot of attention already. So we opted to watch his other Shakespeare inspired masterpiece, Throne of Blood (1957) which is still the best Macbeth movie even if its more Macbeth-inspired than traditionally adapted.

If you've never seen it, give it a shot. It's gorgeous and haunting and unlike most Shakespeare films grippingly compact at only 110 minutes.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot(s)
Throne of Blood (1957)

Director: Akira Kurosawa; Cinematographer: Asakazu Nakai 
Click on any of the 11 images to be taken to its accompanying article

Throne of Blood teaches us how to watch it. 
-Antagony & Ecstasy


The minute we see Isuzu Yamada as Lady Asaji in this cold spare room, we know exactly where things will go...
-Scopophiliac at the Cinema 

One of my favorite ideas in these Japanese stories is that the living and dead (or the supernatural) could live together, without a hereafter.
-Cal Roth

What Shakespeare does with language, Kurosawa and Noh do with movement.
-Dancin Dan on Film 


Kurosawa injects into the tragedy of Macbeth an incredible sensorial expressiveness of poetic dimensions by placing it in mystic version of feudal japan.
-Magnificent Obsession 


Fujimaki's own splatter-painting.
-The Film Experience

The staging of the two actors is just brilliant...
-Zev Burrows 


The camera becomes like a piece of stagecraft
-Film Mix Tape

the vast space and the wealth that implies, as well as the ample room for Washizu and his wife to contemplate their guilt
-Film Actually


The movie builds with precision, early shots foreshadowing what is to come
-I/fpw 

My favorite scene in Macbeth and they do it very well here
-Rachel Wagner

 

The End.

NEXT TUESDAY NIGHT WARNING: "NOW a warning?" It's Death Becomes Her (1992), rereleased in a collectors edition. Please join us for what will surely be a fun group of screengrabs

Monday
Apr042016

April Showers: Kurosawa's Dreams

In April Showers, Team TFE looks at memorably soaked moments in the movies. Here's Lynn Lee on Dreams (1990).


The sun is shining, but it’s raining.  Foxes hold their wedding processions in this weather.

But they don’t like anyone to see them – if they catch you watching, they’ll be very angry!

Dreams (1990) may be the most personal of Kurosawa’s films, and has always struck me as one of his most underrated.  It’s uneven, yes, but at its best it really does capture the vivid yet elusive, disorienting nature of a recurring dream that always seems to slip just out of your grasp – the kind of dream that can turn on a hair from a beautiful vision to a nightmare and back again...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb202016

Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer and Adi on The Look of Silence

Amir here. I first fell in love with Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence in September 2014, at TIFF. It was the last, and best, film I watched at that festival, and it left an emotional mark that I lived with for days. I caught up with the film again when it was released for the public and my conviction that this was one of the best documentary features of all time was reaffirmed – in my book, one of 2015’s holy trinity of films. So, you can understand my excitement when I finally had the chance to speak with director Joshua Oppenheimer, and Adi, the subject of his film.

The Look of Silence, nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary, a companion piece to the director’s earlier film The Act of Killing (also nominated in its year), is about the victims of the Indonesian genocide, who live side by side with the men who perpetrated those crimes against their loved ones. In his graceful and compassionate study of these people and their haunted spaces, Oppenheimer finds the language to bring invisible pains to the screen and push the limits of documentary form.

We talk about the relationship between his two films, his experiences in Indonesia, influences on his filmmaking, where documentary cinema stands today, and Adi’s life after the film’s release.

AMIR SOLTANI: I know you’re probably tired of comparisons between your two latest films, but I feel like there’s nowhere else to start but The Act of Killing. There’s a theatrical element to the first film that The Look of Silence, despite being polished, stylized and even often staged, doesn’t have. It’s more formally understated. What initiated your formal approach to the second film?  

JOSHUA OPPENHEIMER: I think these two films are both rigorously about the present, or rather, the past’s role in the present. [More after the jump...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan052016

Podcast: The Big Short, It Follows, Etc...

We're just going overboard with the podcasts this month. We hope you don't mind. Here's a little extra conversation between Nathaniel and Nick. (With another podcast right around the corner!) 

40 minutes 
00:01 The Big Short, celebrity cameos, gambling and our own failings
16:40 Nick looks forward to The Revenant & talking about The Hateful Eight
19:45 Foreign Film Finalist List: Ireland's Viva, Denmark's A War, Hungary's Son of Saul.
27:45 Films that didn't make it to the finals like Guatamela's Ixcanul,  and LGBT entries
33:20 How to watch challenging cinema at home on your televisions. Starring: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch and It Follows 

Further Reading for Context:
Nick's Hateful Eight Tweet
Nathaniel's recent Oscar submission reviews
Plus Embrace of Serpent and Labyrinth of Lies

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes

Big Short & Foreign Finals

Sunday
Nov292015

Fenix & Golden Horse Prizes

Two sets of international film awards were recently handed out and in the holiday flurry we haven't yet shared them, but since three Oscar submissions dominated, better late than never!

Alfred Castro in "El Club"

Fenix Awards
The Fenix awards are a Mexican based initiative to honor films and industry professionals of Latin America, Spain and Portugal.m They're only in their second year so it's too new to know if they'll make an impact but this year they gave Pablo Larraín's  El Club (Chile's tramautizing Oscar submission) Picture, Director, Screenplay and Actor prizes. Alfredo Castro was the acting recipient of the latter (it's a large cast of mostly men and fans of Larraín will know him well since he previously starred in Larraín's other Oscar submissions Tony Manero and No). Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia's mesmerizing Oscar submission for which we're heartily rooting) took Sound, Cinematography, and Music along with Best Director (in a tie)

Golden Horse Awards
The Assassin, which has been marginally successful without quite catching on with audiences, is on a roll with prizes and honors. This past week it dominated the Golden Horse Awards winning six prizes with Picture, Cinematography, Makeup and Costume Design (which are grouped for some reason), Sound Effects and a special filmmaking prize for Hsiao-hsien Hou even though they also gave him Best Director! So that didn't leave much for its chief rivals Mountains May Depart, Port of Call, Tharlo, and Drunk Thanatos but they each were honored in one way or another. Hou's semi-abstract take on the wuxia genre also topped the Sight & Sound Best of 2015 poll.

Which is a long way of saying that this one, which is pretty but alienating, might prove hard for the Academy's Executive Committee to ignore when it comes to their "three saves" for the 9 wide finalist list from which the 5 Best Foreign Language Film nominees will be chosen.

Related: Foreign Film Oscar Charts

Friday
Oct162015

Linkbury, Linkbender and Linkichatpong LLC

The Sheila Variations and Playbill are all celebrating the 90th birthday of Angela Lansbury today. What a long all-mediums career that woman has had. Sing her happy birthday today and emphasize the "...and many more" at the end of your song, mmmkay?
The Stake has a grumpy but well argued take on Steve Jobs that says Michael Fassbender: Great; Movie: Not.
The Guardian on auteur Apichatpong "Joe" Weerasethakul's fears about Thailand military dictatorship - he won't be showing his new film Cemetery of Splendour there for fear that harm will come to him.
Indiewire Kate Erbland challenges you to read her interview with Olivia Wilde (Meadowland, Vinyl) without falling in love
Murtada and Jason, two of our Teammates have very split reactions on Crimson Peak.
• And there's no point linking to "news" that isn't really news even if it's being posted everywhere: i.e. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will get a new poster on Sunday and a new trailer on Monday so why write about them now when you can wait two days for actual news? TFE is totally over news announcing news that will announce news, you know? Like teaser countdowns that announce trailers that then have 4 more versions before the actual movie. ENOUGH. LIVE IN THE NOW.

 

Finally
Fistful of Films Andrew is taking a long hiatus from blogging but this is quite a finale: notes on his top 100+ favorite films. It's quite a range of countries, genres, styles and eras and I'm happy to see many Hit Me With Your Best Shot titles represented and if we even led them to a few of them then our series was a success. Though I must say that reading it, I'm sad he won't be there for our next two episodes - BUT DON'T LET THAT STOP YOU FROM JOINING.

TFE Housekeeping...
We will be hosting those last two Best Shot episodes this month but we've had to cancel that Smackdown '63 we planned. Both Best Shot and Smackdown will return in the Spring as per usual. I should've known better than to plan too much in September & October as it's impossible to do big projects during festival season, 100s of movies coming out, and the build up then countdown to Oscar.

Saturday
Oct102015

NYFF: The (Prettiest) Assassin

Nathaniel returning to life, albeit to watch a film about someone who ends it, on the closing weekend of the 53rd New York Film Festival

If you believe in cinema as a reflection of reality then every college should offer at least undergraduate courses in Becoming an Assassin because that profession is always hiring! According to the movies, there are more assassins in the world than accountants. Full disclosure: I'm no fan of this overflowing subgenre. Assassin movies, like their counterparts Gangster Dramas and Serial Killer Thrillers, often glorify death-dealing or at least cast their protagonists as noble "anti-heroes" or admirably gifted / committed to their criminal art. [More...]

Click to read more ...