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Entries in Directors (94)

Sunday
Dec092012

(Do You Know) What It Feels Like For a Girl?

Variety 10 Directors to Watch gets very international this year including the Norwegian directors behind Oscar submission Kon-Tiki and the Argentinian Andres Muschietti who directed Jessica Chastain in Mama.
Pretty Dead Hair dreams up alternative terrible Spielbergian endings to Lincoln. 
Drawn A short history of the GIF. Super cute animated film 
MNPP "today's mood" god, i only wish that had been my mood this weekend! The second gif maybe. At least the stage is set for my weekend of the sick. 

Atlantic looks at beautiful storyboards of classic films from Psycho to Spartacus. And speaking of... happy birthday Kirk Douglas!
The New York Times looks at Working Title and their hunt for awards and a new beginning with Les Misérables
MovieLine becomes obsessed with a supposed Michael Cimino twitter account 
In Contention on the BIFA winners 

List Mania
The Popcorn Reel Middle of Nowhere, Compliance, Lincoln and more... 
Mix Tapes for Hookers Songs of the Year 
Pajiba chooses the Best Posters of the Year. Lists like those are always fun but what the F on The Dark Knight Rises. That rainy Bane poster is SO boring.
Time Magazine's Best and Worst of the Year in Everything has a hundred things to recommend it. My favorite bits are James Poniewozik on Mad Men's "At the Codfish Ball", Richard Corliss on Anna Karenina and Mary Pols on Cloud Atlas.

Today's Must Read Part 1
The New Inquiry has a sensational thought-provoking piece on Pixar's Brave which seeks to rescue the movie from the extremely lazy criticism it suffered upon its release.

"Brave" Sketch by Matt Nolte 2007. From the book "The Art of BRAVE"

A stranger to our film industry might reasonably suppose, reading those sentences, that the American cinemascape is littered with “spunky princess movies” that center around the main character and her mother...

It’s a well-worn genre, the Spunky-Princess-Who-Doesn’t-Get-Married-(Or-Experience-Any-Attraction-To-Anyone)-And-Her-Mother story.

I recently watched the movie again to prep for an interview with one of its directors and it was only on this second viewing when I realized how thoroughly new it is when it comes to its mother/daughter focus. It's well worth a second look as animated pictures go and deserves to be in the mix of answers to the question of "Which are the Best Animated Features of 2012?" 

Today's Must Read Part 2
Some of you will already have read this but I can't in good faith not sing its praises. A.O. Scott has written a wonderful comprehensive essay about the problem of gender imbalance in this era's film narratives touching on the glorious exceptions of a handful of this year's most talked-about films including Beasts of the Southern Wild, Zero Dark Thirty, and The Hunger Games. Scott doesn't mention it but an interesting trivia note that would have fit perfectly within the context of this article is that the character of Hushpuppy was originally a boy. The film's screenplay was adapted by the director and original playwright and they reassigned Hushpuppy's gender. 

Wednesday
Nov282012

Roundtables Galore. Tarantino to Retire?

The annual Actress Roundtable (pt 1 & pt 2) is the only member of THR's delightful tradition of one hour conversations that I can carve out time to cover in full but since the Directors video has arrived, you should watch it!

Quentin Tarantino's threat of retiring is very annoying. He hasn't been prolific enough to earn retirement. If he is ever going to retire I pray he does it in the Steven Soderbergh all bark and no bite kind of way. I'm not counting but I think Soderbergh has already made as many movies as Tarantino has ever made SINCE he announced his retirement.

I also love Tarantino's comments about editing his writing. I don't mean to single Tarantino out in the conversation but he is a chatty one.

Are all of these men draws for you when they're the name behind the movie? Who do you wish had been included and who would you boot out to make room for them? For me I'm wishing Kathryn Bigelow and

After the jump, in case you missed them, the Actors and Writers Roundtable

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Monday
Nov122012

Remember Moonrise

Michael C here to make sure memory one of 2012's masterpieces isn't washed away in a flood of Oscar bait. 

The more I think about the final moments of Moonrise Kingdom the more it feels like the saddest thing I’ve seen at the movies all year.

At first glance it feels like the ending couldn’t be much happier. The young lovers are reunited, the storm has passed, and even if things aren’t perfect life is left in greater balance than when the story began. Yet on repeat viewings a nagging feeling of loss rises to the surface. Sam and Suzy are together but it’s not accidental that the last thing we see them do is say goodbye to each other. We first meet Suzy as a raven and now the soundtrack sings of birds flying away in the changing seasonsIn film’s closing moments we see Suzy pause to acknowledge Sam’s painting of their beachfront camp. Their stolen adventure sits there, already frozen in the past.

This For Your Consideration reminder continues after the jump...

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Wednesday
Oct312012

Oscar Horrors: Looking into PSYCHO

Here lies… a film no other man could have made – Psycho.

Matt here! Alfred Hitchcock directed Psycho just after he made Vertigo and North by Northwest, two gigantic Technicolor productions for Paramount. Imagine the pitch he made – Shoestring budget, black & white, killing off Janet Leigh after 40 minutes, main character’s a schizophrenic taxidermist motel-owner. He shot it in a few months on the Paramount lot using a television crew, paying for everything himself.

The rest is history. After spending roughly $800,000, it has grossed over $50 million and had enormous cultural impact. Recently, it placed 34th in Sight & Sound’s “Greatest Films of All-Time” critics poll. In 1960, it was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Director. One single bathroom sequence revolutionized expectations for audiences, filmmakers, and censors. What business does a true-blue, low-budget horror flick have in the pantheon of cinematic art?

While Psycho may not be Hitchcock’s greatest film, it is the apex of his directorial control, his auteurist posture. More...

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Monday
Oct152012

LFF: Wadjda, A Miracle Debut

David here with words on a milestone in film history showing at the 56th BFI London Film Festival.

Waad Mohammad as 'Wadjda'

Miracles do happen. Haifaa Al-Mansour’s debut feature Wadjda is one of them. The first film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, where movie theatres are illegal, Wadjda is also the first film ever made by a Saudi woman. As the film shows, gender equality is still non-existent in Saudi Arabia – Reem Abdullah’s working mother relies on a driver to ferry her to work every day and Wadjda (Waad Mohammad) is omitted from her father’s family tree. Despite these socio-political outrages, Wadjda is never aggressive or dogmatic about getting any agenda across to its audience. Focusing its energies on the “spunky” young heroine of the title, Wadjda stitches the injustice and sexism that’s at the heart of Saudi Arabian society into the larger canvas of Wadjda’s rebellious spirit and complex engagement with religion. [Continue...]

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