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Entries in Lars Von Trier (27)

Friday
May272016

Podcast: Cannes 1996 Revisit 

NathanielNick, and Joe revisit the Cannes film festival of 1996 (you might wanna quickly check that lineup & those prizes before listening) and the Best Actress race that started there. We also recommend other 1996 goodies that you may or may not have seen... or thought of in years.

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Intro, Juries, and Crash's audacity prize
03:00 Best Actress: McDormand (Fargo) vs Blethyn (Secrets & Lies) vs Watson (Breaking the Waves)
10:09 Goodbye South GoodbyeThe Eighth DayPillow Book, and Microcosmos
17:50 TrainspottingFlirting With Disaster, A Self Made Hero, Lone Star, and Love Serenade
30:07 David Cronenberg's Crash
37:45 We each recommend a few more 1996 titles from Bound to The Long Kiss Goodnight

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments. Which 1996 picture have you still not seen? Who got your Best Actress vote that year?

tfw when you're turned on by car crashes

Articles We Mention
5 Contentious Cannes Juries 
• Nick's Annual Cannes Project 
Nick on Cronenberg's Crash 

Cannes 1996. Recommendations

Monday
May162016

It has recently come to my attention... that I enjoy link roundups

The Toast has a hilarious rant about Sebastian Stan's hair in Captain America Civil War
Variety details beginning to emerge on Lars von Trier's serial killer drama The House that Jack Built. (Sounds typically overly complicated as befits von Trier's masochistic working methods)
/Film visits ILM to see "groundbreaking" effects work on the forthcoming Warcraft
Variety Warner Bros already planning a Harley Quinn movie for Margot Robbie. Exactly how many superhero films will we get before Marvel ever dares one?
Tracking Board Jenny Slate reuniting with her Obvious Child director for a comedy called Landline co-starring Edie Falco and John Turturro
People Sad news: James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff divorcing after nine years of marriage
Women and Hollywood Laura Dern and Ellen Burstyn starring together in The Tale about a middle aged woman coming to grips with sexual relations she had at 13 with adults - sounds compelling!
Guardian Juliette Binoche on gender in film and disappointment that Scorsese & Spielberg don't feature female leads - disheartening but not totally surprising that Spielberg cites The Color Purple, a film he made 31 years ago, as proof he doesn't have a problem with lack of interest in female characters
The Playlist Another strike against Marvel - they forced a sex change on the villain in Iron Man 3 because they wanted to sell more toys
Variety Madeleine LeBeau, last surviving cast member of Casablanca, has passed away 

Other Showbiz...
THR Broadcast television's upcoming slates - cancellations, surprises, moves, etcetera
Boy Culture we were just celebrating Truth or Dare's 25th anniversary and now we hear that Donna & Niki, Madonna's once longtime backup singers have released a new version of "Rain" 
MNPP Milo Ventimiglia's Ass gets top billing in new TV series "This is Us" 

Today's Must Read
This new profile on Chloë Sevigny by Xan Brooks at the Guardian has been getting a lot of attention for its provocative pullquote on her "disdain for auteurs" but the whole article is interesting.

Photo by Jody Rogac for The Guardian.

Of special interest is her candid conversation about her 90s 'it girl' years in indies.

When Sevigny was Oscar-nominated for her turn in the 1999 indie drama Boys Don’t Cry, as the girl with whom Hilary Swank falls in love, it looked as though mainstream stardom might be hers for the taking. Sevigny scoffs when I say this; she doesn’t think anything is “there for the taking”. But the fact remains that she turned down the sidekick role taken by Selma Blair in Legally Blonde (“which might have made me some money”) and a raft of similar offers. “A few little things like that, more comedic, and it probably wouldn’t have hurt to have done them.” She wrinkles her nose. “But I was very purist back then.”

She also reveals that she really wanted Uma's part in Nymphomaniac and prefers working in television to film now.

Thursday
May122016

Lars Von Trier's Bad Girls of Cannes

It's Girls Gone Wild this month at The Film Experience. To coincide with the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, here's Chris on von Trier's wild women from Cannes past.

We miss you, Lars!

It's been five years since reigning Cannes bad boy Lars von Trier debuted a film at the festival - practically eons by the festival's standards for their many favorite auteurs. But he lost their favor for his glib Hitler comments during Melancholia's Croisette visit. The resulting Persona Non Grata Status has left us too long without a Cannes Von Trier (Anti)Heroine. Some call him a misogynist, but the provocateur has consistently given us fully-faceted women fighting against circumstance however they must. Let's take a look at their bad behavior:

Emily Watson as Bess - Breaking the Waves

How Bad?: 7/10 - Lots and lots of self-flagellating sex with strangers. Bess puts herself in increasing dangerous situations even when she knows the dangers of her actions.
But Really She's a Saint, It's All For Love!: She's only acting out at the request of her ailing, brain-damaged husband, to whom she relays her conquests.

Rewarded for Her Efforts: Watson didn't win Best Actress at Cannes (Brenda Blethyn was honored for Secrets & Lies), though this performance is the only Oscar-nominated in Von Trier's filmography.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov302014

Interview: Jennifer Kent on Her "Babadook" Breakthrough and What She Learned From "Dogville"

It's been a banner year for female directors. Two female directors have continually been in the Best Director Oscar discussion, they continue to make inroads in indie cinema (see the Spirit Award first feature and first screenplay citations!) and in many countries outside of the US. And that's not all. The year's most impressive debut stint behind the camera arguably belongs to Jennifer Kent (pictured left) whose controlled, creepy, beautifully designed and acted Australian horror film The Babadook has been winning raves. After a stint on Direct TV it's just hit US theaters, albeit only three of them. May it expand swiftly to unsettle every city.

When I spoke with Ms. Kent over the phone we were experiencing and ungainly time-lag and accidentally talking over one another. A time-lag also happened when I watched her movie the first time; its unique slow build had me more frightened after the movie finished than while I was watching it. It sticks. The tag line is true

You can't get rid of the Babadook.

I mention that I'm pre-ordering the Babadook book as I'm telling this story about how the movie continues to haunt me. "Then you'd better not," she says laughing as we begin our conversation about debut filmmaking, snobber towards horror films, what she learned from Lars von Trier, and the miracles of Essie Davis' lead performance.

 

NATHANIEL: Have you had a lot of weird reactions to the film?

JENNIFER KENT: Yeah, I have. I’ve had the gamut of reactions from people seeking a roller coaster ride with jolts and scares. They've been like  'Ripped off. This isn’t a horror film!' to people like yourself. What’s most surprising to me is -- more than a  couple of people have said ‘I really didn’t like but I saw it again.' Why would you see it again?  And then changing their minds about it. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep262014

NYFF: A Swarm of Surrealism

Our coverage of the 2014 New York Film Festival, which opens today, continues - here's Jason with an askance look at some of the unsung heroes of The Wonders and their cinematic precedents...

Earlier this week Glenn wrote up a review of Alice Rohrwacher's really very fine film The Wonders, which I also heartily endorse. I was sitting next to him at the press screening and besides being communally delighted (that sounds dirty but I mean it in the most innocent way possible) by the movie together we squirmed, writhed, and let out little moans of discomfort (alright it sounds dirty again, just bear with me here) when the screen repeatedly filled with bees - so many bees! If I'd given it any thought beforehand I might have skipped the film because despite not having an allergy I am a total melissophobic and watching them crawl on human skin is akin to water torture - you might know me as a horror movie fan, a badge I wear with pride, but nothing will make me cover my eyes and climb backwards in my seat quicker than a plain ol' minding-his-own-business honey-bee. Know the real enemy.

That said there's a surrealistic beauty to ways the bees are shot in The Wonders (there's a reason that the poster uses the imagery), and also another animal in the film (which I won't name since it contributes a nice jolt of WTF), and all this got me thinking about the use of animals as surrealist props. It's got a long, sometimes sordid (think of Jodorowsky blowing up all those poor frogs in The Holy Mountain or the tortoise being slaughtered in Cannibal Holocaust) history - I'm sure there have been plenty of dissertations written on it but what I think it comes down to is the unfathomable interior life of The Beast - we cannot know what is going on behind the eyes of these creatures, and so they will always remain strange, the Other. They're a nice short-cut to Uncanny Land, in other words.

And now, because I agree with Nathaniel that lists are super fun, here are the 5 fun instances of animals being used to inject a little surrealism into a film.

The Giraffe in The Great Beauty

The Escaped Zoo Animals in Twelve Monkeys

The Cat Attack in Let the Right One In

Chaos Reigns: The Fox in Antichrist

The Elephant Funeral in Sante Sangre

---

Name some of your favorites in the comments!

Monday
Jun232014

anything can happen in the woods... ♪ can i link you? 

LA Curbed Character actress extraordinaire Agnes Moorehead's was apparently a wealthy gal. Her former home is going for $19 million. Whoa!
Empire new stills from The Imitation Game which I'm hearing very positive buzz on
HuffPo remembers Batman (1989) with pictures from the original premiere. Such a blast from the past. Remember when Robert Downey Jr and Sarah Jessica Parker were a couple!? Glenn Close looks so young. Anybody know the unnamed woman with Tim Burton?
In Contention Kris Tapley also paid tribute to the film which he says he owes... a lot

Movie Mezzanine Lars von Trier was making movies about "rape culture" before it had a name. Discussion of Dogville & Breaking the Waves
/Film Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience (2009) is becoming a TV series. Lodge Kerrigan who made the disturbing indie Clean, Shaven (1993) and the actress Amy Seimetz are writing and directing.
VF Hollywood Katey Rich on Gary Oldman's angry comments defending Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin's language
Vulture Hollywood's leading men arranged by height with Kevin Hart and Daniel Radcliffe as the tiniest though weirdly they skip the very tallest ones like Hugh Jackman (6'2") and Chris Hemsworth (nearly 6'3") 
Buzzfeed Daniel Radcliffe sorts celebrities into Hogwarts houses. Streep for Gryffindor ("because she's awesome"), Jon Hamm for Hufflepuff, Benedict Cumberbatch for Ravenclaw, etcetera  
In Contention composer Alexandre Desplat to head the Venice Film Festival jury
Sir Ian McKellen he's now "Doctor" Sir Ian McKellen 

Corrections or Damage Control?
Stephen Sondheim has issued a clarifying statement about Into the Woods after all the negative reaction to the changes he said Disney made. Time has passed since he made the comment...

...I had not yet seen a full rough cut of the movie. Coincidentally, I saw it immediately after leaving the meeting and, having now seen it a couple of times, I can happily report that it is not only a faithful adaptation of the show, it is a first-rate movie.

And for those who care, as the teachers did, the Prince's dalliance is still in the movie, and so is "Any Moment."

I'm not sure I trust Sondheim to judge a movie. He also approved damaging changes to the film version of Sweeney Todd and just because you're a genius in one medium, doesn't mean you know what's best or even good in another.

Two Tweets
Yeah, yeah, I'm quoting myself but for those of you who aren't on twitter I'd thought you'd enjoy/relate...

 

 

 

And my favorite Tweet of the day because it's good lolz

 

 

Tuesday
Apr082014

Top Ten: Lars Von Trier's Actors

Jose here with your weekly top ten.

 

Visionary. Lunatic. Nazi. Enfant terrible. Misogynist. Genius. Poseur.

Lars Von Trier is called so many things that we often forget that he's a terrific director of actors. With his strange sense of humor and world views, his films are often as alienating as they are enlightening, but actors seem to die to work for him. He's led three of his actresses to wins at the Cannes Film Festival and has injected new life into the careers of actors like Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe and now Uma Thurman. Whether you're a fan of his films or not, his contributions to directing actors are incomparable. Now that both of his Nymphomaniac volumes are out in theaters (reviewed), it's a great time to look back

Ten Best Performance in Lars von Trier Films
(after the jump)

Click to read more ...