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Entries in Son of Saul (7)

Saturday
Feb132016

Podcast: Top Ten Edition

Nathaniel,  NickKatey, and Joe discuss their individual top ten lists. (There was a lot to cram in so your host apologizes for some ungraceful edits.)

43 minutes 
We discuss a lot of different titles including but not limited to: The Martian, Creed, Mistress America, Room, Diary of a Teenage Girl, Son of Saul, Spotlight, The Look of Silence and In Jackson Heights.

Related Reading:
15 Best of '15 -Nathaniel's Writeup
Carol Podcast 1 & Carol Podcast 2 ICYMI. it's high on our lists but we don't discuss it much this time due to time constraints

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

Top Ten Discussion

Tuesday
Jan122016

The DGA Nominees. Other directors still blind to the genius of Todd Haynes

Weep with me now my fellow people of good taste for the continual shunning of Todd Haynes at awards shows. Save one. Haynes will always have the Independent Spirits as loyal cheering squad. They've miraculously nominated him for his direction on every single one of his feature films.

Yes well before even the bulk of cinephiles realized he was going to be a legendary filmmaker. They nominated him for his strange triptych debut (Poison) and his then quite divisive/confounding but now universally admired sophomore effort ([safe]) and they've been true ever since. I bring this up to quench the tears and prepare for the worst on Thursday in case Carol is barely acknowledged which is what usually happens with Todd Haynes films on Oscar nomination morning. Even Far From Heaven (2002), his biggest hit, got a weak 4 nominations despite having the kind of "Spectacular Spectacular!" craftsmanship that at least nets filmmakers Moulin Rouge! honors (nope - Far From Heaven was stiffed in both Art Direction and Costumes. Hilarious to contemplate but true.) 

The Academy's directing branch is much more exclusive in numbers and arguably more sophisticated than the much larger voting body of the directors guild, but it's best to lower expectations; the world is often a mysteriously cruel place! Nevertheless it's frustrating that an auteur as singular and consistently wondrous as Todd Haynes has trouble getting honors from peers. He's in good company at least. Great artists in every field throughout time have had to decades for people to catch up with their greatness. Sometimes it didn't even happen until after they died. Remember that Alfred Hithcock never won a Directing Oscar and Douglas Sirk, one of of Todd Haynes's greatest influences, was never even nominated for one. Curiously Sirk, who specialized in the melodrama (those are often about women and you know how Oscar feels about women's pictures - Ewww!) was nominated by the DGA once, for Imitation of Life but an Oscar nomination did not follow. Generally Oscar will boot one of the DGA nominees for someone else but since they haven't gone 5/5 for awhile we're probably due for another year of exact crossover. 

We should probably talk about the actual nominees not just one of our all time favorite auteurs. So let's do that after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec292015

Best of '15: Most Memorable Scares. Boo!

Jason from MNPP here for more Year in Review madness.

Truth be told 2015 was not the best year for horror movies. There were some smaller successes but only a couple of classics born, and out of those only one - David Robert Mitchell's It Follows would classify entirely as a genre exercise. But there were plenty of Scary Scenes, whether inside the horror genre or knock knock knocking on the door, and that's what we're here to celebrate.

The following moments aren't necessarily in hard order, save the top few, because What Scares Us is subjective to not just each individual person but to each individual moment that person is experiencing -- I might feel like "No thank you, Bugs" today but tomorrow it might be all like "I said NO THANK YOU, Cannibals!" instead. Fear's a funny thing like that.

Anyway beware spoilers below, as we'll be discussing in a little bit of detail the money-shots of the year in "Boo!"

The 15 Scariest Scenes of 2015
from all sorts of films after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec192015

Interview: Director and Star of 'Son of Saul' on Making Art in a Politically Correct World

Jose here. The evils of the Nazi regime have been documented in myriad ways, and in practically every medium possible. Film in particular, has created a subgenre that consists of harrowing stories about concentration camps, the diabolical genocide of the Jews, and other events that put all the human race under a shameful light. However, perhaps because of Hollywood’s tendency to overpraise the human spirit, and its relentless need to “inspire”, Holocaust films have become a “niche” meant to help actors and directors win awards. Holocaust films in a nutshell always go for the emotional and rarely, if ever, attempt to touch the intellectual.

Enter first time director László Nemes, who caught Cannes by surprise with his unique Son of Saul, which has just opened in US theaters, a film that dispenses of each and every cliché you’ve seen played in every other Holocaust movie. There are no string-filled overwrought scores, no movie stars losing weight, gaining accents or donning beards, and most surprisingly, there are no attempts at oversimplifying the Holocaust as anything other than a series of personal infernos lived in a collective reality. The inner hell in this case, is that of Auschwitz prisoner Saul (Géza Röhrig), a Sonderkommando member, who one day makes a gruesome discovery that drives him to make a decision that might have deadly results.

The interview after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct092015

NYFF: The Oscar Contender "Son of Saul"

Manuel here reporting from the New York Film Festival on Hungary's Oscar submission, a powerful debut film...

The Holocaust film is, as historical subgenres go, perhaps the most well-worn. From John Ford and George Stevens’ documentary footage of the camps liberation all the way through Spielberg’s Schindler’s List and Benigni’s Life is Beautiful, cinema has been irrevocably tied to our cultural remembrance of that most barbaric killing machine. Cinema’s ability to record, to bear witness, has no doubt played a central role in this artistic canon. Of course, at the heart of the cinematic project of the Holocaust lie conflicting and controversial ethical questions. From Theodor Adorno’s “There is no poetry after Auschwitz” dictum to storied arguments about the validity and usefulness of recreating the images of Western civilization’s most gruesome chapter, directors, victims, and historians have asked plenty of hard to answer questions.

Does the depiction not merely replicate the dehumanization on which that enterprise depended? Is there a way to narrativize this barbaric act without simplifying history? Can cinema’s images ever do anything more than ring hollow when compared with the immensity of human life lost?

If all of this sounds heady as an intro to a review of László Nemes’s debut film Son of Saul, you should’ve heard leading man (and poet) Géza Röhrig and his director talk at length about these very issues while quoting Primo Levi at the press conference a few days ago...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun012015

Podcast: Two Transatlantic Conversations

This new unconventional episode of the podcast features two guests and two conversations. First Nathaniel calls Australia to check in with Glenn Dunks to see what he's been up to cinematically since leaving NYC. And then a conversation with Guy Lodge in London about his experience at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Contents

  • 00:01 - 02:30 Intro: Nathaniel (feat. Annie Lennox)
  • 02:26 - 19:15  Glenn From Australia: Mad Max Fury Road, The English Patient, Nicole Kidman in Strangerland, 54 The Director's Cut, Film Preservation
  • 19:16 - Guy from London: Loving Arabian Nights, The Lobster and Todd Haynes' Carol, Cannes Jury Prizes, The AssassinSon of Saul and the Foreign Film race, Maryland, and hating Paolo Sorrentino's Youth

Please to enjoy and continue the conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of this post or download from iTunes tomorrow.  

 

Cannes, London, and Australia