Supernova (2000) - News Poster

(I) (2000)


The strange sex scene of Supernova

Simon Brew Oct 9, 2017

Supernova is a film with a messy story behind it. And a very, very odd sex scene...

Supernova is a film that started promisingly. Originated in 1990 under the title of Dead Star, the idea – as pitched by writer William Malone – would be for something akin to Dead Calm, just in space. Dead Calm is a great choice of influence too, with Phillip Noyce’s out-on-the-water thriller using isolation expertly, as Billy Zane puts in one of his best, and most menacing, screen performances.

Dead Star was set to follow a similar idea, and that meant a modest budget at most – around $6m was cited – would be needed to tell the story of alien artefacts being brought back to Earth. Enquires were made of H R Giger, who duly did some concept art work to help promote the script.

MGM was the studio that bit, although it had ideas.
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That Time James Spader Was Completely Jacked in the Movie “Supernova”

I never thought the movie Supernova was particularly good. Nor do I think any of you did either. Frankly it was just a bunch of people with no clothes on up in outer space. Honestly what the hell was this movie? Anyway, let’s get off how bad a movie this was and get to James Spader in this film. Have you ever seen an actor in a movie and you have to do a double take to make sure it’s the person you are thinking of? And I’m talking without the addition of make up or crazy costume that would

That Time James Spader Was Completely Jacked in the Movie “Supernova
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The 33 movie review: swallowed up by the earth

A missed opportunity to tell what should be a captivating real-life disaster tale that is instead plodding, scattershot, and lacking in dramatic impetus. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

In 2010, as you may recall from the news, 33 men were trapped thousands of feet underground when the Chilean gold mine they were working in collapsed. They had minimal supplies, and, at first, no way of even letting those aboveground know that they were still alive. When they finally emerged 69 days later, it was the result of a global effort, and was seen on TV around the planet by more than a billion people. Basically, it’s The Martian times 33, except real. So it’s a shame that The 33 is a missed opportunity to tell what should be a
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Through the Looking-Glass…Top 200 Most Anticipated Films of 2017: #6. Walter Hill’s Tomboy, A Revenger’s Tale

Tomboy, A Revenger’s Tale

Director: Walter Hill

Writers: Walter Hill, Denis Hamill

Following a remarkable year in cinematic transgender representation with films like Sean Baker’s Tangerine, Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, and Gaby Dellal’s About Ray, not to mention prolific public figures such as Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox maintaining notable visibility, positive depictions of the transgender community have marked 2015 as a watershed year. But not unlike the first wave queer theory which bitterly criticized historically negative depictions of Lgbt characters prior to the early 90s New Queer Cinema movement, Trans representation is under increased scrutiny, which results in severe cultural policing. One of the reasons we fail to see queer characters utilized in contemporary genre film is due to an exploitative history we’ve been unable to divorce ourselves from, those unseemly memories of demeaning cinematic representation. Comedy and horror were once the only ‘low
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U.N.C.L.E.: Will International Moviegoers Save WB's Domestic Box Office Flop?

'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' 2015: Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' movie is a domestic box office bomb: Will it be saved by international filmgoers? Directed by Sherlock Holmes' Guy Ritchie and toplining Man of Steel star Henry Cavill and The Lone Ranger costar Armie Hammer, the Warner Bros. release The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has been a domestic box office disaster, performing about 25 percent below – already quite modest – expectations. (See also: “'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Movie: Bigger Box Office Flop Than Expected.”) This past weekend, the $80 million-budget The Man from U.N.C.L.E. collected a meager $13.42 million from 3,638 North American theaters, averaging $3,689 per site. After five days out, the big-screen reboot of the popular 1960s television series starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum has taken in a mere $16.77 million. For comparison's sake:
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WB Drops Another Bomb: 'U.N.C.L.E.' Flops Disastrously in North America

'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' with Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' box office: Bigger domestic flop than expected? Before I address the box office debacle of Warner Bros.' The Man from U.N.C.L.E., I'd like remark upon the fact that 2015 has been a notable year at the North American box office. That's when the dinosaurs of Jurassic World smashed Hulk and his fellow Halloween-costumed Marvel superheroes of Avengers: Age of Ultron. And smashed them good: $636.73 million vs. $457.52 million. (See also: 'Jurassic World' beating 'The Avengers' worldwide and domestically?) At least in part for sentimental (or just downright morbid) reasons – Paul Walker's death in a car accident in late 2013 – Furious 7 has become by far the highest-grossing The Fast and the Furious movie in the U.S. and Canada: $351.03 million. (Shades of Heath Ledger's unexpected death
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Cry U.N.C.L.E.: TV Series Reboot Starring Superman and Lone Ranger One of Year's Biggest Domestic Bombs

'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' with Henry Cavill. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' box office: Hollywood's third domestic bomb in a row Right on the heels of Chris Columbus-Adam Sandler's Pixels and Josh Trank's Fantastic Four comes The Man from U.N.C.L.E., a big screen adaptation of the 1960s television series, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Man of Steel hero Henry Cavill and The Lone Ranger costar Armie Hammer. (See updated follow-up post: “'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Movie Box Office: Bigger Bomb Than Expected.”) Budgeted at a reported $88 million, to date Pixels has collected a mere $61.11 million in North America. Overseas things are a little better: an estimated $73.6 million as of Aug. 9, for a worldwide total of approx. $134.71 million. Sounds profitable? Well, not yet. First of all, let's not forget that distributor
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Avengers: Age of Ultron movie review: mad science fiction

Not without problems, but continues the Avengers tradition of big, bold blockbusters that don’t need to toss away thoughtfulness to remain pure popcorn fun. I’m “biast” (pro): love the Marvel movies

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Sneaky superhero movie! It was another caped-crusader tradition that gave us the idea that heroes who don’t die in the line of duty live to become villains, but it took The Avengers to let it play out onscreen. The bad guys in Age of Ultron? Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. For real.

In Tony’s case, his villainy is externalized in Ultron, an AI creation that he has been working on for years but which he can finally bring to fruition now that the Avengers have reacquired Loki’s wondrous scepter from what’s left of Hydra (this is the
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

January 13th Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include Honeymoon, At the Earth’s Core

  • DailyDead
Happy Tuesday the 13th! This week’s home entertainment releases are an eclectic bunch but we’ve got a lot of fun titles to look forward to including two sci-fi classics- At the Earth’s Core and Supernova- as well several recent indie titles including Honeymoon and Jessabelle.

Spotlight Titles:

At the Earth’s Core (Kino Lorber, Blu-ray)

They’re in it Deep now! Murderous monsters, scantily clad prehistoric playmates and telepathic pterodactyls inhabit the center of our world in this colorful fantasy-adventure about a manned “drill-craft” boring its way to the center of the Earth! Starring sci-fi superstars Doug McClure (The Land That Time Forgot), Peter Cushing (Nothing But the Night) and Caroline Munro (Maniac), this subterranean chiller is the most endearingly whimsical entertainment on – or under – the planet’s surface! There’s more than lava at the Earth’s core. There’s also Pellucidar: an underground empire
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DVD/Bluray Review: Supernova

Scream Factory has been releasing a pretty steady amount of hits when it comes to releasing some genuinely great (and most of the time, beloved) long lost, out of print or just fan favorite films from the ’70s/’80s and all of the way up to films of today. Most of the time, the releases are warranted and fans celebrate getting HD transfers of films they hold dear…most of the time.

Fast forward to Supernova, the James Spader and Angela Bassett-led 2000 sci-fi horror film that was marred by multiple directors, editors, reshoots and eventually the miracle of being released, given its circumstances. While most genre fans might pass on this one, it’s an interesting release from a company that always has some nifty tricks up their sleeves, even if said tricks is releasing one of the most confusingly studio-tampered films of all time.

Supernova (2000)

The Film:

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Supernova Explodes This January

Scream Factory™ Presents


On Blu-ray January 13, 2015

In the farthest reaches of space, something has been waiting…

Scream Factory has announced the release of sci-fi thriller Supernova on January 13, 2015. Arriving for the first time on Blu-ray, this release comes complete with bonus content, featuring The Making of Supernova¸ with new interviews with actors Lou Diamond Phillips and Robert Forster, producer Daniel Chuba and filmmaker … Continue reading →
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Supernova Blu-ray Release Details & Cover Art

  • DailyDead
The crew aboard the medical rescue spaceship Nightingale 9 roams the outer limits of deep space, keeping an ear tuned to the void around them for cries of help. When one such signal finds them, they rescue a mysterious man and his intriguing relic. The crew’s kindness could be their downfall, however, as their new guest has hellish plans to fulfill in Supernova, coming soon to Blu-ray via Scream Factory.

Press Release - “In the farthest reaches of space, something has been waiting…

Scream Factory has announced the release of sci-fi thriller Supernova on January 13, 2015. Arriving for the first time on Blu-ray, this release comes complete with bonus content, featuring The Making of Supernova¸ with new interviews with actors Lou Diamond Phillips and Robert Forster, producer Daniel Chuba and filmmaker Jack Sholder.

Beyond comprehension, beyond imagination and beyond the deepest regions of this galaxy…life as we know it is about to end!
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Scream Factory Heads Into Supernova This January!;Full Specs

While this one might seem odd to some of you fright fanatics, I for one, am completely excited to see Scream Factory’s upcoming Bluray of 2000’s Supernova. The James Spader-led sic-fi/horror film was notorious for it’s reshoots/editing, and it’s a mystery whether Walter Hill or Jack Sholder really directed the film (after forced reshoots, Hill disowned the film and used the pseudonym “Thomas Lee”), but with all of that being said, it’s always been quite the entertaining genre film, and the gang at Sf are giving the brand new Bluray to fans on January 13th. No word on whether the PG-13 or the R-rated version will be on the disc, but as soon as we know, you will!

“Beyond comprehension, beyond imagination and beyond the deepest regions of this galaxy…life as we know it is about to end! James Spader (The Blacklist
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Scream Factory Announces Handful of Upcoming Titles Featuring Vampires, Spader and Punks!

As if we weren’t excited enough about Scream Factory‘s upcoming lineup of titles making their Bluray debuts, the gang at Sf have decided to make horror fans’ mouths water even more, with a handful of announcements regarding even More upcoming titles set to be unleashed in the near future. Not only do we get an update on the final release date on Sf’s Vault Of Horror/Tales From The Crypt double feature, but it’s official that Voh will be the uncut version!

Personally, I’m a fan of most of the films in the announcements, so obviously I’ll be jumping at them when they hit. The amount of times I watched Once Bitten as a kid is in the triple digit amount, so the announcement of the Love At First Bite/Once Bitten double is enough to make me smile from ear to ear. I
See full article at Icons of Fright »

The Berlinale and Efm from my Pov

You hear it all the time: Quality a bit soft. Not a lot of Big Titles. Not a lot of Big News. But Americans were buying all the same, and to quote Screen International: “The current market is focused on smart money and smart deals, not volume of product”. Business at Afm was also solid though unspectacular. Moreover, the pre-buying of projects may be below the radar of this $3 billion business of international film buying and selling. TrustNordisk’s CEO Rikke Ennis says that 70% of their films are pre-sold. As you look at the upcoming Winter Rights Roundup due out in two weeks from, you will notice many of the films have been pre-buys this market and many films screening were already pre-sold during Afm in November.

And for all the complaints about Berlin, many sales agents set up private screenings before the market kicked off. What is that about?

Beki Probst, who has run the Efm since 1988, responded to the many media reports of a quieter market in an interview with ScreenDaily which sounds almost the same as the one she gave in 2009.

Quoting her current statement which I take the liberty of quoting here as it appears in Screen:

“I think that there was a good movement of business this year,” she said. In the opinion of Probst, there had been a muddying of the distinction between the Efm and the more general term of the ‘market’.

“Daphné Kapfer of Europa International representing 35 sales agents said that it was a very good Berlin, and Glen Basner of FilmNation commented that it was ‘the best Berlin’.

“Even Harvey Weinstein came just for 24 hours to sign a $7m check, and Aloft was bought by Sony Pictures Classics.

“It’s the players, and not the market, that is important. The players come here if they have the right line-up. All we can do is provide the best infrastructure, but what happens after that is up to them.”

"Sales agents were not sitting idle at their stands if one takes the example of one company in the Martin Gropius Bau: the CEO met with 90 buyers and the members of staff responsible for marketing had no less than 180 meetings in addition to ad-hoc discussions at events in the evenings."

Coproductions are the engine driving the business these days.

This year’s Berlinale Co-Production Market ended after two-and-a-half days with awards handed out to projects from Kazakhstan and Belgium.

The €6,000 Arte International Prize went to Kazakh film-maker Emir Baigazin’s planned second feature The Wounded Angel, the second part of a trilogy after his Silver Bear-winning Harmony Lessons. The €1.2m Almaty-based Kazakhfilm Jsc production has already attracted France’s Capricci Production as a co-producer and has backing in place from the Doha Film Institute and the Hubert Bals Fund.

The €10,000 Vff Talent Highlight Pitch Award was presented to Belgian director Bavo Defurne for his romantic dramedy Souvenir. The €2m co-production by Oostende-based Indeed Films with Belgium’s Frakas Productions and Germany’s Karibufilm already has backing from Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Cinefinance and public broadcaster Vrt/ Een.

India-Norway’s $55 million film to be directed by Hans Petter Moland (In Order of Disappearance)’s The Indian Bride is an exciting example of an unusual pairing of countries.

Bavaria and Senator’s joint venture Bavaria Pictures’ The Postcard Killers to be directed by Mexican director Everardo Gout shows the international expansion of talent.

The Hungary-Austria-Germany co-production of Stefan Zweig’s Beware of Pity, or U.K.-Lithuania action comedy Redirected being sold by Content brings unusual European partners together.

U.S. born Damian John Harper’s coproduction with the German producers, brothers Jakob and Jonas Weydemann, on Los Angeles will be followed by In the Middle of the River now being developed with Zdf’s Das Kleine Fernsehspiel unit.

Shoreline’s The Infinite Man produced with Australia’s Hedone Productions in association with Bonsai Films with investment from South Australia Film Corporation through its Filmlab funding initiative, development assistance from Screen Australia is also a new sort of pairing.

Film and Music Entertainment (F&Me), Bac Films, 20 Steps Productions and Bruemmer & Herzog’s The President is shooting in Tbilisi, Georgia and is being directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

Italian-Canadian producer Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi’s Sights of Death starring Danny Glover, Daryl Hannah, Rutger Hauer, Stephen Baldwin and Michael Madsen is directed by Allessandro Capone in Rome.

The Spain-u.K. co-production Second Origin is based on the best selling Catalan novel Mecanoscrit Del Segon Orgen.

The Golden Bear Winner Black Coal, Thin Ice is a Boneyard Entertainment (New York & Hong Kong) co-production with Boneyard Entertainment China (Bec), Omnijoi Media (Jiangsu, China), China Film co-production.

A sign of the times is the Swedish Film in Berlin advertisement which lists all Swedish co-productions:

In Competition: In Order of DisappearanceOut of Competition: NymphomaniacBerlinale Special: Someone You Love Generation Kplus: A Christmoose StoryPerspektive Deutsches Kino: Lamento

All are with European co-producers as is Antboy a Danish-German co-production.

One of my favorites is Gallows Hill, being sold by Im Global and already picked up by IFC for U.S. Starring Twilight actor Peter Facinelli, U.K. actress Sophia Myles, Nathalia Ramos and Colombian model and actress Carolina Guerra, it was entirely financed from within Colombia by television network Rcn’s affiliate Five 7 Media which produced with Peter Block's A Bigger Boat, David Higgins and Angelique Higgins' Launchpad Productions and Andrea Chung. The screenplay was written by Rich D’Ovidio ( The Call, Thir13en Ghosts) about a widower who takes his children on a trip to their mother’s Colombian hometown.

Another interesting combo is the Australian-Singapore co-production Canopy being sold by Odin’s Eye which was acquired by Kaleidoscope for U.K., by Kinosmith for Canada and Odin’s Eye itself for Australia. After its Tiff 2013 premiere, Monterrey acquired U.S. rights.

Cathedrals of Culture, was produced by Wim Wenders’ production company: Neue Road Movies in Germany and co-produced by Final Cut For Real (Denmark), Lotus Film (Austria), Mer Film (Norway), Les Films d'Ici 2 (France), Sundance Productions / RadicalMedia (U.S.), Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg In collaboration with Arte (Germany and France) and Wowow (Japan).

Grand Budapest Hotel is a co-production of Scott Rudin in U.S. and Studio Babelsburg in Germany.

Wouldn't you say there had to be an awful lot of business going on? If only the media knew where to look for it. Instead, they moan the same old tired tune, "Quality a bit soft. Not a lot of Big Titles. Not a lot of Big News". Oh well...

Efm Coproduction Market

Asian producer Raymond Phathanavirangoon, who was pitching the Hong Kong comedy Grooms by writer-director Arvin Chen at the Berlin Coproduction Market, announced that Germany’s augenschein filmproduktion will be a coproducer on Singaporean director Boo Junfeng’s second feature Apprentice. The film has already received backing from France’s World Cinema Support, the Film- und Medienstiftung Nrw of Germany and Germany's second network, Zdf’s Das kleine fernsehspiel unit. It also has Cinema Defacto as its French co-producer. Junfeng’s first film, Sandcastle, was screened at the Critics’ Week in Cannes in 2010.

Cologne-based augenschein, who produced Maximilian Leo’s My Brother’s Keeper, the opening film of this year’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino and is handled internationally by Media Luna, is currently in post-production on Romanian filmmaker Florin Serban’s Box, his second feature after the 2010 Berlinale Competition film If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle.

Argentinian filmmaker Santiago Mitre whose debut The Student established him as one of the brightest and most courted young directors in Latin America was in the Co-production Market with his untitled second feature which France’s Full House connected to along with Argentina’s Union de los Rio, Argentine broadcast network Telefe, Ignacio Viale and the ubiquitous Lita Stantic.

Full House was also at the Coproduction Market with Peter Webber’s Fresh about a young thief learning the art of pickpocketing in Bogota, Colombia. It will be co-produced with Rcn affiliate Five 7 Media and 4Direcciones in Colombia and by Webber himself.

Raymond van der Kaaij, the producer of Tamar van den Dop’s Panorama title Supernova, is now financing Sundance winner Ernesto Contreras’ next feature I Dream In Another Language. The Spanish-English language project will be produced with Mexico-based Agencia Sha, and it is now casting the American lead according to producer van der Kaaij of Revolver Amsterdam. Developed at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and the winner of the Sundance-Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, I Dream has already received support from Imcine in Mexico. Shooting is scheduled in Mexico for the end of 2014.

Revolver is now editing Bodkin Ras, the debut film of Iranian-Dutch director Kaweh Modiri, an English-language documentary-thriller set in North Scotland. The Dutch-Belgian-u.K. coproduction is set for release at the end of 2014.

Finnish film-maker Jukka-Pekka Valkeapaa’s is editing his latest feature They Have Escaped, which Revolver coproduced with Helsinki Film.

Trend of smart art genres

Another continuing trend, which began with Xyz and Celluloid Nightmares and continued with Memento, is the character-driven art genre films with tight budgets, like the Danish coming-of-age-werewolf-romance, When Animals Dream, directed by first timer Jonas Arnby, sold by Gaumont to Radius-twc for No. Americ. The Scandinavians, formerly making a mark with "Nordic Noir" are now making what they call "Nordic Twilight".

Trend of remake rights

Another trend is that of remake rights. Film Sharks reports it makes more from selling remake rights than from licensing distribution rights.

The Intouchables is selling remake rights to more countries than only India as is the sale of Other Angle’s Babysitting remake rights. Negotiations are underway with Russia, Italy and Germany.

Fruit Chan is considering an English language remake of his 2004 cult horror film Dumplings.

The market is bit too calm?…Then let us look at Cannes…

Usually by Afm you can begin the Tipped for Cannes List (which Gilles Jacob detested), but even that is a little on the quiet side. I begin to question whether all media fueled news is accurate: the slow sales being reported, the lack of pre-Cannes buzz… Is the media really investigating deeply?

Of all the trades, while Screen has the most international news and deepest analyses, Variety reports things no other trade is covering. But…still the non-news of a quiet market persists as if it were headline news. We always hear this and we are still in an economic slump, so what we wish for is not apparent, but this is not news.

Tipped for Cannes

Tipped for Cannes are Zhang Yimou’s Coming Home staring Gong Li and to be sold by Wild Bunch, Stealth’s First Law starring Mads Mikkelsen (Cannes 2012 Best Actor Award for The Hunt); Self Made (Boreg) by Shira Geffen and to be sold by Westend, shot in Hebrew and Arabic by the production and sales team behind Oscar nominated 2011 drama Footnote, the second film after Geffen’s 2007 debut Jellyfish which won the Cannes Camera d’Or. MK2’s Clouds of Sils Maria by Olivier Assayas and starring Juliette Binoche, Chloe Grace Moretz and Kristen Stewart, and Naomi Kawase’s Still the Water will be delivered in time for Cannes. Pyramide International is plannng for Leviathan, a modern retelling of the biblical story which deals with some of Russia’s most important social issues to be ready for Cannes. It is directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev and produced by Alexander Rodnyansky (Stalingrad) as their followup to Elena. Gaumont-cj co-production, The Target, the Korean remake of Fred Cavaye’s action thriller Point Blank will be ready in time for Cannes.

Rumors and truths about people changing positions

Rumors about Dieter Kosslick replacing Berlin’s Culture Secretary who resigned after a tax evasion scandal in which he admitted to stashing $575,000 in a Swiss bank account…Charlotte Mickie has left eOne and knowing her, she is bound to find something good elsewhere as she's too good to lose...StudioCanals Harold van Lier now leads eOne’s newly ramped international sales team and Montreal based Anick Poirier leads its subsidiary label, Seville International. Jeff Nuyts is leaving Intramovies. Nigel Sinclair and Guy East seem to be leaving Exclusive Media the company they founded as discussions with partners from Dasym Investment Strategies Bv move forward. Kevin Hoiseth from Voltage Pictures has joined International Film Trust as their director of international sales...and of course, Nadine de Barros has founded her own company, Fortitude, and was holding court at the Ritz Carlton the buzziest spot outside of the Martin Gropius Bau.

What I Saw and What I Thought

For what it's worth, here is my limited list of screenings of films seen only in the last 3 days of the festival when I was no longer "working". I am including some I actually saw at Sundance.

First and foremost -- and to be written about further in a "thought piece" as I term the articles I think long about before writing and to include my interview with the director Goran Hugo Olsson's (The Black Power Mixtapes winner of Sundance 2011 World Cinema Documentary Film Editing Award) -- Concerning Violence (Isa: Films Boutique, U.S.: Cinetic), based on Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth and seen at Sundance this year next to Stanley Nelson's outstanding Freedom Summer (PBS) and Greg Barker's We Are The Giant (Submarine), is a call to action for new societal models ringing out loud and clear.

Golden Bear Winner, Black Coal, Thin Ice by Diao Yinan, a Chinese noir, lacked the momentum and substance I would have expected in a winning film, though it was a fascinating way to see today's urban China. Had I been on the jury, I would have chosen the Best Director Award winning Boyhood (Isa: IFC) by Richard Linklater. But perhaps because James Schamus, an American who loves Chinese films, was President of the Jury, there might have arisen a question of disinterested objectivity. I would have to hear what jurists Barbara Broccoli, Trine Dyrhom, Chistoph Waltz, Tony Leung, Greta Gerwig, Mitra Farahani and Michel Gondry would have to say about the deliberations.

Speaking of jury prizes, it was a surprise the much acclaimed '71 (Isa: Protagonist, now headed by our dear Mike Goodridge) won nothing, and good Alain Renais' Life of Riley (Isa: Le Pacte) received recognition. I found Christophe Gans' La belle et la bete (Beauty and the Beast) (Isa: Pathe) an overproduced unwieldy special effects-ridden mess, even though it was exec-produced by Jérôme Seydoux who also produced the masterpiece La Grande Belleza (The Great Beauty), and starred his granddaughter Lea Seydoux. I'll stand by Cocteau's versoin. I heard Claudia Llosa (Milk of Sorrow)'s Aloft was also not widely admired.

About the best actress winning film The Little House (Isa: Shochiku could have marketed it more widely), I heard nothing at all, though it sounds really good. Kreuzweg (Stations of the Cross) (Isa: Beta) by brother and sister team Anna and Dietrich Brueggemann (any relation to our own Tom Brueggeman?) had a satisfying denouement and was quite engrossing with moments of humor lightening the heavy weight of the cross carried by 14 year old Maria played by Lea van Acken, a picture face out of a George de la Tour painting (Magdeline with a Smoking Flame or A Piece of Art). Macondo (Isa: Films Boutique - again! ) by Sudabeh Mortezai of Austria was a window on a world never seen before and very engrossing although the coming of age story was one we have seen before.

Not sorry to say I missed The Monuments Men and Nymphomaniac Volume I, but sorry that I missed Beloved Sisters (Isa: Global Screen) of Dominik Graf, The Grand Budapest Hotel (will see it in U.S.), Argentinian Benjamin Naishat's History of Fear (Isa: Visit) -- I'll catch it in Carthegena, Guadalajara or San Sebastian I'm sure, Jack, In Order of Disappearance which sounds like the sleeper hit of the festival, Argentinan (again!) La tercera orilla (The Third Side of the River), Lou Ye's Tui Na (Blind Massage) and Rachid Bouchareb's Two Men in Town (Isa: Pathe - again!), which I heard was rather flat which is not surprising, for when non-Americans try to make an American genre, it usually misses a certain verve, but still is such an interesting subject for him to tackle, Zwischen Welten (Inbetween Worlds) (Isa: The Match Factory) from Germany, another "American" subject, but here about a German soldier in Afghanistan, not an American one.

Among the Berlinale Specials, I wish I had seen Nancy Buirski's Afternoon of a Faun which everyone said was good (Isa: Cactus Three the doc production company of Krysanne Katsoolis and Caroline Stevens) and Volker Schloendorff's 1969 Brecht piece Baal starring Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Margarethe von Trotta. I did see his Diplomacy (Isa: Gaumont) which was a great treat, erudite, intimate and reminiscent of the novels of Sandor Marai (Embers and Casanova in Bolzano). Wish I could have seen Wim Wenders' Cathedrals of Culture (Isa: Cinephil), Diego Luna's Cesar Chavez (Isa: Mundial) and In the Courtyard aka Dans la cours (Isa: Wild Bunch) starring Catherine Deneuve and The Kidnapping of Michel Houllebecq (Isa: Le Pacte - again!!). I will see The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden (Isa: The Film Sales Company) by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller, produced by Jonathan Dana, Dayna Goldfine, Dan Geller and Celeste Schaefer Snyder (Ballets Russes), back home. The Turning (Isa: Level K), an experimental omnibus produced by my favorite Australian producer, Robert Connelly who also directed in part and Maggie Myles, is also a must-see as is Errol Morris' companion piece to The Fog of War, The Unknown Known (Isa: HanWay) and Houssein Amini's Two Faces of January (Isa: StudioCanal) starring my favorites Viggo Mortenson and Kirsten Dunst. We Come as Friends (Isa: Le Pacte), by Hubert Sauper whose earlier film Darwin's Destiny astounded me, was worth watching although so often his films plunge one into a hopeless helplessness. Fresh from Sundance, it was raising controversy and the story of the Sudan is worth knowing. His particular and peculiar Pov is valuable. Watermark (Isa: Entertainment One), another social issue worth knowing about will have to wait for a more propitious time. Personally I'm hoping Israel's current venture into desalination of water will lead the world into peace and that I will rejoice watching the doc about that.

Difret (Isa: Films Boutique - again!), fresh from Sundance where I saw it was really good and it sold well. I got to hang out with the team at the Panorama party. Gueros (Isa: Mundial - again!), was a disappointment -- too like The Year of the Nail (though different) in tone. But what a great company Canana is!

Panorama's Finding Vivian Maier (Isa: HanWay - again!) is brilliantly interesting. It is about to be released in U.S. by IFC. I highly recommend seeing this documentary about an eccentric, unknown photographer. It premiered at Tiff 2013. Fresh from Sundance where it won a Special Jury Prize, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (Isa: Submarine) was a treasure; Velvet Terrorists was about the oddest piece I have ever seen. About three former opponents of the Czechoslovakian Soviet Regime, each has continued to enjoy blowing up things. One is still training the next generation in urban guerilla warfare. They are otherwise unremarkable, sweet even, but twisted. What an odd documentary.

A quick look at the Market Films I have seen: of the 400+ premieres: Zero -- no I did see German Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, Two Lives (Isa: Beta), and I will soon be home to celebrate its nomination at the famous Villa Aurora, the former home of German expatriate writer Leon Feuchtwanger. So many more films look sooooo attractive! A pity I may never get to see them. I would need all the time in the world, and I have so little. I have so much and yet I want more!
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Interview: Out Singer-Songwriter Eric Himan On Pride, Musical Independence, And Gay Heroes

(Photo courtesy Eric Himan)

Eric Himan is a tattooed rocker from Tulsa, but his approach to songwriting is folkier than you’d expect, jazzy in a timeless way, and consummately sensitive. The out musician has also written many songs that represent a specifically gay point of view, and that still qualifies as a novel and kickass idea in 2013. He values his personal perspective and independence, and that comes across loud and clear — albeit breezily — in his cool and distinct music.

Himan’s new album Gracefully showcases that fierce honesty, and the disc’s striking video “Red Hot Tears” tells you almost everything you need to know about him: He’s commanding even when he’s announcing a teary-eyed weakness. And as you might remember, I personally can’t get enough of the song.

We caught up with Himan to discuss his songwriting influences, living in Tulsa, and his gay artistic hero of choice.
See full article at The Backlot »

A zombie blockbuster that refuses to die

Brad Pitt's star power helps his new film avoid disaster. So what does it take to make a genuine modern mega-flop?

You can almost taste the disappointment in the air: World War Z turned out all right, after all. "Advanced word said [it] was the walking dead. This was the giant zombie turkey, come screeching from the shadows to tear the careers of director Marc Forster and producer/star Brad Pitt to shreds," wrote Henry Barnes in this paper, before admitting the film to be "a punchy, if conventional action thriller".

As anyone who understands the ecosphere of Hollywood will know, this was most ungentlemanly of Pitt, the only thing keeping the press alive during the wall-to-wall marketing jamboree of the summer being the slim hope that one film will mount the diving board and execute a perfect triple summersault and twist, before going splat on to the concrete. With bear-baiting now illegal,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Walter Hill Movies: Ranking The Director's Five Best Films (Videos)

This week "Bullet to the Head" hits the big screen and marks the long awaited return of a singular voice in American film, Walter Hill. His first film since 2002's marginal prison boxing movie "Undisputed," Hill is probably best known for his role in Ridley Scott's "Alien." Hill produced and co-wrote (with frequent collaborator David Giler) the original script, adding in the Ash reveal and developing the characters more fully. (Together with Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis, Giler and Hill would co-create the highly influential "Tales from the Crypt" TV series; Hill would direct three of the series' most memorable episodes, including the pilot.) As a writer/director, Hill has had a long and varied career. On the eve of the release of "Bullet to the Head," we thought we would run down his five best films. In recent years, Hill's surly disposition has gotten the better of him,
See full article at Moviefone »

Metal Tornado (2012)

Directed by: Gordon Yang

Written by: Andrew Erin and Jason Bourque

Featuring: Lou Diamond Phillips, Nicole de Boer, Greg Evigan, Sophie Gendron

I live in an extraordinary time; I have had the rare privilege of being born at the exact right moment that would allow me to watch the rise, and fall, of Lou Diamond Phillip’s stardom.

Ever since I saw him at his height in Young Guns (almost as brilliant as the sequel, Young Guns II), just a scant few years after his portrayal of '50s rocker Ritchie Valens, I have secretly been saddened by his waning acting career.

I think it was 1999’s Bats that killed it. Or was it Walter Hill’s Supernova? Either way, it has never been the same. He’s gone the way of Judd Nelson and C. Thomas Howell. His latest starring role in Metal Tornado is perhaps his greatest B-movie role,
See full article at Planet Fury »

Sci-fi cinema’s freakiest vortex moments

A sci-fi movie wouldn’t be the same without a hypnotic journey through time and space. Here’s our celebration of cinema’s finest genre vortexes...

It’s a given that any sci-fi protagonist will, at some point in their adventures, descend into a kind of churning whirlpool in space. The experience is probably an entry requirement in the sci-fi hero private smoking room, if such a thing exists. “What? You haven’t been through a vortex of flashing lights? You haven’t stared at the benighted abyss which lies beyond death? Get out. Get out of sci-fi hero club.”

Science fiction is all about poking at the edges of human experience. And sometimes, about what might happen if we head off into the depths of space. What - or who - might we find? Does space loop back on itself, so your ship effectively appears on the other side
See full article at Den of Geek »
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