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Review: Charles Chaplin's "The Circus" (1928); Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

  • CinemaRetro
“Big Top Hilarity”

By Raymond Benson

Finally! Chaplin fans can rejoice that The Criterion Collection has at last released the long-awaited missing entry in their run of excellent Blu-ray and DVD editions of the filmmaker’s feature films. For a while it appeared that The Circus, one of the auteur’s best and certainly, arguably, his funniest picture, was forgotten, as it’s been a few years since Criterion’s last Chaplin release. Now… here it is.

The Circus was made just as Hollywood was beginning the transition from silents to talkies. There were still plenty of silent pictures being produced in 1928, and the move to sound wouldn’t be seriously completed until 1930. Ironically, Chaplin chose to make an additional silent comedy in 1931, City Lights, and a semi-silent movie, Modern Times, in 1936!

Charlie is The Tramp, of course. Broke and penniless, he wanders near a traveling circus and, while eluding
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Sundance 2013: The Lifeguard Review

You can go home again, but you probably shouldn't.  Sometimes, when backed into a corner, we have no choice to retreat in order to regroup, but there's hardly anything rejuvenating about crawling under the covers in your old bedroom.  Liz A. Garcia's The Lifeguard indulges its childish main character's wish fulfillment as a deranged kind of emotional growth where the protagonist can make hypocritical statements to a kid that doesn't know any better.  The only real attempt at character development comes from a desperate dramatic ploy in the film's final ten minutes that closes out this deluded coming-of-age tale. Leigh London (Kristen Bell) feels like her life is coming apart.  She fell in love with a guy who was already in a relationship, her journalism job for the AP is unfulfilling, and New York City is bringing her down.  When she reports on a tiger that died after being shackled in an apartment,
See full article at Collider.com »

2011 Sundance Line-Up Announced

It has been another great year of film. I still have but seven movies left to watch before I complete my “Best of the Year List” but we are already looking towards 2011.

The 57 feature films selected for the four competition programs of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival were announced today, and the titles include some exciting works from returning filmmakers. While the lineup isn’t has loaded with big names it does feature the return of James Marsh whose documentary Man on Wire won the Grand Jury Prize at the fest in 2008. Some interesting movies we should mention that appear on the list are Mike Cahill’s Another Earth, Carlos Moreno’s All Our Dead One (Todos Tus Muertos), Anne Sewitsky’s sexual drama Happy, Happy (Sykt Lykkelig) Rashaad Ernesto Green‘s Gun Hill Road, Sean Durkin‘s Martha Marcy May Marlene, Andrew Okpeaha MacLean‘s On the Ice, Dee Rees
See full article at SoundOnSight »

First Slate Of Films Are Released For The 2011 Sundance Film Festival

It's the first day in December, and whether you want to recognize it or not, January isn't too far away. Today the awesome folks at the Sundance Film Festival unveiled their first list of films, international and domestic, which will be presented at the festival. Check it out, and yes there are more to come. Sundance Institute announced today the lineup of films selected to screen in the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. In addition to the four Competition Categories, the Festival presents films in six out-of-competition sections to be announced on December 2. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival runs January 20-30 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.For the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, 115 feature-length films were selected, representing 28 countries by 40 first-time filmmakers, including 25 in competition. These films were selected from 3,812 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,943 U.S. and 1,869 international feature-length films.
See full article at LRM Online »

Sundance 2011 announces competition titles

As we’re getting ready to wrap up another great year of film, some are already looking to 2011 and what it will have to offer and what better way to look a head than with the first round of titles for the year’s first big festival: Sundance.

The list of festival titles isn’t as loaded with as many big name titles as have made the cut in previous years but there’s are definitely some interesting film in the competition line-up including Mike Cahill’s Another Earth which takes place on the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth (wicked!), Carlos Moreno’s All Our Dead One (Todos Tus Muertos) about a guy who finds a pile of dead bodies in the middle of his crops, Anne Sewitsky’s sexual drama Happy, Happy (Sykt Lykkelig) along with the Canadian/Japanese co-production Vampire.

Loads of great stuff on the line-up.
See full article at QuietEarth »

2011 Sundance Film Festival Competition Films Announced

The announcement of the movies playing the 2011 Sundance Film Festival is like looking into our film futures. It's December and most movie fans are looking back at the last 12 months, picking out award winners, writing top ten lists, and chances are we haven't even heard of the Sundance films. They're just titles, people, words on a computer screen. Then in January they unspool on screens across Park City, Utah and become something more. Finally, months later, these are the movies we discuss with our friends and choose on ballots at awards parties. Yet we get to read about them now, a year in advance. Last year at this time, who had heard of Four Lions, Catfish, Exit Through The Gift Shop, Blue Valentine, The Kids Are All Right, Winter's Bone, Restrepo or Animal Kingdom? Sundance, that's who. All those films screened at the 2010 festival and now many have become not only personal favorites,
See full article at Slash Film »

Sundance Film Festival 2011 Competition Line-Up Announced!

The Sundance Film Festival has announced the films in competition for the awesome and cold film festival running January 20th through January 30th 2011 in Park City, Utah.

This will be my third year attending the festival, and I'm really excited for it! There's a great line-up of films this year! Check out the list below!

From the press release:

Sundance Institute announced today the lineup of films selected to screen in the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. In addition to the four Competition Categories, the Festival presents films in six out-of-competition sections to be announced on December 2. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival runs January 20-30 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

On Day One, the Festival will forego the convention of one opening night film and instead screen one narrative film and one documentary from both the U.
See full article at GeekTyrant »

2011 Sundance Film Festival Announces Films in Competition

Park City, Ut . Sundance Institute announced today the lineup of films selected to screen in the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. In addition to the four Competition Categories, the Festival presents films in six out-of-competition sections to be announced on December 2. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival runs January 20-30 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The complete list of films is available at http://www.sundance.org/.

On Day One, the Festival will forego the convention of one opening night film and instead screen one narrative film and one documentary from both the U.S. and World Cinema competitions, as well as one shorts program.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival said, .The Festival is a challenge to narrowly define. It is all at once exciting, fun, crazy, engaging, visceral, and sometimes even painful. We can explain storylines,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Sundance 2011: It Begins

  • IFC
Here's the first Sundance line-up announcement, of the fiction and nonfiction feature competitions, both U.S. and world. A few things of interest, on first scan: Vera Farmiga's directorial debut "Higher Ground," in which she also stars; "The Ledge," which sounds like this year's try for "Buried"; Iñupiaq Arctic thriller "On the Ice"; "Terri," the new film from "Momma's Man" director; Michael Rapaport's doc on A Tribe Called Quest "Beats, Rhymes and Life"; doc about the beloved Muppet "Being Elmo"; "If A Tree Falls," a new film from "Street Fight"'s Marshall Curry; Paddy Considine's feature directorial debut "Tyrannosaur"; and "Vampire," the new film from Japan's Shunji Iwai, a favorite of mine.

Descriptions courtesy of the festival:

U.S. Dramatic Competition

Another Earth (Director: Mike Cahill; Screenwriters: Mike Cahill and Brit Marling) - On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, a horrible tragedy
See full article at IFC »

2011 Sundance Film Festival In-Competition Line-Up Announced

The films playing in-competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival have been announced. Some of this year’s competitors include Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut Higher Ground, Paddy Considine’s feature directorial debut Tyrannosaur, Matthew Chapman’s thriller The Ledge, Michael Rapaport’s documentary Beats, Rhymes and Life (which is about the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest), and a documentary about lovable Sesame Street resident Elmo (or rather, his puppeteer).

However, the movies playing in-competition at Sundance are only a fraction of the total number of films that play at the festival. This will be my first year attending the festival and I’m super-excited about going. Hit the jump for a full list of the in-competition films. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 20 – 30th.

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U.S. Dramatic Competition

Another Earth (Director: Mike Cahill; Screenwriters: Mike Cahill and Brit Marling) – On the
See full article at Collider.com »

2011 Sundance Film Festival lineup to world premiere 92 films

HollywoodNews.com: The 2011 Sundance Film Festival has just announced its lineup for January. John Cooper, director of Sundance Film Festival, said, “With more than 10,000 films submitted this year, we have had to make some very tough choices. Yet in the end, I’m excited about the way the program has come together. It’s an incredible honor to introduce these films and filmmaker…these are the stories that will define not only our Festival, but also the cultural year ahead.”

Sundance Institute announced today the lineup of films selected to screen in the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. In addition to the four Competition Categories, the Festival presents films in six out-of-competition sections to be announced on December 2. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival runs January 20-30 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

On Day One, the Festival will
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Sundance Film Festival 2011 Competition Line-up Announced

The Film Stage is headed to Sundance this year and the festival has just announced its line-up. With over 10,00 entries here is what they narrowed it down to. Most initially notable is Vera Farmiga‘s directorial debut, Higher Ground (pictured above). There is a clear lack of stars as NYTimes notes, so the excitement of discovery is back in full swing. The fest will also announce 6 more out-of-competition categories tomorrow. Check out the full list below via the official site.

Us Dramatic

Another Earth (Director: Mike Cahill; Screenwriters: Mike Cahill and Brit Marling) – On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, a horrible tragedy irrevocably alters the lives of two strangers, who begin an unlikely love affair. Cast: William Mapother, Brit Marling, Jordan Baker, Robin Lord Taylor, Flint Beverage.

Benavides Born (Director: Amy Wendel; Screenwriters: Daniel Meisel and Amy Wendel) – A high school senior in a forgotten town
See full article at The Film Stage »

2011 Sundance Film Festival Lineup Announced (“Gun Hill Road,” “Pariah” Make The Cut)

Well, here they are – the Sundance Film Festival class of 2011, split up into 4 categories as indicated by the headers below. In future posts, I’ll be going over the complete list, highlighting titles that need to be, taking into consideration this blog’s specific interests.

Of note, some titles that I listed on my list of 2011 black films on our radar… Gun Hill Road, Rashaad Ernesto Green’s debut feature (which I actually saw a cut of over the weekend, and gave a thumbs up to; but I’ll talk more about it in detail when the time comes), Dee ReesPariah, and Alrick Brown’s Kinyarwanda. Further, titles we’ve previously covered here… Beats, Rhymes and Life, Michael Rapaport’s documentary on hip-hop legends, A Tribe Called Quest, and The Redemption of General Butt Naked, a documentary on the Liberian warlord turned evangelist.

One film I’m surprised isn
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

2011 Sundance Film Festival Competition Line-Up Announced

The Sundance Institute announced today the lineup of films selected to screen in the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Tomorrow will see the announcement of the six out-of-competition sections, which will all screen at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival which runs from January 20-30 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

For the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, 115 feature-length films were selected, representing 28 countries by 40 first-time filmmakers, including 25 in competition. These films were selected from 3,812 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,943 U.S. and 1,869 international feature-length films. 92 films at the Festival will be world premieres.

The films featured in the U.S. Dramatic, U.S. Documentary, World Cinema Dramatic and World Cinema Documentary Competition are listed directly below and I've gone through and highlighted a few of the bigger known names to check out. However, Sundance has been introducing us to a
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Boozie Movies! Dead Hooker in a Trunk Review

Who says Punk is dead? For those of you who are sick and tired of youth focused Diy cinema equating to eighty five minutes of twenty something slackers from Williamsburg or Austin mumbling about their feelings in dimly lit kitchens while Sufjan Stevens croons in the background, I present to you, Dead Hooker in a Trunk.

Watching Dead Hooker in a Trunk is like having the best bare backing sex of your life while hopped up on junk with a fugly prostitute in a seedy motel room on the wrong side of town. This is the type of trick that might make you wince at first but has the experience and imagination to send you on a ride well worth your hard earned money. And even when those chancre sores start sprouting up and you pray that the burning sensation is just an enlarged prostate, you refuse to look back with regret.
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Michael D. Olmos (Splinter) | Interview

Director Michael D. Olmos is the 34-year old adopted son of activist and actor Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver). After graduating from Columbia University with degrees in Contemporary American Literature and Creative Writing, Michael mentored under filmmaker Robert M. Young (Alambrista!). Like father, like son, Michael’s debut feature film, Splinter, is a politically charged vision of a highly volatile world. Dreamer (Enrique Almeida) is just that, a dreamer; slowly regaining his consciousness and memory after being caught in the crossfire of his brother, Shaggy’s (Billy Garcia) murder. Dreamer is on a mission to reveal his brother’s killer, while attempting to continue his deceased brother’s mission to keep the peace between rival neighborhood gangs. Dreamer’s intention is in complete syncopation with a newly transplanted female detective, Gramm (Resmine Atis). Realizing that even their partner/family seem to operating in opposition to them, they try to help each other.
See full article at SmellsLikeScreenSpirit »

Alfred Hitchcock, Sam Peckinpah, Hayley Mills, Pola Negri: Packard Campus Screenings

A victim in Alfred Hitchcock‘s 1972 thriller Frenzy What do Alfred Hitchcock, Sam Peckinpah, Hayley Mills, and Pola Negri have in common? Well, all four film celebrities will have their work featured this week at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va. Note: Hitchcock and Pola Negri have one less thing in common. Frenzy and The Moon-Spinners have been canceled. Instead, the Packard Campus will screen Hitchcock’s 1941 suspense melodrama Suspicion, starring Cary Grant and Oscar winner Joan Fontaine, and Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Sam Peckinpah’s Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), follows a bartender and his sex-worker girlfriend as they embark on a journey after a $1m bounty on the head of the Alfred Garcia of the title. Roger Ebert calls Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia "a weird, horrifying film that somehow transcends its unlikely material.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

School For Scandal

It may seem ironic that the recently busted Tatum O'Neal plays an icon of authority . a high school principal in Lifetime's "Fab Five," a fact-based drama about cheerleaders, Texas-style. It's a combination of "Mean Girls" and "Bring It On."

But the Academy Award-winning actress, recently arrested for buying crack cocaine in Manhattan, has something in common with the character she plays: neither seem to understand boundaries.

O'Neal plays Lorene Tippit, a woman who is completely wrapped around the finger of her Queen Bee daughter,
See full article at New York Post »

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