Directed by James Marsh.
Starring Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz, David Thewlis, Jonathan Bailey, Ken Stott, Eleanor Stagg, Finn Elliot, Kit Connor, Oliver Maltman, Mark Gatiss, Simon McBurney, Sam Hoare, Avye Leventis, Andrew Buchan, Anna Madeley, Adrian Schiller, Simon Chandler, Genevieve Gaunt, Alexia Traverse-Healy, Dorothy Atkinson, Sebastian Armesto, and Martin Marquez.
The incredible story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst and his solo attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The struggles he confronted on the journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times.
If the first act of The Mercy feels somewhat rushed, that’s because director James Marsh is more interested in the psychological effects of failing an extremely ambitious goal. Having made Man on Wire (the outstanding documentary detailing the before and after of Philippe Petit’s insane tightrope walk between New York skyscrapers), it’s clear that the
This past weekend saw the release of “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda,” the latest in a recent string of impressively strong and commercially successful biographical documentaries (other recent standouts include “Rbg” and “Won’t You Be my Neighbor?”).
This week’s question: What is the best biographical documentary ever made?
Siddhant Adlakha (@SidizenKane), Freelance for The Village Voice, /Film
The best and arguably most important documentaries ever made are complimentary pieces by Joshua Oppenheimer, “The Act of Killing” (2013) and “The Look of Silence (2015). They’re set against the backdrop of Indonesia’s 1965-66 genocide, believed to be sponsored by the C.I.A., but they’re each rooted in the lives of singular subjects and their diametrically opposed journeys.
The cleansing, of an estimated three million ethnic Chinese, changed the face of the nation in terrifying ways,
For “Whitney,” Macdonald was granted exclusive rights to a vault of unheard music and never-before-seen video footage spanning the entirety of the late singer’s legendary career. Co-producing the film is Simon Chinn, a creative force who has won Best Documentary at the Academy Awards twice. In 2008 he took home the golden statue for “Man on Wire,
The somewhat dispiriting real-life story of Donald Crowhurst, the amateur sailor who in 1968-9 lost his pride, his mind and then his life in a single-handed yacht race to circumnavigate the world, has long exerted a fascination for film-makers. Nicolas Roeg once tried to film the story. In 2006, the documentary Deep Water explored the tragedy. And this big-budget take on the tale, buoyed up by the star power of Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, was made at the same time as a smaller rival project, Crowhurst by Simon Rumley.
One can see the attraction of the story to director James Marsh: Crowhurst (Firth) has a similar maverick eccentricity and forceful self-belief to that of high-wire walker Philippe Petit, the subject of his documentary Man on Wire. But for all its technical prowess – the sound design,
I knew very little about Donald Crowhurst walking into The Mercy, and preserving that element of surprise might be the way to get the most out of James Marsh’s true-life drama. A casual Google will quickly throw up some of the finer details of Crowhurst’s story – so if Colin Firth’s latest is on your radar and you’re unfamiliar with what transpired then you may want to keep it that way. Of course, we’d dearly like you to stick around for this review, so bear with us while we navigate around a few spoilers of historical record.
We first meet Firth’s Crowhurst as he’s desperately trying to sell his nautical navigation device the Navicator. Punters won’t bite, and there’s a sense that his business is failing. Crowhurst himself is an amateur weekend sailor and,
In the article centered on The King of Kong I mentioned how I was reluctant to get into the medium of documentaries. That film helped me realize just how darn entertaining a documentary can actually be, while Man on Wire demonstrated the power of documentary film making.
This was another film that got on my radar due to podcasting. When I was looking for podcast counting down their top films of the 00’s (because at that time I was obsessed with seeing
The L.A. Centre is already open, but IMAX has announced that they'll be opening centers in New York, California, and Shanghai over the next few months during what they're calling the "pilot phase." Essentially everything they're doing in relation to Vr right now is going to be
Two of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s recent projects have seen him play real-life figures who performed extreme acts of courage.
“Both of whom broke the law,” the actor adds with a laugh over the phone from Los Angeles.
One would be Philippe Petit, the Frenchman who walked a tightrope between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in 1974, and whom Gordon-Levitt played in last fall’s Robert Zemeckis movie The Walk.
The other is Edward Snowden, the world’s most famous whistleblower, in Oliver Stone’s Snowden, which premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival before opening across the country on September 16th. “I admire both, but Snowden admittedly is the much more controversial of the two figures, especially nowadays,” Gordon-Levitt says.
Snowden’s tightrope walk, of course,
Since 1984, the Sundance Film Festival as we know it today has been shining a light on independent movies. Held annually in Park City, Utah, Sundance has become the largest independent film festival in the United States. Many notable directors have came through the ranks, including Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs), Paul Thomas Anderson (Cigarettes & Coffee/Hard Eight), Kevin Smith (Clerks) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).
With that history lesson over, I’m looking to recap upon the movies that have gone through Sundance on the road to the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Some housekeeping before we begin. This isn’t a complete list of every movie to have won the sword wielding knight, more a few notes on the film festivals success throughout the years. Talking of years, you’ll find them in order
The Academy Awards are this weekend - but how do you actually go about winning one? Plus: some Oscar predictions.
Whether or not you believe they’re still relevant, the Oscars are undeniably the biggest event in the Hollywood calendar. I am fascinated by them, what intrigues me most is the general consensus that this process is a game of strategy and if you want to win, you have to know the rules. But actors and directors don’t have time to work this out for themselves, they’re far too busy and important. I however am not.
Therefore I have poured over lists of Oscar winners for more time than is healthy in order to determine exactly what it takes to win one of these much desired awards. I’m going to give you the tried and tested formulai for how to win Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Picture.
Reports indicate that the concept for the new project first came to light under Gordon-Levitt, who will produce via his hitRECord Films banner. Other talent involved at this early stage include producers Marc Platt and Adam Siegel, along with Channing Tatum himself, Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan on behalf of Free Association. Details are scarce as to which direction Universal is steering the untitled project, and whether it’s being eyed as a potential franchise in the vein of the studio’s lucrative Pitch Perfect.
Aside from showcasing their musical (read: miming) talents on Spike’s popular Lip Sync Battle, Gordon-Levitt and Tatum first starred opposite one another in Iraq war drama Stop-Loss in 2008. Since then,
We’re seeing big cinema releases almost every weekend now. But is this a good thing?
Do you remember during 2014, where lots of fans stubbornly declared Captain America: The Winter Soldier the best film of that summer despite its opening in March/April? It was joined by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in trying to steal a march on the competition, but clearly when you think big blockbusters, they’re associated with a certain time of year. And given how for the studios, summer season occupies a full third of the year from May to August, and Christmas the sweet period from November all the way through to New Year, that should be plenty of room for the Avengers, Star Wars and Jurassic Parks of the world, right?
Except that there are plenty more 'tentpoles' (big releases to prop up the studio’s bottom line) being made and
The Walk is now on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download. It's worth checking out.
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The Complete Lady Snowblood (Toshiya Fujita)
A young woman (Meiko Kaji), trained from childhood as an assassin and hell-bent on revenge for the murders of her father and brother and the rape of her mother, hacks and slashes her way to gory satisfaction in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Japan. Rampant with inventive violence and spectacularly choreographed swordplay, Toshiya Fujita’s pair of influential cult classics Lady Snowblood and Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance are bloody, beautiful extravaganzas composed of
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, and Victor Garber star in this sharp, critically acclaimed (93 percent certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes!) drug war thriller, which is out on Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand on January 5. Blu-ray bonus featurettes include "Stepping into Darkness: The Visual Design of Sicario," "Blunt, Brolin & Benicio: Portraying the Characters of Sicario," "Battle Zone: The Origins of Sicario," and "A Pulse from the Desert: The Score of Sicario."
Watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Philippe Petit take a wild walk on a wire between the Twin Towers. The bio-drama from director Robert Zemeckis co-stars Sir Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, James Badge Dale, and Ben Schwartz. The Blu-ray and DVD both include the "Pillars of Support" featurette,
There’s a good mix of movies on my list, featuring different genres ranging from big budget films to smaller indie movies. Interestingly enough, there are no Marvel films that made my list this year. This is the first time since 2008 when Iron Man was released that's been the case! I enjoyed both Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, but there were a lot of better films that were released this year.
I believe that these are all must-see movies, so if you haven’t seen any of them, please take the time to do so. They will not disappoint.
Rosario Dawson, Hugh Jackman and Blake Lively lead our look at 2015's best under the radar acting performances in film...
This article contains mild spoilers for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. We've kept these as vague as possible, but if you haven't seen the film yet, you might wish to skip the entry pertaining to that.
2015 was a particularly exemplary year for all kinds of movies, but particularly in genre and blockbuster cinema. When there's so much to talk about, it's inevitable that some of the really good stuff gets lost in the mix of awards season chatter, but that's especially true when there's still some residual stigma about movies outside of the 'worthy' release schedule that will arrive in UK cinemas between now and the Academy Awards ceremony in February.
There are a couple of likely breakthrough geek movies for this year's Oscars, in the
Here is the official press release with the list of winners:
St. Louis Film Critics Announce 2015 Awards
“Spotlight,” “The Revenant” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” top winners
For Immediate Release
“Spotlight,” “The Revenant” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” were the top winners in this year’s St. Louis Film Critics Association 2015 Awards, announced Sunday.
“Spotlight,” a drama about the Boston Globe investigation of pedophile priests, won Best Film, Director – Tom McCarthy and Original Screenplay, written by Josh Singer and McCarthy.
“The Revenant,” based on Hugh Glass’s wilderness survival story, was also recognized with three — Leonardo DiCaprio – Best Actor, Emmanuel Lubezki – Cinematography and Scene – Hugh being mauled by the grizzly bear.
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” the fourth installment in the futuristic action thriller, received three — Best Editing, Visual Effects and Art Direction.
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