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Posts by Will Smith
French academic turned filmmaker Bruno Dumont has slowly been carving out a very unique cinematic identity ever since the release of his first film La Vie de Jesus in 1997. Eschewing conventional cinematic narrative techniques, his films are various meditations on concepts such as good and evil, the nature of violence, the existence of God, and the responsibility of the spectator when presented with these topics in his uniquely obtuse manner.
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks is the new film by Alex Gibney, the established director/producer whose credits include Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005), Freakanomics (2010), and the upcoming Lance Armstrong: The Road Back. The film documents the rise to fame (or infamy) of Julian Assange, poster-boy for the Wikileaks organisation, and his many international exploits over his career. Delving into his past as a computer hacker in Australia as a teenager, to his current whereabouts in the Ecuadorian embassy, the film packs a very large amount of information into its running time. As well as Assange, the film looks at Bradley Manning, the US Army soldier who leaked a huge amount of information to Wikileaks, and propelled the organisation to fame.
Noah Baumbach returns as writer/director of his new off-beat comedy Frances Ha. Set in New York City, the film looks to be a light hearted comedy but giving heartwarming insight into its off the wall characters. The film is released in the UK on July 26th.
A new behind the scenes glimpse at the making of The Lone Ranger shows us how the actors get to grips with life in the wild west.
From the makers of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, The Lone Ranger gives the classic story an updated re-imagining, featuring Armie Hammer as the eponymous hero and Johnny Depp as the native indian Tonto. The film promises to have all the action and excitement of the Pirates movies, and is released on August 9th.
The trailer for Alex Gibney’s upcoming documentary on the story of Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and the Wikileaks saga has been released online.
The previously blogged about Joy of Six, a collection of 6 short films by emerging British filmmakers, has released its Google Hangout video, where several of the directors gather and discuss their films, as well as take questions from the public.
The directors discuss how they got into filmmaking, as well as sharing insights into the creative process and onset anecdotes, which should be of interest to budding filmmakers and film-goers alike.
The Joy of Six is released by Soda Pictures and will be in cinemas November 9th.
The programme for this year’s Open City Docs Fest has been released online, and promises to showcase a wide variety of documentaries on a range of thematically grouped subjects. From City Stories, featuring films that look at the cities we live in and how we relate to them and those we share them with, to Moving Lives, which showcases individuals whose stories would not otherwise be heard, the festival promises to be eyeopening no matter what you choose to go and see.
British director Christopher Payne has had his new film “Love Tomorrow” picked up for international distribution, although not currently for the UK. The film tells the story of two troubled people meeting by chance, both played by professional dancers, Cindy Jourdain (ex-Royal Ballet soloist) and Arional Vargas (Principal at English National Ballet).
The film looks like it will move away from previous dance-based films by focusing on the development of the character’s relationship, and its representation in dance, rather than on sporadic and arbitrary dance offs that do little to advance the story.
Producer of Love Tomorrow, Stephanie Moon said: “The film is essentially a love story and aimed at fans of the ‘boy meets girl’ genre, but the hook has always been dance. Dance has become such an important and popular part of our culture, not just here in the UK but worldwide and I know that we all understand this.”
If the title “The Cabinet of Dr Caligari” brings back memories of painful undergraduate film studies lectures where you just wanted to get on to discussing which was the best Lethal Weapon, then its safe to say we have different attitudes towards cinema. However, before you scroll onward, looking for some leaked teaser footage from the new Star Trek film, let me try and explain why Caligari is worth your time.
There has been endless debate about the merits and failures of both of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games films; reviews of the original praised its striking originality in its critique of cinematic violence yet the American remake seems to have flown over the heads of most American reviewers. Since the narrative of both films is basically the same, critiques of the films have been along the same lines: the motiveless nature of the two intruders actions, the lack of character development of the main protagonists and the ultimately alienating effects of Haneke’s direct address techniques. While these are valid comments, I feel they miss the point to a certain extent, and that a more overarching theme of both films is a contemporary crisis of masculinity.