Something in the Air (2012), Assayas exudes this infectious youthful dynamism, coupled with a profound understanding of leftist politics. While not exclusively a sequel to his unruly examination of teenage unrest, Cold Water (1994), Something in the Air assesses the coming-of-age genre during a time of left-leaning apathy. Following the official release of his latest film, Assayas sat down with Tom Watson to discuss music, 'Situationist International' theory and the death of storytelling.
- Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling reunite for Bangkok nightmare 'Only God Forgives'
- Phil, Stu and Alan return for yet another unnecessary sequel in the 'Hangover' franchise
- It's Leafmen versus Boggans in Blue Sky Studios' green-fingered CG animation 'Epic 3D'
- Vive la révolution! We review Olivier Assayas' student uprising drama 'Something in the Air'
- Two spellbinding Ghibli classics return to UK cinemas this week thanks to StudioCanal
- Owen Wilson plays Woody Allen's latest cipher in the inventive 'Midnight in Paris'
Directed and produced by debut American filmmaker Bess Kargman, heartwarming documentary First Position (2011) follows six aspirational young dancers, each of them striving for one specific goal - a place in the American Grand Prix final, the world's most prestigious ballet competition. To celebrate the DVD rerelease of First Position on 27 May (this Monday), following its theatrical run in UK cinemas earlier this year, we have THREE DVD copies of Kargman's film to give away to our loyal readership, courtesy of the folks at Artificial Eye. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
Celebrated Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda delighted international audiences once again this year with I Wish (Kiseki, 2011), a sweet and endlessly touching tale of two young brothers separated by their parent's amicable divorce. To celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray rerelease of Kore-eda's latest endeavour on Monday 27 May, we've kindly been provided with THREE Blu-ray copies of the enchanting I Wish to give away to our readers, courtesy of our good friends at UK distributor Arrow Films. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
Chocolat to recent efforts such as 36 Shots of Rum and White Material. Her latest, Bastards (Les Salauds, 2013), shows not in the main competition at Cannes - which, as ever, is woefully short on women - but instead in the Un Certain Regard strand. In retrospect, however, this decision might be just for Bastards, a broken revenge tragedy set in a rainswept France - a misstep, if not a downright stumble. A man commits suicide and his teenage daughter, Justine (Lola Créton), is found wandering the streets with blood running down her thighs.
Nebraska (2013), starring veteran screen legend Bruce Dern. Woody Grant (Dern) is a weary old man approaching death. We first spy upon him on the open road, plodding resolutely - if unsteadily - towards the camera. The police bring him home to his nagging, belligerent wife (June Squibb). His sons, David (Will Forte) and Ross (Bob Odenkirk), are thus called in to try to deal with him. It turns out that their father has received a flier informing him that he's won $1 million, to be collected from Lincoln, Nebraska.
Grigris (2013) recounts a tale of hope against despair in the director's native country of Chad. It tells the story of the titular Grigris (played by Souleymane Deme), a young man whose ambition is to be a dancer despite having a paralysed leg. He's a generous and positive young man who helps out his uncle (Marius Yelolo), is a budding photographer and prays when his mother pesters him into doing so. However, his real passion is for dance. At the local disco he's something of a sensation, strutting his stuff and earning some money by passing a hat around afterwards.
The Hangover (2009); the film struck a tone with cinemagoers, but spawned a lacklustre sequel. Director Todd Phillips and co are back for The Hangover Part III (2013), and whilst it's a slightly better entry than its predecessor, the third (and final?) instalment still lacks the spark of the original. It's been two years since the events in Bangkok, and friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Doug (Justin Bartha) are enjoying domesticity.
Peace and Conflict (2013), his second feature, spoil the journey. He's adopted the quasi-documentary, splitting his film in two: one half, a fictionalised account with Alex Lawther turning in an engrossing performance as a young Britten during his Gresham's School days, the other a documentary with interviews, recitals and a distracting piece of narration by John Hurt.
★★★☆☆"If you marry a city man you will be short of money," claims a young Cambodian boy in Kalyanee Mam's glacial documentary A River Changes Course (2013). He goes on to reveal that if you were to choose him, you will have dollars to spend on such things as a Lexus or a villa. Quite what good such a vehicle would be in his home, a floating village on the bank of the Tonle Sap River, hardly matters. It's a moving moment as the boy's shrill voice rings out alone, singing of riches in this impoverished community. Only meters away Sari and his father have unloaded their fishing haul for the day and it has weighed in at 2.5kg.
30 day free trial) watching a DVD in your living room is just never going to be the same. But if you are a cinema regular, going to the movies can soon leave you massively out of pocket. At over a tenner a pop (each), tickets aren't the only concern; throw in overpriced treats, not to mention parking prices, oh and that post-film dinner which is calling your name. You might as well have booked a day at Thorpe Park instead. Unless you're planning on stopping your cinema visits altogether, there are ways you can reduce the amount you spend.
The Great Gatsby, actor/director James Franco offers Cannes the second major literary adaptation from a canonical American author. Adapted faithfully by Franco himself from William Faulkner's novel, As I Lay Dying (2013) tells the tale of the Bundren family. Following the death of their mother, Addie Bundren (Beth Grant) and her kin embark on an epic journey to take the corpse to be buried in her hometown cemetery at Jackson, despite the distance, the rains and the rising river. However, each family member carries with them their own demons.
★★★★★American director J.C. Chandor first made a name for himself with 2011 talkathon Margin Call, which strove to present the 07-08 financial crisis to us as if we were, "a small child, or a golden retriever". His follow-up film, All Is Lost (2013) - screening out of competition at this year's Cannes - has almost no dialogue whatsoever. There is a brief monologue (that serves as a prologue) and a couple of expletives, but Sorkin territory this isn't. Robert Redford plays an unnamed solo yachtsman who wakes up one morning to find that his vessel has run into a shipping container; the hull breached and water leaking into his cabin.
★★★☆☆Following the success of Un Certain Regard favourite Drive back in 2011, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn returns to the Croisette with Only God Forgives (2013), a stylish if ultimately shallow essay in extremism. Julian (Ryan Gosling) is a Muay Thai boxing club owner and drug dealer living in Bangkok along with older brother Billy (Tom Burke). When his brother rapes and murders a girl, a policeman (Vithaya Pansringarm) allows the father to beat Billy to death before then punishing said father. Julian's mother, Crystal - Kristin Scott Thomas, looking like a dissipated Cameron Diaz - turns up, intent on vengeance.
My Neighbour Totoro (Tonari no Totoro, 1988). Partially, its success is all in the timing: in the 1970s, animé was moulded for television, therefore slight, local and far from spectacular. Miyazaki took off in a different direction, angling for a new feature film audience and an international one at that - both of which he earned after exploding the commercial market with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Naushika, 1984).
Cold Water (1994), delved blind into the heady instability of teenage rebellion. The freedom Assayas shot encapsulated a period of sexual and political discovery unmatched by mainstream standards. Now, Assayas latest feature, Something in the Air (Après mai, 2012), elaborates on the thematic self-rule of Cold Water.
Epic (2013), the latest whiz-bang, polychrome 3D adventure from Blue Sky Studios. It sees director Chris Wedge reunited with author William Joyce (they created 2005's Robots together) to adapt the writer's popular children's book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs.
A Field in England (2013). Following the critical acclaim lavished on Kill List (2011) and last year's Sightseers (2012) (plus debut Down Terrace), Wheatley's next endeavour is an ambitiously psychedelic historical drama set during the English Civil War. The film is a first in the UK in that it will receive a multi-format release available simultaneously in movie theatres, on DVD, on television and video on-demand courtesy of Film4, Picturehouse Entertainment and 4DVD. As you've no excuse not to catch it upon release, you may as well whet your appetite with the newly emerged poster and trailer.
1998 film Rounders, unless you're either a fan of poker or its leading man Matt Damon (star of Steven Soderbergh's soon-to-be released Behind the Candelabra, which screened this week at the 66th Cannes Film Festival). Damon starred as Mike McDermott, a law student and former poker player who is convinced to return to the game by his old friend, Worm (played by Edward Norton.) What ensues is a look into the underground world of poker in New York and New Jersey and what it takes to be a true rounder. Below are some of our reasons why Dahl's Rounders is well worth a second look - or a first look for those yet to sample.
★★☆☆☆"There's just no telling" says Bob (Casey Affleck) close to the end of David Lowery's Texas-based criminal romance Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013), screening in the Critics Week sidebar of Cannes. It seems a strange statement, coming after so much talk. Bob and Ruth (Rooney Mara) are childhood sweethearts. She's a poor girl, expecting his child, and he's a petty criminal. When they're surrounded by police, Ruth shoots an officer and Bob decides to take the fall for her. The years go by as Bob serves his sentence and his daughter grows as he writes Ruth a letter a day - providing substantial voiceover material in the off.
★★★★☆Władziu Valentino Liberace was a phenomenal success, his recording and performing career spanning four decades. A flamboyant showman and housewives' favourite, Liberace fought long and hard to keep his homosexuality a secret until his death in 1987. Thus, Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra (2013) arrives at Cannes with a lot of baggage. Is it his last film? Did the topic of homosexuality really condemn the film to television in the US, where it will only be shown on HBO? How will Michael Douglas fare in a leading role which sets up so against type? And, the most important question of all - is it any good?
Broadchurch (out now on DVD). Set amongst the idyllic cliffs of the Jurassic Coast, the fundamental premise is that a beautiful landscape and its similarly faultless townsfolk are devastated by tragedy. To its credit, the series is instantly disquieting, as incoming DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and partner DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) discover the body of Danny Latimer, a local boy who has seemingly committed suicide.
The Murderer Lives at 21 (L'Assassin habite au 21, 1942) would appear to be mere comic folly from a director highly respected for serious thrillers. Arriving on Blu-ray in Eureka's Masters of Cinema series, its television-style whodunnit set up, cast of oddball suspects and humorous tone all point towards a light and less abiding affair. This markedly assured debut may be those things, but it is equally shot through with a delightfully noirish streak and an abundance of misanthropic undertones, not least in the banal shadows within which evil is lurking.
★★★★☆Having brought the relatively unknown (to Western audiences) Bakumatsu Taiyô-den (The Sun Legend in the Last Days of the Shogunate, 1957) to Blu-ray last month, the Masters of Cinema series now provide another prime example of classic Japanese cinema unseen in the UK. In September 1938, at the tender age of 28, acclaimed director Sadao Yamanaka tragically died whilst on military service, leaving more than 20 films from all-too-brief career. Sadly, most of those were lost during the war years, but the trio that remain have been excellently remastered for The Complete (Existing) Films of Sadao Yamanaka Collection.
★★★☆☆Amy Berg's sobering polemic West of Memphis (2012) shines a light on the failings of the American criminal justice system through the campaign to free a trio of wrongly convicted men after almost twenty years in prison. Having premièred at last year's Sundance Film Festival, West of Memphis was released to wide acclaim and now arrives on DVD from Sony Pictures. Following in the footsteps of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Paradise Lost trilogy, which presented ongoing events throughout the ordeal, Berg's film examines the case from original crime and throughout the fight to have the three men released.
★★☆☆☆Set during one particularly hot and steamy summer, in Stranger by the Lake (L'inconnu du lac, 2013) French men visit a secluded spot on the shore of the lake to cruise for sex. One individual seems to be there just for conversation, whilst another conceals far more sinister motives. Gay cinema auteur Alain Guiraudie's Un Certain Regard offering slowly reveals itself as part-sex exposé, part-murder mystery. Franck (Pierre de Ladonchamps) is a young man out for stimulation who's immediately attracted to Christophe Paou's Michel. However, Michel appears to already have a boyfriend, so Franck amuses himself with a casual hook-up or two.
13 Assassins (2010) slashed through Venice a couple of years ago. Sadly, Shield of Straw (Wara no tate, 2013) is a stone-cold dud which really has no place on the Croisette. When a little girl is raped and murdered, her super-rich grandfather offers a huge reward to anyone who kills the suspected killer, Kunihide Kiyomaru (a maniacal Tatsuya Fujiwara).
Motel Hell (1980) is perhaps best remembered for providing two of horror cinema's catchiest tag-lines - "Meat's meat, and a man's gotta eat" and "It takes all kinda critters to make Farmer Vincent's fritters". However these expressions uttered by the film's protagonist and his homicidal sister also sum-up the essence of a film which is as unsettling today as it was when first released over thirty years ago. Vincent Smith (Rory Calhoun) and his sister Ida (Nancy Parsons) run 'Motel Hello', one of the most hospitable roadside hostels in America's Deep South.
Vehicle 19 (2013). Alongside an international cast including Naima McLean and Gys De Villiers, Walker plays Michael Woods, a reckless ex-con determined to change his life for the better in an attempt to save his relationship with an estranged girlfriend. Unfortunately, a mix-up at a Johannesburg car rental company leaves Michael stuck with the wrong car and distressed hostage Rachel (McLean) in the boot.
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