The Innocents is rereleased this week as part of the BFI's long-running Gothic season. A sinister and deeply unnerving ghost story, Clayton's horror carefully constructs its foreboding ambiance by coalescing artefacts of subjection, religious iconography and sexual repression to craft a terrifying ghost story. Ostensibly a simple haunted house tale, The Innocents begins conventionally enough, with naïve governess Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) heading out to the countryside to care for a recently orphaned brother and sister.
- Peter Jackson cranks up the entertainment factor for Hobbit sequel The Desolation of Smaug
- The BFI's Gothic season continues with a rerelease of Jack Clayton's magnificent The Innocents
- Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso celebrates its 25th anniversary with a festive rerelease
- Disney return to form with Frozen, a familiar tale lifted by glorious animation and catchy tunes
- Owen Wilson plays Woody Allen's latest cipher in the inventive 'Midnight in Paris'
Cinema Paradiso (1988) with a long overdue theatrical rerelease. Initially a box office flop, it was the "creative" editing of the Weinstein's theatrical cut that thrust the film into the public consciousness, eventually going on to win a host of awards including the Best Foreign Language Picture Oscar. A major contribution to the reverential narrative of wistful cinema, Tornatore's magnum opus is an elegant distillation of the art form's escapist qualities and the garland of an industry that understands global audiences' appetite for nostalgia.
Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug (2013), should hopefully set fans and critics' qualms aside, offering a rollicking adventure tale full of the Kiwi director's signature attention to detail. We open before the events of An Unexpected Journey, with Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) meeting dwarven warrior Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) at Bree's Prancing Pony inn. It's Thorin, not Bilbo (Martin Freeman) who's the focus this time round, although the courageous little hobbit certainly plays his part.
Aroused (2013), an inquisitive study of a selection of women in the adult film industry. Arranging snippets of interviews she shares with sixteen of the most successful women in porn, Anderson's debut is less a full-scale investigation of that particular industry and the effects it has had on those involved, but more of an in-depth portrait of the women she's chosen to shed light on.
Jupiter Ascending (2014) appears rife with echoes of the directors' break-out hit The Matrix (1999) and its two sequels, but clearly has a very different texture. The first footage from their new blockbuster has now arrived in the form of an initial trailer, encouraging audiences to "expand their universe". The character who will be having their own universe expanded is cleaner Jupiter Jones (Kunis) who, much like a certain Mr. Anderson, is unaware of her true, untapped potential.
Monsters) as director of Legendary Pictures' long-mooted Godzilla reboot was met with a healthy level of optimism when announced, as were the cast additions of Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, Olsen sister Elizabeth and French arthouse queen Juliette Binoche. After several months of leaked test footage and mouthwatering concept art, today we were finally given the first shadowy glimpses of Edwards' 'King of Monsters', a clear homage to Ishirô Honda's gargantuan creation that Roland Emmerich cuddly giant sea iguana. The teaser trailer, a tense and gripping short in and of itself, has certainly seemed to please the global kaiju-loving collective.
The Godfather, Disney Pixar's Toy Story and Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight films. Forget even the original Star Wars series. Krzysztof Kieślowski's Three Colours trilogy is the cinematic triptych par excellence. Released for the first time on separate Blu-rays here in the UK, each individual film offers distinct pleasures and changes of mood whilst at the same time maintaining a quality that never dips below masterpiece grade. As in his groundbreaking TV series The Decalogue (1989), Kieślowski and co-screenwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz adopt a formal structure within which to tell their stories.
Schalcken the Painter, a seldom-seen horror story set in 17th century Holland and newly released by the BFI as part of their Gothic series, has earned cult status over the years as much for its scarcity as its ability to shock. Though Leslie Megahey's short television movie is unsettling in its content, it's the production's visual style and overall appearance as much as any physical horror which lingers in the viewer's mind long after it's finished.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013) is a monster of a movie in all senses of the word. The latest instalment in what looks like fast becoming the next big franchise series delivers action and noise aplenty, but perhaps at the cost of anything of real depth. Directed by (the appropriately named) Thor Freudenthal and starring Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, and Brandon T. Jackson, this follow-up to the less than warmly received Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief (2010), is pretty much more of the same. Percy Jackson (Lerman), the half-human son of the god Poseidon, finds himself in trouble once again.
Leviathan (2012) stands out as a monstrous marvel; something to inspire terror, confusion and awe. Taking the relatively unpromising subject of industrial fishing of the North American coast - New Bedford, Massachusetts to be precise - filmmakers Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel have created an immersive, abstract poem of a film which captures the powerful war between man and nature "red in tooth and claw". There's no dialogue, no story and, except for the orange of the crews' waterproofs and fish remnants, little colour.
Kick-Ass 2 (2013), written and directed by Jeff Wadlow, arrived in theatres amidst controversy early in the year when star Jim Carrey distanced himself from the picture's violent content. Sadly, it lacks the verve shown by the previous outing and has lost the original's spark and wit whilst increasing the crudeness.
★★★★☆In 1980, Al Pacino starred in The Exorcist director William Friedkin's controversial Cruising. The film focused on undercover cop Steve Burns (Pacino) who is sent onto the streets as a decoy for a serial killer who has dismembered several homosexual men in New York's gay district. It's famously rumoured that to avoid an X-rating, forty minutes of gay S&M footage was cut from the film and permanently destroyed. Inspired by this mythology, actor James Franco and Travis Matthews (I Want Your Love) joined forces to create Interior. Leather Bar (2013), their own personal interpretation of Friedkin's lost footage.
A Separation (2011) and the critical acclamation at this year's Cannes Film Festival for his first European film, The Past (2013), has paved the way for a revaluation of the Iranian director's earlier work. Last year saw the theatrical release of the sublime About Elly (2009), and now Farhadi's third feature, Fireworks Wednesday (2006), is now available to own on DVD. An intimate portrait of the eroding sanctity of marriage set against the backdrop of the Persian New Year, Fireworks Wednesday depicts the strained dichotomy between the middle and lower classes of capital city Tehran.
The Croods (2013) - co-written and directed by Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders, and featuring the voice talents of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds - is a witty take on the difficulties of letting go of yesterday and embracing the future. Eep (Stone) is frustrated by life with her family, the Croods, a prehistoric clan led by her father Grug (Cage). Desperate to break free from the constraints of a lifestyle she sees as prehistoric, Eep leaves her kin and ventures beyond her cave.
Contraband (2012) director Baltasar Kormákur for 2 Guns (2013), a comedy-actioner based on the graphic novel of the same name. Denzel Washington plays the ying to Wahlberg's yang and James Marsden, Paula Patton and Bill Paxton add star quality to the supporting cast. Washington and Wahlberg play two undercover agents from opposing bureaus, set up by there peers and completely unaware of one another's true identities. After spending a year together, Naval intelligence officer Marcus Stigman (Wahlberg) and DEA agent Bobby Trench (Washington) have become inseparable.
Leviathan (2012) is a thrilling, immersive and inventive documentary that takes you deep inside the dangerous world of commercial fishing. To celebrate the home entertainment release of Leviathan this coming Monday (9 December), we've kindly been provided with TWO DVD copies of the film to give away to our regular readership, courtesy of our friends at documentary specialists Dogwoof. 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.
Recently released in UK cinemas to great acclaim and directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, the extraordinary
Recently released in UK cinemas to great acclaim and directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, the extraordinary
Cruising, starring Al Pacino. Inspired by the mythology of this controversial drama, filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews collaborate to imagine their own lost footage in Interior. Leather Bar (2013). To celebrate the DVD release of Mathews' latest this coming Monday (9 December), we have THREE copies of the film to give away, courtesy of Peccadillo Pictures. 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.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), a sequel to Marc Webb's not-so-amazing 2012 franchise reboot. The marketing machine has been getting into full swing over the past few weeks, from new posters and stills to not one, not two, but three ten-second teaser trailers granting us a brief look at the web-slinging hero. Now a full two-minute plus trailer has hit the web (no pun intended), and the footage gives us a closer look at what Peter/Spidey will have to overcome. Before watching, do check out the official synopsis below.
Amalgamating the best aspects of previous films The Fighter (2010) and Silver Linings Playbook (2012) whilst dispensing with a lot of the emotional baggage that dragged both down after engaging first halves, David O. Russell now hits top form just in time for award season with American Hustle (2013). Both a beautifully orchestrated con artist thriller and a pulsating homage to seventies Hollywood, O. Russell plays fast and loose with a vaguely believable 'true story' narrative ("Some of this actually happened", we're told), culminating in one of this year's most furiously entertaining and quick-witted imports from across the pond.
This Ain't California (2012). Not only is this not California, it's also not exactly real; blending actual archive material with recreated 'retro' footage to create a lively if fictionalised look at the Berlin skating scene.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006), it seems that everybody does indeed want "to be like us". However, if you can't afford the lifestyle of a fashion mag editor, the next best thing it seems is to live it vicariously through films like Matthew Miele's Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's (2013). Films such as Lagerfeld Confidential (2007) have lain bare the lives of the people who clothe the elite (in that case Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld), whilst The September Issue (2009) and Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011) have shown us where dreams come from.
Rough Cut (2013), a pseudo-documentary about the making of a fictional horror movie (Hiker Meat) which is disappointing mainly because it seems just that - an unfinished mock-up of the movie the filmmakers would have liked to have made. As a result, we're never one hundred percent sure what this debut feature from visual artist Jamie Shovlin, starring Agnes Aspen, Ashley Houston and Bob Young, aspires to be. Rough Cut follows the would-be filmmakers as they head to England's Lake District to recreate the Don Quixote of slasher films, Hiker Meat.
Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps, making headway with an impressive - not to mention award-winning - career in theatre, most notably in the West End adaptation of Legally Blonde. It seems odd, then, that Smith would return to a role that seems beneath her in MJ Delaney's Powder Room (2013). Based on Rachel Heron's Fringe play When Women Wee, Delaney's debut feature gathers together Oona Chaplin, singer-songwriter Kate Nash and Jaime Winstone alongside Smith.
The Patience Stone (2012) was adapted from. Perhaps then, the kudos should go to lead actress Golshifteh Farahani, who spends ninety per cent of the proceedings alone and yet still manages to maintain the viewer's attention with her tender, understated performance. Farahani, as 'The woman', plays an Afghani wife and mother whose soldier husband lies in a vegetative state after being shot.
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