It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.
Some of our favorite performances of 2016.
An interview with actress and breakout star Royalty Hightower about "The Fits."
The nominees for the 2016 Chicago Film Critics Association's annual awards have been announced.
A report from a special Washington D.C. premiere of "Jackie," featuring a Q&A with director Pablo Larraín and Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman.
An interview with director Pablo Larraín about crafting his fascinating historical drama "Jackie."
A look at the films expected to dominate this year's Oscar race and the narrative scope they share.
A look at this year's competition for Best Actress.
A list of films and special events to check out when attending this year's Chicago International Film Festival.
A look at how Venice, Telluride and Toronto helped form this year's awards season.
On three unexpected entries in our TIFF coverage this year.
On four films from TIFF, including works starring Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman and Richard Gere.
An interview with actress Imogen Poots about her performance in the new Terrence Malick movie Knight of Cups.
Moira Walley-Beckett’s dreary STARZ series borrows many of its melodramatic clichés from Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.”
Three films from TIFF 2015 starring Natalie Portman, Charlotte Rampling and Helen Mirren.
A preview of the 40th Toronto International Film Festival
Barbara's annual playful piece about cats in this year's Cannes offerings.
An interview with the young stars of "The Giver," Brenton Thwaites & Odeya Rush.
"Carrie" is unusual because Carrie's turn to violence is not in service of others, unlike many "strong female characters" in recent films.
At their big D23 Expo event, Disney unleashed some stars and a lot of tantalizing info about live action films.
Marie writes: Intrepid club member Sandy Kahn discovered the following Danish designers "Monstrum" who make extraordinary playgrounds for children. I think they're the stuff of dreams, whatever your age. Indeed; behold the Rahbek kindergarten in Frederiksberg, Denmark, and Monstrum's first playground...
The Rocket and The Princess Tower! "Just like a set design, a playground must have an inspiring front that attracts children, and a functional backside with climbing, sliding and relaxing options. The idea of the playground is to combine a girl's mind with a boy's approach into one big common playground. The princess tower consists of three floors, and the rocket has two floors. From the top floor of the Rocket, you can slide down the 6 m long double slide together with an astronaut friend." (click to enlarge.)
Marie writes: Recently, we enjoyed some nice weather and inspired by the sunshine, I headed out with a borrowed video camera to shoot some of the nature trails up on Burnaby Mountain, not far from where I live. I invariably tell people "I live near Vancouver" as most know where that is - whereas Burnaby needs explaining. As luck would have it though, I found a great shot taken from the top of Burnaby Mountain, where you can not only see where I live now but even Washington State across the Canadian/US border...
(click image to enlarge)
Mirrors and reflections have always been an obsession for filmmakers from all over the world - something that came as a result of the wealth of symbolism that they inspire, of course, but also of the psychological development all of us go through in order to recognize ourselves as individuals. (That led, for instance, to Jean-Louis Baudry's brilliant analogy of the film spectator as someone regressing to the "Mirror Stage" described by Lacan). From Buñuel to Hitchcock and from Fritz Lang to Tarkovsky, directors from different eras and different styles have used doubles as a thematic basis of one or more of their works -- but perhaps it has seldom been used so intensely and organically as in Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan."
There, that wasn't so painful, was it? After all the hype coming out of Cannes (and especially since Harvey Weinstein got his mitts on it for U.S. distribution/Oscar promotion), I'd been kind of dreading "The Artist." Like "Hugo," it just sounded too "charming and delightful" -- and, to paraphrase Lou Grant, I hate "charming and delightful." (Usually because, for me, that ends up translating into "strained and unctuous.") But "The Artist" turns out to be a fairly benign, occasionally clever little musical/romantic comedy/melodrama. (I would not consider it, strictly speaking, a "silent," since it relies on synchronized Foley effects in some scenes -- to pointedly dramatize the Invasion of the Talkies -- and even a few words of recorded dialog.)*
I can understand why it appeals so much to Academy voters: It displays great affection for actors and a nostalgic love for the lost grandeur of the movies in general; it addresses anxieties about how new technologies are once again changing the movie business; it's the only Best Picture nominee shot entirely in Los Angeles (something TWC's Oscar campaign is playing up, big-time).
The Academy Award winners for the past thirty years have followed consistent molds, primarily in the categories of Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Picture. It is a very simple set of templates that I will explain with excessive evidence. This is not to say that the Academy Awards are a conspiracy run by some secret society, although that idea would be quite fun. Rather, at the very least, there is a subtext to American culture that plays out in the ideas and ideals in American cinema, and it plays out consistently. At the very least, I'm illustrating some unwritten ideals in American culture. Whether or not they are healthy or corrupt, they are there in us. So, "Best Picture" is not a great movie; rather, it is a great movie that fulfills the mold.