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Winter Sleep

The running time of his new picture Winter Sleep, three hours and change, suggests weight, but at it happens, this movie struck me as both…

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Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Thumbnails 8/21/14

1.

"We Are the Best!": Roderick Heath of This Island Rod writes a great piece on Lukas Moodysson's polarizing picture about pint-sized punk rockers.

“Moodysson’s skill with young actors is evident as he lets his young scamps burst with unruly energy. His familiar thrum of laidback humanism underscores the proceedings as he waggishly offers pint-sized tyros taking on anyone who offends them, starting with hair metal band Iron Fist who hog the practice space in their neighbourhood youth centre: capitalising on a technicality about booking the space and backed up by the centre’s comically officious hippie youth counsellors, they take over the space and the communal instruments after kicking Iron Fist out, and then bash on their instruments with all the abandon of the ‘Lord of the Flies’ kids. When they reach out to Hedvig, they find her surprisingly receptive to their musical obsessions and ambitions. They also offer her friendship, something she lacks, although their attempts to give her a punk haircut results in her mother (Ann-Sofie Rase) threatening to report them to the police, but then giving them a sweet lecture over milk and cookies about the hypocrisy of trying to impose their own standards of in-crowed chic on others when they’ve been avoiding that themselves. A more serious potential for a rift forms when the three girls reach out to a band of slightly older boys who have a band, Sabotage, often featured in the fanzine they read assiduously. The asymmetric hook-up sees the boys in the band, Elis (Jonathan Salomonsson) and Mackan (Alvin Strollo), having recently shed a member, interested in Klara and Hedvig, leaving Bobo, who suffers from low self-esteem, is hurt by the excision. She contacts Elis herself in a naked play for his affection.”

2.

"James Foley, Ferguson, Gawker, 'NY Post': The Whiplash of Journalism at Its Best and Worst": Flavorwire's Jason Bailey explores the dangers of modern investigative journalism.

“Meanwhile, in Ferguson, Missouri, journalists from around the world have put themselves in harm’s way to capture images of a militarized police force gone amok, and a community in anguish and anger. And those journalists’ work on the ground helped shine a much-needed light on the events there; the first few nights of protests were barely mentioned in mainstream media, and it took the arrests of ‘The Washington Post’’s  Wesley Lowery and Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly to ‘get the mainstream media machine moving,’ per Politico. Since Wednesday, with the eyes of the nation on them, forces in Ferguson have arrested 11 more journalists reporting for outlets around the world, from ‘The Telegraph’ and Getty Images to ‘Sports Illustrated’ to Breitbart News. Cops lobed tear gas at a team from Al-Jazeera America and disassembled their equipment; threatened to ‘shell’ Mustafa Hussein, operator of one of the story’s most vital live streams; and threatened to mace MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. But the journalists haven’t left; Ferguson is an important story, and it’s their job to cover it.”

3.

"Why Exactly Is There a 'Jarhead 2'? Hollywood's Secret Sequel Economy": Grantland's Matt Patches discusses the current onslaught of cash grab sequels such as—wait, there's actually a sequel to 'JARHEAD'? Seriously?!

“The officially sanctioned ‘Jarhead’ sequel joins a swarm of thought-dead brands revived through cunning straight-to-DVD strategy. Universal Home Entertainment, which is releasing ‘Jarhead 2: Field of Fire’ on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD platforms, has “non-theatrical” (“direct-to-DVD” being the archaic term) production down to a science. The company releases five to seven titles a year. The annual slates are eclectic: In the past four years, Universal has released ‘The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption,’ ‘Saige Paints the Sky,’ ‘Death Race 3: Inferno,’ ‘Honey 2,’ ‘Blue Crush 2,’ ‘Curse of Chucky’ (the franchise’s sixth installment), and ‘The Little Rascals Save the Day’ (a quasi-continuation of the studio’s 1994 remake). Competitive studios keep their own plates spinning, with Fox Home Entertainment (‘Marley & Me: The Puppy Years,’ ‘Tooth Fairy 2,’ ‘Flicka: Country Pride,’ ‘Wrong Turn 5’ & ‘6,’ and ‘Joy Ride 3’), Paramount Famous Productions (‘Mean Girls 2’), and Warner Premiere (‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr.’; ‘House Party: Tonight’s the Night’; and DC Comics’ animated output) producing new titles for streaming platforms and Redbox kiosks.”

4.

"Seth Meyers on 'Late Night,' Hosting the Emmys, and Getting Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to Write Jokes for Him": Vulture's Jesse David Fox conducts a superb interview with the sardonic comic, asking questions such as, "What is a good episode of late night television to you?"

“The monologue is probably the biggest indicator. I think a good monologue puts you in a good mood for the rest of it. But it is funny because your memory only serves to the last thing you did. If I don’t feel like the monologue went great, but then I go to the desk and we do a piece of comedy there that does work, then you're sort of like, ‘We're fine.’ But for us, a really good episode is also dependent on were there good guests? Did you get something out of them? I always want my guests to score. If you have a guest who’s a comedian and they want you to set them up for things, then you have to just set them up for things and get out of the way and don’t put punch lines on their punch lines. And with other people, where it can be an interesting conversation, you want to do the work of watching the source material. At some point, that’s something, when you have kids, you can’t really watch every movie and read every book, but right now I’m trying my best to.”

5.

"Kirk Douglas Remembers Lauren Bacall: She Was My Lucky Charm": Written by Douglas for The Hollywood Reporter.

“I met Betty when she was 17 and I was 24. We were both studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I was on my own in New York with meager funds. That winter, Betty saw me shivering in my thin overcoat. She didn't say anything, but she talked her uncle into giving me one of his two thick coats. I wore it for three years. That sort of unassuming kindness was one of her most endearing characteristics. When I had the honor of presenting Betty with her honorary Oscar in 2009, I told the audience: ‘People said Bacall was ‘tough.’ She's a pussycat with a heart of gold.’ After World War II ended, I was honorably discharged from the Navy in San Diego. Betty had been discovered by Howard Hawks and was now in Hollywood preparing for her first film, in which she was to star opposite none other than Humphrey Bogart. I wanted to see her before flying back to New York, so I called her, and we arranged to meet for dinner. Of course, she was late. When I stood up to greet her, I noticed that she had the script for To Have and Have Not under her arm. We talked about it, and she read me a few lines: ‘You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? You just put your lips together — and blow.’ ‘Betty,’ I said, ‘you will be a star.’ My prophecy came true.”

Image of the Day

At Variety, Steven Gaydos celebrates the fifth anniversary of Kino Lorber, the distributor that "finds tomorrow's classics in today's fest scene."

Video of the Day

The trailer for Jason Reitman’s “Men, Women & Children,” features no spoken dialogue and casts an entrancing spell.

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