Director Nick Broomfield Talks TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER, His Introduction to the Case, the Film’s Revelations, and More at NYFF 2014

by     Posted 46 days ago

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Tenacious, inquisitive, intelligent, and relentless, filmmaker Nick Broomfield has carved out a unique place for himself in the documentary community over 25 years.  He embarks on production with only a subject and a cameraman, yet always emerges with something raw, informative, and fascinating. Past triumphs include the near legendary Aileen Wuornos films, Kurt And Courtney, Biggie And Tupac, and Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam.  His latest feature Tales Of The Grim Sleeper just might be Broomfield’s finest achievement to date and Collider got a chance to chat with him about it at this year’s New York Film Festival. Hit the jump for the details.

THE TRIBE Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 71 days ago

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After an award-winning premiere at Cannes, The Tribe arrived at this year’s TIFF with a great deal of expectation.  Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s debut feature sports the attention-grabbing premise of being an entirely silent film (aside from ambient noise) played out exclusively by deaf and mute non-actors.  It’s unlike any film you’ve ever seen because it’s unlike any movie that’s ever been made.  Yet, Slaboshpytskiy wisely mixes in enough familiar elements to make his story easy to follow, while piling on genuinely disturbing images on the way to an unforgettably harsh climax.  The Tribe is a difficult film, there’s not denying that.  However, there’s also no denying that it’s a brilliant one as well.  Hit the jump for the details.

ADULT BEGINNERS Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 73 days ago

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Though the duo have nothing to do with the film beyond an executive producer credit, Adult Beginners definitely feels as though it falls within the brand of Mark and Jay Duplass.  It’s a humble little comedy about awkward adults struggling with that whole, “living in the world” thing that leaps from comedy to drama so frequently and smoothly that they start to feel like the same thing.  Ambitions aren’t particularly high.  It’s not a movie trying to change the world.  However, it is a warm, charming, and insightful little comedy with some wonderful central performances that’ll slap a smile on your face without insulting your intelligence.  That might not sound like much, but it’s also a surprisingly rare treat, so the movie is very much worthwhile. 

THE EDITOR Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 73 days ago

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The sweet Manitoba chaps behind Astron-6 have been cranking out homemade tongue-in-cheek trash epics like Father’s Day and Manborg for a while now, but nothing they’ve done thus far will prepare you for The Editor.  Granted, it’s a movie that is about as inside baseball as it gets. If you don’t even know what the word giallo is referring to, you’ll still laugh because these guys are almost too funny for their own good. However, if you’re someone who savors the same Italian horror flicks as co-directors Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy clearly do, then The Editor will knock you on your ass with its perfect reaction of the gorgeous visuals and indeliberate comedy that defines the genre.  Hit the jump for my The Editor review.

TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 73 days ago

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Documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield (Biggie and Tupac, the Aileen Wuornos docs) has a knack for stirring up trouble on the way to the truth.  His films always chronicle his own struggle to a given subject.  Even when his movies lead to dead ends, that becomes the focus of the film and often the results are better than if he’d succeeded.  However, every now and then Broomfield stumbles onto a subject that he’s able to pull such disturbing and mind-boggling stories from that the docs turn out rather spectacularly.  Tales of the Grim Sleeper is one of these projects.  What starts as an attempt to determine the guilt of a certain serial killer gradually transforms into an indictment of the justice department and a depiction of a overlooked community.  It’s a pretty fantastic little movie, provided that you can stomach it. Want to know why? Then hit that jump.

PASOLINI Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 75 days ago

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Pier Paolo Pasolini was one of cinema’s greatest provocateurs and his mysterious murder is one of film history’s great mysteries.  So it only makes sense that Pasolini’s life would attract the attention of a certain Abel Ferrara.  The man who made the transition from the grindhouse to the art house with plenty of dirt left under his fingernails has spent a career walking the line between high art and gutter trash.  Pasolini offers heaping handsome doses of the former with a little taste of the latter for sting.  It’s not Ferrara’s greatest accomplishment, but it’s still another solid piece of work to add to his resume.  Hit the jump to find out why.

Director Abel Ferrara Talks PASOLINI, Shooting the Late Italian Filmmaker’s Unfinished Scripts, BODY SNATCHERS, and the Chances for DRILLER KILLER 2

by     Posted 75 days ago

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Packing a voice that’s sounds like a New York accent filtered through gravel and a filmmaking resume comprised exclusively of uncompromising darkness, Abel Ferrara is a pretty intimidating provocateur. He’s also a genuine artist who sprung from the exploitation movie marketplace with art film aspirations and now brings a little of the old grit with him to art house fare. HIs career began with self-explanatory shock titles like Driller Killer and Ms. 45, then matured through the likes of King of New York, Bad Lieutenant, and The Addiction. These days, his hair is white and his wrinkles have wrinkles, but the work remains just as incendiary and he’s more productive than ever.

Ferrara’s last film Welcome to New York just premiered at Cannes and now his latest film Pasolini has come to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. As the title suggests, it’s about the legendary Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini with Ferrara’s latest muse Willem Dafoe in the title role. It follows the final days of Pasolini’s life, finishing up his still controversial masterpiece Salo, working on some unfinished projects, engaging in a few heated debates with critics, visiting friends, and finally getting murdered under mysterious circumstances. In other words, it’s perfect Ferrara subject matter. Collider got a chance to chat with Ferrara during his visit to TIFF about his latest movie, shooting some of Pasolini’s unfinished scripts, battling over Body Snatchers, and the possibility (or not) of a Driller Killer 2. Hit the jump for all the details. 

TOP FIVE Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 76 days ago

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On stage, Chris Rock is consistently one of the funniest men on the planet.  In the movies…well, it’s been a rocky road.  With a few exceptions (typically in supporting roles), filmmakers have just never been able to figure out how to take advantage of his comedic voice when playing a fictional character.  Even the two times in the past that Rock has directed his movies, something felt off.  At least that was true until now.  Rock writes, directs, and stars in Top Five as a loosely fictionalized version of himself.  Just like a Woody Allen movie, it comes off as personal without being autobiographical. More importantly, it’s incredibly funny, just like Rock has always been with a mic in his hand. About time.  Hit that jump.

WHILE WE’RE YOUNG Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 77 days ago

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Film festivals are a good time to sample the latest work of Noah Baumbach.  The caustic comedic filmmaker’s work can feel a bit nasty when held up against the tripe that often qualifies as mainstream comedy.  Shove it in amidst a series of screenings of art house exports, documentaries, and Oscar bait and suddenly it doesn’t feel so odd.  Baumbach’s work tends to be at it’s best when he’s at his most visious and uncompromising.  His newest film While We’re Young is a bit softer than much of his work, which is mildly disappointing.  Thankfully, Baumbach playing nice is still harsher than 95% of comedies and this flick features easily one of his funniest scripts.  Hit the jump for all the dirty deets.

FACE OF AN ANGEL Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 77 days ago

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Director Michael Winterbottom’s career has essentially been a series of cinematic experiments.  Some have been wonderful (24 Hour Party People) and some have been horrendous (9 Songs).  That’s just the risk he takes every time.  His latest movie Face Of An Angel, is a particularly experimental crack at the bat for Winterbottom.  It’s a movie that feels very much like Adaptation as it seems to be about Winterbottom’s internal struggles making his latest movie. Unfortunately, the movie is no Adaptation.  Not even close.  Ah well.   Hit the jump to find out why.

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 77 days ago

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A Stephen Hawking biopic was always an inevitability.  The man is simply too iconic and successful with too much physical and emotional baggage for filmmakers to ignore him forever.  Thankfully the movie that emerged is not as nauseatingly maudlin as reasonably feared, nor is it as harshly honest as some might have hoped.  The Theory Of Everything shoots straight for the middle in it’s telling of Hawking’s tragically inspiring life and ultimately that’s entirely appropriate.  It’s a beautiful and moving movie, if a flawed one. Yet probably also about as good a project as one could have hoped for.  Hit the jump to find out why.

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 79 days ago

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With Christopher Guest and his gang pretty much retired from film, the mockumentary movie genre needs a new gang to take reigns and co-writers/directors Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement make a pretty damn convincing case that they should be the guys to do it with What We Do in the Shadows.  The fact that they managed to take such a familiar comedic format and spice it up with the even more overplayed subject in vampires is just further evidence that these comics are the real deal.  The film is so funny that it’s almost unfair and races by at such a fevered pace it’s hard not to feel a little sad once it’s over. It’s been a little while since any comedy pulled that off, let alone a mocumentary.  Hit the jump for all the hilarious bloodsucking details. 

HAEMOO Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 79 days ago

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There are few countries in the world cranking out films with the consistency of quality of South Korea. Over the last fifteen years, filmmakers like Chan-wook Park (Old Boy), Jee-woon Kim (I Saw The Devil), Joon-Ho Bong (Snowpiercer), and others have turned the country into one of the finest cinema factories in the global market. After Haemoo, a new name can be added to the list in Sung-Bo Shim. Well, even though he’s new to directing, he’s not really new to this world having previously worked as Bong’s screenwriting partner (Bong also serves as producer here). Yet, for any director to deliver a project as moving, thrilling, unpredictable, morally complex, and just plain entertaining as Haemoo with one swing of the bat is still a remarkable achievement. Haemoo is a wonderful piece of work and yet another reason why South Korea has fast become one of the great movie centers on the planet. Hit the jump to find out why.

THE HUMBLING Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 80 days ago

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Lately, it’s become a Hollywood staple for a bunch of old guys to get together and make movie about aging to acknowledge that career-halting trait that they all share. Most of these movies are disposable efforts like The Expendables or Last Vegas that are more embarrassing than invigorating. Thankfully, three more guys just got together to do it again and delivered something truly inspired and special. It helps that two of them are behind-the-camera talent in Barry Levinson (Diner) and screenwriter Buck Henry (The Graduate), and then the movie hits an even higher level thanks to their onscreen muse being Al Pacino. Together the trio have created The Humbling, a dark comedy about an aging artist that is a genuine return to form rather than a retirement plan publicity stunt. Hit the jump for all the juicy details explaining why.

WHIPLASH Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 81 days ago

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[Note: This is a "second take" review of Whiplash by Phil Brown from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  To read Matt's initial review from Sundance 2014, click here.]

Reduced to the most basic possible logline plot description, Whiplash might sound like an impossibly cheesy inspirational teaching drama with jazz band setting. Thankfully anything resembling warm, fuzzy, and safe entertainment ends there in writer/director Damien Chazelle’s debut feature. What he’s created is a vicious game of psychological warfare between a talented pupil and nearly psychotic teacher that ducks and swerves against convention at every possible turn, transforming into a fascinatingly dark character study quite unlike anything that could be expected from this subgenre. Want to know why? Then go ahead and hit that jump. 

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