“La Belle et la Bête” Trailer

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This may not be Jean Cocteau classic, but something must explain its current opening success in Italy. There are things here I like: Vincent Cassel as Beast/Prince, a powerful soundtrack and great visuals. I hear the story does not live up to all the visuals, but it’s a rule, rather than an exception today. Apparently, there is another “Beauty and the Beast” movie to be announced with Emma Watson in it, but we will also see other Disney animation-themed movies soon. Joe Wright is directing “Pan” (2015), “the origin” story of Peter Pan staring Hugh Jackman; “Maleficent” (2014) with Angelina Jolie is coming soon, and we anticipate (for years now) “a darker version” of the fairytale “Pinocchio” (2016) – an animated film directed by Guillermo del Toro.

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Best Films Never Made #12: Shane Carruth’s A Topiary

One Room With A View

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In 2004, Shane Carruth stunned the film industry with his visionary debut, Primer. Taking a meticulous and realist approach to the ever-popular sci-fi theme of time travel, his singular vision earned him the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, instant cult status and legions of fans eagerly awaiting his next film.

But then? Nothing.

For nine years, little was known of Carruth’s film-making plans except for a mysterious two-word title, A Topiary, and whispers of something “epic” on its way. In 2013, fans were sated with the release of a new Carruth project, Upstream Colour, but what exactly happened to the film he spent almost a decade trying to make? And what even is A Topiary? A Topiary 1

To put it as bluntly as possible, A Topiary is the most mind-blowingly ambitious screenplay I have ever read. Working my way through its 245 pages I found myself shaking my head…

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“Upstream Color” Mini-Review

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Upstream Color (2013)

Most critics couldn’t stop talking about it.’ (Keith Kimbell, Metacritic)

The now Sundance Festival’s favourite, Shane Carruth, came in 2013 with his second major film titled ‘Upstream Color’, a film to rival his brain-wrecking ‘masterpiece’ – ‘Primer’ (2004). Revered by critics worldwide, Upstream Color’ starts off with a thief who kidnaps a woman and drugs her into a game of manipulation to relieve her of her possessions. From then on we see the unfolding of probably some of the most confusing and perplexing events on screen in years. The audience is confronted with such deep philosophical/psychological, biologically-themed topics as the essence of nature, cycle of life, free will/determinism, etc. This existential feel is present throughout the film’s 96 minutes’ duration.

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The Academy Awards 2014

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Best Picture

Winner: 12 Years a Slave

Other nominees: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street

Well, there are hardly any surprises here, with virtually every film commentator predicting ‘12 Years a Slave’s win. It is easy to see why there was hardly any competition at all in this category, too. With greatest respect and admiration for other nominated films, ‘12 Years a Slave’ just stands out in terms of its artistic merit and, most importantly, the impact it produces. I don’t mind if ‘Gravity’ sweeps every award out there, as long as the Best Picture goes to its most deserved contender. Arguably, ’12 Years a Slave’ is the only film in the category to which you can comfortably assign the word ‘masterpiece’. It is a great achievement for everyone involved in the production of this film, especially for its director, Steve McQueen.

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