Scare Yourself With These Chilling Horror Screenings Around NYC This Weekend

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It’s a big weekend in the (even) Big(ger) Apple, and there’s plenty of Halloween activities for every spook enthusiast. If you’re not looking to dance the night away in one of New York City’s many All Hallow’s Eve-themed parties, try one of the creepy screenings instead:

Happening around Midnight Tonight:

Alien, at IFC Center in the West Village. $15.
Spirited Away, at Landmark Sunshine on the LES. $12.
The Elephant Man, at IFC Center. $15.
The Exorcist: Extended Director’s Cutat IFC Center. $15.
The Greasy Stranglerat Nitehawk in Williamsburg. $12.
Train to Busanat IFC Center. $15.
Under the Shadow, at IFC Center. $15

PopRally presents The Exorcist, at the MoMa in midtown. $18.

Screen Slate present The Medium is the Massacrea horror film series, at the Anthology Film Archives in the East Village. $11 adults, $9 students/ seniors.

For more Halloween screenings, visit The Skint.

Disney to Make Don Quixote Film

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It looks like the Man of La Mancha will finally be getting the spotlight.

Disney is making a film adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ 1607 classic, says The Hollywood ReporterBilly Ray (The Hunger Games, Captain Phillips) is set to write the script.

Don Quixote follows the tale of an unimportant aristocrat, Alanso Quixano, who deludes himself into thinking he’s a chivalrous night, and embarks on a foolish quest with his squat neighbor, Sancho. The crew find themselves in some unexpectedly funny and dangerous situations.

The plan, then, is to make Don Quixote in a similar style to Pirates of the Caribbean, which, lest we forget, took a supernatural period piece and turned it into a billion dollar series of films and an entire franchise.

Filmmaker Terry Gilliam has unsuccessfully been attempting a Quixote film since the 1990s, first with Johnny Depp at the helm, then Ewan McGregor, and now, in his latest attempts, Adam Driver, though he’s yet to find financing, Vulture reports.

Iggy Pop a Highlight of Upcoming Austin Film Festival

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Image courtesy of Austin Film Festival.

The Austin Film Festival, widely regarded as the “writer’s festival” for its emphasis on selections showcasing innovative and skillful story crafting, today released its second wave of titles to be shown in October. The choices include Loving, from Mud writer/director Jeff Nichols, and Lion, which stars Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel.

The festival runs from October 13-20. Tickets are available on their site. Highlights from their first wave announcement include Gimme Danger, following the story of the Stooges and their legendary lead singer, Iggy Pop, and Brave New Jersey, written and directed by Jody Lambert, which stars Tony Hale (Veep) and Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect).

Here’s the full list of titles included in the festival’s second wave:

Loving

Opening Night Film
Texas Premiere
Writer/Director: Jeff Nichols*
Cast: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Michael Shannon, Nick Kroll
This movie tells the true story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred loving, who overturned Virginia’s laws against black and white people marrying after a decade-long legal battle.

The Big Spoon

World Premiere
Writers: Mallory Culbert, Carlyn Hudson
Director: Carlyn Hudson
Cast: Zach Knighton, Nick Stevenson
Relationships are tested when long-time couple Mallory and Ben plan a quite weekend for themselves and are joined by Mallory’s eccentric roommate and her lover.

The Harvest Run

World Premiere
Writers/Directors: Steven Balvanz*, Aaron McAdams*
This film tells the story of the Colbys, a longtime farming family who are preparing for the annual Harvest Run, a necessary evil in the wheat and corn industry that requires a seven-month journey to be made. This movie takes a look at the hardships faced by those working directly within the chain of the American economy.

Holding Patterns

World Premiere
Writers/Director: Jake Goldberger
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Odeya Rush, Haley Joel Osment, Christopher Meloni
Charlie Brenner is in his mid twenties and living at home with his mom and stepdad when he meets Amber, a local barista, and begins to wonder where their friendship might lead. Things grow even more complicated when Charlie’s estranged father returns home. 

Lion

Texas Premiere
Writer: Luke Davies
Director: Garth Davis
Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
Adapted from A Long Way Home by
Adapted from the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, Lion follows the challenges a young Indian boy faces after getting on the wrong train, losing his family, and getting taken in by Australians. As an adult, he sets out with next to no leads to find his real birth family.

The Man Who Was Thursday

North American Premiere
Writer/Director: Balazs Juszt
Disgraced local minister Father Smith is sent to Rome to undergo “spiritual rehabilitation,” and sent on an underground mission by his mentor, Charles, in this metaphysical thriller. 

No Retreat

World Premiere
Writers: J.D. Singer, Nicholas Zafonte
Director: Nicholas Zafonte
Fifteen years out of school, a pair of college pals bump into each other at a writers’ getaway. Old wounds, longings for creative fulfillment, and nostalgia for once was are all stirred up in this drama.

Suburban Cowboy

World Premiere
Writer: Ryan Colucci
Directors: Ryan Colucci, Dragan Roganovic
A long Island drug dealer gets in murky waters when one of his own crosses paths with Serbian gangsters in this gritty drama based on a true story.
For the full schedule, as well as panelists and events happening at the Austin Film Festival, visit their site.

 

 

WATCH: Chilling Trailer for the Smallbone Brothers’ ‘Priceless’

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“Priceless,” based on the harrowing true story of a man who inadvertently finds himself complicit in a human trafficking ring, is the debut feature of the Smallbone Brothers–director Ben Smallbone and executive producers David and Luke Smallbone. Based on the trailer, “Priceless,” is a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller shedding light on an all-too-real horror faced by scores of women and children around the world every day.

Priceless is in theaters October 18, distributed by Roadside Attractions.

Werner Herzog Does the Internet in ‘Lo and Behold’

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A few months ago I sat in a Munich conference room with Werner Herzog listening to him talk about, among other things, his upcoming documentary, Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World. He shared anecdotes about interviewing Elon Musk (“It was hard to get any human emotion out of him”), and the semi-staging of the monk shot – a “happy accident” that was both unplanned and essential. That’s just the kind of mysterious magic his films are known for. I was at his Rogue Film School, famous for including lock-picking in the syllabus. But beyond the anarchy he encourages, in filmmaking and in life, the real pleasure of Herzog is in hearing him talk about things he’s enquiring into, because he embodies the zero-fucks-given mentality better than anyone.

In the trailer for Lo and Behold (below), it’s clear Magnolia Pictures is counting on audiences heading to theaters for the iconic filmmaker himself as much as for the à propos subject matter. “The internet is a manifestation of evil itself,” says one woman being interviewed, while another man postulates that future generations may evolve beyond needing any human interaction or companionship altogether. Nothing will depress me more today than that sentiment. But if I have to hear about the downfall of humanity via technology, it’s Herzog’s voice I want lulling me into the seemingly inevitable. Lo and Behold hits theaters August 19.

And for the record, Herzog thinks Musk’s Mars plan is idiotic.

Watch This Stirring Clip From Cannes Palme D’or Winner ‘I, Daniel Blake’

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Perhaps a testament to an era of singularly great filmmaking, three exalted veteran directors stole most of the conversation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival—with the announcement coming yesterday that Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, had won the coveted Palme D’or.

Indeed, Woody Allen’s Café Society had opened the festivities on May 11, with French comedian and Master of Ceremonies Laurent Lafitte delivering the shockingly questionable, Roman Polanksi referencing joke, “It’s very nice that you’ve been shooting so many movies in Europe, even if you are not being convicted for rape in the U.S.” The director seemed to take it in stride, but it set off a media and celebrity firestorm.

Then Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, starring Isabelle Huppert as a rape victim that sets out for revenge, ignited the media’s most fervent socio-cultural conversation around Cannes. Of course, he had caused a similar stir in 1992 with the highly controversial Basic Instinct.

But Loach took the top prize this year for his heartbreaking new neorealist film. His second Palme D’or (including 2006’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley), it tells the story of ailing and unable to work carpenter Daniel Blake (played by Dave Johns), who faces the loss of all his benefits. He befriends single mother Kattie (Hayley Squires), and they together fight for dignity and survival.

Cannes i_daniel_blake_no_film_school_interview

Of course, in these times of worsening inequality, there’s a strong ideological undercurrent to the film—even if it’s not foot-on-the-barricades political.

And to be sure, during his acceptance speech, Loach cautioned, “The world we live in is at a dangerous point right now. We are in the grip of a dangerous project of austerity, driven by ideas that we call neo-liberalism, that have brought us to near catastrophe.”

Watch the I, Daniel Blake festival teaser trailer, here:

Etnia Barcelona Releases New Basquiat-Inspired Sunglasses

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Basquiat’s work was iconic, imbued with a level of unabashed emotion and power that street art hadn’t seen when he first began wreaking havoc on New York in the ’80s. By addressing charged themes like racism, politics and hypocrisy, the young painter gave new depth to graffiti art and infiltrated the world of high-brow aficionados with a personal, outsider approach.

Designer eyewear brand Etnia Barcelona has tapped into this narrative, creating a capsule collection of sunglasses that incorporate Basquiat-inspired motifs through smart, subtle details. An homage to the late visionary, this exclusive release follows the brand’s mission to develop authentic accessories with an eye for key cultural movements in art and photography.

HEADERBasquiat02

Four different sunglasses will be available worldwide with patterns based on three original works by Basquiat. Though each individual piece is unique, Etnia Barcelona’s designed the eyewear with three vertices to resemble those hand-drawn, three-point crowns that we’ve grown to associate with Basquiat’s legacy.

A true fusion of substance and style, Etnia Barcelona’s forthcoming capsule sees the release of a fashion film, as well, featuring rapper Oddisee and graphic artist Elle—two contemporary figures who’ve both kept Basquiat’s rebellious energy alive today. Watch, below:

 

Trump, Bernie, George Clooney & Charlie Chaplin: A Curious Convergence

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“Modern Times © Roy Export SAS”

Charlie Chaplin, without question, was one of the most polarizing figures in American history. Born into a creative but mostly poverty-stricken family in South London in 1889, he parlayed early vaudevillian success into a lucrative contract with the New York Motion Picture Company in 1913. As history has it, he went on to become one of the few most influential performers and filmmakers of the 20th Century. And just as a new museum, Chaplin’s World, opens in Switzerland, his career seems to have some fascinating parallels with the current political situation in America.

He was at the height of his powers as America was plunged into the Great Depression—and his immensely successful 1931 film City Lights, with its unique, poignant mix of comedy and pathos, resonated deeply with a public living through such disconcerting times. By the time the groundbreaking industrial parody Modern Times was released in 1936, he had become a so-called “left-wing” activist…and thusly caught the suspicion of the sinister, crusading FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover as something of an agitator. In other words, Chaplin turned out to be on the wrong side of the socio-political zeitgeist.

Modern_Times_1936 ©Roy Export SAS (2)

“Modern Times © Roy Export SAS”

The_Great_Dictator_1940 w Jack Oakie© Roy Export SAS (15)

“The Great Dictator © Roy Export SAS”

Monsieur_Verdoux_ 1947 © Roy Export SAS (6)

“Monsieur Verdoux © Roy Export SAS”

But perhaps most shockingly, especially with such hindsight as we now have at our disposal, his brilliant, incisive 1940 Nazi satire The Great Dictator actually won him the ire of the American establishment. The US was still considered “at peace” with Germany, and Chaplin’s stingingly sardonic mockery of hard-right fascism was somehow taken as sure evidence of his communist sympathies (treason, as they say, is often just a matter of bad timing). Ironically, the Soviet Union would, of course, ally with America to defeat Hitler—only for the two to become superpower enemies again after the war. As for Charlie, the bad press from a paternity suit with actress Joan Barry, as well as his poorly received capitalist critique Monsieur Verdoux, ultimately made him persona non grata in his adopted home.

And so as he boarded the HMS Queen Elizabeth with his family on September 18, 1952, bound for the London premier of his magnificent, semi-autobiographical film Limelight, his re-entry permit was revoked by US Attorney General James McGranery. Chaplin, wife Oona O’Neill and their children then settled into the small but picturesque Swiss town of Corsier-sur-Vevey, never to return to America.

A museum dedicated to the legendary filmmaker, Chaplin’s World, opened last month at his renovated Swiss estate, Manoir Le Bain. It features fascinating personal effects, film set re-creations, interactive exhibits and enough career-spanning photos to keep fans and admirers riveted for hours.

Chaplin's World™ © Bubbles Incorporated_manoir_233

Chaplin's World™, Corsier-s-Vevey, Switzerland, © 2016 Marc Ducrest for Bubbles Incorporated

Above images courtesy of Chaplin’s World

But the timing of the opening could not have come with greater social and political puissance. We have a Republican presidential frontrunner whose hate-filled rhetoric sounds an awful lot like that of the fascist upstarts of the 1930s that had so alarmed Chaplin (who was said to have kept his Jewish identity a secret for realpolitik reasons); another current presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders, has been effectively marginalized as a “socialist” merely for shining a light on the terrible inequities wrought by the vagaries of unchecked global capital markets.

Further fueling the tension, Jodie Foster’s much buzzed about, Wall-Street-castigating film Money Monster arrives in theaters this weekend. Its star, George Clooney, has arguably followed a Chaplin-like trajectory, devoting his later career not to syrupy romcoms, but to more weighty films that face down the many and sundry systemic corruptions of our 21st Century reality.

Chaplin, above all, wanted to make people laugh, and to offer them a bit of ephemeral escape. But he also passionately hoped his films would make us think about our shared humanity, and perhaps then just be that much more vigilant as to its vulnerability to the forces of venality and greed.

As a crucial American presidential election unfolds, then, what better time to revisit the unparalleled cinematic legacy of Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin?

City_Lights_1931 ©Roy Export SAS

“City Lights © Roy Export SAS” 

Behind the Cannes Curtain with Festival Jurors

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The Tree of Life

While the Cannes Film Festival douses the south of France with its high art cinema, like a sea spray wafting up from the region’s infamous mistral winds (plus movie stars, yachts and everything that comes with them), we get a glimpse at the elite festival’s jury. Among this year’s nine jurors is Kirsten Dunst, who proclaims being excited to “hash it out” with her comrades. Joining Dunst is jury president George Miller (Mad Max), Mads Mikkelson, Valeria Golina, Vanessa Paradis and Donald Sutherland. 

The festival is always mum on how it chooses its illustrious Palme d’Or winner each year, but THR delves into the methodologies of some past jury presidents. Steven Spielberg and Isabelle Adjani led with discipline and intense viewing schedules. Former jury head Atom Egoyan recalls watching great films, sharing meals and stories, while realizing: “We had wildly different tastes when it came to making a decision.” Back in the ’60s, Henry Miller spent more time playing golf than ruling the jury with an iron fist and some jurors recall situations when awards were given without even debating or adhering to a voting structure. This is not 12 Angry Men. Power plays in a place like Cannes. 

Check out interviews with last year’s jurors, here, and watch trailers for the past five Palme d’Or winners, below. As far as I’m concerned, at least two were undoubtably worthy winners.


The Tree of Life, 2011

Amour, 2012

Blue is the Warmest Color, 2013

Winter Sleep, 2014

Dheepan, 2015