REVIEW: “Melancholia” (***1/2)

Posted by · 5:32 am · May 19th, 2011

Cannes Film Festival It’s the end of the world as we know it, and Lars von Trier feels fine. Well, not “fine,” exactly: he feels as despairing and sceptical and faithless as he usually does, but that’s clearly where he’s comfortable, and where his creative faculties thrive most actively. They’re certainly in rude health in […]

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CANNES CHECK: ‘Melancholia’

Posted by · 8:40 am · May 10th, 2011

The director: Lars von Trier (Denmark) The talent: After the lonesome two-hander that was “Antichrist,” von Trier is back to the all-star ensemble form of “Dogville” — and an eclectic ensemble at that. Taking on the traditionally punishing duties of von Trier’s female lead (though the man maintains she got off lightly) is Kirsten Dunst. […]

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‘Melancholia’ trailer

Posted by · 4:16 am · April 8th, 2011

I’m continuing my 2011 resolution of not watching trailers for films I’m really looking forward to, but for the less ascetic among you, here’s our first glimpse of Lars von Trier’s latest, which will doubtless turn up in next month’s Cannes lineup. As many of you know, I’m always in the tank for von Trier […]

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Small victories

Posted by · 1:05 pm · January 8th, 2010

Veeeeery small. And silver medals rather than victories. But hey, kudos to the Central Ohio Film Critics Association for (almost) going where no one else will go: Best Actress: Carey Mulligan, “An Education” Runner-up: Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Antichrist” Best Cinematography: Robert Richardson, “Inglourious Basterds” Runner-up: Anthony Dod Mantle, “Antichrist”

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INTERVIEW: Willem Dafoe

Posted by · 7:30 am · November 23rd, 2009

I have thought about little else since seeing Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist” at TIFF a few months ago.  The astonishing, beautiful images are in my head once a day, the performances have never strayed from my mind. At this writing I still do not know if I liked the film, but I do feel it […]

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Stunning video for Charlotte Gainsbourg’s ‘Heaven Can Wait’

Posted by · 7:55 am · November 19th, 2009

Produced by and featuring Beck. Video directed by Keith Schofield. Reason #528 why I love Charlotte Gainsbourg. (Thanks to The Auteurs for the heads-up.) Meanwhile, Gainsbourg claims that she brought emotional baggage from the “Antichrist” shoot to the recording of her third album “IRM.” Should be an interesting listen.

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David Poland’s Oscar underdogs … where are the ladies?

Posted by · 1:50 pm · November 13th, 2009

For those of you bored of reading the same ever-narrowing list of names in the assorted Oscar-speculation pieces across the web, David Poland’s latest column is a slight breath of fresh air. Decrying the fact that many pundits are making ludicrous long-shot calls like “This Is It” for Best Picture, while ignoring more deserving contenders […]

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‘A Prophet’ dominates European Film Award nominations

Posted by · 7:19 am · November 7th, 2009

Is “A Prophet” gradually stealing awards-season momentum from “The White Ribbon?” (It’s the superior film, if you ask me.) Too soon to say, of course, but it certainly came out on top in this morning’s European Film Award nominations. Jacques Audiard’s searing chronicle of French prison gangs leads the field with six nominations, to four […]

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TORONTO: Settling in, ‘Antichrist’

Posted by · 9:41 am · September 11th, 2009

I left home at 6:30am yesterday to make an early check-in to my hotel at 8:30.  One bummer, my youngest daughter, Ariana, has a flu bug and I hate leaving Sherri with her on her own. She assured me it was cool, so I managed to get out the door without being overwhelmed with guilt. […]

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VENICE: Swinton in ‘I Am Love,’ Gainsbourg in ‘Persecution’

Posted by · 7:37 am · September 5th, 2009

Is any other actor today building as diverse a filmography as Tilda Swinton? After serving studio time last year in the one-two shot of “Burn After Button,” this year has seen hear frighten off the purple-rinsed Academy crowd that seemingly first noticed her in “Michael Clayton” with a defiant return to arthouse “difficulty” in “Julia” […]

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7/21 Web Round-up

Posted by · 8:03 am · July 21st, 2009

• The forthcoming release of “Julie & Julia” delays author Julie Powell’s follow-up book. [New York Observer] • Seth Rogen takes “Entourage” (which is slowly jumping the shark this season) and its creators to task. [Movieline] • Going to Comic-Con?  Download the official iPhone app. [Apple]

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‘Antichrist’ vs ‘True Lies’

Posted by · 9:24 am · July 15th, 2009

Over at the Guardian, Michael Hann is rehashing an argument that, over the last two months, has become a very tired one indeed: that Lars von Trier hates women, that “Antichrist” is his most overtly misogynistic expression yet of said hate, shock, outrage, blah blah blah. As you know, the “misogyny” complaint is not one […]

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REVIEW: “Antichrist” (***1/2)

Posted by · 10:01 am · June 23rd, 2009

Edinburgh International Film Festival “I am the greatest director in the world,” Lars von Trier declared in an already notorious Cannes press conference following the unveiling of “Antichrist” in May.  Unable to resist such shameless baiting, most critics either responded with affectionate exasperation (“Oh, Lars!”) or, as one suspects von Trier preferred, tomato-faced indignation. What […]

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Von Trier: “I am the female character”

Posted by · 7:09 am · May 29th, 2009

There isn’t very much more I can say about the writhing can of worms that is “Antichrist” until I actually get to see the film. (Anyone who can make this happen, you know where to find me.) But it’s worth mentioning this interview with Von Trier in the Independent, if only because it draws attention […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Taking the temperature

Posted by · 2:10 pm · May 25th, 2009

It’s somewhat surprising that our year-in-advance Oscar coverage is only three months old.  That now ancient list of predictions seems so long ago, and yet, even with Cannes behind us and this or that indication of a few of the contenders, I have no idea how to offer an educated update beyond general housekeeping.  The […]

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Haneke lands Palme d’Or, Gainsbourg takes Best Actress

Posted by · 10:41 am · May 24th, 2009

As it turned out, the most logical on-paper prediction turned out the be the right one. After emerging as the bridesmaid from several festivals past — winning the Grand Prix in 2001, Best Director in 2005 — the venerable Austrian auteur Michael Haneke has finally won the Palme d’Or for his stark moral drama “The […]

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What will take the Palme d’Or?

Posted by · 6:21 pm · May 23rd, 2009

It’s all over bar the voting. Tomorrow, Cannes jury president Isabelle Huppert will meet with her formidable, female-dominated team of eight – including the diverse likes of Robin Wright Penn, Asia Argento, James Gray and Hanif Kureishi – to pick over the 20 Competition titles they have seen over the last fortnight and select their […]

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Gainsbourg defends Von Trier

Posted by · 8:08 am · May 20th, 2009

Charlotte Gainsbourg seems so impossibly delicate in person that it’s hard to imagine her mutilating herself on camera. I suspect it’s even harder to watch — part of what makes her a canny choice as one of Lars Von Trier’s notoriously put-upon leading ladies. In this excellent video interview with the Guardian’s Xan Brooks (no […]

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