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Busan 2017 Review: Ecology In Concrete Explores the Heart of Modern Seoul

2 hours ago

Following her Talking Architect films, director Jeong Jae-eun once again explores the complicated systems behind Seoul's urban planning, a field which encompasses both fascinating sociological insights and frustrating political obstacles. In Jeong's hands, this exploration of the growth of Seoul's residential planning is enthralling yet the journey is at times difficult through its detailed mid-section, especially for those not familiar with the city's unique architectural landscape. Beginning with Seoul's aggressive housing development plans that began in the late 1960s, Ecology in Concrete interviews an array of city planners, architects, real estate agents and residents to give a picture of how one of the world's largest cities, at the time of its quickest growth, attempted to deal with need for more and better housing. The film...

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Busan 2017: After My Death and Blockage Pick Up New Currents Awards

18 hours ago

Ahead of its closing ceremony this evening, the 22nd Busan International Film Festival (Biff) announced its awards today which included top honors in their signature New Currents competition for the Korean film After My Death from Kim Eui-seok and the Iranian feature Blockage by Mohsen Gharaei. After My Death, which chronicles the difficult aftermath of a child's suicide and how it affects her school, classmates and family, also earned the Actress of the Year Award for its lead Jeon Yeo-been. The Actor of the Year Award went to Park Jong-hwan of Jeong Ga-young's second film Hit the Night. The newly established Kim Ji-seok Award, in honor of the recently passed Executive Programmer of the festival, went to the Thai work Malila: The Farewell Flower from...

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Busan 2017 Review: Hit The Night Flips Genders in Talky Game of Cat and Mouse

18 hours ago

Following quickly on the heels of her surprising debut Bitch on the Beach, which bowed at the Seoul Independent Film Festival last year, Jeong Ga-young gets her first Busan berth with Hit the Night, which once again features the director in the lead as a curious, loquacious and sexually aggressive young woman. Ga-young invites Jin-hyeok, an acquaintance, out for dinner and drinks, claiming that she's doing research for a film she's making. Through a series of probing questions she learns more about his personal circumstance and sexual preferences, while also dropping less and less subtle hints that she's interested in him. Jeong's latest is even more pared down than the already lo-fi Bitch on the Beach but while she loses her debut's element of surprise,...

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Blu-ray Review: Red Christmas Kills

20 October 2017 2:26 PM, PDT

I first saw Red Christmas at Fantasia in 2016, and then again in September 2017 at the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival. Star Dee Wallace (Cujo, E.T.) was in attendance at both festivals, but it was at Hiff where she gave an impassioned speech about her choices and her role in Red Christmas that cemented her status as a serious badass for me.  After a lengthy festival tour, director Craig Anderson's crazy little horror film has come out on blu-ray via Artsploitation. Crafted on a microbudget, this home invasion slasher filmed in Australia took full advantage of the funding and talent there as well as the natural lighting on hand. Wallace stars as a retiring mother who's gathered her children around her in the family home for one last Christmas before...

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Review: Death Race 2050 (2017), another cheesefest from Roger Corman shot in Peru

20 October 2017 1:31 PM, PDT

Much like another Roger Corman production I reviewed a couple of months ago —the ever-hilarious and generically-named Ultra Warrior—, Death Race 2050 is an apocalyptic, grim-yet-colourful action movie set in a futuristic United States, but shot in my native Peru. The main difference is that this is no longer talking about 80s cinema. No, Death Race 2050 was released earlier this year, meaning one can expect a little more polish —and a truckload of digital effects— from the movie, instead of mullets and cheesy dubbing. This doesn’t make the film any less absurd or cheap-looking than Ultra Warrior. Or any less memorable than the original Death Race movie, for that matter. Actually, I found the movie to be quite refreshing, especially when compared to its...

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Busan 2017 Review: Method Gets Booed Off the Stage

20 October 2017 12:31 PM, PDT

Bang Eun-jin scales things down significantly for her fourth work, the theater world forbidden love story Method. Lacking any chemistry between its leads, this facile mirrored narrative proves to be Bang's least impressive work as it trudges through thinly drawn and tired themes. Veteran stage performer Jae-ha signs up for the dual protagonist stage play 'Unchain', along with youth idol Young-woo, who is taking on his first acting role. Young-woo's bored and arrogant behavior quickly gets on Jae-ha nerves but after a rocky start he sees a serious side to the neophyte actor and tries to mentor him, as he brings him into his home, where he lives with his girlfriend Hee-won. 'Unchain' features a gay relationship and when life begins to imitate art, Jae-ho...

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Hey Toronto! Author Grady Hendrix Brings Paperbacks From Hell to Town in November!

20 October 2017 10:30 AM, PDT

  Hey Toronto. Just putting a bug in your ear about an important stopover in Grady Hendrix's tour of his latest book Paperbacks From Hell. Presented by our friends at The Mikatonic Institute of Horror Studies, Paperbacks From Hell Live is coming to our town next month on November 30th at The Royal Cinema.    Mr. Hendrix has graced Screen Anarchy with a small selection of book covers that he writes about in his tremendous overview of the horror novel explosion of the seventies and eighties. It is just a taste of the glory that awaits you in his live show.    The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies presents: Paperbacks From Hell Live!   In the early Seventies, three books changed horror forever: Rosemary's...

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Crowdfund This: Frank & Zed, Puppet Horror For The Masses

20 October 2017 9:00 AM, PDT

Jesse Blanchard's puppet horror film Frank & Zed, as far as anyone knows, will be the first feature length full classic puppet style film in nearly thirty years. That is, puppets and only puppets dominate the landscape in the film he has been working on for the past four years.    1 - Is this really the first puppet film in 30 years?: As far as we know, this is the first feature-length film (60+ mins) to be made using classic glove-style puppetry since Peter Jackson's Meet the Feebles. The few puppet feature films that have been made have either had human actors (i.e. The Muppets) or were made with marionettes (Team America) or other forms of puppetry. (Source, wikipedia) Frank & Zed Faq  ...

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Busan 2017 Review: The Third Murder Ponders the Unknowable in Quiet and Electric Mystery

20 October 2017 7:00 AM, PDT

Known for his controlled and humanistic family dramas, acclaimed filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda tries his hand at the bread and butter of the Japanese mainstream, the murder mystery. The result, which he directed from his own script, is the ruminative and masterful The Third Murder, which weighs the meaning of justice and the value of life and features top-drawer performances from Masaharu Fukuyama and Koji Yakusho. A man walks behind another along a river bank at night, murders him in cold blood and sets fire to his corpse. The criminal is Misumi, a middle-aged man who was only recently released for a double murder 30 years in the past. He readily admits to his new crime, but a legal team is assigned to try and do...

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Tonight in La! Hero Complex Hosts Thor: Ragnarok Art Show

20 October 2017 6:00 AM, PDT

Hey La! If you're part of --- or follow --- geek culture in southern California, it's quite likely that you know all about the cool art space known as the Hero Complex Gallery. Within its walls, top artists pay homage to favorites in cult film and pop culture through all kinds of mediums, palettes, and techniques. In this show, Hero's artists take on the latest superhero film in the Thor francise --- Thor: Ragnarok --- at the Los Angeles gallery. If you're in the area, RSVP for the opening reception tonight, October 20th, from 7 - 10pm. (All info is in the image above.) I was able to catch a sneak peek of the work on display, and there's some incredible stuff there --- art prints,...

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Review: Jungle, Daniel Radcliffe Gets Lost

19 October 2017 7:34 PM, PDT

First comes sheer human panic, then the growl of a wild animal. Seeking change in his life after completing three years of service in the Israeli Navy, Yossi Ghinsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) ends up in Bolivia, South America, in search of further adventures. He befriends fellow backpacker Marcus (Joel Jackson), and a bit later they run into Kevin (Alex Russell), a veteran photographer who may be Marcus' best friend. The three get along well and are soon fast friends. Yossi shows his philosophical side when he spends a little quiet time -- including a trippy psychedelic drug trip -- with a soulful backpacker named Amie (Lily Sullivan), whose presence is soon missed. Arriving in the mountainous city of La Paz, Yossi attracts the attention of Karl...

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First Photos of Tara Reid, Mischa Barton and Dee Wallace in Ouija House

19 October 2017 6:30 PM, PDT

Why settle for the board when you can have an entire house?    Production has wrapped on Ben Demaree's indie horror flick Oujia House and now it will head into post. A selection of stills have been made available to us, which you will find below.    If you have ever wonder to your self, "Self? Whatever happened to 00s it-girls Tara Reid and Mischa Barton?" this is kind of an answer. While the young ladies' co-star Dee Wallace has found herself in any number of small budget horror flicks over the years, save for adverse weather with a chance of preadatorial sea life, Reid and Barton have remained fairly low profile. We shall see if Ouija House does anything to change that    ITN...

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Preview: Margaret Mead 2017 "Activates" Cross-Cultural Connection

19 October 2017 4:05 PM, PDT

The Margaret Mead Film Festival, the premier showcase for documentary films in New York, returns for its 41st edition, screening at the American Museum of Natural History from Oct. 19-22. This year's typically impressive slate consists of 29 feature films and 12 shorts that span the globe, addressing urgent issues, and offering vibrant portraits of life in many cultures.  Each year, the fest has a different theme, and this year's theme is "Activate," which expresses the aim to spark connections and conversation across culture, a perspective that is now sorely needed more than ever. As usual, the fest program also expands beyond film to virtual reality, installations, panels, and other fully interactive experiences.  Below are a few of my recommendations from this year's program. For more information,...

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Jean-Claude Van Damme.. aka Jean-Claude Van Johnson?

19 October 2017 3:41 PM, PDT

Stars global martial arts & actor Jean-Claude Van Damme playing "Jean-Claude Van Damme", a global martial arts & film sensation, also operating under the simple alias of "Johnson" as the world's best undercover private contractor. Retired for years, a chance encounter with a lost love brings him back to the game. This time, he'll be deadlier than ever. Probably. Opens on December 15 on Amazon Prime Video!...

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A Girl Is A Gun Trailer: Denise Richards Leads Feminist Grindhouse Series

19 October 2017 11:30 AM, PDT

There's a new streaming upstart in town called Blackpills USA. Originally a digital media firm that produced shortform video for millennials, the service is now available in the U.S. through Apple's App Store and Google Play. Blackpills are launching a ton of original shows, from Luc Besson's Playground, to a new show from Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe) and this 70's set, feminist reveger called A Girl is A Gun. Steeped in the grindhouse tradition, A Girl with a Gun follows three women (Santa Fe, Nenuphar, Vegas) living in Los Angeles who go missing, creating a wave of panic in the city. While the police suspect a serial killer is behind the disappearance, the three women have actually joined a secret guerrilla camp where they train to...

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The Punisher: Watch The New Trailer, Release Date Revealed

19 October 2017 11:00 AM, PDT

Marvel's The Punisher is coming to Netflix. And for the longest time all we knew was that it was coming soon. Some time. In the future. Trust us. It's coming.    With a new trailer released today they have finally tacked on the release date and you can watch the upcoming series starting November 17th.    After exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) uncovers a conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York’s criminal underworld. Now known throughout the city as The Punisher, he must discover the truth about injustices that affect more than his family alone....

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Review: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, Strange, Cold and Horrifying

19 October 2017 10:01 AM, PDT

Human beings can be kind, generous, and loving. But they can also be self-indulgent, vicious, and cruel. We all want to believe that, under certain circumstances, we would sacrifice and fight for the lives of our loved ones. But would we? Or would we try to circumvent dire circumstances in order to save our own lives, sacrificing those we claim to love? Yorgos Lanthimos' name has become synonymous with contemporary absurdism; the films that have made him one of the most lauded filmmakers in recent years -- Dogtooth, Alps, and The Lobster -- have mixed stories of families and relationships in the most strange of circumstances, combining black comedy, violence, and the crisis of identity. In his latest English-language production, The Killing of a Sacred Deer,...

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Exclusive Never Here Clip: Mireille Enos and Creepy Suspicion

19 October 2017 9:00 AM, PDT

Mireille Enos, who was great in the American version of The Killing, even if the series made me want to pull my hair out, stars in Never Here. We have an exclusive clip to share with you. The film features Sam Shepard in his final appearance. Goran Visnjic, and Vincent Piazza also star; Camille Thoman wrote and directed. Here's a portion of the official synopsis: "Installation artist Miranda Fall follows, photographs and documents the lives of strangers to create her art. One night her secret lover witnesses a violent act from Miranda's apartment window. To protect his identity, Miranda poses as the primary witness, making statements to the police about a crime she did not see. She begins to create a new piece of work,...

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Busan 2017 Review: After My Death Breathlessly Ponders High School Suicide

19 October 2017 8:01 AM, PDT

The New Currents competition gets a jolt of energy with Kim Ui-seok's livewire debut After My Death. Much like fellow competition title Last Child, the grief and guilt surrounding a high schooler's death also forms the crux of this film, but what separates them is a focus on the group rather than individual characters and punchier pacing that drives towards an intriguing finish. A high school girl dies one night and the next day the police descend on her school to investigate. It seems like a clear cut case of suicide, but several questions arise about the motives for this high-performing student's deadly act. The classmate who was last seen with her is suspected of egging her on and she becomes a target of ruthless...

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Balangiga: Howling Wilderness Teases a Boy, Bloody Bodies and a Burning Hillside

19 October 2017 7:31 AM, PDT

One night, a young boy wanders around a burning hillside, bloody dead bodies everywhere. He's looking for something ... This is a teaser for Balangiga: Howling Wilderness, the latest from Filipino filmmaker Khavn de la Cruz. It will have its first screening at QCinema International Film Festival in Quezon City, Philippines, on Friday, October 20, with a gala screening on Saturday, October 21. The festival describes the film as an "intimate historical epic." Here are a few more words from the fest: "1901, Balangiga. Eight-year-old Kulas flees town with his grandfather and their carabao to escape General Smith's Kill & Burn order. He finds a toddler amid a sea of corpses and together, the two boys struggle to survive the American occupation." Take a look...

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