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Trailer for Nyff Premiere ‘Cielo’ Explores the Vast Wonders of the Sky

10 hours ago

While await a proper release of Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time, another documentary that looks at the awe and wonder of our world is, ahem, world premiering at the New York Film Festival. Cielo, the feature debut from Alison McAlpine (Second Sight), explores the heavens above the Andes and the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

Ahead of the world premiere next week, the first trailer has now arrived, which shows off stunning skyscapes and introduces the astronomers, fishermen, miners, and cowboys that take us on this journey. “Cielo itself is an act of reverence and awe, and its sense of wonder ranges from the intimate and human to the vast and inhuman,” says the official Nyff synopsis. Check out the preview below.

The first feature from Alison McAlpine, director of the beautiful 2008 “nonfiction ghost story” short Second Sight, is a dialogue with the heavens—in this case, the heavens »

- Jordan Raup

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Tiff Review: ‘Princesita’ Shows the Loss of Innocence with Precise Artistic Vision

19 hours ago

Miguel (Marcelo Alonso) compares God to a fire when explaining how the ones our religions’ sacred books describe aren’t quite right. Our creator is simpler than those iterations. He has the power to turn wood into ash and water into steam. He has the power to transform. But just as fire forges from its flames, it also destroys. It’s this duality that director Marialy Rivas and co-writer Camila Gutiérrez gives form to in their film Princesita. As cultist Miguel’s young disciple Tamara (Sara Caballero) reaches puberty and her transformation into womanhood, he explains the purpose of this event in context to his motives. What should be a joyous occasion becomes clouded over by predatory imperative. And while she initially embraces them, she soon recognizes the danger they represent.

On the surface this dance is predicated on the notion of cult oppression and forced submission. It’s about »

- Jared Mobarak

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‘Spielberg’ Trailer Explores the Career of a Blockbuster King

23 September 2017 7:59 PM, PDT

What more could we want to know about one of the most popular directors of all-time? Evidently, a lot. While Steven Spielberg is hard at work in the editing bay finishing his drama The Post in time for a release in later this fall, a new documentary spanning a comprehensive 2.5 hours will premiere at the New York Film Festival, followed by a HBO debut.

Aptly titled Spielberg, Susan Lacy’s documentary chronicles the life and career of the blockbuster king, featuring interviews with Francis Coppola, Brian De Palma, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Tom Hanks, John Williams, Janusz Kamiński, Leonardo DiCaprio, Spielberg himself, and even his parents. The entertaining first trailer has now bowed and can be seen below along with the poster and Nyff description.

Susan Lacy’s new film traces the private, public, and artistic development of one of cinema’s true giants, from his early love of moviemaking »

- Jordan Raup

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Stephen Frears on Depicting an Intimate, Unusual Friendship in ‘Victoria & Abdul’

23 September 2017 8:37 AM, PDT

In 1887, a 24-year-old Indian man named Abdul Karim traveled from his home country to England, to be a servant for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Karim made such an impression on the monarch that she handpicked him to become her tutor in the ways of his home country, and even teach her Urdu. The two developed a close friendship that scandalized the Royal Household and would go on until the time of the Queen’s death in 1901. Karim’s story remained mostly unknown until the release of a book by Shrabani Basu which recounted his years in the Queen’s court. Basu’s book was used as the inspiration for Victoria & Abdul, a film by Stephen Frears. Speaking from the Toronto Film Festival, Frears expressed he wanted to tell the story because of its provocative elements and to show the Queen was “more interesting than those statues of her.” “She »

- Jose Solís

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Tiff Review: ‘Winter Brothers’ Wages a Dream-Like Psychological War

23 September 2017 8:21 AM, PDT

It opens in darkness — the beams from headlamp flashlights and sparks of metal on rock our only points of illumination. This is the oppressive environment holding the over-worked and under-paid miners while their boss sits in his factory office without a care as to who the men in his employ are besides a social security number. They let off steam with a bottle of homebrew alcohol to cut the monotony of their daily routines before returning to their respective trailers back in town that barely deserve the label shelter. It’s a futile existence that simply churns along with little in the way of excitement besides the possibility of a cave-in risking each of their lives. So when someone falls ill and the system is altered, everyone takes notice.

Writer/director Hlynur Palmason puts us in this dark and aggressive locale to ensure we know these men to be hard-workers with little time for nonsense. »

- Jared Mobarak

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New to Streaming: ‘A Ghost Story,’ ‘Carol,’ ‘The Death of Louis Xiv,’ and More

22 September 2017 5:07 AM, PDT

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Carol (Todd Haynes)

From the first note of Carter Burwell‘s magnificent score and opening shot of Edward Lachman’s ravishing cinematography — introducing a Brief Encounter-esque opening bookend — Todd Haynes transports one to an intoxicating world of first love and its requisite heartbreak. Carol excels at being many things: a romantic drama; a coming-of-age story; an exploration of family dynamics and social constructs of the time; an acting »

- Jordan Raup

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‘Woodshock’ Directors on Creating Their Hallucinatory Directorial Debut

22 September 2017 4:51 AM, PDT

Although until now they’ve only been known as fashion designers, cinema has always been part of Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s work. The siblings often use films as inspiration for their collections and have delivered runway shows dedicated to the likes of Japanese horror movie Kuroneko among others, their elaborate, stunning designs are also staples of awards season red carpets with actresses like Kirsten Dunst and Natalie Portman wearing them to festivals and ceremonies. In fact, Portman collected her first Best Actress Oscar in a purple Rodarte gown, after Kate and Laura had designed many of the costumes for Black Swan. After being so immersed in the world of cinema, it seems that making a film was the logical next step, and so they’ve done with Woodshock, a hallucinatory journey into the mind of Theresa (Dunst) a young woman battling depression after the death of her mother.

The »

- Jose Solís

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Review: ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ Represents the Worst of Matthew Vaughn’s Sensibilities

22 September 2017 4:06 AM, PDT

From approximately minute three, Kingsman: The Golden Circle bolts out of the gate, relentlessly so. Things pick right up on Eggsy (an ever-boring Taron Egerton) as he emerges from the namesake tailor shop in his Sunday best, only to be confronted by ex-Kingsman hopeful Charlie (Edward Holcroft). Before even having a beat to remember who the hell Charlie is, he’s thrust upon viewers — sporting a cartoonish robotic arm — in a taxi chase scene that’s shot so abrasively it reminds you immediately of the proper action directing this franchise lacks. This sequence, among others that follow, is driven by the sheer teenage, video game junkie sensibility that seems inherent in the worse half of Matthew Vaughn’s filmography. At the very least, by throwing it at you from Jump Street, Vaughn has the decency to prepare you for the loud and plastic bullshit he and co-scribe Jane Goldman will »

- The Film Stage

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Tiff Review: ‘Of Sheep and Men’ Explores Algeria’s Ram Ecosystem

22 September 2017 3:46 AM, PDT

It’s the cusp of Eid in Algiers, Bab el Oued circa 2016 and the rams are running wild. Well, not wild per se considering each is bought, sold, and always owned. They seem to be a huge staple in this impoverished town as a means for wool, meat, and entertainment. Yes, along with all the usual uses you could think of for the animal (including a sacrifice to Allah) is a prevalent fight circuit where competitors seek out new opponents via Facebook pages. Unless your ram is a champion you’re probably not making much by way of bets, but the events play as a welcome occasion to let off steam nonetheless. Some will travel to watch tournaments while others groom their contenders in the open fields around home.

Karim Sayad’s feature-length debut documentary Of Sheep and Men takes a look at Algeria’s ram ecosystem by following a »

- Jared Mobarak

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Giveaway: Win ‘The Big Sick’ on Blu-ray

21 September 2017 6:45 PM, PDT

Arriving on Blu-ray this week is one of the year’s most heartfelt films, Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick, starring Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan. We’ve teamed with Lionsgate Home Entertainment to give away five (5) copies. See how to enter below and all entries must be received by 11:59 Pm Est on Sunday, September 24th.

To enter, do the first three steps and then each additional one counts as another entry into the contest.

1. Like The Film Stage on Facebook

2. Follow The Film Stage on Twitter

Follow @TheFilmStage

3. Follow The Film Stage on Instagram

4. Comment in the box on Facebook with your favorite romantic comedy this century so far.

5. Retweet the following tweet:

We're giving away #TheBigSick on Blu-ray. Rt this + follow us to enter. See more ways to enter: https://t.co/zSmEnuimmg pic.twitter.com/LXpPzc7Jth

— The Film Stage »

- Jordan Raup

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Review: ‘Elizabeth Blue’ is a Dark, Yet Hopeful Study of Mental Illness

21 September 2017 6:19 PM, PDT

It’s highly disconcerting yet unsurprising that many Baby Boomers now in their sixties and seventies still see mental illness as a weakness. Talk about the scenarios that young people of today face and they dismiss them as a generational thing, a liberalization of society wherein strength and stoicism have been replaced by laziness and excuses. Try and tell them that very viewpoint is what stigmatized psychological ailments for so long and they scoff. It’s easier for them to believe nothing was wrong in their day than to admit the silence was a product of cultural oppression. The former hails them as tough Americans who never lost themselves. The latter colors them as unwitting villains bullying those in need, a label their systemic disregard for complex truths deems slander.

This is a template used for many social issues (see racism, sexism, homophobia, et al). The disconnect bred in these »

- Jared Mobarak

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Tiff Review: ‘Sheikh Jackson’ Revolts Against Religious Duality

21 September 2017 6:16 PM, PDT

The thing I could never wrap my head around, religious-wise, is the idea of strict right and wrong. As a Catholic it’s somewhat easy as far as sin and repentance. You’re allowed to do a lot as long as you feel remorse and guilt enough to learn your lesson. But other religions are more stringent than Ten Commandments and more vehement in how each version of its worship follows its specific edicts. There’s no better place than the Middle East to see this in action—and I don’t mean Isis versus Islam. I’m talking traditional versus modern. Both exist simultaneously in a country such as Egypt. You have the latter’s westernized clothing and attitudes alongside the former’s veil and prayer. To choose one is to forsake the other.

This revolt against duality is behind Amr Salama’s Sheikh Jackson and the young imam »

- Jared Mobarak

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Tiff Review: ‘Mademoiselle Paradis’ Captures the Cruel, Elite World of 18th Century Europe

21 September 2017 6:10 PM, PDT

Maria Theresia von Paradis was the daughter of Empress Maria Theresa’s Court Councilor and thus a young woman of standing despite the blindness that took her eyes before the age of five. Her father Joseph Anton and mother Maria Rosalia had the means to therefore teach her the finer things such as piano — a vocation to which she found expertise. The Empress allowed her a disability pension as financial assistance to help offset the strain of raising a daughter in the eighteenth century without prospects for marriage. But the pain in her eyes grew and every doctor hired to alleviate it only made matters worse. Franz Anton Mesmer became their last hope with his laughable method of healing via an invisible, odorless, and weightless magnetic “fluid.” It worked.

Paradis (Maria-Victoria Dragus) would eventually become a touring musician and composer who may have also been an inspiration to Mozart (she »

- Jared Mobarak

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NYC Weekend Watch: Harry Dean Stanton, Samuel Fuller, Czechoslovak New Wave, & More

21 September 2017 2:39 PM, PDT

Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Quad Cinema

A retrospective dedicated to the late, great Harry Dean Stanton is now underway.

Museum of the Moving Image

The retrospective of Samuel Fuller’s war films continues.

Film Society of Lincoln Center

The great Czechoslovak New Wave is highlighted in a series of banned films.

Film Forum

An outstanding exhibition of Warner Bros. »

- Nick Newman

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Wes Anderson Returns to Animation in First Trailer for ‘Isle of Dogs’

21 September 2017 8:02 AM, PDT

Wes Anderson is back, and he’s bringing a whole lot of familiar faces (and newcomers) along with him. Starrring F. Murray Abraham, Bob Balaban, Bryan Cranston, Greta Gerwig, Jeff Goldblum, Akira Ito, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Mari Natsuki, Yojiro Noda, Kunichi Nomura, Edward Norton, Yoko Ono, Koyu Rankin, Liev Schreiber, Fisher Stevens, Tilda Swinton, Akira Takayama, Courtney B. Vance, and Frank Wood, the first trailer for Isle of Dogs has finally arrived.

The Japan-set tale, which marks his first return to animation since the fantastic Fantastic Mr. Fox, follows “a boy’s odyssey in search of his dog.” Inspired by the films of Akira Kurosawa, according to Anderson himself, the film is set to get a release in March of next year via Fox Searchlight. By the time this debuts, it’ll be the longest break between features for the director, and it’s good to have him back. »

- Jordan Raup

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The Mythic Power of ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’

21 September 2017 4:44 AM, PDT

Looking back on this still-young century makes clear that 2007 was a major time for cinematic happenings — and, on the basis of this retrospective, one we’re not quite through with ten years on. One’s mind might quickly flash to a few big titles that will be represented, but it is the plurality of both festival and theatrical premieres that truly surprises: late works from old masters, debuts from filmmakers who’ve since become some of our most-respected artists, and mid-career turning points that didn’t necessarily announce themselves as such at the time. Join us as an assembled team, many of whom were coming of age that year, takes on their favorites.

“I can’t figure it out. Do want to be like me or do you want to be me?”

From the opening frames of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Andrew Dominik stokes »

- Jordan Raup

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‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ and Paul W.S. Anderson’s Dawn of Self-Awareness

21 September 2017 4:39 AM, PDT

Looking back on this still-young century makes clear that 2007 was a major time for cinematic happenings — and, on the basis of this retrospective, one we’re not quite through with ten years on. One’s mind might quickly flash to a few big titles that will be represented, but it is the plurality of both festival and theatrical premieres that truly surprises: late works from old masters, debuts from filmmakers who’ve since become some of our most-respected artists, and mid-career turning points that didn’t necessarily announce themselves as such at the time. Join us as an assembled team, many of whom were coming of age that year, takes on their favorites.

What happens when, even ten years on, a masterpiece still has not received its due? Well, you keep pushing for it, even in the face of a macrostructure of art evaluation that will have to collapse entirely »

- The Film Stage

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Listen to Darren Aronofsky and William Friedkin Discuss ‘mother!’ in a 30-Minute Talk

20 September 2017 8:10 PM, PDT

While we’d begrudge you from going down the rabbit hole of explainer articles for mother!,  the chance to listen to writer-director Darren Aronofsky discuss the film with his F CinemaScore brethren William Friedkin is something not to pass up. Recently gathering at the Director’s Guild of America following a screening of his divisive biblical horror film, their full 34-minute talk is now available to listen to.

They work through a number of topics, from Aronofsky’s initial inspiration of Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, the main allegories of climate change and biblical tales (no word on the artist metaphor), writing the original script in five days, and how Paramount gave him the money (“It came down to the number and Jennifer Lawrence.”)

Being that this was at the DGA, he also touched on more technical aspects, including three months of rehearsal with the main cast, then he »

- Jordan Raup

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Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Dustin Hoffman are Family in Trailer for Noah Baumbach’s ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’

20 September 2017 7:44 PM, PDT

In a particularly adept piece of casting, Noah Baumbach has brought together Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Dustin Hoffman as a family in The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). The latest film from the director of Mistress America and Frances Ha follows the family as they regroup ahead of a celebration of their father’s work as an artist. Also starring Emma Thompson and Elizabeth Marvel, Netflix has now released the full trailer following its Cannes premiere earlier this year.

Adam Sandler has acted in nearly 50 feature films, the majority of which he’s played the lead. It won’t come as any great surprise to learn that The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is amongst the best works of his career, comfortably scaling the lower denominators to reach those sparse upper peaks,” we said in our review. “Director Noah Baumbach draws from the 51-year-old’s main talents as both »

- Jordan Raup

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Rooney Mara Experiences Romance and Hardship in U.S. Trailer for ‘The Secret Scripture’

20 September 2017 6:18 AM, PDT

Rooney Mara may not have any new premieres this year, but a pair of films from last year’s Tiff will finally be hitting U.S. theaters. Just a week after Una arrives, The Secret Scripture, directed by Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father), will get a release. The story follows Vanessa Redgrave as an older version of Mara’s character, reflecting on her traumatic life in Ireland through writing a diary alongside a cast including Jack Reynor, Theo James, Aidan Turner, and Eric Bana.

We said in our review, “The result falls flat and all too conventional for the talent involved. The problem lies more in Sheridan’s direction than in Mara’s acting, which is to say that she does deliver another good performance here, but everything else does her talent a major disservice. Redgrave is also a stand-out, but the film feels »

- Jordan Raup

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