All posts by Daniel Quitério

Film, theatre, and TV buff. Blogger and former senior film editor. I ❤️ NY. Twitter: @dan_quiterio

The Film That Would Beat The Godfather

As is noted in the 170 Greatest Films section of this blog, the foundation of the 170 list is AFI’s original “100 Years … 100 Movies” list from 1997. Ten years later, the esteemed organization took another look at the greatest American films with a new, fresh perspective. Citizen Kane topped the list both times, but there were some modifications in 2007. Some films fell off the list. Some were added. Among those added was this 1972 classic, which I recently watched for the first time.

Cabaret was The Godfathers primary competition at the Oscar ceremony that honored some of the greatest films of 1972. (The Godfather ranked third on the original 1997 AFI list, and jumped to the runner-up position in 2007.) Many consider Coppola’s film to be “the perfect film,” but there were some doubts it would win the top prize at the Oscars that year. Throughout the night, Cabaret beat The Godfather in several categories. In total, Cabaret won an impressive eight statues out of its 10 nominations. The Godfather, however, took home just three out of 10 nominations. (Well, technically, only two went home since Marlon Brando refused his Best Actor award.)

Continue reading The Film That Would Beat The Godfather

In Theatres: The Tree of Life

Fresh from the Cannes Film Festival and currently in select theatres is Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. The film received a healthy mix of boos and applause at Cannes, but acclaimed filmmaker Malick had the last laugh when his film won the coveted Palme d’Or. Malick is one of those directors you keep your eye on. He doesn’t make films that often (a good 20 years between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line), but when he does, the epic productions usually pack a punch, usually in story and visuals.

I’ve been looking forward to The Tree of Life for a while now, as I’m a fan of Malick’s and Sean Penn’s and the film is being distributed by Fox Searchlight, my favorite distributor. The more I read about the film, the more the idea seems to fly over my head, so I’ll revert to the plot summary from Yahoo! Movies:

The impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s following the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years, as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father. Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick’’s signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.

Director: Terrence Malick

Screenwriter: Terrence Malick

Producers: Dede Gardner, Sarah Green, Grant Hill, Brad Pitt, Bill Pohlad

Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Fiona Shaw

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi

Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Official Site: foxsearchlight.com/thetreeoflife

Runtime: 138 min.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw3QBALWa60&feature=fvst]

2011 Top 10 Indie Summer Flicks

(Re-posted from limitémagazine.com)

X-Men: First ClassSuper 8Green LanternTransformers: Dark of the MoonHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2Captain America: The First AvengerCowboys and AliensRise of the Planet of the ApesConan the Barbarian.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the summer films that are on fewer people’s radars—the ones that won’t be #1 at the box office—yet, they’re primed to absorb some serious critical acclaim.

Last year, Limité launched its Top 10 Indie Summer Flicks as an alternate to all of the standard summer blockbusters. Many of those films went on to receive sparkling reviews and accolades, as well as Oscar nominations in several categories (including Best Picture, Best Documentary, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay, among others), so we kinda feel like we know what we’re talking about here.

We’re proud to present the second-annual summer film guide. Share your thoughts below by leaving a comment.

1. BEAUTIFUL BOY

by Daniel Quitério

Michael Sheen and Maria Bello play Bill and Kate, a married couple that learns its son committed a mass shooting at his university before taking his own life. The two struggle through the grief and confusion as the media spill into their lives. Beautiful Boy is the winner of the 2010 Toronto Film Festival International Critics’ Award.

This chilling film is reminiscent of last year’s Rabbit Hole with threads of 2005’s American Gun interwoven. Both Beautiful Boy and Rabbit Hole explore a couple’s relationship as it struggles over the death of a son. In Beautiful Boy, however, the stakes are higher, as that son is also responsible for taking the lives of several others, which is a subplot in the heavy-handed message film American Gun.

This film’s got “Oscar performances” written all over it for both Sheen and Bello, two highly underrated actors who have been aching for and deserving of that spotlight.

Director: Shawn Ku

Screenwriters: Michael Armbruster, Shawn Ku

Cast: Michael Sheen, Maria Bello, Alan Tudyk, Moon Bloodgood, Kyle Gallner, Meat Loaf

Distributor: Anchor Bay Films

Genre: Drama

Site: beautifulboythemovie.com

Release Date: June 3

Continue reading 2011 Top 10 Indie Summer Flicks

More Coco Love …

How fortuitous! Just a day after I posted the Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop trailer, the official poster and website launched. Check out the site here. The film hits theatres on June 24.

2011 Cannes Award Winners Announced

Despite some severely mixed audience reactions, Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life walked away with the top honor at Cannes, winning the coveted Palme d’Or. Here are the feature film award winners, which were announced today:

Palme d’Or

The Tree of Life (dir. Terrence Malick)

Grand Prix

Bir zamanlar anadolu’da (Once upon a Time in Anatolia) (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan)

Le gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike) (dir. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)

Best Director

Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)

Jury Prize

Polisse (dir. Maïwenn)

Best Actor

Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Best Actress

Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)

Best Screenplay

Joseph Cedar (Hearat shulayim [Footnote])

Coming Soon: Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

Following his unceremonious exit from his long-time stomping grounds at NBC, Conan O’Brien set out on a 32-city tour, titled The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour. Mixing music and comedy, Conan’s tour played 42 shows in front of 130,000 supportive fans. Unfortunately for me, tickets to both New York City shows at Radio City Music Hall sold out faster than I could say “Coco,” and I was left shedding a tear for my dear Conan from afar. Imagine my excitement when I learned that Conan’s former Harvard classmate Rodman Flender captured the tour and all of the behind-the-scenes goodness on camera. Exposing a very real Conan O’Brien, Flender’s documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop premiered at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, where it landed a unique distribution deal that sees three companies handling different parts of the film’s distribution. According to iTunes Movie Trailers, the film is scheduled for a theatrical release on June 24.

Director: Rodman Flender

Producers: Rachel Griffin, Gavin Polone

Cast: Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, Jimmy Vivino

Genre: Documentary

Distributors: AT&T (TV through U-verse and AT&T mobile devices), Abramorama (theatrical), Magnolia Home Entertainment (VOD/home entertainment)

Runtime: 89 min.

Release Date: 6.24.11

Short Film: “The Last 3 Minutes” by Po Chan

William Turner is a janitor, just doing his job when he suffers a severe pain to his chest and collapses to the floor. Clutching his beloved crystal, he spends his last three minutes alive recalling some of the most joyous moments of his life.

This is a quick, little film that should be mostly admired for its terrific production values, including its editing, cinematography, and use of music.

Apocalypse Now Intro.

In honor of tomorrow’s apocalypse, enjoy this clip of the opening of Apocalypse Now (1979), one of the greatest films ever made.

The New Class of the Ingénue

If you think back, it wasn’t really that long ago when Natalie Portman, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Styles, Scarlett Johansson, Claire Danes, Keira Knightley, Leelee Sobieski, and Anne Hathaway were really starting to break out and come into their own as young leading actresses. (Yes, some were child stars, but I’m talking about breaking into more adult-type roles.) Now, among the aforementioned actresses, there are four Oscar, four Emmy, and 17 Golden Globe nominations. They’ve all reached varying levels of success, and they’re all known and respected still today.

About five – 10 years ago, the ingénue was on an upswing. And now she’s back. Portman and Hathaway are still going strong, but they have to clear some space for Wasikowska and Browning, as they begin to form the new class of the ingénue—the ones to watch out for, the future (and in some cases, present) Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe nominees.

Remember these faces.

Continue reading The New Class of the Ingénue

Film Society of Lincoln Center Launches New Film Center

FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER OFFERS FREE SCREENINGS AND EVENTS FOR THE PUBLIC TO CELEBRATE OPENING OF NEW FILM CENTER
JUNE 10-12

Highlights include a movie marathon of NYFF classics and appearances by Kevin Smith, Jason Reitman, Mike Nichols, Oliver Stone, Paul Schrader, and Fredric Jameson, among others.

New York, NY, May 16, 2011 – The Film Society of Lincoln Center, America’s pre-eminent New York-based non-profit film organization, announced today that its new landmark state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center—a multi-screen theater and cultural venue in the heart of Lincoln Center’s campus—will offer the general public a weekend of free programming, in and around the Film Center, leading up to the official opening on June 17.

Events celebrating the film center’s opening and previewing the programming to come will include special screenings, music performances and discussions on film by top filmmakers, luminaries, and academics. Highlights will include a movie marathon of NY Film Festival classics such as MILLER’S CROSSING, MY FAIR LADY, and PULP FICTION; new restorations from the Cinematheque Francaise and the Taipei Film Archive; a performance by the band Fall On Your Sword, which caused a sensation at the recent Sundance Film Festival; and film discussions, panels, and Q&As with notable figures that include Paul Schrader, Antonio Damasio, and Fredric Jameson (the noted cultural critic and winner of the 2008 Holberg International Memorial Prize).
Continue reading Film Society of Lincoln Center Launches New Film Center