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.

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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

On My DVR: Giant (1956)

Currently on my DVR is the 1956 classic Giant. This is the story of a wealthy land owner and cattle rancher and his spoiled Virginian bride, and the conflicts that arise at home in Texas regarding race, class, and changing traditions (paraphrased from Yahoo! Movies). The film is as big as its title implies—and just as epic as the story and runtime is the cast. Hollywood heavyweight filmmaker George Stevens directed a monstrous cast that reads as a who’s who in classic Hollywood, including Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Mercedes McCambridge, and Dennis Hopper.

This film sits comfortably on my 170 list and is also one of just three films to star Dean before his untimely death the previous year, in 1955. Giant earned 10 Oscar nominations and one win, for Stevens’s direction. Among the nominations were Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and honors for Hudson and McCambridge for their leading and supporting performances, respectively. Dean also received a nomination for his leading performance—his second posthumous nomination (the other being for 1955’s East of Eden, which is also on my 170 list).

Director: George Stevens
Screenwriters: Fred Guiol, Ivan Moffat
Producers: Henry Ginsberg, George Stevens
Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carroll Baker, Jane Withers, Chill Wills, Mercedes McCambridge, Dennis Hopper, Sal Mineo
Genres: Drama, Epic, Romance, Western
Distributor: Kino International
Runtime: 201 min.

If I Were at Cannes …

How could I call this a film blog and make no mention of the currently running Festival de Cannes, unarguably the most important festival of them all? Although I’d love to report directly from the south of France, I’m not. (Some day!) But here are 10 films I’d try to see if I were there …

(All images and synopses are courtesy of festival-cannes.com.)

The Artist

Hollywood, 1927. George Valentin is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller, it seems the sky’s the limit—major movie stardom awaits.

Director: Michel Hazanavicius

Screenwriter: Michel Hazanavicius

Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle

Country: France

Continue reading If I Were at Cannes …

Coming Soon: Beautiful Boy

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.

Upon reading the synopsis and watching the trailer, this chilling film is reminiscent of last year’s Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell) with threads of 2005’s American Gun (Aric Avelino) 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

Producers: Lee Clay, Eric Gozlan

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

Genre: Drama

Distributor: Anchor Bay Films

Official Site: beautifulboythemovie.com

Runtime: 100 min.

Release Date: 6.3.11

a film blog by Daniel Quitério

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