Famously booed at its Cannes press screening in 2015, Gus Van Sant's The Sea of Trees is finally getting a US release.
The film's star Matthew Mcconaughey doesn't mind how people react. "I would say, real simply, anyone has as much right to boo as they do to ovate." In the film, McConaughey plays Arthur, a man who walks into Japan's notorious Aokigahara Forest to kill himself, for reasons that are discovered through flashbacks. Costars include Naomi Watts as his wife and Ken Watanabe as a suicidal man he meets in the woods.
McConaughey enjoyed Van Sant's loose approach to the narrative. "I like a lot of his work and we just came together on this one," he says. "It's hands down an exceptional script. It moved me. Rarely do I stand up and have to walk around and yell at a script on the page as I read it. I cried at this script. I was mad at it. I was screaming. That doesn't happen very often."
Continue reading: Gus Van Sant's The Sea Of Trees Set For US Release
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Django Unchained are riding high at the top of the US box office charts and as the movie industry lurches slowly into the new year, it’s likely that they’ll remain there. After all, an unsolicited addition to the Texas Chainsaw collection is hardly going to have the pulling power to shift some of the biggest movies of last year off the top of that chart.
That, however, is one of the biggest movies of the week: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. That’s right. An extra dimension has been added to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre story. No, we’re not sure why, either. The phrase “let’s leave well alone, shall we?” springs to mind. The horror genre was just fine and dandy with the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the other Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and... okay all you need to know is that there are already seven of these movies.. but hey, now we have one in 3D, so that, presumably, you can fear not only for the safety of the characters onscreen, but also for the integrity of your own eyeballs, as chainsaw after chainsaw comes flying out of the screen and straight towards your face.
In a classic game of paper, scissors, stone, it becomes quickly apparent that ‘chainsaw’ beats ‘wooden door’ as good old Leatherface wreaks havoc with his favourite power tool once more. Unsurprisingly, it has been met with a tired response, with one reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes describing the film as a “giant turd of a movie.” So, probably not bound for big bucks box office success, then. Bound to divide audiences this one. Divide them between ‘Don’t really like it’ and ‘Really don’t like it,’ that is.
Among arrivals for the 'Promised Land' premiere in New York were the movie's stars Matt Damon with his wife Luciana Barroso, Scoot McNairy with his wife and 'Monsters' co-star Whitney Able, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt and her husband Ron Livingston. Producer Mike Sablone and director Gus Van Sant were also present.
Rooting around in the audio/visual debris of Park is a story about the schisms that occur in a teenager's life when he accidentally becomes part of a security guard's gruesome death but this accidental murder works simply as catalyst for Van Sant. Alex, played by fresh-faced Gabe Nevins, who was infamously cast through MySpace, spends most of the 78-minute runtime remembering bits and pieces of his weekly routine days that are filtered through the tragedy that occurs in the train yards outside Burnside Skate Park, nicknamed Paranoid Park. Writing a letter to his friend Macy (Lauren McKinney), deflowering his girlfriend (Taylor Momsen of TV's Gossip Girl) unwillingly, skateboarding and music-shopping with his friend Jared (Jake Miller): All these actions are repeated, clipped, fractured, and overdubbed in Alex's frazzled memory and deftly arranged by Van Sant, who serves as editor as well as writer and director.
Continue reading: Paranoid Park Review
Project overseers Emmanuel Benbihy and Tristan Carné wanted to create a cinematic map of Paris, with each short film representing one of the city's 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods). They ended up with 18 films, none of them more than a few minutes long and directed by a glittering, international roster of filmmakers. While none of the films here are anything approaching masterpieces, hardly a one is in any way a chore to sit through, which has to be some sort of an accomplishment.
Continue reading: Paris, Je T'aime Review
Phoenix, in interviews, was clearly thrilled when writer/director Gus Van Sant credited him with having written this scene in Van Sant's wonderful 1991 movie My Own Private Idaho. He should have been. Emotionally, it's a doozy, and it serves as the point at which these two fractured lives separate into their own trajectories. Mike's takes him back again and again to the same dogged search for love and the same stretch of empty highway. Scott's takes him to Italy, where he falls in love with the beautiful Carmella (Chiara Caselli) and, ultimately, to an encounter in Portland with his street mentor Bob (William Richert). Here the movie takes an unexpected Shakespearean turn as Van Sant lifts fragments from Henry IV, casting Scott as Prince Hal to Bob's Falstaff, even as Mike's story continues on in the real world. We know from Shakespeare that Scott will turn his back on his old friends and assume the throne in the end. If Mike is heartbroken it's because life in the real world is hard; that's why we have private ones.
Continue reading: My Own Private Idaho Review
This is a slow movie, and intentionally so. The entire film comprises less than 100 shots -- one of which is a sunrise in real time. The rest of it is nearly as prolonged; the young men walk in utter silence for about ten minutes, and we get a similarly extended view of Affleck lost in thought.
Continue reading: Gerry Review
"Teenage angst has paid off well / Now I'm bored and old," sang Cobain on Nirvana's Serve the Servants, and one can feel that infectious malaise throughout Van Sant's portrait of Blake (Michael Pitt), a grungy icon living out what a friend (Kim Gordon) dubs "a rock and roll cliché." Donning Cobain accoutrements such as a hunter's cap and a green-and-red sweater and sporting shoulder-length blond hair, Blake spends the film sleepwalking around his backwoods home and property with a mixture of drug-addled bewilderment and spiritual melancholy, and Pitt embodies this wayward soul - whose rambling exploits involve wearing a black spaghetti-strap dress and toting a rifle - with a hunched, drooping-to-the-floor sagginess (as if under tremendous strain) that's at odds with the actor's slender physique. His constantly incomprehensible muttering, such as during an amusing, chance encounter with a telephone book salesman (where the only audible Blake line is telling: "Success is subjective"), echoes Cobain's frequently indecipherable lyrics while also conveying a torturous emotional detachment. Trapped in Van Sant's constrictive full frame (employed to heighten the oppressive claustrophobia gripping the character), Pitt's Blake is a zombie who, as revealed by the film's opening scene - finding him symbolically baptizing himself in a tree-shrouded lake, and later whispering and then roaring "Home on the Range" to the empty nighttime forest - desperately seeks communion with the world around him.
Continue reading: Last Days (2005) Review
Now I now I'm the only critic who is going to say this in the world, but I thought Vince Vaughn was more effective as Norman Bates than Anthony Perkins was. There, I said it. Vaughn had a presence and a confidence on screen that paid off for him. Tony Perkins was great. So was Vaughn. Almost every aspect of the movie is better in a way except for the roles of Marion Crane and her boyfriend. Janet Leigh was more attractive and definitely a better actress then Anne Heche. Viggo Mortinsen is too dead-voiced for a major role in a thriller/horror movie. I just want to give this guy some coffee and get him to wake up.
Continue reading: Psycho (1998) Review
Date of birth
24th July, 1952
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