October 4, 2015 |
Who needs Cannes? Who needs Venice? Toronto? Why bother? If the Philly cineastes who book their flights to the world's biggest film fests - or dream of doing so, anyway - would just sit tight for a few months, some of the strongest work to debut along the Lido, the Croisette and King Street West will wind up right here. That's certainly the case this year, as the folks behind the Philadelphia Film Festival unveiled a bountiful lineup of features, docs and shorts today. PFF 24 will open Thursday, Oct. 22, with Anomalisa , Charlie Kaufman's stop-motion animation existential comedy, winner of the Grand Special Jury Prize at Venice.
October 3, 2015 |
Shanghai is one of those oddball films that just doesn't seem to fit anywhere. A derivative, muddled Casablanca -esque WWII spy thriller helmed by the reasonably accomplished Mikael Håfström ( Evil , Derailed , The Rite ), who specializes in crime thrillers and high-concept horror, it's not a good film, and it holds little prospect of commercial or critical success. Perhaps that's why it languished in film-industry purgatory for five years before the Weinstein Co. finally gave it a limited release this month.
October 2, 2015 |
WILLIAM "DUB" Lawrence is the kind of earnest, All-American guy a cop would be happy to call a friend. Served in the U.S. Marine Corps at the height of the Vietnam War. Was elected sheriff in Davis County, Utah, in the mid-1970s, and created the area's first SWAT team. He comes from a family of police officers, including an uncle who was shot in the head in the line of duty but miraculously survived, only to die of lead poisoning from the bullet. And now, at age 70, Lawrence wants to draw people into a conversation about topics likely to make some in law enforcement uncomfortable: transparency surrounding police-involved shootings, the ongoing militarization of America's police departments, and whether the justice system treats citizens and cops with equal fairness.
September 25, 2015 |
For the last five years, many ballet fans in this country have found it easier to see a foreign company dance than an American one, as Russia's Bolshoi Ballet has shown its full-length ballets in 1,000 movie theaters around the world. But now American companies are getting in on the act, with Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance , a five-film series that launches at 7 p.m. Thursday at Philadelphia's UA Riverview Plaza and at other theaters nationwide. First up, San Francisco Ballet's Romeo & Juliet . "As a dancer, I never had the opportunity to dance the role of Romeo," said Helgi Tomasson, San Francisco Ballet's artistic director and principal choreographer.
September 23, 2015 |
Just in time for the arrival of Pope Francis , local filmmaker and historian Sam Katz has put out a new movie - and the subject couldn't be more appropriate. The 75-minute documentary, "Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia," explores the history of Catholic immigrants who came to Philadelphia seeking religious freedom and a better life. Katz said he and his team first discussed the idea for a film some years ago, but after the pope's visit was announced last year, they decided to get it made.
September 16, 2015 |
TORONTO - It's No. 40 for the Toronto International Film Festival, launched in 1976 as "The Festival of Festivals. " The idea was to bring to town movies from the world over, throw cool parties, and put the city "on the map," according to one of the celebratory, self-congratulatory "bumpers" (promotional trailers) shown before just about every film on TIFF's daunting program. The bustling burg on Lake Ontario is, indeed, on the map: Today, it's an industry hub with more than 1,300 films, TV shows, and commercials shot every year.
September 10, 2015 |
The Penn State players reported to the Lasch Football Building for their regular day-after-the-game routine. They watched film of their dismal 27-10 loss to Temple, went to the field to work on correcting the mistakes they made, and then did something quite out of the ordinary. They buried the game film on one of the Lasch practice fields. "Coming off a very tough loss, one thing that the captains did, we brought everybody after the coaches got off the field and we buried the tape," senior safety Jordan Lucas said Tuesday.
September 2, 2015 |
WE'RE CALLING BS on the NFL. Yesterday, in response to the release of a trailer for the film "Concussion" starring Will Smith, the league issued the following statement: "We are encouraged by the ongoing focus on the critical issue of player health and safety. We have no higher priority. We all know more about this issue than we did 10 or 20 years ago. As we continue to learn more, we apply those learnings to make our game and players safer. " What a crock. The film stars Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, while doing an autopsy on the brain of Steelers center Mike Webster in 2002.
August 28, 2015 |
I LOOK UP at the heavens every once in a while and ask: When will we see the end of this interminable deluge of movies about psycho serial-killer rapist creeps stalking, hunting and victimizing scantily clad, weeping, screaming, pleading women? The subgenre has produced a few classics, such as "Psycho," "I Spit on Your Grave" and "Baise-moi," but many, many more duds. That includes "Unsullied," the feature debut from NFL defensive end-turned-filmmaker Simeon Rice. Drafted in 1996 by the Arizona Cardinals, Rice, 41, played pro ball for 12 years before turning his attention to the entertainment industry, first as a hip-hop record producer.
August 22, 2015 |
Emily DiPrimio was about 4 years old when her dad, Ron, cast her in one of the scary movies he makes in his spare time. She played a little girl who gets to tell a guy he's dead. "Ever since then, she had the bug," her father said. On Friday evening, the Vineland 15-year-old will really get to strut her stuff. Carver , a 1980s-style slasher flick that Emily directed and cowrote with her father, will premiere as the opening feature of the second annual Reel East Film Festival.