Check out our list after the jump!
Ahhh....it’s finally fall. There’s a crispness in the air, everyone’s a-buzz about Halloween, and Austin Film Festival is literally right around the corner. For me, Oscar season kicks off the moment I hit my first AFF screening, as it’s usually a smorgasbord of festival favorites and early Oscar front-runners. So what films do we recommend catching this year?
Check out our list after the jump!
The 17th annual Austin Film Festival & Conference, the premiere film festival recognizing writers’ and filmmakers’ contributions to film, television and new media, announced today the full feature-length film lineup with the exception of Opening, Centerpiece and Closing night films, which will be announced soon. Also, this year’s short film lineup is available now on the Austin Film Festival website. AFF will run October 21-28, 2010 in Austin, TX.
This year’s lineup includes independent and bigger budget films as well as over 60 feature world, U.S., and regional premieres in many genres including drama, comedy, horror, documentary and more. Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, along with Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Meek’s Cutoff, and Every Day are all among this year’s regional premieres. Many world premieres including Main Street, Bloodworth, A Savior Red and Exporting Raymond are scheduled to screen this year as well as U.S. premieres like Peep World, Raging Boll and others. Also included are several outstanding local Austin titles like Paradise Recovered and Ultimate Guide to Flight.
Along with more than 170 exciting film screenings and events, AFF will include a recently announced conference lineup with over 100 panelists participating in 90 plus panels and roundtable discussions.
The conference offers unparalleled access to some of the best writers, filmmakers and industry personnel in film and television in a personal, laid back atmosphere. For the full conference schedule, go to www.austinfilmfestival.com.
Even though I didn’t really like Juno, it was no fault of its director, Jason Reitman. The movie was well-acted, and the directing was pretty good—it was just that hipper-than-thou dialogue that made me cringe. And, I LOVE Thank You For Smoking, which was a particularly well-crafted directorial debut. So, when you consider the amalgamation of George Clooney, Jason Reitman, and a whole slew of funny cameo appearances, it’s no wonder that critics are going gaga for Up in the Air. I’m just not one of them.
Read more after the jump!
During the Chinese Taiping Rebellion in the 1860s in the late Qing Dynasty, General Qing-Yun (Jet Li) is the only survivor of his slaughtered troops. In his aimless wanderings after, Qing-Yun encounters a woman who nurses him back to health. Qing-Yun is then welcomed into a group of bandits by Wu-Wang (Takeshi Kaneshiro) only to find the woman who had helped him is wife to other bandit leader Er-Hu (Andy Lau). The three men form a blood pact to always look out for one another, and Qing-Yun convinces the bandit leaders to join the Qing Army in an attempt to give them their financial independence. Qing-Yun assumes the leadership role and what follows is two hours of epic battles, confusing Chinese politics, love-triangles, and a test of fraternity, not to mention eight wins at the Hong Kong Film Awards including director, picture, and actor.
...more after the jump.
Unlike Greg, I’m a pretty big fan of period pieces. Give me a movie about a bad ass queen, throw in some sweet costumes and some romance, and I’m sold. This being said, a lot of historical dramas tend to be on the dull side, and The Young Victoria, even with all its glorious costuming and beautiful locations, falls into this category.
Most films about Queen Victoria have focused on her later years, of which there were many, considering she was the longest reigning monarch Britain has ever seen. Not much has made mention of her earlier years, which were filled with overbearing advisors, copious wooing, and political strife. The Young Victoria aims to portray Victoria before the stiffness the era that bears her name would later be associated with, as well as the beginning of her long love affair with Prince Albert.
More after the jump!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Nick Hornby, author of About a Boy and High Fidelity. But, he has the awful knack of making women either stone-cold bitches or pristine virgins, with most of his female characters severely lacking realism. I knew Hornby had crafted An Education’s screenplay, based on the short memoir by British journalist Lynn Barber, but while watching the film, I kept forgetting about his involvement—and I mean this as a compliment. Jenny, the female protagonist in An Education, played subtlety and beautifully by relative newcomer Carey Mulligan, was so dimensional and relatable that I got swept up into her world wholeheartedly.
Read more about An Education after the jump!
It's easy to think up a post-apocalyptic world and how you would inhabit it; round up a couple of friends and family members, hoard your resources, and loot a local Wal-Mart of guns and supplies before holing up in a safe place with those you care about. But what would you realistically do?
There's no electricity, there's no communication, and you have no idea what's going on outside besides knowing civilization is coming to a end. Nearly all of humanity has been wiped out by some unknown cataclysm, and those who remain are either well-armed xenophobes or canabilistic mauraders. The sun has become obscured by a blanket of ashy grey sky, and plant and animal life is all but extinct.
That's the life that is depicted in the bleak and haunting future in the John Hillcoat directed Cormac McCarthy adapation The Road. The story centers on an ailing father (Viggo Mortensen) traveling south with his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) when he realizes they cannot survive another winter at their present location. The journey follows the father as he wields a pistol with two bullets to protect his son from cannibals, starvation, and everything else the cruel world has to offer him and his uninitiated young boy.
More after the jump...
Charlie Kaufman is an evil, mad genius. During his time as a screenwriter, he has crafted some of the most wacky and original story ideas and some of the most out there yet still spectacularly sympathetic characters of our time. He's taught us what it would be like to climb inside of John Malkovich, how to adapt the un-adaptable, and why we should cherish each and every memory with a loved one.
The U.S. is a melting pot of different cultures, and in modern times, people hardly bat an eye at couples who mix these cultures and ethnicities, but what if you had a problem with your own culture? And, better yet, what if you had multiple cultures and didn't know exactly where you belong? This is the problem with Ray Rehem (Zachary Levi from NBC's Chuck), who must come to terms with his Pakistani dad and his white mom while finding his place in the world in the film Shades of Ray.
With their blond, perky marriage, Dax (Cy Carter) and Olive (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) are the picture of happiness. They have dinner parties, they live in a cute house, but oh, wait? What's that? That would be the looming of conflict.