Gores Eats Film : SIDE BY SIDE

SIDE BY SIDE (Kenneally) | ★★★

Side by Side is a fascinating documentary for cinephiles, but it is unlikely to interest the more casual moviegoer. The film looks at the industry’s move from film to digital video by delving into the processes for both and interviewing important players. Kenneally and producer/interviewer Keanu Reeves are quite thorough in their examination, and they pack a lot of information—perhaps too much—into the picture. While the two filmmakers try to remain neutral, it’s clear which side they are on. Most exciting is the sheer number of filmmakers who share their thoughts on camera: James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, Steven Soderbergh, David Lynch, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, and Robert Rodriguez, just to name a few.

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BONUS : Mill Valley Film Festival 2012

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Jared and Joe discuss the films they saw at the Mill Valley Film Festival, including TABU, HOLY MOTORS and a new 35mm print presentation of Edward Yang’s A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY. This brief bonus conversation was recorded and cut from episode #116 : Austin Film Festival 2012 due to time, but we still wanted to get it out there. Enjoy!

BONUS : Mill Valley Film Festival 2012

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#116 : Austin Film Festival 2012

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On location in Austin, Texas, the guys recap the events of the 19th Annual Austin Film Festival, including thoughts on new films FLIGHT, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, A LATE QUARTET, IT’S A DISASTER, SHADOW DANCER, NOT FADE AWAY, THE SESSIONS and FRANCOPHRENIA. Also discussed are conference panels and encounters with Frank Darabont, Robert Rodriguez, Chris Carter, Eric Roth, Julia Stiles and James Franco.

#116 – Austin Film Festival 2012

 

Michael and Jared broadcast this episode from I Luv Video in Austin.

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Gores Eats Film : SMASHED

SMASHED (Ponsoldt) | ★★★

The rave reviews Mary Elizabeth Winstead received at Sundance for her performance in Smashed are well deserved. This is one of the strongest female lead performances of the year. Winstead owns the film and turns alcoholic teacher Kate Hannah into a living, breathing human being. James Ponsoldt’s tale of addiction is much smaller-scaled than Robert Zemeckis’ similarly-themed Flight, but it is also more nuanced and better grounded in reality. The troubled marriage at the heart of this story rings true in a heartbreaking way.

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Gores Eats Film : CLOUD ATLAS

CLOUD ATLAS (Wachowskis / Tykwer) | ★★

Another disappointment in an underwhelming cinema year. Ambitious, earnestly made, and visually impressive, but ultimately silly, dull, and trivial. Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain and Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Double Life of Véronique do a much better job of addressing similar material. Cinephiles should be happy the Wachowskis & Tykwer were able to get this project made, but its failure may negate any goodwill Cloud Atlas could generate for expensive, offbeat filmmaking. Its faults are too numerous and too damning to disregard.

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Gores Eats Film : THE SESSIONS

THE SESSIONS (Lewin) | ★★★

Sentimentality often creeps into otherwise respectable life-affirming films. Luckily, The Sessions avoids this tendency. This story of a polio-stricken man attempting to lose his virginity is a smart, funny, feel-good picture that refuses to patronize its protagonist or pander to its audience. But the most refreshing element is its sexual frankness. Writer-director Ben Lewin offers an honest depiction of sexuality. Stars John Hawkes and Helen Hunt will likely generate some Oscar talk and rightfully so. Hawkes, in particular, brings humanity and depth to a role that cannot be dismissed as Oscar bait.

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Gores Eats Film : A LATE QUARTET

A LATE QUARTET (Zilberman) | ★★★

A Late Quartet is a moderate success. The plot, which centers on the disintegration of a respected musical quartet, is straightforward, and director Yaron Zilberman takes a no-frills approach in his storytelling. This is to his credit because he lets his capable cast handle the heavy lifting. Each of the four main actors (Catherine Keener, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Ivanir, and Christopher Walken) gets a chance to shine. Walken is the standout here by thoroughly de-Walkenizing himself. While Walken is a gifted performer, rarely does the viewer see him as someone other than Christopher Walken. But here he effortlessly sinks into the quiet yet critical role of the quartet’s patriarchal figure. The surprise of the film is Imogen Poots, who plays the daughter of Keener and Hoffman.

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Gores Eats Film : ARGO

ARGO (Affleck) | ★★★

In less than a decade, Ben Affleck has gone from struggling movie star to top-tier Hollywood director. Kind of a remarkable transformation. With the success of Argo, we may see him become an Oscar darling, too. This film is likely to nab him a Best Director nomination. And indeed, he once again demonstrates talent behind the camera. His crisp direction carries the movie, which is regrettably thin on character yet generous in humor. The last hour in particular is textbook in terms of ratcheting up tension (any viewer calm during the climax has no pulse), though it does so at the expense of veracity. Chris Terrio’s screenplay fudges the facts more than one would expect in a story pulled from world history. But in terms of time period, Argo nails it. Affleck’s signature directorial touch might be his ability to establish diegetic verisimilitude—something present in all three of his features thus far.

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#115 : Are Cinephiles Failing Cinema?

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The guys discuss the Sight and Sound “Greatest Films” list, the qualifications for making a “greatest” list versus a “favorites” list, and discuss their own favorite films of all time. Michael also refers to Jerry Schatzberg as Jeffery Katzenberg. What a crime.

#115 – Are Cinephiles Failing Cinema?

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Gores Eats Film : WUTHERING HEIGHTS

WUTHERING HEIGHTS (Arnold) | ★★★

With Andrea Arnold at the helm of a period piece, you can be sure it will be anything but traditional. And that is indeed the case with her adaptation of Emily Brontë’s novel. Arnold, who also co-wrote the screenplay, strips down the story (and ignores the novel’s second half), resulting in limited dialogue and an emphasis on mood. The harsh countryside also becomes a key element in the picture as wind, rain, and dirt constantly occupy the screen. The overall effect is to emphasize the harsh reality of Heathcliff’s situation. Arnold’s interpretation may not be an enjoyable or essential telling of this classic piece of literature but it certainly is unique.

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