Foreign Film

Alps Movie 2012

Yorgos Lanthimos’s Alps, like his previous Academy-Award nominated critical favorite Dogtooth, is a movie that feels like a puzzle. Not an Inception or Lost-style puzzle where answers to mysteries are teased and delivered with thunderous revelation. Alps is a quiet, restrained work of artistry that’s cryptic in its approach to detail, ambiguous in its construction of characters, and deliberately distanced in its psychological, emotional, and visual landscape. Lanthimos and co-screenwriter Efthymis Filippou have once again created a film whose idiosyncratic microcosm is manifested through short scenes that reveal brief and often puzzling bits of information until those bits gradually accumulate into a more full understanding of what the hell is going on. Lanthimos’s films require a significant amount of work from the viewer, and should be credited for it. Alps opens with a striking image of a gymnast (Ariane Labed) performing rhythmic dance to a classical composition who is then verbally abused by her stone-faced coach (Johnny Vekris). We subsequently see a bloodied young woman in an ambulance being cared for by a paramedic (Aris Servetalis) who later informs a nurse (Aggeliki Pappoulia) that this woman is a tennis player whose favorite actor is Jude Law. I’ll save the details of what comes after for you to experience yourself (though many reviews have revealed much more than I will), but we come to find out that this unlikely quartet of characters (whose real names are never revealed) refer to themselves as “Alps” and are engaged in a strange and dangerous […]

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You know what this Klown Red Band Trailer is all about? Hospitality. It’s about repaying a woman who is nice enough to invite you into her home, let you crash there and make you pancakes. It’s sweet really. Even if it gets a little smelly. The film played at Fantastic Fest, where Adam Charles laughed his ass off to its absurd male bonding, and Drafthouse Films picked it up for distribution. The movie, based on a television show, focuses on two men who are on a wild Tour de Pussy. Trying to boldly prove that he’s fatherly material to his girlfriend, one of the men kidnaps her 12-year-old son and brings him along. Check out more good parenting with the trailer:

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Editor’s Note: This review originally ran as part of our Fantastic Fest coverage, but it hits select theaters this weekend, so it’s time to check it out once more. Headhunters has an instinct about it that’s cutthroat with a smile. It’s a comedy of errors with a gun pointed at its head, and it all works with an intensity that manages to be thrilling right up to the end. In the movie, Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is in over his head (which he considers already too low to the ground) because he thinks his wife (Synnøve Macody Lund) needs the finer things in life. He’s a well-respected job placement rep, connecting the highest salaries to the biggest companies, but he has to supplement his lifestyle by stealing art. When he catches wind of a new client (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) with a criminal career-endingly expensive lost masterpiece, he jumps at the chance, but there are forces much larger at work which see him running from his life and fighting for his marriage.

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Why Watch? The less said about this one, the better the experience, but suffice it to say that the animation is vibrant and incredibly bald. It’s a long strange twist into the mind of a man locked up in a padded room, desperately afraid of being forced out. And, of course, the man in the little white coat who will try his best to rip him violently out of his safety zone. What does it cost? Just 7 minutes of your time. Check out Get Out for yourself:

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with Troll Hunter writer/director Andre Ovredal, Prom screenwriter Katie Wech, and The Conspirator screenwriter James Solomon. Perhaps you’re starting to see a theme emerge. Plus, Dustin Rowles and Joanna Robinson from Pajiba enter the Movie News Pop Quiz ring, and both safely exit. Then, we talk about Doctor Who. Loosen up your tie and stay a while. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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Mark Cuban owns a lot of things, websites, cable channels, sports teams, and even some movie related companies. Magnolia Pictures is a distribution company that focuses on distributing foreign and art films in the United States. Landmark Theaters is a theater chain that plays those foreign and art films, the biggest one in the U.S. actually. They are both part of Cuban’s holdings, but now he’s put them up for sale. As a movie fan, I find this news to be pretty scary.

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French Canadian film Incendies has gotten a trailer to promote its release in US theaters. The film is directed by Denis Villeneuve and tells the story of a set of adult twins who are set out on a journey to the Middle East by their mother’s last will and testament to find their long-lost father and sibling. It has already made a splash with critics by touring the festival circuit, gotten itself a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film by the Academy Awards, and is now set to be released in select theaters on April 22nd by Sony Pictures Classics. For all of you Oscar buffs and year-end completists, this one is going to have to be on your must see lists. Check out the trailer below:

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Without thinking about it, what’s the one thing your life needs more of? You said, “Giant pig beast monster movies from Korea and a sense of purpose,” right? Of course you did. Fortunately, Magnet is giving you a sense of purpose by compelling you to seek out the porcine creature feature Chawz it’s bringing to the states. If we all ask nicely, maybe Rob Hunter will review it for Foreign Objects. The added Z to the Korean title is meant to evoke the classic Jaws, something it does not quite achieve without being told that it does. However, the film – which I’ve mercifully refrained from referring to as “hog wild” – promises a metric ton of blood-thirsty pig rampage killings. Finally something to double feature with Wild Hogs. [io9]

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The movie that you didn’t know about hitting theaters this weekend is the follow up to Mesrine: Killer Instinct which sees Vincent Cassel continue his role as the notorious French gangster who just happens to look like the anchor for a regional nightly news program in the 1970s. Even without the context of the rest of the film, this clip shows how undeniably charismatic Cassel can play. Even though he’s in the hot seat in court, I’m instantly on his side – especially since he seems to be making an equal number of good points and 101 Dalmations references. Check it out for yourself:

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Fans of Fantastic Fest (which should include all human beings and several species of extra-terrestrials) always look forward to the wanton violence and downright weird imagery on display during the festival. On the eve of Comic-Con, in a truly wise marketing move, the freaky folks at Fantastic Fest released their first fireball toward the castle of our minds. That fireball consists of 13 films that look like a collective 24 hours of awesome. Cannes favorite Rubber and martial arts follow-up Ip Man 2 are just the tip of the iceberg.

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It seems like we’re talking a lot lately about psychology and what happens when a small group of people find themselves under stress in a small space. There’s the Experiment trailer that just came out – which sees men cast as guards and prisoners. There’s the Devil trailer that just came out which sees five strangers trapped in a busted up elevator with Satan. And now there’s the trailer for Exam. You guessed it: 8 people in a room vying for the same powerful job who are given 80 minutes to come up with the answer to an exam that has no question. Who will paper cut someone to death first?

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We’ve had an astounding time so for here at the Movie World Cup. There have been close calls, blow outs, and a few torn ACLs, and we emerge now on the other side of Round One. You voted, and the teams you wanted have advanced to the next stage – just a bit closer to winning the coveted Movie World Cup trophy (which may or may not just be an Iron Man statue that we spray-painted gold). Here’s who will be going on to Round Two.

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A Very Long Engagement

In 1919 Mathilde is still awaiting the return of her fiancé, Manech who left for the front two years earlier. She has been told he was killed on the battlefield at the Somme but refuses to believe he’s dead. Mathilde launches her own investigation into his fate to prove the official story wrong.

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The Host

Although the project is unnamed as of yet, Variety seems to have an incredibly detailed description of its projected plot, reporting that the movie will revolve around a “calamity” that ensues when “people ignore a monster due to their desire for money.”

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The Counterfeiters

The Nazi reign in Central Europe left, besides it’s horrific legacy, a great deal of fascinating stories to be told. One of those, the recount of “Operation Bernhard”, is the theme of this year’s subtitled Oscar winner from Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky, The Counterfeiters. Not only of historical interest, but morally diverse and fairly entertaining too.

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This film about an Italian family immigrating to America comes to us from a joint French and Italian effort, so obviously things are bound to get interesting. And weird.

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Roy Andersson raised so much talk with his previous film Songs from the Second Floor that everybody was anxious to get a ticket for his new feature.

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