Michael Haneke

Earlier in the year, Michele Haneke became the 7th director in history to win more than one Palme d’Or at Cannes. The record for most Palme d’Or wins is now a seven-way tie. The writer/director’s work is often enigmatic or experimental, but he’s also crafted stories that plumb the dramatic depths of loving relationships and extensively explored the beauty of music. From The Seventh Continent to Love, he’s made us question our role as viewers, challenged concepts of freedom and security, and did it all by making entertaining films. Some of which involve pig slaughter. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the man who turned Jean-Luc Godard’s most famous quote upside down.



If you find the holidays to not be wrenching and desperate enough, Sony Pictures Classics has just announced that they will release their recently acquired Palme d’Or-winning film, Amour, in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on December 19th. Filmmaker Michael Haneke just won the prestigious Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival this past weekend, making him only the seventh director to win the Golden Fronds of Awesome or Whatever twice (no director has ever won it more than twice). He previously won in 2009 for The White Ribbon. The film centers on aging couple Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), who must deal with the after-effects of an attack that Anne suffers. It’s been billed as a stirring rumination on life, death, aging, love, and marriage, and was almost universally hailed at the festival (of course, there have been a handful of critics who have voiced their displeasure with it, so it will be quite interesting to see how it plays to larger audiences). This is the third film of Haneke’s that SPC has distributed, as they have also previously released both Cache and The White Ribbon. [Press Release, via ComingSoon]


Michael Haneke on set of Amour (Love)

As we all know, “Palme d’Or” is French for Feather Button Hand of Gold Achievement. Or something. Google Translate wasn’t loading this morning. Regardless, it’s as prestigious as awards get, although it hilariously almost never lines up with the Oscars (for good reason). Past winners include Barton Fink, Taxi Driver, MASH, The Third Man, Black Orpheus, La Dolce Vita, The Wind That Shakes the Barley and nearly one hundred other films that should be on a rental queue somewhere. That list also includes Michael Haneke‘s The White Ribbon which took the price in 2009 and, as of yesterday, his latest film Love (Amour). That’s 2 wins for the director in 4 competition years. It ties him for Most Palmes d’Or Ever (no director has won more than two), where he joins Alf Sjoberg (Iris and the Lieutenant, Miss Julie); Francis Ford Coppola (The Conversation, Apocalypse Now); Bille August (Pelle the Conqueror, The Best Intentions); Emir Kusturica (When Father Was Away on Business, Underground); Shohei Imamura (The Eel, The Ballad of Narayama); and The Dardenne Brothers (Rosetta, The Child). It’s a stellar achievement deserving of a long standing ovation than the one that The Paperboy got. The full list of winners (from the festival website) is as follows:


Cannes 2012

After literally days of rampant speculation and fanciful rumor-spreading (on my part), this year’s official line-up for the Cannes 2012 Film Festival has officially been unveiled by officials in the South of France. Officially. Unsurprisingly, and as predicted, my own 13 film wishlist was largely completely wrong – but I did predict a massive four (including the absence, thankfully, of Terrence Malick), and in my defense, Michael Haneke’s Love was the 14th film on my list until I decided to oust it for timing reasons. Brad Pitt, Robert Pattinson and Tom Hardy will battle each other as Killing Them Softly (the awfully renamed adaptation of Cogan’s Trade), Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis and the other needlessly renamed flick, Lawless (why not just keep it as The Wettest County?) compete for the Palme d’Or.



After this summer, expect all your nerdy friends to endlessly say, “Believe, Bruv!” Enjoy that quote while it lasts, because I’m sure many are going to run it into the ground soon.. so, obviously by the title of this news piece, I already have a hand in not doing that awesome line justice. Couldn’t be more proud. Anyway, the hoods vs. the aliens adventure film has been screening across all over the country since SXSW, and for good reason. Attack the Block is a film that’s going to live or die by word-of-mouth. If the buzz stays as positive as it currently is Screen Gems may end up with a little success on their hands. They’ve set a July 29th release date which is an already a jam packed weekend. With the already sure to be hits Cowboys and Aliens, The Smurfs, and (the supposedly excellent) Crazy, Stupid, Love, Attack the Block will have a lot of competition. Hopefully Joe Cornish‘s truly awesome film debut finds a broad enough audience to appreciate his genre meshing exercise in comedic badassery. Source: Box Office Mojo


There's Something About Mary

Although certain politicians and even scientists will suggest otherwise, most agree our basic human desire for sex remains pretty unchanged. Over the centuries we’ve acknowledged that ladies like it just as much as the men folk, both sexes can be completely uninterested, and there’s also the possibility that same sex lovers getting down and dirty isn’t, in fact, dirty. Every new generation accepts something as tame that the previous generation thinks taboo. My mother finds the practice of bondage troubling, but the idea is ordinary to me. Whereas I don’t quite understand her fascination with the word “slutpuppy” because that’s just ooky. I’m not saying one generation is better than the other, I’m more curious about how we got to the place we are. I am pretty in tune with the going-ons of Gwen, so I have no problem pinpointing a lot of my sexual identity development happening simultaneously with the films and TV that I watched in the 90s. Thinking back, the 90s stand out to me as a hodgepodge decade when it came to sex in film. We had the renewal of romantic melodramas as a reaction to the social commentary-filled erotic thrillers of the 80s, the depiction of realistic sex in comedies, and the rise in popularity of rape culture. Of course all these themes wouldn’t have been possible without the decades before them, but something happened in the 90s that made sex seem pleasurable through love, humor, and invasion.


The Best Short Films

Why Watch? This short starts with an intriguing dinner date conversation that transforms into a dream-like world of memories from childhood. It’s a sensory experience of tastes and smells and warmth presented on a silver platter, but there’s something sweetly sinister underneath it all. How are memories can betray us. Do you remember your first kiss? What Will It Cost? Just 10 minutes of your time. Does it get better any better than that? Check out Apricot for yourself:



There’s no telling where the hell this movie came from, but it looks awesome in every sense of the word. The band Angels and Airwaves are most noted for being the pop punk super group that Tom DeLonge from Blink 182 and Atom Willard from The Offspring are in, but they seem to be a central focus for the market of Love. Part of that might because, judging by the trailer, their music is a huge focal point – the Daft Punk of their own sci-fi storyline. Love tells the story of an astronaut lost in space and inside his own thoughts. The premise is essentially Moon, but the trailer blew me away. It’s a complete surprise of gorgeous shots, strange fantasies, and (of course), the Civil War. Why it’s titled Love is unknown. What it’s really about is unknown. All that’s known is that it goes slow motion a ton, and everything looks and sounds absolutely breathtaking.



Watching a 4-hour long movie may seem daunting, but it’s an incredible reward when the flick involves love, religion, cults, bloodbaths, lesbianism, perversion and, of course, upskirt pictures.



All I heard for weeks was how Park’s vampire opus Thirst was a gorgeous, deeply affecting film; my interest was duly peaked. Two very long hours later, I emerged in the minority. I did not like this film.


Saving Private Ryan

Love is in the air for some reason, so we’ve developed a fool-proof way of testing whether your significant other is worth your time. Now for guys!



Afraid that He’s Just Not That Into You? Well we can guarantee that after you read this helpful guide you’ll be no further ahead in your love life. In fact, you make take a step or two backwards.


Choke author Chuck Palahniuk

Seven minutes into my conversation with Chuck Palahniuk, I’m still not sure that he exists.



Breaking up is hard to do. Make it a little easier on yourself with these five flicks or, for you sadists, enhance your heart break with our sad selection. After all, the more you hurt, the more it shows you really care, right?



In the interest of keeping us sane while being deluged with romantic comedies and period pieces, here’s a list guys can use next time they’re at the video store with their significant other. When in doubt, check out one of these chick flicks that are safe for guys to like too.

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published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015

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