A very strange thing happened at this year’s Golden Globes ceremony. Somewhere between Ricky Gervais’ biting monologue/critique and Robert De Niro’s uncomfortable lifetime achievement acceptance speech, an epic international arthouse film won the award for Best Made for Television Movie or Miniseries, beating out the other nominations in the typically HBO-dominated category. Olivier Assayas’ Carlos is, from an American perspective, quite difficult to classify. We first heard about it when it was met with rave reviews at Cannes and other festivals, then it was distributed theatrically through IFC (in its original 5 ½ hour run time) while it had a three-episode “miniseries” run on the Sundance Channel just as it had done in France when originally commissioned for French television. Now, before an explicitly planned DVD release (though there is some certainty that the film will be the latest IFC release to get the Criterion treatment), it’s available streaming in its three-part miniseries form via Netflix (which is how I eventually saw it). All this is to say that it’s quite a task to say with any certainty precisely what Carlos is and in which medium it belongs. The film was financed by French television, yet it’s shot in a widescreen aspect ratio (2.35:1) typically reserved for theatrical cinema, and its 3-episode structure doesn’t follow the expectations of brief closure at the end of each segment typical of, say, an American television miniseries (it comes across more like a necessary break for exhibition and an arbitrary break in storytelling). Now […]


Mesrine Public Enemy No 1

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:


The Reject Report

We’ve got a message. For Arizona! Machete has arrived, and he’s brought his sharp, little buddies with him. For over two years now, fans of Grindhouse have been clamoring for a full length version of Robert Rodriguez’s Machete. Now, they’ve got it, and, more than likely, it will wind up on top of the box office this weekend. It will have some stiff competition, though, as also in wide release are Going the Distance and The American, the newest vehicle for a man who has Rodriguez partially to thank for his film success. It’s gonna be a barn burner. So let’s sit back, crack open a bottle of Dos Equis, and see how the weekend is shaping up.

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published: 02.01.2015
published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015

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