Vincent Gallo

Vincent Gallo is one of those working artists who critics and audiences often find polarizing. What’s that mean? I guess it means that he’s always doing crazy shit and some people buy into it and some people get annoyed by it. The hype around the filmmaker seemed to hit its crescendo with his 2003 film The Brown Bunny, which consisted mostly of lengthy, boring scenes of Gallo driving, capped off with a graphic depiction of him receiving a blowjob from Chloe Sevigny. The film famously endured mass walkouts at Cannes and in the wake of that screening Gallo exchanged heated words about cancer and death with film critic Roger Ebert. Recently Gallo did an interview with the Danish Film Institute and it seems like he’s back to his polarizing ways. Or, more accurately, he’s doing more crazy crap and some people will applaud him while some people will scorn him. Last year Gallo directed a film named Promises in the Water about a Dr. Kevorkian-esque assisted murderer (Gallo) who strikes up a romance with a terminally ill woman (Delfine Bafort) that screened at Venice and TIFF. Right about now he should probably be talking to media outlets about when it will be available for limited release, but instead he is telling the DFI that he refuses to release it, or any other film that he makes from now on.

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Culture Warrior

Yesterday the Twittersphere (a place where topics are only discussed in rational proportions) was abuzz with the news that Terrence Malick’s long-awaited magnum opus Tree of Life was booed at its Cannes premiere. While the reaction to Malick’s latest will no doubt continue to be at least as divisive and polarized as his previous work has been, for many Malick fans the news of the boos only perpetuated more interest in the film, and for many Malick non-fans the boos signaled an affirmation of what they’ve long-seen as lacking in his work. (Just to clarify, there was also reported applause, counter-applause, and counter-booing at the screening.) Booing at Cannes has a long history, and can even be considered a tradition. It seems that every year some title is booed, and such a event often only creates more buzz around the film. There’s no formula for what happens to a booed film at Cannes: sometimes history proves that the booed film was ahead of its time, sometimes booing either precedes negative critical reactions that follow or reflect the film’s divisiveness during its commercial release. Booed films often win awards. If there is one aspect connecting almost all booed films at Cannes, it’s that the films are challenging. I mean challenging as a descriptor that gives no indication of quality (much like I consider the term “slow”), but films that receive boos at the festival challenge their audiences or the parameters of the medium in one way or another, for better or […]

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Davide Manuli‘s forthcoming The Legend of Kaspar Hauser will take on the strange historical case of Kaspar Hauser – which was tackled previously, and brilliantly by Werner Herzog – and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Vincent Gallo has just been cast in two roles. For the first, called The Pusher, he’ll be speaking Italian. For the second, called The Sheriff, he’ll be speaking English. The names are an odd indication of how arthouse this project might be, but the story of Hauser isn’t exactly a mainstream one. It’s essentially a real-life, 19th century European version of Blast From the Past, where a man named Kaspar Hauser came to Nuremberg claiming that he was raised in a dungeon that he’s never left. The cast also features Claudia Gerini (The Passion of the Christ), Fabrizio Gifuni, Elisa Sednaoui, and Silvia Calderoni. It sounds like a fascinating project that will hopefully steer away from Herzog but still deliver the core elements of the tale. Vincent Gallo is an adventurous actor, but that doesn’t always yield results, but at its base level, this thing looks like it will be interesting to watch even if it makes the audience want to disappear back into a dungeon.

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tetroreview

Francis Ford Coppola continues his commitment to small, personal filmmaking with Tetro a dysfunctional family melodrama that makes great use of its moody black-and-white.

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tetro-header

The first official trailer for Francis Ford Coppola’s next film Tetro has made its way onto the YouTube this past weekend. Many of you will be surprised to see that it is in black and white (for the most part). Alright, maybe you aren’t surprised — the black and white thing isn’t what is interesting.

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