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by Brice Ezell

18 May 2015


In 2013, Jobs, a biopic about the life of the late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs, was released to little fanfare. Starring Ashton Kutcher as the titular figure, the film received a mostly mixed response, from both critics and the higher-ups at Apple. Bill Fernandez, one of the early employees of Apple, called it “the biggest, flashiest piece of fan fiction that there’s been to date.”

Two years have passed since then, and clearly Jobs’ story is still compelling to many filmmakers, as director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionare) and Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing and Academy Award-winning writer for The Social Network) have prepared their own spin on the life of Jobs. Their film, entitled Steve Jobs, is “set backstage at three iconic product launches” and concludes “in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac”, according to Universal Films’ official statement.

by Evan Sawdey and Brice Ezell

18 May 2015


Face/Off (1997, dir. John Woo)

Theoretically, if a work of art is bad, one will view or listen to it only once and never return to it again; after all, if it is truly bad, why would one want to spend any additional time with it? Yet dozens of films fall under the umbrella of “so-bad-it’s-good”, where a film’s badness becomes the very reason why one enjoys it. From the terrible direction, performances, and editing of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room to the apocalyptic nonsense of Southland Tales, so-bad-it’s-good cinema offers moviegoers the chance to have fun at the expense of itself.

by Brice Ezell

14 May 2015


In a fresh spin on the narrative of Jesus’ temptation in the desert—famously staged in films such as Martin Scorsese‘s The Last Temptation of Christ—director Rodrigo García adds an additional dimension to the tale through a narrative involving Jesus leaving the desert. As he does, he encounters the Devil, with whom he grapples over a situation involving a family in crisis.

The plot details have not been made widely available beyond the description above, but the one thing that is known is that Ewan McGregor is taking on a daring double role as both Jesus and the Devil, undoubtedly one of his most creative steps as an actor yet. McGregor is joined by a small cast, including Tye Sheridan, Susan Gray, Ciarán Hinds, and Ayelet Zurer.

by Brice Ezell

11 May 2015


Although the world of documentary filmmaking no doubt felt a major tremor of loss when director Albert Maysles passed away in Manhattan earlier this year, there remains one final film to add to his considerable legacy. In Transit, which saw its debut screenings in mid-April at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, tells the stories of passengers on board Amtrak’s Empire Builder train, which is the busiest long-distance train in the United States. The film represents a unique and final swan song to Maysles’ “direct filmmaking” style, which he used to great effect in essential documentary pictures such as Salesman and Grey Gardens.

by Brice Ezell

11 May 2015


The 2015 iteration of the Cannes Film Festival, held in France, will kick off on 13 May. The festival’s presiding jury, led by Joel and Ethan Coen, will also feature Rossy de Palma, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Rokia Traoré, Guillermo del Toro, Xavier Dolan, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Films being shown at Cannes this year include Todd Haynes’ Carol (a Patricia Highsmith adaptation), Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees, and Gaspar Noé‘s controversial Love. (For more on said controversy, read here and, fair warning, it’s NSFW.)

For more on the festival and the extensive list of films screening, visit Cannes’ website at this link.

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