“You haven’t seen war until you’ve seen it through the eyes of Quentin Tarantino.” Out August 21.
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Submitted to the Unnecessary Remakes of 2009 Sweepstakes: Tony Scott’s amped-up-looking cover of Joseph Sargent’s great 1974 thriller The Taking of Pelham 123. With Denzel Washington as Walter Matthau and John Travolta as Robert Shaw. In theaters June 12.
Synecdoche, New York was PopMatters’ #3 film of 2008. Erik Hinton called it “brilliant and insane film at its best.” Chris Barsanti piled on the praise in an October “Screener” column: “Charlie Kaufman comes closer to creating a kind of cinematic magic realism than any American director has done in living memory. And it’s only his first film.” So, needless to say, we’re looking forward to the DVD release on March 10th.
Burma VJ was one of the standout documentaries at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Recipient of the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award, Anders Ostergaard’s film deftly mixes footage shot by the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) with recreated vignettes to tell the story of the 2007 Buddhist monk-led rebellion in Burma. The film makes an interesting screening companion to excellent Grand Jury Prize winner We Live in Public, because both films illustrate the democratization and expanding potential of video and Internet technologies. In the case of Burma VJ, we see how these technologies formed a counter-strike against a repressive government regime intent on suppressing the truth.
We’re looking forward to the release of Frozen River on DVD February 10th. Melissa Leo’s performance was one of the finest acting turns of last year and got her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. The film made our Top 30 coming in at #14. Matt Mazur describes it this way: “With an intellectual, pummeling veracity, writer-director Courtney Hunt executes a film that is sparse, powerful and assured. Finally, we have a feminist movie, made by a woman, starring women that is about real women’s issues. Yet, because of this, and because of Hollywood’s idiotic bias against films by female directors, Hunt is not getting the kind of awards circuit praise she and her first film truly deserve.”