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by Jose Solis

27 Jun 2013

In I’m So Excited we were made the implicit promise of a hilarious throwback to the movies Pedro Almodóvar used to make in the 1980’s, his early films that are considered to be modern comedy classics, in the best Woody Allen sense.

The director himself has said that with this, his 19th feature film, he intended to make a “light” movie, something that was simply meant to entertain and make us laugh after such recent heavy fare as Broken Embraces and The Skin I Live In. His brother/producer Ahgustín called it a “witty comedy with spicy dialogue” when he was interviewed by Spanish press before production began. During most of its brisk running time, the movie does just that, as nary a single scene passes without having the audience around you explode into raucous laughter. It’s only when you return to the movie that you might uncover its darker layers, something that seems unexpected even for its legnedary creator.

by Joe Vallese

24 May 2013

Director Rama Burshtein’s Fill the Void is nothing short of a masterwork: gorgeously filmed, expertly paced, and, much like 2011’s Iranian classic A Separation, challenges its non-native audience to recognize familiar tensions, themes, and circumstances in an unfamiliar setting. Void, Israel’s official entry for 2012 Best Foreign Language Film short list consideration, also boasts compelling performances, namely that of its leading lady, Hadas Yaron, who snagged the Best Actress prize at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.

by Jose Solis

19 Apr 2013

(l-r) Ken Loach, Paul Laverty. Photo by
Joss Barratt, Courtesy of Sundance Selects.

Your movies tend to be quite serious, would you say The Angel’s Share is the closest you’ve been to making a full on comedy?

Ken Loach: A number of the films that we’ve done have comedy in them because you can’t tell a story about people and not smile sometimes.  But first, the definition of comedy itself means that that there must be a happy ending as well as making you smile. So we always try to include two or three smiles in our movies.

by Jose Solis

19 Apr 2013

Based on the 1968 novel, A Kestrel for a Knave, Kes is perhaps Ken Loach’s most universally beloved movie. Set in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, the film centers on the young Billy Casper (David Bradley), a 15 year old living with his mother (Lynne Perrie) and half-brother Jud (Freddie Fletcher). A misfit at home and in school, Billy spends his days wandering along the yellowing countryside where he dreams of a life that doesn’t include him going “down the pit”, like the rest of the men in the mining town.

by Matt Mazur

18 Apr 2013

Ladybird Ladybird opens with actor Crissy Rock’s character “Maggie” giving the performance of a lifetime: her version of Bette Midler’s “The Rose”. “Maggie” is giving this performance everything she’s got. What the audience sees is a dynamically-moving, weary-eyed delivery of this (let’s face it) kind of corny old song. Rock too is giving the performance of a lifetime, showing the spectator everything they need to know about this character in the span of just a few well-chosen moments. That is if they are paying attention. “Maggie” exists in the minutiae of Ken Loach’s deceptively realistic world as presented on screen.

No other director has become so synonymous with the working class as Loach, yet his films retain a fairytale-like quality that works almost in direct opposition to his dedication to authenticity. In films such as Ladybird Ladybird these elements work together seamlessly, woven together by Rock’s daring, risky turn. “Maggie” is a real woman, a believable, three-dimensional creation, and Rock is not just an actress pretending to be one. Her own background, filled with startling abuse insured the kind of authenticity that viewers had come to expect from a Loach film.

//Mixed media

Considering Twitter: An Interview with App Artist Nora Reed

// Moving Pixels

"Twitter is a place where bots prevail. And where they don't rule, people, acting like bots, rule. This uneasy person-bot rapprochement offers a fertile space for artistic exploration.

READ the article