#240 November 26, 2014

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    By Entertainer

    Sheila writes: Recently, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Patti Smith sat down and interviewed director David Lynch for the BBC. The result is a fascinating and atypical interview, revealing and evocative, giving the sense of two people sharing an experience, rather than a strict Q and A format. It makes me want to see more. The two discuss "Twin Peaks," "Blue Velvet," and other topics. You can watch the interview here.


    Selma (2014). Directed by Ava DuVernay. Written by Paul Webb. Starring David Oyelowo,
    Carmen Ejogo,
    Tom Wilkinson. Synopsis: Martin Luther King, Lyndon Baines Johnson and the civil rights marches that changed America. Opens in the US in limited release on December 25, 2014, and in wider release on January 9, 2015. Opens in the UK on February 6, 2015.

    Far From the Madding Crowd (2015). Directed by Thomas Vinterberg. Written by David Nicholls  (based on the novel by Thomas Hardy). Starring Juno Temple,
    Carey Mulligan,
    Michael Sheen . Synopsis: A beautiful young woman maintains relationships with three very different men. Opens in the UK and in the US on May 1, 2015.

    Pan (2015). Directed by Joe Wright. Written by Jason Fuchs (based on the characters created by J.M. Barrie). Starring Hugh Jackman,
    Amanda Seyfried,
    Rooney Mara . Synopsis: The story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny -- to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan. Opens in US theaters on July 17, 2015.

    X+Y (2014). Directed by Morgan Matthews. Written by James Graham. Starring Asa Butterfield,
    Rafe Spall,
    Sally Hawkins . Synopsis: A socially awkward teenage math prodigy finds new confidence and new friendships when he lands a spot on the British squad at the International Mathematics Olympiad. Opens in the UK on March 13, 2015. Other release dates TBD.

    Hungry Hearts (2014). Written and directed by Saverio Costanzo (based on the novel by Marco Franzoso ). Starring Adam Driver,
    Alba Rohrwacher,
    Roberta Maxwell . Synopsis: The relationship of a couple who meet by chance in New York City is put to the test when they encounter a life or death circumstance. Release dates TBD.

    Danny Collins (2015). Written and directed by Dan Fogelman. Starring Al Pacino,
    Jennifer Garner,
    Josh Peck . Synopsis: An aging rock star decides to change his life when he discovers a 40-year old letter written to him by John Lennon. Release dates TBD.

    Escobar: Paradise Lost (2015). Written and directed by Andrea Di Stefano. Starring Josh Hutcherson,
    Benicio Del Toro,
    Claudia Traisac. Synopsis: In Colombia, a young surfer meets the woman of his dreams - and then he meets her uncle, Pablo Escobar. Opens in the US on January 16, 2015. Other release dates TBD.

    Jurassic World (2015). Directed by Colin Trevorrow. Written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly
    . Starring Chris Pratt,
    Judy Greer,
    Ty Simpkins . Synopsis: Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. Opens in the UK and the US on June 12, 2015.

    Son of a Gun (2014). Written and directed by Julius Avery. Starring Brenton Thwaites,
    Ewan McGregor,
    Alicia Vikander . Synopsis: Locked up for a minor crime, 19-year-old JR quickly learns the harsh realities of prison life. JR soon finds himself under the watchful eye of Australia's most notorious criminal, Brendan Lynch. But protection comes at a price. Lynch and his crew have plans for their young protege. Upon release, JR must help secure Lynch's freedom, staging a daring prison break. As a reward, he's invited to join the crew as they plan a gold heist that promises to deliver millions. However, as things start to go wrong, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. JR finds himself unsure of whom he can trust and on a collision course with his former mentor. Opens in the US on January 16, 2015. Other release dates TBD.

    The Age of Adaline (2015). Directed by Lee Toland Krieger. Written by J. Mills Goodloe,
    Salvador Paskowitz . Starring Blake Lively,
    Harrison Ford,
    Ellen Burstyn. Synopsis: A young woman, born at the turn of 20th century, is rendered ageless after an accident. After years of a solitary life, she meets a man who might be worth losing her immortality. Opens in the US on April 24, 2015. Other release dates TBD.

    Red Knot (2014). Written and directed by Scott Cohen. Starring Olivia Thirlby,
    Vincent Kartheiser,
    Billy Campbell. Synopsis: Peter and Chloe, a young married couple from New York, decide on impulse to take a belated honeymoon on-board a research vessel en route to the icy wastes of Antarctica. Drawing attention to the poles within each of us, the impressionistic story oscillates between the super-confined interiors of the ship and the vast open spaces of Antarctica. In the end, it's not until Chloe and Peter are lost - perhaps literally, perhaps metaphorically - in the Antarctic ice that they discover how essential one is to the other. Release dates TBD.

    Match (2014). Written and directed by Stephen Belber. Starring Patrick Stewart,
    Carla Gugino,
    Matthew Lillard . Synopsis: As a Juilliard professor is interviewed by a woman and her husband for her dissertation on the history of dance in 1960's New York, it becomes increasingly clear that there are ulterior motives to the couple's visit. Opens in the US on January 14, 2015. Other release dates TBD.

    The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (2013). Written and directed by Mami Sunada. Synopsis: About Hayao Miyazaki's life and Studio Ghibli. Release dates TBD.

    Loitering With Intent (2014). Directed by Adam Rapp. Written by Michael Godere,
    Ivan Martin. Starring Marisa Tomei,
    Sam Rockwell,
    Natasha Lyonne. Synopsis: Two male actors/close friends want to jumpstart their careers. They end up making a producer think that they have a hot script that everyone wants to get their hands on. The two men drive to upstate New York and hole up in a family member's country home, with 10 days to write said script. A looming deadline and complicated personal histories create scenes that are humorous and emotional. Release dates TBD.

    Against the Sun (2014). Directed by Brian Falk. Written by Brian Falk,
    Mark David Keegan. Starring Tom Felton,
    Jake Abel,
    Garret Dillahunt . Synopsis: A WWII pilot, bombardier, and radioman find themselves adrift on a lifeboat without food or water after being forced to ditch their plane during a scouting mission. Opens in the US on January 23, 2015. Other release dates TBD.

    "Beyond the Lights" on Rogerebert.com

    Sheila writes: Gina Prince-Blythwood's "Beyond the Lights" is in theaters now, and Rogerebert.com contributor Odie Henderson gave it a rave. Henderson writes: "Prince-Bythewood is unafraid of both the quiet moment and those of melodramatic grandiosity. The trailers for her films do them quite a disservice, for they contain scenes that, out of context, appear hokey, but in context bear an effectiveness that stings and stuns. “Beyond the Lights” makes unapologetically damning statements about the music industry’s treatment of women, yet it never feels preachy. It strikes a risky, though successful balancing act between being immensely entertaining as a musical feature and making dramatic, important statements about depression, self-worth and female empowerment." Having seen the film, I heartily concur with Odie. You can read his full review here.

    Also on Rogerebert.com, ReBecca Theodore-Vachon discusses the painful history of the representation of black women in cinema, and has this to say about Gugu Mbatha-Raw's gorgeous performance in "Beyond the Lights": "Mbatha-Raw is simply mesmerizing in this scene, as we see Noni finally break open, embracing her pain and insecurities. By shedding the hyper-sexualized and commodified image created for her, Noni comes through on the other side, fully herself. When the real Noni takes the stage at the end of the movie, she takes [Nina] Simone's plaintive ballad and turns it into a song of joy and rebirth." Read the whole thing here.

    The Coen Brothers as Auteurs

    Sheila writes: Indiewire has posted a 20-minute video-essay which analyzes the Coen Brothers visual style. Indiewire writes: "Vimeo user Grant Pichla’s twenty-minute dissection covers the brothers’ use of similar themes, characters, dialogue and visual styles, their tendency to create existentially confused protagonists who are out of step with the socially accepted madness that surrounds them, and their love for 1940s noir and slapstick comedy." You can watch the video-essay here.

    Free Movies

    Desert Escape (aka Marked Men) (1940). Directed by Sam Newfield. Starring Warren Hull,
    Isabel Jewell,
    John Dilson. Synopsis: Bill Carver is a young medical-school graduate wrongly confined in prison. He escapes and finds a haven and romance in an Arizona small town. But his hopes of happiness and freedom are dashed when gangster Joe Mallon and his four henchmen show up. Bill is forced to lead Mallon and his men into an escape attempt across the blistering, sun-scorched desert.

    Watch "Desert Escape."

    Midnight Limited (1940). Directed by Howard Bretherton. Starring John 'Dusty' King,
    Marjorie Reynolds,
    George Cleveland . Synopsis: The Phantom Robber gets a fortune in jewels and some valuable papers from a robbery on the crack train "The Midnight Limited" and Val Lennon and his pretty assistant, Joan Marshall, are on his trail. But the Phantom strikes three more times and adds murder to his list of crimes. Val decides to use himself as bait, although Chief Harrigan and Joan beg him not to risk his life. But Val, disguised as a wealthy Canadian, boards the train for a rendezvous with a killer.

    Watch "Midnight Limited."

    Heartbeat (1946). Directed by Sam Wood. Starring Ginger Rogers,
    Jean-Pierre Aumont,
    Adolphe Menjou. Synopsis: A young female escapee from a reform school joins a pickpocket academy in Paris. She is caught red-handed on her first attempt at stealing by an upper-class man. He recruits her to do him a favor at a society party where she meets and falls in love with a young, handsome, rich diplomat. Whether or not she can land him is another story.

    Watch "Heartbeat."

    Original: http://www.rogerebert.com/ebert-club/240-november-26-2014
    By: Sheila O'Malley
    Posted: November 26, 2014, 2:14 pm


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