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#251 April 29, 2015

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    By Entertainer

    Sheila writes: With panels, special guests, golden thumb statues, and a lineup of fantastic films, Ebertfest 2015 was an amazing experience! The weather was beautiful, the flowers burst into bloom over the course of the festival, and, as always, Roger's home town was warm and welcoming. So much happened during the festival that it may have been hard to keep up, so the editors at has put together a wonderful Table of Contents, listing all of the dispatches, videos, reviews, and other content. Enjoy!


    Black Mass (2015). Directed by Scott Cooper. Written by Jez Butterworth. Starring Johnny Depp,
    Dakota Johnson,
    Benedict Cumberbatch. Synopsis: The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. Opens in US theaters on September 18, 2015.

    The Emperor's New Clothes (2015). Written and directed by Michael Winterbottom. Starring Russell Brand. Synopsis: A look at the growing disparity between different economic classes. Opened in London on April 24, 2015. Other release dates TBD.

    Nightingale (2014). Directed by Elliott Lester. Written by Frederick Mensch. Starring Barlow Jacobs,
    David Oyelowo,
    Heather Storm. Synopsis: A lonely war veteran psychologically unravels ahead of an old friend's impending visit. Opens in US theaters on May 29, 2015.

    Suffragette (2015). Directed by Sarah Gavron. Written by Abi Morgan. Starring Carey Mulligan,
    Helena Bonham Carter,
    Meryl Streep. Synopsis: The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. Opens in US theaters on October 23, 2015.

    When Marnie Was There (2014). Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Written by Keiko Niwa . Starring Sara Takatsuki,
    Kasumi Arimura,
    Nanako Matsushima. Synopsis: A young girl is sent to the country for health reasons, where she meets an unlikely friend in the form of Marnie, a young girl with flowing blonde hair. As the friendship unravels it is possible that Marnie has closer ties to the protagonist than we might expect. Opens in US theaters on May 22, 2015.

    The Visit (2015). Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Starring Kathryn Hahn,
    Olivia DeJonge,
    Ed Oxenbould . Synopsis: A single mother finds that things in her family's life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents. Opens in US theaters on September 11, 2015.

    London Road (2015). Directed by Rufus Norris. Written by Alecky Blythe. Starring Tom Hardy,
    Olivia Colman,
    Kate Fleetwood . Synopsis: London Road documents the events of 2006, when the quiet rural town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women. The residents of London Road had struggled for years with frequent soliciting and kerb-crawling on their street. When a local resident was charged and then convicted of the murders, the community grappled with what it meant to be at the epicentre of this tragedy. Opens in England on June 12, 2015. Other dates TBD.

    Area 51 (2015). Written and directed by Oren Peli. Starring Sandra Staggs,
    Suze Lanier-Bramlett,
    Roy Abramsohn . Synopsis: Three young conspiracy theorists attempt to uncover the mysteries of Area 51, the government's secret location rumored to have hosted encounters with alien beings. What they find at this hidden facility exposes unimaginable secrets. Opens in US theaters on May 15, 2015.

    Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld (2015). Directed by Takashi Miike. Written by Yoshitaka Yamaguchi. Starring Yayan Ruhian,
    Rirî Furankî,
    Hayato Ichihara . Synopsis: In the ruthless underground world of the yakuza, no one is more legendary than boss Kamiura. Rumored to be invincible, the truth is he is a vampire! One day, assassins aware of Kamiura's secret arrive from abroad and deliver him an ultimatum: Return to the international syndicate he left years ago, or die. Opens in Japan on June 20, 2015. Other release dates TBD.

    Gemma Bovary (2014). Directed by Anne Fontaine. Written by
    Pascal Bonitzer,
    Anne Fontaine. Starring Fabrice Luchini,
    Gemma Arterton,
    Jason Flemyng. Synopsis: Martin, an ex-Parisian well-heeled hipster passionate about Gustave Flaubert who settled into a Norman village as a baker, sees an English couple moving into a small farm nearby. Not only are the names of the new arrivals Gemma and Charles Bovery, but their behavior also seems to be inspired by Flaubert's heroes. Opens in US theaters on May 29, 2015.

    The Little Prince (2015). Directed by Mark Osborne. Written by Irena Brignull, Bob Persichetti , Mark Osborne (based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    ). Starring Rachel McAdams,
    James Franco,
    Mackenzie Foy . Synopsis: A pilot crashes in the desert and meets a little boy from a distant planet. Opens in May, 2015 at the Cannes Film Festival. Release dates TBD.

    Partisan (2015). Directed by Ariel Kleiman. Written by Ariel Kleiman, Sarah Cyngler. Starring Vincent Cassel,
    Nigel Barber,
    Jeremy Chabriel . Synopsis: Alexander, raised to see the world through Gregori's eyes, is starting to think for himself. Opens in France on May 6, 2015. Other release dates TBD.

    The Seven Five (2014). Directed by Tiller Russell. Synopsis: Michael Dowd was a Brooklyn cop in the late 1980s who led his crew on a rampage through the streets, robbing dope dealers at gunpoint, and stealing countless kilos of cocaine and hundreds of thousands dollars in cash until his arrest in 1992. Release dates TBD.

    The Overnight (2015). Written and directed by Patrick Brice. Starring Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, Taylor Schilling. Synopsis: Alex, Emily, and their son, RJ, are new to Los Angeles. A chance meeting at the park introduces them to the mysterious Kurt, Charlotte, and Max. A family "playdate" becomes increasingly interesting as the night goes on. Opens in US theaters on June 19, 2015.

    Mr. Holmes (2015). Directed by Bill Condon. Written by Jeffrey Hatcher
    (based on the character created by Arthur Conan Doyle and the novel by Mitch Cullin). Starring Ian McKellen,
    Laura Linney,
    Hiroyuki Sanada . Synopsis: An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes looks back on his life, and grapples with an unsolved case involving a beautiful woman. Opens in US theaters on July 17, 2015.

    The Hateful Eight (2015). Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Channing Tatum,
    Samuel L. Jackson,
    Kurt Russell. Synopsis: In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception. Will they survive? Release dates TBD.

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2015). Directed by Zack Snyder. Written by Chris Terrio,
    David S. Goyer. Starring Ben Affleck,
    Henry Cavill,
    Amy Adams. Synopsis: According to IMDB: "The plot is unknown." Opens in US theaters on March 26, 2016.

    Summer 2015: Anticipation Guide

    Sheila writes: It seems too soon but summer is right around the corner, and The Dissolve has put together a fun list of their most anticipated movies for Summer 2015. What films are you looking forward to the most?

    Richard Corliss 1944-2015

    Sheila writes: Richard Corliss, editor and popular film critic for Time, just died this past week at the age of 71. There have been many beautiful tributes written to Corliss, and I wanted to point your way towards the two appearing on The first one was written by editor-in-chief Matt Zoller Seitz: Richard Corliss, Everywhere at Once.  Secondly, Richard T. Jameson paid tribute, with a great overview of Corliss' career and his impact on film writing: Venerable, Never: Richard T. Jameson Remembers Richard Corliss.

    10 Essential Polish Film Directors

    Sheila writes: One of the films shown at Ebertfest was the stunning Oscar-winning "Ida", directed by Pawel Pawlikowski. There were so many wonderful discussions that happened following the film, about "Ida" and other Polish films. Just yesterday I came across a list put out by the British Film Institute: 10 Essential Polish Film Directors.

    Free Movies

    And Then There Were None (1945). Directed by René Clair. Starring Barry Fitzgerald,
    Walter Huston,
    Louis Hayward. Synopsis: Based on a novel and subsequent stage play by Agatha Christie; ten people are invited to an isolated island, only to be killed one-by-one. Could one of them be the killer?

    Watch "And Then There Were None."

    Man In the Attic (1953). Directed by Hugo Fregonese. Starring Jack Palance,
    Constance Smith,
    Byron Palmer . Synopsis: After an enigmatic, self-described pathologist rents the attic room of a Victorian house, his landlady begins to suspect her lodger is Jack the Ripper.

    Watch "Man In the Attic."

    The Strange Woman (1946). Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer . Starring Hedy Lamarr,
    George Sanders,
    Louis Hayward . Synopsis: In 1820s New England beautiful but poor and manipulative Jenny Hager marries rich old man Isaiah Poster but also seduces his son and his company foreman.

    Watch "The Strange Woman."

    By: Sheila O'Malley
    Posted: April 29, 2015, 5:00 am


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