The Grab Bag (Feb. 10, 2015)

OFCS members don’t just write film reviews. Here are several articles you might find interesting.

Awards Coverage

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 10

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Looking at the winners and losers from the 10th week of Precursor Season

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2015

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Looking at the Oscar chances of “Timbuktu”

The Rundown 2014: Animated Feature

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Our look at individual Oscar races.

The Rundown 2014: Best Documentary Feature & Short Subject

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Our look at individual Oscar races.

The Rundown 2014: Foreign Language Film

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Our look at individual Oscar races.

The Rundown 2014: Original Music (Score & Song)

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Our look at individual Oscar races.

The Rundown 2014: Short Films (Animated & Live-Action)

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Our look at individual Oscar races.

The Rundown 2014: Supporting Actor

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Our look at individual Oscar races.

The Rundown 2014: Supporting Actress

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Our look at individual Oscar races.

Best of Lists

20 Things I Learned Watching the Backstreet Boys’ New Documentary

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk Online

“All Aboard”: Top Ten Bus-Related Moments in the Movies

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

Best of 2014: The 11 Best Films of the Year

Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder

Our Favorite Sci-Fi Villains

Robert Cashill @ Biography.com

  • Excerpt: Will Eddie Redmayne join Darth Vader and “The Woman” in our hall of infamy?

Interviews

American Sniper’s Ben Reed

Nell Minow @ The Credits

  • Excerpt: And he said, ‘You are enough. Don’t try to be the character. Let the character be you.’ And it just hit me. I’m like ‘I get that.’ And it really grounds you as an actor. And it changed my world. Because you’re always trying. You’re thinking you need to be this way or that way. But you’re enough.”

Ava DuVernay – Selma

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

David Oyelowo – Selma

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Festivals: General Coverage

The Best and Worst of Sundance 2015 (Documentary Edition)

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

The Best and Worst of Sundance 2015 (Narrative Edition)

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival reveals strong partial line-up

Joseph Proimakis @ Cineuropa

  • Excerpt: Oscar nominees, regular attendees and a shelved Hitchcock project are among the delights to be featured at Thessaloniki’s 17th documentary gathering

Festivals: Individual Reviews

Digging for Fire

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: It takes a while to tune in to the frequency of Joe Swanberg’s latest, which seems at first glance to be a meandering compilation of half-overheard conversations (even by Swanberg’s standards). But it soon becomes clear that he’s not looking for straight-ahead narrative but a collection of moments, of small truths and realizations, and the film works best within that framework.

The End of the Tour

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: James Ponsoldt’s film, and the David Lipsky book it’s based on, could have both been the worst kind of exploitation of a dead cult hero (in this case, David Foster Wallace). Instead, The End of the Tour is a celebration of his life and talent, but even more, of his ethos; the more time you spend with Jesse Eisenberg (very good) and Jason Segel (even better) as the slightly jealous profile writer and the author on the rise, the more it transcends the specifics of these particular men and becomes a story about friendship, about adulthood, and about the inherent (and sometimes tragic) loneliness of a writer’s life.

Going Clear/ Prophet’s Prey

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: oth films use extensive documentation, buried tapes, and testimony from departed members to paint portraits of organizations that would call themselves one thing (church), while most sensible people would call them another (cult).

The Hunting Ground/ Hot Girls Wanted

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: The film’s title comes from an offhand mention by an interview subject, a rape survivor. It seems an apt description for how the rapist sees a college campus, and perhaps even for society at large, as another Sundance documentary called ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ reiterates that the sexual exploitation of young women is not just an epidemic, but an industry.

I Smile Back

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: The script (by Amy Koppelman and Paige Dylan, from Koppelman’s novel) offsets its predictability with keenly observed scenes from suburban life, and Silverman fits into them snugly, creating tiny tragedies everywhere she goes, as fragile and tenuous as an open wound. It shouldn’t be a surprise when a great comic actor is a great dramatic actor, but Silverman is nonetheless smashing in this sensitive drama.

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: t’s a rare biographical documentary more interested in the artist than the art, taking pains to understand his past and his pain while stopping short of apologizing for him. It’s more experimental and impressionistic than the form usually allows; Morgan’s not bound by the lock-step conventions of the profile doc, going instead for something more visceral and moving.

Mistress America

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: Its tonal shifts are wildly unpredictable yet somehow successful, while allowing Baumbach to indulge in his most purely comic sequences in well over a decade. A shrewd and boisterous picture, and, at its best, an utter delight.

The Overnight

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: Throw in the kind of psycho-sexual tension that’s just under the surface of many long-term relationships, and the table is set for a playful, funny, and sometimes shockingly candid comedy of errors from writer/director Patrick Brice, who turns his small cast and (basically) single location from an indie standby into something that retains the power to surprise.

Sleeping With Other People

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: The trash-talking writer/director of ‘Bachelorette’ situates her scrappy characters and likably crass dialogue at the service of a depressingly formulaic, trace-it-out-from-frame-one romantic comedy. There’s much to recommend here — every performer shines, and stars Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis generate both warmth and heat — but Headland ultimately finds herself boxed in by the immovable walls of the genre.

Tig

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: A surplus of admiration of her — her skill, her humor, and her bravery — is required to look past the unfortunate aesthetics of ‘Tig’, which is far too stylistically indebted (confessional interviews, observed interactions, emotional music montages, etc.) to the reality shows directors Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York cut their teeth on.

Essays

Destroy All Monsters: Leave Johnny Depp Alone

Matt Brown @ TwitchFilm

Reviews of Short Films

Tattoo

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Italian Short Film Review

Other Articles

5 Insights into “Miami Vice” from Michael Mann’s Audio Commentary

Blake Howard @ Graffiti with Punctuation

Love Songs from Films

Betty Jo Tucker @ Movie Addict Headquarters

  • Excerpt: A musical podcast with songs featured in various movies.

The Michael Mann Guide to Crime

Blake Howard @ Graffiti with Punctuation

Strange Magic with Meredith Anne Bull

Betty Jo Tucker @ Movie Addict Headquarters

  • Excerpt: A podcast featuring actress/singer Meredith Anne Bull discussing her voice work as Dawn in Disney’s latest animated musical.

The TCM Top Ten for February 2015

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

  • Excerpt: What I’ll be watching on TCM this month.

Under the Skin: 5 Reasons Why “Mysterious Skin” Should Be Required Teen Viewing

Blake Howard @ Graffiti with Punctuation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.