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Entries in AFI Fest (5)

Thursday
Sep 14 2017

Robert Altman Chosen for First-Ever AFI Retrospective

by Ilich Mejía

American director Robert Altman has been selected by the American Film Institute as the focus of AFI Fest's first annual retrospective showcasing the works of an accomplished filmmaker.AFI Fest will run,this year,from November 9 to 16.Each of those days will feature screenings and special discussions of Altman's best work.

Even though Altman passed over ten years ago,his films are constantly remembered by film fanatics around the globe.His haunting3 Womenrecently screened as part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's retrospective of 1977.Other Altman classics include Julie Christie's bursting curls inMcCabe & Mrs.Miller,the fiery politics ofNashville,and Downton Abbey predecesorGosford Park.

What film are you most excited to see as part of this retrospective?Share your favorite Altman scenes and moments!

Thursday
Nov 17 2016

AFI Winners: Divines,Land of Mine and More

We weren't able to attend the AFI this year due to lack of funds but we shan't skip sharing the winners.The literal winners we mean.Obviously the AFI is a great last second Oscar launching pad for the big titles (likeAmerican SniperandSelmaand such in year's past) ...

Click to read more ...亚博足彩app

Thursday
Oct 06 2016

Isabelle Huppert Lands AFI Fest Tribute

by Daniel Crooke

Isabelle Huppert is having a pretty great year.Which is saying something,because it's hard to imagine her having a bad one.Between her raves for Mia Hansen-Løve'sThings to ComeandPaul Verhoeven's instantly infamousElle,a sexual assault thriller that's accrued steady word of mouth since its Cannes debut earlier this year,Huppert continues to sit pretty upon her throne of breathtaking unconventionalism.But while her oeuvre of compelling,challenging performances has garnered her a red-hot reputation across the globe as one of the best and bravest actresses of her generation,her domain of awards acclaim has rested largely in her home country of France.She holds the record for the most César nominations by an actress and yet Oscar has never paid her mind.With the news thatAFI Fest plans to fête Huppertwith a Tribute and matching Gala screening ofEllethis November,perhaps she'll push her way into the hearts and minds of Angeleno Academy voters in attendance before ballots go out.

If Huppert's awards record of European cries and American crickets sounds familiar in this Oscar race,you'd be forgiven: we've already had a similar discussion a couple times this decade about under recognized actresses from the other side of the Atlantic.Last year,AFI Fest hosted a similar Tribute forCharlotte Ramplingwith a screening of45 Yearsand then a scant few months later,Rampling was back in LA for the Oscars亚博主页as a first-time Best Actress nominee.Emmanuelle Riva – iconic inHiroshima,Mon Amourbut mostly unknown to mainstream American audiences – found herselfin the thick of the Best Actress race forAmourand became the oldest nominee in history for the prize.For my money,she should've been the oldest winner too.Couple this with the statistic that a European actress from a foreign language title has landed a Best Actress nomination three of the past five Oscar ceremonies (the third being Marion Cotillard for the Dardennes'Two Days,One Night) and a precedent emerges that may give hope for Huppert landing that first Oscar nomination this year.

Although,as has been oft discussed in the infancy of this season,this isan usually competitive year in Best Actress.Do you think Huppert will make the cut,or it simply too tight a year for a performance in such a provocative film to squeeze in?

Monday
Nov 09 2015

AFI Fest: Hitchcock/Truffaut

Hitchcock/Truffauthas a kind of sacred place among film books.Though it's rarely assigned in class,since its original 1966 publication the collected interviews between Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut have unofficially defined auteurism,the role of the director in Western film,and - most obviously - public opinion about Hitchcock.The immediate result of the publication was to turn public opinion about the Master of Suspense from lowbrow entertainer to underappreciated artist,and to further solidify Francois Truffaut's image as critic-cum-creator,a critical distinction upon which the members of the French New Wave thrived. With a book this prominent in film history,a movieaboutthe book is a lofty goal to say the least.Historian and director Kent Jones uses his movie as an unfocused if zealous love letter to Hitchcock,that ultimately falls short of its goals.

The movieHitchcock/Truffautattempts to be many things.On the one hand,it is a historical documentary which explains who Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut were and why their legendary interviews exhaustively analyzing every single one of Hitch's films was so important to film history.In this endeavor,Jones is primarily aided by the original recordings of the interviews.Unedited and untranslated Hitchcock is even more blunt and humorous than the published book let on.He gives a rather graphic explanation of the famous green-lit scene inVertigobefore suddenly cutting the interview short with a clipped "Off the record!"Jones includes the scenes that Hitchcock and Truffaut discuss,which allows the audience to observe critically with the directors' eyes and compare what Hitchcock says he's doing to the end result.It's a testament to Hitchcock's notorious control that there's little difference between what he describes and what appears onscreen.

This leads to Kent Jones's second goal inHitchcock/Truffaut:a formal analysis of Alfred Hitchcock.As this was the primary motivation of the original book as well,parts of this can feel redundant.Jones brings in various directors to explain what they love in Hitchcock's films - Richard Linklater talks about time,Wes Anderson talks about precision,David Fincher talks about suspense,Scorsese talks about everything.The more directors Jones brings into the conversation,the more wide-reaching he reveals Hitchcock's influence to be.Directors who at first glance have little stylistically in common react with the same joy to discuss their favorite parts of Hitchcock's films.However,this formal analysis begins to drag,as very little new is discussed beyond what Hitch himself states.

That is the greatest flaw with Kent Jones's film: he doesn't add more to the conversation.Hitchcock/Truffautwas published nearly 50 years ago,but the movie doesn't have anything new to say about either the book or its subject.In trying to be too many things - a history,an analysis,a tribute - Jones's movie wanders aimlessly.80 minutes spent with Hitchcock is never time wasted,but ultimately I wonder: why make this movie?

Grade: B

Oscar Chances:Low,though the Academy does like insider baseball.

Saturday
Nov 07 2015

AFI Fest: Lady in the Van

Anne Mariehere reporting from Hollywood & Highland.

Let's be honest: there's probably only one reason you (or anyone) is interested inThe Lady in the Van.If you own a copy ofThe Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,if you kept watchingDownton Abbeyeven after Julian Fellowes killed two main characters and the series lost focus,then I have good news for you: you will loveThe Lady in the Van.Dame Maggie Smith is in top form,and the movie is devoted to giving her a variety of small acting moments that pop up in awards show montages and internet gifsets.Even if the rest of Nicholas Hytner's movie is unrelentingly average,Dame Maggie Smith is a delight.

First,let's talk about Maggie.In the last 20 years,the Dame has made a career of playing colorful,curmudgeonly women,effectively destroying - along with her Dames in Arms Helen Mirren,Judi Dench,and Angela Lansbury - the idea that older actresses aren't interesting.(There's a question to be asked about why all of these successful,terribly interesting older actresses are British,but that's a tangent for another day.) As the titular homeless woman who parks in the driveway of a put-upon playwright (Alex Jennings) for 15 years,Maggie Smith continues this fine tradition.Alternately infuriating and empathetic,crazy and charismatic,disgusting and distinguished,Smith creates a character so bizarrely contradictory that you understand why the writer allowed himself to be inconvenienced for almost two decades beginning in the 1970s.Sitting next to Nathaniel and eurocheese,I don't know that I've seen a festival audience react as gleefully to a moment so small as when Dame Maggie Smith,clad in a nightdress and a smelly rain coat,cracked a small private smile while riding a duck on a merry go round.

The rest of the movie is about what you'd expect from a BBC drama - familiar character actors,comedy stemming from British polite timidity - with one exception.The playwright Alan Bennett (who adapted his own play for the screen) splits himself into two characters: the man living the events,and the writer observing them.At first,the conceit is fun,since it gives the observing ego a chance to make the snide remarks that polite British gentlemen just won't say.However,as with many movies that rely on narration,eventually the writer gets didactic,and begins informing the audience how to think and feel about his story.But what he refuses to comment on is more interesting.While he was busy belaboring the connection between his guilt over his ailing mother and the homeless woman he allows to sleep in his yard,I was more curious about his closeted sexuality in Margaret Thatcher's England.

Ultimately,as a showpiece for Dame Maggie Smith,The Lady in the Vandelivers.As a BBC drama,it's a little more interesting than usual.Jim Broadbent,Dominic Cooper,and James Corden all make appearances,but are criminally underused.There's one reason to seeThe Lady in the Van.But it's a good reason in itself.

Grade:Maggie Smith A / Rest of the movie C+ Total = B

Oscar Chances: In a less competitive year,Dame Maggie Smith would be a shoe-in fora Best Actress nomination.As it is,she probably won't make the cut.