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Entries in Steve McQueen (34)

Wednesday
Sep 18 2013

Amir's TIFF Roundup,Pt 1: The Bad and The Ugly

[Editor's Note: I've sharedmy TIFF experiencewith you through 12 plus articles.Amirwas also there,hell he lives there,so he has a two part report to wrap things up.- Nathaniel]

"Take it,Chiwetel,TAKE IT!"

In awards season terms,the Toronto Film Festival is already old news.A bunch of films screened and some stars showed up on the red carpet and,as you all know,12 Years a Slavehas already won thebest picture Oscarand everyone has gone home happy.

That's not quite how it ends for anyone who attends a festival though.The act of film-watching itself happens with such rapidity that it becomes impossible to process all the films within the short duration of the festival.For me,TIFF hasn't yet ended,mentally.I keep going back to every film,processing the details I remember and letting a whole new reaction unravel.

Here's a truth I discovered this time around: it is impossible to maintain a regular work schedule,watch 30 films and also write about them.I had to compromise one of those things,and you can tell by my complete absence from this space which one of those I chose to leave out.But let's pretend for a minute that it's last week,you are still interested in festival coverage and you want to find out how I feel about the films I watched.Shall we?

Toronto's Oscar Problem & moreafter the jump...

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Tuesday
Aug 06 2013

Curio: The Great Escape at 50

Alexahere.50 years ago this weekThe Great Escape,John Sturges' rousing piece of Americana,came into theaters.With it,Steve McQueen transformed into rebel icon,a Tao of freedom for the masses (and especiallyoverweight teachers).Just the other day I found myself whistling Elmer Bernstein's theme as I watched my newborn escape her play yard (although I almost slipped into a rendition ofRiver Kwaiwhistling instead,blasphemy!).Here are a few artifacts to celebrate the film's golden anniversary.

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Monday
Jul 15 2013

Yes,No,Maybe So: "12 Years a Slave"

One of our 'Most Awaited Titles of 2013' has long been12 Years A Slaveand very little of that anticipatory impatience is due to its arguable Oscar Baitiness (but yes,I've predicted it for several things back when the April Fools Predix arrived).No,ninety percent of the excitement comes by way of its director (Steve McQueen) who has yet to make a movie that's anything less than unmissable.True,he's only made two features and one of them has its very vocal detractors but if you missedHungerorShameit's your loss.They're two of the most striking features of the 21st century

For his third feature he's reunited with his muse Michael Fassbender but this time the focus is on another actor,Chiwetel Ejiofor who has long been on the bubble to major stardom.

Will this potentially potent period drama do the trick?Our Yes,No,Maybe So breakdown follows...

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Wednesday
Jun 19 2013

12 Years Of Fassbender

JA fromMNPPhere - have y'all seen the first batch of photos from Steve McQueen's upcoming slavery drama12 Years a Slave?USA Today has several,including the two Fassbender-centric ones you can see here.It's Fassbender's third team-up with theHunger/Shamedirector,and I can't be alone in hoping this might be the role that will finally get him some Academy attention after his most terrible omission in 2011.Same goes for the film's actual lead,Chiwetel Ejiofor,who's also been doing great work for several years now - he first really caught my eye inDirty Pretty Thingsback in 2002 (although to be honest I cannot for the life of me remember squat aboutAmistad).

I haven't readthe bookupon which the film's based so I even hazard to guess whether this could actually be Academy friendly - so far McQueen's proven too outre for their tastes.But this one's got some big-time star-power behind it - it also stars (deep breath) Benedict Cumberbatch,Brad Pitt,Sarah Paulson,Paul Dano,Paul Giamatti,Garrett Dillahunt,Alfre Woodard,Scoot McNairy and Quvenzhané Wallis,amongst many others.And12 Years a Slaveis out at the end of December,a not-so-subtle sign that somebody's thinking statues...

Friday
Jan 04 2013

Amir's Most Anticipated Films of 2013

Ewan McGregor and I (from TIFF).What movies do you think he's looking forward to?Amirhere.For most of us moviegoers the first day of January doesn't coincide with the start of a new film year.We wait for the release of films likeZero Dark ThirtyorAmourin our corners of the world.But to wish you all a slightly belated happy new year,I thought there's no better way to semi-start 2013 than with a toptendozen list of possible cinematic treasures that await us.

It was a tough task to narrow down but that's the fun in list-making.I know I'll be first in line when Lars von Trier'sNymphomaniachits the screens,or whenUnder the Skin,Jonathan Glazer's long-awaited follow-up to the masterfulBirth,is unveiled.And how could I not be excited aboutSide Effectsfrom the always intriguing Steven Soderbergh,orLes Salaudes,the newest film from Claire Denis,one of our greatest living directors?James Gray'sNightingalealmost made my list,as did Park Chan Wook'sStokerand Edgar Wright'sThe World's End.Joachim Trier,whose last filmOslo,August 31stwasmy favorite of 2011(2012 for many US critics) is working on an English-language debut calledLouder than Bombs,too.I'll be there for all of them,but if I had to pick only a dozen films to watch this year?Here they are....


12.I'm So Excited

An apt title for a film on a list of this kind,but that's definitely not the only reason I've included it here.Pedro Almodovar,everyone's favorite Spanish auteur,is going back to the realm of comedy with this story of intersecting romances and dancing gay flight attendants on an airplane.

I'm So Excitedstars a whole lot of Spanish stars like Javier Camara,Cecilia Roth,Lola Duenas,Paz Vega and my biggest crush of the moment,Blanca Suárez.Almodovar's regulars Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas are apparently in for small roles.

more after the jump...

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Wednesday
Aug 01 2012

Twelve Years A Quvenzhané

JA fromMNPPhere.In case you fans ofBeasts of the Southern Wildwere worried that its formidable child star Quvenzhané Wallis was going to disappear the way formidable child stars sometimes do - especially if they're of color - you set aside your fears for today.The Playlist has word that she's joined the castof Steve McQueen's next filmTwelve Years a Slave,and also share that picture of her on the set withSlave's lead the wonderful Chiwetel Ejiofor.(He's so wonderful I even know how to spell his name without looking it up now - even Matthew McConaughey can't say that.) (Although neither can Quvenzhané just yet.)

Slavetells the true story of Solomon Northrup,a free man who was kidnapped and thrown into slavery in the 1840s.It co-stars McQueen regular Michael Fassbender,as well as (deep breath) Brad Pitt,Paul Giametti,Alfre Woodard,Garrett Dillahunt,Adepero Oduye,Paul Dano,Sarah Paulson,Benedict Cumberbatch,Ruth Negga,Michael K.Williams,Taran Killam,and as of last week Quvenzhané'sBeastspapa Dwight Henry.

Unlike Nathaniel and oh I'd say 97.5% of the rest of you I personallywasn't soldonBeaststhe movie,but I agree with the consensus that Quvenzhané was wonderful,and I'm looking forward to seeing her show us more in the future.Maybe she can tell Michael Fassbender who's the man.

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