Wednesday, February 29, 2012

City of Life and Death

Chinese writer and director Lu Chuan delivered a riveting masterpiece with this devastating film. The 1937 Japanese invasion of the Chinese capital of Nanking and the devastation that followed through the eyes of several characters. The term that "war is hell" is rarely shown which has led to be toned down or used as a backdrop in many films but Chuan gives an unflinching look at what happened at Nanking that killed over 200,000 people. The film is hard to watch because of the atrocities shown that's unimaginable which shows how evil humans can be. Much to his credit Chuan gives a balanced account on the nature of war from both perspective of the Japanese and the Chinese that works on several levels. It's an astounding film that works on both an epic and intimate level at the same time. The film has the look and feel of a documentary which elevates its authenticity. Chuan and his stellar cast and crew created a timeless and unforgettable masterpiece. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Richard III

British director Richard Loncraine gave the Shakespeare drama a bold interpretation with the help of Ian McKellen who co-wrote and stars with a riveting performance. A murderous aristocrat schemes a devious plan to become King at the cost of murdering his own family one by one. Loncraine updates the classic play to a fictional fascist England in the 30's that resembles Germany and Hitler in many ways. McKellen leads an stellar cast that includes Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith, Robert Downey Jr. and Nigel Hawthorne amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, February 27, 2012


French writer and director Christian Carion made a terrific thriller with his third feature based on an incredible true story. An ordinary Frenchman in Moscow gets entangled in one of the biggest spy cases of the Cold War involving a high ranking KGB officer that puts their lives in danger but changed the course of history leading to the fall of the Soviet Union. Carion weaves an intricate story that builds slowly but reaches a riveting climax proves he's one of the most versatile French directors. Serbian director/actor Emir Kusturica and French actor/director Guillaume Canet are perfectly cast as the leads with superb performances leading an international cast including Alexandra Maria Lara, Willem Dafoe, Niels Arestrup, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Dina Korzun and Fred Ward amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

GUILD AWARDS 10: 84th Academy Awards (Oscar)

Best Picture
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
"Midnight in Paris"
"The Help"
"War Horse"
"The Tree of Life"

Best Actor
Demian Bichir, "A Better Life"
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Gary Oldman, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"

Best Actress
Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Rooney Mara, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, "My Week With Marilyn"
Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"
Nick Nolte, "Warrior"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Max Von Sydow, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"

Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"

Best Director
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Terrence Malick, "The Tree of Life"
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"

Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
JC Chandor, "Margin Call"
Asghar Farhadi, "A Separation"
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, "Bridesmaids"

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxton, Jim Rash, "The Descendants"
John Logan, "Hugo"
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, "The Ides of March"
Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, "Moneyball"
Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughn, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

Best Animated Feature
"A Cat In Paris"
"Chico & Rita"
"Kung Fu Panda 2"
"Puss in Boots"

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Bullhead (Belgium)
Footnote (Israel)
In Darkness (Poland)
Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)
A Separation (Iran)

Original Score
"The Adventures of Tintin," John Williams
"The Artist," Ludovic Bource
"Hugo," Howard Shore
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," Alberto Iglesias
"War Horse," John Williams

Best Original Song
"Man or Muppet," The Muppets; Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
"Real in Rio," Rio; Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Best Achievement in Art Direction
"The Artist"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
"Midnight in Paris"
"War Horse"

Best Achievement in Cinematography
"The Artist"
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
"The Tree of Life"
"War Horse"

Best Achievement in Costume Design
"The Artist"
"Jane Eyre"

Best Documentary Feature
"Hell and Back Again"
"If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front"
"Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"

Best Documentary Short Subject
"The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement?"
"God Is the Bigger Elvis"
"Incident in New Baghdad"
"Saving Face"
"The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom"

Best Achievement in Film Editing
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

Best Achievement in Makeup
"Albert Nobbs"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
"The Iron Lady"

Best Animated Short Film
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

Best Live Action Short Film
"The Shore"
"Time Freak"
"Tuba Atlantic"

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
"War Horse"

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
"War Horse"

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
"Real Steel"
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon"

RIP: Erland Josephson 1923 - 2012

Dirty Money

French master Jean-Pierre Melville disappoints in his last film after delivering three masterpieces back to back. He seems tired and cynical of the world of crime that inspired him in his illustrious career. He reunites again with Alain Delon who plays a weary cop who has the tedious job of capturing criminals that involves a friend whose girlfriend he's in love with. A somber film in many ways that lacks the energy or excitement of Melville's earlier films. Catherine Deneuve is well cast but wasted in a supporting role. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Best Feature

Take Shelter
The Artist
The Descendants

Best Director
Mike Mills, Beginners
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants

Best Female Lead
Lauren Ambrose, Think of Me
Rachel Harris, Natural Selection
Adepero Oduye, Pariah
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Male Lead
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Ryan Gosling, Drive
Woody Harrelson, Rampart
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Best Supporting Female
Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter
Anjelica Huston, 50/50
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Harmony Santana, Gun Hill Road
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Supporting Male
Albert Brooks, Drive
John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
John C. Reilly, Cedar Rapids
Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris

Best First Feature
Another Earth
In the Family
Margin Call
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Natural Selection

John Cassavetes Award
Hello Lonesome
The Dynamiter

Best Screenplay
Joseph Cedar, Footnote
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Tom McCarthy, Win Win
Mike Mills, Beginners
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash, The Descendants

Best First Screenplay
Mike Cahill and Brit Marling, Another Earth
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Patrick DeWitt, Terri
Phil Johnston, Cedar Rapids
Will Reiser, 50/50

Best Foreign Film
A Separation
The Kid With a Bike

Best Documentary
An African Election
Bill Cunningham New York
The Interrupters
The Redemption of General Butt Naked
We Were Here

Best Cinematography
Joel Hodge, Bellflower
Benjamin Kuh-Sulk, The Off Hours
Darius Khondji, Midnight in Paris
Guillaume Shiffman, The Artist
Jeffrey Waldron, The Dynamiter


Welcome to Sarajevo

Prolific British director Michael Winterbottom made this devastating film about the Bosnian War. A British journalist covering the war find himself frustrated with the coverage at home gets emotionally involved when he meets a little girl. Based on the book by Michael Nicholson and adapted by Frank Cottrell Boyce, Winterbottom tells the story through a blend of archival footage and live action which makes for a heartbreaking and utterly disturbing film that only touches on the surface of the atrocities of the Bosnian War which the world ignored. The film is a timeless reminder of human tragedy in the face of war which keeps happening again and again like the war in Syria at the moment. Stephen Dillane leads the excellent cast that includes Wood Harrelson, James Nesbitt, Kerry Fox, Emily Lloyed, Marisa Tomei and Goran Visnjic. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, February 24, 2012

37th César Awards

Best Film
The Artist
Declaration of War (La Guerre est déclarée)
Le Havre
The Minister (L'Exercice de l'État)
Poliss (Polisse)

Best Director
Alain Cavalier, Pater
Valérie Donzelli, Declaration of War
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Aki Kaurismäki, Le Havre
Maïwenn, Poliss
Pierre Scholler, The Minister
Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, Intouchables

Best Actor – Leading Role
Sami Bouajila, Omar Killed Me (Omar m'a tuer)
François Cluzet, Intouchables
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Olivier Gourmet, The Minister
Denis Podalydès, The Conquest (La conquête)
Omar Sy, Untouchables
Philippe Torreton, Guilty (Présumé coupable)

Best Actress – Leading Role
Ariane Ascaride, The Snows of Kilimanjaro (Les neiges du Kilimandjaro)
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Leila Bekhti, The Source (La Source des femmes)
Valérie Donzelli, Declaration of War
Marina Foïs, Poliss
Marie Gillain, All Our Desires (Toutes nos envies)
Karin Viard, Poliss

Best Actor – Supporting Role
Michel Blanc, The Minister
Nicolas Duvauchelle, Poliss
Joeystarr, Poliss
Bernard Lecoq, The Conquest
Frédéric Pierrot, Poliss

Best Actress – Supporting Role
Isabelle Breitman, The Minister
Anne Le Ny, Intouchables
Noémie Lvovsky, House of Tolerance (L'Apollonide: souvenirs de la maison close)
Carmen Maura, The Women on the 6th Floor (Les femmes du 6e étage)
Karole Rocher, Poliss

Most Promising Actor
Nicolas Bridet, Tu seras mon fils
Grégory Gadebois, Angèle et Tony
Guillaume Gouix, Jimmy Rivière
Pierre Minet, J'aime regarder les filles
Dimitri Storoge, Les Lyonnais

Most Promising Actress
Clotilde Hesme, Angèle et Tony
Adèle Haenel, The Women on the 6th Floor
Celine Salette, The Women on the 6th Floor
Christa Theret, La Brindille
Neyda Yadri, Poliss

Best First Work
17 filles
Angèle et Tony
Le Cochon de Gaza
La Délicatesse
My Little Princess

Best Writing – Adaptation
Carnage, Roman Polanski and Yasmina Reza
La Délicatesse, David Foenkinos
Guilty (Présumé coupable), Vincent Garenq
Omar Killed Me (Omar m'a tuer), Rachid Bouchareb and Olivier Lorelle
Rebellion (L'Ordre et la Morale), Mathieu Kassovitz

Best Writing – Original
The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
Declaration of War (La guerre est déclarée), Valérie Donzelli and Jérémie Elkaïm
The Minister (L'exercice de l'État), Pierre Schoeller
Police (Polise), Maïwenn and Emmanuelle Bercot
Untouchables (Intouchables), Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache

Best Cinematography
The Artist
House of Tolerance (L'Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close)
The Minister (L'Exercice de l'État)
Police (Poliss)

Best Editing
The Artist
The Minister (L'Exercice de l'État)
Declaration of War (La guerre est déclarée)
Police (Poliss)

Best Sound
Declaration of War (La guerre est déclarée)
House of Tolerance (L'Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close)
The Minister (L'Exercice de l'État)
Police (Poliss)

Best Music
The Artist
The Beloved (Les Bien-Aimés)
House of Tolerance (L'Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close)
A Monster in Paris (Un monstre à Paris)
The Minister (L'Exercice de l'État)

Best Costume Design
The Artist
House of Tolerance (L'Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close)
My Little Princess
The Source (La Source des femmes)
The Women on the 6th Floor (Les Femmes du 6e étage)

Best Production Design
The Artist
House of Tolerance (L'Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close)
The Women on the 6th Floor (Les Femmes du 6e étage)
The Minister (L'Exercice de l'État)
Le Havre

Best Documentary
Le Bal des menteurs
Crazy Horse
Ici on noie les Algériens
Michel Petrucciani
Tous au Larzac

Best Animated Film
Le Chat du rabbin
Le Cirque
La Queue de la souris
A Monster in Paris (Un monstre à Paris)
Le Tableau

Best Foreign Film
A Separation (Jodái-e Náder az Simin) ( Iran), Asghar Farhadi
Black Swan ( United States), Darren Aronofsky
The King's Speech ( United Kingdom), Tom Hooper
Drive ( United States), Nicolas Winding Refn
The Kid with a Bike (Le gamin au vélo) ( Belgium), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Incendies ( Canada), Denis Villeneuve
Melancholia ( Denmark), Lars von Trier

2010 2009

Grizzly Man

German writer and director Werner Herzog examined the strange case of Timothy Treadwell with this fascinating documentary. Treadwell's obsession with wild bears lead him to observe them over the course of thirteen years until he and his girlfriend were killed by one. Herzog through Treadwell's videos and interviews of his close friends and family examine the life of actor who found himself drawn to the nature, specially bears. Herzog as anthropologist always finds the right angle with any topic he touches which shows his greatness as a filmmaker and human being. His personal commentary and connection with the people makes his films personal and profound at the same time. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Greek-Australian director Alex Proyas made an effective sci-fiction thriller by tapping into several questions that has perplexed human kind. A scientist and single father finds a meaning in a numbers filled paper his son receives from a five decade old time-capsule. Proyas and his writing team throw philosophical, scientific, religious questions amongst others about the human existence on earth and its relationship to the rest of the universe. While the questions are valid, the film is best enjoyed as an entertaining thriller which otherwise would be derailed long before the end. The weakest link is the performance of Nicholas Cage while the action and special effects are far superior than many of the films in its genre. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Art & Copy

Director Doug Pray gives insight into the world of advertising in this fascinating documentary. The history of advertising through its pioneers and their legendary work for major brands from Apple to Nike amongst others. While the world of advertising is getting bigger with every decade and not all of them good, Pray focuses on the artists and their art which inspired the public and enabled the growth of the industry. The advertising may be known to many but the faces behind them are the revelation of this film which makes for a compelling film. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Room with a View

Director James Ivory delivered a knockout with this adaptation of the classic novel by E.M. Forster. A simple gesture of trading a room with a view has a profound effect on a young British couple from different classes while traveling in Italy. Brilliantly written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and directed by Ivory, the film touches on the British class system that undermines human capacity for love and passion. Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter lead the stellar ensemble cast that includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Julian Sands, Denholm Elliot, Rupert Graves, Simon Callow and Judi Dench amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, February 20, 2012

That Obscure Object of Desire

Legendary Spanish master Luis Buñuel stayed true to his surrealist style and sense of humor with his swan song. An elderly gentleman falls in love with a beautiful young woman which tests his patience and desire to extreme and strange behavior. Brilliantly written by Buñuel and frequent collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière that examines sexual obsession and frustration by taking them to new heights with plenty of humor. Buñuel remains one of the most original voices in the history of cinema. The talented cast includes Fernando Rey in the lead while Carole Bouquet and Ángela Molina appear in true Buñuel fashion as the same character. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Doctor Zhivago

Legendary British director David Lean delivered his last masterpiece with this lavish adaptation of the Boris Pasternak classic novel. The life of a Russian doctor and poet before and after the Russian Revolution where he's caught in a passionate love affair with a beautiful but married woman. Brilliantly written by Robert Bolt and masterfully directed by Lean with a stellar cast and crew that makes for a timeless classic. Omar Sharif and Julie Christie star as the star-crossed lovers with superb performances along with a terrific supporting cast that includes Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, Alec Guinness, Tom Courtney and Ralph Richardson amongst others. The film also features dazzling cinematography by Freddie Young and production design by John Box. The timeless score by Maurice Jarre is one of the greatest in the history of cinema. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

GUILD AWARDS 9: Writer's Guild (WGA)

Original Screenplay


Written by Will Reiser


Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig

Midnight in Paris
Written by Woody Allen

Win Win

Screenplay by Tom McCarthy

Young Adult

Written by Diablo Cody

Adapted Screenplay

The Descendants
Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash; Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Screenplay by Steven Zaillian
Based on the novel by Stieg Larsson

The Help

Screenplay by Tate Taylor
Based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett


Screenplay by John Logan
Based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin
Based on the book by Michael Lewis

Documentary Screenplay

Better This World
Written by Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega

If a Tree Falls

Written by Marshall Curry and Matthew Hamachek

Nostalgia for the Light

Written by Patricio Guzmán


Screenplay by Wim Wenders

Position Among the Stars

Script by Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich, Leonard Retel Helmrich


Written by Manish Pandey


GUILD AWARDS 8: Sound Guilds (CAS)

Motion Picture

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Super 8


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pan Tadeusz

Legendary Polish writer and director Andrzej Wajda took on the epic poem by Adam Mickiewicz in this lavish adaptation. During the Russian and Lithuanian occupation of Poland, two feuding families attempt to reconcile through marriage is threatened by the news of Napoleon's arrival which gives hope to one family for independence while the other is loyal to Russia. The intricate historical context makes difficult for outsiders but Wajda's focus is for the Polish audience trying to connect them to their past. Beautifully filmed with a talented cast and crew. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

GUILD AWARDS 7: Editor's Guild (ACE)


The Descendants
Kevin Tent, A.C.E.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Kirk Baxter, A.C.E. & Angus Wall, A.C.E.

Thelma Schoonmaker, A.C.E.

Christopher Tellefsen, A.C.E.

War Horse
Michael Kahn, A.C.E.


The Artist
Anne-Sophie Bion & Michel Hazanavicius

William Kerr & Michael L. Sale

Midnight in Paris
Alisa Lepselter

My Week with Marilyn
Adam Recht

Young Adult
Dana E. Glauberman, A.C.E.


The Adventures of Tintin
Michael Kahn, A.C.E.

Puss in Boots
Eric Dapkewicz

Craig Wood, A.C.E.


Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Joe Bini & Maya Hawke

Freedom Riders
Lewis Erskine & Aljernon Tunsil

George Harrison: Living in the Material World
David Tedeschi


Berlinale International Film Festival

One of the top three festivals in the World (the others being Cannes and Venice) is more serious and political than the others. However due to its time slot, it doesn't get the big films that Cannes gets. Instead Berlin gets to pick from big Hollywood films that gets released late in the year for Award considerations. It's the only one of the three festivals open to the public.

A moi seule (Coming Home), Frederic Videau (France)
Aujord'hui (Today), Alain Gomis (France, Senegal)
Bai iu yuan (White Deer Plain), Wang Quan'an (China)
Barbara, Christian Petzold (Germany) BEST DIRECTOR
Captive, Brillante Mendoz (Philippines)
Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die), Paolo & Vittorio Taviani (Italy) GOLDEN BEAR
Csak a szei (Just The Wind), Bence Fliegauf (Hungary) JURY GRAND PRIX
Dictado (Childish Games), Antonio Chavarrias
En Kongelig Affare (A Royal Affair), Nikolaj Arcel (Denmark, Sweden) BEST ACTOR & Best Script
Gnade (Mercy), Matthias Glasner (Germany, Norway)
Jayne Mansfield's Car, Billy Bob Thronton (USA)
Kebun binatang (Postcards From The Zoo), directed by Edwin (Indonesia, Hong Kong)
L'enfant d'en haut (Sister), Ursala Meier (Switzerland, France)
Les adieux a la Reine (Farewell My Queen), Benoit Jacquot (France)
Meteora, Spiros Stathoulopoulos (Germany, Greece)
Rebelle (War Witch), Kim Nguyen (Canada) BEST ACTRESS
Tabu, Miguel Gomes (Portugal, Brazil)
Was bleibt (Home For The Weekend), Hans-Christian Schmid (Germany)

Bel Ami, Declan Donnellan and Nick Oremerod (UK)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Stephen Daldry (USA)
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, Tsui Hark (China, Hong Kong)
Haywire, Steven Soderbergh (USA)
Jin ling Shi San Chai (The Flowers of War), Zhang Yimou (China)
Shadow Dancer, James Marsh (UK, Ireland)
The Iron Lady, directed by Phyllida Lloyd (UK)
In the Land of Blood and Honey, Angelina Jolie (USA)

10+10, Hou Hsiao-hsien + 9 others (Taiwan)
Bugis Street Redux, Yonfan (Hong Kong)
Cherry, Stephen Elliott (USA)
Chocó, Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza (Columbia)
The Convoy, Alexey Mizgirev (Russian Federation)
Death For Sale, Faouzi Bensaïdi (Morocco, United Arab Emirates)
Diaz - Don’t Clean Up This Blood, Daniele Vicari (Italy, Romania)
Die Wand (The Wall), Julian Roman Pölsler (Austria, Germany)
Dollhouse, Kirsten Sheridan (Ireland)
Elles, Malgoska Szumowska (France, Poland)
Fon Tok Kuen Fah (Headshot), Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand)
From Seoul To Varanasi, Kyuhwan Jeon (Republic of Korea)
Hot boy noi loan - cau chuyen ve thang cuoi,.. (Lost In Paradise), Vu Ngoc Dang (Vietnam)
HIGHWAY, Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal, USA)
Iron Sky, Timo Vuorensola (Finland, Germany)
Indignados, Tony Gatlif (France)
Keep The Lights On, Ira Sachs (USA)
Kuma, Umut Dag (Austria)
La mer à l'aube (Calm At Sea), Volker Schlöndorff (France, Germany)
L'âge atomique, Héléna Klotz (France)
Leave It On The Floor, Sheldon Larry (USA/Canada)
Love by Doze, Niu Chen-zer (China,Taiwan)
Man On Ground, Akin Omotoso (South Africa)
Mai-wei (My Way), KANG Je-kyu (Republic of Korea)
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, Matthew Akers (USA)
Mommy Is Coming, Cheryl Dunye (Germany)
My Brother The Devil, Sally El Hosaini (Great Britain)
Parada (The Parade), Srdjan Dragojevic (Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia)
Rentaneko (Rent-a-Cat), Naoko Ogigami (Japan)
Sharqiya (Central Station), Ami Livne (Israel, France, Germany)
The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears, Teona Strugar Mitevska (Macedonia, Slovenia)
Wilaya, Pedro Pérez Rosado (Spain)
Xingu, Cao Hamburger (Brazil)


Friday, February 17, 2012

If a Tree Falls

Directors Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman delivered a riveting and thought provoking film with this terrific documentary. Through the story of Daniel McGowan a member of the ELF (Earth Liberation Front) waiting for his trial, Curry and Cullman tell the story behind the movement and how McGowen and other members joined and became heroes and terrorists at the same time. The multi-layered film asks profound questions about society and its responsibilities towards its citizens and the environment, the political power struggle and what makes a person a hero and a terrorist. It's a even handed film that shows all the perspectives without providing easy answers. The question that remains is how the save the planet that faces a systematic destruction around the world. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Moscow, Belgium

Belgian director Christophe Van Rompaey made his feature debut with this winning comedy. After an accident, Matty, a mother of three is courted by Johnny, a young truck driver who has fallen in love with her. Initially Matty goes on a date with Johnny to make her teacher husband, Werner jealous because he abandoned her for a younger woman but finds herself at crossroads when she develops feelings for Johnny and Werner wants to return. Van Rompaey and his talented cast and crew deliver an original film with fully developed characters that gives an authentic look at relationships with plenty of heart and humor. Barbara Sarafian and Jurgen Delnaet deliver terrific performances as the unlikely lovers. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Director Stanley Donen delivered another masterpiece with this elegant romantic thriller. After her husband is murdered, a beautiful woman realizes how little she knew him which puts her in danger when several men pursue her to retrieve the fortune he had stolen. Beautifully written and directed with plenty of charm and sophistication due to the effortless performances of Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn at their best. The solid supporting cast includes Walter Matthau, James Coburn and George Kennedy. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hell and Back Again

Photojournalist Danfung Dennis made his feature debut with the heart wrenching documentary. An intimate look at the ordeal of a soldier fighting in Afghanistan and his recovery back at home. Through Sgt. Nathan Harris, Dennis shows the daily ordeals of soldiers who fight the wars and if lucky enough to return life, their adjustment back to a normal life with physical and psychological scars. It's a remarkable film in many ways, Harris is a remarkable young man whose behavior in combat and at home is truly inspiring. Dennis' focus on the tribulations of soldiers is universal instead of propaganda, controversy or special incidents that most films address. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse

Directors Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper made their feature debut with this fascinating documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now. Through Eleanor Coppola and her archival footage, the directors show the troubled production of Francis Ford Coppola's last masterpiece where the legendary director took the journey to the heart of darkness with his family. It shows the creative process and everything that can go wrong. Films are judge by the outcome but never by the hard work it takes to get there. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

GUILD AWARDS 6: Cinematographers' Guild (ASC)


Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist
Jeff Cronenweth, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Robert Richardson, Hugo
Hoyte van Hoytema, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life


Sunday, February 12, 2012

GUILD AWARDS 5: British Academy Awards (BAFTA)

The Artist
The Descendants

The Help
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

My Week With Marilyn - Simon Curtis, David Parfitt, Harvey Weinstein, Adrian Hodges
Senna - Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Manish Pandey
Shame - Steve Mcqueen, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Abi Morgan
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Tomas Alfredson, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Robyn Slovo, Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan
We Need To Talk About Kevin - Lynne Ramsay, Luc Roeg, Jennifer Fox, Robert Salerno, Rory Stewart Kinnear

Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Michael Fassbender, Shame

Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Viola Davis, The Help

Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Jim Broadbent, The Iron Lady
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Ides of March

Carey Mulligan, Drive
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Judi Dench, My Week With Marilyn
Melissa Mccarthy, Bridesmaids
Octavia Spencer, The Help

The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn
Hugo, Martin Scorsese
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Tomas Alfredson
We Need To Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsay

Attack The Block - Joe Cornish (Director/Writer)
Black Pond - Will Sharpe (Director/Writer), Tom Kingsley (Director), Sarah Brocklehurst (Producer)
Coriolanus - Ralph Fiennes (Director)
Submarine - Richard Ayoade (Director/Writer)
Tyrannosaur - Paddy Considine (Director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn - Steven Spielberg
Arthur Christmas - Sarah Smith
Rango - Gore Verbinski

The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids, Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig
The Guard, John Michael Mcdonagh
The Iron Lady, Abi Morgan
Midnight In Paris, Woody Allen

The Descendants - Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
The Help - Tate Taylor
The Ides of March - George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
Moneyball - Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan

Incendies - Denis Villeneuve
Pina - Wim Wenders
Potiche - François Ozon
A Separation - Asghar Farhadi
The Skin I Live In - Pedro Almodóvar

George Harrison: Living In The Material World - Martin Scorsese
Project Nim - James Marsh, Simon Chinn
Senna - Asif Kapadia

The Artist - Guillaume Schiffman
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Jeff Cronenweth
Hugo - Robert Richardson
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Hoyte Van Hoytema
War Horse - Janusz Kaminski

The Artist - Laurence Bennett, Robert Gould
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 - Stuart Craig, Stephenie Mcmillan
Hugo - Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald
War Horse - Rick Carter, Lee Sandales

The Artist - Mark Bridges
Hugo - Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre - Michael O'Connor
My Week With Marilyn - Jill Taylor
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Jacqueline Durran

The Artist - Julie Hewett, Cydney Cornell
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 - Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin
Hugo- Morag Ross, Jan Archibald
The Iron Lady- Marese Langan
My Week With Marilyn - Jenny Shircore

The Artist
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

The Artist- Anne-Sophie Bion, Michel Hazanavicius
Drive - Mat Newman
Hugo - Thelma Schoonmaker
Senna - Gregers Sall, Chris King
Tinker Tailor Solider Spy - Dino Jonsater


The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
War Horse

The Artist - Ludovic Bource
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
HUGO - Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Alberto Iglesias
War Horse - John Williams



Australian director Alister Grierson shortchanges a terrific concept with his second feature. A group of cave explorers get trapped in an unexplored cave system which proves deadly for many of them. Inspired by a true story and set at the Esa'ala Caves which is one of the last unexplored caves in the world, the writers and director missed a great opportunity to make a terrific thriller. Instead they have weak script full of cliches and unbelievable characters that border on caricature. Despite its many flaws, one can sense the terrifying concept. The cast includes Richard Roxburgh and Ioan Gruffudd in the leads. 1001 Films coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Writer and director Whit Stillman made his feature debut with this well written and observed comedy. A group of wealthy New Yorker preppies accept an outsider into their group where he stirs the dynamic of the group as they examine their lives. Stillman clearly had a great knowledge about the environment and its characters which enriches the script and the film which works despite its wall to wall dialogue. The film also serves as a time capsule for a time and place before the mobile phones and the Internet changed the world. While the film is set in 1990, it could have been 1980 or 1970 for that matter. Among the solid ensemble, Chris Eigeman stands out as the charismatic leader of the group. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Red Hill

Australian writer and director Patrick Hughes made his feature debut with this contemporary western. A young city cop transfers to a small town for peace and quiet but finds the opposite when a dangerous convict is on the loose. Hughes recycles themes and styles from countless classic films for this slick genre film which delivers the thrills if not originality. Ryan Kwanten stars along with Tommy Lewis and Steve Bisley in the supporting roles. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Margin Call

Writer and director J.C. Chandor made his feature debut with this riveting drama about the 2008 financial crisis. After an analyst detects that his investment bank on the edge of ruin, a race against time starts where the key people try to save the bank by selling its toxic assets which started the crisis. Chandor gives a clear account that lead to the financial crisis with a smart and compelling film that makes a complicated situations accessible for everybody. Chandor's personal experience on Wall Street where his father worked for decades allowed him to create fully developed characters without judging them which makes for a promising debut. The stellar cast includes Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons. Zachery Quinto, Penn Badgley, Demi Moore, Simon Baker and Stanley Tucci with terrific performance. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rembrandt's J'Accuse

British writer and director Peter Greenaway delivered a fascinating film with this innovative documentary. Greenaway investigates Rembrandt's masterpiece The Night Watch which he dissects to prove the conspiracy behind a murder. Greenaway is one of few filmmakers who finds new and innovative ways to make films which are always fascinating to watch. Martin Freeman appears as Rembrandt, a role he played for Greenaway's Nightwatching, a feature about the famous painting. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Mill & The Cross

Polish writer and director Lech Majewski made a unique film with this visually stunning period film. Flemish painter Pieter Bruegels masterpiece "The Procession to Calvary" from 1564 is brought to live in vivid detail exploring its themes of art, religion, life and death. It's a one of kind of film experience where the world of painting meets cinema with dazzling cinematography, visual effects and production design. Rutger Hauer appears as Bruegel as he conceives the painting along with Michael York and Charlotte Rampling. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Essential Killing

Polish writer and director Jerzy Skolimowski delivered a powerful film about survival with this thriller. After killing American soldiers, a Taliban fighter is imprisoned and tortured before he escapes captivity in an unidentified Eastern European country where a brutal fight for survival starts against the elements. Skolimowski shows tremendous skills with this striking and almost silent film about survival where killing another human being becomes essential. Vincent Gallo stars and delivers a superb performance as the Taliban fighter without speaking a word. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.