Monday, April 28, 2014

Salvation Army

France based Moroccan writer Abdellah Taia made his feature debut with his adaptation of his autobiographical novel. A young boy discovers his sexuality while growing up in a big family where he finds himself isolated amongst his sisters and older brother. While Taia is familiar with the story, his lack of skill to adapt the story for the screen is evident which undermines the potential of the powerful story. The film lacks the vibrant energy of the Moroccan culture and feels more sedated despited the striking visual by ace cinematographer Agnès Godard. 1001 Films' coverage of the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Director John Curran travelled down under for this incredible true story. A young woman travels Australia from coast to coast on a 1,700 mile journey across some of the most remote and unforgiving places on earth along with her four camels and beloved dog. Based on the experiences and book by Robyn Davidson, Curran created a hauntingly beautiful film about a courageous woman and her inspiring journey which seems even more fascinating four decades later. Mia Wasikowska stars with another solid performance along with a scene stealing Adam Driver who brings comic relief. 1001 Films' coverage of the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Young & Beautiful

French writer and director François Ozon returns with a character study about a disillusioned youth. A young and beautiful girl takes a double life as a prostitute which is not sex or money driven much to the shock of her family. Ozon's cool approach serves the story well but fails to go deeper beyond the surface. Marine Vacth stars and fits the character along a fine supporting cast that includes Géraldine Pailhas, Frédéric Pierrot and Charlotte Rampling. 1001 Films' coverage of the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Chinese Puzzle

French writer and director Cédric Klapisch completes his trilogy with this film which provides a satisfying conclusion. The group of friends end up in New York because of love, children and work which brings new challenges as they try to adapt to the new city. Klapisch bounces back to top form with his urban tale which has found the perfect location for its characters. Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Cécile De France and Kelly Reilly return to reprise their roles which makes the film worthwhile. 1001 Films' coverage of the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Two Faces of January

British-Iranian writer Hossein Amini made his directing debut with this adaptation of the novel by Patricia Highsmith. An American couple on the run in Greece seek the help of a mysterious stranger which takes them on a dangerous journey. Amini made an accomplished debut with this thriller which he also brilliantly adapted for the screen with solid structure and breathless pacing where the loyalties and dynamics constantly shifts and the characters are not what they seem. Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac and Kirsten Dunst star in the leads with solid performances while the sun drenched exotic locations enhances psychological effect. 1001 Films' coverage of the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Invisible Woman

Actor turned director Ralph Fiennes delivered another accomplished film as his second feature about the controversial love affair by literary giant Charles Dickens. At the height of his carreer, celebrated writer Charles Dickens falls for a young actress who initially rejects him but becomes his mistress with the support of their families. Based on the book by Claire Tomalin,  writer Abi Morgan and Fiennes created an excellent film about the unconventional love affair that also provides insight into the Victorian society and its greatest writer. Felicity Jones and Ralph Fiennes star with outstanding performances along a terrific supporting cast that includes Kristin Scott Thomas, Michelle Fairley, Tom Hollander and Joanna Scanlan who's excellent as Dickens wronged wife. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Café de Flore

Canadian writer and director Jean-Marc Vallée delivered an absorbing and fascinating film with this drama. Two stories of profound love share a mystical connection across time and space, a mother's love for her child and a man caught between two woman. Vallée weaves the stories slowly with a concept will divide the audiences depends on their perspectives on the philosophy at the core of the story which is brilliantly brought to the screen by the talented cast and crew. Vanessa Paradis stars along a fine cast that includes Kevin Parent, Hélène Florent and Evelyne Brochu. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Touch of Sin

Chinese writer and director Jia Zhangke delivered another masterpiece with this terrific drama. Four ordinary people use random acts of violence to revolt against the modern society that cost them their dignity and humanity. Zhangke who always captured the changes of contemporary China in his films and documentaries without shying away remains one of the most important directors. The transition of China is one of the most significant changes in the world in every aspect from economical to environmental and beyond.  1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks

Director John Lee Hancock brings the story behind the scenes of the making of Mary Poppins. After a long courtship, British author P.L. Travers travels to Hollywood to meet Walt Disney who will do anything to get the rights to the beloved novel based on Travers' traumatic past. Hancock and writers Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith took the drama behind the scenes of the beloved classic to deliver an entertaining film about the challenges of filmmaking which comes through despite the glossy treatment. Emma Thompson stars with a terrific performance along a stellar supporting cast that includes Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Colin Farrell and Ruth Wilson amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Shallow Grave

British director Danny Boyle made his feature debut with this terrific thriller that jump started the careers of its talented cast and crew. Greed tears apart the live of three friends when they discover their new flatmate dead with a suitcase full of cash. Highly original with a kinetic energy, Boyle and his talented cast and crew delivered a knockout film with this thriller infused with dark humor. Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston and Kerry Fox star with terrific performances along with solid supporting cast that includes Peter Mullan. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mohammad Ali's Greatest Fight

British director Stephen Frears brings the story behind the scenes of the Supreme Court's ruling in the case against of Ali. At the height of his career, Mohammad Ali refused to go to Vietnam war which not jeopardized his career but also risk prison for his belief when the case went to the Supreme Court whose ground breaking ruling was a milestone. Using archival footage and a stellar cast, Frears delivers a terrific film about a crucial time in US history which is informative as it's entertaining. Christopher Plummer and Frank Langella star along a solid supporting cast. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Family

French writer, director and producer Luc Besson brought together Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer for this comedy about the mob with a French twist. A mob family relocated to France under the witness protection program realize that bad habits die hard when cultures clashes. Besson and his talented cast and crew do their best and the film has its moments but the genre has been exploited with every angle that it's hard to break any new ground. Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer star with solid performance that recalls their better work in the mob universe. The supporting cast includes Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron and John D'Leo. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Way Way Back

Actors turned writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash made their directing debut with this terrific coming of age drama. A shy teenager forced to go on vacation with his mother and her boyfriend finds a refuge at a amusement park that helps him find himself. Writing and directing team of Faxon and Rash hit all the right notes with thoughtful film about the pains of growing up during puberty. Liam James is perfectly cast in the lead with a terrific performance along a stellar supporting cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb among others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Directing brothers Anthony & Joe Russo return to feature films after a long hiatus for the sequel of the Marvel franchise. While Steve Rogers is still adapting to modern times, he and his allies face a new and powerful threat that has its roots in his past. The Russo brothers continue where Joe Johnston left off in the first film and taking it to new heights which puts the film among the best of the superhero films. Chris Evans stars with a solid performance along a stellar supporting cast that includes Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie and Hayley Atwell. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Broken Circle Breakdown

Belgian writer and director Felix van Groeningen delivered a knockout with this tragic love story that wears its emotions on its sleeves. An American country music loving couple's life is marked by tragedy which tests their love and faith. Based on the play by Johan Heldenbergh who also stars in the film, Groeningen has created a meticulous film which is infused with beautiful bluegrass and country music that takes the story and film to new heights. The terrific Veerle Baetens along with Heldenbergh stars with outstanding performances that's the core of this film along with its glorious music. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Spanish writer and director Koldo Serra made his feature debut with this uneven thriller. Two Englishmen and their girlfriends' holiday in a remote Spanish location turns into a nightmare when they discover a little local girl imprisoned which begins deadly a chase. Serra uses xenophobia as the catalyst for this thriller where mutual distrust between locals and foreigners turns into a deadly fight for survival. Gary Oldman and Paddy Considine stars with performances which far below their expertise. The supporting cast includes Virginie Ledoyen, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón and Lluís Homar. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Friday, April 4, 2014


Korean writer and director Bong Joon-ho returns with an ambitious but original sci-fi thriller. Set in a dystopian future where global warming and a failed experiment has turned the earth into a desolate wasteland covered with ice and snow, the only survivors are on board of a train with all of the humanity's flaws and strength florishes among the divided class system. Based on the French graphic novels, Joon-ho and co-writer Kelly Masterson have created a gritty film that takes risks despite the inherent flaws of the source material which is a remarkable achievement. The stellar international ensemble includes Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Octavia Spencer and Joon-ho regular Song Kang-ho. 1001 Films' coverage of upcoming releases.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kill Your Darlings

Writer and director John Krokidas made his feature debut with the drama about the formation of the beat generation writers. Inspiring young writer Allen Ginsberg meets the charismatic Lucien Carr at the Columbia University who inspires him into a new direction and introduces him to William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac before they are all involved with a murder that changes the course of their friendship. Krokidas made a solid period drama about iconic characters which is a remarkable achievement for a debut. Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan star with strong performances along with a terrific supporting cast that includes Ben Foster, Jack Huston, Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Elizabeth Olsen and Kyra Sedgwick. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

British director Justin Chadwick created an emotional film based on the life of Nelson Mandela. The story of Nelson Mandela who sacrificed his family to fight the injustice in South Africa before becoming the legendary leader of the nation. Chadwick and writer William Nicholson focus on Mandela the man rather than the legend to show the journey of a remarkable man who changed his nation and inspired the world. Idris Elba and Naomie Harris star with terrific performances which is the highlight of this emotional drama. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The End

Spanish director Jorge Torregrossa made his feature debut with this unsettling existential horror thriller. A group of friends meet in remote location for a reunion after twenty years where a mysterious event forces them on a terrifying journey. Based on the novel by David Monteagudo, Torregrossa has created a visually striking thriller which defies the genre conventions with a simple and powerful message that goes to core existentialism. The talented ensemble includes Daniel Grao, Maribel Verdú and Clara Lago amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.