OH YES: Alfred Hitchcock Action Figure

Mondo collaborated with artists Trevor Grove and Michael Norman to create this 1/6 scale collectible figure of filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. The action figure includes:

Director’s Chair
2 Cigars (1 lit & 1 unlit)
Raven
Clapboard
Butcher Knife
4 Interchangeable Hands…(read more)

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Source: Dangerous Minds


This Film Reveals the Cruel Dysfunction of the British Welfare System

Brandon Harris writes: Cannes came and went yet again, handing out prizes to a bevy of films that left many in attendance scratching their heads. Arch left-wing Brit realist Ken Loach walked away with the coveted Palme d’Or for his newest drama of working-class strife, I, Daniel Blake, about a heart-attack victim who can’t navigate the shameful labyrinth of the British welfare system to secure the disability benefits he’ll require to keep himself afloat. Loach, who soon will be an octogenarian and has been bringing his films to Cannes since the late 60s, last won the prize for 2006’s Irish Troubles saga, The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

“It’s shocking because it’s not just an issue for people in our country, it’s throughout Europe. There is a conscious cruelty in the way we’re organizing our lives now where the most vulnerable people are told that their poverty is their own fault. If you have no work, it’s your fault you haven’t got a job.”

He came out in full Bernie Sanders stump-speech mode at the atypically long and Oscar-ish Cannes Awards night, launching broadsides against British austerity and the increasingly ungenerous welfare system—the latter of which is taken for a persuasive, moving, and aesthetically dull lambasting in the film—before pointing out that, “When there is despair, the people from the far right take advantage. We must say that another world is possible and necessary.”

[Read the full story here, at VICE]

Loach’s political drama, which will be released stateside by Sundance Selects later this year, had few calling it a masterpiece after it debuted early in the festival to quaint praise. Coming off a decade of films that were widely seen as disappointments, I, Daniel Blake follows an aging joiner (Dave Johns), who finds that the dole isn’t as peachy keen as the Tories make it out to be, and a young mother of two (Hayley Squires) who finds the uncaring system just as useless as she tries to claw her family out of homelessness and hunger. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Hou Hsiao-Hsien: ‘The Assassin

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Sheila O’Malley writes:The visuals are, quite literally, overwhelming. There were shots that were so beautiful I practically could not take it in, in one glance: it’s like trying to “take in” the Grand Canyon. Thankfully, Hou’s camera is not of the quick-cut variety. He lets scenes breathe, and the shots are very long. I had time to settle in, to look up at the misty ranks of mountains in the background, the vast space in the foreground, the line of trees reflected perfectly in the dawn-blue water, the row of fog breaking up a vertical cliff of green trees. Nature photography? Well, yes, kind of. But it’s part of the story and the atmosphere. This is one of the most beautiful looking films this year, or any year.

Hou Hsiao-Hsien is such a world-class visionary filmmaker (the hyperbole fits) and yet it’s been relatively rare that his stuff makes it to our shores. The Assassin won him the Best Director award at Cannes, thrilling news for those of us who love his work and were already eagerly anticipating The Assassin….(read more)

The Sheila Variations


Cannes 2015 Poster Honors Ingrid Bergman

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There is perhaps no other film festival in the world whose annual poster is so anticipated, dissected and collected as the Cannes Film Festival. After paying homage last year to Marcello Mastroianni in Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2, this edition has chosen to honor Ingrid Bergman at the centenary of her birth. The Cassablanca star and three-time Oscar-winner was jury president in Cannes in 1973.

Bergman

She worked with such directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Roberto Rossellini and Ingmar Bergman; and starred opposite iconic actors including Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart and Gregory Peck. A documentary by Stig Björkman, Ingrid Bergman, In Her Own Words‏, will feature in the Cannes Classics section in May, the fest said today….(read more)

Deadline


[VIDEO] Cannes: The Digital Revolution is Changing Filmmaking

“Today you can do everything…from writing your film, from getting financing, from distributing by yourself. It is like you are your own gatekeeper as a filmmaker.”

“The world is changing and I think adapting is good,” explains Clara Massot, coordinator for the Next Pavilion at the Marché du Films, the expansive marketplace that each year coincides with the Cannes Film FestivalRead the rest of this entry »


China Moves to Chill Interest in Independent Films

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After attracting the attention of authorities for years, the Beijing Independent Film Festival was cancelled at the demand of police earlier this month. Amid a government crackdown on dissent that is rapidly gaining momentumChina’s leaders seem to have deemed independent films a threat. AP reports:

Filmmakers whose edgy themes contrast with the rosier images of the country’s mainstream industry are accustomed to censorship of content deemed to show China in a negative light.

But independent filmmakers say authorities now appear to be trying to chill the sharing and discussion of their films, amid a broader clampdown under Chinese leader Xi Jinping on public discourse that could potentially undermine the country’s one-party rule, including the arrests of bloggers who post sensitive material and activists who have accused officials of corruption.

[…]“They just want us to make films about food, clothes, entertainment. They don’t want people to think, they don’t want people to have the freedom to express themselves, they don’t want people to have independent and free ideas,” said Yang Lina, an independent documentary maker whose first fictional  — about urban Chinese women — debuted at Rotterdam’s international  festival this year.

Read the rest of this entry »