Specials: Wong at Cannes. Vote against Pedro. Chattaway’s Top 10. "New World" cut. "Pan’s Labyrinth." "Horror porn." "Scanner Darkly." "Fateless."

Wednesday’s specals:

President of this year’s Cannes Film Festival jury… Wong Kar-wai!
Fantastic. This should make for some very interesting choices. Can’t wait to see who else is on the jury. (Thanks, Opus, for the link.)

No more Pedro the Lion. Please welcome… David Bazan!
It was bound to happen. Bazan’s dropped the band name, officially declared himself a solo artist.

Peter Chattaway and Roy Anker post contrary top ten lists at Books and Culture
I like titles on both lists. I especially appreciate Chattaway’s insistence on personal favorites (Dear Frankie at #1! Wow!) rather than merely rearranging the ten titles popping up on almost every other critical list. Anker’s list is good too, although it looks you’ll impress him if your movie is a) political and b) left-leaning. And I think he’s being far too kind to Chronicles of Narnia.

Which cut of Malick’s The New World do you want to see?
It hasn’t opened wide, and it sounds like Americans won’t get to see Malick’s original cut until it reaches DVD. This has me considering whether or not I should consider The New World to be a 2006 release. (And, frankly, I may have to reconsider Kingdom of Heaven‘s director’s cut as a 2006 film, since it’s supposedly so drastically different than the theatrical film.)

The trailer for Guillermo Del Toro’s new film:
Pan’s Labyrinth.

David Poland on “Horror Porn”
Hostel is apparently too hostile.

“The Dude” reviews A Scanner Darkly
This movie tops my list of films I can’t wait to see in 2006.

Village Voice praises Fateless
Let’s face it. There will never be an end to good movies about the Holocaust. And perhaps this is a good thing. While those evils can never be undone, many of the stories set in that context will continue to reveal the effects and the origins of such evil, and hopefully instill in more and more audiences around the world the reason why ideologies as dangerous as Hitler’s must be resisted.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Jessica

    Wow – can’t believe I managed to be the first to let you know about *anything*! Very exciting for me.

    The real reason I’m commenting is that I think Bubble deserves a much more careful viewing than Mr. Walter has given it. I’m not saying it’s one of Soderburgh’s very best, but I thought the film was a fascinating attempt to make a movie via a method (using non-actors, filming in their own town using elements of their real lives) that yielded a film with a very specific and unusual kind of atmosphere. (It’s as distinctive an atmosphere as the one Mike Leigh achieves using his methords.)

    I’m tempted to do a point-by-point rebuttal of Walter’s review, since I disagree with nearly all of it. But due to time limitations, I’ll just take on this one. About the end of the film, Walter states:

    “…Soderbergh is able to set up one character’s church experiences as the impetus for a heinous crime. And that’s the note the film ends on, and quite abruptly. Aha, another Christian loony–obviously that explains everything. Say no more, say no more.”

    I didn’t love the end of the film either, but the motivations of the character Walter is referring to have nothing to do with Christian faith, and everything to do with a psychological dysfunction. (I don’t want to say too much – it would spoil the ending.) It’s for that reason that the ending falls a bit flat. You’re left with the feeling that the culprit is not truly at fault for the crime committed. But there are fascinating character studies along the way, and amazing performances by the non-actors throughout. Unexpected and intriguing relationships abound; the fact that they are set against such a dead-end town (it’s supposed to look bleak, Mr. Walter, because it in fact *is* bleak!) makes the characters’ investments in those relationships even more poignant. Plus a bonus: you’ll never shake the creepy-comical images of the dolls being manufactured at the factory where the main characters work – those alone are worth the price of the rental. So I say, give Bubble a chance!

  • Adam Walter

    Re: A Scanner Darkly

    This sounds almost too good to be true. Philip K. Dick in the Waking Life animation style–and the comeback of Winona Ryder! :)

    And it’s been far too long since I saw a good Rory Cochrane performance (I guess he’s been off doing TV).

  • CTDelude

    Re: Hostel.

    Had a co-worker come back from an earlier screening of it and I have to agree with Poland from what the guy told me. That combined with the ads for the film basically portraying it as: “Come see people get tortured!” I get this sinking feeling inside about the kind of people who may “get off” on that sort of stuff. Considering the film is getting a wide release instead of something DTV (a sort of ficitionalized Faces of Death maybe?) just makes me shake my head that this stuff is getting mainstream cred now. I’m not a Christian who shuns horror as horror done with morality and thought can be entertaining and edifying but this kind of movie really is for the lost. Not sure why I feel strongly enough about the film having not seen it (not to mention I find films like Audition and Battle Royale good) but from everything I gathered about it, it just rubs me the wrong way.


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