cinema articles
'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home' is pure, joyful cinema
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise – and the release of Star Trek Beyond, the 13th feature film in the series. To celebrate...

Nimoy later explained the core concept: “No dying, no fighting, no shooting, no photon torpedoes, no phaser blasts, no stereotypical bad guy.” His previous Star Trek film had all those things, and outer space, and aliens, and sets. Nimoy wanted to make a movie about Earth, right now, shot on location, with human people.

I don’t think there is any single moment in Star Trek history where Kirk and Spock look better — at once grander and more approachable, like statues of the Founding Fathers buying rounds at sports bar — than the moment when they walk along Marina Boulevard. Behind them: The bay, the Bridge, the fog.

Kirk’s still wearing his magenta-maroon disco suit, looking like the communist dictator of Studio 54; Spock’s wearing a karate bathrobe. You can giggle at the buried joke of the movie — they fit right into pre-digital San Francisco — but you can also appreciate how the movie makes them seem so much bigger by bringing them down to Earth.

anonymous asked:

Oh wow okay, THE FINALE THOUGH. So thoughts on who this new stranger in another pod might be? (Also stressed out because it's another stranger in a pod)

Ah yes, more pod cliffhangers! At this point I would have found my theory about Marsdin and the Dominators more exciting, but at the same time I am happy I was wrong in my speculation.

As far as who/what is in the pod – I haven’t the foggiest idea on what it could be for sure. BUT I did find an article on Cinema Blend with some pretty interesting speculations which make a lot of sense to me. If they are right about their last guess, it actually sounds like it would be pretty cool!

In the article, they mention:
Mongul (Another Superman villain, yeah? Also boring.)
Brainiac (Again…. BORING) OR



Reign is apparently a fairly new character to DC Comics (2012). I had never heard of her before this morning. The article points at her being the result of Kryptonian experiments. Scientists were attempting to create a living weapon from alien embryos. She eventually became a Worldkiller, has super strength, durability and speed and is unsure of her actual origin. In the comics it does seem that she crosses paths and becomes enemies with Supergirl. I’m hoping for this villain because that would be a hell of a lot more interesting than the other three options!

Does anyone else know anything about Reign and/or her origin story?

“Sharon Tate emerges as the film’s most sympathetic character, who takes an overdose of sleeping pills when breast cancer threatens to rob her of her only means of livelihood. William Daniels’ photographic caress of her faultless face and enormous absorbent eyes is stunning.”
–The Hollywood Reporter, 1967

Top 5 Beautifully Tragic Independent Movies

Disclaimer: I’m not a film critic, I’m a photographer who gets excited about pretty, emotional things. 

By the time I was 16 years old, I had become obsessed with drama, independent and art-based movies. This was to the extent that I could barely fathom the fact that - on my first day of film studies class - our teacher informed us that our lessons would largely encompass generic blockbuster titles.

‘But there’s so little to these films…’, thought the younger, less knowledgable me. 'What could possibly be of interest about easily interpretable movies that follow cliche, overused narrative tropes, structures and visual stylings?’

Eventually I learnt the error of my thinking, and how dense filmic scrutiny could extend, even in the most conventional of titles. However, my love for movies that differ a little from the norm never really ceased. If its obscure, super dramatic/romantic, bizarre, confusing and/or beautifully shot I’ll probably be convinced by the end that it’s changed my life somehow. Yes, it’s relatively pretentious of me - at least I’m honest about it.

Since my departure from university, I’ve found myself with a little evening time to watch movies again. Subsequently, I’ve proceeded with my incessant hunt, in which there is no final target, to find films that are worthy of my 'list’. This is a catalogue of cinema that has moved me via nothing less than pure, superlative artistry. To celebrate this continuation, I have decided to share a section of my list so far with you. Whether a positive experience or not, these flicks are sure to blow your mind.


'LOVE’ (2011)

If you’ve heard of a wonderfully talented American musician named Tom Delonge (that dude who played in blink-182 and somehow managed to make bad singing sound great), you might also be familiar with the numerous art projects completed under the alias and associated iconography of his band, Angels & Airwaves. Delonge has crafted a wealth of different media under Angels & Airwaves, but no other manages to compare to the 2011 LOVE feature length movie. Directed by William Eubank and produced by Delonge, LOVE is a truly gripping movie that aims to explore the unconditional human need for contact, connection and companionship.

At the very end of a long space exploration mission, astronaut Lee Miller becomes the last human in existence as an unexplained apocalyptic incident sweeps across the world. This event is insinuated only by Miller’s discontinued contact with earth. LOVE possesses a pace that is binary in nature; utilising calm, suddenly sporadic and inconsistent shots to expertly depict Miller’s descent into madness. These skilfully crafted scenes are successful in simulating feelings of irritability and hysteria within its viewers - perfectly epitomising the human need for raw emotion that LOVE strives to explore and present. In turn, we are guided towards the films resolution: Love is the answer; the reason for our very existence. To truly feel gratitude for those you have in your life, you need to experience LOVE.


Why do we struggle to breathe a more righteous breath, when we all end up in the same place?’


'Submarine’ (2010)

This is a movie which is set in a town called Swansea, south-west Wales. What’s kind of wonderfully coincidental to me is that five years after seeing this movie, I am now dating a girl who’s lived in Swansea her whole life (200 miles away from my current location), and roamed some of the locations in the movie during its production. I also met a guy back in university who was actually in the movie as an extra! Kind of strange… anyways.  

As a slightly bleak coming of age comedy about a lovelorn boy named Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), Submarine manages to adhere to, and subvert the conventions of the genre simultaneously. As Oliver tries to work out who he really is, he makes attempts to save his parents marriage and develop his relationship with his equally strange and somewhat pyromanic girlfriend, Jordana (Yasmin Paige). His naivety often results in ill-informed decisions and hilarious results.

I loved the striking performances delivered by the cast of the film; strong portrayals of refreshingly authentic character types. Additionally, the dry humour that remains consistent alongside more serious themes keeps the storyline concurrently sincere, yet humorous.

However, what I found most imposing about Submarine was its unconventional cinematography, visual triggers and narrative structure.

The camera work by Eric Wilson has an idiosyncratic, stylised dynamic; beautiful and often erratic. Alongside the choppy and quirky editing, this helps contribute towards the comedic undertones of the movie whilst remaining superficially alluring. The grain from the use of film cameras, and the use of only natural and existing artificial light, also contributes to Submarine’s 80’s era nostalgia.

Basically… it’s dope.


'You’re the only person that I would allow to be shrunken down to a microscopic size and swim inside me in a tiny submersible machine. We have lost our virginity but it wasn’t like losing anything. You’re too good for me, you’re too good for anyone.’


'The Tree of Life’ (2011)

This one is going to have you Googling explanations before the movie has barely begun. Its a CONFUSING film, but an emotional and gorgeously shot one at that. The cinematography is saintly and, as a photographer, I may have wept at little at this movie’s sheer beauty.

The film follows Jack (Sean Penn), the eldest son of a family as he reflects on his childhood in 1950’s suburban America: his relationship with his parents (Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain) his experiences and the premature death of his brother.. however..

The way the movie has been moulded comes across as more of a lengthy video-based art-installation piece, rather than a feature film. The manner and pace in which the films develops, projects an inarticulate dream-like quality; an exploration of themes, ideas and visuals with no real events to drive any gripping or discernible narrative.

It’s damn complex - at times appearing complicated simply for the sake of being complicated. Some might call it art, some might call it pretentious - I call it poignant and moving.

The Tree of Life is a fantastic movie, demonstrating Terrence Malick’s auteurist style.


'Help each other. Love everyone. Every leaf. Every ray of light. Forgive.’


'Never Let Me Go’ (2010)

Much like the central theme of this movie, this is one that I will never let go of (or forget). Based upon Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel of the same name, NLMG follows its protagonists Cathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley). The trio are pupils at a school of children, all of whom were born and raised to be healthy, donate their vital organs and die young. Yeah.. it’s pretty grim. But hold up.. it gets additionally tragic.

A love triangle forms amongst the three and throughout the movies three act structure (spanning about a decade… I think) it becomes evident that Cathy and Tommy are meant to be. Deep down they knew this all along, yet by the time they act, they’re days from beginning their donations.

There is nothing more tragic than true love that cannot be allowed to exist. I’m getting worked up just thinking about it. Seriously, though… watch this movie. It’ll cut you up but you’ll know what it is to feel true gratitude and appreciation to be a free soul.


‘We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.’


'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ (2004)

So on account of its cult status - and being that this is Tumblr - my number one is probably one that you’re already familiar with. For those unfamiliar, however, I will enlighten you.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind tells the story of two seemingly incompatible people, Joel and Clementine (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) and the deterioration of their relationship. The films director Michel Gondry, presents a tender, endearing and intimate companionship that becomes reduced to a jealous, frustrated and dispassionate mess.

Sounds pretty conventional so far, right? Well, conventional it ain’t.

Overwhelmed and exasperated, Joel discovers Clementine has visited Lacuna Inc, a company which provides a form of brain damage; allowing her to forget she had ever met Joel. Devastated upon realising this, Joel has the same treatment performed upon himself. Joel’s erasure is what guides the films narrative.

Beginning in the present day as Joel starts his treatment, Eternal Sunshine traces back through the cherished memories of him and Clementine as they are removed one by one. However, as the procedure is occurring, Joel realises that he can’t bare the thought of losing Clementine for good; even if only as a memory. From the depths of his unconsciousness, Joel tries desperately to hold on to this paradigm of his psyche.

The reason I adore this film so much is the muddled narrative structure, the obsessively detailed mise-en-scene and visual triggers. This is to the extent that new little details and easter eggs seem to reveal themselves with every viewing. Additionally, the conclusions, lessons and themes of Eternal Sunshine are most certainly transferable to real life.

Although the movie appears as somewhat incoherent at times, Gondry somehow manages to find a perfect harmony within the films delivery; superlatively demonstrating the importance of love and memory, irrespective of life’s eventual outcome.

It’s kind of difficult to express through words the impact that this movie has had on me, and the cinematic quality I think it possesses. It’s gorgeously shot, magnificently executed and hard-hitting. The soundtrack by Jon Brion is also expedient and gets you RIGHT in the feelings. It’s one of those films that makes you feel as though a deep, innermost element of your being has been changed somehow. It did with me, at least. It’s breathtaking.


'What a loss to spend that much time with someone, only to find out that she’s a stranger.’

Trying to figure out how I can use the massive popularization of the “The Babadook is gay” meme to get more people into Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible. I feel like it’s got similar sort of perverse, malevolent camp that invites semi-ironic queer self-identification, but like, very much on purpose.


Helga Leeb: Your wife is having a baby. She said she would give up her career tomorrow…

Roman Polanski: “Sharon is serious about that. You can believe her when she tells you that. If she has to make a choice between being an actress or having a happy family life she would choose a happy family life!”

(From an interview with Roman Polanski which was done around mid-1969 in London, for a German publication. The interview was published after Sharon Tate’s death)
‘The Salesman’ Director Asghar Farhadi Won’t Attend Oscars, Citing Muslim Ban
Following President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, Irranian director Asghar Farhadi has decided not to try to attend the Oscars.
By Anne Thompson

On Sunday, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who won an Oscar in 2012 for “A Separation” and whose second Oscar-nominated film “The Salesman” is playing well to arthouse moviegoers, told the The New York Times that he has cancelled his plans to attend the Oscars ceremony February 26. He cited President Donald Trump’s 90-day visa ban for citizens from seven Muslim countries including Iran; the order also imposed a 120-day blockage for Muslim refugees, with an indefinite ban on all refugees from Syria.

Farhadi was planning to attend the Academy Awards with his cinematographer, but Friday’s executive order offered “ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip … I hereby express my condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries trying to legally enter the United States of America and hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations.”

One of the most serious problems with works addressing films about the Vietnam War is that, to some degree, they will always participate in the reduction of Vietnam the country to Vietnam the war. Where Vietnam is spoken of, it is always in the context of America, as half of an uneasy but seemingly indissoluble historical couple. To reduce Vietnam to the war between that country and America (a war that is significantly referred to as the “American War” in Vietnam), or to any war for that matter, is obviously problematic. Nevertheless, films about war have a unique ability to reveal important historical and cultural aspects of a people as a result of the necessary intersections
of nationalism, art, and history that they contain. Because Vietnam has endured many wars throughout its long history, not the least of which was the American conflict, studying Vietnamese films that treat issues of war might be seen as instructive. […]

When the average American thinks of films about the Vietnam War they no doubt recall canonized classics such as The Deer Hunter (Cimino, 1978), Full Metal Jacket (Kubrick, 1987), and Platoon (Stone, 1986). However, the recognized corpus of American films about the conflict fails to offer a complete and balanced picture of the war, even in the rare instances where these films feature Vietnamese characters. While American fiction films about the war have been duly criticized in recent years for their often blatantly stereotypical or derogatory treatment of the Vietnamese, such criticism does not adequately redress the striking absence of Vietnamese subjectivity in these films. […]

While war as loss is one of the major tropes of American films about the Vietnam War, loss in [Vietnamese war films] is figured on a more material level. It is also significant that these films figure loss through strong women characters, the likes of which are almost completely absent in the canonized American films about the war. Women, as survivors, become repositories for national memory and mourning. The focus in these films on home and loss is particularly relevant to the Vietnamese cinematic style, which often privileges the poetic in order to express a sense of mourning and humanity. […]

At the 1988 premiere of the Vietnam Film Project, director Dinh Quang responded to a question about the fundamental differences between Vietnamese and American films concerning the war by saying, “We’ve lived through 30 years of war, so we don’t have to relive it on the screen. Our films show the impact of the war on people’s lives and thinking. As for entertainment, we lost many, many people in the war. To use that for entertainment would be unworthy.” Dinh Quang’s comment speaks to one of the central aspects of Vietnamese filmmaking, namely an intense focus on humanity. […] In their choices of characters, stories, and settings, Vietnamese films always stress the relationships between people (families, villages, etc) because these relationships are seen as the threads from which the country is woven.

—  Toward a New Canon: The Vietnam Conflict through Vietnamese Lenses by Laurel Westup.
How horror thriller Orphan (2009) smartly integrated Deafness and Sign Language into the plot...

I should mention beforehand Orphan is a film that contains American Sign Language (ASL) dialogue and I’m a British Sign Language (BSL) user so I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the signing.

For many years we’ve seen deafness portrayed in cinema in so many ways, some were hit and miss, some were lazy but every now and then film makers would get it right like director Jaume Collet-Serra’s Orphan (2009)

Orphan tells the story of Kate (the excellent Vera Farmiga) and John (Peter Sarsgaard) who, after losing a child, decide to adopt a girl, the mysterious Esther (an incredible Isabelle Fuhrman) to join their family but things soon lead to manipulation and murder.

Their family has two children; Daniel (Jimmy Bennett) and, the focus of this article, 8 year old deaf Max played by hard of hearing Aryana Engineer who uses sign language with her family, even with the psychotic Esther.

Orphan is a solid and decent horror thriller relying on strong performances by the cast with a plot that kept me guessing to the absurd-yet-unexpected twist along with sharp visuals and tight direction by Jaume Collet-Serra.

But what fascinated me the most about this film was how well a mainstream Hollywood film portrayed a hearing family with a deaf child as well as smartly integrating Max’s deafness into the plot.

Prior to this film we have seen many cliches that comes with having deaf characters in films. A lot of the time hearing characters repeat what the deaf people are saying just for the benefit of audiences, deaf characters speak and sign at the same time just to make things easier for the film makers in terms of production logistics. Their deafness are served as a plot function which is fine but it makes their characters one-dimensional and, more controversially, casting hearing actors as deaf characters.

Firstly the film makers of Orphan cast Aryana who is hard of hearing in real life and uses American Sign Language (ASL) so this meant the actors who played the family had to learn ASL for the benefit of her as her character Max would be contributing greatly to the plot.

As I said before how hearing characters would repeat what deaf characters were saying, Orphan doesn’t do this. It instead shows burnt in subtitles whenever Max is signing thus giving her an individual voice in the film without relying on other characters to communicate for her, this quickly empowers Max as a deaf character.

Early on in the film we see an entire scene between Max and Kate as they communicate in sign language without any voices when Kate reads Max a bedtime story in ASL followed by a conversation about when Kate lost her baby during birth. Their dialogue is presented in the same burnt in subtitles and it is Max who insists Kate tells her a bedtime story and it is Max who signs to her about baby Jessica, all through ASL.

There’s a dinner table scene where, after Esther has joined the family, we see how the parents use ASL just so Max knows what’s going on but we see Daniel struggling with communicating with his little sister. This is not uncommon in real life, plenty of siblings or even parents don’t use sign language with their deaf relatives and this nicely sets up tension between characters particularly when Esther learns ASL quicker than Daniel has ever done.

Esther soon manipulates Max and uses her deafness to her advantage where she is asked to lipread what Kate is saying on the phone across the supermarket. At first glance this is a bit of a cliche, that deaf people are pretty good at lip reading but this is used purely for dramatic reasons. Jacques Audiard did this to implausible but great effect in his Hitchcockian French thriller Read My Lips (2001) and every film based on real life always exaggerates things for entertainment anyway. Yet again Esther and Max communicate in ASL with burnt in subtitles.

Throughout the film Esther has Max under her spell and she is threatened by Esther if she says anything about what she has done, Max isn’t being shown as a weak person because of her deafness, she is just an 8 year old girl who hasn’t grasped the notion of what’s right and what’s wrong.

It’s worth mentioning at one point in the film Esther threatens Max by speaking in her hearing aids, it’s clear Max is someone who can hear fairly good enough as a hard of hearing person yet relies fully on sign language.

It gets a bit confusing here as hard of hearing people normally have good speech skills on account of being able to hear fairly well and learn what sounds are whereas profoundly deaf people can’t hear sounds that well and often don’t have good speech skills but every person’s deafness varies greatly.

However near the climax Esther hides Max’s hearing aids, this is showing how devious she is and it makes for a very dramatic moment. This is seen as one of the taboos of being deaf - having a deaf person’s hearing aids taken away from them like you would take a paraplegic’s wheelchair away.

Esther soon makes her real self known and sets out on a bloody rampage after Max and her family, we see Max hiding in the greenhouse and Kate is on the roof whilst Esther is looking for Max. Through the glass roof Kate signs to Max to stay hidden, again another nice touch regarding ASL, how we can sign through windows and not using our voices to our advantage in dangerous, life-threatening situations.

This might be a bit random but at the climax there’s a struggle between Esther and Kate on top of a frozen lake, Max picks up a gun and fires a bullet off, a very silly moment yes but it’s not often you see an 8 year old girl like Max brandishing a gun. How many times have you shouted at characters on the screen for standing around, not doing anything whilst their friends or families are in danger?

Orphan has a cast of well-rounded characters and this includes Max who could have been a token disabled character instead is a proactive and layered character who goes through a clear arc of starting off as an empowering and confident deaf girl who then is manipulated and ends up fighting for her family.

This is not window-dressing or ticking the diversity boxes, this is smart writing because her deafness and using ASL, a visual language, is what gives her character and Orphan’s plot that edge so having deaf culture and sign language laced into the plot has contributed massively to the film’s tension and drama.
Olivia de Havilland and the Most Notorious Sibling Rivalry in Hollywood
After winning two Oscars, the Gone with the Wind actress decided to leave Los Angeles and decamp to Paris in 1955. What made her walk out? William Stadiem finds out the answer from the golden-age screen goddess herself, as she approaches her 100th birthday.
By William Stadiem

Vanity Fair, May 2016


Most anticipated movies of 2015
Next year should be interesting!
Here are some US release dates to prepare your calendar.

Taken 3
Black Hat
The Phoenix Project

Jupiter Ascending
Fifty Shades of Grey

In the Heart of the See


Avengers: Age of Ultron
Mad Max Fury Road

Jurassic World
Insidious: Chapter 3

Terminator Genisys
Magic Mike XXL
Minions the movie
Point Break

The Fantastic Four
Sinister 2
Hitman: Agent 47

Maze Runner: the Scorch Trial
Black Mass
Hotel Transylvania 2

Last Witch Hunter

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
The Martian

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens
Mission Impossible: V

What are you expecting the most ?

Farewell to Alain Resnais, Groundbreaking Filmmaker

Alain Resnais, the French filmmaker who helped introduce literary modernism to the movies and became an international art-house star with nonlinear narrative films like “Hiroshima Mon Amour” and “Last Year at Marienbad,” died on Saturday in Paris. He was 91. (NY Times)

From my article Lucid Dreaming: Surrealism in the Movies 

The 1961 film “Last Year at Marienbad” (by Alain Resnais) was one of the first movies to warp time and space in dream-like fashion.  This stream-of-consciousness film set the stage for modern time-warpers such as Memento and Vanilla Sky.  

Ostensibly a tale of seduction, “Last Year at Marienbad” is a symbolic, twisted journey through the human psyche.  The hero and heroine travel, entranced, through halls of endless mirrors, archways, and lush gardens with classical statues.  Their conversation leads everywhere and nowhere. 

Perhaps they met last year at Marienbad and had an affair, perhaps not.  We never find out.  But as the movie proceeds, it becomes increasingly disquieting, and the viewer feels trapped inside the minds of the characters.

Watching this movie is akin to an endless art museum visit, with classical architecture standing in for the labyrinths of our mind, its neurons and synapses.  "Last Year at Marienbad" is famous for its visual vocabulary of enigma and charade, which is so subconsciously seductive that it’s endured for decades in the advertising industry.  

The movie is in French, with English subtitles. (Click HERE to watch the original trailer)

RIP, Alain.  You showed us a new way to view our minds and our world.

(Image:  A still from Last Year at Marienbad).

Hobbit article in the german "Cinema" (October)

Hi! So many ask me about the Hobbit article in the “Cinema”. And as I said, there are not many spoilers, 
HOWEVER, one spoiler is for any Thranduil fans a little yummy  :D So, if you dont wanna know it, stop reading now.

I try it to quote it, please tell me, if my english is totally wrong. :)

Orcs and Elves fight at the foot of Erebor where the orcs are defeated by the elves. (YAY)

After the massacres looks Thranduil, King of the mirkwood elves, angry and sad at the same time on the fallen comrades and the dead orcs, (The scene in the trailer), as Gandalf pulls him out of his thoughts. The Wizard pleads Thranduil for help in the fight against the forces of darkness. But he replies just: “The elves have shed enough blood in this country already." 

(Poor Thrandy *cry*  )
(Then Peters says: Thanks! XD )

The Elf on the Thranduil & Peter picture is not Legolas, I think it’s his Doubel.

Apart from that, it is talked about the set, that Gandalf loves the third part because it makes a connection to the "Lord of the Rings”, about Martin (Bilbo) and his chain-Mithril armor, ect. Nothing more about Thrandy ;)

I hope my english was good enough >.<


New Alex interview with The Guardian Guide (October 1-7, 2016)!

Alexander Skarsgård: ‘I still wake up shivering in the foetal position’

He’s equally at home in The Legend Of Tarzan as he is a twisted cop in War On Everyone. So why is the sweary Swede having an existential crisis?

by Kevin EG Perry

Afew years ago, Alexander Skarsgård turned up at a Hammarby football match in Stockholm noticeably… what’s a polite way of putting this? Worse for wear? “I was shitfaced,” says Skarsgård. “I went up in front of the crowd and started doing this chant. Someone put it on YouTube. I’m very drunk, going: ‘You fucking cunts, listen to me!’ I thought: ‘This is real embarrassing.’”

During the bleak hangover that followed, the 40-year-old Swedish actor thought he might have torpedoed a career that had just seen him get the part of Tarzan in this summer’s blockbuster. In fact it made him an even more perfect fit for the role. “Warner Bros had said they needed someone primal and animalistic,” he says. “So my agent sent them the video, saying: ‘Isn’t this motherfucker primal enough for you?’”

Another one of the half-million people who watched it was John Michael McDonagh, writer-director of The Guard and Calvary, who was on the lookout for a hard-drinking detective for his pitch-black buddy comedy War On Everyone. “He saw the video and went: ‘That’s the guy,’” says Skarsgård. “It got me the job. The moral of the story is: Make a fool of yourself and people will love you. Remember that, kids.”

When we meet around midday in the lobby of the Hotel Normandy during the Deauville American film festival, it seems he’s taken his own lesson to heart. The previous night he was so smashed that he invaded the DJ booth at War On Everyone’s afterparty and proved that while you can take the man out of Sweden… “I played strictly Abba,” he says. “When in doubt, Lay All Your Love On Me. We closed that place down.”

As he concertinas himself into the back of a people carrier for the two-hour drive to Charles de Gaulle airport, sheltering his eyes behind dark shades, it’s somehow reassuring to know that savage hangovers afflict even movie stars who’ve been blessed with the sort of face that led Ben Stiller to cast him in Zoolander so he could ask him: “Did you ever think there’s more to life than being really, really, really ridiculously good-looking?”

Skarsgård has been figuring out an answer to that ever since. He starred as a brooding, topless vampire in HBO’s True Blood, which ran for seven years until 2014, and made him a pin-up and earned him a legion of fans who’d approach wanting nothing more than to get bitten. (He never did. You bite one fan…) Simultaneously, the show’s success gave him the opportunity to play odd parts in indie films that didn’t trade on his looks. In coming-of-age-in-the-70s film The Diary Of A Teenage Girl, he was the mustachioed creep who slept with his girlfriend’s daughter; in Melancholia’s dreamlike apocalypse he was an earnest, cuckolded newlywed; and in next year’s Duncan Jones-directed Mute he’ll play a silent Amish character. “It’s not about wanting to show I’m versatile,” he explains. “It’s just feeling that excitement of not knowing who a character is but figuring it out and finding him.”

Yet he was back with his pecs out this summer for The Legend Of Tarzan, a blockbuster that, like many in 2016, struggled at the box office. He says he was drawn in by the character’s search for a place in the world and impressed by Harry Potter director David Yates’s ability to make a £140m film feel “intimate”. But it was in some ways a change of scale. “I work mostly in independent movies so the scope of Tarzan was definitely different,” Skarsgård says. “I didn’t feel pressured [by the box office demands] though. It wasn’t like: ‘Oh fuck, this is a big movie.’ It was an incredible experience, but it was also nine months of just gym, work and bed. I didn’t have a sip of alcohol. It was robotic.”

Which explains the appeal of War On Everyone, a film in which he both downs and takes shots in every direction. Skarsgård plays Terry, a perma-drunk, Glen Campbell-obsessed, unapologetically corrupt detective partnered with the lightning-witted Bob, played by The Martian’s Michael Peña. It’s the old bad cop/worse cop routine, but laced with fierce cleverness. Where Shane Black’s The Nice Guys were bumbling dunces, McDonagh’s pair trade wisecracks peppered with esoteric references to everyone from Simone de Beauvoir to realist painter Andrew Wyeth.

Their cocaine-fuelled romp takes them through an Albuquerque inexplicably peopled with Quaker bank robbers and burqa-wearing tennis players as the duo go in search of a missing million dollars and that most evil villain of all: a member of the English upper class. It’s wildly irreverent, the tone set by an opening scene in which the pair try to knock down a mime (to see if he’ll make a sound). Likewise, McDonagh’s script lives up to its name by making puckish jokes on any subject you care to think of. Skarsgård, hunching his lean frame into a stoop, relishes it.

“It’s so un-PC, it’s so me,” says Skarsgård. “You could tell John didn’t give a fuck about anything, which I found refreshing in a script. I’d read a couple of comedies but nothing that was fun or intelligent enough. When I got this script and it was dark and twisted and weird and completely out there, I was excited.” And besides, he adds, “[John is] a beautiful soul, which helps when you insult everyone.”

He even sees some similarities between his dirty detective and the king of the swingers. “As with Tarzan, there’s dichotomy in the character between being a civilised man and a beast. That’s something we can all relate to. We live in a civilised society, but 12 hours ago we were beasts dancing to Abba.”

Skarsgård has spent his life caught between different worlds: blockbusters and indies, Sweden and the States. During his bohemian upbringing he wanted to be like his friends’ dads who wore suits and drove Saabs. When Skarsgård was 20, his own father Stellan found international fame in Lars von Trier’s Breaking The Waves, and they would go on to appear together for Von Trier in Melancholia. However, when Alexander was growing up his father was simply an eccentric thespian with a penchant for walking around nude. “He was a weird Bergman actor. A 12-year-old kid doesn’t give a fuck about that,” says Skarsgård. “He’d be walking around naked or wearing weird Moroccan robes. As a teenager you’re just like: ‘Come on, dad!’”

The young Skarsgård’s first taste of fame was his own. His appearance at the age of 12 in TV film The Dog That Smiled made him a child star, but he soon found he hated the attention and quit acting. “I was desperate to be normal and blend in,” he says. He saw his chance at a life on the straight-and-narrow by enrolling in the Swedish military at 19, “unheard of” in his family. “That was my way to rebel,” he says.

Afterwards, still in search of himself, he decided to head to university in the UK. But he swerved London to find a more authentic British experience, and enrolled at Leeds Met. “It doesn’t get more British than a northern, working-class town,” he says. “There was a club called the Majestic where they had student nights and it was a pound a pint. We lived in Headingley, near the pubs on the Otley Run. Uni was a bullshit excuse for being there. I was studying British culture. I loved it.”

Deciding at 20 that he may have been a little hasty quitting acting, it was while visiting Stellan in LA that he won his small part in Zoolander – at his first Hollywood audition – but it was a false dawn. It would be another seven years before he got a major role, and he spent the time in between shuttling between theatres and coffee shops. When he was cast in David Simon and Ed Burns’s Iraq miniseries Generation Kill, he spent a month convinced he was about to be sacked. “It was only after four or five weeks I realised they weren’t going to recast,” he says. “Before that all I could think about was how much it would cost them to reshoot the big fight scenes after they fired me.”

Imposter syndrome is a common feeling – although a little hard to believe from a handsome, 6ft 4in movie star. “That shit doesn’t change,” he assures me. “I felt like that on Tarzan. I was on set thinking: ‘When is the director going to come over and say: Dude, you can go home. We’ve got Tarzan here now.’ That was 10 years after Generation Kill.”

Alexander Skarsgård, then: just like the rest of us. Fond of a pub crawl, obnoxious at sporting events, constantly waiting for that tap on the shoulder telling him the jig is up. So life is still pretty much the same when you’re really, really, really ridiculously good-looking?

“I mean, fuck, I still wake up shivering in the foetal position,” he says. “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I get. Getting drunk on someone else’s dime listening to Abba is brilliant, but my life is still shit. I’m still agonising. What the fuck am I doing with my life? Where do I belong? Who gives a fuck? Let me assure you, it doesn’t get any better.”

War On Everyone is in cinemas from Friday

Sources:  Article: (x), Photos:  Originals:  Filip Van Roe / eyevine (x, x)

FOOL COOL ROCK Premiere - 'Cinema Today' Article Translation

Hey guys! Here’s my translation of the article from Cinema Today ^__^ The original, Japanese article can be found here:

Fool Cool Rock, the documentary film following the tour of ONE OK ROCK, a rock band young people hold an immense support for, premiered today on the 8th May at TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills.  The film’s director, Hiroyuki Nakano, was in attendance.  For a month and a half throughout 2013, Nakano accompanied the band to 11 countries and 12 performances in order to film their Europe and Asia tour.  Nakano said that the film is a representation of ONE OK ROCK, “In a nutshell, generally speaking, it’s a stupid (fool) cool rock band.”

Director Nakano’s comments about the band members were brimming with affection, “If I were to liken them to family, they were sons.”  Furthermore, Nakano commented on the ‘real’ (off-stage) Taka, “He’s a lovely/charming person.  But sometimes during the tour, when he was writing song lyrics and such at venues, he would close-up and there was this ‘stay away’ barrier.  I thought it’s because he’s a person who’s always thinking about the music.”

Still, in regards to the short-term, 11 country tour, Nakano said, “The tour was stricter than some excursion.”  And even though, “Personally, it was intense for me, the band would say ‘Nah, it’s fine (comfortable)’.”

“When more difficult situations arose, I was astonished by their composed (calm) state.”  Among the cruelty/harsh times, the vitality of the band members impressed Nakano. 

In Europe there has yet to be an official CD release, and still the 3000 to 4000 people capacity assembly hall were always filled with fans.  Nakano recalls that craze/enthusiasm with a smile. 

Fans also seemed content with the completed movie. During the Q&A corner, a Lithuanian women who went to the London performance said, “I’m very thankful for portrayal of the passion that Europe always conveyed.  We had a feeling it would be that crowded.”  She was able to express her thanks to Nakano once more.

FOOL COOL ROCK will be open to the public from May 16th for a 3 week limited period.

Spark your filmmaking passion with Art of Cinema, one issue with a lucky 7 sources of inspiration for all things cinematic presented by A-BitterSweet-Life. This special issue celebrates the cinematic artistry of Andrei Tarkovsky, some of the filmmakers he points to when he says the influence that these directors, that I adore, have on me, lies in the fact that I find myself in the pleasant company of movie people, people I am comfortable with, and the theory that put emphasis on the filmmaker’s style or a “different and individual kind of filmmaking.”

Filmmaker’s Masterclass with Andrei Tarkovsky: Cinema Is a Mosaic Made of Time

To what a shot is, from the moment you say “action” until you say “cut.” What is that? It’s the fixing of reality, fixing of time’s essence. It is a way of preserving time which, in theory, gives us the possibility of moving forward and backwards freely, for all eternity. No other art form is able to fix time as cinema does. Therefore, What is cinema? It’s a mosaic made of time.

Few times I had the chance, of speaking in front of an audience like this, tonight here in Rome. That’s why it’s hard to know what you expect me to say to you, begins Andrei Tarkovsky at a special event in 1982 called Ladri di cinema or Thieves of Cinema. The filmmaker, in Italy during his time with Nostalghia–a timeless film we explore in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia: Study of a Cinematic Masterpiece–shares his insights and philosophy on filmmaking and the art of cinema while offering a deeper understanding and appreciation of his work. It is captivating to see the master filmmaker present himself in person for an hour to speak about the world of films, making Donatella Baglivo’s (director of Andrei Tarkovsky in Nostalghia) portrait of Tarkovsky an essential part of his film career.”

Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia: Study of a Cinematic Masterpiece

He works in a very interesting way. He has endless ideas as to how a scene should be shot. He studies it in great detail and gives you many ways in which you can play it. But once he is behind the camera, he tends to be very concise, to tone down everything, and makes things simple and essential.

“Masterpieces of film captivate us through their innovation of cinema’s unique language and their reinforcement of that language’s elements. That is why they carry a timelessness to them. Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia is one of those timeless films. One feels Tarkovsky’s interest in cinema as an art form, pushing its boundaries while at the same time emphasizing its qualities. His use of the long take, for example, encompasses this thought: the standard choice of early cinema pushed towards an elaborate capturing of movement, space, and action to evoke the inner worlds of characters and their connection to the outer world. As filmmakers, we also learn from Tarkovsky that an awareness of cinema’s language fused with an awareness of one’s own visionary filmmaker’s style is vital for filmmaking success. In this study on the director’s masterpiece, we intimately journey through the making of Nostalghia with the feature documentary Andrei Tarkovsky in Nostalghia and in-depth interviews that cover the years from the inspiration for the film to its success at the Cannes Film Festival–the cherry on top: footage from the festival of Orson Welles presenting Tarkovsky with the Best Director award for Nostalghia (along with Robert Bresson for L’Argent).”

Andrei Tarkovsky: A Filmmaker’s Message to Inspire Creativity

[C]inema is a very difficult and serious art. It requires sacrificing of yourself. You should belong to it, it shouldn’t belong to you. Cinema uses your life, not vice versa. Therefore, I think that this is the most important: You should sacrifice yourself to the art.

“The poet, the filmmaker, the artist faces a profound journey in the creative process. The discovery of a concept is simply the beginning to the demanding undertaking of the creative work, which evolves from idea to materialization and, finally, to audience engagement. Still, the one element that keeps the artist centered on this artistic journey is the act of ‘being true to oneself.’ No one can take away who you are as an individual nor as an artist. Immersing yourself in your art work with this sense of true self then leads to the important factor of which Andrei Tarkovsky speaks when addressing his advice to filmmakers: You should sacrifice yourself to the art. All great art reveals a balance between your unique vision and what the work necessitates. Being true to yourself while being absorbed in the creative process will always add an honest and personal depth to your work, which inevitably leads towards a special engaging of your audience.”

21 Inspiring Quotes from Andrei Tarkovsky on Art and Filmmaking

Tarkovsky is for me the greatest, the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.

“These words from Ingmar Bergman on the revered filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky have without a doubt been echoed by many others and for all the right reasons. Tarkovsky was a poet of cinema whose technique and philosophy on both art and life are still rippling through the world long after his death, and his own words on filmmaking allow us to see his memorable imprint on cinematic storytelling. For their creative inspiration and profound insight, A-BitterSweet-Life presents 21 inspiring quotes on art and filmmaking from the great Andrei Tarkovsky.”

The Road to Bresson: Cinema Is a Question of Feeling

Metteur en scène or director. The point is not to direct someone, but to direct oneself.

Bresson has been able in his work to raise cinematography to the level of comparable older art forms and genres, Andrei Tarkovsky expresses at the opening of The Road to Bresson, an essential one hour documentary on the master filmmaker Robert Bresson. An exploration of what makes Bresson such a monumental presence in cinema, this documentary is designed to shed light on the films and filmmaker’s style of Bresson while documentarians Leo De Boer and Jurriën Rood attempt an interview with the reclusive film director.”

The Life of a Visionary: Kurosawa and The Last Emperor

There is something that might be called cinematic beauty. It can only be expressed in a film, and it must be present in a film for that film to be a moving work. When it is very well expressed, one experiences a particularly deep emotion while watching that film. I believe it is this quality that draws people to come and see a film, and that it is the hope of attaining this quality that inspires the filmmaker to make his film in the first place. In other words, I believe that the essence of the cinema lies in cinematic beauty.

“Two great filmmakers sum up the importance of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Martin Scorsese claims, Kurosawa was my master. His influence on filmmakers is so profound as to be almost incomparable. Francis Ford Coppola adds, Most directors have one masterpiece by which they are known. Kurosawa has at least eight or nine. According to Akira Kurosawa, There’s nothing that says more about the creator than the work itself. If this statement is true, then an exploration of Kurosawa’s significant filmmaking career is quintessential for filmmakers. Thankfully, we have two fantastic documentaries that allow us to discover the richness of the Japanese director’s body of work: Kurosawa and Kurosawa: The Last Emperor.”

Authors of Cinema: The Origins of Auteur Theory

I don’t believe in good and bad films, I believe in good and bad directors…A director possesses a style that one will find in all his films, and this is true of the worst filmmakers and their worst films. Differences from one film to the next–a more ingenious script, superior photography, or whatever else–don’t matter, because these differences are precisely the product of exterior forces, more or less money, a greater or shorter shooting schedule. What’s essential is that an intelligent and gifted filmmaker remain intelligent and gifted no matter what film he is shooting.

“Auteur theory poses the idea that the style and voice of a film is founded in the creative decisions of the film director; thus, according to it, the director is the ultimate ‘author’ of the film. The auteur theory was grounded in Alexandre Astruc’s Birth of a New Avant-Garde: La Camera-Stylo–in which Astruc expressed that the pen or, in the case of filmmaking, the ‘camera-pen’ is held by the director; it flourished with André Bazin’s Cahiers du Cinéma and its critical writers who would in turn form the movement we know as La Nouvelle Vague or The French New Wave, with François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and others; and it was further developed by Andrew Sarris and criticized by Pauline Kael. To dig deeper into the significance of the auteur theory, FilmmakerIQ presents an in-depth and key video, The Origins of Auteur Theory, that will take you on a profound trip through film history to shed light on how rooted auteur theory is in filmmaking and both the notable positives and negatives that come with the theory or, as Andrew Sarris prefers to say, the auteur ‘tendency’ of filmmaking.”

For more on film and filmmaking, enjoy previous issues of Art of Cinema and visit the Pinterest boards Art of Cinema: Articles, videos, quotes, and more for those passionate about filmmaking and the art of cinema.