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Locarno Film Festival 2018 Ray & Liz, M, & Menocchio

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Locarno Film Festival 2018: Ray & Liz, M, & Menocchio

Locarno Film Festival

Locarno Film Festival 2018: Ray & Liz, M, & Menocchio

During my brief stint at Locarno, I managed to catch 10 of the 15 films selected for this year's international competition. My favorite was Ray & Liz, British artist Richard Billingham's remarkably assured autobiographical debut feature. Billingham rose to prominence as a photographer with his 1996 monograph Ray's a Laugh, inspired by his impoverished upbringing on the outskirts of Birmingham and lauded for its unflinching portraits of his alcoholic father and sedentary, heavily tattooed mother. With this film, he reaches further into the dark recesses of his childhood to deliver a richly evocative portrait of working-class life in the British Midlands.

Locarno Film Festival 2018 Genesis, Glaubenberg, & Too Late to Die Young

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Locarno Film Festival 2018: Genesis, Glaubenberg, & Too Late to Die Young

Locarno Film Festival

Locarno Film Festival 2018: Genesis, Glaubenberg, & Too Late to Die Young

Growing pains and burgeoning sexual identity take center stage in several titles duking it out for the Pardo d'Oro, or Golden Leopard, at this year's Locarno Film Festival. Of these, Genesis, a multi-stranded meditation on the joy and misery of adolescence by Canadian writer-director Philippe Lesage, seems most likely to find an audience beyond the festival circuit. The film focuses largely on the relationship woes of a pair of privileged step-siblings living in suburban French Canada: Guillaume (Théodore Pellerin), a preppy, quick-witted class clown at an all-boys boarding school, secretly harboring feelings for his best friend, Nicolas (Jules Roy Sicotte), and Charlotte (Noée Abita), who feels she's outgrown her noncommittal boyfriend, Maxime (Pier-Luc Funk), and sets off looking for love in all the wrong places.

56th New York Film Festival Unveils Main Slate: Barry Jenkins, Claire Denis, Alex Ross Perry, Jean-Luc Godard in Lineup

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56th New York Film Festival Unveils Main Slate: Barry Jenkins, Claire Denis, Alex Ross Perry, Jean-Luc Godard in Lineup

Thunderbird Releasing

56th New York Film Festival Unveils Main Slate: Barry Jenkins, Claire Denis, Alex Ross Perry, Jean-Luc Godard in Lineup

Today, the Film Society of Lincoln Center's New York Film Festival announced its main slate of films for this year's event. On July 18, the festival announced Roma, Alfonso Cuarón's first film since Gravity, as its centerpiece selection. Since then, Yorgos Lanthithos's The Favourite was announced as the opening-night film and Julian Schnabel's At Eternity's Gate, about the last days of Vincent van Gogh and starring Willem Dafoe in the leading role, as the festival's closer. Below is the full lineup of 30 films from 22 countries.

Watch the Teaser Trailer for Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite with Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz

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Watch the Teaser Trailer for Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite with Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Watch the Teaser Trailer for Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite with Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz

The latest from Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite, takes us to the early 18th century, when England and France are at war. Not exactly the ideal time for levity, but this being a film from the Greek Weird Wave auteur behind Dogtooth and The Lobster, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. The film follows a frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), who sits on the throne of the England and sees her relationship to her friend, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), tested upon the arrival of Sarah’s cousin, Abigail (Emma Stone).

BAMcinemaFest 2018 Aaron Schimberg’s Chained for Life

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BAMcinemaFest 2018: Aaron Schimberg’s Chained for Life

Cinereach

BAMcinemaFest 2018: Aaron Schimberg’s Chained for Life

From King Kong to Beauty and the Beast, films have often grappled with romances between pretty women and males who, well, let’s say, fail to adhere to cultural standards of attractiveness. The latest is writer-director Aaron Schimberg’s meta Chained for Life, set behind the scenes of a campy horror flick featuring half a cast of what Tod Browning would have called freaks. The film’s leading man is Rosenthal, played by Adam Pearson (previously seen in Under the Skin), an English actor who has neurofibromatosis, which causes tumors to grow around nerves. Rosenthal’s leading lady is Mabel (Jess Weixler), a friendly and earnest actress without any such condition.

Watch the First Trailer for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s A Star Is Born

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Watch the First Trailer for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s A Star Is Born

Warner Bros. Pictures

Watch the First Trailer for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s A Star Is Born

Today, Warner Bros. Pictures premiered the first official trailer for the new remake of A Star Is Born. The film, which marks both the writing and directorial debut of actor Bradley Cooper and the first leading role for pop singer Lady Gaga, is an update of a story that’s made its way to the big screen three times before: first in 1937, starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March; then in 1954, starring Judy Garland and James Mason; and most recently in 1976, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria Starring Dakota Johnson Gets Teaser Trailer

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Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria Starring Dakota Johnson Gets Teaser Trailer

Amazon Studios

Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria Starring Dakota Johnson Gets Teaser Trailer

Today, Amazon Studios released the first teaser trailer for Luca Guadagnino’s highly anticipated remake of Dario Argento’s iconic horror film Suspiria. Immediately noticeable from the minute-and-a-half clip is the distance that Guadagnino is placing between his film and the baroque-pop stylings of Argento’s original in both look and sound. Suspiria is set in and around a world-renowned dance company that’s gripped by darkness and threatens to destroy a young dancer (Dakota Johnson). The film also stars Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Lutz Ebersdorf, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Jessica Harper, who played Johnson’s role in the original.

Steve McQueen’s Widows Starring Viola Davis Gets First Trailer

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Steve McQueen’s Widows Starring Viola Davis Gets First Trailer
Steve McQueen’s Widows Starring Viola Davis Gets First Trailer

Today, 20th Century Fox released the trailer for Widows, Steve McQueen’s first feature-length film since 12 Years a Slave. The film is co-written by McQueen and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, and is adapted from the 2002 ABC series Widows written by Lynda La Plante that starred Mercedes Ruehl, Brooke Shields, Rosie Perez, and N’Bushe Wright. The film is set in present-day Chicago and concerns four women who take fate into their hands in the wake of their criminal husbands’ deaths, forging a future on their own terms.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Girls of the Sun, Dogman, & The Wild Pear Tree

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Cannes Film Review: Girls of the Sun, Dogman, & The Wild Pear Tree

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Review: Girls of the Sun, Dogman, & The Wild Pear Tree

Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun is a politically righteous and timely film, with a strong lead performance by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani as Bahar, the leader of an all-female peshmerga fighter battalion bravely fighting ISIS in Kurdistan. But the film also has the dramatic finesse of a sledgehammer: Its most emotionally charged moments buckle under the weight of a ceaseless and manipulative score, and its disorganized and distracting flashback structure tries to contextualize the horrors and humiliations endured by Bahar but does so at the expense of narrative momentum.

Look past the film’s baggy structure and clumsy dialogue and there’s a good deal of tough, spatially coherent action direction on display. As Husson is adept at crafting artfully abstracted images in isolated moments, it’s easy to imagine the more sturdy, brisk, and visually compelling film Girls of the Sun might have been had at least 40 minutes been shaved from its running time.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Winner Predictions

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Cannes Film Festival 2018: Winner Predictions
Cannes Film Festival 2018: Winner Predictions

Between Cate Blanchett being appointed to head the largely female jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and the much-publicized march of 82 women down the red carpet at the start of the festival (representing the mere 82 women directors in 71 years who’ve competed for the Palme d’Or), many have come to predict that one of the three female filmmakers in competition this year would take the top prize. This article won’t diverge from that prediction, and of the three possibilities, Alice Rohwacher’s Happy As Lazzaro still seems like the safest bet, even with reports coming in that Blanchett teared up at the world premiere of Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum.