As 2014 winds down, it’s time to look back on the year in film — Check out our favorites of the past year!
Posts Tagged ‘PFS Blog’
By Davis Rivera
Taking place in the Nebraska Territory during the mid-19th century, Tommy Lee Jones‘ sophomore film The Homesman is relentless in its depiction of the formidable bleakness possessing the land our two main characters (Jones and Hilary Swank) must travel through to reach their destination. Equally formidable is the performance from Swank, bringing life to a wonderfully complex character full of inner torment as crushing as the countryside that surrounds her.
By Megan Reilly
With the 23rd Philadelphia Film Festival celebrating films now through October 26, I took a moment to reflect on some standout films from festivals past. Here are my personal favorites from the last three years.
By Davis Rivera
As a native Texan and a fan of great cinema, I had every reason to look forward to Richard Linklater’s twelve-years-in-the-making Boyhood, his portrait of a child maturing from age six to age eighteen. What I did not anticipate was Linklater proving himself the 21st century’s master of the bildungsroman, on par with Henry Fielding and James Joyce before him. His achievement is unparalleled and sets the new benchmark for what is possible in the world of narrative cinema.
By Alex Gibson
After a long week of work, you relax for the ideal weekend with your friends and family. It’s a beautiful day, perfect for the beach during the day followed by a night on the town. Then, suddenly, in the blink of an eye, half of the people around you disappear into thin air. In fact, half the world’s population vanishes instantly.
This is the premise of Left Behind, starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Vic Armstrong. Left Behind, produced by Stony Lake Entertainment, is based on the best-selling series of the same name. The film depicts the first few hours after the Rapture, a biblical prophecy that says millions of people will ascend to Heaven instantly to save them from the darkest time in human history.
Left Behind follows Rayford Steele (Cage), an airline pilot who is flying from New York to London when a portion of his passengers – including his co-pilot – disappear. Chaos ensues as the remaining passengers wonder what happened to their friends and family, while cut off from the rest of the world. As he tries to get the plane safely on the ground, Rayford is assisted by a flirty flight attendant, Hattie (Nicky Whelan), and hardened investigative journalist Buck Williams (Chad Michael Murray).
By Muhammad Naqvi
Afflicted by the paradoxical gift of losing humanity in order to help it, Scarlett Johansson falls into the part of Lucy in the Luc Besson‘s 2014 release of the same name. Morgan Freeman and Amr Waked also star in this campy and sporadically thrilling actioner. Although it seems like the Besson’s work is slipping when Lucy reaches unfathomable cognitive capabilities, it’s fun to see him juggle larger philosophical ideas within the conventional tropes of Hollywood.
By Ben Silverio
During the 21st Philadelphia Film Festival, we celebrated the 10-year anniversary of M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Signs’ at the Prince Theater with a Q&A with the director and WMMR’s ‘Preston & Steve’ morning show host/movie buff Steve Morrison after the film. Here are some pictures from the event to relive the great time had by all attended:
By Davis Rivera
Making canonical lists of important works is an activity that is necessary to parse the history of art in search of a concise collection of digestible accomplishments. Like editing a film or book, exclusion becomes key to unveiling the incomparable, autonomous forms which the artist was able to invent. What characterizes the filmography of Marlon Brando, however, is its inability to be whittled down. Rather than recommending his entire body of work, which should be viewed at some point, there must be an entry point and that lies within the 129 minutes of Bernardo Bertolucci‘s 1972 film Last Tango in Paris.
By John Smith
William Friedkin has become one of the most influential and important film makers in the business with a career that spans over 40 years. Some of his best known works are The French Connection from 1971, The Exorcist from 1973, and his extremely controversial Cruising from 1980. In 2011, and well into his seventies, William Friedkin along with playwright Tracy Letts created a devastatingly brutal film that succeeds in terms of writing and directing. It may not be any textbooks yet, but in this writer’s opinion, it is one of the better movies of the last decade.
By Davis Rivera
In his latest film Venus in Fur, Roman Polanski plunges to the depths of sensual delights and returns with a pearl of a psychodrama, as elegant as it is perverse. After a sublime opening tracking shot, Polanski never loses this momentum as he revels in the limitations of a two-person play and uses his virtuosic cinematic gifts to create a refreshingly new take on well-worn themes such as the artistic struggle, sexual dominance, and gender roles.