February 11, 2010
In Search of the Worst Date Movie
What is the worst date movie of all time? Slate's Jessica Grose examines the ingredients of a bad one -- and her vote for the absolute worst might surprise you.
November 26, 2009
Ban Them All! 10 Infamously Controversial Movies
Death, despair and genital mutilation: only a great Dane could fuse all three into one brilliantly bleak, guaranteed nausea-inducing piece of cinema... which seems to blame all the evil in the world on women, though Lars von Trier begs to differ.
Antichrist is definitely out there, but shock and awe in cinema are hardly anything new. Think back to Luis Bu˝uel's queasy, eyeball-slicing Un Chien Andalou (1929) -- arguably the birth of the movie 'shocker' -- Tod Browning's grotesque Freaks (1933), or any number of early films whose now-tame titilations terrified the censors of the time. Since then, movies have been an ongoing magnet for controversy, from Deep Throat (1972) to The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) to Kids (1995), while some -- such as Cannibal Holocaust (1980) -- resulted in the trial of their directors before the courts. Here, then, are 10 of the most controversial....
November 23, 2009
"I Don't Hate Women": Lars von Trier on Antichrist
Danish auteur Lars von Trier is used to controversy following his films; some of his critics have even accused him of courting it for sensationalism and reaction. Yet even with a career that contains the likes of The Idiots (rich kids mocking the handicapped), Dancer in the Dark (which drove star Bjork to never act again) and Dogville (leveled with charges of misogyny and anti-Americanism), the director's latest may be his crowning achievement in outrage. When it debuted at Cannes earlier this year, Antichrist -- starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a grieving couple who retreat to idyllic woodland where all Hell breaks loose -- was so appalling to some in its graphic, sexual violence that it prompted uproar (and even a special "anti-humanitarian" prize from the jury). But are the critics really getting what von Trier is playing at? And does he even know himself? Moreover, who's got the better talking fox -- he or Wes Anderson?
October 22, 2009
Critics Consensus: Astro Boy Doesn't Quite Soar
This week at the movies, we've got an anime hero (Astro Boy, with voice work from Kristen Bell and Nicolas Cage); a vampire war ( Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, starring Chris Massoglia and John C. Reilly); an aviation pioneer (Amelia, starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere); and gore galore (Saw VI, starring Costas Mandylor and Mark Rolston). What do the critics have to say? Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy is one of anime's most iconic and venerable characters. Now he's getting the big-screen CGI treatment, and the result, critics say, is an energetic but derivative affair. In the film, Astro Boy is a young robot with super powers who learns, slowly but surely, what it means to be human; he also must protect his new-found friends from danger.
July 22, 2009
RT Interview: Lars von Trier on Antichrist
If you go down to the woods today... Well, just don't. Danish provocateur Lars von Trier's arthouse psychohorror Antichrist is the most controversial film of the year -- and the most gruelling. Written by von Trier while he was bedridden with depression, it sees Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a grieving couple who retreat to a woodland cabin to recover from the death of their baby son. But healing quickly turns to horror as their wounds are ripped wide open: hardcore sex, ultraviolence, emotional meltdown, graphic torture and, um, a talking fox. It's a bizarre, powerful, audacious curio that's tough to swallow but even harder to ignore. Having spent his career ripping up the cinematic rulebook with daring, dazzling movies like The Idiots, Dancer In The Dark and Dogville, von Trier calls Antichrist the most important film of his life.
May 26, 2009
Cannes 2009: RT's 10 Must-See Movies
The 62nd Cannes Film Festival has officially wrapped, with most commentators agreeing that this year's selection was a cut above. There were some disappointments, but plenty of movies to get excited about, and RT was there for the whole festival checking out the best Cannes had to offer. So what's worth keeping an eye on? From Almodovar to von Trier, from Mariah Carey to Jim Carrey, this year's festival has thrown up a handful of auteurs and a full calendar of stars. Join us as we take a visual journey through the 10 Cannes films you absolutely have to see.
May 24, 2009
Cannes 2009: The Tomato Report - Haneke's The White Ribbon Scoops Palme d?Or
Michael Haneke took Cannes' top honour tonight as his film, The White Ribbon, won the prestigious Palme d'Or. It's Haneke's third major Cannes prize but his first Palme d'Or. The director took to the stage to be presented with the award by jury president Isabelle Huppert, who starred in his 2001 film La Pianiste. Set in a small German town on the eve of the First World War, The White Ribbon is a tragic tale of life as conflict approaches. "Happiness is a rare thing, but this is a moment in my life when I am truly happy," Haneke told the Cannes audience.
May 24, 2009
Cannes 2009: The Tomato Report - Critics Pick Their Awards Favourites
With the Cannes Film Festival winding down this weekend, talk is now turning to who will win the Palme d'Or this evening. We tracked down several journalists covering the fest to gauge their opinion, and it seems there are two very definite front-runners at present - Michael Hanenke's The White Ribbon, a taut period drama about a German village pre-WWI, and Jacques Audiard's A Prophet, a prison film about a young man's efforts to survive incarceration in a French jail. "I am rooting for A Prophet to win," says Heat's Charles Gant. "It's the Gomorrah of this year's festival, but thanks to its linear storyline it's arguably more accessible and satisfying than last year's Mafia drama."
May 19, 2009
Cannes 2009: The Tomato Report ? Antichrist Shocks, Eric Delights
Say what you like about Lars von Trier, the director never fails to find controversy. To one degree or another, most of his films have provoked comment for their themes and for von Trier's passion for breaking taboos. Antichrist, which premiered at Cannes yesterday, for all that has come before, may well be Von Trier's most controversial film yet. The story of a husband and wife (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) who retreat to their woodland paradise "Eden" in the wake of the accidental death of their young child. There they hope to heal their grief and repair the fractures within their marriage, but as emotions heighten and nature closes in, things, as the press notes declare, go from bad to worse.
May 10, 2009
Cannes 2009: RT's 10 Most Anticipated Movies
The Cannes Film Festival will screen nearly 100 films as part of its Official Selection and associated sidebars when it kicks off next week in the Southern France town. The festival runs from 13-24th May and there are plenty of exciting new movies to keep an eye out for as they premiere on Cannes' infamous Croisette. To save you the hassle of having to research the whole programme, RT has helpfully chosen ten films we're most excited to see. Join us as we take a journey through the Cannes Film Festival 2009, kicking off with our daily coverage on Wednesday.
April 14, 2009
Trailer Bulletin: Antichrist
What do Lars von Trier, a very large tree, and Willem Dafoe's buttocks have in common? Why, the "Antichrist" trailer, of course!