Movie Of The Day: Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

In early August 1945, the USA dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, effectively ending the Second World War. A little more than a decade later, fresh off his acclaimed Concentration Camp documentary short Night And Fog (original title Nuit Et Brouillard), French filmmaker Alain Resnais (Last Year At/In Marienbad) was asked to direct another short documentary, about the atomic bomb. Unconvinced, Resnais ended making not only his first feature-length film, but his first work of fiction as well, Hiroshima Mon Amour (literal translation Hiroshima My Love).

Written by celebrated author Marguerite Duras (The Lover), the film tells of the love story between a French actress shooting a film in Hiroshima and a Japanese man she spent the night with, during her last day in town before returning to Paris. The unexpected emotions stir up some old painful feelings from the actress’ past, and serve as a metaphor to Hiroshima’s tragedy. It stars Emmanuelle Riva (Three Colors: Blue) in her first film role, Eiji Okada (Woman In The Dunes) who had to learn his dialogue phonetically, and Bernard Fresson (Brotherhood Of The Wolf) among others. Trailer and first five minutes of the film’s infamous fourteen minute long opening sequence after the jump. Continue reading

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Movie Of The Day: Gangster – A Love Story (2006)

I apologize for the delay between the last “Movie Of The Day” and this one, but you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to get a trailer for this film…so basically the one you see here is an Internet exclusive folks!

Set primarily in South Korea and told mostly through flashbacks (and flashbacks within flashbacks), Gangster: A Love Story centers on Simran, a young girl prone to drowning her sorrows in alcohol who’s caught in a love triangle with two men: a singer she’s been dating for a while and a notorious gangster hunted by the police who’s the reason for her troubles and who reappears in her life just as she’s starting to get better.

Gangster: A Love Story (sometimes referred to as simply Gangster) was directed by Anurag Basu (Life In A…Metro) who co-wrote the film with Girish Dhamija (Zakhm) and producer Mahesh Bhatt (Body). It stars Emraan Hashmi (Jannat), Shiney Ahuja (Fanaa) and Kangana Ranaut (Life In A…Metro) among others. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Movie Of The Day: Clerks. (1994)

Note: This marks the first in a series of “Movies Of The Day” that will cover writer/director/actor Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse films, which will be complete in around six weeks.

Made for a little under 30 grand, filmed mostly at night because of day jobs and starring basically some of Kevin Smith’s friends and first time actors, Clerks. is a true independent film, a dialogue-driven comedy inspired by Smith’s own job at the time.

Clerks. tells of Dante Hicks and Randal Graves, two 22 year olds who work next to each other, one at a convenience store, the other at a video rental store. Through the course of a day, Dante has to deal with girl problems, annoying customers, Randal’s unprofessionalism, the two dealers who hang outside, Jay and Silent Bob and of course the fact that he isn’t “even supposed to be here today”.

Clerks. stars Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith himself among others, most of whom are best known for their contributions to subsequent Smith films. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Movie Of The Day: Gold Diggers Of 1933 (1933)

Set during The Great Depression, Gold Diggers Of 1933 is the third adaptation of a Broadway musical by Avery Hopwood (The Bat). It was directed by Mervyn LeRoy (Mister Roberts) and written by Erwin S. Gelsey (Swing Time), James Seymour (42nd Street), David Boehm (Always) and Ben Markson (What Price Hollywood?). It stars Dick Powell (The Bad And The Beautiful), Joan Blondell (Grease), Warren William (The Wolf Man), Aline MacMahon (The Man From Laramie), Guy Kibbee (Mr. Smith Goes To Washington), Ruby Keeler (42nd Street), Ned Sparks (42nd Street) and Ginger Rogers (Top Hat).

Three out-of-work actresses are cast in a new show which will get going only once funding his provided. One of the girls’ boyfriend, a gifted musician decides to produce the show, but refuses to perform in it despite his obvious talent. When he’s forced to go on stage at the premiere following an unexpected, his identity is revealed and it turns out he’s part of powerful rich family. Concerned, his brother and the family lawyer arrive to stop him from marrying a gold digging showgirl but they mistake one of the other actresses as the girlfriend in question. The girls decide to play along and comedy ensues. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Movie Of The Day: Demolition Man (1993)

A man truly responsible for his own success, the underrated and multitalented Sylvester Stallone exploded onto the scene in 1976 with the multi Oscar-winning Rocky (people tend to forget that) and quickly became one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood. As the eighties drew to a close however, his star was seriously dampened by a couple of failed comedic attempts and his career was in jeopardy. Luckily for him, his 1993 “action comeback” Cliffhanger was a huge success, almost quadrupling its budget worldwide. Mere months later, Demolition Man was released.

In the then future year of 1996, Los Angeles is being terrorized by sadistic criminal Simon Phoenix, but when tough violent cop John Spartan finally apprehends him they are both sentenced to many years of being cryonically frozen as Spartan is believed to be guily of involuntary manslaughter. When Phoenix somehow escapes in 2032, the seemingly utopian society of the time aren’t capable of dealing with him and decide to unfreeze Spartan.

Demolition Man marks the directing debut for Canadian filmmaker Marco Brambilla (Dinotopia) and was written by Peter M. Lenkov (13 episodes of CSI: NY), Robert Reneau (Action Jackson) and Daniel Waters (Sex And Death 101). In addition to Stallone, the film stars Wesley Snipes (The Art Of War I & II), Sandra Bullock (Premonition), Benjamin Bratt (The Andromeda Strain), Nigel Hawthorne (The Winslow Boy), former wrestler Jesse Ventura (Batman & Robin) as well as Rob Schneider (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan) and Jack Black (Tropic Thunder) in early roles. The film takes its title from The Police’s eponymous song which is featured during the end credits. Trailer and review after the jump Continue reading

Movie Of The Day: The Abandoned (2006)

A true example of cross-culture cinema, The Abandoned is an English-language Spanish film set in Russia, starring British actress Anastasia Hille (The Hole) and Czech actor Karel Roden (RocknRolla) in the lead roles. It marks the feature debut for director Nacho Cerdà, who co-wrote the film with the Canadian Karim Hussain (Subconscious Cruelty) and the South African Richard Stanley (The Island Of Dr. Moreau).

The movie follows Marie, an American film producer who arrives in Russia to learn more about her roots. There, a notary insists that she should go visit her old, decrepit family house in the middle of nowhere which she naturally does. Once there, she starts seeing strange things and eventually encouters Nikolai, her twin brother whe didn’t know about. Slowly, it becomes apparent that they’ll never manage to leave the island on which the evidently haunted house is built. Trailer and review after jump. Continue reading

Movie Of The Day: Breezy (1973)

Back in 1973, then 43 year old actor Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby) was best known for tough guy roles in such films as Dirty Harry and Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy. He had branched out in directing two years previously with the thriller Play Misty For Me, which he followed with the western High Plains Drifter. Immediately afterwards, he made his first movie in which he didn’t star, a little romantic drama that Eastwood claims to this day is his favorite directed film, the forgotten classic Breezy.

Breezy is a pretty teenage hippy girl, who is very talkative and has a big heart. One day, while looking for a ride, she stumbles upon Frank, a dry, middle-aged real estate agent, and basically forces herself into his life. Slowly, through several subsequent encounters, an unconventional yet beautiful love story is formed.

Breezy reunited Eastwood with his Play Misty For Me screenwriter Jo Heims, and stars the late great William Holden (The Bridge On The River Kwai) and relative newcomer Kay Lenz (House). Roger C. Carmel (Harry Mudd in Star Trek: The Original Series) and Marj Dusay (MacArthur) play supporting roles while Clint himself appears in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo. Review and excerpt after the jump. Continue reading