In 2008, we elected the first black president of the United States, watched an unforgettable opening ceremony at the summer Olympics in Beijing and saw Amy Winehouse pick up 6 Grammys. The year also marked the release of these 10 must-see movies—from “The Hurt Locker,” to “The Dark Knight.”
Hollywood blockbusters aren’t the only reason the whole world watches American movies. Declaring independence from major studios, some of the most creative filmmakers bring their visions to life in the land of the free. Get patriotic with these ten stateside classics, all airing in July on SundanceTV.
Sometimes, they set up a sequel. Sometimes, they’re intentionally ambiguous. And sometimes, they’re maddeningly unclear. But what the best cliffhanger movie endings always do is leave audiences talking up a storm. And this doesn’t only happen in movies—it happens on TV as well. Consider Scandal, arguably the greatest cliffhanger show since Lost. Find out how series creator Shonda Rhimes and company create these high-stakes endings in THE WRITERS’ ROOM, Fri., Apr. 18 at 9PM/8c then vote on your favorite big screen example of a cliffhanger in the list below, ranked from serious palpitations to cardiac arrest.
Ouch. I’ve never spent so much time in a film, focused upon – literally – the leathery skin of cuticles, tough toes, and fleshy ear lobes from which earrings go on and off, on and off. Yep, Darren Aronofsky’s BLACK SWAN is all fingers fingers toes toes, abused in such new and uncomfortable ways that you’ll vow to never use a pair of nail scissors again. EVER. And you thought the movies didn’t have the power to change your life! Once again, and with a different DP (THE WRESTLER = Maryse Alberti and BLACK SWAN = Matthew Libatuque), Aronofsky is (literally) following behind a struggling performer, this one’s insecurities expressed as meek, worried perfectionism as opposed to Micky Rourke’s loud bravado. But unlike THE WRESTLER, BLACK SWAN is a horror film, really, and the most beautiful horror film to emerge in a good long time. True to form, Aronofsky keeps his protagonist’s head squarely in the middle of the frame as he trails behind troubled Nina (Natalie Portman), her bun bobbing along top her emaciated frame.
For the website of the Brooklyn-based publication The L Magazine, the film critic Matt Zoller Seitz assembled a montage of clips illustrating one of my favorite types of shots: one where the camera physically follows a character through his or her environment,” as he writes in his introductory essay. “I love this shot,” he explains,…
Robert Siegel sure knows how to write squirm-inducing scripts. THE WRESTLER—which just got shortchanged by the Academy—was one of my favorite films of last year, but also one of the hardest to watch. Mickey Rourke’s portrayal of an over-the-hill wrestler who continues to perform—and juice up—in spite of a heart condition is not unlike watching a car wreck in slow motion for two hours … and wondering all along whether the driver is going to die.