By Michelle Hamada
In a region of the world where homosexuality is taboo, a handful of Asian filmmakers have caused a stir in LGBT film. Lucky for us— SnagFilms is streaming two of these revolutionary films for FREE!
If you haven’t seen or even heard of Wong Kar Wai’s Happy Together(1997) or Bui Thac Chuyen’s Adrift(2009), its time for you to get clicking. The two films sharply comment upon the restrictions surrounding LGBT romance while also providing enough steam to hold you over to the 50 Shades of Grey Febuary 2015 release date.
Two lovers from Hong Kong run off to live together in Buenes Aires, but their relationship is far from perfect. Ho Po-Wing is immature and explosive while Lai is reserved and depressed. The film delicately observes their tumultuous relationship and their particular fascination with the Iguazu Falls. It’s a beautiful and breathtaking film and for those who might need an extra push, Wong Kar Wai’s work in the film won the 1997 Cannes Film Festival award for Best Director.
Bui Thac Chuyen’s angsty film captures the passion and confusion of Duyen — a young and unhappy bride who is unaware that her best friend is in love with her. Set in the humid, color-saturated and puritanical Hanoi the film creates the perfect climate for a sultry summer romance. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable film and a definite must watch for anyone interested in transnational film.
Paired together these films create a marvelous window into a film culture that is rapidly transforming. Oh what a wonderful time we are in!
Richard Ayoade on 50 Shades of Grey trailer
(Source: britishcomedyoverflowing, via backyardgoldmine)
by Joshua Simmons
Remember those simpler times when a good summer blockbuster just consisted of a murderous shark terrorizing a small fictitious island town? Ah, the good ol’ days. If you’re experiencing fatigue from superhero movies and unoriginal sequels, we’ve made a list of some great (and fun) films that are the perfect cure for MichaelBay-itis.
A Dog’s Life: Every summer movie needs a star, and no one’s a bigger icon than Charlie Chaplin. In A Dog’s Life, Chaplin’s most memorable on-screen persona - “The Tramp” -strives to succeed in the big city with the help of his canine companion. This is a great and entertaining way to introduce the entire family to one of cinema’s greatest legends.
Africa Screams: Before Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore went on an African safari, comedy’s favorite coupling — Abbott and Costello — did it first. More so, this one is actually funny as the duo play mild-mannered bookworms who tangle with lions, cannibals and criminals while in search of a rare gorilla in the jungle. Some familiar faces pop up along the way of the sometimes dangerous, but always hilarious, adventure.
Birth of a Nation: Cinema’s original epic, Birth of a Nation chronicles the sweeping relationship of two families fighting for opposite sides during the Civil War. D.W. Griffith’s groundbreaking film includes major historical events such as the fall of the South, Lincoln’s assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. While its portrayal of African-American men is deservedly much maligned, Birth of a Nation is still a quintessential American movie and a must-see for cinephiles.
Grand Duel: There’s a good reason Grand Duel landed on Quentin Tarantino’s list of his favorite spaghetti westerns. The story about a gun-slinging sheriff out to defend a young cowboy accused of murder is a wildly entertaining and captivating exploration of the blurred lines between good and evil. In fact, Tarantino even used the movie’s theme score in the Kill Bill movies. Fans of those films and Django Unchained have to watch Grand Duel when they get the chance.
Gung Ho!: This 1943 movieis a real-life epic about an elite battalion tasked with regaining control of an island taken over by the Japanese in World War II. Not only did the film help establish Robert Mitchum as a young star, it also introduced its title phrase into everyday vernacular. Gung Ho! is a perfect way to satiate an appetite for action films without shelling out $20 to watch a 67-year old Sylvester Stallone inaudibly take on the world.
The Fast and the Furious: Before Vin Diesel and scantily clad women, there was another hit adventure with loud engines. Made in 1955, the movie follows a wrongly imprisoned John Ireland who escapes and is forced to go on the run with the beautiful Dorothy Malone as he tries to outrun the cops to Mexico. Taking place almost entirely in a Jaguar, The Fast and the Furious is mindless escapism perfect for a summer night.
Life With Father: A near-perfect comedy, Life With Father tells the timeless true story of a frustrated stockbroker desperate to get the respect he thinks he deserves from his wife and kids. Starring James Powell, James Lydon, Irene Dunn and a young Elizabeth Taylor, this delightful fable from 1947 is perfect for the entire family and still feels relevant today.
Plan 9 from Outer Space: The rare movie that is so bad it’s good, Plan 9 From Outer Space is famous for being dubbed “the worst movie ever made.” Ed Wood (of course) directs Bela Lugosi in his final role about aliens who must resort to “Plan 9” — a resurrection of Earth’s dead as ghouls — in order to stop humans from creating a doomsday weapon. This outrageous Sci-Fi thriller may be unintentionally hilarious, but that doesn’t make it any less amusing.
Royal Wedding: Royal Wedding is a fun musical that is ideal for a little levity in the summer. Starring the incomparable Fred Astaire and Jane Powell, the movie follows song and dance siblings taking their Broadway show to London at the same time as a royal wedding. Featuring catchy music, imaginative choreography (including the brilliant “ceiling dance”) and a heartwarming plot, Royal Wedding is an undeniably charming film.
Listen to Jack White’s complete Bonnaroo headlining set.
INTERVIEW: Gillian Robespierre & Jenny Slate of Obvious Child
by Charles Nash
As fun as the summer movie season can be, it can get pretty overwhelming with its abundance of sequels, franchises and big-budget blockbusters. That’s why Obvious Child, the feature-film debut from director Gillian Robespierre starring the adorable Jenny Slate, commonly known for her supporting role as Mona Lisa in Parks and Recreation, is such a delightful surprise. An indie comedy that manages to be as poignantly sweet as it is hilariously raunchy, which tells the story of Donna, a struggling stand-up comedian who’s been recently dumped by her boyfriend and rebounds by spending a night with the clean-cut Max (Jake Lacy) resulting in an accidental pregnancy.
I was fortunate enough to sit down with Gillian Robespierre and Jenny Slate with fellow journalists, Brett Michel from The Improper Bostonian and Ken Murray from IWantMyTwoDollars.com to conduct a round-table interview about their new film, which tackles considerably taboo material from a funny, insightful and refreshingly feminist point of view.
Click here for the full roundtable interview with the women behind Obvious Child