Melancholia

Blu-ray Review: Whimsically Low-Key ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Nothing causes would-be lovers to fall into one another’s arms quite like a good, old-fashioned apocalypse. The nerve one lacks to pursue a romantic obsession tends to reemerge when faced with impending extinction. While Abel Ferrara’s “4:44 Last Day on Earth” and David Mackenzie’s “Perfect Sense” took a brooding look at last-minute romance, director Lorene Scafaria heads in quite a different direction.

Blu-ray Review: ‘4:44 Last Day on Earth’ Meditates on the World’s End

4:44 Last Day on Earth Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Apocalyptic dramas are a dime a dozen these days, and it’s not difficult to determine why. While the Mayan calendar has singled out the specific day of our demise, record-breaking temperatures have caused some to worry that the planet has indeed reached its final act. Neither of these theories may be true, but that hasn’t stopped them from permeating our collective consciousness.

Film News: Columbia College’s ‘Cinema Slapdown’ to Feature Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com

Cinema Slapdown

CHICAGO – Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 12th at 7pm as Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com participates in “Cinema Slapdown,” presented by the Film & Video Department at Columbia College in Chicago. Screening at the event is the film “Melancholia,” directed by Lars von Trier, followed by a “debate” between McDonald and Penelope Steiner of Peneflix.com. The exchange will be “refereed” by Film & Video Associate Professor and “Talk Cinema” host Ron Falzone.

Blu-ray Review: Gorgeous Transfer For Lars Von Trier’s Incredible ‘Melancholia’

Melancholia

CHICAGO – Lars Von Trier’s incredible “Melancholia” gets better both in memory and on repeat viewing, especially with a pristine, jaw-dropping transfer like the one granted it by Magnolia on their recently-released Blu-ray. It may have been left out of all Academy Award categories but this was easily one of the best movies of last year. And the few before that as well. Most people missed it in theaters. Catch up on Blu-ray.

Film Feature: The 11 Biggest Oscar Snubs of 2012

CHICAGO – Another year, another bunch of people who call themselves Oscar pundits bitching and moaning. It wouldn’t be late January without it.

Film Feature: Top 10 Films of 2011

CHICAGO – As the days count down to the end of the year, it’s a perfect time for a countdown of the top ten films of 2011. Last week, Brian Tallerico of HollywoodChicago.com posted his 10 Best of 2011, and this week I pick my Top Ten Films of 2011, by Patrick McDonald.

Film Feature: The 10 Best Films of 2011

CHICAGO – We could tell, very early on, that 2011 would be a stellar year for film. As the year opened, great genre product like “Source Code,” “Hanna,” and “The Adjustment Bureau” entertained viewers and critics alike, while art houses unspooled gems like “Certified Copy” and “Meek’s Cutoff.”

Film News: Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree of Life’ Leads 2011 Chicago Film Critics Association Nominees

CHICAGO – It may have had a controversial journey to the big screen, but the Chicago Film Critics Association thought that Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” was worth the wait, nominating it today for a leading seven awards, including Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt), Supporting Actress (Jessica Chastain), Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, and Promising Performer (Hunter McCracken).

Film Review: Lars Von Trier’s Mesmerizing ‘Melancholia’ Turns Depression Into Art

CHICAGO – Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia” is a mesmerizing, haunting portrayal of the world-shattering force of depression from a filmmaker who has first-hand knowledge of the debilitating disease. With career-best work by Kirsten Dunst and some of the most confident filmmaking from its controversial director, this is one of the best films of 2011, a stunningly original examination of that which is completely out of our control.

Preview: 47th Chicago International Film Festival, Part One

CHICAGO – This year’s line-up for the 47th Annual Chicago International Film Festival is an eclectic mix of major Oscar contenders (“My Week With Marilyn,” “The Artist,” “The Descendants”) along with a number of interesting smaller films.

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