The Duke Of Burgundy: Sex Roleplay & Entomology

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Right when the awards season came to an end and we were afraid of the usual post-Oscars lull, the first great film of 2015 was waiting in our screens, kicking a new year of cinema in style. Reaffirming the unique personality of one of Britain’s most distinctive new filmmakers, Peter Stickland’s third feature ‘The Duke Of Burgundy’, almost ironically named as the male species of one of the moths its main character studies, depicts the decadently refined world of a lady dedicated to entomological studies living in a countryside mansion with her maid, engaged in a mistress and servant role-playing relationship where things are not what they seem.

From the first scene our sense of voyeurism is teased as we are allowed to gaze into the couple’s meticulously staged intimate practices; the maid being humiliated for her “negligent services” by her perfectly groomed and dressed up mistress. A repetition of that initial scene begins shaping up a pattern of everyday routines and slowly unveils the particulars of their bizarre partnership, in which the submissive part writes a detailed list of rules to prepare her lover for each of their encounters, showing an insatiable appetite for exploring the boundaries of her fetish and S&M interests (Human toilet anyone?) and using the code word ‘Pinastri’ (another type of moth) when she reaches the limit of her pleasurable punishment. Meanwhile, her increasing demands suffocate the apparently more assertive entomologist, making her feel as framed by the constraints of their relationships as the insects pinned down to a board she collects. Read the rest of this entry »

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Björk’s Milking Stones In Remarkable Comeback

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An infamous leak may have compromise its full promotional strategy, but Björk‘s new album ‘Vulnicura’ is her best in at least a decade and its opening track ‘Stonemilker’ sees our favourite Icelandic superstar back into the top of our chart.

Highest debut is by French/Brit artist Le Volume Courbe collaborating with My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields. Many more returns among the rest of new entries, including the latest tracks by Sufjan Stevens; Wire; Brian Wilson; Blur and one half of Fuck Buttons with his side project Blank Mass.

Check the new loop here: Read the rest of this entry »

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Our #Oscars Predictions: Birdman or Boyhood?

A few hours before the Oscars ceremony officially puts an end to a year of cinema, here’s our predictions for those who needs some guidance with their home polls. Despite being criticize for a number of Oscar bait biopics elbowing out more deserving films, this is being one of the most exciting Awards seasons in recent memory, a genuine three way race with Birdman in the lead but closely followed by Boyhood and The Great Budapest Hotel. Selma and American Sniper polarized the critics and found support on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Whiplash added fresh talent to the best picture shortlist and a number of shocking snubs just served to underline the wealth of deserving contenders.

Whereas three of the four acting categories are deemed as locked (Julianne Moore for best actress; J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette for supporting actor and actress; the actor field was so crowded that it could have been formed by five completely different candidates (Fiennes; Gyllenhaal; Oyelowo; Locke and Spall) without diminishing the average quality. And although it almost always ends being the most predictable of nights, this year the seeds are sowed for many a surprise.

Good luck to all the candidates and our Oscar predictions go to… Read the rest of this entry »

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Rober Awards Film Poll 2014: Our Choices

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One more year, in a couple of nights the Oscars ceremony will officially put an end to another awards season and with it to a whole year of cinematographic harvest. The time when our blog releases its annual film review. During the next 48 hours will be looking back at 2014 biggest surprises, disappointments and our favorite Top 50 films of the year.

The Rober Awards Film Poll will also close shortly after the Oscars. You can still cast your votes here. In the meantime, the following are our choices in each and every category. And the RoberAwards 2014 votes go to… Read the rest of this entry »

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#FilmNominations2014 : Best Picture

Emmanuel Lubezki/ TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX

And finally, the last and most important category in any film awards, best picture. This year’s nominated features prove, if nothing else, what a great cinematic harvest 2014 has brought.

The ubiquitous and well advertised Oscar favorites Read the rest of this entry »

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#FilmNominations2014 : Best Director

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In 2014 Alain Guiraudie; Pawel Pawlikowsky; Bennett Miller; Lav Diaz; Dan Gilroy; Nuri Ceylan Bilge; The Dardenne Brothers; J.C. Chandor; Paul Thomas Anderson; David Cronemberg; Bong Joon-Ho; Lars Von Trier; Xavier Dolan; David Fincher; Phil Lord & Chris Miller; Ava DuVernay and James Gray offered us remarkable directorial work.

However, the authors who stood up from such an illustrious rest were Read the rest of this entry »

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#FilmNominations2014 : Best Actor

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The one category that stood out from the rest during this year’s awards season was best actor. The sheer quality, quantity and diversity of candidates were such that even doubling the number of nomination slots wouldn’t have make justice to all the deserving ones. Among them, career best performances by Channing Tatum as the Olympic wrestler in ‘Foxcatcher’ or John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as the veteran gay couple whose comfortable life takes a turn for the worst after getting married in ‘Love Is Strange’.

Register changes as extraordinary as they were unexpected from Ralph Fiennes and his comic turn in ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ or Joaquin Phoenix druggy, hippy PI of ‘Inherent Vice’, next to such memorable moments as Philip Seymour Hoffman’s swansong role as Le Carre’s spy of ‘A Most Wanted Man’; Jack O’Connell’s violent young inmate of ‘Starred Up’; Brendan Gleeson’s priest under death treat in the dark tragic comedy ‘Cavalry’; Haluk Bilginer’s pompous retired intellectual turned owner of a secluded hotel in ‘Winter Sleep’ or Pierre Deladonchamps’ falling for the dangerous appeal of a mysterious man appearing on a cruising site where killings begin to happen in ‘Stranger By The Lake’ and last, but not least, Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar frontrunner, impressive Stephen Hawkins impersonation in ‘The Theory Of Everything’. Any other year all of those actors could have easily earned not just nominations, but the actual prizes.

The outstanding works that made our final shortlist were Read the rest of this entry »

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#FilmNominations2014 : Best Actress

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Despite such standout turns as Reese Witherspoon’s as the girl going on a self-discovery trek in ‘Wild’, her most welcome return to form; Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike having their breakthrough roles in ‘The Theory Of Everything’ and ‘Gone Girl’ respectively or Julianne Moore nailing her second outstanding performance of 2014, also the Oscar frontrunner’s, for the still unreleased in the UK ‘Still Alice’; many an Oscar commentator complained this year’s about the limited number of good roles for actresses in contention for the awards season. However, if that may ring true for Hollywood fare, they just had to look a bit farther at thevinternational arthouse and genre crops to find out such first class performances as Scarlett Johansson’s,the icy alien in ‘Under The Skin’; Tilda Swinton as the loving vampire of ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ and Essie Davis as the bereaved mother of ‘The Babadook’.

The six actress who stood up from such high competitions are Read the rest of this entry »

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Jazmine Sullivan Makes The Loop Go Dumb

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R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan has crafted one of the finest albums of that genre in recent memory. “Dumb” in collaboration with rapper Meek Mill is its powerful presentation card and the week’s #1 in our chart.

Another fierce and powerful track, the latest by Kendrick Lamar is the highest debut in an edition packed with high profile returns by the likes of Hot Chip; Lightning Bolt; Guadalupe Plata: Dan Deacon; Drake; Chromatics and Kanye West Feat. Vic Mensa & Sia.

Check the new loop here: Read the rest of this entry »

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#FilmNominations2014 : Best Ensemble Cast

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A year of remarkable acting ensemble efforts such as the notable casts of ‘Mr. Turner’s’, where Mike Leigh had a role for pretty much every actor he’s ever worked with and they were all excellent on it; ‘Inherent Vice’ with half of Hollywood, led by Joaquin Phoenix, turning up for Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s ‘Inherent vice’; “Maps Of the Stars’ which spawned two of our other acting nominations and that also featured great parts for Robert Pattinson; John Cusack; Olivia Wilde and Mia Wasikowska; who was also noteworthy in Jim Jarmusch’s romantic take on the vampire myth ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’, alongside the ever excellent Tilda Swinton; Tom Hiddleston and John Hurt.

But besides all of them, the six ensembles that made our best of the year shortlist are Read the rest of this entry »

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#FilmNominations2014 : Best Supporting Actor

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Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’; Andy Serkis in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’; Riz Ahmed in ‘Nightcrawler ‘ and Patrick d’Assumçao in ‘Stranger By The Lake’ all gave memorable performances that narrowly missed our shortlist.

The top-notch ones who made it are Read the rest of this entry »

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#FilmNominations2014 : Best Supporting Actress

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Somehow a more crowded category than its best actress partner with performances of the caliber of Emma Stone as the daughter/assistant of a fading star in ‘Birdman’; Imelda Staunton’s Welsh lead of a small miners community in ‘Pride’; Demet Akbağ as the bitter sister of an ex-actor turned hotel owner in ‘Winter Sleep’ or Dorothy Atkinson as Mr. Turner’s maid not making it to the final selection.

The ones who got shortlisted instead are Read the rest of this entry »

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#FilmNominations2014 : Rising Star

-Jack O Connell playing Eric

The list of six promising talents shortlisted for the rising star Rober Award 2014 features Canadian teenager Antoine-Olivier Pilon, who gave a stunningly intense performance as the troubled, ADHD suffering child of a widow struggling to get by in Xavier Dolan’s best film to date ‘Mommy’; Ellar Coltrane, the kid whose path to adulthood we witnessed in the intimate ‘Boyhood’, one of the cinematic achievements of 2014 and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, impressive as the he illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy admiral, brought from the West Indies to England and raised as an Aristocrat in ‘Belle’.

Also in contention are Read the rest of this entry »

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#FilmNominations2014 : Best Original Screenplay

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This has been a vintage year for Original screenplays, the quality and quantity of which has been so high than best picture nominated works such as ‘Stranger By The Lake’ or ‘Ida’, as well as such acclaimed ones as the Dardenne’s Two Days One Night or J.C. Chandor’s ‘A Most Violent Year’ had to be left out of our selection.

The seven nominated screenplays were Read the rest of this entry »

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