Our preview of the year to come in film continues with docs, what’s-up-doc?s, Pynchon dicks and a painter’s tics.
Joshua Oppenheimer’s astonishing The Act of Killing followed one of Indonesia’s death-squad leaders of the ’60s, but the director was also working on a victim’s story. The Look of Silence, about one son determined to confront his father’s killers, should be out this year. Joe Berlinger’s Whitey: United States of America v. James J Bulger tracks the country’s most notorious mobster-turned-informant and fugitive. Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney considers Nigeria’s most famous musician-activist in Finding Fela. Amir Bar-Lev drops into Happy Valley for the Penn State football sexual-abuse scandal. Frederick Wiseman’s college-portrait At Berkeley will hit disc and/or streaming-service, as will acclaimed Pakistan slice-of-life doc These Birds Walk.
Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir) meets up with The Congress, a futuristic satire of the movie industry and a reality head-trip that switches from live-action to animation halfway through. Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata transforms a 10th-century folktale about a bamboo cutter into The Tale of Princess Kaguya. And, come September, there’s Boxtrolls, about a boy who finds himself among garbage-collecting cave-dwellers.
Any time now …
Already released in Europe to strong reviews, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s (Amelie) The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet follows a 12-year-old map lover; it was shot mostly in Quebec and southern Alberta. Compatriot Michel Gondry puts us in Mood Indigo, from a 1947 novel about a woman (Audrey Tautou) surrounded by flowers to treat her illness. Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s Closed Curtain is already his second work since the state decreed he not make films for 20 years. We Are The Best!, about three kids forming a punk band in 1982, sees Lukas Moodysson (Lilya 4-Ever) return to the teen-world of his best films.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s unleashing Inherent Vice, his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s comic-noir novel (set in 1969 – 70 LA), starring Joaquin Phoenix as PI Larry “Doc” Sportello. An absurdist satire of Hollywood caught in development limbo for half-a-decade, David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars will finally be unfolded.
The Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night features Marion Cotillard as a woman with a weekend to convince co-workers to give up their bonuses so she can keep her job. The Cut concludes Turkish-German director Fatih Akin’s “love, death, and the devil” trilogy, after Head-On and The Edge of Heaven, with Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) in an exploration of evil.
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon return for Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip to Italy. Mike Leigh gives us a 19th-century bio-pic with Mr. Turner, about the famous Romantic painter (played by Timothy Spall). And Ken Loach’s likely last fiction feature, Jimmy’s Hall, about a Communist returning to Ireland in the ’30s, was only finished on celluloid with help from Pixar—the studio provided the director with rolls of “edge numbering” editing tape.
So, let’s splice in four more that may or may not reel out in 2014: Christian Petzold’s rising Phoenix; Todd Haynes’ ’50s drama Carol; Peter Strickland’s The Duke of Burgundy; Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups. And some mainstream-ish fare with dates pencilled in: Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher; Darren Aronofsky’s Noah; David Fincher’s Gone Girl; Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.