Saturday, 30 June 2012
Some happy, some sad, at times cheering or even fighting, fans of soccer are absorbed in the European 2012 Soccer Championship. Sixteen nations made it to the final tournament being held in Poland and the Ukraine with the final match to be played on July 1 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. -- Lloyd Young(40 photos total)
A soccer fan soaks up the atmospshere ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer championship group D match between Ukraine and Sweden at The Olympic Stadium on June 11 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Mario Tama, a Getty Images staff photographer since 2001 and based in New York, has covered conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan - as well as numerous humanitarian crises and natural disasters in the US and around the world, including most recently the earthquake in Haiti and the tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri. He's also spent extensive time documenting Hurricane Katrina and it's aftermath. Mario will be working on several feature stories in Brazil, ahead of the Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Energy, his first work featured in this post. The summit aims to overcome years of deadlock over environmental concerns and marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. Brazil is now the world's sixth largest economy and is set to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Mario’s' editor on the project describes him as passionate and enthusiastic about showing us pieces of a country in which he has traveled before, drawn by the people, the culture and the economics/development of the region. -- Paula Nelson (48 photos total)
Federal highway BR-222, June 9, 2012 in Para state, Brazil. Highway construction through Amazonian rainforest has led to accelerated rates of deforestation. Although deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is down 80 percent since 2004, environmentalists fear recent changes to the Forest Code will lead to further destruction. Around 20 percent of the rainforest has already been destroyed. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Written by Christopher Melkus
Horror movies are almost predictably cyclical compared to other genres of filmmaking. Often, one generation is born in reaction to the previous. As the slasher boom of the seventies and eighties led to a glut of critically panned sequels and imitators that dominated the next ten years, the “torture porn” era was born as response, leaving its mark on the 2000s. With those films now aging and losing ground, an emerging trend in horror is showing signs of taking hold; ghost stories.
Ghost stories are certainly nothing new in horror; THE EXORCIST, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR and POLTERGEIST were all successful ghost stories released within ten years of each other and while they certainly weren’t imitators, their success relied partially on the theatre-filling fear that each prior film inspired. But, unlike slasher films, ghost stories have always been a riskier bet for a studio looking to make a quick buck off a genre known for guaranteed profit. THE EXORCIST, considered as much a classic as FRIDAY THE 13TH, only has five related films compared to the latter’s twelve. Even the SAW franchise, both more recent and generally considered less broadly appealing, has spawned more derivatives than any such supernatural-inspired horror flick.
Then, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY proved that, with the right style and (more importantly) marketing, a ghost story could make a profit on a budget even smaller than the standard slasher production. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY wasn’t just a clever film; it was also perfectly timed to engage audiences who were tired of the HOSTEL and SAW derivatives. Like Saw before it and Halloween before that, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY has triggered a wave of sequels, imitators and innovators: THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT, INSIDIOUS, THE WOMAN IN BLACK, THE DEVIL INSIDE…
Three new “ghost stories” loom on the horizon of 2012, bringing something new to the table that may or not lead to box office and/or critical success. First off is THE POSSESSION, produced by Sam Raimi (of EVIL DEAD fame) whose own stab at supernatural horror (DRAG ME TO HELL) did not live up to expectations. Director Ole Bornedal’s only notable work is 1994′s NIGHTWATCH, a Dutch suspense film remade in 1997 by the same director, starring the up-and-coming Ewan McGregor and Josh Brolin alongside Patricia Arquette and Nick Nolte. Unlike that film, THE POSSESSION has a lesser-known cast; the biggest names are Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Matisyahu. The recently revealed trailer for the film has been received positively, and appropriately so.
The story appears to rely on a tedious trope; broken-but-hopeful family man adores daughter, spoils her by buying a mysterious box from a yard sale. Contained within the box is a spirit that proceeds to terrorize father, child and estranged mother. This bears more than a passing resemblance to INSIDIOUS but, rather than working entirely on the “child-in-danger” angle, the shocks come from some surprisingly surreal and creative visual effects paired with Raimi-esque camera work. There’s also a Hebrew mysticism angle that might just derail what appears, in the trailer, to be an effective, simplistic frightener. Personally, I’m going to have to refer to my inner pessimist and declare this one dead in the water; LIONSGATE is the studio responsible and that doesn’t bode well. Arrives in theaters August 31st.
Bearing an even more straightforward setup is LOVELY MOLLY, a horror tale that blends the found-footage elements of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY with a straight-forward “haunted house” story involving a newly wed couple moving into her family home, leading them to deal with both her dark past and a supernatural force. Much is made of the main character’s mental state; it’s nothing new to make the audience question what is real and what is imagined but with the right performance, it can be a gratifying alternative to solid scares. This film has been released already and the reviews for it are neither scathing nor encouraging, which says something given the low-budget and fresh cast. It’s a fairly clever twist on an ongoing obsession that provokes more than just a bit of curiosity. Some of the imagery presented by the website and trailer are particularly intriguing. Hopefully we’ll see a home video release fairly soon, as the theatrical premiere was very limited.
From the director of THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE and starring Ethan Hawke, SINISTER is widely known as the film successfully pitched by an Ain’t It Cool News writer. Reviews of its stealth debut at SXSW have been unanimously positive despite the director’s previous efforts coming off stunted. The story seems to take LOVELY MOLLY’s focus on the descent into madness and adds it to the “threatened family” approach of THE POSSESSION. By lashing together multiple plot elements (The Ring comes to mind) as well as retaining a lead actor of some merit, the film is probably far more engrossing than THE POSSESSION or LOVELY MOLLY. Ironically, the film’s trailer is a strong contradiction of the reviews; it’s fierce and intimidating for a film that’s said to be almost sedate. Unlike THE POSSESSION, this one is rated R so I’m betting that, between the two, this will be superior.
With these three films, we have reached a point in the continuum of this era where filmmakers are struggling to stand-out from the glut of similar releases. While nobody would argue that trends like these are necessarily bad, by now creators should be aware of the impending critical mass and seeking to differentiate their work by bringing fresh themes to the screen. There are small but burgeoning movements focusing on horror anthologies (V/H/S, THE THEATRE BIZARRE, THE ABC’s OF DEATH) and a revitalization of the giallo genre (AMER, RED RED, SORORAL, YELLOW) so hopefully those will expand and encourage diversity in a genre known for saturation.
Quentin Tarantino presents THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, an action-adventure inspired by kung-fu classics as interpreted by his longtime collaborators RZA and Eli Roth. Making his debut as a big-screen director and leading man, RZA—alongside a stellar international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu—tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero in nineteenth-century China who must unite to destroy the clan traitor who would destroy them all. .
Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Friday, 22 June 2012
This guy was lucky to make it to 39, much less 69. Mafia associate-turned-FBI informant Henry Hill, whose life of crime formed the basis for director Martin Scorsese’s GOODFELLAS in 1990, didn’t meet his end thanks to a bullet to the back of his skull, but by boring old heart failure. Played by Ray Liotta in Scorsese’s film, Hill was the quintessential Wiseguy, indulging in drugs and alcohol, beatings and murders, and nearly every other crime during his 20-year run as a Mafia soldier. His testimony brought down dozens of dangerous mob figures, but Hill would often pop out of the Federal witness protection program (he was actually kicked out at one point) to make TV and radio appearances (he was a Howard Stern regular) and to work with author Nicholas Pileggi on his 1986 book, “Wiseguys.”, the basis for the Scorsese film.
From ABC News:
Henry Hill, the famed mobster turned FBI informant whose life story was documented in the book “Wiseguy”- upon which Martin Scorsese’s 1990 gangster epic “Goodfellas” was based – has died at the age of 69.Read the rest HERE
Hill died at a Los Angeles hospital of an undisclosed illness on Tuesday, Nate Caserta, the son of Hill’s fiancé Lisa Schinelli Casterta, confirmed.
“[His] heart just stopped. He had been sick for a long time,” Nate Caserta told ABC News…………..
Thursday, 21 June 2012
Sculptural Art.Funny or creepy?! Samuel Salcedo‘s sculptures are definitely an eye catcher. I would like to have some of these round human heads between some apples or melons to shock my friends.
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