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8:00 AM on 12.17.2013

Miyazaki's The Wind Rises gets English voice cast

Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises (which could very well be his final film before retirement) has been inching closer and closer to a domestic release after it's fly through Japan. Shortly after getting the first US trailer for...

Nick Valdez

A clip from The Act of Killing on history's winners photo
A clip from The Act of Killing on history's winners
by Hubert Vigilla

The Act of Killing is one of my picks for best films of 2013. It's a disturbing and yet fascinating documentary in which Indonesian death squad members are asked to make their own narrative film that dramatizes their actions during the communist purge of 1965-1966. (At least 500,000 people were killed, some estimates put the numbers above 1 million.) The result is a chilling exploration of history and memory, and the role that storytelling can play in understanding both.

In this new clip from The Act of Killing, you get to meet Adi Zulkadry. He was one of the government-backed killers, and he's unrepentant about torturing and murdering hundreds of people himself. He explains why to director Joshua Oppenheimer. (Read our interview with Joshua Oppenheimer from SXSW.)

The Act of Killing had a very successful opening in New York last week. The film opens in Los Angeles and Washington DC today and expands to other cities throughout August. For a full list of release dates and theaters playing the film, click here.

[via The Dissolve]

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Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing) photo
Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing)
by Hubert Vigilla

The Act of Killing was the most audacious documentary I saw at SXSW, as well as the most upsetting and politically charged. We'll have a full review of the film tomorrow when it gets a theatrical release thanks to Drafthouse Films and executive producers Werner Herzog and Errol Morris.

The documentary explores the Indonesian massacre of 1965-66 through the accounts of the killers, who tell their stories and also recreate them on film. The result is a gut-wrenching portrait of people celebrating their own acts of inhumanity. And yet as these men glorify what they've done, something happens that may hint at the redemptive aspects of sharing these sorts of personal narratives. The Act of Killing is a powerful and formally daring achievement, at times both chilling and surreal but ultimately and painfully human. It's a movie that will stick with me for a long while, and it's going to be ranked one of the best documentaries of 2013.

I had a chance to speak with director Joshua Oppenheimer over the phone last week. He was flying to Denmark that day but made time to talk. As if it didn't come through enough in the movie or during the Q & A after the screening the night before, Oppenheimer is very passionate about this dark period in Indonesian history and his duty to share it with the world. We spoke for half an hour about storytelling, moral imperatives, and how these atrocities aren't so different from things happening in our society today. We probably could have spoken twice as long, but I didn't know when his flight was and didn't want him to be late.

[This interview was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest 2013 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with the theatrical release of The Act of Killing. Look for review of the film tomorrow morning.]

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11:00 AM on 11.19.2012

Two new TV spots for Jack Reacher

Two TV spots have shown up for Jack Reacher, which casts 5'7", dark-haired, green-eyed Tom Cruise as Lee Child's 6'5" Aryan superman. The one above gives a nice brief look at evil Werner Herzog, no doubt playing a cousin of ...

Hubert Vigilla

10:00 AM on 10.23.2012

Werner Herzog adapting satirical school shooting novel

After looking at death row conditions and fighting Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher, Werner Herzog has lined up a new project: an adaptation of DBC Pierre's novel Vernon God Little, which won the Booker Prize in 2003. Here's a syno...

Hubert Vigilla

8:00 AM on 10.18.2012

Trailer: Jack Reacher

Here's the latest trailer for Jack Reacher. Like the previous trailer, the film tries to turn the 5'7", 160ish-pound, brown-haired, green-eyed Tom Cruise into the 6'5", 230-pound, blond-haired, blue-eyed title character. He ...

Hubert Vigilla

4:00 PM on 03.27.2012

Werner Herzog plans docs on volcanoes and Helmut Newton

Werner Herzog is planning his next two documentary features, and the subject matter is, as you'd expect, distinctly varied. On the one side, Herzog would like to do an IMAX film about active volcanoes, a collaboration with Ca...

Hubert Vigilla

1:00 PM on 03.26.2012

Hunger Games posters as directed by Bay, Herzog and more

I'm such a sucker for these sorts of things. Below are a bunch of mock-posters for movies that could-have-been if this past weekend's blockbuster The Hunger Games had been directed by other famous Hollywood directors than the...

Liz Rugg

11:00 AM on 02.09.2012

Flix for Short: Werner Herzog on stupid chickens

[Flix for Short is Flixist's way of showing off awesome short films we find around the web. Do you have a favorite short you saw? Why not tell us about it in our Community Blogs? We'd love to see what short films you can ...

Jamie R Stone

Werner Herzog to direct Bill & Ted 3? photo
Werner Herzog to direct Bill & Ted 3?
by Jamie R Stone

Werner Herzog is no stranger to high concept fantasy comedies--Oh, wait. Make that he's a PERFECT stranger to high concept fantasy comedies. The critically acclaimed auteur of films like Rescue Dawn and the more recent Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life revealed in a recent interview with MovieWeb that he might direct Bill & Ted 3 if it has "a good screenplay." It seems rather random to me to ask a question such as this to someone so completely unrelated to the production of any Bill & Ted movie ever made, but I won't scoff at any Bill & Ted 3 news, considering we haven't heard anything on this project since April when Alex Winter (Bill) tweeted that a script for the movie had just been completed. Herzog reportedly has some time before financing on his next project comes through, so he will have some time on his hands... to direct a Bill & Ted threequel mayhaps? We'll see.

So, I'm an unabashed mega fan of Bill & Ted--Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey in particular. I'm of the minute percentage of people whose favorite films are known for their "quirk" factor. Back to the Future, Beetlejuice, The Fifth Element, et. al. Bill & Ted just happens to belong to that distinguished group of films. I've always admired the film's ability to simultaneously mock and praise the characters being lampooned. The characters of Bill & Ted are probably no one you would want to hang out with, the surfer-type simpletons that they are, but they're very pure in their intentions and unflinchingly optimistic, which in turn makes them likeable characters. This coupled with a "completely serious plot" and a hilarious dynamic between Alex Winters and Keanu Reeves makes the films something I'll always come back to. Here's hoping the movie happens. I'd love to see Herzog's take on this universe.

[Via MovieWeb]

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12:00 PM on 10.27.2011

Trailer: Into the Abyss

Cave of Forgotten Dreams was probably my second-favorite documentary of this year, and Werner Herzog looks to be pulling out another massive winner with Into the Abyss, a look at death row inmates, their families, the famili...

Alex Katz

3:00 PM on 10.05.2011

Werner Herzog to square off against Tom Cruise

In the upcoming film One Shot, based off of the Lee Child book series featuring Jack Reacher, director Werner Herzog will be playing the villain of the piece, a man known only as The Zec, the head of a mysterious conspiracy t...

Alex Katz

2:00 PM on 06.07.2011

Werner Herzog talks to Colbert about filmmaking

I absolutely adored Cave of Forgotten Dreams. I think it's one of Herzog's best documentaries. On last night's Colbert Report, Werner Herzog spoke about his filmmaking process. More specifically, he talked about his pre...

Alex Katz

Review: Cave of Forgotten Dreams photo
Review: Cave of Forgotten Dreams
by Alex Katz

Documentaries can be surprisingly easy to pull off. Basically any filmmaker with half a brain can decide to make a movie about XYZ subject and, with significant effort, tell a story about XYZ subject. Only the truly awful documentaries somehow managed to forget they're about anything. Even in the case of Michael Moore, who's really a fairly awful filmmaker, even if I agree with 90% of the things he says, can manage to sum up his films into an easily obtainable message. That was my fear for Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a new 3D documentary by acclaimed director Werner Herzog. The fear was that he'd just make a movie about cave paintings.

Of course he didn't just do that. This is Werner Herzog. He makes the best documentaries in the world in between taking bullets to the chest and saving semi-famous actors from car wrecks.

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12:41 PM on 01.13.2011

Trailer: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Werner Herzog is one of my favorite directors today, and his documentaries are a large reason why. Encounters at the End of the World, his look at the people living and working in Antarctica, is nothing short of beautiful. ...

Alex Katz