After a relatively uneventful summer and autumn in the world of cinema, someone has decided that November is finally the time to make up for this cinematic drought with interest. Not even halfway through the month, we’ve had three long anticipated blockbuster releases: Thor: The Dark World, Gravity and Ender’s Game, with Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘ as the fourth, following in a fortnight. Cannes festival winner Blue is the Warmest Colour is also shortly due for release, as is the controversial biopic The Fifth Estate and the remake of the horror classic Carrie. Indie success The Green Bicycle and a Norwegian ski movie Supervention have already been showing for a couple of weeks.

I’m puzzled by the decision to release so many big blockbusters all at (nearly) the same time, particularly two epic sci-fi movies. Gravity and Ender’s Game were both released last Friday (a week after Thor 2), giving the latter a major disadvantage, having received less buzz in advance and only being screened in the smaller cinemas not occupied by screenings of the former. This is something of a personal disappointment, seeing as I’ve been anticipating Ender’s Game for two years now and would have liked to have seen it being given better odds at becoming a success. At any rate, I will make an effort to see as many of these as I can, even if budget alterations will have to be made accordingly.

Happy November!

The 66th Annual Cannes Festival

Cannes is my favourite arena for movie discoveries big and small, and a few days into the 66th annual festival I’m eagerly taking notes of which movies will be worth looking out for in the coming months.

The great thing about Cannes is the refined blend of well-established talent and new names, not discriminated in either direction the size, genre or recognition of a name or project, which results in a wholesome selection of big and small, familiar and new, English-speaking or foreign, all with picked strictly because of their contribution to the art of cinema.

Last year, despite being considered by some as a weak year at Cannes, we found among the selection ‘The Hunt’, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’, ‘Amour’, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, ‘Killing Them Softly.and ‘Laurence Anyways’. There are still a handful of acclaimed movies from last year’s festival I haven’t had the opportunity to see yet (‘Rust and Bone’, ‘In Another Country’, ‘Like Someone in Love’), and some which still have yet to be released (‘Mud’). Sufficed to say that if this is the reaping of a weak year at Cannes, a lot of high-quality movie time is guaranteed in any given year.

On to this year’s movies. A few of them are already well-known prior to their festival screenings, such as the long-awaited opening movie, Baz Luhrman’s ‘The Great Gatsby’, starring among others Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, which received all over decent reviews. Another pre-screening favourite is ‘Only God Forgives’, where director Nicholas Winding Refn and actor Ryan Gosling have teamed up again, creating massive anticipation after their last team effort blew the cinematic world away with ‘Drive’. Another movie I’ve already been looking forward to for a while is Steven Soderberg’s ‘Behind the Candelabra’.

Besides the aforementioned, there aren’t many titles I recognised prior to the festival, with the exceptions of ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’, which I’ve heard of because it’s Tom Hiddelston’s newest project, and ‘Inside Llewelyn Davies’ by the Coen brothers, which should also be a given as one to watch. The director behind the hard-hitting ‘A Separation’, Asghar Farhadi, is back with ‘Le Passé’ or ‘The Past’, which is expected to be another intense, lowkey drama. Among the smaller “unknowns” are ‘Fruitvale Station’, which did well at the Sundance Festival, ‘The Selfish Giant’, which is supposedly a modern take on the short story by Oscar Wilde, and the French ‘L’Inconnu Du Lac’ or ‘Strangers by the Lake’, a movie which is sure to divide the audience and which is almost guaranteed not to get screening time in Norwegian cinemas due to its pornographic tendencies, unless Cinemateket steps up to the challenge, as they did with ‘Laurence Anyways’ last year.

So, that’s something to start off with after the first four days of the festival. With a week still remaining, there is bound to be a lot of on-screen goodness yet to come.

At long last, the trailer for ‘Ender’s Game’ is here!

I’m still not convinced about Butterfield in the title role, but at the very least I think the movie will look incredible.

The first episode of ‘Hannibal’ premieres here in Norway in just a moment. I’m tremendously excited! The series is a sort of prequel to ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991), showing the life of serial killer Hannibal Lecter before his dark deeds were revealed to the world.

'Hannibal' (2013-)

Bringing horror classics to the TV screen seems to be the thing this year. Another show has just aired which does the same thing: in ‘Bates Motel’ they introduce us to an adolescent Norman Bates (played by a near-adult and impressive Freddie Highmore) living with his mother (portrayed by Vera Farmiga) in a healthier – or should I say marginally less bleak – manner than we know he ends up doing in the legendary ‘Psycho’ (1960).

Taking on some of the biggest and most memorable horror movies of all time is a risky move, but with the increase in interesting projects and ever more impressive cast lists in recent TV productions, as admirably demonstrated with the recent Netflix success ‘House of Cards’ starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, I’m optimistic. With Mads Mikkelsen in the title role as notorious Dr Hannibal Lecter, how wrong can things possibly go? With him are actors Hugh Dancy and Laurence Fishburne, as respectively serial killer expert agent Will Graham and agent Jack Crawford (the latter name should ring a bell if you’ve seen the movie).

Bring out the Chianti and let the fun begin!

New ‘Man of Steel’ trailer, finally with its own music score. Looking good!