Ten Films to Look For in 2015

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In Clouds of Sils Maria, Kristen Stewart delivers the performance of her career.

By Calum Marsh

As the year in moviegoing draws to a close -- and as critics busy themselves drawing up lists and handing out awards -- it seems time at last to look ahead. Here are the 10 films to get excited about over the year to come.

1. Jauja (Dir. Lisandro Alonso)

Revered Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso returns after 2008's exquisite Liverpool with Jauja, his most astonishing film yet. While no less oblique than its predecessors, Jauja finds Alonso working for the first time with an international star: Viggo Mortensen, an intriguing wrinkle in Alonso's minimalist approach. Mortensen plays a Danish general adrift in the badlands of 19th-century Patagonia, and his wearying travails form the bulk of the action. A cryptic and formidable work, to be sure, but an altogether mesmerizing one.



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Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Museum and Historic Stranahan House Museum Present Seminole Cinema Night With The Exiles

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The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Museum and the Historic Stranahan House Museum.

1958 wasn't a year known for cultural sensitivity. While Jim Crow laws were still in effect in much of this country, director Kent MacKenzie filmed a movie called The Exiles. MacKenzie gained the trust of three Native Americans as he documented their struggle over whether they should stay on their reservations or make a move to the outside world. They sadly ended up on Los Angeles' Skid Row.

The movie was lost for nearly 50 years in the back of a UCLA vault until it was restored in 2008 and began appearing in festivals. Friday, The Exiles will make its South Florida debut, screening at Seminole Cinema Night at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Museum and the Historic Stranahan House Museum.

"At the time, Native Americans were portrayed in movies with the derogatory image of 'Me kill the white face!'" explained Everett Osceola, who helped put the night together. "This movie showed them as people."

See also: A Gay -- or "Two-Spirit" -- Miccosukee Man Fights for the Everglades

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Jon Stewart's Rosewater Is a Movie You Need to See

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Open Road Films

Last night in South Miami, the preview screening of Jon Stewart's directorial debut Rosewater was attended by me, my parents, three of our friends, and just about a dozen other people. Rushing there after work, I assumed the place would be packed and I'd be sitting on the floor with a bunch of idealistic 20 year old girls with daddy issues, laughing with stars in their eyes at every Stewart-penned joke. The theater is steps from the University of Miami, and you'd think college students would be interested in a film that makes world affairs watchable and even amusing. Even my parents bought their tickets weeks ago.

After the movie, a broadcast of Stewart and the journalist who inspired the film, Maziar Bahari, being interviewed live by Stephen Colbert was shown in that and 250 other US theaters. But again, there were no more than 16 people in the theater. It was confusing and stereotypically disappointing.

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Jason Alexander and Pamela Shaw Talk Lucky Stiff at FLIFF (Video)

The Cast of Lucky Stiff at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival from Voice Media Group on Vimeo.

If you grew up in a household where required viewing included the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies and Auntie Mame, then you'll be glued to the screen and giggling with delight watching Lucky Stiff.

Director Christopher Ashley, a veteran of the stage, decided to get cinematic with this quirky, goofy musical, complete catchy tunes and adorable illustrations. He created the comedic flick with a cast that starred the strong voices of Dominic Marsh and Nikki M. James and included the hilarious and outrageous hijinks of Jason Alexander and Pamela Shaw.

Lucky Stiff was the first musical to ever screen at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival and last Friday was the movie's Florida premiere. We were fortunate enough to sit down with Ashley, Shaw, and Alexander and speak about what it really means to be a comedic actor and what the three are up to next.

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Top Six Films to See at 2014's Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

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Lucky Stiff

Just one year shy of turning the dirty 30, South Florida's long-running Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival returns this Friday.

Cinephiles can catch -- from November 7 to 23 -- screenings of anything from groundbreaking international documentaries to romantic indie films that question life's existence and even shorts hailing from faraway lands.

Aww, the beauty and magic of the silver screen. Along with a diverse lineup, a few stars will also be in attendance, like Daniel Baldwin in support of his suspense thriller The Wisdom to Know the Difference. Also on tap: George Hamilton, Clara Mamet, and producer Mike Downey.

New Times asked Gregory von Hausch, president and CEO of FLIFF, to provide his top, not-to-be-missed picks. Hausch delved deep and came back with these six, along with filling us in on what's new for the 29th-annual rendition.


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Top Seven Best Ringo Starr Appearances on TV or in the Movies

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Sayre Berman

According to a famous quip from John Lennon, when asked if Ringo was the best drummer in the world, he said Ringo wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles. But to be fair, that was some tough company to keep.

One superlative the man born as Richard Starkey Jr. can own among the rest of the Fab Four is that he is and was the best actor in the group. Tonight as Ringo Starr and his All Star Band makes its way to the Broward Center for Performing Arts, we honor this Beatle's return with his seven greatest appearances in the movies and on television.


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Ten Musicians Besides James Brown Who Deserve Biopics

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Universal Pictures

The trajectory of the life of a rock 'n' roll star and the Hollywood movie go hand in hand. Our protagonist is often a tortured genius, raised from the gutter to the glitz and glamour of fame, drunk on its toxic alchemy of drink, drugs, and destructive romance. There might be a sense of a life wasted, an element of martyrdom about their end, or even better, a comeback. The excesses of stardom are nixed in favor of a simpler life where the protagonist finds comfort in walking their dog on the beach over snorting mountains of white powder.

The new James Brown biopic, Get On Up, set for release today, should provide examples of some of the above and then some. Born in a shack in Georgia, and raised for a time in a brothel, Brown exploded from the southern "chitlin circuit" scene, breaking new ground in music, performance, and badassedness. Against the turbulent backdrop of the Vietnam and civil rights era, the "Godfather of Soul" became a spokesman for black America, creating challenging, exhilarating music, frenetic live shows while sporting increasingly wild costumes and hairdos. There is of course the darker side -- substance abuse and car crash relationships -- and an element of career twilight redemption in there to boot. It's surprising that Hollywood didn't latch onto this sooner after his 2006 Christmas Day death.

Here's a list of other artists whose larger than life antics could provide fodder for Hollywood.

See also: James Brown Killed Dumb Biopics: Why the Messy Get On Up Gets It Right


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Ten Best James Brown Appearances in Movies and on TV

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D. Stevens

With Get on Up opening tonight movie audiences will be reintroduced to the hardest working man in show business, the Godfather of Soul, Mr. Dynamite, and yes, this is all the same person: Mr. James Brown.

Though early reviews of the film are solid, the fact that it's directed by the visionary behind The Help has us a little worried that the portrayal of this complex, insanely talented man might be oversimplified. But fortunately, we have YouTube where James Brown still lives.

The man was not afraid to stand before the camera and do what he did best. Here are the ten most fantastic instances in movies and television where James Brown got down.

See also: James Brown Killed Dumb Biopics: Why the Messy Get On Up Gets It Right


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Ten Best Instances of the Go-Go's in Movies and TV

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For decades there have been threats and allegations of a movie about the Go-Go's, the Southern California, early '80s all female, New Wave band. There are all the elements of an interesting movie: photogenic underdogs beating the odds to become superstars, lots of sex, drugs, and of course great rock and roll. A couple years ago Gwyneth Paltrow was attached to produce a flick, but that fell through, and it probably didn't help that a movie about another all girl group, the Runaways, didn't pack the fannies in the theaters.

But fans of the Go-Go's need not settle for merely seeing them this Sunday at Hard Rock Live, there are plenty of instances where you can hear their sunny infectious beats from the comfort of your own screen. Here are the ten top instances where the Go-Gos were represented on film and TV.


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Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter: An Inside Look (Video)

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Photo by Carolina del Busto
There's so much to see and explore at Diagon Alley, Universal Studios' latest Harry Potter-themed expansion, that words and pictures can't possibly do it any justice. But moving pictures? Now we're talking.

See also: Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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