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Talking with Bong Joon-Ho of SNOWPIERCER

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I’ve said it one times too many already but for the purpose of this article, it’s really worth reiterating again: I’m a big fan of South Korean film. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to interview Bong Joon-Ho, a great voice within the oeuvre of South Korean films and a leader of the movement to turn it into a world wide product. Snowpiercer, his latest hit, is an even bigger, bolder move than we saw from his countryman Park Chan-wook who went from directing the OG Oldboy to last year’s ravishing Stoker.

 

In his transition from South Korean to world wide voice, Joon-ho has brought with him his distinctive voice and the inimitable courage of South Korean film. Though occasionally aided by a translator, Joon-ho and I dove into his filmography, how it has escalated and changed throughout the years, the importance of telling an international story, The Host, pessimism’s place in film, and the infamous Snowpiercer debacle he had with the Weinsteins, including what they wanted to cut from his director’s cut.

I wanted to say I’ve enjoyed all of your movies so far, especially “The Host”. I’m a big fan of “The Host”.

Bong Joon-Ho: Oh really? Thank you.

I thought it was excellent so thank you. So, diving in to “Snowpiercer” – first of all, this is story that is based on a French graphic novel, filmed largely in the Czech Republic, produced by a South Korean company and distributed by the Weinsteins here in America that also features a cast that pretty much represents all corners of the globe.

BJ: Yeah. Yeah.

So, it’s really a grab bag of colors and cultures. You just really present an international film in such a way that you don’t usually see. What about the film necessitates such an international approach?

BJ: It’s about the last survivors of mankind on a train, so naturally the production process became that way as well in terms of people working on the film. It’s people in narrow and long corridor-like environments. But really, rather than it be more about global – different languages or different types of people or nationalities – there’s really like divisions in two’s. Whether it’s the rich and the poor, whether it’s the people who want to maintain the system that exists or those who want to change the system. You can really divide it or look at from that point of view. It’s more a division into two’s rather than “Let’s represent all kinds of people.” You have a Korean director and cinematographer and Czech Republic crew members, an American visual effects supervisor, U.K. stunt coordinators and many European- even Romanian actors, Icelandic actors, Korean actors in “The Host”. Everyone who worked on the film was a filmmaker and it’s kind of the same everywhere- it wasn’t like because of those aspects it was very chaotic where it was like “Babel” – it was pretty smooth. Republic of Cinema.

Yeah. I thought that was so cool. You usually don’t see that. Usually it’s a much more narrow focus. This is a South Korean film or this is an American film. But this felt like a film from the world.

BJ: Yeah, a sci-fi movie.

You had a notorious back and forth with the Weinstein companies about which theatrical cut you would show to audiences here in America. I remember that being somewhat of a big deal and eventually you got your way. “This is the film I made, this is the film I want to show.” Can you talk about some of the changes that they had wanted to implement and how you thought that might have changed the overall film?

BJ: It took a long time. Almost one year.

Just as a negotiation process?

BJ: Very hard to say that’s it’s a negotiation. They have the power, I am just young Asian director- I have no power. But anyway, for me, my previous movies are all my director’s cuts. I have 100% creative control in Korean. I am not a control-freak, but anyway I control everything in the movie; of course the editing and the final cut I have. And also, the Weinstein company, I heard they always do that kind of thing: changes. That is natural for them. So that’s normal for them. The way he works is normal for him. So we kind of knew going in it that it might not be easy. There was a cut that was created that’s 20 minutes shorter and was tested in New Jersey last year. The 200 people that were there are the only ones that actually saw this film.

What did that 20 cut minutes include?

BJ: Some here and there, here and there, and the dialogue. For example Chris Evans, “The baby tastes the best!” That kind of thing.

That’s one of the best parts of the movie for me!

BJ: Yeah.

It’s bringing the darkness of South Korea in.

BJ: Yeah.

Because I feel that that’s something that kind of defines South Korean movies is you’re willing to go places that typical American audiences can’t quite swallow. And that’s what I really like, I’m not going to talk about this much in the article, about the end.

BJ: We never hesitate with that kind of thing. Something deep and dark.

Yeah.

BJ: And also the moment when Tilda put out her tentures. It’s a funny moment. but they wanted to cut it out. And also some parts of conversation between John Hurt and Chris Evans in the night- that kind of thing. It’s 20 whole minutes. But the [audience] score was not good! And then two months later they did another test screening with my own version- the score was relatively much higher! And many things happened. Let’s put some voice over, or maybe or not. It was their decision to release it this way. It’s not like I went up to the Weinsteins and poured gasoline over myself saying, “I’m going to kill myself!” It’s a limited release but it’s the director’s cut and so I’m really excited for that.

Yeah I remember watching the news story surrounding it and crossing my fingers— I didn’t want to see this changed version of it, I really wanted to see the original. So I’m glad we got to see that cut because it sounds like a significantly better cut. I want to talk about your filmography in general and this idea of escalation in terms of systems breaking down. You take “Memories of Murder” which is essentially about police interrogations breaking down—

BJ: They fail.

Yes, failing. Then, you take “The Host” which is about government failing. And then, to me, “Snowpiercer” is about, in a lot of ways, humanity as a whole failing. Are these ideas that you’ve broached in terms of a type of escalation of themes or has this been a more natural and organic progression?

BJ: I fucked the whole world. But I never thought about it that way, but just hearing what you said- perhaps. I was just thinking in terms of this is a sci-fi movie from a dark point of view and just wanted it to go bigger. I really just wanted to make a movie about one generation of people coming to an end and a new generation beginning— it’s a spoiler but— the two kids that survive, it’s a beginning of a new era. You can only do that in the genre of sci-fi. It’s not so often you get the chance to make this time of film. It’s also a story about the evil system. It’s the same in ‘Memories of Murder’ – the evil 1980’s in South Korea. The military dictatorship is a very dark and evil system.

Torturing people to get the results that you want.

BJ: It was everywhere, violence at that time. And also, “The Host” — the system disturbed the family to save their own girl. The system never helps. They even disturb. They stopped at the family. That’s back to, I think, this is the same story. The train. It’s an evil system.

Again, similar themes.

BJ: Ed Harris is very convincing. He has logic behind it and he almost succeeds in seducing Chris Evans, his character. It’s terrifying because such an evil system also has its own sick logic to it.

Until you lift the floorboards and you see a child cranking the wheels—

BJ: So up unto that moment he was almost there, he was seduced by it. Sometimes this actually happens— like when they break down big ships to take parts out- you can’t fit a person in there so they use 6-year olds and 7-year olds. Recently, I think this month in National Geographic, you see 20 or 30 kids lining up to eat lunch before they have to go in and do this type of work in that environment. It’s horrible. It’s not sci-fi. In the real world that happens.

Talking about that, how this not being strictly sci-fi— I saw a lot of parallels between the circumstances in the train with the haves and the have-nots to real life situations of global inequality across the world. I was wondering how much of a reflection of the real world did you want those elements of the film to be?

BJ: I’m inspired from very luxurious department store or very nice hotels like this. If you look at it this way— you can divide the train into two halves: from the tail section, where it’s dark and dirty, to starting with the greenhouse section, to the engine, is sort of where the wealthy people live and it’s very luxurious. If you compare it to a high-end hotel or a luxurious department store, there are places where the paying clients go. Everything is fancy and fake and very garish- that’s where people with money go, but if you turn a corner and go down the hallway past the scaffolding sign, you have dark hallways, dark and exposed pipes and cement— that’s where the workers go. Originally the rich people in the front- they are originally some kind of passengers who pay the ticket. So, the people who paid money to board the train- they are the rich world where everything is luxurious. But in discussions with his designer it was all about talking about how this world is fake. They trick themselves, they lie to themselves and say, “We are happy. This is the best place to be.”

Going off that, I had a discussion with a friend and fellow critic after seeing the movie. He talked about how his theory was that maybe this wasn’t actually the world; that this might have been some kind of psychological experiment like the Stanford Prison Experiment. Seeing what would happen if you convince people that the world as they knew it was gone and they had to live on this train, and subsequently what kind of class social systems would grow out of that. So I’m wondering, what kind of interesting theories and feedback have you had from people who’ve seen the movie? Do any in particular stand out to you?

BJ: So many. Especially in France and Korea; just really interesting analysis. Some crazy perverted Korean guy wrote in his own blog everything that is sexually or about sexual impulse. In the beginning part of the movie there is a battering ram, for example, it’s a metallic phallus. And then when we get to the water supply section where it’s all liquids. Also the character that John Hurt plays, Gilliam, and the character that Luke Pasqualino plays, Grey, their relationship. And there’s someone who divides the train sections like the history of mankind- torch battles and primitive man and just sort of dividing each car into different periods in human history.

Very interesting. I also noticed in the press notes you made an allusion to Noah’s Ark, which is something that I thought of while I was watching that- except instead of God destroying mankind, mankind has destroyed mankind. And that was an interesting juxtaposition. Whereas in the Bible story there is this notion of going forward into something better, in this you don’t necessarily see that – it doesn’t look like progress towards a promising future. Does this imply a somewhat pessimistic view that you have about humanity; that we are all kinda doomed and on this one-way track towards hell, in a way?

BJ: In my view, it’s acutally a very optimistic film. Of course the journey and the process there’s a lot of sacrifice involved and dark moments but overall I think it’s positive because this is a system where these young kids are inside the machinery trying to keep it working. In the end, that system is destroyed and it’s destroyed by our own hands in a very deliberate manner. Nan is the character who wants to go outside but it’s Curtis who hands him the matches that gives him the ability to apply that vision- to complete that intention. So, in the end you see life, you see something living and survivors. So, I think it’s quite hopeful.

Having made films exclusively in Korea and then kind of shifting gears and doing something more for an international audience, almost more an American audience, do you see yourself shifting back to doing South Korean films for a while, or going back and forth, or maybe just staying with these American films?

BJ: It all depends on which story I am fascinated in. It’s always the story. What is the story. What am I going to be crazy about and attracted to. That’s really what decides where to go next. It’s not like I sit down and goes, “Oh, this time I’m going to go for a domestic audience or make a movie for an international audience.” That’s only after you make the film- you look back and realize that’s what it was. It’s really about that sort of crazy feeling that I get where I have to do something- where it’s a character or situation or image. It’s not like I can be a worker who gets the project from my agent and makes it and says, “Oh, what’s next?” — It has to really drive me to this point of wanting- or having to do it.

So, following that up— is there anything that you’re working on right now?

BJ: Now I am writing two script simultaneously. One is very small size Korean language movie and the other one is relatively bigger but smaller than “Snowpiercer”. We also use Korean locations and US locations on that one. Mixed.

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Out in Theaters: SNOWPIERCER

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Global climate change threatens the way of life as we know it (just ask Bill Nye for proof of that.) But not every ailment has an ointment as not every disaster has a solution. Snowpiercer examines a world where a fix-all mechanism for global warming has gone horrible awry and left the world as we know it in frosty tatters, where the only few survivors occupy a train that hasn’t stopped circling the planet for 17 years. It’s a bleak glance into a natural disaster the scope of which we can forecast but not prevent but the true terror lies not in the world outside the train, but the social order which takes hold within it. It’s a distinctly international story (with a cast that’s one gay guy shy of a Benetton ad) about standing up for what’s right and blowing shit up when it refuses to nudge. Rife with sociopolitical commentary and brimming with one-of-a-kind world-building, South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho looked like the perfect guy to take on a thinking man’s actioner of this breed. After all, who else would have dared to end this movie like he did?

When a Doc Brown of an experiment gone bonkers has blanketed the world in sub-zero temperatures and snowbanks the height of The Wall, the only survivors are forced to live out their existence on a deus-ex-machina of a bullet train called the Snowpiercer (from which the movie takes its namesake). The Earth we once inhabited is now one big snowy tundra, a white-washed arctic plains that you wouldn’t last a minute in without being transmogrified into a human popsicle as if from a spell cast in Frozen.  While all forms of life outside the confines of Snowpiercer’s steel belly have turned to ice sculptures, the engine – a figure of Godlike worship – keeps the remainder of humanity shielded from the chilly blast of frozen-over reality lurking just outside.

Inside the Snowpiercer though, a new social order has taken form, mimicking the unjust class ladder of society’s past. Not an improvement of civilization pre-Snowpiercer so much a magnified extension of it, the sociopolitical climate inside this Energizer bunny of a train is as icy as the winter chills outside it. In the front, passengers throb in beat-dropping clubs and eat their bi-annual plate of sushi while the tail section contains a gang of inexplicably reviled third-class citizens; they’ve no voice in their destiny, sparse food aside from black, gelatinous bars and often no extremities. This seems to be because whenever these tailies act out, a toothy bureaucrat (Tilda Swinton) plugs a metal band around their arm and pops it out of the train. Rather than turning dark with frost bite, their snow-blasted limbs take on a White Walker cool and are promptly ice-picked from their bodies. It’s no question that social justice has no chance to spark amongst the ranks of the have-nots.

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Their soot-faced languor and impossible quality of life catalyses an insurgency amongst the more able-bodied ranks, including Curtis (Chris Evans aka Captain America himself). Even in the face of C3PO-esque unlikely odds, this Winter Soldier has the brass to incite a doomed riot, leading a band of roguish anarchs that includes Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, and quite limbless John Hurt towards the Snowpiercer’s engine and their ultimate redemption.

Along the way, Joon-Ho’s customary political undercurrents rage strongly but his critique is more wide ranging – and potentially even more damning – this time round. Snowpiercer is not a condemnation of government misconduct and fallibility (see: The Host) but of humanity itself. His latest film seems to say that humanity and inequality exist in symbiotic harmony and that one simply cannot exist without the other. Darwin’s survival of the fittest has never felt so punitive.

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The horrors of a socially enforced caste system are all the more distressing when magnified to this degree and Snowpiercer‘s cross section of inequality reveals spurring commentary on global disproportion that exists today. Sometimes you have to strip back the world to see the festering rot scurrying beneath and sometimes you have to cover it in ice to cull the warmth hidden inside. This way, it’s all the easier to pluck out the icy hearts that steer our world – or is it train? – towards a skewed and skewered social order from the fiery passion of human’s softer, more admirable side. It cuts in two ways: there’s always someone at the front of the train whose convictions have to be as chilly as their resolve in order to keep this train running. Is it then a coincide that injustice is spelled in just ice? (Sorry for the bad pun.)

And nothing speaks to this tattered circumstance more than the adroit set design from Ondrej Nekvasil who carves the train into reality without much use of CGI while amplifying the underlying themes of class oppression. If not entirely realistic (where do they all sleep?!?!), it’s still mighty impressive to behold and a lot of fun to journey through.

Using this mesmerizing set to the advantage of his storytelling is Joon-Ho’s strong suit just as his lack of knack for action is his Achilles’ heel. In the big spectacle scenes, his frantic camerawork proves that his ability to direct action leaves much to be desired. Though it may seem amiss to be complaining about these blockbusting portions of a movie clearly operating on more political tracks, the fact of the matter is that when Joon-Ho does take to showman scene work, he slips as if on black ice. And that’s not his only misstep.

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The language barrier between him and his cast seem to have gotten the better of some scenes, with hammy dialogue that just doesn’t roll off the tongue throwing a palpable stick in the spokes. While some of the performers are better able to gnaw into the campy dialogue (see: Swinton and her scene-chewing chompers), others, such as Evans, look caught off guard and quite frankly look silly when spewing a mouthful of affected jargon. It’s a relatively minor complaint in a movie that sees a frickin’ never-ending train as the means for surviving the next Ice Age but it was a hang up I wasn’t able to fully ignore.

This all comes to a head when you really stop to dissect the many parts and pieces of Snowpiercer but – much like the train itself – I can’t help but admire what an unconventional product it really is. Joon-Ho is as eccentric a filmmaker as you can get – after all he did make a monster movie that shifted towards the South Korean government being the ultimate baddie. This being his first go in English with a cast of this caliber, it’s no wonder that he’s got a little slop-rock in his ballad. But even the finest of tunes have a wrong note here and there. As such, Snowpiercer‘s messy but beautifully imperfect. After all, you can’t have your ice-cream cake and eat it too.

B

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Ten Most Anticipated Movies of 2014

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So before you go asking about Lars von Trier‘s 5-hour sexcapade Nymphomaniac, Woody Allen‘s latest period piece starring Emma Stone or any of the three Terrence Malick films that may or may not debut this year, let me just stop you short and let you know that they didn’t see their way onto this list. Though Allen’s newest may be good, he shoots out so many duds that it’s hard to really look forward to any one piece of his work. And Trier, well, do I really have to say anything beyond look at the description? Maybe they’ll be bits of interest but I’m more dreading it than I am anticipating it. As for Malick’s certain pedigree of art film, let’s just say I’m wildly uninterested in anything the man does as I find his work more a chore than anything else.

Although I tried to keep my list as tidy as possible, I did make a bit of a miscalculation so this top ten will actually be a top 11. I was thinking of chopping one but when we’re down to the wire like this, I really want to make sure to get all these top-tier selections out there. One extra film to look forward to right?

If you haven’t yet, take a look back at number 30-21 and 20-11. Otherwise, let’s get down to my Ten Most Anticipated Movies of 2014.

 

10. Snowpiercer

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Korean director Joon-ho Bong (The Host the good one, not the bad one) makes his English-language debut with this dystopian film set on a high-speed train. Starring Captain America‘s Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Ed Harris, and Octavia Spencer, Snowpiercer opened in France in October to rave reviews. Some even went so far to call it “the best pure science-fiction film since ‘Children Of Men.” [The Playlist]. There’s been a little controversy over it’s US release, such as when will it actually release, amongst stirrings that a US release under the Weinstein Co. banner may see extensive cuts but I’m hoping that if this film ever arrives intact and well, it’ll be a stunner.

No official release date yet but it’s likely 2014 or bust.

10…Again. Map to the Stars

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(Accidentally) sharing that top ten spot is David Cronenberg‘s Map to the Stars. Although Cronenberg has largely dropped the ooey, gooey sci-fi-horror genre that made his name what it is today, he’s still a director with a tremendous amount of passion and ideas. Obviously the cast is stacked; Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, Carrie Fisher, Mia Wasikowska, John Cussack; but this isn’t the sci-fi adventure the name may suggest. No, instead that star map refers to the celebrities of Hollywood as Cronenberg, backed by a script from Bruce Wagner, turns a satirical lens on child stars. With back-to-back collaborations, it looks like Cronenberg has found a new muse in Twilight‘s Pattinson and I must admit to strongly enjoying their last effort Cosmopolis so sign me up for a trip to Map to the Stars.

So far all we know is that this’ll hit screens sometime in 2014.

9. Foxcatcher

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Continuing down the list, it’s all about the guys behind the camera. In Foxcatcher, Bennett Miller (Moneyball) tells the tragic story of how paranoid schizophrenic John duPont killed Olympic Champion Dave Schultz. Yikes. Even a year out, this film screams Oscars and is already poised to make contenders out of the likes of Mark Ruffalo and, however unexpectedly, Steve Carell. Miller has shown a knack for telling a true story in a way that we could never have expected so I’m fascinated to see what he does with a crazy dude and a murder plot.

Yet another without an official release date, Foxcatcher was pushed out of 2013 so there’s no chance it won’t see the light of day in 2014.

8. Fury

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Brad Pitt is back to war and I’m already saving my seat. Backed up by Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, and Shia LaBeouf (…) Fury tells the story of one Sherman tank and its five-man crew as they hunt down Nazis with a tank. While Pitt’s glorious recent track record may be the only thing immediately popping out about this one, Fury has something much bigger going for it: David Ayer. The only director to have two entries on this list, Ayer has proven that he can balance drama and tension like none other with End of Watch and this looks even better than entry #15 SabotageI’m really wagering a lot on Ayer this year but I have a feeling that neither of his latests will disappoint. If End of Watch is any indication, Fury could be the sleeper hit of the year.

November 12 will see Fury rolling in.

7. Inherent Vice

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Paul Thomas Anderson. Joaquin Phoenix. Nuff said. Ok fine, I’ll go on. Even after the fuzzy disappointment that was The Master (and I’ve had enough of arguing why it was or was not a good movie), PTA will be returning to a more wacky and linear story. I started the 2009 Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name and found it a little dry and noirish for my reading taste but I can already imagine the kind of cinematic flair that PTA and Phoenix will bring to it. Needless to say, I’m confident that it’ll be a superior film experience. Although the source material suggests the story may be too pulpy for real awards consideration, could this be the film that brings Phoenix his awaited Oscar?

More 2014 films without confirmed release dates.

6. Gone Girl

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Dark, dour, depressing. The three D’s of David Fincher. But what can you expect from the man who brought us Se7en, Fight Club and Zodiac? Based on the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl tells the tale of a woman who disappears on her wedding anniversary. Although I’m trying to go into this one with as little details as possible, the mere fact that Fincher is on the case is enough to whet my curiosity. However much next year will revolve around his Batman role, Ben Affleck will have the chance to offer a much more interesting performance here and it’ll be nice to see the man stretch his wings and step outside of his easy, breezy comfort zone.

A pre-Halloween release with an October 3 date.

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel

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I feel like I stand alone by being merely lukewarm on Wes Anderson‘s last celebrated film, Moonrise Kingdom, but I’m a staunch believer that his earlier, and more adult, work is his finest. So it’s no wonder that I silently celebrated when The Grand Budapest Hotel got a R-rating. All of Anderson’s usual quirk and OCD-level of visual detail appear to be in tow as are Anderson regulars Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Murray. This time newbies include Ralph Fiennes, in the starring role, Saoirse Ronan, Lea Seydoux, Tom Wilkinson, Harvey Keitel, and F. Murray Abraham. It really seems like Anderson can put a cast together like none other and with a cast list this stacked, you have to imagine that these actors are just lining up at the door to work with him.

In theaters March 7.

4. Chuck Hank And The San Diego Twins

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Jonathan Keevil’s debut, Bellflower, was one of the most jarring and visceral films to date and I simply could not wait to see what he did next. So when it was announced that he would write and direct what seems like a loose adaptation of Romeo & Juliet (well there’s warring families and a captured girl so pretty much…alright scrap the R & J reference) I was pretty pumped. Keevil constructed his first film with less than fifteen grand and considering that this budget is about ten times that ($150K) it puts it in a great position. Still far enough away from the mainstream to retain a wholly original flair and yet loaded enough for a little financial flexibility to do more stunts, Chuck Hank and the San Diego Twins is a definite risk pick but one I’m confident making. In Keevil’s Kickstarter campaign, he noted they needed the funds to create such awesome action sequences as: “jumping out of a helicopter”, “Molotov cocktails everywhere” and “punching a guy and he bursts into flames.” Righteous.

It seems like none of my most anticipated have release dates as this one has nothing locked down yet either.

3. Noah

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For years, Darren Aronofsky has led us on about his Noah project and finally this year we’ll see what it was he was chomping so hard at the bit about. Once Black Swan made 25 times its production budget (which for those of you don’t already know is totally insane) the folks at Paramount felt it was right to dish out the 130 million dollars Aronofsky wanted to make Noah the big budget spectacle film he always dreamed about. All evidence points to Aronofsky as a tremendous dramatic director (see Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan) but his first “spectacle” film (The Fountain) was seen as a bit of a failure. Hopefully he’s learned from his mistakes and Noah will satisfy us on a visual and emotional level unlike anything else this year.

Storms into large format theaters on March 28.

2. Interstellar

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Speaking of spectacles, there’s no denying that Christopher Nolan is the undisputed king of the blockbuster. Forget about James Cameron, Nolan’s films have staying power and pepper coveted spots on top ten lists every year one of his films is released. Amazingly enough, Nolan’s films have the uncanny ability to attract fanboys and high-nosed film critics in equal measure and it all comes down to his ability to mesmerize an audience. Like Inception before it, Interstellar is an entirely original idea this time revolving around space travel and time warps. Of course we’re interested. Largely abandoning regulars like Christian Bale, Ken Watanbe and Cillian Murphy, Interstellar looks to a new generation of Nolanites in Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow and, naturally, Michael Caine. Let’s just be honest with ourselves: there is no summer movie of 2014 that we’re anticipating more than Nolan’s.

You’ll be able to see Interstellar at the biggest screen in a 100-mile radius on November 7.

1. Boyhood

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When you think about it, it shouldn’t be a surprise that my most anticipated film of 2014 goes to Richard Linklater (whose Before Midnight was my Top Movie of 2013) but I’m willing to bet you haven’t even heard of this one. Ambitious to a fault, Boyhood has been in the making for 12 years. And by being in the making, I mean in legitimate development. As in filming for 12 years. Like Linklater’s Before series, Boyhood tracks a father’s (Ethan Hawke) relationship with his son as he grows from 6 to 18. With filming taking place for a few weeks every year, this film will not only serve as a time capsule for the ever-changing Hawke, Linklater, and newcomer Ellar Coltrane but will reflect a changing American culture in the most unaltered of ways. When asked about the film, Hawke said, “[we do] a scene with a young boy at the age of 7 when he talks about why do raccoons die, and at the age of 12 when he talks about video games, and 17 when he asks me about girls.” Essentially, the film will be like growing up all over again. As I said earlier, it’s ambitious beyond compare but I just can’t wait to see what is in store.

Of course there’s no official release date on this.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Just to recap:

30. How to Train Your Dragon 2
29. Jupiter Ascending
28. Chef
27. Dumb and Dumber To
26. Only Lovers Left Alive
25. Wish I Was Here
24. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
23. Locke
22. Edge of Tomorrow
21. Godzilla
20. Dom Hemingway
19: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
18. X-Men: Days of Future Past
17. Exodus
16. Guardians of the Galaxy
15. Sabotage
14. Big Hero 6
13. The Raid 2: Berenthal
12. The Monument’s Men
11. Transcendence
10. Map to the Stars
10. Snowpiercer
9 Fox Catcher
7. Inherent Vice
8. Gone Girl
6. Fury
5.The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Chuck Hank And The San Diego Twins
3. Noah
2. Interstellar
1. Boyhood

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