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Kyoto — Koji Yakusho was awarded the Toshiro Mifune Award at the closing ceremony of the Kyoto International Film and Art Festival, which unspooled Oct. 16-19 at locations around Japan’s ancient capital. Named in honor of the first Japanese actor to win worldwide recognition, the prize is awarded to Japanese actors considered to have international potential. Yakusho’s overseas credits include Rob Marshall’s “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2005), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Babel” (2006) and Francois Girard’s “Silk” (2007). Earlier, veteran cinematographer and director Daisaku Kimura received the Shozo Makino Award for filmmakers who have made outstanding contributions to Japanese cinema. Under the leadership of executive director Kazuyoshi Okuyama, a veteran producer who worked on Takeshi Kitano’s early films, and with the sponsorship of the giant Yoshimoto Kogyo talent agency, the fest has focused on spotting and nurturing new talent in a range of fields with its Creators Factory initiative, »
- Mark Schilling
Even before Naji Abu Nowar took home the director prize at the 2014 Venice Horizons section, his feature debut, “Theeb,” was one of the most talked-about films on the Lido. Born in Oxford and educated in Jordan and the U.K., Nowar has helped spotlight Jordan — not for outside crews seeking spectacular locations but for local talent telling local stories. “Theeb” is a stunning, intimate epic set in a Bedouin community during the Arab Revolt (the same period as “Lawrence of Arabia”), presenting a society on the cusp of change and tipping its hat to classic Westerns even in the way it toys with questions of moral absolutes.
Nowar is the latest recipient of Variety’s Arab Filmmaker of the Year award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
How does the label Arab filmmaker help you and how does it hold you back?
I’ve been half-half my whole life! In »
- Jay Weissberg
Macbeth was the first film Roman Polanski made following the murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, and friends at the hands of the Manson family. At the time he'd been working on the sci-fi thriller The Day of the Dolphin, which would later be made by Mike Nichols. It was during a skiing trip arranged by Victor Lownes, a subsequent producer of the film, Polanski made the decision Macbeth would be his next film. It was a decision he made feeling his next film "should be something serious, not a comedy... something with some depth." Polanski would team with Kenneth Tynan to write the screenplay and, thanks to urging from Lownes, Hugh Hefner and Playboy would eventually serve as the film's producer after no one else would touch it. As Polanski notes in an included 60-minute documentary on this new Criterion Blu-ray release, to that point there had only been »
- Brad Brevet
Edited by Adam Cook
Above: there is no news this week more monumental than that of the return of Twin Peaks. In 2016, we'll have nine new episodes, all directed by David Lynch. The 72nd issue of Senses of Cinema is now online, and amidst a plethora of content, features an amazing dossier on "one of the true legends of Australian screen culture," John Flaus. Also included is a piece by Tony McKibbin on a new Alain Robbe-Grillet box set—and in Mubi Us, we're currently hosting a retrospective on the Robbe-Grillet featuring Trans-Europ-Express, L'immortelle, Eden and After, and Successive Slidings of Pleasure. Writing for Reverse Shot, Adam Nayman offers his two cents on Mia Hansen-Love's Eden:
From long credits to bullet time, here are a few techniques and film conventions we don't see in the movies these days...
Over more than a century, cinema has built up its own storytelling vocabulary. Thanks to generations of intelligent and groundbreaking filmmakers, movies contain a rich and complex set of editing, filming and framing techniques, most of them so firmly embedded in our subconscious that we don't even think about them while we're sitting in our local multiplex.
Inevitably, there are some aspects of filmmaking that have changed considerably over time. New ideas and conventions continuously float in, while old ones become over-used and phase out as a result. It's the latter we're focusing on here: the filmmaking conventions and techniques that are either becoming rare, or have vanished altogether. Bear in mind that some of the things below may suddenly come back into vogue very soon, while the »
American celebrities popped up in a lot of Japanese ads in the 1980s and the results were, well, see for yourself. In the first clip below, Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and American director Francis Ford Coppola look weary and vacant while peddling Suntory Reserve. The bizarre ad intercuts footage of the making of Kurosawa's 1980 epic "Kagemusha." And after a long day's shoot, Kurosawa impassively enjoys a glass of whiskey. Because "passion knows no limits." Coppola doesn't have much to do here. But events in his daughter Sofia's 2003 film "Lost in Translation" now come into sharp focus: that's the same whiskey brand that Bill Murray sells, blandly reciting "Suntory time!" while trying to keep a straight face. In the surreal second ad for a Japanese department store, Woody Allen awkwardly endures a strange sequence of calligraphy, acupuncture and whatever else. He looks sad and lost. It's not quite clear what this commercial is. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Doppelganger Releasing has given RopeofSilicon.com the first exclusive trailer for the American release of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Penance, which is coming soon in two different versions. amz asin="B00LWWB11M" size="small"First off, the film will be released on October 31 at New York City's Cinema Village in its theatrical version, which, to my understanding runs 270 minutes long, just as it was seen at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. The film will then be released on Blu-ray, DVD and Video On Demand in its original, five-part TV miniseries format on November 18. Here's the synopsis giving greater detail for what almost sounds like a Rashomon (though, no, Kiyoshi Kurosawa is not related to the Japanese filmmaking icon, Akira Kurosawa) bit of storytelling: A series of unsettling events begin to unfold immediately following the brutal murder of young Emili while playing with friends in a small town. With the abductor never »
- Brad Brevet
With Antoine Fuqua's The Equalizer hitting theaters this weekend (read Brad's review) and his Jake Gyllenhaal boxing drama Southpaw in post-production, it was only a matter of time before Fuqua chose his next project, and it appears he is re-teaming with The Equalizer star Denzel Washington for a remake of The Magnificent Seven. John Sturges' 1960 western is itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, so it seems we will have a remake of a remake on our hands here. Concerning The Magnificent Seven, the film follows a band of gunfighters hired to protect a small peasant village. It was nominated for one Oscar, a Best Score nod for Elmer Bernstein (Sweet Smell of Success). As for Fuqua's plan of attack, he couldn't give away any details to MovieWeb, but he did offer this up: My biggest influence is Seven Samurai, that's what I really love. The Magnificent Seven »
- Jordan Benesh
"The Equalizer" and "Olympus Has Fallen" director Antoine Fuqua, out doing press rounds for the former, has confirmed to Movieweb that his upcoming remake of classic western "The Magnificent Seven" will be his next project.
John Sturges helmed the original 1960 film, which itself was based on the Akira Kurosawa 1954 cinematic classic "Seven Samurai". Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz starred in 'Magnificent' as a group of American gunmen hired to protect a small Mexican village from a group of savage bandits.
The remake will star Denzel Washington as one of the seven, and they're currently seeking actors to play the other six. In regards to the film he says:
"Yeah, that's (The Magnificent Seven) where all of my attention is going. When I get back to L.A., I'll meet the casting team and start to get into it with the producers and everybody next week. »
- Garth Franklin
One key advantage of running a film company together is that it’s possible to be two places at once. That came in handy on a recent night at the Toronto International Film Festival when Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, the co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics, canvassed the town. They both attended screenings of “Leviathan,” the Russian film they picked up at Cannes, and “Infinitely Polar Bear,” starring Mark Ruffalo. Then Barker stopped at an event for Martin Scorsese, while Bernard attended back-to-back dinners. They reunited later that evening to haggle over an acquisition deal for the buzzy Julianne Moore drama “Still Alice.”
It’s no wonder that after working in tandem for three decades, Barker and Bernard have perfected a way to navigate an industry that demands constant nurturing of relationships, a keen eye for talent and movies, and the financial discipline to survive the volatility of a business »
- Ramin Setoodeh
San Sebastian – At Spain’s 62nd San Sebastian to accept a career-achievement Donostia Award and present, alongside Antoine Fuqua, Sony Pictures’ fest opener, “The Equalizer,” Denzel Washington denied any idea of playing President Barack Obama.
“Barack Obama is a story that hasn’t finished yet. It’s not something I’m thinking about, and he’s busy. said Washinton, dressed casually in a dark grey jacket and looking very young for his 59 years.
But Washington did set something of a roadmap of future plans. He will not topline “Shovel Ready,” a Warner Bros. adaptation of a debut novel by journalist Adam Sterbergh., he said Friday at a San Sebastian press conference.
It’s too early to call, he argued when asked by Variety, if he would star in “The Equalizer” sequel. »
- John Hopewell
Reverse Shot, one of the best film criticism publications online or off for over a decade now, has not only relaunched with a new design, it's now also the official publication of the Museum of the Moving Image. With the relaunch comes a new symposium—on Martin Scorsese, no less. Also in today's roundup: John Sayles and Greil Marcus on Maureen Gosling and Chris Simon's This Ain’t No Mouse Music, the Quietus on Akira Kurosawa and Jim Jarmusch, Farran Nehme on Lauren Bacall and more. » - David Hudson »
The 16th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival announced its line-up in a press conference today.
Here is the complete list of films which will be screened at the festival:-
Dir.: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari (Ethiopia / 2014 / Col / 99)
History of Fear (Historia del miedo)
Dir.: Benjamin Naishtat (Argentina-France-Germany-Qatar-Uruguay / 2014 / Col / 79)
With Others (Ba Digaran)
Dir.: Nasser Zamiri (Iran / 2014 / Col / 85)
The Tree (Drevo)
Dir.: Sonja Prosenc (Slovenia / 2014 / Col / 90)
Next to Her (At li layla)
Dir.: Asaf Korman (Israel / 2014 / Col / 90)
Dir.: Alex Sampayo (Spain / 2014 / Col / 87)
Dir.: Raphaël Neal (France / 2014 / Col / 81)
Dir.: Chaitanya Tamhane (India (Marathi-Gujarati-English-Hindi) / 2014 / Col / 116)
Dir.: Sudabeh Mortezai (Austria / 2014 / Col / 98)
India Gold Competition 2014
The Fort (Killa)
Dir.: Avinash Arun (India (Marathi) / 2014 / Col / 107)
Unto the Dusk
Dir.: Sajin Baabu (India (Malayalam) / 2014 / Col / 118)
Names Unknown (Perariyathavar)
Dir.: Dr. Biju (India (Malayalam) / 2014 / Col / 110)
Buddha In a Traffic Jam
The Hound of Heaven stars La rapper Propaganda.
Kurosawa described it as “a striking film, simultaneously brimming with aggression and tenderness”. »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Compared to Tiff 2013 where the focus was mainly on mainstream releases, I made the decision to mix things up about by also covering movies that I would not get a chance to see out of the festival circuit such as A Girl at My Door and Phoenix. The other ambition was to expand the number of interviews with the visiting filmmakers and actors but that required getting access to the publicist information ahead of time rather than the day before the festivities. With the help of the Tiff publicity department I was able to get a list of contact names as well a heads up when the press and industry schedule was available online. Added by some luck in finding a press release for Good Kill online which listed a PR contact and a good relationship with another PR firm, I was able to watch some key films and conduct »
- Trevor Hogg
Asian cinema icon Shirley Yamaguchi has died, aged 94.
The film icon, whose real name was Yoshiko Yamaguchi, was one of the most celebrated Asian actresses in the 1940s and 1950s.
Yamaguchi passed away from heart failure on September 7, Japanese broadcaster Nhk confirmed.
The actress starred in many Chinese-language films during World War II, attracting considerable controversy and legal rebukes from the post-war government.
She began a political career in 1974, after she was elected to the Japanese House of Councillors as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. She served until 1992. »
Yoshiko “Shirley” Yamaguchi, who starred in Japanese WWII pics posing as a Chinese but segued postwar to fame in Japanese and Hollywood films such as Samuel Fuller’s “House of Bamboo,” died at her Tokyo home of heart failure on Sept. 7, her family announced on Sunday. She was 94.
Born in 1920 in Manchuria to Japanese parents, Yamaguchi took the name Li Xianglan (in Japanese “Ri Koran”) to use in her Chinese singing and acting career, presenting herself as a local. Her films, including the 1938 “Honeymoon Express” and the 1940 “China Nights,” made her popular with Chinese audiences, while serving the propaganda purposes of her Japanese backers.
After the war she was tried and nearly executed for treason by a Chinese court, but was repatriated to Japan after her true identity became known. In the early postwar years, this time as Yoshiko Yamaguchi, she built a thriving singing and acting career in Japan. »
- Mark Schilling
It's like Star Wars, but refracted through a strange lens. Here's Han Solo, but he's green, like the Toxic Avenger, and has gills. Here's Luke Skywalker, but he's a powerful general with a white beard and a flinty look in his eye.
All this can be found in what is now commonly called The Rough Draft of The Star Wars, originally written by George Lucas back in 1974. A kind of mid-point between the somewhat vague ideas Lucas first had for his space fantasy movie earlier in the decade, and the fourth draft - which was used as the shooting script for the 1977 film - The Star Wars is a jarring document from the franchise's early history.
The question 3 months ago was whether Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington would board MGM's long-in-development remake of "The Magnificent Seven" (the 1960 American western directed by John Sturges, which was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai"). The news this month is that the pair are no longer on the fence, as Fuqua himself confirmed that the pair would tackle the remake next - a revelation he made after the Tiff premiere of their latest collab, also a remake (of a TV series), "The Equalizer." As recently as 2012, Tom Cruise was attached to star in the remake, although, at the time, there was no director »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Earlier in the year news broke that a remake of legendary western The Magnificent Seven was in the works with Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen) taking the hot seat and Tom Cruise, Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman just a few names being linked with a role. Since then not much else has been revealed about the planned remake. However while promoting his latest flick The Equalizer at Tiff, Fuqua announced that one actor has already signed on, Denzel Washington.
This will mark the third time time Fuqua has directed Washington since they first worked together 13 years ago on Training Day. Fuqua praised Washington on his professionalism and why he enjoys working with him:
“Denzel’s all about the work…He’s all about the acting. He’s an actor. He’ll tell you himself, ‘I’m not a movie star, celebrity, something else, I’m an actor’…He steps on »
- Gavin Logan
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