11 items from 2015
Arts critics tend to get a rough time of it in the movies. Even looking at this year's awards season hopefuls, Birdman casts a wonderfully scabrous Lindsay Duncan as a theatre critic who is determined to kill the hero's play, and Mr. Turner presents John Ruskin as a lisping, pretentious fop, a representation that has led some to take mild umbrage.
To look even further back, at Ratatouille's sneering Anton Ego, or Lady In The Water's film-savvy 'straw critic', or Theatre Of Blood's gleefully murderous tract, there's not a whole lot of love for critics in film. Any of this might give way to the preconception that critics, especially film critics, don't actually like films and that they're out of touch with both the filmmakers whose works they »
Paris – Starring a member of French film royalty, Fanny Ardant, Francois Truffaut’s last partner, and produced by vet Alain Tertzian (“Les Visteurs,” “Anthony Zimmer”) and Euro film-tv group Studiocanal, Jerome’s Cornuau’s comedy “Chic!” has Ardant as Alicia Ricoso a legend of haute couture who has lost her creative mojo. She finds inspiration when given a ride back home in a Julien (Eric Elmosnino, “Gainsbourg”), a rude Breton gardener, who knows nothing about fashion but knows his way around a shrub. Trouble is: He’s just been fired with no pay by the No. 2 at Alicia’s fashion house, Helene (Marina Hands, “Lady Chatterly,” “Tell No One”), a striking but buttoned martinet blinded by career ambition. Helene must now use all her inhumanity to persuade Julien to become Alicia’s muse, inspiring her with his love of landscape gardening. 34 years after she broke through to international fame in »
- John Hopewell
From the pool party dive in Boogie Nights inspired by Mikhail Kalatozov’s I Am Cuba to the steering wheel scene in Hard Eight that so deftly recalls Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur, playing spot the reference with Paul Thomas Anderson is always fun. It is through these moments that we can fully appreciate the voracious depth at which one man is embroiled in his art; forever the immersed student despite his steady rise to master, yet with a constant, gleeful wish to share with us an unconditional love for the cinema – something that we can all identify with.
Of all Paul Thomas Anderson’s creations, one continues to standout as a jarring anomaly: that being Punch-Drunk Love, which does away with many of the recurring narrative themes (fathers and sons, abandonment, etc.) that can be traced throughout his work, and instead challenges the conventions of the romance genre – though, with »
- Nicholas Page
New films on Screenbase this week include Jamie Adams’ Black Mountain Poets, Valérie Donzelli’s romance Marguerite and Julien, and Julie Delpy’s France-set romcom Lolo.Global Screen’s Ooops! Noah Is Gone…
This animated film focuses on a fictional species which discovers it cannot board Noah’s Ark. While two of them manage to make it, their children fall off the Ark. The kids then have to learn how to live by themselves.
The film is directed by Toby Genkel and Sean McCormack, who previously made a name for themselves with Niko. German sales company Global Screen has sold the animation to eOne, Eagle Pictures, Scanbox and Smile Entertainment.
Crime thriller Kidnapping Mr. Heineken
Daniel Alfredson’s new feature stars Anthony Hopkins, Jim Sturgess and Sam Worthington. The plot—based on real events—takes place in the eighties, when a gang kidnapped beer mogul Freddy Heinecken. The screenplay is based on Peter R. de Vries’ book »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Maud Le Rest)
Sales company unveils new films by Donzelli, Sfar, Odoul and Garrel at Paris Rendez-vous.
Wild Bunch will kick off sales on nine new French titles at this year’s Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris (Jan 15-19), many of which will be completed in time for a potential Cannes slot, including an incestuous love story by Valérie Donzelli and First World War drama by Damien Odoul.
The company will also show first images of several previously announced productions including Jacques Audiard’s untitled drama revolving around Sri Lankan immigrants in Paris, which it is co-selling with Celluloid Dreams, and Julie Delpy’s France-set romance Lolo, in which she stars as a chic Parisian sophisticate who falls for a geeky It expert played by Dany Boon.
Paris – Playing off often long-term relationships with some of the most talked-about up-and-coming directors in French cinema, Wild Bunch will unveil nine new French productions at this week’s UniFrance Rendez-vous with French Cinema, including pristine titles from Valerie Donzelli (“Declaration of War”), Joann Sfar (“Gainsbourg,” “The Rabbi’s Cat”), Lucile Hadzihalilovic (“Innocence”) and Elie Wajeman (“Aliyah”).
Also making the cut: New films by Bruno Podalydes (“Park Benches”), Philippe Garrel (“Jealousy”) Luc Jacquet (“March of the Penguins”), the feature debut of actor-turned-director Olivier Loustau, and Damien Odoul (“Le souffle,” “The Story of Richard O.”).
Amping up its French film slate to 12-13 titles, a large »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
I've always wanted Close Encounters of the Third Kind toys. Devil's Tower playset with a giant mothership UFO and of course action figures of Francois Truffaut and Bob Balaban. Those never happened, but now Hot Wheels is about to release the next best thing: a diecast replica of Roy Neary's yellow work truck, a Ford F-250 to be specific. This is one of the latest in the toy-car brand's Entertainment series of collector's items. Others in the first 2015 batch include the titular '58 Plymouth Belvedere from Christine and the black Porsche 356A from 48 Hrs. If you want those, you're best off trying to get them somewhere online, probably for more money than you'd usually spend on Hot Wheels at the toy store. I've seen a few of these movie...
- Christopher Campbell
Marguerite et Julien
Director: Valerie Donzelli // Writers: Valerie Donzelli, Jeremie Elkaim
Director and actress Valerie Donzelli has fostered a considerable career as a director over the past several years, starting the her utterly charming 2009 debut The Queen of Hearts. Often working with her partner, actor Jeremie Elkaim, their most notable collaboration was 2011’s Declaration of War, a highly autobiographical film that played in Critics’ Week and was France’s candidate for Best Foreign Language film in 2012. Donzelli’s third film, Hand in Hand took home Best Actor at the Rome Film Festival in 2012 but never received Us distribution. 2015 will be a big year for her, however, starring in two films (one of which is the new Joachim Lafosse title), and directing Marguerite et Julien, based on a 1971 script that Francois Truffaut almost made. Starring Elkaim and a scintillating cast headlined by quickly rising star Anais Demoustier, plus legend Geraldine Chaplin, »
- Nicholas Bell
By Anjelica Oswald
Set in 1960s Poland, Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white drama Ida focuses on faith and identity after family secrets are revealed. Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) is a young orphan brought up in a convent preparing to take her vows to become a nun. When told she must visit her aunt, her only living relative, Anna discovers she’s Jewish, her name is actually Ida and her parents were killed in WWII. Anna/Ida and her aunt embark on a journey to learn more about the family’s history and discover the truth about what happened.
The film landed on the Oscar shortlist for best foreign-language film and was nominated for a Golden Globe in the same category.
A number of foreign films focused on WWII have done well at the Oscars throughout the years. Ones based on real events include The Counterfeiters (2007), about the Nazis’ attempt to »
- Anjelica Oswald
Directed by Metin Erksan
In 2013, the Criterion Collection released a Blu-Ray/DVD box-set entitled ‘Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project’. The box set consists of six films from various parts of the world that have received high-quality restorations, thanks to the assistance of Martin Scorsese and The Film Foundation. And yet, it has to be said that some of the films Scorsese had commissioned for restoration and home video release leave a lot to be desired: Djibril Diop Mambety’s The Journey of the Hyena (1973; Wolof title: Touki Bouki) is a Senegalese-made bore of a chore to sit thru as it imitates the horrid French New Wave works of Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard; The Wave (1936; Spanish title: Redes), an American-Mexican co-production between directors Fred Zinnemann and Emilio Gomez Muriel and photographer Paul Strand, which is a short »
- Christopher Koenig
The Green Ray, 1986.
Directed by Eric Rohmer.
A young woman seeks a relaxing holiday in the sun, but pines for something much more …
It is a timeless fact that your mid-twenties can be a daunting place. Richard Linklater’s Boyhood has won plaudits this year by only taking the young man to his late teens – Eric Rohmer, an inspiration to Linklater, is more interested in the summer of a single woman in her mid-twenties. Both filmmakers’ know how to capture a moment and freely utilise the flexibility of acting and truth to adapt and develop their art. Rohmer, in The Green Ray, even credits his lead actress Marie Rivière as co-script-writer to prove her crucial involvement. The Green Ray is deeply personal, capturing the brutal honesty of loneliness with an optimistic attitude towards finding your fated one.
The opening of »
- Simon Columb
11 items from 2015
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