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Simone Simon: Remembering the 'Cat People' and 'La Bête Humaine' star (photo: Simone Simon 'Cat People' publicity) Pert, pretty, pouty, and fiery-tempered Simone Simon – who died at age 94 ten years ago, on Feb. 22, 2005 – is best known for her starring role in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie classic Cat People (1942). Those aware of the existence of film industries outside Hollywood will also remember Simon for her button-nosed femme fatale in Jean Renoir's French film noir La Bête Humaine (1938). In fact, long before Brigitte Bardot, Annette Stroyberg, Mamie Van Doren, Tuesday Weld, Ann-Margret, and Barbarella's Jane Fonda became known as cinema's Sex Kittens, Simone Simon exuded feline charm – with a tad of puppy dog wistfulness – in a film career that spanned two continents and a quarter of a century. From the early '30s to the mid-'50s, she seduced men young and old on both »
- Andre Soares
As part of Colcoa’s Focus on Filmmakers’ series, Hazanavicius – who currently has a couple projects in the U.S. — will present his latest film, the Cannes-competition player “The Search,” as well as his 2006 hit comedy “Oss 117, Cairo Nest of Spies” starring Jean Dujardin. “The Search” starred Berenice Bejo as a Ngo worker who forms a special bond with a young boy in war-torn Chechnya.
Headed by Francois Truffart, Colcoa will also screen the restored version of Wim Wenders’s “Paris Texas,” which celebrates this year its 30th anniversary. The Palme d’Or winning movie will be presented in association with Argos Films and Janus Films. »
- Elsa Keslassy
Festival to honour The Artist director with encore presentation of Oss 117: Cairo, Nest Of Spies.
Hazanavicius is the subject of Focus On A Filmmaker on April 23, which sees an encore presentation of Oss 117: Cairo, Nest Of Spies, the Los Angeles premiere of The Search and a Happy Hour Talk panel.
A digitally restored version of Paris Texas (1984) will get its West Coast premiere, while there are North American premieres of digitally restored versions of Jean Renoir’s La Chienne (1931) and Francois Truffaut’s The Last Metro (1980).
Screenings include world premieres of digitally restored versions of Sandrine Veysset’s Will It Snow For Christmas (1966) and José Giovanni’s Two Men In Town (1973), as well as the first American presentation since 1961 of Philippe de Broca’s Five Day Lover.
Top brass will unveil the competition films on March 31. Colcoa runs from April 20-28. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Nearly two decades into a career that has since spanned nearly seven, Jeanne Moreau had already worked under the direction of Godard, Malle, Welles, Antonioni, Demy, Ophüls, Frankenheimer and Buñuel, among others, by the time she collaborated again with François Truffaut, who had previously helped make her a star with Jules and Jim. Their third collaboration (the first being 400 Blows), The Bride Wore Black, a psycho-thriller inspired by the work of his hero Alfred Hitchcock again put her in the spotlight, this time as a vengeful seductress to which Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman’s Bride of Kill Bill is much indebted to (though the homage crazed auteur claims to have never seen the film). With incredible bipolar turns, Moreau plays Julie Kohler, a widow on a mission to take revenge on the five men (including Claude Rich, Michel Bouquet, Michael Lonsdale, Daniel Boulanger and Charles Denner) responsible for the death of her husband. »
- Jordan M. Smith
Specialty Blu-ray label Twilight Time continues to show their deep love for film with a continually growing and constantly eclectic selection of releases. The next few months will see Blu-ray titles as varied as To Sir With Love, U-Turn, The Night of the Generals and Zardoz. There were five titles on last month’s slate (released on 1/20) including a great American underdog tale in Breaking Away, an Indian biopic of uprising and war with Bandit Queen, Francois Truffaut’s female-driven revenge film The Bride Wore Black, Woody Allen’s surreal ode to the cinema in The Purple Rose of Cairo and a 30th Anniversary release of Fright Night. That last title — the only one not covered below — was actually released by the label once before with a far slimmer selection of special features. It immediately became a collector’s item, and now, barely three weeks after its re-release, this anniversary edition is already fetching ridiculous sums from »
- Rob Hunter
Producer Walter Mirisch is on a first- and second-name basis with Oscar, having a Thalberg, a Hersholt and a best picture statue for producing “In the Heat of the Night.” His career also includes cinematic highwater marks such as “Some Like It Hot” and “West Side Story.” But it all started on Hollywood’s so-called Poverty Row at Monogram Pictures where a 25-year-old Mirisch was high on “Cocaine,” a crime yarn by Cornell Woolrich, which in 1947 was turned into “The Fall Guy,” Mirisch’s first producing credit.
My second picture was also based upon a Woolrich story: “I Wouldn’t Be in Your Shoes.” But he was very private and I only spoke to him through his agents.
- Steven Gaydos
In the late 1950’s French film critic and director Francois Truffaut defined an essential characteristic of what would later be called The Auteur Theory when he asserted that a,” …film would resemble the person who made it, not so much through autobiographical content, but rather through the style, which impregnates the film with the personality of its director.” (1) Since his assertion The Auteur Theory was popularized in the United States by critic Andrew Sarris (1928 – 2012), criticized by detractors like film critic Pauline Kael (1919-2001) and eventually held in low esteem within current academic film studies and film theory. Yet, there is a kernel of truth that »
- Andre Seewood
Exclusive: Company racks up sales on Margarethe von Trotta’s The Misplaced World ahead of Berlinale premiere.
Paris-based sales powerhouse Wild Bunch has unveiled a packed Efm slate, including Margarethe von Trotta’s The Misplaced World, Michel Franco’s English-language debut Chronic and The Goetz Brothers’ Martyrs.
The company is already reporting strong business ahead of the Berlinale Special premiere for The Misplaced World, about a German jazz singer who discovers a family secret when she heads to New York to track down an opera singer who resembles her late mother.
It is von Trotta’s first film since her 2012 Hannah Arendt, which played successfully in theatres worldwide.
So far, The Misplaced World has been picked up for Spain (Golem Distribucion), Greece (Strada Films) Portugal (Leopardo Filmes), Hungary (Vertigo Films), Israel (Nachshon Films), Turkey (Calinos Film), Brazil (Mares Films) and Japan (Gaga Corporation). Van Trotta’s long-time distributor Concorde will release the film in Germany.
Wild Bunch co-chief »
Catherine Deneuve: César Award Besst Actress Record-Tier (photo: Catherine Deneuve in 'In the Courtyard / Dans la cour') (See previous post: "Kristen Stewart and Catherine Deneuve Make César Award History.") Catherine Deneuve has received 12 Best Actress César nominations to date. Deneuve's nods were for the following movies (year of film's release): Pierre Salvadori's In the Courtyard / Dans la Cour (2014). Emmanuelle Bercot's On My Way / Elle s'en va (2013). François Ozon's Potiche (2010). Nicole Garcia's Place Vendôme (1998). André Téchiné's Thieves / Les voleurs (1996). André Téchiné's My Favorite Season / Ma saison préférée (1993). Régis Wargnier's Indochine (1992). François Dupeyron's Strange Place for an Encounter / Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre (1988). Jean-Pierre Mocky's Agent trouble (1987). André Téchiné's Hotel America / Hôtel des Amériques (1981). François Truffaut's The Last Metro / Le dernier métro (1980). Jean-Paul Rappeneau's Le sauvage (1975). Additionally, Catherine Deneuve was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category »
- Steve Montgomery
Re-released in cinemas to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, Louis Malle’s 1987 film offers an unrivalled depiction of childhood, memory and war
• Why Au Revoir les Enfants is the one film you should watch this week – video review
Louis Malle’s quasi-autobiographical masterpiece Au Revoir Les Enfants from 1987 is now re-released in cinemas in the same week as Holocaust Memorial Day. It remains breathtakingly good. There is a miraculous, unforced ease and naturalness in the acting and direction; it is classic movie storytelling in the service of important themes, including the farewell that we must bid to our childhood, and to our innocence – a farewell repeated all our lives in the act of memory. The scene is Nazi-occupied France in 1944 and the wealthy, urbane parents of 12-year-old Julien (Gaspard Manesse) have sent him away to a Catholic boarding school in the country. Here he makes the acquaintance of a shy, clever »
- Peter Bradshaw
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 »
- email@example.com (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
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