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The best of the fest so far sees the Coen brothers meditate on mediocrity and modernity in the 1960s New York folk scene – but not be so sombre as to forget the laughs
Cannes audiences just heard a clean, hard crack: the sound of the Coen brothers hitting one out of the park. Their new film is brilliantly written, terrifically acted, superbly designed and shot; it's a sweet, sad, funny picture about the lost world of folk music which effortlessly immerses us in the period.
The musical interludes are stunningly achieved: a pastiche chart single about President Kennedy and the moon mission brought the crowd I was among close to bopping in the aisles. This has something of Woody Allen movies like Sweet and Lowdown and Broadway Danny Rose; there's a playful allusion to Breakfast at Tiffany's and even a weird casting echo of Walter Salles's On the Road »
- Peter Bradshaw
On top of launching its mega studio, the Cite du Cinema, France is opening up public landmarks — from the insides of psychiatric hospitals, to schools, to factories — for filmmakers eager to go off the beaten path.
For years, big-name international helmers — including Martin Scorsese (with “Hugo”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Inglorious Basterds”) — visited France to capture a snapshot of monuments and landmarks before headijng to the U.K., Germany or Eastern Europe for the lion’s share of the shoot.
But now that the tax rebate for international productions is about to be raised to ¤10 million ($13 million), Olivier Rene Veillon, the Ile de France Film Commission’s managing director, predicts Gaul will soon be hosting longer shoots. He encourages filmmakers to explore locations and places that are not necessarily featured in postcards.
Besides the Louvre museum, Versailles and the Cite Universitaire campus, Paris and its suburbs contain multiple unusual sites open to filmmakers. »
- Elsa Keslassy
One film I've added to my Cannes screening schedule is James Toback's Seduced and Abandoned, a documentary shot during the 65th Anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival described as a cinematic exploration of several interconnected subjects: The Cannes Film Festival and cinema art, money, glamor and death. The film is guided by Toback and Alec Baldwin and features original portraits of Bernardo Bertolucci, Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, Ryan Gosling, Jessica Chastain, Berenice Bejo, Diane Kruger and James Caan. Seduced and Abandoned was recently acquired by HBO Films and I'm planning on seeing it this Sunday, May 19 and to prepare you for my review, a first look at the film has arrived online and can be viewed below. With HBO picking this one up ahead of its screening it has to mean it's, at the very least, a decent watch. »
- Brad Brevet
The film is described as a dark fairytale and follows a downed pilot's journey across a war-torn land. During his travels he runs into a talking circus bear, falls head over heels for a cabaret singer and challenges the power of a tyrant.
Production is scheduled to begin in February 2014 in Germany and Serbia. »
Here's our pick of his finest performances – what would you add to the list?
Whether you think of him as the modern day Robert De Niro or an overpraised Norman Lamont-lookalike (as people used to say), you can't deny that Leonardo DiCaprio has been in some excellent films in the course of his 20 year career – and was the obvious choice to take the title role in Baz Lurhmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby.
We asked readers to nominate his greatest performances – and here's an attempt to narrow it down to five of the very best, with suggestions from @TomorrowsEnd, @esmehaycox, @bobbyblowdart, @BafflerMeal and @amyjkhan.
Sadly there's no room here for his film debut in Critters 3 – let us know what else you think should have made the list in the comment thread below. Warning: spoilers and adult content feature heavily in these clips.
Here's a notably »
- Adam Boult
While the critical response to Baz Luhrmann's lavish take on The Great Gatsby has been lukewarm, reviews have by and large praised Leonardo DiCaprio's central turn as the mysterious, tragic Jay Gatsby.
Digital Spy looks back on five of DiCaprio's most iconic performances.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
At the tender age of 19, DiCaprio earned his first Oscar nomination for Lasse Hallström's touching family drama. Playing the mentally retarded younger brother of Johnny Depp's put-upon Gilbert Grape, DiCaprio was deservedly singled out for praise by almost every critic despite being a virtual unknown. It's an intensely likeable and physically specific performance that elevates an otherwise predictable story.
The Basketball Diaries (1995)
Adapted from Jim Carroll's autobiographical novel, Scott Kalvert's drama tracked a high school basketball star's descent into drug addiction. The film debuted to decidedly mixed reviews, but again DiCaprio came out largely unscathed, with Rolling »
No one could expect a film to easily match the magic and heart of Martin Scorsese.s 2011 family adventure Hugo, but its young actors . soon to be certified movie stars . are reuniting for another film that holds a more literal kind of magic at its core. Is literal magic a thing? Variety reports Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass 2) and Asa Butterfield (star of the upcoming Ender's Game) are attached to star in Kinology.s dark fairy tale The White Circus, which will have Terry Gilliam on board as executive producer. Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion) and Christian Friedel (The White Ribbon) are also set to star. Though Friedel hasn.t yet made an American film, he.ll definitely add to this strong cast of talented youths. And the predictable success of the upcoming releases Carrie and Kick-Ass 2 for Moretz and Ender.s Game for Butterfield, almost guarantee The White Circus a huge »
HBO has picked up North American TV rights to James Toback’s new feature documentary Seduced and Abandoned, which will have its world premiere May 20 as a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival - And now they have released the first clip, which you can watch below. Shot at last year’s festival, the film follows Toback and Alec Baldwin as they make the rounds at Cannes seeking financing for a film they proposed to make. The documentary seems quite interesting, exploring the festival from the point of view of filmmakers and featuring interviews with Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski, Francis Ford Coppola, Jessica Chastain and Ryan Gosling, to name a few. Enjoy!
Chloe Moretz and Asa Butterfield will be reteaming for the film The White Circus, which is being executive produced by Terry Gilliam. The film will be a dark fairy tale that has been described as an "adventure-romance that takes place on a snowy New Year’s Eve, when a young pilot crashes his plane into a war-torn town on his first mission. There, he falls in love with a beautiful cabaret singer, befriends a talking circus bear and incites the townsfolk to liberate themselves from a despot."
The movie is being helmed by first time feature film directors Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, who were described by producer Gregoire Melin as being "worthy heirs of Gilliam, Jim Henson and Tim Burton," adding that "their work boasts an ever bigger crossover appeal while being smart and innovative." They directed the Oscar-nominated animated short Madame Tutli-Putli, which you can watch below. It »
- Joey Paur
The fashionistas have invaded the Croisette.
The 66th Cannes Film Festival kicked off Wednesday night with a two-day celebration of the longstanding love affair between the film and fashion worlds rekindled by Prada-packed “The Great Gatsby” and Un Certain Regard opener “The Bling Ring,” about teens obsessed with Louis Vuitton, Versace, Louboutin and Dior, among other brands. The paparazzi will be happy.
Photos: Leonardo DiCaprio, ‘Gatsby’ kick off the Cannes Film Festival
But fashion houses in recent years have also started seeking out a different role within the movie world: one that goes beyond dressing stars for red carpets and parties, or designing costumes for their onscreen roles.
Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and other venerated haute couture companies with mega global appeal are increasingly venturing into film from new, and seemingly philanthropic, angles such as film preservation, sponsoring film museums, festivals and schools, and also film production.
Some examples: Gucci, »
- Nick Vivarelli
While this weekend sees the release of yet another Hollywood blockbuster, the global film industry at large has descended upon the South of France for the Cannes Film Festival. While most of us will never get to experience the festival ourselves, “Seduced and Abandoned,” a new documentary premiering this weekend at the Croisette, will explore the festival from the point of view of filmmakers and we got our first look at the trailer. Produced by Alec Baldwin and director James Toback, the documentary follows the pair at last year’s festival as they tried to raise financing for a new project. Baldwin and Toback were able to score interviews with not only anonymous financiers and distributors but also some big names like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Bernardo Bertolucci, Roman Polanski, Ryan Gosling, Jessica Chastain (she really is in everything now), Berenice Bejo, Diane Kruger and James Caan. The trailer »
- Cain Rodriguez
In Cannes to raise funds for his long-cherished project Silence, Martin Scorsese sits on a yacht in his best grey suit, sipping champagne. “The subject matter is very close to my heart,” he tells Total Film. “I’ve been working on it since I first read the book [Shusaku Endo’s 1966 masterpiece of the same name] in 1989.” Having finally overcome legal matters and wrangled a workable script by scribe Jay Cocks (The Age Of Innocence, Gangs Of New York), Scorsese hopes to shoot in 2014. He describes the project as a “smaller film”...
- Jamie Graham
The Emmett / Furla production, announced Thursday at Cannes, has a $60 million budget and a start date of March. “Broken City” writer Brian Tucker is scripting the story of a hitman who is poisoned and has to find a cure before he expires.
Tucker is also producing and Steven Eads is exec producing. Emmett / Furla said it in negotiations for a director and then will present the film to buyers in June.
“Expiration” is the latest in a long line of recent action titles with coin from Emmett / Furla, including ” 2 Guns,” starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington, with Universal opening Aug. 2; “Frozen Ground, »
- Dave McNary
“Circus” is the first full-length directorial effort from Canadians Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, who earned recognition in Hollywood with their Oscar-nominated animated short “Madame Tutli-Putli.”
Photos: Leonardo DiCaprio, ‘Gatsby’ kick off the Cannes Film Festival
“Circus” is an adventure-romance that takes place on a snowy New Year’s Eve, when a young pilot crashes his plane into a war-torn town on his first mission. There, he falls in love with a beautiful cabaret singer, befriends a talking circus bear and incites the townsfolk to liberate themselves from a despot.
- Elsa Keslassy
As critics swoon over the British star's timbre and tone, it is clear that a great voice is still essential for any great movie actor
This week, Benedict Cumberbatch has been basking in praise for his portrayal of the villain, John Harrison, in Jj Abrams' new film, Star Trek Into Darkness – more particularly, his voice has been drawing raves.
"So sepulchrally resonant that it could have been synthesised from the combined timbres of Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Alan Rickman holding an elocution contest down a well," sighed The Independent's Jonathan Romney. "The deep-voiced Cumberbatch asserts fully self-justified treachery", asserted The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy. In The New Yorker, Anthony Lane launched a career-overview of Cumberbatch's "honeyed mellifluous voice", concluding: "The timbre remains in Abrams film." The Daily Mirror judged its readers so in need of a top-up of Cumberbatch's Burtonesque baritone, it linked to a video in which »
- Tom Shone
Check out this clip from James Toback's Cannes documentary "Seduced and Abandoned," which follows the director and buddy Alec Baldwin as they adventure through the wilds of the Croisette, looking for funding for a new project. In the clip, Toback speaks with big names like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Bernardo Bertolucci and Roman Polanski on the state of film and the industry. HBO recently acquired North American rights to the film. As the studios cede ground to HBO, the Cannes Film Festival has embraced the cabler as well. Steven Soderbergh's Liberace biopic "Behind the Candelabra," with juicy roles for stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, is entered in the main competition. "Seduced and Abandoned" makes its world premiere as a Special Screening in the Cannes Official Selection, and also includes portraits of stars Ryan Gosling, Jessica Chastain, Berenice Bejo, Diane Kruger and James Caan. “The film idea »
- Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
Our astute managing editor, Erik Davis, spotted another great find at Tumblr fave Cinephilia and Beyond. Shannon Davis' 2006 documentary Edge of Outside is an hour-long, in-depth look at the history of independent cinema, celebrating the genre's hallmark directors: John Cassavetes, Peter Bogdanovich, Roger Corman and more. Davis interviewed Hollywood heavy hitters like Martin Scorsese, who shares great stories about filmmakers like Sam Fuller. The Steel Helmet director made pictures at major studios like Fox and Columbia that didn't look like studio films and had a "pure, singular way of seeing the world." Scorsese also explains that the spirit of indie filmmaking was alive in Hollywood during the 1920s and was nurtured by the system for a time...
- Alison Nastasi
As the Cannes Film Festival gets underway today, IMDb has released its list of the 10 most popular films to have been screened in competition for the Palme d'Or, based on user votes. Unsurprisingly, Quentin Tarantino makes a good showing on the list, dominating in the top three spots with 1994's "Pulp Fiction" 2009's "Inglourious Basterds" and 2005's "Sin City" (for which he's credited as "special guest director" following Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez). Since this is a popularity vote, "Shrek" lands a spot above "Taxi Driver."Top 10 Most Popular Cannes Films1. Pulp Fiction (dir. Quentin Tarantino, 1994)2. Inglourious Basterds (dir. Quentin Tarantino, 2009)3. Sin City (dirs. Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino 2005)4. No Country for Old Men (dirs. Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)5. Shrek (2001, dir. Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson)6. Taxi Driver (dir. Martin Scorsese, 1976)7. El laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth) (dir. Guillermo del Toro, 2006)8. Apocalypse Now (dir. »
- Beth Hanna
The film is screening In Competition at Cannes, alongside the likes of Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, James Gray’s The Immigrant, and a slew of other anticipated titles. And we can’t wait to hear the first reviews from the festival. Smart money says that Nebraska is going to be a strong contender come Oscar season this year.
With its premiere out in France just a few days away, the festival has debuted the first clip from the film, giving us a look at Payne’s family drama/comedy.
A poor old man living in Montana escapes repeatedly from his house to go to Nebraska to collect a sweepstakes prize he thinks he has won. Frustrated by his increasing dementia, his family debates »
- Kenji Lloyd
EuropaCorp is in early talks with “The Incredible Hulk” helmer Louis Leterrier, but is keeping a tight lid on project details, making people come to EuropaCorp’s Cannes office in person to take a peek at the script.
Some bizzers familiar with the package have described it as a mermaid adventure film, often referring to the pic just as “Mermaid.”
The listed French shingle, which handles production, domestic distribution, international sales and operates a mega-studio, has been powering up high-profile English-language films in the last 18 months, notably Besson-directed crime thriller “Malavita,” starring Robert de Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer and exec produced by Martin Scorsese; McG’s “Three Days To Kill,” toplining Kevin Costner; and Besson-helmed “Lucy,” toplining Scarlett Johansson.
Leterrier last directed Summit Ent. thriller “Now You See Me. »
- Rachel Abrams and Elsa Keslassy
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