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The Berlinale has always had a reputation as a festival that takes its politics seriously, but this year the politics were bound to be a little more urgent than usual. This was, after all, the first A-list European festival to happen since the Trump inauguration. As competition jury member Diego Luna, the Mexican star of Rogue One, pointed out: “There’s no better place to send a message than Berlin” – a city that knows its fair share about the futility of walls.
The jury – headed by director Paul Verhoeven and including Maggie Gyllenhaal and artist Olafur Eliasson – may or may not choose the most political films in contention, but they will have noticed how many films seemed »
- Jonathan Romney
The Other Side of Hope. Malla Hukkanen © Sputnik OyLaughter is a rare gift at film festivals, which so often feel like relentless gloom and doom contests. In this year’s Berlinale Competition, at least thus far, good films have been in even shorter supply than funny ones. I’m really glad to report there’s been improvement on both fronts—after a truly lamentable first few days, laughs as well as quality started trickling into the festival’s main slate.It was a pretty safe bet that Aki Kaurismäki’s new film, The Other Side of Hope, would be a stand-out. The high expectations were surpassed: this may very well be the great Finn’s best outing since his 1996 masterpiece Drifting Clouds. The second part of a planned trilogy addressing the current refugee crisis in Europe, The Other Side of Hope bears strong narrative similarities to its predecessor Le Havre »
In a small but well-appointed middle-class house, the host lies, not breathing, on the living room floor. The would-be murderer tries to choose the right music for resurrection. The adulterous hostess cries in the bathroom with a gun, while in the back garden a lesbian, pregnant with triplets, threatens to leave her wife. And the vol au vents are burned to charcoal nuggets. “This is not a very good situation,” understates the henpecked, new-agey German guest, and he’s right.
- Jessica Kiang
Author: Stefan Pape
Sally Potter returns to the silver screen with a wickedly fast-paced, endearingly transient comedy that, while unashamedly overstated, is grounded by its connections to modern British politics – making it all rather apt for this picture to thrive in its farcicality. The monochrome aesthetic may give this piece a timeless feel, but it seems like a particularly pertinent presentation of a nation who currently find their left wing politics in turmoil.
The film opens with Kristin Scott Thomas as Janet, pointing a gun at the camera. Rewind an hour or so, and we learn she’s the host of a dinner party, inviting friends round to celebrate her recent promotion to shadow health minister, and its a dinner party, we have already gathered, that is to eventually turn sour. Her husband Bill (Timothy Spall) is in a peculiar mood, not exactly one for conversation – but the arrival of »
- Stefan Pape
Sally Potter’s 71-minute film The Party is a short, sharp, funny shock of a movie; a theatrical drawing-room comedy which plays out in real time with elegance and dispatch, cantering up to a cheeky punchline twist which leaves you laughing over the final credits. It’s written and directed by Potter, and the action is starkly lit and shot in black and white by Russian cinematographer Aleksei Rodionov.
Unassuming and old-fashioned funny entertainment isn’t exactly what we associate with this film-maker, but that’s what she has very satisfyingly served up here. It’s not especially resonant or profound but it is observant and smart, with some big laughs in the dialogue. The whole thing is enjoyably absurd though not precisely absurdist. »
- Peter Bradshaw
The Party review
It has been five years since Sally Potter’s last film, the very well received Ginger and Rosa. Her latest takes center stage at the Berlin Film Festival with a huge, if limited central cast. We open on Kristin Scott-Thomas’ Janet pointing a revolver directly at the camera, a monochrome image that sticks in your mind as we track slightly in time r to cover the events leading up to it. Janet is celebrating career glory, a newly-appointed role as a shadow-minister in parliament, a position that she has been working up to for decades. She’s having a small gathering to celebrate and has invited a few good friends over to to her home. Her phone is constantly ringing with messages of congratulations, »
- Paul Heath
It may have its uses in describing butter cookies and cat videos, but it’s fair to say that “short and sweet” is an over-applied compliment: Sometimes it’s better to be short and severely, cheek-shrivelingly sour. So it proves in “The Party,” a deliciously heightened, caviar-black comedy that sets up its brittle, bourgeois characters like bowling pins and gleefully knocks them down in 71 minutes flat. Slight and self-contained, it won’t go down in cinema history as anything but, perhaps, the most purely fun film ever made by peculiar British experimentalist Sally Potter. Still, this sketch of an ambitious Westminster politician and dinner-party hostess (Kristin Scott Thomas), whose life comes spectacularly apart before the canapés are even served, is a consummate drawing-room divertissement, played with relish by a dream ensemble. Notwithstanding a somewhat strained twist, it’s as slender, sharp and snappish as a wishbone; chic arthouse distributors should »
- Guy Lodge
A tepid farce that that combines the brevity of a one-act play with the lo-fi desperation of a student film, “The Party” is the kind of star-studded misfire that might only have made sense in the context of an artistic movement like Dogme 95, whose strict dictums could have explained its experimental zeal and excused its fundamental shabbiness. Of course, such formal recklessness is par for the course when it comes to the cinema of Sally Potter, a British dynamo whose work ranges from a radical adaptation of Virgina Woolf’s “Orlando” to an erotic Joan Allen drama that’s spoken entirely in iambic pentameter. But if the dazzling eccentricities of Potter’s previous films might help to prepare viewers for her latest trick, their intellectual rigor casts this new one in a strange and unflattering light. It’s different, yes, and made with conviction. But it also feels flimsy, hollow, »
- David Ehrlich
13 February 2017 10:30 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
A gathering of old friends fasten their seatbelts for a bumpy night of explosive revelations in The Party, a Berlin competition contender from veteran British writer-director Sally Potter. Boasting a stellar international ensemble cast including Patricia Clarkson, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas and Timothy Spall, Potter’s talk-heavy chamber farce was filmed on a West London studio set in just two weeks, which may help explain its adrenalized energy and lean running time.
Attractively shot in timeless monochrome, The Party is indebted to a long tradition of dinner-party-from-hell classics including Mike Nichols’ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Luis Bunuel’s The Discreet »
- Stephen Dalton
The British director of the star-studded political comedy, which premiered at the Berlin film festival, says it is ‘absolutely a political statement’ about ‘a broken England’
The film-maker who both wrote and directed the film, which has a star-studded cast led by Kristin Scott Thomas and Timothy Spall, said everything about it was a “political statement”, including its Jerusalem soundtrack and that it had been driven by “the feeling that people were losing political life.”
Continue reading »
- Guardian Staff
In her biting political comedy “The Party,” which bowed in competition Monday at the Berlinale, writer-director Sally Potter sought to present “a loving look at the state of England, a kind of broken England.”
Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall, Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz and Cillian Murphy star in the film, which revolves around a house party to celebrate the appointment Scott Thomas’s character Janet as a minister in Britain’s shadow cabinet – only for chaos to ensue.
Potter told reporters at the Berlin Film Festival that she wrote the dialogue to focus on “what people don’t say or feel they can’t say,” while the film’s black-and-white palette offered “an incredible space for emotional color – the magic that the brain can see things in different ways, in this abstract world of light and dark. Many of my favorite films are in black and white, and I’d »
- Ed Meza
13 February 2017 6:12 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Sally Potter says her latest movie is a pared-down and more human alternative to Hollywood’s usual fare.
"It's kind of an antidote to massive budget films with millions of special effects and stuff, which in the end creates a kind of numbing effect: I want more, I want more, I want more," the British auteur said Monday at a press conference for The Party, ahead of its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.
- Etan Vlessing
Starting today at 7:30Am Et/4:30Am Pt, you can watch a live stream of the Berlinale press conference featuring the cast and crew of “The Party.” Filmmaker Sally Potter is expected to attend the conference, as well as cast members including Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas and Timothy Spall.
Potter’s newest feature is premiering in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Read More: Paul Verhoeven to Serve as Berlin Film Festival Jury President
Per the film’s official synopsis, “Janet has just been appointed minister in the shadow cabinet – the crowning achievement of her political career. She and her husband Bill plan to celebrate this with a few close friends. The guests arrive at their home in London but the party takes an unexpected turn for the worse when Bill suddenly makes two explosive revelations that shock Janet »
- Kate Erbland
2017 is going to be the year of Anya Taylor-Joy, mark our words. After a huge 2016 with attention-grabbing roles in The Witch, Morgan and more, which quickly put her on the map and made her one of Hollywood’s most exciting rising stars, she kicked off this year with the really rather fantastic Split. With several other projects lining up her slate, things look to keep shining bright for the actress and today brings word of yet another exciting career move.
That’s because Taylor-Joy has now joined The Sea Change, Kristin Scott Thomas’ directorial debut which she’ll also star in. The project is currently being shopped to buyers at the European Film Market and already has Mark Strong attached. Rocket Science is handling the sale and should all go according to plan, principal photography will get underway later this year.
Based on Elizabeth Jane Howard’s novel of the same name, »
- Josh Wilding
The rising star is circling the romantic drama that Rocket Science has introduced to world buyers in Berlin.
Taylor-Joy, the breakout star of The Witch, will play an outspoken young woman whose arrival on a Greek island puts the troubled marriage of a playwright and his complex wife into perspective.
Taylor-Joy currently stars in M Night Shyamalan’s hit Split and played one of the leads in the much-fancied Sundance selection Thoroughbred, which Focus Features has acquired. She is in post-production on the thriller Marrowbone for Lionsgate.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
11 February 2017 8:51 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Thomas will also star in the film, which is adapted from Elizabeth Jane Howard’s critically acclaimed novel. Mark Strong is also in talks to star. Rebecca Lenkiewicz adapted the novel for the screen, and Barnaby Thompson will produce for Fragile Films. Principal photography is scheduled to begin later this year in the U.K. and Europe.
Rocket Science is handling world sales on the picture and introduced the film to buyers in Berlin this week.
- Scott Roxborough
Exclusive: Anya Taylor-Joy is in talks to join Kristin Scott Thomas' directorial debut The Sea Change, which Rocket Science is shopping to buyers at the European Film Market. The actress, who's a BAFTA Rising Star nominee this year, will join Scott Thomas in the film based on Elizabeth Jane Howard's acclaimed novel of the same name. Mark Strong is also in talks to star alongside Scott Thomas. Rocket Science is handling worldwide sales for the pic, which it launched to… »
10 February 2017 10:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Most famous for a film featuring a plot spanning several centuries (1992’s Tilda Swinton breakout Orlando), British director Sally Potter has gone in the opposite direction for her latest feature — her first since 2012’s Ginger & Rosa.
The Party, which has its world premiere in Berlin, sees an enviable ensemble cast (Timothy Spall, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz and Cherry Jones) on the guest list for an intimate gathering of highbrow friends in a London house and has a story that unravels, unexpectedly and violently, in real time over the course of just »
- Alex Ritman
In perhaps the most startlingly original high-level package of this week’s European Film Market (Efm) in Berlin, Rocket Science has announced that Taika Waititi will direct the stop-motion feature Bubbles, a coming-of-age story about Michael Jackson’s celebrity pet chimpanzee.
Waititi, the hotshot New Zealand director behind Hunt For The Wilderpeople, TV’s The Inbetweeners and upcoming Marvel Studios tentpole Thor: Ragnarok, will work alongside co-director Mark Gustafon, who served as animation director on Fantastic Mr Fox.
The project is based on Isaac Adamson’s screenplay that topped the 2015 Black List and recounts the life of the »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
The European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival marks the first major film market of the year, and is one of the few events where nearly everyone from the global movie business comes together to network and launch new projects.
Read More: 5 Exciting Films in the 2017 Berlin Film Festival Competition Lineup
This year’s Efm will draw more than 1,600 buyers from roughly 70 countries into a deal-making bonanza for films in every stage of development and production, much like the American Film Market in Los Angeles and the Marché du Film in Cannes. Efm will include around 730 screenings this year, more than 600 of which will be market premieres.
What are the movies and screenplays already on executives’ radars? Here are 10 hot projects that could be prime targets.
- Graham Winfrey
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