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How sweat it is for Canadian film. There’ll be a maple syruppy touch to the Cannes Film Festival presence to the 67th Cannes Film Festival with a trio of Canuck films among today’s 17 Main Competition (we expect the number to possibly increase by at least one before the fest breaks). We have David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan and while there is no Denys Arcand this year, the baton has been passed over to Xavier Dolan, who we believe becomes the youngest ever filmmaker to be included in the section. The influx of Canadian helmers means a depletion of U.S fare, with only the opener, Tommy Lee Jones and Bennett Miller breaking into the group.
- Eric Lavallee
Tommy Lee Jones, Bennett Miller, David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan will duke it out with Jean-Luc Godard, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Michel Hazanavicius and the Dardenne brothers for the Palme d’Or at the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival, which unveiled its official selection lineup this morning in Paris by fest topper Thierry Fremaux.
The wide-ranging competition slate is typically heavy on French filmmakers, with Olivier Assayas’ international co-production “Clouds of Sils Maria” and Bertrand Bonello’s fashion-designer biopic “Saint Laurent” joining Hazanavicius’ “The Search” and Godard’s 3D experiment “Goodbye to Language.” Fremaux noted that Godard, famously a no-show at the 2010 Cannes premiere of his “Film socialisme,” had “promised he’ll be there — which doesn’t mean he will!”
One of the more intriguing developments of this year’s competition is the unusual dominance of Canadian auteurs. »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
Hovering around the twenty-one to twenty-four feature film mark with at least a quarter of those films belonging to first time filmmakers, the Quinzaine des Realisateurs (a.k.a Directors’ Fortnight) has in the past couple of years, counted on a healthy supply of French, Spanish and Belgium produced film items, and has been geared towards the offbeat genre items as with last year’s edition curated by Edouard Waintrop and co. To be unveiled on the 22nd, as we attempted with our Critics’ Week predix, Blake Williams, Nicholas Bell and I (Eric Lavallee) are thinking out loud and hedging our bets on what the section might look like or what the programmers might be looking at for 2014. Here is our predictions overview:
- IONCINEMA.com Contributing Writers
Apparently, last summer there was talk about Penelope Cruz taking a role in Sam Mendes’ follow up to Skyfall. This week in things we hope are true, a French magazine has found proof(?) that the actress will be in the movie. Sony put her name alongside Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, and Naomie Harris on a release update that included Bond 24. It’s possible that it was an administrative error, but if it wasn’t, how mother-effing great is that news?
Given the franchise’s grittier, more character-driven take since Casino Royale and its ability to attract a well-respected director like Mendes, it’s no surprise that they are finding higher caliber actresses willing to play Bond girls. And no offense, Denise Richards, but Academy Award winner Cruz is a major upgrade. She has done her best work in smaller films, working with directors like Ridley Scott, Woody Allen, and her old friend Pedro Almodovar. »
- Mily Dunbar
Back in the summer of last year there was some talk of Penelope Cruz securing a role in Sam Mendes' developing follow-up to Skyfall. While no more was heard in the immediate weeks and months following, Cruz has now once again been linked to Bond 24, via what seems to be a credible source. The French Premiere magazine has spotted her name next to Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris on a Sony release update.If that's accurate, and not just an admin cock-up within Sony's PR, it marks a pleasing casting symmetry with Skyfall, which starred Cruz' husband Javier Bardem as the villainous Silva.As a Bond-girl - whatever that now means in these slightly more enlightened Bond days - Cruz would be an unusually high-profile choice, and the first Oscar-winner to take such a role (Halle Berry won her Academy Award post-Bond). But she's picking her roles carefully lately, »
Panama City – One of the U.S.’ major specialists in Spanish-language film distribution, Paul Hudson’s Outsider Pictures will release David Trueba’s Goya winner “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed” in the U.S.
Deal was closed between 6 Sales CEO Marina Fuentes, “Living’s” sale agent, and Hudson and announced at the Panama Festival, where Hudson presided over the Meets industry jury.
Outsider Pictures will open “Living” theatrically this summer. Following the theatrical release, “Living” will bow on Outsider’s digital streaming site, Todo Cine Latino (tclonline.com), which is dedicated to releasing the best in Latin cinema in North America.
Featuring an inspired lead performance by Javier Camara, – who starred in Pedro Almodovar’s “Talk to Her” and “I’m So Excited” and is now recognized as one of the best Spanish actors of his generation – “Living Is Easy” swept February’s 29th Spanish Academy Goya Awards, taking picture, »
- John Hopewell
Miami - Being the director of any film festival requires a dauntingly broad skill set: the best in the business are at once discerning cinephiles, persuasive businesspeople, savvy media monitors and charismatic public figures. Their own expert appreciation of the artform can't interfere with their intuitive popular touch; they must interact with industry, journalists and paying audiences with equal care and cordiality, usually at the same time. A film festival lasts less than a fortnight; building and running it is a year-round job. Canadian-born Jaie Laplante, director of the Miami International Film Festival since 2011, ticks all these boxes, fully aware of the role that sheer force of personality can play in building a smaller festival's brand. Over the nine-day event, you'd be forgiven for wondering if he's had some success in the field of human cloning: present at a daily panoply of screenings, Q&As, parties and junkets – seemingly with a fresh, »
- Guy Lodge
London -- BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated director Paul Greengrass talked up Hollywood, why the power of the U.S. filmmaking guilds should be applauded and explained that being "arsey" is an essential element in being a director. Delivering the David Lean Lecture on Tuesday at the British Academy's most prestigious film event and following in the footsteps of luminaries including Robert Altman, John Boorman, Oliver Stone, and Pedro Almodovar, Greengrass noted when the call came to go to Hollywood to shoot his first project there, The Bourne Supremacy in 2004, it filled him with anxiety. Greengrass, whose prior blend of
- Stuart Kemp
What's the biggest winner at the box office this week?
Is it "300: Rise of an Empire," which debuted atop the chart with an estimated $45.1 million? Maybe, but that film did about as well as expected, and certainly nowhere near the $70.9 million opening of the original "300" seven years ago. Is it "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," which opened in second place with an estimated $32.5 million? That, too, was on the lower end of expectations, and well behind the $43.6 million debut of original cartoon "The Croods" at this time a year ago.
Was it "Frozen," which earned an Oscar bounce of $3 million after winning trophies last weekend for Best Song and Best Animated Feature -- an impressive figure, considering that the movie is already playing at home on many cable providers' video-on-demand services? Was it "12 Years a Slave," which saw a post-Oscar bounce of 123 percent and added another estimated $2.2 million to its theatrical »
- Gary Susman
Showing the vitality of Liam Neeson carrying a gun and a broken heart, Non-Stop recently gave the new action hero one of his biggest box office weekends so far. Involving an air marshal using a particular set of skills to hunt and kill someone threatening his plane (to paraphrase Taken), the film may seem like a generic Neeson actioner. But while his character might be a composite of previous roles, the anxiety he tackles within this film is fresh. Considering its box office success (and my mother’s intense experience in watching the movie), Non-Stop works efficiently as a thriller in 2014 because it provides viewers with imagery of in-flight chaos not seen since before 9/11. It is also the indication of a natural progression for how Hollywood films are »
- Nick Allen
A grab bag of new specialized openings were led by "The Lunch Box" (Sony Pictures Classics), a low-budget Indian film from a first-time director that nabbed attention at Cannes last May and showed significant early life in its two-city opening. Two other more unusual offerings showed modest per screen averages in wider breaks: "Repentance" (Lionsgate) played mainly in African-American theaters, while Russian war film "Stalingrad" (Sony, in IMAX 3D) was ill-timed. "The Wind Rises" (Disney" had much bigger success in its expansion. "Ernest and Celestine" (GKids) was strong in its single theater Los Angeles debut. Opening "The Lunchbox" (Sony Pictures Classics) - Criticwire: B+; Metacritic: 74; Festivals include: Cannes 2013, Telluride 2013, Toronto 2013, AFI 2013 $51,325 in 3 theaters (PSA: $17,108) Falling just short of "Gloria" as the best non-exclusive limited subtitled opening in recent months, and the best one for Spc since early last summer (Pedro Almodovar's »
- Tom Brueggemann
This weekend, as you search for a movie to watch, you can either go see Non-Stop or pick one of approximately 14 billion options available on streaming over a variety of services, be it Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, On Demand, or other sites. Every Friday, Vulture tries to make life easier by narrowing it down to a handful of heartily recommended options. This week, we've booked tickets for an airplane-themed comedy, musical, docudrama, and horror anthology.I'm So Excited (2013)Pedro Almodóvar's latest was criminally overlooked last year — not that it was easy to market to the masses. A sex romp with hints of Jean-Paul Sartre, I'm So Excited provokes an eclectic ensemble's carnal instincts by putting a flight from Spain to Mexico in dire straits. When the plane's landing gear won't engage, the bisexual pilots, gay flight attendants, a newly married couple, a legendary actress, and a sex-hungry virgin intertwine for »
- Matt Patches
Venezuelan singer, comedian and TV host who revived musica llanera – the music of the plains
Simón Diaz, who has died aged 85, was a national hero in Venezuela. He was a singer and composer, comedian, actor and TV host, best known for his passionate revival of Venezuela's country music, musica llanera, the songs of the pampas or plains, which influenced his own massively successful and influential compositions. His music was recorded or performed by major artists across Latin America and Europe, from Mercedes Sosa in Argentina and Caetano Veloso in Brazil to Placido Domingo, while one of his best-loved songs, Caballo Viejo (Old Horse), was controversially reworked by the Gipsy Kings into their global hit Bamboléo.
Born in Barbacoas, in the northern state of Aragua, he was the son of a farmer and self-taught musician. His father died when Simón was just 12 years old and he moved with his mother and »
- Robin Denselow
“The Face of Love” (opening March 7 in Los Angeles) traffics in the kind of audacious premise — five years after her husband dies, a woman meets his exact look-alike — that Pedro Almodóvar could have really turned into something provocative and meaningful. In the hands of “Chumscrubber” director Arie Posin (who co-wrote with Matthew McDuffie), the results are gooey and half-baked, with plot contrivances butting up against genteel design porn. Annette Bening stars as Nikki, a “stager” of houses; she makes them look lived-in so as to attract potential buyers. Her own home is a gorgeous little L.A. jewel »
- Alonso Duralde
New York’s 43rd annual New Directors/New Films festival has set its full 2014 slate, tapping a trio of Sundance alums for its prime screening slots: opener “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” centerpiece “Obvious Child” and closer “20,000 Days on Earth.”
Full lineup comprises 13 shorts and 27 features, seven of which were announced last month including Richard Ayoade’s Jesse Eisenberg starrer “The Double.” Joining those pics on the docket are the world premiere of Jessica Oreck’s “The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga,” as well as U.S. or North American bows of Shahram Mokri’s “Fish & Cat,” Benjamin Naishtat’s “History of Fear,” Gilles Deroo and Marianne Pistone’s “Mouton (Sheep),” Andrei Gruzsniczki’s “Quod Erat Demonstrandum” and Tom Shoval’s “Youth.”
Co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center (which also presented the New York Film Festival) and the Museum of Modern Art, Nd/Nf focuses »
- Gordon Cox
Scripted by Judy Morris (“Happy Feet 2,” The Eye of the Storm,” “Babe: Pig in the City”), the picture is the tale of a 12 year old boy who tries to escape his dysfunctional, multi-generational Spanish family.
Production begins March 3 at the Adelaide Studios in South Australia and in the state’s Barossa Valley and Flinders Range wine country.
Rattle & Hum Films presents a Met Film and Southern Light Alliance production, with Stewart le Maréchal and Anna Mohr-Pietsch producing for Met Film alongside Timothy White (Son of a Gun, The Boys Are Back) and Anna Vincent for Southern Light Alliance. The South Australian Film »
- Patrick Frater
To call Israeli helmer Eytan Fox’s candy-colored, buoyantly upbeat musical a change of pace would be an understatement. Still, Fox’s 2011 drama “Yossi” already ranked as a celebration, albeit in minor key, as its sad-sack hero finally broke free from mournful isolation. Now, in “Cupcakes,” not one man but five women, led by a joyously uninhibited gay guy, jettison their paralyzing fears and, in the grand old MGM tradition, put on a show! (Or rather, sing songs on a global telecast.) Endearingly goofy with its “dare to be yourself” moral and ’70s-tinged aesthetic, this sweet confection could tempt gay and straight audiences alike.
In a nostalgic throwback to the bygone days of neighborliness and kitsch TV, six fellow tenants gather together to watch “Unisong,” a “Eurovision”-type international singing contest. Unimpressed by the generic Israeli entry but still in musical mode, they join in an impromptu number to cheer up their hostess, »
- Ronnie Scheib
Winning three Academy Awards in your career is a rarity. Just ask Meryl Streep, who finally took home Oscar #3 in 2011 almost three decades after winning her second one ("Sophie's Choice," 1982). It's almost unheard of to win a trio of Oscars on the same night, but that's what many of our Experts, Editors and Users think will happen on March 2 for "Gravity" multi-hyphenate Alfonso Cuaron. doubled his career haul. In 2002 he was nominated with his brother Carlos Cuaron for their original screenplay of "Y Tu Mamá También" (Pedro Almodvoar won for "Talk to Her") and in 2006 he scored bids for writing and editing "Children of Men" but lost to "The Departed" in both instances. Of Cuaron's trio of nominations this year, he's a virtual lock to win Best »
Paul Greengrass has such an impressive CV with tremendous work in television that includes Bloody Sunday, Omagh and The Murder of Stephen Lawrence to name a few. From there he moved into film with United 93, both The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum plus the truly stunning Captain Phillips, which is doing rather well for itself at the moment.
He’s stepping up next as BAFTA have announced that he’s due to deliver the David Lean Lecture – their prestigious film lecture – on Tuesday 18th March. The Lecture aims to educate, inform and inspire practitioners and the public by providing insight into the experiences of some of the world’s best and most compelling filmmakers. It also provides a forum for further discussion of their outstanding creative achievements. The previous speakers have included Robert Altman, John Boorman, Oliver Stone, David Lynch and Pedro Almodóvar, so he’s in stunning company. »
- Dan Bullock
When you see “A Film by Almodóvar” in the credits of a movie, you know you’re in for something special. One of the true auteurs of modern cinema, Pedro Almodóvar’s movies are colorful, passionate and often very bizarre odes to life, death and sex. Embracing taboo topics like drugs, bondage and murder, and often with a darkly comic edge, his movies are not terribly accessible to the average moviegoer, but they’re always worth experimenting with if you’re not the type to shy away from subtitles. He is possibly the only person to have won an Oscar for writing a movie that features a man disappearing inside a giant vagina (2002’s beautiful Talk to Her). Always melodramatic and never, ever ordinary, his last film, 2011’s The Skin I Live in, was a dark and disturbing story about a surgeon conducting illegal surgeries on humans to transform their identities. »
- Lee Jutton
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