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Film Review: ‘Shock Waves — Diary of My Mind’

Film Review: ‘Shock Waves — Diary of My Mind’
The schoolroom drama genre is heavily populated with impassioned, benevolent literature teachers who don’t play by the book, looking on as young minds expand and flourish under their unusual instruction. But what if they get it wrong? What if the freeing of some minds spells danger for others? Such questions are raised — but never too patly answered — in “Shock Waves – Diary of My Mind,” Swiss director Ursula Meier’s short, riveting exploration of adolescent psychosis, teacherly responsibility, and the moral minefield that connects them. This horrifically fact-based story of a veteran French teacher (Fanny Ardant) made involuntarily complicit when one of her brightest students (Kacey Mottet Klein) commits double parricide benefits from frank but humane handling by Meier and her top-form stars alike: The results are subtly shocking but unsensationalized.

Running a very lean, well-packed 70 minutes, this high-impact miniature was produced for Swiss television as one in a quartet
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Darren Aronofsky, Barry Levinson, Alexandre Desplat to Attend r7al, a New Film Festival in Switzerland

Darren Aronofsky, Barry Levinson, Alexandre Desplat to Attend r7al, a New Film Festival in Switzerland
Directors Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan,” “Mother!”), Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”), Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”), Susanne Bier (“The Night Manager”), Thomas Vinterberg (“Festen”) and Hugh Hudson (“Chariots of Fire”) will be among those speaking at the first edition of r7al, a film festival to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland from March 24 to 28.

Other guests at r7al (it stands for Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne) include Alexandre Desplat, the Oscar-nominated composer of “The Shape of Water,” music-video director Tim Pope, “Live Earth” producer Kevin Wall, author Stephen Apkon (“The Age of the Image”), and actresses Fanny Ardant, Valeria Golino and Lea Seydoux. Actress Rossy de Palma (“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”) will be interviewed for an event hosted by Kering’s Women in Motion.

A round-table event held in association with Women’s Business Society will be attended by producers Anne-Dominique Toussaint and Pauline Gigax, actress Aïssa Maïga, virtual-reality entrepreneur Caecilia Charbonnier,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The 10 Best Films of the 2018 Berlin Film Festival

Critics Guy Lodge, Jay Weissberg and Jessica Kiang selected some of their favorite films of the 2018 Berlin Film Festival, including titles from Wes Anderson, Alonso Ruizpalacios and Julien Faraut.

Isle of Dogs

After the non-events of “Nobody Wants the Night” and “Django” in the last two years, Berlin’s opening-night slot needed a shot in the arm. Luckily, Wes Anderson was on hand to deliver the best Berlinale opener since, well, his own “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in 2014. Independent cinema’s reigning king of quirk returns to the stop-motion territory of “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” but to weirder and more beguiling effect this time. A gorgeously rendered man’s-best-friend adventure mixed in with intricate Japanophilia and a low-key liberal message, it was a welcome shot of inspired silliness in a festival otherwise short on laughs. – Gl


In a low-key Competition lineup short on major auteur names, Germany’s Christian Petzold was marked early on as one of
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Review: Sebastián Lelio's "A Fantastic Woman"

  • MUBI
A few months ago, I found myself feeling sorely disappointed by a film I had long waited to see. The time was August, the place was Locarno, and the movie was Nadir Moknèche’s Lola Pater, screened in the festival’s iconic Piazza Grande. Featuring legendary French actress Fanny Ardant as a transgender woman reunited with her long-lost son (a plot that, unoriginal as it may have been, promised plenty of drama), I thought I was in for a treat. But Lola Pater never met my expectations. In fact, I felt as though it mocked the transgender lead it purported to celebrate, and in ways I couldn’t fully articulate then, I began wondering whether Ardant was herself somehow part of the problem. The actress’s legendary portfolio may have made her look like a bullet-proof choice, but in the context of the recent renaissance of Lgbtq cinema, with storytellers
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Danielle Darrieux, French Star of ‘La Ronde,’ Dies at 100

Danielle Darrieux, French Star of ‘La Ronde,’ Dies at 100
Danielle Darrieux, one of the great French movie stars, died Wednesday in Bois-le-Roi, France. She was 100.

The star of director Max Ophuls’ classic early ’50s films “La Ronde” and “The Earrings of Madame de…” and Anatole Litvak’s 1936 “Mayerling” also made some films in Hollywood and, late in life, starred, with an all-star cast of fellow French female movie stars, in Francois Ozon’s “8 Femmes.”

In Ozon’s 2002 delightful musical mystery-comedy “8 Femmes,” the actress played Deneuve’s mother again, starring along with Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Beart, Fanny Ardant, Virginie Ledoyen and Ludivine Sagnier. The entire cast received a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for outstanding artistic achievement as well as the European Film Award for best actress.

Born in Bordeaux, Darrieux was raised in Paris. At the Paris Conservatory she studied the cello and piano.

Darrieux auditioned for a secondary role as a willful teenager in the 1931 musical “Le Bal” when she was only 14, and
See full article at Variety - Film News »

How New Movies Are Redefining Our Understanding of Family Life

  • Indiewire
How New Movies Are Redefining Our Understanding of Family Life
The following essay was produced as part of the 2017 Locarno Critics Academy, a workshop for aspiring film critics that took place during the 70th edition of the Locarno Film Festival.

Locarno isn’t just home to a major European film festival. It’s also an ideal place for many Swiss and foreign families to travel in summer and enjoy its hot weather, pleasant cuisine, and serene lake. This makes it a terrific place for contemplating new movies.

Ironically, during the 70th edition of the Locarno Film Festival, many of the films outwardly questioned the value of traditional family life. Many viewers encountered the puzzling contrast of watching subversive movies, leaving the screening rooms, and watching very conventional heterosexual families enjoying their vacations. But this only made the power of these movies stand out.

“C’est moi” says Fanny Ardant, a transgender women, in “Lola Pater,” the film by the Franco-Algerian director Nadir Mokneche,
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'Equilibrium' (L'equilibrio'): Film Review | Venice 2017

'Equilibrium' (L'equilibrio'): Film Review | Venice 2017
A well-intentioned priest returns home to the complex and compromised Campania region, around Naples, in Equilibrium (L’equilibrio), a sober and realistic fiction feature from Naples-born writer-director and occasional documentarian Vincenzo Marra. After shooting 2007’s The Trial Begins with Fanny Ardant and 2015’s First Light with local former heartthrob Riccardo Scamarcio, this feature represents in many ways a return to the incisive but modest modus operandi of his second and still best fiction feature, Land Wind (2004), a verite drama set in Campania that was shot, like this film, with very humble means and non-professional actors.

The non-pros in this Venice...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Locarno Film Review: ‘Lola Pater’

Locarno Film Review: ‘Lola Pater’
At a moment when trans visibility is at an all-time high in the United States, a movie like “Lola Pater” seems as if it was made for Neanderthals — albeit, the kind of cavemen who aren’t completely put off by subtitles. Nadir Moknèche’s play-it-safe treatment of the subject follows a handsome French 25-year-old who goes looking for the Algerian father who walked out on his family when he was a baby, only to find in his place a belly-dancer named Lola. We’ve all been there — maybe not in real life, but a quarter-century after PBS aired “Tales of the City” is really too late to pretend like that twist is anything special in an of itself.

The novelty here, scant though it is, comes in watching the gorgeous French actress Fanny Ardant (already something of a gay hero for her César-winning performance in “Pédale douce”) playing a woman once named Farid Chekib, and
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Venice contender 'Ex Libris' scores key deals for Doc & Film

Venice contender 'Ex Libris' scores key deals for Doc & Film
Exclusive: Company also takes on Venice Out of Competition title Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda.

Paris-based sales company Doc & Film has unveiled a slew of deals on Frederick Wiseman’s Venice Golden Lion contender Ex Libris – The New York Public Library.

The documentary, going behind the scenes of the world-famous public library, was revealed on Thursday as being one of the titles in the Venice Film Festival’s main competition.

Doc & Film CEO Daniela Elstner said the feature had pre-sold to Spain (La Aventura Audiovisual), Korea (Jinjin), Taiwan (Joint Entertainment), China (Lemon Tree) and Switzerland (Xenix).

“Other territories are under negotiation and it will be released in France on 1st November by Meteore Films,” she added.

Wiseman’s film delves into how the New York Public Library continues traditional activities while adapting to the digital age.

Venice sales pick-up

In other Venice-related news, Doc & Film has also taken on sales of Stephen Schible’s Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Locarno: France’s Luxbox Acquires ‘Cocote’ Sales Rights (Exclusive)

Locarno: France’s Luxbox Acquires ‘Cocote’ Sales Rights (Exclusive)
In the run-up to Switzerland’s Locarno Festival, Paris-based sales company Luxbox has acquired world sales rights to “Cocote,” one of this year’s standout titles from the Dominican Republic.

The fiction feature debut of Nelson Carlo de los Santos, whose feature length essay, “Santa Teresa y otras historias,” won Best Latin-American Film at 2015’s Mar del Plata Festival, ”Cocote” stands out from most Dominican productions in its three-way international co-production backing from Dr’s Guasabara Cine, Argentina’s Nabis Filmgroup (“One Sister”) and Germany’s Pandora Film Produktion (“The Other Side of Hope,” “Only Lovers Left Alive”).

Winning this April the Iff Panama’s Primera Mirada, a pix-in-post showcase, “Cocote” featured one month later at the Cannes Film Market in a Panama Goes to Cannes special screening. It will world premiere at Locarno in its Signs of Life section. A sidebar aiming to explore frontier territories in the seventh art, the festival has said,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Locarno: Films Boutique Handling Denis Côté’s ‘A Skin So Soft,’ Samuel Benchétrit’s’Dog’ (Exclusive)

Locarno: Films Boutique Handling Denis Côté’s ‘A Skin So Soft,’ Samuel Benchétrit’s’Dog’ (Exclusive)
Having represented the most talked-up title at this year’s Karlovy Vary, Berlin-based Films Boutique will hail into Locarno, Europe’s biggest summer festival, with two unannounced titles on its books: “Dog,” the latest from French auteur Samuel Benchetrit (“Macadam Stories”), and “A Skin So Soft,” from Canada’s Denis Côté.

A consistent festival prize winner in a short but prolific career, directing nine feature-length movies from 2005, Côté is best known for “Vic + Flo Saw a Bear,” which won the Alfred Bauer prize for opening up new perspectives at the 2015 Berlinale.

But more than any other festival, Côté’s career has turned around Locarno where a Golden Leopard for best video in 2005 allowed him to give quit his day job. 2008’s “All That She Wants” and 2010’s “Curling” both won best directing at Locarno.

Côté returns to the Swiss festival this year with “A Skin So Soft,” about a group of what is termed “modern-day gladiators,” high-level
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Locarno: Isabelle Huppert as ‘Madame Hyde,’ Fanny Ardant as a Transgender Woman

Locarno: Isabelle Huppert as ‘Madame Hyde,’ Fanny Ardant as a Transgender Woman
Rome – The Locarno Film Festival has unveiled a rich mix of titles spanning many genres for its 70th edition, marked by a strong French presence that will include Isabelle Huppert playing a physics teacher who undergoes a major personality shift in “Madame Hyde” and Fanny Ardant playing a man who has had gender-reassignment surgery in “Lola Pater” (pictured).

Focus Features’ spy pic “Atomic Blonde” with Charlize Theron and Netflix’s sci-fi thriller “What Happened to Monday?” will also screen in Locarno’s open-air, 8,000-seat Piazza Grande, though without talent in tow.

As in past editions, the lineup of the Swiss fest dedicated to indie cinema combines potential discoveries with new works by known festival auteurs such as Noemie Lvovsky, Anup Singh, F.J. Ossang, Wang Bing, Annemarie Jacir, and a posthumous pic by Raul Ruiz. The official competition comprises 14 world premieres, four of which are films by first-time directors.

Lvovsky’s “Tomorrow and Thereafter,” a
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Bridge International Boards Mystery Drama ‘Waiting For You’ – Cannes

Film Bridge International Boards Mystery Drama ‘Waiting For You’ – Cannes
Exclusive: Film Bridge International has picked up worldwide rights to mystery drama Waiting For You, starring César Award-winning Fanny Ardant (8 Women, Paris, Je T'aime) and Colin Morgan (Legend). Charles Garrad directs from a script he co-wrote with Hugh Stoddart. Film Bridge is launching sales on the project here in Cannes. The story revolves around Paul (Morgan) whose father lies dying, delirious and in pain, hinting at something he lost, something taken from him by…
See full article at Deadline »

Here in my car by Anne-Katrin Titze

Claude Lelouch on Howard Hawks's Bringing Up Baby and his own La Bonne Année as films to watch to cheer you up: "Very good choices!" Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

The Cannes Film Festival is gearing up for tomorrow's opening night screening of Arnaud Desplechin's Ismael’s Ghosts (Les Fantômes D'Ismaël) starring Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marion Cotillard with Louis Garrel and Alba Rohrwacher, and a score by Grégoire Hetzel. Claude Lelouch with Un Homme Et Une Femme, starring Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant, in 1966 had won Palme d'Or honours and with Pierre Uytterhoeven, a Best Screenplay Oscar.

Mr and Mrs Gallois (Charles Denner and Judith Magre) with Simon (Jean‑Louis Trintignant) in Le Voyou: "One must learn how to detect cheaters."

Driving with Fanny Ardant, Dominique Pinon, and Audrey Dana in Roman De Gare, Abbas Kiarostami and cars, Un + Une in India with Jean Dujardin and Elsa Zylberstein,
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Francois Ozon’s Career in Five Films

Sara Hemrajani looks at Francois Ozon’s career in five films…

Francois Ozon is one of contemporary French cinema’s most celebrated auteurs. He’s a prolific filmmaker who releases a film nearly every year – however, the quantity doesn’t diminish the quality.

Ozon’s features are recognised for their impressive aesthetics, creative storytelling, excellent casting choices and interesting psychological observations.

His latest movie, Frantz, is a black and white Franco-German tale on loss and self-discovery in the wake of WW2. It’s decidedly more sombre and meditative than the rest of the 49-year-old’s oeuvre.

Ozon will also be returning to the Cannes Film Festival this month with The Double Lover (L’Amant Double), which is in competition for the Palme d’Or.

To mark Ozon’s status as an internationally renowned director, Flickering Myth takes a look at the five key films that have made his career.

8 Women (8 Femmes)

As the title suggests,
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Margot Robbie to Portray Queen Elizabeth I in Josie Rourke’s “Mary Queen of Scots”

Margot Robbie in “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”: Paramount Pictures/Frank Masi

Margot Robbie is swapping her Harley Quinn pigtails for Queen Elizabeth I’s crown. The Hollywood Reporter writes that the “Suicide Squad” actress will play Queen Elizabeth in Josie Rourke’s “Mary Queen of Scots.” “Brooklyn’s” Saoirse Ronan is set to star as the titular Mary Stuart, Elizabeth’s cousin.

Written by Penelope Skinner (“How I Live Now”) and Michael Hirst (“The Tudors”), the biopic “will take on the historical family rivalry between Elizabeth and Mary, when the latter attempted to overthrow her cousin’s seat on the English thrown,” THR reports.

The Working Title and Focus Features film will be produced by Liza Chasin, Tim Bevan, and Eric Fellner. The trio previously collaborated on the Stephen Hawking biopic “The Theory of Everything.”

In a Better World” director Susanne Bier was originally linked to “Mary Queen of Scots.” She spoke to Women and Hollywood in 2014 about the project and her collaboration with Skinner. “Mary was very young when she became queen. Basically, she was queen from age five, but she became a real queen when she was 17,” Bier told us. “And we wanted to have that because part of the excitement is to have that young girl have the power of a queen. That was so exciting.”

We don’t know why Bier is no longer involved in the project, but we’re happy that another female director was selected to take the reins. Best known as a theater director, Rourke has previously helmed productions of “Much Ado About Nothing,” “The Vote,” “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” and “Saint Joan.” According to Rourke’s IMDb page, “Mary Queen of Scots” marks her feature directorial debut.

The conflict between Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart has been explored before in the 1971 Vanessa Redgrave-starrer “Mary, Queen of Scots,” and the 2013 “Mary Queen of Scots,” starring Camille Rutherford (“Blue Is the Warmest Color.” “Elizabeth,” the 1998 film toplined by Cate Blanchett, touched upon the hostility between Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart’s mother, Mary of Guise (Fanny Ardant, “Ridicule”).

Robbie has a number of projects on her plate. She stars in “I, Tonya,” a biopic a comedy about controversial Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding currently in post-production. Among Robbie’s other upcoming films are “Marian,” a new iteration of Robin Hood folklore, a spinoff for her “Suicide Squad” character Harley Quinn and other female villains of the DC Comics universe, “Queen of the Air,” in which she’ll play a trapeze artist, and “Beautiful Things,” a thriller set in a zoo.

Ronan is also plenty busy. The Oscar-nominated actress has roles in Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut “Lady Bird” and an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s “On Chesil Beach.” The “Atonement” actress is also set to play a refugee in a big screen adaptation of Camilla Gibb’s best-selling 2007 novel “Sweetness in the Belly.”

Margot Robbie to Portray Queen Elizabeth I in Josie Rourke’s “Mary Queen of Scots” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

The observer by Anne-Katrin Titze

Claude Lelouch with Anne-Katrin Titze on Quentin Tarantino and Le Voyou: "He told me if he hadn't seen that film he wouldn't have made Pulp Fiction." Photo: Sylvie Sergent

On the afternoon of the Focus on French Cinema screenings at the French Institute Alliance Française in New York of Un + Une (One Plus One) with Jean Dujardin, Elsa Zylberstein, Christophe Lambert and Alice Pol, and Un Homme Et Une Femme (A Man And A Woman), starring Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant, I met with the director/screenwriter Claude Lelouch at his hotel.

Disguises in La Bonne Année (Happy New Year) with Lino Ventura and Charles Gérard, kidnapping in Le Voyou (The Crook) with Trintignant and Christine Lelouch, traveling with Fanny Ardant, Dominique Pinon, and Audrey Dana in Roman De Gare (Crossed Tracks), influencing Terrence Malick, Abbas Kiarostami and cars, Howard Hawks's Bringing Up Baby, Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, dogs versus cats,
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Efm: Doc & Film to launch second season of Bruno Dumont's 'Li’l Quinquin'

Efm: Doc & Film to launch second season of Bruno Dumont's 'Li’l Quinquin'
Exclusive: New series to introduce sci-fi elements and touch on both migrant crisis and rise of populist politics.

French director Bruno Dumont will present his plans for the second season of his hybrid spoof police procedural TV series Li’l Quinquin at the European Film Market (Efm) this week (Feb 9-17). Paris-based Doc & Film International is handling sales.

Like the first series, it will be set in Dumont’s trademark setting of the Opal Coast in northern France and its surrounding countryside.

Entitled Coincoin And The Extra-humans, the drama will revisit the life of social misfit Quinquin who is now grown up and goes by the nickname of CoinCoin.

He spends his time loafing about the area and attending meetings of the Nationalist Party with his friend Fatso. His childhood sweetheart Eve has now left him for a woman

Like the previous series, it will play with the conventions of TV drama. In what appears
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'Stalin's Couch' ('Le Divan de Staline'): Film Review

'Stalin's Couch' ('Le Divan de Staline'): Film Review
As one of the certified monsters of the 20th century, Joseph Stalin, like his fellow crazed ideologue Adolf Hitler, exerts a powerful fascination for biographers and creators. The latest artist to fall under his dark spell is Fanny Ardant, best known as one of France's leading actresses and now making her third attempt at establishing herself behind the camera. Given the resounding failure of her debut and sophomore offerings (her last film, 2014's Obsessive Rhythms, was savaged by critics), it's good to report that Ardant's directing and screenwriting skills have improved considerably. Whether this progress, displayed in the telling of...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Goteborg Film Festival unveils 450 film line-up

  • ScreenDaily
Goteborg Film Festival unveils 450 film line-up
World premieres include Fanny Ardant’s Stalin’s Couch [pictured], Elisabeth E. Schuch’s The Book Of Birdie, Erlingur Ottar Thoroddsen’s Rift, and Manuel Concha’s Blind Alley.

Goteborg Film Festival has announced its programme of nearly 450 films from 84 countries to screen during the festival’s 40th anniversary edition (Jan 27-Feb 6).

As reported earlier, the festival will kick off with Dome Karukoski’s Tom Of Finland.

The eight films (all world premieres) competing for the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film – with a prize of $110,500 (Sek 1m) — are as follows:

Tom Of Finland by Dome Karukoski (Finland/Sweden/Denmark/Germany/Us)Beyond Dreams by Rojda Sekersöz (Sweden)The Ex-wife by Katja Wik (Sweden)Heartstone by Gudmundur A. Gudmundsson (Iceland/Denmark)Sámi Blood by Amanda Kernell (Sweden/Denmark/Norway)Little Wing bySelma Vilhunen (Finland)The Man by Charlotte Sieling (Denmark)Handle With Care by Arild Andresen (Norway)

The Nordic documentary competition includes:

Citizen Schein by Maud Nycander, [link
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