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8 items from 2007

Labadie unveils Pacte for French distribution

24 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

PARIS -- Barely two months after being ousted from the company he founded, Bac Films, Jean Labadie has launched a new French distribution venture, he said Friday.

The company is called Le Pacte (The Pact), and will cover theatrical, video and TV distribution in France as well as international sales and co-productions -- much the same territory which Labadie dealt with at Bac.

"No doubt I will get more involved in direct production than Bac used to, but without ever actually being lead producer on projects," Labadie said.

Le Pacte has a 2008 lineup of six titles which largely reflects the kind of talent relationships Labadie has maintained over the years.

The initial slate includes Jim Jarmusch's "The Limit of Control", Christophe Honore's "La Belle Personne", the next film from Iranian helmer Hana Makhmalbaf and Italian Mafia tale "Gomorra" directed by Matteo Garrone.

From 2009, the company aims to release 12 to 15 films a year.

Labadie said Le Pacte is initially self-financed through the sale of a 5% stake in Bac, in which he still holds a further 10%. »

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Focus sees no 'Limits' in working with Jarmusch

1 November 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Looking to populate its 08 slate, Focus Features have paired themselves once again with indie maverick Jim Jarmusch. The distributor will finance The Limits of Control - a project that will begin filming in Spain in the second month of 08'. Focus distributed the Bill Murray 2005 pic Broken Flowers. Stacey Smith and Gretchen McGowan will produce. Jon Kilik will exec produce.Isaach De Bankole is on board to play a mysterious loner used to operating outside the law, who is about to complete a job in contempo Spain. The film will cast other players more commonly seen on the international level.At this point, Jarmusch doesn't look to be in a hurry to contribute to the Untitled Orsay Museum project a series of films that would celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. Hou Hsiao-Hsien was the first to contribute to the project with The Flight of the Red Balloon. »

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Jarmusch in 'Control' with Focus

1 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Focus Features and writer-director Jim Jarmusch are back together again. The distributor has picked up worldwide rights to the helmer's next film, tentatively titled The Limits of Control.

The film will center on a secretive, mysterious outlaw (Jarmusch's frequent star, Isaach De Bankole) in the process of completing an undisclosed criminal job around Spain. As with Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, the production is set to sign an international collection of bankable stars to add commercial value to Jarmusch's characteristically offbeat work.

Control is set to shoot in February in Spain. Longtime Jarmusch producer Stacey Smith and Gretchen McGowan will produce. Frequent Jarmusch collaborator Jon Kilik will executive produce. Focus Features International will rep sales at this week's AFM.

Flowers, which starred Bill Murray and won the Grand Prix at the 2005 Festival de Cannes, earned $46.7 million worldwide to become Jarmusch's highest-grossing film to date.

Focus president of production John Lyons and senior vp European production Teresa Moneo will oversee the project on behalf of the distributor. »

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Interview: Hilary Brougher

19 April 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Stephanie Daley was a difficult film to make and to watch. The tale of an unwitting teenager who is accused of putting her premature baby in the trash isn’t going to be the “feel-good” movie of the year.  But the audience will walk out of this film feeling as if they’ve experienced something profound, no matter their judgment of the main character.This is Hilary Brougher’s sophomore effort and it’s a broad departure from her first sci-fi comedy The Sticky Fingers of Time. The film was brought up through the Sundance labs and championed by Tilda Swinton, who is credited as an executive producer. Shot on HD and a tight schedule the end result is emotional and thought provoking.  Amber Tamblyn plays an innocently ignorant teenager, who may or may not have known she was pregnant before a horrifying premature birth on a ski trip. »

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Lolas to honor Mueller-Stahl

19 April 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

CANNES -- German character actor Armin Mueller-Stahl will receive a lifetime achievement honor at this year's German Film Awards, the Lolas.

The 76-year-old actor is a veteran of film and television and first rose to fame in communist East Germany before leaving the country to become a star in the West.

In the early 1990s, Mueller-Stahl attracted attention with the role of a circus clown turned New York taxi driver in Jim Jarmusch's Night On Earth (1991). He went on to appear in such films as The House of the Spirits (1993) and Shine (1996). Mueller-Stahl's performance in Shine earned him Screen Actors Guild and Oscar nominations.

More recently, Mueller-Stahl has taken on heavyweight television roles, playing the Israeli Prime Minister on The West Wing and Noble Prize-winning writer Thomas Mann in the German miniseries The Manns, which won the International Emmy for best series.

Mueller-Stahl will receive his lifetime achievement Lola at a gala ceremony May 4 in Berlin.


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Ten 'Til Noon

4 April 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Laemmle Theatres/Radio London Films

There's a whole lot of clock-watching going on in "Ten 'Til Noon," a gimmicky crime thriller that follows the trajectory of its individual characters during the same 10-minute period, give or take a few ticks.

But while director Scott Storm and screenwriter Paul Osborne like to think they're walking the walk and talking the talk of a Quentin Tarantino or Jim Jarmusch -- both of whom have done the multiple-perspectives thing with terrific results -- this version makes for a soggy rendering of pulp fiction.

Here we have Rick D. Wasserman in the role of Larry Taylor, a successful businessman who awakens one morning (guess what time?) to find two intruders in his room: the polite but gun-wielding Mr. Jay (Alfonso Freeman, son of Morgan) and the mysterious Miss Milch (Jenya Lano).

It would soon become apparent that Larry's time is about up, but there are many other characters who play a part (with varying degrees of proficiency) in his destiny and plenty more clocks that are all reset to 11:49.

Shot on digital video, the modestly budgeted production is not without a certain visual slickness, but each time there's yet another close-up of the appointed hour, the effect can't help but remind one of "Groundhog Day" minus the clever and entertaining bits.


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'Little Children' to open Mexico fest

25 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

MEXICO CITY -- Todd Field's Oscar-nominated Little Children will open the 4th annual Mexico City International Contemporary Film Festival, one of Mexico's top movie showcases.

A total of 219 films from 47 nations will unspool during the 10-day festival, which runs from Feb. 21-March 4 here in the nation's capital.

The FICCO, as the event is called, will have 16 features and 17 documentaries in competition, organizers said at a Thursday news conference.

The fiction section features two Mexican productions: Ruben Imaz's Familia Tortuga (Turtle Family) and the world premiere of Ivan Avila's La Sangre Iluminada (Enlightened Blood).

The only American feature in competition is Julia Loktev's Day Night Day Night. The majority of fictional titles in competition are first works, including the award-winning 12:08 East of Bucharest, the first feature-length offering from Romania's Corneliu Porumboiu.

Notable foreign pictures screening out of competition include the Spike Lee documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, David Lynch's Inland Empire, Lars Von Trier's The Boss of It All and Canada's foreign-language Oscar-nominee, Water.

Among the international jury members are Jim Jarmusch, producer Jim Stark, actress Geraldine Chaplin and producer Mary Sweeney. »

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Most anticipated of '07: 10-01

5 January 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- 51*. The Devil and Daniel Webster - Alec Baldwin 50. The Meat Trade - Antonia Bird 49. Mister Lonely - Harmony Korine 48. La Vie en Rose - Olivier Dahan 47. Across the Universe - Julie Taymor 46. Youth Without Youth - Francis Ford Coppola 45. Margaret - Kenneth Lonergan 44. The Inner Life of Martin Frost - Paul Auster 43. Hallam Foe - David Mackenzie 42. Death at a Funeral - Frank Oz 41. An American Crime - Tommy O'Haver 40. Smiley Face - Gregg Araki 39. Spring Break in Bosnia - Richard Shepard 38. Stop-Loss - Kimberly Peirce 37. Jindabyne - Ray Lawrence 36. Black Snake Moan - Craig Brewer 35. Reservation Road - Terry George 34. Red Road - Andrea Arnold 33. Rendition - Gavin Hood 32. The Host - Bong Joon-ho 31. Rolling Stones documentary - Martin Scorsese 30. Lust, Caution - Ang Lee 29. The Nanny Diaries - Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini 28. Margo at the Wedding - Noah Baumbach 27. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford »

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