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Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
The Apu Trilogy (Satyajit Ray)
Although it premiered 60 years ago this week at the Museum of Modern Art, Satyajit Ray‘s Pather Panchali remains among both the most accomplished of debuts and cinema’s most universally relatable experiences. Accentuating the basics of human emotions to result in the most complex of reactions, Ray’s subsequent trilogy of films follows the hardships of a Bengali boy as he passes into adulthood, a delicately powerful tale of transition that’s now been gloriously restored. »
- TFS Staff
November 17th is looking to be a great day for genre-related home entertainment releases as we’ve got quite an eclectic array of titles coming out this Tuesday. For those who may have missed it earlier this year, The Stanford Prison Experiment is arriving on DVD this week and the good folks at Scream Factory are keeping busy once again with their HD releases of both Troll films as well as the 1987 thriller White of the Eye.
Olive Films is also resurrecting a bevy of cult classics this week on both Blu-ray and DVD and for those of you Amazon shoppers out there, you can pick up the 20th anniversary edition of The City of Lost Children (which is amazing if you’ve never seen it) exclusively on their site.
On a futuristic oil rig, »
- Heather Wixson
When Neill Blomkamp revealed that his "Alien" movie was on hold due to Ridley Scott's "Alien: Paradise Lost," it seemed like that was hardly the whole story. One got the feeling that it wasn't going to be anytime soon that Blomkamp would be able to realize his vision, and it's probably not a coincidence that he recently signed up to write and direct another Fox sci-fi movie, "The Gone World." And indeed, Scott has come right out and said it — he doesn't want anybody else to touch his baby. “I’m trying to keep this for myself. I let the other one ['Alien'] get away from me – I shouldn’t have… I’m trying to re-resurrect the beast and let if off the hook for a while because I’m coming back into the back-end of 'Alien 1.' I’m gradually getting to 'Alien 1,' " the director told IGN. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Read More: Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg and 14 More A-List Directors Share Filmmaking Stories with Sam Mendes French streaming website La Cinetek has just dropped a huge cinephile treat for its users in the form of 26 curated lists by some of the most internationally acclaimed directors working today. Each filmmaker has offered up his or her 50 favorite films of all time, and although you need to have a subscription in order to view the films, American audiences can still take a look at each list in full to see what films have caught the eye of each director. Directors taking part on the streaming website include Arnaud Desplechin, Ira Sachs, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Agnes Varda, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Costa-Gavras, Michel Hazanavicius, James Gray, Olivier Assayas, Lynne Ramsay, Jacques Audiard and Bong Joon-ho. Take a look at some of the highlights for two of our favorite directors below, and check out each list in »
- Zack Sharf
The 15th edition of the Marrakech Intl. Film Festival – one of the biggest events in Africa and the Arab world – has announced the nine members of its festival jury, presided over by Francis Ford Coppola.
Coppola will be joined by helmers Anton Corbijn (Netherlands, “Life”), Jean-Pierre Jeunet (France, “The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet”), Naomi Kawase (Japan, “Still the Water”), Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark, “Far From the Madding Crowd”), actor-director Sergio Castellitto (Italy, “You Can’t Save Yourself Alone”), actress-producer Olga Kurylenko (Ukraine, “A Perfect Day”), and thesps Richa Chadda (India, “Gangs of Wasseypur”) and Amal Ayouch (Morocco, “The Gospel of Mark”).
In previous editions, jury members and guest directors have participated in master classes and talks to audiences comprising local film students.
In order to encourage budding »
- Martin Dale
The juries have been announced for the 2015 Marrakech Int. Film Fest, and the Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola) will be in good company. A cinephile’s wet dream, the 15th edition will include an astute set of mostly auteur filmmakers with Anton Corbijn, Naomi Kawase, Thomas Vinterberg, Jean-Pierre Jeunet along with, mostly actor but also director Sergio Castellitto, Richa Chadda (Gangs of Wasseypur), Olga Kurylenko and Amal Ayouch.
The Cinécoles Jury (short films comp) includes a who’s who of talent with
The White Knights (recently shown at Tiff) helmer Joachim Lafosse being joined by actor Niels Schneider (Xavier Dolan’s Heartbeats), actress and director Valeria Golino (Miele), actress and filmmaker Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (A Castle in Italy), local filmmaker Saâd Chraïbi and the bee’s knee’s actress from Bird People in Anaïs Demoustier. The festival kicks of on the 4th until the 12th of December. »
- Eric Lavallee
Paris– Gaumont et Montebello Productions, the banner of former Pathe U.K. topper François Ivernel, have signed a development and production agreement. The three-year pact will cover both film and TV production.
Ivernel, a vet producer and distributor whose credits include Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire,” said Gaumont combined “stability and dynamism.” “Gaumont has been very successful with production and distribution of French films and international TV series. The company’s ambition to pursue its expansion into English-language movies as well as European TV series makes it an ideal partner for Montebello,” explained Ivernel.
The alliance between the two companies suggests Gaumont’s willingness to venture again into English-language film productions with a well-rounded partner. The French studio had been focusing on local pics after delivering a string of English-language movies, notably Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Lyon, France — An echo of his prolific career, colorful personality and enduring passion for movies, Martin Scorsese was celebrated by an impressive delegation of French and international film figures on Friday night in Lyon, where he received the Lumiere tribute.
The ceremony was emceed by Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director and general delegate of both Cannes and Lyon Lumiere film festivals. Fremaux, who created the festival seven years ago with vet French helmer Bertrand Tavernier to showcase heritage films, said the pair had dreamt of honoring Scorsese even since the festival was launched.
“This festival was created to celebrate the history of cinema, as well as passion and knowledge and Martin Scorsese embodies all these things in an absolute way,” Fremaux told Variety before the fest kicked off. Previous Lumiere tributes were awarded to Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodovar and Clint Eastwood.
Like a rock star, Scorsese walked into the jam-packed »
- Elsa Keslassy
Paradiso, a drama from Cirque du Soleil Media and 20th Century Fox TV, has been set up at Fox with a script commitment plus penalty. The project, which stems from the first-look deal for scripted series Cirque du Soleil Media inked with 20th TV in January, is said to be in the vein of Moulin Rouge. Inspired by the dreamlike style of Cirque du Soleil’s live shows, Paradiso explores what would happen if a character like Amelie from Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s movie went into a… »
Described as “dark and sadistic” and “a very evil movie”, Raja Gosnell’s live-action 2002 released Scooby Doo offended almost every Christian film critic who saw it, with one calling the picture “a tool for the Devil.”
What could be so terrible about a PG-rated kiddie comedy, you ask? Viewers objected to the “abundance of skin” as well as “the heavy emphasis on voodoo” while one critic claimed he was “uncomfortable with the idea of people trading souls and contemplating lustful advances.”
By no means were these views unique. Other movies deemed unacceptable by movie-going Christians include Armageddon (“the myth of Evolution is presented as scientific fact”), The Avengers (“Loki is a clear depiction of the Devil”) and the “evil and occultic” Harry Potter franchise. In a world where “mainstream” viewers debate hidden meanings in The Shining, however, such opinions are no less valid than those of anyone else.
- Ian Watson
In a slightly odd but welcome move Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will finally release Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s cult classic The City of Lost Children as an Amazon-exclusive Blu-ray release on October 13. The release is timed with the French film's 20th Anniversary.
Though it wasn't their first film, the visually striking City of Lost Children helped to launch the careers of Jeunet (Amelie) and collaborator Marc Caro (Dante 01) as well as Ron Perlman. The film was incredibly influential and a progenitor of the "steampunk" aesthetic in film
A scien [Continued ...] »
There's an expression a dog wears when it's done something wrong that you haven't found out about yet, as it slinks over to cower in its basket, hoping you won't notice. For some reason, that's kind of what it feels like when films like this week's John Cusack-starrer "Shanghai," or last month's Jean-Pierre Jeunet-directed "The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet" limp into theaters after a long time out of sight, presumably spent chewing on your dress shoes upstairs. Both those titles were Mia for a long time after they'd been finished and even released in other territories; both come pre-infused with an almost palpable aura of defeat; and neither has received much in the way of a marketing push. And there's one other thing both films share—they are being put out (in the sense of both "distributed" and "doused as one would a fire") by The Weinstein Company. »
- Jessica Kiang and Oliver Lyttelton
Jean-Pierre Jeunet has not been shy about airing his grievances at Harvey Weinstein about the handling of his latest film, "The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet." Earlier this year, Jeunet said Harv wanted to reedit his film, even though the filmmaker had final cut on 'Spivet.' And it seems that eventually Weinstein just gave up on the movie altogether, carelessly dumping it into theaters last month, with the trailer dropping literally the day before it was set open, with no press screenings or other advertising being done to promote the picture. Chatting with Sydney's Buzz, Jeunet once again took the producer/distributor to task for his handling of 'Spivet,' and he has a pretty good idea why the movie was shuffled into cinemas in such a poor manner. Read More: Review: 'Amelie' Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Oppressively Whimsical 'T.S. Spivet' Starring Helena Bonham Carter "...they have a contract with Netflix. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
One of two dramatic pilots to land on Amazon Prime recently, Casanova stars Diego Luna as the eponymous Venetian, recently escaped from imprisonment in the Doge’s palace and on the run to Paris, determined to right his ways and prove himself to be more than his debaucheries. All, however, does not go to plan. He immediately falls into the political game of the French court, finding himself caught between the ongoing machinations of Madame Pompadour (Bojana Novokovic) and his old friend, de Bernis (Ben Daniels).
When you think of Giacomo Casanova, sex is probably the first thing that comes to mind. His infamous debaucheries and reputation for seduction have formed the basis for various adaptations, including the rambunctious BBC version with David Tennant in the title role. »
As it has built up its library of original programming, Amazon Studios has used “pilot seasons,” in which multiple potential shows premiere at the same time, to its advantage. After debuting its fifth pilot season earlier this year, Amazon is following up with a mini-season that includes two pilots. It has shared the first episodes of Casanova and Sneaky Pete and has welcomed viewer feedback on both of them.
Both of Amazon’s new dramas come with big names attached. Casanova, which was first attached to Amazon in January, will follow the life of the titular 18th century Venetian libertine, with particular attention paid to his time in “exile” in Paris. It comes from veteran TV producer Ben Silverman, features Amelie’s Jean-Pierre Jeunet in the director’s chair, and stars Diego Luna of Y Tu Mama Tambien fame.
Sneaky Pete, on the other hand, follows a con man who »
- Sam Gutelle
Amazon Studios wants you to decide the fate of its new shows, per its usual crowdsourcing development process. Will these get a full series order? That's up to audiences. This weekend, you can stream Jean-Pierre Jeunet's pilot "Casanova," starring Diego Luna as the 18th-century playboy as he flees to Paris. Exiled from Venice at the dawn of the Enlightenment, he hopes to put his past behind him. Co-stars are Bojana Novakovic, Miranda Richardson and Ben Daniels. Stuart Zicherman of "The Americans" penned the script. Executive producers Bryan Cranston and David Shore's "Sneaky Pete," a drama pilot rejected by CBS, stars Giovanni Ribisi as a con man fresh out of prison who assumes the identity of his cellmate and moves in with his family. Co-stars are Marin Ireland, Margo Martindale, Peter Gerety, Libe Barer and Shane McRae, and it's directed by Seth Gordon, who helmed "Horrible Bosses." "House" writer David Shore penned the. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Well, if you're not going to see "Fantastic Four" this weekend, there's something else you can do to whittle away a few hours. Amazon is dropping a handful of new pilots on their service today, and as usual, it's up to viewers to vote and share feedback in order to help determine which one will get green-lit. Among those hoping to connect with potential viewers is Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "Casanova." Diego Luna leads the erotic drama about the famed master of seduction who can't help but put his moves on the opposite sex. This trailer and clip from the show reveals that "Casanova" promises to be uh, busty.... Here's the official synopsis: Casanova chronicles a little-known period in the life of one of 18th century’s most famous playboys. Exiled from his beloved Venice, renowned playboy Giacomo Casanova (Luna) flees to Paris at the dawn of the Enlightenment in hopes »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Amazon Studios has released a new batch of pilots on its service today, with one of the most high-profile being the bawdy erotic drama "Casanova". "Amelie" helmer Jean-Pierre Jeunet directs and produces the period effort starring Diego Luna as the famed master of seduction. Like all Amazon pilots, it's up to viewers to vote and share feedback in order to help determine if the show will go to series.
- Garth Franklin
Diego Luna embodies the renowned 18th-century Italian playboy for Amazon original pilot “Casanova,” which the company will debut Friday along with the pilot for “Sneaky Pete,” starring Giovanni Ribisi. Amazon released a new trailer Thursday, which underscores Luna’s allure, as he woos the lovely ladies of the Enlightenment. The series is an account of the historical figure’s exile from Venice, Italy. Casanova flees to Paris and finds himself seduced by the same temptations and opportunities for trouble. Also Read: Bryan Cranston Wants His Money Back in Amazon's 'Sneaky Pete' Trailer (Video) Oscar-nominated director Jean Pierre Jeunet »
- Deborah Day
Amazon asks customers to “Watch. Rate. Review” its new pilots, giving them a vote, and stake, in the development process. Yet the two candidates being trotted out on Aug. 7, “Casanova” and “Sneaky Pete,” both exhibit the limits of this democratic approach, and the elusive nature of what defines premium programming. While both projects conjure some curiosity about where they’re heading – and are probably more apt to do so among those willing to sample them – neither feels like it fully takes off based strictly on first impressions.
During a session with journalists at the TV Critics Assn. tour earlier this week, Amazon executives sounded a bit smug as they dismissed traditional TV metrics and stressed their desire to engage viewers in a passionate way. The primary question that motivates them, they said, is “How do you make someone’s favorite show?”
If that’s the criterion, then despite some virtues, »
- Brian Lowry
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