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With the exception of Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation and Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, the nineteen other films in Venice Film Festival’s contention for the Golden Lion won’t be mentioned during awards season, but who cares when you have the likes of Aleksander Sokurov, Luca Guadagnino and Marco Bellocchio in the line-up. Not unlike previous years, the 2015 edition has a good numbers of films from Italy and the U.S., with several France co-productions littered throughout and the addition of fresh faces with first time works from composer Piero Messina and artist/musician Laurie Anderson.
While non comp offerings in the shape of Scott Cooper’s Black Mass and Thomas McCarthy’s Spotlight are sure to receive a fair amount of trade news attention it’s the docus that are especially rich this year: Frederick Wiseman is joined by Sergei Loznitsa makes back to »
- Eric Lavallee
"Total Recall" is one of those movies that is beloved by a pretty wide swath of fandom, but it's never been a favorite of mine. Part of the problem is that while I love "Robocop," I don't think every single piece of material works with that tone. Paul Verhoeven loves to subvert the material he works with, and while "Robocop" was clearly written with tongue in cheek, the early drafts of "Recall" were all played pretty straight. There was a scene in one of those drafts that I loved dearly, right as Quaid is forced to confront an alley full of men. He's got no idea what to do, and then his body snaps in and he kills everyone, bare-handed, only to end up shaken and freaked out by what he just did. I loved the idea of Richard Dreyfuss playing that scene because we'd be just as surprised by »
- Drew McWeeny
The 90s saw Joe Eszterhas become the world's most famous screenwriter, selling scripts for up to $4m apiece. But what became of the films?
By the end of the 1990s, the screenwriting career of Joe Eszterhas was in sharp decline. His hyped Hollywood satire, Burn Hollywood Burn: An Alan Smithee Film had come, bombed and swept the Golden Raspberry Awards. Furthermore, projects that were previously live and kicking were being swept under the carpet.
But for a long while, Joe Eszterhas was that rarest of things: a genuine Hollywood writing superstar. And in a movie era where the writer seems to have, for the most part, fallen down the pecking order again, I thought it was worth digging through the many big money scripts that Joe Eszterhas sold in and around the 1990s, to see just what ultimately became of them. Some you'll have heard of, but I'd wager »
One of the enduring images from early '90s cinema is from Paul Verhoeven's Basic Instinct, when Sharon Stone crosses and uncrosses her legs in a tight white dress while getting interrogated by Michael Douglas and his ilk. Well, Paul Rudd wanted to give Douglas a trip down nostalgia lane on the set of Ant-Man, but he ran into some — ahem — logistical difficulties. Pro tip: Next time, take the boxers off before you do it. »
- E. Alex Jung
Madrid – Completing one of the biggest Latin America- U.S.-Europe co-productions in history, Canana, the Mexico-l.A.-based production house of Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz, has boarded Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama,” one of Latin America’s most awaited and most ambitious movies.
A partner with Im Global in Mundial, a pioneering Latin America sales company, and with Participant Media in Participant PanAmerica, beyond its own lead productions – “Miss Bala,” “Cesar Chavez,” Cannes 2015 Un Certain Regard player “The Chosen Ones” — Canana has been a key driver of first moves to create a pan-regional Latin American film industry, co-producing milestone recent Latin American co-productions such as Pablo Larrain’s “No” and Pablo Fendrik’s “Ardor.”
“We are thrilled to join such a group of colleagues — all admired »
- John Hopewell
Screen Australia has injected almost $1.6 million in funding into eight new projects through its Multiplatform Drama program..
The program is intended to support unorthodox projects released on a variety of platforms.
"Funding from Screen Australia helps deliver on the promise and potential of these ideas, and assists content makers release and market their stories worldwide,. he said.
.Adelaide.s RackaRacka and Triptych Pictures are the latest team supported under the fund to deliver views in the many millions with their Versus series," she said..
"For brave local content which is connecting with audiences globally, you need look no further than our Multiplatform fund..
.The eight »
- Brian Karlovsky
Showgirls is reportedly the biggest-selling MGM DVD of all time. So how did it go from flop to hit?
In the build up to the release of Paul Verhoeven's now-infamous 1997 movie, Showgirls, the signs were looking positive. Uniting the creative team - Verhoeven and writer Joe Eszterhas - who had generated the gigantic hit, Basic Instinct, MGM was gearing itself up for a further success. In the run up to the film's release, the Showgirls website was proving to be one of the most successful to date on the-then burgeoning public world wide web, with over a million people accessing the site. This at a point where AOL had barely pressed a million of those infamous CD-ROMs promoting its service, we'd wager.
So confident was MGM that it had a must-see movie on its hands that it didn't insist on Showgirls being cut for an R-rating. As such, it »
★★★☆☆ With a hip-hop, cyberpunk aesthetic paying homage to 1980s classics Short Circuit (1986) and RoboCop (1987), by way of the critically derided Tank Girl (1995), Neill Blomkamp's unorthodox sci-fi Chappie (2015) is an energetic, experimental genre piece that just falls short on delivering the heady concepts it raises. The film opens with newsreels blaring out announcing the existence of an A.I. called "Chappie" before flashing back 18 months to find a crime-ridden Johannesburg on the brink of collapse. In a bid to stem the crime wave, the police have turned to an arms company to supply then with gun-totting droids. So far, the comparisons to Paul Verhoeven's cyborg cop are obvious.
- CineVue UK
From TV-loving agoraphobes to those looking for brazen shirtless male strippers, this holiday weekend offers plenty for the culturally curious to explore
Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971
It goes a long way to revalorising one of the most misunderstood artists of the last 60 years. Her massive fame, and maybe her heal-the-world rhetoric too, has obscured the groundbreaking contributions she made to the art of the 1960s and beyond. At last, the art world has come round. This show is no guerrilla occupation. It is a belated and jubilant rectification of the historical record, and a victory lap for an artist laughed at for too long.
One of the most alluring parts of Purifoy’s work is the richness of its meaning. Much of it is playful and humorous. He handles social issues with a deft touch – perhaps in the Langston Hughes spirit of “laughing to keep from crying”. And »
- Alex Needham and Lanre Bakare in New York
A furious slew of titles in the works would seem to prophesize a robust main competition slate for Cannes 2016. Though our initial list will eventually be pruned down as the year progresses (Berlin may snag something in here, especially if their 2016 lineup looks anything like their landmark selection from this past January), we’re confident that we will be seeing another round of heavy hitting auteurs unveiling their latest bits on the Croisette.
Absent from the main competition in 2015 were the Romanians (Muntean and Porumboiu were assigned to Un Certain Regard) and any trace of Latin filmmakers. The 2016 edition looks to make up for lost ground. For the Romanians, a couple heavy hitting titans from the New Wave will be ready. Cristi Puiu, who previously won Ucr in 2005 with The Death of Mr. Lazarescu should hopefully be getting a competition invite for Sierra Nevada. Meanwhile, previous Palme d’Or winner »
- Nicholas Bell
In 1995, Elizabeth Berkley was a young and fairly unknown actress who seemingly scored the role of a lifetime - that of the lead star in "Basic Instinct" and "Total Recall" director Paul Verhoeven's high-profile "Showgirls" film.
The erotic drama of course was a critical flop and box-office bomb, a very public one at the time with the actress being targeted with some harsh criticism alongside the project itself.
Yet the movie has not only survived, it has thrived. On home video, the film became one of MGM's top twenty all-time bestsellers and earned more than enough revenue to take the film well into profit. Critically it has also been revisited and become something of a cult classic.
This week, during a special screening of the movie in Los Angeles to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, Elizabeth Berkley made an appearance at the cinema and spoke to the crowd in a »
- Garth Franklin
It even picked up a belated eighth for Worst Movie of the Decade a few years on.
Have fun tonight at the screening at the Hollywood Forever Cometary....all you amazing #showgirls fans have turned this film into the beloved cult film that it is. Years ago they said it was a bomb...who knew it would become the highest grossing dvd for MGM of all time?! Thank you for loving it the way you do....it was made with a spirit of fun -from the top of my bleached blonde hair to the tip of my glittery toes#thankyou #imadancer #itsa...versayce!
A photo posted by Elizabeth Berkley (@elizberkley) on Jun 27, 2015 at 11:54am Pdt
Verhoeven could shrug it off, picking up the gongs in person, »
Now that we’ve come out of the Cannes ether, we can examine several of the names glaringly absent from the lineup that may potentially premiere on the Lido this fall. With controversial moves finding Garrel, Gomes, and Desplechin playing the Quinzaine, while Naomi Kawase and Apichatpong Weerasethakul got slotted in Un Certain Regard, we’re aggravated and pleased about some of this shifting around, but all in all, the main competition this year didn’t end up feeling like many programming risks were taken.
First off, to the general surprise of all, German director Maren Ade and British director Terence Davies were absent from the line-up, both with new highly anticipated titles (Toni Erdmann and Sunset Song respectively). Thierry Fremaux, arguably, tried to mix things up a bit with the Main Competition this year, inviting two female directors (Sacre Bleu!), including Valerie Donzelli and repeat offender Maiwenn (both titles »
- Nicholas Bell
We look at the films that slipped through Hollywood's net, from biblical epics to a time travelling Gladiator sequel...
This article contains a spoiler for Gladiator.
If you're one of those frustrated over the quality of many of the blockbusters that make it to the inside of a multiplex, then ponder the following. For each of these were supposed to be major projects, that for one reason or another, stalled on their way to the big screen. Some still may make it. But for many others, the journey is over. Here are the big blockbusters that never were...
The late Michael Crichton scored another residential on the bestseller list with his impressive thriller, Airframe. It was published in 1996, just after films of Crichton works such as Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure and the immortal Congo had proven to be hits of various sizes.
So: a hit book, another techno thriller, »
Back in 2012 Total Recall was rebooted with a modern, sparkly remake that was big on FX if a little lacking in depth.
You may not remember (ahem) this feature we ran rounding up our top 10 scenes, but as this week marks the 25th anniversary of Paul Verhoeven and Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1990 classic we've decided to Recall it for you.
1. "Consider that a divorce"
Doug Quaid puts an end to his marriage to Lori (Sharon Stone) with a bloody full stop.
2 "Be careful, it's my head too"
Hauser tells Quaid how to get that remarkably large tracker out of his nose.
3. Three is a magic number...
The bit everyone down the pub mentions when talking about Total Recall.
4. "Hah, hah, hah! You think this is the real Quaid? It is."
Is it a hologram? Is it Quaid? These guards find out the hard way.
5. "Start the reactor"
… free Mars!
6. "I got »
His first name may translate as "cool breeze over the mountains" but it's more a case of "shitstorm in the kitchen" for Keanu Reeves in exploitation homage Knock Knock. The Eli Roth home-invasion thriller has a new trailer to watch below.Knock Knock finds Reeves as a seemingly happily married man living with his wife (Ignacia Allamand) when two beautiful young women (Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas) show up. They seduce him and end up wrecking his perfect life. With knives and guns and whatever else comes to hand. Ouch.It's another chance to see Reeves doing genre work, with John Wick's success - and planned sequel - showing there's plenty of appetite for that. On this evidence, though, he's on the receiving end of the majority of the punishment, until the tables, presumably, get turned.Roth has billed this one as a "psychosexual thriller" in the spirit »
With Paul Verhoeven’s (RoboCop, Starship Troopers) latest film being shopped around Cannes, the first images have arrived online for Elle, an adaptation of French author Phillippe Dijan’s novel Oh…, and we have them for you here…
When Michelle, the CEO of a gaming software company, is attacked in her home by an unknown assailant, she refuses to let it alter her precisely ordered life. She manages crises involving her 75-year-old sex kitten mother, her imprisoned mass murderer father, her spoiled and immature son, her ex-husband and her lover, all with the same icy equanimity.
Elle features a cast that includes Isabelle Huppert, Christian Berkel, Anne Consigny, Virginie Efira, Laurent Lafitte, Charles Berling, Lucas Prisor, Raphaël Lenglet, Vimala Pons and Judith Magre and is expected to arrive in 2016.
- Gary Collinson
Having produced films by Roman Polanski (“Carnage”) and Brian De Palma (“Passion”) and co-produced David Cronenberg’s “Map to the Stars”), Said Ben Said’s Paris-based Sbs Prods. will not only produce but distribute in France and sell internationally Isabelle Huppert starrer “Elle,” only the second film in 10 years from Paul Verhoeven.
“I had a strong feeling with this one that I was doing something that I’d never done before, which applied when I made ‘Robocop,’ ” Verhoeven told Variety.
Written by David Birke (“13 Sins), “Elle” is based on “Oh…,” a novel by France’s Phillippe Dijan in which the protagonist, Michelle, played by Huppert, has a son whose girlfriend is pregnant, but by another man. Michelle herself is divorced and having an affair with her best friend’s husband, while her »
- John Hopewell
The Toronto International Film Festival is in its 40th year, and the Tiff CEO and Artistic Director this morning announced the programmers for 2015’s festival.
Tiff runs from September 10 to September 20. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a reveal of the full film lineups. Read the press-release for this year’s festival programmers below:
40th Toronto International Film Festival Announces Its Programmers
Toronto — Piers Handling, Director and CEO of Tiff, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, reveal the team of 22 programmers who will make the selections for the 40th Toronto International Film Festival®, which runs Thursday, September 10 through Sunday, September 20, 2015.
Europe, City to City: London, Special Presentations, Gala Presentations
Handling is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tiff. He has held this position since 1994, and is responsible for leading both the operational and artistic growth of the organization. Under Handling’s direction, »
- Brian Welk
Video entertainment platform Machinima have announced an ambitious production slate at the Digital Content Newfronts event in New York. Showing off its partnerships with DC, MGM, Star Trek writer Roberto Orci and others, one of its main shows will focus on Robocop in a series of internet shorts.
Titled Robocops, the narrative expands the concept as a fleet of cybernetically-augmented law enforcers roam Delta City dishing out justice. And the audience is right in the thick of the action as they are patched into the officers’ helmets on virtual ride alongs. Sounds like this incarnation has more than a dash of Cops about it, combined of course with the trademark mix of satire and carnage. It looks like it’ll be derived from Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 original rather than the reimagined version of 2014.
Machinima are also bringing us a second season of Bruce Timm’s superhero reinvention saga Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles, »
- Steve Palace
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