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"This movie is not autobiographical in any way," Robin Wright told the press at a Cannes roundtable session to discuss "The Congress," Ari Folman’s half live-action, half animated hallucinatory indictment of the moviemaking industry starring Wright as... Robin Wright. Among the most divisive titles to play at Cannes so far this year (our own Eric Kohn is a fan, The Playlist is not), "The Congress," loosely based on Stanislaw Lem's science-fiction novel, "The Futurological Congress," takes a meta "Being John Malkovich" approach by featuring Wright as a fictional version of herself, who at the outset is struggling as an actress in an industry that values youth over experience. At the behest of her agent (Harvey Keitel), Wright agrees to partake in a revolutionary experiment to create a digital replica of herself (albeit a younger one) to take over her career. The catch? The real Wright can never act again. »
- Nigel M Smith
One of the most talked about (and seemingly divisive) films of the festival so far, Ari Folman’s The Congress – the Israeli director’s follow-up to his Oscar-nominated Waltz With Bashir – is an ambitious, trippy spectacle that mashes up movie-biz satire and future-shock sci-fi to mesmerising, if muddled, effect. Screening in the Director’s Fortnight strand, this part-live action, part-animated curio stars Robin Wright (in an emotional and extraordinarily committed turn) as, er, Robin Wright – an ageing Hollywood star whose career is drying...
- Richard Jordan
Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir) has been working on The Congress for the better part of five years now, with the first footage of the film appearing online almost three years ago exactly. Now, the final product has premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Inspired by Stanislaw Lem's short story "The Futurological Congress", the film uses the idea that in the future hallucinogenic drugs will be used to replace reality, and Folman takes this thought to make a commentary on cinema and its potential demise at the hands of Hollywood overlords seeking new ways to remain stuck in the past rather than move forward into the future. In many ways The Congress creates a complicated, well worn circle where advancements in technology are being used to maintain a hold on the past rather than propel us into the future. Utilizing both live-action and animation, the film begins with Robin Wright »
- Brad Brevet
The Guardian’s Xan Brooks gives Ari Folman’s The Congress three out of five stars, “Folman juggles live action with animation, earth-toned reality with candied fantasy, to spin the tale of Robin Wright (played, »
- Sasha Stone
Producer Prashita Chaudhary is making her presence felt in world cinema even as 100 years of Indian cinema gets celebrated at Cannes this year. She is one of the producers on Ari Folman’s film Congress which opened the Directors’ Fortnight section at the premier film festival on 16.05.2013. The film stars Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs), Robin Wright (Moneyball) and Paul Giamatti (Sideways) among others. “It is my first working relationship with India in a manner. It is rare to find people who share the same passion on the film as the director” said Folman about his Indian producer.
Prashita’s production house Cinemorphic has been doing groundbreaking work, picking projects that celebrate cinema at its purest. Besides Congress, Prashita is behind films like Oscar winning director, Danis Tanovic’s next with Emraan Hashmi. “The selection of Congress in Cannes this year is a terrific and timely validation that Cinemorphic is on the right track, »
- Press Releases
Ari Folman’s “The Congress” begins well enough, with the sheer physical presence of Robin Wright center screen, tears popping from her eyes. The actress, who in real life has aged gracefully into strength – or maybe it’s just bitterness -- plays “Robin Wright,” an aging actress who has made many “lousy choices.” We know this from her agent, played with sweet understatement by Harvey Keitel, who spares nothing and no one, including the “lousy men” Wright has chosen. Is that one of the movie’s many in-jokes? Sitting in the home she shares with her two teenagers, a renovated airplane hanger located right next to an airport in the California desert, Keitel goes on to inform her that the studio, the nicely named Miramount, wants to discuss a new contract; it’s obvious something is up but he doesn’t know what exactly. The what is the crux of the film, »
- Tom Christie
Welcome to the first podcast from the 2013 Cannes Film Festival where my guests are Emma and Aurellien from CinemaTeaser.com, Kevin Jagernauth from The Playlist and Mexican reviewer Silvestre Lopez Portillo joins us for the first of two parts to discuss Heli, which was recorded inside the Palais Theatre. The second part was recorded at a cafe outdoors, which ended up being a big mistake as we caught the first windy moments of a storm that was rolling in off the water, resulting in a lot of noise from the wind. If the second part is tolerable, you'll hear us discuss Jeune et Jolie, Fruitvale Station, The Bling Ring, The Past and The Congress. What I hoped to deliver with these was to give you a taste of some of the random conversations we tend to have after seeing the movies as we work out our own thoughts and take in the thoughts of others. »
- Brad Brevet
Ari Folman's Waltz With Bashir premiered in Cannes in 2008 and was the people's choice for the coveted Palme D'Or, which Sean Penn's jury gave to Laurent Cantet's The Class instead. Folman was vindicated with an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and the fact that we haven't heard from him in five years has nothing to do with him resting on his laurels. His follow-up, The Congress, a semi-animated fantasy begun some five years ago, opened Directors' Fortnight at this year's Cannes today, and it's easy to see why it was so time-consuming.The film begins with a telling credit – “Robin Wright At” – before the title appears: The Congress. We cut straight to Wright, playing herself, being lectured by her agent, Al (Harvey Keitel). Al tells her that she is being made the offer of a lifetime, a job so important it will also be her last. »
Note: Film critic Tim Grierson is attending the Cannes Film Festival for the first time. For Backstage, he’ll be filing occasional diary entries about his thoughts and impressions of the granddaddy of all film festivals. Friday, May 17, 1:14 a.m. Cannes, like most film festivals, drives on star power. A terrific movie such as “Amour” can premiere here and win the Palme d’Or, paving the way for a Best Foreign Language Oscar, but for a certain (larger) part of the population, the festival’s bigger films will always be the ones that topline Brad Pitt. A film that debuted Thursday in the Director’s Fortnight section tackles these topics—art and celebrity—head on. Actors will no doubt be intrigued by the movie’s concept, but what it has to say about their profession might make them a little queasy. The sci-fi, partly animated drama “The Congress” imagines »
Robin Wright plays “herself” in “The Congress,” a trippy cautionary tale about where society is headed, assuming movie stars license their essence to studios and audiences abandon cinema in favor of chemical cocktails that allow them to experience life as their celebrity of choice. Conceptually speaking, such a satire could only work as animation, but even then, it doesn’t quite come together — though fans of last year’s “Holy Motors” may appreciate a surreal double bill with this live-toon hybrid, ideal for midnight crowds and psychedelic enthusiasts. Meanwhile, admirers of director Ari Folman’s “Waltz With Bashir” should seriously adjust their expectations.
Ironically, Folman limits his audience by abandoning the Israeli-specific context of his earlier work in favor of a more universal cultural critique, returning (somewhat) to the world of live-action here by opening with what could be an hourlong episode of “The Twilight Zone.” The remainder of the »
- Peter Debruge
The Israeli animator Ari Folman took Cannes by storm in 2008 with his shattering Waltz with Bashir – a rotoscoped marvel, mining the director's own experiences as a young conscript at the Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon. The Congress – a skittish sci-fi drama based on a novel by Stanislaw Lem – at least proves he is no one-trick pony. If anything it makes its case too strongly. The Congress contains tricks aplenty and ideas in abundance. The problem comes in herding these scattered, floating elements towards a satisfying whole.
Folman juggles live action with animation, earth-toned reality with candied fantasy, to spin the tale of Robin Wright (played, naturally, by Robin Wright), a Hollywood actor on the wrong side of 40, gazing glumly at her youthful self on the Princess Bride poster. Wright's career is in the doldrums, »
- Xan Brooks
We already had a little chat about The Congress, one of the titles playing in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Today we’re here to share the first trailer for this live action/animation film, and I’m sure you’re going to love it. Ari Folman‘s haunted look on our future and the future of cinema definitely looks promising, head inside to see why! One thing is for sure – Robin Wright looks stunning even though she’s playing an aging actress in the whole thing. As you probably remember, Folman’s movie is based on Stanislaw Lem’s novel The Futurological Congress so it’s all »
Before the Trailer, We Thought: We've been waiting five years for Ari Folman's follow-up to 2008's critical hit "Waltz With Bashir" -- will our patience be rewarded with a film that's part-animated and part-live action? And Now? It sure looks that way. Though we don't get a glimpse of the luscious animation until halfway through the two-minute trailer, the live action intro establishes a story laden with dramatic and cinematic possibilities. Robin Wright plays an actress named, coincidentally, Robin Wright, only the woman in this story never had a successful career capped with a hot new TV series a la the real Wright and "House of Cards." She's told her only chance to remain relevant is to give herself over to a computer program that can then recreate her likeness whenever the operators so desire. Is this actually the follow-up to "Avatar"? Obviously not, but the idea of Folman »
- Ben Travers
No, it’s not a film about the Us House Of Representatives / Senate (they already made that, it’s called Idiocracy – heyooo!). It’s actually the new movie from Waltz With Bashir’s Ari Folman, starring Robin Wright, Danny Huston and more. Take a look… Given the director, you might not be surprised by the amount of animation. Yet the tale, which follows an actress named Robin Wright agreeing to get her image scanned by a massive, powerful computer, is about more than just aping the Heavy Metal style of anime.No, from the looks of this, it uses Stanislaw Lem's short story The Futurological Congress as a jumping-off point for a meditation on body image, how we see ourselves, what makes someone unique and the changing face of women in film. It brings to mind one part of Holy Motors and also the sort of territory that S »
The Cannes International Film Festival gets under way Wednesday with the international premiere of Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," a perfect opening night choice given its already established hit status stateside (Toh review here). And on Thursday the edgier Cannes sidebar Director's Fortnight (or Quinzaine) will open with Israeli director Ari Folman's "The Congress," a live-action/animation hybrid starring Robin Wright, Jon Hamm, Paul Giamatti, Harvey Keitel and Danny Huston, which is being screened for the first time not only for Cannes audiences and critics but North American distributors as well. (Trailer here and below.) Folman first pitched me "The Congress," which is based on the 1971 Stanislaw Lem sci-fi novel "The Futurological Congress," over a Sony Pictures Classics dinner at the 2008 Telluride Film Festival celebrating his Israeli animated documentary "Waltz with Bashir," which debuted in competition in Cannes and was nominated for the best foreign film Oscar. I found. »
- Anne Thompson
"The Congress," a partially animated and partially live-action film debuting at Cannes Film Festival this week, has unveiled its trailer.
The movie is loosely based on the 1971 utopian-fiction novel "The Futurological Congress" by Stanisław Lem, who also wrote "Solaris." Ari Folman, who helmed the 2008 Academy Award-nominated documentary "Waltz with Bashir," directed.
"The Congress" offers a meta-statement on living in a digital world, with Robin Wright portraying herself -- an actress who accepts a hefty payment to have a digitized version of herself created in order to care for her disabled son. After her digital self is born, film studios can utilize the replica in any manner they see fit, evoking themes that transcend even Big Brother-style voyeurism.
The French-language film boasts an all-star cast that includes Wright, Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm, Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston and Frances Fisher. It will open the 45th Director’s Fortnight portion of the festival, »
- The Huffington Post
This week there’s a wealth of new trailers landing for projects which have been waiting to debut at Cannes. Yesterday, we had the first clip from James Franco’s Faulkner adaptation, As I Lay Dying. Franco’s teaser is nothing compared to this first look at the Stanislaw Lem adap, The Congress.
Robin Wright, who easily stands among cinema’s handful of gifted actresses, stars in this latest flick from Waltz With Bashir director Ari Folman. The source novel on which it is based, The Futurological Congress serves as a foundation for the film. Echoes of A Scanner Darkly stir amidst fresh ideas in this first trailer. It assembles a host of unique elements; image cloning, intertextuality and dystopia to great success. There’s not been a film this exciting released in a good long while. An idea such as this barely resembles Hollywood’s typical sci-fi output. It’s that impressive. »
- Gem Seddon
One of the surprises of the 2008 film year for many was the animated feature Waltz with Bashir. Written and directed by Ari Folman, the documentary used animation and soldier recollections to recreate the 1982 Lebanon invasion, and opened many film fans’ eyes to the filmmaker’s talents. Folman, however, has since stepped away from the camera, spending his time writing for a number of tv shows, with the exception of one documentary. Much to the delight of his newfound fans, however, Folman has once again picked up the directorial reins, this time on an adaptation of a Stanislaw Lem novel. Titled The Congress, Folman once again pens the screenplay, working with Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Paul Giamatti, Danny Huston, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Frances Fisher. The first trailer for the film has now been released, and can be seen below.
- Deepayan Sengupta
I love it when I see something that surprises the hell out of me, and that's exactly what this trailer for The Congress has done. I'm sure it will do the same thing for you, this thing looks insanely wild, crazy, weird and fantastic!
The movie is loosely based on Stanislaw Lem's The Futurological Congress, and it stars Robin Wright as herself. She plays an aged star who sells her likeness to a movie studio. The movie was directed by Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir), and it also stars Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston, Paul Giamatti, and more. Here's an official short synopsis for the film:
An aging, out-of-work actress accepts one last job, though the consequences of her decision affect her in ways she didn't consider.
The movie is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, now check out the trailer!
- Joey Paur
How do you follow a ground breaking film like Waltz With Bashir? If you're Ari Folman you break more ground with the next one, the next one in this case being a loose adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's The Futurological Congress that plays even looser with notions of reality, fame, and Robin Wright.Robin Wright (Robin Wright) receives an offer from Miramount to be scanned. In this way, her alias can be freely exploited in all films the Hollywood major decides to produce, even the most downmarket ones, the ones she has turned down until now. For 20 years she disappears to return as guest of honor at the Miramount-Nagasaki Convention in a transformed world of fantastical appearances.Soon to open the Director's Fortnight section in Cannes the...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
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