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2 items from 2014

Lenny Abrahamson Heads For Neverhome

24 September 2014 10:08 PM, PDT | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

While his former leading man Domhnall Gleeson is busy in a galaxy far, far away, Frank director Lenny Abrahamson has lined up a very different project for his next effort: Neverhome. It's an adaptation of a novel by Laird Hunt, published in the Us this year. The story follows the as-yet uncast Ash Thompson, a woman who leaves home to take part in the American Civil War. It was partly inspired by An Uncommon Soldier, a collection of letters from an undercover female soldier in the conflict.Although it won't be published in the UK until February 5, 2015, the novel has already received high praise across the pond, with no less a writer than Paul Auster calling it "magnificent". Abrahamson has been similarly effusive. "Laird has written a truly amazing novel and created in Ash a character so vivid and original," he enthuses. "I could not be more excited about making this film. »

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Cannes Check 2014: Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu'

12 May 2014 3:14 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up, the Competition's only African entry: Abderrahmane Sissako's "Timbuktu." The director: Abderrahmane Sissako (Mauritanian/French, 52 years old). Another of this year's five newcomers, Sissako has established himself as one of Africa's premier auteurs, though he's been based in France since the early 1990s -- a background that complements his favored themes of globalization and outsider identity. Born in Mauritania, he moved with his family at an early age to Mali, where he completed his schooling, before studying film at Russia's Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow -- an institution that also boasts Aleksandr Sokurov and Andrei Tarkovsky among its alumni. »

- Guy Lodge

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