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Healthy, even heated competition between film festivals is nothing new. Cannes was founded in the late ’30s as the French response to Venice. In recent years, Shanghai has felt the heat from the government-backed Beijing, while both SXSW and Tribeca have sought to position themselves as viable alternatives to Sundance.
Rarely, however, have such tensions spiked quite so visibly, or with such high stakes involved, as in the case of Telluride and Toronto.
Nestled deep in the Rocky Mountains, the 41-year-old Telluride Film Festival is an intimate four-day affair that screens a highly selective program for Hollywood elites and deep-pocketed movie buffs. The 39-year-old Toronto Film Festival is an 11-day press and industry behemoth, Byzantine in its complexity and Canadian in its efficiency, which unspools about 300 features and attracts journalists, publicists, filmmakers and dealmakers from all over the world. Two very different events, forced by the vagaries of art, commerce »
- Justin Chang
Namely, the cinematic cold war between the Toronto and Telluride festivals, which escalated after Toronto organizers announced they will screen only world or North American premieres during its first four days.
“If there has to be this frenzy to have a world premiere at all costs, meaning that you’ll take a film just so that you can have the world premiere, that’s a game I’m not playing,” Barbera says.
If he can have certain studio titles, fine. But if he can’t, “That’s Ok too,” he says. “There are plenty of great movies out there around the world,” the Venice topper philosophically points out.
Despite his indifference, 54 of the 55 films in the lineup are world preems. And of course Barbera is delighted that the Lido opener is Alejandro Gonzalez »
- Nick Vivarelli
Another print icon bites the dust.
Leonard Maltin’s 2015 Movie Guide will be the final edition of this film lovers’ guide, which started in 1969 under the title TV Movies. But in recent years, the annual guide, which now numbers 1,611 pages and features nearly 16,000 capsule movie reviews, has become a victim of the changing times and the way information is consumed by a new generation. The new edition, which comes out Sept. 2, is the last, bad news for many industry-ites and film lovers who used it religiously.
“An entire generation has been raised to acquire all their information online from their mobile devices or computers,” Maltin told me this morning. “These are not the likely customers for a physical paperback reference book. Our sales have sharply declined in recent years.”
The virtual death of bookstores likely didn’t help the cause either. “We still have a loyal readership,” Maltin said. “It »
- Pete Hammond
It seems as if the 2014 Toronto Film Festival lineup is more or less set. I'm not expecting any major additions after today's announcement and have taken another look at my current list of most likely films I'll be screening while in town, though this is largely based on title and director alone as I have yet to really dig into the titles unfamiliar to me so it's possible a few may find their way into the mix once all is said and done. That said, if you think there are some I'm missing please let me know... don't want to overlook anything. Note, I will be in Toronto from September 3-10 and expect I'll see about 18 movies maximum while I'm there. Right now the full list below is 48 movies not including the four I've already seen (but have yet to review) and the one I don't think I'll even have a chance to see. »
- Brad Brevet
Film fanatics and star gazers, your time is now. Well...almost now. More precisely, your time Will be September 4 - 14. That's when the A-list glitterati, with their films in tow, descend on downtown Hogtown as they flock to the Toronto International Film Festival.
As has become the norm, the list of Tiff-bound talent is both long and impressive. From movie stars to rock royalty, there'll be no shortage of bold-faced names to look out for. On the movie side of things, some big stars set to attend this year include Robert Downey Jr., Ryan Reynolds, Kate Winslet, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve Carell, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Robert Pattinson and Bill Murray.
As if those weren't enough names to keep you busy, let's not forget the masses of talented filmmakers making Toronto their temporary home during the festival. Among the big-named directors set to make an appearance are David Cronenberg, »
- Emma Badame
"This kid is going to be one of the most formidable actors of his generation." Director Shawn Levy has high praise for Adam Driver, star of the upcoming movie This Is Where I Leave You and GQ's September 2014 issue. Driver, who found fame via HBO's Girls, is dismissive of such praise. "That's nice of Shawn," he says. "He's, like, the kind of person who believes things will turn out good." Whether he believes it or not, Driver is currently one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. The actor, 30, will next appear in Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special, Noah Baumbach's While We're Young and Martin Scorsese's Silence. Oh, and Driver's been cast in J.J. »
Exclusive: Glen Basner’s New York-based production, finance and sales company is handling international rights to Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young and Chris Rock comedy Top Five, both of which are set to premiere in Toronto next month.
UTA Independent Film Group represents the Us on both features and will be shopping rights to buyers during the festival.
While We’re Young follows a middle-aged couple whose lives are thrown through a loop when a young couple arrives on the scene.
Top Five is the story of a film star and former comedian who reappraises his career and life following an encounter with a journalist.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
UTA handles Us rights to the story about a film star and former comedian who reappraises his career and life following an encounter with a journalist.
The story follows a middle-aged couple whose lives are thrown through a loop when a young couple arrives on the scene. Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried star. UTA handles Us rights. »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
The HBO pilot Westworld is coming together quite nicely. Person of Interest creator and The Dark Knight screenwriter Jonathan Nolan is spearheading the adaptation of writer/director Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi film of the same name, which revolved around a malfunctioning Wild West robot at a futuristic adult amusement park. Anthony Hopkins is already set to lead the potential series as the creator of the park with Evan Rachel Wood co-starring as a “sassy farm girl”, and now THR reports that Ed Harris has signed on to play the show’s primary antagonist, The Man in Black. The character is described as “the distillation of pure villainy into one man.” Hit the jump for more on the latest Bad Robot series, including further casting. In addition to Harris, THR also reports that Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, and Kyle Bornheimer will fill out the stellar cast of the Westworld pilot. »
- Adam Chitwood
Alexander Payne’s Nebraska is one of a few relatively high-profile black-and-white films to have been released over the past couple of years, a small group that also includes such films as Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha and recent Best Picture winner […] »
Two new documentaries about cinema, centred on the work of Us directors Peter Bogdanovich and Arthur Penn, have been added to the Venice Classics strand of the 71st Venice International Film Festival (Aug 27 - Sept 6).One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich & The Lost American Film by Bill Teck reconstructs the grim story of Peter Bogdanovich film They All Laughed, presented at the Venice Film Festival in 1981.Bogdanovich’s fi
Two new documentaries about cinema, centred on the work of Us directors Peter Bogdanovich and Arthur Penn, have been added to the Venice Classics strand of the 71st Venice International Film Festival (Aug 27 - Sept 6).
Bogdanovich’s film was caught up in a series of distribution problems only to be rediscoveredby directors such as Quentin Tarantino, [link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
It's been over a decade since Peter Bogdanovich directed a feature film. Since "The Cat's Meow" in 2001, the filmmaker has helmed an episode of "The Sopranos," the TV sports drama "Hustle" and the documentary "Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down A Dream." Now, he's returned with a full length effort, "She's Funny That's Way" (formerly known as "Squirrel To The Nuts"). Noah Baumbach and Wes Anderson provided financial support for the film, and the cast includes Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, Jennifer Aniston, Kathryn Hahn, Tatum O'Neal, Rhys Ifans, Will Forte and Lucy Punch. It's a classic screwball yarn about a married Broadway producer (Wilson) who tries to convince a call-girl (Poots) to change her life. As Bogdanovich told us last year, he's kicked this screenplay around for a good long while. "We originally wrote the script back in 1998 around a difficult time in our lives »
- Kevin Jagernauth
I fully expect Xavier Dolan's Mommy to be announced on August 6th so you can go ahead and add that one to my "Must Sees" list below, but as of right now my list of films I consider absolute "musts" sits at 17 movies with another nine I'll make top priority after I schedule those and then another nine that will be dependent on my screening schedule because conflicts due arise meaning any of these may be on or off the table... schedule depending. I'm going to be in Toronto from September 3-10, which means six full screening days, which means seeing 18 films will be pushing it, which also means I'm going to miss a lot of movies I would really like to see... Hell, it might even end up being worth it to skip films with already established release dates -- Foxcatcher, The Judge, Wild, The Drop, Mr. Turner, »
- Brad Brevet
The announcements have begun rolling in for this year's Toronto International Film Festival. Watch this page for updates.
Black and White (Mike Binder, USA)
The Equalizer (Antoine Fuqua, USA)
Haemoo (Shim Sung-bo, South Korea)
The Riot Club (Lone Sherfig, UK)
Closing Night Film
1001 Grams (Bent Hamer, Norway/Germany/France)
A Pigeon Sat on a Bench Reflecting on Existence (Roy Andersson, Sweden/Norway/France/Germany)
The Face of an Angel (Michael Winterbottom, UK)
The Golden Era (Ann Hui, China/Hong Kong)
Goodbye to Language 3D (Jean-Luc Godard, France)
Hill of Freedom (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea)
Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, »
With today’s announcement that David Dobkin’s film The Judge will open the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, I figured that it was a good time to talk about the Tiff lineup. That Robert Downey Jr. vehicle will seek to become an awards player, and it’s not alone. Each year, scores of titles descend on Toronto in order to distinguish themselves to Academy members and various precursor voters everywhere. The festival has a solid history of producing Oscar nominees, though the big time competition this year from the New York Film Festival will certainly shine a light on just how essential a stop this fest still is. For now though, it’s a big one, and well worth a bit of discussion. As mentioned above, the opening film is The Judge, which could be a Best Actor player for Downey Jr. or perhaps even a Best Picture contender if it’s better than expected. »
- Joey Magidson
It's Friday so that means movie reviews and this week we're reviewing Hercules, Lucy and Magic in the Moonlight and while we're saving Guardians of the Galaxy for next weekend we do talk about it briefly before getting into your questions and a series of games. We also discuss "The Leftovers", movies that make us emotional and much, much more. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. An alternative to that option is a »
- Brad Brevet
The Toronto International Film Festival's announcement this week of a chunk of its 2014 lineup was the first demonstrable proof that distributors -- and major filmmakers -- are taking sides in an ugly dispute between Toronto and the Telluride Film Festival. Tuesday's announcement indicates -- and multiple sources confirm -- that Jason Reitman and Noah Baumbach, who both have histories of debuting films at Telluride, are abandoning that event and will be taking their new films -- Reitman's Men, Women and Children (Paramount) and Baumbach's While We're Young (still seeking a U.S. distributor) -- exclusively to Toronto. Meanwhile, Telluride has snagged the world premiere of Wild, the
- Scott Feinberg
Rome – Venice topper Alberto Barbera has unveiled a promising lineup of fresh fare from around the world set to unspool at the 71st Venice Film Festival, with a rigorous focus on quality, discovery and diversity, likely to reveal some under-the-radar awards-season contenders and also bolster the Lido’s status as a global launching pad for prime auteur pics.
The robust U.S. contingent, largely from the indies, comprises new works from David Gordon Green, Andrew Niccol, Peter Bogdanovich, Lisa Cholodenko, Joe Dante, James Franco, Barry Levinson, Michael Almereyda, and Ami Canaan Mann.
As is customary at Venice, new works from name global auteurs, including Fatih Akin, Xavier Beauvois, Abel Ferrara, Andrei Konchalovsky, Shinya Tsukamoto, Amos Gitai, and Moshen Makhmalbaf, will play alongside pics by lesser-known helmers.
At a packed presser at Rome’s Hotel St.Regis Venice topper Alberto Barbera noted that “our job is more complex, more painful, because »
- Nick Vivarelli
Set to close the 39th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival is the sophomore directorial effort of Alan Rickman who is best known for being the source of villainy in Die Hard (1988) and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991). “It is a great privilege for A Little Chaos to have its world premiere in Toronto and for it to be given the Festival’s closing night Gala, but it is also a very personal pleasure,” stated Rickman. “I have filmed in the city, visited often, and some of my closest friends live there. It will be like coming home.”
The historical drama stars Kate Winslet as Sabine De Barra an unconventional landscaper who is tasked with designing one of the fountains at The Palace of Versailles while contending with uncooperative weather, rivalries at the court of Louis Xiv and her own personal demons. Performing alongside Winslet are Stanley Tucci, Alan Rickman and Matthias Schoenaerts. »
- Trevor Hogg
The line-up for the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival has been announced, and as usual, that means news of other creative types involved in some of your most anticipated films of the year. And usually, the reveals are music related. Yesterday’s announcements were not much different and unveiled a plethora of good talent involved in upcoming Tiff pictures. According to the Tiff site, LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy has scored Noah Baumbach’s upcoming dramedy “While We’re Young” starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts among others (first look photos are here). This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise for fans of the filmmaker or Murphy. The musician scored the director’s 2010 comedy “Greenberg” and even had a little walk-on blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo. In case you’ve forgotten, that score was the opposite of Murphy's electronic/dance music work and more in the vein of Baumbach’s beloved Ram album by Paul McCartney. »
- Edward Davis
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