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Rome – Lionsgate has inked a long-term output deal with Italy’s Leone Film Group, the company originally founded by spaghetti western master Sergio Leone that is rapidly becoming a major Italo distributor, one year after its output deal with DreamWorks.
The multifaceted deal covers feature films from the Lionsgate and Summit labels. Italy was one of the last remaining major territories not previously covered by an output arrangement for Lionsgate’s distribution structure. The deal, finalized at the Berlin film festival last month, includes Lionsgate’s exploration of worldwide promotional opportunities on a case-by-case basis with Leone’s Pacmedia promotional group.
Now headed by Leone’s children, Andrea and Raffaella, Leone Films effectively acts as the Hollywood agent for pubcaster Rai’s 01 Distribuzione.
The group was floated late last year on the Milan stock market with a positive Ipo geared toward becoming a bigger distributor of high-profile product.
“We have »
- Nick Vivarelli
Director: Fatih Akin
Writer: Fatih Akin
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
It’s when he worked within his working trilogy that Fatih Akin has provided us with his deepest, thematically most daring material to date. With the promise of a Tahar Rahim embodying the spirit of a muted, Sergio Leone character type, there are more than enough reasons to believe that The Cut will make us forget about his messy, 2009 comedy Soul Kitchen.
Gist: Final installment in his Love, Death and the Devil trilogy, will focus on the devil — that is, the evil inherent in mankind.
Release Date: Following in the shoes of The Edge of Heaven, this could find itself in the Main Comp at the Cannes Film Festival.
More Top 200 Most Anticipated Films of 2014 Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014: »
- Eric Lavallee
Movies with perfect pace aren’t those that move quickly or slowly - they’re the ones that move at the right speed for the story being told and the style being used to tell them. There are lots of movies that I love which fail the pace test, including 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Superman (1978), Dawn Of The Dead (1979), Apocalypse Now (1979) and Taxi Driver (1976).
Consider in this list - and those aforementioned that didn’t make it to the finals - that pace is not the only thing a film needs to offer, and that it can still be a terrible film even if it is well-paced. So this is not a collection of ‘best’ movies - it’s a collection of movies with great…
What contrasts. What innovation. Hitch’s adaptation of Robert Bloch’s gory, Ed Gein-inspired shocker knows exactly when to speed you uncomfortably to an uncomfortable place, »
Where do we even begin with this fun homage to cinema in Virgin Atlantic’s newest flight safety video? Rather than boring us to tears with the usual pantomime, the company enlisted the help of Art & Graft, which set the flight instructions within a series of scenes depicting different movie genres. It’s a cute pop-culture review, taking us through the Western era à la Sergio Leone, to James Bond-style action, a Big Lebowski/Busby Berkeley choreographed dance number, 1970s car-chase films, and more. “Just as the Virgin passengers are about to set off we wanted to take them on a little journey of our very own,” Creative Director Mike Moloney said. Watch this enjoyable genre-filled ode to film before you fly the friendly skies...
- Alison Nastasi
Interview Simon Brew 27 Feb 2014 - 05:44
In the first of a two part look back at his career, James Woods chats to us about family, Scorsese, Stone, Leone and more...
It took a false start or two before we finally got James Woods on the end of the phone. There was no agent connecting us, no middle person to monitor what we were saying. Just a problem with a charging cable, oddly enough.
When we were connected, we launched into an interview that was intended to last 15 minutes, but as it turned out, it passed the hour mark. And heck, we got through a lot: so much, that we've split this interview into two articles. A genuinely fascinating man.
Regular readers will know that we've been long-time fans of James Woods - as highlighted by our look at some of his least appreciated films, here - and as our conversation started, »
Simon Columb continues our Al Pacino Retrospective with The Godfather Part II....
Is The Godfather Part II superior to The Godfather? In a lively discussion on sequels, film fanatic Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) in Scream 2, argues how “sequels suck”. But, unlike Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Aliens, The Godfather Part II stumps him. It covers a greater space of time, tells a grander story and turns what was a family-centred, but nevertheless New York “Gangshter” story, into a personal drama set on an epic, ambitious scale.
Though the dialogue in The Godfather holds iconic and memorable lines, definitive scenes in The Godfather Part II show Michael Corleone’s true menace revealing itself. The Godfather portrays his sinister and deeply-calculated methods of management, but they are subtle and carefully-constructed. He recommends the hit on Solozzo and MacCluskey; he marries Kay (Diane Keaton) to maintain a strong family unit; he settles »
- Gary Collinson
Joy Todd, a casting director whose career in Hollywood spanned more than three decades, has died. Her granddaughter, Heather Daimion, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Todd passed away on Feb. 18 in San Diego. Todd has been credited with presiding over casting for more than thirty feature films, including Ghostbusters, Playing for Keeps, Rambo III, Gettysberg, Of Gods and Generals and The Next Karate Kid. Todd cast Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America and Ridley Scott's Someone to Watch Over Me. She also worked on Sidney Lumet's Network, A Stranger Among Us, Prince of the City, Q&A and other titles.
- Erik Hayden
Casting director Joy Todd, whose credits include Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Demolition Man,” “Rambo III” and Sidney Lumet films including “Prince of the City” and “The Verdict,” died Feb. 18 of natural causes.
Todd started out in Philadelphia as an actress and standup comedienne. She had small parts in shows including “Act I,” “Hello, Dolly” “Naked City” In Las Vegas, she was the comedy relief in a book show called “That Certain Girl,” with Walter Slezak, Virginia Mayo and Dennis O’Keefe, and she also worked in some night clubs on the Canadian border.
Shortly thereafter, Todd did her first casting work, for Marty Richards (now a Broadway and film producer), who needed help casting film extras in New York. She then assisted Ralph Serpe, exec producer for Dino De Laurentiis on “Mandingo,” in Louisiana.
She kept an office in New York from 1976-93. Her first »
- Variety Staff
This weekend, as you search for a movie to watch, you can either go see Pompeii or pick one of approximately 14 billion choices available to stream over a variety of services, be it Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, On Demand, or various rental options. Every Friday, Vulture tries to make life easier by narrowing it down to a handful of hearty recommendations. This week, we're taking on sprawling gladiator tales, mythological peplum films, and a Disney movie that deserves a little more love.The Giant of MarathonBefore Spaghetti Westerns dominated Italian genre cinema, there were the peplum films, historical adventures starring muscle-laden leading men fighting for truth, justice, and the Grecian way. Inspired by early American epics of the same ilk, the '60s sword-and-sandal entries hooked audiences with action, production value, and name stars (while pseudo-Shakespearean dialogue and archetypical dynamics acted as a dramatic crutch). Names like Mario Bava, Sergio Leone, »
- Matt Patches
More fun than any civilization’s fiery extinction should ever be, Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii 3-D is gloriously exciting kitsch – a poor man’s Titanic crossed with an even poorer man’s Gladiator. We all know about the explosive demise of the titular Roman city, turned to ash and stone by the eruption of nearby Mt. Vesuvius back in 79 A.D. Over the years, it’s captured the imagination of many artists, particularly E. Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1834 novel The Last Days of Pompeii inspired many (very loose) theater and film adaptations. Previous film versions have tried to add poetic dimension to the tale of this decadent city’s comeuppance. Often, as in King Kong visionaries Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack’s 1935 film or the classic 1959 Italian peplum starring Steve “Hercules” Reeves (and ghost-directed by Sergio Leone), the story becomes one of Christian sacrifice overcoming Roman venality on the »
- Bilge Ebiri
The boisterous and entertaining new Bollywood buddy-gangster melodrama “Gunday” is set mostly in the 1980s, and in its plot and characters it harks back strongly to the anti-heroic, still-beloved Amitabh Bachchan blockbusters of that period. Even its title treatment is intended to spark nostalgia, typographically evoking the classic 1975 Bachchan vehicle “Sholay.” Indeed, the film’s production company, Yash Raj Films, and its exuberantly gifted young writer-director, Ali Abbas Zafar (2011′s “My Brother’s Bride”), seem to be positioning the film as the culmination of a recent trend toward old-fashioned dal-and-roti (meat-and-potatoes) actioners, as exemplified by the recent likes of “R. Rajkumar,” “Bullet Raja” and, worst of all, the Salman Khan headbanger “Jai Ho.” It’s off to a good start with nearly $5 million in its first two days.
The storyline is the element that owes the most to the macho masala pictures of the 1980s, centering as it does upon »
- David Chute
★☆☆☆☆ Presumably conceived as an homage to the Italian westerns of Sergio Leone and perhaps the most dire inclusions in this year's somewhat lacklustre Berlinale Competition strand, Ning Hao's No Man's Land (2014) is a smash and grab attempt to appeal to the English-speaking audiences. However, whilst Leone evoked a sense of epic grandeur and developed pathos for its characters, Hao's noodle western is a strident hodgepodge of Tarantino-style violence and ridiculous car chases seemingly desperate to attract the attention of the Us film market. A Stateside remake already seems like a depressing inevitability.
- CineVue UK
Imagine attempting a super-low-budget, rapidly shot mashup of the melancholic aesthetic of Ingmar Bergman, the comedic sensibility of Mel Brooks and the tonal uneasiness of Lars Von Trier -- you'd probably end up with a complete mess of a film. However, that's not the case for Ben Wheatley, whose willfully abstruse "A Field in England" more or less fits that bill (by way of Samuel Beckett, "The Wicker Man" and Sergio Leone, if you want to fine tune the comparison, but we could probably continue throwing names at it all day and finding most of them stick) and comes out as a totally unique, often brilliant, deliberate partial mess instead. Reteaming the director, who, off the back of his feature triptych of "Down Terrace," "Kill List" and "Sightseers" has become something of an indie phenomenon, with regular writer Amy Jump, the film is the most formally experimental, and probably the least approachable, »
- Jessica Kiang
Feature James Clayton 7 Feb 2014 - 06:15
With the new RoboCop out now, James considers some sci-fi films that might, just might, benefit from an imaginative remake...
They remade RoboCop. I'm still finding it hard to get my head around that fact, even as I arrive at the moment I get to see the new reboot in cinemas. RoboCop remade. Paul Verhoeven's dystopian masterpiece of 1987 - the ultimate techno-tinged sociopolitical action movie - remade. Really? I mean, really?
I'm pretty sure that in ancient aeons past a divinely-appointed prophet laser-scribed "Thou shalt not remake RoboCop, creep!" on a titanium slab of commandments to be observed by obedient future generations. Nothing is sacred though and, alas, RoboCop is remade, rebooted and upgraded in line with modern filmmaking standards for today's drastically altered multimedia marketplace.
To fill you in on the details you probably already know, the PG-13 rated reboot (really?) is »
Tori Brazier continues our Al Pacino Retrospective with a look at The Godfather...
Regularly topping polls as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece The Godfather needs very little introduction. Suffice it to say, the film deserves every one of its accolades (including three Academy Award wins and seven nominations) and every inch of its stellar reputation amongst film fans and critics alike.
Based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Mario Puzo (who co-wrote the screenplay with Coppola), The Godfather tells the story of a fictional New York mob family headed by patriarch and ‘Don’ Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). It focuses on the gradual moral corruption of his youngest and brightest son Michael (Al Pacino), who begins the film in 1945 as a decorated war hero and college-educated family outsider, but ends it as a ruthless Mafia boss operating out of »
- Gary Collinson
If you have some time to kill, I have a short film for you to watch that's worth checking out. It's called "Domino Falling," and it's a modern day Western that was made to pay tribute to the classic films of Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah. The movie was written and directed by Siavash Farahani. It features several scenes from the completed feature length screenplay that he hopes to turn into a feature film.
The story has a Tarantino style feel to it, and it follows a restless hitman in Mexico, "forced to carry out a gruesome task to save his love from a sadistic kingpin rumored to be the Devil himself."
This was a fun movie, and I hope you enjoy it.
- Joey Paur
Jancsó's films included My Way Home (Így jöttem, 1964), The Round-Up (Szegénylegények, 1965), The Red And The White (Csillagosok, katonák, 1967), Silence and Cry (Csend és kiáltás, 1968) The Confrontation (Fényes szelek, 1968) and Red Psalm (Még kér a nép, 1971) - for which was awarded the Best Director prize at Cannes in 1972. He was at the forefront of the revival of Hungarian cinema and was known the starkness of his themes and a distinctive visual style that influenced filmmakers as diverse as Sergio Leone and Béla Tarr.
He received lifetime achievement awards in Cannes in 1979, Venice in 1990 and Budapest in 1994.
- Amber Wilkinson
There are whispers of a new western called Another Man’s Gun. The men behind this project are director Jon Gries and screenwriter Derek Walker. Jon best known to us for his roles in Lost, Napoleon Dynamite and both entries into the Taken franchise, is following up his 2010 feature debut comedy Pickin’ and Grinnin’, with a journey into America’s past – Nebraska 1840 to be precise.
To help fund pre-production aspects of the film, Jon set-up a Kickstarter campaign that is going on through to January 31st. Just as HeyUGuys’ mascot Chunk in The Goonies liked to make a little noise, we thought the least we could do was speak with Jon and make a little noise of our own.
- Paul Risker
Growing up, did you watch much TV?
All day long, television and movies. I loved “Lost in Space,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “Mr. Ed” — remember “Mr. Ed”? — “Bewitched,” all those. And in Mexico at that time, these were blended with Japanese anime and monster shows.
My mom and grandmother were cinephiles. We loved to go to the movies. The first great film I was exposed to was “The Bicycle Thief.” I was probably 8. I was at a sleepover with my cousin, and they announced on TV that they were about to show a film only for adults. I thought I was going to see boobs or something. I didn’t see any boobs, but by the end, I was weeping. »
- Tim Gray
Coming a year on the heels of Mash, one of his best known films, Robert Altman’s Western McCabe & Mrs. Miller certified the director as a genre revisionist. The opening strains of Leonard Cohen’s “The Stranger Song” lilt underneath a panning wide shot showing McCabe (Warren Beatty in his finest role), unrecognizable beneath bundled furs and astride a donkey, approaching a modest camp. The slow, lyrical pacing is akin to neither the golden-era Hollywood Westerns of John Ford or Howard Hawks, nor the ‘60s explosion of Spaghetti Westerns, emblemized by Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood. Cohen’s style is effortlessly poetic and in opposition to the bravado of Dimitri Tiomkin and the percussive bombast of Ennio Morricone; the protagonist introduction is without the fanfare of a John Wayne saunter or a Charles Bronson cold stare. Vilmos Zsigmond’s cinematography is of murky earth tones, dull snow, and Altman’s trademark slow zooms, »
- Neal Dhand
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