18 items from 2015
Indiewire's annual Cannes wish list isn't so much about officially predicting the lineup, but rather a survey of films we hope are finished in time and considered good enough to make the cut. We're not including films that have zero chances of being ready in time -- or, for that matter, the one film we officially know will be there: "Mad Max: Fury Road" (which is screening out of competition). Among the candidates are celebrated filmmakers such as Jacques Audiard, Woody Allen, Arnaud Desplechin, Cary Fukunaga, Todd Haynes, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Naomi Kawase, Yorgos Lanthimos, Terrence Malick, Jeff Nichols, Gaspard Noé, Paolo Sorrentino, Joachim Trier, Gus Van Sant and Apichatpong Weerasethaul, among many others. Films that don't get a spot in Cannes (and there will definitely be a few) will immediately become hot topics for a fall festival slot in Venice and/or Toronto. But that's then; this is now. »
There are still three weeks to go before the Cannes Film Festival unveils its official-selection lineup, but so far, the latest Pixar 3D animated extravaganza and new films from Woody Allen, Todd Haynes, Jeff Nichols, Denis Villeneuve and Arnaud Desplechin appear to be securing their positions in the event’s 68th annual edition (May 13-24).
In keeping with his longtime habit of avoiding festival accolades, Allen will likely receive an out-of-competition berth for his 45th feature, “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone (who starred in the director’s “Magic in the Moonlight”). Among other U.S. fare, Cannes will get an early start on the summer blockbuster season with Disney/Pixar’s feature toon “Inside Out,” marking a second trip to the Croisette for director Pete Docter (who co-helmed with Ronaldo Del Carmen) after his “Up” opened the festival in 2009. As already announced, George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
Gazing into the crystal ball, Screen rounds up its Cannes predictions.
With the unveiling of Cannes Film Festival’s Official Selection now exactly three weeks away buzz over the titles that Thierry Fremaux and his team will select for the 68th edition is hitting fever pitch.
Earlier the week, Cannes unveiled its poster featuring Ingrid Bergman to mark the centenary of the late big screen’s birth and it was announced that Stig Bjorkman’s documentary Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words would show in Cannes Classics as part of the commemorations.
For the rest of the Official Selection, except perhaps the opening film which is traditionally revealed in advance, Cannes watchers will have to wait for the announcement press conference in Paris on April »
Madrid – Adding another awaited title to a powerful 2015 production slate, Telefonica Studios has boarded action thriller “Toro,” the second feature from Kike Maillo whose 2011 debut, “Eva” starring Daniel Bruhl, was sold by Wild Bunch and is seeing a belated U.S. release from the Weinstein Co.
Aligning once more with some of the movers and shakers in Spain’s motion picture business, Telefonica Studios will co-produce “Toro” with “The Impossible” producers Apaches Entertaintment and Atresmedia Cine, the film arm of TV network group Atresmedia whose production credits include “I Want You” and “Red Lights.”
Already teaming with Telefonica Studios, Argentina’s K & S and Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s El Deseo to finance, produce and sell Damian Szifron’s Oscar-nominated Cannes competition player “Wild Tales” and Pablo Trapero’s upcoming “The Clan.” Film Factory, a preeminent Spanish sales company, is handling world sales on “Toro.”
Written by up-and-coming scribes Fernando Navarro »
- John Hopewell
Madrid – Emphasizing the still exploding appetite for topnotch drama worldwide, Movistar Series, the new Spanish subscription-based VOD service launched in December by Telefonica, has acquired rights to arguably the two most talked-up French series this decade: “Braquo” and “The Returned” (Les Revenants).
Both are exclusive to Movistar Series and premieres for Spain. Zodiak Rights and Movistar TV, the TV arm of Telefonica, struck the deal.
Two milestones in the drive by Gallic paybox giant Canal Plus France into original series production — a significant sub-driver and churn deterrent and source of shows that have sold in much of the world – “Braquo” and “The Returned” also mark the second and third French series (after “the Tunnel”) acquired by Movistar TV for Movistar Series, an HD Svod-only series that now offers nearly 40 skeins to Movistar clients.
“Our strategy isn’t just to offer the best U.S. series, but the best from the world, »
- John Hopewell
When it comes to film festivals, there is arguably none more prestigious than the Cannes Film Festival. Each year, critics and the like descend on the south of France hoping to discover the classiest in cinema, which in turn can begin to fuel the impending Oscar speculation. 2015 likely will be no exception, as perhaps a few more Academy friendly projects than usual could wind up at Cannes. Sometime either this month or next, the fest will reveal the titles scheduled to play, so I wanted to get a head start and speculate a bit about what the festival could have in its lineup. Tribeca will be on my mind soon enough, but for now…Cannes gets my attention for the day. Here now are ten films that could very well play at the Cannes Film Festival, in just a simple alphabetical order: 1. Carol – One of the most anticipated Oscar hopefuls »
- Joey Magidson
With the world’s most prestigious film festival just around the corner, cineastes have been lasciviously salivating about what’s going to show up at Cannes, with wish lists appearing almost immediately after Berlin (a fest that had one of their most impressive line-ups ever) announced their awards. The remainder of the 2015 fest circuit looks to be a plentiful, diverse porridge, with many of the world’s most renowned auteurs’ sporting brand new titles. While many prognosticators will be sharing the same lists, more or less, hopes are incredibly high for a handful of sure bets, and a gaggle of hopefuls. The main competition always seems easier to postulate, though Thierry Fremaux always throws a few curves, (After the Battle in 2012, The Hunt in 2013 or last year’s Timbuktu, which won the Cesar for Best Picture recently, are a couple ready examples of under-the-radar titles).
Italy seems primed for saturation at the fest. »
- Nicholas Bell
On Sunday, Alexandre Desplat won a BAFTA Award and a Grammy, both for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Next up: the Feb. 22 Oscars, where he is nominated in the musical score category for “Budapest Hotel” and “The Imitation Game.” According to conventional wisdom, this is his year — he’s earned six noms in the past eight years, but no wins yet.
On the other hand, conventional wisdom says that he could cancel himself out. Clearly, conventional wisdom is wrong in one of those cases.
Asked which of the two scores is his favorite, Desplat deadpans, “The Grand Imitation Hotel.”
The composer, reached in Paris, quickly adds that he loves both films, and each presented special challenges and rewards.
“Budapest” features a lot more music in its 100-minute running time, with the mood vacillating among drama, light comedy, fantasy and mittel-European atmosphere. Desplat says, “We needed to find instruments to create a special sound, »
- Tim Gray
Paris — The Paris-Ile de France region is increasingly positioning itself as Europe’s premier film production hub, while simultaneously building synergies with its closest rival, London, and also with production centers in Belgium and Luxembourg.
In recent years there has been a sea change in the way the local industry works. Since the Nouvelle Vague, France has charted its own distinctive path in the film world, including a strong emphasis on auteur films. But this underlying commitment to the “Art et Essai” — broadly, arthouse — films is complemented by a new generation of directors interested in integrating VFX and animation work within their projects.
In the wake of the digital revolution, all areas of French film production have gone digital, including subtle use of “invisible” VFX on auteur films. Recent examples include VFX work by Mikros Image on Michael Haneke’s “Amour” and Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone” and Buf »
- Martin Dale
Son of a Gun, 2014.
Directed by Julius Avery.
Jr busts out of prison with Brendan Lynch, Australia’s most notorious criminal, and joins Lynch’s gang for a gold heist that soon pits the two men against one another.
Sound the alarm; it’s the Pointless Film Alert!
We’ve been down this road many times and probably too often than we should have. There’s this young guy and he’s a good kid in general but, wouldn’t you know it, he made a few wrong life decisions and here he is in jail. Along comes a career criminal and his gang to use the kid to get what they want (freedom, money, the usual) and maybe a friendship is made and broken along the way.
Son of a Gun offers »
- Gary Collinson
I have a weird relationship with Terrence Malick. It's a one-sided relationship, obviously, since he doesn't even know I exist and it isn't specifically with Malick as much as it's with his online groupies. Then again, I'm probably equally a fan of directors such as David Fincher, Nicolas Winding Refn and Jacques Audiard so I guess I can understand the blind desire to see whatever he has in the pipeline, but it's just a general disinterest in the kind of films Malick has been working on as of late that cause me to question the interest from others. Granted, behind Tree of Life, which I enjoyed but didn't love as others have, To the Wonder is all that he's released. Coming up next is Knight of Cups, which will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival and after that we have Lawless (or at least that's what it was once called) and Voyage of Time, »
- Brad Brevet
Paris – France’s Mikros Image, with headquarters in Paris and offices in Montreal, Los Angeles, Liège, Brussels, Luxembourg and Milan, plans to reinforce its animation and VFX work, revolving primarily around its three-main operation centers: Paris, Belgium and Montreal.
With a 250-strong workforce, the company is one of France’s veteran and most highly-respected VFX shingles.
Mikros rose to international recognition with its 2010 Oscar-winning toon short “Logorama” and bowed a dedicated animation division in June 2012 in Levallois-Perret, Paris.
Its first animation feature, Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier’s €37 million ($42 million) “Asterix: the Land of the Gods,” was released in France on Nov. 26, clocking up 0.93 million admissions for distributor Snd in its opening week. The film’s cumulative 3.2 million admissions, complemented by worldwide sales, makes it one of the most successful French toon pics ever.
- Martin Dale
On January 5, French post-production house Polyson garnered the coveted César & Techniques Award from a shortlist of six companies. The winner of theaward is determined through voting by the members of France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma, which organizes the main Cesars Awards ceremony in February.
Now in 2015, Polyson is unveiling major new facilities, including a Foley studio, a pre-mix studio and seven new image and sound editing rooms, covering a total area of 6500 square feet, including a 1100-square-foot Foley studio with a 16-foot ceiling height.
The Foley studio alone represents a total investment of €6 million ($ 6.8 million) and is intended to reinforce the company’s positioning as a provider of high-end video and sound post-production services.
Founded in 2000, Polyson aims to provide a one-stop shop, spanning video editing and all aspects of sound post-production. The company is located in East Paris, in the 20th arrondissement, near Nation, in »
- Martin Dale
The 1974 film scripted by James Toback is relocated to Los Angeles, and turned into something pretty preposterous in the process
Writer and film-maker James Toback has had a mini-resurgence lately: his documentary Seduced and Abandoned was widely enjoyed, and Jacques Audiard remade his 1978 movie Fingers as The Beat My Heart Skipped. Now 1974’s Toback-scripted The Gambler has had a modern – rather sanitised – makeover, transposed from New York to La. It’s another tellingly personal tale of a highbrow guy with a lowlife secret.
Mark Wahlberg plays the part that James Caan had in the original. He is Jim Bennett, a university professor and novelist with an addiction to gambling. Wahlberg is, sad to say, uncharismatic and unconvincing in a tiresome role in which he has to harangue his students on the subject of true genius. On his personal time, he loses a fortune at blackjack, and finally stakes everything on »
- Peter Bradshaw
New films on Screenbase this week include Jamie Adams’ Black Mountain Poets, Valérie Donzelli’s romance Marguerite and Julien, and Julie Delpy’s France-set romcom Lolo.Global Screen’s Ooops! Noah Is Gone…
This animated film focuses on a fictional species which discovers it cannot board Noah’s Ark. While two of them manage to make it, their children fall off the Ark. The kids then have to learn how to live by themselves.
The film is directed by Toby Genkel and Sean McCormack, who previously made a name for themselves with Niko. German sales company Global Screen has sold the animation to eOne, Eagle Pictures, Scanbox and Smile Entertainment.
Crime thriller Kidnapping Mr. Heineken
Daniel Alfredson’s new feature stars Anthony Hopkins, Jim Sturgess and Sam Worthington. The plot—based on real events—takes place in the eighties, when a gang kidnapped beer mogul Freddy Heinecken. The screenplay is based on Peter R. de Vries’ book »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Maud Le Rest)
Sales company unveils new films by Donzelli, Sfar, Odoul and Garrel at Paris Rendez-vous.
Wild Bunch will kick off sales on nine new French titles at this year’s Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris (Jan 15-19), many of which will be completed in time for a potential Cannes slot, including an incestuous love story by Valérie Donzelli and First World War drama by Damien Odoul.
The company will also show first images of several previously announced productions including Jacques Audiard’s untitled drama revolving around Sri Lankan immigrants in Paris, which it is co-selling with Celluloid Dreams, and Julie Delpy’s France-set romance Lolo, in which she stars as a chic Parisian sophisticate who falls for a geeky It expert played by Dany Boon.
Paris – Playing off often long-term relationships with some of the most talked-about up-and-coming directors in French cinema, Wild Bunch will unveil nine new French productions at this week’s UniFrance Rendez-vous with French Cinema, including pristine titles from Valerie Donzelli (“Declaration of War”), Joann Sfar (“Gainsbourg,” “The Rabbi’s Cat”), Lucile Hadzihalilovic (“Innocence”) and Elie Wajeman (“Aliyah”).
Also making the cut: New films by Bruno Podalydes (“Park Benches”), Philippe Garrel (“Jealousy”) Luc Jacquet (“March of the Penguins”), the feature debut of actor-turned-director Olivier Loustau, and Damien Odoul (“Le souffle,” “The Story of Richard O.”).
Amping up its French film slate to 12-13 titles, a large »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
French auteur Jacques Audiard has enjoyed considerable acclaim with his last two features. 2009’s A Prophet snagged the Jury Prize at Cannes and nine Cesars (including Best Director), while 2012’s Rust and Bone (see production pic above) snagged Marion Cotillard a Golden Globe nod for Best Actress in a Drama and was awarded four Cesars out of its nine nominations. He’s also won Best Screenplay at Cannes in 1996 for A Self Made Hero, while 2005’ s The Beat That My Heart Skipped won Best Director and Film at the Cesars. Needless to say, Audiard is a heavy hitter at home and abroad, and expectations are high for his seventh feature, Erran, which is in production but being kept under wraps. Starring Vincent Rottiers (he was Jean Renoir in Gilles Bourdos’ 2012 Renoir), the film will revolve around a Sri-Lankan Tamil »
- Nicholas Bell
18 items from 2015
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