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Laurent Durieux has spent two decades as a designer and teacher, but the 42-year-old Brussels illustrator and graphic artist was only recently discovered in the United States, thanks to a number of high-profile awards and marquee commissions. After contributing a piece entitled, François à l’Americaine, for a show celebrating the French director, Jacques Tati, Laurent was selected by Lürzer’s Archive magazine as one of the top 200 illustrators for 2012. In 2013, his screenprint of Jaws, caught the attention of Steven Spielberg and since his name has become synonymous with exquisitely rendered illustrations. His art is often described as a blend between the retro-futuristic world of H.G. Wells and the 1960s pop-culture. Laurent’s work has such beautiful compositions, vibrant colours, and meticulous detail, that you just can’t look away.
The post Twenty Reasons Why Laurent Durieux Creates the Best Movie Poster appeared first on Sound On Sight. »
- Kyle Reese
The Austrian Film Museum has made video excerpts available online of forty years worth of Q&As with various filmmakers and actors. This is really interesting: Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience is going to become a television series written and directed by Lodge Kerrigan & Amy Seimetz. In their continuing series of English translations of Cahiers du cinéma articles, Indiewire have published a review of Mia Hansen-Love's Goodbye First Love by Florence Maillard. For Criterion, Geoffrey O'Brien writes on "The Secret Heart of Judex":
"That images so hauntingly beautiful should carry such an edge of anxiety comes close to the secret heart of Judex. It is a cinematic paradise, evoking a world that at that very moment was being irrevocably swept away. For Franju, it was linked, as he acknowledged, to his memories of childhood. He was four years old when Feuillade’s film came out (although there is »
- Adam Cook
If you’ve never seen Playtime, the movie that almost broke Jacques Tati, 2014 could be your year. A new seven-disc box set of Tati blu-rays hits the UK in July, and Criterion should have its own set for release soon in the Us. Along with the blu-rays comes a 4K restoration of Tati’s incredible film Playtime. I […]
- Russ Fischer
Jacques Tati and Villa Arpel: object of desire or of ridicule?
"Featured as a very large-scale model, the miain character in Tati’s film Mon Oncle (1958) was a provocative house. Far from contributing to a happy domestic life, the villa seemed to manipulate its users, comforting the French rejection of modern single-family houses."
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Sony Pictures Classics honchos Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have been feted up one side and down the other lately. The duo celebrated 20 years of Spc in 2012 and have received awards from the Museum of the Moving Image and the Gotham Awards as of late. Tonight they will receive the Los Angeles Film Festival's Spirit of Independence Award as the love keeps pouring in. Given that we recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of Fox Searchlight — another crucial entity in the indie film space — it seemed like we were over due for a similar appreciation of Sony Classics' 22 years of output. The interesting thing, though, is that unlike Searchlight, there isn't necessarily anything outwardly identifiable about Sony Classics films as, well, "Sony Classics films." They all have a strong whiff of good taste but they don't have the heavy marketing footprint of some of the studio's contemporaries. Barker and Bernard's cinephile passion is always evident, »
- Gregory Ellwood, Guy Lodge, Kristopher Tapley
Annecy — Sylvain Chomet, the Oscar-nominated French director of “The Illusionist” (pictured above) and “The Triplets of Belleville,” is moving forward with “The Thousand Miles,” teaming with London-based studio Th1ng to create the animation.
Developed and produced by U.K. outfit Savoy & Gregory, “Thousand Miles” is inspired by various works and unpublished writings/drawings of Federico Fellini. Demian Gregory and Tommaso Rossellini co-wrote the screenplay.
Italian prince Emanuele Filiberto will topline as a middle-aged count who takes part in Le Mille Miglia (the thousand mile), one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious car races. The journey transforms into a magical odyssey during which the count reminisces on his youth and life experiences.
The film will weave live action and hand-drawn animation to portray the count’s souvenirs, explained Chomet.
Filiberto will lend his voice, image to the film and will star in the live action scenes.
The cast »
- Elsa Keslassy and John Hopewell
Russian actor who starred in the only Soviet film to have won the Palme d'Or
At the 1958 Cannes film festival, in a competition that included films by Ingmar Bergman, Jacques Tati and Satyajit Ray, the Palme d'Or was presented to Mikhail Kalatozov's The Cranes Are Flying, the first and last Soviet film ever to have won it, and a special mention was given to Tatiana Samoilova, its captivating 23-year-old star.
Samoilova, who has died from coronary heart disease aged 80, became the centre of media attention, her elfin beauty prompting many to call her the "Russian Audrey Hepburn". Unlike the stereotypical western vision of Soviet womanhood hefty, heroic, smiling tractor-drivers among the corn derived from years of socialist realist films, Samoilova came as a revelation. Here was a seductive, sensitive and serious young woman with whom international audiences could sympathise. At the time, Samoilova was given a watch by East »
- Ronald Bergan
Since making a splash as crack shot George Stone in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, Andy Garcia has become one of the cinema’s most prolific and diverse actors. The Cuban-born Garcia boasts over 100 credits on his resume, with roles ranging from actor, director, producer and musical performer. At Middleton, which arrived on DVD and Blu-ray April 1 from Anchor Bay Entertainment, features Garcia as a slightly befuddled doctor who finds an unexpected love connection with another parent (Vera Farmiga) while accompanying their kids on a tour of a tony East Coast college. Andy Garcia spoke with us recently about this and other career highlights. Here’s what transpired:
I don’t think I’ve ever seen you play a guy who’s not cool, so it was a pleasant surprise to see you in At Middleton, which marks a change of pace. »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
The ginger tabby seen slinking about in Ramon Zurcher’s delightfully aloof first feature is probably the least strange thing about “The Strange Little Cat.” Simultaneously rigorous and open-ended, the German-schooled helmer’s playfully constructed debut turns the cozy world of a middle-class Berlin apartment inside out, studying its assorted human inhabitants and guests as if they were members of an alien species. With its peculiar angles and curious sensitivity to certain feelings seldom captured onscreen, the film eschews plot for wryly observed character moments, serving up an arthouse-ready Rorschach test that ensures no two viewers will have the same reaction.
Certainly, in the year since this unconventional domestic drama first surfaced at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, cineastes have been tripping over themselves to pinpoint which helmers may have influenced Zurcher, citing everyone from Chantal Akerman to Jacques Tati, ultimately revealing more about their own creative diets in the process. »
- Peter Debruge
(So ok, maybe I don't hate All mimes...) There have been many famous French directors in the history of cinema, but few have been as universally loved as Jacques Tati. A former mime, his films are sight-based observational comedies, featuring long stretches without dialogue. Often you're just watching Jacques Tati himself, either as his famous Monsieur Hulot or as some other character, spectacularly failing to do something in a normal way. Then again, watch a bit closer and you see him questioning what's normal anyway. Most of the time, any bumbling from the main characters results from the fact that the "normal" thing they try to do is actually pretty stupid already, maybe considered appropriate by modern society but hardly logical. Tati was one of...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Looking for any excuse, Landon Palmer and Scott Beggs are using the 2012 Sight & Sound poll results as a reason to take different angles on the best movies of all time. Every week, they’ll discuss another entry in the list, dissecting old favorites from odd angles, discovering movies they haven’t seen before and asking you to join in on the conversation. Of course it helps if you’ve seen the movie because there will be plenty of spoilers. This week, they get lost in the whirling modern wonder of Jacques Tati‘s fictional Paris to revel in whimsy, caprice and noisy angst. In the #43 (tied) movie on the list, the doofy Mr. Hulot (Tati) bumbles around the labyrinthine steel and concrete of a tech-addled city while tourists bounce around station to station and the background eventually comes to the foreground. Honestly, writing a plot synopsis for Playtime is a self-defeating purpose. But »
- FSR Staff
With the delightful exception of Disney’s jaunty, form-busting “Get a Horse!,” a mood of sweet melancholia prevails among this year’s typically fine Oscar nominees for animated short, the best of which offer a welcome draught of personal vision and emotional subtlety not always evident in their feature-length counterparts. Although these five distinctly accomplished offerings vary widely in tone, style, subject and inspiration, almost all of them have something touching to impart about the challenges of isolation and the consolations of friendship in unexpected places — whether it’s the unlikely bond between a man and his dog in the all-metal dystopian world of “Mr. Hublot,” or a kind-hearted witch who adopts one pet after another in “Room on the Broom.”
Certainly an infectious sense of team spirit informs director Lauren MacMullan’s “Get a Horse!,” the deliriously inventive Mickey Mouse cartoon that accompanied Disney’s Oscar-nominated smash “Frozen” in theaters. »
- Justin Chang
Isaac Julien's seven-screen installation, which features Franco as an art adviser, revolves around the flow of capital – the unseen director of all our lives
• Watch a trailer for Playtime here
The city rears up around us, lit windows against the night, the corporate buildings blocking the sky. In an all-white empty office, a hedge-fund manager plays a lonesome trumpet. A skittering drum kicks in, adding an urgent pulse. The pulse is money: capital at work. Ranks of computers and servers churn the numbers in a sub-basement world where the capital flows.
In an auction room, prices are spiralling. Actor James Franco, playing an art adviser, explains how art has become a hedge against money's instability. The price of art has nothing to do with the art itself. In another scene, auctioneer Simon de Pury explains the exponential rise of the art market since the 2008 financial crash. Superstitious, he always »
- Adrian Searle
Michel Landi (born 1932) is an incredibly prolific French poster artist with more than 1,500 posters to his name, many of which, like his Bullitt, are very well known. Having worked from the late 50s—when he began by painting the billboards outside Paris movie theaters—through to the 00s, he has worked in many different mediums (he had a notable airbrush period in the 80s) and isn’t really known for one distinctive style. But I recently discovered a number of painted posters by Landi from the late 60s and early 70s that are all very much the work of one artist: all distinguished by wildly expressive brush strokes and a generous, almost fauvist, use of color. The first one I noticed was this exuberant re-release poster for Jacques Tati’s Jour de Fête which renders a carousel as a whirlwind of paint. »
- Adrian Curry
Paris – The 16th UniFrance Rendez-vous gathered 150 journalists from Europe and beyond to screen screeners and conduct interviews with the makers and stars of the latest crop of French films now rolling out across the world. Variety asked a clutch of them to opine – something that’s in their DNA – on which title at the junket had the best box office prospects in their territory, the best performances in a junket film, and – at time when UniFrance is tubthumping for thesps to put their backs behind the promotion of the films they star in, who was really good value in an interview. The poll is no Variety Rendez-vous Awards, but it tips its hat to some potential box office hits, in relative terms, and engaging perfs on and off the screen.
Richard Mowe, Cinefile, U.K.
Best B.O. Prospects
This has to be “Chinese Puzzle” which scored highly with audiences »
- John Hopewell
Is This a Lasting Treasure?: Chen’s Sophomore Rom-Com a Sugary Sweet Endeavor
Arvin Chen, the Taiwanese-American director and screenwriter of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? certainly has a penchant for flights of fancy, though his latest film has an inescapable streak of melancholic longing that sometimes lends it an engaging advantage over similarly formulated titles in this vein. Your attraction to fluffy escapades involving miscommunications in love and lust will most likely determine your reaction to the film, which, as its poppy title taken from an iconic ditty from the Shirelle’s indicates, will resolve itself in satisfactory fashion so you’re left with a warm, faded glow of enjoyment. Dipping into moments of magical realism, Chen channels a tradition of classical cinema that may have you recalling Jacques Tati or Jacques Demy, though it doesn’t quite reach a confectionary crescendo as those particular influences would suggest. »
- Nicholas Bell
Directed by Jacques Tati.
Monsieur Hulot battles the modern architecture and technology of Paris, creating pockets of benign chaos through to the early morning.
Playtime opens on an airport lounge for what feels like ages. People are dwarfed in the longshot, going about their business. After a while, the static camera's reason becomes apparent. This is a film dictated by its environment, not those that inhabit it. The precise way each character moves, the exact lines of latitude they travel across...they are nothing but cogs in some vast machine.
But then appears a cog that doesn't quite fit. He walks on his toes, as though in constant danger of falling forward, and his trousers are slightly too short, revealing the bright socks that clash with the rest of his outfit. He doesn't move in the predetermined routes of others. »
- Oliver Davis
Simon Columb kicks off our Buster Keaton month with a short introduction...
In his definitive book on Silent Comedy, Paul Merton, 88-pages in, titles a chapter “Enter Buster - and Others”. Many would imagine Buster Keaton, with Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, are front a centre in a guide on the era. Indeed, while Chaplin is an icon, it is Keaton who holds critical favour. The end of his life was marred by financial struggle and yet now, many consider Keaton superior to Chaplin in his intelligent direction, innovative techniques and everlasting tone of comedy. In 1917, when Charlie Chaplin was well-known, Buster Keaton made his screen debut in the Roscoe Arbuckle short “The Butcher Boy”, hence his late introduction in Merton’s book. If Keaton was told in 1917 that he would be known in the same capacity as Chaplin, he would surely laugh it off as simply ludicrous. Or he’d stare at you blankly. »
- Gary Collinson
A co-financier and sales agent, and sometimes producer and distributor on “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” “The Artist” and “Asterix & Obelix: God Save Britannia,” Wild Bunch has backed a significant number of the most ambitious recent films to come out of France. And that’s not to mention “Holy Motors,” “Polisse” and long-standing relationships with Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Ozon, Gaspar Noe and Arnaud Desplechin. Now, Wild Bunch is cutting down on French films for world sales.
One year ago, Wild Bunch founder-partner Vincent Maraval shook the French film industry with an article in Le Monde, arguing that French films were too expensive and that this is directly due to France’s subsidy system, above all its obligation for broadcasters to invest in French cinema.
12 months later, in the first of a series of Variety Q & As, coinciding with the Unifrance Paris Rendez-vous, Maraval announces that Wild Bunch is scaling back on French film investment, »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
2014 is shaping up to be an exciting year for moviegoers. From films like The Lego Movie and The Monuments Men, to the endless list of big budget summer releases, I’m sure that we’ll all be kept very busy at the multiplexes. But for me the most exciting part of any new movie year is when the Criterion Collection announces their monthly titles. As they did the year before, Criterion recently published a charming drawing teasing some of their 2014 releases. Let the debates begin!
The people over at Criterion Cast and Criterion Forum (via The Playlist) have their own ideas about what the picture represents. Some of the doodles are self-explanatory: an exploding head is likely to be David Cronenberg’s Scanners and the gentleman in a box smoking a pipe looks very much like Jacques Tati. The picnic scene could be any number of films, including Picnic At Hanging Rock and Ringu. »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
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