9 items from 2015
The halls are starting to hum softly here in Berlin as the European Film Market swings into gear. The first deals were announced yesterday before the event officially opened, with The Weinstein Co notably boarding Im Global’s The Man Who Made It Snow. This morning, FilmNation unveiled a series of offshore output deals for titles from Open Road, which will kick off with the Jamie Foxx/Michelle Monaghan-starrer Sleepless Nights.
Though it’s not likely to be a frenzy, and with currency concerns in the market internationally, Berlin should see more action in the coming days. Distributors are looking for product for 2016 and beyond, and some memorable buys have emerged here in recent years. In 2014, The Weinstein Company made a record-setting $7M deal for The Imitation Game which has now made about $140M worldwide and has an armful of Oscar nominations to boot.
Much of the pre-buy buzz »
- Nancy Tartaglione
At this point, watching the development of The Huntsman has become something of a sport. The sequel to 2012’s phenomenally successful Snow White And The Huntsman is now a case-study in what can be achieved when Universal has the commitment of two stars, a confirmed release date, and then just holds on tight.
When the first film opened to great fanfare and financial success, the idea of a sequel was immediately and predictably bandied about. The main cast – Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron – was on board and happy to return. Then came a wave of high profile controversy surrounding Stewart and the film’s director, Rupert Sanders – which led to both of them stepping away from the project. But, with Hemsworth and Theron still attached, a release date was set for April 22nd 2016, and attentions turned to the development of a screenplay, without Snow White in it.
- Sarah Myles
London Critics’ Circle reveal top 10 films of 2014. Scroll down for full list of winners
The evening’s other big winner was Under the Skin, for which Jonathan Glazer was on hand to collect the Attenborough Award for British Film of the Year, and composer Mica Levi accepted the Technical Achievement Award for her score.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
The London Critics’ Circle Film Awards took place at the May Fair Hotel in London tonight, with Boyhood taking home the top honour, Film of the Year, as well as Director of the Year (Richard Linklater) and Supporting Actress of the Year (Patricia Arquette).
Under the Skin was named British Film of the Year and also collected the Technical Achievement Award, while other winners on the night included Michael Keaton (Actor of the Year – Birdman), Julianne Moore (Actress of the Year – Still Alice), J.K. Simmons (Supporting Actor of the Year – Whiplash), Timothy Spall (British Actor of the Year – Mr. Turner) and Rosamund Pike (British Actress of the Year – Gone Girl and What We Did On Our Holiday).
Here’s the full list of nominations, with the winners highlighted in red…
Film Of The Year
The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Gary Collinson
The art of creating a successful mystery seems to be lost on many of today’s filmmakers and their films. Instead of allowing a solid story to play out in front of you and keep you guessing, a lot of films falling into the mystery/thriller genre tend to utilize the same ol’ twists and turns we’ve all seen time and time again. When a film comes along and offers a story full of suspense and surprise, it’s a surprise and a very refreshing one at that. Luckily, Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini’s feature directorial debut, The Two Faces Of January, is just that type of film, one that keeps you guessing until the very end.
- Jerry Smith
This week Neil Calloway looks how 47 Ronin qualified for a subsidy from the UK government…
Have you seen 47 Ronin? If you haven’t, I wouldn’t bother if I was you. It’s That-Historical-Film-You’ve-Seen-a-Hundred-Times-Before. An outsider, after being saved by the daughter of a great man, helps a group of natives. It’s very very loosely based on a true story. The opening narration is like something from a video game cut scene. To be honest, it might have worked as one of those BBC Saturday evening series that they show when Doctor Who isn’t on, but a $175 million dollar action film it is not. The Flickering Myth review said “a weak script and shallow characterisation, which makes this only average at best”, which is about right.
There was trouble before it was already released, with reshoots and delays and the studio pretty much acknowledging they were going »
- Neil Calloway
A new year of films may beckon, but there are lots of movies from 2014 you may have missed. Here's a list of 2014's most underappreciated...
There was no shortage of magnificent films in 2014 of every kind, from the expensive and explosive to the low-key and experimental. But it's a sad fact of life that not all movies do as well as they should, either because of poor distribution or simply because they'd been released at the same time as something much bigger and more star-laden.
While the list below is by no means an exhaustive one - there are plenty of great films from 2014 that we're still getting around to seeing - it's our attempt to highlight a few fine pieces of work that didn't get quite as much love as they deserved.
So without further ado - and in no particular order - we'll start with a stunning »
How would you program this year's newest, most interesting films into double features with movies of the past you saw in 2014?
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2014—in theatres or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2014 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2014 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch »
UK cinema in 2015 has plenty to recommend it. Here are 36 UK films of all genres to look forward to this year…
Dig past the litterfall of Kray Brothers biopics and tales of nubile teens on camping trips gone wrong, and you’ll unearth plenty for the UK film industry to boast about in 2015. From sci-fi romps and thrillers like Robot Overlords and Ex Machina to dramas like High-Rise, comedies like War On Everyone, spy flicks like Spectre and kids’ films like Bill, there’s no shortage of inventive, highly promising cinema coming from these isles.
We’ve included a few choice co-productions in 2015’s pick of the year’s most interesting-looking pictures, which bolsters our list in both size and breadth (and mostly means we Brits can claim partial credit for ace-sounding dystopian flick The Lobster).
In alphabetical order then, here are the 36 UK (or UK-ish) movies we’re excited about seeing this year… »
9 items from 2015
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