12 items from 2016
Earlier this year, it was announced that Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection — perhaps the two most trusted names in the distribution and exhibition of important classic and contemporary cinema — would be joining forces to create a streaming service dedicated to sharing their combined library with cinephiles around the world. For months, it sounded too good to be true. Today, it suddenly became as real as the screen in front of your face.
If the movies are truly as dead as they say, then FilmStruck is nothing short of heaven on Earth. It’s here, it’s alive, and hot damn has it come out of the gate swinging. Hundreds of essential titles are ready to go on launch day, and while hundreds more are imminently on the way, there’s already more than enough to satisfy whatever mood you’re in and scratch itches that you didn’t even know you had. »
- David Ehrlich
TV sales arm to mark first anniversary at Cannes content market.
Wild Bunch TV will launch a trio of new series at the upcoming edition of Mipcom Oct 17-20, its second time at the content market since launching last year.
It will kick off sales on Belgian-produced, bittersweet romance and road trip Tytgat Chocolate about a mentally-challenged, chocolate factory worker who sets off in search of his girlfriend after she is deported back to Kosovo.
The Flemish-language series is written and directed by Marc Bryssinck and Filip Lenaerts. Brussels-based deMENSEN – which previously made Beau Sejour and Highway of Love – produced the series for Vrt.
The quirky drama stars Jelle Palmaerts alongside other members of Belgium’s Theater Stap, a company of mentally-challenged professional actors.
Wild Bunch TV has also picked up sales on Israeli director-writer Keren Weissman’s psychological drama Mama’s Angel »
Joseph Cedar, the New York-born, Israel-raised golden boy of the cinema of the modern Jewish State, bursts firmly onto the international scene this festival season with “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer,” his new Richard Gere-toplined feature.
The film has its international premiere in Toronto on Sept. 12 as a Gala Presentation afters is world preem at the recent Telluride Film Festival.
It’s the first English-language film for the Israeli writer and helmer, and his first time working with international star power after decades directing Israel’s biggest names. Pic, set in both Jerusalem and New York, created a flurry of excitement and media headlines last year when its production set up shop in the nation’s capital.
Cedar has sat atop the Israeli cinematic pack since the release of his stirring 2007 “Beaufort,” the Oscar-nominated drama about an Israeli Defense Force unit stationed »
- Debra Kamin
A noble failure from a noteworthy filmmaker, Joseph Cedar’s “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer” — the unofficial winner of this year’s “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Award for the most fanciful title — mines a classic storytelling tradition in order to spin a darkly comic parable that often feels as unkempt and intolerable as its title character.
A defiantly Jewish bit of mishegoss that was conceived as a U.S. / Israeli co-production, the film is a wry, self-defeating response to the anti-Semitic tradition of stories about conniving “Court Jews” who talk their way into becoming one of the king’s most trusted advisors. Pin-balling between tragedy and farce so fast that it can be hard to follow, “Norman” unfolds like a Coen brothers comedy that has too much chutzpah and not enough charm.
Richard Gere, in yet another one of his wildly adventurous late career performances, »
- David Ehrlich
Everybody knows a Norman, and Normans almost by definition claim to know everyone. They are what Malcolm Gladwell calls “connectors”: naturally wired to serve as hubs in a vast social network, taking personal pleasure in collecting acquaintances and introducing them to one another in order to get things done. In “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer,” writer-director Joseph Cedar has created such a vivid example of the archetype that its protagonist’s name can serve as shorthand for such personalities going forward — the way Marty means mama’s boy or Pollyanna suggests an incurable optimist — that is, if a movie so intricately situated within the world of New York Jewry can manage to reach an audience beyond the insular community it depicts. For this it will rely on Richard Gere, whose acting work keeps getting better late in his career, even if his »
- Peter Debruge
Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.
– Sony Pictures Classics have announced they have acquired the rest of Pedro Almodóvar’s full library of films, including “Pepi, Luci, Bom”; “Labyrinth of Passion”; “Dark Habits”; “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”; “High Heels” and “Kika.” Spc will release his latest, “Julieta,” in theaters on December 21.
Based on short stories by Nobel laureate Alice Munro, “Julieta” is “about a mother’s struggle to survive uncertainty. It is also about fate, guilt complexes and that unfathomable mystery that leads us to abandon the people we love, erasing them from our lives as if they had never meant anything, as if they had never existed. The cast includes Adriana Ugarte, Emma Suárez and Rossy de Palma. It »
- Kate Erbland
Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North America, Benelux, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Asia excluding South Korea to Richard Gere starrer Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A New York Fixer.
Joseph Cedar wrote and directed Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall Of A New York Fixer, which was previously known as Oppenheimer Strategies and marks his follow-up to Footnote, the Oscar nominee that Spc also distributed.
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Josh Charles, Michael Sheen, Lior Ashkenazi, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi and Hank Azaria star in the drama about a small-time fixer who gets in over his head in Middle East politics.
Gideon Tadmor and Cold Iron Pictures financed the project in association with The Rabinovich Foundation, The Jerusalem Film Fund and Keshet International.
Oren Moverman, [link »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Sony Pictures Classics has acquired rights in North America, Benelux, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and Asia (excluding Korea) to Richard Gere’s “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer.”
Gere plays an opportunist who’s unsuccessful until he buys a pair of expensive shoes for a lowly Israeli politician who becomes prime minister, and finds himself in the center of a geopolitical drama beyond anything he could have imagined. Using his small-time skills, he tries to solve a growingly complex puzzle with big-time implications.
“Norman” was developed by Tadmor, financed by Tadmor and Cold Iron Pictures, and produced by Oren Moverman, Gideon Tadmor, Eyal Rimmon, David Mandil, Miranda Bailey, and Lawrence Inglee. The film was financed »
- Dave McNary
Sony Pictures Classics has acquired rights in North America and other territories to Joseph Cedar’s Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer which stars Richard Gere, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Josh Charles, Michael Sheen, Lior Ashkenazi, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi and Hank Azaria. Spc has a relationship with the filmmaker, as the company acquired his last film, Footnote out of the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 where it won the Best Screenplay Award and… »
Terrible news to report today. The great Israeli actress Ronit Elkabetz has passed away at only 51 years of age.
Her last film proved to be her biggest hit (Gett: The Trial of Viviane Absalem) -- we interviewed her right here -- but that courtroom drama was far from her only gem. We first fell (and fell hard) for the intense raven haired beauty in the astounding Late Marriage (2001) where she played the older woman in a sexually intense love affair with a slightly younger man (Lior Ashkenazi) whose parents were eager to marry him off to a "proper" bride and end his long-standing bachelordom. She won the Ophir (Israel's Academy Award) for that film, one of three wins for her as Best Actress.
If you've never seen "Late Marriage," you really must.She also starred in Or (My Treasure) (2004), the international hit The Band's Visit (2007), and other films in both France and Israel. »
- NATHANIEL R
Tel Aviv – Ronit Elkabetz, one of the great luminaries of the Israeli film industry, died Tuesday morning after a private battle with cancer. She was 51.
The actress and filmmaker was known equally for her striking dark looks and immense emotional vulnerability onscreen. Her life ended just as her career flourished at an all-time high: In 2014, Elkabetz’s film “Gett: The Trail of Viviane Amsalem,” which she co-wrote and co-directed alongside her brother Shlomi Elkabetz, was awarded the Israeli Ophir Award for best film, the Jewish State’s equivalent of the Academy Award. “Gett” went on to serve as Israel’s 2014 entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, and also earned a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Golden Globes.
“Gett” was the third installment in a trilogy about a woman trapped in an unhappy marriage. The Elkabetz siblings began telling the story of shackled Viviane Amsalem, »
- Debra Kamin
Screen rounds up the films from across the globe that could launch at Cannes…
With less than a month to go until the Cannes Film Festival announces its line-up at its annual Paris press conference on April 14, Screen looks at what could make it into Official Selection and the parallel sections of Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week.
UK and Ireland
The UK could have one of its strongest Cannes for years with hot favourites for a competition slot including Andrea Arnold’s Shia Labeouf-starring Us road movie American Honey and Ken Loach’s gritty Northern England-set drama I, Daniel Blake. It would be Loach’s 12th time in competition.
Ben Wheatley is also reportedly gunning for an Official Selection slot for his 1970s Boston-set, gangland thriller Free Fire, potentially Out of Competition or in Midnight Screenings. He was last in Cannes with Sightseers in Directors’ Fortnight.
12 items from 2016
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