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Podcast: The Playlist Talks ‘The Neon Demon’ Reactions From Cannes & Interviews ‘The Lobster’ Director Yorgos Lanthimos

  • The Playlist
The Playlist Podcast returns for a Cannes episode, in two parts. On the first half, friend of the show and longtime film critic for Nicholas Bell, fresh out of the premiere screening of “The Neon Demon,” joined me via Skype to talk about the early reactions to the latest effort from Nicolas Winding Refn. The second half of the […]

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Grasshopper Film Paints “Right Now, Wrong Then” onto 2016 Slate

  • ioncinema
Grasshopper Film’s Ryan Krivoshey is slowly building his company’s year one slate and has picked up one of the best undistributed films from South Korea’s most prolific auteur filmmaker. The big winner at Locarno this past August, and voted as Film Comment’s Best Undistributed Films of 2015, Hong Sangsoo’s Right Now, Wrong Then will be released theatrically sometime this year.

Gist: This is about an arthouse film director and an aspiring painter meet and spend the same day together, twice. Quite by accident, Chunsu arrives in town a day early. With time to kill before his lecture the next day, Chunsu stops by a restored, old palace and meets a fledgling artist, Yoon Heejung. She’s never seen any of his films, but knows he’s famous. They talk. And together, they go to Heejung’s workshop to look at her paintings, have Sushi and Soju.
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Tie Me Up, Eye Me Down: Magnet Releasing Ankles Nicolas Pesce’s “The Eyes of My Mother”

  • ioncinema
Magnolia was mostly sticking to docu items, but Variety reports that Magnet Releasing have landed worldwide distribution rights to The Eyes of My Mother – Nicolas Pesce’s break-out directorial debut will receive a theatrical debut later this year.

Gist: This centers around a young girl who raises herself alone in isolation after a tragedy besets her family.

Worth Noting: Pesce got his start working in commercial work and video clips including Tei Shi’s Bassically.

Do We Care?: Our #2 pick for the Best New Voice out of Sundance, our Nicholas Bell called this Sundance ★★★★ star standout “a spectacularly gruesome calling card which may deconstruct the notion of the physical lens through which living beings observe the world, but seems to hint these particular organs are hardly inherent windows to the soul.”
See full article at ioncinema »

Best of Fest: Sundance 2016’s Top 10 New Faces

  • ioncinema
Yesterday, Nicholas Bell and I issued our Top 10 New Voices, and now we launch into our New Faces. They range in age, amount of screen time, and in this year’s batch of New Faces made memorable turns in supporting or principle character roles. Narrowly breaking into our top ten list we have names such as Sand Storm‘s Lammis Ammar and Spa Night‘s Haerry Kim. Here is our top ten countdown.

#10. Royalty HightowerThe Fits.

Move over Creed. The youngest featured actress to be profiled in our ten set was embraced in Park City as the next “it” personality and for good reason. In Anna Rose Holmer’s debut, Royalty Hightower’s Toni has a lot of volume – she physically inhabits a character who is at odds with her burgeoning teenagehood (a transition that is not always welcomed) in a performance that empathically comes across as non-actingly natural.
See full article at ioncinema »

Best of Fest: Sundance 2016’s Top 10 New Voices

  • ioncinema
Commonly known as a lieu that breeds new filmmaking talents, Nicholas Bell and I look back at the filmmakers who made the most noteworthy splash at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Here are our Top 10 New Voices countdown:

#10. Jim CummingsThunder Road (Short)

Producer on Patrick Wang’s The Grief of Others and Trey Edward Shults’s Krisha, Jim Cummings showed everyone who is the “boss” with the devilishly funny, conceptually sophisticated and fastidiously well executed short film. In one stroke, Cummings demonstrates a formal rigour, an impressionable, sumptuous pulse and fall-out-of-your-seat choreography. Winner of the top prize with the Short Film Grand Jury Prize, Thunder Road is a crowd pleaser and one heck of a lucky charm calling card. (El)

#9. Bernardo Britto – Jacqueline (Argentine)

On our radar two years back with his animated short (Yearbook), we were quite surprised by the form and the off the chart text
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Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women Leads Eric Lavallee’s 2016 Sundance Film Fest Top Ten

  • ioncinema
With a decent sized sampling of thirty-one features and several four star quality shorts viewed, my assessment of the ’16 edition is as follows: the Premieres category delivered in terms of A quality offerings, the U.S Dramatic Comp had far more “misses” than “hits”, and there is plenty to be excited about from the micro indie auteurs found from the bountiful Next section. To further recognize this section’s importance and cred, I’d definitely create a jury award to go alongside the Audience award — perhaps the composition of that jury could follow the free-thinking artist matching they promote for their Sundance Next Fest. And speaking of the jury folk — I’m a little dismayed that a conventional film such as The Birth of a Nation took precedence over a technically sound, risk-taker film such as Christine. Change appears to be in the air, with Robert Redford contemplating the future
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2016 Sundance Film Festival: Eric Lavallee’s Top 5 Most Anticipated Films

  • ioncinema
Unlike some other media outlets who are blasphemously drawing up “most anticipated” Sundance lists that come across as a simple rehash of the entire feature film line-up, over here, Nicholas Bell and I pare down this shared enthusiasm in what are individual must see top five lists. The catch: select five films from five sections. In the decade I’ve been coming down here, the U.S Dramatic Comp section was the sure-fire bet for treasures, the Premieres section offered heavyweights and misfires while you had to look elsewhere for the gems. Last year’s Next was where all the riches were at. James White, Entertainment, Tangerine , Nasty Baby, and the upcoming Take Me to the River reminded me why the Next section has become a robust category in itself but surprisingly it might be the Premieres program (half a dozen offerings I could easily see in Cannes) is poised to get the major attention.
See full article at ioncinema »

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016: Picks 200-101

  • ioncinema
It’s become a great breaking in the new year traditional here at We begin our countdown to the our most anticipated foreign films (anything outside the U.S.) with our own Nicholas Bell curating the best bets for 2016. Here are the titles and filmmakers that didn’t make our final Top 100 cut, but are nonetheless “radar” worthy.

101. El Rey del Once – Daniel Burman

102. The Dancer – Stephanie Di Giusto

103. Le CancrePaul Vecchiali

104. While the Women are Sleeping – Wayne Wang

105. TomorrowMartha Pinson

106. Spring Again – Gael Morel

107. CrowhurstSimon Rumley

108. Le Garcon – Philippe Lioret *

109. Marie and the Misfits – Sebastien Betbeder

110. Le Caravage – Alain Chevalier

111. Night Song – Raphael Nadjari

112. Réparer les vivants – Katell Quillevere *

113. Project LazarusMateo Gil

114. Afterimages – Andrzej Wajda

115. Don’t Knock Twice – Caradog James

116. DetourChristopher Smith

117. The Bride of Rip Van Winkle – Shunji Iwai

118. Three on the Road – Johnnie To

119. Le Vin et le Vent
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2016 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Madeleine Olnek’s Emily Dickinson Project

  • ioncinema
What the trades tell us and what is fact are not mutually exclusive. 11th hour film submissions at the Sundance Film Festival do occur — the unfinished form are indeed a rarity, but I’ve seen it happen with fine down to the wire examples in the realm of Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip, Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash and Kris Swanberg’s Unexpected. Could this shot in NYC and Los Angeles nouveau Emily Dickinson depiction follow suit? Madeleine Olnek has mades ripples and waves at the festival first with 2011’s Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same followed up a weird double showing and vote of confidence (preeming at the 2013’s Sundance Next Weekend and then again at Sundance in 2014) for The Foxy Merkins. An auteur described by our Nicholas Bell as “a refreshing voice to behold in an era of repetitive storytelling and mediocre beats within the realm of independent film,
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Top 3 Critics’ Picks: Rick Alverson, Josh Mond & Todd Haynes this November

  • ioncinema’s Top 3 Critics’ Picks offers a curated approach to the usual quandary: what would you recommend I see in theaters this month? This November, we’ve got a pair of films Sundance Film Festival Next section premiered films that will be found on several best of lists for 2015, and the other item was one of the most admired films to land on the Croisette.

EntertainmentRick Alverson

November 13th – Limited Release

Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

Awards & Fests: Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival with a good number of U.S. film fests, some noteworthy stops included New Directors/New Films, Locarno, Sitges, London and Chicago.

What the critic’s are saying?: Simply put, Rick Alverson’s The Comedy (2012) is brilliant. Predictably his abrasive parameter-less cinema is what sets this filmmaker apart and in this case shows the shortcomings of mainstream audiences. Only four features into his filmography, there
See full article at ioncinema »

Splitsville: Sarah Adina Smith Enlists Rami Malek for “Buster’s Mal Heart”

  • ioncinema
It’s been a long time coming for Short Term 12 supporting player Rami Malek, but the momentum built around television’s highly successful “Mr.Robot” has landed him the coveted lead role in Sarah Adina Smith‘s sophomore film. THR reports that actor leads a cast comprised of Kate Lyn Sheil, DJ Qualls, Toby Huss, Lin Shaye, Lance Barber, Mark Kelly, Bruce Bundy and Teresa Yenque in Smith’s Buster’s Mal Heart — production is being set up in Montana and should commence filming shortly. Jonako Donley and Snowfort Films’ Travis Stevens (We Are Still Here) are producing. Gamechanger’s Mynette Louie, Julie Parker Benello, Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous, and Wendy Ettinger are executive producing.

Gist: This follows an eccentric mountain man (Malek) on the run from authorities who survives the winter by breaking into empty vacation homes. He’s haunted by a recurring dream of being lost at
See full article at ioncinema »

Seven unveils Jessica Mauboy drama

Jessica Mauboy will star in a new Australian family drama series for the Seven Network, which also unveiled local versions of three entertainment formats including a dating show from the creators of Married at First Sight.

These were among the highlights of Seven.s 2016 slate announced today as director of network programming Angus Ross said, .We are launching more new Australian shows next year than ever before..

Screentime is producing The Secret Daughter, which will star Mauboy as a part-time country pub singer who discovers she may be the daughter of a tycoon who has just died.

That leads to a confrontation with the man.s son and sees her character torn between the worlds of the haves and have-nots.

Screen Australia is investing in the series, which was developed specifically for The Sapphires star and will go into production next year with Greg Haddrick and Bob Campbell as executive producers.
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AFI Fest 2015: Mediterranea, James White & Krisha Among New Auteurs and American Independents Films Lineup

  • ioncinema
A pair of sections that we’ve been covering almost since its inception, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced their selections for the New Auteurs and American Independents line-ups and we’ve got a noteworthy, eyebrow-raising sampling of award-winning items from the Cannes played hellish immigration drama Mediterranea from Jonas Carpignano to Sundance (Josh Mond’s James White) to SXSW (Trey Edward ShultsKrisha) winners. Since Park City days, our Nicholas Bell has reviewed a good chunk of these titles, but we’ll still likely have a couple of more reviews once the festival begins. Here are the selections and jury members.

New Auteurs Selections (11 Titles)

From Afar – When a middle-aged man is assaulted and robbed by a young criminal, an unlikely relationship develops. Dir Lorenzo Vigas. Scr Lorenzo Vigas. Cast Alfredo Castro and Luis Silva. Venezuela/Mexico. U.S. Premiere

DisorderMatthias Schoenaerts plays an ex-soldier who becomes locked
See full article at ioncinema »

Top 3 Critics’ Picks: Guy Maddin/Evan Johnson, Sebastián Silva, Hou Hsiao-Hsien in Theatres This October

  • ioncinema’s Top 3 Critics’ Picks offers a curated approach to the movie-going theatre dilemma: what would you recommend I see in theaters this month? This month we’ve got a diverse group: a Taiwanese, a Chilean, and a Winnipegger. Solid options….

The Forbidden RoomGuy Maddin/Evan Johnson

October 7th – NYC Release

Distributor: Kino Lorber

Awards & Fests: With world preems at prestige fests such as Sundance, Berlin, Tiff and Nyff.

What the critic’s are saying?: Slant Magazine’s Carson Lund found plenty to admire and points to “one of the principal joys of The Forbidden Room, too easily left unexplored when thinking about its labyrinthine structure, is admiring the utter lunacy of its storytelling idiosyncrasies—the way, for instance, every new character’s entrance is promptly trailed by a lovingly designed title card stating their name, the actor playing them, and often a succinctly worded personality trait.
See full article at ioncinema »

Strange Case of Serge Bozon: Huppert, Depardieu & Duris Join “Madame Hyde”

  • ioncinema
Arte France Cinéma’s Director General Olivier Père dropped development news on future French cinema offerings with three new projects that will be supported by the entity. Thierry de Peretti will be directing Une vie violente (produced by Les Films Velvet) and The Secret of the Grain actress Hafsia Herzi will make her directorial debut with Bonnes Mères — she’ll see Quat’sous Films’ Abdellatif Kechiche on board as producer. And the focus of our interest here is: the cast and project info on Serge Bozon‘s fifth feature film. Scoring a career high with Tip Top, there are some creative pairings who’ll be doing some reuniting on Bozon’s Madame Hyde. Bozon reteams with scribe Axelle Ropert and Isabelle Huppert Tip Top, while the actress reteams with Valley of Love co-star Gérard Depardieu. Romain Duris also joins the Films Pelléas production.

Gist: Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s
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Wanted shoot begins in Brisbane

Rebecca Gibney will lead a strong Australian cast for upcoming drama series Wanted, which starts production in Brisbane this week.

Wanted is the story of two strangers who, after intervening in a deadly car-jacking, are swept up a chase across Australia.

Series co-creator and star, Rebecca Gibney will be joined Stephen Peacocke (Home and Away, Hercules), Ryan Corr (Holding The Man, Love Child, Packed To The Rafters), theatre, film and tv veteran Nicholas Bell (Miss Fisher.s Murder Mysteries, Tangle, Satisfaction, Newstopia) and theatre star Geraldine Hakewill in her first major television role.

Gibney said she was excited about the extraordinary team of people.

"To be filming in the beautiful state of Queensland is a dream come true," she said..

Seven director of network production, Brad Lyons, .said Gibney would play a role unlike any of her previous characters, combined with Steve Peacocke.s first major role back in Australia.
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2015 Venice Film Fest: Corbet, Mahaffy, Saada & Lindholm Preeming in Horizons Section

  • ioncinema
Back to back mid-summer Xmas mornings with the rollout of major premiere titles at Tiff and now the full line-up for Venice means we’re now carefully dissecting the numerous films announced with our first focus going down the list at the treasure trove of items in the Horizons Section, otherwise known as Orizzonti. Names that pop out of the group of eighteen include Danish helmer Tobias Lindholm‘s heavily anticipated third feature film, A War. Re-teaming with actor Pilou Asbæk in just as many outings, R (2010) and A Hijacking (2012) are part of his already stacked early filmography, this is about a solider stationed in Afghanistan and finds himself caught in a catch-22 type of situation.

Another highly anticipated film (our Nicholas Bell slotted it at #33) which posits a person in a life or death type of situation is Nicolas Saada‘s sophomore film. Based on true horrific events, set
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Mistress America, Entertainment & Turbo Kid Musically Aligned for 3rd Next Fest

  • ioncinema
Musicians Sky Ferriera, Sharon Van Etten and dee-jays Neon Indian and Toro Y Moi are now part of the expanding Sundance Film Festival family. Sundance’s Next Fest (August 7th to the 9th) kicks off early on August 2nd, with a showing of Jon Watt’s Cop Car — the filmmaker made the industry news headlines this week when he signed onto direct the new Spiderman. Now in its third year, the fest which intertwines filmmakers and musicians or surprise mentors of the arts is comprised of films from the ’15 edition of the festival with only a pair of Next titles being re-programmed in Rick Alverson’s Entertainment and Michael J. Larnell’s

Cronies. Our Nicholas Bell will be covering the event for the site. Here’s the full lineup:

Sunday, August 2, 8:30 p.m. – Sundance Next Fest Kick Off Event

Cinespia at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Cop Car / U.S.
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Micallef comedy rolls in Melbourne

The Ex-pm, a six-part half hour comedy created, written by and starring Shaun Micallef, began filming in Melbourne today. Micallef plays Australia's third longest-serving Prime Minister, Andrew Dugdale. He dined with Presidents and Kings, hosted world summits and changed the lives of millions of his fellow Australians.

But now he's retired, the not-so-elder statesman has far too much time on his hands and no one to waste it on.

The ensemble cast includes Nikki Wendt, Kate Jenkinson, Lucy Honigman, Nicholas Bell, Francis Greenslade, Jackson Tozer, Ming-Zhu Hii and. veteran John Clarke.

Sian Davies (Offspring, Mr & Mrs Murder) directs. Nick Murray (House of Hancock, Stupid Stupid Man), who is producing for Cjz, says: .It.s a rare pleasure with such a great cast and Shaun.s scripts are wonderful..

Micallef says, .I am very much looking forward to stepping in front of the cameras for my new series The Ex-pm. Hopefully
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