5 items from 2014
Forget last year’s Dutch “Dinner” and chow down on Ivano de Matteo’s “The Dinner,” . De Matteo (“Balancing Act”) and co-scripter Valentina Ferlan snip away much of the novel’s shambolic final quarter, making the story about two couples learning their teenage kids have cold-bloodedly murdered a homeless woman a sharper, more credible statement about today’s culture of violence. Venice’s Europa Cinemas award will help continental bookings, but a-la-carte U.S. play could also benefit.
Koch’s novel has certainly touched a nerve: In addition to this film and the 2013 Dutch pic, it was announced last year that Cate Blanchett would make her screen directorial debut with a new adaptation. The book’s deceptive simplicity — told via first-person narration and set during a dinner at a chichi restaurant, with an increasing number of flashbacks — might seem like a scripter’s dream, yet the last section ruins the »
- Jay Weissberg
The dark days of Venice continue. It’s not easy starting your morning with a film called “Black Souls” but someone has to do it. Italian director Francisco Munzi’s tale of a Calabrian family embroiled in the mafia gave me a stomach ache, partly because of the sense of dread it successfully exported from the opening shot, and partly because it never quite achieves what it seems to be going for. Luigi and Rocco Carbone are two middle-aged brothers running a mob business in Milan. Luigi (Marco Leonardi) is your typically good-looking, fun-loving tough guy, a sort of Calabrian Sonny Corleone. The lean, bespectacled Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta) runs the business side and aspires to normality and respectability, with a pretty northern wife (Barbora Bobulova) and young daughter. The odd man out is their elder brother Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane), who has remained on the Calabrian hilltop farm, raising goats, and »
- Tom Christie
A trio of brothers with three different outlooks converge on their ancestral town, where a blood feud threatens to turn into all-out war, in Francesco Munzi’s “Black Souls.” Calabria’s mafia, the ‘ndrangheta, have international reach, but their vendettas play out at home, allowing Munzi to illustrate urban-rural divides while showing how alliances and lethal questions of honor disturbingly survive in areas where options have never been a government priority. ; how it fares at the box office will depend on international and local auds’ seemingly insatiable appetite for the subject.
Much of the film was shot in Africo, a small town in the toe of Italy that’s long been synonymous with the forsaken south, and well known as a stronghold of the ‘ndrangheta. This is the hometown of the Carbone family, goat herders whose paterfamilias was killed sometime in the past. The opening, however is in Amsterdam, where »
- Jay Weissberg
The 71st Venice Film Festival announced its lineup this morning, highlighted by films from American directors, including David Gordon Green, Barry Levinson, Peter Bogdanovich, Lisa Cholodenko, Andrew Niccol, and James Franco. As had been previously announced, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, starring Michael Keaton and many others, will be the opening film when the festival begins on Aug. 27.
Click below for the entire list of 55 films playing in Venice.
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, directed by Roy Andersson
Starring Holger Andersson, »
- Jeff Labrecque
The Prague International Film Festival (March 20-28) will present 141 films from 60 countries in 18 different sections.
Special tributes are being dedicated to the Finnish actress Kati Outinen, French animator Sylvain Chomet, Slovak actress Barbora Bobulová, Italian director Gianni Amelio and Ivory Coast-born actor Isaach de Bankolé.
De Bankolé, who first came to prominence in the French film industry with his role in Black Mic Mac, will present his two newest films, Mother Of August and Chaos, in Prague and will receive the Kristian Award for his Contribution to World Cinema.
Febiofest’s New Europe Competition open to first and second feature films will have such films as Wolfskinder, My Nephew, The Idiot, Life Feels Good, Puppy Love, The Machine and Rock The Casbah competing for the €10,000 Grand Prix, including a €5,000 premium for a potential Czech distributor »
- email@example.com (Martin Blaney)
5 items from 2014
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