11 items from 2014
Venice — As the festival wraps up for another year and prizes are announced, time for my final Venice 2014 report. On a personal note, I'd like to say I've had a blast writing for HitFix for the first time, and huge thanks to everyone who said that they enjoyed the coverage; it always means a lot. "A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Contemplating Existence" Grade: A+ Reaction: Given its Golden Lion-winning status, you'd be forgiven, sight unseen, for assuming that "A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Contemplating Existence" was one of those films that sends festival critics into paroxysms of delight while largely eluding a broader audience. You know, the sort of films where a pigeon actually does sit on a branch contemplating existence for a lively three-hour stint and then a jury says how refreshing it was to be freed from the shackles of conventional characterization, narrative or incident and gives it a prize. »
- Catherine Bray
A director buys a ticket to a horror movie he hasn’t made yet and asks the projectionist to stop the screening so he can improve the sound mix. A little girl watches her dad gut a wild boar in the kitchen and swears she sees a bright blue VHS cassette among the entrails. Wearing a giant rat costume, the guy who played Napoleon Dynamite can’t stop itching while hosting a cooking show. Most people don’t laugh in their dreams, and they won’t here, either.
Weird is easy, and in Dupieux’s case, it’s what this cult helmer’s supporters have come to expect from his small but nonconformist oeuvre, accepting even lazy eccentricity as a welcome break from cookie-cutter cinema. “Reality” was backed by the same producer who enabled “Wrong” and its even-less-right spinoff, “Wrong Cops,” and though it’s less outwardly gonzo, this bizarrely »
- Peter Debruge
Quentin Dupieux is finally unveiling "Reality," a movie he's been trying to make since before his his full length debut "Rubber," at the Venice Film Festival. And as usual, it's quite audacious. "It is really hard to talk about because the script is so complicated, but let's say it's a cool and funny 'Inception' because 'Inception' is not cool and boring," the director told us back in 2011. So what has Dupieux so confident about his movie? For one, the cast is hilariously random, featuring French veteran Alain Chabat alongside Eric Wareheim and Jon Heder, and as for the synopsis? Here you go: Jason, a quiet cameraman, dreams of directing his first horror movie. Bob Marshal, a wealthy producer, accepts to finance his movie one condition: Jason has 48 hours to find the perfect scream in the history of film. During his search, Jason gradually gets lost in a nightmare. The press »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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
Last month, we showed you an early look at the upcoming animated comedy Asterix: The Land of The Gods, which brings Asterix and Obelix together in a plot to stop Julius Caesar from destroying the Gauls once and for all. Today, the first international teaser trailer has been released, although you have to be fluent in French to understand the dialogue. Regardless of language barriers, this footage shows one of Julius Caesar's officers trying to lead his naval army into battle, although he isn't having the best of luck. This 3D animated feature from directors Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier will debut in France on November 26, although it isn't clear when it will debut in North America.
Julius Caesar unveils his latest plan to get rid of those indomitable Gauls once and for all. As his army has not been able to crush "the last pocket of resistance", he »
Nearly a year and a half after the international trailer debuted, Drafthouse Films has released the first domestic trailer and poster for Mood Indigo. Director Michel Gondry's adaptation of Boris Vian's novel is set in a world where people can travel via pink clouds, and come down with bizarre illnesses. Audrey Tautou stars as Chloe, a young woman who falls ill when a flower inexplicably starts growing in her lungs, after meeting and falling for Colin (Romain Duris), a wealthy man who invented a cocktail-mixing piano. Explore this mysterious world with new footage from the upcoming adaptation, arriving in theaters July 18.
Eminently inventive Michel Gondry finds inspiration from French novelist Boris Vian's cult novel to provide the foundation for this visionary and romantic love story starring Audrey Tautou (Amélie, Coco Before Chanel) and Romain Duris (The Beat That My Heart Skipped).
Mood Indigo comes to theaters July 18th, »
With a track record spanning more than 80 feature films and almost 1,000 commercials, Buf Compagnie is diversifying its revenue sources and forging long-term partnerships by positioning itself as a co-producer rather than just a standard vfx shop.
The change began when Buf produced Oscar-nominated short “Even Pigeons Go to Heaven” in 2007 and launched Angele & Fine Productions, named after founder Pierre Buffin’s daughters, to line-produce international projects that are serviced by Buf under France’s Trip tax rebate scheme. Titles have included “Thor,” “The Grandmaster” and “Odd Thomas.”
The company also operates two L.A. production arms: Angele Productions for live-action projects and Fine Productions for animation.
In 2012, Buf established post houses in Montreal and Brussels to access local tax shelters.
Its first project via the Brussels unit was Nicolas Bary’s €12 million ($16 million) dark comedy, “The Scapegoat,” which bowed in France last October.
Co-productions include “Toby Alone,” with Amber Entertainment, »
- Martin Dale
Inspired by the two-decade agenting career of Dominique Besnehard at France’s biggest talent house Artmedia, the six-part comedy 10% will shoot this summer for national broadcaster France 2. Besnehard is a former casting director and prolific actor who went on to be arguably the best-known agent in the local business. At one time or another, he represented such talent as Isabelle Adjani, Juliette Binoche, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Eva Green, Jacqueline Bisset, Michael Vartan, Alain Chabat, Rupert Everett, Eric Cantona, Jean-Louis Trintignant, François Ozon and Claire Denis. I’m told the series is currently casting for three principal roles and promises a big-name guest star inserted each week to play themselves. While I’m not convinced this is a series that could travel — it’ll depend on the execution and how inside baseball the comedy is — it could be an interesting look at the cultural differences in the French agency business compared to »
- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Writer: Quentin Dupieux
Producer: Realitism Films’ Gregory Bernard
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Swiftly churning out his bizarre and wildly entertaining films, we will supposedly get to see a bit of Dupieux in 2014. His latest, the hilarious Wrong Cops got very limited theatrical play in late December, 2013 (Los Angeles denizens had the lucky opportunity to see it courtesy of Cinefamily), but should see some expansion elsewhere. Otherwise, it was announced that Dupieux has filmed a secret project with Marilyn Manson which was inspired by their collaboration on Cops. But while details on that remain scant, we are happy to see another project due in 2014 starring Alain Chabat and Elodie Bouchez (who many arthouse devotees should recognize for a role in Andre Techine’s 1994 film Wild Reeds). Eric Wareheim is also in the cast, so we’re sure this will be strangely entertaining. »
- Nicholas Bell
Exclusive: Contemporary love story set against Rome’s criminal underworld is an Italian-French co-production.
“The script stood out and I felt I could help in putting this movie together. Michele Alhaique has a new voice that deserves to be heard,” said Favino.
One of Italy’s most respected actors, Favino is best known for his award-winning performances in Michele Placido’s Romanzo Criminale, and more recently Stefano Sollima’s Acab All Cops Are Bastards and Marco Tullio Giordana’s Piazza Fontana.
Working-titled Senza Pieta is 34-year-old Alhaique directorial debut. The actor and filmmaker is best known at home for his performances in TV show and films such as »
Alain Chabat stars in the Los Angeles-set project.
Paris-based Indie Sales has taken on French director Quentin Dupieux’s upcoming Los Angeles-set picture Reality revolving around a director desperately searching for the perfect scream for his debut horror film.
Produced by Paris-based Realitism Films, it was shot in and around Los Angeles, in various locations including Hollywood, Malibu, Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica and Burbank in 2012 and 2013.
It revolves around three intertwining characters: an eight-year-old girl, called Réalité, who becomes obsessed with watching a mysterious VHS video tape she finds; Jason, a failed filmmaker in search of the perfect scream in a bid to get shady producer Bob on board his debut horror movie, and Denis, who makes his living as a TV host dressed in a rat »
11 items from 2014
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