7 items from 2015
The full line-up of this year’s BFI Flare (March 19-29) has been unveiled in London this evening.
It was revealed this evening that the festival will close with the European premiere of documentary Out To Win on March 29.
Malcolm Ingram’s film examines of the lives and careers of aspiring and professional gay and lesbian athletes from all over the world, featuring contributions from Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, David Kopay and John Amaechi, among others.
The Accenture Gala will be the European Premiere »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
It.s been almost two decades since Mark Christopher.s 54 debuted to a wretched bag of reviews. But thanks to the magic of director.s cuts, it's actually returning to theaters as it was originally intended. The production process for this Studio 54 film was a tumultuous timeline of events. The then Disney-owned Miramax cut down its explicit gay and drug themes until the film looked nothing like the original, which ultimately led to its poor reception. As Christopher and his star Ryan Phillippe look back on this film, as the director.s cut screened at the Berlin Film Festival, it seems that the final nail in the 54 coffin came after one fatal test screening. Vulture recently published an in-depth look at the history behind this film and its unprecedented move to return with a director.s cut. Among the details, a test screening of the film at a Long Island »
Last week, discussing Lana and Andy Wachowski’s upcoming Netflix series Sense8, Ted Sarandos let slip that he had seen a four-hour cut of the directors’ 2012 film Cloud Atlas “that will blow your mind.” Sarandos was naturally trying to do some damage control in the wake of the failure of the Wachowskis’ recent release Jupiter Ascending; Netflix has invested a lot of money in their new show. But it’s also understandable that the Wachowskis, with their imaginations always working in overdrive, might have a better, more effective cut of the troubled, divisive Cloud Atlas somewhere. This news also came right as the Berlin Film Festival was preparing to screen a director’s cut of 54, the clubland opus starring Salma Hayek, Ryan Philippe, and Mike Myers, that came and went back in 1998; it turns out director Mark Christopher had been forced to remove about 37 minutes, much of it having to »
- Bilge Ebiri
In the summer of 1998, writer-director Mark Christopher’s 54, a clumsy cinematic paean to New York's legendary disco club Studio 54, was released to dismal reviews, a lukewarm box office, and then promptly forgotten — at least by most of us. But just last week a director's cut of the film, which starred Ryan Phillippe, Mike Myers, Salma Hayek, Breckin Meyer, and Neve Campbell, was shown at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival. That's the sort of honor usually afforded classics like Apocalypse Now or Once Upon a Time in America, not a film with a 13 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. So how did this movie wind up getting that honor?When it was released 17 years ago, 54 died quickly, but not exactly of natural causes. The film Christopher originally wrote and shot was a gritty, queer exploration of pre-aids hedonism. However, the studio that released the film, Miramax, then run by »
- Louis Jordan
Now, almost 17 years later, Christopher has finally managed to complete the version of “54” that everyone signed up to make in the first place: the story of three friends — a busboy (Ryan Phillippe), a bartender (Breckin Meyer) and a coat-check girl (Salma Hayek) — and the sordid love triangle that nearly tore them apart, set against the glittery excess of New York’s Studio 54 dance club. That was the version everyone shot, until a set of disastrous test screenings changed the film’s fate forever.
“It was a movie ahead of its time,” Christopher mused, his back to a giant screen on which a shirtless Phillippe stands bathed in blue light. He spoke to Variety at Chase Sound by Deluxe in Los Angeles, less »
- Peter Debruge
Let's jump back in time to a little over 16 years ago. It's the summer of 1998 and if you hit a gay bar or club in the continental United States, you could not miss Stars on 54's dance remake of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind." It was simply everywhere. The track was the promotional single for "54," a movie that promised a sexy look at the infamous New York City nightclub Studio 54 but couldn't ultimately live up to the marketing hype surrounding its release. The Miramax production was generating a ton of publicity because of its subject matter (one of the most legendary clubs of all-time), young up-and-coming stars such as Ryan Phillippe and Salma Hayek, the participation of Neve Campbell, who was coming off four straight hits (the first two "Screams," "The Craft" and "Wild Things"). Most buzzworthy of all, it was the first dramatic role for »
- Gregory Ellwood
The film, which won top prize at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, is the story of a circus performer’s attempted reconciliation with his family’s past.
Panorama Special will open on February 6 with two films. First up is Mexican filmmaker Gabriel Ripstein’s directorial debut, “600 Millas” (600 Miles), in which a young gunrunner, en route from Texas to Mexico, finds himself stuck with a U.S. military veteran, played by Tim Roth.
The other film is German director Rosa von Praunheim’s latest work, “Härte” (Tough Love), which tells the story of karate world champion Andreas “Andy” Marquardt, who also appears in the pic, and accompanies the audience on his journey from a childhood of abuse to an adulthood of violence. Ultimately »
- Leo Barraclough
7 items from 2015
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