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The ascent of cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubzeki into a household name (or nickname) can be traced to his stunning work over a 30-year career, but also the enticing narratives behind the scenes on each project. First there come the whispers of what’s happening on a particular set — All natural light! Shot in one unbroken take! Set entirely in space with one character! — and then quickly from there, anticipation mounts around exactly how the hell Lubezki will be able to pull the feat off. The incredible thing is how few missteps have resulted from Lubezki constantly pushing technology and storytelling forward. A lifetime collaboration of over six films with director Alfonso Cuarón has cemented an intimate style coupled with technical prowess, starting with “Sólo Con Tu Pareja” up through 2013’s Oscar-winning “Gravity.” That ambition has only increased in his partnerships with Terrence Malick and Alejandro González Iñárritu, both of which. »
- Charlie Schmidlin
Here’s a Hollywood riddle. Why are 2015’s director Oscar nominees like Olympic gymnasts? Because their judges seem to have considered degree of difficulty.
These days, the helmer category routinely honors formidable narratives demanding a battlefield general as much as an artiste. Ang Lee ringmastered the 3-D “Life of Pi” menagerie to an Oscar, followed by Alfonso Cuaron recreating the solar system for the interstellar rescue of “Gravity.” Last year, Alejandro Inarritu’s punishing one-take saunter through existential angst ended in his statuette for “Birdman.”
Small wonder partisans are practically going door-to-door to inform voters about the climate extremes Inarritu put his cast through on “The Revenant,” and vehicle stunts pulled off by George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” team with minimal digital help.
If these films were knockouts, the spin seems to say, look how their makers knocked themselves out.
Even the contempo nominees boasted head-shaking challenges. How, »
- Bob Verini
It used to be a brave – or foolish – thing for an Oscar prognosticator to pick separate winners for Best Picture and Best Director. Academy members, with rare exception, gave directors credit for the perceived quality of their movies by voting for both. When the awards were split, as they were when Steven Spielberg won Best Director while his movie “Saving Private Ryan” lost Best Picture to “Shakespeare in Love” or when Ang Lee failed to parlay his directing Oscar for “Brokeback Mountain” to a Best Picture win, it seemed a minor scandal. The recent exceptions to the rule – Alfonso Cuaron winning Best Director for “Gravity” while Best Picture went to “12 Years a Slave” and “Argo” winning Best Picture after its director Ben Affleck was left off the directing ballot altogether – seem to have emboldened Oscar handicappers to think of this year’s ballots for director and p »
Zorro reboot will be written, produced and directed by Jonas Cuaron.
Jonas Cuaron will write the planned Zorro reboot. Cuaron is mostly known for his work on the Gravity screenplay, which he wrote with his father, Alfonso Cuaron back in 2013. The word on the street is that Cuaron will also direct and produce the project, currently being referred to as simply ‘Z’, for Lantica Media and Sobini Films.
The Zorro reboot will be Cuaron’s biggest project to date, after directing a couple of shorts (including one that tied in with Gravity‘s plot), the film Year Of The Nail, and the movie Desierto, which debuted at last year’s London Film Festival. We managed to catch the film at the festival, and we really quite enjoyed it. The film is essentially a cat-and-mouse movie set on the U.S./ Mexican border where Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character is picking off illegal immigrants, »
- Paul Heath
Lantica Media and Sobini Films will co-produce the action thriller, set to begin principal photography in the summer at Lantica Media’s Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios, a state-of-the-art studio facility in the Dominican Republic. Pantelion Films will handle international sales, which kick off at the European Film Market in Berlin this month.
Cuaron will be writing his own vision of legendary masked vigilante, Zorro, but it will be set in the near future, said Sobini Films CEO Mark Amin. While the script is still being written, Amin projects a mid-range budget no less than $30 million but no more than $100 million. “We hope to use the studio’s water tank but are open to shooting in other locations outside of the Dominican Republic if the script calls for it,” he said.
Amin, whose producing »
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
Many of you likely know the name Alfonso Cuarón, the award-winning director of the science fiction film, Gravity, among other well-respected films. What you may not know is that his son, Jonás Cuarón is a filmmaker in his own right. Not only did the writer/director co-write the script for Gravity with his father, but he directed the companion short film Aningaaq. That particular film follows the man that Sandra Bullock's character talks to over the radio at one point in Gravity.
You can check that out below.
Admittedly, that particularly film didn't really add a whole lot to Gravity for me. In some ways, it kind of took away the magic of wondering who Bullock was talking to, and it also made it feel a lot more bitter in retrospect. But, Cuarón has continued on into features, bringing us the upcoming film Desierto, which has gotten pretty good »
- Joseph Medina
Hollywood has really been trying to bring Zorro back to the big screen lately. Four years ago, Fox was developing a post-apocalyptic take on the character (wtf?), that would've starred Gael Garcia Bernal. Perhaps thankfully, that version never materialized. But it seems that the idea of taking the masked hero, who defends mid-19th century Los Angeles against tyranny and who has penchant for leaving his initial everywhere, and ill-advisedly putting him into the future is one that studio big shots can't shake, and so another a new project is coming together. Jonas Cuaron, who co-wrote "Gravity" and wrote and directed "Desierto" (starring Bernal), has been tasked with bringing "Z" to life. This version will be set in the near feature, but the basic concept of a masked dude righting the wrongs inflicted upon the common people will stay the same. Read More: Venice Review: Alfonso Cuaron's 'Gravity »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Jonas Cuaron, the son of filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron who made his directorial debut with immigration thriller Desierto, has signed on to direct Z, a futuristic take on the Zorro tale. Lantica Media and Sobini Films are behind the movie. Lantica, the media company led by CEO Antonio Gennari that works in production and financing as well as studio space, will finance the movie with a plan to begin principal photography this summer in Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios. Veteran producer and Sobini CEO Mark Amin, whose credits include Good Kill and Frida, will produce the film. Z is a reworking the
- Borys Kit
"Z" will be produced by Lantica Media and Sobini Films, but there's little to no details on what approach Cuaron will take with the material.
Over the last few years the companies were developing "Zorro Reborn," a post-apocalyptic take on the myth of Zorro and follows a masked and caped stranger taking on tyrants in a Mad Max-style wasteland. Whether that will change with Cuaron's hiring is unclear, though if he's writing a new script expect at least some reworking of that premise.
Shooting will take place at Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios starting this Summer, and the project will be on sale at the European Film Market in Berlin this month. Mark Amin will produce.
- Garth Franklin
This is the fourth of a series of interviews that focus on Local 829's Scenic Artists’ "behind the scenes" talent who sculpt and paint in a variety of ways the sets we see on television, in movies and documentaries, on theater stages, and in the backgrounds of television and internet commercials.
I first met Bradley Rubenstein very early on in my days in the scenic arts, and it was immediately apparent that he was, and still is, respectfully dedicated to his work as a fine artist. I’ve followed his career closely since then, watching his art delving deeper and deeper into the human condition as he distorts and mutates his subjects. Recently, Rubenstein had one of his warped and mangled human forms in an exhibition titled Head that I curated for the Hampden Gallery at Umass Amherst.
The interview below begins just days before the installation of Head. The »
Here's where angels sit down to weep next to devils -- the often-brilliant Guillermo del Toro's big Gothic romance / gory ghost epic looks mighty fancy but is a mess in too many ways to count. Say it Ain't So, Guillermo! Crimson Peak Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Universal / Legendary 2015 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 119 min. / Street Date February 9, 2016 / 34.98 Starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver. Cinematography Dan Laustsen Film Editor Bernat Vilaplana Original Music Fernando Velásquez Written by Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins Produced by Guillermo del Toro, Callum Greene, Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Quite the wonder child of fantasy and horror, Guillermo del Toro has made near masterpieces in the Spanish language but not fared as well breaking through the Hollywood blockbuster barrier. His top-grossing American film might be Blade II. His equally talented compatriot Alfonso Cuarón has »
- Glenn Erickson
Fun facts. 1. If Alejandro G. Iñárritu wins Best Director at the DGA, he will make history not only by becoming the first Mexican-born director to win two DGA awards, but »
- Sasha Stone
The next generation of Mexican filmmakers, Julio Chavezmontes of Piano Films, and Moises Cosio of Detalle Films, executive producer of Atom Egoyan’s “Remember," Jodorowsky’s “The Dance of Reality,” and Apichatpong Weersethaku’s “Cemetery of Splendor,” are premiering "We Are The Flesh” ("Tenemos la carne") in Iff Rotterdam’s Bright Future Section.
The directorial debut by 25-year-old Emiliano Rocha Minter has the support of Academy Award-winning directors Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Amores Perros”) and Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity), with Cannes-winning director Carlos Reygadas ("Silent Light", "Post Tenebras Lux”) involved as a co-producer. This makes "Tenemos la carne"/ "We are the Flesh" the first Mexican film, let alone a feature debut, to receive the endorsement of three of the most important directors working today. That is a film to see! It will also be on offer at the Berlinale’s Efm by its international sales agent, Reel Suspects.
In addition to Reygadas, Mexican director Sebastian Hofmann, of the Sundance New Frontier film "Halley," Yann Gonzalez, French director director of Cannes Critics’ Week Special Screening “You and the Night,” and Splendor Omnia’s Natalia Lopez, are co-producers of the film. Mexican associate producers are Simplemente’s Rune Hansen, Monica Reina and Celia Iturraga. "We Are The Flesh" was supported by the Mexican Film Institute's (Imcine) Foprocine fund.
"We Are the Flesh" takes place in a post-apocalyptic Mexico in which a brother and sister find their way into one of the last remaining buildings after years of wandering. Inside, they find a man who makes them a dangerous offer to survive in the outside world. You can view the trailer below:
- Sydney Levine
We’ve got just over a week until the 66th Berlin Film Festival kicks off in Germany. We’ll be in Berlin for full coverage of this year’s festival, a first for The Hollywood News.
Today, the full Berlinale International Jury was announced. Meryl Streep will be serving as Jury President this year, and the Berlinale International Jury will decide who will receive the Golden Bear and Silver Bears of the 2016 Berlinale Competition.
Berlinale International Jury 2016
The other members of the International Jury will be actor Lars Eidinger (Germany), film critic Nick James (United Kingdom), photographer Brigitte Lacombe (France), actor Clive Owen (United Kingdom), actress Alba Rohrwacher (Italy) and director Ma?gorzata Szumowska (Poland).
Here’s their respective career essentials.
Meryl Streep, Jury President, USA
Meryl Streep has appeared in over 40 films and is considered one of the world’s most talented and versatile actresses. She has received countless awards and nominations, »
- Paul Heath
Hot on the heels of the surprising success of the Goosebumps movie comes the announcement of another movie based on another 1980s/90s children’s horror anthology book series: the genuinely too disturbing for most kids Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. With regular Tim Burton scripter John August tasked with penning a script a couple of years ago, the project has suddenly received a boost from the attachment of director Guillermo Del Toro.
Is Del Toro’s involvement really likely to enhance a movie’s chances of getting made, though? The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth helmer is undoubtedly popular with film fans, but his lack of ever making a big earning blockbuster makes it harder and harder for his cherished projects to come to the screen. Indeed, while compatriots and sometime collaborators Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu have been lining up for their Oscars, »
- Jack Gann
With Oscars for “Gravity” and “Birdman” already in his pocket, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki could be on track to win a third in a row, for his natural-light lensing of Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s “The Revenant.” It would tie costume designer Edith Head’s record for features (Walt Disney gobbled up eight consecutive gold men in the animated short category in the ’30s) and perhaps be further evidence that, as one director said to me recently, the greatest filmmaker in the world might well be a lenser.
The day of the Oscar nominations announcement, Lubezki was typically modest in celebrating the achievement of his crew (the film was nominated in 12 categories) while expressing awe at how lucky he is to work with the caliber of filmmakers he has in recent years. He was particularly enamored by the nominated work in his own field, where examples of 16mm, 70mm and digital photography »
- Kristopher Tapley
“The Revenant” director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu and Carlos Reygadas, whose 2002 debut “Japan” brought down the flag on a new generation of filmmakers that have revolutionized filmmaking in Mexico, are backing horror thriller “Tenemos la carne” (We Are the Flesh), a flagship title from another new wave of Mexican producers and directors.
Broadening its portfolio of envelope-pushing genre titles, Matteo Lovadina’s Paris-based sales company Reel Suspects has acquired world sales rights to “We Are the Flesh.” It will world premiere Feb. 2 at the Rotterdam Fest’s Bright Future section, with Reygadas on board as a co-producer and Inarritu committing to talk up the title to Mexico’s press. Post-production work was carried out at Reygadas’ Splendor Omnia ranch-facility nestling in the Mexican hills one-hour’s drive south of Mexico City. Apart from Reygadas, Splendor Omnia’s Natalia Lopez and Splendor Omnia take co-producer credits.
Mexican Emiliano Rocha Minter’s first feature, »
- John Hopewell
"The Big Short" got a big lift Saturday night from the PGA in the three-way race for the Best Picture Oscar with "The Revenant" and "Spotlight." In fact, when producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner accepted the coveted Darryl F. Zanuck Award, Kleiner was so flabbergasted that he said he thought they were just being named as one of the nominees. The PGA win obviously represents a significant momentum shift for the Adam McKay black comedy about the financial collapse of 2008, given that 19 out of 26 Zanuck winners have gone on to win Best Picture. Plus, Gardner, Kleiner, and Brad Pitt also produced Oscar winner "12 Years a Slave," which shared the PGA award with Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity," and went on to win Best Picture. The win lends more gravitas to "The Big Short," which, despite its darkly comedic tone, is topical, provocative, and — most important — extremely well-made. Of course, this is bad news for. »
- Bill Desowitz
Price previously collaborated with Ayer on the WW2 tank film "Fury," won an Oscar in 2014 for his work on Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" and did the robust scores for both Joe Cornish's "Attack the Block" and Edgar Wright's "The World's End".
"This iteration of him, people will realize there really is a continuity of history - there is a lot of respect for what the Joker represents, who he is as a character. He is the best known villain in fiction so there's an »
- Garth Franklin
The Broadcast Film Critics Association handed out their Critics’ Choice Awards last evening in Los Angeles and is the first awards ceremony since the Academy released their official nominations last Thursday.
Those looking to the Critics’ Choice Awards in hopes of fleshing out their Oscar predictions will notice a few differences between last week’s Golden Globes and Sunday’s awards in the major categories. Most notably is the fact that Spotlight won best picture after being entirely shut out by the HFPA at the Globes.
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Sylvester Stallone (Creed), and Brie Larson (Room) all repeated their Globes success with acting wins, but Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) took home the best supporting actress award in lieu of Kate Winslet’s (Steve Jobs) win the week before.
- Patrick Shanley
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