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4 items from 2015

Pattinson to Play E.T. Spaceman in Mystery Sci-Fier for Veteran Auteur Denis

26 August 2015 8:24 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Robert Pattinson: Actor to play E.T. astronaut. Robert Pattinson to star for Claire Denis If all goes as planned, Robert Pattinson will get to star in French screenwriter-director Claire Denis' recently announced – and as yet untitled – English-language sci-fier, penned by Denis and White Teeth author Zadie Smith and her novelist husband Nick Laird, from an original idea by Denis and writing partner Jean-Pol Fargeau. Among Claire Denis' credits are the interracial love story Chocolat (1988), the sociopolitical drama White Material (2009), and the generally well-regarded Billy Budd reboot Beau Travail (1999), winner of the César Award for Best Cinematography (Agnès Godard). Robert Pattinson, for his part, is best known for playing the veggie vampire in the wildly popular Twilight movies costarring Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. Robert Pattinson, astronaut In Claire Denis' film, Robert Pattinson is slated to play an E.T. astronaut. But what happens to said astronaut? Does »

- Zac Gille

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Premieres galore at Sydney Film Festival

5 May 2015 5:40 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Neil Armfield.s Holding the Man, Simon Stone.s The Daughter, Jeremy Sims. Last Cab to Darwin and Jen Peedom.s feature doc Sherpa will have their world premieres at the Sydney Film Festival.

The festival program unveiled today includes 33 world premieres (including 22 shorts) and 135 Australian premieres (with 18 shorts) among 251 titles from 68 countries.

Among the other premieres will be Daina Reid.s The Secret River, Ruby Entertainment's. ABC-tv miniseries starring Oliver Jackson Cohen and Sarah Snook, and three Oz docs, Marc Eberle.s The Cambodian Space Project — Not Easy Rock .n. Roll, Steve Thomas. Freedom Stories and Lisa Nicol.s Wide Open Sky.

Festival director Nashen Moodley boasted. this year.s event will be far larger than 2014's when 183 films from 47 countries were screened, including 15 world premieres. The expansion is possible in part due to the addition of two new screening venues in Newtown and Liverpool.

As previously announced, Brendan Cowell »

- Don Groves

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Portrait of the Artist | 2015 Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Review

15 March 2015 9:30 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

On My Skin: Barraud Explores the Essence of Monstrosity

There are moments within Antoine Barraud’s sophomore feature Portrait of the Artist that tend to feel enlivened with an arresting strangeness. There is the peripherally entertaining notion of provocative body horror shadowing us while we follow a filmmaker creating his latest project, simultaneously losing his grip on reality. But more often than not, the film feels like a thriller version of Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery. Barraud’s French language title, Le Dos Rouge (basically The Red Back) was perhaps too literal of a title, and the allusion to Joyce’s classic text (though this is really more ‘as a middle aged man’) gives it a certain extra textual density since Joyce’s novel is an allusion to Daedalus, the man responsible for constructing the Labyrinth which entombed the deadly Minotaur in Greek Mythology.

Bertrand (Bertrand Bonello) is a filmmaker »

- Nicholas Bell

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Film Review: ‘Murder in Pacot’

4 March 2015 5:17 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A chamber drama in which even the chamber itself is on the verge of collapse, Raoul Peck’s “Murder in Pacot” offers little scope for healing as it surveys the geographical and psychological wreckage wrought by Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake. A dramatic companion piece to “Fatal Assistance,” Peck’s 2013 doc on the same subject, this allegorical story of two couples warring across divisions of class and turf in Port-au-Prince’s post-quake wasteland positively trembles with the weight of its own symbolism; in his first narrative feature since 2000’s “Lumumba,” former Haitian culture minister Peck remains a political filmmaker of stern conviction. Overlong and far from subtle, “Pacot” is nonetheless engrossing enough to entice topically-minded arthouse distributors, and should make considerable waves in Francophone territories.

Peck claims Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Theorem” as the guiding inspiration for his original screenplay, co-written with veteran scribe Pascal Bonitzer (who also worked on “Lumumba”) and Haitian novelist Lyonel Trouillot. »

- Guy Lodge

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