17 items from 2015
A conversation occurs midway through Sarik Andreasyan’s “American Heist,” in which a thug quotes Thomas Jefferson, his favorite Us president; “The banking institutions are more dangerous than the army.” Our mind immediately calls back to Brad Pitt’s closing monologue in “Killing Them Softly,” where he singles out the very same Jefferson as a hypocrite, guilty for founding America as a business. Some films have a tendency to comment scathingly on an allegedly corrupt American financial system, dispelling the myth of the American dream with eager cynicism (most especially certain films that call attention to these critiques by including the word ‘American’ in their title. Some, like Andrew Dominik’s exceptionally colloquial piece, artfully unravel the fabric of this culture through intelligent and subtle cinematic means, while others tear into the very same fabric with a blunt instrument until the viewer is left exasperated. Andreasyan’s film doesn’t waste much time in firmly. »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
A furious slew of titles in the works would seem to prophesize a robust main competition slate for Cannes 2016. Though our initial list will eventually be pruned down as the year progresses (Berlin may snag something in here, especially if their 2016 lineup looks anything like their landmark selection from this past January), we’re confident that we will be seeing another round of heavy hitting auteurs unveiling their latest bits on the Croisette.
Absent from the main competition in 2015 were the Romanians (Muntean and Porumboiu were assigned to Un Certain Regard) and any trace of Latin filmmakers. The 2016 edition looks to make up for lost ground. For the Romanians, a couple heavy hitting titans from the New Wave will be ready. Cristi Puiu, who previously won Ucr in 2005 with The Death of Mr. Lazarescu should hopefully be getting a competition invite for Sierra Nevada. Meanwhile, previous Palme d’Or winner »
- Nicholas Bell
With Harrison Ford back as Rick Deckard, Denis Villeneuve in the director's chair, and Ryan Gosling eyeing a key role, the Blade Runner sequel was already in good hands, but now fans have another big reason to get excited, as it was recently announced that cinematographer Roger Deakins joined the film's crew:
Press Release (via The Playlist) -- "Los Angeles, CA, May, 20, 2015 – Twelve-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins will join director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Incendies) on Alcon Entertainment’s sequel to Blade Runner, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-ceo’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.
Deakins, who will be presented with the Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography Award at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22 reteams with Villeneuve on what will be their third feature collaboration, havingpreviously worked together on Alcon’s Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal as well as Villeneuve’s upcoming film Sicario, a drug-trafficking drama starring Emily Blunt, »
- Derek Anderson
Denis Villeneuve to direct sci-fi sequel.
Deakins, who will be presented with the Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography Award at the Cannes Film Festival tomorrow (May 22) reteams with Villeneuve.
Deakins received his latest Oscar nomination this year for his work on Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. He was previously nominated for Joel and Ethan Coen’s Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men and True Grit; Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption; Martin Scorsese’s Kundun; Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Stephen Daldry’s The Reader, which he shared with Chris Menges; and, more recently, Prisoners and Sam Mendes’ Skyfall.
Film is scheduled »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
While we know next to nothing about the plot for the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, we do know that at the very least, it's going to look gorgeous, as renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins has joined the team. Come inside to learn more.
Blade Runner 2 is moving full steam ahead. Just a couple months ago it was announced Denis Villenueve had been hired on to direct the sequel, with Harrison Ford set to return, and it looks like they're starting to build up the rest of the necessary behind the scenes crew to get production moving. Announced at Cannes, Roger Deakins, the cinematographer behind Prisoners, Skyfall, Fargo, and Many others has been hired on as the Dop for the new movie. Deakins has worked with Villenueve on his last two movies, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
The original Blade Runner is still a visually striking movie, and »
- email@example.com (Jordan Maison)
“He’s a filmmaker who has not made a film,” says director Saar Klein of composer Marc Streitenfeld. “He discusses things on a story level. He has an overall macro understanding of the film. And incredible taste.”
The two met while Klein was editing “The Thin Red Line” and Streitenfeld was assisting composer Hans Zimmer. By the time Klein was ready to make his own, “After the Fall,” Streitenfeld had begun composing on his own and Klein enlisted him while the film was still in the writing and prep stages.
“I think he really got to the soul of this man,” Klein says, referring to the lead character (Wes Bentley, as an unemployed family man who turns to crime). “There’s a lot going on inside this man who’s falling apart. The music almost illustrates the sadness, the tragedy of this man.”
Mike Knobloch, the president of music at »
- Jon Burlingame
Seann Williams Scott (aka Stifler from American Pie, aka Doug Glatt from Goon) is a cinephile. You might not’ve guessed that, considering his acting choices haven’t been, shall we say, high caliber. Nonetheless, he loves movies, so picking his top five choices is as difficult as picking your favorite food — depending on his mood, the order and selection changes. Recently, he revealed his favorite films with this stipulation, but even then, they seemed a bit out-of-the-ordinary for the Stifmeister. During a Reddit Ama on Wednesday, Scott was asked to name his top five favorite films. At the time, he said these were at the top of his head at the time of the question: 1. The Inheritance, directed by Per Fly 2. Talk to Her, directed by Pedro Almodóvar 3. Betty Blue, directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix 4. Open Hearts, Susanne Bier 5. Chopper, Andrew Dominik Who »
John Ford's Stagecoach and The Searchers, Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo and Red River, and Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josey Wales and Unforgiven come to mind for Ben Mendelsohn, who stars with Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee in John Maclean's untamed Slow West. He has recently been seen in David Mackenzie's prison drama Starred Up with Jack O'Connell, Kevin Macdonald's treasure-hunting tale Black Sea with Jude Law, Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly with Ray Liotta, Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy and James Gandolfini and Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond The Pines with Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes.
When I met up with Ben the day before »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
After stunning Netflix subscribers worldwide with his powerhouse turn in the first season of star-studded drama Bloodline, Aussie actor Ben Mendelsohn certainly appears to be on the rise. And now, after a career of strong supporting performances, he could be about to get his big break: Deadline reports that he may be joining the cast of Star Wars: Rogue One.
Details on the first Star Wars spinoff, which will be directed by Godzilla helmer Gareth Edwards and boasts a script by Chris Weitz (Cinderella) and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli), are pretty sparse. Oscar nominee Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) has bagged the lead role, but rumors suggesting that the pic will be a heist movie revolving around bounty hunters who steal blueprints for a Death Star are still unconfirmed.
Regardless, it’s exciting to hear that Mendelsohn is on the cusp of landing a major studio role like this. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Is there any actress who appears as though she's having the time of her life than Jessica Chastain? The two-time Academy Award nominee has joined Amy Adams as the next great American actress ready to be coronated for her body of work, but clearly isn't relegating herself to prestige fare. Today, Deadline reported that Chastain is joining Chris Hemsworth, Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron in "The Huntsman," and, quite honestly, the news made us smile. "The Huntsman" has a lot of red flags surrounding it including the fact original helmer and screenwriter Frank Darabont departed over the dreaded "creative differences" excuse and first-time director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (Visual Effects nominee for "Snow White and the Huntsman") was brought on to replace him. The Universal Studios flick is supposedly a prequel to the aforementioned "Snow White," but it's all slightly confusing. In hindsight, it was probably a mistake to develop it without »
- Gregory Ellwood
At the premiere in New York of Kevin Macdonald's action-packed marine thriller Black Sea, starring an intrepid Jude Law with Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn, I asked Law about his relationship to the ocean and talked with producer Charles Steel about the horror of shackled skeletons. Screenwriter Dennis Kelly gives the world an ultimatum and I found out from the director that for him grapefruit rituals differ from continent to continent.
Law's face in Black Sea, looking a bit more roughed up and disillusioned than we are used to, commands the story of survival and greed. Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot meets Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer, meets Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly. The latter because of the team of McNairy [as Daniels] and Mendelsohn [as Fraser]. The two actors form again a wildly entertaining duo of unsavoury immoral characters. »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
While it’s being treated to a December release in his native UK, director Kevin MacDonald’s latest feature film, Black Sea, gets plopped into Us theaters in January, perhaps signaling a wise move so that it will stand out amidst the litter of debris that constitutes the vein of awards fodder holdovers and studio doldrums flooding the theaters during that season. Fresh from his enjoyable dip into Ya dystopia with How I Live Now, MacDonald returns to a tale bearing a bit more historical baggage, spiriting us away into a homosocial space of mounting tensions and rival cultural attitudes. A likeable lead performance from Jude Law plus a handful of nervy twists and turns helps its claustrophobic narrative chug along to a finale of limited possibilities.
Being informed he’s about to be laid off by his employer, »
- Nicholas Bell
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 BFI London Festival. One of the most exciting movements in cinema in the last decade or two or so has come from Australia. Mostly (but not exclusively) tied to the production company Blue Tongue Films (which includes luminaries like Joel Edgerton, David Michod, and Spencer Susser), but also encompassing experienced figures like Andrew Dominik, Cate Shortland, Julia Leigh, Justin Kurzel, and John Hillcoat, the films are loosely tied together by the simple mark of quality, with great movies like "Animal Kingdom," "Snowtown Murders," "The Proposition" "Somersault," and "Chopper" emerging from the land down under since the dawn of the 21st century. Could the next name to join them be Julius Avery? The director won the Jury Prize at Cannes for his short "Jerrycan," and now makes his directorial debut with crime thriller "Son Of A Gun," which has managed to attract an. »
- Oliver Lyttelton
While DC and Marvel might already have a lock on several future release dates past the 2015 campaign with the Coen Bros. circling February on their calendars, for the most part, when it comes to American independent and foreign film flavored items, 2016 is still cloudy with a chance of…. 2015 just broke (we already have plenty to look forward to (Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films / Top 25 Most Anticipated Studio Films / Top 100 Most Anticipated American Independent Films – soon!) but we’re already excited about what is in store for several of our favorite auteurs. Here are picks 100 to 6, with our Nicholas Bell providing further analysis on current top five for 2016. Pictured above is Peter Strickland, who sits in our number six spot.
100. Untitled Edward Munch Project – Erik Poppe
97. Imagine – Benoit Graffin
- Eric Lavallee
Sales company unveils new films by Donzelli, Sfar, Odoul and Garrel at Paris Rendez-vous.
Wild Bunch will kick off sales on nine new French titles at this year’s Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris (Jan 15-19), many of which will be completed in time for a potential Cannes slot, including an incestuous love story by Valérie Donzelli and First World War drama by Damien Odoul.
The company will also show first images of several previously announced productions including Jacques Audiard’s untitled drama revolving around Sri Lankan immigrants in Paris, which it is co-selling with Celluloid Dreams, and Julie Delpy’s France-set romance Lolo, in which she stars as a chic Parisian sophisticate who falls for a geeky It expert played by Dany Boon.
Deakins is nominated for the 13th time for the American Society of Cinematographers (Asc) Award, which he has won three times, for Sam Mendes' "Skyfall" (2013), Frank Darabont's "The Shawshank Redemption" (1995) and the Coen brothers' "The Man Who Wasn’t There" (2002). His other nominations include the Coens' "Fargo" (1997), "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (2001), "No Country for Old Men" (2008) and "True Grit" (2011), Martin Scorsese's "Kundun" (1998), Andrew Dominik's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (2008), Mendes' "Revolutionary Road" (2009), Stephen Daldry's "The Reader" (2009), and Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners" (2014). He won the Asc's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. (Read: Bill Desowitz's interview with him here. ) As expected, the nominees are: Roger Deakins, Asc, Bsc for Unbroken Óscar »
- Anne Thompson
After working with Joel and Ethan Coen, John Hillcoat, Andrew Dominik, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wong Kar-wai, Kathryn Bigelow, David O. Russell, Spike Jonze, Werner Herzog, Bennett Miller, and Richard Linklater, producer Megan Ellison has been deemed something of a cinephile savior in today's increasingly garish blockbuster movie world. And once again, the producer has spotlighted another major talent and set up a new project for her. Annapurna Pictures and Vice are teaming up for "The Bad Batch," the latest effort from Ana Lily Amirpour. She's the breakout filmmaker behind the cult sensation "A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night" (our review), which earned serious buzz all through 2014 (and received a lot of shine in our Best of 2014 coverage), and her latest sounds like another promising take on genre tropes. The film is a dystopian love story set in a Texas wasteland, but beyond that, there are no plot details. Development is underway, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
17 items from 2015
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