8 items from 2014
Brazil’s entertainment industry is the envy of Latin America: It boasts eight years of box office growth, local movies that grabbed an 18.6% market share last year and strong government financial support. So it makes sense that Sao Paulo-based brothers Fabiano and Caio Gullane, who have built one of the best reputations in the Brazilian film industry, are poised to take their
production house, Gullane Filmes, to greater heights.
The brothers started their business out of a van, nearly 20 years ago. Now, they frequently produce local pics with Hollywood studios, and in turn, U.S. majors often pick up their movies for distribution. The Gullanes also have increased their output of projects for TV, and they’ve launched a distribution arm.
Gullane Filmes is moving forward with a 14-title movie-development/production slate, unthinkable in Brazil just a few years back. But thanks to a R$1.2 billion ($480 million) package of public-sector »
- John Hopewell
It wouldn’t be strictly accurate to say that “The Maias: Scenes from Romantic Life” requires viewers to watch paint dry, but there’s certainly a lot of it at rest in Joao Botelho’s boldly stylized Portuguese costumer. Favoring undisguised matte backdrops and an arch performance style to counter the florid melodrama of Eca de Queiroz’s 19th-century source novel, this highbrow soap opera of star-crossed passion, economic downfall and other aristocratic mysteries of Lisbon has visual intrigue to spare, but a distinct case of emotional torpor limits it to festival-curiosity status. To be filed — if not necessarily ranked — between comparable works by Raul Ruiz and Eric Rohmer, Botelho’s film opened on Sept. 11 in its home country and has since played the Rio and Rome fests.
“It seems that this embroidery will never end,” observes one character to another midway through Botelho’s lengthy film. He may be »
- Guy Lodge
For the New York Times, Rachel Donadio has visited Miguel Gomes on the set of Arabian Nights (As 1,001 Noites), "an experimental yearlong project in which the director has blended fact and fiction to examine contemporary Portugal in the throes of its debt crisis." Also in today's roundup of news and views: David Lynch's double shot of espresso, Leo McCarey's Good Sam (1948), Ellen Burstyn's directorial debut, James Ellroy's Otto Preminger adaptation, interviews with Gina Telaroli and Julie Taymor—and more. » - David Hudson »
Cannes - "Did you see the Lisandro Alonso?!" came the eager text from a friend not in Cannes, mere minutes after I had, indeed, seen Alonso's "Jauja" -- an Argentine western turned existential comedy turned, well, any number of alternate-dimension subgenres. I envied him his excitement. Alonso has built up a fiercely devoted band of admirers with his opaque brand of slow-cinema puzzle picture, as demonstrated in the likes of "Liverpool" and "Los Muertos"; for those of us who have never gained access to that club, "Jauja" is unlikely to bring us much closer. Intermittently playful, consistently confounding, finally petrified, it's a film of fussy, cultivated austerity; Alonsolytes will debate what it's hiding, while others will suggest "an actual movie" as the answer. Initially, improbably, it seems that we're in for more hand-holding than usual from Alonso, as proceedings open with a lengthy block of text that helpfully gives context »
- Guy Lodge
Madrid – Mitra Farahani’s portrait of Iranian artist Bahamn Mohasses, “Fifi Howls With Happiness” topped the International Competition at the 16th Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival (Bafici), which wrapped Sunday.
Distinguished with a wealth of local movies, however small, including a clutch of new titles, some popular though they didn’t end up in with a prize, and an international competition packed with gems, beginning with its best picture winner, the 16th Bafici looks set to go down a strong edition.
“Fifi” delivers a bracing portrait of Iranian artist Bahman Mohasses, and the vastly contrarian and contradictory nature of creative genius at large, presenting at once a caustic, dogmatic, seeringly mordant interviewee who has destroyed many of his paintings and shunned the limelight, but is still concerned about how the world views him and is finally persuaded to paint again.
Sold by Udi, first seen at Berlin Panorama Dokumente last year, »
- John Hopewell
Last month, we unveiled our all-encompassing, most anticipated films for the current year in film. Now we peer into a future that is a little past the limits of 2014 thus we find ourselves with a quickie overview of the Top 100 Most Anticipated Films for 2015. Curated by our Nicholas Bell, with a little luck, we might see less than a finger count on one hand sum of films break this year, but for the most part, a good deal of these projects have planned 2014/15 production start dates. Here are 100 projects/filmmakers worth keeping tabs on (picks 100 to 11)
99. Lila & Eve – Dir. Charles Stone III
98. Legacy of Secrecy – Dir. David O. Russell
97. The Theory of Everything – James Marsh
96. Elvis and Nixon – Dir. Liza Johnson
95. Hier – Dir. Balint Kenyeres
92. Rocketman – Dir. Dagur Kari
90. Sweet Cheeks – Dir. »
- Nicholas Bell
Exclusive: German sales team launches experimental Miguel Gomes drama at Efm.
Gomes’ film transposes contemporary Portugal - beset by economic crisis - into the structure of the famous collection of folk tales One Thousand and One Nights, also known as Arabian Nights.
Stories within the film will be based on real stories taken from news and press in Portugal during the production period.
The one-year shoot started in early December 2013 and will continue throughout 2014.
The production has also created an online blog (www.as1001noites.com/en) for the film featuring contributions from Portuguese journalists and illustrators.
O Som »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2013—in theaters or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2013 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2013 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch in that perfect world we know doesn't exist but can keep dreaming of every time we go to the movies.
8 items from 2014
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