18 items from 2015
With the 2015 Oscars coming up this weekend, we go back ten years to see if the 2005 awards still hold up today...
It was during an interview with Mark Kermode that I asked him how long someone really needs to gestate on a film, and come up with a proper review. "About ten years", he said. I get his point. Each awards season, it's about, at best, what feels like the best film right then. Not the one that settles over a period of time, or shows you new things each time you watch it. But the one that you watched once, and affected you once. It's the only way, anyway, I can think of why A Beautiful Mind won a Best Picture Oscar.
This weekend, then, is the Academy Awards once more. And I thought it'd be worth rewinding ten years, to see whether the Academy's choices on February 27th »
“She creates a circle around her which is her universe, and before each circle closes itself she jumps outside to create a new circle,” Michel Gondry said of the perennially changing musician and visual artist Björk this weekend in the New York Times magazine. “So each album goes into a new direction regardless of the success of the previous one.” Or as she puts it herself, “When people expect something of me it’s the only thing I can’t do.” So yes, Björk has moved beyond the album format and taken her art to another level. For her latest trick, the visually daring, musically idiosyncratic artist has created "Black Lake," a new sound and video installation commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition Björk, which runs March 8–June 7, 2015. The song "Black Lake" appears on Björk’s new album, Vulnicura, so it only »
- Edward Davis
Paris– Thomas Litli’s “Hippocrate” won the Chopard Prize of MyFrenchFilmFestival, the online festival put together by Paris-based promo org UniFrance.
A critically-aclaimed dramedy set in the medical world, “Hippocrate” was chosen by a filmmakers’ jury presided by French helmer Michel Gondry (“Be Kind Rewinds”) with Belgian director Joachim Lafosse (“Our Children”) and Israeli helmer Nadav Lapid (“Policeman”).
“Hippocrate,” which world-premiered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, turns on the unlikely friendship between Vincent Lacoste (“The French Kissers”) and Reda Kateb (“Zero Dark Thirty”), two hospital interns who come from opposite worlds.
The festival was created five years ago by UniFrance to test the VOD market and expand the worldwide auds for French movies beyond arthouse circuits.
Melanie Laurent’s sophomore outing “Breathe,” another Directors’ Fortnight alumni, nabbed the international press award; while Fabienne Godet’s drama “A Place on Earth” with Benoit Poelvoorde snatched up the Lacoste audience kudo.
“A Town Called Panic: The Christmas Log, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Abderrahmane Sissako The director of one of the most acclaimed films in last year’s Cannes Film Festival Competition Abderrahmane Sissako who made Oscar-nominated Timbuktu, returns to the Croisette this May (13 to 24) for the 68th edition as president of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury.
The Mauritanian director follows in the wake of illustrious predecessors in the role among them Abbas Kiarostami, Jane Campion, Michel Gondry, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Martin Scorsese. The juries judge students films and shorts.
Born in Mauritania but brought up in Mali he trained in filmmaking in the Soviet Union. His films cross cultures and continents. Timbuktu represented a cry from the heart for the country of his childhood in West Africa and was perfectly balanced between hope and despair. His work has been acclaimed for its humanism and social consciousness, exploring the complex relations between North and South as well as the fate of his. »
- Richard Mowe
Abderrahmane Sissako's pastoral political drama "Timbuktu" is among the five films vying for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film this weekend. In May, the director will head up the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury at the 68th Cannes Film Festival (May 13-24). The Mauritania-born Sissako follows in the footsteps of inimitable directors Abbas Kiarostami, Jane Campion, Michel Gondry, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Martin Scorsese, and more, who've held this post. Raised in Mali and trained in filmmaking in the Soviet Union, Abderrahmane Sissako's films explore the complex relations between North and South as well as the fate of a much-beleaguered Africa. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
After decades of award-winning musical and film performances, legendary musician-actress Björk is set to receive a retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The career of Björk, a Grammy- and Oscar-nominee who was named among the 100 greatest singers of all time by Rolling Stone, will be examined through a chronological demonstration of her innovative musical compositions and groundbreaking music videos. Together with frequent collaborator Michel Gondry (director of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"), her work has blurred the line between music and film. Her 1999 single "All Is Full of Love" was the first ever to be released on DVD. Below is a trailer for her upcoming single "Black Lake," which will appear in Björk's upcoming album and has also been commissioned by MoMA as a new multimedia installation for the exhibition. It perfectly represents the profound influence and creative idiosyncrasy of her »
- David Canfield
Paris– Abderrahmane Sissako, whose latest film “Timbuktu” played in competition at Cannes last year and nommed for a foreign-language Oscar, is set to return to the croisette to preside the Cinfondation and Short Films jury.
“I would never want to make a film that somebody else could make, and I want to see films that I would never make,” said the African director. “What’s important to me is the cinema of anonymity – addressing the conflicts but above all the suffering endured by anonymous people – empowering them and making them visible, testifying to their courage and their beauty. »
- Elsa Keslassy
Oscar-nominated Abderrahmane Sissako named president of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury.
Abderrahmane Sissako, who was in competition at last year’s Cannes Film Festival with Timbuktu, is to return for the 68th edition of the festival (May 13-24) as the president of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury.
Born in Mauritania but brought up in Mali and trained in filmmaking in the Soviet Union – at the Moscow Vgik – Sissako’s films explore the complex relations between North and South of Africa.
The Game, directed by Sissako during his final year at film school, was presented at Cannes Critics’ Week in 1991, followed two years later by the medium-length Octobre, at Un Certain Regard.
Life on Earth and Waiting for Happiness, both featured in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 1998 and Un Certain Regard in 2002.
Bamako, a political »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
A Place on Earth: Silver’s Period Commune Channels Cinema-Verite
While his 2014 title Uncertain Terms still awaits theatrical release as it makes the rounds of the festival circuit after premiering last year at the Los Angeles Film Festival, the increasingly prolific Nathan Silver unveils his fifth feature. Stinking Heaven represents a change of pace stylistically and dramatically within Silver’s preferred parameters examining human beings tossed vicariously into strained living situations, where they often wear each other down to an inevitable breaking point. A period piece set within the confines of a well-meaning commune in early 90s suburban New Jersey, the grainy look and feel of Silver’s film lends it a vintage realism that aligns it with the cinema-verite styling of documentary filmmaker Allan King, whose films like Warrendale and A Married Couple focused, unobtrusively, on isolated groups or units of people in similar fashion.
Lucy (Deragh Campbell) and »
- Nicholas Bell
The term ‘hybrid’ has become increasingly debatable when discussing the divide between fiction and nonfiction, though it’s a rather apt description of the French artist Pierre Bismuth’s cinematic inquiry, Where is Rocky II? Perhaps best known for his Oscar winning collaboration with Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry on the script for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Bismuth became obsessed with a fake rock, called Rocky II, that Ed Ruscha placed amongst its geological counterparts in the Mojave Desert around the release of the eponymous Stallone film in 1979. The pitch of Where is Rocky II?, Bismuth explained in an email, “is that a […] »
- Sarah Salovaara
Park City, Utah – HollywoodChicago.com’s coverage of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival is far from over. This is the latest batch of reviews of movies that I’ve seen there. One film was a triumph while the other two are titles that I wouldn’t want to be stuck talking to at a party.
Image credit: Sundance Institute
Running equal portions of dry goofiness and finite inspired storytelling, Jared Hess’ “Don Verdean” is a rewarding comedy about Biblical archaeology that’s necessary for times in which religious institutions crave sensationalism to get their good word across. For those who read “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven” before its child author said he made it all up, or those who saw “Heaven Is For Real” as a type of precursor to their own death’s aftermath, this movie is for them. It’s a brilliant take »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
French cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel (Amelie, Inside Llewyn Davis) on Friday told a film and technology forum in Dublin about the risks of the industry's transition to digital filmmaking and how he felt a Harry Potter movie he worked on had an "awful" script, but great set. Discussing his work on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at Digital Biscuit in Dublin, he said he found the script "not very interesting," even "awful." He added: "But I loved the set." It was "absolutely stunning," he said. Read more Michel Gondry Talks CGI, Geometry and Why
- Georg Szalai
London — The Berlin Film Festival has revealed the names of the international jury, which is presided over by Darren Aronofsky, as previously announced. The international jury decides who receives the Golden Bear and Silver Bears of the Berlinale competition.
The other members of the jury will be “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner, “Rush” actor Daniel Bruhl, “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho, “Hannibal” producer Martha De Laurentiis, “The Milk of Sorrow” director Claudia Llosa, and “Amelie” actress Audrey Tautou.
Weiner is the creator, executive producer and writer of television series “Mad Men,” whose seventh and last season is running in the U.S. To date, he has received nine Emmys, two Baftas, three Golden Globes and numerous WGA awards. As a director, he has been nominated twice by the DGA for his work behind the camera. “Are You Here,” starring Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler, marks his feature film debut as a writer, »
- Leo Barraclough
If Chance the Gardner, the TV-educated savant played by Peter Sellers in “Being There,” had lived together with his six siblings, it might have looked something like “The Wolfpack,” a truly stranger-than-fiction portrait of a New York family who’ve taken great pains to shelter their children from the outside world, but not from the world of Hollywood movies. Indeed, so weirdly fascinating is the tale of the Angulo clan that one wishes “The Wolfpack” were that much sharper, more searching and coherently organized. Still, there is much to enjoy in director Crystal Moselle’s debut documentary feature, which if nothing else begs a where-are-they-now sequel a few years down the road.
There’s a certain fated coincidence to the fact that “The Wolfpack” premiered in Sundance on the same day as Alex Gibney’s “Going Clear,” another documentary about a hermetic community started by a self-styled guru with entertainment-industry aspirations. »
- Scott Foundas
For the occasion, “Lucy” star Scarlett Johansson recorded a video introduced by Unifrance’s managing director Isabelle Giordano during a packed press conference, attended by not only Besson but also Oscar-nominated “Timbuktu” producer Sylvie Pialat, France’s minister of culture Fleur Pellerin, Cnc president Frederique Bredin, and helmers Michel Gondry, Joachim Lafosse and Nadav Lapid, among many others.
“The qualities that really drew me to work with Luc Besson — and is a huge part of the success of ‘Lucy’ — is his passion to achieve greatness. Luc is a perfectionist, and he has a certain idea of what he wants and won’t stop at anything to get it, and that’s what inspires everyone to strive for their greatest, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Paris– UniFrance is upping the ante for the fifth edition of its online festival MyFrenchFilmFestival, showcasing A-list festival players, local commercial and critical successes.
Melanie Laurent’s “Breathe” and “Hippocrate” (pictured above), both heading from Cannes’ Critics Week, Robin Campillo’s “Eastern Boys,” winner of Venice’s Horizons prize, and Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s “The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears ” are among the 10 feature films set to compete at MyFrenchFilmFestival. A second competition selection comprises 10 short films, notably the animated “A Town Called Panic: The Christmas Log,” “Guy Moquet” and “Shadow.”
MyFrenchFilmFestival’s lineup was unveiled today at a press conference organized at the French culture ministry. Organized by UniFrance Jean-Paul Salomé and managing director Isabelle Giordano, the presser was attended by culture minister Fleur Pellerin, Cnc president Frederique Bredin and Michel Gondry, who succeeds to Jean-Pierre Jeunet as president of the directors’ jury.
The online »
- Elsa Keslassy
Above: the great Italian filmmaker, Francesco Rosi, has passed away at the age of 92. Takao Saito, the Japanese cinematographer and frequent collaborator with Akira Kurosawa, has passed away at the age of 85. Best known for his turn in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, actor Rod Taylor has passed away at the age of 84. It started out as a very casual conversation on Twitter (and eventually Facebook), but Kevin B. Lee has put together an impressive poll of the best films of the decade at its halfway mark, with nearly 300 people factoring in to the results. Here's a peep at the top 10, and you can click here to see all the details:
1. The Tree of Life (103 votes)
2. Certified Copy (91 votes)
3. The Master (76 votes)
4. Margaret (68 votes)
5. Holy Motors (66 votes)
6. A Separation (64 votes)
7. Under the Skin (61 votes)
8. Inside Llewyn Davis (59 votes)
9. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (45 votes)
10. Boyhood (44 votes)
For The A. »
Microbe et Gasoil
Though his last feature, 2013’s zany and effervescent Mood Indigo, had a tortured flight to the box office, the steadily busy Michel Gondry also released a documentary, Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?. Now, he’s reteaming with his Indigo star Audrey Tautou to headline a cast of newcomers with a roadtrip film that recounts the wild adventures of two teenagers who are somewhat marginalised: the tiny “Microbe” and the inventive “Gasoil”. As the summer holidays get ever nearer, the two friends have no intention of spending the two months with their families. So with the help of a lawnmower engine and various planks of wood, they decide to build their own “car” and set off on an adventurous road trip around France.
Cast: Audrey Tautou and a cast of first-time children actors.
- Nicholas Bell
18 items from 2015
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