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Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Photo courtesey of Film-in-evolution | Les Productions BalthazarGone are the glory days when Hollywood would identify and poach remarkable foreign (inevitably European) directors, enticing them with greater budgets and production capabilities. France, with its generous co-production financing, cannot compete with Hollywood of the 1930s, but half a decade ago they brought over a spate of our favorite East Asian auteurs to make several great films: Hou Hsiao-hsien (Flight of the Red Balloon), Hong Sang-soo (Night and Day) and Tsai Ming-liang (Visage). Now count Kiyoshi Kurosawa with that number. The Japanese director, best known for a cluster of haunting mysteries that coincided with the J-Horror trend and still conflated with that brief cultural moment, has made Daguerrotype, a haunted house gothic featuring French stars Tahar Rahim and Olivier Gourmet.Though often creeping towards horror—“thriller” might be more appropriate if his films didn’t move at an unsettling, dreamily »
For his first French-language film, Japanese horror auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa journeys to the land of cinema’s birth with a tale centered around one of the earliest forms of still photography: the daguerreotype. A 19th century apparatus that captures images on a silver plate, the daguerreotype camera requires the sitter to remain absolutely motionless for a punishing span of time, and that process ends up being an unfortunate metaphor for the film itself, which demands a substantial degree of patience from its audience without fully paying it off. Heavy on moody atmospherics yet fundamentally inert, “Daguerrotype” (Le Secret de la chambre noire) never quite comes into focus.
Most famous Stateside for his seminal 2001 J-horror film, “Pulse,” Kurosawa is an expert at establishing a mood of placid unease, and that gift is on display in the opening stretches of this film. Jean (Tahar Rahim), an underemployed young Parisian, arrives at an »
- Andrew Barker
DaguerrotypeDear Fern,I've heard a lot of mixed things here about Terrence Malick's Voyage of Time, so I'm very pleased at your enraptured praise. Did you know from the first moment that you liked it so much? Sometimes, in those rare special occasions, you know right off that a film is great. From the first shot of Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, a grainy Montana landscape grayed by winter, with hills so soft in they could be painted on, and a train arcing its way towards the camera, it is clear this film is special. Based on stories by author Maile Meloy, the film takes the unusual form of a sequence of three stories, all set in small town Montana, and each foregrounded on a woman and her conflicted yearning.Laura Dern is a lawyer whose client (Jared Harris) in a dead-end malfeasance lawsuit gets increasingly dejected and unhinged »
"The only way to keep our grip is to return to where we belong." Cohen Media recently released this French film in Us theaters (starting in NYC), titled Come What May, from director Christian Carion. Set in 1940 at the beginning of World War II, the film is about various people from small village in northern France who had to escape when the Germans invaded. It focuses primarily on two of them: Hans, seeking to recover his son who fled the village, and Percy, hoping to reach the sea, and find a boat back to England. Surprisingly, the film features an original score by Ennio Morricone, one of the few original scores he's written recently besides The Hateful Eight. The full cast includes Alice Isaaz, August Diehl, Mathilde Seigner, Olivier Gourmet and Matthew Rhys. This looks like it's a damn good WWII drama, I might have to check it out. Here's »
- Alex Billington
Closing-credits photographs of WWII French refugees fleeing Nazi forces are the most poignant element of “Come What May,” whose fictional saga about townsfolk forced to abandon their homes, and two disparate men’s attempts to reunite with them, is a respectable but dully melodramatic affair. Director Christian Carion’s first feature since 2009’s “Farewell” is bolstered by a sweeping Ennio Morricone score, yet his narrative is too episodic, and his characters too one-dimensional, to carry the weight of grand historical tragedy, resulting in a picturesque, middle-of-the-road effort unlikely to entice anyone outside the art-house crowd.
Aside from some bumpy early edits which leave its setup a bit rushed and muddled, “Come Way May” lucidly lays out its basic premise: Having escaped their native Germany in 1939, anti-Nazi activist Hans (August Diehl) and young son Max (Joshio Marlon) take refuge in the northern French village of Pas-de-Calais, where Hans is soon arrested »
- Nick Schager
Paris-based Memento Films International (Mfi) has unveiled sales on French director Martin Provost’s upcoming comedy drama The Midwife, co-starring Catherine Deneuve [pictured], Catherine Frot and Olivier Gourmet. The double bill of two of France’s renowned actresses internationally has gone down well with buyers.
In Europe, the film has sold to Spain (A Contracorriente, Benelux (Lumière), Sweden (Folkets Bio), Denmark (41 Shadows), Portugal (Midas Filmes), Greece (Seven Films), Bulgaria (Bulgaria Film Vision) and ex-Yugoslavia (Demiurg).
As previously announced by Screen, Ascot Elite pre-bought all rights for German-speaking territories during Cannes. Elsewhere, the film has sold to Israel (Lev Cinema), Brazil (Mares Filmes), Mexico (Cinema Nueva Era) Hong Kong (Edko), Taiwan (Swallow Wings), Japan Kino Films, as well as to Australia and New Zealand (Palace Films). Skeye have acquired airline rights.
Frot co-stars as Claire, a talented midwife facing a career crisis, who is contacted »
I have seen Kiyoshi Kurosawa‘s Daguerrotype, and the most I’m currently allowed to say is this: no, I’ve not yet learned how to blind-type that title. (It’s spelled differently from the traditionally used [and still-uncommon] term, which doesn’t help in the slightest.) If you want some quick taste of what the Japanese master has cooked up with his third feature in just one year’s time, peek at a trailer made in advance of this month’s Tiff showing — or don’t, since it probably gives away more than interested parties would care to know.
Daguerrotype is filled with incident on a scene-to-scene, sometimes moment-to-moment basis, so it only follows that any preview longer than, say, a minute will end up conceding things, even if you don’t immediately realize that things are being conceded. Nevertheless: those who want hints — including what the likes of Tahar Rahim, »
- Nick Newman
Come What May (En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait) Cohen Media Group Reviewed by: Harvey Karten, Shockya Grade: B Director: Christian Carion Written by: Christian Carion, Laure Irrmann Cast: August Diehl, Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner, Alice Isaaz, Matthew Rhys, Joshio Marlon, Thomas Schmauser, Laurent Gerra Screened at: Cohen Media, NYC, 8/29/16 Opens: September 8, 2016 If you have healthy human emotions, you’ll find it heartbreaking to note that since the opening of the civil war in Syria in 2011, 13.5 million of its citizens need humanitarian assistance, 6.6 million are displaced within their country, and 4.8 million are now living outside of their country. You would be similarly heartbroken [ Read More ]
The post Come What May Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Harvey Karten
The already-incredible line-up for the 2016 New York Film Festival just got even more promising. Ang Lee‘s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk will hold its world premiere at the festival on October 14th, the NY Times confirmed today. The adaptation of Ben Fountain‘s Iraq War novel, with a script by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire), follows a teenage soldier who survives a battle in Iraq and then is brought home for a victory lap before returning.
Lee has shot the film at 120 frames per second in 4K and native 3D, giving it unprecedented clarity for a feature film, which also means the screening will be held in a relatively small 300-seat theater at AMC Lincoln Square, one of the few with the technology to present it that way. While it’s expected that this Lincoln Square theater will play the film when it arrives in theaters, it may be »
- Jordan Raup
Toronto International Film Festival continues to add to its already eclectic slate by announcing their Platform line-up today. Beginning last year as a special program to highlight auteur-driven features from around the world, this year’s line-up looks remarkably strong, opening with Bertrand Bonello‘s Paris-set terrorism drama Nocturama.
Also featuring new films from Fien Troch, Zacharias Kunuk, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Ivan Sen, Katell Quillévéré, Khyentse Norbu, Pablo Larraín, William Oldroyd, Mijke de Jong, Barry Jenkins, Mathieu Denis, and Simon Lavoie, check out the line-up below.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa makes his first film outside Japan with this French-language ghost romance fantasy, about an aging photographer whose obsession with an archaic technique draws his young assistant and beautiful daughter into a dark and mysterious world. Starring Tahar Rahim, Constance Rousseau, Olivier Gourmet, and Mathieu Amalric. ***
- Jordan Raup
Kiyoshi Kurosawa is on quite the roll: nine months after Journey to the Shore and four since Creepy premiered, both of which we highly recommend, we have a new teaser for his French-language debut, The Woman in the Silver Plate, which collects some of the country’s best actors — Tahar Rahim, Mathieu Amalric, Olivier Gourmet (Belgian, albeit French-speaking), and Constance Rousseau (Simon Killer) — for (surprise!) an eerie tale involving the mystical and unknown.
Aside from a likely festival appearance, the thing’s still some ways off — a French theatrical release won’t be underway until late November, and there’s no U.S. distributor yet announced — but at least we have a teaser. However brief, it’s a cinematographic and formal beauty, perhaps early evidence that Kurosawa’s transition to a new language and continent hasn’t dulled the man’s intoxicating sense for capturing images.
See the preview below »
- Nick Newman
The Dardennes, the Belgian brothers and directors, have finally gone full genre. Well, in so far as the two-time Palme d'Or winners, famous for their scrupulously social realist dramas made after a less-known career in documentaries, desire to make torque their liberal politics, masterfully unshowy style, and often stunning denouements of spiritual redemption into a film that follows mainstream conventions. L’enfant (2005) began this subtle evolution, telling the story of a father looking for his child as if it were a thriller. The Kid with the Bike (2011), somewhat controversially for these filmmakers who famously work with non-professionals or unknowns, added a French star to the cast (Cécile de France), while their last movie doubled down on that artifice by not only putting Marion Cotillard in the lead of Two Days, One Night (2014), but wrote that film in such a structured, fatalist manner ask to nearly resemble a film by Fritz Lang. »
In Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s very best films, you know exactly what you’re getting — until the quiet dramatic pivot that gently ensures you don’t. In “The Unknown Girl,” only the first half of that assessment is true, though what we get is largely exemplary: a simple but urgent objective threaded with needling observations of social imbalance, a camera that gazes with steady intent into story-bearing faces, and an especially riveting example of one in their gifted, toughly tranquil leading lady Adèle Haenel. What’s missing, however, from this stoically humane procedural tale of a guilt-racked Gp investigating a nameless passer-by’s passing, is any great sense of narrative or emotional surprise: It’s a film that skilfully makes us feel precisely what we expect to feel from moment to moment, up to and including the long-forestalled waterworks. Though it will receive the broad distribution practically guaranteed »
- Guy Lodge
Exclusive: Former gangster Francois Troukens will co-direct the $7m crime thriller.
Reformed gangster Francois Troukens turned Belgian media celebrity is to co-direct new $7m (€6m) crime thriller Above The Law (Au-Dessus Des Lois).
Jacques-Henri Bronckart of Belgian outfit Versus has revealed details of the production, which is due to shoot in the summer and will be handled internationally by TF1.
The film centres on a small-time crook who is framed for murder and has to go on the run to prove his innocence.
Troukens was an armed robber, targeting security vans in the 1990s. He was convicted and sentenced to 28 years in prison while on the run and was finally caught in 2004.
In jail, he studied philosophy and turned his life around prior to being released conditionally for good behaviour in 2010. Since his release, he has gone on to become a well-known TV personality, with his own show, Un Crime Parfait.
The former »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoffrey Macnab)
Cannes: Underscoring the importance of the Cannes festival, both its market and selection, for foreign distributor buys, Antoine Zeind’s A-z Films has acquired three 2016 Cannes Competition films: Cristian Mungiu’s “Graduation,” Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s “The Unknown Girl” and Cristi Puiu’s “Sierra Nevada.”
Based out of Quebec, Zeind’s distribution-production company has also taken “The Red Turtle,” which world premieres in Un Certain Regard.
Wild Bunch sells, finances and sometimes co-produces three of these titles: “Graduation,” “Girl” and “The Red Turtle.” “Sierra Nevada” is repped by Elle Driver, a Wild Bunch company, a sign of A-z Films’ strong connection with France.
The latest from Mungiu, whose “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” won Cannes’ 2007 Palme d’Or, the consecration of the so-called Romanian New Wave, “Graduation” is a father-daughter ethical drama turning on a small-town doctor’s ambitions for his clever daughter to win a scholarship outside Romania.
From Belgium’s Dardenne brothers, »
- John Hopewell
The distributor has picked up Us rights to newly announced Cannes selections Graduation and The Unknown Girl.
Adrian Titieni, Maria Dragus and Lia Bugnar star. Mungiu’s Mobra Films produced with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne of Films du Fleuve; Pascal Caucheteux and Grégoire Sorlat of Why Not Productions; Vincent Maraval of Wild Bunch; and Jean Labadie of Le Pacte. Tudor Reu is executive producer.
Adele Haenel, Jeremie Renier, Olivier Gourmet, Fabrizio Rongione and Thomas Doret star in the story about a young doctor who investigates the identity of a mysterious dead body. Denis Freyd and the Dardennes produced.
The buys bring to four the number of Cannes competition selections in the »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Sundance Selects has acquired U.S. rights from Wild Bunch to a pair of films in competition at the Cannes Film Festival — Cristian Mungiu’s “Graduation” and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s “The Unknown Girl.”
Sundance Selects made the announcement Thursday, shortly after the Cannes official selection lineup was unveiled.
The distributor noted that it had already acquired U.S. rights to another Cannes competition title with Nicole Garcia’s “From the Land of the Moon” while its sister company IFC Films has Olivier Assayas’ “Personal Shopper” in competition.
“Graduation,” directed and written by Mungiu, stars Adrian Titieni, Maria Dragus and Lia Bugnar. The film was produced by Mungiu’s Mobra Films; Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne of Films du Fleuve; Pascal Caucheteux and Grégoire Sorlat of Why Not Productions; Vincent Maraval of Wild Bunch; and Jean Labadie of Le Pacte.
The film is a family drama that centers on themes »
- Dave McNary
It is just ten days until what is perhaps the most exciting cinematic event of every year comes to bear: an announcement of the Cannes Film Festival lineup. We’ve featured glimpses of some of titles that might make their way to southern France next month, and today we’ve collected first looks at three more, all of which are greatly anticipated. How anticipated? So anticipated, in fact, that just an image warrants a post.
The first, from Wild Bunch, showcases Bertrand Bonello‘s Paris Is Happening — now being referred to as Nocturama in the native tongue — a picture about youths who take it upon themselves to sabotage the city of love with a series of explosions. Yes, even the writer-director is uncomfortable with that level of relevance — especially the writer-director, actually — as he told me back in December. Combine this tension and the fact that his last film was »
- Nick Newman
An invention, the tangible result from an idea constructed in the human imagination, represents a piece in the puzzle that is the course of progress whether it means advancement through bellic endeavors, the simplification of tasks, or the preservation of life. Modern civilization is the result of a sequence of inventions and discoveries that evolved through the efforts of tireless men and woman dedicated to science and technology; however, as it’s always the case, mankind has been know to use its most creative minds for selfish and power-hungry pursuits.
Setting these concepts and preoccupations in an alternative steampunk reality based on the graphic novel by Jacques Tardi, Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci’s “April and the Extraordinary World” navigates the curious possibility of a world where innovation stalled and in which humans must deal with the ramifications of this occurrence and adapt their lifestyles to the available practices. What emerges from this concoction of brilliant notions inspired by the source material and the filmmakers’ input is a highly ingenious and sumptuously designed tale anchored to an assertive, intellectual, and unconventional heroine. This delightfully sophisticated charmer firmly establishes itself as a visual marvel and one of the most originally confected animated films ever made.
Distancing its premise from similarly themed science fiction escapades, which work under the pretense that audiences must accept the universe at hand without much insight into its inner workings and origins, the film commences with a brief introduction that singles out a historical event responsible for the retrograde state of development. In this whimsical revision set in the mid-1900s Napoleon's lineage still reigns, as a major conflict with France's major enemy to the east was avoided. The consequential outcome for this deviation is a world in which coal, rather than oil, becomes the preferred fuel leading to massive deforestation and smog substitutes air. Scientists are perceived as a commodity whose brilliance must benefit the empire in its pursuit of new lands with forests to harvest. Fighting a war with the Us over Canada’s natural resources to fulfill its power needs is France’s priority while another threat develops under its surface.
Academically gifted an empowered by an audacious spirit, April (Marion Cotillard) is a young woman whose perpetual mission is to find her parents, Paul (Olivier Gourmet) and Annette (Macha Grenon), and grandfather Pops (Jean Rochefort), all of whom are scientist that disappeared 10 years prior under mysterious circumstances after being persecuted by the authorities just as they were about to test a serum that would make any living creature immortal. Now, April, whose chemistry knowledge is unparalleled, is attempting to recreate said formula and reunite with her singular pack.
Given that her venture and those of her immediate family have such immeasurable stakes, there are a few less than friendly figures seeking to capture her. Pizoni (Bouli Lanners), a robust, arrogant, and insanely persistent officer, wishes to use her as a vehicle for discovering where Pops is. Enlisting Julius (Marc-André Grondin), a scrawny young man willing to do the dirty work to avoid punishment for his deeds, to follow her, Pizoni hopes to regain the status he lost because of April’s folks. Thankfully, the brave girl has her talking cat Darwin (Philippe Katerine) as her most valuable comrade. Talking animals have never been so unforgettably enchanting and comically joyful as April's pet. Romantic and irreverent, Darwin is a scene-stealer that keeps one grinning continuously due to his amusingly tongue-in-cheek one-liners.
An array of characters like this pair with astoundingly intelligent writing makes for a framework that is taken to its greatest possible potential for wonder via the gorgeously crafted animation in display. Add a large portion of explosively candid humor to the mix, and the formula for a perfect work of wondrous art is created. From Einstein playing in a band, to a visual gag on what the Statue of Liberty would like if France wouldn’t have been friendly towards Americans, to its mesmerizing reimagining of Paris with two Eiffel Towers and uniquely appropriate public transport and infrastructure, “April” grabs hold of cell animation and dips it in a potion distilled from the works of iconic Japanese masters and considerable influence from other successful graphic novel adaptations into the medium.
Its genre-bending aspects are so fabulously calibrated, that is hard to pinpoint an exact designation for the spell the film casts other than how deliciously twisty it is. Near its final act, “April” introduces a group of villains directly extracted from a deranged fable, in the most authentically surprising manner. This coincides with the sensibilities of a film that isn’t afraid to fully experiment with the freedoms that fiction in this vein permits. Desmaeres and Ekinci’s leading lady, voiced with grace and chutzpah by Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard, comes from a long line of male scientists, but though the fact that she is the first female born in the family to also pursue the field, her gender is never observed as an impediment or particularly special trait. It’s never about whether she can do it not based on her being a woman, but about how her unquestionable abilities can be used for good. When so much of current media glorifies instant fame or content about exploiting physical beauty for financial gain, to see an intrepid role model focused on the significance of using one’s hard work for the greater good utterly reinvigorating.
Power corrupts, especially in the hands of temperamental beings, and that’s a crucial point that “April” tackles from a thoroughly enjoyable perspective. Since selfish pursuits are common occurrences in our past and present, it’s clear humanity can’t be trusted with its own treasures. Therefore, erudite thinkers are recruited as pawns in a new intergalactic plan to save Earth’s beautiful vegetation. The uncompromising ambition of the film’s scope is as captivating as the detailed cinematic frames that convey it, and in that sense, the exuberant journey it follows from its opening sequence to the riveting conclusion feels like a natural progression. Not a single contrived or even lightly forced plot point in sight.
As the pages reminiscent of comic books from a much more artistically driven bygone era grace the screen in their moving iteration, “April and the Extraordinary World” transcends the constraints of steampunk literature and embraces traditional animation is if the two had been in perfect symmetry from the beginning. What “April” argues underneath the aesthetically extraordinary frames and its thrilling action is that science is magic at human reach, which takes our perseverance and purpose as a metaphorical wand. Choosing to use each newly found incantation for benevolent causes and not malevolent desires is the real battle.
"April and the Extraordinary World" is now playing in New York and Los Angeles. The film is being released by Gkids, the 8-time Academy nominated independent animation distributor.
- Carlos Aguilar
Most writing on Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci‘s April and the Extraordinary World speaks as though they’ve adapted one of revered Frenchman Jacques Tardi‘s graphic novels. This isn’t quite the case. What they’ve actually done is bring his unique “universe” to life with help from previous collaborator Benjamin Legrand (writer of Tardi’s Tueur de cafards) instead. Legrand and Ekinci crafted this alternate steampunk version of Paris as something inspired by the artist’s work rather than born from it. Tardi in turn helped by drawing original work later brought to life by Desmares’ animation team. The whole is therefore a culmination of its six-year production schedule populated by multiple creative minds working in tandem throughout. It may look familiar, but it’s very much brand new.
Their world is built on steam and coal because the best scientific minds have disappeared. Electricity wasn’t »
- Jared Mobarak
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