1-20 of 38 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
If Michael Haneke's "Amour" presented death as a sobering inevitability, one that will test the bounds of our ability to love, actress Valeria Golino has a slightly more nuanced perspective in her directorial debut "Miele." While the subject of euthanasia is the entryway into the story, Golino wisely strays from turning her film into an Issues Movie, and instead opts to explore death both as a vessel for closure and a window into appreciating the life we have. The Noomi Rapace-esque Jasmine Trinca (all cropped hair, switchblade scowl and tomboy figure) leads the film as Irene, aka the titular Miele (meaning honey), her code name when she's on the job as an assisted suicide practitioner. Since assisted suicide is illegal in Italy, it requires almost Lisbeth Salander-ish levels of covert maneuvers. She travels to Mexico once a month and smuggles back veterinary grade barbiturates which she uses as part of her procedures, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The Paul Verhoeven filmography screens at the Tiff Bell Lightbox through April 4th, culminating in a screening of his new “crowdsourced” film, Tricked.
Common wisdom dictates that cynicism and sentimentality are carefully linked, if not outright synonymous. In filmic terms, the most comfortable formulation of that argument is to align, for instance, romantic comedies with socially-acceptable (and, often, utterly noxious) notions of gender politics. Through the deployment of relationships and character profiles that support popular notions of how women and men behave, these movies are able to exploit comfortable mores in order to mainline easy pathos. What’s less common is to consider how that relationship between affect and effect can be subverted, perhaps because it’s relatively rare for truly subversive artists to be handed the proverbial keys to the kingdom.
- Simon Howell
Most moviegoers don’t pay short films any attention, except perhaps when filling out their Oscar ballots, which surely explains why ShortsHD seizes the opportunity of its annual theatrical Academy-nominated shorts programs to tubthump so heavily for the format itself, interjecting soundbites from brevity-inclined storytellers like Matthew Modine and 2013 winner Shawn Christensen (“Curfew”) between the live-action contenders. But such self-promotion can’t disguise the fact that, with one exception — Xavier LeGrand’s “Just Before Losing Everything” — this global sampling indicates a middling crop this year, representing the promise of what these filmmakers might do in the future over excellence in the present.
After sitting through a handful of polite remarks from filmmakers who have either made shorts or simply agreed to be interviewed (“12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen shares thoughts on the artistic process), audiences start their journey with Danish nominee “Helium,” a terminal-illness fable directed by Anders Walter, »
- Peter Debruge
In a time when even prominent critics complain about the glut of movies, the greatest victims are those with subtitles. In the United States, non-English language cinema is often considered a box office anathema, which gives particular weight to the foreign-language Oscar. In recent years, the category awarded Michael Haneke's "Amour" and Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation," two profoundly mature works that ranked among the year’s finest from any country. This year, none of the frontrunners deserve the prize as much as the one least likely to win it. That’s not to say the category is short on quality; in fact, it contains some of the richest, varied storytelling found there in years. Yet if the Oscar were handed only to the finest achievements in contemporary motion pictures — rather than the crop that receive the best campaigns — "The Missing Picture" would easily top this category. The first »
- Eric Kohn
Hong Kong – Housed in a new Kowloon venue, the Hong Kong International Film Festival (Mar 24 – April 7, 2014) will this year put renewed emphasis on local films.
The Hkiff will open with the twin screenings of Pang Ho-cheung’s social drama “Aberdeen” and Fruit Chan’s Berlin hit “The Midnight After.” The closing film is set as Dante Lam’s “That Demon Within” which also played in Berlin.
“We haven’t had so many Hong Kong films in the festival for four years, and it is the first time that I can remember us having three Hong Kong titles as the opening and closing galas,” said festival programmer Li Cheuk-to.
Another Hong Kong film “3D Naked Ambition,” a sex romp by Lee Kung-lok, will also get a prominent position as a midnight screening. It stars Chapman To (“Vulgaria”) and several Japanese porn starlets.
The festival will include competitive sections and tributes »
- Patrick Frater
Mixing awe and irreverence, “Trespassing Bergman” informatively and entertainingly explores the home, life, films and legacy of legendary Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman with the help of other world-cinema heavyweights. Calling on filmmakers including Michael Haneke, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, John Landis, Lars von Trier, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Claire Denis, Wes Craven, Takeshi Kitano Ang Lee and Zhang Yimou to discuss the impact that films such as “Summer With Monika,” “The Seventh Seal,” “Persona” and “Fanny and Alexander” had on their lives and careers, this cinephile’s delight will be catnip to global fests, broadcasters and distribs.
Jane Magnusson and Hynek Pallas’ docu combines previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage from the making of Bergman’s films, well-chosen clips and a chronology of his career with candid conversations with other filmmakers, some shot at Bergman’s remote Faro Island home and others at locations around the world. A playful tone is established early »
- Alissa Simon
From Hitchcock's "Psycho" to Siegel and McGehee's "The Deep End," cinema loves its messed up mother-son relationships. But rarely are they handled with the mastery of Calin Peter Netzer's tale of smotherly love "Child's Pose," Romania's 2014 Oscar entry and also one of the country's strongest films in a surprising, prosperous New Wave of films by Cristian Mungiu and Cristi Puiu. Add Netzer to that list. Luminita Gheorghiu plays Cornelia, a wealthy, weathered, swilling matriarch who manipulates her entire family. Especially her son Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache) who, after a hit-and-run, is about to undergo criminal prosecution for the manslaughter of a child. All wringing hands and cold calculation, Gheorghiu's is the sort of iconic performance that would get more plaudits if this weren't such a crowded year of other iconic performances. She has worked with Puiu and Mungiu before, as well as Michael Haneke, and once again slips into the »
- Ryan Lattanzio
London — The Zurich Film Festival has rearranged its competition section and increased the prize money for its 10th anniversary edition.
The competition section will now comprise three categories: International Feature Film, International Documentary Film, and Focus: Switzerland, Germany, Austria.
Previously there were four competition categories: International Feature, German-Language Feature, International Documentary and German-Language Documentary.
Each of the Golden Eyes awarded in the International Feature Film and International Documentary Film categories will come with 25,000 Swiss francs ($28,100). The Golden Eye in the Focus category will come with 20,000 Swiss francs ($22,500). The winning film from each of the three categories also receives an additional 100,000 Swiss francs ($112,000) worth of distribution support.
Zff ups its commitment to Swiss films by offering an additional 10,000 Swiss franc ($11,200) prize for a local pic in Zff’s program.
- Leo Barraclough
“You can’t understand until it happens to you.”
Roya, played by Mahnaz Afshar, listens to this line left on her answering machine repeatedly. It is a part of her husband, Ali’s, confession to his infidelity with one of Roya’s piano students, with whom he’s run off. Ali sees himself as a victim of his passion, but for Roya, it is one of many moments in which her emotions and how she feels them are constricted or reshaped by the people around her, both male and female. Snow On Pines is about her struggle to cope with those feelings on her own terms in a society where traditions dictate her every move. Though this story is colored by the Iranian experience, its ideological aspirations are universally recognizable and not limited to arbitrary borders. Roya’s conflict is seen all over the world, even in countries considered significantly »
- Jae K. Renfrow
Over recent years France’s heritage sites, many run by the French state, have woken up to the tremendous economic and promotional potential associated to hosting film, TV and advertising productions.
“2005 was the beginning of a new era in terms of international production,” claims Olivier-Rene Veillon, exec director of the Ile de France Film Commission.
“‘The Da Vinci Code,’ filmed in the Louvre museum, and ‘Marie Antoinette,’ set in Versailles, ushered in a new mindset about France’s landmark locations.”
Whereas over a decade ago, producers might have been given the cold shoulder when contacting heritage locations, or sometimes stalled with red tape, they now encounter slick logistical machines.
“Over the last five-to-six years the French government and the authorities that oversee heritage buildings and museums have realized the tremendous value of hosting film productions,” says Thierry de Segonzac, prexy of technicians union, Ficam. “Until then, there were major constraints on using such locations, »
- Martin Dale
Other high profile pics already greenlit by the revamped Trip tax rebate scheme include NBC’s mini-series “Rosemary’s Baby” and Bill Mechanic-produced “The Moon and the Sun.”
Cnc topper Frederique Bredin expects 2014 to be a record year in terms of international productions. “It’s still very early to tell, because decisions on location shooting are taken in a very short timeframe, and projects are kept confidential,” she explains. “But I can already tell you that 5 international productions, recently approved by the Trip scheme, will generate 100 days of filming in 2014, which is a very good start for the year.”
Since the scheme was introduced in 2009, more than 70 foreign productions from 14 countries have benefited from Trip.
In 2013 Trip-qualified foreign shoot spend in France exceeded $136.7 million – 7% of global French production spend.
A total spend of $497 million has been »
- Martin Dale
David Trueba’s dramedy “Living is Easy With Eyes Closed” swept Spain’s 28th Goya Academy Awards Sunday, scooping best film, director, original screenplay, actor (Javier Camara) and breakthrough actress (Natalia de Molina).
Ironically, another title snagged more kudos at this year’s Goyas, Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars, Alex de la Iglesia’s “Witching & Bitching,” which cleaned up on craft prizes – seven in all – and also won supporting actress for vet Terele Pavez.
Best actress went to Marian Alvarez for drama “Wounded,” whose helmer Fernando Franco also won first-time director. Playing a 30-year-old ambulance driver woman, Alvarez already took best actress prize at September’s San Sebastian Festival.
Set in Franco’s Spain, comedy turns on a Spanish schoolteacher who drives to Andalusia’s Almeria to meet John Lennon, »
- Emiliano De Pablos and Emilio Mayorga
In “Jaws,” Steven Spielberg realized it was more frightening to withhold the shark than to show it. With “History of Fear,” budding Argentine helmer Benjamin Naishtat takes that tactic one step further, delivering a tense sociological thriller in which he never explicitly reveals what is making his characters so uncomfortable. Nor does he quite explain who those characters are, a shortcoming that ultimately thwarts audiences from connecting with this unsettling allegory on the most fundamental human level. Still, as the latest neophyte auteur to kneel at the altar of Michael Haneke, Naishtat doesn’t seem confined to homage, but instead has fresh, regionally relevant observations to make.
Naturally, the idea of sharks is more fearsome than the more ambiguous phobias that lurk in the minds of those who inhabit the suburbs north of Buenos Aires. Yet in Naishtat’s hands, the subtext intimidates even as what’s happening on the surface sometimes seems inscrutable, »
- Peter Debruge
Austrian cinema looks set to make another big splash at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. The diverse lineup is certain to springboard to fests around the globe, where Austrian film continues to represent an increasingly broad range of up-and-coming talent and works by veteran filmmakers.
A dozen Austrian works are unspooling at this year’s Berlinale, from such genre pics as Alpine Western “The Dark Valley” (pictured) from established helmer Andreas Prochaska to the competition selection “Macondo,” Sudabeh Mortezai’s debut feature about an immigrant family in Vienna, and “Cracks in the Concrete,” by Umut Dag (“Kuma”), about an ex-convict trying to keep a son he doesn’t know from making the same mistakes he made.
“It’s really quite amazing,” says Austrian Film Commission managing director Martin Schweighofer, pointing out that Austrian pics will be unspooling “from competition to Forum, Berlinale Special, Panorama, Panorama Special, shorts — it’s quite an avalanche. »
- Ed Meza
This amiably ancient film is all too stiff – as if Clooney feared that any sudden noise or action would wake his performers up
When a movie is as stiff as George Clooney's The Monuments Men, it becomes an object of fascination in its own right – like your first glimpse of a dead body. Its stillness is mesmerizing. The idea was lively enough. Taking off from where their Oscar-winning geopolitical caper movie Argo left off, writers Grant Heslov and Clooney have fashioned a script about the squad of art experts tasked by Roosevelt with tracking down art plundered by the Nazis in the closing days of the war. "Who will make sure that the statue of David is still standing and the Mona Lisa still smiling?" mission leader George L Stout (Clooney) asks the president before assembling his team, a prepossessing collection of bellies and greybeards comprising an art restorer »
- Tom Shone
Paris –Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue Is the Warmest Color” won the Cannes Palme d’Or. But the Wild Bunch-sold title has some serious competition at France’s Cesar Awards – the country’s equivalents of the Oscars.
Announced Friday by France’s Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at the Fouquet restaurant on the Champs Elysees Friday, “Blue” scored in eight categories, two behind Gaumont’s “Me, Myself and Mum,” the directorial debut of Comedie Française-trained actor Guillaume Gallienne, which, having won two prizes at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, broke out to a more than two million tix sales at the French box office, making it one of France’s only considerable hits of last year.
“Blue” and “Me, Myself and Mum” are two gems discovered at Cannes: »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Variety caught up with Swedish actor-turned-writer/director, Henrik Hellstrom, who is presenting his sophomore feature, “The Quiet Roar,” in competition at Goteborg Intl. Film Festival.
Repped by Paris-based Bac Films and lead-produced by Erika Wasserman at Idyll, “Roar” world-premiered at Rotterdam and garnered positive word-of-mouth. The beautifuly-shot drama stars Evabritt Strandberg as a 68-year old woman diagnosed with a terminal disease whose treatment propels her to explore her subconscious, where she confronts her 25-year old self and her former husband.
A promising young director, Hellstrom made his debut with “Burrowing” which bowed at the Berlinale’s Forum section in 2009 and received warm reviews. Variety’s Alissa Simon described the film as “a mesmerizing, low-budget experimental mood-piece (…) taking inspiration from the writings of Henry David Thoreau.” Set in a small Swedish suburban town, “Burrowing” centered on an introverted 11-year-old boy contemplating life around him.
- Elsa Keslassy
Scott Foundas: They say dogs come to resemble their owners (or vice versa), but if you hang around a film festival long enough, do you start to resemble the movies? That thought crossed my mind on Sundance’s final Sunday, when, as I was leaving a screening at the Eccles Theater, a volunteer enthusiastically congratulated me on my lead performance in the festival’s big award winner, “Whiplash,” which took both the audience award and the grand jury prize in this year’s U.S. dramatic competition. Of course, it’s flattering to be mistaken for Miles Teller, who’s a very good actor (in addition to being nine years my junior), but I couldn’t help wondering if something more mysterious was afoot.
Maybe that’s because, just the day before, I had caught up with another of this year’s Sundance breakouts, “I Origins,” in which the »
- Scott Foundas, Peter Debruge and Justin Chang
The Directors Guild Of America (DGA) announced its 2014 award winners last night and, perhaps to no one’s surprise, Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón won the top directing prize for “Gravity.” A spectacular visual achievement that took four years to make, Cuarón was arguably the frontrunner for some time, but the competition was tough and included Martin Scorsese for “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” David O. Russell for “American Hustle,” Steve McQueen for “12 Years A Slave” and “Captain Phillips”-helmer Paul Greengrass. Like all guild awards, the DGA winner is usually the strongest augur for the Oscar outcome, but last year that correlation was thrown for a loop when Ben Affleck won the DGA prize for “Argo,” but failed to even score an Oscar nomination for Best Director (instead Michael Haneke and Benh Zeitlin were nominated; Affleck, however, arguably had the last laugh when “Argo” won Best Picture). The DGAs didn »
- Edward Davis
What is behind the desire to punish an audience? Truthfully, few filmmakers besides Michael Haneke maybe intentionally want to torture viewers (at least I think), but many dark and depressing indie movies attempting to explore the condition of suffering can often feel excruciating. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a grim and sad narrative—one so-called “miserablist” movie I love is “Bitiful,” and last year’s bleak “Sunshine Jr.” had a lot of value. These emotions are part of our existence, thus they shouldn’t be shied away from, but rather must be examined. But what is the value when a movie wallows in these kinds of dire feelings without ever illuminating the human condition beyond the superficial notion that grief is difficult? What then? Devastation both personal and removed shrouds “War Story” like an oppressive funeral veil devoid of light or air. Catherine Keener stars as Lee, a prickly »
- Rodrigo Perez
1-20 of 38 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners