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Cannes archives: Jacques Audiard tops Screen's Jury Grid 2009

1 May 2016 11:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Ahead of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Screen looks back at the hits and misses of 2009 according to our jury of critics.

Screen’s jury of international critics has long been a strong diviner as to what will win the top prizes at the Cannes Film Festival – and 2009 was no different.

Topping the grid was Jacques Audiard’s crime drama A Prophet, starring then newcomer Tahar Rahim, which scored an impressive 3.4 out of 4 and went on to win to the festival’s Grand Prix.

The winner of the coveted Palme d’Or was Michael Haneke’s chilling pre-war drama The White Ribbon, which came a close joint second on the grid with 3.3 alongside Jane Campion’s period romance Bright Star.

While the Palme d’Or alluded Audiard in 2009, the French filmmaker returned in 2015 with Dheepan and picked up the festival’s top prize.

The 2009 line-up also featured a divisively generous portion of violence courtesy of [link »

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Entertainment Education 2016: The Best Showbiz Programs

27 April 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

From bustling New York to sleepy Pasadena, these schools earn high marks when it comes to training the film, TV and media icons of tomorrow.

American Film Institute

Los Angeles

AFI’s two-year conservatory program prioritizes structure and extensive production experience, which leads to a massive total of 120 completed

short narratives each year. The school also offers a workshop for aspiring female directors, which launches with a three-week course to equip participants with the knowledge to create a short film or web/streaming service series.

Art Center College of Design


Boasting an acclaimed list of alumni that includes filmmakers Zack Snyder and Michael Bay, the Southern California private college provides its undergraduate and graduate film students with top-of-the-line equipment, an immersive curriculum and industry-relevant relationships to guide their professional development.

Boston University

Dept. of Film & Television, College of Communication


On the heels of establishing a one-year Mfa program »

- Variety Staff

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Domhnall Gleeson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris, and More Join Darren Aronofsky’s Next Drama

15 April 2016 12:44 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Following up NoahDarren Aronofsky is headed back to more modest-sized territory and getting back in business with Paramount. While we still don’t have a title for his next feature, we do know that Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem are leading the domestic drama, and ahead of a 2017 release, more casting has arrived.

THR reports that Domhnall Gleeson, his brother Brian Gleeson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Ed Harris are all in talks to join the film, which “centers on a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.” While we recently floated the idea that he was inspired by Michael Haneke for a Funny Games-esque drama, we could certainly see that dynamic play out with this new casting.

Since no character details are being provided, in our imagined scenario, the couples played by Pfeiffer & Harris and Lawrence & Bardem get terrorized by two menacing brothers. »

- Jordan Raup

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Weekly Rushes. 13 April 2016

13 April 2016 9:55 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

 Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.NEWSThe great avant-garde filmmaker and musician Tony Conrad has died at the age of 76.If you're sending mail in Austria, now you can creep your family and friends out with an image of austere art-house task-master Michael Haneke on your stamps.A terrific-looking new book "by" Jean-Luc Godard is out via Contra Mundum Press: Phrases features the texts contained within several of Godard's films, including Germany Year 90 Nine Zero, Forever Mozart and In Praise of Love. After his feature documentary Junun and music video for Joanna Newsom, Paul Thomas Anderson is returning to the music world, having reportedly shot a video for Radiohead.Recommended VIEWINGFilmmaker (Traveling Light, Here's to the Future!) and Notebook contributor Gina Telaroli has shared online an exquisite new video work, Starting Sketches: Theresa and Jeanne. »

- Notebook

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Watch: Inside the Rooms of No Home Movie, Take 2

5 April 2016 10:01 AM, PDT | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Late last week, we published a video essay from Kevin B. Lee, chief video essayist at Fandor, about the spaces in Chantal Akerman’s final documentary, No Home Movie. Lee estimated that about 70% of the film took place within the walls of the filmmaker’s dying mother Natalia’s apartment. To re-orient himself in Natalia’s apartment, Lee reorganized the footage by room. Initially, he edited the video to music, using Schubert’s Impromptu D. 899 Op. 90 No. 3, not coincidentally the same music used in Michael Haneke’s Amour, which also follows an elderly woman’s demise. But after receiving some complaints, including from the distributors of the film, Lee reassessed […] »

- Paula Bernstein

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'Darling' Dir. Mickey Keating on Being Inspired by Classic Horror to Form Highly Stylized Nightmares

1 April 2016 6:12 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Channeling some of the most legendary masters of tension and fright in cinema history, young auteur Mickey Keating takes an empty New York house and a lonely young woman and molds these two seemingly traditional tropes into a black-and-white nightmare. Plunging into the viewer’s sense with bone-shaking atmospheric sounds and cohesively deranged editing, “Darling” shatters any expectations and delivers an immersive experience of intimate horror. The film’s star, Lauren Ashley Carter is an absolute revelation. Each scream, gesture, and diabolically spoken line of dialogue compliments the elegantly designed frames inspired by 1960s genre gems. Unsettling from its opening frame to its unshakable horrifying conclusion, Keating’s minimalist creation is an alluring and elegantly diabolical vision. An exquisite genre work to be counted among the best horror films of the year.

"Darling" is now playing in NYC at the Village East Cinema and opens April 8 in Los Angeles at the Arena Cinema. 

Carlos Aguilar: I made the big mistake of watching "Darling" at night. It was absolutely terrifying. It took me by surprise, because its very economical in its design, but its very powerful in the emotions that it provokes. Tell me a little bit about the inception of the project and the films that you use as references or influences that inspired its visual aesthetics. 

Mickey Keating:  I think first and foremost its an homage to 1960s psychological horror movies with fractured narratives told with untrustworthy protagonists. Films like "The Haunting," "The Innocents," "Repulsion," "Diabolique," "That Cold Day in the Park" by Robert Altman, which show a much more restrained, psychological decent into madness. That's what really inspired me to write this one. In terms of composition and framing and camerawork, I turned towards a lot of Haneke films and then also restrained Kubrick-ian and Hitchcock-ian type black-and-white horror movies. It was a great eclectic mix of all these insane, beautiful works of art.

Aguilar: While writing "Darling," were you certain from the start that you wanted it to be focused on a single character with a story that takes place in a single location and very economical in its mechanics? 

Mickey Keating: Definitely. It was very important for me to have this movie be this way because my two previous films were really about characters that were playing off one another, really interacting, debating and fighting one another, so with this film I wanted to be much quieter. I wanted to focus on one single person predominately. From the very beginning it was this way. If we could have had no characters in the film we would have tried.

Aguilar: Can you talk about your stylistic decisions including choosing to make the film in black-and-white, the unique framing, and the evocative lighting? The film is definitely a departure from what we commonly see today in the horror genre. 

Mickey Keating: I think what was really important for me with this movie was a certain level of restraint. Horror movies, especially indie horror movies, in the past 5 years, have been nothing but hand-held footage and not necessarily about anything beyond trying to capture this weird pathetic intensity and also jump scares. What I really wanted to try and do was push back and go in the complete opposite direction of that. From the get go it was supposed to be like this. The script's not very long and it was all about, "Ok, we’re going to try to make every shot a painting." We knew we were going to really fixate on how we could tell the story the best way possible with the composition, which is a much more traditional approach in terms of classical filmmaking techniques. It was very satisfying to strip that back and really get back on the same page as traditional audiences and not have to try to fool them with fake realism or anything like that.

Aguilar: Editing is a crucial part of what makes "Darling" successful. You chose to use intercuts that can be perceived as flashbacks to what brought the character to this point or as premonitions of what's yet to come. 

Mickey Keating: Absolutely. While I was writing the movie, we were also watching a whole bunch of 1960s experimental films. Even the works of John Schlesinger, like "Midnight Cowboy," or especially that dream sequence in "The Exorcist."There was this really exciting notion back then that had this fluidity in editing. The editor is just as present as the cinematographer or anyone else on the film. That’s what we kind of wanted to do, create this almost liquid type of storytelling that’s very abrupt and in a weird way upsetting. I think the goal was to make the audience who endured the film really unsettled and uncomfortable and always on edge. I feel like an exciting, effective horror film for me is a horror film that I can never really see where anything is coming from. That’s what we really tried with this one.

Aguilar: What builds the unsettling atmosphere in "Darling" is the fantastic sound work that enhances the imagery on screen. This is clearly of crucial importance in horror films but sometimes it can be feel overused or on-the-nose. Not in this case. Tell me about the process of creating this other layer of emotion through sound. 

Mickey Keating: Definitely. Because the film takes place mostly inside in the house, it was really important for me. Sound is a huge passion of mine, sound design is one of my favorite things in the world, and I think that it's often underutilized. Going back to that idea of pure naturalism, it just kind of exists in the space. What I wanted to do from the very beginning of shooting was give each room, each floor, each kind of location in the house its own sound and its own feeling, as if the house is its own being. Darling walks throughout its body. When she gets up to the door on the top floor, that’s like being in its brain and in the middle that’s like being in its lungs. Every single area is set up differently. It's really upsetting in a way because it makes you very disturbed. Where we looked to for that was the video game "Silent Hill." It has the greatest example of sound work in the entire world because the majority of the first game, especially, is walking around. There are very few monsters in that game, but you are so constantly horrified and on edge because you can never anticipate what’s gonna come next because that sound Is always moving, always liquid, and always changing. Very disturbing I feel.

Aguilar: "Darling" is also a period piece even though this is never specified or delved into. It's a very noticeable quality of the film that coincides with the films that inspire you, but is not a definite factor in how we perceive the story. 

Mickey Keating: I think if we had decided to go full blown 1960’s black-and-white probably we would have been pushing it a little bit too far. I didn’t want tot make a movie that wouldn’t be able to get an audience on all, or at least some level. My favorite thing I’ve ever read about David Lynch is that his moves exist in a dream-time in a way. They’re very heavy handed 1950s but clearly there’s some from the 80s. All these references make all of his films very anachronistic, and that’s was my intention. While its definitely a 1960s type of horror film, we never explicitly say it. The fact that the world is all black-and-white and New York sounds very strange in the film, it almost seems like it exists on another plane, or at least that was my intention.

Aguilar: Tell me about your star, Lauren Ashley Carter, who is terrific and terrifying beyond belief. Her screams and her facial expressions are really hard to shake off once the film is over. 

Mickey Keating: I knew Lauren because she was in my previous film, and in my previous film she's one of the victims. She screams, she’s terrified, and so for this movie I wanted to flip that on its head. I wanted to cast her again and see where else she, as an actor, could go. When I was talking to her I referenced a lot of movies like "The Seventh Continent" by Michael Haneke and we also talked about those old 1920s horror movies where you see those violent screams that burn in your mind. She totally took that and ran with it. It was very exciting to be able to bring her on board. She’s definitely fantastic. It was also very exciting to be able to bring Sean Young on board as well as Brian Morvant, from my previous film, who plays the antagonist in the film. I wanted to flip that again and have him play the victim in this one. It was really a total world of friends making movies with friends, which is very satisfying.

Aguilar: Her character is sort of a blend between a victim and a villain. She has this sort of duality about her throughout the film, which that doesn’t let us know what she really is until late in the film. 

Mickey Keating: Absolutely. That even goes back to southern gothic literature or even a movie like "Taxi Driver." When Travis is doing the pushups and we see he has all these scars all up his back, we know he clearly has a very disturbed past, and yet somehow he's still the protagonist. Travis Bickle was always a big point of reference for that as well.

Aguilar: What would you say were some of the most difficult hurdles you had to overcome to make an independent horror film at this scale and with the particularities that "Darling" showcases? How difficult was it to get people on board with the project you envisioned? 

Mickey Keating: There are plenty. Its never easy. I think that at all scales of movies there's always stuff that’s very difficult, stressful and horrible to deal with and that never really changes. If you have enough money to solve anybody's problem, then clearly theres somebody who will charge that rate. It's never quite easy. I think the main challenge on a film like this was first and foremost that I wanted to make a black-and-white movie. A lot of people, when I even mentioned it before I even shot it, would say, "Oh don’t do black-and-white because you can't sell it." Clearly that’s not the case, so it's interesting. I feel like if I had brought this to any other production company besides Glass Eye Pix it wouldn't have happened. Nobody wants to be the guy saying, "Alright, lets make a black-and-white period horror movie,"  but everyone wants to come on board after the fact, which is very very frustrating to me in a lot of ways. I think that’s one of the challenges, being able to step back and say, "No, we're going to find a way to make this. We're going to figure out something. No matter what anyone says we're going to make this movie this way." Another challenge that really kind of comes to mind was, shooting in New York City in November was not easy. It was raining and it was cold. I’m from Florida originally and I live in California, so it was just a nightmare. But I think what’s fortunate about these movies is that we make them for a price so we make the movies that we are excited to make. Hopefully the right people that are drawn to them are drawn to them and everybody is happy at the end of the day. Overall it was a great experience.

 Aguilar: The constraints that come with independent filmmaking, whether these are financial or logistical, often force artists to elevate their creativity to new heights in order to find solutions. Of course having more money makes things easier. Creative freedom that comes with a reasonable budget would be ideal. 

Mickey Keating: Absolutely, there is a difference between committee filmmaking and having an individual voice. For all these movies that we are referencing and celebrating that used to be a no-brainer. You got a lot of money and you could make something that was very personal. Now, the way that the landscape of filmmaking has changed, every cent that you get that’s more than $1 million comes with a great big asterisk. It was great to be able to do something that was very personal. I had a great support system through Glass Eye Pix, they were totally like, “Yeah, do your thing.” It was great.

Aguilar: How have audiences reacted to the film? There is, of course, a niche audiences that will probaly enjoy the elegant madness of the film. Has that been the case? 

Mickey Keating: In general in terms of the movies that I make, people are either very rabidly passionate about them or rabidly hateful towards them [Laughs]. The people who have been supportive of “Darling” have been very vocally supportive. I feel like what’s so fun about a movie like this is that in the first 30 seconds of it you are going to decide whether it’s a movie for you or not. In a way that’s very exciting because people who have stayed on the roller-coaster and gone all the way through are very adamant about how they feel and the emotions that it invoked. To me it just comes down to the fact that you are creating a conversation with your audience. The more you can talk about it, it’s a sign of an effective film and there have been a lot of conversations about this one so far, which is very exciting.

Aguilar: This is a film that takes a seemingly peaceful locations and a passive character and turns those preconceived notions on their head. 

Mickey Keating: Definitely, We kind of approached the movie almost like a drug trip using the chapters. I’m not use drugs guy, but I think you can see that at the beginning there is this excitement and the further you get along down the rabbit hole or down the drug trip it becomes more jarring and fractured, and then by the last chapter it’s almost something like a hangover. It was very exciting to try to tell that story that way.

 Aguilar: Seems like this is a busy year for you. What is the next frightening trip you are taking us on? 

Mickey Keating: I have another movie coming out soon called "Carnage Park" that we premiered at Sudnance and SXSW this year. It'll be out in the summer. I also just wrapped another film called "Psychopaths," which is an ensemble serial killers movie. It's basically a whole bunch of stories about a whole bunch of serial killers over the course of one night in Los Angeles. This film's sensibilities are a bit closer to "Darling's" because "Carnage Park" is definitely a Sam Peckinpah-esque, Neo-Western, survival type movie. "Psychopaths" is much more of a psychedelic fever dream, which we are very excited to start showing people.  »

- Carlos Aguilar

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The Alchemist Cookbook D.P Adam J. Minnick on lensing the Hermit in the Woods

25 March 2016 8:32 PM, PDT | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

If you've had the privilege to see a film lensed by D.P Adam J. Minnick, you'd have recognized an eye disciplined by the story it's telling rather than by personal inclinations or some sybaritic style that steals from the story. Buzzard, was shot super raw and cold on a 5D, The Alchemist Cookbook was shot formally composed with a warm palllete on an Alexa, and Actor Martinez (Us Premiering this April at Tribeca) was shot with Altman inspired slow zooms on a Red Epic Dragon. The aesthetic decisions and stories speak for his adaptability and understanding of the form. And, his latest release, The Alchemist Cookbook, which hit SXSW hard when it world premiered, has audiences, critics, and filmmakers predominately sitting on the 'loved it' side of its divisive disposition. 

We were fortunate to talk with the cinematographer on how the hell the team pulled it off.

Could you »

- (Aaron Hunt)

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The Alchemist Cookbook Director Of Photography Adam J. Minnick on lensing the Hermit in the Woods

25 March 2016 1:26 PM, PDT | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

Could you give us a general overview of your working relationship with Joel? 

Joel and I are first and foremost friends...he's always been one of my closest. We've been making music, watching films and making little movies together starting in high school. He and I were really the only two buddies in our tight group that pursued visual arts of any sort through college and beyond, so it made sense that one day we could ultimately work together on a professional level, too. There's a trust that I can't really put into words, but we know that it's there. The Alchemist Cookbook was a new endeavor into a different filmmaking experience for both of us, and his trust in me as an image maker was very clear from the beginning. As far as collaborative art goes, I've never been more aligned with anyone, so I consider myself very fortunate »

- (Aaron Hunt)

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BFI inks content deal with Chinese VOD giant

24 March 2016 4:32 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

iQIYI, which reports 10m subs, will host a curated selection of titles from the BFI London Film Festival.

The British Film Institute (BFI) has struck a commercial deal with China’s largest VOD platform iQIYI for the latter to carry a selection of films that have previously premiered at the BFI London Film Festival.

The titles are a mixture of UK independent and world cinema. Terms of the deal were not made available.

Curated into four categories – Growing Pains, Foreign Adventures, Family Anecdotes, Social Perspectives – the BFI has programmed 20 titles specifically for the new collection, including Michael Haneke’s Oscar-winning Amour, Carol Morley’s The Falling, and Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Wadjda.

The BFI negotiated rights to those 20 titles with sales agents, while the full line-up also includes a further 11 films that had previously struck deals to be on iQIYI but will now become a part of the collection, including Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave and [link »

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Gina Prince-Bythewood, Lake Bell, and ‘The Tribe’ Helmer Set New Features; Michael Haneke’s Next Gets Funded

23 March 2016 10:53 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Despite its low box-office returns, Gina Prince-Bythewood‘s Beyond the Lights was something of a sleeper hit, in the time since its quiet release earning the praise of critics and filmmakers alike — including Rian Johnson, who liked the film so much that he hosted a BFI-supported screening and Q & A. Many will be pleased to read, then, that she’s set her next project: An Untamed State, which will reunite the helmer with Beyond‘s Gugu Mbatha-Raw, also of Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII. [Deadline]

Based on the novel by Roxanne Gay, who will co-write with Prince-Bythewood, it follows “a Haitian-American woman kidnapped for ransom in front of her husband and child” while thematically focusing on “the privilege that made her a target and the strength she must draw on to survive and reclaim her life.” Fox Searchlight are backing the endeavor.

Meanwhile, Variety has learned that Lake Bell will »

- Nick Newman

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Review: Matt Sobel's Enigmatic 'Take Me To The River' Plays Like A Waking Dream

17 March 2016 3:11 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

This is a reprint of our review from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It’s a lonely and unforgiving road to take, but daring filmmakers often like to box us into challenging places. Michael Haneke has made an entire career based on bracing confrontation, and some of the best films of 2014 were engrossingly austere and demanding in presentation and form (“Under The Skin,” “Foxcatcher,” Enemy”). But we rarely see such taxing audacity from first-time filmmakers. Making his debut feature-length effort with “Take Me To The River,” Matt Sobel borrows a page from the uncomfortable school of filmmaking, but colors it with his own peculiar, but distinct, perspective. Controlled and self-assured, Sobel’s mysterious film is interested in the odd sensations of confusion, misperception, and misunderstandings. Played out like a genuinely strange waking dream, “Take Me To The River” plunges you into the cloudy waters of “what the fuck is going on? »

- Rodrigo Perez

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Movie Review – Landmine Goes Click (2015)

11 March 2016 12:45 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Landmine Goes Click, 2015

Written and directed by Levan Bakhia

Starring Sterling Knight, Spencer Locke, Dean Geyer, Kote Tolordava


Trapped standing on an armed landmine, an American tourist is forced to watch helplessly while his girlfriend is terrorized and brutally assaulted.

There’s an audacity to Levan Bakhia’s Landmine Goes Click, a film drenched in misogyny, trying desperately to find existential reasoning in its warped examination of patriarchy. Bakhia isn’t saying anything about the male mind-set, or making a statement on parents, he’s simply playing out a misogynist fantasy of male driven power under the guise of a poorly made, lamely nasty genre flick.

Three American backpackers, Alicia (Spencer Locke), her fiancé Daniel (Dean Geyer) and Chris (Sterling Knight) wander through the mountains of Georgia where Daniel has Chris perform a non-binding marriage ceremony. Devi, a local park ranger arranges for a photo which “inadvertadly” leads to Chris stepping on a landmine. »

- Luke Owen

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Listen to Career-Spanning Interviews with Isabelle Huppert

10 March 2016 9:27 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

There may be no living actor — excepting, say, Jean-Pierre Léaud and Juliette Binoche — who better represents world cinema than Isabelle Huppert. Her career has spanned from the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Maurice Pialat, and Michael Cimino to Hong Sang-soo, Mia Hansen-Løve, and Michael Haneke, to name but a solid handful, and so it’s only natural that her visit to a film festival — New York’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, in this case, for her starring role in Guillaume Nicloux’s Valley of Love — would spur a career-spanning discussion.

And now one can hear it for themselves! The Film Society of Lincoln Center have shared the audio of a recent, live event on their podcast, The Close-Up, in which Huppert discusses the particular path she’s taken towards international superstardom while fielding numerous questions from the audience. There’s a second, posted as part of The Film Comment Podcast, that »

- Nick Newman

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‘The Waiting’ Exclusive Clip: James Caan Turns Tables On Tormenters In SXSW Thriller

9 March 2016 9:00 AM, PST | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Exclusive: Director Kasra Farahani’s upcoming thriller The Waiting comes off like an inversion of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, or perhaps what might happen if that earlier film were crossed with Gran Torino. Starring James Caan, Logan Miller, and Keir Gilchrist, the film sees two boys conducting a cruel experiment on their elderly neighbor: can they convince him he’s being haunted? They set about prodding the older man further and further, only to realize too late that… »

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Guadalajara 12th Co-Production Meet: Love Conquers (Nearly) All in ‘Candelaria’

7 March 2016 5:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Guadalajara — Helmer-scribe-producer Jhonny Hendrix burst onto Colombia’s movie scene with “Choco,” one of the first Colombian films to delve into the lives of Colombians of African descent. Aside from screening at Berlinale’s Panorama sidebar, it opened the 2012 Cartagena Int’l Film Festival. Memento Films handled its international sales.

“Candelaria,” selected as one of the 30 projects at Guadalajara’s Co-Production Meet, is his third pic. Sophomore pic “Saudo,” a mystical thriller set in the Pacific coast of Colombia, is currently in post.

Hendrix is currently fielding offers from international sales agents for “Candelaria,” which is set during the “special period” in ‘90s Cuba when a beleaguered Russia had withdrawn its support and Cuba plunged into a period of deep economic hardship.

What is “Candelaria” about? What inspired you to write it?

I was in Havana with “Choco” for the capital’s film festival some three years ago when I »

- Anna Marie de la Fuente

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Goodnight Mommy review – alarming Austrian chiller

6 March 2016 12:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

An effective horror story about a woman transformed in more ways than one after she undergoes facial surgery

Hats off to Austria for selecting this increasingly alarming chiller from writer/directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (respectively the partner and nephew of film-maker Ulrich Seidl, who produces) as its foreign language entry for the 88th Academy Awards. Opening with an image of Von Trapp family harmony, Goodnight Mommy finds twin boys (Lukas and Elias Schwarz, both brilliant) playing hide-and-seek in the trees and cornfields around a remote modernist house. When their mother (Susanne Wuest) returns from facial surgery, her bandaged visage hides a changed personality. How do they know it’s really her? Suspicion turns to hostility and worse; by the third act, you’ll be hiding your face in wincing terror.

Comparisons with Michael Haneke’s Funny Games and George Franju’s Eyes Without a Face seem inevitable, but »

- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic

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Muriels Roundup

5 March 2016 12:58 PM, PST | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Spotlight more or less ran the table at the Independent Spirit Awards last Saturday night in Santa Monica, picking up honors for Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Editing, as well as the Robert Altman Award for best ensemble cast. Brie Larson picked up yet another trophy for her great performance in Room, and Son of Saul, as expected, won for Best International Film. But this year the Independent Spirit Awards weren’t just a liquored-up predictor of what would happen the following night at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Whether or not Spirit voters took it as their charge to pointedly honor the diversity that was so lacking in the roster of Oscar nominees this year, few could find fault when both Abraham Attah (Best Male Lead) and Idris Alba (Best Supporting Male) for Beasts of No Nation, and especially Mya Taylor from Tangerine, took to »

- Dennis Cozzalio

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Film Review: ‘Emelie’

3 March 2016 7:59 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

“Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Deadly” could work as both an alternate title and shorthand synopsis for “Emelie,” a familiarly premised but stringently executed home-invasion chiller that rarely goes for the straight-up scare when a more insidious one will do. Likeliest to prey on the sensibilities of younger parents — and to unnerve anyone who still thinks of gifted Irish actress Sarah Bolger as that preciously innocent pre-teen from “In America” — music-vid helmer Michael Thelin’s lean, lo-fi debut feature calmly pushes against the nastier bounds of its genre territory as it places two young children in the care of Bolger’s profoundly unhinged imposter. This ambiguous protagonist’s backstory emerges a little more predictably than it should, but even with that knowledge in place, Thelin succeeds in keeping any presumption of eventual sanctuary impressively at bay.   

From the quiet, the flash-free sangfroid with which he stages a few »

- Guy Lodge

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Goodnight Mommy review – twin horror doubles down on nightmarish shocks

3 March 2016 1:15 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

An idyllic summer at a lakeside house turns nasty horror for two brothers in this gruesome debut from Austrian film-maker Veronika Franz

This icy Euro-arthouse horror from Austrian film-maker Veronika Franz has an American-style title, like Michael Haneke’s Funny Games. The original is Ich Seh Ich Seh, or I See I See, which better captures its theme of twins. Franz makes her debut, co-directing with Severin Fala; she is married to the film’s producer, the renowned and terrifying director Ulrich Seidl, known for his own type of extreme ordeal cinema. This movie had its premiere at last year’s Venice film festival, where I first saw it, and now arrives in the UK, where audiences may want to compare it to early Michael Haneke and Jessica Hausner. The twist ending is worthy of a Hollywood director who can’t be named without giving it away. Elias (Elias Schwarz »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Hillcoat On Adapting McCarthy's "Meridian"

29 February 2016 1:18 PM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Four of author Cormac McCarthy's novels have seen screen adaptations such as "No Country for Old Men" and "All the Pretty Horses," but arguably his most famous work "Blood Meridian" has yet to make it to film.

The book follows a teenagers experience with a group of scalp hunters who massacred Native Americans and others in the United States–Mexico borderlands for bounty, pleasure, and eventually out of compulsion. It was infamous for its sheer brutality and has since gone on to be recognised as one of the greatest works of modern American literature.

Various directors have expressed interest in doing an adaptation including Ridley Scott, Michael Haneke, Todd Field and James Franco. One other name that has put up there hand is, like Franco, a helmer who has tackled McCarthy onscreen before - in this case Aussie filmmaker John Hillcoat who adapted McCarthy's "The Road".

Hillcoat has familiarity with the subject matter, »

- Garth Franklin

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