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If "Phoenix" can harness the steam off its first weekend in New York, where the postwar drama earned nearly $30,000 at two theaters, it could become a runaway arthouse hit a la last year's Polish-language "Ida." In the Us, German cinema is carried by its more broadly known, art-household names such as Michael Haneke (who is Austrian), Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders, who often co-produce with other countries and rarely work in their native tongue anymore. Christian Petzold, after two decades of work, stands to be the country's latest candidate for an art film figurehead as "Phoenix" expands this weekend in Los Angeles. Petzold's longtime muse Nina Hoss changed his tune as a director, yielding a collaboration on six features together—and all about women. His 2012 wartime melo "Barbara," starring Hoss as a hardened doctor transplanted from East Germany to a provincial country hospital in the 1980s, sent critics in raptures. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
The sins of the high-school cafeteria come home to roost in “The Gift,” a coolly unsettling thriller that begins as an unironic homage to late-’80s/early-’90s yuppies-in-peril dramas like “Fatal Attraction” and “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle,” before taking a turn toward the moral and existential minefield of Michael Haneke’s “Cache.” A modest but accomplished directing debut for actor and screenwriter Joel Edgerton (who also gives himself a plum role here), “The Gift” is a more psychological, slow-burn genre exercise than the psycho-stalker shocker it’s being sold as by Diy horror specialists Blumhouse and Robert Simonds’ newly launched Stx Entertainment. But some supremely effective chills and good word of mouth could spell sleeper success for this Aug. 7 opener.
To an extent, “The Gift” functions as a riff on what might be Edgerton’s pet theme — that of an ordinary man undone by a little white »
- Scott Foundas
Writer/Director Brian Jun’s Sleep With Me is a dark suburban drama focusing on Paul (Cliff Chamberlain) and Gabi (Danielle Camastra), a young couple unsuccessfully striving to start a family. Paul lives in the shadow of his overbearing father (played by veteran character actor Raymond J. Barry), and Gabi copes by engaging in risky activities that threaten to break up their marriage. Helmed by acclaimed regional filmmaker Brian Jun — whose previous features include “Joint Body” and Sundance competition film “Steel City” — this ensemble drama explores themes of sex, infidelity, and black-market drug use.
Brian Jun took the time to answer some questions about his film for We Are Movie Geeks in advance of its screening at the St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcase. »
- Tom Stockman
Criterion digitally restores its previous edition of Alain Resnais’ landmark directorial debut, Hiroshima Mon Amour, a jagged cornerstone of the French New Wave, which forever associated the reluctant auteur with one of the most acclaimed cinematic movements to date. Roughly preceding the renowned debut of Jean-Luc Godard and released the same month as Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (they competed against one another at Cannes), Resnais’ contribution changed the way we regarded linear narrative and flashback sequences, and much like those iconic works of his peers, now bears several decades worth of critical acclaim on its shoulders. Tragic, moody and ultimately a poetic exchange of present interludes shattered by ghosts of the recent past, Resnais begins with motifs he would remain fascinated with throughout his career, the nature of remembrance and recollection, instances as shattered as the narrative chronologies in his films.
Fourteen years after the atomic bomb laid waste to Hiroshima, »
- Nicholas Bell
The Karlovy Vary grand jury (U.S. exhibitor Tim League; Angelina Nikonova, Russia; Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Iceland; Hangameh Panahi, France; Ondrej Zach, Czech Republic) has awarded Karlovy Vary’s $25,000 Grand Prix Crystal Globe to Massachusetts-based French director Diego Ongaro’s first feature, “Bob and the Trees.” Starring the real life Bob Tarasuk, a logger and farmer from Bridgeport, Connecticut, the film was developed out of a documentary short Ongaro made about Tarasuk in 2010. The vérite-style film world-premiered at Sundance. The Special Jury Prize of $15,000 went to the Austrian film “Those Who Fall Have Wings,” written and directed by Peter Brunner, who studied under Michael Haneke at the Filmacademy Vienna. This is his second feature. The best director award went to Kosovo’s Visar Morina for the film “Babai,” about a young boy forced to grow up fast when his father abandons him. Financed by Germany, Kosovo, Macedonia and »
- Tom Christie
Mutually catholic taste in movies is what brought writer-director team Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala together 17 years ago, when Fiala, then a film student, would babysit Franz’s children in return for VHS rentals. “We’d have these crazy marathons,” Fiala explains with a smile. “One time we watched Cassavetes’ ‘Faces,’ ‘Tetsuo II: Body Hammer,’ ‘Lancelot du Lac’ and ‘Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan’ back to back.”
Such highbrow and lowbrow affections are both evident in their film “Goodnight Mommy.” A supremely unsettling arthouse chiller, this tale of mother-child discord gone hideously wrong has been freaking out the festival circuit since its Venice debut last fall. Now arriving in Karlovy Vary as part of Variety’s Critics’ Choice program, its reputation has been well established.
“We’ve had two viewers fainting in screenings before,” Fiala says, “which is pretty much the best response. Horror is a genre »
- Guy Lodge
New Karlovy Vary programme showcases European film school talent.
At this year’s Karlovy Vary Film Festival, European Film Promotion – the body behind Shooting Stars at Berlin and Producers On The Move in Cannes – presented Future Frames – Ten New Filmmakers To Follow.
Future Frames showcases the work of directors from film schools from across Europe while also giving the filmmakers the chance to meet with industry.
“We realized that young people who study at film schools and do their diploma films all of a sudden enter the real world of filmmaking and the film industry and most of them are not really prepared,” explained Renate Rose, the managing director of Efp, speaking to Screen at the Future Frames press event.
“My feeling is that the film schools don’t really prepare people for this situation and we thought it was worth it to show the films of these talented people, bring them in »
The seventh entry in an on-going series of audiovisual essays by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin.***At the beginning, we know nothing. And some smart filmmakers (among them Fritz Lang and Samuel Fuller) like to keep us in the dark for the whole of a movie’s opening sequence—often a wordless sequence. There is time enough for verbal explanations in the following, catch-up scene.We know nothing: where we are, what is happening, or who exactly these people are. There are no opening captions, no prologue. We are thrown into a fiction abruptly, driven headlong down a country road, barrelling through a tunnel, entering a city’s limits. Who is at the wheel, exactly, and what is their destination? When the director is Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick or Roman Polanski, we will find out soon enough, because we are already wedded to a character’s point-of-view, even »
- Cristina Álvarez López & Adrian Martin
A furious slew of titles in the works would seem to prophesize a robust main competition slate for Cannes 2016. Though our initial list will eventually be pruned down as the year progresses (Berlin may snag something in here, especially if their 2016 lineup looks anything like their landmark selection from this past January), we’re confident that we will be seeing another round of heavy hitting auteurs unveiling their latest bits on the Croisette.
Absent from the main competition in 2015 were the Romanians (Muntean and Porumboiu were assigned to Un Certain Regard) and any trace of Latin filmmakers. The 2016 edition looks to make up for lost ground. For the Romanians, a couple heavy hitting titans from the New Wave will be ready. Cristi Puiu, who previously won Ucr in 2005 with The Death of Mr. Lazarescu should hopefully be getting a competition invite for Sierra Nevada. Meanwhile, previous Palme d’Or winner »
- Nicholas Bell
Way back in 2009 at The New York Film Festival, a drool worthy conversation took place between Michael Haneke (who was doing the rounds for "The White Ribbon") and Darren Aronofsky at Lincoln Center. If you weren't there, well, you missed it. Thankfully, the Film Society Of Lincoln Center has gone into the archives to dig up the talk and put it online, and needless to say, this is a must listen for any cinephile. Haneke is in the hot seat for the discussion and fields questions while Aronofsky and others probe the director about "The White Ribbon," in which a series of eerie calamities beset a small German village in the lead up to World War I. Haneke explains why he chose to keep many of the events in the film enigmatic. Read More: Michael Haneke Drops 'Flashmob,' Working On New Film Set In France “I try to construct »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The venerable Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival may be turning 50, but the thrust of its program remains fresh and tuned to emerging talent. A new strand this year, sponsored by European Film Promotion (Efp), introduces directors that come from the cohort of the fest’s mostly college-age audience. Future Frames: Ten New Filmmakers to Follow brings short works by students and recent graduates of European film schools into the festival’s largely feature-length film mix. Filmmakers were nominated by their respective country’s Efp bodies.
Says Czech filmmaker Ondrej Hudecek of the initiative, “I think it’s always conducive and extremely valuable to meet fellow filmmakers and industry professionals, who are dealing with the same issues of how to make the transition from shorts to features and talk about the perspectives and possibilities we have, as well as about our films and approaches to filmmaking.”
Karlovy Vary runs July 3- »
- Alissa Simon
Back when Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos first clambered barefaced upon the international stage with his daring Dogtooth, quite a few hastened to mention its striking resemblance to Arturo Ripstein’s similarly self-contained The Castle of Purity, made some 35 years earlier. In the wake of his first English-language effort The Lobster, one might even go further and compare all that Lanthimos has done thus far to Ripstein’s film: the imposed isolation behind walls that are both physical and psychological, creating a world whose structure is founded upon seemingly intransgressible rules and boundaries. Despite the jump in locale and language, The Lobster is very much a continuation or extension of the themes found in Dogtooth: the sequestered family abode is replaced by an isolated hotel complex; the overprotective father by a domineering hotel manager – the brilliant Olivia Colman. Perhaps the most significant difference, at least on first glance, is that »
- Nicholas Page
Unless you’re talking about Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters or Toy Story 3, it’s usually not a good sign to hear of a sequel to a long retired franchise, least of all from a new, upstart director (just ask Jurassic World). This week however a director started a project that might even be an improvement on the original.
Deadline exclusively reported Joe Carnahan’s (The Grey) possible involvement in Bad Boys 3. David Guggenheim (Safe House) penned a screenplay for the sequel to Michael Bay’s 1995 and 2003 films, and the studio is hoping to move negotiations along quickly, as they plan to approach both Will Smith and Martin Lawrence to return.
We talked recently about Brad Pitt‘s involvement on a new project just bought by Netflix, but their top competitor Amazon has signed another major name: Terry Gilliam. Indiewire spoke with the cult director and Monty Python alum, »
- Brian Welk
Following up his Palme d’Or winner Amour, it was thought that Michael Haneke was hard at work on Flashmob, even courting a major actress to lead, but it looks like that project is no more. “I had a project under preparation but I abandoned it for several reasons which I will not discuss,” he recently told Le Parisien (via The Guardian). […] »
- Leonard Pearce
In today's roundup of news and views: A new short from Laura Poitras, a profile of Nick Zedd, an excerpt from Jeff Lipsky's forthcoming memoir, a mid-90s interview with Peter Greenaway, an examination of the connections between Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and Robert Wyatt's classic album Rock Bottom, Jonathan Rosenbaum on paintings by Manny Farber, an appreciation of Montgomery Clift, Josh Safdie and Alex Ross Perry on Entourage, interviews with Alejandro Jodorowsky and Roy Andersson, rumors of forthcoming films by Paul Thomas Anderson and Michael Haneke—and more. » - David Hudson »
Given that flashmobs, by nature of what they are, are designed to surprise, perhaps the unexpected news of writer/director Michael Haneke dropping his long-developed Flashmob is only fitting. The one-time theatrical follow-up to his Best Picture-nominated Amour may be dead, but that doesn't mean the 73-year-old filmmaker isn't cooking up something to replace it. In an interview with Le Parisien, via The Playlist, Haneke revealed he dropped his proposed new movie, about a group of characters who connect through the Internet and an ending event, but he's now researching a France-set movie as a replacement project. Nothing else about this new movie is known. In fact, he even refused to say why he is no longer making his previously-stated next project. But that's not shocking. Haneke isn't really the talkative type, especially on his own projects. As of last year, Flashmob was expected to begin production during the summer, »
- Will Ashton
Michael Haneke’s next film will no longer be his previously announced project about disparate online characters brought together
When Flashmob was announced, it seemed like an eccentric idea for Michael Haneke to take on. A drama about a group of online characters brought together by a flashmob wasn’t what you’d expect from the director of The White Ribbon and Amour.
Related: Not coming soon: the films still stuck in purgatory
Continue reading »
- Benjamin Lee
The last we heard about Michael Haneke's long-developing "Flashmob," he was waiting for an unnamed actress' schedule to clear up so he could make his movie about a group of characters who connect through the internet and are brought together by the titular event at the end, with the movie thematically exploring the relationship between media and reality. But whether his patience is up, his interest has waned, or whatever other reason, Haneke is moving on. Le Parisien reports that Haneke has dropped "Flashmob," with the director revealing he has been researching his next movie that will take place in France. Of course, what it's about, when it might shoot, or other such details haven't been disclosed, with the filmmaker even refusing to discuss why he's decided not to make "Flashmob." Read More: Watch: Trailer For Michael Haneke's 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Haneke tends to work a regular clip, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Peter Debruge: Well, I didn’t see that coming. In what feels like a twist ending — one that leaves me feeling a bit like Tim Roth at the end of “Chronic” — the Cannes jury has awarded the Palme d’Or to “Dheepan,” a movie that lags among my least favorites in the competition, and the weakest in Jacques Audiard’s filmography.
People have been throwing the word “weak” around a lot this week, grousing that the official selection doesn’t measure up to that of previous years. I defer to you, Scott and Justin, since you’ve each been attending Cannes for longer than I have (this is only my fifth time on the Croisette), but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time here, it’s that Cannes critics always like to complain that the present year’s crop feels meager by comparison to past editions, »
- Peter Debruge, Scott Foundas and Justin Chang
The Cannes Film Festival often yields year-end awards contenders, from eventual Best Actor-winner Roberto Begnini ("Life is Beautiful") and "The Piano" and "The Pianist" to Michael Haneke's "Amour" and Best Picture-winner "The Artist." Last year's "Foxcatcher" wound up grabbing a few nods, more than Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner," and the festival introduced several foreign film contenders, while "Clouds of Sils Maria," which didn't opened stateside until 2015, could provide a Supporting Actress shot for well-reviewed Kristen Stewart. So what of this year's crop of awards hopefuls? Weinstein Co. has a full slate this year: "Carol." This is a strong contender on many fronts. Most likely are its two leads. Rooney Mara shared the Cannes Best Actress jury award, which will help her going forward and lends support for a Best Actress slot along with Cate Blanchett. Mara was nominated once »
- Anne Thompson
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