Steven Soderbergh: Ranking his films

This week marks the official return to cinemas of Steven Soderbergh. Even though he never stopped working, it’s been a few years since he’s been in the film business, opting more for television in the interim. Well, that’s no longer the case. He has a movie hitting screens in a few days, the heist comedy Logan Lucky. This ensemble adventure is a real good time, marking something both rather similar and also a little different for the director. It’s essentially the perfect return for him. Beyond that, it’s just quality cinema. I’ll give you a little on it next, but after that, we’ll run down his filmography to date. Read on… In case you missed it last time, a bit on Logan Lucky. Is the movie basically a hillbilly take on Ocean’s 11? Yes. Still, it’s a ton of fun. We meet
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Exclusive: Stream David Holmes’ “Original Score Medley” From The ‘Logan Lucky’ Soundtrack

Musician and composer David Holmes doesn’t do a lot of soundtracks, but when Steven Soderbergh rings up, he takes the call. The “Ocean’s Eleven” trilogy, “Haywire,” and “Out Of Sight” have all carried Holmes’ distinct sound, and this month’s heist comedy “Logan Lucky” finds the duo back together. And today, we have an exclusive cut from the soundtrack.

Continue reading Exclusive: Stream David Holmes’ “Original Score Medley” From The ‘Logan Lucky’ Soundtrack at The Playlist.
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“Logan Lucky” is a welcome return to cinemas for Steven Soderbergh

Another embargo came down earlier this week, ironically for an additional film that I saw last week, during the previously mentioned run of top notch screenings (side note, Detroit is out today in limited release, just as an Fyi). This one happened to be Logan Lucky, the cinematic return of director Steven Soderbergh. I’d actually meant to write about this one a few days ago, but fall film festival announcements got in the way (and actually, it turned out to be a good thing, as now I can talk a bit about the rumors surrounding scribe/potential figment of the imagination Rebecca Blunt). This flick is a ton of fun, offering a new heist offering from Soderbergh. Teaming up again with Tatum, as well as a great ensemble, it’s a really quite enjoyable lark. Is the movie basically a hillbilly take on Ocean’s 11? Yes. Still, it’s a ton of fun.
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‘13 Minutes’, a Film By Oliver Hirschbiegel reviewed by Peter Belsito

‘13 Minutes’, a Film By Oliver Hirschbiegel reviewed by Peter Belsito
Opens June 30.“If humanity isn’t free, everything dies with it” — Georg Elser, “13 Minutes”. An intense true story of one man’s failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1939 … the ultimate “what if”?

U.S. theatrical release by Sony Pictures Classics to Open in New York & Los Angeles June 30, 2017. International sales by Beta. Premiered at Berlinale 2015.

Georg Elser (Christian Friedel) in “13”

So relevant today as we watch an isolated passionate man’s solitary attempt to eliminate a monstrous dictator whom he can see is destroying society. “13 Minutes” is a true story about an individual in pre War Nazi Germany who can no longer bear to witness the persecution and injustice into which his land has descended and decides to act decisively to eliminate the mad man dictator.

This well made, well directed film, with big sets and cast and a faithfully recreated period brings our own thoughts to bear upon our
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BFI reveals 2016 Vision Awards

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Twenty-two emerging producers to receive up to £2.2m; almost 500 applicants.Scroll Down For Recipients

The BFI has announced the recipients of its 2016-18 Vision Awards, comprising 22 investments in up-and-coming UK producers.

The awards, generally spread over two years, are designed to enable producers to build and develop their companies, slates and creative relationships.

The BFI had intended to give 20 awards but increased that allocation to 22 in response to the number of strong applications it received. Almost 500 companies applied for the awards, which are backed by a total commitment from the BFI of £2.2m of National Lottery funding.

Fifteen of the awards are to women producers or partnerships, while eight of the companies are based outside of London, located in Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and York.

In a bid to foster sustainability, the third iteration of the Vision Awards will include an allowance to cover a producer’s fees and overheads of up to half
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Movie Review – I Am Belfast (2015)

I Am Belfast, 2015.

Directed by Mark Cousins.

Starring Helena Bereen, Richard Buick, Felicity McKee, Shane McCaffrey and Simon Millar.


Born in Belfast, director Mark Cousins fondly recalls the poetic beauty of the capital of Northern Ireland

Mark Cousins, filmmaker, artist and writer, has leapt from the expansive, sprawling Gombrichian scale of The Story of Film to the personal and intimate I Am Belfast. It is a recognizable cityscape, shot with the gaze of a painter. Belfast, and all its foibles, is hoisted up onto a reluctant podium. A strange grey area, between drama and documentary, Cousins latest film soaks you into Belfast’s water. From the salt mountains to the fearsome raindrops and storms, I Am Belfast refuses to insult or resent. After his upbringing in Northern Ireland, Cousins moved from the city when he was twenty years old. Clearly, as he notes, the Troubles pushed him out; one
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Mark Cousins and Christopher Doyle Explore Northern Ireland In Trailer for ‘I Am Belfast’

It’s one of the oldest rules in the book, or at least the most resilient since the early ’90s: if Christopher Doyle was involved in a film, said film will look beautiful at every moment. Whether or not Mark Cousins‘ newest documentary, I Am Belfast, stands out for any other reason remains to be seen, but the first trailer is nevertheless a solid showcase for the Australian-Chinese cinematographer’s skill for clarity, depth, shape, and light. Considering the experiential angle being aimed for, that’s as decent a start as any.

Described in every known listing as “a city symphony,” it finds Belfast’s unique properties through aesthetic appreciation and a bit of fidgeting with concepts of what does and doesn’t “fit” within documentary cinema. That’s all well and good as is, and if the picture does, as early reviews have suggested, prove the first to fully
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Watch: First Trailer For 'I Am Belfast' Directed By Mark Cousins, Shot By Christopher Doyle, And Scored By David Holmes

Director Mark Cousins has spent a career melding the personal and observational, and the historical and the dramatic in his films, creating a distinct body of work that is entirely his own. But for his latest “I Am Belfast” he gets help from some terrific talent to weave together the docu-drama in what looks to be a stirring concoction. Read More: Watch: 93-Minute Compilation Of Interviews By Mark Cousins With Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski, Dennis Hopper, And More Shot by Christopher Doyle (“In The Mood For Love,” “2046”), and scored by David Holmes (“Ocean’s Eleven” trilogy, “Hunger,” “Haywire”), as the title suggests, “I Am Belfast” is a loving portrait of the titular city. Here’s the official synopsis: Creative documentary done in a style unique to Mark Cousins – a visual, poetic depiction of Belfast and its citizens, told with love and passion of someone, who has left the city many
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New Europe Film Sales picks up Mark Cousins’ 'I Am Belfast'

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New Europe Film Sales picks up Mark Cousins’ 'I Am Belfast'
Exclusive: Documentary played in competition at Karlovy Vary.

Jan Naszewski’s Warsaw-based sales outlet New Europe Film Sales has picked up world sales rights to Mark Cousins’ documentary, I Am Belfast.

In the film, the Northern Ireland city is personified by a 10,000 year old woman who reveals its story. Themes brought up in the film range from the landscapes surrounding the city, its changing architecture and social structure to the political and personal repercussions of the Northern Irish conflict.

The feature, with a score by composer David Holmes (Ocean’s Eleven), received its world premiere as the opening feature of the Belfast Film Festival in April and played in the documentary competition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July.

Cousins previous documentaries include A Story of Children and Film (2013), The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011) and The First Movie (2009).

I Am Belfast is a co-production between Hopscotch Films and Canderblinks Films. It was funded
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Film Review: ‘I Am Belfast’

Film Review: ‘I Am Belfast’
Any old documentary can give you the history of a city, but it takes a special kind of movie to capture its spirit, from the way the sun reflects off its walls to the smell of rain on its streets. Mark Cousins’ “I Am Belfast” transcends what is expected of such a portrait, inviting audiences on a sensory journey of the Northern Ireland capital, patiently guiding them through a deeply personal visual essay, where a radiant copper-headed woman embodies the very essence of the city — a 10,000-year-old soul sent to welcome visitors and bless those who have criss-crossed its neighborhoods all their lives. Cousins, a free spirit who spends much of his time on the festival circuit, duly earns his latest round of world travels with this entrancing project, while his reputation has reached the point that it should find limited distribution in other ports as well.

In recent years,
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Karlovy Vary unveils 2015 competition line-ups

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Karlovy Vary unveils 2015 competition line-ups
Anti-Nazi satire from Stations of the Cross director Dietrich Bruggemann and a new documentary from Mark Cousins among titles.Scroll down for competition line-ups

The 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July 3-11) has unveiled the competition titles in its Official Selection, East of the West, Forum of Independents and Documentary sections.

The main competition will comprise seven world premieres and six international premieres, including the new film from Stations of the Cross director Dietrich Brüggemann, Heil, a satirical comedy centred on neo-Nazis.

Polish documentary director Marcin Koszałkaʼs will present his feature debut, The Red Spider, a psychological thriller inspired by true events from the 1950s that delves into the mechanisms that give rise to a mass murderer.

Danish documentary maker Daniel Dencik will present his first feature, Gold Coast, about a young anti-colonial idealist who sets out for Danish Guinea to set up a coffee plantation - but not everything goes to plan. The music is
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What’s Up Doc?: Crocodile Gennadiy Among Top Sundance Hopefuls (November 2014)

Turkey or no turkey, these next couple of days lucky filmmakers who’ve been selected to screen as part of the Sundance Film Festival will get the invitation notice straight from John Cooper and the Park City programming team, and thus, those that we’re betting have made the cut have also inched up the list a bit. One of those that seem an obvious choice to premiere at the fest is director Steve Hoover and producer Danny Yourd’s Crocodile Gennadiy. Following up their Grand Jury Prize winning Blood Brother with incredible turnaround time, our new most anticipated film tracks the delicate operations of Gennadiy Mokhnenko, a Ukrainian activist, orphanage manager and savior of countless children whose addict parents favor injected cold medicine and alcohol over them. Part heartwrenching domestic drama, part sleuth thriller, the film looks to use the Ukrainian uprising as a backdrop to highlight its protagonist
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Calvary, Philomena scoop IFTAs

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Calvary, Philomena scoop IFTAs
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Judi Dench win top prizes at the Irish Film & Television Awards, as Calvary and Philomena are handed best film trophies.Scroll down for full list of winners

John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary picked up a hat-trick of awards at the 11th Irish Film & Television Awards on Saturday night including Best Film, Best Script and Best Actor, for Brendan Gleeson’s performance as a good-natured priest who must battle dark forces. The actor beat competition including his son Domhnall Gleeson, nominated for his role in About Time.

The ceremony in Dublin also saw Stephen Frears’s Philomena walk away with three prizes including Best International Film, Best Costume for the work of Consolata Boyle, and Best International Actress, for Judi Dench’s performance as a woman searching for her long lost son. Philomena Lee, whose true life story inspired the film, was in attendance

Vampire horror Byzantium also scored a hat-trick, winning Best Director
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‘Calvary,’ ‘Byzantium,’ ‘Philomena’ Lead the Field at Irish Film and TV Awards

‘Calvary,’ ‘Byzantium,’ ‘Philomena’ Lead the Field at Irish Film and TV Awards
Cannes – “Calvary,” “Byzantium” and “Philomena” were the biggest winners at the Irish Film and Television Awards in Dublin, with each film taking three awards.

Guests at the event, which was hosted by the Irish Film and Television Academy, included Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell, Jamie Dornan, Steve Coogan, Will Forte, Jeremy Irons, Fionnula Flanagan, Brendan Gleeson, Neil Jordan, Amy Huberman, Colm Meaney, Jack Reynor, Killian Scott, Eva Birthistle and Victoria Smurfit.

Calvary” took best film, along with actor for Brendan Gleeson and script for its writer-director John Michael McDonagh. “Philomena” won the award for international film and actress (for Judi Dench) along with costume design for Consolata Boyle. Philomena Lee, whose true life story inspired the film, was at the ceremony. Vampire horror “Byzantium’s” awards included director for Neil Jordan, actress for Saoirse Ronan, and makeup and hair.

Michael Fassbender took the award for film supporting actor for “12 Years a Slave.
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Irish Film and Television Academy Lines Up Stellar Guest List for Awards

London — The Irish Film and Television Academy has announced that guests at its awards ceremony on April 5 will include Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan, Steve Coogan, Will Forte, Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston and Colm Meaney.

Nominees include Saoirse Ronan, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Dornan, Eva Birthistle, Colin Farrell, Andrew Scott, Amy Huberman, Liam Cunningham, Fionnula Flanagan, Brendan Gleeson, Victoria Smurfit, Tom Vaughan Lawlor, Domhnall Gleeson and Deirdre O’Kane.

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is to receive an honorary award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Irish film and television industry.

As the Minister for Arts and more recently as President, Higgins has transformed the industry through a range of initiatives from tax incentives to training, and the re-establishment of the Irish Film Board, which led to an injection of investment and the creation of thousands of jobs.

Aine Moriarty, academy chief executive, stated: “The academy is proud
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Belfast Film Festival, Bradford International Film Festival: this week's new film events

Belfast Film Festival | Bradford International Film Festival | Drive In Film Club | The Double Q+A

Belfast Film Festival

The new films at this eclectic festival encompass everything from an Icelandic human/equine romcom (Of Horses And Men to a Kristin Scott Thomas/Daniel Auteuil marriage drama (Before The Winter Chill) to a Liam Neeson-narrated doc on Northern Irish motorbike racing (Road) – not to mention a Siberian heist movie involving telekinetic dwarves (The Distance). There are cult screenings, social-outreach documentaries, films in choice venues (The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou on the Belfast Barge), Dawn Of The Dead with a live score by giallo greats Goblin, and Mark Cousins and David Holmes sneaking a short snippet of their new film I Am Belfast.

Various venues, Thu to 5 Apr

Bradford International Film Festival

You want international? How about a British film about Chinese women in Dubai? Or a French study of
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Partridge up for Music+Sound award

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Partridge up for Music+Sound award
Finalists for the music and sound design awards also include The World’s End, The Crash Reel and I Am Nasrine.

The official list of finalists has been released for the third Music+Sound Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate the role that music and sound design play in UK visual media.

More than 50 industry figures including James Bond composer David Arnold and music supervisors Liz Gallacher of Velvet Ears (Elysium) and Abi Leland of Leland Music (Touching The Void, Last King of Scotland) selected the line-up of finalists.

A full list, including all credits, can be viewed at

Awards will be presented for Best Original Composition, Best Sound Design and Best Use of Existing Music in film at a ceremony on Feb 27 at the Troxy cinema in London.

Acts performing on the night include comedian Rob Deering, band The Family Rain and DJ David Holmes.
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William H. Macy and more join Stealing Cars

According to Screen Daily, William H. Macy, Emory Cohen, Mike Epps, Felicity Huffman, John Leguizamo and Paul Sparks are joining the long-gestating indie feature Stealing Cars.  The premise is about " a rebellious teenager who is sent to juvenile prison and learns to forgive himself in the wake of a tragic car accident."

Those already cast include Heather Lind, Al Calderon, Leopold Manswell, Jeff Lima, Grace Van Patten, Deema Aitken, Chance Kelly, David Holmes, Craig Grant, Chris Caldovino, Volney Steffire, Chris Cenatiempo and Black Thought.  The movie is currently filming now in New York.

Initially I was very skeptical about this movie, as a few of the cast have a rocky track record (Mike Epps and John Leguizamo can be a kiss of death for a movie sometimes). But hearing the premise, this sounds like the sort of sweet independent movie that would attract this many actors and names.  I do
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Dustin Hoffman and Steve Buscemi Take on The Cobbler; Lake Bell to Star Opposite Simon Pegg in Man Up; William H. Macy Takes to Stealing Cars

Here's today's latest casting news: Dustin Hoffman and Steve Buscemi will join Tom McCarthy's comedy, The Cobbler, starring Adam Sandler, Dan Stevens and Method Man. Lake Bell is set to star opposite Simon Pegg in director Ben Palmer's romantic comedy, Man Up. William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman and John Leguizamo are among those who join the ensemble cast of Bradley Kaplan's drama Stealing Cars. Hit the jump for more on each project. First up from The Wrap is news that Hoffman and Buscemi will be joining The Cobbler. Plot details are being kept quiet but the story centers on "a shoe repairman (Sandler) who integrates himself into the lives of the people whose footwear he fixes." It's unclear what Hoffman's role will be, but Buscemi plays a character named Manny. The indie is currently filming in New York. Deadline reports that Bell will join Man Up opposite Pegg.
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Huffman, Leguizamo join Stealing

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Huffman, Leguizamo join Stealing
Dallas Buyers Club producer Rachel Winter has lined up the cast on her long-gestating next project, Stealing Cars.

Emory Cohen, Mike Epps, Felicity Huffman, John Leguizamo, William H Macy and Paul Sparks are among the ensemble on the drama, currently shooting in New York.

Stealing Cars tells of a rebellious teenager who is sent to juvenile prison and learns to forgive himself in the wake of a tragic car accident.

Winter (pictured) first read the Stealing Cars screenplay 14 years ago and it has been set up at several studios with different cast and film-maker attachments.

She produces the story with Dan Keston while Steve Levinson and Mark Wahlberg serve as executive producers with Erika Hampson.

Production entities are Winter’s Tangerine Films, alongside Benefit Street Films, Truth Entertainment and Two Ton Films. Financing comes from private equity and New York tax credits.

Bradley Kaplan makes his narrative directorial debut from a screenplay by Will Aldis and Steve Mackall
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