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Madrid – Morena Films (“Comandante,” “Che,” “Cell 211”), one of Spain’s best-financed and most international of producers, and Alexandra Lebret (pictured), managing director of the European Producers Club, have teamed to launch Mare Nostrum Productions, a joint venture film production house based out of Paris.
Lebret will head up Mare Nostrum as its president. For Morena, which opened offices in L.A. in September 2013 under producer Pedro Uriol, the move into France now gives it a production presence in the world’s two most significant movie production/sales hubs, while it will continue to also produce in and out of Spain.
As managing director from 2002 of the European Film Producers Club, a networking assn., as well as think-tank and lobby grouping 50 of Europe’s top producers, Lebret brings to the table an enviable host of producer contacts ranged across all of Europe.
First up, Mare Nostrum is co-producing two high-profile Morena productions. »
- John Hopewell
The word "melodrama" tends to be used as a pejorative these days, and that's because there are few movies or TV shows that execute the specifics of the genre well. When it works, an accomplished melodrama allows the audience to fully invest in the emotional lives of its characters, even if the plot machinations are manipulative or don't hold up under close scrutiny. It's a genre powered by performance and atmosphere, and it requires committed work by the actors, an assured handle on tone by the director, and a script that can allow suspension of disbelief to stretch but not break. And while it's not perfect, and though at times you can see rigging of the structure, Benoît Jacquot's "Three Hearts" is a satisfying melodrama about love at first sight, the cruelty of fate, and passion that never fades. The film kicks off with a "Before Sunrise"-like prologue. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Benoît Jacquot’s Three Hearts (3 coeurs) with Benoît Poelvoorde, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve, premiered in competition in Venice and now screens in Toronto before opening in France next week. "It’s a carefully made film but not a patch on, say, Claire Denis’s similar Vendredi soir," finds Sight & Sound editor Nick James. But at the Av Club, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky argues that "Jacquot is trying—successfully—to tease out the sense of danger and tension most romances sorely lack." We have more reviews and the trailer. » - David Hudson »
Directed by Benoit Jacquot
French filmmaker Benoit Jacquot often crops up in discussions of overlooked auteurs of contemporary French cinema. His work is quiet, understated and rarely find a wide audience. Yet, efforts like Farewell my Queen, A Single Girl and The School of Flesh are heralded among the best French efforts of their respective years. However, for every effort that wins the heart of niche audiences, the rest of his films are divisive and alienating. While perhaps a lack of consistency is working against him, many of his contemporaries are even bigger gambles: Francois Ozon is responsible for some beautiful films, but more of his efforts were outright misses and even heavy weights like Assayas deliver as many misses as successes. Perhaps it is the quietness of Jacquot’s style that works against him, his best efforts coming across »
- Justine Smith
Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, a leading figure on the global arthouse scene, died in March but his company, Pandora Film, lives on.
Cologne-based Pandora has four films in Toronto and had three in Venice, testament to the company’s standing in the arthouse world. Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick says Baumgartner was a “great and brave producer and distributor.”
The Toronto lineup reflects how varied its production slate is: Norwegian helmer Bent Hamer’s offbeat comedy “1001 Grams,” French director Benoit Jacquot’s love triangle drama “Three Hearts,” Martin Rejtman’s Argentine absurdist laffer “Two Shots Fired” and Chilean comedy drama “Voice Over,” helmed by Cristian Jimenez.
“We try to follow the path that our founder, Karl Baumgartner, set, which is to bring auteur cinema from places we don’t know so well to audiences in Germany and around the world,” says Christoph Friedel, one of a team of four producers at Pandora, »
- Leo Barraclough
Exclusive: Other new additions include Jerome Bonnell’s A Trois, On Y Va.
Paris-based sales agent Versatile has picked up Argentine Santiago Mitre’s social thriller La Patota about an idealistic lawyer who is attacked by a gang while doing charity work in an impoverished border-town.
Mitre’s second film after The Student, which won the Locarno’s special jury prize in 2011, La Patota has just started shooting in Misiones in north-east Argentina, with Argentine actress Dolorès Fonzi in the lead role.
Inspired by late compatriot filmmaker Daniel Tinayre’s 1960 classic, it revolves around lawyer Pauline who ditches a glittering career in Buenos Aires to help the inhabitants of her impoverished hometown on the Argentine border with Paraguay and Brazil.
Within days of »
Fury (David Ayer)
[via the BFI]
The programme for the 58th BFI London Film Festival launched today, with Festival Director Clare Stewart presenting this year’s rich and diverse selection of films and events. The lineup includes highly anticipated fall titles including David Ayer’s Fury, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, the Sundance smash Whiplash, Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language 3D, The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Jason Reitman’s Men, Women and Children and Jean-Marc Vallee’s Wild.
As Britain’s leading film event and one of the world’s oldest film festivals, it introduces the finest new British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience, offering a compelling combination of red carpet glamour, engaged audiences and vibrant exchange. The Festival provides an essential profiling opportunity for films seeking global success at the start of the Awards season, promotes the careers of British and »
★★☆☆☆Director Benoît Jacquot returns to the Venice Lido with Three Hearts (2014), a slickly presented and thespy relationship drama which flounders on its own lack of originality, humourlessness and absence of credibility. Marc (Benoît Poelvoorde, in his second film of the festival), a tax inspector from Paris, misses his train and finds himself trapped in a provincial town for the night. A chance encounter with a woman Sylvie (the obligatory Charlotte Gainsbourg) leads to a Before Sunrise-style wander through the streets until sunset. The encounter is chaste and coy - they neither exchange names nor phone numbers - but the two are obviously attracted to each other and arrange to meet in Paris at a fountain.
- CineVue UK
Venice — The absence of hefty U.S. fare is beginning to be felt as the Venice Festival enters its second stretch.
Many of this year’s really big guns — the Weinstein Co.’s Oscar hopeful “The Imitation Game,” Denzel Washington starrer “The Equalizer,” David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice” — are now firing off at Telluride, Toronto and even, in Anderson and Fincher’s case, the New York Film Festival.
Ethan Hawke starrer “Good Kill,” sold by Voltage Pictures and on paper Hollywood’s biggest indie commercial play at Venice, has still to world preem on the Lido. Given the high costs of opening a film on the Lido, especially for star-studded U.S. movies, however, Venice’s 71st edition raises the question of whether the balance of fest power is shifting to North America.
In the past two decades, Venice has held world premieres for several hundreds of U. »
- John Hopewell
In one of the banner deals on a high-profile title at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Cohen Media Group has acquired U.S. rights to “Three Hearts” starring Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni and Benoit Poelvoorde.
Renewing Cmg’s love affair with French cinema, “Three Hearts” is described by the New York distributor as “a modern twist on classic romantic melodramas, from ‘An Affair To Remember’ to ‘Before Sunrise.’”
Written by Jacquot and Julien Boivent, “3 Hearts” turns on Marc, a tax official who meets Sylvie in a provincial town after missing the last train back to Paris. They wander the streets until morning, talking about everything – except themselves. They arrange to meet again in Paris but misfortune befalls Marc and he fails to make the date. »
- John Hopewell
Three Hearts is an immensely watchable French potboiler with three excellent leads in Benoit Poelvoorde (also seen in Venice in The Price Of Fame), Charlotte Gainsbourg (also here in the extended cut of Nymphomaniac I and Nymphomaniac II), and Chiara Mastroianni (also in The Price Of Fame).
Poelvoorde plays Marc, a tax auditor who, stressed out, is pacing the streets of Lyon one night when he runs into Sylvie (Gainbourg). They have an immediate attraction towards one another but, instead of rashly acting out on it, they promise to meet in Paris the next Friday, at 6:00Pm. Sylvie goes home to her long-suffering boyfriend and announces that she’s fallen in love with someone. The »
The French movie industry has been fiercely debating key issues: Exorbitant movie budgets, release windows, the difficulties of domestic distribution. But as a formidable festival force, France reigns near supreme in the sheer quantity of quality production.
Its presence has grown in the second half of 2014. At major festivals, only the U.S. bests France — quite obviously — at Toronto and Sundance.
The 71st Venice edition has made up for a lack of glam with early, well-received films from France and the U.S. such as Fox Searchlight’s “Birdman” and Ramin Bahrani’s “99 Homes” from Hyde Park Intl., Xavier Beauvois’ “La Rancon de la gloire” and Benoit Jacquot’s “Three Hearts.”
With still-to-play productions in Venice sections — Abel Ferrara’s “Pasolini,” produced by Paris’ Capricci Prods., Amos Gitai’s “Tsili,” Laurent Cantet’s “Return to Ithaca” — France has also made the most moves in the build-up to the Venice Film Market. »
- John Hopewell
More than 40 years ago, at the outset of his filmmaking career, Benoit Jacquot worked as an assistant director to the great French novelist and helmer Marguerite Duras, and now, with “Three Hearts,” he has made a film that feels more indebted to her romantic values than anything else in his oeuvre. Here, beneath the surface of a cool, contempo love triangle involving a Parisian man (Benoit Poelvoorde) and a pair of provincial French sisters (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Chiara Mastroianni), are all the values Duras held dear: love at first sight, spontaneous tears, all-consuming desire and impossible, self-destructive decisions.
The difference — since it’s entirely possible that the Duras connection never crossed Jacquot’s mind — is that the helmer can’t help but turn these archetypes into characters. The passion remains, but the underlying poetry has been traded in for something more tangible, brought down to earth so that audiences might relate. »
- Peter Debruge
Benoît Jacquot is a festival veteran, last doing the rounds with 2012's costume drama "Farewell, My Queen." Now he's back with a more contemporary tale, riffing on an old theme, while rounding some exciting talent to tell his story. The film is called "Three Hearts," and with screenings at Venice and Tiff coming up soon, the first trailer has dropped. Benoît Poelvoorde, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve star in the film, which Jacquot co-wrote and directed, about a love triangle that develops between a man and two sisters. After Marc has a fling in small town France with Sylvie, he meets Sophie, falls deeply in love, and marries her. The twist? Sophie and Sylvie are close siblings, and when all is revealed, the drama cranks up a few notches. Intriguing stuff, with a great cast to take it on, so we'll keep an eye out. Watch the trailer below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Leading Benelux distributor Cineart has announced details of a change in its ownership structure and confirmed new acquisitions.
The company, founded by Eliane DuBois who died last summer, is now jointly controlled by Stephan De Potter in Belgium and Marc Smit in the Netherlands. The two have bought out the shares owned by DuBois’ son, Hichame Alaouie, who will remain as an ‘honorary participant’ on the Cineart board.
Next year marks the 40th anniversary of Cineart.
The company is continuing to ramp up its VOD activities. Through Twin Pics, its joint venture with music distributor Pias, Cineart is an iTunes aggregator.
Cineart will also handle the Dardenne brothers’ next project, which is at script stage.
The company is also releasing Benoit Jacquot’s latest feature »
- email@example.com (Geoffrey Macnab)
An additional 7 galas and 17 special presentations will be taking place at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival which will include the latest cinematic efforts of Sophie Barthes, Thomas McCarthy, Johnnie To, Michel Hazanavicius, Olivier Assayas, Benoît Jacquot, Lynn Shelton, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
Here are some World Premiere highlights:
A former art prodigy and second generation petty thief buys his way out of prison to spend time with his ailing son. To do so, he must team up with his father for one last job to pay back the syndicate that arranged his release.
Max Simkin »
- Trevor Hogg
The Toronto International Film Festival announced more selections Tuesday for the upcoming 2014 edition of the annual awards season kick-off. The majority of the festival's program was announced last month, but this group includes intriguing world premieres from notable directors such as Todd McCarthy ("The Cobbler") and Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Beyond the Lights"). A number of the titles revealed have screened at other festivals including the underrated "Infinitely Polar Bear" and "Laggies" from Sundance as well as Cannes players "Two Days, One Night," "The Search" and "Clouds of Sils Maria." And yes, the presence of "Sils Maria," which is a favorite of this particular writer, means Kristen Stewart will likely hit one of the festival's many red carpets. As you'd expect for Toronto, the world premieres feature some big names including Josh Hutcherson and Benicio Del Toro in "Escobar: Paradise Lost," Jean Dujardin in "The Connection (La French)," Dustin Hoffman in "Boychoir, »
- Gregory Ellwood
Just how much sway do Tiff programmers have? Looking at today’s Gala and Special Presentation add-ons, measurably, when it comes to films with star-wattage and acquisitions titles, the industry sides with high value world premiere slot in downtown Toronto. Complimenting Sundance (Maya Forbes’ Infinitely Polar Bear and Lynn Shelton’s Laggies) and Cannes (Assayas, the Dardennes), the wide net includes Francois Girard’s Boychoir, Richard Loncraine’s Ruth & Alex, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights, Thomas McCarthy’s The Cobbler, Shira Piven’s Welcome to Me, and in a very Gustave Flaubert type of year includes Anne Fontaine’s Gemma Bovery and Sophie Barthes’ Madame Bovary. In directorial debuts, Henry Hobson presents Maggie, actor Paul Bettany presents Shelter (see pic of star and his wife above), Andrea Di Stefano’s Escobar: Paradise Lost and Philip Martin’s The Forger. Here are the additional items:
“Boychoir,” Francois Girard / World »
- Eric Lavallee
The 2014 Toronto Film Festival, which begins Sept. 4, added seven Galas and 17 Special Presentations to its lineup, including a semi-serious Adam Sandler project from Tom McCarthy, the director of The Station Agent and The Visitor. In The Cobbler, Sandler plays a man who has the unique ability to walk in his customers’ shoes. The movie features Dustin Hoffman, who also stars in Boychoir, François Girard’s tale of an orphan’s steep learning curve at a prestigious music school. In Welcome to Me, Kristen Wiig plays a mentally unstable woman who wins the lottery and decides to sink her winnings into a talk show. »
- Jeff Labrecque
The Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin zombie drama Maggie, Dustin Hoffman drama Boychoir, Kristen Wiig comedy Welcome To Me and Sophie Barthes’ Madame Bovary have landed world premieres, Tiff gala and special presentation slots.
Also in line to screen for the first time anywhere at the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 4-14) are crime thriller The Forger starring John Travolta, Christopher Plummer and Tye Sheridan, thriller Escobar: Paradise Lost starring Benicio Del Toro, Thomas McCarthy’s The Cobbler starring Adam Sandler, and Paul Bettany’s directorial debut Shelter.
Tiff top brass also unveiled the Wavelengths, Future Projections, Tiff Cinematheque and shorts programmes.
Wp = World premiere / Nap = North American premiere / IP = International premiere / Cp = Canadian premiere.
Ruth & Alex »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
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