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CBS Films’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” topped Film Comment’s annual survey of 120 critics, journalists, film-section editors and the magazine’s staff and contributors, followed by Fox Searchlight’s “12 Years a Slave” and Sony Pictures Classics’ “Before Midnight.”
The group’s list, in order: Joel & Ethan Coen’s “Inside Llewyn Davis”; Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave”; Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight”; Joshua Oppenheimer’s docu “The Act of Killing”; Jia Zhang-ke’s “A Touch of Sin”; Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel’s “Leviathan”; Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity”; Andrew Bujalski’s “Computer Chess”; Noah Baumbach’s “Frances Ha”; and Shane Carruth’s “Upstream Color.”
In making the announcement, the org also mentioned such titles and rankings as Spike Jonze’s “Her” (#17), Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” (#18), David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” (#19) and “The Wolf of Wall Street” (#37).
The poll also scored films seen at festivals or special screenings that don’t yet have a U. »
- Tim Gray
When revered Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami cancelled his attendance at the Marrakech Film Festival due to ill health, the organizers could have had a further problem on their hands as he was meant, in addition to giving a masterclass, to be handing out the award at one of the “Hommages”—the tributes given to a filmmaker or actor in recognition of their body of work. However, that one headache didn’t occur here because the recipient was Juliette Binoche, practically the busiest actress on the planet, and Bruno Dumont, her director in this year’s “Camille Claudel” and himself the subject of a Marrakech masterclass, stepped into the breach instead. It’s a mark of just how constantly she is shooting, and with what calibre of filmmaker, that, throw a stone at a festival like this, and you’ll hit two or three people who have worked with Binoche, and probably recently. »
- Jessica Kiang
Marrakech — Attending the Marrakech Film Festival to receive a career tribute and present her latest film, Eric Poppe’s “A Thousand Times Good Night,” French thesp Juliette Binoche took the time to sit down with a handful of film journos at the Mamounia Hotel.
In “A Thousand Times Good Night,” Binoche – one of Gaul’s best-known actresses, whose credits include “Chocolat,” “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and “The English Patient,” stars as a top war photographer torn between her family and her passion for her work.
Variety: While working on this film, how did you relate with the character you’re playing and what questions did it spark?
Binoche: I met with a war photographer who decided to stop, because it was too hard. Putting himself in such a dangerous place, there’s a moment where you think about your life, about why you need to go there. You can »
- Elsa Keslassy
Marrakech — Traditionally known for its thick French accent, Marrakech’s glamorous opening night, held on Friday at the Congress Palace, had a definite Hollywood flavor with Sharon Stone getting a career tribute, as well as jury president Martin Scorsese and fellow members Marion Cotillard and Patricia Clarkson, among others international guests.
“It’s good to be home again here in Marrakech. I’ve made two features here. It’s also a precious moment for cinema, as you can tell from the roster of guests – there are so many talents in attendance this year,” said Scorsese, after being welcomed on stage with a long standing ovation.
Marrakech’s opening night gathered the jury members: directors Paolo Sorrentino, Amat Escalante (“Heli”), Anurag Kashyap (“Ugly”), Park Chan-wook (“Oldboy”), Fatih Akin (“New York, I Love You”) and Narjiss Nejjar (“Les yeux secs”), thesps Golshifteh Farahani, Elsa Zylberstein, Tahar Rahim and Francois Cluzet, Cesar Academy »
- Elsa Keslassy
Although there’s no “Pardon Our Dust” sign adorning the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Wilshire Boulevard headquarters, even the casual observer will have noticed that the Academy has spent the past few years engaged in an extensive and seemingly endless home-improvement project.
And nowhere have Oscar’s renovations been more extensive than in the foreign-language film competition, where both the nominating and voting protocols have been extensively overhauled, with more changes possibly in the offing.
The latest and most significant foreign-language rule change, announced in spring and to be implemented this Oscar cycle, abolishes the longstanding requirement that Academy members have to see all five nominated films in a theatrical setting in order to cast ballots in that category. While that rule theoretically created a level playing field among the nominees (which might include a box office behemoth like “Amelie” alongside the relatively unknown Bosnian import “No »
- Scott Foundas
With a jury headed by Martin Scorsese and including Faith Akin, Patricia Clarkson, Marion Cotillard, Amat Escalante, Golshifteh Farahani, Anurag Kashyap, Narjiss Nejjar, Park Chan-wook and Paolo Sorrentino and with masterclasses conducted by Bruno Dumont, James Gray, Abbas Kiarostami, Nicolas Winding Refn and Régis Debray, the Marrakech Flim Festival certainly isn't slouching when it comes to attracting big name talent. And effort extends to the official lineup of the festival. Organizers unveiled their slate today which contains cream of the crop of the festival circuit over the past year. Celebrated and/or highly anticipated films like "The Immigrant," "Blue Ruin," "The Zero Theorem," "Like Father Like Son" are among the highlights with many more selections from across the world cinema scene. Check out the full list below. The Marrakech Film Festival runs from November 29th to December »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Since 2007, the Marrakech Film Festival has held its annual masterclass series, featuring talks from brand-name auteurs as they reflect on their films and methods. This year, the festival, which runs from November 29-December 7, welcomes Bruno Dumont, James Gray, Abbas Kiarostami, Nicolas Winding Refn, and philosopher Régis Debray for the occasion. Mff also boasts a rather impressive jury, with Martin Scorsese presiding over the likes of Marion Cotillard, Patricia Clarkson, Park Chan-wook, Paolo Sorrentino, as noted in a previous announcement. Full press release on page 2. Marrakech International Film Festival Announces the 2013 MasterclassesMASTERCLASSESIntroduced in 2007, the masterclasses have become an essential part of the Marrakech International Film Festival. In 2012, directors Darren Aronofsky, Jonathan Demme, Matteo Garrone and Brillante Mendoza honored the festival with their masterclasses, following in the footsteps of Martin Scorsese, Jim Jarmusch, »
- Sarah Salovaara
The Playlist has worked our passports hard this year, booking time at festivals around the world including: Sundance, Berlin, SXSW, Tribeca, Goteburg, Karlovy Vary, Los Angeles, Telluride, Toronto, New York, London, Festival Du Nouveau Cinema, Savannah, Fantastic Fest and more. Believe it or not we got another coming up: Marrakech. In addition to the films, the festival is has unveiled an excellent slate of masterclasses set to be headed up by Bruno Dumont, James Gray, Abbas Kiarostami, Nicolas Winding Refn and Régis Debray. The 13th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival takes place from November 29th to December 7th. The jury will be comprised of Martin Scorsese, Faith Akin, Patricia Clarkson, Marion Cotillard, Amat Escalante, Golshifteh Farahani, Anurag Kashyap, Narjiss Nejjar, Park Chan-wook and Paolo Sorrentino. Full press release below. Marrakech International Film Festival »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Other masterclasses to be held by Dumont, Gray, Kiarostami and philosopher Debray.
The 13th Marrakech International Film Festival (Nov 29-Dec 7) has announced the directors who will conduct this year’s masterclasses.
Dumont is currently finishing P’tit Quinquin, a police miniseries for the Franco-German channel Arte.
Us director, screenwriter and producer James Gray will host the next masterclass on Dec 2. This year, Gray directed Cannes competition title The Immigrant and produced Guillaume Canet’s Blood Ties. He will preside over the international jury at the Rome Film Festival this month.
The following day (Dec 3), Iran director and screenwriter Abbas Kiarostami will share his memories and thoughts about film.
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Liberace's glitter is only slightly dimmed by DVD, while Mubi's curatorial brand of streaming is a treat for cinephiles
In Europe, Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra (Entertainment One, 15) premiered in the rarefied glow of the Cannes film festival. In the Us it did so on the glowing screens of a million living rooms, courtesy of risk-taking TV producer HBO. Technically, then, we're finally seeing it in its intended format, though this marvellous, diamond-iced biopic of Mr Entertainment himself – Vegas concert pianist Liberace – seems conceived for the largest screen possible. (I doubt the master of excess would approve of this rather sparse Blu-ray package, which includes only a Soderbergh-free making-of featurette.)
The small screen may dull the rhinestones, but not the grace notes of Michael Douglas's witty, desolate lead turn. Fortysomething Matt Damon, meanwhile, is improbably vulnerable as Scott Thorson, the teen toyboy inappropriately adopted by the closeted »
- Guy Lodge
Not all of us have the luxury of being able to drop everything and head off to world’s most prestigious film festivals, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. In celebration of its 70th anniversary, the Venice International Film Festival commissioned “Venezia 70 - Future Reloaded,” a series of seventy shorts from directors all over the world. Lucky for you, a sizable chunk of those shorts have landed online for your viewing pleasure. Ranging from one to three minutes, all the entries were made with complete creative freedom and included directors like Claire Denis, James Franco, Atom Egoyan, Bernardo Bertolucci, Paul Schrader, Abbas Kiarostami, Monte Hellman, Walter Salles, Shekhar Kapur and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (and a whole bunch more). It looks like all but two of the shorts have made their way online. So set aside some time and check out the complete tribute to the legendary film festival. »
- Cain Rodriguez
From India, surprising news: Ritesh Batra’s acclaimed Cannes debut “The Lunchbox” will not be India’s submission for the best foreign-language film award at the Oscars. The news from Japan was no less startling: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s equally acclaimed “Like Father, Like Son” also failed to win its nation’s nod. Instead, Japan will submit Yuya Ishii’s “The Great Passage,” and India has put forward Gyan Correa’s “The Good Road.”
With no disrespect to the submitted entries, “The Lunchbox” and “Like Father, Like Son” are highly acclaimed films that launched to great success at Cannes, were bought for U.S. distribution — by Sony Pictures Classics and Sundance Selects, respectively — and have gone on to festival success ever since, including at Toronto. By any estimate, they were their countries’ best bets for Oscar success, but both failed to clear the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ first hurdle. »
- Cameron Bailey
The conflict between tradition and Westernization that preoccupies many Iranian films is also the principal theme of “Falling Leaves.” But this first feature by Ali Jaberansari, a Tehran native partly raised in Canada who now lives in London, approaches the subject from a distinctive angle that has room for atypical elements, particularly an undercurrent of sly satire and humor. This modest but promising debut should travel well on the fest circuit, though the lightly impudent tenor that appeals might not pass muster with the censors at home.
That droll tone is established right away, as a cleric’s solemn recitation of Quran passages at the start of a corporate stockholders’ meeting is disrupted in turn by microphone feedback and ringing cell phones, not to mention the squirming impatience of attendees. Amir (a deft Masoud Rayegan, of Rez Mirkarimi’s “So Far, So Close”) is the respected CEO of a Tehran »
- Dennis Harvey
This new column for Sound on Sight will feature Cahiers du Cinema critics-turned-filmmakers. However, it will not cover the infamous New Wave directors, but four other filmmakers who wrote for the journal and subsequently became directors. What follows is a brief history of the journal and its association with the four filmmakers that will be covered in this column.
I. A Brief History of Cahiers du Cinema
Cahiers du Cinema has been a prominent film journal for the last 60 years, famous for introducing the concept of les politiques des auteurs, which became the auteur theory in North America thanks to Andrew Sarris, and more famous for playing a major role in the French New Wave. The journal has gone through many shifts and turns, beginning with Andre Bazin as the editor-in-chief to the current editor-in-chief Stephane Delorme.
The history of the journal can be broken into six periods: »
- Cody Lang
Scarlett Johansson stars as a woman who falls to Earth — Scotland, to be precise — in “Under the Skin,” an undeniably ambitious but ultimately torpid and silly tale of an alien on the prowl in human clothing that marks the long-awaited third feature by “Sexy Beast” director Jonathan Glazer (nine years after butting heads with New Line over his very fine Nicole Kidman vehicle “Birth”). Very loosely based on Michael Faber’s acclaimed 2001 novel, here reduced nearly to the point of abstraction, the pic strenuously attempts to show us the world through “alien eyes” but ends up seeming rather like a feature-length “Candid Camera” show where, instead of being punk’d, contestants get swallowed up by a mass of intergalactic goo. The sort of movie that might have worked better as a gallery installation one could enter and exit at will, “Skin” is outre enough to amass a small coterie of defenders, »
- Scott Foundas
Scott Foundas: And so another summer movie season comes to an end, with both a bang (in terms of record-breaking box office) and the collective whimpers of ousted executives and even an entire studio placed on and off the chopping block by hedge fund managers. Indeed, the behind-the-scenes drama at Sony — complete with third-act cameo by George Clooney in Norma Rae mode — would have made for a better movie called “Paranoia” than the one that will already have vacated multiplexes by the time you’re reading this.
Certainly, in terms of original ideas at the movies, this summer was more of a winter of discontent, with so many sequels, remakes and reboots that, on any number of weeks, fully half of the films in the box-office top 10 had some kind of number in their titles. This isn’t always a bad thing: two of my favorite movies of the season, »
- Scott Foundas
London – Iranian Palme D'Or winning filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami's work is to be showcased by the Doha Film Institute (Dfi) at a dedicated season at the Museum of Islamic Art (Mia) in the territory. The showcase, featuring 14 short and feature films will run Sept. 13-21. Kiarostami himself is expected to attend and make personal appearances at screenings, a Dfi spokesperson said. Doha Film Institute CEO Abdulaziz Al Khater said: "We are not only sharing some of the finest world cinema with Qatar’s audiences, but we also hope to inspire local and regional talent to expand boundaries of traditional
- Stuart Kemp
The Doha Film Institute will organise a retrospective devoted to Abbas Kiarostami at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.
The programme, which runs Sept 13-21, will include 14 short and feature films. Kiarostami himself is expected to attend and to make appearances at screenings.
Abdulaziz Al Khater, CEO of Doha Film Institute, said: “Dfi is proud to present this rich selection of Abbas Kiarostami’s great works for the first time in the region. We are not only sharing some of the finest world cinema with Qatar’s audiences, but we also hope to inspire local and regional talent to expand boundaries of traditional filmmaking to experiment with various media, styles, and interpretations.”
Ludmila Cvikova, Head of Film Programming at Doha Film Institute, said: “One of the most admired contemporary auteurs of cinema, Abbas Kiarostami is an inspiration for emerging as well as established filmmakers. His approach to filmmaking, which often defies conventional techniques, is much discussed »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
Italian director to receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker 2013 prize at the 70th Venice Film Festival (Aug 28 - Sept 7).
The Venice Biennale has announced that Italian director Ettore Scola is to receive this year’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker 2013 prize, “dedicated to a personality who has brought major innovation to contemporary cinema”.
Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera said: “Scola has earned recognition as one of the most important authors of Italian cinema. He has contributed significantly to its greatness and to the appreciation it enjoys around the world, first as a screenwriter and then as a director.
“This prize is a way to acknowledge our debt for the many gifts he has given us over the course of a lengthy and exemplary artistic career”.
The director, aged 82, will receive the prize at an awards ceremony held on Sept 6 in the Sala Grande.
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Exclusive: Jimmy’s Hall, which has begun shooting in Ireland, is likely to be Ken Loach’s last narrative feature - but he will continue to direct documentaries.
Ken Loach’s upcoming drama, Jimmy’s Hall, will likely be his last, according to regular producer Rebecca O’Brien.
“This is probably the last narrative feature for Ken,” O’Brien told ScreenDaily. “There are a few documentary ideas kicking around, and that will probably be the way to go, but this is a serious period-drama with a lot of moving parts so it’s a big thing to put together. I think we should go out while we’re on top.”
O’Brien, who has produced more than a dozen features with Loach since 1990, said that the 77 year-old director is likely to continue to make documentaries and TV work but that he is “unlikely” to make another narrative feature.
“It’s such a huge operation and Ken doesn »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
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