14 items from 2015
Kicking off the I for Iran: A History of Iranian Cinema by Its Creators on March 5th is a short film program introduced by Roya Akbari, an actress from Kiarostami’s acclaimed film Ten. A filmmaker in her own right, her poetic short Only Image Remains headlines the day’s programming and initiates a month long series on Iranian cinema. Over the course of the month a variety of films that have helped define Iranian cinema will be screened, many of which are rarely seen due to rigorous domestic censorship and poor international distribution.
The series originated last year during the Fribourg International Film Festival 2014 after Artistic Director Thierry Jobin invited 14 contemporary Iranian filmmakers including Asghar Farhadi, Jafar Panahi, Mohammad Rasoulof , and Mohsen Makhmalbaf to select their favourite films from the entire history of Iranian cinema. Fribourg sought to present as many of these films as possible at the festival, »
- Justine Smith
Abderrahmane Sissako The director of one of the most acclaimed films in last year’s Cannes Film Festival Competition Abderrahmane Sissako who made Oscar-nominated Timbuktu, returns to the Croisette this May (13 to 24) for the 68th edition as president of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury.
The Mauritanian director follows in the wake of illustrious predecessors in the role among them Abbas Kiarostami, Jane Campion, Michel Gondry, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Martin Scorsese. The juries judge students films and shorts.
Born in Mauritania but brought up in Mali he trained in filmmaking in the Soviet Union. His films cross cultures and continents. Timbuktu represented a cry from the heart for the country of his childhood in West Africa and was perfectly balanced between hope and despair. His work has been acclaimed for its humanism and social consciousness, exploring the complex relations between North and South as well as the fate of his. »
- Richard Mowe
Abderrahmane Sissako's pastoral political drama "Timbuktu" is among the five films vying for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film this weekend. In May, the director will head up the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury at the 68th Cannes Film Festival (May 13-24). The Mauritania-born Sissako follows in the footsteps of inimitable directors Abbas Kiarostami, Jane Campion, Michel Gondry, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Martin Scorsese, and more, who've held this post. Raised in Mali and trained in filmmaking in the Soviet Union, Abderrahmane Sissako's films explore the complex relations between North and South as well as the fate of a much-beleaguered Africa. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Paris– Abderrahmane Sissako, whose latest film “Timbuktu” played in competition at Cannes last year and nommed for a foreign-language Oscar, is set to return to the croisette to preside the Cinfondation and Short Films jury.
“I would never want to make a film that somebody else could make, and I want to see films that I would never make,” said the African director. “What’s important to me is the cinema of anonymity – addressing the conflicts but above all the suffering endured by anonymous people – empowering them and making them visible, testifying to their courage and their beauty. »
- Elsa Keslassy
Oscar-nominated Abderrahmane Sissako named president of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury.
Abderrahmane Sissako, who was in competition at last year’s Cannes Film Festival with Timbuktu, is to return for the 68th edition of the festival (May 13-24) as the president of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury.
Born in Mauritania but brought up in Mali and trained in filmmaking in the Soviet Union – at the Moscow Vgik – Sissako’s films explore the complex relations between North and South of Africa.
The Game, directed by Sissako during his final year at film school, was presented at Cannes Critics’ Week in 1991, followed two years later by the medium-length Octobre, at Un Certain Regard.
Life on Earth and Waiting for Happiness, both featured in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 1998 and Un Certain Regard in 2002.
Bamako, a political »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
I absolutely find that my ideas develop as I'm writing rather than before. In fact, this is what inspired me to start writing about film over ten years ago: in the moment, spoken out loud, I still haven't fully processed my thoughts and feelings. Or, perhaps more precisely, I can't find the words until I'm writing. What I fear—in fact I know—is that despite being able to write better than I speak about film, I think even the writings, the words, don't quite capture the thought or sensation. It stands for something close, but not quite.
With that in mind, there's no better film to begin the festival with, no more evocative way to inaugurate 11 days of movies than with The Forbidden Room. Canadian director Guy Maddin and co-director Evan Johnson have made a feverish collage of false extracts from old movies, a half forgotten, groggily recalled, »
- Daniel Kasman
Can a filmmaker under house arrest make any more defiant a gesture than by directing a bonafide road movie? Such is the question implicitly posed by “Taxi,” the third surreptitious film a clef directed by Iran’s Jafar Panahi since his 2010 conviction on charges of conspiring to create anti-Islamic propaganda. For an exceptionally lithe, inventive 80 minutes (staged in simulated real time), Panahi himself drives a taxi through the busy streets of Tehran, picking up various passengers who serve as conduits for a provocative discussion of Iranian social mores and the art of cinematic storytelling. Although there’s nothing terribly new to what Panahi is saying or how he goes about saying it, the fact that he’s able to say it at all is no small feat: a victory that should ensure “Taxi” makes many more stops around the world before returning to the garage.
When an artist in any »
- Scott Foundas
Sean Penn: Honorary César goes Hollywood – again (photo: Sean Penn in '21 Grams') Sean Penn, 54, will receive the 2015 Honorary César (César d'Honneur), the French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Crafts has announced. That means the French Academy's powers-that-be are once again trying to make the Prix César ceremony relevant to the American media. Their tactic is to hand out the career award to a widely known and relatively young – i.e., media friendly – Hollywood celebrity. (Scroll down for more such examples.) In the words of the French Academy, Honorary César 2015 recipient Sean Penn is a "living legend" and "a stand-alone icon in American cinema." It has also hailed the two-time Best Actor Oscar winner as a "mythical actor, a politically active personality and an exceptional director." Penn will be honored at the César Awards ceremony on Feb. 20, 2015. Sean Penn movies Sean Penn movies range from the teen comedy »
- Steve Montgomery
Iranian writer-director Reza Mirkarimi’s Today, Iran’s Oscar submission, has been screening at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr) this week.
Speaking at Iffr (Jan 21-Feb 1), Mirkarimi gave a relatively upbeat assessment of the Iranian film industry.
Under President Hassan Rouhani, he said, the filmmakers have been allowed to re-establish “The House Of Cinema,” the syndicate/guild to which almost every Iranian filmmaker and technician belongs. This is the non-governmental institution that defends filmmakers’ rights.
The syndicate was closed in 2011 when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still in power but was re-opened under Rouhani in 2013. Meanwhile, Iranian directors are finding it easier to get their movies into cinemas - not least because of the lack of Hollywood competition.
“There is a supportive politics in Iranian cinema which does not allow American movies to be shown in the theatres,” he said. “The cinemas work for Iranian movie makers. Art movies have more opportunity to be shown.”
The director »
- email@example.com (Geoffrey Macnab)
The Killers Inside Me: The Mo Bros’ International Serial Spree
Directing duo Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, better known as the Mo Brothers, team for the slice and dice serial killer thriller Killers, which should at least get credit for being a bit more psychologically advanced than one might otherwise assume. Produced by a variety of notables, including Gareth Evans and Sion Sono (you’d be forgiven if the hyper-choreographed bits of bloody violence didn’t remind you several times of either of those more infamous, stylized directors) and with its two leads hailing from The Raid 2, there’s certainly a core audience for this type of material from which the Mo Brothers do not deviate, though its violence as mindset motif seems to prize subtexts we often find swimming in the carnage of Sono’s films. Women, as are often the case in these hyperviolent explorations of the devious masculine id, »
- Nicholas Bell
“I disappear between these two moments of speech/ self-portrait not autobiography” – Jean-Luc Godard
Never has Godard been so melancholic and comedic in one film. Jlg/Jlg: self-portrait in December (hereafter referred to as Jlg/Jlg) is a portrait of an artist, the artist of cinema, at sixty four. Part documentary, part film essay, Jlg/Jlg is a poignant and tender depiction of Jean-Luc in his apartment in Switzerland. The icy beaches and snowy landscapes depict Jean-Luc entering the winter season, nesting at his desk with pen and notebook, quoting from the history of cinema, literature, and philosophy in the voice-over, intertitles, and the dialogue, pensively ruminating about his place in the history of cinema.
“Self-portrait not autobiography” Jean-Luc tells us and this distinction is important for understanding Jlg/Jlg. Typical documentary-biopics proceed in this manner: begin with subject’s childhood; list their achievements; pad the film with talking head interviews »
- Cody Lang
In today's roundup of best-of-2014 lists and awards, we've got fuller lists from Film Comment, a DVD/Blu-ray poll from Sight & Sound, nominations from guilds and from abroad, but the most intriguing of the bunch is the poll conducted by Kevin B. Lee: "Now that we are midway through the 2010s, what are the best films of the decade so far?" The top five: Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret and Leos Carax's Holy Motors. » - David Hudson »
Untitled Abbas Kiarostami Project
While it had been long rumored that Juliette Binoche would be reteaming with Abbas Kiarostami after their celebrated 2010 film Certified Copy, the actress put the kibosh on those assumption that it was a project once called Horizontal Process. In a recent interview, Binoche let it slip that Kiarostami was currently working on a film in China about a cleaning woman taking care of thousands of rooms in a big building. And that’s about all we’re going to get since Kiarostami famously remains mum about his projects until they happen to be programmed. While we don’t have any idea when or exactly where filming transpired (or even if it’s finished), this as yet untitled film will be Kiarostami’s third film outside of Iran, following Certified Copy and 2012’s Like Someone In Love. So while he’s »
- Nicholas Bell
How would you program this year's newest, most interesting films into double features with movies of the past you saw in 2014?
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2014—in theatres or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2014 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2014 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch »
14 items from 2015
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