16 items from 2015
Directed by Naji Abu Nowar
United Arab Emirates/Qatar/Jordan/UK, 2014
Echoes of Rudyard Kipling adventure yarns and Hollywood’s more pessimistic classic Westerns permeate Theeb, the directorial debut of Jordan-based filmmaker Naji Abu Nowar, whose film was also shot in that region and features non-professional actors from one of Jordan’s last nomadic Bedouin tribes to settle down.
It’s 1916, and in the Hejaz Province of the Ottoman Empire, Theeb (Jacir Eid), a recently orphaned young Bedouin boy, is learning survival skills from his elder brother, Hussein (Hussein Salameh). Their location means they remain ignorant of the various upheavals taking place in the world at the time, the plotting of British officer T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Prince Faisal to establish an Arab kingdom among them. It is only when a Bedouin guide (Marji Audeh) and a mysterious British officer »
- Josh Slater-Williams
T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) ranks among the 20th Century’s oddest heroes. This short, smart, and mischievous British soldier helped organize the Arab Revolt against Turkey, a secondary front of the First World War. He became Emir Feisal’s trusted ally, painfully conscious that the Allies wouldn’t honor promises of independence. After the Paris Peace Conference, Lawrence retreated into the Royal Air Force and Tank Corps as a private soldier, T.E. Shaw… read the full article.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a little girl in possession of a good imagination must be in want of a heroine. At least, this was the truth of my childhood. Like many people of my generation, my »
Part I: The Lawrence Bureau
T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) ranks among the 20th Century’s oddest heroes. This short, smart, and mischievous British soldier helped organize the Arab Revolt against Turkey, a secondary front of the First World War. He became Emir Feisal’s trusted ally, painfully conscious that the Allies wouldn’t honor promises of independence. After the Paris Peace Conference, Lawrence retreated into the Royal Air Force and Tank Corps as a private soldier, T.E. Shaw.
Lawrence lived a curious double life, befriending both private soldiers and notables like Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw. He wrote memoirs and translated Homer while repairing boats and seaplanes. His intellect, warmth, and puckish humor masked internal torment – guilt for failing to secure Arab freedom, regret for two brothers killed in the war, shame over an incident where Turkish soldiers sexually assaulted him.
In his autobiography Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence »
- Christopher Saunders
What does it say that we've both put off discussing the new Werner Herzog film? I must admit my profound disappointment at Herzog's first fictional feature film since his two-shot salvo of The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and My Son, My Son, What Have You Done? in 2009 and certainly his most expansive drama for decades. With a cast of James Franco, Robert Pattison, and Damian Lewis led by Nicole Kidman, Queen of the Desert adapts the true saga of Gertrude Bell, an utterly unique woman who at the turn of the last century plunged into the deserts of the Middle East by herself and become better acquainted and more influential among its myriad tribes and factions than anyone else before and probably since.
Yet for a director so adept at discovering, eliciting and pursuing a kind of inspired mania and adventurousness in his fellow man, »
- Daniel Kasman
Robert Pattinson and Carice Van Houten (Black Book, Game of Thrones) have joined Mia Wasikowska and Guy Pearce in writer-director Martin Koolhoven’s (Winter in Wartime) thriller Brimstone, which Embankment has launched at Berlin’s Efm (Feb 5-13).
Set to shoot in May 2015, the film will follow a heroine on the run from her past and a diabolical preacher. Robert Pattinson will play an outlaw.
“Wasikowska is a powerhouse performer,” said Embankment »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Yesterday Werner Herzog premiered his latest, "Queen of the Desert," at the 65th International Film Festival. It marked a wonderful occasion to see the legendary German filmmaker in the flesh and on his home turf. Read More: Berlin: The Best Things Werner Herzog, Nicole Kidman and James Franco Said About 'Queen of the Desert'"Queen of the Desert," Herzog's first narrative film since the 2009 drama "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?," stars Nicole Kidman as a Gertrude Bell, a brilliant woman who, along with T.E. Lawrence (of "Lawrence of Arabia"), was a highly influential figure in English foreign policy, and most known for assisting in the creation of today's Iraq. James Franco, Robert Pattinson and Damian Lewis also star in the biographical epic. In honor of the film's world premiere, Indiewire sat down with the iconic filmmaker to talk about his interest in the project, working »
- Eric Eidelstein
Werner Herzog and Nicole Kidman get royally bunkered in "Queen of the Desert," a stunning misfire which counts as the first major disappointment of this year's Berlin International Film Festival. This independently-produced biopic of the revered British explorer-writer-archeologist Gertrude Bell, budgeted at a reported $36 million, will struggle to recoup that figure in North America – presuming it does obtain a proper theatrical release. Bell (1868-1926) lacks the name recognition of Grace Kelly in most territories, though it's a different story in the Middle East, the part of the world where she made her name – according to legend, she decided the boundaries of modern-day Iraq using a pencil and ruler – and where she remains much better known than her cinema-immortalized male "counterpart," T.E. Lawrence ("of Arabia"). Read More: The Best Things Werner Herzog, Nicole Kidman and James Franco Said About 'Queen of the Desert' But any comparisons with »
- Neil Young
The world is full of men content to spend their lives within a few miles of where they were born, men who will love one woman, learn one language and go to their graves hardly having dreamed at all. These are not the men about whom Werner Herzog makes movies, although it took until age 72 for the chronicler of such bombastic souls as “Aguirre” and “Fitzcarraldo” to deem a woman worthy of one of his mighty portraits. Better late than never, and though Nicole Kidman is hardly the female Klaus Kinski, in the formidable character epic “Queen of the Desert,” she conveys with quiet determination what Kinski never could: the kind of conviction that changes the world.
Leaning more on romance than one might suppose to capture such an independent spirit as Gertrude Lowthian Bell, whose self-directed explorations among and dealings with the Middle East’s many conflicting tribes informed »
- Peter Debruge
Queen Of The Desert isn’t what you expect from the visionary German director Werner Herzog. A world premiere in The Berlin Festival this weekend, the film might best be described as Herzog’s feminist version of Lawrence Of Arabia. T.E. Lawrence himself appears (played in eccentric, tongue in cheek fashion by Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame) but the main protagonist here is the English writer and archaeologist Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman), who eventually became an Arab expert and helped draw the borders of Iraq. »
Kristen Stewart, Catherine Deneuve make César Award history (photo: Kristen Stewart in 'Clouds of Sils Maria,' with Juliette Binoche) Kristen Stewart and Catherine Deneuve are two 2015 César Award nominees making history. The French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Crafts announced the nominations on Jan. 28, 2015; the César Awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 20, 2015, at Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet. Kristen Stewart is in the running in the Best Supporting Actress category for Clouds of Sils Maria / Sils Maria. Catherine Deneuve has been shortlisted as Best Actress for In the Courtyard / Dans la cour. So, how are Stewart and Deneuve making César history? Well, let's begin with "the expected one": Deneuve. Catherine Deneuve One of the biggest film icons ever, Catherine Deneuve is one of those relatively rare international film superstars who has never bothered with – or needed – a Hollywood career. Deneuve, who turned 71 last October 22, has been »
- Steve Montgomery
I do not know about you, but whenever Werner Herzog has a new movie coming out, I get very excited. Even if I end up not liking the movie, he always makes something unique and interesting. And, hopefully, insane. Queen of the Desert is the title of his latest, and it sounds like it could be his most traditional film. You can watch a new clip of the film below, featuring Nicole Kidman and Damian Lewis. The film is based on the true story of Gertrude Bell, who was a writer, archaeologist, political attache for the British Empire, and much more at the turn of the twentieth century. Along with Kidman and Lewis, the also film stars Robert Pattinson as T.E. Lawrence (that's big shoes to fill...) and James Franco as Henry Cadogan. We have not gotten a narrative feature from Herzog since My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, »
- Mike Shutt
Along with seven other films from Jafar Panahi, Benoit Jacquot, Bill Condon and more, Germany's biggest film festival added Werner Herzog's latest to its competition slate this morning. Herzog will attend the Berlin premiere of "Queen of the Desert," starring Nicole Kidman as British Intelligence officer and cartographer Gertrude Bell opposite Robert Pattinson as T.E. Lawrence (better known as Lawrence of Arabia) and James Franco as British army officer Henry Cadogan. Naomi Watts was reportedly originally cast in the role of Bell before it went to fellow Aussie Kidman. Damian Lewis costars. Herzog penned and directed the $36 million epic, which wrapped in Spring 2014 (around the time when we hoped to see the film at his Telluride stomping grounds) and was shot in Morocco, Jordan and London. This is Herzog's first narrative feature since 2009's hilarious, acid entertainment "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" starring Nicolas Cage. Now celebrating its 65th. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
It has been a long and somewhat rocky road to the release of Werner Herzog’s latest feature, Queen of the Desert. However, the film will finally have its debut at the Berlin International Film Festival, and to celebrate that release, we have the first official image, featuring Nicole Kidman and James Franco.
Queen of the Desert follows the true story of Gertrude Bell (Kidman), a British traveler, cartographer, writer, archaeologist, and spy at the turn of the 20th Century. Bell was instrumental in the foundation of the current state of Jordan and Iraq, and served British Intelligence during World War I, bringing her into contact with the likes of T.E. Lawrence (played by Robert Pattinson in the film). She played a crucial role in the Middle East before, during, and after World War I, establishing close ties with tribal leaders during the war.
Playing Bell must be a daunting task for any actress, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
The 65th Berlin International Film Festival added eight films to its main competition this morning, including new titles from Werner Herzog, Benoit Jacquot, Bill Condon and Jafar Panahi. The festival also added an additional 14 films to its Generation selection, which is comprised of features and shorts aimed at youths. Herzog will be in Berlin with "Queen of the Desert" starring Robert Pattinson as T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia), alongside Nicole Kidman as British Intelligence officer Gertrude Bell. Condon's follow-up to his poorly received "The Fifth Estate" is titled "Mr. Holmes" and stars Ian McKellen, who starred in Condon's "Gods and Monsters." Panahi's new film "Taxi" will be his third to run in competition in Berlin. The director has been banned from making movies for 20 years by his native Iran, but has continued to release new work. As previously announced, Berlin will also world premiere Terrence Malick's »
- Nigel M Smith
We didn't even get to the car until about midnight, and Allen was pretty much wiped out by that point. I put him in his seat, and he was asleep before I could make it into the driver's seat. Toshi, though, was wide awake as we drove out of Hollywood, out the 101, all the way to Northridge. Even with no one else on the road, that's a solid forty-five minutes. Toshi was quiet, thinking, as I started the car. "That's your favorite movie?" "Yep." "Out of all the movies, that's the one you like the most?" "Yes." Long pause again as he thought it over. "It's good. It's good." Another long pause. "I mean, it's not my favorite. But that's good for you." I would not be surprised if "Lawrence Of Arabia" confounded either of the boys. It's not a simple movie. But it is a big beautiful movie, and »
- Drew McWeeny
Will Henry VIII be Emmy winner Damian Lewis' first, great post-Nick Brody role? Directed by Peter Kosminsky and written by Peter Straughan (one half of the Oscar-nominated "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" duo), this six-part BBC drama adaptation of Hilary Mantel's novels "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up the Bodies" will broadcast stateside on PBS April 5. Lewis plays the eighth Henry opposite top-shelf Shakespeare thespian Mark Rylance, playing the King's ruthless counselor Thomas Cromwell. Claire Foy, Mark Gatiss, Charity Wakefield, Joanne Whalley and Jonathan Pryce, who was recently seen as a narcissistic asshole professor in Alex Ross Perry's "Listen Up Philip," head up the sprawling cast. Lewis also has Werner Herzog's "Queen of the Desert," starring Nicole Kidman as writer-archaeologist Gertrude Bell and Robert Pattinson as T.E. Lawrence, coming down the pike. "Wolf Hall" premieres across the pond on BBC Two this »
- Ryan Lattanzio
16 items from 2015
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