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Rome – The Rome Film Festival’s Business Street mart is prompting a burst of biz, with several sales and new projects announced, including Italy’s first co-prod with China, and U.S. helmer Joe Dante’s new Rome-set project.
Dante (“Gremlins”) (pictured) and producer Elizabeth Stanley attended Rome’s New Cinema Network to pitch “Ombra Amore,” a love story with Romeo and Juliet overtones between a vampire and a werewolf set in contempo Rome. The werewolf belongs to a ferocious clan of stock market speculators, some of whom bear great responsibility for Italy’s current economic crisis.
“It’s got some [local] political elements,” Dante said . “We are kind of interested in what responses we’ll get to that aspect of the story.” Locations for what aims to be Dante’s first international co-production include the Roman catacombs and the Villa Borghese.
The first Italian co-prod with China, inked at the informal mart, »
- Nick Vivarelli
As this year's Toronto International Film Festival comes to a close, we gather one last round of notable reviews of notable films: new work by Liv Ullmann, François Ozon, Isao Takahata, Denys Arcand, Sophie Barthes, Alan Rickman, Im Kwon-taek, Anne Fontaine, Ken Jacobs, Manoel de Oliveira, Bent Hamer, Ann Hui, James Franco, Andrew Lau, Andrew Niccol, Wang Xiaoshuai, Claire Denis, Michael Winterbottom, Lone Scherfig, Peter Chan, Mario Martone, Zhang Lu, Naji Abu Nowar and more. » - David Hudson »
Mario Martone is among Italy’s most influential cultural figures, active as a director in theatre as well as in film. His “Leopardi,” at Venice in competition and also in Toronto, is a classic biopic of Italian Romantic poet and thinker Giacomo Leopardi, played by hot thesp Elio Germano, who won the acting nod at Cannes in 2010, in a tour-de-force perf. Martone spoke about his passion for 19th century Italy and Leopardi in particular with Variety’s Nick Vivarelli. Excerpts:
Q: “Leopardi,” and your previous film “We Believed,” are both classic historical costumers set in the 19th century during the leadup to Italy becoming a unified nation. Is that what drew you to them?
A: The Italian 19th century is not a known period outside Italy, and is also unknown in Italy. But it’s a turbulent time full of “inconvenient” incidents, some of which very tough, that have been »
- Nick Vivarelli
Despite considerable enthusiasm among international cognoscenti for the 19th-century Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi, his fame remains largely at home; Mario Martone’s “Leopardi” may briefly expand his name abroad, but is unlikely to inspire a fresh wave of readers. In his short life, the tormented poet elevated melancholy beyond his own twisted body, presenting it as the overwhelming attribute of the human condition; turning such existential sadness into a biopic is a difficult task, and Local arbiters of culture will boost home marketing, while offshore will be limited to fests and Italo showcases.
Martone is on a crusade to kindle interest in Italy’s complex 19th-century past via films meant to go beyond the kind of rote history lessons that too often benumb uninspired students. “Leopardi” is more successful than his previous “We Believed,” yet both suffer from dialogue that uncinematically conveys concepts more than character. Leopardi the man has often been classified with Byron, »
- Jay Weissberg
As previously reported by my HitFix colleagues, 2014’s fall festivals represent something of a battle royale for various heavyweight Oscar hopefuls. The oldest fest in the big four, venerable Venice, is up against younger North American counterparts Toronto, Telluride and New York in the perennial fight to deliver a truly memorable Competition. Which films will be left standing once the critics have had their way with them? Contenders hoping to emerge victorious from La Biennale’s royal rumble include Alejandro González Iñárritu’s opening nighter "Birdman" starring Michael Keaton, David Gordon Green’s Al Pacino vehicle "Manglehorn" and Andrew Garfield vs Michael Shannon in Ramin Bahrani’s real estate showdown "99 Homes." As far as awards season goes, for me the big hitter to beat from Cannes is "Foxcatcher," an extraordinary and illuminating piece of filmmaking from Bennett Miller, a director I’ve not been personally persuaded by before now. In the documentary category, »
- Catherine Bray
Namely, the cinematic cold war between the Toronto and Telluride festivals, which escalated after Toronto organizers announced they will screen only world or North American premieres during its first four days.
“If there has to be this frenzy to have a world premiere at all costs, meaning that you’ll take a film just so that you can have the world premiere, that’s a game I’m not playing,” Barbera says.
If he can have certain studio titles, fine. But if he can’t, “That’s Ok too,” he says. “There are plenty of great movies out there around the world,” the Venice topper philosophically points out.
Despite his indifference, 54 of the 55 films in the lineup are world preems. And of course Barbera is delighted that the Lido opener is Alejandro Gonzalez »
- Nick Vivarelli
If you wanted a snapshot of worldly issues then Tiff’s Contemporary World Cinema programme would certainly serve as a whirlwind passport. Loaded in Cannes Film Festival preemed items receiving their North American Premiere debuts (Jessica Hausner’s Amour Fou, Mélanie Laurent’s Breathe , Bruno Dumont’s P’tit Quinquin and Pascale Ferran’s Bird People are are just the tip of the iceberg) Tiff programmers have landed world premiere items from the likes of Cristián Jiménez, Ole Christian Madsen, Alex Holdridge & Linnea Saasen (we pic above) and Baran bo Odar. Along with the Canadian items mentioned last week, Here is the largest section’s offerings for 2014.
- Eric Lavallee
This morning the Toronto Film Festival added several more films to their lineup including the world premiere of Thomas McCarthy's The Cobbler which stars Adam Sandler as a New York City cobbler who, disenchanted with the grind of daily life, stumbles upon a magical heirloom that allows him to step into the lives of his customers and see the world in a new way. The film co-stars Method Man, Ellen Barkin, Melonie Diaz, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi and Dustin Hoffman. Additionally, Sundance standouts Infinity Polar Bear and Laggies starring Keira Knightley and Chloe Grace Moretz were added to the Gala selection. Joining The Cobbler as new additions to the Special Presentations field include Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria starring Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche and Two Days, One Night from Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and starring Marion Cotillard. Both films made a splash at Cannes earlier this year, »
- Brad Brevet
Toronto film festival organisers have programmed features from 42 countries in the Contemporary World Cinema (Cwc) programme and unveiled eight South Korean selections in the City To City.
For the third year, Tiff (Sept 4-14) has partnered with the University of Toronto’s Munk School Of Global Affairs on the Contemporary World Speakers series, pairing five films in selection with expert scholars.
The Contemporary World Speakers series is programmed in conjunction with the Tiff Adult Learning department.
Contemporary World Cinema
Wp = World premiere / Nap = North American premiere / IP = International premiere / Cp = Canadian premiere.
Charlie’s Country (Australia), Rolf de Heer Nap
*John Stackhouse »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
The Toronto International Film Festival added more than 100 features to its 2014 slate today, with pics starring Dustin Hoffman, Kristen Wiig, Benicio del Toro, Diane Keaton, John Travolta, Keira Knightley, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Connelly and Arnold Schwarzenegger among the two-dozen titles joining the Gala and Special Presentations programs.
Contemporary World Cinema adds 51 (22 world preems), City to City shines the spotlight on Seoul with eight pics (two world preems), and Wavelengths delivers 46 titles, including 13 features.
Gala world preems “Boychoir,” which marks the return of Quebec helmer Francois Girard (“Silk”) to the big screen and stars Hoffman as the tough conductor of a world-class music school, as well as Italian multi-hyphenate Andrea Di Stefano’s feature bow “Escobar: Paradise Lost,” starring del Toro as the notorious Colombian drug lord.
- Jennie Punter
The Venice International Film Festival is in the process announcing the lineup for its 71st edition. Here's what we know so far:
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Roy Andersson)
99 Homes (Ramin Bahrani)
Tales (Rakhshan Bani E'temad)
La rancon de la gloire (Xavier Beauvois)
Le dernier coup de marteau (Alix Delaporte)
Three Hearts (Benoît Jacquot)
Sivas (Kaan Mujdeci)
Anime Nere (Francesco Munzi)
Loin des hommes (David Oelhoffen)
The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)
Nobi (Shinya Tsukamoto)
Red Amnesia (Wang Xiaoshuai)
Out Of Competition
Joe Date. Photo by Evan Dickson.
This morning in Rome, Biennale president Paolo Baratta and Venice Film Festival chief Alberto Barbera unveiled the lineup for the 71st Venice Film Festival, which features some extraordinarily exciting titles and intriguingly under-the-radar picks.
Twenty films will be competing in the main competition, 19 of which are world premieres with one international premiere out of the lot. Out of all the titles at Venice this year, Birdman, which stars Michael Keaton and features a star-studded cast including Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts, is undoubtedly the title with the most chance of gaining Oscar attention this year after making the rounds on the festival circuit (it’s heading to the Toronto International Film Festival next).
Also anticipated are Manglehorn, a collaboration between Prince Avalanche helmer David Gordon Green and Al Pacino, and Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill, with Ethan Hawke, Bruce Greenwood, January Jones and Zoe Kravitz. »
- Isaac Feldberg
The 71st Venice Film Festival announced its lineup this morning, highlighted by films from American directors, including David Gordon Green, Barry Levinson, Peter Bogdanovich, Lisa Cholodenko, Andrew Niccol, and James Franco. As had been previously announced, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, starring Michael Keaton and many others, will be the opening film when the festival begins on Aug. 27.
Click below for the entire list of 55 films playing in Venice.
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, directed by Roy Andersson
Starring Holger Andersson, »
- Jeff Labrecque
This morning came the announcement of the 2014 Venice Film Festival lineup and we already knew Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman would serve as the opening night film and for the most part a lot of the more recognizable entries are those we already discussed as part of the Toronto Film Festival lineup. This includes Ramin Bahrani's 99 Homes, David Gordon Green's Manglehorn starring Al Pacino, Abel Ferrera's Pasolini, Barry Levinson's The Humbling and Andrew Niccol's The Good Kill. There are, however, some titles worthy of note such as the latest film from The Act of Killing director Joshua Oppenheimer, The Lord of Silence, Fatih Akin's The Cut, She's Funny that Way from Peter Bogdanovich, Lisa Cholodenko's Olive Kitteredge and a new film from James Franco in The Sound and the Fury based on Faulkner's novel. Joe Dante shows up with a new horror-comedy in Burying the Ex, »
- Brad Brevet
Whiles the likes of Terrence Malick, Todd Haynes, Alexander Sokurov, Giorgos Lanthimos and J.C. Chandor no where to be found in the fall fest season map (with concerns to Malick — Telluride and Tiff might still have those surprises up their sleeves) the 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival is still a lean and mean (American-French-Italian heavy) comp with the now “confirmed” presence of Fatih Akin (the cross continent The Cut - see pic above), Ramin Bahrani (Michael Shannon starrer 99 Homes), Abel Ferrara (a Thin Blue Line truth revealer Pasolini), David Gordon Green (Pacino comeback vehicle Manglehorn), Roy Andersson (the long awaited A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence) and Joshua Oppenheimer (public Indonesian isolation accompaniment film The Look Of Silence). The U.S. presence is equally as heavy in the Out of Comp section with the likes of Peter Bogdanovich, Joe Dante, Barry Levinson, Lisa Cholodenko and James Franco making a stop, »
- Eric Lavallee
The line-up for the 71st Venice Film Festival (Aug 27-Sept 6) has been revealed this morning by Biennale president Paolo Baratta and film festival director Alberto Barbera at Rome’s St. Regis Grand Hotel.
Early standouts include Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini, which centres on the final days of the Italian filmmaker and his death in 1975; David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, starring Al Pacino as a locksmith in a small town who never got over the love of his life; and The Look Of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer’s highly anticipated follow-up to his award-winning documentary, The Act of Killing.
As previously announced, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, starring Michael Keaton, will open the festival on August 27 and is among the 20-strong competition titles, of which all »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Rome – Venice topper Alberto Barbera has unveiled a promising lineup of fresh fare from around the world set to unspool at the 71st Venice Film Festival, with a rigorous focus on quality, discovery and diversity, likely to reveal some under-the-radar awards-season contenders and also bolster the Lido’s status as a global launching pad for prime auteur pics.
The robust U.S. contingent, largely from the indies, comprises new works from David Gordon Green, Andrew Niccol, Peter Bogdanovich, Lisa Cholodenko, Joe Dante, James Franco, Barry Levinson, Michael Almereyda, and Ami Canaan Mann.
As is customary at Venice, new works from name global auteurs, including Fatih Akin, Xavier Beauvois, Abel Ferrara, Andrei Konchalovsky, Shinya Tsukamoto, Amos Gitai, and Moshen Makhmalbaf, will play alongside pics by lesser-known helmers.
At a packed presser at Rome’s Hotel St.Regis Venice topper Alberto Barbera noted that “our job is more complex, more painful, because »
- Nick Vivarelli
Films by David Gordon Green, Andrew Niccol and Abel Ferrara will bring world premieres to the Lido di Venezia this year, as the Venice Film Festival has announced its selections for the 71st edition of the oldest such event in the world. Green's "Manglehorn" with Al Pacino, Niccol's "Good Kill" with Ethan Hawke and Ferrara's "Pasolini" with Willem Dafoe promise to bring a fair share of star power to the event, while actors such as Viggo Mortensen, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver feature in films sprinkled throughout the Competition. "The Act of Killing" director Joshua Oppenheimer will also continue his look at the Indonesian genocide with a new documentary, "The Look of Silence." Playing out of competition are films by Barry Levinson ("The Humbling," also starring Pacino), James Franco ("The Sound and the Fury") and Lisa Cholodenko ("Olive Kitteridge"), while Focus Features will bring the new Laika film, "The Boxtrolls, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Rome – Italy’s Rai Cinema is having a banner year, commanding a 15% box office share for the first half of 2014, which makes pubcaster Rai’s film unit the number two Italian distributor after Warner Bros. However Hollywood titles continue to be a low priority, said topper Paolo Del Brocco, unveiling its lineup Wednesday in Rome.
Del Brocco said the Italo film distribution and production powerhouse will be investing some Euros 60 million ($81 million) in Italian productions in 2014, whereas only 4 or 5 million Euros are earmarked for international acquisitions.
That said, Rai Cinema remains an active buyer. In Cannes they picked up Italo rights for Tom Hardy gangster pic “Legend,” to be helmed by Brian Helgeland, produced by Working Title and financed by Studio Canal, which is selling. Rai also has another Studio Canal pic, Sean Penn starrer “The Gunman,” an action thriller helmed by Pierre Morel. And in Cannes they also inked »
- Nick Vivarelli
With Cannes past its midpoint, a major guessing game on the Croisette is: What’s going to Venice?
It’s a bit premature, because Venice topper Alberto Barbera and his team have yet to see plenty of what’s out there. However, two titles, Turkish-German auteur Fatih Akin’s “The Cut” and French helmer Benoit Jacquot’s “Three Hearts,” are believed to be locked in already, according to sources.
What’s sure is that there is no scarcity of promising pictures that could surface in a Lido slot. Fest runs Aug. 27-Sept. 6.
From the U.S. these include: J.C. Chandor’s thriller “A Most Violent Year,” with Alessandro Nivola and Jessica Chastain; David Fincher’s “Gone Girl,” starring Ben Affleck; Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Birdman,” from Fox Searchlight; and David Gordon Green’s “Manglehorn,” in which Al Pacino plays an ex-con.
- Nick Vivarelli
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