11 items from 2015
Paris-based MK2 has scored a raft of sales on “Argentina,” a live-performance documentary about Argentina’s stunning musical heritage – from traditional styles such as the Zamba of “La Felipe Varela” through to modern dance – directed by critically-acclaimed Carlos Saura, who broke through as a leading light of Spain’s Nuevo Cine Español.
Bringing Saura’s hallmark aesthetic arsenal to the table – split and video screens, mirrors, silhouetted figures behind giant transparent backdrops, primary colors – “Argentina” perpetuates Saura’s lyrical exploration of popular dance and song beyond “Blood Wedding,” “Carmen,” “Fados” and most recently “Flamenco, Flamenco” which was released in 2010.
MK2 has sold the docu to Concorde Telemuenchen (Germany), Palace (Australia), Russian Report (Russia), Filmcoopi (Switzerland), Filmarti (Turkey), Bulgaria Film Vision (Bulgaria), Imovision (Brazil), Svt (Sweden) and McF Megacom (ex-Yugoslavia).
- Elsa Keslassy and John Hopewell
This week Joakim and Trevor Barrett from the Eclipse Viewer podcast discuss Ugetsu Monogatari.
From the Criterion Collection:
“Quite simply one of the greatest of filmmakers,” said Jean-Luc Godard of Kenji Mizoguchi. And Ugetsu, a ghost story like no other, is surely the Japanese director’s supreme achievement. Derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, this haunting tale of love and loss—with its exquisite blending of the otherworldly and the real—is one of the most beautiful films ever made.
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Masters Of Cinema Cast (Twitter / Website / Instagram / Tumblr / Facebook) Joakim Thiesen (Twitter) Tom Jennings (Twitter / Website) Trevor Barrett (Twitter / Website) »
- Tom Jennings
Paris-based MK2 has scooped international sales rights to Joan Chemla’s feature debut, “If You Saw His Heart,” with Gael Garcia Bernal and Marine Vacth, as well as Koji Fukada’s Japanese drama “Harmonium.”
Based on Cuban novelist Guillermo Rosales’ “Boarding Home,” “Heart” is a film noir set in the Gypsy community in Marseille. Garcia Bernal (pictured above) stars as a man who is excluded from his community after the death of his best friend and drifts into crime. His life lightens up when he meets Francine (Vacth).
“Heart” is produced by Pierre Guyard for Nord-Ouest Films. Guyard, who was named a Producer on the Move at this year’s Cannes film market, made his debut with Thomas Cailley’s 2014 romantic comedy “Love at First Fight,” which won the top prize of Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and three Cesar awards.
- Elsa Keslassy
Anyone who's crossed over the threshold of 30 knows the existential angst of being that age, particularly when trying to navigate friendships, and frenemy-ships, and straight-up hatreds with peers who all seem to have life on lock more than you do. Sloane Crosley, author of two best-selling humor essay collections about her own floundering toward adulthood (2008's I Was Told There'd Be Cake and 2010's How Did You Get This Number), is something of an expert when it comes to generational observation — a Lena Dunham for people who experienced college without Facebook or cell phones. And now she's written her first novel, The Clasp, out today. The plot centers around three single college friends on the edge of 30 who aren't even sure they like each other anymore, yet embark on an adventure to find a valuable necklace that is somehow related to Guy de Maupassant's cautionary short story »
- Alexa Tsoulis-Reay
“I speak heavily in analogies,” Sloane Crosley said Saturday at BookCon, where A.M. Homes interviewed her in front of seventy or so fans at the Javits Center. The celebrated essayist (and, full disclosure, a friend) was here to talk up her first novel, The Clasp, a major Farrar Straus and Giroux title out this coming fall, about three estranged college friends who embark on a French road trip in search of a lost piece of jewelry. It's an homage to Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace,” and the event began with a slightly campy reading of that famous short story by Barbara Rosenblat, introduced as “the Meryl Streep of audio books,” but possibly more familiar as cancer-stricken Rosa from Orange is the New Black. Following that, the two writers fell into some banter about the writing process, riffing on famous quotes and odd analogies like Abbot and Costello at a »
- Boris Kachka
The project is Brize’s follow-up to Cannes’ competition player “The Measure of a Man,” which marks the helmer’s debut in Cannes’ official selection and his first time collaborating with MK2.
“Une Vie” is a 19th century-set film starring Judith Chemla as a young aristocrat from the French provinces determine to experience life to the fullest in a story spanning 20 years. As with Brize’s previous movies, the cast is made up of well-known French stars, including Jalil Lespert, Jean Pierre Darroussin and Yolanda Moreau.
Ts Prods. is producing the $7.9 million movie, which is set to shoot in two parts, starting this summer and picking up next winter.
MK2, which pulled out of production and distribution a year and a half ago to »
- Elsa Keslassy
Qui aime les films français ?
If you do and you live in St. Louis, you’re in luck! The Seventh Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival — co-presented by Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series begins March 13th. The Classic French Film Festival celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1930s through the early 1990s, offering a comprehensive overview of French cinema. The fest is annually highlighted by significant restorations.
This year features recent restorations of eight works, including an extended director’s cut of Patrice Chéreau’s historical epic Queen Margot a New York-set film noir (Two Men In Manhattan) by crime-film maestro Jean-Pierre Melville, who also co-stars; a short feature (“A Day in the Country”) by Jean Renoir, on a double bill with the 2006 restoration of his masterpiece, The Rules Of The Game, and the »
- Tom Stockman
Written and directed by Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir’s A Day in the Country comes at a curious point in the director’s career. In 1936, he had several exceptional silent films to his credit, as well as such classics of early French sound cinema as La Chienne (1931), Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932), and The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936), among others. But he had still not yet achieved his singular place on world cinema’s pre-war stage. That he would do just a year later, with La Grande Illusion (1937). As noted on the new Criterion Blu-ray, A Day in the Country was “conceived as a short feature…[and] nearly finished production in 1936 when Renoir was called away for The Lower Depths. Shooting was abandoned then, but the film was completed with the existing footage by Renoir’s team and released in its current form in 1946, after the »
- Jeremy Carr
Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (photo: Jean Gabin and Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine') (See previous post: "'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.") In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century-Fox from another French import, Annabella (later Tyrone Power's wife), Simone Simon returned to France. Once there, she reestablished herself as an actress to be reckoned with in Jean Renoir's La Bête Humaine. An updated version of Émile Zola's 1890 novel, La Bête Humaine is enveloped in a dark, brooding atmosphere not uncommon in pre-World War II French films. Known for their "poetic realism," examples from that era include Renoir's own The Lower Depths (1936), Julien Duvivier's La Belle Équipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937), and particularly Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938) and Daybreak (1939). This thematic and »
- Andre Soares
'Cat People' 1942 actress Simone Simon Remembered: Starred in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie classic (photo: Simone Simon in 'Cat People') Pert, pouty, pretty Simone Simon is best remembered for her starring roles in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie Cat People (1942) and in Jean Renoir's French film noir La Bête Humaine (1938). Long before Brigitte Bardot, Mamie Van Doren, Ann-Margret, and (for a few years) Jane Fonda became known as cinema's Sex Kittens, Simone Simon exuded feline charm in a film career that spanned a quarter of a century. From the early '30s to the mid-'50s, she seduced men young and old on both sides of the Atlantic – at times, with fatal results. During that period, Simon was featured in nearly 40 movies in France, Italy, Germany, Britain, and Hollywood. Besides Jean Renoir, in her native country she worked for the likes of Jacqueline Audry »
- Andre Soares
The art decoration of “Eva & Leon” is sublime, its impact immediate in the measured static shots of Eva’s chic and huge arrondissement Paris flat, classical in the carefully contrasting tones of white, gray, blue and salmon, setting off of furniture, curtains, drapes, sofas, cushions, gray and walls, high ceilings. A life-size flamingo stands by the mantelpiece. But such luxury is not enough. Eva, 35 (Clotilde Hesme), svelte, a dandy, an flaneur, cultured, immature, no children, absent mother, recluse father, termigant sis, lives a privileged life few can dream of, at least seriously. But, as the film suggests, she needs Leon, 10, an orphan who has escaped from his reception miles away outside France to try to find his birth-mother, to give her life an emotional anchor. Emilie Cherpitel’s film portrays their growing relationship of an odd couple. Distributed in France and sold abroad by Pyramide, one of Europe’s top arthouse production-distribution-sales companies, »
- John Hopewell
11 items from 2015
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