10 items from 2015
Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (photo: Marc Allégret) (See previous post: "Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.") Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical and financial success of the 1934 romantic drama Lac aux Dames, directed by her self-appointed mentor – and alleged lover – Marc Allégret. The son of an evangelical missionary, Marc Allégret (born on December 22, 1900, in Basel, Switzerland) was to have become a lawyer. At age 16, his life took a different path as a result of his romantic involvement – and elopement to London – with his mentor and later "adoptive uncle" André Gide (1947 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), more than 30 years his senior and married to Madeleine Rondeaux for more than two decades. In various forms – including a threesome with painter Théo Van Rysselberghe's daughter Elisabeth – the Allégret-Gide relationship remained steady until the late '20s and their trip to »
- Andre Soares
Lea Seydoux is having a pretty good time right now, hanging out with James Bond in the new movie Spectre. But before we have a chance to see her running around next to Daniel Craig, we can see her in Benoît Jacquot’s new adaptation of the Octave Mirbeau novel, The Diary of a Chambermaid.
The film features Seydoux as the titular chambermaid Celestine, who joins a new household and becomes the object of lust for her older employer…much to the chagrin of her mistress. The maid is aware of the seductive power she wields, but winds up caught in the power struggles going on within the marriage and the household.
The Diary of a Chambermaid has already seen two adaptations, one by French auteur Jean Renoir, and the other by master surrealist Luis Bunuel. The latter is among the better known of the two, taking the novel’s themes of sex, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
Nearly two decades into a career that has since spanned nearly seven, Jeanne Moreau had already worked under the direction of Godard, Malle, Welles, Antonioni, Demy, Ophüls, Frankenheimer and Buñuel, among others, by the time she collaborated again with François Truffaut, who had previously helped make her a star with Jules and Jim. Their third collaboration (the first being 400 Blows), The Bride Wore Black, a psycho-thriller inspired by the work of his hero Alfred Hitchcock again put her in the spotlight, this time as a vengeful seductress to which Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman’s Bride of Kill Bill is much indebted to (though the homage crazed auteur claims to have never seen the film). With incredible bipolar turns, Moreau plays Julie Kohler, a widow on a mission to take revenge on the five men (including Claude Rich, Michel Bouquet, Michael Lonsdale, Daniel Boulanger and Charles Denner) responsible for the death of her husband. »
- Jordan M. Smith
There are 195 individuals nominated for Oscar this year. And when the winners are named Feb. 22, they will become part of film history, joining such greats as Billy Wilder, Ingrid Bergman, Ben Hecht and Walt Disney.
But 80% of the contenders will go home empty-handed. However, there is good news: They are in good company as well.
Here is a sampling of nominees that didn’t win: “Citizen Kane,” “Chinatown” and “Star Wars”; directors Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick and Ingmar Bergman; writers Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Dashiell Hammett, John Steinbeck, Graham Greene, Harold Pinter and David Mamet; actors Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Blvd.”; Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”; and Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia.”
They managed to do Ok, though.
- Tim Gray
Sold by Elle Driver, “Diary” is directed by Benoit Jacquot (Farewell, My Queen”). Deal was negotiated by Cmg senior VP John Kochman and Elle Driver co-founder Adeline Fontan Tessaur. Pic is set for a late 2015 U.S. theatrical release.
Set in the French provinces in the early part of the last century, “Diary” stars Seydoux as Celestine, an ambitious new chambermaid at the Lanlaire household who rebuffs her master’s advances, endures the authoritarian Madame Lanlaire, and falls for an enigmatic gardener, Joseph (Vincent Lindon, “Bastards,” “The School of Flesh”).
- John Hopewell
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
Luis Buñuel movies on TCM tonight (photo: Catherine Deneuve in 'Belle de Jour') The city of Paris and iconoclastic writer-director Luis Buñuel are Turner Classic Movies' themes today and later this evening. TCM's focus on Luis Buñuel is particularly welcome, as he remains one of the most daring and most challenging filmmakers since the invention of film. Luis Buñuel is so remarkable, in fact, that you won't find any Hollywood hipster paying homage to him in his/her movies. Nor will you hear his name mentioned at the Academy Awards – no matter the Academy in question. And rest assured that most film critics working today have never even heard of him, let alone seen any of his movies. So, nowadays Luis Buñuel is un-hip, un-cool, and unfashionable. He's also unquestionably brilliant. These days everyone is worried about freedom of expression. The clash of civilizations. The West vs. The Other. »
- Andre Soares
Paris– Benoit Jacquot, a French New Wave-inspired director whose career spans nearly forty years, returned to the forefront of the international film scene with Lea Seydoux starrer “Farewell, My Queen,” a critical hit that competed at Berlin in 2012 and earned 10 Cesar (France’s Oscar equivalent) nominations. This year, Jacquot will be back at the fest with “Diary of a Chambermaid,” another period drama toplining rising French star Seydoux and repped by Elle Driver in international markets. Addressing social and political themes that are still relevant today, the film follows a young and ambitious woman who worked as a chambermaid for wealthy families at the turn of the 20th century. An adaptation of Octave Mirbeau’s novel, “Chambermaid” is produced by Jean-Pierre Guerin’s new Jpg Prods. and Kristina Larsen at Les Films du Lendemain. The novel has already been brought to the bigscreen in 1946, with Jean Renoir’s Hollywood-set English-language makeover, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Riding high after the tremendous success of his 1969 hit "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice," Paul Mazursky kicked off the ’70s with this self-indulgent ode to his own creative block. Not coincidentally, Alex concerns the travails of a director trying to top his last hit. Felliniesque in the worst way (even though the great director cameos), the film nevertheless features a stellar cast including Donald Sutherland, Jeanne Moreau and a special appearance by Larry Edmund’s Bookshop. »
- Trailers From Hell
Journal d’une femme de chambre
French auteur Benoit Jacquot tends to get overlooked, though his recent international success with Berlin premiered Farewell, My Queen (2012) seems to have boosted his status, even though he’s been making excellent films since the 1970s and used to serve as Assistant Director to Margeurite Duras (India Song; Nathalie Granger). He’s worked several times with Isabelle Huppert (The School of Flesh; Keep It Quiet; False Servant; Villa Amalia) and Isild Le Besco (A Tout de Suite; Deep in the Woods), and generally tends to favor female perspectives. His latest, 3 Hearts, competed in Venice and starred Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Chiara Mastroianni. We’re thrilled to see he’s following in the footsteps of Jean Renoir and Luis Bunuel with an update of Octave Mirabeau’s Diary of a Chambermaid, reuniting him with the exciting Lea Seydoux, »
- Nicholas Bell
10 items from 2015
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