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Antalya Festival Opens with Walken, Syrian Refugee Crisis-themed ‘Never Leave Me’

Antalya Festival Opens with Walken, Syrian Refugee Crisis-themed ‘Never Leave Me’
Antalya, Turkey — Turkey’s newly reformatted Antalya fest launched Saturday in the coastal resort town under balmy skies, striking a hopeful note in a region beset by crises.

Opening with a stirring look at children caught up in the Syrian refugee exodus, Aida Begic’s “Never Leave Me,” the gala for the fest’s 54th edition hosted some 3,000 of guests, serenaded by the Antalya State Symphony Orchestra.

As Begic noted to the well-heeled audience at the Antalya Expo Center, lessons from her film, in which real refugees play characters based on themselves, “we don’t all speak the same language, but we can still live together in peace and harmony.”

Several Americans were almost surprised to find themselves in town – many were unsure until the last minute whether the current U.S.-Turkish visa spat would prevent them from entering the country but Turkish airports appeared to be issuing visas upon arrival to U.S. visitors
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Antalya Festival: Christopher Walken, Juliette Lewis Head Star Lineup

Antalya Festival: Christopher Walken, Juliette Lewis Head Star Lineup
Turkey’s Antalya Film Festival has boosted the star wattage for its Oct. 21 opening night, with Oscar-winner Christopher Walken, Juliette Lewis and Japanese actor and Jim Jarmusch regular Masatoshi Nagase (“Radiance”) set to attend the seaside event in Turkey.

During the festival, Walken and Lewis will discuss career benchmarks at In Conversation With sessions; Walken will take home an Honorary Golden Orange Award for outstanding contribution to the art of film.

Also on hand will be Sean Baker, screening “The Florida Project,” Ai Wei-Wei producer Chin-Chin Yap, presenting “Human Flow” and Cannes winner Aida Begic with “Never Leave Me.”

In addition, Oscar-winner Danis Tanovic (“No Man’s Land”) will make his way to the historic resort city for a tribute to his work, along with that of late director Ömer Lütfi Akad, a pioneer of post-war Turkish cinema.

Palestinian filmmaker/provocateur Elia Suleiman will preside over a jury composed of Turkish actress, producer and writer
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Antalya Film Festival’s New Chief Raises International Profile of Turkish Event

Antalya Film Festival’s New Chief Raises International Profile of Turkish Event
The Antalya Film Festival, which launched five decades ago to boost production of quality Turkish pics by showcasing them alongside global standouts, albeit separately, is undergoing a revamp and raising its international profile in an effort to counter the country’s current drift toward isolationism.

For its 54th edition Turkey’s most prominent film event has hired British producer and film industry expert Mike Downey as artistic director. His first move has been to merge the fest’s international and national competitions with the intention of forging greater cinematic ties with the rest of the world while also raising the overall bar.

“We are driven by three key buzzwords: global, quality and selectivity,” says Downey, who has long been active in the Balkans.

Accordingly, Antalya this year will open with the world premiere of Turkish-Bosnian co-production “Never Leave Me,” based on a true story about Syrian orphans living in a Turkish refugee camp, directed by Bosnian
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Antalya Film Festival Lineup Accentuates Refugee Crisis

Antalya Film Festival Lineup Accentuates Refugee Crisis
Rome – The Antalya Film Festival will open its 54th edition with the world premiere of Turkish-Bosnian co-production “Never Leave Me,” based on a true story about Syrian orphans living in a refugee camp in Turkey. The country now hosts more than 3 million refugees, mostly from war-torn Syria.

Directed by prize-winning Bosnian writer-helmer Aida Begic (“Children of Sarajevo”), “Never Leave Me” (pictured), which will launch out-of-competition, is one of four films in the festival’s official selection that touch on the refugee crisis.

Also world-premiering at the Oct. 21-27 event in the Turkish resort city is Turkish director Andac Haznedaroglu’s “The Guest,” starring Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak as a Syrian named Meryem fleeing from war-torn Aleppo with two children whose parents have perished, and “Ugly Duckling,” a drama that mixes a young woman’s desire to have plastic surgery with the Kurdish-Turkish conflict, directed by first-timer Ender Ozkahraman.

They will compete for prizes alongside Chinese artist Ai Weiwei
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tommy Lee Jones to Head Tokyo Festival Jury

Tommy Lee Jones to Head Tokyo Festival Jury
Veteran American actor, Tommy Lee Jones will head the competition jury at next month’s Tokyo International Film Festival.

The 30th edition of the festival will run Oct. 25 – Nov. 3 in venues across Tokyo. It will open with Japanese fantasy film “Fullmetal Alchemist” and close with Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.”

Jones will be joined on the jury by Belgian director Martin Provost (“Serafine”,) Iranian writer-director and producer Reza Mirkarimi, Japanese actor Masatoshi Nagase, and Chinese actress, director and investor Vicky Zhao Wei.

The jury will decide a Grand Prix, a jury prize, best director, screenplay, actor, actress and artistic contribution prizes.

The 15 films in competition, mostly hailing from Asia, Central Asia and Europe, include: erotic crime thriller “Gutland”; “The Lowlife,” adapted from a novelist by a Japanese porn starlet; Vanessa Paradis in another female-focused drama “Maryline”; and Jean-Marc Barr in “Grain,” a Turkish sci-fi film with strong environmental themes.

“Our
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tommy Lee Jones to Head Tokyo Film Festival Jury

Tommy Lee Jones to Head Tokyo Film Festival Jury
Tommy Lee Jones will head the jury at this year's Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff), organizers announced Tuesday at the lineup press conference.

Jones will be joined on the jury by Chinese actress Zhao Wei, Iranian director Reza Mirkarimi, French director/writer Martin Provost and local actor Masatoshi Nagase to judge the 15 features in the main competition. 

The opening film will be Fullmetal Alchemist, a live-action take on a popular manga/anime franchise, the first local production to open the event in a decade. Organizers were aiming for a big international film for the 30th edition of the festival, having settled for Florence...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Japan’s Naomi Kawase Shooting Juliette Binoche in ‘Vision’

Japan’s Naomi Kawase Shooting Juliette Binoche in ‘Vision’
Japanese auteur, Naomi Kawase has started shooting “Vision,” a drama set in her native Nara province. It stars Juliette Binoche.

The film also reteams the director with Masatoshi Nagase, who previously headlined Kawase’s films “An” and “Radiance,” both of which were presented in Cannes.

“Vision” is a co-production between Paris-based Slot Machine and Kawase’s own Kumie production cooperative. Shooting started this month for two and half weeks and will resume in November after a break.

Binoche plays a French essayist who visits Nara, Kawase’s birthplace and long-time base, where she encounters Nagase’s character, a mysterious mountain man who connects with her despite barriers of language and culture.

The start of the project was a dinner at this year’s Cannes festival where Kawase found herself seated next to Slot Machine head Marianne Slot. Their discussion led to a decision in June to collaborate on a film, with
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘Our Day Will Come’

Film Review: ‘Our Day Will Come’
Uncovering a little known chapter in Hong Kong history, “Our Time Will Come” dramatizes the resistance efforts of indigenous Leftist guerillas during the Japanese occupation from 1941-’44. Although cut from the same cloth as umpteen patriotic film and TV dramas spoon-fed to mainland audiences since 1949, in Hong Kong director Ann Hui’s hands, the tone feels curiously subdued and laid-back, with little bombast or even excitement. Produced by China’s major studio Bona, the film was abruptly pulled from the opening slot of the Shanghai Film Festival, but allowed to premiere later during the event.

Although it’s competently narrated and boasts fine acting from the leads (who nonetheless look nothing like locals), it’s hard to see how this serious period drama could connect with the popular tastes of either Hong Kong or mainland audiences. This is Hui’s third film set during the Sino-Japanese War, the others being “Love in a Fallen City” (1984) and “The Golden Era” (2014). All three movies portray independent-minded heroines fighting to assert themselves in such a tumultuous enivornment, but whereas the two earlier films were dominated by romantic storylines, here, the female protagonist operates within a community of kindred spirits, making personal fulfillment a secondary concern.

In 1941, after the Japanese Imperial Army occupied Hong Kong, the Ccp draws up a plan to ferry nearly a hundred Leftist intellectuals, artists and film veterans to safety, the most famous of whom is writer Mao Tun (Guo Tao), who is lodging at the Wanchai home of Mrs. Fong (Deanie Ip) and her teacher daughter Lan (Zhou Xun). When something goes wrong on the day of Mao’s departure, Lan, who’s a big fan of his writing, impulsively assists local guerillas on the rescue mission. Impressed by Lan’s composure, their captain Blackie (Eddie Peng) recruits her to join the urban unit to liaise with members hiding in outlying fishing communities and “walled villages” inhabited by indigenous Hakka.

Whether a directorial decision or one born out of budget constraints, instead of gearing up as a full-blown war epic or taut spy thriller, the narrative strikes a more relaxed pace that de-glamorizes the underground resistance. Lan and her comrades’ role is basically that of a courier delivery service. Blackie, who is based on a legendary real-life sharpshooter, dispatches Japanese soldiers and Chinese traitors with no-nonsense efficiency that’s the antithesis of Hong Kong-style bullet ballet. Even Lan’s fiancé Gam-wing (Wallace Huo), a double agent working in the Japanese army’s headquarters, is mostly seen leisurely discussing Song dynasty poetry with Japanese colonel Yamaguchi (Masatoshi Nagase).

The most absorbing drama stems from the affectionate relationship Lan has with her mother, who doesn’t take long to figure out what her daughter’s up to. Though she’s fully aware of the danger involved, Mrs Fong doesn’t oppose her, but instead tries to ease her load in ways that have dire consequences.

In a checkered career spanning over four decades, Hui’s strongest suit has been neorealist works, such as “A Simple Life” and “The Way We Are,” that depict Hong Kong’s grassroots with compassion and respect. There’s thematic continuity and perhaps even a contemporary subtext here in her depiction of ordinary citizens’ fortitude under gravely deteriorating living conditions and internal strife, as seen in a risibly thrifty wedding scene. By highlighting the value of artists and intellectuals, and the importance of protecting them, she imbues the authentic historical episode with timely universal relevance.

Zhou has played similar roles in WWII spy-thrillers “The Message” and “The Silent War,” but this is her most natural performance. She holds attention in every shot, conveying her conviction without resorting to demonstrative emotional outbursts or flag-waving dialogue. A pivotal moment in which she weighs filial love against the greater good is so measured and controlled its wrenching impact doesn’t fully register several scenes later.

Ip is simply terrific as the down-to-earth single-mother with a heart of gold, a role that recalls but doesn’t rehash her scintillating turn as an altruistic nanny in “A Simple Life,” which won her best actress honors at the Venice Film Festival. With her colloquial dialogue and unique mannerisms, she brings much-needed humor to serious scenarios, imbuing small talk with layers of nuance.

The bulk of the story, which spans the entire occupation, is interspersed with present-day interviews conducted by Hui herself of Ben (Tony Leung Ka-fai), an elderly man who served as a messenger for the guerillas. Shot in black-and-white for documentary effect, the alternating timelines remind one that life goes on. As Ben said, he became a taxi driver after the war, because “you gotta eat.”

The film ends with a relatively downbeat feeling, eschewing the jubilation of victory while letting the protagonists fade out, their fates unknown. This in turn lends a sense of ambivalence to the passage Lan reads aloud from Mao Tun’s inspirational essay “Evening,” written in 1927 after the Ccp experienced a setback at the start of the civil war.

Related storiesShanghai Festival Completes Competition Lineup, Replaces Opening FilmFilm Review: 'Haze'Film Review: 'Soul on a String'
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes Ends with…Awards — 3rd of 3

Cannes Ends with…Awards — 3rd of 3

The heightened security with machine gun armed soldiers and policemen constantly patrolling was intensified after the Manchester Massacre. With a pall over the festival, one minute of silence was observed for the 22 murdered and flags hung at half-mast. In addition to that, the sudden death at 57 of the Busan Film Festival deputy director Kim Ji-seok and that of the James Bond star Roger Moore brought the film world into a new perspective as we join the larger world to face the random indications of human mortality. High security vs. cinema as a sanctuary of freedom is highlighted this year like no other time that I can recall in my 31 years here.President of the jury, Pedro Almodovar

But life does go on, the jury judges, the stars get press attention on the red carpet and the rest of us continue to wait patiently in
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Cannes: Naomi Kawase’s ‘Radiance,’ Tom Volf’s ‘Maria by Callas’ Sell in Major Markets (Exclusive)

Cannes: Naomi Kawase’s ‘Radiance,’ Tom Volf’s ‘Maria by Callas’ Sell in Major Markets (Exclusive)
Following its world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Japanese film master Naomi Kawase’s “Radiance” has found a home in major markets across the world.

Represented by MK2 Films, “Radiance” marks Kawase’s fifth Cannes competition title. The film centers on the blossoming romance between a photographer (Masatoshi Nagase), who is slowly losing his sight, and a translator working for the visually impaired.

“Radiance” has been acquired for Germany/Austria (Concorde), Benelux (Cineart), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Spain (Betta Pictures), Scandinavia (Nonstop), Portugal (Leopardo), Greece (Ama), Brazil (Imovision/Tag Cultural), China (DDDreams), South Korea (Green Narae), Hong Kong (Edko), Taiwan (Filmware), Turkey (Filmarti), Poland (Aurora Films), Hungary (Cirko Film), Israel (New Cinema), Cis (OvalGrid), and ex-Yugoslavia (McF Megacom).

MK2 Films is currently in negotiations to close U.K., U.S., Australia/New Zealand, Singapore, and Inflight. Kino Films will distribute “Radiance” in Japan and Haut & Court will handle the distribution in France.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes 2017: Radiance review: Dir. Naomi Kawase (2017)

Radiance review: Possibly the gentlest of features competition for this year’s Palme d’Or, Naomi Kawase’s latest shows the hidden depths of cinema, combined with the tender tones of an unseen connection between two lost souls.

Radiance review by Paul Heath at the 2017 Festival de Cannes, 2017.

Radiance review

Photography seems to be the loose theme bouncing around the Palais des Festivals on the seventh day of Cannes 2017. Not only does the famous venue host the late director Abbas Kiarostami’s final film 24 Frames as part of its 70th anniversary celebrations on this, the first Tuesday of the festival – a film revolving around segments inspired by separate photographs, but it also plays host to the in-competition Radiance, which features Masatoshi Nagase as a blind former photographer.

Related: Blade Of The Immortal review (Cannes)

“Are there things we fail to understand even though we see them? Are there things we
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Cannes Film Review: ‘Radiance’

Cannes Film Review: ‘Radiance’
“Nothing is more beautiful than what disappears before our eyes,” a character murmurs more than once in “Radiance,” a gentle-hearted, quintessentially new-age but fatally cloying new outing from Japan’s premier cinematic naturalist Naomi Kawase. It’s a line that reads as wishful thinking in an attractively sunlit film that all but turns to vapor on screen. In a story of the tentative romance that blossoms between a blind photographer and a kind of seeing-eye translator for the cinema, the film’s thematic preoccupation with the power of images — as perceived through any of the senses — is a worthy and thoughtful one. Yet the execution lacks the visual and emotional rigor of Kawase’s most imposing films, instead swaddling viewers in buttery lighting and blunt, earnest platitudes. Some will respond to such comforts, though “Radiance” is unlikely to significantly expand the international profile of a filmmaker still best loved on the Croisette.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes: Naomi Kawase Talks Casting Former Model Ayame Misaki in 'Radiance'

Cannes: Naomi Kawase Talks Casting Former Model Ayame Misaki in 'Radiance'
Exactly 20 years after Naomi Kawase became the youngest winner of the Camera d’Or, for Suzaku, the director returns to Cannes with her latest feature, Radiance. The drama focuses on the relationship between celebrated photographer Masaya Nakamori (Masatoshi Nagase), whose eyesight is rapidly deteriorating, and Misako Ozaki (Ayame Misaki), a young narrator of movie voiceovers for the visually impaired.

Kawase talked to The Hollywood Reporter about casting former model Ayame Misaki, deviating from her script and why she likes working in her hometown.

You cast former model Ayame Misaki in a key role. What was it about her that made...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

First Teaser for Naomi Kawase’s ‘Radiance’

While Naomi Kawase‘s cachet stateside hasn’t necessarily increased in the last few years, her last film, Sweet Bean, did manage to get a U.S. release. The Japanese filmmaker is now returning with her follow-up, Radiance (aka Hikari), which is set for a Japanese release at the end of May, hinting at a likely return to the Cannes Film Festival.

The first teaser trailer has landed, which previews the story of a film writer who meets a photographer who is losing his eyesight. Starring Masatoshi Nagase (last seen at the end of Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson), Ayame Misaki, and Tatsuya Fuji, check out the trailer below (via Cine Maldito), which is currently without subtitles, but we’ll update if they arrive.

Misako is a passionate writer of film versions for the visually impaired. At a screening, she meets Masaya, an older photographer who is slowly losing his eyesight.
See full article at The Film Stage »

First International Trailer For Naomi Kawase’s ‘Radiance’

  • The Playlist
We just debuted our list of the movies we’re hoping will hit Cannes, and while Naomi Kawase‘s “Radiance” didn’t make the main list, that doesn’t mean we’re not still eagerly awaiting what the Japanese filmmaker has on the horizon. And now we have our first taste.

Starring Masatoshi Nagase, Ayame Misaki, and Tatsuya Fuji, the film details the relationship that develops between a filmmaker and an older photographer, who is starting to lose his eyesight.

Continue reading First International Trailer For Naomi Kawase’s ‘Radiance’ at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Film Review: Gravity of Poetic Dreams Carry Weight in ‘Paterson’

  • HollywoodChicago.com
Chicago – What is more ordinary than a man alone with his thoughts, and then applying those thoughts to paper in the form of poetry? “Paterson” is a celebration of such ritual, and other dreams in the working class. It never panders, it never makes the “hero” that heroic, but it does challenge him in an ordinary sense, to work it out as meaningful poetics.

Rating: 5.0/5.0

This is a quiet and low-keyed film, directed by independent icon Jim Jarmusch (“Broken Flowers”), but it resonates with the power of words and purpose. The main character is a bus driver, but his status in life is not determined by what he does, but how he lives. He is devoted to his wife, who also dreams – not of words, but in the ideal of finding her passion in life. This is a concise character study that fires on emotions and intellectual stimulation, not because
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

'Paterson' Review: Jim Jarmusch Scores With Tribute to Poetry All Around Us

'Paterson' Review: Jim Jarmusch Scores With Tribute to Poetry All Around Us
Adam Driver gives one of the loveliest and least likely to be rewarded performances of the year in Paterson. Why least likely, you ask? Because Driver's indelibly moving portrayal is so lived-in and lyrical you hardly recognize it as acting. He plays Paterson, a poet who drives a bus in the New Jersey city of Paterson. Yes, the city and the poet have the same name. Don't cringe. You'll get over it. Written and directed with grit and amazing grace by indie icon Jim Jarmusch – hard to believe it's been
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Review: The Tender Poetry of Jim Jarmusch's "Paterson"

  • MUBI
Nowadays, Paterson, New Jersey is no longer in the condition Williams Carlos Williams, New Jersey resident, doctor and poet, wrote about in his book length poem named after the city. Jim Jarmusch has named his new film after it as well, and gone even further in his simplified, focused way, naming his protagonist Paterson, too. Played with a slowly affecting, deadpanned distance by Adam Driver, 2016’s Paterson is a bus driver and a poet, living in a small house with his exuberantly creative girlfriend Laura (Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani), and contently settled into a daily routine of waking, writing, working, and walking the couple’s English bulldog to a local bar for his sole beer of the night. Following him daily, we see some of the industrial, turn of the century downtown of Paterson during his route, overhear snatches of passenger conversations (about erotic longing, Italian anarchists), read and listen
See full article at MUBI »

Watch: New UK Trailer for Jim Jarmusch's 'Paterson' with Adam Driver

"When you're a child, you learn there are three dimensions: height, width and depth. Like a shoebox. Then later you hear there is a fourth dimension: time." A brand new UK trailer for Jim Jarmusch's Paterson has debuted. This is one of my very favorite films of the year, and this trailer is much better than the Us one released last month. Paterson stars Adam Driver as a humble bus driver living in Paterson, New Jersey with his wife, played by the wonderful Golshifteh Farahani. During his free time he writes poems, and it turns out he's immensely talented even though he doesn't admit it. I wrote in my review in Cannes that the film is "poetic perfection, superbly realized. Cinema at its very finest." I mean it. This also stars William Jackson Harper and Masatoshi Nagase. I really love this film so much, and I hope everyone sees this.
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Adam Driver Waxes Poetic in ‘Paterson’ First Trailer

Adam Driver Waxes Poetic in ‘Paterson’ First Trailer
Adam Driver plays a bus driver and an aspiring poet named Paterson living in Paterson, N.J., in Jim Jarmusch’s aptly titled film “Paterson.” The poetic nature of it all isn’t lost on the movie’s characters … or its audience.

The first trailer for the movie offers a two-minute-30-second look at Paterson’s humdrum daily routine, with a few bursts of excitement when he takes down a gunman at his local bar and evacuates a bus before it explodes.

Paterson is filled with self-doubt about his secret passion — poetry — despite encouragement from his doting wife Rosie (Golshifteh Farahani), an aspiring country singer who wants to move to Nashville.

“As a movie, ‘Paterson’ makes the quiet, contained life of its hero wistfully appealing,” Variety‘s Chief Film Critic Owen Gleiberman wrote in his review of the movie, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

William Jackson Harper, Chasten Harmon,
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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