12 items from 2015
After announcing 43 films selected to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival earlier today, festival delegate general Thierry Fremaux sat down with Variety to parse some of the artistic and personal decisions his team faces, explaining how the committee justifies the 2015 lineup’s seemingly uneven distribution of nationalities (with France and Italy faring best) and a mostly male-dominated pool of directors: Just six of today’s new titles were directed by women, only two of them in official competition.
Praising the previously announced opening-night selection “Standing Tall” as “magnifique” in its own right, Fremaux insisted that audiences not fixate on the gender of its director, Emmanuelle Bercot, stressing how the film responds to the Charlie Hebdo tragedy and touches on issues important to this year’s program. Here, Fremaux opens up about the inclusions, omissions and other surprises still in store with Cannes’ 2015 lineup.
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The world thinks of Cannes as the »
- Peter Debruge and Elsa Keslassy
Indiewire's annual Cannes wish list isn't so much about officially predicting the lineup, but rather a survey of films we hope are finished in time and considered good enough to make the cut. We're not including films that have zero chances of being ready in time -- or, for that matter, the one film we officially know will be there: "Mad Max: Fury Road" (which is screening out of competition). Among the candidates are celebrated filmmakers such as Jacques Audiard, Woody Allen, Arnaud Desplechin, Cary Fukunaga, Todd Haynes, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Naomi Kawase, Yorgos Lanthimos, Terrence Malick, Jeff Nichols, Gaspard Noé, Paolo Sorrentino, Joachim Trier, Gus Van Sant and Apichatpong Weerasethaul, among many others. Films that don't get a spot in Cannes (and there will definitely be a few) will immediately become hot topics for a fall festival slot in Venice and/or Toronto. But that's then; this is now. »
There are still three weeks to go before the Cannes Film Festival unveils its official-selection lineup, but so far, the latest Pixar 3D animated extravaganza and new films from Woody Allen, Todd Haynes, Jeff Nichols, Denis Villeneuve and Arnaud Desplechin appear to be securing their positions in the event’s 68th annual edition (May 13-24).
In keeping with his longtime habit of avoiding festival accolades, Allen will likely receive an out-of-competition berth for his 45th feature, “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone (who starred in the director’s “Magic in the Moonlight”). Among other U.S. fare, Cannes will get an early start on the summer blockbuster season with Disney/Pixar’s feature toon “Inside Out,” marking a second trip to the Croisette for director Pete Docter (who co-helmed with Ronaldo Del Carmen) after his “Up” opened the festival in 2009. As already announced, George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
Gazing into the crystal ball, Screen rounds up its Cannes predictions.
With the unveiling of Cannes Film Festival’s Official Selection now exactly three weeks away buzz over the titles that Thierry Fremaux and his team will select for the 68th edition is hitting fever pitch.
Earlier the week, Cannes unveiled its poster featuring Ingrid Bergman to mark the centenary of the late big screen’s birth and it was announced that Stig Bjorkman’s documentary Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words would show in Cannes Classics as part of the commemorations.
For the rest of the Official Selection, except perhaps the opening film which is traditionally revealed in advance, Cannes watchers will have to wait for the announcement press conference in Paris on April »
For being just a brief 4 days, True/False is a densely packed festival, and I mean that in the true celebratory sense, full of not just film screenings, but parades and parties, street bound buskers, live game shows, filmmaking workshops and what-have-you, and it’s all condensed down into a vibrant, but relatively small college town. Everything is within a 10 minute walk. And where else might you walk two blocks and in the process subsequently encounter the likes of Joshua Oppenheimer, Alex Gibney, Nick Broomfield and the Ross Brothers? Paul Sturtz and David Wilson, the founders of True/False have created something truly special here in Columbia, Mo – a glorious celebration of non-fiction filmmaking and the fascinating fault line that separates the unreal from the untruthful.
- Jordan M. Smith
With the world’s most prestigious film festival just around the corner, cineastes have been lasciviously salivating about what’s going to show up at Cannes, with wish lists appearing almost immediately after Berlin (a fest that had one of their most impressive line-ups ever) announced their awards. The remainder of the 2015 fest circuit looks to be a plentiful, diverse porridge, with many of the world’s most renowned auteurs’ sporting brand new titles. While many prognosticators will be sharing the same lists, more or less, hopes are incredibly high for a handful of sure bets, and a gaggle of hopefuls. The main competition always seems easier to postulate, though Thierry Fremaux always throws a few curves, (After the Battle in 2012, The Hunt in 2013 or last year’s Timbuktu, which won the Cesar for Best Picture recently, are a couple ready examples of under-the-radar titles).
Italy seems primed for saturation at the fest. »
- Nicholas Bell
While Nicolas Winding Refn's bromance with Ryan Gosling is well documented, he also logs serious time with enfant terrible Gaspar Noé. If you ever wanted to get in a room with the pair, now is the time, as a great talk between them has surfaced. Conducted at the Danish Film Institute last year, the video is a fascinating, fun half-hour conversation between the pair. Refn talks about the tedium he felt shooting the car chases in "Drive" and how Christina Hendricks saved an otherwise dull scene, while Noé reveals his problems trying to get Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel to shoot a sequence he wanted for "Irreversible." They also talk about the hoops they have to go through in raising financing for their films, with Noé revealing how he got funding for his upcoming, explicit "Love" with just a few posters. It's great stuff, so watch below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
With the out-there sensibility of a David Lynch, the mentorship of Nicolas Winding Refn and cinematography by Gaspar Noé’s Dp, Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut was always likely to be a pretty unforgettable affair, either for good or ill. The film has a suitably retina-catching quad poster that you can feast your eyes on below by clicking on the image. Set in a geographically unspecified but distinctly Detroit-like town, the film tells the trippy, weird story of Billy (Christina Hendricks) who lives with her two sons in a shabby house in a derelict suburb. Billy struggles to make ends meet, and when the bank threatens to foreclose on her, she takes a job in a weird sex-gore-and-vaudeville nightclub run by a mysterious businessman (Ben Mendelsohn). Her eldest son Bones (Iain De Caestecker), meanwhile, has become obsessed with the city’s history; it transpires that the area was flooded to create a reservoir. »
Previously titled How to Catch A Monster, Lost River is Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut. The film stars Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes, Matt Smith, Ben Mendelsohn and genre classic Barbara Steele (who replaced Karen Black after her passing). The film will be showing at SXSW in Austin after some shaky reviews from its Cannes premiere.
Watching the trailer above shows me that Gosling has a unique visual style, even if it borrows from Refn in its simplicity at times. It is also photographed by Gaspar Noé‘s Dp, Benoît Debie. Given what I’ve seen from this trailer alone, I’m willing to take a chance. The film is scored by Johnny Jewel, who was originally supposed to do the score for Drive. Warner Bros. doesn’t seem to have high hopes for it as they are releasing the film Day & Date on April 10th. Hopefully the SXSW screening will help their hype. »
- Andy Triefenbach
Paris — A trio of well-connected, young film bizzers, former Wild Bunch sales agent Gary Farkas, former M&C Saatchi exec Olivier Muller and Full House staffer Clement Lepoutre, are joining forces to launch Paris-based production company Vixens.
Unveiled in the run-up to Berlin, the company already has four projects in the pipeline, notably an English-language film revenge thriller initiated by Noomi Rapace, who will also star.
“Vixens will mostly focus on emerging authors and directors working on genre movies, thrillers, social dramas and black comedies,” explained Farkas, who joined Wild Bunch in 2010 and worked in international sales for four years.
Muller, Farkas and Lepoutre said they named their outfit Vixens in reference to Russ Meyer’s films because they remain “cult and subversive movies that carry a strong message.”
The company’s development slate will be partly financed through Phantasm, their recently launched shingle specializing in advertising and music videos. »
- Elsa Keslassy
The most controversial director in our top ten list has to be Argentinean director Gaspar Noé, who has made an infamous name for himself with a trio of French titles, beginning with 1998’s I Stand Alone, which starred a grizzled Philippe Nahon (who many should recognize for an equally unsettling role in Aja’s 2003 film High Tension) as a butcher spiraling into a violent rampage. But it was Noe’s 2002 title, Irreversible, which still makes entries on many lists documenting the most shocking or disturbing films ever made, thanks mostly to a nine minute rape scene featuring Monica Bellucci. And if we thought he couldn’t outdo himself there, Noe managed to do so with controversial Enter the Void (2009), in which the soul of a drug dealer is our guide through the underbelly of Tokyo, starring Paz de la Huerta in a terribly underrated performance. »
- Nicholas Bell
While she’s mostly known for having co-written Gaspar Noe’s infamous 2009 film, Enter the Void, Lucile Hadzihalilovic is an accomplished director of her own right, having made the underappreciated 2004 film Innocence (trailer below), which is a strange, meditative, and very creepy film about a boarding school for young girls and starred Marion Cotillard. Now, she’s back over a decade later with her sophomore film, Evolution. The story revolves around 11-year-old Nicolas, who lives with his mother in a seaside housing estate. The only place that ever sees any activity is the hospital. It is there that all the boys from the village are forced to undergo strange medical trials that attempt to disrupt the phases of evolution. Hadzihalilovic cites The Island of Dr. Moreau as inspiration, and the film stars Roxane Duran (supporting player from The White Ribbon, 17 Girls, »
- Nicholas Bell
12 items from 2015
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