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13 items from 2013


Marius/Fanny – review

28 November 2013 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The first two-thirds of this refilming of Marcel Pagnol's Marseilles trilogy have little of the originals' crackling, bawdy life

Actor-director Daniel Auteuil has been handed the prime gig/poisoned chalice of refilming Marcel Pagnol's Marseilles trilogy, two-thirds of which open in the UK this weekend. The beloved 1930s film treatments, artefacts of the early sound period, were largely stagebound yet possessed of a crackling, bawdy, close-to-the-source life. Auteuil has fashioned hidebound museum pieces that expand the backdrop with sun-dappled glimpses of port activity, while generally resisting any notes of modernity or change of emphasis. What modicum of cosy Sunday-afternoon pleasure they provide stems from the performers: Raphaël Personnaz (from Tavernier's The Princess of Montpensier) and Victoire Bélézy make a handsome couple as the barman Marius and his on-off sweetheart Fanny, while Auteuil and Jean-Pierre Darroussin are typically dependable as Marius's father and love rival respectively. Still, in »

- Mike McCahill

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Blue Is The Warmest Colour, Catching Fire, Computer Chess: this week's new films

22 November 2013 10:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Blue Is The Warmest Colour | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire | Computer Chess : Parkland | The Family | Breakfast With Johnny Wilkinson | Flu | ¡Vivan Las Antipodas! | Vendetta

Blue Is The Warmest Colour (18)

(Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013, Fra/Bel/Sp) Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Jérémie Laheurte. 180 mins

Beyond making viewers feel lecherous, this Cannes winner's already notorious sexual frankness is just one element in an intense, sensual study of a young woman learning about love, life and, yes, sex. It's storytelling at its finest: simple but detailed, and at times unbearably emotional.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (12A)

(Francis Lawrence, 2013, Us) Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson. 146 mins

The only post-Twilight teen franchise left standing brings media manipulation and simmering revolution to its next round of youth combat.

Computer Chess (15)

(Andrew Bujalski, 2013, Us) Patrick Riester, Myles Paige, James Curry. 91 mins

The cruddy video quality and geeky insularity of the early computing era are fondly rebooted in this delightful retro farce. »

- Steve Rose

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French Giant Pathe Pinkslips Employees

4 November 2013 4:17 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

As mainstream French films continue to lose market share to Hollywood pics at home, Pathe, one of Gaul’s biggest film production and distribution institutions, has laid off nine people and is planning to drastically reduce its lineup.

The pinkslips hit the distribution department at the Paris office. The international sales division and U.K. office were not affected by the layoffs.

Pathe will have released 20 movies by the end of the year and, according to French trade Le Film Francais, the studio is looking to reduce its distribution slate to 10 pics going forward and be more selective in its choice of French films.

While Pathe remains France’s No. 1 distributor in 2013, it was severely hit by the poor B.O. performance of higher-profile local pics such as Fabien Onteniente’s “Turf” (pictured above), Daniele Thompson’s dramedy “It Happened in Saint-Tropez” and Daniel Auteuil’s “Marius” and “Fanny,” adapted »

- Elsa Keslassy

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This week's film events

1 November 2013 11:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

UK Jewish film festival | Aesthetica short film festival | French film festival UK | Leeds international film festival

UK Jewish film festival, nationwide

There's really no telling what a Jewish film could or should look like, or even where it could come from. It might be an eastern European thriller (In The Shadow); a New York comedy such as Blumenthal, starring Brian Cox; an Almodóvar-esque musical (Eytan Fox's Cupcakes); an Argentinian Nazi drama (Wakolda); or even a psychedelic semi-animated head trip such as Ari "Waltz With Bashir" Folman's latest, The Congress. The result is one of the most varied festivals out there, and an ever-expanding event (80 films this year, across 19 venues). More recognisably Jewish themes are also abundant, such as in self-explanatory opener The Jewish Cardinal, based on a true story, or new doc Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, with Michael Grade in conversation after.

Various venues, to 17 Nov

Aesthetica short film festival, »

- Steve Rose

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Kino Lorber reunites with Auteuil

9 September 2013 11:28 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Kino Lorber has picked up all Us rights from Pathé International to Daniel Auteuil’s latest two features, Marius and Fanny. Separately, Music Box has acquired the French supernatural mini-series The Returned.

Both Marius and Fanny are part of Auteuil’s remake project tackling the works of writer-director Marcel Pagnol. Kino Lorber previously released The Well-Digger’s Daughter by Auteuil in 2011.

Kino Lorber will release both films in early 2014, following the theatrical, home video and digital plan established for The Well-Digger’s Daughter.

Music Box Films has acquired all Us rights from international distributor Zodiak Rights to the French supernatural mini-series The Returned.

Based on the feature Les Revenants by Robin Campillo, the eight-part drama follows a group of villagers who return home only to find they have been dead for several years.

“The Returned epitomises the very best of the crop of outstanding international television productions finding its way onto Us screens,” said [link=co »

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Kino Lorber reunits with Auteuil

9 September 2013 11:28 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Kino Lorber has picked up all Us rights from Pathé International to Daniel Auteuil’s latest two features, Marius and Fanny. Separately, Music Box has come on board the French supernatural mini-series The Returned.

Both Marius and Fanny are part of Auteuil’s remake project tackling the works of writer-director Marcel Pagnol. Kino Lorber previously released The Well-Digger’s Daughter by Auteuil in 2011.

Kino Lorber will release both films in early 2014, following the theatrical, home video and digital plan established for The Well-Digger’s Daughter.

Music Box Films has acquired all Us rights from international distributor Zodiak Rights to the French supernatural mini-series The Returned.

Based on the feature film Les Revenants by Robin Campillo, the eight-part drama follows a group of villagers who return home only to find they have been dead for several years.

“The Returned epitomises the very best of the crop of outstanding international television productions finding its way onto Us screens,” said »

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Kino Lorber Nabs U.S. Rights To Auteuil’s ‘Marius’ And ‘Fanny’

9 September 2013 11:24 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Kino Lorber has nabbed all U.S. rights to Daniel Auteuil’s “Marius” and “Fanny,” the French star-turned-helmer’s follow up to “The Well-Digger’s Daughter.”

Both pics are part of French author Marcel Pagnol’s classic trilogy, which opened with “The Well-Digger’s Daughter” (“La Fille du puisatier”).

Released by Kino Lorber in July 2012,  ”Daughter” had a healthy run at the U.S. B.O., grossing $386,368 and earning strong reviews.

Kino Lorber was the natural choice for the U.S. distribution of Marius and Fanny,” wrote Saya Huddleston, VP of Pathe Intl.. “Their track record in giving due exposure to Daniel Auteuil’s directorial debut, ‘The Well-Digger’s Daughter,’ is excellent.”

Added Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber, “Following his delectable debut with ‘The Well-Digger’s Daughter,’ M. Auteuil surpasses himself in masterfully fusing experience with emotion through his rendering of the love saga of ‘Marius’ and ‘Fanny.’

All three »

- Elsa Keslassy

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Kino Lorber Acquires All U.S. Rights to Daniel Auteuil's 'Marius' and 'Fanny'

9 September 2013 11:06 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Following the stateside success of Daniel Auteuil's "The Well-Digger's Daughter," Kino Lorber has again acquired all U.S. rights to release Auteuil's latest feature film adaptations of Marcel Pagnol's work. The two works are part of an multi-year project to remake films by Pagnol. "Kino Lorber was the natural choice for the U.S. distribution of Marius and Fanny," wrote Saya Huddleston, VP, Pathé International. "Their track record in giving due exposure to Daniel Auteuil's directorial debut, 'The Well-Digger's Daughter' is excellent. We are thrilled to be teaming up with them again." Kino Lorber will release both "Marius" and "Fanny" in early 2014, following the theatrical, home video and digital plan established for "The Well-Digger's Daughter." Here are synopses of the two films, courtesy of Kino. Marius (2013) This moving love story by Marcel Pagnol is set at the Old Port of Marseille, in the Bar de la Marine, »

- James Hiler

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Locarno Film Review: ‘Longwave’

19 August 2013 1:09 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The humor is more than a touch too local in the first half of “Longwave,” though things improve during the second part of Lionel Baier’s comedy about a Swiss Radio crew caught up in Portugal’s 1974 Carnation Revolution. The chameleon-like helmer once again demonstrates his thoroughgoing knowledge of and delight in film history, yet his striving for a 1970s screwball vibe feels too forced and artificial, torn between homage and a wink-wink sensibility. Films Boutique has reported brisk sales for Latin America, and while “Longwave” has scattered moments of genuine amusement, its hyper-localized funny bone isn’t an ideal transplant candidate.

Baier has a healthy sense of humor about his countrymen, given free rein in this farce when an unlikely duo of radio personalities are paired on assignment to report on Swiss investment in Portugal, a country described as “less developed than we are, but still nice.” Julie (Valerie »

- Jay Weissberg

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Locarno Film Festival 2013: 'Longwave'

18 August 2013 1:58 AM, PDT | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★☆☆ Set in 1974, Lionel Baier's Longwave (2013) centres on global broadcasters the Swiss Radio Service. Its French office feels the need for a hit, and that's when its general manager decides to send a troupe to Portugal for a special reportage to investigate Switzerland's aid to poor and developing Southern European countries. The travelling entourage couldn't be more mismatched: Joseph-Marie Cauvin (Michel Vuillermoz), an ageing reporter known for his chauvinistic views and womanising ways, is paired with proto-feminist Julie Dujonc-Renens (Valérie Donzelli), an up-and-coming presenter of all-women programmes.

Stuck between the two primadonnas is quiet soundman Bob (Patrick Lapp), who devoutly sleeps inside his Volkswagen van, surrounded by tape recorders and microphones. The Swiss trio heads to the Portuguese countryside to find out that Swiss money ended up buying the local school clock, faucets that mix hot and cold water, or in putting up a sign for a new housing project that will never be built. »

- CineVue UK

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Bernadette Lafont

26 July 2013 4:01 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Actor with a natural and rebellious style, she helped to launch the French New Wave

Bernadette Lafont, who has died aged 74, could have claimed to be the first female star of the Nouvelle Vague. François Truffaut chose the sensual, dark-haired, 18-year-old Lafont and her new husband, Gérard Blain, to play lovers in the director's first professional film, Les Mistons (The Mischief-Makers, 1957). In this charming short, shot in Nîmes one summer, a group of pubescent boys spy on Lafont and Blain's lovemaking in the fields. Blain and Lafont were also picked to appear in arguably the first French New Wave feature, Claude Chabrol's Le Beau Serge (1958). In this film, about a young man returning to his childhood home, Lafont played the "village vamp".

Lafont's fresh look and performance style crystallised the movement's ideological and cinematic ambitions. Truffaut and his colleagues found mainstream stars inadequate to their needs, using instead unknown and non-professional actors, »

- Ronald Bergan

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Movie Poster of the Week: “The Virtue King” and the Posters of Gustav Mezey

12 April 2013 6:35 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Above: Gustav Mezey three-sheet poster for Le Rosier de Madame Husson (Bernard Deschamps, France, 1932).

This stunning Austrian deco poster, which I came across on a Berlin antiquarian site, stands a magnificent 9 foot tall (110" x 49" to be precise) and comes in three sections. The poster is for a 1932 French film, whose German title, Der Tugendkönig, translates as “The Virtue King.” In the Us the film was titled He (or He - the Virgin Man), but the original title is Le Rosier de Madame Husson. Based on an 1887 Maupassant novella of the same name, the story concerns the titular Mme. Husson who seeks to promote chastity in her village by crowning a rosière, or a Rose Queen: a girl of unimpeachable virtue. But when none of the young women in town are equal to the title she selects the village idiot (played in the film by Fernandel) as her rosier.

Above: Roger »

- Adrian Curry

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25 stylish French films worth watching

18 February 2013 1:50 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Odd List Aliya Whiteley Feb 19, 2013

Covering 85 years of cinema, Aliya provides her pick of 25 stylish, must-see French movies...

I’m going to kick this off in best New-Wave style by pointing out that we should be praising each great director’s body of work rather than showcasing favourite movies in a list format; after all, France came up with the concept of the auteur filmmaker, stamping their personality on a film, using the camera to portray their version of the world.

Yeah, well, personality is everything. So here’s a highly personal choice, arranged in chronological order, of 25 of the most individualistic French films. They may be long or short, old or new, but they all have one thing in common – they’ve got directorial style. And by that I don’t mean their shoes match their handbags.

The Passion Of Joan Of Arc (1928)

There are no stirring battle scenes, »

- ryanlambie

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13 items from 2013


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