13 items from 2015
Gilliam started filming the movie 15 years ago, but as was charted in detail in the gripping documentary Lost In La Mancha, when the man cast in the title role - Jean Rochefort - was diagnosed with a double herniated disc, it was clear he'd have to quit the project. It'd taken Gilliam a couple of years to find him, and bringing in a last minute replacement simply wasn't on the cards. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was duly abandoned.
Ever since then, though, Gilliam has talked of potentially reviving the project, and it seemed he was on the verge of doing so. With backing from Amazon Studios, »
Director Terry Gilliam’s long-gestating adaptation of Don Quixote has been delayed once again this week, with Contact Music reporting that the health of star John Hurt (Snowpiercer) has set the film back.
Hurt, who is the latest actor to take over the lead role of Quixote after the likes of Robert Duvall (The Judge) and original star Jean Rochefort, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer over the summer. The acclaimed actor is currently undergoing treatment, but insurers on the film want to wait and see how his treatment progresses before completing their “sign-off”.
Gilliam remains hopeful that Hurt will be fit enough to return to the project, which sees him co-star with Jack O’Connell (Starred Up). O’Connell will play the role of Toby, originally “portrayed” by Johnny Depp (Black Mass) in the abandoned 2002 version of the film.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was first scheduled for »
- Scott J. Davis
The story of Terry Gilliam‘s death was thankfully completely wrong, but his new/old film project, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, is having a harder time. The film has been an on-again, off-again proposition for years, originally going before cameras in 2000 with Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort in the lead roles before a set of disasters, […]
- Russ Fischer
Emma de Caunes joins the jury for the 26th British Film Festival in Dinard Photo: Richard Mowe
Actress Emma de Caunes (daughter of former Eurotrash host Antoine de Caunes) will join president Jean Rochefort as a member of this year’s jury at the 26th edition of Dinard British Film Festival, it was announced today (13 Sept).
Among the other jurors at the event from 30 September until 4 October will be actress Melanie Doutey, Virginia Efra, Amara Karan, Alexandra Lamy, actor Bernard Lecoq and producer Bertrand Favre with a few names still to be confirmed. Among the awards to be deliberated will be the top accolade the Golden Hitchcock.
- Richard Mowe
Locarno – “Tikkun,” “Schneider vs. Bax,” “Wonderful” lead early business announcements at an ever busier Locarno Fest Industry Days, now packed with a full roster of events, where Philippe Le Guay’s “Floride” and Catherine Corsini’s “Summertime” both gleaned positive reviews, boding well for sales off what one sales agent called the “Locarno-Toronto express.”
Energized by a rising presence of Hollywood stars – Edward Norton, Andy Garcia and Amy Schumer, in town to tubthump “Trainwreck” – Locarno’s industry presence shows no signs of curbing growth hitting 1,200 attendees for its Aug. 8-10 Industry Days, 14% up on 2014.
In a banner industry deal at Switzerland’s Locarno Festival, L.A-based Bleiberg Entertainment will represent U.S. and world sales rights on “Tikkun,” from Israel’s Avishai Sivan, one of the outstanding titles – it swept top honors at July’s ever-more relevant Jerusalem Fest – to hit Locarno without an international sales agent.
Marking another key deal, »
- John Hopewell and Emilio Mayorga
Nearly four decades after winning his first Cesar, French star Jean Rochefort (whom Americans may recognize as the man Terry Gilliam intended to play Don Quixote) is still working steadily, though hardly ever in films of note. Simply put, projects like “Floride” — based on Florian Zeller’s prize-winning play “The Father” — rarely come his way anymore. Boasting a lead role as juicy as a sun-ripened orange, this late-career blessing may as well be Rochefort’s “Nebraska,” allowing the beloved character actor to adapt his persona — in which venerability leaves room for an almost childish streak of mischief — to that of a once-proud patriarch suffering from dementia. Sensitive without lapsing into sentimentality, “Floride” marks the sort of gently irreverent French film that elderly arthouse auds seem to love best, blending humor and pathos to crowd-pleasing effect.
- Peter Debruge
Jean Rochefort to head the jury at the 26th Festival of British Cinema in Dinard
The French have always had a love affair with British cinema and they helped to sustain such directors as Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, hailed as auteurs no less, when nobody on these shores was particularly enthusiastic about their output.
Such passion is not always reciprocated yet any differences in temperament tend to melt away during the annual British Film Festival in Dinard, the resort on the Emerald Coast, close to St Malo which was founded by the English as a fashionable Belle Epoque watering hole at the end of the last century.
The festival lives up to its reputation as a convivial place for Anglo-French networking. Among the serious formal talkfests is the annual co-production meeting between British and French industry movers and shakers, followed by a pitching session during which different projects are run past potential production partners. »
- Richard Mowe
Film Movement continues with its Classic series and delivers their next title in a continuing line-up of new Blu-ray presentations, The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe, a seminal French comedy of the period from director Yves Robert. A stylized paean to the comedic tradition of Jerry Lewis, this is straight-faced screwball comedy not quite as daring or inventive as the title’s sterling reputation promises (it did win the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival). Notable, especially considering the significant talent in front of and behind the camera, it’s a comedy classic of uncomplicated froth, though its ability to amuse now seems dwarfed by expectation.
Traveling violinist Francois (Pierre Richard) is misidentified as a superspy by France’s national intelligence. As a host of people desperately attempt to interpret Francois’ strange actions, everyone becomes more and more assured of his significant skills. Meanwhile, Francois is embroiled »
- Nicholas Bell
In the heart of Paris, a repurposed monastery known as the Musee des Arts et Metiers serves as a technological shrine to human innovation, where school kids marvel at all manner of inventions, from Foucault’s pendulum to the first robots and computers. Now think how different that museum’s treasures might be had all the world’s best scientists disappeared from the face of the earth at the turn of the previous century, leaving Paris mired in the Age of Steam. That’s the alternate reality that graphic novelist Jacques Tardi imagined in “April and the Extraordinary World,” which has now inspired a dynamic animated sci-fi adventure that delivers on the lofty, retro-styled promise of “Tomorrowland” — or more aptly, “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” — in a way that stimulates the intellect of all who watch. The visually striking, hand-drawn toon should fare great in France, where it opens Oct. »
- Peter Debruge
Christopher Lee, the second most famous Dracula of the 20th century — an impressive feat — and a memorably irrepressible villain in James Bond film “The Man With the Golden Gun,” in the Star Wars films and in “The Lord of the Rings” pics, has died. He was 93.
His first role for famed British horror factory Hammer Films was not the Transylvanian vampire, however, but Frankenstein’s Monster in 1957’s “The Curse of Frankenstein.” His close friend Peter Cushing, with whom he would co-star in horror films frequently, starred as the Baron.
Lee made his first appearance as the sharp-toothed Count in 1958’s “Horror of Dracula.”
For reasons not quite certain, he skipped the 1960 sequel “Brides of Dracula,” but he returned to the role for 1965’s “Dracula: Prince of Darkness” — a movie »
- Carmel Dagan
Two of director Philippe de Broca’s earliest renowned titles get new restorations and are available for the first time on Blu-ray, That Man From Rio (1964) and Up to His Ears (1965), the first two titles from a loose James Bond spoof trilogy featuring Jean-Paul Belmondo. Certainly ahead of his time, de Broca’s amusing adventure films are much more than the kind of lowbrow entertainment that would come to typify the genre known as spoof, and this became a notable inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones films, particularly 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Inspired by the adventures of Belgian cartoonist Herge’s Tintin adventures (which also provided the basis for a 2011 Steven Spielberg adaptation), a prized Amazonian statue is stolen from a Parisian museum. Three such statues left South American on an expedition that involved the late father of Agnes (Francoise Dorleac) and and two colleagues. Professor Catalan »
- Nicholas Bell
This week, Neil Calloway looks at the recent collapse of two films, and the wider implications for Hollywood…
Imagine if you’d secured Bruce Willis, or Robert De Niro and Robert Pattinson to star in your film, sorted out financing and actually started shooting; you’d be pretty happy. You wouldn’t be guaranteed a hit – in William Goldman’s oft-repeated maxim about Hollywood “nobody knows anything”, but you’d be pretty certain that your film would get a release, and had the potential to make money.
But of course, this is Hollywood. “Nobody knows anything” is often repeated because it’s true. In November last year Idol’s Eye, starring De Niro and Pattinson, shut down production, and this week Bruce Willis, along with director John Pogue, left the film Wake after production had been “temporarily” stopped earlier in the year. Both films were to be produced by Benaroya Pictures, »
- Neil Calloway
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
13 items from 2015
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