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Connect4Climate's Francis James Dobbs: "In Cannes we met with the Cine-Regio, which is the film commissions in France and Belgium and Holland and Germany." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
At the official launch of Wild-Touch's Ice & Sky with Luc Jacquet and Marion Cotillard, I arranged to meet with Connect4Climate's Francis James Dobbs who discussed with me the Action4Climate competition that had jury members including filmmakers Bernardo Bertolucci, Wim Wenders, Atom Egoyan, Walter Salles, Mira Nair, Fernando Meirelles, Bob Rafelson, Mika Kaurismaki, Marc Foster and Pablo Trapero, a meeting with Cine-Regio at the Cannes Film Festival, contacting Sony, Universal, and Paramount to come on board, what Yoko Ono said at the press preview for Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960 - 1971 at MoMA and looking forward to COP21 in Paris.
In Le »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Suffer the First Vision: Goddard’s Debut Anchored in Episode of Literary Distress
Doomed Welsh poet Dylan Thomas gets a contemporary biopic treatment in Set Fire to the Stars, taking its name from the last line of his poem “Love in the Asylum.” The film marks the feature debut of British television alum Andy Goddard (“Torchwood,” “Downton Abbey”) and is presented in striking black and white, giving the visual attributes a dramatic edge over the familiar succession of beats often evidenced in these portraits of mad artists. Told through the perspective of poet and literary critic John Brinnin, the man responsible for bringing Thomas to the Us for the first time, the treatment is based partially on his highly criticized account, Dylan Thomas in America. Goddard and co-writer Celyn Jones (who stars as Thomas) don’t appear to take many liberties and/or risks, despite some slight implications concerning Brinnin’s latent desires. »
- Nicholas Bell
Lenny Bruce: Dustin Hoffman in the 1974 Bob Fosse movie. Lenny Bruce movie review: Polemical stand-up comedian merited less timid biopic (Oscar Movie Series) Bob Fosse's 1974 biopic Lenny has two chief assets: the ever relevant free speech issues it raises and the riveting presence of Valerie Perrine. The film itself, however, is only sporadically thought-provoking or emotionally gripping; in fact, Lenny is a major artistic letdown, considering all the talent involved and the fertile material at hand. After all, much more should have come out of a joint effort between director Fosse, fresh off his Academy Award win for Cabaret; playwright-screenwriter Julian Barry, whose stage version of Lenny earned Cliff Gorman a Tony Award; two-time Best Actor Oscar nominee Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy); and cinematographer Bruce Surtees (Play Misty for Me, Blume in Love). Their larger-than-life subject? Lenny Bruce, the stand-up comedian who became one of the »
- Andre Soares
In today's roundup of news and views: A new journal on television narratives; a review of a book from Raymond Cauchetier, who photographed Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut and other French New Wave filmmakers at work; more long takes on Alex Garland's Ex Machina (and Joe Wright's interview with Alicia Vikander); Boris Nelepo on Manoel De Oliveira; John Powers on The Matrix; Bright Lights on Boyhood; a conversation about Don Hertzfeldt; an appreciation of Federico Fellini; Jaws at 40 and Total Recall at 25; in defense of Cameron Crowe's Aloha; and Bernardo Bertolucci, Wim Wenders, Fernando Meirelles, Walter Salles, Atom Egoyan, Bob Rafelson and Pablo Trapero are among the directors who have pledged their support to Film4Climate. » - David Hudson »
Making good on its director’s large promise, “Paulina,” the second feature from Santiago Mitre, whose “The Student” was one of Latin America’s standout recent debuts, topped the Cannes Film Festival’s 54th Critics’ Week, taking its Nespresso Grand Prix on Thursday.
Sold by Versatile Films and produced by Argentina’s La Union de los Rios, Paris-based Full House, Walter Salles’ VideoFilmes and Telefonica Studios, “Paulina” centers on a woman lawyer in a humble neighborhood who is brutally attacked but refuses to give up on her social work.
In a double whammy for Latin America, “Land and Shade” scooped both the France 4 Visionary Award and the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Sacd Prize. The slice-of-life feature debut from Colombia’s Cesar Acevedo is a family drama set on a blighted sugarcane plantation, portraying a rural way of life condemned to extinction. Burning Blue’s Diana Bustamante (“Crab Trap, »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Several of the world’s leading filmmakers have pledged their support to Film4Climate, an initiative to encourage the film and entertainment industry to take action on climate change.
Among those supporting the initiative are Bernardo Bertolucci, Wim Wenders, Fernando Meirelles, Walter Salles, Atom Egoyan, Bob Rafelson and Pablo Trapero. In a call to action, Bertolucci said: “There is no doubt the earth is in danger. I am looking forward to see testimonies about the climate changes.” Wenders added: “To combat climate change is one of the major tasks of our generation.”
Film4Climate is an initiative of the World Bank’s Connect4Climate program.
“It’s time for a global creative and influential alliance to tackle the climate crisis,” said Lucia Grenna, program manager for Connect4Climate.
Film4Climate will be presented at Cannes with events at the Doc Corner brunch and Next pavilion on May 18-19.
- Leo Barraclough
Amy Adams drop dead gorgeous on Oscars' Red Carpet Amy Adams at the 83rd Academy Awards Looking drop dead gorgeous, Amy Adams is pictured above donning a scintillating blue dress while arriving at the 2011 Oscar ceremony, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in the fast-thumping heart of Hollywood. Adams was – for the third time in six years (more info below) – a Best Supporting Actress nominee. This time around, she was shortlisted for her performance in David O. Russell's The Fighter, a generally well-regarded and surprisingly successful (in the U.S.) boxing drama that earned fellow supporting actress Melissa Leo the evening's Oscar. Another The Fighter actor, Christian Bale (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight), took home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar statuette. In fact, the film's only major cast member left without an Oscar nomination in the acting categories was lead Mark Wahlberg (pictured with wife) – though he did »
- D. Zhea
Brazil’s economy is languishing, hit by plunging commodity prices. Since last year’s Cannes, the real has depreciated 36% against the dollar, hitting film imports hard. And thanks to preparations for 2016’s budget-busting Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Rio’s regional movie funding has dwindled.
So does 2015’s Cannes catch the Brazilian industry in retreat? Not at all.
Muscular state coin is still in place — last July, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff announced a 1.2 billion real ($397 million) package of film-tv incentives. Total Brazilian box office, including U.S. movies, powered up 11.7% in 2014 to $744.7 million, according to Filme B.
Requiring cable channels to air 3.5 hours of primetime Brazilian content weekly, 2011’s Law 12,485 has galvanized indie TV production levels. Brazil’s pay TV homes grew 6% year-on-year to 27.3 million in 2014, per the Business Bureau.
In domestic, the major market trend is robust diversification. Once largely known abroad for arthouse movies, top outfits have initiated blockbuster franchise production (Gullane, »
- John Hopewell
Kristen Stewart 'On the Road' dancing, with Garrett Hedlund on the right Down memory lane: Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart 'On the Road' images At the time best known as The Twilight Saga's conflicted human Bella Swan, Kristen Stewart was cast as the exuberant Marylou in Walter Salles' film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's iconic 1950s novel On the Road. Salles had been impressed with Stewart's pre-Twilight work in Sean Penn's Into the Wild. Based on LuAnne Henderson, Kerouac's close buddy Neal Cassady's first wife, Marylou is described as a "beautiful little sharp chick." Apparently, one who also likes to move seductively to the sound of music – as can be attested by the Kristen Stewart picture above, which first came out online in early 2011. Besides Stewart, On the Road also features Garrett Hedlund – at the time best known for Tron: Legacy – as Dean Moriarty, »
- Zac Gille
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Check here for a complete list of our essays. Just one glance at the Oscar nominees for 1998 might make it seem less a questionable choice for “best year in film” — and more an insane one. Instead of a 1974 – The Godfather II, The Conversation, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc – or even a 1994, where Shawshank, Quiz Show, and Pulp Fiction lost to Gump – you choose a year where the Oscars would allow Roberto Benigni to climb atop both the figurative and literal chairs of the Shrine? Fine, step away from the Oscars. Would you still celebrate a year that saw not one, but two movies about asteroids threatening the Earth? A year that saw such scars carved across cinematic history as Patch Adams, My Giant, Stepmom, and Krippendorf’s Tribe? It bears repeating: Krippendorf’S Tribe? »
- Michael Oates Palmer
Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson on the Oscars' Red Carpet Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson at the Academy Awards Eli Wallach and wife Anne Jackson are seen above arriving at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, held on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The 95-year-old Wallach had received an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in November 2010. See also: "Doris Day Inexplicably Snubbed by Academy," "Maureen O'Hara Honorary Oscar," "Honorary Oscars: Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo Among Rare Women Recipients," and "Hayao Miyazaki Getting Honorary Oscar." Delayed film debut The Actors Studio-trained Eli Wallach was to have made his film debut in Fred Zinnemann's Academy Award-winning 1953 blockbuster From Here to Eternity. Ultimately, however, Frank Sinatra – then a has-been following a string of box office duds – was cast for a pittance, getting beaten to a pulp by a pre-stardom Ernest Borgnine. For his bloodied efforts, Sinatra went on »
- D. Zhea
Paris — Elie Wajeman’s “The Anarchists,” a period drama starring Tahar Rahim (“The Past”) and Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”), is set to world premiere on opening night of Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival, anchoring a strongly French-flavored lineup of first and second features.
Set in 1899 Paris, “The Anarchists” (pictured above) turns on a cop who infiltrates a network of anarchists and unexpectedly develops a sincere attachment for the group. It’s Wajeman’s follow-up to his 2012 debut film, “Aliyah” which played in Directors’ Fortnight, the festival’s other parallel program.
In addition to “The Anarchists,” Critics’ Week artistic director Charles Tesson selected two French films — Louis Garrel’s “Les deux amis” and Mathieu Vadepied’s “La Vie en grand” — for the Special Screenings section.
- Elsa Keslassy
Alfonso Ruizpalacios’ “Gueros” was the most-laurelled Latin American debut of 2014. This year, Jayro Bustamante’s “Ixcanul,” a Guatemala-France co-pro, is shaping up to inherit that crown, having already won Berlinale’s Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize, then topped Guadalajara and Cartagena, Mexico and Colombia’s biggest fests, respectively. Described by Variety’s Scott Foundas as “a transporting, hypnotically beautiful debut feature” and “downright Herzogian (far more Herzogian than Herzog’s own ‘Queen of the Desert’),” “Ixcanul” is produced by Guatemala’s La Casa de Produccion and Edgard Tenembaum’s Paris-based Tu Vas Voir, whose credits also include Walter Salles’ “The Motorcycle Diaries.” The story of a young Mayan woman, living in a community of Kaqchikel-speaking coffee farmers, whose unwanted pregnancy brings her into final — and shocking — contact with the modern world she dreamt so much about, “Ixcanul” delivers a sucker punch about what Bustamante has called one driving theme of »
- John Hopewell
Kristen Stewart, 'Camp X-Ray' star, to join cast of 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' Kristen Stewart to join 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' movie After putting away her Bella Swan wig and red (formerly brown) contact lenses, Kristen Stewart has been making a number of interesting career choices. Here are three examples: Stewart was a U.S. soldier who befriends an inmate (Peyman Moaadi) at the American Gulag, Guantanamo, in Peter Sattler's little-seen (at least in theaters) Camp X-Ray. She was one of Best Actress Oscar winner Julianne Moore's daughters in Wash Westmoreland and the recently deceased Richard Glatzer's Alzheimer's drama Still Alice. She was the personal assistant to troubled, aging actress Juliette Binoche in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria, which earned her a history-making Best Supporting Actress César. (Stewart became the first American actress to take home the French Academy Award. »
- Andre Soares
With films by David Fincher, Walter Salles, and Olivier Assayas under her belt, and upcoming movies from Drake Doremus, Woody Allen, and Kelly Reichardt on the horizon, Kristen Stewart has found a steady groove of working with auteurs. And now she's adding another big name to her CV. The Wrap reports that the actress has joined Ang Lee's "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk." She'll join Joe Alwyn, Steve Martin and Garrett Hedlund in the Simon Beaufoy ("Slumdog Millionaire," "127 Hours") penned adaptation of Ben Fountain's National Book Award Finalist about a young infantryman, who survives a firefight in Iraq in 2005 and is honored by George W. Bush during the Dallas Cowsboys halftime show at Thanksgiving, along with his fellow soldiers. After the celebration, they all return to Iraq to serve their country. Lensing will begin on the movie later this month and while it might seem like a tight squeeze »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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
The trophy will be presented to del Toro at the San Francisco Film Festival’s awards night April 27 at the Armory. He will also be honored at “An Evening With Guillermo del Toro” on April 25 at the Castro Theatre with an interview, selection of clips, a sneak peek at upcoming projects and a screening of “The Devil’s Backbone.”
“Guillermo del Toro’s remarkable ability to shift between intimate political drama and blockbuster action is shared with only a very few select filmmakers at the top of the field,” said Noah Cowan, executive director of the society, in a statement. “This award is a tribute to his boundless imagination and to his deep understanding of cinema history. Del Toro is both a great teacher and a boisterous communicator of why »
- Dave McNary
Jayro Bustamante’s debut “Ixcanul,” the flagship of a burgeoning Guatemalan cinema, continued its triumphant festival march, winning Official Fiction Competition best picture at Colombia’s 55th Cartagena Festival, which wrapped Tuesday night.
A Berlin Festival Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize winner, “Ixcanul” took top honors – best Ibero-American picture and director – just last Saturday at Mexico’s Guadalajara Fest. Described by Variety’s Scott Foundas as “a transporting, hypnotically beautiful debut feature” and “downright Herzogian (far more Herzogian than Herzog’s own ‘Queen of the Desert’),” “Ixcanul” has now achieved the near unthinkable for a Guatemalan movie just a few years back: a French co-producer, Edgard Tenembaum’s Paris-based Tu Vas Voir, whose credits also include Walter Salles’ “The Motorcycle Diaries”; a sales agent, Vicente Canales’ Film Factory, now one of the biggest dealers in not only Spanish but Latin American films; top fest plaudits and major territory sales to distinguished distributors, »
- John Hopewell
American Ultra stars Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg will be reunited later this year in another project: Woody Allen's next as yet untitled feature. Bruce Willis is the third cast member whose name has been publicly announced. The source for this information is an "exclusive" report via Deadline.com's Mike Fleming Jr. So far, as Fleming explains in his brief piece, Woody Allen and "his people" haven't confirmed the casting. In other words, things could change in the not-too-distant future. See also: Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt Movie Project, also featuring Laura Dern and Michelle Williams. Unsurprisingly, no plot details about the upcoming Woody Allen project have been forthcoming. In fact, one wonders if Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, and Bruce Willis – in case they have indeed joined the fold – know what the movie is going to be about. Allen's latest collaborators – Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum and Edward Walson – will be producing the film. »
- Zac Gille
Kristen Stewart joins Untitled Kelly Reichardt Project (photo: Kristen Stewart in 'Clouds of Sils Maria') This news bit has been everywhere online, but just in case you've missed it: History-making César Award winner Kristen Stewart has joined three-time Oscar-nominee Michelle Williams and two-time Oscar nominee Laura Dern in an as yet untitled drama set in Montana and to be directed by Kelly Reichardt.* Deadline.com first broke the story last week (Feb. 27, 2015). If all goes as planned, Kristen Stewart will play Boise lawyer Beth, who, nervous after accepting a teaching position in a small Montana town, befriends a local woman, Jamie, auditing her class.† Kelly Reichardt's usual partners Neil Kopp and Anish Savjani are producing the project, which is supposed to consist of a series of vignettes based on short stories by Maile Meloy. Also in the cast: James Le Gros (Point Break), Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows »
- Zac Gille
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