7 items from 2015
The last of the three competing Italian films for the Palme d’Or, unlike 2008 where Garrone’s Gomorrah edged out Sorrentino’s Il Divo, here, solely going by grade average, it is Youth that is edging Tale of Tales. His seventh feature film, a Toni Servillo-less second English language film and fifth to appear In Comp at Cannes, Youth stars Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda in what appears to be a nice companion piece to his Oscar-winning The Great Beauty. Our Nicholas Bell describes the filmmaker’s touch as “less bombastic and potentially meditative with characters contemplating a last hurrah as they remember highs and lows.” Previously the filmmaker first shored up in Cannes with 2004’s The Consequences of Love, 2006’s Friend of the Family and who can forget career belly-flop in 2011’s This Must Be the Place.
- Eric Lavallee
Oh, Youth and Beauty!: Sorrentino’s Shows Softer Side in Switzerland
Following the success of the snide yet undeniably eloquent 2013 title The Great Beauty, which ended up snatching the Best Foreign Language statue at the Academy Awards, Paolo Sorrentino takes a second dip in English following 2011’s This Must Be the Place with Youth. Tender, sweet, and more emotional than his last film, Sorrentino is once again pontificating on the last chapter of life, this time through the vessels of a retired composer and aged film director, as portrayed by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel. Threaded with the auteur’s usual flashes of visual inspiration, this time around he seems less bombastic and potentially meditative with characters contemplating a last hurrah as they remember highs and lows.
At an isolated hotel in the foothills of the Alps, two old friends return to spend another vacation period. Retired composer Fred »
- Nicholas Bell
In “The Great Beauty,” there’s a flashback in which a young Jep Gambardella recalls the promise of love — its loss, with the betrayal of youthful ideals, leads to Jep’s crushing self-contempt. It’s a tender moment in a film of deep cynicism, and now Paolo Sorrentino, with “Youth,” delivers his most tender film to date, an emotionally rich contemplation of life’s wisdom gained, lost and remembered — with cynicism harping from the sidelines, but as a wearied chord rather than a major motif. Set in a Swiss spa with two old friends — one a retired composer-conductor, the other an active helmer— “Youth” is less flashy than Sorrentino’s recent pics but no less beautiful. Shot in English, with leads Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel bringing lifetimes of depth to their roles, the film, which Fox Searchlight is releasing Stateside, could become Sorrentino’s biggest box office hit yet. »
- Jay Weissberg
Italian director Roberto Ando has lined up an impressive Italian and international cast for his “Le Confessioni” (The Confessions), a meditation on power as perceived by the mind of a monk.
Producer Angelo Barbagallo will be pitching the pic to international sales agents on the Croisette.
Ando in 2013 scored a local hit with political dramedy “Viva La Liberta,” toplining Servillo.
Shooting on “Confessions” is set to start in Germany on May 26, and will then segue to Italy.
Pic is an Italian-French co-production being co-produced by Barbagallo’s Bibi Film,
Gaul’s Barbary Film and Rai Cinema. It got a hefty 550,000 euro ($623,000) subsidy from Italy’s Mibact government funding entity.
Though “Confessions” is believed to be inspired by “The Confessions of St. Augustine,” the production is staying mum on this »
- Nick Vivarelli
Remakes of horror movies are nothing new in Hollywood. We recently got one for Evil Dead, The Thing, and we’re a few weeks away from a modernized version of Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist. Even in terms of ’70s horror, there have been countless sequels and spinoffs all varying on the initial premise of The Exorcist.
But this latest planned remake boggles the mind. Don’t Look Now is Nicolas Roeg’s classic art house horror staple of the ’70s. Starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, it’s the story of a family who tragically loses their daughter in a drowning accident, then travels to Venice to try and piece their life back together, only to be warned by a clairvoyant nun that their daughter brings a message of danger from the afterlife. It’s not your typical jump-scare fest for teenagers to say the least.
The movie is also »
- Brian Welk
Given his long history with the festival, it seemed like a dead cert that Paolo Sorrentino’s latest, “Youth,” a second English-language film from the Oscar-winning Italian master behind “Il Divo” and “The Great Beauty,” would be heading to Cannes. We’re still a few days away from finding out the exact line-up (which hits April 16th), but a teaser trailer for Sorrentino’s new movie just landed, which seems to be a pretty good indication that it’ll be heading to the Croisette next month. Starring Michael Caine (who seems to have been done up decidedly like Sorrentino’s muse Toni Servillo), Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Paul Dano, it certainly seems to bear some similarities with “The Great Beauty,” but seems a rather less lavish affair, with even a greater edge of darkness. Anyway, this is one of our most anticipated of the year, and it looks absolutely terrific. »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Marco Bellocchio is a key figure from mid-60s radical Italian cinema with his 1965 film Fists in the Pocket. He’s gone on to enjoy a steady filmography with intermittent renewals of interest in his work, such as critical hits with titles like Good Morning, Night (2003), and, most recently with his scalding Vincere (2009). While we found his Isabelle Huppert/Toni Servillo headlined euthanasia film Dormant Beauty (2012) to be a bit overwrought (we interviewed the filmmaker then) , we’re excited to see his latest, which has received a provocative new title, L’ultimo Vampiro (The Last Vampire)—formerly known as La Monaca. Bellocchio reunites with Rohrwacher and his regular cast mate Roberto Herlitzka for this tale based on the true tale of a 17th century noblewoman forced to become a nun, but whose free-spirited love affairs inside the convent lead to incarceration. »
- Nicholas Bell
7 items from 2015
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