18 items from 2015
Rupert Murdoch’s recently reconfigured Sky paybox looks to have the makings to become a new force in the international TV drama landscape as it begins to flex its pan-European muscles.
At its foundation are 24 million subscribers and $16.7 billion in revenues created through the 2014 merger of the U.K.’s BSkyB and its sister companies in Italy and Germany. It has adopted a multiterritory release strategy, a la Netflix, for certain high-end (and pricier) projects and, to compete in international TV’s current scripted-content arms race, it has greenlit more complex productions aimed to travel.
“There are budgetary, logistical and temporal hurdles to be overcome before the new Sky can be viewed in the same way as an HBO or an AMC can,” cautioned London-based TV analyst Anna Stuart of research firm Ihs Technology, noting that the company still faces challenges as it seeks to become a major player. “But »
- Nick Vivarelli
Rome – The Rome Film Festival has a new team in place, headed by its onetime artistic director Piera Detassis who has been appointed president of the foundation that oversees the event, which now appears to be entering a new phase.
Antonio Monda, a multihyphenate with ties to the U.S. film and literary world, is widely expected to be appointed Rome’s artistic director on Monday, replacing Marco Mueller who exited last year, following a turbulent three-year mandate.
Monda is a high-powered New York-based Italo journalist with a flair for PR who has also dabbled in film and held Q&A sessions during the Rome fest. He appears in brief cameos in Wes Anderson’s “The Life Acquatic” and Paolo Sorrentino’s “This Must Be The Place.”
Detassis, who prior to Mueller had been artistic director at Rome and has been in prominent roles there since its inception, underscored the »
- Nick Vivarelli
Berlin –Launching its biggest promo push in the last 15 years, the Italian film industry is driving into Latin America, kick-starting its surge with a multifaceted and mass presence at March’s 30th Guadalajara Film Festival. This will play out through sections, tributes and an important market presence.
Highlights at Guadalajara, which runs March 6-15, include the award of a its International Mayahuel Award to Bernardo Bertolucci, who will attend the festival. Honor recognizes Bertolucci’s contribution to world cinema and acknowledged influence on many of Latin America’s most important filmmakers.
Also on the agenda: a Bruno Bozzetto retrospective, a 34-pic recent Italian cinema panorama, and a major Guadalajara market attendance of producers, institutions and sales agents of Italian films. Among the latter are Rai Com, Rai Cinema, Adriana Chiesa Enterprises, Intramovies, The Match Factory, Domenico Procacci’s Fandango Distribuzione, Hengameh Panahi’s Celluloid Dreams, Doc & Film, The Open Reel, »
- John Hopewell
Even before the Berlin festival is over, and the Oscars remain under wraps, the thoughts of many executives have turned to Cannes.
At this stage, the selectors of Cannes different sections have seen very little, so there is no such thing as a certainty.
Following some of the chatter and looking at which films might have the right credentials comes up with a strongly international selection for Thierry Fremaux and his team to choose from.
Fellow Italian, and previous Palme d’Or-winner Nanni Moretti, has “My Mother” (aka “Mia Madre”) while Paolo Sorrentino’s Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel-starrer “Youth” (aka “La Giovinezza,” aka “In the Future”) is also a strong competition contender.
Buzz is strong for “The Lobster,” the English-language »
- Patrick Frater
The halls are starting to hum softly here in Berlin as the European Film Market swings into gear. The first deals were announced yesterday before the event officially opened, with The Weinstein Co notably boarding Im Global’s The Man Who Made It Snow. This morning, FilmNation unveiled a series of offshore output deals for titles from Open Road, which will kick off with the Jamie Foxx/Michelle Monaghan-starrer Sleepless Nights.
Though it’s not likely to be a frenzy, and with currency concerns in the market internationally, Berlin should see more action in the coming days. Distributors are looking for product for 2016 and beyond, and some memorable buys have emerged here in recent years. In 2014, The Weinstein Company made a record-setting $7M deal for The Imitation Game which has now made about $140M worldwide and has an armful of Oscar nominations to boot.
Much of the pre-buy buzz »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Marco Risi (“Fortapasc”) has made a few good movies, which is why nothing quite prepares viewers for the train wreck that is “Three Touches.” Rampant homophobia may be the worst of its sins, but there are plenty others to choose from: absence of tone, a lousy script, overwrought situations, misogyny, etc. Designed as an insightful look into the lives of six struggling thesps (each character bears the first name of the actor), brought together via friendly soccer matches, the pic is little more than a ludicrous explosion of testosterone. Italo audiences stayed away during its brief late November run.
Given some of the talent involved, especially among the cameos (which even include Paolo Sorrentino, basically as himself), far more was to be expected. Yet right from the start, with feverish recitations of the Lord’s Prayer, the viewer’s first instinct is to shout: “Calm down!” Max (Massimiliano Benvenuto), one of the more agitated reciters, »
- Jay Weissberg
Grisoni talked about what he was up to in Goteborg where he participated in a TV seminar.
Grisoni, who is based in London, revealed plot details to Variety following his presentation of “The Red Riding” trilogy and “Southcliffe”.
“Sorrentino’s show is about an hardline conservative American pope ‘recruited’ by the Vatican because they’re fed up of liberals. But no one, even at the Vatican, is prepared for how hardline this American Pope really is,” Grisoni told Variety, adding that the series is expected to start shooting later this year.
The writer also said he was penning the adaptation of China Mieville »
- Elsa Keslassy
Goteborg: Left Bank CEO Andy Harries and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas writer Tony Grisoni revealed details about upcoming projects during keynotes at TV Drama Vision, the Gothenburg Film Festival’s TV event.
“I’m writing a single drama for TV, which I hope to direct,” he said.
The London-based writer is also adapting the China Mieville novel The City & The City as “a four-part drama for the BBC.”
British author Mieville’s well-received novel is part ‘weird fiction’, part police procedural, following an inspector’s hunt for the killer of young student.
During his keynote Grisoni spoke candidly about his disagreement with the ‘auteur theory’.
“Film is a social act. I’m a screenwriter so of course I’m against the auteur »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
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
Paris – Lyon’s Institut Lumière is teaming with France’s Cnc film agency to organize Lumiere! Le Cinéma Inventé, a major Paris exhibition-restoration initiative marking the 120th anniversary of the invention of cinema – or at least cinema as we have known it over nearly all of the last 120 years.
Not just a commemoration, however, Lumière! will attempt to deliver a corrective to the legend of two technical geniuses of little vision, ignoring the importance of their invention, and of little art.
Presented Monday night in Paris by Thierry Fremaux – Institut Lumière director as well as Cannes Fest head – and Cnc president Frederique Bredin – the Lumière! exhibition will run March 27 to June 14 at Paris’ Grand Palais, site of its 1900 Universal Exhibition, whose stars included Louis and Auguste Lumière, presenting their five-year-old invention, thanks to which France was to dominate world cinema until World War I.
Exhibition’s bow coincides with the »
- John Hopewell
Rome – Yearly box office in Italy dropped 7 percent in 2014 to $666 million, as both local and Hollywood pics lost market share. But 2015 has kicked off strong largely thanks to Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper,” which has now cumed more than $18 million on Italian screens since making a killer opening as the year started.
“Exodus” bowed this weekend in Italy at $3 million of 649 screens via Fox; “Everything” took $1.5 million from 308 via Universal.
“Sniper,” which launched in Italy on January 1, prior to any other country on the planet, is being cited by a Warner Bros. statement as testimony that Italy remains an important movie market. Since the start of 2015 Italo box office intake and admissions are both up more than 10 percent year-on-year.
After smashing all previous »
- Nick Vivarelli
I've already listed my top ten most anticipated blockbusters of the new year and now I'll take a look at the rest of the field as I've done my best to whittle things down to an even twenty films. So before you get in a huff that your favorite franchises aren't listed, just remember you can view all my anticipated blockbusters right here, I simply didn't know how to write the headline other than to just say these were my most anticipated movies without any further distinction. That said, I think I have a nice rounded list for you here. Obviously several from the major studios, but also a few overseas entries to spice things up. Plenty of Tom Hardy and Jake Gyllenhaal and a couple starring Rachel Weisz along with several of my favorite directors coming with new films for the new year. If you're wondering where films such »
- Brad Brevet
For What It’s Worth: Virzi’s Leftist Neo-Noir a Capitalistic Parable
Receiving its North American premiere last spring at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, where it snagged a Best Actress award for Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Paolo Virzi’s Human Capital is Italy’s submission for this year’s Best Foreign Language contender. They’ve chosen wisely once again (last year Paolo Sorrentino’s sublime The Great Beauty took home the award, but Virzi beat out Sorrentino for Best Film on home turf), as Virzi’s familial drama is an expertly paced dramatic thriller crafted around what could easily been a generic narrative. A triptych of perspective based characterizations coalesce into an arresting finale engendering Verzi’s foreboding title.
Cleaning up after what appears to have been a large banquet, a member of the serving staff takes off into the cold Italian evening on his bicycle, shortly run off the road and into a ditch. »
- Nicholas Bell
Italian director Francesco Rosi had died, aged 92.
Rosi was one of Italy's most-celebrated and influential filmmakers, working throughout the 1950s to the 1990s.
Two years ago, he was awarded an honorary Golden Lion for his lifetime achievement.
Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino said in tribute: "There are directors, and they are few and far between, who are capable of constructing worlds, and they do it by the invention of methods and styles. Rosi was one of the very few."
Watch a trailer for Salvatore Giuliano below: »
In the Future
While Italian auteur went home empty-handed from Cannes 2013 with The Great Beauty, he went on to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. One of the most renowned modern masters of Italian cinema, Sorrentino returns to the English language for a second dip following 2011’s Sean Penn headlined This Must Be the Place. While that was probably our least favorite of Sorrentino’s filmography (especially compared to his last film or 2008’s Il Divo), we’re excited for the starry line-up of his latest, including Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Jane Fonda, and Rachel Weisz. The narrative focuses on two old friends, both in the late autumn of their lives. One a retired composer/conductor, the other a filmmaker writing what he assumes will be his last film, we assume surprises are in store for both.
- Nicholas Bell
Rome – The centennial of Frank Sinatra’s birth will be celebrated by the 10th Los Angeles-Italia Film Fashion and Art Festival, the annual pre-Oscars event celebrating showbiz ties between Italy and Hollywood.
Rising star Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo, known for his “Pavarotti Ping,” will be the first celebrity guest to pay tribute to Sinatra on the event’s opening night, Feb. 15 at the Hollywood and Highland Center.
The Feb 15-21 fest will also include a selection of films from Sinatra’s career, including “Some Came Running,” “From Here To Eternity,” “The Man with the Golden Arm,” “Guys and Dolls,” “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Ocean’s 11″ and “On the Town.”
“Sinatra was extremely proud of his Italian heritage,” enthused Italo crooner and music producer Tony Renis, who is L.A. Italia’s Honorary President this year, in a statement.
“His father Antonino was born in Palermo, Sicily, and his mother Della came »
- Nick Vivarelli
The Tale of Tales
Italian director Matteo Garrone reached international renown in 2008 with Gomorrah, which took home the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes. However, it was actually Garrone’s sixth feature, a director who started making films only slightly before fellow countryman Paolo Sorrentino, and Garrone’s 2002 title The Embalmer played in the Director’s Fortnight, and he’s made appearances in Venice (Roman Summer, 2000) and Berlin (First Love, 2004) as well. After the success of Gomorra, Garrone’s next film, Reality, would also score the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes 2012. While 2015 will see the second English language feature film from Sorrentino, Garrone makes his English language debut with The Tale of Tales, a film that will be a giant fresco of the Baroque period, based on “Tale of Tales” by Giambattista Basile, the famous author of Neapolitan tales from the 17th century. »
- Nicholas Bell
Piero Messina previously served as Assistant Director on Paolo Sorrentino’s 2013 film, The Great Beauty. He makes his directorial debut with The Wait and snagged none other than Juliette Binoche to headline his vehicle. Initially we were none to thrilled with up and coming ingénue Lou de Laage, who first landed a notable role in Daniele Thompson’s insipid It Happened in Saint Tropez (2013), but we were more impressed in her more psychologically unnerving turn in Melanie Laurent’s Breathe, which premiered at Cannes in this year’s Critics’ Week. Seasoned Italian vet Giacomo Bendotti (a supporting player in Sorrentino’s 2008 Il Divo) rounds out that cast in a narrative that concerns a mother unexpectedly meeting her son’s fiancée at a villa in Sicily and gets to know her as she waits for her son to arrive. »
- Nicholas Bell
18 items from 2015
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners