15 items from 2015
The European Film Academy’s (Efa) chairwoman Agnieszka Holland has spoken of a ¨crisis of content¨ in European cinema and called on the continent’s broadcasters to invest more in ambitious TV series.
Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily, the Polish director and Efa chair said: ¨The real crisis of European cinema is one of content.
¨We always have some good movies, but not enough. We have to make better ones, ones that are not just artistic and self-involved, but are searching for an audience.
¨Something which doesn’t help is the weakness of European television in terms of the production of ambitious TV series. We don’t have European stars, but nowadays they can be made by European television and that can be later reflected in the cinema.
“If you have this element [from television], it is then much easier to promote the films in the cinemas.¨
Holland also touched on the issue of EU audiovisual policy ahead of the »
- email@example.com (Martin Blaney)
To begin with a disclosure: I was granted free admission to this year’s True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri, and the festival paid for my travel and lodging as well. I still hope that I’m able to provide insight into the films I saw there.Bitter LakeSince attending the True/False Film Festival last month, I’ve been chewing on some ideas that Adam Curtis, the gifted essay filmmaker behind The Century of the Self and All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, shared in a lecture-cum-multimedia presentation that he called “Unstoryfiable.” Over the course of an hour, Curtis identified what he considered the major philosophical problems of our time, the unifying theme being a general failure of imagination in western culture. We’ve become a civilization obsessed with data, he argued; in our determination to predict the immediate future based on patterns of past behavior, »
- Ben Sachs
In the latest quick roundup on goings on here and there, we have a bit more on Afrofuturism at BAMcinématek. Plus: an evening with Luther Price, a chat with Julie Dash about La Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema, a series at London's Tate Modern, an overview of Kinoteka, London's 13th Polish Film Festival, featuring work by Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Jerzy Stuhr, Wojciech Has, Krzysztof Zanussi and many others, plus an Alain Resnais retrospective in Barcelona. » - David Hudson »
★★☆☆☆ Krzysztof Zanussi position as Poland's moral cinematic conscience is presumably the one he was playing up to for his latest film, Foreign Body (2014). Best known for films that betray her fierce intellect - a la Camouflage (1977) or The Illumination (1973) - this is an entirely different kind of prospect. Imagine, if you will, a psycho-sexual thriller involving high-powered business women, nuns, and a naive Italian Romeo. Now imagine such a film but with every hint of mirth or eroticism stripped and replaced with po-faced allegory. Various national maladies regarding the church and commercialism are also thrown into the mix. If it all sounds like something of a mess, then you're forming a fairly good picture.
- CineVue UK
★★★★☆ If all of life is a beautiful equation, then madness is re-running it over and over with the expectation of a different outcome. This is the cycle that young idealist Witold (Tadeusz Bradecki) finds himself entrenched in during The Constant Factor (1980), Krzysztof Zanussi's withering critique of corruption in Communist Poland. Unlike his other two lauded films that screen this week as part of the 13th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival, it forgoes gymnastics - formal in Illumination (1973) and verbal in Camouflage (1977) - in favour of a more straightforward, but no less thematically rich, drama. Captured in cold hues, it subdues intellect in favour of a more poignant personal narrative.
- CineVue UK
★★★★☆ Krzysztof Zanussi is a filmmaker that has, for much of his career, been considered by many as the cinematic conscience of Poland. There is arguably no clearer demonstration of this than during a purple patch towards the end of the 1970s and into the following decade in which he turned an unflinching eye on various facets of his society during a politically charged period. Camouflage (1977) certainly fits this bill, probing the cultural landscape of the time via a theoretical academic discourse. However, as with much of the director's oeuvre it is a work not just about the immediate, but dizzyingly rich in the depth and breadth of its thematic concerns.
- CineVue UK
★★★★★ The post-war years begat a period of enormous creativity across European cinema and Krzysztof Zanussi's Illumination (1973) stands out as a prime example of the incredible Polish craft of the time. It's a profound and cerebral ride through the life of Franciszek Retman (Stanislaw Latallo) in his never-ending quest for enlightenment bulging with tremendous formal dexterity. Kick-starting a particularly fertile and inventive period in Zanussi's career, the film is an idiosyncratic masterpiece, exploring humanity with cinéma vérité-style drama, pieced together with photographs, interviews and diagrams; transfixed by the marriage of science and art.
- CineVue UK
On Wednesday 8 April at 6pm, the BFI will host a screening of Krzysztof Zanussi's dialectic satire Camouflage (1977) - followed by a Q&A with the great filmmaker - to launch this year's Kinoteka Film Festival in London. For the event's thirteenth year, it is expanding its horizons and offering a bumper selection of Polish cinema which will run from 8 April - 29 May and will not only be available to those who dwell in the capital, but also the rest of the UK via a tour in concert with the BFI. The festival has always been keen to introduce unwitting British audiences to the incredible masterpieces in Polish cinema history alongside contemporary fare, and this year the classics take pride of place with much-beloved offerings from the likes of Andrzej Wajda, Kieślowski, Munk, Has and many more.
- CineVue UK
Iran’s top film event, the Fajr International Film Festival, is being reconfigured in an attempt to bring more international movies and film industry executives into the country.
Just as Iran and the U.S. announced the framework of a nuclear agreement that could lead to lifting sanctions, the government-run Cinema Organization of Iran issued two press releases announcing that for the first time the Fajr fest will host a separate new international event in Tehran.
Fajr’s new international offshoot will feature films from around the globe, including the U.S., screening alongside Iranian titles, plus master classes to be held by Hong Kong action-movie master Stanley Tong (“Rumble in the Bronx”); Polish auteur Krzysztof Zanussi (“Life as a Sexually Transmitted Disease”); Film Auckland chairman Pete Rive, who is an expert on doing co-productions with China; and Gallic effects wizard Bertrand Levallois, among others.
The new Iranian event will »
- Nick Vivarelli
Production companies include The Fyzz Facility and Elephant Gun Films.
Based on a series of teen suicides in Wales, drama Bridgend is set for its U.S. premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
New Europe Film Sales picked up world sales rights, with the exception of Denmark. Producers are [link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Monica Mendoza)
The duo’s feature debut became the second Bulgarian feature in Siff’s 19-year history to receive the international jury’s Grand Prix after Dragomir Sholev’s Shelter in 2011.
The Lesson also picked up the Audience Award, the Fipresci International Critics’ Prize and the award for the Best Bulgarian Feature Film.
Accepting the award, Valchanov pointed to the importance of the Sofia Meetings where The Lesson had originally been pitched and said that this event should be ¨an example¨ to the Bulgarian state to develop a long-term and sustainable film policy for the future.
The sentiment was echoed by international jury president Stephan Komanderev (The Judgement) when he presented the ¨Sofia City Of Film¨ Grand Prix to the young directors.
The Lesson, which is handled internationally by Wide Management, premiered last year »
- email@example.com (Martin Blaney)
Kinoteka Polish Film Festival, BFI Southbank and Filmhouse Edinburgh are collaborating on a national UK tour of Polish cinema.
Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema brings together 24 films chosen by Scorsese, all restored and digitally remastered to 2K resolution, as well as a series of contextual workshops, talks, exhibitions and special guests, all with the aim of exploring Polish film culture.
Scorsese commented: “These are films that have great emotional and visual power – they’re ‘serious’ films that, with their depth, stand up to repeated viewings. There are many revelations in the season and whether you’re familiar with some of these films or not, it’s an incredible opportunity to discover for yourself the great power of Polish Cinema, on the big screen.”
The season includes films from the likes of Andrzej Wajda, [link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Ian Sandwell)
Viacom18 has pacted with the Film Heritage in association with Martin Scorsese’s the Film Foundation to preserve Indian classics.
As part of this initiative Viacom18 will run a weeklong school Feb. 22-28, with international experts teaching how how to preserve and restore films. The class will include the daily unspooling of a restored classic with a talk on how it was achieved. There is already a movement to restore classics in India.
Besides the Film Foundation, Cineteca di Bologna, L’Immagine Ritrovata and Intl. Federation of Film Archives have partnered on the course, which is certified by Fiaf. Among the program’s advisers are Indian filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Gulzar, Jaya Bachchan, P.K. Nair, Kumar Shahani and Girish Kasaravalli, Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi, critic Mark Cousins, and GianLuca Farinelli of the Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna.
So far students from India, Sri Lanka and Nepal have registered for the course. »
- Shalini Dore
Six women have been elected onto the board of the European Film Academy (Efa).
Each board member is elected for a two-year term, with eight of the board up for re-election this time. Re-elected were two female members, Dagmar Jacobsen and Rebecca O’Brien. The six new board members are:
Tilde Corsi, Italy, producerIra von Gienanth, Germany, producer/distributorAngeles Gonzáles-Sinde, Spain, screenwriterVanessa Henneman, Netherlands, talent agentAgnès Jaoui, France, director/screenwriter/actressEwa Puszczynska, Poland, producer
Agnieszka Holland, Poland, director
Mike Downey, UK, producer
Antonio Saura, Spain, producer
Roberto Cicutto, Italy, producer
Tilde Corsi, Italy, producer
Helena Danielsson, Sweden, producer
Ira von Gienanth, Germany, producer/distributor
Ilann Girard, France, producer
Angeles Gonzáles-Sinde, Spain, screenwriter
Vanessa Henneman, Netherlands, talent agent
Dagmar Jacobsen, Germany, producer »
Esteemed Polish auteur Jerzy Skolimowski began his directorial career in the late 60′s, but gained international acclaim outside of his native film system, dipping into the French/Belgian production of The Departure (1967), headlined by Jean-Pierre Leaud (and winning the director the Golden Berlin Bear), before helming a trio of infamous UK productions starting with 1970′s iconic Deep End, an adaptation of Nabokov’s King, Queen, Knave (1972) and the mystical genre film The Shout (1978) featuring Alan Bates and John Hurt. Skolimowski would compete at Cannes five times, winning the Grand Jury prize twice, for The Shout and 1982′s Moonlighting. And then three rounds in Venice would nab him two more Jury Prizes, for The Lightship (1985) and Essential Killing (2010). Skolimowski was assumed to have retired after a hiatus dating from 1991′s 30 Door Key, but broke his silence with 2008′s Four Nights With Anna, followed by Essential Killing, »
- Nicholas Bell
15 items from 2015
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