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When the Morelia Intl. Film Festival, Mexico’s premiere showcase for local talent, kicks off Oct. 18 with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Birdman,” it will be the second time in two years the fest hosts the same opener as in Venice, after Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity.”
But the festival’s creative director isn’t worried about following Venice’s lead — he’s happy the festival is a big draw for Mexican filmmakers, both emerging talents and established Hollywood helmers.
Inarritu, like Cuaron last year, will come down for the gala screening, a point of pride for Morelia’s creative director Daniela Michel.
“I think it’s critical that we’ve become the most important meeting point for Mexican filmmakers,” Michel says. The festival runs Oct. 17-26 in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico.
Last year, Morelia opened the main feature competition to more seasoned directors, introducing separate prizes for feature and new work, making it possible to have, »
- James Young
Alice Rohrwacher's The Wonders (Le Meraviglie), a dramedy about a rural Italian agrarian community, took home the Grand Prix at this years Cannes Film Fest. It's an amazing feat considering it's only the second feature of a 33 year old director. So I was expecting a mousy, serious artist type. Bur Rohrwacher turns out to be a bright, spunky, rambunctious young woman with a great sense of humor. As we talked about her filmmaking, it was hard not to fall for her. Thank you Alice, you made my day.Twitch: There always seems to be a sibling rivalry in your films. How much of it is based on your relationship with your older sister (Alba Rohrwacher of I Am Love, Dormant Beauty)?Alice Rohrwacher: Not so much....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
"Set in rustic central Italy, The Wonders revolves around a family that bears traces of writer-director Alice Rohrwacher’s own," writes Melissa Anderson for Artforum. "The filmmaker, like her adolescent protagonist Gelsomina (Maria Alexandra Lungu), the oldest of four girls, is the daughter of a German father and an Italian mother who make their living as beekeepers. Similar to its predecessor, Corpo Celeste, an Nyff selection in 2011, The Wonders is an uncommonly graceful coming-of-age story, rooted as much in the fantastical as the material." We've got more reviews and two clips. » - David Hudson »
I must admit upfront that I turned off Alice Rohrwacher's previous film, 2011's Corpo celeste, after an hour or so, made frustrated and fidgety by the lack of mise en scène (to appropriate Jacques Rivette's definition of the much-contested term, used drolly in reference to the cinema of Joseph L. Mankiewicz). So I certainly may be approaching her follow-up, The Wonders—playing in the New York Film Festival after being well-regarded and award-winning in competition at Cannes this year—with a bias. But indeed I found much of the same problems here that I found in the earlier film, and while her Cannes Grand Jury Prize winner is an improvement in imagemaking, it still has a way to go in filmmaking.
Much of the slovenly camerawork and garbled, unmotivated editing remains, draining an already naturally lackadaisical story of any sense of urgency, but with these more forceful images »
- Daniel Kasman
Adff to present 197 films from 61 countries.
The 2014 Abu Dhabi Film Festival (Adff), backed by twofour54, will present nine feature world premieres, eight of them from the Arab world. The short film sections will host 48 world premieres.
The festival will open with Ali Mostafa’s From A to B [pictured], and festival director Ali Al-Jabri said: “It is the first time in the festival’s history that we opening with an Emirati film and we ares very proud about this landmark event.”
The festival runs October 23 to November 1 and presents 197 films from 61 countries.
For the second year, the festival host the Child Protection Award organised with the Child Protection Centre of the Ministry of Interior, to spotlight films that raise awareness about abused or neglected children. Films competing for that prize include Zerensenay Mehari’s Difret, Albert Shin’s In Her Place, and Cyprien Vial’s Young Tiger.
The Showcase section includes films such as ‘71, A Pigeon Sat on »
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
Eleven Swiss films and five Swiss co-productions will screen during the 10th Zurich Film Festival (Sept 25-Oct 5).
This year two local films will be vying for the Golden Eye in the festival’s International Feature Film Competition: Simon Jaquemet’s well-received debut Chrieg, which had its world premiere last week in San Sebastian, and Bruno Deville’s comedy Bouboule.
The Swiss films to screen in the festival’s new competition Focus Switzerland, Germany, Austria comprise: Children Of The Arctic by Nick Brandestini, who won the Golden Eye at the Zff in 2011 with his documentary Darwin; Dark Star – Hr Gigers Welt by Belinda Sallin; Die Demokratie ist los! by Thomas Isler; and Zu Ende leben by Rebecca Panian.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
Our coverage of the 2014 New York Film Festival, which opens today, continues - here's Jason with an askance look at some of the unsung heroes of The Wonders and their cinematic precedents...
Earlier this week Glenn wrote up a review of Alice Rohrwacher's really very fine film The Wonders, which I also heartily endorse. I was sitting next to him at the press screening and besides being communally delighted (that sounds dirty but I mean it in the most innocent way possible) by the movie together we squirmed, writhed, and let out little moans of discomfort (alright it sounds dirty again, just bear with me here) when the screen repeatedly filled with bees - so many bees! If I'd given it any thought beforehand I might have skipped the film because despite not having an allergy I am a total melissophobic and watching them crawl on human skin is »
Can’t tell the players without a scorecard?
So far, about 60 countries have submitted entries for Oscar’s foreign-language race, with the Oct. 1 deadline looming. Most of the titles are unseen outside their country of origin or the festival circuit. So Variety asked its critics and pundits for insights, to help get a little insight into some of the submissions.
General consensus: Poland’s “Ida” is a front-runner, while many of the other films are notable either for their quality or their oddness. Or both.
At this point, the tally is far below the record 76 submissions last year. But there are still several days to go, and powerhouses including China and Russia haven’t yet named their submissions. But Mauritania and Kosovo have proudly made their first submissions ever.
Here’s a look at a dozen entries that are building buzz.
Argentina: “Wild Tales,” Damian Szifron. Critic Jay Weissberg praised »
- Tim Gray
The New York Film Festival kicks off this evening, though not with Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner (that comes next weekend), even though I couldn’t resist leading off this year’s round-up with this glorious sunburst of a poster for that film’s German release.
Keyart doesn’t seem to have been created yet for some of the newest films like Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden, the Safdies’ Heaven Knows What, Pedro Costa’s Horse Money, Eugene Green’s La Sapienza, Nick Broomfield’s Tales of the Grim Sleeper, and Oren Moverman’s Time Out of Mind, but I have managed to find posters for the other 23 films in the Main Slate of the Festival. Some are repeats from my Cannes Competition round-up earlier this year, though I have tried to find newer designs if possible (like that striking Saint Laurent). Posters are presented »
- Adrian Curry
Italy hopes to repeat last year’s win in the Best Foreign-Language Film category with Paolo Virzi’s family thriller.
Italy has submitted Paolo Virzi’s Human Capital for consideration in the Best Foreign-Language Film category of the Academy Awards.
Italy holds the record for the most foreign-language Oscars, with 14 wins including the statuette for Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty earlier this year.
Human Capital centres on two families, irrevocably tied together after a cyclist is hit off the road by a jeep on the night before Christmas Eve. The film was based on the Us novel by Stephen Amidon, relocating from Connecticut to Northern Italy.
It won seven trophies at the David di Donatello awards, beating The Great Beauty for best film, and six Nastri d’Argento Awards.
Human Capital has also proved a box office hit in Italy
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Paolo Virzi’s stylish economic crisis murder mystery “Human Capital” is Italy’s candidate for the foreign-language Academy Award race.
“Capital” transposes U.S. novelist Stephen Amidon’s eponymous novel about capitalist greed from Connecticut to Italy’s wealthy region of Brianza, near Milan. Pic has been a hit at the local box office scoring around $7.5 million via Rai Cinema’s 01 Distribuzione.
It will be released in the U.S. via Film Movement, which snapped it up right before its North American preem at the Tribeca Film Festival where it won the best actress nod for Valeria Bruni Tedeschi for her role as the unhappy neurotic wife of a hedge-fund bigwig.
A character-driven thriller, which is also a class critique drama, “Capital” revolves around two families from different social classes who become entangled after a cyclist is bumped off a road by an SUV in a hit and run on the night before Christmas eve, »
- Variety Staff
The New York Film Festival begins this Friday. But our screenings have already begun. Here is Glenn on two Italian films, "The Wonders" and "Misunderstood"
If Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning The Great Beauty (2013) was an ode to the fantastical visions of Federico Fellini's Italy, then Alice Rohrwacher’s The Wonders is an appropriate return to the world of the country’s famed neorealist movement of the 1940s and ‘50s, concerning itself with the economic and moral quandries of so-called everyday Italians. Coming in second place at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, it follows a family in rural Italy who scrape by due their honey farming, but an encounter with a television production in their hometown spearheads the eldest daughter’s desire to lift herself and her family out of the poverty line that they barely manage to survive above.
Perhaps Rohrwacher’s greatest achievement with The Wonders is »
- Glenn Dunks
The 20th edition of the festival includes competition titles ’71 and Blind.
The Athens International Film Festival (Sept 17-28) kicks off its 20th edition today with 241 titles selected by artistic director Orestis Andreadakis.
The festival will open with Damian Szifron’s hit Wild Tales, which has proved a critical hit since its world premiere in competition at Cannes, and will close with David Fincher’s Us crime drama Gone Girl, marking its European premiere.
‘71, Yann Demange (UK)10,000 km, Carlos Marques-Marcet (Spa)Blind, Eskil Vogt (Nor)The Canal, Ivan Kavanagh (Irel)Manos Sucias, Josef Wladyka (Us-Col)The Mend, John Magary (Us)Natural Sciences, Matías Lucchesi (Arg)Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, Josephine Decker (Us)The Way He Looks, Daniel Ribeiro (Bra)When Animals Dream, Jonas Alexander Arnby (De)
A five-member Youth Jury, comprised »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Alexis Grivas)
This year’s European Film Awards are officially out of the gates with a not so lean 50 film submissions to select from. The 27th edition collects titles that date back to last year’s Venice and Toronto Int. Film Festivals moving into Sundance-Rotterdam-Berlin and finally Cannes of ’14. Among the 31 European countries represented, we’ve got likes of the Palme d’Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan leading the huge pack of contenders including Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin and Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida. Here’s the complete list of 50!:
Directed By: Milko Lazarov
Produced By: Veselka Kiryakova
Written & Directed By: Jessica Hausner
Directed By: Jaime Rosales
Produced By: Jaime Rosales, »
- Eric Lavallee
More than 30 European countries represented in the line-up.Scroll down for list in full
The 50 films recommended for a nomination for the European Film Awards (EFAs) have been unveiled.
The European Film Academy and Efa Productions revealed the titles at a press conference in Riga, Latvia where this year’s 27th EFAs will take place on Dec 13.
A total of 31 European countries are represented. In the 20 countries with the most Efa members, these members have voted one national film directly into the selection list.
To complete the list, a selection committee consisting of Efa Board Members and invited experts have included further films. Those experts include Screen International chief film critic and reviews editor Mark Adams (UK), Marit Kapla (Sweden), Stefan Kitanov (Bulgaria), Paz Lázaro (Spain), Christophe Leparc (France) and Elma Tataragic (Bosnia & Herzegovina).
In the coming weeks, more than 3,000 members of the European Film Academy will vote for the nominations in the categories European Film, Director »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Update 12:20 Pm Pt: The Venice jury tonight gave its Golden Lion to a bird, but it wasn’t the particular bird many were expecting. Alejandro G Inarritu’s opening night hit Birdman was shut out of the awards. The Golden Lion instead went to Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence. The metaphysical film is the final leg of a trilogy about what it means to be a human being. It carries on from 2000’s Songs From The Second Floor and 2007’s You, The Living. Pigeon was well-received by critics here so it’s not a total surprise – and this was a movie folks had been waiting for since it didn’t turn up on the Cannes roster after Andersson’s previous two debuted there. Jury member Tim Roth said he liked Birdman and told the press corps of its omission amongst the prizes, »
- Nancy Tartaglione
The 10th Zurich Film Festival (Sept 25 - Oct 5) has added seven titles to its Gala Premieres section. They are:
Eden, Mia Hansen-LøveGone Girl, David FincherGood Kill, Andrew NiccolIn the Basement, Ulrich SeidlSt. Vincent, Theodore MelfiThe Equalizer, Antoine FuquaThe New Girlfriend, François Ozon
Previously announced titles to screen in Zurich’s Gala Premieres section include:
And So It Goes, Rob ReinerBirdman, Alejandro González IñárrituThe Cut, Fatih AkinManglehorn, David Gordon GreenMy Old Lady, Israel HorovitzNational Gallery, Frederick WisemanNorthmen - A Viking Saga, Claudio FähA Walk Among the Tombstones, Scott FrankWhiplash, Damien ChazelleWish I Was Here, Zach BraffThe Wonders, Alice Rohrwacher »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
In the year when Italian cinema took the foreign-language Oscar for “The Great Beauty,” the country’s film industry is going through a transformative phase.
First the positives: The local box office in 2013 was up, albeit a mere 1.4% to €624.9 million ($830 million), and the first quarter of 2014 shows a more substantial 13% box office uptick compared with the same 2013 period. This, despite Italy still being in the throes of its worse recession ever. More importantly, Italian movies accounted for 30% of last year’s intake. That’s among the highest local market shares in Europe.
On the downside: In January the Italian Culture Ministry disclosed alarming figures showing a 27% drop in Italo film investments in 2013 to $495 million, compared with 2012, while the country’s cinematic output remained substantially stable, at 167 pictures.
Partly due to pics shot digitally on the cheap, the average budget of an Italian movie these days is a modest $2.3 million.
Producer Riccardo Tozzi, »
- Nick Vivarelli
Opening Night – World Premiere
David Fincher, USA, 2014, Dcp, 150m
David Fincher’s film version of Gillian Flynn’s phenomenally successful best seller (adapted by the author) is one wild cinematic ride, a perfectly cast and intensely compressed portrait of a recession-era marriage contained within a devastating depiction of celebrity/media culture, shifting gears as smoothly as a Maserati 250F. Ben Affleck is Nick Dunne, whose wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing on the day of their fifth anniversary. Neil Patrick Harris is Amy’s old boyfriend Desi, Carrie Coon (who played Honey in Tracy Letts’s acclaimed production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) is Nick’s sister Margo, Kim Dickens (Treme, Friday Night Lights) is Detective Rhonda Boney, and Tyler Perry is Nick’s superstar lawyer Tanner Bolt. At once a grand panoramic vision of middle America, a uniquely disturbing exploration of the fault lines in a marriage, »
Norwegian festival will open with Beatles; record number of works-in-progress; 350 delegates for New Nordic Films.
This year’s 42nd Norwegian International Film Festival Haugesund (Aug 16 – 22) will open with a film that is receiving plenty of local attention.
Scripted by Axel Hellstenius, it follows four Oslo boys in their adolescent and early adult years between 1965-1972.
“True friendship endures all, and no band in the world is better than The Beatles,” concludes the film which will have its world premiere in Haugesund and stars Halvor Tangen Schultz, Jonathan Chedeville, Louis Williams and Håvard Jackwitz.
“It was like climbing a mountain, starting with getting the rights to The Beatles’ music,” said Norwegian producer Jørgen Storm Rosenberg about his new film.
The opener is a fitting send off for festival director Gunnar Johan Løvvik, who will step down after having run the event »
- email@example.com (Jorn Rossing Jensen)
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