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Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Happy New Year’ Sets India Opening Day Record
“Happy New Year” released during the Diwali holiday frame and collected $7.3 million (Inr 450 million) in India on Friday. “Dhoom 3” earned $5.9 million (Inr 360 million) on its opening day during the 2013 Christmas holidays.
Directed by Farah Khan, who also made the blockbusters “Main Hoon Naa” and “Om Shanti Om”, both starring Shah Rukh Khan, “Happy New Year” also stars top Bollywood heroine Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan and Boman Irani. Set between India and Dubai, the film is about a motley bunch that must enter the finals of a global dance competition in order to get close to diamonds they plan to heist.
- Naman Ramachandran
Takeshi Kitano Tired of Gangsters and Commercial Constraints
Tokyo — The mainstream Japanese film industry came in for a surprising volume of criticism Saturday at a Tokyo event intended to celebrate the iconic comedian, actor and director Takeshi Kitano.
The occasion was an on-stage session at which Kitano was named as the first recipient of the Tokyo International Film Festival’s Samurai Prize. He was greeted and quizzed by eight prize-winning student filmmakers, and then lauded by Cannes festival selector Christian Jeune and critic and Asian film expert Tony Rayns.
Looking and sounding as gruff and burdened as ever, Kitano kicked off with a cute anecdote about his early days as a struggling comedian who had to work in bars and massage parlors in order make ends meet. “I scrubbed the backs of Yakuza [gangsters],” he said.
Since then, that proximity to organized crime has come in handy. Not only have gritty gangster films become Kitano’s directorial trademark, he »
- Patrick Frater
Tokyo Market to Synchronize With Festival in 2015
Tokyo — Organizers of the Japan Content Showcase will next year return the market to dates that coincide with the main Tokyo International Film Festival.
Nevertheless they declared the 2014 mart (Oct. 21-23 ) a success, pointing to a record number of exhibitors (331) and registered buyers (1,158).
Held at the Hotel Grand Pacific Odaiba in the Tokyo Bay area, the Jcs included Tiffcom (films and TV shows), Timm (music) and Tokyo International Anime Festival marts.
A total of nearly 18,000 participants visited the booths of leading Japanese TV networks, producers and distributors, and the national stands of countries from Cambodia to Cote d’Ivoire, and attended the various seminars, parties and other events.
Complaints could be heard about the distance (“It’s too far from central Tokyo,” said one delegate) and the scheduling of the market ahead of the Tokyo fest (Oct. 23-31).
Tiffcom director Mika Morishita, however, noted that the timing of market was »
- Mark Schilling
Rome Film Review: ‘Jia Zhangke: A Guy from Fenyang’
Auteur portraits of fellow auteurs don’t always make for illuminating films: The line between sincere mutual appreciation and smug mutual congratulation can be a fine one. Brazilian director Walter Salles, however, gets the balance just about right in “Jia Zhangke: A Guy from Fenyang,” an intelligent, restrained but warmly intimate cinematic conversation with the Sixth Generation Chinese trailblazer. Similarly simple in concept to Olivier Assayas’ 1997 study of Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Salles’ film follows Jia as he wanders the scarred streets of his hometown — many of them recognizable from his own films — and muses wryly on a politically fractious career. Unspooled in Rome as a “work in progress” (effectively complete, but minus closing credits) ahead of its world premiere at the Sao Paolo fest, this clip-heavy cinephile’s delight should get heavy play on the festival and repertory circuit.
There are few obvious points of identification between the burnished, gently »
- Guy Lodge
Have your say: Vote to decide the greatest sci-fi movie of all time
What are the greatest sci-fi movies ever made? That's the question we asked two weeks ago through the site and social media, and after wading through your many responses we've compiled a list of the landmark genre movies that you admire the most.
Now the task is simple - vote for the one movie below you think trumps all others and next month we'll reveal the winner ahead of the release of Christopher Nolan's latest sci-fi blockbuster Interstellar.
Is Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey science fiction's greatest moment on the big screen? What about the Ridley Scott-directed double of Alien and Blade Runner? Cast your vote below then scroll down to the comments section if you have more to say on the matter. »
‘Ouija,’ ‘John Wick,’ Lead Top Five Friday, Bill Murray Graces ‘St. Vincent’ In Box Office Weekend
1st Update, Friday 11:51 Pm: Ouija’s CinemaScore is probably the most frightening thing about this movie. No wonder they wouldn’t screen it. This micro-budgeted film based on the popular Hasbro toy from Blumhouse and Universal Pictures is estimated to have scared in about $8M Friday (including the $911K from late nights) and is on track for a 3-day gross of around $19M+. Could it push to $20M? Maybe if its C CinemaScore doesn’t push it into hell. Expect it to fall off the board with its percentage drop next weekend.
John Wick, the violent R-rated film which was a co-production with China, had the advantage of opening in IMAX theaters this weekend. The CinemaScore is only a B which means exit polls for its core audience weren’t that great despite mixed to positive reviews. That will average out to a 2.9 multiple. Surprisingly, Keanu Reeves’ average opening »
- Anita Busch
Constantine Premiere Recap: “Non Est Asylum”
Batman. The Flash. Even Green Arrow. These DC Comics heroes are household names, and though some may be more well-known than others, they've all got just a bit more recognition in common circles than the antihero exorcist John Constantine. So it was that NBC took on the challenge of bringing this conjurer and spellcaster into living rooms with its new series, Constantine. The blessing and the curse of such a project is that the network can draw on the series' rich mythology while putting their own spin on the character, though it walks the line of confusing new audiences while possibly alienating fans. However, if the pilot is any indication, then this series may be the surprise supernatural hit of the season. Hit the jump for my Constantine recap. I'll be up front about this from the get-go: I'm not very familiar with the Hellblazer comics, at least much less »
- Dave Trumbore
Watch: A Twisted Jake Gyllenhaal Crosses The Line In Wicked Red-Band Trailer For ‘Nightcrawler’
Not to bring things back to Oscar, perhaps a lowest common denominator form of conversation for movies, but it would be some kind of shame if Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t get a well-deserved Oscar nomination for “Nightcrawler” because he’s all kinds of wicked and twisted worthy. Some pundits are questioning whether that’ll happen or not, but I suppose that’s someone else’s concern at the end of the day. Because ultimately, “Nightcrawler” is a deliriously manic ride that everyone involved should be proud of. Written and directed by veteran screenwriter Dan Gilroy, filmmaker Tony Gilroy’s brother and co-writer on “The Bourne Legacy” among many other projects, “Nightcrawler” is a scathing and savage tour de force drama that comments on media ethics, the bloodsporting of ruthless media and a growing economic disparity that is cleaving culture. It’s also a dark and funny character study of an »
- Rodrigo Perez
Nightcrawler Red Band Trailer Packed with Critic Quotes and Hilariously Crude Behavior
Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler isn’t even a comedy, but this clever new red trailer had me laughing more than any other promo I’ve seen in a while. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Lou Bloom, a guy desperate to score a job. While on the hunt, Lou stumbles across a “nightcrawler,” someone who captures footage of fires, murders and all sorts of chaos to sell to new stations and Lou comes to the conclusion that the gig is perfect for him. Nightcrawler is due in theaters on October 31st and in honor of the release, Open Road Films just unveiled a brand new trailer for the movie. As this is likely one of the last promos we'll get, naturally, this Nightcrawler red band trailer is loaded with critic quotes. They’re all glowing, but not in the way one might expect. This is a see it to believe »
- Perri Nemiroff
Revived Cairo Film Festival To Screen Previously Banned ‘Wall of Heroism’
The lineup and configuration of the revived Cairo Film Festival is starting to shape up with a mix international and Arab films, including the world premiere of “Wall of Heroism,” by Mohamed Rady, a war pic shot in 1998 but never released for political reasons.
“Heroism” is about the lead-up to and the events of the Arab-Israeli October War in 1973 and has reportedly been banned by the Egyptian military.
The 17 Arab pics unspooling in Cairo also comprise, among other titles, the Middle East premiere of Palestinian director Najwa Najjar’s life-under-occupation drama “Eyes of a Thief”; Emirati director Noujom Al-Ghanem’s “Red Blue Yellow”; Egyptian helmer Ahmad Abdalla’s big-budget psychodrama “Decor”; and Syrian documentary “Silvered Water, Syrian Self Portrait,” co-directed by Ossama Mohamad and Wiam Simav Bedirxa.
- Nick Vivarelli
Abu Dhabi: Empire Will Release ‘From A to B’ in the Middle East
Pan-Arab film distributor Empire Intl. will release Abu Dhabi fest opener “From A to B,” by Ali Mostafa, in the Middle East, starting on Jan. 1.
The Lebanese company sub-distributes for both Sony and Twentieth Century Fox across the Arab world.
Young Emirati director Mostafa has broken new ground with “From A to B,” a pan-Arab road movie in which three Western-educated youths from different Arab countries travel 1,500 miles from Abu Dhabi to Beirut, amid the region’s turbulence, in memory of their deceased best friend.
Mostafa spoke to Variety‘s Nick Vivarelli about the challenges of getting the tone right.
Q: You’ve taken a typical Hollywood genre, the road movie, and transposed it to an Arab setting. Was that difficult?
A: I love road films. I always wanted to make one. »
- Nick Vivarelli
Abu Dhabi: Image Nation Sets Doc Slate for Tyro Division
Abu Dhabi’s Image Nation is delving into documentary production with pics on strong societal topics, such as “Every Last Child,” pictured above, by U.K. director Tom Roberts, which examines efforts to fight the polio epidemic in Pakistan, where the Taliban have imposed a ban on the vaccine. “Child” is set to have its world premiere at the Doc NYC fest in November.
The first Image Nation doc out of the gate is “As One: The Autism Project,” a joint effort between Emirati director Hana Makki and Tricia Regan (“Autism: The Musical”), which will launch Saturday at the Abu Dhabi fest with a red carpet gala. It’s about how the UAE’s multi-ethnic society is contending with autism, which in the Arab world, is viewed by some as a shameful condition.
“The (documentary) division was started to tackle issue that are important locally and also globally,” said Image Nation’s Danielle Perissi, »
- Nick Vivarelli
Hot Red Band Trailer: ‘Nightcrawler’
Open Road has released a new red band trailer for the Dan Gilroy-directed thriller Nightcrawler. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a driven, soulless wannabe who gets a fast car, a cheap camera and a police scanner and chases traffic accidents, murders and other violent incidents in hopes of getting film he can sell to a cellar-dwelling Los Angeles TV news producer. The pace is manic as the anti-hero proves there are no moral bounds to his ambition. The pic opens October 31.
- Mike Fleming Jr
Paul Greengrass to Direct Berlin Wall Drama The Tunnels
Paul Greengrass has a lot going on right now, making his schedule nearly impossible to track, and now this is only going to make it more difficult; it’s being reported that Greengrass is attached to direct a film called The Tunnels. FilmNation Entertainment just snagged the rights to Greg Mitchell’s book proposal for a Berlin Wall drama, which would recount the untold true story of a group of West Germans who attempt to get their loved ones out of East Berlin with the help of American news networks who fund the mission. Hit the jump for more on The Tunnels. As reported by Variety, Mark Gordon (Source Code, The Messenger) is producing this one. FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder and Alison Cohen are responsible for brokering the deal. Here’s what Ryder had to say about the project: “Finding an untold true story of this caliber is such a rarity. »
- Perri Nemiroff
This Avengers 2 Pinocchio Mash-Up Is Even Better Than You Would Have Guessed
It was probably only a matter of time until someone gave Pinocchio the Avengers 2 trailer treatment, after the hugely anticipated Marvel film used the classic Disney movie's song in its recently released trailer. Check out the great mash-up below to see just how creepy Pinocchio looks with Avengers: Age of Ultron behind it... The Ultron Mashup Trailer comes to us courtesy of the Nerd Reactor Youtube channel (Edited by John "Spartan" Nguyen). As you may have noticed, the video uses footage from the 1940 Disney animated film Pinocchio, mixed with audio from the new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer. Amazingly -- or maybe not -- the video manages to make Pinocchio really creepy. That includes a glimpse of Cleo's angry glare, some terrified donkeys, some very sinister looking cuckoo clocks, including this one... And another axe scene, this time featuring the titular marionette... Why would someone want to mash up the »
Paul Greengrass Attached to Direct Cold War Thriller ‘The Tunnels’
There may be news of Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon returning to the Bourne series, but that’s not the only thing the director has going. Greengrass (above, working with Tom Hanks on Captain Phillips) is now attached to direct The Tunnels, a film that could be based on a true story from the Cold War, in […]
The post Paul Greengrass Attached to Direct Cold War Thriller ‘The Tunnels’ appeared first on /Film. »
- Russ Fischer
Adam Davidson to Direct the Pilot Episode of The Walking Dead Spin-Off Series
AMC’s The Walking Dead companion series just locked a director for the pilot episode and he’s an Academy Award winner! Adam Davidson snagged the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film back in 1991 for The Lunch Date and, ever since, he’s been racking up TV credits. He’s worked on a slew of shows including Lost, Deadwood, Dexter, True Blood, Fringe, Big Love, Masters of Sex and so many more. Davidson is expected to start shooting his Walking Dead companion series episode late this year. Hit the jump for more on the show and Davidson. It’s times like this that I wish I had paid closer attention to who’s directing what episode of my favorite TV shows, but sadly, I can’t remember what went down in Davidson’s episodes of Friday Night Lights, Hell on Wheels or Six Feet Under. However, he did just »
- Perri Nemiroff
Zach Galifianakis and Amy Ryan Talk Birdman, Working with Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki, Michael Keaton, and More
I love this time of year. The weather starts to cool off, football games start to matter and Hollywood releases some incredible movies that will be in play during Award season. That brings me to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s incredible new film, Birdman. Made to look like one long shot, Birdman stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory. While some movies have incredible performances or a great script, Birdman is one of those rare films where everything across the board is memorable. It’s absolutely one of my favorite films of 2014 and it should be seen as soon as possible. Trust me, this is a special movie that you will want to see. The film also stars Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Paul Greengrass Directing Berlin Wall Drama ‘The Tunnels’ (Exclusive)
“The Tunnels” is the untold true story of a great escape before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The story focuses on a group of West Germans trying to get their loved ones out of East Berlin, with the unlikely help of American news networks, who funded their expedition.
“Finding an untold true story of this caliber is such a rarity,” Ryder said. “Greg’s proposal will make for a very human and cinematic experience. We have no doubt that Mark »
- Dave McNary
Tokyo Festival and Japan Foundation Reach Out to Asian Region
Tokyo — A link up with the Japan Foundation arts and education institute is being pitched as a key plank of the Tokyo International Film Festival’s outreach program to the Asian region.
The festival has struck a multi-year deal with the Japan Foundation’s recently created Asia Center to help it bring in Asian films and film-makers to Tokyo and also to expand Japanese cultural influence in Asia.
The most visible impact at the 2014 edition of the festival is the new ‘Crosscut Asia’ section will showcase the hidden gems of Thai cinema.
“We are creating the occasion to screen and showcase Asian films, one country at a time. This year is Thailand, next year it could be Indonesia or The Philippines,” said Yasushi Shiina, the Tokyo festival’s director. “The ultimate aim is to show more Japanese films in those countries too. Perhaps in six months time we can take »
- Patrick Frater
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