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Murderous 'Macbeth' Is Perfect Fit for Justin Kurzel (Video)

8 hours ago

Though you wouldn’t really expect the director of "Snowtown" to adapt "Twelfth Night" or "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," Justin Kurzel is a perfect fit for "Macbeth." Graduating from Critics’ Week to Cannes competition with Harvey Weinstein behind him, the Australian also segues comfortably from real-life serial killers to one of Shakespeare’s most notorious head cases. This is just the intelligent and intense sophomore feature we’d hoped for.  By casting Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as the murderous couple unhinged by ambition, Kurzel guarantees a sexy, subtle, mesmerizing centre to his film. What’s surprising is how unusually Scottish the ‘Scottish Play’ has become in his hands, from location work amid fiercely beautiful landscape and torrid weather to the diction; it’s fitting that in a year when Scotland has asserted its strength in British politics, Macbeth has been freed of Rp. The opening scenes establish an approach. »


- Demetrios Matheou

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Cannes Screen Talk: We Debate the Best and Worst, and the Likely Awards Contenders

23 hours ago

Indiewire's Eric Kohn and Nigel Smith and I debate the winners and losers at Cannes, and who will do well with the jury here, not to mention the Academy later on. Clearly, we do not always agree, particularly on "Sicario" and "Louder than Bombs." What's heading for a longer life via Cannes jury prizes and/or the fall fest circuit and later awards contention? Todd Haynes' "Carol," Asif Kapidia's music documentary "Amy," Paolo Sorrentino's "Youth" and Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Lobster." Check out our full discussion below.  »


- Anne Thompson

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Cannes: AFI Directing Workshop for Women Student Wins Cinéfondation's Top Prize

23 hours ago

A jury led by "Timbuktu" director Abderrahmane Sissako awarded the €15,000 top prize in the Cinéfondation Competition Friday to Pippa Bianco, of the AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, for her short film, "Share." Hers was among 18 student films, selected from 593 entries, to screen in the Cinéfondation section this year. An Indiewire "Project of the Day" last year, "Share" stars Taissa Farmiga ("American Horror Story") as a 15-year-old girl who returns to school after someone shares an explicit video of her. In addition to the cash prize, the award comes with a guarantee that Bianco's first feature will be presented at Cannes. This year's jury also included Cécile de France, Joana Hadjithomas, Daniel Olbrychski, and Rebecca Zlotowski. The 593 entries represent 381 films schools worldwide. Read the full list of winners and watch a teaser trailer for "Share" below: »


- Matt Brennan

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'Love Actually' Director Richard Curtis to Pen Bee Gees Biopic

22 May 2015 9:30 AM, PDT

Richard Curtis, the screenwriter behind "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Mr. Bean," "Bridget Jones' Diary," and "War Horse," will script a biopic of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb—the brothers who formed the Bee Gees in 1958—according to a report by The Tracking Board. Barry Gibb, the lone surviving member of the group, and MGM's Gary Barber are set to produce. Read More: "Review: New Collection Celebrates 25 Years of 'Mr. Bean,' Comic Outlaw" Born to English parents and raised primarily in Australia, The Bee Gees achieved international fame in not one but two distinct periods in music history, first as a Beatles-inspired pop trio and later as mainstays of disco. Their iconic soundtrack to 1977's "Saturday Night Fever," starring John Travolta, was the best-selling album of all time until it was supplanted by Michael Jackson's "Thriller," and the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame notes that »


- Matt Brennan

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Broad Green Adds Drug-Sting Thriller 'The Infiltrator,' Starring Bryan Cranston, to Its Bulging Release Slate

22 May 2015 9:10 AM, PDT

Fledgling indie distributor Broad Green Pictures, which has staffed up to around 60, has acquired U.S. distribution rights at the Cannes market for "The Infiltrator," starring Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") as undercover U.S. Customs agent Robert Mazur, who used mob ties to make his way into some of the world's largest drug cartels during the 1980s. Adapted by Ellen Brown Furman from Mazur's autobiography and directed by Brad Furman ("The Lincoln Lawyer"), "The Infiltrator" is one of several recent high-profile pickups by the company, including Ramin Bahrani's "99 Homes," with Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern, and Michael Shannon, and Terrence Malick's "Knight of Cups," starring Christian Bale and natalie Portman, which debuted in Berlin. In addition to Cranston, the cast includes Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, and Amy Ryan. Good Films' Miriam Segal produced.  Broad Green will finally open its first »


- Anne Thompson and Matt Brennan

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Cannes: Cohen Media Acquires Opening Night Selection 'Standing Tall'

22 May 2015 7:56 AM, PDT

Emmanuelle Bercot's "Standing Tall," the first woman-directed film to open Cannes since 1987, has been acquired for U.S. distribution by Cohen Media Group, Variety reports. The earnest, naturalistic social drama, starring Catherine Deneuve and newcomer Rod Paradot, is planned for theatrical release later this year. Read More: Cannes Opens with Emmanuelle Bercot's 'Standing Tall': "I'm not a minority" The film follows Malony (Paradot), a quick-tempered adolescent with a troubled home life, as he wends his way through France's juvenile justice system, guided by a firm, empathic judge (Deneuve) and a kindly counselor (Benoit Magimel). Though "Standing Tall" has received mostly positive notices and may benefit from Deneuve's international star wattage, the film is newsworthy less for its box office or awards potential in the U.S. than for its introduction of the expressive Paradot. "The first great discovery of 2015," according to Indiewire's »


- Matt Brennan

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Brad Bird and Dp Claudio Miranda Turn 'Tomorrowland' into More Than a Blast from the Past

22 May 2015 7:02 AM, PDT

The secret to "Tomorrowland" for Brad Bird is that it's more about the journey than the destination, which explains why it's such a subversive Disney fantasy/adventure, despite the pedigree and star power of George Clooney. Because once we get there, it's not at all what it seems and there are no simple answers. Yet Bird and producer/co-writer Damon Lindelof still consider it more of a fun popcorn movie than a preachy, good-for-the-soul tonic. "We also hope that if our popcorn sticks to the ribs, that's a good thing," Bird said. "Underneath it all, we want to be heading toward a positive place. And we were trying to make a fable about just that." But getting there is nerve-racking for Casey (Britt Robertson), which is why her so-called "Pin Experience" is so brilliantly executed. The eternally optimistic teen is like Dorothy in search of Oz, and with the touch »


- Bill Desowitz

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Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Wuxia Epic 'The Assassin' Astonishes Cannes

21 May 2015 1:13 PM, PDT

The historic plot machinations of "The Assassin" are tricky to follow for westerners not steeped in wuxia culture. The simple version of the story involves a young woman (star Shu Qi) screwed out of her inheritance who is sent away to train as a warrior and years later, is sent back to her ancestral home on a distasteful mission. There is little talking and fitful action in this $15 million period epic which took 10 years for Hou to meticulously prepare; some of the sumptuously detailed interior scenes are filtered through gauzy layers and flickering candles. The countryside is shot with astonishing clarity by Wong Kar-wai stalwart Mark Ping Bing Lee, from cliffside caves and waterfalls to creaking insects and crooning birds. You are back in an ancient time of virgin forests, flying warriors, powerful wizards and their spells. Just sit back and let it wash over you. In a theater! Read »


- Anne Thompson

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Not in Cannes? Stream These 5 Powerful Palme d'Or Winners

21 May 2015 12:00 PM, PDT

Who will win the Palme this year? Todd Haynes' lesbian romance "Carol"? Yorgos Lanthimos' macabre future-romance "The Lobster"? Paolo Sorrentino's paean to life and death "Youth"? No question, a few serious contenders have emerged, but we won't know until awards unveil May 24. In the meantime, enjoy these five powerful Palme d'Or winners at home. "Winter Sleep" (2014) Watching Nuri Bilge Ceylan's near-four-hour Turkish drama sounds like a lot of work. And it is. The first time I saw it, it felt like nothing but a series of moving pictures of empty individuals bloviating about life, work, pride, class and intellect. But upon closer inspection, this is a haunting masterpiece of world-building. Ceylan checks us into the Anatolian mountaintop hotel that is a psychological prison for three people — has-been writer/actor Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), his young trophy wife Nihal (Melisa Sozen) and his careworn, trundling sister Necla (Demet Akbag »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Why Nikki Finke Is Launching Her New Site

21 May 2015 11:38 AM, PDT

NikkiFinke.com is defunct. It was shut down in Nikki Finke's lucrative settlement (she got to keep her condo) with Variety and Deadline publisher Jay Penske, with whom she's back in touch. She can't report on Hollywood for anyone. (She considered an offer to join the staff of Politico but really, I understand, didn't want to move to Washington, D.C. Or have a boss, for that matter.) What Nikki Finke does have is a contemporary black-and-white headshot that shows what she actually looks like (yes, I've met her in person) and a sizable Twitter following (265,000). Again, while she can't tweet about the box office or Hollywood doings, she can offer fictional content that will titillate her readers, many of whom she first developed during the 2007-8 Hollywood Writer's Guild Strike.  So what will the new HollywoodDementia.com give people to read? Finke is throwing out invites to writers who »

- Anne Thompson

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Adam Driver Gets Maui Film Festival's Shining Star Award

21 May 2015 10:39 AM, PDT

Adam Driver is a busy man. The tall, knobby, 31-year-old actor — and bit of a heartthrob — who broke out of HBO's "Girls" has a full plate, with "The Force Awakens" hitting in December and Martin Scorsese's "Silence" wrapped and ramped for 2016 release. This June, Driver will receive the Shining Star Award at the 16th annual Maui Film Festival, unfolding June 3-7 at the Wailea Resort in Maui. The prize "honors a film artist who dares to dream big dreams and delivers brilliantly charismatic and revelatory performances every time that opportunity knocks." A Juilliard alumnus, he recently nailed it clean as a cartoonishly hipster, moviemaking sycophant in Noah Baumbach's winsome "While We're Young." At Venice last year, he picked up the Volpi Cup for Best Actor for his performance in the tough domestic drama "Hungry Hearts," which IFC opens stateside June 5. Read More: Oscar Isaac Faces Good Year as HBO Sets David. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Cannes: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Review and Roundup (Clip)

21 May 2015 10:37 AM, PDT

It's a family plot. At the start of Jacques Audiard's Tamil emigre drama "Dheepan," our title character (Jesuthasan Antonythasan) is thrust together with two strangers, young woman Yalini (Klieaswari Srinivasan) and a nine-year-old orphan she just collected at a Sri Lanka refugee camp (Claudine Vinasithamby) to form a makeshift, instant family unit. They are impersonating another dead trio, and take their passports in order to fly to Paris, where they are eventually settled as the caretakers of a rough gang-infested housing complex. All three are barely recovering from their battle scars and losses, while needing to survive in a foreign country with a language only the young school girl learns quickly. ("Don't all countries burn down schools?" the parents ask each other after a confounding school entrance interview.)  Audiard, a gracefully instinctive director, uses meticulously researched detail (the actors are natural and believable) to throw us into »


- Anne Thompson

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Oscar Isaac Faces Good Year as HBO Sets David Simon Miniseries, 'Force Awakens' Awaits

21 May 2015 9:45 AM, PDT

While Isaac has been working steadily in film for over a decade, his big breakout was the Coens' "Inside Llewyn Davis" (2013) as an unsympathetic starving artist seeking redemption amid the 1960s New York folk scene. He won acclaim for last year's late-breaking "A Most Violent Year," his indie sci-fi "Ex Machina" continues to earn raves and before Isaac heads up the cast of December's "Star Wars" sequel, he'll be seen in HBO's Summer miniseries "Show Me a Hero." This will mark his first major TV project. Created by "The Wire"'s David Simon and directed by Oscar winner (and outspoken ex-Scientologist) Paul Haggis, the six-part miniseries explores home, race, community and politics in 1960s Yonkers, NY. Lifted from Lisa Belkin's book, "Show Me a Hero" follows Isaac as a young mayor who's court-ordered to build low-income housing in affluent white neighborhoods, a controversial decision that threatens to capsize his. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Cannes: Is Hardcore Sex All There Is to Gaspar Noé's Porny 3D Melodrama 'Love'?

21 May 2015 9:13 AM, PDT

There's a reason why Alchemy picked up Gaspar Noé's sex opus "Love" ahead of its Cannes premiere. The film's explicit love scenes — and in 3D — have been the talk of the Croisette since the festival began. It finally premiered last night. The lines were long, the anticipation heightened by bad boy Noé's brain-bending "Enter the Void" and, of course, that low-angle tunnel rape suffered by Monica Bellucci in "Irreversible." In a sexy year for cinema, could this taboo-busting Frenchman knock everyone's 3D glasses off? Noé sported his last night. Thierry Frémaux welcomed him at the midnight screening, where lines wended around the block, and hundreds — even some press — were turned away. Despite all the film's 3D sucking and fucking and ejaculating, the consensus is that "Love" is the provocateur's most tame work to date, emotionally undercooked and even pompous given the fact that the on-the-nose »


- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio

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Cannes Buy: Alchemy Catches Yorgos Lanthimos 'The Lobster'

21 May 2015 8:28 AM, PDT

Alchemy, which has already scooped up Gaspar Noé's 3D "Love" and Nanni Moretti's "Mia Madre," has taken Us rights to Oscar-nominated Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos' English-language debut "The Lobster." A love story set in a near-future where single people are arrested and transferred to a Hotel, where they must find a mate in 45 days or be transformed into an animal, this Cannes competition entry stars Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Lea Seydoux, Olivia Colman and Ben Whishaw. Cannes: "Dogtooth" Director Yorgos Lanthimos Scores with Surreal, Macabre 'The Lobster' (Review and Roundup) "There are very powerful emotions happening inside," said Weisz at the press conference. "Yorgos creates a world and a tone where nobody’s over the top in their acting style, in a world where everything is very internal. It’s the opposite of a melodrama, that’s the tone." "There is a lot of melodrama in the. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Cannes's Thierry Fremaux Takes on the Women Question: "Attack the Oscars, not the festival!"

21 May 2015 4:37 AM, PDT

At one of the continuing conversations at the Women in Motion series that has heightened awareness of women in world cinema over the festival--as one high-profile interviewee after another has lambasted the industry for its gender inequality--Fremaux admitted that this year he would have liked some credit for the increasing representation of women's directors, from opening with Emmanuelle Bercot's "Standing Tall" to awarding a special award to French auteur Agnes Varda. Not more criticism. "My mother is a feminist," he said, adding that many women are in power as distributors, producers, and screenwriters in the industry, and that France is not as guilty of not having enough women directors as other countries.  "We made quite a good effort in terms of selection," he said (the English translation was not ideal). "Cannes is a big institution, like the Tour de France, a film festival that is there to support projects and ideas. »


- Anne Thompson

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Cannes Buy: 'Mustang' Goes to Cohen Media Group

21 May 2015 3:53 AM, PDT

Set in a contemporary Black Sea coast village, the drama about five vibrant young Turkish sisters debuted in the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes. "Deniz Gamze Ergüven's incredibly confident feature film directorial debut takes a serious subject and handles it with such a sure yet light touch that one can't help being emotionally connected to the young women she portrays with great compassion," said Cmg President Daniel Battsek. Cmg will release the film theatrically in early 2016. In the film, five orphaned sisters live with their grandmother, an aunt and an abusive uncle. On the last day of school, the girls celebrate their summer freedom by frolicking innocently in the surf with a group of boys. When an interfering neighbor tells the girls' grandmother that they behaved inappropriately, she's afraid that the girls' marriage prospects may be harmed and holds them prisoner in their home. She removes their phones, makes them wear drab clothes, »


- Anne Thompson

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Neil Simon Wanted Marcello Mastroianni for This Film, But Got Peter Sellers Instead

20 May 2015 11:04 AM, PDT

Neil Simon, a first-time screenwriter with three hits running on Broadway, wanted Marcello Mastroianni to play the lead in this movie-biz caper comedy, but got Peter Sellers instead, who had always wanted to work with Vittorio De Sica. De Sica brought on his writer pal Cesare Zavattini. He and Simon wrote together through interpreters, but in the end Simon worried that De Sica’s Italian editors were killing the jokes. Pretty much ignored when released, it’s now a moderately popular cult item. »


- Trailers From Hell

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Akira Kurosawa Said Watching a Satyajit Ray Film Is Like "Seeing the Sun or Moon"

20 May 2015 9:04 AM, PDT

As Janus Films' restoration of "The Apu Trilogy" makes the arthouse rounds, here's what cinema luminary Akira Kurosawa had to say about Satyajit Ray in 1975: The quiet but deep observation, understanding and love of the human race, which are characteristic of all his films, have impressed me greatly. … I feel that he is a “giant” of the movie industry. Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon. I can never forget the excitement in my mind after seeing it (Pather Panchali). It is the kind of cinema that flows with the serenity and nobility of a big river. People are born, live out their lives, and then accept their deaths. Without the least effort and without any sudden jerks, Ray paints his picture, but its effect on the audience is to stir up deep passions. How does he achieve this? »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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First Look: Cannes Buyers Want Thomas Vinterberg's '70s-Set 'The Commune'

20 May 2015 8:29 AM, PDT

Thomas Vinterberg was a Palme d'Or contender, and an Oscar nominee, for 2012's "The Hunt," which won Mads Mikkelsen Cannes' Best Actor prize. After "Far From the Madding Crowd," the Dogme 95 pioneer turned humanist filmmaker returns to his Danish-language roots with "The Commune." Shot in Denmark and Sweden last Fall, this 1970s-set period piece turns on Erik (Ulrich Thomsen, star of Vinterberg's shrieking "The Celebration") and Anna (Trine Dyrholm), a young academic couple who move into a Danish commune with their daughter — all is sweet serenity until Erik's younger lover is invited to join them. From the looks of it, this film co-written by fellow Dane Tobias Lindholm (who wrote "The Hunt" and directed 2012's intense "A Hijacking") also brings Vinterberg back to the kind of complicated group dynamics that made "The Hunt" and "The Celebration" so compelling. According to THR, "The Commune" »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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