11 items from 2013
The second of the “Carte Blanche” double bills began with The Last 15, Antonio Campos’ sophomore short film which followed in the footsteps of Buy It Now (winner of Cinefondation‘s First Prize at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival) and competed for the festival’s 2007’s Palme d’Or. Influenced by the work of master filmmaker Michael Haneke who would ultimately influence Campos’ own filmmaking approach, The Last 15 focuses on the NYC dwelling filled with members of the Kirkland clan (familiar faces in Zoe Lister Jones and Christopher McCann are amongst the actors). With the family home’s ceiling crumbling, Campos displays a collective accumulating individual net worth/debts by utilizing intertitles (think tragic version of the Priceless ad campaign) to detail income, debt, possible financial woes. Twisted and mordant, the short is filled with overlapping spoken dialogue, shut out members hearing but not listening to one another in a controlled chaos setting, »
- Eric Lavallee
It has been over a decade since Jerry Schatzberg directed his last feature film (that would be 2000's "The Day The Ponies Came Back" starring Guillaume Canet) and even longer since he actually helmed a feature of note. And yet, one could argue that it speaks to the power of a trio of his early films that his name still sparks interest in cinephiles. His debut feature "Puzzle Of A Downfall Child" got restored and reassessed at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, while the director's followup, the Al Pacino starring grimy drama "The Panic In Needle Park" is a still potent look at drug addiction. But it's "Scarecrow," re-teaming Schatzberg and Pacino, with Gene Hackman co-starring, that remains a cult favorite and underappreciated gem. And Schatzberg wants another bite at the apple. To recap, the 1973 movie is the kind of character movie they don't make anymore, complex Cannes Film Festival winning »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Aside from quality projections, there is nothing that arouses me more during a festival than to get the feeling of communal caring for the 7th art. Day 2, 9:00 a.m’s screening of Jerry Schatzberg’s Scarecrow (see fest pic below) was packed with Karlovy Vary patrons (the demo are an enthusiastic mid 20′s to early 30′s type crowd) and this trickled onto my screenings of “films from the past” in Afterschool and Reprise. As part of Schatzberg’s homage, both Puzzle of Downfall Child (1970) and The Panic in Needle Park (1971) will be shown. Starring the oddball pairing of a fun to watch, improvisational not-yet-bark full of bite Al Pacino and layered Gene Hackman, this digitally projected copy of the film happened to be was my first ever viewing of the road movie that won big in 73′ edition of Cannes (The Conversation, also starring Hackman would win the same prize »
- Eric Lavallee
2013 has been an epic year for me in terms of film festival attendance. Along with my habitual movie-watching feasts of Park City (Sundance) and the Superbowl of fests in Cannes, this year’s gorging on films away from home has included SXSW, Panama (2nd edition of iffpanama) and have now landed in the picturesque dwellings of a festival I had wanted to attend for ages. Among the top tier world best film fests which I’ve yet to have attend and have appreciated from afar, the Karlovy Vary Int. Film Festival is up there with Rotterdam, Berlin, Locarno, Sitges and Venice on my must do wish list.
As I’m nowhere near the film fest travel fatigue/grind that some of my confrères (fellow journalists and industry people) face year-in and year-out, my giddiness has yet to subside when breaking bread in a new backdrop. Now in it’s 48th edition, »
- Eric Lavallee
Like so many international cinephiles, Karel Och considers American movies of the 1970s among the high points of film history. The difference between Och — who serves as artistic director of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival — and many of his movie-loving peers is that the Czech enthusiast was raised in a communist country where access to the likes of “The Last Detail,” “Night Moves” and “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” was forbidden until the Velvet Revolution of 1989.
“We read a lot about these films, either from film magazines or books, starting in the ’90s, when you could finally talk about these films. The cult status in your head would get bigger and bigger until you finally had a chance to catch up with them,” says Och, who pursued a film studies degree in Prague, and later binged on all the cinema he’d missed out on as a teen during a six-month exchange program in Paris. »
- Peter Debruge
Directed by Jerry Schatzberg
Al Pacino gives a riveting performance as Bobby, an energetic street hustler and heroin addict who forms a bizarre, yet accepting relationship with a homeless woman, Helen, played by Kitty Winn. The Panic in Needle Park is a gut-wrenching expose into the drug culture in New York City. American films of the late sixties, such as Easy Rider, Performance and The Trip, portrayed the edgy glamour and counter-culture boom of the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll revolution, but after the release of The Panic in Needle Park, filmmakers forecast the downward spiral of addiction. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll transgressed into heroin, prostitution and jail. To this day, no other film has topped the realistic portrayal of the drug culture. Shot in a documentary-like fashion, »
- Yale Freedman
The British actor on rediscovering his love of acting, marriage and having a terrible time working with Von Trier
Hi Paul. What are you doing in Los Angeles?
You got it. In the meantime, let's talk about Blood (2). The person you play suffers a pretty brutal character arc. Were you able to shoot the film in sequence?
No, there was a lot of jumping around. Directors always say, "Oh, we'll shoot it in sequence", but it turns out to be an incredibly costly way of working, because it involves moving lots of trucks. Consequently, you have to shoot all the scenes that take place in one location, then move on to the next. But for all that, »
- Xan Brooks
Scarecrow and The King of Marvin Gardens – quirky, unstylised films made in the 60s and 70s that refused to smooth their rough edges. This bravery, Adam Mars-Jones argues, is what film-makers are missing today
The label "independent film" doesn't mean what it once did, and the Sundance festival is part of the reason. The moment aspiring film-makers realised there was a potential shortcut to distribution and acclaim, they started smoothing off their rough edges – consciously or without even noticing – or at least they began to stylise themselves. Either way, the overall effect of the festival has not been to promote individuality but to erode it. So it's a mild beneficial shock to watch two American films of the early 1970s on re-release – not because they're masterpieces, exactly, but because they give the flavour of a different set of assumptions.
- Adam Mars-Jones
Chello Zone Bringing ‘Hardcore Pawn’ To Several Territories International TV provider Chello Zone has acquired all nine series of the Us reality TV show Hardcore Pawn for its CBS Reality network in Poland and one of its Emea feeds. CBS Reality will air the shows in primetime across Poland, Cyprus, Hungary, Romania, the Middle East and Africa. The first will premiere in Poland in June. The reality documentary series, which centers on a Detroit pawn shop, is produced by Zodiak USA for Tru TV and distributed internationally by Zodiak Rights. Karlovy Vary To Celebrate Jerry Schatzberg The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival said today that Palme d’Or-winning director Jerry Schatzberg will attend the 48th edition of the festival to screen three of his earliest films. The influential American director will introduce his recently restored debut Puzzle Of A Downfall Child (1970), The Panic In Needle Park (1970) and Palme winner Scarecrow »
- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
Karlovy Vary, Central Europe’s leading film fest, is to pay tribute to Jerry Schatzberg.
The helmer, who was one of the leading lights of New Hollywood, will present three of his early works: his 1970 debut “Puzzle of a Downfall Child,” 1971 drug drama “The Panic in Needle Park” and tragicomedy ”Scarecrow,” which starred Al Pacino and Gene Hackman and won Cannes’ Palme d’Or in 1973. Schatzberg recently revealed that he was planning to make a sequel to “Scarecrow.”
Karlovy Vary’s artistic director Karel Och said: “Jerry is one of the seminal directors of his age — occupying an exceptional position alongside the generation of talented filmmakers credited with the renaissance of American film during the 1970s.”
British helmer Mark Cousins will screen “The First Film,” which took him to the Kurdish village of Goptapa, »
- Leo Barraclough
Underscoring the breadth of artistic aspirations driving many of today’s European directors, Guillaume Canet’s “Blood Ties” is one of three English-language films helmed by a Euro director playing in Cannes’ official selection.
A different animal from the likes of Louis Leterrier and Pierre Morel, 40-year-old thesp-turned-helmer Guillaume Canet didn’t jump into English-language filmmaking to work on bigger-budgeted, studio-backed mainstream pics when offered the opportunity, after 2006 Hollywood calling card, “Tell No One.”
And yet, Canet, like other ambitious helmers of his generation, always longed to make an English-language film outside France: Simply because it opens up a far wider gamut of artistic possibilities, with cast and stories.
Produced outside the studio system by Canet’s ally Alain Attal at Paris-based Les Productions du Tresor, the $25 million “Blood Ties” centers on the relationship between two brothers in New York. From its visual and narrative style, to its soundtrack of American standards including Led Zeppelin, »
- Elsa Keslassy and John Hopewell
11 items from 2013
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