12 items from 2017
Focus has acquired world rights to documentary; screens first footage of upcoming movies.
Written and directed by Wim Wenders (Buena Vista Social Club), the film is only the second co-production that the Vatican has made with outside filmmakers and the first in which a Pope addresses the audience directly, discussing topics such as ecology, immigration, consumerism, and social justice.
Exclusive footage from the Vatican’s archive shows the Pope on journeys, sharing his ideas and ideals in different parts of the world.
Focus made the announcement at an event in Cannes to celebrate its 15th anniversary.
At the soiree the company showed first footage of Mary Magdalene, Darkest Hour, Atomic Blonde and Victoria And Abdul and confirmed that Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming fashion drama has wrapped shoot.
Pope Francis – A Man Of His Word is produced »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.
– The Orchard has acquired the rights to “Kings,” the drama starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig and directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Deadline reports. The film focuses on a foster family in South Central a few weeks before the city erupts in violence following the verdict of the Rodney King trial in 1992.
- Graham Winfrey
Described in a statement as a “historic nonfiction film,” the Wenders work is not a biography of Jorge Mario Bergoglio rather “a film with him.”
It marks the second co-production that the Vatican has made with outside filmmakers “and the first in which a Pope addresses the audience directly, discussing topics such as ecology, immigration, consumerism, and social justice,” the statement said.
In 2015 Wenders collaborated with the Vatican TV center during the Jubilee in Rome. More recently Wenders was spotted shooting in Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, known to be an inspirational figure for Bergoglio »
- Nick Vivarelli
Known among with-it insiders as the Ampav, the American Pavilion has become a vital part of the Cannes Film Festival over the last 30-odd years. This year’s lineup was announced today, with such special guests as Spike Lee, Wim Wenders, John Cameron Mitchell, Christine Vachon and IndieWire’s own Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson.
Such anticipated films as “Brigsby Bear,” “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” “Rodney King,” “Wonderstruck” and “Patticake$” will be discussed; Kohn and Thompson are set to record a live edition of the Screen Talk podcast. Avail yourself of the full lineup below and let the Ampav Fomo wash over you in waves.
Read More: IndieWire’s Movie Podcast: Screen Talk (Episode 148) – Here’s What We Know (And What We Don’t Know »
- Michael Nordine
The 400 Blows. Courtesy of ShutterstockFor many directors, casting decisions are a crucial part of the writing process. They set the parameters in which the character can develop itself. Fundamentally, a good casting decision can make a character transcend its own scripted ambitions into wonderful, unexpected territories. But bad casting, as we know, can cripple not just a character’s potential but the entire film. It’s hard to talk about casting choices as creative decisions since they are so ingrained within certain creative impulses—the decision of choosing a particular actor over another can be based on mere gut feeling, a hunch, or an intellectual response. But of course, it can also depend (as it often does in large budget films) on an actor’s status, reputation or his or her monetary value. As we get to know actors, we see them typecast or cast against type but sometimes »
The first time I went to the Berlin Film Festival, the city was existentially cold, cottoned in fog, and grayer than “Wings of Desire.” And I loved it. I had just been laid off and my personal life was mired in one of those brutally unsolicited periods of self-reflection, so a jet-lagged week in the grim heart of Europe was just what the doctor ordered.
That was the year of titles like “Boyhood,” the frigid Chinese neo-noir “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” and an Estonian drama about a film critic who loses his newspaper job — and then his mind — after filing a two-word review of “The Tree of Life.” (“Fuck you.”) I bundled up and walked by the Reichstag, spent a few nights on the east side of town, and tried most of the brews at the House of 100 Beers, a flavorless, three-tiered tourist trap near the center of the festival »
- David Ehrlich
Lars von Trier has never shied away from controversy. Now, the Danish writer/director has revealed that his upcoming serial-killer thriller, “The House That Jack Built,” is partly inspired by none other than Donald Trump.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, the filmmaker said, “‘The House That Jack Built’ celebrates the idea that life is evil and soulless, which is sadly proven by the recent rise of the Homo trumpus – the rat king.”
“The House That Jack Built” stars Matt Dillon in the leading role. Set in 1970’s America, the film follows an intelligent serial killer named Jack (Dillon) over the course of 12 years. The film will introduce the killings that define Jack’s development as a cold-blooded murderer.
Last week, Von Trier shared the first image from the film: a black »
- Yoselin Acevedo
A tepid farce that that combines the brevity of a one-act play with the lo-fi desperation of a student film, “The Party” is the kind of star-studded misfire that might only have made sense in the context of an artistic movement like Dogme 95, whose strict dictums could have explained its experimental zeal and excused its fundamental shabbiness. Of course, such formal recklessness is par for the course when it comes to the cinema of Sally Potter, a British dynamo whose work ranges from a radical adaptation of Virgina Woolf’s “Orlando” to an erotic Joan Allen drama that’s spoken entirely in iambic pentameter. But if the dazzling eccentricities of Potter’s previous films might help to prepare viewers for her latest trick, their intellectual rigor casts this new one in a strange and unflattering light. It’s different, yes, and made with conviction. But it also feels flimsy, hollow, »
- David Ehrlich
Riley Keough’s list of upcoming projects continues to grow. In addition to Steven Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky,” Trey Edward Shults’ “It Comes at Night” and David Robert Mitchell’s “Under the Silver Lake,” the actress is now set to appear in Lars von Trier’s “The House That Jack Built.” Sofie Gråbøl (“The Killing”) has also just been added to the cast, which includes Matt Dillon in the title role and Bruno Ganz (“Wings of Desire,” “Downfall”).
“The House That Jack Built” is set in America in the ’70s and follows the eponymous murderer’s point of view through five incidents. Jack “views each murder as an artwork in itself, even though his dysfunction gives him problems in the outside world. Despite the fact that the final and inevitable police »
- Michael Nordine
While speaking to her at Sundance, I remarked how incredible the upcoming year is for Riley Keough, adding David Robert Mitchell, Trey Edward Shults, and Charlie McDowell to her resume, one that already includes George Miller, Andrea Arnold, and Steven Soderbergh (who she’ll also be re-teaming with this year). We can now add two more of our favorite directors to the list: Jeremy Saulnier and Lars von Trier.
First up, the Green Room and Blue Ruin director’s next film is Hold the Dark, which he’s making for Netflix. Along with Keough, Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgard, James Badge Dale, and James Bloor have also joined the cast. The adventure thriller is based on William Giraldi‘s novel, which follows a wolf expert (Wright) who comes to Alaska to investigate disappearing children with the prime suspect being — you guessed it — wolves. Keough plays the mother of a son who died, »
- Jordan Raup
Space – the final Ya-romance frontier. Having already used vampirism, lycanthropy, terminal diseases, time travel, dystopic futures and a televised to-the-death competition as obstacles to young love, the genre would seem to have nowhere left to go – at which point the makers of this sci-fi tearjerker looked to the cosmos and thought, "A-ha!" The fault is not in our stars, people. The fault is our stars.
Essentially reimagining “Starman” as a tepid Ya weepie, “The Space Between Us” adds the one thing that’s been missing from melodramatic teen dramas like “The Fault in Our Stars” and “If I Stay”: Mars. Of course! The Red Planet. What took them so long? It’s such a perfectly natural setting for a genre that has wasted millions upon millions of dollars searching for signs of life. Alas, there are none to be found in this otherwise guileless and good-natured sci-fi love story.
Inexplicably not based on a book — but rather on an original idea by “Collateral Beauty” screenwriter Allan Loeb — “The Space Between Us” begins in the near future, as visionary scientist Nathaniel Shepherd (Gary Oldman, so characteristically hard to recognize that he’s easy to recognize) bids farewell to the first colonists of Mars, a team of astronauts who will establish and live in a dusty little outpost called “East Texas. »
- David Ehrlich
12 items from 2017
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