19 items from 2017
By Jacob Oller
Cinematography owes much to the French master. enri Alekan was the cinematographer behind movies like Jean Cocteau’s magical La Belle et la Bête, William Wyler’s Roman Holiday, and Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire. But his book on cinematography is perhaps his greatest legacy. Des lumières et des ombres has been a biblical tome for those […]
The article Henri Alekan and the Shifting Technology of Film Lighting appeared first on Film School Rejects. »
- Jacob Oller
Paris, Texas (1984)
Director: Wim Wenders
As much as I admire the leader of the New German cinema movement of the sixties and seventies, R.W. Fassbinder, and as much as I admire, probably the best and most important director in that movement Werner Herzog, if I actually had to pick a favorite New German Director, and one of my favorite directors of all-time, it’d have to be Wim Wenders. I rank his film ‘Wings of Desire‘ among the Ten best films ever made, and all his films–even his less-than-stellar ones–all have this intuit sense to them. It’s not empathy; it’s almost spiritual. While Herzog is constantly »
- David Baruffi
No one could accuse Wim Wenders of inconsistency. He’s been making feature films for 45 years, and his mode of telling a story has rarely fluctuated, going back to the New German Cinema road rambles of the ’70s to “Paris, Texas” and “Wings of Desire” to the ’90s neo-utopian journeys (“Until the End of the World,” etc.) right up to “Submergence,” which premiered this week at the Toronto Film Festival. Through it all, Wenders has never let go of the languid reflective pacing, the morosely droopy scenes that dither and digress, the long-and-winding structure that theoretically holds a movie together but is too abstract to lend it a real shape.
“Submergence” is a telling example of that style, because it’s the most conventional drama Wenders has made in years: an art-house weeper starring James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander. Yet even two glamorous and well-matched stars of the moment can’t do much to undermine the Wenders »
- Owen Gleiberman
The Oscar-nominated director of “Wings of Desire” and “Paris, Texas” isn’t known for making swooning cinematic stories that pulsate with emotions. But “Submergence” is an epic romantic drama, one that centers on a deep-sea researcher (Alicia Vikander) and a water engineer (James McAvoy). Their love is tested after the man is held captive by jihadist fighters in Somalia. The sweeping geopolitical tale explores issues of political and religious radicalism. At a time when the world is being roiled by global terrorism, Wenders believes that art and cinema can help people understand their shared humanity.
“Submergence” screens this weekend at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival. Over a latte at the Ritz Carlton, Wenders held forth on the war on terror, Hollywood and Netflix.
What drew you to the “Submergence”?
It was talking about things that are really urgent — both about the state of the planet »
- Brent Lang
by StaffDirectors’ cinema, now: Tiff’s three-year-old Platform program returns for 2017 with more original voices and visionary films.
Last year, Platform included celebrated works such as William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth — currently playing at Tiff Bell Lightbox — Pablo Larraín’s Jackie, and Barry Jenkins’ Academy Award Best Picture winner, Moonlight. The 12 films in this year’s programme are another showcase for the artistry of a group of bold, dynamic voices in contemporary cinema.
Sweet CountryIf You Saw His Heart
This year’s lineup presents 12 films from eight countries on five continents. All selected films will compete for the Platform Prize, to be awarded by a jury made up of award-winning filmmakers Chen Kaige, Małgorzata Szumowska, and Wim Wenders.
The program will open with the world premiere of The Death of Stalin, from award-winning director-writer Armando Iannucci (In the Loop, Veep). The historical epic follows the final days leading up to the Soviet dictator’s death. »
- Sydney Levine
“When a child was a child…”A man’s voice is heard, reading out words as they are written in thick ink on paper.…it didn’t know it was a child”He continues, some of the words delivered in sing-song, joyfully, as if they were a children’s nursery song:“Everything was full of life/And all life was one...”His voice is friendly voice; a comforting voice; a voice that we will soon learn belongs to Damiel (Bruno Ganz), an angel who watches over the city of Berlin and its inhabitants with the curiosity and reverence of a child. Damiel has such deep affection for human life that he is willing to eschew immortality for earthly pleasures and the most intoxicating human experience of all: love. Both Damiel’s voice and those of the humans he consoles and studies feature prominently on the film’s soundtrack, sometimes in isolation, »
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)
Kate Erbland (@katerbland), IndieWire
It will come as no surprise to anyone that, as a child, I watched a lot of television. A lot. I was mostly obsessed with HBO — our single movie channel, number 2 on the dial; yes, my childhood TV had a dial, don’t ask — with intermittent deviations into mostly inappropriate mini-series (thus explaining my rarely disclosed expertise on “The Thornbirds”), and was pretty much given free range to watch whatever the hell I wanted, whenever I wanted. This is why my favorite »
- David Ehrlich
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 »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (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
19 items from 2017
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