17 items from 2017
The Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff) will give the 2017 Samurai Award to acclaimed musician and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Sakamoto also won an Oscar, shared with David Byrne and Cong Su, for the original score of Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor (1987). His life and artistry are the subject of a new documentary, Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, which premiered earlier this month at the Venice Film Festival.
Sakamoto will give a talk at the festival in a series »
- Gavin J. Blair
The Telluride Film Festival has held tributes for but a handful cinematographers over the last 44 years. The names are titans of the form: Karl Struss (“Sunrise,” “The Great Dictator”), Sven Nykvist (“Cries & Whispers,” “Fanny and Alexander”), John Alton (“An American in Paris,” “Elmer Gantry”), Vittorio Storaro (“Apocalypse Now,” “The Last Emperor”). This year, on the heels of a lifetime achievement prize from the American Society of Cinematographers earlier this year, Ed Lachman joins their ranks.
Oscar-nominated for “Far From Heaven” and “Carol,” Lachman is a frequent collaborator of director Todd Haynes. This year’s celebration of his work is pegged to their latest, “Wonderstruck,” which is part of the festival’s main program. But Lachman’s career outstretches those three movies alone, from working with icons of pop (Madonna) and humanitarianism (Mother Teresa), to collaborations with artists at the beginning (Sofia Coppola) and end (Robert Altman) of their careers.
Lachman spoke to Variety about his career to »
- Kristopher Tapley
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
Can our children pick and choose the personality traits they inherit, or are they doomed to obtain our lesser qualities? These are the hard questions being meditated on in After the Storm, a sobering, transcendent tale of a divorced man’s efforts to nudge back into his son’s life. Beautifully shot by regular cinematographer Yutaka Yamasaki, it marks a welcome and quite brilliant »
- Jordan Raup
A documentary about noted Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who won an Oscar and Golden Globe for his music for “The Last Emperor” in 1987, will screen out of competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
“Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” covers five years of the composer’s life combined with archival material illuminating his musical and cinematic history. Sakamoto was a judge at the 2013 Venice festival.
Sakamoto, 65, started his career in 1978 with the song “Thousand Knives.” He founded techno pop trio Yellow Magic Orchestra with Haruomi Hosono and Takahiro Takahashi, creating a new wave mix of pop, rock, and electro synthesizer sounds. In 1980, the song called “Computer Game” made the Billboard top 60, bringing him global recognition.
Sakamoto also scored and appeared in the film “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” in 1983 and acted in “The Last Emperor.” He has been busy ever since working as a composer for films such as “The Revenant” and as a performer and producer.
- Variety Japan
Exclusive: Company also takes on Venice Out of Competition title Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda.
Paris-based sales company Doc & Film has unveiled a slew of deals on Frederick Wiseman’s Venice Golden Lion contender Ex Libris – The New York Public Library.
The documentary, going behind the scenes of the world-famous public library, was revealed on Thursday as being one of the titles in the Venice Film Festival’s main competition.
Doc & Film CEO Daniela Elstner said the feature had pre-sold to Spain (La Aventura Audiovisual), Korea (Jinjin), Taiwan (Joint Entertainment), China (Lemon Tree) and Switzerland (Xenix).
“Other territories are under negotiation and it will be released in France on 1st November by Meteore Films,” she added.
Wiseman’s film delves into how the New York Public Library continues traditional activities while adapting to the digital age.
Venice sales pick-up
Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This August will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.
To sign up for a free two-week trial here.
Tuesday, August 1
Tuesday’s Short + Feature: These Boots and Mystery Train
Music is at the heart of this program, which pairs a zany music video by Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki with a tune-filled career highlight from American independent-film pioneer Jim Jarmusch. In the 1993 These Boots, Kaurismäki’s band of pompadoured “Finnish Elvis” rockers, the Leningrad Cowboys, cover a Nancy Sinatra classic in their signature deadpan style. It’s the perfect prelude to Jarmusch’s 1989 Mystery Train, a homage to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the musical legacy of Memphis, featuring appearances by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Joe Strummer. »
- Ryan Gallagher
At the Quad Cinema - Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise; Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell To Earth; Mitchell Leisen's Hold Back The Dawn; Elia Kazan's America, America; Werner Herzog's Stroszek; Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In America, Slava Tsukerman's Liquid Sky with Anne Carlisle become Immigrant Songs. Retrospectives for Goldie Hawn, Frank Perry & Eleanor Perry, Bertrand Tavernier and Ryuichi Sakamoto; a Rainer Werner Fassbinder Lola First Encounter with Sandra Bernhard, Jean-Luc Godard's King Lear and a drop of Nathan Silver's Thirst Street come up in my conversation with Director of Programming C Mason Wells.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Takashi Miike’s latest samurai film, “Blade of the Immortal” (“Mugen no jûnin”), is one of the five films screening Out of Competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The movie — the 100th for the Japanese director — was produced by Academy Award winner Jeremy Thomas (“The Last Emperor”). The film stars Takuya Kimura in the lead role.
Read More: Blade of the Immortal’ Review: Takashi Miike’s Landmark Feature Is One of His Most Lethal Genre Offerings Ever – Cannes
Based on Hiroaki Samura’s eponymous manga series, the film follows a masterful samurai named Manji (Kimura) who is cursed with immortality as a result of an epic battle. He’s haunted by the murder of his sister, and resorts to fighting evil in order to regain his soul. He helps a young girl (Hana Sugisaki) avenge her parents’ killing by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior »
- Yoselin Acevedo
Oscar-nominated “Harry Potter” makeup and creature-effects wizard Nick Dudman is set to bring his blockbuster artistry to Italian director Matteo Garrone’s new live-action “Pinocchio,” which HanWay is selling at the Cannes Film Festival.
“Mr. Dudman is one of the greatest film artists in the world,” said Garrone, who was prepared to delay production on the project for a year in order to secure Dudman’s services. “I consider myself lucky to collaborate with an artist whose talent and skills are complemented by great humbleness and devotion to his work. I have immediately found a great affinity with him and can’t wait to start this experience.”
Dudman told Variety that the new Italian-language “Pinocchio” will have a “flavor and look that’s quintessentially Italian” and will be different from what audiences are used to seeing in mainstream fantasy films. “It’s a very personal journey for Matteo,” Dudman said. »
- Robert Mitchell
A forgotten oddity from the early 1970s is Jacques Demy’s English language mounting of The Pied Piper, a rather bleak but mostly unequivocal version of the famed Grimm Bros. fairy tale about a titular piper who infamously lured the children of Hamelin to their assumed deaths after being rebuffed by the townsfolk when he similarly rid the town of plague carrying rats.
Set in the 1300s of northern Germany, this UK production blends bits of Robert Browning’s famed poem of the legend into the film, but the end result is unusually straightforward and unfussy, considering Demy’s predilection for inventive, colorful musicals, such as the classic confections The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort. The stunt casting of Donovan as the piper generates a certain amount of interest, although he’s whittled down to a supporting character amongst a cast of master character actors like Donald Pleasence, John Hurt, Peter Vaughan, and child star Jack Wild.
Notably, The Pied Piper is one of the few Demy films not to be built around a strong, beautiful female lead, which may also explain why there’s no center point in the film. Cathryn Harrison (daughter of Rex, who starred in Louis Malle’s Black Moon) and a gone-to-seed Diana Dors (though not featured as memorably as her swarthy turn in Skolimowski’s Deep End) are the tiny flecks of feminine representation. It was also not Demy’s first English language production, as he’d made a sequel to his New Wave entry Lola (1961) with 1969’s Los Angeles set Model Shop. So what compelled him to make this departure, which premiered in-between two of his most whimsical Catherine Deneuve titles (Donkey Skin; A Slightly Pregnant Man) is perhaps the film’s greatest mystery.
Cultural familiarity with the material tends to work against our expectations. At best, Donovan is a mere supporting accent, popping up to supply mellow, anachronistic music at odd moments before the dramatic catalyst involving his ability to conjure rats with music arrives. Prior to his demeaning, Demy’s focus is mostly on the omnipotent and aggressive power of the corrupting church (Peter Vaughan’s Bishop) and Donald Pleasence’s greedy town leader, whose son (a sniveling John Hurt) is more intent on starting wars and making counterfeit gold to pay his gullible minions than stopping the encroaching plague. Taking the brunt of their violence is the Jewish alchemist, Melius (Michael Hordern), who is wise enough to know the rats have something to do with the spread of the disease. Demy uses his tragic demise to juxtapose the piper’s designs on the children.
While Hurt and Pleasance are entertaining as a toxic father and son, Demy seems estranged from anyone resembling a protagonist. Donovan is instantly forgettable, and the H.R. Pufnstuf and Oliver! child star Jack Wild gets upstaged by a wild mop of hair and a pronounced limp (which explains why he isn’t entranced along with the other children), and the film plays as if Donovan’s role might have been edited down in post. The script was the debut of screenwriters Andrew Birkin (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, 2006) and Mark Peploe (The Passenger, 1975; The Last Emperor, 1987) who would both go on to write a number of offbeat auteur entries.
Kino Lorber releases this obscurity as part of their Studio Classics label, presented in 1.66:1. Picture and sound quality are serviceable, however, the title would have greatly benefitted from a restoration. Dp Peter Suschitzky’s frames rightly capture the period, including some awesomely creepy frescoes housing Pleasence and son, but the color sometimes seems faded or stripped from some sequences. Kino doesn’t include any extra features.
More of a curio piece for fans of Demy, The Pied Piper mostly seems a missed opportunity of the creepy legend.
Film Review: ★★½/☆☆☆☆☆
Disc Review: ★★★/☆☆☆☆☆
The post The Pied Piper | Blu-ray Review appeared first on Ioncinema.com. »
- Nicholas Bell
UK industry veteran Terry Glinwood has died aged 82 following complications from surgery for a minor complaint.
Glinwood’s career spanned fifty years as a producer and sales executive during which time he worked closely with some of the European industry’s leading figures.
In the 1970’s he would work closely with fellow-producers Ned Sherrin and Beryl Vertue and director Bob Kellett on a string of UK comedies including Up Pompeii and The Alf Garnett Saga as well with UK producer John Heyman and Grease and Saturday Night Fever producer Robert Stigwood.
In the same decade Glinwood struck up a fertile collaboration with Rpc boss Jeremy Thomas for whom he would work in a sales and financing capacity on Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Last Emperor and [link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
23 February 2017 6:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Only seven films in Oscars history have won more than eight trophies: Gigi (1958), The Last Emperor (1987) and The English Patient (1996) won nine; West Side Story (1961) won 10; and Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) won 11.
Will La La Land be the fourth film to win more than 10? In part one of my mathematical Oscar predictions, my model predicted that the musical would win for best picture, director and actress, but narrowly lose best original screenplay and actor, both to Manchester by the »
- Ben Zauzmer
Prior to 1999, the British Academy Film and Television Awards were seen as the poor, but perfectly respectable, country cousin of their high-wattage American brethren. There were a number of reasons for this, chief among them the four-month time lag between U.S. and U.K. release dates, which saw a bizarre hike in prestige releases during April, when the BAFTA ceremony was traditionally held.
Until 1997, the event also included an extensive roll of television awards, which made for a long night, with the top film awards inevitably going to the same films honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences two months earlier. The BAFTAs felt stale.
In 1999, however, the BAFTAs stepped up the glamour offensive. Elizabeth Taylor was honored with a BAFTA fellowship, presented by Michael Caine, while the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and Christina Ricci walked the red carpet outside North London’s dowdy Business Design Centre. »
- Damon Wise
This past weekend, the American Society of Cinematographers awarded Greig Fraser for his contribution to Lion as last year’s greatest accomplishment in the field. Of course, his achievement was just a small sampling of the fantastic work from directors of photography, but it did give us a stronger hint at what may be the winner on Oscar night. Ahead of the ceremony, we have a new video compilation that honors all the past winners in the category at the Academy Awards
Created by Burger Fiction, it spans the stunning silent landmark Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans all the way up to the end of Emmanuel Lubezki‘s three-peat win for The Revenant. Aside from the advancements in color and aspect ration, it’s a thrill to see some of cinema’s most iconic shots side-by-side. However, the best way to experience the evolution of the craft is by »
- Jordan Raup
Tim Sutton is a filmmaker with a distinct visual style, which he brings into the heart of the gun control debate with Dark Night, an entrancing, terrifying exploration of the moments before a horrible event. Following multiple characters living in a Florida town, Sutton paints an American portrait that feels doubly relevant following last year’s election and everything that’s come since. The Film Stage had an earnest conversation with the writer/director about the the business of indie film, how politics affect art and how one casts a film so it feels authentic to the story being told.
The Film Stage: When you jump into a project like this, what’s the research process like?
Tim Sutton: So, research-wise I really tried to limit myself. People have asked if I’ve talked to a lot of people in Aurora or in Denver, and I did not. The work is purely fiction, »
- Dan Mecca
By: Carson Blackwelder
With the dust settling after the big reveal of the nominations for the 2017 Academy Awards, there’s one film with a very uncertain future: Arrival. Yes, the film was nominated for best picture as well as garnered attention in a slew of other categories, but it was noticeably overlooked in one major area. We are, of course, talking about Amy Adams not being nominated for best actress. How does not having any acting nominations had an effect on a film’s chances at winning best picture in Oscar history?
Heading into the big show, Arrival has eight shots at taking home a trophy. Here are the categories the Denis Villeneuve-directed flick is nominated for: best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, best cinematography, best film editing, best production design, best sound mixing, and best sound editing. What we »
- Carson Blackwelder
Brett Ratner loves cinema. When speaking with the 47-year-old filmmaker, it’s abundantly clear that movies are unspooling through his veins, and if our discussions felt more like two movie buffs just enjoying great conversation, it’s because of his general enthusiasm for the medium.
“It was always my dream to direct movies,” he says, rarely pausing for a breath. “I always knew I’d do it. I had the drive and the desire. I was determined. But I never knew I’d be making movies of this size, stuff like the ‘Rush Hour’ films and ‘X-Men’ and ‘Red Dragon.’ When I was in film school, I knew I wanted to make entertaining movies. But I don’t think I could have prepared for how fast my rise would be. I was 26 when I got my first film.”
But it was before he’d set foot on a movie set »
- Nick Clement
17 items from 2017
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