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Venice contender 'Ex Libris' scores key deals for Doc & Film

Venice contender 'Ex Libris' scores key deals for Doc & Film
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

In other Venice-related news, Doc & Film has also taken on sales of Stephen Schible’s Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda
See full article at ScreenDaily »

The Tao of Keanu Reeves, From 'Whoa!' to 'John Wick'

The Tao of Keanu Reeves, From 'Whoa!' to 'John Wick'
The appeal of Keanu Reeves – philosopher, lover, martial artist, musician, motorcycle enthusiast, movie star – is that he carries himself lightly, even in the movies that require him to turn from "cool breeze" (the Hawaiian translation of his first name, for those of you playing at home) to howling tempest. He's the type of guy who's had to deny being Buddhist, even though he's played the Buddha onscreen – because it's just widely assumed that he would swing that way religiously. ("I haven't take refuge in the dharma," he has assured us.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Video Traces The Evolution of Keanu Reeves as an Actor

When John Wick came out in 2014, I wasn't crazy about Keanu Reeves' performance in it. But it all clicked for me with John Wick 2, and you can read more about that revelation in my review of the movie. In honor of that film's release, Burger Fiction has put together one of their "evolution of" videos that traces Reeves' career from his early movies all the way up to today. A positive note: It's crazy how young he still looks after all of these years. A negative note: the dude can not do accents to save his life. And what the heck are Little Buddha and Freaked? I've never heard of those in my life, and they look completely insane. I might have to check those out just for the sheer Wtf factor.
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Jeremy Thomas condemns ban on Bhutanese drama 'Hema Hema'

  • ScreenDaily
Jeremy Thomas condemns ban on Bhutanese drama 'Hema Hema'
Filmmakers submit letter to authorities regarding ban on Locarno and Toronto title.

UK producer Jeremy Thomas has condemned the ban in Bhutan on Hema Hema (Sing Me A Song While I Wait), the Bhutanese film he helped produce.

The mystery-drama, about a Bhutanese ritual, secured berths at Locarno, Toronto, Busan and London last year, but will not get a release in its home market.

Tibetan Buddhist lama and writer Khyentse Norbu’s fourth film was banned by the National Films Review Board and the Department of Culture of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs on the grounds that it demeans religious symbols, including masks worn by actors.

Recorded Picture Company founder Thomas, an executive producer on the mystery-drama, told Screen: “I hate censorship. I fight against it. I had no idea that Khyentse’s film would be viewed this way and I was shocked to hear that it had been banned from the very people it was
See full article at ScreenDaily »

New to Streaming: ‘Pete’s Dragon,’ Pedro Almodóvar, ‘Train to Busan,’ ‘The Bfg,’ and More

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.

Always Shine (Sophia Takal)

With the excess of low-budget, retreat-in-the-woods dramas often finding characters hashing out their insecurities through a meta-narrative, a certain initial resistance can occur when presented with such a derivative scenario at virtually every film festival. While Sophia Takal‘s psychological drama Always Shine ultimately stumbles, the chemistry of its leads and a sense of foreboding dread in its formal execution ensures its heightened view of
See full article at The Film Stage »

Exclusive Teaser for Kyentse Norbu’s Toronto Film Festival Movie ‘Hema Hema’ [Video]

Variety has been given exclusive access to a teaser for Bhutanese director Kyentse Norbu’s “Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait,” which will play in Toronto Film Festival’s competitive Platform section.

The Last Emperor” producer Jeremy Thomas executive produces and Thomas’ Hanway Films is handling international sales. Norbu first foray into filmmaking started when he was a consultant on Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Little Buddha,” which Thomas produced.

The action in “Hema Hema” takes place deep in a forest, where a secret gathering “celebrates anonymity.” “Masked, the men and women participate in ancient rituals and dances from the full moon to the new moon. The large group has been specifically chosen by old leader Agay, but his reasons remain mysterious. Having given up their identities, the chosen are playful and lascivious in the lush mountain nature,” according to a statement from the filmmaker.

“But not all here is fun and games.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait’

The exoticism of Bhutan and the spiritual philosophy of Buddhism combine with an eerie invented ritual by which masked anonymity allows participants to inhabit a limbo world of the present that excludes the past and future in lama/director Khyentse Norbu’s visually rich though narratively challenging “Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait.” How successful the film is in folding Buddhist ideas into an imaginative reflection on the liberating yet unstable notion of collective identity concealment depends entirely on the viewer’s awareness of certain Eastern spiritual concepts, and uninitiated audiences looking for foreign color will experience a hefty degree of head-scratching among the intermittent pleasures. While never less than intriguing, “Hema Hema,” like Norbu’s previous “Vara: A Blessing,” is unlikely to break out of the festival circuit.

Since working as technical adviser on “Little Buddha,” Norbu has grown into a fully-fledged director (this is his
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Producer Jeremy Thomas on Bhutanese Director Khyentse Norbu’s ‘Hema Hema’

Locarno, Switzerland — For veteran British producer Jeremy Thomas serving as executive producer of Bhutanese lama and film director Khyentse Norbu’s fourth feature “Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait” — which world premiers in Locarno today— is a natural development of a long rapport that began during the Bhutan shoot for Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1993 film “Little Buddha.”

Norbu at the time served as a consultant for Bertolucci. He then went to film school in New York and made a splash with his directorial debut “The Cup,” in 1999, about a bunch of soccer-crazed Tibetan monks who rent a satellite dish to watch the 1998 World Cup final. “Travellers and Magicians,” in which a young Bhutanese government official dreams of escaping to America, followed in 2003; segued by “Vara: A Blessing,” a tale of forbidden love between a Hindi dancer and a Muslim sculptor, in 2013.

These titles have all been executive produced
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tallinn Black Nights: Soundscapes Puts Focus on Composers

Tallinn Black Nights: Soundscapes Puts Focus on Composers
As the Tallinn Black Nights festival continues until Nov. 29, its Industry@Tallinn program unspools unique features, such as Soundscapes, which spotlights five Estonian composers who will present their showreels to international and domestic film directors and producers. The aim is to foster more international collaboration and introduce up-and-coming Estonian tunesmiths to festival visitors, with a particular emphasis on creating connections between composers and debut directors, as well as helmers with films in development and participants from the European Genre Forum. The showcase is followed by an informal dinner that allows discussion in a more casual setting.

Estonians have always been known for their love of music. The country boasts several famous composers, including Arvo Part, whose works have accompanied international hits such as “The Great Beauty,” “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Little Buddha.” Likewise, Veljo Tormis is lauded for his choral works as well as domestic film compositions, and former synth pioneer Sven
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hit Me: How Johnny Mnemonic Helped Redefine Cyberpunk Cinema in the ’90s

On May 26th, 1995, music video director and artist Robert Longo made his directorial debut with Johnny Mnemonic, an adaptation of William Gibson’s futuristic short story of the same name (Gibson also penned the screenplay) that starred Keanu Reeves in the titular role as a “mnemonic courier” who finds himself in the middle of a corporate conspiracy with implications for all of mankind.

Johnny Mnemonic celebrates its 20th anniversary this month, and while it may not necessarily be a film many sci-fi fans celebrate, it’s always held a special place in my heart, undoubtedly being one of the coolest films I saw that year and one that also revitalized the cyberpunk film movement (yes, even before The Matrix came along and did it a bit more effectively).

For the uninitiated, Johnny Mnemonic transports us to the year 2021; in the opening text crawl, we learn that corporations have taken over
See full article at DailyDead »

Berlin Film Review: ‘Golden Kingdom’

Berlin Film Review: ‘Golden Kingdom’
A cultivated sense of calm — no more or less than you’d expect from a study of Buddhist practice — permeates “Golden Kingdom,” an impressively disciplined, occasionally transporting debut feature from globe-trotting American helmer Brian Perkins. Blending documentary-style observation with supernaturally embellished storytelling, this picturesque portrait of four child monks in Myanmar forced to fend to themselves in the absence of their mentor adds a bracing spiritual dimension to an otherwise universal boys-to-men arc. Premiered in Berlin’s youth-oriented Generation strand, the film may only resonate with children of a particularly patient persuasion, but international auds will find keys to this particular “Kingdom” via ample festival travel and niche arthouse bookings.

Portland-born Perkins is hardly the first visiting filmmaker to shed some light on a religion still subject to exoticization and commercial exploitation in Western culture, but “Golden Kingdom” is a more intimate appreciation of Buddhism than Martin Scorsese’s rapturous
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The Oldest Boy’ Theater Review: The Reincarnation of a Bernardo Bertolucci Movie

  • The Wrap
‘The Oldest Boy’ Theater Review: The Reincarnation of a Bernardo Bertolucci Movie
In 1993, Bernardo Bertolucci released a movie, “Little Buddha,” that explores the odyssey of a young American boy who is sought out by two Tibetan monks who believe he's the reincarnation of a lama, a high Buddhist teacher. At the heart of this conflict is that the boy's parents are played by non-Tibetan types, Bridget Fonda and Chris Isaak. Neither Roger Ebert, who hated the movie, nor Janet Maslin, who liked it, had much of a clue what Bertolucci wanted to say with “Little Buddha.” See photos: 13 of Keanu Reeves’ Most Insane Movie Premises – From ‘John Wick’ to ‘Johnny Mnemonic’ (Photos) That.
See full article at The Wrap »

Speed Freaks

Tfe is really into 10th, 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries and elsewhere you see mostly 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th business. I assume this is because recent stuff gets more traffic, but whatevs. I can only do me. So I didn't even consider Jan de Bont's Speed (1994) for celebrations here though I liked the movie quite a lot and Keanu Reeves was my (imaginary) boyfriend at the time.  There's a lot of good stuff 'round the web on Speed today if you're so inclined. Crave has a road map tour of L.A. so that you can retrace the movie's drive and derailments (that seems dangerous!), In Contention has an indepth report with Keanu, Sandra and the director and Huffington Post interviews Joss Whedon who did uncredited writing on the movie. My point is this: There are a lot of Speed freaks celebrating today.

I have only one thing
See full article at FilmExperience »

‘Snowpiercer’ Director’s Cut Will Get a U.S. Release

Harvey Weinstein has earned himself a reputation for mercilessly and needlessly hacking up the foreign movies unfortunate enough to fall under his distribution in the U.S.; whether through Miramax or The Weinstein Company, he’s gotten hands-on and snip-happy with pictures ranging from Bernardo Bertolucci’s Little Buddha to Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer (among many others).

Most recently, it appeared as though South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s latest effort, sci-fi actioner Snowpiercer, was up next on Weinstein’s chopping block, with the threat of a twenty minute cut looming over Bong’s film (with regard to its U.S. theatrical release).

Though their dispute looked a little touch and go for a while, a resolution has finally been reached and it’s an artistic win for Bong: Snowpiercer ...

Click to continue reading ‘Snowpiercer’ Director’s Cut Will Get a U.S. Release

The post ‘Snowpiercer’ Director’s Cut Will Get a U.
See full article at Screen Rant »

Here's How Indie Movie Rental Stores Are Surviving the New Frontier

Here's How Indie Movie Rental Stores Are Surviving the New Frontier
Seattle's Scarecrow Video has been called the greatest video store in the country, praised by the likes of Bernardo Bertolucci (who discovered it while shooting "Little Buddha") and Quentin Tarantino (who walked from downtown Seattle to the store's University District location as a kind of pilgrimage to the video Mecca), explored by Bertrand Tavernier in 1997 (he took in the entire laserdisc section and gushed over the selection of Cy Enfield and William Whitney tapes), and voted the Best of Seattle consistently in the annual Seattle Weekly readers polls. (Full disclosure: I was a manager at Scarecrow for three years back in the nineties and I am still a regular customer.) Scarecrow opened in 1988 with a couple of hundred videotapes, many of them oddball cult titles, from the personal collection of founder George Latsios. Twenty five years later, after a near-bankruptcy and a rescue by a couple of Microsoft engineers (Carl Tostevin
See full article at Indiewire »

Keanu Reeves: The Hollywood Interview

Keanu Reeves Calls the Shots

By

Alex Simon

Keanu Reeves first caught the eye of audiences and critics in Tim Hunter’s incendiary 1986 film River’s Edge, playing a suburban high school burn-out struggling to find his moral center after his best friend murders a classmate. Reeves went on to carve a unique and prolific filmography over the next 27 years, in such diverse hits as Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Dangerous Liaisons, My Own Private Idaho, Little Buddha, Point Break, Speed, and the Matrix Trilogy.

2013 finds Keanu Reeves bowing with his directorial debut, Man of Tai-Chi, a muscular martial arts adventure set and filmed in contemporary China. Starring legendary Hong Kong actor/stuntman Tiger Hu Chen as an impoverished young man who uses his deadly martial arts skills in lucrative underground fights, Reeves co-stars in one of his few villainous turns as the corporate kingpin behind the pay-per-view death matches.
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Busan reveals 2013 line-up

  • ScreenDaily
Busan reveals 2013 line-up
The 18th Busan International Film Festival (Biff) has announced its full line-up of 301 films from 70 countries with 95 world premieres and 42 international premieres.

Running Oct 3-12, the festival will open with the world premiere of Bhutanese film Vara: A Blessing, directed by Buddhist monk Khyentse Norbu, who formerly served as technical advisor to Bernardo Bertolucci on Little Buddha.

Biff will close with the world premiere of Korean film The Dinner, directed by Kim Dong-hyun whose Hello, Stranger (2007) won Asian Cinema Fund (Acf) post-production support and won the 12th Biff’s Netpac Award.

New Market Incentive

The Asian Film Market is launching new incentives for buyers and sellers participating from this year.

Market head Jay Jeon said: “With an aim to being more productive and bring more Asia-focused development in future, we are going to offer indirect support with flight and accommodations to buyers who pick up films at the Asian Film Market.

“We’ll be giving
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Venice: Variety’s Pre-festival Party Honors Helmer Bernardo Bertolucci

Venice: Variety’s Pre-festival Party Honors Helmer Bernardo Bertolucci
Starwood and Variety held their fifth annual pre-opening-day party on the rooftop terrace of the historic Hotel Danieli in Venice, where the theme this year was La Notte Dei Dreamers (Night of the Dreamers) in honor of Bernardo Bertolucci, jury president of the fest’s 70th edition.

Bertolucci, whose “The Dreamers” launched from the Lido in 2003, praised the highly creative party menu conceived by Starwood Venezia g.m. Antonello De’ Medici and his team, consisting of dishes dedicated, and inspired by, some of his films.

“It had never happened to me before to have my movies — their titles, their concepts — transformed into delicious different interpretations done by chefs,” he said.

“I ate of bit of ‘The Sheltering Sky,’ a bit of ‘The Last Emperor’ and I finished with ‘Last Tango in Paris,’ which was a mix of French and Argentine cuisine,” Bertolucci, in fine fetter, recounted.

The lavish spread included
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Gambit gabble: what actors' accents lack

Cameron Diaz's much ridiculed bid to sound Texan rodeo star is the latest in a resonant cinematic tradition of feeble phonemes

Gambit has attracted plenty of brickbats, but one complaint might have surprised yesteryear's filmgoers. Cameron Diaz plays an over-the-top rodeo queen, so she weighs in with a wacky Texan accent. What's wrong with that? Well, it isn't quite the way that Texans actually speak. Her effort is "insufferable" according to Guanabee.com; it had BuzzSugar "cringing".

Sadly, California–born Diaz has form when it comes to mangling the speech of the southern states. The moral dilemma film The Box was set in Richmond, Virginia. For this, Diaz laid on what a Brit might have thought an unobjectionable southern accent. The city guide Black Book heard things differently. "It's that generic cornpone drawl that Hollywood would usually have us believe everyone below the Mason-Dixon line speaks," the magazine fumed.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Bertolucci is Busting Out All Over; AFI Guest Artistic Director, European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award

Bertolucci is Busting Out All Over; AFI Guest Artistic Director, European Film Academy Lifetime Achievement Award
Bernardo Bertolucci is everywhere these days. The Italian master filmmaker ("Little Buddha," "The Last Emperor") will serve as the American Film Institute's Guest Artistic Director at AFI Fest 2012. Others have included last year’s Guest Artistic Director Pedro Almodóvar and David Lynch in 2010. Bertolucci has selected four feature films for his sidebar at the festival: 42Nd Street (Dir Lloyd Bacon), La Regle Du Jeu (Dir Jean Renoir), Sunrise (Dir F.W. Murnau) and Vivre CA Vie (Dir Jean-Luc Godard). In addition, the festival will present Electric Chair, a behind-the-scenes film about the making of Bertolucci’s new movie, Me And You. Bertolucci has written and directed over 25 films, including The Last Emperor, Last Tango In Paris, The Conformist, The Sheltering Sky and Little Buddha. He has been honored with two Academy Awards® for Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay for The Last...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »
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