9 items from 2015
It was interesting to note the reaction, head bowed in a pained half-smile, of Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda when hit with his first Cannes press conference question this year: “Is this an homage to Ozu?” or at least something to that extent. In fairness, it’s probably a question the man is sick of hearing at this point, but in the case of Our Little Sister it’s not quite as wayward or as ignorant as one might think. Indeed, Koreeda acknowledges as much in response: admitting to revisiting some of the master’s work in preparation for the project, or perhaps simply in preparation for such questions. And he’s right: there are similarities, and more than enough to provoke such a question. The opening shots alone of a sleepy suburban neighborhood, houses split by an unseen railway line whose heavy clients must shake these small abodes to their foundations, »
- Nicholas Page
Kristen Stewart, 'Camp X-Ray' star, to join cast of 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' Kristen Stewart to join 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' movie After putting away her Bella Swan wig and red (formerly brown) contact lenses, Kristen Stewart has been making a number of interesting career choices. Here are three examples: Stewart was a U.S. soldier who befriends an inmate (Peyman Moaadi) at the American Gulag, Guantanamo, in Peter Sattler's little-seen (at least in theaters) Camp X-Ray. She was one of Best Actress Oscar winner Julianne Moore's daughters in Wash Westmoreland and the recently deceased Richard Glatzer's Alzheimer's drama Still Alice. She was the personal assistant to troubled, aging actress Juliette Binoche in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria, which earned her a history-making Best Supporting Actress César. (Stewart became the first American actress to take home the French Academy Award. »
- Andre Soares
With twelve features to his name, two of those winning him Best Director Academy Awards (Brokeback Mountain; Life of Pi), Ang Lee has become one of the most notable auteurs to achieve success within the studio system. While his 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility began a successful career in English language filmmaking, the Taiwanese director had already received two Oscar nods for Best Foreign Language film. Those include 1993’s The Wedding Banquet, premiering in Berlin, and 1994’s Eat Drink Man Woman, now available for the first time on Blu-ray, though it hasn’t enjoyed the same lasting reputation. After the film, Lee wouldn’t return to working in Mandarin until six years later (2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), so it represents a certain jumping off point for the director.
Food and sex are base human desires that cannot be ignored, or so Mr. Chu (Sihung Lung) remarks, »
- Nicholas Bell
“Snow Girl And The Dark Crystal,” one of the biggest films this year from China will get a 3D release in North American theaters later this month.
Rights in the U.S. and Canada were acquired by WellGo USA, which plans an outing in North American cinemas from Feb 27. The sale was handled by Arclight Films.
The film is a fantasy that explores the legend of Zhong Kui, a fabled Chinese warrior with mysterious powers, who is forced to conquer the realms of Heaven and Hell to save his people and the woman he loves.
Produced on a budget of some $30 million, it is co-directed by “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”’s Oscar-winning cinematographer Peter Pau, and Zhao Tianyu. It stars Li Bingbing (“Transformers: Age Of Extinction”), Kun Chen (“Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate”), and Winston Chao (“Eat Drink Man Woman”).
“3D films are extremely popular in China. Showing international films »
- Patrick Frater
Made on a budget of $32.5 million (RMB200 million), it stars Chen Kun (“The Painted Skin,” “Bends”) and Li Bingbing (“Transformers 4”) in a story of a young man endowed with mysterious powers who is forced into a battle among the realms of Heaven, Earth and Hell in order to save his countrymen and the woman he loves.
The picture has one of the best releasing slots of the years and is set for mainland China release on Feb. 19, the first day of the all-important Chinese New Year holiday.
“Wanda has also »
- Patrick Frater
Amazon Studios just announced that it will begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video.
Production will begin this year with the goal of offering a dozen original, prestige movies annually, with a focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators.
Whereas it typically takes 39 to 52 weeks for theatrical movies to premiere on subscription video services, Amazon Original Movies will premiere on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. just 4 to 8 weeks after their theatrical debut.
Amazon Original Movies creative development will be led by independent film visionary Ted Hope. Hope co-founded and ran production company Good Machine, which produced notable and Academy Award-nominated films such as Eat Drink Man Woman and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Hope’s films have received some of the industry’s most prestigious honors including numerous Academy Award and BAFTA nominations. »
Amazon Studios, known for television series such as multi-Golden Globe winner Transparent, Annie-nominated Tumble Leaf, and Mozart in the Jungle, today announced that it will begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video. Whereas it typically takes 39 to 52 weeks for theatrical movies to premiere on subscription video services, Amazon Original Movies will premiere on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. just 4 to 8 weeks after their theatrical debut. Amazon Original Movies will focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators. Here's what Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios, had to say in a statement.
"We look forward to expanding our production efforts into feature films. Our goal is to create close to twelve movies a year with production starting later this year. Not only will we bring Prime Instant Video customers exciting, unique, and »
Amazon Studios has announced today that it is moving beyond television programming to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video, releasing films on the streaming service just 4-8 weeks after their theatrical premiere rather than the traditional 39 to 52 weeks.
“We look forward to expanding our production efforts into feature films. Our goal is to create close to twelve movies a year with production starting later this year,” said Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios. “Not only will we bring Prime Instant Video customers exciting, unique, and exclusive films soon after a movie’s theatrical run, but we hope this program will also benefit filmmakers, who too often struggle to mount fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience.”
- Gary Collinson
Amazon Studios said it will produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early-window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video starting in 2015.
Producer Ted Hope will lead Amazon Original Movies creative development. A vocal advocate for changing the way independent films are produced and distributed, he co-founded and ran production company Good Machine, which produced “Eat Drink Man Woman” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Earlier this month, Hope stepped down as CEO of Fandor, a streaming-video site specializing in indie and international titles.
According to Amazon, it expects to produce about 12 movies per year. Amazon said its original movies will premiere on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. just four to eight weeks after their theatrical debut — versus up to a year for regular windowing.
The move by Amazon comes after Netflix also has launched a bid to enter into the movie sector, announcing plans to debut the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, »
- Todd Spangler
9 items from 2015
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