Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) - News Poster

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The 24 Most Accurate Films About Professions: Anthony Bourdain, Penn Jillette, and More Make Their Picks

Film history is home to dozens of space movies, from “2001: A Space Odyssey” to “Interstellar,” but which happens to be the most accurate? If you were to ask a real astronaut, say former Nasa administrator Charles F. Bolden, the answer would not be Kubrick’s magnum opus but “The Martian,” the Matt Damon-starring survival film directed by Ridley Scott. Bolden is one of 24 professionals asked by The Washington Post to name the most accurate film in his line of work, and it appears “The Martian” does space better than any film of its kind.

Read More:The 100 Best Reviewed Movies of 2017, According to Rotten Tomatoes

“Most people think about astronaut movies and they want to talk about ‘The Right Stuff,'” Bolden tells The Post. “But ‘The Martian’ is just so scientifically accurate, and it tells this story of what we’re on the cusp of — not just Americans,
See full article at Indiewire »

The danger of normal by Anne-Katrin Titze

Linda Emond, Logan Lerman, James Schamus, Sarah Gadon and Danny Burstein Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Brokeback Mountain - The Ice Storm - Eat Drink Man Woman and Lust, Caution producer, James Schamus, becomes a director to take on Philip Roth's Indignation, starring Logan Lerman and Sarah Gadon with Linda Emond and Danny Burstein (Justin Bateman's The Family Fang), Ben Rosenfield and Pico Alexander (Jc Chandor's A Most Violent Year), Noah Robbins, Philip Ettinger, and August: Osage County playwright Tracy Letts.

James Schamus and Ang Lee share a laugh with Roadside Attractions founders Howard Cohen and Eric D'Arbeloff Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Lyrics to Jay Wadley's Is It Love, sung by Jane Monheit, Jacques Demy's Umbrellas Of Cherbourg wallpaper, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, and a Caspar David Friedrich image appeared in my conversation with James Schamus.

Producer Anthony Bregman, Rebecca Luker, Annette Insdorf,
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Qumra: James Schamus Discusses the Filmmaking Process in Extensive Master Class and Interview

In the Qumra Master Class 2016 where James Schamus and Richard Peña, former long-time head of Lincoln Film Society in NYC, carried on an informal and open-ended discussion, James gave a personal view of himself before going into the professional ins and outs of his film production and distribution life.

I was surprised to hear that James, who seems like a quintessential New Yorker, is not a native New Yorker but is an Angeleno and attended Hollywood High in Los Angeles.

When I spoke with him afterward, he said that he actually was from North Hollywood but had attended Jd Melton at Hollywood High. On looking the school up for this article, I was even more pleasantly surprised to see that their branding is serendipitously, “Home of the Sheiks”.

James grew up in L.A. in the 70s and Hollywood High was equivalent to Jodie Foster’s school in “Taxi Driver” only it was in L.A. It was a working class and poor school where only half of the student body took the SATs (College qualifying exams), and he was definitely the nerd in the herd. He would spend his Friday nights watching a little known TV show on the local Channel 13 moderated by the L.A. Times critic Charles Champlin. The show was of silent films and there he saw “Birth of a Nation” and the German Expressionist movies among others. Later he wrote his PhD dissertation Carl Theodor Dreyer's ‘Gertrud’: The Moving Word, and it was published by the University of Washington Press. He moved to New York to write it after completing his Bachelors, Masters and PhD studies at Uc Berkeley.

He said he does not remember much about his high school days, but recently as he was unpacking some old boxes, he came across his high school yearbook.

You know how people signed with little paragraphs? One of these said ‘Thanks for persuading me to skip school with you and going on the 93 bus to see movies’ and it was signed ‘Frank’. I had no idea who Frank was but as I tried to remember, I recalled skipping school to go to L.A.’s only film festival which was new and called ‘Filmex’.

(Editor’s note: Filmex was the creation of ‘The two Garys’, Gary Essert and Gary Abrahams, both of whom died of Aids during the Aids epidemic. Gary Essert was a UCLA Film School student in the 60s where he started Filmex with marathon screenings in the Quonset hut which was the film school. The two Garys are both vividly remembered today by the American Cinematheque crews and others of us from L.A. because the Cinematheque was their creation.)

It was at Filmex that I saw a film made by a film student from USC. It was a sci-fi film and there was a Q&A afterward. The film was called ‘Thx-1138’ and it was by George Lucas. Then I remembered! Frank was Frank Darabont! And we were now sharing the same agent, so I gave him a call and yes, he went to Hollywood High too.

James combines his acclaimed filmmaking career with other roles within the industry: he is a revered film historian and academic. He is also a multi award-winning screenwriter, director and leading U.S. indie producer, best known for his long creative collaboration with Taiwanese director Ang Lee. He has worked with Lee on nine films, including “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), which won four Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography, and remains the highest-grossing non-English-language film in the U.S. He was the screenwriter for Lee's “The Ice Storm”, for which he won the award for Best Screenplay at the Festival de Cannes in 1997 and co-wrote “Eat Drink Man Woman” (1994), the first of Lee’s films to achieve both critical and commercial success.

As producers, Schamus and Ted Hope (today head of production at Amazon) co-founded the U.S. low- to no-budget production company Good Machine in the early 1990s.

It was macho to brag about how we made films with no money. ‘I made my movie for $5,000.’ ‘Well, I made mine for $4,000.’

Ted also loves lists and he made a list of all the short films made in the past 10 years by filmmakers who had yet to make feature films. We got the VHS tapes and one of the films we saw was by Ang Lee when he was studying at Nyu. It was called “Fine Line” and was Chazz Palminteri’s first film.

“Fine Line” was about an Italian guy on the run from the mob. It takes place in New York’s Little Italy and Chinatown. Ang Lee had an agent and we called him. He said Ang Lee was working on three great films before hanging up on us…

To hear James tell this story, watch him speaking here with Richard Peña.

What was cut out of the above online story was that at the time of “Pushing Hands”

Ang had no idea we had just contacted his agent and he also thought we would steal all his money. He was 38 years old, an unemployed stay-at-home parent with a working wife and two kids living in a little apartment in New York. In his spare time he had become a great cook. He came in and pitched a comedy for one hour. It was awful. We were such no-money producers; our office was upstairs from a strip club and the music would blast into our offices starting at 2:00 every day. With this pounding beat, he pitched the worst pitch we ever heard. But there was a $5,000 fee for us. I then said that though his pitch was poor he had actually described the entire movie in his head to us scene by scene. He was not trying to sell the film.

So we made the film and then made his second film “Wedding Banquet” which shared a first prize in Berlin. The third film was “Eat Drink Man Woman” from an original idea with a Taiwanese writer, very TV in the open-endedness of all the characters feeling the push and pull of letting it happen. But in this was a Hollywood 40s style screwball comedy that could be imposed.

Again, when James and I spoke together, I challenged him on the claim that “Dim Lake” was Chazz’s first film because my own partner in life and business, Peter Belsito, claims to have produced Chazz’s first film, “Home Free All” at which time Chazz took Peter aside and said, 'I am not just a dumb guinea hoodlum, I am a real actor destined for better roles. I can act serious.' So James and I checked IMDb to see and sure enough, “Dim Lake” was his first film and “Home Free All” was his second, but it was Chazz’ first feature film. We then looked at the rest of his 68 film credits and in every single one, he is playing the Italian.

Doing this with James gave me a momentary feel of his love for research.

“For my first time writing with Ang I needed to research food in Taiwan for ‘Pushing Hands’, the position and placement of food, families and food….The script would be translated from English to Chinese, but Ang was not satisfied with it. I was having trouble tapping into the mentality of the Chinese family so I took all the characters’ names and changed them to Jewish names and rewrote the script totally as a Jewish family. Then I changed the names back to their Chinese names. Ang read the script and said ‘This is really Chinese!’ And so I got ‘the cross-cultural idea’ -- not really…I still don’t get that.

The first day in Taiwan we were shooting the film in a fast food restaurant and I as I watched the rushes, one of the character’s name was Rachel and I realized I had forgotten to change the name back. I asked if we needed to reshoot, but at that time it was a fad to change Chinese names to Anglo names and no one thought it was out of place, and so it stayed.

The most difficult part of the film was shooting the opening title sequence of the father cooking a meal. It went over schedule because it had to be perfect. We used the food so many times it was held together by glue by the end.

Preparing a shot list is very important for Ang and he constantly reduces the list and his vision jells as he does this. By his third film, the process was very internalized. Next he had to communicate it. The plan is always the result of the overall idea. That’s why his style always changes.

As he shoots, the relationship with the editor is very close. He has a long-time relationship with his editor Tim Squyres.

The “Wedding Banquet” was the first film edited on Avid. Before “Wedding Banquet”, four minutes was the full length of films edited on Avid which is now ancient technology.

Tim cuts several versions and talks them through with Ang. They have spent more time in the dark together than most married people. Ang is in the editing room from the beginning to the end. Tim talks very directly, like he might say Ang should have spent more time on a scene or should have shot a scene from a different angle. I used to watch Ang’s face tense up as he listened to Tim’s criticism and often they would fight, but they have spent 25+ years together.

On the transnational global reach of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”:

Critics said it was not an authentic chop-socky movie. But the Hong Kong chop-socky genre itself was a regional hybrid. The origins of chop-socky were from Shanghai and Singapore. It was not so “Cantonese” as critics claimed. Bruce Lee himself was U.S. based. So the transnational aspect was already there.

From 2002 to 2014 Schamus was CEO of Focus Features, the motion picture production, financing and worldwide distribution company whose films during his tenure included Wes Anderson's “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012), Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Roman Polanski's “The Pianist “ (2002), Henry Selick's “Coraline” (2009) and Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” (2003).

On actors:

Character is secondary to the action. You only have action and words in a script. Working with good actors, you need images.

Actors are at such high risk, they are very vulnerable. They need respect. Sometimes they act out.

On casting and directors:

During the casting process, the director must direct the actor, set the tone for the part. Most of the film’s directing can be done during the casting process.

On storyboarding:

Ride with the Devil” was the first film Ang Lee storyboarded. He also storyboarded “Life of Pi”. Storyboarding could take the life out of a movie.

On production design:

It takes lots of research. It includes the worldview of the film and everything ties in to that. It first starts with costumes. Research is not done only by the department but by everyone.

On film distribution and Focus:

Where is distribution now for specialized films? Focus was everything, attached to the studio system as its specialized film division, Focus’ model was not Fox Searchlght’s which is locked into the domestic U.S. market. Seachlight bought global rights and produced by way of its international TV deals. Focus didn’t have that. It had to presell theatrical rights to independent distributors worldwide. Driven primarily by the international marketplace, it could not be driven by U.S. Its primary focus for production was London. It was all international but also driven by flagship releases in the U.S.

In 2014, Schamus turned his hand to directing with the short documentary “That Film About Money” (2014).

Paul Allen of Microsoft started Vulcan with a commitment to shorts. I did a doc with a crew of people I had never worked with before. And it was about people like Paul.

In 2016 James made his feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Philip Roth's “Indignation”. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and screened at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival in the Panorama section.

Schamus is also Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches film history and theory.

On Doha’s newest foray into Hollywood:

Doha-based beIN Media Group’s acquiring Miramax could be a great deal depending on the price paid.

Much of the 600-plus films in the Miramax library is probably locked into licensing deals already around the globe, but depending on when those deals are up for renewal and what other rights can be exploited, if the price point was right, it’s a great way to get into the game because they are sitting on top of so much intellectual property.

Just integrating into the deal structures and understanding the economics, from the end point where the money is coming from to the rights holder, is a good idea.

Miramax, under the leadership of Zanne Devine, has also co-acquired with Roadside Attractions, the 2016 Sundance premiering feature, “Southside with You”, the narrative feature of Barak Obama and Michelle’s first date. That will bring beIN into the Roadside Attraction/ Lionsgate sphere of distribution and international sales.

On Hollywood interest in territories like China, India and the Middle East:

The less successful pattern is to find a Hollywood producer who flies in on his private jet and give him hundreds of millions (ed: Stx?) to make movies. This is a very different version, this is owning intellectual property - it’s a good first step.

On moviegoing in the Gulf:

The next step is to build a cinema culture that makes movie-going a practice in the region far more than it is now - movie exhibition and movie-going as a power lever.

On TV in the Middle East:

My intuition says new media, television in particular, is going to be a space that is very dynamic once it breaks open, here in the Gulf or elsewhere.

During this week at Qumra, James is also mentoring 10 filmmakers working on five Dfi-backed projects: Mohamed Al Ibrahim’s “Bull Shark”; Hamida Issa’s “To The Ends Of The Earth”; Sherif Elbendary’s “Ali, The Goat And Ibrahim”; Mohanad Hayal’s “Haifa Street” aka “Death Street”; and Karim Moussaoui’s “Till The Swallows Return”.

Elia Suleiman, the Artistic Advisor to Doha Film Institute, recalls how he and James “grew up together” in New York as long-time friends. James introduced him to the Chilean master filmmaker Raul Ruiz. While at Good Machine, Schamus helped him with his short film. He helped edit the script and was his guardian angel helping with his first contract. They even had a code for “urgent”. When Elia was in Jerusalem and James in London, they used the code whenever Elia was overwhelmed by the paperwork needed. James would answer within 15 minutes. Now James has come full circle on his own, from being one of the most important producers of the decade to directing his own film.

When asked by Qumra what was most important, he said “first time filmmakers are the most important”. And he has always been able to spot the most talented of emerging filmmakers.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

James Schamus: Gulf can learn from China's box-office boom

  • ScreenDaily
James Schamus: Gulf can learn from China's box-office boom
James Schamus delivers masterclass in Doha, touching on the need to build a movie-going culture in the Gulf and how Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon established the modern international blockbuster.

James Schamus said the Gulf region could learn from China’s theatrical growth, during his masterclass at the Doha Film Institute’s Qumra festival on Saturday.

The American producer, writer, distribution executive and director was asked about last week’s deal for Doha-based beIN Media Group to acquire Miramax and said it “could be a great deal” depending on the price paid.

He noted that much of the 600-plus films in the Miramax library would be locked into licensing deals already around the globe, but depending on when those deals are up for renewal and what other rights can be exploited, “if the price point was right, it’s a great way to get into the game because you are sitting on top of so much intellectual property
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Schamus at Qumra: Gulf can learn from China's box-office boom

  • ScreenDaily
Schamus at Qumra: Gulf can learn from China's box-office boom
James Schamus delivers masterclass in Doha, touching on the need to build a movie-going culture in the Gulf and how Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon established the modern international blockbuster.

James Schamus said the Gulf region could learn from China’s theatrical growth, during his masterclass at the Doha Film Institute’s Qumra festival on Saturday.

The American producer, writer, distribution executive and director was asked about last week’s deal for Doha-based beIN Media Group to acquire Miramax and said it “could be a great deal” depending on the price paid.

He noted that much of the 600-plus films in the Miramax library would be locked into licensing deals already around the globe, but depending on when those deals are up for renewal and what other rights can be exploited, “if the price point was right, it’s a great way to get into the game because you are sitting on top of so much intellectual property
See full article at ScreenDaily »

5 Award Winning Asian Film Classics You Can Stream Right Now

There’s no need to look hard for your favorite Asian movies online these days. The rise of streaming services is a boon to movie-lovers worldwide, especially for those who love hard-to-find Asian art-house films.

You’ll find these gems and more at sites such as Archive.org, Mubi.com, and Fandor.com among others, here’s a list of some of our favourite award winning movies you can watch online right now.

Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

This Zhang Yimou film is one of the director’s many collaboration with the lovely Gong Li. Based on the novel Wives and Concubines by Su Tong, it tells the story of a young woman who agreed to be a wealthy man’s fourth wife. Complications ensue as bitter rivalries rise between the man’s four wives. Gong Li’s acting in this movie is superb and the movie captures the atmosphere of 1920s China.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Filmmakers James Schamus and Joshua Oppenheimer Unveiled as Final Two Qumra Masters

The second edition of Qumra, March 4 - 9, the industry development event organized by the Doha Film Institute to nurture emerging voices in cinema with a focus on first and second-time filmmakers, will include as Masters, James Schamus and Joshua Oppenheimer along with Naomi Kawase, Aleksandr Sokurov and Nuri Bilge Ceylan participating in a series of master classes and one-on-one sessions with selected Qumra filmmakers and their projects along with screenings and Q&A sessions for Doha audiences throughout the week.

Read about previously announced Qumra Masters.

Held at the incredibly beautiful Museum of Islamic Art, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei, and a cultural partner of the Doha Film Institute, Qumra supports the development of emerging filmmakers from Qatar, the Arab region and around the world. Dfi has arranged a “rainbow of colors in a bouquet of participants and masters”. Elia Suleiman, Artistic Advisor for the Doha Film Institute says, “each master is very different and the event looks like an edition of poetry.”

Due to unforeseen circumstances, previously announced Qumra Master Lucrecia Martel is no longer able to participate this year.

Directors and producers attached to up to thirty three projects in development or post-production are invited to participate in Qumra, named from the Arabic term ‘qumra’ popularly said to be the origin of the word ‘camera’ and used by the scientist, astronomer and mathematician Alhazen (Ibn al-Haytham, 965-c.1040 Ce), whose work in optics laid out the principles of the camera obscura.

Qumra includes a number of emerging filmmakers from Qatar, as well as recipients of funding from the Institute’s Grants Program. The robust program features industry meetings designed to assist with propelling projects to their next stages of development, master classes, work-in-progress screenings, matchmaking sessions and tailored workshops with industry experts. This creative exchange takes place alongside a program of public screenings curated with input from the Qumra Masters.

Especially appealing about this event, seen in light of mega-events as Berlin, Cannes, Tiff and Sundance is the intimacy of everyone sharing meals, attending the same party, staying at the same hotel within the famed souk and in walking distance to the museum. Only 150 people, all working hard and all meeting every day as they work with 23 features, 11 of which are in development and 12 in post whose program has been guided by Elia Suleiman and Qumra Deputy Director Hanaa Issa. The Qumra team will also help us navigate the souk to find the best bargains in spices like saffron and sumac and tumeric, textiles and other middle eastern treasures from the silk road!

Qumra has come a long way in one year; where last year there was only one documentary, this year there are eight documentary features – four in development and four works-in-progress - and four short documentaries in development. Five of them are Qatari, five are from the Mena region and two international. There are 23 features of which five are from Qatar and 10 shorts, all from Qatar. Each Master will meet with four to five filmmakers formally but the collaboration among mentors and emerging filmmakers will extend far beyond such formal meetings.

There are also three great moderators of panels: Richard Pena, the longtime chief for the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York, Jean Michel Poignet and Paolo Bertolini of the Venice Film Festival.

Also included is a highly engaging selection of movies by the five Qumra Masters and from a selection of emerging talent during daily screenings and Q&A sessions. The selection includes Academy Award, Cannes Film Festival and Ajyal Youth Film Festival award winners.

Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Al Remaihi said: “This year, the Qumra Screenings will showcase the work of five esteemed masters of cinema alongside some tremendously talented emerging filmmakers. By presenting these two spectrums of cinematic works, Qumra will offer audiences highly engaging film experiences that will present new insights into the language of cinema and the process behind the creation of compelling films. They will also be educational and inspirational, underlining our commitment to strengthening film culture in Qatar by promoting access to and appreciation of world cinema.”

The Masters screenings, accompanied by Q&A sessions with the visiting Qumra Masters linked to each film are “The Look of Silence” (Denmark, Indonesia, Finland, Norway, UK / Indonesian, Javanese /2014) by Qumra Master Joshua Oppenheimer, “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” (Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina / Turkish / 2011) by Qumra Master Nuri Bilge Ceylan; “The Russian Ark” (Russian Federation, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan / Russian / 2002) by Qumra Master Aleksandr Sokurov; “The Mourning Forest” (Japan, France / Japanese / 2007) by Qumra Master Naomi Kawase; and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA, China / Mandarin / 2001) by Ang Lee, co-written and produced by Lee’s longtime collaborator and Qumra Master, James Schamus.

The ‘New Voices in Cinema’ screenings include two feature films granted by the Doha Film Institute: “ Mediterranea” (Italy, France, Germany, Qatar/ Arabic, English, French, Italian; 2015) by Jonas Carpignano being sold internationally by Ndm and Wme; “Roundabout in my Head”/ “Fi rassi roun-point” (Algeria, France, Qatar/Arabic/2015); and two award-winning short films “Waves 98” by Ely Dagher (Lebanon, Qatar / Arabic / 2015), winner of the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and “The Palm Tree ” (Qatar, No Dialogue, 2015) by Jasim Al Rumaihi, winner of the 2015 Ajyal Youth Film Festival Made in Qatar Award for Best Documentary.

“We are privileged to have James Schamus and Joshua Oppenheimer participate as Qumra Masters this year,” said Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Al Remaihi. “Both filmmakers, while very different in style, are truly ground-breaking in their fields and bring a wealth of experience to Qumra that will be invaluable for the young filmmakers participating.”

“We look forward to welcoming James and Joshua to the Gulf region for the first time and enabling our Qumra 2016 participants to establish a connection with these two leaders of independent filmmaking in the Us.”

Both Schamus and Oppenheimer were born in the Us and combine their acclaimed filmmaking careers with other roles within the industry: Schamus as a revered film historian and academic; and Oppenheimer as Artistic Director of the Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film at the University of Westminster in London.

Schamus, a multi award-winning screenwriter, director and leading Us indie producer, is best known for his long creative collaboration with Taiwanese director Ang Lee. He has worked with Lee on nine films, including “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), which won four Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography, and remains the highest-grossing non-English-language film in the Us. He was the screenwriter for Lee's “The Ice Storm”, for which he won the award for Best Screenplay at the Festival de Cannes in 1997 and co-wrote “Eat Drink Man Woman” (1994), the first of Lee’s films to achieve both critical and commercial success.

As a producer, Schamus co-founded the Us powerhouse production company Good Machine in the early 1990s, and then from 2002 to 2014 was CEO of Focus Features, the motion picture production, financing and worldwide distribution company whose films during his tenure included Wes Anderson's “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012), Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Roman Polanski's “The Pianist “(2002), Henry Selick's Coraline (2009) and Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” (2003).

In 2014, Schamus turned his hand to directing with the short documentary “That Film About Money” (2014), and in 2016 made his feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Philip Roth's “Indignation," which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and is screening at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival in the Panorama section.

Schamus is also Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches film history and theory, and is the author of 'Carl Theodor Dreyer's Gertrud: The Moving Word', published by the University of Washington Press.

Elia Suleiman , the Artistic Advisor to Doha Film Institute, recalls how he and James grew up together in New York as long-time friends. James introduced him to the Chilean master filmmaker Raul Ruiz. Schamus helped him with his short film while at Good Machine. He helped edit the script and was his guardian angel helping with his first contract. They even had a code for “urgent”. When Elia was in Jerusalem and James in London they used the code whenever Elia was overwhelmed by the paperwork needed. James would answer within 15 minutes. Now James has come full circle on his own, from being one of the most important producers of the decade to directing his own film. When asked by Qumra what was most important, he said first time filmmakers were the most important. And he has always been able to spot the most talented of emerging filmmakers.

Two-time Academy Award nominee Joshua Oppenheimer’s debut feature-length film, “The Act of Killing” (2012) was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film, named Film of the Year by The Guardian and the Sight and Sound Film Poll, and won 72 international awards, including a European Film Award, a BAFTA, an Asia Pacific Screen Award, a Berlin International Film Festival Audience Award, and the Guardian Film Award for Best Film.

His second film, “The Look of Silence” (2014) had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it won five awards including the Grand Jury Prize, the Fipresci Prize and the Fedeora Prize. It was nominated for the 2016 Oscar for Best Documentary Film, and has received 66 international awards, including an International Documentary Association Award for Best Documentary, a Gotham Award for Best Documentary, and three Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking.

Oppenheimer is a partner at the Final Cut for Real production company in Copenhagen, and Artistic Director of the Centre for Documentary and Experimental Film at the University of Westminster, London.

Many of the industry guests include returnees as well as the new guests which count Bero Beyer, Rotterdam; Tine Fisher, Cph Dox; Christophe Le Parc, Director’s Fortnight, Cannes; Vincenzo Bugno, World Cinema Fund, Berlinale; Cameron Bailey, Tiff and Carlo Chatrian, Locarno here for their second time; Sundance for its first year; Matthijs Wouter Knol, European Film Market; Mike Goodridge, Protagonist; Memento Films, Arte; Michael Werner, Fortissimo; Alaa Karkouti, Mad Solutions and Selim El Azar, Gulf Films.

Also attending for the first time will be Netflix who picked up “Under the Shadow” an elevated horror/ thriller partially funded by the Doha Film Institute, Film Movement and the Ford Foundation.

Previous Qumra Masters include Mexican actor, director and producer Gael Garcia Bernal (“Amores Perros”; “No”; “Deficit”), Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako (Timbuktu - nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Academy Awards); Romanian auteur and Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”; “Beyond the Hills”); and Bosnian writer/director Danis Tanović (“An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker”; “Tigers”, “No Man’s Land” - winner of Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001).
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Criterion Link Collection: October 5th 2015

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I bookmark and share a ton of links everyday. Over the past few years I’ve tried to get a regular link post series going here on the site, but inevitably I just fall back to sharing Criterion-related links directly on our Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr pages.

I’ve recently caught the “I should start a link post again” bug, and here we are. We’ll see how long I can keep this going again.

Feel free to email me, or tweet at me, if you have links that you think I should bookmark or include in my daily round-up here on the site.

Articles

Our friend Jamie S. Rich has been taking time out of his busy comic book editing schedule to start posting to his Criterion Confessions blog again lately. His latest entry looks at The X From Outer Space,
See full article at CriterionCast »

DVD Review: 'The Ang Lee Trilogy'

  • CineVue
★★★☆☆ Commonly referred to as the 'Father Knows Best Trilogy', Ang Lee's first three films are notable primarily as an introduction to key themes and his devotion to nuanced emotional drama. They also staved off the retirement of famous Taiwanese actor Sihung Lung. Almost a decade before his appearance as Sir Te in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) he was convinced to shed his tough-guy image in favour of the serenely charming Mr. Chu in Lee's debut feature, Pushing Hands (1992). Altitude Distribution are now bringing that film and subsequent Lee/Lung collaborations The Wedding Banquet (1993) and Eat Drink Man Woman (1993) to UK DVD in The Ang Lee Trilogy box set.
See full article at CineVue »

Competition: Win ‘The Ang Lee Trilogy’ on DVD

Altitude Film Distribution have, this week, released a collection of Ang Lee’s first three Chinese language films entitled The Ang Lee Trilogy. Discover the early work of a celluloid legend who would go on to become the first Asian to win an Oscar for Best Director and receive 2 Academy Awards. The Ang Lee Trilogy consists of Pushing Hands. The Weddign Banquet and Eat Drink Man Woman. It is available to own in a 3-disc set from today, 24th August 2015 at an Rrp £34.99.

To coincide with todays release of The Ang Lee Trilogy on DVD we have 3 copies to give away, as well as 3 copies of Whitney Dilley’s book The Cinema of Ang Lee: The Other Side of the Screen. To win, just answer the following question:

Which of the following Ang Lee films won an Academy Award? Was it:

a) Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

b) Hulk

c) Brokeback Mountain
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Three Sisters with Laden Hearts: Hirokazu Koreeda and the Non-traditional Family

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,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Stewart 'in Talks' to Be Featured in Subversive Iraq War Homefront Satire

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.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Media Luna, International Sales Agent in Guadalajara

Media Luna's lineup of predominantly women-centric and Spanish language films is very attractive for Ficg's upcoming market this March 6 - 16th.

"Flocking" by Beata Gårdeler won the Crystal Bear for Best Feature at Berlinale 2015

Synopsis: The small village community is convinced that the young Jennifer is lying, when she claims to have been raped by classmate Alexander. Evidence and court decisions mean nothing, where grown-up people lay down their own rules and laws to stick with the flock.

(Sweden 2015; Drama/Thriller) Based on true stories.

"Two Women" by Vera Glagoleva. Starring Ralph Fiennes ("The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The English Patient") and Sylvie Testud ("La Vie en Rose," "Lourdes")

Synopsis: Natalya is married to a land baron. Her feelings for her son’s attractive new tutor will confront her with her own daughter and turn her devoted life into a complex web of unappreciated love, lust and jealousy. (Russia, France, Latvia 2014; Drama)

"3 Beauties"(3 Bellezas) by Carlos Caridad-Montero (Venezuela 2014; Comedy) Miss Venezuela. When obsession for beauty and cosmetic surgery is taken too far.

Synopsis:Perla is obsessed with having a beauty queen in the family and she is willing to do whatever it takes to make her dream come true. Including destroying her own family.

"No Thank You" by Samuli Valkama (Finland 2014; Comedy) - Based on the Anna-Leena Härkönen bestseller, “Ei Kiitos”, published by Otava, the novel now exceeds 110.000 printed exemplars and "No Thank You" became a Box Office hit in Finland!

Synopsis: Heli’s husband is not in the mood. After many years of marriage a shoulder massage is the highest form of intimacy for him. When subtle hints, nice words and fetching clothes won’t help, Heli turns to increasingly direct action — in vain! Then she meets the attractive Jarno, a stunning young man. Soon she will discover what she wants, and what she doesn’t want in life.

"The Mud Woman" (La Mujer de Barro) by Sergio Castro San Martín (Chile & Argentina 2015; Drama) Starring Catalina Saavedra (Best actress at Sundace Film Festival for “The Maid”) World Premiere at Berlinale Forum 2015.

Synopsis: Maria and her daughter Teresa leave near the border between Chile and Argentina. Ten years have passed, since she last worked in the vineyard's harvest season. Now Maria has to earn some extra money and decides to return at the plantation… not knowing she will have to face her unsolved past.

"Baby Steps" by Barney Cheng (USA, Taiwan 2015; Comedy/Drama) From Oscar-winning producer of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Eat Drink Man Woman" and "The Wedding Banquet" by Ang Lee. Starring the award-winning actress Ah-Leh Gua ("The Wedding Banquet" and" Eat Drink Man Woman").

Synopsis: Danny and his boyfriend long to have a baby. The complex world of international surrogacy is further complicated by Danny's well-meaning but extremely meddlesome Mother who wants to control every aspect of the process all the way from Taipei.

"Internet Junkie" by Alexander Katzowicz (Argentina, Mexico & Israel 2015; Dark Comedy/Erotic) Starring Antonio Birabent ("Wild Tango"), Angela Molina ("That Obscure Object of Desire," "The Things of Love") and special appearance of Arturo Ripstein (Director of "No One Writes to the Colonel," "The Queen of the Night")

Synopsis: Inside the virtual world... A soldier looking for lovers, a teenager searching for porn, a mother in need of friends, a graduated looking for a job, women waiting to find the love of their life and the best –or any- lover in the area... outside the virtual world no one is what they seem.

"Get Married If You Can" (Casese Quien Pueda) by Marco Polo Constandse (Mexico 2014; Comedy) Box Office hit in Mexico! - Third highest-grossing film of all time – Starring Martha Higadera ("Street Kings," "Amar te duele"), Luis Gerardo Méndez ("Cantinflas") and Michel Brown ("Pasión de Gavilanes" – TV)

Synopsis: Ana is obsessed with her big dream wedding. Daniela is focused on her career, no time for marriage. When Ana finds out her fiancé is cheating on her and Daniela falls in love with her best friend they discover that the only true path to marriage is love.

"Sweet Girls" by Jean-Paul Cardinaux & Xavier Ruiz (Switzerland 2015; Dark Comedy) Generational clash, when a hopeless young generation meet an aged population.

Synopsis: Elodie and Marie are two teenagers that face the lack of opportunities offered by the housing crisis. They come up to an extreme solution: empty the apartments unjustly occupied by “the old people” who, at her eyes, are responsible of the current social imbalance. In this journey, they will discover that there are human beings, just as lost and forgotten by society as they are.

"Perfect Obedience" (Obediencia Perfecta) by Luis Urquiza (Mexico 2014; Drama) Based on a true story, the scandal related to the priest Marcial Maciel, the Head of "The Legion of Christ” (Los Legionarios de Cristo). Montreal (Best Film), Cine Ceará (Best Director, Best Actor)

Synopsis: A young seminarian will endure a hard spiritual journey to reach Perfect Obedience. His mentor, captivated by his fragility and innocence, will guide him to complete psychological and physical surrender.

"Buzzard" by Joel Potrykus (USA 2014; Dark Comedy, Drama) Joel Potrykus won Best Emerging Director and Special Mention for Best First Feature at Locarno 2012 for his film “Ape”. At this year’s Locarno, he won Special Mention from the Independent Juries and Prices in 2014 for his new feature “Buzzard”.

Synopsis: Marty is a small-time con artist drifting from one scam to the next. When his latest ruse goes awry, mounting paranoia forces him to leave his lousy temp job and hide out in his co-worker's basement. Until eventually he flees to Detroit with nothing but a pocket full of bogus checks, his Power Glove, and a bad temper.

"Unlucky Plaza" by Ken Kwek (Singapore 2014; Thriller, Dark Comedy) Ken Kwek’s previous compilation of shortfilms “Sex.Violence.FamilyValues - three dirrty stories from the world's cleanest city-“ was banned by the Singapore and Malaysia government in 2012. World Premiere Toronto 2014.

Synopsis: Sky has a debt to the mafia and hopes to convince his wife to sell her parent’s flat. Looking for a way out, she rents the flat to an evicted single father, while unintentionally setting into motion a series of unfortunate events.

For more information http://www.medialuna.biz/
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Eat Drink Man Woman | Blu-ray Review

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,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Peter Pau’s ‘Snow Girl’ Gets 3D Chinese New Year Release in North America (Exclusive)

Peter Pau’s ‘Snow Girl’ Gets 3D Chinese New Year Release in North America (Exclusive)
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
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Berlin: Arclight Falls For Peter Pau’s 3D ‘Snow Girl’

Arclight Films has picked up international sales to “Zhong Kui: Snow Girl And The Dark Crystal,” a 3D fantasy that is one of the most ambitious Chinese movies of all time.

The picture is co-directed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Peter Pau and Zhao Tianyu, and is a Desen International Media production backed by Warner Bros., Village Roadshow and Wanda Media.

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
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Amazon to Produce Original Movies for Theaters, Prime Instant Video

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.
See full article at Hollywonk »

Amazon Studios to Produce Original Movies for Theaters

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
See full article at MovieWeb »

Amazon Studios set to produce original movies for theatrical release

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.”

Amazon Original Movies will be headed up by independent producer Ted Hope (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Eat Drink Man Woman), who said:
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Amazon Studios to Produce Movies for Theatrical, Digital Release in 2015

Amazon Studios to Produce Movies for Theatrical, Digital Release in 2015
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,
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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