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10 items from 2015

U.S. Independent Movie ‘Bob and the Trees’ Wins Top Award at Karlovy Vary Film Festival

11 July 2015 11:04 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic — Diego Ongaro’s debut feature, a portrait of a prickly American iconoclast, “Bob and the Trees,” won the top prize, the Crystal Globe, at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival Saturday. The event, which is Eastern and Central Europe’s leading film festival, wrapped amid nostalgic film clips of past decades and an emotional tribute to its 50th edition.

Massachusetts logger Bob Tarasuk, who inspired the U.S. independent film and played himself, confessed he had never acted, and had never held a passport nor left the U.S. before, prompting cheers for his venture to the land of his grandmother.

Visar Morina, another first-time director, won the helming prize for the touching immigration story “Babai,” a German/Kosovo/Macedonia/France co-production.

Czech thesp Alena Mihulova won the actress prize for her turn as an overextended nurse in Slavek Horak’s feature debut “Home Care,” while Krystof Hadek »

- Will Tizard

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Under The Dome season 3 episode 3 review: Redux

3 July 2015 12:30 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

You have to admire the latest reboot from Under The Dome, the show that goes through sci-fi ideas at a rate of knots…

This review contains spoilers.

3.3 Redux

For a few beautiful months, there was hope in the world. Free from the dome, free from Chester’s Mill, life began to take direction. Things started to make sense. All that bonkers business to do with magic eggs and rains of blood was in the past. A future outside the orbit of Big Jim’s ego and beyond the whims of an impenetrable, unending wall of nonsense suddenly seemed possible.

And then? Under The Dome got renewed.

And we, its puzzlingly loyal viewers, were dragged from the gloopy safety of our cocoons and trapped inside for another thirteen weeks.

You have to admire this show’s stamina if nothing else. When it runs one idea into the ground, there are always »

- louisamellor

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Under The Dome season 3 episodes 1 & 2 review: Move On & But I’m Not

27 June 2015 5:24 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Under The Dome is back with a ponderous double-length season 3 opener, which is already squandering its sci-fi potential...

This review contains spoilers.

3.1 Move On & 3.2 But I’m Not

Credit where it’s due. There were decent sci-fi ideas in Under The Dome’s season three opener: the cocoons, the alternate world, the strangle-happy alien disguised as a mild-mannered dead teen. Granted, they weren’t original sci-fi ideas, but they had potential. More potential at least than the tedious romances and ‘I love you/I’ve shot you!’ familial conflicts that pass for emotional drama round these parts.

But like a toddler first learning how to tell a joke, this show just can’t stop fluffing its punchlines. Under The Dome squandered every bit of promise the fake world concept had in record-breaking time, by a line uttered in the episode’s opening minutes. “We hope it takes us home,” said »

- louisamellor

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Between episode 1 review: School's Out

3 June 2015 1:31 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Mark takes a look at new six-part Netflix original sci-fi drama, Between, and finds it lacking in nuance...

This review contains spoilers.

1.1 School's Out

I agreed to review Between for two reasons; Daredevil was rather good, and at only six episodes long, I could handle the tedium if it wasn’t.

After watching the first episode, I can say with some certainty that this isn’t anything crafted remotely like Daredevil, and it harks back to an era of network TV that I’d thought we’d left behind long ago.

It starts with a rather dire future where almost half of Pretty Lake’s population is dead, and then rewinds to ten days before to explain how this happened. It doesn’t present any plausible explanation of the deaths, instead filling its time parading a series of increasingly uninteresting and loathsome characters who we’re supposed to identify with before Between is done. »

- louisamellor

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Cannes: Iceland’s ‘Rams’ Wins Un Certain Regard Award

23 May 2015 11:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Cannes — Icelandic comedy “Rams” emerged the winner of the Un Certain Regard section at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with former docmaker Grimur Hakonarson accepting the top prize from jury president Isabella Rossellini.

The film, about estranged sheep-farmer brothers reconciled when their familial flock is endangered, was warmly received at the festival, with Variety critic Alissa Simon commending it for its “wonderfully wry, charmingly understated comic moments.” New Europe Film Sales is handling sales for the pic; deals for Taiwan, France and other European territories have already been secured.

“Rams” is the second creature-themed feature to take the prize in as many years: Hungarian canine thriller “White God” was last year’s winner.

The runner-up jury prize was presented to Croatia’s “The High Sun,” an era-spanning triptych of love stories from writer-director Dalibor Matanic, described by Variety‘s Jay Weissberg as the helmer’s strongest work to date. »

- Guy Lodge

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Arab Women Filmmakers Program to Bow at UCLA

18 May 2015 12:00 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation and the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television are opening up a new avenue for Arab woman filmmakers with a partnership and fund that will include three new four-year full-ride graduate scholarships for UCLA Tft’s Master of Fine Arts in Directing.

Designed “to give voice to the unique perspective of Arab women,” as a statement put it, the Hani Farsi Graduate Scholarship Fund will start in the fall 2015.

London-based Saudi philanthropist, entrepreneur and film producer Hani Farsi (pictured) has long been producing and distributing films with sociopolitical undertones such as Elia Suleiman’s “The Time That Remains” and Mira Nair’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” He is also co-owner of French distribution and sales company Le Pacte, which have eight films at Cannes this year, including Nanni Moretti’s “My Mother” and Palestinian dramedy “Degrade” by Arab and Tarzan Abu Nasser.

While a number »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Cannes: Isabella Rossellini to head Un Certain Regard jury

7 May 2015 10:25 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Cinefondation and Short Films juries also announced.

Us-Italian actress and film-maker Isabella Rossellini is to preside over the Un Certain Regard jury at the 68th Cannes Film Festival (May 13-24).

The jury members include: the Saudi Arabian director of Wadjda, Haifaa Al-Mansour; Lebanese director-actress Nadine Labaki, who was at Cannes in 2011 with Where Do We Go Now?; Greek film-maker Panos H. Koutras, whose Xenia played in Un Certain Regard last year; and the French star of A Prophet, Tahar Rahim, who stars in Elie Wajeman’s Critics’ Week opener The Anarchists.

A total of 19 films will go head-to=head in Un Certain Regard, which opens on May 14 with a screening of Naomi Kawase’s An.

Running in parallel to the Competition, the Un Certain Regard selection winners will be announced by the jury on May 23.

The film awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize will be shown at the end of Cannes’ closing ceremony.

Last year’s »

- (Michael Rosser)

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Female Directors Added to Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Jury

7 May 2015 8:19 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Women will be in the majority on the Cannes Film Festival jury to judge the Un Certain Regard competition, festival organizers announced on Thursday. The four filmmakers who will join previously-announced jury president Isabella Rosellini include Haifaa Al-Mansour, the first woman to direct a film inside Saudi Arabia (“Wadjda”), and Nadine Labaki, whose Lebanese female-empowerment film “Where Do We Go Now?” won the audience award at the Toronto Film Festival in 2011. The male jurors on the five-person panel will be Greek filmmaker Panos H. Koutras (“Xenia”) and French actor Tahar Rahim (“A Prophet”). Prizes for the 19-film Un Certain Regard section. »

- Steve Pond

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Karlovy Vary unveils 50th plans

28 April 2015 7:16 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Mel Gibson to film special trailer for the festival; plans for Lebanese cinema focus and tributes to late Us actor John Cazale and Chris Penn.

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Kviff) has unveiled plans for its 50th ‘annivarysary’ edition, set to run July 3-11.

The jubilee edition will include a look at recent Lebanese cinema, a retrospective of late Soviet-Ukrainian director Larisa Shepitko’s work and tributes to Us actors John Cazale and Chris Penn.

Actor-director Mel Gibson will also film a special trailer for the festival, set to be shot in Los Angeles in early May. The Lethal Weapon star received the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema at last year’s Kviff.

Gibson continues a tradition that sees the recipients of this award feature in a short trailer for the following festival. It will be written and directed by Martin Krejčí, who has collaborated with Ivan Zachariáš since the beginning of the »

- (Michael Rosser)

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Karlovy Vary Prepares to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

28 April 2015 5:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Prague — Building on a “you’re the star” theme, the Karlovy Vary Film Festival’s 50th edition will kick off with a massive street party July 3, serenaded by Czech rockers and forgoing the usual formal do at the spa town’s fabulously ornate Grandhotel Pupp.

“It won’t be a festival like we’ve had before,” said Eva Zaoralova, the fest’s former artistic director, noting the spirit of inclusiveness planned for Karlovy Vary’s fans, which will include open-air screenings and images of festgoers on the event poster unveiled in Prague on Tuesday.

Tributes will honor actors John Cazale (1935-1978), who portrayed the luckless Fredo Corleone in “The Godfather” franchise and also starred in “Dog Day Afternoon” and “The Deer Hunter,” and Chris Penn (1965-2006), who appeared in “Rumble Fish,” “Reservoir Dogs” and “Short Cuts.”

There is also a tribute to Ukrainian auteur filmmaker Larisa Shepitko, whose works “Heat, »

- Will Tizard

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

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