Underground (1995) - News Poster

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On the Milky Road review – booze, bears and illicit affairs in wartime Bosnia

Two-time Palme d’Or winner Emir Kusturica directs and stars as a milkman who falls for Monica Bellucci’s beautiful fugitive, with typically delirious results

Emir Kusturica is the Sarajevo-bor director renowned for being a member of the exclusive Cannes double-Palme club. Like Ken Loach and the Dardenne brothers, he has won the Palme d’Or twice, for When Father Was Away on Business (1985) and Underground (1995) – the movies that first stunned audiences with his signature high-energy style, staggeringly ambitious crowd scenes and sustained black-comic action sequences. They were a Fellini-esque profusion of music, crowds, animals and anarchic humour. He is also renowned for making comments (and indeed films) sympathetic to the Serbian side in the Bosnian war of the 1990s, although his movie Life Is a Miracle offered an emollient love story between a Bosnian Muslim and a Serb.

His new movie, On the Milky Road, is a flawed, indulgent
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Emir Kusturica hits back at Cannes reports

Emir Kusturica hits back at Cannes reports
Exclusive: Palme d’Or winner denies reports that he was rejected from the Cannes Film Festival on political grounds.

Two-time Palme d’Or winner and Cannes regular Emir Kusturica has repudiated comments attributed to him that his new film, On The Milky Road, was rejected from Cannes because of his support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kusturica, speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily, said of the quotes attributed to news agency Russian News Service: “I’m just really confused. I don’t know what is going on. I have absolutely not spoken to anybody.”

One Us trade, quoting the Russian News Service, stated that Kusturica submitted the film to Cannes the day after the deadline and that no one watched the film.

The Serbian director has hit back saying that such claims are preposterous, especially as Thierry Fremaux had watched the film as a work-in-progress and had kept tabs on the project throughout its three year production.

The director
See full article at ScreenDaily »

DVD Review: Underground

  • CineVue
★★★★☆ "A war is no war until brother kills brother." This is just one of the devastating conclusions of Emir Kusturica's bold and brilliant Underground; his lurid, comically absurd, and deeply divisive parable about the death of Yugoslavia. Kusturica was paraded as Fellini's heir for his exuberant style, but there is more an echo of Andrzej Wajda's Wedding in the drunken nationalistic revelry that consumes this epic tale of betrayal and mutual-destruction which has enraged as many as it has enamoured. One thing is for sure, Underground is bravura filmmaking at its most entrancing and its labyrinthine political context only serves to heighten its fascinating appeal.
See full article at CineVue »

Emir Kusturica to head Shanghai fest jury

  • ScreenDaily
Emir Kusturica to head Shanghai fest jury
Ian McKellen will attend the festival on behalf of the BFI and British Council’s Shakespeare on Film programme.

Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica will head the jury for the Golden Goblet Award at this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival (Siff), which will run June 11-19.

Kusturica has won the Cannes Palme d’Or twice, for When Father Was Away On Business in 1985 and Underground in 1995.

This year’s Siff will also present a special Shakespeare on Film programme with the British Film Institute and British Council. Ian McKellen will attend Siff and take part in an event on June 12 to discuss his 1995 film Richard III, directed by Richard Loncraine.

Siff will also build on its collaborations with the Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff) and Busan International Film Festival (Biff). In 2015, Siff recommended three Chinese features to Tiff – Young Love Lost, which was selected for Tiff’s Asian Future section, and River and
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016: #66. Emir Kusturica’s On the Milky Road

On the Milky Road

Director: Emir Kusturica

Writer: Emir Kusturica

We’ve pegged Serbian auteur Emir Kusturica‘s On the Milky Road as a possible release for the past three years. The two time Palme d’Or winner (Time of the Gypsies in 1998; Underground in 1995) hasn’t completed a feature since 2007’s Promise Me This. His long gestating latest is based on his short film Our Life and “unfolds as a three-part narrative recounting three periods in the life of a man (Kusturica): his time as a lucky milkman during the war, perilous escapades and blossoming romance with the woman he loves (Bellucci), and his later life as a monk, looking back over the tumultuous past – both his and his country’s.”

Cast: Emir Kusturica, Monica Bellucci

Production Co./Producers: Ag Studios’Alex Garcia, Bn FilmsLucas Akoskin, Pinball London’s Paula Vaccaro, Rasta Intl’s Emir Kusturica.

U.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Best Classical Albums 2015, Part One

As I struggled, as every year, to get my end-of-year lists finished in a reasonably timely fashion, it occurred to me that I could publish half of the classical list earlier if I could find a reasonable way to split it into categories. Thus the non-contemporary/contemporary divide this year. The newer composers' work requires more listening; that's the only reason the older repertoire comes first.

1. Ivan Moravec Twelfth Night Recital Prague 1987 (Supraphon) Supposedly this release of a previously unissued concert recording was approved by the pianist shortly before his passing in July 2015. Certainly it's hard to hear anything of significance that he wouldn't have liked about it, because it is a magnificent testament to everything that made him one of the greatest pianists who ever lived: one of the most beautiful piano tones ever heard, allied to liquid phrasing that gave him one of the greatest legato touches ever recorded.
See full article at CultureCatch »

French Composers

In the wake of the terrible attacks in Paris, I found myself listening to a lot of French music and thinking about the Leonard Bernstein quote going around on Facebook: "This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before." This list came to seem like my natural response. A very small response, I know. This list is chronological and leaves off people I should probably include. The forty [note: now forty-one] composers listed below are merely a start.

Léonin Aka Leoninus (c.1135-c.1201)

The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris in the 1100s was a major musical center, and Léonin (the first named composer from whom we have notated polyphonic music) was a crucial figure for defining the liturgical use of organum, the first polyphony. Earlier organum was fairly simple, involving parallel intervals and later contrary motion, but the mid-12th century brought
See full article at CultureCatch »

Bosnian film directors to call for government support

  • ScreenDaily
Bosnian film directors to call for government support
Award-winning filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic hopes to see tax breaks introduced to encourage film production in the country.

At the Sarajevo Film Festival today (Aug 21), the Directors Guild of Bosnia and Herzegovina is to showcase more than a dozen projects in development and discuss the future of the region’s film industry with politicians.

The projects include new features from Oscar-winner Danis Tanovic (No Man’s Land), Palme d’Or winner Emir Kusturica (Underground) and Berlinale Golden Bear winner Jasmila Zbanic (Grbavica).

Sarajevo-born Zbanic will host today’s event with Tanovic and told ScreenDaily they hope to hear plans for the introduction of tax breaks for filmmaking in Bosnia.

“We are trying to persuade the government to return tax to people who are shooting here [in Bosnia] and invest in film,” she said.

“It is something Croatia a few years ago, generating incredible income, and something that Serbia did a few days ago.

“We are hoping
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Linking & Housekeeping

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Towleroad RuPaul recap. Conjoined twins extravaganza

All the Fun of a serious and rare medical condition without the humanity and decency that even American Horror Story provided

Cool Projects

Cinematic Corner is hosting a "White Swan Black Swan" blog-a-thon -- now through the end of the month - which looks at dual personae. 

Nick's Flick Picks has gathered his own secret Tba
See full article at FilmExperience »

‘Underground’ a Melancholic Farce on the nature of Masculinity, Patriotism and Tubas

Underground

Written by Emir Kusturica and Dusan Kovacevic

Directed by Emir Kusturica

Serbia/Germany/France, 1995

Quite often there’s discussion of how to adapt famous authors’ beloved works to the screen. One such author is Kurt Vonnegut, with his awe inspiring, philosophical, literary masterworks providing much speculation on how to visualise his stories. But there’s really no point. Not only because his books are great enough as they are, but because Emir Kusturica’s Underground, has captured the insane energy and brilliant, tangential allegories and discussions that are rarely seen in film.

The film follows three characters: Marko, Blacky and Natalija and their escapades from WWII to 1992, a period that sees the three friends and their country lurching inexorably to their eventual, respective demises. The characters are used as an allegory for the formation of the Balkan nations that they inhabit through the film’s three hour runtime. On top of that,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2015: #66. Emir Kusturica’s On the Milky Road

On the Milky Road

Director: Emir Kusturica// Writer: Emir Kusturica

We had two Palme d’Or winner (Time of the Gypsies in 1998; Underground in 1995) Emir Kusturica pegged to unveil his latest film, On the Milky Road at Cannes in 2014, but no such luck. It looks like Kusturica took about a year’s break in filming (which isn’t completely uncustomary for him), which resumed summer of 2014. Now, a poster has debuted and we’re thinking this should finally be ready for 2015, especially since Kusturica has recently announced plans for a new project, a French/Belarus co-production set to film mid 2015. The films is inspired by Kusturica’s short film Our Life, and consists of three stories: the first story is about a soldier with a task to get milk in the nearby village and take it to fellow soldiers. The second is about a woman who gives him the milk,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

The November Man | Review

Sweet, Silly November: Donaldson’s Espionage Thriller is Overbaked

Starting out with a standard template of flourishes one can find in any number of garden variety spy thrillers, Roger Donaldson’s The November Man gets a lot of credit for being unexpectedly agile and energetic, generating mild tension as appropriate and even utilizing cast members more effectively than most B grade members of its species. But like a semi-talented juggler that takes on one ball too many, Donaldson’s film of furiously committed and concurrent clusters end up smashing into each other to concoct a rather silly and sallow end product. What’s unfortunate is that there are a couple likeable elements to the feature that make it entertaining to sit through, and one only has to compare this to Donaldson’s last film, the wretched Nicolas Cage headlined Seeking Justice, to be thankful for at least that.

Peter Devereaux
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Los Cabos Hosts North American Premiere of ‘Words With Gods’

Los Cabos Hosts North American Premiere of ‘Words With Gods’
Madrid – In a coup for the fast-growing Mexican Festival, November’s third Los Cabos Festival will host the North American premiere of “Words With Gods.”

The first part of a four-feature project, “Heartbeat of the World” and a one-of-a kind for the Mexican film industry, “Heartbeat” links director-screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (“The Burning Plain”), who originated the concept for “Heartbeat,” and Alex Garcia, the L.A.-based prexy of Ag Studios, who produces with Argentina’s Lucas Akoskin and Arriaga.

Screening Nov. 14, “Words With Gods” will comprise the centerpiece gala screening of the festival, which runs Nov. 12-16. At the gala, Arriaga will receive Los Cabos’ Mexican Tribute award, fest director Alonso Aguilar-Castillo told Variety, confirming Los Cabos has been chasing the film for a year.

While Arriaga and Garcia are driving forces behind “Words With Gods,” an omnibus feature of nine short films, its directors could hardly be more far-ranging
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Karl Baumgartner, obituary

  • ScreenDaily
Karl Baumgartner, obituary
International co-production and co-production markets around the globe will not be the same now following the news that the internationally respected German producer-distributor Karl Baumgartner has died at the age of 65.

Known affectionately by friends and colleagues alike as ¨Baumi¨, Baumgartner hailed from the South Tyrol, but was ¨ at home¨ in different countries and cultures, working with film-makers on projects located in some of the seemingly most inaccessible or logistically nightmarish parts of the planet.

Hearing him recount the making of Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov’s Luna Papa at one of the countless co-production panels with his tales of the shooting being stopped by floods washing the set away, the outbreak of civil war and being evacuated by the Red Cross floods, one often wondered whether he purposely looked for such challenges.

Not to speak of the challenge of putting such delicate and time-consuming co-production structures together involving tried-and-tested production partners, public funders and broadcasters from across Europe and beyond
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Producer-distributor Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner Dies

London — Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors, has died.

A message posted Tuesday on the website of Pandora Film, the company he co-founded, said: “Today Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner left us. We are unspeakable sad and deeply moved. He was our friend, partner and source of inspiration. We say Thank You. – The Pandoras.”

Last month, the Berlin Film Festival presented Baumgartner with its Berlinale Camera award, which is given to film personalities or institutions to which it feels particularly indebted and wishes to express its thanks.

Baumgartner set up Pandora with Reinhard Brundig in 1982. The Frankfurt-based company, whose name was inspired by G.W. Pabst’s “Pandora’s Box,” focused on the distribution of ambitious international arthouse movies, such as Yilmaz Gunay’s “Yol,” Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Nostalgia” and Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine.” It made its commercial breakthrough with Jane Campion’s “The Piano.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Karl Baumgartner dead at 65

Karl Baumgartner dead at 65
Karl Baumgartner, the German producer and champion of arthouse cinema who only last month received the Berlinale Camera prize, has died.Click here for full obituary

Baumgartner was born in 1949 and after a stint working in Rome from 1967-70 he relocated to Germany where he eventually launched the producer-distributor Pandora Film with Reinhard Brundig in 1982.

Pandora established itself as a beacon for arthouse cinema and championed the likes of Kim Ki-duk, Aki Kaurismaki and Sally Potter.

As a producer he brought a handful of films to the Berlinale including Emir Kusturica’s Super 8 Stories and most recently Pia Marais’ 2013 entry Layla Fourie.

Baumgartner produced Mostly Martha and Samsara, among others, and his co-producer credits include Kaurismaki’s Le Havre. He served as executive producer on Kusturica’s 1995 Palme d’Or winner Underground.

A Tweet from the Locarno Film Festival read, “Very sad for the loss of great producer and Locarno’s friend Karl Baumgartner, Premio Raimondo
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Karl Baumgartner, 1949-2014

Karl Baumgartner, 1949-2014
Karl Baumgartner, the German producer and champion of arthouse cinema who only last month received the Berlinale Camera prize, has died.

Baumgartner was born in 1949 and after a stint working in Rome from 1967-70 he relocated to Germany where he eventually launched the producer-distributor Pandora Film with Reinhard Brundig in 1982.

Pandora established itself as a beacon for arthouse cinema and championed the likes of Kim Ki-duk, Aki Kaurismaki and Sally Potter.

As a producer he brought a handful of films to the Berlinale including Emir Kusturica’s Super 8 Stories and most recently Pia Marais’ 2013 entry Layla Fourie.

Baumgartner produced Mostly Martha and Samsara, among others, and his co-producer credits include Kaurismaki’s Le Havre. He served as executive producer on Kusturica’s 1995 Palme d’Or winner Underground.

A Tweet from the Locarno Film Festival read, “Very sad for the loss of great producer and Locarno’s friend Karl Baumgartner, Premio Raimondo
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Berlinale Camera 2014 Honors Karl Baumgartner

Beginning in 1986, the Berlin International Film Festival has presented the Berlinale Camera to film personalities or institutions to which it feels particularly indebted and wishes to express its thanks. This year, during the 64th edition of the festival, producer and distributor Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner will be awarded the prestigious Berlinale Camera.

Karl Baumgartner is one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors. In his capacity as producer, he has brought world cinema to German audiences expanding their horizons in terms of what cinema from abroad can provide.

In 1982, together with Reinhard Brundig, he launched Pandora Film Distribution and it developed into one of the most important companies in the field of art house cinema. Pandora Film discovered filmmakers such as Andrej Tarkovsky, Jim Jarmusch, Sally Potter, Kim Ki Duk, and Aki Kaurismäki, as well as many others. With Jane Campion’s The Piano in 1993, Karl Baumgartner celebrated his first great success as distributor. It was followed by Emir Kusturica’s Palme d’Or winning Underground (1995), executively produced by Pandora Film.

As a producer, Karl Baumgartner has participated several times in the Berlin International Film Festival – in the Competition with the films Super 8 Stories by Emir Kusturica (out of competition, 2001), My Sweet Home by Filippos Tsitos (2001), Sam Garbarski’s Irina Palm (2007), and Jasmila Žbanić’s Na putu (On the Path, 2010). His most recent contribution to the Berlinale Competition was as co-producer of Kebun binatang (Postcards from the Zoo, 2012) by Edwin and Layla Fourie (2013) by Pia Marais.

The Berlinale Camera will be awarded to Karl Baumgartner at 4.00 pm on February 8, 2014 at the CinemaxX 9. It will be followed by the film Boheemielämää (La vie de bohème, 1992) by Aki Kaurismäki who, together with Festival Director Dieter Kosslick, will give a speech in Karl Baumgartner’s honor.

The Berlinale Camera has been awarded since 1986. Until 2003, it was donated by Berlin-based jeweller David Goldberg. From 2004 through 2013, Georg Hornemann Objects, a Dusseldorf-based atelier, sponsored the trophy, which goldsmith Hornemann redesigned for the Berlinale in 2008: Modelled on a real camera, the Berlinale Camera now has 128 finely crafted components. Many of these silver and titanium parts, such as the swivel head and tripod, are movable.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Berlin: Karl Baumgartner to Receive Berlinale Camera

Berlin: Karl Baumgartner to Receive Berlinale Camera
London — The Berlin Film Festival will award the Berlinale Camera to Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors.

The award is presented to folk in the film biz to whom the fest feels particularly indebted and to whom it wishes to express its thanks.

The Berlinale Camera will be awarded to Baumgartner at 4.00 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the CinemaxX 9. It will be followed by the film “Boheemielamaa” (La vie de boheme, 1992) by Aki Kaurismaki who, together with festival director Dieter Kosslick, will give a speech in Baumgartner’s honor.

As a producer, Baumgartner has brought the best of world cinema to German audiences.

In 1982, together with Reinhard Brundig, he launched Pandora Film Distribution and it developed into one of the most important companies in the field of arthouse cinema.

Pandora Film discovered filmmakers such as Andrej Tarkovsky, Jim Jarmusch, Sally Potter, Kim Ki Duk and Aki Kaurismaki,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Berlinale Kamera for Baumgartner

  • ScreenDaily
Berlinale Kamera for Baumgartner
In more Berlinale news, two new episodes of House of Cards to be shown on festival closing day.

The award will be presented to Baumgartner after laudatory speeches by Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick and Aki Kaurismäki on Feb 8 before a screening of Kaurismäki’s 1991 film La Vie de Bohème.

In 1982, Baumgartner and Reinhard Brundig founded the distrubution company Pandora Filmverleih in Frankfurt, which became one of the leading players in the world of interational arthouse cinema, discovering such talents as Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurimäki, Sally Potter, Andrei Tarkovsky and Kim Ki Duk.

Pandora’s move into production has seen the company backing films by Emir Kusturica (Underground), Sam Garbarski (Irina Palm), Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre), Sergey Dvorstevoy (Tulpan), Jim Jarmusch (Only Lovers Left Alive), Claire Denis (Bastards), and, most recently, Fatih Akin (The Cut), to mention just a handful.

Apart from Cologne-based Pandora Filmproduktion, Baumgartner is also a partner with Thanassis Karathanos in Pallas Film, which
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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