3 items from 2014
Legend has is that the seventh son of a seventh son is born with certain special powers, which, in Joseph Delaney’s “Wardstone Chronicles” fantasy-lit series, include the ability to see supernatural beings and, potentially, to kill witches. But given the unusually long gestation period for Universal’s film adaptation, “Seventh Son” — which opens in the U.S. on Feb. 6, nearly a year later than originally planned — one shouldn’t be all that surprised to discover some pretty significant birth defects, among them a tired plot, some very unspecial effects, and a pair of grotesquely uneven performances from Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore.
Considering that Universal was still licking its wounds from the pricey Keanu Reeves debacle “47 Ronin” (like this project, an extravagant vfx-driven tentpole from a Russian director ill suited for Hollywood) when “Seventh Son” was supposed to open last February, it makes sense that the distributor opted to »
- Peter Debruge
Ahead of this week’s Nika Awards ceremony in Moscow, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin heard the plans by Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky to re-launch the film festival in Crimea’s Yalta and the festival for children’s cinema in the small resort town of Gurzuf.
Speaking to the Ria-Novosti agency after his meeting with Putin, Medinsky said he believed that both festivals could take place again this year and suggested that these events - as well as an international jazz festival in Koktebel - could help attract guests from all over Russia - and later on, from all over the world.
The meeting between Putin and Medinsky also centred on the proposal to reactivate the Yalta Film Studios on the peninsula as a centre for national production. In Soviet times, these studios had hosted such productions as Andrey Tarkovsky’s Solaris, Amphibian Man, Prisoner Of The Caucasus and Kidnapping, Caucasian Style.
- email@example.com (Martin Blaney)
London — Altitude Film Sales has added three titles to its sales slate at the European Film Market in Berlin: “Fishing Without Nets,” “Bolshoi Babylon” and Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer “Blood Mountain,” as revealed by Variety yesterday.
“Fishing Without Nets,” which won the directing award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at Sundance, is the directorial feature debut of Cutter Hodiernem, whose short film of the same name won the Sundance Special Jury Prize in 2012.
Shot in East Africa using Somali non-actors, the film tells the story of an oil-tanker hijacking from the perspective of impoverished Somalis. A principled young fisherman, Abdi, struggling to support his family in the face of polluted water and a scarcity of fish, is lured into the perilous world of piracy.
“Bolshoi Babylon” ventures behind the scenes for the first time to reveal Russia’s national treasure, the Bolshoi, recently the focus of intrigue, personal attacks and lurid headlines. »
- Leo Barraclough
3 items from 2014
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