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8 items from 2015

Sicario review: Emily Blunt excels in a gripping cartel thriller

8 October 2015 9:36 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Sicario. A film that makes you yearn for Chris Eubank to be appointed presenter of Film 2015. And also yearn for more blood-pumpingly intense, thoughtful thrillers like this - where character and story are prioritised above all else.

Emily Blunt excels as Kate Macer, an idealistic FBI agent brought in to work alongside Josh Brolin's laidback government boss Matt Graver and Benicio Del Toro's mysterious torturer Alejandro in the war against drugs. Her refusal to accept the harsh realities on the Mexico-us border soon brings her into conflict with her superiors, while her physical safety is compromised.

Director Denis Villeneuve is having a big year, what with being tasked with the upcoming Blade Runner sequel. Meaning that all eyes - replicant or otherwise - are on his latest effort. On this basis, the omens are good. Sicario's well-structured plot keeps you guessing until a series of effective »

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Nicole Kidman Makes Out With Bff Naomi Watts

17 June 2015 10:15 AM, PDT | | See recent Popsugar news »

Nicole Kidman had everyone talking when she arrived at the Women in Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards in La on Tuesday night. The actress posed for photos on the red carpet with her husband, Keith Urban, and the couple showed their usual amount of sweet Pda before heading inside. Unfortunately, Nicole suffered a bit of a makeup malfunction; her powder didn't quite hold up against the bright lights, but hey - it's happened to Angelina Jolie, and she still looked gorgeous. Later, Nicole hit the stage to accept the Crystal Award for excellence in film, which was given to her by her good friend Naomi Watts. Nicole gushed about her pal of nearly 30 years and told the audience that she turned down a role early in her career because she would have had to "wear a shower cap and kiss a girl." Naomi and Nicole then shared a silly moment at the podium, »

- Brittney-Stephens

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Moscow film festival to make major cuts

22 March 2015 11:41 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Two days cut from festival, competition titles reduced and line-up almost halved in the face of tough economic circumstances.

Russia’s crumbling economy has forced the organisers of this year’s Moscow International Film Festival (Miff) to make swingeing cuts to the number of films shown and the festival’s duration.

Speaking to Russian daily newspaper Izvestiya, Miff programme director Kirill Razlogov revealed that the 37th edition will run from June 19-26, two days shorter than in 2014.

While Miff will retain its three competition sections for feature films, shorts and documentaries, the number of titles in the main international competition is likely to be reduced from 16 to 12, although the Free Spirit documentary competition will still have seven films in its line-up.

Razlogov suggested that the number of films invited to screen in Miff’s programme outside of the three competitive sections will be slashed by almost half - from 2014’s 250 to 150 at best.

Although the global »

- (Martin Blaney)

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Berlin: Second Mother wins Panorama prize

14 February 2015 11:00 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

UK documentary Tell Spring Not To Come This Year, filmed on the frontline in Afghanistan, also wins.

Brazilian drama The Second Mother (Que Horas Ela Volta?) has picked up the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival’s 17th Panorama Audience Awards.

Anna Muylaert’s film explores barriers of class when the estranged daughter of a live-in housekeeper suddenly appears, throwing the home into disarray.

UK documentary Tell Spring Not To Come This Year, directed by Saeed Taji Farouky, Michael McEvoy, won the documentary audience award.

The directors accompanied an Afghan National Army company during a year of frontline duty in Helmand.

During the Berlinale, filmgoers were asked to rate the titles shown in the Panorama section. A total of 31,200 votes were cast and counted.

This year the Panorama presented 52 feature-length films from 38 countries, of which 18 screened in the Panorama Dokumente series.

Winners of the Panorama Audience Award - Fiction Film 2015

Que Horas Ela Volta? (The Second »

- (Michael Rosser)

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The Great British Sewing Bee review: ‘nice to know there’s one Briton who can still make a Cinnamon Babka’

5 February 2015 11:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Some might suspect it’s the Mogadon in middle England’s tea, but this sewing bee is compelling stuff

Good for Annie, dairy farmer and cheesemaker from Jedburgh. Of all the ways of gracefully accepting eviction from a competitive needlework show, hers was the most unexpected. “Never mind,” she told Claudia Winkleman on The Great British Sewing Bee (BBC2) after the judges found her summer frock lacking finesse. “We’ll still name a calf after you.”

Lovely thought: in a field right now there is, probably, a little cow called Claudia. Does it frolic in severe fringe and on-trend eye makeup, like a sad-eyed Cleopatra of the Scottish lowlands, you ask? Most likely. Can it present Film 2015? No, it’s a cow.

Continue reading »

- Stuart Jeffries

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Haf 2015 line-up includes Chang, Bober, Kawase projects

3 February 2015 5:40 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Terence Chang, Philippe Bober and Naomi Kawase are among the producers of the 30 projects selected for this year’s Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (Haf, March 23-25).

Bober, one of the Europe’s most respected producers and distributors, is teaming up with award-winning Chinese director Lou Ye to produce Riddle from Zhou Hao, whose debut The Night screened at Berlinale 2014.

Chang, the longtime producing partner of John Woo, is co-producing coming-of-age drama That Summer, to be directed by new mainland Chinese talent Zhou Quan. Meanwhile, Kawase is serving as producer on a project to be directed by Cuba’s Carlos Machado Quintela, which is being made in collaboration with the Nara International Film Festival.

The Haf line-up also includes five projects from Hong Kong filmmakers of different generations. Following Doomsday Party, Ho Hong is returning to Haf with suspense drama Lost In Border, while Gilitte Leung is attending for the first time with inspirational sports drama Breathing »

- (Liz Shackleton)

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Mark Kermode interview: critics, star ratings, Joe Cornish, PR

28 January 2015 11:42 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Mark Kermode on modern film criticism, critics of his own work, Michael Bay, Jason Statham and male oil wrestling.

The last time we spoke to Mark Kermode, he'd just launched his book about the state of movie criticism, Hatchet Job. Since then, he's embarked on a nationwide tour with the book, and undertaken dozens of Q&As with audiences about it.

And that, as Hatchet Job continues to thrive in paperback, is where we started...

I spoke to you just as you launched Hatchet Job, and in your words, since then you've "toured the arse off it". You've done Q&As with the people who've read your book, and who you wrote it for.

So what have you learned about what audiences feel regarding film critics, and where they sit in the world?

I think the most important thing was when I started writing it, I was, as you know, »

- simonbrew

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Eastwood, Iñárritu, Linklater & Anderson Land DGA Nominations

13 January 2015 10:35 AM, PST | | See recent news »

As we continue into the awards season in early 2015, more guilds are announcing their nominees/awards for the outstanding films of 2014. Next up is the Directors Guild of America, one of the heavy weights and usually strong indicators of what's to come. The DGA announced nominees for the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film 2014, and it's a rather eclectic and odd list of selections this year, not at all what we were expecting yet also exactly what we were expecting. Except for Clint Eastwood. How the hell did he end up on here? The two biggest snubs are Ava DuVernay of Selma and David Fincher of Gone Girl, who should've taken the spots given to Tyldum and Eastwood instead. Oh well. Full list below. The nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film 2014 (alphabetically): › Wes Anderson for Grand Budapest Hotel › Clint Eastwood for American SniperAlejandro González Iñárritu »

- Alex Billington

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