14 items from 2015
In the beginning, things went a bit differently than the Good Book would have us believe — or at least, that’s the playful conceit behind Jaco Van Dormael’s “The Brand New Testament,” an irreverent (but otherwise harmless) ontological satire that puts a cartoonish spin on the Christian origin story. Incidentally, Van Dormael has volunteered an alternate creation myth of some kind in all four of his features (which also include “Toto the Hero,” “The Eighth Day” and “Mr. Nobody”), only this time, the Belgian idea-meister goes as far as to target God directly, “outing” Him as kind of a jerk who lives in Brussels and sits at His personal computer, conjuring natural disasters as a way of staving off boredom. When his daughter rebels and decides to simultaneously enlighten everyone on earth, all hell breaks loose, and the narrative starts to lose its thread, unspooling zany consequences that ought to convert skeptical distributors worldwide. »
- Peter Debruge
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. "Mulholland Drive." "Donnie Darko." "Spirited Away." "Ghost World." "The Royal Tenenbaums." "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring." "Wet Hot American Summer." "Pulse." "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." If you're not stunned by the sheer variety of greatness in the above list of films, you probably won't be on board with my argument for 2001 as the greatest year in movie history. And if you're puzzled by the exclusion of "A Beautiful Mind," then you might as well stop reading now. "A Beautiful Mind," of course, won Best Picture at the Oscars the following year, an honor that felt undeserved at the time and positively baffles in hindsight. The Ron Howard-directed drama was an ephemeral triumph, the kind of middle-of-the-road Hollywood »
- Chris Eggertsen
The production and sales outfit, which has offices in Paris and L.A., is set to host a screening of Finnish hospital drama “The Replacements” at the confab. Set in the near future, the series centers on a nurse who falls in love with a man without knowing that he’s a clone created by her father to save her from a terminal blood disease. Produced by Matti Halonen and Miikko Oikkonen’s Fisher King, the 12-episode series has already been picked up Finnish broadcaster Nelonen.
Modeled on the U.S.’ fully integrated studios, Breton created Federation Entertainment in partnership with experienced execs and creatives, notably Alex Berger, a former Canal Plus senior exec, and French helmer-writer Eric Rochant, who are behind “The Bureau, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Amazon and Electus have set the cast for the Giacomo Casanova drama pilot, which is being directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie). Diego Luna (Elysium, Y Tu Mamá También) has been tapped for the title role, with Bojana Novakovic, Miranda Richardson, Ben Daniels and Amelia Clarkson co-starring. The untitled project, which is currently filming in Europe, chronicles a little-known period in the life of the famous 18th century renaissance man. Known… »
Amazon’s “Casanova” project has found its leading man in Diego Luna, and Academy Award nominee Jean-Pierre Jeunet will direct the pilot, the streaming company announced on Wednesday. The as-yet untitled Giacamo Casanova project is executive produced by “The Tudors'” Ben Silverman and “The Americans'” Stu Zicherman, who also wrote the pilot. Jeunet was nominated for an Original Screenplay Oscar in 2001 for “Amelie,” and Luna, who co-starred in “Milk” and “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” most recently produced the 2014 biopic “Cesar Chavez.” Also Read: Amazon Renews First Original Hour-Long Drama Series ‘Bosch’ for Season 2 Also joining the cast are »
- L.A. Ross
Exclusive: Shoot underway on Childhood of a Leader.
Berenice Bejo, Robert Pattinson and Stacy Martin have been joined by Liam Cunningham (Game Of Thrones), Yolande Moreau (Amelie) and Sophie Curtis (Arbitrage) for Brady Corbet’s directorial feature debut The Childhood of A Leader, which is shooting now on location in Hungary.
The film charts the birth of a terrifying ego during the rise of fascism in the early 20thcentury.
Protagonist reps international sales, Wme handles North America.
The drama is a Unanimous Entertainment and Mact Films production in association with FilmTeam in Hungary. Funding comes from Media House Capital, Bow and Arrow Entertainment, Scope Pictures and Scion Pictures.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
As the Berlin International Film Festival gets underway abroad this week, you might be feeling a little left out of the buzz. Worry not, because streaming curator Mubi has made Berlinale shorts available to a global audience for the first time. In spirit of the 60th anniversary of Berlin's Golden Bear for shorts, a curated selection of the fest's winning films is now streaming on the site. Highlights include last year's "As Long as Shotguns Remain," making its exclusive international VOD debut; the busy Duplass Brothers' "The Intervention" and more. The presentation follows distribution deals signed by Mubi with studios eOne, Icon and StudioCanal to make titles including Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s "Amelie," Nicolas Winding Refn’s "Drive" and Francis Ford Coppola’s "The Conversation" available for Mubi audiences in the UK. Here's the full list of Berlinale shorts currently screening for Mubi subscribers: As Long as Shotguns »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Paris: France hosted an unprecedented number of major Hollywood productions in France in 2014, including “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” “Bastille Day” and NBC mini-series “Rosemary’s Baby.” The number of high-budget Asian productions also rose.
Foreign shoots confirmed in France in 2015 include Keith Parner’s “The Penrose Affair,” according to information disclosed by France’s national cinema agency, the Cnc.
Parner is prepping an action thriller about a French detective in Paris, combining influences from Hitchcock and Pierre Morel’s “Taken,” and reportedly to star Jean-Claude Van Damme. The pic will be produced by Film Invaders, which also produced his previous Van Damme-starrer, “Swelter.”
Tax Rebate for International Production (Trip) financing for animation films currently in production include three projects from Universal set up at Illumination Mac Guff – “The Secret Life of Pets” by Chris Renaud (“Despicable Me”), Untitled (Img 6) Project by Garth Jennings (“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the »
- Martin Dale
40. Empire Records
Directed by: Allan Moyle
Ah, the coming-of-age story. There was no sub-genre more hijacked for a quick buck in the 1990′s. In between the good ones (“Dazed and Confused,” “Boyz in the Hood”), the cheesy ones (“She’s All That,” “She Drives Me Crazy”), and the under-appreciated ones (“The Man in the Moon,” “Angus”), there were the middling ones that, if anything, boasted a cast that would go on to bigger, better things. Enter “Empire Records,” which is not only a coming-of-age story, but one that takes place at a record store, no less. Talk about the double dip. The entire film takes place over the course of one day, focusing on the employees, played by Anthony Lapaglia, Ethan Embry, Renee Zellweger, Rory Cochrane, and Liv Tyler. The independent record store is in Delaware – the hot spot of American music – and sees Joe (Lapaglia) allowing night manager Lucas »
- Joshua Gaul
French cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel (Amelie, Inside Llewyn Davis) on Friday told a film and technology forum in Dublin about the risks of the industry's transition to digital filmmaking and how he felt a Harry Potter movie he worked on had an "awful" script, but great set. Discussing his work on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at Digital Biscuit in Dublin, he said he found the script "not very interesting," even "awful." He added: "But I loved the set." It was "absolutely stunning," he said. Read more Michel Gondry Talks CGI, Geometry and Why
- Georg Szalai
Festival boss Dieter Kosslick said Tuesday that Rush actor Daniel Bruhl, The Host director Bong Joon-ho, "Hannibal" producer Martha De Laurentiis and Claudia Llosa, the director of The Milk of Sorrow, will also be among those deciding who gets the Berlinale's Golden Bear and Silver Bears awards.
The jury will be led by director Darren Aronofsky, who was previously announced.
The Berlin event, which runs Feb. 5-15, is the first of the year's major European film festivals.
- Cineplex.com and contributors
London — The Berlin Film Festival has revealed the names of the international jury, which is presided over by Darren Aronofsky, as previously announced. The international jury decides who receives the Golden Bear and Silver Bears of the Berlinale competition.
The other members of the jury will be “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner, “Rush” actor Daniel Bruhl, “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho, “Hannibal” producer Martha De Laurentiis, “The Milk of Sorrow” director Claudia Llosa, and “Amelie” actress Audrey Tautou.
Weiner is the creator, executive producer and writer of television series “Mad Men,” whose seventh and last season is running in the U.S. To date, he has received nine Emmys, two Baftas, three Golden Globes and numerous WGA awards. As a director, he has been nominated twice by the DGA for his work behind the camera. “Are You Here,” starring Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler, marks his feature film debut as a writer, »
- Leo Barraclough
The Berlin International Film Festival, which opens Feb 5 with Isabel Coixet’s Nobody Wants The Night, has announced its international jury line-up, with Daniel Brühl, Bong Joon-ho, Martha De Laurentiis, Claudia Llosa, Audrey Tautou and Matthew Weiner joining Jury President Darren Aronofsky.
This year’s jury has a typically cosmopolitan composition with leading German actor Daniel Bruhl (Goodbye Lenin; Rush) joined by Korean director Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer), producer Martha De Laurentiis (Hannibal), Peruvian filmmaker Claudia Llosa (The Milk of Sorrow), French actress Tautou (Amelie) and U.S. showrunner Matthew Weiner (Mad Men).
The festival runs through Feb. 15.
- Ali Jaafar
By Anjelica Oswald
The nine foreign-language films shortlisted by the Academy hail from three continents: South America, Europe and Africa. From South America, Argentina’s Wild Tales and Venezuela’s The Liberator made the list. From Africa, Mauritania’s Timbuktu did as well. From Europe, Estonia’s Tangerines, Georgia’s Corn Island, the Netherlands’ Accused, Poland’s Ida, Russia’s Leviathan and Sweden’s Force Majeure all made the top nine.
This year could mark the first Oscar nomination for Estonia, Georgia, Mauritania (whose film was the country’s first Oscar-submitted film) and Venezuela. Argentina, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden have each received two Oscar nominations in the past 14 years. Of those four countries, Argentina is the only one to win an Oscar, which it did in 2010 for The Secret in Their Eyes. If Russia lands a nomination, it will be the country’s second in the 21st century. »
- Anjelica Oswald
14 items from 2015
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