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Mexican director Everardo Valerio Gout's Days of Grace adopts a multi-strand narrative akin to Latino scorchers Amores Perros (2000) and City of God (2002) before supercharging it with the sort of dynamic energy seen in the best works of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. To celebrate the home entertainment release of Days of Grace this coming Monday (21 April), we have Three DVD copies of Gout's slick, stylish and adrenaline-fuelled crime epic to give away to our avid readers, courtesy of the fantastic team at genre specialists Chelsea Films. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
- CineVue UK
Critics' Week at the Cannes Film Festival is one of those institutions that generally looks impressive only in retrospect. In advance, it's hard to tell which of the films selected for the sidebar will really land, but look back at the archives, and it's remarkable how many significant films -- from Ken Loach's "Kes" to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu's "Amores Perros" -- have quietly premiered there. In other words, while I don't have much to say right now about this year's Critics' Week selection, announced earlier today, it could yet give us plenty to talk about. As it stands, the most famous name in the lineup isn't one best known for her work behind the camera: French actress Mélanie Laurent, whose second directorial effort, "Respire," will play as a Special Screening in the section. Laurent starred in her 2011 debut, "The Adopted," a middling family melodrama that received a quiet release in France and the UK, »
- Guy Lodge
I am not, in any way according to the Internet, a Leonardo DiCaprio fan. Never mind that I saw him first and was proselytizing about his gift for at least ten years after seeing the double whammy of This Boy's Life and What's Eating Gilbert Grape in 1993. Alas, I have no proof of this fact as I was not writing for the internet at the time. But, it is true that I began to sour on him starting with Gangs of New York (2002) the first obvious sign that he was quite fallible indeed and that maybe he needed to be, you know, directed, rather than coddled by the auteurs he blesses with his unusually foolproof bankability. I may be the only person alive who thinks his relationship with Martin Scorsese, The Departed aside, has not been good for developing his once prodigious talent. But at the risk of angering his devout legion again, »
- NATHANIEL R
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
new to streaming
The Invisible Woman: the story of Charles Dickens and his secret mistress is no romance, and no modest costume drama, either, but a tale of women being practical because they had to be [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: a cheery, airy fairy tale filled with a very modern ache and buoyed by an infectious joy; I love this movie [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
new to Prime
The English Patient: haunting and enthralling, a scrapbook of another world of romance and adventure and tragedy; Oscar winner for Best Picture [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Flight of the Phoenix: an inherently absurd survival adventure with an infectiously contradictory attitude: jaded and thrilled, cynical and expansive [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
have some Michael Fassbender
- MaryAnn Johanson
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman is one of the strangest and most exciting films of the year, and though we’re still not quite sure what to expect, we now know when we can expect it. Fox Searchlight has assigned the dark comedy an October 17th, 2014 release date, which may give it a fighting chance on the awards circuit.
Birdman stars Michael Keaton as an actor famous for portraying an iconic superhero, who battles his ego and attempts to recover his family and career while struggling to mount a Broadway play. Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts will round out what looks to be a very strong supporting cast.
Personally, I’m enjoying Keaton’s little career resurgence that we’ve seen over the last couple of years, and this film sounds right up his alley. I think many people forget how comedic he can be and »
- James Garcia
Fox Searchlight and Regency Enterprises have positioned their Alejandro Iñárritu dark comedy in a prime awards season slot.
Birdman aka The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance will go on limited released on October 17 and roll out internationally in January 2015.
Given the autumn release date and the fact that the film is unlikely to be completed until late May or June, an autumn festival berth seems most likely. Worldview Entertainment is co-financing with Searchlight and Regency Enterprises.
Michael Keaton stars in the tale of an actor famous for once playing an iconic superhero who attempts to recover himself, his career and his family as he struggles to put on a Broadway play.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
One of my most anticipated films of the year has to be Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman." Of course I love the auteur's work and will leap at the chance to check out anything new he might conjure, but I'm also pretty fascinated by the involvement of Michael Keaton in the film. Keaton seems to be wading slowly back into more consistent on-screen work these days; he has three films hitting theaters just this year. Then there's the premise. Officially: "'Birdman' or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) — famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself." Intriguing. It's an original piece, from Iñárritu, his "Biutiful" collaborators Nicolás Giacobone Armando Bo, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Briefly: Fox Searchlight has announced a release date for Alejandro G. Iñárritu's Birdman, a Broadway stage drama about a fading actor starring Michael Keaton (seen above), for early in awards season 2014. Birdman will open in select theaters starting October 17th, 2014 this fall; a similar release date slot was used by Searchlight to debut 12 Years a Slave last year, and that went all the way to win Best Picture. Not saying that Birdman has that chance as we haven't seen much yet, but it will be something to behold anyway - with Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki behind the long-take cinematography. Also in the cast: Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts. Birdman, co-written & directed by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu (of Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel, Biutiful), has been described as a dark comedy. A washed-up actor, played by Michael Keaton, who once played an iconic »
- Alex Billington
The film may be selected next week as a competition title for the Cannes Film Festival. Inarritu’s films screened at Cannes include “Biutiful,” “Babel” and “Amores Perros,” which won the Critics Week prize.
- Dave McNary
The trailer for Guillermo Arriaga’s lead anthology film, Words With God, has debuted.
Words With God is based on a concept by Guillermo Arriaga ( Amores Perros, 21 Grams, The Burning Plain) with original music by Peter Gabriel (“Why Don’t You Show Yourself?”) and shaped into its current form by Nobel Prize award winner Mario Vargas Llosa.
The faith themed anthology is directed by filmmakers Guillermo Arriaga, Hector Babenco, Bahman Ghobadi, Amos Gitai, Emir Kusturica, Mira Nair, Hideo Nakata, Warwick Thornton and Alex de la Iglesia. Along with Guillermo Arriaga, Alex Garcia and Lucas Akoskin (who both founded Bn Films) are producing the film.
In Words With God, each director recounts a narrative centered around human fragility, as well as environmental and cultural crises involving specific religions with which each has a personal relationship; including early Aboriginal Spirituality, Umbanda, Buddhism, the Abrahamic faiths, Hinduism, and Atheism. An animated sequence by »
- Michelle McCue
A belated festival premiere for Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” and a powerhouse showing for British filmmakers including Mike Leigh and Ken Loach — plus appearances by other usual suspects such as David Cronenberg, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and the Dardenne brothers — are among the strong possibilities hovering over the lineup of the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival.
In recent years, festival topper Thierry Fremaux and his selection committee have tended to push their final decisions to the very last minute under a nearly impenetrable veil of secrecy, defying the intense media scrutiny and endless speculation that always swirl around the Cannes lineup at this time of year. Although anything could change between now and April 17, when the official selection is unveiled — there are still enough hotly anticipated titles in the mix to warrant some educated guesswork about what is shaping up to be a promisingly diverse slate of auteurs. »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
Mexican thesp Kuno Becker’s directorial debut “Panic 5 Bravo” jolted auds in the first of several gala screenings at the 29th Guadalajara International Film Festival. Set against the U.S.- Mexican border, suspense pic centers on four paramedics who defy U.S. regulations to answer a distress call just across the border in Mexico. What next ensues as they are trapped inside their ambulance turns into a harrowing experience where sound design from Culver City-based Sonic Magic Studios plays a key role. The term “5 Bravo” is used by emergency responders when referring to a shooting incident.
Becker plays the lead from a screenplay he also penned. English-language pic was shot for two and a half weeks last year on a $500,000 budget, per Becker. Backed by Videocine, “Panic 5 Bravo” is set to bow in Mexico on July 18.
“I had been working on a documentary – still in the making- on ambulance »
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
In Hollywood, there is a war brewing... between two big budget versions of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book" (which is apparently very firmly in the public domain). On one hand, we have Disney's version, being directed by Jon Favreau and featuring Idris Elba as the voice of Shere Khan, the fearsome tiger. On the other, we have Warner Bros' own "Jungle Book," which was, at one point, going to be directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Somewhat predictably, the director of "Babel" lost interest in the material (the studio cited "scheduling conflicts") but now that production has found a replacement in Andy Serkis, according to the Hollywood Reporter. That's right, my precious, Gollum is directing his very own movie!
While this is somewhat of a letdown from the studio's previous version, just because we wanted to see what the director of "Amores Perros" would do with a project about talking animals, »
- Drew Taylor
From locked-in Cannes bait like the Dardennes brothers to outliers like Disney's new take on Sleeping Beauty, we list the films we predict will be vying for the prizes come May
The Oscars are over; Sundance is but a memory; SXSW has been overrun with musos. The film industry's eyes, forever trained forward, are now squinting against the glare of the south of France and the Cote d'Azur: Cannes is on its way. As ever, the speculation has already begun as to which films the festival will tie up for its official selection: Cannes's bespoke mix of esoteric auteurism, finger-poking controversy and shameless glitz. We know the Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco will be there (it was announced as opening film back in January) and we're fairly sure the extended cut of Nymphomaniac Volume II has a spot reserved for it. But other than that, it's anyone's guess. Here »
- Xan Brooks, Andrew Pulver
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
U.S. Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Since Amores Perros, Iñárritu has made very “calculated” film narrative choices with a foursome of films (21 Grams, Babel, Biutiful) that bury viewers in psychologically heavy/mental breakdown territory. Even his short films are enough to put us on anti-depressors. For his fifth time out, the anguish comes measured in a comedy noir packaging with an ensemble cast we’d normally never associate with the filmmaker, of course with the exception of Naomi Watts who broke down like an ace in 21 Grams fame. We’re curious in witnessing how Alfonso Cuaron’s Dp Emmanuel Lubezki works with this Mexican helmer.
Gist: A.k.a The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance, »
- Eric Lavallee
The International Film Festival of Cartagena de Indias has confirmed the rest of its programme.
Cartagena has added a Midnight Cinema section including two Colombian horror films: Gallows Hill (Encerrada), directed by Víctor García and written by Richard D´Ovidio and starring Peter Facinelli; and Demental by young Colombian David Bohórquez, which will have its world premiere at the festival.
The outdoor series Cinema Under the Stars includes:
Gloria, Sebastián Lelio (Chile)La Jaula de Oro, Diego Quemada Diez (Mexico)The Lunchbox, Ritesh Batra (India)Ciudad Delirio, Chus Gutiérrez (festival opening film)Porro Hecho en Colombia, Adriana Lucía, who will give a concert at the end of the screening.
Special Presentations section include Simon Brand’s Default, Laurie Collyer’s Sunlight Jr, Spike Jonze’s Her, Go for Sisters by John Sayles (the subject of a retrospective), and Medeas by Andrea Pallaoro.
There are also two films that are also part of Tributes: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s [link »
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
Though we heard Babel, 21 Grams and Amores Perros director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was being lined up to direct an adaptation of The Jungle Book at Warner Bros., the filmmaker fell away from the project due to scheduling conflicts. It seemed as if the competing Disney production with Jon Favreau at the helm would be on its own after all, but now THR has word that Warner Bros. isn't giving up so easy as they're currently in talk with Rush and A Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard to direct and produce their live-action take written by Callie Kloves, daughter of Harry Potter scribe Steve Kloves, the film's producer. Disney has already set their version of The Jungle Book for October 9th, 2015, and we'll have to wait and see if Warner Bros. will try to beat them to the punch. The Rudyard Kipling classic has already seen two previous adaptations from Disney, »
- Ethan Anderton
The Cartagena International Film Festival (Ficci) will pay tribute to Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
The Cartagena International Film Festival will pay tribute to Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu.
The director will attend the Colombian festival and also offer a masterclass.
He receives the tribute on March 16 and gives the masterclass the following day.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
U.S. indie actor-director Josephine Decker has two hotly anticipated films screening in the Berlinale’s Forum section. Her directorial debut, “Butter on the Latch,” is a sinister folktale set in the Californian forest of Mendocino. Sophomore feature “Thou Wast Mild and Lovely,” which is world premiering in Berlin and is being sold by New Europe, is a sensual thriller inspired by “East of Eden,” set on a farm in Kentucky. Pic, which stars Sophie Traub, Joe Swanberg and Robert Longstreet, raised funds for its post-production through KickStarter. Variety gets an exclusive first look at the films’ teasers and talks to Decker about her work as she prepares for the Berlinale premieres (see below).
Variety: Have you been to Berlin before?
Decker: I went to Berlin once in middle school on a school trip, and I managed to dye my hair red, and almost get sent home early because a »
- Leo Barraclough
Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2013 discoveries”…
Lavallee: Could you discuss what kind of visual strategy you had in place what were you looking to achieve with your dp Peter Holland? Freeland: This is interesting. The original influence for the film was Amores Perros and we talked quite a bit about using this as reference for a visual style (handheld, kinetic). That was our basically our game plan going into production, but we found that film wanted to be much quieter and static than that. It’s a testament to Peter’s skill because he was able to recognize that and adapt accordingly.
Lavallee: We all know how Robert Redford is a support system of his own with the festival and institute but here he took an extra, unusual step in becoming an executive producer. »
- Eric Lavallee
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