10 items from 2015
Locked Out of Heaven: Haynes Delivers Chilly Lesbian Romance
Todd Haynes makes an exciting return with Carol, his first feature film since 2007’s I’m Not There. A lavish period production design of 1950s New York finds the director returning to similar territory as seen in Far From Heaven and his mini-series remounting of “Mildred Pierce.” But whereas those films borrowed significantly from famous film texts, Haynes adapts a 1952 Patricia Highsmith novel, published under a pseudonym and described as a novel about persecuted love. Chilly, especially in comparison to the heterosexual classic Brief Encounter, of which the opening sequence has drawn reference to, Haynes has constructed a tightly wound ball of desire that is never given the opportunity to unravel.
In 1950’s New York, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) works as a department store clerk, though she has aspirations of being a photographer. Trapped in a one sided romance with her »
- Nicholas Bell
London — “Women in Film” wasn’t the official theme of last night’s London Film Festival awards dinner, but it may as well have been. Before any trophies were even presented at event, staged for the fourth year running at Whitehall’s grand Banqueting House, outgoing British Film Institute chairman Greg Dyke made a point of celebrating the contributions of female filmmakers to this year’s fest. It had, after all, opened with Sarah Gavron’s feminist historical drama “Suffragette” (and a surprise red-carpet demonstration by feminist action group Sisters Uncut).
Festival director Clare Stewart extended Dyke’s point, numbering the female directors nominated for awards that evening. By the end of the evening, four of them had triumphed in three of the night’s competitive categories — with a BFI Fellowship presentation to Cate Blanchett bringing the night to a rousing finish.
Australian docmaker Jennifer Peedom won the Grierson Award for best documentary, »
- Guy Lodge
Polish auteur Krzysztof Kieslowski’s fascination with allegorical intersections took full flight with his 1987 title Blind Chance, a three tiered narrative metaphor for Poland’s options following the accession of Communist Party suppression in 1981. Filmed in 1982, the film was censored and withheld from release by Polish authorities for five years, premiering in January of 1987 shortly before it appeared at Cannes that year in Un Certain Regard. Denied the same reputation as the titles from the auteur’s notable period working in French cinema, such as 1991’s The Double Life of Veronique and the Three Colours Trilogy: Blue, White, Red, it’s a fascinating exploration of the psychological and experimental cinematic techniques Kieslowski would go on to develop. Though significantly informed by the political climate of Poland, it’s also a unique narrative from Kieslowski in that it remains in the perspective of a central male character.
Witek (Boguslaw Linda) is »
- Nicholas Bell
The Swiss fest dedicated to indie cinema will award Cimino a Pard of honor Swisscom career nod in a ceremony on its open-air Piazza Grande on August 9. A mini-retro of his work will also unspool, comprising his 1974 directorial debut “Thuderbolt and Lightfoot,” starring Clint Eastwood and a young Jeff Bridges; “The Deer Hunter,” which won five Oscars in 1978; “Heaven’s Gate” (1980); and “Year of the Dragon” (1985).
Fest’s 68th edition will run August 5-15.
- Nick Vivarelli
Darren Lynn Bousman and company's Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival screening tour in the U.S. will commence this August in Los Angeles. Also in this round-up: details on The Charnel House and U.S. release details for the Morituris Blu-ray / DVD.
Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival: In 2012, director Darren Lynn Bousman and his team hit the road and took Lucifer with them, bringing The Devil's Carnival film and accompanying live entertainment to cities across America. Bousman and company are now back to raise a lot of hell and a little heaven in Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival.
Featuring David Hasselhoff, Paul Sorvino as God, and Terrance Zdunich as Lucifer, Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival kicks off its U.S. theater screenings tour on August 11th in Los Angeles. For tour and ticket info, visit:
"After triumphant collaborations on 2008's Repo! The Genetic Opera and 2012's The Devil's Carnival: Episode One, »
- Tamika Jones
Todd Haynes has developed legions of fans over the last decades with a series of provocative and stylish films. In 1998 his Velvet Goldmine brought the world of glam rock to life, shifting in 2002 to the Douglas Sirk-influencedFar From Heaven. His last theatrical film, 2007’s I’m Not There, is a bold and bizarre take on the iconography ofBob Dylan, using actors such as Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Ben Whisaw, and Christian Bale to illustrate facets of the singer’s life and career.
The most astonishing performance in that film was Cate Blanchett as the “Don’t Look Back”-era Dylan, and these years later it’s with her that Haynes reunites for his telling of Carol, based on the novel The Price of Salt byPatricia Highsmith. The story of a wealthy wife at the end of her marriage who falls for a young woman she meets at a toy »
- Jason Gorber
Cannes — A look across a crowded room. A hand on a shoulder, slightly longer than expected. A conversation of code words. In the McCarthy era, gay men and women were forced to follow societal norms, with even the most "obvious" gays and lesbians trapped in the closet. It is in this context that we are introduced to department store clerk Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) and her new customer, the somewhat older Ms. Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) in Todd Haynes' adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel, "Carol." It's almost Christmas and Carol is hunting for a specific doll for her young daughter. The store is out of the model she needs. Carol quizzes Therese on what she always wanted to get for Christmas. There are glances, there is light flirting and Carol "mistakenly" leaves her gloves on Therese's counter. This advance is both forward and subtle, which puzzles Therese, but »
- Gregory Ellwood
This Sunday, over 3,000 dolled-up guests will traverse 500 feet of red carpet on their path into the 87th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre (where it’ll be hosted for the 14th time). But before they reach for that first glass of Piper-Heidsieck brut during the ritzy Oscar cocktail hour, a series of events, benefits, award shows and gifting suites will properly launch the festivities. Here’s where the industry’s brightest will be primping, prepping, donating and gallivanting in the days leading up to Hollywood’s biggest night.
Icon Mann Industry Panels
Where: L.A. SAG-aftra office, 11 a.m.
Why you don’t want to miss it: Industry vets will examine the evolution of black male characters throughout film history and »
- Jasmin Rosemberg
Think of heartthrob Riccardo Scamarcio as the Matt Damon or George Clooney of Italian actors — one who isn’t averse to taking time out of his shooting schedule to take on production duties for a project he’s passionate about making.
In fact, Scamarcio, who plays a mad Italian chef alongside Bradley Cooper in the upcoming untitled John Wells project being produced by Harvey Weinstein, has rather embraced switching hats, and his batting average isn’t bad. Euthanasia-themed “Honey” (Miele), the directorial debut of his companion, actress Valeria Golino, was sold widely by Paris-based Cite Films, including to Emerging Pictures in the U.S., where it earned positive reviews last year. “The Obscene Life,” a sex, drugs and solitude drama by Renato De Maria, which Scamarcio co-produced, debuted at last year’s Venice Film Festival. And experimental docu “L’Uomo doppio,” by Italian visual artist Cosimo Terlizzi, bowed at the Turin fest. »
- Nick Vivarelli
“The Big Bang Theory” star Parsons will star as the Man Upstairs in the Broadway production “An Act of God,” which begins performances May 5 at Studio 54.
The comedy, written by David Javerbaum (“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart“), promises to reveal “the mysteries of the Bible while answering the existential questions that have plagued mankind since Creation — in just 90 minutes.”
According to the description on the play’s website, »
- Tim Kenneally
10 items from 2015
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