8 items from 2011
Day 2 of the Film Critics' Workshop now under way at the Yamagata International Film Festival finds our English-language participants considering a new Japanese film, the turbulent era of 1960s Japanese television documentaries, and the place of the film critic in an age when documentary production is booming and when more and more people are relying on Twitter to publicize and find out about films.
Children of Light: Tachikawa Kazuya’s Never Let Me Go
The sun rises over rice paddies. Skillful fingers expertly pare daikon. These opening shots establish a distinctly Japanese sense of home with visual economy. “Home for Children of Light” is a small foster care facility in rural Saitama. An institution, but also a family. Never Let Me Go (Tonaru hito) is Tachikawa Kazuya’s document of life at the home.
Tachikawa’s ear is carefully attuned. The steady chop of the knife slightly precedes the transition from outdoor to indoor. »
The last time I saw Roberto Benigni, he said he wanted to make love to me. To be fair, he wanted to make love to everybody watching the 1999 Academy Awards after he’d won his second Oscar of the night for Life is Beautiful. But since that night, when the Italian Chaplin was officially crowned by Hollywood, his profile has retreated. His directorial follow-up, 2002′s Pinocchio, was an expensive flop that bombed completely on this side of the Atlantic. He appeared briefly in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes in 2003, and he hasn’t starred in any film since 2005′s Iraq War film, »
- Jeff Labrecque
As Woody Allen prepares to arrive in Cannes with his latest film Midnight in Paris, he is confirming some casting reports about his next film, to be shot in Rome, which he calls "a comic picture, an out-and-out comedy." Speaking to USA Today  he offered that quote, said that reports pegging the film's title as The Wrong Picture were, uh, wrong, and confirming that he would indeed appear in the film. And he also confirmed Deadline 's report that Roberto Benigni would play a part in the movie. We don't know what that part will be, but he'll join Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg and Alec Baldwin. Roberto Benigni built a big European audience with comic roles in Italy and a small Us audience thanks to appearances in films like Down By Law. But he broke into the mainstream in a big way with comic Holocaust film Life is Beautiful, »
- Russ Fischer
He is best known outside Italy for an exuberant appearance at the 1998 Oscars, where his film Life Is Beautiful picked up three Oscars. Now Roberto Benigni is set to make a belated return to the big screen after being cast in Woody Allen's next film, Deadline reports.
The as-yet-untitled project will be shot in Italy, but Benigni is so far the sole Italian casting choice. The movie will also feature The Social Network's Jesse Eisenberg – surely an actor destined to play an Allen cypher at some point in his career – along with Penélope Cruz, Ellen Page and Alec Baldwin.
Benigni has only appeared fleetingly on film since the success of Life is Beautiful, his bittersweet drama about a father who pretends their life in a Nazi concentration camp is »
- Ben Child
Woody Allen has cast two more actors in his next untitled film. One actor is a familiar face in Woody Allen's films: Woody Allen. Allen hasn't co-starred in one of his movies since 2006's Scoop, but he sounds pretty pleased with the decision to join the picture, which he tells USA Today is "comic picture, an out-and-out comedy." Also, if you thought you were done with Roberto Benigni, you were wrong because Allen says the Oscar-winning actor is also in the film. After coming to the attention of mainstream American audiences in Life is Beautiful, Benigni thought it would be a good idea to adapt Pinocchio and then play Pinocchio and that no one would be creeped out by the prospect of a middle-aged man playing a young boy. Allen and Benigni join previously-announced cast members Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz, and Alec Baldwin. Allen says he's still casting for the film, »
- Matt Goldberg
Woody Allen.s next ensemble piece, which we recently told you would be set in Rome, is about to get a little more Italian. As the prolific director prepares to open the Cannes Film Festival with his current picture, Midnight In Paris, Deadline reports that Allen .will land. Oscar-winning writer-director Roberto Benigni for his next cast, which already includes Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz and Alec Baldwin. The site goes on to say that Allen could make an announcement regarding Benigni.s involvement in the picture when Paris opens Cannes later this month. Though Allen and Benigni both lay claim to the prestigious title of Oscar winner, the former.s career has remained steady while the latter.s largely tanked. After nabbing a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the 1997 concentration camp drama Life Is Beautiful, Benigni directed and starred in an ill-fated Pinocchio tale and then promptly »
What do you get when you combine the magic of Disney, the camera of Annie Leibovitz and some of the biggest stars in Hollywood? Well, you get a stellar collection of photographs by Annie Leibovitz. The Disney Dream Portrait Series is an ad campaign featuring a collection of iconic portraits by the famed photographer recreating scenes and portraying beloved characters from classic Disney films. The famous Disney characters are as easily recognizable as the stars portraying them and are truly marvelous and enchanting to behold.
Where a moment of beauty lasts forever.
Where wonderland is your destiny.
Guillermo del Toro, The Jim Henson Company, and Pathe are set to produce a 3D stop-motion animated adaptation of Pinocchio. Deadline reports that Gris Grimly and Mark Gustafson (animation director for Fantastic Mr. Fox) will direct the new version which will be "edgier" than the 1940 Disney adaptation. Grimly illustrated a 2002 book based on the character that will serve as the basis for the project. Del Toro and collaborator Matthew Robbins (Mimic, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark) crafted the story with Robbins penning the script. Hit the jump for more exciting details on this project, including the participation of writer/composer Nick Cave (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). According to Deadline, the new version is "aimed at an audience 10 years and up, and a bit scarier than the Disney film." (although as a kid, I remember the Disney version being slightly terrifying). Del Toro tells »
- Matt Goldberg
8 items from 2011
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