12 items from 2015
Barcelona– Elena Trape’s “Waiting for Time to Stand Still,” Julia Solomonoff’s “Nobody’s Watching” and Liliana Torres’ “What Have We Done Wrong?” are some of the titles in the lineup of Miss Wasabi Films, the Barcelona-based production shingle of Spanish helmer Isabel Coixet (“My Life Without Me,” “The Secret Life of Words”).
While co-production of Argentine Solomonoff’s “Nobody’s Watching” has already been revealed to Variety, the now-announced confirms a far broader support for a new generation of national and international female helmers.
“We’re in a time of speeches demanding equal rights, gender quotas and so on. I feel I am at a different level –the level of action, the best way I’ve found to allow women’s voices to be listened to,” Coixet told Variety.
According to Spain’s Cima Assn. of Women in Film and Audiovisual Media, just 8% of films produced in Spain are directed by women. »
- Emilio Mayorga
San Sebastian – In a sign of the production’s multi-territory attraction, Spanish director Isabel Coixet and Los Angeles-based La Panda have both boarded Julia Solomonoff’s “Nobody’s Watching” (Nadie nos mira”), a novel New York take on the emotional joy and trials of immigration.
La Panda has jumped into the project as a U.S. partner for physical production and to arrange New York tax incentives, as well as aid executive production related to seeking international sales, said La Panda’s Pau Brunet.
Coixet and La Panda complete a production structure which, increasingly typically for higher-profile films by Latin American filmmakers – Solomonoff is Argentine but based out of New York – as they seek to complete financing on a budget they desire, »
- John Hopewell
I recently sat down with director Isabel Coixet, and actors Patricia Clarkson and Sarita Choudhury at the Crosby Hotel in New York City, to discuss their new film "Learning to Drive." The film, written by Sarah Kernochan, is based on the autobiographical New Yorker short story by Katha Pollit, a long-time political columnist for the Nation.
Wendy is a fiery Manhattan author whose husband has just left her for a younger woman; Darwan is a soft-spoken taxi driver from India on the verge of an arranged marriage. As Wendy sets out to reclaim her independence, she runs into a barrier common to many lifelong New Yorkers: she’s never learned to drive. When Wendy hires Darwan to teach her, her unraveling life and his calm restraint seem like an awkward fit. But as he shows her how to take control of the wheel, and she coaches him on how to impress a woman, their unlikely friendship awakens them to the joy, humor, and love in starting life anew.
Isabel Coixet’s award-winning film credits include "Demaisiado viejo para morir joven," "Things I Never Told You,""My Life Without Me," "The Secret Life of Words," "Paris, je t’aime," "Elegy," "Map of the Sounds of Tokyo," "Yesterday Never Ends," "Another Me," "Nobody Wants the Night," as well as documentaries, including "Invisibles."
Currently, Sarita Choudhury can be seen on Showtime’s "Homeland." Her film credits include "Admission," "Gayby," "Midnight’s Children," "Generation Um…," "Entre Nos," "The Accidental Husband," "Lady in the Water," "The War Within," "Mississippi Masala," "Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love," "She Hate Me," "Just a Kiss," "Wild West," "High Art," "The House of the Spirits," "Gloria," and "A Perfect Murder."
Isabel Coixet: We started talking about making this film with Patricia and Ben Kingsley when we were making "Elegy" (directed by Coixet, starring Clarkson and Kingsley) and we got along very well and we wanted to make another film together. Patricia discovered the short story by Katha Pollit, and she gave it to me and I thought it was wonderful. And then we got the screenwriter Sarah Kernocha involved. The film is a comedy but not a classical comedy. It was a very difficult film to pitch because you know financiers and producers want something they can put in one box and you can’t with this film. It was a long process. It took nine years.
Some Words Unspoken and the Intimacy of the Camera
Isabel Coixet: There is always this romantic feeling underneath [subtext], I think there is that possibility. You have to be true to your words. If they are true, you will have to stick to your words.
Sarita Choudhury: That’s what happens with people you meet. No you were my inspiration don’t make me your inspiration.
Sarita Choudhury: I had so few words in the film. In a way, I kept the words because I had to know not to say them. For us the script -- the situational was also in the script; the languidness. It was because Isabel holds the camera. There was a pace created to it. When you’re acting you can feel where the camera is, but when the camera is at the end of Isabel’s hand and she’s moving it, it almost creates an intimacy between you and the camera, and you and the actor. There’s a pace you normally don’t get in film. You didn’t know when she was on your face; you had to keep acting like acting in the theatre.
On The Lack of Women Directors
Isabel Coixet: There are so many articles about it. I’m always afraid to play the victim, to complain too much. I know there is an inequity with men and women directors. This is an issue in the world. I always say, (Coixet smiles) we have to ask for more salary to make up for all these years and maybe if we ask for more they’ll give us the same as a man.
I want to put my words where my mouth is by producing female directors; they are amazing talented people. I’m producing three short films and a feature documentary. That’s what I do.
Sarita Choudhury: I just did a young woman’s short film; there is something about her that’s brilliant. I’ve done two short films. I can’t change the caste system and I can’t do the voluntary work I need to be doing. Film is no different from the world, like Isabel said. That’s our work, to get every woman involved. And if a man is brilliant, let him in too.
I then asked Patricia Clarkson about her involvement with "Learning to Drive."
Academy Award® nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress, Patricia Clarkson, has worked extensively in independent films. The National Board of Review and the National Society of Film Critics named her Best Supporting Actress of the Year for "Pieces of April" and "The Station Agent." Her many film credits include "The Maze Runner," "Last Weekend," "Friends With Benefits," "One Day," "Easy A," "Shutter Island," "Vicky Christina Barcelona," "Elegy," "No Reservations," "All the Kings’ Men," "Lars and the Real Girl, and "Good Night, and Good Luck."
Susan Kouguell: What attracted you to the project?
Patricia Clarkson: I loved the Katha Pollit story in The New Yorker; it serendipitously came to me. I love Wendy, I love this character. I was nine years younger at the time, but I still felt I knew her. I was relentless trying to get this film made with producer Dana Friedman. I found it an equal dose of funny and tragic. I liked the almost commedia dell'arte aspect; this absurd situation and finding the tragic comedy. A woman who is brilliant who lives a great life -- she has everything, but “forgets to look up,” and then meets a man who has experienced tragic loss. They have disparate worlds. I found it a quintessential New York story, but it’s also universal. It’s an independent film, but it’s not independently-minded.
Some Final Words
The disparate worlds about which Clarkson refers to in regard to her character, Wendy’s relationship with Darwan [Ben Kingsley] -- the life of a financially successful New Yorker compared to the immigrant’s struggle, was a thematic element that I further discussed with Coixet and Choudhury. As Choudhury said to me, Coixet’s visual choices of her character, such as the moment when she watches feet walk by her basement apartment window, feeling trapped, underscore the poignancy of this fish-out-of-water situation. Coixet captures these elements with a delicate balance of both drama and comedy.
It was an inspiring morning to speak with these three powerful and talented women, who are committed to sharing their knowledge with the next generation of female filmmakers.
Award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker, Susan Kouguell teaches screenwriting at Purchase College Suny, and presents international seminars on screenwriting and film. Author of Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays! and The Savvy Screenwriter, she is chairperson of Su-City Pictures East, LLC, a consulting company founded in 1990 where she works with writers, filmmakers, and executives worldwide. www.su-city-pictures.com, http://su-city-pictures.com/wpblog »
- Susan Kouguell
Cast revealed for Pedro Almodovar drama set in a “female universe” that will begin shooting in May.
The film centres on Julieta, whose life in 2015 finds her on the verge of madness but is shown 30 years earlier during the 1980s at a more prosperous time in her life.
Speaking to ScreenDaily, Agustin Almodovar said: “We are working with some of these talented actors for the first time, which makes it very exciting.
“The film is a return to drama based around women but it will also present new challenges.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Juan Sarda)
Spanish auteur Isabel Coixet (Elegy, My Life Without Me) opened Berlinale with her latest and most ambitious film to date, Nobody Wants the Night. Based on real life persons (though it was unclear whether the events actually occurred), it is a visually stunning film, a raw and anguishing story of love, betrayal and cultural conflict. And yet, it is perhaps this ambition that brings out some serious narrative problems that, while I didn't actively dislike them, made the film a bit less than the sum of its parts.Juliette Binoche (looking more than a little like an aged Julie Christie in Dr. Zhivago) plays Josephine Peary, wife of the Arctic Explorer Robert Peary. An arctic adventurer herself, she has come to Ellesmere Island in 1908 to...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Oscar winner Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) and Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds, National Treasure) are in final negotiations to star in the romance feature film This Man, This Woman, to be directed by Isabel Coixet whose new film Nobody Wants The Night opens the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival, it was announced today by Fortitude International co-founders, Nadine de Barros and Robert Ogden Barnum, and producer Mike Lobell (The Freshman, Striptease).
Fortitude International is financing the film and will handle foreign sales on the project being introduced to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin next month.
De Barros and Barnum serve as executive producers. Lobell is producing the film.
CAA is representing domestic rights.
An estranged man, Matt Heller, and a woman, Martha Parks (Cruz »
- Michelle McCue
We'll show up to watch Juliette Binoche in pretty much anything, but toss Rinko Kikuchi into the mix, in a film directed by Isabel Coixet ("My Life Without Me," "The Secret Life Of Words," "Elegy"), in a based-on-a-true-story tale set in the arctic? Yes, please. That film is "Nobody Wants The Night," and the first trailer has arrived. Slated to open the Berlin International Film Festival next month, the movie is based on a true story, and is set in 1908, in the wintry reaches of Greenland. Here's the official synopsis: Josephine Peary is a mature, proud, determined and naive woman, in love with celebrated Arctic adventurer Robert Peary, a man who prefers glory and ice to the comforts of an upper-class home. For him she will face all danger, even risk her own life. Another woman, young but wise, brave and humble – Allaka – is in love with the same man, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
There should be a bigger spotlight on filmmaker Isabel Coixet. She makes small, unflashy but memorable films, like "Elegy," "My Life Without Me," "The Secret Life Of Words," and more recently, "Learning To Drive," all of which have culled the director a small but devoted following. But Coixet gets her biggest showcase yet at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival. Coixet's "Nobody Wants The Night" has been selected as the opening night movie at the festival. Juliette Binoche, Rinko Kikuchi and Gabriel Byrne star in a movie taking place in the Arctic seclusion of Greenland in 1908. The adventure film focuses on courageous women and ambitious men who put anything at stake for love and glory. We like both the cast and premise, so sign us up. The Berlin Film Festival runs from February 5th to 15th. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The Berlin International Film Festival announced early Friday morning that "Nobody Wants the Night," the most recent work by Spanish director Isabel Coixet, will open the festival as well as play in the international competition. Previous fest kick-offs included "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "The Grandmaster." We’re sure "Nobody Wants the Night" is quite grand in its own right, even if it doesn’t flaunt it in the title. Based on true events, "Nobody Wants the Night" follows Josephine Peary (Academy Award-winner Juliette Binoche), a "mature, proud, determined and naive woman" living in Greenland circa 1909 and in love with celebrated Arctic adventurer Robert Peary (Gabriel Byrne), "a man who prefers glory and ice to the comforts of an upper-class home." Another woman, the "young but wise, brave and humble" Allaka (Academy Award-nominated Rinko Kikuchi), is in love with the same man… and pregnant with his child. As Coixet’s »
- Matt Patches
London — Spanish director Isabel Coixet’s “Nobody Wants the Night,” which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, will open the Berlin Film Festival. The film will world premiere on Feb. 5 as part of the international competition.
Binoche, who won an Oscar for “The English Patient,” is joined in the ensemble cast by Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel,” “The Brothers Bloom,” “Pacific Rim”) and Irish thesp Gabriel Byrne (“The Usual Suspects,” “Miller’s Crossing”).
The adventure film is set in 1908 in Greenland, and focuses on “courageous women and ambitious men who put anything at stake for love and glory.” Pic, which is a Spanish-French-Bulgarian co-production, was shot in Bulgaria, Norway and Spain.
- Leo Barraclough
Spanish helmer Isabel Coixet’s Nobody Wants The Night has been selected as the opening film for the 65th Berlin Film Festival. The world premiere will take place on February 5, and the movie will be part of the competition. A Spanish-French-Bulgarian co-production, it’s set in 1908, in the Arctic seclusion of Greenland. The adventure film focuses on courageous women and ambitious men who put anything at stake for love and glory. Juliette Binoche, Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) and Gabriel Byrne star.
Last year’s Berlin opener, The Grand Budapest Hotel, scored a leading 11 BAFTA nominations this morning. The year prior, Berlin opened with Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster, making this choice seem a bit obscure.
- Nancy Tartaglione
Juliette Binoche stars in the Arctic adventure.
The 65th Berlin International Film Festival will open on February 5 with the world premiere of Nobody Wants the Night, the latest film from Spanish director Isabel Coixet. It will participate in the international competition.
The Spanish-French-Bulgarian co-production takes place in 1908, in the Arctic seclusion of Greenland. The adventure film focuses on “courageous women and ambitious men who put anything at stake for love and glory”.
The ensemble cast includes French actress and Oscar winner Juliette Binoche (Camille Claudel 1915, The English Patient), Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, The Brothers Bloom) and Irish actor Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, Miller’s Crossing). Filming took place in Bulgaria, Norway and Spain.
He also revealed: “It will also be the first film to be screened in Dolby Atmos in our Berlinale Palast.”
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
12 items from 2015
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