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Ever since the Cannes International Film Festival knocked down a few walls between itself and the West in 2001 with festival director Thierry Frémaux coming on board to liven up the Croisette with more of a Hollywood acceptance, the connection between the annual May event and the awards season has become more pronounced. Films like Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge!," Roman Polanski's "The Pianist," Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River," Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Babel" and David Cronenberg's "A History of Violence" all started their Oscar trajectories in the south of France, while others like Paul Greengrass' "United 93," Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and "Midnight in Paris" and Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" got high profile beginnings out of Competition. A coveted Palme d'Or win sometimes leads to a significant boost in the Oscar season, even if no recipient of the festival's »
- Kristopher Tapley
Tommy Lee Jones, Bennett Miller, David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan will duke it out with Jean-Luc Godard, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Michel Hazanavicius and the Dardenne brothers for the Palme d’Or at the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival, which unveiled its official selection lineup this morning in Paris by fest topper Thierry Fremaux.
The wide-ranging competition slate is typically heavy on French filmmakers, with Olivier Assayas’ international co-production “Clouds of Sils Maria” and Bertrand Bonello’s fashion-designer biopic “Saint Laurent” joining Hazanavicius’ “The Search” and Godard’s 3D experiment “Goodbye to Language.” Fremaux noted that Godard, famously a no-show at the 2010 Cannes premiere of his “Film socialisme,” had “promised he’ll be there — which doesn’t mean he will!”
One of the more intriguing developments of this year’s competition is the unusual dominance of Canadian auteurs. »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
David Cronenberg films are never straight forward. Like David Lynch, Cronenberg's films always have something lingering just beneath the surface that throws audiences for a loop. The man who brought is Existenz, Videodrome, Naked Lunch, and The Fly has dabbled in more mainstream fare like A History Of Violence and Eastern Promises. His last film, Cosmopolis, seemed to lean closer to his more surreal work while his upcoming Maps To The Stars is yet another enigma that defies categorization. »
- Alex Maidy
Move over Priest and Machine Gun Preacher, there’s a new man of God in town. Padre, a spec script by Mike Maples, has been picked up by Screen Gems in what Deadline is reporting is a six-figure deal. The screenplay is, reports the site, in the mould of No Country For Old Men and A History Of Violence. Padre is billed as a “stark drama”, although it has elements of fuzzy, lo-fi thriller about it the synopsis is anything to go by. The titular priest has a dark past as a special-forces soldier, presumably one of those with a CV full of brutal killings and IEDs, but his efforts to shrug off the agonies of his experiences is hampered when his congregation is laid waste by a group of villainous lawmen.He’s then tortured and dumped in the desert. From there it sounds like a pretty standard vengeance quest, »
The One and Only Ivan
Disney Pictures is in negotiations to acquire the screen rights to Katherine Applegate's 2011 novel "The One and Only Ivan". A writer is currently being sought to adapt the script into a live-action feature.
The story centers on the silverback gorilla Ivan, an elderly elephant named Stella and a stray dog dubbed Bob, who all live in a cage at a shopping center. The ape concocts a plan to escape back to the wild to protect this infant animal from their abusive owner. [Source: THR]
Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement penned the script set in 1944 as the Nazi regime begins to realize they've lost. They launch a desperate plan to assassinate President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at a Pow camp in Washington state. »
- Garth Franklin
Exclusive: In a solid six-figure deal, Screen Gems has acquired Padre, a stark drama spec by Mike Maples. Greg Champion and Mark Lawyer will be producers and Screen Gems’ James Lopez will oversee it. The script has a No Country For Old Men and A History of Violence vibe to it. A priest, trying to atone for his bloody past as a special ops soldier, witnesses the brutal murder of members from his congregation by a malevolent Sheriff and his deputies. Tortured and left for dead in the desert, he survives. Then, he faces a crisis of conscience and the dawning realization that his past military training and three tours in Afghanistan may have been preparation for what his soul and his heart tell him is right. From there it goes all bad for the crooked cops. Maples is repped by Luber Roklin Entertainment, and attorneys Alan Wertheimer and Jeff Hynick rep the producers. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Screen Gems is strapping on a clerical collar and a gun to pick up Padre, a spec script by Mike Maples. Gregg Champion and Mark Lawyer are on board to produce the thriller, which is described as being in the tone of No Country for Old Men and A History of Violence. The story centers on a priest with a dark past on a quest for revenge against a group of thugs that left him for dead. However, he soon discovers the men are part of the sheriff's department in the small town where he seeks refuge. The deal was
- Borys Kit
Many moviegoers presumed that James Gandolfini’s sweet natured role in Enough Said, which was released last September and earned him a Screen Actors Guild nomination, was his last film. However, Gandolfini’s final big screen appearance is actually in The Drop, a new thriller from Bullhead director Michaël R. Roskam with a screenplay from crime author Dennis Lehane (novelist of Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island), based on his short story.
Although Enough Said was a lighthearted venture for the actor best known for playing Tony Soprano on HBO, The Drop feels like a more appropriate legacy for him, given his omnipresence in crime dramas over the years in both film and television.
In The Drop, Gandolfini plays Marv, the cousin of a New York bartender Bob Saginowski (played by Tom Hardy). The film’s title comes from how the “drop bar” Saginowski manages is a place where criminals drop their dirty money. »
- Jordan Adler
The Provincetown International Film Festival has announced that acclaimed writer and director David Cronenberg (The Fly, Videodrome, A History of Violence) will receive the Filmmaker on the Edge Award at this year’s 16th annual festival on Cape Cod.
The award will be presented by Piff’s resident artist John Waters at a special ceremony during the festival’s run June 17-23 in Provincetown, Mass.
From the Press Release
“We are thrilled to be honoring David Cronenberg – a compelling and transformative filmmaker who perfectly represents filmmaking on the edge,” said Mitch Levine, the newly-appointed Executive Director of the Provincetown International Film Festival and CEO of the Provincetown Film Society. “We look forward to both celebrating and learning from this great cinema artist at our festival.”
- Uncle Creepy
Comic books have become a valuable source material for Hollywood to mine over the last decade. We’ve seen adaptations of our favorite superhero characters, storylines, and also movie version of obscure titles like A History Of Violence and Road To Perdition. Not all of these comic properties are adapted well to the big screen, with a good percentage failing to please fans and movie-goers. Some adaptations strike it big and manage to properly convey the key elements of the source on the big screen, but have that one controversial moment that just grinds our gears.
Sometimes controversial moments can happen before the film is even released, as we’ve seen with the fan reaction to recent casting announcements from Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot, not to mention the backlash received when Ben Affleck was announced as Batman in the Man of Steel sequel. While these moments have »
- Scott Fraser
You know the old saying, right? It's all fun and games until someone masturbates with a cross, experiences her head making full 360-degree revolutions, and spits up all over a priest! In cases like that you just need to find a set of some good Miracle Workers.
Bloody Disgusting is reporting that Fox has set Shawn Harwell (writer, “Eastbound & Down”) and Jeff Baena (director, Life After Beth) to pen the supernatural comedy, which is described as a buddy comedy in which an actor pretends to be an exorcist. The two jokers think it’s all fun and games until they come face-to-face with a real menace.
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- Uncle Creepy
Comic book movies are often seen as the domain of spandex-clad demigods who battle moustache-twirling villains, but if 300 and Sin City - which both originated on the pages of Frank Miller works - are anything to go by they're not essential to telling a great story.
With sequels to 300 and Sin City incoming, we take a look at 8 great examples of comic book-inspired films with no superheroes in sight.
Sin City (2005)
Co-directed by comic creator Miller and digital filmmaking pioneer Robert Rodriguez, this adaptation stayed faithful to the source material, with the filmmakers shooting actors on green screen and rendering the locations - almost exactly how they appeared on the page - in post-production.
Ghost World (2001)
Long before he was jousting with Shia Labeouf, comics »
Zombeavers. It’s all in the title. And given that such a title excites us here at Dread Central (but not in a necrophilia-bestiality kind of way, we promise), we figured it was high time to sit down with director Jordan Rubin to get the skinny on his upcoming horror-comedy feature.
Starring Cortney Palm (Sushi Girl), Hutch Dano (Zeke and Luther), Peter Gilroy, Rachel Melvin (Dumb and Dumber To), Jake Weary, Lexi Atkins, and Bill Burr, Zombeavers was written by Jon Kaplan, Al Kaplan, and director Rubin.
It revolves around three college girls who go on a carefree vacation of drinking games, topless sunbathing, and sexual exploration, only to find that their frolicking fun comes to an abrupt end when toxic zombie beavers try to eat them.
- Sean Decker
Trevor Hogg chats with Ales Kot about comics and the creation of Edward Zero...
“What is an artist?” asks Ales Kot. “If anything done sufficiently well is art, then I certainly come from a family of artists. My mother was a social worker and became an interior designer; her mother worked at the post office most of her life and her father worked as a steel worker, an army specialist, and a truck driver. My father worked as a miner, then sold steel and then built up a soccer club; his father worked on a high position in a steel factory and taught physics and mathematics while his mother worked in a store selling food most of her life. Thankfully, I was always encouraged to read and write and think on my own, at least by certain members of the family.” Kot believes, “Any merger of visuals and text is comics. »
Check out this video from the "In Conversation" series from Tiff Bell Lightbox, where Canuck auteur David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen discuss their working relationship, which has now spanned three films together ("A History of Violence," "Eastern Promises" and "A Dangerous Method"). In the video, the two talk about the perceived "control" in Cronenberg's films. Cronenberg rebuffs this notion, saying he's an "anti-storyboard" person; Mortensen agrees, saying the reason he enjoys working with Cronenberg is that before a film the director "plans everything, he tries to think of it from every angle, so that when [he] gets to the set [he] can throw it all away and see what happens." Cronenberg's next project is actually a non-Mortensen one: "Map to the Stars," starring Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, Carrie Fisher and John Cusack. It could very well land at Cannes. »
- Beth Hanna
We’ve been checking out the first trailer for The Two Faces Of January and it’s got a wonderfully disturbing feel to proceedings for the film starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Inside Llewyn Davis’ Oscar Isaac. It gives me the impression that there’s a ‘hidden secret‘ in the vein of A History Of Violence and undoubtedly a vibe of The Talented Mr Ripley, which is relevant because the latter is a novel written by the same woman - Patricia Highsmith.
The film is set in 1962, where a glamorous American couple, Chester MacFarland (Mortensen) and his wife Colette (Dunst), are in Athens during a European vacation. While exploring the Acropolis they encounter Rydal (Isaac), a young, Greek-speaking American who is working as a tour guide. He’s, obviously, drawn to Colette’s beauty and impressed by Chester’s wealth and sophistication, and so Rydal gladly accepts their invitation to dinner. »
- Dan Bullock
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 6 Feb 2014 - 06:08
Our series of lists devoted to underappreciated films brings us to the year 2007, and another 25 overlooked gems...
For some reason, the number three was a common factor in several blockbuster movies of 2007. The third film in the Pirates Of The Caribbean series (At World's End) dominated the box office, Spider-Man 3 marked Sam Raimi's last entry as director in the series, while Mike Myers went for a hat trick of hits with Shrek The Third.
I Am Legend was the third and most financially successful attempt to bring Richard Matheson's classic novel to the big screen, Rush Hour 3 marked Jackie Chan's last action pairing with Chris Tucker, while Zack Snyder's musky sword-swinger 300 was notable for having the number three in the title.
Iffy attempts at numerology aside, 2007 was also a superb for year for movies in general - particularly underappreciated ones, »
In case there was any doubt Scandinavian filmmakers are proving they can deliver more than crime thrillers like “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
With Spanish cinema still caught up in the economic recession storm, Scandinavia is emerging as a fresh European hotspot for director-driven genre films. Anchored by a new generation of helmers coming from short films or commercials they dare to make genres clash.
“A few years ago everyone was talking about Nordic Noir, thanks to movies like ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ or drama series like ‘Borgen.’ Now we’re seeing the ‘Nordic Twilight’ movement rising with supernatural/fantasy stories, horror thrillers that are not made in a Hollywood way,” says Rasmus Horskjær, film commissioner at the Danish Film Institute, pointing out the trend has been inspired by Tomas Alfredson’s 2008’s vampire romance “Let the Right One In.”
Adds Horskjær, “Our genre films are slower, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter has gone missing with her young friend and as the minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The best lead is a dilapidated Rv that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces his release.
As the police pursue multiple leads and pressure mounts, knowing his child’s life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?
Led by Jackman and Gyllenhaal, the »
- Dan Bullock
History hasn't always looked kindly on the Academy Awards, with classics often missing out and groundbreaking moments few and far between. We delve into the Oscars' chequered past – and assess this year's contenders
• Get in shape for the Oscars with Mark Kermode's month-long feast of film here
As we approach the 86th Academy Awards, it's worth remembering those two sobering facts, which perfectly encapsulate the inherent foolishness of gong ceremonies in general, and the Oscars in particular. Ask any film fan how seriously you should take the Academy Awards, and chances are they will point you toward the best director category, where the roll call of winners signally omits Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick, Jane Campion, »
- Mark Kermode
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