Paradise Now (2005) - News Poster

(2005)

News

Dubai Intl. Film Festival Build Bridges to Awards Organizations

The Dubai Intl. Film Festival from its outset has always focused on doing “anything we can to help promote Arab cinema all over the world,” says the fest’s managing director Shivani Pandya. That means outreach during awards season.

This year, Diff upped its Oscar game after forming a selection committee approved by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, making the UAE eligible to submit a film for the foreign-language Oscar.

In the end the country did not do so because pickings among locally released Emirati features were too slim.

Pandya and Dubai’s top brass began establishing a rapport with the Academy in 2013 and have strengthened ties since then, hosting former AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs at the fest last year. For the upcoming edition the fest has booked Isaacs’ successor, John Bailey, to make the trek and hold several panels.

Last year Diff began building bridges with the Golden Globes, presenting two Arabic
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Blade Runner’ Box Office Deja Vu as ‘2049’ Starring Ryan Gosling Falls Short

  • Indiewire
‘Blade Runner’ Box Office Deja Vu as ‘2049’ Starring Ryan Gosling Falls Short
Thirty-five years after the Ridley Scott sci-fi original (which was not an initial box office success but grew into a cult favorite), the long-aborning sequel “Blade Runner: 2049” had much to recommend it: rave reviews, Denis Villeneuve directing his follow-up to sci-fi Oscar-winner “Arrival”; Ryan Gosling’s first wide release since “La La Land”; a committed multi-generational smart sci-fi fan base.

So why did the movie fall short of expectations? It was expected to score at least $40 million domestically against a $155-185-million budget: $31 million marks a serious under-performer and suggests that to the extent that Villeneuve channeled the original, he may have delivered an artistic achievement that is not mainstream.

With most of the world outside Asia already playing the film, the initial foreign $81 million take will not yield $300-million worldwide — which is close to what the movie cost to make and market (shared by Alcon Entertainment and financier
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Mountain Between Us’ Review: Idris Elba and Kate Winslet Plane Crash Drama Falls Short

  • The Wrap
‘Mountain Between Us’ Review: Idris Elba and Kate Winslet Plane Crash Drama Falls Short
With “Paradise Now” and “Omar,” a pair of standout dramas nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad proved himself adept at finding the human stories in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. In “The Mountain Between Us,” Abu-Assad’s first large-scale English language film, he plays romance against an epic story of survival. But, in this case, the approach shortchanges the character’s quest for life by reducing it to the prelude to a game of “will they or won’t they stay together?” That’s a shame, because Abu-Assad is a director who could bring
See full article at The Wrap »

'The Mountain Between Us' Review: Survivalist Romance Is Less Disaster Movie, More Disaster

'The Mountain Between Us' Review: Survivalist Romance Is Less Disaster Movie, More Disaster
There are films that rely on the screen presence of charismatic leads – and then there's the sort of cinematic slush piles of chick-flick torture porn that no amount of star power can keep from becoming an endurance test. You get one guess which category the high-altitude soap opera The Mountain Between Us falls into. Why Kate Winslet, Idris Elba and skilled Dutch-Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now, Omar) found themselves attracted to the tearjerking twaddle of Charles Martin's bestseller is anyone's guess. But none of them have not found a
See full article at Rolling Stone »

The Mountain Between Us review – Kate Winslet and Idris Elba in tall but tame story

There’s plenty of frowning and emoting as a photojournalist and a surgeon fly into trouble in this slightly dull high-altitude drama

There’s a sparky and entertaining opening act to this romance-disaster movie, adapted by Chris Weitz and J Mills Goodloe from the novel by Charles Martin, and directed by Hany Abu-Assad, who gave us the challenging Palestinian movie Paradise Now in 2005. But after the main event, it becomes anticlimactic, even slightly dull, and in the final 10 minutes it fudges an emotional problem.

Kate Winslet plays Alex, a camera-wielding photojournalist whose work has appeared in the Guardian; she is rushing home to get married, but is stuck in an airport where storm warnings have cancelled all flights. So is surgeon Dr Ben Bass (Idris Elba), who needs to go to this same destination to perform an urgent operation. Resourceful, gutsy Alex approaches Ben with an idea: they can together charter a small plane,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘The Mountain Between Us’: How ‘Game of Thrones’ Composer Ramin Djawadi Elevated the Perilous Survival Drama

‘The Mountain Between Us’: How ‘Game of Thrones’ Composer Ramin Djawadi Elevated the Perilous Survival Drama
With “The Mountain Between Us,” Hany Abu-Assad, the Oscar-nominated director of “Paradise Now” and “Omar,” found a reason to collaborate with a composer for the first time. He wanted to elevate the survival drama in which journalist Kate Winslet and doctor Idris Elba find themselves trapped 11,000 feet on a snow-covered mountain. And, with Ramin Djawadi (“Game of Thrones” and “Westworld”), Abu-Assad found the right composer to capture the beautiful but deadly musical tone he was after (see the featurette below).

“I always thought [music] was helping a movie and didn’t think it was necessary, so working with Ramin elevated it and gave it an extra dimension that I didn’t see before,” said Abu-Assad after a recent scoring session at Fox. “With this movie, I wanted to merge the theme of survival with the theme of love,” he added. “Usually, these themes are separated in a love story or a survival story.
See full article at Indiewire »

Mountain Between Us Review: A Savage Romance Survival Story

  • MovieWeb
Mountain Between Us Review: A Savage Romance Survival Story
The Mountain Between Us is the film adaptation of the novel by Charles Martin. It is a tale of survival and romance under brutal winter conditions. The overall narrative of the story is fairly simple. What keeps this movie from becoming a saccharine melodrama is raw star power and brilliant cinematography. Idris Elba and Kate Winslet elevate the material with their gripping performances. They sell the characters and situation fully, establishing a deep relationship that will enthrall audiences.

The story begins with two stranded passengers at the Salt Lake City airport in Utah. Idris Elba plays Ben Bass, a neurosurgeon racing to Baltimore for an emergency operation. Kate Winslet co-stars as Alex Martin, a famous photojournalist en route to her wedding in New York City. A winter storm has cancelled all outgoing flights. The pair, who overhear each other's problems getting stuck; decide to charter a private plane to Denver.
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘The Mountain Between Us’ Review: Idris Elba and Kate Winslet Generate Enough Heat to Thaw a Frigid Romance-Disaster

  • Indiewire
‘The Mountain Between Us’ Review: Idris Elba and Kate Winslet Generate Enough Heat to Thaw a Frigid Romance-Disaster
The Mountain Between Us” is one of those movies that’s impossible to watch without imagining the elevator pitch that got the project off the ground (yes, it was adapted from a Charles Martin novel of the same name, but someone still had to sell Hollywood on the idea). “It’s ‘The Grey’ meets ‘The English Patient’!” “It’s ‘Alive’ meets ‘Before Sunrise’!” “It’s ‘Cast Away,’ but if Tom Hanks was a little horny for Wilson!” Amusingly billed as a “romance-disaster” on the film’s Wikipedia page, Hany Abu-Assad’s dreary but diverting high-altitude epic is a “will they or won’t they?” flirtation superimposed onto a classic story of survival. It’s fantastically unrealistic stuff from the first minute to the last (and there are far too many minutes between them), but Idris Elba and Kate Winslet generate enough heat to keep the frostbite at bay, and Mandy Walker
See full article at Indiewire »

Egyptian Director Amr Salama on ‘Iraqi Sniper,’ His Riposte to ‘American Sniper’

Egyptian Director Amr Salama on ‘Iraqi Sniper,’ His Riposte to ‘American Sniper’
Egyptian director Amr Salama has a bent for tackling hot-button issues that spring forth from his personal experiences. His most recent drama, “Sheikh Jackson,” is about a conservative Muslim cleric tormented by a burning passion for Michael Jackson. Now Salama is developing “Iraqi Sniper,” a riposte to “American Sniper” that’s intended to lend perspective to Mustafa, the Iraqi insurgent in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning movie. Salama spoke to Variety during the inaugural edition of the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt, where “Sheikh Jackson” was the opener following a Toronto bow.

Simply put, it sounds like with “Iraqi Sniper” you want to tell another side of the “American Sniper” story. Is that right?

I really hope from the bottom of my heart that this will be my next movie, but it’s actually one of several projects I have in the pipeline. And I want to make it very clear that it’s not an anti-
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The Mountain Between Us’: How Cinematographer Mandy Walker Shot at 11,000 Feet

‘The Mountain Between Us’: How Cinematographer Mandy Walker Shot at 11,000 Feet
When cinematographer Mandy Walker met with the director for Fox 2000’s “The Mountain Between Us,” Hany Abu-Assad’s directives were simple. “It has to be beautiful, but dangerous,” said the Oscar-nominated director of “Paradise Now” and “Omar.” “You must feel the danger they are up against.”

Specifically, Abu-Assad planned to direct stars Kate Winslet and Idris Elba on top of the 11,000-foot Purcell Mountains in British Columbia. “It really was minus 38 degrees, working in the snow,” said Walker. “I had not done that before, above the tree line.”

Like any veteran cinematographer, Walker is familiar with trying circumstances. For Baz Luhrmann’s epic “Australia,” she supervised three units with action and horses. She shot John Curran’s stunning outback adventure “Tracks” in heat of 122 degrees.

However, the Purcell mountain range meant a very different set of challenges. She brought her crew two to three times into each of five high-altitude locations for scouting,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘The Mountain Between Us’: How Cinematographer Mandy Walker Shot at 11,000 Feet

  • Indiewire
‘The Mountain Between Us’: How Cinematographer Mandy Walker Shot at 11,000 Feet
When cinematographer Mandy Walker met with the director for Fox 2000’s “The Mountain Between Us,” Hany Abu-Assad’s directives were simple. “It has to be beautiful, but dangerous,” said the Oscar-nominated director of “Paradise Now” and “Omar.” “You must feel the danger they are up against.”

Specifically, Abu-Assad planned to direct stars Kate Winslet and Idris Elba on top of the 11,000-foot Purcell Mountains in British Columbia. “It really was minus 38 degrees, working in the snow,” said Walker. “I had not done that before, above the tree line.”

Like any veteran cinematographer, Walker is familiar with trying circumstances. For Baz Luhrmann’s epic “Australia,” she supervised three units with action and horses. She shot John Curran’s stunning outback adventure “Tracks” in heat of 122 degrees.

However, the Purcell mountain range meant a very different set of challenges. She brought her crew two to three times into each of five high-altitude locations for scouting,
See full article at Indiewire »

Tiff Review: ‘The Mountain Between Us’ is a Serviceable Survival Story

Kate Winslet and Idris Elba are two formidable actors that exude immaculate on-screen presence. So having both co-star in a film that basically pits them alone for most of the runtime can lead one to assume we’d be in for something special. The Mountain Between Us, adapted from the book by Charles Martin, is not that special movie. The Hollywood debut of Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad, who made Paradise Now and Omar, turns out to be surprisingly pedantic. Whereas the two aforementioned movies dealt with hefty, substance-driven subject matters, The Mountain Between Us is nothing more than a survival love story set in the far-reaching rocky mountains.

Winslet plays photojournalist Alex and Elba is neurologist Ben. They meet at Salt Lake City airport after their flight is cancelled. Much to their fortune — or lack thereof, it turns out — they meet a pilot (Beau Bridges) that flies them in his private chartered plane.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Kate Winslet Says Idris Elba’s Survival Skills Are ‘Rubbish’ After ‘The Mountain Between Us’

  • ET Canada
Kate Winslet and Idris Elba play two plane crash survivors in “The Mountain Between Us”, directed by Hany Abu-Assad (“Paradise Now”, “Omar”). While overcoming cold, famine, and figuring out how to build a fire, the pair spark a romance that adds some warmth to the otherwise frigid terrain. “We really were freezing cold and we […]
See full article at ET Canada »

Toronto Film Review: ‘The Mountain Between Us’

Toronto Film Review: ‘The Mountain Between Us’
An odd choice of American studio project from Israeli director — and two-time Oscar foreign-language nominee — Hany Abu-Assad (“Paradise Now,” “Omar”), “The Mountain Between Us” begins with a spectacular disaster, as a private plane crash-lands atop a snow-covered ridge in what’s known as the High Uintas Wilderness in northern Utah. It’s all downhill from there, literally, as Kate Winslet, Idris Elba and the dead pilot’s dog attempt to make their way back to civilization.

Between its beautiful stars and panoramic vistas, this gorgeous-looking Fox production offers plenty of scenery to ogle, but not much else for the brain to do while Winslet and Elba alternately bicker and bond in what amounts to a fairly routine wilderness trek — minus wolves, avalanches, frostbite or any of the challenges that typically make such things interesting. Instead, true to the eminently skimmable novel on which it’s based (Charles Martin writes like a child. In
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Mountain Between Us’ Toronto Review: Idris Elba and Kate Winslet Plane Crash Drama Falls Short

  • The Wrap
‘Mountain Between Us’ Toronto Review: Idris Elba and Kate Winslet Plane Crash Drama Falls Short
With “Paradise Now” and “Omar,” a pair of standout dramas nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad proved himself adept at finding the human stories in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. In “The Mountain Between Us,” Abu-Assad’s first large-scale English language film, he plays romance against an epic story of survival. But, in this case, the approach shortchanges the character’s quest for life by reducing it to the prelude to a game of “will they or won’t they stay together?” That’s a shame, because Abu-Assad is a director who could bring a fresh perspective to Hollywood.
See full article at The Wrap »

Georgia Selects ‘Scary Mother’ for Foreign-Language Oscar Race

Georgia Selects ‘Scary Mother’ for Foreign-Language Oscar Race
Ana Urushadze’s acclaimed drama “Scary Mother” has capped a busy month by being named Georgia’s selection for best foreign-language film at the Academy Awards. The film world-premiered Aug. 3 at the 70th Locarno Film Festival, where it won the best first feature and Youth Jury awards.

It then went on to win best film at the 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival on Aug. 17. The Georgian-language production, a co-production between Georgia and Estonia, was written and directed by Urushadze.

Scary Mother” (pictured) stars Nata Murvanidze as a 50-year-old housewife struggling to choose between her family life and a passion for writing which she has suppressed for years. Deciding to follow her passion, she plunges into writing, sacrificing herself mentally and physically. The film is produced by Lasha Khalvashi, Tinatin Kajrislvili and Ivo Felt. London- and Tbilisi-based Alief LLC is handling international sales.

The film was chosen for Oscar submission by the Georgian National Film Center. Georgia
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Gaya Jiji's 'Belle de Jour'-inspired 'My Favourite Fabric' begins shoot

Gaya Jiji's 'Belle de Jour'-inspired 'My Favourite Fabric' begins shoot
Manal Issa stars as woman who embarks on journey of self-discovery in brothel in revolutionary Damascus.

Syrian filmmaker Gaya Jiji’s long-gestated drama My Favourite Fabric, about a young woman’s voyage of self-discovery in a Damascus brothel on the eve of Syria’s civil war, has started shooting in Istanbul.

Set against the Syrian capital in the spring of 2011, the feature revolves around 25-year-old Nahla, a young woman who feels stifled by her humdrum life.

An arranged marriage to Us-based Syrian expat Samir offers a ticket to a new existence but he unexpectedly he selects her younger sister, the more docile Myriam, to be his bride.

Following Samir’s rejection, Nahla strikes-up a friendship with a new neighbour, Madame Jiji. This mysterious figure, she discovers, runs a brothel. Fascinated by this environment, Nahla embarks on a journey of self-discovery.

Belle De Jour was a source of an inspiration,” says Jiji referring to Luis Bunuel’s 1967 classic
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Gaya Jiji's 'Belle du Jour'-inspired 'My Favourite Fabric' begins shoot

Gaya Jiji's 'Belle du Jour'-inspired 'My Favourite Fabric' begins shoot
Manal Issa stars as woman who embarks on journey of self-discovery in brothel in revolutionary Damascus.

Syrian filmmaker Gaya Jiji’s long-gestated drama My Favourite Fabric, about a young woman’s voyage of self-discovery in a Damascus brothel on the eve of Syria’s civil war, has started shooting in Istanbul.

Set against the Syrian capital in the spring of 2011, the feature revolves around 25-year-old Nahla, a young woman who feels stifled by her humdrum life.

An arranged marriage to Us-based Syrian expat Samir offers a ticket to a new existence but he unexpectedly he selects her younger sister, the more docile Myriam, to be his bride.

Following Samir’s rejection, Nahla strikes-up a friendship with a new neighbour, Madame Jiji. This mysterious figure, she discovers, runs a brothel. Fascinated by this environment, Nahla embarks on a journey of self-discovery.

”Belle Du Jour was a source of an inspiration,” says Jiji referring to Luis Bunuel’s 1967 classic
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Mountain Between Us Trailer Takes Kate Winslet and Idris Elba on a Hellish Ride

Mountain Between Us Trailer Takes Kate Winslet and Idris Elba on a Hellish Ride
20th Century Fox has released the first trailer and photos for The Mountain Between Us, directed by Academy Award nominee Hany Abu-Assad and starring Academy Award winner Kate Winslet and Golden Globe winner Idris Elba. The trailer and these new images highlight the harrowing journey two strangers go on, which begins after they find themselves stranded at an Idaho airport. While they have very little in common, these two will soon learn to depend on each other to survive.

Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible. This trailer, which debuted on 20th Century Fox YouTube, shows that these strangers Ben (Idris Elba) the
See full article at MovieWeb »

Kate Winslet and Idris Elba Get Stranded in First Trailer for ‘The Mountain Between Us’

After a number of prior iterations with Michael Fassbender, Charlie Hunnam, Margot Robbie, Rosamund Pike, and more attached, along with director Gerardo Naranjo, The Mountain Between Us finally went into production late last year with Hany Abu-Assad (Omar, Paradise Now) helming and Kate Winslet and Idris Elba taking the lead. Ahead of a fall release, the first trailer has now arrived for the drama following two strangers who survive a plane crash, then must survive the wilderness.

“I think optimism and hope is crucial to survive,” the director tells USA Today. “And to go on with your life even if you’ve had a lot of bad luck. So if you give (in) to the bad luck, you will die. (But) if you fight the bad luck, you have a better chance to survive and make your life better. This is very simple wisdom, yes? But still very crucial especially in these kind of days,
See full article at The Film Stage »
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