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‘Liberation Day’ Review: A Slovenian Rock Band Visits Pyongyang in this Utterly Bizarre Look at Life in North Korea

Only one foreign rock band has ever performed in North Korea. Any guesses? Here’s a hint: Instead of thinking about the musicians who Kim Jong-un would invite to his tetchy hermit kingdom, try thinking about the musicians who might actually take him up on the offer. U2? No. Kid Rock? It’s a toss-up. The Slovenian art band Laibach, who emerged from the ashes of communist Yugoslavia and like to parody fascist regimes by adopting all of their favorite party tricks (sometimes with such a straight face that they’re accused of being Nazis themselves)? Absolutely.

And so, in August 2015, the current members of the Laibach collective flew to Pyongyang International Airport and prepared to play a concert in honor of the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese rule. Arranged by director Morten Traavik, a Fincher-like force of nature who’d orchestrated a number of trips to Pyongyang in the past,
See full article at Indiewire »

New to Streaming: ‘Jackie,’ ‘Fences,’ ‘I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg)

Forget the Cloverfield connection. The actors who were in this film didn’t even know what the title was until moments before the first trailer dropped. Producer J.J. Abrams used that branding as part of the wrapping for its promotional mystery box, but the movie stands perfectly alone from 2008’s found-footage monster picture. Hell, 10 Cloverfield Lane perhaps doesn’t even take place within the same
See full article at The Film Stage »

St Petersburg Forum examines Russian co-pros

  • ScreenDaily
St Petersburg Forum examines Russian co-pros
A roundup of news from the inaugural St Petersburg International Media Forum includes a busy French delegation and a local controversy brewing over Leviathan.

The King Of Madagascar, a kind of Russian answer to the pirate adventure films à la Pirates of the Caribbean, is being set up as a $ 16m international co-production by producer-director Oleg Ryaskov’s Moscow-based Bft Movie.

Speaking at the opening of St Petersburg International Media Forum’s (Spimf) co-production market this morning, producer Ryaskov revealed that the project - which is based on real historical events abouta Russian expedition by Peter The Great to the island of Madagascar in danger of being thwarted by Great Britain’s King George - has Spain’s Smartline Spain and the Us casting company Scott Carlson Entertainment on board as partners and is currently in talks with French and German production companies to join.

Ryaskov added that he intends to have American, European and Russian
See full article at ScreenDaily »

St Petersburg Forum examines state of Russian co-productions

  • ScreenDaily
St Petersburg Forum examines state of Russian co-productions
A roundup of news from the inaugural St Petersburg International Media Forum includes a busy French delegation and a local controversy brewing over Leviathan.

The King Of Madagascar, a kind of Russian answer to the pirate adventure films à la Pirates of the Caribbean, is being set up as a $ 16m international co-production by producer-director Oleg Ryaskov’s Moscow-based Bft Movie.

Speaking at the opening of St Petersburg International Media Forum’s (Spimf) co-production market this morning, producer Ryaskov revealed that the project - which is based on real historical events abouta Russian expedition by Peter The Great to the island of Madagascar in danger of being thwarted by Great Britain’s King George - has Spain’s Smartline Spain and the Us casting company Scott Carlson Entertainment on board as partners and is currently in talks with French and German production companies to join.

Ryaskov added that he intends to have American, European and Russian
See full article at ScreenDaily »

St. Petersburg Intl. Media Forum Launches

London — The St. Petersburg Intl. Media Forum launched Wednesday with a lineup of screenings spread across 10 programs, each curated by a leading Russian film critic.

Catherine Mtsitouridze, Spimf’s concept creator and general producer, said that the curators of programs had enjoyed complete freedom during the selection process.

“For the film selection for the Media Forum, it was essential to ensure 100% freedom of expression for the curators, our friends and like-minded fellows. Trust is the key success factor in our work,” she said.

The event opens with Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy” and closes with the world premiere of Susanne Bier’s “Serena,” which stars Jennifer Lawrence.

The Mamentum section features four films by French directors that appeared at Cannes: Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria,” Francois Ozon’s “The New Girlfriend,” Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint Laurent” and Benoit Jacquot’s “Three Hearts.”

The section’s curator, Alexander Mamontov, commented: “Our
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Comrade Kim Goes Flying: it's North Korea as you've never seen it before

The Stalinist state is the unlikely source of an internationally successful rom-com

It is a "light, refreshing, fun rom-com" about "girl power", according to its British co-director, a tale of a working-class lass drawn to the stage amid the bright lights of the metropolis. Comrade Kim Goes Flying – in which a beautiful coalminer inveigles her way into becoming a circus trapeze artist – may have as familiar a story arc as Billy Elliot, but this 81-minute film was shot in North Korea, a land known for being a starving Stalinist state on the edge of the world, not for producing fluffy chick flicks.

Comrade Kim – which stars Han Jong-sim, a well-known trapeze artist who learned to act for the film – appears to have gone down a storm in North Korea itself. Han is now a celebrity who is stopped in the street for her autograph. Pyongyang's state circus is inundated with
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Kristen Stewart & Selena Gomez Prove You Can Be Sexy & Tasteful

K-Stew and Selena — on May 2, you both made FHM’s list of the sexiest women in the world. Congratulations, you both totally deserve it! But what’s really so great about the accolade is that both of you show young women they can be both classy and ridiculously sexy.

Kristen Stewart and Selena Gomez — first of all, congratulations on cracking FHM magazine’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World list! The public is finally beginning to notice what we’ve known for a long time, that you two are totally sexy And beautiful young women.

But what’s more remarkable is how you’ve shown the world your sexiness — simply by staying true to yourselves. Making FHM’s annual list proves to women everywhere that anyone can be sexy, and that sexiness is more about empowerment, confidence and style than it is the sense of promiscuity.

Kristen Stewart: Comfort & Confidence Is Sexy

Kristen,
See full article at HollywoodLife »

Interview with Alicia Hardesty of "Project Runway"

Tags: IMDbProject RunwayAlicia HardestyZulema GriffinLifetimeWhitney Mixter

Project Runway, now in its tenth season with no signs of going out of style anytime soon, has had so many gay men on it, they could fill a Pride float draped in Italian wool, cut on the bias. Lesbian designers, not so much.

Photo credit:: Lifetime Television

This year, the show features out lesbian designer, Alicia Hardesty. The last (known) lesbian contestant was Zulema Griffin in Season 2, and she was famously made to appear straight in the edit room. Whether or not Alicia will get the same treatment, eight years later, remains to be seen, but considering Alicia cites Huckleberry Finn as a style inspiration, I'd love to see Project Runway try and de-gay that.

We talked to Alicia recently about her experiences on the show, her plans to launch her own collection called Original Tomboy, and how much she loves being mistaken for Whitney Mixter.
See full article at AfterEllen.com »

Finding Roses In The Rubble: The 2011 Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts

  • Pajiba
I never understood the concept of a documentary short. How can they not feel like truncated version of full features? But I guess that's just the nature of the documentary short. None of these films felt like cheats or unfinished works. I wouldn't have minded if they found ways to flesh out the final works, but they were still solid pieces of filmmaking.

Like the rest of this year's documentaries, there's the overarching themes of the doomed nature of how the world or the government is planning on killing us. It's a steady batch of global disasters: the Iraq war, terrorism, global warming, pollution, and the displacement of families due to civil war. Most of the films focus on a unique vision on these particular elements, and they continue the spectacular trend of documentary filmmaking. They really do feel like, if not immediate relations, at least the spiritual cousins of this year's feature documentary crop.
See full article at Pajiba »

Smalls Street Sounds Online Short Film Competition

Below is a press release about an online short film competition: The competition is all about online collaboration where filmmakers, musicians and all artists are invited to make original short films inspired by using sounds they discover inside the The Smalls Street Sounds interactive Sound Map. Sounds are being uploaded to the groundbreaking new sound collaboration launched by The Smalls www.thesmalls.com and Scion www.scion.com by the general public daily. The Smalls Street Sounds filmmaking competition now takes this internet-enabled artistic collaboration one step further by celebrating the relationship between original sounds and visionary storytelling. Qualifying films must interpret one of the competition’s four themes – “The Street”, “A State of Mind”, “America”, or “The Unexpected” as well as use and credit three [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

'Crossing' docu will screen for subject in North Korea

'Crossing' docu will screen for subject in North Korea
Next week in Pyongyang, James Joseph Dresnok, a U.S. Army soldier who in 1962 fled into North Korea, will see and critique Crossing the Line, British director Daniel Gordon's documentary of his life in the world's newest nuclear state, the docu's executive producer said at the AFM.

"Dresnok's health is good. He will see the film next week and send a letter out to let the filmmakers and the world know his thoughts on the film," said producer Paul Yi, who sold the film this week for six figures to France's Pretty Pictures at the American Film Market.

Word of the Crossing screening for Dresnok came from British co-producer Nicholas Bonner, who spoke to Yi over the telephone when he emerged from his latest trip into the isolated stronghold of dictator Kim Jong-il. Kim last month oversaw communist North Korea's first nuclear test, putting the rest of the world on high alert.

Dresnok, a Virginia-born orphan who for years starred as an American villain in Pyongyang propaganda films, has long suffered from a heart condition due to heavy drinking and smoking in his chosen home, an isolated and poverty-stricken capital cut off from the rest of the world.

"When we finished shooting the film, Dresnok was in the hospital and we weren't sure if he was going to make it out. Now we know he's alive," Yi said. Dresnok will likely watch Crossing on DVD with the state film crew that helped Gordon make the film, Yi said,

As with producer-director Gordon's two previous North Korea documentary films, Crossing may also have a public screening in Pyongyang or air on the state's single television channel, Yi said.

"We're not quite sure what the authorities' reaction to 'Crossing' will be," Yi said.

Crossing, which premiered at the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea last month, will get a theatrical release in France, where Pretty also plans to distribute it in a box set with Gordon's previous North Korea documentaries The Game of Their Lives and A State of Mind. It was presold to Cinequanon in Japan and the Dongoong Arts Center in South Korea.

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