13 items from 2015
By Cate Marquis
Director Ken Loach delivers a nice, enjoyable little slice of Irish history in Jimmy’S Hall, a tale about one-time rural firebrand who returns to his native County Leitrim, Ireland, a decade after his leadership in the upheaval of the 1921 Irish Troubles forced him to flee. Jimmy Gralton (Barry Ward) only intends to care for his aging widowed mother Alice (Aileen Henry) and live a quiet life, yet the community almost immediately begins urging him to re-open the now-empty community center, Pearse-Connolly Hall. The elderly local priest, Father Sheridan (Jim Norton), is firming opposed to reopening the hall, fearing it will lead to a loss of Church control. He and the local authorities will do whatever is needed to prevent it.
This well-crafted, well-acted, fact-based film takes a light touch in dealing with the real historical events and social issues of the time. British socialist-realist director Ken Loach »
- Movie Geeks
Liam Neeson’s son Michael has been set to play the Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, reprising the role his father made famous in 1996’s “Michael Collins.” Colin Morgan is playing the lead role of Sean McDermott — who masterminded the Easter Rising — and David O’Hara is playing revolutionary leader James Connolly.
The historical drama-thriller will be produced and directed by Kevin McCann from a screenplay by McCann and co-writer Colin Broderick. The story will form a prequel to the events covered in Neil Jordan’s “Michael Collins” and Ken Loach’s 2006 Palme d’Or winner “The Wind That Shakes the Barley.”
- Dave McNary
Ken Loach’s new film starts off with archival footage of New York City in the 1920s — dense, concrete skylines, the streets awash with people, bread lines, homeless men sleeping in the streets, urban vitality giving way to urban despair. Then it slams right out of that opening credits sequence into a verdant expanse of road in rural Ireland. The immediate effect is one of relief, like someone just allowed us a deep breath of fresh air. An ironic way to kick off a story that’s all about running away and liberation and the looming presence of the past. Also, perhaps, an ironic way to start off a movie that’s more Footloose than The Wind That Shakes the Barley. But more on that in a bit.Jimmy’s Hall tells the story of Irish activist Jimmy Gralton (Barry Ward), who fled his wartorn country for America in the 1920s. »
- Bilge Ebiri
“I’m old, not obsolete,” mutters Arnold Schwarzenegger’s aging android in “Terminator Genisys,” and his words could be a wishful mantra for this nervy, silly, almost admirably misguided attempt to give the 31-year-old franchise a massive cybernetic facelift. More or less rewriting everything we thought we knew about the Connor genealogy, the properties of liquid metal, and the rules of post-1984 time travel, this f/x-encrusted reboot feels at once back-to-basics and confoundingly revisionist, teeming with alternate timelines and rejiggered character histories (the most perplexing of which finds Sarah Connor now continually referring to Schwarzenegger’s Terminator as “Pops”). Consider it the 3D blockbuster equivalent of disruptive technology, and while online fans have already voiced their displeasure, the movie’s willingness to veer crazily off-course feels less objectionable than the monotony and sense of self-parody that kick in long before the whimper of a finish. (Justin Chang »
- Variety Staff
Exclusive: BBC Films and BFI also set to board as core funders on theatrical documentary.
Louise Osmond, the UK director behind Sundance winner Dark Horse, is to direct Sixteen Films’ upcoming theatrical documentary exploring Ken Loach’s 50-year-old career through the battles fought around his films.
“Louise is a wonderful, observational filmmaker so she’s an ideal person to have come on board,” said Loach’s long-time producer Rebecca O’Brien at Sixteen Films.
Osmond replaces Loach’s son, Jim Loach, who was attached to the project when it was first announced last October.
“In the end, Jim decided not to do it and I can understand why - it’s too close to home,” said O’Brien.
In a smaller development, the title of »
Kevin McCann will direct The Rising and is targeting a 2016 release to mark the centenary of The Easter Rebellion, when the Irish Republican Brotherhood clashed with British occupying forces in Dublin.
The insurrection was suppressed after six days but revived secessionism and returned it to the forefront of Irish politics.
David O’Hara has joined the cast as Irish revolutionary leader James Connolly. The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan will write the theme song.
All Films, the Oscar-nominated company that produced Tangerines, are in talks to reunite with McCann after the parties collaborated on the 2015 short »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
The lead in BBC and Syfy’s Merlin and a cast regular on Humans has been cast in the Irish historical thriller that is scheduled to shoot in winter 2015/16.
Kevin McCann will direct The Rising and is targeting a 2016 release to mark the centenary of The Easter Rebellion, when Irish Republican Brotherhood members clashed with British occupying forces in Dublin.
The 1916 insurrection was suppressed after six days but revived secessionism and returned it to the forefront of Irish politics.
McCann co-wrote the screenplay with Colin Broderick, which will star Morgan as Irish freedom fighter Sean McDermott and predates events in the films Michael Collins and The Wind That Shakes The Barley.
David O’Hara has also joined the cast as Irish revolutionary leader James Connolly. The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan will write the theme song.
Allfilm, the company that produced this year’s Oscar-nominated foreign language entry Tangerines, is in talks to reunite with McCann after the parties »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
This week Neil Calloway looks at what winning the Palme d’Or can do to your box office…
So we are in the middle of the Cannes Film Festival, and it’s easy to dismiss it as a two-week publicity vehicle for beautiful actresses to get photographed next to middle-aged European film directors on the Croisette, or a time for oligarchs and their trophy wives to entertain fading Hollywood stars on their super yachts. However, the importance of the festival to the film industry cannot be understated.
Cannes is the biggest film industry event of the year; the Oscars comes close but that only lasts one night. It is, in fact, one of the biggest annual events of any kind. As William Goldman points out in Hype and Glory, his entertaining memoir of sitting on the juries for both Cannes and the Miss America Pageant, the World Cup and Olympics are bigger, »
- Neil Calloway
Some of Europe’s top directors have come together to issue a statement offering alternatives to the European Commission’s proposed Digital Single Market that could revolutionize — and decimate — the European film business. The likes of Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Mike Leigh (Mr Turner), Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes The Barley) and Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah) have all signed a declaration, released during the Rome Rendez-Vouz, claiming they “want to redefine how… »
The 14th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival taking place from April 15 to April 26 in New York City has announced the films selected for screening in the Spotlight screening section.
Co-sponsored by Brookfield Place and The Lincoln Motor Company, Spotlight is destination for today’s most talked about themes and filmmakers and will feature 40 films: 23 narratives and 17 documentaries with 24 of those films being world premieres. Debuting new work from master directors such as the Taviani Brothers (Caesar Must Die), Michael Winterbottom (The Trip To Italy), and Neil Labute (Death At A Funeral), audiences will also be introduced to new voices like first time director Henry Hobson’s Maggie and Pray The Devil Back To Hell producer Abigail Disney’s directorial debut The Armour Of Light.
- Sacha Hall
The story, which is based on David Park’s novel, starts as the peace treaty is signed in Northern Ireland. The U.K. prime minister sets up a body modeled on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is headed by career diplomat Henry Stanfield (Allam). Stanfield soon uncovers some inconvenient truths about those now running the country, which they are not willing to let him reveal.
The cast also includes Sean McGinley (“Michael Collins,” “Braveheart,” “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”), Tom Goodman Hill (“The Imitation Game,” “Mr Selfridge”), Conleth Hill (“Intermission,” “Salmon Fishing in Yemen,” “Game of Thrones”) and Ian McElhinney (“Game of Thrones”). Declan Recks directs.
- Leo Barraclough
Radiant Films International has completed multiple sales deals in territories worldwide for Madame Bovary starring Mia Wasikowska including all French-speaking rights to Jour2Fête and Italy to Paco Pictures. Additional sales include Benelux to A-Film, Scandinavia to Svensk Filmindustri and Portugal to Nos Lusomundo Audiovisuais, Latin America to Swen, Australia to Transmission Films, South Korea to Noori Pictures, Turkey to Aqua Pinema, Middle East to Gulf Film, Greece to Odeon and Iceland to Myndform. Radiant is handling all foreign sales on the project which they are actively selling at Efm.
The Solution Entertainment Group is handling international rights to Tokyo Vice, produced by John Lesher’s Le Grisbi Productions. The Solution’s Myles Nestel and Lisa Wilson will exec produce and present to buyers at the Efm. UTA is representing Us rights. Adam Kassan is also producing. »
- Ali Jaafar
Having made a name for himself on Channel 4’s epic teen drama Skins it was only a matter of time before the film world took notice of Jack O’Connell’. One of his earlier film roles was as the king of the killer chavs in Eden Lake. A film which had O’Connell and his friends stalk middle-class Michael Fassbender and his wife as they went on a relaxing camping trip. Since then O’Connell has graced our screens in a variety of genres with last year (2014 in case you’ve forgotten already) featuring many chances to see Jack on the big screen as he starred in 300: Rise Of An Empire, Starred Up, ’71 and Unbroken.
We recently interviewed Jack O’Connell about his Ee Rising Star BAFTA nomination and the young actor seemed to be taking it all in his stride, apparently happy to speak to a fellow Midlander. »
- Kat Smith
13 items from 2015
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