8 items from 2014
Exclusive: Film inspired by real-life stoning of young Mali couple draws buyers.
Paris-based Le Pacte has secured a slew of deals on Abderrahmane Sissako’s competition title Timbuktu capturing the reign of terror of Islamic fundamentalists in Northern Mali.
The company has sold the film to Benelux (Cineart), Switzerland (Trigon), Italy (Academy Two), Spain (Golem), Portugal (Midas), Greece (Weird Wave), Canada (Axia), Sweden (Folkets Bio), Norway (As Fidalgo), Brazil (Imovision) and ex-Yugoslavia (McF).
Le Pacte will distribute the film in France.
“Le Pacte is really proud to work with all these distributors who fell in love as we did with Timbuktu,” said sales company chief Camille Neel.
Set against the backdrop of a small town just outside of Timbuktu, the film is inspired the real-life stoning to death of a couple accused of having children out of marriage in 2012.
It is co-produced by Les Films du Worso and Orange Studio.
Sissako was last »
According to our Cannes Critics’ Panel, it may not top Topsy Turvy, but Mike Leigh’s 2 plus hour portrait starring Timothy Stall paints a strong portrait of a tortured artist with his fifth trip to the festival and our set of critics responded favorably. Prior to Mr.Turner, his previous entries include, Naked (award for Best Director in ’93), Secrets and Lies (Palme d’Or in ’96), 2002′s All or Nothing and 2010′s Another Year.
Having premiered yesterday and receiving its official red carpet screening today, Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu is arresting for its combination of humor and deep sorrow. The still very fresh true events, saw the Maurinania born filmmaker broke down during the press conference. While this was his first trip in the Main Comp, the filmmaker has also been to Cannes on four separate visits dating back to Octobre (Un Certain Regard – 1993), La Vie Sur Terre (1998), Heremakono (Un Certain »
- Eric Lavallee
In the hands of a master, indignation and tragedy can be rendered with clarity yet subtlety, setting hysteria aside for deeper, more richly shaded tones. Abderrahmane Sissako is just such a master, and while previous films have showcased his skill at bringing magnetic dignity to his characters, “Timbuktu” confirms his status as one of the true humanists of recent cinema. Set in the early days of the jihadist takeover of northern Mali in 2012, the film is a stunningly shot condemnation of intolerance and its annihilation of diversity, told in a way that clearly denounces without resorting to cardboard perpetrators. The film’s Cannes berth and critical acclaim will translate to strong Euro arthouse play with niche Stateside appeal.
Most news reports from the time focused on the destruction by foreign Islamic fundamentalists of Timbuktu’s cultural heritage sites — unconscionable acts that scar a people’s psyche. Sissako powerfully alludes to »
- Jay Weissberg
Cannes - It is the very nature of film festival scheduling to turn up odd juxtapositions, but even by the usual standards, the first two premieres of this year's Cannes Film Festival couldn't have been more gauchely incompatible. As if "Grace of Monaco's" fretting over the political liberties of a gilded tax-haven state weren't silly enough in isolation, its vapidity only intensifies when considered back-to-back with Abderrahmane Sissako's "Timbuktu" -- a breathing, bleeding response to a genuine human rights crisis that doesn't view tragedy as a zone exempt from beauty or humor. You'd probably have guessed that between the two films, "Timbuktu" would be the one containing more human suffering; less obvious was that it'd feature rather more joy too. Mauritanian-born, Mali-raised director Sissako is perhaps best known to arthouse audiences for "Bamako," an impassioned essay film of sorts that parsed Africa's social and economic imbalances with elegant complexity, »
- Guy Lodge
Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up, the Competition's only African entry: Abderrahmane Sissako's "Timbuktu." The director: Abderrahmane Sissako (Mauritanian/French, 52 years old). Another of this year's five newcomers, Sissako has established himself as one of Africa's premier auteurs, though he's been based in France since the early 1990s -- a background that complements his favored themes of globalization and outsider identity. Born in Mauritania, he moved with his family at an early age to Mali, where he completed his schooling, before studying film at Russia's Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow -- an institution that also boasts Aleksandr Sokurov and Andrei Tarkovsky among its alumni. »
- Guy Lodge
Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice.” Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups.” Tim Burton’s “Big Eyes.” Hou Hsiao Hsien’s “The Assassin.” Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys.” Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight.” Doug Liman’s “Edge of Tomorrow.” Stephen Frear’s untitled Lance Armstrong biopic. Thomas Vinterberg’s “Far From the Madding Crowd.” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Birdman.”
The list of films and filmmakers once rumored to be hot prospects for the Cannes Film Festival, only to be go unmentioned during this morning’s official selection announcement, is, as usual, a long and tantalizing one — so tantalizing, in fact, that some festgoers may find themselves surveying the actual lineup today with a mild sense of deflation, even disappointment. I’ll be the first to admit that those of us fortunate enough to attend film festivals on a regular basis can too often lapse into a posture of whiny, »
- Justin Chang
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
With only hours ago before the official selection for the Main Competition is announced, we’ve narrowed our final predictions to the following titles that we’re crystal-balling as the films that will be included on Thierry Fremaux’s highly anticipated list. Despite an obvious drought of Asian auteurs (we’re thinking the rumored frontrunner Takashi Miike won’t be included in tomorrow’s list) who’s to say there won’t be some definite surprises, like Jia Zhang-ke’s A Touch of Sin last year.
Several hopefuls appear not to be ready in time, including Malick, Hsou-hsien, Cristi Puiu, and Innarritu, to name a few. But there does appear to be a high quantity of exciting titles from some of cinema’s leading auteurs. We’re still a bit tentative about whether Xavier Dolan’s latest, Mommy, will get a main competition slot—instead, we’re predicting another surprise, »
- IONCINEMA.com Contributing Writers
8 items from 2014
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