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2014 | 2013 | 2011 | 2010 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

16 items from 2014


Foreign Language Oscar Shortlist: A Preview Of Possibilities, Part 3

18 December 2014 10:13 AM, PST | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Here’s the final entry in my annual assessment of movies that have a chance to pass the first stage of the Foreign Language Oscar race. We expect the shortlist to come out tomorrow and I’m expecting a number of the films I’ve profiled below, and here and here, will make the grade. I spoke with the directors of the films about their inspirations and expectations and I also checked in with the U.S. distributors about why they bought the movies. Below is a look at the final five titles that have generated serious buzz over the past several weeks of screenings, Q&As and consulate lunches (and there are also a handful of special mentions). The films are in no particular order:

Wild Tales (Argentina), U.S. Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

A runaway success at home in Argentina, Wild Tales is director Damián Szifrón’s third feature. »

- Nancy Tartaglione

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Sissako’s Foreign-Language Oscar Hopeful ‘Timbuktu’ Enthralls French Auds

11 December 2014 9:40 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Marrakech — Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu,” Mauritania’s first ever foreign-language Oscar candidate, is a smash at the French box office, grossing over 109,000 Euros ($135,000) on opening day.

The movie, which world premiered in competition at Cannes and earned unanimously upbeat reviews, was released by Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte on Wednesday across 150 French screens and sold 17,394 admissions in a single day.

It’s not only the best B.O. performance ever achieved by a Sissako movie, it’s also one of the highest-grossing openings for a world-cinema title in recent years, pointed out Camille Neel, head of international sales at Le Pacte.

Sissako’s follow-up to “Bamako,” “Timbuktu” has so far outperformed recent arthouse hits such as Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning “A Separation” and “The Past,” Ari Folman’s foreign-language Oscar contender “Waltz With Bashir,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s Golden-Globe nominated “Ida” and  Haifaa Al-Mansour’s BAFTA-nommed “Wajda.”

Produced by Sylvie Pialat’s Les Films du Worso, »

- Elsa Keslassy

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Watch In-Depth 30-Minute Conversation with Abderrahmane Sissako on His Lauded Drama 'Timbuktu'

18 November 2014 8:25 AM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Abderrahmane Sissako has a knack for taking weighty issues and saturating them with the every-day lives of a city’s ordinary people and, in the process, making the stories play out like vibrant, visually luscious soap operas. In his first feature film, "Bamako," Sissako looked at European/Western colonialism, capitalist neo-imperialism and their effects on Africa. The West, as represented by the Imf and World Bank, goes on trial in the courtyard of a humble compound in Mali’s capital city. In "Timbuktu," Sissako moves the action about 620 miles north-east, to the ancient city of learning and trade, to look at another form of cultural and ideological invasion, this time »

- Wendy Okoi-Obuli

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AFI Fest Review: Religion Unites With Hypocrisy in Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu'

12 November 2014 11:49 AM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Abderrahmane Sissako has a knack for taking weighty issues and saturating them with the every-day lives of a city’s ordinary people and, in the process, making the stories play out like vibrant, visually luscious soap operas. In his first feature film, "Bamako," Sissako looked at European/Western colonialism, capitalist neo-imperialism and their effects on Africa. The West, as represented by the Imf and World Bank, goes on trial in the courtyard of a humble compound in Mali’s capital city. In "Timbuktu," Sissako moves the action about 620 miles north-east, to the ancient city of learning and trade, to look at another form of cultural and ideological invasion, this time »

- Wendy Okoi-Obuli

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London Film Festival Review: Religion Unites With Hypocrisy in Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu'

9 October 2014 6:23 PM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Abderrahmane Sissako has a knack for taking weighty issues and saturating them with the every-day lives of a city’s ordinary people and, in the process, making the stories play out like vibrant, visually luscious soap operas. In his first feature film, "Bamako," Sissako looked at European/Western colonialism, capitalist neo-imperialism and their effects on Africa. The West, as represented by the Imf and World Bank, goes on trial in the courtyard of a humble compound in Mali’s capital city. In "Timbuktu," Sissako moves the action about 620 miles north-east, to the ancient city of learning and trade, to look at another form of cultural and ideological invasion, this time »

- Wendy Okoi-Obuli

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Daily | Nyff 2014 | Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu

1 October 2014 2:35 AM, PDT | Keyframe | See recent Keyframe news »

Timbuktu, Abderrahmane Sissako's "first feature since 2007’s Bamako is a fleet, forceful response to the brief but traumatic few months in 2013 when foreign jihadists seized control of the northern Malian city and imposed Sharia law," writes Tom Charity in Cinema Scope. At the Av Club, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky notes that Sissako's "central point—that the militants are unreasonable, capricious, and cruel—is hardly new, but it’s bolstered by the fact that he frames his argument using a community of religious Muslims." At Filmmaker, Howard Feinstein adds that Sissako is "well served by Dp Sofiane El Fani, who captures the desert’s peculiar emptiness all the way through with brilliant use of widescreen." » - David Hudson »

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‘Fury’, ‘Foxcatcher’, ‘Mr. Turner’ headline BFI 58th London Film Festival 2014

3 September 2014 9:47 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Fury (David Ayer)

[via the BFI]

The programme for the 58th BFI London Film Festival launched today, with Festival Director Clare Stewart presenting this year’s rich and diverse selection of films and events. The lineup includes highly anticipated fall titles including David Ayer’s Fury, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, the Sundance smash Whiplash, Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language 3D, The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Jason Reitman’s Men, Women and Children and Jean-Marc Vallee’s Wild.

As Britain’s leading film event and one of the world’s oldest film festivals, it introduces the finest new British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience, offering a compelling combination of red carpet glamour, engaged audiences and vibrant exchange. The Festival provides an essential profiling opportunity for films seeking global success at the start of the Awards season, promotes the careers of British and »

- John

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Review: Mood Indigo

16 August 2014 9:30 AM, PDT | Slackerwood | See recent Slackerwood news »

If one can expect anything from Michel Gondry, it is that along with the whimsy and touch of the bizarre inherent in his work is an element of truth.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind uses erasure imagery to illustrate the pain of heartbreak. Be Kind Rewind has friendly video store employees creating their own versions of Hollywood hits for their neighborhood.  Gondry's latest film, love story Mood Indigo, however, is utterly drowning in whimsy and lacking any figment of truth.

Debonair and bearded Romain Duris (Populaire, The Beat That My Heart Skipped) stars as Colin, living off family money in a spacious Paris apartment. Audrey Tautou (Amelie, A Very Long Engagement) plays cute Chloe, whom Colin meets at a party. The plot goes something like this: guy meets girl, guy and girl fall in love and marry, flower grows in girl's lung.

There's also a B-plot, involving a friend (Gad Elmaleh, »

- Elizabeth Stoddard

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Le Pacte seals Timbuktu deals

19 May 2014 10:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

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 »

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2014 Cannes Critics’ Panel Day 1: Leigh Paints Strong Canvas with “Mr. Turner” & Sissako’s Mixes Humor & Sorrow in “Timbuktu”

16 May 2014 3:30 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

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

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Timbuktu’

14 May 2014 10:34 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

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

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Review: Sad, sensual 'Timbuktu' responds to repression with wit and fury

14 May 2014 7:05 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

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

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Cannes Check 2014: Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu'

12 May 2014 3:14 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

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

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Cannes: Looking Past the Hype and Hate (Analysis)

17 April 2014 1:56 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

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

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Cannes Unveils 2014 Official Selection Lineup

17 April 2014 2:09 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

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

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2014 Cannes Film Festival Predictions: Main Competition, Un Certain Regard & Special Screenings

16 April 2014 5:35 PM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

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

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2014 | 2013 | 2011 | 2010 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

16 items from 2014


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