15 items from 2014
As the year in moviegoing draws to a close — and as critics busy themselves drawing up lists and handing out awards — it seems time at last to look ahead. Here are the 10 films to get excited about over the year to come. 1. Jauja (Dir. Lisandro Alonso) Revered Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso returns after 2008’s exquisite Liverpool with Jauja, his most astonishing film yet. While no less oblique than its predecessors, Jauja finds Alonso working for the first time with an international star: Viggo Mortensen, an intriguing wrinkle in Alonso’s minimalist approach. Mortensen plays a Danish general adrift in the badlands of 19th-century Patagonia, and his wearying travails form the bulk of the action. A cryptic and f »
Lisandro Alonso and Viggo Mortensen are oddly like magnets – figures that on one side might resist one another, yet on the opposite sides naturally embrace one another, working perfectly in tandem toward one common goal in which creation and collaboration naturally flourish. Alonso, being an Argentinian director whose oeuvre almost almost solely constructed of mysterious works (even to the director himself), such as Los Muertos or Liverpool, that follow solitary men along near silent journeys into the harsh wilderness, and Mortensen, a multilingual Danish-American movie star whose reserved every-man persona has been marched on screen from Mordor to Millbrook to great acclaim, yet they share both a deep respect for transcendental cinema and a strikingly admirable lack of pretensions when it comes to their own investment in the medium. Their first collaboration, and Alonso’s first project working with not only a professional actor, but with an actual script (written »
- Jordan M. Smith
Generally speaking, all a viewer needs to do while watching a Lisandro Alonso film is look and listen. Starting with La Libertad (2001), the Argentine director’s features -- the rest of which are Los Muertos (2004), Fantasma (2006), Liverpool (2008), and now Jauja -- have foregone anything resembling conventional, narrative-based filmmaking. Alonso’s recurring subject -- the relationship between people and the landscapes that surround them -- is disarmingly primal, showing non-actors conduct their daily business (La Libertad’s subject is a woodcutter, for instance) in something resembling real-time. Alonso is not interested in backstory or psychology, at least not in the ways these are usually broached and exploited in mainstre »
“Jauja” premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Fipresci Award. It’s also an official selection of the Toronto and New York Film Festivals.
“Jauja” will open theatrically in early 2015.
The story is set in 1882 at a remote Patagonian military outpost during the a genocidal campaign against the aboriginal population. Mortensen portrays a captain who has come from Denmark with his 15-year-old daughter to take an engineering job with the Argentine army. The daughter falls for a young soldier and they run away together.
All five of Alonso’s films — “Liverpool” (2008), “Fantasma” (2006), “Los Muertos” (2004) and “La Libertad” (2001) — have premiered at Cannes. He has been named this year’s Filmmaker in Residence of the New York Film Festival.
Variety’s Scott Foundas »
- Dave McNary
Opening Night – World Premiere
David Fincher, USA, 2014, Dcp, 150m
David Fincher’s film version of Gillian Flynn’s phenomenally successful best seller (adapted by the author) is one wild cinematic ride, a perfectly cast and intensely compressed portrait of a recession-era marriage contained within a devastating depiction of celebrity/media culture, shifting gears as smoothly as a Maserati 250F. Ben Affleck is Nick Dunne, whose wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing on the day of their fifth anniversary. Neil Patrick Harris is Amy’s old boyfriend Desi, Carrie Coon (who played Honey in Tracy Letts’s acclaimed production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) is Nick’s sister Margo, Kim Dickens (Treme, Friday Night Lights) is Detective Rhonda Boney, and Tyler Perry is Nick’s superstar lawyer Tanner Bolt. At once a grand panoramic vision of middle America, a uniquely disturbing exploration of the fault lines in a marriage, »
The Toronto International Film Festival added more than 100 features to its 2014 slate today, with pics starring Dustin Hoffman, Kristen Wiig, Benicio del Toro, Diane Keaton, John Travolta, Keira Knightley, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Connelly and Arnold Schwarzenegger among the two-dozen titles joining the Gala and Special Presentations programs.
Contemporary World Cinema adds 51 (22 world preems), City to City shines the spotlight on Seoul with eight pics (two world preems), and Wavelengths delivers 46 titles, including 13 features.
Gala world preems “Boychoir,” which marks the return of Quebec helmer Francois Girard (“Silk”) to the big screen and stars Hoffman as the tough conductor of a world-class music school, as well as Italian multi-hyphenate Andrea Di Stefano’s feature bow “Escobar: Paradise Lost,” starring del Toro as the notorious Colombian drug lord.
- Jennie Punter
Another year, and another edition of the Lima Film Festival is upon us. Just in time for its milestone 18th birthday, the Fest has released their full slate of films, both in the Fiction and Documentary competitions and other sections.Argentina, the biggest film industry in South America, has a couple of highlights. If you've been wondering where Viggo Mortensen has been hiding for the last few years, he can be found in Jauja, a drama from renowned director Lisandro Alonso (Los Muertos, Liverpool). There's also the eagerly anticipated Wild Tales, Damián Szifron's dark humoured anthology film.With more and more movies being made here, it's no surprise that Peru has four films in the Fiction Competition. Álvaro Velarde (Destiny Has No Favorites) returns to local screens with...
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The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Jaeger-LeCoultre revealed award-winning Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso as their 2014 Filmmaker in Residence. The announcement took place last night at a dinner in New York co-hosted by Charles Finch, Lesli Klainberg, Bennett Miller, Todd Solondz, and Lisa Cortes. Last year the role was held by director Andrea Arnold ("Fish Tank," "Wuthering Heights"), who utilized the post to develop her next film "American Honey" and work within the local community, speaking at New York Film Festival panels and nearby high schools. Read More: Here's Why This Was the Best Cannes Film Festival in Years Alonso's work had been described as minimalist comparable to Tarkovsky blending documentary and film. Alonso has directed five features, including "La Libertad" (2001), "Los Muertos" (2004), "Fantasma" (2006), and "Liverpool" (2008). This year he debuted his most recent, »
- Oliver MacMahon
Argentine director Lisandro Alonso will be the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 2014 Filmmaker in Residence.
A minimalist filmmaker whose narrative work has a documentary-like aesthetic, Alonso’s most recent film was “Jauja” with Viggo Mortensen, which was nominated for the Un Certain Regard Award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
“Many times I think less is more,” Alonso told Variety. “It makes for a nice contrast to many big U.S. films.”
Alonso told Variety that he plans to use his residency to develop his next project, an exploration of people who live (and search for gold) in the Amazon jungle environment.
“I’m thinking about what kind of film can I make [in Brazil] about people who live outside of civilization and society and all these kinds of structures that we have, »
- Brent Lang
Cannes - "Did you see the Lisandro Alonso?!" came the eager text from a friend not in Cannes, mere minutes after I had, indeed, seen Alonso's "Jauja" -- an Argentine western turned existential comedy turned, well, any number of alternate-dimension subgenres. I envied him his excitement. Alonso has built up a fiercely devoted band of admirers with his opaque brand of slow-cinema puzzle picture, as demonstrated in the likes of "Liverpool" and "Los Muertos"; for those of us who have never gained access to that club, "Jauja" is unlikely to bring us much closer. Intermittently playful, consistently confounding, finally petrified, it's a film of fussy, cultivated austerity; Alonsolytes will debate what it's hiding, while others will suggest "an actual movie" as the answer. Initially, improbably, it seems that we're in for more hand-holding than usual from Alonso, as proceedings open with a lengthy block of text that helpfully gives context »
- Guy Lodge
A strikingly shot odyssey story that makes extensive use of the dramatic, varied landscapes of rural South America and moves at a pace that would see it quickly outflanked by the average glacier, “Jauja” may involve the talents of the biggest star he’s ever worked with in Viggo Mortensen, but it’s resolutely a Lisandro Alonso film, for better, or if you like watching things happen, largely for worse. We can’t say we’re massive fans of the director’s previous features (2008’s “Liverpool” and 2004’s “Los Muertos” feel like the closest siblings to "Jauja," and both frustrated the hell out of us), but the director has gained a fairly worshipful critical following elsewhere, especially among the “narrative”-is-a-dirty-word brigade. Still, we were hopeful that his tendency for tedium might be mitigated this time out, as the film not only stars an actor we admire, but has a relatively rich logline, »
- Jessica Kiang
Exclusive: Leading art house sales outfit The Match Factory has revealed details of its packed Cannes slate.
Among the titles the Cologne-based company is presenting on the Croisette are three films in Official Selection.
Rohrwacher, whose Corpo Celeste screened in the Directors’ Fortnight in 2011, worked on the new feature with her regular producer, Carlo Cresto-Dina (Tempesta) in co-production with Switzerland (Amka Films Productions) and Germany (Pola Pandora).
The Match Factory is also handling Snow in Paradise, the first feature film by renowned UK editor, Andrew Hulme. The film is screening in Un Certain Regard.
The film is based on the true story of Martin Askew who grew up in a crime-riddled east end of London in a culture of violence.
The sales outfit is also representing Cannes regular Kornél Mundruczó’s White God, which will play »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoffrey Macnab)
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
In its first year, Cannes’ Cinéfondation’s Atelier invited projects from relative filmmaker unknowns such as Gerardo Naranjo (I’m Gonna Explode), Lisandro Alonso (Liverpool) and Aida Begic (Snow). Celebrating year number 10, this year’s group of fifteen that will benefit from Croisette meetings and future coin include the likes of Quebecer Guy Édoin (Marécages), Cannes Critics’ Week winner for Aquí y allá in filmmaker Antonio Méndez Esparza, and 2011 Camera d’Or winner Pablo Giorgelli (pictured above) who broke out with Las Acacias (review).
Invisible (Pablo Giorgelli, Argentina)
Territoria (Nora Martirosyan, Armenia)
Tabija (Igor Drljača, Bosnia)
Saudade (Antonio Méndez Esparza, Brazil)
Ville-Marie (Guy Édoin, Canada)
In the Shade of the Trees (Matías Rojas Valencia, Chile)
Ce sentiment de l’été (Mikhaël Hers, France)
Aliyushka (Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Kazakhstan)
The Darkness (Daniel Castro Zimbrón, Mexico)
White Sun (Deepak Rauniyar, Nepal)
To All Naked Men (Bassam Chekhes, Netherlands/Syria)
Oil on Water (Newton I. Aduaka, »
- Eric Lavallee
Director: Lisandro Alonso
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
We’re used to our favorite auteur Argentinean filmmakers making us wait and this will have been the longest he has been between feature film projects. An expert in the vérité form, the untitled fifth feature following La libertad, Los muertos, Fantasma and Liverpool, Lisandro Alonso teamed with the linguistically versatile Viggo Mortensen for what should be one more distinctly art-house item.
Gist: A father and daughter journey from Denmark to an unknown desert that exists in a realm beyond the confines of civilization.
Release Date: He has been in the Directors’ Fortnight and Un Certain Regard sections at the Cannes Film Festival. Perhaps he’ll attain the “highest” section of them all with a Main Comp showing…
More Top 200 Most Anticipated Films »
- Eric Lavallee
15 items from 2014
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