5 items from 2015
London — Mexican writer, producer and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga brings the Raindance Film Festival to a close this weekend with a masterclass on scriptwriting. Now 57, Arriaga came to international attention in Cannes with the 2000 Critics’ Week hit “Amores Perros.” The first in a trilogy made in collaboration with fellow Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the film was followed by Venice and Cannes hits “21 Grams” and “Babel” in 2004 and 2006 respectively, and established Arriaga’s trademark non-linear, multiple-character writing style. After working with Tommy Lee Jones on the U.S. neo-western “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” in 2005, Arriaga made his directing debut in 2008 with “The Burning Plain,” an English-language domestic drama that starred Charlize Theron and gave an early platform to Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence.
Is it true that you don’t like the word “screenwriter”?
No, I have a problem with the word in Spanish. “Screenwriter” is the correct word in English because »
- Damon Wise
Grim Girl: Pacquet-Brenner’s Adaptation Brandishes Relentlessly Contrived Twists
“I have a meanness in me,” warns the omniscient narrator of Dark Places, as voiced by a steely Charlize Theron portraying an adult in perpetual arrested development thanks to devastating tragedy from her youth she’s been milking ever since as a means of livelihood and escape. Unfortunately, the film is unable to correctly capture the complexities of such a characterization and it’s exactly these types of sterling nuggets from Gillian Flynn’s source novel which fall with graceless thuds throughout Gilles Pacquet-Brenner’s adaptation of Dark Places.
The sort of thriller which could be euphemistically referred to as ‘labyrinthine,’ this cinematic re-tooling bears certain similarities to Pacquet-Brenner’s last high profile film, the adaptation of Tatiana de Rosnay’s celebrated novel Sarah’s Key (2010), a mystery tinged tragedy drained of its potency for a celluloid brassiere specializing in the »
- Nicholas Bell
Jennifer Lawrence in a long, red dress at the Oscars Jennifer Lawrence at the Academy Awards Stunning in a red dress, Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the 2011 Academy Awards held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Lawrence was a first-time Best Actress Oscar nominee for her first major film role: a near-destitute, young Ozark woman looking for her missing drug-dealing father in Winter's Bone, Debra Granik's generally well-received indie drama. Winter's Bone also earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (John Hawkes), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini; based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell). Jennifer Lawrence's competitors in the Best Actress Oscar race were: Annette Bening for Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right. Michelle Williams for Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine. Nicole Kidman for John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole. Natalie Portman, the eventual winner, for Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. »
- D. Zhea
Arriaga, who was the Fipresci Latin American Personality of the Year in 2014, boasts a filmography that includes three collaborations as a screenwriter with three-time Oscar-winner Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Love’s a Bitch,” “21 Grams” and “Babel”), as well as “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” with Tommy Lee Jones, which won the best screenplay prize for Arriaga at Cannes; “The Night Buffalo” with Jorge Hernández Aldana; and “The Burning Plain,” which Arriaga also directed, premiered in Venice in 2008 and starred Charlize Theron, Kim Basinger and Jennifer Lawrence.
He has also written the novels “The Guillotine Squad” (1991), “A Sweet Scent of Death” (1994), “Night Buffalo” (1999) and the book of short stories “Retorno 201” (2006). His novels have been translated into 18 languages.
Based on Arriaga’s concept »
- Christopher Pickard
Running April 9-15, and now celebrating its fourth edition, the International Film Festival of Panama reps one of the world’s most quickly consolidating festivals in two of its nascent but fast-growing film regions: Central America and the Caribbean.
There’s a relationship. Launched in 2012, Piff has a mission, in industry and international terms, to serve as a platform for Central America and the closer Caribbean countries, and as a driver for further growth, said Pituka Ortega Heilbron, Iff Panama director, who runs the festival with Diana Sanchez, the Toronto Fest programmer for Latin America, Spain and Portugal, serving as its artistic director.
That is an exciting mission. Boosted by multiplex construction, Central America box office was $94.8 million in 2012 and soared 13% in two years to $107.2 million in 2014, per Luis Vargas, Rentrak managing director for Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, Colombia and Venezuela.
Central America’s 2014 top 10 was packed out exclusively by Hollywood family and action fare, »
- John Hopewell
5 items from 2015
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