5 items from 2015
A lawyer turned schoolteacher pursues her ideals to an almost pathological degree in “Paulina,” a provocative if not always persuasive parable from Argentine helmer Santiago Mitre, making his second feature. A fierce performance from Dolores Fonzi, as a heroine whose actions baffle those around her, helps to hold this conversation-starter together, but viewers’ own mileage and perceptions will vary — which is clearly by design. Critical support will be necessary to carry the movie to significant arthouse exposure; the Nespresso Grand Prix in Critics’ Week is a good start on getting the word out.
Less arid than Mitre’s 2011 feature directing debut, “The Student,” which used a story of university politics to comment on political dealmaking in Argentina, “Paulina,” inspired by the 1960 film “La Patota,” is likewise at once allegorical and concrete. The film opens, in what appears to be a pressure-cooker of a single take, with Paulina (Fonzi) and her father, »
- Ben Kenigsberg
Cannes — In a first sale that speaks well of the title’s sales potential, France’s Haut et Court, producer of Cannes Palme d’Or winner “The Class,” has closed French distribution rights on Jonas Carpignano’s buzzed-up Cannes Critics’ Week player “Mediterranea.”
“Mediterranea’s” German producer, Dcm, will distribute in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Sold by Paris and Mexico City-based Ndm, “Mediterranea” is the feature debut of Carpignano, a filmmaker based out of Rome and New York who won Cannes Critics’ Week main prize with his short “A Ciambra.” The film is produced, among many others, by U.S. director-producer Chris Columbus. After Carpignano worked on Benh Zeitlin’s Sundance sensation “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Mediterranea” was developed out of Zeitlin’s company Court 12, and Zeitlin came on board to compose the film’s music with Dan Romer.
- John Hopewell
At the finale of Robin Campillo's masterful Eastern Boys, bourgeois, middle-aged Frenchman Daniel (Oliver Rabourdin) has overhauled his relationship with the Ukrainian hustler Marek (Kirill Emelyanov) into something totally unexpected. The journey to that climax is a rollercoaster of flirtation, betrayal, larceny, lust, love, dauntless deeds, comeuppance, and finally a benevolent acceptance of the pair's interconnectedness in a manner that neither of these devoted halves could foretell.
The film begins documentary-like, and you won't be able to guess who the lead characters are for the first ten minutes or so as the camera goes sightseeing amongst a bevy of young males meandering to and fro at a train station among self-absorbed travelers. Are the lads thieves or hustlers or just out for a lark? Some men eye them warily with a slight lust unsure of whether to approach or not. One station guard's suspicions are raised due the actions »
- Brandon Judell
Paris – France’s Mikros Image, with headquarters in Paris and offices in Montreal, Los Angeles, Liège, Brussels, Luxembourg and Milan, plans to reinforce its animation and VFX work, revolving primarily around its three-main operation centers: Paris, Belgium and Montreal.
With a 250-strong workforce, the company is one of France’s veteran and most highly-respected VFX shingles.
Mikros rose to international recognition with its 2010 Oscar-winning toon short “Logorama” and bowed a dedicated animation division in June 2012 in Levallois-Perret, Paris.
Its first animation feature, Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier’s €37 million ($42 million) “Asterix: the Land of the Gods,” was released in France on Nov. 26, clocking up 0.93 million admissions for distributor Snd in its opening week. The film’s cumulative 3.2 million admissions, complemented by worldwide sales, makes it one of the most successful French toon pics ever.
- Martin Dale
Few auteurs have reached the heights of emotional realism in narrative cinema as has Tunisian born director Abdellatif Kechiche. Starting out as an actor (his last stint in front of the camera was in Jeff Stanzler’s 2005 American indie Sorry, Haters with Robin Wright), Kechiche’s 2000 debut, Poetical Refugee premiered in Venice and starred a host of faces we’ve seen frequently, including Sami Bouajila, Elodie Bouchez, and Aure Atika. His coming titles would prove Kechiche’s preference for non-professional and/or character actors, including the excellent 2005 title Games of Love and Chance, which won Kechiche the Cesar for Best Film, Screenplay, and Director, and would introduce us to actress Sara Forestier. He’d win Best Film, Director, and Screenplay again at the Cesars in 2007, along with several awards in Venice, including the Special Jury Prize for The Secret of the Grain, »
- Nicholas Bell
5 items from 2015
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