17 items from 2014
35 Shots of Rum, 2008.
Directed by Claire Denis.
Father and Daughter, Lionel and Josephine, begin to realise that their set-up at home together needs to change. Through Josephine’s relationship with a fellow neighbour Noe, and friend of the family Gabrielle, the change is inevitable…
At the end of 2009, I noticed somewhat of an anomaly in Sight and Sound. Ranking the best films of the year, the magazine highlighted two films by director Claire Denis within the top ten: White Material and 35 Shots of Rum (on the festival circuit in 2008, 35 Shots was released in 2009 in the UK) . In fact, 35 Shots of Rum earned joint second position alongside The Hurt Locker (The Prophet trumped both at No.1). Therefore, in a recent ‘Jim Jarmusch and Friends’ season, the BFI took the opportunity to screen the film again to celebrate her influences. And »
- Simon Columb
The 50th anniversary edition of the Chicago International Film Festival, running from October 9-23, will feature, as Ray Pride notes, "notable appearances and master classes, including Michael Moore presenting his restored version of Roger & Me, a film that was nearly lost; producer-turned-online distributor Ted Hope talking about his memoir-manifesto, Hope For Film, and Oliver Stone, with a director’s cut of Natural Born Killers and Alexander: Ultimate Edition, a fourth version of his 2004 epic, reportedly with a warm handful of homoerotic content restored to its 207-minute duration. An Isabelle Huppert tribute will trail four features, including Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher and Claire Denis’s White Material, both shown in 35mm." » - David Hudson »
I've had several weeks to draft this piece, and several drafts it has taken, but the introduction is always the hardest part – the part where the bittersweet reason for breaking from our daily programming has to be announced. So let's lead with the good news: I'm excited to announce that my three-year relationship with Variety is growing into something more permanent and prominent – starting this month, I will be contributing regularly to the trade paper, both as a film critic and a features writer. The bad news you may have guessed: this means my time at In Contention has come to an affectionate close. Greg Ellwood expressly asked me not to make this a farewell note, and he's right: nobody's disappearing. Readers who wish to follow my writing will still be able to do so at a number of outlets; on the reverse track, I will remain an avid reader at HitFix. »
- Guy Lodge
The Academy has announced the new class of invited members for 2014 and, as is typical, many of which are among last year's nominees, which includes Barkhad Abdi, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb in the Actors branch not to mention curious additions such as Josh Hutcherson, Rob Riggle and Jason Statham, but, okay. The Directors branch adds Jay and Mark Duplass along with Jean-Marc Vallee, Denis Villeneuve and Thomas Vinterberg. I didn't do an immediate tally of male to female additions or other demographics, but at first glance it seems to be a wide spread batch of new additions on all fronts. The Academy is also clearly attempting to aggressively bump up the demographics as this is the second year in a row where they have added a large number of new members, well over the average of 133 new members from 2004 to 2012. As far as »
- Brad Brevet
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014.
“This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
The 2014 invitees are:
- Michelle McCue
Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave were two of the 271 artists and industry leaders invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines nominations and winners at the annual Oscars. The entire list of Academy membership—which numbers about 6,000—isn’t public information so the annual invitation list is often the best indication of the artists involved in the prestigious awards process. It’s worth noting that invitations need to be accepted in order for artists to become members; some artists, like two-time Best Actor winner Sean Penn, have declined membership over the years. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations. This year, 271 individuals have been asked to join AMPAS, meaning every one of them could contribute to next year's Academy Awards balloting -- and it's as diverse a list as they've ever assembled. Think the Academy consists entirely of fusty retired white dudes? Not if recent Best Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams takes them up on their offer. Think it's all just a Hollywood insiders' game? Not if French arthouse titans Chantal Akerman and Olivier Assayas join the party. It's a list that subverts expectation at every turn. »
- Guy Lodge
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 271 individuals to become members, with the list reflecting the org’s determination to bring more diversity to its ranks.
Every year, the list of invitations includes several recent Oscar nominees. That’s true this year as well, with letters going out Wednesday to a cross-section of people including 2013 contenders Barkhad Abdi, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayao Miyazaki, Pharrell Williams, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus such creatives as Megan Ellison, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Coogan, Jason Statham, William Chang Suk Ping, Joan Sobel, Tracey Seaward, Mads Mikkelsen and Chantal Akerman.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety Thursday, “This is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. Filmmaking has gotten more diverse, and audiences have been responding. There are terrific filmmakers around the world at the top of their game and we want to recognize them and bring them into the Academy. »
- Tim Gray
★★★★☆A nihilistic examination of how patriarchy is fundamental to social oppression through the interrogation of defined gender roles, Claire Denis' Bastards (2013) is a post-modern film noir that feels like observing the world through two black eyes. Paris has never looked so ugly, with Denis shrouding the ornate architecture of the rain-soaked Parisian streets with an oppressive sense of despair. It's in stark contrast to the sweeping vistas and stifling humidity of her 2009 postcolonial thriller White Material, yet the governing sense of insecurity remains just as potent. Clues are fed to the audience like a trail of breadcrumbs, with French naval officer Marco (Vincent Lindon) our guide through this world of depravity.
- CineVue UK
In 2014, Full Disclosure is turning its focus on the filmography of a different celebrated filmmaker each month, and challenging our writers to seek out something new to watch and consider from their sizeable oeuvres. This month welcomes the first female auteur into the series, the celebrated French director Claire Denis, who proved something of an unknown quantity to many of our contributors. As they explore such acclaimed works as Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day and White Material for the very first time, their reactions and critical responses prove as eclectic and fascinating as ever. Enjoy!...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The latest triumph from award-winning writer and director Claire Denis (Beau Travail, White Material), last year's Un Certain Regard select Bastards (2013) is a disturbing and utterly mesmerising examination of transgression, a tour-de-force in atmospheric filmmaking and a thrilling, highly modern take on the classic film noir. To celebrate the home entertainment release of Bastards this coming Monday (28 April), we have Three Blu-ray copies of Denis' brooding French drama to give away to our avid readers, courtesy of the ever-generous folks at UK distributor Artificial Eye. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
- CineVue UK
The feature film debut of writer-director Andres Clariond (“Peoria”), “Hilda” adapts the stage-play of the same name by France’s Marie N’Diaye, a 2009 Prix Goncourt winner for “Trois femmes puissantes” and the co-scribe of Claire Denis’ “White Material.”
It stars Adriana Paz, who performance “in a truly breakthrough role” –in Variety’s words – in Aaron Fernandez’s “The Empty Hours” won her best actress at Mexico’s prestigious Morelia Festival last year.
Paz plays Hilda, the wife of a gardener, who is taken in as a new maid by Mrs Le Marchand the lonely 63-year-old housewife of a wealthy husband. In a later life crisis, as Mrs LeMarchand attempts to re-connect with her leftist past, she becomes obsessed with Hilda, subtly kidnapping her, »
- John Hopewell
A quick update to let you know that the official release date for Bastards has moved from April 14 to April 28, 2014. The new film from award-winning writer-director Claire Denis (White Material, Beau Travail),Bastards is a disturbing yet mesmerising examination of transgression, a tour-de-force in atmospheric filmmaking and a thrilling, highly modern take on film noir. Extras are yet to be confirmed but you can check out the moody trailer below. Synopsis: Shipping captain Marco (Vincent Lindon, Anything For Her) receives a phone call from his sister, urgently calling him back to Paris. Her husband has committed suicide, her daughter is missing and the family business has gone under. She holds her husband’s business partner, Edouard Laporte, accountable and Marco sets out to expose his treachery. But, as he begins to scratch under the surface, Marco discovers a dangerous underworld of violence, corruption and exploitation that will culminate in a final, »
Apart from sharing the jury award with Ugly, Hang Gong-Jo also claimed the critics’ award as well as the audience award at the festival.
Ugly deals with a situation where no one can trust anyone amidst the scenes of brutality and psychological games. Ten year old Kali goes missing from the car she was left in by her father. Her step father is a brutal man heading the Police detection squad. He first suspects the father but then evolve others with a guilty conscience and lies for a cover up.
The film »
The new film from award-winning writer-director Claire Denis (White Material, Beau Travail), Bastards is a disturbing yet mesmerising examination of transgression, a tour-de-force in atmospheric filmmaking and a thrilling, highly modern take on film noir. It's also available on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK from April 14, 2014, courtesy of Artificial Eye. Extras are yet to be confirmed but you can check out the trailer below. Synopsis: Shipping captain Marco (Vincent Lindon, Anything For Her) receives a phone call from his sister, urgently calling him back to Paris. Her husband has committed suicide, her daughter is missing and the family business has gone under. She holds her husband’s business partner, Edouard Laporte, accountable and Marco sets out to expose his treachery. But, as he begins to scratch under the surface, Marco discovers a dangerous underworld of violence, corruption and exploitation that will culminate in a final, shocking revelation. Bastards Trailer »
“Two Men In Town” Dir. Rachid Bouchareb, starring Forest Whitaker, Brenda Blethyn, Harvey Keitel and Luis Guzman A remake of a 1973 French film starring Alain Delon and Jean Gabin, “Two Men In Town” is a sadly missed opportunity. It's a beautifully shot film (kudos to Dp Yves Cape, who also served on “Holy Motors” and “White Material”), but one that, aside from some unusual casting decisions, brings nothing new to the ex-con-trying-to-go-straight genre. In fact it falls into its overfamiliar rhythm so quickly that you have to keep reminding yourself you haven’t seen it before. And it really is a shame, because Blethyn’s pragmatic, “Fargo”-esque parole officer is a pleasure, Whitaker’s character’s racial profile (black man with a white adoptive mother and a Latina girlfriend) is oddly but laudably rarely even mentioned, and the dusty, sun-blanched New Mexico landscape is well evoked by Cape’s »
- Jessica Kiang
An ex-con trying to go straight is hounded by both sides of the law in Rachid Bouchareb’s “Two Men in Town,” a standard-issue drama set in New Mexico, where grand open spaces highlight the big open gaps in logic. Loosely based on Jose Giovanni’s 1973 pic of the same name (minus the court scenes and speechifying), with an added classic Western overlay, Bouchareb’s free adaptation benefits from Brenda Blethyn’s well-modulated performance, yet the over-signaled narrative feels like a rehash, and the leaps of faith required are wider than Dead Man’s Gulch. Stateside biz is unlikely to deliver solid returns.
Possibly intended as the second installment of a stated trilogy touching on American-Muslim relations, “Two Men in Town” is slightly more successful than Bouchareb’s misfire “Just Like a Woman,” though it has more in common with “London River,” also starring Blethyn. Here she plays parole officer Emily Smith, »
- Jay Weissberg
17 items from 2014
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