8 items from 2014
Director: Jessica Hausner
Writer: Jessica Hausner
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
We’re excited to see Hausner’s followup to her excellent third feature, 2009’s Lourdes, which starred Sylvie Testud and Lea Seydoux. While many had been hoping her latest would have been ready for a late 2013 release, we can look forward to seeing her latest get a prime slot at a major festival. Starring Christian Friedel, who many will recognize from The White Ribbon, Hausner seems to be positioning a new take on the period piece.
Gist: Amour Fou is inspired by the life and death of the poet Heinrich von Kleist and his partner in death, Henriette Vogel. However, rather than being a biographical portrait, the film is to be understood as a parallel about the ambivalence of love. »
- Nicholas Bell
“You can’t understand until it happens to you.”
Roya, played by Mahnaz Afshar, listens to this line left on her answering machine repeatedly. It is a part of her husband, Ali’s, confession to his infidelity with one of Roya’s piano students, with whom he’s run off. Ali sees himself as a victim of his passion, but for Roya, it is one of many moments in which her emotions and how she feels them are constricted or reshaped by the people around her, both male and female. Snow On Pines is about her struggle to cope with those feelings on her own terms in a society where traditions dictate her every move. Though this story is colored by the Iranian experience, its ideological aspirations are universally recognizable and not limited to arbitrary borders. Roya’s conflict is seen all over the world, even in countries considered significantly »
- Jae K. Renfrow
After dealing with the revoked nomination for song this week, the folks at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are about to embark on another historic twist to the usual procedure, this time in the foreign language category. This experiment could have a huge effect on voting results; the problem is, there is no way to measure whether the experiment is working or not.
For decades, anyone who wanted to vote in the foreign-language race needed to show proof that they’d seen all the contenders. But this year, all 6,028 qualified voters can decide, without offering proof. And that’s worrying a lot of people. But the Academy could fix the potential problems.
Before the polls open Feb. 14, AMPAS will send out screeners of all five nominated films: “The Broken Circle Breakdown” (Belgium), The Great Beauty” (Italy), “The Hunt” (Denmark), “The Missing Picture” (Cambodia) and “Omar” (Palestine). The »
- Tim Gray
London — Global Screen, which has five market premieres at the European Film Market in Berlin, has added “Auf das Leben!” (To Life!) to its sales slate.
Pic is a “Harold and Maude”-like story of two people who are very different yet give each other a reason to live. It is helmed by Uwe Janson, who was BAFTA nommed for miniseries “The Sinking of the Laconia,” and penned by Thorsten Wettcke.
The film, which shot late last year, centers on aging cabaret singer Ruth, played by Hannelore Elsner (“No Place to Go”). She is sarcastic yet warm-hearted, and, despite a traumatic childhood, stands with both feet planted firmly in the midst of life. It is only when her apartment is sold to finance a move to a senior citizens’ home that her flame begins to flicker.
- Leo Barraclough
London — International sales and production outfit Picture Tree Intl. has secured the global distribution rights to hit screwball comedy “Fack Ju Goehte” (Suck Me Shakespeer).
“Fack Ju Goehte” was Germany’s most popular movie last year, with more than six million tickets sold, and a box office gross of more than $60 million.
Pti will present this blockbuster, directed by Bora Dagtekin (“Turkish for Beginners”) and starring Elyas M’Barek (“The Wave,” “The Physician”) and Karoline Herfurth (“The Reader,” “We Are the Night”), to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin, which runs (Feb. 6-14).
The fast-paced film tells the story of Zeki Mueller (M’Barek), an ex-con and substitute teacher who uses unorthodox yet effective methods to bring an unruly class back on track. Zeki’s highly entertaining encounters with his prim and proper fellow teacher Lisi Schnabelstedt (Herfurth) recently earned the film a spot on the pre-selection list for the German Film Awards. »
- Leo Barraclough
The American Society of Cinematographers has loaded the deck with an unprecedented seven feature film nominees for its 28th annual awards ceremony, a result of a three-way tie that increased the field from the usual five. The visual achievements range from the Antebellum South of “12 Years a Slave,” shot by Sean Bobbitt, to “Gravity’s” deep reaches of outer space, realized in 3D by d.p. Emmanuel Lubezki.
The five others vying for the exclusive, invite-only organization’s top competitive prize are Barry Ackroyd (“Captain Phillips”), Roger Deakins (“Prisoners”), Bruno Delbonnel (“Inside Llewyn Davis”), Phillippe Le Sourd (“The Grandmaster”) and Phedon Papamichael (“Nebraska”).
“Our members believe these cinematographers have set the standard for artful, theatrical motion picture cinematography,” said Asc president Richard Crudo in a statement. “They have mastered a complex craft which contributes vitally to the storytelling process.”
Lubezki, a two-time Asc winner for “Children of Men” (2007) and “Tree »
- Steve Chagollan
The Oscar race is never a dull one and that couldn’t be any more apparent than in the race for Best Foreign Language film. This year is certainly shaping up to be a battle of David vs. Goliath if you looked at the histories of the countries competing. In one corner, you have Italy, with a whopping 12 wins in this category, facing off with a country like Cambodia, with no Oscar nominations. But such is the beauty of the awards season and the Oscars. So before the nominations come out, here’s an Oscar primer to get you caught up on the Foreign Language films.
Belgium – 2013 Nominee: The Broken Circle Breakdown
Logline/Synopsis: Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He’s a romantic atheist, she’s a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, »
- Terence Johnson
Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired the North American rights to The Notebook, the Hungarian entry for Best Foreign Language Film. The film is directed by János Szász (Woyzeck, The Witman Boys), shot by Academy Award nominated Christian Berger (The White Ribbon, Cache) and is produced by Intuit Pictures, in co-production with Hunnia Filmstudio, Amour Fou and Dolce Vita Films.
Here's what János Szász had to say in a brief statement.
"To make this movie was a wonderful and a painful journey for me, like a time machine, took me back into the war time. The jungle of fear and immorality."
Sony Pictures Classics issued their own statement.
"We have wanted to buy this film following its successful showings at the Toronto Film Festival. We have never really seen a movie quite like this. Based on a famous European novel, The Notebook portrays »
8 items from 2014
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