Breaking: A new major independent film distributor has emerged, just in time for Toronto. Andrew Karpen, the longtime co-ceo of Focus Features, has unveiled Bleecker Street, a New York-based distribution company that has backing from 5-Hour Energy founder Manoj Bhargava.
Karpen has long been a well regarded part of the independent film strata, but he left Focus last March. That was the final piece of a restructuring by Universal Pictures that began in October with the exit of CEO James Schamus, and saw the closing of the Focus Gotham office when the pieces of Peter Schlessel’s FilmDistrict were combined with Focus. Schlessel took the reins of that company and kept some key Focus executives like Jeb Brody, who has been running point on the label’s biggest film Fifty Shades Of Grey. Schlessel wanted to keep Karpen, but after initially running FilmDistrict with key execs Bob and Jeanne Berney on the opposite coast, »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Ned McNeilage’s Showfolk won best documentary, Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story earned best animation, Roman Kaelin claimed best experimental honours for Wrapped and Bouha Kazmi took best music video for The Ramona Flowers ‘Tokyo’.
The screenplay competition prize went to Kevin Walsh for Grocery Day.
The festival ran from July 24-31 and presented 233 films from 17 countries. ScreenDaily Us editor Jeremy Kay was among the jurors.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Michael Cusumano here to check in with my weekly review.
Anton Corbijn’s film of John le Carré's A Most Wanted Man builds to a single moment where the main character, Günther Bachmann, head of a modern day German counter-terrorism spy ring, comes face to face with a devastating realization. Corbijn fixes the camera on him and lets the moment hang there wordlessly. You can practically see the ramifications shake the character to the core of who he is and what he believed about his place in the world
To let the whole movie live or die on a single moment like that is a high risk/high reward gambit. The fact that Gunther is played by Philip Seymour Hoffman should give you a clue as to why the filmmaker was confident his lead actor could drive it home with the power it required. After Hoffman’s heartbreaking death »
- Michael C.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing is to open this year's London Film Festival
The Imitation Game is a nail-biting race against time following Alan Turing (pioneer of modern-day computing and credited with cracking the German Enigma code) and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. Turing, whose contributions and genius significantly shortened the war, saving thousands of lives, was the eventual victim of an unenlightened British establishment, but his work and legacy live on.
The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness, TV’s Sherlock) as Alan Turing and Keira Knightley (Atonement) as close friend and fellow code-breaker Joan Clarke, alongside a top notch cast including Matthew Goode (A Single Man), Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Charles Dance (Gosford Park, TV’s Game of Thrones), Allen Leech (In Fear, TV’s Downton Abbey »
Written for the screen by Andrew Bovell
Directed by Anton Corbijn
Throughout the beginning of Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man, it is hard to ignore that there are only a handful of upcoming performances left from Philip Seymour Hoffman in this world. The actor’s untimely death earlier this year left a hole in the world of cinema, one that will not be filled anytime soon. Hoffman was a character actor who managed to become an A-lister, without ever losing his chameleon-like ability to channel whatever or whomever he wanted.
Günther Bachmann is more down-to-earth than other prototypical spy genre leading men, likely to flash a quick grin after a disparaging comment rather than take down an army of terrorists single-handedly. As Bachmann, Hoffman affects a German accent and an unwillingness to look anyone in the eye. Whether this gesture is »
- Colin Biggs
[This is a re-post of my A Most Wanted Man review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The film opens in limited release this weekend.] The spy thriller genre—like all genres—has its fair share of tropes and clichés. The best entries are ones that take the foundation of the genre and expand upon it or put a new spin on the material. Director Anton Corbijn’s latest film, A Most Wanted Man, is a solid and sharply smart entry into the spy genre that manages to explore dark characters and difficult topics while foregoing the typical action-heavy formula, sidestepping audience expectations in the process. This is not a film that takes shortcuts just to make its audience happy, and though the final results may not delve as deep into some of its themes as one would expect, A Most Wanted Man still manages to be an involving, tense, and slow-burn thriller. Read my full review after the jump. Based on the novel of the same name by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy author John le Carre, »
- Adam Chitwood
John LeCarre’s A Most Wanted Man has the author’s usual trademarks: unique characters conveyed with shades of gray, an intricate and creative plot, and an appreciation for the complexities of international politics. The last LeCarre film adaption Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, with its meticulous Cold War details and labyrinthine cloak-and-dagger plot, required the viewer to maneuver a dense story through many twists and knots. A Most Wanted Man is more straightforward, yet no less engrossing and it’s anchored by a powerful performance from Phillip Seymour Hoffman in his last role.
The setting is Hamburg Germany – where some of the 9-11 hijackers had planned their attacks. Here’s where Issa Dobrygin (Grigori Dobrygin), a young, sickly, frightened Muslim from Chechnya (or is he?) washes up on shore seeking refuge after escaping from Russia. He enlists the help of mother and son Muslim émigrés from Turkey who, in turn »
- Tom Stockman
As the line between television and film gets blurrier, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish exactly what makes something qualify to be a film at all. Particularly in the age of “Homeland” and “The Americans,” some may leave a slow-burning, understated spy caper like “A Most Wanted Man” wondering if it wouldn’t have been better served as a limited series on Netflix or HBO. And it will be a perfectly valid question. Based on the novel by John le Carré (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), the film is the new anti-thriller from director Anton Corbijn and centers on the war on terror in Germany via a tapestry of several characters, chiefly Gunther (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a grizzled counter-terrorist intelligence officer stationed in Hamburg after a previous fuck up in Beirut. Gunther and his small covert crew of operatives are tasked with keeping tabs on Muslims in Germany after, as a title card informs us, »
- Cory Everett
Rachel McAdams was at the red carpet New York premiere of her new film A Most Wanted Man and she blew our minds with this multi-colored fractal patterned Zuhair Murad dress that could not have looked more incredible and looked right at home at the Museum Of Modern Art where the screening was held.
Reds, blues, and greens of every shade diving and dipping in wild, trippy patterns made the gorgeous star stand out among her co-stars.
Check out how astounding this dress looks from simply every angle.
The film, which was one of the last completed films by acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman before his passing, is a British espionage thriller based on a book by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy author John le Carre. In the film, McAdams plays Annabel Richter, a young human rights lawyer who gets in »
This afternoon, the BFI has announced the opening film for the 58th London Film Festival. The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters), will have is European premiere on Wednesday October 8th, as well as have simultaneous screenings at the same time across the UK. A first trailer for the film has also been released, which you can view below…
The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness), Keira Knightley (Begin Again, Laggies), Matthew Goode (Stoker), Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Allen Leech (Downton Abbey) and Matthew Beard (An Education).
The BFI website press release said:
The 58th BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express®, is delighted to announce that this year’s Opening Night film will be The Imitation Game, a dramatic portrayal of the life and work of Alan Turing, one of Britain’s most extraordinary unsung heroes, »
- Scott Davis
Update: Two very different trailers, one for the U.K. and one for the U.S., have been released, and I’ve included both below.
One of the films I’m most excited to see this fall is The Imitation Game, a dramatic thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a British cryptographer who helped crack Nazi codes during World War II but was later prosecuted for homosexuality, then a crime. The subject matter is obviously fascinating, and Cumberbatch is a highly talented actor, so all signs indicate that The Imitation Game may arrive as one of the year’s best films. Now, a teaser trailer has been revealed by Studiocanal, giving us our first real look at the tense historical thriller.
As the trailer shows, Turing’s main challenge is deciphering the German Enigma code, considered by many to be unbreakable. To this end, he enlists the help of »
- Isaac Feldberg
Legendary graphic novel writer Alan Moore (Watchmen, V For Vendetta) has called for fans to boycott the forthcoming Hercules movie directed by Brett Ratner (X:Men The Last Stand, Rush Hour), produced by Paramount/MGM and starring Dwayne Johnson. The latest adaptation of the Greek demigod is based on Radical Comics Hercules: The Thracian Wars written by longtime friend Scott Moore (no relation to Alan).
Alan Moore’s issue has nothing to do with the quality of the final piece or even how faithful it’s been to the original source material – like his similar qualms with his own graphic novel adaptations – it is simply to do with how his friend’s name – following his untimely death in March of this year – has been used to help promote the movie. Speaking to Bleeding Cool, Alan Moore explains that following unsuccessful negotiations regarding the rights of the comic books Scott Moore received »
- Gavin Logan
A month ago Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) dropped out of Paul King’s adaptation of the beloved children’s book Paddington, saying that he no longer felt that his voice fit the part. His departure came just a few months before the iconic British bear’s winter release date, meaning King and co. needed to find a new voice actor quickly.
Whishaw told the Daily Mail that he had “no relationship to Paddington whatsoever” before being asked “quite out of the blue” to audition for the part, but in the grand scheme of »
- James Garcia
Matthew Vaughn has become something of a go-to filmmaker for quality comic book movies, having worked on the well-received X-Men: First Class and the adaptation of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr's offbeat superhero adventure Kick-Ass.
Now he's back with Kingsman: The Secret Service, based on a concept he and Millar hatched together. Millar and Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons have already published the story as a comic book, and now Vaughn is working on the film version, which is less an adaptation than his own imagining of the original idea.
Vaughn has attracted a top cast, including Colin Firth and Mark Strong (who appeared together in a very different take on the spy genre, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as well as Samuel L Jackson, Michael Caine and newcomer Taron Egerton.
The film centres around council estate kid Eggsy (Egerton), a young tearaway bailed out of jail by his late father's »
Whether or not you agree with his recent comments in Playboy, there's no denying Gary Oldman is one of the great actors of our time.
Ever since breaking out in 1986's "Sid and Nancy" as the self-destructing Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, Oldman has transformed himself from one role to the next. A true chameleon, the actor changes his voice for every part and is nearly unrecognizable in films like "True Romance" (1993) and "The Contender" (2000). Despite his enormous influence among fellow actors, Oldman shuns the spotlight and has only once been nominated for an Oscar. Oldman turns in yet another stirring performance (despite limited screen time) in this summer's "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes".
From his famous ex-wife to his rejection from a prestigious drama school, here are 27 things you probably don't know about Gary Oldman.
1. Gary Oldman was born on March 21, 1958 in London, England to Kathleen Cheriton and Leonard Bertram Oldman. »
- Jonny Black
Described as a “soccer hooligan action comedy,” Grimsby stars Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as a British black-ops agent who is forced to go on the run and team up with his idiotic English football hooligan brother, played by Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen.
Cruz will reportedly play the film’s femme fatale, and joins The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides co-star Ian McShane, Pitch Perfect‘s Rebel Wilson, Peaky Blinders‘ Annabelle Wallis, Homeland‘s David Harewood, Academy Award nominee Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), English comedian Johnny Vegas, and Isla Fisher (The Great Gatsby, Wedding Crashers).
Grimsby is currently filming, and is set to hit theaters on July 31st, 2015.
The post Penelope Cruz to play a femme fatale in »
- James Garcia
The actor - who died in February - plays the leader of a German anti-terrorism unit that is tasked with the capture of a Chechen (Grigoriy Dobrygin) who has shown up in Hamburg.
Gunter Bachmann (Hoffman) is aided by his loyal crew, but the true motives of the Chechen and an attorney (Rachel McAdams) who is protecting him become increasingly unclear.
Hoffman's final screen appearances will be in the upcoming Hunger Games sequels Mockingjay - Part 1 and Part 2.
A Most Wanted Man opens on July 25 in the Us and on September 5 in the UK. »
An absurdist mock epic that is hilarious, outrageous, and completely insane. It’s like a bonkers Swedish Forrest Gump. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Rarely has a film’s title been so bold, so bald, so straightforward, so lacking in pretense, pretension, or bullshit as that of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. To escape the dreadfully cheery imminent celebration of his 100th birthday, Allan Karlsson (Robert Gustafsson, who is actually only half that age) climbs out the window of the retirement home he was sentenced to after an unfortunate mishap with dynamite, and disappears. Not to our eyes, of course, only to those of the horrible busybodies in the home who want to limit his fun. Allan really likes blowing things up, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Before I Go to Sleep has released a new trailer.
Christine wakes every day with no knowledge of who she is, and only a series of videos and clues exist to help her fill in the gaps.
Kidman was most recently seen in Grace of Monaco.
Before I Go to Sleep will be released on September 5 in the UK and September 12 in the Us. »
Judging by footage like that from the new UK theatrical preview (see above), the forthcoming A Most Wanted Man bears a resemblance to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – another recent adaptation of author John le Carré’s spy drama literature – in terms of its narrative, themes and style. Even grizzled, constantly smoking, German spy chief Günther Bachmann (played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) appears to be a chip off the same block that gave rise to Gary Oldman’s George Smiley in Tinker Tailor. Not that we’re complaining, mind you, since another dive into the chilling pool of le Carré’s realistic spy games, sounds like an enticing proposition.
The trouble in A Most Wanted Man begins when Issa Karpov (Grioriy Dobrygin) – a half-Chechen, half Russian Muslim immigrant – inexplicably shows up half-dead in Hamburg, laying claim to his father’s vast, but ...
Click to continue reading ‘A Most Wanted Man »
- Sandy Schaefer
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