6 items from 2015
There are still three weeks to go before the Cannes Film Festival unveils its official-selection lineup, but so far, the latest Pixar 3D animated extravaganza and new films from Woody Allen, Todd Haynes, Jeff Nichols, Denis Villeneuve and Arnaud Desplechin appear to be securing their positions in the event’s 68th annual edition (May 13-24).
In keeping with his longtime habit of avoiding festival accolades, Allen will likely receive an out-of-competition berth for his 45th feature, “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone (who starred in the director’s “Magic in the Moonlight”). Among other U.S. fare, Cannes will get an early start on the summer blockbuster season with Disney/Pixar’s feature toon “Inside Out,” marking a second trip to the Croisette for director Pete Docter (who co-helmed with Ronaldo Del Carmen) after his “Up” opened the festival in 2009. As already announced, George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
Friday was the United Nation's International Day of Happiness, and who better to ring in the day than Pharrell? Speaking to a crowd of students, the artist-producer told them that fighting for the environment was crucial to everyone's happiness. "If you don't have a home, then you don't have a life. So we have to transition from 'climate change' to 'climate action.'"In concert for the big day, the U.N. also released the "world's happiest playlist" as determined by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and a bunch of celebrities from Ed Sheeran to Britney Spears. Strangely, Pharrell's "Happy" is not on the list! Maybe that would have seemed like favoritism? (Pharrell, for his part, picked the Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place.") Here's a list of each celebrity and their picks from the UK Independent. You can listen to the playlist on MixRadio. A R Rahman »
- E. Alex Jung
Rome – The Rome Film Festival has a new team in place, headed by its onetime artistic director Piera Detassis who has been appointed president of the foundation that oversees the event, which now appears to be entering a new phase.
Antonio Monda, a multihyphenate with ties to the U.S. film and literary world, is widely expected to be appointed Rome’s artistic director on Monday, replacing Marco Mueller who exited last year, following a turbulent three-year mandate.
Monda is a high-powered New York-based Italo journalist with a flair for PR who has also dabbled in film and held Q&A sessions during the Rome fest. He appears in brief cameos in Wes Anderson’s “The Life Acquatic” and Paolo Sorrentino’s “This Must Be The Place.”
Detassis, who prior to Mueller had been artistic director at Rome and has been in prominent roles there since its inception, underscored the »
- Nick Vivarelli
Sold by Film Factory, “Ixcanul” world premieres next Saturday in Competition at the Berlin Festival.
Arp Selection’s acquisition marks the first distribution deal to go down on “Ixcanul,” which is raising large expectation after it made the Berlin Competition cut last month, competing with such seasoned directors’ latest as Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups,” Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert” or Benoit Jacquot’s “Diary of a Chambermaid.”
The fact that Arp Selection has bought “Ixcanul” is noteworthy. Buying mostly from Europe, Arp targets often art films with potentially wider audience appeal: Ari Folman’s “The Congress,” with Robin J.C. Chandor’s “Margin Call,” and Paulo Sorrentino’s Sean Penn starrer “This Must Be the Place.” Arp Selection’s biggest recent release was Steven Soderbergh »
- John Hopewell
Sean Penn: Honorary César goes Hollywood – again (photo: Sean Penn in '21 Grams') Sean Penn, 54, will receive the 2015 Honorary César (César d'Honneur), the French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Crafts has announced. That means the French Academy's powers-that-be are once again trying to make the Prix César ceremony relevant to the American media. Their tactic is to hand out the career award to a widely known and relatively young – i.e., media friendly – Hollywood celebrity. (Scroll down for more such examples.) In the words of the French Academy, Honorary César 2015 recipient Sean Penn is a "living legend" and "a stand-alone icon in American cinema." It has also hailed the two-time Best Actor Oscar winner as a "mythical actor, a politically active personality and an exceptional director." Penn will be honored at the César Awards ceremony on Feb. 20, 2015. Sean Penn movies Sean Penn movies range from the teen comedy »
- Steve Montgomery
In the Future
While Italian auteur went home empty-handed from Cannes 2013 with The Great Beauty, he went on to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. One of the most renowned modern masters of Italian cinema, Sorrentino returns to the English language for a second dip following 2011’s Sean Penn headlined This Must Be the Place. While that was probably our least favorite of Sorrentino’s filmography (especially compared to his last film or 2008’s Il Divo), we’re excited for the starry line-up of his latest, including Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Jane Fonda, and Rachel Weisz. The narrative focuses on two old friends, both in the late autumn of their lives. One a retired composer/conductor, the other a filmmaker writing what he assumes will be his last film, we assume surprises are in store for both.
- Nicholas Bell
6 items from 2015
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