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Rome — The Venice Film Festival has unveiled a potentially strong lineup with enough studio/specialty titles toplining A-list stars — including Jake Gyllenhaal (“Everest”), Johnny Depp (“Black Mass”) and Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”) — to boost its role as a classy awards-season platform, plus new works by Charlie Kaufman, Alexander Sokurov, Amos Gitai, Marco Bellocchio and many other high-caliber international auteurs.
As previously announced, Baltasar Kormakur’s mountain-climbing thriller “Everest” from Universal, starring Gyllenhaal, will open Venice out of competition on Sept. 2 — a nice coup for artistic director Alberto Barbera, segueing from “Birdman” as opener last year, and sci-fi thriller “Gravity” in 2013.
With Toronto less aggressive in its push to secure more world preems, Venice is bowing several hot titles — including Cary Fukunaga’s child-soldier drama “Beasts of No Nation,” Atom Egoyan’s “Remember” and Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” featuring Michael Keaton’s first post-“Birdman” screen appearance — that are subsequently Toronto-bound. »
- Nick Vivarelli
Rome – With less than ten days to go before the Venice Film festival reveals its lineup, several high-profile U.S. studio/specialty titles appear to be secured, including Scott Cooper-directed Johnny Depp gangster drama “Black Mass,” from Warner Bros., and Luca Guadagnino’s Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton-starrer “A Bigger Splash, which Fox Searchlight is releasing stateside.
Also likely to be Lido-bound are Charlie Kaufman’s stop motion animation “Anomalisa” and new works from international heavyweight auteurs Alexander Sokurov, Amos Gitai, and Marco Bellocchio, as well as younger directors like Argentinian Pablo Trapero’s hot crimer “The Clan,” which Fox will release in Latin America.
Word on what pics will surface at Venice is more muted than usual this year, with artistic director Alberto Barbera believed to be making down to the wire decisions and several potential contenders, including Sean Penn-directed Liberia-set romance “The Last Face,” thought instead not to be ready. »
- Nick Vivarelli
Courtney Love's looking for a fresh start! The rocker recently sat down with Harper's Bazaar, where she discusses the problems with plastic surgery and aging in Hollywood, making the move to the big screen and her fashion evolution. It sounds like Love has been taking good care of herself over the last few years -- she's been keeping fit with pilates and eating healthy on a regular basis. "There was a period when I got quite heavy, and I had to do a magazine shoot. They Photoshopped the pictures, but I got ahold of the un-Photoshopped versions and put them on my fridge," she tells the mag. "After that I went to great lengths to lose the weight." "I've really turned a corner in the past three or four years. It began when I decided to get back into acting, and to do that you need to look as »
- tooFab Staff
The premiere of German-language period drama “Deutschland 83” on SundanceTV tonight marks the start of a TV experiment on both sides of the Atlantic.
SundanceTV continues its tradition of challenging American viewers to warm up to subtitles for regular drama series. German viewers will also be presented with a mostly unfamiliar brand of storytelling when the series premieres there on broadcaster Rtl in the fall.
“Deutschland 83” is a taut spy thriller set in a divided Germany in 1983, during a peak period for Cold War tensions between East and West. Actor Jonas Nay plays Martin, a wide-eyed 24-year-old East German soldier plucked from obscurity to go undercover as a West German soldier. The drama mixes coming-of-age material for the protagonist — who finds to his surprise that he’s pretty resourceful when it comes to snooping — and intrigue from the tense political climate that Germans on both side of the wall faced in the 1980s. »
- Cynthia Littleton
Monsters: Dark Continent, the sequel to Gareth Edwards' Monsters, takes a harrowing look at creature-centric combat and is now available on Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment and RADiUS TWC. We've been provided with three copies to give away.
"Ten years after the events of Monsters, the Infected Zones have now spread worldwide, and an American platoon is thrust into battle with a new breed of aliens. These soldiers embark on a life-altering mission through the dark heart of monster territory in the deserts of the Middle East. By the time they reach their goal, they will have been forced to confront their fear that the true monsters on the planet may not be alien after all."
Prize Details: (3) Winners will receive (1) Blu-ray copy of Monsters: Dark Continent.
How to Enter: For a chance to win, email email@example.com with the subject “Monsters: Dark Continent Contest.” Be sure »
- Derek Anderson
Italian filmmaker Paulo Sorrentino was overlooked at Cannes in 2013 for the Palme d’Or, but perhaps it didn't matter, as his sumptuous feature about excess and spiritual emptiness "The Great Beauty" won the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, as well as the Golden Globe. And like many foreign directors who get a good boost of global attention from the Oscars or an attention-grabbing festival win, for his follow-up effort, Sorrentino nabbed a bunch of Hollywood stars and made his second English-language effort (the first was “This Must Be the Place” with Sean Penn). Scooped up quick by Fox Searchlight—which probably speaks to its commercial appeal—Sorrentino’s latest film, “Youth,” centers on old men, aging and the ideas of obsolescence. Here's our review followed by the official synopsis: Read More: The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival Fred and Mick, two old friends approaching their eighties, »
- Rodrigo Perez
Peter Debruge: Well, I didn’t see that coming. In what feels like a twist ending — one that leaves me feeling a bit like Tim Roth at the end of “Chronic” — the Cannes jury has awarded the Palme d’Or to “Dheepan,” a movie that lags among my least favorites in the competition, and the weakest in Jacques Audiard’s filmography.
People have been throwing the word “weak” around a lot this week, grousing that the official selection doesn’t measure up to that of previous years. I defer to you, Scott and Justin, since you’ve each been attending Cannes for longer than I have (this is only my fifth time on the Croisette), but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time here, it’s that Cannes critics always like to complain that the present year’s crop feels meager by comparison to past editions, »
- Peter Debruge, Scott Foundas and Justin Chang
Reporting from the Cannes Film Festival. Most films depicting old age tell their stories slowly and move in a darker and depressing direction. While this isn't always a bad thing, director Paolo Sorrentino's new film Youth takes a more light-hearted approach to aging and it's a welcome departure. The Italian filmmaker recently won the Best Foreign Language Oscar for The Great Beauty and all the fun and whimsy of that previous endeavor is on full display here as well. Youth is also Sorrentino's second English-language film after the disastrous This Must Be the Place, a huge misfire that has paved the way for this return to form. Sorrentino's Youth takes place in an exclusive Swiss spa for the wealthy and pampered. We're introduced to many eccentric characters but at first glance are focused on two best friends. Fred (played by Michael Caine) is a world-renowned musician who has just »
- Marco Cerritos
Italian director Paolo Sorrentino knows his contemporary indie music, and even in a movie like “The Great Beauty,” filled with sonorous opera, vocal ensemble, and classical music, he still manages to sneak in some Esg, Damien Jurado, Decoder Ring, and Gui Boratto’s Kompact Records version of “Take My Breath Away.” The director also clearly has affection for classic post-punk influenced music. His 2011 film, “This Must Be the Place” (named after a Talking Heads song), featured Sean Penn in a role that appeared to be a thin disguise for The Cure’s Robert Smith, and its soundtrack featured artists like David Byrne, Will Oldham, Jonsi from Sigur Ros, Iggy Pop, and more. His latest film, “Youth,” which just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival (read our review here), has its own hip score. The film features Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Paul Dano and centers on two aging friends, »
- Edward Davis
The last of the three competing Italian films for the Palme d’Or, unlike 2008 where Garrone’s Gomorrah edged out Sorrentino’s Il Divo, here, solely going by grade average, it is Youth that is edging Tale of Tales. His seventh feature film, a Toni Servillo-less second English language film and fifth to appear In Comp at Cannes, Youth stars Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda in what appears to be a nice companion piece to his Oscar-winning The Great Beauty. Our Nicholas Bell describes the filmmaker’s touch as “less bombastic and potentially meditative with characters contemplating a last hurrah as they remember highs and lows.” Previously the filmmaker first shored up in Cannes with 2004’s The Consequences of Love, 2006’s Friend of the Family and who can forget career belly-flop in 2011’s This Must Be the Place.
- Eric Lavallee
Read More: Cannes: Michael Caine Will Win Awards for Paolo Sorrentino's 'Youth' Italian writer-director Paolo Sorrentino returned to the Cannes Film Festival yesterday to premiere "Youth," the follow-up to the biggest crossover hit of his career, "The Great Beauty," which premiered at the festival in 2013 and went on to win 2014's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. "Youth" marks Sorrentino's second English language feature following 2011's "This Must Be the Place," which also first screened at Cannes. The comedy stars Michael Caine as an elderly famed composer on an extended stay at a an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps, along with his filmmaker friend (Harvey Keitel). Indiewire's Eric Kohn called "Youth" Sorrentino's "most broadly appealing comedy-drama" in his review. We sat down with Sorrentino in Cannes to discuss his latest, the negative critical reception to "This Must Be the Place," and his »
- Nigel M Smith
Oh, Youth and Beauty!: Sorrentino’s Shows Softer Side in Switzerland
Following the success of the snide yet undeniably eloquent 2013 title The Great Beauty, which ended up snatching the Best Foreign Language statue at the Academy Awards, Paolo Sorrentino takes a second dip in English following 2011’s This Must Be the Place with Youth. Tender, sweet, and more emotional than his last film, Sorrentino is once again pontificating on the last chapter of life, this time through the vessels of a retired composer and aged film director, as portrayed by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel. Threaded with the auteur’s usual flashes of visual inspiration, this time around he seems less bombastic and potentially meditative with characters contemplating a last hurrah as they remember highs and lows.
At an isolated hotel in the foothills of the Alps, two old friends return to spend another vacation period. Retired composer Fred »
- Nicholas Bell
Youth is a voluptuary’s feast, a full-body immersion in the sensory pleasures of the cinema. A film about old artists by a much younger man, Paolo Sorrentino’s second English-language feature is an immeasurable improvement on his first, This Must Be the Place, standing much closer to the level of his 2013 triumph, The Great Beauty, as it takes on potentially heavy material in a disarmingly whimsical, intelligent and keen-witted manner. Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, both at the top of their games, wonderfully carry this spirited look at two aging artist friends with distinctly different ideas about
- Todd McCarthy
In “The Great Beauty,” there’s a flashback in which a young Jep Gambardella recalls the promise of love — its loss, with the betrayal of youthful ideals, leads to Jep’s crushing self-contempt. It’s a tender moment in a film of deep cynicism, and now Paolo Sorrentino, with “Youth,” delivers his most tender film to date, an emotionally rich contemplation of life’s wisdom gained, lost and remembered — with cynicism harping from the sidelines, but as a wearied chord rather than a major motif. Set in a Swiss spa with two old friends — one a retired composer-conductor, the other an active helmer— “Youth” is less flashy than Sorrentino’s recent pics but no less beautiful. Shot in English, with leads Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel bringing lifetimes of depth to their roles, the film, which Fox Searchlight is releasing Stateside, could become Sorrentino’s biggest box office hit yet. »
- Jay Weissberg
Read More: The 2015 Indiewire Cannes Bible Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's movies are always filled with elaborate techniques to a sometimes overbearing effect, though never without purpose. From the isolated experiences of a tyrannical leader in the baroque "Il Divo" to the immeasurably quirky "This Must Be the Place" to last year's spectacular foreign language winner "The Great Beauty," Sorrentino's filmmaking utilizes an operatic approach that refuses to slow down even when it gets overwhelming. Nothing has changed in that respect: "Youth," his latest and most broadly appealing comedy-drama, offers a spectacular excess of whimsical storytelling loaded with outlandish visual gags strewn throughout nearly every scene. Regardless of different viewers' tolerance level for that approach, however, one strength of "Youth" stands out as undeniable: Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, as a pair of strained artists approaching 80 and »
- Eric Kohn
It’s official: Jude Law will become the latest A-lister to head to the small screen, with news that he’s signed on to topline Paolo Sorrentino’s first-ever television series The Young Pope. Confirmation of Law’s involvement coincides with HBO picking up the show for broadcast in the U.S.
Law will portray a fictional American pope named Lenny Belardo who, upon being selected as the next leader of the Catholic Church, reveals himself to be the most conservative one in the history of the faith. Even the Vatican’s most prominent figures are not prepared for many of the hard-line policies Belardo sets out to implement. The series will take place in both the U.S. and the Vatican. Its timing is intriguing, given that the real-life Pope Francis is widely considered to be one of the most modern and liberal leaders the Church has had in many years. »
- Isaac Feldberg
British writer Rebecca Lenckiewicz has joined Bulgarian director Konstantin Bojanov on drama I Want To Be Like You. It marks Lenckiewicz’s first feature co-writing Oscar-winner Ida with director Pawel Pawlikowski.
Bojanov will shoot the coming-of-age drama this July on location in and around Copenhagen, the UK’s West Midlands and Belgium.
The film has a budget of $2.2m (€2m) and is a production partnership between Toolbox Film in Copenhagen, London’s Film and Music Entertainment, Brussels-based Left Field Ventures and Bulgaria’s Multfilm.
The young cast is led by Irish actor Barry Keoghan, who featured in Yann Demmange’s ’71. He more recently appeared in Mammal by Rebecca Daly, Trespass Against Us by Adam Smith, and Norfolk, directed by Martin Radich.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Tisne executive produced Saverio Costanzo’s “Hungry Hearts,” which won best actor and actress prizes in Venice for Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher, and “Cub,” which premiered at Toronto’s Midnight Madness 2015, and won best director at Sitges for Jonas Govaerts. “Hungry Hearts” is to be released in North America by IFC on June 5, and “Cub” will be released in the U.K. this summer by Altitude.
Govaerts and Tisne are in development on two English-language projects. The first, a fun horror taking place in the rock ‘n’ roll industry, is being written by Irish screenwriter Kevin Lehane (“Grabbers”). The second, soon to be announced, is the adaptation of a haunting short-story to be written by a Brit-listed British writer.
Collaboration with Costanzo (and Wildside, Mario Gianani »
- Leo Barraclough
In our latest round-up, we take a look at the theatrical release details for L.A. Slasher, Anchor Bay Entertainment's Blu-ray release of Monsters: Dark Continent, and the news of Helix being cancelled by Syfy.
L.A. Slasher: Press Release -- "Los Angeles, CA (April 27, 2015) - Archstone Distribution has announced that the horror-dark comedy feature L.A. Slasher, directed by Martin Owen and produced by Jeffrey Wright and Daniel Sollinger, will receive a North American theatrical release starting June 12 in select AMC Theatres.
“We are very excited to take L.A. Slasher to the silver screen," Archstone Distribution's President & CEO Brady Bowen stated. "It is a highly entertaining film with a unique voice that we know audiences are going to love!”
- Derek Anderson
The Fox Searchlight folks have always been a label who look towards Youth and they could technically be the first out of the gates among U.S. distributors (the usual suspects include the IFCs, SPCs and Weinsteins) to land a 2015 Cannes Film Fest title. THR reports that a deal is near on Paolo Sorrentino’s second English language feature. The film will likely be included in fall fest showcases in Telluride and Tiff for what could be an awards push for acting perfs from Michael Caine and Jane Fonda.
Gist: La giovinezza tells the story of Fred (Caine) and Mick, two old friends, are on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is still working. They look with curiosity and tenderness on their children’s confused lives, Micks enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests. »
- Eric Lavallee
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