10 items from 2015
Taking off the table the only Spanish-language title confirmed to date for Cannes, Arp Selection, one of France’s premier arthouse distributors, has acquired French rights to David Pablos’ “The Chosen Ones” (“Las Elegidas”).
One of 14 Un Certain Regard titles unveiled last Thursday by Thierry Fremaux, “Chosen” is lead-produced by top Mexican production house Canana, founded by Pablo Cruz, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, whose credits include Gerardo Naranjo’s “Miss Bala,” Cary Fukunaga’s “Sin Nombre” and the Luna-directed “Abel” and “Cesar Chavez.”
“The Chosen Ones” is co-produced by Paris-based Manny Films, founded by Philippe Gompel, which also co-produced Pablo Fendrik’s “El Ardor” with Argentina’s Magma Cine, Canana and Brazil’s Bananeira Filmes.
Produced by Cruz and a love story with thriller elements and ethical dilemmas, “The Chosen Ones” turns on 15-year-old, Ulises, »
- John Hopewell
Star-studded English-language dramas from Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, Denis Villeneuve, Justin Kurzel, Paolo Sorrentino and Matteo Garrone will vie for the Palme d’Or alongside new films by Valerie Donzelli, Jacques Audiard, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Jia Zhangke at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival, which unveiled its official selection lineup on Thursday.
While there are only two U.S. directors in competition — Haynes with “Carol,” a 1950s lesbian love story starring Cate Blanchett, and Van Sant with his suicide drama “The Sea of Trees,” pairing Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe — this year’s Palme race looks to feature more high-profile Hollywood talent than any in recent memory. Canada’s Villeneuve (“Prisoners,” “Enemy”) will bring his Mexican drug-cartel drama “Sicario,” with Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, while Australia’s Kurzel (“The Snowtown Murders”) secured a Palme berth for “Macbeth,” his Shakespeare adaptation toplining Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
If Youth makes a probable appearance at Cannes next month, it will mark the fifth time a Paolo Sorrentino film has been nominated for the Palm d’Or. Il Divo »
- Ryan Adams
Rome – Italy’s Indigo Films has released its teaser/trailer for Paolo Sorrentino’s buzzed-about “Youth” (La Giovinezza), the Italo auteur’s English-language follow-up to 2014 Foreign Language Oscar-winning “The Great Beauty,” which which it shares music by contemporary American composer David Lang.
“Youth,” which is tipped for Cannes, stars Michael Caine as a retired orchestra conductor vacationing in an Alpine resort who receives an invitation to perform for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Cast also includes Paul Dano, as a still-working film director also staying at the resort, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Jane Fonda, and Rumanian model Madalina Ghenea who plays Miss Universe.
If selected, “Youth” will mark Sorrentino’s sixth film in the Cannes competition, after “The Consequences of Love” (2004), “The Family Friend” (2006), the jury prize-winning “Il Divo” (2008), “This Must Be the Place” (2011) and “The Great Beauty” (2013).
Medusa will release “Youth” in Italy in an unspecified date in May. »
- Nick Vivarelli
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
10 items from 2015
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