1-20 of 32 items from 2017 « Prev | Next »
For anyone who's seen Don Siegel's sensational 1971 adaptation of The Beguiled, drawn from Thomas P. Cullinan’s gothic novel A Painted Devil, it's not hard to see why Sofia Coppola would be attracted to the material. From her debut feature, The Virgin Suicides, Coppola has had a lingering interest in the lives of women trapped by circumstance in one way or another, which the story—set in an all-girls boarding school in Virginia three years into the Civil War—ably extends. But while Coppola's vision is predictably sharp in the way that it tackles the story's sexual politics and laser-like focus on feminine desire, the film also feels flattened, its underlying lurid, psychosexual appeal absorbed into a kind of dreamy gossamer haze.Immediately, the opening—the ornate pink curlicues of the title card; the figure of a small girl walking alone along the forest path framed by dense foliage, »
Philippe Le Sourd didn’t have to lobby for “The Beguiled” to be shot on film. Producer Youree Henley and Sofia Coppola, writer and director of the Civil War-era thriller, set to be released June 23 by Focus Features, had chosen film over digital before the French cinematographer joined the project.
Le Sourd was pleased. “I think everything should be shot on film,” he says.
Not that there weren’t challenges. The Dp, Oscar nominated for Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmaster,” which he also shot on film, acknowledges the difficulty in finding the right lab and the right process for celluloid. “But to bring [‘The Beguiled’] alive on film was a good fight,” he says.
Le Sourd used an Arricam Lite camera outfitted with vintage Cooke S2 and Panavision Ultra Speed lenses to shoot the movie, which revolves around a group of young women and their headmistress at a Southern girls’ boarding school who secretly shelter a wounded Union soldier. He pull-processed the Kodak Vision3 500T 5219 stock, allowing for a tonality he says he would not have been able to capture with digital. “I was reaching for something almost like a gray light, trying to awaken the soul of the darkness that you would feel in the middle of the Civil War,” he says.
Shot on location in Louisiana, the opening sequence of the film depicts a young girl gathering mushrooms in a forest that feels foreboding even in daylight when she encounters an injured enemy soldier. “One of our references was Kurosawa’s ‘Rashomon,’” Le Sourd says. “We tried to make this forest mysterious, almost like a cemetery. We go with her into the darkness of the Civil War.”
The bulk of “The Beguiled” was filmed in a plantation house that became the film’s Farnsworth Seminary. It wouldn’t have had electricity, so Le Sourd maximized the use of daylight and candles; he deployed studio lights sparingly. “I tried to use the most naturalistic approach, avoiding backlight,” he explains. “If you look at a Vermeer painting, you see that most of the light is candlelight or window light. That was my approach.”
The Dp operated the camera himself. He says he and Coppola, who won best director for the film in Cannes in May, didn’t prepare storyboards in advance of the 26-day shoot, choosing to make up shots as they went along. “Sofia doesn’t do many takes,” says Le Sourd. “The fact that she’s not looking at a monitor — we didn’t do any playback — saved us time.”
The pair focused on capturing the emotion and body language of a cast that includes Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, so the camera was most often in a static position. “We tried to be simple and avoid any showy camera movement,” Le Sourd says. “I find sometimes the more you move the camera, the less you get the emotion.”
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- Christine Champagne
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have announced that filming is underway on the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, the third instalment of the shared MonsterVerse, which had been going by the title of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and is being directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick R Treat, Krampus).
Accompanying the official announcement is a synopsis which confirms that Godzilla will do battle with iconic foes Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah – which won’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone who’s seen this year’s Kong: Skull Island.
“The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths – rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s »
- Gary Collinson
Lucida Entertainment, the multifaceted film company headed by veteran producer Terence Chang, celebrated its first anniversary by boarding “The Invisible Guard.” The film is to be directed by Yuen Woo Ping, the celebrated action choreographer of “The Grandmaster” and “Kill Bill” and director of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.”
The film is to be a live action adaptation of one of the hottest animated properties in China, a Tang Dynasty-set martial arts action series which in two seasons has amassed more than 6.6 billion views across all of China’s major online video platforms. Chang is set as executive producer.
The project, unveiled on the margins of the Shanghai International Film Festival, adds to a five-film slate announced this time last year when the company launched. Three of the five are now in advanced stages of production, including “The Adventurers,” starring France’s Jean Reno, Hong Kong’s Andy Lau »
- Patrick Frater
The time is almost here! Godzilla: King of Monsters is shooting soon, and in the past few months, the movie has been collecting quite the ensemble of talented cast members. The latest addition is quite exciting, with acclaimed actress Zhang Ziyi signing on for a key role. She's not just appearing in Godzilla 2, but she will also be a key player in future Monsterverse movies to come.
Legendary announced this week that they've closed a deal for Zhang Ziyi to join Legendary and Warner Bros.' cinematic Monsterverse. Though her character has not yet been revealed, she will be featured in a major franchise role, beginning with the next Godzilla film opposite Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford and Ken Watanabe. The film is set several years after the events of the 2014 Godzilla, and the character is a significant figure within the covert Monarch organization established in that film. »
Although specific details are being kept under wraps, her character is said to be a significant figure within the covert Monarch organisation. Given that it’s said to be a major franchise role, she’ll presumably also be returning for 2020’s epic monster showdown Godzilla vs. Kong.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is set for release on March 22nd, 2019 and sees Michael Dougherty (Krampus) directing returning Godzilla stars Sally Hawkins (Dr. Vivienne Graham) and Ken Watanabe (Dr. Ishiro Serizawa), and new additions Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Aisha Hinds (Star Trek Into Darkness), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), Zhang Ziyi (The Grandmaster) and »
- Gary Collinson
Zhang Ziyi is set join Legendary’s Monsterverse in a major franchise role, beginning with the next “Godzilla” film, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” The Beijing-born actress will star opposite Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, and Ken Watanabe.
The film is set several years after the events of the 2014 “Godzilla,” and her character is a significant figure within the covert Monarch organization established in that film.
Alex Garcia will oversee the tentpole for Legendary. “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” hits theaters on March 22, 2019, with the monster mash-up “Godzilla vs. Kong” slated to bow the following year on May 22, 2020.
- Justin Kroll
Over the weekend, audiences attending the female-led Wonder Woman were treated to a very short teaser for an upcoming film that tells a superhero origin story unlike any other. The DC Super Hero’s first-ever standalone film, from director Patty Jenkins, had an opening weekend total of $223 million worldwide.
Annapurna Pictures has released this “more to come” teaser.
We’re hooked! Also known as “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women”, Professor M features Luke Evans (Dr. William Moulton Marston), Rebecca Hall (Elizabeth Marston), Bella Heathcote (Olive Byrne), Connie Britton and Oliver Platt and is directed by Angela Robinson (“True Blood,” “The L Word”.
The films details the unconventional life of Dr. William Marston, the Harvard psychologist and inventor who helped invent the modern lie detector test and created Wonder Woman in 1941. Marston was in a polyamorous relationship with his wife Elizabeth, a psychologist and inventor in her own right, »
- Michelle Hannett
What do we mean when we say that a filmmaker is “limited”? Is it that their talents are relatively confined? Or is it that because of their particular sensibilities, they choose to make films within a specific arena? Perhaps the better question is: How much does that matter? A filmmaker like Hong Sang-soo, for example—at Cannes this year with both The Day After and Claire's Camera—could certainly be described as “limited” in some respects; but he still produces some of the most consistent and interesting work in the contemporary cinematic landscape. It can't be denied, though, that it's always exciting when filmmakers push themselves and make films squarely outside their comfort zones, which could be said of Sofia Coppola who returns to Cannes this year with The Beguiled. Adapted from Thomas P. Cullinan’s gothic novel A Painted Devil as well as the original 1971 movie adaptation by Don Siegel, »
At the Quad Cinema - Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise; Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell To Earth; Mitchell Leisen's Hold Back The Dawn; Elia Kazan's America, America; Werner Herzog's Stroszek; Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In America, Slava Tsukerman's Liquid Sky with Anne Carlisle become Immigrant Songs. Retrospectives for Goldie Hawn, Frank Perry & Eleanor Perry, Bertrand Tavernier and Ryuichi Sakamoto; a Rainer Werner Fassbinder Lola First Encounter with Sandra Bernhard, Jean-Luc Godard's King Lear and a drop of Nathan Silver's Thirst Street come up in my conversation with Director of Programming C Mason Wells.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Cannon fire rumbles menacingly in the distance, but it’s human desire that might prove to be the greater threat after all in The Beguiled. Set to the backdrop of the American Civil War, Sofia Coppola‘s film is a sumptuous and often campy erotic horror, one that marks a confident debut genre outing for a director better-known for contemporary and often quite personal filmmaking (Lost in Translation, Somewhere, etc.). Although primarily based on the 1966 book by Thomas Cullinan, it appears, at first glance, to be a remake of Don Siegel’s 1971 film adaptation rather than any sort of new reading of the original text. Coppola, of course, is far too clever for that.
Colin Farrell portrays Corporal John McBurney, previously played by Clint Eastwood, a Union soldier who is found injured in a Mississippi forest by a young girl who decides to take him to her secluded Catholic presentation school to recover. »
- Rory O'Connor
The deal also gives Lionsgate partial rights to lcoation-based entertainment facilities based on “Monster Hunt.” Lionsgate is already one of several partners building an entertainment venue in Zhuhai, China, just across the border from Macau and one hour’s travel across the Pearl River estuary from Hong Kong.
The “Monster Hunt” films are produced by Bill Kong’s Edko Films. The films are live action-animation hybrids directed by Raman Hui, the Hong Kong-born director who spent 20 years in North America and is often described as the co-creator of “Shrek.” Many of the effects were provided by Beijing-based BaseFX.
The original 2015 film became the highest-grossing film of all time in China with a cumulative gross of more than $380 million. That total has since been overtaken by “The Fate of the Furious” and “The Mermaid, »
- Patrick Frater
Exclusive: Distribution Workshop picks up Xu Haofeng-directed title.
Hong Kong-based Distribution Workshop has picked up international rights to martial arts action title The Hidden Sword, directed by Xu Haofeng.
Based on Xu’s own novella, the film is set in the 1930s when a special sword has helped the Chinese army win the war against Japan. The old man who developed the sword tries to go into hiding with his family, when his martial techniques start to attract too much attention, but eventually the outside world starts to intrude.
A leading martial arts fiction writer, Xu has also directed critically-acclaimed films such as The Sword Identity (2011), Judge Archer (2012) and The Final Master (2015) and co-wrote the screenplay for The Grandmaster (2013) with Wong Kar-wai. The Final Master, which »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Liz Shackleton)
Exclusive: Wild Bunch to handle sales on ‘Kaili Blues’ director’s second feature
Chinese director Bi Gan has attracted a top-flight cast for his second feature, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, including Tang Wei (Lust, Caution), Sylvia Chang (Mountains May Depart) and Huang Jue (The Final Master).
In addition, Wild Bunch has come on board to handle international sales on the detective drama, which also stars Taiwanese actor Lee Hong-chi (Thanatos, Drunk) and reunites the director with Chen Yongzhong, the lead actor of his award-winning debut, Kaili Blues.
Shanghai-based Dangmai Films, established by Bi and producer Shan Zuolong, is producing with Huace Group and Han Han’s Pmf Pictures, while Charles Gillibert’s Paris-based CG Cinema will co-produce. Wild Bunch, which will commence sales on the film in Cannes next week, is handling all territories outside China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The story follows a man who returns to his hometown to find a mysterious »
- email@example.com (Liz Shackleton)
The story is a contemporary dramatization of the 1950s Hong Kong social and political forces that shaped Bruce Lee into both the most famous martial arts star of all time and a significant modern day philosopher. Themes include family disappointment, young love, true friendship, betrayal, racism, deep poverty and an inner fire that threatened to unravel his destiny
Shannon Lee conducted significant new research into her father’s youth and formative years, a subject which has previously been tangentially explored in numerous moves including Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmaster” and the rival “Ip Man” franchise movies respectively directed by Wilson Yip and Herman Yau. Kapur, who also serves as executive producer, co-wrote the »
- Patrick Frater
Andrew Rossi's The First Monday In May (2016 Tribeca Film Festival Opening Night Gala selection) brilliantly captured the work behind the scenes for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute China: Through The Looking Glass exhibition, curated by Andrew Bolton with The Grandmaster's Wong Kar Wai as Artistic Director, and Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour's Costume Institute Gala Benefit. The first Monday in May is here again.
Object/Subject - Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art Of The In-Between Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Julianne Moore, Lena Dunham (seen at Tribeca in Laurie Simmons' My Art), Felicity Jones, Claire Foy, Ruth Negga, Lupita Nyong'o, Reese Witherspoon, Katie Holmes, Sarah Paulson, Madonna, Jeff Koons (Pappi Corsicato's Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Ahead of its premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and a theatrical release in June, Focus Features have unveiled a new trailer for The Beguiled, the remake helmed by Sofia Coppola. Led by Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Angourie Rice, it follows a Union solider who becomes the object of affection for the girls and women of an all-female boarding school in the Antebellum South.
“I had seen the 1971 film with Clint Eastwood and it was such a far-out premise. I loved the girls’ school, southern gothic style and sexual tension in the hot south,” Coppola said at CinemaCon. “The story is just really intriguing and sexy and fun and dark. It takes a dark turn you wouldn’t expect.” As one can tell in the new trailer, the eroticism is on full display for what should be one of the summer’s best films. »
- Leonard Pearce
Neon has released the second trailer for their upcoming indie thriller entitled The Bad Batch, the second film from heralded indie filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night). After a critically-acclaimed debut at the Venice Film Festival last fall, where the writer-director won a Special Jury Prize, and subsequent screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest, Neon will release The Bad Batch in theaters this summer. While it may not be a big-budget affair, this low-budget indie seems to have what it takes to become an instant cult classic and a sleeper hit, with a diverse all-star cast.
Neon has debuted this new trailer, which offers new scenes and a glimpse at this crazed ensemble, including a peek at Jim Carrey's Hermit, who is practically unrecognizable. He's seen trudging through the wasteland, wearing sunglasses made out of cardboard. It seems that he's dragging something through the desert, »
Annapurna Pictures has released the first trailer for the upcoming film Detroit.
From the Academy Award winning director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Detroit tells the gripping story of one of the darkest moments during the civil unrest that rocked Detroit in the summer of ’67.
The huge cast features John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, Hannah Murray, Kaitlyn Dever, Jack Reynor, Ben O’Toole, Joseph David Jones, Ephraim Sykes, Leon Thomas III, Nathan Davis Jr., Peyton Alex Smith, Malcolm David Kelley, Gbenga Akinnabve, Chris Chalk, Jeremy Strong, Laz Alonzo, Austin Hebert, Miguel Pimentel, Kris Davis, with John Krasinski and Anthony Mackie.
Annapurna Pictures, founded by Megan Ellison, has garnered a total of 32 Academy Award nominations for their projects, including Zero Dark Thirty, Joy, The Master, Foxcatcher, and The Grandmaster. Ellison is also one of only four honorees ever to receive two Best Picture nominations in the same year, »
- Michelle McCue
This year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival (Hkiff) will mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to China with a special focus on major Hong Kong movies of the past 20 years.
The section, ‘Paradigm Shift: Post-97 Hong Kong Cinema’, kicks off with films such as Fruit Chan’s Made In Hong Kong and Ringo Lam’s Full Alert from the period immediately after the handover, when local cinema was under pressure with box office declining and the mainland market starting to grow.
It then moves on to landmark titles such as Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer (2001), Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s Infernal Affairs [pictured] (2002) and Johnnie To’s Election (2005), which all defined Hong Kong cinema in their own way.
The series of 20 titles ends with Pang Ho-cheung’s Love In A Puff »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Liz Shackleton)
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