20 items from 2015
Madrid – Opening with awaited Colombian title “Alias Maria” (pictured), threading the concept of memory – including fest’s own past – throughout its program, the 55th Cartagena International Film Festival, Latin America’s oldest fest, bows today under a new artistic director, Diana Bustamante, one of Colombia’s leading international producers (“The Wind Journeys,” “Crab Trap,” “La Playa D.C.,” “Refugiado” ).
It shows. The 55th Ficci, as it is known in local parlance, picks up, via a section dubbed 5 + 5 Ficci, on signature past Cartagena Fest titles from Latin America, and with a second sidebar, Gabo: The Films of My Life, on movies which impacted Colombia’s Nobel-prize novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a writer who studied cinema, taught cinema at Cuba’s San Antonio de los Baños Film School and whose novels inspired some 20 films. Arguably, his finest film creation, son Rodrigo Garcia, closes Ficci with “Last Days in the Desert.”
“The concept »
- John Hopewell
American Ultra stars Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg will be reunited later this year in another project: Woody Allen's next as yet untitled feature. Bruce Willis is the third cast member whose name has been publicly announced. The source for this information is an "exclusive" report via Deadline.com's Mike Fleming Jr. So far, as Fleming explains in his brief piece, Woody Allen and "his people" haven't confirmed the casting. In other words, things could change in the not-too-distant future. See also: Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt Movie Project, also featuring Laura Dern and Michelle Williams. Unsurprisingly, no plot details about the upcoming Woody Allen project have been forthcoming. In fact, one wonders if Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, and Bruce Willis – in case they have indeed joined the fold – know what the movie is going to be about. Allen's latest collaborators – Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum and Edward Walson – will be producing the film. »
- Zac Gille
Kristen Stewart joins Untitled Kelly Reichardt Project (photo: Kristen Stewart in 'Clouds of Sils Maria') This news bit has been everywhere online, but just in case you've missed it: History-making César Award winner Kristen Stewart has joined three-time Oscar-nominee Michelle Williams and two-time Oscar nominee Laura Dern in an as yet untitled drama set in Montana and to be directed by Kelly Reichardt.* Deadline.com first broke the story last week (Feb. 27, 2015). If all goes as planned, Kristen Stewart will play Boise lawyer Beth, who, nervous after accepting a teaching position in a small Montana town, befriends a local woman, Jamie, auditing her class.† Kelly Reichardt's usual partners Neil Kopp and Anish Savjani are producing the project, which is supposed to consist of a series of vignettes based on short stories by Maile Meloy. Also in the cast: James Le Gros (Point Break), Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows »
- Zac Gille
Hello again, dear readers. I hope you all had a good Valentine’s Day weekend, and that a lot of you got out to see Kingsman: The Secret Service, which is totally awesome. This coming Sunday also brings us the 87th Academy Awards, during which I’ll be both hoping Michael Keaton wins Best Actor for Birdman, and cursing the Academy for not giving a Best Animated Feature nomination to The Lego Movie. But in this meantime, this week’s installment of Trailer Trashin’ is our first look at one of my most anticipated films of the fall, Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak.
Premise: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, a young author is torn between the love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers. »
- Timothy Monforton
Netflix will be adding a brand new title to its slate of original film initiatives. The streaming platform will debut the war thriller Jadotville starring Jamie Dornan (of 50 Shades of Grey fame) across all Netflix territories in 2016.
Helmed by music video director Richie Smyth, Jadotville tells the story of Commander Patrick Quinlan (Dornan), the leader of an Irish Un battalion of 150 men who are under siege by 3,000 Congolese troops. Belgian and French mercenaries hired by mining companies lead the attack, with one French commander (played by Guillaume Canet of Blood Ties) particularly determined to defeat Quinlan’s outranked battalion.
Netflix acquired Jadotville at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival. The Irish war thriller, penned by Kevin Brodbin (Constantine), will film in Ireland and South Africa. Alan Moloney of Parallel Films (Albert Nobbs, Byzantium) is set to produce.
“The story of how Pat Quinlan led his troops against an overwhelming force without losing »
- Bree Brouwer
Get ready, folks. The evolution of film distribution continues to move forward. While theaters have distributors have tried to stall the process, the move towards digital distribution of films continues to inch forward. Netflix all ready showed the world that it was willing to change the way we watch TV, offering up a small slate of series that stream directly from the service all at once for binge-watching consumption, they're now moving onto films.
At last year's Berlin Film Festival, they acquired the rights to Jadotville. The war thriller will star Fifty Shades of Grey actor Jamie Dornan, and Tell No Lies actor Guillaume Canet. Now the rest of the pieces are coming together and the film is set to go into production for a 2016 premiere, exclusively on Netflix.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
A gripping true story of incredible bravery against impossible odds, the film thrillingly depicts »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
Netflix will premiere the new war thriller Jadotville, starring Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) and Guillaume Canet (Tell No One), across all its territories in 2016. Netflix acquired Jadotville at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival.  The film will go into production in April.
A gripping true story of incredible bravery against impossible odds, the film thrillingly depicts the 1961 siege of a 150-strong Irish Un battalion under Commander Patrick Quinlan (Jamie Dornan) by 3,000 Congolese troops led by French and Belgian mercenaries working for mining companies. Guillaume Canet plays a French commander who sought to defeat Quinlan and his men.
Directed by Richie Smyth, a well-known commercial and music video director (U2, Bon Jovi, The Verve) and written by Kevin Brodbin (Constantine), Jadotville will film in Ireland and South Africa. Alan Moloney will produce for Parallel Films (Haywire, Albert Nobbs, Byzantium).
"The story of how »
The film is slated to go into production in April, shooting in Ireland and South Africa. The project was brought to the European Film Market at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival by Alex Walton’s Bloom; the deal with Netflix was negotiated by UTA Independent Film Group.
Netflix acquired all rights to “Jadotville” and will debut the film on its Internet subscription VOD services. In addition, the company may also release the film theatrically for a qualifying run.
“Jadotville” tells the true story of the 1961 siege of a 150-member Irish U.N. battalion under Commander Patrick Quinlan (Dornan) by 3,000 Congolese troops, led by French and Belgian mercenaries working for mining companies. Film also stars Guillaume Canet (“Tell No One”) as the French commander who sought to defeat Quinlan and his men.
Netflix announced »
- Todd Spangler
Exclusive: Mongrel International has spiced up its Efm slate and joined a select handful of sales agents to secure the services of red-hot Ethan Hawke.
Hawke will play a reclusive fish peddler who falls for his arthritic housekeeper, the eponymous Maud who displays little talent for her job but huge ability as a painter and goes on to become a celebrated folk artist.
“Ethan Hawke is one of the finest actors and artists working today,” said Walsh. “His »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Just By Looking At It: Garcia’s Hollowed Jesus Flick
At one time an adept purveyor of what could loosely be termed the modernized ‘women’s picture’ with expert titles like Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her (2000), Nine Lives (2005) and Mother and Child (2009), director Rodrigo Garcia has gone off into more provocative territory following the stilted bauble, Albert Nobbs (2011). A reimagining (or perhaps, just imagining) of Jesus Christ’s forty days of fasting in the desert preceding the dreaded crucifixion provides the basis of the incredibly tedious Last Day in the Desert. Hardly made for the comfort of Christians yet so conservatively restrained that this representation would fail to invite or repel whatever deity with which it could have contended, Garcia is indebted to the talents of DoP Emmanuel Lubezki (who worked on Garcia’s first feature), who does for the rolling vistas of desert what he »
- Nicholas Bell
After taking part in period dramas such as Albert Nobbs and Jane Eyre, young actress Mia Wasikowska is at it again with Madame Bovary, an adaptation of the classic novel of the same name. The film has played at Telluride, Toronto and London film festivals, and now it's hitting theaters sometime this year. The first trailer has just arrived following Emma Bovary, who is ready to get married to a nice doctor, but finds that life as a wife doesn't really agree her desires. Bored and lonely due to her lackluster marriage, she begins to challenge her role in society and also finds romance with another young man. Watch the trailer below! Here's the first trailer for Sophie Barthes Madame Bovary from Film Divider: Madame Bovary is directed by Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls) and written by Felipe Marino, adapting the classic book of the same name. Marriage is at first »
- Ethan Anderton
A filmmaker known primarily for his perceptive melodramas about women, from “Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her ” to “Mother and Child,” now turns his attention to a primal tale of fathers and sons — including the Son of Man himself — in “Last Days in the Desert,” a quietly captivating and remarkably beautiful account of Jesus’ time in the wilderness before the beginning of his ministry. Deliberately paced, sparely imagined and suffused with mystery, writer-director Rodrigo Garcia’s seventh feature is nonetheless quite lucid and accessible in its themes of empathy, compassion and sacrifice, and grounded by a Christ/Satan dual performance by Ewan McGregor that plays vastly better onscreen than it sounds on paper. While many will find the drama as arid as its parched surroundings, with a thoughtful and concerted marketing approach the picture might well appeal to art-minded nonbelievers and Christians open-minded enough to accept an off-Scripture narrative. »
- Justin Chang
You're seeing that damn J-Lo movie this weekend, right? I already saw it! Get this: creepier and better than you think! Definitely better than "Obsessed," which was not good or campy enough for human consumption. After you get your fix of the delicious Ryan Guzman, check back online to watch some of these classic stalker titles. Fatal Attraction (Netflix) Glenn Close is right: This movie is dated and treats mentally ill people unfairly. Here's where Glenn Close is wrong: It's still a watchable, entertaining movie still because Glenn Close is the best damn actress of the past 40 years. She is a risky artist who somehow got to be a gigantic star, and she did it by choosing projects that almost no one else could tackle. Adore her forever. "Dangerous Liaisons" is also an insane treat. Why did she do "Albert Nobbs" to us? Stalker (Hulu) The world did the right »
- Louis Virtel
Broad City, Season 2, Episode 2, “Mochalatta Chills”
Directed by Michael Bleiden
Airs Wednesdays at 10:30pm on Comedy Central
As many have already noted, 2015 (much like the previous year, really) looks to be the year of the half-hour comedy. As television becomes ever more saturated, it appears that the best work—comedic or dramatic—is happening in half-hour chunks. Transparent season one had more emotionally resonant, dramatic moments than any current drama series, but it’s typically classified as a comedy mostly because of the episodes’ 30-minute runtime. The fact is that television’s most remarkable work is being done in this format, and Broad City is certainly no exception.
In that spirit, let’s talk about the direction of the show, which is always impressive, but rarely discussed. Take several examples from this episode: How about Abbi’s glorious naked dance and lipsync to »
- Jake Pitre
Scott Davis on films to look out for at Sundance 2015…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when many of Hollywood’s big hitters gather together to be awarded a variety of different prices on the Awards circuit, culminating with the 87th Academy Awards on February 22nd. But on Thursday weekend in west USA (namely Utah) the Sundance Film Festival kicks off again, and many of the world’s best independent films will get their debuts to the public, and the press, over the next few weeks.
Staff Writer Scott Davis takes a look at some of the films making their debuts, and digs deep to find the next gems that could be coming out way in 2015.
When an aging travel writer sets out to hike the 2,100-mile-long Appalachian Trail with a long-estranged high school buddy, the duo learn that some roads are better left untraveled. »
- Scott J. Davis
Chicago – This Thursday marks the beginning of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and yours truly will be in attendance to cover the fest for HollywoodChicago.com. Last year, the Park City, Utah event introduced the world to its 2014-defining sensations like “Whiplash” and “Boyhood”.
Those titles followed in the paths of indie landmarks such as “sex, lies and videotape,” “Clerks,” “Hoop Dreams,” “American Movie,” “Memento,” “Frozen River,” “Winter’s Bone,” and “Fruitvale Station,” among many others.
In pursuit of new favorite films for a new year, I’ve composed a relatively solid schedule so that I can devour as much diverse Sundance goodness as possible. Narratives, documentaries, white supremacists, nasty babies, Neil Hamburger, Chiwetel Ejiofor, stolen cop cars, and much, much more are all in play. But with hopes that everything I witness is the next “Boyhood”-like zeitgeist, I’ll be sure to report back here on what’s worth, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Mexican director Rodrigo Garcia has directed a variety of independent films, including the award-winning "Nine Lives "; the three-time Academy Award-nominated feature "Albert Nobbs, " starring Glenn Close; and "Mother and Child, " starring Annette Bening, Naomi Watts and Samuel L. Jackson. In 2000, his first film as a writer and director, "Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her," won the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival. His Sundance film "Last Days in the Desert" stars Ewan McGregor as Jesus Christ. What it's about: After several weeks fasting and praying in the wilderness, Jesus meets a family that lives in the desert, and becomes entangled in their problems. What it's really about: The influence of fathers on sons, and the sons' struggles to make their own life. Biggest challenge: The low budget was challenging, but I will admit that only with some embarrassment, since I'm sure it was »
- Casey Cipriani
Guillermo del Toro, Tommy Lee Jones, Luke Wilson and Bonnie Curtis will be inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in March as part of the Austin Film Society’s 15th annual Texas Film Awards, which celebrate the work of prominent Texans in the film industry.
Mexico native Del Toro, the director of films including “Pacific Rim” and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” has been deemed an honorary Texan, since he relocated to the state while making his films “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Blade 2.” Actor-director Jones — whose pic “The Homesman” is currently on the awards circuit – as well as producer Curtis (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Albert Nobbs”) and actor Wilson (“Anchorman,” “The Skeleton Twins”) all hail from Texas.
Posthumously inducted into the hall of fame will be L.M. Kit Carson, the filmmaker and journalist.
The Texas Film Awards are set for March 12 in Austin, just before the start of the SXSW Film Festival. »
- Gordon Cox
Take Me Out returned to an average audience of 2.97 million on ITV.
The dating show, which returned for its seventh season, attracted a 13.7% audience share from 8.30pm. A further 284k (1.4%) watched on ITV+1.
It was followed by The Hangover, which entertained 2.36 million viewers (13.3%) from 9.30pm.
Despite drawing criticism from some viewers, Frank Sinatra: Our Way debuted to an average audience of 4.16 million (20.9%) on BBC One at 7pm. The one-off crooning competition began the hour with 4.49 million viewers and ended with 4.05 million.
The National Lottery: Win Your Wish List followed with 4.11 million, while Casualty secured an evening high of 4.44 million (21.1%) at 9.05pm.
It was sandwiched between Sacred »
Blitzkrieg Bop: Harper’s Demurely Serviceable Horror Sequel Revels in Cheap Thrills
Director James Watkins scored a sleeper hit with his 2012 sophomore film, The Woman in Black, a UK period piece horror film concerning a nasty spirit stealing village children for her own very personal reasons. Moody ambience, a distinct creepy curio motif, and headlined by the dependable likes of Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer (the film receiving release around the time her Oscar nod for Albert Nobbs was announced), it was surprisingly adept in comparison to the usual effort administered in such derivative genre fare (though it isn’t nearly as taut as Watkins’s 2008 debut film, Eden Lake). And so, without further ado, a sequel was born (to be fair, this is the first sequel from Hammer Productions since 1974), this time directed by Tom Harper and sans any original cast members for The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death. »
- Nicholas Bell
20 items from 2015
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