The Prophet (2014) - News Poster

(2014)

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Film News Roundup: ‘Topless Prophet’ Strip Club Movie in Development

In today’s film news roundup, strip club saga “Topless Prophet” gets set up as a movie, Westwood’s Crest Theatre gets sold, and BidSlate partners with Filmhub.

Movie Rights

Producer Ron Senkowski and his production company Symply Entertainment have bought feature film rights to the book “Topless Prophet: The True Story of America’s Most Successful Gentleman’s Club Entrepreneur.”

The deal was made with author Alan Markovitz, a pioneer operator of gentleman’s clubs based in Detroit. The book, published in 2010, includes a murder-for-hire plot hatched by his business partner at the time, testifying against the mob, winning First Amendment court battles, creating the first-ever topless airline, and surviving two separate gunshot incidents. He made international headlines in 2013 after purchasing the home next to that of his ex-wife, whom he had caught cheating, and erecting on his property a 12-foot-tall statue of a middle finger.

The Symply Entertainment acquisition includes the “Topless Prophet” book
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Anton Yelchin Honored at Emotional Celebration of Life by Jennifer Lawrence, Zoe Saldana and More Stars

Anton Yelchin Honored at Emotional Celebration of Life by Jennifer Lawrence, Zoe Saldana and More Stars
Anton Yelchin was commemorated by his family and costars Sunday in a touching and heartfelt celebration of life at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

The actor, who died at the age of 27 in June 2016 after he was pinned by his own car at his Studio City, California, home, left an unforgettable impression on those who worked with him, such as Zoë Saldana, who starred alongside him in Star Trek.

“It is a bitter sweet moment, because we’re here for Anton, and he’s not here with us,” she said. “But, it alleviates my heart knowing that we’ll keep him alive.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Arthouse Audit: ‘Hell or High Water’ Tops ‘Southside With You’ and ‘Hands of Stone’

  • Indiewire
Arthouse Audit: ‘Hell or High Water’ Tops ‘Southside With You’ and ‘Hands of Stone’
This weekend brings a rare event as three very different specialty films face off nationally on between 800-900 theaters. Debuting “Southside With You” (Roadside Attractions) and “Hands of Stone” (Weinstein) go up against “Hell or High Water” (Lionsgate) in its third week.

The winner is “Hell or High Water,” which after this weekend’s success could wind up the year’s highest-grossing specialized release. “Southside With You” also scored high numbers, with “Hands of Stone” not up to its level.

Five Sundance releases are among this week’s new films, ranging from relatively wide opener “Southside” to Video on Demand entry “The Intervention.” As the Toronto Film Festival looms, the Park City event, despite offering half as many films, remains the biggest festival for acquisition titles.

Opening

Southside With You” (Roadside Attractions) – Metacritic: 75; Festivals include: Sundance, San Francisco, Seattle 2016

$3,065,000 in 813 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $3,762

A strong initial result
See full article at Indiewire »

Joann Sfar Sinks Teeth Into ‘Petit Vampire’; Studiocanal Selling – Cannes

Studiocanal and Joann Sfar’s Autochenille Production are prepping an animated feature adaptation of Sfar’s own comic series, Petit Vampire. Sfar, whose credits include The Prophet, The Rabbi’s Cat and Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, will direct. Petit Vampire was first published in 1999. The film version will be an original story taking some elements from the first volume of the comic. The story is centered on the bored Little Vampire. He’s been 10 years old for 300 years and…
See full article at Deadline »

This week’s film events

Leeds Young Film festival | Essay film festival

Just in time for Easter, the largest family film event in the land is a pick-and-mix of trusted names and new work aimed at the over-fives, with animation to the fore. Disney’s Zootropolis opens proceedings, and there are workshops, masterclasses, free activities and previews involving Minecraft, Lego, Clangers, Bob The Builder and Adventure Time (a special first look that includes a new stop-motion episode). For older viewers there’s new anime such as Studio Ghibli’s Oscar-nominated When Marnie Was There, a Salma Hayek-produced version of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, plus live-action features old and new. And, at Leeds Town Hall, there are immersive screenings themed around The Shawshank Redemption (where you’re literally a captive audience) and Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (where you’re literally a kid in a candy store).

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Annie Awards Split Top Category, Give More Pics a Chance

Annie Awards Split Top Category, Give More Pics a Chance
The ever-evolving Annie Awards have undergone yet another change, taking the top animated feature prize and splitting it into two categories in order to give smaller independent features a chance to compete on a more even playing field.

“We wanted to give the independents and foreign films a greater chance to be honored with an Annie. With so much innovation and activity, one award for feature animation was simply not enough,” says Jerry Beck, president of Asifa-Hollywood, the organization behind the Annies. “This new category is not a lesser honor — it is fully equivalent to winning the best feature prize. It’s our way of recognizing these unique, innovative works done outside the Hollywood system.”

The first films to compete for best animated feature — independent are “Boy & the World,” “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet,” “The Boy and the Beast” and “When Marnie Was There.”

“Once we had the idea, we said,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Off The Shelf – Episode 76 – New DVD & Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday, February 3rd 2016

In this special episode of Off The Shelf, Ryan and Brian take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for Tuesday, January 26th 2016.

Subscribe in iTunes or RSS.

Follow-Up Depatie-Freleng Supplements News Arrow Video: Cult Cinema sold out directly (Available from Amazon UK), BFI: Napoleon Criterion Collection: In A Lonely Place Disney: Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Blu-ray 4/5 Flicker Alley: Blu-ray Mod, film noirs John Carpenter Lost Themes II Kino: Tijuana Toads, Roland and Rattfink, Beware! The Blob, Eleni, Fuzz, Absolution, Masters of Cinema: April announcements tomorrow Olive Films: April titles Second Run: teaming up with Arrow Video Shout! Scream: Manhunter cover, MST3K Vol 2, NightHawks, I Saw What You Did / You’ll Like My Mother Thunderbean: Flip the Frog and Cubby Bear Twilight Time: New February titles available for pre-order on Wednesday February 3rd: Where The Sidewalk Ends, Cowboy, The Big Heat,
See full article at CriterionCast »

Recommended Discs & Deals of the Week: ‘Bridge of Spies,’ ‘Snow White,’ and More

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg)

Tom Hanks has a cold, and he needs to save America. A natural follow-up to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln in its immersion into nitpicky political discussion, Bridge of Spies also distinguishes itself with a wittier, frequently downright sarcastic screenplay (mostly courtesy, one imagines, of the Coen brothers), more agile camerawork (the ten-minute opening jaunt through Mark Rylance’s Brooklyn morning has been a justified source of attention), and a different kind of lead
See full article at The Film Stage »

Oscars: Unpredictable Season Reflected in Splintered Nominations

Oscars: Unpredictable Season Reflected in Splintered Nominations
Thursday morning’s Oscar nominations announcement was so reflective of a splintered season it was almost beautiful … if it wasn’t so heartbreaking for so many at the same time.

“The Martian,” a film many thought to be a strong contender to win the best picture Oscar, picked up seven nominations. That’s the profile of a thoroughbred. Yet it fell out of key races like best director (Ridley Scott missing after riding the career achievement train all season) and best film editing (until last year, no best picture winner had missed in this category for over 30 years).

Room,” a film that couldn’t get arrested on the guild circuit, with just a pair of nominations from the Screen Actors Guild, came back strong with a best picture nomination and, in a true surprise, a best director bid.

“Spotlight,” a film that showed real vulnerability in the last several weeks,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Director Roger Allers Talks About Unique Challenges of Making ‘Gibran’s the Prophet’

Roger Allers faced a unique challenge as the director of “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.” He had to curate eight separate pieces of animation from nine other directors (twins Paul and Gaetan Brizzi helmed one segment) each interpreting one of Gibran’s classic poems, as well as craft a touching story that bound them all together into a single, cohesive movie.

He was clearly up to the task. “The Prophet” has been nominated for an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature — Independent Award and Allers himself is nominated for his direction. The film is also on the shortlist for an Oscar nomination for animated feature. Allers talked with Variety about the challenges and joys of bringing together so many filmmakers for one film, how he approached Gibran’s beloved work and what he hopes for the future of animation.

How did you get involved in “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Carlos Aguilar's Best Films of 2015 (A Very Personal List)

If the films of 2015 have a common denominator it’s the fearlessness with which filmmakers approached the medium and took it in new directions proving that innovation is still possible and that not everything, both in content and form, has been explored. From a comedy shot entirely on an iPhone starring transgender actresses, to a film in sign language designed to be screened without subtitles, to a stop-motion animated feature that emanates more humanity than most live-action efforts, to a new immersive vision of the Holocaust from an emerging auteur, or a Brazilian hand-drawn musical odyssey about the dangers of the modern world, all granted us experiences unlike anything we've previously seen.

It’s hard to tell how many films I watched this year but I’m sure they were many. From that vast pool of cinematic works the 30 films below are the ones that stood out the most and remained ingrained in my memory as rewarding, delightful, moving, and even harrowing accomplishments. There were also films that simply didn't connect as strongly with me as they did with other journalists and audiences, thus they don't appear here. This is after all, like all of them, a very personal and subjective list of the films I loved.

Even with such an extensive list there are still other great films that deserve to be mentioned such as "The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet," "Christmas, Again," "Mistress America," "Entertainment," "Felix and Meira," "Victoria," "Mustang," "The Wolfpack," "Xenia," Estonia's Oscar-nominated "Tangerines," "Buzzard," "The Salt of the Earth," "Guidance," "Cheatin'," "Black Souls,""The Mend," "Shaun The Sheep Movie," or "'71." One can only hope audiences will discover them and be compelled by their singular perspectives.

What were your favorite films of 2015?

Special Mention: "World of Tomorrow"

Don Hertzfeldt's thought-provoking and visionary Sundance-winning short "World of Tomorrow" is easily the best short film of the year, animated or otherwise. This 17-minute science fiction journey is a mind-bending study on the essence of humanity and how technology’s ferocious advances to know and control it all endanger our ability to notice what’s truly meaningful.

Read More: 'The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows' is One of the Most Profound Cinematic Experiences of 2015

30. "It Follows"

The best horror film of the year proves that an intriguing premise embedded into an intelligently written screenplay can bring a refreshing point of view absent in most studio productions. Director David Robert Mitchell takes classic genre conventions and twists them into a terrifying tale with morally ambiguous undertones.

29. "The Gift"

Wearing multiple hats Joel Edgerton demonstrated his storytelling and acting talents in an unpredictable psychological thriller that’s as unassuming as it’s disconcerting. An old friend reappears in a married man’s life apparently seeking to rekindle their past bond, but soon enough his good intentions will unveil much more sinister motives that makes us question who the real villain is. A stunning and perversely brilliant film that thrives on its misguiding simplicity.

28. "Heaven Knows What"

An accomplishment both in technique and emotional power, “Heaven Knows What” is an eye-opening experience brimming with unflinching truth. From the streets to the screen, the unbelievable story of Arielle Holmes is a fascinating example of the rare occurrence when cinema and reality blend almost seamlessly.

Read More: 'Heaven Knows What' Directors Josh and Benny Safdie Are Addicted to the Truth

27. "Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet"

Spearheaded by producer Salma Hayek, director Roger Allers and 8 of the world's most talented independent animators took Gibran's timeless poems and assembled a cinematic out-of-body experience that deconstructs our existential yearnings and translates them into mesmerizing animated wisdom.

Read More: Why 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' is a Cinematic Out-Of-Body Experience Brimming with Animated Wisdom

Read More: Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'His Poetry Talks About the Simple Things in Life That Unite Us All'

26. "James White"

This emotionally devastating character study put Josh Mond in the director’s chair for the first time and allowed Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon to delve into career-defining roles as a mother and a son struggling to accept each other’s shortcomings in the face of impending tragedy. Mond’s debut is an unforgettable portrait of unconditional love

25. "The Big Short"

The financial crisis and the white-collar criminals behind it are examined in an outrageously humorous and dynamically constructed adaptation of Michael Lewis's book. Director Adam McKay crafted his own visual language to paint a picture of capitalism in America that’s as brutally honest as it’s infuriating. His entire cast, in particular Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell, play along in this satirical exposé.

24. "The Second Mother"

Anna Muylaert’s crowd-pleasing, yet thematically complex gem delves into the intricacies of class in Brazilian society through the eyes of an endearing live-in maid. Regina Casé, in an Oscar-worthy performance, becomes Val, a diligent and humble housekeeper that has worked with the same wealthy family in Sao Paulo for many years and who only questions her role within this environment when her strange daughter comes to visit.

Read More: Anna Muylaert on Why the Protagonist of 'The Second Mother' is a Super Hero

23. "Kumiko The Treasure Hunter"

Losing grip on reality Kumiko, a solitary Japanese woman, leaves her monotonous and life and her adorable bunny Bunzo behind to search for the money Steve Buscemi’s character hides in the Cohen Brothers’ film “Fargo.” Knowing very little English and with no American contacts, she ventures in the Minnesotan wilderness. Armed with Rinko Kikuchi ’s outstanding performance, David Zellner and Nathan Zellner managed to create an endearing and poignant adventure at the intersection between fiction and reality.

22. "When Marnie Was There"

Notably current while still unequivocally timeless, Studio Ghibli’s latest film was confected with equal doses of heart-rending drama and life-affirming beauty. More than just a visually delightful tearjerker, "When Marnie Was There" is an animated lullaby that reassures our broken hearts will eventually heal- even from the most indomitable tricks of fate.

Read More: Review: Wondrous 'When Marnie Was There' is One of Ghibli's Most Profoundly Moving Works

21. "The Hateful Eight"

Sharp dialogue and the search for violent retribution are Tarantino staples, and in his latest Western the revered director channels these through a group of deceitful characters confined to a single location. Race relations are examined via the peculiar interactions of the murderous bunch - each with their ulterior motives and frightening reputation. With a magnificent score by Ennio Morricone, impeccable cinematography by Robert Richardson, and tonally perfect performances by the ensemble cast, in which Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kurt Russell are the highlights, “The Hateful Eight” is a highly entertaining addition to Tarantino's selective filmography.

20. "What We Do in the Shadows"

This masterful mockumentary capitalizes on the general public’s obsession with reality shows and the allure of vampirism and its promise of eternal life. Four ancient bloodsuckers share a house in Wellington, New Zealand and decide to let a crew film their day-to-day routines as vampires living in the modern world. What ensues are a series of intelligently written occurrences that transform every known convention about these creatures of the night into hysterical gags.

19. "The Revenant"

To say Alejandro González Iñárritu’s latest is breathtaking would be an understatement. Emmanuel Lubezkii’s work is absolutely astonishing. No other film this year captured this much beauty in every single frame. The Mexican-born Oscar-winning director has reached a new level of artistry here. Leonardo DiCaprio, in one of the best performances of his career, plays Hugh Glass, a man who escapes death to take revenge on the man who killed his son.

18. "Inside Out"

Pixar ventured into the difficult task of decoding the complexity of the human psyche in one of their best features to date. Emotions take on humanoid form in the brain of a young girl adjusting to life in anew city. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust must work together to shape her blossoming personality. “Inside Out” also gifted us Bing Bong, who will go down as one of the most memorable animated characters to ever grace the screen.

17. "Ex Machina"

Artificial intelligence crosses the boundaries of mere functionality to become self-aware and to replicate the behaviors of mortals in Alex GarlandEx Machina.” The provocative screenplay evolves into a fascinating and often unsettling dissection of what it means to be a human being and the seemingly godlike power that comes from creating technology that resembles such qualities. Alicia Vikander is riveting as Ava - a mysterious female A.I.

16. "The Diary of a Teenager Girl"

Bel Powley is this year’s acting revelation and Marielle Heller the woman behind this charming, uncompromising, and original coming of age film, is one of most exciting new directors to emerge in recent memory. Burgeoning female sexuality is treated without moral judgment or shame, and it’s instead embraced in an empowering manner that overflows with truthfulness and charisma. Both Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgård are outstanding in substantial supporting roles.

15. "Taxi"

Despite being banned from filmmaking by the Iranian government, Jafar Panahi continues to bravely expose the political and social problems of his home country with films shot in secrecy. “Taxi” takes the director through the streets of Tehran as he picks up an array of passengers with distinct concerns, beliefs, and opinions on the Islamic nation’s current situation: a young girl trying to make a “distributable” film, a guy who considers selling pirated films a cultural campaign, or a pair of elderly women whose fate depends on the survival of a couple fish. Though scripted, each encounter exudes honesty.

14. "The Duke of Burgundy"

Intoxicatingly atmospheric and full of evocative imagery, Peter Strickland’s follow up to his similarly unusual debut “Berberian Sound Studio” looks at the psychology of sexual desires with a seductive gaze. The line dividing power and submission is blurred and interchangeable between two lovers whose turbulent relationship is juxtaposed with the nature of butterflies. Eroticism derived from degradation and punishment is elegantly approached that suggest more than it explicitly shows.

13. "Phoenix"

The final sequence in this new collaboration between writer/director Christian Petzold and actress Nina Hoss is one of the best conclusions ever written. It’s subtle, yet strikingly revelatory. Departing from a Hitchcockian mistaken identity plot from the point of view of a concentration camp survivor, Petzold delves into Germany’s post war sentiments of guilt and the beginning of the long road to rebuild a superficially and morally shattered nation. “Phoenix” is also a love story coated in betrayal and the harsh realization that, when tested, even the strongest bond can be destroyed. Hoss gives an awards-deserving, restrained and perfectly nuanced performance.

Read More: Christian Petzold's 'Phoenix' is a Deeply Moving Film About Survivors Rebuilding Their Lives

12. "Timbuktu"

Today, perhaps more than ever, a film like Abderrahmane Sissako’s spellbinding “Timbuktu” is imperative. Capturing some of the most beautiful African landscapes ever seen on film and delicately arranging his stories to create a tapestry of human experiences, Sissako’s latest doesn’t abide by any political or religious dogma. Instead, his vision preaches openness and denounces the terrifying absurdity of the world according to extremist.

Read More: Promoting Tolerance: Abderrahmane Sissako on 'Timbuktu' and a Different Kind of Islam

11. "The Voices"

Playing Jerry, the most charming serial killer you’ll ever meet, Ryan Reynolds gives the best performance of his career in Marjane Satrapi’s wonderfully insane horror comedy. Adding to his already outstanding work as the lovable, if unstable young man, Reynolds also voices both of his character's opinionated pets. Stay tuned after the film for one of the most ridiculous credit sequences ever.

Read More: Too Insane To Ignore: Marjane Satrapi On Her Fascinating Sundance Horror-Comedy 'The Voices'

10. "Güeros"

Using one of the most cosmopolitan and complex cities in the world as his canvas, Mexican filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios delivered an audaciously original story that delves into many unique aspects of Mexican society wrapped up into a road trip adventure that helps two estrange brothers reconnect.

It’s a revitalizing work, and one of the best Mexican films of the last decade.

Read More: In 'Güeros' Dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios Rediscovered Mexico City Via a Unique Road Trip

9. "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"

Read More: How Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Used Determinación to Go From a Small Town to Nyu to Sundance

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's Sundance champion is a tonally nuanced and visually inventive work that ingeniously beguiles you to fall in love with every instant of its strangely imaginative magic. This tragicomedy invokes tropes from a familiar realm and deconstructs or tailors them to the uniquely poignant circumstances of it's characters. It's nothing short of a cinephile's dream come true.

Read More: This is the Review That Tells You Why 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' is a Cinephile's Dream Come True

8. "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence"

Constructed of gorgeously understated vignettes, which guide us through the grandeur of life by methodically focusing on the smallest but most resonant instants of it, "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence" by Swedish writer/director Roy Andersson won the Golden Lion at last’s year’s Venice Film Festival. Delving into a wide range of quotidian dilemmas via darkly comedic exploits, this episodic tour de force is as insightful as it’s blissfully entertaining and distinctively stylized.

Read More: 7 Reasons Why Roy Andersson's Latest Film is a Must-See Philosophical Wonder

7. "Tangerine"

Sean Baker's riotous and perfectly acted latest film shot on an iPhone “Tangerine” centers on Alexandra (Mya Taylor) and Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), two transgender sex workers on Santa Monica Boulevard who struggle to get by while dealing with heartbreak, revenge, and their dreams.

Baker captured an unseen side of Los Angeles through the eyes of two equally underrepresented characters who get a chance to showcase their comedic brilliance.

Read More: How Sean Baker Used Beautiful Accidents and New Talent to Deliver one of the Best Films of the Year

6. "The Look of Silence"

For “The Look of Silence,” the indispensable companion piece to "The Act of Killing," director Joshua Oppenheimer focused on the survivors, specifically on a brave family that persevered through the immeasurable pain that quietly permeates Indonesian society even half a century after the genocide. The subjects here are often quiet and contemplative, but their anguish transcends even when words fail to describe their tumultuous sentiments.

Read More: 12 Things Joshua Oppenheimer Wants You to Know About 'The Look of Silence'

5. "Anomalisa"

In "Anomalisa," a delicately melancholic observation on loneliness and the flawed human condition, acclaimed writer-director Charlie Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson use stop-motion animation to tell a story of small proportions and big ideas. These existential observations include our fears, failures, insecurities and our desperate need to be loved by someone who can look pass our conspicuous scars.

Read More: Human at the Seams: Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson Make Yearning Tangible in 'Anomalisa'

4. "The Tribe"

“The Tribe,” by Ukrainian debutant Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, is a film that communicates with its audience in a non-verbal manner. There are no subtitles or any other way to know exactly what the characters on screen are saying, but that’s never an issue for it to powerfully make its message heard. It’s the purest form of cinema because it can be shown anywhere in the world without modification, and the devastating result would be the same.

Read More: Interviewing Yana Novikova, Star of 'The Tribe,' Was a One-of-a-Kind Experience

3. "Boy and the World"

Alê Abreu’s “Boy and the World” is unequivocally the best animated film of the year. Drawn with the finest ends of an artist's heartstrings and painted with the colorful essence of undefeatable hope, Abreu’s utterly lyrical, visually captivating, musically driven, and extraordinarily sophisticated treasure is the animated equivalent of a childhood dream that thrives on sweet innocence and the pure ability to see the world truthfully for its dazzling beauty and its man-made dangers. As it continues to spellbind the globe with its unconventional artistry and thought-provoking observations, an Oscar nomination would be a more than deserved crown jewel.

Read More:Review: Why Alê Abreu's Sublime 'Boy and the World' is the Best Animated Film of the Year

Read More: How "Boy and the World" Director Alê Abreu Handcrafted His Heartfelt & Dazzling Animated Masterpiece

2. "Carol"

Exquisitely photographed and fueled by the two best performances of the year, Todd HaynesCarol” depicts an ethereal and ravishing romance that’s sure to take your breath away. Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett play two women from opposite worlds that meet serendipitously and fall madly in love for each other in a time yet unwilling to accept them. Carol (Blanchett) is a wealthy mother and wife whose desires are used against her threatening to stripped her of what she loves the most. On the other hand Therese (Mara) is a working class girl discovering herself and who finds the strength to follow her true instincts in Carol. Heartbreak has rarely been portrayed with such a delicate touch, thoughtfulness, and sincerity. Beneath the glossy Christmas-tinted frames is a story as universal as it is particular in which a single pleading look disarms you. Few films will make you feel such tangible and pure yearning to connect with another soul as Haynes masterwork does.

1. "Son of Saul"

First-time director László Nemes decided to look at the terrifying apparatus behind the Holocaust from the perspective of the Sonderkommando, a group of men whose experience was exponentially more harrowing than that of the average victim. Nemes focuses on a particular man, Saul (Géza Röhrig), a fictional character created from the limited information available on this special group and the filmmaker’s artistic sensibilities.“Son of Saul” is not only the best film of the year, but also the most ambitious debut in ages. Both conceptually and visually, the dynamic, yet organically contemplative vision of one man’s ordeal as he walks through the gates the hell is the work of a master auteur.

Read More: 12 Things Director László Nemes and Star Géza Röhrig Want You to Know About 'Son of Saul'
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Real-life tragedy, animated emotions, and filmmaking lunacy in our runners-up for 2015

  • Hitfix
Real-life tragedy, animated emotions, and filmmaking lunacy in our runners-up for 2015
The last few days of 2015 are spent in reflection about the year that's just wrapping up and in anticipation of the year just ahead, at least for me, and since we had our ten best list last week, this week it's time for the runners-up, the fifteen films that also filled out our year. As always, I look at this list and I think it would make a perfectly spiffy top ten if that's how things had shaken out, which is to say that the only real purpose of any of these lists is to remind you of more of the experiences that were worth having in a theater. There are plenty of good films that aren't on either of my lists this year. That doesn't mean I didn't like them or they're not good. It just means that these films meant more to me for some reason. For now,
See full article at Hitfix »

Past Winners and Nominees Back in Contention: 88th Academy Awards' Best Score

'The Peanuts Movie': 2016 Best Original Score Oscar contender along with 111 other titles. Oscar 2016: Best Original Score contenders range from 'Mad Max: Fury Road' to 'The Peanuts Movie' Earlier this month (Dec. '15), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made public the list of 112 film scores eligible for the 2016 Oscar in the Best Original Score category. As found in the Academy's press release, “a Reminder List of works submitted in the Original Score category will be made available with a nominations ballot to all members of the Music Branch, who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.” The release adds that “to be eligible, the original score must be a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring, and must
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Beki Probst, Salma Hayek among honoured women

  • ScreenDaily
Beki Probst, Salma Hayek among honoured women
Probst, the president and founder of Berlin’s Efm, received the Women’s International Film & Television Showcase’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Hayek the Animation Award 2015 for producing The Prophet.

Other honourees announced earlier this month in the 2015 Wifts included:

Romola Garai for the Barbara Tipple Best Actress Award;

White God’s Hungarian producers Viktoria Petrányi and Eszter Gyárfás for The Otilia Animal Advocacy Award;

Maggie Rodford, UK, for The Music Award; and

Mai Masri, Palestine, for The Jury Award in recognition of 3000 Nights.

For the full list of winners click here.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Guild of Music Supervisors Announce Noms for Sixth Awards Ceremony

For its sixth annual awards ceremony, the Guild of Music Supervisors focused on the soundtracks of several music-driven films and TV shows, including the features “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Straight Outta Compton,” the documentaries “Amy,” “Janis: Little Girl Blue” and “Cobain: Montage of Heck”; the drama series “Empire” and “Nashville”; the TV movie “Bessie”; and the reality series “American Idol” and “The Voice.”

Those nominations for documentaries are new this year, as are categories for best song/recording created for a film and for television. Also for the first time, the Guild Of Music Supervisors Legacy Award, a career distinction “for excellence in the field of music in media,” will be given to inaugural recipient Chris Montan, president of Walt Disney Music.

The ever-growing affair is being held for the first time at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on Jan. 21, with “special performances” being announced at a later date.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Guild of Music Supervisors Announce Noms for Sixth Awards Ceremony

For its sixth annual awards ceremony, the Guild of Music Supervisors focused on the soundtracks of several music-driven films and TV shows, including the features “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Straight Outta Compton,” the documentaries “Amy,” “Janis: Little Girl Blue” and “Cobain: Montage of Heck”; the drama series “Empire” and “Nashville”; the TV movie “Bessie”; and the reality series “American Idol” and “The Voice.”

Those nominations for documentaries are new this year, as are categories for best song/recording created for a film and for television. Also for the first time, the Guild Of Music Supervisors Legacy Award, a career distinction “for excellence in the field of music in media,” will be given to inaugural recipient Chris Montan, president of Walt Disney Music.

The ever-growing affair is being held for the first time at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on Jan. 21, with “special performances” being announced at a later date.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'My main hope is that you become compassionate' (Exclusive Video)'

Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'My main hope is that you become compassionate' (Exclusive Video)'
Salma Hayek produced the animated film "Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet" and also voices one of its characters. As she explains during our recent webcam chat (watch below), "I don't have an agenda for [audiences] to take anything specific out of it. Everybody takes something different, and this is what I'm most proud of," But even though the story inspires different people in different ways, "My main hope is that you become compassionate not because there are sad things in the movie that are going to make you feel sorry for someone, but because it makes you ponder those things that connect us all." -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions "The Prophet" is based on Kahlil Gibran's 1923 book of prose poems on life, death, love and everything in-between. It's not a traditional narrative, so Hayek had the idea of creating ...'
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112 Film Scores Declared Eligible for Oscar

112 Film Scores Declared Eligible for Oscar
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences unveiled 112 scores from 2015 films that are in contention for original-score nominations for the 88th Academy Awards.

Among the eligible feature-film titles are the final three scores from the late James Horner: “The 33” (in photo), “Wolf Totem” and “Southpaw.” And the exec committee Ok’d the Ennio Morricone score for “Hateful Eight,” which includes about 30 minutes of new material along with several minutes of old scores written by him. Notable exclusions include “Love & Mercy” (Atticus Ross), “Crimson Peak” (Fernando Velázquez), “The Revenant” (Alva Noto and Ryûichi Sakamoto) and “Youth” (David Lang).

The eligible scores and their composers are listed below, in alphabetical order by film title:

Adult Beginners,” Marcelo Zarvos, composer

The Age of Adaline,” Rob Simonsen, composer

Altered Minds,” Edmund Choi, composer

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” Mark Mothersbaugh, composer

Anomalisa,” Carter Burwell, composer

Ant-Man,” Christophe Beck, composer

Beasts of No Nation,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

112 Original Scores Advance In The 88th Oscar Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 112 scores from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2015 are in contention for nominations in the Original Score category for the 88th Academy Awards.

The eligible scores along with their composers are listed below, in alphabetical order by film title:

Adult Beginners,” Marcelo Zarvos, composer

The Age of Adaline,” Rob Simonsen, composer

Altered Minds,” Edmund Choi, composer

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” Mark Mothersbaugh, composer

Anomalisa,” Carter Burwell, composer

Ant-Man,” Christophe Beck, composer

Beasts of No Nation,” Dan Romer, composer

The Big Short,” Nicholas Britell, composer

Black Mass,” Tom Holkenborg, composer

Bridge of Spies,” Thomas Newman, composer

Brooklyn,” Michael Brook, composer

Burnt,” Rob Simonsen, composer

By the Sea,” Gabriel Yared, composer

Carol,” Carter Burwell, composer

Cartel Land,” H. Scott Salinas and Jackson Greenberg, composers

Chi-Raq,” Terence Blanchard, composer

Cinderella,” Patrick Doyle, composer

Coming Home,” Qigang Chen, composer

Concussion,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

6 International and Independent 2D-Animated Features in the Oscar Race

A total of 16 films were submitted for consideration in the Best Animated Feature category at the 88th Oscars. After being absent from the race last year, powerhouse Pixar returns with two films, “Inside Out” and "The Good Dinosaur," of which the former is the clear front-runner. Stop-motion animation is represented by two contenders, Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s critical hit “Anomalisa” and the equally celebrated, though less contemplative, “Shaun the Sheep Movie” from Oscar-winning Aardman. Of the other major studios the only serious film in competition is Blue Sky’s “The Peanuts Movie.” CG animated films such as “Minions,” “Home,” “Hotel Transylvania 2,” "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water," performed well at the box-office but will likely fail to break in.

Thankfully the Academy has been very good at noticing, while not yet awarding, the work of independent artists working in the animation medium. Since 2010, when Gkids garnered its first nomination for Tomm Moore’s gorgeous “The Secret of Kells,” the New York-based distributor‘s films have been present among the five nominees every year. Last year two masterworks from their impeccable repertoire were included, Moore’s “Song of the Sea” and Isao Takahata’s “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” leaving out Warner’s “The Lego Movie,” which was considered a lock for most of the season. This year Gkids has three films vying for recognition, all of which received Annie nominations in the Best Independent Animated Feature category, but there also a few other internationally produced, independently made, traditionally animated works on the list that deserve the attention.

There is no doubt that some of the most unconventional and stunning animated films come from outside the mechanized mainstream, and we hope this year, once again, some of them make it to the Dolby Theater so that such exposure helps them reach a larger global audience.

Note: The only 2D-animated feature not included here is “Regular Show: The Movie,” which, despite having a limited release as most independent films, is an American production by a major studio

"The Boy and the Beast"

Dir.Mamoru Hosoda

Having worked in some of the most beloved anime series of all time before transitioning into greater artistic heights with singular animated features such as “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” “Summer Wars,” and “Wolf Children,” Mamoru Hosoda is one of the most important figures in Japanese animation today and his work has a loyal following around the world. “The Boy and the Beast,” his most recent film, is a martial arts saga ruled by its very own mythology, yet grounded on universal thematic elements. Following his mother’s death, Ren runs away from home and accidentally finds his way into Jutengai, an alternate reality inhabited by beasts. Reluctantly, young Ren is taken in by Kumatetsu, a bear-like brute desperate to train a disciple in order to be selected as the realm’s new leader. Despite countless arguments and numerous rough patches, a profound bond that transcends the divide between their worlds forms between the two lonely fighters. Fantastical creatures, epic battles, and amusing banter, spice up an endearing story that analyzes parent-children relationship from a highly inventive vantage point.

"Boy and the World"

Dir. Alê Abreu

Read More:Review: Why Alê Abreu's Sublime 'Boy and the World' is the Best Animated Film of the Year

The most awarded animated feature to open in U.S. theaters this year is a Brazilian wonder that ditches dialogue entirely for a storytelling approach that’s purely visual, whimsical, and even heartbreaking. Through the eyes of a playful young boy searching for his father, Alê Abreu’s musical odyssey conveys sophisticated notions about social justice, the voracious appetite of capitalism, and the yoke of oppression. Color pencils, pastels, watercolors, cut outs, and multiple other techniques are blended with an eclectic soundtrack molding a fascinating and gorgeous cinematic experience. Abreu’s animated masterpiece should certainly become the first Latin American animated feature to be nominated in the category (while “Chico and Rita” is set in Cuba, it's actually a European production helmed by Spanish filmmakers), as it would be an unforgivable mistake if the Academy fails to acknowledge dazzlingly craftsmanship on display.

Read More: How "Boy and the World" Director Alê Abreu Handcrafted His Heartfelt & Dazzling Animated Masterpiece

"Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet"

Dir. Roger Allers

Read More: Why 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' is a Cinematic Out-Of-Body Experience Brimming with Animated Wisdom

Realizing her long-awaited passion project, Mexican-born star Salma Hayek produced this mesmerizing reimagining of Lebanese poet Kahil Gibran’s timeless classic with the help of some of the most important names currently working in the medium. Hayek, who also voices one of the lead characters, recruited Roger Allers, the man behind Disney’s “The Lion King,” to craft a linear canvas upon which eight artists could weave in their visual interpretations of Gibran’s poems on specific subjects. Acclaimed animators such as Tomm Moore, Bill Plympton, Nina Paley, and Joan C. Gratz , had complete freedom, both regarding technique and storytelling, to create these breathtaking and distinct segments. Aller’s frame narrative follows Mustafa (voiced by Liam Neeson ), a wise poet, as he is being escorted out of town by the repressive Ottoman authorities that consider his writings and paintings as subversive materials that threaten their tyrannical grip. While each individual vignette offers a lyrical rendition of Gibran’s universal lessons, Moore’s “On Love” is an awe-inspiring standout. “Hypnosis,” the tune written and performed by Damien Rice, is also in contention for the Best Original Song Academy Award.

Read More: Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'His Poetry Talks About the Simple Things in Life That Unite Us All'

"The Laws of the Universe - Part 0"

Dir. Isamu Imakake

Eleven Arts, a small distributor dedicated to bringing Asian cinema stateside, has entered the Best Animated Feature race with an action-packed contender that will appeal to anime fans fond of intricate plots. Directed by Isamu Imakake, this Japanese sci-fi film centers on five high school friends who are forced to become heroes when they discover an alien conspiracy that endangers the Earth and life as we know it. Teen drama collides with intergalactic standoffs in an exciting and large-scale adventure. It’s luminously stylized character design and the epically orchestrated action sequences elevate the film beyond the conventions and aesthetics associated with anime series produced for TV. Imakake’s previous efforts, "The Mystical Laws” and “The Laws of Eternity," also dealt with adult-oriented and otherworldly duels between powerful evildoers and courageous youths.

"Moomins on the Riviera"

Dir. Xavier Picard

Read More: Review: In 'Moomins on the Riviera' the Beloved Finnish Icons Remain Timeless and Wise

Created in the 1940s by author and illustrator Tove Jansson, these Finnish superstars have an incredibly devout following across Europe and Asia, and though they are still not household names this side of the Atlantic, their humble wisdom cuts across geographical boundaries with ease once one gives in to their charm. In their first big screen appearance in over a decade, the Moomins decide to leave the comfort of rural life in the valley for the extravagant pleasure of the Côte d'Azur. Soon after their arrival, the roundish and unpretentious family realizes that opulence and material wealth are far from what they consider happiness. Elegantly drawn to resemble a nostalgic storybook and drenched in pastel hues, Xavier Picards take on the beloved characters is sure to add new fans to the Moomin legion and to satisfy those that throughout the decades have been enchanted by their innocent humor and surprisingly philosophical observations on the things that really matters.

"When Marnie Was There"

Dir. Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Read More: Review: Wondrous 'When Marnie Was There' is One of Ghibli's Most Profoundly Moving Works

Following Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises” and Takahata’s “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” another Ghibli gem (and as of now their final one) of much more intimate qualities was released to eager U.S. audiences this spring. Hiromasa Yonebayashi's adaption of Joan G. Robinson’s 1967 switches England for a Hokkaido but preserves the moving bond between the protagonist and what seems to be a vision from another time intact. Introvert Anna (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld in the English-language dub) is a young girl that struggles to connect with her foster mother, thus feels alienated. When Anna meets Marnie, a gracious blond girl, while exploring the marshes that surround the town, a secret friendship quickly develops. As their individual histories are slowly revealed through expertly paced twists, it becomes apparent that their initial encounter was not merely serendipitous. Magical realism, instead of more fantastic elements as in most of Ghibli’s films, dictates the narrative, while the artistry that is expected from the legendary studio is as captivating as usual and never disappoints. The way Yonebayashi channels the original material to create a delicate coming-of-age story that accepts its characters flaws and troubling emotional journeys without simplifying them is truly remarkable. Priscilla Ahn’s heartbreaking ballad “Fine on the Outside” is also in the running for the Best Original Song Oscar.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »
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