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Athens — As weary Greek voters headed to the polls this week for the third time this year, hoping to find a way out of an ongoing political and economic quagmire, local bizzers gathered Thursday night to toast an industry that’s proven surprisingly resilient throughout the country’s protracted crisis.
While the event hosted by the Hellenic Film Academy, which screened trailers for the country’s upcoming slate of new releases, brought in a packed and spirited crowd, many in attendance echoed the dour mood of recent months.
“I think everyone is exhausted and fed up,” said producer Amanda Livanou. “I can sense a mood of helplessness.”
Throughout the gloomy years of the economic crisis back home, Greek helmers have met with global acclaim. Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Dogtooth,” which won the Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2009, earned a foreign language Oscar nomination. Athina Rachel Tsangari’s “Attenberg” was nominated »
- Christopher Vourlias
★★★★☆ The famous Bechdel Test - taken from a 1985 comic strip by Alison Bechdel - has over the past few years become an ever more popular barometer to gauge the validity of a film's treatment of women. The new film from Athina Rachel Tsangari, Chevalier (2015) spectacularly fails the test by not actually featuring a single female character on screen, and yet those interested in equality of gender representation in current cinema would be advised not to overlook it. Eschewing the more outlandish elements of 2010's Attenberg, this is a brilliantly contained and sublimely ridiculous send-up of competitive male egos from a refreshing female perspective.
- CineVue UK
At one point in Athina Rachel Tsangari’s "Chevalier," a group of guys on a yachting expedition take turns listening to one of their friends whisper erotic stories so they’ll get aroused and he can take pictures of their erections. They then compare those photos, judging each other’s penises on length, engorgement, and general spryness. In other words: to pass the time while floating in the Aegean, these idle rich dudes have a literal dick-measuring contest. This is the kind of bizarre-yet-believable behavior that anyone who’s seen Tsangari’s previous film, "Attenberg," would expect from “Chevalier.” Like her fellow Greek filmmaker and occasional collaborator Yorgos Lanthimos (director of “Dogtooth” and “The Lobster”), Tsangari favors characters who only make sense within the context of the strange stories and spaces that she creates on-screen. Here, working with Lanthimos’ regular co-screenwriter Efthimis Filippou, Tsangari assembles a circle of »
- Noel Murray
This week sees the red carpet rolling into the centre of the Ontario capital for the fortieth edition of the Toronto Film Festival. Giving a headache to keen festival-goers everywhere the anniversary line-up boasts a staggering 289 feature titles including a whopping 132 world premières. Bookending the festival will be Jean-Marc Vallée's Demolition, which kicks things off on Thursday 10 September, and Paco Cabezas' Mr. Right, which draws proceedings to a close ten days later. The latter is a murderous rom-com starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell, the former stars Jack Gyllenhaal, grief-stricken and prone to random acts of destruction. But with such an enormous roster of films to choose from, it doesn't all hinge on the star-studded awards vehicles that may or not make their bow.
- CineVue UK
Ioncinema.com’s Ioncinephile of the Month feature focuses on an emerging filmmaker from the world of cinema. This September, we feature a filmmaker who doesn’t need much of an introduction to the readers of this site. Co-scribe on all of Joachim’s Trier’s films (Reprise, Oslo, August 31st and Cannes Main Comp selected Louder Than Bombs), Norwegian filmmaker Eskil Vogt sees his debut film, Blind open on Friday September 4th in NYC at the IFC Center and September 11th in L.A. at Cinefamily with Fandor releasing the film on VOD.
Considered among the best undistributed films of 2014, this import received instant acclaim at the back to back fests it premiered at early last year (it won Sundance Ff’s World Cinema Best Screenplay and Berlin Ff’s Label Europa Cinema). Below we discussed how he landed on the project, his writing process and visual strategies he employed. »
- Eric Lavallee
Read More: Locarno Review: 'Chevalier' is a Buddy Comedy With a Bigger Purpose From Athina Rachel Tsangari The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced An Evening with Athina Rachel Tsangari on Thursday, September 17, including a conversation and double feature of "Attenberg" and "The Slow Business of Going." The Greek writer-director was recently selected as the 2015 Filmmaker in Residence for the upcoming 53rd New York Film Festival, and her new film, "Chevalier," will be playing at both Nyff and Tiff in September. Before her directorial career, Tsangari had a small role in Richard Linklater’s landmark 1991 film, "Slacker," and her relationship with the indie filmmaker continued when she served as co-producer and actress in 2013's "Before Midnight." The Film Society will welcome Tsangari for a conversation about her career, during which she will introduce and discuss her widely lauded sophomore feature »
- Zack Sharf
Read More: The Indiewire 2015 Fall Preview: The 15 Films We've Already Seen (And You Won't Want to Miss) "Chevalier" (Tiff, Nyff)An early poster for Greek director Athina Rachel Tsangari's "Chevalier" features the cryptic tagline "a buddy movie without buddies," which no doubt foreshadows all of the macho rivalries at its center. Tsangari's story follows six apparently wealthy men on a ship in the Aegean Sea playing a vaguely-defined game to determine which of them holds the greatest traits. It's never entirely clear whether they're all just messing around or feel a deeper urge to triumph in their eccentric contest. The only certainty is that Tsangari — whose "Attenberg" was a lovely and unconventional coming-of-age story — should deliver another intriguing and thoroughly original character study, which this time serves as an apt metaphor for Greece's larger problems. "Rams" (Tiff)You can expect nothing less from Iceland than an »
"Manhood-measuring contests—in every imaginable sense of the phrase—are taken to brazenly literal extremes in Chevalier, the long-awaited third feature from Greek multi-tasker Athina Rachel Tsangari," begins Guy Lodge in Variety. Notebook editor Daniel Kasman reminds us that Tsangari, besides directing Attenberg and The Capsule, has produced Yorgos Lanthimos's Dogtooth and Alps. "What is surprising is that Tsangari and her co-writer (Efthymis Filippou, who also co-wrote [Lanthimos's] The Lobster) keep the absurdity from transgressing into the truly bizarre." Locarno programmer Mark Peranson suggests that Chevalier is "allegory for the economic system that has laid waste to Tsangari’s country." We've got more reviews and the trailer. » - David Hudson »
With the shimmering waters of Lake Maggiore beckoning mere blocks from Locarno's cinemas and the heat here wilting and cruel, how teasing for Athina Rachel Tsangari to set her much-anticipated third film, Chevalier, entirely on a luxury yacht bobbing in the Aegean. I believe many of us have high hopes for Tsangari, a Greek filmmaker who rose to prominence producing Yorgos Lanthimos's Dogtooth and Alps and directing Attenburg, which was far superior to Lanthimos's Greek films, and similarly in this nouveau Greek cinema style of blending art cinema with conceptual art. I wondered, as many no doubt did, at Chevalier's absence from Cannes (whose competition included Lanthimos's leap to English production, The Lobster) and Venice, which had previously supported this new, provocative Greek cinema. Was the film too daring for these wary red carpet competitions? The answer is no; in fact, Chevalier is a far more approachable film—slyly so—than Attenberg, »
- Daniel Kasman
Athina Rachel Tsangari, one in the new wave of Greek filmmakers that includes Yorgos Lanthimos (whose Cannes entry "The Lobster" will play the New York Film Festival) returns with Locarno competition premiere "Chevalier." Her flippant comedy "Attenberg," from 2010, was a dark treat about a sexually precocious young woman obsessed with wildlife documentaries. This time she skewers male one-upmanship as a group of pals on a yacht fishing and diving vacation agree to compete in a game of grading everything about each other; the winner will accrue the most points at the end of the trip. They take this contest so seriously (as do their support staff) that they monitor everything from cholesterol and snoring levels to cabinet construction and literal dick measuring. "Chevalier" is yet another absurdly hilarious comedy of gender dynamics that could put Tsangari closer on the arthouse map to the more fanciful Lanthimos. Indiewire Over the course. »
- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
Manhood-measuring contests — in every imaginable sense of the phrase — are taken to brazenly literal extremes in “Chevalier,” the long-awaited third feature from Greek multi-tasker Athina Rachel Tsangari. Markedly different in focus and emotional temperature from her 2010 breakthrough, “Attenberg,” this committedly deadpan comedy of manners, morals and men behaving weirdly boasts a contained conceit seemingly ripe for unfettered absurdism: On a luxury yacht in the Aegean Sea, six male acquaintances embark on a rigorous series of personal and physical challenges, mercilessly grading each other to determine who is “the Best in General.” That Tsangari resists escalating the conflict, counting on subtle political insinuations to emerge as these perplexing social Olympics wear on, will leave as many viewers enervated as amused, but it’s an expertly executed tease.
- Guy Lodge
Over the past few years, Greek cinema has gained more prominence on the world screen, led by a number of filmmakers, directors, and writers. Among the key names are writer Efthymis Filippou and filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari. Filippou is known mostly for his collaborations with filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, with the duo having worked together on Dogtooth, Alps, and the upcoming The Lobster. Tsangari, on the other hand, had a ten year gap between her debut feature The Slow Business of Going, and her follow-up Attenberg. She has cut that time in half for her third film, however.
Titled Chevalier, the film sees Tsangari and Filippou collaborating for the first time, as they co-wrote the screenplay, with Tsangari taking on directing duties. The film’s synopsis is as follows.
In the middle of the Aegean Sea, six men on a fishing trip on a luxury yacht decide to play a game. »
- Deepayan Sengupta
While all eyes are on Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York, and London as the places where the new wave of big, anticipated movies are scheduled hit during the fall festival run, cinephiles will want to keep their eye on Locarno. That's where "Attenberg" director Athina Rachel Tsangari will unveil her new film, "Chevalier," and it looks terrifically bonkers. Yorgos Kentros, Panos Koronis, Vangelis Mourikis, Makis Papadimitriou, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, Sakis Rouvas, Yiannis Drakopoulos, Nikos Orfanos, and Kostas Philippoglou star in the movie about six men who take a fishing trip on a luxury yacht and start playing a game, with the winner being granted the titular ring. As the first trailer reveals, there is a points system, but i'll be damned if I know how it works. Read More: 'Attenberg' Director Athina Rachel Tsangari Lines Up 'Chevalier' No U.S. date has been set for this yet, but hopefully it surfaces »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Read More: Some of the Best Discoveries of the Year Are About to Screen in Switzerland Athina Rachel Tsangari made waves in 2010 with her feature "Attenberg," debuting at Venice to widespread acclaim. Her follow up, "Chevalier," will premiere at the upcoming Locarno Film Festival and looks to be quite promising. Though the teaser above offers little information, it does show glimpses of an absurd, seemingly irrational game men decide to play while on a yacht. Courtesy of Locarno, the official synopsis reads: "In the middle of the Aegean Sea, six men on a fishing trip on a luxury yacht decide to play a game. During this game, things will be compared. Things will be measured. Songs will be butchered, and blood will be tested. Friends will become rivals and rivals will become hungry. But at the end of the journey, when the game is over, the man who wins will be the best man. »
- Ethan Sapienza
An entire decade happened between Athina Rachel Tsangari’s first and second films, 2000’s “The Slow Business of Going” and 2010’s “Attenberg,” which we we loved. As quickly as she could, Tsangari went back behind the camera for this year’s “Chevalier.” Although that film still hasn’t premiered, the Greek director isn’t wasting time in setting up a follow-up. The “Attenberg” director is planning a “screwball action thriller” titled “White Knuckles” that's partially set in New York and “centers on two criminal sisters (a burglar and a bookkeeper) dealing with Vat fraud, amour fou, architectural infiltration, and electrically amplified fist fighting.” Uh, wowsers, yes. Tsangari is reportedly re-teaming with her “Attenberg” star, Ariane Labed, who won the Best Actress award at the Venice International Film Festival for that film. Tsangari’s third directorial outing, the buddy comedy “Chevalier,” has its world premiere next month at the Locarno »
- Cain Rodriguez
Universal is giving "Jem and the Holograms" fans a chance to appear in the upcoming teen-musical fantasy. Winners of this digital casting call will be selected based on "Jem"-inspired videos posted on social channels like YouTube.
The 'Star in Jem' contest is inviting anyone to post multiple videos of themselves singing or dancing to one of the songs from the movie (after downloading music from the site). For actors, the studio is looking for testimonials addressed to the fictional Jem about "how she has given you courage to be yourself." [Source: Variety]
The series launched this spring to just 430,000 total viewers and mixed reviews, and it failed to pick up an Emmy nomination. [Source: The Live Feed]
- Garth Franklin
The Film Society of Lincoln Center, the organization that presents the annual New York Film Festival, has named writer-director Athina Rachel Tsangari as its 2015 Filmmaker in Residence.
Tsangari, whose upcoming comedy “Chevalier” is due to premiere at the Locarno Film Festival later this year, will use her residency to work on her newest project, “White Knuckles,” a screwball action thriller about two criminal sisters. Tsangari is the third recipient of the residency that has partnered Fslc with Jaeger-LeCoultre since the program launched in 2013.
The first filmmaker selected for the program, Andrea Arnold (“Wuthering Heights”), used the residency for script development and pre-production of “American Honey,” which will star Shia Labeouf. The 2014 resident, Lisandro Alonso (“Jauja”), began work on an in-development project that aims to begin shooting soon in the U.S.
- Gordon Cox
Alicia Vikander of Ex Machina and Seventh Son was circling a role in the Assassin.s Creed movie, but ultimately dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. (You can blame Bourne for that one.) But now a new actress as stepped in to fill the vacant seat and that.s the Greek-born French starlet Ariane Labed. Deadline was first to report the news of Labed.s involvement, and she.ll be joining the already cast Macbeth buddies Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in Assassin.s Creed. As the trade notes, this is the most high-profile booking for Labed. The actress won the Best Actress awards at the Venice Film Festival, Hellenic Film Academy Awards and Angers European First Film Festival for her role in Attenberg, about a 23-year-old woman stuck in a boring factory town. She also won similar awards from Locarno International Film Festival in 2014 for Fidelio, Alice.s Odyssey »
"Macbeth" helmer Justin Kurzel and that film's stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard are re-teaming for 'Creed' which deals with a centuries old war between two bitter rivals - the Templars and the Assassins. The games have sold over 91 million copies.
Labed will play the role that Alicia Vikander was circling at one point, a role she ultimately had to pass on due to her commitment to the upcoming fifth film in the Jason Bourne series at Universal.
Filming on 'Creed' is slated to begin in early Fall for a December 2016 release.
Source: Deadline »
- Garth Franklin
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
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