13 items from 2015
A furious slew of titles in the works would seem to prophesize a robust main competition slate for Cannes 2016. Though our initial list will eventually be pruned down as the year progresses (Berlin may snag something in here, especially if their 2016 lineup looks anything like their landmark selection from this past January), we’re confident that we will be seeing another round of heavy hitting auteurs unveiling their latest bits on the Croisette.
Absent from the main competition in 2015 were the Romanians (Muntean and Porumboiu were assigned to Un Certain Regard) and any trace of Latin filmmakers. The 2016 edition looks to make up for lost ground. For the Romanians, a couple heavy hitting titans from the New Wave will be ready. Cristi Puiu, who previously won Ucr in 2005 with The Death of Mr. Lazarescu should hopefully be getting a competition invite for Sierra Nevada. Meanwhile, previous Palme d’Or winner »
- Nicholas Bell
“Cinderella” has crossed the $500 million mark worldwide, and so Lily James is using that momentum to land herself a new gig. Edgar Wright has cast James opposite Ansel Elgort in “Baby Driver,” Wright’s follow-up to 2013’s “The World’s End.” Penned by Wright, the movie focuses on a burgeoning getaway driver (Elgort) who endangers himself and the life of his love interest (James) when he fails to complete a heist for a crime boss. [The Wrap] Director Antonio Campos (“Simon Killer”) has a new film in the works titled “Christine,” and he’s bagged Rebecca Hall and Michael C. Hall in the lead roles. It’s a drama about a Florida newscaster (Rebecca Hall) who methodically plans her suicide to occur on camera. Michael C. Hall stars as a co-worker who develops a crush on the news anchor. The supporting cast includes Maria Dizzia (“Orange Is The New Black”), writer/actor »
- Edward Davis
James White is a coming-of-age story about a young New Yorker who struggles to take control of his self-destructive behavior as his mother battles with serious illness.
The Film Arcade negotiated the deal with UTA Independent Film Group.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
The distributors are planning to release the film theatrically and will mount an awards push for the two stars.
“James White” centers on a hard-partying young man struggling to take care of his mother after her cancer returns. Arthouse company Memento Films acquired international sales rights to the picture earlier this month.
The film marks the directorial debut of “Martha Marcy May Marlene” producer Josh Mond. It is the latest feature film from Borderline Films, a New York City-based production company formed in 2003 by Tisch film school alums Mond, Antonio Campos and Sean Durkin. »
- Brent Lang
"Enemy," "Martha Marcy May Marlene," "Simon Killer," "The One I Love," "5 To 7" — even if you don't know the names Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, you've undoubtedly heard the work of the very prolific composing duo. This year alone they've had compositions in three Sundance films ("Last Days In The Desert," "Nasty Baby," "The Wolfpack") and now comes the Tribeca Film Festival where you'll hear even more from them in "The Driftless Area" and "Franny." And today, we've got an exclusive listen to "Franny's Theme" from the latter picture. Written and directed by Andrew Renzi, and starring Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning, Theo James, Clarke Peters, Cheryl Hines, and Dylan Baker, the drama follows a rich eccentric man who worms his way into the lives of a deceased friend’s young daughter and her new husband. And the theme music certainly evokes a drama with »
- Kevin Jagernauth
As collaborators, Sean Durkin and Antonio Campos have been a formidable pair. Campos produced the Durkin-directed breakout "Martha Marcy May Marlene," while roles were reversed for Campos' directorial efforts "Simon Killer" and "Afterschool." And the pair put their producing powers behind recent Sundance film festival hit "James White." Clearly they've got taste and talent, and they are putting it to use once again, producing "Katie Says Goodbye." Olivia Cooke, Mireille Enos, Christopher Abbott, Jim Belushi and Mary Steenburgen will star in the drama about "a 17-year-old waitress, played by Cooke, who attempts to overcome the hardships of poverty by prostituting herself in order to fulfill her dream of a new life in San Francisco." Wayne Roberts will direct with filming starting this month. [THR] Johnnie To always has several projects on the go at once, so here's another: he'll direct the heist thriller »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Olivia Cooke, who moved Sundance as a teen with cancer in Grand Jury and Audience winner "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," is set to follow up her breakout role with "Katie Says Goodbye," a drama from the indie collective behind "Martha Marcy May Marlene." (THR has the full scoop.) Cooke will play the title character, a 17-year-old waitress who prostitutes herself in order to get by while pursuing greener pastures in San Francisco. She is joined by "The Killing" star Mireille Enos, Jim Belushi, Mary Steenburgen and Christopher Abbott, who also broke big out of Sundance as a self-destructive twenty-something in "James White." In the "Katie," Abbott plays Cooke's mechanic love interest, with Enos playing her unfit mother. The feature is set to begin shooting at the end of March in New Mexico. "James White" producers Sean Durkin, who directed "Martha Marcy," and "Simon Killer" »
- Ryan Lattanzio
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s visually inventive comedy-drama about the friendship between a misfit teenager and a classmate diagnosed with leukemia, received both the grand jury prize and the audience award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday night. Part cancer-themed tearjerker and part tribute to obsessive movie love, “Me and Earl” was acquired by Fox Searchlight earlier this week in one of the festival’s biggest deals.
This marks the third year in a row that one movie has taken both top prizes at Sundance, following the lead of “Fruitvale Station” in 2013 and “Whiplash” last year. “Me and Earl’s” victory was even more noteworthy given what many considered one of the stronger U.S. dramatic competitions in recent memory, with strong critical and audience buzz for “Dope,” “The Witch” and “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” all of which also received prizes.
- Justin Chang
"Christopher Abbott bailed on playing the doormat boyfriend to Allison Williams's Marnie after season two of Girls," begins David Rooney in the Hollywood Reporter. "Watching his bruised, bristling performance as the rudderless title character in James White, it's natural to assume that choice was dictated by the actor's hunger for a darker exploration of his considerable range. The opportunity is provided in this extraordinarily intimate drama, which marks an arresting feature debut for writer-director Josh Mond of Borderline Films, the New York-based indie production collective behind such projects as Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer." We're collecting more reviews. » - David Hudson »
For close to a decade, the filmmaking collective known as Borderline Films has produced eerie dramas brought to life with complex techniques: Antonio Campos' "Afterschool" and "Simon Killer" followed alienated men driven to killer impulses, while Sean Durkin's "Martha Marcy May Marlene" involved a woman reeling from her time spent in a cult. Borderline's third member, Josh Mond, has largely maintained a producorial role—until now. With "James White," Mond displays the same engrossing narrative sophistication found in his colleagues' work, while at the same time reaching for more profoundly affecting depths. Mond's feature-length debut as writer-director bears many of hallmarks found in previous Borderline efforts: It focuses on a troubled young adult battling his internal demons and explores his conundrum through a series of precise cinematic devices. But unlike other Borderline efforts, "James White"—essentially a movie in which a »
- Eric Kohn
Calling card movies usually serve their casts or their directors, they seldom favour both. James White, however, is a rare exception: a story that showcases subtlety and technique on both sides of the camera. But what’s just as surprising about such a tender and emotional project is that it comes from Borderline Films, a New York based trio whose excellent output to date has tended towards the dark, with the likes of Afterschool, Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer – the latter two also premiered at Sundance – dealing with subjects such as teenage morality in the internet age, modern-day cults and twisted male sexuality, in that order.
- Damon Wise
Filmmaking careers are born at Sundance, as evidenced by directors Kevin Smith (“Clerks”), J.C. Chandor (“Margin Call”) and Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”). This year’s festival features plenty of returning artists as well as new voices with something fresh to say. TheWrap talked to buyers and sellers before whittling down this list of 10 buzzworthy filmmakers on the eve of Sundance. Something tells us we’ll be hearing about them for years to come.
Nikole Beckwith, »
- Jeff Sneider
Working with the likes of Bonello, Östlund, Assayas, Hansen-Løve and Baumbach, when you count the 2014 festival release year alone, actor Brady Corbet (Mysterious Skin; Funny Games U.S.; Simon Killer) has built quite the impressive resume working with the auteur set. While The Childhood of a Leader is his feature length directing debut, this counts as back to back years working in the filmmaker capacity when you take into account his writing creds in Mona Fastvold’s overlooked ’14 title, The Sleepwalker, and the soon to be premiered Sundance short Rabbit, by filmmaker Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre. Initially announced as starring Juliette Binoche (Corbet’s co-star from Clouds of Sils Maria), she was later replaced by Berenice Bejo. It goes without saying that most of the attention will be placed on Robert Pattinson, continuing his tour of difficult, auteur driven and inspired cinematic projects, »
- Nicholas Bell
13 items from 2015
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