7 items from 2015
Rome – The upcoming European Film Awards will fete Italian producer and distributor Andrea Occhipinti with the Prix Eurimages dedicated to celebrating the key role of co-productions in boosting the growth of the European film industry.
Occhipinti’s Rome-based shingle Lucky Red over the past 28 years has distributed some 250 titles and produced more than 40 feature films, a large portion of which supported by Eurimages. Eurimages is the Council of Europe’s fund supporting European co-productions. It also helps promote their theatrical distribution.
Standout Euro co-prods Lucky Red has handled include Paolo Sorrentino’s “Il Divo” and “This Must Be The Place,” Dardenne brothers-directed “The Kid With a Bike,” and Michel Ocelot’s toon “Azur et Asmar.”
Lucky Red has had a hand in many other successful co-prods by directors from all over the world, including Lars Von Trier, Patrice Leconte, Wong Kar-Wai, Park Chan-Wook, Peter Mullan, Francois Ozon, Gurinder Chadha, Hayao Miyazaki, »
- Nick Vivarelli
It should surprise precisely nobody that Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne made a single list for Sight & Sound, and it doesn’t strike me as odd that they acted so nonchalant about the effort. Their comments section will say it all: “A random list of ten greatest films.” I do, however, question the extent to which this is “random,” insofar as connections to their oeuvre are concerned, and fellow fans will probably notice commonalities from the word “go.”
All right, yes, The Big Heat doesn’t exactly scream “social realism,” but the concerns shared by many of these pictures — economic and social inequality, for one, as well as the strains they put on romantic and parent-child relationships — rings through the Dardennes’ long career. If Shoah or Modern Times are a bit more dour and comedic (guess which adjective applies to which film) than The Kid with a Bike, they have the qualities of forebears, »
- Nick Newman
“It’s hard to think that a pair of filmmakers who have won two Palme d’Or prizes at the Cannes Film Festival could be underrated, but the extent of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s talents still feel insufficiently realized. Their latest work, 'Two Days, One Night' — which is now available through the Criterion Collection— showcases an area of their acumen seldom discussed when praising their work: shot composition.” Marshall Shaffer’s 7-and-a-half-minute video essay begins with that big thesis. What follows is extremely well edited video that deftly delivers on its premise, showcasing Shaffer’s astute eye for dissecting the latest work by the Dardenne brothers, known for movies like “L’enfant,” “The Son,” and “The Kid with a Bike.” Just a heads up: this video essay lays out the broad strokes of the plot of “Two Days, One Night” and gets into specifics about scenes, even hinting at the film’s conclusion. »
- Zach Hollwedel
The Price of Salt is at a market high according to our critics. While Le Film Francais have Mia Madre in the pole position and Screen Daily have a pair in a tie among their voting clan, our sixteen strong have place Todd Haynes’ Carol firmly at the top of the leader board with average 3.8 grade. In a year where French cinema was a little off-balance, where Italy cinema didn’t disappoint, where Asian films were especially strong and where a first time work from Hungary stole the show, it is one portrait and one love story in 1950’s America that is tops.
In our inaugural year, our Cannes Critics’ Panel favored Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In by one point over the Dardenne’s The Kid With a Bike, von Trier’s Melancholia, Nicolas Refn’s Drive and Malick’s Palme d’Or winning The Tree of Life. »
- Eric Lavallee
Jostling Juvi: Bercot’s Take Familiar Stance on the System
Exploring a few too many problematic delinquency issues than it can rightly address, Emmanuelle Bercot’s Standing Tall (La Tête haute) reaches solid emotional plateaus within its belabored and all too familiar scenario. Opening the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, only the second female director to ever do so in the fest’s history, its selection is in regard to the film’s messages concerning tolerance in the wake of last year’s horrific Charlie Hedbo shootings. And Bercot’s film certainly seems to be making some clear points, even if it creates other logical problems in this exploration of one wild child’s thrill ride through France’s juvenile justice system. Likeable performances from notable cast members thankfully avoid schmaltzy tendencies, for the most part, and Bercot scores her greatest points with newcomer Rod Paradot.
We meet Judge Florence Blacque (Catherine Deneuve »
- Nicholas Bell
The 2011 Cannes Film Festival was crushed with great films — "The Tree Of Life," "The Artist," "We Need To Talk About Kevin," "The Kid With A Bike," "Melancholia," "Drive" — so perhaps it's easy to see why the epic, Mexican crime drama "Days Of Grace," which screened in the Midnight Movie lineup, didn't quite get the spotlight it deserved. But Cinema Libre is finally bringing the film stateside, and today we have the exclusive U.S. trailer. Marking the directorial debut by Everardo Gout, and starring Tenoch Huerta, Kristyan Ferrer, Dolores Heredia, Carlos Bardem, and Eileen Yañez, the Mexico City-set film spans twelve years — benchmarked by the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cup — and follows three very disparate lives that intersect as they are impacted by violence and abduction. Lupe, an idealistic cop, is tasked to investigate a crime ring and finds that justice has no value when a human life has a price. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Marion Cotillard is nominated for “Performance by an actress in a leading role” for her work in Two Days, One Night at the 87th Oscars.
For the first time, the Dardenne Brothers have teamed with the Academy Award winner and the result is another masterwork of humanism.
Sandra (Cotillard) has just returned to work after recovering from an illness. Realizing that the company can operate with one less employee, management tells Sandra she is to be let go while the remaining employees will each receive a bonus. Over the course of a weekend, Sandra, often with the help of her loving husband (Fabio Rongione), races against time to convince each of her fellow co-workers to sacrifice their much-needed bonuses in order for her to keep her job. With each encounter, Sandra is brought into a different world with unexpected results while her fate hangs in the balance. The Dardennes have »
- Movie Geeks
7 items from 2015
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