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Plunging once more into Mexico’s heart of darkness — its rampant drug cartel-fuelled extortion, torture, corruption and daily murders which have left 80,000 dead — Mexico and L.A.-based Canana has optioned big-screen rights to Alfredo Corchado’s “Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness.”
Canana founder and partner Pablo Cruz will produce the movie makeover for Canana, one of Latin America’s top independent production-distribution companies, which was founded by Cruz, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.
The Mexico Bureau Chief of the Dallas Morning News and a Nieman 2009 Fellow at Harvard, Corchado wrote “Midnight in Mexico” from dramatic personal experience. Covering Mexico’s drug wars, he has suffered four death threats. One came from the Zetas, the para-military death squads split off from the Gulf Cartel. On that occasion, racing a 24-hour-stay-of-execution, Corchado set off into the Mexican country to try to »
- John Hopewell
Specifically the studio wanted Bruce Willis in the movie, Carnahan didn't. Once he was out, "Miss Bala" director Gerardo Naranjo was brought in to helm the project which Willis is still being sought to star in.
Now, an e-mail that Carnahan sent to MGM CEO Jonathan Glickman at the time has been mailed around and THR has posted it online for all to see. The mail goes as follows:
You had a potential Oscar-winning film with maybe the best script in Hollywood but because you're a coward and a dumb c--- you now have an untested, second-time director and an arrogant, lazy, aging action star that will run that poor kid into the ground.
Good luck, asshole. You're a spineless, »
- Garth Franklin
The venture marks Naranjo's first english language feature.
In the untitled film, Fanning will play a roadie by the name of Viena, who hits the road on a soul searching journey with a punk band, Deadline reports.
The storyline will see Fanning's character travelling through America in the 1980s.
Production is slated to begin filming in February, following Fanning's recent work on the 2014 movie Effie Gray in which she plays the title role.
Watch a clip of Dakota Fanning in Motel Life below: »
Untitled Gerardo Naranjo Project
Fanning plays Viena, a roadie who’s on a journey of self-discovery and survival as part of a punk band’s convoy, traveling through America circa the 1980s. Shooting is slated to begin in February. [Source: Deadline]
A Year and Change
Greenberg plays a man who falls off a roof at a New Year’s house party. Over the next year, he changes his life - quits drinking, re-enters his estranged son’s life, reignites old friendships, and falls in love with a fellow divorcee. »
- Garth Franklin
After breaking through internationally with 2011's "Miss Bala," Mexican filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo hasn't been in a big hurry to break into Hollywood. While earlier this year he replaced Joe Carnahan on the brewing "Death Wish" remake, his most recent work has been on the FX series "The Bridge," where he directed the pilot episode. But it looks like his next feature is brewing, and it's unsurprisingly one that will have a bit of grit to it. Dakota Fanning has boarded the filmmaker's English language feature debut, which doesn't seem to have a title just yet, but will combine a couple of our favourite things: road trips and music. The '80s-set story will find Fanning playing Viena, a roadie for a punk band as they travel across America, in "a journey of self-discovery and survival." Of course, Fanning has been on this kind of similar journey before (in her role »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Baja Festival, Los Cabos – In its latest growth move, Mexico City/L.A-based Canana, the leading Latino production-distribution house founded by Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz, has launched a branded content division.
The new operation will produce short films and web series that engage viewers, have a narrative component and enhance brand image, Luna said. Eric Bonniot, formerly at Quentin Tarantino’s A Band Apart, is coming on board as a partner and exec producer at the division.
The entry into branded content comes after Canana has launched Ambulante, a traveling docu film fest in Mexico and now California, moved into TV production – it is currently shooting the second season of “Nino Santo,” the first season of “Back Home” for newly-launched Fusion TV Digital Network and developing “Nino Santo” Stateside for HBO – bowed Latin American digital distribution arm Canana OnDemand, and late last year partnered with Im Global in Mundial, »
- John Hopewell
Los Cabos – Three awaited Mexican movies – “Mexico’s Most Wanted,” “Flying Low” and “Natural Philosophy of Love” – all world preem at the 2nd Baja International Film Festival whose Hollywood industry presence underscores that the U.S. is at least beginning to take Mexico’s talent pool more seriously.
Baja’s U.S. presence includes Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media, agencies CAA, Paradigm, Management 360, investor Palmstar Media Capital/Merced Media Partners and sales agents Voltage Pictures, Panorama Media, Xyz Films, FiGa Films and Shoreline Entertainment.
Produced by Billy and Fernando Rovzar’s Lemon Films (“After Lucia,” “Saving Private Perez”), “Mexico’s Most Wanted” is Im Global/Canana’s Mundial first third-party sales pick-up out of Canana’s native Mexico.
A propulsive crime thriller, “Wanted” also reps Lemon’s »
- John Hopewell
Following supporting turns in films like Crash, End of Watch, The Lincoln Lawyer and Gangster Squad, Mexican-American actor Michael Peña is taking the lead in Cesar Chavez: An American Hero. As you might guess, in the film, Peña plays labor activist Cesar E. Chavez as he organizes the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history for farm workers' rights. Actor Diego Luna directs the film backed by Canana Films, the company behind Miss Bala (which was on our list of the 19 Best Movies You Didn't See in 2011). It looks like a great performance from Peña, but since it's arriving next spring, it isn't in the Oscar race. Watch it! Here's the first trailer for Diego Luna's Cesar Chavez: An American Hero from YouTube: Cesar Chavez: An American Hero is directed by Diego Luna (director of Abel, star of The Terminal, Y Tu Mamá También) and written by Keir Pearson »
- Ethan Anderton
We haven’t seen too much of Hammer’s latest production, The Quiet Ones, but that changes starting now. The very first trailer has just been released and we have it for you to watch:
“Starring Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, ‘Mad Men’) and Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), The Quiet Ones will be directed by John Pogue (Quarantine 2: Terminal). Joining the cast are Erin Richards (‘Breaking In’, ‘Being Human’), Olivia Cooke (‘The Secret of Crickley Hall’, ‘The Fuse’) and West End theater actor Rory Fleck-Byrne. With the story and original screenplay by Tom DeVille, revisions by Craig Rosenberg, Oren Moverman and most recently John Pogue, the film is produced by James Gay-Rees (Senna, Exit Through The Gift Shop) and Ben Holden in association with Tpsc Films.
Inspired by true events, The Quiet Ones tells the story of an unorthodox, »
- Jonathan James
★★★★☆ Heli (Armando Espitia), the protagonist of Amat Escalante's 2013 Palme d'Or nominee of the same name, is a young Mexican who lives with his father, his son, his young wife (Linda Gonzalez) and 12-year-old sister, Estella (Andrea Vergara). He's prone to bad luck, keen on his naps and, when a census taker comes to the house, hesitates about how many people live there with him. However, when 17-year-old army cadet Beto (Juan Eduardo Palacios) falls in love with Estella and makes plans for the two of them to run away together, Heli's cataclysmic knee-jerk reaction will plunge the family into pitiless and brutal violence.
Narrative films concerned with roving drug gangs, political corruption and barbaric acts of extreme and horrendous violence are depressingly common nowadays and have formed the backdrop for several high profile Hollywood movies in recent years, including Oliver Stone's Savages (2012) and Mexico's own Miss Bala (2011). However, »
- CineVue UK
Liberace's glitter is only slightly dimmed by DVD, while Mubi's curatorial brand of streaming is a treat for cinephiles
In Europe, Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra (Entertainment One, 15) premiered in the rarefied glow of the Cannes film festival. In the Us it did so on the glowing screens of a million living rooms, courtesy of risk-taking TV producer HBO. Technically, then, we're finally seeing it in its intended format, though this marvellous, diamond-iced biopic of Mr Entertainment himself – Vegas concert pianist Liberace – seems conceived for the largest screen possible. (I doubt the master of excess would approve of this rather sparse Blu-ray package, which includes only a Soderbergh-free making-of featurette.)
The small screen may dull the rhinestones, but not the grace notes of Michael Douglas's witty, desolate lead turn. Fortysomething Matt Damon, meanwhile, is improbably vulnerable as Scott Thorson, the teen toyboy inappropriately adopted by the closeted »
- Guy Lodge
Rio De Janeiro – Monica Lozano’s Mexico City-based Alebrije Cine y Video, the producer behind U.S./Mexico B.O. phenom “Instructions Not Included,” is teaming with Walkiria Barbosa’s Total Filmes in Rio to produce a Mexican Spanish-language version of identity-switch comedy, “If I Were You,” already a Brazilian smash-hit movie franchise.
Produced by Total, “If I Were You” was distributed by Fox in Brazil.
Lozano and Barbosa sealed the deal Wednesday at the Rio Festival’s RioMarket.
It comes as “Instructions,” starring, written and directed by Univision/Televisa host Eugenio Derbez, has romped to $28.6 million in Mexico, released by Televisa’a Videocine, making it the highest-grossing Mexican film of all time on home turf.
Distributed Stateside by Pantelion, a joint venture of Lionsgate and Televisa, “Instructions” has already become the biggest Spanish language-hit ever in the U.S., grossing $39.1 million to date.
“If I Were You,” a franchise in Brazil, »
- John Hopewell and Emilio Mayorga
Argentina’s Juan Jose Campanella makes the unusual move of following the Oscar-winning “The Secret in Their Eyes” with a soccer-themed 3D toon — and strikes gold. “Foosball” is a non-stop charmer allegedly geared to kids but just as likely to delight parents, featuring a nerdy table-soccer champ and the lead figurine players that come to life to trounce a bullying egomaniac. A summer release in Argentina went boffo, scoring the nation’s highest first-day B.O. bow, a feat likely to be repeated in other Spanish-lingo territories. The English version, with distribution from 369 Prods., should also see sky-high returns.
The media is championing the pic as the equal of U.S. animation giants, which isn’t an exaggeration given the slickness of the product as well as the cleverness of the design. “Foosball” is Latin America’s biggest budgeted cartoon feature — at $21 million — and will roll out in all territories once dubbing is completed. »
- Jay Weissberg
Tiff is still raging but most journalists are now running on fumes, including me! And Nyff press screenings start next week. Give me strength! I know I know... you're waiting on writeups for Oscar hopefuls like The Railway Man, Gravity, and Twelve Years a Slave which is A Lot to get through still in the next few days but here are two films from Norway and Canada which I wanted to discuss. They both pit wounded unraveling men against themselves and each other for our viewing pleasure.
Paranoia thrillers aren't really my cuppa as movie genres go but this not so distant history expose drama from Norway is just gripping. It deals in part with the American and Norwegian battle over oil drilling contracts and pipeline off Norway's massive jagged coast. Not So Spoiler Alert: Norway won making it one of the wealthiest nations in the world. »
- NATHANIEL R
FX adds another bold, gritty and compelling drama to their stable of shows with "The Bridge," starring Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir ("A Better Life") and SAG Award nominee Diane Kruger ("Inglourious Basterds").
That unexpectedly brilliant odd couple casting is just the first clue this isn't your average cop drama, despite the fact that Bichir plays Detective Marco Ruiz from Juarez, Mexico and Kruger plays Detective Sonya Cross from El Paso, USA.
Ruiz and Cross start off on awkward footing when they meet over the body of a dead woman on the Mexico-us border. But many things -- including the body -- are not exactly what they appear and soon enough Ruiz and Cross find themselves working together to crack the case.
She's by the book, he likes to bend the rules. They spar and banter and investigate leads. So far, so familiar. But "The Bridge" is a perfect example »
The Bridge, Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”
Directed by Gerardo Naranjo
Airs Wednesdays at 10pm Et on FX
“Pilotitis” is an umbrella term that connotes a wide variety of complaints typically leveled at pilots, from awkward bouts of exposition, to shoddy or simplistic characterization, to overplotting, but one underlying truth remains: pilots are hard as hell to pull off with any effectiveness. Over the last month, Sound on Sight staff have written a plethora of pieces about what they feel to be some of the best, but few qualify as truly flawless. FX happens to have an exceptionally recent record for drama pilots; Justified, The Americans and Terriers all boast inaugural episodes that establish setting, theme and character with grace and confidence, while managing to function splendidly as contained hours of television. (FX’s very first original drama, The Shield, features what most will »
- Simon Howell
Chicago – FX’s “The Bridge” bears undeniable resemblance to other recent cable hits. The quirky-but-smart female lead will remind viewers of Claire Danes’ award-winning performance on Showtime’s “Homeland” while the mystery structure of the piece and the dense atmosphere are undeniably reminiscent of AMC’s “The Killing.” And international audiences will know it’s a loose remake of a Swedish show called “Bron.”
Television Rating: 4.5/5.0
While it may be tempting to write off the program as overly familiar, the premiere of what will almost surely be another hit for one of the most important networks on cable today contains so many of the elements missing from similar programs, elevated by two stellar performances and a sense of cinematic purpose that we should demand from more television. It unfolds like a great novel. Some chapters of the first three episodes that I’ve seen are less engaging than others but, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
FX has helped set the bar pretty high for moody crime dramas, and held up against that standard, “The Bridge” simply doesn’t measure up. Infused with gritty atmosphere and an intriguing setting — set in motion by a grisly crime along the Mexican-u.S. border, evoking memories of “No Country for Old Men” and “Touch of Evil” — the tone comes much closer to “The Killing,” and stumbles badly in its mismatched detectives. Although there are elements here that merit continued attention, most notably Demian Bichir as a dedicated Mexican cop, there are too many missteps to ensure safe passage.
Like “The Killing” adapted from a popular European drama, the series begins with the death of a judge, who is found bisected on the highway connecting the Texas town of El Paso and Mexico’s Juarez. Jurisdictional headaches ensue, with a young female detective, Sonya Cross (Diana Kruger), eager to pursue »
- Brian Lowry
If Sundance Channel’s limited series Top of the Lake from director Jane Campion and drama skein Rectify — a deliberately paced character study — signal anything, it’s that the cross-migration of independent film and TV is here to stay.
With studios increasingly focused on tentpole extravaganzas, the indie film market hurting and television in a new golden age, it’s no wonder more arthouse names are creating TV: Lena Dunham, Todd Haynes, Steven Soderbergh, to name a few.
On one level, says Vogue and Fresh Air critic John Powers, it’s the fruition of something that started in the ’80s when visionary David Lynch shocked everyone by making Twin Peaks for broadcast television.
“People watched that and said, ‘Oh, TV can be a lot more interesting,’” says Powers.
- Robert Abele
If you watch a FX on a regular basis, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen promo clips for a summer series called The Bridge. A while back we posted some mysterious 10-second snippets for the series, and although they were pretty short, we’ve all been pretty excited and eagerly anticipating the new show. With trailers for the networks’ fall shows upon us, FX has now released a full trailer for The Bridge and its looking even more promising. The series, which is a remake of a Scandinavian crime drama, comes from Homeland writer Meredith Stiehm, and stars Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir as detectives on opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico border who work together to stop a serial killer. On top of that, Mexican filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo, who directed one of our favourite films of 2011, Miss Bala, has directed the pilot. Watch the trailer below, and »
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