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Affleck is also producing the movie with John Powers Middleton as the first work to emerge from the Affleck/Middleton Project. Variety first reported the teaming of Affleck and Middleton in May, 2014, designed to afford Affleck the opportunity to focus more on producing, writing and directing.
“Far Bright Star” is based on Robert Olmstead’s novel, adapted by Damien Ober. Phoenix will portray a cavalryman leading a ragtag group of young men on a hunt in 1916 for Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. When most of the group die in an attack, he’s left struggling to survive in the desert.
Affleck, who is married to Phoenix’s sister Summer, worked with the actor on the 2010 mockumentary “I’m Still Here, »
- Dave McNary
While I’m Still Here depicted a fake career change for Joaquin Phoenix, it did seem to result in different sensibilities for the sort of projects the actor would take on after. With The Master, The Immigrant, Her, and Inherent Vice marking a four-film streak of incredible performances like few other actors of his generation have produced, Phoenix has now set out to reteam with his I’m Still Here director (and brother-in-law) Casey Affleck for a new project.
Moving out of the faux documentary field and back a century, THR reports Affleck will direct Phoenix in the 1916-set western titled Far Bright Star. Marking Affleck’s narrative directorial debut, the film comes from Robert Olmstead‘s novel, which follows a cavalryman (Phoenix) who leads a group to hunt down Pancho Villa, but things go very wrong and he’s left in the desert attempting to survive. Scripted by Damien Ober, »
- Jordan Raup
Sneak Peek new images, plus short film footage of Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard (currently filming the feature "Assassin's Creed") supporting fashion campaigns for "Lady Dior", photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott:
Cotillard has garnered worldwide acclaim and awards for performances in films including "A Very Long Engagement" (2004), "La Vie en Rose" (2007), "Nine" (2009), "Inception" (2010), "Rust and Bone" (2012), "The Immigrant" (2013) and "Two Days, One Night" (2014).
Cotillard's other notable films include "Chloé" (1996), "Furia" (1999), "Lisa" (2001), "Pretty Things" (2001), "Big Fish" (2003), "Toi et Moi" (2006), "Dikkenek" (2006), "A Good Year" (2006), "Public Enemies" (2009), "Midnight in Paris" (2011), "Contagion" (2011) and "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012).
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek Marion Cotillard...
- Michael Stevens
Bless those fan sites bringing us intimate coverage of James Gray‘s next film. Robert Pattinson Australia have translated an extensive piece recently run in the French publication So Film, and, along with the series of set photos, thus provide a previously unknown perspective on the picture — namely its deep, painstaking connections to World War I. The ends to which Gray and co. have gone to ensure an accurate (read: brutal) depiction of the Battle of the Somme — which both Col. Percival Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) and Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson) find themselves fighting in — is hardly surprising, particularly in light of something as lovingly crafted as The Immigrant, but it’s nevertheless thrilling to imagine.
One can get a sense of Lost City‘s scope by perusing the magazine’s coverage — just look at a paragraph detailing Gray’s fretting over the position of a letter — while images from the »
- Nick Newman
A film’s rewatchability factor has a great deal to do with its enduring success. Last year, I listed Bennett Miller’s gloomy, heavy “Foxcatcher” as my favorite movie of the year and, to a degree, it’s a pick I still stand by. But the glum solemnity of "Foxcatcher" doesn’t divulge any particularly new layers upon repeat viewings, whereas other films that I listed in my top five — mainly James Gray’s staggering American tragedy “The Immigrant” and Alex Ross Perry’s underrated and seriously funny “Listen Up, Philip” — continued to reveal new and fascinating layers with repeat viewings. Some flicks from 2014 seem less interesting when watched more than once (for me, it was Damien Chazelle’s almost universally-praised “Whiplash”) while others, like Paul Thomas Anderson’s wigged-out cinematic cornucopia “Inherent Vice,” are best enjoyed when you’ve had a chance to unpack their dense narratives more than once. »
- Nicholas Laskin
The latest films from James Gray and John Crowley show their own stamp through heavily dramatic approaches when it comes to the immigrant experience, but they — along with virtually every filmmaker — certainly owe a debt to Charlie Chaplin. In one of his best works, 1917’s The Immigrant, the filmmaker was able to capture the audience with his comedy, but also deliver an underlying, effective social message — a feat not uncommon with the rest of his oeuvre.
Today we have a 25-minute video essay, which features commentary from historian Dr. Darren R. Reid and photographer/blogger, James O’Hara. In they make the case that Chaplin “makes a subtle attack upon those who opposed immigration, particularly from eastern European countries.” This is done through crafting potent sympathy while deconstructing class structure, among other techniques. Check it out in full below, along with the original short if you’d like to revisit. »
- Leonard Pearce
London — Grindstone Entertainment Group has acquired North American distribution rights to action-thriller “Mercury Plains,” starring Scott Eastwood (“Fury,” “The Longest Ride,” “Suicide Squad”), with distribution to be handled by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
The film, which also stars Nick Chinlund (“Con Air,” “Training Day,” “The Chronicles of Riddick”) and Angela Sarafyan (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” “The Immigrant,” “Paranoia”), sees a young man run away to Mexico, where he is recruited by the captain of a group of teens who fight drug cartels. Isolated at the desert camp and unsure what he is really fighting for, he proves himself by becoming the captain’s top soldier. As the Mexican police close in, he realizes that his only way out is to escape back to America. But first he must outwit the captain.
- Leo Barraclough
Holland, who first came to prominence for his performance in The Impossible, has joined a stellar cast that already includes Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Robert Pattinson (Cosmopolis) and Sienna Miller (American Sniper). Acclaimed filmmaker James Gray (The Immigrant) is in the director’s chair, with Brad Pitt and his Plan B Entertainment part of the producing team.
Based on the best-selling book by David Grann, the film tells the story of Percy Fawcett, “a conscripted soldier and born explorer who disappeared in the 1920s while searching for a mythical city in the Amazon jungles of Brazil that he believed he discovered on a prior expedition.
Paramount is expected to release the film sometime in 2016.
Holland makes his debut as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in next summer’s Captain America: Civil War, »
- Scott J. Davis
Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Two Lovers is playing on Mubi in the Us through September 15.Little Odessa (1994), The Yards (2000), We Own the Night (2007), The Immigrant (2013): Written and directed by James Gray, these four films are occupied by characters living extraordinary lives. Yet despite their depiction of an exceptional existence—covering cold-blooded killers, cunning gangsters, ruthless hit men, and the perilous plight of early 20th century immigrants—Gray's cinematic worlds are consistently unassuming and relatable. No matter how high the drama or how dire the circumstances, there is a palpable attention to detail, in character and setting, which attains a surprising level of modest believability. Two Lovers (2009), his fourth feature film, likewise achieves this authenticity, but it is also something of an exemption to his body of work. Anchored by Joaquin Phoenix as Leonard Kraditor, in what was the actor's third straight film »
- Jeremy Carr
Peter Labuza is celebrating the third anniversary of the launch of his excellent podcast, The Cinephiliacs, with a conversation with one of cinema's great talkers, James Gray, director of, for example, We Own the Night (2007), Two Lovers (2008) and The Immigrant (2013). Among the many topics covered in 85'44" is Federico Fellini's Nights of Cabiria (1957). More interviews: Dustin Hoffman, Woody Allen, Bruno Dumont, Craig Baldwin, Debra Granik, Carolee Schneemann, Mia Hansen-Løve, Frank V. Ross, David Thorpe and Ana Lily Amirpour. » - David Hudson »
It’s been over two years since “The Immigrant” made its world premiere at Cannes, and writer/director James Gray is hard at work getting "The Lost City Of Z" ready to shoot later this year. Nevertheless, he managed to find the time to stop by film critic Peter Labuza’s podcast “The Cinephiliacs” for a candid hour-long chat. The conversation covers Gray’s career in film, but what’s perhaps most revealing is hearing the two talk in depth about Federico Fellini's 1957 classic “Nights of Cabiria.” Read More: James Gray Talks 'The Immigrant,' Diving Into TV With 'Red Road,' And His Own Favorite Films Having talked about the importance of storytelling early on in the episode, Gray singles out “Nights of Cabiria” for its astonishing simplicity and how it still manages to evoke “a vaguely operatic silent film feeling." The director notes Fellini’s »
- Ken Guidry
James Gray has, since 1994 debut "Little Odessa," enjoyed a fruitful American indie film career despite studio pressures and tussles, including TWC's infamous dumping of "The Immigrant," his 2013 Cannes premiere that became a critics' cause celebre. Gray, now foraying into television with a hardboiled animated series for adults, joins host Peter Labuza on the latest episode of The Cinephiliacs podcast to unpack his work, thoughts on indie filmmaking and Federico Fellini's "Nights of Cabiria" whose streetwalker with a heart of gold played by Giulietta Masina influenced Marion Cotillard's tragic heroine of "The Immigrant." Listen to the podcast here. Read More: From 'The Immigrant' to 'Two Days, One Night': Oscar Nominee Marion Cotillard's Amazing Year »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
It is not a prerequisite that the period costume drama needs a hook, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Joe Wright’s stylish “Anna Karenina” dazzled with a theatrical approach, and Andrea Arnold’s “Wuthering Heights” employed an austere commitment to form coupled with an expressively Malick-ian appreciation of nature. Gracefully pitched acting can also be enough (see James Gray’s “The Immigrant”), but unfortunately for Sophie Barthes, her adaptation of “Madame Bovary” is largely bereft of these qualities in any compelling form. Instead, the movie is delivered in a restrained, far-too-measured tone that is often flat and enervating. There have been countless TV and film adaptations of “Madame Bovary.” In cinema, Vincente Minnelli, Albert Ray, Claude Chabrol, and Jean Renoir have all had a go at Gustave Flaubert's debut novel, but rarely have the writer's sensibilities been rendered for the screen by a female director. But feminist thoughtfulness »
- Rodrigo Perez
It was last year’s most snap worthy Cannes Market one sheet image and it pretty much secured an In Comp entry the moment Marion Cotillard signed on. The actresses’ fourth consecutive year in the Palme d’Or hopefuls (Rust and Bone, The Immigrant, Two Days, One Night), actually make that five if it is followed by It’s Only the End of the World in 2016, this latest version of Macbeth comes from an Aussie director who made the most noise in the Critics’ Week section when his Snowtown (later known as The Snowtown Murders) launched Justin Kurzel into a nice sophomore gig. While some of our critics jetted out early, here is a sampling of grades to feast on.
- Eric Lavallee
Wild Bunch has announced the launch of a new La-based sales company, called Insiders, focused on independent pictures with budgets above $15m.
The new outfit will act as a sales service company for third party financiers, who will eventually also have the opportunity to take an equity stake in the entity. Insiders will be their independent sales agent, marketing their films to distributors around the globe.
“Over the last few years we’ve seen the American market for the financing of independent film change - with equity partners increasingly financing independent American films more than distributors,” he told ScreenDaily.
As a result of this trend, he said, Wild Bunch »
If you’re standing in the rain with a lost love, this is the perfect episode to listen to. It’ll dry you right out. This week, Geoff and I will briefly question why Nicholas Sparks keeps getting away with writing the same exact story over and over before sharing a list of some of our favorite tragedies. Somehow, the topics blend together perfectly. Plus, we’ll answer screenwriting questions about annoying characters and overbearingly bleak tones, and The Immigrant writer/director James Gray will talk about actors with surprising styles and what he got out of film school. You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. Download Episode #92 Directly Or subscribe through iTunes On This Week’s Show: Humble Gray [0:00 – 0:30] Script Sack [0:30 – 14:30] The Longest Tragedy [14:30 – 42:15] Immigrant Song (w/ James Gray) [42:15 – 56:00] Heroes of the Week [56:00 – 58:00] Get In Touch With Us: Ask Us Your Screenwriting Questions Email »
- Scott Beggs
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