14 items from 2015
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
When it comes to film festivals, there is arguably none more prestigious than the Cannes Film Festival. Each year, critics and the like descend on the south of France hoping to discover the classiest in cinema, which in turn can begin to fuel the impending Oscar speculation. 2015 likely will be no exception, as perhaps a few more Academy friendly projects than usual could wind up at Cannes. Sometime either this month or next, the fest will reveal the titles scheduled to play, so I wanted to get a head start and speculate a bit about what the festival could have in its lineup. Tribeca will be on my mind soon enough, but for now…Cannes gets my attention for the day. Here now are ten films that could very well play at the Cannes Film Festival, in just a simple alphabetical order: 1. Carol – One of the most anticipated Oscar hopefuls »
- Joey Magidson
It’s been a while since we did some female gazing, and I am inspired to get back into it by Belgian cutie Matthias Schoenaerts and his turn as a civilized Nazi in Suite Française (currently in U.K cinemas and coming to North America sometime this year, hopefully):
Schoenaerts has typically been playing tough guys — in flicks like Rust and Bone, Blood Ties, and The Drop — and he’s always really good. But tough guys aren’t really my thing, and it was only in A Little Chaos, in which he portrays a 17th-century garden designer at Versailles, when I took particular notice of him:
(I saw A Little Chaos at London Film Festival last autumn; it opens in the U.K. next month. No word yet on a U.S. release.)
(If you have a suggestion for someone we should female-gaze at, feel free to »
- MaryAnn Johanson
As an addendum to last week's details about Gareth Edwards' Star Wars spin-off Rogue One, it's been revealed that Alexandre Desplat will be providing the score. John Williams will be busy with Episodes VII-ix, but he can't do everything. The French composer isn't a hugely leftfield choice, since he scored Edwards' Godzilla last year. He's also an avowed fan of Williams, citing him as a key influence on his career.He stepped into Williams' shoes once before, taking over the soundtrack duties for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2. His prolific CV also includes The Imitation Game, Unbroken, Zero Dark Thirty, Rust And Bone, The Tree Of Life, the Twilight films, and three collaborations with Wes Anderson. He won an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Grammy this year for The Grand Budapest Hotel.Star Wars: Rogue One, which will presumably have much to do with X-Wing space acrobatics, »
The title is the most authentically French thing about “Suite francaise,” a fusty but enjoyably old-fashioned WWII soap that, notwithstanding its Gallic locale, is otherwise characterized by a distinctly British brand of plumminess. Based on the bestselling unfinished novel by Irene Nemirovsky, this lightly perfumed tale of the tentative romance between a married Frenchwoman and an urbane Nazi soldier during the 1940 German occupation covers no new ground historically or stylistically, and is hampered by gauche narration that undermines the expressive delicacy of Michelle Williams’s headlining performance. Still, attractive mounting and casting — with the inspired choice of Matthias Schoenaerts as Williams’s co-lead paying off handsomely — could see this Weinstein Co. property make moderately “Suite” music in limited release.
In Blighty, where Entertainment One releases the pic on March 13, “Suite francaise” is likely to entice the older audience that failed to turn out for the comparable but superior wartime weepie »
- Guy Lodge
Oscar heavyweight Fox Searchlight Pictures is having a good week. The company has just announced that it has acquired Us rights to "A Bigger Splash," the new film from "I Am Love" director Luca Guadagnino. The terrific international cast includes Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton -- whose "Grand Budapest Hotel" should net Searchlight big wins this weekend at the Oscars -- and Belgian heartthrob Matthias Schoenaerts (of "Rust and Bone") and "50 Shades" rising star Dakota Johnson, who has been courted by the bigwigs but here makes a turn toward a small indie. This love triangle mystery is based on Jacques Deray's steamy 1969 French film "La Piscine" (i.e. The Pool) starring Alain Delon and Romy Schneider. Written by David Kajganich, the scribe behind 2015 Sundance crime drama "True Story," and produced by Michael Costigan and Guadagnino, the film is slated for 2015 release. Here's the synopsis: In »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Paris — The Paris-Ile de France region is increasingly positioning itself as Europe’s premier film production hub, while simultaneously building synergies with its closest rival, London, and also with production centers in Belgium and Luxembourg.
In recent years there has been a sea change in the way the local industry works. Since the Nouvelle Vague, France has charted its own distinctive path in the film world, including a strong emphasis on auteur films. But this underlying commitment to the “Art et Essai” — broadly, arthouse — films is complemented by a new generation of directors interested in integrating VFX and animation work within their projects.
In the wake of the digital revolution, all areas of French film production have gone digital, including subtle use of “invisible” VFX on auteur films. Recent examples include VFX work by Mikros Image on Michael Haneke’s “Amour” and Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone” and Buf »
- Martin Dale
Paris – France’s Mikros Image, with headquarters in Paris and offices in Montreal, Los Angeles, Liège, Brussels, Luxembourg and Milan, plans to reinforce its animation and VFX work, revolving primarily around its three-main operation centers: Paris, Belgium and Montreal.
With a 250-strong workforce, the company is one of France’s veteran and most highly-respected VFX shingles.
Mikros rose to international recognition with its 2010 Oscar-winning toon short “Logorama” and bowed a dedicated animation division in June 2012 in Levallois-Perret, Paris.
Its first animation feature, Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier’s €37 million ($42 million) “Asterix: the Land of the Gods,” was released in France on Nov. 26, clocking up 0.93 million admissions for distributor Snd in its opening week. The film’s cumulative 3.2 million admissions, complemented by worldwide sales, makes it one of the most successful French toon pics ever.
- Martin Dale
Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, and Edward Norton decided they wanted to make a miniseries about Lewis and Clark, and now they've gotten HBO to green-light it. Based on Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage, the six-hour miniseries will star Casey Affleck as melancholic explorer Meriwether Lewis and Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) as the rough-and-tumble soldier William Clark. No word yet on who's playing Sacagawea; fingers crossed it won't be Rooney Mara. »
- Nate Jones
HBO is moving ahead with another miniseries, this one produced by an all-star team of acting talent. Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton join producers Dede Gardner and Gary Goetzman as executive producers on "Lewis and Clark," HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo announced via press release on Friday. "In 'Lewis and Clark,' we can see American idealism and the breathtaking natural beauty of the continent, as well as the complexities and tragedies of what came to be known as America's 'manifest destiny'," Lombardo said. "We are tremendously excited to bring together this incredible group of talents to tell a seminal American story." Casey Affleck is set to star in the series as Meriwether Lewis, with Matthias Schoenaerts — best known for "Rust and Bone, last seen in "The Drop," and soon to be appearing in "The Loft" — playing his friend William Clark. John Curran ("The Painted Veil") will direct, »
- Ben Travers
Production will begin in the summer with Affleck in the role of Meriwether Lewis and Schoenaerts as William Clark, telling the story of America’s first contact with the land and native tribes of the country west of the Mississippi River.
Also Read: 10 ‘True Detective’ Acting Teams We Want to See Next (Photos)
- Linda Ge
On January 5, French post-production house Polyson garnered the coveted César & Techniques Award from a shortlist of six companies. The winner of theaward is determined through voting by the members of France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma, which organizes the main Cesars Awards ceremony in February.
Now in 2015, Polyson is unveiling major new facilities, including a Foley studio, a pre-mix studio and seven new image and sound editing rooms, covering a total area of 6500 square feet, including a 1100-square-foot Foley studio with a 16-foot ceiling height.
The Foley studio alone represents a total investment of €6 million ($ 6.8 million) and is intended to reinforce the company’s positioning as a provider of high-end video and sound post-production services.
Founded in 2000, Polyson aims to provide a one-stop shop, spanning video editing and all aspects of sound post-production. The company is located in East Paris, in the 20th arrondissement, near Nation, in »
- Martin Dale
Larry Wilmore may not be the only African American host in late night television. Neil deGrasse Tyson, noted astrophysicist and the Internet’s favorite person ever behind Benedict Cumberbatch and Patrick Stewart, is reportedly moving his hit podcast Star Talk to the National Geographic Channel, Deadline reports.
The show is inspired by NPR’s Car Talk and features Tyson speaking with celebrities about everything from science to pop culture to comedy. “It will be National Geographic’s very first talk show so we look forward to how this plays out,” Tyson said to a group of journalists at the Winter TV Press Tour 2015.
Tyson previously hosted Fox’s remake of the documentary series Cosmos, and we previously reported that he has an awful lot of thoughts about Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. He recently also attracted some unwanted attention from religious types after tweeting that Isaac Newton shared a birthday with Jesus Christ. »
- Brian Welk
French auteur Jacques Audiard has enjoyed considerable acclaim with his last two features. 2009’s A Prophet snagged the Jury Prize at Cannes and nine Cesars (including Best Director), while 2012’s Rust and Bone (see production pic above) snagged Marion Cotillard a Golden Globe nod for Best Actress in a Drama and was awarded four Cesars out of its nine nominations. He’s also won Best Screenplay at Cannes in 1996 for A Self Made Hero, while 2005’ s The Beat That My Heart Skipped won Best Director and Film at the Cesars. Needless to say, Audiard is a heavy hitter at home and abroad, and expectations are high for his seventh feature, Erran, which is in production but being kept under wraps. Starring Vincent Rottiers (he was Jean Renoir in Gilles Bourdos’ 2012 Renoir), the film will revolve around a Sri-Lankan Tamil »
- Nicholas Bell
14 items from 2015
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