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Beasts of the Southern Wild: Minervini Continues Fascination with American Rural Dysfunction
One can’t help but recall the refreshing yet uncomfortably toxic memories of Harmony Korine’s 1997 directorial debut Gummo while wading through America’s southern hinterlands with Roberto Minervini in his latest slice of visual poetry, The Other Side. Abandoning the safety of fiction for documentary, the Italian director seems committed to his fascination with the travails of rural Americans existing in forgotten pockets of the country.
Previously helming a trio of films referred to as his “Texas Trilogy,” ending with 2013’s Stop the Pounding Heart, this latest portrait focuses on a group of swamp denizens in their daily routine. The extreme dysfunction and indefatigable ignorance of the subjects makes Minervini’s motivation suspect. Like Jean-Charles Hue’s narrative hybrids concerning a specific gypsy community in Northern France (Eat Your Bones, 2014), Minervini presumably wishes to explore an oft neglected population. »
- Nicholas Bell
Inarritu will be honored with the Vanguard Leadership Award for the originality and independent spirit of his films.
Inarritu’s films include “Amores Perros” (2000), “21 Grams” (2003), “Babel” (2006), “Biutiful” (2010) and “Birdman,” which won him three Oscars for best picture, director and original screenplay. He has produced three films that appeared at the Sundance Film Festival: “Nine Lives” (2005), “Mother and Child” (2010) and “Rudo y Cursi” (2009).
Inarritu will be the fourth recipient of the Vanguard Leadership Award, joining philanthropist and former institute trustee George Gund, journalist and film critic Roger Ebert, and actress and arts advocate Glenn Close.
- Dave McNary
The Cannes Film Festival used to be a rather exclusive place. While that rarified air is still very much in place, in the last few years the festival has opened up itself to taking in titles that have screened at Sundance earlier in the year. It’s usually one or two pictures at best, and recent Sundance-to-Cannes indies include “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Whiplash,” and “Beasts of The Southern Wild” (the latter two were also nominated the Best Picture Oscar). This year, there was only one movie from Sundance selected to play during Cannes: “Dope,” the layered hip-hop crime comedy which is part of the Directors' Fortnight sidebar. Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa (“Brown Sugar,” “Our Family Wedding”), “Dope” is jam packed with of-the-moment pop culture, social media, culturally relevant conversations about race, socio-economic circumstance, and zeitgeist-capturing flavor. The comedy, which we »
- Edward Davis
Hailing from Africa, their eyes set on Europe, they come with empty hands and infinite dreams, drawn across deserts and oceans by the promise of a better life. Occasionally, they make the news, when a boat sinks en route or police crack down on the other side, but by and large, these immigrants remain invisible, despite the fact their personal struggles would make for incredible stories. In “Mediterranea,” director Jonas Carpignano recognizes that potential and yet resists many of the filmmaking choices that would make the trek from Burkina Faso to Italy easily relatable to a mainstream audience, opting instead for a more rarified art-film format. Though it allows us to share in their ordeal, the film doesn’t presume to “know” its protagonists by the end, yielding a more complex and challenging portrait, one whose greatest impact will occur on the festival circuit, from which Carpignano should emerge a breakout. »
- Peter Debruge
Cannes — In a first sale that speaks well of the title’s sales potential, France’s Haut et Court, producer of Cannes Palme d’Or winner “The Class,” has closed French distribution rights on Jonas Carpignano’s buzzed-up Cannes Critics’ Week player “Mediterranea.”
“Mediterranea’s” German producer, Dcm, will distribute in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Sold by Paris and Mexico City-based Ndm, “Mediterranea” is the feature debut of Carpignano, a filmmaker based out of Rome and New York who won Cannes Critics’ Week main prize with his short “A Ciambra.” The film is produced, among many others, by U.S. director-producer Chris Columbus. After Carpignano worked on Benh Zeitlin’s Sundance sensation “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Mediterranea” was developed out of Zeitlin’s company Court 12, and Zeitlin came on board to compose the film’s music with Dan Romer.
- John Hopewell
Read More: Cannes Film Festival Announces Un Certain Regard, Cinéfondacion and Short Film Juries "Mediterranea," a U.S. production written and directed by Jonas Carpignano and featuring music from "Beasts of the Southern Wild's" Ben Zeitlin and Dan Romer, will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival during Critics' Week, and Indiewire has the exclusive poster. The film's official synopsis reads: "Two best friends journey across desert and sea from Burkina Faso to Southern Italy in search of a better life, economically and otherwise. But when they arrive in Rosarno, the glittering snapshots they saw on Facebook detailing the immigrant's life abroad do not match with the tough challenges they are met with in their new lives. One friend begins to assimilate through hard work and a sympathetic employer, who welcomes him into his family, while the other friend grows increasingly disillusioned with his hardscrabble reality. A vicious attack on the migrant. »
- Casey Cipriani
Chicago – Friday, May 1st, kicks off one of 2015 Chicago’s most special events, the Chicago Critics Film Festival (Ccff) – a film festival as programmed by the members of the Chicago Film Critics Association. The place to be is at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, and the titles included are an exciting batch of movies making their premiere here.
Many of the films had their world premiere at festivals like Sundance, Toronto and South X Southwest, and HollywoodChicago.com contributors Nick Allen and Patrick McDonald have been sampling the best of the festival, and offer this preview of the kick-off weekend. Each capsule is designated with Na (Nick Allen) or Pm (Patrick McDonald) – to indicate the author – or encapsulates the official synopsis from the festival.
Be sure to check back with HollywoodChicago.com on Monday, when we finish our preview of the festival by looking ahead to the weekday schedule, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "12 Years a Slave" co-star Dwight Henry, joins Barkhad Abdi and Torrey Wigfield in the Detroit-set indie drama "The Wolf Who Cried Boy," scripted by Luke Jaden ("King Ripple," "The Listing") and Cort Johns ("King Ripple," "The Listing"), who will also be co-directing the film. The story, described as "anti-coming-of-age," centers on a young man who gets swept into the seedy underbelly of the scrapping industry. This film is being produced by Jaden, Johns, Frank Capra III, Phil Wurtzel, Anthony Garth, Michael Zervos, and Andy »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Chicago – Exclusive! Free festival 7-packs! In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of guaranteed festival 7-packs up for grabs to the third-annual Chicago Critics Film Festival at the Music Box Theatre from the Chicago Film Critics Association!
The festival runs from Friday, May 1 to Thursday, May 7, 2015 at the Music Box Theatre. The festival will premiere more than two dozen films to Chicago that are hand-selected by Chicago critics. The films, which include the latest works from Joe Swanberg, Bobcat Goldthwait, Andrew Bujalski, James Ponsoldt, Francois Ozon and many more, are recent film festival hits from Sundance, South by Southwest, Cannes, Venice and Toronto and more. The full 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival schedule can be found here. Read a preview of the festival here.
Each HollywoodChicago.com winner will win Two festival 7-packs of guaranteed tickets to experience the following Chicago premieres at the times and dates below »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
Dwight Henry, who parlayed a riveting turn in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” into an appearance in Steve McQueen‘s Oscar-winning “12 Years a Slave,” has signed on to join Barkhad Abdi in the indie drama “Wolf Who Cried Boy,” TheWrap has learned. Luke Jaden and Cort Johns will direct from a script they co-wrote together. Torrey Wigfield (“Lost River”) and Peter Carey (“Real Steel”) co-star in the film, which starts production next month in Detroit. The anti-coming-of-age story centers on a young man who gets swept into the seedy underbelly of the scrapping industry. Abdi, the Oscar-nominated star of “Captain Phillips, »
- Jeff Sneider
Actress-producer Olivia Wilde and the producers of successful indies Bachelorette, The Place Beyond the Pines and Beasts of the Southern Wild talked about the business of independent film at the Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday. The Hollywood Reporter's Tatiana Siegel moderated the Tribeca Talks: The Producers panel that, among other topics, explored the challenges of financing and casting films with no guarantee those movies will see the light of day. Read More Tribeca 2015: At 'SNL' Doc Premiere, Castmembers Recall Taking on Hot Topics Wilde just produced her first narrative film, Meadowland, which is premiering at Tribeca on Friday,
- Hilary Lewis
Often defined by its blockbusters, summer movie season has become the premiere destination for top-shelf indie movies in recent years. Summer has been a launchpad for awards titles ranging from “The Hurt Locker” in 2009, “Winter’s Bone” in 2010 and “The Tree of Life” in 2011 to “Beasts of the Southern Wild” in 2012, “Fruitvale Station” in 2013 and last year’s dual triumph of “Chef” and “Boyhood.” This summer features festival favorites from Sundance, Toronto and Venice, and those indie movies serve as savvy counterprogramming to the tentpole titles that dominate the box office each summer. Also Read: 17 Summer Movies We’re Dying to. »
- Jeff Sneider
It’s time for a new weekly series folks! Yes, starting today I want to try a new series on for size. Much like how I looked at the best winners in almost every Academy Award field, I want to now turn my attention towards individuals (specifically those active in the field), starting with cinematographers. Basically, this first one will look at the best Directors of Photography currently working in the business. There’s tons of amazing Dp’s in the industry so this is clearly going to be a divisive list. Still, that’s part of the fun of it as well! Hopefully you all enjoy and this becomes a weekly or at least monthly series… Before I get to the list, I’m going to quickly explain what will be happening below. In short, I’ll be listing ten Dp’s/cinematographers that I think are the best in the business right now. »
- Joey Magidson
Written and directed by Ryan Gosling
When his film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year, many critics reacted as if Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut had manifested itself into an abusive figure that vomited on their shoes, then repeatedly kicked their dog. Such a reaction was completely unearned by Lost River. There are flaws in the film, understandably, but it shines for them.
The film doesn’t follow a plot so much as it gravitates towards a heightened state of dream-like existence. Bones (Ian De Caestecker) is a teenager who strips houses for copper to support his mother, Billy (Christina Hendricks), and his little brother in an economically desperate and abandoned outskirts of a city (the film as shot in Detroit). Doing so gets him in trouble with a local self-proclaimed crime lord, Bully (Matt Smith). Billy, meanwhile, goes to work in a seedy, macabre »
- Dylan Griffin
If you’re looking for a comprehensive overview of the not so distant future in American indie film, a reliable sampling is usually found in the bi-annual Sffs / Krf Filmmaking Grants finalist (and future winners) lists. Grants will be awarded next month, but this finalists’ list overviews a look into the 2016-17 pool of talent and feature films. Among the trio of items that are in various stages of production and we’re keeping tabs on, we have Ian Olds (docu helmer of Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi) who moved into fiction feature filmmaking with The Fixer. Produced by Caroline von Kuhn (Camden Int. Film Fest Managing Director and docu field expert), this is said to include supporting players in the shape of Melissa Leo and James Franco. And speaking of Franco…, Travis Mathews from Interior. Leather Bar. fame has Oscillate Wildly next in line. Beasts of the Southern Wild »
- Eric Lavallee
Sometimes it's no fun being Ryan Gosling. No, not the actor who's the beloved star of The Notebook and Blue Valentine, but the filmmaker who saw his deeply-personal directorial debut Lost River savaged by critics at Cannes last year. Debuting three years after Drive blew the roof off the festival's Palais, Lost River received the kind of drubbing that'd have you believe it was a crime against cinema.
Fast forward to now and it's arriving to the masses with around 15 minutes shorn from the Cannes cut - diminished expectations end up doing it lot of favours. Gosling shoots for the stars with Lost River and doesn't quite make it, but why vilify him for showing ambition? Had this been made by a first-timer who wasn't an A-list actor, »
The Tribeca Film Festival announced this week that audiences will have an opportunity to hear panel and one-on-one conversations with some of the industry’s most critically and commercially successful filmmakers, artists, and executives during this year’s Tribeca Talks series including Christopher Nolan with Bennett Miller, George Lucas with Stephen Colbert, Cary Fukunaga with James Schamus, Brad Bird with Janeane Garofalo, Harvey Weinstein, Gus Van Sant, Courtney Love, Catherine Martin, and Christiane Amanpour.
Unique programs in the 2015 series include the Tribeca Talks: Directors Series sponsored by Warner Bros. Pictures where an acclaimed director participates in an intimate one-on-one conversation, Tribeca Talks: Master Class conversations focusing on a specific sector of the filmmaking process, Tribeca Talks: Script & Screen hosted by Barnes & Noble which explores topics related to screenwriting, as well as the previously announced special Tribeca/Espn Sports Film Festival Conversations which presents conversations relating to sports and competition in film, »
- Sacha Hall
The experiment has failed. The Oscars simply don’t work. And no, I’m not just continuing to vent my frustration over Boyhood losing.
For the last six years, The Academy has experimented with a different number of Best Picture nominees, starting with 10, then a variable number between five and 10 based on first place votes.
That experiment could now be coming to an end. The Hollywood Reporter floated the rumor Tuesday that the Academy is seriously considering switching back to five nominees for Best Picture, and that the motion has support with a “significant fraction of the Academy”.
This is speculation at the moment, as the Academy’s Board of Governors isn’t set to meet until March 24. That said, this year’s Oscar ratings were down by 15 percent from last year, despite having one of the year’s biggest box office hits in American Sniper up for Best Picture »
- Brian Welk
The awards world was hit with a bombshell on Tuesday afternoon after news broke that a "significant faction" of the Academy wants the Best Picture field returned to just five nominees. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the old guard feels the current system has made the honor less prestigious and are using the low ratings of last month's telecast as proof that the expanded field doesn't work. The issue may be addressed as soon as the next Board of Governors meeting on March 24. Let me take a breath and prepare my reaction while you ponder this Hail Mary of a justification for a moment. (O.K., I'm ready.) Y'all crazy. First, let's discuss the "prestige" argument, shall we? In 2009 the Best Picture field was increased to 10 nominees because of the horror (i.e. embarrassment) that the out-of-touch membership had snubbed popular and critically acclaimed blockbusters such as "Wall-e" and "The Dark Knight. »
- Gregory Ellwood
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