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Let’s Get Weird! Cinematic Oddities

Tom Jolliffe looks at the weird wonders of cinema…

There are pretty standard films when it comes to cinema. It could be straight horror (masked killer stalks teens) or Die Hard formula. Sometimes a film lowdown tells you everything you need to know about what you’re about to watch. To an extent this brings comfort to cinema goers. Look at the Top 100 highest grossing films and you’d be hard pressed to find anything hugely unconventional.

Of course you can have alien characters in strange alien worlds, but it’s still told in a conventional way. Star Wars for instance which at its core is pure, Kurosawa infused Samurai cinema or a film like Guardians of the Galaxy despite its talking raccoons and Groot, is a recognisable adventure formula. However, sometimes a film defies explanation, logic or understanding. Look at David Lynch’s career. He’s made a name
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Oscars Last Call: ‘Room’ Scribe/Historian Emma Donoghue On Why Audacious Royals Romp ‘The Favourite’ Is Template For Future Palace Pics

  • Deadline
Oscars Last Call: ‘Room’ Scribe/Historian Emma Donoghue On Why Audacious Royals Romp ‘The Favourite’ Is Template For Future Palace Pics
The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos and writers Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara used sparing historical details to create an 18th century love triangle around England’s Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), her close friend Lady Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz), and the scullery maid Abigail Masham (Emma Stone). The latter drives a wedge between the queen and her confidante, as the young chambermaid uses her charms to social climb toward the queen’s bedroom, and the result is a ruthless study in oneupsmanship that is by turns hilarious, unsettling, and irresistible to watch.

But how much is true? Emma Donoghue, the Dublin-born playwright and historian who was Oscar-nominated herself for scripting Room, here gathers the threads and explains why Lanthimos has honored history by taking liberties in creating a hybrid formula that can breathe life into future films on palace politics. The Favourite is up for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture,
See full article at Deadline »

Dp Curtis Clark on Technology's Future, Receiving Academy's John A. Bonner Medal

In early 2003, the American Society of Cinematographers held the first meeting of its Motion Imaging Technology Council, made up of Asc members, associates and entertainment technology leaders. Since then, the group chaired by member Curtis Clark has done pioneering work in advancing entertainment technology. For instance, in 2010, Asc began a collaboration with AMPAS on the development of a color management system called Academy Color Encoding System (Aces), which received a Sci-Tech Award from AMPAS in 2015.

Clark, 72, whose credits as a cinematographer include Peter Greenaway's The Draughtsman's Contract, will receive the Academy of Motion Picture Arts ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Remembering Mark Urman, an Independent Film Stalwart Gone Too Soon

Remembering Mark Urman, an Independent Film Stalwart Gone Too Soon
The following remembrance was written by Deborah Davis, Mark Urman’s wife.

From Anatole Litvak’s “Anastasia,” the first movie he saw as a child at a picture palace in the Bronx, to Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” (his choice for this year’s Best Picture), Mark Urman was a man with a boundless passion for cinema. In the course of his nearly 50 years in film, Mark felt blessed to work with some of the greatest luminaries in the business, from Joseph Losey, David Lean, and Bernardo Bertolucci to Roman Polanski, Sydney Lumet, and Julian Schnabel.

He also delighted in encouraging talents as they emerged, including Ryan Gosling, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Lynette Howell, Jamie Patricof, Christian Bale, Liv Tyler, Marc Forster, Natasha Richardson, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Kevin Smith, Cary Fukunaga, Lee Daniels, and Bill Condon.

Mark was born in the Bronx on November 24, 1952, the
See full article at Indiewire »

Peter Greenaway to build racetrack tribute to Jack Kerouac book

Film director working on racetrack as vast outdoor art installation inspired by cult classic On the Road

He trained as an artist and has found inspiration in Old Master paintings in making some of British cinema’s most avant-garde films. Now director Peter Greenaway is working on perhaps his most ambitious artwork so far – an actual racetrack as a vast outdoor art installation.

It will be a tribute to Jack Kerouac’s cult classic On the Road, a story of a hedonistic road trip across America, as Greenaway seeks to re-create Kerouac’s sense of adventure for the 21st century, as well as raising questions about “the future of our roads and how we are going to use them”.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #135. Walking to Paris – Peter Greenaway

Walking to Paris

It’s been four years and counting as we await the next feature from Peter Greenaway, Walking to Paris, which the director was discussing prior to the premiere of his last film, 2015’s Eisenstein in Guanajuato. It looks like 2019 may finally be the year we may set eyes upon his take on sculptor Constantin Brancusi, which features a cast comprised of Emun Elliott, Carla Juri, Andrea Scarduzio, Paolo Bernardini, Marcella Mazzarella and Remo Girone. The film will feature the work of both Italian Dp Paolo Carnera and his usual collaborator, Dutch cinematographer Reinier van Brummelen.…
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Sandy Powell Balances History & Stylization With Costumes For ‘The Favourite’ And ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

  • Deadline
Sandy Powell Balances History & Stylization With Costumes For ‘The Favourite’ And ‘Mary Poppins Returns’
Even as one of the film industry’s preeminent costume designers, a three-time Oscar winner with 12 nominations since 1994, Sandy Powell had a lot on her plate, signing up for Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns. A sequel to a 1964 classic, the Disney musical would require the designer to take Poppins into a new era, with the help of Emily Blunt. This was a film with a lot to live up to, with a stunning number of moving parts. And yet, fueled by adrenaline and rampant creativity, Powell decided to take on even more, concurrently designing fashions for Yorgos Lanthimos’ Best Picture contender The Favourite.

On the surface, these two films could not be more different in tone or aesthetic. Set in the early 18th century, Lanthimos’ first period piece was no conventional period piece at all. If Marshall’s latest is an innocent experience of wonderment and adventure, The Favourite is a brutal,
See full article at Deadline »

Jean Louis Piel, producer of 'Birth', 'My Blueberry Nights' and 'Burnt By The Sun' dies, aged 69

Jean Louis Piel, producer of 'Birth', 'My Blueberry Nights' and 'Burnt By The Sun' dies, aged 69
French producer worked with Wong Kar Wai, Wayne Wang, Nikita Mikhalkov, Zhang Yimou, Peter Greenaway and Jonathan Glazer.

France-born, Hong Kong based producer Jean Louis Piel, who worked with international filmmakers including Wong Kar Wai, Wayne Wang, Nikita Mikhalkov, Zhang Yimou, Peter Greenaway and Jonathan Glazer, has died of cancer at the age of 69.

Piel’s credits included Mikhalkov’s Close To Eden, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival in 1991 and was nominated for the best foreign-language Oscar, and the Russian director’s Burnt By The Sun which won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 1994 and
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Stephen Woolley, Liz Karlsen to receive Bafta for outstanding contribution to cinema

The producers of Carol and Colette will receive the honour at the 2019 Bafta film awards.

Producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley, co-founders of Number 9 Films, will receive the outstanding British contribution to cinema award at the 2019 Bafta film awards (February 10).

The husband-and-wife producing duo founded independent powerhouse Number 9 in 2002. Known as makers of taste-driven, quality UK cinema, Karlsen and Woolley’s films include Todd Haynes’ Carol, which was nominated for six Oscars in 2016, On Chesil Beach, Their Finest, Made In Dagenham and Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth (as co-producers).

Upcoming Number 9 projects include So Much Love starring Gemma Arterton as Dusty Springfield,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Carol' Producers Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley to Receive BAFTA Honor

Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley, the powerhouse production duo behind Number 9 Films, are set to receive the outstanding British contribution to cinema award at the BAFTA awards ceremony on 10 February.

Previous recipients of the award – presented annual in honor of British producer Michael Balcon – include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Mary Selway, Ridley and Tony Scott, Working Title Films, Lewis Gilbert, the Harry Potter series of films, John Hurt, Peter Greenaway, Tessa Ross, BBC Films, Angels Costumes and Curzon. The National Film and Television School was the recipient at 2018’s Film Awards.

Woolley began ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Road Trip Movie ‘Yomeddine’ Wins at Geneva Film Festival

  • Variety
Road Trip Movie ‘Yomeddine’ Wins at Geneva Film Festival
“Yomeddine,” a road-trip movie about an Egyptian leper and a young orphan journeying in search of family, won the Reflet d’Or for best feature film at the 24th Geneva Intl. Film Festival Saturday. The character-driven drama, Egyptian-Austrian director A.B. Shawky’s feature debut, premiered in competition in Cannes, and is Egypt’s candidate for the foreign-language Oscar.

The features jury, led by Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé, gave a special mention to Bi Gan’s languorous noir love story “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” The director’s sophomore feature tracks a lovelorn drifter’s return to his hometown in Southwest China.

Autonomies,” written and created by Yehonatan Indursky and Ori Elon, and directed by Indursky, received the Reflet d’Or for best TV series. In the alternate-reality drama, Israel has split in two states: Jerusalem is ultra-Orthodox, while Tel Aviv is a secular state. The action focuses on two
See full article at Variety »

Shudder’s November 2018 Releases Include The Last Drive-in With Joe Bob Briggs: “Dinners Of Death” Thanksgiving Special, The Crow, Deadwax, Tenebrae

  • DailyDead
Following the smash success of The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs, the legendary horror host will return to Shudder on November 22nd with The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs: "Dinners of Death." Joining Briggs on Shudder's streaming slate this month are bunch of other horror titles, including five Dario Argento-directed movies, the short-form series Deadwax, The Crow, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and much more:

"New Additions for November 2018

To Stream, Start Your Free 7-day Trial At Shudder ($4.99/Month Or $3.99/Month Withannual Plan)

The Last Drive-in With Joe Bob Briggs: “Dinners Of Death” — Thursday, November 22

Joe Bob Briggs is back, just in time to save you from having to talk politics with your family on Thanksgiving Day. Feast on a selection of “deadly dinner” films hand-picked by the world’s foremost (and possibly only) drive-in movie critic, kicking off with Joe Bob’s all-time favorite drive-in classic,
See full article at DailyDead »

Film Factory Boards Claudia Pinto Emperador’s ‘The Consequences’ (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Madrid — Vicente CanalesFilm Factory Entertainment has acquired world sales rights to “The Consequences” (“Las consecuencias”), writer-director Claudia Pinto Emperador’s follow-up to her 2013 feature debut, “The Longest Distance,” which marked out the Spanish-Venezuelan writer-director as a talent to track.

A Spain-Netherlands-Belgium co-production, “The Consequences” won a €330,000 conditionally repayable non-interest loan for co-production from the Council of Europe’s Eurimages Fund in its latest allocation, announced Oct. 22. That followed on a Eurimages Co-production Development Award at last year’s San Sebastian Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum.

Described by Variety as an “accomplished debut,” thanks to its “well-drawn characters, engaging performances and a convincingly rooted storyline,” “The Longest Distance” won the Glauber Rocha Award for best Latin American film at 2013’s Montreal World Film Festival.

“The Longest Distance” used stunning landscape – Venezuela’s Gran Sabana region – and genre – a road movie – to frame a story of bedrock family relations – a young boy
See full article at Variety »

‘The Favourite’ Trailer: Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz Battle for the Queen

  • Variety
Fox Searchlight has unveiled the first trailer for British historical drama “The Favourite,” starring Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, and Rachel Weisz.

Yorgos Lanthimos directs from a script by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara about the bitter battle between cousins to be the court favorite during the reign of Queen Anne in the early 18th century. The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 30.

Colman plays the monarch. Stone portrays Baroness Abigail Masham and Weisz plays Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. “The Favourite” will be the opening night film at the New York Film Festival on Sept. 28. Fox Searchlight has positioned it for an awards season run with an Nov. 23 opening in the United States.

Owen Gleiberman gave the film a strong review for Variety: “It’s a perfectly cut diamond of a movie — a finely executed, coldly entertaining entry in the genre of savage misanthropic baroque costume drama.
See full article at Variety »

Venice Film Review: ‘The Favourite’

  • Variety
Venice Film Review: ‘The Favourite’
From the postmodern domestic sadism of “Dogtooth” to the leadenly fateful “mythic” phantasmagoria of “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” I can’t say the cinema of Yorgos Lanthimos has ever been my cup of high-end art poison. Yet even from my doubting vantage, it’s hard to deny that Lanthimos has found an ideal vehicle for his pitiless gaze and darkly mocking formal severity in “The Favourite.” It’s a perfectly cut diamond of a movie — a finely executed, coldly entertaining entry in the genre of savage misanthropic baroque costume drama. Set in the court of Queen Anne during the early 1700s, with jaunty dollops of classical music playing in heavily ironic counterpart to all the low-minded chicanery, the movie is “Barry Lyndon” meets “Dangerous Liaisons,” with blood flourishes lifted from Peter Greenaway. Lanthimos, try as he might, will never be Stanley Kubrick, but he doesn’t have to be.
See full article at Variety »

‘The Favourite’ Film Review: Emma Stone Plays an 18th Century Eve Harrington in a Twisted Historical Farce

  • The Wrap
‘The Favourite’ Film Review: Emma Stone Plays an 18th Century Eve Harrington in a Twisted Historical Farce
In the films of Yorgos Lanthimos, sex, love, friendship and familial duty all exist only in their relation to the power they give people over each other. So while “The Favourite” stands apart from his best-known films by being a period piece, as well as his major feature that he did not write or co-write, it very much fits the intimate jockeying and gamesmanship on display in his earlier work.

Written by first-timer Deborah Davis and Aussie TV writer Tony McNamara, “The Favourite” plays like “All About Eve” as filtered through “The Draughtman’s Contract,” where women in bustles and corsets hopelessly outmaneuver men in wigs and breeches, and where everyone from the servants to the queen herself is playing the game and manipulating others to get what they want.

The queen in question is Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), ensconced in the estate of her lifelong friend Sarah Churchill, Duchess
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Hereditary’ Director Ari Aster Reveals the Meaning of His Horror Film’s Bonkers Ending

In a spoiler-heavy reddit Ama, “Hereditary” director Ari Aster went in depth about his acclaimed new horror film starring Toni Collette. Her character’s actions at the end of the movie have raised questions among fans, and the writer/director offered a peek behind the curtain — as well as a preview of “Midsommer,” his upcoming sophomore feature.

After admitting he “likes the idea of divine intervention” in response to a question about Annie’s sleepwalking having greater meaning behind it, Aster offers his own take: Collette’s character “knows on some buried, suppressed level that her life is not her own, and she is the victim of unthinkable, Machiavellian scheming by her mother. But she cannot look directly that this (let alone inquire about it). It would destroy too much of her inner structure.

“So, she lives in a kind of denial. But in her sleep, this part of her is acting out.
See full article at Indiewire »

'Hereditary': Inside the Making of a Modern Horror Classic

'Hereditary': Inside the Making of a Modern Horror Classic
Standing in the corner of A24's office, amid the bustle of the film distribution company's normal workday chaos, is a pale young man sipping a smoothie. Tucked away from the various publicity folks and vice presidents and other indie-movie mover-and-shaker types talking frantically into their phones, he stands out. Maybe it's the slightly tattered baseball cap, a little bit of wispy brown hair sticking out; maybe it's the brightly colored madras shirt he's wearing in a workplace full of business-casual attire; maybe it's the fact that he's talking very low,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Hereditary’: The Year’s Scariest Movie Required Years to Make and Painful Experiences No One Will Discuss

‘Hereditary’: The Year’s Scariest Movie Required Years to Make and Painful Experiences No One Will Discuss
Skeletons in his closet helped Ari Aster make his breakout horror debut, “Hereditary,” and they are none of your business. For now, Aster would like to keep it that way. The director of the year’s scariest movie, which has jolted audiences since its Sundance premiere with its portrayal of a family destroyed by ominous forces, Aster wriggles away from any inquiries about the plot’s personal origins.

“I don’t feel comfortable being explicit about it,” he said, repeating a line that has become a mantra in interviews. “It’s easier for me not to go into detail. I was more pulling from feelings than experiences.”

But “Hereditary,” which A24 produced for under $10 million and opens on several thousand screens, forces viewers into the center of its director’s emotional temperament. Aster’s movie earned the reputation of a breakout overnight, but the story of “Hereditary” required years of
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Hereditary’: Director Ari Aster Breaks Down the Film’s Ominous Opening Scene — Watch

A24’s “Hereditary” enjoys a 92 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and this weekend the studio hopes horror fans will overrun theaters as they did for “A Quiet Place” earlier this year. In the latest installment of the CineFix Directors Series, writer-director Ari Aster unpacks the opening beats from his first feature — “a family tragedy that curdles into a nightmare” — starring Toni Colette as Annie, a grieving daughter and miniaturist.

“Hereditary” begins with a wide shot of a dollhouse at the center of a room. The camera zooms in on one of the dollhouse’s bedrooms, which flickers to life as Annie’s husband (Gabriel Byrne) enters, carrying a blazer on a hanger. While viewers and the characters are oblivious to the family’s impending troubles, thanks to the film’s dollhouse motif, “there is also the feeling that we’re watching everything from a more knowing, sadistic perspective,” said Aster.
See full article at Indiewire »
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