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‘Sanremo’ Review: An Unlikely Dementia-Tinged Romance Drives This Tender Drama

  • Variety
‘Sanremo’ Review: An Unlikely Dementia-Tinged Romance Drives This Tender Drama
Romance has long been a socially accepted way to cope with the precarity of life and the prospect of death. Crackling chemistry has a way of helping us project ourselves into a future unknown, while fuzzy warm memories stave off the inevitability of our own demise. Miroslav Mandić’s tender-hearted “Sanremo” places us squarely in a place where such leaps, both backward and forward, are all but impossible: a nursing home. Specifically, one where two of its inhabitants suffer from dementia, making their every interaction an opportunity to rekindle the romance neither can remember having embarked on.

Bruno (Sandi Pavlin) spends his days worrying about his dog. He’s always eager to leave the nursing home behind and return to the house he kept for years with his wife to feed his beloved canine companion. He’s gently reminded that his home is no longer his. Or rather, that his
See full article at Variety »

‘Fireball’: Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer Make a Dynamic Doc Duo

‘Fireball’: Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer Make a Dynamic Doc Duo
We all know how charming Werner Herzog can be. Since he first narrated his 1974 documentary “The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner,” he has learned to put himself as a character in his films behind the camera, as probing questioner and witty commentator. More recently this led to acting jobs, including The Client in Season One of Disney+ series “The Mandalorian.”

Now, the prodigious director of some 20 fiction films, 31 documentary features (“Grizzly Man”) and 18 operas (“The Magic Flute”), has fallen in sync with a collaborator on his explorations into the awe and mystery of science, Cambridge volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer (“Eruptions That Shook the World”).

The two men first met on an Antarctica volcano during filming on Herzog’s only Oscar-nominated film, “Encounters at the End of the World” (2007), the filmmaker said during a recent video interview (below). Oppenheimer stood out among the high-tech down jackets by wearing “a tweed jacket like
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘Fireball’: Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer Make a Dynamic Doc Duo

‘Fireball’: Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer Make a Dynamic Doc Duo
We all know how charming Werner Herzog can be. Since he first narrated his 1974 documentary “The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner,” he has learned to put himself as a character in his films behind the camera, as probing questioner and witty commentator. More recently this led to acting jobs, including The Client in Season One of Disney+ series “The Mandalorian.”

Now, the prodigious director of some 20 fiction films, 31 documentary features (“Grizzly Man”) and 18 operas (“The Magic Flute”), has fallen in sync with a collaborator on his explorations into the awe and mystery of science, Cambridge volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer (“Eruptions That Shook the World”).

The two men first met on an Antarctica volcano during filming on Herzog’s only Oscar-nominated film, “Encounters at the End of the World” (2007), the filmmaker said during a recent video interview (below). Oppenheimer stood out among the high-tech down jackets by wearing “a tweed jacket like
See full article at Indiewire »

Asc to Honor Director Werner Herzog with Board of Governors Award

Asc to Honor Director Werner Herzog with Board of Governors Award
Legendary director Werner Herzog, one of the founders of the German New Wave, whose films embrace obsessive quests and maddening conflicts with nature, will receive the American Society of Cinematographers’ Board of Governors Award at the 34th annual Asc Awards on January 25 (at Hollywood & Highland’s Ray Dolby Ballroom).

“Werner Herzog is truly a unique storyteller, and we are honored to recognize him for his prolific contributions to cinema,” said Asc President Kees van Oostrum.

Herzog has produced, written, and directed more than 70 feature and documentary films. His volatile, love-hate relationship with actor Klaus Kinski resulted in such powerful films as “Aguirre, the Wrath of God,” “Fitzcarraldo,” “Nosferatu the Vampyre,” and “Woyzeck.” Other masterpieces include “Stroszek” and “The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser,” both starring street musician-turned actor Bruno S.

Herzog received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature for “Encounters at the End of the World,” while “Little Dieter Needs to Fly
See full article at Indiewire »

Karlovy Vary Review: Abel Ferrara’s ‘Tommaso’ is Introspective Filmmaking at its Most Brutally Honest

There are roughly two key types of autobiographical auteur movies. One is the phantasmagoric childhood upbringing kind–as in Fellini’s Amarcord or, more recently, in Pain and Glory, the new release of Pedro Almodovar. The other is the more introspective, bare-all type. The I am an artist and here is my soul kind of thing–often seen in the films of Charlie Kaufman or even Hong Sangsoo. It is also seen in Tommaso, which is directed by Abel Ferrara and, indeed, very much about him.

The eponymous character of the great provocateur’s latest is a North American director living in Rome with his younger wife and their 3-year-old daughter. Tommaso attends A.A. meetings and Italian lessons, practices Buddhist meditations, and fantasizes about screwing the woman who works in the local cafe (amongst others). Throughout the movie he is seen working on a metaphor-heavy script about an explorer
See full article at The Film Stage »

Film Review: ‘Pretenders’

Film Review: ‘Pretenders’
At the beginning of Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers,” his 2003 tribute to the French New Wave, Matthew, the naïve American studying in Paris, refers to true lovers of cinema as “the insatiables.” James Franco, with his 150 acting credits, 39 directing credits, 25 writing credits, and single credit as “boom operator,” is one of the industry’s most insatiable insatiables. So it’s fitting that his peripatetic career has led him to direct “Pretenders,” essentially a remake of “The Dreamers,” that combines Bertolucci’s decadent appreciation of New Wave cool with the love triangle from François Truffaut’s 1962 touchstone, “Jules and Jim.”

Moving the action to 1980s New York adds an urban-contemporary feel and an identifiable environment for events to unfold. But while the film’s sense of experimentation carries a fair amount of intrigue, it traps its central threesome in an Easter egg-filled intellectual exercise punctuated by melodramatic strokes. It’s skillful
See full article at Variety »

"You Create Your Own Freedom": Abel Ferrara Discusses "Tommaso"

Tommaso is a work of unusually personal autoficition by its director, Abel Ferrara. Shooting in his own flat in Rome, to which the great but underfunded New York director decamped many years ago, casting his wife (Cristina Chiriac) and their young daughter (Anna Ferrara) to play themselves, and having Willem Dafoe act as his stand-in sharing personal details—including being a recovering addict and working on the long-gestating film project Siberia—the film finds the universal in the confessional. Shot guerrilla-style with the most minimal budget possible—Werner Herzog’s cinematographer, Peter Zeitlinger, ensures a raw and immediate look—the film offers vivid flashes of the energetic but conflicted life of the titular director as he swings from joy with his four-year-old daughter to flashes of anger over his young wife’s self-sufficiency, the strength granted by confessions at AA meetings to constant erotic dreams of other women.Like Ferrara
See full article at MUBI »

‘Tommaso’ Review: Willem Dafoe Stars in Abel Ferrara’s Microbudget ‘Birdman’ — Cannes

‘Tommaso’ Review: Willem Dafoe Stars in Abel Ferrara’s Microbudget ‘Birdman’ — Cannes
Fatherhood and midlife doldrums are not the usual terrain for director Abel Ferrara, whose dark tales of angry urbanites have coalesced into a striking vision of despair across several decades, but everyone grows up sometime. In the scrappy and often endearing drama “Tommaso,” Ferrara casts regular muse Willem Dafoe as a fictionalized version of the filmmaker himself, a broken man still picking up the pieces from his prior misdeeds to find some measure of stability. Having found a new life in Italy with a much younger wife and child — both played by the real ones in Ferrara’s life — the eponymous Tommaso struggles to reconcile a new beginning with the stumbles of the past.

A microbudget “Birdman” about the travails of a once-successful artist losing his grasp on reality, “Tommaso” comes across as Ferrara’s most personal work on many levels. The lo-fi chamber piece is a messy, ruminative self-portrait,
See full article at Indiewire »

Jay Pharoah joins Lily Newmark, Katherine Parkinson in 'How To Sell A War' (exclusive)

Jay Pharoah joins Lily Newmark, Katherine Parkinson in 'How To Sell A War' (exclusive)
Shooting is now underway in Georgia on the project.

Jay Pharoah, recognised for his recent roles in Unsane and Ride Along, has joined Lily Newmark and Katherine Parkinson in Rudolph Herzog’s How To Sell A War.

Bankside Films is handling sales on the project, which is now shooting in Georgian capital Tbilisi before moving to Dublin, Ireland.

Author and documentary filmmaker Rudolph Herzog (The Paedophile Next Door), who is the son of Werner Herzog, makes his fictional feature debut on the film, which follows a PR consultant and her naïve new intern working for a global charity concert. They
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Bankside boards 'How To Sell A War' starring Katherine Parkinson, Lily Newmark (exclusive)

The F&Me production, which starts shooting in March, is directed by Rudolph Herzog.

Source: F&Me

Lily Newmark, Katherine Parkinson

International sales outfit Bankside Films have boarded Rudolph Herzog’s How To Sell A War, which will start shooting March 16 in Georgia and also shoot in Dublin.

Samantha Taylor and Mike Downey produce for their Dublin-based Film and Music Entertainment (Ire) with key financing from the UK’s Quickfire and Helsinki-based Ipr.Vc. This is the sixth project to come through F&Me’s Dublin-based outfit since it was established in 2016.

The film was developed by Creative England, Ipr.Vc and F&Me.

Author and documentary filmmaker Rudolph Herzog (The Paedophile Next Door), who is the son of Werner Herzog, makes his fictional feature debut and the cast is led by Katherine Parkinson (The It Crowd) and Lily Newmark (Pin Cushion).

The story follows a PR consultant, and her naïve new intern, working for a global
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Joshua Reviews Werner Herzog’s Salt And Fire [Theatrical Review]

Best known as a documentarian, especially to many younger filmgoers just now getting into the director’s catalog, the name Werner Herzog not only conjures up a very specific image of the man himself as well as his work crafting almost metaphysical style non-fiction masterworks. However, across his decades-spanning career, Herzog has also been the creative voice behind some of the most interesting and esoteric narrative fiction features of the last 40-plus years. Ranging from the descent into madness that is Aguire, The Wrath Of God to the unhinged Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans, Herzog has cemented himself as one of cinema’s great artists.

And yet, even the greatest artists make missteps.

One of two films from Herzog opening this weekend (the second being the career-worst Queen Of The Desert), Salt And Fire is a confounding mishmash of Herzogian man-vs-nature philosophizing and emotionally disconnected storytelling. The film
See full article at CriterionCast »

Joshua Reviews Werner Herzog’s Into The Inferno [Theatrical Review]

It isn’t every day that a filmmaker gives the world two features within the same calendar year. It’s even more rare to see a filmmaker of high stature hit theaters with two top tier efforts. However, Werner Herzog is a rare bird.

After already getting solid notices earlier this year for his superb meditation on the ever expanding reach of the internet Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, Herzog is back and this time has the Netflix machine behind him with what is yet another ambitious rumination on nature and man’s role in and connection to it. Entitled Into The Inferno, the legendary filmmaker throws himself all but literally into the core of the volcano, going to locales ranging from Iceland to North Korea, looking at some of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes and the societies that call them and their surrounding areas home.
See full article at CriterionCast »

6 More Filmmaking Tips from Werner Herzog

6 More Filmmaking Tips From Werner Herzog

If there’s anyone who deserves a second Filmmaking Tips column, it’s Werner Herzog. It’s been almost four years since we posted the first list of his advice to fellow soldiers of cinema, and there’s just so much more to learn from the legend. He actually has his own Rogue Film School, where he directly imparts his wisdom to students during weekend seminars. He also leads a new online course at MasterClass, which began this week, where he talks about all facets of fiction and nonfiction filmmaking in a six-hour video course. He does many interviews (this week he participated in a Reddit Ama) and shares his philosophies and strategies often. Not even two of these columns properly sums it all up.

So, as is often the case, this is just an introduction to some essential tips from a unique artist and craftsman. Herzog
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Queen of the Desert | AFI Film Festival Review

Hey, Queen: Herzog Can’t Convey Passion in the Desert

Acclaim does not seem to be the fate of Werner Herzog’s latest film, the long gestating and independently produced Queen of the Desert, a biopic of explorer Gertrude Bell, a name holding more reverence abroad and to aficionados of British history. In the German auteur’s first narrative feature since the delightfully weird 2009 double trouble duo of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and My Son My Son What Have Ye Done?, Herzog’s attempt at crowning Bell with a rightful epic legacy of her own falls short in many regards, though most noticeably with stupendously distracting casting choices. Herzog has purportedly refashioned his historical drama with a more streamlined cut. Despite a number of ambitious elements evident throughout the oddly textured feature, it remains a disappointing entry from the usually enigmatic director.

Beginning in 1902, Oxford educated aristocrat
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

'Queen of the Desert' Review: Kidman and Pattinson Fall Flat

'Queen of the Desert' Review: Kidman and Pattinson Fall Flat
Werner Herzog has had one of the most fascinating careers in Hollywood history, which spans over 50 years. He has directed Oscar-nominated documentaries (Encounters at the End of the World), written and directed a unique slate of narrative features (Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Rescue Dawn) and even portrayed distinct characters in front of the camera (The Grand, Jack Reacher). The multi-hyphenate returns behind the lens to direct his first feature since 2009's My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? with Queen of the Desert, which brings the story of Gertrude Bell to the big screen. She is well known as an important historical figure, whose travels and writings helped shape Middle East countries such as Jordan, Syria and Iraq in the early 1900s, but this sprawling biopic, which screened as part of AFI Fest in Hollywood on Sunday night, is plagued by wooden performances from an all-star
See full article at MovieWeb »

Weekly Rushes. 17 June 2015

  • MUBI
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.Above: Bound to get taken offline by the time you read this, hurry up and watch Star War Wars: All 6 Films At Once (Full Length)Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory visit the famed closet of the Criterion Collection and recount their experiences encountering Godard's Weekend and films by Antonioni.At the invaluable chrismarker.org, Chris Marker's short film 2084 (1984) has been remixed.At its premiere at the Berlinale, Queen of the Desert, Werner Herzog's long-awaited return to epic filmmaking, garnered an unfortunate, uneven response. Now the full trailer for the film is out, and we hope it grows in our estimation upon re-viewing. As a recap, read impressions from Daniel Kasman and Adam Cook, as well as our interview with long-time Herzog cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger about working on the film.
See full article at MUBI »

3D in the 21st Century

  • MUBI
Starting tomorrow, BAMcinématek in Brooklyn has curated a series celebrating the best of recent three dimensional cinema, "3D in the 21st Century":"The unprecedented resurgence of 3D in the last decade has expanded the visual and emotional possibilities of cinema in frequently wondrous—and sometimes divisive—new ways. At its best, the technology creates almost hallucinatory immersive landscapes and retina-dazzling surprises with an immediate visceral impact. From big-budget blockbusters to high-concept mind-benders by arthouse icons, this first-of-its-kind series surveys recent films that showcase the full range of stereoscopic cinema’s expressive potential."Running May 1 - 17, the series surveys an exciting and wide-ranging number of 3D films, from blockbusters like Avatar and Gravity, genre films like Step Up 3D and Resident Evil: Retribution, to such art-house hits as Goodbye to Language and Cave of Forgotten Dreams, as well experimental works by Jodie Mack, Ken Jacobs, Johann Lurf, and more. The
See full article at MUBI »

Berlinale 2015 Mubi Coverage Roundup

  • MUBI
Below you will find our total coverage of the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival. New interviews will be added to the index as they are published.

Correspondences

Between Adam Cook and Daniel Kasman

#1

Introduction by Daniel Kasman

#2

Adam Cook continues the festival introduction

#3

Daniel Kasman on Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson's The Forbidden Room, Jafar Panahi's Taxi

#4

Adam Cook on Jem Cohen's Counting, Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson's The Forbidden Room, Jafar Panahi's Taxi

#5

Daniel Kasman on Berlin Critics' Week, Nathalie Nambot and Maki Berchache's Brûle la mer, Kevin B. Lee's Transformers: The Premake, Alex Ross Perry's Queen of Earth

#6

Adam Cook on Pablo Larraín's The Club, Kidlat Tahimik's Balikbayan #1 Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III, Andrew Haigh's 45 Years, Wim Wenders' Everything Will Be Fine

#7

Daniel Kasman on Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert, Patricio Guzmán's The Pearl
See full article at MUBI »

Surfing on Incidents: A Conversation with Peter Zeitlinger

  • MUBI
“When I was a kid, I used to draw directly on the film frames and do animations, so I could use the expensive film much less, and be busy longer with it. The first thing I learned about filmmaking is that when you shoot in real time, all the film is gone so quickly, and you have to buy more...,” cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger told me during an informal chat we had in the lobby of his hotel, a couple of days before his “Measuring the Space” masterclass in the Berlinale Talents program during the Berlin International Film Festival.

Many years have passed since Zeitlinger's first, no-budget experiments with the medium of cinema: now he is one of the most sought-after cinematographers in the film business, and Werner Herzog's right-hand man since his TV documentary Gesualdo: Death for Five Voices (1995).

Using the Berlinale Competition entry Queen of the Desert (2015) as a case study,
See full article at MUBI »

Can Documentaries Break Free From Their Own Category?

Amir here. When it comes to the Oscars, one of the things I love to complain about each year is the Foreign Language category. That’s hardly a surprise since the category gets so much flak from everyone, but my concern this time is about something more specific than the usual “shocking” snubs.

Looking over past lists of nominees, you'll notice that the Foreign Language Film category has failed to showcase a documentary before. Like... Ever! (Unless you count Waltz With Bashir, which some do and some don't). The reverse has happened many times: the documentary branch has nominated and awarded foreign documentaries.

To be fair to the Academy, not many documentaries are submitted to begin with in foreign film. But even when they are submitted and happen to be as deserving as say, Finland’s Steam of Life in 2010, they still get ignored. So I did a little research
See full article at FilmExperience »
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