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Rip to Two Titans of European Cinema

By Glenn Dunks

What a shock it was to hear over the last 24 hours of the deaths of both Robby Müller and Claude Lanzmann. These two icons of European cinema were 78 and 92 respectively and both gave so much to the universe and there are not enough hats to tip to their memories and their legacies.

Robby Müller was the Dutch-born cinematographer whose regular collaborations with the likes of Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch and Lars Von Trier were the stuff of legend. Who can forget those stunning tableaus of Breaking the Waves or his regular plays on black and white with Jarmusch as well as Sally Potter’s The Tango Lesson. I'm not as well versed on Jarmusch's films as others, but I gather Dead Man with Johnny Depp is the one worth gawking over the most.

And I know it’s become a little bit fashionable to roll one’s
See full article at FilmExperience »

Sally Potter to receive Fipresci 93 award at Poland’s Transatlantyk Festival

Sally Potter to receive Fipresci 93 award at Poland’s Transatlantyk Festival
Previous awardees include Nanni Moretti, Béla Tarr and Andrzej Wajda.

UK writer-director Sally Potter will receive the Fipresci 93 Platinum award at the 8th edition of Transatlantyk Festival to be held in Lodz, Poland from July 13-20.

The festival will also present five of Potter’s films in its Close Up section: Orlando, The Tango Lesson, Yes, Ginger & Rosa and The Party.

Potter directed her first feature film, experimental drama The Gold Diggers, in 1983. She has subsequently directed seven further features, including twice Oscar-nominated Orlando (1992) and last year’s satirical dinner party drama The Party.

The Fipresci 90+ prize celebrates the history
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Five Things You Didn’t Know about Sally Potter

One of the most artistic entertainment professionals to come out of England is Charlotte Sally Potter. She is a screenwriter, a dancer, and a director. Among her most famous works are Orlando (based on a novel by Virginia Woolf), The Man Who Cried, The Tango Lesson, and Ginger & Rosa. In recent news, Sally Potter (as she prefers to be known) has released a film called The Party. This political movie was inspired by the 2015 British election – one that Potter noticed was comprised mostly of vote-grabbing spin in the headlines instead of any discussion of the actual issues.

Five Things You Didn’t Know about Sally Potter
See full article at TVovermind.com »

'The Party' Review: Caustic War of Words Will Knock the Wind Out of You

'The Party' Review: Caustic War of Words Will Knock the Wind Out of You
The laughs hurt so good, and the guests at this shindig treat each other like dartboards for 71 minutes. Yes, that's short for a movie, but your nerves couldn’t take more. The Party is the work of Sally Potter, the gifted experimental filmmaker who had a seismic effect on world cinema with Orlando (1992), based on the Virginia Woolf novel and starring Tilda Swinton as an Elizabethan gent who morphs into a woman over the next four centuries. We bring this up only to prepare novices for the fact that Potter,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Quote of the Day: Sally Potter on Being a Feminist vs. Making Feminist Films

Potter: sallypotter.com

Sally Potter is a proud, self-identified feminist. As she told The Guardian in a new interview, everyone on her newest film, the black comedy “The Party,” received equal pay. However, she is hesitant to describe her movies — which include “Orlando,” “Ginger & Rosa,” “The Tango Lesson,” and “Yes” — as feminist in and of themselves.

In Potter’s opinion, the term “feminist” is only being applied to women-directed fare, even though compelling female characters have been featured in plenty of male-helmed films, too. “I object to having my films called feminist, implying they’re only for a certain audience of like-minded people and that the film itself would preach that line,” Potter explained. “Feminist is somehow different from saying ‘anti-racist.’ I would think of my films, or my life, everything in my life, as anti-racist, but you don’t hear that as a label. But feminist film is seen as specific.”

She added, “Why aren’t Ken Loach’s films called feminist? ‘The feminist filmmaker Ken Loach’ or ‘the feminist filmmaker Mike Leigh’ — why don’t we read that? And if not, why not?”

Potter has a point: We are more apt to describe women-directed films as feminist than their men-directed counterparts, even though “feminist” isn’t actually a gender-specific adjective or noun. And it seems that she has no qualm with the term itself — she is simply concerned that the description will marginalize her work.

“I’m completely proud of the word. The feminist movement is one of the most vibrant, extraordinary political movements of the 20th century, and now there’s a younger generation who’s taken it up again with great joy and pleasure, and that’s wonderful to see,” Potter says. “But I object to the way it’s used as a prefix to my work, to ghettoize it, often as part of a criticism rather than an appreciation. I just want to occupy a free space without a prefix. Because what does it mean? I have to ask someone, what exactly do you mean by that term and what is it adding to anyone’s understanding who might go and see the film?”

Starring Emily Mortimer (“Doll & Em”), Cherry Jones (“Transparent”), Kristin Scott Thomas (“The English Patient”), Cillian Murphy (“The Dark Knight” trilogy), Bruno Ganz (“Downfall”), and Timothy Spall (“Denial”), “The Party” is about a group of friends who gather for a dinner party that goes spectacularly off the rails. It opens in the UK this Friday, October 13. Roadside Attractions is handling the film’s U.S. distribution, but no official release date has been announced yet.

Quote of the Day: Sally Potter on Being a Feminist vs. Making Feminist Films was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Sally Potter: ‘There’s nothing like hearing a whole place vibrate with laughter’

The resolutely independent British film-maker is back with the most broadly entertaining film of her long career – a star-studded black comedy about a disastrous dinner party that reflects the dark state of the nation

Sally Potter isn’t quite sure how to react to seeing her name on a T-shirt. With bemusement, she turns over the garment I’ve given to her, as if concerned I might be playing a prank, but there it is: Sally Potter, emblazoned in bold black capitals on white cotton. She holds it up to her slender frame, its glaring whiteness almost garish against her tidy black turtleneck, and squints down at it. “People are wearing these?” she asks sceptically. Hers is one of several similarly stark tees celebrating women in film, run up by Etsy startup Girls on Tops, and now popping up all over the international film world. Isabelle Huppert has one. Ava DuVernay has one.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘The Party’ Trailer: Patricia Clarkson, Cillian Murphy & More Let Loose

Back in 1992, Sally Potter was a pretty big deal. She had just released “Orlando” to universal acclaim, which featured an exquisite performance from Tilda Swinton as the titular nobleman who moved through centuries of British history without aging. It was an ambitious film that put Potter on the map and gave us hope that she might be the next important voice in indie cinema. However, with every ensuing movie she made (“The Tango Lesson,” “The Man Who Cried,” “Yes,” “Rage,” “Ginger & Rosa“) it felt like she had hit her peek too early.

Continue reading ‘The Party’ Trailer: Patricia Clarkson, Cillian Murphy & More Let Loose at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Sally Potter’s “The Party” Gets U.S. Distribution

The Party

Three months after making its world premiere at the Berlinale, “The Party” has found a U.S. home. Writer-director Sally Potter’s latest feature has been acquired by Roadside Attractions, The Hollywood Reporter writes. Patricia Clarkson toplines the dark comedy.

Set in contemporary London, the black and white film centers on a celebration that goes horribly awry. “The Party” was shot in just 14 days and features a star-studded cast including Emily Mortimer (“Doll & Em”), Cherry Jones (“Transparent”), Kristin Scott Thomas (“The English Patient”), Cillian Murphy (“The Dark Knight Rises”), Bruno Ganz (“Downfall”), and Timothy Spall (“Denial”).

Sally Potter’s ‘The Party’ may be one of the most witty, outrageous, biting, and entertaining movies that we have ever acquired,” said Roadside Attractions co-founders Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff. “It has an outstanding cast who take enormous pleasure sparring on screen, physically and verbally. We loved the film from start to bloody finish.”

The film was very warmly received at the Berlinale, and currently boasts a 100 percent “Fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes. “The Party” secured UK distribution earlier this month.

Potter is perhaps best known for her Oscar-nominated 1992 adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando,” starring Tilda Swinton. She most recently directed the Elle Fanning-starrer “Ginger & Rosa,” a 2012 coming-of-age drama set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Potter’s other credits include “The Tango Lesson,” “Yes,” and “The Man Who Cried.”

The former choreographer left school when she was 16 years old. “I’d made my first 8mm film at 14 and I absolutely, passionately wanted to be a film director. So I left school and struck out,” she has explained. “I got jobs in restaurants, washing carrots, and joined the London Filmmaker’s Co-op, making tiny, tiny films that just got bigger. Looking back, I think ‘Jesus, living alone, wanting to be a film director’… When I meet 16-year-olds, they’re so young, the little darlings.”

Unfortunately we’re going to have to wait a while to watch “The Party.” Roadside Attractions is planning a North American release for February 2018.

Sally Potter’s “The Party” Gets U.S. Distribution was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Sally Potter’s “The Party” Gets UK Distribution

The Party

Sally Potter’s latest film has secured distribution in the UK. ScreenDaily reports that “The Party” has been acquired by Picturehouse Entertainment, with a planned fall release. The star-studded dark comedy made its world premiere in competition at the Berlinale back in February.

Set in contemporary London, the black and white film centers on a celebration that goes horribly awry. “The Party” was shot in just 14 days. Its cast includes Patricia Clarkson (“Learning to Drive”), Emily Mortimer (“Doll & Em”), Cherry Jones (“Transparent”), Kristin Scott Thomas (“The English Patient”), Cillian Murphy (“The Dark Knight Rises”), Bruno Ganz (“Downfall”), and Timothy Spall (“Denial”).

The pic was produced by Potter’s production company with Christopher Sheppard, Adventure Pictures. Kurban Kassam (“20,000 Days on Earth”) also served as producer.

“I am thrilled to be working with Sally Potter on her wonderful new film. Over a long career, Sally has consistently led the charge in UK independent filmmaking, bringing us a body of films that are at once sharp, fun, and surprising,” commented Clare Binns, director of programming and acquisition at Picturehouse.

Potter is perhaps best known for her 1992 adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando,” starring Tilda Swinton. The film received two Oscar nominations. She most recently directed “Ginger & Rosa,” a 2012 coming-of-age drama set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The film centers on the intense friendship between two teen girls, played by Elle Fanning (“Maleficent”) and Alice Englert (“Beautiful Creatures”). Potter’s other notable films include the BAFTA-nominated “The Tango Lesson,” “Yes” with Joan Allen, “The Man Who Cried,” starring Christina Ricci and Cate Blanchett, and “Rage” with Judi Dench.

We’re still waiting for “The Party” to get picked up in the U.S. The film was very warmly received at the Berlinale, and currently boasts a 100 percent “Fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes. With a cast this strong and great reviews, hopefully it’s only a matter of time before a U.S. distributor snags the film.

Sally Potter’s “The Party” Gets UK Distribution was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Berlinale 2017 Review: The Party, Drawing Room Satire at its Finest

Sally Potter is not normally known for comedy; her most famous film, Orlando (which put Tilda Swinton on the map) certainly has its comedic moments, but her work (such as The Tango Lesson and Yes) tend to more serious examinations of what my colleague Sophie Mayer calls the politics of love. In her latest film The Party, however, she turns her astute eye in a most hilarious way to this politics of love (and the love of politics). Part biting satire, part drawing room farce, its frenetic vision of the most disastrous celebratory dinner is a masterpiece, and a timely commentary on recent political events and the said politics of human emotion. Janet (Kristen Scott Thomas) has just been appointed Shadow Minister of Health in the UK Parliament, fulfilling...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Sally Potter, film director – portrait of the artist

'When you push through your limits, it gets painful – it's like a scab coming off'

What first drew you to film-making?

First, watching films as a child. Second, putting a camera to my eye when I was about 14. My uncle and his then partner lent me their 8mm movie camera. I realised that, when you frame the world, you see and feel different things.

What was your big breakthrough?

The premiere of Orlando at the Venice film festival. It was startling: I don't think I'd ever had people appreciate something I'd done on such a scale.

Was it always your intention to take a multidisciplinary approach to your art (1)?

At the time, these life choices don't even feel like choices, and they're very confusing, especially as a young person. But with hindsight, it was the best possible training to be a director, which is very much a mongrel art form:
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Competition: Win 'Ginger & Rosa' on Blu-ray

  • CineVue
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Sally Potter, who brought us Rage, Orlando and The Tango Lesson, sixties British drama Ginger & Rosa features two outstanding lead performances from Elle Fanning and Alice Englert as the film's titular best friend protagonists. To celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray release of Potter's Ginger & Rosa on Monday 11 February, we have Three Blu-ray copies of the film to give away to our army of cinephile readers, courtesy of the kind folks at UK distributor Artificial Eye. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.

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See full article at CineVue »

Theatrical Trailer For Elle Fanning-Led Coming of Age Drama ‘Ginger & Rosa’

After proving herself a worthy actress in films like Super 8 and Somewhere, Elle Fanning‘s most substantial role yet is coming to Us theaters this year. After a successful fall festival run, the coming of age period piece Ginger & Rosa, from director Sally Potter (Orlando, The Tango Lesson), will see a limited release this spring and we’ve got the [...]
See full article at The Film Stage »

Exclusive: U.S. Trailer For 'Ginger & Rosa' Starring Elle Fanning; Film Now Opens March 15th

As we've outlined in our Most Anticipated Films Of 2013 Part 1 & Part 2, there are a lot of potentially great films on the horizon across the next twelve months. However, there are also a handful of movies that we've already seen that will be heading to screens in the new year, that we already know will be worth tracking down. And one to mark on your calendar is "Ginger & Rosa." The latest effort from "Orlando" and "The Tango Lesson" director Sally Potter, the film is potent blend of politics, coming-of-age, burgeoning sexuality and more, all set against the backdrop of the changing tides of the 1960s. And leading the cast is an outstanding Elle Fanning, who gives a "tranformative" and "heartbreaking" turn opposite Alice Englert (daughter of Jane Campion and also solid), in the film that tracks two teenage girls, and their slowly evolving and fraying relationship.  This brand new, exclusive U.
See full article at The Playlist »

Heroines of Cinema: A Conversation With Sally Potter

  • Indiewire
Heroines of Cinema: A Conversation With Sally Potter
Sally Potter is nothing if not original. She made her name writing and directing “Orlando” - an adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel, previously considered unfilmable due to its 400-year timespan and protagonist who changes gender at will. She chose to follow this international hit with a film (“The Tango Lesson”) starring herself, in a role for which she learned to dance and sang on camera. Her next film (“The Man Who Cried”) starred Johnny Depp. Her next film (“Yes”) was written entirely in verse. Her next film (“Rage”) premiered exclusively on mobile phones. Clearly, then, Potter is a unique artist. But being a woman too has made her something of a poster girl for female auteurs. In Britain at least, it is hard to think of any woman of her generation with a comparable stature or filmography. But despite her trail-blazing status, it is not always helpful to dwell on Potter’s gender.
See full article at Indiewire »

Heroines of Cinema: A Conversation With Sally Potter

  • Indiewire
Heroines of Cinema: A Conversation With Sally Potter
Sally Potter is nothing if not original. She made her name writing and directing “Orlando” - an adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel, previously considered unfilmable due to its 400-year timespan and protagonist who changes gender at will. She chose to follow this international hit with a film (“The Tango Lesson”) starring herself, in a role for which she learned to dance and sang on camera. Her next film (“The Man Who Cried”) starred Johnny Depp. Her next film (“Yes”) was written entirely in verse. Her next film (“Rage”) premiered exclusively on mobile phones. Clearly, then, Potter is a unique artist. But being a woman too has made her something of a poster girl for female auteurs. In Britain at least, it is hard to think of any woman of her generation with a comparable stature or filmography. But despite her trail-blazing status, it is not always helpful to dwell on Potter’s gender.
See full article at Indiewire »

Sally Potter: 'I dreamed about the nuclear threat most nights'

Ginger & Rosa, which charts the friendship of two teenage girls in postwar London, draws on the film-maker's own memories of the Cuban missile crisis

You would never call Sally Potter a ginge. Not just because you wouldn't dare. Or because it would be like squirting ketchup over a slice of Poilane, or programming a double bill of The Tango Lesson and StreetDance 2 3D. You wouldn't even risk "strawberry blonde". The famed Potter mane is a big mingle of lemon and silver and cinnamon, which shimmers, Titian-ish.

Yet there is little doubt that she is, in some sense, Ginger, the carrot-topped hero of her new film. Ginger & Rosa is about baby-boomer best buddies, born on the same day, whose friendship in postwar London comes under strain when Rosa (Alice Englert) starts shagging Ginger's glamorous academic dad (Alessandro Nivola), freshly separated from her housewife mum (Christina Hendricks, doing downtrodden). The plot might not be autobiography,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Sally Potter Q & A: 'Ginger and Rosa,' Elle Fanning's Face, Narcissistic Parents, Digital Painting, Forces Against Women Directors

Sally Potter Q & A: 'Ginger and Rosa,' Elle Fanning's Face, Narcissistic Parents, Digital Painting, Forces Against Women Directors
Brit director Sally Potter hit the film world with a major splash at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival with "Orlando," starring the incomparable Tilda Swinton. Since then, Potter's films have been impeccably crafted gems with limited appeal, from "The Tango Lesson," starring Potter herself, to "Yes," which she wrote in iambic pentameter. With "Ginger and Rosa," written after her mother's death in 2010, Potter consciously tried to craft her most emotionally accessible film to date. And yet this 1962 London Bohemian family drama focused on two teen girls (Elle Fanning and Alice Englert, daughter of Jane Campion) coming of age under the threat of nuclear disaster seems destined, with its Thelonious Monk score, to appeal to older art house audiences. Alessandro Nivola and Christina Hendricks play one set of less-than-perfect London parents. Given my own history with narcissistic neglectful intellectual parents, I was a sucker for this...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

The Tango Lesson DVD Review

Director: Sally Potter

Starring: Sally Potter, Pablo Veron,

Running Time: 100 minutes

Certificate: PG

Extras: Screen Test, Music Video, Performance in Amsterdam, Pablo At The Airport

The Tango Lesson sees filmmaker Sally Potter as herself, delve into the world of the tango. While working on her latest script, Potter seems to have difficulty concentrating. She becomes distracted by marks on the table, or divots in the floorboards. Her story of young models being assassinated is brought to us through bright colour cinematography that interrupts the black and white footage of our main feature. These scenes come as randomly to us as they do to Potter herself.

The main reason for her distraction seems to be her recent love affair for the tango. After seeing a striking performance from dancer Pablo Veron (also playing himself), she approaches him for a lesson. All goes well at first, but as the two begin a
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Blu-ray Review: 'The Tango Lesson' (rerelease)

  • CineVue
★★★☆☆ This month sees the rerelease of Sally Potter's The Tango Lesson (1997) on both DVD and Blu-ray. Famous for her generation and gender-swapping 1992 drama Orlando, which starred Tilda Swinton, Potter is a director notorious for her reluctance to conform to the archetypal templates of Hollywood filmmaking. A director named Sally (Potter) visits Paris to work on her latest screenplay. It's here she meets Pablo (Pablo Vernon), a Tango dancer who begins to teach her the art of this seductive dance - as they fall in love.

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See full article at CineVue »
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