Fuga (2006) - News Poster

(2006)

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‘Jackie’ Isn’t the Whole Story: Why Pablo Larrain’s Films Deserve Your Attention — Tiff 2016

‘Jackie’ Isn’t the Whole Story: Why Pablo Larrain’s Films Deserve Your Attention — Tiff 2016
There are several pivotal moments in Pablo Larraín’s “Jackie,” but one truly epitomizes the director’s primary obsession. Days after she sat next to her husband as a bullet struck his brain, the bereaved Jacqueline Kennedy (Natalie Portman) peers out a tinted window. Even in the midst of tumultuous grief, she recognizes the need to solidify his legacy with an elaborate funeral march. She’s completing his story while keeping her own in the shadows, but in a single powerful moment, the two collide.

With the former First Lady’s reflection on the window, Larraín superimposes archival images of the crowds that showed up to salute their dead president. The intimate experiences of a single traumatized character collide with the public’s absorption of the mythology surrounding her. As viewers, we’re left to sort out the truth.

From the melding of anti-Pinochet campaign propaganda and a scripted narrative in “No,
See full article at Indiewire »

Tiff Critic’s Notebook 1: Neruda, Toni Erdmann, Julieta

Pablo Larraín really and seriously screws up for the first time with Neruda. Few saw or recall the existence of his debut, 2006’s Fuga, which received a middling response on the festival circuit; I seem to recall interviews around the time of 2008’s amusingly appalling (and vice-versa) reputation-establisher Tony Manero where Larraín said Fuga‘s indifferent reception prompted him to rethink a rather conventional aesthetic and come up with something inescapably different. Each film since his coming-out has, in variously scabrous ways, dealt with Pinochet’s legacy: Manero and Post Mortem taking place at the moment of his coup, the late-’80s-set No a crowdpleasingly cynical comedy re: the political machinations around the dictator’s removal via referendum. Jumping to the present, The […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

First Look Photo: Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy in 'Jackie'

Production is now underway on the new film from Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín. We just featured a trailer for his latest film The Club (highly recommended), now we have a first look photo for his next one. Jackie stars the immensely talented Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy, following her in the days after President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963. The film is in production in Paris right now, and this photo via Deadline shows Portman in wardrobe as Jackie in a nice living room. "Pablo is a masterful filmmaker, the cast is top notch, and we are thrilled to be working with him." I agree, he is a masterful filmmaker and I'm looking forward to seeing what he's whipping up with Portman in this film. In full below. Synopsis: An account of the days of First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, in the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Berlin Review: Pablo Larraín's 'The Club' is a Bracing Critique of the Catholic Church

Berlin Review: Pablo Larraín's 'The Club' is a Bracing Critique of the Catholic Church
The 2015 Oscar race for best foreign language may be among the most keenly contested of this year's Academy Awards, but in Pablo Larraín's superbly tough parable of Catholic faith, guilt, sin and redemption "The Club" we already have a very early front-runner for the next year's race. This tart, smart and consistently surprising blend of ultra-serious material and darkly comic execution looks set to catapult director and co-writer Larraín – whose three previous films addressed the impact on Chile of dictator Augusto Pinochet - into the front rank of international arthouse filmmakers. Larraín's 2006 debut "Fuga" made few international waves, but his loose trilogy — comprised of "Tony Manero," "Post Mortem" and "No" — earned significant critical acclaim, even if they now appear, in retrospect, as an extended bout of throat-clearing as prelude to this gem. Entirely set in a remote, picturesque coastal...
See full article at Indiewire »

New Scarface will be 'Mexican hustler in La'

Producers of forthcoming film want to cast 'an authentic Latino' in the role, and seem set to hire Chilean director Pablo Larraín

The latest manifestation of Scarface will be a Mexican hustler working his way up on the streets of Los Angeles, according to The Wrap.

Universal has been working on a second remake of the classic gangster story since at least 2011, with Harry Potter's David Yates at one point in talks to direct. The studio now looks set to hire Chilean film-maker Pablo Larraín, best known for the Oscar-nominated political drama No, to oversee the new iteration.

Paul Muni took the central role of Italian newcomer Antonio "Tony" Comonte in the 1932 Scarface, a tale of warring Chicago gangs which teamed Howard Hawks with the legendary producer Howard Hughes. Al Pacino played Cuban drug baron Tony Montana in Brian de Palma's 1983 remake, which was critically panned on release but
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

LatinoBuzz: Mexican Cinema Today

The current biggest hit in México, We Are The Nobles ( Nosotros los Nobles), has grossed $32 million in its first months of release this spring. The film’s director, Gary "Gaz" Alazraki, was a young Mexican student at USC's film school more than 12 years ago when the idea came to him to make a movie satirizing his country's nouveau riche and newly powerful. The comedy is hitting the Mexican public’s social nerve in the way that Eric Toledano’s Untouchable hit the French audience last year. Both deal with the common social issues which are dividing the country – issues of the haves and the have-nots. L.A. Times discusses this break through as a social phenomenon. For Director Alazraki it is great; for México, perhaps it is a mixed blessing.

Nosotros los Nobles is actually a Warner "local-language" production, part of the intensifying pattern of U.S. studio involvement in overseas markets. This on one hand might be considered good for the Mexican film industry in that it demonstrates to the Mexican filmmakers the commercial imperative they need – adopting forms (like Nosotros' high-concept comedy) and marketing that can hold their own and fire up the mainstream. Warner actually had previously adapted this formula with their 2010 romantic comedy No Eres Tú, Soy Yo (It's Not You, It's Me) which holds the Number 5 spot in the domestic all-time list. However both films failed to gain footholds in the U.S. or international markets, whereas Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros, starring Gael García Bernal, captured the international market as a bonafide, original Mexican feature, funded by private Mexican capital.

Warner, true to the majors’ treatment for this sort of local production, will predictably do little more internationally than to allow its release (after the pirates have already gotten to it) stateside -- through Gussi, a very strong Mexican distributor, and Cine Latino, a company owned by the ubiquitous Jim McNamara who is also a partner with Lionsgate, the second of U.S.’s only three Latino distribution companies, Pantelion. The third company is Cinema Tropical.

What Has Happened to Mexican Films in Mexico

In the mid 1990s, after México joined the North American Free Trade Area, Mexican cinemas were flooded by U.S. imports which obliterated the Mexican national industry overnight. Imcine was the last dam preventing Mexico being not merely flooded but drowned by Hollywood blockbusters.

And then a resurgence of Mexican films seems to have started again with the all-time hit Amores Perros in 2001 and El Crimen del Padre Amaro in 2002.

The exciting event of a local film out-grossing an American film in 2001 was the beginning of a worldwide trend in which local hits began to challenge U.S. or North American hegemony, not only in México but throughout the world.

To counteract this, the U.S. major studios began to implement another tactic. They began to invest in local production, as described above. This development and more about the U.S. hegemony is further elaborated on recently by Nancy Tartaglioni, readers who want to know more can read her article here.

An additional factor affecting the Mexican film industry today is the gravitational pull of Los Angeles. It is a strong force, not just for name auteurs like Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón, and Guillermo del Toro but also for the below-the-line crew in the thousands who can and do enrich the Mexican industry if they are not drawn to L.A., which ironically is itself struggling with runaway production and increasing unemployment for the L.A. local film trade.

Support For Film Production

Mexican filmmakers have been very open in their complaints since 2003 when the government plan to sell off its government-owned systems of support of filmmaking was thwarted by the country’s filmmakers. The government was forced to recognize officially that “the production, and in recent years, the coproduction of motion pictures, television series and international commercials have been important factors in the development of the film industry.”

The filmmakers’ demand for specific up-to-date information and support services for the film, television and video industries led to the creation of the National Film Commission, a nonprofit and specialized organization founded by the Mexican Film Institute (Imcine) and the Churubusco Azteca Film Studios. A good step-by-step guide to government support for filmmaking can be found here on Imcine’s official website.

Mexican Film Schools

Even with the increasing production of art house cinema in Mexico in which the two public film schools Ccc and Unam participate very actively, in effect, today México still has no real self-sustaining film industry.

One person interviewed in Guadalajara during the festival this past March says, “In México the government does everything, but it is not enough. Creativity is fettered by government laws.” If everything is subsidized, creativity falters. Creativity does not come out of a bureaucratic mindset.

The problem the subsidy system creates is that if you do not have money at risk, then you do not care about the return on the investment. Given production numbers are holding steady, the big problem for these finished films is theatrical distribution. Some suggest that a solution might be to allocate more money to the theaters to show the Mexican movies that do get made in order to give them a chance to earn back money and to force the films to be more commercial. Only one state out of the 31 states which comprise the United Mexican States offers exhibition support.

The sustainability of the Mexican film industry may be changing however. Law 226 permits money that would otherwise go to taxes to be invested instead into film production. This tax credit for private individuals and for privately owned business seems to be making a difference by encouraging private businesses to partake in production. This, along with improving access and marketing to theatrical exhibition, could create an actual industry.

Exhibition

Out of the approximately 100 films produced each year in México , 80% have government financing and only 30 or 40 of them get any theatrical release. Out of that only about 2 Mexican movies out of the 30 or 40 movies have any significant box office returns.

Of the 5,500 screens in México which the major U.S. studios fill with product, Sony/ Disney and Universal/ Warner Bros. dominate the market in México to the tune of 50% of the box office. Along with Fox and Paramount, they hold 91% of the box office receipts.

There were 252 non-Mexican films receiving theatrical distribution in 2012. 128 were from the U.S. (and grabbed 90% of the box office), 31 were from France, 13 from Spain, 11 from Latin America and 11 from other countries, including So. Korea.

While all the theaters are now digitized, online exhibition of films has not taken hold because the internet does not reach everyone and most Mexicans do not have credit cards to pay for downloading or streaming even if they did have internet access.

Changing the Model

Iñárritu, Cuarón and del Toro all appropriated a kind of American dynamism or genre literacy, as well as private financing, that broke from the European-influenced art-film model that Imcine, the Mexican public film-development organization had practiced since the 1980s, and they created such classics as Amores Perros, El crimen del Padre Amaro and Y Tu Mamá También.

Today, the newest development in México is that of Canana, the production and distribution company of Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Pablo Cruz and Julian Levin. After its international successes, Canana signed a co-production agreement with Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media. The Academy Award nominated No was their first film together. They are now coproducing The Ardor. Canana also set up Mundial , a 50-50 joint venture with Stuart Ford’s U.S. based international sales company, Im Global, to sell Iberoamerican films internationally.

No demonstrates the power of coproductions today and international sales which increase both budgets and international commercial reach. The four production companies which coproduced No come from different countries, and each one brings special strengths to the production. The film was initiated by Chile’s top production company, Fabula, owned by the brothers Pablo Larraín and Juan de Dios Larraín who started with Fuga in 2006, broke out with Tony Manera in 2008 and most recently produced the sleeper hit of the Berlinale 2013, Gloria.

When Fabula cast the worldwide star Gael Garcia Bernal in No, the deal also included his company Canana as coproducer. This was the first coproduction of Canana and Fabula with U.S. based Participant who put up the Us$ 2,000,000 budget for the picture and then became a partner in a slate of coproductions. The French company, Funny Balloons, was also coproducer and more importantly, as the international sales company for No it was able to sell territories to back up the financing. It pre-sold or licensed the finished film extensively: Austria to Filmladen, Australia to Rialto Distribution), Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia to Babilla, Czech Republic to Film Distribution Artcam, Denmark to Reel Pictures Aps, France toFunny Balloons, Germany to Piffl, Greece to Strada Films, Hong Kong to Golden Scene, Hungary toCinefil Co Ltd., Italy, Mexico to Canana, Netherlands to Npo, Netherlands Public Broadcasting, New Zealand to Rialto, Norway to Art House, Peru, Portugal to Alambique, Russia & Cis to Frontiers, Singapore to Cathay, Spain to Golem, Sweden to Atlantic, Switzerland to Cineworx Gmbh, Turkey to Tiglon, United Kingdom toChannel Four Television. Box Office Mojo calculates international box office from these countries to be Us$ 5,408,080 plus the Sony Pictures Classics No. American box office reported at Us$ 2,343,664.

Even without domestic dominance, Mexican features make an impact on the international film industry. The worldwide trend of coproductions as the engine driving the international film business is very much in sync with what is happening today for young Mexican filmmakers who begin by the help of the state and are able to get their first films financed in their home countries, as well as for the “veterans” like Bernal and Luna, Iñárritu, Cuarón and del Toro who are fully integrated into the international film industry.

And the private equity growth in production looks promising as well. Last year, Mexican feature films financed 100% by private equity numbered 40 compared to 14 in 2011, 10 in 2010 and 9 in 2009. Films with state support last year numbered 70, up from an average of 58 in the previous years 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.

Another interesting note is that out of the 67 Mexican films that received theatrical distribution in 2012 (of the 112 total produced), 23 were by women. Bringing a different sort of equity to 50% of the population is also a goal of the international film community, and should be a goal of the Mexican government as well.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Chile in Toronto: Interview with Sebastian Lelio Director of 'Gloria' and Star Paulina Garcia

Gloria, which just finished playing Tiff, directed by Sebastian Lelio and starring Paulina Garcia has been selected to represent Chile in the Foreign Language race for the 86th Academy Awards ®

Fresh off its highly successful North American premiere at The Telluride Film Festival, Gloria was Special Presentation at the Toronto Int'l Film Festival.

I was lucky to be able to spend an hour speaking with director Sebastián Lelio and

2013 Berlin Film Festival Best Actress Award winner Paulina Garcia, the film’s star.

Paulina Garcia in real life barely resembled Gloria who is a seemingly comfortable “woman of a certain age” who still feels young…like me, and also like me, she enjoys dancing. Her children have lives of their own as does her former husband, she has a job and while comfortable, she is a bit at a loss for a place and for love. I had not realized that in fact those people I dance with are perhaps also looking for love – all I ever see them do is dance.

But like Gloria, though lonely, they are making the best of their situation. Her fragile happiness changes the day she meets Rodolfo. Their intense passion, to which Gloria gives her all, leaves her vacillating between hope and despair - until she uncovers a new strength and realizes that, in her golden years, she can shine brighter than ever.

Speaking with Paulina Garcia, I was first struck with how unlike the character Gloria she was. Sophisticated and refined, speaking perfect English, we related on a different level from how I related to her in the film, and I had related intimately; I had identified completely with Gloria and I had thought I would, in fact, be meeting Gloria herself.

Paulina told me how unusual it is to be in every scene. Playing such a character focused so deeply into life forced her to move the center of herself to a different point. After the movie had been shot, she felt the pain in her very bones from the different positions and motions of Gloria’s person. When it was over, she felt like she had emerged from a very deep ocean dive. Acting is on the surface, but the character played is really more like an iceberg.

Sebastian added that the relationship between Gloria and everyone else is not the action but in the air around them. It is the anti-matter you experience in the film, not the plot. The spotlight was always upon her. There was not a single frame in which Gloria’s body was not present. Every single scene is about how she is feeling about people, things and the world. And she reflects the world, as it is today in Santiago, Chile – discontented and seeking ways to take action against the discontent.

The relationship built between Sebastian and Paulina prior to filming was not based on the film, but on aligning their minds. It was an unusual friendship that was built between the director and actress. He gave her things to read unrelated to the film, she read Cassavetes on Cassavetes, (the name Gloria was not spurious); he gave her quotes, information on vortexes and whatever else interested him in those days. He was very clear about how personal the film would be, creating layers of emotion and artistry. Once they began working together, they shared a sort of mindful shorthand. He might say, “Do your own vortex” and she would define the world in her own terms so she could do her part. Paulina/Gloria was the point of the film and everything had to go around her, as if she were the vortex.

The other character in the film – whom we did not discuss at all, but who was an extraordinary counterweight to Gloria, was Sergio Hernandez who played Rodolfo. Very sexy and very soulful, he is dogged in his pursuit of Gloria and is dogged by his “ex-wife” and daughters. He has played in Sebastian Lelio’s previous films La Sagrada Familia in 2006 which I caught during my first trip to Chile as an guest of the Valdivia Film Festival in ‘05 and in El Ano del Tigre, his third film which played Locarno in 2011. Both these were also “insistent observations of characters going through evolutionary crossroads: family as a sacred trap; the interest in the tension that exists between a person and character; and the conviction that film is a face-on battle”, to quote Sebastian.

La Sagrada Familia was shot in 3 days in 35mm, a true indie film. It was a sort of “punk” film and it met with great success and so Sebastian could access national funds to make his second film Navidad which along with some private investment was finally paid off two months ago. Navidad was about teenage runaways going through a sort of initiation into the carney world. He directed Year of the Tiger just after Chile’s major earthquake and Fabula put in the money ($100,000) for this urgent film. It is a testament to the Year Zero and was shot in 12 days. It went on to play Toronto and Locarno. These are all available along with interviews on Festival Scope.

The year 2005 was the year that a new generation of filmmakers was beginning to create Chilean cinema as we know it today. Not only Sebastian Lelio withLa Sagrada Familia, but the producer of Gloria and Year of the Tiger, Fabula’s Pablo Larrain (along with his brother Juan de Dios Larrain) was developing his breakout film, Tony Manero and had just finished Fuga. Pablo also wrote and directed Post Mortem , produced El año del tigre , produced and directed No and produced this year’s Sundance hit Crystal Fairy. It was Diego Izquierdo whose Sexo con Amor we were repping who brought us to Valdivia that year as he was working on El rey de los huevones . It was the year En la Cama by Matias Bizes ( La vida de los peces ) was the most popular film in Chile and films were finally breaking from the post-Pinochet trauma. The “other Sebastian”, Sebastian Silva, was the inspiration behind the writers of Mala Leche and La Sagrada Familia, and was writing the first film he would also direct, La vida me mata (Life Kills Me).

Gloria was such a fine work of art that it was developed in the Cannes Residency (Cinefondation) program and garnered national funds for its production. It was screened as a Work in Progress first in Chile’s Sanfic and then in San Sebastian in 2012 where it won the Cine in Construccion Award. Sebastian has recently received a Guggenheim fellowship and support of the Daad Berliner Kunstlerprogram for the development of his new projects.

To be witness to Chile’s spectacular growth in the international business gives me such a thrill. I can’t wait to see Sebastian’s next film which he is working on now in the Berlinale Residency (September – December), writing it with an eye toward co-production. The new film explores masculine emotions. Perhaps it will once again star Paulina Garcia.

Gloria

Directed by: Sebastián Lelio

Tiff 2013 - Special Presentation

Chile - 109 minutes - In Spanish with English subtitles

Director: Sebastián Lelio

Starring: Paulina García

Producer: Fabula - Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín

Tiff 2013: Special Presentation

U.S. Distributor: Roadside Attractions

Canadian Distributor: Mongrel Media

The film will be released by Roadside Attractions and is being sold internationally by Funny Balloons, who has already sold it to

Australia

Rialto Distribution (Australia)

Austria

Thimfilm Gmbh

Brazil

Imovision

Canada

Métropole Films Distribution

Colombia

Babilla Cine

France

Funny Balloons

Germany

Alamode Film

Greece

Strada Films

Israel

New Cinema Ltd.

Italy

Lucky Red

Japan

Respect

Korea (South)

Pancinema

Netherlands

Wild Bunch Benelux

Portugal

Alambique

Sweden

Atlantic Film Ab

Switzerland

Filmcoopi Zurich Ag

Turkey

Bir Film

United Kingdom

Network

USA

Roadside Attractions
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Pablo LARRAÍN: “Post Mortem”

Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (Tony Manero) was born in 1976, three years after the coup d’état that toppled democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende and ushered in the long, brutal regime of General Augusto Pinochet, whose chokehold on the South American nation lasted until 1990. Although Larraín is currently shooting the second season of Prófugos, an action-drama series for HBO Latin America about cocaine cartels — “it’s like playing a with a big toy,” he avers — the Pinochet era has continued to fascinate him. The chaotic, thunderous birth moments of this dark and deeply corrupt period in Chile’s late-modern history provide the setting for the writer-director’s latest feature, Post Mortem, a comically dour love story–cum–allegory of political madness that debuted at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. Mario Cornejo (Alfredo Castro) is a laconic mortician’s assistant whose mannered obsession with aging cabaret dancer Nancy Puelma (Antonia Zegers, in
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Tony Manero—Interview With Pablo Larraín

Though disgruntled that promotional obligations during his five-day stint at the Toronto International Film Festival prevented him from catching any other films in the festival line-up, Pablo Larraín was nonetheless appreciative of the opportunity to attend with his second feature Tony Manero, despite missing his wife and newborn daughter Juana back home in Chile. Born in Santiago de Chile in 1976, Larraín studied film direction and audiovisual communication at Uniacc University, after which he founded Fabula, a company devoted to audiovisual and communications development, where he has carried out the following projects: In 2005 he produced and directed his first feature film called Fuga, which was commercially released in March 2006. During 2006 he produced a film called La Vida Me Mata (Life Kills Me), directed by Sebastián Silva. In 2007 Pablo Larraín worked on Tony Manero, which won the top prize at the 26th annual Turin Film Festival, as well as the Fipresci prize for best film,
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

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