Samson and Delilah (2009) - News Poster


‘Sweet Country,’ ‘Newton’ Share Top Honors at Asia Pacific Screen Awards

‘Sweet Country,’ ‘Newton’ Share Top Honors at Asia Pacific Screen Awards
Sweet Country,” a Western set in the Australian Outback, was named best film at the annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards on Thursday.

The film, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice festival earlier this year, is the second feature by cinematographer-turned-director Warwick Thornton. His first film, “Samson and Delilah,” won the Apsa best picture award in 2009, making Thornton the only two-time Apsa winner.

The Apsa awards were in their 11th iteration. They were presented Thursday evening at a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia.

The other big winner during the evening was India’s “Newton.” It earned a best acting prize for Rajkummar Rao, while Mayank Tewari and Amit V. Masurkar claimed the award for best screenplay.

Russia’s Andrey Zvyagintsev was named best director for “Loveless,” which had its premiere in Cannes. Zvyagintsev previously won the best film award with “Leviathan” in 2014.

The international awards were decided by a jury headed by film editor Jill Bilcock. She praised
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Warwick Thornton's 'Sweet Country' Wins Top Prize

Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Warwick Thornton's 'Sweet Country' Wins Top Prize
Warwick Thornton's Sweet Country has won the best feature honor at the 11th annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs) at a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia on Thursday.

The win marks the second time that Thornton and an Australian film have won the top award at the APSAs, which cover 70 countries. Thornton’s debut feature, Samson and Delilah, won the best film award in 2009.

Sweet Country’s Apsa win also follows a special jury award for the period western at the Venice Film Festival in October and a win in the Platform section of Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Editor Jill...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Samuel Goldwyn Films Nabs Toronto-Venice Prizewinner ‘Sweet Country’ From Memento (Exclusive)

Samuel Goldwyn Films Nabs Toronto-Venice Prizewinner ‘Sweet Country’ From Memento (Exclusive)
Warwick Thornton’s critically lauded “Sweet Country,” a Western set in the Australian Outback, has been acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films, Variety has learned. The deal is for North American rights.

Sweet Country” won the top prize at Toronto’s Platform, the festival’s only competitive section. At the Venice Film Festival, where it world-premiered, the film won the Special Jury Prize. “Sweet Country” will next compete at the BFI London Film Festival and is generating buzz as a potential Oscar contender.

Memento Films International, which represents “Sweet Country” in international markets, has now sold the film nearly worldwide, including in the U.K. (Thunderbird Releasing), France (The Jokers), Spain (Wanda), Benelux (Cherry Pickers), Italy (102 Distribution), Switzerland (Praesens), Greece (One From The Heart), Turkey (Filmarti), Eastern Europe (HBO), Hungary (Ads Services), Romania (Macondo), former Yugoslavia (Megacom), Bulgaria (Bulgaria Film Vision), China (Lemon Tree) and Middle East (Falcon Films).

Set in Australia’s rugged Northern Territory, “Sweet Country
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Venice Film Review: ‘Sweet Country’

Venice Film Review: ‘Sweet Country’
“We’re all equal in the eyes of the Lord,” says a benevolent rural preacher in the opening scenes of “Sweet Country” — but the Lord’s eyes are evidently cast far from Alice Springs, the ravishing but spiritually soured landscape against which Warwick Thornton’s graceful, soulful, quietly incendiary Outback western unfolds. Marked by the same poise and care with which Thornton’s 2009 debut “Samson and Delilah” exposed the present-day marginalization of Australia’s Aboriginal community, the director-cinematographer’s second purely narrative feature probes the same social injustice in the bitterly divided frontier society of 1929, where one black man’s necessarily violent act of self-defense brings the white population’s most toxic racist dogma to the fore. The spare, classical chase drama that ensues is seeded with barbed observations on colonialism, cultural erasure and rough justice, kept poetically succinct by Thornton’s lithe, soaring visual storytelling.

Stately but universally accessible in its deft genre touches and border-crossing
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Memento Films International Unveils Official Trailer for Warwick Thornton’s ‘Sweet Country’ (Exclusive)

Memento Films International Unveils Official Trailer for Warwick Thornton’s ‘Sweet Country’ (Exclusive)
Memento Films International has unveiled the official trailer of Warwick Thornton’s Australian western drama “Sweet Country” which is having its world premiere in competition at Venice Film Festival on Wednesday and is set to close Toronto’s competitive Platform section.

Set in the outback of Australia’s Northern territory, “Sweet Country” revolves around the encounter between Sam, a middle-aged Aboriginal man working for a preacher, and Harry, a bitter war veteran. Sam’s relationship with the cruel and ill-tempered Harry quickly deteriorates, culminating in a violent shootout in which Sam kills Harry in self-defence. Becoming a wanted criminal, Sam is forced to flee with his wife across the harsh desert country; but as the true details of the killing start to surface, the community begins to question whether justice is really being served.

Sweet Country” stars Sam Neill (“Jurassic Park,””Peaky Blinders”), Bryan Brown and Ewen Leslie.

Transmission will distribute “Sweet Country” in Australia on Oct
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Stars Come Out to Venice Film Festival, Which Opens With Buzzy ‘Downsizing’

Stars Come Out to Venice Film Festival, Which Opens With Buzzy ‘Downsizing’
Venice, Italy – A bevy of Hollywood talent — including Oscar winners George Clooney, Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Lawrence and Octavia Spencer — is heading to the Venice Film Festival, which opens its 74th edition Wednesday evening amid growing confidence in its role as an awards-season launching pad.

Leading a robust roster of studio pics premiering on the Lido is social satire “Downsizing,” the festival’s opening film, directed by Alexander Payne and starring Damon, Kristen Wiig and Hong Chau, who will all be on the red carpet for the opening ceremony Wednesday evening.


Venice: Matt Damon, Hong Chau, and Director Alexander Payne Talk ‘Downsizing

At a press conference earlier in the day Damon said that “Downsizing,” in which he plays a man who agrees to have himself shrunk down in order to live luxuriously in a government resort, “shows a likeable character whose life is different from our own, but whom we can find common cause with
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Venice Festival: Award Season Hopefuls From the U.S. Crowd the Lido’s Screens

Venice Festival: Award Season Hopefuls From the U.S. Crowd the Lido’s Screens
Even before it kicks off on Aug. 30, the Venice Film Festival has bolstered its growing reputation as a launching pad for awards-season titles.

More so than in past editions, a deluge of English-language pics, including new works by Alexander Payne, George Clooney, Darren Aronofsky and Benicio Del Toro, will be world-premiering on the Lido during the fest’s first few days, before segueing to Telluride and Toronto. This year there is a greater number of movies that all three events just had to have, which is causing scheduling headaches and added stress for talent and publicists, plus more costs, of course. But apparently it’s worth it.

“We all wanted those particular seven, eight or 10 titles, which made things a little bit more complicated,” says Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera. “I’m only happy if a film I’ve chosen also goes to Telluride or Toronto.”

The point being: after launching multiple Oscar winners four years in
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Warwick Thornton: racists have ruined the Southern Cross for everyone

Australia’s fantasies about its past are a real problem, says the Indigenous director ahead of the world premiere of his new film, We Don’t Need A Map

Has the symbol of the Southern Cross become comparable to a swastika? That is the provocative question at the heart of Warwick Thornton’s new documentary We Don’t Need a Map.

The Indigenous, Alice Springs-born artist, best-known for directing 2009’s devastatingly brilliant Samson and Delilah, generated considerable controversy when he raised that prospect – expressing concern it was going to happen, rather than stating it had – seven years ago.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Warwick Thornton, Kriv Stenders, David Wenham headline Sydney Film Fest

Warwick Thornton.s doco.'We Don't Need A Map' will open the 2017 Sydney Film Festival..

Warwick Thornton.s We Don.t Need A Map will open this year.s Sydney Film Festival, with the event also marking the documentary.s world premiere..

The latest film from the Samson and Delilah director explores Australia.s relationship to the Southern Cross through colonial and indigenous history through to the present day..

We Don't Need A Map will compete in the festival.s Official Competition. Among the 12 films in the running for the $60,000 prize are Aussie theatre director Benedict Andrew.s debut feature Una, which stars Ben Mendelsohn, as well as Sofia Coppola.s Beguiled.and Michael Haneke.s Happy End, both of which will come to the festival from Cannes.

Overall the festival program boasts 288 films from 59 countries, including 37 world premieres. Bookending the fest will be Korean director Bong Joon-ho.s Cannes film.Okja,
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Bombshell: The Heddy Lamarr Story proves pretty and smart aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive

In the first part of Hollywood’s Golden Era when classic beauties such as Gene Tierney, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Marlene Dietrich and Merle Oberon ruled the screen, Heddy Lamarr was the fairest of them all. In fact, her face became the inspiration for Walt Disney’s animators when they created the Snow White figure. By any measure except critical acclaim, Lamarr had a successful career. She starred in blockbusters like Cecile B DeMille’s Samson and Delilah and the steamy White Cargo (that had her impersonating a woman of color). And given the chance, she did hold her own against some more
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Golden Globes: Meryl Streep Calls Out Donald Trump in Cecile B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech

Golden Globes: Meryl Streep Calls Out Donald Trump in Cecile B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech
What would an awards show be without an accolade for Meryl Streep? At Sunday night’s Golden Globes ceremony, the living treasure was the only talent able to walk into the auditorium with advance knowledge of her win, thanks to her previously announced Cecile B. DeMille Award win.

The HFPA’s version of a Lifetime Achievement award, the Cecile B. DeMille Award is given to recipients for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” Named after the legendary director of such films as “Cleopatra,” “Samson and Delilah” and “The Ten Commandments,” the award was first given out in 1952 and has been doled out continuously since, save for the 1976 and 2008 ceremonies, where it was not awarded to anyone.

Read More: ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ Review: Meryl Streep Shines As the World’s Worst Singer in Tricky Drama

Streep’s honor was — appropriately enough — introduced by America’s other best living actress, Viola Davis,
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Aftrs unveils new heads of producing, editing, screenwriting and more

Roland Gallois, Aftrs' new Head of Editing.

Aftrs has unveiled its new Heads of Producing, Screenwriting, Editing, Sound, Radio, Design and Interactive.

Head of Editing is Roland Gallois, Head of Sound is Stephen Murphy, Head of Producing is Peter Herbert, Head of Screenwriting is Dr Pieter Aqulia, Head of Radio is Fyona Smith, Head of Screen Studies is Matt Campora, Head of Design is Igor Nay and Head of Interactive is Catherine Gleeson.

.This is an impressive group of people who will bring tremendous skills and creative vision to their roles," said Aftrs CEO Neil Peplow..

"As the School implements its new strategic plan, Future Vision 2021, these Heads of Disciplines will take responsibility for their specialist subject area across the entire suite of course offerings, ensuring integrated learning and a cohesive, comprehensive approach."

Roland Gallois' credits in the cutting room include features Samson and Delilah, Slow West, The Hunter and Manny Lewis.
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The Night Of Recap: The Boy With the Knuckles Tattooed

Dear Naz,

Right from the opening moments of The Night Of, I’ve wanted to believe in your inherent goodness, to draw a correlation between your big, beautiful eyes and your inevitable innocence — and this week’s episode finally gave me a shred of hope.

RelatedCriminal Minds Vet Shemar Moore Talks ‘Karma’ After Thomas Gibson’s Firing

Sure, last Sunday’s new contender for big-bad status, the hilariously named Duane Reade, gets as much attention this time around as Jeb Bush on the November ballot (more on that in a moment), but two other parties emerge as contenders for
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The Night Of Season 1 Episode 6 Review: Samson and Delilah

  • TVfanatic
It's really surprising how much more evidence there is to be uncovered while Nazir's trial is already underway.

That's the main point I took away from The Night Of Season 1 Episode 6, and I'd like to think that I watch enough Forensic Files to know if I were ever in the same position as Naz, my attorneys would be armed with enough information to stop an invading army.

Another surprise? The District Attorney has a name. Mrs. Weiss. Apparently, she likes to be called "Missus." All this time, and I was still just calling her the Da because nobody seemed to refer to her by name. When you like to be referred to thusly, I can see why.

Does the presentation by the opposing counsel make a difference during a murder case? If so, Mrs. Weiss won't stand a chance against Chandra. Mrs. Weiss is a dour, whining woman, even when she's addressing the jury.
See full article at TVfanatic »

Review: 'The Night Of' introduces more alternate suspects in 'Samson and Delilah'

  • Hitfix
Review: 'The Night Of' introduces more alternate suspects in 'Samson and Delilah'
A review of tonight's The Night Of coming up just as soon as I tell you why not to put sailors on the jury... "But maybe I did kill that girl. That's what you're thinking." -Naz Naz's trial finally begins in "Samson and Delilah," as The Night Of continues to introduce or elaborate on alternate suspects even as we get more and more signs that the defendant was capable of committing the crime of which he's accused. With Duane Reade in the wind, Chandra and Jack alternate playing Nancy Drew this week, with Chandra getting to know Mr. Day, the funeral director who showed an unusual level of interest in Andrea when Naz stopped at the gas station, and Jack chasing down more information about Andrea's stepfather Don Taylor. The former encounter is disturbing in the extreme, with Day's particular brand of misogyny and religious fervor presented so coldly and
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Safc unveils the Aboriginal Short Film Initiative as five-day workshop kicks off

L-r: Warwick Thornton, Beck Cole, Thibul Nettle, Natasha Wanganeen, Isaac Lindsey, Tess O'Flaherty, Edoardo Crismani, Kiara Milera, Georgia Humphreys, Dylan Coleman and Garth Agius.

Five aboriginal filmmakers from Sa will receive $20,000 each to make a short, along with mentoring and professional development from industry figures.

Edoardo Crismani, Isaac Lindsay, Kiara Milera, Thibul Nettle and Dylan Coleman will all receive funding and support as part of the new Safc Aboriginal Short Film Initiative.

The five selected filmmakers plus another five are this week participating in an intensive 5-day Production and Development Workshop at Safc.s Adelaide Studios. They are joined by three non-indigenous emerging producers who will be partnering on three of the projects.

The workshop is being led by writer-directors Beck Cole (Here I Am) and Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah)..

Other guest lecturers at the workshop include film editor Tania Nehme (Tanna, Charlie.s Country), and cinematographer Allan Collins (Mad Bastards,
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Stephen Page talks black storytelling, eyes narrative feature with Justin Monjo

Bangarra founder and frontman Stephen Page has just returned from Melbourne, where he screened Spear, his first feature, at Acmi.

The dance film, which premiered at Toronto last September, sprang from an early Bangarra piece of the same name.

"When I created Spear in 2000, we had Archie Roach singing his poetic, streetwise songs onstage. Hunter [Page-Lochard, the director's son and star of both Spear and the upcoming Cleverman] was a six year-old onstage. It was one of Wayne Blair's first acting jobs".

So many years later, Spear is now Page's first feature, though the director is no stranger to filmmaking..

"I did a dance film called Colours in 1990 that I choreographed with Victoria Taylor for the Sydney Dance Company. It was all based on colours, so each colour had a short dance story and then it was all patched together. I think Screen Australia was involved. I only got reminded about it four months ago, I forgot I actually did it".

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Cannes official to head Aff jury

One of the Cannes Film Festival.s top officials will serve as the president of the jury at this year.s Adelaide Film Festival. Christian Jeune is the Deputy General Delegate and director of the film department at the festival, which he joined in 1983 while studying languages at a college in Nice.

Among his duties he is responsible for scouting films for official competition, Un Certain Regard and the short films competition.

As deputy to festival director Thierry Frémaux, he also negotiates with filmmakers, producers, film commissions and sales agents as well as coordinating screenings and press conferences His fellow jurors are Annemarie Jacir, Director of Philistine Films, one the leading figures of the .Arab New Wave.; Variety.s chief Asia critic Maggie Lee, who has programmed festivals in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore and is programming consultant for the Tokyo International Film Festival; and 52 Tuesdays director Sophie Hyde, a partner in Closer Productions.
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National Gallery | Review

Museum Hours: Wiseman’s Tour through London’s Famed Museum

If you’ve never been to The National Gallery in London, England, one of the most preeminent museums in the world, then Frederick Wiseman’s latest documentary, the simply named National Gallery, will appear to be something of a soothing, handsomely photographed introduction. Like a phantom floating through crowds and into behind-the-scenes operations, there’s even a bit of priceless perspective to be had on a tour, here presented as the learning experience many take for granted when they’re strewn haphazardly through the landscape of privileged youths. As solemn and well-thought as this documentary usually is, at a running time of three hours and without much more of a thrust than an all-encompassing experience of the renowned establishment, attentions spans may teeter in and out of sharply honed focused as our consciousness’ are restlessly pulled into the works on display themselves,
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Wiser Ways of Looking: A Conversation with Frederick Wiseman

  • MUBI
At a brisk 180 minutes, National Gallery is hardly one of Frederick Wiseman’s documentary marathons, but it still brims with ideas. After the classrooms in At Berkeley (2013), here the incredibly spritely octogenarian filmmaker focuses on the halls of the National Gallery in London, and contemplates ways of looking, storytelling, and, through this, the nature of cinema itself.

While, as always, the structuring device of the film is the institution of the museum, here Wiseman feels more playfully direct in his editing process—though never didactic. In shooting details of paintings, cutting between oil painted visages and the flesh one of the guests, and capturing the gallery’s gesticulating guides, Wiseman points the audience time and again to the different ways we perceive the world, be in through art, film, poetry or dance.

During the Toronto International Film Festival, I talked to Wiseman about this theme of looking, the genesis of
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