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Why This Could Be the Year That Best-Director Oscar Nominations Finally Tip Toward Women

Why This Could Be the Year That Best-Director Oscar Nominations Finally Tip Toward Women
Kevin Spacey’s Oscar chances, obliterated. Dustin Hoffman’s, gone. While we don’t yet have the hashtag, March 4, 2018 will be remembered as the year that the issue of sexual harassment took center stage at the Dolby Theatre.

If one of the historical perks of Hollywood stardom was the ability to misbehave without consequences, those days are over. Sony pulled Ridley Scott’s AFI Fest closer “All the Money in the World,” which was primed for an awards campaign around Spacey, now accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment and abuse.

While Hoffman presented a Hollywood Film Award Sunday night, it’s unlikely that his crusty New York patriarch will be in the running for “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” after multiple harassment claims — in addition to Meryl Streep’s own account of how he introduced himself by grabbing her breast. (Streep will move into Oscar mode as
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Why This Could Be the Year That Best-Director Oscar Nominations Finally Tip Toward Women

  • Indiewire
Why This Could Be the Year That Best-Director Oscar Nominations Finally Tip Toward Women
Kevin Spacey’s Oscar chances, obliterated. Dustin Hoffman’s, gone. While we don’t yet have the hashtag, March 4, 2018 will be remembered as the year that the issue of sexual harassment took center stage at the Dolby Theatre.

If one of the historical perks of Hollywood stardom was the ability to misbehave without consequences, those days are over. Sony pulled Ridley Scott’s AFI Fest closer “All the Money in the World,” which was primed for an awards campaign around Spacey, now accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment and abuse.

While Hoffman accepted a Hollywood Film Award Sunday night, it’s unlikely that his crusty New York patriarch will be in the running for “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” after multiple harassment claims — in addition to Meryl Streep’s own account of how he introduced himself by grabbing her breast. (Streep will move into Oscar mode as
See full article at Indiewire »

Carey Mulligan to Play Gloria Steinem in Dee Rees’ “An Uncivil War”

Mulligan on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Two years after Carey Mulligan played a burgeoning feminist activist in Sarah Gavron’s women’s rights drama “Suffragette” comes word that she’ll portray one of the most famous feminists of all time. Variety reports that the Oscar-nominated actress will play Gloria Steinem in “An Uncivil War,” a drama that re-teams her with “Mudbound” helmer Dee Rees. Julianne Moore is also portraying Steinem in an upcoming pic, Julie Taymor’s “My Life on the Road.” That’s right — we have two women-directed Steinem-inspired films to look forward to.

Slated for production in March 2018, “An Uncivil War” focuses on “efforts by feminist activist and journalist Steinem, lawyer and activist Florynce Kennedy, and others to ratify the Era, while conservative organizer Phyllis Schlafly advocates against it,” the source details. “The Era was written to guarantee equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex, and although it passed both houses of Congress in 1972 and was submitted to the state legislatures for ratification, it fell short of enactment after receiving 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications.” Rees has adapted the script, originally penned by David Kukoff (“Campus Confidential”).

FilmNation Entertainment is fully financing “An Uncivil War” and producing along with Peter Heller (“Dreamland”).

Mulligan and Rees’ previous collaboration, “Mudbound,” hits theaters and Netflix November 17. Rees’ critically acclaimed follow-up to “Bessie” scored the biggest deal out of Sundance this January. The multi-perspective Southern epic follows two men as they return home from WWII: Ronsel (Jason Mitchell) and Jamie (Garrett Hedlund). The former is black and the latter is white, and while they bond over their shared experiences abroad, they are welcomed back to very different circumstances in the United States. Mulligan plays Jamie’s sister-in-law.

Rees is signed on to direct an adaptation of Joan Didion’s 1996 best-seller “The Last Thing He Wanted,” a political thriller about a Washington Post journalist who becomes involved in the world of arms dealing.

In 2010 Mulligan received an Oscar nomination for Lone Scherfig’s “An Education.” Her upcoming projects include “On the Other Side,” a drama about the experiences of real-life Vietnam war correspondent Kate Webb, and “Collateral,” a BBC miniseries helmed by S.J. Clarkson (“Jessica Jones”) that’s being described as “a modern-day state of the nation project.”

“The hunger for female-driven stories is there,” Mulligan has told us. “You just have to make the films. This shock over how these films do so well is a bit tired now. Jennifer Lawrence can open movies like any male star.”

Carey Mulligan to Play Gloria Steinem in Dee Rees’ “An Uncivil War” 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 »

Trailer Watch: A Human Rights Lawyer Will Do Anything to Get Justice in “Fearless”

Fearless

The caption, “Don’t be afraid to do the wrong thing to make things right,” punctuates the screen in the trailer for “Fearless” — and that’s a credo protagonist Emma Banville (Helen McCrory) seems to live by. A human rights lawyer, Emma has taken on a pro bono case involving Kevin Russell (Sam Swainsbury, “Mum”), a young man convicted of murder. Emma believes Kevin when he says he was coerced into making a false confession and sets her sights on getting him justice, no matter the cost. “I’m going to take the gloves off,” she promises in the spot for the Amazon series.

“Taking the gloves off” includes, among other things, concealing evidence, antagonizing cops, avoiding threats from the Mi-5 and Mi-6, and digging deeper and deeper into a conspiracy involving a police cover-up, a pedophile ring, and/or an American military base.

As Emma tries to untangle the nefarious web surrounding Kevin’s conviction, her colleagues begin to doubt her skills and even her sanity. “You sound completely nuts,” someone tells her. “Then I must be on to something,” Emma replies.

Written and executive produced by Patrick Harbinson (“Homeland”), Season 1 of “Fearless” aired this summer on ITV in the UK. U.S. viewers will be able to stream it on Amazon Prime beginning October 27. The show co-stars Wunmi Mosaku (“Guerrilla”), Robin Weigert (“Jessica Jones”), Rebecca Callard (“To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters”), Jonathan Forbes (“Catastrophe”), and Michael Gambon (“Harry Potter” franchise).

You can catch McCrory in theaters now in Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s animation-live-action hybrid biopic about Vincent van Gogh, “Loving Vincent.” McCrory also stars in the BBC/Netflix gangster drama series “Peaky Blinders,” which is expected to air its fourth season later this year. The actress recently appeared in Lone Scherfig’s WWII dramedy “Their Finest.”

Check out the “Fearless” trailer below.

https://medium.com/media/31358205dae907064a2ce8b5885c2212/href

Trailer Watch: A Human Rights Lawyer Will Do Anything to Get Justice in “Fearless” 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 »

‘Darkest Hour’ Review: Gary Oldman Gives the Best Performance of His Career [Tiff]

  • Slash Film
‘Darkest Hour’ Review: Gary Oldman Gives the Best Performance of His Career [Tiff]
It’s been a surprisingly big year for Dunkirk. Earlier this year, Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest and Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk both told stories about the evacuation of British troops from the beach at Dunkirk during World War II. Now Joe Wright, who also chronicled the events of Dunkirk in Atonement, tells yet another version of this […]

The post ‘Darkest Hour’ Review: Gary Oldman Gives the Best Performance of His Career [Tiff] appeared first on /Film.
See full article at Slash Film »

Can Netflix Crash the Oscars With Dee Rees’ ‘Mudbound’?

Can Netflix Crash the Oscars With Dee Rees’ ‘Mudbound’?
Mudbound” had hit a raw nerve. On the afternoon Dee Rees’ operatic drama premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last January, it was met with rapturous reviews and Oscar buzz. Surely, distributors would be duking it out for the rights to the picture with a sprawling cast, led by Mary J. Blige, Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell and Jason Clarke.

Yet as the evening wore on, a bidding war never materialized for the epic about race and poverty in the 1940s Mississippi Delta. “I’m surprised it didn’t sell that first night,” Rees says over a recent breakfast with Variety. “Wait, what the f—? It’s undeniable. The audience is into it. What happened?” Her producers told her that maybe buyers wanted to load up on comedies first. Days passed. “Then, at some point, the rationales fall away,” recalls Rees.

Although there were a few initial offers, they were much lower than the film’s
See full article at Variety - Film News »

“I love watching old movies…” Stephen Woolley interview: ‘Their Finest’

Their Finest is out to buy this week. Starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy, it tells the story of British propaganda during the Second World War and the strong bond developed between people from all walks of life in the face of conflict.

This warm-hearted and intelligent film is co-produced by the legendary Stephen Woolley (of A Company Of Wolves and The Crying Game amongst others), who with Amanda Posey and Elizabeth Karlsen delved into the archives and uncovered the fascinating truth behind the celluloid war effort. We caught up with Stephen for an in-depth chat about the production…

Thn: How did the project come to your attention?

Stephen Woolley: I was given the book (Their Finest Hour And A Half by Lissa Evans) and I loved it. The humour of it was exactly on my level. People were saying “You’d love it because it’s
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Home Entertainment Review: ‘Their Finest’

Director: Lone Scherfig

Starring: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Helen McCrory, Eddie Marsan, Jake Lacy, Rachael Stirling, Richard E. Grant

Special Features: Director’s commentary, Flickers of Hope: Making of Their Finest

Going by the publicity Their Finest (based on the novel Their Finest Hour And A Half by Lissa Evans) looks like another bright and breezy prestige project for British film. However, while it concerns the apparently light-hearted subject matter of making “morally clean, romantically satisfying” propaganda for the war effort, it also manages to evoke the fear and cruelty present in this dark period. The way it pulls off such a subtle balancing act is both surprising and very moving.

Gemma Arteron plays Catrin Cole, a Welsh writer summoned to the Ministry of Information’s Film Division in order to inject some oomph into their short film scripts. She then meets twin sisters who
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Lady Macbeth; Their Finest; Rules Don’t Apply; Risk and more – reviews

William Oldroyd’s costume drama has a truly killer line in corsets, while Lone Scherfig offers a very different take on Dunkirk

There are those who associate the words “costume drama” with genteel comfort viewing, as if no act of brutality or subversion could ever be committed in a hoop skirt. It’s a perception that Lady Macbeth (Altitude, 15) upends with stringent, stinging fixity of purpose. An elegantly appointed chamber piece in which toxic masculinity, destructive sexuality and racial exploitation bounce ever more violently off the walls, William Oldroyd’s ice-spined debut straps the viewer in a corset and pulls the laces to suffocation point.

It does the same to its teenage protagonist, headstrong Northumberland child bride Katherine – played with cutting brilliance by Florence Pugh – whose psyche runs obsessively hot and cold in response to abuse at the hands of men. She takes a lover, but carnal release is a
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

HFPA at 75: Meet the Foreign Press

HFPA at 75: Meet the Foreign Press
As the voters behind the annual Golden Globes, members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. exert an enormous influence on award season. But who are they? Variety asked five HFPA members to discuss their home territories, and lives on the circuit.

Tina Jøhnk Christensen

(Denmark, member since 2013)

Biggest surprise hit in home territory

The French film “The Intouchables” and the German film “Toni Erdmann” were huge successes in Denmark — both surprisingly so. Also, recently, “Get Out” became a surprising hit in Denmark.

Biggest Hollywood star

The Danes watch a lot of Hollywood films and the biggest Hollywood stars are Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as Scarlett Johansson and Viggo Mortensen, who have Danish heritage. But Danes are probably even more interested in Danish stars. Denmark is a very small nation of around five million people, so when Mads Mikkelsen, Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Connie Nielsen and Sidse Babett-Knudsen make it internationally
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Not Every Film Has to Pass the Bechdel Test (And Some Shouldn’t Even Try)

  • Indiewire
Not Every Film Has to Pass the Bechdel Test (And Some Shouldn’t Even Try)
Girl Talk is a weekly look at women in film — past, present, and future.

There are only three requirements for passing cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s eponymous test to determine how active and present women are in a film: It must feature at least two women in speaking roles, who have names, and who talk to each other about something – anything – other than a man. Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” does not meet any of these measures, and while that might make for a splashy talking point or prove a filmmaker’s spotty history with crafting compelling female characters, it’s the only acceptable outcome for a bombastic, fact-based war film.

As valuable and insightful a metric as the Bechdel Test – off-handedly conceived of in one of Bechdel’s ’80s-era comic strips, and generously inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf – it has its limitations. Plenty of films don’t pass the test,
See full article at Indiewire »

Munich: Zvyagintsev, Pinho and Lass among winners

  • ScreenDaily
Munich: Zvyagintsev, Pinho and Lass among winners
Cannes competition title Loveless wins best international film.

Films by Andrey Zvyagintsev, Pedro Pinho and Tom Lass were among the winners at the 35th Filmfest München which came to a close on Saturday evening with a gala awards ceremony before the German premiere of Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest with actor Bill Nighy and producer Stephen Woolley in attendance.

The €50,000 Arri/Osram award for the best international film in the CineMasters sidebar went to Zvyagintsev’s Cannes competition film Loveless which opened in Russian cinemas through Wdssr on June 1 and will be released in Germany by Wild Bunch.

Producers Alexander Rodnyansky and Serguey Melkumov accepted the award in Munich from the hands of the international jury comprising German director Valeska Grisebach (whose latest feature Western premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in May), producer Markus Zimmer, and actress Nastassja Kinski.

This is the second time Zvyagintsev received the Munich award after his previous feature Leviathan had won
See full article at ScreenDaily »

New to Streaming: ‘Song to Song,’ ‘Personal Shopper,’ ‘The Lost City of Z,’ ‘Okja,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

David Lynch: The Art Life (Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, and Olivia Neergaard-Holm)

Before David Lynch was a filmmaker, he was a struggling painter, whose lifeblood was to “drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, and paint.” That’s what he dubbed “the art life,” and what an image – as featured in the many contemporary photos seen in this new documentary – it is, the bequiffed 20-something Lynch sitting back in his Philadelphia studio,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Blu-ray Review: Their Finest (2016): Rote WWII Melodrama At It’s Finest

  • Film-Book
Their Finest Blu-ray Review Their Finest (2016) Blu-ray Review, a movie written by Gabby Chiappe, based on a novel by Lissa Evans and directed by Lone Scherfig, starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Jeremy Irons and Bill Nighy. Release Date: July 11th, 2017. Plot “A former secretary, newly appointed as a scriptwriter for propaganda films, joins the cast and crew of a [...]

Continue reading: Blu-ray Review: Their Finest (2016): Rote WWII Melodrama At It’s Finest
See full article at Film-Book »

Wamg Giveaway – Win the Their Finest Blu-ray Starring Gemma Arterton

Based on the best-selling novel by Lissa Evans, the delightful and heartwarming period piece, Their Finest, arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD on July 11 from Lionsgate; Digital HD on June 30 and On Demand on July 11 from EuropaCorp.

Now you can own Their Finest Blu-ray. We Are Movie Geeks has Four copies to give away. All you have to do is leave a comment answering this question: What is your favorite movie co-starring Gemma Arterton (mine is Hansel And Gretel – Witch Hunters!). It’s so easy!

Good Luck!

Official Rules:

1. You Must Be A Us Resident. Prize Will Only Be Shipped To Us Addresses. No P.O. Boxes. No Duplicate Addresses.

2. Winners Will Be Chosen From All Qualifying Entries.

From the producers of Brooklyn and Carol, Their Finest takes place in Britain during World War II and tells the story of a film crew as they create a movie
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Agency Casting Call

  • SneakPeek
According to agent Melissa Lee of Toronto's Ml Talent Agency, the deadline for new actors/actresses, inexperienced/experienced, to register online with the agency as a background performer (extra) for Toronto-based feature films, TV series and commercials, has been extended to Friday June 23, 2017:

Lee, the owner of Ml Talent Agency is a founding member, and Co-Chair of the Toronto Talent Agent Association (Ttaa).

online agency registration here

Recent Toronto film productions include "Suicide Squad", "Dark Matter", "The Strain", "RoboCop", "Carrie", "Resident Evil: Afterlife", "Designated Survivor", "The Handmaid's Tale", "Pixels", "12 Monkeys", "Suits", "11:22.63", "Downsizing", plus the new "Star Trek" TV series, "Star Trek: Discovery".

Here is the Toronto Film Production Update for June 2017:

12 Monkeys - Season 4

TV Series

Universal Television Enterprises LLC

Prod.: Michael Wray

Exec. Producer: Terry Matalas

Dir.: Various

Apr 3 – Jul 7/17

Condor Season 1

TV Series

T5 Condor Productions Inc.

Exec. Prods.: Jason Smilovic, Todd Katzberg, Lawrence Trilling

Dir.: Lawrence Trilling, + tba

Apr 24 - Aug 15/17

Crawford Season 1

TV Series

Crawford Season One, Inc.

Exec. Prod.: Laura Michalchyshyn, Mike Clattenburg

Dir.: Mike Clattenburg

Apr 17 - Jun 28/17

Green Harvest

TV Series

Streak Productions Inc. / CBS

Prod.: Kevin Lafferty, Loretta Ramos, Aaron Baiers

Exec. Prod.: Bryan Fuller,

Heather Kadin, Gretchen Berg, Aaron Harberts

Dir.: various

Jan 24 – Oct 6/17

People Of Earth Season 2

TV Series

Slanted Films

Prod.: Paula Devonshire

Exec. Prods.: David Jenkins, Norm Hiscock, Aaron Shure

Dir.: Various

May 1 - Jul 17/17

Salvation Season 1

TV Series

CBS

Producer: Robert Ortiz

Exec. Prods.: Liz Kruger, Craig Shapiro, Heather Kadin, Aaron Beiers, Stuart Gillard

Dir.: Various

March 1 - Aug 3/17

Secrets From The Russian Tea Room

Feature

Rtr 2016 Ontario Inc.

Prod.: Malene Blenkov, Sandra Cunningham, Robin Cass

LP: Kristina Kornum (Denmark), Lisa Kussner (Canada)

Dir.: Lone Scherfig

May 8 – Jun 2/17

Star Falls

TV Series

Breakthrough Ent

Prod.: Jim Corson

Exec. Prod.:George Doty, Joan Lambur, Ira Levy,Peter Williamson,Michael McGuigan,

Nat Abraham,

Dir.: Various

May 8 - Aug 4/17

The Lead

TV Series

CTV / eOne

Prod.: Brian Gibson

Exec. Prod.: Ilana Frank, Adam Pettle, Ley Lukins, Linda Pope

Dir.: various

Apr 17 - Jul 25/17

Cardinal: Blackfly Season

Mini Series

Sienna Films/eOne

Prod.: Jessica Daniel

Dir.: Jeff Renfroe

May 29 – Aug 4/17

Code 8

Feature

Code 8 Films Inc.

Producer: Jeff Chan

Director: Jeff Chan

May 29 - Jul 14/17

Fahrenheit 451

TV Movie

HBO Films/Morning Star Prods. Ltd.

Prod.: David Coatsworth, Sarah Green

Dir.: Ramin Bahrani

Jul 10 – Sep 8/17

Frankie Drake

TV Series

Shaftesbury Frankie I Inc.

Prod.: Julie Lacey, Jonathan Hackett

Dir.: Various

Jun 19 - Oct 26/17

Girl Underground

(working title)

TV Movie

Cineflix (Captive) Inc.

Prod.: Thomas Vencelides

Dir.: Stephen Kemp

May 16 – Jun 1/17

Little Italy

Feature

Pizza Lovers Productions Ltd.

Prod.: Vinay Virmani, Ajay Virmani, Pauline Dhillon

Dir.: Donald Petrie

May 17 - Jun 26/17

Suits Season 7

TV Series

NBC Universal

Prod.: Mark Winemaker

Dir.: Various

Apr 4 - Nov 15/17

The Detail

TV Series

CTV / eOne

Prod.: Brian Gibson

Dir.: various

Apr 17 - Jul 25/17

The Expanse Season 3

TV Series

SyFy

Prod.: Manny Danelon

Dir.: Various

Jul 12 - Dec 8/17
See full article at SneakPeek »

Their Finest Starring Gemma Arterton Arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on July 11th from Lionsgate

Based on the best-selling novel by Lissa Evans, the delightful and heartwarming period piece, Their Finest, arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital HD) and DVD on July 11 from Lionsgate; Digital HD on June 30 and On Demand on July 11 from EuropaCorp. From the producers of Brooklyn and Carol, Their Finest takes place in Britain during World War II and tells the story of a film crew as they create a movie to boost the country’s morale after the Blitz. Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Golden Globe winner Bill Nighy (2007, Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television, Gideon’s Daughter) lead an all-star cast in what Andrew Barker at Variety considers “a relentlessly charming romantic comedy.” Directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education, One Day), the Their Finest Blu-ray and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $24.99 and $19.98, respectively.

1940, London, the Blitz. With England’s morale at stake, Catrin (Gemma Arterton), an untried screenwriter, works under fire with a makeshift cast and crew to make a film to lift the nation’s flagging spirits, and inspire America to join the war. Catrin and a fellow writer, Buckley (Sam Claflin), reluctantly joins forces with fading matinee idol Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy) on a movie to warm the hearts of the nation and capture the imagination of the American public.

Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD Special Features

“Flickers of Hope: The Making of Their Finest” Featurette Audio Commentary with Director Lone Scherfig

Cast

Gemma Arterton Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Sam Claflin The Hunger Games franchise, Snow White and the Huntsman

Jack Huston Ben-Hur, American Hustle, “Boardwalk Empire

Helen McCrory Skyfall, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2

Eddie Marsan Sherlock Holmes, V for Vendetta

Jake Lacy TV’s “The Office,” How to Be Single, Carol

Rachael Stirling The Young Victoria, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

with Richard E. Grant TV’s “Downton Abbey,” Bram Stoker’s Dracula

and Bill Nighy Love Actually, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

The post Their Finest Starring Gemma Arterton Arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on July 11th from Lionsgate appeared first on We Are Movie Geeks.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Munich Festival Fosters Summer of Rebellion

Munich Festival Fosters Summer of Rebellion
The spirit of rebellion will be in the air at the Munich Film Festival, which will be occupied by movies focusing on young people protesting against how their societies are run and seeking out a new utopia. The fest runs June 22-July 1.

One of the German films that reflects the theme of “creative resistance” is “The Long Summer of Theory,” says Christoph Groener, who programs the New German Cinema section. The film reflects the feeling among the young that “what is needed is to move from solipsistic thinking to practical doing.”

Irene von Alberti’s pic centers on three women whose apartment is threatened by property speculators. They decide to change their lives, and are “trying to think of new creative forms of living together” that incorporate a sense of “social solidarity.”

The movie “wants to create a new activism where the film itself might be just a starting point and wants to infuse audiences with the need to talk to each other and find ways to create a new society, a new utopia, in which we can thrive,” says Groener.

In Germany, many young filmmakers, faced with the difficulties of raising financing, are turning to low-budget moviemaking to deliver pics “that seem to be totally uncompromised in their creative approach,” Groener says. Many of these films have an improvisational approach that delivers something that is “new, radical and playful.” The films don’t rely on high-production values, but have the ability to be successful internationally, he says.

Other countries are also producing films that form part of “this new juicy cinema that wants to [inspire] a new political activism,” he says. One film that typifies this resistance ethos is Sofia Exarchou’s “Park,” which centers on young people squatting in the decaying Olympic Village in Athens, creating their own community outside of the conventions of Greek society.

Festival director Diana Iljine says a new generation of auteurs is emerging, whose approach is “fresh, not only in terms of the content, but also the aesthetics.” This filmmaking is “not always positive [in its outlook] — not every story ends in a good way — but it is full of hope, and [the filmmakers] have sought for a creative solution.”

The festival is in revolt itself: against simplistic notions of what life, and cinema, is like in countries perceived as posing a threat to the West, such as Iran, Russia and China.

Bernhard Karl, who programs the fest’s international films, says that in some countries “it’s often the case that [filmmakers] don’t have the chance to make political films,” but their movies instead “reflect the political situation in small, personal stories.”

These films offer a peek at the lives of ordinary folks in these countries. Xuebo Wang’s “Knife in the Clear Water” centers on a farmer from the Hui Muslim minority group in China who is obliged to slaughter his bull for a feast, but is unwilling to part with the beloved animal. Mehdi Fard Ghaderi’s “Immortality” gives a snap-shot of life in Iran. The film, which follows six families on a train journey, depicts a microcosm of Iranian society.

Munich Festival Highlights

Claire Denis’ “Let the Sunshine In,” starring Juliette Binoche, opens the fest. The film tells the story of an artist in Paris looking for love and personal fulfillment. “To open with a Claire Denis and Juliette Binoche film is a dream for a festival person like me,” Iljine says.

Sofia Coppola may only be in her mid-40s, but Munich is honoring her with a career retrospective. She won an original screenplay Oscar for “Lost in Translation,” a Venice Golden Lion for “Somewhere,” and the director prize at Cannes with “The Beguiled.”

“There are not many women out there who are as good, as famous, as much of a fashion icon, and coming from such an interesting a background as she does,” Iljine says. “She’s a star and [her films] marked a new way of filmmaking.”

Bryan Cranston, who nabbed four Emmys for “Breaking Bad,” took a Tony for “All the Way” and was Oscar- nommed for “Trumbo,” will receive Munich’s CineMerit Award, which recognizes his “outstanding contributions to the film arts.” He will also present his latest film, “Wakefield.”

The fest closes with Lone Scherfig’s romantic comedy “Their Finest,” with one of the film’s stars Bill Nighy attending. Nighy plays an aging screen legend, alongside Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin.

Related storiesAsghar Farhadi's 'The Salesman' Triumphs at Munich Film FestivalFilm Review: 'The Have-Nots'Film Review: 'Original Bliss'
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Best Films of 2017 (So Far)

The Best Films of 2017 (So Far)
With new movies from Christopher Nolan, Kathryn Bigelow, and Steven Spielberg on the horizon for the second half of 2017, it’s tempting to conclude that the year is off to a slow start. Truth be told, there have been no shortage of quality releases so far — you just have to look a little harder than the likes of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Wonder Woman,” although both those hits are encouraging in their own way. Because studios tend to hold their serious Oscar contenders till Q4, any mid-year list of favorites naturally skews toward fun, so don’t be surprised to see comedy and horror films among the films that have electrified us so far. Except for “Get Out” — the biggest and most welcome surprise so far this year — the list is alphabetical.

Get Out

Jordan Peele’s racial-nightmare horror movie (pictured, above) is ticklish and disturbing enough to feel like “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” directed by Roman Polanski. The powerful connection it has made with audiences demonstrates one of the eternal — but perpetually forgotten — lessons of the movie business: If you dare to make the forbidden film that everyone says you’re not “supposed” to make…they will come! – Og

Beatriz at Dinner

The first comedy of the Age of Trump. In this darkly witty collaboration between director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Mike White (their first dual outing since “Chuck & Buck” and “The Good Girl”), Salma Hayek is all luminous angelic flakiness as Beatriz, a downtrodden New Age massage therapist who gets invited to a client’s high-powered dinner party. There, a proudly piggish real-estate baron (John Lithgow) brings out her vengeful inner tiger. Is he a Trump figure? Yes, but less for his tycoon bluster than for the way he stands in for the death of empathy. – Og

The Big Sick

Did you notice that romantic comedies have disappeared? That makes Michael Showalter’s indie gem not just a Sundance breakout film but a witty, heart-rending new model for the romcom genre. Set in Chicago, it’s about Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), a stand-up comedian from a traditional Pakistani Muslim family, and Emily (Zoe Kazan), whom he falls in love with but secretly thinks he’s forbidden to marry. Romance and comedy are but two dimensions in a tale of illness, identity, and the way the peskiest of parents can be your best friends. – Og

Baby Driver

Buckle up for attitude and adrenaline as Edgar Wright revisits the idea behind his music video for Mint Royale’s “Blue Song,” focusing on a getaway driver with a penchant for pop tunes. This unapologetic exercise in style might not be deep, but it makes for some swell summer entertainment. — Pd

Contemporary Color

Although the world lost “Stop Making Sense” director Jonathan Demme earlier this year, we’re fortunate that singer David Byrne is still breaking the sound barrier — and that brothers Bill and Turner Ross were there to witness this ecstatic brainchild, in which top pop acts with 10 high school color guard squads. — Pd

Heal the Living

Gifted French helmer Katell Quillévéré shows compassion for even the most minor characters touched by a tragedy that enables a life-saving heart transplant in this stirring French melodrama. Though it barely made a blip in theatrical release, watch for this deeply felt festival gem when it hits home video in August. — Pd

Land of Mine

How long can you hold your breath? If the answer is anything less than 101 minutes, you might want to rethink watching this white-knuckle Danish war movie, a runner-up for the foreign-language Oscar, in which a team of German soldiers (kids, really) are tasked with removing landmines buried by their comrades. — Pd

The Lego Batman Movie

It lacks the sheer everything-in-this-film-is-awesome novelty of “The Lego Movie,” but it brings off something else. In portraying Batman (played to manly-voiced comic perfection by Will Arnett) as a ruthlessly monomaniacal, paralyzingly insecure compulsive loner, disconnected from everything but his heroic self-branding, Chris McKay’s animated dazzler comes closer to portraying a superhero as a complex being than any comic-book movie has in years. — Og

Lost in Paris

The year will be hard-pressed to deliver a funnier movie than the latest from physical-comedy partners in crime Abel and Gordon (check your local arthouse listings!). Whether dancing along the Seine or dangling from the Eiffel Tower, the duo make Paris their playground. And don’t miss the last performance by Emmanuelle Riva, who died in January. — Pd

Raw

While nothing can top Blumhouse’s brilliant “Get Out” in the horror-as-social-critique category, director Julia Ducournau creeps the bejesus out of audiences with her own unnerving outsider story. Intense hazing scenes prove every bit as scary as the infamous finger-eating moment in a fever-dream that dares us to identify with the monster, a shy French med student who develops a taste for human flesh. – Og

The Settlers

Attempting to deconstruct the 70-year morass of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis may be a fool’s errand, but no documentary in years — or perhaps decades — has captured the story behind the story the way that Shimon Dotan’s eye-opening chronicle of the Israeli settlement movement does. It allows you to glimpse the grand design of events in a way that even the Israeli leaders who presided over them often didn’t. – Og

Split

After a long stretch of bloated, borderline-embarrassing movies, M. Night Shyamalan pulled off his best surprise yet, delivering ingenuity on a shoestring with this tricksy multiple-personality thriller, which embraces its limitations while making the most of its central asset: a tour-de-force lead performance from cracked-out chameleon James McAvoy. — Pd

Their Finest

While the modern film industry reevaluates the under-representation of women in key roles, Danish director Lone Scherfig reminds that the problem is nothing new, focusing on a female screenwriter’s contributions to England’s wartime propaganda effort. The movie has it all: comedy, romance, intrigue, and a scene-stealing turn from Bill Nighy. — Pd

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See full article at Variety - Film News »

Peter Beard, Andy Warhol, Grey Gardens family to feature in doc

  • ScreenDaily
Peter Beard, Andy Warhol, Grey Gardens family to feature in doc
Swedish director Göran Hugo Olsson directs project with Sfi backing.

Göran Hugo Olsson (The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975) is working on the feature documentary That Summer, centred on artist Peter Beard and his family of friends, who formed an enormously influential and vibrant creative community in Montauk, Long Island in the 1970s.

The film includes extraordinary footage from a project Beard initiated with Lee Radziwill about her relatives, the Beales of Grey Gardens, predating by years their depiction in the landmark Albert Maysles film Grey Gardens.

Andy Warhol also features in That Summer, and shot some of the newly unearthed footage, as did director Jonas Mekas, with additional cinematography by Maysles and Vincent Fremont.

Olsson and Swedish production company Story join production companies Louverture Films, Thunderbolt Ranch and Final Cut for Real on the project. Tobias Janson, Joslyn Barnes, Nejma Beard and Signe Byrge Sørensen serve as producers, with Beard serving as executive producer alongside Andrea Barron
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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