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Film Review: ‘Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction’

Film Review: ‘Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction’
Perhaps the surest proof of Winston Churchill’s theorem that “history is written by the victors” comes from none other than Adolf Hitler: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” the German Fuhrer said by way of a chilling corollary, effectively paving the way for the most insidious ethnic cleansing of the modern era. Between 1915 and 1918, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians living in Ottoman Turkey had been rounded up and either marched to their deaths or murdered outright.

But “history” — as in the public study of past events, and the way they are positioned and discussed by society at large — has been ambiguous about the Armenian Genocide. Even that label is a point of contention among contemporary Turks, who resist the “G word” (coined in 1944 by Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin to describe Germany’s systematic murder of Jewish citizens) as a legal definition that, they say, should not retroactively
See full article at Variety - Film News »

New to Streaming: ‘Punch-Drunk Love,’ ‘Free Fire,’ ‘The Salesman,’ 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.

Best in Show (Christopher Guest)

Christopher Guest has had an exceptionally strong ’00s with A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration, and it remains to be seen how his upcoming Mascots will be received, but his arguable peak is still the gloriously funny mockumentary Best in Show. Guest’s other films have lovingly skewered egotistical oddballs and the insanity of subjective or objective criticism, so Best in Show is
See full article at The Film Stage »

Armenian Genocide Film ‘The Promise’ Faces Tough Road to Distribution

Armenian Genocide Film ‘The Promise’ Faces Tough Road to Distribution
The Promise,” a sweeping historical romance starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, is the kind of movie epic they just don’t make anymore. It’s a throwback to David Lean’s “Doctor Zhivago” and Warren Beatty’s “Reds,” movies that transposed big, emotional stories against a sprawling canvas, and tugged at the heartstrings while dealing with thorny political periods.

It’s risky, but not just in that way. Not only is it one of the most expensive independently financed films ever made, it also deals frankly with the Armenian genocide. The mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire took place between 1915 and 1922, but decades later, the episode remains politically fraught. Bringing the story to the masses was a mission for Kirk Kerkorian, a businessman of Armenian descent who once owned Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He died in 2015 as the film was going into production.

“This was personal for him,” says Eric Esrailian,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Promise Review [Tiff 2016]

The Promise is visually arresting and befittingly nostalgic, but no where near enough so to warrant or rectify the film’s atrociously underdeveloped protagonists and threadbare plot. Director Terry George fails to materialize the sobering and engrossing pathos elicited by genre heavyweights like Schindler’s List and, to a certain extent, George’s own Hotel Rwanda. As a result, The Promise falls subsequently flat.

Co-writers George and Robin Swicord’s (heavily revised) vision of a whimsical, fleeting love-triangle trope backdropped by the Armenian genocide is as bad a narrative combination as it reads, exploiting the atrocity and its victims as mere devices of tragedy in an attempt to humanize characters that scarcely qualify as people that are even remotely worthy of triggering compassion. The only genuine humanness residing in the otherwise haughty film is its desire to produce a movie that’s accessible and informative regarding the plight of the Armenian people.
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Toronto Film Review: ‘The Promise’

Toronto Film Review: ‘The Promise’
“Our revenge will be to survive, and have children,” rallies the mayor of an Ottoman city whose Armenian population is targeted for annihilation in Terry George’s “The Promise” — “…and one day, to make movies,” he might as well add, since that is ultimately what “The Promise” is about: Aiming to do for the 1915 Armenian Genocide what “Doctor Zhivago” did for the Russian Revolution, this sweeping romantic epic intends to dramatize a dark chapter so often denied and so seldom depicted onscreen — and yet, the events in question deserve better than a sloggy melodrama in which the tragedy is forced to take a backseat to a not especially compelling love triangle.

Willed into being by Armenian investor-philanthropist Kirk Kerkorian, who established Survivor Pictures in order to finance this project before he passed away last year, “The Promise” was conceived as a glossy, English-language entertainment — not to be mistaken for the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

[Tiff Review] The Promise

Terry George‘s The Promise begins with a title card that appears on-screen stating that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Turkish government during World War I. It’s a tragedy that has been depicted before in film, perhaps most notably in Atom Egoyan’s underwhelming Ararat, with ample room still made available to deliver the definitive version. Despite formidable talent on both sides of the camera, unfortunately we’ll have to wait longer for such a drama to arrive.

The film takes place on the brink of World War I in Turkey. Michael (Oscar Isaac), an intelligent, compassionate Armenian, decides to settle down and marry a girl (Angela Sarafyan) that he’s not completely smitten by, but claims that with time he will indeed love her. He lives in Armenia, but opts to journey to Turkey, without his wife, to study medicine at the Imperial Medical School and become
See full article at The Film Stage »

War And Remembrance: Speaking to Christopher Plummer about Remember

  • Cineplex
Christopher Plummer is a marvel. At age 85, when most men his age have long ago settled into retirement, he’s acting full-time both on stage and in films. He holds the record as the oldest person — age 82 — to win an Oscar (his was a Best Supporting Actor nod for 2011’s Beginners), and this month he carries a heavy load as the star of director Atom Egoyan’s dramatic thriller Remember.

Plummer plays Zev, a Holocaust survivor suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s who sets out to find the Nazi guard who killed his family 70 years ago in Auschwitz. Plummer was at his Connecticut home when we spoke by phone about the daunting role, his own memories of the war and how he keeps his mind sharp.

What drew you to this role?

“Well, I had never really done this sort of thing before, a kind of victim. He
See full article at Cineplex »

Atom Egoyan accepts Honorary Heart of Sarajevo

  • ScreenDaily
Atom Egoyan accepts Honorary Heart of Sarajevo
Canadian film-maker received the honour before a screening of Exotica as part of the Tribute To… programme

At the Sarajevo Film Festival on Wednesday [Aug 19], Canadian director Atom Egoyan received the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo for his contribution to the art of film at a ceremony in the festival’s Meeting Point cinema.

“By awarding Atom Egoyan with the Heart of Sarajevo, we would like to honour one of the most noted contemporary film-makers, who is not only a theatre and opera director as well, but also a visual artist, writer and professor of film,” said Sff festival director Mirsad Purivatra.

“They call him the master of visual and verbal storytelling, and we completely agree.”

Egoyan then took to the stage and delivered a touching speech: “I’ve been to many festivals, I’ve received honours, but this one is so special because of the spirit and the history of this festival.

“This is a festival
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sarajevo fest to honour Atom Egoyan

  • ScreenDaily
Sarajevo fest to honour Atom Egoyan
Director’s latest feature Remember to screen at Venice and Toronto.

The Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug 14-22) is to pay tribute to Canadian director Atom Egoyan, who will receive Honorary Heart of Sarajevo for his contribution to film.

The festival will screen three of his films: Exotica (1994), set in and around a fictional strip club; Cannes award-winner The Sweet Hereafter (1997); and Ararat (2002), a drama about the Armenian genocide.

Egoyan, who was born to Armenian parents in Egypt but moved to Canada aged two, has directed more than a dozen features, several TV projects, and shorts.

Following critical acclaim and accolades for Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter and Ararat, his films of the past decade have included crime drama Where The Truth Lies, starring Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon; true crime drama Devil’s Knot, again with Firth and Reese Witherspoon; and thriller The Captive, starring Ryan Reynolds.

Egoyan’s latest feature, Remember, starring
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Cairo 2014 Review: The Cut, A Good Epic Journey

With the exception of Atom Egoyan's Ararat, the Armenian Genocide has not had much attention in Western cinema. German-Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin, whose previous films have often looked at issues of the marginalized, transnational cultures and violence, attempts to tackle this huge and difficult subject with his sweeping epic The Cut. A fictionalized story of one man's journey of war, slavery, and an epic journey to find his family, it is perhaps too long and somewhat predictable in its narrative unfolding, but nonetheless is effective in its portrayal not only of the genocide, but also the harrowing effects of trauma, and is beautifully photographed and scored.Nazaret (Tahar Rahim) is an Armenian living in southeastern Turkey as a skilled metalsmith. His happy life with his wife...

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

2014 Cannes Critics’ Panel Day 2: No Sweet Hereafter Found in Egoyan’s “The Captive” & Ceylan Shines with Gender Role Malaise in “Winter Sleep”

Cannes – Friday May 16th

The first title out of the gate at this morning’s 8:30 a.m. showing was the first of three Canadian films in the Main Competition. Snatched up earlier by the A24 folks, starring Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson and Mireille Enos, The Captive landed mostly 2 star notes with our panel, unfortunately making Atom Egoyan’s kidnapping thriller the first misfire of the fest. Winner of the Grand Prix and the International Critic’s Prize by the F.I.P.R.E.S.C.I.for The Sweet Hereafter in 1997, the Canuck has been at the fest’s Directors’ Fortnight for Speaking Parts (1989) and The Adjuster (1991) and found a home in the official selections for six features: Exotica (1994), Felicia’s Journey (1993), Ararat (2002 – Out of Comp), Where the Truth Lies (2005) and 2008′s Adoration.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s over three hour dialogue driven drama occupied a one time showing 3:00 p.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Atom Egoyan's 'The Captive' Goes to A24

Atom Egoyan's 'The Captive' Goes to A24
Entertainment One Films International (eOne Films International), in conjunction with Wme Global, Ego Film Arts and The Film Farm, is proud to announce the Us sale of The Captive to A24, in partnership with DirecTV. Directed by acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan (Chloe{FImCSmmsdOXxqo, Ararat), and written by Atom Egoyan and David Fraser, the film is based on an original story by Atom Egoyan. The film is produced by Egoyan, Simone Urdl, Jennifer Weiss and Stephen Traynor. A24 will release the film this fall.

Said Atom Egoyan,

"On behalf of my team, we are delighted that A24 will release The Captive in the Us. I am impressed with the caliber of films and campaigns they have recently worked on and I look forward to collaborating with them to reach an American audience."

Said Harold van Lier, President, eOne Films International,

"A24 is an extremely exciting company right now with a
See full article at MovieWeb »

Cannes Check 2014: Ryan Reynolds in Atom Egoyan's 'The Captive'

  • Hitfix
Cannes Check 2014: Ryan Reynolds in Atom Egoyan's 'The Captive'
Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up, the third Canadian director in the lineup: Atom Egoyan's "The Captive." The director: Atom Egoyan (Canadian, 53 years old). There was a time when Egoyan looked to be as estimable a festival fixture as his compatriot David Cronenberg, but his career hasn't moved in the direction many thought it would after he won big at Cannes (and scooped a surprise Best Director Oscar nod) for 1997's critical peak “The Sweet Hereafter.” Born in Cairo to Armenian-Egyptian parents – a heritage he'd later explore in his 2002 film “Ararat” – Egoyan largely grew up in British Columbia and studied
See full article at Hitfix »

Atom Egoyan to direct Remember

  • ScreenDaily
The filmmaker, set to premiere Captives in competition in Cannes, will direct Christopher Plummer in the thriller for Serendipity Point Films. Im Global will handle international sales.

Ari Lantos and Serendipity chief Robert Lantos will produce in what marks the latter’s eighth collaboration with Egoyan.

eOne will distribute Remember in Canada, Arp in France and Videovision Entertainment in South Africa.

The Serendipity Point Films thriller in association with Distant Horizon, Detalle, Telefilm Canada and Egoli Tossell will kick off in Toronto on July 14.

Benjamin August wrote the original screenplay in which, according to notes provided by the film’s representatives, “the darkest chapter of modern history collides with a contemporary mission of revenge.”

Martin Landau, Dean Norris, Bruno Ganz, Heinz Lieven and Günter Lamprecht round out the key cast.

Mark Musselman and Anant Singh serve as executive producers with Moises Cosio, Jeff Sagansky, Mike Porter, Larry Guterman and D Matt Geller.

Egoyan and Lantos
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Cannes: Christopher Plummer Starring in Thriller ‘Remember’

Cannes: Christopher Plummer Starring in Thriller ‘Remember’
In a pre-Cannes move, Christopher Plummer has come on board the thriller “Remember” with Atom Egoyan directing.

Martin Landau, Dean Norris, Bruno Ganz, Heinz Lieven and Gunter Lamprecht will also star. Principal photography starts on July 14 in Toronto.

“Remember” is produced by Serendipity Point Films in association with Distant Horizon, Detalle, Telefilm Canada and Egoli Tossell. Producers are Ari Lantos and Robert Lantos.

“Remember” will be distributed by Entertainment One in Canada, Arp in France and Videovision Entertainment in South Africa. Im Global will handle international sales excluding North America and will be launching sales on the film in Cannes.

“Remember,” written by Benjamin August, combines a dark chapter of modern history with a contemporary mission of revenge.

“I am looking forward immensely to be working once again with Atom Egoyan and Robert Lantos – this time, on a story which promises to be at once shocking, arresting and powerful beyond measure,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The Captive,’ the latest feature from Atom Egoyan, releases its first trailer

Could this be a return to form for Atom Egoyan? Following the announcement of its official selection for this year’s Cannes film festival, the first trailer for Egoyan’s The Captive is online, and it looks like a tense, psychological thriller.

Since hitting his stride in the 90s with a series of multi-faceted, insightful dramas—Speaking Parts, The Adjuster, Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter, Felicia’s Journey, Ararat—Egoyan has hit a slump in regard to critical acclaim for his more recent work. But hopefully “The Captive” will put the major Canadian filmmaker—and former Cannes winner—back on the map. The plot, which involves the disappearance of a little girl and her subsequent re-surfacing eight years later on an unknown web-feed, seems like a good fit for the veteran director.

The film also stars Ryan Reynolds, Rosario Dawson, Mireille Enos, Scott Speedman, and Egoyan preferred actor, Bruce Greenwood.

Source:
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Image Entertainment Ties The Devil's Knot

Variety is reporting that Image Entertainment has scooped up the distribution rights to Atom Egoyan’s crime thriller Devil’s Knot. Image, a division of Maryland-based Rlj Entertainment, plans to release the film next year in the second quarter.

Synopsis:

Worldview Entertainment's dramatic crime thriller Devil's Knot, filmed in the greater Atlanta, Georgia, area under the direction of Atom Egoyan, stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth with a screenplay by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson. Elizabeth Fowler, Richard Saperstein, and Clark Peterson produced Devil’s Knot alongside Worldview Entertainment CEO Christopher Woodrow. Worldview’s Molly Conners, Sarah Johnson Redlich, Maria Cestone, and Hoyt David Morgan executive produced alongside actual defendants Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. Devil’s Knot is a Fowler-Saperstein-Peterson Production.

Following the release from prison of the West Memphis Three, after nearly 20 years of incarceration, Hollywood was abuzz with plans to develop the teen trio's
See full article at Dread Central »

First Still Tied to the Devil's Knot

The first still from the true-crime tale Devil's Knot, which is based on the tragedy surrounding the now freed West Memphis Three, is here, and it offers your first look at Reese Witherspoon as Pam Hobbs, the mother of Steve Branch, one of the three children savagely murdered in Arkansas in 1993.

Synopsis:

Worldview Entertainment's dramatic crime thriller Devil's Knot, filmed in the greater Atlanta, Georgia, area under the direction of Atom Egoyan, stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth with a screenplay by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson. Elizabeth Fowler, Richard Saperstein, and Clark Peterson produced Devil’s Knot alongside Worldview Entertainment CEO Christopher Woodrow. Worldview’s Molly Conners, Sarah Johnson Redlich, Maria Cestone, and Hoyt David Morgan executive produced alongside actual defendants Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. Devil’s Knot is a Fowler-Saperstein-Peterson Production.

Following the release from prison of the West Memphis Three, after nearly 20 years of incarceration,
See full article at Dread Central »

Tom Hooper, Mychael Danna to Receive Palm Springs International Film Festival Honors

"Les Miserables" Director Tom Hooper and composer Mychael Danna will be honored at the 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival. Hooper is set to get the Sonny Bono Visionary Award while Danna will receive the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing. Both will join previous announced honorees -- the cast of Argo, Richard Gere, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Helen Mirren, Naomi Watts and Robert Zemeckis. The Festival runs January 3-14.

(Watch my fun interview with Tom Hooper for "Les Miserables" right here, "Les Miserables" movie review)

Here's the complete press release:

Palm Springs, CA (December 18, 2012) . The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (Psiff) will present Academy Award®-winning director Tom Hooper with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award and Mychael Danna with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing. Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 5, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Hosted by Mary Hart,
See full article at Manny the Movie Guy »

Ryan Reynolds Facing Queen Of The Night

Ryan Reynolds Facing Queen Of The Night
At some point in the not too distant future, Ryan Reynolds will be facing down hordes of sword-wielding immortals in Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's Highlander remake. Before he heads to Scotland, however, Reynolds is off to Canada to star in Atom Egoyan's Queen Of The Night.No, it's not an entire film based on a Whitney Houston song or an operatic character. The details are scarce at this point, but the film is apparently a kidnap thriller in which Reynolds will play the father of an abducted child. Don't expect much in the way of clock-ticking revenge action though: Egoyan's films (like Calendar, Exotica, Ararat and Adoration) tend to be more cerebral than that.Egoyan, as usual, has co-written the screenplay, and will produce the indie thriller along with Simone Urdl, Jennifer Weiss and Stephen Traynor. He's currently still hard at work on The Devil's Knot, his dramatisation of
See full article at EmpireOnline »
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