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So, I immediately polled four teenage girls. Batting away their butterflies and seeing through the hearts glossing over their eyes, they unanimously loved it, thought Booth was so very dreamy and went home with a new outlook on love – probably that love conquers all. For their modern-day version, they’d probably even give up texting for 12 whole days if it meant they couldn’t be with their boy crush.
Read Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Romeo and Juliet”.
But back to my reality and like most other humans on planet Earth, I’ve seen this William Shakespeare tragedy told mostly
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things.
Some shall be pardoned, and some punishèd.
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
Relativity Media has released the first trailer for their upcoming film Romeo & Juliet – starring Academy Award nominee Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Stellan Skarsgard, Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti and Ed Westwick. William Shakespeare’s classic story has been adapted by award-winning writer Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) allowing a new generation to discover the timeless tale of everlasting love.
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An ageless tragedy from the world’s most renowned author is reimagined for the 21st Century and told in the lush traditional setting it was written. Many will undoubtedly know director Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.
Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld are Romeo And Juliet in this first look at the movie.
Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare’s epic and searing tale of love, is revitalized on screen by writer Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) and director Carlo Carlei (The Flight of the Innocent). An ageless story from the world’s most renowned author is reimagined for the 21st Century.
This adaptation is told in the lush traditional setting it was written, but gives a new generation the chance to fall in love with the enduring legend.
With an all-star cast including Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Paul Giamatti (Friar Laurence) and Stellan Skarsgard (Prince of Verona), it affords those unfamiliar with the tale the chance to put faces to the two names they’ve undoubtedly heard innumerable times: Romeo and Juliet.
Also featuring Kodi Smit-McPhee (Benvolio), Ed Westwick (Tybalt), Damian Lewis
Directed by Carlo Carlei and starring Douglas Booth as Romeo, this newfangled "R&J" looks decidedly ... calmer than Baz Luhrmann's game-changing 1996 version starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. But hey, it's, you know, a pretty good script by a fella named Bill Shakespeare, if we remember correctly, and it's nice to see Steinfeld in a more girly-girl role as compared to her terrific tomboyish turn in "True Grit."
The supporting cast is pretty great, too, with Kodi Smit-McPhee as Benvolio, Damian Lewis as Lord Capulet, Natascha McElhone as Lady Capulet, Lesley Manville as the Nurse, Ed Westwick as Tybalt, Paul Giamatti as Friar Laurence, Christian Cooke as Mercutio, Tomas Arana as Lord Montague, Laura Morante as Lady Montague,
A quick list of films seen by me and by other discerning women:
Concussion, starring Catherine Deneuve, a bored house wife story has been told before. This time, the two protagonists were attractive lesbian women and it was beautifully filmed, but nothing beats Belle de Jour also starring Catherine Deneuve.
The Weimar Touch is a series of films from the Weimar era in Germany which preceded the Nazi era and films which were influenced by filmmakers of the Weimar era. MoMA Chief Curator of Film, Rajendra Roy and Laurence Kardish, the former Senior Curator of Film at MoMA were members of the Curatorial Board (along with Rainer Rother, Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, Connie Betz (Deutsche Kinemathek, Programme Coordinator Retrospective, and Hans-Michael Bock (Cinegraph, Hamburg). Maybe I could catch more of these fantastic sounding films in New York.
Hangmen Also Die! by Fritz Lang sounded so great. I got the ticket, but damn I missed the film because of a meeting. The notes written for Hangmen Also Die by Rainer Rother of the Deutsche Kinemathek, "Prague 1942. Following the assassination of Nazi Reich Protector Heydrich...a professor’s daughter hides the culprit in her parents’ apartment…sadistic, elegant and effeminate." Doesn’t that sound great? The gender bending in Vicktor Viktoria was charming and funny. Julie Andrews saw this actress and copied her style perfectly. They look like twins. Other films in the Restrospective had me going to the Film Museum to ask for the boxed set, but the prints are from so many places, the clearance on them would be nearly impossible I guess…no boxed set. Other films in The Weimar Touch were so enticing! I had seen A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Max Reinhardt himself and William Dieterle, (U.S. 1935) the last time when I was in high school and then didn’t know who Max Reinhardt was. Car of Dreams was a favorite of those who saw it. Casablanca in which Victor Lazlo and Ilse Lund play out their doomed love was directed by Hungarian born director Mihaly Kertesz (Michael Curtiz) and Humphrey Bogart is almost the only “real” American in the ensemble. I had never been aware of how The Weimar Touch formed that film. Others: The Chase, Confessions of a Nazi Spy, Le Corbeau – what a great film that is, a film that was saved only by Sartre and Cocteau’s speaking out in favor of director Henri-Georges Clouzot. This is a film Michael Haneke saw when he created The White Ribbon. A Dutch film, Somewhere in the Netherlands by Ludwig Berger in 1940, Gerhard Lamprecht’s Einmal Eine Grosse Dame Sein, British film, First a Girl, by Victor Saville, Fury by Fritz Lang, Gado Bravo from Portugal 1934, Gluckskinder from Germany in 1936, The Golem, The Mystery of Moonlight Sonata, Hitler’s Madman, How Green Was My Valley by John Ford in 1941 which was influenced by his friend F.W. Murnau, Max Ophuls’ Comedy About Gold, Letter from an Unknown Woman by Max Ophuls, M by Joseph Losey, Mollenard by Robert Siodmak, None Shall Live by Andre de Toth, Out of the Past by Jacques Tourneur, Peter, Pieges, The Queen of Spades, The Small Back Room, Some Like it Hot, To Be or Not to Be by Lubitsch, Touch of Evil by Orson Welles, Cabaret by Bob Fosse, Dial M for Murder, On the Waterfront, The Student of Prague, Tokyo Story were all touched by The Weimar Touch. What a collection!
Tokyo Kazoku (Tokyo Story) by Yoji Yamada was sweet and sad as the parents travel from their hometown of Hiroshima to visit their grown children in Tokyo – different from Ozu’s Tokyo Story, but “the story of family estrangement and the isolation inherent in modern society” as expressed in the story notes of Rainer Rother along with the reminders of the recent tsunami and its losses make this story deeply touching.
Interesting was Dark Blood by George Sluizer. It was not as spooky as The Vanishing, but to see River Phoenix, so beautiful in this role with such a sexy Judy Davis was a treat, if a bit dated. Elle s’en va with a Catherine Deneuve, aged after Umbrellas of Cherbourg and perhaps the same character takes a funny tour through rural France that I enjoyed. I missed Pourquoi Israel, part of the Homage to Claude Lanzmann but got to see Sobibor, 14 Octobre 1943 which was astounding. The bravery of the hero who was on screen the entire time, Yehuda Lerner, looked like a movie star. The entire story was so unexpected for me; how did it happen that I had never heard the story of the uprising at Sobibor before? I know Shoah and sat through it without a minute of disinterest – but that was in college. Claude Lanzmann justifiably said that this story was too unique and special to include in Shoah.
An odd Romanian film, the comedy A Farewell to Fools directed by Goodan Dreyer and starring child actor Boodan Iancu, Gerard Depardieu, Harvey Keitel and a cruelly beautiful Laura Morante, (and dubbed!) it is being sold in the market by Shoreline. It stands out in contrast to the Golden Bear Winner, the Romanian film Child’s Pose directed by Calin Peter Netzer and produced by Ada Solomon. This feisty portrayal of the nouveau riche seems like a fictional continuation of the doc her husband directed and which she produced in 2010: Kapitalism: Our Improved Formula.
Ada Solomon’s speech at the Awards Ceremony Closing Night deserves an award itself. Starting with the comment that she is more used to fighting than to winning, she pointedly thanked not only those who helped her but also those who did not help her whose resistance to her making this film made her stronger and more powerful. She pointed out the great need to have equal representation of women in the ranks of directors and producers as well, a theme which has been expressed repeatedly during this festival in many forms. (Read Melissa Silverstein’s blog on the joint meeting of women's films festivals initiated in Berlin by The International Women's Film Festival Dortmund|Cologone and the Athena Film Festival entitled "You Cannot Be Serious" in which women from many countries discussed the statistics and the status of women directors and other positions in the industry and continued the creation of a worldwide network pushing towards a more level playing field. Check out The International Women's Film Festival Network for more information).
Child's Pose, good in the vein of Separation, went head to head with the Chilean critic's choice, Gloria whose star Paulina Garcia, won the Best Actress Award. Could have gone both ways. The two older women were both great.
By the Way, Gloria was produced by Fabula, the Chilean company of the Lorrain Brothers who produced No as well as Crystal Fairy and director Sebastian Silva’s other films.
Jay Weissberg of Variety describes Child's Pose best as a "dissection of monstrous motherly love" and a "razor-sharp jibe at Romania's nouveau riche (the type is hardly confined to one country), a class adept at massaging truths and ensuring that the world steps aside when conflict arises."
I would like to suggest to the festival event planners that next year the Awards Ceremony’s onscreen presentation (which goes on simultaneously with the announcements of the prize winners) post the name of the winner along with the film title in its own language and in English as well as the country of origin. It’s difficult enough to follow the film with simultaneous translation in English via earphones; at least put the film titles in English for us foreigners.
A friend of mine remarks that the 2 most prestigious prizes at the festival went not to American or West European films, but to those from smaller countries with developing film cultures, Child’s Pose from Romania and Denis Tanovic’s Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker from Bosnia/ Herzogovina.
She goes on with her commentary of what she saw:
"Competition film Gold by Thomas Arslan provoked mixed response, but I liked it – Nina Hoss as the lead is excellent, plus there are long passages of the group on horseback trekking thru Alaska to the Klondike amidst spectacular landscapes. And the camerawork is wonderful. So that’s enough to keep me in my seat.
Night Train to Lisbon has been panned by virtually every trade publication critic as boring at the least. Nevertheless I enjoyed all the famous actors –Jeremy Irons, Lena Olin, Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, and yes Bruno Ganz. It is a story about the oppressive regime and a secret resistance group of in 1970s Portugal. Circles is a powerful and tough film by Srdan Folubovic about the revelations amidst survivors of a terrible event 12 years after the end of the war in Yugoslavia. Terrific performances support a complex and tough tale of how history permeates memory and behavior down thru the generations. Cold Bloom is the 4th feature of Atsushi Funahashi, who made last year’s powerful Nuclear Nation documentary about the effects if the tsunami. A drama about how the tsunami affected young workers and small businesses in the region is told thru the tragedy of a young couple. The title refers to a fantastic closing sequence under the cherry trees at night illuminated by street lamps, at once beautiful and bizarre. Gloria winner of the Golden Bear was clearly everyone’s favorite (although I could not get into the screening). Portrait of a middle aged woman in Chile (and winner of Best Actress award) it will hopefully make it across the ocean to these shores.
And finally, it is worth noting that the Forum Expanded section was extensive this year, showing diverse kinds of work including off site installations from every corner of the globe. Probably it is the single most important showcase for artists work in the film festival world. Kudos to the curators and the artist/filmmakers for keeping this exciting new work in front of the public year after year!"
Another friend who can’t decide whether to be credited here, a transplanted Los Angeleno who was born in Germany and lives in Berlin now had a very interesting insight into Two Women, wondering out loud if the two women and the two boys were transferring their homosexual feelings upon their cross parental lovers and likewise whether the two mothers were not actually acting out their lesbian affinities.
She also noted the sexual complexities of many of the films was of great interest to her. Examples she sites are the homosexual (But Not) pedophiliac feelings of a priest as depicted in In The Name Of; Gloria – not breaking news that a 58 woman is sexually alive – this film has a popular crowd pleasing charm which almost disqualifies it from the “festival” seriousness of a film like Child’s Pose, but both women are stellar.
My unnamed friend also said that, Camille Claudel failed to engage as did The Nun.
I would like to take this further, but it is very late for Berlin and now on to Guadalajara, a fascinating city and the seat of international, Iberoamerican co-productions which I think will become my obsession for the rest of the year.
Armed Hands (Mains ARMÉES) by Pierre Jolivet
Maddened By His Absence (J’Enrage De Son Absence) by Sandrine Bonnaire
Yossi by Eytan Fox
30 Beats by Alexis Lloyd
38 Witnesses (38 TÉMOINS) by Lucas Belvaux
A Special Day (Une JOURNÉE PARTICULIÈRE) by Gilles Jacob
Captive by Brillante Mendoza
Citadel by Ciaran Foy
Duch, Master Of The Forges Of Hell by Rithy Panh
Paris Under Watch
The Cherry On The Cake (La Cerise Sur Le Gateau) by Laura Morante
Time Of My Life (Tot Altijd) by Nic Balthazar
War Witch (Rebelle) by Kim Nguyen
Amid the seedy showbiz excesses of the Silvio Berlusconi era in Italy over the past two decades, Laura Morante was often seen as a symbol of another, more dignified version of Italian culture.
One of the country's most famous actresses, Morante, who could be described as a kind of Italian Catherine Deneuve, is as well known for her intense roles, and the calibre of films she has starred in, as for her remarkable beauty.
Now she is hoping to exploit the changing times in her country by playing her own part in promoting a different, more powerful role for women in cinema.
For the first time, the actress is stepping into the director's role for a film in which she also stars and takes a co-writing credit.
The cast of the revamped version of the centuries-old story of Romeo And Juliet has been completed, adding Homeland star Damian Lewis as Lord Capulet. This comes after news that Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit will play his daughter, Juliet, while Douglas Booth from the BBC adaptation of Great Expectations will play Romeo.
Rounding out the Capulet family will be Natascha McElhone as Lady Capulet, while Tomas Arana and Laura Morante will play Booth’s parents, Lord and Lady Montague. Other members of the cast include Stellan Skarsgard as Prince of Verona, Christian Cooke as Mercutio, Ed Westwick as Tybalt, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Benvolio, Paul Giamatti as Friar Laurence, Lesley Manville as The Nurse and Leon Vitali as The Apothecary. Julian Fellowes, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Gosford Park, has written the adaptation of the Shakespearian classic, with Carlo Carlei as director.
"Homeland" star Damian Lewis has been cast as Lord Capulet in "Downton Abbey" writer Julian Fellowes' adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet," which began filming in Italy late last month with youngsters Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Ed Westwick and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
And Lewis isn't the only big name on the bill; the list of newly-cast leads reads like a longer list of Hollywood who's who. Joining are Natasha McElhone (Lady Capulet), Stellan Skarsgard (Prince of Verona), Paul Giamatti (Friar Laurence), Tomas Arana (Lord Montague), Laura Morante (Lady Montague), Lesley Manville (The Nurse), Christian Cooke (Mercutio) and Leon Vitali (Apothecary).
While Fellowes realizes that his idea to adapt the Shakespeare classic may not be an original one, he's excited to do a more traditional rendering of the work.
Yesterday we reported that Kate Hudson was lending her voice alongside Bill Hader in DreamWorks Animation’s Me and My Shadow. Now the actress has signed on for another role in a different movie. Variety has word that Hudson has just been cast in the lead role in Joe Lynch’s Everly.
Oscar-winning scribe and "Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes says this version will be a "romantic, traditional rendition of the piece" set in the medieval time of the play - something we really haven't seen since Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 version.
Fellowes has tightened the play to fit into a standard two-hour feature running time, but reportedly did very little re-writing. Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth play the doomed lovers.
Also joining the cast are Stellan Skarsgard (Prince of Verona), Lesley Manville (The Nurse), Christian Cooke (Mercutio), Tomas Arana (Lord Montague), Laura Morante (Lady Montague) and Leon Vitali (Apothecary).
They join the already announced Paul Giamatti (Friar Laurence), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Benvolio) and Ed Westwick (Tybalt). Filming began ten days ago in Rome, Mantua and Siena in Italy.
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