13 items from 2017
The summer movie season may start winding down by early August, but for cinephiles, that’s when the real fun begins. While the fall season festivals — epitomized by the trio of awards season influencers Telluride, Toronto and New York — are a massive platform for major prestige titles at the end of the year, the Locarno Film Festival has the jump on all of them, and provides the most diverse range of cinema you’ll see anywhere in the world.
The 70th edition, announced this week, provides the latest example. No festival embodies the “something for everyone” philosophy better than Locarno, which complements its cinephile-oriented sections with another one exclusively designed for wider audiences. That would be the Piazza Grande, where 16 features screen outdoors for an audience of 8,000 people. But rather than simply showcasing the same summer blockbusters that have dominated the box office, the Piazza features international efforts well suited to pleasing massive crowds, »
- Eric Kohn
Altitude have released the UK trailer for the upcoming Jacques Cousteau biopic The Odyssey, which is being directed by Jérôme Salle (Zulu, Anthony Zimmer) and starring Audrey Tautou (Amelie, The Da Vinci Code), Lambert Wilson (Ernest & Celestine, Of Gods and Men) and César Award winning actor Pierre Niney (Frantz, Yves Saint Laurent). The film is set to open in the UK and Ireland on 18 August 2017.
The film examines the life of ocean-explorer and adventurer Jacques Cousteau, one of the iconic figures of the 1960s. Here’s the official synopsis:
Jacques Cousteau, his wife and his two sons are living in paradise, in a beautiful house overlooking the Mediterranean. But all Cousteau can think of is adventure. Thanks to his invention, an independent aqualung allowing divers to breathe under water, he has discovered a whole new world. Now all he wants to do is explore this world. And he is willing »
- Paul Heath
11 June 2017 1:19 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Wonder Woman — which just completed its second weekend atop the domestic box office — begins on Themyscira, the breathtaking island that Diana calls home and also one of the most challenging aspects of the film's production design.
“We talked about creating a beautiful island, but not being too close to the Greek islands, which is the obvious inspiration,” explains two-time Oscar nominated production designer Aline Bonetto (Amelie, A Very Long Engagement). “We wanted a beautiful, natural environment that the Amazons protect as the environment protects them. It’s lush, green.
“I designed troglodyte architecture for its organic shape,” she continues. “Using »
- Carolyn Giardina
Upon first glance at the title it might seem like some "click-bait" article trying to get read. And perhaps, no matter what you read here, that is how you're going to see it. However, once you finish reading this opinion piece (and remember, this is simply my opinion), you may very well agree that Ridley Scott is no longer the man to handle the Alien franchise. Especially after watching this weekend's less than stellar Alien: Covenant.
When the first Alien movie landed in theaters in 1979, it was groundbreaking. It featured incredible special effects, a plausible look at the space program in the future, and a scene of such amazingly grotesque proportions (the alien exploding out of a crew mate's stomach), it still shocks people to this day. The film was smart, it featured a female kicking ass, and in many ways, the first Alien movie directed by Ridley Scott is still ahead of it's time. »
Five years ago this weekend Tim Burton’s updating of Dark Shadows, the gothic/horror-themed soap opera which ran from 1966 to 1971 on ABC and was a seminal influence on a generation of budding horror fans (including Burton), was released on American movie screens, one weekend after Marvel’s The Avengers was still dictating the imaginations (and the wallets) of moviegoers everywhere. Given Burton’s track record with horror comedies (Beetlejuice being the primary example) and collaborations with Johnny Depp (Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Edward Scissorhands), a surprisingly low number of ticket-buyers seemed ultimately to care—the movie, which cost $150 million to make, and undoubtedly a hefty chunk of change more than that to market, would earn back only slightly more than half of that in the United States, though its final take globally came in at around $235 million. There were a few takers among critics, notably »
- Dennis Cozzalio
With the long-awaited Alien prequel/sequel Covenant very nearly upon us, it’s time to once again dig up one of sci-fi’s longest-running franchises, to finally, and definitively, separate the classic, from the garbage. Few expected a further forty years of movies when Ridley Scott first birthed H.R. Giger’s Xenomorph way back in 1979, let alone the idea that the very last filmmaker to take a stab at the decade-spanning nightmare fuel, would be Scott himself.
Yet here we are, no less than three direct sequels, two spin-offs and now a further two prequels later, with the original creator’s name at the helm once more. Not all are great, some are barely watchable, but among the trash and garbage that the series at some point became, there’s »
- Ben Robins
Recently, Ben Wheatley, the director of the shoot-off thriller Free Fire, described the role of film posters in relation to the ‘whole package’ of cinema (i.e. from the film itself to its marketing strategy) and how this has changed in the digital age. At Creative Review, which showcased ten character posters created by Empire Designs to promote Free Fire, Wheatley said of this part of the package that:
“It’s interesting, over the last few years with the posters, the kind of received wisdom [was] you wanted an integrated campaign which was just one poster and you just hammer home that image. But the net has changed all that. So, certainly with High-Rise and now with Free Fire, there »
- Sinéad McCausland
Paris – Popular French actor-director Alain Chabat (“Houba! On the Trail of the Marsupilami”) is teaming with Gaumont for his next directorial effort, “Santa & Cie,” a $28 million family comedy.
The movie follows the journey of Santa Claus when he is forced to travel to Earth to find a cure for his sick elves a few days before Christmas. He comes across a young Parisian family who help him complete his mission, including delivering all the gifts. »
- Elsa Keslassy
Sundance Now in the U.S. and Rialto Channel in New Zealand pre-bought season three of “The Bureau” from Federation Entertainment, which also signed deals with Russia’s Channel One and Spain’s Movistar Plus for the first two seasons. Movistar Plus also picked up season three, while the U.K.’s Arrow Film nabbed video rights to the first two seasons.
Commissioned by Canal Plus’ creation originale label, the series was produced by Alex Berger and Rochant for The Oligarchs Productions in association with Pascal Breton’s Federation Entertainment. It stars Mathieu Kassovitz (“Amelie,” “Munich”) as a member of a clandestine branch of the French Secret Service who returns to his home base after a six-year mission in Damascus and eventually becomes a double agent working for the CIA. The »
- Elsa Keslassy
The film, which is now in production, has sold to Germany, Austria (Wild Bunch), Switzerland (Pathe), Spain (Filmax), Greece (Seven Group), Portugal (Lusomundo), Russia (Top Film), Israel (New Guys), Middle East (Empire), Latin America (California Filmes), Hungary (Vertigo).
The film, based on Jules Romains’ 1923 satirical play “Knock ou le Triomphe de la médecine,” follows a charming man who travels to a small mountain village in the 1950s, determined to make his fortune as a doctor. He starts diagnosing everyone he sees with an illness, real or imaginary. Because of his charisma, Knock becomes popular and successful in the village, subsequently provoking jealousy from some folks, including a someone reminding him of his shady past.
- Elsa Keslassy
This year's costume design lineup is a mix of three two time nominees (Johnston, previously nominated for Lincoln, Boyle, previously nominated for The Queen, and Zophres, previously nominated for True Grit), one of Oscar's all time favorites (three time winner Atwood), and the new-to-Oscar Madeline Fontaine from France who designed the costumes of Jackie and was previously best known for costuming French pictures like Amelie and Yves Saint Laurent.
Who would you vote for and who do you think might win?
This category doesn't feel entirely easy to predict this year. La La Land will surely win at least a handful of Oscars but will Costume Design be one of them? Zophres does simplicity beautifully but Oscar voters tend to prefer Most to Best. Johnston probably wins the "most beautiful costumes" prize for the very Old Hollywood stylish Allied but she's the only nominee whose film has no support from »
- NATHANIEL R
Leave it to the French to blow up a genre and redefine it whether it’s Luc Besson with the female action sphere with La Femme Nikita or Jean-Pierre Jeunet with the romantic comedy and Amelie. Meet filmmaker Julia Ducournau whose Raw gobbles up the horror genre and digests into something mindblowing. “I don’t consider my movie a horror movie,” asserts Ducournau about her genre-bending, “I wanted to make people uneasy, that’s for sure.” Talk about a high concept: A young… »
There are no puppies, kittens or baby bunnies in “This Beautiful Fantastic.” That said, however, any restraint before the altar of adorableness is abandoned in writer-director Simon Aboud’s sophomore feature. Its heroine is so Amelie-like that she’s clad and coiffed like that pixie queen’s separated-at-birth English Rose twin. This winsome comedy may lack Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s high cinematic style, but it does hit the same general mark — which is to say, a sweet spot for some viewers that might induce sugar shock in others. Those seeking twee will get their fill when Samuel Goldwyn distributes the film Stateside, presumably later this year.
A foundling dumped as a babe in a banana crate — like Moses, but wackier! — on a Hyde Park orphanage stoop, Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay of “Downton Abbey”) grows up “the oddest of the odd,” a misfit whose threadbare social skills and peculiar habits »
- Dennis Harvey
13 items from 2017
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