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New Europe Film Sales Picks Up Poland’s ‘Fools’ (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Jan Naszewski’s Warsaw-based sales outlet New Europe Film Sales has picked up world sales rights for the upcoming drama “Fools,” by Berlinale Silver Bear winner Tomasz Wasilewski (“United States of Love”), produced by Ewa Puszczynska, the producer behind Pawel Pawlikowski’s Oscar-winner “Ida” and nominee “Cold War.”

Leading Polish actors Dorota Kolak and Lukasz Simlat star in a film about the difficult relationship between a mother and son, and how their choices have dramatic consequences.

Puszczynska is producing for her company Extreme Emotions, in co-production with Ada Solomon at Romania’s Hi-Film and Jamila Wenske of Germany’s One Two Films, and in association with Nem Corp. Romanian DoP Oleg Mutu returns after his previous collaboration with Wasilewski on “United States of Love,” which New Europe sold to over 30 territories.

New Europe’s Cannes line-up includes the Critics’ Week selection “A White, White Day,” by Hlynur Palmason, which sold
See full article at Variety »

United States of Love review – liberation is desperation in a sick new world

Four women living in Poland as the Soviet empire falls are oppressed by joyless sex and yearning in Tomasz Wasilewski’s unnervingly sad and icy film

Tomasz Wasilewski brings an icy compositional control to this piercingly sad, strange and unnerving film, about a quartet of lives immersed in toxic obsession and thwarted erotic yearning. It concludes on a stab of what I can only describe as horror and despair. This film is not here to make you feel good. But it has a soap-operatic watchability. Poland in 1990 is the setting, just as the Soviet empire is collapsing. But so far from experiencing a liberation, the characters are only further oppressed by inner desperation, and the title is not entirely ironic. They are in fact “united” by very similar symptoms. There is a kind of eroticised sickness in the air, a compulsive, joyless need for sex. Agata (Julia Kijowska) has a
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

United States of Love | 2016 Berlin Intl. Film Festival Review

Certain Women: Wasilewski Explores Enlightenment and Despair

It was 1990, and the climate was changing. Or so begins Polish director Tomas Wasilewski’s third feature, United States of Love, which chooses to focus on four somewhat related women from the same apartment complex during significant political changes during the dissolution of the Soviet bloc. Accompanying their growing sense of freedom is a nagging element of dissatisfaction as they attempt to pursue fantasies and desires, often resulting in a disquieting mix of euphoria and despair. Arrestingly photographed in flat, sterile palettes with intermittent splotches of vibrant color, theirs is a universe just experiencing the tingle of life following deadening paralysis, with emotions like reawakened limbs still struggling to obtain an originally appointed purpose. Coldly observational, the film is sometimes curiously unsympathetic in its depiction of women experiencing glancing notions of freedom but hopelessly realized they’re still chained to incredibly limiting options.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

[Berlin Review] United States of Love

It’s the dawn of a new era in ’90s Poland. The Wall is no more; ideas, news, and commodities from the West are coming in hard and fast, along with messages from family members working in West Germany, taped-over pornos on VHS. Yet those vague promises of freedom also reveal a disquieting undercurrent and the sense that, whatever the future may bring, there’s a harsh present that still needs to be reckoned with.

This is especially apparent in the isolated town that Tomasz Wasilewski picks as the setting of his austerely accomplished third feature United States of Love — removed from the city and shot grey-on-grey against miles of wintry landscapes, these apartment complexes feel like a world of their own. A world that those seeking change, consciously or otherwise, will also find capable of oppressively folding onto itself.

Perfectly summed up by the local priest (“Lord, I bring to you my narrow borders.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Berlinale ’16: United States Of Love review

United States Of Love review: Tomasz Wasilewski’s film is a revealing, intimate and compelling study of four women struggling.

United States Of Love review by Paul Heath, Berlin Film Festival, 2016. United States Of Love, or Zjednoczone Stany Milosci to give it its Polish title, is one of the last films to premiere at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

The picture is set in 1990, which is immediately obvious from seeing the haircuts and clothes and hearing the Whitney Houston soundtrack. The film tells the story of four very different women who live on the same estate. Obviously taking place shortly after communist rule, Tomasz Wasilewski‘s latest examines these four tortured soles, each of whom are suffering emotional pain. There is Agata (Julia Kijowska), mother of one, who although married, pines for the local vicar, secretly following him and lusting after him. Then there’s Iza (Magdalena Cielecka), a
See full article at The Hollywood News »

New Films From Mia Hansen-Løve, Thomas Vinterberg, Lav Diaz, and More Will Premiere at Berlin 2016

As if new films from the Coens and Jeff Nichols weren’t enough, the 2016 Berlin Film Festival has further expanded their line-up, adding some of our most-anticipated films of the year. Mia Hansen-Løve, following up her incredible, sadly overlooked drama Eden, will premiere the Isabelle Huppert-led Things to Come, while Thomas Vinterberg, Lav Diaz, André Téchiné, and many more will stop by with their new features. Check out the new additions below, followed by some previously announced films, notably John Michael McDonagh‘s War on Everyone.

Competition

Cartas da guerra (Letters from War)

Portugal

By Ivo M. Ferreira (Na Escama do Dragão)

With Miguel Nunes, Margarida Vila-Nova

World premiere

Ejhdeha Vared Mishavad! (A Dragon Arrives!)

Iran

By Mani Haghighi (Modest Reception, Men at Work)

With Amir Jadidi, Homayoun Ghanizadeh, Ehsan Goudarzi, Kiana Tajammol

International premiere

Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea) – documentary

Italy / France

By Gianfranco Rosi (Sacro Gra, El Sicario
See full article at The Film Stage »

Berlin 2016: Vinterberg, Hansen-Løve, Tanović join Competition

  • ScreenDaily
Berlin 2016: Vinterberg, Hansen-Løve, Tanović join Competition
New titles from Thomas Vinterberg, Mia Hansen-Løve, Danis Tanovic, Lav Diaz and Gianfranco Rosi among line-up.Scroll down for full list

Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 11-21) has added nine titles to its Competition line-up, bringing the current total to 14 (the full Competition programme will be announced soon, according to the fest).

The new additions include The Commune, marking the first time Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt, Far From The Madding Crowd) has been in Competition at Berlin since Submarino in 2010. The film centres on a Danish commune in the 1970s and will be released in Denmark this weekend (Jan 14).

French director Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden) has been selected with her drama Things to Come, starring Isabelle Huppert as a woman embarking on a new life after her husband leaves her for another woman. The film will world premiere at Berlin.

Another world premiere will be documentary Fire at Sea, capturing life on
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘McFarland USA’ To Close Santa Barbara Film Festival: Full Lineup

‘McFarland USA’ To Close Santa Barbara Film Festival: Full Lineup
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has unveiled its 2015 line-up which includes films representing 54 countries, 23 world premieres and 53 U.S. premieres. The U.S. premiere of Niki Caro’s McFarland USA will close out the 30th fest. Based on the 1987 true story and starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello, the film follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. The unlikely band of runners overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well.

The festival runs from January 27-February 7.

Below is the list of World and U.S. Premiere films followed by the list of titles by sidebar categories.

World Premieres

A Better You, USA

Directed by Matt Walsh

Cast: Brian Huskey,
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

'McFarland, USA' will close out 30th annual Santa Barbara Film Festival

  • Hitfix
'McFarland, USA' will close out 30th annual Santa Barbara Film Festival
A self-acknowledged "showcase for Academy Award frontrunners," the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is often overlooked for the actual films that earn it festival status. An amalgamation of international discoveries and ’merica’s circuit highlights, the Sbiff curates a week of best-of-the-best to pair with their star-praising. The 2015 edition offers another expansive selection, bookended by two films that aren’t on any radars just yet. Sbiff will open with "Desert Dancer," producer Richard Raymond’s directorial debut. Starring Reece Ritchie and Frieda Pinto, the drama follows a group of friends who wave off the harsh political climate of Iran’s 2009 presidential election in favor of forming a dance team, picking up moves from Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev thanks to the magic of YouTube. The festival will close with "McFarland, USA," starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello. Telling the 1987 true story of a Latino high school’s underdog cross-country team,
See full article at Hitfix »

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