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Cannes: ‘One Week and a Day’ Acquired by Oscilloscope for U.S.

The dramedy is the feature directorial debut for Israeli-American writer-director Asaph Polonsky.Oscilloscope Laboratories has nabbed the dramedy One Week and a Day.One Week and A Day was the debut feature for Israeli-American writer-director Asaph Polonsky. It takes place the day after a grieving mother and father have sat shiva for a week following the death of their son, and as they try to re-enter their daily routines.Saar Yogev and Naomi Levari produced the film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival."One Week and a Day is that unassuming gem, the black sheep of the Cannes lineup, that just sticks with you and makes you realize that a film doesn’t need to be three hours long and can also feel comfortable making you laugh, and yet it still fits into the slate of the most prestigious film festival in the world," said Oscilloscope's Dan Berger.The Hollywood Reporter's Cannes review described the film as "confidently directed and beautifully played."New Europe Film Sales negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.Oscilloscope has been active at Cannes, having acquired the U.S. rights to Sophia Takal’s Always Shine and worldwide rights to the Anna Biller’s The Love Witch.

Cannes: U.K. Industry Reacts to Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or Win

BBC Films head Christine Langan calls it a "stunning tribute to one of our most humane filmmakers."A year after the British film industry bemoaned its absence from the Cannes film festival's official selection, one of its most celebrated directors scooped the festival's top prize. Again.Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake may not have been the critics' favorite (although it did receive a 15-minute standing ovation), but was awarded the Palme d'Or – his second – on Sunday night to rapturous applause from across the English Channel.Christine Langan, head of BBC Films, described the award as a "stunning tribute to one of our most humane filmmakers.""We're honored at BBC Films to have backed Ken and heartily congratulate him and his team on this most powerful and moving piece," she added. "I, Daniel Blake is a lesson in cinema connecting with modern life and ordinary people and we're thrilled that it's been recognized in this way."But it wasn't just Loach who caused U.K. cheers, with Andrea Arnold's American Honey, backed by the BFI and Film4, winning the jury prize, the third time the director has come away with the award."American Honey is a passionate and brilliant odyssey that takes us into the hearts and minds of the young and disenfranchised in modern America," said Film4's head of creative, Rose Garnett. "Film4 is proud to have supported the project from its inception. Andrea is one of the great directors working today – and American Honey is a landmark film that places British talent at the center of the world cinema stage."Added Ben Roberts, director of the BFI Film Fund: "What a moment for British cinema, and for two important and humane films with so much to say. Bravo to Ken and to Andrea and their collaborators - including the unstoppable Robbie Ryan who shot both films. This is cinema from the heart, and we're grateful that we have an industry that can support such personal, powerful filmmaking."At the post-win press conference, Loach, who turns 80 next month, admitted that he was "quietly stunned" to have won the Cannes award with "the same little gang" from 2006's The Wind that Shakes the Barley, which earned him his first Palme d'Or.As for Loach's celebrations, it's unlikely the I, Daniel Blake team descended on Cannes' high-end bars and clubs with their prize. in 2006, the filmmaker chose to reward himself after the closing ceremony with a cup of tea.

Box Office: ‘Angry Birds’ Hatches $39M Debut; ‘Neighbors 2’ Nabs $21.8M

Warner Bros.' 'Nice Guys' lands No. 4 with a soft $11.3M debut.Angry Birds has officially flown the coop from popular mobile game to full-fledged movie stardom. Sony and Rovio's animated film took to the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office with a strong debut of $39 million, while this crowded weekend's other new releases -- comedy sequel Neighbors 2 and detective caper The Nice Guys -- struggled to take flight.Angry Birds, directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, beat expectations to take the top slot over Disney and Marvel's Captain America: Civil War, which is now in its third week in theaters. Civil War earned another $33.1 million (54 percent drop from its third weekend) to bring its domestic total to a huge $347.4 million. Worldwide, the superhero film passed the $1 billion milestone Friday, to become Disney’s 10th billion-dollar club member, and the 19th highest grossing movie of all-time to date globally.Worldwide, Angry Birds (which features the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride and Maya Rudolph), earned an estimated $94 million this weekend, bringing its total to $150 million. It flew to No. 1 in 48 markets around the world. Plus, with summer kicking off and children out of school, the 3D animated film will likely have strong multiples in the weeks to come as families head to theaters."We are thrilled that with our partners Rovio, Sony Pictures and Imageworks, we were able to transform a worldwide video game brand into a global movie brand,” says Sony's marketing chief Josh Greenstein. “We had a fantastic date for a family film, and the marketing really tried to keep it relevant to whatever was happening at the time."The marketing campaign started nine months ago, with Sony creating custom content for social media surrounding major holidays and other events in the zeitgeist. The campaign, one of the largest in the studio’s history, included tie-ins with more than 100 partners, including McDonald’s and Panasonic.Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Universal's follow-up to its 2014 comedy hit, took in an estimated $21.8 million for its domestic debut. That's a 56 percent drop from the first film's tally of $49 million when it hit theaters in 2014. Going into the crowded weekend, tracking had the film (which earned a B CinemaScore) landing higher, in the low $30 million-range.The sequel, directed by Nicholas Stoller, sees the return of Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron. New castmembers include Chloe Grace Moretz and Kiersey Clemons, who play the sorority girls living next door.The comedy also expanded into 10 more foreign markets this weekend for a total 45 territories in release. The international weekend total is an estimated $6 million for an international gross of $30 million and a worldwide tally of $51.8 million.The Nice Guys, which stars Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, also had a soft opening (although slightly ahead of initial tracking) to earn an estimated $11.3 million from 2,865 theaters, enough for a No. 4 finish. Warner Bros. acquired the film as a pick-up, shielding the studio slightly, but it's still a disappointing start for a film with name stars and favorable reviews.The film follows a private detective and an enforcer who team up to find a missing woman. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, the Shane Black-helmed project had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, and is produced by Joel Silver.Disney landed with two films in the top 5 as its massive hit live-action/CGI film The Jungle Book continues to do strong business in its sixth week out.It added another $11 million to its total, bringing its domestic cume to $327.5 million.

Cannes: Adam Driver Confesses to Crying at ‘The Lego Movie’ as Stars Play "First Best Last Worst"

Cannes: Adam Driver Confesses to Crying at 'The Lego Movie' as Stars Play "First Best Last Worst" 3:25 PM PDT 5/20/2016 by Annie Howard Annie HowardFACEBOOK EMAIL ME YOUTUBE PRINT THR gets stars at the Cannes Film Festival to reveal the last movie that made them cry, the first film they fell in love with and more.Stars from the Cannes Film Festival — including Justin Timberlake, Chloe Sevigny and Adam Driver — open up to reveal the last movies that made them cry, the first movies they ever loved, their worst travel experiences and the last song they had stuck in their head.

‘Dog Eat Dog’: Cannes Review

Paul Schrader's latest stars Nicolas Cage as an ex-con chasing one last big payday.It’s not easy to come up with a new way to tell a modern crime story, but Paul Schrader has managed to freshen up a familiar format in Dog Eat Dog, an unhinged, jocular, devil-may-care yarn about three two-time losers who hope one big final payday will be their ticket to easy street. Even in an era defined by the blackly comic criminality of Tarantino and Breaking Bad, there’s some nasty behavior here that will put off many viewers, especially women. The film positively swills in its disreputability and all-around low-budgetness; sporting a healthy disregard for respectability, Schrader has just gone for it here with a highly focused recklessness that he turns to his creative advantage. A game cast, led by Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe, helps the director maintain a tricky tonal balancing act that neatly blends farce and seriousness, an approach that will appeal at least to genre specialists, even if a wider audience will likely prove elusive.Based on a 1995 novel by the well-known convict and writer Edward Bunker, author of Straight Time, the clearly low-budget venture opens with a scene so off-putting that some viewers will reject the film from the outset: A drug-addled dim-wit, aptly named Mad Dog (Dafoe), loses it and senselessly murders his hospitable ex-girlfriend and her teenage daughter. SchraderWhen Mad Dog shortly thereafter has a strip club rendezvous with two other ex-cons, Troy (Cage) and Diesel (Christopher Matthew Cook), it’s initially difficult to transition from one’s disgust at his vicious act to the raucous guy humor Schrader starts mining when the guys peel off with hookers. But before long, a sufficient sense of character credibility gains an equal footing with the wacky, go-for-broke approach forged by Schrader and screenwriter Matthew Wilder; these guys all have two strikes hovering over them, they know no other life but crime and need to figure out how they’re going to spend the rest of their years, either permanently behind bars or with enough of a cushion that they’ll never have to work again.After they make a reasonable score pulling off one small job, the latter possibility swings into view with a wacky scheme proposed by a local Cleveland mobster known as The Greek (Schrader, whose gravely voice makes some of his dialogue hard to decipher): They’ll have all the money they need if they kidnap the baby of an upstart gangster who’s betraying the big boss. Despite initial misgivings—the baby-napping didn’t work out too well in the Lindbergh case—the guys decide what the hell, they’ll go for it.But big surprise—things don’t go as planned, whereupon the true, aberrant and inherently lawless natures of all three men assert themselves as facts of life, things that simply cannot be denied, overcome or abolished. Instead of slipping into a grim or, perish the thought, moralistic attitude about this acceptance of reality, Schrader has very dark fun with it, as he has his characters remain true to their long-since established character traits of genuine malignance and carries the approach to its natural conclusion in each case.Along the way, this embrace of the characters’ deeply flawed—nay, fundamentally negative—personalities liberates the film to become good, if peculiar, fun. The three guys continue to do awful and stupid things, including killing more innocent people, and the film isn’t interested in apologizing or finding excuses for them: Bad is bad. But its eventual honesty about their true natures liberates the film to do anything it wants with them, from finding them stupid and appalling to also understanding them. The film walks a tricky and narrow tightrope and wobbles a few times, but maintains its footing, once it finds it, to the end.It’s a rare film in which a character played by Nicolas Cage emerges as the sanest of the bunch, but so it is here, and the long-in-the-wilderness actor actually comes off here as accomplished and even, believe it or not, appealing in a way; his Troy may ultimately find himself over his head but his attempt to take charge of a situation and momentarily rise above his true nature inspires a peculiar sort of admiration.By contrast, Dafoe’s low IQ loose cannon is a creation both scary and fresh—a scene in which Mad Dog earnestly innumerates his character flaws is a gem, a definite entry on the actor’s lifetime achievement highlight reel. The little-known, physically prepossessing Cook is downright frightening as a criminal one has no doubt is unreformable.A rare film to have been shot in Cleveland, Dog Eat Dog definitely looks like it was shot on the cheap but puts what it needs to up on the screen with vigor and wit.Venue: Cannes Film Festival (Directors’ Fortnight)Production: Blue Budgie Ded Productions, Mark Earl Burman ProductionsCast: Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Matthew Cook, Louisa Krause, Omar Dorsey, Melissa Bolona, Rey Gallegos, Chelcie Melton, Paul SchraderDirector: Paul SchraderScreenwriter: Matthew Wilder, based on the book by Edward BunkerProducers: Mark Earl Burman, Brian Beckmann, Gary Hamilton, David HillaryExecutive producers: Jeremy Rosen, Jeff Caperton, Barney Burman, Ray Mansfield, Shaun Redick, Donald Rivers, Michael McClung, Tim PeternalDirector of photography: Alexander DynanProduction designer: Grace YunCostume designer: Olga MillEditor: Benjamin Rodriguez Jr.Music: We Are Dark AngelsCasting: Kim Coleman93 minutes

Magnolia Chief on Boss Mark Cuban, Harvey Weinstein’s Wrath and His Hunt for Fringe Films at Cannes

Eamonn Bowles, president of one of the last indie distribution houses dedicated to art house fare, opens up about why controversy pays off and how Lars von Trier got a bum rap at the festival.Don't expect Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles to be striking any multimillion-dollar deals at the Cannes Film Festival. Instead, Bowles — who runs one of the last indie distribution houses dedicated to art house fare — will be on the hunt for documentaries (controversial or otherwise) and foreign-language films others might overlook.Two years ago, Magnolia bought the Swedish dramedy Force Majeure out of Cannes, which went on to earn a tidy $1.4 million at the U.S. box office and handily more on VOD. More recently, it partnered with HBO Films to acquire the 2016 Sundance doc Tickled, a bizarre Catfish-like tale about people who sign up for "competitive endurance tickling" that opens June 18 in theaters, as well as the anti-Scientology doc My Scientology Movie, a British film backed by the BBC.Magnolia is owned by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner's 2929 Entertainment, which also operates Landmark Theatres, making Magnolia a pioneer in premiering films early on VOD (presently, the Norwegian disaster movie The Wave is doing big business). The company, celebrating its 15th anniversary in an environment where so many indies have come and gone, guarantees a return on investment through sheer volume: With a lean staff of 35, Magnolia often releases more than 30 films a year. Its list of docs is impressive: Blackfish, Man on Wire, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room among them. In addition to Man on Wire, six other Magnolia docs scored Oscar noms, including Jesus Camp, Food Inc., No End in Sight and Capturing the Friedmans. Its top-grossing films at the box office are the features Women Thou Art Loosed ($6.9 million) and The World's Fastest Indian ($5.1 million).Bowles, 60, moved from Belfast to America when he was 1 and is the married father of three grown daughters. He long has moonlighted as a musician and has played in the same punk band for 18 years. Bowles recently sat down with THR to talk about why controversy pays off, how Lars von Trier got a bum rap at Cannes and why he bolted from his job at Miramax after encountering the wrath of Harvey Weinstein.What is the biggest challenge facing a smaller indie distributor like Magnolia?The splintering of the formerly dedicated independent film audience. A lot of it has to do with television programming, including on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. They are coming up with the sort of complex, interesting programming that used to be the domain of independent film. There used to be an identifiable base group that went to the theater based on good reviews and a particular director.What adjectives would you use to describe Hollywood studio movies?Pandering. Obvious. Non-complex.Has it gotten worse?I think the LCD [lowest common denominator] factor has been ramped up in Hollywood the past few years. They're conforming to their audiences. If exquisitely intellectual films about difficult subject matters did a lot of money, Hollywood would be all over it. The studios are making movies for a global audience. Things are reduced to a sort of universal wow factor.What's the maximum you will spend?It's really just what we feel comfortable with. I would say a mean average for our films is around half a million dollars, but we will spend zero to $1.5 million to $2 million.Is Cannes still an important acquisitions market?Yes. We picked up Force Majeure and The Host out of Cannes that were fantastic for us. Everybody talks about the failures of Cannes, Sundance and Toronto, but people don't look at the smaller, around-the-edges movies. We picked up Best of Enemies [about the 1968 televised debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr.] and Tangerine out of Sundance in 2015, plus Wolfpack and Blackfish.You bought Blackfish in partnership with CNN. Did you have any idea the impact it would have?Honestly, we were having difficulty getting publicity before we opened the film. But then right before the film opened, SeaWorld sent something around to all the critics about what was wrong and inaccurate. It was such a boneheaded document. All of the critics went, "What?" We then got this huge piece in The New York Times about how SeaWorld is trying to suppress this film. The movie went gangbusters from there.Why do you zero in on controversial material?You have to get noticed, but you must have the right kind of controversy. The flip side is that in the past couple of years, controversy has not been selling as big. We have 24-hour advocacy on all of our news channels, with people yelling at each other. In this political climate, I think people are more and more wanting to go to theaters to escape. They want comfort food. They don't want to go and watch unpleasant subject matter, like Capturing the Friedmans, which deals with child abuse. One of the good things about VOD is that it's much more palatable for people to watch a film like that at home.Magnolia already had bought von Trier's Melancholia before the infamous 2011 news conference at Cannes where he joked that he was a Nazi. Were you in the audience?No, I was not. I was actually recuperating in a French hospital from slicing my hand open the night before. And I get on the plane, and I'm still woozy from all the painkillers, and my BlackBerry just starts blowing up. I didn't personally talk to Lars. He pretty much keeps to his own counsel.Organizers banned him for life from the festival. Did he get a bum rap?Yes. No question about it. He was like the mischievous kid in the back of the class.Has Magnolia received threats over the years?Yes. It was scary when we did Brian De Palma's Redacted [the 2007 war film was a fictional dramatization of the 2006 Mahmudiyah killings in Iraq, when U.S. Army soldiers raped an Iraqi girl and killed her and her family]. There were people online in conservative chat rooms, including extreme-gun chat rooms, who gave out De Palma's and Magnolia's addresses, suggesting that maybe someone should give him and us a visit. We thought about getting security at the front door.There's a famous story about how Harvey Weinstein persuaded you to come work at Miramax in the '90s.I was working as head of distribution at Samuel Goldwyn Films in L.A. and went down to the Sarasota Film Festival. We had just released Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet [in 2003], and it did $7 million out of nowhere. I was on a beach with some friends, and Harvey came over in a terry-cloth outfit with a cadre of assistants and yelled: "Which one of you is Eamonn Bowles? That [Wedding Banquet] was textbook. You have to come work for me." About a year later at Sundance, I met him, and he said he was going to offer me a job. I was very much wanting to get back to New York.What did you do at Miramax?They put me in charge of a new company that released Kids (2005) by Larry Clark, which was just about the most controversial film in recent memory because it was about teens having sex. After a few months, I became head of acquisitions at Miramax in New York. The first year I was slightly golden because of Kids. But at some point Harvey got mad at me. I saw him do it to every executive. After a while, you get the full force of his anger. So my enthusiasm about working there wasn't particularly great. I stayed two years total.How often do you talk to Mark Cuban?We communicate almost exclusively by email. He and Todd have been very, very supportive. We get all of our films approved by them, but they do not see them, we just give them the financial details.They talked about putting Magnolia up for sale several years ago. Are those discussions still active?No. I think they just wanted to get a valuation for Magnolia and Landmark in the real world.What was the initial investment in Magnolia?Mark and Todd were two of the original group of five. And we started with something like $1.2 million for the distribution side. About a year and a half later, Mark and Todd bought the Landmark theaters and bought out the other investors in Magnolia. Mark and Todd were very bullish on messing around with theatrical windows. Having a theater chain meant we could do day-and-date releases on VOD and in theaters.What's your daily routine like?It's pretty boring. I don't really travel much. I pretty much sit at my desk, get behind my computer and commune with my co-workers. I live in Port Washington on Long Island and take the train every day into the city.This story first appeared in the May 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Tamera Mowry-Housley on the Differences Between Raising a Boy and Girl: ‘We Are Innately Emotional Beings!’

When Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley welcomed their daughter Ariah Talea last July, the household evened out. But raising both a boy and a girl has proved to be different for the mom of two.

The Real co-host, who is also mom to son Aden, 3, says the stereotypes are real.

“When you raise a boy, they have a lot more energy — they’re very physical — like Aden likes to run around as where Ariah is calm,” Mowry-Housley told PEOPLE at a launch for RAGÚ Homestyle pasta sauces in New York City on Tuesday.

“Ariah is very emotional — when I would sneeze, Aden would just look at me like ‘What’s up?’ I sneeze and make a loud noise and Ariah just starts crying.”

Jason DeCrow/AP

Being a mother is the most fulfilling, challenging, and best job of my life. I have never loved two little beings so much. My life is much more enriched because of you little blessings. Cheers to all the mothers out there holding it down. Including my own. We got this! 😘 #happymothersday

A photo posted by tameramowrytwo (@tameramowrytwo) on May 8, 2016 at 11:04am PDT

Mowry-Housley, 37, says this confirms women are different from men.

“I’m trying to tell my husband, ‘See! This is normal! This is how we are! We are innately emotional beings!’ ” she says. “She’s a lot more easy now, but I know once she gets in the teens, it might be more difficult. Boys are more challenging in the beginning and get easier as they get older and girls are a little bit easier in the beginning, but get more challenging later — when they hit that pre-teen.”

With Ariah’s first birthday coming up, Mowry-Housley says they’re dialing it back compared to the celebration they had for Aden.

“I learned with Aden’s first birthday party, I spent a lot of money and he didn’t remember it, but he remembers more things now so we’re not going to go extravagant on her first birthday,” she says.

They plan to celebrate with both sides of the family and again in New Orleans while attending the Essence Music Festival.

When you turn her way and say hello #suchaham

A photo posted by tameramowrytwo (@tameramowrytwo) on Apr 24, 2016 at 5:07pm PDT

The soon-to-be 1-year-old has been picking up some new skills, says the proud mom.

“When you hold her up, she’s starting to walk so that’s nice and she’s really talking,” she says. “She actually clapped for the first time — that was really cool because as mom for so long you’re teaching them ‘Yay!’ and you hope they’re getting it then all of a sudden it just clicks.”

— Jessica Fecteau

Xavier Dolan says latest at Cannes is his ‘best film’ yet

Xavier Dolan's latest film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday to mixed reviews, but the Quebec filmmaker says it's the best film he's done so far in his career.Juste la fin du monde, featuring actors Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard and Léa Seydoux, is based on a play by Jean-Luc Lagarce about a man who returns home after a long absence, only to tell his family that he is about to die.Xavier Dolan in official competition for Cannes Film Festival Xavier Dolan casts Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel in new film Dolan, speaking at the Cannes press conference, says he is not worried about the reviews."There are some great reviews that have been published," he said."Maybe it takes a little while for the film to come to life and for people to not only watch it, but to listen to it. But to me, this is my best film."'I really wanted to work with him'​"It was an amazing experience," actress Marion Cotillard said of working with Dolan."I loved the film."When she first read the screenplay, Cotillard wasn't sure about the character he wanted her to play.But she signed up to play the role so that she could work with Dolan.Léa Seydoux called Dolan a rare type of a director, one with precision."We love Xavier and we all want to be loved by him," she said."I am so proud of this film."Xavier Dolan, surrounded by the actors of his film, spoke fondly of his latest, calling it his best yet. (Jean-François Bélanger/Radio-Canada)

‘Divines’: Cannes Review

Writer-director Houda Benyamina premiered her first feature at the Directors’ Fortnight.Like a delinquent little sister to Celine Sciamma’s Girlhood, debuting writer-director Houda Benyamina’s Divines tells a similar story about a girl from the French hood and her slow nosedive into a life of crime, but does so in ways that are explosive, erratic and ultimately too dependent on the plot points of a Hollywood thriller. Featuring a fierce breakout performance from Oulaya Amamra as a badass banlieue gal from the wrong side of the tracks, the film dishes out tons of energy and a certain brand of macho feminism where traditional gender roles are all but reversed.Yet despite so much ambition, Benyamina has a hard time maintaining her film's pace and plausibility, especially during a third act that slides too far into genre territory and its accompanying clichés. The result is a work that showcases the distaff director’s raw filmmaking talents but may have to fight its way out of the usual Francophone ghettos.Hailing from one of those places outside Paris where everyone lives in demoralizing concrete towers, drug dealers rule the streets and the cops only show up when someone sets the parking lot on fire, Dounia (Amamra) seems to have few viable options in life.At home – she lives in a sort of shantytown near the projects – her mother (Majdouline Idrissi) is an unhinged alcoholic who sleeps with anyone that will take her. And at school, she can hardly adapt herself to the discipline and hypocrisy that’s required, as witnessed in a tempestuous early scene where she absolutely mortifies one of her teachers.After that happens, Dounia ditches vocational classes and quickly tries to earn the respect of Rebecca (Jisca Kalvanda), a local crime queen-pin who rules their hood like Wesley Snipes in New Jack City, making the men around here either wage or sex slaves while encouraging her dope-slinging sisters with compliments like: “You’ve got clitoris. I like that.”Soon enough, Dounia and her wisecracking bestie, Maimouna (Deborah Lukumuena), are making a pretty penny themselves, the former hiding her stash in the wings of a municipal theater. It’s there that she witnesses, and begins spying on, the rehearsals of Djigui (Kevin Mischel), a break-dance boy with a nasty attitude and a six-pack that could’ve given David Beckham a run for his money ten years ago. Their encounter, plus the burgeoning hostility between Dounia and Rebecca, leads the plot into increasingly aggressive waters as the movies shifts into genre mode for its second half.Benyamina – who directed several shorts and co-founded the banlieue-oriented film association, 1000 Visages – tries to toss everything she can into the mix here (she’s not quite thrown in the kitchen sink, though there are a few Molotov cocktails), in an overstuffed scenario that certainly doesn’t skimp on violence, trash-talking and a very femme-centric depiction of thug life.The latter aspect clearly recalls Girlhood, up to and including a glitzy diva dance sequence – although instead of a Rihanna song we get the Azealia Banks track “212” and its chorus of “I’m a ruin you c--t,” underscoring how much Divines is a cruder, unrulier version of the Sciamma movie (which also premiered in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight).But while Girlhood was more narratively and stylistically contained (sometimes to the point of fetishisation), Divines lashes out in too many directions, working its way toward a denouement that attempts to merge all its themes – friendship, survival, street life, social unrest, brawny male bodies witnessed through the female gaze – into a fireball of a finale that actually includes a real fireball.Like Dounia herself, there’s no denying Benyamina’s desire to break through social and cultural barriers to create something powerful, and by casting the unknown Amamra, she’s found a perfect alter-ego in an actress who can be both exuberant, touching and off-putting at the same time. She’s also landed the right DP in Julien Poupard, whose gritty yet colorful lensing (mixing HD and cellphone footage) captures the rawness of the locations depicted.It’s unfortunate, then, that Divines succumbs to familiar B-level storytelling in its last act, undoing some of the inventiveness that was seen during the opening reels. Benyamina surely has a long career ahead of her and plenty of energy to burn, but she perhaps needs to learn that less is sometimes more and all movies don't have to end with a bang.Production companies: Easy Tiger, France 2 CinemaCast: Oulaya Amamra, Deborah Lukumuena, Jisca Kalvanda, Kevin Mischel, Majdouline IdrissiDirector: Houda BenyaminaScreenwriters: Romain Comingt, Houda Benyamina, Malik RumeauProducer: Marc-Benoit CreancierDirector of photography: Julien PoupardProduction designer: Marion BurgerCostume designer: Alice CambournacEditors: Loic Lallemand, Vincent TriconComposer: DemusmakerCasting director: Pierre-Francois CreancierVenue: Cannes Film Festival (Director’s Fortnight)Sales agent: Films BoutiqueIn French105 minutes

Cannes: Sony Pictures Classics Takes ‘The Red Turtle’

The animated fable debuted in the Un Certain Regard section Wednesday.Sony Pictures Classics has acquired its third film on Cannes, taking North American and Latin American rights to Michael Dudok de Wit's The Red Turtle. The film premiered Wednesday in Un Certain Regard at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.The story centers on a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds, recounting the milestones in the life of a human being.THR's review stated: "If the lack of a busy Hollywood-style storyline may frustrate some viewers, except perhaps for the youngest ones, then they probably don’t get the point. Like The Red Turtle’s shipwrecked protagonist, you have to simply stop fighting the current and go with the flow."The film is produced by Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli in association with Why Not Productions."The Red Turtle takes you on an ultimate journey through life. It sweeps you up in fantasy, poetry, and awesome visual beauty. Artistically and commercially it is a major movie for all ages. It is a privilege to collaborate with Studio Ghibli, Pascal Cauchetaux, and Wild Bunch in bringing The Red Turtle to the American audiences," said a statement from Sony Pictures Classics.The deal was negotiated by Carole Baraton on behalf of Wild Bunch and Sony Pictures Classics.Sony Pictures Classics also already acquired Paul Verhoeven's Elle and Maren Ade's Toni Ermann out of the festival.
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