Tag Archives: Festival

29th Tokyo International Film Festival Unveils Full Lineup

The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) held a press conference to announce lineups in the all sections, jury members, and this year’s topics and highlights at Toranomon Hills Forum in Tokyo.

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From left: Daigo MATSUI, Yu AOI, Munetaka AOKI, and Mamoru HOSODA ©2016 TIFF

Yasushi SHIINA, Director General of TIFF & TIFFCOM, made opening remarks and announced that the festival muse for this year is Haru KUROKI, one of the most accomplished actresses in Japan. TIFF’s programing directors then took the stage to introduce the lineup for each section of the 29th edition, as well as to reiterate the prior announcements of the Opening film, Stephen Frears’ Florence Foster Jenkins and the Closing film, Yoshitaka MORI’s Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow.

In the Competition section, 16 films were selected from among 1,502 titles from 98 countries and regions. Representing the two Japanese titles in this main competitive section, director Daigo MATSUI and actress Yu AOI from Japanese Girls Never Die, and actor Munetaka AOKI from Snow Woman were welcomed on the stage and made remarks.

Click here for the Full Competition Lineup.

Acclaimed director Mamoru HOSODA, who is being honored this year with “The World of Mamoru Hosoda” in the Animation Focus section, greeted the audience after the retrospective lineup was announced. He will appear for stage talks during TIFF with such special guests as director Hirokazu KORE-EDA and filmmaker Daisuke “Dice” TSUTSUMI.

This year’s International Competition Jury members were also announced. French director/writer/producer Jean-Jacques BEINEIX will serve as President, working with director Hideyuki HIRAYAMA, actor Valerio MASTANDREA, producer Nicole ROCKLIN, and director Mabel CHEUNG.

During the 10-day celebration, more than 200 films will be screened and there will be unique film-related events every day at the festival venues, including stage appearances, Q&A sessions and symposia featuring celebrated guests from around the world.

The 29th TIFF will take place October 25 to November 3, 2016 at Roppongi Hills, EX Theater Roppongi (Minato City) and other theaters, halls and facilities in Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

(Source:www.tiff-jp.net)

 

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Your Guide to 8 of the Most Exciting Movies at the New York Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Kevin LIncoln and Kyle Buchanan

While it doesn’t have the glitz of Venice, the breadth of Toronto, or the Cannesiness of Cannes, the New York Film Festival is still a heavy-hitting stop in the fall-prestige cycle. In addition to a few major fall releases that have already screened in the United States — including Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, and Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight — the slate includes the U.S. premieres of some big-time movies, as well as two major worldwide debuts. Here are the highlights.

13th
Ava DuVernay’s new documentary is named for the 13th Amendment, which contains the clause that seems to presage mass incarceration in the United States: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” If there’s anyone who can take on a topic as weighty and complex as the prison system in modern America, it’s DuVernay, whose clear-eyed and humanizing approach seems like the ideal fit for a subject this inhumane.

20th Century Women
If you responded to Mills’s heartfelt and funny Beginners, which won Christopher Plummer a well-deserved Oscar, you’re likely to spark to this one, where Annette Bening stars as a witty, fretful single mother who enlists lodger Greta Gerwig and neighbor Elle Fanning to help raise her 15-year-old son. And if you respond to throwback attire, you’re definitely going to spark to every single jumpsuit, vintage tee, and denim jacket worn in this 1979-set film. 

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Besides being an Ang Lee film that’s likely going to be part of the Best Picture race, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is also sure to generate conversation for its technical ambition. Lee shot the movie, which adapts Ben Fountain’s novel about an Iraq War hero who returns home, at 120 frames per second versus the standard 24, with the intent of creating one of the most realistic and hypervisceral depictions of war ever to be shown on a movie screen. Regardless of how Billy Lynn turns out — and hopes are high — the 4K 3-D showing at NYFF should be a notable experience in and of itself.

Elle
A comedy about — wait for it — a woman brazenly overcoming her own rape, director Paul Verhoeven’s first film in French was one of the most talked-about films at Cannes. It’s also one of two acclaimed movies coming out this fall featuring the French actress Isabelle Huppert, whose Things to Come, directed by up-and-comer Mia Hansen-Løve, is also showing at NYFF. While Huppert’s two-pronged Oscar push could be a major awards-season narrative, Elle is worth seeing in its own right: Verhoeven is many things, but he’s never boring.

Jackie
Natalie Portman gives a brave, ballsy performance as Jackie Kennedy in this Pablo Larrain–directed biopic, which shrugs off the stodginess so often endemic to this genre in pursuit of something even bigger than real. Portman’s Jackie is no shrinking violet, though the men around her would love it if she played the dutiful, porcelain-faced wife even after the tragic assassination of her husband. How she, in turn, manipulates the image-crafters around her in one last bid for agency gives Jackie its startling kick.

Paterson
In an industry defined by big, loud, expensive superhero movies, Jim Jarmusch exists as the ultimate outlier. His movies are quiet, cool, and indie to the core, and new one Paterson sounds no different: Adam Driver plays a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey, whose name is also Paterson, and who writes poems, and who hangs out with his wife and dog, and … that’s pretty much it. But that’s enough, and after raves out of Cannes, this should be the kind of film that gives a certain kind of moviegoer hope.

Personal Shopper
Personal Shopper
director Olivier Assayas recently stated, in no uncertain terms, that Kristen Stewart is the best actress of her generation. If this comes as an unusual suggestion to you, then you haven’t been paying close-enough attention, because KStew has, truly, become a must-see performer — including in Assayas’s most recent movie, Clouds of Sils Maria, for which she won a César Award, something no American actress has ever done before. With a strange premise — Stewart’s character is a personal shopper and, also, a medium, meaning there are fancy clothes AND a ghost — and a famously divisive reception at Cannes, this gives the best actress of her generation one of the most anticipated films of the fall.

The Lost City of Z
James Gray’s last film The Immigrant was under-seen and under-heralded, as James Gray films tend to be. But his new one, The Lost City of Z, gives him an unusually sexy topic: The British explorer Percy Fawcett’s search for a city in the Amazon rain forest, based on the book of the same name by the virtuoso New Yorker writer David Grann. Hopefully, it can bring Gray the wide audience he deserves; at the very least, audiences in the know can savor a new film from one of the most thoughtful contemporary American directors.

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(Source: www.vulture.com)

Catch the Spirit! Taos Shortz Film Fest 11th Edition Open for Submissions

Be part of the Taos Shortz Film Fest!

The Taos Shortz Film Fest prides itself on innovative, creative programming and many opportunities for networking…2017 is no exception.

The Taos Shortz Film Fest is looking for films that surpass the normal standard. Exceptional storytelling, films that transport cinemites to an alternative world and culture, creative camera shots and impeccable production. We strive to bring our audience the best of short filmmaking.

  • Documentaries, animations and experimental films are encouraged.
  • Films directed and produced by Native Americans are encouraged.
  • One shot films are encouraged.
  • Films with a TRT of between 3 and 15 minutes are ideal.

We invite you to bring your adventure of creativity to the mountains and mesas of Taos, New Mexico. Submit your film now!

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Screening over 80 global short films to a captive and enthusiastic audience.
  • A hands on “Drones in Cinema Workshop” with Aerocus Aerials and other qualified UAV technicians.
  • A Native American shorts program with introduction by Chris Eyer ( director of Smoke Signals).
  • 4:20 mix and meet / filmmakers and public invited.
  • Socials and parties every night with drink specials.

Submit your film today for your chance to win and join Taos Shortz Film Fest! Regular deadline ends Nov 11.

Hope to see you there!

(Source:www.filmfestivallife.com)

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns with his particular brand of justice in the highly anticipated sequel JACK REACHER:  NEVER GO BACK.  When Army Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), who heads Reacher’s old investigative unit, is arrested for Treason, Reacher will stop at nothing to prove her innocence and to uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy involving soldiers who are being killed. Based upon JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK, author Lee Child’s 18th novel in the best-selling Jack Reacher series, that has seen 100 million books sold worldwide.

 

 

Paramount Pictures and Skydance Present

A Tom Cruise Production  An Edward Zwick Film

 “Jack Reacher:  Never Go Back”

Executive Producers Paula Wagner Herb Gains David Ellison Dana Goldberg

Produced by Tom Cruise, p.g.a. Don Granger, p.g.a. Christopher McQuarrie

Based on the book “Never Go Back” by Lee Child

Screenplay by Richard Wenk and Edward Zwick & Marshall Hershkovitz

Directed by Edward Zwick

 5271bf98-e242-4e1a-9ff1-0f0e82c44afd1

 Cast: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh, Patrick Heusinger, Holt McCallany, Robert Knepper

Scheduled Release: October 21, 2016

 

(Source: Paramount Studios press materials courtesy of Casey Spiegel)

How Arab cinema is making a name for itself at the world’s biggest film festivals

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Kaleem Aftab

Arab film has become “more political and courageous” since the Arab Spring

The biggest growth area in cinema seems to be film festivals catering for Arab film. Just over a decade ago, Arab cinema was the runt of the world. Outside of Egypt, there were barely any films made, and those made in Egypt catered for the massive domestic market.

Now films from Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar are commonplace at the world’s biggest film festivals and with distributors hesitant to release foreign language films, an explosion of festivals has taken place, often providing the only opportunity for audiences to see some of the best award winning films of our times.

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Baya Medhaffar as Farah in Leila Bouzid’s French-Tunisian drama As I Open My Eyes,
which picked up the BNL People’s Choice Award at the Venice International Film Festival.

 

This week, the third Safar film festival takes place in London, and on the horizon is the Aan Korb BBC Arabic Film Festival. Across the globe, some of the main festivals include the Arab Film Festival taking place in America in October and in April is the Middle East Now Festival.

Earlier this year, the Directors Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival opened with Mohammad Diab’s Clash. Set in the aftermath of the ousting of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in June 2013, it will play in competition at the London Film Festival in October. The film sees protestors of all political hues arrested and thrown into the back of a police van, where most of the action takes place. The film explores the societal and political implications of the overthrow on the populace.

“The first step of every civil war is dehumanising people,” director Diab says. “The first step of solving that is humanising people. This is what the film is trying to do.”

And with Islamic fundamentalism, the Syrian refugee crisis and the fall out from wars in the Middle East continually dominating the news, audiences are turning to movies to find out more, and to hear an alternative version of events.

Those venturing out to see these new Arab films will find tales that are far from the social and political melodramas that the Arab states used to back – films that were designed to impart a positive social message. Now the movies are far more radical. “I think that since the Arab Spring and maybe a year or two before there has been a shift,” says Safar Film Festival curator Rasha Salti. “The films have become more political and courageous.”

Salti says of the shift, “It’s a result of the Arab Spring and also the burden of addressing the every day by making films with a didactic message has gone. I think that’s because in part social media allows you to be didactic. If you witness sexual harassment in Cairo then everybody can film it and put it on social media immediately and that has become a medium to show it. Filmmakers no longer feel that they have to make a film about that, as being the only place for that voice to be heard.”

This is also helped by the ability to find funds to make films that are not from the government. “There is less state help for films, thank God,” says Salti. “Because that comes with strings attached.”

Another reason for the plethora of film festivals is that Arab films do not get regular distribution. The market for foreign films has collapsed around the world. This month in the UK, Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta became the first subtitled film since the Raid in 2014 to break £1 million. With distributors not wanting to take a risk, films from the Arab world, as well as those from Africa and southern Europe have found themselves increasingly marginalised. The only place to see them on the big screen is at film festivals.

Those that go to see the films at SAFAR will be in for a surprise by the range of genres and the quality. As I Open My Eyes, by Leila Bouzid is a film about a Tunisian female rock singer, trying to make sense of her life, in the summer before the start of the Arab Spring. It’s a film with energy, verve and great music that recently won Best Film at the East End Film Festival.

Sélim Mourad’s This Little Father Obsession  is a hybrid picture that blends fact and fiction, reminiscent of Italian realism. Salti enthused about Let them Come, a film that deals with the so-called ‘Years of terrorism’ in Algeria in the early 1990s. At the London Film Festival, there will be the world premiere of Emirati filmmaker Ali Mostafa’s dystopian sci-fi thriller The Worthy and the UK premiere of the raucous Saudi comedy Barakah Meets Barakah starring Internet sensation Hisham Fageeh.

What is also noteworthy about Arab cinema is the number of female filmmakers. At the forthcoming Arab Film Festival of America, 40 per cent of the 59 films that will be presented are made by female filmmakers. There are films from Mai Masri,  Heidi Salman and Nadine Salib. On the horizon, exciting British Arab filmmaker Zeina Durra is working on her second film. One of the most anticipated films of 2017 is Marjoun and the Headscarf by the phenomenal Susan Youssef.

Yet the picture is not without dark clouds. Salti points out that as the world has moved to embraced Arabic film, the Arab world has started to be skeptical of the latest wave of filmmakers, especially those offering a critical eye on Arab dictatorships, or showing sex and prostitutes, as does Morocco’s Much Loved.

The biggest growth area in cinema seems to be film festivals catering for Arab film. Just over a decade ago, Arab cinema was the runt of the world. Outside of Egypt, there were barely any films made, and those made in Egypt catered for the massive domestic market.

Now films from Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar are commonplace at the world’s biggest film festivals and with distributors hesitant to release foreign language films, an explosion of festivals has taken place, often providing the only opportunity for audiences to see some of the best award winning films of our times.

This week, the third Safar film festival takes place in London, and on the horizon is the Aan Korb BBC Arabic Film Festival. Across the globe, some of the main festivals include the Arab Film Festival taking place in America in October and in April is the Middle East Now Festival.

Earlier this year, the Directors Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival opened with Mohammad Diab’s Clash. Set in the aftermath of the ousting of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in June 2013, it will play in competition at the London Film Festival in October. The film sees protestors of all political hues arrested and thrown into the back of a police van, where most of the action takes place. The film explores the societal and political implications of the overthrow on the populace.

“The first step of every civil war is dehumanising people,” director Diab says. “The first step of solving that is humanising people. This is what the film is trying to do.”

And with Islamic fundamentalism, the Syrian refugee crisis and the fall out from wars in the Middle East continually dominating the news, audiences are turning to movies to find out more, and to hear an alternative version of events.

Those venturing out to see these new Arab films will find tales that are far from the social and political melodramas that the Arab states used to back – films that were designed to impart a positive social message. Now the movies are far more radical. “I think that since the Arab Spring and maybe a year or two before there has been a shift,” says Safar Film Festival curator Rasha Salti. “The films have become more political and courageous.”

Salti says of the shift, “It’s a result of the Arab Spring and also the burden of addressing the every day by making films with a didactic message has gone. I think that’s because in part social media allows you to be didactic. If you witness sexual harassment in Cairo then everybody can film it and put it on social media immediately and that has become a medium to show it. Filmmakers no longer feel that they have to make a film about that, as being the only place for that voice to be heard.”

This is also helped by the ability to find funds to make films that are not from the government. “There is less state help for films, thank God,” says Salti. “Because that comes with strings attached.”

Another reason for the plethora of film festivals is that Arab films do not get regular distribution. The market for foreign films has collapsed around the world. This month in the UK, Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta became the first subtitled film since the Raid in 2014 to break £1 million. With distributors not wanting to take a risk, films from the Arab world, as well as those from Africa and southern Europe have found themselves increasingly marginalised. The only place to see them on the big screen is at film festivals.

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 5.27.27 PM.png
Mohamed Khan’s 2015 Before the Summer Crowds 

Those that go to see the films at SAFAR will be in for a surprise by the range of genres and the quality. As I Open My Eyes, by Leila Bouzid is a film about a Tunisian female rock singer, trying to make sense of her life, in the summer before the start of the Arab Spring. It’s a film with energy, verve and great music that recently won Best Film at the East End Film Festival.

Sélim  Mourad’s This Little Father Obsession  is a hybrid picture that blends fact and fiction, reminiscent of Italian realism. Salti enthused about Let them Come, a film that deals with the so-called ‘Years of terrorism’ in Algeria in the early 1990s. At the London Film Festival, there will be the world premiere of Emirati filmmaker Ali Mostafa’s dystopian sci-fi thriller The Worthy and the UK premiere of the raucous Saudi comedy Barakah Meets Barakah starring Internet sensation Hisham Fageeh.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-5-29-44-pm
Salem Brahimi’s 2015 film, Let The Come

What is also noteworthy about Arab cinema is the number of female filmmakers. At the forthcoming Arab Film Festival of America, 40 per cent of the 59 films that will be presented are made by female filmmakers. There are films from Mai Masri,  Heidi Salman and Nadine Salib. On the horizon, exciting British Arab filmmaker Zeina Durra is working on her second film. One of the most anticipated films of 2017 is Marjoun and the Headscarf by the phenomenal Susan Youssef.

Yet the picture is not without dark clouds. Salti points out that as the world has moved to embraced Arabic film, the Arab world has started to be skeptical of the latest wave of filmmakers, especially those offering a critical eye on Arab dictatorships, or showing sex and prostitutes, as does Morocco’s Much Loved.

“In the Arab world there are less film festivals than 10 years ago,” recognises Salti. “This is partly because film festivals are expensive to host, but also because they also require a modicum of freedom and in some countries the state of policing expression and exhibition is worse than before the Arab Spring.”

London Film Festival 5-16 October, Arab Film Festival (venues in California) Oct 7-16

(Source: www.independent.co.uk)

Tokyo film festival lineup to include 12 Indonesian films

Twelve Indonesian films will be screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) slated to run from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3.

Athirah, a film inspired by Vice President Jusuf Kalla’s mother and directed by Riri Riza, is set to be featured in the Crosscut Asia section alongside 10 other Indonesian movies. This particular section is dedicated to Asian films with a focus on a country, a director, an actor or a certain theme. For this year, the TIFF has decided to feature movies from Indonesia dubbed Colorful Indonesia.

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Athirah,  a film inspired by Vice President Jusuf Kalla’s mother and directed by Riri Riza, is set to be featured in the Crosscut Asia section of the Tokyo International Film Festival alongside 10 other Indonesian movies. (Photo credit: Shuttercock/-)

Athirah, a film inspired by Vice President Jusuf Kalla’s mother directed by Riri Riza, is set to be featured in the Crosscut Asia section of the Tokyo International Film Festival alongside 10 other Indonesian movies. (Shutterstock/-)

In addition to Athirah, other Indonesian movies scheduled in the section are Catatan Dodol Calon Dokter (Stupid Notes of Doctor Candidate) by Ifa Isfansyah that is slated to premiere in Indonesia on Oct. 27, musical film Ini Kisah Tiga Dara (The Story of Three Girls) by Nia Dinata, which is inspired by the 1956 movie Tiga Dara by Usmar Ismail, Filosofi Kopi (Coffee Philosophy) ( 2015 ) by Angga Dwimas Sasongko, Sendiri Diana Sendiri (Lonely Diana Alone) ( 2015 ) by Kamila Andini, Fiksi (Fiction) ( 2013 ) by Mouly Surya, Someone’s Wife in the Boat of Someone’s Husband ( 2013 ) by Edwin, and Lewat Djam Malam (Past the Curfew) ( 1954 ) by Usmar Ismail. It will also screen three films by Teddy Soeriaatmadja, namely About a Woman ( 2014 ), Something in the Way ( 2013 ), and Lovely Man ( 2011 ).

Meanwhile, Salawuku by Pritagita Arianegara, which follows a journey of two people in Seram Island in Maluku, will represent the archipelago in the Asian Future section.

(Source: www.thejakartapost.com)

French director Jean-Jacques Beineix to head jury for 29th Tokyo International Film Festival

More than 200 films will be screened, with 16 taking part in the competition section, at this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) running from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3.

The 29th TIFF will take place at Roppongi Hills in Minato Ward.

Jean-Jacques Beineix, director of “Diva” and the Oscar-nominated “Betty Blue,” is heading the jury, which includes Japanese director Hideyuki Hirayama, Hong Kong director Mabel Cheung, Spotlight producer Nicole Rocklin and Italian actor Valerio Mastandrea.

The 16 films in the competition section were selected from among 1,502 titles from 98 countries and regions.

During the 10-day affair, there will also be unique film-related events at the festival’s venues, including stage appearances, Q&A sessions and symposia featuring celebrated guests.

Among the guests will be Mamoru Hosoda, who is being honored this year with his own section in the Animation Focus category called “The World of Mamoru Hosoda.”

He was also at Monday’s news conference in the Toranomon Hills complex announcing the festival lineup.

(Source: Staff Report www.japantimes.co.jp)

Highlights From Tom Ford’s TIFF Interview About His New Film, “Nocturnal Animals”

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Anjli Patel

Nocturnal Animals, the second feature length film directed by Tom Ford, centers on a man’s cathartic, vengeful healing process in the aftermath of a great love lost. Taking the form of a story-within-a-story, Ford employs precise visuals — a skill mastered in his day job as a fashion designer — to segue from one story to the other.

Set simultaneously in the upper echelons of Los Angeles and barren West Texas, these distinct backdrops symbolize the great divide that Susan, Amy Adams’ art dealer character, perceives between her and Edward, her novelist ex-husband played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Susan’s inability to reconcile her needs and desires is the cause of her unhappiness and the couple’s demise. However, nearly two decades later when she has long since moved on with her life, Susan is forced to come to terms with that relationship when she unexpectedly receives a novel written by Edward and dedicated to her.

The film is emotionally gripping and at times difficult to watch, a departure from the melancholy A Single Man, Ford’s directorial debut, which seven years ago also premiered in North America at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Last week following the second screening of Nocturnal Animals, Ford sat down with Cameron Bailey, the artistic director of TIFF, to discuss the film at length. Below are highlights from their conversation.

Ford on the role of style in his films:

“I think because of my other life [as a fashion designer] people usually gravitate to style. In filmmaking unless [style] serves a purpose and helps tell the story, it’s not important. Substance is for me what’s important.”

Ford on the take home message of the film:

“When you find someone in your life, someone that’s important to you, someone who you connect to, don’t let them go. Hold on.”

Ford on fueling consumption:

“Style really has to serve a character, and so there is a real purpose for Susan’s very pristine, cold life. I think it’s something that our society and our culture constantly tells you, ‘this is going to make you happy; you’ll be happy if you have this, you’ll be happy if you have that’ and in my other life I am one of those people responsible for doing that, but I’m very divided about it. I grew up in New Mexico in a much simpler way. Whenever I can, I escape to my house there, to the desert, to the sky, and I feel much more in touch with the earth, and the planet, and why we’re here. And so it is something that I struggle with.”

Ford on the West Texas narrative in the film:

“I have a couple of lives. I grew up in Texas. I know West Texas very well. I have so many cousins there. I lead a life in Los Angeles, in London, but I also have a ranch in New Mexico. I ride horses, I have cattle, I know that world very well, and what I wanted to do was contrast those two worlds — Susan’s slick, cold world is colored in a way that is very blue-toned, it’s very cold. Yet when we have color in her world, it’s quite sharp and quite garish, whereas the inner novel is green, the colors are different, they’re deeper, they’re richer, and then of course her flashback. I think often when many of us remember the past, it’s very vivid and warm because we have a tendency, at least I do, to remember the past in a nostalgic way.”

Ford on Amy Adams:

“Editing Amy, there is not a bad take, a bad moment. She does so much with her face, she is a spectacular actress. … I would say [Amy is] one of the best actresses working today who can tell — she telegraphs with her face what she’s feeling. And I find Amy’s eyes incredibly soulful. … If you know Amy and look into her eyes, you can’t help but feel something, and I wanted that to really come through in the part of Susan.”

Ford on the art in the opening scene:

“All of the art in the film is real. The original artists let us use their work. I usually don’t like a film about the art world where the art is fake because somehow it doesn’t have the same emotion that real art does. [The art in the opening scene] is the one and only piece of art that I created because I had to imagine myself, ‘okay, I’m an artist, and what is it that I want to say.’ I’ve lived in Europe for the last 27 years, so I decided, ‘alright, I’ll tell a European perspective of where America is today.’

I think America used to be thought of as kind of a country of beautiful, tanned, tits and ass, Farah Fawcett in a little red swimsuit, all teeth and hair, and I think a lot of the world today thinks of America as gluttonous, overfed, aging, decaying in a sense. And that was my original intention, which is why these women are wearing little bits and pieces of Americana. So I wanted to create a sort of absurd, conceptual art because Amy then later says everything is junk, our culture is junk.

However, that completely changed. I shot these women — they were the most beautiful people. They were so free, they were so excited, they were so happy, they were so joyful, and I fell in love with them. I fell in love with everything about them. And I realized after I shot them that in a sense they were a microcosm of what I was trying to say about the world. … They’re so glad to be here, and it’s because they have let go of our perception of what they’re supposed to be, and that is what is trapping Amy’s character Susan — she’s trying so hard to be what she thinks she is supposed to be, and she’s miserable. And these women were so joyful because they’ve let go of that. They’ve let go of this idea of what we’re supposed to be. And so [the art] became something quite different in the film.”

(Source: www.papermag.com)

Photo by Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com

Lipstick Under My Burkha to be screened at 29th Tokyo International Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Suparno Sarkar

The movie Lipstick Under My Burkha will have its World Premiere at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival to be held from Octoer 25 to November 3. Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava and produced by Prakash Jha, the film is set in the crowded lanes of a small town and chronicles the secret lives of four women in search of freedom.

Lipstick Under My Burkha features Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur, among others.

Expressing her excitement about the movie being screened at the Tokyo Film Festival, the director said in a statement: “The landscape of small town India is rapidly changing, and women are finding the courage to think about what they truly want. Their secret dreams and veiled desires – just on the verge of breaking out. It is this point of transition that Lipstick Under My Burkha explores. Though locally rooted, it is a story with universal resonance. And I am delighted to begin the film’s journey at the esteemed Tokyo International Film Festival.”

Meanwhile, Konkona Sen Sharma is also delighted about the event. “It is truly an honour to have our film premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival. I’m particularly excited because it is in a competitive section at such a prestigious festival,” she said.

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A still photo of Ratna Pathak from Lipstick Under My Burkha (Photo courtesy of PR Handout)

 

Ratna Pathak Shah added: “I am thrilled to be a part of this brave film that explores desire in the context of a changing India. And I am delighted that our film will premiere at the Tokyo IFF. It is wonderful news.”

(Source: www.ibtimes.co.in)

FILM REVIEW: La La Land (Chazelle, 2016): USA

Viewed by Larry Gleeson at Venice Film Festival.

Film Director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land comes on the heels of his Oscar nominated screenplay adaptation for 2015’s Whiplash, where a highly intense music teacher molds a young, dedicated student. J.K. Simmons performance as the teacher garnered him an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

Chazelle, an avid music lover, had wanted to do a musical spectacle in the manner of Jacques Demy’s The Young Girls of Rochefort and The Umbrellas of Chambourg  while mixing in a splash of Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen’s Singing in the Rain. Moreover, Chazelle wanted a realism mixed into the story. Having resided in Los Angeles for the last ten years and having had a love affair with the city, Chazelle chose the City of Angels to set his Hollywood success-seeker film.

The film opens without much fanfare in a typical Los Angeles morning traffic jam. A young woman, Mia, played by Emma Stone, in a white Prius, is having an issue with her phone and misses an opportunity to move forward as the traffic jam has freed up somewhat. The young man behind her in a late 1980’s maroon-colored, Buick Riviera convertible, Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, lets her know with a blare of his horn and a not-so-friendly “good morning to you” gesture. Soon traffic slows again. This time, however, as radio are being dialed in, drivers begin exiting their vehicles and break into to an energetic, six-minute song and dance number, “Another Day of Sun,” staged on the 110 freeway overlooking downtown Los Angeles. As the song concludes, the title is flashed across the screen and the film is off and running with a start reminiscent of Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas.

La La Land is more about relationship and the life-changing experience two young lovers gain from each other. Mia is an aspiring actress mired in her real job as a barista juxtaposed against a series of failed acting auditions where she is continually interrupted. Sebastian, on the other hand, is a coarse, die-hard classical jazz pianist who doesn’t believe in compromising his convictions for anything or anyone. As their paths begin to cross Sebastian brushes off Mia as someone who will never understand his plight – until she does. When their paths finally converge, the harsh realities of life begin to set in and the two unknowingly turn to each other in raw emotional exchanges and thereby find the strength each needs to reach the stars.

In a powerful denouement in the city full of optimism and broken dreams, the story concludes with a Mick Jagger and Rolling Stones truism echoed faintly at first only to be finished with an exclamation point:

“You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometime you find

You get what you need!”

And if the story isn’t enough in itself, the catchy musical numbers credited to Chazelle’s long-time friend and co-collaborator, Justin Hurwitz, will keep almost any music aficionado’s attention. If not, then the roving camera movement of cinematographer Linus Sandgren is bound to keep eyes in the scene. And, if that’s not enough, then the supercharged production numbers from choreographer Mandy Moore will keep you riveted as they sync in timing with Sandgren’s camera movement allowing the actors seemingly the ability to levitate. And in vein with Chazelle’s vision and outright homage to the musicals of the 50’s and 60’s, Production Designer David Wasco keeps the screen illuminated with a bright vision of reds, yellows, pinks, pastel greens and sky blues, aided wonderfully by Mary Zophres’ costuming, while the filming locations could very well serve as a Los Angeles pop culture tour.

If there’s only one film you can see this year – make it La La Land! Highest recommendation.