Tag Archives: Producer

FILM REVIEW: Arrival (Villenueve, 2016):USA

Viewed by Larry Gleeson during the Venice Film Festival.

Canadian Director Denis Villenueve’s (Sicario, Prisoners, Incendies) new science fiction drama, Arrival, is based on Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life.” Alien ships have landed across the globe without explanation communicating only a Sanskrit word for war.

The film opens in a reflective voice-over coupled with powerful sound effects and strong camera work to create a feeling of pandemonium. Supersonic jets blaze across the screen as 12 unidentified flying objects descend from the sky and land across the globe. The aliens attempt to communicate with written words and phrases in a never seen before language.  Dr. Louise Banks, a linguist played by Amy Adams (Man of Steel, American Hustle, The Fighter), is charged with communicating with the alien intelligence. Artist Martine Bertrand designed the aliens written language. The Sanskrit word for war is delivered to Louise at her university teaching office for translation. At first she balks. However, the opportunity to put to use all she has learned in a lifetime of study and academia and the mourning she’s gone through over the loss of her daughter provides her the impetus to join the effort.

Initially, Dr. Banks appears anxious. However, she quickly is brought up to speed by the US military. Captain Marks, played by Mark O’Brien, informs the team on what is known about the alien landings. One of the first translations the group deciphers is “language is weapon.” Soon however, the process is stalled. Intelligence about the alien space ship reveals that their doors open every 18 hours granting an opportunity to board the craft. After dialogue and heated conversation, Dr. Banks is granted clearance to board the craft with the team. With the team in position to board the craft, Villenueve amps up the sound effects and music including some very heaving breathing from Dr. Banks as the team waits, attired in Cybex hazmat suits, for the alien ship to position itself to allow boarding. With the ship’s entry encapsulated in smoke combined with some abstract visuals and the surreal effect of slow motion the team boards the alien vessel.

In the end, Dr. Banks proves she’s up for the task and begins the communication process with the aliens but not without difficulty. An interesting reference is made to the Sapir-Whorf theory that once a person starts to learn a language the person will start to dream and think in it. However, when the aliens begin writing a thought one hand begins the thought while the other hand ends it simultaneously. Louise’s mind has difficulty comprehending this and she begins to experience highly vivid, visual flashbacks of her daughter. She begins to wonder why. Once the team members managed to board the ship and attempted to understand and communicate with the aliens they were enlightened with insight into their own human nature. In the end this appears to help Louise move on with her life finding closure to the cancer that took her daughter’s life.

Seemingly, a large part of the film’s aesthetics is augmented and carried out by sounds. Dave Whitehead created the whirrs and clicks of the alien language while Supervising Sound Editor Sylvain Bellemare created the sounds the ships made when moving. Composer Johann Johannsson created the film’s musical score.

Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Bourne Legacy, American Hustle) plays Ian Donnelly, a physicist who attempts to solve the alien communication through mathematics. And is the sidekick to Adams Louise. Donnelly comes across as highly intelligent, energetic scientist who adds warmth and light to the team’s dynamic. Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniels’ The Butler) plays Colonel Weber, Military Intelligence, who’s responsible for coordinating the communication process. Weber needs Louise and Ian to succeed and it’s his job to see that they do. Weber pushes the two to do more and to get more from the aliens. Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire, Men in Black III) plays CIA Agent Halpern who’s responsible for reporting to the government the team’s actions.

Arrival is a well-constructed film with a stellar cast and talented crew. Notably, Amy Adams is superb as Dr. Louise Banks. The costuming provided by Costume Designer Renee April and the production design provided by Patrice Vermette were excellent as were Carlos Huante’s alien visual effects. In addition, the sound design and musical score brilliantly augmented and sophisticatedly created the atmospheric for the film’s mis-en-scene.  Executive producer and screenwriter Eric Heisserer adapted the short story to screenplay. 21 Laps and Film Nation received production company credits along with producers Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen, Dan Levine and Aaron Ryder. Bradford Young served as Cinematographer capturing delicate moments with sensuality along with the massive “rainy day” science fiction scenes.

Arrival is a must-see story about life and death and the reality between the two. It also speaks volumes on humility within the parameters high stakes, foreign communication . Highly recommended.

(Featured photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema di Venezia)

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Diane Keaton to Receive 45th AFI Life Achievement Award

Legendary actress Diane Keaton will be the recipient of the 45th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film. The award will be presented to Keaton at a Gala Tribute on June 8, 2017, in Los Angeles, CA.

 

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Sir Howard Stringer (Photo credit:pcmag.com)

“Diane Keaton is one of the most beloved leading ladies of American film,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chair, AFI Board of Trustees. “Peerless in her mastery of both comedy and drama, she has won the world’s heart time and again by creating characters of both great strength and vulnerability. Her career as a director and producer is even further evidence of her passion for the art form and her seemingly boundless talents. AFI is proud to present her with its 45th Life Achievement Award.”

Diane Keaton — multifaceted actor, director, producer, author, real estate developer and photographer — can boast more than 60 diverse credits across five decades. Her iconic roles span the cinematic spectrum, from long-suffering mob wife Kay Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s THE GODFATHER (1972) to the “la-di-da” heroine of Woody Allen’s ANNIE HALL (1977) — a role which earned her an Academy Award® for Best Actress and turned her into a national fashion icon. Perhaps best known for her long comedic collaboration with Allen — including PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM (1972), SLEEPER (1973), LOVE AND DEATH (1975), MANHATTAN (1979) and more — she has proved herself equally adept at dramatic roles, with powerhouse performances in films such as LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR (1977), REDS (1981), THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL (1984) and MARVIN’S ROOM (1996). During the 1980s, Keaton turned to directing — from feature narratives and documentaries to music videos and television. A perennial box office favorite, she’s maintained her popular profile with films including BABY BOOM (1987), FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1991) and FATHER OF THE BRIDE II (1995), THE FIRST WIVES CLUB (1996), SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE (2003), MORNING GLORY (2010), THE BIG WEDDING (2013), AND SO IT GOES (2014) and Pixar’s FINDING DORY (2016). She will continue to grace the screen with her unique presence in the upcoming HBO miniseries THE YOUNG POPE.

The AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute special will return for its fifth year with Turner Broadcasting to air on TNT, followed by encore presentations on sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

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(Source: http://www.blog.afi.com)

Isabelle Huppert to be Honored at AFI FEST 2016

AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi will honor acclaimed actress Isabelle Huppert with a Tribute and a Gala screening at the festival. The Tribute will celebrate her storied career and will include a conversation with the actress, followed by a Gala screening of Sony Pictures Classics’ ELLE (directed by Paul Verhoeven) on Sunday, November 13.

In ELLE, Isabelle Huppert plays Michèle, who seems indestructible, bringing the same ruthless attitude to her love life as she does to her business as head of a leading video game company. But her life changes forever after an unknown assailant attacks her in her home. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game — a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.

Among international film’s most seasoned actresses, Isabelle Huppert has countless awards to her credit — with 15 César Award nominations, the most for any actress, and a win for LA CÉRÉMONIE (1995). Her other films include VIOLETTE (1978), STORY OF WOMEN (1988), MADAME BOVARY (1991), THE PIANO TEACHER (2001), I HEART HUCKABEES (2004), WHITE MATERIAL (2009), AMOUR (2012) and THINGS TO COME (2016). She has twice won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, and is an Officer of both the National Order of Merit and the Legion of Honour.

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(Source: http://www.bolg.afi.com)

Mel Gibson’s new Christian film ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ receives 10-minute standing ovation; Movie hits U.S. theaters November 2016

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Jardine Malado

Mel Gibson’s upcoming Christian movie Hacksaw Ridge got a 10-minute standing ovation at its premiere last September and it will be released in theaters next month.

The film is based on the true story of a World War II medic named Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield. Doss refused to fire a single shot in battle because of his religious convictions. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for rescuing as many as 75 soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

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Director and actor Mel Gibson, left, and actor Andrew Garfield attend the photocall for the movie Hacksaw Ridge at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival in Venice, Italy September 4, 2016. (Photo credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)

During the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Gibson was joined by actors Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer and Luke Bracey to greet the dazzled audience.

In an interview with France24, Gibson characterized Hacksaw Ridge as an anti-war movie.

“It is an anti-war movie. I think all war movies are anti-war movies, but we do have to be compassionate to our warriors,” Gibson said. “I hate war, but I love the warrior. And those guys that went to war, I appreciate and honor their sacrifice, because many of them lost much, even when they come home they suffer,” he added.

Gibson expressed his admiration for Doss’ faith in God during an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.

“To go in to a battle zone like that. I think the Japanese called it a steel rain, with the artillery and the lead that was flying around, to go into that armed with only your faith, your faith has to be strong indeed,” he said.

The film’s producer, Bill Mechanic, had been working n on the film for 13 years. Gibson signed up to direct the movie in 2014. Mechanic considered it as Gibson’s greatest film. He previously worked alongside the director on the award-winning film Braveheart.

Last August, Gibson appeared at Pastor Greg Laurie’s SoCal Harvest in Anaheim, California, to promote the film. He also hinted that his next project could possibly be a film about Christ’s resurrection.

Hacksaw Ridge will be released in U.S. theaters on Nov. 4.

(Source: http://www.christiantimes.com)

AFI Celebrates Young Filmmakers at the White House Student Film Festival

October 2, 2016 – Today’s White House Student Film Festival in Washington, DC, marked AFI’s third annual collaboration on the event, which inspires and celebrates young filmmakers from around the nation. AFI welcomed aspiring K–12 filmmakers to the White House to premiere their work for an audience of special guests and film artists from in front of and behind the camera, including Ty Burrell, Alfre Woodard and STRANGER THINGS creators Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer and star Millie Bobby Brown.

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AFI is a founding partner of the festival, which took place this year preceding South by South Lawn, an elaborate outdoor event celebrating the arts to be held on Monday, October 3. As part of AFI’s ongoing mission to educate today’s audiences and tomorrow’s storytellers — a mandate that began when AFI was born in the White House Rose Garden in 1965 — participating filmmakers will continue to learn about the art form after the festival by working closely with AFI Conservatory alumni as mentors.

 

Open to K–12 student filmmakers, storytellers were encouraged to submit their short film based on this year’s festival theme, “The World I Want to Live In.” Thirteen finalist films were screened at the event, followed by a meet-and-greet with festival attendees. In line with this year’s theme of looking toward the future, and the festival’s annual spirit of innovation, Virtual Reality stations were also part of the experience for guests, filmmakers and their families.

Since the White House Student Film Festival inception in 2014, AFI has worked on President Barack Obama’s program as an advisor and producer, reviewing submissions and creating a celebration that includes educational opportunities for the selected young filmmakers. This year, that partnership continued as the White House Student Film Festival highlighted both the Administration’s commitment to public service and AFI’s ongoing mission to nurture the next generation of storytellers.

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Read more about the festival at WhiteHouse.Gov/FilmFest.

(Source: http://www.blog.afi.com)

Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ Delayed Again

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Jack Giroux

Terry Gilliam‘s longtime passion project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has been delayed again. The writer-director was going to start shooting the film (for the second time) next week, but another unexpected curveball has been thrown in this troubled project’s direction. Gilliam called the most recent delay of his fantastical adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ novel “slight.”

What’s preventing Don Quixote from going before cameras this time? Money.

While speaking with Jonathan Ross on the BBC Radio 2 talk show (via Indiewire), Gilliam explained the delay:

“I was supposed to start to be shooting it starting next Monday. It’s been slightly delayed. I had this producer, a Portuguese chap, who claimed he’d get all the money together in time. And a few weeks ago, he proved that he didn’t have the money. So we are still marching forward. It is not dead. I will be dead before the film is.”

Back in March, it was reported Gilliam would begin principal photography on October 4th. The film, which will star Adam Driver and Michael Palin– (Monty Python), was said to have an $18 million budget. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote started to appear genuinely close to happening, but that still sounds like the case, despite the new delay. As Gilliam said, they’re marching forward.

A few months ago, the director’s plan was to have the film finished in time for next year’s Cannes Film Festival. He told reporters at this year’s fest he’s ready to get this movie out of his head and into the world (Source: Indiewire):

“We should be here in Cannes next year with the finished film, and then you can ask me why I made such a mess of it or why I made such a wonderful film. I think it’s going to be great…It’s one of those dream nightmares that never leave you until you finish the thing. I want to get this film out of my life so that I can get on with the rest of my life.”

If this recent delay is only momentary, Gilliam can probably still reach that 2017 Cannes premiere he wants. The last we saw of the filmmaker he was scouting locations for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which is set to co-star Olga Kurylenko, Stellan Skarsgård, and Joana Ribeiro. After 20 years of waiting, Terry Gilliam will, sadly, just have to wait a little bit longer complete The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

(Source: http://www.slashfilm.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

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 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)

Filmmaker from Ferozepur gets slice of glory at Toronto fest with ‘India in a Day’

Posted by Larry Gleeso

By Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar,

A filmmaker from Ferozepur, one of Punjab’s hinterland towns on the border with Pakistan, has brought a slice of glory as video footage submitted by him is part of a feature screened at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.

“The one-and-a-half-hour Google documentary film titled ‘India in a Day’ was made with about 16,000 clips of 370 hours, and some footage submitted by me is part of the final film,” explained Sunil Kataria, a resident of a locality in Ferozepur cantonment area who works in Chandigarh.

“The film tries to capture the essence of India through footage shot on a single day. It is co-produced by filmmakers Ridley Scott and Anurag Kashyap while Richie Mehta directed it. It will be theatrically released too in some main towns on Friday,” he added.

What’s the footage? He shot it last October when he was otherwise working in a news channel at Hyderabad. “I recorded the newsroom culture besides some shots from the life of a common man, within 10 minutes,” said Kataria.

“It’s been a wonderful experience watching the film in an online live-stream special screening on Wednesday before its official release. Also, I had a live discussion with director Mehta with other co-directors.”

Two years ago, Kataria’s 41-second micro-film titled ‘Honesty is the Best Policy’ was screened at the Third International Film Festival of South Asia and the Punjabi International Film Festival in Toronto too.

Kataria says he has recently joined a media firm in the state capital but at his heart he remains equally committed to his passion, filmmaking.

(Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com)

*Featured photo – Sunil Kataria, a resident of a locality in Ferozepur cantonment area who works in Chandigarh. (HT Photo)

 

ANIME NEWS: One-day anime event a feature of the Tokyo film festival this year

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The Boy and the Beast (Photo credit: The Boy and the Beast Film Partners)

The 29th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) will open with the British film “Florence Foster Jenkins” and close with one about shogi titled “Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow.”

Organizers also announced that a one-day special anime event TIFF Ani!! will be offered for anime fans on Halloween on Oct. 31.

The 10-day festival will be held from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3 at the Roppongi Hills complex, EX Theater Roppongi and other venues in the capital.

The TIFF was started in 1985. In recent years, it has shone the spotlight on anime films. Last year, it screened “Garakowa: Restore the World,” “Miss Hokusai,” “Ajin: Demi-Human” and other works, in addition to covering the “Mobile Suit Gundam” robot anime franchise.

Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, who starred in Stephen Frears’ “Florence Foster Jenkins,” will visit Japan for the occasion.

“Satoshi: A Move for Tomorrow” starring Kenichi Matsuyama is about Satoshi Murayama, a shogi Japanese chess master who died at a young age.

In addition to a special evening event at Kabukiza theater, the festival will host the TIFF Ani!! event at the Tokyo International Forum.

Little advance information has been disclosed, but it will focus on anime songs.

This year, the TIFF will also feature Mamoru Hosoda in a special program titled “The World of Mamoru Hosoda.”

Hosoda is a leading anime director whose latest work is “The Boy and the Beast,” which opened in 2015. More details about the program will be unveiled in late September.

Visit the festival’s official website at (http://2016.tiff-jp.net/en/).

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(Source: http://www.asahi.com)