Tag Archives: Sam Mendes

Venice Golden Lion winner “The Woman Who Left” finds distributor

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(Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema/Hazel Orencio)

PanARMENIAN.Net – Despite skepticism that it would ever make it into cinemas, Filipino auteur Lav Diaz’s nearly four-hour-long opus “The Woman Who Left”, which won the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion, is set for theatrical release in Italy by local niche distributor Microcinema, Variety said.

Microcinema has acquired Italian rights to the revenge drama from Berlin-based Films Boutique and plans to distribute it theatrically in coming months, in spite of comments in the press and on social media that the movie’s 228-minute running time made it too hard a sell.

Sam Mendes, who presided over this year’s Venice jury, said during the awards ceremony that one of the jury’s jobs is “to encourage people to come to the cinema and see original films,” while also noting that the jurors in discussions “talked about all movies the same way.”

“Mendes and the jury chose to give the Golden Lion to a film that thinks outside the box,” said Microcinema managing director Roberto Bassano. “And we are also planning to think a bit different.”

Bassano acknowledged that releasing “The Woman Who Left,” which stars Charo Santos-Cancio as a wrongly convicted schoolteacher facing the outside world after 30 years behind bars, would be “a business challenge” both in terms of finding ticket buyers and exhibitors unfazed by the “double screen time” taken up by the movie.

But he said that several art-house exhibitors, and also some Italian multiplexes in metropolitan areas, have already expressed interest. “It’s a slow burner, the kind of film you open small and expect to have legs on a few screens,” Bassano said.

An Italian release of “The Woman Who Left” would mark the first time a movie directed by Diaz made it into Italian cinemas, and also a rare release of one of his films in Europe.

Upcoming Italian releases by Microcinema, which uses a satellite transmission system to beam movies into movie theaters, include Argentinian romcom “No Kids,” directed by Ariel Winograd.

“The Woman Who Left,” shot in black-and-white with long fixed-camera takes, is considered one of Diaz’s more accessible works, with a “restrained run-time by the Filipino director’s standards,” as Variety critic Guy Lodge put it.

Earlier this year, the prolific Diaz won the Berlin Film Festival’s Silver Bear for his eight-hour historical epic, “A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery.” That film was released theatrically in the Philippines by Star Cinema and elsewhere only screened in festivals.

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Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left) director/filmmaker, Lav Diz. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema/Hazel Orencio)

(Source: http://www.panarmenian.net)

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The Stars of the Venice Film Festival visit the Biennale Architettura 2016

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Opening and Closing Master of Ceremonies Sonia Bergamasco (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/La_Biennale di Venezia Cinema)

Film stars and celebrities, who are currently in the Venice Lido for the Venice International Film Festival, have been visiting the Biennale Architettura 2016 (open until November 27th at the Giardini and Arsenale) and expressed great admiration for the display.

Deborah and John Landis have said: “While attending the wonderful Venice Film Festival, we had the good fortune to spend a day at the Biennale Architettura – exciting, inspiring and unmissable.”
Amongst today’s visitors of the Biennale Architettura 2016, one could find Pablo Larraín, director of Jackie, one of the films in competition at Venezia 73. Actress Natalie Portman, who plays the title role in Larraín’s latest work, also visited the Exhibition yesterday morning before speaking at the film’s press conference. On the same day, the Festival’s host Sonia Bergamasco also toured the Exhibition in the Giardini and at the Arsenale.
The Biennale Architettura 2016 also welcomed several jury members, such as the president of Venezia 73, British director Sam Mendes, as well as others: the director and artist Laurie Anderson, actors Gemma Arterton, Nina Hoss, Chiara Mastroianni and Zhao Wei, writer Giancarlo De Cataldo, directors Joshua Oppenheimer, and the winner of the Golden Lion at Venezia 72, Lorenzo Vigas. From the Orizzonti jury, actor Moon So-ri and critic Jim Hoberman also toured the Exhibition.

Philippine revenge drama wins Venice Film Festival’s top prize

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Agnieszka Flak | VENICE

A nearly four-hour long movie about a woman’s thirst for revenge and her feelings of forgiveness after 30 years in jail for a crime she did not commit won the Venice Film Festival’s top prize on Saturday.

Director Lav Diaz has described “Ang Babaeng Humayo” (“The Woman Who Left”) as a testimony to the struggles of the Philippines after centuries of colonial rule.

“This is for my country, for the Filipino people, for our struggle, for the struggle of humanity,” the 57-year-old said as he accepted the Golden Lion award for his black-and-white movie.

 

Diaz, who at the Berlin Film Festival in February had premiered a film that ran over eight hours, said he hoped the latest recognition would create more appreciation for longer movies.

“Cinema is still very young, you can still push it,” he said.

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Director Lav Diaz, center, poses with actress Charo Santos-Concio, left, and actor John lLoyd Cruz, right, as they attend the photo call for the movie Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left) at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival in Venice, Italy, September 9, 2016. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Alesandro Bianchi)
 

Twenty U.S. and international movies featuring top Hollywood talent and auteur directors were in competition at the world’s oldest film festival, in its 73rd outing this year. The event is seen as a launching pad for the industry’s award season.

All the movies that won awards were examples of directors’ “lack of compromise, (their) imagination, original vision, daring, and a kind of pure identity,” said Sam Mendes, known for directing James Bond movies “Skyfall” and “Spectre”, who headed the jury. “It’s taken me out of my comfort zone.”

Mendes said he hoped the awards would help the films get distributed.

The runner-up Grand Jury prize went to Tom Ford’s thriller “Nocturnal Animals”, the second feature by the celebrated fashion designer.

The Best Director award was shared by Russia’s Andrei Konchalovsky for the Holocaust drama “Rai” (“Paradise”) and Mexico’s Amat Escalante for “La Region Salvaje” (“The Untamed”).

Commenting on Escalante’s drama, which opens with a naked woman being pleasured by a tentacled creature, jury member and Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas said the movie affected all the judges emotionally.

“We liked the lack of sentimentalism. We felt he really took risks making the film. It’s a film that pushes the medium forward,” he said.

American Emma Stone took the Best Actress prize for her role in the musical “La La Land” and Argentine actor Oscar Martinez was named Best Actor for his performance in the comedy-drama “El Ciudadano Ilustre” (“The Distinguished Citizen”).

German actress Paula Beer received the Marcello Mastroianni Award acknowledging an emerging performer, for her role in post-war drama “Frantz”.

Noah Oppenheim took the best screenplay award for his work on Pablo Larrain’s “Jackie”, about first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the aftermath of the assassination of her husband U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

The special jury prize went to Ana Lily Amirpour’s cannibal-survivor fairytale “The Bad Batch”. While the film earned mixed reviews, the jury appreciated its spirit.

“Someone has made a very individual, very personal vision, whatever you think of it; that alone, the act of making that film is astonishing,” Mendes said.

(Additional reporting by Sarah Mills and Hanna Rantala, Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Richard Chang)

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

*Featured photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema/Hazel Orencio

Director Sam Mendes to head the Venezia 73 International Jury

British director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Skyfall, Spectre) will be the president of the International Jury of the Competition at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival (August 31 – September 10, 2016), which will assign the Golden Lion for best film, as well as other official awards. The decision was made by the Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, on the recommendation of the Festival’s Director, Alberto Barbera.
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British Director Sam Mendes

Right from his 1988 debut as a theatrical director, Sam Mendes made a name for himself as one of the outstanding figures in British theatre, winning numerous awards. He later also established himself as one of the most highly respected film directors of recent years. His debut behind the movie camera was dazzling: in 2000, American Beauty won five Oscars, including best director and best picture. He next directed Road to Perdition, which competed at the 2002 Venice Film Festival. Since then, Sam Mendes has been a regular on London’s stages and on the sets of Hollywood films, all the way up to the extraordinary success of the 23rd James Bond movie, Skyfall, confirmed by the next in the series, Spectre, also directed by Mendes.

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73rd Venice International Film Festival Director Alberto Barbera

Says Festival Director Alberto Barbera, “Sam Mendes’ work is a particularly effective and convincing synthesis of a vocation for distinctive theatre and cinema, combined with research into methods of communication with increasingly large numbers of spectators. His productions, whether destined for stage or screen, are able to reconcile the expectations of the most exacting critics with the tastes of a vast audience which seems to transcend all geographical and cultural boundaries.”

Says Sam Mendes, “I’m very honoured to have been asked by Alberto to lead the International Jury for Venezia 73. I’ve always had a strong personal connection with Venice; as a student I worked for three months at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection way back in 1984, and my happiest film festival memory is launching Road To Perdition at Venice in 2002. I am thoroughly delighted to be coming back to the Lido this year and welcoming a wealth of international filmmaking talent.”
On the final night of the upcoming 73rd Film Festival (September 10, 2016), the International Jury ofVenezia 73, chaired by Sam Mendes and composed of nine international celebrities in the spheres of film and culture, will assign the following official prizes to feature-length films in the Competition:
         Golden Lion for best film
         Grand Jury Prize
         Best Director
         Volpi Cup for Best Actor
         Volpi Cup for Best Actress
         Best Screenplay
         Special Jury Prize
         Marcello Mastroianni Award to an emerging actor or actress
Sam Mendes
In 1998 Sam Mendes directed his first film American Beauty, winning the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture, as well as the Golden Globe and Directors’ Guild Awards. He has since directed the Academy Award-winning Road to Perdition with Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, and Jude Law, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival, Jarhead with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx, Revolutionary Road with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, Away We Go, the BAFTA and Academy Award-winning Skyfall and Spectre, starring Daniel Craig.
Sam Mendes’s work directing theatre spans 25 years. At 24 years old he became the first Artistic Director of the Minerva Theatre in Chichester, England. At 27 he founded the Donmar Warehouse in London, which he ran for ten years, and where he directed many productions including Assassins, Translations, Glengarry Glen Ross, Company, The Glass Menagerie, Habeas Corpus, Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night. It is now one of the world’s leading playhouses.
Sam has directed for the Royal Shakespeare CompanyTroilus and Cressida with Ralph Fiennes, Richard III, The Tempest and The Alchemist; for the National Theatre –The Sea with Judi Dench, The Birthday Party, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Othello and King Lear; in the West End –The Cherry Orchard, London Assurance, Kean, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and on Broadway – Cabaret with Natasha Richardson and Alan Cumming, The Blue Room with Nicole Kidman, Gypsy, and The Vertical Hour with Julianne Moore.
In 2009 Sam founded the Bridge Project, a transatlantic theatre company, for which he directed The Winter’s Tale with Ethan Hawke, The Cherry Orchard, The Tempest, As You Like It and Richard III with Kevin Spacey. His many awards include: three Olivier Awards, three Tony Awards, the Evening Standard Award, three Critics’ Choice Awards, five Empire Awards, the BAFTA John Schlesinger Award and the Hamburg Shakespeare Prize.
In 2003 he founded Neal Street Productions, which produces three BAFTA award-winning television series – Penny Dreadful, Call the Midwife and The Hollow Crown -along with many other films and plays.
He was awarded a CBE in 2000 and the Directors’ Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.