Tag Archives: Venice International Film Festival

FILM REVIEW: Chuck (Falardeau, 2016): USA

Viewed by Larry Gleeson at the Venice Film Festival.

Philippe Falardeau, the acclaimed director of The Good Lie and the Oscar nominated Monsieur Lazhar comes forth with a period piece of New Jersey in the 1970’s with a new film, Chuck, The Chuck Wepner Story, a drama, starring Liev Schreiber, known for his television role as Ray Donovan in the Showtime series “Ray Donovan,” and as Marty Baron in last year’s Oscar-winning Best Picture, Spotlight. Schreiber portrays boxer Chuck Wepner, the heavyweight champion of New Jersey, and often known more colorfully as the Bayonne Bleeder.

When he wasn’t in the ring, Wepner was a liquor salesman on the mean streets of New Jersey who managed to last 15 rounds in a professional boxing match with the greatest fighter of all-time – Muhammad Ali. Legendary boxing promoter Don King wanted a race fight and sought out a white fighter to get into the ring with the Champ, Muhammad Ali.

Wepner seemed to be a good choice to be Ali’s punching bag. Wepner had a reputation for being able to take a punch. And, true to King’s intention, Wepner took a beating. Not as though it was anything new for Wepner. In his ten years as a boxer he had his nose broken eight times, had 133 stitches, suffered fourteen losses and two knockouts. He was once pummeled so badly by Sonny Liston suffering both a broken nose and a broken cheekbone that required extensive stitching to heal.

Yet, Wepner had managed to put together a string of good fights and began to believe and have faith that his dream of getting a title shot was in reach. While not a great fighter, Wepner was known for his big heart, his ability to take a beating and come back for more. As a matter of record, Wepner became the first man to knock Ali off his feet inside the ring during a title fight. A furious Ali got back up and pulverized Wepner without mercy culminating in the fight ending 19 seconds into the 15th round. Sylvester Stallone based his Rocky franchise on Wepner’s life.

Director Falardeau exquisitely turns what might easily have been another boxing movie into a relationship piece illuminating Wepner’s most difficult moments outside the ring. He depicts the 1970’s much like Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver – seedy, wild women, drugs, booze – along with exceptional highs and disastrous lows.

After Rocky became the hit of 1976 garnering ten Oscar nominations and three wins for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing, Wepner began letting the world of New Jersey nightlife know he was the real life Rocky and to many he was. Jim Gaffigan plays Wepner’s best friend John Stoehr and loyal steward who is shown as mostly living vicariously through Chuck. A most telling scene occurs when Cinematographer Nicolas Bolduc takes the audience down inside the clubbing world of the honkytonk, disco era of the 1970’s with the fur coats, gold chains, silky rayon tops, sequined gowns, costume jewelry and the dance music of the Bee Gee’s. Here Wepner not only succumbs to the temptation of the drugs, booze and casual sex, he ultimately seems to confuse his own life with the screen life of Rocky Balboa while John looks on in giddy bewilderment.

Soon Wepner confronts Stallone about Rocky. Stallone, played by Morgan Spector, seems genuinely flattered and invites Wepner to audition for a real-life role in Rocky II. A drug infused, boozed up Wepner blows the audition as his life is now in a virulent downward spiral. Finally, after he shows up late and misses his 2nd grade daughter’s Parents Day, his wife, Phyllis, played by Elisabeth Moss calls it quits. Wepner knows he’s falling. Yet, he finds a glimpse of hope with a local bartender, Linda, played by Schreiber’s real-life wife, Naomi Watts. The two hit it off with some playful banter before the bottom drops out for Wepner and he’s sent to prison for drug trafficking. This becomes Stallone’s impetus for his 1989 film Lock Up. Wepner is called upon to be a consultant and is shown in shackles and prison garb. Yet, when he sees Stallone staging the story, he realizes his life is not Stallone’s version. This is the turning point of the film and for Chuck Wepner. He reconciles with his brother John, played sharply by Michael Rappaport and eventually marries Linda and the two spend the rest of their lives together in close relationship.

Chuck, full of rich costuming and fine cinematography, is at its core a period piece of the 1970’s including the role boxing played in the public domain. It is also a strong narrative of the trials and tribulations of Chuck Wepner’s life. Moreover, it’s a life affirming story as Wepner goes the distance and gets the girl in the end. Warmly recommended.

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

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La La Land to get Early Release on December 9

La La Land,  the sophomore feature follow-up by critically acclaimed Whiplash director, Damien Chazelle, is scheduled for a limited release beginning on December 9th. La La Land, an early favorite for Oscar nominations after strong showings at the Venice, Toronto and Telluride film festivals, is a musical drama about a jazz pianist who falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, California. Ryan Gosling plays the jazz pianist, Sebastian while Emma Stone plays the aspiring actress/playwright Mia. Ms. Stone captured hearts at Venice receiving a Silver Lion for Best Actress for her role as Mia.In addition, La La Land won the coveted Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival.

The official roll-out release remains scheduled for December 16th.

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(Sources: http://www.variety.com, http://www.thedailystar.net)

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.

Which movies are in the running for the 2017 Oscars?

 

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La La Land with Ryan Gossling and Emma Stone is already a favorite to win the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture. (Photo courtesy of SND)

LOS ANGELES, Sept 25 ― What were the films and who were the actors who stood out at the latest film festivals? In the wake of the Venice, Toronto and Telluride festivals, here is an update on the movies and players potentially in the running for the 2017 Oscars.

In the period from September to December, the pace of superhero epic and action blockbuster releases slows down to make way for potential Oscar-winning works. This year is no exception with studios and distributors preparing to launch the movies they feel stand the best chance in the 89th Academy Awards at a time when they will still be fresh in the minds of the 2017 jury. What are the movies that will benefit from this Hollywood marketing strategy?

Top favourite ‘La La Land’

Having won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, La La Land is now a serious contender for the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture. The Canadian accolade should not be overlooked. In fact it is a more than reliable indicator for the likely winner of a much-coveted gold statuette, having been awarded to such previous Oscar winners as Twelve Years a Slave, The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire and American Beauty.

But it would be unwise to bet on the musical comedy which features Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling without evaluating the chances of some of the other movies that have come to light in the latest festivals: notably Manchester by the Sea, which is buoyed by a remarkable performance by Casey Affleck, Jeff Nichols’ Loving, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, Nocturnal Animals by Tom Ford, which won the Silver Lion at the 73rd Venice Mostra, and the biopic of Jackie Kennedy, Jackie, which could harvest a second Oscar for Natalie Portman.

However, competition for Best Actress in a Leading Role looks set to be fierce this year. Having garnered an award in Venice, Emma Stone has every chance of gaining a nomination. Ruth Negga (Loving), Amy Adams (Arrival), Viola Davis (Fences) and Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures) are other likely contenders, as is French actress Isabelle Huppert for her much-noted performance in Paul Verhoeven’s Elle. As for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Joel Edgerton (Loving), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals), Denzel Washington (Fences), Dev Patel (Lion) and Tom Hanks (Sully) could all be in the running.

A more diverse Oscars?

Several films that stand to be selected could also turn the page on the controversy surrounding the 2016 Oscars which was judged to be too “white.” Even if The Birth of a Nation does not currently look to be a competitor, the film which tells the story of a slave revolt may nonetheless be nominated. Other films that look likely to garner nominations include Moonlight, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. The story of an African-American growing up in a Miami neighbourhood has already been hailed as major work of independent cinema.

Hidden Figures which casts Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson as mathematicians who, in spite of being overshadowed by their male colleagues, contributed to the success of the Apollo space program, and Denzel Washington’s Fences, which features Viola Davis, have also been tipped for Oscar nominations.

However, we will still have to wait close to five months to see which way the jury votes in the 2017 Academy Awards which will be held on February 26 in Los Angeles. The nominations for the Oscars will be announced on January 24. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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

FILM REVIEW: Nocturnal Animals (Ford, 2016): USA

Viewed by Larry Gleeson at Venice Film Festival.

 

Fashion Designer and Film Director Tom premiered his new film, Nocturnal Animals, at the Sala Grande Theater during the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. Nocturnal Animals received the Silver Lion – Grand Jury Prize (generally considered runner-up to the Golden Lion – Best Film). This was Ford’s second feature film. His first film was the critically acclaimed, A Single Man (2009) starring Colin Firth. Firth receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his efforts.

 

Nocturnal Animals, is a tale of redemption, revenge, love and cruelty. Ford opens the film with a strong musical score to reveal rotund, morbidly obese girls dancing topless upon pedestals seemingly pretending to be debutantes. Adding to the fanfare special effect confetti drops down and through the frame. All-American girls showcasing their goods and talents. Bordering on the macabre, the tone for the film has been set.

 

Hollywood, A-lister Amy Adams plays a real-life West Texas debutante, Susan Morrow, who lives an unfulfilling life of daunting privilege with her handsome husband, Hutton Morrow, played by Armie Hammer. As Hutton prepares for yet another last-minute weekend high-finance business meeting in New York relationship fissures widen. A pensive Susan reflects on the state of her union with Hutton after a ‘not-so-discreet’ phone conversation from Hutton’s elevator arriving at a penthouse suite amid feminine gaiety as she opens a plain, white, mail shipping box. Susan opens the box to a black and white manuscript titled, “Nocturnal Animals,” by Edward Sheffield, Susan’s former husband and first true love.

 

In dramatic fashion, Ford begins a journey into the past yet grounded in the present as the manuscript opens up a world fictional, yet etched within Susan’s consciousness. Using parallel storylines, present and fictional coupled with flashbacks to when Edward and Susan first met and the ensuing courtship and short-lived marriage. Laura Linney, plays Susan’s West Texas Republican mother, and delivers some of the film’s more memorable lines during a martini lunch where she unleashes her verbal diatribe lambasting Susan for even considering a marriage to “weak’ Edward. Notwithstanding, however, the real storytelling takes place within the pages of the manuscript. Self-reflective and dramatic the narrative is full of conflict and escalating tensions as a husband and wife, Tony and Laura Hastings, played respectively by Jake Gyllenhaal and Isla Fisher, travel at night across rural West Texas with their teenage daughter, India, played by Ellie Bamber. Without even as much as a lit billboard, out of a pitch dark blackness a vehicle approaches the family’s suburban mid-sized car at a high-rate of speed. The car is driven erratically and its occupants are behaving wildly as they pass. Not too much to worry about until they decide to force the Hastings car off the road. Mayhem ensues as the hellions carjack the Hastings vehicle with the women inside leaving Tony on the side of the road in the dark by his lonesome. Soon a vehicle returns to pick up Tony. He’s informed he gang leader wants to make amends and that Laura and India want Tony brought to where they are being held hostage. Fearing the worst Tony manages to escape and eventually makes his way to a law enforcement office to make an abduction/missing persons report to lawman Bobby Andes, played by Michael Shannon. Susan is shocked and awed at the power of Edward’s writing and the visceral strength of Edward’s character, Tony. By the end of the manuscript, Susan’s life perspective has shifted as she and Edward make plans to meet.

Unquestionably, Ford delivers an emotional and psychological thriller with Nocturnal Animals. Superb acting, exquisite production values and strong storytelling are the film’s hallmarks. Shane Valentino (Straight Outta Compton) handled the film’s production design. Seamus McGarvey (Godzilla, Atonement, The Avengers) provided the cinematography. Costuming was assembled by Arianne Phillips (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Walk The Line, 3:10 To Yuma). Abel Korzeniowski (A Single Man, We) orchestrated the music. Along with directing Ford takes a screenplay writing credit along with Austin Wright, the author of “Tony and Susan,”  for writing the novel the film is based on. Nevertheless, the Casting Director, Francine Maisler (The Revenant, Birdman, The Big Short, 12 Years a Slave) and performances by the actors are above and beyond. This is a Don’t Miss film waiting for Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences nominations. The Oscars.

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)

Statistics of the first Venice Production Bridge

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-2-03-24-pmThe first Venice Production Bridge – the Festival film market’s evolution into a specialized meeting point for completing projects – was held from September 1-5, 2016 at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. The VPB re-proposed and expanded on the Venice Gap-Financing Market and Final Cut in Venice programs, making the most of the experience of the Biennale College – Cinema.
This first edition of the Venice Production Bridge registered 1,767 accreditations, including 758 Industry Gold accreditations (a 35% increase in this latter figure, compared to 2015).
Here are the final figures of the 2016 VENICE PRODUCTION BRIDGE:
 
·  GAP FINANCING MARKET (2-4 September): 448 pre-organized meetings were held for the 25 Fiction and Documentary projects, and 158 meetings for the 15 Virtual Reality/TV series/Web series. Fifty meetings were added directly on-site for all 40 projects.  Thus, a total of 606 encounters were re-organized, for a grand total of 656 meetings for the 40 projects over the two and a half days.
·  BOOK ADAPTATION RIGHTS AREA (2-3 September): over 250 meetings were organized over the two days for the 15 editors.
·  FINAL CUT IN VENICE (3-5 September): of the 6 projects presented in the selection, 4 films won the Final Cut prizes (***)
 
·  EUROPEAN FILM FORUM OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
The European Film Forum was held on September 3-4, with the participation of the European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market, Günther Oettinger, and the Director-General of DG Connect, Roberto Viola. The European Film Forum organized two workshops, on access to financing for the creative industries and on the future of cinemas.
 
· 6 STANDS OPERATED IN THE VPB EXHIBIT AREAS:  
INCAA
EURIMAGES
REGIONE UMBRIA
REGIONE FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA
CHINA FILM PROMOTION
SHANGAI FIL FESTIVAL
 
· PANELS AND EVENTS ORGANIZED AT THE MEETING SPACE  
A total of 22, including 17 international panels and events
 
· VPB MARKET SCREENINGS ORGANIZED
A total of 35, including 13 Private Screenings
· DIGITAL VIDEO LIBRARY:
51 films were available for viewing at the Digital Video Library, including:
6 films from Out of Competition, 18 from Orizzonti, 7 from Venice Classics, 4 from Biennale College Cinema, 2 from Cinema nel Giardino, 5 from SIC, 6 from Venice Days, 1 from Final Cut
 
———————————————————————————-

(***) FINAL CUT Awards:
 
FELICITY / FÉLICITÉ  by Alain Gomis (France/Senegal/Belgium) Producer: Arnaud Dommerc received the following prizes:
–  Sub-Ti Ltd. (London) will offer up to € 7,000 to make a DCP master and Italian or English subtitles;
–  Sub-Ti Access Srl (Turin) will offer up to € 7,000 for a version accessible to people with sensorial disabilities;
–  Rai Cinema will offer € 5,000 to purchase the broadcasting rights for two years;
–  Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) will offer € 5,000 to reimburse costs incurred during post-production.
 
THE WOUND / ISIKO by John Trengove (South Africa/Germany/France/Holland) Producer: Elias Ribeiro received the following prizes:
–  Mactari Mixing Auditorium (Paris) will offer up to € 15,000 to make the sound mix;
–  Titra Film (Paris) will offer up to € 10,000 for digital color correction, and to make a DCP master and French or English subtitles.
GHOST HUNTING / ISTIYAD ASHBA by Raed Andoni (Palestine/France/Switzerland) Producer: Palmyre Badinie received the following prizes:
–  Laser Film (Rome) will offer € 15,000 for the color correction of a feature film, totaling up to 50 work hours (including technician);
–  The Festival International du Film d’Amiens will participate in the cost of making a DCP.
OBSCURE / OTMAH by Soudade Kaadan (Syria/Lebanon) Producer: Salma Kaf received the following prizes:
–  MAD Solutions will offer marketing, advertising and distribution in the Arab world;
–  The Festival International de Films de Fribourg will participate in the cost of making a DCP.
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(Source:www.labiennale.org)

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.

Ancaster’s André van Heerden pens script for virtual reality film

Jesus VR screens at Venice International Film Festival

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Venice Film Festival attendees are donning thew virtual reality goggles for the advent of Jesus VR presentation. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

 

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Debra Downey, Ancaster News

Script-writer André van Heerden admits even he “got lost” in the experience of viewing the first feature-length virtual reality film.

A 40-minute preview of Jesus VR – The Story of Christ screened last month at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, and the Ancaster resident and his wife, Carolyn, had front-row seats.

“Because it’s shown in virtual reality, it’s not really a big screen but more of an actual world that you’re suddenly immersed in. It was surreal,” said van Heerden. “…When you’re within that world and you’re able to turn and look wherever you want, you feel like you’re actually there.”

Virtual reality is a relatively new technology for film. The Venice theatre in which it was screened was equipped with 50 virtual reality headsets and individual seats that pivoted 360 degrees.

According to the show-business magazine Variety, if Jesus VR — The Story of Christ is a success, it could help shape the way virtual reality stories are produced and distributed. The film was shot entirely in Matera, Italy, and employed over a hundred crew members and hundreds of extras. It tells the story of Jesus Christ from his birth to his resurrection.

Van Heerden, who has worked in various aspects of film and video production for the past 15 years, said it took about a month to develop the script’s original draft, followed by another six weeks accommodating requests for extra scenes or additional parts to scenes.

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Andre Van Heerden at the 73rd International Venice Film Festival. (Photo credit: Ancaster News)

“Because the producers were looking for a faithful and accurate telling of Jesus’ story, a lot of my writing was research based,” said van Heerden. “I wanted to make sure that I picked the most significant parts but also the moments that could be strung together to tell a complete story. Everything came back to Biblical scriptures and making sure that it lined up with them.”

Van Heerden also worked with technical advisor Father William Fulco to ensure the script was scripturally and theologically sound. Fulco was the technical advisor on the highly acclaimed movie The Passion of the Christ.

Jesus VR — The Story of Christ is slated to be released around Christmas on all major virtual reality platforms, including Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and the HTC Vive.

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

Jaeger-LeCoultre Unveils Scuola Grande di San Rocco Reverso Enamel Watch at Venice Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Roberts Naas

This weekend marked the close of the 73rd edition of   the Venice International Film Festival. Swiss watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre has been a partner of the cinema event for a dozen years and is firmly entrenched in honoring film and the ancient city of Venice. In fact, for the past three yeas, the brand has been an active supporter of Venice restoration, assisting with restoring the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, which houses numerous paintings by 16th-century artist, Tintoretto. This year, to honor the restoration effort, as well as to celebrate the brand’s 85th anniversary of the famed Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre presented multiple new Reverso timepieces – including a unique hand-painted watch that depicts the restoration inside the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.

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The one-of-a-kind Reverso Grande Taille watch features a miniature enamel rendition of the main marble staircase inside the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. The hand painting of the Reverse side of the case – done completely iin-housein the brand’s rare handcrafts division – took three weeks to complete. The dial required multiple layers of paintings, 32 drying processes and 15 firings of the kiln at 800°C. The watch is so beautiful and unique that it will not be sold at this point in time. Instead, it will be housed in the brand’s heritage museum in Switzerland.

To further support the restoration cause, Jaeger-LeCoultre has also implemented several initiatives. Until September 15, for every visitor to the brand’s facebook page who likes the post about the hand-painted watch, a donation will be made by the brand to the restoration program.

 

There was also a signing in Venice during the film festival, wherein anyone who signed the guest book with a heart drawing included, the brand would also donate to the cause. To kick off that initiative, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s brand ambassador Carmen Chaplin (of Charlie Chaplin descent) drew a heart that was engraved on the back of a Reverso watch.

Also during the festival, Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled a host of new Reverso watches, including a high-jeweled piece, as well as several incredible haute Joaillerie watches that underscore the brand’s prowess not only in watchmaking but also in the arts of gem setting, enameling, engraving and more.

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