Archive for February, 2014

Expansion for ‘The Wind Rises’

February 28th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Disney is expanding Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘The Wind Rises’ from 21 to 500 screens at the North American box office following last weekend’s encouraging opening in the speciality market when it grossed a $14,571 per screen average.  The animated drama is a biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, who designed Japanese WW2 fighter planes without fully understanding the implications, and last weekend’s performance was broadly in line with Miyazaki’s recent track record notwithstanding a change of direction away from his trademark children movies.  It also has the additional boost of being in contention for best animated feature at Sunday night’s Oscars.generic levitra online uk
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Release date for ‘Wish I Was Here’

February 28th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Focus Features have scheduled Zach Braff’s Sundance title  ‘Wish I Was Here’ for a platform release in New York and Los Angeles on July 18.  Kate Hudson and Mandy Patinkin star alongside Braff in the comedy drama where one disaster triggers another for a L.A. family caught within a vicious cycle.  It is Braff’s first feature in the director’s chair since ‘Garden State’ ten years ago.cheap levitra 20 mg
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Roman Polanski and Alexandre Desplat collaborate again

February 28th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Alexandre Desplat will provide the score for Roman Polanski’s Dreyfus affair drama, ‘D’, which is still in its early stages.  Robert Harris, who based his novel ‘An Officer and a Spy’ on the notorious miscarriage of justice saga, has written the script but there is no news yet on casting.  The prolific Desplat also collaborated on Polanski’s ‘Venus in Fur’, ‘Carnage’ and ‘The Ghost Writer’.order levitra from canada
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February 27th, 2014 - Barbara Thompson

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‘Selma’ on the move

February 26th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Paramount Pictures have acquired US distribution rights to Ava DuVernay’s Martin Luther King Jr pic, ‘Selma’ which is currently in pre-production but has Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt’s Plan B on board as producers.  DuVernay took over from Lee Daniels following funding frustrations and David Oyelowo will play the civil rights leader during a voting protest that proved a crucial milestone for the movement.  It will be DuVernay’s first feature since her multiple award winning ‘Middle of Nowhere’.levitra cost canada
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Sundance Selects make move for ‘Hellion’

February 25th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Sundance Selects have taken North American distribution rights to Kat Candler’s third feature, ‘Hellion’, but there is no news yet on the release date. Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis and Josh Wiggins all star in the dysfunctional family drama where Child Protective Services force change through drastic measures.  The film received its world premiere in completion at this year’s Sundance.levitra generic brand
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Inside Llewyn Davis

February 25th, 2014 - Graham Eley

For many years the Coen Bros were the epitome of post modern filmmaking, playfully moving between pastiche and parody with almost every scene being a quirky quotation from film history but becoming instantly quotable in their own right.  They were key players in a new strain of independent American filmmaking – John Sales was another – that created perverse but wonderfully idiosyncratic parallel universes where real life only emerged from occasional cracks in an otherwise tightly controlled stylised surface.  And, hitting the mark, their outlandish film noir filter was perfectly suited to America’s post Cold War anxiety, which came to a head with the Oscar winning ‘No Country for Old Men’, a brutal invasion movie on a national scale.

 

But, all good things must come to an end.  And just like America’s booming economy, post modernism crashed; no longer in tune with a new culture where anxiety had mutated into something very real and its leading filmmakers could no longer remain at the forefront of contemporary cinema without a change of direction.

 

The Coen Bros latest feature, ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’, returns to the Sixties as did their ‘A Serious Man’ at the end of the last decade and, just like that film, a more sombre note inflects the comedy.  Yet, more than that, the Coens are embracing a different style of indie filmmaking, one that partly has its roots in America’s Jim Jarmusch style low budget realism but also in the various European postwar new waves and it is no coincidence that it won the Gotham Award and the Grand Prix at Cannes and didn’t find favour with the Oscars.

 

But the Coens have not lost their knack for superbly drawn characters.  Neither one thing or another and carefully balanced between two extremes, they have always had an unnerving capacity to repel and attract in equal measure.  And with Oscar Isaac they have struck gold; a classic new wave drifter and a conflicted Coens’ anti-hero all rolled into one; establishing a thread between two eras, a natural extension of John Turturro in ‘Barton Fink’ but completed different at the same time.  It is the kind of ambiguity that overrides form and emphatically asserts their authorial stamp; being something that has always existed in their work and, in the most ironic way conceivable, makes a complete mockery of much post modern theory.

 

Isaac plays the title character, Llewyn Davis, part of New York’s Greenwich Village folk revival scene.  He had enjoyed minor success as part of a duo but fell short – at least commercially – as a solo act although his haunting take on ‘Hang Me, Oh Hang Me’ was exceptional and, to contemporary ears, leaves his peers standing.  It created an interesting tension, one that in a lesser film would resolve itself by an industry insider discovering him against the odds but, here, there is no musical future beyond playing small bars and occasional work as a session man for aspiring artists, who are likely to go the same way as him even before Dylan’s electric moment.

 

This is a film about modest choices, living with failed ambition but ploughing on regardless or giving up entirely, which in Llewyn’s case would mean returning to the merchant navy where he could only ‘exist’ and no more.  He plays a session on a gimmicky ‘record’, ‘Please, Mr. Kennedy’.  It’s the kind of irritating nonsense that ends up being a fluke hit but Llewyn cannot see beyond the song’s crapness and accepts an upfront payment rather than royalties.  The Coens don’t make much of it – there is no need – but it lingers in our minds as he bums around sleeping on strangers’ sofas and surviving on others’ generosity.

 

‘Everything you touch turns to shit, like King Midas’s idiot brother’ Jean quips in desperation.  Jean is Llewyn’s ex-lover but pregnant with his kid – probably – and forms part of a Folk double act with her current partner, Jim.  She is a picture of innocence on stage but cynical and embittered off it and he is the real deal boy next door.  Superbly played by Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake, they both capture a stage persona that some artists had at the time, which should have been the antithesis of the youth revolution around the corner, but somehow found favour with the new audience.

 

John Goodman’s washed up jazzman, Roland Turner, is the closest we come to more familiar Coen Bros caricature.  It could have derailed the film but Goodman is far too accomplished a performer for that and he positively revels in pushing against the line without crossing it.  This is what it looks and feels like to be half-dead – musical cynicism at the end of the road – where Roland can only find pleasure in his own endgame and despising Llewyn: “In jazz, you know, we play all the notes; 12 notes on the scale, dip shit, not three chords on a ukulele.”  Irv and Sydney from David O Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ would have agreed and the two films share a worldly knowingness that remind us of that unique time – thirty/forty years ago – when the studio system embraced an indie mentality in perhaps American cinema’s finest hour.

 

Watch out for some feline scene stealing from two – or is it one? – moggy in a nicely judged running joke.  And guess what, the cat is called Ulysses and just like the Coen’s wacky take on Homer, ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’, legendary Americana producer, T-Bone Burnett, takes care of the music.

 

Bruno Delbonnel provides the cinematography.  He is best known for Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s colourful ‘Amelie’ but, here, Delbonnel shoots in monochrome and finds that special kind of beauty, which is unique to townscapes during freezing winters and touches us somewhere deep in our sub-conscious in ways that go beyond nostalgia and sentiment.  It sets the tone for the entire film, as a solo wind instrument might for a jazz quintet – using all 12 notes, of course.

 

‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ reminds us that – sometimes – an Oscar snub is a massive compliment.  It’s one of the Coen Bro’s finest pictures and, arguably, their best.cialis generic brand namesgeneric cialis from canada buy cialis online from canadacheap cialis pills online generic cialis quality cost for cialis cialis online secure

New releases are no match for ‘The Lego Movie’

February 24th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Warner Bros expansion of the ‘The Lego Movie’ from 3,375 to 3,890 theatres paid off at the North American weekend box office with the animated comedy grossing a powerful $31.4m over the three days.  This exceeded market forecasts and takes the film’s domestic running total to an outstanding $183m after three weekends in play.

 

Relativity’s ‘3 Days to Kill’, starring Kevin Costner, Amber Heard and Hailee Steinfeld, opened with $12.3m from 2,872 theatres in line with already low market expectations.  The spy thriller needed more than its average ‘B’ CinemaScore from first night audiences to make an impression with this outmoded genre.

 

And the same could be said of the other weekend wide opener, ‘Pompeii’, which carries a $80m production budget.  The ancient adventure could only muster a disastrous $10m from 2,658 theatres after receiving the same CinemaScore.cialis online brand best price cialis 20mg cialis price boots chemist low price cialis cost of 36 hour cialispurchase cialis on the internet buying cialis from australia

Toy blockbuster builds momentum

February 23rd, 2014 - Graham Eley

‘The Lego Movie’ grossed an impressive $7.3m at Friday’s North American box office, putting it on pace for a higher than expected $32m over the three days.  It will be the animated comedy’s third successive weekend win and justifies Warner Bros’ expansion from 3,375 to 3,890 theatres.

 

Relativity’s ‘3 Days to Kill’, starring Kevin Costner, Amber Heard and Hailee Steinfeld, earned $4m from 2,872 theatres on its Friday debut.  It was in line with already low market expectations and the spy thriller could struggle to make much more than $10m during the weekend.  First night audiences gave it a ‘B’ CinemaScore, which is unlikely to influence word of mouth one way or the other.

 

The weekend’s other wide release, ‘Pompeii’, received the same CinemaScore but should fall on the wrong side of $10m from 2,658 theatres after a disappointing $3.4m Friday tally.  The disaster within the movie is not the only one, with the volcano adventure carrying a production cost in excess of $80m.safe place to order cialis online price of cialis 20mg price cialis daily use cialis online paypal payment generic cialis shipped from canada generic cialis daily order cialis online canadian pharmacy

Lego animation set for third straight win

February 22nd, 2014 - Graham Eley
Warner Bros’ ‘The Lego Movie’ has expanded from 3,375 to 3,890 theatres and will easily retain the No. 1 spot at the North American weekend box office.  Early Friday estimates suggest that it has a shot at hitting the $30m mark over the three days.  The studio has recently announced that it intends to release the sequel on May 26, 2017.generic cialis eugeneric cialis cheapest price prescription cost for cialis buy cialis europe generic cialis does it work purchase cialis online cheap cialis online fast delivery

Loach’s ‘Oranges and Sunshine’ follow up enters production next month

February 22nd, 2014 - Graham Eley

Jim Loach (‘Oranges and Sunshine’) will commence filming on his keenly awaited second feature, currently untitled, on March 3.  A fine ensemble cast, incuding Carmen Maura (‘Volver’, ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’) and Paz Vega (‘Sex and Lucia’) star in a dysfunctional family drama.  Australian screenwriter, Judy Morris, provides the script.buy cheap cialis online australia order cs cialis cialis quick delivery uk online cialis generic cialis online amazon buy cialis canada pharmacy buy cialis jelly

 

Vampire revisionist film opens New Directors/New Films festival

February 22nd, 2014 - Graham Eley

Ana Lily Amirpour’s ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ will open this year’s New Directors/New Films festival at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which runs from March 19-30.  Sheila Vand stars in the vampire revisionist film set in a depraved ghost town, which serves as an analogy for contemporary Iranian society.  It received its world premiere at Sundance.cialis quick delivery uk cialis price in uae cialis online amazon cialis overnight shipping buy cialis jelly mail order cialis from canada generic cialis made by cipla

Terry Gilliam returns to ‘Don Quixote’

February 20th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Terry Gilliam is having another crack at making ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’, which famously came a cropper 14 years ago when fluke flooding destroyed his set.  There have been numerous other attempts at getting the production underway – the last being five years ago – and it is still early days this time around.  David Warren has returned from ‘The Zero Theorem’ to provide the production design but funding is not yet in place.cialis generico buy genuine cialis uk cialis genericorder cialis online fast shipping buy cialis online cialis 20mg price in pakistan cialis online pharmacy

Danny Boyle making dramatic version of ‘Battle of the Sexes’

February 20th, 2014 - Graham Eley

James Erskine’s and Zara Hayes’ compelling documentary, ‘Battle of the Sexes’ focused on the bitter one-off tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King, which gave the film its title and became the sport’s most watched game of all time.  Viewed from a distance of forty years, the match came across as strangely irrelevant – Riggs was in his mid-fifties by then –  but provided a fascinating insight into a fierce gender war raging within the game and wider society.  It clearly caught the imagination of Danny Boyle (‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘127 Hours’), who is now developing a dramatic version of the episode.cialis online canada generic cialis pills buy cialis ukcialis price comparison walmart cialis no prescription order cialis canada cialis buy

Meryl Streep to play Pankhurst

February 20th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Sarah Gavron’s second feature, ‘Suffragette’, is attracting attention.  In the latest development, Meryl Streep has joined the cast alongside Carey Mulligan and will play the most famous Suffragette of them all, Emmeline Pankhurst.  Adding to the interest, Abi Morgan, who co-wrote Steve McQueen’s ‘Shame’, provides the script.buy cialis online safely price of cialis at costco cialis cost per pill generic cialis online usa cialis online italia cialis fast delivery cialis discount card

’12 Years A Slave’ wins best film at the BAFTA’s

February 17th, 2014 - Graham Eley

With the BAFTA’s best film prize foreshadowing the Oscars during each of the last five years, it has emerged as an important awards season indicator after demonstrating more independence previously.  But, this year’s victory for 12 Years A Slave comes with the important caveat that its British director, Steve McQueen, and leading actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was also victorious in his category, could have given the film a publicity edge in an otherwise very close three way contest with Gravity and American Hustle.

 

Unlike last year when Argo was already a foregone conclusion for the best film Oscar, it is necessary to look at the wider picture.  And in one significant respect, BAFTA was wholly consistent with all other high profile awards in spreading the key prizes over a number of films and it seems most improbable that any one film will dominate the Oscars with multiple wins.

 

BAFTA went with two clear Oscar frontrunners, Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) and Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)  for best director and actress respectively.  Blanchett seems impassable for the Oscar amongst a very strong line-up and Cuarón has opened a sizeable lead over McQueen since Christmas.

 

Captain Phillips’ Barkhad Abdi won best supporting actor in the biggest shock of the night but Oscar favourite, Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) was not competing.  Dallas Buyers Club did not secure any nominations; possibly due to the film being far less known in the territory than stateside at the time of voting.  This also had an impact on the best actor award where the film’s lead, Matthew McConaughey, has pulled ahead in the Oscar race.

 

Jennifer Lawrence won one of three BAFTA’s for American Hustle as best supporting actress just as Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)  appeared to have the upper hand with Oscar momentum.  Its awards for best original screenplay and make-up and hair – devastating combovers , poodle perms, electric shock jobs – were expected.

 

Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope received one of the loudest cheers of the night when they won best adapted screenplay for Philomena.  It was a minor (but not entirely unexpected) shock with the film enjoying wide support within the territory.

 

Gravity received most BAFTA’s with a grand total of six.  They include best British feature, with the film qualifying through location and one of its two producers being from the territory.  The obvious problems with finding a satisfactory definition for this category in our current global age suggests that the award is now obsolete.

 

Winners:

 

Best film

 

12 YEARS A SLAVE (Anthony Katagas, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen)

 

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Philomena

 

Outstanding British film

 

GRAVITY (Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman, Jonás Cuarón)

 

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Philomena
Rush
Saving Mr Banks
The Selfish Giant

 

Actor

 

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR (12 Years a Slave)

 

Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)

 

Actress

 

CATE BLANCHETT (Blue Jasmine)

 

Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks)

 

Supporting actor

 

BARKHAD ABDI (Captain Phillips)

 

Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)

 

Supporting actress

 

JENNIFER LAWRENCE (American Hustle)

 

Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)

 

Director

 

ALFONSO CUARON (Gravity)

 

Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
David O Russell (American Hustle)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)

 

Adapted screenplay

 

PHILOMENA (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)

 

12 Years A Slave (John Ridley)
Behind The Candelabra (Richard Lagravenese)
Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
The Wolf Of Wall Street (Terence Winter)

 

Original screenplay

 

AMERICAN HUSTLE (Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell)

 

Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón)
Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
Nebraska (Bob Nelson)

 

Animated film

 

FROZEN (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee)

Despicable Me 2
Monsters University

 

Documentary

 

THE ACT OF KILLING (Joshua Oppenheimer)

 

The Armstrong Lie
Blackfish
Tim’s Vermeer
We Steal Secrets

 

Film Not In The English Language

 

THE GREAT BEAUTY (Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima)

 

The Act of Killing
Blue is the Warmest Colour
Metro Manila
Wadjda

 

Cinematography

 

GRAVITY (Emmanuel Lubezki)

 

12 Years A Slave (Sean Bobbitt)
Captain Phillips (Barry Ackroyd)
Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel)
Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael)

 

Costume design

 

THE GREAT GATSBY (Catherine Martin)

 

American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson)
Behind The Candelabra (Ellen Mirojnick)
The Invisible Woman (Michael O’Connor)
Saving Mr. Banks (Daniel Orlandi)

 

Editing

 

RUSH (Dan Hanley, Mike Hill)

 

12 Years A Slave (Joe Walker)
Captain Phillips (Christopher Rouse)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)
The Wolf Of Wall Street (Thelma Schoonmaker)

 

Make-up and hair

 

AMERICAN HUSTLE (Evelyne Noraz, Lori Mccoy-Bell)

 

Behind the Candelabra
The Butler
The Great Gatsby
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

 

Original music

 

GRAVITY (Steven Price)

 

12 Years A Slave (Hans Zimmer)
The Book Thief (John Williams)
Captain Phillips (Henry Jackman)
Saving Mr. Banks (Thomas Newman)

 

Production design

 

THE GREAT GATSBY (Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn)

 

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Behind the Candelabra
Gravity

 

Sound

 

GRAVITY (Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro)

 

All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Inside Llewyn Davis
Rush

 

Visual effects

 

GRAVITY (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny)

 

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
Star Trek Into Darkness

 

Short animation

 

SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES (James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa)

 

Everything I Can See From Here
I Am Tom Moody

 

Short film

 

ROOM 8 (James W. Griffiths, Sophie Venner)

 

Island Queen
Keeping Up with the Joneses
Orbit Ever After
Sea View

 

Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer

 

KIERAN EVANS (writer/director, Kelly + Victor)

 

Colin Carberry, Glenn Patterson (writers, Good Vibrations)
Scott Graham (writer/director, Shell)
Kelly Marcel (writer, Saving Mr Banks)
Paul Wright. Polly Stokes (writer/director/producer, For Those in Peril)

 

Rising Star award

 

WILL POULTER

 

Dane DeHaan
George MacKay
Lupita Nyong’o
Lea Seydoux

 

Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema

 

Peter Greenaway

 

Bafta Fellowship

 

Helen Mirren
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February 17th, 2014 - Barbara Thompson

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American Hustle

February 16th, 2014 - Graham Eley

New Hollywood understood that there was no bar to idiosyncrasy within realistic contexts provided that its characters remained identifiable no matter how extreme or perverse.  David O Russell’s new film, ‘American Hustle’, a wacky heist caper, is set in the late 70’s when New Hollywood was still in its heyday, and by adhering to this basic tenet, finds a joyous balance between retro madness and startling freshness, which hits the mark with a contemporary audience.

 

But don’t be deceived by all this fooling around, O Russell – along with Paul Thomas Anderson, America’s most important contemporary filmmaker, easily – has much to say about our insecurities, vulnerabilities and delusions – in short, the human condition – which is as relevant now as it was thirty or forty years ago.  And, as with his previous two features, ‘The Fighter’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, a truth emerges, effortlessly, at the precise point when the film transcends its genre; one that many lesser filmmakers desperately seek but never quite discover.

 

Russell teased the audience from the off with the playful declaration – a metaphorical health warning – “Some of this actually happened”.  And indeed it  did, with Russell basing the film on the FBI’s notorious ‘fake sheikh’ Abscam sting; albeit spiked with an irony that borders on the sardonic.

 

Christian Bale and Amy Adams play Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser, two small time con artists with benefits and, sometimes, more – partners “in love and commerce” – who make an unlikely pairing, bizarre even, but there is a chemistry of a kind.  He is an overweight cigar smoking slime-ball sporting a spectacular combover – we can’t take our eyes off it – and displays strong self-preservation instincts in a streetwise way but falls short of being smart.  She is drop dead super sexy and razor sharp with a lethal blend of cunning and intelligence but so is Adams and we can never be sure whether her character is playing the others or she is taking us for a ride.

 

Sydney’s charms are also too much for Bradley Cooper’s poodle permed Richie DiMaso, a naive and overambitious fed, who traps Irv and Sydney into playing along with the sting but cannot see through her intoxicating faux ‘Lady Edith’ British persona.

 

And on the other side of the coin, there is Jennifer Lawrence’s chaotic Rosalyn, Irv’s wife and a liability with a capital ‘L’, who speaks without thinking but can hold her own when the chips are down or, in Irv’s words, “the Picasso of passive-aggressive karate”.

 

Russell allows them considerable leeway to improvise and – perhaps the key ingredient – they conjure characters unworthy of any sympathy but persuade us to care.  Rosalyn reminds us that the ‘best perfumes in the world are laced with something nasty’ – animal turds – but it works the other way around with these characters: they’re all selfish shits with the occasional whiff of humility.

 

In a fab conceit, Mayor Carmine Polito and mafia man on the inside adds a layer of moral complexity, planning to use dirty money for the public good and comes across as more virtuous than those entrapping him.

 

DiMaso’s exasperated police boss –  a throwback to Seventies cop shows – makes numerous attempts at telling an anecdote but DiMaso always interrupts by trying to second guess the end.  It becomes a shaggy dog story with a kick in some way relevant to the investigation but, like DiMaso, we are left guessing.

 

Robert De Niro, the real De Niro deal as he was in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and another reminder of what we have been missing, chips in with a chilling and unexpected cameo as Victor Tellegio, an iconic old school mobster, who is all the more terrifying the quieter he speaks.

 

And there is a super cool soundtrack.  Duke Ellington still takes us by surprise and –  to paraphrase Irv – who in the world does start a tune like that; it’s so good, it momentarily distracts us from the film.  So does Thelonious Monk, rewriting the rules in a more low key way, and there is a smattering of contemporaneous classics and more.

 

This engaging and very funny film with huge collars and ties and quotes galore – there is a ‘science oven’, an early microwave to you and me – comes together in the most complete way and, like many New Hollywood pictures, it has very little to do with plot.cheap cialis online canadian pharmacy cheap cialis prices buy cialis daily cialis online in australia cialis online indiageneric cialis soft buy cialis daily online

Berlin springs surprise as ‘Black Coal, Thin Ice’ takes Golden Bear

February 16th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Not for the first time, Berlin’s competition jury – this year led by Ang Lee producer, James Schamus – caught the pundits off guard, when awarding this year’s Golden Bear to Diao Yinan’s contemporary film noir, ‘Black Coal, Thin Ice’, which had slipped beneath the radar during the pre-ceremony hype.

 

Richard Linklater’s family drama, ‘Boyhood’ had been the clear frontrunner but, in the end, had to settle for the Silver Bear best director award.  Like the recipient of last year’s directors prize, David Gordon Green’s ‘Prince Avalanche’, the film arrived in Berlin as an international premiere, and it begs the question whether previous public screenings damage a competition title’s prospects for winning the top award.

 

The festival opener, Wes Anderson’s idiosyncratic adventure, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, claimed the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prix, in effect, the runner’s up prize.

 

Alain Resnais’ tragi-comedy, ‘The Life Of Riley’, followed its Fipresci International Critics Award for best film in the main competition, by picking up the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize, a slightly ambiguous award that recognises a film’s innovation.  This has been such a characteristic of the French master’s work for over fifty years, the award had the feel of a lifetime achievement honour in disguise.

 

And it proved a potentially career changing festival for Dietrich Brüggemann, who was little known outside Germany beforehand.  His ‘Stations Of The Cross’ received the The Ecumenical Jury prize earlier in the day and went on to win a Silver Bear for best script, which the filmmaker co-wrote with Anna Brüggemann.

 

Awards:

 

Golden Bear Best Film:
Black Coal, Thin Ice, dir Diao Yinan

 

Silver Bear Grand Jury Prix:
The Grand Budapest Hotel, dir Wes Anderson

 

Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize:
Life Of Riley (Aimer, Boire Et Chanter), dir Alain Resnais

 

Silver Bear for best director:
Richard Linklater, Boyhood

 

Silver Bear for best actress:
Haru Kuroki, The Little House

 

Silver Bear for best actor:
Liao Fan, Black Coal, Thin Ice

 

Silver Bear for best script:
Dietrich and Anna Brüggemann, Stations Of The Cross

 

Silver Bear for outstanding artistic contribution:
Cinematography: Zeng Jian, Blind Massage

 

Golden Bear best short film:
As Long As Shotguns Remain, dirs Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel

 

Silver Bear Jury Prize Short Film:
Laborat dir Guillaume Cailleau

 

Best First Feature:
Güeros dir Alonso Ruizpalacios
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Christmas Day release for Cameron Crowe’s military sabotage feature

February 16th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Cameron Crowe’s follow-up to ‘We Bought a Zoo’ will receive a Christmas Day domestic release, the clearest indication that Columbia Pictures have high hopes for the untitled film, currently in post production.  In demand Bradley Cooper leads an all star cast, including, amongst other ‘A’ listers, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray, and the film will go head to head with Disney’s holiday bait, ‘Into The Woods’ and Angelina Jolie’s awards season hopeful, ‘Unbroken’.  Cooper and Stone play two insiders looking to sabotage a military operation in Hawaii.cialis online apotheke generic cialis names cialis cost at cvs cheap cialis from usabuy cialis from canada generic cialis 40 mg cialis generic canada

Zhang Yimou to make English-language film

February 16th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Following the announcement that Ron Howard has succeeded Alejandro González Iñárritu in directing a new adaptation of ‘The Jungle Book’, Howard has withdrawn from his directorial duties for ‘The Parsifal Mosaic’ but remains as a producer.  Instead, leading Chinese filmmaker, Zhang Yimou (‘Red Sorghum’, ‘Hero’) has come aboard and it should be his next feature after the labour camp drama, ‘Coming Home’, currently in post production.  Yimou will adapt Robert Ludlum’s bestselling mystery spy thriller of the same name.cost of levitra without insurance
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Berlin International Film Festival 2014 (February 6-16)

February 16th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Wes Anderson’s latest feature, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, starring Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton and Bill Murray, will get the 64th Berlin International Film Festival under way tomorrow and also compete for this year’s Golden Bear.

 

Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ has perhaps generated more publicity than any other film screening in the main competition.  Providing an interesting new take on reality,  Linklater shot it over 12 years to show a boy’s changing relationship with his troubled parents.

 

Claudia Llosa, who won the Golden Lion with ‘The Milk of Sorrow’, returns with ‘Aloft’, a family drama dealing with complexities beyond our control.  Other Berlin regulars, Alain Resnais, Yoji Yamada, Hans Petter Moland and Rachid Bouchareb also have new films in the main competition.

 

No doubt, Lars von Trier’s much hyped ‘Nymphomaniac’ will grab the headlines when it screens out of competition.

 

Main competition:

 

71
Yann Demange

 

After making his name in television with the BAFTA nominated ‘Top Boy’, ‘Criminal Justice’ and ‘Dead Set’, Yann Demange directs his first feature film, ’71′.  Based on a screenplay from playwright, Gregory Burke (Black Watch), it returns to the height of the Northern Ireland troubles – the title signifies the year – where a British soldier finds himself stranded in hostile streets after becoming detached from his unit.

 

Aimer, boire et chanter (The Life Of Riley)
Alain Resnais

 

Alain Resnais returns to Berlin with his third adaptation of an Alan Ayckbourn play, one of which, ‘Smoking/No Smoking’, won a Silver Bear for an outstanding single achievement.  His latest, ‘Aimer, boire et chanter’ (‘The Life Of Riley’), is a tragi-comedy with a group of friends celebrating the life of a dying man.

 

Aloft
Claudia Llosa

 

Claudia Llosa won the Golden Lion with her last feature, ‘The Milk of Sorrow’, which, strangely, did not receive the full acclaim it deserved elsewhere.  Her follow-up, ‘Aloft’, starring Jennifer Connelly, looks at child mortality, enforced separation and other serious family issues over two time periods.

 

Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice)
Diao Yinan

 

Diao Yinan’s intriguing third feature, ‘Bai Ri Yan Huo’ (‘Black Coal, Thin Ice’), has the characteristics of a contemporary film noir thriller but looks to transcend the sub-genre through exploring a complex murder case beyond the usual conventions.  Liao Fan plays an ex-cop, who is out of his depth when encountering a dry cleaner employee/femme fatale.  Diao is already established on the festival circuit after winning noteworthy awards for both of his first two films, ‘Uniform’ and ‘Night Train’.

 

Boyhood
Richard Linklater

 

Richard Linklater’s keenly awaited new feature, ‘Boyhood’, has probably received more publicity than any other film competing for this year’s Golden Bear – Lars von Trier’s limelight magnet, ‘Nymphomaniac’, screens out of competition.  Pushing authenticity to its limits, Linklater intermittently shot the film over a 12 year period to show a boy’s changing relationship with his troubled parents.  Linklater regular, Ethan Hawke, stars alongside Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane.

 

Chiisai Ouchi (The Little House)
Yoji Yamada

 

The vastly experienced and prolific Yoji Yamada – it’s now over fifty years since his debut feature – adapts Kyoko Nakajima’s Naoki winning novel, Chiisai Ouchi (‘The Little House’) for his first romance.  The change of direction takes us to pre-WW2 Tokyo and a friendship between the head of a modest household and his maid.  It is the fifth time that Yamada has competed for the Golden Lion.

 

Die geliebten Schwestern (Beloved Sisters)
Dominik Graf

 

The latest feature from German auteur, Dominik Graf, depicts a complex ménage à trois in pre-Revolution France with the volatile philosopher, Friedrich Schiller, and two aristocratic but very different sisters.  Four Minutes’ actress Hannah Herzsprung stars alongside Henriette Confurius and Florian Stetter.  It’s Graf’s second film to screen in Berlin’s main competition after ‘Der Felsen’ (‘A Map of the Heart’) twelve years ago.

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson

 

Wes Anderson’s eighth feature, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, starring Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton and Bill Murray, will compete for the Golden Lion as well as opening this year’s edition.  It takes place in a fictional republic – Anderson-land in other words – where a well known concierge becomes embroiled in a series of unexpected adventures after inheriting a valuable painting.  Fox Searchlight has already acquired worldwide distribution rights.

 

Historia del miedo (History of Fear)
Benjamin Naishtat

 

Benjamin Naishtat makes his feature debut with ‘Historia del miedo’ (‘History of Fear’), starring relative newcomer, Jonathan Da Rosa, alongside the experienced César Bordón (The Headless Woman).  Based on his own script, it is a political satire set in abandoned suburbia and pushes State constructed paranoia to its limits.  Naishtat’s earlier ‘El juego’ won best short film at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema.

 

Jack
Edward Berger

 

Edward Berger co-wrote his latest feature with the experienced actress, Nele Mueller-Stöfen, who is best known for her performance in Christian Petzold’s ‘Die Beischlafdiebin’.  Ivo Pietzcker and Georg Arms make their debuts as two neglected and increasingly alienated children searching for their mother in all parts of Berlin.

 

Kraftidioten (In Order of Disappearance)
Hans Petter Moland

 

Hans Petter Moland makes his third appearance in Berlin’s main competition after ‘A Somewhat Gentle Man’ and ‘The Beautiful Country’.  This time it’s a jet black comedy, ‘Kraftidioten’ (‘In Order of Disappearance’), which sees Moland reunite with his (and Lars von Trier) regular, Stellan Skarsgård.  The Swedish actor plays a snow plough driver, who embarks on a journey to the unknown when searching for clues into his son’s death.

 

Kreuzweg (Stations of the Cross)
Dietrich Brüggemann

 

Dietrich Brüggemann has enjoyed some exposure in his native Germany but very little elsewhere.  All of that could change with his fourth feature, ‘Kreuzweg’ (‘Stations of the Cross’), receiving a high profile screening in Berlin’s main competition.  Newcomer, Lea van Acken, plays a young teenager struggling to reconcile her daily life with an extreme form of Catholicism.

 

Macondo
Sudabeh Mortezai

 

Documentary filmmaker, Sudabeh Mortezai, turns to fiction for the first time with his third feature, ‘Macondo’, after ‘Im Bazar der Geschlechter’ and ‘Children of the Prophet’.  And Mortezai’s documentary style is likely to be evident in this realist asylum-seeker drama, where an eleven-year-old Chechnyan faces a future living in a makeshift settlement within Vienna’s no man’s land.

 

Praia do Futuro (Beach of the Future)
Karim Ainouz

 

Experienced Brazilian filmmaker and visual artist, Karim Aïnouz, is a familiar presence on the international film festival circuit where he boosts a number of notable wins.  His latest feature, ‘Praia do Futuro’ (‘Beach of the Future’) explores sexuality and identity when following a gay man’s move from Brazil to Germany with a new lover.

 

Stratos (To mikro psari)
Yannis Economides

 

None of Yannis Economides’ three previous features have received extensive festival screenings or a theatrical release outside Greece.  The appearance of his latest, ‘Stratos’ (‘To mikro psari’), will be an unknown quantity for many and it focuses upon a hit-man with a social conscience in normal society.

 

La tercera orilla (The Third Side of the River)
Celina Murga

 

Key figure in the Argentine new wave, Celina Murga, returns with her first fiction feature since the acclaimed ‘A Week Alone’ seven years ago.  Newcomers, Alian Devetac and Daniel Veronese, star in ‘La tercera orilla’ (‘The Third Side of the River’), a complex domestic drama where a doctor raises two families; one as part of a socially acceptable marriage and the other with his humble mistress.  Things come to a head when his eldest illegitimate son reaches sixteen.

 

Tui Na (Blind Massage)
Lou Ye

 

Lou Ye has received a Tiger Award at Rotterdam for his early feature, ‘Suzhou River’, competed twice for Cannes’ Palme d’Or and picked up various other nominations and prizes on the festival circuit.  His latest, ‘Tui Na’ (‘Blind Massage’), one of the most keenly anticipated films in the competition programme, is a experimental film that reflects on contemporary China from blind protagonists’ perspective.

 

‘La voie de l’ennemi’ (‘Two Men in Town’)
Rachid Bouchareb

 

Rachid Bouchareb is a regular at major film festivals and competes at Berlin for the fourth time with ‘La voie de l’ennemi’ (‘Two Men in Town’).  Forest Whitaker leads a stellar cast alongside Harvey Keitel and Ellen Burstyn and plays a Muslim ex-con grappling with the historical and cultural complexities of going straight in an unforgiving New Mexican town.

 

Wu Ren Qu (No Man’s Land)
Ning Hao

 

Ning Hao’s ‘Wu Ren Qu’ (‘No Man’s Land’) had an extraordinary history before its theatrical release in China at the end of last year.  The precise surrounding circumstances are unclear but Hao completed the film five years ago before allegedly encountering complications with China’s film bureau.  Xu Zheng and Yu Nan star in a bleak noir drama where a lawyer encounters the ugly side of humanity on a lawless road to the Gobi desert.

 

Zwischen Welten (Inbetween Worlds)
Feo Aladag

 

Actress turned filmmaker, Feo Aladag, made a huge impression with her debut film, ‘When We Leave’, which won multiple awards on the festival circuit, including best narrative feature at Tribeca.  She returns with ‘Zwischen Welten’ (‘Inbetween Worlds’), a complex war drama set in Afghanistan where political alliances don’t easily override cultural differences.levitra cost in canada
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‘The Lego Movie’ heading for a strong hold

February 15th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Warner Bros’ ‘The Lego Movie’ remains active in 3,375 theatres for the President’s Day four-day holiday and will easily retain the top spot at the North American weekend box office.  The animation comedy has a shot at reaching an excellent $50m over three days, which should translate to $60m+ for the full President’s Day session.  Out of the new releases,  only ‘About Last Night’, starring box office attraction, Kevin Hart, should come near to hitting half this tally (from 2,253 theatres).levitra pharmacy price
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12 Years a Slave

February 14th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Steve McQueen has an extraordinary knack for catching us off guard; landing a punch before we know that it has been thrown.

 

There was his once seen and never to be forgotten video art masterpiece, ‘Deadpan’, which went a long way to securing a Turner Prize win during a period that he found filmmaking too restrictive.  It was an unexpected reworking of Buster Keaton’s legendary slapstick stunt from ‘Steamboat Bill, Jr’, where an open window embrasure saved an absent minded character from a collapsing wall.  In McQueen’s hands, he replaces Keaton’s oblivious bystander and during an extraordinary battle of willpower, stands dead still trying not to blink when the wall crashes to the ground around his body.  The image was massive, compounding its overwhelming physical impact and it took a few moments for us to realise that McQueen had recreated, in the most emphatic way, what it felt like to be on the receiving end of mindless racism, transforming Keaton’s trademark ‘deadpan’ comic look into a silent expression of powerless indignation.

 

That same silent expression is present in his third feature, ’12 Years a Slave’, and this time it belongs to the talented Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Solomon Northup, a real life and refined free black man living with his wife and children in New York until low life scumbags unlawfully abduct him into slavery.  John Ridley wrote the screenplay, adapting Northup’s own 1853 memoir, which became a bestseller in its day.

 

And we see other silent countenances, no less powerful and affecting, but these are the look of resigned desperation where the choice has always been between death and absolute degradation.  Most accept the later – any life is better than no life – but for one, Patsey, death becomes a form of hope; one that blends solace and liberation in a terrible morbidity, which, ultimately defies words in its bleak darkness but does not elude the brilliant young actress Lupita Nyong’o in her astounding performance.  How lucky we are are – and perhaps 2013 will be remembered for this – to have two truly great actresses emerge at the same time; the other, of course, being Adèle Exarchopoulos in ‘Blue Is the Warmest Colour’.

 

But this is a film as much about their capturers, their torturers; the vile plantation owners who refer to slaves as their ‘property’ but, deep down, seem to know otherwise.  Solomon encounters two: they are very different but one is no better than the other.  There is the very weak Ford – the ultimate coward – who acts kindly towards Solomon until the first sign of resentment from his own men and he metaphorically runs a mile in the opposite direction, selling Solomon to the barbaric and depraved – bestial even – Epps.

 

Enter Michael Fassbender.  Occasionally, actor/director partnerships – Scorsese/De Nero is the obvious example – take cinema to that special undefinable but unique place, where fiction touches reality.  That is what happens when McQueen and Fassbender work together and here, Fassbender’s deeply disturbing Epps is psychologically the most complex character on view.  His feelings for Patsey teeter on that dire boundary between love and hate when a rejected affection turns to an unforgiving humiliation.  Epps responds with appalling sadistic acts, condemning himself to a miserable hell on earth in a vicious cycle of inhuman punishment and self-disgust.  In another film, things might come to a head when he commands Solomon to whip – absolutely thrash – Patsey’s bare body seemingly forever, ripping the skin from her back.  Yet, in this world – the heinous real world of plantations – things just carry on as normal.

 

Paul Giamatti’s slave trader is no less chilling but in a different way.  “Very likely he will grow into a fine beast” he says of a young black boy, highlighting his physique as a cattle farmer might at market.  What a brilliant cameo performance this is, callous in his business like matter of fact manner, provoking a discernible outrage amongst the audience without raising his voice or looking towards the camera.

 

Not even occasional moments of astounding beauty that McQueen and cinematographer, Sean Bobbitt, pick out from the Southern landscape – they could be stand alone video art pieces – relieve the ugliness.  The visual poetry, with its soft glow, takes on the same warmth as a Claude idealised landscape, which within the context of the lynchings, rapes, beatings and routine use of the N-word compounds our absolute disgust.  And when McQueen blends the two together – a long take of Solomon dangling from a tree in the shimmering afternoon sun with only tiptoes coming between life and death – it’s unbearable to the point of being unwatchable.

 

This is the grotesque side of Western history, which cinema has acknowledged but usually no more, preferring, instead, to brush it under the carpet.  McQueen forces us to face our predecessors’ demons by identifying with an outsider, whose middle class lifestyle in New York is as remote from sadistic slavery as ours.  Stripped of his clothes, possessions and identity – even renamed ‘Platt’ – gradually, he becomes undistinguishable from other slaves; the silent expression of powerless indignation mutates into resigned desperation but, so subtle is Ejiofor’s acting, the change is seamless.  When he eventually returns to his family by order of court, Hans Zimmer’s score seems to be reaching a Spielberg/Williams climactic high and then holds back, introducing a foreboding tone; a reflective moment, an acknowledgement – as surely Solomon would have demanded – that there was no cause for celebration until every last slave was free.buy levitra pills online
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It’s a film that sends the audience home with a sense of unavoidable shame.

Warren Beatty changes direction

February 13th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Warren Beatty is no longer proceeding with his Howard Hughes biopic ‘The Rules Don’t Apply’, which has been in pre-production for some years, but will retain some of the plot details for his next feature.  By all accounts, Beatty found the biopic format too restrictive and is already pushing ahead with the new/revised production although there may be a new cast.  It will be Beatty’s first theatrical film for over a decade.generic levitra prices
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Natalie Portman’s debut feature under way

February 13th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Natalie Portman has commenced shooting on her debut feature in the director’s chair, ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’, adapted from Amos Oz’s autobiographical novel of the same name.  Set in postwar Jerusalem when the Israeli state was still in its infancy, the film dramatises Oz’s traumatic childhood against the background of political turmoil.  Krysztof Kieswlowski regular, Slawomir Idziak, is on board as cinematographer.generic levitra fda
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Hallström comes aboard Rockefeller biopic

February 13th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Bestseller, ‘Titan: The Life Of John D. Rockefeller’, by Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow, is coming to the big screen with Lasse Hallström at the helm.  Making it an even more attractive proposition, the in-demand ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ screenwriter, Craig Borten, provides the script.  It should be Hallström’s next feature after ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’, starring Helen Mirren and Rohan Chand, which is currently in post production.best price levitra generic
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Best Custom Essay Reviews

February 10th, 2014 - Barbara Thompson

The term must stand in font that is normal as well as alone. The term comes because usual text’s first line, below the site header. Ad Actions Part 1 of 2: Simple Structure Ensure you have a page header. The abstract exists to summarize your report, therefore including info within the subjective not is a minor promotion that is false that is like. Don’t employ “I” or ” we. The page quantity must appear in the top right of the page. Capitalize the “K” and abide by it. Its size that is full ought to be less of the length of the report or about ten percent. (more…)

Sensational opening for Lego animation

February 10th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Warner Bros struck gold with their first animation feature for three years, ‘The Lego Movie’, after a Saturday flurry powered it to a sensational $69m opening weekend from 3,375 theatres at the North American box office.  This was a good $20-25m above already high market expectations, capitalising on strong reviews and an ‘A’ CinemaScore.  The animation comedy had a modest $60m budget and a sequel is already under way.

 

George Clooney enjoyed a solid opening with his art recovery drama, ‘The Monuments Men’, which grossed a higher than expected $22.7m from 3,083 theatres.  Audiences liked it more than critics, generating some positive word of mouth with a reasonable ‘B+’ CinemaScore.

 

The other wide release, ‘Vampire Academy’, bombed after receiving bad reviews and a disappointing ‘B-‘ CinemaScore.  Weinstein’s teen fantasy could only muster $4m from 2,676 theatres over the three days.buy levitra 5mg
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‘Frozen’ bounces back

February 10th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Disney’s resilient ‘Frozen’ returned to the No.1 spot at the international weekend box office for the first time since January 13.  The animation comedy grossed a further $24m from 47 territories over the three days, taking its international tally to an outstanding $545.1m, the fifth highest of all time for an animation feature.

 

Last weekend’s No.1, ‘The Monkey King’, earned a solid $21.5m in second place.  Pou-Soi Cheang’s Chinese epic, which has been in play for just two weekends, increased its international running total to $118m.

 

Robocop was slightly behind on $20.2m for an early $28.7m international total.  The UK led the way with $3.7m from 418 screens.cheap levitra 10mg
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The Weinstein Company picks up US rights to ‘The Imitation Game’

February 9th, 2014 - Graham Eley

The Weinstein Company has paid a reported $7m for US distribution rights to Morten Tyldum’s ‘The Imitation Game’, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly.  Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, who cracked the Nazis’ Enigma Code, only to be on the receiving end of fascist behaviour himself when prosecuted for being gay after the war.  The film is currently in post production.non generic levitra
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‘The Lego Movie’ off to a flyer

February 9th, 2014 - admin

Warner Bros’ first animation feature for three years, ‘The Lego Movie’, grossed a whopping $17m from 3,375 theatres on its Friday launch to take market analysts by surprise.  With an ‘A’ CinemaScore and strong reviews propelling word of mouth, the comedy animation could reach a spectacular $60m over the three days, approximately $15m above expectations.

 

George Clooney’s ‘The Monuments Men’ opened with a $7m Friday from 3,083 theatres in line with market forecasts.  Audiences liked it more than critics, awarding it a decent ‘B+’ CinemaScore and the art recovery drama stands a chance of hitting $20m by Sunday night.

 

The other wide release, ‘Vampire Academy’, made a disastrous start, only earning $1.7m from 2,676 theatres on Friday.  Bad reviews and a disappointing ‘B-‘ CinemaScore should condemn the Weinsteins’ teen fantasy to a poor $4m.

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Millennium takes Barry Levinson’s’ ‘Humbling’

February 7th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Barry Levinson has paired Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig within his keenly awaited adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel, ‘Humbling’, currently in post production.  And the plot seems ready made for the duo, based on a once great stage actor embarking on a dangerous relationship with a free spirit half his age.  Millennium Films have swooped early to acquire world rights.generic levitra 20mg tablets
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Exceptional pre-sales for ‘The Lego Movie’

February 7th, 2014 - Graham Eley

The potential East Coast storms are a variable factor in assessing the weekend prospects for ‘The Lego Movie’, which opens today at the North American box office, but it is a more a question of how high will it go rather than anything else.

 

Warner Bros are targeting a wide audience and it seems to be working with Fandango reporting bumper pre-sales; the second highest ever for an animated film after Toy Story 3 four years ago.

 

Best estimates suggest that it could exceed $45m over the three days.levitra buy online uk
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‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ opens Berlin

February 5th, 2014 - Graham Eley

Wes Anderson’s latest feature, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, starring Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton and Bill Murray, will get the 64th Berlin International Film Festival under way tomorrow and also compete for this year’s Golden Bear.

 

Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ has perhaps generated more publicity than any other film screening in the main competition.  Providing an interesting new take on reality,  Linklater shot it over 12 years to show a boy’s changing relationship with his troubled parents.

 

Claudia Llosa, who won the Golden Lion with ‘The Milk of Sorrow’, returns with ‘Aloft’, a family drama dealing with complexities beyond our control.  Other Berlin regulars, Alain Resnais, Yoji Yamada, Hans Petter Moland and Rachid Bouchareb also have new films in the main competition.

 

No doubt, Lars von Trier’s much hyped ‘Nymphomaniac’ will grab the headlines when it screens out of competition.

 

Main competition:

 

71
Yann Demange

 

After making his name in television with the BAFTA nominated ‘Top Boy’, ‘Criminal Justice’ and ‘Dead Set’, Yann Demange directs his first feature film, ’71’.  Based on a screenplay from playwright, Gregory Burke (Black Watch), it returns to the height of the Northern Ireland troubles – the title signifies the year – where a British soldier finds himself stranded in hostile streets after becoming detached from his unit.

 

Aimer, boire et chanter (The Life Of Riley)
Alain Resnais

 

Alain Resnais returns to Berlin with his third adaptation of an Alan Ayckbourn play, one of which, ‘Smoking/No Smoking’, won a Silver Bear for an outstanding single achievement.  His latest, ‘Aimer, boire et chanter’ (‘The Life Of Riley’), is a tragi-comedy with a group of friends celebrating the life of a dying man.

 

Aloft
Claudia Llosa

 

Claudia Llosa won the Golden Lion with her last feature, ‘The Milk of Sorrow’, which, strangely, did not receive the full acclaim it deserved elsewhere.  Her follow-up, ‘Aloft’, starring Jennifer Connelly, looks at child mortality, enforced separation and other serious family issues over two time periods.

 

Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice)
Diao Yinan

 

Diao Yinan’s intriguing third feature, ‘Bai Ri Yan Huo’ (‘Black Coal, Thin Ice’), has the characteristics of a contemporary film noir thriller but looks to transcend the sub-genre through exploring a complex murder case beyond the usual conventions.  Liao Fan plays an ex-cop, who is out of his depth when encountering a dry cleaner employee/femme fatale.  Diao is already established on the festival circuit after winning noteworthy awards for both of his first two films, ‘Uniform’ and ‘Night Train’.

 

Boyhood
Richard Linklater

 

Richard Linklater’s keenly awaited new feature, ‘Boyhood’, has probably received more publicity than any other film competing for this year’s Golden Bear – Lars von Trier’s limelight magnet, ‘Nymphomaniac’, screens out of competition.  Pushing authenticity to its limits, Linklater intermittently shot the film over a 12 year period to show a boy’s changing relationship with his troubled parents.  Linklater regular, Ethan Hawke, stars alongside Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane.

 

Chiisai Ouchi (The Little House)
Yoji Yamada

 

The vastly experienced and prolific Yoji Yamada – it’s now over fifty years since his debut feature – adapts Kyoko Nakajima’s Naoki winning novel, Chiisai Ouchi (‘The Little House’) for his first romance.  The change of direction takes us to pre-WW2 Tokyo and a friendship between the head of a modest household and his maid.  It is the fifth time that Yamada has competed for the Golden Lion.

 

Die geliebten Schwestern (Beloved Sisters)
Dominik Graf

 

The latest feature from German auteur, Dominik Graf, depicts a complex ménage à trois in pre-Revolution France with the volatile philosopher, Friedrich Schiller, and two aristocratic but very different sisters.  Four Minutes’ actress Hannah Herzsprung stars alongside Henriette Confurius and Florian Stetter.  It’s Graf’s second film to screen in Berlin’s main competition after ‘Der Felsen’ (‘A Map of the Heart’) twelve years ago.

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson

 

Wes Anderson’s eighth feature, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, starring Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton and Bill Murray, will compete for the Golden Lion as well as opening this year’s edition.  It takes place in a fictional republic – Anderson-land in other words – where a well known concierge becomes embroiled in a series of unexpected adventures after inheriting a valuable painting.  Fox Searchlight has already acquired worldwide distribution rights.

 

Historia del miedo (History of Fear)
Benjamin Naishtat

 

Benjamin Naishtat makes his feature debut with ‘Historia del miedo’ (‘History of Fear’), starring relative newcomer, Jonathan Da Rosa, alongside the experienced César Bordón (The Headless Woman).  Based on his own script, it is a political satire set in abandoned suburbia and pushes State constructed paranoia to its limits.  Naishtat’s earlier ‘El juego’ won best short film at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema.

 

Jack
Edward Berger

 

Edward Berger co-wrote his latest feature with the experienced actress, Nele Mueller-Stöfen, who is best known for her performance in Christian Petzold’s ‘Die Beischlafdiebin’.  Ivo Pietzcker and Georg Arms make their debuts as two neglected and increasingly alienated children searching for their mother in all parts of Berlin.

 

Kraftidioten (In Order of Disappearance)
Hans Petter Moland

 

Hans Petter Moland makes his third appearance in Berlin’s main competition after ‘A Somewhat Gentle Man’ and ‘The Beautiful Country’.  This time it’s a jet black comedy, ‘Kraftidioten’ (‘In Order of Disappearance’), which sees Moland reunite with his (and Lars von Trier) regular, Stellan Skarsgård.  The Swedish actor plays a snow plough driver, who embarks on a journey to the unknown when searching for clues into his son’s death.

 

Kreuzweg (Stations of the Cross)
Dietrich Brüggemann

 

Dietrich Brüggemann has enjoyed some exposure in his native Germany but very little elsewhere.  All of that could change with his fourth feature, ‘Kreuzweg’ (‘Stations of the Cross’), receiving a high profile screening in Berlin’s main competition.  Newcomer, Lea van Acken, plays a young teenager struggling to reconcile her daily life with an extreme form of Catholicism.

 

Macondo
Sudabeh Mortezai

 

Documentary filmmaker, Sudabeh Mortezai, turns to fiction for the first time with his third feature, ‘Macondo’, after ‘Im Bazar der Geschlechter’ and ‘Children of the Prophet’.  And Mortezai’s documentary style is likely to be evident in this realist asylum-seeker drama, where an eleven-year-old Chechnyan faces a future living in a makeshift settlement within Vienna’s no man’s land.

 

Praia do Futuro (Beach of the Future)
Karim Ainouz

 

Experienced Brazilian filmmaker and visual artist, Karim Aïnouz, is a familiar presence on the international film festival circuit where he boosts a number of notable wins.  His latest feature, ‘Praia do Futuro’ (‘Beach of the Future’) explores sexuality and identity when following a gay man’s move from Brazil to Germany with a new lover.

 

Stratos (To mikro psari)
Yannis Economides

 

None of Yannis Economides’ three previous features have received extensive festival screenings or a theatrical release outside Greece.  The appearance of his latest, ‘Stratos’ (‘To mikro psari’), will be an unknown quantity for many and it focuses upon a hit-man with a social conscience in normal society.

 

La tercera orilla (The Third Side of the River)
Celina Murga

 

Key figure in the Argentine new wave, Celina Murga, returns with her first fiction feature since the acclaimed ‘A Week Alone’ seven years ago.  Newcomers, Alian Devetac and Daniel Veronese, star in ‘La tercera orilla’ (‘The Third Side of the River’), a complex domestic drama where a doctor raises two families; one as part of a socially acceptable marriage and the other with his humble mistress.  Things come to a head when his eldest illegitimate son reaches sixteen.

 

Tui Na (Blind Massage)
Lou Ye

 

Lou Ye has received a Tiger Award at Rotterdam for his early feature, ‘Suzhou River’, competed twice for Cannes’ Palme d’Or and picked up various other nominations and prizes on the festival circuit.  His latest, ‘Tui Na’ (‘Blind Massage’), one of the most keenly anticipated films in the competition programme, is a experimental film that reflects on contemporary China from blind protagonists’ perspective.

 

‘La voie de l’ennemi’ (‘Two Men in Town’)
Rachid Bouchareb

 

Rachid Bouchareb is a regular at major film festivals and competes at Berlin for the fourth time with ‘La voie de l’ennemi’ (‘Two Men in Town’).  Forest Whitaker leads a stellar cast alongside Harvey Keitel and Ellen Burstyn and plays a Muslim ex-con grappling with the historical and cultural complexities of going straight in an unforgiving New Mexican town.

 

Wu Ren Qu (No Man’s Land)
Ning Hao

 

Ning Hao’s ‘Wu Ren Qu’ (‘No Man’s Land’) had an extraordinary history before its theatrical release in China at the end of last year.  The precise surrounding circumstances are unclear but Hao completed the film five years ago before allegedly encountering complications with China’s film bureau.  Xu Zheng and Yu Nan star in a bleak noir drama where a lawyer encounters the ugly side of humanity on a lawless road to the Gobi desert.

 

Zwischen Welten (Inbetween Worlds)
Feo Aladag

 

Actress turned filmmaker, Feo Aladag, made a huge impression with her debut film, ‘When We Leave’, which won multiple awards on the festival circuit, including best narrative feature at Tribeca.  She returns with ‘Zwischen Welten’ (‘Inbetween Worlds’), a complex war drama set in Afghanistan where political alliances don’t easily override cultural differences.generika levitra in deutschland
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Buy Essays Online Canada

February 5th, 2014 - Barbara Thompson

The proper assets and insights from instructors and teachers will help them to examine wiser, not. Thats an extremely unlikely instance obviously, but you can find surely numerous approaches to measure intellect and potential for success. Einstein is said to did badly in high school and both Gates and Zuckerberg school in math, but its buy essays online canada uncertain that anybody views them unintelligent or lost. The AP English Literature Assessment, for instance, needs pupils to publish numerous limited and lengthy essays a couple of variety of works of literature (frequently students could pick a couple of from the offered list; theyre not instantly disqualified if they didnt happen to read Transgression and Punishment in senior high school). (more…)

China dominates internationally

February 4th, 2014 - Graham Eley

It was a strong weekend for China with two films from the territory easily leading the international box office.

 

New release, ‘The Monkey King’, lead the way after grossing a strong $46m over the session.  It is the latest film from the experienced Pou-Soi Cheang, who competed for Venice’s Golden Lion with ‘Accident’ five years ago.

 

Another opener, ‘Dad, Where Are We Going?’, based on a Chinese reality show, took a decent $34m in second place.discount levitra online
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‘Kill Your Darlings’ team reunite

February 4th, 2014 - Graham Eley

John Krokidas is to reunite with Daniel Radcliffe & Dane DeHaan for his second feature, ‘College Republicans’, based upon Wes Jones’ Black List script.  As with their previous collaboration, ‘Kill Your Darlings’, Krokidas focuses on public figures before they’re famous and, this time, turns to Karl Rove’s and Lee Atwater’s ‘dirty campaign’ for the College Republican Chairman election during 1973.  It is early days but Krokidas hopes to enter production this year.levitra prescription cost
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Buying Essays Online Yahoo

February 3rd, 2014 - Barbara Thompson

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Which means that 25% less nutrients and air are got by your brain cells.

An introvert may become introverted as an example because persistent pain triggers you to decrease amusement activities and societal activities since it is. So select not effective coping methods and high scorers will not deal nicely. They feel concern, anxiety and worry which is a normal effect as a result of function of discomfort by seeking medical interest to motivate the person to hear the discomfort indication and find to end it or taken care of it. Maybe you might not possibly recognize that a sporting heart and trembling can be indications of anxiety. (more…)

Bab el Oued City: A 20th anniversary reappraisal

February 2nd, 2014 - Graham Eley

Just as today’s local filmmakers are providing an essential birds eye view of the Arab Spring’s complex aftermath, often focusing on details that seemingly lie beyond traditional journalism,  Merzak Allouache’s sixth feature, ‘Bab el Oued City’, gave us an invaluable insight into Islamic fundamentalism within Algeria when it challenged an old order rather than being one under attack.

 

The film made an immediate impression, screening in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes, where it won the FIPRESCI Award.  But, inevitably, it has slipped beneath the radar during the intervening twenty years and the film is now ripe for a revival; particularly as Allouache’s latest feature, ‘Rooftops’, competed for the Golden Lion at last year’s Venice.

 

And rooftops played their part in ‘Bab el Oued City’, where loudspeakers boom out fundamentalist propaganda/extreme edicts, seemingly all night long.  These have the feel of a totalitarian regime imposing/exercising an arbitrary authority – a Big Brother command – but, in reality, this is a transitional period; the ideological battle still under way.

 

We sense that the fundamentalists have a foothold but there is no likelihood of sweeping change.  This is a war of attrition at a local level – political substitution by coercion – where nothing is quite what it first seems.  Local thugs target individuals rather than an official body, trying to bully them into submission but a mysterious sinister presence – unseen occupiers of a car circling the city – could be co-ordinating the apparent random acts.  We never do find out who is pulling the strings and the film is far more effective for it.

 

The fundamentalists demand ‘cleanliness’, an euphemism for a familiar religious purity that silences women and restricts men to a single worldview.  Various story-lines – some interconnected – explore the community’s reaction to the fundamentalists’ gradual but discernible tightening of their metaphorical net.  Inevitably, though, the net not only catches opponents but many supporters, who apply the new rules more liberally when it suites them; leading to hypocrisy and a qualified morality upon their own terms.

 

And it paints a very different picture of women’s submission than that emerging from more recent films dealing with contemporary tyrannous regimes.  One of the more shocking aspects of ‘Wadjda’ and ‘B for Boy’, for example, was the portrayal of women colluding in their own suppression, acting as gender police for an extreme patriarchal society.  The women in ‘Bab el Oued City’ are far less accepting of their position, establishing rules within rules, looking for ways that they can subvert the new doctrine and get away with it.

 

Hassan Abdou plays a young butcher, Boualem, who has a complex relationship with an alcoholic woman living in solitude and a much simpler one with the virginal younger sister of an extremist, Said.  Boualem removes a roof loudspeaker in an act of impotent deviance that has wider consequences than he anticipated.

 

Mohamed Ourdache plays Said.  He leads a personal crusade against Boualem and seems to rule the roost in these parts until an ambiguous encounter with a man from the ominous car.

 

And from these straight-forward set-pieces emerge an elaborate network of fluctuating and unstable social interactions, one that Allouache somehow shapes into a coherent structure without losing the majority ‘s political and cultural equivocation.

 

This is a film that extends beyond its immediate historical moment – fundamentalism establishing a power basis – and has much to say about the nature of extremism and power in general and how key moments remain undetected, which distorts subsequent thinking and understanding.  It’s a film that deserves and demands wider attention.generic cialis online mastercard cheap cialis uk cialis online mastercard generic cialis tadalafil rxmeds hub order cialis online buy cialis online in usa cialis 5mg online usa