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‘Sweet Country’ Heads Acquisitions Slate for Saga Films (Exclusive)

‘Sweet Country’ Heads Acquisitions Slate for Saga Films (Exclusive)
Saga Films, a recently launched pan-Asian sales and distribution company, has picked up multi-territory rights to a trio of current films. Among them is Australian thriller “Sweet Country,” which won major prizes at both the Venice and Toronto festivals last month and plays this week in the World Focus section of the Tokyo International Film Festival.

The other titles are mystery thriller “Vestige,” starring Mickey Rourke, and Kyle Rideout’s period psychological drama “Eadweard.”

Saga was launched in August from its base in Los Angeles, where it is the sister company of Red Apollo. The company claims significant China expertise and a distribution license in mainland China. That allows it to either handle its own release or license to online platforms in China. It acts as re-seller in the rest of Asia. Both Red Apollo and Saga are backed by Rick Zhang Yifeng. Saga is operated by film sales veteran Brett Lauter, as VP of global
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Intersex Objects of Bertrand Mandico

  • MUBI
Mubi's retrospective Bertrand Mandico's Cinema is showing July 26 - October 7, 2017 in many countries around the world.The cinema of French filmmaker and animator Bertrand Mandico is unique in its approach to depicting the human body. For Mandico, the body’s status as a film subject is comparable to and interchangeable with that of any other film subject. That is, ‘animate objects’—such as human characters or animals—occupy the same cinematic roles as ‘inanimate’ ones—such as housewares or artificial structures, collapsing the binary that exists between the two. Mandico’s films time and again blur the line between binaries—animate and inanimate, male and female—and in doing so demonstrate their arbitrary nature as film subjects. Bodies and objects in Mandico’s cinema often appear abstracted and juxtaposed vis-a-vis each other, such as when women portray lamps and men portray statues in Our Lady of Hormones (2014). At first glance,
See full article at MUBI »

The Founding Fathers of Film

  • Cinelinx
Gambling, backstabbing, accidental brilliance, industrial sabotage, and suspicious disappearances all had a role in the birth of film. This is a look at the Victorian-era men who played vital roles in making movies possible.

The transition of film from still photography to the burgeoning industry that it is today did not happen overnight. Moving pictures began as a novelty act. In the mid 19th century, photographers would place successive metal film prints into spinning disks to create pictures that “moved”. Later, it was a wager by railroad tycoon Leland Stanford that gave moving pictures their first practical application. In 1878, he wanted to see if a horse ever had all of its legs off the ground when it ran, and a set-up of cameras in quick succession by Eadweard Muybridge gave him the answer of “yes”. Muybridge would develop this idea further, into a spinning lantern called the Zoopraxiscope to study the movement of animals.
See full article at Cinelinx »

Review: ‘The Mummy’ Is The Worst Tom Cruise Movie Ever

  • Indiewire
Review: ‘The Mummy’ Is The Worst Tom Cruise Movie Ever
What made Tom Cruise a movie star? It wasn’t his toothy smile or his all-American dimples. It wasn’t that he was cocky enough to be loved, but also vulnerable enough to be lovable, although that certainly helped. It wasn’t even the fact that the way he runs on screen tells us more about the fundamental nature of cinema than anyone has conveyed with a stride since Eadweard Muybridge trained his camera on a galloping horse. No, Tom Cruise became a movie star because he possessed something that galvanized all of those individual qualities into something special — a need for quality control.

Just consider those credits: “Risky Business.” “Top Gun.” “Born on the Fourth of July.” Cruise was a human seal of freshness decades before today’s Hollywood A-listers needed Rotten Tomatoes to validate their work. If “Cocktail” was the worst movie an actor made in the first decade of their career,
See full article at Indiewire »

Review: Going in Both Directions—Julia Ducournau’s “Raw”

  • MUBI
France has a rich history of horror. There’s the sadomasochistic novels of the Marquis de Sade as well as the blood and guts of Grand Guignol theatre. In cinema, the horror lineage runs deep. There’s Georges Méliès’ shorts and trick films (The Haunted Castle [1896], The Four Troublesome Heads [1898]); the eye-slicing of Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel’s Un chien andalou (1929); Georges Franju’s nauseating documentary on slaughterhouses, Blood of the Beasts (1949), as well as his clinical and poetic Eyes Without a Face (1960); there’s Henri-Georges Clouzot’s nasty Diabolique (1955); and the rotting poetry of Jean Rollin’s collective work. Flash forward a few decades, to the mid-1990s and 2000s, where we find the intense and brutal "New French Extremity" films by Philippe Grandrieux, Bruno Dumont, Gaspar Noé, Marina de Van, and others. And there are the genre filmmakers creating work around the same time as the more
See full article at MUBI »

Dance in the Frame by Amber Wilkinson - 2016-05-25 08:00:12

Eadweard will open the Frame Festival The inaugural Frame Dance Film Festival, which will run from June 9 to 12 in Kingston-upon Thames, London, has announced its full programme of films and events.

The festival will open with Canadian drama Eadweard about photographer Eadweard Muybridge - who was born in Kingston-upon-Thames - and is often considered the "godfather of modern cinema".

The rest of the programme features a mixture of old and new movies, including classics such as Singin' In The Rain and 42nd Street, and newer releases such as Desert Dancer and Sea Without Shore. Special events will include a seminar on producing dance films and a seminar to help filmmakers hone their pitching skills.

There are also films aimed at families, including a screening of Happy Feet.

In addition, there are is the prestigious bi-annual dancescreen competition, with shortlisted features and short films screened over three days in contention. The winners will be announced.
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Fog City Mavericks

  • The AV Club
Over the past 150 years, San Francisco had been the base of operations for nm1155956 autoEadweard Muybridge[/link] and Philo T. Farnsworth—inventors of the zoopraxiscope and television, respectively—as well as filmmakers as well-known as nm0000184 autoGeorge Lucas[/link] and nm0000338 autoFrancis Ford Coppola[/link], and as lesser-known as avant-garde legend nm0175126 autoBruce Conner[/link]. nm0505118 autoGary Leva[/link]'s documentary Fog City Mavericks tries to encompass them all, making a case for the city as a welcoming place for innovation and art. But while his argument is hard to dispute, the way Leva makes it is often confounding. Working non-chronologically, Leva starts with Muybridge's early experiments in high-speed photography, then jumps ahead to the founding of Lucas and Coppola's idealistic filmmaking collective American Zoetrope. From there, Fog City Mavericks keeps returning to the Zoetrope crew, while zigzagging around to pick up anecdotes about nm0000122 autoCharles Chaplin[/link]'s brief stint in San Francisco, as well
See full article at The AV Club »

Fog City Mavericks

Fog City Mavericks
This review was written for the festival screening of "Fog City Mavericks".San Francisco International Film Festival

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gary Leva's entertaining if overly reverent celebration of Northern California filmmakers, "Fog City Mavericks", had its world premiere here as it played to an enthusiastic hometown crowd. The documentary is more a catalogue of admiring portraits and reminiscences than a structured, objective documentary. Leva, the man behind numerous film-related docus, surveys more than 130 years of San Francisco film history from Eadweard Muybridge to Sofia Coppola, favoring inclusiveness over depth.

Although some of the personal and professional backstories likely will be familiar to film buffs -- especially those concerning Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas -- the old photographs, behind-the-scenes footage, pristine film clips and amusing stories -- not to mention an impressive lineup of talking heads -- should give the docu a long run on the festival circuit. With Starz holding the TV rights, "Fog" will have an extended life on cable.

Lucas, Coppola, Saul Zaentz, Robin Williams, Philip Kaufman, Clint Eastwood and Walter Murch, among 30 others, trade anecdotes and volunteer nary a negative word about one another, reserving their ridicule and disdain instead for Hollywood. (Milos Forman's puckish humor is one of the film's delights.) They point out that working at home keeps them a safe distance away from the long arms of studio hacks.

The scenic footage shot by Ron Fricke makes the case for the seductiveness of the Bay Area, which has been a magnet for iconoclasts and creative renegades. It should be said that these mavericks, all of them male with the notable exception of Ms. Coppola, have had enough success to afford the option of living outside of Los Angeles, and most arrived in San Francisco when the city and its environs were still affordable for artists.

The film might have worked better if it had concentrated on the 1970s; Leva's material on this period is particularly strong. The main problem is that the film, attempting to cover a lot of ground, is overstuffed. Bronco Billy, Charles Chaplin, Bruce Conner, Pixar and "The Black Stallion" are a lot to pour into a single movie.

Some of Leva's choices are downright puzzling. Maverick is not the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Chris Columbus. It would have been interesting to hear more from the reclusive Carroll Ballard, the brilliant sound designer Ben Burtt or indie pioneer John Korty. Williams is brought in for comic relief and delivers, but his career is left unexplored.

Coppola's home movies of his parents are a treat, but Lucas' car accident when he was a teenager and Coppola's bout with childhood polio are recounted with undue gravity. This grave tone often finds its way into the script. The lofty narration, voiced by the dependable Peter Coyote, is by turns inordinately solemn or effusive and with music swelling on the soundtrack contributes to an inadvertent self-congratulatory air that permeates this project. "Fog" is most engaging when Leva lets the filmmakers speak for themselves.

FOG CITY MAVERICKS

Lucasfilm Ltd./Starz Originals, Leva Filmworks, Inc., Handcrafted Entertainment

Credits: Director-writer-producer-editor: Gary Leva

Running time -- 120 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites