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Lumière Festival: Guillermo del Toro on the Catholic Church, his Holy Trinity and Boris Karloff Epiphany

Lumière Festival: Guillermo del Toro on the Catholic Church, his Holy Trinity and Boris Karloff Epiphany
Lyon, France — In a wide-ranging discussion at Lyon’s Lumière Festival on Monday, Guillermo del Toro talked about the creative and disturbing influence of the Catholic Church, his own personal Holy Trinity, the unique aspects of cinema, his desire to work with Michael Mann and George Miller on a book project and his Boris Karloff-inspired epiphany.

Asked how he is able to translate nightmares into beautiful dreams, Del Toro quipped, “I had a f****d up childhood.”

The imagery of Mexico’s Catholic Church, which Del Toro described as second only to that of the Philippines in goriness and anatomical accurateness, was a main factor.

“There was a Christ in my church with an exposed bone fracture, and it was kind of green and purple, but his face looked like he was coming. And then they said, ‘The body of Christ,’ and I said, ‘No thank you.’

“In Guadalajara, of all f*****g cities,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tac Studios Inks Sales Deals with Modern Times Group’s Viasat World, Econet Media’s Kwesé TV (Exclusive)

Tac Studios Inks Sales Deals with Modern Times Group’s Viasat World, Econet Media’s Kwesé TV (Exclusive)
Tac Studios has inked two international content licensing deals with Viasat World and Kwesé TV, expanding the global reach of The Africa Channel’s year-old production arm.

According to the terms of the deals, Viasat has acquired two seasons of “Africa on a Plate,” a Tac Studios original series which features up-and-coming chefs setting off on culinary adventures across the continent.

Kwesé TV has acquired complete seasons of four original series, including “Africa Everywhere,” which highlights the influences of African and Caribbean immigrants on cities around the world; “My Africa,” which explores African cities through the eyes of notable local personalities; “Emerging,” which shines a light on emerging African economies; and “Self Made,” which features entrepreneurs, artists, entertainers and philanthropists who are making a difference outside the mainstream.

In a statement, Tac’s director of content strategy and distribution, Lynneise Joseph, said the deals “demonstrate the hunger that audiences across the globe have to see more multi-cultural
See full article at Variety - Film News »

International Newswire: HBO Nordic, Turner Launch New Ott Toonix Brand

In today’s International Newswire, Turner and HBO launch a new Ott family brand in Scandinavia; Lionsgate UK re-teams with Noel Clarke; and as the TV industry builds up for mid-month’s Mipcom trade fair, Keshet Intl. revealing its Mipcom slate, a report suggests television remains the preferred screen of choice for viewing programs.

HBO Nordic, which operates in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, has launched Turner’s brand-new children and family Ott service Toonix. Created by Turner Emea, Toonix is targeted at 3-12-year-olds and their families. The service will offer a mix of kids’ series and movies, including popular content from Turner’s Cartoon Network Studios and Warner Bros. Animation. Among its key shows are “The Amazing World of Gumball,” “Lego Ninjago,” “Looney Tunes” and “The Powerpuff Girls,” all of which are fully localized, with offerings in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish. Toonix will be available for consumers on www.hbonordic.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

International Newswire: San Sebastian Bids to Become Sales Mecca

In today’s International Newswire, fall festivals like San Sebastian bid to become movie rights biz bazaars; Disney’s Patagonik and Adrián Suar score another box-office victory in Argentina with soccer comedy ‘My Love or My Passion’; and Modern Times Group conspires with Pinewood TV and Eccho Rights on global arms trade thriller ‘Conspiracy of Silence.’

Adding a frisson for copy editors, reputed Spanish screenwriter Jorge Guerricaechevarría and Brazilian cinematographer André Szankowski have joined the main competition jury of Spain’s San Sebastián Film Festival, headed by John Malkovich. The festival kicks off on Friday with Wim Wenders’ “Submergence,” starring James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander.

The highest-profile movie event in the Spanish-speaking world has already 1,611 industry participants, up 3% on 2016’s final figure and 64% on 2010.

Trading at Toronto looked slow on not only the U.S. domestic market but also on all but the biggest international titles with many sales agents leaving the Canadian festival still in desperate
See full article at Variety - TV News »

International Newswire: San Sebastian Bids to Become Sales Mecca

In today’s International Newswire, fall festivals like San Sebastian bid to become movie rights biz bazaars; Disney’s Patagonik and Adrián Suar score another box-office victory in Argentina with soccer comedy ‘My Love or My Passion’; and Modern Times Group conspires with Pinewood TV and Eccho Rights on global arms trade thriller ‘Conspiracy of Silence.’

Adding a frisson for copy editors, reputed Spanish screenwriter Jorge Guerricaechevarría and Brazilian cinematographer André Szankowski have joined the main competition jury of Spain’s San Sebastián Film Festival, headed by John Malkovich. The festival kicks off on Friday with Wim Wenders’ “Submergence,” starring James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander.

The highest-profile movie event in the Spanish-speaking world has already 1,611 industry participants, up 3% on 2016’s final figure and 64% on 2010.

Trading at Toronto looked slow on not only the U.S. domestic market but also on all but the biggest international titles with many sales agents leaving the Canadian festival still in desperate
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Canon Of Film: ‘Playtime’

In the second edition of Canon Of Film, we take a look a Jacques Tati‘s ‘Playtime’. For the genesis of Canon Of Film, you can click here.

Playtime” (1967)

Director: Jacques Tati

Screenplay: Jacques Lagrange and Jacques Tati; with addition English dialogue by Art Buchwald

Jacques Tati’s ‘Playtime‘ is clearly a masterpiece, but I think almost nobody can actually master it. According to film scholar Noel Berch, ‘Playtime‘, doesn’t have to just be seen multiple times, but has to be seen from several different points in the theater itself. The movie is all action. Not the way we normally think of action, but “action” in terms of filling up the screen. To watch one thing – usually in the foreground – means you’re missing many things happening in the background, and vice-versa.

The most expensive French film made at the time, the film’s box office failure would eventually bankrupt Tati.
See full article at Age of the Nerd »

Disney Princesses If they were in Modern Times

We’ve all seen the Disney princesses in their classic, traditional looks and if you’ve looked around the internet at all you might have seen a great many renditions of how they might look as Star Wars characters, Game of Thrones characters, and even as superheroes. But some of the most interesting looks for these classical ladies don’t have anything to do with fantasy. You’ve seen them be represented on TV and in some cases in live action, but what about if they were more true to life in modern times? Then they might look something like these alluring pictures below.

Disney Princesses If they were in Modern Times
See full article at TVovermind.com »

The 100 Greatest Comedies of All-Time, According to BBC’s Critics Poll

After polling critics from around the world for the greatest American films of all-time, BBC has now forged ahead in the attempt to get a consensus on the best comedies of all-time. After polling 253 film critics, including 118 women and 135 men, from 52 countries and six continents a simple, the list of the 100 greatest is now here.

Featuring canonical classics such as Some Like It Hot, Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall, Duck Soup, Playtime, and more in the top 10, there’s some interesting observations looking at the rest of the list. Toni Erdmann is the most recent inclusion, while the highest Wes Anderson pick is The Royal Tenenbaums. There’s also a healthy dose of Chaplin and Lubitsch with four films each, and the recently departed Jerry Lewis has a pair of inclusions.

Check out the list below (and my ballot) and see more on their official site.

100. (tie) The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Curzon launches monthly subscription VoD offering

  • ScreenDaily
Curzon launches monthly subscription VoD offering
Exclusive: Curzon12 will stream recent and classic movies; first lineup revealed.

Curzon is beefing up its online offering with the launch of Curzon12, a monthly VoD service built into its membership packages.

The service will host 12 recent and classic movies which will be available to stream when logging in with a Curzon membership.

Scroll down for first lineup

Each month’s curated lineup, taken exclusively from Curzon’s library, is selected by the company’s programming team and is designed to complement the films playing across Curzon’s cinemas and its day-and-date service on Curzon Home Cinema that month.

The collection will feature the work of directors such as Yorgos Lanthimos, Charlie Chaplin, Andrea Arnold, Satyajit Ray and Agnes Varda as well as lesser known filmmakers.

The offering will be accompanied by a monthly newsletter that will delve deeper into three headline titles for that month.

The subscription is a benefit for existing and future members at no additional
See full article at ScreenDaily »

79 Movies to See Before You Die, According to the Dardenne Brothers

79 Movies to See Before You Die, According to the Dardenne Brothers
Any list of the greatest foreign directors currently working today has to include Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. The directors first rose to prominence in the mid 1990s with efforts like “The Promise” and “Rosetta,” and they’ve continued to excel in the 21st century with titles such as “The Kid With A Bike” and “Two Days One Night,” which earned Marion Cotillard a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

Read MoreThe Dardenne Brothers’ Next Film Will Be a Terrorism Drama

The directors will be back in U.S. theaters with the release of “The Unknown Girl” on September 8, which is a long time coming considering the film first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. While you continue to wait for their new movie, the brothers have provided their definitive list of 79 movies from the 20th century that you must see. La Cinetek published the list in full and is hosting many
See full article at Indiewire »

Locarno Film Review: ‘Winter Brothers’

First there is the darkness of a limestone mine, lit only by helmet flashlights and the occasional shower of flinty sparks from a pickax connecting with rock. And then there’s the comparative dazzle of the processing plant, bleached white by a settling of lime dust and snow. Somehow these conflicting images are rendered equivalently bleak and scuzzy in Hlynur Pálmason’s challenging, deeply weird and yet peculiarly compelling directorial debut, in which a tiny community of Danish workers, clustered around a factory in the middle of nowhere, feels so isolated and remote it could well be on the surface of the moon.

Just as astronauts have to be psychologically vetted in preparation for the extreme philosophical loneliness of space, out here, you have to be thoroughly grounded to survive. And most of the men, big, silent types with craggy faces, clad in denim workwear acid-washed by time and labor (and probably actual acid), are of such
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Video Essay. The Brotherhood of Opale

  • MUBI
The 23rd entry in an on-going series of audiovisual essays by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin. Mubi is showing Jean Renoir's The Testament of Dr. Cordelier (1959) is August 3 - September 2, 2017 in the United States as part of the series Jean Renoir.Jean Renoir’s The Experiment of Dr. Cordelier (a.k.a. The Doctor’s Horrible Experiment, 1959), shot using the multi-camera set-up of a television production, is a free variation on Robert Louis Stevenson’s immortal tale, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886). However, Renoir’s take on this material owes less to the horror genre than to a kind of speculative, philosophical fiction. Unlike in most screen versions of the Jekyll/Hyde duality, Renoir goes easy on the conventional distinction between the good and evil sides of a single personality. Yes, the figure of Opale, into whom Cordelier transforms himself, is destructive, bestial, cruel, and sadistic.
See full article at MUBI »

Mtg Takes Mayweather and McGregor Fight to the Nordics

Mtg Takes Mayweather and McGregor Fight to the Nordics
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and Conor McGregor will slug it out on Viaplay in the Nordics after the Modern Times Group picked up local rights to the hugely hyped boxing match.

The fight takes place Aug. 26 in Las Vegas and will be on Mtg’s Viasat pay-tv service and Viaplay streaming service. The match-up will be a huge pay-per-view event and one of the highest-grossing fights ever as McGregor, a mixed martial arts specialist, takes on the undefeated Mayweather, the most successful pound-for-pound boxer of all time.

Mtg said it is set to become the biggest pay-per-view fight ever in the Nordic region. The pay-tv operator already shows a range of boxing and Ufc fights. Mtg bought the rights from Img. The pay-per-view will cost Nordic fans Sek 499 ($60) in Sweden, Dkk 499 ($77.45) in Denmark, €59.95 ($69.21) in Finland, and Nok 499 ($61.62) in Norway.

“We can’t wait to bring such a thrilling contest, which has massive appeal to all sports fans, to
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Swedish Streaming Service Viaplay Gets New Head

Swedish Streaming Service Viaplay Gets New Head
Viaplay, the leading Nordic streaming service owned by Modern Times Group, has upped chief commercial officer Ira Gladnikoff to the position of head of Viaplay.

Gladnikoff, who joined the outfit in 2015 and helped develop the streaming service in the Nordic region, will replace Jonas Karlén, who had been leading Viaplay since 2015 and recently decided to step down.

Between 2013 and 2016, Viaplay expanded its customer base by four times and grew its revenues by five times. Last year, Viaplay was also named the best Apple TV app in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. The service has been ramping up its investment in original programming, in particular drama series such as “Swedish Dicks” and “Veni Vidi Vici.”

“We provide our subscribers with a more varied streamed content experience than any other service, and there are so many opportunities to work with our fellow Mtg Nordic entertainment brands to deliver even more integrated and
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Scandi streaming service Viaplay appoints head

Scandi streaming service Viaplay appoints head
Ira Gladnikoff replaces Jonas Karlén, who has led Viaplay since 2015.

Ira Gladnikoff has become head of Viaplay, Modern Times Group’s (Mtg) Nordic video streaming service. She takes over from Jonas Karlén, who has led Viaplay since 2015.

Gladnikoff has been at Mtg since 2015 most recently serving as Viaplay’s chief commercial officer.

Anders Jensen, Mtg Evp, chairman of the Nordic Entertainment Management Board and Mtg Sweden CEO said: “We wish Jonas well in his new ventures and thank him for his nine years at Mtg and leading the successful development of Viaplay.

“It is great that we have a ready made successor in Ira, who has extensive experience in the online video entertainment space and, as Cco of Viaplay, has been responsible for so much of Viaplay’s commercial success.”

Gladnikoff added: “Viaplay is a passion of mine and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to lead such a great team. We provide
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Slovakia’s Art Film Fest Celebrates Eclectic Slate of Cinema

Slovakia’s Art Film Fest Celebrates Eclectic Slate of Cinema
There can be few film festivals as eclectic as Slovakia’s Art Film Fest, where, this year, works by established and emerging local directors — such as Tereza Nvotova, with her mental health drama “Filthy” — vie for attention alongside white-hot Cannes titles such as Josh and Benny Safdie’s “Good Time” and Sergei Loznitsa’s “A Gentle Creature,” or Hollywood totems such as the 1942 Humphrey Bogart drama “Casablanca,” and Charlie Chaplin’s near-silent 1936 classic “Modern Times.” Festival runs June 16-24.

Now celebrating its 25th edition, the festival was founded in 1993 in Trencianske Teplice, a small spa town in West Slovakia. Back then, the festival was simply titled Art Film, screening short films on the subject of art. Tellingly, the guest of honor that year was the experimental British director, and digital film advocate, Peter Greenaway.

Two years after that, the festival inaugurated its annual Actor’s Mission award, with Franco Nero
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Entertainment One Hires Noel Hedges for TV Acquisitions

Independent film and TV studio eOne has brought in Noel Hedges to head up acquisitions on the TV side of the business.

Hedges, who joins from Modern Times Group-owned distributor Drg, will be taking rights to drama, film, lifestyle, factual, series, and formats for U.K.-listed eOne, which is in the throes of merging its film and TV divisions.

He will be picking up content to sit alongside eOne’s in-house fare, which comes through its production companies and partnerships, including one with Mark Gordon and a recently inked deal with Brad Weston.

Stuart Baxter, President of eOne Television International, said: “Noel is a seasoned executive with great instincts and a strong track record of securing outstanding programming that can travel. He has great relationships across the industry and brings strong business acumen to support our ambitious content exploitation and growth strategy.”

As well as Drg, Hedges has been at Cineflix Rights, Shine
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Machines review – piercing portrait of India's textile industry

With the mystery and potency of a dream, Rahul Jain’s documentary focuses on conditions in the factories of Gujurat, many of which supply clothes to the west

Rahul Jain’s brief, fierce documentary feature Machines is about the people who work in the textile factories of Gujurat, India. Its images often have the mystery and potency of a dream. Jain’s work reminded me of the Austrian documentarian Nikolaus Geyrhalter; at other times, I found myself thinking of Chaplin twitching on the production line in Modern Times.

The title is well chosen. The bodies of the workers look naked and vulnerable, and yet they have become part of the machines, part of the process. The relentless rhythms of the work are captured. It looks soul-destroying – particularly in one grim shot of a boy almost falling asleep while doing some mind-crushingly repetitive task. Later, another is shown asleep on top of piles of cloth,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Series Mania: Viaplay-Backed Cold War Thriller ‘M.A.D.’ Unveiled at European Co-Production Forum

Series Mania: Viaplay-Backed Cold War Thriller ‘M.A.D.’ Unveiled at European Co-Production Forum
Paris — Denmark’s contribution to the European Co-production Forum at 2017’s Series Mania came in the form of the Cold War era political thriller M.A.D, short for Mutually Assured Destruction. The show is being produced by Arena Films with backing from Viaplay, the Modern Times Group’s Svod service available in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and the Baltic countries. Viaplay offers unlimited rental streaming packages with access to high-end TV, film and sports.

Representing the project in Paris were producer and co-creator Ulrik Bolt Jørgensen and lead-writer and co-creator Michael Soussan. Soussan, having worked at the United Nations, CNN, and contributed to many major news publications in the U.S., recently had his 2008 book “Backstabbing for Beginners” adapted into a feature film starring Ben Kingsley and Theo James. It is due out this fall.

Throughout the Cold War the phrase “Mutually Assured Destruction” referred to the idea that any conflict between nuclear powers would not
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Modern Times Group Draws Record Sales, Strong Operating Profits in First Quarter

Modern Times Group Draws Record Sales, Strong Operating Profits in First Quarter
Modern Times Group punched record sales and a 15% increase in operating profits during the first quarter of this year, bolstered by its big push into premium content as well as its thriving streaming platforms Viaplay and Viafree.

Operative profits reached Sek 183 million ($20 million) while net sales were up 11% to Sek 4.2 billion ($4.7 billion) and earnings before interest and taxes rose by 22%. It was the third consecutive quarter with organic sales growth of more than 5%.

Mtg has been ramping up investments in both linear and streamed entertainment products. The company for instance launched Viafree in Sweden, Norway and Denmark last year. The video streaming service is dedicated to Mtg’s content from free-to-air channels and original productions exclusive to Viafree.

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, Mtg’s president and CEO, said the group’s development and production roster included 50 drama series. Viaplay just commissioned its first original Icelandic show, “Stella Blómkvist,” a thriller which will be directed by “Trapped” helmer Óskar
See full article at Variety - TV News »
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