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Luc Besson, Jean Dujardin Team for TV's Latest James Patterson Adaptation

Prolific novelist James Patterson may soon have another TV adaptation on his hands. French filmmaker Luc Besson and Oscar-winning actor Jean Dujardin are teaming to make a potential ABC series out of Patterson's Luc Moncrief books.

Dubbed The French Detective, the drama would follow the titular Parisian detective (turned NYPD officer) who appears in the Patterson books French Kiss, The Christmas Mystery and French Twist. The project is being described as a "light" and "sexy" procedural.

A put pilot commitment makes this Besson's TV directorial debut. The filmmaker is best known for the French works Subway, The Big Blue and Nikita,...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Why Jeanne Moreau’s Death Represents the Decline of French Film in America

  • Indiewire
Iconic actress Jeanne Moreau’s death this week at 89 received muted American coverage, with remembrances that hardly captured Moreau’s essential presence and influence in world cinema. Overshadowed by the passing of Sam Shepard the day before (more contemporary, American, prominent in multiple fields, and younger), she received back-page obituaries in major papers. Her lack of any Oscar nominations, or a deserved honorary award, didn’t help the cause.

Even more unfortunate is the treatment of her death reflects American audiences’ ever-increasing disinterest in French-language film. Jeanne Moreau is significant for her transcendent artistry and the directors with whom she worked, but she also represented the iconic qualities of her country’s cinema.

Though the boom in “art houses” (a term popularized in the late 1940s) came more from Italian films (“Rome, Open City,” “Shoe Shine,” and particularly “Bicycle Thief”), French film became a steady part of the subtitled market by the mid-1950s.
See full article at Indiewire »

'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets' Review: Luc Besson Makes a Sci-Fi Mess

'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets' Review: Luc Besson Makes a Sci-Fi Mess
Confession: There are times when I've been loyally in Luc Besson's corner – the visual splendor of Subway (1985), The Big Blue (1988) and La Femme Nikita (1990) established him as a master of what the French call Cinéma du Look. And 1994's The Professional – with Jean Reno teaching the assassin's game to a very young Natalie Portman – went deeper, blending style with a nurturing sense of humanity. Plus, there's a lot to be said in favor of both his sci-fi extravaganza The Fifth Element (1997) and last year's next-level ScarJo-evolution whatsit Lucy.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Luc Besson’s Europacorp Grasps for Sorely Needed Hit in ‘Valerian’

Luc Besson’s Europacorp Grasps for Sorely Needed Hit in ‘Valerian’
EuropaCorp has been on a white-knuckle ride over the past three years, but the struggling French studio hopes that “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” will end its recent run of flops and propel it back into the box office stratosphere.

If the hugely expensive science-fiction epic flames out when it debuts this summer, it could be disastrous for the French studio behind “Lucy” and “Taken.” Launched by director Luc Besson in 2000, the company had grand ambitions to become one of the world’s biggest film players. But EuropaCorp’s trajectory has taken a downward turn since it started self-distributing its movies in the United States in 2014. The results have been sobering. The studio has struggled to find hits, releasing one dud after another and losing tens of millions of dollars in the process.

The setbacks come as the company is preparing to release “Valerian,” the story of
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Isabelle Adjani Talks ‘Carole Matthieu,’ Her Relationship To Cinema & More In Marrakech [Interview]

One of France’s more exotic actresses, Isabelle Adjani was born to an Algerian father and German mother near Paris, where she was raised. So her presence at this year’s Marrakech International Film Festival (December 2-10, 2016), where she received a tribute for her body of work, is something of a homecoming of sorts. (Algeria borders Morocco, after all.)

Read More: Paul Verhoeven Talks ‘Elle,’ ‘RoboCop’ As Jesus Metaphor, The Infamous Scene In ‘Basic Instinct’ & More [Interview]

Becoming the youngest nominee for a Best Actress award at the Oscars, when she was 19, for the film “The Story of Adele H” directed by François Truffaut, she was soon offered a huge number of roles in films as diverse as Werner Herzog‘s “Nosferatu the Vampyre” and Luc Besson’s “Subway,” and she’s since gone on to win five César awards.

Continue reading Isabelle Adjani Talks ‘Carole Matthieu,’ Her Relationship To Cinema
See full article at The Playlist »

Beautiful Dolores, Princess Anne, Merylish Mamie, and Olympic Jesse

on this day in history as it relates to the movies...

Dolores Del Río auditioning for Catwoman. No wait that's not right. Dolores Del Rio in Journey Into Fear (1943)1885 Carlo Montuori, famed cinematographer of Italian neorealism is born. He went on to lens the essential Bicycle Thief (1948)

1904 Dolores del Río, one of the first three Mexican actors to become movie stars in Hollywood (the others being her cousin Ramon Novarro and Lupe Vélez - they all started in silent films and moved into talkies), after which she used her fame and beauty as part of Mexican cinema's Golden Age with the occasional Hollywood film thrown in. Credits include: Bird of Paradise (1932), Flying Down To Rio (1933), Journey Into Fear (1943), Cheyenne Autumn (1964) and multiple Best Actress winning films in Mexico:  Las Abandonadas (1944), El Niño y la Niebla (1953), and Doña Perfecta (1951).

1906 Alexandre Trauner, Oscar winning production designer. His credits include The Nun's Story
See full article at FilmExperience »

Edinburgh Film Festival Celebrates Cinéma du Look, Comic-Strip Adaptations

Edinburgh Film Festival Celebrates Cinéma du Look, Comic-Strip Adaptations
London — Thirty years since the Edinburgh Film Festival opened with the U.K. premiere of Jean-Jacques Beineix’s “Betty Blue,” the fest is to devote one of its retrospectives to the Cinéma du Look wave of 1980 and early 1990s French filmmaking. Another retrospective, “Pow!!! Live Action Comic-Strip Adaptations: The First Generation,” delves into the evolution of the live-action comic-strip adaptation in cinema.

The Gallic retro will focus on the work of Beineix, Luc Besson and Leos Carax, the three directors around which Cinéma Du Look revolved. Titles in the strand will include Beineix’s “Betty Blue” (1986) and “Diva” (1981), Besson’s “Subway” (1985), “The Big Blue” (1988) and “La Femme Nikita” (1990), and Carax’s “Mauvais Sang” (1986) and “Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf” (1991).

The films showcase performances by Jean Reno, Christophe Lambert, Michel Piccoli, Isabelle Adjani, Juliette Binoche, Jeanne Moreau, Dominique Pinon and Julie Delpy. Several of the stars will attend the festival, which is headed by Mark Adams.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Edinburgh announces retrospectives by Amber Wilkinson - 2016-04-15 00:02:37

Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced this year’s two retrospectives will be Look Again: A Celebration of Cinéma Du Look, exploring the wave of 1980s and early 1990s French filmmaking, and Pow!!! Live Action Comic Strip Adaptations: The First Generation, delving into the evolution of the live-action comic strip adaptation in cinema.

Artistic director Mark Adams said: “The Cinéma du Look retrospective marks 30 years since Eiff opened with the UK premiere of Jean Jaques Beineix’s iconic Betty Blue, so it is a real thrill to be able to screen this selection of iconic films.”

Focusing on the work of Jean Jaques Beineix, Luc Besson, and Leos Carax, the directors around whom the Cinéma Du Look revolved, titles will include Betty Blue and Beineix’s Diva (1981), Besson’s Subway (1985), The Big Blue (1988) and La Femme Nikita (1990) and Carax’s Mauvais Sang (1986) and...
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'Cage aux Folles' Actor and French Academy Award Winner Featured in More Than 200 Films Dead at 93

Michel Galabru (right) and Louis de Funès in 'Le gendarme et les gendarmettes.' 'La Cage aux Folles' actor Michel Galabru dead at 93 Michel Galabru, best known internationally for his role as a rabidly reactionary politician in the comedy hit La Cage aux Folles, died in his sleep today, Jan. 4, '16, in Paris. The Moroccan-born Galabru (Oct. 27, 1922, in Safi) was 93. Throughout his nearly seven-decade career, Galabru was seen in more than 200 films – or, in his own words, “182 days,” as he was frequently cast in minor roles that required only a couple of days of work. He also appeared on stage, training at the Comédie Française and studying under film and stage veteran Louis Jouvet (Bizarre Bizarre, Quai des Orfèvres), and was featured in more than 70 television productions. Michel Galabru movies Michel Galabru's film debut took place in Maurice de Canonge's La bataille du feu (“The Battle of Fire,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

120 Essential Horror Scenes Part 2: Violations

It’s the most uncomfortable type of horror scene, but if done correctly, can pack a gut punch. The violation scene is the moment when the character’s vulnerability is betrayed and our empathy immerses us deeper into their dreadful ordeal. The young child possessed by an evil spirit. The unlucky bystander assaulted in a tunnel. The crazed woman submitting to a creature of non human origin. The violation scene can be emotional or it can be exploitative, but it’s almost always guaranteed to get us talking.


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)- Cesare abducting Jane

Even though it was one of the originators of German Expressionist film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is often regarded as the pinnacle for the movement. Two of the movement’s basic tenets were distorted lines and shapes and overly theatrical movements from the actors, and both are well on display in this creepy scene.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

French Train Shooting: Actor Sounds Alarm; Two Seriously Wounded

French Train Shooting: Actor Sounds Alarm; Two Seriously Wounded
Two American servicemen were responsible for subduing a man who looked to be preparing to shoot up a high speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. Just after 6 p.m. Friday, the servicemen were seriously injured, while well-known French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade suffered a minor injury from broken glass that occurred while he was activating the alarm.

According to numerous reports, two Americans, possibly Marines or National Guard members, intervened and took down the gunman, who has been arrested. Both servicemen were injured as a result, one by the attacker’s handgun. The White House released a statement thanking the service members for subduing the attacker.

“While the investigation into the attack is in its early stages, it is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy,” the statement said.

The Thalys train was travelling through Belgium when the incident occurred, and was then diverted to the French town of Arras.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes: New Chinese Thriller is ‘Born’ to Spi and China’s C2M

Cannes: New Chinese Thriller is ‘Born’ to Spi and China’s C2M
Sp International and China’s C2M Media Group have agreed to co-produce “Born to Be Ghosts,” a stylized thriller that will be directed by France’s Patrick Alessandrin.

The film, pitched as a “new twist on the ‘Magnificent Seven’ genre,” is budgeted at $35 million. It will shoot predominantly in China in the first quarter of 2016.

A mixed international and Chinese cast is anticipated, and Spi and C2M will jointly control casting. Production is by Spi head Steven Paul and C2M’s Paolo Lee.

C2M will handle Chinese and Asian rights and Spi the rest of the world. North American distribution rights will be handled through Spi’s deal with Sony Pictures. Release is set a year later, in the first quarter of 2017.

The agreement was completed in Cannes and is in addition to the earlier pact to

co-produce $50 million China-u.S. action film “High Speed.”

See full article at Variety - Film News »

Deneuve is César Award Record-Tier; Stewart Among Rare Anglophone Nominees in Last Four Decades

Catherine Deneuve: César Award Besst Actress Record-Tier (photo: Catherine Deneuve in 'In the Courtyard / Dans la cour') (See previous post: "Kristen Stewart and Catherine Deneuve Make César Award History.") Catherine Deneuve has received 12 Best Actress César nominations to date. Deneuve's nods were for the following movies (year of film's release): Pierre Salvadori's In the Courtyard / Dans la Cour (2014). Emmanuelle Bercot's On My Way / Elle s'en va (2013). François Ozon's Potiche (2010). Nicole Garcia's Place Vendôme (1998). André Téchiné's Thieves / Les voleurs (1996). André Téchiné's My Favorite Season / Ma saison préférée (1993). Régis Wargnier's Indochine (1992). François Dupeyron's Strange Place for an Encounter / Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre (1988). Jean-Pierre Mocky's Agent trouble (1987). André Téchiné's Hotel America / Hôtel des Amériques (1981). François Truffaut's The Last Metro / Le dernier métro (1980). Jean-Paul Rappeneau's Le sauvage (1975). Additionally, Catherine Deneuve was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

7 Movies That Scared You Away From Ever Taking Public Transport Again

20th Century Fox

Public transport is a reluctant necessity for most of us. It’s a dull, dreary, forgettable everyday experience for thousands of commuters all over the world, whose minds are clouded with a thousand other thoughts about anything other than the journey they’re taking. When it comes to the movies though, commuting can look a little different.

Public transport has a natural gravitational pull for the movies, given how it sandwiches a bunch of strangers together in an enclosed space. All that’s missing is for some sort of disaster to strike and Bam! – you’ve got yourself a Hollywood thriller screenplay.

There have been some distinctly memorable individual scenes on public transport in film; from the rapid subway fight scenes in The Matrix, all the way back to where two strangers met on a train in Hitchcock’s classic from 1951. There have even been some movies
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Examining the side-effects of The Hunger Games

As The Hunger Games nears its end with Mockingjay - Part 1, James looks at the side effects of the billion-dollar franchise...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 is now in the cinemas and that means that we've reached the beginning of the end. With the climactic novel of Suzanne Collins' trilogy split into two movies, this first part will take eager audiences into the end game and start to detail a denouement that, frustratingly, we'll have to wait until next autumn to finally witness.

I have no idea what's going to happen because I haven't read the books. (It's keeping the movies surprising, I guess.) Still, what I do know is that things are building up in Panem and that Mockingjay will up the stakes and drama several notches in what has already been a gripping series. We have rebellion against the Capitol! We have heartrending separations! We
See full article at Den of Geek »

Luc Besson on Lucy and Knowing the Limits of the Human Brain

  • Vulture
Luc Besson on Lucy and Knowing the Limits of the Human Brain
Once upon a time, Luc Besson was a kind of anomaly. A popular director from France whose visually ravishing films featured both expertly made action scenes and doses of dreamy lyricism, he transcended cultural boundaries. Back then, of course, films like Subway, La Femme Nikita, and Léon: The Professional stood in sharp contrast to movies starring macho men like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Even his sci-fi action epic The Fifth Element, with its poetic flourishes and offbeat sense of fun, was nothing like the sci-fi blockbusters Hollywood churned out.Over the years, Besson has become a successful producer of more bread-and-butter hits like the Taken and Transporter franchises, but now, with the Scarlett Johansson sci-fi flick Lucy, he returns to the world of stylized, lyrical action. Besson takes an enticingly silly premise — Lucy (Johansson) is a hapless drug mule who accidentally ingests a powerful new drug that allows her
See full article at Vulture »

Luc Besson Puts His EuropaCorp to the Test With ‘Lucy’

The son of scuba-diving instructors, Luc Besson came of age exploring the depths of the ocean floor and inventing stories out of the debris he would find along the shore. Some 50 years later, he is still playing with rocks in the sand — only now his shoreline is the river Seine and his castle a 667,000-square-foot film studio called Cite du Cinema (literally Cinema City). Built from the shell of a 1930s thermal power plant in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis, the sprawling complex — which includes nine soundstages, a 500-seat auditorium and a full-service restaurant — is headquarters for Besson’s prolific production and distribution outfit, EuropaCorp, plus a host of affiliated vendors and two film schools.

On a recent Friday afternoon, despite a bank-holiday weekend in France, Cite du Cinema was a hive of activity as editors, sound mixers and visual effects artists readied two new EuropaCorp productions for their
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Lucy Review

Limitless, Transcendence and now Lucy - Hollywood’s continuing fascination with the underused brain seems especially ironic when you consider that none of these films’ screenwriters used more than 10% of theirs. Yes, I’m sorry to report that Lucy is not the mind-bending, heart-pounding thriller that the trailers had made us hope it would be. Instead, the Luc Besson-directed and scripted flick arrives as a curiously deformed mess, one filled with plainly bad ideas stretched out long past the point of admissability and a stunningly flat performance from lead Scarlett Johansson.

I’m not going to hate on the actress too much, though – after all, Johansson is just employing the same vacant stares and chatbot-esque speech patterns I loved when I saw her in Under the Skin. The fault is really with Besson’s script for hobbling her Lucy with interminable dialogue so baffling and rambling that you can
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Review: Scarlett Johansson is thrilling in the silly science-fiction kick 'Lucy'

  • Hitfix
Review: Scarlett Johansson is thrilling in the silly science-fiction kick 'Lucy'
When I spoke to Luc Besson at Wonder-Con this year, we had a fair amount of time aside from the panel I moderated and the interview we did. At that point, we discussed the entire premise of his new film, "Lucy," and how it's based on a myth. If you've seen the trailer for the movie, you've seen Morgan Freeman as Professor Norman lecturing to a room full of people. "Imagine if we could access 100% [of our brains]. Interesting things begin to happen." Great line. Totally wrong. Evolution has actually increased the size of our brains because we use them so much, and so efficiently. We use way more than 10% of our actual brain capacity, and we use our brains in ways that science barely understands. So we are starting from a preposterous place with "Lucy," and if that's going to drive you crazy, then I would skip it completely. The film starts there and gets way sillier.
See full article at Hitfix »

Carlo Varini dies at 67

Carlo Varini dies at 67
Director worked on more than 80 pictures in prolific career.

Swiss-born cinematographer Carlo Varini, best known for The Chorus, The Big Blue and Subway, has died in a house fire.

The 67-year-old cinematographer, who shot more than 80 pictures throughout his career, started out as a calibrator at the Schwarz-Film laboratory in Berne.

After cinema studies at the Zurich University of Arts he became a news cameraman, moving into fiction as the assistant cameraman of celebrated Italian cinematographer Renato Berta.

He branched out on his own in the early 1980s to work with Luc Besson on his early features The Last Combat, Subway and The Big Blue. He was nominated for a Cesar for the latter two.

More recently, he gained recognition for his work on Christophe Barratier’s The Choir for which he was nominated for Camerimage’s Golden Frog alongside Dominique Gentil.

He was due to work on Canadian director Francesco Lucente’s upcoming feature Starbright.

See full article at ScreenDaily »
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