Journey to the End of the Night (2006) - News Poster


Grappling with genius by Anne-Katrin Titze

Denis Lavant as Louis-Ferdinand Céline with Bébert

Paolo Sorrentino begins his Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) with a quote about imaginary travel from Louis-Ferdinand Céline's Journey To The End Of The Night. Céline's novels changed French literature forever and influenced writers all over the world since the early 1930s. Is it possible, Emmanuel Bourdieu's probing film asks, to reconcile the literary genius with his anti-Semitic pamphlets and statements?

Céline and Lucette (Géraldine Pailhas) with Milton Hindus (Philip Desmeules)

In the green room at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, the director of Louis-Ferdinand Céline and I discussed the terror of a genius, the score by Grégoire Hetzel, casting Denis Lavant of Léos Carax's Holy Motors fame, creating a tune for a William Blake poem, how Géraldine Pailhas helped with the costumes, bird sounds, and Bébert, the cat.
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Film Recco: François Ozon’s In the House

Film Recco: François Ozon’s In the House
François Ozon seems to be fascinated by what makes writers tick. And he loves to prod the viewer to reconsider his/her mental evaluation of fiction and reality as they watch his later films.

Many viewers are likely to initially consider the superb tale of In the House to be solely Ozon’s creative work; it is not. In the House appears to be almost totally leaning on the product of a contemporary Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga titled The Boy in the Last Row, if one goes by the reviews of the play. It is, thus, not a coincidence that the French film went on to win the well-deserved Golden Shell (the grand prize) and the Jury prize for Best Screenplay at the San Sebastian film Festival in Spain. Then why is the film important, if almost all the credit rests with the play on which the film is built?
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X-Men Screenwriter Zak Penn Set To Rewrite Ready Player One

Warner Bros. has been sitting on the rights to Ernie Cline’s novel Ready Player One for four years now, having acquired them in a bidding war in 2010. Things seem to be finally moving forward, however, with the involvement of renowned screenwriter Zak Penn. Having helped out on The Avengers, X2 and Pacific Rim 2, he also wrote X Men: Last Stand, Elektra and The Incredible Hulk. Now, he’s being brought in to deliver a finished script that was originally adapted by Eric Eason (Journey To The End Of The Night) and the book’s author, Cline.

Ready Player One is a futuristic sci-fi tale, set after the human race has exhausted the Earth’s supply of fossil fuels. While the world has descended into chaos and violence, the population has become increasingly reliant on a multiplayer online virtual reality simulation called Oasis – as a means of distraction and escape.
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And the Winner Is:'The Great Beauty' for Best Foreign Language Film

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza), Italy’s Submission for the Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film

Inspirational and awe-inspiring are the words that come to mind first when I think about the great movie just out of Italy, The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) from acclaimed director Paolo Sorrentino ( Il Divo, The Consequences of Love, This Must be the Place) with a screenplay by Sorrentino and Umberto Contarello.

I could watch this film over and over again and still be inspired by the beauty of Rome and the depth of its flaneur, the hero of this film, journalist Jep Gambardella as played by the incomparable Toni Servillo (Gomorrah, Il Divo). In fact, after interviewing Paolo Sorrentino recently at the Chateau Marmont, I feel compelled to watch it again in order to understand the ending’s reference to what might have been the subject of the original and only book Jeb ever wrote which was perhaps (according to Paolo) “about the love he had for the girl -- and you can see that at the end of the movie”.

During my interview, I tried not to discuss how the film carries echoes of the classic works of Federico Fellini as Sorrentino had already gone on record stating that, “Roma and La Dolce Vita are works that you cannot pretend to ignore when you take on a film like the one I wanted to make. They are two masterpieces and the golden rule is that masterpieces should be watched but not imitated. I tried to stick to that. But it’s also true that masterpieces transform the way we feel and perceive things.”

A dazzling tour through modern day Rome through the eyes of Jep Gambardella gives us feelings for grandeur whose beauty can lead to death, to dangerous adventures leading nowhere and to a certain level of sadness. When his 65th birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.

The stripper daughter of his old friend and nightclub owner represents a simpler normality as does his housekeeper. Both are touchstones to a reality he has abandoned since becoming a permanent fixture in Rome’s literary and social circles after the legendary success of his one and only novel. Armed with a roguish charm, he has seduced his way through the city's lavish night life for decades.

As an interviewer for popular press, his curiosity about everything is satisfied and dissatisfied at the same time. He finds his yearning for simplicity is sparked when he rather cynically interviews a saintly nun and more importantly, he finds the seed for his next book in the simple, normal lives of ordinary people and in the fragility of those snobbish, superficial, gossiping “friends” with whom he has spent too much time weaving a uselessly complicated life of nothingness, living in a world which makes no sense.

There are many literary references in the film – Flaubert who wanted to write a book about nothing, Proust whose masterpiece “capitalizes on his own biography”, Celine whose opening line to his novel Journey to the End of the Night is also the film’s opening line.

This quote from Celine is a declaration of intent that I followed in turn in the film. It comes down to saying: there’s reality, but everything is invented too. Invention is necessary in cinema, just to attain the truth.

What is it about the Flaubert references?

Flaubert said he wanted to write a book about nothing. This gave him the right to write about the frivolous, gossip, nothing and it acquired a literary standing. Nothingness becomes life. It takes on a life of its own and life’s nothingness is its beauty.

Jeb is living it among awkward, weak people, even hateful people. This is life and all of it belongs to The Great Beauty. The immediacy of the beauty of Rome is obvious, but the subterranean part – like these horrible people around him, you realize they are are also so vulnerable and fragile and that gives them and him the redeeming grace of beauty. The communist writer is emblematic.

Are you an intellectual?

I don’t like to think that I am. I do read a lot. I read more than I watch movies.

What do you do in your free time?

I hibernate. I hibernate until the next project takes shape in my mind. I watch a lot of football. And I tend to my family. I have two children aged 10 and 16 who keep me very busy.

Do you find that the Italian character is theatrical?

In my hometown (Naples), the people are extraordinarily theatrical. Orson Welles himself, on seeing Neapolitan actor Eduardo de Felipo said that he was the greatest actor in the world.

Whatever you say about it, Italy has an extraordinary pool of actors of every sort. They are all very different, from many different backgrounds, but all with often under-exploited potential, all just waiting to find good characters.

Tony Servillo is also from Naples, like I am. He is an actor I can ask anything of, because he is capable of doing absolutely everything. I can now move forward with him with my eyes closed, not only as far as work goes, but also in terms of our friendship, a friendship which over time becomes more joyful, lighter yet deeper at the same time.

Tony Servillo is quoted as saying about Sorrentino:

We have something in common which we both cultivate, and that’s a taste for mystery. That has something to do with esteem, with a sense of irony and self-mockery, with certain similar sources of melancholy, and certain subjects or themes of reflection. These affinities are renewed each time we meet, as if it were the first time, without there being any need for a closer relationship between one film and the next. We meet and it’s as if we’ve never been apart. And that means there’s a deep friendship between us, and that’s what so great.

Thank you Paolo for this interview. I wish you all the luck in winning not only the Nomination but also the prize of the Academy Award.

I also want to draw the reader’s attention to the fabulous photography of cinematographer Luca Bigazzi and the music of Lele Marchitel, who juxtaposes original music with repertory music of sacred and profane, pop music reflecting the city itself and to the extraordinary pool of actors, Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso, Iaia Forte, Pamela Villoresi and Galatea Ranzi, Massimo de Francovich, Roberto Herlitzka and Isabella Ferrari.

Manohla Dargis of the New York Times called this visually spectacular film “an outlandishly entertaining hallucination”, and according to Variety’s Jay Weissberg it’s an “astonishing cinematic feast”.

This rapturous highlight of this year's Cannes Film Festival, where it played in Competition was acquired for U.S. by Janus Films who will release it theatrically in N.Y. on November 15, L.A. on November 22, expanding to other cities on November 29, with a home video release from the Criterion Collection.

“We were swept away by this gorgeous, moving film at Cannes”, said Peter Becker, president of the Criterion Collection and a partner in Janus Films. “Sorrentino is one of the most exciting directors working today, and Toni Servillo gives another majestic, multilayered performance.”

The deal to distribute Sorrentino’s film in the U.S. was struck with international distributor Pathé. “Janus has over the years become a valued partner in the promotion of Pathé’s heritage in the U.S. through its releases of our library titles, and we are, of course, thrilled to once again partner up with this company for the release of this film which represents the finest of Italian cinema today and at the same time pays a respectful homage to its nation’s cinematic past”, said Muriel Sauzay, Evp, International Sales.

For more information on the film visit Here

La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) also screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and was recently award the European Film Academy award for its editing by Cristiano Travaglioli. Since its Cannes debut, it has sold to Australia - Palace Films , Austria - Filmladen , Benelux - Abc - Cinemien , Brazil - Mares Filmes Ltda. , Canada - Mongrel Media, Métropole Films Distribution , Czech Republic - Film Europe, Denmark - Camera Film A/S , Estonia -Must Käsi, France - Canal + , Germany - Dcm , Greece - Feelgood Entertainment, Hong Kong (China) - Edko Films Ltd , Israel - United King Films, Italy - Medusa Distribuzione, Norway - As Fidalgo Film Distribution , Portugal - Lusomundo, Russia - A-One Films , Slovak Republic - Film Europe (Sk) , Switzerland - Pathe Films Ag , United Kingdom - Curzon Film World
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The Great Beauty: the sacred and the profane

The Great Beauty: the sacred and the profane
Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s “La Grande Bellezza” (The Great Beauty) (2013)

Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty has two small yet important facets in common with Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Both films begin with a profound quote that provides a key to the viewer for a full understanding of the film that follows. Both films use the music of “Dies Irae” (Requiem for my Friend, which includes Lacrimosa 2) by Zbigniew Preisner (the talented composer of Kieslowski’s Dekalog and The Three Colors trilogy) and Henryk Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony.

Just as Mallick used an interesting quote from the Book of Job, the opening quote for The Great Beauty is from Sorrentino’s favorite author Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night.

The quote is “To travel is very useful, it makes the imagination work, the rest is just delusion and pain. Our journey is entirely imaginary,
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Perseverance Records To Host Major Soundtrack Signing Event, Burbank, July 28

  • CinemaRetro
By Darren Allison, Soundtrack Editor

Perseverance Records to attend huge soundtrack signing event

Our friend Robin Esterhammer of Perseverance Records will be hosting a signing event at Dark Delicacies of Burbank at 2pm on July 28th. The list of composers is certainly looking impressive and names are still being added.

Confirmed already are: John Debney, Richard M. Sherman (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Elia Cmiral (The Deaths of Ian Stone, Journey to the End of the Night), Edwin Wendler (Escape), John Massari (The Puppet Master Soundtracks Box, 5 CD box), Brian Ralston (Crooked Arrows), Dennis Dreith (The Punisher, Gag, Creep Van), Craig Safan (Remo Williams, Fade to Black, Circus, Lesser Known Favorites), Donald Rubinstein (Martin, Pollock, Knightriders), Romina Arena (Morricone Uncovered), Peter Bernstein (The Puppet Master Soundtracks Box), Mader (The Wedding Banquet, Cinemusica), Phillip Lambro (Chinatown - The Rejected Score, Crypt of the Living Dead, Murph the Surf, The Film Music of Phillip Lambro), Richard Band (Mutant,
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Lff 2012: In the House Review

  • HeyUGuys
Based on The Boy in the Back Row by Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga, Francois Ozon’s latest is something of a return to form for the former enfant terrible and a deliciously witty story about storytelling.

Weary literature teacher Germain (Fabrice Luchini) finds a diamond in the rough in Claude (Ernst Umhauer), who shows real flair in a writing assignment set by Germain. Despite being asked by Germain to simply write about what he did that weekend Claude manages to turn a few hundred words into a fascinating glimpse into the private life of the family of one of his school friends and in doing so weave the beginnings of a very absorbing story. The one page story ends with the line “to be continued…”, which helps, along with the deviously generated content, to immediately hook in Germain, his wife Jeanne (Kristin Scott Thomas) who he reads it to, and most importantly the wider audience,
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WB Sets Up ‘Ready Player One’ Rewrite From Eric Eason

  • Slash Film
Briefly: The video game-inspired All You Need is Kill isn't the only game-related project Warner Bros. has going. In 2010 the studio picked up rights [1] to Ernie Cline's much-loved book Ready Player One, a story about a sort of treasure hunt that takes place in a fully-realized online virtual community. Ernie Cline originally scripted the feature version of the book (he also wrote the movie Fanboys) but now Variety [2] says that WB is moving forward with the project by hiring Eric Eason to rewrite. Eason also wrote Manito, Journey to the End of the Night, and the recent film A Better Life. (He directed the first two of those films, as well.) Hit the break for the synopsis of Ready Player One. In the near future, outcast teenager Wade Watts escapes from his bleak surroundings by logging in to the Oasis, a globally networked virtual utopia where users can lead idyllic alternate lives.
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Spotlight on the newest ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ vampire, Catalina Sandino Moreno

Catalina Sandino Moreno is no newcomer to the Hollywood scene. – Maria Full Of Grace. Moreno won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead in that film, as well as the New Generation Award at the London Critics Circle Film Awards and the Imagen Award, amongst others. ... Journey To The End Of The Night and as Ana in Paris, I Love You before becoming Sylvia for Fast Food Nation, an Imagen Award-nominated and Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm-nominated film that received wide acclaim. ... The Hottest State and The Heart Of The Earth before taking the role of Hildebranda in Love In The Time Of Cholera. ... Che: Part One and Che: Part Two, Cannes Film ,,, Benecio del Toro and Julia Ormond. She has also been cast in the up-coming film entitled Frail, which films in Vancouver – the same location as filming for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with Jackson Rathbone
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Tribeca Journal 2006 Wrap-up

  • [Ed's note: Over 3500 pics taken, over 30 capsule reviews and a couple of interviews on the slate – Pierre Alexandre delivered way beyond expectations.] It's already over! Well, it was about time. 13 days for a film festival is totally intense – in addition to the 3 weeks of press screenings prior to the beginning of the festival. So, I ended up seeing about 55 films, which is very little for this festival that had almost 200 features length films. Most of the films were good; unfortunately, as in every festival, there were some very crappy ones. It's hard to understand how in a festival that receives some 2,000 features submissions there still bad films are making their way in the selection. Even the publicist hired by one of the film to promote it said to someone it was a "very bad film" – he didn't say that to the journalists, of course! Despite those few dissappointments, Tribeca 2006 was totally worth it. In doing my top 10 of some festivals I sometimes have a hard time coming up with
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Tribeca Photo Diary: Journey to the End of the Night

[/link] Premiere Journey to the End of the Night is a gritty thriller of betrayal beyond redemption set against the harsh backdrop of a South American city defined by drugs, money, sex, and corruption, Journey to the End of the Night pits a tortured son against his father as they separately develop plans to escape the desolation of their lives through a lurid underworld. Cast:Brendan Fraser Cast: Mos Def Cast: Scott Glenn Cast: Alice Braga Cast: Chelsea Crowe in orange Chelsea Crowe in white All pictures © of Pierre-Alexandre Despatis 2006. Tribeca Photo Diary #7 Tribeca Photo Diary #6 Tribeca Photo Diary #5 Tribeca Photo Diary #4 Tribeca Photo Diary #3 Tribeca Photo Diary #2 Tribeca Photo Diary #1 ...
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