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Box Office: Brutal Summer Ends With a Whimper, Season Down a Historic 15 Percent

23 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy easily remains in the lead at the Labor Day box office despite competition from new entries The November Man, the adult-skewing spy film starring Pierce Brosnan, and micro-budgeted thriller As Above, So Below. Although official numbers for summer 2014 won't be released until Tuesday, North American revenue for the season will barely crack $4 billion, marking an eight-year low and, when accounting for inflation, a 17-year low. And revenue is down 15 percent from last year's record haul of $4.75 billion, the biggest year-over-year decline that anyone

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- Pamela McClintock

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Why France Has Become a More Formidable Player at Film Festivals

30 August 2014 10:00 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The French movie industry has been fiercely debating key issues: Exorbitant movie budgets, release windows, the difficulties of domestic distribution. But as a formidable festival force, France reigns near supreme in the sheer quantity of quality production.

Its presence has grown in the second half of 2014. At major festivals, only the U.S. bests France — quite obviously — at Toronto and Sundance.

The 71st Venice edition has made up for a lack of glam with early, well-received films from France and the U.S. such as Fox Searchlight’s “Birdman” and Ramin Bahrani’s “99 Homes” from Hyde Park Intl., Xavier Beauvois’ “La Rancon de la gloire” and Benoit Jacquot’s “Three Hearts.”

With still-to-play productions in Venice sections — Abel Ferrara’s “Pasolini,” produced by Paris’ Capricci Prods., Amos Gitai’s “Tsili,” Laurent Cantet’s “Return to Ithaca” — France has also made the most moves in the build-up to the Venice Film Market. »


- John Hopewell

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Venice Review: ‘Far From Men’ Starring Viggo Mortensen And Reda Kateb

24 minutes ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Taking the rhythms of the Western to different countries, sometimes planets, time periods or political situations is hardly new, but done well it never gets old. And the French-language “Far From Men” aka “Loin des Hommes,” from writer/director David Oelhoffen, which transposes classic Western archetypes to the Algerian Civil War is a terrific reminder of that. It does not reinvent the wheel, nor is it a po-mo deconstruction of the Western myth or a pastiche. It is simply a great, traditional Western, in which the language and cultural details may be different, but the sparse elegance and moral conundrums are familiar, and as resonant as ever. With a premise based on Albert Camus’ short story “The Guest,” a fitting yet never clichéd soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and a pair of flawless lead performances from Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb, “Far From Men” is a quietly grand, »

- Jessica Kiang

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Yellow Bird execs launch new production company

1 hour ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Good Company Films will combine the producers behind The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Lar von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark; three projects already in development.

Anni Fernandez, who stepped down CEO of Sweden’s Yellow Bird last week, has quickly resurfaced as the CEO and producer at new Danish production outfit Good Company Films.

Based in Copenhagen, Fernandez has launched the new company with Vibeke Windeløv, Stinna Lassen and Ole Søndberg.

Windeløv has produced more than 35 titles for directors including Lars von Trier and Susanne Bier and joins the company as executive producer.

Lassen, who recently finished producing the first season of new crime series The Team, joins Good Company as a producer.

Søndberg, founder of Yellow Bird and executive producer of the Wallander and Millennium franchises, joins as executive producer.

In a joint statement, the partners said: “Scandinavian film has during the past years enjoyed a tremendous amount of success, and it is our »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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James Brown Biopic ‘Get on Up’ To Open Zurich Festival

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Paris– Zurich Film Festival will open with James Brown biopic “Get on Up,” helmer Tate Taylor’s follow up to Oscar-winning “The Help.”

Taylor, Chadwick Boseman, who plays Brown, and Octavia Spencer, who stars as the singer’s aunt, will be in Zurich to attend the premiere.

The film chronicles Brown’s rise from extreme poverty to his status as a superstar of the music industry and Godfather of Soul.

Taylor is familiar with Zurich, having presented there “The Help” in 2011, ahead of its Oscar win.

The cast of “Get on Up” is completed by Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis and Lennie James. It was produced by Brian Grazer and Rolling Stones’ lead singer Mick Jagger.

Pic will be distributed in French-speaking Switzerland on Sept. 26, and in German-speaking Switzerland on Oct. 9. Universal released it on Aug. 1 in the U.S., where it has so far grossed over $29.5 million.

As previously announced, »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Bectu takes Living Wage campaign to exhibitors

1 hour ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Bectu turns to Curzon, other venues, as Ritzy deal nears.

Media and entertainment union Bectu is nearing a deal with Picturehouse/Cineworld after a protracted pay dispute between the exhibitor and staff at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, London.

Last week, Bectu members at the Ritzy rejected Picturehouse’s latest pay proposal by a vote of 24 to 23. However, both sides have expressed optimism that a resolution is near and officials are due to meet on Wednesday (Sept 3) to continue talks.

“Whilst we are disappointed with this outcome [of the latest ballot], we are pleased that we are close to finding a resolution,” Picturehouse commented last week.

Ritzy staff have conducted 13 strike actions since the dispute began earlier this year.

Bectu is now turning its campaign for exhibitors to pay the London Living Wage on Curzon Cinemas and other independent venues.

A Bectu official described discussions with Curzon as “constructive”.

The spokesman added: “At the moment the Ritzy and Curzon cinemas »

- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Lars von Trier to make TV series

1 hour ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Lars von Trier is readying an English-language TV series called The House That Jack Built.

The series will be the first to be directed by the controversial auteur behind Antichrist and Dancer In The Dark since his acclaimed Danish TV production, The Kingdom, 20 years ago.

The news was revealed by Zentropa-producer Louise Vesth during the press conference for Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Volume 2 - Director’s Cut at the Venice Film Festival.

Von Trier’s regular producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen described it as “a TV series without precedent”.

He added that The House That Jack Built would be “a TV series as you have never seen it before and never will again. You better hold your breath.”

Von Trier will start working on the script this autumn with shooting currently set for 2016.

The series will be produced by Louise Vesth for the Zentropa Group with executive producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen.

The project »


- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Lars von Trier to make English-language TV series

1 hour ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Lars von Trier is readying an English-language TV series called The House That Jack Built.

The series will be the first to be directed by the controversial auteur behind Antichrist and Dancer In The Dark since his acclaimed Danish TV production, The Kingdom, 20 years ago.

The news was revealed by Zentropa-producer Louise Vesth during the press conference for Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Volume 2 - Director’s Cut at the Venice Film Festival.

Von Trier’s regular producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen described it as “a TV series without precedent”.

He added that The House That Jack Built would be “a TV series as you have never seen it before and never will again. You better hold your breath.”

Von Trier will start working on the script this autumn with shooting currently set for 2016.

The series will be produced by Louise Vesth for the Zentropa Group with executive producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen.

The project »


- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Jimi: All Is by My Side: watch a clip from the Hendrix biopic video

1 hour ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Watch an exclusive clip from the new film about legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, Jimi: All is by My Side. Hendrix is played by OutKast's Andre Benjamin in a biopic directed by 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley, which follows Hendrix's career in London as a guitarist on the verge of fame. Featuring Hayley Attwell as Hendrix's girlfriend Kathy Etchingham. Jimi: All Is by My Side is released on 24 October in the UK

Jimi: All Is By My Side: Toronto 2013 first look review Continue reading »

- Guardian Staff

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Efa reveals People's Choice 2014 shortlist

2 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Nymphomaniac and Philomena among selected films.

The European Film Academy has opened voting for its People’s Choice Award 2014, allowing film fans across Europe to elect their favourite film of the past 12 months.

The winner will be announced at the 27th European Film Awards in Riga, Latvia on Dec 13.

Votes are cast here.

Last year’s winner was Ruben Alves’ The Gilded Cage.

This year’s nominees are:

Beauty And The Beast dir. Christophe GansIda dir. Pawel PawlikowskiNymphomaniac dir. Lars Von TrierPhilomena dir. Stephen FrearsThe 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared dir. Felix HerngrenTwo Days, One Night dirs. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Calinos veterans launch new Turkish distributor

2 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Two former executives from Calinos Films have set up a new distribution company, Fabula Films, acquiring all Turkish rights.

The outfit will launch at the Toronto Film Festival this week.

Fabula will be headed by CEO Billur Arikan and VP Alkan Avcioglu, who set up the theatrical division at Calinos five years ago.

At the fast-growing Calinos, they worked on films including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Raid, Intouchables, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Secret in their Eyes, Before Midnight, and Non-Stop.

“Even though it will be our first market under a new company, we will gear up the acquisitions where we left off,” said Gizem Yetim, who will serve as director of acquisitions. “We will continue to look for director-driven projects and arthouse films with crossover potential.”

“We are a very passionate team and we all have similar tastes” Avcioglu said. “We do not care whether the film is arthouse or commercial. If there »


- wendy.mitchell@screendaily.com (Wendy Mitchell)

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Venice: Lars Von Trier Speaks, Sort Of; Helmer Prepping English-Language TV Series, Eyes “Huge Cast”

2 hours ago | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Update: TrustNordisk has released further details of Lars von Trier’s TV series project which was first mooted during a press conference in Venice this morning. A “huge” international cast will star in The House That Jack Built with von Trier to start working on the script this fall for a 2016 shoot. Plot details are being kept close to the vest, but exec producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen said the series will be “without precedent” and cautioned, “You better hold your breath.” Louise Vesth is producing for Zentropa. It’s being developed in co-operation with Dr executive producer Piv Bernth. Dr is the Danish public broadcaster behind such series as Borgen and The Killing.

Previously: Danish bad boy filmmaker Lars von Trier appeared in Venice today in honor of the out of competition screenings of the Director’s Cut of his Nymphomaniac Volume I and II. Unlike his appearance sporting a »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Vue converting to Sony Digital Cinema 3D

2 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Upgrade to take place across the UK, Ireland, Germany and Denmark.

Cinema operator Vue Entertainment International is converting up to 400 of its Sony 4K projection systems at screens in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Denmark to Sony Digital Cinema 3D.

The phased conversion process is scheduled to start this month and will extend over a three-to four-year period, covering a total of 394 screens across the group’s Vue and CinemaxX branded European estate.

Unlike ‘triple-flash’ systems that rapidly present different images to each eye in turn, the Sony Digital Cinema 3D dual lens aims to provide flicker-free 3D images without distracting flashing effects. »

- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Sokurov, Probst, Bondarchuk back new St. Petersburg event

2 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Filmmaker Alexander Sokurov, Efm president Beki Probst and actor-director-producer Fyodor Bondarchuk (Stalingrad) are among the high-profile names backing a new event in St. Petersburg.

The Saint Petersburg International Media Forum (Spimf) will launch next month and will run Oct 1-10.

Russian Ark director Sokurov will coordinate the workshop programme for a Cinema Lab for up to 100 young non-professionals wanting to make films and will invite colleagues from the industry to give masterclasses.

The Lab will be held outside of St Petersburg in the seaside town of Repino and reprises the campus of budding filmmakers Sokurov oversaw during the Kinoforum in 2011.

Probst and Bondarchuk are members of an advisory board, including Mikhail Piotrovsky, the State Hermitage Museum director, and Georgiy Poltavchenko, acting governor of St. Petersburg, who are supporting Roskino in its organisation of the Forum, which will be held in the city’s Old Stock Exchange building on the Vasiliyevsky Island.

Ambitious programme »


- screen.berlin@googlemail.com (Martin Blaney)

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James Brown biopic to open Zurich

2 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Music biopic is director Tate Taylor’s follow-up to Oscar-winner The Help.

The Zurich Film Festival (Sept 25 - Oct 5) is to open its 10th edition with James Brown biopic Get On Up on Sept 25, a day before its release in Switzerland.

Director Tate Taylor and star Chadwick Boseman will be in Zurich to attend the premiere.

Taylor previously walked Zurich’s green carpet with The Help, which closed Zurich in 2011 and went on to win an Oscar for supporting actress Octavia Spencer.

Boseman is best known for playing Us baseball legend Jackie Robinson in sports biopic 42.

Get On Up follows James Brown’s rise from extreme poverty to his status as the Godfather of Soul. The musician, who died in 2006 aged 73, is best known for songs such as Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag , I Got You (I Feel Good) and Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine.

The film also »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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James Brown Biopic ‘Get On Up’ to Open Zurich

2 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

London — Tate Taylor’s James Brown biopic “Get On Up” will open the Zurich Film Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Taylor and Chadwick Boseman, who plays the singer, will be in Zurich to attend the premiere.

The film, which follows the soul musician’s rise from poverty to stardom, also stars Octavia Spencer. The cast also includes Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis and Lennie James.

Taylor previously attended the fest with “The Help,” which was the closing film in 2011.

»


- Leo Barraclough

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Soccer Kicks Hong Kong Box Office Into Summer Slump

3 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Hong Kong — Theatrical box in Hong Kong took a summer snooze.

Revenues fell 19% to Hk$312 million (Us$40.2 million) in the 1 July to 31 Aug. period according to data suppliers, Hong Kong Motion Picture Industry Association and the Hong Kong Theatres Association.

While that slump matches — and slightly exceeds — the summer blues encountered at the North American box office, the soccer World Cup was the biggest single factor in Hong Kong according to the Mpia and Hkta. Many spectators instead tuned in to the football available on TV and in bars and clubs.

For the year to date, Hong Kong’s box office remains slightly ahead of last year. The data shows gross theatrical revenue in the territory at Hk$1.168 billion (Us$150 million), 2% up on the Hk$1.150 billion (Us$148 million) in the first eight months of last year.

Seven of the top ten places in the summer period went to English-language movies, »


- Patrick Frater

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Venice Film Festival Diary: 'Black Souls,' "Heaven Knows What,' "Goodnight Mommy'

3 hours ago | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The dark days of Venice continue. It’s not easy starting your morning with a film called “Black Souls” but someone has to do it. Italian director Francisco Munzi’s tale of a Calabrian family embroiled in the mafia gave me a stomach ache, partly because of the sense of dread it successfully exported from the opening shot, and partly because it never quite achieves what it seems to be going for. Luigi and Rocco Carbone are two middle-aged brothers running a mob business in Milan. Luigi (Marco Leonardi) is your typically good-looking, fun-loving tough guy, a sort of Calabrian Sonny Corleone. The lean, bespectacled Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta) runs the business side and aspires to normality and respectability, with a pretty northern wife (Barbora Bobulova) and young daughter. The odd man out is their elder brother Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane), who has remained on the Calabrian hilltop farm, raising goats, and »


- Tom Christie

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Park, Xyz team on The Editor

3 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Midnight Madness thriller from Astron 6 stars Udo Kier, Paz de la Huerta.

UK sales outfit Park Entertainment will launch low-budget horror The Editor in Toronto’s Midnight Madness strand.

Xyz will represent domestic rights and Australia and Germany on behalf of the producers.

Astron 6 co-founders Matthew Kennedy and Adam Brooks co-wrote, co-directed, co-produced and co-star in the giallo homage about a film editor who becomes the prime suspect in a murder case. 

Udo Kier and Paz de La Huerta also star. »


- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Indie Sales to launch Zucchini, new Jolivet at Toronto

3 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: My Life As A Zucchini is written by Tomboy and Girlhood director Céline Sciamma.

Indie Sales has acquired international rights to feature-length stop motion film My Life As A Zucchini, based on a screen adaptation by filmmaker Céline Sciamma of a popular novel. 

The Paris-based company will launch sales on the film at the Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff) alongside another new acquisition, Pierre Jolivet’s new project The Night Watchman, starring Olivier Gourmet.

My Life As A Zucchini is the first feature-length film by Swiss director Claude Barras after a series of well-received animated shorts including Chambre 69 and Land of the Heads.

It is a Swiss-French co-production between Rita Films in Switzerland and Gebeka in Paris. Gebeka will also distribute in France.

The film is an adaptation of Gilles Paris novel Autobiography of a Zucchini about a young boy adapting to life in a children’s home after his mother’s sudden death.

“I was »


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