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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘To The Wonder’, ‘Disconnect’, ‘Antiviral’, ‘The Angels’ Share’, ‘Into The White’

By | Thursday April 11, 2013 @ 7:10pm PDT

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

Terrence Malick is always an anticipated name among cineastes and his latest, To The Wonder, will undoubtedly be a tour de force among Specialty Releases this weekend. Magnolia Pictures will open the film, which stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem in limited runs. LD Entertainment will bow Disconnect, starring Jason Bateman and Hope Davis, lending more star power to this weekend’s limited release newcomers. Brandon Cronenberg rolls out his directorial debut in Antiviral starring Caleb Landry Jones. The film had its world premiere in Cannes last year. The Angels’ Share, starring newcomer Paul Brannigan, is also set to bow. And Norwegian filmmaker Petter Naess’ Into The White recalls a peculiarity of WWII when British and German military had to fight together for survival in the wilderness.

To The Wonder
Director-writer: Terrence Malick
Cast: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

Terrence Malick’s 2011 release, The Tree Of Life grossed one of the highest opening averages of the year when it bowed in four theaters grossing $372,920 ($93,230 average). The film, however, only went on to make $13.3 million domestically. His latest film, To The Wonder has been called by some as the auteur’s “most accessible” to date. Like Tree Of Life, which had Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain, his latest also boasts star pedigree in the form of Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams. And it has generated excitement among Malick’s legion of cineaste fans. “I think this film fits right in with The Tree Of Life, [though] I think there was a bit of backlash from that one,” Magnolia exec Matt Cowal said. “There was overwhelming critical response, so it [garnered] a backlash. So we wanted to give To The Wonder a bit of time.” Magnolia saw the film out of Toronto where it had its North American debut (following Venice). The distributor decided to give some buffer between the film’s festival appearances and its theatrical start. “I think it’s better outside a festival context and works better on its own,” added Cowal. “It’s sparking an incredible dialog. You can’t expect it to be liked by everyone. Some hate it, some adore it. And that’s expected in a work of art – it’s fascinating.” Read More »

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Toronto: Francois Ozon’s ‘In The House’ Takes Critics Prize

By | Sunday September 16, 2012 @ 12:01pm PDT

TORONTO – The 37th Toronto International Film Festival announced its award recipients today at a reception at the Intercontinental Hotel Toronto.

The Festival welcomed an international FIPRESCI jury for the 21st consecutive year . The jury members consist of jury president Peter Keough (United States), Jon Asp (Sweden), Ashok Rane (India), Louis-Paul Rioux (Canada), Juan Manuel Dominguez (Argentina) and Brian McKechnie (Canada). The Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations is awarded to Francois Ozon’s Dans la maison
(In the House). The jury remarked: “For achieving an exquisitely crafted entertainment that blurs the distinction between the storyteller and the story told, and that assuages with playful complexity the tragedies of life with the consolations of art, the FIPRESCI award for Special Presentations goes to Francois Ozon’s In the House.”

Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery programme is awarded to Mikael Marcimain’s Call Girl. The jury remarked: “With an intense sense of cinema reminiscent of the American thrillers of the 1970s, Mikael Marcimain’s debut feature achieves a portrait of an obscure world involving women’s rights and political corruption. Marcimain deals with his sensitive subject with immense ease and cr aftsmanship. Because of these accomplishments the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film in the Discovery programme goes to Mikael Marcimain’s Call Girl.”

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IFC Takes U.S. Rights To Brandon Cronenberg’s ‘Antiviral’

By | Wednesday June 6, 2012 @ 1:56pm PDT
Mike Fleming

IFC Midnight acquired U.S. rights to Antiviral, the Brandon Cronenberg-directed film that stars Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Douglas Smith and Malcolm McDowell. Produced by Niv Fichman, the film had its world premiere last month in the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section. Brandon, son of helmer David Cronenberg, wrote and made his feature directing debut on the film.

In Antiviral, an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities supplements his income by selling illegal samples on the black market to rabid fans who wish to partake in the ultimate form of communion. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills superstar Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and obsessed fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding the starlet’s death before he too meets a morbid end. Cronenberg sounds like a chip off the old block.

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Malcolm McDowell Boards Georgia-Set Feature Omnibus ‘Tbilisi, My City’

Tbilisi, My City is a sort of New York, I Love You about the republic of Georgia. David Agiashvili created the project that’s a series of 12-short films, each written and directed by natives of Georgia and all set in the capital city of Tbilisi. Malcolm McDowell’s vignette sees him as an actor who falls in love with the city after reluctantly agreeing to a one-month shoot there. Nika Agiashvili will direct the short, reteaming with McDowell and George Finn (LOL), who both also star in his upcoming feature, A Green Story. David Agiashvili is producing with Ketevan Galdavadze and Nika Agiashvili through Storyman Pictures and Iberia Film. Production starts later this month. McDowell will next be seen in Antiviral, the feature debut of David Cronenberg’s son Brandon which is screening in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes next month. McDowell is repped by Chris Roe at CR Management. Finn is repped by ICM and Luber Roklin Entertainment’s Lena Roklin and Mara Santino.

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