Ahead of Thursday’s announcement of the Venice Film Festival competition lineup, the parallel Venice Days section has presented its roster. As previously noted, Kim Ki-duk’s revenge drama One On One will open the section out of competition. The Korean helmer’s Pieta won the Golden Lion in 2012. Closing the section is Alex De La Iglesia’s documentary about Argentine football great Lionel Messi. Titled Messi, the film uses reconstructions, archival material and interviews to trace the player’s rise to stardom. Among the competition titles is the world premiere of Palme d’Or winner Laurent Cantet’s Return To Ithaca. Set in Havana, the film sees five friends reflect on their past and future. The section also hosts the international premiere of Shawn Christensen’s SXSW drama Before I Disappear with Emmy Rossum, Fatima Ptacek, Paul Wesley, Ron Perlman and Richard Schiff. It’s based on Christensen’s 2013 Oscar winning short film Curfew. Click over for the full Venice Days lineup:
Global Showbiz Briefs: André Rieu Sets UK Box Office Record; Venice Critics’ Week Roster; Alibaba Pacts With Helmers; More
André Rieu Concert Sets UK Box Office Record
Flying the flag for event cinema, André Rieu’s 2014 10th Anniversary Maastricht Concert became the UK’s highest-grossing music event of all time at the box office this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, CinemaLive screened the concert at 410 locations across the UK and Ireland, grossing $1.42M. The concert also screened at 234 moviehouses in European markets including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Romania, Finland and Croatia, bringing the total gross box office figure to more than $2.05M for the weekend. Rieu’s July 2013 cinema concert event set UK records with about $766K. The massive jump this year is one more feather in the cap of live event cinema which has been growing in popularity with music- and theater-loving crowds. Classical violinist Rieu, aka “The King of Waltz”, is known for his energetic and festive live performances. He has sold more than 35M albums worldwide. Further screenings of the concert will take place this coming weekend in Australia and New Zealand, followed by Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Russia and South East Asia to ultimately reach more than 1,000 cinema screens in 35 countries. Pretty soon, I’ll have to start adding these to my international weekend box office reports.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Glum News For ‘Glee’ In The UK?; Thelma Schoonmaker To Be Honored At Venice; More
In 2011, Mark Tughan, whose Comic Enterprises owns four Glee Clubs in the UK, filed a lawsuit against Fox over musical dramedy Glee, claiming the name of the show infringed on his trademark, creating a confusion that his venues are somehow associated with the series. On Friday, Britain’s High Court ruled that the show must change its name. The Associated Press reports a judge told 20th Century Fox that it had to re-name the series in Britain, though the order has been stayed until an appeal has been heard. Comic Enterprises is also seeking damages, with a final amount to be determined later, the AP said. In the interim, the judge ordered Fox to pay £100,000 ($171,000). A Fox spokesperson told Deadline, “We are pleased that the trial judge agreed to let the Appeal Court rule before ordering any relief that would adversely affect fans’ enjoyment of Glee in the UK. We look forward to the next stage of this case and remain confident in the merits of our argument.” Season 6 of Glee will be its last, so the title issue could be moot for the show’s primary run given the length of the appeal process, though it would affect Glee’s syndicated run in the country.
Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese’s venerated and longtime editor, will receive a Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Venice Film Festival, as will …
Global Showbiz Briefs: ’1,001 Nights’ Sells To U.S.; Spike Jonze Cancels Jerusalem Masterclass; Venice Adds Classics; More
Turkey has increasingly put its footprint on scripted and non-scripted formats that can travel, with both drama The End and competition series Keep Your Light Shining selling to the U.S. in the past year. Global Agency, which handled the latter, has now sold its modern-day drama series 1,001 Nights into Uruguay via Canal 10 S.A.E.T.A TV, and to MundoFox for Hispanic audiences in the U.S. The series, originally titled Binbir Gece, previously sold to Chile where it has had strong ratings in primetime and has become the most successful import in the country’s history. The performance has opened the way for new negotiations in other countries in the region such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. It previously aired in Turkey for three seasons on Kanal D and is also shown in more than 50 markets, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America.
DeadlineNow Morning Report: Cable Reigns At Emmy Noms, ESPN Scores Again With World Cup, ‘Birdman’ To Open Venice (Video)
Venice Fest Eyes Awards Season Perch With Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘Birdman’ Competing As Opener
Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s Birdman, or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance, has been selected for opening honors at the Venice Film Festival. When Fox Searchlight set an October 17 North American release, and when Birdman didn’t appear in Cannes, we expected it would get a berth at one of the fall festivals. I felt particularly strongly about Venice, especially as it makes a nice dovetail to last year when Iñárritu’s pal Alfonso Cuaron did opening night honors with Gravity. That film went on to a huge awards season run, but it was not in competition in Venice, and that was lamented across the board. The world premiere screening of Birdman on August 27 is IN competition, and looks like a sign that Venice wants to stand out further. It is increasingly seen as a launchpad for some of the major titles that will figure in the awards races later in the year. But, it competes heavily with Telluride and Toronto which overlap the event. The former last year even ruffled Venice’s feathers by programming some big-ticket titles before their Lido premieres. Also of note, Gravity‘s Oscar winning cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, shot Birdman.
Oscar-nominated Babel director Iñárritu’s first black comedy stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan and Andrea Riseborough. Keaton plays an actor, famous for having portrayed an iconic superhero, who …
The final frame of François Truffaut‘s The 400 Blows is the center art for the 71st Venice International Film Festival poster which was released recently. The boy portrayed in the close-up is Antoine Doinel, the main character and the director’s alter ego in his other titles (played by Jean-Pierre Léaud). Image is the final frame of the film, after Antoine escapes from reform school and stares into the camera.
Is it Oscar season already? The Venice Film Festival has set Alexandre Desplat to head the main competition jury at the 71st Venice Film Festival. It’s the first time they’ve set a film composer to be jury president, organizers said Monday. Desplat has the bonafides, earning six Oscar noms in the past decade, including on Best Picture winners The King’s Speech and Argo.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Galavant’ To Film At UK’s Bottle Yard; Sam Worthington Mini ‘Deadline Gallipoli’ Adds Cast; ‘The Golden Era’ To Close Venice; More
The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol, England will be the home of Disney’s ABC Studios’ Galavant when it shoots later this summer. Pre-production started this week in the west of England and filming begins in August. Galavant is one of the major U.S. series to decamp to Britain this year to take advantage of the lucrative TV tax credit. The musical comedy fairytale from Dan Fogelman stars Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones, Mallory Jansen, Karen David and Luke Youngblood. Also currently filming at Bottle Yard are BBC Two’s Wolf Hall, BBC One’s Poldark, Sky 1 comedy Trollied, and Channel 4’s Deal Or No Deal.
Australia’s Foxtel has unveiled the cast of miniseries Deadline Gallipoli. Joining Sam Worthington in the drama that just started shooting, are Hugh Dancy, Rachel Griffiths, Bryan Brown, Ewan Leslie, Jessica De Gouw, Anna Torv, John Bell, James Fraser, Charles Dance, and newcomer Joel Jackson. Worthington is co-producing the chronicle of the Aussie and English journalists who covered the World War I battle and were instrumental in the decision to end the campaign against Turkish forces. Charles Bean, Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, Phillip Schuler and Keith Murdoch (Rupert’s dad) were the first truly embedded war correspondents whose defiance ignited a change in the campaign’s course and whose commitment to the stories of the men turned the war from a strategic failure into a …
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Thunderbirds Are Go!’ In Oz; France v Honduras Woos Auds; Rohrwacher On Venice Jury Duty
Thunderbirds Are Go! in Australia. ITV Studios Global Entertainment has signed its first international TV broadcast deal for the re-invention of the classic kids’ series. The pact with Oz’s with Nine Network will see the new show air, rather fittingly, on youth-skewing digital channel GO! Nine Network and GO! have already been the Australian home of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s original Thunderbirds series since it first aired in the 1960s. The new series starts on GO! from spring 2015, shortly after the UK world premiere on ITV and CITV. Produced by ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures in collaboration with Weta Workshop, the new series of 26 episodes will incorporate a mixture of CGI animation and live-action model sets. The cast is led by Rosamund Pike as Lady Penelope, and David Graham reprising his role as chauffeur and International Rescue agent Parker. Inventor Brains will be voiced by Kayvan Novak. Tracy brothers Alan and Scott are both played by Rasmus Hardiker. David Menkin has also been cast as both Virgil and Gordon Tracy. The fifth Tracy brother, John, will be played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
France’s first match of the World Cup tournament scored for the team, and for broadcaster TF1. Defeating Honduras, Les Bleus drew 15.8M viewers for a 57% share at home on Sunday night, and with a peak of 17M viewers at one point for the match that …
Toronto Vs Telluride: Are These Top Festivals Already Preparing For Battle Over NEXT Season’s Oscar Contenders?
The old Toronto vs Telluride rivalry has reared its ugly head again after Indiewire’s Anne Thompson wrote yesterday (and others followed) that Festival Director Cameron Bailey told her last Fall that they would enforce an ironclad rule that any films playing the Toronto International Film Festival’s first four days would have to be World or North American premieres. And that means “premiere” in the purest sense of the word. The World Premieres must be the first time the films are seen publicly anywhere and North American means U.S., Canada and Mexico. Any others would not get slots until the first Monday (traditionally when the heat starts progressively diminishing). This is what TIFF is telling studios and distributors. It is clearly saber rattling towards Telluride which most recently debuted films like 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and Prisoners before Toronto’s “official” World and North American Premieres.
Telluride, unlike Toronto, doesn’t reveal its schedule until the start of the Labor Day weekend fest and does not label any of its films as “premieres”. Sometimes, as in the case of 12 Years and Prisoners they don’t even include them then, and try to serve them up as unannounced sneak previews during the course of the weekend. Gravity was coming from the Venice Film Festival opening night so that was not kept as a secret. Other Telluride pictures, first seen at the Cannes Film Festival in May, were Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska and All Is Lost. They all skipped Toronto entirely after Telluride and headed to the New York Film Festival later in the month.
Listen to (and share) episode 6 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about the Venice Film Festival, including unlikely Golden Lion winner Sacro Gra and another timely documentary, this one from Oscar winner Errol Morris about another former Defense Secretary, this time Donald Rumsfeld. They also discuss the grilling Parliament gave New York Times CEO Mark Thompson over fat severance packages for execs when he was head of the BBC, and the wide-ranging lineup announced for the London Film Festival later this fall.
UPDATE: Coming into Venice, jury president Bernardo Bertolucci said he was looking “to be surprised.” Just after the awards ceremony tonight, he confirmed that Sacro Gra, the winner of the Golden Lion, “is a surprising film.” Gianfranco Rossi’s documentary about life on the ring-road highway that circles Rome gave Venice its first Italian winner since 1998’s The Way We Laughed (that film’s director, Gianni Amelio, was also coincidentally in competition this year with L’Intrepido). It’s also the first time a documentary has ever won at the fest; this was the first year non-fiction films were included. Bertolucci commented on the other documentary in competition, Errol Morris’ portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, The Unknown Known, and said that some on the jury “thought about giving (Rumsfeld) the Best Actor prize.”
Yurusarezaru Mono, the Warner Bros Japan-produced remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Best Picture Oscar-winner Unforgiven, had its official screening here in Venice on Friday night. The out-of-competition selection met with widely positive reactions, especially for the strong cast and lush cinematography by Norimichi Kasamatsu. When the Japanese project was originally proposed, Eastwood was consulted for his yea or nay. He gave his approval, and I’m told that he has seen and likes the finished product. The movie next heads to Toronto, and Warner opens it in Japan on September 13th. I understand it’s being trailered locally with Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, the box office hit that had a berth here in competition.
Directed by Lee Sang-il, Yurusarezaru Mono hews very closely to the original film’s arc. Here, a legendary former Samurai is coaxed out of retirement – and a vow of non-violence – by an old friend seeking a reward for avenging a knife attack on a prostitute (check out the trailer). The island of Hokkaido in 1880s Meiji era Japan steps in for Wyoming and Samurai replace gunslingers, although there are still plenty of guns to go around. Ken Watanabe stars in the Eastwood role, veteran actor Akira Emoto has the Morgan Freeman part, Kôichi Satô steps in for Gene Hackman and Yûya Yagira, who won Cannes’ top acting prize for 2004’s Nobody Knows, is the young upstart. Kill Bill‘s Jun Kunimura, who featured in Venice Horizons hit Why Don’t You Play In Hell?, also appears in the role that Richard Harris originated.
Ahead of the main prize ceremony tomorrow night, awards are starting to trickle out here at the Venice Film Festival. The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) has given its Best Film honor to Canadian multi-hyphenate Xavier Dolan’s well-received psychological thriller Tom At The Farm. The jury praised Dolan’s “energetic, tense and sensual filmmaking.” The story of a grief-stricken young man who encounters a web of deceit at a country funeral is in Competition. FIPRESCI also named The Reunion the best film across the Horizons and Critics’ Week sections. Anna Odell directed the movie which the jury said “blurs the boundaries between fiction and documentary and speaks about marginalization, bullying, and the complicated nature of group dynamics.” (Separately, FIPRESCI announced today that its annual Grand Prize will go to Cannes Palme d’Or winner Adèle: Chapters 1 & 2 – aka Blue Is The Warmest Color). Meanwhile, Stephen Frears’ crowd-pleasing competition film Philomena won the Venice Queer Lion for bringing “relevance to issues such as homosexuality, AIDS and homophobia.” And, Jean Denizot’s family drama La Belle Vie was awarded the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European Film in the Venice Days section.
Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki has held a press conference in Tokyo to speak about his recently announced retirement. Last Sunday in Venice, Koju Hoshino, president of Miyazaki’s production company Studio Ghibli, said that the anime master’s competition film, The Wind Rises, would be his last. Today, Miyazaki said he would “like to work for at least 10 more years, but I think that making feature films is no longer my job.” Miyazaki acknowledged he has said he would stop making features before, but today he reiterated that he was serious this time, according to local media reports. “I’m going to be free. At the same time, as long as I can drive my car to the studio, I’ll go. If there are things I want to do, then I will,” he said without elaborating. Speaking of The Wind Rises, Miyazaki said the film took five years to make. A new film “would take six or seven years. I’m going to be 73 years old and I would be 80 by the end.” The director is considering getting more involved in his venerable studio’s Ghibli Museum, joking he might become an exhibit. Producer Toshio Suzuki also noted that the studio’s next film, after Isao Takahata’s November release The Tale Of Princess Kaguya, will be out in Japan next summer, although he did not reveal details.
Director Ti West is known primarily for his work as a horror helmer, but with Venice and Toronto title The Sacrament – as well as an upcoming project – he’s taking a turn in a different direction. West’s credits include 2009’s The House Of The Devil, 2011’s The Innkeepers and a segment of 2012’s V/H/S. Although it’s presented by Eli Roth, The Sacrament, which received positive notices here, is not really a straight horror movie. It’s a contemporary found-footage film that tweaks the genre and is “the most realism” West has done, he told me this week. But he’s looking to step even further afield with a script he’s currently writing: He wants to do a “traditional western.”
Listen to (and share) episode 5 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about the Venice Film Festival, now at its mid-way point, with Stephen Frears‘ Philomena the early favorite for the fest’s top prize, the Golden Lion. Nancy also talks about Locke, the man-in-a-car movie featuring, only, Tom Hardy; the overwhelming response by Harry Potter fans to Daniel Radcliffe’s festival appearance for Kill Your Darlings; and the fabulous swan song of animation master Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises.
Errol Morris’ Donald Rumsfeld portrait, The Unknown Known, debuted in Telluride over the weekend and is running in competition here in Venice. Morris, the Oscar-winning director of The Fog Of War, which looked at former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, says he decided to concentrate on Rumsfeld after the publication of the latter’s 2011 autobiography Known And Unknown: A Memoir. It was then that Morris became aware of the Bush administration Defense Secretary’s “snowflake” memos — the thousands of missives that Rumsfeld wrote during his time at the Pentagon — which became a key element in the film (see video here). His curiosity piqued, Morris wrote Rumsfeld a letter and enclosed a copy of The Fog Of War. “His lawyer told me that I was delusional. ‘This man will never under any circumstances talk to you’.” But within a week, he had an invitation to Rumsfeld’s office in Washington, Morris told reporters today. Ultimately, he conducted 33 hours of interviews with Rumsfeld over 11 days in a studio outside Boston.
Despite both having held the same post, Rumsfeld, a key architect of the Iraq War, and the late McNamara, a key architect of the Vietnam War, are “very, very, very different.” The latter is “The Flying Dutchman”, Morris said, “traveling the world searching for redemption and never finding it.” Rumsfeld, on the other hand, is more like the “Cheshire Cat, who at the very end vanishes and is left with just a smile.”