Following the announcement of the Venice lineup today, I sat down with fest chief Alberto Barbera in Rome. He’s got what looks like a very solid roster of 55 films across the official selection that will unspool between August 27 and September 6 on the Lido. It all kicks off with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman on opening night. Barbera told me he was excited for the film, which he says marks a departure for the helmer of Babel, 21 Grams and Biutiful. “It’s inventive and light” and full of surprises. After a truly out-of-this-world festival last year which blasted off with eventual awards-season juggernaut Gravity on opening night, did he feel pressure this time around? “I try not to think about that,” he said. But he did allow that Gravity‘s success may have helped convince Fox Searchlight to debut it on the Lido. Oscar-winning Gravity director, and Inarritu pal, Alfonso Cuaron was also “very supportive” and Barbera says Cuaron is expected in town to continue that support at the premiere next month.
Last year, there were some ruffled feathers when a handful of films, including Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin, premiered in Telluride despite being billed as world premieres in Venice. The two fests overlap on Venice’s first weekend. But Barbera says he has sat down with Telluride’s Tom Luddy, whom he calls a friend, over the past year and … Read More »
I’m here at Rome’s St Regis Hotel where Biennale president Paolo Baratta and Venice chief Alberto Barbera are announcing the lineup for the 71st edition of the world’s oldest international film festival. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Birdman world premieres in competition as the opener on August 27 and we’ll see 55 movies across the Official Selection through September 6. Yesterday, I wrote a primer for today’s reveal with such films as David Gordon Green‘s Manglehorn and Peter Bogdanovich‘s Squirrels To The Nuts expected to be announced today; and they have been.
Twenty films will compete in the main competition, 19 of which are world premieres with one international premiere. There are an abundance of titles from Italy, France, the U.S. and the UK. Among the U.S. titles in competition are Manglehorn with Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine and Chris Messina, and Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill with Ethan Hawke, Bruce Greenwood, January Jones and Zoe Kravitz. Both of those will move on to Toronto next. Gonzalez Inarritu’s opener Birdman is in competition with a starry cast that includes Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. The closing-night movie, as previously announced, is Ann Hui’s The Golden Era. Among the other expected players that are turning up in competition are Fatih Akin with The Cut starring Tahar Rahim (Carlos); Xavier Beauvois’ La Rançon De La Gloire; Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini with Willem Dafoe; Benoït Jacquot’s 3 Hearts and David Olehoffen’s Loin Des Hommes with Viggo Mortensen. Also particularly of note is The Act Of Killing director Joshua Oppenheimer with documentary The Look Of Silence. Ramin Bahrani, Roy Andersson and Andrei Konchalovsky are also in the mix (see full list below). Read More »
With The New York Film Festival setting David Fincher’s Gone Girl as its opener, and Toronto yesterday announcing a bevy of world premieres, the signs are getting somewhat clearer as to what to expect from Venice when it unveils its lineup in Rome tomorrow. We do know that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman is opening the festival in competition. That last fact is a pointer to how Venice wants to be perceived on the international stage. It’s the world’s oldest festival, but has sometimes been overshadowed by the other fall movie meccas Toronto and Telluride. Last year, Venice chief Alberto Barbera was miffed when films like Under The Skin got a sneak at Telluride before what was meant to be the World Premiere in Venice. Telluride, as my colleague Pete Hammond points out, does not announce its films ahead of time and does not label its films as premieres. Toronto laid down the law this year that any big movies that choose to first play at Telluride won’t be able to play in Canada until after opening weekend, and Barbera said last year that Venice competition films had to be World Premieres. Venice runs August 27-September 6, Telluride is August 29-September 1 and Toronto goes September 4-14.
Birdman’s World Premiere in competition is what I like to call a nice dovetail to last year’s opener, Gravity, which was directed … Read More »
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: Read 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.
Venice Critics’ Week Lineup Revealed
The National Union of Italian Film Critics has unveiled its selection for the 29th running of Critics’ Week at the … Read 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 … Read 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. Read More »
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 … Read More »
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. Read More »
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.
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 … Read More »
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 … Read More »
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. Read More »
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.
Deadline Global Showbiz Watch, Episode 6 (MP3 format)
Deadline Global Showbiz Watch, Episode 6 (MP4a format)
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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.” Read More »
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. Read More »
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.
Related: … Read More »