Tuesday, 22 July 2014

FIRST WAVE OF TIFF SELECTIONS ANNOUNCED


TIFF 2014 will run from the 4th to the 14th of September. The 39th edition of the festival has just announced a slate of films set to screen at the high-profile event, many of which will aspire to use the fest as a launching pad for their awards campaigns later in the year. Here are the films which have been confirmed to screen in Toronto:

World Premieres
American Heist (Sarik Andreasyan)

Before We Go (Chris Evans)

Black and White (Mike Binder)

Breakup Buddies (Ning Hao)

Cake (Daniel Barnz)

The Dead Lands (Toa Fraser)

The Drop (Michael R. Roskam)

Eden (Mia Hansen-Love)

The Equaliser (Antoine Fuqua)

The Gate (Regis Wargnier)

The Good Lie (Philippe Falardeau)

The Judge (David Dobkin)

Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet (Roger Allers, Gaetan Brizzi, Paul Brizzi, Joan C. Gratz, Mohammed Saeed Harib, Tomm Moore, Nina Paley, Bill Plympton, Joann Sfar and Michal Socha)

The Keeping Room (Daniel Barber)

The Last Five Years (Richard LaGravenese)

Learning to Drive (Isabel Coixet)

A Little Chaos (Alan Rickman)

Love & Mercy (Bill Pohlad)

Mary Kom (Omung Kumar)

Men, Women and Children (Jason Reitman)

Miss Julie (Liv Ullmann)

My Old Lady (Israel Horovitz)

Ned Rifle (Hal Hartley)

The New Girlfriend (Francois Ozon)

Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy)

Pawn Sacrifice (Ed Zwick)

Phoenix (Christian Petzold)

The Reach (Jean-Baptiste Leonetti)

The Riot Club (Lone Scherfig)

Samba (Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano)

A Second Chance (Susanne Bier)

Still Alive (Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland)

The Theory of Everything (James Marsh)

This Is Where I Leave You (Shawn Levy)

Time Out of Mind (Oren Moverman)

Top Five (Chris Rock)

While We're Young (Noah Baumbach)


Check beneath the jump for a bunch more premieres!


FIRST TRAILER FOR BERTRAND BONELLO'S SAINT LAURENT


I don't care what the Cannes critics said, I'll follow Bertrand Bonello anywhere, and his Yves Saint Laurent biopic looks worthy of being followed. Saint Laurent comes not long after Jalil Lespert's insipid biopic, and I've no doubt that Bonello has done a much finer job of translating the maverick designer's life to the big screen, with his trademark emphasis on sex and glamour. This joins a previously-released, and brief, clip from the film.

BOX OFFICE REPORT: PURGE OF THE PLANET OF THE SEX TAPES


The summer's best-reviewed blockbuster yet is also its best-holding yet, as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes fends off considerable competition with ease. Three major new releases all disappointed in one way or another, though prospects for only two of the three look at all positive. As July begins to wind up before a hefty first weekend in August, the month's box office trails last year's by a whopping 30%.

1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ($36,254,310)
A drop of 50% on last weekend's haul is impressive for Fox's sequel, as it continues to shape up into one of the season's strongest performers. Good word-of-mouth seems to be materialising, as the franchise's first film, Rise of the Planet of the Apesdipped a similar 49% on its second weekend on a lower opening figure.

2. The Purge: Anarchy ($29,816,675)
Universal might not be too pleased that their sequel to last year's breakout hit failed to match its opening weekend gross, but signs for Anarchy aren't so bad. The film held better through the weekend than The Purgeposting stronger numbers on its first Sunday, and is thus gaining ground. Strangely, it gained first place on Friday over Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, draining that film's grosses somewhat, to the extent that it managed a remarkable surge on its second Saturday. The lower opening gross than the first film can be attributed to the negative reaction that it was so poorly-received by audiences; if Anarchy continues to hold better than that film, it could out-gross it.

3. Planes: Fire and Rescue ($17,509,407)

Last summer's Planes movie was a spin-off of Pixar's Cars, which itself had a badly-performing sequel. It was intended to go straight to DVD, but pulled in decent grosses in cinemas, so this further spin-off was also rolled out onto the big screen. As has proven to be the case with many animated sequels in recent years, it has failed to match its predecessor's opening - down 21%, in fact. With an extremely high proportion of the audience being families, and a very light slate for family fare this summer, expect this to hold decently over the coming weeks, though a further sequel looks unlikely, and not even How to Train Your Dragon 2 could capitalise on the lack of competition, so don't get your hopes up for this one.


4. Sex Tape ($14,608,152)

Sony obviously knew they were holding a giant bomb with Sex Tape: its marketing was lighter than usual for a major Cameron Diaz comedy. Bad reviews precluded this bad gross, which is less than half that of stars' and director Jake Kasdan's Bad Teacher, and even lower than another comedy flop from earlier this season, A Million Ways to Die in the West. Without a lot riding on it, this dismal performance will be swiftly forgotten by most, though there's a fair chance this fails to even recoup its budget of $40 million domestically.


5. Transformers: Age of Extinction (9,845,720)

6. Tammy ($7,402,208)

7. 22 Jump Street ($4,703,353)

8. How to Train Your Dragon 2 ($3,904,709)

9. Earth to Echo ($3,267,824)

10. Maleficent ($3,238,213)



TRAILER FOR STEPHEN DALDRY'S TRASH


There's a fairly good argument that a documentary of Stephen Daldry's actual trash just lying in a bin for two hours would be better than his last film, Extremely Long and Incredibly Shit. On the basis that each of his films has been considerably weaker than the last, things aren't looking good for Trash. On the basis that it's hard to find many films weaker than ELAIC, things are looking a little better. Let's all just remember that this happened, though, before getting too optimistic. Out in the UK on the 31st of October, which is a notorious day for scary things occurring, I'm told. Richard Curtis wrote the screenplay. Look him up. It's not pretty.

LIV ULLMANN'S MISS JULIE - TRAILER


The first we've heard from Liv Ullmann as a director for 14 years, Miss Julie will screen later this year at TIFF. Some iffy Fermanagh accents (Fermanagh's hitting the big time, fuck yeh!) are wisely drowned out by a delicious soundtrack score. The acting from Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton looks excellent, though, as does Ullmann's direction and scripting, and The Return cinematographer Mikhail Krichman's photography. Very much looking forward to this.

CHEERY TRAILER FOR KIM'S ONE ON ONE


A delightful little scenario plays out in the trailer for Kim Ki Duk's One on One. Kim has taken to making whatever movies he wants, in whatever style he wants these days, a process which has served him quite well with his recent festival successes, Pieta and Moebius.

Monday, 21 July 2014

ANGELINA JOLIE TO COLLABORATE WITH BRAD PITT ON NEW PROJECT


It's been nine years now since Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt starred on screen together, in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the film which kickstarted their romance. Now, they're set to appear together in their first cinematic collaboration since that relationship officially commenced, with By the Sea. Rumour has it that the film will be a romance, and it's to be written and directed by Jolie, whose second film as director, Unbrokencomes out on Christmas Day this year, and to star both partners.

NYFF ADDITIONS: INHERENT VICE AND BIRDMAN


We already knew that NYFF 2014 would kick off on the 26th of September with the world premiere of David Fincher's Gone Girlnow we know which films will serve as the fest's centrepiece and its closing film. On the 4th of October, Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice will receive its world premiere as NYFF's official centrepiece gala, while Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdmanalready set to open Venice 2014 next month, will close the festival on the 12th of October. That ought to be the film's North American premiere. Inherent Vice opens in the US on the 12th of December and in the UK on the 9th of January; Birdman in the US on the 17th of October and in the UK on the 2nd of January.

OBIT - JAMES GARNER


The American actor and star of both film and TV, James Garner, has died. He was aged 86 and had been suffering from poor health since a stroke in 2008. Known by many for his roles in popular TV series The Rockford Files and Maverick, his film parts in the late 1950s saw his celebrity rise swiftly. A combination of an easygoing charm and an affable masculinity was embraced by audiences the world over, in films such as The Great Escape, The Children's Hour, The Americanisation of Emily and Murphy's Romance, for which he was nominated for an Oscar. In the '90s, he appeared in the Maverick the film, and received a SAG Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, the same year that he was nominated for an Actor for The Notebook. His marriage to Lois Clarke lasted almost 58 years; they had two children, Kimberly and Greta.

TRAILER: THE IMITATION GAME


2013 was all set to be Benedict Cumberbatch's big year, remember? Never fear, Cumberbitches, since he's cut down on quantity but seemingly up on quality in 2014, as this first trailer for The Imitation Game appears to prove. The golly-gosh-posh period drama is being helmed by Morten Tyldum, who earned serious thriller cred with 2011's Headhunters, and features editing from William Goldenberg and a score by Alexandre Desplat, to add to the worthiness generated by that bountiful bevy of Brits in front of the camera. The Imitation Game is being handled by The Weinstein Company Stateside, and is released there on the 21st of November, following a British release on the 14th, a week ahead.