The 70th Cannes Film Festival wrapped up this year with several big surprises. The Killing of a Sacred Deer and You Were Never Really Here both tied for the best screenplay award. Sofia Coppola became the first female director to win the Best Director award at Cannes in 56 years for The Beguiled, an adaptation of Thomas Cullinan’s Civil War novel about a wounded soldier who takes refuge among the inhabitants of a girls’ school in Virginia. Joaquin Phoenix and Diane Kruger were awarded best actor awards for their respective roles in You Were Never Really Here and In The Fade, the latter of which featured Kruger speaking in her native German. Additionally, Nicole Kidman received a special award for her appearances in four of this year’s festival entries, including The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, and Top of the Lake. Other noteworthy entries include BPM (Beats Per Minute), a drama focused around the French gay-rights movement in the early 90s that earned this year’s Grand Prix, and Ruben Östlund’s The Square, about a high-class museum curator who is forced to mingle with lower class members when he is pick-pocketed on the street. A full list of this year’s winners is provided below…. Continue reading →
Today kicks off the 70th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival in France. A number of anticipated entries are included in this year’s competition. Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled with Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, and Kirsten Dunst is her first indie film since 2013’s The Bling Ring. Andrey Zvyagintsev’s new drama Loveless has high expectations after the director’s last film, Leviathan, earned he and his co-writer Oleg Negin the Best Screenplay award in 2014. Director Hong Sang-soo has two films premiering at this year’s festival, The Day After and Clair’s Camera, but both have been kept well under the radar until their upcoming debut.
Director Lynne Ramsay is also looking to impress with her latest project You Were Never Really Here, a drama about a veteran who attempts to help a young girl involved in a sex trafficking ring. Other anticipated projects being tossed around the web are Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Michael Haneke’s Happy End. The festival will open tonight with director Arnaud Desplechin’s Les fantômes d’Ismaël (Ismael’s Ghosts). Another big event at this year’s festival will be a Virtual Reality (VR) film called Carne Y Arena from acclaimed writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant). The film runs a full hour and twenty minutes and is the first Virtual Reality film to ever appear at Cannes. The festival will run from the 17th to the 28th in Cannes, France. You can see a full list of this year’s entries below. Continue reading →
After six years of production, research, and documentation, filmmaker Laura Poitras‘s personal look at the minds behind Wikileaks, a documentary called Risk, is now playing in theaters. Risk is not so much an investigation into Wikileaks, itself. Rather, Poitras walks the audience through a series of character studies surrounding the organizations’ founders and chief players, specifically Julian Assange and Jacob Applebaum. Early on in her investigation, the filmmaker views the acts of Assange and Applebaum as courageous and heroic. Over the course of her six-year endeavor, however, her work and personal life became irreversibly interlaced with Wikileaks. She went to Applebaum (whom she has had a personal relationship with) for advice on how to handle information provided by a top secret informant, who we now know was former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. She also co-founded the Freedom of the Press Foundation to raise money for Wikileaks, an organization that she goes back and forth with in terms of legal journalism and moralistic integrity, which she explores in the new documentary. Continue reading →
A new trailer is available for the upcoming French thriller Raw from up-and-coming indie writer/director Julia Ducournau. Raw follows a young woman named Justine, a vegetarian who is forced to eat raw meat during a bizarre hazing ritual at vet school and, as a result, develops an unexpected craving for human flesh. The film has already received excellent reviews from critics on the indie film circuit, namely last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where Ducournau was presented with the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize. Raw also won several awards at other renowned festivals, including the London Film Festival, and the Palm Springs, Catalonian, and Toronto International Film Festivals. In spite of its already impressive track record, Raw is opening in American cinemas with some anticipation. The explicit and graphic detail in which cannibalism is portrayed in the film has already caused a number of medical emergencies. Several patrons at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, for instance, became nauseous and even fainted during the Raw screening. Ambulances had to be called to the scene and a spokesperson had to release a statement saying that “the film became too much for a couple patrons”. Nevertheless, American audiences, already de-sensitized to explicit content in film, will no doubt rush to see this one when it comes out in theaters this March. The trailer is available here on MADE. If you have a weak stomach, view with caution!
In light of the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, movie-makers at Disney and Lucasfilm are beginning to look to Princess Leia’s future. Although Fisher has reportedly finished filming all of her scenes for the upcoming Episode VIII release this December, Leia was expected to play a much more significant part in Episode IX, which is slated for a December 2019 release. The over-arching storyline for the upcoming films included a reunion between Leia and Luke Skywalker, as well as a confrontation between Leia and Kylo Ren, who killed his father, Harrison Ford‘s Han Solo, in Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Now with Fisher gone, the fate of the character has yet to be fully realized. Continue reading →
Happy Halloween! October is traditionally known for the fall season and for hosting Halloween on the last day of the month. Likewise film distributors tend to look at October as a good time to release horror and slasher films for Halloween on fight-seeking audiences across the country, and around the world. October, however, has a long history of major motion picture releases that is not strictly limited to the horror genre. Read on to see our list of impressive October releases, and enjoy your Halloween Weekend! Continue reading →
Writer, director, and lead actor Nate Parker (The Great Debaters, Red Tails)’s The Birth of a Nation is now playing in theaters across the country, but not in the light the young filmmaker was hoping for. The film struggled to reach $7 million in domestic box office sales in its opening weekend. Several factors could have contributed to the surprising low, but the most likely cause of the low turn out is Parker’s 1999 rape allegations during his time at Penn State. Although Parker was exonerated, news that his alleged victim committed suicide in 2012 and his handling of the case back in 1999 have caused a great controversy that has women’s rights and sexual assault advocate groups shouting boycott all across the country.
While Parker’s film may be controversial in its own right, the original Birth of a Nation, which was a silent movie released in 1915, was just as controversial, if not more so. The original Birth of a Nation is remembered for its blatantly racial undertones and simultaneous impressive contributions to filmmaking. Continue reading →
A new independent drama from Oscar-winning writer/director Andrea Arnold (Red Road, Fish Tank) is opening in select theaters across the country this weekend. The film, called American Honey, follows a teenage girl as she joins a group of misfits, or “traveling salesmen” and gets swept up in a life of alcohol, drugs, crime, young love, and all the drama that comes with it while hitchhiking their way across the Midwestern United States. Starring in the lead role is newcomer Sasha Lane, who is supported onscreen by Shia LaBeouf (Lawless, Fury), Riley Keough (The Good Doctor, Mad Max: Fury Road), McCaul Lombardi (Age of the Moon, Mindless), Arielle Holmes (Heaven Knows What, 2307: Winter’s Dream), and Isaiah Stone (Winter’s Bone). American Honey stole the show at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, winning the Jury Prize and securing a Palme d’Or nomination for director Andrea Arnold, whose acclaimed independent films have earned her a big name among the industry. The trailer for American Honey is available here on MADE. If you get a chance, I would definitely put it on your movie list for this weekend. Enjoy!
Writer/director Woody Allen (Annie Hall, Manhattan) has had a pretty solid streak since Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine both won Oscar awards. His latest project is a dramatic comedy following a young Bronx native who moves to 1930s Hollywood to follow his successful uncle, who is a Hollywood agent. Instead, he falls in love with his uncle’s secretary and upon returning to New York, becomes engulfed in the high-society night club scene in Manhattan. The film features an all-star cast, including Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Zombieland), Kristen Stewart (Twilight, Snow White and the Huntsman), Steve Carell (Foxcatcher, The Big Short), and Blake Lively (The Town, The Age of Adaline). Continue reading →
A new independent drama starring Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, A History of Violence) is seeing a limited theatrical release this Friday. Written and directed by Matt Ross (The Aviator, Silicon Valley), Captain Fantastic tells the story of a man who raises and home schools his six children in the countryside. After his wife commits suicide, however, they are forced to move into the city, and he soon discovers the children are not prepared for the realities of life in the city. The film won Un Certain Regard Award for directing at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and also took home the Golden Space Needle Award at the Seattle International Film Festival. Starring in the film are actors George McKay (Defiance, Pride), Samantha Isler (Sean Saves the World, Dig Two Graves), Annalise Besso (Standing Up, Oculus), Nicholas Hamilton (Long Shadows, Strangerland), Shree Crooks (Ray Donovan, American Horror Story), Charlie Shotwell (The Comedians, Shot Down), and comedic vets Steve Zahn (Saving Silverman, Sahara) and Kathryn Hahn (Step Brothers, Parks and Recreation). Continue reading →