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70th Annual Cannes Film Festival Celebration Begins Today Through May 28th

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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

Filmmaker Marc Abraham’s ‘I Saw The Light’ Seeing Limited Release This Friday

Last year, producer-turned-writer/director Marc Abraham (Air Force One, Children of Men) debuted his new biographical drama, I Saw The Light, at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is a portrayal of the life of country music singer/songwriter Hank Williams Jr., and was adapted by Abraham from the book Hank Williams: The Biography by authors Colin Escott, George Merritt, and William MacEwen. Starring as Williams is actor Tom Hiddleston (Midnight in Paris, The Avengers), appearing alongside co-stars Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla, Avengers: Age of Ultron), David Krumholtz (Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, This Is The End), Bradley Whitford (Scent of a Woman, Saving Mr. Banks), and Cherry Jones (Signs, The Village). Although the film has not been well received by critics, fans have praised the performances of both Hiddleston, and Elizabeth Olsen as his first wife Audrey Mae. Some movie-goers will be able to see it in theaters this weekend, but the trailer is available here on MADE. Check your local listings for showings this Friday.

Tye Sheridan Cast As Lead In Steven Spielberg’s Upcoming ‘Ready Player One’

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There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding acclaimed writer/director Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One over the last six months. Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Lincoln) has been dealing with various production delays, including Warner Bros. pushing the release date back to March 2018 to avoid conflicting with Disney‘s Star Wars: Episode VIII, but now with a final release date set, production should get underway relatively quickly, especially seeing as the cast has just added a lead actor. The Tree of Life and Mud actor Tye Sheridan has been selected to play the lead role of Wade Watts, a teenager in a futuristic world where the human race prefers to live in a virtual reality universe called Oasis. When the found of Oasis dies, he offers up his fortune in a treasure hunt across Oasis that Wade and an ensemble of other contestants comes out to compete in. Continue reading

British Actor Alan Rickman Has Died Of Cancer At The Age of 69

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Golden Globe winning actor Alan Rickman has died after a fight with cancer at the age of 69. The British actor was famous around the globe for his roles as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, and as villain Hans Gruber in the original Die Hard, opposite Bruce Willis. Having worked as an actor, writer, and director, Rickman was a veteran of both the stage and screen, appearing in such Broadway productions as Private Lives in the West End and in films including Galaxy Quest, Love Actually, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Lee Daniel’s The Butler, Dogma, Sense and Sensibility, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. His absence from the world of acting and filmmaking will sorely be missed in the years to come.

Check Your Local Listings For This Week’s Limited Releases In Theaters Near You

This week will see a whole collection of independent limited releases happening across the country. First on the list is The Big Short from director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby), starring Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, American Hustle), Steve Carell (The Office, Seeking A Friend for the End of the World), Ryan Gosling (Drive, The Place Beyond the Pines), and Brad Pitt (Babel, By The Sea). The film, based on the novel by Michael Lewis, follows four friends who predicted the housing market collapse in the mid 2000s and bet against the odds with the national banks, becoming nearly instant millionaires. The film was last seen at the AFI Film Festival in LA earlier this year, and a further nationwide expansion is still expected for 2016. Number 2 on the list is a big screen adaptation of the Alan Bennett‘s successful stage play The Lady in the Van. Oscar-winning stage and film actress Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) will be reprising her role of Miss Shepard from the acclaimed stage adaptation about a woman who lives in her van that’s parked in an unsuspecting playwright’s driveway, portrayed in the new film by Alex Jennings (The Wings of the Dove, The Queen). The film is director Nicholas Hytner (The Madness of King George, The Crucible). Next up is writer/director Jared Hess‘s (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre) new comedy Don Verdean, starring Sam Rockwell (The Green Mile, Matchstick Men), Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone, Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Will Forte (Nebraska, The Last Man on Earth), Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, Eastbound & Down), and Jemaine Clement (Dinner For Schmucks, Men in Black 3). The film essentially pokes fun at the agents of organized religion, as the main character, a self-proclaimed religious archeologist, begins bending truths in order to keep his followers faithful to their belief system. Finally, director Ale Abreu‘s new animated family film The Boy and the World and director Diane Bell‘s dramatic thriller Bleeding Heart with Jessica Biel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Illusionist) will also be seeing limited releases this weekend. I can’t say definitively whether or not all of these selections will be good, but the first three definitely look like they’ll be worth checking out. Be sure to check your local theaters for showtimes, and as always, enjoy!

New Comedy With Bill Murray ‘Rock the Kabash’ Opening In Theaters This Friday October 23rd

A new comedy from Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Bandits) is opening in theaters this week. Titled Rock the Kabash, the film stars comedy veteran Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Lost in Translation) as a music-industry manager who discovers the voice of a young talent while on tour in Afghanistan and accompanies her to Kabul to participate in Afghan Star, a popular talent-reality show in the Middle East. Screenwriter Mitch Glazer (Scrooged, The Recruit) is behind the script, which features Leem Lubany (Omar, From A to B), Zooey Deschanel (Elf, Yes Man), Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Pulp Fiction), Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, The Skeleton Key), and Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, This Is The End). This will be Levinson’s first directorial release since 2014’s The Humbling with Al Pacino (The Godfather, Scarface). The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!

Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ With Matt Damon Now Playing In Theaters

Fresh off its last festival stop at the Toronto International Film Festival, the latest blockbuster from Oscar-winner Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Prometheus), The Martian, is now playing in theaters across the country. Based on the book by author Andy Weir, the film features an all-star cast led by Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity, The Departed), including Jessica Chastain (Interstellar, A Most Violent Year), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Jeff Daniels (Speed, The Newsroom), Michael Pena (End of Watch, Fury), Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Game of Thrones), Kate Mara (House of Cards, Captive), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men, 12 Years A Slave). Screenwriter Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, World War Z) adapted the script from Weir’s book about an astronaut who becomes stranded on Mars and must survive against all odds in order to return to his family on Earth. Watch the trailer one more time here on MADE, then see it on the big screen this weekend!

Director Craig Zobel’s ‘Z For Zachariah’ Now Playing In Theaters

Opening in theaters today is a new post-apocalyptic drama from director Craig Zobel (Great World of Sound, Compliance) titled Z For Zachariah. The film comes from an adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien‘s 1975 novel of the same name by screenwriter Nissar Modi (Breaking at the Edge) about a trio of survivors living in a post World War III environment who find themselves entwined in an intense love-triangle as the only known survivors of the nuclear fallout. Making up the three-member cast line-up is Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (American Gangster, 12 Years A Slave), and actors Chris Pine (Unstoppable, Star Trek: Into Darkness), and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus). The film was seen earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received an Official Selection nod, and critics have praised it both for Tim Orr’s work on the cinematography (Pineapple Express, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World) and for the music score by composer Heather McIntosh (The Rambler, Honeymoon). Also opening today is a new music-oriented drama with Zac Efron titled We Are Your Friends, which follows Efron as a DJ attempting to climb to a position of fame in the Electric Dance Music scene, while also juggling with a forbidden romance. This one comes from writer/director Max Joseph, who is best known for his documentary series Good. I’m not expecting this one to be focused so much on the forbidden love factor as it is to the world of professional DJs, but I’m also not a huge Zac Efron fan, so I’ll leave this one up to you to decide. Enjoy the weekend!

Indie Horror Film ‘Goodnight Mommy’ Opening In Theaters September 11th

This September indie-movie writing/directing team Severin Fiala (Elephant Skin, The End of Walnut Grove) and Veronika Franz (Kern, Import/Export) will see their latest film Goodnight Mommy open on the big screen. The movie follows a pair of twin 9-year-old boys awaiting the return of their mother in an isolated wooded cabin, but when she comes back bandaged after having plastic surgery and unrecognizable to the boys, they begin to question her true identity, leading to a struggle of trust between mother and sons. Actress Susanne Wuest (Anatares, Judas Goat) leads the cast as the boys’ mother, with Elias and Lukas Schwartz starring as the twin boys. The film was nominated for the Venice Horizon Award for Best Film at 2014’s Venice Film Festival and was also well received at Stockholm and Montclair Film Festival(s). Goodnight Mommy will be available on big screens across the country this September 11th; check your local theater listings for showtimes. Enjoy!

New Trailer For ‘Suicide Squad’ Revealed At Comic-Con

A new trailer for the highly anticipated Suicide Squad movie was revealed at Comic-Con this year. Featuring an all-star cast, including Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus) as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney (Divergent, A Good Day To Die Hard), Scott Eastwood (Fury, The Longest Ride), Will Smith (Independence Day, Men in Black), Joel Kinneman (Safe House, RoboCop), and Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers, Joe Dirt), the film follows a group of criminals (insane criminals at that) that are recruited by the government to act as a special operations unit in exchange for commuted prison sentences. David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch) directed the project from his own adapted screenplay based on John Ostrander’s comic series. Two other big names in the DC Comic world will also appear in the film: Ben Affleck will bring his new Batman character from the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice to the film, and Oscar-winner Jared Leto will take up the role of the Joker, who you will see in the last few seconds of the trailer. Enjoy, and stay tuned for further news. Suicide Squad is expected in theaters in August 2016.