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The winners for the virtual 2021 Berlin International Film Festival have been revealed, and Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude’s satire “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn” received the Golden Bear for best film. The competition jury celebrated the film as “a rare and essential quality of a lasting art work,” adding in a statement, “It captures on screen the very content and essence, the mind and body, the values and the raw flesh of our present moment in time. Of this very moment of human existence.”...
 
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A young widow, played by “Avengers: Endgame” star Elizabeth Olsen, struggles to make sense of her world after the sudden, untimely loss of her partner. She finds herself bereft, struggling to make sense of a future that now looks impossibly bleak, and attempts — sometimes through destructive behavior that hurts herself, as well as everyone around her — to reconcile not just the sorrow of losing her husband, but also the destruction of her hopes and dreams...
Hollywood studios have shown an affinity for pulling red hot indie filmmakers out of the low-budget space and into the director’s chair for big-budget tentpoles (see Colin Trevorrow following “Safety Not Guaranteed” with “Jurassic World” or Jon Watts going from “Cop Car” to “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” for starters). Such a career trajectory could have been in the cards for Lee Daniels, who revealed to Collider that he pitched a Wolverine movie to 20th Century Fox at the request of Wolverine...
Seed&Spark announced Thursday that it is ending its proprietary subscription streaming service later this month as it shifts its distribution focus to new impact-driven initiatives. Seed&Spark’s library will next be heading to IndieFlix in a pair of moves executives say will strengthen both companies in a media landscape increasingly driven by corporate heavyweights. The Seed&Spark titles will join a 4,300-strong IndieFlix library that includes everything from “Sid and Nancy” to...
The end of the filmmaking road is drawing near for Jean-Luc Godard, the French New Wave icon behind “Breathless,” “Contempt,” “Pierrot le Fou,” “Masculin Féminin,” and more. During a recent 85-minute conversation with the virtual International Film Festival of Kerala (via The Film Stage), Godard confirms his plan to retire from directing after his next two projects. The filmmaker currently has two scripts in various stages of development, one he announced is being made with European public...
 
A $125 million studio movie about a human colony on a distant planet of retro-futuristic “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” cosplayers? Where every man’s internal monologue loudly emanates from his head like overlapping speaker feedback in a cloud of “Noise” so intense that you can see it take shape on screen (and where every woman was killed in a recent war with the indigenous species of humanoid monsters)? “Chaos Walking” could’ve and should’ve been the most arresting, unusual sci-fi blockbuster since...
 
Pixar’s ethereal “Soul” and Cartoon Saloon’s exquisitely hand-drawn “Wolfwalkers” — the two animated Oscar frontrunners — both grabbed 10 nominations each at ASIFA-Hollywood’s 48th Annie Awards (to be streamed live on April 16). Pixar collected another seven nominations from “Onward” to dominate the feature competition. “Soul” and “Wolfwalkers” are both expected to come away with the top prize from their respective best feature and best independent feature categories, but they compete head...
 
Every day on the set of “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Sacha Baron Cohen, in the spirit of collaborative filmmaking, gave his director Aaron Sorkin ideas for cool things to stick into his screenplay. And every day, Sorkin politely said, “No.” Sorkin likes to say that he’s already thought of everything as he paced around his office, acting out all the lines his characters are going to say. And after 10 years in the making, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Paramount/Netflix) is certainly...
 
In “Mr. Bachmann and His Class,” one classroom becomes a portal to the world at large. In director Maria Speth’s sprawling, inspirational second documentary, the filmmaker presents about six months in the academic life of one of her personal friends, 64-year-old Dieter Bachmann, who teaches a primary school class for immigrant children in a mid-sized German town. On display are mild culture clashes, linguistic barriers, inquiries into religious differences, debates about values and ethics...
 
Mexico City native Fernando Frías was a graduate film student at Columbia University when he agreed to teach documentary workshops to teenagers in the border town of Monterrey, Mexico. He took the gig in order to pay off one of his scholarships, but the experience provided a crash course in the fragile lives of his students in a region torn apart by cartel and gang violence. “One of the kids told me that by my age he would be dead,” Frías said in a recent interview over Zoom from his...
 
Pop superstar Billie Eilish has never shied away from sharing her life with her fans, from her massive Instagram account (75.4 million followers and rising), her often quite honest interviews, and her eagerness to share the decidedly homespun elements of her creative process (usually alongside her brother Finneas O’Connell) with the world. And yet, even as Eilish continues to climb the charts, rack up accolades (five Grammys, no sweat), and evolve her work, her desire to put her fans first...
 
Actors like to reduce questions about their motives to simple clichés — they like to do different things, mixing things up is what gives them energy, that sort of thing — but it sounds different when Michelle Pfeiffer says it. Her latest role, leading Azazel Jacobs’ heightened dramedy “French Exit,” is the product of such desires. It’s paid off, too, with the Patrick DeWitt adaptation earning Pfeiffer her eighth Golden Globe nomination and even launching her back into the Oscars conversation...
 
These days, the only thing constant is change itself, and that extends to the wild world of film festivals. While the pandemic has forced some festivals to go entirely virtual, move dates or outright cancel, or line up ambitious hybrids, this year’s Berlinale is opting to do something totally new: a little bit of all of the above. While Berlin usually follows Sundance with a February festival, the pandemic has forced organizers to develop a brand-new festival format for 2021. The 71st...
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