18 November 2007

Region 2 for you...

Artificial Eye has released a quartet of box-sets of the films of Aki Kaurismäki, making just about every one of his films readily available in the UK. I’m pretty sure not a one of the films inside the sets have ever been released stateside, so this would probably be your best bet in discovering the most famous director in Finland’s history and a personal favorite of Jim Jarmusch.

You can also check out François Ozon’s latest, entitled Angel, on 27 November from Wild Side Vidéo. The English-language period film based on a novel by Elizabeth Taylor stars Charlotte Rampling, Sam Neill, and Romola Garai (Atonement, Scoop, Vanity Fair) in the title role. The film, as of yet, has no US distributor.

On 6 December, BAC Films will release Christophe Honoré’s musical Les chansons d’amour (Love Songs) in both a collector’s, which includes the soundtrack, and standard editions. The film premiered at this year’s Cannes, stars Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier, and Chiarra Mastroianni, and will be released early next year in the States by IFC Films.

Wes Craven’s Deadly Blessing, starring a very young Sharon Stone and a very scary Ernest Borgnine, was released last month by Arrow Films in the UK. Also in horror, Lionsgate UK released Jaume Balagueró’s Fragile (Frágiles), with Calista Flockhart. Balagueró previously directed the disastrous Darkness.

Tartan UK released Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s Invisible Waves last week. The film has been caught up in rights issues in the States, with Palm losing them and now (possibly) getting them back. The film re-teams Ratanaruang with Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano (Last Life in the Universe) and famed cinematographer Christopher Doyle.

Just days after its premiere at Venice, Pathé threw out Ken Loach’s latest, It’s a Free World…, his first film post-Palme d’Or for The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Bluebell Films will be releasing Jacques Rivette’s Love on the Ground (L’amour par terre) early next year. Hard to come by in the US, the film stars Jane Birkin, Gerladine Chaplin, André Dussollier, László Szabó, and Jean-Pierre Kalfon. Network UK also released John Schlesinger’s Madame Sousatzka in September, with Shirley Maclaine, Twiggy, and Shabana Azmi. Universal has no plans to release the film stateside any time soon.

Back to Rivette, Arte Vidéo released his latest, Ne touchez pas la hache (Don’t Touch the Axe, or The Duchess of Langeais as it will be called in the US) on 3 October. The film stars Jeanne Balibar and Guillaume Depardieu and will be released theatrically by IFC Films early next year.

Teresa Villaverde’s controversial Transe, about a young Russian woman’s attempts at a better life in western Europe, was released last week by Aventi in France. The film stars Ana Moreira, Robinson Stévenin, and Andrei Chadov, though Vincent Gallo was initially attached to the project. Transe premiered at Toronto in 2006.

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