16 September 2008

From Cannes, With Love

Have you been wondering what’s become of all those films you were reading about back in May when the Cannes Film Festival was underway? Since neither you nor I could attend, it can tend to be a bit disappointing discovering films that we probably won’t be able to see for months or, as is sometimes the case, even in over a year. For both of our benefits, I’ve done my research and found out where all of the In Competition titles stand in their post-festival limbo. I hope this provides helpful, and I intend to do the same for this year’s Venice and Toronto, even though they contain a bunch of duplicates and even though neither fest seemed to impress much of anyone. I will also take a look at some of the more notable out-of-competition films from Cannes.

Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness, the opening film of the festival, was only one of two In Competition films that had a distributor going in (Miramax). The film, which stars Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Gael García Bernal, Alice Braga and Danny Glover, will be released on 6 October in a cut different from the one that premiered to some pretty lousy reviews at Cannes. The new version received a similarly mixed reaction at Toronto.

Atom Egoyan’s Adoration, which stars Arsinée Khanjian, Scott Speedman and Rachel Blanchard, was the other, getting picked up by Sony Pictures Classics a few weeks before the festival began. I had initially read that Sony was planning a fall release for the film, but their website now states that the date is to be announced. No doubt the film’s negative reception didn’t help, though I have to believe it’s better than Egoyan’s last film, Where the Truth Lies.

Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich and Amy Ryan, was produced by Universal and will begin its limited run on 24 October.

Laurent Cantet’s Entre les murs, the Palme d’Or winner this year at Cannes, was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics with the bland title The Class. It opens on 12 December in New York and on Christmas in Los Angeles, so if you don’t live in either city, you’ll probably have to wait until January.

IFC Films picked up Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah (Gomorra), winner of the Grand Prix, just after the festival wrapped, though no date has been set. You may notice with the way the market has been lately Sony Pictures Classics and IFC Films pretty much have first dibs on all the notable international titles (which, in my book, makes it all-the-more disappointing when they do occasionally release pedestrian films).

New Yorker purchased Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Three Monkeys, which took home the Best Director Prize. No date has been set, but I wouldn’t expect them to get the film out there until sometime next year.

Paolo Sorrentino’s biopic of Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti Il divo, winner of the Jury Prize, is still without a distributor, although there’s still a chance that it may get one soon as it also played at Toronto this year. Il divo played in Italian theatres just a few days after its premiere and will be released theatrically in France and the UK around January through Studio Canal and Artificial Eye, respectively.

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Le silence de Lorna (Lorna’s Silence), which won the Best Screenplay award, should be out this winter from Sony Pictures Classics. The film, which stars Jérémie Renier, was released in August in France through Diaphana Films and will hit theatres in the UK in November through New Wave. Keep in mind though, as there is no firm date set, that we may have to wait until 2009, as SPC took just as long to put out the brothers’ L’enfant, which won the Palme d’Or in 2005.

Steven Soderbergh’s epic four-plus-hour-long two-parter Che finally found a home, after leaving Cannes with no takers, in IFC after its North American premiere in Toronto. Che won the Best Actor prize for Benicio del Toro.

Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas’ Linha de Passe, which won the Best Actress prize for Sandra Corveloni, is also still without US distributor. It will, however, hit theatres in the UK on Friday through Pathé.

Kornél Mundruczó’s Delta appears to be without a distributor just about everywhere. It was one of the least popular films at this year’s festival and may simply remain one of the ever-unpopular “festival movies.”

Jia Zhang-ke’s 24 City, which stars Joan Chen, was picked up by The Cinema Guild recently. They will be releasing it sometime in the first part of 2009.

Philippe Garrel’s La frontière de l’aube, which stars his son Louis, is also without distribution outside of its native France, where it will hit theatres on 6 October through Les Films du Losange.

Pablo Trapero’s Leonera, or Lion’s Den, has no US buyers, though it has a December release date in France from Ad Vitam and an UK distributor through Halcyon Pictures; no date is set for the UK.

Lucrecia Martel’s La mujer sin cabeza (The Headless Woman) is still without any takers in the US, although it has a March 2009 date set in France through Ad Vitam. The film will also screen at this year’s New York Film Festival.

Eric Khoo’s My Magic will be in French cinemas this November, but no buyers from the UK or the US have been secured.

Wim Wenders’ The Palermo Shooting, another low-rated entry this year, has a November date set for Wenders’ native Germany, but nothing has been set for the US. The German theatrical release may be a different version than the one that screened at the fest, but I couldn’t find any further details. The Palermo Shooting stars musician Camino, Dennis Hopper, Giovanna Mezzogiorno and Sebastian Blomberg, as well as Milla Jovovich and Lou Reed as themselves.

Regent Releasing and here Films acquired Brillante Mendoza’s Serbis and plan to release the film sometime this year.

After numerous months without a distributor, Sony Pictures Classics finally took hold of Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest and Hope Davis. The film opens in New York and LA on 24 October. No dates have been set for either the UK or France.

As a result of lack of outside interest, James Gray’s Two Lovers is going to be released through Magnolia in early January. The film, which stars Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini and Elias Koteas, will be released by Wild Bunch in France in November.

Arnaud Desplechin’s A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël) was one of the first acquisitions of the festival, finding its home with IFC, who will have it out in time for Christmas on 14 November. BAC Films released in the film in France just days after the festival. Among many others, A Christmas Tale stars Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Devos, Chiara Mastroianni, Hippolyte Giradot and Melvil Poupaud.

And finally, Ari Folman’s animated Waltz with Bashir will open in the US the day after Christmas through Sony Pictures Classics.

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