Part two of my posts looking at the films that should show up at the major film festivals in 2009 focuses on the rest of Europe. I'm the first to admit my francophile bias in reducing over thirty countries to the same space I devoted to France. Again, feel free to check my previous posts about the Berlinale, where I've already mentioned new films from Lukas Moodysson, Sally Potter, Costa-Gavras, Stephen Frears, Hans-Christian Schmid and Theo Angelopoulos.
There are several reasons to be excited for Pedro Almodóvar's latest film Los abrazos rotos [Broken Embraces]. For starters, the two-time Oscar winner has been on a hot streak ever since All About My Mother [Todo sobre mi madre]. Then, you've got Penélope Cruz, whose turn in the director's Volver changed my ambivalence about her into absolute adoration, and she's playing two roles! And if that weren't enough, Rossy de Palma is back in her first film with the director in fourteen years. Rounding out the rest of the cast is Lola Dueñas (who played Cruz's sister in Volver), Chus Lampreave (a constant in Almodóvar's films), Ángela Molina (That Obscure Object of Desire [Cet obscur objet du désir]) and Lluís Homar (Bad Education [La mala educación]). Broken Embraces hits theatres in Spain on 18 March, followed by a very likely showing at Cannes in May (Volver previously won a collective Best Actress prize) and a US release from Sony Pictures Classics beginning in November.
After reportedly being fired from directing The Lovely Bones (now being done by Peter Jackson), it looks like Lynne Ramsay's next project is to be an adaptation of Lionel Shriver's novel We Need to Talk About Kevin. There's talk around the Internet that her script is fabulous, and though I've found little information about the project as a whole, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that the film will be ready sometime this year. It's been seven years since Morvern Callar...
Andrew Grant posted earlier this week that one-third of Lars von Trier's latest Antichrist, a horror film which stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, will screen at Berlinale for distributors (likely American ones as the film has distribution already in just about every European country). The earliest release date I have for the film is 19 August in France through Les Films du Losange.
After that disastrous Funny Games remake, Michael Haneke has returned to Austria for Das weiße Band [The White Tape or the Teacher's Tale]. Originally intended as another collaboration with late actor Ulrich Mühe, the film now stars Susanne Lothar who was in the director's The Castle [Das Schloß], Funny Games and The Piano Teacher [La pianiste] and Ulrich Tukur (The Lives of Others [Das Leben der Anderen], Amen.). Les Films du Losange will release the film in France on 21 October; no word yet on a US release.
Werner Herzog will follow up his first Oscar nomination (for Encounters at the End of the World) with Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, which according to the director has nothing to do with the Abel Ferrara film. The IMDb reports the film is in post-production, but I have no information further than that. It stars Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Fairuza Balk, Jennifer Coolidge, Brad Dourif and Xzibit.
I can't seem to find a lot about Béla Tarr's latest film (reportedly his last) A Torinói ló [The Turin Horse]. I'll post more when I come across it.
It seems to be up in the air whether Paul Verhoeven's The Winter Queen, the project he was doing with Milla Jovovich that was put on hold when she got pregnant, is still going to be made. There's also a lot of talk about Verhoeven directing the sequel to The Thomas Crown Affair (the remake). I hope we found out soon what he's up to.
Paul Greengrass' new film Green Zone re-teams the director with Matt Damon, although there's still talks about another Bourne film in the works. Green Zone will be released by Universal later this year, likely around the holiday season; Amy Ryan, Jason Isaacs, Brendan Gleeson and Greg Kinnear also star.
Ken Loach's Looking for Eric will be released on 12 June in the UK from Icon. The film is about footy player Eric Cantona, who plays himself. Look for it to possibly debut at Cannes, as Loach won the Palme d'Or in 2006 for The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
A new thriller by director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch [Nattevagten], Just Another Love Story [Kærlighed på film]) entitled Fri os dra det onde, which loosely translates to Deliver Us from Evil in English, will be out in Denmark on 29 March. No word on a release outside of its native country yet.
Philip Ridley (The Reflecting Skin, The Passion of Darkly Noon) returns to the screen this year with Heartless, which stars Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe), Clémence Poésy (In Bruges), Timothy Spall, Eddie Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky), Noel Clarke (Kidulthood) and Luke Treadaway (Brothers of the Head). In Interview Magazine, he said he hopes to screen the film at Cannes this year.
Andrea Arnold's second feature film, after Red Road, is called Fish Tank, co-produced by Kees Kasander who has worked with Peter Greenaway for most of his career. Fish Tank stars Michael Fassbender (Hunger) and Harry Treadaway (the other brother in Brothers of the Head) and will likely make its debut at Cannes. Artificial Eye holds the UK rights.
Speaking of Arnold, the second installment of the Advance Party film series, entitled Rounding Up Donkeys, will be released sometime this year. Kate Dickie and Martin Compston are the only cast members listed on the IMDb. Rounding Up Donkeys will be the feature debut for Morag McKinnon, whose short Birthday appears on Cinema 16's British Short Films DVD.
Isabel Coixet's latest Map of the Sounds of Tokyo stars Rinko Kikuchi and Sergi López and should be out sometime later this year.
A 18 December release is set for Alejandro Amenábar's new film Agora, a big-budget historical epic set in Egypt and starring Rachel Weisz. Agora, a Spanish/American co-production, will be Amenábar's first film since winning the Oscar for The Sea Inside [Mar adentro]. The film should be out in Spain sometime in September.
After seeing Mother of Tears, how could you not be excited for Dario Argento's new film? No dates have been set for Giallo, which suffered numerous cast changes after Asia Argento, Vincent Gallo (who was not too pleased to be working alongside Ms. Argento) and Ray Liotta, but it is currently in post-production. Adrien Brody and Emmanuelle Seigner star.
Danis Tanovic, the Oscar-winning director of No Man's Land, directs his first English-language film, entitled Triage. Colin Farrell, Christopher Lee, Paz Vega, Kelly Reilly and Juliet Stevenson star. Canal Plus will release the film in France later this year and no word on a US release.
Colin Farrell will also star in Neil Jordan's latest Ondine, which also stars Stephen Rea. The fantasy film about a mermaid has no release date set.
Nikita Mikhalkov is currently working on a sequel to Burnt by the Sun, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1995 as well as the Grand Prix at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. I don't know anything further.
The new film from Dagur Kári (Noi, the Albino), The Good Heart, will reunite Brian Cox with Paul Dano, who previously starred together in Michael Cuesta's L.I.E., alongside Isild Le Besco.
Lech Majewski (Garden of Earthly Delights) is currently filming The Mill and the Cross with Charlotte Rampling, Michael York and Rutger Hauer. We'll see if it's finished in time for the fall fests.
The latest film from Julio Medem (Sex and Lucía [Lucía y el sexo]) Habitación en Roma [Room in Rome] will be a variation on Matías Bize's En la cama, according to Variety. The English-language film will star Elena Anaya, Najwa Nimri, Enrico Lo Verso (Hannibal) and newcomer Natasha Yarovenko. Anaya and Nimri both co-starred in Lucía.
And finally, in my French post, I neglected to mention Cédric Kahn's new film Regrets which stars Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and Yvan Attal. Mars Distribution will be releasing it in France on 8 April.