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Movie Festival News from Around the World

Yes Joan Allen Simon Abkarian: Movie festival newsMovie festival news: Starring Joan Allen and Simon Abkarian, and featuring dialogue in iambic pentameter, Sally Potter’s romantic drama Yes is one of dozens of titles being screened at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
  • Movie festival news: Sally Potter’s romantic drama Yes, Michael Winterbottom’s sexually explicit 9 Songs, and Wong Kar-Wai’s international hit 2046 are some of the movies being presented at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
  • More movie festival news: Russian and Soviet cinema in Strasbourg; Bollywoodized Jane Austen in Eilat; controversial Jean Vigo classic in Istanbul; and will Rome rival Cannes, Venice, and Berlin?

Among the latest movie festival news, this year’s Tribeca Film Festival lineup includes iambic pentameter dialogue & explicit sex

Movie festival news: This post features a brief overview of several ongoing and upcoming festivals from around the world.

We’ll start with the New York City-based Tribeca Film Festival, which kicks off on April 19. Below are a few titles in the recently announced Tribeca lineup.

  • Sally Potter’s ambitious romantic drama Yes, featuring dialogue in iambic pentameter, and starring three-time Academy Award nominee Joan Allen and Simon Abkarian. Also in the Yes movie cast: Samantha Bond, Sam Neill, Shirley Henderson, and veteran Sheila Hancock (The Moon-Spinners, The Anniversary).
  • Jaume Collet-Serra’s House of Wax, a remake of the 1953 Vincent Price horror classic of the same name – itself a remake of the 1933 Lionel Atwill-Fay Wray horror classic Mystery of the Wax Museum.
  • Michael Winterbottom’s controversial, sexually explicit 9 Songs, featuring Kieran O’Brien and Margo Stilley as high-libido’ed lovers and avid rock concertgoers.
  • Wong Kar-Wai’s moody 2046, starring Hong Kong Film Award winners and Golden Horse Award nominees Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Zhang Ziyi. In addition to: Gong Li, Faye Wong, Carina Lau, Maggie Cheung, Chang Chen, Takuya Kimura, and Dong Jie.
  • Paul Cronin’s documentary Mackendrick on Film, about U.S.-born director Alexander Mackendrick, whose credits include the 1950s British classics The Man in the White Suit and The Ladykillers, both starring Alec Guinness, plus the U.S.-made Sweet Smell of Success, starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.
  • Veteran Costa-Gavras’ socially conscious black comedy The Ax / Le couperet, featuring José Garcia, Karin Viard, Yolande Moreau, and Ulrich Tukur. Among the Greek-born filmmaker’s credits are the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner Z (1969) and the Best Picture nominee Missing (1982).
  • Joseph Lovett’s documentary Gay Sex in the ’70s, a look at post-Stonewall, pre-AIDS gay New York.
  • Nahid Persson’s documentary Prostitution Behind the Veil, about three Iranian women who have become sex workers so as to support their drug addiction in the theocratic Muslim country.

Update: Tribeca Film Festival winners.

Russian & Soviet cinema in Strasbourg

More movie festival news – from Tribeca to Strasbourg: Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, in March/April 2005 Strasbourg is holding an eight-film retrospective of Russian and Soviet cinema.

Pyotr Todorovsky’s Academy Award-nominated 1983 drama Wartime Romance will get the mini-festival going at the 92-year-old Cinéma Odyssée.

Among the other classic films in the program are Mikhail Kalatozov’s 1958 Palme d’Or winner The Cranes Are Flying, starring Tatiana Samoilova, and Grigori Chukhraj’s 1959 British Film Academy Award winner (“Best Film from any Source”) Ballad of a Soldier.

More recent Russian films include Lidiya Bobrova’s Granny (2003) and Stanislav Govorukhin’s Bless the Woman (2003).

Bollywoodized Jane Austen in Israel

From Strasbourg to Eilat: Starring Aishwarya Rai and Martin Henderson, Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice – the modernized, Bollywoodized version of Jane Austen’s most famous novel – will launch the third Eilat International Film Festival, being held between April 6–9 in the southern Israeli coastal town.

The festival will screen 45 films from about 20 countries, including:

  • Fabio Carpi’s Memory Lane / Le intermittenze del cuore (Italy).
  • Ruud van Hemert’s Love Trap / Feestje (The Netherlands).
  • Jaime Aparicio’s The Magician / El mago (Mexico).
  • Igarashi Sho’s Hazan (Japan).

A Best Israeli Film and a Best Foreign Film will be chosen from among the competing entries.

Zero for Conduct Zéro de conduite: Jean Vigo long-banned boarding-school classicZero for Conduct: “Retrospective of French Movies” in Beijing. Set at a boarding school for boys, Jean Vigo’s semi-autobiographical Zero for Conduct was deemed so effective – and so dangerous – that the French government banned it until 1945.

Beijing hosts century’s ‘biggest’ French cinema retrospective

From Eilat to Beijing: “The biggest French film festival of this century,” according to China Daily, is being held in Beijing.

“A Retrospective of French Movies: From Classic to Modern,” organized by Chinese and French film archives, is screening 41 movies encompassing more than a century of French filmmaking – from 1895 to 2003.

Among the selected films are:

  • Auguste and Louis Lumière shorts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Jean Vigo’s nonconformist Zero for Conduct / Zéro de conduite (1933).
  • Claude Berri’s So Long, Stooge / Tchao Pantin (1983) and Jean de Florette (1986), the latter starring Yves Montand, Gérard Depardieu, and Daniel Auteuil.
  • Agnès Varda’s Vagabond / Sans toit ni loi (1985), starring Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Actress winner Sandrine Bonnaire, and The Gleaners & I / Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (2000).

Contentious Zero for Conduct

Regarding Zero for Conduct, it’s one of only two features – both world-renowned cinema classics – directed by Jean Vigo before succumbing to tuberculosis at age 29 in 1934. The other title is L’Atalante, starring Dita Parlo and Jean Dasté, and released the year of Vigo’s death.

The nonconformist, semi-autobiographical, boarding-school set Zero for Conduct resulted in such outrage upon its release that French authorities had the film banned until the end of World War II.

In the ensuing decades, Vigo’s influence has been detected in films as disparate as Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause (1955), François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959), and Lindsay Anderson’s If…. (1969).

Buster Keaton & Rudolph Valentino + dystopian classics in Istanbul

From Beijing to Istanbul: This year’s Istanbul International Film Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, will take place April 2–17. The festival will screen 170 films from 62 countries.

Selected entries range from Buster Keaton’s The General (1927) and Rudolph Valentino’s last movie, The Son of the Sheik (1926), to Wong Kar-Wai’s 2046 and Mike Leigh’s Venice Film Festival Golden Lion-winning abortion drama Vera Drake, starring Best Actress Venice winner and Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton.

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), with Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985), with Jonathan Pryce, are two of the entries in the Istanbul festival’s “Dark Side of the Future: Dystopia” sidebar.

Rome to rival Cannes, Venice & Berlin?

From Istanbul to Rome: Lastly, if – and that’s a big if – all goes as planned, Rome may end up rivaling Cannes, Berlin, and Venice as Europe’s most important international film event.

Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni has met with top names in the Italian film industry and is reportedly hoping to get 6 million euros to set up a film festival in the Italian capital.

Former FilmItalia President Giorgio Gosetti, currently in charge of the Venice sidebar “Venice Days,” and Locarno Film Festival director Irene Bignardi have been named as potential candidates for the role of festival director.


“Movie Festival News from Around the World” endnotes

Simon Abkarian and Joan Allen Yes movie image: Sony Pictures Classics.

Image from Jean Vigo’s Zero for Conduct: Franfilmdis.

“Movie Festival News from Around the World: Tribeca to Istanbul” last updated in September 2021.

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