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Jan Komasa’s Oscar-nominated drama “Corpus Christi” is, like many films before it, built on lies. It’s the story of an ex-con, played by Bartosz Bielenia, who dreams of becoming a priest but cannot because of his criminal past. So instead, he impersonates a man of the cloth and becomes a pillar of a small-town community.

His unorthodox approach to holiness — half plagiarized from the priest at his correctional facility, half common-sense morality — has a positive impact on his flock, so one could find themselves asking, “What’s the harm?”

As an audience, we have perhaps become a little complacent about duplicity in fiction, where it seems like half of all relationships are built on whimsical lies. They usually collapse after the inevitable revelations, only to pick themselves up and go on again like nothing ever happened. And we are expected just to be OK with that. In real life, meaningful relationships are built on honesty and trust, but in movies you can get away with anything so long as you feel really, really bad about it and promise to never do it again.

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“Corpus Christi” is the descendant of films that find lies comforting, so long as the audience knows the liars are decent people (except for the lying part). But whereas comedies like “Hail the Conquering Hero,” “We’re No Angels” and “Mumford” make excuses for their charlatan protagonists, Komasa’s film uses duplicity as a running theme.

Ugly truths are explored, revealed, re-hidden and frequently punished in “Corpus Christi.” The set-up may be contrived, but Komasa’s execution is humane and deeply resonant. Lies are comforting but bring little joy to his parishioners, a community mourning the recent deaths of a car full of teenagers. The allegedly drunk driver, formerly a member of the community, has been essentially excommunicated: no memorial, no burial, no thought whatsoever for his grieving widow, who suffers in silence as her neighbors send threatening, anonymous letters.

Their “priest,” Daniel, is young and inexperienced, but his unusual approach is, if nothing else, a shot in the arm. With the town’s elder priest out of town, and with a new clergyman who doesn’t owe fealty to the community, the townsfolk are suddenly free to explore their bereavement in public displays of emotion. But they’re also suddenly open to scrutiny from a person in a position of moral authority who’s free to clap back at their hypocrisy.

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Mateusz Pacewicz’s screenplay never loses sight of the fact that Daniel is the greatest hypocrite of all, and so is the church, and so are its followers. There is no moral authority to speak of in the world of “Corpus Christi,” just a whole lot of people who lie to themselves and others, who do good only when they’re legitimately trying their best. Komasa’s film is free from whimsy and wonder, and takes place in a wet and dreary landscape, filmed with an eye for everyday gloominess by cinematographer Piotr Soboci?ski Jr. (“Silent Night”).

“Corpus Christi” has all the weight of a proper parable, with a simple set-up that raises difficult questions. Bielenia carries the weight of much of the film, as a young man who has done terrible things — and who never stops doing questionable things — who wears decency around himself like a hooded cloak. He doesn’t change who he is; he just reveals that who he is was never that bad a person, and that making terrible mistakes doesn’t preclude anybody from being moral in the future. His subtle performance calls attention to just how easily we ascribe piety to those who wear the garb of the pious, and how important it is to shed our preconceptions and, perhaps, our uniforms.

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And surrounding Bielenia is a cavalcade of wounded performances, as though every small character in Komasa’s film has just emerged from another, tragic drama. The solace they seek is nowhere to be found, so Daniel practically has to make it up. And when Daniel discovers that their pain is self-engineered, they have absolutely no interest in re-evaluating their own failings. After all, haven’t they been through enough?

“Corpus Christi” wisely and fascinatingly argues that nobody has been through enough, that there are no excuses, and that life itself is a never-ending hot pursuit. It’s a film that engages with the dour without becoming bitter, and a film that allows for redemption but only through the hardest possible work. It’s a film that’s built on a lie but sees only the underlying truth. What an astounding religious drama, and what a beautifully realistic morality play.

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www.thewrap.com | 2/19/20

Filmmaker Julie Dash and TheWrap CEO and founder Sharon Waxman are among the recipients of the 6th Annual Horizon Awards presented at the WME Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival, it was announced on Sunday.

The Horizon Awards are presented by co-founders Cassian Elwes, Lynette Howell Taylor and Christine Vachon. They provide grants and mentorship to two emerging female filmmakers and also recognize other industry figures who have championed women in entertainment.

Waxman is one of the winners of the Horizon Champion Award, which was also presented to MACRO, the Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles. Dash won the Pioneer Award.

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“Black Bear” star Aubrey Plaza, “Wander Darkly” co-stars Diego Luna, Sienna Miller and Franklin Leonard presented the Horizon Award to Viviane Charlestin and Zawan Mahmoud, with Eaza Shukla receiving the Animation Award. Both Charlestin and Mahmoud submitted their self-directed short films of two minutes or less through the Horizon Award’s website and were honored at the event on Sunday.

“This year, we continue to lift up underrepresented women, both in front of and behind the camera,” Howell Taylor said in a statement. “We are eternally grateful for all the companies and individuals who support the Horizon Award for all that it stands for. It is an honor to be a part of this for the past six years, and I am humbled and inspired by everyone who generously gives their time and money towards this endeavor.”

“I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished with the Horizon Award. Each year it goes from strength to strength both in the quality and quantity of the submissions. One day there will equality for female directors in our business. Until then we will keep trying to make a difference,” Elwes said in a statement.

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This year’s judges included leading industry executives, actors and directors Dee Rees, Ekwa Msangi, Justine Bateman, Lina Roessler, Sarah Broom, Alison Emilio, Ane Crabtree, Arianna Bocco, Cathy Schulman, Claudine Sauvé, Emma Fleischer, Helen Estabrook, Helen Lee Kim, Huriyyah Muhammad, Kirsten Schaffer, Laura Lewis, Laura Rister, Pam Dixon, Pam Williams, Poppy Hanks, Rosson Crow, Susan Carter Hall, and Tova Laiter.

Working from this list, the final two filmmakers were decided by the Horizon Award co-founders Cassian Elwes, Lynette Howell Taylor, Christine Vachon and Sundance feature film director Michelle Satter.

Charlestin is a first-generation Haitian-American director, writer, producer, and actor originally from Florida. For undergrad she attended the University of Florida where there was no real program for film, therefore she constructed her own degree and earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in Film and also graduated with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies in Fine Arts in the span of three years, completed in 2019. Currently, she is a first-year graduate student at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles where she is earning her MFA in Writing and Producing for Television.

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Mahmoud is a 2019 Adobe Creativity Scholar and student at the University of Washington. Originally from Sudan, she lived in several countries, including Yemen and Ethiopia, before relocating to the United States. Her filmmaking is focused on personal documentaries inspired by migration and the experience of living between cultures.

Horizon Award organizers reached out to schools worldwide resulting in close to 300 submissions from a broad range of leading film schools and regional community colleges including: NYU, USC, UCLA, LMU, Yale, Columbia, Emerson, Brown, BU, Australian Film Television and Radio School, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia State, Florida State, Lebanese University (Lebanon), London Film School, Los Angeles Community College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Polish National Film School in Lodz Poland, Tel Aviv University, and Columbia College in Chicago.

Horizon Award founders thanked sponsors Adrienne Shelly Foundation, The Black List, Carnegie Mellon University, Creative Mind Group, Endeavor Content, HBO, MPAA, ReFrame, ShivHans Pictures, Sundance Institute, Alexander White Agency, and Women In Film Los Angeles.

The Horizon Award welcomed back founding supporter, The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, who returned with a $6,000 grant for the two winners.

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www.thewrap.com | 1/27/20

“Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” — the story about a young displaced teacher who travels to Bhutan and is taught his own life lessons from the happy and kind locals (including a yak) — won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), it was announced Sunday.

“Gay Chorus Deep South” — a documentary following the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as the group embarks upon a high-risk tour of the Deep South to spread a message of tolerance — won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature.

“Parasite” screenwriters Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won won the FIPRESCI Prize for International Screenplay for their tale about two Korean families — one wealthy and one poor — whose live intersect in the most unexpected way.

Among the acting awards, Bartosz Bielenia from “Corpus Christi” and Helena Zengel from “System Crasher” took top honors.

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The jury award categories included the FIPRESCI Prize for films in the International Feature Film Oscar Submissions program; New Voices New Visions Award for unique viewpoints from first- and second-time directors; Best Documentary Award for compelling non-fiction filmmaking; Ibero-American Award for the best film from Latin America, Spain or Portugal; Local Jury Award for the film that promoted understanding and acceptance between people; and the Young Cineastes Award for the film chosen by the Youth Jury. Finally, the GoEnergistics (GoE) Bridging the Borders Award, presented by Cinema Without Borders, honors the film that is most successful in bringing the people of our world closer together.

See the complete list of winners below:

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
“Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” (Bhutan), Director Pawo Choyning Dorji

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
“Gay Chorus Deep South” (USA), Director David Charles Rodrigues

FIPRESCI Prize for Best International Feature Film of the Year
“Beanpole” (Russia), Director Kantemir Balagov

FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actor in an International Feature Film
Bartosz Bielenia from “Corpus Christi” (Poland)

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actress in an International Feature Film
Helena Zengel from “System Crasher” (Germany)

FIPRESCI Prize for International Screenplay
“Parasite” (South Korea), Screenwriters Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won
Special Mention: “Antigone” (Canada), Screenwriter Sophie Deraspe

New Voices/New Visions Award
“Song Without A Name” (Peru/Spain/USA/Chile), Director Melina León

The Documentary Award
“Talking About Trees” (France/Sudan/Germany/Chad/Qatar), Director Suhaib Gasmelbari

Ibero-American Award
“Monos” (Colombia), Director Alejandro Landes.
Special Mention: “Workforce” (Mexico), Director David Zonana.

Local Jury Award
“Adam” (Morocco), Director Maryam Touzani

Young Cineastes Award
“Corpus Christi” (Poland), Director Jan Komasa

GoEnergistics (GoE) Bridging the Borders Award
“Advocate” (Israel/Canada/Switzerland), Director Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaiche
Special Mention: “The Australian Dream” (Australia), Director Daniel Gordon

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 136,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, which honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.

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www.thewrap.com | 1/13/20
TORUN, Poland – While Gideon Raff’s Netflix thriller “The Red Sea Diving Resort” shot largely in South Africa and Namibia, the project was a welcomed opportunity for cinematographer Roberto Schaefer due to his own memorable travels through Ethiopia. The film, which screened in the EnergaCamerimage Intl. Film Festival’s Contemporary World Cinema section, is loosely based […]
variety.com | 11/16/19

Austrian author and screenwriter Peter Handke and Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk have won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday.

Tokarczuk technically won the 2018 prize, which was not handed out last year as the Swedish Academy was engulfed in a scandal over its handling of sexual misconduct by the husband of one of its members. The panel announced at that time that the 2018 and 2019 awards would be announced simultaneously in 2019.

Sure enough, Thursday morning, they were.

The Nobel committee cited Handke “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.”

In addition to his many novels, including 1966’s  “The Hornets,” Handke has also written plays and screenplays, including for Wim Wenders’ classic “Wings of Desire” and “Wrong Move” as well as the 1978 adaptation of his own novel “The Left-Handed Woman” that he also directed.

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Tokarczuk, who won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for “Bieguni” (“Flights”), which was published in Polish in 2007 and English in 2017, won the 2018 Nobel “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.”

She broke through with her third novel “Primeval and Other Times,” published in Polish in 1996 and translated into English in 2010, and followed that with the 2014 historical novel “The Books of Jacob” that the committee called her “magnum opus.”

Like Handke, she has also worked in film, collaborating with writer-director Agnieszka Holland on the 2017 crime film “Spoor” (“Pokot”), an adaptation of her novel “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.” The film was Poland’s entry for the foreign language film Oscar, but did not receive a nomination.

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Last year was the first time since 1943 that the Academy did not award the Nobel Prize for Literature, which has happened six prior times: 1914, 1918, 1925, 1940, 1941, and 1942. In four of those instances, the Academy awarded a winner at the same time as the following year’s.

The Academy was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal over the actions of Jean-Claude Arnault, who is closely tied to the organization and the husband of one its members, Katarina Frostenson. In 2017, a Swedish newspaper reported that Arnault had harassed or assaulted 18 women, and since, more accusations came out, including that he groped Sweden’s Crown Princess, Victoria.

The head of the Academy, Sara Danius, stepped down in April.
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www.thewrap.com | 10/10/19

Students at the American Film Institute lead the way for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s annual Student Academy Awards.

The Academy named 16 students as winners on Thursday, including three in the narrative category from AFI. The competition received 1,615 entrants from 255 domestic and 105 international colleges and universities, the Academy said.

AFI was the only school to take more than one award. AFI students Asher Jelinsky (“Miller & Son”), Hao Zheng (“The Chef”)  and Omer Ben-Shachar (“Tree #3,”) took home awards in the narrative category. Last year, the University of Southern California was the only school to take home more than one award, with four.

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Winners of the Student Academy Awards are eligible to compete for Oscars in the Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film or Documentary Short Subject category. Past winners have gone on to nab 62 Oscar nominations and have won or shared 12 awards.

The 2019 winners join the ranks of such past Student Academy Award winners as Patricia Cardoso, Pete Docter, Cary Fukunaga, Spike Lee, Trey Parker, Patricia Riggen and Robert Zemeckis.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Alternative/Experimental (Domestic and International Film Schools)
Georden West, “Patron Saint,” Emerson College

Animation (Domestic Film Schools)
Aviv Mano, “Game Changer,” Ringling College of Art and Design
Kalee McCollaum, “Grendel,” Brigham Young University
Emre Okten, “Two,” University of Southern California

Animation (International Film Schools)
Daria Kashcheeva, “Daughter,” Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts, Prague (Czech Republic)

Documentary (Domestic Film Schools)
Eva Rendle, “All That Remains,” University of California, Berkeley
Princess Garrett, “Sankofa,” Villanova University
Abby Lieberman and Joshua Lucas, “Something to Say,” Columbia University

Documentary (International Film Schools)
Yifan Sun, “Family,” The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School, Lodz (Poland)

Narrative (Domestic Film Schools)
Asher Jelinsky, “Miller & Son,” American Film Institute
Hao Zheng, “The Chef,” American Film Institute
Omer Ben-Shachar, “Tree #3,” American Film Institute

Narrative (International Film Schools)
Zoel Aeschbacher, “Bonobo,” Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL) (Switzerland)
Rikke Gregersen, “Dog Eat Dog,” Westerdals Kristiania University College (Norway)
Charlie Manton, “November 1st,” National Film and Television School (United Kingdom)

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www.thewrap.com | 9/12/19

German-born fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh, famed for his black-and-white shots of ’90s supermodels such as Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista, died on Tuesday. He was 74.

News of his passing was first reported on Lindbergh’s official Instagram account, which read: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Peter Lindbergh on September 3rd 2019, at the age of 74.”

Linbergh’s work has appeared in countless magazines including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar and The New Yorker. He most recently photographed Salma Hayek Pinault, Greta Thunberg, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, which was guest-edited by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex.

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Oscar winner Charlize Theron was one of the first to pay tribute to Lindbergh on Wednesday morning. “My heart is broken. Peter Lindbergh was a genius and an absolute master of his craft. Beyond that, what made him truly one of a kind was his consistent kindness, warmth, and incredible sense of humor,” she wrote on Twitter. “One of the best human beings I have ever met. I will never forget you my friend.”

Born in German-occupied Poland in 1944, Linbergh grew up in Duisburg in North Rhine-Westphalia, where the vast beaches and the industrial settings strongly influenced his later work.

In the 1960s, he studied at Berlin’s Academy of Fine Arts then assisted German photographer Hans Lux for two years before opening his own studio in 1973 in Dusseldorf. Linbergh then moved to Paris to work for Vogue.

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He went on to create fashion photography history with the January 1990 British Vogue cover with Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford, which was later credited with launching the supermodel era.

Linbergh is also known for his work on Pirelli calendars, capturing stars such as Lupita Nyong’o, Helen Mirren and Uma Thurman.

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www.thewrap.com | 9/4/19

Director Roman Polanski doesn’t believe he’ll get fair treatment in a Los Angeles court, and has requested to disqualify the L.A. Superior Court in his lawsuit against the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. He has instead requested that the case against the Academy’s decision to expel him be assigned to a judge from outside Los Angeles County.

In his latest lawsuit, Polanski seeks reinstatement into the Academy because he claims “its decision was made without due process based on an ancient conviction and a fugitive status lawful under California law.”

The unusual request from the international fugitive (he fled the U.S. in 1978 after being convicted of raping a young woman) was made on Monday. In it, Polanski’s attorneys state “the history of Polanski litigation means that any judgment of this court would raise an issue of impartiality.”

The filing continues to state that Polanski claims that “several Los Angeles judges have acted either dishonestly, or denied him due process, adding that those claims have been “reinforced via the added authority” of courts in Poland and Switzerland, where Polanski has been residing.

“Mr. Polanski has no reason to believe that the Honorable Mary H. Strobel is personally biased, but believes the history of the Polanski litigation means that any judgment of this Court would raise an issue of impartiality,” the filing stated.

“Mr. Polanski recognizes the extraordinary nature of his suggestion, but hopes the Court understands the documented history of his dispute with the Court justifies this request,” it continued.

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The rest of the 245-page filing includes a summary of the Polanski proceedings, a Polish judge’s opinion supporting Polanski, and his brief filed in a Krakow Regional Court. The filing then outlines the depths of injustices Polanski has faced at the hands of L.A. judges for the rape trial, being placed on Interpol’s red notice (criminal alert) list in 2005, his 2009 arrest in Switzerland at the behest of U.S. authorities, his consequent house arrest, and other extradition attempts. The lengthy document also references the infamous 1969 murder of his pregnant wife Sharon Tate at the hands of the Manson Family.

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The filing even includes a photo of Polish judge Dariusz Mazur — the same judge who denied a request by the United States to extradite Polanski back in 2015 — as an examplar of justice. His portrait is captioned with a quote, “The justice system in Los Angeles, possibly fearing excessive media criticism and influenced by the mistaken pursuit to protect its good name, has lost the ability to self-correct its own past mistakes.”

Earlier this year, the Academy said it “stands behind its decision as appropriate” to expel Roman Polanski from its ranks.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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www.thewrap.com | 8/21/19
Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) and video game developer Respawn Entertainment, announced the Apex Legends Pre-Season Invitational on Wednesday, 30 July. This will be, according to the companies involved, “a large-scale e-sports tournament featuring the largest collection of competitive talent ever for an Apex Legends event.” The event will take place in Kraków, Poland, [&hellip

Ben Barenholtz, the producer-distributor who helped launch the careers of David Lynch and the Coen Brothers, died on Wednesday in Prague at the age of 83.

Barenholtz is credited with pioneering the concept of the “midnight movie” by screening subversive, future cult classics like John Waters’ “Pink Flamingos” and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “El Topo,” the latter of which Barenholtz decided to screen at the (now defunct) Elgin Theater in New York City after attending the private screening of it at the Museum of Modern Art. That screening is seen as essential by film historians to helping the film find a wider audience and gain a legacy as one of Jodorowsky’s most famous works.

During World War II, Barenholtz escaped the Nazi concentration camps at the age of eight by living in the woods of Poland with 11 other escapees, losing his father during the war. Barenholtz kept his past a secret until 2010 when he revealed it in a series of blog posts.

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As an adult, Barenholtz got his start in the film industry as a movie theater owner, opening The Elgin in 1968. The theater became a hotbed for New York’s cinema scene, screening classic films from Buster Keaton, experimental work from Andy Warhol and films from New Hollywood filmmakers like Martin Scorsese.

Barenholtz’s impact on film expanded when he entered into film distribution, starting labels like Libra Films and Circle Films. Through those companies, Barenholtz released the debut films from David Lynch and Joel & Ethan Coen, “Eraserhead” and “Blood Simple,” respectively. He would also work with the Coens as a producer on 1987’s “Raising Arizona.”

At a 2010 tribute ceremony, Lynch praised Barenholtz in a bizarre video, crediting him with helping start his career.

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“Ben saved my life in films,” Lynch said. “To oversee getting a good print, Ben gave me a room in his house. He gave me money to get food. He said I only ate McDonald’s and only drank coffee. Thank you, Ben. You deserve awards.”

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www.thewrap.com | 6/27/19

Just when you thought the Cannes Film Festival was winding down, Abdellatif Kechiche drops a bombshell on the Croisette. Thursday night’s premiere inspired outcry and even walkouts over an explicit scene of apparently unsimulated oral sex.

Critics regarded the French-Tunisian director’s latest film “Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo” as something of a massive troll of his critics. “Mektoub,” a sequel in fact to 2017’s “Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno,” was a three-and-a-half hour film (cut down from an originally announced four hours) that spends considerable time leering at women, including a 15-minute sequence in which the film’s star performs oral sex on a man in a bathroom. Yes, really.

“It’s the same length as ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ and literally 60% of the movie is close-ups of butts. I had a mild psychotic break at one point,” IndieWire‘s David Ehlrich wrote on Twitter.

Also Read: 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo' Film Review: Abdellatif Kechiche Trolls Cannes With NSFW Excess

“Abdellatif Kechiche spends three-and-a-half hours ogling his actresses’ butts and sticking his thumb up his own,” Justin Chang of the L.A. Times wrote.

“More than anything else, the film feels like a giant troll, a libidinous F-you to every one of the director’s critics. In amplifying everything deemed problematic about his previous work while stripping away all of their saving graces, Kechiche has basically thrown down the gauntlet and made a film that is nearly impossible to critique,” TheWrap’s Ben Croll wrote in his review.

Kechiche has been a polarizing, provocative figure among critics since he won the Palme d’Or in 2013 for his film “Blue Is the Warmest Color.” And in fact much of the outrage over the film may very well be localized to American critics — or at least that’s the perception abroad.

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“‘Intermezzo’ is an incredible gesture of cinema, radical, hypnotic, a search for love and sensuality in an almost uninterrupted trance. Less immediately strong than ‘Canto UNO’ but a crazy experience. Kechiche’s going to get crucified,” one French writer tweeted.

“Kechiche revolutionizes the Cannes Film Festival: the guy throws you the night of the movie in the room. Even Gaspar Noé had never thought of it,” another French critic added.

As for what Kechiche himself was thinking, he gave only a quick remark at his press conference before leaving: “I apologize for having kept you…without warning you. And that’s it, I’m leaving.”

Also Read: 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' Director Slams Star, Threatens Legal Action

Kechiche’s film “Blue Is the Warmest Color” was widely acclaimed when it won the Palme in 2013, but the film’s stars, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux later criticized Kechiche for their treatment during explicit, hardcore lesbian sex scenes featured throughout the movie.

In 2018, the director was also accused of sexual assault by a 29-year-old woman who says she dined with the director but could not remember the events of the evening after several glasses of alcohol. But she claims she awoke and was lying on a couch with Kechiche fondling her. Lawyers for Kechiche said in a statement that the filmmaker “categorically denies” the accusations, according to the French news network BFMTV.

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“The Traitor” Sells Out

Sony Pictures Classics acquired the North American rights to “Il Traditore,” or “The Traitor,” an Italian mob drama from director Marco Bellocchio that also had its world premiere on Thursday, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.

The film is about a mob boss who is scorned by his associates and finds a moment of redemption by ratting out his confederates. And the film is notable because its star, Pierfrancesco Favino, was himself a former mob figure who turned over evidence that ultimately led to bringing down hundreds of Mafiosi. In a crowded, star-studded field, Favino could be a shoo-in to win Cannes’ Best Actor prize, TheWrap’s Ben Croll write, adding that it wouldn’t be a shock to see him as a Bond villain some day.

“As Tommaso Buscetta, the real-life turncoat who helped put 366 different Mafiosi in jail, actor Pierfrancesco Favino really does bring the goods, delivering an exquisite movie-star turn as a godfather whose cocksure magnetism can’t quite hide the pain in his eyes,” Croll wrote.

Deadline first reported news of the acquisition.

Also Read: 'Mano a Mano' Wins Short Film Prize From Cinefondation at Cannes

Cinefondation

Claire Denis Goes “Mano a Mano”

The short film “Mano a Mano,” from French director Louise Courvoisier, won the top prize from the Short Films and Cinéfondation Jury headed by Claire Denis at Cannes.

Cinéfondation recognizes achievements in student films, and the winner even lands a slot for their eventual debut feature at a future Cannes Film Festival. And out of over 2,000 entries and 17 competing films this year, the French film “Mano a Mano” won the top prize, a €15,000 grant.

It’s the story of two circus acrobats traveling from town to town to perform their duet, even as their romantic relationship is falling apart. They’re forced to confront their problems and regain their trust in one another while driving in a small car en route to their next performance.

Second prize went to “Hieu,” directed by Richard Van, and the joint third prize went to both Ambience,” from Wisa Al Jafari in Palestine, and “Duszyczka” (“The Little Soul”) from director Barbara Rupik in Poland.

Quentin Tarantino’s Brandy Wins “Palm Dog”

We’ll await and see if “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” can win the Palme d’Or, but one of the film’s stars already accepted a far more cooler award, the Palm Dog.

Brandy, a pitbull that appears in Tarantino’s film, won the top prize of a showcase of very good boys and girls delivering the best canine performances at Cannes. Tarantino was even on hand to accept on behalf of Brandy.

“I want to thank the jury from the bottom of my black heart,” the director said on behalf of his now award-winning pup.

???? Palm Dog winner Brandy, with QT ???? #Cannes2019 pic.twitter.com/wfVnJH0GnI

— Tomris Laffly (@TomiLaffly) May 24, 2019

Screen Media Nabs “Crown Vic”

Screen Media acquired the North American rights to writer-director Joel Souza’s police crime thriller “Crown Vic,” which stars Thomas Jane and is produced by Alec Baldwin, the company announced Friday.

The distributor closed terms during Cannes amid a competitive bidding situation, with seven other distributors chasing after the film made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last month. Screen Media plans to release the film this fall.

“Crown Vic” follows one explosive night in the life of a seasoned LAPD veteran (Jane) as he takes a young cop (Luke Kleintank) out on patrol and shows him the brutal reality of life behind the wheel of a Crown Vic.

The film was produced by Alec Baldwin and his El Dorado Pictures and Anjul Nigam under his Brittany House Pictures, and Gregg Bello. Maxx Tsai also produced under his China-based Wudi Pictures.

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www.thewrap.com | 5/24/19

The short film “Mano a Mano,” from French director Louise Courvoisier, won the top prize from the Short Films and Cinéfondation Jury headed by Claire Denis at Cannes, the festival announced Thursday.

The jury led by Denis and consisting of Stacy Martin, Eran Kolirin, Panos H. Koutras and C?t?lin Mitulescu chose the winners between 17 student films out of 2,000 entries from 366 film schools around the world. The awards were presented at the 2019 Cinéfondation Prizes, now in its 22nd edition, during a ceremony held in the Buñuel Theatre, followed by the screening of the winning films.

The Cinéfondation allocates a €15,000 grant for the first prize, €11,250 for the second and €7,500 for the third. The winner of the first prize is also guaranteed the presentation of his or her first feature film at a future Cannes Film Festival. The awarded films will also be screened at the Cinéma du Panthéon on May 28.

Also Read: 'I Lost My Body,' 'Vivarium' Win Prizes in Cannes Critics' Week Section

First prize went to “Mano a Mano,” directed by Courvoisier and from the school CinéFabrique in France. It’s the story of two circus acrobats traveling from town to town to perform their duet, even as their romantic relationship is falling apart. They’re forced to confront their problems and regain their trust in one another while driving in a small car en route to their next performance.

Second prize went to “Hieu,” directed by Richard Van of CalArts in the US. The short is about a Vietnamese-American household that receives a surprise visit from a long-lost patriarch after he fails at a get-rich-quick scheme.

Finally, a joint third prize was awarded to both “Ambience” directed by Wisa Al Jafari out of the Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Palestine and “Duszyczka” (“The Little Soul”) from director Barbara Rupik at PWSFTviT in Poland.

Also Read: Cannes Report, Day 9: Xavier Dolan Grows Up, Neon Falls for 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

“Ambience” is about two young Palestinians who try to record a demo for a music competition inside a noisy, crowded refugee camp, only to discover a creative method to complete their deadline.

“The Little Soul” looks at a dead body that became stuck by a river bank. Its decaying insides still hide a human soul – a miniature of the deceased. When the organs rot, a tiny creature escapes, and it says goodbye to the corpse before setting off on a journey through the post-mortem land.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jesse Eisenberg, Antonio Banderas and 19 More Portraits From TheWrap's Cannes Studio (Photos)

Roman Polanski's 'An Officer and a Spy' Screens for Buyers at Cannes

Cannes Report, Day 8: Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood' Steals the Show

www.thewrap.com | 5/23/19

The internet started to take on momentum in the 1990s. At that time many analysts, myself included, marveled at the opportunity of creating a platform that would boost grassroot democracy. There was no need for a middleman and there were few barriers to ordinary people becoming involved. This included organizing groups, discussions and events, sharing knowledge, insights and information, publishing opinions — just some of the potential attached to the internet. And for the first two decades, this basically was what happened, in a very positive and constructive way. It did disrupt several business, social and political models but that that was seen as 'a new broom sweeping clean.'

All of that is still happening — and as a matter of fact, it has only increased. However, at the same time, the ugly side of humanity has moved into this area as well. They all jumped on the bandwagon — cheats, plain criminals, misogynists, racists and bullies. This was very unfortunate, but it became serious when more organized misuse of the internet began to take place. This is undermining democracy and democratic processes; many people began to say enough is enough.

Most of the misuse is aimed at generating fake traffic that leads to extra advertising income or click income on YouTube for instance. In proportion to overall internet activity the other, serious political misuse is significantly less. It has, however, far deeper negative consequences. It is using manipulation to set people against each other. It interferes with democratic processes such as elections and undermines democratic institutions.

This criminal internet activity happens more or less in parallel with broader traditional forms of manipulations and is not limited to the internet. The fake news activities and the undermining of democratic institutions are for example carried out by President Trump without the internet. The same is happening in countries such as Britain, Turkey, Hungary, Poland and Italy, to name just a few.

There is no doubt that the internet has become an important tool to create division, hatred and conflict. This has more to do with human behaviour than with technology. Addressing only the technology element of this problem will not solve the much more serious underlying issues.

Division, lies, hatred, fake news, racism and conflict are being used by our leaders in public. It is then not difficult to understand that people perceive this as a license to do the same, with or without technology.

It is important to state that it is not the internet that is causing all of this. So far the internet has created far more positive than negative outcomes, and we need to preserve what's best about it. Most importantly, this includes the freedom for people to express themselves. Equally important is that entrepreneurs can innovate and build new business models. At the same time, we need to ensure that we protect society from broader harm.

We can look at what we have done with other tools that we use — tools like guns, cars, chemicals and drugs. All these products and services can have negatives associated with them. What we have done over the years to address this is to build elements into these products and services to limit the risk and increase safety.

This has been done through the hard work of everyone involved: the government and industry, as well as the users/consumers. As an example, look at cars in the 1970s. They killed 3 to 4 times more people than they do now, and our population has nearly doubled over that period. How did this change happen? Partly through regulation, partly through better products, and partly through human behaviour.

Have we, as a result, eliminated all the harmful elements of motor cars? No, of course not. But the risks have been reduced considerably over those years. This to such a level that the negative (e.g., death by car accidents) seems to be acceptable to most of us. Is that enough? No, it isn't. And so we are still trying to improve, through the combined efforts of government, industry and us, the people.

We will also have to begin to develop similar processes in relation to the internet. However, before we know what we need to do, we will first have to drill down to where the problems are and work out who can do what in addressing the issues.

Starting with the government, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned the need for a more active role for governments and regulators. He suggested the need for an update of the rules for the internet. In particularly in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.

In relation to the industry, he recommends starting with data manipulation aimed at defrauding the internet companies. Here the social media companies have a vested interest in tackling that problem themselves as fraud cost them money. The tools that they develop to minimize this can also be used to address other data manipulation issues — for example, interferences in elections and fake news. As Zuckerburg indicated, the government will also have to play a key role in setting up the rules for this. This will also need to be done at international levels.

It will remain a cat and mouse situation. New — more sophisticated — technologies to combat this will be developed, and they will be circumvented by criminals, and this process will continue. In the end, criminal interferences will be greatly reduced. The reason being that it simply becomes too costly for many of the groups to come up with their own tools to crack the ones developed by industry. The best hope here is for a managed situation, similar to those that have been created to manage other potentially dangerous tools, as in the motor car example.

A challenging issue here is the fact that what is harmful to one society, culture or religion is not necessarily the same for another group. A real threat — or even perhaps a reality — is that this would lead to a further regionalization of the internet. Countries such as China, Iran and North Korea have already created their own walls around the internet, and Russia is also trying to build its wall.

Another issue in relation to the industry is whether some of these companies are becoming too dominant and are showing monopolistic tendencies. A very human reaction to this is that we don't tolerate monopolies. We, therefore, need to start looking at industry legislation, be it anti-trust remedies, breaking up companies or other solutions.

Lastly, we also need to drill down on the people's side. We need to identify and address what causes the problematic behaviour of those misusing the internet before we can address these issues. Education and information at schools and elsewhere will be important. They will deliver longer-term positive outcomes.

Full-blown criminal behavior, racism, hate speech and the like are already punishable under existing laws. Our enforcement agencies, however, are still not well-equipped to address Internet-based crimes as effectively as they address similar crimes conducted in more traditional ways.

I am sometimes alerted by people who read my analyses to information or activities that are of an illegal or criminal nature. I report them to the appropriate authorities, but I have never received an answer from them. And if one goes to a police station to report internet abuse that will still too often elicit a blank look from the officer at the desk.

In order to get the people on board here, they need to be supported by well-functioning institutions. They should be able to take effective action against individuals that are crossing the line online. At the moment there is a feeling among the public that they are losing control over some of the central mechanisms of their lives. In the case of the internet, the lives of most people have been improved, and it has created lots of new economic activity. At the same time, it is also clear that the negatives of technology are such that people are not comfortable with the risks and safety issues. Comparing this with the example of motor cars, it is obvious that more work is needed. And whether we like it or not, people want action now.

So far this is resulting in some countries introducing broad and vague sweeping laws. Laws which are not implemented effectively, because it is impossible to do so while they are still being written. We clearly need to improve on that.

This will become increasingly apparent as time goes on. My colleagues in America say that the problems with the hastily introduced social media legislation will soon become evident in Australia. Other countries will learn from these mistakes and will adopt more realistic legislation to safeguard innovation, economic growth and freedom of speech. These core democratic elements seem to become the casualties of bad legislation. With a lack of effective self-regulation from the digital media giants, there is however no doubt that major changes to these negative elements in the use of the of the Internet will increasingly be regulated and legislated.

Written by Paul Budde, Managing Director of Paul Budde Communication

www.circleid.com | 4/24/19

The culture of Poland is closely connected with its intricate 1000 year history Its unique character developed as a result of its geography at the confluence of various European regions. With origins in the culture of the Proto-Slavs, over time Polish culture has been profoundly influenced by its interweaving ties with the Germanic, Latinate and Byzantine worlds as well as in continual dialog with the many other ethnic groups and minorities living in Poland. The people of Poland have traditionally been seen as hospitable to artists from abroad and eager to follow cultural and artistic trends popular in other countries. In the 19th and 20th centuries the Polish focus on cultural advancement often took precedence over political and economic activity. These factors have contributed to the versatile nature of Polish art, with all its complex nuances. Nowadays, Poland is a highly developed country; however, it retains its traditions.


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