With production in China suffering a coronavirus-imposed slowdown, “The Italian Recipe” is one co-production between Europe and China that is poised to potentially capitalize on the resulting dearth of Chinese content. It is positioned to advance European cinema’s efforts to make inroads in China. “The Italian Recipe,” in which a famous Chinese pop singer travels […]
variety.com | 2/23/20
Simultaneously stoic and anguished, “Earth” takes a determined, unrelenting look at what Austrian director Nikolaus Geyrhalter calls “the wounds we are inflicting” on our planet.
Like his previous documentaries (“Homo Sapiens,” “Our Daily Bread”), this one is forcefully experimental, rejecting what the film’s press materials disdain as “familiar rhetorical devices” and “uninspired formal qualities of more run-of-the-mill ‘social issues’ docs.” Because the result is an experience that was not made for the masses, he is likely to preach primarily to the converted. But anyone willing to submit to the urgent exactitude of his methods will walk away deeply unsettled.
The film is divided into seven chapters, each of which brings us to a different location, but the overarching vision is always the same: In any economic or ecological battle between nature and humankind, the latter will do anything necessary to win.
Geyrhalter travels through Europe and North America, recording the progress and damage that many of his subjects acknowledge go hand-in-hand. He talks to Carrara marble miners in Italy, and a metallurgist mining for copper in Spain. In the San Fernando Valley, enormous trucks move across brown, denuded masses of dirt, as a driver ruefully recalls the “acres and acres of trees” that were removed to make way for more housing.
A machine operator in Hungary has a more prosaic response, noting that “if we feel sorry for the trees, we will not produce any energy. They are just obstacles in our way.” In Austria, an engineer inside a hollowed-out mountain core agrees that her project is environmentally problematic. But also, she adds, “we can’t stop transporting goods, so….” And all the while, machines beep and rumble and push, inexorably, through the land.
Some of the interviews are more trenchant than others; we don’t really need the Hungarian museum docent to remind us that dinosaurs existed on the planet longer than humans have. And it’s sad but hardly surprising to hear a Spanish archaeologist muse that “humankind doesn’t learn, neither from history nor from anything else. I don’t know why.”
The interviews with the workers are generally more complex and insightful. Geyrhalter’s intent is clearly to give voice to people who are most often overlooked. But the palpable absence of decision-makers — CEOs, stockholders, politicians — winds up inadvertently allowing them to bypass responsibility, while placing an enormous onus on the laborers.
For much of the movie, though, we don’t hear from anyone at all. Geyrhalter, who does his own camerawork, is equally interested in both the micro (every shovelful of earth) and the macro (the immense impairment to Earth itself). He generally starts each chapter with an establishing shot overhead, so we can see some extent of the scarring. Then he comes in close for interviews, before purposefully testing our patience with wordless, intensely repetitive long shots of machinery and technology.
Because he rejects a straightforward, fact-packed documentary approach in favor of a more elemental one, we feel both the emotional impact and the practical deficiency more keenly. After several minutes watching trucks move back and forth, we’re left wishing we knew more about the decisions that led to each project. And because he focuses so intently on particular methodologies while deliberately avoiding others, the balance can feel off. There is little space for scientific, economic, or legal information, but plenty to learn that each stroke of a strip-mining gripper measures 1.7 meters, while the excavated material is transported outside on a conveyor belt that’s 22 meters long.
Though Geyrhalter shoots from seemingly every angle, the cinematography itself is equally clinical. This leads to a harshly striking — and strikingly harsh — tableau, which aptly reflects his intentions. But when the movie brings to mind Ai Weiwei’s similarly urgent epic “Human Flow,” it’s hard to avoid wondering whether a broader visual approach might have pulled us in further. The same is true for the rigorously parallel interviews, in which the workers often reflect a notably similar ambivalence about what they’re doing.
But, of course, the numbing sameness of that work, and the deathly gray banality each excavation accomplishes, are the point. It’s easy to drive to a relative’s new suburban housing community, or admire a friend’s Carrara countertop, without thinking twice about the greater costs. As Geyrhalter tells us, “Humans move 156 million tons of rock and soil per day, making humankind the most decisive geological factor of our time.” Though we leave “Earth” feeling overwhelmed, we’re also more aware than ever that he’s only shown us the tiniest fraction of our impact.
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www.thewrap.com | 2/6/20
As more Britons holiday at home and European visitor numbers fall, could we learn from ancient Rome?
www.bbc.co.uk | 1/30/20
Minister for Europe, Migration & International Development Ben Macpherson said tourism is an "important part of the Scottish economy".
www.bbc.co.uk | 11/14/19
"They wanted to look Yummy... They do!" Kinepolis Film in Belgium has debuted an official trailer for the European zombie comedy horror Yummy, from director Lars Damoiseaux. The film is set inside a seedy hospital, where a young woman travels with her family in order to secure a lower price on plastic surgery. Wandering through an abandoned ward her boyfriend unknowingly frees a zombie woman who is "the result of an experimental rejuvenation treatment", releasing the virus and zombie mayhem. Sounds like a good time, doesn't it? It's described as a "an orgy of blood, violence and fun." Starring Maaike Neuville, Bart Hollanders, Clara Cleymans, Benjamin Ramon, Eric Godon, and Annick Christiaens. Good news - this trailer is all in English. Not only is it crazy bloody and violent, but it's definitely NSFW - so watch out. Here's the first official trailer (+ posters) for Lars Damoiseaux's Yummy, direct from YouTube (via B-D): Yummy is an orgy of blood, violence and fun ...
www.firstshowing.net | 11/12/19
The newly-formed World Surf League (WSL) Studios unveiled its debut slate of programming on Monday, which includes a documentary film about 11-time World Surf Champion Kelly Slater and the series “Transformed,” highlighting how surfing has impacted cultures around the world.
Designed to appeal to surf fans and new audiences ahead of the sport’s Olympic debut in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games, the slate of documentaries, docuseries and daily short-form content will be distributed across multiple platforms.
“Kelly is the greatest surfer of all time and has not only every major record in our sport by a wide margin but also so more world titles than any other athlete with 11,” WSL president of Content, Media and WSL Studios, Erik Logan, told TheWrap of the “The Kelly Slater Documentary,” which follows the surf legend’s 2019 competitive campaign, personal life, and Olympics quest.
“Pair that with this pivotal year in his career, we all felt that allowing the viewers see the level of storytelling we are embarking on was the perfect place to start. Never before will you see Kelly open up as much as he does while embracing this project … and he has more World Titles than Tom Brady, by the way!” Logan added.
“WSL Studios will be the main engine for the creation of content, with outputs not only on our O&O Platforms but the many other distribution platforms as well. From a timing point of view, the scale and size of the other platforms provide the opportunity for the studio to engage the global audience further,” he explained.
For the first time, the end of the 2019 WSL Championship Tour season in December will determine the first qualifiers for the 2020 Olympic Games. The WSL will qualify 18 of the 40 Olympians, two men and two women for each country.
“Having multiple points of content before and after the Olympics with WSL Studios and our core business will provide entry points for new fans to see the passion and power of this sport, with the goal of engaging new fans to witness the world’s best surfing year-in and year-out on the WSL Championship Tour,” Logan said.
“The possibility of story through the aperture of surfing is so big that we have had to really focus on some key areas with our first slate. Anchoring to Kelly and then expanding through to Big Wave and non-competition series we feel we have put some markers out as to what is possible,” he continued.
The WSL Podcast Network (in partnership with Himalaya Studios) will focus heavily with news, interviews and information, along with sharing important community initiatives such as Ocean Health and Equality.
See the full WSL Studios slate, per the studio’s show descriptions, below:
“The Kelly Slater Documentary”
Box to Box Films Co-development Partnership
“Deep Blue: The Mark Visser Project”
“Surf Ranch Sessions”
“All In” Season 2
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www.thewrap.com | 8/19/19
In her first trip outside of Europe as party leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer defended the Iran nuclear deal at a security conference in Israel. She also plans to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks.
www.dw.com | 7/1/19
"Why are you half-naked in my trunk?" Cradle Walk Pictures has released the first official US trailer for the adventure comedy The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, following a young Indian man as he gets lost in travels around Europe. The film is directed by Canadian filmmaker Ken Scott, based on the novel by Romain Puértolas - with the full title "The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe". Ajatashatru Lavash Patel has lived all his life in a small Mumbai neighborhood tricking people with street magic and fakir stunts. He sets out on a journey to find his estranged father, but instead gets dragged on a never-ending adventure - from Paris to Italy to Spain and all over. Indian superstar Dhanush stars, along with an international cast including Erin Moriarty, Bérénice Bejo, Barkhad Abdi, Gérard Jugnot, Ben Miller, and Abel Jafri. This looks charming and amsuing, and just a tiny bit cheesy at times. Official ...
www.firstshowing.net | 6/6/19
“Wonder Woman” star Chris Pine is set to star in the action-thriller “Violence of Action” from Thunder Road Films and 30West, which will be presented to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival.
Tarik Saleh (“The Nile Hilton Incident”) will direct from a script written by J.P. Davis. Principal photography will begin this fall.
After being involuntarily discharged from the Marines, James Reed (Pine) joins a paramilitary organization in order to support his family in the only way he knows how. Reed travels to Poland with his elite team on a black ops mission to investigate a mysterious threat. Barely into his first assignment, Reed finds himself alone and hunted in Eastern Europe, where he must fight to stay alive long enough to get home and uncover the true motives of those who betrayed him.
Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee are producing with 30WEST fully financing the film. 30WEST’s Dan Friedkin, Micah Green and Dan Steinman will executive produce along with Jonathan Fuhrman, Tom Lassally and Josh Bratman.
CAA Media Finance and 30West are co-repping U.S. rights to the film at Cannes, and STXinternational, a division of STX Entertainment, is handling international sales and is directly distributing in the UK and Ireland.
Pine will next be seen in “Wonder Woman 1984.” He’s repped by CAA, John Carrabino Management, and Gendler & Kelly. Saleh is represented by CAA, Magnolia Entertainment, and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman.
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www.thewrap.com | 5/11/19
"I'm going to do the deed, and I'm going to get banged up." BBC Films + West End Films has debuted the first "international" promo trailer for a new film titled simply Denmark, the latest feature made by English filmmaker Adrian Shergold (Funny Cow). This "bittersweet" drama-comedy stars Rafe Spall as a down-on-his-luck Welshman without a job or access to hot water, who makes a rash decision to change his life for the better. Hopefully. With nothing to lose, and everything to gain, he travels across Europe with one crazy goal: to get himself arrested and sent to a Danish prison where the beds are warm and the water is hot. Sounds nice. This also stars Simone Lykke, Thomas Gabrielsson, Steve Speirs, and Joel Fry. This does look amusing, maybe just a bit depressing, and Rafe is pretty much always fanastic in every film he makes. Enjoy. Here's the first official trailer for Adrian Shergold's Denmark, direct from West End Films' ...
www.firstshowing.net | 5/8/19