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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Pedro Almodóvar (31)


Breaking News: Almodovar Will Produce Asghar Farhadi's Next Film

Amir here, to share really exciting news involving two of The Film Experience’s favourite auteurs.

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's next international project has been announced by an Iranian agency and it will be produced by none other than Pedro Almodovar! The as yet untitled film will start shooting in Spain in October 2016 according to Khabar Online

Farhadi’s script for this France-Spain co-production has already been completed. Alexandre Mallet-Guy of Memento Film (which distributed Farhadi’s previous feature The Past) will co-produce the film along with Almodovar. The screenplay is written in English and Spanish and the cast will be comprised of American and Spanish actors. 

Reports suggest that Farhadi, who rose to international fame with About Elly and the Oscar-winning A Separation, intends to film another one of his finished scripts in Iran before travelling to Spain to commence pre-production. The film will be his second feature filmed outside of Iran, following the success of the Paris-set The Past. Almodovar, meanwhile, has his own film to deal with before moving on to Farhadi’s project. He is currently filming Silencio.


Silence/Silencio First Look

Manuel here sharing first looks from two upcoming films from celebrated auteurs that happen to share a title, one which would urge us to stay quiet but when you’re talking about Martin Scorsese and Pedro Almodóvar, there’s no way you’ll get us to shut up.

Scorsese’s Silence, based on Shusako Endo’s 1966 novel, focuses on the persecution of Christians in 17th century Japan. It finished shooting last month and EW shared its first image a few weeks ago, which features Andrew Garfield and Shinya Tsukamoto. The still suggests we’re in for a more serious-minded effort than Scorsese’s last (The Wolf of Wall Street). The film also stars Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano and Adam Driver.


While Scorsese’s film looks to be an all-male ensemble, trust Almodóvar to use his newest film Silencio to return to his actressy roots. Filming for the director’s twentieth film began last month. In the vein of Volver, Almodóvar notes that Silencio centers on Julieta (Adriana Ugarte), a woman who is, to use the director’s parlance, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, the roots of which the film explores, offering us flashbacks to her life thirty years prior. The film also stars a number of Almodóvar newcomers like Michelle Jenner and Emma Suárez but it also features the gorgeous (and recent Cannes juror) Rossy de Palma.

Which “silent” film are you most looking forward to in 2016? And, seeing as that’s probably an unfair question given TFE’s actressexual proclivities, let us ponder this: does Garfield following up Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes with a Scorsese film getting you excited about his post-Spidey choices?


The Story of My Link

Regan Writes has a great recap of RuPaul's Drag Race's upsetting episode this week (Trixie Mattel - Nooooooooo) and since I haven't been covering it, read this instead
The Vagenda on why we need to stop asking celebrities "are you a feminist?"
Dissolve EXCITING news. Gillian Flynn, who did such an Oscar nomination worthy job of screenwriting her own novel (stupid Academy!) will be co-writing Steve McQueen's next movie. That's a team with potential.
Pajiba awesome Gillian Anderson is on the market, ready for "the one" (gender irrelevant)

I turned down one of the big young adult franchises. I know the guy who took the part is buying his Hollywood mansion in the hills now, that he has secure work for three years. But you have to work yourself into a place where you’re respected
-Douglas Booth 

The Guardian has a good interview with the full lipped, exquisitely jawed Douglas Booth (who doesn't like that people talking about his looks so much... awww, be grateful for them, man. It's how you get/got in the door) who says he's choosing his films based almost solely on who is in the director's chair. 
CHUD the creative team behind 50 Shades of Grey are dropping like flies for the sequels. And the stars want raises and the producers aren't budging. What the hell is going on? Just pay them. They helped make it a hit. Greed sure can ruin a good thing. Or in this case a dumb thing.
Coming Soon Julia Louis-Dreyfus is considering the American remake of Force Majeure. She'd be great but why is no one considering not remaking it? 
Lainey Gossip I don't normally share (or even pay much attention to) gossip stuff but apparently Jeremy Renner is getting divorced and it's already quite messy
Yahoo! Movies an oral history of Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), now thirty years old (gulp). Great quotes 
Towleroad Tom Ford is looking at Amy Adams, George Clooney, and Jake Gyllenhaal for his new film Nocturnal Animals. Way to be original with your casting he said facetiously

Franchise Madness. The End is Nigh
i09 Transformers is aiming to become a "connected universe" a la Marvel movies. The end is truly nigh. If all movies want to be is ongoing big budget television series, what's the point of having them? Just watch more tv.
AV Club looks at the latest tv spot for Terminator Genisys. Yes, I know this one's got both old and young Ahnuld but without James Cameron & Linda Hamilton who cares? Time to move on.
/Film apparently they're also starting over with The Smurfs for 2017. 

Almodóvar with his new star Emma Suarez, in preproduction of "Silencio"

Spanish Wonders
El Pais talks about the new Pedro Almodóvar movie (called Silencio)
El Pais also profiles the two actresses who star Emma Suárez & Adrian Ugarte neither of whom have worked with Pedro before. I know he said none of his normal women work work for this one (and he has quite a large repertory company now essentially) so I thought we'd be seeing totally different looks or body types but no. So now I'm curious as to why he didn't stick with his regulars. I suppose we shall see.
El Confidencial first images from Penélope Cruz's new film ma ma (about a teacher diagnosed with breast cancer). I miss her so much! She vanished once she had that baby

Today's Long Read
"How One Direction Helped Me Find My Girls" - this article on buzzfeed is about refusing to feel guilty for the things you love. While I've personally never understood boy band obsessions I get obsessive fandom because I relate... only with actresses and film directors. While I can't say I agree with every word therein -- I don't think all fandom is good for people (sometimes it's just about conformity and not seeking you own aesthetic interests) and I was quite disturbed by one drawing that says "Remember nobody's feelings are more important than your own" because that is a straight up terrible thing to teach people (other people's feelings are very much important and we need to respect them and be generous and kind to each other) but the central premise that boy band obsessions are deemed silly because they are also considered feminine is spot on truth. The writer wisely condemns the double standard: adult men are encouraged to go bonkers over everything to do with whatever sports teams they follow as well as superhero movies but women are deemed silly if they partake in more "girlish" fandoms like boy bands or YA novels.


Rebel Assignments: Film Directors + Madonna

David Fincher winning an MTV Movie Award for Se7en (1995) he was already an MTV darling at the Music Video AwardsA reader by the name of David recently asked which direct we wished would do a video from Madonna's "Rebel Heart". Given that David Fincher, now a reknowned auteur, came to fame via some of Madonna's best, it's a great question. More movie directors really ought to moonlight with music videos intead of just graduating from them. It's a unique form, basically both a musical and a short, that gives directors the chance to work faster and looser and play with ideas that they maybe couldn't risk in a feature without a test run.

Successful directors ought to donate their services at least once to either an upcoming band they want every to haer or a legendary artist whose work has meant a lot to them. So we're assigning a director to each Madonna song on her terrific new record "Rebel Heart" in order to pretend we've been gifted a video album specifically for Madonna fans and cinephiles alike.

It's a Venn Diagram niche, sure, but go with it.

Since the first track and first single "Living for Love" already got a fine toreador and minotaur themed music video -- and it's good if minimalist --  we should leave it be.

No no no. Scratch that.

Recreated by Gus Van Sant
We're completists. So we gotta try for the whole album. Gus Van Sant likes a good experiment and he can't just do a traditional "remake" so how about a shot-for-shot reinterpretation with a few inserts as he is prone to do. Madonna likes a good rolling cloud as much as the next Guy Gus (see Frozen/Ray of Light)

Assigned to Lee Daniels
This song sounds conservative but its lyrics are straight up messy mixing drowning metaphors, spiritual yearning, religiosity, the devil and a list of hallucinogenic drugs. So I think the only proper guide is the current king of absolutely fascinating messes, Lee Daniels. Look at the performances he got from Mo'Nique, Kidman, Oprah, and Taraji. Please get your hands on Madonna, you crazy beautiful man, and shake her up!

more assignments follow...

Click to read more ...


Foreign Language Oscar Winners: What Are They Up To?

Manuel here to talk auteurs abroad. Did everyone hear (pun alert) about Pedro Almodóvar’s upcoming film, Silencio? We don’t seem to have much else other than its title (“It’s called Silencio because that’s the principal element that drives the worst things that happen to the main female protagonist”) and that Pedro doesn't think it will star one of his regular muses. But it made me curious as to what other Academy Award foreign auteurs were up to. Below the jump then, find a non-exhaustive list of the future projects of recent Foreign Language Film winners.

Click to read more ...


We Hereby Officially Name Today "Best Original Screenplay Birthday Day"

Pedro holding up a copy of his "Bad Education" screenplayToday's Useless Trivia! Not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Oscar nominated writers of contemporary cinema share this birthday: Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Pedro Almodóvar (Talk To Her), Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Incredibles), and John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator). Only Pedro has won for writing (though Bird is also a multiple Oscar-winner) but it's a neat and weird coincidence, yes?

What's your favorite Almodóvar screenplay (besides Talk To Her that is which rightfully scooped up the Oscar)?

Do you think Brad Bird deserved to win Original Screenplay in his years at bat (2004 and 2007) 

P.S. You guessed it: This year's Oscar Chart Updates for Best Screenplay, Original and Adapted are now available.


TIFF: Vignettes with Mike Leigh

Nathaniel's adventures at TIFF. Day 2

Day 2 was just magical from start to finish with 3 great movies and 1 solid one. Two of the films you've already read about here in Sweden's stellar Oscar submission Force Majeure and Norway's Out of Nature about one man hiking around in the wilderness on a long weekend. I like to think of the latter as Norway's counterpart to Reese Witherspoon in Wild - which I'll be seeing soon - though I doubt Reese takes her clothes off for a wank and runs around starkers. Day 2 was something of a vignette day since I will remember it primarily as the day I saw Mike Leigh twice and hid from the rain with him (long story - save it for the podcast!), the day I scarfed down melted cheese sandwiches with Nick & Joe in an highly unglamorous take-out setting, and a day of not one but 2 great movies composed of vignettes.

WILD TALES. an amazing Argentinian delightVignette films, like their cousin the omnibus, are tough beasts to pull off because you're essentially asking the audience to reinvest in the movie every 20 minutes or so, as if they've stumbled into a short film festival. They're also bound to feel uneven with some segments much richer than others. But here's two films that pull it off with real aplomb...

Argentina's Wild Tales is directed by Damián Szifrón but produced by TFE's favorite Pedro Almodóvar who I imagine is just thrilled with the results. It seems like a movie he would love what with its colorful characters, amusingly melodramatic and twisty stories, and at least three vivid female characters though it's not as actressy as his movies. Let's just say everyone in this six story movie is ...on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown, and not just the women. Wild Tales was a big hit at Cannes earlier this year and it might possibly be Argentina's Oscar submission. It's easy to see why since the title is accurate. You feel like anything could happen primarily because not so very many minutes into the terrific opening vignette, it does. It starts just like any movie might with a beautiful woman being chatted up by a handsome older stranger as their flight takes off. But then they realize they have an acquaintance in common. Another passenger overhears them, interrupts and...

No, I shan't tell you more because this movie is best seen cold as the surprises are half the fun. Let's just say this free-fall into insanity sets the tone for the whole film which plays like a highwire act of dark comedy, violent thrills, and romances gone awry. Of the six segments, of which only one is just "good" (that'd be the one starring Argentinian cinema's Mr Ubiquitous Ricardo Darin), I had two favorites. The third vignette takes place on a long stretch of dusty highway where two men piss each other off while driving. Neither of them can let any affront go. It's a stretch of cinema that should make the majority of the world's action directors ashamed of themselves for not bothering to pack in as many thrills and cleverly choreographed beats into 2 hours that Szifron manages in 20 minutes. The final sequence centering on a wedding reception that goes sour and descends into utter chaos is also pretty damn great, and funny too. Don't read anything more about it and if gets released, jump in. A-

Sweden's A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting On Existence comes from one of Mike Leigh's favorite directors Roy Andersson. Hence the first Mike Leigh sighting of the day since he came to the show with Mr Turner's primary non-Timothy Spall Oscar contender Marion Bailey. The room was jam-packed with press many of whom were laughing out loud and very frequently which is not all that common in critics screenings, I have to tell you.

A Pigeon... which does indeed include pigeons sitting on branches (albeit mostly offscreen),  bills itself as the final part of a trilogy of what it means to be human. And it starts with three short scenes called "Three Encounters With Death" which are beyond hilarious. I will never forget the ancient little lady hanging tightly on to her purse because she wants to take it with her when she goes. Every scene in the film is its own little continuous shot vignette in which the camera does not move but the things within the frame do, albeit sometimes very slowly. The two most frequently recurring characters are gag salesmen who keep announcing that they're there to help people have fun but are the glummest downers you ever did see, perpetually frowning, failing, frumpy and shuffling as if they're zombies across Andersson's often brilliant mise-en-scène . Not that anyone in the frame looks "alive" per se, since Andersson's figures are nearly all chalky white with a touch of ginger in their hair. The salesmen turned out to be my least favorite running gag in the movie and definitely wore out their welcome a bit though they're super funny at first. My favorite recurring bit was the generic repetitive dialogue heard whenever anyone onscreen answers a telephone. As if all the disconnected oddness weren't perplexing enough, there are three amazing period piece scenes involving warring soldiers, a musical number in a diner, and a slave ship (a very disturbing sequence).

Andersson strikes me a singular director, but there is one comparison point I feel comfortable sharing. I kept thinking of Jacques Tati, because the longer you stare at the sometimes crowded sometimes spare shots, the funnier they become and the bigger their comic payoffs whenever anything changes within the frame you've been visually searching for more things to discover or giggle about. I'm still scratching my head over this film but I'm already kicking myself for having missed Andersson's previous films. Several people have told me that I would love them. They were right and I am a fool for taking so long to get to them. A-

one of many screamingly funny but morbid scenes in "A Pigeon..."

Can you tell that I'm having a great great festival this year?