Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan Wins the Cannes Palme d’Or; Son of Saul, The Assassin, Rooney Mara Score Other Top Prizes

Dheepan Dheepan

A jury headed by Joel and Ethan Coen awarded the Palme d’Or to Jacques Audiard’s immigrant drama Dheepan at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, which concludes today. The film tells the story of a Tamil fighter fleeing the Sri Lankan civil war who improvises a family — a wife and daughter — in order to better seek asylum in what turns out to be an inhospitable France. The award was something of a surprise, with most English-language journalists pegging either Laszlo Nemes’ Holocaust drama Son of Saul or The Assassin, a period martial-arts picture from Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-Hsien for the top spot. Those films received the Grand Prix and Best Director prizes, respectively. Another surprise was the Best Actor…  Read more


Cannes 2015: Five Questions For Tale of Tales Star Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek, Photo by Greta De Lazzaris Salma Hayek, Photo by Greta De Lazzaris

Salma Hayek rarely picks up her cell phone when the number is unlisted. But one day she did so while driving around Los Angeles, and the man on the other end was Italian director Matteo Garrone. Having been introduced to modern Italian cinema by her friend Valeria Golina, Hayek was flabbergasted. Garrone’s films Gomorrah and Reality were two of her favorite recent pictures. Not only that, but Garrone was offering her the role in a period film bringing to life the tales of 17th century Neapolitan scribe Giambattista Basile. She would play the role of a Spanish queen, the film would be told from the point of view of women, and there would be no auditions or begging for the role.…  Read more


Cannes 2015: Five Questions For Tale of Tales‘ Vincent Cassel

Vincent Cassel, Photo by Greta De Lazzaris Vincent Cassel, Photo by Greta De Lazzaris

He’s played a troubled youth in the Paris ghettos in La Haine, a vengeful husband in Irreversible, and an abusive ballet company director in Black Swan. One pattern is clear with French actor Vincent Cassel: he works with directors of a special breed who can’t be boxed up neatly within a genre. His latest Cannes film is no exception. Cassel partnered with Italian director Matteo Garrone to play the role of a casanova Medieval king who’s always on the search for his next sexual conquest in Tale of Tales. Based upon the stories of Giambattista Basile, Europe’s original fairytale scribe, Garrone doesn’t leave out any of the graphic details that Disney usually scrubs from its animations. Behind the king’s superficial…  Read more


“I’m Going Back to My Horror Film Roots”: Abel Ferrara Launches Siberia at Cannes 2015

Abel Ferrara Abel Ferrara

Indie maestro Abel Ferrara launched his latest film project in Cannes this week with his first ever foray into Kickstarter. Siberia, a new film with Willem Dafoe, explores the language of dreams, using the subconscious as a form of language. “There’s nothing more horrific than your own dreams and nightmares,” Ferrara promised the crowd of assembled journalists gathered on the top of the Silencio club in Cannes. “I’m going back to that kind of filmmaking, to my horror film roots.” He’s hoping to raise half a million dollars to begin financing for the new film. “This is Willem being Willem,” said Ferrara. “This is not the actor against the character. It’s the actor as the character.” The new collaboration marks…  Read more


Watch: A Brief History of Motion Capture’s Past and Present


With Robert Zemeckis back in the live-action world and James Cameron taking his time to gear up Avatars 2-4, there’s not been much discussion lately of motion capture. That doesn’t mean it’s gone away, and this video from Vice’s The Creator Project is a nicely succinct overview of what motion capture’s evolved from and where it’s going next; the participation of the technicians behind the technology is a big plus. The baby project described and shown at the end may just be the one that crosses the uncanny valley.


Win a Pass to IFP’s Class Series “The Where of Storytelling: Creating the Location Based Experience”

Participants in Southside Stories, whose creator Shannon Caroll will co-lead "Writing for Location-Based Experience" Participants in Southside Stories, whose creator Shannon Caroll will co-lead "Writing for Location-Based Experience"

“The Where of Storytelling: Creating the Location Based Experience” is a class series conceived by the Made in NY Media Center by IFP exploring site-specific storytelling – from interactive film to experiential design for commercial clients, location adds a new level of experience to media projects. The program consists of a Case Study and overview of locative storytelling featuring interactive filmmaker Lance Weiler and Jake Barton, founder of award-winning museum experience designers Local Projects (June 9); a Writing Workshop: draft a location-based story & refine your project through inspiring design exercises and peer critiques (June 13, 14 & 27); and a Beacon Tech Workshop: install a location-specific experience & work with developers to learn to use beacon technology, led by Aaryn Anderson of Vectorform, a leading multiplatform interactive design company  (July 11-12 & 25-26). Advances in technology have expanded…  Read more


Tickled: The Farewell Party

The Farewell Party The Farewell Party

Such a rare thrill to see films with seniors who have credible back stories and channel a lifetime of experience toward the resolution of whatever issues they currently face. The lead characters in The Farewell Party, a delightfully dark Israeli comedy (perhaps adorable tragicomedy is more on point), are full-blooded humans, not vampiric nasties or one-dimensional goody two shoes. They converse with delight and share their joys, but they also threaten, backbite, and blackmail. Each has attachments, with ups and downs — not so different from young people, as it turns out. At about the halfway point, a group of long-time friends in their mid- to upper-seventies are driving back from the suburbs to the modern Jerusalem retirement home where…  Read more


Cannes 2015 Critics’ Notebook 2: Love and Youth

Love Love

Quick, try to describe Irreversible and Enter the Void writer-director Gaspar Noé without relying on the words “controversial,” “provocateur,” “bad boy” (or, more Gallically put, “enfant terrible“) or “transgressive.” Noé’s latest potential scandal-maker, Love — hotly anticipated after smutty publicity materials teased it as a 3D art-house porno, complete with semen-sticky title treatment — was surprisingly softer and less shocking than anyone expected from last night’s midnight premiere. It’s also callow, shallow and numbingly insipid, despite its explicit mélange of blowjobs, threesomes and orgies. (Seriously, how does one make hardcore fucking more vanilla than Fifty Shades of Grey?) In a two-hour-plus scrapbook of flashbacks and time jumps forward, a self-involved American jerk in Paris (Karl Glusman) chronicles, through broodingly sentimental voiceovers, his memories and doomed fantasies of the brunette…  Read more



Trending modularity and remote control both evident in VariCam 35 user interface, detached from recording module by cable. Trending modularity and remote control both evident in VariCam 35 user interface, detached from recording module by cable.

Digital Motion Picture Cameras in 2015: The Dust Settles

Have you heard? The United Nations designated 2015 the “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies,” and cinematography made the cut. But is IYL 2015 finally the year in which the dam burst of innovation subsides, and new digital cameras and techniques no longer threaten to drown us? Surveying the…  Read more

Apr 28, 2015

Festivals & Events

Cate Blanchett in Carol Cate Blanchett in Carol

Cannes 2015: Five Questions for Carol Director Todd Haynes

Todd Haynes reteams with Cate Blanchett, after 2007’s I’m Not There, for his latest Palme d’Or contender Carol. Based on Patricia Highsmith’s semi-autobiographical novel The Price of Salt, Rooney Mara plays shopgirl Therese, who falls in love with the older, married Carol (Blanchett) in the…  Read more

on May 18, 2015

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Ned Rifle Ned Rifle

“Just a Normal Guy with Completely Predictable Middle-Class Morality”: Hal Hartley on Ned Rifle

When Hal Hartley arrived on the American filmmaking scene in the late 80s and early 90s, “indie film” wasn’t yet hardened into a niche or a brand. Possibilities seemed endless. Hartley’s debut feature The Unbelievable Truth, starring the late Adrienne Shelly, filtered humor and attitude…  Read more

on Mar 31, 2015