Showing posts from June, 2013

Danish thriller 'A Hijacking' by Tobias Lindholm

Mikkel Hartmann ( Pilou Asbæk ) " A Hijacking" ( Kapringen, Denmark 2012) )   is a film about a Danish cargo ship that is hijacked by Somalian pirates in the middle of the Indian ocean, direct ed by Tobias Lindholm. On board are seven men who are held captive. Three of the men are allowed on deck: the cook, the captain and the mechanic. Most of the film concerns the negotiations made by the owner of the ship, a Danish multimillion-dollar concern. The CEO Peter C. Ludvigsen  ( Søren Malling ) is a very rigid and controlled Danish man in his 50’s. We learn about his emotionless negotiation power in a deal selling with Japanese businessman at the beginning of the film. He’s a hard bargainer and maybe that makes sense when you are dealing with another corporate entity, but not with the lives of seven men. These men are onboard a ship with sordid and unsanitary conditions for almost 4 months.  The Somalian negotiations are conducted through an interpreter named Omar. All

Agnès Godard at the Pacific Film Archives

Agnès Godard in San Francisco ©Moira Sullivan By Moira Sullivan Agnès Godard has been a cinematographer since the 1970s when she started out as first assistant cameraperson for Wim Wenders in Paris Texas (1984). She worked alongside the assistant director Claire Denis, a woman that Godard would later be working with for more than two decades years. She is the special guest of the Pacific Film Archives program "Dancing with Light: The Cinematography of Agnès Godard" .  In the special interview with Godard that follows for Movie Magazine, Godard reveals some of her thoughts that she presented in a special lecture on June 13 about her work as a cinematographer – especially the process in finding the right image. Six of her films as cinematographer were selected for the program and all directed by Denis except one. Beau Travail  from 1999 is a homoerotic narrative about French legionnaires. Trouble Every Day from 2001 is about two men who keep their woman captive

Frameline 37 Highlights

By Moira Sullivan Opening film 'Concussion' The Frameline LGBT film festival, the largest in the world.  will be held June 20 to 30 in San Francisco at the Castro, Victoria and Roxie Theaters and also in the Elmwood in Berkeley. After the triumph of two gay films at the Cannes film Festival in May,  Frameline will screen romances, coming out stories, documentaries on the LGBT scene and films on the different LGBT populations, predominately gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender populations. This means that the film categories are divided into sexual preferences.  There is a first feature and best documentary competition, to entice filmmakers; this is not only an audience award based public festival The best first feature brings with a cash prize of 7500. Two films have debuted at other festivals – Concussion at Berlin and Beyond the Walls at Cannes last year, a candidate for the Queer Palm Award. Films that screen here are shown all around the world and t

Cannes Report 2 - 66th Festival de Cannes

By Moira Sullivan The least important aspect of the Cannes Film Festival for me is the parade of stars up the red carpet, and the parties in the beach tents at night. These events are however what pays for Cannes, in order to offer to film critics the very best of the year’s best films for review.   It takes some time to avoid all of this, but if you really try you can wind up sitting in one of the coveted seats of a new screening. This is because there is a division of badges for seating according to the quality of the venue you represent. This quality is measured in number of readers of your venue, and most important, corporate media status. The critics can make or break a film and the outreach of the corporate dailies attract readers. But I know how to be selective, and listen to the opinions of colleagues standing in line. Their opinions certainly steered me away from some films I had planned on attending. There are 4,000 journalists and 12,000 buyers , who fill the c

Cannes Report 3 - 66th Festival de Cannes

By Moira Sullivan Opium directed by  Arielle Dombasle For the 50 th anniversary of the death of Jean Cocteau, who was twice the president of the festival, a newly restored digitalization of Cocteau's beloved La Belle et Le Bête was screened as part of the Cannes Classics sidebar of the festival, followed by a dramatization of a party of his life. It is difficult to make a biopic about a legend such as Jean Cocteau who spent time in Côte d’Azur and painted frescos in a museum in nearby Villefranche sur Mer. To their credit, the ensemble cast tried to breathe life into a short history of the film poet in a creative assemblage of Cocteau’s life and words when he was an opium addict. The title of the film is therefore to the point: Opium. The film is directed by Arielle Dombasle with an excellent Grégoire Colin as Cocteau. “Opium” focuses on Cocteau’s short relationship with the French author Raymond Radiguet (Sam Mercer), a young bon vivant with Arthur Rimbaud like