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It is the cutting-edge cool of festival cinema, so when SXSW anoints a new film with a premiere slot, all industry eyes focus in. With the 2019 event about to shutter in Austin, Texas, we take a look a five films (apart from Jordan Peele’s Us, which had heat before heading west) that emerged from the fest with major buzz…

BOOKSMART (US | 102 mins | Annapurna Pictures) Dir: Olivia Wilde; Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Will Forte, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Sudeikis.
From the program: Told from a wildly original, fresh and modern perspective, Booksmart is an unfiltered comedy about high school friendships and the bonds we create that last a lifetime. Capturing the spirit of our times, the film is a coming of age story for a new generation.
Critics said: “In this year’s class of first-time feature directors, Wilde handily earns the title of Most Likely to Succeed.” - Variety

LONG SHOT (US | 120 mins | Summit Entertainment) Dir: Jonathan Levine; Cast: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Ravi Patel and Alexander Skarsgård.
From the program: An ambitious diplomat with a spotless reputation and a hard-partying journalist hilariously redefine “international relations” as they try to keep their red-hot romance under wraps.
Critics said: “A rom-com with a political edge that will be one of this year's most beloved crowdpleasers.” –

I AM RICHARD PRYOR (US | 92 mins | Paramount Network) Dir: Jesse James Miller; Cast: Richard Pryor.
From the program: I Am Richard Pryor tells the life story of the legendary performer and iconic social satirist, who transcended race and social barriers by delivering his honest irreverent and biting humor to America’s stages and living rooms until his death at 65.
Critics said: “Jesse James Miller's biographical documentary is a conventional but fascinating portrait of the self-destructive comic great.” – Variety

ONE MAN DIES A MILLION TIMES (Russia | 92 mins ) Dir: Jessica Oreck; Cast: Alyssa Lozovskaya, Maksim Blinov, Vladimir Koshevoy, Alena Artemova, Konstantin Malyshev, Andrey Emelyanov, Alexei Yuferev.
From the program: Set in the future, a story about seeds and genetic diversity, about growth and decay, about love and war, and about hunger of all kinds.
Critics said: “Transports viewers to another time and place, much in the manner of Aleksey German’s immersive masterworks…it is a rather fascinating and undeniably ambitious work of cinema.” – J.B. Spins

THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE (US | 104 mins | Bleeker Street) Dir: Riley Stearns; Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots.
From the program: Jesse Eisenberg plays a man who is attacked on the street and enlists in a local dojo, led by a charismatic Sensei (Alessandro Nivola), in an effort to learn how to defend himself.
Critics said: “Manages to clarify the filmmaker's intriguing vision by stuffing it into a remarkably unnerving character study.” – Indiewire.



The 2018 Cannes Film Festival is in its final stages, the red carpet and barricades set to be garaged after the event wraps up on May 19. The programme strands and marketplace have offered first-look trailers for films that promise to be some of the most anticipated international releases of the next 12 months...


Film: BLACKkKLANSMAN (Focus Features | USA | 128 mins)
Director: Spike Lee | Stars: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Topher Grace. 

Film: NETEMO SAMETOMO (ASAKO I & II) (Bitters End Distribution | Japan | 119 mins)
Director: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi | Stars: Masahiro Higashide, Erika Karata, Sairi Itô.

Film: ZIMNA WOJNA (COLD WAR) (Kino Swiat, Poland, Amazon Studios USA | Poland | 84 mins)
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski | Stars: Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Borys Szyc.


Film: UNDER THE SILVER LAKE (A24 | USA | 139 mins)
Dir: David Robert Mitchell | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keogh.



Film: GIRL (Cinimien | The Netherlands | 100 mins)
Dir: Lukas Dhont | Stars: Valentijn Dhaenens.

Film: GUEULE D'ANGEL (ANGEL FACE) (Mars Distribution | France | 108 mins)
Director: Vanessa Filho | Stars: Marion Cotillard, Alban Lenoir, Ayline Aksoy-Etaix.


Film: GONGJAK (THE SPY GONE NORTH) (CJ Entertainment | South Korea | 141 mins)
Director: Jong-bin Yoon | Stars: Jung-min Hwang, Sung-min Lee, Jin-Woong Cho.


Film: FUGA (FUGUE) (Kino Swiat | Poland | 100 mins)
Director: Agnieszka Smoczyńska | Stars: Gabriela Muskala, Lukasz Simlat, Malgorzata Buczkowska. 

Film: THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT ( IFC Films | Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden | 155 mins)
Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Matt Dillon, Brono Ganz, Uma Thurman.


Film: CLIMAX (Wild Bunch | France | 95 mins)
Director: Gaspar Noé | Stars: Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souheila Yacoub.

Film: PETRA ( Wanda Vision SA | Spain )
Director: Jaime Rosales | Stars: Bárbara Lennie, Alex Brendemühl, Joan Botey.


LIVE! Conférence de Presse - Festival de Cannes 2017

Pierre Lescure, President of the Festival de Cannes, and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate, present the Official Selection of the 70th Festival de Cannes Press Conference on April, 13th 2017 at 11:00 am.



The seven features from Russian cinematic legend Andrei Tarkovsky are examined in an in-depth video essay, featuring some of his most acclaimed sequences (Channel Criswell).



OSCARS 2017: Nominees from the acting and directing categories reveal the untold stories of how their films, characters and personal journeys came to fruition (Entertainment Weekly)




In honour of the late John Hurt, we revisit the genesis of Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror classic Alien and the infamous 'chest-burster' that would become one of the most celebrated deaths in cinema history (CineFix).



Legendary action movie auteur Walter Hill (The Driver; The Warriors; 48 Hours) delivers the ultra-violent pulpish pleasures in his female assassin shoot-'em-up, The Assignment (aka Tomboy), starring Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver.



Festival screenings and brief arthouse seasons in French-speaking territories led to a divided critical response for Rebecca Zlotowski's Planetarium, a rich amalgam of supernatural drama and showbusiness satire starring Natalie Portman and Lily Rose-Depp; US/UK/Australian release dates still to be confirmed.



There was nothing overstated about the first Comic-Con. In fact, the founders themselves dubbed it a ‘mini-con’. San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon, to apply its full tag, was held at the US Grant Hotel over one whole day on March 21, 1970, drawing in excess of 100 people. It paved the financial path to a larger 3-day event in August of the same year, the comic-book fan mecca blossoming into the San Diego Comic-Con by its fourth year and it’s current moniker, Comic-Con International: San Diego, in 1995…

Hollywood studios have debuted their latest genre epics to the receptive comic-book hordes for decades. The now famous ‘panel events’ in the legendary Hall H becoming one of the hottest ticket items on American film calendar. In 2016, Warner Bros took bragging rights; new trailers from their  DC Comics properties sent the web into meltdown and appear to have arrested the image slide that came in the wake of the divisive Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. But they were not the only studio out to win over the opinionated, social media-savvy fan base in attendance…

KEY PLAYERS: Director Patty Jenkins, unfairly burdened with the 'Can a woman direct a comic blockbuster?' baggage; star Gal Gadot, a untested leading lady commodity; Warner Bros, gambling a $100million budget on a June 2/US summer opening.
BUZZ: Through the roof - cool retro style, ala Captain America: First Avenger (still the best Marvel movie); chemistry between Gadot and Chris Pine suggest a buddy-pic/romantic vibe; the punchy line, "What I do is not up to you," set to be every young woman's mantra.   

KEY PLAYERS: Ben Affleck, charged with lightening up after his surly spin as Batman in Dawn of Justice; Zack Snyder, charged with lightening up after his surly spin as director of Dawn of Justice; DC Comics, who are counting on the film to kickstart Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg franchises.
BUZZ: Crowd reaction was promising; trailer, in which Affleck's Bruce Wayne pitches a heroes union to some new faces, has a) personality, and b) Aquaman, so things are looking good. 

KEY PLAYERS: Will Smith, determined to establish a franchise ensemble ala The Avengers that has him out front of the action and potential billion-dollar box office; Margot Robbie, for whom superstardom beckons if she can just nail that one breakout role in a bonafide megahit; Warner Bros, who need to turn around a year peppered with costly underperformers (The Legend of Tarzan; Pan; In The Heart of The Sea).
BUZZ: With an August 5 release date, the Squad's panel performance was just stoking the fires of expectation. David Ayer's film is tracking through the roof, suggesting a blockbuster opening the likes of which the wan American summer box office desperately needs.  

KEY PLAYERS: Chris McKay, editor on the megahit The Lego Movie and stepping into the big, plastic-boxy shoes left by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller; an all-star voice cast, including Zach Galifianakis as The Joker; the Lego merchandising gurus, who have everything to lose if box office gold doesn't translate to toy store riches.
BUZZ: Good will high already, so new scenes and Michael Cera's Robin greeted with appropriate glee. 

KEY PLAYERS: High fan cred of red hot cast - Tom Hiddlestone (Avengers' nemesis, Loki), John Goodman (eyeing a 2017 Supporting Actor Oscar for 10 Cloverfield Lane) and Oscar winner Brie Larsen (this years' Comic-Con 'It Girl' with confirmation of her casting as Captain Marvel); the trailer itself, which hints at a truly epic scale.
BUZZ: Next-to-none before the trailer dropped; through the roof in the wake of its premiere.  

KEY PLAYERS: The legion of 'Pot-heads', their hunger for mystery and magic at fever pitch since their boy wizard's final bigscreen chapter in 2011; director David Yates, a Potter alumni; Eddie Redmayne, rolling the dice on franchise dollars as hero Newt Scamander; J.K. Rowling, the biggest name in bigscreen literary adaptations since Ian Fleming.
BUZZ: No half-measures in the trailer; Warners are selling it as the grown-up Potter sequel the fans have been baying for.  

KEY PLAYERS: Benedict Cumberbatch, who (like Eddie Redmayne) needs to expand critical community/fanboy adoration into fly-over state mainstream love (he's also in San Diego for TV's Sherlock Holmes); Marvel Studios, launching a deeper, darker heroic figure sans Avengers box office might; the effects crew, who are expanding upon (and, one assumes, enhancing further) visual cues introduced in Christopher Nolan's Inception.
BUZZ: High since the announcement of Cumberbatch's casting, but is he as hot in this post-Star Trek In Darkness period? Marvel are due for a stumble, but it's unlikely to be Doctor it? 

KEY PLAYERS: Leading men Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) and Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones) are on the cusp; director Guy Ritchie needs to bounce back from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to maintain relevance.
BUZZ: Trailer looks to favour the same 'everything old is new again' approach of Ritchie's last big hit, Sherlock Holmes. He's working with the always reliable Jude Law, and sword and sorcery is hot again on the small screen, so... 

KEY PLAYERS: Adam Wingard, one of horror's most refreshing new visionaries (You're Next; V/H/S 1 and 2; The Guest); Lionsgate, who mirrored the ground-breaking marketing of the 1999 hit, selling this found-footage effort as 'The Woods' before wowing Comic-Con crowds with the Blair Witch connection.
BUZZ: The Web went wild with news that the Blair Witch mythology would be revisited. Lionsgate are hoping box office lightning will strike twice.  

KEY PLAYERS: Oliver Stone, whose agitprop credentials and decades of fearless politicizing seems tailor made for the material; Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, who needs to recapture the fan favour he enjoyed after Inception, The Dark Knight Rises and Looper, and bounce back from the Robert Zemeckis dud, The Walk; Shailene Woodley, whose Divergent series is DOA but seems destined for adult acting greatness.
BUZZ: Trailer poses more questions than it answers ("Spy. Soldier. Hero. Traitor"), but a good trailer should. Hacker tech looks old very quickly, so will need to impress as a human story to leave an impact. 



The full transcript of the SCREEN-SPACE Live Blog event, including the full list of In-Competition films for Cannes 2016 (Click here)