visionary filmmakers

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a prelude of stranger things to come

VOID DENIZEN’S SÉANCE FICTION: PETRIFIED
arrives 5/9/2017

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Zavrazhye, Russia

On this day in 1932, the world was given one of its most gifted visionaries, the filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky whose recurring themes of dream, memory, childhood, running water accompanied by fire, indoors rain and hazy reflections help us see the world from an indelible new strange and soft angle. His films give breath to dreams of unmistakable beauty. 

Tarkovsky loved the Polaroid camera and always carried one with him. These are a selection of his photos.

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Press release and images for Netflix’s futuristic thriller with Alexander Skarsgard “Mute”.  

Netflix presents the First Look at the highly-anticipated futuristic thriller Mute.  Enter the captivating world of visionary filmmaker Duncan Jones, featuring Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux and newcomer Seyneb Saleh.Duncan Jones, the creative mind behind the cult-hit Moon and Source Code, returns to his creative roots with this original and gripping story set in an immersive universe.

Synopsis:
Set in the near-future, Leo (Alexander Skarsgård) is a bartender living in the pulsing city of Berlin.  Because of a childhood accident, Leo lost the ability to speak and the only good thing in his life is his beautiful girlfriend Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh). When she vanishes without a trace, Leo’s search for her takes him deep into the city’s seedy underbelly.  A pair of wise-cracking American surgeons (Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux) are the only recurring clue and Leo is forced to take on this teeming underworld in order to find his love.

The Netflix original film is directed by Duncan Jones and written by Jones and Michael Robert Johnson.  Stuart Fenegan serves as producer and Charles J.D. Schissel and Trevor Beattie serve as executive producers. The film will launch in all territories where Netflix is available in 2017.

Tomu Uchida: A Retrospective | MoMA

Do you know Tomu Uchida? MoMA Film celebrates the visionary Japanese filmmaker with a retrospective starting today. His work runs the gamut from samurai films, thrillers, and literary adaptations to social satire and even a pseudo-Western set in Japan’s “Wild North” of Hokkaido.

[The Outsiders / Mori to mizuumi no matsuri. 1958. Japan. Directed by Tomu Uchida. 113min. ©TOEI COMPANY, LTD]

(via Tomu Uchida: A Retrospective | MoMA)

Cinematic Conversations with Béla Tarr

Celebrated as a visionary filmmaker with a personal style that ultimately accentuates the language of cinema and how to “write” with that language, Béla Tarr is one of cinema’s most original filmmakers alive today. A strong influence on directors like Jim Jarmusch and Gus Van Sant, Tarr’s works seem to echo Italian Neorealism and the French New Wave while possessing an elegant black-and-white approach to photography along with the consistent use of long takes and slow shots. In these two videos that comprise Cinematic Conversations with Béla Tarr, we dive into the mind of the great filmmaker and learn more about how he masters the art of cinema.

When speaking of his elaborate use of the long take, Tarr sees it not as a technique to display one’s abilities but as a way to draw the inspiring moment into the frame. He expresses, You can create everything for a minute, and everybody has to be there at the same moment. The actors, the crew…Everybody has to be on the top. All of your sensibility, all of your presence, that’s important. That’s why I like it, to have the moment when everything is together…Most of the movies are working like information, cut, information, cut, information, cut, and for them the information is just the story…I try to involve to the movie time and space, and a lot of other things which are part of our life, but not connecting directly to the storytelling. I’m working in the same way, information, cut, information, cut, but for me the information is not only the story. A lot of other things. Maybe if something is happening between us, and I move the camera, and I’m showing you something over there which is connecting you. It also gives some information to the people, but it’s not in a cut. The way I am showing looks like a chain. You just put everything together, and finally, you have a long take. We are cutting, but not on the editing table, we are cutting in the camera. Thus, the long take is a way to more closely capture life while bringing together the presence of all the collaborators on the film to its highest ideal form. To this, Tarr informs how important mise en scène is to filmmaking. As an art form with a foundation in visual arrangement, all that appears in the frame must be essential. If you have a picture, it looks like a painting, every frame has to be perfect, and you have to show something which is important.

Still, this importance on the frame exists because of the significant subject matter at the core of Béla Tarr’s films: human dignity. The heart of a story should dictate its ultimate form. I’m able to do only one thing: show you what I feel and show you what I think. And I try to be honest to you, and I try to tell you the truth, [of] what I really think…I never lie in a movie. Tarr desires to offer a gaze into our realities through cinema. For this reason too, he chooses not to compromise with his filmmaking or aspirations for his films: I know what I want to tell you, and I know what I want to show you. That’s the reason I am doing it. I have no reason to do if I can not do on my way. In this case I don’t do. There’s really no reason to do a movie just to do a movie. No. If I’m not able to tell you really what I want to tell you, I don’t.

The cinematic mastery that we witness in Béla Tarr’s cinema derives from a harmony of emotional and intellectual elements to cinematic storytelling. As the filmmaker declares, I decided to do movies because I really want to show you what is around us. How I see the world. This is emotional stuff. It is important because it is a part of us. Everyone has emotions, but, [on] the other hand, I have a brain too, and everybody has a brain too. The art of cinema is not only about entertainment but, more importantly, about portraying human experience with such a portrayal that can stand the test of time, and standing the test of time is one of the best ways to describe Béla Tarr’s films.

NEW ROLE FOR ALEX! Leo Beiler in Mute!

The Wrap (x), Deadline Hollywood (x) and other entertainment news sites are reporting that Alex has landed the role of Leo Beiler in Duncan Jones’ upcoming sci-fi thriller, Mute.

From The Wrap:

Paul Rudd (“Ant-Man”) and Alexander Skarsgard (“Tarzan”) are set to star in Duncan Jones‘ sci-fi thriller “Mute,” it was announced Tuesday.

Set in Berlin 40 years from now, “Mute” follows Leo Beiler (Skarsgard), a mute bartender who has one reason and one reason only for living here — and she’s disappeared. But when Leo’s search takes him deeper into the city’s underbelly, an odd pair of American surgeons (led by Rudd) seem to be the only recurring clue, and Leo can’t tell if they can help, or who he should fear most.

“Mute” is based on a script by Jones and Mike Johnson that was recently rewritten by Damon Peoples. The film will be produced by Stuart Fenegan under the Liberty Films banner he shares with Jones.

Lotus Entertainment has come on board to handle international sales at the upcoming AFM. CAA, which arranged financing for the film, is handling its domestic sale.

Lotus’ Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, and Ara Keshishian will serve as executive producers on the film, which is slated to start production in March. Keshishian, the president of production at Lotus, negotiated the deal on behalf of the company.

“I’ve been working towards making ‘Mute’ for 12 years now. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that we’re finally going to shoot this utterly unique film. The fact that I get to make it with Alexander Skarsgard and Paul Rudd makes it all the more exciting! ‘Mute’ is a film that will last. It is unlike any other science fiction being made today,” Jones boasted.

“We’re very excited to work with Duncan and Stuart. They are an immensely talented team that will surely deliver an exciting and cinematic film. Director Duncan Jones is a true visionary filmmaker and the real deal. It’s his caliber of talent that makes storytelling both visually exciting and captivating,” Seibel said.

“Bill, Jim and Ara share the same passion I do for building another vision of the future with Duncan. I look forward to going on this journey with them, and also reuniting with Sam Rockwell and composer Clint Mansell … can’t do sci-fi without Sam and Clint,” added Fenegan.

Ara Keshishian, president of production at Lotus, negotiated the deal on behalf of the company.

Skarsgard recently wrapped production on David Yates‘ “Tarzan” for Warner Bros. and is represented by CAA. Rudd just completed “Captain America: Civil War” for Disney/Marvel and is represented by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

Jones, who previously directed “Moon” and Legendary’s upcoming “Warcraft,” is represented by CAA.

Source:  TheWrap.com (x), Photo credit:  SavannahFilmFest Facebook

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Get a sneak peek at OWN’s upcoming original drama series Queen Sugar, from visionary filmmaker Ava DuVernay and executive producer Oprah Winfrey—coming this fall.