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LA VIE EN ROSE
Following the recent trend of bringing the lives of acclaimed musicians to the silver screen, Olivier Dahan’s La Vie en Rose tracks the life of famous singer Edith Piaf in an unchronological fashion from her childhood singing on the streets of 1930s Paris to sudden superstardom and ultimatley to her tragic death at only age 47. Marrion Cotillard plays the singer who became a national icon of France, crafting a brave, emotionally charged performance which is garnering the film so much attention. Although the subject material is appropriately harsh and heavy-handed, growing up as an orphan in a brothel before being discovered and quickly going down the path of drugs and alcohol, the cintematography and sound design is simply stunning and the supporting cast, featuring Gerard Depardieu and Emmanuelle Seigner, is also worth mentioning for their contribution to this powerful film. Read more about it in our Spring 07 issue!

HOSTEL 2
Looking for a little extra gore to spice up the weekend? Look no further then the latest splatter fest from Eli Roth’s Hostel franchise. Hostel II switches things up from its predecessor by following around three female college students on their excursion to Italy. But they quickly grow to realize there’s more in store for them then just hot guys and mouth-watering fettuccini. The hotel acts as a front for wealthy businessmen who like to see these comely undergraduates tortured and forced into death fights. The film also changes prospective from the point of view of the girls to the point of view of the torturer’s, as it’s revealed that this clandestine organization may delve deeper and wider than just European locales. Read an exclusive interview with filmmaker Eli Roth in our Spring issue of Filmmaker Magazine.

See articles on both these films in the Spring Issue of Filmmaker Magazine!

TIBETAN DOC FEATURED AT THE BROOKLYN FILM FESTIVAL
Although the Chinese occupation has never included atrocities such as ethnic cleansing, the attempted cultural eradication of the Tibetan people and their Buddhist religion harkens a gross human rights violation. In the years before the occupation only males were allowed to serve as monks, the spiritual leaders of the Tibetans. Since the 1950's the Chinese militia has attempted to systematically dismantle the religious and social practices of Tibet including burning down monasteries, prosecuting monks and killing thousands of worshippers in the process. In 1990, in an attempt to resurrect Buddhists practices in Tibet, the Kala Rongo monestary was formed and began to admit and incorporate women into mystical fold...

 
     
 

PRODUCT PLACEMENT
An article in the LA Times (which comes via Scott Kirsner at CiemaTech) reports on how specific corporations have ponied up money for films whose subject matter fits their market demographic. In "Advertiser cash flows to indie film projects," Lorenza Muñoz writes: In what could be the latest trend in the financing of independent films, Unilever brand Dove has agreed to invest $3 million — about one-fifth of the budget — into "The Women," the first theatrical movie by Diane English, the creative force behind the hit television series "Murphy Brown." Gatorade, the sports drink maker, quietly put up $3 million for the production of "Gracie," a story about a girls soccer team that is coming out this weekend...

 
     

NO MORALS WITHOUT STYLE
Today GreenCine links to a couple of articles discussing Rainer Werner Fassbinder, his legacy, and allegations that the Fassbinder Foundation and its director, Juliane Lorenz, have "systematically erased" (to quote d.p. Michael Ballhaus) important figures like composer Peer Raben and actress (and ex-wife) Ingrid Caven from the Fassbinder history. The key document is a translation in Sign and Sight of a Die Zeit interview with Caven (pictured here). Caven's attack on Lorenz and the Foundation is what's getting all the press attention, but the interview is also striking for Caven's memories of Fassbinder's sex life, the early days of the New German Cinema, and the political goals contained within the films...

Read the complete stories at Filmmakermagazine's Blog...

   

THE DIRECTOR INTERVIEWS - JUDD APATOW, KNOCKED UP
After 15 years rising up through the Hollywood ranks, comedy's underdog is on top of the world. At the moment, studios are scrambling to work with Judd Apatow (there are no less than seven films he's currently involved with which he has written and/or produced), but this is a stark contrast to the rejection he became used to. It is ironic that the projects now being snapped up are the same ones that were repeatedly passed on previously. Apatow began as a writer on The Ben Stiller Show and The Larry Sanders Show, and then wrote the screenplays for Heavy Weights (1995) and Celtic Pride (1996), neither of which managed to jumpstart his film career. He returned to TV, and created two much-loved series, Freaks and Geeks (1999) and Undeclared (2001), both of which were cancelled in their first seasons, despite receiving critical raves. Since then, Apatow has been on a hot run, having produced Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Kicking and Screaming (2005), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) and The TV Set (2007) as well as penning the remake of Fun with Dick and Jane (2005). However his true breakthrough came with The 40-Year-Old Virgin starring Steve Carrell, which was the sleeper hit of summer 2005...

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