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Free Men (Les hommes libres) (review)

I really wanted to love this film. I’m fascinated by stories of the French Resistance during World War II, as I knew this was before I saw it, and by the time it was over, I was stunned by its audacity, for it tells a tale of immigrant Algerian Muslims in Paris who sheltered immigrant Algerian Jews in the cavernous Paris mosque and also provided them with false papers testifying to their Islamic faith. What’s more, this really happened, though it has been up until recently a mostly unknown history of the war. (See this New York Times article for more on the film’s background.) There’s potential for real power and a stinging lesson for today’s world here... and yet the execution is disappointingly prosaic. Perhaps the problem lies in how director and coscreenwriter (with Alain-Michel Blanc: The Concert) Ismaël Ferroukhi chose to fashion
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Free Men (aka Les Hommes Libres) Review

Director: Ismaël Ferroukhi

Starring: Tahar Rahim, Michael Lonsdale, Mahmud Shalaby, Lubna Azabal, Farid Larby

Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 99 mins

Synopsis: In Nazi-occupied France in 1942 an Algerian immigrant decides to join the resistance, after forming a close bond with a Jewish musician…

Loosely based on true events, this war-drama, which moonlights as an edgy espionage-thriller at times, follows Younes (Rahim), a black marketeer, and a man of few words, who plies his trade on the streets of Paris. During one of his business deals he befriends Salim; a young Jewish musician, whose popularity is rising amongst the people. Just as the two start to cherish each other’s company, all is thrown asunder, when gendarmes find Younes in the company of his cousin, Ali (Farid Larby); a respected union member and resistance leader. Though his cousin escapes, Younes is caught and decides to spy on the worshippers of a local mosque
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Cannes 2011: Mihaileanu Draws from the 'Source' for Main Comp Selected Pic

Cannes Film Festival won’t be lacking in Romanian films/filmmakers this year. La Source des femmes, the 5th film directed by Radu Mihăileanu, was selected to the official competition, while Mitulescu’s second feature Loverboy was included in Un Certain Regard category. You’ll be able to read more about Cătălin Mitulescu’s film in future article, but among the surprise inclusions in this year's Main Comp is indeed Mihăileanu's latest pic. La Source des femmes is produced by two French companies: EuropaCorp (Luc Besson’s production company) and Elzevir Films, with Belgium's Panache Prods. and Italy's Indigo on board as co-producers. The screenplay was written by the director himself with the help of Alain-Michel Blanc, who also teamed up with Mihăileanu for his previous film, Le Concert – which was a real success, winning two Cesar awards and four Gopo awards. Radu Mihăileanu is born on April 23rd 1958 and
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Cannes 2011. Lineup

  • MUBI
Updated through 4/20.

Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux announced that, out of 1715 submissions, 49 features from 33 countries have been selected in total for this year's Cannes Film Festival — four of them made by women, a record. 19 titles are lined up for the Competition so far, leaving room for surprise announcements from here on to the Opening Ceremony on May 11.

Competition

Pedro Almodóvar's The Skin I Inhabit. As noted yesterday, here's what Variety's Justin Chang had heard as of this past weekend: "In late March, it seemed that Almodóvar, a Cannes veteran who won prizes for All About My Mother and Volver, might skip the event altogether this year. Since 2004's Bad Education, the helmer has presented every one of his films in competition at the May fest, usually following a spring local release. The Sept 2 Spanish release date for The Skin That I Inhabit (which Sony Classics will release Stateside in
See full article at MUBI »

Review: The Concert

As much as I enjoy The Birdcage, the Americanized version couldn't hold a candle to the original classic French farce La Cage Aux Folles, in which the setting of the gay club in St. Tropez lends so well to the atmosphere and mood. I was reminded of this while watching The Concert (Le concert), a dramedy set in Russia and Paris. Writer/director Radu Milhaileanu and his collaborator Alain-Michel Blanc originally envisioned creating The Concert in English with American actors to appeal to a mainstream audience. However, the filmmakers decided that English would render the movie more artificial, and decided to shoot in the original languages of Russian and French -- a choice I wholeheartedly support, especially after watching The Concert.

The Concert focuses on Andreï Filipov (Aleksey Guskov), the janitor at the Bolshoi. He enjoys listening to the famed Bolshoi Orchestra, but not because he's a low-class worker aspiring
See full article at Slackerwood »

Tahar Rahim To Challenge "Free Men"

Tahar Rahim ("A Prophet") has signed on to headline the $10.3 million WWII drama "Free Men" for Pyramide Films reports Variety.

The story follows a young Algerian immigrant worker in Paris whose unexpected friendship with a Jewish man inspires him to join the French Resistance, despite repeated threats from the Gestapo.

Ismael Ferroukhi and Alain-Michel Blanc penned the script with the former directing. A ten week shoot starts Monday in Paris and will continue in Morocco.
See full article at Dark Horizons »

How Far is Too Far?: The Game of Death Predictably Stirring Debate

A documentary film project that I've been keeping tabs on since I first heard about it last February, is not surprisingly, causing quite the stir. Rezo Films' The Game of Death, a docu experiment that filmed knowing, and unknowing participants in a mock game show that mimicked Stanley Milgram's famed experiment -- but this time in the context of reality television. - A documentary film project that I've been keeping tabs on since I first heard about it last February, is not surprisingly, causing quite the stir. Rezo Films' The Game of Death, a docu experiment that filmed knowing, and unknowing participants in a mock game show that mimicked Stanley Milgram's famed experiment -- but this time in the context of reality television. Paul Scheuring's upcoming thriller The Experiment is a variation of this experiment. The Game of Death aired on French television yesterday
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

15th Lumiere Awards: Welcome and A Prophet Grab Most Noms

Similar to the Golden Globes because it is a foreign group of film journalists who conduct the voting (though I'm sure they have no mandate to prefer films loaded in stars), this year's the 15th Lumiere Awards has a pair of films in the top tier that recently that duked it out for the Louis Delluc award. Philippe Lioret's Welcome (which just got picked up by Film Movement this week) and Jacques Audiard's A Prophet (a Spc release next February) received five and four noms respectively. - Similar to the Golden Globes because it is a foreign group of film journalists who conduct the voting (though I'm sure they have no mandate to prefer films loaded in stars), this year's the 15th Lumière Awards has a pair of films in the top tier that recently that duked it out for the Louis Delluc award. Philippe Lioret
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Get Ready for Radu Mihaileanu's 'The Concert' in the Fall

  • They might be in a tight spot right now, but at the end of the rainbow The Weinstein Co. have Rob MarshallRob Marshall
[/link]'s Nine, John Hillcoat's The Road (Dimension) and Andrew Jarecki's All Good Things. Sight unseen, I imagine they're all Oscar bait potential and have the ingredients to be profitable, but there is one title that might see the financially troubled unit regain some of that glitter from the old Miramax days (where they grabbed a film with subtitles and made American audiences fall for them. E.g: Pelle the Conqueror, Cinema Paradiso, Mediterraneo, Koyla.) Radu Mihaileanu's The Concert was a packaged and sold Wild Bunch item that the Weinsteins pre-emptively picked up at last year's Cannes, and now currently in post-production, the film is probably setting its sights on a double preem at Venice and Tiff in the fall. By the sound of the plot,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Sundance 2007 preview: World Dramatic Comp

  • Quick Links  Complete Film Listing: Premieres: Dramatic Comp:  Docu Comp: World Docu Comp: Spectrum: Park City at Midnight: New Frontier: Short Film Programs January 18 to 28, 2007 Counting Down: updateCountdownClock('January 18, 2007'); Blame It On Fidel (France), directed and written by Julie GavrasJulie Gavras
[/link], which takes the point of view of a 9-year-old girl whose parents become political radicals in early '70s Paris. Drained (Brazil), directed by Heitor Dhalia and written by Marcal Aquino and Dhalia, about the life change of a devious pawnbroker.Driving With My Wife's Lover (South Korea), directed by Kim Tai-sik and written by Kim Joen-han and Kim, which describes the long taxi journey of a man and the cab driver he's learned is having an affair with his wife.Eagle Vs. Shark (New Zealand), directed and written by Taika Waititi, a portrait of two social misfits who try to find love. A Miramax release in its world premiere.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

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