It might sound less like a touching drama and more like a hipster pop-up restaurant in Shoreditch — the kind of place that would serve negronis in kneepads — but Skate Kitchen from filmmaker Crystal Moselle takes an endearing look at friendship and skateboarder culture in New York. “It celebrates brilliant women who are independent, feisty and have a whole lifestyle that Moselle captures perfectly,” says Picturehouse’s Clare Binns.
Introverted 18-year-old skateboarder Camille lives on Long Island with her single mother. After a startling injury, she promises her mother she’ll hang up her board, but the pull to skate is too strong. On Instagram she discovers “The Skate Kitchen”, a subculture of girls whose lives revolve around skating, and bravely seeks them out. The sexually fluid, rambunctious big-city girls quickly adopt the naive Camille as part of their gang, and soon they’re featuring her in trick videos and exposing her to a wild life she’s never experienced. For the first time, she feels acceptance and support from other girls. However, she soon learns the complexity of friendship when she befriends a boy from a rival group of skaters.
The project is produced by RT Features (Call Me By Your Name) and Pulse Films (American Honey). The primary cast are an all-girl skate crew of unknown actors, and it co-stars Jaden Smith (The Karate Kid). The story was inspired by the crew’s real-life Instagram feed.
Modern Films is lining up the UK release for early autumn 2018.
TrustNordisk has closed several key deals for Berlin competition title U – July 22.
The project, directed by Erik Poppe and based on the Anders Behring Breivik massacre in Norway, has been acquired for UK and Ireland (Modern Films), Japan (Culture Entertainment) and France (Potemkine Films).
Eve Gabereau, the long-time head of UK distributor Soda Pictures (now Thunderbird Releasing)who left the company last year, has officially launched her new outfit Modern Films.
The London-based distribution and production company has made its first acquisition with The Rape Of Recy Taylor, Nancy Buirski’s documentary that premiered at Venice last year.
Modern has UK and Ireland rights to the feature, which tells the story of 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper Recy Taylor, who was gang-raped by six white men in Alabama in 1944. Despite being at serious risk, she decided to speak up and identify her attackers, with the civil rights organisation the NAACP sending its chief rape investigator, and activist Rosa Parks, to support the young women.
The story was one of the era-defining civil rights moments and still has a legacy today. In Oprah Winfrey’s celebrated Golden Globes speech earlier this month, she referenced Taylor, who died on December 28 last year. Viola Davis, speaking at the recent Women’s March in LA, also cited Taylor’s story.
Filmmaker Buirski previously directed The Loving Story, which formed the basis for the Oscar-nominated drama Loving (on which she was a producer).
Blanchett plays 13 characters performing screeds by the likes of Marx and Debord in a hypnotically fascinating exploration of philosophy.
There is a hypnotic fascination to this work by artist and film-maker Julian Rosefeldt, one of the few commercial films that explores the boundaries between cinema and installation, or cinema and video art. It owes this relative prominence to the presence of Cate Blanchett, who may be rivalling Tilda Swinton as Hollywood’s experimentalist and patron-muse.
Manifesto is, in fact, a development of a gallery piece that originally provided for many separate screens where Blanchett – in different disguises or personae – would, with beady-eyed intensity, declaim philosophical manifestos in bizarre dramatic contexts and weird empty locations. She performed screeds by the likes of Karl Marx, Guy Debord, Tristan Tzara, Olga Rozanova, Yvonne Rainer and Lars von Trier. These speeches have been stitched together for this film, occasionally intercutting, and Blanchett appears in the role of a tramp, or a hazmat-suited plant worker, or widow speaking at a funeral, or bland corporate CEO, or newsreader doing a piece to camera before speaking to a reporter outside in the rain.
The director's debut feature film is about a nine-year-old who is accused of witchcraft and exiled to a witch camp under the threat that if she escapes she will be turned into a goat. “I visited witch camps in Zambia and Ghana,” says I Am Not a Witch director Rungano Nyoni. “They are very disorganised and sparse and run by different chiefs.”
Take one Oscar-winning actor. Pair her with a German visual artist, one with a puckish sense of humor. Give her 13 different roles, including female archetypes ranging from a Southern housewife to a blow-dried broadcast newsreader, and pray that Cindy Sherman doesn't sue.
Some might think that listening to artistic manifestoes — statements of principles and calls to action — is akin to a tortuous graduate lecture in art history. But in the hands of two-time Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett and German video artist Julian Rosefeldt, the highbrow language becomes something else entirely. Together, Blanchett and Rosefeldt bring humor, emotion and poetry to “Manifesto,” a 13-screen video installation-turned-film.
Last December, the cavernous hall of the Park Avenue Armory was filled with 13 movie-theater-sized screens that projected the face of Cate Blanchett. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that they projected the many faces of Cate Blanchett.
A new festival that started off with a long official name that was a bit of a mouthful will take place in Charlottetown in mid-July. PEI Fest, as it is now known, came from an idea that festival director Colin Stanfield had — to enjoy three days of films, food, and conversation that would spark lots of ideas.