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Robert Bodrog


The latest film industry and film festival news across Europe.


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Poland Picks Skolimowski's 11 Minutes as Oscar Entry for Best Foreign Language Film

  After a five-year hiatus, veteran Polish film director Jerzy Skolimowski is back on the scene. At the age of 77, Skolimowski seems more energized than ever. His latest film, 11 Minutes, an Irish/Polish co-production, wowed audiences in September when it debuted at the 72nd Venice Film Festival and received a special commendation from the festival's Youth Jury. The film also enjoyed packed screenings and favorable buzz at the 40th Toronto International Film Festival, where it was fe...

Photographic Memories: My Many Days and Nights at the Toronto International Film Festival

It's hard to believe, but this month the Toronto International Film Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary. Milestones like this always make for a good excuse to pause and reflect, especially for Torontonians of my generation who grew up in the 1970s and 80s. The great thing about being a film fanatic living in Toronto back then was the sheer selection of movies you could see on any day of the week. The city had a huge number of cinema screens relative to its population, equal to, if...

Toronto Honors Ingrid Bergman with August Retrospective

1915 was an especially auspicious year in terms of celebrity births, and 2015 is shaping up to be quite the year for centennial celebrations. Frank Sinatra, Edith Piaf, Billy Holiday, Arthur Miller and Orson Welles are all having a resurgence in popularity this year, due at least in part to the flood of articles, books, films and conferences taking place around the world to commemorate their talent and achievements, and remind us of the complex and often controversial lives they led, in betwee...

Scorsese's Polish Film Series Comes to the U.K.

Over a year since it made its debut at New York's Lincoln Center last February, Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema, a traveling exhibition comprising 21 feature films, has screened at over 30 venues from coast to coast across North America. The series includes works by legendary directors such as Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi and others, which have never previously been showcased on such a grand scale.   Havi...

In 2015, Everything's Coming Up Orson

“Oh God, how they'll love me when I'm dead,” lamented Orson Welles to Peter Bogdanovich mere weeks before he died in October 1985. At the time, to many in the film world, Welles had long since become irrelevant as a director. He had become a parody of himself, making periodic appearances on the talk show circuit, and being the face of Paul Masson wines in its print and TV ads. To millions of Americans of the era, he was merely the fat guy on the wine commercials. Sadly, ...

Spielberg to Shoot New Cold War Drama in Poland in November

What do you get when you take Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, a script by the Coen Brothers, a musical score by John Williams, and a plot based on one of the most pivotal events of the Cold War? You get St. James Place, the director's latest production, which just wrapped its first leg of principal photography in New York. St. James Place tells the story of what became the first spy prisoner exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union, following the shoot-down on May 1, 1960, ...

“The Match” Lights a Fire at the Edmonton International Film Festival

For ages, people have asked the question: Is professional wrestling real? Well, if “real” refers to the place it holds in the hearts of devoted fans and the impact it has on their day-to-day lives, the answer is an unequivocal “Yes”. And after watching The Match, which picked up the Alberta Short Film Award for best documentary this week at the Edmonton International Film Festival, you too might be persuaded. Directed by Kurt Spenrath, The Match offers an insight...

Toronto Serves Up a Kubrick Cornucopia

  In the 15 years since his passing, Stanley Kubrick's reputation has continued to grow as one of the finest directors in the history of cinema, while new generations of film fans discover the rich body of work he left behind, which continues to provoke passionate debate regarding his films' meaning, whether philosophical, moral or metaphysical. Whatever one's own position on a given film, there's no denying that for many viewers, Kubrick's work inspires a fervor whi...

Cosmopolitan Man: An Interview with Director Whit Stillman

Whit Stillman likes Paris. And the feeling seems to be mutual. After all, why not? The American director relocated to the city in 1998 and lived there for twelve years. And this coming week will mark a triumphant return for Stillman, as the Champs-Élysées Film Festival, which runs from June 11-17, pays tribute to his work with screenings of Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco and Damsels in Distress, ahead of the theatrical re-release of Metropolitan, which will open in French c...

Martin Scorsese: Ambassador of Polish Cinema

As one of the most popular and critically acclaimed directors in the world, having a celebrity like Martin Scorsese getting behind your project is the kind of endorsement any organization would jump at. And if it also has something to do with movies, that's even better. So lovers of Polish cinema must be ecstatic with anticipation, given Scorsese's upcoming project, Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema, a program of twenty-one feature films, selected p...

New York Lauds Godard with Awesome Retrospective

Fifty years ago this fall, from September 10-19, 1963, the first New York Film Festival was held. The cinema world was different in those days. In an era before home video and DVDs, the few venues for film fanatics to see non-mainstream or foreign films were repertory cinemas, college film societies or festivals. The top grossing film that year was Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. And although Beatlemania had reached a critical mass in Britain, the band had yet to conqu...

Pimp My Friend: Woody Allen and John Turturro Team Up in “Fading Gigolo”

The Toronto International Film Festival has wrapped for another year. As always, film fans lined up in droves to watch movies from the morning to the wee hours of the night, while others clamored for a chance to catch a glimpse of their favorite celebrities on the red carpet or surreptitiously at local bars and restaurants. And among the 288 features presented from September 5 to 15, one of the first to sell out all of its screenings was Fading Gigolo written and directed by John Turturro, sta...

Wajda's “Walesa: Man of Hope” Fast-Tracked For U.K. and Ireland Release

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The past couple of weeks have been good ones for legendary Polish director Andrzej Wajda. His latest film Walesa: Man of Hope which chronicles the rise of Lech Walesa, who became Poland's first president of the post-communism era, received a standing ovation following its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 5, and screened earlier this week at the Toronto International Film Festival to wide acclaim. Since then, the film has garnered lots of favorable reviews, generati...

Wajda's Walesa Biopic to Debut at Venice Film Festival

Celebrating its 70th anniversary, the Venice Film Festival is in full swing this weekend. As one of the world's most prestigious annual events for filmmakers and cinema fans around the world, winning an award or having one's film selected to screen here would be a very satisfying accomplishment for any director. But to receive a lifetime achievement award AND have your latest film make its world premiere at the festival is an honor reserved for a very select few. But Andrzej Wajda c...

David Lynch Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Directing at 20th Camerimage Festival in Poland

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Renowned American director David Lynch received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Directing on November 24 at the 20th Plus Camerimage Festival in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Founded in 1993, the annual event has grown into the leading festival dedicated to cinematography and cinematographers, and runs this year through December 1. Although the iconoclastic director has achieved worldwide success and built a huge fan base in the course of his career, which now spans five decades, his work seems to stri...

Irish Film Institute Honors Director John Hughes in its “Teenage Kicks” Series

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  Three years ago this week, on August 6, 2009, one of the most prolific, influential and commercially successful American directors of his generation passed away at the age of 59. Although not generally considered a cinematic innovator, despite his enormous output and unique style in terms of story-telling and characterization, John Hughes' legend looms large.   In the early 1980s, the name John Hughes and “teen comedy” were virtually inseparable. B...

London’s Barbican Celebrates Bond With Style and Design Exhibition

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  This October will mark 50 years since Dr. No, the first James Bond novel adapted for the screen, made its debut. The film’s mixture of espionage, intrigue, action, exotic locales and a bit of sex, all set the standard for what audiences would expect from subsequent films in the series.   But the Bond movies, aside from just being movies, almost immediately carved out a niche and established themselves as a cornerstone of cold war pop culture, with each new i...

Freshly Squeezed Film Festival Opens in Dublin

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Imagine a festival that would give film students and recent graduates the chance to showcase their short films. And imagine if this festival was open to students from all over the world to submit their films, regardless of language or genre.Well, some very innovative and creative people in Dublin not only imagined it, they did it. And thanks to their efforts, 40 young film makers are having their work shown on the big screen this weekend in Dublin at the inaugural Freshly Squeezed International ...

An Interview With Composer and Musician Kyle Eastwood at the John Ford Ireland Film Symposium

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Acclaimed jazz musician and composer Kyle Eastwood is in Dublin this weekend, performing at the Button Factory and taking part in the programme of events at the inaugural John Ford Ireland Film Symposium, participating in the panel discussion “Music for the Screen”. Eastwood's compositions have been featured in numerous films, including Mystic River (2002), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), Gran Torino (2008) and Invictus (2009), among others. He has ...

An Interview With Film Historian and John Ford Biographer Joseph McBride at the John Ford Ireland Film Symposium

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Eustace Street in the Temple Bar district of Dublin, home of the Irish Film Institute, has been a busy place this weekend, as the inaugural John Ford Ireland Film Symposium presented a variety of screenings, lectures and academic panel discussions devoted to the prolific Irish-American film director, whose influence continues to loom large, nearly 40 years after his passing.Afficionados of Ford's work have come from all over Ireland, continental Europe, North America and as far away as Australia...

Peter Bogdanovich Packs the House at the John Ford Ireland Film Symposium

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    The Irish Film Institute was the place to be Friday night, where renowned director Peter Bogdanovich gave a public lecture and interview as part of the inaugural John Ford Ireland Film Symposium in Dublin. Mr. Bogdanovich, who has written extensively about Ford's directorial career, regaled the audience with a variety of stories and personal anecdotes about the director. Earlier in the day, Mr. Bogdanovich also introduced a screening of his highly acclaimed document...

John Ford Film Symposium in Dublin, June 7 - 10

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Both Ingmar Bergman and Orson Welles called him their favorite director. On set, John Wayne called him “Coach”. Jimmy Stewart referred to him simply as “Boss”. In a career that spanned over 60 years, few directors have rivaled John Ford in terms of creative output, popular success, critical acclaim or overall influence on the craft of cinema. And from June 7th to 10th, Ford fans and scholars will converge on Dublin for the inaugural John Ford Ireland Film Symposium, organized by the Iris...

Kinoteka Polish Film Festival Opens in London

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  Fans of Polish cinema are in for a fortnight of fun, as the 10th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival opens on March 8th and runs through the 22nd at various venues in London, with some additional screenings taking place in Edinburgh and Belfast. The festival will showcase a wide variety of work by contemporary filmmakers in its New Polish Cinema programme, including features, animation and documentaries, as well as a selection of classics. The opening night gala will present Malgo...

Stanley Kubrick Photography Exhibition Opens in Moscow

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  Although renowned as one of the greatest film directors of all time, many movie fans are unaware of the origins and influences of Stanley Kubrick's mastery of the cinematic medium. The current exhibition, Stanley Kubrick: History in Photographs 1945-1950 which opens November 18 at Moscow's Multimedia Art Museum, provides valuable insight into Kubrick's early years as a young photographer for the American magazine Look, and showcases the best of his work during this...

2011 Warsaw Film Festival Prize Winners

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“Rose”, directed by Wojciech Smarzowski, won the top prize in the International Competition at the 27th Warsaw Film Festival, which wrapped today.A historical drama set in the picturesque Mazury region of northern Poland (formerly East Prussia) in the summer of 1945 just after the Second World War, the film's protagonist Rose is a Pole whose German husband has been killed in the war, leaving her alone on their farm. As Soviet soldiers and locals circle around the farm, she is grateful for th...
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