The Panorama section of the Berlin Intl. Film Festival (Feb. 7-18) has confirmed a number of titles for this year’s lineup, including the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer “Don’s Plum.”
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Last year was boffo for homegrown films at the Australian B.O., but foreign-language pics suffered, with Euro imports dropping market share. According to the Australian Film Commission, 32 foreign films were released with an average gross of $A534,000 ($304,000).
Former Televisa exec Jorge Alvarez Hoth has been appointed undersecretary of telecommunications in the new government of President Vicente Fox.
CNBC has named Andrew C. Warren vice president and chief financial officer. Warren, who will be responsible for the financial management of the business news cabler, replaces Vince Eradi, who recently joined GE Capital Corp. as a staff executive.
The outer limits of reality TV are explored with morbid enthusiasm in “Series 7,” in which all but one of the contestants die after 15 minutes of fame. Expertly mimicking the style of reality TV, feature is effectively satiric. Release will see its B.O. fate determined by the willingness of reality fans to pay for a heightened version of what they crave on the tube.
The truth about Jerzy Kosinski may never be known completely, but even in its hazy state it’s more interesting than Davey Holmes’ thorough but lifeless fictional version of the controversy surrounding the novelist. “More Lies About Jerzy,” the second offering this season from the Vineyard Theater, attempts to use the strange case of Kosinski as a meditation on the elusive nature of identity and the deceptions that cloud all human relationships. The concept is intriguing, but Holmes’ writing is more prosaic than his themes, and his characters remain stubbornly two-dimensional.
No obstacle is too great for “Little Crumb” — either the movie or the resourceful kid whose nickname hardly suggests his inner chutzpah. Maria Peters’ pic is suitably cuddly, but Peters’ script is stuffed with incidents galore making for frequently choppy storytelling. Life beyond the Low Countries will generally be restricted to small-screen viewing.
Timothy Bui returns with an ambitious feature that examines the Vietnamese-American experience at the close of the war. Set in one of the refugee camps for Vietnamese evacuees, pic’s a moving drama about a displaced people. “Green Dragon” will be a difficult commercial proposition, but its important subject could yield a limited theatrical life.
By far the most ambitious and experimental film he has made, Colin Nutley’s “Gossip” is a sprawling look at people in the movie biz that’s bursting with ideas and talent — to a fault. Pic simply has too many ideas and plot strands jostling for attention, and the outcome is ultimately unsatisfying.
Returning to his roots as Japan’s maestro of mayhem, Kinji Fukasaku has delivered a punch to the collective solar plexus with one of his most outrageous films, “Battle Royale.” Pic is based on novelist Koshun Takami’s dystopian fiction about a sinister game that forces kids to kill or be killed over the course of three days on a deserted island.