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A model presents a creation for Schiaparelli during the Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2014 collection show, on Jan 20, in Paris.
Corbijn debuts ‘Most Wanted Man’ Katie Couric ‘Fed Up’ premieres at Sundance

PARK CITY, Utah, Jan 21, (Agencies): Director Anton Corbijn explores the real-life fears and paranoia in the post-9/11 world in the intense new espionage thriller “A Most Wanted Man.” The film, based on John le Carre’s best-selling thriller novel of the same name, is a tale of spies and terrorism, set in Hamburg, Germany, a city that has been on high alert after the 9/11 hijackers planned their attack on America from there. Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman plays German spy Gunther Bachmann, a man driven by the shame of previous failure into an obsessive pursuit of capturing terrorists by any means necessary. Hoffman, 46, told Reuters at the film’s premiere at the Sundance Film Festival that he connected to a lot of Gunther’s personality, and believed the character would resonate with most people. “I think it’d be hard for anyone not to connect with the loneliness. He’s pretty lonely, driven, obsessive guy, unforgiving of himself in a lot of ways. A lot of traits that a lot of people carry in one grade or another,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman, who won a best actor Oscar in 2006 for “Capote,” said he wanted to do justice to the character that le Carre had created, and “illuminate it in a way that hopefully is surprising.” The film follows the mysterious arrival in Hamburg of a destitute Chechen-Russian immigrant named Issa (played by Grigoriy Dobrygin), who lays claim to a large fortune in a bank account with the help of an attractive human rights lawyer, played by Rachel McAdams. Issa, a deeply religious Muslim man, wants to donate the money to charities supporting the Islamic faith. Gunther and his team, who are investigating a company they suspect have ties to terrorist groups, are alerted to Issa’s arrival and donation plans, and embark on a cat-and-mouse chase to gain evidence of terrorist connections.

After the screening, Dutch director Corbijn told the audience he was drawn to the contemporary nature of le Carre’s story that delved into the fears raised by the war on terror. “I wanted to make something that was relevant to our lives after 9/11, and the way the world changed so quickly and judged people so quickly, so black and white,” Corbijn said. Early reviews of “A Most Wanted Man” from Sundance, the top U.S. independent film festival, have been positive, with Variety chief film critic Justin Chang calling it “meticulously plotted, steadily absorbing.” Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter said the film’s “muted and subdued” plot may harm its commercial appeal in theaters, but would attract intelligent viewers “who don’t need everything spelled out to them.” For McAdams, the role of German lawyer Annabel was a rare dramatic turn after a catalog of romantic and comedic films such as “The Notebook” and “Mean Girls.”

Opportunity
Playing the character was “an opportunity to challenge myself, stretch myself, with complicated people and issues,” the actress told the audience. “I like that I still have questions. I’ve seen the movie and I was a part of it and I still wonder how I feel about it all and I think that’s very powerful and moving.” The film was shot against dramatic architecture and spaces in Hamburg, a city Corbijn said he was drawn to for the aesthetic of the film. “My background is photography so I don’t use studios, I work outdoors, and I always use walls, walls are my favorite,” he said. “I look at architecture and Hamburg is a really interesting city ... a lot of contrast. We erred on the more lower class areas, they always have a little more texture.”

Also:
PARK CITY, Utah:
Along with her soon-to-end daytime talk show, fall engagement and recent move from TV to the web as Yahoo’s global anchor, Katie Couric also made a documentary feature shown at Sundance. “Fed Up” premiered Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival. Couric linked up with “An Inconvenient Truth” producer Laurie David to make a film that explores the epidemic of childhood obesity and its not-so-obvious causes. Couric produced and narrates the film. The 57-year-old TV anchor said she pitched David her idea over email, “and it took her about 10 seconds to say, ‘I’m in.’ “
“Three seconds,” David said.

Couric said documentaries “are replacing journalism in some cases” because budget cuts and a taste for quick news bites means “nobody invests the time to really investigate some of the biggest social issues.” A collection of headlines doesn’t illuminate can’t illuminate an issue the way a documentary can, she said. “It’s great to have the time and ... to know that you don’t have to turn it around in a day, a week or even a month,” she said. “You have 93 minutes to really flesh out an issue that deserves that and then some. That is so liberating.” “Fed Up,” directed by Stephanie Soechtig, uses historical footage and news events to show the causes and costs of obesity in the United States. “This generation of children is the first to live a shorter life span than their parents, and it has ramifications in every aspect of our lives,” Couric said. “Talk about skyrocketing health care costs: the obesity epidemic is behind these health care costs. And national security: these people are too heavy to join the military ... It affects so many aspects of our country’s health that we really need to start paying attention.”

Couric said she hopes the film informs people and incites them to action so the food industry might become as accountable for its harmful products as the tobacco industry has. “We really hope this is going to be a wakeup call,” she said. Couric also plans to dig into social issues and talk with newsmakers and cultural leaders in her new gig at Yahoo, and she’s not afraid to leave television behind. “I wanted to be part of the transition that we see happening all around us in media,” she said. “People ... may want the immediacy of having things on their mobile phone or on their computers. But I also think they want quality content as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to provide some of that.”
 

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