Redgrave to get Lifetime Achievement Award
LOS ANGELES, July 24, (Agencies): Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite,” a historical drama set during the reign of Queen Anne, will kick off the 56th New York Film Festival. The Fox Searchlight title will make its New York debut (careful wording that suggests the film will premiere at another North American festival such as Telluride.) It is already expected to screen in Venice.
“The Favourite” follows the court wranglings of Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and her servant Abigail Hill (Emma Stone) as they jockey for position with Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). Lanthimos has an off-beat kind of humor and an avant-garde edge, previously highlighted in films such as “The Lobster” and “Killing of a Sacred Deer.” “The Favourite” is unlikely to be a typically staid costume drama.
“‘The Favourite’ is a lot of things at once, each of them perfectly meshed: a historical epic; a visual feast; a wild, wild ride; a formidable display of the art of acting from Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, and Olivia Colman, abetted by a brilliant cast; a tour de force from Yorgos Lanthimos. And … it’s a blast,” New York Film Festival director and selection committee chair Kent Jones said in a statement.
The film will screen at Alice Tully Hall on Sept 28. It opens in theaters on Nov 23, and will likely factor into the Oscar race. The New York Film Festival is presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The lineup for the annual celebration of cinema is beginning to take shape. Last week, the festival announced that Alfonso Cuaron’s family drama “Roma” has been set as the Centerpiece movie and will screen on Oct 5.
Opening night films have been hit-and-miss. Last year, the New York Film Festival kicked off with “Last Flag Flying,” a Richard Linklater dramedy that came-and-went without making much of a stir, and in 2015, the festival opened with “The Walk,” a huge Robert Zemeckis bomb. But there have also been highpoints. Previous opening night films have featured the Oscar-nominated likes of “13th,” “Gone Girl,” and “Life of Pi.”
British actress Vanessa Redgrave will be honored by the Venice Film Festival with its Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.
The decision was made by the festival’s parent organization, the Venice Biennale, chaired by Paolo Baratta, and upon the recommendation of festival artistic director Alberto Barbera.
Redgrave thanked the festival and noted that she was in Venice last year filming the upcoming adaptation of Henry James’ “The Aspern Papers.” She also recalled that many years ago she shot drama “La Vacanza,” directed by Tinto Brass, in the marshes of Veneto.
“My character spoke every word in the Venetian dialect,” Redgrave, 81, said in a statement. “I bet I am the only non-Italian actress to act an entire role in Venetian dialect!”
Barbera praised Redgrave for her “sensitive, infinitely faceted performances,” and noted that with her “natural elegance, innate seductive power, and extraordinary talent, she can nonchalantly pass from European art-house cinema to lavish Hollywood productions,” and “from the stage to TV sets, each time offering top-quality results.”
Born in London into a family of thespians, Redgrave made her silver-screen debut in 1958 in the comedy “Behind the Mask,” in which she appeared alongside her father, Michael Redgrave. She then dedicated herself to the theater and became a member of the Stratford-upon-Avon Theatre company, where she met director Tony Richardson, who became her husband and directed her in many Shakespeare plays.
In 1966, Redgrave returned to cinema with “Morgan — A Suitable Case for Treatment,” directed by Karel Reisz, which won her the best actress award in Cannes. That same year, Redgrave performed in Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Blow Up,” and began dividing her time between film and theater work.
She has been nominated for an Oscar six times, and won in 1977 for her performance in Fred Zinnemann’s “Julia.” She won Venice’s Volpi Cup in 1994 for her role in James Gray’s “Little Odessa,” and also won a Tony, an Olivier, an Emmy, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, among her many other prizes.
Redgrave was last on the Lido as a star of Joe Wright’s 2007 “Atonement,” which opened the festival that year.
Known for her political activism, she made her directorial debut last year with “Sea Sorrow,” a meditation on the current global refugee crisis, which premiered at Cannes.
Earlier this year, she appeared in the two-part play “The Inheritance” at London’s Young Vic theater.
SALT LAKE CITY: Attendance at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival increased dramatically over the previous year, according to an economic impact study released on Tuesday.
Nearly 125,000 people attended some part of the 11-day Utah event last year, a growth of more than 70 percent over the estimated 71,600 attendees in 2017, the study from Y2 Analytics estimated.
However, previous studies likely had failed to count people who only attended the festival briefly, the firm said. Roughly one-quarter of attendees — including 36 percent of Utah residents — attended the festival for just one day, the study said.
Still, the festival had “definitely seen some year-over-year growth in attendance,” the report said.
The event generated an estimated economic impact of $191.6 million, spurred in large part by out-of-state visitors who spent millions on hotels, rental cars and meals, analysts said. The report estimated that each out-of-state attendee spent $688 per day.
The 2018 economic impact was roughly 26 percent higher than the $151.5 million estimated in 2017.
The growth in attendance this year was partially due to a new 500-seat theater in Park City as well as an expanded program section focusing on episodic work, organizers said.
Attendance was estimated by anonymously tracking people’s cellphones as they moved throughout the festival, which had events in Park City, Salt Lake City and at the Sundance Resort northeast of Provo.
Of the attendants, slightly more than one-third came from outside Utah.
An estimated 72 percent of attendees had been to a previous year’s festival and nearly 92 percent said they planned on returning in future years.
The festival was estimated to be responsible for more than 3,300 jobs statewide and contributed $19.2 million in state and local taxes, analysts said.
“Each year the full extent of the economic benefits of the arts has become more apparent, and we’re very proud of the role Sundance Institute and our festival have played in demonstrating these benefits and bringing them to Utah,” Sundance Institute executive Betsy Wallace said in a statement releasing the report.