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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Movies

Jane Fonda to Receive Career Honor at Lyon's Lumiere Festival. The Oscar winner is set for the Lumiere Prize at Cannes boss Thierry Fremaux's classic film festival. Jane Fonda will receive a career honor at this year's Lumiere Film Festival. Festival director Thierry Fremaux, who also heads up the Cannes Film Festival, will present the Oscar winner with the prize Oct. 19. Fonda was selected for the prize in part for "her willingness to embody fierce independence from a young age [and] for her singular personality that has inspired her to choose powerful, politically-committed female characters," organizers said. "I am honored to be invited to the Lumiere festival in Lyon," she said, adding that she was "over the moon" about the prize. "With a filmography as impressive as her roles, she is at once fragile, naive, strong, committed, a femme fatale, a mesmerizing presence, as well as funny and irreverent," organizers said. "Jane Fonda is an international star, an icon spanning several decades of audiences, in a world that has drastically changed. She is a resolute woman, truly of her time." The festival cited Fonda's lifelong political activism, and will screen Susan Lacy's Sundance documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts during the festival, and will also pay homage to her father, Henry Fonda, in the programming. Fonda follows Wong Kar-Wai, Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodovar and Quentin Tarantino in receiving the honor. (Hollywood Reporter)

Munich Film Festival to Honor Terry Gilliam and Emma Thompson. German drama 'Mackie Messer' will open the 36th edition as Cannes titles dominate the lineup. Director Terry Gilliam and Oscar-winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson will be honored this year with lifetime achievement CineMerit Awards at the 36th Munich International Film Festival, which runs June 28-July 7. Gilliam, whose long-anticipated The Man Who Killed Don Quixote closed Cannes this year, will travel to the Bavarian capital July 7 to receive the honor. Munich will screen the feature, as well as a selection of Gilliam's best-known works, including Brazil, The Fisher King, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Keith Fulton's and Louis Pepe's 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha, which traces Gilliam's first, failed, attempt to film the Don Quixote tale. Before he arrives, however, the Munich fest will pay tribute to two-time Oscar winner Thompson, who will receive the CineMerit honor June 29. The famed British performer won the Academy Award for best actress for Howard's End and picked up a best adapted screenplay nod for her script to Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility. In Thompson's honor, Munich will screen both those films, as well as the children's hit Nanny McPhee, in which she plays a magical nanny. Following the CineMerit gala, Munich will screen Thompson's latest, The Children's Act. In the Richard Eyre-directed drama, Thompson plays High Court judge Fiona Maye, who must decide whether or not to force a teenage boy to have a blood transfusion that will save his life. Fionn Whitehead and Stanley Tucci co-star. The Munich festival also unveiled its lineup Monday and, as is typical for the summer fest, it leans heavily on a best-of selection from Cannes. Among the titles heading to Munich from the Croisette this year are Asghar Farhadi's Cannes opener Everybody Knows, Jia Zhangke's Ash Is the Purest White, Chang-dong Lee's Burning and Palme d'Or winner Shoplifters from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda. The 36th Munich Festival kids off June 28 with the world premiere of Mackie Messer, Joachim Lang's cinematic adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's Three Penny Opera, which features an all-star German cast, including Lars Eidinger, Hannah Herzsprung, Robert Stadlober and Joachim Krol and Austrian actor Tobias Moretti. (Hollywood Reporter)

Controversial Prophet Muhammad Film 'The Message' to Become First Arab Title to Get Saudi Release. After a 42-year ban, Anthony Quinn starrer 'The Message' has been approved by Middle East censors. A 4K restored edition of The Message, Moustapha Akkad's controversial 1975 film chronicling the life and times of the Prophet Muhammad, is set to become the first Arabic title to get a theatrical release in Saudi Arabia. The historical epic was initially banned in Arab territories, encountering opposition from authorities and forcing the crew to move to Morocco and re-create model cities of Mecca and Medina for the shoot. During its release it also faced heavy backlash and theatrical banning in most Middle Eastern territories. In the U.S., the film's theatrical release was suspended after an extremist group staged a siege in Washington, D.C., after it was mistakenly believed that Anthony Quinn played the role of Prophet Muhammad on film. But the newly restored version of the film, which received its world premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival, is now due to travel across the region in time for the Eid holidays on June 14, with Trancas International and local distributors Front Row Filmed Entertainment having signed a deal. After the successful DIFF premiere, Malek Akkad, son of director Akkad, and Front Row managing director Gianluca Chakra spearheaded a campaign to secure a wide theatrical release for The Message across the entire region. Chakra and Akkad pressed the issue to censor boards in the GCC, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, Lebanon and Ethiopia with only Kuwait banning the film. However, in light of the approval from Saudi Arabia the film has been resubmitted in Kuwait in the hope the initial decision will be revoked. The Message -- which has long been a staple in Muslim households during Islamic holidays -- marks one of the only films about the birth of Islam and its release could spark a renewed interest in making titles on the subject. The Message also marks Front Row's first theatrical release in the newly opened Saudi cinema market. "This was of utmost importance to us of course, given that the Kingdom is the cradle of Islam and The Message is one of the very few mainstream films that portrays the peaceful and tolerant tenets of the religion in an honest way, " said Chakra. "The Saudi authorities allowed the film to pass and this in turn opened the door to the rest of the region. In the burgeoning landscape of the Saudi cinema market, The Message release could be its most important film." Front Row will also be handling distribution of the film across all pay TV and free TV platforms. "My father Moustapha didn't have the chance to see [The Message's cinema release] fulfilled in his lifetime, but I know he would have been very proud," said Akkad. "This is a tribute to him. He wanted to share his love of this culture and the important lessons of Islam and The Message to everyone. Now, in a time when the world needs it most, his dream will come alive." (Hollywood Reporter)

China Box Office: Indian Comedy 'Toilet: A Love Story' Tops Quiet Weekend. The film is the first China release from Global Road Entertainment, which licensed the title from its Indian investor Reliance Entertainment. Indian dramedy Toilet: A Love Story came out on top during one of the slowest weekends of the year so far at the Chinese box office. The imported Bollywood hit earned $9.1 million from Friday to Sunday, narrowly beating holdover romantic comedy How Long Will I Love U with $8.5 million. The first-place finish represents a continuation of Indian cinema's hot streak in the huge Chinese film market. Since the breakout smash success of Indian blockbuster Dangal ($190 million) last year, imported Bollywood fare has consistently connected with the Chinese mainstream (more on the trend here). Toilet's triumph also represents a win for Donald Tang's growing mini studio Global Road Entertainment. The film is the Los Angeles- and Beijing-based company's first release in the Middle Kingdom, a market Tang envisions as a pillar of the studio's growth strategy. Global Road licensed Toilet from Reliance Entertainment; the Indian entertainment giant is one of Global Road's strategic investors. The film was then imported by China Film Group and co-distributed by Lian Ray Pictures. Global Road previously participated in the China release of Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs as a marketing partner. Directed by Shree Narayan Singh, the film was retitled Toilet Hero (Cesuo Yingxiong) for the China market. The movie tells the story of an Indian man who manages to win back the heart of his newlywed wife by building an in-house toilet for her, a break from the local custom of doing one's business out in the open air. The film was inspired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India Movement, a campaign to improve sanitary conditions in the country. Over the weekend, Toilet received a surprise vote of confidence from none less than Bill Gates, who posted support for the film on Chinese social media service Weibo, saying that it "lets viewers see India's progress in environmental hygiene," and that he was "very glad to hear that this movie was released in China." Toilet opened in second place Friday behind Black Water, a B-movie action flick starring Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Black Water quickly slid down the charts, however, and finished the weekend in sixth place with $6.3 million. Toilet, meanwhile, steadily climbed thanks to mostly positive word of mouth. Chinese comedy Happiness is Coming opened in third with $7.1 million, followed by Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War. Still going strong after 31 days on release and boosted by a one-month release extension, the tentpole added $6.6 million for a cumulative total of $366 million. The Chinese box office can be expected to roar back to life Friday with the release of Universal's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The first Jurassic World film earned $229 million in China in 2015. (Hollywood Reporter)

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