News from the Cannes International Film Festival, which opened on 13 May, is that the Acquisition and Distributtion arm of South African company Videovision Entertainment has acquired from Wild Bunch several films in the Official Competition.
They are Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric, Soundtrack For A Revolution, and the Closing Night film, Chanel And Stravinsky.
Said Videovision Entertainment’s Sanjeev Singh: “The films will be released in South Africa through United International Pictures later this year. We are delighted to continue acquiring films from Wild Bunch, having previously acquired the Academy Award winners March of the Penguins, Spirited Away and City of God, as well as the critically acclaimed, award-winning The Magdalene Sisters.”
Whatever Works follows an eccentric New Yorker who abandons his upper-class life to lead a more bohemian existence. He meets a young girl from the South and her family, and entanglements follow. The film stars Seinfeld co-creator, Larry David, Ed Begley Jr, Patricia Clarkson, Conleth Hill, Michael McKean, and Evan Rachel Wood. Whatever Works had its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last month and the South African premiere will take place at the Durban International Film Festival in July this year.
Looking For Eric, which stars Steve Evets, footballer Eric Cantona and Stephanie Bishop, is the story of a postman whose life is in turmoil. Despite the comical efforts and misplaced goodwill of his mates, he continues to sink and in desperation turns to his hero, Cantona.
Soundtrack For A Revolution tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music – the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality. The film, written and directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, features new performances of the freedom songs by top artists; riveting archival footage; and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders.
Chanel And Stravinsky explores Coco Chanel’s infatuation with the rich and handsome Boy Capel, and her commitment to her work. Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is about to be performed. The revolutionary dissonances of Igor’s work parallel Coco’s radical ideas. She wants to democratise women’s fashion; he wants to redefine musical taste. Coco attends the scandalous first performance of The Rite in a chic white dress.
The music and ballet are criticised as too modern, too foreign. Coco is moved but Igor is inconsolable. Paris 1920, Coco is newly wealthy and successful but grief-stricken after Boy’s death in a car crash. Igor, following the Russian Revolution is now a penniless refugee living in exile in Paris. Coco is introduced to Igor by Diaghilev, impresario of the Ballets Russes. The attraction between them is instant and electric. Coco invites Igor along with his wife – now sick with consumption – together with his four children and a menagerie of birds to stay at her new villa, Bel Respiro, in Garches. The film stars rising sensation Anna Mouglalis and Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in Casino Royale.