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Beckett to Premiere on Piazza Grande on August 4th

Written by Sara on June 24 2021

The Italian director’s new film, produced by Luca Guadagnino and coming to Netflix on August 13, will inaugurate the starry nights of Locarno74 on August 4

The night of Laetitia Casta in Piazza Grande will also belong to John David Washington, Boyd Holbrook, Vicky Krieps and Alicia Vikander on the big screen. They’re part of the images of Beckett by Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, the feature that will mark the first of eleven starry nights at Locarno74 after the French actress’s acceptance of the Excellence Award Davide Campari. The opening ceremony will be followed by the world premiere of Cito Filomarino’s film, produced by Luca Guadagnino, which will bring thriller vibes to the Piazza.

Artistic Director Giona A. Nazzaro: “There’s a piece of Locarno in the success story of Ferdinando Cito Filomarino. From the Pardi di domani to the Piazza Grande. The Locarno Film Festival as an incubator for talent, a training ground and finally as a launch pad for the most exciting filmmakers of the future. Beckett is a thriller that gives an original and contemporary reboot to the lessons learned from directors such as Sydney Pollack and Alan J. Pakula. An action film with a humanist dimension and intense civil engagement, here underpinned by a magisterial performance from John David Washington. Political commitment and great entertainment are the two main ingredients for a Piazza Grande that aims to surprise audiences and reassert the centrality of film in all its forms.”

One of the largest and most prestigious open-air screens in the world will play host to the cast of Beckett, including Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander, as the Piazza Grande audience will be immersed in a story about vacations in Greece and car accidents, escapes and manhunts, embassies and conspiracies. These thriller threads will bring the Italian filmmaker back to Locarno, where he previously took part in the Pardi di domani section in 2011 with Diarchia, and they also won over Netflix, who will unveil Beckett on their platform on August 13. This path from the Piazza to a streaming service is part of the trajectories of the film industry where Locarno intends to be a key player, imagining and crafting a future where the Festival, streaming platforms and movie theaters will be partners, rather than rivals.

Beckett, like all Piazza Grande films – with the exception of short films and films in the Histoire(s) du cinéma and Retrospettiva sections –, will participate in the Prix du public UBS 2021, the Locarno Film Festival prize awarded by the largest jury imaginable. Since 1994, it is the Festival’s audience that chooses the winning title: the thousands of spectators on the Piazza who, every evening, can vote for their favorite film thanks to the official Festival App (available for download from mid-July). Among the winners of the past editions, which has since 2000 supported by UBS, are: Smoke by Wayne Wang, Death at a Funeral by Frank Oz, I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach and BlaKkKlansman by Spike Lee. 

First look at Alicia in ‘Beckett’!

Written by Sara on June 20 2021

The first official still from Alicia’s upcoming thriller ‘Beckett‘ has been released! Entertainment Weekly shared the exclusive first look yesterday, along with an interview with the film’s director Cito Filomarino. You can find the still featuring Alicia in our gallery!

Beckett will premiere on Netflix on August 13, and its official plot reads: Following a tragic car accident in Greece, Beckett, an American tourist, finds himself at the center of a dangerous political conspiracy and on the run for his life.

Gallery > FILM PRODUCTIONS > BECKETT (2021) > PRODUCTION STILLS x1

EW | Not every vacation is rejuvenating. In Ferdinando Cito Filomarino’s paranoid thriller Beckett, John David Washington takes an international trip that’s anything but relaxing. The Tenet star plays Beckett, an American tourist exploring Greece with his girlfriend April (Alicia Vikander), when he stumbles upon a kidnapping. His inadvertent discovery makes him the target of a nationwide manhunt, as he struggles to outmaneuver assassins and trek from rural wilderness to the U.S. embassy in Athens.

“A manhunt thriller is a road-trip movie, in a way,” Cito Filomarino says. “It was interesting to embrace the variety of Greece’s topography, like, what can we throw at Beckett next? Mountains, rivers, buses, trains…”

The man-on-the-run adventure has been a longtime staple of cinema, and Cito Filomarino drew inspiration for Beckett’s journey from classics like The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor. But he also wanted to explore the emotional toll of the journey, emphasizing just how unprepared Beckett is and leaving room for quieter, more introspective moments. (Fortunately for Beckett, he does find an ally in a political activist named Lena, played by Phantom Thread’s Vicky Krieps.)

“It’s not so much an all-seeing narration or a grand chess game with many players,” Cito Filomarino explains. “[It’s] more of a dramatic experience of a man who, for all intents and purposes, is not supposed to be in a thriller.”

“He doesn’t have all the answers,” Washington adds of his beleaguered protagonist. “He doesn’t have an ex-Marine background; he doesn’t have all these abnormal sensibilities and strengths that exceed the normal man.”

And although Beckett may be ordinary, playing him still required Washington to perform a few extraordinary feats, from scrambling up cliffs in the Grecian countryside to navigating an explosive rally scene in the Athenian streets. “The irony is that he’s a very common dude and is not very athletic,” Washington admits with a laugh. “It was as taxing as if the guy had to karate-chop and snap necks.”

“He definitely lost some weight in the process of making this movie because he was running so much,” Cito Filomarino adds.

Double Oscar nominee gets to know Savannah while designing costumes for ‘The Glorias’

Written by Sara on February 21 2019

Hello Alicia fans! Bluffton just shared an interview with Sandy Powell, the costume designer for Alicia’s upcoming movie “The Glorias: A Life on the Road” (set for a 2020 release). In addition to describing the different aspects of Powell’s job, it also gives us new information on the film, which co-stars Julianne Moore, Janelle Monáe, Bette Midler and Timothy Hutton.

Bluffton Today – From the bustling floors of a 1950s New York City department store to early 1700s aristocracy in Great Britain to a high-flying nanny in 1930s London, to say Sandy Powell has an outfit for every occasion is an understatement.

Now the three-time Oscar winner, nominated this year for two films, is in Savannah crafting a look for the 1960s and ’70s feminist movement as “The Glorias: A Life on the Road” films in town. The designer is excited to sink her teeth into the material and the charm of the Hostess City.

Starring Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Bette Midler and Janelle Monae, the film is based on feminist icon Gloria Steinem’s bestselling memoir, “My Life on the Road.” It tells the story of her itinerant childhood’s influence on her life as a writer, activist and organizer for women’s rights worldwide.

For Powell, the biggest challenge is keeping up with the time period they are covering on a given shooting date; the film ranges from Steinem’s upbringing in the 1940s and goes all the way up to the present day, the designer said.

“Sometimes we’re switching decades several times during the course of one day,” Powell said.

Not only decades, but actors as well. Four different actors, including Moore and Vikander, are portraying Steinem at points in her life, and with the shifting period of time comes a shift in costume design.

“The adult Gloria, she gets a style (and) starts developing a look, starting with Alicia and transitioning into Julianne,” she said. “Because the actors are so completely different as well, they sort of wear it different, but it all adds up to the same thing — the essence of Gloria.”

As Powell dives into the life of Steinem, she is also juggling two of her other “children” at this year’s Academy Awards — “The Favourite” and “Mary Poppins Returns” — which are up for best costume design at this year’s ceremony. While it would seem like a luxury to have two nominations for your work, Powell said it initially is very exciting until you realize you are “literally competing against yourself.”

“They are both designers’ dreams, really. I was very lucky,” she added.

“The Favourite,” which played at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival last year, stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz and tells the story of Queen Anne in early 18th-century England and the rivalry between two of her closest advisers.

“Mary Poppins Returns” features Emily Blunt in the role originated by Julie Andrews, coming back to the Banks home to help the children (played by Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw), who have now grown up and forgotten the initial lessons she imparted.

Powell said “The Favourite” was a treat, as it carries the look of a conventional period piece but also has an edge to it. “It definitely does have its own distinct style. It has a really modern feel even though it is steeped in period accuracy,” she said.

Powell hopes to bring that same degree of period accuracy to “The Glorias,” as Steinem has been a famous figure going on more than 50 years, but Powell said because of that fact, the research process takes on a much more precise facet as getting each element correct is paramount.

“What’s frustrating about (the heavy documentation) is that because it is so well-documented, you want to make it exact and then that’s not really possible,” she said. “Because you don’t have the budget to be able to make everything from scratch, so you have to find things that are as close as possible.”

Helping her are members of the Savannah College of Art and Design, which has more than 45 students, faculty and alumni working on the film. “At the moment they are doing a bit of everything, which is obviously why we have them working with us, but they are hard workers,” she said.

Powell will take a detour to Hollywood for the Academy Awards on Feb. 24, but plans for the long haul in Savannah, as “The Glorias” expects to film the majority of the narrative in the area. Parked in the Historic District, Powell said she is excited to explore the Hostess City, which marks her first visit.

“I’ve been working so hard, I’ve hardly seen any of (Savannah) so far,” she said. “I just hope I get to see a bit more of Savannah, that’s for sure.”

Alicia Vikander Joins Toronto-Bound Documentary ‘Anthropocene’ As Narrator

Written by Sara on September 04 2018

We finally have some news, Alicia fans! Deadline just announced that she has been brought on as a narrator for the documentary ‘Anthropocene: The Human Epoch‘, which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this week. They also revealed that Alicia has completed the filming of her upcoming thriller ‘The Earthquake Bird‘! Stay tuned for more news on both projects.

DEADLINE EXCLUSIVE: Tomb Raider and The Danish Girl star Alicia Vikander has lent her voice to big-canvas documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, which will get its world premiere this week at the Toronto Film Festival.

The science-themed doc, from filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier and photographer Edward Burtynsky, contends that human impact on the planet means we have entered a new geological era.

The Toronto-based trio travelled to six of seven continents and 20 countries (the project was entirely carbon offset), documenting evidence of human domination, from concrete seawalls that cover 60% of China’s mainland coast to potash mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains, and marble quarries in Italy to surreal phosphate tailings ponds in Florida.

The film is in English, Russian, Italian, German, Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles. Pic is being released in Canada by Mongrel Media. Seville International is handling international sales.

“Alicia’s exceptional voice, and her considerable talent in knowing how to use it, has elevated our film enormously and brings a beauty and hope to the narration that is crucial. We are deeply honored by her participation,” Baichwal said.

The film is part of The Anthropocene Project, which also includes exhibitions, VR and books. It is the third in a trilogy of films that also include Manufactured Landscapes and Watermark.

Vikander recently wrapped shooting on the Wash Westmoreland thriller Earthquake Bird.

Alicia Vikander To Star In Morten Tyldum-Directed Thriller ‘The Marsh King’s Daughter’

Written by Sara on February 13 2018

Exciting news, Alicia fans! Our girl has been signed up for a new project, the Morten Tyldum directed thriller “The Marsh King’s Daughter”. Deadline exclusively broke the news earlier today, and you can read their article below!

Deadline | EXCLUSIVE: In what shapes up to be one of the hot titles in the upcoming Berlin sales market, Black Bear Pictures will finance and produce with Anonymous Content the Morten Tyldum-directed dramatic thriller The Marsh King’s Daughter. Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander has come attached to play the lead role. STXinternational has closed a deal to handle international territories at Berlin. Pic is an adaptation of the international bestseller by Karen Dionne that was published last summer by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

The scripted adaptation is by Elle Smith and The Revenant scribe Mark L. Smith. Vikander will play Helena Petterier, who on the surface leads an ideal life with a great husband and a young daughter. She keeps secret her shocking backstory: her mother was kidnapped as a teen, and she was the product of the relationship between captive and tormentor. She lives for 12 years in a life carefully controlled by her kidnapper/father, until he was caught and sent to prison. An escape that leaves two prison guards dead forces her to confront her secret history and she becomes determined to bring down her father, who gave her all the tools she will need. He is the one called the Marsh King, the man who kept a woman and her young daughter captive in the wilderness for years. Sensing the danger this monster poses for her husband and young daughter, she vows to hunt him down. Vikander will be next seen in action mode as she plays Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.

The film puts Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear back in business with Tyldum; Black Bear financed and produced The Imitation Game, which got eight Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Black Bear, whose most recent film is the Oscar-nominated Dee Rees-directed Mudbound, is producing with Anonymous Content, the company behind Spotlight and The Revenant. Schwarzman, Keith Redmon, Tyldum and Mark L. Smith are the producers. Bard Dorros of Anonymous Content and Vikander are the exec producers. STX Entertainment division STXinternational is handling international distribution and will distribute in the UK and Ireland.

“The Marsh King’s Daughter is one of the most hypnotic thrillers you’ll ever experience, much in the vein of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl, and who better than Morten Tyldum to direct this psychologically gripping story into a complex yet riveting tale about captivity and redemption,” said David Kosse, President of STXinternational. “We are thrilled to introduce this exceptionally compelling project from such an esteemed team of filmmakers and talent to our international partners in Berlin.”

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