After receiving worldwide acclaim for City of God and The Constant Gardener, director Fernando Meirelles took a stumble with his most recent film, Blindness. Now he’s angling to get back on top with 360, an erotic drama inspired by the Arthur Schnitzler‘s play Reigen. (Another of Schnitzler’s works once served as the source material for Stanely Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.)

All the pieces for a fantastic movie are here: The star-studded cast includes Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, and Ben Foster, and the screenplay comes from The Queen scribe Peter Morgan. But it’s what Meirelles does with those parts that matters, and the first trailer is inconclusive on that front. Watch it after the jump.

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One of the more appealing TIFF premieres is 360, from director Fernando Meirelles (City of God). We’ve covered the film a bit in the past year and change as it cast Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster and more, but things have been a bit quiet since then.

The film is written by Peter Morgan based on Arthur Schnitzler‘s play Reigen. (Also adapted by Max Ophuls as La Ronde; a Schnitzler story was also the source for Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.) The play is an erotic drama that features a number of couples, with one half of the couple from one scene appearing as half the couple in the next, and so forth. (So the couples would be essentially: AB, BC, CD, DA.)

With the film about to premiere at the festival, we’ve got some new images, which you can see below. Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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weisz-hopkins

We missed a big piece of casting news about a week ago, which was that Rachel Weisz had signed on for Fernando Meirelles‘ film 360. The picture is scripted by the ubiquitous-of-late Peter Morgan, based on a play by Arthur Schnitzler. (The gent who wrote Traumnovelle, which was last adapted to film as Eyes Wide Shut.)

Now joining Weisz in the film is Anthony Hopkins. There’s also an interesting duo in talks. (Not much of a secret — their names are right there in the headline.) Read More »

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I’ve been waiting for Fernando Meirelles to make a new film I can really love in the same way I loved City of God. The Constant Gardener had its high points, but Blindness was a serious disappointment in a lot of ways. So, especialy since the news comes in the midle of a dispirited summer movie seasons, I’m holding out hope for 360, the new film that Meirelles will direct from a script by Peter Morgan. Read More »

Blindness International Movie Trailer

Alliance Films has released the international trailer for Fernando Meirelles’ Cannes hit Blindness.

Adapted from Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago’s masterwork, BLINDNESS is a harrowing tale about the fragility of mankind. Directed by the Academy Award® nominated (City Of God) Fernando Meirelles, from a screenplay by the Tony Award® winning (The Drowsy Chaperone) Don McKellar, BLINDNESS stars Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Alice Braga, Danny Glover and Gael Garcia Bernal.

Evocative of the recent SARS epidemic, or occurrences in the New Orleans Super Dome during Hurricane Katrina, BLINDNESS takes place in a city which is ravaged by an epidemic of instant “white blindness”. Those first afflicted are quarantined by the authorities in an abandoned mental hospital where the newly created “society of the blind” quickly breaks down. Criminals and the physically powerful prey upon the weak, hording the meager food rations and committing horrific acts.

There is, however, one eyewitness to the nightmare; a woman whose sight is unaffected by the plague follows her afflicted husband to quarantine. There, keeping her sight a secret, she guides seven strangers who have become, in essence, a family. She leads them out of quarantine and onto the ravaged streets of the city, which has seen all vestiges of civilization crumble. Their voyage is fraught with danger, yet their survival and ultimate redemption reflect the tenacity and depth of the human spirit.

BLINDNESS reminds us of the shocking fragility of our social institutions, the thin veneer of our “civilized” world, and the responsibility for every individual to protect their dignity at all costs.

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