Wasp Network, a new film from director Olivier Assayas, is headed to Netflix next month. Assayas’ film, which stars Penélope Cruz, follows Cuban spies in American territory during the 1990s, and had its premiere at last year’s Venice Film Festival before playing again at the New York Film Festival. In between festival appearances, Assayas re-edited the film.
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French maestro Olivier Assayas did not cement his status as a cinephile favorite over the last quarter-century through the mechanics of his film’s plots. Rather, he’s become a festival darling because of the singular sensation left lingering from watching his work. What happens in an Assayas film is never as important as how it happens – the technique, the intellection, the panache.
Assayas must have had his reasons for taking on a project like Wasp Network, a tale of espionage and counterterrorism. Whatever they were, however, do not come through clearly. The film offers few pleasures beyond the crossing of wires in its tale of tangled alliances in post-Cold War Cuba. Assayas becomes so subservient to the sheer volume of events and information he must bring to life that the film completely subsumes any sense of personal style or voice. The producers could have put any workman studio director’s name over the closing credits, and I would not have bat an eyelid.
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Olivier Assayas’ Non-Fiction shows one of the great contemporary filmmakers at his most perceptive and loquacious. His latest film strays away from the mysticism of recent entrancing efforts like Clouds of Silas Maria and Personal Shopper, instead portraying an hour and 45 minutes of exhaustive (and occasionally exhausting) conversations about the state of the arts and society at large. I couldn’t take notes fast enough to capture all his brilliant observations on everything from the discussion on the decline of the critic as tastemaker to a sly bit of visual humor ridiculing the multiplicity of electronic devices in our lives.
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Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 by Angie Han
Kristen Stewart has moved on from romancing vampires to communicating with ghosts. In Olivier Assayas‘ Personal Shopper, she plays a young woman who lives in Paris and works as a professional shopper for a celebrity. Her real preoccupation, though, is waiting for a supernatural message from her deceased twin brother. She hangs out in his home and keeps her eyes and ears peeled for signs from beyond. Watch the Personal Shopper trailer below. Read More »
Since taking on the Twilight franchise, Kristen Stewart has spent her career taking on a wide variety of films in the indie world. Her roles in recent years include the prisoner of war drama Camp X-Ray, Woody Allen’s most recent film Cafe Society, the action comedy American Ultra, the powerful family drama Still Alice, and Olivier Assayas’ praised Clouds of Sils Maria. Now she’s back with the latter filmmaker for a haunting thriller.
Personal Shopper played at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, and now the acclaimed film is coming to limited theaters next spring. Having known very little about the film, even after its premiere at Cannes, I must say that the first Personal Shopper trailer that debuted online recently teases an enticing supernatural tale. Read More »
Acclaimed filmmaker Olivier Assayas‘ latest drama, Personal Shopper, recently premiered at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival. The reception was mixed for the unconventional ghost story, which stars Kristen Stewart, but plenty of critics and audience members were fond of the film. Plus, if the intentional trailer and the plot description are an indication, a polarizing reaction sounds about right.
Watch the Personal Shopper trailer below.
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Almost a year after its 2014 premiere at Cannes, Clouds of Sils Maria will open in the US. Here’s a new trailer for the Olivier Assayas film, in which Juliette Binoche plays an older actress whose personal assistant (Kristen Stewart) convinces her to take a role she’s nervous about playing.
Specifically, the part has the older woman playing opposite a vibrant younger actress, with the additional complication being that the younger role is the one that made Binoche’s character famous in the first place. There are layers of reflection, as the roles in the film within a film begin to mirror the characters played by Binoche and Stewart, or vice versa. Check out the new Clouds of Sils Maria trailer below. Read More »
Clouds of Sils Maria looks like an airy puzzle, and a showcase for its excellent cast. The new film from Olivier Assayas (Carlos, Demonlover) casts Juliette Binoche as an actress forced to confront the progression of time and her career. She once found fame playing the ingenue in a play about a woman who drives her employer to suicide; now she’s asked to take the play’s tragic role, as an emerging new star (Chloe Grace Moretz) nabs the juicier part. Meanwhile, her assistant (Kristen Stewart) may be playing out a real-life version of the play in her relationship with Binoche’s character. Check out a new international Clouds of Sils Maria trailer below.
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Posted on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Angie Han
As nice as it was to see Juliette Binoche in Godzilla last weekend, we were disappointed to see that she didn’t get nearly enough to do. Thankfully, she has a much meatier role in Olivier Assayas‘ Clouds of Sils Maria, which debuts at Cannes this week.
Binoche plays aging actress Maria Enders, who returns to the play that launched her career decades ago. But this time, instead of playing the sexy ingenue, she’s playing the suicidal older woman. Chloë Grace Moretz stars as the self-absorbed starlet who’s taken on the younger role, and Kristen Stewart is Binoche’s assistant. Watch the Clouds of Sils Maria trailer after the jump.
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The last film project from Olivier Assayas was the phenomenal mini-series Carlos, released in some markets edited into movie form. That one told the story of would-be revolutionary and genuine terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, aka Carlos the Jackal.
The new film from Assayas, which did a festival run last year, is Something in the Air. It tackles politics and the idea of revolution, this time looking through the lens of a student caught between politics, art, and women. It appears to be a densely detailed period construction to match Carlos, but with a lighter and slightly more broadly inviting touch. The trailer for the US release just hit, and you can watch it below. Read More »