Wednesday, Dec 6, 2006
By TOM TUGEND
A Turkish film featuring a venal, bloodstained Jewish doctor has been withdrawn from screening in the United States.
In Valley of the Wolves: Iraq, American actor Gary Busey portrays a Jewish doctor in the American army who cuts out the organs of Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison and sells them to wealthy clients in New York, London and Tel Aviv.
The film, a blockbuster hit in its native country, had been scheduled to open Friday at two theaters in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco.
In early November, however, Valley of the Wolves was quietly dropped from the theaters' advance schedules.
Gregory Gardner of Luminous Velocity Releasing, a company involved in distributing the film in the United States, said that the Turkish producer, Pana Films, had withdrawn the movie without explanation.
Attempts to obtain further information from American or Turkish sources were unsuccessful, but a protest filed by the Anti-Defamation League may have played a role in the cancellation.
In an October 19 letter to Nabi Sensoy, Turkey's ambassador to the US, ADL leaders expressed concern at "the incendiary anti-Jewish and anti-American themes and characters in the film" and pointed to previous inquiries about the wide availability of anti-Semitic publications in Turkey.
The letter was signed by ADL national chair Barbara B. Balser and national director Abraham Foxman, who did not receive a reply from the ambassador.
The movie's Busey character, listed in the credits only as "The Doctor" but clearly identified as Jewish, isn't even the chief villain. That distinction goes to another American actor, Billy Zane, who plays a rogue American officer and self-professed "peacekeeper sent by God."
In one scene, he and his men shoot up an Iraqi wedding party, killing the groom in the presence of the bride and a little boy in front of his mother.
Valley of the Wolves was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and has played in theaters in Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Bosnia. The film and its Jewish doctor sparked some controversy in Germany.
According to one Turkish diplomat, who spoke unofficially and requested anonymity, the film became a hit in Turkey because it is a spinoff from the country's top-rated TV series of the same title, though the television show's villains are local mafiosos and militant ultra-nationalists.
The movie is also seen by Turks as payback for the 1978 film Midnight Express, in which some Americans and Britons are caught trying to leave Turkey with a stash of hashish, thrown into a hellish prison and viciously mistreated.
One Turkish newspaper wrote, Valley of the Wolves is our revenge for Midnight Express.
Saturday, Jun 23, 2012
The Second "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival" launches at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles on Aug. 3 for a one-week celebration of Kazakh cinema and culture, including musicians.
The festival is a stellar opportunity for directors, producers, location scouts, and the general public to get an understanding and appreciation of this exotic locale without leaving home.
Sweeping from the Caspian Sea on its Russian border to the Altai Mountain range on the Chinese border, Kazakhstan has a rich nomadic history as well as a powerful current tapestry of cultures. Since gaining independence in 1991, the Central Asian Republic has embraced its remarkable filmmaking past that dates back to the 1930's, when Sergei Eisenstein made his classic Ivan the Terrible in this mystic land, and has even given rise to several "New Wave" movements.
Opening night on Aug. 3rd begins with a reception at 7 pm, and includes a program of live entertainment until 11 pm, at the DGA Theater.
Sponsored by Kazakh Geographic Society (KazGeo.kz ), helixfilmsinc.com , the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan in Los Angeles, the festival includes Advisory Board Members Steven-Charles Jaffe (GHOST, K19), David Marconi (Screenwriter, ENEMY OF THE STATE), and Ambassador Erlan Idrissov.
Tickets cost $10 (including free parking) can be purchased from the festivals website. "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival 2012" will be held Aug. 3 - 9 at the Directors Guild of America on 7920 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles, California
For more information, please see www.kazakhfestival.com - KazakhFilmFestLA@gmail.com
Source : HelixFilmsInc.com
Sunday, May 27, 2012
The 65th Festival de Cannes drew to a close tonight with the closing awards ceremony hosted by Academy Award nominated actress Berenice Bejo.
The top prize was captured yet again by Michael Haneke for his portrait of an elderly couple Amour. This is the second time he has bested Jacques Audiard who was also in competition with De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone). Haneke becomes one of the few two-time Palme d'Or winners alongside Alf Sjoberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Bille August, Emir Kusturica, Shohei Imamura, and Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and only the second after August to win with consecutive films his previous Palme d'Or was for his 2009 film Das weiße Band (The White Ribbon).
Matteo Garrone picked up his second Grand Prix for his film Reality. Previously, he had won in 2008 for Gomorrah.
The surprise winner for the Jury Prize was Ken Loach with The Angels' Share. He previously won the Palme d'Or in 2006 with The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Another previous Palme d'Or winner won Best Screenplay. Cristian Mungiu who made 4 luni, 3 săptămâni ?i 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) returned with După dealuri (Beyond the Hills), and it also shared the Best Actress for its stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur.
In spite of the heavy American representation in the selection, the only American film to win a prize was Benh Zeitlin's Un Certain Regard entry Beasts of the Southern Wild which won the Camera d'Or for first film. Last night, it had won the FIPRESCI international critics' prize.
Complete list of winners for the 65th Festival de Cannes
Amour, Michael Haneke (France-Germany-Austria)
Reality, Matteo Garrone (Italy-France)
The Angels' Share, Ken Loach (U.K.-France-Belgium-Italy)
Carlos Reygadas, Post tenebras lux (Light After Darkness) (Mexico-France-Germany-Netherlands)
Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Mads Mikkelsen, Jagten (The Hunt) (Denmark-Sweden)
Cristian Mungiu, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (U.S.)
PALME D'OR FOR BEST SHORT FILM
SESSYZ-BE DENG (SILENCE), REZAN YE?YLBA?
Source : www.ensonhaber.com