COLOR OUT OF SPACE WINS BIG AT 24TH ANNUAL H. P. LOVECRAFT FILM FESTIVAL, PLUS ALL 2019 AWARD WINNERS!

Congratulations to all the 2019 H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival Award Winners! With over 45 short and feature films, we had more films than ever eligible for awards. Choosing the winning films was extremely difficult, and all the filmmakers whose films were accepted this year should be extremely proud.

Categories and winning films are:

Best Feature: Color Out of Space by Richard Stanley

Best Short Film: "Red Moon" by Thomas Chrétien

Best Adaptation: "The Last Incantation" by Woodruff Laputka

Best Screenplay: "Flypaper" by Brian Hauser

Audience Choice: Color Out of Space by Richard Stanley

*Lovecraft Under the Gun: "Secluse" by team Monsieur Soeur

**Pickman's Apprentice: "Romantic Shoggoth" sculpture by Monstark

Spiritus Nostrae: presented to Vincent Price

 

*Lovecraft Under the Gun is a 72 hour film competition. Teams have 3 days to make a short film from scratch, using a line of dialogue and a prop that are revealed when they register. The audience chooses the winner based on technical merit, creativity, and how well they used the prop and line of dialogue.

**Pickman's Apprentice is a live art competition. This year's challenge was to create an original sculpture in 2 hours based on a Lovecraftian monster and mood. The finished works are sold by silent auction. The proceeds are being donated to relief efforts after the devastation of Hurricane Dorian.

 

Source: https://hplfilmfestival.com/hplfilmfestival-portland-or#top

 

Color Out of Space is fully funded by ACE Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of ACE Holdings Berhad.
 

ABOUT ACE HOLDINGS BERHAD

ACE Holdings Berhad is an investment holdings company and the ultimate parent to the entities in the ACE Group of Companies. Since 1992, ACE Holdings has built a reputation for pioneering innovative business models, opening up new markets and categories, and pursuing mutually beneficial collaborations with renowned multinational corporations. This is made possible by its vastly talented and experienced team, who are dedicated towards evaluating and carrying out investment strategies founded on five market sustainability pillars – high-growth enterprises, high-yielding capital market instruments, well-defined strategies, sophisticated financial modelling tools, and market innovations.

Oscars 2020: Best Actress Predictions (Alfre Woodard, Clemency)

With the film festivals under way, the 2020 Oscars, which will hit the calendar earlier than usual, are coming into focus. Nominations are announced January 13, with the earliest-ever Oscar show on February 9. This year’s returning Oscar hopefuls include Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”), Renée Zellweger (“Cold Mountain”) and Charlize Theron (“Monster”).

Newcomers include Sundance breakout Awkwafina, star of Lulu Wang’s true-story family dramedy “The Farewell” (July 12) which A24 acquired for $6 million for the world (outside China). Shot in English and Mandarin and showcasing the acting chops of the “Crazy Rich Asians” star, “The Farewell” (Metascore: 87) is a strong summer performer for a foreign-language indie (American movies are not eligible for the International Feature Film Oscar). Visibility will be key to this movie’s Oscar chances.

Neon acquired another Sundance breakout (Metascore: 75), writer-director Chinonye Chukwu’s prison drama “Clemency” (December 27), starring Alfre Woodard as a prison warden under duress. Hard-hitting social-action dramas have a long history with the Academy: think Oscar-winner “Dead Man Walking,” which earned a Best Actor nomination for Sean Penn and a Best Actress win for Susan Sarandon. Woodard hasn’t been nominated since her breakout role in “Cross Creek” in 1983. “Clemency” won the U.S. Dramatic Competition Grand Jury Prize before opening New Directors/New Films at MoMA.

Last year, Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” was such a critical and box-office zeitgeist hit that it yielded four 2018 Oscar nominations, including Best Actor Daniel Kaluuya and an Original Screenplay win for Peele. This year, Blumhouse’s follow-up horror release “Us” (March 22, Universal) delivered comparable reviews and box office. But the genre movie was also met with high expectations. Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) is likeliest to return to the Oscar fray for her layered dual performance.

Scoring at the fall festivals is “The Hollow Crown” director Rupert Goold’s “Judy” (September 27, Roadside/LD Entertainment), which marks the return of Oscar-winning “Bridget Jones” star Renée Zellweger (“Cold Mountain”) as she takes on chanteuse Judy Garland. The film, written by Tom Edge (“The Crown”), covers the singer’s final 1968 concerts in London. The film is rolling forward from a strong Telluride launch followed by audience accolades at TIFF. So far so good. The distributor, with the right stuff, has delivered such Oscar-contenders as “Biutiful,” “Winter’s Bone,” and “Albert Nobbs.”

Ready to make a splash is multi-talented British singer-actress Cynthia Erivo (“Widows”) who stars in the title role of abolitionist Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ biographical drama, “Harriet,” another Focus Features fall release which earned strong reviews for Erivo at TIFF.

Netflix is playing multiple fall festivals to great acclaim for “Marriage Story,” a relationship drama from New York writer-director Noah Baumbach, which boasts two juicy lead performances from once-nominated Adam Driver (“BlacKkKlansman”) and never-nominated Scarlett Johansson as a couple going through a fractious divorce. Marvel star Johannson (Black Widow, “Avengers: Endgame”) is overdue for some Oscar cred; Netflix is giving this film the full awards treatment.

Bill Condon returns with late-life romance “The Good Liar” (New Line, November 15), about a con artist (Ian McKellen) who courts a wealthy widow (Helen Mirren). Both stars are Oscar bait; the question is how the movie is received by critics and audiences. It could be this year’s “Widows,” a film that leans into genre-thriller territory.

Landing a prime-time release slot is Melina Matsoukas’ “Queen & Slim” (November 27, Universal), written by James Frey and Lena Waithe and starring TV star Jodie Turner-Smith (“Nightflyers”) as a young woman whose first date with a handsome young man (Daniel Kaluuya) turns unexpectedly violent when a cop pulls over their car. The story heads into “Sugarland Express” territory as they go on the run. Universal, which backed “Get Out,” “Us,” and “Straight Outta Compton,” will look for a breakout hit before they assess awards potential.

Hitting the year-end holiday season is Baumbach’s partner Greta Gerwig’s follow-up to Oscar-nominated “Lady Bird,” the writer-director’s adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott children’s classic “Little Women” (December 25, Sony). Gerwig reunites with “Lady Bird” stars Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet as Jo and Laurie. Ronan could score her fourth Oscar nomination.

Also heading into the holidays, Jay Roach’s Roger Ailes docudrama “Bombshell” (December 20, Lionsgate) boasts an embarrassment of riches for the actresses playing the women who took on the toxic male culture of Fox News. The main adversary for the Fox News czar (John Lithgow) is Megyn Kelly, played by chameleon Charlize Theron, who could earn her third nomination.

Universal is pushing hard for “Les Miserables” director Tom Hooper’s latest VFX-packed musical extravaganza, “Cats” (December 20). Front and center is Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”), who could notch her second nod as Grizabella.

As ever, contenders are listed in alphabetical order; no film will be deemed a frontrunner until I have seen it.

Frontrunners:
Awkwafina (“The Farewell”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)
Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)
Alfre Woodard (“Clemency”)
Renée Zellweger (“Judy”)

Contenders:
Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”)
Jennifer Hudson (“Cats”)
Helen Mirren (“The Good Liar”)
Lupita Nyong’o (“Us”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”)
Jodie Turner-Smith (“Queen & Slim”)

 

Source: https://www.indiewire.com/feature/oscars-2020-best-actress-predictions-1202127786/

 

Clemency was fully funded by ACE Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of ACE Holdings Berhad.

 

ABOUT ACE HOLDINGS BERHAD

ACE Holdings Berhad is an investment holdings company and the ultimate parent to the entities in the ACE Group of Companies. Since 1992, ACE Holdings has built a reputation for pioneering innovative business models, opening up new markets and categories, and pursuing mutually beneficial collaborations with renowned multinational corporations. This is made possible by its vastly talented and experienced team, who are dedicated towards evaluating and carrying out investment strategies founded on five market sustainability pillars – high-growth enterprises, high-yielding capital market instruments, well-defined strategies, sophisticated financial modelling tools, and market innovations.

Miles Robbins of Daniel Isn't Real won best actor at Sitges

Official Announcement from Sitges Film Festival 2019:

 

PALMARÈS SITGES 52

Secció Oficial Fantàstic a competició

Millor pel·lícula / Mejor película / Best Feature Length Film
El hoyo, de Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Millor direcció / Mejor dirección / Best Direction (sponsored by XAL)
Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles (Bacurau)

Millor interpretació masculina / Mejor interpretación masculina / Best Actor (sponsored by Jeep Turiauto)
Miles Robbins (Daniel Isn’t Real)

Millor interpretació femenina / Mejor interpretación femenina / Best Actress (sponsored by Mistinguett Sparkling)
Imogen Poots (Vivarium)

Millor guió / Mejor guion / Best Screenplay (sponsored by Caixabank & La Caixa)
Mirrah Foulkes (Judy & Punch)

Millors efectes especials / Mejores efectos especiales / Best Special Effects (sponsored by Deluxe)
Iñaki Madariaga (El hoyo)

Millor fotografia / Mejor fotografía / Best Photography (sponsored by Moritz)
Manu Dacosse (Adoration)

Millor música / Mejor música / Best Music
Dan Levy (J’ai perdu mon corps)

Premi especial del jurat / Premio especial del jurado / Special Jury Prize
Adoration, de Fabrice du Welz

Gran Premi del públic a la millor pel·lícula / Gran Premio del público a la mejor película / Audience Award Best Motion Picture (sponsored by La Vanguardia)
El hoyo, de Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Millor curtmetratge de gènere fantàstic / Mejor cortometraje de género Fantástico / Best Fantastic Genre Short Film (sponsored by Fotogramas)
Polterde Álvaro Vicario

Menció als nens d'Adoration / Mención a los niños de Adoration /Mention to the kids of Adoration
Thomas Gioria & Fantine Harduin

Menció a la pel·lícula Achoura / Mención a la película Achoura / Mention to the Film Achoura
Achoura, de Talal Selhami

 

Source: https://sitgesfilmfestival.com/eng/festival/palmares

 

Daniel Isn't Real is fully funded by ACE Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of ACE Holdings Berhad.

 

ABOUT ACE HOLDINGS BERHAD

ACE Holdings Berhad is an investment holdings company and the ultimate parent to the entities in the ACE Group of Companies. Since 1992, ACE Holdings has built a reputation for pioneering innovative business models, opening up new markets and categories, and pursuing mutually beneficial collaborations with renowned multinational corporations. This is made possible by its vastly talented and experienced team, who are dedicated towards evaluating and carrying out investment strategies founded on five market sustainability pillars – high-growth enterprises, high-yielding capital market instruments, well-defined strategies, sophisticated financial modelling tools, and market innovations.

Fantastic Fest 2019: Award Winners Announced

This year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin is winding down with two days to go and today the award winners have been announced. Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää‘s Dogs Don’t Wear Pants took home the award for Main Competition, with Richard Stanley‘s Lovecraftian Color Out of Space winning for Horror Feature.

Take a look below for the full list of winners and for more Fantastic Fest goodies, head over to their site at FantasticFest.com.

“MAIN COMPETITION” FEATURES
Best Picture: DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTS directed by Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää
Best Director: Katrin Gebbe for PELICAN BLOOD

“NEXT WAVE” FEATURES
Best Picture/Director: PATRICK directed by Tim Mielants
Special Mention for Creative Vision for WYRM

HORROR FEATURES
Best Picture: COLOR OUT OF SPACE directed by Richard Stanley
Special Mention to actress Kiersey Clemons for SWEETHEART
Special Mention to THE POOL for Most Fun Movie to See with an Audience

SHORTS WITH LEGS
Best Picture: VALERIO’S DAY OUT directed by Michael Arcos
Best Director: Robin Jensen of FARCE
Special Mention to BUNNY directed by Hunter Ray Barker and Tucker Tripp

SHORT FUSE
Best Picture: BAD HAIR directed Oskar Lehemaa
Best Director: Dylan Holmes Williams of THE DEVIL’S HARMONY
Special Mention to THE HAUNTED SWORDSMAN directed by Kevin Mcturk

FANTASTIC SHORTS
Best Picture: THE COLOUR OF YOUR LIPS directed by Annick Blanc
Best Director: Anna Paavilaine of TWO BODIES ON A BEACH
Special Mention to SNOWFLAKES directed by Faye Jackson

 

Source: https://filmpulse.net/fantastic-fest-2019-award-winners-announced/

 

Color Out of Space is fully funded by ACE Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of ACE Holdings Berhad.
 

ABOUT ACE HOLDINGS BERHAD

ACE Holdings Berhad is an investment holdings company and the ultimate parent to the entities in the ACE Group of Companies. Since 1992, ACE Holdings has built a reputation for pioneering innovative business models, opening up new markets and categories, and pursuing mutually beneficial collaborations with renowned multinational corporations. This is made possible by its vastly talented and experienced team, who are dedicated towards evaluating and carrying out investment strategies founded on five market sustainability pillars – high-growth enterprises, high-yielding capital market instruments, well-defined strategies, sophisticated financial modelling tools, and market innovations.

“Color Out of Space” and “Daniel Isn’t Real” kick-off Beyondfest 2019

This year’s Beyondfest started off with a bang with a double feature of two highly anticipated films, “Color Out of Space” & “Daniel Isn’t Real.” “Color Out of Space” is based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft and directed by Richard Stanley. The film stars Nicolas Cage as Nathan Gardener who has relocated his wife (Joely Richardson) and three kids from the city to a farm that was once owned by his father. A meteorite carrying an alien organism crashes into their front lawn. 

“Daniel Isn’t Real” stars Miles Robbins (Luke) as a college student with a mentally ill mother. As a child, he has an imaginary friend named Daniel. Daniel returns to Miles’ life with a darker side. The film is directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer. 

Not to worry if you missed those films, Beyondfest runs through Oct. 8th with many more amazing films to come!

About “Color Out of Space”: A story of cosmic terror about The Gardners, a family who moves to a remote farmstead in rural New England to escape the hustle of the 21st century. They are busy adapting to their new life when a meteorite crashes into their front yard. The mysterious aerolite seems to melt into the earth, infecting both the land and the properties of space-time with a strange, otherworldly color. To their horror, the Gardner family discover that this alien force is gradually mutating every life form that it touches…including them.

About “Daniel Isn’t Real: A troubled college freshman, Luke, suffers a violent family trauma and resurrects his childhood imaginary friend Daniel to help him cope.

Source: https://www.culturallyobsessed.com/beyondfest2019-2/

Beri Sokongan Kepada Pengkarya Filem Tempatan, Digital Content Connection & ACE Pictures Jalin Kerjasama

Sejajar dengan perkembangan dunia digital yang semakin pesat membangun di serta dunia, Digital Content Connection (DCC) menjalin hubungan dengan ACE Pictures menerusi sebuah perjanjian kerjasama.

Menerusi kerjasama tersebut, DCC dan ACE Pictures akan menyediakan sokongan terhadap bakat tempatan, terutamanya dalam industri perfileman, terutamanya yang melibatkan dunia digital.

DCC akan menggalas tanggungjawab untuk mewujudkan sistem sokongan bagi memberikan nasihat dan pandangan dalam pembangunan projek filem untuk pembikin filem.

ACE Pictures pula akan mengenalpasti, membuat kajian dan menyediakan dana kepada projek yang layak serta menepati syarat yang ditetapkan agar menarik minat pasaran global.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif ACE Pictures, Johnny Chang, melihat kolaborasi ini sebagai satu kerjasama yang menarik dan memberi impak positif kepada pengkarya filem tempatan.

"Kami teruja dengan jalinan kerjasama ini. Gabungan antara dua teraju ini dapat membantu untuk memasarkan karya penerbit filem tempatan yang mempunyai kualiti terbaik dalam naskah mereka di peringkat antarabangsa.

"Kami bukan sekadar mahu menyediakan dana semata-mata... Besar impian kami untuk melihat pengkarya tempatan menggapai kejayaan di persada global.

"Menerusi rangkaian hubungan kami, terutamanya dengan pengarah, penerbit dan pengedar di Amerika Syarikat, kami mahu melihat karya berkualiti tempatan mempunyai tempat di mata dunia," katanya.

Di majlis yang sama, 'media presentation' untuk Digital Content Connection (DCC) juga telah diadakan.

Mempunyai objektif untuk menjadikan Malaysia sebagai negara yang mempunyai kebolehan tinggi dalam kreativiti digital, DCC merupakan sebuah organisasi baru yang diketuai oleh mereka yang mempunyai pengalaman luas selama lebih 40 tahun dalam industri kreatif.

Dalam pada itu, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Digital Content Connection, Datuk Raja Aznil Raja Hisham tidak mahu melihat pembaziran bakat yang ada pada pengkarya tempatan kerana masalah dana.

"Masalah dana memang menjadi sesuatu yang sering diperkatakan dalam dunia perfileman. Kami tak mahu masalah sama berlaku berulang kali.

"Selain mahu memasarkan Malaysia sebagai rakan kolaborasi ideal untuk hub kreatif dan kandungan digital, DCC juga akan terlibat dalam meningkatkan kemahiran serta teknologi untuk memudahkan pengeluaran filem, kesan efek khas, animasi, permainan dan banyak lagi," kata Aznil.

 

Source: http://www.gempak.com/artikel/25485/beri-sokongan-kepada-pengkarya-filem-tempatan-digital-content-connection-ace-pictures-jalin-kerjasama

Building M'sia as a Digital Creativity Powerhouse

Malaysia is in the midst of strengthening its digital infrastructure and ecosystem to help the nation achieve its digital economy status. Working in tandem with this aspiration is the newly set up Digital Content Connection (DCC), an organisation that is convinced Malaysia can transform to become a regional powerhouse for digital creativity.

In a special media presentation, its CEO, Dato’ Raja Aznil Raja Hisham explained that DCC is eager to bridge the current shortfalls within the creative content industry that have prevented many aspiring content creators from achieving their professional goals, and therefore, the country has not benefited from the huge resources available that could have strengthened the creative industry as a formidable wealth-generating growth sector.

“Funding, certainly, has been a primary area of concern which we are giving prominence to in our services to the industry. We don't want to see local talent going to waste simply from the lack of funds,” he said.

Among the key services provided by DCC include Funding Facilitation, Credit Financing, Private Equity Investment and Capital Management. However Dato’ Raja Aznil was quick to point out that there are also other areas where DCC has come forward to assist.

“While we want to market Malaysia as an ideal collaborative partner for creative resources and digital content, we also will be deeply involved in enhancing skills as well as technology to facilitate high-end production of movies, SFX, animation, games and mobile ICT graphics,” elaborated Dato’ Raja Aznil.

Highlight of the media presentation was the signing of a Collaboration Agreement between DCC and ACE Pictures to provide greater support for local talents especially in the film arena.

As part of the partnership, DCC will be responsible for establishing a support system to provide counsel in film project development for the filmmakers. ACE Pictures will review and fund eligible projects which fit the company's criteria – amongst others are elevated, characters-driven genres that appeal to global audience.

Commenting on the partnership, ACE Pictures’ CEO, Johnny Chang, expressed his excitement about the partnership, stressing that the combined strengths of DCC and ACE Pictures would be able to help bring more high-quality local projects to international audiences.

“ACE Pictures is glad to be given the first opportunity to consider funding projects that meet our criteria. We have always been aiming to push the boundaries. Through this collaboration, we hope to offer local talents not just another funding platform, but through our network of directors, producers and distributors especially in the USA, we want to work with local talents to further develop their projects and bring them to the international stage,” said Chang.

Digital Content Connection is headed by a group of highly and widely experienced individuals who collectively bring into the organisation some four decades of expertise in the creative field, including areas related to government policies, industry regulations and benchmarks.


Source: http://www.focusmalaysia.my/Snippets/building-m-sia-as-a-digital-creativity-powerhouse


ABOUT ACE HOLDINGS BERHAD

ACE Holdings Berhad is an investment holdings company and the ultimate parent to the entities in the ACE Group of Companies. Since 1992, ACE Holdings has built a reputation for pioneering innovative business models, opening up new markets and categories, and pursuing mutually beneficial collaborations with renowned multinational corporations. This is made possible by its vastly talented and experienced team, who are dedicated towards evaluating and carrying out investment strategies founded on five market sustainability pillars – high-growth enterprises, high-yielding capital market instruments, well-defined strategies, sophisticated financial modelling tools, and market innovations.

Toronto Film Review: ‘Color Out of Space’

Director: Richard StanleyWith: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeline Arthur, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hilliard, Elliot Knight, Q’Orianka Kilcher, Tommy Chong.
Running time: 110 MIN.

Five years ago, one of the most famously troubled productions in movie history was colorfully detailed in the documentary “Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Doctor Moreau.” Its major takeaway was the cruel injustice of a director being removed from a project that had been his baby from inception. If you wondered what Stanley might’ve got up to had that experience not traumatized him out of the business (some documentaries and shorts aside) for more than a quarter-century, there’s finally an answer of sorts in “Color Out of Space.”

His first big-screen narrative feature since 1992 returns to the berserk mixes of external fantasy and personal idiosyncrasy that made pre-“Island” efforts “Hardware” and “Dust Devil” cult favorites. It’s based on a much-adapted H.P. Lovecraft story, and like most prior versions, takes considerable liberties with the original material. Entertaining but uneven, the result is a deliberately over-the-top sci-fi horror exercise that loses some focus as the action grows more psychedelically unhinged — its oscillating tone not necessarily helped by Nicolas Cage growing likewise, in one of his less inspired gonzo-style performances.

Still, there will be great interest among genre fans, ensuring wide exposure in home formats, though big-screen placements will likely be spottier. RLJE Films (which had a sleeper hit last year with “Mandy,” another trippy Cage opus) picked up U.S. theatrical rights just before the film’s premiere in Toronto’s Midnight Madness section.

It begins a bit goofily with cape-wearing, white-horse-riding teenage Wiccan Livinia Gardner (Madeleine Arthur) performing a riverside rite for the sake of her mother Theresa (Joely Richardson), who’s recovering from cancer. She’s interrupted by Ward (Elliot Knight), a handsome young hydrologist surveying the area for a future dam project.

After that mildly flirtatious first meet, she heads home to the inherited farm her family has recently moved to, its isolated location a fair distance from the nearest town of Arkham (Lovecraft’s preferred fictive Massachusetts setting). There, mom is working as an online commodities trader, while failed-painter dad Nathan (Cage) is trying to make a go of rural life by growing produce and raising alpacas. Adolescent son Benny (Brendan Meyer) copes with their changed circumstances herbally, while junior child Jack (Julian Hilliard) is young enough not to be bothered.

He’s very bothered later that night, however, as an earth-shaking disturbance is caused by a meteor fragment that lands in the front yard, glowing eerily. By morning, it’s cooled to ash, and a day later has vanished entirely. But other strange occurrences begin to escalate, affecting animal as well as human residents. The first to recognize that the local water might be contaminated, visitor Ward avoids imbibing any, which perhaps keeps him safe from the distorting impact on time and matter that others soon suffer. Not so lucky are the Gardners, their livestock or pets (including a particularly expressive dog named Sam, played by three canines), plus old hippie hermit Ezra (Tommy Chong), who squats in a shack nearby.

Stanley fares best in the early going, when our dread of what might be coming is managed with a nice balance of creepiness and humor. Once the alien force begins taking over in earnest, however, the film turns overloaded and incoherent by degrees, piling on too many underdeveloped factors. Lovecraft left the cause or purpose of the invading “color” (seen here largely as a pinkish light) mysterious. But the movie is very literal-minded in some aspects, notably some grotesque mutation effects, while remaining vague in others. Whatever the space entity wants, it has no obvious relevance to the somewhat annoying Lavinia’s attempts at witchery, a non-sci-fi supernatural element Stanley doesn’t integrate into the larger story at all.

Then there’s the problem of Cage, who’s given some of his best nutzoid turns quite recently (particularly in “Mandy” and “Mom and Dad”), but here seems to be indulging that penchant for eccentric excess without much regard for the surrounding movie. At a midpoint, one of Nathan’s children says, “Dad’s been acting weird,” but how can they even tell? The other characters have their own internal logic, becoming irrational or developing other signs of “contagion” in a fairly clear progression. Yet Cage hits so many arbitrarily oddball notes from the start, we’re never sure what’s meant to be going on with Nathan, and that loosens the film’s grip on its own tricky tone. While “Color” doesn’t lack wit, its top-billed star too often seems to be having a laugh when the director and his story are going for something else.

Hence “Color Out of Space” doesn’t quite gel as a whole, its narrative dissolving into CGI-heavy hallucinogenic near-chaos rather than building steadily towards a full-bore climax. Nonetheless, it always holds interest, and frequently fills the eye with impressive fantastical imagery — the most effective being not blobby lysergic wig-outs but ghostly views of the mist-enshrouded house and neighboring woods. (For funding reasons the film was shot in Portugal, which does a surprisingly fair job passing for New England.)

All tech and design contributions are accomplished, though in suspense terms the movie might actually have been better off applying greater restraint to the use of practical and digital effects. There’s also a sense of overload at times to Colin Stinson’s synth-based score, though that may be partly chalked up to the Imax-house sound system at the Toronto Film Festival press screening attended.

Lovecraft is always difficult to adapt, despite more attempts being made every single year. “Color Out of Space” swings wilder and connects less reliably than fellow enthusiast Stuart Gordon’s several Lovecraft-based features. Still, it’s disorderly fun that sports a directorial personality distinct enough to make one grateful for Stanley’s return. Here’s hoping decades don’t pass again before he sees another major project come to fruition.

Toronto Film Review: 'Color Out of Space'

Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Midnight Madness), Sept. 8, 2019. Running time: 110 MIN.

PRODUCTION: An Ace Pictures Entertainment presentation of a SpectreVision production in association with XYZ Films, Bro Cinema. (Int'l sales: XYZ Films, Los Angeles.) Producers: Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller, Lisa Whalen, Elijah Wood. Executive producers: Annie Chang, Johnny Chang, Calvin Choong, Peter Wong, Timur Bekbosunov, Emma Lee, Stacy Jorgensen, Michael M. McGuire, Elisa Lleras. Co-producers: Mario Patrocinio, Simao Cayatte, David Gregory.

CREW: Director: Richard Stanley. Screenplay: Stanley, Scarlett Amaris, baed on the short story “The Colour Out of Space” by H.P. Lovecraft. Camera (color, widescreen, HD): Steve Annis. Editor: Brett W. Bachman. Music: Colin Stetson.

WITH: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeline Arthur, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hilliard, Elliot Knight, Q’Orianka Kilcher, Tommy Chong.


Source: https://variety.com/2019/film/reviews/color-out-of-space-review-1203328170/#article-comments

'Color Out of Space': Film Review | TIFF 2019

Nicolas Cage and Joely Richardson find their family’s lives threatened by an evil alien force after a meteorite lands on their farm in Richard Stanley’s adaptation of an H. P. Lovecraft story.

Making the switchover from H. G. Wells to H. P. Lovecraft, director Richard Stanley comes back from the 1996 debacle of losing his long-cherished project, The Island of Doctor Moreau. His new Color Out of Space is a satisfying shot at bringing a classic of the sci-fi/horror genre to modern audiences. Though updated with internet and cellphones that receive alien babble at all the wrong moments, it’s surprisingly faithful to Lovecraft’s original story “The Colour Out of Space” published in Amazing Stories magazine in 1927.

Of the many short stories that the cult writer penned in his life, this was his personal favorite. Centered around evil aliens who invade the Earth as an eerie, non-existent color, it has stretched the imagination of readers and filmgoers alike and has enjoyed many screen adaptations, beginning with the 1965 film Die, Monster, Die! starring Boris Karloff.

Hitting the main plot points with well-designed SFX and some impressive night photography, Stanley's film manages to be frightening indeed, even with star Nicolas Cage’s semi-farcical leavening adding some nutty laughs. RLJE Films, who did quite well with Cage’s bloody revenge tale Mandy, confirmed U.S. release just as the film bowed in TIFF’s Midnight Madness tank.

Pater familias Nathan Gardner (Cage) has just moved his brood to the Massachusetts sticks, in fact to Arkham, the dark city often featured in Lovecraft stories. Blithely unaware of this, Nathan and his wife Theresa (Joely Richardson, matching his hippie-turned-houseowner look) have renovated his father’s old farmhouse with modern taste and comfort. He grows tomatoes in the garden and back in the barn he’s busy raising — wait for it — alpacas, which even his kids think is ridiculous. A symbol of Nathan’s basic unfitness as a farmer, the woolly creatures become a running gag. Meanwhile, Theresa struggles to keep in touch with her clients over the house’s dicey internet system while recovering from a breast cancer operation. They’re an offbeat couple you can’t help but like, even when everything you know about horror films tells you to keep your distance.

The three kids are in various phases of rural adjustment. While oft-stoned Benny (Brendan Meyer) dutifully feeds the alpacas, teenage Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur) has a rebellious streak and is a practicing Wiccan, which is presented in a rather positive light as an empowering woman thing. She’s in the middle of a magic ritual by the river to heal her sick mom when she is interrupted by a good-looking young surveyor sent to test the water levels. Ward (Elliot Knight of American Gothic) will stand in as narrator and witness of the horror to follow.

Completing this basically lovable family is little Jack (Julian Hilliard, who already earned his horror stripes in the recent The Haunting of Hill House), a sweet mama’s boy who is the first to get hypnotized by the Color. It lands one night inside a steaming red-hot ball near a well in the front yard. Nathan calls in Arkham’s sheriff and the mayor (Q’orianka Kilcher), who get Ward’s educated opinion that they’re probably dealing with a meteorite.

But according to the old hippie Ezra (Tommy Chong) who lives in the woods, something has gone seriously wrong with nature, an idea that shifts the tale into modern ecological disaster territory.

You can’t trust the Earth anymore. Flash lightning storms, tropical creepers and radios going berserk are added to other inexplicable phenomena. Jack starts talking to someone in the apparently empty well and a huge, mutant praying mantis flies out in brilliant colors. The family dog goes missing. Nathan’s crop of giant tomatoes ripens early but tastes horrible, mushrooms sprout in vivid fuchsia and the water turns poisonous. Good thing that Ward, a hydrologist, decides not to drink it. Too bad for the Gardners. In a truly scary shower scene, Nathan discovers his arm is turning scaly. He’s also starting to be hypnotized by waves of color on the TV set and is getting much weirder than he already was.

All of this is a bit random and haphazard but it’s clearly leading up to something, and that something is the payoff. When the Color decides to let go, there’s no stopping it, and one by one the members of the family are made to feel its power. The dog reappears as a mutant monster and the alpacas turn into melted cheese. The family starts losing their minds. Nathan crosses the line when he goes all hysterical and begins locking up broken loved ones in the attic.

It’s hard to depict a scary color, particularly one that has never been seen before and is outside the visual spectrum, but DP Steve Annis takes a valiant stab at shades of pinkish violet that swirl through the air like a pastel fog. The film also does a good job suggesting horrid things — mangled bodies, radiation burns, mutated animals— without fully showing them, leaving much to the imagination. Only in the final explosive blowout do the special effects people go for broke, no more subtlety needed.
 
Production companies: SpectreVision, ACE Pictures
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Q’orianka Kilcher, Madeleine Arthur, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hilliard, Elliot Knight, Tommy Chong
Director: Richard Stanley
Screenwriters: Richard Stanley, Scarlett Amaris, based on the H. P. Lovecraft story
Producers: Daniel Noah, Josh Waller, Lisa Whalen, Elijah Wood
Director of photography: Steve Annis
Production designer: Katie Byron
Costume designer: Patricia Doria
Editor: Brett W. Bachman
Music: Colin Stetson
Venue: Toronto International Film Festival (Midnight Madness)
World sales: XYZ Films

111 minutes


Source: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/color-space-1238999

Nicolas Cage’s ‘Color Out of Space’ Bought Ahead of Toronto Premiere

RLJE Films has acquired U.S. rights to Nicolas Cage’s horror movie “Color Out of Space” in a low-mid seven figure deal.

The deal was unveiled ahead of its world premiere at Midnight Madness at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday night. The cast includes Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Brendan Meyer and Elliot Knight with Q’Orianka Kilcher and Tommy Chong.

The film was directed by South African filmmaker Richard Stanley, who is directing his first feature in more than 20 years. Stanley co-wrote the script with Scarlett Amaris.

The project, based on the novella by H.P. Lovecraft, reunited Cage with SpectreVision, the company behind his 2018 film “Mandy.”

“Color Out of Space” centers on a family who moves to a remote farmstead in rural New England to escape the hustle of the 21st century when a meteorite crashes into their front yard, resulting in the land and the properties of space and time to become infected with a strange, otherworldly color. To their horror, the family discovers that this alien force is gradually mutating every life form that it touches.

“Color Out of Space” was financed by Ace Pictures and produced by SpectreVision. Producers include Daniel Noah, Lisa Whalen, Elijah Wood and Josh C. Waller, and executive producers are Johnny Chang, Peter Wong, Timur Bekbosunov, Emma Lee, Stacy Jorgensen, Elisa Lleras and Michael M. McGuire. XYZ Films is handling international sales on the film.

The deal was negotiated by Mark Ward and Jess DeLeo from RLJE Films and Nate Bolotin from XYZ Films on behalf of the filmmakers.
 

Source: https://variety.com/2019/film/festivals/nicolas-cage-color-out-of-space-toronto-international-film-festival-1203325770/

 

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