Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster

The Grandmaster to Open Berlinale 2013

On Wednesday, Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster was revealed as the Opening Night selection for the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival. The upcoming film is based on the life of legendary Chinese martial artist Ip Man. The film reunites the Hong Kong master-filmmaker with previous collaborators Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang, both of whom worked on 2046. “It is a special honour for us to open the 2013 Berlinale with the presentation of the newest film by this year's jury president, Wong Kar Wai,” said festival director Dieter Kosslick. “With The Grandmaster, Kar Wai has added a new and exciting facet to his body of works, and created an artful, visually powerful genre film.”

Watch the trailer for The Grandmaster with English subtitles thanks to Film Comment:

Sundance Institute Announces Doc Grants

Before the Sundance Film Festival next month, the Sundance Film Institute is already looking towards the next cycle of unique independent documentary films. On Monday, 25 documentaries received grants totalling $550,000. Perhaps the most recognizable name among the grantees is Frederick Wiseman. The Cambridge-based documentarian, whose previous work includes such brilliant institution-focused films as High School and Hospital, is apparently working on a film entitled At Berkeley, which charts the University of California's struggle to “maintain its academic excellence, public role, and the economic, racial and social diversity of the student body in the face of severe budget cuts by the California Legislature.” In a statement, Director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund Cara Mertes said, “As we enter a new cycle for political leadership in the U.S. and abroad, documentary filmmakers continue to seek out stories that elucidate the conditions of our lives.”

Blake Edwards' Breakfast at Tiffany's

National Film Registry

Every year, the Library of Congress selects 25 films it sees to be of “enduring importance to American culture.” The collection of films, first introduced in 1989, is known as the National Film Registry. Yesterday, the annual selection was revealed, and the inclusions are as diverse as you can possibly imagine. The oldest work to make the list is Maurice Tourneur's The Wishing Ring; An Idyll Of Old England, a film shot in 1914 New Jersey that was believed to have been lost until film historian Kevin Brownlow located a 16mm print in northern England. Some of the more familiar titles include Blake Edward's Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder (1959), the Wachowskis' The Matrix (1999), and Richard Linklater's Slacker (1991). 

First Trailer for To the Wonder

Die-hard fans of Terrence Malick might have to blink their eyes to make sure this is true. On Wednesday, the first trailer for the beloved filmmaker's next work, To the Wonder, was released in the UK. To put that in perspective: this trailer was released less than 20 months after The Tree of Life' s debut; twenty years passed between the release of Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line.  Famously reclusive and apparently unfazed by the pressure to simply churn out a film because it's expected of him, Terrence Malick has made just five features since his 1973 debut (and recently-announced Criterion Collection title) Badlands. Malick's latest work stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem. The film world premiered at the Venice Film Festival this past fall, where it was met with passionate reactions, both positive and negative. Regardless, let's just enjoy the fact that we won't have to wait a couple decades for the next Malick flick. To the Wonder is set to be released in the US on April 12 and we're pleased to announce that we will be one of the theaters showing it!