Kino International Picks up Four for Fall/Winter Release
by Brian Brooks
Kino International padded its theatrical line-up for this coming autumn and winter with the announcement of four acquisitions Friday. New York-based Kino will release Korean director E J-Yong's "Untold Scandal," Wong Kar-wai's "Days of Being Wild," Manoel de Oliveira's "A Talking Picture," and Israeli doc "Watermarks" by Yaron Zilberman. "Watermarks" is slated for a February, 2005 release, while the others will open in New York throughout the fall. Kino has all rights to the films, except cable rights for "A Talking Picture" (Sundance Channel), and Watermarks" (HBO/Cinemax).
E J-Yong's "Untold Scandal," an official selection at this year's New Directors/New Films event, is set in Korea. Kino describes the period piece-drama as a "more lustful cinematic retelling of the 18th century novel 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses.'" The film, which is one of the most expensive productions in Korean cinematic history, will open New York's Quad Cinemas on October 15, expanding nationally later.
Wong Kar-wai's 1991 film, "Days of Being Wild," which premiered in the U.S. at New Directors/New Films in 1991, has been rarely seen in the states. The film is set in 1960s Hong Kong, and shot by Christopher Doyle ("Hero," "In the Mood for Love"), the first of several collaborations between Doyle and Wong. "Wild" also introduced actress Maggie Cheung ("In the Mood for Love," "2046") to many audiences, and also features the late Leslie Cheung ("Happy Together," "Farewell My Concubine"). Kino describes the feature as "the first of several masterpieces of unattainable love." The film will open New York's Film Forum November 19th.
Portuguese writer/director Manoel de Oliveira's Venice 2003 competition effort, "A Talking Picture" will debut at the Anthology Film Archives in New York on December 10th, and stars Leonor Silveira, John Malkovich, Catherine Deneuve and Irene Papas. The film, described by Kino, "unfolds over the course of a bucolic cruise, where a young history prefessor and her seven-year-old daughter visit some of Europe's most famous historical sites. [The film] is both a witty indictment of imperial Western history and a searing mediation on the power of memory and rhetoric." Oliveira received a lifetime achievement award at this year's Venice Film Festival, currently underway.
Also on Kino's upcoming roster, "Watermarks" recounts the story of the champion women swimmers of Jewish sports club, Hakoah Vienna. The group was founded as a response to the reviled Aryan Paragraph, which prohibited Austrian sports clubs from accepting Jewish athletes. Hakoah soon became one of Europe's biggest athletic clubs, and in the '30s, its best-known triumphs came from its women, who dominated Austria's national championships. The Nazis then closed the club following the Anschluss in 1938. Sixty-five years after its demise, Zilberman visits surviving members of the women's swim team around the world, and arranges reunions in their old swimming pool in Vienna.
Founded in 1977, Kino International is a theatrical and video distributor of foreign, art and classic films. Past releases include the official restoration of Fritz Lang's 1926 classic, "Metropolis," the Oscar-nominated "Himalaya," and "The Return" by Russian director Andrey Zvyangintsev.