Oscilloscope Laboratories, eyeing an exciting slate for 2015, has acquired three films for US release later this year.
First up, Alice Rohrwacher’s 2014 Cannes Grand Prix winner “The Wonders”: A word-of-mouth hit on the circuit from Cannes to NYFF and AFI Fest, “The Wonders” centers on a family of beekeepers whose lives on their Italian countryside farm are upended by the arrival of a reality TV show (whose host is played by Monica Bellucci) that comes to showcase their lives. “The only Italian film competing in Cannes, and quite an atypical one at that, it should intrigue festival and art house audiences with its layers of barely-there meaning, but other viewers could find the story flimsy and the emotions scant, making it unlikely to go wide,” wrote THR back at Cannes.
“Alice Rohrwacher’s bitter-sweet Cannes contender about the onset of adulthood and the fading of old ways is as powerful as it is enchanting,” wrote The Guardian of “The Wonders.”
Meanwhile, Daniel Wolfe’s gritty British thriller “Catch Me Daddy” was a 2014 Directors’ Night premiere before sending across-the-pond critics in raptures this year for its portrayal of a teenager fleeing her ruthless crime family, only to be pursued by mercenaries in the Yorkshire Moors. Following its Directors’ Fortnight showcase, this first feature film played Karlovy Vary, London and Rotterdam. Wolfe burst onto the scene in 2012 with his controversial music video for Shoes, featuring Jake Gyllenhaal as a serial killer of hipsters.
“This harrowing and eerily powerful first feature from Daniel and Matthew Wolfe may have a down-to-earth story (a cross-cultural relationship which inspires violent family reprisals) but there’s a palpable transcendence to the visual and aural landscape which elevates it above mere social realism, and closer to the territory of Lynne Ramsay and Clio Barnard,” wrote The Guardian.
Finally, Oscilloscope has also just acquired Javier Fuentes-León’s acclaimed Peruvian mystery “The Vanished Elephant,” which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. A noirish blend of hardboiled Raymond Chandler meets Jorge Luis Borges, the film follows a pop crime novelist down a rabbit hole of strangeness after he receives a cryptic message on the eve of the publication of his final installment in a detective series.
“Though the metaphysical knots in its conclusion may not satisfy every viewer drawn in by the tantalizing genre beats leading up to it, the pleasingly moody picture makes a strong follow-up to Fuentes-Leon’s well-reviewed debut, ‘Undertow,’ and would likely have broader appeal in niche theatrical bookings,” wrote THR in Toronto.