Berlin: Download THR's Day 3 Daily
The third daily issue of the fest includes 'Cold Pursuit' helmer Hans Petter Moland's response to the Liam Neeson controversy, a deep dive into the numerous musical biopics seeking to re-create 'Bohemian Rhapsody's' success and a chat with Isabel Coixet about her same-sex period drama 'Elisa & Marcela.'
The Hollywood Reporter has released its third Berlin International Film Festival daily issue, which features Cold Pursuit director Hans Petter Moland's comments on star Liam Neeson's recent controversial remarks, a look at music biopics aiming to piggyback off of Bohemian Rhapsody's box office success and a conversation with Elisa & Marcela director Isabel Coixet.
"I Know Liam Is Not a Racist"
Hans Petter Moland is in Berlin to talk about Out Stealing Horses, his new film starring Stellan Skarsgard, which premieres Saturday in competition at the festival. But first, he knows, he has to say something about Liam Neeson. The actor's recent comments — made during the promotion campaign for the Moland-directed Cold Pursuit — recalling wanting to "unleash physical violence" against a random African-American man have sparked an online firestorm and public backlash. "I know Liam is not a racist," Moland told The Hollywood Reporter. "From my experience, though, he is extremely honest — even at his own expense."
That Bohemian Rhapsody Boost
The independent film companies, under pressure to ensure the show must go on, are taking heart from the breakthrough success of Bohemian Rhapsody, hoping the film’s $830 million global box office take will spur buyers to sign big checks for new music biopics. New Line’s recent $15 million acquisition of Gurinder Chadha’s Blinded by the Light — a tale of teenage awakening told through the music of Bruce Springsteen — certainly makes it look like anyone with a pop music tale this market will be doing all right. But will the new wave of music dramas prove to be the champions of the world, or will they bite the dust? THR takes a look.
"People Didn’t Want to Touch It"
The moment may seem ripe for director Isabel Coixet’s latest film. Following in the footsteps of the multiple-Oscar-nominated Roma and The Favourite, Elisa & Marcela is a female-centered, same-sex period romance that represents Netflix’s latest black-and-white feature slated for theatrical release. But in reality, Coixet says the 10-year journey to get the film made meant the project had to wait for the times to catch up. “Maybe now, 10 years later, it’s easy for us to say this is a fascinating story about two women in 1901 who decided to get married and one of them posed as a man,” says the 58-year-old helmer. “But 10 years ago, people really looked at you like you were a freak.” The multifaceted Barcelona-born filmmaker is known for intimate, largely female-focused stories set and shot all over the world. Coixet spoke with THR about the importance of a theatrical release, her reluctance to work in TV and why she has been so outspoken in her opposition to the Catalan independence movement.