More on: The Sisters Brothers [Movie Tie-in] A Novel by Patrick deWitt (Ecco, 2018)

y648Synopsis:  Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living-and whom he does it for.

With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters-losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life-and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humour, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.

The book was awarded with Man Booker Prize Nominee (2011), Oregon Book Award for Fiction (2012), Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal (2012), Scotiabank Giller Prize Nominee (2011), Governor General’s Literary Awards / Prix litteraires du Gouverneur general for Fiction (2011).

The film rights for the novel were sold to actor John C. Reilly’s production company and adapted into a 2018 film of the same name, with Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix playing Eli and Charlie, respectively. The film, directed by Jacques Audiard and starring Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed, premiered on 2 September 2018 at Venice International Film Festival were Jacques Audiard won the Silver Lion award for best director, for this film.

I added this book to my long wish list.

About the Author: Patrick deWitt (born 1975) is a Canadian novelist and screenwriter. He was born on Vancouver Island at Sidney, British Columbia, and later lived in California and Washington state. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon. His first book, Ablutions (2009), was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice book. His second, The Sisters Brothers (2011), was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize, the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the 2011 Governor General’s Award for English language fiction. He was one of two Canadian writers, alongside Esi Edugyan, to make all four award lists in 2011. On 1 November 2011, he was announced as the winner of the Rogers Prize, and on 15 November 2011, he was announced as the winner of Canada’s 2011 Governor General’s Award for English language fiction. On 26 April 2012, the novel won the 2012 Stephen Leacock Award. Alongside Edugyan, The Sisters Brothers was also a shortlisted nominee for the 2012 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction. The Sisters Brothers was adapted as a film released in 2018. His third novel, Undermajordomo Minor, was published in 2015. The novel was longlisted for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize. DeWitt’s most recent novel, French Exit, was published in August 2018 by Ecco Press, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book was named as a shortlisted finalist for the 2018 Giller Prize. (Source: Wikipedia)

HarperCollinsPublishers publicity page

My Film Notes: The Sisters Brothers (2018) directed by Jacques Audiard

FR-ES-RO-BE-US / 121 min / Color / Annapurna, Page 114, Why Not Productions, Michael De Luca Productions. Dir: Jacques Audiard Pro:Pascal Caucheteux, Gregoire Sorlat, Michel Merkt, Megan Ellison, Michael De Luca, Alison Dickey, John C. Reilly Scr: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, based on the novel by Patrick deWitt Cin: Benoit Debie Mus: Alexandre Desplat Cast: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed, Rutger Hauer Synopsis: Based on Canadian author Patrick deWitt’s award-winning novel, The Sisters Brothers tells the knockabout story of two notorious assassins, Eli and Charlie Sisters (John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix). Grizzled, cynical, and not inclined to take prisoners, the Sisters brothers navigate, with brutal efficiency and a modicum of luck, the wilds of the American Far West at the height of the Gold Rush in 1851, when quick thinking and an even quicker draw are the requisite means of survival. Contracted by Oregon City crime boss The Commodore (Rutger Hauer) to kill Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed), a prospector he claims has betrayed him, the brothers encounter myriad complications on their eventful ride down to San Francisco and through the Sierra Nevada: witches, bears, a madam who owns a town and commands a murderous army of fur trappers, and a detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) tracking the same peculiar man they are. (Source: TIFF) Release dates: 2 September 2018 (Venice International Film Festival); 4 September 2018 (Deauville Film Festival); 9 September 2018 (Toronto International Film Festival); 19 September 2018 (France); 19 October 2018 (USA); 5 April 2019 (UK); 10 May 2019 (Spain) Spanish title: Los hermanos Sisters IMDb Rating: 7.0.

MV5BOTZmNTI1MzMtMGY0ZS00YTRlLWI4OTktYzE3YzZjZjJkNDVlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjM4NTM5NDY@._V1_SY1000_SX675_AL_The Sisters Brothers is a 2018 western dark comedy directed by Jacques Audiard from a screenplay he co-wrote with Thomas Bidegain, based on the novel of the same name by Patrick deWitt. An American and French co-production, it is Audiard’s first work in the English language. The film stars John C. Reilly (who also produced) and Joaquin Phoenix as the notorious assassin brothers Eli and Charlie Sisters, and follows the duo as they chase after two men (Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed) who have banded together to search for gold. The film had its world premiere at the  on September 2, 2018, where it won the Silver Lion for Best Direction, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 21, 2018. The Sisters Brothers received positive reviews from critics, with most praise going to its performances (particularly those of Reilly and Phoenix), characters, direction and soundtrack. (Source Wikipedia)

About the Filmmaker: Jacques Audiard, (born April 30, 1952, Paris, France), French film director and screenwriter whose crime films have been acclaimed for their scripts and strong lead performances. He is the son of noted screenwriter Michel Audiard, who is best known for his screenplays for crime films, particularly director Henri Verneuil’s Mélodie en sous-sol (1963; Any Number Can Win) and Claude Miller’s Garde à vue (1981). Audiard studied literature at the Sorbonne but left before completing his degree. He entered the film industry as an assistant editor on several movies in the late 1970s, including Roman Polanski’s Le Locataire (1976; The Tenant). He switched to screenwriting with the spy thriller Le Professionel (1981; The Professional). Audiard’s first film as a director was Regard les hommes tomber (1994; See How They Fall), which wove together two separate story lines—one about a man (played by Jean Yanne) searching for the killer of his friend and the other concerning the actions of the murderers (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Mathieu Kassovitz) before the crime. Audiard also cowrote the screenplay, as he would for many of his subsequent movies. Audiard won the César Award (the French equivalent of the Academy Award) for best first film, the first of many Césars to come his way. His next film, Un Héros très discret (1996; A Self-Made Hero), is about a salesman (Kassovitz) who, after the end of World War II, concocts a new identity as a hero in the French Resistance. Sur mes lèvres (Read My Lips, 2001) centres on the relationship between a deaf, lip-reading secretary (Emanuelle Devos) and an ex-convict (Vincent Cassel), each of whom relies on the other’s abilities. Audiard remade American director James Toback’s film Fingers (1978) as De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté (2005; The Beat That My Heart Skipped). Actor Romain Duris won acclaim for his performance as a young man torn between following either his father (Niels Arestrup) into the shady fringes of the real-estate business or his dead mother as a concert pianist. Audiard’s 2009 film Un Prophète (A Prophet) is a gangster drama about a young Arab convict (Tahar Rahim) who falls in with the leader (Arestrup) of a Corsican prison gang. The story of the young man’s rise under the gangster’s tutelage led many critics to compare Un Prophète favourably with classics of the genre, particularly Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972). Un Prophète was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign-language film and for 13 César Awards. Audiard subsequently directed the gritty love story De rouille et d’os (2012; Rust and Bone), which starred Marion Cotillard as an orca trainer struggling to recover from the loss of her legs in a gruesome occupational accident. Dheepan (2015), which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival, tells the story of a former Tamil Tiger who immigrates to France. In 2018 Audiard helmed Les Frères Sisters (The Sisters Brothers), a crime comedy set in the American West during the 1850s. (Source: Britannica)

My take: I know that for some time I have not published anything on cinema, maybe because I have not seen any film that made me interested in. But right now there are a few films on the billboard in Madrid that have renewed my interest. The Sisters Brothers is one of them. Besides I don’t hide my passion for Westerns. So without further ado, just wanted to tell you that this week Begoña and I went to see The Sisters Brothers mainly thanks to very positive reviews by the press. And I have to say that it has not disappointed me in the least. The film is more than a western, it is an excellent character study with an excellent performance by John C. Reilly on the role of Eli Sisters, very well accompanied by the rest of the actors. The story is nicely shot and every thing in the film works fine. An excellent entertainment. Regarding the plot, suffice is to say that the action unfolds in 1851 during the Gold Rush and it tells the story of a chase. Two assassins, the Sisters Brothers, are hired by an extremely powerful character, called The Commodore, to find a man, a chemist by trade, who claims to be in possession of a divine formula to find gold, under the pretext that he’s been betrayed. A simple story narrated with much effectiveness and talent.

Official Website

‘The Sisters Brothers’ Review at Hollywood Reporter

Interview: Jacques Audiard on the Making of The Sisters Brothers

OT: Fra Angelico and the Rise of the Florentine Renaissance

La_Anunciación,_de_Fra_AngelicoFra Angelico and the Rise of the Florentine Renaissance, an exhibition sponsored by the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, analyses the artistic importance of the early Florentine Renaissance between approximately 1420 to 1430, with a particular focus on the figure of Fra Angelico, one of the great masters of this period.

The exhibition, which includes 82 works loaned by more than 40 institutions in Europe and America, centres on The Annunciation in the collection of the Museo del Prado, which is now presented in all its splendour following its recent restoration. Shown alongside it are The Virgin of the Pomegranate, which recently entered the Museum’s collection, and an extensive group of works by the artist and by other painters of this period such as Masaccio, Masolino and Filippo Lippi, as well as sculptors including Donatello and Ghiberti.

Curated by Carl Brandon Strehlke, Curator Emeritus at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a renowned expert on Fra Angelico and other Florentine Renaissance painters, the exhibition is on display in Rooms C and D of the Jerónimos Building until 15 September.

Fra Angelico trained as a painter in Florence where the public commissions for sculpture and architecture undertaken by Brunelleschi, Donatello and Ghiberti led to a renewed interest in classical antiquity as a source of inspiration. Although he was an apprentice in the studio of the Benedictine monk Lorenzo Monaco, who cultivated a refined and elegant Gothic style, Fra Angelico fully committed himself to the new artistic language and, like his master, entered a religious house, San Domenico in Fiesole, where he took religious orders. His status as a monk did not prevent him from collaborating with other artists or from running a large workshop that provided paintings for both churches and important patrons in the city and elsewhere.

Among the altarpieces painted by the artist for his own monastery was The Annunciation now in the Museo del Prado and the centrepiece of the present exhibition. In that work Fra Angelico reveals his active participation in the renaissance of the arts that was taking place in Florence, given that alongside the younger Masaccio he formulated a new way of seeing which would come to dominate Western art until the modern age.

Dating from the mid-1420s, The Annunciation is the first Florentine altarpiece in the Renaissance style to use perspective to organise the space and in which Gothic arcading is abandoned in favour of a more orthogonal structure, following the precepts favoured by Brunelleschi. Due to his status as a monk, Fra Angelico’s abilities in the depiction of light, space, perspective and narrative have often been eclipsed by his merits as a theological painter.

The Annunciation arrived in Spain in 1611 and was probably the first work by the artist to leave Italy, while The Virgin of the Pomegranate was acquired in 1817 by the 1st Duke of Alba at a time when the importance of the early Florentine Renaissance was being rediscovered. Two accounts thus overlap in the exhibition: Florence as seen by Fra Angelico and Fra Angelico viewed through Spanish eyes.

Carl Brandon Strehlke (Curator Emeritus, Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Read more at Prado Museum website

OT: Route of the Hill (Spanish: Ruta del Cerro) in El Hoyo de Pinares (Avila)

A great trail, well sign-posted, in the municipality El Hoyo de Pinares in Avila Province at about 95 km far from Madrid.






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