Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Channing Tatum's Film 'Battle in Seattle' Has Successful Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival

Although Channing Tatum was not able to attend because of his current film commitments, his upcoming movie 'Battle in Seattle' had its world premiere in Canada at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival September 8th.

The rumblings out of the film festival are saying the movie was so well-received that there was almost a 10 minute standing ovation as the film credits rolled. I also hear that this type of occurrence is a rarity at TIFF, so bravo to Stuart Townsend and the entire cast of 'Battle in Seattle'.

One poster on IMDB who attended the screening on Saturday had this to say about the film which debuted at the Ryerson Theatre,

"I was at the Ryerson screening. Charlize was crying, André was just straight balling, and Woody was being Woody. there was a standing ovation throughout the entire credits... this movie was insanely good and probably the biggest sleeper pick of the TIFF selections. An unbelievable directorial debut and an outstanding film. Did someone say Oscar?"

From that festival goer's mouth to God's ears. The movie seems to really have been a true labor of love for first time writer and director Stuart Townsend, so it would be incredible for everyone involved if 'Battle in Seattle' could be the sleeper hit of the Oscars, much like the ensemble cast of 'Crash' did a few years back.

Thanks to Leigh over at Michelle Rodriguez's official website, we have a festival cast picture of the the director Stuart Townsend (far right) and fellow cast mates in the back row Andre 3000, Michelle Rodriguez, Woody Harrelson, and in the front row Martin Henderson and Charlize Theron all were able to attend this premiere.

The film festivals are one of the ways that movies find distributors for their films. Hollywood Reporter says that the film drew strong and mixed reactions, along with seven-figure offers from three distributors a day after its Saturday premiere.

Variety says that after a handful of small deals for movies over the first four days of the festival, no more major pacts had closed by Monday evening. In spite of that, only 'Battle in Seattle' seemed to be close to closing in on a sale.

Offers from four companies were supposedly being weighed late Monday, with Endeavor expecting a verdict overnight or early Tuesday.

The videos below are from the Q & A session after the world-premiere of 'Battle in Seattle'. The first is with Andre 3000 and the second is with Charlize Theron and they're both discussing why they chose to be in the movie and how it's affected them.

Screen Daily posted the following review of the film today...
"Once the crisis has been reached, the film seems to move up a gear finding a dramatic intensity and urgency that has been absent. Scenes of police brutality involving tear gas and rubber bullets on the streets of America are a reminder of exactly how shocking the battle in Seattle was and the price people were willing to pay to uphold their right to protest. Innocent bystander Ella is knocked to the ground and punched in the stomach.

The sense of anger over the level of response to a peaceful assembly fuels the better second half of the film. Townsend strives to include an element of balance and perspective, especially in the story of Dr Alex Maric (Sherbedzija) a representative from Medicine Without Frontiers who is attending the WTO talks to raise awareness of the way expensive medicines are the greatest obstacle to improving the lives of many people in the developing world. His plaintive cries of "People matter more than profits" fall on deaf ears. He becomes increasingly marginalised as the conflict surrounding the talks becomes the story rather than anything that anyone hoped to achieve.

Townsend's affinity with Ken Loach is underlined by the use of Loach's frequent cinematographer Barry Ackroyd who adds to the immediacy of the drama with a good deal of intimate handheld camerawork. Townsend keeps a strong sense of pace, cutting between the preparations of the protesters and the police and scoring political points with the use of some telling news footage including President Clinton's stealthy arrival in Seattle in the wee small hours of the morning.

Battle In Seattle may have its awkward moments as it feels obliged to provide back story on certain characters. But those are balanced by a number of strong performances, especially from Woody Harrelson as the traumatised cop Dale and Rade Sherbedzija as the frustrated Dr Maric."
As usual, you can find more information on the movie on CTU, on the official 'Battle in Seattle' website, and on MovieSet.com.

Sources: Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Screen Daily

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Tina said...

its sad that channing was not able to go to toronto for this one.. but he's filming other stuff, so in a way, ish good to.. woo hooo!! cant wait to see the movie ( IF it will be shown here in the phils. )

Great post as always Quishe!

Anonymous said...

Cant wait 2 c BIS, it sounds really gd. Happy dat it did so well, it wud ave bin beta if Chan went, bt hey its all gd. Hope I dont ave 2 wait 2 long;)


Alex said...

(stands up and applauds)
I'm practicing for later.