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Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’ Courted By SPC; Focus Abduct Nacho Vigalondo’s ‘Extraterrestrial’; Anchor Bay Bite Into ‘Vamps’

Written by on April 17, 2012 

Nothing like a major update on one of the year’s most anticipated films. A press release (via Deadline) tells us that Sony Pictures Classics are, once again, teaming up with Michael Haneke on his latest guilt-fest, Amour; there’s no hint as to when a theatrical release will take place, although this should more or less secure it for that long-expected Cannes debut next month. (To put things into perspective: Just about every film he’s made since Funny Games — 2008’s remake being the sole exception — have hit Southern France in mid-May. With this action taking place now, it’s pretty hard to imagine this missing the mark.)

Starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, Amour centers on an elderly couple whose strength is tested following the wife’s debilitating stroke. Isabelle Huppert also stars, playing their daughter, while William Shimell is following up his feature acting debut (Certified Copy) in an undisclosed role. It’s going to be heartbreaking, you’ll feel terrible by the end, and I can easily see it being one of 2012’s crowning achievements. Just get it into U.S. theaters relatively soon, please.

When it comes to material I can only imagine is much, much lighter, another press release (via Deadline) reports that Nacho Vigalondo‘s Extraterrestrial has found a home with Focus Features. Our reaction from TIFF indicated that Extraterrestrial is, sadly, not up to snuff with his great freshman effort, Timecrimes, but we liked it well enough for me to maintain some general enthusiasm. If he can do something half as fun with the story of aliens landing on Earth, I’m guaranteed a good time.

Thanks to Focus World, the film will hit a limited release and VOD on June 15th; those who want it in a theater — but can’t make it to a major city — have the chance to schedule a theatrical screening through the demand service Tugg. (I’d encourage anyone both interested enough and with the proper means to set something up.) Personally? I’ll be renting this one from iTunes when the chance presents itself.

Then, THR informs us that Amy Heckerling (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Clueless) will return to theaters with Vamps. A vampire comedy starring Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter (Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23), the film revolves around two vampires living a fairly normal life in New York City — the bloodsucking being an obvious exception — who find themselves conflicted when romance enters the equation. Reactions are a little slim at the moment, though our friends at the Operation Kino podcast recently paid the film some compliments. With a release not getting underway until Halloween, that’s what we’ll have to go off of for now.

Finally, we’ve heard from Deadline that Oscilloscope will open The Apple Pushers, an Edward Norton-narrated, Mary Mazzio-directed documentary we brought you the trailer for back in January. The story of small, communal attempts to increase health amongst poor neighborhoods in New York City will premiere on VOD sometime after Earth Day (April 22nd); a broadcast on the WORLD channel is expected to take place in May and June, as well.

Which of these four are you anticipating the most?

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