Praise for Yari Film Group
by Alex Billington
September 26, 2006
There was once a time not so long ago when I said that Miramax was the company putting out quite a bit of excellence. There were those years where they just shined, running such greats as the Kill Bill series, City of God, Equilibrium, House of Sand and Fog, Garden State, Finding Neverland, and The Aviator. And although Miramax still has some fantastic franchises and filmmakers on their side, the new shining star in independent releases and filmmakers most recently is the Yari Film Group.
Quite new to the movie industry, Yari Film Group has only made their appearance this year with 4 quite outstanding films: Winter Passing, Find Me Guilty, The Illusionist, and Haven. Although I haven't seen Find Me Guilty or Winter Passing, my reviews for The Illusionist and Haven have been glowing with appreciation for the filmmakers and the films' eccentric yet incredible elements. Those two alone have sparked my praise and appreciation for this budding distributor. And given this current "trend" (if I can call it such given only two or three films), I have quite a hopeful outlook on what Yari Film Group will be putting out next and in their future.
The creative mind behind the Yari Film Group is producer Bob Yari. Originally credited for being both producer and director behind a somewhat unknown movie from 1989, Mind Games, Bob Yari has made a formidable impact more recently in producing a grand selection of films. Starting in 1999 with a film called Perfect Fit and next the somewhat cheesy Agent Cody Banks in 2003, Yari has also produced Crash, Laws of Attraction, A Love Song for Bobby Long, The Matador, The Chumscrubber, Hostage, Winter Passing, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, Prime, The Illusionist, Haven, and plenty more.
Yari Film Group has some fairly interesting films ahead of them. The Hoax (November 2006), starring Richard Gere, The Painted Veil (December 2006) starring Naomi Watts and Edward Norton, Gray Matters (February 2007) starring Heather Graham, and First Snow (March 2007) starring Guy Pearce. All of these look quite promising, however my eyes are set on The Painted Veil as possibly even being an Oscar contender especially given its release in December. The story of The Painted Veil, set in the 1920s, is about a woman (Watts) who becomes dissatisfied with her marriage because her husband (Norton) spends more of his time researching rather than with her. Eventually she has an affair and journeys off to a remote part of China where their relationship develops. Directed by another fairly new filmmaker, John Curran, it has promise, however a trailer has not yet been released.
Yari Film Groups is one of the few, small distributors and producers out there that is really giving some budding filmmakers the edge and opportunity they need to really show what they're capable of. I've certainly seen this with Frank E. Flowers in Haven and Neil Burger in The Illusionist and am looking forward to many more amazing filmmakers. It's great to see this sort of studio in the movie industry really support these individuals, as it's where not only originality can be found, but where some of the best films are being made. I applaud Yari Film Group for what they've done and where they've come so far, and hope for the best in the future with many more amazing films.
For more info, visit www.yarifilmgroup.com.
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