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Directed by Guy Maddin
Since its release in 2007, a good deal of the conversation surrounding Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg has been how exactly to define the film. Is it, as Maddin himself has dubbed the picture, a “docu-fantasia,” or is that not even accurate? During an interview between Maddin and critic Robert Enright, as part of the newly released Criterion Blu-ray, the two evoke a number of references in hopes of situating the film: Werner Herzog, melodrama, Chris Marker, city symphonies of the silent era, Fellini’s I Vitelloni. Yes, it is like these, but also not quite. An essay by Wayne Koestenbaum, also included with the disc, likewise alludes to everything from Hitchcock and James Joyce to Andy Warhol’s Blow Job and Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah. So what does it say about a film that can draw such parallels, »
- Jeremy Carr
It's been a game-changing month for Amazon Studios. The online superstore announced plans last week to start producing original movies—not just a few, either, but 12 titles a year, each with a respectable indie budget ranging from $5 million to $25 million. The move came on the heels of Amazon solidifying its reputation as a major force in the TV industry by convincing Woody Allen to make a TV series and picking up two Golden Globes for its transgender dramedy Transparent—including the first-ever win by a streaming company in the best series category. And at least one of Amazon’s new »
- James Hibberd
Lena Dunham hasn't shied away from speaking out about Woody Allen in the past, and she certainly isn't going to stop anytime soon. During the Power of Story: Serious Ladies panel at this year's Sundance Film Festival—alongside Kristen Wiig, Mindy Kaling and Jenji Kohan—the Girls actress continued to be candid when asked about the controversial director. "Woody Allen is proof that people don't think everything he says in his films is stuff that he does because all he was doing was making out with 17-year-olds for years and we didn't say anything about it," she told the crowd. "No one thought that Woody Allen is making out with a 17-year-old in Manhattan and »
Many of this year’s early standouts have come from strong female and minority voices
As the first weekend of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival closed with a concert featuring the music of Nina Simone and a Main Street toga party to celebrate the National Lampoon documentary “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead,” it’s safe to say that the buzzword diversity fits this year’s festival in more ways than one.
The festival’s hefty contingent of female and minority filmmakers has allowed Sundance to take a victory lap at the same time that the Motion Picture Academy has been reeling from »
- Steve Pond
Amazon released its latest batch of pilots a couple of weeks ago, in the midst of press tour, so it took me a while to get to them, and I still haven’t had time to watch “Point of Honor.” But I saw all the other adult scripted series, and two clearly stood out as the ones I hope go to series: “The Man in the High Castle,” about a reality where the Axis powers won WWII, and “Mad Dogs,” about four middle-aged friends (played by Steve Zahn, Romany Malco, Michael Imperioli and Ben Chaplin) whose vacation to visit a fifth old pal (Billy Zane) goes terribly awry. Both are adaptations with top-notch U.S. producers involved: “Man in the High Castle” with Frank Spotnitz working from the Philip K. Dick novel, “Mad Dogs” with Shawn Ryan teaming up with “Mad Dogs” UK creator Cris Cole. Amazon moves at its »
- Alan Sepinwall
Deep in a New York Times interview with two-time Oscar winner Dianne Wiest and Tonya Pinkins, who are starring in the new Broadway play Rasheeda Speaking, Wiest made an unsettling admission. "I have to move out of my apartment soon," Wiest, 66, admitted. Despite winning Academy Awards for her work with Woody Allen in Bullets Over Broadway and Hannah and Her Sisters, Wiest said she was seen as "a nice mom and that's it," and that being typecast left her without her pick of parts, even after her award wins. The struggle to find jobs has left her fighting to make ends meet. »
- Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl
“I have to move out of my apartment soon,” says the 66-year-old actress who believes she’s been typecast
Two-time Oscar winner Dianne Wiest says she is struggling financially and having trouble paying her rent because she can’t find enough work.
“I have to move out of my apartment soon,” the 66-year-old Wiest told the New York Times in a story published in Sunday’s print edition.
Also Read: Hey Actresses, Want a TV Job? »
- Todd Cunningham
Yesterday at the Sundance Film Festival, four of the funniest women in Hollywood — Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Kristen Wiig, and Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan — got together for a panel moderated by The New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum. You may have already heard about the panel, since Dunham's jab at Woody Allen made the news once more, but focusing on that brief comment would do a disservice to all the other interesting things said onstage (not to mention all the good jokes). Here are nine other things we learned when these women had the spotlight.Movie studios still don't know what to do with female writers Hollywood courted Dunham after she made her indie Tiny Furniture, though they didn't have much to offer her: "I'd sit down in meetings with guys who were like, 'We loved your movie, it was so fresh, we've never seen anything like »
- Kyle Buchanan
Film strikes a rare and welcome balance between screwball comedy and touching emotion
Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig have been a match made in indie-film heaven since “Greenberg” in 2010, and the Sundance Film Festival premiere of “Mistress America” this weekend showed the two fully in sync once more.
By turns wacky, amusing and touching, the new film isn’t as focused as “Frances Ha,” the last film directed by Baumbach, starring Gerwig and co-written by both. But the Fox Searchlight project is one of the delights of this year’s festival, and one of the most satisfying, sure-handed and touching »
- Steve Pond
Amazon is pushing rapidly into Hollywood and last week announced that it would make and acquire movies for theatrical release as well as offer them for streaming online. Amazon is battling Netflix, Hulu and others for dominance in the booming video-on-demand sector.
Price said the first release could come this year, and that »
- Todd Cunningham
“Joe went unexpectedly and passed away Saturday night,” friend and former producer Steve Garrin told CNN.
Franklin was a fixture on late-night radio and TV in New York. Over the years, he worked at radio stations Wjz and Wor and more recently at the Bloomberg Radio Network.
See photos: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2015 (Photos)
“The last two weeks were the first time he ever missed a broadcast in over 60 years, »
- Todd Cunningham
Joe Franklin, the New York media fixture who hosted one of TV’s first and longest-running talk shows, died Saturday. He was 88.
“The Joe Franklin Show” was a Gotham latenight staple on Wwor-tv from 1962 to 1993. Franklin got his start in 1951 with a daytime show on Wjz-tv, the station that is now Wabc-tv. The Wwor show was known for its odd mix of B- and C-list guests and the occasional A-lister, along with quirky New Yorkers from all walks of life.
A native of the Bronx, Franklin worked in radio and publicity before segueing into television in its infancy. Although he never gained much fame outside of New York, Billy Crystal famously parodied Franklin’s look and rapid-fire style on “Saturday Night Live” in the early 1980s. Franklin also played himself in Woody Allen’s “Broadway Danny Rose” and 1984’s “Ghostbusters.”
He earned a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy »
- Cynthia Littleton
Veteran television and radio personality Joe Franklin, who often is credited with pioneering the modern TV talk-show format with The Joe Franklin Show, died on Saturdayfollowing a battle with prostate cancer, the New York Times reports. He was 88.
Affectionately nicknamed “The Wizard of Was” and “The King of Nostalgia” for his encyclopedic knowledge of old-time show business, Franklin’s guests on his New York-based TV talker over the decades ran the gamut from Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Vincent Price and Andy Warhol to Tiny Tim, Madonna, Woody Allen and Julia Roberts.
Franklin is credited with giving emerging talents (including Liza Minnelli »
Everyone knows Woody Allen. At least, everyone thinks they know Woody Allen. His plumage is easily identifiable: horn-rimmed glasses, baggy suit, wispy hair, kvetching demeanor, ironic sense of humor, acute fear of death. As is his habitat: New York City, though recently he has flown as far afield as London, Barcelona, and Paris. His likes are well known: Bergman, Dostoevsky, New Orleans jazz. So too his dislikes: spiders, cars, nature, Wagner records, the entire city of Los Angeles. Whether or not these traits represent the true Allen, who’s to say? It is impossible to tell, with Allen, where cinema ends and life begins, an obfuscation he readily encourages. In the late nineteen-seventies, disillusioned with the comedic success he’d found making such films as Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), and Annie Hall (1977), he turned for darker territory with Stardust Memories (1980), a film in which, none too surprisingly, he plays a »
- Graham Daseler
Directed by Barry Levinson
In 2009, New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani referred to Philip Roth’s novella The Humbling as “an overstuffed short story, […] a slight, disposable work about an aging man’s efforts to grapple with time and loss and mortality, and the frustrations of getting old.” In 2015, that sentiment rings just as true of Barry Levinson’s adaptation of the same work. The Humbling runs too long, dawdles too much, makes hollow caricatures of its women, and muddles its intentions. Its most redeeming features are its performances; Al Pacino is in top form, with Greta Gerwig playfully keeping up. But neither can elevate this failed attempt at pathos above what it is: bland.
We open on Pacino, as legendary actor Simon Axler, readying himself for the stage. He paints his face, and recites his lines, »
- Ariel Fisher
"Banal sex shouldn't happen until maybe a year into the relationship.... She wasn't even fucking you at the end," advises a best friend at the beginning of Appropriate Behavior, the indie film directed and written by the Iranian-American Desiree Akhavan.
Akhavan also stars as Shirin, the closeted, promiscuous Iranian-American who spends her onscreen time trying to regain the affection of her ever so slightly butchy ex-lover Maxine (Rebecca Henderson), with whom she was having the aforementioned banal sex. "Maybe it was just a phase," Shirin counters hopefully.
Switching back and forth from the present day to the highlights of the couple's past romantic moments, Behavior showcases why Shirin, a temporarily unemployed lass with a Masters in Journalism, grates on nearly everyone's nerves except her mother's. »
- Brandon Judell
Peter Bogdanovich, who helmed the brilliant The Last Picture Show and comedy classic What’s Up Doc?, has stepped behind the camera for his first feature in 14 years. After the lengthy break he took following The Cat’s Meow, he’s back with a throwback to the screwball comedies of yesteryear, She’s Funny That Way.
A unique blend of character, comedy and homage, Bogdanovich has assembled the type of starry cast that works to rouse moviegoers from their instant streaming and into theaters. The film stars Owen Wilson as a Broadway director who sleeps with a prostitute (Imogen Poots) who’s keen to make a break into acting. He falls for the youngster and makes a promise to help advance her career from the streets to the stage, until things go awry when the starlet winds up auditioning for a play starring his wife. Or, at least, that’s »
- Gem Seddon
It might be a little while before we get another feature film from Steve McQueen. He's currently at work on his HBO pilot, "Codes Of Conduct," and only after that will he get cracking on his all female heist flick, "Widows." So, perhaps it's time to take another look at "Shame," and this time from a slightly different angle. A new video essay by Kingdom Of Shadows argues that "Shame" is actually a critique of the modern metropolis, and that Michael Fassbender's sexual addiction in the movie is a metaphor for the bigger theme at play. Using clips from film, along with context form Woody Allen's "Manhattan," Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver," and interview footage with McQueen, the eight-minute look at the movie is a compelling, well-reasoned alternate theory about the picture. It's sure to spark some debate, so watch below and leave your thoughts in the comments section. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Alan Menken and Glenn Slater are turning from the medieval knights of Galavant to a Hollywood cowboy. Producers today announced that Menken and Slater are writing the music and lyrics for Happy Trails, a new musical heading to Broadway about Roy Rogers and his wife, Dale Evans. Marshall Brickman, who won an Academy Award for co-writing Annie Hall with Woody Allen, is responsible for the book, and Tony winner Des McAnuff will direct. »
- Esther Zuckerman
The roving news correspondent worked his sources in Paris for days, with nary a chance to eat. His efforts paid off, with a couple of exclusive interviews with interesting people affected by the tragic Charlie Hebdo murders. Next he had to prepare to meet with whistleblowers in the United States who were ready to slip him damning details about the way the nation’s government treats its veterans.
If that name is surprising, well, MSNBC hopes it won’t be going forward. Farrrow’s MSNBC program, “Ronan Farrow Daily,” has been dogged by cancellation rumors for months (though none of them have proven out) and that speculation that has been bolstered by the program’s decidedly lackluster ratings. But MSNBC has plans for the Rhodes Scholar and former Obama foreign policy official »
- Brian Steinberg
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