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This time on the Newsstand, Ryan is joined by David Blakeslee and Keith Enright to discuss the September line-up from Criterion, a number of the phantom pages that have gone up recently, and a few other pieces of news.
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Topics Criterion Completion Podcast September 2016 Criterion Collection Line-up John Waters’ Multiple Maniacs Tarkovsky Blu-rays from Artificial Eye Phantom Pages Galore Cameraperson Night Train To Munich Night Train to Munich (1940) Night Train to Munich Episode 85 – Carol Reed’s Night Train To Munich June 2010 Criterion Collection New Releases Announced! Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman The November 2013 Criterion Collection Line-up: … The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939) Kenji Mizoguchi – Explore Watch The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum | Hulu The Boland Design Co. Wacky New Years Drawing Hints At The Criterion Collection’s »
- Ryan Gallagher
Like the Massachusetts seaside town that serves as its host, the Provincetown Intl. Film Festival has been a beacon for independent-minded artists who seek to showcase and discuss their work with a diverse and appreciative audience. The 18th iteration of the festival, which takes place June 15-19, is no exception, as evidenced by its lineup of feature films and special programs.
This year’s schedule includes the Viggo Mortensen starrer “Captain Fantastic,” fresh off winning Un Certain Regard’s director prize at Cannes, as its opening night presentation. It closes with the New England premiere of the documentary “Strike a Pose,” about the dancers who backed Madonna on her “Blonde Ambition” tour. The festival will also honor Ang Lee and Cynthia Nixon and offers a restored presentation of long-time festival supporter John Waters’ rarely seen sophomore feature, the 1970 cult film “Multiple Maniacs,” in addition to many other films, panels and presentations.
According to the festival’s organizers, Piff’s popularity is informed by the Cape Cod town itself, which over the course of three centuries has counted a Portuguese-run fishing industry, an array of artists, writers and actors, and a significant Lgbtq community among its residents.
“There’s something very unique about Provincetown,” says filmmaker Christine Walker, who is also the festival’s executive director. “There’s a camaraderie among the filmmakers and the audiences because we all feel like we’re in this inspirational place together. It doesn’t feel like you’re running around trying to secure a deal — it feels like you’re meeting colleagues and people who love film.”
Waters, whom festival artistic director Connie White describes as Piff’s guru, says the town and the festival draw eclectic crowds because “it’s still a beatnik place — a place for Bohemians, a gay fishing village that’s also hetero friendly. [And festival] audiences are passionate and crazy and accepting of almost anything. Who wouldn’t want to go to Provincetown?”
Honorees And Keynotes
In addition to Lee, who will receive this year’s Filmmaker on the Edge award from Waters on June 18, and Nixon, who will be honored with the festival’s Excellence in Acting Award that same day, the lineup will feature a keynote speech by producer Effie Brown [“Dear White People”] at the Evan Lawson Filmmakers Brunch on June 19. Actress-director Illeana Douglas will speak about her memoir “I Blame Dennis Hopper” at a PIFFtalks panel discussion June 16, while authors David Ebershoff and Lisa Genova will speak at a June 18 panel about the transition of their books — “The Danish Girl” and “Still Alice,” respectively — into feature films.
In addition to interviewing Lee as part of the Filmmaker on the Edge Award — a duty he’s handled since the first Piff in 1999 — Waters will also be present to offer up a newly restored print of “Multiple Maniacs,” which he describes as “training wheels for ‘Pink Flamingos.’” Directed in 1970 and featuring the late Divine as the owner of a homicidal carnival act called “The Cavalcade of Perversion,” the film originally played Province-town when Waters summered there, as he has for the last 50 years. “It played there before it had a distributor,” says Waters. “I worked at the [Provincetown] Bookshop, and the owner let me turn the display windows into advertisements for the film.”
Waters decided to revisit the film after appearing with the Baltimore Symphony for a production of “Hairspray,” the family-friendly musical based on his 1988 film.
“I was the onstage narrator, and I thought that the audience loved it for all the right reasons,” he says. “But what if they saw ‘Multiple Maniacs?’ They would be horrified!”
After working out some music rights and sound issues, Waters says that the film will enjoy a brief theatrical run following its debut at Piff on June 17.
“We’re always looking for films that are edgy and [of] quality,” says White. “We want something crowd-pleasing to kick off the festival, that will engage the town, and ‘Captain Fantastic’ [June 15 and 19] sets the right tone. Closing night is something that people can build up towards, and ‘Strike a Pose’ [June 16 and 19] had the right flavor to end the festival — it’s touching and very interesting.”
Other films screening include Jonah Markowitz and Tracey Ware’s documentary “Political Animals,” the drama “Indignation,” which director James Schamus adapted from the Philip Roth novel, and Susanna White’s film version of John Le Carre’s “Our Kind of Traitor” with Ewan McGregor and Naomi Harris. Todd Solondz’s new comedy “Wiener-Dog” will also screen.
- Paul Gaita
The Danish-born director, Nicolas Winding Refn, has helmed a few popular movies such as Drive (2011), Bronson (2008), and the Pusher trilogy. This success has been only slightly marred by a handful of far-less-favored works including Fear X (2003) and Only God Forgives (2013) starring Ryan Gosling.
Ironically, that latter disaster supplied grist for one of the best scenes in the documentary, My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, which was helmed by Refn's wife, the talented but put-upon Liz Corfixen. Near the end of her engaging feature on her self-absorbed spouse, Refn, lying on his bed after the Cannes opening of Only God Forgives, mutters, "Why do critics have to be so cruel?" Then he reads aloud off his cell phone this Hollywood Elsewhere critique by Jeffrey Wells:
"Movies really don't get much worse... It's a shit macho fantasy -- hyperviolent, ethically repulsive, sad, nonsensical, deathly dull, snail-paced, idiotic, possibly woman-hating, visually suffocating, pretentious... [T]his is a defecation by an over-praised, over-indulged director who thinks anything he craps out is worthy of your time. I felt violated, shat upon, sedated, narcotized, appalled and bored stiff."
What I found so fascinating here, besides Refn's reaction to such verbiage ("That's how you know when you made great cinema. When half love and half hate it."), was that Mr. Wells will be able to reuse his review word for word for The Neon Demon.
This tale focuses upon a sixteen-year-old virgin, Jesse (Elle Fanning), who arrives in Los Angeles to begin a modeling career. Her first job is to lie on a couch with her neck supposedly slit and the fake blood streaming everywhere. The photographer is the young, kind-hearted Dean (Karl Glusman, who exposed his erection throughout Gaspar Noé's equally dull Love (2015)). The chap instantly falls in love with her.
Please don't ask why a nice guy would have a young woman pose with her body mutilated, other than it is a striking visual to open a film with. Anyway, Jesse has no time for love. Admitting herself talentless except for being pretty, she has only one item on her bucket list: to be a top model. Seemingly, she will succeed because when this young woman enters a room, everyone stares. Men. Women. Goats. Chimpanzees.
The very next day she's hired by a modeling agency. Twenty-four hours later she's posing for a top brooding photographer (Desmond Harrington), who after spotting her, has everyone leave the studio, orders Jesse to strip, then rubs metallic paint all over her body. Hopefully, it's not lead-based.
Soon every blonde model in L.A. with an Olive-Oyl physique hates her for stealing their jobs, and to top it off, the manager (Keanu Reeves) of the cruddy motel she's staying in is a rapist with a Lolita fixation. Uh-oh. Can there be more? Poorly directed party scenes, stray wildcats and eyeballs, cannibalism, a vile depiction of a horny lesbian, necrophilia in a mortuary, and a dastardly over-the-top performance by Alessandro Nivola as a shallow fashion designer just scrape the top layer of the slime that slithers about as The Neon Demon.
Mr. Refn has noted his goal was to make a satire about the modeling industry and America's facile addiction to externals. He also wanted to explore the 16-year-old girl that resides within himself. As if that weren't enough inspiration, he's spouted, "One morning I woke and realized I was both surrounded and dominated by women. Strangely, a sudden urge was planted in me to make a horror film about vicious beauty."
Now if Mr. Refn had an iota of wit (visual or otherwise) or if he respected women (his wife says he just wants her around as a housewife) or if his half-baked ideas spent ten more minutes in the oven, this offering could have been a gas. Paul Morrisey, John Waters, or even Greg Araki might have shaped this hodgepodge into a tongue-in-cheek funfest. But if Refn is aiming for intentional laughs, he fails. He seems to have been treading more into David Lynch territory but was swallowed up by the quicksand of his own dullardry. More Blue Polyester than Blue Velvet.
That Refn had no idea what he was creating with Demon was not a new occurrence for this vanquished auteur. He has said of a previous effort, "I've spent three years on this movie, and I don't really know what it's about." Then after the filming and the editing of Only God Forgives was completed, he observed to his wife," I wasted six months of our lives." Happily, for us, with his latest, our wasted time clocks in at one hour and 57 minutes. It just feels like six months.
Mr. Judell has written on film for The Village Voice, indieWire.com, the New York Daily News, Soho Style, and The Advocate, and is anthologized in Cynthia Fuchs's Spike Lee Interviews (University Press of Mississippi) and John Preston's A Member of the Family (Dutton). He is also a member of the performance/writing group FlashPoint.
Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.
It’s too bad Last Year at Marienbad was the most fashionable art-house movie of 1961-’62, because as a result it’s been maligned and misunderstood ever since. The chic allure of »
- The Film Stage
Photo by Lawrence Irvine
The folks at Janus Films and the Criterion Collection have just sent out the announcement that they’ll screen a restored print of John Waters’ 1970 film Multiple Maniacs at the Provincetown Film Festival on June 17th, with a national roll-out this August.
We saw John Waters stop by the Criterion offices back on November 18th, 2015.
The moment we've all been waiting for.
A photo posted by Criterion Collection (@criterioncollection) on Nov 18, 2015 at 12:16pm Pst
First Preview at the Provincetown Film Festival
Theatrical Premiere in NY August 5 at the IFC Center
National Release To Follow
Provincetown Int’L Ff Screening:
Fri. 6/17 at 10:00pm – Art House 2
214 Commercial Street
John Waters’s gloriously grotesque and extremely hard to see second feature comes to theaters at long last, »
- Ryan Gallagher
Maddie Baillio has been hanging on to a major secret for nearly two weeks. "It felt like forever," she tells People of the wait to share with the world that she's been plucked from relative obscurity to play Tracy Turnblad in NBC's Hairspray Live! - but it's little surprise 12 days felt like an eternity considering she decided to audition only three hours in advance. "I decided at, like, 3 a.m. the night before that I was going to get up and go to this audition," says the 20-year-old college sophomore from Texas, "and I'm so glad I did."Though she »
- Lanford Beard, @lanfordbeard
Newcomer Maddie Baillio will soon be singing “Good Morning Baltimore.”
The Today show on Tuesday announced that the up-and-coming singer/actress has been cast as Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s Hairspray Live!, following an open casting call in April.
Watch Baillio’s reaction to the good news:
Baillio joins an all-star ensemble including Harvey Fierstein (reprising his Tony-winning role as Edna Turnblad), Jennifer Hudson (as Motormouth Maybelle), Martin Short (as Wilbur Turnblad) and Derek Hough (as Corny Collins). Grease: Live‘s Alex Rudzinski is set to direct, while Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (The Wiz Live!) are on board as executive producers. »
Derek Hough is following — and, of course, dancing — in his sister’s footsteps.
Just three months after Julianne Hough blew audiences away as Grease: Live‘s Sandy, NBC has announced that her brother is joining its upcoming live production of Hairspray as TV host Corny Collins. (Fun fact: One of Hough’s Dancing With the Stars partners was Ricki Lake, who starred in John Waters’ original 1988 film!)
Short and Hough join a cast that already includes Harvey Fierstein and Jennifer Hudson. Short will play Wilbur, loving husband to Fierstein’s Edna Turnblad. Hough will play Corny Collins, host of the local TV program “The Corny Collins Show.
“We are very happy to have the inimitable Martin Short to play Edna’s loving husband, Wilbur,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman, NBC Entertainment. “We welcome Marty to the network in May in his new variety show with Maya Rudolph and we think he will be the perfect long-term companion to Harvey’s Edna. And hands-down the best dancer on television and one of the best in the entertainment business, Derek Hough, will be perfect in the role of Corny Collins, the cocky song-and-dance-man who hosts the TV »
- Daniel Holloway
A host of Tracy Turnblads flocked to New York and shivered on the streets waiting in line overnight for a shot at life-changing fame in the latest live musical
It’s 8am on a Sunday and the air has a stinging chill, as New York City mornings in mid-April so often do. Worse, a bag of trash is leaking its unknown contents into a pool of stagnant water next to the curb, the smell of which has been upsetting dozens of young women who camped out on the street overnight for a shot at fame.
They’re here for the open audition for Hairspray Live!, NBC’s latest live musical, which will air on 7 December. The leaking garbage evokes the Baltimore depicted by John Waters in the original 1988 Hairspray movie, about a teenage girl named Tracy Turnblad who racially integrates a dance show on local television during the 60s. Despite the stench, »
- Brian Moylan
As open auditions for the next Tracy Turnblad take place, NBC has already found two key cast members for its next musical, "Hairspray Live!": The network announced on Monday that Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein have joined the ensemble.
Hudson, who's currently lighting up the Broadway stage in "The Color Purple," is set to play Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a record store and the host of a dance program on local Baltimore television. She takes over the role from Queen Latifah, who starred in the musical's 2007 big screen adaptation. (Hudson, who already has an Oscar and a Grammy under her belt, could complete the Egot if she wins a Tony for "Purple" and an Emmy for "Hairspray.")
Fierstein will be playing Edna Turnblad, the mother of protagonist Tracy, returning to the role he originated on Broadway back in 2002 (and for which he won a Tony). John Travolta played Edna in the 2007 movie, »
- Katie Roberts
NBC’s Hairspray Live! is finally taking shape — and what a glorious shape it is.
PhotosMay Sweeps/Finale Preview: Get 100+ Spoilers, Plus Exclusive Photos!
For those tragically unfamiliar with the story of Hairspray, it follows a curvaceous young woman named Tracy Turnblad (yet to be cast) who uses her moves and moxie to challenge prejudices in 1960s Baltimore.
Fierstein first played the role of Tracy’s reclusive mother in the 2002 Broadway production; it was originated by the »
Welcome to the ’60s. NBC is holding an open casting call to find their next Tracy Turnblad for the upcoming live production of the Tony Award–winning musical, “Hairspray.” The production is seeking a female, 18 or older, to play the high school–aged Tracy. Talent must come prepared to sing a short portion of the show’s opener, “Good Morning Baltimore,” a capella. Casting is looking for someone “heavyset” and “outgoing, unstoppable, good-hearted with a vibrant, lovable, spirited personality.” The actor to portray Tracy should be a “strong pop belt singer and great mover.” “Hairspray” takes place in 1960s Baltimore and centers on teenager Tracy Turnblad, who dreams of dancing on local TV dance program, “The Corny Collins Show.” The musical tackles race relations and integration during a particularly contentious period in American history. The original Broadway musical won eight Tony Awards in 2003, including best musical and prizes for leads »
The Player, 1992.
Directed by Robert Altman.
A Hollywood executive is delivered a death threat and seeks to track down the screenwriter who sent it…
Hail Caesar! received a considerable amount of praise in the last few weeks but, alas, I was no fan. As part of the Nfts ‘Passport to Cinema’ season at the BFI, thankfully Robert Altman’s The Player was screened and it easily surpassed my limited appreciation of Hail, Caesar! Both films are tinsel town tales of crime, intrigue and the corrupt business of show business. The Player, starring Tim Robbins as Hollywood exec Griffin Mill, has a list of cameos longer than Zoolander 2 and yet remains a thought-provoking dramedy that only becomes more relevant with age. In twenty years, when studios embrace (opposed to »
- Simon Columb
World’s second longest-serving film festival director died last week while attending Graz film festival.
Filmmakers in Germany and beyond are mourning the passing of Heinz Badewitz, the founder of the Hof Film Days, who died unexpectedly last week at the age of 74 whilst attending last week’s Diagonale - Festival of Austrian Film in Graz.
Badewitz was the world’s second longest-serving film festival director after Chicago’s Michael Kutza (who launched his festival in 1964) and was planning Hof’s 50th anniversary in October.
Hailing from Hof in Northern Franconia, Badewitz had moved to Munich in the early 1960s to train as a cameraman and soon became part of the Munich film scene, later working as location manager on such films as Wim Wenders’ Kings Of The Road and The American Friend, and assistant director for Bob Fosse’s Cabaret and Norman Jewison’s Rollerball.
In addition, he was involved in the selection of German films for »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Martin Blaney)
Director Kenny Leon, who won praise in December for starting The Wiz Live for NBC, will return in December for the Peacock web’s fourth live musical venture, Hairspray Live. The show will be based on the 2002 Broadway musical blockbuster that was an adaptation of John Waters’ 1988 film (and remade from the musical version in the 2007 John Travolta-Queen Latifah starrer). The telecast will air December 7 at 8 p.m. Et/Pt. "In keeping with our desire to bring the best of… »
Corny Collins has just under 10 months to get his studio up to code.
NBC on Thursday announced that its next live musical — a production of Hairspray — will air Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8/7c.
RelatedGrease: Live Review: Fox’s Magical Remake Had Groove, It Had Meaning
Additionally, Harvey Fierstein — who won a Tony Award in 2003 for playing the role of Edna Turnblad — has joined the team to write the teleplay, along with director Kenny Leon and choreographer Jerry Mitchell. Fierstein previously wrote the teleplay for NBC’s The Wiz Live.
NBC’s latest live musical “Hairspray Live” will premiere on Wednesday, Dec. 7, the network announced today.
Much of the original stage production’s creative team will return for NBC’s live televised special.
Along with previously announced exec producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Kenny Leon, who most recently directed “The Wiz Live” for the network, has been tapped to direct. Original “Hairspray” choreographer Jerry Mitchell is on board to choreograph, and Harvey Fierstein, who played the role of Edna in the stage musical, will write the script adaptation. Original “Hairspray” songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are also back for NBC’s next TV musical.
“Hairspray Live” marks the fourth television musical event for NBC, coming after this past December’s “The Wiz Live,” which followed the net’s first special “Sound of Music Live” in 2013 and then “Peter Pan Live” in 2014. Fox recently got into the game with “Grease Live” this January. »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
A reliance on adult themes sees the animated chipmunks forgetting who their core audience is meant to be
“Don’t judge me, I saw Pink Flamingos…” The latest instalment in the singing chipmunks kids’ franchise comes replete with a John Waters cameo and fleeting gags about The Exorcist, The Shining, Taken, and The Terminator. Not so much winking at its childminder audience as waving at them with both hands, this sends the rodents to Miama via New Orleans. En route, an air marshal gets drunk on moonshine, the chips wind up on the anti-terrorist no-fly list, and a carnival band plays Uptown Funk with a sousaphone. The absence of long-standing series stalwart David Cross is a shame (Tony Hale can’t quite fill the gap) but Jason Lee is back, making it business as usual.
Continue reading »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Sometimes it can be really healthy to hate a film. It makes your blood boil, you curse the hours wasted, and with every passing minute you notice more and more things wrong with the feature. By the time it’s finished you have a pretty well formed rant of absolutely everything that is wrong. So it can sometimes be disappointing when a film you expected to hate doesn’t quite infuriate you. This isn’t to say that Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip can be considered good, or even enjoyable, but at least it doesn’t completely ruin your day.
- Luke Ryan Baldock
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