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Andrew Dominik’s 10 Favorite Films
23 hours ago
Across his three features this century, Andrew Dominik has explored masculine ideals (and the lack thereof) with an uncompromising vision. While earning the most acclaim for his stunning western The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, his follow-up Killing Them Softly is also distinctive in its laser-focused fury, getting the impressive distinction of an “F” CinemaScore to cement it as something truly special. His long-gestating next feature, Blonde, is hopefully still happening (the last we heard, Netflix may back it and shooting could begin as early as this year), but as we wait for confirmation, today we’re looking at his favorite films of all-time.
Courtesy of his Sight & Sound ballot, it’s a primarily American-focused line-up with classics from Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Billy Wilder, and David Lynch (x2). Perhaps most interesting is his favorite Alfred Hitchcock film, one of the man’s last five features: Marnie, »
- Jordan Raup
Daniel Craig Moves Closer to Soderbergh and Further from Bond; Colin Firth to Pilot ‘Kursk’ for Vinterberg
27 May 2016 10:39 AM, PDT
If you’re a person who spends any time reading about movies on the Internet, you’ll no doubt recall Daniel Craig‘s — perhaps comic! — claim that he’d rather slash his wrists than do another James Bond movie. We weren’t too wild about Spectre, either, but… yikes! Those are, make no mistake, words of enthusiasm, but not the kind producers typically hope their stars will throw out during the standard press tour.
The pieces for his departure are falling into place. First, Deadline have word he and Katherine Heigl are looking to board Steven Soderbergh‘s feature-filmmaking return, Logan Lucky, which increasingly looks like a very real thing. Despite the director’s initial denials, a new round of casting updates — earlier stories told of involvement from Michael Shannon, Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, and Seth Macfarlane — comes with something a bit more substantial: Nascar will grant the project some form of support, »
- Nick Newman
New to Streaming: ‘Hail, Caesar!,’ ‘The Player,’ ‘A Married Woman,’ ’13 Hours,’ and More
27 May 2016 7:35 AM, PDT
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (Michael Bay)
For better or worse, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is the purest distillation of Michael Bay’s cinematic voice. Bay’s favorite themes recur here from his brand of cheerleading GI Joe patriotism to righteous bloodlust to endlessly off-color non-sequiturs. And years of carpet bombing criticism targeted at his continued lack of political correctness and subtlety have »
- The Film Stage
Watch Steven Spielberg’s Harvard University 2016 Commencement Speech
27 May 2016 6:16 AM, PDT
He just stopped by Cannes to premiere his latest feature, The Bfg (our review), and he’ll begin production next month on the sci-fi adaptation Ready Player One, but Steven Spielberg found some time in between to impart some wisdom onto the graduating class of perhaps our country’s most prestigious place of education: Harvard. This week, he took the stage to give a commencement speech in which he touched on how opening up his worldview changed the kinds of movies he’s made, how we’re a nation of immigrants, not regretting 1941 (we agree!), and much more.
“Now in a two-hour movie, you get a handful of character-defining moments, but in real life, you face them every day,” he says. “Life is one strong, long string of character-defining moments. And I was lucky that at 18 I knew what I exactly wanted to do. But I didn’t know who I was. »
- Jordan Raup
NYC Weekend Watch: Jean Cocteau, James M. Cain, ‘Mad Max’ & More
26 May 2016 7:01 PM, PDT
Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.
Anthology Film Archive
A Jia Zhangke retrospective comes to an end. If you’ve not yet seen Mountains May Depart, »
- Nick Newman
[Cannes Review] Endless Poetry
26 May 2016 2:49 PM, PDT
Three years ago, Alejandro Jodorowsky returned to filmmaking for the first time since 1990 with his sumptuous autobiographic epic The Dance of Reality. Now the octogenarian’s second part of a planned five-part series — think the tales of Antoine Doinel on acid — heralds the madcap hippie director of El Topo and The Holy Mountain as a master of a deeply personal magic-realist genre, effortlessly moving as it is psychologically and artistically rich.
Endless Poetry, which screened at Cannes in the same Directors’ Fortnight sidebar that first premiered The Dance of Reality, kicks off just as its predecessor ends. Young Alejandro and his parents (Jeremias Herskovits, Brontis Jodorowsky and a singing Pamela Flores, all returning) arrive in gritty Santiago, Chile’s capital, from their rural outpost in the northern area of the country. Alejandro doesn’t adapt well to the new surroundings, but when he chances upon a copy of Lorca’s poetry, »
- Ed Frankl
Francis Ford Coppola Publishing ‘The Godfather’ Notebook, Tarantino Entrances & Exits, and More
26 May 2016 2:14 PM, PDT
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.
The most important unpublished work on one of the greatest films of all time, The Godfather, written before filming, by the man who wrote and directed it—Francis Ford Coppola, then only thirty-two years old—reveals the intense creative process that went into creating this seminal film. With meticulous notes and impressions of Mario Puzo’s novel, the Notebook was referred to by Coppola daily on set while he directed the movie. The Godfather Notebook »
- The Film Stage
Mark Wahlberg Faces Fire and Oil in New Trailer For Peter Berg’s ‘Deepwater Horizon’
26 May 2016 12:54 PM, PDT
The first of two Peter Berg-directed, Mark Wahlberg-led films we’ll get within just a few months later this year, Deepwater Horizon depicts the harrowing explosion in April 2010, which killed 11 crewman. (The other is Patriots Day, depicting the Boston Marathon bombings, set for late December.) Today we have a new full-length trailer for the Bp oil spill drama ahead of a September release.
Selling the drama more as an action film — rather than the tone one might expect A Most Violent Year‘s J.C. Chandor would have come up with before dropping out — it might have commercial appeal, but we can’t say it’s among our most-anticipated of the fall. Also starring Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez, Kate Hudson and Dylan O’Brien, check out the new trailer and poster below.
On April 20th, 2010, one of the world’s largest man-made disasters occurred on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. »
- Leonard Pearce
Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhaal Set to Reteam For Adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s ‘The Son’
26 May 2016 12:15 PM, PDT
After crafting one of the best films of the decade thus far with the mind-trip Enemy, Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhaal re-teamed for Prisoners, and now it looks like they will reunite once again. Although the director is busy through next year with his sequel to Blade Runner, it’s been announced they’ll eventually work together again on an adaptation of a Jo Nesbø‘s novel The Son.
Once set to be a mutual helming debut for Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin, the story tracks a man imprisoned after accepting blame for a crime; after his father is killed, the protagonist resolves to break out of prison, seek revenge, and atone for his other past transgressions. While previously set up over at Warner Bros., Gyllenhaal’s company Nine Stories and Bold Films are now teaming for the adaptation, and no writer has been set yet.
Considering how busy both Villeneuve and Gyllenhaal currently are, »
- Leonard Pearce
Watch ‘Son of Saul’ Director László Nemes’ First Short Film ‘With a Little Patience’
26 May 2016 11:21 AM, PDT
Considering his background studying under Béla Tarr, László Nemes was on our radar when it was announced his debut feature, Son of Saul, would premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. While it would go on to win the Grand Prix there, and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film this year, the signs of a promising career were apparent even earlier. Back at the 2007 Venice International Film Festival, he debuted his first short film, With a Little Patience, and today one can watch it in full.
Shot by cinematographer Mátyás Erdély, who would go on to capture Son of Saul, the WWII-set film follows an office worker’s daily routine as horrors occur right outside of her window. Very much a precursor to his feature debut, the one-take film also utilizes the Academy aspect ratio as we follow our lead in tight close-ups as the intensity slowly builds.
“I was an assistant director for years, »
- Jordan Raup
Watch Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx Rehearse For Michael Mann’s ‘Collateral’
26 May 2016 10:44 AM, PDT
While his high-profile, epic dramas such as Heat, The Insider and Last of the Mohicans are often the most revered in many circles, for my money, Collateral might be my personal favorite feature from Michael Mann. Featuring one of Tom Cruise‘s best performances and pushing the landscape of digital cinematography forward, the one-night thriller is one of the great La movies and today we’re taking a look behind its making.
Aside from the jazz club shoot-out, one of the most memorable aspects of the film is the relationship between Cruise’s slick hitman character Vince and Jamie Foxx‘s Max, who is taken hostage. While Adam Sandler was initially circling the latter role, Foxx got the part and today we have rehearsal footage between the two leads. Featuring a long-haired Cruise, the footage is interspersed with the final product, and even features Mann chiming in a few times. »
- Jordan Raup
First Trailer For Todd Solondz’s ‘Wiener-Dog’ Sets Off a Canine-Led Adventure
26 May 2016 9:22 AM, PDT
Todd Solondz is back this year and he’s somewhat returning to his roots. Wiener-Dog, partially inspired by his break-out hit, the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Welcome to the Dollhouse, follows the adventures of a dachshund as he interacts with a variety of people through his life, including Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, Julie Delpy, Danny DeVito, Greta Gerwig, Tracy Letts, and Zosia Mamet.
Backed by Megan Ellison‘s Annapurna and Christine Vachon‘s Killer Films, it’s one of the best films I had the chance to see at Sundance, where it was thankfully quickly picked up by Amazon Studios. They’ll release it in less than a month with some help from IFC Films, and the first trailer has now arrived.
I said in my review from Sundance, “As uncomfortable a viewing experience it may be, the best films from Todd Solondz slowly reveal themselves with their character intricacies and distinct touches, »
- Jordan Raup
‘The Little Prince’ Returns With New Trailer and Release Date
26 May 2016 7:26 AM, PDT
Following its premiere at Cannes Film Festival last year, Paramount Pictures picked up the animation The Little Prince, based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry‘s famous 1943 novel and adapted by The Boxtrolls‘ Irena Brignull. However, just a short time before it was set to be released this past March they unceremoniously dumped it. Thankfully, Netflix came to the rescue and have now debuted a new trailer and a release date of August 5th.
“It’s been a crazy adventure, the entire production. How I look at it, the release pattern is really uncommon too,” director Mark Osborne tells EW. “I really wanted to find a way to create a cinematic emotional experience that was equivalent to the emotional experience that someone can have reading the book. I really saw the movie as an opportunity to pay tribute to the power of the book. Not just adapt the book word for word, »
- Jordan Raup
[Review] Alice Through the Looking Glass
26 May 2016 5:51 AM, PDT
The central plot mechanism of Alice Through the Looking Glass is an actual mechanism, a doodad of whirling steampunk metal and glowy CGI called the Chronosphere. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) drops the little ball and it suddenly grows so that she can step inside and use it to travel through time. “Oh, so it shrinks and enlarges as is convenient. Like a video game tool,” I thought. I was primed for this by the fact that the Chronosphere is housed in a clockwork castle which looks ripped off wholesale from the Tick Tock Clock course from Super Mario 64. Alice even has to hotfoot it over a winding shaft, the same as Mario must do in that level. It’s cliche to compare weightless, CG-heavy cinematic action to watching someone play a video game, but I don’t think that’s fair. I mean, at least with a video game speedrun on YouTube, »
- Daniel Schindel
U.S. Trailer for Andrzej Żuławski’s Overpowering Final Film ‘Cosmos’
25 May 2016 1:24 PM, PDT
2016 will be a very rich year if it offers even one other film as brazenly and convincingly out-there as Andrzej Żuławski‘s Cosmos, a melange of mysterious figures, strange events, bizarre gestures, and hilarious non-sequiturs fueled by restless temperament. Exhausting and widely entertaining, it constitutes a very fitting final transmission from one of the world’s most idiosyncratic directors.
Americans will be able to see Cosmos in just a handful of weeks — thus necessitating the release of a domestic trailer. I really do think it’s best to enter this one essentially blind, but this quick, mostly context-derived collection of moments makes for an effective preview; as I said in my review, “Almost anything can only be comprehended if seen as part of a continuum; as individual moments, they’d ring meaningless or insignificant.” You know what you’re getting and nothing is given away.
See the preview below:
- Nick Newman
Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals,’ Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams, Gets November Release
25 May 2016 12:57 PM, PDT
While Cannes Film Festival gave us a promising preview of what we can expect to arrive in theaters this fall, there’s still many more highly-anticipated films waiting to debut. Near the top of the list is a likely contender for fall festivals: Tom Ford‘s A Single Man follow-up Nocturnal Animals. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Kim Basinger, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, and Armie Hammer, Focus Features have now set a release date.
The drama will open on November 18th in limited release, opposite one of the best films of the year, Kenneth Lonergan‘s Manchester By the Sea (our review), which Roadside Attractions will put out. Opening nationwide that same day is WB’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Relativity’s The Disappointments Room. Ford’s film will expand further on November 23rd, before going wide on December 9th.
An adaptation of Austin Wright »
- Jordan Raup
[Review] Presenting Princess Shaw
25 May 2016 11:36 AM, PDT
Even though Presenting Princess Shaw isn’t a film about filmmaking, you can’t help wondering about the logistics of its creation considering director Ido Haar is listed as the project’s sole cinematographer. The story of Princess (Samantha Montgomery) and Kutiman (Ophir Kutiel) focuses on music and the internet creating a community of disparate strangers miles away from one another with an ever-present potential for collaboration between them. We watch Samantha live her life in New Orleans as a nurse attending open mic nights while curating a deeply personal YouTube diary to push her drive to be heard. We also meet Kutiman in Israel tirelessly scouring the web for clips, melodies, and notes he can merge into original compositions. Their individual paths gradually move towards an inspirationally powerful collision.
But how does it work? Is everything cut in real time? These were the questions rifling through my mind despite »
- Jared Mobarak
‘The Searchers’ Receives Modern-Day Update In U.S. Preview for ‘Les Cowboys’
25 May 2016 11:17 AM, PDT
To its credit, Les Cowboys became one of last year’s most divisive festival titles, inspiring everything from a New York Times rave to many “why is this even here?” comments following its Nyff press screening. If that signal of provocation isn’t enough to stoke interest, consider this: it’s essentially a remake of The Searchers — by just about any metric, among the most beloved and iconographic things ever photographed, movie or otherwise.
The U.S. release commences next month, and so there is now a trailer, John C. Reilly cameo and all. With the above circumstances having been considered — or all preconceptions dispensed with — it contains images both beautiful and mysterious, and the hook of its mystery recalls Ford. Does director Thomas Bidegain do much else to stand with arguably the most titanic of film artists? I can’t say I lack a curiosity to find out.
- Nick Newman
Javier Bardem Circles Asghar Farhadi’s New Film; John Sayles to Helm ‘Django Lives!’; Jan Švankmajer Begins Final Work
25 May 2016 10:00 AM, PDT
Even if our man on the ground didn’t much respond to Asghar Farhadi’s recent Cannes premiere, The Salesman, our anticipation and admiration remain high — but so it is for one of our age’s greatest filmmakers. (Really appreciating The Past makes some lukewarm reactions much easier to take.) Consider us pleased, then, that his Penélope Cruz-led, Almodóvar-produced, Spain-set project is steadily advancing: per Variety, it’s looking to add none other than Cruz’s husband, Javier Bardem — fun fact: also an actor — is nearly complete, script-wise, and will roll cameras “next summer or early fall.”
It’s hardly surprising that Farhadi’s written another film marked by moral intrigue and sundry complications, yet there’s already some sense of new territory: it follows “a family of wine growers living in rural Spain,” has been called, by producer Alexandre Mallet-Guy, “a psychological thriller with a dash of Agatha Christie in it, »
- Nick Newman
[Cannes Review] The Wailing
25 May 2016 9:44 AM, PDT
Since the early aughts, South Korea has been one of the most prolific and exciting exporters of genre cinema, giving us such indelible gems as Oldboy, The Host, Snowpiercer, to name but a few. The country made its prowess felt again at this year’s Cannes Film Festival with no fewer than three high-profile titles covering historical suspense (The Handmaiden), zombie action (Train to Busan), and, perhaps most memorably, supernatural horror in the form of The Wailing.
Set in a remote, mountain-ringed village pretty much isolated from the outside world, the story revolves around a series of exceptionally gruesome murders where the apparent perpetrators are all found at the crime scene in a state of rabid agitation, letting out inhuman, blood-curdling wails. Detective Jong-goo (Kwak Do-wan) is overwhelmed by the peculiar nature of the case. But it’s when his young daughter starts to show the same symptoms as the »
- Zhuo-Ning Su
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