Girl meets boy, girl stalks boy, and they live happily ever after. Or something like that. The upcoming musical La La Land is not the archetypical romantic story, but it nonetheless harkens and pays tribute to the Hollywood of old at every turn. Suffused with nostalgia, you will be dazzled, you will be enamored, and you may even be moved to tears. You may also be left wondering if the entire point of the movie was simply to have one big argument with itself.
The film is directed flawlessly by Damien Chazelle, who directed indie-hit Whiplash. With an ebullient soundtrack by Justin Hurwitz and rag-a-tag choreography by Mandy Moore, La La Land landed at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals as a surefire awards-season contender. It follows aspiring, ambitious Mia (Emma Stone) as she tries to make it as an actress, and explores what happens to her life after she »
- J Don Birnam
He’s a charming character, a fascinating player in cinema history. Absolutely essential viewing for Disney fans and those interested in animated filmmaking. I’m “biast” (pro): big animation fan
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Did you know that Comic-Con awards prizes to movies? I had no idea. But it sounds like pretty much the biggest no-brainer ever that Floyd Norman: An Animated Life won Best Documentary there this year. Anyone who was a kid in the 20th century knows Norman’s work, whether they know it or not: he was an animator and/or a story creator on so many cool things that you won’t believe one man could have spread himself around so much. A very incomplete list of where you have seen Norman’s work and felt his influence: Disney’s animated features Sleeping Beauty, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
So, in the mood for another feature-length doc on the “mouse house”? I’m referring to Mickey’s home base, the cartoon factory that is the Walt Disney Studios. It’s comprehensive archives have provided terrific stories in recent years, all informative and very entertaining. Let’s see, there’s Walt & El Grupo, about the Ww II South American trip. And The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story spotlighting that song-writing duo. Oh, and Waking Sleeping Beauty, which focuses on the late 1980’s revitalization of the feature animation department, is a must see. Only a few weeks ago, audiences were moved by the story of the Suskind family in Life, Animated. Now, here’s another terrific addition to that revered roster. The talented directing team of Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkley introduce us to a fascinating man well known to the world of cartooning, but now the general public will meet »
- Jim Batts
Ladies and gentlemen, meet your newest Disney villain offspring: Harry, the son of Peter Pan's Captain Hook, is joining the cast of Descendants 2 and E! News has learned who will play the new character. Thomas Doherty has joined Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart, Sofia Carson and fellow new addition China Anne McClain in the Disney Channel Original Movie sequel. The first movie featured the children of some of Disney's most iconic villains: Mal (Cameron), the daughter of Sleeping Beauty's Maleficent; Carlos (Boyce), the son of 101 Dalmatians' Cruella De Vil; Jay (Stewart), the son of Aladdin's Jafar; and Evie (Carson), the daughter of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves' Evil Queen. »
Eric Bay-Andersen on trends and the lack of originality in Hollywood…
At the beginning of this year I went to the cinema and saw a preview of all the big films coming out in 2016, and it really depressed me because almost every upcoming ‘event’ film was a sequel, a re-boot, or a prequel to the re-imagined spin-off of a TV show adaptation! It’s gotten to the point where I even get disheartened by book adaptations, which is silly I know because there are so many great published stories out there that are worthy of being adapted for the big-screen. I guess I just find it sad that most film-makers these days seem to look to the best-sellers list for their inspiration, rather than their own imagination. I mean, if a new book comes out and is a big success, then of course someone will make it into a film at some point, »
- Amie Cranswick
We bet you didn't know that Bryce Dallas Howard auditioned for Wall-e, Sleeping Beauty, Toy Story or The Little Mermaid, did you? We have the tape to prove it. Well, sort of. Technically they're not real auditions, but if they were, they would be amazing. Watch the Pete's Dragon star try out for the roles of Wall-e, Aurora, Ariel and Jessie in the clip, Disney Failed Auditions. Honestly, we know this is supposed to be a fail video, but she would literally be the perfect pick for any of these roles. We could totally see her take on Ariel star in 50 Shades of Grey and her Jessie from Toy Story is Spot. On. If Disney ever needs someone for a live action version of any of these movies, Bryce Dallas Howard is »
He’s delivered the goods with his upcoming version of Disney’s 1977 movie Pete’s Dragon, and director David Lowery will next set to work on rejigging the Mouse House’s fantastic Peter Pan movie into a live-action epic. The director spoke with the U.S. website Collider about his plans.
“It’s going to be very similar to the original,” he said. “We went back and looked at the original animated film, which I hadn’t seen in quite a few years. I had forgotten how short it was. It’s 76 minutes, or something. And then, we read J.M. Barrie’s story, which I also hadn’t read in a long time. And we looked at the play that he also wrote. They’re quite similar. The Disney movie was a very clear adaptation of the original.”
“So, I think we can do justice to both by just telling the original story. »
- Paul Heath
No one’s had better luck than Disney with live-action fairy tales, whose biggest recent hits have included Cinderella and the Sleeping Beauty retelling Maleficent. But they’re not the only ones in the game. Today we’ve got a new trailer for Beauty and the Beast, but it’s not the Disney version coming out next year with Emma Watson and […]
- Angie Han
Back in 1956, Floyd Norman became the first African-American animator hired by Disney. But in his mind, he was just an artist looking for a job. Having worked on classics such as Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians and The Jungle Book, Norman is a veteran of the animation industry who spent his glory days at the […]
The post ‘Floyd Norman: An Animated Life’: Learn About Disney’s First African-American Animator appeared first on /Film. »
- Ethan Anderton
"Floyd says to us all: we could do better. That's part of what makes him a legend." This looks like a gem. FilmBuff will be releasing this award-winning documentary on a legendary animator in theaters + on VOD next month. Floyd Norman: An Animated Life tells an "intimate journey through the life and career" of 80-year-old animator Floyd Norman, the first African-American animator ever at Disney Studios (back in 1956). After working for almost all of his life, he was told by Disney to retire, but has refused to do so and keeps on working with the mantra that he'll "die at the drawing board." Floyd has worked on Disney films like Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book and even worked at Pixar on Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc. This trailer promises such an uplifting, inspiring story about a person who totally loves the art of animation and can't give it up, »
- Alex Billington
A new trailer has been released for Floyd Norman: An Animated Life.
From filmmakers Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey, the feel good documentary is an intimate journey through the celebrated life and career of the ‘Forrest Gump’ of the animation industry – Disney Legend, Floyd Norman.
In Theaters, On Demand and Digital HD August 26, 2016
Comic-Con Screening & Panel July 22nd tomorrow Friday, (July 22nd at 3:10pm) followed by a Q&A with Floyd, the filmmakers Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey and composer Ryan Shore – a separate panel will be held that evening at 9pm.
Hired as the first African-American at Disney in 1956, Floyd worked on such classics as Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians, to name a few. In 1967, he was hand-picked by Walt Disney to join the story team on The Jungle Book. He would later work at Hanna Barbera on many classic cartoons, including Scooby Doo. His talents would later take »
- Michelle McCue
Finally, after almost two dozen movies about Batman and Superman, the third member of DC Comics’ main trinity—Wonder Woman—is finally getting a solo movie of her own. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot says that the movie is “a big responsibility” because she doesn’t want it to be “a generic story of a superhero coming of age,” but one that would actually inspire people. She notes that boys have tons of superhero role models to look up to who are “strong and almighty and they are positive and active and proactive,” but it’s not the same for girls.
Gadot then brings up a conversation she had with her young daughter, who walked away from Sleeping Beauty thoroughly unimpressed. She pointed out that the prince is “brave” and “strong,” but that the princess is “weak” because “she’s sleeping the entire movie and the »
- Sam Barsanti
What's this? John Ford's last silent western is as exciting and entertaining as his later classics. A trio of horse thieves turn noble when given the responsibility of a young woman lost on the prairie; Ford gives the show comedy, drama and spectacle. 3 Bad Men Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1926 / B&W / 1:33 Silent Ap. / 92 min. / Street Date August 23, 2016 / 29.95 Starring George O'Brien, Olive Borden, Lou Tellegen, Tom Santschi, J. Farrell MacDonald, Frank Campeau, Priscilla Bonner, Otis Harlan, Phyllis Haver, Georgie Harris, Alec Francis, Jay Hunt . Cinematography George Schneiderman Original Music Dana Kaproff (2007) Written by John Stone, Ralph Spence, Malcolm Stuart Boylan from a novel by Herman Whittaker Produced and Directed by John Ford
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
What a great discovery! Last year Kino brought us a good-looking disc of John Ford's Hurricane and now they take the bold step of issuing one of the director's oldest intact features, »
- Glenn Erickson
Earlier this week, Warner Bros. confirmed that they will be showcasing their highly-anticipated Wonder Woman at Comic-Con during their Hall H presentation on Saturday, July 23, which will also feature Suicide Squad, The Lego Batman Movie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Kong: Skull Island and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. While we don't know for sure, it's possible that the studio could unveil the first trailer for Wonder Woman. While we get ready for the convention, four new photos have surfaced featuring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.
The photos come courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, who also got to speak with Gal Gadot about returning as Wonder Woman, after making her debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Before Patty Jenkins was brought on to direct this superhero adventure, the studio was considering Breaking Bad director Michelle MacLaren. When asked why she thought it was important for a woman to direct this movie, »
Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.
– Oscilloscope Laboratories will open Rosemary Myers’ subversive debut feature, “Girl Asleep,” preceded by Amy Nicholson’s delightful, award-winning documentary short, “Pickle,” at Landmark NuArt in Los Angeles on September 23 and at Landmark Sunshine in New York on September 30, with a nationwide rollout to follow. Billed as “a vibrant portrayal of Australian adolescence” the film follows what happens when “Greta Driscoll’s bubble of obscure loserdom is burst [and] her parents throw her a surprise 15th birthday party and invite the whole school! Perfectly content being a wallflower, suddenly Greta’s flung far from her comfort zone into a distant, parallel place.”
– NYC-based film production and theatrical distribution company 26 Aries will release their first theatrical release, Kurt Vincent’s »
- Kate Erbland
Have you ever noticed that life is way easier when you're a princess? Of course, there are the evil sorcerers hell-bent on your destruction. And the potential you'll be turned into a frog. Oh, and sometimes accidentally cutting your finger might end with you in a coma for years and years. But finding your one true love? And wearing those dresses? And having a fairy godmother? All of that is worth a few bites of a poison apple, right? In honor of our love for onscreen princesses, we've rounded up their most iconic moments from over the years. From Mia Thermopolis's epic makeover in The Princess Diaries to every nostalgic moment in Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty, get ready to feel the urge to throw on a tiara and ride off into the sunset, happily ever after. »
- Quinn Keaney
Floyd Norman: An Animated Life received its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February and won the audience award at the Bentonville Film Festival
It will next screen at the San Diego Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival on July 22.
After Walt Disney’s death in 1966, Norman left and founded Vignette Films, where he developed the original Fat Albert TV special and produced segments for Sesame Street.
He went on to work at Hanna-Barbera on classic cartoons like Scooby Doo before joining Pixar and working on Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc. Now 81, he continues to work at Disney Publishing as a freelancer »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Amazon Prime Day is here, and with it, a bevy of deals for your entertainment-loving heart. In order to plow through the massive list of deals being offered to Amazon Prime members — it is called Amazon Prime Day for a reason — we’ve narrowed down some of the many offerings for 18 tried and tested IndieWire favorites, spanning both film and television, available with some very special streaming deals today only. Take a look, and start saving now.
“Edge of Tomorrow” ($0.99, 80% off)
In a summer full of lousy Hollywood fare, go back to 2014 and re-experience Doug Liman’s brilliant sci-fi romp. Written by master screenwriter Chris McQuarrie, “Edge of Tomorrow” pushes Tom Cruise to rock bottom and kills him off in the first 10 minutes. And then does it again, and again and a few dozen more times. Consider it a video game movie that doesn’t need video game source material to make it work, »
- Russell Goldman and Sarah Colvin
Today’s top casting notices could get you cast in Fox’s smash hit “Empire” as a speaking supporting role, as background talent on an episode of Amazon’s “The Patriot,” and more. “Empire” Executive producers Lee Daniels and Danny Strong are seeking to fill several supporting roles for the upcoming third season of “Empire” with the help of casting director Jess Gisin. Teenage rappers and beat boxers are needed from Chicago area, as are two 18- to 19-year-old female actors to play a teenage Carol (Tasha Smith) and a teenage Candace (Vivica A. Fox) in a flashback. Some pay will be provided for this July 7–18 Chicago shoot. “The Patriot”Gisin is also working on casting this Amazon series that follows a father who works for the U.S. State Department and has two sons in opposition with one another. One’s a senator, the other’s a war vet-turned-folk singer. »
Last Tuesday night was the premiere of Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest film “The Neon Demon,” about a young, aspiring model (Elle Fanning) who breaks into the L.A. modeling world only to find a cabal of beauty-obsessed women who want to tear her down limb from limb and take what she has. The film had it world premiere at Cannes and received a decidedly mixed reception, but now the film will enter theaters next week and the public will come to their own conclusion about Refn’s horror film about beauty.
Read More: Cannes Review: ‘The Neon Demon’ is a Twisted Ride of Sex, Blood, and Necrophilia
At the premiere, star Elle Fanning told Variety that she was drawn to the film because of its horror features, and especially the chance to delve deep into a role not usually assigned to her. In fact, she took her character to an even darker place than initially envisioned. “I think everyone has a side to them that is a little darker,” she says. “Going to that place was actually very, very fun and we made her a little bit darker than the script was initially.”
Elle Fanning has been acting since she was three years old, making star turns in films like Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Babel” and Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” at a young age. She played the main love interest in J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8,” and Sleeping Beauty in “Maleficent.” She’s also set to appear in Mike Mills’ latest film “20th Century Women.”
“The Neon Demon” will open in theaters on June 24th.
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- Vikram Murthi
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