15 items from 2017
It occurs to me that though we did mark the year's halfway point, we did not do a "wrap" post for May or June and here we are in mid July. So let's stop to catch our breath before steaming ahead into the dog days of summer. Herewith key posts in case you're behind on your favorite blog. That's this one, right? (Rhetorical question)
• A League of Their Own - a four part retrospective
• Olivia de Havilland sues Feud - don't mess w/ this centenarian
• Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Moonlight - revisiting the Oscar winner
• Susan Hayward Centennial - we looked back at four pictures
• mother! - the teaser poster
• Podcast Premiere - Wonder Woman, My Cousin Rachel »
- NATHANIEL R
Four more reader questions to kick off the weekend. Wheeee. As ever, I'd love to hear your answers to these questions thrown my way.
Matt St Clair: Is there an unseen awards contender this year that you are hoping doesn't fail?
Nathaniel: My "please let this be successful" hopes reside with Blade Runner 2049 (because the original's reputation being tarnished would be such a pity), The Greatest Showman (because musicals Must continue to thrive) and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (because it's infinitely annoying that Annette Bening doesn't have an Oscar yet and didn't even get nominated for such gorgeous work in 20th Century Women). While we're well- wishing please let Wonderstruck, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, and The Florida Project could be bigger hits than usual for Todd Haynes, John Cameron Mitchell, and Sean Baker, since they're three of our most distinctive American auteurs. I could »
- NATHANIEL R
Do you not think that Maurice’s moustache would be the making of him?
No. It’s revolting.
This exchange about an hour into Merchant-Ivory’s 1987 classic gem Maurice, made me laugh so hard. There are so many moustaches in Maurice. It must’ve been the fashion in Edwardian England. But Hugh Grant’s Clive Durham is right, Maurice’s is revolting. But then how come later on he grows one even more revolting. In the world of Maurice, moustaches are the ultimate boner killers.
Maurice (James Wilby) and Grant’s Clive meet when they are students at Cambridge in 1909 and fall in love. Their relationship means a bit more to Maurice, he’s so smitten. And who wouldn’t be infatuated with Grant at the height of his floppy haired gorgeousness. Clive though always keeps him at an arm’s length, never succumbing to carnality. And we »
- Murtada Elfadl
This Memorial Day weekend at the specialty box office is dominated by niche releases without much crossover theatrical appeal, often available for home viewing. The strongest performer: Sundance entry “Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead” (Abramorama), which opened in two cities, combining Thursday night event shows and full-week dates to overcome its four-hour running time.
June will bring some top releases to flesh out a slow schedule, including Sofia Coppola’s Cannes success “The Beguiled” (Focus Features). Cannes competition films from Bong Joon Ho (“Okja”) and Noah Baumbach (“The Meyerowitz Stories”) will hit Netflix and select day-and-date theaters in June, and sometime after that, respectively.
- Tom Brueggemann
This weekend, the entire specialized industry is huddled in Cannes in search of the next big things. On the home front, just three noteworthy films opened, each on a single Manhattan screen. Two of them, the Bryan Cranston-starring “Wakefield” and Steve James’ financial world set documentary “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” showed some life.
Eleanor Coppola’s “Paris Can Wait” had a promising second-weekend expansion, and looks to be the standout over the next month and more. Still, results remain minor after a couple post-awards months led by “Gifted” and “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”
Wakefield (IFC) – Metacritic: 60; Festivals include: Telluride, Toronto 2016
$14,120 in 1 theater: PTA (per theater average): $14,120
Bryan Cranston has become an omnipresent force in TV, Broadway, and features. This film, opening many months after its September festival premieres, “Wakefield” puts him front and center as a Manhattan law partner who zones out of his suburban life »
- Tom Brueggemann
It's a tight race at the top as weekend estimates have Alien: Covenant holding a narrow lead over Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for the #1 spot at the weekend box office. Considering Guardians has been underestimated the past two weekends by $1.46 million and $2.25 million, tomorrow afternoon's actuals will be something to look out for as less than $1 million separates the two films. Meanwhile, WB and MGM's Everything, Everything delivered on the high end of industry expectations while Fox's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul will be looking to next weekend, hoping the upcoming four-day holiday will improve what was a rather weak debut. At #1, Fox's Alien: Covenant debuted with an estimated $36 million, nearly 43% of which came from its Friday performance, which included $4.2 million from Thursday previews. An opening less than $40 million is somewhat disappointing considering the $51 million opening for its predecessor, Prometheus, five years ago. Yet, the »
- Brad Brevet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
By Jose Solís.
Can you believe Maurice came out 30 years ago? James Ivory’s film adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel was released in the fall of 1987, a year after the Oscar winning A Room with a View. While it was never as celebrated as the former, throughout the years it’s come to be more highly regarded for its groundbreaking Lgbtq romance, and as the film that launched Hugh Grant’s screen career.
The tale of forbidden love between the title character (played by James Wilby) and a male servant (Rupert Graves) is filled with pithy dialogue, handsome actors and a then unparalleled sensuality when it comes to conveying gay romance. Its influence can be seen in countless films that came after it, yet for decades it remained the happiest of Lgbtq screen romances. That's a position I discussed with Mr. Ivory as the film is being re-released in »
In 1987, James Ivory‘s Maurice first premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where he picked up the Silver Lion award as Best Director. Thirty years later, the Cohen Media Group has acquired the rights for the Merchant Ivory Production and will be revitalizing the gay period romance with a brand-new 4K restoration.
Starring James Wilby and Hugh Grant as two undergraduate students at Cambridge University, it follows the two characters, Maurice and Clive, as they fell in love at the University during a time when homosexuality in England was a punishable offense by the law. Judging from the preview, it looks to be a gorgeous restoration following recent previous Ivory re-releases.
Check out the trailer and poster below via Indiewire.
Set against the stifling conformity of pre-World War I English society, E.M. Forster’s Maurice is a story of coming to terms with one’s sexuality and identity in the face of disapproval and misunderstanding. »
- The Film Stage
It’s been 30 years since we last saw James Wilby and Hugh Grant fall in love on the screen in James Ivory’s beautiful gay-themed film “Maurice.” Now, Cohen Media Group —which has acquired 30 titles from the Merchant Ivory Productions library— is releasing a brand new 4K restoration of the 1987 romantic drama, which will screen next month at New York City’s historic Quad Cinema, following the theater’s reopening this Friday, April 14.
Based on E.M. Forster’s 1971 novel by the same name, “Maurice” followed the story of two undergraduate Cambridge students, Maurice (Wilby) and Clive (Grant), who fall in love at a time when any reference of homosexuality at the English university was omitted and same-sex relationships was punishable by the law.
The film also starred Rupert Graves and Ben Kingsleyco. »
- Yoselin Acevedo
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
– The Sarasota Film Festival has announced its full lineup, including its Narrative Feature Competition, Independent Visions Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, World and Us Cinema Narrative, World and Us Cinema Documentary, Spotlight, and Short Films. The festival also announced its three Sff Focus Panels–Lgbtq Community; Environment, Science, & Sustainability; and Sports In Cinema – along with its Closing Night Awards. The 19th annual Sarasota Film Festival will take place from March 31 – April 9. You can find out more information at their official site.
“Film has an integral role in helping us analyze social and political issues in our society that demand attention, thought and dialogue” said Mark Famiglio, President of the Sarasota Film Festival. “Our program is designed to use the art of cinema as a catalyst for important conversations, »
- Kate Erbland
“It is a very special moment for Sf Film to welcome back this talented group of filmmakers, whose debut ‘Obvious Child’ received a special grant from our artist development program,” said Executive Director Noah Cowan. “Their new film ‘Landline’ builds significantly on the promise of that terrific first feature, yielding impressive wisdom and humor from the painful process of growing up and, sometimes, apart.’
“Landline” captures a dysfunctional family that grows closer when long-buried infidelities come to light across generations, set in 1990s New York. Edie Falco, John Turturro, Jay Duplass, and newcomer Abby Quinn also star.
- Dave McNary
You could say that the notion of turning beloved stories and characters into brands was invented by Walt Disney. He built his empire on the image of Mickey Mouse (who made his debut in 1928), but Disney really patented the brand concept in 1955, with the launch of Disneyland, where kids could see old familiar characters — Mickey! Snow White! — in a completely different context, which made them new. Twenty-three years ago, the Broadway version of “Beauty and the Beast” (followed three years later by the Broadway version of “The Lion King”) introduced a different form of re-branding: the stage-musical-based-on-an-animated-feature. Now the studio is introducing a cinematic cousin to that form with the deluxe new movie version of “Beauty and the Beast,” a $160 million live-action re-imagining of the 1991 Disney animated classic. It’s a lovingly crafted movie, and in many ways a good one, but before that it’s an enraptured piece of old-is-new nostalgia. »
- Owen Gleiberman
“Call Me by Your Name,” Luca Guadagnino’s coming of age drama that wowed audiences at Sundance, won wide praise from Berlinale journos and film critics following its Panorama Special screening on Monday at the Berlin Film Festival.
Speaking at a press conference, Guadagnino described the work as a “film for families. I like to think it’s a film for the transmission of knowledge and hope that people of different generations comet to see the film together.”
Hammer, who also stars in Stanley Tucci’s Berlinale competition entry “Final Portrait,” said he could “certainly relate to how Luca was able to execute human desire, craving – this very human emotion, between these two characters. These are primal emotions of desire that people feel. »
- Ed Meza
I'm drawn to Straub-Huillet’s usage of direct quotations rather than adapting or interpreting original material for a film. To me this is, among other things, a very straightforward and concrete way of highlighting that people are much less original than they are often assumed to be. (I think that Danièle Huillet once said this, but she was certainly not the first one.) It might be worth being reminded of this, especially today, in a time where we see and seek constant innovation and renewal everywhere while nothing really changes at the core. But for Straub-Huillet, quotation is also about something else. Every film of theirs is a documentation of their loving relationship to a preexisting text, artwork, or artist. The films are more genuinely about the work of the other and less about the couple's so-called vision. Quotation, to Straub-Huillet, is an act of respect, one »
As numerous are the ways in which Luca Guadagnino’s latest (and most personal) film, “Call Me by Your Name,” advances the canon of gay cinema, none impresses more than the fact that it’s not necessarily a gay movie at all. Rather, the “I Am Love” director’s ravishingly sensual new film — adapted from André Aciman’s equally vivid, 1983-set coming-out/coming-of-age novel — is above all a story of first love, one that transcends the same-sex dynamic of its central couple, much as “Moonlight” so recently did.
Acquired by Sony Pictures Classics shortly before its Sundance premiere, this Proustian account of an Italo-American 17-year-old’s transformative summer may not be as commercial as that film, but it ought to be a word-of-mouth art-house hit all the same — especially when talk turns to what teenage Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) and American summer guest Oliver (Armie Hammer) do with a ripe peach. »
- Peter Debruge
15 items from 2017
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