16 items from 2017
If you ever wanted to listen to the directors of “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” and “Looper” talk about cinematic boners, today’s your lucky day. Ana Lily Amirpour and Rian Johnson discuss all that and more — namely, their upcoming films “The Bad Batch” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” respectively — on the latest episode of the Talkhouse Film Podcast. Amirpour gets quotable early on when she goes in depth about being excited for a project: “I’ll just be like, ‘I’ve got no boner,’ or like, ‘My boner is at half mast — something is wrong, this lens is wrong…’ And you’ve got to listen to the boner.”
That isn’t the only filmmaking metaphor she uses; “The Shawshank Redemption” comes into play as well: “I always say that making a film to me is like ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’ It’s like I’m Andy Dufresne, and thinking of the story and shooting is like coming up with plan and digging that tunnel, and it takes a lot of physical [effort] — you do it and get through it, and everything,” she continues.
“And then editing, to me, is crawling through that fucking tunnel. And you know that if it’s all as you [planned] … you’ll come out above ground and it will be raining and you’re eventually going to make it to Zihuatanejo.”
Johnson, meanwhile, invokes a far better movie when talking about his writing process for “The Last Jedi.” “What I did — because I was so petrified of pulling a ‘Barton Fink’ on this — I moved up to San Francisco and a couple times a week I would go in and just vomit out all the stuff I was working on, and we would just talk about it,” he says. “That just made me feel less alone, I guess.” Listen to the full episode below.
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Related storiesAna Lily Amirpour Responds to Racism Charges -- But Won't Apologize For Making You UncomfortableHan Solo Firing Proves Studios' Franchises Don't Want Directors To Be Storytellers'Star Wars': Don't Get Mad at Kathleen Kennedy For That Han Solo Shake-Up »
- Michael Nordine
Chances are, even if you’ve never heard of him, you’ve probably seen some Roger Deakins’ work. The legendary cinematographer, hailing from Torquay in Devon, who has been working within the film industry for over forty years, has over 75 credits to his name since he exploded onto cinema screens back in the late 1970s.
Over the years, Deakins has worked on the likes of Sid and Nancy, Barton Fink, Fargo (in fact, most of the Coens’ stuff), The Village, Jarhead, Prisoners, Sicario, The Shawshank Redemption and Skyfall. Obviously there are dozens of other examples, most of which you can take a squint at in this excellent video which has just made it onto YouTube.
Check out the video below. »
- Paul Heath
The 70-year-old festival has never been far from controversy.
A row over the inclusion of Netflix titles in official competition has cast a shadow over this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with boos for the Netflix logos, clashes between Jury members and a rule changes for next year.
Perhaps it’s appropriate however that a row has been front of centre on Cannes 70th birthday, as the festival is no stranger to a controversy…
Actress Simone Silva’s decision to go topless at a photocall resulted in a scrum which caused several broken bones.
New Minister of Cultural Affairs Andre Malraux formalised Cannes’ burgeoning film market, which has since become integral to the festival and the largest industry event in the global industry. At the time, however, it was a decision not welcomed by all; as a direct reaction to this commercialisation, the French Syndicate of Film Critics (Afcc) was founded.
La Dolce Vita won the »
Most movies wrap up rather concretely, with little room for debate, while some leave that final door ambiguously open a crack. This leads the way for lengthy speculation for films like Inception, Birdman, Barton Fink, Mulholland Drive, and The Dark Knight Rises that end on a less definitive note.
Fortunately for completists, the YouTube channel Looper just added a new video called “The Most Confusing Movie Endings Explained.” Looper has explored follow-up interviews with various filmmakers, like a commencement address by Christopher Nolan, and investigated certain clues in these final frames, to come up with the definitive takes on these ambiguous endings. So if you really want to know where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character winds up at the end of Inception, what the final moments of Birdman indicate, and what the alternate ending of Vanilla Sky might have revealed, take a look here. Except for Mulholland Drive. Not even Looper »
- Gwen Ihnat
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)
This week’s question: In honor of the Cannes Film Festival, the 70th edition of which starts this week, what is the best film to ever win the coveted Palme d’Or?
For a complete list of Palme d’Or winners, click here.
Erin Whitney (@Cinemabite), ScreenCrush
This question is impossible because I clearly haven’t seen all 40 Palme d’Or winners (it’s on my to do list, I swear). But I could easily say “Apocalypse Now,” “Paris, Texas,” “Taxi Driver,” “Amour,” or even “Pulp Fiction.” But since this is a personal question, I have to say “The Tree of Life.” No film has moved me »
- David Ehrlich
Author: Dave Roper
So, we come to the end of this particular series. We’ve covered a number of aspects of the creative input into film-making, including actors, actresses, writers composers, and directors (in two parts). We’ve stopped short of costume, make-up, special effects, art design and others, however our final stop is Cinematography. The Dop exerts plenty of influence over the look of the film. Yes, lighting, production design and the director’s vision are key too, but the consistency and persistence with which certain directors stick with and return to a trusted Dop shows just how much they contribute.
Seven has a unique visual aesthetic. Plenty of films have gone for the “always raining, always dark” approach, but contrast Seven with something like AvP: Requiem for a shining example of how hard it is to pull off effectively. And contrast is the word. Seven »
- Dave Roper
In a seedy Hollywood motel room, Minnesota cop Gloria Burgle looks behind a curtain and finds a box, with a unlabeled switch on the top. She flicks it on. A light turns green, and the lid opens just slightly. A robotic hand comes out, moves the switch to the off position, then retreats as the light turns red. This is all the device does.
This week's Fargo episode, blessed with the superb title "The Law of Non-Contradiction," is all about unpacking what this box means. A mere three weeks into its third season, »
Mark Harrison May 19, 2017
If you haven't caught up yet, Their Finest is currently playing in UK cinemas and it's a gorgeous little love letter to perseverance through storytelling, set against the backdrop of a film production office at the British Ministry of Information during the Second World War. Based on Lissa Evans' novel, Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy play characters whose access to the film industry has been contingent on the global crisis that takes other young men away from such trifling matters, and it's a real joy to watch.
Among other things, the film got us thinking about other films about making films. We're not talking about documentaries, even though Hearts Of Darkness, the documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now, may be the greatest film about »
It’s been a long time coming, but American Gods is finally here, closing out a month that’s been filled with exciting new shows. With May, though, comes the return of a science program that ought to interest movie fans (Breakthrough) and a new feature documentary that ought to interest comic book fans (Batman & Bill). Plus we’ve finally got a new season of Sense8 and new episodes of some of the greatest TV series, Better Call Saul and Fargo, plus the penultimate chapter of Riverdale’s first season.
To help you keep track of the most important programs over the next seven days, here’s our guide to everything worth watching, whether it’s on broadcast, cable, or streaming for April 30–May 1:
SUNDAYAmerican Gods (Starz, 9pm)
- Christopher Campbell
There's a moment early in the new season premiere of the FX crime drama Fargo when a parole officer recalls how he met his fiancée, a slick hustler named Nikki Swango (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead). As the episode flashes back to Nikki at a police station, getting booked and photographed, fans of filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen might experience some deja vu. The situation, the way it's shot, and even the way the crook gets yanked around by the authorities – it's all right out of the Coens' 1987 comedy Raising Arizona. »
If writing is one of the more uncinematic activities movies are often tasked with bringing to life, depicting screenwriting may be even more challenging, especially if the filmmakers aren’t dealing in satire and/or chronicling writer’s block. (Call that the Adaptation/Barton Fink exception.) Films about novelists or poets can at least pretend that their makers aren’t thinking of themselves the whole time; films about screenwriters have no such deniability.
In this minefield of potential tedium and self-indulgence, Their Finest plants the additional mines of bureaucracy and self-importance: Its characters work for the film division of England’s Ministry Of Information during World War II. They are expected to deliver a feature with “authenticity informed by optimism” about the ongoing war, even as bombs fall on London from overhead. In other, actual words spoken aloud by one of the characters, “We need a story to inspire a »
- Jesse Hassenger
This is no festive prank, these movies are hilarious.
Let’s face it, the world is a wreck. Every day things look bleaker than they did the day before. It’s gotten to the point where, if you can’t learn to laugh at our misery, you’re finished. If you need some help figuring out how to find humor in even the worst bits of the human experience, dark comedies work, Netflix has them, and we’ve made a list of the good ones. Click on the films’ titles to be taken to their Netflix pages.
Pick of the Month: This Must Be the Place (2011)
I can’t think of another movie in recent times that’s been so good and gotten so little love and attention in return. Maybe that’s because the concept of a former 80s glam rocker who still wears his makeup (Sean Penn) tracking down the Nazi concentration camp guard who »
- Nathan Adams
Women Who Kill screens Friday, Mar. 31 at 7:00pm at the .Zack (3224 Locust St., St. Louis, Mo 63103) as part of this year’s QFest St. Louis. Ticket information can be found Here
When anyone starts a new relationship there is almost always some hesitation. Most people will ponder, for at least a few moments, “what am I getting myself into?” “Do I really know this person enough, even if I love them, to not get hurt in this?” And what if our deepest, darkest fears about another person turn out to true? What if we have gotten ourselves into a relationship with someone abusive, controlling, dangerous, maybe even…..a serial killer?
Women especially have such thoughts, I have known several women who have told me exactly that. And what if both people are women, and one of them is a serial killer? That is the set up for Women Who Kill »
- Sam Moffitt
With his jocular, yet authoritative voice matched with a wide grin and gleaming eyes, John Goodman could very well be the definition of a character actor. The guy filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen routinely cast as the sidekick who lands some of the most memorable lines in their movies or whom Lorne Michaels frequently calls up to host and guest star on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” With the latter, it helps that he seems comfortable with dressing in drag.
And, despite being a marquee name with a scroll of TV, film, and theater credits, Goodman is perfectly fine with this distinction. “I still consider myself a character actor,” Goodman says. “I think it’s a good thing. I think every actor’s a character actor to a certain extent. Character actor has a lot of different definitions. I’m just a mutt. I just keep going for the bone. »
- Whitney Friedlander
By: Carson Blackwelder
The best sound editing category is going to be tough to call at this year’s Oscars, but the race is boiling down to Hacksaw Ridge versus La La Land. While we won’t know who won the Academy’s favor until Sunday, we already know the Motion Picture Sound Editors have honored these two films — among others — at their annual Golden Reel Awards. How often does this society of sound editors predict the corresponding category at the Academy Awards? Let’s take a look and find out.
Nominated alongside Hacksaw Ridge and La La Land in the best sound editing category at this year’s Oscars are Arrival, Sully, and Deepwater Horizon. The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg predicts that Damien Chazelle’s modern musical will take home the trophy by overtaking Mel Gibson’s big Hollywood return. »
- Carson Blackwelder
Today, Peter Berg’s latest ripped-from-the-headlines thriller “Patriots Day” enters wide release today, January 13. The film follows the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent terrorist manhunt. It stars Mark Wahlberg (“Boogie Nights”), John Goodman (“Barton Fink”), J.K. Simmons (“Burn After Reading”), Vincent Curatola (“The Sopranos”), Michelle Monaghan (“True Detective”) and more. Ahead of the film, stream the film’s soundtrack featuring a moody, ominous score composed by duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Listen to it below, courtesy of Spotify.
This is Reznor and Ross’ fifth film score collaboration. They first collaborated on David Fincher’s 2010 film “The Social Network,” about the founding of Facebook and the subsequent lawsuits that arose in its aftermath. The two won the Oscar for Best Original Score that same year. They later scored the following two »
- Vikram Murthi
16 items from 2017
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