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For their screen adaptation of Ghost World, Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff invented a fake arthouse movie with a hilariously ludicrous title: The Flower That Drank The Moon. Maybe that was rattling around in the subconscious of whoever was charged with coming up with an English-language title for Mal De Pierres, a new French melodrama starring Marion Cotillard. The original title is the French phrase for kidney stones, which play a role in the narrative, but which someone apparently deemed insufficiently alluring for U.S. audiences. (To be fair, the French don’t include the word “kidney” in their phrase, which means “evil of stones.”) Instead, we’re getting this film as From The Land Of The Moon—a title that’s somehow at once generic and nonsensical, and seems vaguely meant to suggest a flight of fancy, or something. Fair enough, as the target audience is people who believe »
- Mike D'Angelo
Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This August will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.
To sign up for a free two-week trial here.
Tuesday, August 1
Tuesday’s Short + Feature: These Boots and Mystery Train
Music is at the heart of this program, which pairs a zany music video by Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki with a tune-filled career highlight from American independent-film pioneer Jim Jarmusch. In the 1993 These Boots, Kaurismäki’s band of pompadoured “Finnish Elvis” rockers, the Leningrad Cowboys, cover a Nancy Sinatra classic in their signature deadpan style. It’s the perfect prelude to Jarmusch’s 1989 Mystery Train, a homage to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the musical legacy of Memphis, featuring appearances by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Joe Strummer. »
- Ryan Gallagher
While last year’s Paul Feig-directed Ghostbusters: Answer the Call didn’t quite prove to be the relaunch that fans of the franchise were hoping for, it seems that Ivan Reitman isn’t ready to call time on the series, with the director of the original two movies revealing at San Diego Comic-Con that he’s got plans for both an animated feature and new live-action film.
Speaking about Idw’s Ghostbusters 101 panel, Reitman said that: “I think we have wonderful plans, [including] an animated feature that we’re deep in design on already… a really great story. That’s going to surprise everybody, I think, when it comes out. And we’re dealing with Ghost World quite a lot. We’re looking at the film from a ghost point-of-view, and the Ghostbusters from a ghost point-of-view. I think that would be something very interesting.”
Reitman also revealed that the »
- Gary Collinson
Audiences remain divided on the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters – directed by Paul Feig, and starring an entirely female team. Those divisions do not seem to have dampened enthusiasm for the property – for either fans or the studio – however, as producer Ivan Reitman recently detailed plans for the future of the franchise.
Addressing an assembled crowd at the Idw comic panel at San Diego Comic-Con recently, the man behind the original Ghostbusters movies provided some details on the animated film that’s currently in development.
“I think we have wonderful plans, both for an animated feature that we’re deep in design on already and a really great story. That’s going to surprise everybody, I think, when it comes out. And we’re dealing with Ghost World quite a lot. We’re looking at the film from a ghost point-of-view, and the Ghostbusters from a ghost point-of-view. I think that would »
- Sarah Myles
David Crow Jul 21, 2017
We are one year out from the Ghostbusters film of last year. But wherever you stand on the comedy which starred Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, it clearly didn’t set the box office on fire. Be that as it may, Ivan Reitman, who produced the movie and directed a the original Ghostbusters, is far from undaunted.
While stepping foot inside of San Diego Comic-Con for a Ghostbusters panel of biblical proportions, he had much to say about the future of the brand. There to help promote several new Ghostbusters comics series from Idw Publishing, Reitman talked pretty openly about the future of Ghostbusters movies at Sony Pictures and their newly minted Ghost Corps subsidiary.
More acutely, Reitman confirmed that not only is the Ghostbusters animated movie still on, »
Aaron, Travis and Tim Leggoe dig into the world of Terry Zwigoff, the Barnes & Noble Sale, predictions and wish lists for October Criterion releases, reactions to the Sean Baker episode, and plenty more. We also have announced a contest so listen carefully.
8:00 – Sean Baker Reactions
19:00 – Barnes & Noble
30:00 – October Predictions
47:00 – Ghost World
1:21:30 – FilmStruck
Episode Links Barnes & Noble Criterion Sale Thora Birch: How Hollywood’s Darling Disappeared Janus Films – The Human Condition Tweet Criterion Close-Up 23: Breaker Morant and Mister Johnson Episode Credits Aaron West: Twitter | Website | Letterboxd Tim Leggoe: Blog | Letterboxd | Twitter Travis Trudell: Twitter | Instagram Criterion Now: Twitter | Facebook Group Criterion Cast: Facebook | Twitter
Music for the show is from Fatboy Roberts’ Geek Remixed project. »
- Aaron West
Exclusive: Terry Zwigoff has signed with ICM Partners. Zwigoff is best known for directing the black comedies Bad Santa and Ghost World, as well as the heralded documentary Crumb, about the cartoonist Robert Crumb. Zwigoff, who had been with Wme, most recently helmed for Amazon Studios Budding Prospects, about a group that disconnects and sets out to grow pot in the country. Zwigoff remains with attorney Robert… »
We all like to root for the underdog, especially if it is someone we, the audience, feel is being unjustly treated by a cruel, uncaring world. So, sitting down to Wilson, the film adaptation of Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel, we’re predisposed to cheer for the title character, especially as portrayed by Woody Harrelson.
Unfortunately, we get a soft, gooey portrayal of a misanthrope who brings much of the misery upon himself, surrounding himself with ill-defined characters. The 94 minute experience is at times uncomfortable and other times you shake your head at the missed opportunities.
The 2010 graphic novel is comprised of 70 single page gag strips about Wilson, inspired in part by his own father’s death as well as the relationship between Peanuts creator Charles Schulz and his father. Days and years pass in Wilson’s life between these vignettes forcing you to guess what has happened. In some ways, the film works in the same frustrating manner.
The film, out now from 20th Century Home Entertainment, focuses on Wilson, a down on his luck guy who loses his father to cancer then goes in search of his past by tracking his ex-wife where he learns the abortion that ended their marriage never happened. Instead, she gave away the child, now a teen, and they go in search of her.
Laura Dern looks appropriately strung out as Pippi, his ex, who is variously described as a crack whore and lunatic. She left Wilson, gave up her daughter, and tried to stay straight as a waitress. When Wilson finds her, she crumbles around whatever she originally found in him to love. As a result, she gives in all too readily and all too often, when he wants to love her or find their daughter and then pursue a relationship with her. Later, time passes and her situation changes with no real explanation, undercutting our appreciation for her struggles.
Harrelson gives the part his all, but is ill served by Clowes script. The story is fine but there’s little to like about Wilson, who is rude, arrogant, befuddled, and stressed out depending upon the scene. After being arrested for allegedly kidnapping Claire (Isabella Amara), he transitions to a three year stint at prison. There, he seems to find God or bond with every sub-culture in the prison population, softening his edges at last, so in the final act, he can find some solace. There’s a better story hidden under all this but Clowes won’t show us. His adaptations of Ghost World and Art School Confidential are far superior.
Had this been in the hands of a surer director, such as the originally-planned Alexander Payne, we might have been given that better movie. Instead, we get relative novice Craig Johnson, making just his third feature. Therefore, performances by Judy Greer, Cheryl Hines, and Margo Martindale are wasted.
We veer from slapstick to sentimental and the entire final portion of the film shifts tone into something sappy. The entire production lacks focus, direction, and even a point. As a portrait of a middle-aged man lost in the world, it has more promise than actual delivery.
Given that the film was a box office and critical disappointment, it’s no surprise that there is a paucity of special features. We do get 15 Deleted Scenes, some of which would have helped the overall story but none are entirely missed. There are also a photo gallery and trailers. »
- Robert Greenberger
Daniel Clowes’s graphic novel does not translate well to the big screen, despite the star’s high-energy performance
The lovechild of director Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins) and screenwriter and comic book artist Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) was always going to be an abrasive, maladroit loner with the social subtlety of a headbutt. And in this, the misanthropic, gleefully luddite Wilson (Woody Harrelson) doesn’t disappoint. Wilson delights in peeling people away from their electronic devices and engaging them in conversations which invariably feel more like an assault than an exchange of ideas. When he reconnects with his troubled ex-wife (Laura Dern), Wilson learns he has a teenage daughter who was adopted and, for a while at least, he feels part of a dysfunctional family unit. A structure that perhaps worked better in its original graphic novel form feels a little episodic as a movie. Despite the mordant humour »
- Wendy Ide
Although most widely recognized for his 2003 black comedy Bad Santa, director Terry Zwigoff’s particular idiosyncrasies are perhaps best captured in his 2001 narrative debut Ghost World, an acerbically angsty teen comedy featuring a superbly cynical Thora Birch as a misunderstood young woman rejecting social expectations.
Continue reading »
- Nicholas Bell
Directed by Craig Johnson
A lonely and socially-difficult middle-aged man battles his father’s sudden death by teaming up with his ex-wife to hunt down and reunite with the daughter they put up for adoption several decades earlier.
The very concept of Wilson on paper: the director of The Skeleton Twins, Craig Johnson, partnering up with Daniel Clowes, the mastermind behind Ghost World, to make yet another off-beat indie dramedy, is pretty much a Sundance wet-dream waiting to happen. And while the final result isn’t quite the esteemed cult classic existing fans of the pair may well be hoping for, what it is is an incredibly solid, well-acted and surprisingly heartfelt look at both honesty and loneliness. A more hard-talking, and slightly more meandering take on Clowes’ usual material, but with the necessary warmth and depth that Johnson made his name mastering. »
- Ben Robins
Yasujirō Ozu tends to be known by reputation as a restrained, despondent dramatist — and not, regrettably, as one of the rare artists immaculately in tune with the psychology, behavior and energy of children. His 1932 silent comedy I Was Born, But... is a delectable slice of humor, humanism, and social satire, grounded by an exceptional insight into the verbal and physical language of grade-school boys and brought to life by pitch-perfect performances a cast of young actors. In Good Morning, his characteristically sedate, loose remake of the aforementioned silent film, Ozu revisits similar thematic territory from the wizened perspective of his postwar films. Now with the tools of full audio and Technicolor at his disposal, Ozu spins a social and emotional tapestry from a 1950s Tokyo suburb in which two young brothers, desperate for their own TV set, take a vow of silence in protest against the frivolous speech of adult society. »
- The Film Stage
While walking into the anticipated screening of director Patty Jenkins' film Wonder Woman, two women were walking a few steps in front of me and one of them proudly said, "We finally have a superhero we can call our own." It's a pertinent comment because this Wonder Woman film is a huge step in the right direction for female-fronted superhero films, but also the DC Extended Universe, which has seen a string of disappointing superhero/antihero films, including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.
Looking at the history of superhero/comic book films provides an even greater depth to the comment made by the two women walking into a predominantly male-driven character genre of film. And when you look at the comic book films that promote a female lead, the results are less than favorable. DC Comics' Supergirl was released in 1984 and starred Helen Slater, »
- Monte Yazzie
Daniel Clowes’ comics creation receives an A-Plus film adaptation through the directorial filter of Terry Zwigoff. The show has more going for it than the bleak alienation of disaffected quasi- gen-Xers — the script offers a depth of character revealing the insecure, hopes and fears behind all the insulting attitudes and behaviors. It’s caustic, funny and also strongly affecting.
The Criterion Collection 872
2001 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 111 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date May 30, 2017 / 39.95
Cinematography: Affonso Beato
Production Designer: Edward T. McAvoy
Art Direction: Alan E. Muraoka
Original Music: David Kitay
Directed by Terry Zwigoff
- Glenn Erickson
Terry Zwigoff hasn’t always had the best relationship with Hollywood. His films tend to be prickly human portraits (“Crumb,” “Ghost World“) that don’t make for easy marketing, and the biggest commercial film of his career, “Bad Santa,” saw him enter a heated battle with the Weinsteins, who wanted to soften its sharper edges (read our candid interview with Zwigoff for all the juicy details).
- Kevin Jagernauth
Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, and to paraphrase those renowned seventies scholars the Brady Bunch, “When it’s time to change then it’s time to change.”
While I’ve tried my hardest to slowly sneak those changes in, it’s gotten to the point where we’ll need to do something more drastic if the few of you reading the Weekend Warrior on a weekly basis actually want it to remain coming to you on a weekly basis. Because of that, we’re going to try something different by not throwing in as much independent limited releases for those checking the column out, and making the column a little more focused at least for the time being. (I’m probably going to move reviews for my Top Picks over to my blog, which is easy enough to »
- Edward Douglas
Late summer is all about reflection over at The Criterion Collection, as the library is spending August offering up a handful of unsung classics and new look at some longtime favorites.
Michael Curitz’s “The Breaking Point,” a mostly overlooked Hemingway adaptation, starring John Garfield and Patricia Neal, will be available on Blu-ray for the first time, while Sacha Guitry’s “La poison” arrives on home video for the first time ever. Elsewhere, Mike Leigh’s revelatory “Meantime” is getting a 2K restoration, all the better to enjoy the early work of Tim Roth and Gary Oldman. That’s not all for Oldman fans, however, as Alex Cox’s “Sid & Nancy” hits the collection with a brand new 4K digital restoration. Finally, Walter Matthau stars in the charming comedy “Hopscotch,” also available on Blu-ray in a 2K digital restoration.
Below is the complete list of August additions, with descriptions provided by Criterion. »
- Kate Erbland
Cannes is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, but it’s also a business hub. The fest — and Cannes market — officially kick off tomorrow, May 17, but new projects are already being announced, including ones toplined by Rosamund Pike, Blake Lively, and Noomi Rapace.
Pike has signed on to star as trailblazing chemist and physicist Marie Curie in “Radioactive.” Variety broke the news. The biopic will be directed by “Persepolis” helmer Marjane Satrapi. An adaptation of Lauren Redniss’ graphic nonfiction book “Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout,” the live-action project is fully financed by Studiocanal.
“Marie Curie was such a natural force of life. Everybody, everywhere she went was affected by her energy and brilliance,” said Satrapi. “This is an intense role which requires a lot of intelligence and sensibility. Rosamund is ‘the one’ to incarnate her. I understood it the second I met her.”
Pike earned an Oscar nod in 2015 for “Gone Girl.” She was most recently seen in Amma Asante’s well-reviewed interracial romance “A United Kingdom.” She’ll play war reporter Marie Colvin in an upcoming biopic directed by Matthew Heineman (“Cartel Land”).
Lively will star as a single mom and former Mma fighter in “Bruised,” Deadline reports. Faced with the threat of losing her son to the authorities, the disgraced athlete “must get back in the cage for one last chance to fight for redemption and give her son the life she always wanted.”
The source writes that “Nick Meyer’s Sierra/Affinity is launching sales on the project to foreign buyers in Cannes this week.” Linda Gottlieb (“Dirty Dancing”) will produce alongside Management 360’s Guymon Casady and Thunder Road Pictures’ Basil Iwanyk.
Lively made a major splash with last summer’s “The Shallows.” The shark thriller earned nearly $120 million and was made for just $17 million. The “Gossip Girl” alumna’s other credits include “Café Society,” “The Age of Adaline,” and “The Town.”
“Prometheus” actress Rapace will portray a counter-terrorism expert in “Close,” The Hollywood Reporter writes. The action-thriller will be directed by Vicky Jewson (“Born of War”), who also co-wrote the script.
According to THR, Rapace’s character “takes on what should be a babysitting job protecting a rich teenage heiress. But a violent attempted kidnapping forces the two to go on the run, and then they’ve got to take some lives — or lose theirs.”
“WestEnd acquired the film under its WeLove banner aimed at female audiences,” THR writes. Production is slated to kick off next month.
Rapace played Lisbeth Salander in the original Swedish-language adaptation of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and its sequels. She’s set to star in “Callas,” Niki Caro’s upcoming biopic about opera singer Maria Callas.
Check out our infographic about women directors screening films at Cannes this year. The fest runs until May 28.
Cannes 2017 Updates: Rosamund Pike, Blake Lively, and Noomi Rapace Line Up New Projects was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Beginning next Friday, New York’s Metrograph will present a Terry Zwigoff retrospective that includes screenings of all five of his feature films. The weekend-long series begins with “Ghost World” and continues with “Louie Bluie,” “Art School Confidential” and “Bad Santa” before closing with his acclaimed documentary; Zwigoff will appear in person at each screening. Watch an exclusive trailer for the tribute below.
Here are some notes on the festivities in Metrograph’s own words: “Terry Zwigoff never seemed to belong to the careerist, wheeler-dealer world of the Sundance indie, and that’s part of his charm. Catapulted to prominence with ‘Crumb,’ his instant classic documentary on underground legend R. Crumb, Zwigoff went on to reel out a trio of blackly-comic fiction films which all together offer a jaundiced, »
- Michael Nordine
Over the last few weeks, the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival celebrated the best that the indie filmmaking world has to offer, and during the fest’s run, I had the chance to check out just a few of the genre-related offerings on Tribeca’s lineup: The Endless from Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, Pat Healy’s feature film directorial debut, Take Me, and the psychological thriller Tilt from Kasra Farahani. Read on for my thoughts on this trio of thought-provoking cinematic treats.
The Endless: Before I start discussing The Endless, I want to take a moment and say that I feel like the best way to experience the latest from Benson and Moorhead is to go in knowing as little as possible, because that’s how I saw it, and it 110% blew my mind. That being said, part of my job is reviewing movies, so I promise I will keep »
- Heather Wixson
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