9 items from 2017
Kathryn Bigelow has often been at her best when detailing the vaguely homoerotic, exceedingly intimate relationships between men, and what drives these men. This is certainly the case with Point Break and arguably with K-19: The Widowmaker too. There’s a volatile current of Oedipal details flowing underneath the action in Near Dark, and the boy’s club mentality of the military can be gleaned in fascinating flecks of dialogue and gestures in The Hurt Locker. In all these movies, including her latest film, Detroit, the way that men compete and speak with one another, whether in a combative … »
- Chris Cabin
The Oscar winner’s ripped-from-the-headlines drama, which opens nationwide on Aug. 4, burrows into one of the most painful chapters in American history. It centers on the Detroit riots of 1967, a response to decades of racial oppression and economic marginalization that exploded during a scorching hot summer and enflamed the Motor City. How could Bigelow — a white woman raised just ouside San Franicsco by middle-class parents and educated at Columbia University — understand and illuminate that kind of raw experience? Should she even try?
“I thought, ‘Am I the perfect person to tell this story? No,’” says Bigelow. “However, I’m able to tell this story, and it’s been 50 years since it’s been told.”
Ultimately, Bigelow opted to put her clout as the most famous female filmmaker in the world on the line, and convinced Annapurna, an indie production company with big ambitions to become »
- Brent Lang
We wondered, when Kathryn Bigelow’s “Detroit” was set for a late-summer release, if it might mean that the film was a bit of a misfire — often, seemingly awards-baity stuff like this, especially coming from a director with two Best Picture nominees in a row (and one winner), is held for the fall. Was it a sign that the film was more “K-19: The Widowmaker” than “The Hurt Locker?”
But reviews have hit for the film ahead of its opening (look for ours in the next hour or two), and they suggest that Bigelow and writing partner Mark Boal have delivered again with their look at the 1968 Detroit Riots, and the Algiers Motel Incident that took place during them that resulted in the death of three black teenagers.
- Oliver Lyttelton
Kathryn Bigelow’s highly anticipated follow-up to Jessica Chastain-starrer “Zero Dark Thirty” hits theaters in just under a month, but if you’re based in Toronto, you’ll be able to catch the director’s work on the big screen before “Detroit” opens August 4. Tiff — the organization behind the Toronto International Film Festival — is set to launch a retrospective of some of Bigelow’s biggest hits beginning July 12.
Set to run until August 15 at Tiff’s Bell Lightbox, “Kathryn Bigelow: On the Edge” will celebrate her “meticulous action craftsmanship and steely intensity,” a press release details. The retrospective “features the filmmaker’s work from her early days directing action-packed heist films to her critically acclaimed war films about the U.S. military.”
Bigelow is the only woman to win Best Director at the Oscars. She took home the award in 2010 for “The Hurt Locker,” a drama about a bomb squad in Iraq. The Best Picture winner is set to screen during “On the Edge” along with other titles such as surfer-heist action pic “Point Break” and “Near Dark,” a horror-western that centers on vampires.
Head over to Tiff’s website for more information and to buy advance tickets.
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow | USA | 1987 | 94 min. | R | 35mm Friday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow | USA | 1991 | 120 min. | 14A | 35mm Saturday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow | USA | 1995 | 145 min. | R | 35mm Saturday, July 22 at 9:15 p.m.
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow | USA | 1989 | 102 min. | R | 35mm Friday July 28 at 9:30 p.m.
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow | USA / UK / Germany / Canada | 2002 | 138 min. | PG | 35mm Thursday August 3 at 9:00 p.m.
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow | USA | 2009 | 131 min. | 14A | Digital Saturday August 12 at 9:15 p.m.
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow | USA | 2012 | 157 min. | 14A | 35mm Tuesday August 15 at 8:15 p.m.
Tiff to Host Kathryn Bigelow Retrospective was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” is poised to make herstory yet again. The Gal Gadot-led superheroine film is quickly approaching a milestone: it’s about to become the top-grossing live-action film directed by a woman. Diana Price’s origin story “will eclipse the $609.8 million earned worldwide by Phyllida Lloyd’s ‘Mamma Mia!’ (2008) to become the top-grossing live-action film of all time from a female director, not accounting for inflation,” The Hollywood Reporter writes. Jenkins already holds the record for highest domestic opening for a female director for the critically acclaimed blockbuster.
“Wonder Woman” passed the $600 million benchmark as of Wednesday at the worldwide box office, taking in $601.6 million. It will probably surpass “Mamma Mia!’s” numbers today, Friday.
“‘Wonder Woman’ also has a strong shot of passing up [Jennifer Nelson’s 2011 animated film] ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’s’ $665.7 million to become the top-grossing film of all time from a female filmmaker with solo directing duties,” THR predicts. “In terms of a movie from female and male co-directors, Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck’s ‘Frozen’ (2013) is at the top of the box-office list with $1.28 billion in global ticket sales.”
“Wonder Woman” is just the second women-directed film to be released with a budget of $100 million-plus. The first was Kathryn Bigelow’s 2002 thriller “K-19: The Widowmaker.” When Jenkins was asked a question about the responsibility of stepping behind the camera for the most expensive film ever helmed by a woman she said, “I can’t take on the history of 50 percent of the population just because I’m a woman.” The “Monster” helmer explained, “I’m just trying to make the greatest version of ‘Wonder Woman’ that I can for the people who love the character as much as I do and hope that the movie lives up to all the pressure that’s on it.”
Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” Poised to Become Top-Grossing Live-Action Film Directed by a Woman was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
As a summer superhero movie directed by and starring a woman, the greatest feat for “Wonder Woman” will be its refusal to be crushed by expectations. So let’s get this out of the way now: It almost certainly won’t be the biggest-grossing movie with a female director. That honor goes to “Frozen,” which was written and co-directed by Jennifer Lee. However, “Wonder Woman” stands a good chance of becoming the biggest live-action movie ever (at least domestic) with a female lead character.
The latest collaboration between Warner Bros.’ and D.C. Comics, “Wonder Woman” has received excellent reviews — the best in recent D.C. memory, and equal to most of the top Marvel Studios entries. It is poised to be a strong box office performer.
- Tom Brueggemann
Gina Prince-Bythewood: BFI/YouTube
Gina Prince-Bythewood is getting a superhero movie. Variety reports that the “Secret Life of Bees” writer-director has signed to to helm “Silver Sable and Black Cat.” She’ll also rewrite the script of the Marvel project, set to be produced by Amy Pascal (“Ghostbusters”) and Matt Tolmach (“The Amazing Spider-Man”).
“In the comic books, Silver Sable is a mercenary who runs a company that hunts war criminals. Black Cat is burglar named Felicia Hardy, who briefly appeared in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ played by Felicity Jones,” Variety summarizes. “While both characters exist in Marvel’s ‘Spider-Man’ universe, Prince-Bythewood’s film will not be a crossover with the web-slinger.”
While the genre is still overwhelmingly dominated by men, it’s great to hear word of another big-budget female-centric comic book adaptation with a woman behind the camera. Patty Jenkins’ long-awaited “Wonder Woman” opens next week, and “Captain Marvel,” toplined by Brie Larson and co-directed by Anna Boden, is scheduled for release March 8, 2019.
Fortunately we won’t have to wait very long for “Silver Sable and Black Cat.” No word on casting just yet.
With this project, Prince-Bythewood is likely to become the second woman of color to helm a film with a budget over $100 million. “Selma” director Ava DuVernay made herstory as the first with Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” set to bow March 9, 2018. The only live-action women-directed film that’s been released with a budget in this range — so far — is Kathryn Bigelow’s “K-19: The Widowmaker,” which opened in 2002. Upcoming films helmed by women with budgets in the $100 million-plus range are of course “Wonder Woman” and “Captain Marvel” as well as Niki Caro’s “Mulan.”
We don’t have confirmation that “Silver Sable and Black Cat” will have a budget over $100 million, but given the budgets of past super hero movies, we’d be surprised if it didn’t.
DuVernay has described Hollywood as “a patriarchy, headed by men and built for men. To pretend like Hollywood is anything other than that is disingenuous,” she observed. “#OscarsSoWhite is trendy, but for women filmmakers and filmmakers of color, it’s not a trend. This is our reality, and it’s important that we do something to change it. We have to find new ways to work without permission, new ways to turn corners and go through doors that are closed off to us to create our own audiences and our own material independently.”
Hollywood is in serious need of a makeover, and trailblazers like DuVernay and Prince-Bythewood are paving the way.
Gina Prince-Bythewood to Direct Marvel’s “Silver Sable and Black Cat” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Katie Smith-Wong May 31, 2017
With plans afoot for a live action take on Mulan, we look at the challenges facing Disney...
After more than 50 years of making animated features, Disney have now turned their attention to live-action adaptations of their famous films. After releases such as 101 Dalmatians (1996), Maleficent (2014) and Cinderella (2015), the studio's new creative direction has earned critical acclaim and financial success. It is also making its mark on the global box office, as the recently released Beauty And The Beast remake has earned small change in the region of $1.2bn and counting.
Among the upcoming remakes planned is Mulan, which already has fans of the 1998 Disney film debating about its faithfulness to the animated feature. That's especially so given reports about director Niki Caro's indecisiveness regarding the inclusion of songs such as Honour To Us All and I'll Make A Man Out Of You, as well as the »
Comic book movies have been a thing for about as long as Hollywood has been a thing, but the modern age of Superhero movies didn't really get going until around 2000. That was when X-Men came out, which changed everything. Cut to 17 years later and we still have yet to have a good, female-led superhero movie in the modern era. Wonder Woman is hoping to change that this summer.
Warner Bros. may be a little late to the game in terms of making a cinematic universe around their DC Comics superheroes when compared to Marvel Studios, but they are beating Marvel to the punch on this one. Marvel Studios has strong female heroes like Black Widow and Scarlet Witch, but after nearly a decade of making comic book movies, they have yet to make a movie featuring a female as the lead. Warner Bros. is releasing Wonder Woman as their fourth »
9 items from 2017
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