6 items from 2016
tk Let us paint you a little picture. The date: This day in 2003. The scene: A trendy al fresco eatery in Notting Hill, London. We open on two bright Hollywood stars enjoying some lunch and a mid-afternoon spritzer. The heroine of our tale has just finished promoting a marquee starring role in the blockbuster Spider-Man. She will soon be seen in Mona Lisa Smile, and is about to start filming what will become the Oscar-winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Her dining companion is still best known for his turn in the bizarrely awesome Donnie Darko, but is poised for a breakout in the coming years with The Day After Tomorrow and Brokeback Mountain. As of this »
Girl Talk is a weekly look at women in film — past, present and future.
In the spring of 1999, Sofia Coppola’s feature directorial debut, a big screen version of Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel “The Virgin Suicides,” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. A delicate, deeply feeling and achingly human portrait of suburban ennui and teenage depression, the film was anchored by a performance by a then-17-year-old Kirsten Dunst. As Lux Lisbon, the prettiest and wildest and most broken of the five Lisbon sisters that the film so intimately chronicles, Dunst was tasked with straddling the gap between deep pain and flickering hope.
The film follows the Lisbons after their youngest sister, Cecilia, twice attempts suicide, completing the act on her second try, all during party thrown by her terrified parents in hopes of cheering her up enough to keep her alive. The Lisbons, by and large, are suffocated by their »
- Kate Erbland
Back in 2013 I wrote about a poster for Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers that appeared to be knitted out of wool. It turned out, in fact, to be a piece of digital ingenuity, though no less impressive or charming for that. But I recently came across this poster for Raam Reddy’s Locarno-winning film Thithi, whose artwork, it turns out, is actually embroidered by hand.Thithi, which played at New Directors/New Films in New York this past spring, is a wonderful portrait of four generations of men and the community that surrounds them in the Karnatakan province of Southern India. The idea of having a poster embroidered by hand by a team of local artisans fits perfectly with the communal generosity of the film (which has the feel of a sun-baked Ealing Comedy). The poster features the majestic, grizzled head of Gadappa, the wily, peripatetic, devil-may-care senior, whose 101-year-old father, »
If you made it through the truly epic - to the point where bodies are piled into mountains and men are holding their own entrails in their hands - Battle of the Bastards on Game of Thrones, then you saw Jon Snow's army become almost entirely out-strategized and outfought. Almost. At the very last minute, an actual knight in shining armor leads a fresh army to Jon's side, and Ramsay Bolton is soundly defeated. The knights gallop into battle carrying crisp white-and-blue flags, while Sansa sits calmly with the hint of a Mona Lisa smile because she's the one who requested them: Littlefinger and his Knights of Vale. Recognizing their tremendous lack of resources, Sansa had secretly written to Littlefinger and asked for his help in defeating Ramsay and reclaiming Winterfell. And while Jon's army could have used some assistance earlier - before his men are being crushed to »
- Kate Emswiler
For more than a decade, Julia Roberts was box-office gold, becoming the world's biggest actress and the first female to command a $20 million salary for her Oscar-winning performance in Erin Brockovich, released in 2000. Roberts — who starred in 17 movies in the 1990s, including classic rom-coms Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride and Notting Hill — was so powerful she saw her paycheck upped to $25 million for the 2003 drama, Mona Lisa Smile. (After Mona Lisa Smile, she started making fewer films as she focused on raising a family.) Fast-forward to present day when
- Pamela McClintock
Zootropolis review by Paul Heath. Disney load up their gun and fire their first animated film of the year. Strangely for the animation studio side of the massive Disney empire, excluding anything from Pixar, they are choosing to release two movies this year. Later we’ll get the Moana, the Hawaii-set adventure, but first, here’s Zootropolis, an original tale that is going by different names across the planet (it’s being referred to as Zootopia in the Us).
The story revolves around the character of Judy Hopps, an energetic bunny from the suburbs who is intent on moving to the bright lights of Zootropolis to become a police officer. There are many hurdles in her way, and the budding cop must overcome them all to become the first rabbit to join the police force. With the »
- Paul Heath
6 items from 2016
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