8 items from 2017
Imagine if Quentin Tarantino was Chinese and made an animated crime drama. That's kind of what Have a Nice Day feels like, in a way. Have a Nice Day (originally titled Hao ji le in Chinese) is a film from director Jian Liu that just premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in the main competition line-up. The animation style is closer to "Archer" or A Scanner Darkly, and the film is sort of a Coen Brothers-esque story about a bunch of people in a small Chinese town who get mixed up chasing a bag of money. There are a few minor political themes, but it's fairly light entertainment, with some fun moments and colorful characters. Oddly enough, this film is better than half of what I saw in competition at the Berlin Film Festival, even if isn't that smart. When a gangster's bag containing a million yuan goes missing, a »
- Alex Billington
Con-Man Movie: Robert Downey Jr. and director Richard Linklater will team up to make a movie based on the real-life story of a con man. It's inspired by an episode titled "Man of the People" from the podcast series Reply All that detailed how one doctor scammed his way to fame and fortune while another doctor sought to bring him down over the course of ten years. Downey and Linklater previously worked together on A Scanner Darkly. [THR] Timmy Failure: Reportedly, Disney is developing a live-action movie based on a children's book series by author and cartoonist Stephan Pastis. The Timmy Failure series consists of five books so far, with a sixth edition to be published in April. The main character is a boy who solves crimes with his best friend, a...
- Peter Martin
Bryan Cranston and Amazon are partnering on another series.
From Sony Television and British broadcast Channel 4, Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams is based on the award-winning short stories by the sci-fi author. Each episode is set to be a standalone segment, adapted and modernized for global audiences by British and American writers. Dick's work includes The Man in the High Castle, A Scanner Darkly and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which became Ridley Scott's hit Blade Runner.
- Kate Stanhope
Academy Award nominees Robert Downey Jr and Richard Linklater are set to re-team for a film that will adapt an episode of the Reply All podcast. The show is hosted by P.J Vogt and Alex Goldman, and focuses on real stories that demonstrate the relationship between people and technology. The episode that will be adapted aired on January 19th 2017, and was titled Man Of The People – although it is yet to be confirmed that this title will be used for the movie that is now being developed.
Episode #86 of Reply All centred on the turn-of-the-century tale of John Brinkley, who led the extraordinary life of a man gifted in the art of the con, and was also widely considered to be responsible for many deaths. Born in North Carolina in 1885, Brinkley dreamed of becoming a doctor – but events and circumstance seemed to continually conspire against him. Determined to succeed, »
- Sarah Myles
Con Man Movie: Robert Downey Jr. and director Richard Linklater will reunite to make a movie based on the real-life story of a con man. It's inspired by an episode titled "Man of the People" from the podcast series Reply All that detailed how one doctor scammed his way to fame and fortune while another doctor sought to bring him down over the course of 10 years. Downey and Linklater previously worked together on A Scanner Darkly. [THR] Timmy Failure:...
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The appeal of Keanu Reeves – philosopher, lover, martial artist, musician, motorcycle enthusiast, movie star – is that he carries himself lightly, even in the movies that require him to turn from "cool breeze" (the Hawaiian translation of his first name, for those of you playing at home) to howling tempest. He's the type of guy who's had to deny being Buddhist, even though he's played the Buddha onscreen – because it's just widely assumed that he would swing that way religiously. ("I haven't take refuge in the dharma," he has assured us. »
One of 2016’s best documentaries is another look at a seminal moment in America’s struggle with crime and violence. Like many previous docs, it’s an examination of a mass murder. Now basic cable TV channels (and network “newsmagazines”) are filled with such, now almost commonplace, events. What makes this film unique is the subject, namely the very first mass shooting just over fifty years ago. The other aspect that makes this work is special is its approach and use of a high-tech upgrade of a movie device that dates back over 90 years. This enables the film makers to expertly transport us to that hot summer day in 1966, as a madman spewed death from the top of a college Tower.
Director Keith Maitland, like many documentarians, makes use of archival news footage and radio recordings to convey the horror of Charles Whitman’s rampage at the University of Texas. »
- Jim Batts
In the nearly 75 years since the Oscars began awarding a documentary feature, no non-fiction filmmaker has ever been nominated for director, despite being eligible for the prize.
The most obvious reason is that “directing” seems antithetical to the spirit of nonfiction, which is about revealing unsullied truths about the world in which we live. Documentary directors have been generally regarded as observers or journalists, rather than as creative artists, and the Oscar process has, until recently, rewarded more conservative approaches to the form.
Such prominent documentary figures as Errol Morris and Werner Herzog worked for decades before the Academy honored them. Morris’ “The Fog of War” won the 2004 Oscar and Herzog’s “Encounters at the End of the World” was nominated in 2009. But even those films, as quirky and iconoclastic as they are, operated in the familiar spheres of journalistic interrogation and fact-filled nature docs. It’s always been expected »
- Scott Tobias
8 items from 2017
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