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The summer movie season is almost over, and will total about $3.875 billion in North America. That’s a 13 percent drop from last summer; adjusted to the number of tickets sold, it’s the lowest summer in at least 20 years. And when you consider population growth, it’s even worse.
The losers here are the theaters. But for the studios, it validated their decision to make movies that consider the international audience first — which means for domestic theaters, there’s even more bad news to come.
Here’s what we learned on summer vacation:
Yes, there will be more sequels.
In North America, we’re getting sick of sequels — not that it matters. A summer sequel still sees easy entry into the $100 million club, thanks to overseas audiences. “Despicable Me 3” is the #1 film in foreign and worldwide totals, but stands as only #4 in the U.S./Canada. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales »
- Tom Brueggemann
Before the first sensational season of “True Detective,” director Cary Fukunaga became a major discovery in the independent film scene with his debut feature “Sin Nombre,” a 2009 Mexican-American thriller produced by Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal. “Sin Nombre” tells dual stories of a young Honduran girl, Sayra, who is trying to emigrate into the United States, as well as a young boy nicknamed El Casper, who is caught up in gang violence, and longs to escape.
“Sin Nombre” premiered to much acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009, with Fukunaga winning the festival’s Directing Award, and Adriano Goldman picking up the Excellence in Cinematography award.
The film was released by Focus Features, and to commemorate the indie distributor’s 15th anniversary, the company is bringing “Sin Nombre” back to the big screen in New York this month, with a special event co-hosted by IndieWire.
Read MoreCary Joji Fukunaga »
- Jamie Righetti
Anghus Houvouras on the contemporary Masters of Cinema…
Sometimes a good movie conversation can lead you to interesting places. Take the discussion around the wildly overpraised Baby Driver; a good movie that’s being called a ‘masterpiece’ (it’s not). During the discussion my friend Simon Columb posted this on Twitter:
Edgar Wright ain't no "master". Bloomin' eck pic.twitter.com/4HJzn2sS8X
— Simon Columb (@screeninsight) July 2, 2017
I love Edgar Wright. I’ve watched the entire catalog of his work many, many times. Hell, I’ve watched the two series of Spaced At Least a dozen times. The man has an amazing sense of style and kinetic storytelling that feels uniquely his own. But even with a gun to my head I would not list him among the modern contemporary masters of cinema (even one that shoots cars). But, thanks to that hyperbolic burst of circle-jerk fandom, a thought came to mind? »
- Anghus Houvouras
2017 marks the 15th anniversary of indie studio Focus Features. To celebrate, the studio is putting together “Focus 15”, a collection of throwback screenings that will highlight some of Focus’ most successful films including Moonrise Kingdom, Brokeback Mountain, Milk, Pride & Prejudice, Shaun of the Dead, Burn After Reading, and more. These screening series will be held in Los Angeles, New York, and London. Click here to find out where and when the films will be showing and how to get tickets. Additionally, “Limited-edition vinyl records of classic cuts from Focus movies’ soundtracks are being pressed, and limited edition … »
- Matt Goldberg
Focus Features is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year with the Focus 15 initiative, which will bring some of their most beloved titles back to the big screen this summer in theaters all around the world. The celebration kicked off at Cannes last month, where the company premiered “The Beguiled” in competition (Sofia Coppola went on to win Best Director), and it continues this month at the Los Angeles Film Festival with screenings of “Lost in the Translation,” “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Kids Are All Right.”
The entire Focus 15 screening schedule can be found by clicking here, and you can sign up with your email to get live updates and more details about the 15th anniversary celebration. Over the past 15 years, Focus Features movies have garnered 105 Academy Award nominations and won 21 Oscars, which means you »
- Zack Sharf
Author: Stefan Pape
Bruno Dumont has been behind several profound, bleak dramas across his career, culminating in his most recent directorial outing Camille Claudel 1915. Yet the Frenchman now returns to the silver screen with a playful, farcical endeavour that is stylistic in a comparable way to the films of Wes Anderson. But fear not, the filmmaker maintains his dark edge, similarly, in that regard, to British sitcom The League of Gentleman. Though a hybrid between the two, it’s hard not to feel such a description oversells this endeavour somewhat, as while an indelible cinematic experience, it’s undoubtedly a flawed one.
Set in the summer of 1910, we delve into the lives of two socially contrasting families in a small beachside resort. There are the affluent, extravagant Van Peteghem’s, a group of degenerates visiting their holiday home, with André (Fabrice Luchini) and Aude (Juliette Binoche) getting unwittingly caught »
- Stefan Pape
Focus Features will celebrate its 15th anniversary with open-air screenings in July at Rooftop Cinema Club locations in Los Angeles and New York as part of its Focus 15 initiative.
The Los Angeles locations are the Montalbán Theater in Hollywood and Level in downtown. New York locations are Yotel New York in Manhattan, and OfficeOps in Brooklyn. The Focus 15 initiative also includes a London retrospective in July.
Montalbán screenings include “Brick,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Hanna,” “Eastern Promises,” “Pride & Prejudice” and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” Level screenings include “Sin Nombre,” “The Constant Gardener,” “The Pianist,” “Beginners,” “Far from Heaven,” “In Bruges,” “Atonement” and “Dallas Buyers Club.”
Scheduled to screen at Rooftop Cinema Club at Yotel in New York are “Brokeback Mountain,” “Burn After Reading,” “Atonement,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Theory of Everything,” “The Constant Gardener,” “The Pianist,” and “Pride & Prejudice.”
Titles playing at OfficeOps in New York are “Milk,” “The Place Beyond the Pines, »
- Dave McNary
Last year, Vimeo user Vugar Efendi published a side-by-side supercut entitled “Film Meets Art.” The goal was simple – to show how great paintings inspired some of the best shots in cinema – and the result was a rather beautiful side-by-side study of just how painterly filmmaking can be.
The first installment put Thomas Gainsborough’s “Boy in Blue” next to Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” and it showed how the works of American artist Andrew Wyeth rubbed off on Terrence Malick for “Days of Heaven.” The video proved popular enough that Efendi turned it into a series, which was just completed this month with the release of a third installment (via No Film School).
Read More: ‘Arrival’ Video Essay Examines How the Script Helps Us Further Understand Ourselves — Watch
“Film Meets Art III” features 16 more shots and their painterly origins (via No Film School). Movies included in this final go-around are “Moonrise Kingdom, »
- Zack Sharf
The most prestigious award at the Cannes Film Festival every year is the Palme d’Or, which this year went to Ruben Östlund’s “The Square,” but no Cannes is complete without the presentation of the highly coveted Palme de Whiskers, awarded annually in recognition of the Best Feline Performance. This year’s prize went to Mimi, from Agnès Varda’s “Faces Places,” RogerEbert.com reports. The documentary also won the Golden Eye prize, which recognizes a documentary from across all of the festival’s sidebars.
Read More: The 2017 IndieWire Cannes Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item Posted During the Festival
The other award given by the Fffa (Feline Film Festivals Authority), the Kittycat Peace Prize, went to Baby, the kitten from “The Square.” The award was presented by Mrow, the Tehran street cat who won last year’s award for his performance in Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman. »
- Graham Winfrey
This Memorial Day weekend at the specialty box office is dominated by niche releases without much crossover theatrical appeal, often available for home viewing. The strongest performer: Sundance entry “Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead” (Abramorama), which opened in two cities, combining Thursday night event shows and full-week dates to overcome its four-hour running time.
June will bring some top releases to flesh out a slow schedule, including Sofia Coppola’s Cannes success “The Beguiled” (Focus Features). Cannes competition films from Bong Joon Ho (“Okja”) and Noah Baumbach (“The Meyerowitz Stories”) will hit Netflix and select day-and-date theaters in June, and sometime after that, respectively.
- Tom Brueggemann
The dangerous doll from The Conjuring franchise is coming to the West Coast this June, as Warner Bros. will present a special advance screening of Annabelle: Creation ahead of its theatrical release this August, with Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled also announced for the festival.
Press Release: Los Angeles (May 23, 2017)— Today the La Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, announced the Gala Screening of New Line Cinema’s Annabelle: Creation, directed by David F. Sandberg and starring Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Lulu Wilson with Anthony Lapaglia and Miranda Otto. Also unveiled today, the panels for Diversity Speaks and the Global Media Makers.
Award-winning film company Focus Features will commemorate its 15th anniversary at the La Film Festival with five movies including revival programming and a newly added advance screening of Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled starring Colin Farrell, »
- Derek Anderson
A new video essay by Fandor, titled “The Childhood Whimsy of Wes Anderson,” explores how the filmmaker presents children in his films as very mature, serious and smart. “Wes Anderson is that movie man-child who manages to be young and old at the same time. He specializes in child characters who don’t live carefree lives,” says the narrator.
Read More: Wes Anderson Movies Ranked From Worst To Best
One of the examples featured on the video is the scene from “Bottle Rocket” where Grace asks her friend Bernice to excuse her while she talks to her older brother, Anthony. The filmmaker introduces the young characters with the camera at eye level with them, not with the adult. The video also features the scene from “Moonrise Kingdom” where Suzy shows Sam the “Coping with the Very Troubled Child” pamphlet she had discovered her parents are using to deal with her. »
- Yoselin Acevedo
Wes Anderson recently announced that his new stop-motion animation project Isle Of Dogs will be released April 20, 2018. It’s his second such stop-motion film, but it’d be incorrect to label his previous effort, Fantastic Mr. Fox, as a children’s film, just as it would be to call his child-focused romance Moonrise Kingdom a movie for kids. They are, like all of Anderson’s films, set in a twilight place between childhood and adulthood, where the kids are more wise than the adults and the adults look admiringly toward the children.
The Childhood Whimsy of Wes Anderson from Fandor on Vimeo.
A video essay by Fandor digs into this career-long fixation, noting how, for example, on Bottle Rocket the director introduces the child characters with the camera at eye level with them. Almost all of the kids in his films are serious and perceptive, with maturity that ...
- Clayton Purdom
Editor’s Note: This article is presented in partnership with FilmStruck. Developed and managed by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in collaboration with the Criterion Collection, FilmStruck features the largest streaming library of contemporary and classic arthouse, indie, foreign and cult films as well as extensive bonus content, filmmaker interviews and rare footage. Learn more here.
Wes Anderson has one of the most original voices of any filmmaker working today, but his movies are full of clues as to which directors have influenced him the most. From Orson Welles to François Truffaut to Federico Fellini, some of the most iconic filmmakers in the history of cinema have had a hand in inspiring Anderson’s distinctive style. Here are 10 films that had a lasting impact on the indie auteur.
“The Magnificent Ambersons” (1942)
Orson Welles’ period drama about a wealthy family that loses its entire fortune at the turn of the 20th century »
- Graham Winfrey
…Let’s hope the dogs don’t die.
On Tuesday, the first poster for Wes Anderson’s newest feature film since 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel was released. Whilst not much is known about the story of Isle of Dogs, its poster reveals small details about what to expect, and, more importantly, the influence of Akira Kurosawa on the stop-motion animation.
Set in Japan, the poster’s large, red font places the Japanese title at the center, with its English translation held within the script. Wes Anderson’s posters usually have either one clear defining image at the forefront or a depiction of the ensemble cast, so Isle of Dogs is a slight departure from what Anderson’s audience are used to.
The poster for The Royal Tenenbaums places family at the center while Anderson’s classic Futura font title stayed beneath the family as something that was not meant to draw attention. Moonrise Kingdom »
- Sinéad McCausland
Why so glum, chum? Movies are fun and they need watching.
In the immortal words of Shane Black via Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight, “Life is pain. Get used to it.” These days life has been really painful though, and it’s not so easy to get used to it. Thankfully movies are always here to pick us up when we need it, or bring us down if we’re looking to wallow. This month we’ve made a list of movies that will leave you smiling and feeling good about humanity after you watch them — at least for a little while. Click on their titles to be taken to their Netflix pages.
Pick of the Month: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
It’s possible that Big Trouble in Little China might be the stupidest movie ever made. It’s about a fast-talking, rock-stupid, man-child truck driver battling Asian mystics over the fate of his »
- Nathan Adams
Just a few years ago, it felt like Bruce Willis was heading into serious comeback territory: the “Red” franchise had proved a surprise hit, and he won some of the best reviews of his career for the one-two punch of “Looper” and “Moonrise Kingdom,” working with two of the most acclaimed directors around with Rian Johnson and Wes Anderson.
- The Playlist
The stars of yesterday now are making three films a year you never knew existed until they show up on Netflix.^ Real Movie ^
In my prior life as a script reader, I certainly read a lot of bad scripts, but at times, an even more common occurrence was a script that seemed to do a great many things right, but somehow fell just short of being something you wanted to champion as a movie. As draining as the terrible scripts were, there’s something pure about clear-cut bad. It takes little effort to explain why they’re unfit.
The real challenges were the scripts that had kind of a decent premise, kind of an okay twist or two, and a lead character who wasn’t bad so much as he or she was just… there. The raw materials are there for what Could be a script. They just happen to be assembled in the least compelling way »
- The Bitter Script Reader
In search of male desire in a twee world.
Here’s a thesis: with the singular exception of his animated adventure story, Fantastic Mr. Fox, the movies of Wes Anderson are fundamentally about nice, fiery desire. But while a number of his movies explore this through the conventional terrain of the heterosexual relationship and its discontents — The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom come to mind — others explore more curious expressions of desire, leaving Anderson’s plain and plaintive ladies behind. Shared aesthetic characteristics, from the constantly reprised Cornell boxes to the carefully referenced dead Eastern European novelists, are subject of much ruthless discussion among Anderson acolytes. And, considering Anderson’s diligent cooperation with turning a collection of essays and interviews into a $35 coffee table book, that seems to be the dissection that Anderson embraces. But what are those other, male-centric movies actually about? Most critics, when forced to give something like a serious and meaningful answer, will »
- Andrew Karpan
Simon Brew Apr 20, 2017
What tend to be the highest rated movies, where the criteria is said films have been watched at least five times?
One aside in a recent piece I penned at this site questioned whether films such as The Shawshank Redemption – for some time ranked as the best film of all time by popular vote at the IMDb – were favoured amongst those who’d seen it more than one time. I was questioning whether the films we tend to salute as the greatest – rather than our favourites – are the ones we tend to watch time and time again.
In the same article, for instance, I highlighted Schindler’s List, an excellent film, but not one I see too many people watching on six monthly rotation. That doesn’t make it a lesser film, rather, it’s the kind of movie that I’d imagine most have seen once or twice at best, »
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