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Top 20: Films to see in 2017

16 hours ago | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

We are a few months into 2017 and already we had a number of standout movies like Get Out, Logan, and The Lego Batman Movie. Hopefully that is just the start of what is to come. Considering that, myself and Kevin – the hosts of podcast Cinema Geeks – combine forces to put a list together of 20 movies to watch in 2017.

Let us know what you think of the list in the comments below. Did they leave any off? Are the rankings off base? Let your voice be heard!

20) The Lost City of Z

What Can Go Right: A film with this type of setup sure would have to be bungled in order for it not to work. It describes the life of British explorer Percy Fawcett who made several attempts to find an ancient lost city in the Amazon and disappeared in 1925 along with his son. It should be in good hands »

- Dan Clark

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Recommended Discs & Deals: ‘Silence,’ ‘Blow-Up,’ ’20th Century Women,’ and More

28 March 2017 9:01 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

20th Century Women (Mike Mills)

That emotional profundity most directors try to build to across an entire film? Mike Mills achieves it in every scene of 20th Century Women. There’s such a debilitating warmness to both the vibrant aesthetic and construction of its dynamic characters as Mills quickly soothes one into his story that you’re all the more caught off-guard as the flurry of emotional wallops are presented. Without ever hitting a tonal misstep, Mills’ latest »

- The Film Stage

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Jessica Chastain and Niki Caro on “The Zookeeper’s Wife” and the Importance of Recognizing Women in…

27 March 2017 12:02 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Jessica Chastain and Niki Caro on “The Zookeeper’s Wife” and the Importance of Recognizing Women in History“The Zookeeper’s Wife”

“The Zookeeper’s Wife” tells the powerful story of Antonina Zabinski, a woman who risked her life to save the lives of 300 Jews during World War II. Based on a book by Diane Ackerman, the film is coming to screens later this month via a screenplay penned by Angela Workman. Niki Caro (“Whale Rider,” “North Country”) directs and Jessica Chastain (“Miss Sloane”) plays Zabinski, who ran the Warsaw Zoo with her husband during the Nazi occupation of Warsaw. She also saved hundreds of innocent people who became refugees overnight.

In an interview with Chastain and Caro during the publicity tour for the film, Chastain spoke very highly of the experience of playing a heroine who saved so many lives. She is not new to playing heroic figures, having also portrayed fierce women in films such as “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Martian.”

“The Zookeeper’s Wife” production team. Photo courtesy of Westwood.

When offered the role, Chastain said she first met with Caro in Milan, and was immediately impressed. “I was excited to meet Niki because I so love her film work. I can’t imagine anyone else directing this movie. Antonina once said that when you look into an animal’s eyes, you see exactly what’s in their heart. Niki is like that. She’s so authentic, and truthful, and honest,” she observed.

The subject of strong women is one that Chastain knows very well. “I was raised by a single woman. My grandmother raised her family, and my mother raised three kids. I am where I am today because of the sacrifices they made. It wasn’t hard for me to find examples of a woman who — not sacrifices herself, but in a way, gives of — gives herself to others.”

She added, “I want to celebrate women in the past who have made great sacrifices to help others. We don’t acknowledge women in history as often as we should.”

When asked about bringing a Holocaust film to fruition, Caro said, “I had to think very hard about what I could bring to this genre. I recognized that it was femininity. I could take my inspiration from Antonina and be very soft and strong with this material. I was trying to move the genre on a little bit,” she explained. “I wanted to make a Holocaust movie that expressed healing in some measure. I thought we were making a historical drama. It’s only now that I realize we were making a contemporary film — sadly.”

Actress Jessica Chastain and Director Niki Caro on the set of The Zookeeper’S Wife, a Focus Features release.

Credit: Anne Marie Fox / Focus Features

In the film, Chastain rotates between a range of emotions as a mother, wife, hero, zoologist, and temptress to Lutz (Daniel Brühl), a Nazi soldier who protected the couple, in part because of his respect for their accomplishments in building a world-renowned zoo, and in part because of a crush on Antonina.

To research her character, she first read Ackerman’s book where she culled much information about the character. “There was a quality that she had, where she would not disappear, but she would put the caring of others ahead of herself. For her, it was all about others — animals, people, or whatever it was, in terms of healing.” She also met with a lot of people who spend their lives dedicated to animals, which was helpful when approaching her role as a zoologist.

From there she went to Warsaw and on to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp. About her visit to the camp, she said. “Antonina wouldn’t have known what was happening there, but I needed to feel the energy of that space.”

There are other pivotal female roles in the film. Shira Haas, an Israeli actress, plays a young Jewish girl called Urszula who Caro says was emblematic of all children during the war. When we first see her, she is being escorted to a secluded part of the ghetto by two Nazi soldiers. After taking sight of her, Antonina’s husband, Jan (Johan Heldenbergh), rescues her and brings her to the zoo. Caro talked about the scenes between she and Antonina. “They were wonderful, because we see Antonina dealing with Urszula as she would with an animal when she first arrives,” she observed. “It’s her humanity with animals that brought to her work with human refugees. I think that sort of unspoken trust and compassion between those two characters, and those two actresses, is a very, very special part of the movie, for me. It was incredibly organic.”

“I was distraught about the rape of this young girl,” Chastain said, “but I’m happy to be in a movie where there’s no salacious rape scene that we’re forced to watch. It was wonderful to work with a director who had more delicacy and sensitivity with the subject.”

At the end of the film, Antonina comes face to face with Lutz in a scene where he contemplates killing her son and places her in a cage, where not only her animals were living before the war, but also the Jewish prisoners that she saved. “It was Niki’s idea to do that,” Chastain recalled. “The trick was to just get it out of my mind that everything would be okay. I had to tell Lutz that he was a good person and could not be capable of murdering a child. That’s why the moment is so shocking to the viewer. It was even to me while shooting it.”

The experience of making the film has made Chastain think differently about her life. “There are so many questions in my mind of how this could have happened. How could an entire country have done this? Many people were ordinary people who just got swayed by power. I can’t help but think how important this film is today,” she said. “I remember being in school and reading the Anne Frank diary. We know that she was denied a visa into the United States. My teacher didn’t tell us that the reason she died was because the United States wouldn’t let her in.”

“This is a very, very emotional and important film for me,” Chastain reflected.

“The Zookeeper’s Wife” opens nationally March 31.

https://medium.com/media/16a6d442297db7159e9d9e6f694d012f/href

Jessica Chastain and Niki Caro on “The Zookeeper’s Wife” and the Importance of Recognizing Women in… was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Holly Rosen Fink

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Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Partners With MGM for International Releases

27 March 2017 12:01 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has reached a multi-year deal with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures to distribute all of Annapurna Pictures’ films in select international territories.

The partnership is set to begin this year with Annapurna’s first distribution title, Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled Detroit riots project, scheduled for release in the U.S. on Aug. 4, 2017.

Ellison announced in January that her company was launching a new distribution division with Marc Weinstock, overseeing alongside marketing chief David Kaminow and Erik Lomis, the distribution president. Annapurna, which was founded by Ellison in 2010, has specialized in adult dramas such as Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Joy,” “20th Century Women,” “Foxcatcher,” “American Hustle,” and “Her.”

Bigelow is producing the film with Annapurna’s Ellison and Matthew Budman. Mark Boal, who wrote the script, and Colin Wilson are also producers with Greg Shapiro executive producing. The release date will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the riots. »

- Dave McNary

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What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 5: 2000–2017

24 March 2017 2:02 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Mira Nair and Ava DuVernay: Wikimedia Commons/IndiaFM/Bollywoodhungama/usbotschaftberlin

by Carrie Rickey

This five-part Truthdig series by Carrie Rickey is published in partnership with Women and Hollywood. The series considers the historic accomplishments of women behind the camera, how they got marginalized, and how they are fighting for equal employment. Specifically, this series asks, why do females make up between 33 and 50 percent of film-school graduates but account for only seven percent of working directors? What happened to the women directors in Hollywood?

Female filmmakers greeted the 21st century with optimism. By most measures, movies by women were garnering increased respect in the industry and at the multiplex. Their makers cracked glass ceilings, created new genres, and established new box-office records.

With “Nowhere in Africa” (2001), Caroline Link became the second woman to direct the Oscar-winner for the year’s best foreign film. With “Lost in Translation” (2003), Sofia Coppola was the third woman to receive a best director nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And with “The Hurt Locker” (2009), Kathryn Bigelow was the fourth woman nominated in the directing category — and the first to win. The following year, Danish filmmaker Susanna Bier directed the winner in the best foreign film category, “In a Better World.”

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “Love & Basketball” (2000), Karyn Kusama’s “Girlfight” (2000) and Gurinder Chadha’s “Bend It Like Beckham” (2003) created what might be called the “Title IX” movie, celebrating female athletes on the court, in the ring, and on the field. These are sports movies that celebrate the female body — not for its sex appeal, but for its power. These films inspired younger women (and their mothers were thrilled to take them to movies that didn’t objectify women).

Comedies by women continued to make serious box office, proving the Hollywood wisdom that “funny is money.” Nancy Meyers’ “What Women Want” (2000), starring Mel Gibson as a player briefly given the power to hear what women think about him, made $374 million. Sharon Maguire’s “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (2001), in which the title character says what she thinks about womanizers and prigs, brought in $282 million. Movies like these permitted men and women to laugh at men’s foibles.

From Patricia Cardoso’s “Real Women Have Curves” (2002), which introduced America Ferrera as a college-bound Latina, to Julie Taymor’s biopic “Frida” (2003), with Salma Hayek as Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, to Patty Jenkins’ “Monster” (2003), with Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos, audiences saw realistic women — as opposed to human swizzle sticks with breasts — in movies by women.

Many critics hailed Niki Caro’s “Whale Rider” (2003), about a Maori preteen who challenges her tribal patriarchy and becomes the new chief, as a harbinger of the triumph of female filmmakers over the status quo. Others pointed to the fact that for the first time since records had been kept, in 2000 women made 11 percent of the top 250 box office films. For women who make movies, the new century felt like a new day.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Sadly, that encouraging percentage turned out to be a fluke. After 2000, the number dwindled. It remains stuck in the 6 to 9 percent range, says Martha Lauzen, professor of communications and head of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. Since 1998 Lauzen has tracked women working in the industry in her annual “Celluloid Ceiling” report.

“When I started this, I thought it was merely an issue of people not knowing how low the numbers were,” Lauzen said ruefully. “I didn’t know how slow social change is.”

Lauzen’s reporting represents one of three vital resources for understanding the triumphs female filmmakers have made and how far they need to go to achieve parity with men. The others are Stacy Smith’s Media Diversity and Social Change Institute at USC’s Annenberg School and The Bunche Center at UCLA.

Collectively and individually, these creators of annual good news/bad news reports have kept the issue of representation in the public eye.

The Good: For Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”), the late Nora Ephron (“Julie & Julia”), and Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated,” “The Intern”), the 21st century has been a fruitful time. So, too, for younger female moviemakers. Consider Lisa Cholodenko (“Laurel Canyon,” “The Kids Are All Right”), Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” “13th”), and Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding,” “The Namesake”).

Consider also that Catherine Hardwicke established a franchise with “Twilight” (which made $393 million), Sam Taylor-Johnson created another with “50 Shades of Grey” ($571 million), and that Anne Fletcher’s “The Proposal” made $317 million and Phyllida Lloyd’s “Mamma Mia!” earned $609 million.

Additionally, filmmakers like Dee Rees (“Pariah”), Debra Granik (“Winter’s Bone”), and Lone Scherfig (“An Education”) broke into the market with unique visions and eyes for new talent, including Adepero Oduye, Jennifer Lawrence, and Carey Mulligan. Significantly, Vicky Jenson (“Shrek”), Jennifer Lee (“Frozen”), Jennifer Yuh Nelson (“Kung Fu Panda 2”), and Brenda Chapman (“Brave”) staked a place for women in animation.

The Bad: For every woman appearing onscreen in movies in 2015 there were 2.3 men, according to Stacy Smith’s Media Diversity & Social Change Initiative.

The Ugly: When Walt Hickey, culture reporter for the website fivethirtyeight.com, goes to the movies and sees the screen population is 69 percent male, it just looks wrong to him. “It’s like something apocalyptic has happened, like a parallel universe — a man’s world,” he says.

Both Lauzen’s and Smith’s data show that when a woman is behind the camera and/or screenplay, 39 percent of protagonists are female. In movies by male directors, only four percent of the lead characters are female.

A century ago, male dominance behind the camera and on the screen was not the norm. For women behind the camera, it’s been the norm since 1920. And for women onscreen, it’s been the norm since 1950. Because of this, moviegoers have a distorted picture of America as predominantly male and predominantly Caucasian, when it is neither. (For finer-grain data on minority representation, see this annual report from UCLA’s Bunche Center.)

The Force Reawakens

The Hollywood Dream Factory tailors the majority of its product to the measurements of the men in the audience. This troubles those who want their daughters to partake of the same professional opportunities, cultural representation, and dream lives as their sons. While “Nine to Five,” “Norma Rae,” and “Erin Brockovich” show that studios love stories of women who triumph over the odds, there is less obvious love for female filmmakers trying to beat the odds stacked against them in their professional lives.

Since the Original Six filed suit against two studios in 1983 (see Part 3), female filmmakers have met, strategized, and troubleshot. So much so that in one of her final essays before her death in 2012, Nora Ephron made a list of “Things I Won’t Miss.” Near the top: “Panels on Women in Film.” Many women in film felt as though they were running in place.

“Instead of holding a million panels about it,” Christine Vachon, producer of “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Carol,” exclaimed at the 2016 Sundance Festival, “let’s do something about it!”

Someone had. She is Maria Giese, director of the feature films “When Saturday Comes” and “Hunger.” In February 2013 she brought a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Eeoc) in Los Angeles. Her contention was that the cohort of working filmmakers in the Directors Guild of America (DGA), of which she is a member, was overwhelmingly male.

(While the number of women in the guild directing episodic television amounts to 17 percent, the DGA 2015 census of female filmmakers registered 6.4 percent. That’s lower than the nine percent of female coal miners, and fractional next to the 32 percent of practicing physicians and 36 percent of practicing lawyers who are women).

The Eeoc, which collects data on employer/employee relations for each calendar year, was reluctant to take on a class-action suit.

In April 2013, Giese contacted the Aclu of Southern California and showed the evidence to Melissa Goodman, director of its Lgbtq, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project. For the next two years Goodman and her colleague Ariela Migdal took testimony from more than 50 female directors. In May 2015 they sent the Eeoc an extraordinary letter that counted the ways in which “female filmmakers are effectively excluded from directing big-budget films and seriously underrepresented in television.” A compelling argument in their letter: “The entertainment industry employs many people and makes products that profoundly shape our culture and the perception of women and girls.” Later in 2015, the Eeoc commenced its own investigation.

In January 2017, based on a high-level internal DGA leak received by Giese, Deadline Hollywood reported that after a federal investigation spanning a year that included testimony from over 100 women directors, the Eeoc recently served charges of sex discrimination and unfair hiring practice against all six major studios. While the federal agency does not comment on active cases, Gillian Thomas and Melissa Goodman of the Aclu wrote in an editorial that they had no reason to doubt the veracity of the leak.

A key factor contributing to Giese’s success in getting this issue to the Aclu and Eeoc was her ability to expose the structural obstacles female filmmakers face, from a guild that puts female and minority filmmakers in the same category, to the studios that question the fitness of women to direct.

Myths and Continued Underrepresentation

Over the 25 years I’ve reported on female filmmakers, I’ve interviewed two generations of movie executives. Most, but not all, were male. Most took seriously my questions about the apparent exclusion of women behind the camera, both on the screen and their forthcoming line-up.

Without exception, all of them retold one or more of the “Three Hollywood Myths.”

Myth #1) “Women don’t want to direct action movies and those are the films which are making money.”

Untrue. See: Martha Coolidge’s “Real Genius” (1985), Kathryn Bigelow’s “Point Break” (1991), Mimi Leder’s “The Peacemaker” (1997) and “Deep Impact” (1998), Lexi Alexander’s “Punisher: War Zone” (2008), and Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” (2009) and “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012).

What is true is that Patty Jenkins was hired to direct “Thor: The Dark World” (2013) and left due to creative differences. She is now working on the forthcoming “Wonder Woman.”

What is true is that Mira Nair was offered a “Harry Potter” film and chose instead to make the family drama “The Namesake” because the material was more important to her, and that Ava DuVernay was offered “Black Panther,” the film version of the Marvel Comics series, and declined for similar reasons.

Myth #2) “Movies by women don’t make money.”

Untrue again. Some movies by women don’t make back their investment, just as some movies by men do not. What is true is that many movies by women make major bank. Catherine Hardwicke’s little $37 million film “Twilight” grossed $393 million and launched a billion-dollar franchise.

Hardwicke told me by phone that she hears all the time from studios that films by women are poor investments. “And every time you say, ‘Well, this one made money, that one made money,’ they say, ‘This one made money because it was based on a best-selling book,’ or ‘That one made money because of its hot actress.’”

Here are six more films by women and their box-office grosses. They made money because they powerfully connected with audiences.

Bend it Like Beckham” (Gurinder Chadha). Cost: $6 million/Gross: $77 million“Frida” (Julie Taymor). Cost: $12 million/Gross: $56 million“Frozen” (Jennifer Lee). Cost: $150 million/Gross: $1.2 billion“The Proposal” (Anne Fletcher). Cost: $40 million/Gross: $317 million“Selma” (Ava DuVernay). Cost: $20 million/Gross $67 million“Lost in Translation” (Sofia Coppola). Cost: $4 million/Gross $120 million

Myth #3) “A woman behind the camera means women on the screen and no men in the audience.”

Untrue, if taken literally. Sometimes movies by women have a lower percentage of men in the audience, just as sometimes movies by men have a lower percentage of women in the audience. Take, for example, the 2015 films, “Bridge of Spies” by Steven Spielberg and “The Intern” by Nancy Meyers.

According to Paul Dergarabedian of comScore, the research company’s “PostTrak” data shows the audience gender breakdown at “Bridge of Spies,” a ’60s-era political thriller starring Tom Hanks, was 54 percent male and 46 percent female. For “The Intern,” a contemporary workplace comedy co-starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, it was 41 percent male and 59 percent female. Spielberg’s film grossed $165 million; Meyers’ $194 million. His budget was $40 million; hers was $35 million.

Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” the story of the 1965 march for voting rights led by Martin Luther King and starring David Oyelowo, had an audience gender breakdown of 47 percent male and 53 percent female. The assumption that movies come gendered with a blue or pink ribbon is a canard that still lingers in Hollywood, perhaps a vestige of the target marketing that began in the 1980s.

Speaking from the set of “Queen Sugar” in 2016, DuVernay observed, “We’re in a place right now where every other film is about a comic book superhero. We’re top-heavy with testosterone.”

How did Hollywood, a century ago a place where female directors thrived and prospered, come to this?

Stacy Title, director of “The Last Supper” and “The Bye Bye Man,” points the finger at “unconscious bias.”

Mira Nair, who was born in India, suspects chauvinism. “I’ve always remarked at the irony that the percentage of female directors is higher in India than in the United States,” she explained in a phone conversation. “India is supposed to be the traditional chauvinist culture,” she observes. Nair wonders if the historic examples of female prime ministers in South Asia — Indira Gandhi in India, Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan — may have broken the glass ceiling for all professional women there. “Their examples don’t exist in the U.S.”

DuVernay looks forward to the outcome — and hoped-for positive resolution — of the Eeoc investigation. “It’s a systematic problem and it requires radical change,” she said. “If it’s not happening organically, systems should be put in place.” Like many female filmmakers, DuVernay hopes the Eeoc can reconfigure what Giese calls the “vertical playing field for women” into a level one.

“One thing I’m heartened by,” said Nair, who’s been making features for nearly 30 years, “is that the variety and confidence of female filmmakers today is inspiring.”

Do others think it’s changed for the better for women since the 1980s?

“For me, there’s no comparison between the ’80s and now,” reflected Nancy Meyers, whose six films as a director or writer/director have grossed more than a billion dollars. By email she wrote:

Men were still getting used to us being on set in the ’80s. (Men used to have photos of pinups on the set in the ’80s! I’m not kidding.)The only women around back then worked in costumes and hair and makeup. Today women are in every department and often department heads. There are still very few women in the camera department and that’s a shame. That seems to still be a real boy’s club. Today, most crew members are far more comfortable working for and with women.

Yet one thing has not changed: “Now, getting the job to be the director — that’s still an uphill battle,” Meyers said.

In addition to writing film reviews and essays for Truthdig, Carrie Rickey has been a film critic at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Village Voice, and an art critic at Artforum and Art in America. Rickey has taught at various institutions, including School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, and has appeared frequently on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” MSNBC, and CNN.

What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 5: 2000–2017 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Women and Hollywood

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Chris Pratt Jokes About Looking 'Skeletal,' Mocks Body Shamers on Instagram

23 March 2017 5:45 PM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

While shooting Jurassic World 2, Chris Pratt has been entertaining fans with behind-the-scenes Instagram videos detailing his action star eating habits.

In Pratt's on-going series, #Whatsmysnack, the 37-year-old actor has documented the many strange things he's had to eat as part of his diet to stay fit and ripped. From a baobab, banana, cacao and chia smoothie to some sliced sashimi.

After sharing a few videos, some fans began to comment that Pratt has started to look "skeletal," after having lost "too much weight."

Pratt took to Instagram on Thursday to take on the culture of "body shaming" (and share a photo of a T-Rex skull) in a super funny message to his fans.

"So many people have said I look too thin in my recent episodes of #Whatsmysnack. Some have gone as far as to say I look 'skeletal,'" Pratt »

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Carey Mulligan to Star in BBC Miniseries Directed by S.J. Clarkson

22 March 2017 10:02 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Carey Mulligan in “Suffragette

Carey Mulligan is teaming up with another woman director. Two months after her latest film, Dee Rees’ “Mudbound,” premiered at Sundance comes word that the Oscar nominee will star in “Collateral,” a BBC miniseries helmed by S.J. Clarkson. Deadline broke the news.

Described as “a modern-day state of the nation project which takes place over four days,” “Collateral” is penned by David Hare (“Denial”) and will begin production in April.

Mudbound,” Rees’ follow-up to her Emmy-nominated TV Movie “Bessie,” earned rave reviews at Sundance and scored the the biggest deal at the fest. Netflix shelled out $12.5 million for the drama, set in the post-wwii South. The film centers on two families “pitted against a barbaric social hierarchy and an unrelenting landscape as they simultaneously fight the battle at home and the battle abroad,” Deadline previously summarized. Along with Mulligan, the cast includes Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Jason Mitchell (“Straight Outta Compton”), Mary J. Blige (“The Wiz Live!”), Rob Morgan (“Stranger Things”), Garrett Hedlund (“Inside Llewyn Davis”), and Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”).

Mulligan received an Oscar nomination in 2010 for her role in “An Education,” a coming-of-age story about a precocious teen directed by Lone Scherfig. She most recently appeared in Sarah Gavron’s “Suffragette,” a period drama that depicts British women’s fight for voting rights.

“When will [the film industry] catch up with the fact that [women-centric] films do well? It’s just like what Cate Blanchett said at the Oscars. The hunger for female-driven stories is there. You just have to make the films,” Mulligan told Women and Hollywood while promoting “Suffragette.” “This shock over how these films do so well is a bit tired now. Jennifer Lawrence can open movies like any male star.”

Clarkson’s directing credits include episodes of “Jessica Jones,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “House,” “Dexter,” and Netflix’s upcoming superhero ensemble series “The Defenders.”

Carey Mulligan to Star in BBC Miniseries Directed by S.J. Clarkson was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Recommended Discs & Deals: ‘Being There,’ ‘Fire at Sea,’ ‘Multiple Maniacs,’ and More

21 March 2017 9:23 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

Being There (Hal Ashby)

On paper, there’s an implausibility to the central conceit of Being There that could have resulted in a four-quadrant studio comedy forgotten soon after its release. However, with Hal Ashby’s delicate touch — bringing Jerzy Kosiński and Robert C. Jones‘ adaptation to life — and Peter Sellers‘ innocent deadpan delivery, this 1979 film is a carefully observed look at how those we interact with can offer an introspective mirror into our own lives. “There’s so much left to do, »

- The Film Stage

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Action Stars Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais and Tiger Chen to Team for First Time in 'Triple Threat'

14 March 2017 3:54 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Talk about an action-star sextuple bill.

Ong Bak star Tony Jaa, The Raid breakout Iko Uwais and Tiger Chen (Man of Tai Chi) will square off against Scott Adkins (Zero Dark Thirty), Ufc middleweight champ Michael Bisping and action movie vet Michael Jai White in Triple Threat.

Jesse Johnson is directing the feature, which hails from Arclight Films. Mike Selby of Sc Films International and Arclight’s Mike Gabrawy and Gary Hamilton are producing. Chen also is producing, as are Elliot Tong and Ying Ye.

The action kicks off after a billionaire's daughter becomes the target of a mercenary cartel. Her »

- Borys Kit

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Recommended Discs & Deals: ‘Elle,’ ‘The Lovers on the Bridge,’ ‘Fences,’ and More

14 March 2017 10:23 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

Elle (Paul Verhoeven)

Paul Verhoeven’s latest treatise on high / low art isn’t going to appeal to everyone, and, as this awards season has shown, it’s already deeply offended some. But its messiness and blurred moral provocations are key to its power as a piece of cinematic trickery. A masterful character study, Elle dresses up a pulpy morality play with an austere European arthouse sheen, then sends its powerfully passive lead through a minefield of ethical conundrums, »

- The Film Stage

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FilMart: Voltage Pictures Bitten by ‘Age of the Living Dead’

12 March 2017 2:05 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

U.S. sales and production house, Voltage Pictures has picked up international sales rights to six-part horror series “Age of the Living Dead.”

Nicola Posenor (“Mythica,” “Life Bites”) stars alongside David Meadows (“Captain Phillips,” “Imperium”) and Estella Warren (“Planet of the Apes,” “Beauty and Beast”) in the saga of a country consumed by an apocalyptic plague of vampirism and war.

The company will launch “Living Dead” at Hong Kong FilMart this week and take it next month to Mip-tv in Cannes. Voltage Svp of international sales, Alexandra Cocean heads the sales effort.

The story involves humans providing vampires on the opposite coast with a compulsory, weekly blood donation. Eventually the humans manage to re-arm and plan a nuclear strike on the vampires as a final strategy to end the war.

The series is produced by showrunners Simon Phillips and directed by Paul Tanter (“The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan”) at Age of the Living Dead Productions »

- Patrick Frater

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Is Steven Spielberg’s Trump-Timed ‘The Post’ the Start of a New Wave of Movies That Matter?

11 March 2017 12:01 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

I got a shiver of anticipation when I read the announcement on Monday that Steven Spielberg would direct “The Post,” a drama about The Washington Post’s role in exposing the Pentagon Papers, starring Tom Hanks as the fabled Post editor Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep as publisher Katharine Graham. Set in 1971, the movie will center on the paper’s war with the White House over whether the Post had the right to publish the top-secret military documents — first leaked to The New York Times by Daniel Ellsberg — that charted the escalation and futility of the Vietnam War. I have no idea if Spielberg has been mulling this movie over for a while (the rights were bought by producer Amy Pascal last fall), but everything about the timing suggests that it’s no coincidence the announcement was made 45 days after the inauguration of Donald Trump. “The Post” is clearly a »

- Owen Gleiberman

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Annapurna Pictures Hires Adriene Bowles as President of Publicity, Its First Move As An Awards-Season Distributor

9 March 2017 1:15 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Annapurna Pictures has named Adriene Bowles its new president of publicity. Bowles, a marketing and PR executive whose tenure at Focus Features stretches all the way back to its inception as USA Films, will work with Annapurna president Marc Weinstock and marketing president David Kaminow. In her new role, she’ll spearhead awards campaigns as part of Megan Ellison’s new marketing and distribution wing in addition to serving as Annapurna’s head of communications. 

Bowles, who leaves her post as Focus’ president of worldwide publicity and executive VP marketing, worked on campaigns that included “Nocturnal Animals,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Milk,” “Lost in Translation,” and “Brokeback Mountain.”

Her hire is a significant move for Annapurna as it prepares to make a stance in specialty distribution. Annapurna is expected to be a significant player on the festival circuit, and was aggressively bidding for titles at the most recent Sundance Film Festival. »

- Michael Nordine

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Annapurna Taps Adriene Bowles as Head of Publicity

9 March 2017 11:01 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures continues to add Hollywood vets as it ramps up to become a full-fledged production and distribution house, naming former Focus Features head of publicity Adriene Bowles to the same position at Annapurna, TheWrap has learned. Bowles has worked for Focus since it was created in 2002, serving as its president of worldwide publicity and executive vice president of marketing since 2007. She has overseen the publicity campaigns for Oscar-winning movies including “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Brokeback Mountain.” Annapurna, the indie shingle behind “Zero Dark Thirty” and last summer’s surprise hit “Sausage Party,” hired former Twentieth Century Fox President of. »

- Matt Pressberg

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Reda Kateb Faces Music and War in First Trailer for ‘Django’

8 March 2017 7:40 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

If you’re looking for something related to Sergio Corbucci or Quentin Tarantino, one will have to keep searching. Rather, Django tells the story of famous musician Django Reinhardt as he flees from a German-occupied Paris in 1943. Premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival as its opener, the first trailer has now landed for Etienne Comar‘s drama starring Reda Kateb (A Prophet, Zero Dark Thirty) ahead of a release in France this spring.

We said in our review, “this drama about an artist who – at first – ignores the rise of far-right fascism in Europe (“who I play to is of no concern” Reinhardt argues) proves, by its close, an effective warning of the troubles of collaborationists and appeasers to society’s malignant forces. While it’s narratively unadventurous and its characters are undeveloped, this debut by French director Étienne Comar does have the ring of prescience, and is all the better for it. »

- Jordan Raup

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Recommended Discs & Deals: ‘Jackie,’ ’45 Years,’ ‘One More Time With Feeling,’ and More

7 March 2017 7:20 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

45 Years (Andrew Haigh)

Andrew Haigh’s third feature as a director, 45 Years, is an excellent companion piece to its 2011 predecessor, Weekend. The latter examined the inception of a potential relationship between two men over the course of a weekend, whereas its successor considers the opposite extreme. Again sticking to a tight timeframe, the film chronicles the six days leading up to a couple’s 45th wedding anniversary. Though highly accomplished, Weekend nevertheless suffered from a tendency towards commenting »

- The Film Stage

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3 images from the Will Smith/David Ayer Netflix film ‘Bright’

7 March 2017 3:01 AM, PST | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Netflix Original Film Bright comes from director David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch, Suicide Squad), and stars Will Smith (Men in Black), Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby), Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Lucy Fry (11.22.63), Edgar Ramirez (Hands of Stone, Zero Dark Thirty), Margaret Cho (Drop Dead Diva), and Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad).

Set in an alternate present-day where humans, orcs, elves, and fairies have been co-existing since the beginning of time. Bright is genre-bending action movie that follows two cops from very different backgrounds. Ward (Will Smith) and Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), embark on a routine patrol night and encounter a darkness that will ultimately alter the future and their world as they know it.

Written by Max Landis (Chronicle), Bright will launch globally this December.

»

- Phil Wheat

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New Images from David Ayer’s Bright, Starring Will Smith

6 March 2017 3:37 PM, PST | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Following its initial video reveal during Oscars night, David Ayer's supernatural thriller Bright is further teased in new images featuring Will Smith's Ward and his orc police officer partner, Jakoby, played by Joel Edgerton.

Check out the new images below (via EW), and stay tuned to Daily Dead for more updates on Bright, which Smith tells EW is similar to "...Training Day—a gritty La cop drama, the darkness and handheld grittiness—meets Lord of the Rings."

"Set in an alternate present-day where humans, orcs, elves, and fairies have been co-existing since the beginning of time. Bright is genre-bending action movie that follows two cops from very different backgrounds. Ward (Will Smith) and Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), embark on a routine patrol night and encounter a darkness that will ultimately alter the future and their world as they know it.

Bright is available only on Netflix this December. Bright »

- Derek Anderson

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Recommended Discs & Deals: ‘Before’ Trilogy, ‘Moonlight,’ ‘Kate Plays Christine,’ ‘Allied,’ and More

28 February 2017 6:12 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

Allied (Robert Zemeckis)

That thing we can’t take for granted: a film whose many parts – period piece, war picture, blood-spattered actioner, deception-fueled espionage thriller, sexy romance, and, at certain turns, comedy – can gracefully move in conjunction and separate from each other, just as its labyrinthine-but-not-quite plot jumps from one setpiece to the next with little trouble in maintaining a consistency of overall pleasure. Another late-career triumph for Robert Zemeckis, and one of the year’s few truly great American movies. »

- The Film Stage

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Teaser for Will Smith/David Ayer Netflix film ‘Bright’

28 February 2017 5:01 AM, PST | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Set in an alternate present-day where humans, orcs, elves, and fairies have been co-existing since the beginning of time. Bright is genre-bending action movie that follows two cops from very different backgrounds. Ward (Will Smith) and Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), embark on a routine patrol night and encounter a darkness that will ultimately alter the future and their world as they know it.

Netflix Original Film Bright comes from director David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch, Suicide Squad), and stars Will Smith (Men in Black), Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby), Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Lucy Fry (11.22.63), Edgar Ramirez (Hands of Stone, Zero Dark Thirty), Margaret Cho (Drop Dead Diva), and Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad).

Written by Max Landis (Chronicle), Bright will launch globally this December.

»

- Phil Wheat

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