13 items from 2017
MaryAnn’s quick take… Shattering and deep-down bone-chilling. A viciously unsettling nightmare of race and privilege that carves out a much-needed paradigm shift for genre film. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for more diverse storytelling
I’m “biast” (con): not generally impressed by horror movies
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
I am shattered by this movie. I am horrified by it… and not in the way that horror movies are typically intended to horrify us: this one is deliberately carving out whole new realms of horror onscreen, realms that have always existed for some people in the real world while others of us have been blind to them, but realms that none of us have ever seen onscreen like this before. Get Out is paradigm-shifting stuff, not just for movies, for “mere” entertainment, but maybe even for our culture. Get Out could »
- MaryAnn Johanson
And look at that, not a leprechaun in sight.
For a relatively small island with a tiny film industry, Ireland certainly gets a lot of representation in movies — sometimes via other places masquerading as Ireland, other times by representing other places (the beach landing scene in Saving Private Ryan was shot in Wexford, for example) or worlds (Ahch-To in The Force Awakens), and occasionally it even gets to play itself. The island also exports a rather impressive number of cinematic talents considering the fact that, though every third or forth person you meet on the street in, say, Boston or Chicago (a lot of places, really) will claim Irish heritage, the Republic of Ireland has a population of slightly less than 4.6 million and Northern Ireland slightly more than 1.8 million, bringing the island to a total of only around 6.4 million. In other words, still around 2 million less than before the Famine, over »
- Ciara Wardlow
Joe Richards Mar 24, 2017
Need to find a bit of movie happiness? Here are 25 films that might just do the trick...
Let's face it, we could all probably do with a little bit of cheering up right about now. Times are scary and times are tough, so it's perfectly natural to look for some kind of reassurance that everything will indeed be all right in the end.
Film is perhaps one of the most powerful and effective tools in doing this. It can be a transportative experience, an escape from reality, and, most importantly, it can act as a reminder of all that is good in the world.
With that in mind, here’s a list of 25 movies that are almost-guaranteed to make you smile and restore your faith in humanity...
In truth, any of Charlie Chaplin’s films are perfect for those times when you just need to smile. »
IFC has ordered new scripted comedy “Living With Yourself” to series, Variety has learned.
The series comes from “The Daily Show” exec producer Tim Greenberg, who will write and executive produce. Jeff Blitz (“The Office,” “Parks and Recreation”) is attached to direct and executive produce alongside Greenberg and Anthony Bregman and Jeff Stern of Likely Story.
The story centers George Elliot, a man who is burned out and facing an impasse in both his personal and professional life. When George undergoes a novel treatment to become a better person, he finds he’s been replaced by a new and improved George — revealing that his own worst enemy is himself and raising the question, do we really want to be better?
“’Living With Yourself’ is a wonderfully unique, funny show that is both improbable and completely relatable at the same time, and it complements IFC’s slate of slightly off comedies that are created by and feature some »
- Oriana Schwindt
Looking back on this still-young century makes clear that 2007 was a major time for cinematic happenings — and, on the basis of this retrospective, one we’re not quite through with ten years on. One’s mind might quickly flash to a few big titles that will be represented, but it is the plurality of both festival and theatrical premieres that truly surprises: late works from old masters, debuts from filmmakers who’ve since become some of our most-respected artists, and mid-career turning points that didn’t necessarily announce themselves as such at the time. Join us as an assembled team, many of whom were coming of age that year, takes on their favorites.
In many ways, Marc Lawrence’s 2007 rom-com Music and Lyrics begins like a fever dream. Not only does Hugh Grant suddenly appear onscreen with a sky-reaching hairdo, he’s also singing to the camera and wearing tight trousers. »
- The Film Stage
The movie version of “Speech & Debate,” the first play by “The Humans” Tony winner Stephen Karam, has lined up a day-and-date release in theaters and on VOD in April.
Karam adapted the screenplay for the film, directed by Dan Harris and featuring a cast that includes “Humans” actress Sarah Steele, who also starred in the original Off Broadway premiere of “Speech & Debate.” Production company Sycamore Pictures (“Begin Again,” “The Hollars,” “The Way, Way Back”) has partnered with independent distributor Vertical Entertainment for the movie’s release, which will see the film hit iTunes, VOD and select theaters on April 7.
With Liam James (“The Way, Way Back”) and Austin P. McKenzie (“Spring Awakening”) also playing lead roles, the cast includes Kal Penn, Janeane Garofalo and Roger Bart, along with cameos by theater names including Lin-Manuel Miranda and Darren Criss. »
- Gordon Cox
Although the 2016 season in film isn't quite over until the Oscars take place, 2017's newest and most anticipated films are about to usher their way onto the (screen) scene. The Sundance Film Festival has arrived! This year's festival consists of 113 full-length films coming from as many as 31 countries and debuting 36 first-time filmmakers. Those included in the lineup come from a whopping 13,782 submissions, 95 of which will be world premieres. And to save you some trouble (read: countless hours scrolling Rotten Tomatoes), we've rounded up the most eagerly awaited movies you're most likely to hear about postpremiere. How about that for upping your indie culture game? 1. Before I Fall Director: Ry Russo-Young Cast: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Diego Boneta This is a book-to-film adaptation based on the 2010 novel of same name by Lauren Oliver. High schooler Samantha Kingston (Deutch) thinks she has it all, living life amongst her Mean Girls-esque clique, »
- McCall Minnor
The Australian film-maker Stephan Elliott once jokingly told me that he’d made The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to bring screen musicals back from the grave into which Xanadu had put them. Yet despite reports of their death, musicals have never gone away, providing the backbone of the movie business in key territories such as India, and regularly flourishing elsewhere across the globe. In 2008, Phyllida Lloyd’s film of the Abba-fest Mamma Mia! became a record-breaking UK hit (paving the way for Sunshine on Leith et al), while stage-to-screen adaptations, from Chicago to Les Misérables, have consistently charmed Oscar voters in America.
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
While most late-night personalities let their film and TV careers fall by the wayside once they get their hosting gig, James Corden has been an exception to that trend. Despite churning out well over a hundred episodes of The Late Late Show every year, the actor has still managed to take on roles in such past and future projects as Trolls, The Emoji Movie and Peter Rabbit. Now, however, you can add Ocean’s Eight to the list, as Deadline reports that he has joined the cast of the all-female Gary Ross-directed heist comedy.
In the film, which is a spin-off of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy, Corden will play an insurance investigator “who grows suspicious” of the group of ladies attempting to pull off a massive heist; like most of his other film appearances, it will be a supporting role.
When late-night hosts do appear in films »
- Justin Cook
Gary Ross is directing for Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures. Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter are all starring with Bullock.
Ross is directing from a script that he co-wrote with Olivia Milch.
“Ocean’s Eleven” director Steven Soderbergh and Ross will produce with executive producer Susan Ekins. Village Roadshow is co-producing and co-financing, as it did with the three previous “Ocean’s” movies starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Those films were released »
- Dave McNary
Can the language used in movie reviews hold the tea leaves revealing the winners of the Academy Awards?
That’s the hypothesis of Luminoso Technologies, an artificial-intelligence startup that specializes in natural-language processing, which has already declared the likely best-picture winner of the 2017 Academy Awards before the nominations are even out: Pablo Larraín’s biopic “Jackie,” starring Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.
Here’s the methodology: The company analyzed user movie reviews for 2013-15 in IMDb, focusing on the 50 most popular movies of each year, to see if there was a correlation behind the concepts that appeared in their language and the eventual Oscar nominees that year. Luminoso’s software found certain specific concepts — such as “cinematography,” “masterpiece,” “stunning,” “visuals” and “experience” — were highly correlated with films that received nominations. Concepts like “narrative” had less correlation with Oscar nods, and a few (like “CGI” and “horror”) had negative correlation. »
- Todd Spangler
Breaking onto the global stage with 2007's Once, a minimalist Irish musical which took the Oscar for Best Song, writer/director John Carney has had great success with a string of original musicals, including the Mark Ruffalo-starring Begin Again, and his latest, the Golden Globe-nominated Sing Street. In tandem with La La Land helmer Damien Chazelle, Carney is among a select few revitalizing the Hollywood musical. Sharing certain influences with that director—Singin’ in th… »
Dan Guando, former head of acquisitions, production and development at The Weinstein Company, has joined Bloom as president of production.
Read More: Harvey Weinstein Isn’t Alone: Why Independent Film Distributors Are Taking a Beating
A 12-year veteran of TWC who began his career as Harvey Weinstein’s assistant at Miramax, Guando will relocate from New York to Los Angeles for the job. He will report to Bloom president Alex Walton, and will be tasked with growing and overseeing Bloom’s film slate. Guando left TWC last August.
The hire signals an expansion into content creation and ownership for Bloom, which has operated as an international sales agent since its founding in 2014. Walton co-founded the company with producer-financier Ken Kao.
- Graham Winfrey
13 items from 2017
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