5 items from 2016
The tense, metaphysical drama “Blindness” finds 73-year-old Polish writer-director Ryszard Bugajski (“Closed Circuit”) still working at the height of his powers and revisiting some of the same themes and situations of his harrowing masterpiece “Interrogation.” In “Blindness,” he visualizes a 1962 meeting between Julia Prajs Brystygier (Maria Mamona, stellar), the sadistic head of Department V in the Stalinist-era Ministry of Information who was in charge of persecuting the clergy, and the Polish Primate, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński (Marek Kalita), a man whose 1953 arrest she facilitated. Remarkable for its ability to put viewers inside the head of its complicated protagonist, “Blindness” is a high quality, old-style arthouse drama that will be most appreciated offshore by older, educated viewers.
By 1962, Brystygier, one of the most infamous people in post-war Poland, has tried to remake her life. She works at a publishing house and has even written a novel. But at the age of 59, a mental crisis strikes, »
- Alissa Simon
Last May, Paramount issued a June 9, 2017 summer release date for the languishing action sequel World War Z 2, which has been in various stages of development shortly after the original movie debuted in 2013. A number of filmmakers have come and gone, but with nearly 10 months until the planned release date, it seems the studio may have finally found a director. While nothing is set in stone yet, David Fincher is reportedly in talks with the studio to reunite with his longtime collaborator Brad Pitt.
Variety reports that Brad Pitt met with a "handful" of directors a few months ago, but the actor/producer is said to be "zeroing in" on David Fincher. The actor and filmmaker have worked together three times before, on 1995's Se7en, 1999's Fight Club and 2008's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The site reports that Brad Pitt and David Fincher met about this zombie sequel two weeks ago, »
Everything looks great on paper here: Damon’s brawny presence; the smartly staged action, etc. And it’s not unfun. But it feels less black ops than old hat. I’m “biast” (pro): big fan of the Bourne series
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
It’s been nine years since we last saw Matt Damon racing around the world and beating people up as brainwashed assassin Jason Bourne… and the weight of those interim years rests heavily upon this fourth installment. Oh, it’s not that Damon (The Martian, Interstellar), now 46 years old, isn’t up to the physical demands of the role. In fact, his Bourne is significantly beefier here: bigger, more intimidating, just plain more dangerous in an all-muscle kind of way. (Bourne appears to have been scraping out a meager living since we last saw him »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Hot off a successful awards season run with his latest stirring period piece, “Brooklyn” director John Crowley has been tapped to direct a big screen version of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Goldfinch.” It’s a gig that the “Intermission” and “Closed Circuit” filmmaker, certainly no stranger to literary adaptations, has apparently been chasing for quite awhile — so he’s likely passionate about the project — and it’s also one that his talents are perfectly suited for.
Read More: How ‘Brooklyn’ Director John Crowley Avoids Earnestness In His Emotion-Driven Films
When IndieWire spoke to Crowley at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival in support of his “Brooklyn,” the filmmaker summed up his aims when crafting a film pretty succinctly: “I don’t trust earnestness in storytelling, I try to avoid it.” For a director who has often helmed extremely emotion-driven films — from the wonderfully human “Brooklyn” to »
- Kate Erbland
John Crowley is set to bring another acclaimed New York novel to the silver screen. Deadline reports that the “Brooklyn” director has been hired to helm the adaptation of Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” a bestseller that won the Pulitzer Prize two years ago. RatPat Entertainment and Warner Bros. are developing the project with a script by “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” screenwriter Peter Straughan.
Read More: Donna Tartt, Annie Baker Win Pulitzers
James Packer will serve as executive producer, with Color Force’s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson producing alongside RatPac co-founder Brett Ratner. Crowley, who’s worked extensively in theater on both sides of the Atlantic, also directed “Boy A,” “Closed Circuit” and an episode from the underrated second season of “True Detective.” “Brooklyn” received three Oscar nominations: Best Actress for Saoirse Ronan, Best Adapted Screenplay for Nick Hornby and Best Picture.
Read More: How They Transported Saoirse Ronan »
- Michael Nordine
5 items from 2016
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