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DC Extended Universe: Is WB Hoping To Get A Red Son Movie Off The Ground?

8 hours ago | LRMonline.com | See recent LRM Online news »

Sparked by a back and forth on Twitter between comic book writer Mark Millar and film director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, it appears that Warner Bros may be considering making a Red Son movie. Vogt-Roberts, who directed Kong: Skull Island, said that he had made a pitch to Warner Bros. for the movie, although the idea was shot down, and Mark Millar (who wrote the Red Son comic run) mentioned that two friends of his have received pitches from the studio over the last two months.

According to Den of Geek UK’s “very very very” reliable sources it has been confirmed that this is a live action film that is being discussed and not an animated one. The outlet spoke with Millar about how serious Warner Bros may be about a Red Son movie.

"Is this something they're genuinely planning? I have no idea," Millar told Den of Geek. "I've got »

- Seth McDonald

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Superhero Buzz: DC Considers Soviet 'Superman' Movie; 'Power Rangers 2' Goes with Obvious Villain

23 hours ago | Movies.com | See recent Movies.com news »

It's time for another round of superhero movie news, as we've got the latest on an alternate Superman story pitch, which villain the Power Rangers will battle next, and more teaser clips for the latest Spider-Man reboot.   The Soviet Superman One of the great "what if" ideas in comics was a miniseries by Mark Millar imagining baby Kal-El, aka Superman, landing in Soviet-era Russia rather than Smallville, Kansas. The Kryptonian superhero would have grown up fighting for the cause of communism rather than "truth, justice and the American way." In a Twitter thread involving Millar and filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong; Skull Island), the latter revealed he pitched DC on a movie version of this series, titled Superman: Red Son...

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- Christopher Campbell

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new and ongoing dvd & vod releases, Us/Can, from Jun 27

27 June 2017 1:29 PM, PDT | www.flickfilosopher.com | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

A simple listing, duplicated from the dvd + vod Us and Canada page, of new releases and other stuff currently available, for the benefit of those playing along by RSS or keeping up via the Daily Digest emails (sign up here).

new dvd+vod The Lost City of Z Personal Shopper Their Finest The Fate of the Furious (aka Fast & Furious 8)    I’m planning to watch… Berlin Syndrome A Family Man Spark: A Space Tail

2017’s films, ranked by maryann (subscribers only until the end of the year)

get all reviews since 1997 here

recent releases Finding Kim Get Out A Good American The Great Wall John Wick 2 Kong: Skull Island The Lego Batman Movie Logan The Most Hated Woman in America My Life as a Zucchini (aka My Life as a Courgette) Raw Sour Grapes The Survivalist T2 Trainspotting A United Kingdom Urban Hymn The Zookeeper’s Wife Aaron’s »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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‘I Do… Until I Don’t’ Trailer: Lake Bell Finally Directs Another Feature Four Years After Her Hilarious Debut

27 June 2017 10:48 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Four years after Lake Bell burst onto the directing scene with her acclaimed debut, “In a World…,” the indie film triple threat has finally finished her second feature, “I Do… Until I Don’t,” the trailer for which just dropped on Tuesday.

Read More: Netflix’s ‘BoJack Horseman’ Yanked From Streaming Site in China

The ensemble comedy hits theaters on September 1, 2017. Here’s the official synopsis:

In Vero Beach, Florida, a trio of couples at various points in their relationships become the subjects of a film about marriage being an antiquated idea that needs a reboot: Why not turn marriage into a seven-year deal with an option to renew? For Alice and Noah (Lake Bell, Ed Helms), more than a hint of boredom is setting in as they approach their first decade together and the prospect of parenthood. Meanwhile, Alice’s funky sister Fanny (Amber Heard) is sure her “open »

- Graham Winfrey

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‘Superman: Red Son’: Warner Bros. Pitching Directors On A Live Action Adaptation Of The Soviet Union-Set Comic

27 June 2017 8:27 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Warner Bros. is pitching directors on a live action adaptation of the popular comic “Superman: Red Son,” according to writer Mark Millar. The news was revealed in a Twitter exchange between Millar and “Kong: Skull Island” director Joran Vogt-Roberts, who said he pitched the idea to the studio “months ago.”

Read More: ‘Animaniacs’ Reboot Being Developed By Steven Spielberg, Amblin TV and Warner Bros. — Exclusive

“Did you hear WB pitching directors Red Son? Two diff pals in last 2 months. This truly is Putin’s America,” said Millar. “Wait, really? Because I pitched it to them months ago and was told no. It’s the most punk rock thing the Dceu could do in my mind,” replied Vogt-Roberts.

Did you hear WB pitching directors Red Son? Two diff pals in last 2 months. This truly is Putin’s America.

Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar) June 27, 2017

“Red Son” is a critically-acclaimed three-issue comic mini-series that »

- Jude Dry

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‘Kong: Skull Island’ Scene Slammed for Insanely Fast Editing — Watch

27 June 2017 7:45 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Kong: Skull Island” is not the only Hollywood movie to employ dizzyingly fast editing, but the latest installment of Legendary Entertainment’s MonsterVerse is taking some hits for its rapid cutting pace. A YouTube video entitled “Terrible editing in Kong: Skull Island” reveals that an early sequence in the film averages one cut every two seconds during a nearly five-minute span.

Read More: This Is What Giant Movie Monsters Would Actually Sound Like, According to Science — Watch

While that is a lot of cutting, Hollywood in general has tended to use faster editing in action movies, with some scenes even averaging less than two seconds per cut. Both “Taken 3” and “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” include scenes with average shot lengths of 1.7 seconds, No Film School reported last year. Tony Scott’s 2005 film “Domino” also features sequences with an Asl of 1.8, while “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “Mad Mad: Fury Road” clock in at 2.0 and 2.1 respectively. »

- Graham Winfrey

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Superman: Warner Bros pitching to directors for live action Red Son movie

27 June 2017 1:59 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Simon Brew Ryan Lambie Jun 27, 2017

Superman: Red Son is under discussion as a live action feature at Warner Bros. Story updated with word from Mark Millar...

Please Note:  Den Of Geek UK has now confirmed with very, very, very reliable sources that this is not an animated movie that Warner Bros is looking into, but a live action one.

Here's the story...

A Twitter exchange between Mark Millar and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has thrown up some intriguing news about Warner Bros’ plans for a Superman movie based on the Red Son limited run.

Red Son, just to set the scene, was a Superman comic book penned by Mark Millar, that posited what would have happened were Superman to have been raised in the Soviet Union. It was published back in 2003, and was widely acclaimed. We've no intention of spilling the full plot of it here, just to reiterate it's very, »

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Vimeo Surrenders to Netflix: Why the Subscription Video Plan Was Never Going to Work

26 June 2017 10:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Vimeo has decided it can’t compete with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. The company will not be launching the subscription video-on-demand service it had been touting since last year and had planned to roll out in 2018, Vimeo said on Monday.

Read More: Vimeo Staff Picks: How to Get Your Film Seen By Hollywood Producers and Brands

Vimeo has confirmed that it has decided not to proceed in offering a subscription based original program service scheduled to begin in ’18,” a spokesperson said in a statement. The company has more than 760,000 paying subscribers who use its filmmaker tools, and roughly 240 million monthly viewers of its videos, and was determined to create a service that would attract millions of customers willing to pay for exclusive original content.

So why is Vimeo, which last November said it would invest “tens of millions” to compete with newcomers like YouTube Red, now changing course? Here are »

- Graham Winfrey

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New to Streaming: ‘The Bad Batch,’ ‘Summer Hours,’ ‘Kong: Skull Island,’ ‘Paterson,’ and More

23 June 2017 5:31 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

The Bad Batch (Ana Lily Amirpour)

Ana Lily Amirpour’s second feature shoots for Harmony Korine meets Mad Max and would have nearly almost hit the mark were it not for the gratingly aloof attitude and the swaths of directorial license being taken. The Bad Batch — an ambitious, expansive dystopian sci-fi western which features partying, drugs, and cannibals — might come as music to the ears of diehard fans of films like Spring Breakers and Gummo (a kid doesn’t quite eat spaghetti in a bathtub, but a kid does eat spaghetti after being in a bathtub). However, beneath its dazzlingly hip surface the script and characters leave much to be desired. It’s like taking a trip to Burning Man: a pseudo-spiritual, uniquely punky experience perhaps, but one that’s full of annoying rich kids and ultimately emotionally shallow. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes

Kong: Skull Island (Jordan Vogt-Roberts)

Though it may not feel fully inspired so much as competently pre-visualized, Kong: Skull Island fits snugly into the growing canon of reboots that exist within ever-expanding movie universes. That’s a first sentence to a positive review that perhaps reads a bit more cynically than intended. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by a bunch of dudes (Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly with a story credited to John Gatins), this umpteenth version of the King Kong story pulls from every available pop-culture source in building a fun creature feature. Much of the credit goes to the breathtaking effects and brisk pace, which distract from some lofty line readings and silly plot devices. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Le Trou (Jacques Becker)

One of the greatest prison escape dramas of all-time, Jacques Becker’s recently-restored Le Trou is a masterclass in tension. By putting us both in the physical and psychological headspace of our protagonists, it’s an enveloping experience as we see a number of close calls, leading up to one of the most unforgettable endings in cinema. – Jordan r.

Where to Stream: Mubi (free 30-day trial)

Moana (John Musker and Ron Clements)

It’s time for another Disney Princess movie, and you know how it goes. Disney knows too, and wants you to know that it knows. When the title character of Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) denies that she’s a princess, claiming that she’s merely the daughter of her island’s chief and the next chieftain, her adventuring partner Maui (Dwayne Johnson) asserts, “Same difference,” and that, “You wear a dress and have an animal sidekick. You’re a princess.” But Disney is doing its best to make the culture rethink cinematic fantasy princesses, countering the stereotypes of helpless femininity (which the studio largely put in place) with a new roster of highly capable action heroines. And Moana is, as they call it, a good role model. And the movie around her is fine. – Dan S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press (Brian Knappenberger)

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press uses a salacious story and website as the launching pad to discuss where we currently are, so much so that I imagine director Brian Knappenberger — who uses footage from President Trump’s infamous press conference only a few days before the film’s Sundance premiere — may wish to stay on the story. Gawker, a site spun out of Gizmodo, was founded to share the types of stories mainstream news outlets would often shy away from, including celebrity sex tapes, outings, drug use, and allegations that have swirled but not picked up traction. They’ve featured Rob Ford smoking crack, Bill Cosby’s multiple accusers, Hillary Clinton’s emails, Tom Cruise’s prominent role in Scientology, and the one that brought them down: the infamous Hulk Hogan sex tape recorded for private use by Hogan pal and infamous Tampa shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, best known nationally for his stint on Howard Stern’s satellite channel. Bubba’s antics will no doubt some day be the subject of a documentary of their own, from his role in both the Hogan affair to his odd appearance in the David Petraeus saga. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Paterson (Jim Jarmusch)

Jim Jarmusch proved he was back in a major way with Only Lovers Left Alive a few years ago, and the streak continues with Paterson, a calm, introspective drama with such positive views on marriage and creativity that I was left floored. In following the cyclical life of Adam Driver‘s Paterson, a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey, who also has dreams of being a poet, Jarmusch superbly shows that one’s own life experience — however seemingly insubstantial — is the only requirement to produce something beautiful. Moreso than any other film in 2016, this is the kind of world I want to live in. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Star Trek Beyond (Justin Lin)

After the pleasant fluff of its kick-off installment and the frog march of unpleasantness that was Into Darkness, the rebooted Star Trek film series finally hits a fun median between big-budget bombast and classic Trek bigheartedness with Star Trek Beyond. Does the franchise’s full descent into action, with only the barest lip service paid to big ideas, cause Gene Roddenberry’s ashes to spin in their space capsule? Probably, but in the barren desert of summer 2016 blockbusters, this is a lovely oasis. – Dan S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas)

Perhaps a point of contention on New York Times’ top 25 films of the 21st century list, Olivier AssayasSummer Hours is a commendable top 10 pick. Led by Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jérémie Renier, and Kyle Eastwood, this drama follows a family reuniting following the death of their mother. Like the best of Assayas’ films, it’s an impeccably-crafted, subtly-moving experience, one that wades in the ideas of the value of what we hold on to and a graceful reflection on the passage of time. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: FilmStruck

Wilson (Craig Johnson)

The world of Daniel Clowes is one without manners, glamour, and tact, but it is also one of uncomfortable truth, as scathing as it might be. One may have never verbally conveyed the discourteous musings of his characters to the extent to which it is their everyday vernacular, but we’ve all had similar thoughts when life isn’t going our way. The latest adaptation of his work comes with Wilson, directed by Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins), featuring a role Woody Harrelson is clearly having the time of his life with. Despite his commitment to a lack of civility, there’s a darker film lying in the cynical heart of Wilson, one that gets squandered by its mawkish aesthetic and lack of interest in exploring these characters beyond their crudeness. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Zookeeper’s Wife (Niki Caro)

The Zookeeper’s Wife begins with those five famous words that hold the power to either become a film’s dependency (and therefore downfall) or its empowering catalyst, laying the foundation to convey a poignant tale: “Based on a true story.” Fortunately, The Zookeeper’s Wife sticks with the latter, and the true tale being told is one for the ages. Niki Caro‘s drama follows a couple who hide Jews in their zoo and use it as a point of passage and escape during the Nazi takeover of Warsaw. The narrative is a simple one, allowing The Zookeeper’s Wife to shine in its performances, imagery, and storytelling, which it pristinely accomplishes. – Chelsey G. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Also New to Streaming

Amazon

Night School (review)

FilmStruck

Rodeo and The Moment of Truth

Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? and Quadrophenia

An Actor’s Revenge

Her Brother

Conflagration

The Woman in Question

The Importance of Being Earnest

Mubi (free 30-day trial)

Paris Frills

The Train to Moscow:  A Journey to Utopia

Lost in Lebanon

Being 14

Molly’s Theory of Relativity

Le Moulin

Netflix

The Stanford Prison Experiment (review)

Discover more titles that are now available to stream. »

- Jordan Raup

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Warner Bros. Pictures’ Next Godzilla Film And Tag Movie Begin Production

22 June 2017 5:08 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Following the global success of 2014’s “Godzilla” and this year’s “Kong: Skull Island,” comes the next chapter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ cinematic MonsterVerse: an epic action adventure that pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in pop culture history.

The film, which began principal photography on June 19, is being directed by Michael Dougherty (“Krampus”), and stars Oscar nominees Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Conjuring” films), and Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai”) and Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), both reprising their “Godzilla” roles; Kyle Chandler (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Manchester by the Sea”); Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”) in her feature film debut; Bradley Whitford (“Get Out”); Thomas Middleditch (HBO’s “Silicon Valley”); Charles Dance (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”); O’Shea Jackson Jr. (“Straight Outta Compton”); Aisha Hinds (“Star Trek Into Darkness”); and Golden Globe nominee Zhang Ziyi (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).

The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

Dougherty directs from a script he wrote with Zach Shields. The film is being produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Brian Rogers and Thomas Tull, with Barry H. Waldman, Zach Shields, Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira serving as executive producers and Alexandra Mendes co-producing for Legendary.

Behind the scenes, Dougherty’s creative team includes director of photography Lawrence Sher, whose past credits include “War Dogs” and “Godzilla,” for which he handled additional photography; production designer Scott Chambliss (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”); editor Roger Barton (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the “Transformers” films); costume designer Louise Migenbach (the “X-Men” and “Hangover” films); and Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Guillaume Rocheron (“Godzilla,” “Ghost in the Shell,” and part of the Oscar-winning team behind “Life of Pi ”).

Filming is taking place mainly in Atlanta, Georgia. A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, the film is currently scheduled for release in March 2019, and will be distributed in 3D and 2D and in select IMAX theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd.

Meanwhile, Tag! You’re It!

Production begins this week on location in Atlanta for the new comedy “Tag,” directed by Jeff Tomsic (Comedy Central’s “Broad City”) for New Line Cinema. The film’s starring ensemble cast is led by Ed Helms (The “Hangover” movies, “We’re the Millers”), Jake Johnson (TV’s “New Girl”), and Hannibal Buress (“Neighbors”), with Jon Hamm (“Baby Driver,” TV’s “Mad Men”) and Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker, “The Town”).

For one month every year, five highly competitive friends hit the ground running in a no-holds-barred game of tag they’ve been playing since the first grade—risking their necks, their jobs and their relationships to take each other down with the battle cry “You’re It!” This year, the game coincides with the wedding of their only undefeated player, which should finally make him an easy target. But he knows they’re coming…and he’s ready. Based on a true story, “Tag” shows how far some guys will go to be the last man standing.

The film also stars Annabelle Wallis (“The Mummy”), Rashida Jones (TV’s “Parks and Recreation”), Isla Fisher (“Now You See Me”) and Leslie Bibb (“Iron Man 2”).

Tomsic directs from a screenplay written by Mark Steilen (TV’s “Mozart in the Jungle”) and Rob McKittrick (“Waiting”), based on the Wall Street Journal article entitled “It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being It.” The film is produced by Todd Garner, Mark Steilen and Sean Robins, with Hans Ritter serving as executive producer. The creative filmmaking team includes director of photography Larry Blanford, editor Josh Crockett, production designer David Sandefur, and costume designer Denise Wingate.

Tag” is set for a June 29, 2018, release.

The post Warner Bros. Pictures’ Next Godzilla Film And Tag Movie Begin Production appeared first on We Are Movie Geeks. »

- Michelle Hannett

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Vimeo Staff Picks: How to Get Your Film Seen By Hollywood Producers and Brands

22 June 2017 9:33 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

With more than 240 million monthly viewers, Vimeo has grown into one of the best online platforms for filmmakers to share their work with the world and discover other talented artists. The site’s flagship channel, Vimeo Staff Picks, features the best videos on Vimeo, and is billed as a “never-ending film festival” that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The benefit of a Staff Pick can be getting your short film, music video or other short form work seen by production companies, advertising agencies and brands looking for emerging talent. Filmmaker Patrick Jean’s short film “Pixels” was chosen as a Staff Pick, went viral, and attracted the attention of Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions, which hired Patrick to direct the feature-length version. Though Happy Madison ultimately brought Chris Columbus on board to direct, Patrick stayed on as an executive producer and co-writer of the script.

Timelapse cinematographer Drew Geraci’s “District Nights” similarly landed him a job shooting the opening credits sequence for Netflix’s “House of Cards,” while Daniel Mercadante’s two-minute short “Laughs” led to Volkswagen hiring him to shoot a second version for a TV commercial. Other Staff Picks alumni who have gained critical exposure through Vimeo include “Swiss Army Man” co-directors the Daniels (12 Staff Picks) and “Kong: Skull Island” filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts (2 Staff Picks).

Read More: John Early and Kate Berlant’s ‘555’ Just Raised the Bar for Every Short Form Comedy Ever

Curated by a five-person in-house team, Staff Picks is comprised of the core verticals of Drama, Comedy, Action Sports and Documentary, and also includes Music Video, Animation, Travel and Eye Candy. Vimeo selects around four Staff Picks per day and features the videos on its homepage. Out of the tens of millions of videos uploaded to Vimeo on a yearly basis, roughly 1,000 are chosen as Staff Picks. The site also selects around 10 “Best of the Month” videos per month.

Though Staff Picks are free to watch, Vimeo on Demand offers filmmakers a way to monetize their work via a 90/10 split, with 90 percent of revenue going to the creators. Launched in 2013, the site’s VOD content features more than 50,000 videos with more than 1 million paying customers. If a filmmaker wants to earn revenue off of his or her Vimeo Staff Pick, the film can be moved to the subscription-only platform.

So how can you secure a coveted Vimeo Staff Picks badge for your film? Here are five key factors paraphrased from a presentation by Meghan Oretsky, one of the company’s five curators, during an event at the company’s New York office.

Exceptional craft

Staff Picks should look good and sound amazing, but filmmakers should also ask themselves whether their work innovates and pushes the medium to a new level. Check out “Analogue Loaders” by from Raphael Vangelis.

Conversation starting

To get people talking about a short film, it should present provocative ideas and visuals that ideally appeal to a millennial audience. Vimeo knows a video is a winner when the curators anticipate it being shared and sparking conversations amongst friends. Check out “Black Holes” by Noodles.

Engaging storytelling

Stories should draw the viewer in, elicit an emotional response and ultimately be something that people want to the share with their friends. A good example is the short film “Con Amor” by Cole Webley.

Originality

Vimeo creators should have a unique style and story. A good question to ask is, have we seen this story told time and time again? If so, are they bringing any new ideas or a new voice to the genre? Check out Ilya Naishuller’s music video for Leningrad’s “Kolshick.” 

Read More: Danny Devito’s Short Film ‘Curmudgeons’ Launches Vimeo’s Staff Pick Premieres

Diverse Voices

Vimeo’s curators attend niche festivals in order to find content from female filmmakers, the Lgbtq community, people with disabilities, the indigenous community and more. Check out David M. Helman’s music video for Michael Kiwanuka “Cold Little Heart.”

Stay on top of the latest in gear and filmmaking news! Sign up for the Indiewire Toolkit newsletter here.

Related storiesThe Digital Black Market: How A Festival Used Copyright Laws To Sell The Films It ScreenedJohn Early and Kate Berlant's '555' Just Raised the Bar for Every Short Form Comedy EverJohn Early & Kate Berlant Arrive in Vimeo Series '555' -- Watch the New Trailer »

- Graham Winfrey

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Oscars: 13 Deserving Contenders From 2017 So Far

22 June 2017 7:30 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

As we rapidly approach 2017’s midway point, there are already a number of films that deserve to be remembered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when Oscar ballots go out at the end of the year. Academy voters notoriously have short memories, though it’s hardly their fault alone; studios are so obsessed with back-loading the year with prestige product that in the rush, earlier gems are often forgotten.

So we’re here to help. Perhaps members will take a moment to bear these contenders in mind before the awards season glut finally hits.

Note: This list spotlights films theatrically released to the paying public. There have been festival standouts that won’t hit theaters until the coming months, and a number would bear mentioning. Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler are all fantastic in Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected),” for example. And David Lowery’s vision for “A Ghost Story” makes for one of the greatest motion pictures of the year. But we’ll stick to what will hit theaters as of June 30 for this piece’s purposes.

Related

Oscars at the Halfway Mark: ‘Logan,’ ‘Get Out’ and Women Directors

***

Best Picture: “The Big Sick

Don’t dismiss it just because it’s the funniest movie of the year so far, it’s also the most heartfelt and intelligent. Willing to mix big issues with big laughs, the tone is held together perfectly by director Michael Showalter, the outstanding cast and an excellent script. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: “Baby Driver”; Get Out”; “Logan”; “Okja

Best Director: Bong Joon Ho (“Okja”)

Netflix’s Cannes entry is a whole lot of movie, and a whole lot of vision. Director Bong Joon Ho dazzles with his deft kinetic touch while also pulling an impressive performance out of young lead Seo-Hyun Ahn to anchor the zany satire. But as ever, Bong proves a master of balancing tonal shifts, ultimately crafting a moving piece of work. (KT)

– Other Standouts: Sofia Coppola (“The Beguiled”); Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”); Jordan Peele (“Get Out”); Trey Edward Shults (“It Comes At Night”)

Best Actor: Sam Elliott (“The Hero”)

The role of an aging star who never realized his greatness fits Elliott like a glove. It’s also a reminder of how underutilized he has been on the big screen. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: Richard Gere (“Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer”); Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”); James McAvoy (“Split”); Kumail Nanjiani (“The Big Sick”)

Best Actress: Sally Hawkins (“Maudie”)

Hawkins is always excellent and reliable, but she outdoes herself portraying Canadian painter Maud Lewis. Crippled by arthritis, married to a rough fisherman (a great Ethan Hawke), Hawkins allows Maud’s joy to shine through. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: Jessica Chastain (“The Zookeeper’s Wife”); Anne Hathaway (“Colossal”); Salma Hayek (“Beatriz at Dinner”); Rachel Weisz (“My Cousin Rachel”)

Best Supporting Actor: Patrick Stewart (“Logan”)

Let’s be honest; take away the superhero element and this would be an Oscar slam-dunk. Stewart’s portrayal of Charles Xavier in waning health with a broken mind will break your heart. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: Sharlto Copley (“Free Fire”); Ethan Hawke (“Maudie”); LilRel Howery (“Get Out”); Ray Romano (“The Big Sick”)

Best Supporting Actress: Betty Gabriel (“Get Out”)

Jordan Peele’s impressive directorial debut deserves a shout-out in virtually every category, but hopefully no one snoozes on Betty Gabriel’s unsettling work as a housekeeper trapped in “the sunken place.” She etches that inner turmoil across her face with such aplomb you simply cannot look away. (KT)

– Other Standouts: Laura Dern (“Wilson”); Holly Hunter (“The Big Sick”); Dafne Keen (“Logan”); Terry Pheto (“A United Kingdom”)

Related

Playback: Sam Elliott on ‘The Hero’ and Living His Childhood Dream

Best Screenplay: “Shimmer Lake

Technically ineligible for Oscars as it didn’t receive a theatrical run, that doesn’t stop this twisty thriller from earning our consideration. What sounds like a gimmick — a crime drama told backwards — proves absolutely essential to telling a fascinating story. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: “The Big Sick”; “Get Out”; “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore”; Split

Best Cinematography: “Kong: Skull Island

Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ simian sequel was a bit of a tonal omelette, but one element that gave it an unexpected level of iconography was Larry Fong’s striking photography. Sunburnt vistas and heat-rippled frames sometimes call back to “Apocalypse Now,” but more often they give the film its own intriguing visual identity. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Alien: Covenant”; “The Beguiled”; “The Lost City of Z”; “Song to Song

Best Costume Design: “Wonder Woman

Speaking of iconography, one of the eye-popping elements of Patty Jenkins’ landmark superhero entry is the iconic image actress Gal Gadot strikes as the eponymous Amazon. But beyond Diana Prince’s well-known threads, there’s a whole array of dazzling outfits on the screen, from the battle gear of Themyscira to 1920s fashion and World War I attire. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Beauty and the Beast”; “The Beguiled”; “The Great Wall”; “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Best Film Editing: “LA92”

Lest we forget, National Geographic’s Emmy-contending L.A riots documentary is also eligible for Oscar consideration this year. Last year “O.J.: Made in America” garnered some attention for its handling of tons of material, and hopefully reminded voters that documentary editing ought to be recognized. Reams of footage were assembled from countless sources to drive this particular version of the story, which was also covered elegantly by director John Ridley in “Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992.” (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Baby Driver”; “Get Out”; “Logan”; “Okja

Related

The Big Sick’: How Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon Brought Their Real-Life Love Story to Screen

Best Production Design: “Beauty and the Beast”

It’s a tall order to match the stunning animation of the original film, but the “Beauty and the Beast” team pulled it off. Every ornate touch, from the Beast’s castle to the world of Belle’s village, was a visual feast. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: “The Great Wall”; “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2”; “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”; “Wonder Woman

Best Sound Editing: “Baby Driver

Being something of a musical-slash-actioner, Edgar Wright’s latest owes everything to its soundtrack. But more than that, the precision with which sound is layered and cut to enhance the various tracks scattered throughout gives the film an innervating sense of propulsion. When there’s no sound, you’re desperate for it to scream back. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Free Fire”; “John Wick: Chapter Two”; “Okja”; “Transformers: The Last Knight

Best Visual Effects: “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2

It’s a pity we can’t throw “War for the Planet of the Apes” (July 14) in here, but more on that in due time. Marvel’s latest installment of the “Guardians” franchise doubles down on rendered environments. When you have a character who at times serves as the actual location (I guess you have to see the film to understand), the sky is the limit on VFX. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Beauty and the Beast”; “Ghost in the Shell”; The Great Wall”; “Okja

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- Kristopher Tapley and Jenelle Riley

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‘I Am Rocket,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Director James Gunn Tells Chinese Screenwriters

22 June 2017 5:10 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

“The structure of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ comes straight from Hong Kong cinema (where anything can happen at any moment),” “Guardians” director James Gunn said this week.

Johnnie To, John Woo and Ringo Lam made me fall in love with cinema even more than I had been before.” Other early influences when Gunn was a shy teen growing up in small-town Missouri, were the “Star Wars” films, with their escapism and mythology.

“I was created in giant petri dish to make ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’,” Gunn told an audience of Chinese screenwriters and directors this week at an event within the Shanghai International Film Festival. The event was organized with U.S. screenwriting consultancy Screencraft.

While a trip down memory lane was part of the session, the contrasting approaches to screenwriting of Gunn, “Kong: Skull Island” writer Max Borenstein and Hong Kong’s Peter Chan Ho-sun were the most instructive.

“I figure out everything before I go on stage. I know every shot beforehand,” said Gunn, who also describes himself as a hedgehog capable of doing only one thing at a time. “Guardians” took him more than two and a half years to put together.

Chan, who has made some of China’s most successful contemporary movies, including “Perhaps Love” and “American Dreams in China,” is a different kind of control freak. “I don’t plan, I don’t do story boards, I don’t do special effects. My creative process is working with actors,” said Chan. “And now I’m most enjoying the editing process, working alongside a great creative editor.” Yet Chan extends his creative vision by often doubling up as producer, a detail-obsessed marketer, and as a local distributor as well.

Where the three film makers concurred was on the need to juggle process and passion. “The worst way to make a film is to try to appeal to a mass audience,” said Borenstein.

“Half of film making is about balance. A film is a giant machine that I’m helping to build. Half is very personal, it’s about characters,” said Gunn. “(The whole) is a balance between the emotional and the logical.”

“Without the audience, the film making process is not complete. Even a blockbuster needs to be personal,” said Chan. “There is no secret sauce. You just need to like the characters. In ‘American Dreams’ all the characters were the kind of people I’d grown up with. And when I watched ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2’ recently I saw a personal film, one with a director behind it.”

Gunn went one step further. He described “Guardians” as an autobiography of Rocket, the raccoon character voiced by Bradley Cooper, before adding: “Rocket is me, feeling outcast and forgotten.”

The trip to Shanghai was Gunn’s first to mainland China, but not his first encounter with Chinese audiences. He stays in touch with Chinese fans through his own WeiboChinese social media account. He revealed that he received many complaints from Chinese viewers about the subtitles for the first “Guardians” movie. So for the second picture, which released earlier this year in Chinese theaters, he used social media to work closely with the film’s translator. That was particularly useful in avoiding misinterpretations of idiosyncratic dialog and invented vocabulary.

Gunn was careful to distance himself from Hollywood movies which seek international appeal through calculatedly diverse casting choices. “Chinese people don’t fall for that trick any more,” he said.

The speakers were jointly interviewed by Screencraft’s Emily Dell and Chinese critic and consultant Raymond Zhou.

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters Starts Productions

21 June 2017 8:06 AM, PDT | ShockYa | See recent ShockYa news »

After the success of “Godzilla” in 2014, Warner Bros. is starting to build out their “Monster Cinematic Universe” with the release of “Kong: Skull Island” earlier this year. Now WB started production on “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” to keep expanding it. I really liked “Godzilla” and I was entertained enough with “Kong: Skull Island,” […]

The post Godzilla: King of the Monsters Starts Productions appeared first on Shockya.com. »

- Rudie Obias

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‘Nightcrawler’ Director Dan Gilroy Reteaming With Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo for New Film

20 June 2017 1:46 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Director Dan Gilroy has a new script making the rounds in Hollywood that has two of the leads of his 2014 film “Nightcrawler,” Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo, attached to star, Deadline reports. Gilroy’s directorial debut about a con man (Gyllenhaal) navigating the world of Los Angeles crime journalism attracted an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay.

Read More: ‘Okja’ First Look: Jake Gyllenhaal Makes His Debut in Bong Joon-ho’s Monster Movie Adventure

Few details about the new project are known, aside from the fact that it is set in the art world. Gilroy’s second film as a director, 2018’s “Inner City,” stars Denzel Washington as Roman Israel, a driven, idealistic defense attorney who, through a tumultuous series of events, finds himself in a crisis that leads to extreme action, according to IMDb. The film co-stars Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo.

In addition to writing and directing “Nightcrawler, »

- Graham Winfrey

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Production starts on the Godzilla sequel, Full Cast list and Synopsis revealed

20 June 2017 5:27 AM, PDT | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Author: Zehra Phelan

Holy Monsters! With production officially underway in Atlanta, Georgia on Godzilla King of the Monsters, a full cast list and synopsis has been revealed for the follow-up to the 2014 outing in which Gareth Edwards took the helm.

Although Edwards was lined up to direct the sequel, which now falls into the Kong, Godzilla monster universe after last year’s arrival of Kong: Skull Island, he gave up his throne to Michael Dougherty to pursue other projects.

Within the newly revealed synopsis, we are given an insight to the monsters we can expect to see this time around. Currently, the confirmed list of Monsters to be featured are Rodan, Mothra and Ghidorah! Three of Toho’s most iconic Kaiju have been secured by Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures to star in the follow-up and will do battle with their revised Hollywood Godzilla which debuted in Gareth Edwards’ 2014 blockbuster. »

- Zehra Phelan

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Jurassic World 2 Writer Discusses Goldblum, Dialogue From The Original Novel, And The Most Suspenseful Entry Yet

19 June 2017 6:00 PM, PDT | LRMonline.com | See recent LRM Online news »

The most exciting news surrounding Jurassic World 2 has been the fact that Jeff Goldblum is returning as Dr. Ian Malcolm. The character, and actor, are fan favorites, providing the most quotable lines from the original Jurassic Park film and bringing that quantifiable magic element that is...Goldblum. Whether, "When you gotta go, you gotta go," "Life always finds a way," or "Faster, must go faster," is your quote of choice, there's a million reasons to love Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm.

Colin Trevorrow, director of Jurassic World and co-writer on the sequel, appeared on MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast, when Jurassic World 2 inevitably came up. Trevorrow revealed previously that he turned to the original novel, Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton, when writing the film, but he had this to add about the process and Jeff Goldblum's involvement in it:

“You know, I did rely on [Michael] Crichton for a lot. I used a lot of Crichton dialogue. Maybe one of my highlights of this whole process is Goldblum. Jeff Goldblum called me -- and I’m not going to do an impression -- but he was like, ‘Look, I’ve added a couple of things, and I thought I’d perform it for you.’ [Laughs] Oh, great, okay. So, we sat on the phone for an hour as he ran these lines, and I talked about it. And, I mean, that’s -- it was almost better than being there on set. It was great.”

Now, that's how you make Jurassic World 2 feel authentic! Simply return to dialogue and ideas from the original novel that have yet to be used in a film. Malcolm may be the most quotable character in the original film, but there are some doozys in that book that I'd love to hear Goldblum bring to life. 

Though we still don't know how large Goldblum's role will be in Jurassic World 2, or how Malcolm comes to be involved with terrifying dinosaurs for the third time, Trevorrow also assured Happy Sad Confused podcast that Jurassic World 2 would be the most suspenseful film in the entire series:

“It’s just deeper, more character-based, and it definitely leans into suspense, especially in the second half…It does have the big action in the middle. There’s a sequence in the middle that I’ve been watching -- I mean, I watch dailies every day -- but I’ve started to see stuff come together, and it’s just insane.”

J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls, The Impossible) is directing the film from a script by Derek Connolly (Kong: Skull Island, Jurassic World) and the aforementioned Trevorrow. Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, and Bd Wong all return from previous films in the Jurassic Park franchise.

Jurassic World 2 has a release date of June 22, 2018. 

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Source: MTV's Happy Sad Confused Podcast (via /Film)

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- Nick Doll

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Godzilla 2: Impressive Cast List and Plot Details Revealed as Filming Begins

19 June 2017 2:02 PM, PDT | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

Today filming has started on the next Godzilla movie (which is apparently back to being untitled), and to commemorate the beginning of production, Warner Bros. has released the full, impressive, cast list along with confirmation on the plot this time around.  Come inside to check it out!

As a huge monster movie fan, Gareth Edward's Godzilla (2014) really got my blood pumping, and hoping that a new wave of monster movies would be on the way.  Thankfully, that's exactly what's happening, with this year's Kong: Skull Island setting the groundwork for a more interconnected "monster-verse."  

The sequel to Godzilla was announced quite some time ago (during Sdcc) in which Edwards, who was still signed on to direct at the time, revealed iconic monsters Rodan, Mothra, and King Gihdorah would appear.  When Edwards stepped away from the project, coupled with the amount of time passing, many wondered if the plot would stick. »

- feeds@cinelinx.com (Jordan Maison)

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters begins production, synopsis confirms Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah

19 June 2017 1:50 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have announced that filming is underway on the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, the third instalment of the shared MonsterVerse, which had been going by the title of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and is being directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick R Treat, Krampus).

Accompanying the official announcement is a synopsis which confirms that Godzilla will do battle with iconic foes Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah – which won’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone who’s seen this year’s Kong: Skull Island.

“The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths – rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s »

- Gary Collinson

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Mothra, Rodan And King Ghidorah All Name-Dropped In Official Synopsis For Godzilla: King Of The Monsters

19 June 2017 1:02 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

As Warner Bros. and Legendary’s MonsterVerse continues to grow and evolve, becoming another of Hollywood’s titanic shared universes in the process, all eyes are beginning to turn toward the next installment, Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Set several years after the cataclysmic events of Gareth Edwards’ franchise-starter, when Gojira was forced to do battle with a pair of carefully crafted MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Objects) to comply with licensing issues, King of the Monsters blows the oversized doors off to welcome Mothra, Rodan and the three-headed King Ghidorah to the fray.

Those of you who waited until after the credits of Kong: Skull Island won’t be too surprised by those monstrous new recruits, but now that filming on Godzilla: King of the Monsters is officially underway in Atlanta, Georgia, WB and Legendary have unearthed the official synopsis for Michael Dougherty’s mighty creature feature. He’ll be »

- Michael Briers

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