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‘Hal’: See This Doc on the Greatest American Filmmaker of the 1970s Stat

‘Hal’: See This Doc on the Greatest American Filmmaker of the 1970s Stat
When was the last time you watched Being There? Sure, everyone namedropped the Peter Sellers movie, about an idiot savant who watches TV and becomes a major political player, when a certain someone got elected President. And yes, Criterion put out a lovely DVD of it last year. But when was the last time you sat down and actually watched it? How about Coming Home, the returning-veteran movie that won Jon Voight and Jane Fonda respective Oscars, and helped usher in a wave of Vietnam movies? Or Shampoo, arguably Warren Beatty
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Bruce Dern on ‘White Boy Rick,’ the Secret of Acting and Trying Always to Be Fair

  • Variety
Bruce Dern on ‘White Boy Rick,’ the Secret of Acting and Trying Always to Be Fair
Bruce Dern is celebrating 60 years as an actor, having made his Broadway debut in the 1958 “Shadow of a Gunman” while studying with Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan. This year, his film work includes playing two real-life characters: Joseph Kennedy in “Chappaquiddick” and Roman Wershe in Studio 8’s “White Boy Rick.” The latter film, about a 14-year-old who was arrested in 1980s Detroit, opens Sept. 14.

What drew you to “White Boy Rick”?

It’s real. I play the grandfather of the young boy, Rick Wershe Jr. He had to take a package across town and police busted him. He was just released this year after 29 years. He was 14 [when he was imprisoned], so to lighten his sentence, they made him an informer. Wershe was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The movie shows that “It ain’t fair.” My whole life is about trying to be fair. My aunt married Herbert F.
See full article at Variety »

Rotterdam Film Festival's VoD platform reveals early data

Iffr Unleashed hes been accessed from 39 countries.

Iffr Unleashed, the streaming service launched by International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr) in January during its 2018 edition, has published initial statistics from the platform’s first six months of operation.

To date, the view count has surpassed 7,500, and 98.8% of films on the platform have been viewed. Audiences have accessed the platform from 39 countries.

Iffr Unleashed hosts a selection of films that have previously screened in Rotterdam. There are currently 180 titles on the service. At launch, titles included Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Alexander Payne to be San Sebastian president by Amber Wilkinson - 2018-09-07 12:30:11

Official Competition Jury: Alexander Payne, Bet Rourich, Agnes Johansen, Francesca Cima, Nahuel Perez Biscayart, Rossy de Palma Photo: Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival Downsizing director Alexander Payne has been announced as the jury president for the 66th San Sebastian Film Festival.

The helmer of films including Sideways and Nebraska will be joined on the Official Competition jury by 42 Beats actor Nahuel Pérez Biscayart and Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown star Rossy de Palma, alongside Adult Life Skills and Songbird cinemtographer Bet Rourich. Producers Francesca Cima (The Great Beauty) and Agnes Johansen (Jar City) will also take part, with a seventh juror still to be named.

In a refreshing change from many festivals, female talent also dominates the New Directors award jury, with Thelma producer Katrin Pors named president, alongside Refugiado director Diego Lerman, artist Imma Merino, scriptwriter Léa Mysius (Ismael's Ghosts) and Sydney Film Festival director Nashen Moodley.
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Burt Reynolds Appreciation: A Classic Movie Star With a Modern Sense of Humor

  • The Wrap
Burt Reynolds Appreciation: A Classic Movie Star With a Modern Sense of Humor
Much has been written about the New Hollywood of the 1970s and how it was formed by a group of bearded film-school grads who grew up on a diet of cinema and broke the hidebound rules of the studio system. But there’s no talking about American film in the Me Decade without discussing the impact of Burt Reynolds, the iconic star who encapsulated so much of the era’s freewheeling attitudes and post-modern sensibilities.

Unlikely the falsely humble stars of yore, Reynolds clearly reveled in being a movie star, whether he was yukking it up on Johnny Carson’s couch or mugging through silly all-star extravaganzas like “The Cannonball Run.” He had the cool of the Rat Pack, but in a way that seemed more attainable to a country mired in recession; Reynolds’ public vibe always leaned closer to a six-pack and a Trans Am than to martinis and limousines.
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Hal’ Film Review: Engaging Documentary Celebrates 70s Maverick Director Hal Ashby

  • The Wrap
‘Hal’ Film Review: Engaging Documentary Celebrates 70s Maverick Director Hal Ashby
By the time Hal Ashby made it to the director’s chair in 1970 after a stint as one of the most acclaimed film editors of the 1960s, he’d grown out his hair to a shaggy fullness more in keeping with the hippie-ish message he sent over the airwaves when accepting his 1968 Oscar for editing “In the Heat of the Night”: “I hope we can use all of our talents and creativity for peace, and for love.”

Ashby would never lose his vibey guru mien thereafter, and through the Me Decade, he turned out a remarkable stretch of socially conscious, bitingly funny and character-rich pictures — including “The Last Detail,” “Shampoo” and “Being There” — that have made him a giant among cineastes who see the ’70s as Hollywood’s most satisfyingly adult and uncompromising period. But if there’s still the sense that Ashby isn’t as sanctified as American
See full article at The Wrap »

15 Films to See in September

If you’ve already perused our massive fall preview, you’ll be familair with more than a handful of titles as we look deeper into this September’s film offerings. Alongside festival favorites from earlier this year (and beyond) all the way up to films just debuting at Telluride, Venice, and Tiff, it’s a strong start to a promising season for movie-going.

Matinees to See: Science Fair (9/14), A Simple Favor (9/14), White Boy Rick (9/14), I Think We’re Alone Now (9/14), A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. (9/14), Fahrenheit 11/9 (9/21), Love, Gilda (9/21), Monsters and Men (9/28)

15. Museo (Alonso Ruizpalacios; Sept. 15)

After his break-out film Güeros, Alonso Ruizpalacios premiered his latest film at Berlinale this year and now it finally arrives in theaters. Rory O’Connor said in his review, “It is the latest work of Alonso Ruizpalacios, an obliquely political filmmaker with an eye for cinematic homage. His latest is essentially a heist movie,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Female Actors & Characters Steal The Show In Venice Even As Industry Laments Lack Of Women Directors

  • Deadline
Female Actors & Characters Steal The Show In Venice Even As Industry Laments Lack Of Women Directors
From Roma to Suspiria and A Star Is Born to The Favourite, female actors and characters have shone through on the big screen during the first half of the Venice Film Festival. The phenomenon is notable given the concurrent lament over the lack of women directors on the Lido. Jacques Audiard today became the highest-profile director to call out the scarcity in Venice’s Competition lineup.

Venice organizers, and more specifically artistic director Alberto Barbera, have come under fire over the chasm between the number of titles helmed by men and those helmed by women in the festival’s main section. Understandably so. One out of 21 is a poor return, and the percentage of women in the biggest strand has been dropping in recent editions.

Yet, while it does not excuse the missing female directors, many of this year’s most buzzed-about movies showcase potent female roles and performances.

Alfonso Cuaron’s stylish and personal black-and-white Netflix drama Roma won raves and is led by three Mexican actresses. The movie is a love-letter to the strong women in Cuaron’s life and could hardly be more of a feminist parable. At the press conference on Thursday, Cuaron praised the women at the heart of his story. “This film sees all these women as protagonists. It has been made by all these women and the result is thanks to them,” he said.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ period romp The Favourite, from Fox Searchlight, too has a trio of women at its heart. The 18th century ladies — portrayed by Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman and Emma Stone — gave Lanthimos “the opportunity to create three complex female characters which is something you rarely see,” he said. “Because of the prevalent male gaze in cinema, women are portrayed as housewives, girlfriends… Our small contribution is we’re just trying to show them as complex and wonderful and horrific as they are.”

And, certainly the Lido went wild for Lady Gaga’s turn in Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born (though the Warner Bros title is out-of-competition). The latest incarnation of the age-old tale proved the singer’s acting chops in a role that scrubs her bare of any of the artifice with which she’s typically associated.

Amazon’s Suspiria features a near-all female cast and could be a lightning rod for feminist interpretation. Director Luca Guadagnino was flanked by female actors at the press conference Saturday, and he and star Tilda Swinton have discussed the influence on the film of feminist movements from the 1970s.

The fest took flight on Wednesday with Damien Chazelle’s First Man from Universal. There’s already Oscar chatter surrounding Claire Foy as Neil Armstrong’s wife Janet who battles to hold her family together as her husband is consumed by grief — and his historic work. Meanwhile, 19th Century story Peterloo gives good space for women characters even while portraying a truly toxically masculine event.

And there are more on deck this week. Natalie Portman will star as a pop star and mother to a teenage daughter in Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux. Pablo Trapero’s La Quietud with Berenice Bejo follows two sisters who find themselves after a long separation; Laszlo Nemes’ Sunset focuses on a determined woman in pre-wwi Budapest; and Jennifer Kent — the sole female director in competition — has The Nightingale on Thursday. In it, Aisling Franciosi plays a young Irish convict bent on revenge in the Tasmanian wilderness.

This is not a dissimilar situation to 2017 when there was also just one female director in the main section, but strong women in the stories being told. At the time, Venice saw the world premieres of Frances McDormand strutting through her grief in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri; Sally Hawkins’ unabashedly sexual 1950s imp in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water<, and Hong Chau’s scene-stealing turn in Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, among others.

Hawkins went on to an Oscar nomination for del Toro’s eventual Golden Lion and Best Picture winner while McDormand scooped the Academy Award as Mildred Hayes.

Of course, a common denominator in virtually all the films noted above is that they are directed by men. While the content on show in Venice is encouraging, that imbalance needs to be remedied.

Defending his position, Barbera has pointed out that across the entire festival’s slate, 22% of films are directed by women. He also said fewer than 25% of submissions were from female filmmakers. Further, more than 70% of key Biennale staff are women, and 45% of the fest’s cinema programmers are female. The festival was prompted to action when it signed a diversity pledge on Friday and Barbera says more needs to be done at a broader industry level, but he has ruled out quotas or changing his selection approach.

We are seeing green shoots of change at many film festivals. A handful of women have been hired to key posts in recent months, which is positive. Venice is rightly hearing about the gender imbalance of its directors, and there is work to be done. The balance is at least better on screen.
See full article at Deadline »

Gong with the wind: the early Oscar contenders that fall by the wayside

From Bonfire of the Vanities to Downsizing, how did the highly touted turn into the long forgotten, and could A Star Is Born be next?

This might come as a shock to regular, sane people who think about the Academy Awards one day a year, but as far as Hollywood is concerned, Oscar season kicks off next week. The Venice film festival, followed in overlapping succession by Telluride and Toronto, is when the studios start showing off their would-be prize ponies: soon we will have verdicts on such prestige prospects as Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man and Alfonso Cuarón’s Mexican saga Roma, and the campaigning will begin.

For industry folk, it is a nerve-racking few weeks: for every bolt-from-the-blue contender minted in festival season, several high-profile titles that sounded like pure trophy-bait on paper will fall by the wayside. Just ask two-time Oscar-winner Alexander Payne, whose
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘Heathers’ Review (30th Anniversary)

Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, Kim Walker, Peter Dawson | Written by Daniel Waters | Directed by Michael Lehmann

It barely registered at the box office in 1988. Yet here I am, 30 years later, in a cinema packed with millennials, watching a 4K restoration in advance of Heather’s re-release on luxury Arrow Blu-ray next month. What a time to be alive.

Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) is the leader of the “Heathers”, a clique of mean girls running their Ohio high school. There are two other Heathers in the group, and then there’s the runt of the litter: Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder). Veronica is a bitch, but her engagement with the girls’ cycle of bullying and mockery is reluctant. Smooth, smarmy Jason Dean (Christian Slater) spots this self-doubt and lures Veronica into his carefree, rebellious world. Veronica and Jason spark up an immediately passionate yet toxic romance. Veronica
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

‘Hal’ Trailer Explores the Cinematic Legacy of a Great American Director

There aren’t many American directors working today with the patience and warmth of Hal Ashby (except perhaps one) and he’s now getting an appreciation in the form on a new documentary. The director behind Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Shampoo, Being There, and more is the subject of Hal, which premiered at Sundance, and is now getting a release next month.

Featuring the likes of Lee Grant, Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Louis Gossett Jr, Jeff Bridges, Alexander Payne, Judd Apatow, Lisa Cholodenko, David O. Russell, Norman Jewison, Robert Towne, Haskell Wexler, and Pablo Ferro, the film takes an in-depth look at his approach to filmmaking and his enormous impact. Ahead of the release, Magnolia Pictures has debuted the first trailer for Amy Scott’s documentary, which can be seen below along with the poster.

Although Hal Ashby directed a remarkable string of acclaimed, widely admired classics throughout the 1970s—Harold And Maude,
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Hal’ Trailer: Documentary On Iconoclastic ‘Coming Home’ & ‘Harold And Maude’ Director Hal Ashby

  • Deadline
‘Hal’ Trailer: Documentary On Iconoclastic ‘Coming Home’ & ‘Harold And Maude’ Director Hal Ashby
Hal Ashby directing a string of acclaimed movies in the 1970s, scoring an Oscar nom for Coming Home, but he’s largely overshadowed by the filmmaking kings of the Me Decade. Now a new documentary turns the lens on the iconoclast who also helmed such enduring pics as Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Shampoo and Being There.

Here’s the logline: Hal explores his curious historical oversight, using rare archival materials, interviews, personal letters and audio recordings to reveal a passionate, obsessive artist. Ashby was a Hollywood director who constantly clashed with Hollywood but also a unique soul with an unprecedented insight into the human condition and an unmatched capacity for good. His films were an elusive blend of honesty, irreverence, humor and humanity.

Directed by Amy Scott, Hal was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in January. It features on-camera interviews with Oscar-winning actors Lee Grant,
See full article at Deadline »

“Juliet, Naked” is a low key romantic charmer

Earlier this week, I took a look at Ethan Hawke’s latest directorial effort. Today, we’ll be looking at his newest starring role. The movie in question is Juliet, Naked, which is based on the charming Nick Hornby book of the same name. This week, the adaptation hits theaters, offering up something mellow and nice for audiences. Hawke getting to play an elusive rock star would suggest a far harder edged affair than this, but it makes for a nice little change of pace. You won’t necessarily see any raves about this kind of flick, but you need them. They’re comfort food, cinematically speaking. The film is described, via IMDb, as such: “Juliet, Naked is the story of Annie (the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan) and her unlikely transatlantic romance with once revered, now faded, singer-songwriter, Tucker Crowe, who also happens to be the subject of Duncan’s musical obsession.
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

HFPA Aid Hits Close to Home for Press Organization’s Leader

  • Variety
Growing up in India, Meher Tatna could see the spoils of child labor first hand. There were pint-sized beggars on the road and child servants in homes; out of view, youngsters toiled in factories rather than attend school, in some cases sold into slavery due to their families’ grinding poverty.

So the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s $500,000 grant to an Indian organization dedicated to eradicating child labor and slavery hit especially close to home for Tatna, HFPA’s president since June 2017.

“It’s one thing I am just really proud of,” says Tatna of the grant to Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.

Part of the $3.1 million HFPA is awarding educational and cultural organizations this year, the donation is an outgrowth of a conversation Tatna had with David Linde, head of Participant Media. He suggested several possible candidates for HFPA’s big annual international grant, Kscf among them.

Tatna, who left
See full article at Variety »

Heathers Re-release Review

  • HeyUGuys
After a decade of era defining American high school comedies (mostly from John Hughes) and tawdry, derivative innuendo-heavy teen sex farces like Porky’s, Meatballs, Beach Balls, Screwballs and Oddballs etc., in 1989 director Michael Lehmann and writer Daniel Waters warped the teen high school comedy with their feature debut, Heathers. This cutting, provocative slice of poisoned cherry pie had cult written all over it from the outset with its weaving of provocative themes such as teen suicide, mass murder and psychosis into the fabric of the high school comedy. Heathers was nothing like anything that had come before it. Aside from its critical success and fast growing fan-base, Lehmann and Waters’ debut left a minimal dent in the box office; raking in just $177, 247 on its opening weekend, despite doing well later on VHS.

Its script was penned from the perspective of Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder), a practical scene surfer in
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Sandra Oh Talks Her Success on 'Killing Eve' After 'Grey's Anatomy': "It Took 30 Years to Get This Call"

Congrats! Sandra Oh just became the first Asian-American ever nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series at the Emmys for her razor-sharp turn as a flawed MI5 spy in BBC America’s Killing Eve, but she’s not keeping her joy undercover. "Let’s just [expletive] celebrate it, man," she says. "We’ve got to start somewhere. I’m happy to get the ball rolling." The 47-year-old actress was on a roll, professionally speaking, after landing her breakout gig in 2005 as Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy, which earned her five Emmy nominations but no wins in the Best Supporting Actress category. Since she left the ABC medical show in 2014, good parts have been few and far between for Sandra. Then along came Eve, which in its complexity surpasses anything Sandra has done, including Grey’s. "It took 30 years to get this call," she says. This was one of
See full article at Closer Weekly »

‘The Favourite’ To Open 56th New York Film Festival

  • Deadline
The Film Society of Lincoln Center has set the Yorgos Lanthimos-directed The Favourite as the Opening Night selection for the 56th New York Film Festival. Deadline revealed last week that the film will make its world premiere at Venice, so this will be its New York premiere. That indicates it likely gets a showing at Telluride before the Nyff gala at Alice Tully Hall on Friday, September 28, 2018. Fox Searchlight Pictures releases it November 23. This becomes the second pic announced by Nyff, which recently set Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma to be the centerpiece selection. That film also will have its world premiere in Venice.

In The Favourite, the Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and her servant Abigail Hill (Emma Stone) engage in a sexually charged fight to the death for the body and soul of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) at the height of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Said
See full article at Deadline »

Damien Chazelle’s True Astronaut Epic ‘First Man’ Is Venice Film Festival Opener

Damien Chazelle’s True Astronaut Epic ‘First Man’ Is Venice Film Festival Opener
While Damien Chazelle anxiously labors away in the editing room on his final cut of Universal’s space epic “First Man,” he will now have to finish it in time for the opening of the 75th annual Venice International Film Festival (August 29 – September 8). Chazelle’s “La La Land” also opened Venice in 2016 en route to winning six Oscars, including Best Director.

Starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, the mission movie focuses on the astronaut’s preparation for his then-unimaginable 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing and historic walk. Claire Foy (“The Crown”) costars along with Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Corey Stoll, Ciaran Hinds, Christopher Abbott, and Patrick Fugit.

Last year Venice opened with Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing,” which scored Supporting Actress SAG and Golden Globe nominations for Hong Chau; recent Oscar winners include openers “Birdman,” “Gravity,” and “Black Swan.” The Competition jury is headed by Guillermo del Toro, who debuted “The Shape of Water
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Damien Chazelle’s True Astronaut Epic ‘First Man’ Is Venice Film Festival Opener

Damien Chazelle’s True Astronaut Epic ‘First Man’ Is Venice Film Festival Opener
While Damien Chazelle anxiously labors away in the editing room on his final cut of Universal’s space epic “First Man,” he will now have to finish it in time for the opening of the 75th annual Venice International Film Festival (August 29 – September 8). Chazelle’s “La La Land” also opened Venice in 2016 en route to winning six Oscars, including Best Director.

Starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, the mission movie focuses on the astronaut’s preparation for his then-unimaginable 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing and historic walk. Claire Foy (“The Crown”) costars along with Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Corey Stoll, Ciaran Hinds, Christopher Abbott, and Patrick Fugit.

Last year Venice opened with Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing,” which scored Supporting Actress SAG and Golden Globe nominations for Hong Chau; recent Oscar winners include openers “Birdman,” “Gravity,” and “Black Swan.” The Competition jury is headed by Guillermo del Toro, who debuted “The Shape of Water
See full article at Indiewire »

Laura Dern On The “Platform” Her Emmy Nom Offers ‘The Tale’, The “Revolutionary” David Lynch And A Possible Return For Her ‘Jurassic Park’ Heroine

Laura Dern On The “Platform” Her Emmy Nom Offers ‘The Tale’, The “Revolutionary” David Lynch And A Possible Return For Her ‘Jurassic Park’ Heroine
It’s a fine day for Laura Dern, who is celebrating not just her own Emmy nomination, but also nods for Ted Danson—the godfather to her children—and David Lynch, with whom she most recently reunited for Twin Peaks.

Of her own nod, Dern says, “I’m grateful that The Tale has been acknowledged because it gives more of a platform for the film to be seen. It means so much to have had the support of journalists and critics, and the accolades to help people keep finding it. This movie has impacted people in a really important way, and it was why we wanted to make it.”

Jennifer Fox’s The Tale premiered at Sundance, as the unfolding stories from the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements continued to dominate headlines, before premiering on HBO in May. Dern plays a version of Fox in the film, which tells the story
See full article at Deadline »
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