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Visual Effects Oscar Semi-Finals 

"All I know is that if I had worked on A Monster Calls, I'd be pretty pissed that I didn't get in but Sully did." -The Jack

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INTERVIEWS

Maria Schrader (Stefan Zweig...)
Boo Junfeng (The Apprentice
Gianfranco Rosi (Fire At Sea)
Chris Kelly (Other People)
NWR (Neon Demon)

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Thursday
Nov052015

RIP: Melissa Mathison (1950 - 2015)

Melissa Mathison, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of E.T., has passed away at 65. 

She gave us the film's iconic "E.T. phone home," but what connects each viewing is her rich understanding of the hearts and minds of children. She got to the part deep within all of us that was afraid of growing up and change, of trying to hold tightly to what would only be taken away from us. Adding this insight with natural and efficient dialogue, she turned uncomplex phrases like "Be good" and "I'll be right here" into primal moments loaded with childhood longing.

A mother of two herself, her grasp of the young mindset was also at play in her adaptations of The Black Stallion and The Indian in the Cupboard, and provided unique insight into the Dalai Lama for Kundun.

A natural fit to the fascinations of Spielberg, her gifts will be greatly missed. Coming in the year ahead, we will luckily have one last collaboration from the pair: the Roald Dahl motion-capture adaptation of The BFG. Material perfectly suited to her skills, it's a chance to celebrate her again.

RIP Melissa Mathison

Wednesday
Nov042015

11 Tweets: Kate Fandom, Bradley Trash, Princess Fatigue

You guys! I leave for Los Angeles in the morning and am feeling so overwhelmed. In a good way of course. Oscar season has basically gone from 0 to 60 while I puttered around my apartment not working fast enough.

In this week's tweet roundup Andie MacDowell sort of announces a very exciting new project (sex, lies and videotape is still her best work), Xavier Dolan announces his love for Kate Winslet, Adele questions DiCaprio, and Guillermo del Toro geeks out about 70s movies  after the jump...

 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov042015

Shane Carruth Goes Hollywood...Maybe

Kieran, here. Writer-director and actor Shane Carruth (Primer, Upstream Color) has announced his latest feature. The Modern Ocean (release date still TBA), is slated to star Anne Hathaway, Keanu Reeves, Daniel Radcliffe, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Holland, Asa Butterfield and Chloë Moretz (or Chloë Grace Moretz...we'll never know. It changes with every other movie). His third feature, like his first two directorial outings, will also feature Shane Carruth as part of the cast, though one questions how big his role will be surrounded by an all-star roster. 

Shane Carruth has had an interesting career. For someone whose indies have had a seemingly difficult time breaking out of the arthouse, his films often get cited in year end critical awards. Other directors have taken notice. After seeing the time-travel themed Primer, Rian Johnson consulted Carruth on the script for Looper. Quite a feat for a filmmaker who seems to take a decent amount of time between features (a nine-year gap between Primer and Upstream Color) that don't employ name actors. Will The Modern Ocean be the film that finally clicks Carruth over into mainstream acclaim? How will Carruth handle such a deep well of established actors?

The Modern Ocean is an all star piece about cargo ships searching for trade routes. That's a far cry from his earlier, micro-budget films. There are certainly indie directors who have shown that the talent doesn't dissipate once bigger budget and household names arrive. Then there are directors like Duncan Jones, who breakthrough with a heralded indie (Moon) and follow it up with a studio-funded film with big stars that has difficulty matching the early praise (Source Code). At any rate, it'll be exciting to see in which direction this star-studded new project takes him. Even if you aren't enamored of his earlier films, it's hard to deny that Carruth has a singular directorial voice. His films don't immediately recall the work of any other director working, which will always make him exciting.

How intrigued are you for Shane Carruth's new feature? Have you seen his early work?

Wednesday
Nov042015

HBO’s LGBT History: Grey Gardens (2009)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we looked at Outrage, the Kirby Dick documentary on outing U.S. politicians. It’s a fascinating, well-researched doc that, as many of you noted, is all the more groundbreaking for the way it revealed media biases when it came to reviewing the film (NPR famously refused to discuss the documentary’s subjects citing the rights to privacy of the politicians involved). This week, we’re talking about a staunchly camp classic that got the HBO prestige treatment and gave us perhaps the best Drew Barrymore performance to date, one which made great use of her charm and comedic timing shaded with some of the dramatic depth she so rarely gets to show off.

“Inside the incredible world of Jackie O’s relatives.”

Thus reads the film’s tag-line and that, one has to admit, is one way of selling the film. The other, of course, is “Inside the incredible world of one of the greatest documentary subjects ever committed to film.”

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov042015

Situation Linky

Arts.Mic Our Manuel dives deep on TV's family sitcom through history and how it does and doesn't reflect our changing world. Fun and depressing stats.
Dark Horizons BBC will try adapting Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" into a franchise. Exciting since those books are so complex and adult (movies were probably never the right approach) but that said... good luck besting Nicole Kidman's Miss Coulter in the aborted movie franchise
Oscar Conversations [video] director, costume designer, and composer talk Beasts of No Nation
Africa is a Country Noah Tsikas with an alternative perspective on the much lauded Beasts of No Nation

Pajiba lists 20 upcoming sci-fi fantasy movies that are NOT from a franchise. How exciting. Original or fresh adaptations. Of course some of these will launch franchises if they're big
Guardian Colin Welland, Oscar winning screenwriter of Chariots of Fire has died. 
People Adele cites Madonna's "Frozen" as an inspirational song in her life. Same. That song rescued me at the time, no joke. (Love it when artists show Madonna respect rather than dissing her)
Little White Lies has a whole freaking issue on Carol ! Beautiful motion cover, too 
Los Angeles Times the ongoing drama of Quentin Tarantino vs the police
Boy Culture somehow I missed this Mommie Dearest night in Manhattan with actress Rutanya Alda (The Deer Hunter, Mommie Dearest) and Michael Musto 
Awards Daily talks to Tab Hunter about the documentary Tab Hunter: Confidential which is really fun if you're into Old Hollywood history
Playbill Here's a project with potential I hadn't heard a peep about: Shirley Maclaine and Amanda Seyfried will co-star in a movie about an old woman who wants to control everything including her own obituary. A young reporter has other ideas.
Variety Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard (what a lovely pair) are headling Robert Zemeckis next feature and its got an Oscar hungry Thanksgiving 2016 release date 

Beauty Breaks
if you need it -- and who doesn't from time to time?
My New Plaid Pants Edgar Ramirez three times
NY Times amazing never before seen 80s photos of Madonna, Warhol, and Basquiat
Queerty on Empire's Jussie Smollet. Mmmm. Are any of you watching Season 2 of Empire? I don't like it quite as much this year but Jussie & Taraji & Gabby are still great fun
Vogue chooses best dressed: Meryl, Alicia, and someone named... Sienna Miller (sp?)
VJ Brendan Nicholas Hoult in Hero magazine. I saw this mag cover in London but if I'd known the photos were this good. It's a pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty reminder that he was so great in Mad Max Fury Road earlier this year. FYC people.

WHAT A LOVELY DAY!