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Friday
Apr292016

TCM Film Festival Day 1: This Fest is on Fire!

Anne Marie here, reporting what's hot at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival.

Opening night of TCM Film Festival was on fire--or at least we thought it was. Halfway through the first film, the fire alarm in the Chinese Theater multiplex went off, sending cinephiles scurrying for the exits. Fortunately, it seems to have been a false alarm. After a few minutes of patient waiting, fans were allowed to retake their seats so the movies could resume.

Fire alarms aside, TCM rolled out the red carpet for a brand new restoration for the 40th Anniversary of All the President's Men, courtesy of Warner Bros. Classics. Four decades after Woodward and Bernstein originally exposed the Watergate Scandal, the movie feels more prescient than ever, especially considering TCM host Ben Mankiewicz's recent revelation that his father Frank Mankiewicz was on Nixon's enemies list. Ben Mankiewicz and Alec Baldwin introduced the movie and the special guest of the night: Pulitzer prize winning journalist Carl Bernstein.

Carl Bernstein looks surprisingly relaxed for a man who (with his partner Bob Woodward) singlehandedly shook American politics to its core. Time and distance has given Bernstein - and the audience watching the film - time to reflect, and even grow nostalgic. Bernstein revealed that his favorite scene of All the President's Men is a partnership scene: Woodward and Bernstein in the Library of Congress.

What's your favorite scene in All The President's Men?

Friday
Apr292016

Vikander has Tomb Raider Fever

In an unexpected bit of casting, Alicia Vikander was just announced to be taking over as Lara Croft in the reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise. Original whispers of Daisy Ridley accepting the role weren't meant to be and instead the reigning Best Supporting Actress winner will be taking on the bodacious archaelogist.

The delightful happenstance of the casting is that Croft was also the first post-Oscar high-profile role choice Angelina Jolie (who played Croft in 2001 and 2003). For Jolie it was her launch pad into the bonafide box office draw that she still is today, so perhaps this could be a similar vehical for Vikander. Does this mean that the inevitable rereboot will be played by the Best Supporting Actress winner of 2032?

 

 

Croft is a character we remember more for appearance than for any facet of her personality, so the casting choice is an odd fit. Vikander excels when playing with more emotional depth than what a video game adaptation will likely require of her - but her Ex Machina performance did show that she can give intelligent physical precision to roles that require less from her emotionally.

This summer, she'll costar in Jason Bourne, hopefully hinting at her action star potential if she can get in on the asskicking unlike previous Bourne ladies. Also this July, Vikander returns to costume drama territory with Tulip Fever. The film debuted footage at last year's Cannes, but we finally get our eyes on it with the lush and steamy trailer released this week:

What do you think of Alicia as Lara? What other Best Supporting Actress would you put in the role?

Thursday
Apr282016

April Showers: Carrie

In April Showers, Team TFE looks at our favorite waterlogged moments in the movies. Here's Kieran Scarlett on Carrie (1976).

Brian de Palma’s horror classic Carrie has scenes at both the beginning and the end in which our heroine, Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) gets clean. Because of what happens between those scenes, they take on very different meanings. When we first see Carrie White, she is diffident and beleaguered—whether at home with her mother Margaret’s (Piper Laurie) stentorian declarations of fanatical Christian values or at school with the focused torment of her peers. It’s very clear that Carrie has internalized the harsh words of Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen):

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr282016

United 93, ten years on

David here, looking back at one of 2006's most contentious films ten years down the line.

I don't imagine many of us have watched United 93 more than a couple of times in the ten years since it debuted. Five years on from 9/11, it felt painfully raw and keenly sensitive, its depiction of the tragic events rendered with a wrenching immediacy borrowed from the handheld footage that had dominated the news coverage of events. It was, gruesomely, a cultural moment that instituted the world of smartphones and social media, news bursting from unpredictable sources, the traditional media outlets left as responsive collators of private material. United 93 showed us the reality of events with such intimacy that cinema's own mannered approaches towards realism rapidly became outmoded.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr282016

If Actresses Were Superheroes... 

I know what you're saying. "If???"

Obviously actresses are superheroes, so after going the traditional route today (National Superhero Day apparently, yes it's news to me too) by celebrating superheroes I loved to draw as a kid and those that made me quiver under my bodice, I couldn't stop tweeting. It was time to celebrate the greatest superhero team of them all: The Legion of Best Actresses.

We'll start with Tilda but there are more super-actresses after the jump...

 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr282016

I Cannot Tell a Link

Guardian Glenn on 10 best Australian documentaries ever including Canes Toads (in 3D) a film I saw at Sundance years ago that freaked me right out
The Tracking Board Martin Scorsese might make a George Washington biopic. Hmmm, how does Leonardo DiCaprio look in a white powder wig?
Oscars.org Los Angelenos readers take note. Alan Menken and Angela Lansbury will be taking part in a 25th anniversary screening of Beauty & The Beast on May 9th. You can buy tickets at the link. 
MNPP Jason attends a special Aliens screening and Q&A with Sigourney Weaver (who is still looking incredible) 
Awards Daily thinks Passengers (the sci-fi film starring Chris Pratt & Jennifer Lawrence) could be one of our Best Picture nominees

The Playlist new images from The Neon Demon. Can't wait to see this 
New Yorker Richard Brody provocatively argues that film critics and publications need to move beyond "theatrical release" or "festival" when considering what makes a movie worth writing about
Variety more Cannes news. While we've already discussed the main jury, they've announced the sidebars. All three will be presided over by women (!): Actress Marthe Keller for Un Certain Regard; Director Naomi Kawase for Short Films; Director Catherine Corsini for Camera D'Or
Coming Soon has a new Kubo and the Two Strings trailer if you're interested (my general personal rule of thumb now is to stop after the first teaser or trailer so nothing is spoiled). Laika makes such great movies I don't even need a trailer. I'm always in.
/Film The Jungle Book has a how-they-did-it visual fx reel going around
i09 the X-Men finally get to wear costumes that are a smidgeon like their comic book origins at some point in X-Men Apocalypse (hopefully not just at the end)
Interview talks to programmer Thomas Beard about the current Film Society program 'Queer Cinema Before Stonewall '
FSLC ...and there's a few more days of that program left if you're in NYC

Provocative Thought O' The Day
Uproxx "Are more famous people really dying in 2016 or does it just seem that way?" which delves quite a lot into the 1980s as relevant cultural force

Off Cinema
Drama Desk Awards The nominations are in. Hamilton was eligible last year (since Off Broadway productions factor into these awards) which is why it's not up for anything. The revival of She Loves Me (with two of musical comedy's greatest stars: Laura Benanti & Jane Krakowski) leads all productions with 9 nominations. American Psycho wracked up the most nods for a new musical (well, it's tied with Steve Martin & Edie Brickelle's Bright Star) EXCEPT the big one: Best Musical. Weird, right. That's gotta sting even if the high nomination count isn't any sort of axe to the head for the show. Famous TV & Film actors nominated this year for their stage work include: Jessica Lange, Michael Shannon, Michael C Hall, and Frank Langella. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, who has been much-buzzed for her performance in Eclipsed, was not nominated this morning. Hmmm.

Today's Watch
Chase Whale interviews Key & Peele about their kitten heist movie Keanu. Fun bit.

Thursday
Apr282016

Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople Drops Trailer, Lifts Spirits

Taika Waititi on setAs the bells of Captain America: Civil War consume the airwaves, the name Taika Waititi tends to ring more recognition as the director of the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok than for his most recent film. Playing like gangbusters at both the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals – check out Jason’s positive review here – Waititi’s kid adventure flick Hunt For The Wilderpeople is primed to warm and race hearts as he zips across the New Zealand countryside with an adorable ragamuffin and a grizzly Sam Neill.

Fans of Waititi’s previous film, the vampire mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows, will be glad to know he’s got another zany, zesty romp under his belt before he applies his comic panache to the latest Thor movie (an underrated chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the most potential for silly fun). After breaking box office records in New Zealand last month, its American trailer has arrived...

Click to read more ...

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