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Entries in Bel Powley (9)

Monday
May062019

Marielle Heller at Tribeca

by Murtada Elfadl

Marielle Heller has built quite a reputation as a director based on two films; Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) and Can You Ever Forgive Me (2018). We attended a talk at the Tribeca Film Festival in which she was interviewed by the writer Jo Piazza. They talked about how she started as an actor and her transition to writing and directing. Of course she mentioned her next project, scheduled to come out later this year, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Tom Hanks plays Mr. Rogers in the film, but Heller was adamant that it’s not a biopic. She said it's a story about fathers and sons and based on journalist Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys) profile of Mr. Rogers. 

“Mr. Rogers is not the lead character. You can’t create a narrative around Mr. Rogers because he’s too good...”

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Monday
Sep032018

Red Carpet Lineup: 26 Venice Lewks

Having previously covered those pink pink pink first days in Venice, on to some other memorable looks (and a few actresses included just because we like to look at them...)

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Friday
May252018

Review: Mary Shelley

by Jason Adams

In the summer of 1816 one of the most legendary of literary happenings occurred - the poet Percy Shelley and his wife Mary went to stay at the poet Lord Byron's house near Lake Geneva for the summer. Mary's step-sister Claire wrangled them an invite (or so she said) since she was having an affair with the spitefully torrid Lord himself. Also joining them at the house was the Lord's physician John Polidori, who also fancied himself somewhat of a writer. And birthed from those weeks of most gothic merrymaking was basically the entirety of the horror genre to come: Mary Shelley would come up with her lovely little monster Frankenstein, while Polidori would write "The Vampyre," the inspiration for a certain Bram Stoker a swift generation later.

The story of that time and place has been well-trod by fiction before...

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Wednesday
Sep132017

TIFF: Elle Fanning is "Mary Shelley"

Our ongoing adventures at TIFF

In the summer of 1816 legendary Romantic literary figures Mary Shelley (and stepsister Claire Clairmont), Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and Dr John Polidori were holed up in a Swiss estate and challenged each other to write scary ghost stories. From that fateful contest two famous works of horror emerged ("Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus" in 1818 and "The Vampyre" in 1819 -- neither of them actual ghost stories!). Ken Russell attacked this collision of authors with his trademark sexual abandon and visual insanity in Gothic (1986) and his wasn't the first or last film to stare with fascination at that morbid contest 201 years ago. We return to that summer for a good chunk of Haifaa al-Mansour's Mary Shelley but with far different intent.

Haifaa al-Mansour, the first Saudi female film director (she previously directed Wadjda) is more interested in the trailblazing of Mary Shelley (née Godwin) as a female author -- and the unique challenges that came with her gender in the literary world of 1818 -- than in the creation of Frankenstein...

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Tuesday
Mar072017

Today in History: Joan Crawford's Oscar, Bel Powley's Rise, Loretta Young's Emmy

Need to feel festive today? Think on these anniversaries or birthdays today in showbiz history and celebrate accordingly. 

1914 Director Morton DaCosta was born in Philly. Though most of his career was on the stage he did direct three features: Auntie Mame, The Music Man, and Island of Love, the first two of which were Best Picture nominees!
1933 The game "Monopoly" was invented -remember that time when it seemed like every "brand" was going to become a movie and Ridley Scott was going to make this one?
1942 Televangelist wife and pop culture makeup icon Tammy Faye Baker is born. 

Much more after the jump...

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Wednesday
Apr202016

Leasing Las Vegas

Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Jason on Detour.

You know what will make me feel like it's the late 1990s again real quick? (If you answered "There's a Clinton in the White House" you're a little ahead of yourself, but just by a few months.) What will make me feel like it's the late 1990s again real quick is watching a movie about verbose criminals getting themselves into hyper-violent timeline-warping shenanigans - Things To Do In Denver When You're 8 Heads In A Duffel Bag; that ol' Pulp Fiction addiction. 

Do you guys remember that time Oliver Stone tried to out-Tarantino Tarantino (even though Tarantino was always really trying to out-Stone Stone) and made U Turn? That's the Tarantino-ish that Detour reminded me the most of. And U Turn's not a bad thing to be reminded of! U Turn is nuts, in a never not entertaining way! And there are chunks of Detour - which tells the story of a law student (Tye Sheridan) enlisting the aid of some do-badders (Emory Cohen and Bel Powley) in a plot against his step-father - that feel vibrant with that same sort of something-borrowed storytelling flair. Director Christopher Smith (already responsible for the tremendously under-valued thrillers Severance and Triangle) employs real visual wit, and busts out all the toys from the toy-box (De Palma lover that I am I cannot resist a split-screen) to pop and pizazz us.

But the film ultimately doesn't have the conviction of a Stone working his own mirrored riff (much less First Tier Tarantino) and it's more the fault of Smiths' script than it is of direction - the characters are never Characters, Capital C for Characters, like they need to be for something this stylized to take. These are all good performers (even in a role this underwritten you can't take your eyes off of Bel Powley; she is the real deal) but Detour never quite stops feeling like kids play-acting at big people parts. (And kids play-acting Tarantino can work; I have seen Go. We have all seen Go!)

Grade: C+