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Entries in Directors (215)

Wednesday
Aug262015

Unlikely Couple: Robert Pattinson and Claire Denis

Here's Murtada with the week's most interesting casting news.

Robert Pattinson is starring in Claire Denis’ next movie. Are we being punked? No. Actually to judge from his last few choices it's just another day, another auteur. He’s becoming a top director magnet and has been using his bankability to make interesting choices. He’s confirmed as the lead of Denis’ untitled first English language film. The story is set in space in a “future that seems like the present” with Pattinson reportedly playing an astronaut.

 This particular project is intriguing beyond Pattinson. Denis of course is reason enough to be excited. Her last movie Bastards (2013) may have been less heralded than usual but it was a provocative visceral experience. Collaborating with her on the screenplay is novelist Zadie Smith (On Beauty, White Teeth) whose books have always been cinematic and full of fallible compelling characters. Smith writing her first screenplay? Now that’s exciting!

More...

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Tuesday
Aug252015

Bergman & Rossellini "Journey To Italy"

Our Ingrid Bergman Centenary Celebration finally continues (sorry for the hiatus) with Nathaniel on Journey to Italy (1954)

The opening lines of Roberto Rossellini's marital drama Journey to Italy go like so

Mr Alex Joyce: Where are we? 
Mrs Katherine Joyce: Oh I dont know exactly.

The Joyces (George Sanders and Ingrid Bergman) are not yet talking about their marriage, but also: they are. Were the Rosellinis also examining their marriage through play acting marital drama? Who is to say. But Where They Were is just as important in our mini-history of Ingrid Bergman's career.

In 1949 while filming Stromboli (1950), Ingrid and the director that she was already a fan of (in short: she had written him a fan letter and he had countered with by writing her Stromboli) fell in love and got pregnant. Both were already married and the scandal was immense... at least in the US. Even the Senate got into it denouncing Bergman for her "immorality." They quickly divorced their spouses and married each other and Bergman journeyed to Italy to stay...

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Monday
Aug242015

Miscellania: Tarantino's Quotes, Horror's ROI, and Crown's Actors

Dan Callahan interviews Ingrid Bergman's daughters for her centennial
Vulture Quentin Tarantino interviewed. He likes the films of the Duplass Brothers, loves The Newsroom (um, okay?) and disses on Cate Blanchett and Oscar Bait. 
Salon is Daniel (Ralph Macchio) the real bully in The Karate Kid? A contrarian reading
Planet Money Horror films continue to be the best return on investments for producers 
AV Club rumor has it that George Miller is being courted for Man of Steel 2. Danger! There's no way Warner Bros would let him go as expectation averse wild with that franchise as he allowed himself to go with his own franchise for Fury Road 
Grantland rising screenwriter Max Landis (yes, son of John) talks American Ultra, studio franchises versus original material and admits he "despised" Jurassic World

Salon talks to Gaby Hoffman (Transparent, Girls) about her unique roles of late
Mashable now superheroes are even entering the beauty industry with face mask treatments
Variety names ten actors to watch but some of them have been with us a long time like mumbling Emory Cohen (he's got a huge role in Brooklyn later this year, and thankfully he's dumped the mumbling and excessive tics for that one) or are couple of years into it like Short Term 12's Keith Stanfield. Glad to see Tessa Thompson (Dear White People) and Bel Powley (Diary of a Teenage Girl) on the list
Empire the great Alfre Woodard joins the cast of Luke Cage for Netflix in a very big role 
Film School Rejects on the best shows of the summer coming from the most unlikely places (like USA's Mr Robot or Lifetime's UnReal). But maybe they kill their own argument with MTV's "Scream" which I keep hearing is truly terrible. 

About Male Privilege and Hollywood's Resistance to Female Directors
/Film good essay with very solid points on the lack of female directors being offered big studio jobs and Colin Trevorrow's recent responses about the problem. He clearly means well but his response is naive - suggested that women have too much integrity is a bit too flatteringly sexist -- like a 'but women are sugar and spice and too noble to lower themselves thusly!'

Off Cinema
The Hugo Awards this year's sci-fi literary awards had all sorts of drama with shady ballot stuffing and conscientious objecting to said ballot stuffing and so on so they've elected "no awards" in several categories. But big winners were Marvel's "Ms. Marvel" for graphic story "Guardians of the Galaxy" & "Orphan Black" for the drama prizes. The top prize for Best Novel went to "The Three Body Problem".
Boy Culture "Beat it, I'm Madonna" a great video mashup of Michael Jackson & Madonna
Vimeo Penis painting the Queen and Princess Diana. No really. And obviously NSFW 

Actors in The Regular News
Variety turns out one of the all time best French actors was on that Amsterdam to Paris train that was attacked. He sounded the alarm. Well done, Jean-Hugues Anglade.
The Wrap sad about this - Rosie O'Donnell's 17 year old mixed up with drugs, a 25 year old alleged heroin dealer arrested for endangerment of minor. And Rosie just played a sad mom with a troubled teen daughter onThe Fosters.

Finally
Netflix is making a series The Crown about the early reign of Queen Elizabeth. Helen Mirren had to step down from her signature role this time since the series takes place when she was but 21 years of age and inherited the thrown. Claire Foy, who played Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall, plays the royal. People magazine has photos but they don't share this one so I thank Kevin Daly for providing. It's John Lithgow as Winston Churchill and the wondrous screen bitch Harriet Walter as someone... not sure who.

Love her. And she doesn't get enough credit. She's so terrifically callous in Sense & Sensibility (1995) and we've seen her several times in other costume dramas: Young Victoria, Downton Abbey, Cheri, A Royal Affair.

Tuesday
Aug112015

Scorsese + Leo: With Six You Get Body Counts...

We knew they would work together again and now we have confirmation:  Leonardo DiCaprio will headline Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Erik Larson's bestseller The Devil and the White City. That's a true crime novel about serial killer Dr. HH Holmes who murdered dozens or possibly hundreds in Chicago in the late 19th century. H.H. Holmes was born just a couple of years before the events in Gangs of New York so they're returning to roughly the same time frame of their first collaboration (hello Oscar nominations in craft categories) 

This will be Leo's first serial killer role (if not his first villain) though it's always amusing to remember that Hollywood intended him to be our Patrick Bateman in American Psycho before history course-corrected and gave us the one we needed: Christian Bale. But let's not get sidetracked.

The Devil in the White City will be the sixth collaboration between the director and star. DiCaprio is still well behind Robert De Niro as Scorsese's foremost muse both in number of films and quality of films, but maybe some day he'll catch up to him? Scorsese turns 73 in November. Though he's definitely not Clint (85) or Woody (79) with the indefatigable prolificness neither is he all that slow. He averages about 5 movies a decade and Silence, currently in post, will be his fourth this decade already. By the time they release this one (2018?), we'll have our five for the decade unless Marty squeezes one more in somehow. But don't hold your breath. We first heard about this project way back in 2011 when they hired a screenwriter so there's finally a little bit of movement on it (presumably the script is written now) 

In honor of Marty & Leo's partnership, their five movies together ranked in four ways just because...

THE MARTY & LEO FILMS

In Order of Release Quality 
(Best to Worst)
Global Box Office Success
According to Oscar (Most Loved to Least)
Gangs of New York (2002) The Departed
great 
Wolf of Wall Street
$392 million 
The Aviator 
(11 noms | 5 wins)
The Aviator
(2004)
The Aviator
underappreciated at this point
Shutter Island
$294 million 
The Departed
(5 noms | 4 wins incl BP so really it's #1)
The Departed
(2006)
Wolf of Wall Street
divisive for a reason
The Departed
$289 million
Gangs of New York
(10 noms | 0 wins)
Shutter Island
(2010)
Shutter Island
meh
The Aviator
$213 million 
Wolf of Wall Street
(5 noms | 0 wins)
Wolf of Wall Street
(2013)
Gangs of New York
ugh
Gangs of New York
$193 million 
Shutter Island
(zero noms)

 

Have you read this novel? Do you look forward to a Marty/Leo reunion or do you wish they would move on?

Wednesday
Aug052015

Beauty Break: John Huston & The Huston Dynasty

Today is the 109th birthday of the famed director John Huston. Of course he died long ago, just a few weeks after this picture with his daughters Allegra and Anjelica was taken in fact, at the age of 81. But what a filmography! And what a showbiz family.

The Hustons are one of the rare families with multiple Oscar-winning generations. They're also ridiculously photogenic, with faces that march straight past traditional pretty with strong noses held high as if they can't be bothered with generic beauty standards. Their faces fascinate. They have character. They're ideal for storytelling. More...

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Tuesday
Aug042015

Imaginary Couples: Villeneuve & Vallée

An unexpected treat from our neighboring country to the north and a hat tip to Kevin LaForest for sharing it with us.

Two of Canada's greatest directors Jean-Marc Vallée (Wild) and Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) recently posed for the photographer Olivier Ciappa's anti-homophobia series which photographs heterosexual celebrities as gay couples. (For a long time I actually thought Vallée was gay because his breakout hit C.R.A.Z.Y., which Canada submitted for the Oscars back in its day a decade ago, was a fine LGBT coming out drama in addition to the other things it was good at, but it turns out he's straight.) 

Vallée is riding quite an Oscar wave at the moment post The Dallas Buyers Club and Wild and his next film Demolition with Jake Gyllenhaal premieres at TIFF. (It's planning on 2016 for its US release but don't expect that plan to stick if reviews are sensational.) Villeneuve's career has been building for some time as well. Canada has actually submitted his work three times in the foreign language film category and the last of them Incendies (2010) was nominated for the big show. His newest feature Sicario (see that intense trailer) stars Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro in a drug trafficking drama and could be one of the fall's mightiest films and a possible Oscar player. We shall see. 

Do you like these directors?