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Entries in Directors (241)

Wednesday
Apr192017

Captain Marvel might not be imaginary after all!

While I remain skeptical about Marvel Studios commitment to their female heroes, they took a small step forward in making Captain Marvel a reality by signing directors to the project. That's right, directors, as in plural. The writer/director duo of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck won the gig. They're not doing the screenplay this time (which is new for them) but still co-directing. They debuted with the searing Half Nelson for which Ryan Gosling earned a well deserved Best Actor nomination. Their subsequent films (Sugar, It's Kind of a Funny Story, and Mississippi Grind) weren't quite as acclaimed but were respectable outings. They've recently been directing performance-centric shows like Looking, Billions and The Affair.   

What does this mean for the film? Well it bodes well for the acting (not that Brie Larson needs a lot of help there) since they always do right by the talent but we hope they have amazing first-timer intuitions in terms of helming action setpieces and doing a ton of greenscreen. What's the learning curve like on that?

Captain Marvel will supposedly open on March 8th, 2019. 

Thursday
Apr132017

Cannes Line Up

by Nathaniel R

The Cannes lineup was announced very early this morning (time differences, don'cha know) and we're here to give you details, not just film titles. While TFE doesn't attend ($) we do follow from afar and hope to make the trek some day. The 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival runs May 17th through May 28th.

OPENING NIGHT

Which is a high profile gig but also risky as the knives are often out for a sacrifice to the festival gods to launch the cinextravaganza. 

Ismael’s Ghosts (Arnaud Desplechin)
French auteur Desplechin's latest will be released in the US by Magnolia. It stars French A-Listers Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Mathieu Amalric, and Louis Garrel and revolves around a filmmaker (Amalric) working on a new picture when his long dead lover Carlotta (Cotillard) returns to life sending his life into a tailspin. If you've never seen Desplechin classics Kings and Queen (2004) and A Christmas Tale (2008) get right to that!

THE COMPETITION LINEUP...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar272017

When "Life" Goes Wrong...

by Nathaniel R

Stop me if you've heard this one before: a group of scientists are tasked with bringing samples of life back from outer space. Soon they are trapped in a nightmarish monster movie, as the alien life force picks them off one by one.

Life, the latest monster movie set in space, does a lot of things right despite its familiarity. Let's give credit where it's due. It hired capable involving actors in all the underwritten roles including Jake Gyllenhaal who we'll follow anywhere, even into deep space for a Alien ripoff. It's very handsomely lensed by prestigious cinematographer Seamus McGarvey. The direction by Daniel Espinosa (Child 44, Safe House) makes repeated smart use of the zero gravity setting, with well staged setpieces and even some unexpectedly beautiful compositions; the earliest casualty among the crew prompts the movie's eeriest morbidly pretty image. Apart from one confusing action sequence near the climax, the filmmakers seem to have a complete handle on the material.

So why then, is it unsatisfying? 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar262017

New Directors / New Films: "Happiness Academy"

Have you ever seen a film which mixes documentary with fiction? Hybrid films, films with documentary and fiction parts or at least performed / acted elements have been around for some time. I'm not enough of a documentary expert to know if this is an increasing trend but in the past few years I've seen a few. From my (extremely limited) experience the combo can spark frissons of excitement and thoughtful layers as in Sarah Polley's autobiographical mystery Stories We Tell. The hybrid approach can also be both fascinating and exhausting simultaneously as with Clio Barnard's The Arbor (2010) in which actors lipsynched to recorded interviews from the actual documentary subjects.

At this year's New Directors / New Films festival, which wraps today in NYC, the hybrid technique (genre?) gets another discussable entry via Happiness Academy...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar122017

Links: Sharp Objects, French Directors, Emmy Ladies

THR amazing casting news: the great Patricia Clarkson will play Amy Adams estranged mother in HBO's Sharp Objects. Both roles are so juicy. Filming starts soon but we're talking next summer's Emmy nomination's not 2017's. Speaking of...
Decider Joe Reid's already thinking of the Lead Actress in a Miniseries Emmy race: 10 women, only 6 slots
/Film original Ghost in the Shell actors will dub the new film for Japanese relates

 

Salon looks back at memorable Russian villains in movies and on TV
All Things Considered wonders if you can make a King Kong movie without perpetuating racial undertones
Variety winners for the Miami Film Festival: Family Life and Maria (and Everybody Else)
Awards Daily 77 films about women on the way. That sounds like a lot, so, yay!
The Sun a couple of more pictures from the set of Mary Poppins Returns. A polka dot bowtie on Mary!
Decider Girls found the line that HBO wouldnt cross for sex scenes 
/Film Edgar Wright's Baby Driver starring Ansel Elgort premiered at SXSW so here's the trailer 
W Mag classic Linda Evangelista photo. Love.

French Waves, Not New
The New Yorker has an article / theory on why France hasn't produced a great director in three decades. Interesting ideas but I disagree with the thesis. France may never be the critical hotspot in international cinema -- there's always some exciting country of the moment in international cinema and it changes every handful of years -- but they're consistently strong.

Thirty years ago was 1987. Directors who made their first feature films after 1987 include Claire Denis (1988), Arnaud Desplechin (1991), Jacques Audiard (1994). Does The New Yorker really exclude all of them from a list of great French directors? I admit France isn't turning out the greats as consistently as they once did and Brody is right that the new exciting directors dont seem to stay as exciting for as long as they should now (what happened to Christophe Honore, for example?) but let's be reasonable! I personally have high hopes for Celine Sciamma (Girlhood), Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang) and Alice Winocour (Disorder) so maybe the future is female? 

"Complicit"
Did you see SNL's perfume ad of Ivanka Trump starring Scarlett Johansson? The Titanic joke is rich.

 

Sunday
Feb052017

DGA & ASC Winners: La La Land and Lion

Last night was a huge night in Hollywood with three award events: The Directors Guild of America, American Society of Cinematographers, and the Annie Awards (which we'll get to later today). Which would you have attended if you had to choose?  La La Land continued its seasonal dominance but Lion unexpectedly roared, too.  

Some of the winners last night are names you'll recognize from different contexts. The list and comments are after the jump...

Click to read more ...