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Entries in Directors (201)

Sunday
Apr172016

April Foolish Predictions: Visual Categories

Hello Dear Reader! Your host Nathaniel checking in from a screening and chart-making frenzy. I'm heading off to my jury meeting at the Nashville International Film Festival (New Directors competition) to bestow prizes. But I wanted to point you to chart updates (the remainder will premiere this week to complete our April Foolish tradition). So let's talk costume design and cinematography and such. (lots more after the jump)

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Sunday
Apr102016

Everybody Wants Some!! Turns The Baseball Jersey Inside Out

Eric previously argued against Everybody Wants Some!! right here. Here's Daniel Crooke with a second opinion....

Nobody lives in the moment like Richard Linklater. Which is remarkable, considering his canny cinematic ability to lounge with a certain slice of society, simultaneously celebrate and circumvent the trappings of self-importance, and extrapolate no less than what one might call the meaning of life. This is not to say that Linklater offers any absolute definitions – or that he’s a sage Second Coming who has all of them – but that he stands alone when it comes to unassumingly examining issues of identity, socialization, and finding the place where one fits in the world. His latest film Everybody Wants Some!! is no exception; in fact, by isolating one group of folks oft regarded as empty-headed and disposable – that of the jock, the bro, whatever you call them when their glistening pecs aren’t in your way – Linklater challenges the viewer to costume change their own preconceptions along with his ensemble as they amble their way through myriad modes of social circles and shooting the shit.

Now, on its face, one can certainly see why these bong-hit beats would preclude certain audience members from even engaging with the characters onscreen, to miss the forest for the trees. Linklater’s films often work as living, breathing Rorschach tests where you only see what you want to see but the marrow of Everybody Wants Some!! is found in the Magic Eye of it all. Blur the edges of the frame. Blend the bro code, social structures, and pronounced personal differences from the brain’s left side and the spontaneous soul-searching, open-ended quests across campus, and embracing of social overlaps from the right and, in the middle, you’ll find what the film’s really about. More after the jump...

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Tuesday
Mar292016

Doc Corner: Nora Ephron and Mike Nichols Get Posthumous Tributes on HBO

Glenn here. Each Tuesday we bring you reviews and features on documentaries from theatres, festivals, and on demand. This week we’re looking at two biographical HBO documentaries about cinema legends.

Despite a resume that reads as limited, Nora Ephron's reputation over film and pop culture general looms large. Directed by her son, journalist Jacob Bernstein, there is likely little this new biographic documentary Everything is Copy that won’t be familiar to fans of the witty essayist/author/screenwriter/director’s work – not least of all when featuring old clips of Ephron narrating her own books directly the camera. But thankfully Bernstein’s film isn’t simply a rehash of his mother’s life, rather he occasionally finds minor nooks and crannies of her life that she herself hadn’t written about at length. Helped by words from her sisters and friends, an image of Ephron is formed that while no doubt glowing allows for us to learn even more about her than her famously candid words previously allowed.

Beyond all of that, first and foremost, Everything is Copy is an entertainment. A breezy and bright glimpse of a woman whose wit was matched by her scathing honesty and who left behind many works of cultural significance that are worth parsing over. 

New York movies, Nora's death, and a conversation with Mike Nichols after the jump...

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Thursday
Mar242016

Looking Back, With Anger: Inside Man (2006)

Eric Blume here to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Spike Lee's Inside Man, which remains his biggest box office hit. 

When this tightly-plotted bank heist movie was released a decade ago, it promised a heavenly trio of huge stars:  Denzel Washington, two time Oscar winner; Clive Owen, fresh off his first nomination for Closer; and Jodie Foster, coming off two solo box office successes (Panic Room and Flightplan).  A decade later, only Washington (the least interesting actor of that trio) still works with annual frequency in major pictures.  He lends effortless dynamism and charisma in his usual everyman role. Unfortunately its been lazy sailing for him ever since with one major exception (Flight).

Watching Inside Man again, it’s the loss of both Owen and Foster as regular cinema fixtures that burns, which is ironic since the film demands little from them. [More...]

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Tuesday
Mar152016

Link Party

This is Not Porn an 11 year old David Lynch meeting Vincent Price. LOL
TMZ Shadow Trooper trademark filed for the Star Wars franchise. 
Nicks Flick Picks Sometimes the rating has to be an A+. Truly nothing else would do
Salon has a gossipy unflattering list of difficult directors: Lars von Trier, David Fincher, etc...
MNPP Rock Hudson one time 


Variety Nate Parker (Beyond the Lights) isn't waiting around for Birth of a Nation to make him happen in a bigger way. He's already working on writing his next picture Carry On a paralympic wrestler movie.
Variety Julia Roberts to star in a true story lawyer drama. Said to be a meaty role for her though the story sounds like it's all about her client. 
Coming Soon I have no words about this Red Band trailer for the animated comedy Sausage Party
Kenneth in the (212) Actor Robert Davalos (East of Eden) dies at 85. RIP 

Small Screen
MNPP [NSFW] Corey Stoll () goes gay in an explicit scene on Girls 
Playbill Sydney Lucas, the young girl who was so brilliant in Fun Home on Broadway joins the cast of AMC's new series The Son which will star Sam Neill
Comics Alliance new trailer and poster for AMC series Preacher, a comic book adaptation starring Dominic Cooper
Variety Underground, a slave escape drama, is a huge hit for WGN

Off Cinema
Spin Macklemore owns a painting of Justin Beiber with a pancake on his dick
Theater Mania suggests Broadway musicals based on 5 TV shows
Boy Culture an audio recording from Liza Minnelli to everyone who wished her a happy birthday online

Reminder
Tonight is the Hit Me With Your Best Shot for ATONEMENT (2007). You can see read and bask in early entries already from Awards Madness, Cinematic Corner, I Want to Believe, Film Mix Tape, 54 DisneyChristian Bonamusa, and Out to the Movies... and that's a lot in already so tonight might be crazy. Stream it quick and join us. The full roundup will be up late, probably about 10 PM EST

Friday
Mar112016

A Toast to Lilly Wachowski

This week, the younger Wachowski sibling revealed that she has transitioned. Everyone raise your glasses to Lilly Wachowski!

In an open letter, Lilly detailed her recent struggle with different press outlets that have nearly gone public with her story, particularly taking the Daily Mail rightly to task for their vulturous treatment of trans individuals. While it's disgusting that press interference has pushed Lilly to reveal her transition publicly before she might have planned, her statements about the current state of trans acceptance and treatment utilize her sizeable platform perfectly. Thank goodness she got to tell her story in her own way.

The letter is a gorgeous bit of writing, a rare insight into the more introverted of the already media wary siblings. In one of the most crucial and eloquent moments of the piece, she questions our societal perception of gender:

But these words, "transgender" and "transitioned" are hard for me because they both have lost their complexity in their assimilation into the mainstream. (...) But the reality, my reality is that I've been transitioning and will continue to transition all of my life, through the infinite that exists between male and female as it does in the infinite between the binary of zero and one. We need to elevate the dialogue beyond the simplicity of binary. Binary is a false idol.

That sentiment is one that is also present in the sisters' work, and one of their most exciting themes, to boot. Now that both siblings are living openly (Lana came forward with her transition in 2012) perhaps they'll be able to explore that even deeper than we've seen with Cloud Atlas and Sense8. For the trivia obsessives, Nathaniel wondered if this made the Wachowski's the first sister directing duo? The names that immediately popped up were the Soska sisters. Do you know of any others? 

Saturday
Feb272016

Avu DuVernay to direct A Wrinkle in Time

Lynn here, chewing on another bit of non-Oscar related movie news.

Ever since it was announced earlier this week that Ava DuVernay had signed on to direct the upcoming film version of Madeleine L’Engle’s much-beloved A Wrinkle in Time, I’ve been trying to imagine just how the director of Selma is going to approach a sci-fi fantasy that features benevolent shape-shifting inter-dimensional beings, entire planets controlled by a single giant brain, and children who literally cross the universe by bending the laws of both space and time.  She won’t be starting from scratch, at least; the project’s apparently been in the works for some time, with a script by Frozen’s Jennifer Lee.  But this will be the first time the book’s ever been brought to the big screen.  It’s frequently, and unsurprisingly, been called unfilmable, and the only previous adaptation – a 2003 TV movie on ABC – was such a failure that it’s best known for the quip it inspired from L’Engle:

I expected it to be bad, and it is.”

In other words, there’s every reason for apprehension.  Is there also reason for hope?

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