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The Turning Point (1977)

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Entries in Mike Leigh (18)

Friday
Jan152016

Post-ApocaLinktip 

Time is a real bitch. Between interviews and standard blogging and technical difficulties and Globes and Film Bitch Awards and a cold, your host has had a difficult couple of weeks that he definitely didn't plan well enough for. But this rought start to 2016 shall not deter him. Please stick with us and cheerlead in the comments and we'll make 2016 the best year yet at The Film Experience even though these past 10 days or so have not gone half as planned. (Note to self for 2016: You can't cover everything... the link list is your friend. Also please win the lottery so you can hire a full time staff of 5? 10?) 

Here's some reading elsewhere while we continue to update Oscar charts, try to collect ourselves (still trying to decide how to approach the #OscarsSoWhite issue which is getting such shoddy or agenda-filled or misleading coverage elsewhere). And maybe eating lunch or sleeping would be nice at some point! 

Good LOL
The Toast "Signs You're About to be in a Sinister Homoerotic Subplot in a Midcentury Drama" 

Extra Extra Read All About It
Boy Culture 50 stars turning 50 this year. Which should we celebrate here at TFE?
Film School Rejects talks Ryan Coogler's strong beginnings and bright future and the matter of his Black Panther gig
Gizmodo Inside Out might get a sequel? Blargh.
Variety Dan Hagerty (best known as "Grizzly Adams" from TV died this morning at 74
New Now Next Nico Tortorella gives you tips on how to maximize your Instagram account (of course if you look like Nico Tortorella you probably won't need any tips to get popular on Instagram
Playbill the David Bowie scored musical Lazarus set to close this next week off broadway might get a second life
The Guardian Mike Lee talks about what he's up to, his past film, his politics and his next project Peterloo (date TBA) about a Manchester massacre in 1819.
Vanity Fair Jacob Tremblay, Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Bryan Cranston and more doing their best Scarlett & Rhett Gone With the Wind finale impressions
Just Jared The great Emma Thompson remembers her co-star the late Alan Rickman (RIP)
Slate looks at the treatment of the romantic rival in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and wonders why it isn't as subversive/progressive as other parts of the show. Are any of you watching this? There are true fans among TFE's team (including me)
MNPP whenever you need a Michael Fassbender fix, Jason will provide. 
The Guardian wonders if the Star Wars universe will replace the Marvelverse with the public within the next few years 

Year in Review Stuff
Reverse Shot gets grumpy with "offenses" to take down awards biggies like Son of Saul and Sicario. Though I'll admit reading the take on The Overnight makes me glad I skipped it.
Coco Hits New York who recently joined the team here at TFE has shared his list of the best of 2015. It's a good long read with interesting choices so enjoy. I love what he writes about Alicia Vikander's work in Ex Machina

For playing man as she plays machine, and for not disappointing a movie that builds its mysteries around her.

Wednesday
Oct072015

An Evening With The Duplass Brothers

Kieran, here. When I saw Sean Baker’s Tangerine (discussed here), I was taken aback to see Mark and Jay Duplass (pictured left, in that order) listed as executive producers. While they’re certainly known for micro-budget features (their first film, The Puffy Chair was made for only $15,000), an indie dramedy about transwomen of color in East Hollywood seemed a far cry from their typical oeuvre.  Listening to them talk last night at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater, I quickly realized my perception of them was misguided. They themselves seem aware of how they are perceived. Mark joked at one point: 

I think people think we sleep in bunk beds together. We're actually married and we have children--with other people"

Once the conversation turned to Tangerine and why they signed on as executive producers, they were eager to discuss the Sundance breakout hit. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar152015

Box Office: Wild Tales of CG Mice and Mike Leigh's Success

For today's box office charts, since there isn't much news beyond Cinderella's expected but terrific opening, here's two charts. 1) The unavoidable movies and 2) the movies you have to seek out. The quality differential is damn frightening. Every single one of the platform toppers are really good! If only audiences could have better taste... sigh... but it's not all their fault. The studios have trained moviegoers to not seek quality since quality is harder to sell and easy marketing hooks are a far more fail safe option with which to run a business since quality (a tough job) is neither here nor there. And once people stopped seeking quality, it got harder and harder to find even if you were seeking. The story of the dwindling of the American arthouse. Well, that and the fast turn-around to DVD and On Demand.

Erica Rivas in WILD TALES. Her wedding doesn't go as well as CINDERELLA's.

WIDE RELEASE
01 Cinderella $70 NEW Review
02 Run All Night $11 NEW
03 Kingsman: The Secret Service $6.2 (cum. $107.3) Review
04 Focus $5.8 (cum. $44)
05 Chappie $5.8 (cum. $23) Review

PLATFORM RELEASE
01 Wild Tales (68 Theaters) $.2 (cum. $.8) Review
02 '71 (65 Theaters) $.2 (cum. $.3) Review
03 It Follows (4 Theaters) $.1 NEW Review
04 Mr Turner (89 Theaters) $.1 (cum. $3.7) Review & Interview
05 Red Army (58 Theaters) $.07 (cum. $.4)  

Oscar nominated Dick Pope and Mike Leigh on the set of Mr TurnerIt Follows, the latest buzzy horror had the week's best per screen average. More artistically leaning horror films have been on a real roll lately creatively but the public interest hasnt yet been piqued so they haven't peeked. Mr Turner is closing out its run soon but it did well... Mike Leigh movies tend to gross right below that region in the US. The ones that Oscar likes do best which probably isn't a surprise:  Secrets and Lies (5 nominations, all in top 8 categories) grossed roughly quadruple what his films usually gross; Topsy-Turvy (4 nominations... mostly in craft categories and his only film to win Oscars, 2 of them) is his second most popular; Vera Drake (3 Oscar nominations, all in top 8 categories) and Mr Turner (4 Oscar nominations, all in craft categories) grossed slightly more than his usual releases. This explains why SPC is so obsessed with releasing them in December but it's a pity because some of them without obvious Oscar hooks need more time to build. Another Year, I maintain, would have been far more successful if released in the fall because it's quiet and contemporary and its power sneaks up on you. 

TFE Recommends: Do yourself a huge favor (if you haven't yet) and take a group of friends to see Argentina's Oscar nominee Wild Tales. It's so funny and comedies are always best with a group. Super accessibly entertaining too as long as your friends know how to read or can speak Spanish. I'm dying to hear which is your favorite from the six short films within the film. I'm partial to "The strongest" (#3) and "Until death do us part" (#6) but they're all good.

What did you see this weekend? If you saw Cinderella chat about that here. I liked it but I really wanted Lucifer to eat those damn CG mice. 

Saturday
Dec272014

Interview: Timothy Spall on "Mr. Turner" and Fathers and Sons

Mr Turner, Mike Leigh's long gestating dream project about the romantic painter J.M.W. Turner recently hit theaters in limited release but it's buzz began back in the summer when Timothy Spall took home the Best Actor prize at Cannes for his grunted commitment to this fusion of great artist and unsavory man. Last month I had the opportunity to sit down with the Mike Leigh favorite (this is their fifth big-screen collaboration). It'd be impossible to list all the ways in which the man and role are different but the physical strikes you first. Spall has slimmed down considerably since playing what he calls this "toby jug of a man." 

The generous friendly actor, a thousand times more articulate than his current character, talked about the hazards of working with Mike Leigh, and beautiful fathers and son relationships both on screen and off. 

Nathaniel R: I’ve talked to a few actors who’ve worked with Mike Leigh. You always hear about the months of prep work and not knowing how large your role will be. You're the lead this time but is it frustrating to do the work and then just have a small part? 

TIMOTHY SPALL: I think it is. I’ve been in situations where other actors have worked a long long time and because of the way the film is structured they’ve ended up working for three months for one scene. That’s just the way it goes. It is a hazard when you work with Mike Leigh and he doesn’t hide that fact. In all the 33 years that I’ve worked with him, he’s never guaranteed I’d be the center of the piece

Well this one you had a good idea...

Unless he was shooting another film secretly in the evening about Constable.

Or a film about the Academy.

Or about Tina Turner.

Kathleen Turner

One of the Turners. [Laughs]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec162014

Open Thread & Roundtable Madness

I have been comically beset by obstacles this year so even though I'm roughly three weeks behind, I have to laugh a little at the strange stumbles and ouchy falls and just go... okay, well then. This is an interesting view of the floor! (apologiez: Oscar chart editing functions are somewhat on the fritz. trying for workarounds to fix)

Angelina Jolie talking about directing plane crashes and visual effects. Mike Leigh, hilariously also in this shot.

One of the victims of this impossible season for me at least has been THR's roundtables. I literally haven't watched a single one of those sometimes highly enjoyable if aggravating celeb gatherings. Not even the Actress Roundtable! (I'm certain it was its vibe of "The Amy Adams Show: Episode 5"  that killed my will to press play on the only day I had 50 minutes free on weeks ago. Important distinction: Amy Adams the actress is often very exciting to watch. Amy Adams the celebrity is like wallpaper.)

So consider this an open thread in which you can complain about all the Oscar stories we haven't covered this past couple of weeks (the charts WILL be updates tomorrow, damnit) and which exact minutes of these roundtables you would recommend that everyone including your host here must watch RIGHT NOW. The Hollywood Reporters six awards season roundtables to date follow. All five plus hours of them in case you've missed one. Or all six like me.  Along with the videos after the jump are the single questions per roundtable that I am pretending they answered...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct192014

Podcast Leftover Pt. 2

Here's part two of our long delayed festival wrap in which we discuss favorites, celebrity run-ins and hilarious Q&A anecdotes. Enjoy the conversation with Nick Davis, Nathaniel R, and special guests Angelo Muredda and Amir Soltani and continue it in the comments

Discussion includes but is not limited to:

  • It Follows
  • Felicity Jones, Mike Leigh, and Viggo Mortensen
  • Documentary greats from Silvered Water to The Look of Silence
  • Iran's Oscar Submission
  • Directors: Mike Leigh, Peter Strickland, Lav Diaz, Jessica Hausner, and Damian Chazelle

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download on iTunes tomorrow

Festival Leftovers. Pt 2

Monday
Oct062014

NYFF: Mike Leigh's Exquisite and Frustrating 'Mr. Turner'

NYFF coverage continues with Michael C on Mike Leigh's latest 

When a film like Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner comes along you find yourself wishing you could take back all the “great cinematography” praise you tossed around so cavalierly on other films so that the words can carry more weight now that you really need them. Ideally, so far in 2014, one would have only applied the same praise to Darius Khondji’s work on The Immigrant. OK, yes, Under the Skin’s Daniel Landin also. It’s been an exceptional year.

Not content to merely display his paintings, Leigh and cinematographer Dick Pope manage to permeate the air with the aura of J. M.W. Turner’s art. Some of the film’s images produced audible gasps at the screening I attended. The glory of the visuals grant Leigh and company the freedom to dispense with the many of the usual biopic clichés since we understand so much about Turner’s passion just by looking at the screen. Mike Leigh’s latest simulates what it might be like to see the world through the eyes of the great painter. This element alone makes Mr. Turner essential viewing.

Click to read more ...