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Entries in Sebastian Silva (4)

Wednesday
May112016

On the First Day of Cannes......

It's Murtada reporting about Cannes, but sadly not from Cannes.

The main competition jury at Wednesday's photo call

The first day of Cannes always brings news of intriguing collaborations as projects are announced for the sidebar film market. Like Joaquin Phoenix working with Lynne Ramsay. Or Colin Farrell reteaming with The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos. Errr… Johnny Depp making another movie called The Libertine? With Brett Ratner? About Dominique Strauss-Kahn?? Run away, Marion!

However the two news items that got this reporter most excited are :

Isabelle Huppert in Elle
Sony Classics has acquired main competition entry Elle, directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Isabelle Huppert. You know the same company that got Cate Blanchett and Julianne Moore their best actress Oscars and Michael Haneke and Asghar Farhadi multiple nominations and foreign language wins recently. So our excitement knows no bounds. We are 9 days away from reviews and reactions to Elle - it screens on the last day of the festival - but we can rest easy knowing it will be coming our way this fall.

Captain Dad
If you’ve seen Sebastian Silva’s last outing Nasty Baby (2015), you know that he can provoke his audience and upend expectations. Well now he’s teaming with Will Ferrell and this is the logline (from Deadline):

Rich Peelman (Ferrell) gives his wife Linda (Catherine Keener) the gift of a lifetime for her birthday: a trip through the Caribbean on a sailboat with all six of their kids and their partners. Stubborn, competitive and overly confident in his sailing abilities that are clearly out of sync with reality, Rich is determined that the vacation be run on his terms. But things do not go according to plan. His “father knows best” attitude clashes with the rest of the Peelman clan. And by the end, even the most patient of the bunch are ready to throw Captain Dad overboard, bringing new meaning to the idea of the dysfunctional family.

Michael Cera plays one of Ferrell's antagonists, so color us doubly intrigued. 
                                                       
If you are not at Cannes, which part of it do you follow online? The reviews? The fashion? The film deals? All of it?
Thursday
Mar032016

Tribeca Drops First Half of Festival Program, Chocked Full of Potential Discoveries

Daniel Crooke here, salivating over today’s first wave of films from the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival’s line-up. While the Spotlight, Midnight, and Special Sections programs won’t drop until March 8, the US Narrative, International Narrative, and World Documentary Competitions, and Viewpoints showcase hit the internet today and there’s plenty to buzz about. Scanning the films, you’ll find an embarrassment of riches hiding in the programming, plot details, and cast lists. Here are some personal points of interest:

US Narrative Competition

Ingrid Jungermann’s webseries F to 7th was an astutely, hysterically observed slice of queer life in New York, giving voice to a uniquely cutting female perspective in the process, so her feature debut Women Who Kill shoots straight to the top of the list. The Fixer sounds intriguing in a small-town-with-secrets kind way, James Franco as an “eccentric local” a little less so. Queens of charting the path from comfortable malaise to all-out soul-search, Amy Landecker and Melanie Lynskey – who, in particular, is quietly giving the best lead performance on television – pop up in Dreamland and Folk Hero & Funny Guy. Current faves Keith Stanfield (Short Term 12, Straight Outta Compton) and Dan Stevens (The Guest) will star in Live Cargo and The Ticket.

International Narrative Competition

It’s hard to ignore the promise of a collection of short films from the likes of Chilean shaggydog provocateur Sebastian Silva and actors Mia Wasikowska and Gael Garcia Bernal in Madly, sounding like an I Love You, anthology movie but if the city were Relentless. Argentine Cinema had the international stage last year with the raucous Wild Tales – although Lucretia Martel eternally has her own platform in my heart – so fingers crossed for another cross-hemispheric success with The Tenth Man (El Rey Del Once) and its culturally and generationally intersectional premise.

World Documentary Competition & Viewpoints

Documentary-wise, Betting On Zero positions Herbalife as a pyramid scheme, Do Not Resist exposes the military-industrial nature of America’s police culture, and LoveTrue boasts the wacko cred of (my Northeast Los Angeles neighbor) Flying Lotus on score and Shia LaBeouf as executive producer. Equals with Kristen Stewart and Nic Hoult premieres in the Viewpoints program, along with raunchy R-rated animation Nerdland (trend-chillin’ with Anomalisa and Annapurna’s Sausage Party) and the divisive British class flick High-Rise.

You can view the list of released Tribeca titles here – what catches your eye?

Tuesday
Jan272015

Sundance Quickies: Dope, Last Days in the Desert, Nasty Baby

Nathaniel reporting from Sundance with three quick takes

DOPE
The biggest sale at Sundance was this no-stars comedy about three geeky high school seniors who are obsessed with 90s hip hops (that's a character detail and joke factory -- not the plot). Malcolm (Shameik Moore joyfully charismatic in the lead role) a Straight A student who dreams of Harvard and his two best friends Jib (Tony Revolori - just as strong as he was in Grand Budapest Hotel) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons from Transparent in her feature debut) live in "The Bottoms" an impoverished crime-ridden neighborhood. Malcolm gets mixed up with Dom (Rakim Mayers aka A$AP Rocky), a local dope dealer, and soon the three friends are on the run from cops, drug dealers, gang members and continually out of frying pans and into other fires. The film it most reminded me of is Go (1999) for its parade of memorable characters, smart fast comedy, and crime plot but this one is lighter.  Dope has inarguably high energy and fresh laughs for the first hour but, like many comedies, it overstays its welcome as it wants to be taken more seriously in the second half (tightening the second hour before release would be of huge benefit). Regardless, those huge laughs, great racial politics jokes and its endearing central trio could well make it a sleeper smash. B/B+

Funny Coincidence: I saw this directly after The Diary of a Teenage Girl and both movies feature a shot of a horny teenage girl licking a photograph. In this case it's lesbian drummer Diggy licking the 2 Live Crew album cover. Ha!

LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT
In this film, shot in natural light by that DP without peer Emmanuel Lubezki, Ewan McGregor plays Jesus near the end of his 40 day fast and desert wanderings. McGregor also plays the Devil which gives this film the entertaining kick it needs to survive lots of contemplative moments / scenes of Jesus just staring into and walking around the desert thinking about the shit that Sons of God think about.I liked the film's invention of a troubled family Jesus meets (Ciarin Hinds and Tye Sheridan as father/son -- though thankfully their dramatic parallels to Jesus and his  "Daddy" as Satan hilariously calls God are not so neatly correlative as to be obnoxious.) Satan wears a beautiful dangly gold earring (I guess because vanity is evil? Or because they wanted to make fun of one earring wearers?) but otherwise he looks exactly like Jesus. The film is by Rodrigo Garcia, a director I've always wanted to love given his actressexuality -- though weirdly this film is almost entirely male -- but have never been able to because his films tend to be a bit sleepy. This one is smartly reined in at 98 minutes but it does feel a bit slight, exercize-ish, despite the heavy topic. B-/C+

Ewan McGregor revealed in the Q&A afterwards that he did a lot of studying to play Jesus (scriptures, books, etcetera) and none to play Satan ("the devil came naturally"). Hee!

NASTY BABY
Kristen Wiig just keeps on overachieving, doesn't she? After conquering comedy she keeps on impressing in dramatic roles, too. She's got a beautifully authentic rapport with writer/director/star Sebastian Silva (who is most famous for his Golden Globe nominated terrific Chilean film The Maid). Silva and Wiig play Freddy & Polly, best friends who'e been trying to get pregnant for months but it hasn't been working. They enlist Freddy's hesitant boyfriend Mo (Tunde Adebimpe in his first feature since 2008's Rachel Getting Married -- he was the guy Rachel married!) to do the sperm donor duty. Meanwhile a crazy neighbor keeps harassing everyone on the street and Freddy struggles to realize his art project "Nasty Baby" in which he wants to explore how disgusting babies of all kinds are by investigating their "gross cuteness" -- it gets a big laugh in context, trust -- and he plans to explore that by rolling around naked making baby sounds? It's a video installation, just go with it. It's all an ultra specific urban slice of life dramedy -- so ultra-specific in fact that I assume this will be a very hard sell for many. Making it even more difficult for potential audiences is the sharp left turn it takes into uncomfortably suspenseful territory toward the end. But despite what will surely be a hard road to find its natural fanbase, I admired it for being so wholly itself... or maybe its two selves. Or its three selves? The end credits are set to the cast doing roller disco for totally inexplicable but delightful effect. And the cast -- including the little seen Mark Margolis (who you'll recognize from Darren Aronofsky's movies) as a protective old gay in the neighborhood -- just felt wonderfully organic. B

Thursday
Aug152013

I link for the applause, plause

The Backlot has an interesting thing to say about Marilyn Monroe. Interesting Monroe thoughts are rare!
The Playlist the new project Nasty Baby from Sebastian Silva sounds fun. With and Kristen Wiig and Tunde Adebimpe 
In Contention on the supporting/leading category placement decisions of upcoming performances. I'm really hoping Amy Adams (American Hustle) goes lead since that would be a nice change of pace.
Pop Blend Sigh. People still care about Jennifer Aniston's feelings about Angelina Jolie!

Kveller lol. the best use of Christina Aguilera's "Burlesque" since Burlesque itself. That's one pricey flamboyant Bar Mitzvah celebration
Pajiba writes an open letter to Showtime since they're still airing Dexter. (I'm SO glad I quit that show. I only wish I had quit it a couple of seasons before I did.
The Advocate terrific op-ed about waning enthusiasm for Lady Gaga and gay man + diva love affairs

I’ve heard other gay gripes about Gaga and wondered if it had less to do with Mother Monster and more with an approaching expiration date with the gay man/diva treaty (signed around 1900 between Sarah Bernhardt and Oscar Wilde, possibly). 

LOL

Pajiba cast changes at Orange is the New Black. Thrilled that Lorraine Toussaint (Middle of Nowhere) is joining!
New York Times a revival of the musical adaptation of The Color Purple (for the stage) is winning raves in London - I didn't know there was a new one so that's not why we were talking about it. I guess it's in the ether. 
The Dissolve "shocker" critics more critical than general moviegoers