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Soundtracking: Hustlers

"YES, this soundtrack was soooo good!!! The Fiona Apple 'Criminal' dance, instantly iconic." - JWB

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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Tin Tin (3)


Prime in November: Excalibur, It's a Wonderful Life, and Julia Roberts x 3

Time to play Streaming Roulette. Each month, to survey new streaming titles we freeze frame the films at random places with the scroll bar and whatever comes up first, that's what we share. No cheating.  What does Amazon Prime offer us for free viewing this month? Let's survey...

-Can I help you with something?
-Fuck, what was I gonna ask?

Homecoming Season 1 (2018)
Julia Roberts first TV series! She's about take a tour of 'the facilities' (MOST PRODUCTION DESIGN) in one long showy tracking shot. I have no idea what this show is about but I'm eager to watch it. Especially since it's only 1/2 an hour long.

[Laughter / Gasp / Sigh]

Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (1994)
Bonus points to anyone who knows exactly what the queens are reacting to in this scene...

Click to read more ...


Linking Out

The Wrap delivers the lightning-fast raves and the deafening silence for Tin Tin and J Edgar respectively.
Vanity Fair remembers super agent Sue Mendes (RIP)
i09 on a news item about modern research on The Black Death that will make Contagion even scarier!
In Contention Will Super 8 and Tin Tin win Sound Editing nominations? 
L.A.M.B. held a little movie of the month / blogathon about Bronson (2008) starring Tom Hardy. That's a good movie to check back in on given what's become of both Hardy & its director Nicolas Winding Refn. You'd certainly never see Drive's (2011) exquisite control coming in this earlier picture... though you can easily see Refn's oversized personality reflected therein. 

Finally, I'd like to say congratulations to Zachary Quinto (Heroes, Star Trek) who finally came out this weekend. Quinto has been one of those 'everybody knows' celebrities for quite a while and I have to admit that when he starred in the recent revival of Angels in America last year (which I thought he was quite good in) and especially when he did his own "it gets better" video, I was getting uncomfortable. It seemed strange to star in such a defining gay work and to chase it with an "it's totally okay to be gay!" message of tolerance while staying closeted.  But... that's all past tense now. Good on him for doing the right thing. I especially like this bit on his official site: a gay life without publicly acknowledging it - is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.

Damn straight! I mean... er.... yes, well, carry on. Well done Zachary! Live long and prosper.



Steven Spielberg Cuts to the Chase

Editor's Note: Yonatan, a reader who we profiled a couple of months ago, wanted to sound off on an interesting aspect of Spielberg's career. Given the recent release of the The Adventures of TinTin teaser and it's international counterpart (included below) as well as the ongoing discussions of Oscars troubled relationship with motion capture animation, it's good timing.

So here is Yonatan...

Christmas is All Spielberg All The Time this year

Steven Spielberg has two movies coming out this year, a twin trick he's performed five other times: 1989, 1993, 1997, 2002 and 2005. Christmas break brings us The Adventures of TinTin: The Secret of the Unicorn and a week later on December 28th, War Horse opens.

The TinTin Teaser (International)

Yes No or Maybe So ? ;)

Aside from Spielberg's trusted collaborative team (composer John Williams, editor Michael Kahn, cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and the rest), his reliably huge box office results, his male protagonists, and child actors in lead or prominently featured roles, what other commonality do we often see in his work?

Here's one to consider...

If you want Spielberg to direct your script, have an element of chase in it. From his TV movie Duel, his megahits Jaws and E.T., the Indiana Jones franchise, through the two movies starring Tom Cruise and Catch Me If You Can (the title alone!), Spielberg's characters have been on the run. They've been out of breath for four decades. Where are they going? Who is chasing them? Why?

DUEL (1971 TV movie, released theatrically in Europe) A truck driver chases down a driver who had the nerve of passing him.

THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS (1974) Lou Jean and her husband Clovis (Goldie Hawn and William Atherton), an escaped convict, on the run from the law, chased by dozens of police cars.

JAWS (1975) After a shark and a police captain (Roy Shrieder) run people out of the water, three men (including the police captain) go after the killer shark.

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) The search for the lost coven of god. A big boulder chases Indiana Jones, our adventurous archeologist, right to the hands of his enemies, who chase him all the way to his awaiting seaplane, etc. Includes a chase in the crowded streets of Cairo.

E.T. (1982) The government is after the kids hiding the long-fingered alien who just wants to go home. Cue bicycle chase.

INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984) It's one chase after another kicking off with Indy's frenzy to find the antidote to his poisoning, then the leap from a plane - snowy slope - river rapids sequence and finally the Sankara Stones and a chase on mine car tracks.

INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989) The search for the holy grail. Nazis once again. Chases on boats, biplanes and tanks.

HOOK (1991) The boy who never grows up grew up to be Robin Williams. Peter Pan returns to Neverland after Captain Hook kidnaps his children. And the crocodile still haunts Captain Hook with his ticking stomach.

JURASSIC PARK (1993) The dinosaurs cut loose and it's a two-way chase: Dinosaurs vs. Humans, Humans vs. Dinosaurs. As is the case in the horrible sequel THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK (1997).

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998) Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) and troupe race to find a single soldier (Matt Damon) behind enemy lines in WW2.

A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001) Android David (Haley Joel Osment) joins Gigolo Joe (Jude Law) who is running from the police on murder charges, and they seek the Blue Fairy.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (2002) FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) chases conman Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio).

MINORITY REPORT (2002) John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is continually on the run after being charged with a murder he has yet to commit.

MUNICH (2005) The hunt for the murderers of 11 Israeli athletes in the 1972 Olympic games in Munich.

WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005) Ray (Cruise again) and his kids run from murderous killing machines from outer space.

Spielberg loves a good chase

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (2008) Harrison Ford, no stranger to marathon runs (see also The Fugitive) is continually on the run when he's playing the world's most famous fictional anthropologist. This is the only movie in the franchises that I've seen but once but I remember a chase involving jeeps in the jungle.

In Saving Stablemate Joey AKA WAR HORSE, a horse named Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent to France. Albert, too young to enlist, goes out to save his horse (Matt Damon?) behind enemy lines in WWI.

And TIN TIN? We'll see. Did I miss any chases in these other pictures? 1941, Close Encounters, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, Always, Schindler's List, The Terminal?

Though Spielberg is not at prolific as Clint Eastwood or Woody Allen, he is known as a speedy director. He likes to shoot in more than one setting a day and apart from possibly Jaws (?) he finishes his movies ahead of schedule. Take War of the Worlds for an example of his post-production speed. Filming wrapped in March and the movie was in theaters by June! despite being heavy on the visual effects. This sense of urgency comes through in his movies, which could be one reason he's such a strong action director (I'd argue he's better with action than drama).

Spielberg's cameo in The Blues Brothers

Even when Spielberg isn't directing, he's producing big budget tent poles -- many with chase elements, even non-human ones like Twister (storm-chasing!). Even his rare cameo in The Blues Brothers fits in: he ends the police chase after the brothers.

Always on the run, the search and chase continue.