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Entries in Directors (241)

Wednesday
Jun212017

Q&A: "Strong Female Characters" and Future AFI Honors

Okay last round of reader questions before we have to ask for a new batch. These are culled from the last "Ask Nathaniel" column as well as the open thread. Let's talk Wonder Woman and Oscar, "Strong Roles for Women," and more.

MARIE: Who are the next 3 women that should win the AFI Life Achievement Award?

NATHANIEL: A timely question since Diane Keaton just won hers. But I had to look back at who has previously been nominated to come up with an answer. Living female winners number only five: Diane Keaton (2017), Jane Fonda (2014), Shirley Maclaine (2012), Meryl Streep (2004), and Barbra Streisand (2000) with the other twelve winners in this new century being men (both actors and directors have won). It's actually a tough question because they have to be alive and *really* famous to get this honor and also elderly (though Streep was young for this honor taking it when she was 54ish I think). They also have to be American (for the most part) so I looked only at people who are almost 60 or older and this is what I came up with...

 

I would probably choose from among these five next:

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun212017

Untitled Han Solo origin story loses its directors

Robert here! The Star Wars franchise has been enjoying a commercial and critically successful third wind with the release of new trilogy starting The Force Awakens and standalone, universe expanding film Rogue One. While the next installment of the main nonilogy of films, The Last Jedi, is slated to be released in December, the next standalone film, an origin story for series favorite character Han Solo, has hit a major snarl as directing team Phil Lord and Chris Miller have just announced that they are departing the project.

More after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May232017

Zach Snyder and the Separation of Art and Artist

by Ben Miller

Many outlets are reporting the news that director Zack Snyder is stepping down from directing the upcoming Justice League in order to be with his family following the suicide of his daughter, Autumn, in March. This news has unfortunately prompted some insensitive reactions online. This brings to light an interesting separation between the artist and the art they create.

Snyder has his fair amount of detractors.  I was impressed by his debut with Dawn of the Dead and got caught up in the zeitgeist that was 300.  But, I have been less than thrilled with his contributions to the superhero genre in Watchmen, Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

This has birthed a persona of the man – Zack Snyder, director.  His personal life and character has been shielded by a believed persona of what we feel this man is like, just because of the films he makes.  We assume that the CGI heavy and slow-motion leaning visual style says more about the man than anything else...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May122017

Pedro Party: All About My Mother

It's a Pedro Party all week. Here's Lynn Lee on her introduction to Almodóvar...


To all actresses who have played actresses.  To all women who act.  To men who act and become women.  To all the people who want to be mothers.  To my mother.”

All About My Mother was the first Almodovar film I ever saw, and as it happens, I saw it with my own mother.  I don’t remember why I picked it for us to see together.  It certainly wasn’t because of the title or because I thought it would be something she’d particularly like.  In fact, if I’d thought about it more, I might have been anxious that she would find it too outré.  Or for that matter, that I would; as both a movie lover and a young adult, I was just beginning to learn what was out there and how far it stretched beyond my own personal experience.

To our credit, or rather to Almodovar’s, there was no reason for such trepidation...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May062017

Q&A: The Force is With Reader Questions

by Nathaniel R

I got a little verbosely carried away whilst answering reader questions so you get two Q & A columns from your last batch of questions. Thanks for playing. This week I asked for a few Star Wars Questions but that's just three of the six questions answered here. Ready, let's go! 

TROY: Within the past year Cynthia Erivo has won a Tony, Grammy, and Daytime Emmy for her work in the recent Broadway revival of The Color Purple, making her only one step away from completing the EGOT. Which type of project do you think would giver her her best chance at winning an Oscar?

NATHANIEL: I hate to get nitpicky but technically should Daytime Emmys even count with the EGOT? If you count any old Emmy as towards the EGOT than about 100,000 people you've never heard of who have local Emmies (seriously they give those statues out like candy) are 1/4th of the way to that showbiz goal. It's only Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Lopez, and their fans that would argue that Daytime Emmys count. No shade!

Anyway my dream for Erivo is that they give her either the film version of The Color Purple musical, though I fear they'd just hand it to a bigger less worthy star (like, oh, Jennifer Hudson, who she and Danielle Brooks, the other Tony nominee from that show, both ran circles around onstage) or a film version of Caroline or Change (if they won't rehire the incredible Tonya Pinkins) as those two roles are powerhouse vehicles for a black woman with giant pipes. But any musical role would be dreamy. That voice!

 PEDRO: What is your favorite Star Wars character? And your favorite Star Wars actor?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr272017

Paul Verhoeven Sticking To Dark Habits, Making Erotic Nun Movie

Paul Verhoeven is a walking, talking trigger warning; it’s not difficult to imagine him sitting behind an Inside Out-style control center smashing his fist on every red button in sight, cackling with perverse glee as he crawls under your skin like a psychologically disturbed porcupine with a bad case of rabies. Fresh off the especially spiky heels of last year’s Elle – his infamous “rape revenge comedy” that catapulted légende française Isabelle Huppert onto the stages of American awards ceremonies, better late than never – Variety reports that the Dutch provocateur plans to grind out a 17th century nunsploitation flick entitled Blessed Virgin as his next feature, replete with Sapphic undertones and hellish visions of religious erotica; a series of descriptors that should surprise approximately no one when it comes to all things Verhoeven.

After all, this is the same director who obliterated the military-industrial complex with giant man-eating space bugs, exposed the American entertainment industry with pole-licking showgirls, and, yes, drove a hatchet through the contemporary French bourgeoisie with a number of problematic sexual assaults.

Based on the book Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy, Blessed Virgin tells the sordid true tale of Sister Benedetta Carlini’s subversive exploits as the Christ-communicating, same-sex bedding abbess of an Italian nunnery. Going straight from one hyper-religious sister to another, Elle star Virginie Efira is set to reteam with Verhoeven to play the lead. Do Paul Verhoeven’s (intentionally) problematic visions delight or disgust you?