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Entries in moviegoing (103)

Wednesday
May172017

Cannes Day 1: The Netflix Battle and "Ishmael's Ghost"

by Nathaniel R

Maren Ade, Will Smith, Agnes Jaoui, and Pedro Almodóvar at the Jury Press Conference today

Though we aren't in the South of France we'll try to keep an eye on the proceedings across the pond there these next two weeks. If you're relatively new to movie obsessing (We keep hoping more young people will tune in to TFE. We used to attract baby cinephiles... not sure where they congregate now!) Vox has a terrific heavily expository overview of why Cannes is so important, how to pronounce it ("can" not "cans" or "cahn"), why so many famous people go, why everyone is so dressed up, and some other myths and mysteries that surround the festival.

Jury Press Conference & the Netflix Divide
Because juicy click-bait headlines drive traffic most websites are framing the Jury Press Conference as a bloody war between the president Pedro Almodóvar and his most famous juror Will Smith. They may well eventually come to artistic blows in jury deliberations (who knows) but this is already grossly overstated. They merely have different feelings about Netflix, a famous "disruptor" as a company. Will Smith is very pro Netflix (basically because he has kids who like it). Almodóvar is very pro theatrical exhibition, because you know, he's a filmmaker who cares about movies. That's about the extent of the "war"...

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...

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Friday
May122017

Today's 5: Carrie, Snatched, Blowup, and more...

Today's 5 mood boosting assignments from showbiz history...

2017 oh wait that's today! New in movie theaters today: Goldie Hawn returns to the cinema in the Amy Schumer comedy Snatched; Uneven but sometimes really exciting director Doug Liman unveils the sniper drama The Wall (starring Brit Aaron Taylor-Johnson with a twangy accent); Guy Ritchie anachronistically Ritchifies the King Arthur legend with Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law; Demian Bichir stars in Lowriders; and Diane Lane takes a road trip with Arnaud Viard in Paris Can Wait when her husband Alec Baldwin bails on her for business.

In their honor: Go see a movie this weekend. Pick a title any title. If you don't want to see one of those catch up with The Lovers or Lost City of Z. Both are good flicks.

1988 The infamous stage musical version of horror classic Carrie opens. It will close five days later. The off Broadway revival in 2012 did significantly better but still closed at a loss

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Sunday
May072017

Arthouse Box Office... Go see "The Lovers"

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (reviewed) opened huge as expected, and is now #2 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of this highly specific metric: Most box office improvement over the opening of the first film. Number 1 in this regard is still Captain America Winter Soldier. With the mainstream box office being totally dominated by two franchises featuring action heroes of scant relation deploying the word "family" as frequently as rounds of ammo, let's turn our attention to the films in limited release. Richard Gere is the unexpected leader with not one but two films (The Dinner and Norman) in the top five.

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Saturday
Apr292017

Tweetweek: La La Day, Demme Farewells, and the DC Aesthetic Summed Up

First things first.

This brilliant tweet was in response to a whole swath of new bitching online about La La Land when Los Angeles declared April 25th "La La Land Day". And why shouldn't Los Angeles honor a blockbuster movie that was about the glamour and dreams and careers of Los Angelenos and the city and the movies ?!? I was as happy for that announcement as I was when I heard that Moonlight got a street named after it in Florida the week before. They seemed like equally smart local government decisions to me but one was greeted warmly on twitter and the other was attacked. Honestly, people who can't let other people enjoy things are the worst kind of people I've decided. Don't be that kind of person. Fight the urge next time you hate a movie that other people love. Not ashamed to say I love La La Land and it's okay to wholeheartedly love it even if you agree that Moonlight deserved Best Picture from the nominees (as I myself do). It is possible (and recommended) to love more than one movie. Monogamy has no place in movie-loving, polyamorous is the only way to be once you've married the cinema. 

OH BUT YES, TWEETS OF THE WEEK. More after the jump including Labyrinth sequel, Aquaman aesthetic, and more Jonathan Demme farewells...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr232017

What did you see this weekend? I caught a masterpiece!

This weekend saw several new films hitting theaters including the trashy Unforgettable (reviewed), the epic The Promise, and Ben Wheatley's Free Fire (reviewed). Apart from the Disney Nature documentary Born in China and the almost-wide expansion of last week's newbie The Lost City of Z, none made much of an impact with moviegoers, as the holdovers just won't quit filling theaters. Boss Baby and Going in Style, for example, only dropped 20% in their 4th and 3rd weekends respectively.

I spent the weekend hitting the Tribeca Film Festival (our reviews have already begun) but the highlight by far was the rare opportunity to see Lina Wertmüller's Seven Beauties (1975) which is best known to Oscar buffs as the first instance of a woman being nominated for Best Director. The film was more amazing than I was prepared for. We're talking a tonally daring, politically charged, sexually crazed, harrowing and hilarious World War II movie. Most movies don't even have 10% of its verve and personality. I was riveted from the first frame to the last and if you ever have a chance to see it (or live in NYC) you'd be insane to pass it up. I'm going to try to hit at least one or two more Wertmüller movies while the series is running at NYC's newly renovated Quad cinema. 

What did you see this weekend? 

TOP WIDE (800+ theaters)
01 Fate of the Furious $38.6 (cum. $163.5) Ranking the Franchise
02 Boss Baby $12.7 (cum. $136.9) Review
03 Beauty & the Beast $9.9 (cum. $471) Review
04 Born in China $5.1 NEW
05 Going in Style $5 (cum. $31.7) 

TOP LIMITED 
01 The Lost City of Z $2.1 (cum. $2.2) 614 screens Review 
02 Colossal $584k (cum. $1.3) 224 screens Review
03 Their Finest $555k (cum. $1.1) 176 screens
04 Norman $136k (cum. $272k) 18 screens
05 T2 Trainspotting $80k (cum. $2.2) 160 screens

Thursday
Mar302017

Power Linkers

Mashable the 8 main excuses Hollywood uses for whitewashing, and why they're all bunk in this day and age
Film Doctor 5 amusing notes on "Evil Disney Hegemony" and Emma Watson as Belle
The Muse Rich Juzwiak on the recent LGBT scraps thrown in mainstream Hollywood movies. Frankly I've been insulted, rather than thankful, by both of them. I just saw Power Rangers and I cannot believe people are crediting this movie with being LGBT inclusive. The Yellow Ranger never even admits she's queer. She just stays literally silent (and you know what silence equals) when someone asks if she has a girlfriend.

 

David Poland distributors are considering shrinking the theatrical release window again. Is this just suicide? (I hate to be an alarmist but I totally agree with David Poland's thinking here
Women in Hollywood interviews The Zookeeper's Wife author Diane Ackerman
Time lists the 50 best podcasts right now. I almost never listen to podcasts. Probably because I have no commute. I should get on that.
Pajiba on the costs of running independent film sites - ugh this hurts to read. It's so hard and we dont even do half as well as they do!
IndieWire Paul Thomas Anderson's fashion drama gets a Christmas day release 
World of Reel the early reactions to the new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales are actually positive 
Awards Daily talks to composer Trevor Morris (as much as I hated Iron Fist, I liked his work on it!) 
Broadway Blog Bette Midler's super gracious moment with an understudy on Hello Dolly! 

Finally, Two Directing Offers of Note
Joss Whedon might write & direct a Batgirl movie. The deal is supposedly close to happening but he had such a terrible experience with Warner Bros on his Wonder Woman screenplay (and such a difficult time with Marvel on Avengers: Age of Ultron) that this is quite a surprise. The money must be really good but we keep hoping he'll create an original television series again soon rather than reshaping other people's brands. 

Jordan Peele is being considered to direct both Akira and The Flash at Warner Bros thanks to the huge success of his directorial debut Get Out. But both those projects seem so troubled. The first because every iteration Hollywood has dreamt up for Akira includes removing its very Asianness (goddamnit Hollywood, just stop. Asia is an enormous enormous market for movies. You make no sense!) and the second from DC's habitual superhero and filmmaker interference problems. Wouldn't it be better if Peele follows his own muse? That worked pretty damn well for him the first time.

Saturday
Mar252017

Links: New Musicals, Life Tips, Netflix vs Hollywood

Variety Cher has dropped out of her expected return to acting with Flint, a TV movie about the water crisis in Michigan citing "serious family issues" (sending her good vibes)
Coming Soon Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Channing Tatum will team-up for an R rated jukebox musical called Wingmen about two pilots who crash land in Vegas
Variety Lola Albright film actress of the 1940s and 1950s and know for TV's Peter Gunn has died at 92

NPR there's a way to search IMDb now for movies that are female created or female focused... but it's tricky
Vanity Fair life tips from Shirley Maclaine
/Film Soderbergh's Cinemax series The Knick has been cancelled. :( 
AV Club Wonder Woman pees fire
Interview shares an old interview / photo session of Penélope Cruz from '99
Playbill recaps 'everything we know (so far) about Mary Poppins Returns' but they leave out the most important news that we covered here that the world's best costume designer is behind the new magical nanny looks 
Playbill Kelli O'Hara singing "Toyland" - staged concert version coming up in April
Guardian can Hollywood fight back against Netflix who wants us to get over our "romantic" notions of moviegoing. NEVER, NETFLIX, NEVER.
CHUD 'movies no one mentions' on Copycat (1995). Uff, I miss Sigweavie & Holly leading movies
Screencrush new Spider-Man: Homecoming poster, Spidey just chilling (note Avengers tower in the background)
Tracking Board Robert Rodriguez to direct a remake of John Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981)