I read once that Marshall Curry always thinks of his audience when developing his next film. And then I also know that other directors say, “Make a good film and people will find it.” Or as my old comedy boss at the BBC once told me: the audience don’t know what they want until you give it to them. There is a sense of truth in all of these statements, but Curry’s has stayed with me. As soon as I started developing my film To Kid or Not To Kid — the first English-language film about the decision to […]
Louis C.K.’s comeback comedy tour, his first since admitting to sexual misconduct in November 2017, kicked off in Virginia at the beginning of November and has reignited conversations about his history of masturbating in front of female comedians. Five comics accused C.K. of sexual misconduct in an article published by The New York Times. The comedian, best known at the time for his comedy specials and FX series “Louie,” admitted the allegations against him were true. C.K. regularly appeared at comedy clubs to perform stand-up sets over the last year, but his comeback reached a new level this month with his first official tour.
Comedian Julia Wolov is one of the five women who brought C.K.’s sexual misconduct to light in The Times’ article. Following the publication of a Canadian Jewish News op-ed in which Toronto comedy-club owner Mark Breslin explained why he booked C.K.
The bizarre odyssey of how Oscar-winning actress Mary Steenburgen came to co-write the euphoric power-ballad that Jessie Buckley performs at the end of “Wild Rose” — easily the year’s best original movie song — began 10 years ago, when the “Melvin and Howard” star woke up after a minor arm surgery feeling like her mind was on fire.
“I felt strange as soon as the anesthesia started to wear off,” Steenburgen said. “The best way I can describe it is that it just felt like my brain was only music, and that everything anybody said to me became musical. All of my thoughts became musical. Every street sign became musical. I couldn’t get my mind into any other mode.”
Fun as that might sound in an Oliver Sacks kind of way — the late neurologist wrote about similar, potentially stroke-inspired symptoms in his book “Musicophilia” — Steenburgen wasn’t thrilled about the sudden mental shift.
“The system is rigged,” corporate defense attorney turned protector of the people, Rob Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) vents angrily to his wife Sarah (Anne Hathaway) in a Benihana’s parking lot, fourteen painstaking years of legal warfare against one of the largest chemical conglomerates on the planet propelling his rage. Bilott is the real-world hero of Todd Haynes’ new environmental justice film “Dark Waters,” a Matthew Michael Carnahan and Mario Correa adaptation of the 2016 New York Times article by Nathaniel Rich, “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare.” It begins as a slow-burn procedural and morphs exponentially into an eco-political thriller, that’s earnest, sometimes a little hokey, but always engaging.
Continue reading ‘Dark Waters’: The System Is Rigged In Todd Haynes’ Earnest Eco-Political Thriller [Review] at The Playlist.
There’s something wrong with the land in West Virginia, and Mark Ruffalo is on the case. That’s the essence of “Dark Waters,” an urgent and respectable dramatization of corporate environmental defense attorney Rob Bilot’s saga as he takes on the Dupont corporation for dumping toxic waste. Directed by Todd Haynes as a slow-burn accumulation of speechifying and paranoid research, “Dark Waters” rambles through Bilot’s dreary detective work as he exposes an environmental hazard with the potential to impact the entire planet.
that drags at just over two hours, “Dark Waters” marks the most conventional directing effort in Haynes’ career. Nevertheless, the central concerns of Ruffalo’s passion project (he also produced) ensure a gravitas throughout that grounds the drama in profound concerns. Wearing a frozen scowl as he zips from damaged farmland to his ambivalent Cincinnati law firm, Ruffalo’s troubled protagonist stops just shy of
“The Mandalorian,” the first live-action “Star Wars” television series, made its long-awaited world premiere less than 48 hours ago but Disney is already keeping the door open for some kind of theatrical adaptation. The show is created by “Iron Man” and “The Lion King” filmmaker Jon Favreau and stars Pedro Pascal as a masked bounty hunter whose latest target upends his allegiance to his sinister employers. Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, Gina Carano, and Giancarlo Esposito co-star. Considering its “Star Wars” roots, “The Mandalorian” is easily the biggest original to launch on Disney+ and Favreau is already developing a second season.
During Variety’s recent Business Managers Breakfast in Beverly Hills, Walt Disney Studios’ chief creative officer and co-chairman Alan Horn said “The Mandalorian” is already becoming a big deal with “Star Wars” fans and therefore some variation of a theatrical adaptation for the show is not entirely off the table. Horn suggested
The idea that social media companies protect their users’ personal information has always been a farce, but data rights became an especially pressing issue during the 2016 presidential election when British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica harvested individuals’ Facebook data to assist Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Netflix’s documentary “The Great Hack” takes a deep dive into the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal that contributed to Trump’s eventual election while also giving a behind-the-scenes look at some of the data firm’s key figures. “The Great Hack” recently screened in Los Angeles as part of the International Documentary Association’s ongoing screening series.
Although Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election serves as the primary news hook of “The Great Hack” — the firm’s reported connections to Brexit are also discussed — the documentary looks more broadly at data rights and the gradual erosion of privacy in recent years.
“The Great Hack” co-director Karim Amer,
Last Year’s Winner: Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: Actors in HBO series have won the category in back-to-back years — Patricia Clarkson in “Sharp Objects” and Laura Dern in “Big Little Lies” — while cable companies have been represented in the winners’ circle four years straight and in six of the last eight. Streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have found success elsewhere at the Golden Globes, but they’ve yet to win the Best Supporting Actress race.
Notable Ineligible Series: Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”; Thandie Newton, “Westworld”; anyone from the “American Crime Story” and “Fargo” franchises.
At the bottom of this page are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series, or TV Movie at the 2020 Golden Globes. This article will be updated throughout the season, so make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz from the 2020 race,
Netflix and Nickelodeon announced today that they’ve formed a multi-year output deal to produce original animated feature films and television series. The kid and family-targeted films and series will be based on both Nickelodeon’s existing library of original characters and new IP.
“Nickelodeon’s next step forward is to keep expanding beyond linear platforms, and our broader content partnership with Netflix is a key path toward that goal,” said Brian Robbins, President of Nickelodeon, in a statement.
Robbins added, “The Nickelodeon Animation Studio is home to the world-class artists and storytellers behind some of the most iconic characters and shows ever made, and our head of Animation, Ramsey Naito, has been building on that legacy over the past year by ramping up development and production exponentially. The ideas and work at our Studio are flowing, and we can’t wait to work with Melissa and the Netflix team
While we don’t expect to hear any true numbers about subscribers or downloads from Disney until its next investors call in early 2020, there’s a new report that offers some pretty impressive data about just how popular yesterday’s launch of Disney+ was. Sure, the Mouse House isn’t ready to topple Netflix. Well, not yet at least.
According to the research firm Apptopia (via Variety), Disney+ was downloaded on mobile devices (we don’t have data on TV app viewing or any other method) 3.2 million times in the first 24 hours it was available.
Continue reading Disney+ Has More Than 3 Million Mobile Downloads In Its First 24 Hours Of Release at The Playlist.
Another popular “Joker” fan theory has been solved, kind of. In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Joaquin Phoenix shares his belief that his version of the Joker character is the real Joker that ends up becoming the infamous Batman villain. Many fans have questioned whether or not Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck is the Joker as seen in decades of Batman mythology. “Joker” director Todd Phillips stoked the fan theory earlier this year by telling the Times, “Maybe Joaquin’s character inspired the Joker. You don’t really know.”
“Joker” fans took Phillips’ comment and searched for clues in the film to figure out whether or not Arthur Fleck actually becomes the Batman villain. Some follow-up theories claim the “real Joker” was part of the violent riot that broke out in Gotham after Arthur shot Robert De Niro’s Murray Franklin dead on national television. Other theories allege
As an actor, you have to imagine that there’s added pressure when you sign on to portray a real-life person when that inspiration is actually alive and well. Who knows what they might think of it? Maybe, such as the case with Taron Egerton and Elton John, the pop star loved the actor’s performance in “Rocketman.” However, apparently in the case of Christian Bale and Dick Cheney, the former Vice President wasn’t a fan of the former’s performance in “Vice.”
Speaking to Yahoo, while out promoting his new film “Ford v Ferrari,” where the actor portrays another real-life person, Bale told the story about how he found out that Cheney was not impressed by “Vice.” In fact, according to Bale, the former VP didn’t have much positive to say at all.
Continue reading Christian Bale Says Dick Cheney Called Him “A Dick” For His Performance
When Harry Styles was named as the frontrunner for the role of Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid”, fans were going crazy. He seemed like the perfect fit for a role that would find him having to look super handsome and sing his heart out, which Styles is known for. Alas, that didn’t end up working out.
A “Friends” reunion is in the works. But before you freak out and text everyone you know in sheer excitement, it’s probably not the type of reunion you were hoping for.
According to Variety, the original cast of “Friends,” which includes Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer, is currently in discussions to appear in a reunion special that would debut exclusively on HBO Max, which is soon to be the only streaming platform to carry the hugely popular sitcom.
Continue reading Original ‘Friends’ Cast In Talks To Return For A Reunion Special For HBO Max at The Playlist.
“Lady Bird,” “Moonlight,” and other A24 films will soon have a new streaming and cable home at Showtime, the network announced Wednesday. The production company and cabler inked an exclusive output agreement where certain movies released theatrically by A24 through November 2022 will air on Showtime, The Movie Channel, Flix, on demand, and on Showtime’s streaming services.
Viewers can expect up to 16 A24 films to be available across Showtime’s platforms annually. That includes forthcoming film “Waves,” Trey Edward Shults’ look at the emotional journey of a suburban African American family navigating love and forgiveness in the wake of a tragic loss, starring Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Lucas Hedges.
Other upcoming movies that will hit Showtime after they’re released in theaters include Joel Cohen’s adaptation of “Macbeth” starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, David Lowery’s “Green Knight” starring Dev Patel and Barry Keoghan.
Showtime will also show
It feels relatively safe to say that no single Christian Bale performance is quite like the other. Sure, he’s transformed his body countless times, dropping a tremendous amount of weight for certain roles and gaining an abundance of it for others. But in terms of the roles he chooses and how he tackles them, Bale is constantly redefining himself: perpetually in the process of shedding his artistic skin so that he may effectively become whomever, he sets out to play.
Continue reading The Essentials: Christian Bale’s Best Performances at The Playlist.
There’s a lot of drama surrounding the upcoming film “A Million Little Pieces,” and hardly any of it has to do with the actual film. Most of the intrigue revolving around the project has to do with the backstory of the inspiration for the film, author James Frey, who released a book of the same name and was quickly outed for making up stories and changing facts about his life story for the novel.
Continue reading ‘A Million Little Pieces’ Red Band Trailer: Aaron Taylor-Johnson Stars In The Adaptation Of The Controversial Best-Selling Novel at The Playlist.
AFI Fest, Los Angeles’ sole major film festival, has weathered more than a few changes over the past couple of years, from becoming the only big game in town after the loss of the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2018 to the departure of long-time Festival Director Jacqueline Lyanga after a strong eight-year run. But some things haven’t changed: AFI Fest still serves as the last big-time fest of the calendar year, offering a robust slate of buzzy world premieres and deserving films plucked from the likes of Tiff, Berlin, Cannes, Venice, and beyond.
This year’s edition is no different, boasting premieres of awards hopeful latecomers like “The Banker,” “Queen & Slim,” and “Richard Jewell” alongside La premieres of smaller gems like “Blow the Man Down” and “Babyteeth.” For cinephiles looking to catch up and be on the cutting edge of the year in film, there’s no better bet than AFI Fest.
The Russo Brothers are venturing back into the world of Marvel. However, for their upcoming documentary series, the duo is more interested in the true story of the comic book company and its ongoing battle with rival DC Comics.
According to Variety, the Russos have signed on to produce a docuseries titled “Slugfest,” which will follow the true story of the rivalry between Marvel Comics and DC Comics that has spanned decades.
After a couple of lagging weekends, what to do for an encore? For theaters, hunker down, hope three new films meet expectations, and then pray that “Frozen 2” next week leads the way to better fortunes.
Although “Ford v Ferrari,” Sony’s new version of “Charlie’s Angels,” and the Helen Mirren-Ian McKellen thriller “The Good Liar” all show promise, expect another week in which grosses plummet from the same period last year. In 2018, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” opened to $62 million, with the second stanza of “The Grinch” grossing just under $40 million. Nothing this weekend will come close.
The film to watch this weekend is “Ford v Ferrari.” James Mangold’s nearly $100-million production about an automotive rivalry between two car producers that centered on the Le Mans endurance race (the film is titled “Le Mans ’66” in most of the world), its roots go back to a
Above: Little JoeJessica Hausner is one of the great observers in modern cinema. The human body and its roots and tendrils are examined as if in a nature documentary while circumstances become outrageous: The faces of her heroines, the slow body language meant to mask an internal longing and anxiousness, the minute changes in expressions, the cracking of a voice. The world suddenly becomes too small for her characters and we watch as they try to breathe. Hausner began by observing young Germans and their first brushes with the thorniness of adult life and its inherent violence. In her shorts Flora (1995), Inter-View (1999), and her first feature Lovely Rita (2001), she shows people who seem like they want to claw their way out of their cramped surroundings or even out of their own skin. In 2004’s Hotel, her aesthetic playbook was completely rewritten. Suddenly a clinical stillness and a nagging, asymmetrical design
Two years ago, the Academy documentary branch had to grapple with a record 170 documentary feature submissions for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar. This year, it’s not so bad: only 159 were entered. The short list of 15 will be announced, along with eight others, on December 16.
All year, branch members have been getting lists of secure online screeners available to watch on the Academy website, increasing in volume, with more to come. Each voter is assigned a list of about 22-23 films to screen, so they all get covered. But it’s a burden to see them all, so the ones with the most attention move to the top of the much-watch list.
Give the advantage to box-office hits that were made available earlier in the year such as Neon’s “The Biggest Little Farm” and “Apollo 11,” as well as high-profile titles from HBO (“Diego Maradona” and “The Apollo”), Netflix,
The producers of the long-running soap opera released the whole of the cast from their contracts and the series will go into indefinite hiatus at the end of the month, according to TVLine. The move comes as Sony Pictures Television and NBC negotiate over renewing the series.
The decision comes just days after the show celebrated its 54th anniversary, during which it commemorated the occasion with a narrative time-jump skipping ahead a year.
If this is truly the end for the NBC staple, it leaves only three American soap operas airing in what used to be an extremely lucrative genre. Only ABC’s “General Hospital,” which got its start in 1963, has been on the air longer than “Days,” with two CBS series, “The Young and the Restless
With “Parasite” poised to become 2019’s highest-grossing foreign film within the Us and already among the year’s most lauded features, Be Reel is taking this week for an episode entirely focused on Bong Joon-ho and his two decades of routinely stellar work.
In addition to “Parasite,” longtime listeners might notice we’re also breaking one of our cardinal Be Reel rules: we once swore to never discuss “Snowpiercer” on the podcast because of the unrest it caused our friendship upon its initial release in 2013.
Continue reading The Essential Films Of Bong Joon-Ho [Be Reel Podcast] at The Playlist.
A busy awards season gets even busier for Robert De Niro as the Screen Actors Guild announced the legendary actor will receive the union’s 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. De Niro will be honored during the SAG Awards telecast on January 19.
In a release from SAG, De Niro remarked, “I have been a member of this union for over 50 years.
Continue reading Robert De Niro Will Be Honored With 2020 SAG Lifetime Achievement Award at The Playlist.
With DC’s upcoming live-action film, “Birds of Prey,” hitting theaters early next year, Harley Quinn fans won’t have much longer to wait until they see their favorite anti-heroine onscreen once again. In the meantime, DC Universe debuted the first look at their first original animated series, “Harley Quinn.” Similar to the upcoming live-action film, the series follows Harley (voiced by Kaley Cuoco) after she breaks up with the Joker (Alan Tudyk) in an attempt to forge her own path as a supervillain.
Continue reading ‘Harley Quinn’ Trailer: The “Cupid Of Crime” Gets Her Spotlight Moment In New Nsfw Animated Teaser at The Playlist.
There’s a sobering moment in the divorce odyssey of Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” when future bachelor Charlie (Adam Driver) sits down in a scrappy office, finding a welcome alternative to the aggressive and costly lawyer (Ray Liotta). Charlie’s new legal advisor, Bert Spitz, has a world-weary smile and strikes an inviting tone. In other words, he’s Alan Alda. “Most people in my business, you’re just transactions to them,” Bert says. “I like to think of you as people.”
Alda, 83, has played nasty characters before — consider his Oscar-nominated turn as scheming Senator Ralph Owen Brewster in “The Aviator” — but the warmth and clarity of his “Marriage Story” turn epitomizes the actor’s amiable pop-culture appeal, as well as his ongoing capacity to wrestle meaning out of messy modern times.
Alda’s gentle baritone and earnest grin have been hallmarks of American storytelling since the height of his fame in the 1970s,
After taking Cannes, Annecy, and the Animation Is Film Festival by storm, Netflix’s French Oscar contender, “I Lost My Body,” lands a brief theatrical release November 15 before streaming on November 29. Jérémy Clapin’s existential, graphic mystery about a severed hand trying to reconnect with its body is by far the year’s boldest animated feature.
It’s a thrilling mixture of action and romance, animated by Xilam Animation in CG (using the open source Blender software but overlaid with a striking hand-drawn aesthetic). The story contains parallel narratives. In one, the hand desperately tries to survive the brutal streets of Paris (fending off pigeons and rats), relying on sense memory. In the other, a lethargic young pizza delivery guy, Naofel (Dev Patel) grieves over the accidental death of his parents and unexpectedly falls in love with a sweet, passionate librarian, Gabrielle (Alia Shawkat). The result is an original, provocative
Sffilm, in partnership with the Westridge Foundation, announced today the five narrative feature film projects that will receive $100,000 in development funding from the organization. Awarded twice annually, the Sffilm Westridge Grants are one of the few U.S. sources of grant support for narrative features in the development phase. The grants target Us-based filmmakers whose films take place primarily in the States and which focus on “social issues and questions of our time.” Fall 2019 Sffilm Westridge Grant Winners all dirt roads taste of salt . Raven Jackson, writer/director; Maria Altamirano, producer – development/packaging – $20,000 Through lyrical portraits evoking the […]
IndieWire is keeping with tradition this Oscar season and launching our annual Awards Season Spotlight series this month. The video series is presented by Apple TV+. IndieWire Editor at Large and awards analysts Anne Thompson talked to a fantastic range of talent — shot by IndieWire Creative Producer Leo Garcia — covering some of the season’s top filmmaking and acting contenders. From Oscar winner Charlize Theron, who is back in the Best Actress race for playing Megyn Kelly in “Bombshell,” to writer-director Taika Waititi, whose “Jojo Rabbit” became a top Oscar contender when it won the People’s Choice Award at Tiff, IndieWire will unveil more than 15 exclusive interviews with awards contenders leading up to Oscar voting.
The full list of IndieWire Awards Season Spotlight participants follows. Click here to see all of the interviews.
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”
We are just over a week and a half into the launch of Apple TV+ and it’s safe to say the tech company’s streaming service hasn’t had the best debut. With barely any content debuting on its November 1 launch date, and mostly negative reviews for the series that did premiere, Apple TV+ has yet to excite audiences enough to become more than just a blip on streaming radar. And not even two weeks into its launch, there’s already been one casualty.
Continue reading Apple TV+ Parts Ways With One Of Its Top Executives Less Than Two Weeks After The Service Debuts at The Playlist.
“Avengers: Endgame” has officially made its streaming debut thanks to the launch of Disney+, and Marvel Studios has rolled out a handful of must-see special features to go along with the online debut of the highest grossing film in box office history. Five “Endgame” deleted scenes with commentary from directors Joe and Anthony Russo are available to stream. The cut sequences are different from the six deleted scenes that appear on the “Endgame” Blu-ray, and one scene is the much-touted moment between Robert Downey Jr. and “13 Reasons Why” breakout actress Katherine Langford.
The Russo brothers revealed in May during an appearance on MTV’s “Happy Sad Confused” podcast that Langford was cast as the adult version of Tony Stark and Pepper Pott’s daughter Morgan (played by Lexi Rabe as a young girl). Langford filmed a dream sequence in which Tony Stark meets his teenage daughter after he snaps
When it was recently announced that James Dean would be digitally resurrected so that he could “star” in a new film, people largely started as confused but soon became really upset. Some folks even warned that this is just the beginning. Well, it appears that those people were right, as Variety reports that there’s a brand-new company, called Worldwide Xr, that plans on selling the digital likenesses of legendary actors for use in future films.