Earlier: The New York Film Festival has just announced that Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman is 210 minutes. Very impressive. All in. Longer than The Godfather, Part II (202 minutes), Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (200 minutes), Titanic (195 minutes) and The Godfather (178 minutes). But shorter than The Last Emperor (219 minutes), Ben-Hur (224 minutes), Lawrence of Arabia (222 minutes), Dances With Wolves (236 minutes) and Gone With The Wind (221 minutes).
“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…”
King Henry will be portrayed by 23 year-old Timothee Chalamet in David Michod‘s The King (Netflix, 10.11 theatrical, streaming 11.1). The great Laurence Olivier was 36 or 37 when he portrayed the same noble, aggressively spirited fellow in Henry V (’44). There’s no point in comparing the films or for that matter the two performances. We all understood we’re living through an Age of Collapse and Degradation. There’s no stopping the process.
The beheading scene clip presumably depicts the death of one of the conspirators (possibly Thomas Grey) behind the Southampton Plot. Has anyone who’s about to be beheaded ever cried like some pathetic, shrieking candy ass? I don’t think so, but movies like The King would have you believe otherwise.
November 22nd isn’t too far down the road. In a perfect world it would screen at Telluride this weekend. If they’ve got the goods, the word-of-mouth will follow.
The tale of Rob Bilott vs. Dupont is reported in Nathaniel Rich’s N.Y. Times Magazine story, which appeared on 1.6.16.
The screenplay is by Matthew Carnahan and Mario Correra, and stars Mark Ruffalo (as Bilott), Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Victor Garber, Mare Winningham, William Jackson Harper and Bill Pullman.
When The Wild Bunch opened it was regarded as the last revisionist wheeze of a genre that had peaked in the ’50s and was surely on its last legs. It was also seen, disparagingly, as a kind of gimmick film that used ultra-violence and slow-mo death ballets to goose the formula. Now it’s regarded as one of the best traditional, right-down-the-middle westerns ever made. This kind of writing, acting and pacing will never return or be reborn. Lightning in a bottle.
“What Citizen Kane was to movie lovers in 1941, The Wild Bunch was to cineastes in 1969,” Michael Sragow wrote, adding that Peckinpah had “produced an American movie that equals or surpasses the best of Kurosawa: the Gotterdammerung of Westerns”.
“After a reporter from the Reader’s Digest got up to ask ‘Why was this film even made? I stood up and called it a masterpiece; I felt, then and now, that The Wild Bunch is one of the great defining moments of modern movies.” — from 9.29.02 article by Roger Ebert.
Vincent Canby on William Holden‘s performance as Pike Bishop, from 6.26.69 N.Y. Times review: “After years of giving bored performances in boring movies, Holden comes back gallantly in The Wild Bunch. He looks older and tired, but he has style, both as a man and as a movie character who persists in doing what he’s always done, not because he really wants the money but because there’s simply nothing else to do.”
Edmond O’Brien: “They? Why they is the plain and fancy ‘they’…that’s who they is. Caught ya, didn’t they? Tied a tin can to your tails. Led you in and waltzed you out again. Oh, my, what a bunch! Big tough ones, eh? Here you are with a handful of holes, a thumb up your ass and big grin to pass the time of day with.”
The great Edward Norton reached the half-century mark on 8.18.19, or the weekend before last. Which is no biggie, of course, 50 being the new 40 and all. It’s just that his brilliant debut performance in Primal Fear doesn’t feel like it happened all that long ago. (Except it did.) I’ve been thinking of Norton because of the imminent Telluride premiere of Motherless Brooklyn, the ’50s noir that he directed, adapted, produced and stars in. And the roles and films that followed over the next four years — Holden Spence in Everyone Says I Love You, Alan Isaacman in The People vs. Larry Flynt, a jazz gambler in Rounders, a reformed neo-Nazi in American History X, the unreliable narrator in Fight Club — six knockouts if you include Primal Fear.
I was speaking to a guy who’s seen The Irishman. I asked if that 8.25 piece I ran, “Six Reasons For Irishman Win,” was perhaps a bit florid (I was thinking of paragraph #8), and whether it might need some rephrasing or toning down.
His response: “Your assessment does not require rephrasing. It’s perfect.”
A friend had told me my assessment was over the top. “You can’t trust [early-bird] reactions,” he said. “Because when you see something alone you see it in a vacuum. I knew A Star Is Born was never going to do squat with the Oscars. I knew it before I ever saw it and after I saw it it was confirmed. You really can’t know until the thing opens, gets reviewed, what’s the buzz, etc.
“The Irishman will be a Best Picture nominee but I’d never predict it to win at this point.”
Then Guy #3 chimed in: “Except the movie Netflix is really counting on Oscar-wise is Marriage Story. Emotional content trumps everything. Plus there’s still a big [Academy] contingent that just won’t vote for a Netflix movie for Best Picture, choosing instead to make a statement otherwise by going with a non-streamer. Marriage Story could be the one that breaks that rule.”
HE to Guy #3: “Marriage Story might ‘break the rule’ but a grand, climactic, epic-length gangster symphony by Martin Scorsese won’t break it? You’re talking to some real obstinate hard-heads out there.”
Guy #3: “Recent history with Green Book, The Shape of Water and Moonlight suggest otherwise. Let’s see the movies first and then kick it around.”
Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman will open theatrically on Friday, November 1st, and will remain in whatever theatres it will occupy, uncompromised by Netflix streaming, for four weekends — 11.1 to 11.3, 11.8 to 11.10, 11.15 to 11.17 and 11.22 to 11.24. And then, on Wednesday, 11.27, the 210-minute gangster drama will begin streaming on Netflix.
The film will continue to play theatrically all through award season (“an expanded theatrical release in the U.S. and international markets” starting on 11.27), for those who feel that a theatrical immersion with popcorn is the only way to go.
The bottom line is that Netflix and the major theatrical chains (AMC, Regal, Cinemark) were too far apart to come to an agreement. Netflix wanted a slightly-longer-than-Roma-style release (as they’ve just announced) and the exhibs wanted a 90-day exclusivity without concurrent streaming.
It needs to be fully understood that the exhibs were being flat-out unrealistic. They should have admitted to Netflix, themselves and God Almighty that almost ALL movies have shot their wad after six weeks (42 days), and that 45 days of theatrical exclusivity would suffice. 90 days is ridiculous, and they knew it.
All the biggies are getting into streaming. The world is changing. You can’t go home again. Suck it up, do your best and deal with things as they actually are (as opposed to how you’d like them to be).
In Los Angeles, The Irishman will presumably play theatrically in Landmark Cinemas, possibly the downtown Alamo Drafthouse and possibly at the American Cinematheque, but — this is important — Netflix REALLY needs The Irishman to play in the Pacific Theatres-owned Arclight locations. Not being in the Hollywood, Santa Monica and Sherman Oaks Arclight would be a very bad thing, public profile- and Academy voter-wise.
Who knows where The Irishman will play in the New York City area, but probably The Quad, Alamo Drafthouse, BAM Cinema, City Cinemas, etc.
From Anne Thompson’s Indiewire report: “Rooting for Netflix from the sidelines were the studios: At this point, almost all of them are following Netflix headlong into the streaming world and they are desperate for a middleman like Netflix to use its first-mover advantage to break this exhibition logjam.
“Their filmmakers want theaters, Oscar voters want theaters, and if theaters refuse to budge as the world changes, the logic goes, they risk being left in the rearview.