I’ve always loved this One, Two, Three gag. Billy Wilder‘s 1961 comedy screened last Sunday at the American Cinematheque Egyptian, but I couldn’t attend because it was projected in 35mm. A friend swears it looked great but I’m not changing my DCP-only policy because of an exception to the rule. 94% of the time 35mm is the pits. Okay, 90% of the time.
Five and a half weeks after opening theatrically, Bill Pohlad‘s Love & Mercy has announced its home video & streaming plans. 40 days hence (8.25) it’ll be available on Digital HD (what does that mean exactly? Amazon or Vudu or what?). And then on 9.15 it’ll arrive on Bluray, DVD and On Demand. At least more people will catch it this way, and those Academy and guild members who still haven’t watched it will receive screeners in the mail. One way or another it’ll gradually sink in that (a) this is the leading token Best Picture contender from the indie ranks, (b) Paul Dano and John Cusack are the Bobbsie Twins of the 2015 Best Actor race, (c) Pohlad deserves an attaboy Best Director nom for transitioning so successfully to the DGA ranks, and (d) Oren Moverman‘s screenplay deserves a Best Original Screenplay nom. Really.
Until today it looked like Jake Gyllenhaal would give noteworthy performances in three major 2015 films, portraying a troubled boxer in Antoine Fuqua‘s Southpaw, a mountain-climber in Everest and an investment banker recovering from the death of his wife in Jean Marc Vallee‘s Demolition. My insect antennae were telling me, actually, that Jake’s Demolition performance (grieving widower + romantic rebound) might be his best shot at award-season accolades. I’ve been too lazy to read the Demolition script, of course, but maybe.
It made sense that the solemn-sounding Demolition would open later this year and maybe kick up a little dust. Vallee’s Dallas Buyer’s Club and Wild were in the derby in 2013 and ’14, respectively, so it added up. But then Fox Searchlight, the distributor of Demolition, never announced a 2015 release date, and this made some of us go “hmmm.” Now the other shoe has dropped. Demolition has been drop-kicked into a 4.8.16 release. Au revoir, Telluride and Toronto and all the giddy award-season razmatazz. Hello, April opening and some people paying respectful attention but with the electric-charge element sorta kinda missing. The film has now been officially classified as…well, let’s not jump to conclusions.
How many times have I written about the ongoing visual tragedy of Marlon Brando‘s One-Eyed Jacks? For too many years the 8-perf VistaVision splendor of this classic 1961 western, shot by Charles Lang, has been unviewable due to the film rights having lapsed into public domain, which has resulted in several atrocious-looking DVD dupes (largely sourced from a decent-looking Paramount laser disc issued in the ’90s) flooding the market. Well, this nightmare is finally at an end with Universal and Martin Scorsese‘s The Film Foundation having recently agreed to join forces on a 4K “restoration” of One Eyed Jacks.
A Universal Q2 report divulged the basics earlier this month, and this morning Film Foundation managing director Jennifer Ahn confirmed that the One-Eyed Jacks project is a definite go.
Yes, Universal and not Paramount, the original distributor. I’ve assumed all along that Paramount had retained rights but apparently not. The rights issue turned out to be “much more complicated than it seems,” Ahn says, “but ultimately we figured out that they belonged to Universal.” The Q2 report divulged that Universal and the Film Foundation have “begun film element research and scan tests” with an assessment report to follow, and then it’ll be off to the races. If all goes well (and it should) the One-Eyed Jacks Bluray will probably be released sometime next year.
If the ghost of F.W. Murnau could provide a quote about the thieves who dug up his coffin and stole the head, it would be something along the lines of “little minds will have their distractions.” I immediately thought of Thomas Stoltz Harvey, the pathologist who removed the brain of Albert Einstein during an autopsy on or about 4.18.55 (i.e., the day after Einstein died). The great Errol Morris has long wanted to make a fictitious riff called Einstein’s Brain, and I was thinking how Morris would have fun with a doc about the Murnau beheading, if the morons behind the deed are found. At the very least a few more people will now be buying the Sunrise Bluray.
A knockout teaser from David O. Russell‘s Joy (20th Century Fox, 12.25) to start the day! A voice is telling me this is going to be a huge, across-the-board hit. (Okay, maybe not with the Marvel crowd.) The undercurrent, obviously, is about frustration, rage, coping with heavy burdens. The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” says “settle, Zen out, accept life’s natural limitations” but the shotgun finale (which by the way is fanfuckingtastic) clearly says “fuck that Zen.” Jennifer Lawrence is playing the real-life Joy Mangano, inventor of the self-wringing Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers and a regular on the Home Shopping Network. Featuring the Silver Linings Playbook trio (JLaw, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro) plus Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen (finally in another good movie after 11 years of hunger after Sideways!), Isabella Rossellini and Elisabeth Rohm, Joy opens on 12.25. Bring it to Telluride!