Just received: “The Creative Coalition has 1 room available to sell within TCC’s discounted hotel room block at the Doubletree by Hilton (formerly The Yarrow Hotel), 1800 Park Avenue, Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival. Five nights — Thursday, 1.21 thru Tuesday, 1.26 — for $2,990.” Hollywood Elsewhere’s suite at the Park Regency cost less than two-thirds that amount for an entire two weeks (1.16 thru 1.30), and it has a full kitchen, fireplace, bedroom plus bunk beds, ideal location, nearby convenience store, etc.
“I wouldn’t say that Westerns were a big influence on The Revenant at all, really. I was looking more toward things like Dersu Uzala by Kurosawa, Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev — which is maybe my favorite film ever — Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo, even Apocalypse Now. These are movies that are epic, that have spectacle and are very grand statements, but are informed by the crazy fucking theatrical show that is the human condition. The beauty and harshness of nature impacts your state of mind in these movies. There’s a very intimate point of view from one single character in each. That’s the challenge. Anyone can film a beautiful landscape. Unless you have an emotionally grounded story in there, it’s all just fucking sorcery.” — Alejandro G. Inarritu speaking to Film Comment‘s David Fear in the February 2016 issue.
Cheers and salutations to The Playlist‘s Jessica Kiang and Oliver Lyttleton for having posted the most comprehensive list of 2016 films that I’ve seen anywhere. I’ve been updating my own 2016 rundown (the most recent re-edit appeared on 12.30) so I’ve isolated 31 of Kiang and Lyttleton’s titles that I’ve previously ignored. Several are intriguing; about half seem minor-ish or less than fully wowser but let’s not pre-judge. I’ve listed them in order of highest HE interest. All synopses written by Kiang/Lyttleton. A reposting of most recent 2016 summary follows:
The Salesman (d: Asghar Farhadi) Cast: Sahahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti. Synopsis: Two actors perform in Arthur Miller‘s Death Of A Salesman.
The Discovery (d: Charlie McDowell) Cast: Rooney Mara, Nicholas Hoult. Synopsis: A love story set a year after the existence of the afterlife has been scientifically proven.
American Pastoral (d: Ewan MacGregor). Cast: Ewan MacGregor, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Uzo Aduba, Rupert Evans, Molly Parker, David Strathairn. Synopsis: Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Philip Roth, this is the story of Seymour “The Swede” Lvov, a successful businessman, former high-school sports star and scion of a Jewish upper-middle New Jersey family, whose life gradually disintegrates in the politically turbulent 1960s.
Loving (d: Jeff Nichols) Cast: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Michael Shannon, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll. Synopsis: The true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958, and then exiled from the state for the crime of getting married, and their nine-year fight to be able to return home as a family.
Salt And Fire (d: Werner Herzog) Cast: Michael Shannon, Gael García Bernal, Werner Herzog, Veronica Ferres. Synopsis: Two men on opposite sides of a clash over an ecological issue in South America must put aside their differences and work together to avoid disaster when a nearby volcano presents eruption signals.
Julieta (d: Pedro Almodóvar). Cast: Emma Suárez, Adriana Ugarte, Inma Cuesta, Rossy de Palma, Nathalie Poza. Synopsis: The life of the titular woman, told between two time periods, 2015 and 1985.
Jackie (d: Pablo Larraín) Cast: Natalie Portman, Greta Gerwig, Peter Sarsgaard, John Hurt, Max Casella. Synopsis: The story of Jackie Kennedy in the first days following the assassination of JFK.
Certain Women (d: Kelly Reichardt) Cast: Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, Lily Gladstone, Jared Harris. Synopsis: The story of the intersecting lives of three women in present-day Montana.
The Neon Demon (d: Nicolas Winding Refn) Cast: Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcoate, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks. Synopsis: An up-and-coming model in Los Angeles becomes prey for a gang of beauty-obsessed peers who wish to drain her of her vitality and beauty.
20th Century Women (d: Mike Mills) Cast: Elle Fanning, Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, Alia Shawkat. Synopsis: A story of three generations of very different women living in 1970’s Santa Barbara.
James “Jimmy” Shaw, Jr., a moron, posted this accident video on his Facebook page two days ago. Carman Tse posted it a couple of hours ago on laist. It happened just over a year ago on the Angeles Crest Highway. Who speeds through a tunnel without knowing what the road will do once the tunnel ends? Shaw lucked out but what an asshole.
The Golden Globe Awards are happening Sunday at 5 pm Pacific. Predicting the final preferences of those 93 Hollywood Foreign Press Association members is, of course, lacking in dignity. Plus it lends an aura of unwarranted respect. But this is the world I live in and the business I’ve chosen so here we go:
Best Motion Picture — Drama: Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight. HE prediction: Spotlight. If A Big Surprise Happens: Won’t happen.
Best Director — Motion Picture: Todd Haynes, Carol; Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant; Tom McCarthy, Spotlight; George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road; Ridley Scott, The Martian. HE prediction: George Miller or Tom McCarthy — can’t decide. If A Big Surprise Happens: Ridley Scott.
Best Performance by a Motion Picture Actor — Drama: Bryan Cranston, Trumbo; Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant; Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs; Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl; Will Smith, Concussion. HE prediction: Leonardo Liver-Eatin’ DiCaprio. (Note: Jeremiah Johnson, the rugged outdoorsman portrayed by Robert Redford in that 1972 Sydney Pollack film, was famously nicknamed “Liver-Eating Johnson.”) If A Big Surprise Happens: Bryan Cranston.
Best Performance by a Motion Picture Actress — Drama: Cate Blanchett, Carol; Brie Larson, Room; Rooney Mara, Carol; Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn; Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl. HE prediction: Saoirse Ronan. If A Mild Surprise Happens: Brie Larson, but I’m sensing that the whole Room thing is deflating.
Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy: The Big Short, Joy, The Martian, Spy, Trainwreck. HE favorite: Trainwreck. HE prediction: The Big Short IF that film’s gaining momentum managed to penetrate the HFPA membrane. Almost As Likely: The Martian. although a rescue drama peppered with humor is most assuredly not a comedy.
Los Angeles has been waiting for months for the current El Nino rains, which will last until Friday and are expected to deliver about three inches. More of this discomfort, please. Local news channels, of course, need to try and scare people. If they don’t do this nobody will watch. And so they’re talking about mudslides and anything else they can think of that will darken the picture.
I’m with the weepers. The rightwight gun culture is completely pathetic and sickening. The N.Y. Daily News editors have my complete respect and allegiance. Here’s hoping that a gun loon asks a question of President Obama and Anderson Cooper during CNN’s Town Hall on guns, airing Thursday at 5 pm Pacific. Gun culture is (a) 40% fear of the flanking, outnumbering and marginalization of rural conservative white-man culture, (b) 35% small penises and (c) 25% romantic attachment to the American legend of the solitary gunslinging stud (i.e., a lot of powerless pot-bellied white guys who want to be Alan Ladd in Shane).
This on-target Martian commentary is arriving a little late. The Honest Trailer guys always wait until a film has been out a fairly long while…right? They never seem to post when a film is fresh and alive in the conversation — always when it’s all but played out. The Martian opened on 10.2. If the Honest Trailer guys had any balls they would have posted by early to mid November.
http://11foot8.com/, a site run by Jurgen Henn, documents the dozens of truck-top shavings and decapitations that have occured due to an especially low train-track bridge in Durham, North Carolina — a clearance of 11 feet, 8 inches. Here’s the official YouTube page.