In the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) dreamed of becoming a Jedi Knight (and he finally did in Return of the Jedi). Now, the veteran actor is suiting up again — this time to play a Templar Knight in History’s Knightfall.The Templar Knights have as much mythology as the Jedis (and perhaps more given that they were, you know, real people). Knightfall explores the Templars’ battles against King Phillip IV of France in the 13th century. While Landry (Tom Cullen) and Talus (Hamill) were not historical figures, they’re the fictional knights leading the charge against Knightfall’s Philip (Ed Stoppard).Ahead of season 2, Hamill, Cullen, and producer Aaron Helbing all helped Rotten Tomatoes outline the similarities and differences between the fictional Jedi Knights and the real Templars.Knightfall returns Monday, March 27 at 10 p.m. on History.Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week. (Photo by Adult Swim/2019)From Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls to Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars, Genndy Tartakovsky has been a staple of Cartoon Network programming from the mid- 90s to the mid- 00s, introducing children and adults alike to a type of animation that is as full of action and comedy as it is emotional and character-driven.(Photo by Adult Swim/2019)Now, the innovative animation creator is back with Primal, a bold new show for Adult Swim that feels both completely different from anything Tartakovsky’s done before and also like the culmination of an entire career. The show centers around a caveman who is forced to team up with a dinosaur in order to survive the savagery of the prehistoric world. It has absolutely no dialogue, and instead focuses on facial expressions and action for Tartakovsky s latest experiment in visual storytelling.Rotten Tomatoes recently spoke with Tartakovsky about the path that led him to his new show. The Primal creator reflected on how his previous series brought him to this latest artistic endeavor and revealed that Primal will have 10 episodes, with the remaining five airing some time next year.1. TARTAKOVSKY KNEW HOW TO USE SILENCE TO TELL A STORYTelling a story without dialogue or sound isn t necessarily a new concept for animation, but the way Tartakovsky employed the device in this scene from Dexter’s Laboratory shows how he developed his technique for Primal. Whenever the newspaper boys are on screen, the show feels like a silent Japanese film, and the moment Dee Dee or as on frame, the show turns the volume up.“It’s been around since old Warner Brothers or Tex Avery cartoons, so I don’t think I’m doing anything new,” Tartakovsky told Rotten Tomatoes. “There’s too much dialogue on animated shows nowadays, and I try to stand out by forcing you to pay attention through silence. It works — even the editing changes when the dialogue shuts off and we follow the newspaper ninjas, quickly going from the ninjas’ faces to their newspapers to the broken windows they leave behind. This use of silence follows Tartakovsky’s career, experimenting more and more with the lack of dialogue until we get a show that is completely silent.“Primal was a direct reaction to the audience,” he explained. “When we did the last season of Samurai Jack, people loved the silent sequences, so I thought of constructing a story out of silence and eventually that turned into this idea about a caveman riding a dinosaur.”2. BUILDING ANTICIPATIONTartakovsky not only uses silence to make a audiences pay attention to the action, but he makes them wait for it too. Look at the video above of the first appearance of General Grievous in Star Wars: Clone Wars. Back then we didn’t know anything about the villain, but it only took a few seconds for him to become a menace worth being afraid of. In an episode that lasts less than 10 minutes, we spend a minute and a half building anticipation and dread between the time Grievous first speaks to the hiding Jedi and the moment he kills the first one of them.“It’s always important to breathe in a sequence. We kind of build the action like a music sequence, and then we speed up or slow down accordingly,” Tartakovsky said.In that scene, the fight with the droids starts out lightning-fast before slowing down to build anticipation through sound and rumble, then goes back to an explosive and fast-paced fight that already sells the formidable villain. In Primal, Tartakovsky builds anticipation through the introduction of more enemies. Any time our protagonists face a new threat, they stand off in silence before new threats appear, quickly building dread before the carnage begins.3. EVERYTHING HAS A RHYTHMBy combining silence and anticipation with a powerful and rhythmic score, Tartakovsky manages to create dynamic set pieces that result in practically musical fights. One of the most talked-about fight scenes in Star Wars: Clone Wars is Mace Windu’s lightsaber-less fight against an entire droid army. Most of the sequence is devoid of all sound except sound effects and two droids saying “Roger, Roger.”“A good action sequence is really like a good music sequence. There are ups and downs and there’s a natural rhythm, he said. Even when it’s just sound effects and no music it’s still rhythm and pacing.”Even in a scene with no dialogue, like the fight with the droids, the sound of metal crushing under Master Windu’s punches seems to be following a pattern. The choreography, the camera, and even the editing follow suit to result in a symphony of carnage. Windu force-pushes, crunches, and punches dozens of droids like he is following a beat. Is the action a bit over-the-top? Absolutely, but it’s the show’s decision to go along with it and Tartakovsky’s refusal to repeat any attack or make any two punches look the same that make this one of the most memorable fights in the galaxy far, far away.Primal does this a bit differently by foregoing the percussion of the music in favor of emotional scenes that counterbalance the savagery of what we are seeing on screen, as well as letting things linger longer than any of Tartakovsky’s previous shows.Said the creator, “I wanted you to really live in the moment and feel more.”4. SIMPLICITY IS OFTEN THE BEST WAYThough Tartakovsky often features elaborate and choreographed fight scenes, he also lets the simplicity of an action scene speak for itself. Characters are at times simple silhouettes highlighted against a single-color background, like in the fight between Jack and the Six Daughters during Samurai Jack’s revival. Most of the fight occurs in the snow against an entirely white background, with multi-panel animation that gives the foggy fight more depth as the simple drawing of Jack runs and fights against what are essentially just shadows with swords and spears. It doesn’t look like much, but it communicates everything you wan to know about the fighters, their motivations, and their style of fighting.“I think simplicity and clarity are key. I place the camera where I can read the action the clearest,” Tartakovsky said. “Same with color — the characters are either light with a dark background or the other way around. It’s all about being clear in the action.”Whether it’s a Jedi fighting a killer cyborg, a samurai fighting a monster, or even a caveman fighting a dinosaur, Tartakovsky’s action is always clear to read and follow, which lets the viewer focus on the story being told.5. HEART AND ACTION GO HAND IN HANDHaving gradually increased the amount of silent sequences in his shows and experimenting with rhythmic action storytelling and building anticipation, Primal feels in many ways like a culmination of nearly 30 years working in animation. The clip above tells you everything you need to know about the show. It’s violent, it’s bloody, it’s beautifully animated, and surprisingly, it is very emotional.Tartakovsky has made emotional stories before, especially when it comes to Jack’s loneliness and loss in Samurai Jack, but he hadn’t combined that with action. There is an episode in Primal where a brutal fight happens, and though you know it was born out of a necessity to survive in a cruel prehistoric world, it is hard not to look at the action and feel a deep sadness for the loser.“At it’s core, the story is about loss, death, and survival,” Tartakovsky said. “One thing we did differently in the action sequences is that I asked the composers to do emotional music instead. No matter how big the action is, the music is tragic, so as to connect a feeling that this is a very sad scene, rather than playing the big action.”Music certainly plays a big role, and in a savage and brutal show, you shouldn’t be surprised to find yourself on the verge of tears.Primal premieres Monday, Oct. 7 at midnight on Adult Swim.Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.
It has been just over a year since Jordan Peele made history winning the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his genre-bending horror film Get Out. He also made history with his nominations: Peele was the first African American to be nominated for Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay for a debut film. This awards season he returns to the Oscars stage as one of the producers of Spike Lee s critically acclaimed BlacKkKlansman, placing a bookend on a historic year for Black filmmakers. Kicked off by Black Panther’s box office dominance and culminating with Into the Spider-Verse s Miles Morales near-perfect debut, 2018 was a watershed moment for diverse filmmakers and stories. Though vastly different in tone, technique, and genre, each Black-led film added to the history and legacy of Black cinema, and expanded upon it. In honor of Black History Month, we re taking moment to celebrate some of the most historic moments from the last 12 months for Black filmmakers and performers. These aren t all of them, of course: so please add your favorites in the comments.Spike Finally gets his due(Photo by David Lee /© Focus Features /Courtesy Everett Collection)Spike Lee presented Jordan Peele with the win for Best Director at last year s Independent Spirit Awards. When the Get Out writer-director got to the stage he made a point to highlight the synergy of that moment saying, Getting this award from Spike is crazy, let s make no mistake I would not be standing here if we re not for this man. In turn, Lee might not have gained his first directorial Oscar nomination if it were not for Peele passing on the opportunity to helm BlacKkKlansman, signing on as a producer, and hiring Lee to direct. The movie was a big return to form for Lee: It earned the Grand Prix prize at the Cannes Film Festival, has nabbed six Oscar nominations, and is his best-reviewed film in over a decade. The 70s-set dramedy – and scathing indictment on political apathy – earned Lee his first DGA nomination, too, and shows he is still one of the premier cinematic voices when it comes to pointed socio-cinematic commentary.Five Join the 0 million club(Photo by Barry Wetcher /© MGM /Courtesy Everett Collection)African American filmmakers also shined at the 2018 box office. In February, Ryan Coogler s Black Panther racked up over 0 million at the domestic box office, and finished the year as the highest-earning film of 2018. Other African American filmmakers to earn over 0 million at the box office in 2018 included Antoine Fuqua (Equalizer 2), Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II), and Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time). The African American filmmakers movies earned a combined .2 billion at the domestic box office. Hannah Beachler s Oscars First(Photo by Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)In the 90-plus years of the Academy Awards there had never been a black production designer nominated for an Oscar – then Hannah Beachler made history. Her Afro-futurist set design for Black Panther helped immerse the audience in the world of Wakanda; from the nation s planes to the Throne Room to Shuri s laboratory, the detailing of every prop and backdrop was unlike anything we had seen on the big screen. (Music fans may know Beachler for her Emmy-nominated work on Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade. Does Beyoncé trump the Oscars? If Beachler wins we just might find out.) Ava DuVernay Makes History, Signs Mega DealsWe previously mentioned that DuVernay was one of the five African American directors whose films made more than 0 million at the domestic box office in 2018, but the Selma director distinguishes herself further as the first ever African American female director to do so with A Wrinkle In Time. It was one of several big achievements for DuVernay in 2018: She was also the first Black female director to serve on the Jury at the Cannes film Festival (alongside Denis Villeneuve, Cate Blanchett, and Kristen Stewart); she inked a 0 million multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Television; and wrapped production on her Central Park Five miniseries for Netflix. Did we mention she is directing New Gods for DC? As if that wasn t enough, the publicist-turned-director continuously works to ensure the next crop of female filmmakers has access to opportunities. DuVernay s OWN series, Queen Sugar, again led all scripted television programs in the hiring of female filmmakers, particularly women of color.Sterling K. Brown s Honors Pile Up (Photo by Ron Batzdorff / ©NBC / courtesy Everett Collection)Sterling K. Brown s entire 2018 – and early 2019 – has been one for the record books. In January of last year, the This is Us Star became the first African American to win the SAG Award for Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series. He also became the first black man to win a Golden Globe for acting in a TV drama. Just this past week he became only the second actor to win Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture (for Black Panther) and a TV program (for The Is Us) at the same SAG Awards ceremony, and the first-ever African American to do so.
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1.24.3 6月喜迎(Photo by Gabor Kotschy / Courtesy A24)Few actors have received the Academy’s recognition for performances in genre cinema, despite the sometimes stunning interpretations those stories allow for. Linda Blair (The Exorcist), Sigourney Weaver (Aliens), Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs), Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense), and, more recently, Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) are among the limited exceptions to that unfortunate truth.The dismissal of Toni Collette’s remarkable turn in Ari Aster’s terrifying Hereditary, as a mother on the brink of losing her sanity in the face of supernatural tragedy, proved that Oscar voters don’t often see the work in horror, science-fiction, fantasy, and their many subsets on the same plain as the more traditionally dramatic work they celebrate year after year. For every star that earns a nomination for a biopic, countless others miss out for daring parts in boundary-pushing genre productions.This, of course, doesn’t mean that great acting in genre films isn’t out there consistently. This year alone, Lupita Nyong o has received considerable praise for her dual turn in Jordan Peele’s Us – and has racked up a few awards already – and so has Willem Dafoe for his role in the bizarre black-and-white buddy nightmare The Lighthouse. However, there were many other actors who challenged themselves playing offbeat characters or the grounded-in-reality centers of some excellent genre fare.Psychologically complex characters abound in these movies, which present unique challenges for the actors embodying them – being haunted by malevolent specters, lost in space, tormented by mental illness, or adored by cult members is no easy task. Below, we’ve highlighted 12 actors whose blood-curdling, exhilarating, and even moving appearances in genre movies released in the U.S. this year impressed us enough to advocate for their well-deserved accolades.Take note, Academy.What was your favorite genre performance of the year? Let us know in the comments. BILL HADER, It: Chapter Two (2019) 62% (Photo by © Warner Bros. Pictures)The Role: Richie Tozier, a comedian who returns to his hometown to face a killer clown alongside his childhood posse.Why It’s Award-Worthy: Hader’s adult version of Richie captures the spirit of the character as played by Finn Wolfhard in the first installment of Andy Muschietti’s two-part saga. He grapples with the past through humor and in turn adds a thin layer of lightness to the gruesome saga of the Losers Club, who return to Derry to find that Pennywise — the supernatural being that wants them dead and won’t leave them alone — isn’t gone. Instead of playing Richie’s coping mechanism purely for laughs, the gifted actor fully embodies Richie and his inner turmoil, building up to a tear-inducing finale. Having said that, seeing Hader as a self-deprecating trash-talker who doesn’t miss a single moment to make a joke, even when someone has just been murdered, is a weird pleasure we don’t feel guilty about.MILES ROBBINS, Daniel Isn't Real (2019) 84% (Photo by © Samuel Goldwyn Films)The Role: An introverted college student haunted by a diabolical imaginary friend.Why It’s Award-Worthy: Although you might remember Robbins as the man bun-wearing hipster in parental comedy Blockers or the doomed hipster boyfriend in 2018’s Halloween, he has serious range, and it’s on display in Adam Egypt Mortimer’s psychological horror feature. As Luke, a student struggling with his own mental health while caring for his schizophrenic mother, the actor essentially delivers two distinct personalities: First, he is an insecure young man dabbling in dating, but when his old imaginary pal Daniel (Patrick Schwarzenegger) returns, he becomes aggressively masculine right until the new personality fully takes over. The last segment of this under-the-radar creepout gives Robbins the opportunity to truly go all-out with the transformative nature of his performance.SOFIA BOUTELLA, Climax (2018) 68% (Photo by © A24)The Role: The leader of a French dance troupe that collectively devolves into a drug-induced trip into madness.Why It’s Award-Worthy: What the Algerian-born French dancer, model, and actress brings to Gaspar Noé’s intoxicating and provocative vision is sheer emotional rawness. Following a string of action movies – including Kingsman: The Secret Service, Atomic Blonde, and The Mummy – Boutella entered the void of the auteur’s latest mind-bending project to great results. Drugged out of her mind, Selva, her character, roams around a gym where her fellow dancers have also ingested an unknown substance and are morphing into instinct-driven beasts. From executing the incredible choreography that opens Climax to her furious outbursts and the disturbing mindlessness she exhibits, the talented multi-hyphenate lures us into this dehumanized underworld with every wild step. Physical and visceral throughout, Boutella brims with fiery energy.REBECCA FERGUSON, Doctor Sleep (2019) 78% The Role: Rose the Hat, the head of the True Knot cult that preys on Shiners and feeds off of their psychic powers.Why It’s Award-Worthy: Ferguson’s flamboyant villain is part Mad Hatter and part ruthless vampire. In the Swedish thesp’s hands, Rose the Hat exudes a mixture of sophistication and cruelty enhanced by her sleek outfit and centuries-old hat. There’s an unnerving self-assurance in her despicable mission that makes us fear and admire her. Previously seen in blockbusters like Mission: Impossibles Rogue Nation and Fallout and The Greatest Showman, Ferguson has continued to build momentum, and this Stephen King adaption is no exception. Even if critical reception for Doctor Sleep wasn’t unanimously positive –it’s sitting just inside the Certified Fresh zone – Rose the Hat became a fan favorite. Whether she is stealing the life force out of a person cursed with the Shining – rather horrifically in one pivotal scene – or reading their thoughts from a supermarket, she rocks the nefariousness.GUGU MBATHA-RAW, Fast Color (2018) 81% (Photo by © Codeblack Films)The Role: Ruth, a recovering drug addict from a lineage of Black women with superpowers who’s on the run from government agents.Why It’s Award-Worthy: Despite its hyper-limited release and muted reception at the box office, Julia Hart’s sophomore feature found an audience and some serious affection through online word-of-mouth. One of its major assets is Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s commanding presence as a young mother with substance abuse issues caused in part by her inability to control the super-human abilities she was born with. Far from a one-dimensional superhero type, Ruth is conflicted about her life choices and even more so about the power she didn’t ask for. The actress subtly and skillfully conveys the pent-up frustration and guilt the protagonist carries for not being a part of her young daughter’s life in a world where water is scarce. The genre elements are always present, but Fast Color works because it cares more about the multigenerational relationships between Mbatha-Raw and her co-stars Saniyya Sidney and Lorraine Toussaint.ISABELLE HUPPERT, Greta (2018) 60% (Photo by Shane Mahood / © Focus Features)The Role: A deranged European widow obsessed with befriending younger women.Why It’s Award-Worthy: There are no limits to the ways in which French icon Isabelle Huppert can surprise us with each new credit she puts under her elegant belt. For Irish director Neil Jordan’s ’90s-style stalker-thriller, she embraces one of the most wonderfully demented women she has personified in her jaw-droppingly prolific career. In the skin of the title character, a mysterious widow desperate for attention, Huppert goes full-on cuckoo as she lurks around New York City and harasses Chloë Grace Moretz’s character. A scene inside a restaurant where she loses her temper and another where she maniacally twirls while holding a dangerous syringe make for something deliciously unexpected. Nominated for an Oscar once before for Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, as a rape survivor seeking revenge, the goddess of international cinema clearly has no plans to stop amazing us.MARIANNE JEAN-BAPTISTE, In Fabric (2018) 91% (Photo by © A24)The Role: Sheila, a bank teller who buys a new red dress to get back into the dating scene, but ends up being tormented by the wicked garment.Why It’s Award-Worthy: Knitted within Peter Strickland’s giallo-infused horror diptych is a sharp commentary on the weaknesses and desires we all try to escape or fulfill and how evil prays on them. That’s why having Oscar-nominated actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Secrets Lies) act as the emotional anchor of this stylish contender for the most WTF movie of the year feels essential. Sheila is not a mere vehicle for the movie’s madness or just another victim, but rather a woman who wishes to find a partner, whose relationship with her adult son has deteriorated because of his live-in girlfriend, and who, on top of that, has to deal with a freakish piece of clothing that turns her washing machine into a deadly weapon. The near-absurdity of a screenplay centered on a killer dress is grounded thanks to Jean-Baptiste.BRAD PITT, Ad Astra (2019) 83% (Photo by 20th Century Fox)The Role: Roy McBride, a decorated major in the U.S. Space Command and the son of a legend.Why It’s Award-Worthy: Each time a melancholic Brad Pitt wearing an astronaut suit stares into the camera in James Gray’s powerful sci-fi drama, we can sense a profound emptiness, an emotional void that not even an accomplished professional life can fill. With Earth’s future threatened by a phenomenon known as the surge, Major McBride is sent on an outer space mission to save the planet, which may force him to confront his long-lost father. Set in a near future where the moon has become just another enclave of humanity’s voracious ambitions, this spiritual space odyssey is, at its core, a father-son story focused on a man looking for intimate answers in the vastness of the universe. An understated Pitt, both on screen and in voiceover, delivers some of his most finely tuned work.EMILY BEECHAM, Little Joe (2019) 67% (Photo by Chris Harris / © Magnolia Pictures)The Role: Alice, a scientist who creates a “happy flower” meant to help improve the owner’s mood, but instead produces perverse side effects.Why It’s Award-Worthy: The jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival made a point by awarding Beecham the Best Actress prize for her subdued performance in this eerie slice of science-fiction. Her cerebral character, Alice, is a meticulous plant-breeder and a mother whose most ambitious enterprise yet is a sterile flower that requires lots of care to make it produce a hormone that’s supposed to make people joyful. Beecham begins the film stoically, with her Alice uninterested in developing any relationships at work; it’s only when her teenage son Joe s (Kit Connor) attitude changes, possibly because of her creation, that she loses her controlled façade. It’s a mostly internal performance, but the precise Beecham knows exactly when to imbue her gaze to communicate anguish, disbelief, and regret. Not a typical awards-winner, but it should be.FLORENCE PUGH, Midsommar (2019) 83% (Photo by © A24)The Role: Dani, an American woman coping with a devastating family tragedy while on a bizarre trip to an almost otherworldly Swedish festival.Why It’s Award-Worthy: Flower crowns can’t hide the immense grief and romantic woes that afflict a young American couple on the brink of separation in Ari Aster’s sun-drenched terror fest. As Dani, Pugh’s face flits between gut-wrenching fear, disappointment, delirious joy, and ultimately menacing empowerment. In her darkest hour, the strange cult that welcomes her could actually mean her salvation. Pugh has enjoyed a banner year with Greta Gerwig’s Little Women and her incredible but under-seen lead role as an aspiring wrestler in Fighting with My Family. It’s difficult to argue which of these three efforts is the greatest, but the notable physicality and mentally draining situations that Midsommar required may tip the needle in its favor. Still, having multiple praise-worthy releases in a single year automatically makes her the queen of the whole year, not just May, in our opinion.TAKAYUKI HAMATSU, One Cut of the Dead (2017) 100% (Photo by © Shudder)The Role: A spineless director tasked with creating an absurd zombie movie for Japanese television.Why It’s Award-Worthy: In this ingenious horror-comedy movie about making movies, Takayuki Hamatsu, making his movie debut, breathes life into a filmmaker whose bad reputation has pushed him to take whatever job he can get – including a low-budget zombie production to be broadcast live on TV. A natural pushover, the fictional director endures criticism from his daughter and wife at home, but once on set he must act tough to brave the ridiculous obstacles that await him. On the surface, Hamatsu’s hilarious take on an incompetent creator finding a new alter-ego behind and in front of the camera could seem broad, something we’ve seen before. But what’s required of him – and what he delivers – is a deft understanding of the screenplay’s tonal shifts and the movie-within-a-movie-within-a-movie mechanics of this incredibly clever piece of cinema. He gifts us laugh-out-loud brilliance.SAMARA WEAVING, Ready or Not (2019) 88% (Photo by © Fox Searchlight)The Role: Grace Le Domas, a bride who unknowingly marries into a murderous family.Why It’s Award-Worthy: When we first meet Grace, right before she walks down the aisle, her spirited demeanor is infectious. She is unequivocally ecstatic to be getting married, and that effervescence follows her right up to the moment when she discovers that her now-husband’s family treasures a psychopathic and ritualistic tradition: Her in-laws, the Le Domases, want to murder her before dawn via a gory game of hide-and-seek. Weaving, an up-and-coming Australian actress, handles this transition from joy to panic, and later to pure survival mode, with complete believability – and never loses her edgy sense of humor. This is a woman in love forced to rip apart her gorgeous dress, dodge literal bullets, and bash people’s heads in order get through the night. As the twisted plot escalates, the darker parts of Grace awaken, and Weaving renders that blend of emotions impeccably.JUAN RAMÓN LÓPEZ, Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) 97% The Role: El Shine, a jaded young boy trying to survive in a merciless Mexican ghost town.Why It’s Award-Worthy: Issa López’s unforgettable dark fantasy features a remarkable troupe of young performers, many of them first-timers, as a group of children fending for themselves in a nameless Mexican city where criminals run the streets and most people have mysteriously disappeared. Among the cast, Juan Ramón López stands out as a young man whose innocence has been ravaged by his environment. But when Estrella (Paola Lara), a girl searching for her missing mother, joins the crew, El Shine shows glimpses of the child’s buoyancy that he’d suppressed. Playing a kid who’s far from likable and contains such heavy emotions at such a young age could easily be daunting, but López channels the right amount of anger and determination into his character.Are you as obsessed with awards as we are? Check out our Awards Leaderboard for 2019/2020.Thumbnail image: @Gabor Kotschy / Courtesy A24, Brooke Palmer / © Warner Bros., Jacob Yakob / © Codeblack Films
Today s Ketchup brings you another 10 headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles such as Morbius, a Baby Driver sequel, and a new female-led Fast Furious spinoff.This WEEK S TOP STORYJAMES GANDOLFINI S SON WILL PLAY YOUNG TONY SOPRANO(Photo by Jason Smith/Everett Collection)HBO s The Sopranos obviously had a single lead, but James Gandolfini was supported by a large ensemble cast, so the prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark is likely to have a large cast as well. The main character in this story about the 1967 Newark race riots will be Dickie Moltisanti (played by Alessandro Nivola), the father of Christopher Moltisanti from The Sopranos. ( Moltisanti translates from Italian as many saints. ) We ve also learned recently of the casting of first Jon Bernthal (The Punisher) and Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), rumored to play Tony Soprano s parents, and then Corey Stoll (Ant-Man) and Billy Magnussen (Game Night). We know from The Sopranos that Tony Soprano was around during this era, and now we also know that young Tony will be played by James Gandolfini s actual son, Michael Gandolfini, who was also in HBO s The Deuce. Gandolfini won the opportunity to reprise his father s most famous role following an extensive audition process [and] his screen presence, mastery of Tony’s mannerisms, coupled with his resemblance to the elder Gandolfini made him the standout choice for the role because no one there understood the character better. New Line Cinema is expected to open The Many Saints of Newark in wide release theatrically, in either late 2019 or sometime in 2020.Fresh Developments1. BIRD BOX REUNION: NETFLIX AND SANDRA BULLOCK ARE REBORN(Photo by Netflix)Netflix famously does not disclose viewership numbers for most of their shows and movies. (Very often, pundits are left to guess at numbers based on social media reactions.) That s why it was significant a few weeks back when the streaming giant confirmed that over 45,000,000 accounts had viewed the thriller Bird Box, breaking the company s first seven days record. Just after Bird Box celebrated the end of its first month on Netflix, the news broke that the company and its Bird Box star are reuniting for another genre-based book adaptation. Sandra Bullock, Netflix, and the producers of IT are teaming up to adapt Mark Millar s comic book Reborn, which will be directed by Chris McKay (The LEGO Batman Movie, Certified Fresh at 90%). Reborn joins a busy slate for Chris McKay, who is also developing adaptations of Jonny Quest, Nightwing (AKA Dick Grayson), and Dungeons Dragons, all for Warner Bros. Bullock is expected to star as an 80-year-old woman who dies in a Manhattan hospital to find herself Reborn in the afterlife world of Adystria, a magical land of monsters and dragons where good and evil are waging an eternal war. Reborn was written by Kick-Ass and Kingsman creator Mark Millar, who signed a lucrative deal in 2017 that also includes Netflix shows based on Millar s American Jesus and Jupiter s Legacy.2. EDGAR WRIGHT WORKING ON BABY DRIVER SEQUEL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR FILM(Photo by Wilson Webb/TriStar)It has now been over 18 months since the release of Baby Driver, the long-in-development heist movie from director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), following his high profile departure from Ant-Man. Wright continues to move forward on a sequel, a script for which he says exists in a first draft. In the meantime, he s now preparing to direct another original project this summer. We don t know a title or any casting yet, but Edgar Wright s next film will reportedly be a psychological horror film with a female lead set in the Soho district of contemporary London. Exact story details aren t available, but Wright has cited both Don t Look Now and Repulsion as inspirations, which suggests a film filled with hallucinations and paranoia.3. RON HOWARD TO ADAPT BESTSELLING HILLBILLY ELEGY FOR NETFLIX (Photo by Jaap Buitendijk/Universal Pictures)Netflix currently has their most ambitious project to date, Martin Scorsese s 5+ million mobster epic The Irishman, in post-production, aiming for 2019 s awards season, and is showing little signs of slowing down in their pursuit for major productions. The latest example came this morning with the news that Netflix is committing million to produce director Ron Howard s adaptation of the bestselling book Hillbilly Elegy. J.D. Vance s book is a memoir about his childhood growing up in a small town in Ohio after his family moves there from the Appalachian area of Kentucky. Howard and his Imagine Entertainment have a long relationship with Universal Pictures, so the move to Netflix is a major development, with the budget Netflix was willing to put up reportedly being the deciding factor. Ron Howard is coming off last year s Solo: A Star Wars Story and is currently working on a documentary about opera star Luciano Pavarotti. Hillbilly Elegy is being adapted by screenwriter Vanessa Taylor, who co-wrote The Shape of Water and is also working on the Elizabeth Holmes/Theranos movie Bad Blood.4. NICOLAS CAGE WILL FREAK OUT WHEN HE SEES THE COLOR OUT OF SPACE(Photo by RLJE Films)Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) may have been one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, but big budget Hollywood has largely ignored his works (although there have been dozens of independent movies). If there s a single story that best exemplifies the difficulty in adapting Lovecraft to film, it just might be the 1927 short story The Colour Out of Space. That s because the premise revolves around what scientists call an impossible color (basically, a color that humans can t perceive). Put another way, you can t very well film a color which your human audience can t see. Well, that story is indeed getting its own movie, Color Out of Space, with Nicolas Cage reuniting with the producers of Mandy (Certified Fresh at 92%). Cage will play a New England small town farmer whose life is turned topsy-turvy following the crash of a meteorite that brings the titular color to Earth. Color Out of Space will be directed by South African director Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil) as his first feature film in over 20 years since he was (reportedly) fired from directing 1996 s The Island of Dr. Moreau.5. VIN DIESEL CONFIRMS PLANS FOR FEMALE-CENTRIC FAST FURIOUS SPINOFF (Photo by Scott Garfield/Universal Pictures)As of next Friday, we will be within six months of Fast Furious Presents: Hobbs Shaw, the spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Filming of the next entry (Fast Furious 9) of the main Fast Furious franchise will reportedly begin in April, but Vin Diesel confirmed this week that a third branch of the family tree is now being officially developed. Diesel and his producer sister Samantha Vincent took to Instagram to reveal that they have hired three screenwriters to work on a female protagonist-led Fast Furious spinoff. Lindsey Beer co-wrote next year s post-apocalyptic thriller Chaos Walking (starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley), and is also working on reboots of Short Circuit and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Geneva Robertson-Dworet co-wrote Captain Marvel and last year s Tomb Raider. As for Nicole Perlman, she co-wrote Guardians of the Galaxy (co-starring Vin Diesel), and is also working on Detective Pikachu, the Labyrinth remake, and Marvel Studios Black Widow. We don t know yet who will star in the spinoff, but Michelle Rodriguez is probably at the top of the list.6. THIS WEEK IN RELEASE DATES: THE CRAWL, JOHN CENA S PLAYING WITH FIRE, BAD NEWS FOR THE LOUD HOUSE(Photo by Mary Cybulski/Universal Pictures)Paramount Pictures announced release dates for two films this week and yanked another project from their schedule completely, signalling that the project has probably been cancelled. The Crawl is a natural disaster horror film about a young woman who becomes trapped in a flooding house during a Category 5 hurricane and must battle against Florida’s most savage and feared predators, and it s now scheduled for August 23, 2019, up against Angel Has Fallen (the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen). Playing with Fire is a family comedy about three orphaned kids sent to separate foster homes, with wrestler-turned-actor John Cena starring, along with Judy Greer, John Leguizamo, and Keegan-Michael Key. Playing with Fire is scheduled for March 20, 2020 (the week before Disney s Mulan remake, and Paramount s G.I. Joe spinoff Snake Eyes). Finally, Paramount has pulled a movie based on the Nickelodeon animated series The Loud House from their slate, where it had formerly been scheduled for February 7, 2020.7. FORMER DOCTOR WHO MATT SMITH JOINS JARED LETO IN SONY/MARVEL S MORBIUS(Photo by BBC courtesy Everett Collection)Following the box office success of Venom (5 million globally as #6 for 2018) and the acclaim and awards given to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Sony Pictures is moving forward confidently with their plans to adapt their share of Marvel s properties. Jared Leto has been attached to star as the vampire anti-hero Morbius for a while now (with July 10, 2020 speculated to be the film s target date). The second actor to join Morbius will be Matt Smith, who is still best known to American audiences for playing the 11th incarnation of BBC s Doctor Who. Smith s role is currently unknown, but Collider is speculating that he may play Loxias Crown, a friend of the scientist Michael Morbius who takes the same serum but is transformed into a more evil bloodthirsty creature. In related news, we also learned this week that transgender actor Zach Barack has been cast in this summer s Spider-Man: Far from Home (7/5/2019) in what is a groundbreaking first for a superhero movie of this scale.8. GINA RODRIGUEZ TO STAR IN LONG-IN-DEVELOPMENT BOBBIE SUE (Photo by John Castillo/Indomina Releasing)The fifth and final season of the CW series Jane the Virgin is set to debut in March, and its star Gina Rodriguez is continuing to seek more movie roles (like last year s Annihilation) to expand her career past television. With that in mind, Warner Bros. has cast Rodriguez to star as Bobbie Sue, which has been in development since 2008. (At one point Cameron Diaz had been attached to star.) Rodriguez will play a young woman from South Boston who is a scrappy, headstrong young lawyer who lands a career-making case with an upper crust law firm, only to realize she’s been hired for optics and not her expertise. Bobbie Sue will be directed by Charles Stone III, whose most recent film was last year s Uncle Drew (63%), and who also directed Drumline (Certified Fresh at 82%) and the baseball comedy Mr. 3000 (54%).Rotten Idea1. KEVIN HART JOINS BODY-SWAP COMEDY BLACK FRIDAY(Photo by Warner Bros.)Put simply, a movie star s box office status is not defined simply by being in very successful films, but also by their ability to ensure that people will buy tickets for films they might not otherwise. The million opening weekend for The Upside was not itself huge, but significantly more than one might otherwise think a remake of a French movie from 2011 might be. In the last two weeks, Hollywood has been making deals quickly with Kevin Hart s people, which last week alone included signing Hart to star in the Monopoly movie and a tragic drama called Fatherhood. This week, STXfilms signed Hart for two comedies, the first of which will be a body swapping fantasy called Black Friday, which will be followed by an untitled international romantic comedy. No other details were revealed about Black Friday, but the title suggests it might the body swapping might be racial in nature. We re calling this a Rotten Idea because STXfilms The Upside earned a 39% Tomatometer.
k that way. So finally, because I had been successful for a long time with comedies, I had enough influence in the Mexican industry and enough respect as a director and as a writer to get into serious subject matter. And I was developing a very ambitious movie about the origins of the cartels during World War II, between Mexico and the US. And I was going to write and direct.Issa López s Tigers Are Not Afraid. And that, of course, fell apart horribly. Back then, I felt that it was the end of the world. I had invested five years [into the project]. It was my one hope to get away from only comedies. And I didn t know yet that you can t have one project or even two or three, you have to have more because they will stumble. So when these fell apart, I had nothing, and I was going through a horrendous breakup and my father had died recently. And I had to put my dog down. It was a mess. And the one thing that kept me sane was writing every day, because I didn t have time for more in trying to resuscitate this giant. I would have squeezed writing one scene of a movie for my sanity, and that was Tigers. And eventually it came together and I looked at it and I realized I really had to make it. And I knew that it was going to be a very strange little animal – part horror, part political drama, part thriller, part fantasy, and investors and distributors hate movies that are part, part, part, part, part. They hate them. But I knew I had to bring it into the world.What were some of your favorite moments on set?López: There were so many of them. I was having a conversation a couple of days ago with my first AD, who is now a director in her own right and makes me incredibly happy. Her name is Hiromi Kamata, and she s the director of Selena: The Series. I have to say that many of the best moments in that movie didn t come from my mind. They came from the mind of my team. I love to create an environment where you trust the people you ve called to this battle with you, and they come to you and they say, I have an idea of how this can work. And sometimes it doesn t, and sometimes, it s so much better than what you had in mind. So there s a lot of her mind in that movie, but we were talking about experience, and it s kind of extraordinary how in telling such a dark painful, scary story, we had such a great time. The kids were loving. It s incredible, because you see them suffering throughout the movie, and they were having a blast. They loved it so much that at the day’s end, they came to me to pitch an idea for the sequel, because they just didn t want to stop making the movie. And I know they were enjoying it. One of my producers was saying that they had Stockholm Syndrome.How did you pool all those ideas about how the world of the movie would look like to create an immersive experience for your audience?López: For me, it was the clash between horror and hope. It s pretty much a war zone. These cities that have been abandoned by its inhabitants, either because they left or because they vanished or because they died. Entire sections of cities have become ghost towns. And these kids have taken them over and made them their own. They had decorated them with their totems and their warriors and their war paint to defend this turf. Eventually, in the movie, they move away because they are on the run into parts of town that had been taken over slowly by nature. You have rooms in which grass is growing inside and it becomes this dreamscape. I wanted to have ruin next to beauty, and that encounter gave me images like a flooded room, that idea of a broken chandelier in a pool where there s wild koi fish is what created this landscape slowly.What was it like to finally bring Tigers Are Not Afraid to audiences?López: It was a complicated journey. I thought when I started production that the complicated part was going to be getting it made, and it was not. Once it was made and finished, me and my accomplices, my team, we looked at the movie and we were like, this doesn t feel bad, and it doesn t feel similar to other things. It feels pretty unique. We felt very cocky that we could get the movie into the festivals. We were at the beginning like, should we submit to Toronto or Sundance? And eventually we got rejected from all of them, all of them – Toronto, Sundance, Berlin, Venice, Tribeca, South by Southwest, all of the festivals. It was kind of shocking because we didn t feel that necessarily we had a masterpiece, but we felt that we had something unique enough and decent enough to get in that. No.It got really painful because after getting a number of rejections, you have to question yourself. Eventually, it became funny, and I was ready to give up and make more comedies, which I will always go back to. And then I thought about the genre festivals, because it is a ghost story. And I sent it to Fantastic Fest. The first time that I saw the movie with an audience in my life was at Fantastic Fest, and I was hopeful, but I was not expecting what happened. The raw emotions I saw in the audience and the way people would stop me at the end in tears to talk to me about it, it was a beautiful shock, and it especially felt great after the journey of rejection that we had, and it snowballed from there. That long journey of trying to make a huge movie that failed, resulting in this strange tiny movie, making it, getting all the rejections, and then getting this reaction so many years later, just makes you feel that maybe karma exists, that if you never lose hope and vision of your ideals, you get there. It s a dangerous thing to believe, but I m starting to accept it.(Photo by Issa López's Tigers Are Not Afraid.)What was your experience like before taking on Tigers Are Not Afraid?López: I think that filmmakers can make a career in two very different ways. One is seizing the opportunities that you find along the path and taking whatever opportunity to try to say your own thing. The other one is the anarchist warrior that decides to make the movie that they came into the world to make. I admire those strange unicorns. I m not that. And especially, it s hard because you re a woman, and it s a lot harder to push those walls. Now, it s easier – well, it s less difficult, which is different. But when I started, that space didn t exist. Very few movies were made in Mexico. When I went into film school, eight movies were made in Mexico and those eight movies were made by the same four guys. It was unthinkable to break into that. I had to build my own way and my way of going there was through the cracks. Telenovelas shaped half of the planet. That s the truth. The only way for me to go into visual storytelling was telenovelas. And the only way to go into telenovelas was by ghost writing for other writers. I had to first ghost write then become a proper telenovela writer, then become a film writer.And at that point, Mexican cinema had a revival, but it was through comedy – romantic-comedy specifically. So I had to write rom-coms, which has never been my genre. And then I was like, okay, I can direct too. Eventually, I got a lot of respect as a comedy director. I love comedy, but the truth is that little girl that watched horror movies and genre, and a little bit of Bergman and perhaps too much of Tarkovsky wanted to make a movie for me, for that little girl. And that s how Tigers happened.López cites Poltergeist as an early influence. (Photo by © MGM/courtesy Everett Collection)Jumping back in time, who were some of the first directors that influenced you?López: It was a very strange mix because I was, on one hand, a regular kid who just loved movies. And on the other hand, I was raised by my dad because my mom died when I was very young. My dad was obsessed with European cinema, art house cinema, and the big film masters. At the time, Tarkovsky was at the height of his popularity, everybody was discovering the next Tarkovsky movie and we would go when I was six, eight, 10-years-old, and I would sit and watch Solaris. Because your taste is not completely gelled at that age, I could completely enjoy Solaris without questions about pacing, because everything is new for you. At the same time, I was obsessed with Spielberg s movies and I was completely captured by the idea of Poltergeist or The Goonies.I never thought I could make cinema by watching Bergman, but when I watched E.T., I was so completely floored and transported by that experience. I grew up in Mexico City, and I had this feeling that someone needs to do this [movie], but in Mexico. It hasn t been done. Briefly, I entertained the idea that I was going to abandon my dream of becoming an archeologist to become a filmmaker. Then I decided I was going to be serious, be an archeologist. That was not serious though, and I went back to cinema. I discovered down the line that it was more about Raiders of the Lost Ark than what it was about archeology.You’ve alluded to it already a little, but this industry is not always welcoming to women. Has that changed at all in your experience?López: I believe that this year has been crucial. I think we re seeing it in the awards season, and you can take it seriously or not, but it is a signal of something. It s a sign of something. It s signaling something. If you look at the hopefuls, you re going to see a lot of women filmmakers in a way that you didn t see even a couple of years ago. And I think that part of it is the awareness that started in 2017, which is the year I opened Tigers. And the awareness of how an entire industry had been brutally, not only unfair, but punishing for the entire female part of it.Tarkovsky s Solaris. (Photo by Courtesy the Everett Collection)Genre film has a macho reputation – it’s dominated by male filmmakers targeting male audiences. What has that side of the industry been like for women recently?López: Well, that was a particularly complicated landscape. First of all, the perception of genre has changed. Thank the gods on this one. When I first moved to LA to try to pursue making movies here, I had the first meetings with the studios and with reps and whatnot, I would mention that I loved horror and I had some horror ideas. Inevitably, the room would cool down, and they would be like, Oh. And eventually someone spelled it out to me, which is: Horror is great, but it was like the B-movies at that point, and I m talking 10 years ago, not that long ago; if you have a chance of making anything non-horror, do that, because once you re a horror director, that s it, you re a horror directorBecause it was perceived like a gritty B-movie universe, women really didn t have a place there. It s funny because if you look at the numbers of audiences that appreciate horror, so many of them are women. It s funny that the vocal ones were guys, but so many women love a good ghost story. I m not a huge fan of slasher films, but I know so many women are obsessed with the slasher movies. It s this misconception about gender roles, it s just not feminine to like movies with ax-wielding maniacs. Well, turns out it is. It is pretty f king feminine, and we have this incredibly violent genre of movies being made by women.Could you tell us about some of the projects on the horizon for you?López: It s a lot of things, too many. I did learn my lesson of, in Spanish we say, Don t put all your eggs in one basket, honey. I don t do that anymore, so I have a lot of baskets and a lot of eggs. I have a movie produced by Noah Hawley, who I didn t know before. Noah is the writer and producer, creator of Fargo, the series, and of Legion. We have a project called The Book of Souls about how humanity runs out of souls to put in newborns and we can only get the souls of people who die and the mechanics that awakens in the world. It s a meditation on privilege, too. All of these languages, all of those themes, resonated with me. So, that s one thing.I have a thing with Jason Blum that is an adaptation of an amazing article that Epic Magazine published. The article is written by Daniel Hernandez, a really great journalist, and it s about a Catholic school – this is a real case outside of Mexico City in a very, very poor area, a massive boarding school that recruits girls from all over Mexico, from the poorest areas, to give them an opportunity to study high school and advance in life. It s a Catholic boarding school. In 2007, there was an epidemic of hysteric attacks where the girls became paralyzed and they couldn t move. They would have extreme pain and seizures, and they were convinced they were cursed. It was a huge scandal in Mexico, and eventually it vanished, but what really happened with these 600 girls that felt they were cursed? At the same time, it’s about faith and the strange images Catholicism and ideas Catholicism puts in our heads. It s about access, how you come from areas where you have no privileges, you have to accept whatever life puts in front of you. It s about being a woman that is always at risk, be it in the fringes of society or even when you re put under protection, you re actually still at risk.One of López s upcoming project will see her collaborate with Guillermo del Toro. (Photo by Kerry Hayes/Universal Pictures)I have a werewolf western with Guillermo del Toro, and that s completely different. That s a completely male story. It s about male revenge, pain, and old, old debts that characters have to pay and the journey they go through that. In the end, it s about the beast that we all try to keep controlled, but we really can t control. I also have a project of my own. I think it s very important as a filmmaker to always have one movie that nobody asked for, which was what Tigers was for me. That is called A Girl with a Thousand Names, and it s all children. I m super excited about that one.Who are some of the up-and-coming women directors people should keep an eye out for?López: Well, what Chloé Zhao is doing is insane, and as I was saying a moment ago, awards season is here and she s going to take everything that she hasn t taken yet. Here she already took everything and it s fascinating, these contemplative, melancholic, incredibly lyrical movies. It s not only about female characters. What she did last year was amazing, too. I m very curious where she s going to go with that. There’s Ana Lily Amirpour: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is so aesthetic and so badass and so absolutely unique and its own animal that I m very curious about what she s going to do. I personally know Coralie Fargeat (Revenge), who also can direct action and gore and violence like nobody s business. She can make ugliness beautiful. I don t know what Coralie is doing, I m just so curious. She s amazing.Mati Diop! Atlantics is, I m pretty sure, is my favorite 2019 movie, and I was kind of disappointed that it didn t get the attention I felt it deserved. That movie s at the same time a whodunit, a ghost story, a love story, the political reality of what s happening in the Arabian states where you have extreme riches and extreme poverty, and it s beautiful to look at. It has everything. I think I ve watched it like five times.And finally, who are some of the women directors that inspire you?López: First of all, and foremost, I m going to go with St. Kathryn Bigelow, because I feel that she s been doing this for a while. Another thing that I admire about Bigelow enormously is her ability to move between genres. She doesn t care much about genre, but she cares about character and story. She started with horror, with vampires no less, and it s very hard to make a vampire story that is not silly. She s done heist movies, some of the best in the world, classics really at this point. And she s done sci-fi and she s done the most serious political thrillers that we ve seen. Hurt Locker, for me, is really one of the best movies that I ve seen. It s, for me, top 10, that movie. It s at the same time a character study, it s a study of political conflict, of imperialism, of the seduction of violence, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. It s just amazing.Issa López s Tigers Are Not Afraid is available now on Vudu and FandangoNOW. Issa López s 10 Films for Women’s History Month
亚博APP软件 (Photo by CJ Entertainment/TMS Entertainment)What are you most proud of in your career so far?I really liked the Criterion essay that I did, because it was a way to go deep on one film. And I feel that it probably could have been double the length because there s so much to say about Parasite. But it was really wonderful to have the opportunity to both write about what mattered to me and then also write freely in the style that I want to write in.I will say that the recent cover story that I did for The Hollywood Reporter, for Minari, it felt like a fairly big coup. It felt like a personal coup. Not specifically because it was my first cover story, although that was also a big deal, but because I don t consider interviewing to be my biggest forte. It was just nice being good at something that I m not traditionally very good at.What’s an under-the-radar show that you think more people should be watching?I really hope that people are watching Chad. It s a TBS comedy starring Nasim Pedrad. For whatever reason, it s connecting with me a lot more than PEN15. Maybe just because I feel as a 30-something woman, I can relate in a lot of ways much more to a 12-year-old boy than a 15-year-old girl.I think Pedrad is doing an amazing performance. And I m just really enjoying everything that this show is doing, which is this combination of a puberty comedy that s about a boy who s afraid of puberty and sex. And it s also set in an Iranian-American home, and it deals with identity issues in a slightly different way than a lot of these shows that we used to see before.What’s a Rotten thing you love – movie or TV?I feel like the Alicia Vikander Tomb Raider got a really bad rap. That was one of my favorite action movies of that year. And I feel there was this really raw intensity and the visceral-ity to a lot of the action scenes that you just don t get in a standard action film, especially when it stars a woman. I was really glad to hear it got a sequel.(Photo by Walt Disney/courtesy Everett Collection)What is your favorite series or movies from your childhood?I m going to be a super basic b h and say The Little Mermaid. I think it s just one of those primal bonding things where it was, one of the very first movies that I watched in school, I think in the first grade. And I both remember the pleasure of it as a viewer and also like a tiny baby critic.You had that instinct even as a kid?I was a very annoying child.Did you always imagine that you would become a critic?No, because I had this vague idea in my head that I wanted to be some sort of writer, starting from when I was a preteen. But also, I grew up in a very immigrant working-class home. And so whenever these adults would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I would say “a writer,” my mom would get really mad because she was like, Well, that s not a way that you can really make a living. Because she doesn t know anyone really who was making a living doing that.What was the first time you saw yourself on screen?I think that one of the very first times I sort of felt represented on screen, or could see a version of myself on screen was when I was six, I was deeply obsessed with the Beetlejuice cartoon. It was basically this super morbid girl who was hanging out with a decaying corpse and a skeleton. And had this one polite demeanor around her family and at school, and then to let her imagination go wild when she was alone in a room. And I really identified with that. I just also loved how adorably disgusting all of the animation was in the world.I do think that part of the reason why it was an animated character that I related to so strongly was that it s a lot easier to project things on to animated characters, including race, because I never thought of Lydia as white. I just thought of her as a pale-faced like me.But I think that in the way that this question is generally formulated and understood, I remember having a real wow moment when I first saw Margaret Cho do stand-up on TV. I think I was probably 12 or 13. As I reflect on things that I have seen around Asian-American women telling jokes and taking pride in her sense of humor and the talking of a very openly about things like sex, I just remember discovering Margaret Cho and feeling like the world had opened up in some really major way. She s a pop-culture icon. I will always stan.
亚博APP软件 Sundance may be famous for setting the terms of the indie film conversation of the year, but the film festival also serves as a launching platform for new horror voices that become successes later on. As the home to Hereditary, The Babadook, Get Out, and The Blair Witch Project, the Sundance Midnight program has a bit of a reputation, leaving this year’s selection with some pretty big shoes to fill.This year, genre spread to other sections of the programming, as fans needn’t have stayed up late at the Park City Library to catch some disturbing or just plain weird movies. No matter what your favorite genre is, you were bound to find something up your alley, from unusual documentaries to scary movies to fantastical comedies. And the good news is that distributors and streaming services are likely to snatch them up and make them available to you soon, with some of them already on the way.With expectations high, the question of what will be this year’s Hereditary-style hit is constantly brought up. We checked out the films competing to become this year’s big breakout hit, and rounded up what the critics were saying, so you can begin preparing your watchlists of what Sundance films are most likely to make a big impression once they get released.His House (2020) 100%(Photo by Aidan Monaghan courtesy of Sundance Institute)Distributor: NetflixRelease Date: TBDNetflix’s big acquisition at Sundance is this tale of horror both supernatural and human. His House tells the story of a refugee couple who flee the horrors of the South Sudan civil war and come to England to start a new life. What they find is something that doesn’t want them there, with the very walls of the house exuding a sinister vibe. What makes the film truly special is how it balances the supernatural horrors of a haunted house movie with a poignant and equally devastating immigration story of survivor’s guilt. As Benjamin Lee wrote for The Guardian, “The haunting that takes place is one that’s tied to something that feels real.” Netflix will release His House some time later this year, and once it does, you can expect a movie that will make audiences scream, all while getting people to empathize with a refugee couple’s story by way of a haunted apartment,” as RogerEbert.com’s Nick Allen puts it.Save Yourselves! (2020) 89%(Photo by Matt Clegg courtesy of Sundance Institute)Release Date: TBDWe are all obsessed with our phones; there’s no denying that. But what happens if we try to distance ourselves from the internet for a short time? According to Save Yourselves!, you may miss an alien invasion. Su (Sunita Mani) and Jack (John Paul Reynolds) are a hip Millennial couple, ruled by the technology at their disposal. When Su suggests they get away without technology in order to cleanse themselves during a life-reaffirming week, they find themselves having to fight off adorable poof-like aliens that remind us of a cuter version of Critters, as the rest of the world is already under attack. Rachel Wagner from Rachel Reviews writes that the film “is not only a very funny look at modern Millennial life but a sweet romance of a couple who become stronger through facing off with aliens.” Save Yourselves! is currently looking for distribution.Relic (2020) 92%(Photo by Jackson Finter courtesy of Sundance Institute)Release Date: TBDThe best horror often manages to be both a terrifying piece of entertainment and a poignant commentary on our reality. A remarkable debut by Natalie Erika James, Relic turns the haunted house story on its head, using the horror genre to tell an emotional story of dementia. Australian stage legend Robyn Nevin gives a terrifying yet emotionally devastating performance as a woman whose mind and body is slowly failing her, while a strange and eerie presence haunts her home. “Like Mike Flanagan before her”, writes Film School Rejects Rob Hunter, “Natalie Erika James flawlessly blends terrifying horror with the ache of humanity.” Rest assured, when Relic finally gets released, it will make you scream before it pulls on your heart strings.Run Sweetheart Run (2020) 73%(Photo by Courtesy of Sundance Institute)Distributor: BlumhouseRelease Date: TBDBlumhouse returns to Sundance with its second “Sweetheart”-titled movie in Run Sweetheart Run. Like last year’s Sweetheart, this movie finds a young woman having to go toe-to-toe with an inhuman monster, as we follow Ella Balinska’s Cherie on her first date in a while. The problem is that her date turns out less than stellar, and she is forced to run through the streets of Los Angeles for an entire night to escape the blood-loving monster she mistook for a chance at romance. Though critics note that the metaphors are thinly-veiled at best, Bloody Disgusting’s Meagan Navarro writes that “Run Sweetheart Run makes for an entertaining and cheeky trip centered around woman’s curse.”Bad Hair (2020) 62%(Photo by Courtesy of Sundance Institute)Release Date: TBDA social thriller starring a killer weave, Bad Hair is a campy throwback to 80s horror B-movies with a whole lot on its mind. Writer-director Justin Simien returns to Sundance with a film about the importance of and controversy surrounding hair in the Black community, focusing on a lowly assistant at a TV show who gets a new hairstyle that helps her move up in her career – with some deadly, bloodthirsty consequences. Writing for That Shelf, Victor Stiff explains that the film “is a delightful horror dramedy that interrogates black women’s struggle to be true to themselves in the face of a system hellbent on snuffing out their blackness.” Bad Hair is looking for distribution.Possessor: Uncut (2020) 94%(Photo by Karim Hussain courtesy of Sundance Institute)Release Date: TBDPlaying like a horror version of Inception, Brandon Cronenberg (yes, son of David) takes us on a disturbing, bloody nightmare that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before. The film stars Andrea Riseborough as a contract killer whose consciousness gets implanted into others so she can control them into committing murders for hire that is, until she finds herself struggling to control a particularly difficult body. This is a movie that’s not for the faint of heart, as Slashfilm’s Chris Evangelista writes: “This isn’t a work designed to thrill and entertain. Instead, it’s meticulously crafted to horrify. The violence on display here is graphic to the extreme, yet it never feels cartoonish.” While the violence and blood may be too much for some viewers, critics agree that this film is a unique experience worth seeing; as Rob Hunter writes for Film School Rejects, Possessor “is fantastically and cruelly unforgettable.” Keep an eye out for Possessor as it looks for distribution.Into the Deep (2020) 100%(Photo by Courtesy of Sundance Institute)Distributor: NetflixRelease Date: TBDThe rare documentary to play at the midnight slot, this bone-chilling film started as an homage to Danish amateur inventor Peter Madsen before turning into an exploration of evil when Madsen murdered and dismembered Swedish journalist Kim Wall during the time the doc was being shot. Emma Sullivan’s Into the Deep features stunning footage both pre-murder and in its immediate aftermath, dealing with the shock of the filmmakers realizing what kind of subject they’re following as their film begins to resemble something akin to a horror flick. Writing for Vanyaland, Nick Johnston says, “Into the Deep is a unique beast in a documentary landscape that’s more consumed than ever with the true-crime genre, and it is a must-watch for anyone even slightly curious about the events of this bizarre and tragic crime.” Netflix will release Into the Deep later this year.The Night House (2020) 87%(Photo by Elisha Christian courtesy of Sundance Institute)Distributor: Searchlight PicturesRelease Date: TBDLike A Quiet Place in 2018, The Night House relies on sound to create a terrifying horror experience that will make your bones vibrate. After the loss of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) begins to spend her nights plagued by strange dreams and creepy noises around the house. Critics spoke highly of Hall’s performance, with Birth.Movies.Death’s Ed Travis calling her a “scream queen.” They also commended the string of jump scares that shook audiences at the fest; Bloody Disgusting s Meagan Navarro explains “[the film] leaves you breathless and your heart pumping hard.” Searchlight Pictures bought the distribution rights for the film and will be releasing at a later date.Scare Me (2020) 82%(Photo by Brendan Banks courtesy of Sundance Institute)Distributor: ShudderRelease Date: TBDNo matter how elaborate or grand a horror movie is, the scariest memories most of us have still belong to the nights we spent as youngsters listening to scary stories after dark. Scare Me takes the tale of an aspiring horror screenwriter trapped in a snowy cabin with a best-selling horror novelist telling each other stories and turns it into an exploration of the creative process and even gender politics, all while delivering a minimalist yet still spooky experience. As Daily Dead’s Heather Wixson writes, “Scare Me is an absolute delight and a real gift for both horror fans as well as those of us who can’t get enough of hearing a good story. ” Shudder will release Scare Me at a later date.Spree (2020) 67%(Photo by Rylan Perry courtesy of Sundance Institute)Distributor: RLJE FilmsRelease Date: TBDEugene Kotlyarenko’s Spree asks, What if Joker was a streamer and wannabe influencer? The thriller-comedy, which is shot found-footage style, features Joe Keery doing his best Arthur Fleck impersonation as a guy obsessed with becoming internet famous by streaming a night of violent mayhem. It s a commentary on our collective obsession with social media, privilege, and the darkness of comment sections. What makes the film more than just a Black Mirror episode is how it infuses jokes and gags into the horror – and then seems to ask why we re laughing. Nick Allen wrote for RogerEbert.com that “Spree brilliantly shows influencer culture for the totally demented lifestyle that it is.” RLJE Films will release Spree later this year.Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.