Category Archives: Festivals
Forty-four films have been announced so far with more films to be added for the 71st annual film festival which takes place from May 8 through May 19.
The idea that Cannes is telling filmmakers like Alfonso Cuarón and Paul Greengrass to take their new movies elsewhere is mind-boggling to me. It’s not like Netflix is offering the festival a bunch of Adam Sandler movies. No, the streaming service is offering Cannes the cream of their crop, so to speak, and yet, somehow, that still isn’t good enough.
Ron Howard directed the film, which officially comes out on May 25 and co-stars Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany, Thandie Newton and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian.
Steven Spielberg’s Best Picture-winning Holocaust drama is celebrating its 25th anniversary along with Steve Buscemi’s cult classic In the Soup, while Brian De Palma’s Scarface turns 35 this year.
The festival made stars out of directors Kay Cannon (Blockers), Julia Hart (Fast Color) and the Prospect team of Zeek Earl and Christopher Caldwell.
Alex Pettyfer’s directorial debut, Ethan Hawke and Noomi Rapace in Stockholm and Matt (Doctor Who) Smith as Robert Maplethorpe are some of the highlights of the 17th annual film fest.
Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale) directed the thought-provoking indie movie, which won a Special Jury Prize last month at Sundance, where it premiered in competition.
Many films that premiered at Sundance have already been picked up for distribution yet a half dozen films that impressed us haven’t even gotten a bite yet.
The animated take on Jack London’s classic tale of fiction and the psychological thriller starring Andrea Riseborough are both expected to be released this year.
Co-starring Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin and Mia Goth, High Life will be the first English-language film directed by the French filmmaker behind Beau Travail and White Material.
Dano’s directorial debut, an adaptation of Richard Ford’s novel, received mixed reactions at Sundance.
Hearts Beat Loud, Leave No Trace, Eighth Grade and Search all take a look at unconventional familial bonds and how they’re affected by circumstance.
Based on the bestselling novel by Nick Hornby, Juliet, Naked is a comic account of life’s second chances. Jesse Peretz directed from a script by Tamara Jenkins, Jim Taylor and Evgenia Peretz.
“The latest film from the Zellner brothers is slight and sweet and funny, but it manages to offer some really smart observations on the way men attach themselves to the idea of a woman rather than the actual woman,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“Even if I don’t think Hereditary totally works in terms of what story gets told, the storytelling is commanding. As an experience, this was exactly what I look for from a Sundance midnight movie — a creepy exercise in control that sends the audience uneasily out into the frozen dark,” writes noted horror buff Drew McWeeny.
Like Sundance before it, female filmmakers are well represented at SXSW, and a quick glance at the lineup reveals such potential gems as Julia Hart’s Fast Color starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lynn Shelton’s Outside In starring Jay Duplass, and Hannah Marks and Joey Power’s Shotgun starring Maika Monroe.
More than a dozen high-profile Sundance titles were picked up for distribution during the festival, but there are many other titles still trying to find a home… and an audience.
The four directing awards each went to a different woman director, as did the Waldo Salt screenwriting prize. Aneesh Chaganty’s Search won the Audience Award in the NEXT category as well as the Alfred P. Sloan Award and Amazon Studios Producer Award.
“Director Jason Reitman has become a punching bag for some critics, and unfairly. He’s had an uneven career, but it’s clear that the material he makes is material that speaks to him in a personal way… and I love that he seems to be willing to let his leads be terribly flawed without judging them,” writes Drew McWeeny
“While I think this film will play for every audience, and I think it’s one of the best overall movies I’ve seen at the festival this year, there is little doubt that being adopted made this a very uncomfortable emotional experience for me, and a personal one,” writes Drew McWeeny.
Boots Riley’s directorial debut stars Get Out‘s Stanfield as an Oakland-based telemarketer who discovers a magical key to professional success, which propels him into a macabre universe.
Craig William Macneill directed from a script by Bryce Kass, and Sevigny produced the film with Naomi Despres and Liz Destro.
Two of the more high-profile Sundance premieres were screened early in the fest with the Daveed Diggs starrer Blindspotting being one of the Day One premieres and Bart Layton’s American Animals screening shortly afterwards. The latter is the first acquisition by MoviePass Ventures.
Two feature film directorial debuts offer an insightful look into personal and political issues using very different storytelling and filmmaking styles.
A spring 2018 theatrical release is planned for Terminal, which also stars Simon Pegg, Mike Myers, Max Irons, and Dexter Fletcher.
“Andrea Riseborough is great and Forest Whitaker is strong as a man of faith, but while Tom Wilkinson is good at conveying malice, he’s got that “English actor doing a Southern accent” accent that’s not really the right accent, but rather a weird approximation of it,” writes Drew McWeeny.
“This is as much a “movie movie” as something like Evil Dead II, and I don’t make that comparison lightly. By the time star Matilda Lutz assumes her final form in this film, she is as iconic in her way as Ash was with his chainsaw hand,” writes Drew McWeeny.
The first acquisition (but probably not the last) from the Midnight section of Sundance is a topical horror-thriller starring Bella Thorne, Odessa Young, Hari Nef and Maude Apatow.
“I think this is a brave film precisely because it’s not about someone doing every single thing right. It’s not about someone who perfectly handles something. It’s messy. It’s frustrating. And, yeah, when it’s very good, it’s great. And important. And insightful,” writes Drew McWeeny.