MCN Columnists

Gross Behavior Column By Andrea Gronvallandreagronvall@aol.com

The Gronvall Report: Michaël Dudok de Wit On THE RED TURTLE

There are many animals among this year’s contenders for the Best Animated Film Academy Award, including Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets and Zootopia, but none as mysterious as the title character in the hauntingly beautiful The Red Turtle. This wordless fable shows how a man shipwrecked on an uninhabited island, far from any other land mass, copes with loneliness and his sometimes hostile environment. The arrival of a giant red sea turtle changes his life in ways he never could have foreseen.

Read the full article »

Leonard Klady on Claude Sautet

Although he would occasionally return to the thriller format, it’s the sagas of the bourgeoisie that Sautet is most identified with and provides his legacy.

Read the full article »

Gross Behavior: Summer on Low Simmer

The preliminary numbers are in and summer season 2012 clocks in at approximately $4.04 billion at the box office. The figure represents roughly a 5% gross decline in gross revenues and an 8% decline in actual tickets bought during the period running from early May through the conclusion of Labor Day weekend.

Read the full article »

GROSS BEHAVIOR: Sound and Fury…

Movie going is unquestionably destined to become the opera of the future. By that I mean that the 18th century’s favorite form of entertainment still exists but it long ago ceded its vaunted position. The movies today cannot compete with television and that diversion abetted by home entertainment has had the biggest impact on the Seventh Art since its debut circa 1896.

Read the full article »

Gross Behavior: Leonard On Bingham

Bingham had a number of virtues few of us can claim. He didn’t hold many grudges and wasn’t someone prone to gotcha politics. When we talked it was a true discussion whether it was one-on-one or in a group. He wasn’t diplomatic, not that he was abusive or dogmatic. Bing simply spoke his mind and that was fine, mostly, when he was running October Films with Jeff Lipsky and problematic when he worked for others.

Read the full article »

Guillaume Canet’s Series of Most Fortunate Events

Considered one of the most versatile leading actors of contemporary French cinema, Guillaume Canet self-confesses that stardom –even the prospect of becoming a working performer — was a series of accidents. Canet, 37, is ostensibly in Los Angeles for a few days to promote the film Farewell, a fact-based thriller about a French functionary in…

Read the full article »

If You Build It, Will They Come?

The Los Angeles Film Festival kicks off Thursday night with a curtain raiser of The Kids Are All Right, which won awards and commercial distribution following its premiere at Sundance in January. And despite its relative nascence, LAFF is attempting to do a bit of re-imagining. The most obvious change is its location. Following home bases in Hollywood and Westwood,…

Read the full article »

Let’s Be Perfectly Franque

With Cannes and COLCOA in the wings, I was reminded of an encounter with the actor Philippe Leotard (now deceased) in the streets of the French festival town. He was walking in the street with actress Nathalie Baye and I stopped him just to say how much I admired his performance in Le Gueule Ouverte, a searing family…

Read the full article »

Reap What You Til

Til Schweiger is probably the biggest star in the German film industry today. He recalls the rugged masculinity of the likes of William Holden. Schweiger became a star with the release of the social comedy Der Bewegte Mann (Maybe … Maybe Not in the U.S.) in 1994 and has managed a career that has encompassed high and low brow…

Read the full article »

It’s an (Organic) Wrap

Las Vegas – There was a lot to digest at the recently concluded Showest convention, ranging from matters of life and death (digital conversion, access to diverse movies) to the frankly frivolous (healthier snack foods). On balance, one left with the sense that at least the distribution sector was 1) on relatively stable economic ground and 2)…

Read the full article »

It Was the Showest of Times, It Was the Showorst of Times

The film industry ought to be giddy. Box office is booming thanks to a pair of 3D movies; namely Avatar and Alice in Wonderland. Attendance is up; people, according to industry statistics, are going more often and rate the experience with four stars. Yet, apart from the rare instance of hyperbole, you’d have to characterize the mood…

Read the full article »

Confessions of a Festival Junkie …

Despite avid research I’ve been stumped. The wag who observed that when one receives something for free, the value is commensurate with the cost (or words to that effect) appears to have been lost to time. I’ve certainly employed that theorem over the years and it’s something I’ve believed/experienced without exception. So, the first blush…

Read the full article »

Festival in …

They don’t have car shows in Detroit. But in Los Angeles — a once near-moribund venue for alternative cinema — the landscape is rife with celebrations of the seventh art. The unprepossessing-sounding Los Angeles Film Festival is one of two annual events (the other, AFI Fest, unspools in November) that at least on paper strive…

Read the full article »

The Eye of the Navel 2008

(Something Like a Top 10 List) Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Compiling a “best of” list reflects one’s mood on the day of doing the deed. The films most recently seen are advantaged because one’s had less time to ruminate about their qualities. Today I’m feeling more magnanimous than usual and have…

Read the full article »

Last One Out Turns Off the Lights

The traditional glib article about the American Film Market will talk about the parade of Troma characters parading in front of the Loew’s Santa Monica Hotel. Or, it will highlight the weird exploitation titles being sold (I Ate His Liver with Fava Beans) or the busty women handing out pamphlets and trade papers. Regardless, there’s…

Read the full article »

Que la Fete Commence 2

The expression goes “that if I had a nickel for every time I (fill in the blank), I’d be a millionaire.” What crosses my mind at this particular point in time is the number of articles and words I’ve committed to film festivals. In a broad sense it can be boiled down to: the role…

Read the full article »

Paul Newman

You knew something was wrong when Paul Newman announced that he was retiring from acting a couple of years ago. Oh, there had been others that had made it “official” in the past. Cary Grant stuck to his guns and Cagney stayed out of the picture for two decades until his doctor ordered him back to work. Grace…

Read the full article »

Will That be Poppyseed?

The question most asked about living in Los Angeles is: why can’t you get a good bagel in the city? Some would argue otherwise and then there’s the whole explanation that involves water and yeast. With the Los Angeles Film Festival beginning full screenings Friday, this is one of those times of year when there’s…

Read the full article »

Vadim Perelman

Vadim Perelman had the sort of feature film debut most filmmakers dream about but rarely are able to realize. An acclaimed director of commercials, he optioned the novel House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, adapted it for the screen with Shawn Lawrence Otto and co-produced the film with Michael London. The tale of a young woman…

Read the full article »

Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston was the sort of movie icon that received either grudging respect or abject derision rather than the praise or affection extended such contemporaries as William Holden and Burt Lancaster. The caricature is one of a face permanently cemented in some tense fashion with teeth clenched. The verity of his filmography contradicts such easy comic illustrations….

Read the full article »

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Last night’s Oscar bizarreness was not just bizarre but bizarre in a way that is typical of this entirely bizarre time. The rhythm of the yes-they-won-oh-my-God-no-they-didn’t event, with La La Land replaced by Moonlight as Best Picture, was weirdly like that of… Election Night. First, a more or less expected, if “safe,” result was on its way—though Hillary Clinton never got all the way to the stage, so to speak, the result did seem safely in hand at 7pm., according to the polling—and the expected and safe people were ready to deliver their touching but obviously polished pieces. Then the sudden confusion and visible near-panic of people running around in the backgroun, with the same slightly horrified spirit that one felt on Election Night as shocking results began emerging from exurban counties in Florida. Then, yes—can this be happening?—the revised and unexpected result.

“In this case, obviously, the result was positive to all but the poor La La Land producers, with their earnest and spouse-approved speeches already delivered. Moonlight was no Donald Trump of cinema, and obviously a popular favorite. But the rhythm of the night was disconcertingly the same, and the sheer improbability of the happenstance scarily alike. Nothing like this has remotely happened before. This wasn’t just a minor kerfuffle. This was a major malfunction. Trump cannot be President. People don’t say “Grab ’em by the pussy” and get elected President. Can’t happen. In the same way, while there have been Oscar controversies before—tie votes and rejected trophies—never before has there been an occasion when the entirely wrong movie was given the award, the speeches delivered, and then another movie put in its place. That doesn’t happen. Ever.

“And so both of these bizarre events put one in mind of a simple but arresting thesis: that we are living in the Matrix, and something has gone wrong with the controllers. This idea was, I’m told, put forward first and most forcibly by the NYU philosopher David Chalmers: what is happening lately, he says, is proof that we are living in a computer simulation and that something has recently gone haywire within it. The people or machines or aliens who are supposed to be running our lives are having some kind of breakdown. There’s a glitch, and we are in it. There may be not merely a glitch in the Matrix. There may be a Loki, a prankster, suddenly running it.”
~ Adam Gopnik

“I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end,” President Trump said. “It was a little sad. It took away from the glamour of the Oscars. It didn’t feel like a very glamorous evening. I’ve been to the Oscars. There was something very special missing, and then to end that way was sad.”
~ Trump Offers Breitbart Exclusive On His Thinking About Oscar