Movie City Indie Archive for August, 2013

Pegg & Frost Get Lucky (1’17”)

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Teasing AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS (0’51”)

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10 Questions For Elmore Leonard (2010) (6’34”)

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Interview: A Few Choice Details From Lee Daniels on THE BUTLER

LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER

Lee Daniels is almost as entertaining an interview subject as he is as a filmmaker. We first talked about Precious, and a few weeks ago about The Butler. We spoke at the Waldorf-Astoria Chicago on July 30, 2013. Earlier in the day, Forest Whitaker told me that Daniels’ attention had extended to a special detail on one of the film’s three posters: the butler’s upraised, Black Power-like salute still wears a white glove. We talk about details like that, Presidential cameos, father-son issues, his love for John Waters, the importance of dirty jokes in the movie, the racial slur that the butler hears throughout the film, the first alternate title that came to Daniels’ mind and more. (Plot details are discussed.)

The previous interviewer had told Daniels about having admired his bold, eccentric work all the way back to 2006’s Shadowboxer.

DANIELS: You put your heart, your soul, your guts, your everything into your films and sometimes it’s embraced, and sometimes it’s not embraced, and so… I remember that my directorial debut was not embraced. And for him to say that… Helen told me, Mirren told me, she said, Lee, people will appreciate this in many years, I promise. And I said, ooooo-kay, well… I’ll living in the now! (A big laugh.) I’m living now! Anyway.

PRIDE: The film very quickly announced itself as a Lee Daniels film. There’s no public profile of the film right now, what the film is [at the end of July]. Nobody’s talked about it, because almost no one has seen it. Some people are predicting it’s going to be docile. It’s going to be very uplifting. [Daniels cackles, then breaks out in huge laughter.] What is it, five or six shots in before you see the shot of the two lynched men hanging from a branch, the American flag behind them, no breeze, draped down dead weight, just like them? I was, okay, we’re in for the ride.

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AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS Making-of By The Ross Brothers (13’29”)

These guys continue to be so, so good. [Via Film.com.]

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LOCKS (2009), from Ryan Coogler (6’11”)

A sweetly unexpected mix.

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Jer Answers THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED Question (1’34”)

I get a little teary hearing him say “Bad… Bad… Bad.” But! The punchline.

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WALTER MITTY In A Box

2013-08-12 15.47.38Five images from Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, in a 2MB thumb drive. ˙

mitty longboard
The always-poignant image of a 50-year-old man with a skateboard.

 

The_Secret_Life_of_Walter_Mitty_5

The always-poignant image of a 50-year-old man with prepared food on a plastic plate under plastic wrap.

“My wish is that we made a movie that people have a hard time categorizing,” Ben Stiller writers in “Some Thoughts.” “I hope it is funny and serious, epic and intimate, realistic while also being sort of a fantasy, too. Mainly I hope it connexts with the idea that we all have something inside of us waiting to get out, and all it takes it the courage to stop dreaming and start living.” Pleasant omens: the adaptation is by Steve Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness, The Promotion); photographed by Stuart Dryburgh (The Piano, Lone Star, “Boardwalk Empire”).

 

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Werner Herzog’s FROM ONE SECOND TO THE NEXT Doc for Sprint, Verizon, AT&T (34’56”)

Heart-tugging, tear-jerking genuinely Herzog film: that last line is quietly spoken and ever so loudly Herzog. “I knew I could do it because it has to do with catastrophic events invading a family, In one second, entire lives are either wiped out or changed forever. That kind of emotional resonance is something that I knew I could cover. What AT&T proposed immediately clicked and connected inside of me. There’s a completely new culture out there. I’m not a participant of texting and driving—or texting at all—but I see there’s something going on in civilization which is coming with great vehemence at us.” (Via Sprint.)

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Ben Wheatley makes his first video: “Formaldehyde” for The Editors (4’13”)

“A lot of directors come up through making pop promos: I didn’t,” Wheatley says. “My route in was through advertising, internet and television. The pop promo is something I’ve always been interested in. Music plays a big part in my film work and I’ve always admired the work of Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham, David Wilson and Dougal Wilson to name but a few. I was very flattered to be asked.” [From. Via @keyframedaily.]

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Movie City Indie

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“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
~ Michael Bay Gives Richard Brody A Tingle

How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch