20 Weeks Archive for April, 2009

Summer of Love

Why has the idea of doing my Summer Preview: 20 Weeks of Summer been like anticipating a trip to a dentist this year?
I guess it’s because so much of this upcoming summer is so not for me.
I mean, I am actually looking forward to Transformers 2. Not being irritated by it would be great, but should this really be the film I am excited about?
Terminator: Salvation? I hope so… but God, does McG’s name on it scare me.
I think Angels & Demons will be a lot better than the first of that series, but how excited can I get?
Up is certainly going to be very good, but Nemo, The Rat & The Wall will be hard to beat.
I would love to love The Girlfriend Experience, but everything about the movie screams ambivalence.
Land of The Lost and Year One? Surprise me please!
I am pretty sure I will get on board The Taking of Pelham 123. That could make a nice mid-summer adult pleasure.
The great two week span for me is likely to be Public Enemies and Bruno. It’s a big ball move for Mann to be doing period with handheld digital and Cohen will surely be just balls out.
God, I hope that Julie & Julia is actually great… and come on, Quentin… hit one out again… it’s been a long time!
I don’t know… another Harry Potter movie kind of defines it all for me… should be good… but hard to get excited for it…
Where’s the surprise going to come from?


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“I always thought that once I had lived in Chicago for a while, it would be interesting to do a portrait of the city – but to do it at a significant time. Figuring out when would be the ideal time to do that was the trick. So when this election came around, coupled with the Laquan McDonald trial, it seemed like the ideal time to do the story. Having lived in Chicagoland for thirty-five-plus years and done a number of films here, I’ve always been struck by the vibrancy of the city and its toughness. Its tenderness too. I’ve always been interested in the people at the center of all the stories. This is a different film in that regard, because we’re not following a couple of individuals over the course of the project in the way that a lot of the films I’ve done have, but I still feel like people’s voices and aspirations and hopes are at the center of this series.

It wasn’t easy. We started back in July 2018, it was actually on the Fourth of July – that was our first shoot. It’s like most documentaries in that the further you go along the more involved and obsessed you get, and you just start shooting more and more and more. We threw ourselves into this crazy year in Chicago. We got up every day and tried to figure out if we should be out shooting or not, and what it is we should shoot. We were trying to balance following this massive political story of the mayor’s race and these significant moments like the Laquan McDonald trial with taking the pulse of people in the city that we encounter along the way and getting a sense of their lives and what it means to live here. By election day, Zak Piper, our producer, had something like six cameras out in the field. You could double-check that, it might have been seven. We had this organized team effort to hit all the candidates as they were voting, if they hadn’t already voted. We hit tons of polling places, were at the Board of Elections and then were at the parties for the candidates that we had been able to follow closely. Then of course, we were trying to make sure we were at the parties of the candidates who made it to the runoff. So, yeah, it was kind of a monster.”
~ Steve James On City So Real

“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho