Movie City News

Award-Winning Filmmakers Dan Cogan and Liz Garbus Launch Story Syndicate Production Company

 Academy Award® winning producer Dan Cogan (ICARUS) and two-time Academy Award® nominee and two-time Emmy-winning director and producer Liz Garbus (WHAT HAPPENED MISS SIMONE?, THE FOURTH ESTATE) have launched a new production company, Story Syndicate. They will be joined by Julie Gaither as their Head of Production and Jon Bardin, formerly Head of Documentaries at Discovery,…

Read the full article » No Comments »

Sundance Institute Brings Free Summer Film Screenings to Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, St. George and Coalville

Park City, UT — Summer has finally arrived, which means it’s time for the return of Utah’s outdoor movie tradition, now in its 22nd year! The nonprofit Sundance Institute will once again celebrate the season and Utah’s natural beauty with free screenings of eleven Sundance Film Festival favorites, taking place in Salt Lake City, Park City,…

Read the full article » No Comments »


It was wild watching this as it all went down over the last couple days. These reddit-scraping pic-spam accounts are almost always run by people like this, and I don’t get why they’re so popular. — Keith Calder (@keithcalder) June 17, 2019

Read the full article » No Comments »

Suzanne Pitt

The animation world is grieving today with the loss of Suzan Pitt. She was an instructor, a mentor, and a friend to me, and to many, many others. If you have a chance to see any of her films, please do. "Asparagus" is currently on the Criterion Channel — cristin pescosolido (@rocketdyke) June 17, 2019

Read the full article » No Comments »

Kind of propaganda

Propaganda Films to Dominate Chinese Theaters in Anniversary Year — Variety Asia (@VarietyAsia) June 17, 2019

Read the full article » No Comments »

China film marketing

China Film Marketing Firms Must Adapt To Internet Age, Says Huayi’s Jerry Ye — Variety Asia (@VarietyAsia) June 16, 2019

Read the full article » No Comments »


View this post on Instagram Finishing touches. A post shared by Todd Phillips (@toddphillips1) on Jun 16, 2019 at 9:50am PDT

Read the full article » No Comments »


There is stuff being released into a kajillion theaters every weekend that I don't believe anybody was excited about making or marketing on the PEAK DAY for that movie. And clearly nobody's excited about seeing them. — Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) June 14, 2019

Read the full article » No Comments »

Abrams made a special trip to Los Angeles to tamp down more talk of a Hollywood boycott. “This is a situation where the political realities are that a boycott won’t have the intended effect,” Abrams said after meeting with industry leaders.

“Stacey Abrams made a special trip to Los Angeles to tamp down more talk of a Hollywood boycott. ‘The political realities are that a boycott won’t have the intended effect,’ Abrams said after meeting with industry leaders.”

Read the full article » No Comments »

Beijing Hollywood

“Beijing is now constricting Hollywood’s ability to peddle its product. ‘I don’t want to use the words “total freeze,” but it’s real.They’re not saying it officially, but the industry is operating as if it’s close to a total shutdown.”  

Read the full article » No Comments »


It’s impressive that Kinberg takes more personal responsibility for his movie than Singer has for anything. — Matt McDaniel (@themattmcd) June 15, 2019

Read the full article » No Comments »

Franco Zeffirelli was 96

Franco Zeffirelli was 96 Forgiveness needs new beginnings, it needs burials, it needs to give up being right. It may need to bury dreams. But when forgiveness gets what it needs, there’s FREEDOM and most importantly there’s LOVE. LOVE for being who YOU are truly meant to be. R.I.P. Franco. #MeToo — John-a-thon Schaech…

Read the full article » No Comments »


RIP Franco Zeffirelli, kind of a nightmare human who did amazing work in opera and made one of the great popular Shakespeare films, 1968's Romeo and Juliet. Think you can't separate the artist from the art? They just got separated. — Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) June 15, 2019

Read the full article » No Comments »

More Zeffirelli

The New York Times's obit omits Zeffirelli's history of sexual assault but does note that, late in life, he became a right-wing politician who called for the death penalty for women who have abortions. — Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) June 15, 2019

Read the full article » No Comments »

Veteran Exec Gerry Rich Takes Marketing Reins At MGM and Annapurna’s United Artists Pictures

Veteran Exec Gerry Rich Takes Marketing Reins At MGM and Annapurna’s United Artists Pictures

Read the full article » No Comments »

Jin Netflix

Personally, I feel there is a problem in that show judging from several scenes I saw that it is made with more of a Westernized mindset than a true Jordanian mindest and I am not saying that they should represent a perfect image about the Jordanian Society but for the love of God — Zeinobia…

Read the full article » No Comments »

Ellwood Shaft marketing

Warner Bros somehow screwed up the marketing for SHAFT. The movie itself was a problem, but they simply didn't make it look cool enough. Too campy. — Gregory Ellwood – The Playlist 🎬 (@TheGregoryE) June 14, 2019

Read the full article » No Comments »

Schamus Denis

In 1991Claire Denis came to New York and graced @TedHope and me with our very first production at Good Machine, the long-thought-lost but now found Keep it for Yourself. The folks at Le Cinema Club found a Japanese VHS copy, restored it, and here it is!: — James Schamus (@JamesSchamus) June 14, 2019

Read the full article » No Comments »

Movie City News

Quote Unquotesee all »

This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin