MCN Originals Archive for April, 2013

The Weekend Report

Audiences were feeling the pain without any sense of gain as Pain & Gain managed to take the top spot in weekend charts with an estimated $19.7 million. The frame’s other new national release, The Big Wedding, underperformed as well with fourth place ranking of $7.5 million.

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Countdown To Cannes: Paolo Sorrentino

The seventh snapshot of one of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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Countdown to Cannes: Nicolas Winding Refn

The sixth snapshot of one of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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Countdown to Cannes: Takashi Miike

The fifth in a series of snapshots of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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The DVD Wrapup

Gangster Squad, Django, Pawn, In the Blood, Central Park 5, G-Dog, Mr. Selfridge, Cold Prey, Electric Button and even more.

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Countdown To Cannes: Alex Van Warmerdam

The fourth in a series of snapshots of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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Countdown To Cannes: Arnaud Desplechin

The third in a series of snapshots of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Red Menace; Jack Reacher; Gangster Squad

Is The Red Menace really “The Reefer Madness of anti-Communist movies? Or is that flattering it? Too earnest to be funny, too serious to be camp, too boring to be effective propaganda, this Herbert Yates-produced doozy from Republic (for which it stands) is probably one of the worst of the post-war anti-Commie thrillers, entertainment-wise. It isn’t even dumb enough be dumb fun, since writers Albert Demond and Gerald Geraghty know something about their subject. They have dialogue about Hegel, and a Red temptress has a bookcase full of tomes by Marx and Engels.

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Countdown To Cannes: François Ozon

The second in a series of snapshots of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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Countdown to Cannes: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

The first in a series of snapshots of the twenty filmmakers in Competition for the Palme d’Or at the sixty-sixth Festival de Cannes.

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The Weekend Report

Sci-fi adventure Oblivion took a clear path and glided to the top of weekend box office with an estimated $38.1 million debut. While there were no other national debuts, several entries swung for the niches.

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Wilmington on Movies: To the Wonder

A strange, poetic, puzzling. stunningly visualized, and defiantly personal piece of spiritual autobiography on celluloid, an ambitious, pictorially stunning creation by an artist who makes movies as it the art form had just been invented, and he was free to do anything, try anything, but also by a man who’s hip to cinema technology and aware of other arts and literature as well—and finally, by a man who sees the world (in his films) with something like the newly opened eyes of a child (as a gorgeous, enrapturing place) and comprehends it with a child’s relatively fresh, unspoiled heart and soul. All of these seemingly contradictory artists are Malick, who, like Walt Whitman (another naïve and sophisticated earthy giant of a poet) is large and contains multitudes and loves the way the sun pours down on leaves of grass.

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Wilmington on Movies: Oblivion

There aren‘t many movies around as beautiful to look at as the first part of Oblivion, and since pieces of that beauty survive into the more conventional slam-bang second part, it‘s worth a look — though I would definitely suggest that you see Oblivion not on a normal screen, but in IMAX. Kosinski displayed a strong visual imagination in the critically-bashed Tron LegacyBut this is his show — adapted from a story and graphic novel he wrote, to try to sell (successfully) this movie, and it’s clear he has more emotion invested in it.

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Cannes 2013: A Slate Analysis

This summer:

19 films.

19 men.

One Bruni-Tedeschi.

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Wilmington on DVDs: My Son John; The Woman on Pier 13 (I Married a Communist); Promised Land.

My Son John; The Woman on Pier 13; Promised Land

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In “Oconomowoc,” living in the shadow of the ‘Wizard’ isn’t such a bad place to be

Seventy-four years ago, come this August 12, MGM executives beat a path to the Strand Theater in the tranquil lakeside town of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, to stage the first publicized showing of the final, edited version of The Wizard of Oz. Although no one is quite sure why it was chosen for the honor – perhaps, because composer Herbert Stothart and Munchkin coroner Meinhardt Raabe were local lads — it’s still recognized as one of the most exciting events in Oconomowoc history.

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Kid with a Bike

The setting is, once again the industrial, largely working class city of Seraing in Belgium: the Dardenne Brothers’ home city and the location for most of their films since La Promesse.

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The DVD Wrapup

Future Weather, Save the Date, Kobayashi, Gate of the Ghost, Ringo, Dragon, One Day on Earth… And more.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Django Unchained

Waltz is a good guy this time, Django’s mentor, but there’s some high-grade screen villainy by Leonardo Di Caprio and Samuel L. Jackson, both of whom would have stolen the movie if Waltz didn’t already have it stuffed in his back pocket.

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Divining Cannes 2013: The Aggregating

Despite the Cannes Film Festival being only a very short month away (and the festival’s Competition slate to be announced in less than a week), I’m filled with impatience to know the Official Selection. Over the past month or so, there have been articles across the web predicting and wishing—and yes, simply guessing—at which directors Thierry Frémaux will send a golden ticket to. I took a leaf out of Nate Silver’s book (without any of the genius, mind you), and thought to aggregate ten of the most prominent Cannes predictions, tallying them afterwards.

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“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