MCN Blogs

RIP Jonathan Demme

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Jonathan Demme in the Modern World: On MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (2004)

Unlike his actors, Demme saw John Frankenheimer’s film on its first release. “I saw the original when I was a teenager,” he tells me. “I was an avid moviegoer, I saw everything,” he says, hardly taking a breath. DEMME: Everything, everything. I was really hooked on movies at a very young age. The Manchurian Candidate,…

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Jonathan Demme And Paul Thomas Anderson In Conversation (2015) (26’46”)

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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (spoiler-free)

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This film is the epitome of a sequel to an unexpected smash hit.

With the sequel, James Gunn gets the room to run. An extra million here or there? Great. An even more complicated storyline than the original? Hell, audiences loved that convoluted ride… not going to argue much. Etcetera. Elements that audiences loved in the original? Pile ’em on!

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Weekend Estimates by Waiting For Guardians Klady

The Fate of the Furious holds onto the top spot with no competition of significance arriving. DisneyNature’s Born in China plays like a family film and is the top newcomer with a projected $5 million. Warner Bros.’ Going in Style is holding better than expected while Unforgettable escapes and the studio waits for Wonder Woman….

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Friday Estimates by Still Fate Less Furious Klady

  A blah weekend as we head into the Guardians explosion, which will be the second $100 million-plus opening of the year after Furious Fate opened to only $98.8m. Speaking of The Fate of the Furious, it is now on track to land between the grosses of Fast 5 and Furious 6, nowhere near 7….

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BYOB Weekend

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The James Gray Thing

I don’t get it. And now, six features into James Gray’s directing career, I think I am done apologizing for it. My experience of Gray’s films has been, consistently, “great acting… why doesn’t the story work?” And yet, some of the smartest critics I know are true devotees of everything Gray does. They must be…

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STRIKE! (oh oh oh oh oh oh) What Is It Good For?

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The mostly-unlikely-to-occur Writers Guild Strike that is being threatened is a blurry mess. If you read media reports about what is happening and why it is happening, you get a parade of takes so varied that a showrunner would scream at a writer to find the damned idea they are writing about for 22 minutes,…

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Trailering The Restoration Of Ophuls’ MEMORY OF JUSTICE (1’00”)

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Trailering Sofia Coppola’s THE BEGUILED (2’22”)

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Weekend Estimates By The Len Of The Furious

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Friday Estimates by Tardy Klady

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Friday Box Office Not By Klady (yet)

Len got us the wrong numbers this morning and is now out of pocket, so look for his chart later. Opening day for The Fate of the Furious is off by over $20 million – almost a full third – from Furious 7. Disappointment rarely is so exciting! (Should be the tagline for the movie)….

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Review: The Fate of the Furious (spoiler-free)

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Stuff happens… and then there is a sequence in New York that doesn’t just strain credulity, but muddles it, shreds it, chews it up, swallows out, and craps it out. Really, this is the filmic opposite of the chase in The French Connection.

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BYOB: Where To Go With The Hot Blog

If you had the power to decide what direction this blog was going – aside from “write more” – what would you like to see?

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Weekend Estimates by Klady & The Baby 2

Both estimates are likely high, but Fox outdid Disney, projecting a 3.8x Friday-to-weekend gross for The Boss Baby over a 3.7x ratio projected by Beauty & The Beast by Disney, even though the assumption would be that the soft opening of Smurfs: The Lost Village Opening would come out of Baby‘s hide more than Beauty‘s. The…

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Terrence Malick, Man In The Hat… But Not Always

Now that Terrence Malick has shown his face and sounded his voice in public spaces for Song To Song and Voyage of Time, how many clandestine cameos have been hiding in plain sight?

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Friday Estimates by Baby & The Beast Klady

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The Complete Cast Of “Twin Peaks,” Season Three

Debuted 27 years ago today. Returns a mere six weeks from now…

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MCN Videos

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Mississippi Grind, Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck

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Free Fire, Ben Wheatley

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DP/30: Norman, Richard Gere, Joseph Cedar

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DP/30: Moonlight, Barry Jenkins

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“One of my favorite things in watching any performance on film is when there isn’t a lot of cutting going on and when you get a chance to become really absorbed in the artist in hand. The same way we do, hopefully, at a concert, when we get a chance to really trip in to something that’s happening on stage. Whether the singer’s singing, or one of the other musicians is playing, we sort of stay there instead of cutting round with our eyes a lot.”
~ Jonathan Demme

“We’ve talked about this before in the past, my obsession with the Shakespearean histories having the ideal combination of the sweet and the sour. In ‘Henry IV, Part II’ which we’ve discussed before, in the end of that story it’s very complex and haunting because Prince Hal becomes Henry the King, and he has transcended his hoodlum days and at the ceremony is Falstaff, his good friend with whom he has really fucked around and been a loser with, and Falstaff comes up to him and says, ‘Now that you’re king we can really party,’ and the king famously says, ‘I know thee not, old man.’ It becomes Henry IV’s anointment and Falstaff’s catastrophe. That’s life. I have experienced very little unfettered triumph. There are moments, such as when my children are born, but even that comes with new fears and anxieties. In a sense the better you can communicate that life is both at once, the more powerful over time something becomes. One strives for something where the threads are there because it lasts in way that is very palpable. The idea of a tragedy is powerful in literature and theater, but in cinema it doesn’t work, certainly not commercially, and less so critically. Why is that? I think it has to do with how movies are so close to us.”
~ James Gray