MCN Commentary & Analysis

The Year Of Festivaling Dangerously

With the release of the Toronto International schedule a couple weeks ago, the unveiling of the Telluride un-schedule today, Venice’s refusal to do any streaming for media or anyone else, and New York announcing that it will open with a TV series (not unlike TIFF opening with a movie The Academy apparently won’t qualify as a movie), the picture of just how much of a non-starter (save Tenet and a Zhao or two) this September is going to be for cinema lovers.

What surprises me is that it is getting more frustrating, not less.

The overlap between the “cooperative” Venice and Telluride is four titles in the Venice competition and two more in the Horizon section. Pending the New York list, 22 of the 29 of the Telluride selections have no North American festival placement scheduled in 2020, with Venice failing to offer streaming of any kind for their features.

And don’t look to Toronto to alleviate the problem. Only seven Venice titles are scheduled for TIFF.

But hey… Going to Venice is now a wide-open opportunity with Telluride out of the picture, right? Hold your horses.

Entry into Italy from countries outside the EU and/or the Schengen Agreement continues to be allowed only for:

  • proven work requirements
  • absolute urgency
  • health reasons
  • proven study requirements.

All travelers arriving in Italy from abroad must self-isolate for 14 days unless they are traveling from an exempted country or for a purpose that falls under current exception.

So… If you can show that you are required by work to enter Italy with a U.S. passport (we are not exempt in any way), you are then supposed to quarantine for two weeks. That gives you two weeks to start your trip to the festival if you want to be out of self-isolation for opening night.

Among familiar names whose films will be at Venice and whose new films have no North American home yet are Andrey Konchalovskiy, Majid Majidi, Amos Gitai, Nicole Garcia, Alice Rohrwacher, Abel Ferrara, Gia Coppola, a documentary from Luca Guadagnino, Orson Welles interviewing Dennis Hopper, an Alex Gibney doc on a forensic psychiatrist, and a TV episode from Alex de la Iglesia.

A whopping 13 of the 29 Telluride selections have no other festival commitments or impending North American distribution. These include a doc on Tarkovsky by his son, an Agnieszka Holland film (now showing in Transylvania… not kidding), the next doc from Keith Maitland (The Tower), and a recreation of a conversation between Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote by the filmmaker who premiered Love, Cecil at the fest in 2017.

At this point, the only inside-the-kvell-way players daring the circuit are Searchlight (Nomadland), Neon (Ammonite), and Sony Classics (The Father).

And now, we wait for the New York list. TIFF took on eight of the 27 Cannes selections. One of those (Nomadland) is set for NY. How much more overlap might there be? And how accessible will NYFF make their festival outside of New York? So far, they have suggested the festival will try all kinds of ideas.

For ten days, between September 10 and September 20, getting through the 50-plus TIFF titles will be challenging, exhausting, and sure to offer some happy surprises. But how will be I be participating in advancing film culture for the rest of August until September 2 and then until September 9?

Waiting.

Mostly waiting.

A few of the films will come my way via publicists. And they they will deservedly get my attention.

But mostly… waiting.

It didn’t have to be this way.

67 Responses to “The Year Of Festivaling Dangerously”

  1. The Big Snake says:

    Come on, face facts, it’s over.
    Whatever little festival activity rises to anyone’s attention does not matter if theaters are just not going to open. What rights would anyone be bidding on?
    Not this year’s. Probably not most of next year’s.
    And there will be no 2020 Oscars. How can there be? Bend over backward to define what might have been a theatrical release, and it still won’t matter. Didn’t Spielberg just have this whole argument last year about what does and does not constitute a “movie?” Whether he was right or not doesn’t matter.
    The industry is on hold for another year at the very least.
    Sure, the Academy is screwed because of its dependency on broadcast rights.
    And, so what, they are just like every other business in this nation in COVID era: they are screwed.
    They are not special, they are not sacrosanct.
    They are just functioning on a mild margin – and it is dissolving daily.
    Happy for the writers’ rooms that are functioning.
    Happy for the Zoom acting classes that are happening.
    Happy for the Zoom commercial auditions that are happening.
    These small threads of happiness are the way to the future.
    But these legacy events, they’re toast.

  2. Bob Burns says:

    So Venice gets to enjoy their city and their film festival without the American horde. We won’t be missed, even if they miss our money. I suspect most Venetian lives will be better without us, and they will look back on this year wistfully. The quality of the films has not declined,… and the judges’ votes will be cheaper.

    The HFPA “revelations” look like a distilled version of the awards season generally. The corruption is the same, only more concentrated. Everyone has a bar code on their forehead. They just cost more.

  3. Amblinman says:

    Milan’s release on Disney+ is pretty much what I thought they’d try: you have to purchase the channel for at least a month in order to have access to then pay $30 for the movie. I assume this is going to serve as a kind of trial balloon for, um, other movies they may have sitting.

  4. Hcat says:

    Certainly not going to throw down the cash for Mulan. However, if they also release it to the drive ins I will happily go.

    I wish the things going VOD would utilize that network as well however limited it is. The one in our area is still going strong just by playing catalogue titles.

  5. palmtree says:

    I’d love to hear more about the economics of this from DP.

    My feeling is that Disney isn’t actually going to go through with this, at least not after all the negative response to it. Even though families with kids would undoubtedly love this, most people would not like the idea of paying a premium for a movie without the added bonus of a cinematic-sized experience.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah I also wish the drive-in programming by us was a little more adventurous and made more of an effort to book new titles. The Wretched never played here. She Dies Tomorrow didn’t play here. And so on. Think outside the box more drive-ins. Enough Grease and The Goonies.

    Backtrack that quickly? I have doubts about that. And I don’t think it’s as negative as you suggest. Anecdotal but I encountered plenty of people interested in it, not just families. There’s already been some success with premium VOD. They have more than 60 million subscribers already. Why not give it a shot? There’s strong desire out there for home viewing. Also, I’d be curious to know how Greyhound has done for Apple +.

  7. Hcat says:

    So what’s the math on Mulan?

    If you figure they were hoping for a 400 million dollar theatrical gross domestic (and 600 foreign) they would have taken back 200 million from theaters. So at 30 a pop they would need six and a half to seven million households to throw down the thirty bucks. That seems entirely doable.

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    I think that math checks out. Not a given but very possible and worth the risk.

  9. Rams says:

    Now trending- the video showing a French exhibitor smashing the “Mulan” standee (see Deadline). BRAVO BRAVISSIMO!!!
    And the people in the UK who said “Disney says F**k you exhibitors” in a paraphrase. I love those Europeans. They’ve got balls.

    And Nutflix wants to have their own “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter”. You don’t just snap your fingers and go VOILA!! I don’t have to reiterate the evolutions of these phenomena. I remember the first time i bought a ticket to “Star Wars”.

    Oh and Moesha is on their top ten list. Paradise lost.

  10. Amblinman says:

    So if Tenet hits streaming first, RAMS takes hostages, yeah?

  11. Bob Burns says:

    Since 1979 there have been only five mega-franchises, Harry Potter and Star Wars mentioned above, Marvel, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones (Toy Story, Batman?). Everyone is trying to create the next one, more and more frantically and frequently, not just Netflix. If Netflix succeeds they will have beaten the odds, just like everyone else. HBO did it, why not Netflix?

    Interesting to see Warner three times in the top five….. four in the top seven.

  12. Christian says:

    So where have we discussed “First Cow”? Confess that I found the opening arresting but found myself, well into the film, suddenly remembering that sequence and wondering what, if anything, it had to do with all I’d been watching since. The film ended and I thought I’d liked it but wasn’t sure. Wanted to read about it – I wish I didn’t have to READ about movies to fully appreciate them, but sometimes that’s the case – and headed to a summary of the plot, which, upon concluding it, had me slapping my forehead as it spelled out the way the opening connected to the the story’s conclusion! No spoilers, but I wish I’d picked up on that connection as I watched. I was nonetheless happy to have that circle mentally completed. I immediately wanted to watch the film again but didn’t get to it before my 48-hour Redbox rental expired. Any other fans of the film? It’s not my favorite Reichardt, but as with “Certain Women,” I suspect it’s going to grow on me. It already has.

  13. Mostly Lurking says:

    “Since 1979 there have been only five mega-franchises, Harry Potter and Star Wars mentioned above, Marvel, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones (Toy Story, Batman?).”

    Indiana Jones?

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    Amblinman, yes, absolutely.

    The local paper has a new interview with the head of Marcus Theaters, which is based here and is the fourth largest chain nationwide. He says Tenet is going to change everything and resurrect their business and that they’ll have all their locations open by the time Tenet is released. I also saw that the head of AMC Theaters declared that they survived covid. Do these people think it’s over or something?

  15. Hcat says:

    Star Wars came out in 77, so I don’t know why you would start with 79. Also having a television show in your list doesn’t make much sense. You might as well through Friends on the list which was massively bigger than Game of Thrones (or JAG and it’s spinoffs which attracted more eyeballs throughout the years than Thrones did).

    If you want to talk modern franchises you can probably simply start at the century mark. Star Wars would still qualify. But the difference is that instead of original stories these franchises are all existing IP (which would also include Disney’s take on Star Wars).

    And yes Indy should be included. Possibly Trek as well if only for duribility

  16. leahnz says:

    i feel sad for caro

  17. Hcat says:

    As if this could not get any worse for moviegoers, a judge just gave the OK to get rid of the Paramount decree. So no more block selling to theaters. Chains can now pick and choose between the studios titles that they would like to show. Anyone think this will be good for offbeat or challenging films that might come from a studio? Something like the Favourite or JoJo Rabbit might have trouble booking screens because they “look weird” and without the threat of losing a potential blockbuster they will receive smaller releases than they already do. The judge was not concerned as there are so many streaming options for the release of the films why would they allow a studio to horse trade a slot for a small film? Let them stream cake type of situation.

    As for the theaters themselves now the studios get to own movie theater circuits. Judging by how studios bought the television networks and IMMEDIATELY started to pack it with their own product in the mid nineties I cant imagine they will not do the same. Ironically Paramount will probably be hurt the most in the long term as they are in no position to start or buy a theatrical circuit, but this is also terrible news for A24, Neon and any other under the radar distributors.

    This is just going to increase the dominance of Disney, Warner, and Universal.

  18. Rams says:

    Studios and Nutflix et al literally have no interest in buying movie theatres. And you should google the Paramount Consent Decree. You have no idea what you’re talking about. The decree was 72 years ago- another time, another place. Most people had forgotten it still existed. Just sayin.

  19. Stella's Boy says:

    There are a thousand recent stories about Netflix and their desire to buy movie theaters. Yet Rams claims someone else doesn’t know what they are talking about. Ok then.

  20. Hcat says:

    Rams,

    What do you think I got wrong? No mention of Netflix in my post, much less three times so I am not sure why you appeared.

    You are correct that it is an old judgement. But distribution has been built on that ever since. Do you think perhaps taking a ruling that everyone has been abiding by for three quarters of a century and eliminating it will have repurcusions? Half of box office dollars go to the theaters. You don’t think studios are going to dip their beak in that pond? Half of them set up streaming services so they don’t have to share revenue with a third party, so they are just going to leave revenue and a unique marketing opportunity on the table? It would put them in complete control of pricing and windows. But your reasoning is simply “Naaah”.

  21. Stella's Boy says:

    I just read a few stories covering the decision. The expectation is that studios will definitely be interested in owning theaters. No idea why Rams so strongly believes otherwise.

  22. Rams says:

    Netflix bought the Egyptian Theatre and leased the Paris Theatre for “show”. This has been well documented. The American Cinematheque days at the Egyptian Theatre are probably numbered. Netflix will use the land to build an office building there and sell it to Amazon. LOL I did read a bogus story that Amazon wanted to buy cinemas to showcase their product. What f**king product?

    Studios have owned theatres for years. Did you ever hear of National Amusements parent company of Viacom that owns Paramount? The El Capitan Theatre and Disney. Sony and Loews years ago ?.
    .
    Believe me anything can happen. But I bet DP can back me up on this. Theatres are not exactly on these people’s wish lists right now.

    And the beat goes on and on.

  23. Bob Burns says:

    Hcat, sorry about 1977/79. I don’t now why by 79 has always stuck in my mind as the Star Wars date, and I did not look it up…..

    Game of Thrones feels like a tentpole franchise to me which is why I included it, even if it wasn’t shown in theaters. It doesn’t feel like a TV show. Lines are blurring, for me anyway. Your objection, which is fine, won’t argue, reinforces my larger point. Everyone is trying to create the new big tentpole mega-franchise, but very few succeed.

    Regarding the Altman/Nashville quote from the Ross brothers, as far as I am concerned, the only films that are nearly as good as Nashville are other films by Altman.

  24. David Poland says:

    What is complicated, Hcat, is how all the streams add up or do not. Every one of them is a gamble. Theatrical, domestic and international (especially China). The $30 a unit sales effort on Disney+ only. The piracy concerns. The post-theatrical value (do they go to a normal VOD roll-out in October… skip it… go right to Disney+… what if more domestic screens open, etc, etc, etc).

    Yes, things might add up reasonably well for Disney. Maybe not.

    Truly, no one knows. Every piece is uncharted.

  25. David Poland says:

    Bob Burns – Why not Netflix, indeed?

    How these events occur is not going to be how Netflix does it. So will that be better or worse? Unknown.

    There aren’t a lot of Harry Potter book events in the history of publishing.

    Star Wars was a one-off with only one studio willing to take a flier on it. The Fast & The Furious was a low-end “we’ll see” and then it evolved dramatically in the CG era.

    It is possible that Netflix could hit on a mega-franchise… but how would it be measured as such? It is possible Netflix will end up with the next Friends or Seinfeld or The Office… though even there, how it is measured will be a curiosity.

    I have nothing against Netflix or their ambitions. But it is also very fair to say that the changes they lean into to position themselves as The King may also well diminish every title moving forward, including their own. No way to know. But when you claim 50 million+ people watch so many shows a year with a 2 minute standard, it makes every measure seem less important, no?

  26. David Poland says:

    The problem with studios buying theaters is filling them. There is some cross ownership already, especially overseas. But if it became a norm, would WB book into AMC Universal (made up example)?

    Independent cinema ownership – even large chains – is a gift to distribution. They generate a lot of money, a lot of post-theatrical value, and they work on incredibly tight margins.

    Showcase theaters are one thing. Studios already own them. But there was a reason that no one went for the Ziegfeld (inc Netflix). The Fox in Westwood is operated by Laemmle, The Chinese is an IMAX run by a small chain, and the Showcase and others sit empty (The National was knocked down).

    Netflix is the only one that would really have benefited by buying a small chain (Landmark). But they couldn’t see it. So they didn’t.

    Amazon would be interesting, but it would surely become another loss leader like their movie business.

    But I don’t expect a rush by studios to buy theaters.

  27. Bob Burns says:

    Thanks for the response, David. Thinking about it, one of the important ways we measure mega-franchise success is cultural impact, even lasting, widespread cultural impact. If Netflix achieves this kind of success with a series of shows, or movies, we will know, and won’t need to place numbers, or box office equivalents, onto it.

    We did not need publishing number, or box office numbers to know that Harry Potter had become part of our common mental furniture. I wonder how long it took for Warner to regret not steering Game of Thrones to theatrical…. if they did? If Netflix hits on a mega-franchise, will they regret the cash missed from not taking it into theatrical?

  28. Hcat says:

    Bob,

    You can also look at it as Netflix itself being the franchise, like Disney and HBO are. You never hear someone saying their going to see the new Sony Animation movie, but they will often mention Disney by name. Same with series on Netflix and HBO (and FX to a lesser extent).

  29. Bob Burns says:

    true, Hcat. Amazon Video is not an entertainment brand near the level of Netflix, or HBO. Seems that is why they are going all in on LoTR.

  30. movieman says:

    If you liked “Science Fair” and “Spellbound,” check out “Boys State” preeming on Apple this weekend.
    Along with Netflix’s “Crip Camp,” it’s my favorite doc so far this year.

    The NYFF line-up is confounding on multiple levels.
    Besides being a real sackcloth-and-ashes pile up of films, I’m wondering:
    (a) If NYC theaters remain closed, how will they be able to open Alice Tully Hall for fest-goers? Do they even know how/where they’re going to be showing movies? (A NYFF without Alice Tully is as unimaginable as a picnic minus ants and mosquitos.)
    (b) Are the plethora of castor oil films because distribs are holding back “sexy” titles until 2021? Or are they simply a reflection of the new fest director’s, er, ascetic programming tastes?
    Either way, the 58th NYFF is clearly not going to be a lot of fun.

  31. Christian says:

    MM: I liked “Boys State” as well, with a significant caveat: I’m not sure I learned anything from it. It’s entertaining – and, at moments, depressing and exciting, despairing yet hopeful. Just like real life! I was involved – which isn’t nothing, and may be, should be, more than enough. But I didn’t really have a takeaway. Now, I’m the last person to demand a moral/message from a film – *except* when I sense that the filmmakers want to give me one! And I did here, maybe because I watched a Q&A with the directors upon the film’s conclusion that tipped their hands more than I might have wished. They’re fine people, but it’s clear they had a rooting interest in the outcome, and not only because it makes for a good story within their film. I don’t know; the Q&A might have done more harm than good.

  32. William R Burns Jr says:

    An opinion piece in the NY Times today states that this year interactive has increased 50% to $160 billion. Leaving off fantasy, and science fiction, what is the total revenue of films that are actor-driven dramas? No more than a couple of billion, a bit more if post theatrical is included?

    Prestige film fans, in this light, are fanboys and girls, of a small niche of current cultural offerings. Less than art sales?

  33. Hcat says:

    Burns,

    Sorry I have to ask, but what the hell is interactive? Is it online game playing?

    Prestige film fans have always been a niche. Agreement on that was reached during Shirley Temple’s reign at the box office. Now as for being Fanboys that is a more weighted definition. A fanboy will argue that their favorites are prestigious merely because they are popular. Or that dollar amounts add artistic legitimacy like a 50% rise during a stay at home pandemic.

    I will give a fanboy response to your post though. I have no idea what you are talking about but I can tell you’re wrong.

  34. Bradley Laing says:

    “Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Chicago showings start Aug. 31. Here’s how you get tickets for the early-bird Music Box run

    ED NOTE: August 31-September 2 for Music Box members.
    Thursday, September 3 for regular run with a maximum of fifty patrons per show in 748-seat auditorium.

  35. Rams says:

    Well, except for drive-in theatres in California, there are no indoor theatres open. So I guess they got their wish. I would love to know when was the last time they stepped inside a movie theatre. Sounds like some of these “movie theatre experts” that inhabit movie websites like the wire of indie.

    By the way, wouldn’t it be wise for men to shave off their moustaches and beards? I mean couldn’t the aerosol stick to them and find their way into the mouths and noses? Just sayin.

  36. Stella's Boy says:

    They are talking about the nation, not California. Are you a public health expert Rams? Do you actually believe that you know more than they do about the safety of a movie theater? Why do they have to visit a movie theater to know how safe it is to be in one? You make less than zero sense most of the time. Are you the head of AMC or Cinemark or something? Do you want more people to get Covid and die? Are you really this obtuse or is it just a character you play online?

  37. Bob Burns says:

    The ignorance of science is frightening. As an architect I will assert as directly as I can, do not enter a movie theater. It should be illegal. not for the fools who do want to enter them, but for the innocent people they will infect. In short, going to movie theaters now is stupid and evil.

    Oscars, awards go to people. They empower people. Do not give awards to bad people.

  38. Pete B. says:

    Well this stupid & evil patron already purchased an advanced ticket to see TENET. Woo hoo!

  39. Stella's Boy says:

    So fucking dumb but hey you do you. Good luck with covid.

  40. Pete B. says:

    Charming as ever Stella. Working 6-7 days a week for the last four months as an essential worker hasn’t got me infected yet, so I’ll chance it.
    Actually, already did at the 10 year anniversary screening of Inception.

  41. Stella's Boy says:

    We shouldn’t have patience for people making terrible decisions. They should be shamed for doing something they know isn’t safe, that public health experts recommend against. They are needlessly and selfishly endangering others so they can see a fucking movie (or go to a bar, or a motorcycle rally, etc.). Meanwhile some of us have cancer survivors in our family with weakened immune systems who worry every day about being exposed. But hey America! Pete you go put others at risk so you can see Tenet. Good move.

  42. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Isn’t Pete in Europe in all fairness? Personally I ain’t going to the theater again until I can go without having to wear my own snot and germs to do it, and this thing is well and truly on it’s outs. But there is a middle ground here Stella. Not every single spot on the globe is at the exact same point on this curve simultaneously. It actually warmed my heart to see pictures of those pool parties in Wuhan last week. Those people have earned the right to their relief right now.

  43. Stella's Boy says:

    I know that but I am strictly talking about the U.S., where I reside and where experts have said it is absolutely 110% not safe to go to a movie theater. Sorry thought that was obvious.

  44. Stella's Boy says:

    And I thought Pete was in the states.

  45. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Fair enough Stella.. I am in the U.K. where things are gradually settling down. Whatever the case, I personally am staying away until I can have my idealized moviiegoing experience back rather than this compromised state. No masks or distancing, carefree packed houses enjoying stories being told in the dark again. I’ll miss Tenet, to be honest I may miss the rest of the year, but so be it.

  46. Pete B. says:

    Yes, I am in the States, Indiana to be precise. And it’s my decision to make Stella. If you want to stay hunkered down until there’s a vaccine, good for you. As long as the people who go out do so responsibly (masks, social distancing, washing hands), it shouldn’t be an issue. And as for “shaming”, I have family members with compromised immune systems too. I am avoiding them at this time. But I will support businesses that are trying to stay open.

    As this is a movie blog, I was expressing enthusiasm for a film I have been waiting to see. The eeriest part of visiting the theater was seeing all the movie posters with their original release dates that were never shown. Otherwise it seemed rather normal.

  47. Rams says:

    Thank you Peter B. I had a bypass surgery eight years ago (which ended my many years in the movie theatre business too soon), and I have a 93 year old mother. So I know what the risks are. But I intend to buy a gift card when the newly renovated with recliners cinema opens soon in my town. I can at least support the business for the time being. There is no cinema without movie theatres.

    Signed the college educated obtuse one that is an online character. LOL

  48. Stella's Boy says:

    Killing mom so I can see Tenet. Totally worth it.

  49. amblinman says:

    @Pete your post annoyed the shit out of me initially, but then it led me to realize that all these faux courtesies we extend each other are a waste of time.

    So I have since been going into different Twitter and FB threads and spoiling as much of Tenet as possible. (I won’t do that here, out of respect for Dave and the peeps I do like.)

    I mean, it’s my right, y’know? If I choose to live my life a certain way, and as long as I’m not hurting anyone, so be it.

    Avoiding Spoilers are for snowflakes.

  50. amblinman says:

    Holy shit this feels good.

    Just dawned on me I actually think Nolan is a hack anyway. I’m like antifa, but for Chris Nolan movies.

  51. Stella's Boy says:

    Hey 57% of the “pro-life” party says 180,000 dead (and counting) is perfectly fine no big deal at all so the comments from certain folks here aren’t all that surprising. And keep up the good work amblinman.

  52. Pete B. says:

    Gosh Amblin, your ‘peeps you do like’ comment makes me think we’re not buds. I’m hurt, but then folks who give out spoilers are pricks, so no big loss.

  53. Stella's Boy says:

    Pricks are those who ignore public health experts and sit inside a movie theater during a pandemic that’s killed nearly 200,000 people endangering those around them because they want to see a movie
    and care more about that than the public good. Don’t kid yourself Pete. Those folks are selfish assholes. Far worse than someone spoiling a movie. Jesus you’re deluded.

  54. leahnz says:

    fruit cup

  55. Pete B. says:

    When do you plan to re-enter society, Stella? Are you waiting for a vaccine? There’s no guarantee there ever will be one. And if there is, will it be any better than the flu vaccine (around 45% effective)? Meanwhile all local shops/restaurants/theaters/gyms go out of business, and there’s nothing left when you finally do step outside your door. Who’s the deluded one?

  56. leahnz says:

    ultimately nola n is unable to transcend his lack of imagination, esoteric conceptualisation and emotional constipation

  57. amblinman says:

    @Pete sorry, but you need to toughen up a bit. We cannot protect ourselves from spoilers indefinitely. And sure, my behavior may be boorish, rude, and completely disinterested in those around me, but you know what? Makes me feel good.

    What else should I take into consideration?

    On that note: Joined several Nolan FB and forum board groups. Made a beeline into the “NO SPOILERS” sections first, then worked my way down from there. Yes, I get banned, but I create a few accounts first so the messages get posted and stay up just long enough.

    @Leah: he’s a super competent journeyman who remade Heat with Batman and now we are stuck with fanboys pretending he’s David Lean.

    Also Interstellar and Inception are two of the dumbest fucking movies I’ve ever seen.

  58. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Inception is bloody brilliant amblinman. Just because you have felt it was overrated before doesn’t mean that you have to underrate it now. That’s your emotions talking, not your intellect.

    And Pauline Kael was ahead of her time in being critical of Davd Lean. A lot of his work would be kicked around like a football now. And as for the brownface……

    And Heat was already a remake of itself. As Ebert used to say, a good singer can make an old song new. To have the reach and success that Nolan has enjoyed, you need a lot more than just fanboys in your corner. Otherwise, Guillermo Del Toro would be the biggest-name director in the world.

  59. Stella's Boy says:

    I tried to rewatch Inception a few weeks ago. Made it about an hour before I turned it off out of boredom. I didn’t hate it in theaters but it bored me to tears at home. A real slog getting through all that setup. I have always and still prefer early Nolan. Memento, Insomnia, and The Prestige > The Batman movies, Inception, Interstellar. But hey different strokes.

  60. leahnz says:

    Yikes amblin playing gleeful spoiler fairy, careful the nolan bro sporks don’t find you somehow and — I was going to beat yr ass but more like ‘splain you to death. dearth by eye-roll, could be worse

  61. leahnz says:

    how hard could it be to have a brief edit function ffs (death by eye roll derp)

  62. amblinman says:

    Dr Wally is telling me I’m being too emotional in criticizing his favorite movie. Okay?

    @SB: Your lineup points to what I’m saying: AUTUER NOLAN‘s resume sucks.

    @Leahnz sorry, can’t be a good film citizen right now. And honestly, after everything that’s happened in my life, all of our lives, over the last 6 months I can’t imagine getting too worked up about movies and spoilers for them.

    This is Trump’s America now. We feel silly for simply enjoying our lives prior to being told plague and high unemployment is what American exceptionalism is now. Sucks.

  63. leahnz says:

    Oh man I really fucked up my post typing on my phone and left a word out in my comment above, fwiw what I meant was the Nolan sporks might explain u to death, not moi. I don’t give a shit I’ve seen it anyway. In this instance being a deranged spoiler fairy is kinda funny since I’m sick of seeing the word tenet everyfuckingwhere tenet tenet tenet tenet tenet (spoiler: its an acronym! Haha so clever. everything is so depressing)

  64. leahnz says:

    And by acronym I mean palindrome! I’m on a roll don’t stop me been a long day

  65. Dr Wally Rises says:

    ‘Dr Wally is telling me I’m being too emotional in criticizing his favorite movie. Okay’

    It’s not my favorite movie. But it is bloody brilliant. Like 2001, Star Wars, Close Encunters, The Matrix et al it’s one of those moments when the door gets kicked down and a whole new language of movies comes into being.

    And there’s criticizing it and then there’s saying that it’s ‘the dumbest ducking movie I’ve ever seen’. Co.me on lad, grow up, you can do a lot better than that. For ‘savvy movie folk’ as you described yourself (and hopefully by extension us?), shite like that belongs on Dorsey’s cesspit.

    I just saw Project Power.. Didn’t really do it for me. And it wasn’t even the dumbest fucking movie I saw that week.

  66. amblinman says:

    Leajh: HOW fucking stupid does it play out on screen? Oh my christ I am completely sure I would have thrown up my hands and started cackling like Max Cady and walked out midway.

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Hollywood Reporter

"On September 10, James Packer’s $200 million megayacht IJE was harbored in Tahiti, where it was scheduled to stay for three months. A bailiff attempted to board the luxury liner to serve the film producer and financier and was told to return the following day because Packer was not there. When the bailiff returned, IJE was pulling out of the harbor and heading to Bora Bora with the Australian billionaire onboard. Meanwhile, in Bulgaria, a process server was attempting to serve Millennium Films CEO Avi Lerner at his Eastern Europe studio. Simultaneously, disgraced film producer Brett Ratner and former Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara were served at their homes in Los Angeles. Sources say the four men were notified of a petition filed September 3 in Los Angeles Superior Court by a woman named Melissa Parker, who was facing off against Clark Grandin, Bruce Hamilton, Gregory Kemp and Walter Nelson. The names wouldn’t ring a bell with anyone in the Hollywood community. That’s because they are pseudonyms, with Parker being a stand-in for Charlotte Kirk — the British actress at the center of a scandal that has led to the ouster of two studio executives from their top perches, Tsujihara and NBCUniversal chief Ron Meyer. The defendants are, in fact, Ratner, Tsujihara, Packer and Lerner. The men have used these pseudonyms in legal documents since 2017 in an attempt to shield their identities amid explosive claims."

Hollywood Reporter | September 25, 2020

Variety

Aaron Sorkin: "When you bring home a puppy, it’s said you should get a crate that is big just about big enough for the puppy to move around. That confined space will make the puppy feel secure. It’s the same with me. I like the four walls of the court and the office. I only have one movie under my belt, Molly’s Game, which had three principal characters. This film has eleven stars, most of whom are leads in their own movies and it has riots and teargas scenes. That’s not part of the puppy crate. Just writing the words, 'Exterior: Scene' on a screenplay makes me dizzy.... When I left Spielberg's house [in 2006], I called my father because I didn’t know about the events Steven was referring to. I said yes because it was Steven and he said there was a trial, so I thought courtroom and that was enough.”

Variety | September 25, 2020

Jonathan Lethem: "The sensation of sitting alone in the theater is one I compulsively compare to going to a brain laundromat. I’m there to have my brain rinsed in the stream of images. I specify “compulsively” because I think of this comparison every time I go. Watching a big screen in the dark relaxes and restores me, and takes me out of the realm of criticism and language that too often overtakes my pleasure at the immersive flow of reading. Those personal “sites”—immersive reading, dreamy-attentive moviegoing—are primal for me, and sacred."

September 24, 2020

Peter Jukes: "You didn’t have to meet Harry to feel his spirit and generosity. It infused everything he wrote and edited. He was everything a journalist should be: open, inquisitive, sceptical at times, but never cynical – always enthusiastic and positive. Maybe part of that generous energy was down to Harry’s background, which reads like a textbook lesson in all the possibilities of post-war British social mobility. The son of a railwayman from Eccles, he left school with no qualifications and started working in local journalism at the age of 16, rising to the pinnacle of the best British newspaper of the last century, the Sunday Times. No wonder, with this trajectory, Harry seemed to approach every day, and every person, with a sense of good fortune and mischief."

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