It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
"So That's Who You Call: The Politics of the New 'Ghostbusters'": Essential commentary from Manohla Dargis, Wesley Morris and A.O. Scott at The New York Times.
“For a big studio like Sony, and in an industrial climate in which male superheroes keep studios going, ‘Ghostbusters’ is a gamble. The studio tried to revive ‘Ghostbusters’ for years. In 2009, when Dan Aykroyd talked to The Los Angeles Times about what was then ‘Ghostbusters 3’ (meaning another sequel, not a reboot), female Ghostbusters were part of the story. This iteration would star the original cast and involve the older Ghostbusters passing the proton torch to a new group that included some women. Mr. Aykroyd specifically mentioned Alyssa Milano and Eliza Dushku, casting that was eagerly greeted on some entertainment sites. ‘Why don’t they have BOTH of them in the movie? That way they can towel the slime off each other,’ wrote one commentator on Screenrant. ‘Slime her!; a writer for Cinemablend enthused about Ms. Milano. Entertainment Weekly even ran a story — ‘Pick the New ‘Ghostbusters’ Girl!’ — with a photo of Megan Fox, who it suggested could be “The Sexpot” alongside Zoe Saldana (‘The Geek Queen’), Emma Watson (‘The Touch of Class’) and Charlyne Yi (‘The Wild Card’), who has “just the right nerd-girl charm for the Ghostbusters crew.” The stars of the new “Ghostbusters” are adult women — three over 40 — they’re not girls or especially charming. And while some moviegoers may not need this particular remake, I think there are plenty of girl and women moviegoers who would say, yes, we do.”
"Owen Suskind and His Parents Talk About the Autism Documentary, 'Life, Animated'": A beautiful interview conducted by our own Nell Minow at Beliefnet.
“Owen Suskind tells me, ‘It feels interesting to be on the autism spectrum and fascinating.’ His parents remember what he has said to them about how it feels to have autism. Ron Suskind reminds him, ‘Remember you said you see everything at once and you can remember all the moments in your life, maybe too many moments, but you go across them and you get a sense of what?’ ‘My place in the world,’ Owen answers.Cornelia Suskind adds, ‘And sometimes it’s a little overwhelming having all the stimulation coming in to you at once. You need to create a quiet space around you. When you were younger it was hard to communicate, language was really hard.’ The Suskinds were there to talk about their new documentary, ‘Life, Animated,’ based on Ron’s best-selling book about Owen and how he taught himself about the world through Disney films. The movie is about Owen and autism and the scary and exciting adventure of leaving home, but most of all it is about family. The Suskinds are one of the most loving, devoted, and compassionate families ever to appear on screen. It is a joy to spend time with them, whether through the book, the film, or an interview.”
"Restoring a masterpiece: Jerry Goldsmith's classic 'Chinatown' film score": Record producer Douglass Fake divulges the details at BBC.
“Featuring Hollywood stars Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway at the peak of their powers, the film was hailed as modern masterpiece, winning the Best Original Screenplay Oscar and picking up a host of other nominations. Jerry Goldsmith's score was one of those nominations. He lost to Nino Rota and his score for ‘The Godfather Part II,’ but Goldsmith should have one. His music for ‘Chinatown’ was brilliant, written in just under two weeks. I first worked with Jerry shortly after launching the Intrada label. In fact, our first album together, ‘Poltergeist II,’ was only the second soundtrack our new label released. Together we produced in quick succession albums for ‘Islands in the Stream,’ ‘Extreme Prejudice’ and ‘Night Crossing,’ among several others. Working alongside him on Disney's ‘Night Crossing’ for two days and then literally jumping right into ‘Rent-A-Cop,’ an action tale with Burt Reynolds, I will always recall his mannerisms: not a lot of humour, not a lot of nonsense. Just work. It was like that for the next 15 years or so, making dozens of CDs together. Introducing brand new scores, restoring and expanding earlier ones. ‘Chinatown’ was a favorite of Jerry's. Probably of everyone's, actually. Not just soundtrack fans, either. The entire movie-going populace. Expanding the original 1974 album would always be a goal of mine, but obstacles made it a challenge that took three decades to fully realize.”
"Colorist Bryan McMahan on 'Knight of Cups,' Working with Terrence Malick and the HDR Future": In conversation with Filmmaker Magazine's Matt Mulcahey.
“[Filmmaker:] ‘How did you go from working as a janitor to doing actual post-production work?’ [McMahan:] ‘I went in on the weekends and washed the walls — if you’ve ever been to a film lab, I don’t think that anybody has ever washed the walls. (laughs) So I did some ridiculous stuff like that so they couldn’t just ignore me, and they finally offered me to get into the film side or the video side and I went with the video side. At the time the film lab was downstairs and the video was upstairs. So I went upstairs and got into shipping. Then I started doing their VHS duplication and then I was a tape operator. The only people who did color back then were film timers, so I later went down and started timing film for a little while just to learn color from those guys. When I finally got into the [colorist] chair — honestly, a lot of that stuff back then was adult material, but you did whatever you could do just to get in the chair. We were using a joystick system. I think the earliest system I was on was called a TOPSY and in the early days you just did on-the-fly (corrections). I’d have somebody out in the tape room and I’d say ‘3-2-1…Go!’ and they’d hit record and I’d start color correcting on-the-fly as the film was rolling.’”
"Can Netflix Save 'The Little Prince'?": Asks Indiewire's Anne Thompson.
“Originally set for Paramount release March 18, Netflix will stream the animated movie August 5—and, Netflix tells Indiewire, they will open the movie day and date in theaters in advance of a full-scale Oscar campaign.Adapted by top American animator Mark Osborne (‘Kung Fu Panda’) from the 1943 French children’s classic by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (which has been translated into 260 languages and is still a staple on children’s bookshelves), ‘The Little Prince’ premiered at Cannes 2015 to rave reviews. Since then Osborne has attended 12 international premieres and the $80-million movie has grossed more than $100 million around the world. Designed from the start as an English-language film that would be dubbed for foreign countries, ‘The Little Prince’ succeeded overseas, doing best in China ($25 million), Italy ($10.5 million) and France ($12 million), where it won the Cesar for Best Animated Feature.Even so, just after the film opened in Canada on March 11, Paramount abruptly pulled it from theaters, six days before its slated March 18 stateside release.Why? For one thing, Paramount had just struggled to reach $3.7 million domestic with Charlie Kaufman’s R-rated animated Oscar contender ‘Anomalisa’ (which lost to ‘Inside Out’). While ‘The Little Prince’ was clearly more mainstream family fare, Paramount was never invested in the movie.That’s because they did not make it. Produced independently in France, ‘The Little Prince’ has yet to play any English-speaking countries.”
Harold Ramis' daughter, Violet Ramis Stiel, reflects on memories of her late father and "passing the 'Ghostbusters' torch to a new generation of fans" at Spiltsider.
From film expert and master satirist Brad Jones comes "Jesus, Bro!", a feature-length parody of religious propaganda films masquerading as works of credible cinema. Check out the film's Indiegogo campaign here.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
Chaz Ebert highlights films with the potential to get us through the confusing political times of the Trump presidenc...
A review of Netflix's new series, Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events," which premieres January 13.
One of the most audacious American films from the 1960s is now available via the Criterion Collection.