Highly anticipated titles like Knives Out, Harriet, Jojo Rabbit, and A Hidden Life will be coming to the Chicago International Film Festival next month.
On three very different films from TIFF, including an excellent sci-fi indie and two-hander with a pair of legends.
Marie writes: Next door, across a long narrow drive and beyond the row of cedar hedges which run parallel to it, there resides an elementary school dating back to 1965, along with an assortment of newer playground equipment rendered in bright, solid primary colors...I'm sure you know the sort I mean...
View image Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo in Fernando Meirelles' "Blindness."
To supplement the discussion below about acting on film ("Bardem, Ledger and the truth about movie acting"), here's a translated excerpt from the blog of Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles ("City of God," "The Constant Gardener") about the editing of his new film "Blindness," starring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Danny Glover and Sandra Oh.
This is as concise and valuable a primer on editing and acting as I've seen anywhere.
First Meirelles explains the rough assembly, the loose draft of the film that's usually put together by the editor while the film is still shooting: "This kind of assembly is just putting all the scenes together as they were written in the script. Even if a certain scene did not work out as we planned when we shot it, it will still appear in this rough assembly. (This does not include the scenes that were embarrassing beyond all doubt; some things are better off forgotten.)"
Note that Meirelles is not saying that his actors have flat-out failed, but that certain scenes just don't work and should be tossed right away, if possible. Eventually, after whittling down an assembly of three or four hours (or more) into, say, a 160-minute cut, the challenge may become one of reducing that to around two hours: And at this stage, when you succeed in diagnosing and locating where are the exact problems in the script or its cinematic interpretation, you can... change the design of certain characters, to make the acting more precise and logical than it was in the actual filming of the movie. (That’s why the best advise I can give an actor who wants to develop his career: suck up to the editor. Bring him chocolate, or flowers – if it is a woman editor. Even expensive wine, if your acting was exceptionally weak this time).
Q. I was thrilled that "City of God" got four nominations, but what happened to co-director Katia Lund? She is left out of the best director category, with only Fernando Meirelles listed. Was it too much to have two directors on one film or did they feel that Sofia Coppola was enough female directors for one category?
It was a year when more movies opened than during any other year in memory. A year when the big Hollywood studios cast their lot with franchises, formulas, sequels, and movies marketed for narrow demographic groups--focusing so much on "product" instead of original work that they seemed likely to be shut out of the Oscars, as they were essentially shut out of the Golden Globes. A year when independent and foreign films showed extraordinary vitality. A wonderful year, that is, for moviegoers who chose carefully, and a mediocre year for those took their chances at the multiplex.