A review of AMC's "The Night Manager," starring Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Tom Hollander, Olivia Colman, and Elizabeth Debicki.
Sheila writes: Before directing the Oscar-nominated (and Oscar-winning) "Whiplash," writer/director Damien Chazelle made a short film called "Whiplash," an excerpt from the larger story, with J.K. Simmons in the same role that just won him an Oscar. Miles Teller's role is played by Johnny Simmons. You can view the short film on Youtube (clip below). It's 17 minutes long, but it still gives a glimpse of the feature it would eventually become.
Sheila writes: "Life Itself" has been getting wonderful reviews all over the country, and in case you missed it, Chaz Ebert appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on July 18th, to discuss the film and Roger. July 18th also marked Chaz and Roger's 22nd anniversary and so the moment was especially poignant. It was a great interview, funny and emotional, and you can see the clip here.
Marie writes: Now this is something you don't see every day. Behold The Paragliding Circus! Acrobatic paragliding pilot Gill Schneider teamed up with his father’s circus class (he operates a school that trains circus performers) to mix and combine circus arts with paragliding - including taking a trapezist (Roxane Giliand) up for ride and without a net. Best original film in the 2012 Icare Cup. Video by Director/Filmmaker Shams Prod. To see more, visit Shams Prod.
Marie writes: It's no secret there's no love lost between myself and what I regard as London's newest blight; The Shard. That said, I also love a great view. Go here to visit a 360-degree augmented-reality panorama from the building's public observation deck while listening to the sounds of city, including wind, traffic, birds and even Big Ben.
... and Germans and Jews and Albert Speer and Susanne Bier, etc., at the post-"Melancholia" press conference at the Cannes Film Circus. The quotations I've seen in print have been fragmentary and/or inaccurate, and understandably can't convey tone. This isn't the whole press conference, either, but, for the record, it should give you a better idea of how the thing actually unraveled, and how it played in the room. It's excruciating to watch somebody flounder and dig himself in like this (how much of it is meant to be a provocative joke? a perverse publicity stunt? an artistic confession?), but from this angle you can also see Kirsten Dunst squirm in mortification. She and the moderator try to interject and rescue him, but he won't give up.
To me, it appears he has some vague idea of where he's going (something about understanding the worst in human nature, perhaps?), but gets hopelessly lost on the way there -- until, in apocalyptic von Trier fashion (hey, he just made a movie about the end of the world), he throws up his hands and drops the bomb in a desperate attempt to dissipate the gathering tension by saying exactly what everybody is fearing (or hoping) he'll say... And what was the question again?
UPDATE (05/19/11): The festival has now declared von Trier "persona non grata," though what that means is not entirely clear. Ben Kenigsberg of Time Out Chicago reports from a post-press conference gang-bang interview with von Trier:
Marie writes: They call it "The Shard" and it's currently rising over London akin to Superman's Fortress of Solitude and dwarfing everything around it, especially St. Paul's in front. I assume those are pigeons flying over-head and not buzzards. Ie: not impressed, but that's me and why I'm glad I saw London before they started to totally ruin it.Known as the "London Bridge Tower" before they changed the name, when completed in 2012, it will be the tallest building in Europe and 45th highest in the world. It's already the second highest free-standing structure in the UK after the Emley Moor transmitting station. The Shard will stand 1,017 ft high and have 72 floors, plus another 15 radiator floors in the roof. It's been designed with an irregular triangular shape from base to top and will be covered entirely in glass. The tower was designed by Renzo Piano, the Italian architect best know for creating Paris's Pompidou Centre of modern art with Richard Rogers, and more recently the New York Times Tower. You can read an article about it at the Guardian. Here's the official website for The Shard. Photograph: Dan Kitwood.
UPDATED 10/16: Here are brief reviews of all the Chicago Film Festival movies we have seen, in alphabetical order, written by Bill Stamets and Roger Ebert. More will be added as we view them. For a full CIFF schedule, go to www.chicagofilmfestival.com or call (312) 332-FILM.