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The Small Screen / Re: Better Call Saul
« Last post by Sleepless on April 20, 2017, 08:50:37 AM »
Absolutely agree with all of that. The good and the bad. In retrospect, perhaps one of the show's weakest-written episodes so far. Kim didn't seem herself to me either, even before Ernesto showed up. I'll be listening to the podcast on my lunchtime walk today, so maybe that will improve my perspective on it all.

Maybe if Gus had been a surprise, it would have worked. It certainly seemed it was written as though the audience wouldn't know. You could even point fingers at AMC for ruining it with all the Gus-centric publicity once the scripts were written, but the writers knew before last season ended that everyone had cottoned on to "Fring's back" so really there's no excuse for not being a bit more clever with it. In the future, watching it out of the context of now, I can see it playing better regardless of whether you already know or not, but for everyone watching in the moment, it should have done a better job, as you said, of upending of expectations somehow. Maybe they should have just ripped the bandaid and had the cold open be Gus right there from the off.
The Small Screen / Re: Mad Men
« Last post by Drenk on April 20, 2017, 08:26:55 AM »
I was lucky enough to talk with Weiner a few months ago and he said that an episode will be shot in Paris. Here is your Xixax scoop!
News and Theory / Re: Cannes
« Last post by wilder on April 20, 2017, 05:27:56 AM »
Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2017 Line-Up Led By Claire Denis, Abel Ferrera, Sean Baker… And Dave Bautista
via The Playlist

Savvy Cannes-goers know that while the Official Selection has some of the biggest hitters (and certainly has them this year) on the Croisette, the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar is often the home of some of the most daring and exciting cinema that any festival has to offer. Focused a little more on newer filmmakers (but not exclusively), recent years have seen the bow of excellent movies like “Divines,” “My Life As A Zucchini,” “Neruda,” “Green Room,” “Embrace Of The Serpent,” “Mustang,” “Arabian Nights,” “Girlhood” and “Whiplash” within the parallel selection.

A week on from the arrival of the main Cannes line-up, the Quinzaine Des Realisateurs has unveiled their new selection, and it’s another strong one. Things will kick off with a doozy: the legendary Claire Denis, the most notable absence from the Official Competition, with her comedy (!) “Un Beau Soleil Intérieur,” starring Juliette Binoche and Gerard Depardieu.

There’s also new films from luminaries Abel Ferrera and Philippe Garrel, the latest from “Tangerine” director Sean Baker with the Willem Dafoe-starring “The Florida Project,” “Mediterranea” director Jonas Carpignano returning with “A Ciambra,” and the traditional Sundance carry-over, albeit an unexpected one: the Dave Bautista-starring one-take dystopian actioner “Bushwick” (plus festival fave “Patty Cake$,” which closes the sidebar). There’s also Bruno Dumont’s electro-pop Joan Of Arc musical, the intriguing sounding Zambian movie “I Am Not A Witch,” and the Imogen Poots-starring “Mobile Homes,” plus the latest from “Songs That My Mother Taught Me” helmer Chloe Zhao.

Take a look at the full line-up below.

UN BEAU SOLEIL INTÉRIEUR – Claire Denis (opening film)
A CIAMBRA – Jonas Carpignano
ALIVE IN FRANCE – Abel Ferrara
L’AMANT D’UN JOUR – Philippe Garrel
BUSHWICK – Cary Murnion & Jonathan Milott
CUORI PURI – Roberto De Paolis
FROST – Sharunas Bartas
I AM NOT A WITCH – Rungano Nyoni
L’INTRUSA – Leonardo Di Costanzo
MOBILE HOMES – Vladimir de Fontenay
NOTHINGWOOD – Sonia Kronlund
ÔTEX-MOI D’UN DOUTE – Carine Tardieu
THE RIDER – Chloe Zhao
PATTY CAKE$ – Geremy Jasper (closing)
The Small Screen / Re: Better Call Saul
« Last post by Jeremy Blackman on April 20, 2017, 12:29:01 AM »
Definitely seeing some cracks — or some frayed paint lines, as it were — in the second episode.

The Los Pollos content was sort of botched...

(1) The very dramatic, slow reveal of the "Los Pollos" sign was groan-worthy. Yes we needed to see that sign, but Jesus, that could not have been worse. We knew this was Los Pollos the minute that guy walked into what was obviously a fast food place. Nevermind that most of us knew even before that scene that Los Pollos was Mike's probable destination. I do not like being so far ahead of the show.

(2) They really hammed it up with Jimmy peering around and sticking out as much as possible. It crossed a line that I think violated his character at least a little. Almost saved it with the watch trick, but I don't buy that a seasoned con man was so incompetent for the rest of it. Especially when he has zero emotional investment (which is his weakness).

(3) When that black SUV screeched up to the back of Los Pollos, then peeled away, it was obviously a trap, right? That was completely incongruous with everything Mike had seen beforehand. And yet he fell for it. Seemed excited, even. "Gah, Mike, what are you doing? Don't you get it?" Is something I didn't expect to say at the screen. I don't like it. Why can't Mike remain one step ahead of me, while Fring is yet another step ahead?

One other complaint. "A little crooked"... Wow, they really do like to put a button on things. Happened several times in these first two episodes.  I remember when this show would let subtext unfold beautifully. The writing is not quite where it should be. The scene at Mesa Verde last week was pretty badly written, too.

There were still a lot of things I loved about this episode. The shots of Mike among the landscape were breathtaking. I actually liked the out-of-focus reveal of Gus cleaning up in the background. Howard climbing the walls was delightful. The way Jimmy broke in was just perfect and true to his character — an upending of expectations exactly like we might have seen in Breaking Bad.
The Small Screen / Re: Mad Men
« Last post by wilder on April 19, 2017, 08:05:06 PM »
Matthew Weiner’s Amazon Series Will Be an Anthology About the Romanovs
March 2, 2017
via Slate

Until now, all that was known about Matthew Weiner’s upcoming Amazon series was that it would be an anthology. But with the writers’ room now open for business, Weiner is finally willing to spill the beans and gave the Hollywood Reporter a sense of what the Mad Men creator’s next act will look like.

The series, he told the Reporter, is called The Romanoffs, and its eight episodes will focus on people who believe themselves to be the descendants of the last Russian czar. He clarified that the show will be a genuine anthology, with each episode standing on its own: “Black Mirror is a different genre,” Weiner said, “but if you enjoy the idea of seeing a new story every week, that will be part of it.” The Romanoffs’ staff includes Mad Men alumni Semi Chellas, Andre and Maria Jacquemetton, and Blake McCormick, and although Weiner has not yet begun the casting process, Weiner says when asked if any of that show’s actors might make an appearance, “I definitely would not rule that out.”*

Weiner also explains the reason for his choice of subject:

The reason that I picked the Romanovs is that in an era where we have social media and so much theoretical connection to each other it really seems like we’re further apart than ever. And I love this idea that these characters believe themselves to be, whether they are or not, descendants of this last autocratic family who are part of one of the great true crime stories of all time. I also love that it’s the chance to talk about nature v. nurture, what they have in common and what is left of a grand heritage.

Weiner also said that he planned to direct four of the eight episodes himself and that half would be shot in the U.S. and half abroad. While The Romanoffs has no set air date, he said it “should be available for streaming this time next year, maybe a little earlier.”
The Grapevine / Re: The Beguiled
« Last post by wilder on April 19, 2017, 06:46:44 PM »
it's on the front page of vimeo today y'all

check it out.
DVD Talk / Re: Random DVD and Blu-ray announcements
« Last post by jenkins on April 19, 2017, 01:57:29 AM »
The Loved One is a chiller. i think perhaps John Waters mentions it now and then? though if anything it explains Phantom of the Paradise, and it's worth seeing for general good humor and Paul Williams like this

This Year In Film / Re: The Lost City of Z
« Last post by samsong on April 19, 2017, 01:30:25 AM »
loved this.  not quite the masterwork that the immigrant is, and i'm well aware that i'm in the minority in considering it as such, but it's gray continuing his full pursuit of what he refers to as the "middle", where cinema is at once truthful and spectacle, and it's a joy to behold.  rich, sensuous, transcendent.  the collaboration between gray and darius khondji is invaluable.  hope they continue to work together for the rest of their careers.
DVD Talk / Re: Random DVD and Blu-ray announcements
« Last post by wilder on April 18, 2017, 06:43:10 PM »
August 22, 2017

Dusty Nelson's Effects (1980) on blu-ray from AGFA and Something Weird Video, restored in 4K from the only 35mm print in existence by The American Genre Film Archive (AGFA)

Cobbled together with loose change by George Romero's friends, Effects is a mesmerizing D.I.Y. frightmare that no one talks about, but everyone should. A group of coked-up filmmakers -- including Tom Dawn of the Dead Savini, Joe Day of the Dead Pilato, and John Tales from the Darkside: The Movie Harrison -- gather in Pittsburgh to make a slasher. As filming begins and accidents happen, it's clear that something isn't right. And no one can be trusted. Landing somewhere between Snuff and a student film by John Carpenter, Effects is a meta-enhanced takedown on the philosophy of horror that doubles as a sleazy and terrifying movie on its own.

Effects (1980) - Amazon

May 2017 TBD

Tony Richardson's The Loved One (1965) from Warner Archive

The funeral business gets a giant raspberry in this wickedly wacky, resplendently ridiculous farce based on Evelyn Waugh’s macabre comic masterpiece and directed with inspired verve by Tony Richardson (Tom Jones). But the American way of death isn’t the film’s only target: sex, greed, religion and mother love are also in the crosshairs of its satirical shots. Robert Morse plays a bemused would-be poet who gets entangled with an unctuous cemetery entrepreneur (Jonathan Winters), a mom-obsessed mortician (Rod Steiger) and other bizarre characters played by such adept farceurs as John Gielgud, Robert Morley, Tab Hunter, Milton Berle, James Coburn and Liberace.

Quote from: Letterboxd
This is one of those Rosetta Stone films you see and it suddenly explains a lot of things and puts them in their proper context. Particularly, in this case, John Waters. Hilarious, bizarre, and impeccably shot by Haskell Wexler (this looks like "Last Year at Marienbad," and he clearly nicked some shots from Godard's "Contempt")
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