Saturday, August 12, 2017
Teaser Preview: READY PLAYER ONE
Ready Player One is among the pre-eminent Virtual Reality teaser novels.
Here are some details about the film, now in production from Steven Spielberg:
Novel - Ernest Cline
Director - Steven Spielberg
Screenplay - Zak Penn, Ernest Cline
Hannah John-Kamen - F'Nale Zandor
Mark Rylance - James Donovan Halliday
T.J. Miller - i-R0k
Ben Mendelsohn - Nolan Sorrento
Tye Sheridan - Wade Owen Watts / Parzival
Simon Pegg - Ogden Morrow
Olivia Cooke - Samantha Evelyn Cook / Art3mis
Lena Waithe - Aech
Philip Zhao - Shoto
Win Morisaki - Daito
FULL CREDITS - IMDB
WIKIPEDIA - THE NOVEL
WIKIPEDIA - THE FILM
First week of #ReadyPlayerOne finished.
Surreal. It went to 11. Thanks for writing your book @erniecline and the assist in Oology
6:01 PM - 1 Jul 2016
Labels: Ernest Cline, F'Nale Zandor, Hannah John-Kamen, Mark Rylance, Olivia Cooke, Ready Player One, Samantha Evelyn Cook/Art3mis, Simon Pegg, Steven Spielberg, T.J. Miller, Tye Sheridan, Wade Owen Watts/Parzival
Thursday, August 10, 2017
HIFF 2017 (25TH ANNIVERSARY!) HONORS JULIE ANDREWS
The 25th annual Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF 25) will take place over Columbus Day Weekend, October 5 - 9, 2017.
The Hamptons International Film Festival will honor Oscar®-winning actress Julie Andrews with a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the festival’s 25th anniversary.
Well known for her defining roles on stage in “My Fair Lady” and “Camelot,” and her classic screen performances in “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music,” the multi-talented and award-winning actress is a Kennedy Center Honoree (2001), a Disney Legend inductee and the recipient of the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a bestselling author of over 30 children’s books as well as the first installment of her autobiography, “Home: A Memoir of My Early Years” (2008) and is now working on the companion sequel.
Ms. Andrews just completed directing a hugely successful revival of “My Fair Lady” which is currently touring though Australia, and is the co-creator and star of “Julie’s Greenroom,” a newly released series on Netflix which teaches young children about the theater and the arts.
HIFF and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will co-present a special screening of “Victor Victoria” on Saturday, October 7th in East Hampton. The film, which stars Ms. Andrews, won the Oscar for Original Song Score and Its Adaptation -or- Adaptation Score. Ms. Andrews will participate in a post screening conversation with Alec Baldwin and a special award presentation with special guests.
Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Preview: OC4 - OCULUS DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE
Here's a preview from Oculus of the next developer's conference: October 11-12, 2017 (San-Jose):
- Building for a Global VR Audience
The top things to know about making your content successful for a global audience, including insights on user habits in specific regions. This lightning talk will dedicate 15 minutes to mobile and 15 minutes to PC.
Featuring Dan Morris, Head of Store
- From New Project to Social VR in 30 minutes
Social interactions are some of the most compelling and exciting experiences in VR. This workshop will show you how to leverage existing tools in the Oculus PC, Platform, and Avatar SDKs to get a social VR testbed up and running in Unity in no time.
Featuring John Bartkiw, Head of Platform, Development Engineering
- John Carmack’s App Critiques
In this annual, off-the-cuff live presentation, Carmack provides unfiltered feedback on everything from design to performance as the app is simultaneously streamed for the audience.
Featuring John Carmack, Chief Technology Officer
- Making Content Discoverable: Explore, Events, Search, and More
What’s Oculus doing to make developer content discoverable? This presentation will provide an overview of Explore, Search, Events, and all the tools we use to match people to content they’ll like and get your app to the right audience.
Featuring Shirley Ai, Product Manager and Christina Womack, Product Manager
- Mixed Reality Capture on Rift
We’ll demo how to use the Rift SDK’s new mixed reality capture support, which includes a tracked camera, proper in-game lighting, and more. We’ll also walk you through how to add mixed reality capture to your Unity, UE4, or native app.
Featuring Sim Dietrich, Rift Mixed Reality Tech Lead; Brian Sharp, Lead, Oculus Medium; andXiang Wei, Software Engineer
- VR Esports: The Future of Competitive Gaming
With its ability to revolutionize esports, VR could represent the final apex of gaming and spectatorship. Leaders from across the industry will discuss VR’s role in the industry and its effect on games, players, and fans—today and in the future.
Featuring Christopher McKelvy, Partnerships and Head of Esports
- What’s Working in Mobile Games
An industry vet with a career spanning Activision, PlayStation, and Kixeye, Oculus Producer Rade Stojsavljevic will be joined by speakers from Turtle Rock and Coatsink to provide an in-depth look at the state of mobile VR gaming.
Featuring Rade Stojsavljevic, Producer
For the second year in a row, we’ll celebrate industry progress across the gender divide at our Women in VR Happy Hour. Join us for a festive evening of community building with refreshments and DJ entertainment.
On the show floor, be sure to visit the Oculus Medium Gallery near the registration desk, where you can view digital sculpts made in VR and the 3D printed results. You can even get hands-on yourself with a Medium demo, or check out the mixed reality booth to watch professional artists do speed sculpts and character design.
Visit oculusconnect.com for details on applications and registration, travel, and accommodations, and stay tuned for more updates including new speakers, special guests, and exclusive events in the coming weeks.
Preview: MAIN SLATE - NYFF 55 2017
This year’s Main Slate showcases films honored at Cannes including
- Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or–winner The Square;
- Robin Campillo’s BPM, awarded the Cannes Critics’ Prize; and
- Agnès Varda & JR’s Faces Places, which took home the Golden Eye.
- Aki Kaurismäki’s Silver Bear–winner The Other Side of Hope and
- Agnieszka Holland’s Alfred Bauer Prize–winner Spoor mark the returns of two New York Film Festival veterans, while
- Luca Guadagnino’s acclaimed Call Me by Your Name will be his NYFF debut.
Also returning are Arnaud Desplechin, Noah Baumbach, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Claire Denis, Philippe Garrel, Lucrecia Martel, and Hong Sang-soo, who has two features in the lineup this year.
Filmmakers new to the festival include Sean Baker, Greta Gerwig, Serge Bozon, Dee Rees, Chloé Zhao, Joachim Trier, Alain Gomis, and Valeska Grisebach.
The NYFF55 Opening Night is Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying, Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck is the Centerpiece film, and Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel will close the festival. (Interesting note: There are two gala selections with the word ‘wonder’ in their titles, and all three of these gala films are Amazon Studios releases.)
- Special Events,
- Spotlight on Documentary,
- Convergence, and
- Projections sections, as well as
- filmmaker conversations and panels, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets for the 55th New York Film Festival will go on sale September 10. VIP passes and packages are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events. Learn more at filmlinc.org/packages.
For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.
Last Flag Flying
Dir. Richard Linklater, USA, 2017, 119m
In Richard Linklater’s lyrical road movie, as funny as it is heartbreaking, three aging Vietnam-era Navy vets—soft-spoken Doc (Steve Carell), unhinged and unfiltered Sal (Bryan Cranston), and quietly measured Mueller (Laurence Fishburne)—reunite to perform a sacred task: the proper burial of Doc’s only child, who has been killed in the early days of the Iraq invasion. As this trio of old friends makes its way up the Eastern seaboard, Linklater gives us a rich rendering of friendship, a grand mosaic of common life in the USA during the Bush era, and a striking meditation on the passage of time and the nature of truth. To put it simply, Last Flag Flying is a great movie from one of America’s finest filmmakers. An Amazon Studios release.
Dir. Todd Haynes, USA, 2017, 117m
In 1977, following the death of his single mother, Ben (Oakes Fegley) loses his hearing in a freak accident and makes his way from Minnesota to New York, hoping to learn about the father he has never met. A half-century earlier, another deaf 12-year-old, Rose (Millicent Simmonds), flees her restrictive Hoboken home, captivated by the bustle and romance of the nearby big city. Each of these parallel adventures, unfolding largely without dialogue, is an exuberant love letter to a different bygone era of New York. The mystery of how they ultimately converge, which involves Julianne Moore in a lovely dual role, provides the film’s emotional core. Adapted from a young-adult novel by Hugo author Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck is an all-ages enchantment, entirely true to director Todd Haynes’s sensibility: an intelligent, deeply personal, and lovingly intricate tribute to the power of obsession. An Amazon Studios release.
Dir. Woody Allen, USA, 2017
In a career spanning 50 years and almost as many features, Woody Allen has periodically refined, reinvented, and redefined the terms of his art, and that’s exactly what he does with his daring new film. We’re in Coney Island in the 1950s. A lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) tells us a story that just might be filtered through his vivid imagination: a middle-aged carousel operator (Jim Belushi) and his beleaguered wife (Kate Winslet), who eke out a living on the boardwalk, are visited by his estranged daughter (Juno Temple)—a situation from which layer upon layer of all-too-human complications develop. Allen and his cinematographer, the great Vittorio Storaro, working with a remarkable cast led by Winslet in a startlingly brave, powerhouse performance, have created a bracing and truly surprising movie experience. An Amazon Studios release.
Before We Vanish
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan, 2017, 129m
The latest from master of art-horror Kiyoshi Kurosawa is perhaps his most mainstream film yet, a throwback to 1980s sci-fi. An advance crew of three aliens journey to Earth in preparation for a complete takeover of the planet. They snatch not only bodies but memories, beliefs, values—everything that defines their conquests as human—leaving only hollow shells, which are all but unrecognizable to their loved ones. This disturbing parable for our present moment, replete with stunning images—including a drone attack and a bit of Clockwork Orange–style murder and mayhem—is also a profoundly mystical affirmation of love as the only form of resistance and salvation. A Neon release.
BPM (Beats Per Minute)/120 battements par minute
Dir. Robin Campillo, France, 2017, 144m
In the early 1990s, ACT UP—in France, as in the U.S.—was on the front lines of AIDS activism. Its members, mostly gay, HIV-positive men, stormed drug company and government offices in “Silence=Death” T-shirts, facing down complacent suits with the urgency of their struggle for life. Robin Campillo (Eastern Boys) depicts their comradeship and tenacity in waking up the world to the disease that was killing them and movingly dramatizes the persistence of passionate love affairs even in dire circumstances. All the actors, many of them unknown, are splendid in this film, which not only celebrates the courage of ACT UP but also tacitly provides a model of resistance to the forces of destruction running rampant today. A release of The Orchard.
Bright Sunshine In/Un beau soleil intérieur
Dir. Claire Denis, France, 2017, 95m
North American Premiere
Juliette Binoche is both incandescent and emotionally raw in Claire Denis’s extraordinary new film as Isabelle, a middle-aged Parisian artist in search of definitive love. The film moves elliptically, as though set to some mysterious bio-rhythm, from one romantic/emotional attachment to another: from the boorish married lover (Xavier Beauvois); to the subtly histrionic actor (Nicolas Duvauchelle), also married; to the dreamboat hairdresser (Paul Blain); to the gentle man (Alex Descas) not quite ready for commitment to . . . a mysterious fortune-teller. Appropriately enough, Bright Sunshine In (very loosely inspired by Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse) feels like it’s been lit from within; it was lit from without by Denis’s longtime cinematographer Agnès Godard. It is also very funny. A Sundance Selects release.
Call Me by Your Name
Dir. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/France, 2017, 132m
A story of summer love unlike any other, the sensual new film from the director of I Am Love, set in 1983, charts the slowly ripening romance between Elio (Timothée Chalamet), an American teen on the verge of discovering himself, and Oliver (Armie Hammer), the handsome older grad student whom his professor father (Michael Stuhlbarg) has invited to their vacation home in Northern Italy. Adapted from the wistful novel by André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name is Guadagnino’s most exquisitely rendered, visually restrained film, capturing with eloquence the confusion and longing of youth, anchored by a remarkable, star-making performance by Chalamet, always a nervy bundle of swagger and insecurity, contrasting with Hammer’s stoicism. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
The Day After
Dir. Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, 2017, 92m
Hong continues in the openly emotional register of his On the Beach at Night Alone, also showing in this year’s Main Slate. Shot in moody black and white, The Day After opens with book publisher Bongwan (Kwon Hae-hyo) fending off his wife’s heated accusations of infidelity. At the office, it’s the first day for his new assistant, Areum (Kim Min-hee), whose predecessor was Bongwan’s lover. Mistaken identity, repetition compulsion, and déjà vu figure into the narrative as the film entangles its characters across multiple timelines through an intricate geometry of desire, suspicion, and betrayal. The end result is one of Hong’s most plaintive and philosophical works.
Faces Places/Visages villages
Dir. Agnès Varda & JR, France, 2016, 89m
The 88-year-old Agnès Varda teamed up with the 33-year-old visual artist JR for this tour of rural France that follows in the footsteps of Varda’s groundbreaking documentary The Gleaners and I (NYFF 2000) in its celebration of artisanal production, workers’ solidarity, and the photographic arts in the face of mortality. Varda and JR wielded cameras themselves, but they were also documented in their travels by multiple image and sound recordists. Out of this often spontaneous jumble, Varda and her editor Maxime Pozzi-Garcia created an unassuming masterpiece (the winner of this year’s L’Oeil d’or at Cannes) that is vivid, lyrical, and inspiringly humanistic. A Cohen Media Group release.
Dir. Alain Gomis, France/Senegal/Belgium/Germany/Lebanon, 2017, 124m
The new film from Alain Gomis, a French director of Guinea-Bissauan and Senegalese descent, is largely set in the roughest areas of the rough city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Here, a woman named Félicité (Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu) scrapes together a living as a singer in a makeshift bar (her accompanists are played by members of the Kasai Allstars band). When her son is seriously injured in an accident, she goes in search of money for his medical care and embarks on a double journey: through the punishing outer world of the city and the inner world of the soul. Félicité is tough, tender, lyrical, mysterious, funny, and terrifying, both responsive to the moment and fixed on its heroine’s spiritual progress. A Strand Releasing release.
The Florida Project
Dir. Sean Baker, USA, 2017, 105m
A six-year-old girl (the remarkable Brooklynn Prince) and her two best friends run wild on the grounds of a week-by-week motel complex on the edge of Orlando’s Disney World. Meanwhile, her mother (talented novice Bria Vinaite) desperately tries to cajole the motel manager (an ever-surprising Willem Dafoe) to turn a blind eye to the way she pays the rent. A film about but not for kids, Baker’s depiction of childhood on the margins has fierce energy, tenderness, and great beauty. After the ingenuity of his iPhone-shot 2015 breakout Tangerine, Baker reasserts his commitment to 35mm film with sun-blasted images that evoke a young girl’s vision of adventure and endurance beyond heartbreak. An A24 release.
Ismael’s Ghosts/Les fantômes d’Ismaël
Dir. Arnaud Desplechin, France, 2017, 132m
North American Premiere
Phantoms swirl around Ismael (Mathieu Amalric), a filmmaker in the throes of writing a spy thriller based on the unlikely escapades of his brother, Ivan Dedalus (Louis Garrel). His only true source of stability, his relationship with Sylvia (Charlotte Gainsbourg), is upended, as is the life of his Jewish documentarian mentor and father-in-law (László Szabó), when Ismael’s wife Carlotta (Marion Cotillard), who disappeared twenty years earlier, returns, and, like one of Hitchcock’s fragile, delusional femmes fatales, expects that her husband and father are still in thrall to her. A brilliant shape-shifter—part farce, part melodrama—Ismael’s Ghosts is finally about the process of creating a work of art and all the madness required. A Magnolia Pictures release.
Dir. Greta Gerwig, USA, 2017, 93m
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is a portrait of an artistically inclined young woman (Saoirse Ronan) trying to define herself in the shadow of her mother (Laurie Metcalf) and searching for an escape route from her hometown of Sacramento. Moods are layered upon moods at the furious pace of late adolescence in this lovely and loving film, which shifts deftly from one emotional and comic register to the next. Lady Bird is rich in invention and incident, and it is powered by Ronan, one of the finest actors in movies. With Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet as the men in Lady Bird’s life, Beanie Feldstein as her best friend, and Tracy Letts as her dad. An A24 release.
Lover for a Day/L’Amant d’un jour
Dir. Philippe Garrel, France, 2017, 76m
North American Premiere
Lover for a Day is an exquisite meditation on love and fidelity that recalls Garrel's previous NYFF selections Jealousy (NYFF 2013) and In the Shadow of Women (NYFF 2015). After a painful breakup, heartbroken Jeanne (Esther Garrel) moves back in with her university professor father, Gilles (Eric Caravaca), to discover that he is living with optimistic, life-loving student Ariane (newcomer Louise Chevillotte), who is the same age as Jeanne. An unusual triangular relationship emerges as both girls seek the favor of Gilles, as daughter or lover, while developing their own friendship, finding common ground despite their differences. Gorgeously shot in grainy black and white by Renato Berta (Au revoir les enfants), Lover for a Day perfectly illustrates Garrel's poetic exploration of relationships and desire. A MUBI release.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
Dir. Noah Baumbach, USA, 2017, 110m
North American Premiere
Noah Baumbach revisits the terrain of family vanities and warring attachments that he began exploring with The Squid and the Whale in this intricately plotted story of three middle-aged siblings (Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Elizabeth Marvel) coping with their strong-willed father (Dustin Hoffman) and the flightiness of his wife (Emma Thompson). Baumbach’s film never stops deftly changing gears, from surges of pathos to painful comedy and back again. Needless to say, this lyrical quicksilver comedy is very much a New York experience. A Netflix release.
Mrs. Hyde/Madame Hyde
Dir. Serge Bozon, France, 2017, 95m
North American Premiere
Serge Bozon’s eccentric comedic thriller is loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with many a twist. Mrs. Géquil (Isabelle Huppert), a timid and rather peculiar physics professor, teaches in a suburban technical high school. Apart from her quiet married life with her gentle stay-at-home husband, she is mocked and despised on a daily basis by pretty much everyone around her—headmaster, colleagues, students. During a dark, stormy night, she is struck by lightning and wakes up a decidedly different person, a newly powerful Mrs. Hyde with mysterious energy and uncontrollable powers. Highlighted by Bozon's brilliant mise en scène, Isabelle Huppert hypnotizes us again, securing her place as the ultimate queen of the screen.
Dir. Dee Rees, USA, 2017, 134m
Writer/director Dee Rees’s historical epic details daily life and social dynamics in the failing economy of Mississippi during the World War II era. Two families, one white (the landlords) and one black (the sharecroppers), work the same miserable piece of farmland. Out of need and empathy, the mothers of the two families bond as their younger male relatives go off to war and learn that there is a world beyond racial hatred and fear. The flawless ensemble cast includes Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Jason Clarke, Rob Morgan, and Jonathan Banks. A Netflix release.
On the Beach at Night Alone
Dir. Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, 2017, 101m
Hong Sang-soo’s movies have always invited autobiographical readings, and his 19th feature is perhaps his most achingly personal film yet, a steel-nerved, clear-eyed response to the tabloid frenzy that erupted in South Korea over his relationship with actress Kim Min-hee. The film begins in Hamburg, where actress Young-hee (played by Kim herself, who won the Best Actress prize at Berlin for this role) is hiding out after the revelation of her affair with a married filmmaker. Back in Korea, a series of encounters shed light on Young-hee’s volatile state, as she slips in and out of melancholic reflection and dreams. Centered on Kim’s astonishingly layered performance, On the Beach at Night Alone is the work of a master mining new emotional depths. A Cinema Guild release.
The Other Side of Hope/Toivon tuolla puolen
Dir. Aki Kaurismäki, Finland, 2017, 98m
Leave it to Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, NYFF 2011), peerless master of humanist tragicomedy, to make the first great fiction film about the 21st century migrant crisis. Having escaped bombed-out Aleppo, Syrian refugee Khlaed (Sherwan Haji) seeks asylum in Finland, only to get lost in a maze of functionaries and bureaucracies. Meanwhile, shirt salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves his wife, wins big in a poker game, and takes over a restaurant whose deadpan staff he also inherits. These parallel stories dovetail to gently comic and enormously moving effect in Kaurismäki’s politically urgent fable, an object lesson on the value of compassion and hope that remains grounded in a tangible social reality. A Janus Films release.
Dir. Chloé Zhao, USA, 2017, 104m
The hardscrabble economy of America’s rodeo country, where, for some, riding and winning is the only source of pleasure and income, is depicted with exceptional compassion and truth by a filmmaker who is in no way an insider: Zhao was born in Beijing and educated at Mount Holyoke and NYU. Set on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, The Rider is a fiction film that calls on nonprofessional actors to play characters similar to themselves, incorporating their skill sets and experiences. Brady Jandreau is extraordinary as a badly injured former champion rider and horse trainer forced to give up the life he knows and loves. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
Dir. Agnieszka Holland, in cooperation with Kasia Adamik, Poland/Germany/Czech Republic, 2017, 128m
Janina Duszejko (Agnieszka Mandat) is a vigorous former engineer, part-time teacher, and animal activist, living in a near wilderness on the Polish-Czech border, where hunting is the favored year-round sport of the corrupt men who rule the region. When a series of hunters die mysteriously, Janina wonders if the animals are taking revenge, which doesn’t stop the police from coming after her. A brilliant, passionate director, Agnieszka Holland—who like Janina comes from a generation that learned to fight authoritarianism by any means necessary—forges a sprawling, wildly beautiful, emotionally enveloping film that earns its vision of utopia. It’s at once a phantasmagorical murder mystery, a tender, late-blooming love story, and a resistance and rescue thriller.
Dir. Ruben Östlund, Sweden, 2017, 150m
A precisely observed, thoroughly modern comedy of manners, Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or–winner revolves around Christian (Claes Bang), a well-heeled contemporary art curator at a Stockholm museum. While preparing his new exhibit—a four-by-four-meter zone designated as a “sanctuary of trust and caring”—Christian falls prey to a pickpocketing scam, which triggers an overzealous response and then a crisis of conscience. Featuring several instant-classic scenes and a vivid supporting cast (Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, and noted motion-capture actor Terry Notary), The Square is the most ambitious film yet by one of contemporary cinema’s most incisive social satirists, the rare movie to have as many laughs as ideas. A Magnolia Pictures release.
Dir. Joachim Trier, Norway/Sweden/France, 2017, 116m
In the new film from Joachim Trier (Reprise), an adolescent country girl (Eili Harboe) has just moved to the city to begin her university studies, with the internalized religious severity of her quietly domineering mother and father (Ellen Dorrit Petersen and Henrik Rafaelsen) always in mind. When she realizes that she is developing an attraction to her new friend Anja (Okay Kaya), she begins to manifest a terrifying and uncontrollable power that her parents have long feared. To reveal more would be a crime; let’s just say that this fluid, sharply observant, and continually surprising film begins in the key of horror and ends somewhere completely different. A release of The Orchard.
Dir. Valeska Grisebach, Germany and Bulgaria, 2017, 119m
As its title suggests, German director Valeska Grisebach’s first feature in a decade is a supremely intelligent genre update that recognizes the Western as a template on which to draw out eternal human conflicts. In remote rural Bulgaria, a group of German workers are building a water facility. Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann), the reserved newbie in this all-male company, immediately draws the ire of the boorish team leader, not least for his willingness to mingle with the wary locals. Cast with utterly convincing nonprofessional actors, Western is a gripping culture-clash drama, attuned both to old codes of masculinity and new forms of colonialism. A Cinema Guild release.
Dir. Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Brazil/Spain, 2017, 115m
The great Lucrecia Martel ventures into the realm of historical fiction and makes the genre entirely her own in this adaptation of Antonio di Benedetto’s 1956 classic of Argentinean literature. In the late 18th century, in a far-flung corner of what seems to be Paraguay, the title character, an officer of the Spanish crown (Daniel Giménez Cacho) born in the Americas, waits in vain for a transfer to a more prestigious location. Martel renders Zama’s world—his daily regimen of small humiliations and petty politicking—as both absurd and mysterious, and as he increasingly succumbs to lust and paranoia, subject to a creeping disorientation. Precise yet dreamlike, and thick with atmosphere, Zama is a singular and intoxicating experience, a welcome return from one of contemporary cinema’s truly brilliant minds.
For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.
Tuesday, August 08, 2017
Preview: CLOSING NIGHT - NYFF 55 2017 - WOODY ALLEN'S "WONDER WHEEL"
Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel will be the Closing Night selection of the 55th New York Film Festival (September 28 – October 15), making its World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on Saturday, October 14.
“We’re in Coney Island in the 1950s. A lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) tells us a story that just might be filtered through his vivid imagination: a middle-aged carousel operator (James Belushi) and his beleaguered wife (Kate Winslet), who eke out a living on the boardwalk, are visited by his estranged daughter (Juno Temple)—a situation from which layer upon layer of all-too-human complications develop. Allen and his cinematographer, the great Vittorio Storaro, working with a remarkable cast led by Winslet in a startlingly brave, powerhouse performance, have created a bracing and truly surprising movie experience.
Storaro uses light and color in a way that is stunning in and of itself but also integral to the mounting emotional power of the film. And at the center of it all is Kate Winslet’s absolutely remarkable performance—precious few actors are that talented, or fearless.”
The New York Film Festival has showcased Allen’s work on two other occasions: Bullets Over Broadway was Centerpiece of NYFF32 in 1994 and Celebrity was Opening Night of NYFF36 in 1998.
Amazon Studios will release Wonder Wheel on December 1, 2017, the first film the studio will distribute independently.
Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying will be the Opening Night selection, and Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck will be the Centerpiece film. The retrospective section honors Robert Mitchum’s centenary.
Tickets for the 55th New York Film Festival will go on sale September 10. VIP passes and packages are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including the just-announced Closing Night. (Note: Tickets for Opening and Closing Night are often hard to purchase individually; the best -- and sometimes only -- chance for the best seats for the best films may be to buy a package!)
Learn more at:
WRITER, DIRECTOR >> Woody Allen
CINEMATOGRAPHER >> Vittorio Storaro
CAST >> Kate Winslet, Juno Temple, Debi Mazar, Justin Timberlake, James Belushi
WONDER WHEEL – IMDB
WOODY ALLEN – WIKIPEDIA
WOODY ALLEN – IMDB
Since 1982, Woody Allen has made at least one movie every year!
KATE WINSLET – WIKIPEDIA
KATE WINSLET – IMDB
JUNO TEMPLE – IMDB
Friday, July 28, 2017
ALTSPACEVR & VIRTUAL IMMERSION TECHNOLOGIES
AltspaceVR, one of the pioneering VR companies, which runs a virtual meeting place (like those in Caprica... but Caprica's TV avatars --played by live actors of course -- are better), announced it will shut down on August 3. The immediate reason is that they have run out of cash and have been unable to close another round of funding.
Their "A Very Sad Goodbye" blog post (https://altvr.com/blog/) says they have around 35,000 monthly users with an average connect time of 35 minutes. And big events have had as many as a thousand participants. They also say they have a lot of technology they hope to find a use for.
One factor may be a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Virtual Immersion Technologies (VIT), based on a comprehensive patent filed in 2000 (yes, 17 years ago) for "An Interactive Virtual Reality Performance Theater Entertainment System". VIT is now suing lots of companies (at least 10 so far) for patent infringement, including NBCUniversal, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, AltspaceVR, and Hyatt Hotels.
The patent is at https://www.google.com/patents/US6409599. Anyone interested in VR, AR and MR applications with live participants should probably be aware of this patent. (and others???)
This may be the start of a wave of patent litigation between modern applications of VR, AR and MR, and companies with patents filed during earlier waves of interest in VR.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
I had breakfast at the International House Of Pancakes (IHOP) recently.
I have often found their waffles to be better than most other places. But this last time it was terrific.
The outside of the waffle was crisp. The inside was light and delicious. The butter was ample. The waitress was nice enough to sprinkle some nuts over it as I requested and the bacon was very crisp as I like it.
The coffee and orange juice was OK, not special. The decor and atmosphere is not enticing, but it was OK. I wish the "maple syrup" was choice maple syrup.
The service was friendly and efficient. The price was a bargain!
Monday, June 12, 2017
Preview: OPENING NIGHT - NYFF 55 2017 - RICHARD LINKLATER’S "LAST FLAG FLYING"
Director: Richard Linklater
Screenplay: Richard Linklater, Darryl Ponicsan
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, Laurence Fishburne
Three aging Vietnam-era Navy vets—soft-spoken Doc (Steve Carell), unhinged and unfiltered Sal (Bryan Cranston), and quietly measured Mueller (Laurence Fishburne)—reunite to perform a sacred task: the proper burial of Doc’s only child, who has been killed in the early days of the Iraqi Invasion.
Richard Linklater is a 57 year old (by Opening Night) director of such films as Boyhood, Before Sunset, Before Midnight, Before Sunrise, School Of Rock, and Dazed And Confused.
LAST FLAG FLYING - IMDB
RICHARD LINKLATER - IMDB
INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD LINKLATER (Hollywoood Reporter 2012)
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR DARRYL PONICSAN (Veteran's Forum Network)
2016 13TH (Ava DuVernay, US)
2015 The Walk (Robert Zemeckis, US)
2014 Gone Girl (David Fincher, US)
2013 Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass, US)
2012 Life of Pi (Ang Lee, US)
2011 Carnage (Roman Polanski, France/Poland)
2010 The Social Network (David Fincher, US)
2009 Wild Grass (Alain Resnais, France)
2008 The Class (Laurent Cantet, France)
2007 The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, US)
2006 The Queen (Stephen Frears, UK)
2005 Good Night, and Good Luck. (George Clooney, US)
2004 Look at Me (Agnès Jaoui, France)
2003 Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, US)
2002 About Schmidt (Alexander Payne, US)
2001 Va savoir (Jacques Rivette, France)
2000 Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, Denmark)
1999 All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1998 Celebrity (Woody Allen, US)
1997 The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, US)
1996 Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, UK)
1995 Shanghai Triad (Zhang Yimou, China)
1994 Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, US)
1993 Short Cuts (Robert Altman, US)
1992 Olivier Olivier (Agnieszka Holland, France)
1991 The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, Poland/France)
1990 Miller's Crossing (Joel Coen, US)
1989 Too Beautiful for You (Bertrand Blier, France)
1988 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1987 Dark Eyes (Nikita Mikhalkov, Soviet Union)
1986 Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch, US)
1985 Ran (Akira Kurosawa, Japan)
1984 Country (Richard Pearce, US)
1983 The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, US)
1982 Veronika Voss (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany)
1981 Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, UK)
1980 Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, US)
1979 Luna (Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy/US)
1978 A Wedding (Robert Altman, US)
1977 One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (Agnès Varda, France)
1976 Small Change (François Truffaut, France)
1975 Conversation Piece (Luchino Visconti, Italy)
1974 Don’t Cry with Your Mouth Full (Pascal Thomas, France)
1973 Day for Night (François Truffaut, France)
1972 Chloe in the Afternoon (Eric Rohmer, France)
1971 The Debut (Gleb Panfilov, Soviet Union)
1970 The Wild Child (François Truffaut, France)
1969 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Paul Mazursky, US)
1968 Capricious Summer (Jiri Menzel, Czechoslovakia)
1967 The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy/Algeria)
1966 Loves of a Blonde (Milos Forman, Czechoslovakia)
1965 Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, France)
1964 Hamlet (Grigori Kozintsev, USSR)
1963 The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, Mexico)
Review: TONY AWARDS 2016
The acceptance speeches this year seemed more interesting than usual, and the performances from the shows were very well chosen and well performed.
The awards were nicely distributed among a lot of shows.
Previewing future shows is a great idea, but the heavy-handed plugs were not.
The opening number was disappointing. Probably the best host is a talk-show host and comedian with experience on Broadway and a strong interest in all kinds of theater. Kevin Spacey boasts many of these skills, but not much as an improvising comedian. In fact, his best moments as a host came when he channeled Johnny Carson. Given his skill set, it's a little disappointing that he did not boost serious theater as much as he might have.
All in all, though, I enjoyed the show! (And it's refreshing to have this award after a long break from the excessive film award season.)
(Note: A quick shout-out about THEATER TALK on Public TV (in NY, it's usually 2 AM Sat on channel 13 or https://theatertalk.org/) which has had interesting discussions in the last few weeks with many of the nominated and winning actors, directors and writers!)
Here are the winners in the top categories...