Yep. That sure does look like a Wes Anderson movie.
The entire line-up for Cannes that's been announced so far has me damn near giddy, and as soon as they announced that the opening night film was going to be Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," I made sure to book my travel so I'd be there for the kickoff.
I read about half this script, then stopped. Not because it was bad, but because of the exact opposite. I was having so much fun with it that I decided I'd rather just see it play out than read it and ruin it for myself. The worlds that Wes Anderson creates in his films are so specific and visual and all-encompassing that it's impossible to really "read" one of his films ahead of time. You have to see how the actors choose to inhabit the characters, and you have to see the details that he packs his frame with, and you have to hear the soundtracks he puts together.
I don't get it when people complain about the heightened reality that Anderson creates in his movies. It seems to me that if you don't like directors with a strong signature style, you just should skip their films, not complain that they are so specific. Anderson's absolutely got a signature that you can see as soon as something begins, and ever since "Bottle Rocket," he has been refining that style a little bit more with every movie.
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Yep. That sure does look like a Wes Anderson movie.
"Parks and Recreation" is back after its brief spring hiatus, and I have a review of tonight's episode coming up just as soon as I bounce some business ideas off Russell Simmons on Twitter...
Francis Lawrence has emerged as the favorite to replace Gary Ross as the director of "Catching Fire," the highly-anticipated sequel to "The Hunger Games," and according to a report just published in The Hollywood Reporter, he'll get his official offer to helm the movie this afternoon.
This has been a lightning-fast process, primarily because Lionsgate can't afford to waste any time. They have a specific timetable they have to meet if they plan to have Jennifer Lawrence done with shooting in time for her to make the jump to the sequel to "X-Men: First Class" that she is also committed to, and it sounds like Lionsgate ended up meeting with Lawrence and with Bennett Miller today.
As with the "Twilight" films, it seems like the studio is casting a wide net for what they're looking for in a director on this series, and none of the picks are what I would call typical action directors. While Lawrence made "Constantine" and "I Am Legend," his most recent film was "Water For Elephants," and in conversation with him, he's always seemed like a guy who had a pretty broad range of interests in terms of what he'd like to make.
A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I cry during "About a Boy: The Soundtrack"...
The thing I've heard most this week when talking about the imminent passing of Levon Helm is that the lifelong musician was still playing shows even a few short weeks before he was hospitalized in New York. As he battled his last against cancer, the Midnight Rambler was still rambling in Woodstock, N.Y., as a host, a part of the whole in addition to being a centerpiece.
You could say similar things about The Band, whose communal strength in the '60s in '70s was in its individuals, and the group's ability to be its own centerpiece or to play well with others. Backing Bob Dylan or -- in its earliest incarnation, Ronnie Hawkins -- the Band stepped out with brilliant "Music from Pink House" and went on to define, reform and inform roots-based rock music of the era from within the band and through those they worked with outside of it. Despite the loss in gravitational pull that brought Helm and other Band members together with Robbie Robertson, the group's legacy was firm by time they broke up in 1976.
That bust confirmed at least a couple of things: one, it put "The Last Waltz" firmly into the living curricula of any music lover and, two, it was a proven moment that Helm would continue to be a lasting, working musician, solo or in a group.
The Judges' Save is off the table, so we know that somebody's going home on Thursday night.
Smart money says that Elise Testone is doomed. One could also make an easy argument for Hollie Cavanagh's ouster. But that's why the play the games on the field, to use the sports cliche. Will America throw a curveball for the second straight week?
And, for the record, I'm using a picture of Joshua Ledet not because I'm completely confident he's safe or because I loved his rendition of my favorite song ever, but because that's a fantastic red jacket and it deserves a few more minutes of recognition.
Click through for the full live-blog...
I'm going to have the next "James Bond Declassified" for you tomorrow, covering "Thunderball," and in the meantime, I thought there were enough bits and pieces of James Bond news bouncing around out there that it was worth rounding them up in one place.
First and foremost, have you been reading Greg Ellwood's reports from the set of "Skyfall"? He just went to London, and it sounds like it was a great trip to Pinewood to see what Daniel Craig and crew are up to. If you'd like to get as close as possible to a set visit without leaving your house, there's a new video blog up featuring Sam Mendes and the Shanghai setting for some of the new film.
This seems to be the most active any James Bond film campaign has ever been in terms of offering up looks at the making of the film while they're still working. It's even unusual for a big film to allow people to write about a set visit a week after they were there. Normally those things are held for months. It signals a sort of confidence on the part of EON and Sony that the public is hungry for the return of Daniel Craig, and I think it's also due in part to this being the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first Bond film, "Dr. No."
More than 30 years after his death, Bob Marley remains one of the most loved and influential musicians in the world.
“Marley,” a new documentary by filmmaker Kevin MacDonald (“The Last King of Scotland,” chronicles the reggae superstar’s exceedingly humble roots in Jamaica through his rise to global icon and his untimely death at only 36 in 1981.
The movie opens in theaters tomorrow (4/20), but will also stream on Bob Marley's Facebook page. Proceeds from the Facebook sales will go to Save The Children.
MacDonald focuses not only on Marley’s music, but his lifestyle (he fathered 11 children with seven women), and the influence he had throughout the world, primarily the third world, as a symbol of peace, love, and equality. The film also examines how Marley was savvy enough, at a very young age, to realize how politicians tried to exploit his popularity for their own gain, as well as the assassination attempt on his life two nights before his free concert in Jamaica.
Marley’s son, Ziggy, served as one of the film’s executive producers. After false starts by both Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme, Ziggy says he felt MacDonald captured the right “emotional” beats of Marley’s life. “We met with Kevin and whenI saw the first cut, we knew this decision was a good decision... it had emotional impact. I like that...I’ve never seen anything with my father that has emotional impact before.”
Both Ziggy and Robbie share in their interview with Hitfix that the doc footage covering the end stages of their father’s life, while he battled cancer in Germany, was, understandably, the hardest to watch (Both were very young when Marley died: Ziggy was 12, Robbie was 9). In fact, they advised their sister, Cedella, who is very outspoken in the movie about how difficult it was to share her father with the rest of the world, not to see the movie.
After catching Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild" at Sundance, I kept finding that the film was sticking with me. I wasn't particularly enchanted while actually watching it, for some reason, probably because soaking up the richness of the voice and the uniqueness of the world was at the fore, but as I drifted away from it, it kept calling me back. I'm eager to see it again and I'm happy Fox Searchlight continued down a path of un-Searchlight-like acquisitions by picking it up in Park City.
The film was the only Sundance holdover announced as part of the 2012 Cannes film festival line-up this morning, following in the footsteps of films like "Precious," "Blue Valentine," "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and "Take Shelter" before it. It's a natural pick and I'll be curious to see how European festival audiences take to it. Could it signal even louder a potential awards trajectory? Maybe, maybe not. The truth is I don't know how much of a chance a film like that could have in awards season, but it will certainly be a healthy contender with programs like the Gotham and Independent Spirit Awards, and potentially plenty of love on the critics awards circuit. (Surely young Quvenzhané Wallis will get her share of debut performance love.)
I didn't know until I got an AP brief yesterday that musician and actor Levon Helm was so on the ropes in his 16-year battle with throat cancer. Today, the inevitable announcement: Helm has left us. He was 71.
Of course, most know Helm from his tenure as the drummer/sometime vocalist of The Band (immortalized forever by Martin Scorsese's documentary of their swan song performance, "The Last Waltz"). But Helm also had a steady-enough acting career, beginning in 1980 with a significant part in Michael Apted's "Coal Miner's Daughter."
Indeed, when I think of Helm, it's rarely "The Weight" or "Up on Cripple Creek" that leaps to mind. It's actually his work opposite Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager's right-hand man, pilot Jack Ridley, in Philip Kaufman's "The Right Stuff" that registers first.
Rock titans Rush return with “Clockwork Angels,” the band's first studio album in five years, on June 12.
First single, “Headlong Flight” landed at rock radio today (19). The full song, embedded below, is more than 7 minutes long. As the title suggests, the protagonist longs to take flight. Neil Peart’s drumming sounds as amazing as always: it anchors the shifting tempos and moods, as Alex Lifeson’s guitar work soars above it all. Geddy Lee’s vocals are strong, but they don’t stand out as his most potent, especially since they are fairly down in the mix (until near the end). It’s an opus that floats along without a hint of a chorus, but is compelling as different elements come into play. Plus, given there’s a mechanical voiceover that comes in around 4:15, it seems as if there’s a narrative here that will become clearer as we hear more of the album.
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Sometimes you gotta go it alone. That's what members of Interpol, Vampire Weekend, System of a Down and Das Racist are saying this week. And wouldn't you know it? Joey Ramone, were he alive, would agree. Or at least, that's what BMG would have you believe.
The record label will be releasing the Ramones frontman's long-gestating second posthumous solo album "...Ya Know?" on May 22, with its 15 tracks featuring collaborations from " Joan Jett, Little Steven Van Zandt, former Ramones drummer Richie Ramone, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, Dennis Diken of the Smithereens, Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye and members of the Ramones' punk-era contemporaries The Dictators."
"Joey Ramone was one of the key figures in a musical revolution whose impact is still being felt today. We are honored that Joey's brother Mickey and his estate have entrusted this album to BMG," BMG exec Jason Hradil. "The album represents the very best of the recordings Ramone left behind and assembled by his brother Mickey Leigh, manager Dave Frey and trusted producer Ed Stasium."