CANNES - For Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi, following up the near-unanimous acclaim of his Oscar-winning 2011 film "A Separation" with a similarly articulate dramatic study of, well, separation was either the most foolhardy thing he could do -- or the smartest. An intricately knotted, almost exhaustingly even-handed examination of tensions and untruths in a trio of marriages -- one past, one future and one stuck in a purgatorial present -- "The Past" further showcases Farhadi's dexterity as a dramatist of uncommon perspicacity and fairness.
A new Starfleet adventure hits theaters this weekend in the form of "Star Trek Into Darkness." It will enter a long legacy of films capturing the spirit of Gene Roddenberry, including, of course, the 2009 reboot that paved the way for a sequel.
The crew's first celluloid excursion, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," was released back in 1979. There was a new "Star Trek" film at least every three or four years until the 30th anniversary brought J.J. Abrams' re-imagining. Going into this weekend's release, that's 11 films, three Enterprise captains and a lot of canon to play with.
The HitFix staff put our heads together to crank out a ranked list of those films. But how will "Star Trek Into Darkness" fit into that legacy? Audiences will find out this weekend, but for now, click through the gallery below for the best and worst of the franchise to date. You can rate the films as you go. And feel free to vote on your favorite "Star Trek" film in the poll as well.
The Weinstein Company has announced today that production on "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny" will begin in March of 2014 in Asia. Yuen Wo Ping is set to direct after serving as a choreographer on the original film, which was directed by Ang Lee and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning four.
CANNES - Most likely in sheer desperation at having to say anything at all about Colin Farrell dud "Dead Man Down," veteran critic David Thomson recently turned his review into a plea to Hollywood casting directors to make bolder, braver, weirder choices -- to throw gender and other demographic demarcations to the wind and let familiar screen stars become other people entirely. "We need to revolutionize casting," he wrote, "often enough to live up to our sense of ourselves: that we are not one fixed persona -- we contain multitudes."
The story of how Truman Capote's first novel, "Summer Crossing," came to public light is surely as interesting as the love story within its pages. To Capote, it wasn't worthy of publication, so he trashed it. A housesitter at Capote's Brooklyn Heights abode recovered it, along with a number of other works, but merely held onto it. And for 50 years, "Summer Crossing" was thought lost. When the housesitter died, his nephew discovered them and tried to sell them at Sothebys' auction, but they were eventually sold to the New York Public Library and the novel was finally published in 2005.
CANNES - “For a moment, a band of thieves in ripped-up jeans got to rule the world.” In all likelihood, pop princess Taylor Swift wasn't thinking of the Bling Ring when she penned these lyrics to “Long Live,” a sweetly non-specific 2010 ode to that fleeting invincibility that any teenager claims at some point between her first kiss and her first crisis of purpose. After all, had Swift been one of the fashion-conscious female stars targeted by this band of thieves in, well, expensive Japanese selvedge denim, her sense of generational self-awe might have been tainted with rueful concern – a line that Sofia Coppola's brisk, funny, unexpectedly substantial study of a tabloid diversion walks with considerable grace.
CANNES - Telenovela has never seemed more inviting than it does in a brief scene midway through "Heli," which plants our gormless title character in front of an unseen television set blaring the busy hubbub of Spanish soap opera, its shrill dramatics amplifying the violent silence that courses through Mexican director Amat Escalante's third feature. This kind of deadpan reference to more conservative forms of Latin culture is a note often played in new Mexican cinema, ascribing authenticity to a film's worldview by way of absurd contrast -- though reality is as flattened in "Heli" as it is heightened in telenovela.
It's been a rocky couple of weeks for Reese Witherspoon. Everything looked nice and peachy as the wonderful "Mud" starring the actress was set for release. Then on April 19, she was arrested in Atlanta following a dispute with a police officer. Soon enough the infamous "do you know who I am" video made its way out and everyone naturally took their shots.
Well, while it may have been a rocky couple of months, nothing turns it around like booking a gig on a Paul Thomas Anderson movie. And according to Deadline, Witherspoon has done just that, landing a role in the director's upcoming "Inherent Vice," adapted from the Thomas Pynchon novel set in 60s/70s Los Angeles.
CANNES - The first press screening of the Cannes Film Festival is traditionally, in not-particularly-French parlance, a bit of a bunfight: always in the Salle Debussy, the smaller of the festival's two showcase screens, it tends to fill up fast with fevered, not-yet-red-eyed journalists scrambling for the last available seats with a workable sightline, while outside, the snaking queue of lowly yellow and blue badgeholders nervously hopes there'll be any seat at all for them. (Lest you think I'm sneering, I'm one of them: for me, at Cannes, blue clearly is the warmest color.)
(Welcome to Cannes Check, your annual guide through the 20 films in Competition at this month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off today. Taking on a different selection every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Steven Spielberg's jury. We're going through the list by director and in alphabetical order -- next up, Steven Soderbergh with "Behind the Candelabra.")