No one needs awards coverage this deep
Turner Classics celebrates its 18th birthday on a solemn note
About the time a full crowd of TCM Classic Film Festival-goers began filling one of the smaller theaters at Mann's Chinese multiplex this evening, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic (9:20pm ET, April 14, 1912) came and went. The occasion: a screening of a newly restored version of Roy Ward Baker's "A Night to Remember," the 1958 British production dramatizing (though nevertheless capturing in minute detail) the harrowing, historic event.
It's been a bit of a slow slog for me with the fest this year and I've already missed a few of the things I wanted to catch because of various reasons, but I really wanted to be there for this. I had never actually seen the film and it seemed a good way to, I don't know, take stock of the anniversary. And I have to say, it's a fantastic film. I was kind of blown away by it and its impressive miniature effects, its swift but touching handling of the human drama, and I was also very intrigued that James Cameron's "Titanic" follows it so closely.
This will be the first distribution launch of its kind for a US film
On April 20 director Kevin Macdonald’s "Marley," a documentary about the legendary musician Bob Marley, will be the first U.S. release ever to be made available for streaming on Facebook on the same day as its theatrical release. Facebook’s users will be able to instantly watch the film streaming from the Bob Marley Facebook page.
In addition to the innovative distribution launch, a portion of the proceeds from the film’s Facebook sales will benefit the charity organization Save the Children. "We are proud to have the ‘Marley’ documentary support Save the Children,” said executive producer Ziggy Marley via press release. “Helping underprivileged children is something that our father would do every day, so it is very appropriate for ‘Marley’ the film to be partnering with a charity whose main focus is helping children. Bob would be very happy."
Open thread. The floor is yours.
Welcome back to Cinejabber, your weekly open space to kick around whatever film-related thoughts you have on your mind. Who knows, some of them may even concern films that have nothing to do with Joss Whedon.
What, if anything, are you planning on seeing this weekend? Beyond "The Cabin in the Woods" -- on which I seem to be in the minority, finding it reasonably clever but not particularly revelatory -- the options aren't all that tempting. I haven't seen the Farrellys' take on "The Three Stooges," but in spite of better-than-expected reviews, can't muster up much enthusiasm for the idea. Over on my side of the Atlantic, meanwhile, the crowds are packing into "Battleship," which, as my Variety review explained, is pretty much exactly what you think it is -- for better and worse.
Want to know what to expect from the maverick's latest?
I am not particularly excited about Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," but I haven't been particularly excited about one of his films in a while. Sorry if that's sacrilege for you but I've been happy enough being pleasantly surprised by this or that and just don't have it in me to get all goose-bumpy over the prospect of a new QT joint.
That said, my fingers are crossed for this one because, as you all know, I have an affinity for the genre in which Tarantino is working here and I very much want this to succeed so we can have more explorations of it. I'm really intrigued that Leonardo DiCaprio took on the project, and of course I'll be very interested to see what Christoph Waltz has for us after a few dubious post-"Inglorious Basterds" tries. Jamie Foxx, well, I'm not as taken by that and wish Will Smith had seen the light and taken the role, since it's what his career sorely needs at this juncture.
The film opens today
I have not seen Drew Goddard's "The Cabin in the Woods," but as I understand it from the ZOMG! online contingent, there are spoilers to be wary of, so I guess I won't be digging into this thread much until I finally see it, hopefully this weekend (making for a healthy dose of Joss Whedon this week, whose "The Avengers" I saw last night -- it was awesome). But as the film is hitting theaters nationwide today, it's time to get your thoughts and provide a space for whatever these ZOMG! spoilers might be. So when/if you get around to the flick, head on back here with your take.
With Joss Whedon's superhero ensemble looming, we look back on its doomed cinematic namesake
This may not come as the biggest shock to you, but I'm not what you might call a comic book geek. I don't say that with any sense of smugness or superiority -- Lord knows I belong to any number of other uncool subclasses of geekery -- but it's a universe I never subscribed to as a boy, and with which I can therefore never completely connect.
Even if I've grown to appreciate the occasional artistry in the books (and, of course, the many films they have borne), I must confess I've still never read one cover to cover. This, as you might expect, leaves me largely clueless when it comes to separating the worlds of Marvel and DC characters. Where news of certain comic properties intersecting leaves many fans (it's both reductive and discriminatory to say "fanboys") foaming at the mouth, I merely shrug my shoulders. The sense of adaptation is lost on me entirely.
Which goes some way toward explaining why, when news of Joss Whedon filming "The Avengers" hit the internet a couple of years back to a positive Mexican wave of movie-blog excitement, I was one of the few left scratching my head and thinking, "Steed and Peel? They're trying that again?"
The film opens the third annual TCM Classic Film Festival tonight
The TCM Classic Film Festival kicks off tonight with a screening of a restored version of the film that won director Bob Fosse an Academy Award: “Cabaret.” The musical was adapted from the Broadway stage production, which was itself based on John Van Druten's play "I Am a Camera" (a drama inspired by Christopher Isherwood’s book “The Berlin Stories").
As previously discussed in a piece on the strange dance that "The Godfather" engaged in with Oscar, “Cabaret” holds the record for most Academy Awards won by a film which did not win the Best Picture award. Francis Ford Coppola's spin on mafia and the American dream ultimately took the Best Picture prize for the 1972 season, but “Cabaret” won eight of the 10 awards for which it was nominated, including Best Director, Best Actress (Liza Minnelli) and Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey).
Oscar-nominated actor follows in footsteps of Claire Denis and Emir Kusturica
Most regard the Un Certain Regard strand at the Cannes Film Festival as a kind of B-league to the Competition, populated with smaller films and names that aren't quite ready for primetime. In truth, however, the section's selections of late have established that there's very little to distinguish Un Certain Regard from the Competition on the grounds of quality: with major Competition alumni like Gus van Sant, Jean-Luc Godard and Bruno Dumont having accepted UCR berths in recent years, the increasing sense of the strand is one of mere spillover.
Consider this list of films to have played in Un Certain Regard over the last few years: "Dogtooth," "Blue Valentine," "Martha Marcy May Marlene," "Miss Bala," "Mother," "Wendy and Lucy," "Precious," "A Scanner Darkly," "Elena," "Police, Adjective," "Father of My Children," "Tuesday After Christmas," "Heartbeats," "Oslo, 31 August" and so on. I wouldn't consider any of them second-class works, even if most of them don't come from the kind of brand-name auteurs (Haneke, Almodovar, von Trier) that are granted automatic entry into the Competition whatever the quality of their latest film. But they amount to a formidable bunch to have missed if you monitor Cannes with your eye on the Competition alone.
The Turner Classics host is primed for a third year of classic cinema in Hollywood
Before Turner Classic Movies embarked on a Hollywood-set film festival aimed at presenting classic films on the big screen in 2010, film historian and TCM Prime Time host Robert Osborne tried his hand at a similar program on the east coast. He happily lent his name to the Robert Osborne Classic Film Festival in Athens, Georgia, a partnership with the University of Georgia, for six years before the economy forced the program to be shuttered.
"It told me kind of how audiences would respond to certain things, and how to present them," he says, calling from the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, ground zero for this year's third annual TCM fest. "And we started out with enthusiastic audiences and to full houses. So it really showed me that there was an audience out there that would have a great time when word-of-mouth got around. More than anything it kind of convinced me that it was not something that just because people could see these movies for free at home that they wouldn't be really excited about coming from all over the world to see classic films on a big screen in Hollywood."
Is the 'A Prophet' director's latest bound for Cannes?
Among the major European auteur titles being bandied about in the speculation as to the Cannes lineup, Jacques Audiard's "Rust and Bone" is surely among the most impatiently awaited, not least because it pairs him with his biggest star lead yet: Marion Cotillard, who seems to be balancing the twin pulls of Hollywood and her home industry with impressive ease.
A black mark against the film's Cannes possibilities, however, is its French release date of May 17: the second official day of the festival, but the first of regular programming after Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" officially cuts the ribbon on proceedings the day before. Can a film premiere at Cannes the same day it opens in France? It seems unlikely -- surely it'd have to premiere locally in advance. If the film isn't festival-bound, however, expect a lot of international critics cramming into the public cinemas on the Croisette to take a look at the latest from the director of "A Prophet" and "The Beat That My Heart Skipped."