Look, we all love Harmony Korine here. Well, not all of us, but some of us think that Julien Donkey-Boy was pretty good, all things considering. Trash Humpers we didn’t like. And we certainly aren’t fans of Mr. Korine enabling James Franco‘s artitude by making a movie starring him getting pounded on by female bikers for the Venice Biennale where the actor carved Brad Renfro into his arm. What? What.
But even if we allow Mr. Korine and Mr. Franco some leeway into their ideas on what constitutes “art,” we would appreciate it if they didn’t try to work it out using all the Disney princesses.
The Wee Hours
“Wow, this is it, this view, New York City!” Michael Fassbender said after opening the door to the roof of the Standard, where the glass buildings lining the West Side bound forth from the meatpacking district toward midtown.
It was Friday night, and The Observer had just watched the New York Film Festival’s screening of Read More
The Daily Transom
Leave the flasks at home, New York moviegoers!
Last August, Gov. Cuomo passed a law that allows movie theaters with restaurants to serve booze as well, making a trip to the cinema that much more appealing. Now, AMC Theaters tells The New York Post that they are considering equipping their eight theaters in Read More
fall arts preview
The Rum Diary and The Playboy Club
It can’t be easy to be Amber Heard. The 25-year-old actress is in possession of the sort of smashing beauty that gets one featured on Maxim lists and offered parts in the likes of The Playboy Club, and charisma that goes unnoticed. The upcoming NBC drama, in which Ms. Heard is to play the most valuable Bunny at one of Hugh Hefner’s sex-and-Scotch nightspots, will create the sort of sensation Ms. Heard (previously best known for a string of near-mute girlfriend parts in films like Pineapple Express and The Stepfather) has thus far not experienced, but the part still demands more from her appearance than her thespianic skills. Thankfully, Ms. Heard’s talents are to be tested in the Hunter S. Thompson adaptation The Rum Diary, in which she plays the object of obsession for Johnny Depp’s alcoholic journalist character. Sure, it’s another girlfriend part, of sorts, but based on the epically terrible shoot and the evident artistic ambitions of Mr. Depp and director Bruce Robinson, Ms. Heard might soon be able to add line items to her resume that don’t include Maxim or Playboy.
fall arts preview
The first New York Film Festival, in 1963, featured Roman Polanski’s Knife in the Water, the then-30-year-old director’s Polish-language feature debut. “Film Fete Places Accent on Youth”, The New York Times headline read. Mr. Polanski was joined by established directors like Alain Resnais, with Muriel, and lesser-known names like Glauber Rocha, with Barravento, his feature debut at the fest.
That inaugural festival ran from Sept. 10 to Sept. 19, and the Sept. 20 cover of Time featured two of the actors from Knife in the Water, with the headline “Cinema as an International Art.” Two American directors were featured at that inaugural festival: Alex Segal, who had previously worked almost entirely in television, and Adolfas Mekas, with his debut feature, Hallelujah the Hills. The festival’s official program depicted a film canister covered in shipping labels and addressed to Lincoln Center – its international origin obscure.
When fall begins, so does the new movie season, and it all happens at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival, a.k.a. TIFF. This is the biggest, friendliest, most organized film fete in the world and a launching pad for both Hollywood Oscar contenders and small low-budget independents, which in the downturn of today’s economic meltdown amounts to the same thing. The crowds seem larger than ever this year as 300,000 people beg, fight and grovel for tickets to see in seven days 336 movies made by everyone from Madonna to Francis Ford Coppola. Politely, of course. This is Canada, not Cannes. For one whole week, you say goodbye to sleep and nutrition and learn to live on pizza and Dove bars. The Scotiabank Theatre, where most of the press screenings grind out from 8 a.m. to midnight, has even installed a Burger King. Nobody says you come to TIFF to get healthy.
What do you make of a pre-ordained masterpiece? Terrence Malick’s breathlessly-awaited The Tree of Life had its world premiere this morning in Cannes, and the smattering of livid boos against the torrent of applause felt delicious, if only to puncture an expectation of instant coronation for the Texan auteur.
Film fanatics have been reverently drooling over The Tree of Life Read More
The fairer sex is getting a beat-down this year at Cannes, and the wounds are self-inflicted. More than a dozen women directors have movies playing on the Croisette–a rare surge for any festival–and the first four whose films unspooled in the opening days have delivered dark, bleak, tough struggles.
The strangest and most chilling has to be Julia Leigh’s Read More
The Observer met Werner Herzog in a hotel suite, 28 floors high, that overlooked the Hudson River–the site of the director’s first landing in New York City just short of 50 years ago.
The legendary German filmmaker grew up in a remote mountain village in Bavaria and never saw a movie as a child–”I didn’t Read More
“John Gotti, Sr., is an icon. Like it or not, he’s an icon. The man is legendary. And so is John Travolta.”
Marc Fiore, producer of the yet-to-be-filmed mobster biopic Gotti: Three Generations, spoke to a roomful of journalists at the midtown Sheraton Hotel about one of the two stars signed to his film. It Read More