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‘A Ghost Story’: The Craft of a Low-Budget Indie Shouldn’t Be Forgotten During Awards Season

11 hours ago

During awards season, craft discussions often focus on films in which large teams of technicians create whole worlds of images, effects, and sounds. However, as we saw last year with “Moonlight,” it’s a mistake to dismiss the craft of a low-budget film.

After making Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon,” director David Lowery wanted to shoot “A Ghost Story” with a small crew of friends, in a small home, and in a limited time period. And yet from composer Daniel Hart’s evocative score that works in perfect harmony with Johnny Marshall’s sound design, to costume designer Annell Brodeur’s remarkable feat of turning a bedsheet into a practical and beautiful ghost costume, the level of below-the-line talent was just as impressive as the small cities of people who made “Dunkirk” and “Blade Runner 2049.”

Possibly the biggest challenges on “A Ghost Story” belonged to Lowery and his cinematographer, »


- Chris O'Falt

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‘The Crown’ Season 2 Review: Despite Focusing on Relationships, Netflix’s Drama Turns Too Dreary and Cold

11 hours ago

There are far worse ways to study history than watching “The Crown” — high school history class comes to mind, especially at schools with misplaced teachers like Mr. Kraz. But there are better ways, as well, even in television’s incomplete, sensationalized fashion. Pertinent period details frame series like “The Americans” and “Mad Men,” or there are meaningful tales told of specific historical figures like “John Adams,” the “Band of Brothers,” and “The Young Pope.” (Hey, the future will one day be historical, too, and Lenny will be pope.)

What separates these programs from Netflix’s new crown jewel is an opinion; a stance, one way or another, on what all this means; a personality of its own making rather than a suffocating allegiance to facts. And in a darker second season about the most personal problems of Queen Elizabeth’s life, this voiceless neutrality breeds an even colder, more distant, »


- Ben Travers

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‘Coco’ Will Beat ‘Justice League’ Over Thanksgiving, but That’s Not Great Box-Office News

12 hours ago

Good news: Pre-opening estimates suggest Pixar’s “Coco,” opening Wednesday, will best “Justice League” for the five-day Thanksgiving weekend.

Bad News: “Coco” will likely gross around $60 million-$65 million, which would rank as one of least-impressive Thanksgiving box office returns in years. To be a blockbuster, “Coco” would need a very strong multiple and an international performance better than most Pixar films.

At $65 million for five days, it would be the lowest (in adjusted numbers) top grosser for the holiday weekend since the barely remembered “Four Christmases” in 2008. It also would fall short of the top 25 for the date; top animated titles on that list include Disney’s non-Pixar “Frozen,” (over $100 million), “Moana” ($83 million), and the original “Toy Story” and “A Bug’s Life,” both of which opened to over $80 million.

Read More:‘Coco’ Review: Pixar’s Latest Proves That the Studio Still Has Some Life in its Bones

However, »


- Tom Brueggemann

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Diverse Independent Spirit Nominations Boost Some Oscar Contenders, Not Others

13 hours ago

The always-idiosyncratic Film Independent Spirit Awards juries are not in the awards-season business. While other entities may take pride in how their selections mirror Oscar nominations down the line, the Spirits have a different agenda. It gives credit where it thinks it’s due, and raises awareness for many low-budget independent titles. If that happens to help your Oscar game, so much the better.

Read More: Save the Dates: Here’s the 2017-2018 Awards Calendar

No need to worry about Spirit top dogs “Call Me By Your Name” (six nods, Sony Pictures Classics), “Get Out” (five nods, Blumhouse/Universal), and “Lady Bird” (four nods, A24) which are well on their way to Oscar recognition and dominated the Indie Spirit field with multiple nominations including the crucial Best Feature.

A24 blazed with an astounding 17 nominations over eight features: “Lady Bird” and “Good Time” took four including Feature, “The Florida Project” and »


- Anne Thompson

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John Lasseter, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Chief Creative Officer, Accused of Misconduct

14 hours ago

John Lasseter has been accused of misconduct by insiders at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. In an article published by The Hollywood Reporter, insiders say Lasseter has been known to make unwanted advances on female employees. Rashida Jones, who co-wrote “Toy Story 4,” reportedly left the project early after Lasseter made an unwanted advance.

Read More:Melissa Gilbert Says Oliver Stone Made Her Audition for ‘The Doors’ With ‘Humiliating’ Sex Scene

One longtime Pixar employee told THR that Lasseter has been known for “grabbing, kissing, [and] making comments about physical attributes” to female employees. Another insider says women working at Pixar “knew to turn their heads quickly when encountering him to avoid his kisses.” One woman shared a story that took place 15 years ago in which Lasseter made an inappropriate physical advance on another employee.

“She was bent over and [had her arm] across her thigh,” he says. “The best I can describe »


- Zack Sharf

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Critics Pick the Best Movies That Should Be Made Into TV Shows — IndieWire Survey

14 hours ago

Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Tuesday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best show currently on TV?” can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: In light of recent “Galaxy Quest” and “Lord of the Rings” news, which movie/movie franchise should be rebooted as a TV series? (question courtesy of Allison Keene)

Pilot Viruet (@pilotbacon), Vice

I have so many ideas for this! During that season we got “Minority Report” and “Limitless,” I got angry about how many of these reboots/remakes/sequels are male-skewering and male-dominated and started making a list of all the movies I’d rather see instead – obviously ones that are more focused on telling stories about women and non-binary folks. “Whip It” could be a fantastic Freeform teen drama series (I’m still angry that »


- Hanh Nguyen

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‘Marvel’s Runaways’ Review: Hulu’s First Foray Into the World of Comics is Ambitious, Complex, and Fun

14 hours ago

The basic premise of the new Hulu series “Marvel’s Runaways” is a bit over-the-top (but easily sellable on posters): What if you found out that your parents were supervillains? However, the mysteries laid out in the first four episodes presented to critics indicate that the series aims to be far more complex than that basic synopsis might indicate, and that executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage have a long game in mind for the show going forward.

The six teenagers at the heart of the series — brainy Alex (Rhenzy Feliz), good-hearted Karolina (Virginia Gardner), lacrosse star Chase (Gregg Sulkin), “social justice warrior” Gert (Ariela Barer), gothic Nico (Lyrica Okano), and soft-spoken Molly (Allegra Acosta) — aren’t exactly friends when we meet them, despite all attending the same upper-class high school in Los Angeles. But they’ve grown up together due to their parents’ membership in the Pride, »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘Godless’ Opening Credits Reveal A Dangerously Feminist Western — Watch

15 hours ago

Snakes, a bloody violin, and a whole lot of dust are just some of the telling images found in the “Godless” opening titles. The highly anticipated Netflix series, which stars an alarmingly rugged Jeff Daniels, is set to premiere on Wednesday, November 22, and the gorgeous title sequence forces its Western themes to shine, as “Godless” breaks down the deeply harmful consequences of war.

Composer Carlos Rafael Rivera layered a silky yet haunting string melody over the gritty images created by Method Studios, giving the Netflix drama a flair reminiscent of its premium channel competitors. An obscene amount of gun violence is expected and is called upon throughout the minute-long introduction, along with pictures of death, tough women, and political rivalry. The sequence was executive produced by Angela Lupo and produced by Emily Schaeberle, with Jonn Likens serving as creative director.

Read More:‘Godless’ Trailer: Netflix’s Steven Soderbergh-Produced Western »


- Raelyn Giansanti

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Terry Gilliam Has a Great ‘Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ Update: ‘We’ve Almost Finished the Cut’

15 hours ago

The roller-coaster ride to finish the often-cursed “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” has some promising developments. Terry Gilliam has been wanting to make the movie for the last 17 years, first trying and failing to mount a production in 2000, but he now says he is nearly finished with the cut and is ready to begin adding music and VFX.

Read More:Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’: 6 Pivotal Moments in the ‘Cursed’ Passion Project

“Well, we’ve almost finished the cut,” he told The New York Times. “We’re just fiddling now, figuring out a few things here and there so it’s pretty much what it is. We’ve got still months of work to do on visual effects, sound, music. But as far as the tale, it’s pretty tight now and it’s surprisingly wonderful.”

Gilliam announced at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival that »


- Zack Sharf

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‘Justice League’ is a ‘Masterpiece’ and the ‘Epic We Deserve,’ According to Armond White

16 hours ago

With mostly terrible reviews (40% on Rotten Tomatoes) and a disappointing opening weekend at the box office, “Justice League” is not the momentum-builder the DC Extended Universe needed after “Wonder Woman.” IndieWire’s own Eric Kohn called the film a “wannabe ‘Avengers’ movie,” and most critics agreed the film is haphazardly plotted and has distractingly bad special effects. Unsurprisingly, Armond White doesn’t agree.

Read More:‘Justice League’ Review: D.C.’s Epic Action Showdown is a Wannabe ‘Avengers’ Movie

The controversial film critic’s “Justice League” review on the National Review is glowing, hailing the film as a “masterpiece” and the “epic we deserve.” White previously gave a praiseworthy review to “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which received even worse reviews than “Justice League.” The critic has been a vocal proponent of Zack Snyder’s superhero movies, and the love continues on “Justice League.”

“It’s one of those »


- Zack Sharf

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2018 Independent Spirit Award Nominations: ‘Get Out’ and ‘Call Me by Your Name’ Dominate

16 hours ago

The nominations for the 33rd Independent Spirit Awards are in, and “Get Out,” “Call Me by Your Name,” “Lady Bird,” “Good Time,” and more have dominated this year’s slate.

Read More: 2018 Oscar Predictions

Over the last several years, the Indie Spirits have become both a champion of underdog indies (see Molly Shannon winning Best Supporting Female last year for “Other People”) and a key indicator in which films and performances could end up with the Oscar (Casey Affleck and “Moonlight” for Best Picture last year). John Mulaney and Nick Kroll will return to host the 33rd Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, March 3.

The full nominations list is below.

Best Feature

Call Me by Your Name

The Florida Project

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Rider

Best Director

Jonas Carpignano, “A Ciambra

Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name

Jordan Peele, “Get Out

Sean Baker, “The Florida Project

Benny and Josh Safdie, »


- Zack Sharf

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‘Kedi’ Filmmakers Explain How Cats Can ‘Unite People in Joy’

17 hours ago

Ceyda Torun knew exactly what she wanted to be the subject of her first feature film: the street cats of Istanbul, her hometown. The result? “Kedi,” a documentary about a handful of the hundreds of thousands of cats that wander the streets of the Turkish city freely.

Read More:How ‘Finding Oscar’ Turned the Camera on the Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

“I grew up literally with these cats in the backyards of our apartment building,” Torun told IndieWire Editor at Large Anne Thompson in a Q&A following a showing of the film at the International Documentary Association’s annual screening series. “In my childhood 30 years ago, we didn’t have technology, we didn’t have more than TV stations, so literally these cats were my world. When we left the country and started living elsewhere from the time that I was 11, the one thing that was missing were the cats. »


- Jean Bentley

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‘The Alienist’ New Trailer: Cary Fukunaga’s Serial Killer Show Looks Like a 19th Century ‘True Detective’

17 hours ago

Those missing their “Mindhunter” fix will be delighted to find another auteur filmmaker tackling the period serial killer genre as excitement builds for TNT’s “The Alienist,” a new series executive produced by Cary Fukunaga and Jakob Verbruggen. A gripping new trailer and poster promises a sensuously chilling drama worthy of the “True Detective” creator. Haunting fiddle music plays over young boys’ parlor games; a horse lays bleeding in the cobblestone streets; and the hunt is on for a nefarious “child killer.” As Fukunaga’s first foray into television after “True Detective,” “The Alienist” will surely pack a fine-tuned punch.

Read More:Cary Fukunaga’s New TNT Series ‘The Alienist’ Gets First Trailer Full of Mysterious Intrigue — Watch

Based on a series of novels written by Caleb Carr, the 1890s-set show explores the origins of criminal psychology and stars Daniel Brühl, Dakota Fanning, and Luke Evans. Brühl plays criminal psychologist named Laszlo Kreizler, »


- Jude Dry

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How Pedro Almódovar Pushed Argentina’s Greatest Filmmaker to Make Her Best Movie Ever

17 hours ago

Sixteen years ago, Pedro Almódovar saw Argentine director Lucrecia Martel’s first narrative feature “La Ciénaga,” the story of teenagers in a bourgeois family driven to madness by their boredom. Almódovar immediately called his brother Agustin, with whom he runs a production company. “We absolutely had to contact the director to be part of her next movie,” Almódovar said by email. “It was an epiphany. When you discover an auteur so original, mature and elusive as Lucrecia Martel, you feel as if you’re witnessing a miracle.”

In fact, there are many miraculous aspects to Martel’s career: She developed an aesthetic out of languid poetry, digging into the contradictions of modern Argentine identity with a near-experimental focus on characters who feel out of sync with their surroundings. She became an internationally revered filmmaker with only a few features to her name, and clung to that identity for nine long years, »


- Eric Kohn

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Mel Gibson Is ‘Glad’ Women Are Speaking Out Against ‘Painful’ Abuse and Sexual Harassment

17 hours ago

At long last, Mel Gibson has weighed in on the abuse and sexual harassment scandals plaguing Hollywood. When asked about the the accusations against Harvey Weinstien, Kevin Spacey, and more, Gibson made his thoughts clear during a “Daddy’s Home 2” red carpet appearance.

Read More:‘Daddy’s Home 2’ Review: Mel Gibson Proves to Be One Daddy Too Many in Queasy Holiday Comedy

“Things got shaken up a little bit and there is a lot of light being thrown into places where there were shadows and that is kind of healthy,” Gibson told the Guardian. “It’s painful, but I think pain is a precursor to change.”

As Vulture reported, Gibson previously spoke about Hollywood’s sexual harassment problem earlier in the week in an interview with Irish television network Rte. “Your heart goes out to the victims, of course,” he said. “And I’m glad that they spoke up. And »


- Zack Sharf

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Japan’s Softcore Porn Tradition Is Resurrected With a Healthy Blend of Sex, Humor, and Visual Flair

18 hours ago

If you read Playboy for the articles, “Wet Woman in the Wind” and “Antiporno” may be for you. Part of Mubi’s foray into theatrical distribution, they also represent the return of the Roman Porno — a particular kind of pink film (read: softcore porn) made by the Nikkatsu studio and prevalent in Japan throughout the 1970s and ‘80s.

The first of these, 1971’s “Apartment Wife: Affair in the Afternoon,” spawned 20 sequels within a seven-year span and made Kuzuko Shirakawa a different kind of scream queen long before Jamie Lee Curtis first met Michael Myers. Nikkatsu produced roughly three Roman Pornos a month until 1988, helping the revered studio pivot away from Yakuza flicks. These affairs were short, sexy, and often quite good — critics responded to them with nearly as much enthusiasm as audiences.

Read More:‘Anti-Porno’ Trailer: Japanese Director Sion Sono Returns with a Feminist Take on Sexuality

To celebrate that legacy, »


- Michael Nordine

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Greta Gerwig Wrote Adorable Letters to Justin Timberlake and More to Use Songs in ‘Lady Bird’

18 hours ago

Anyone who has seen Greta Gerwig’s marvelous “Lady Bird” knows the film owes a lot of its charm to Dave Matthews’ “Crash Into Me.” The song appears numerous times throughout the story and is used to mark pivotal moments of the eponymous character’s heartbreak and self-realization.

Read More:Greta Gerwig Reveals Inspirations for ‘Lady Bird,’ From ‘American Graffiti’ to ‘Carrie’ and More

Gerwig revealed to Seth Meyers that the script included all of the music cues, including Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” and Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in My Pocket,” and that she personally wrote letters to the three musicians in order to request permission to license their tracks. Meyers printed out these letters and shared them with the audience, and let’s just say they are incredibly adorable.

The writer-director told Matthews that “Crash Into Me” was the “most romantic song ever”:

Gerwig wrote »


- Zack Sharf

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‘Mad Max: Fury Road’: Why George Miller Crashed a Real War Rig for the Film’s Most Daring Stunt

18 hours ago

Editor’s note: The following is an edited excerpt from “Miller and Max: George Miller and the Making of a Film Legend” by Luke Buckmaster.

The George Miller of the 1970s would never have believed he would one day be spearheading a production with a budget estimated at a staggering $150 million. Miller had made the first three movies when he was in his thirties. At sixty-seven, when “Fury Road” commenced principal photography, those days were far back in the past. Shooting the original film in Melbourne felt like a lifetime ago.

For his first “Mad Max” movie in close to three decades, Miller wanted to be on the frontline at all times. But he soon realized that was impossible given the scale of production: a 138-day shoot with complicated stunts occurring on a near-daily basis. State-of-the-art technology made the job easier — or at least improved communication. High-definition video reception was broadcast in multiple locations, »


- Indiewire Staff

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‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’ Trailer: Annette Bening Enters the Race for Her First Oscar

19 hours ago

It’s hard to believe that Annette Bening has never won an Oscar. The 59-year-old actress has been nominated four times and got incredibly close to landing her fifth nomination last year for her wonderful lead role in Mike Mills’ “20th Century Women.” The Academy snubbed her, but she’s not wasting any time out of the awards season. Bening is back with “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool.”

“Liverpool” is based on the memoir by British actor Peter Turner and recounts his romance with the legendary and eccentric Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame during the last years of her life. Grahame won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 1952’s “The Bad and the Beautiful” and appeared in films alongside Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, and Kirk Douglas.

Bening takes on the role of Grahame, while Jamie Bell plays Turner. The supporting cast includes Julie Walters and Vanessa Redgrave. »


- Zack Sharf

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Bob Weinstein Paid Secret Settlement for Harvey Weinstein to Hide Sexual Assault and Harassment Claims — Report

19 hours ago

In early October, less than a week after a bombshell New York Times report exposed decades of alleged sexual assault and harassment from then-The Weinstein Company head Harvey Weinstein, his brother and business partner Bob Weinstein hit back with some strong words. “My brother Harvey is obviously a very sick man,” Bob Weinstein told TMZ at the time. “I’ve urged him to seek immediate professional help because he is in dire need of it. His remorse and apologies to the victims of his abuse are hollow. He said he would go away for help and has yet to do so.”

Bob Weinstein also responded to a rumor that perhaps he was the one who leaked portions of the story, all the better to oust his brother from TWC. “He has proven himself to be a world class liar and now rather than seeking help he is looking to blame others, »


- Kate Erbland

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