Monday, June 1, 2015

A Fistful of Thoughts...about thrilling developments, directorial conundrums and outright disappointments!


Alright guys, it's Monday and that means that it's time for me to attempt to stay consistent (I've slipped, sort of) with my Fistful of Thoughts posts.  This week has been a mess of me pretty much being obsessed with watching the Duggars BURN and so finding things to talk about, cinematically, was a bit of a struggle, and then I decided to just dedicate this to upcoming projects I'm either totally stoked about or really concerned about.

Let's chit chat.


First, let's start with a project I just heard about that has me super stoked.  Joseph Wright (who I personally think is one of the best directors working right now) is apparently circling a new film starring Anne Hathaway (yes, I love her) and it sounds SO GOOD!  This sounds like a perfect fit for Wright, who could bring a real sense of visual bravado to the weighty period piece.  The film is called The Lifeboat, and it sounds a bit like a mix of Hitchcock's Lifeboat, Sophie's Choice and The Reader.  Yeah, I'm so in for this...and for the record, I'm stoked for Pan too, which is totally giving me Where the Wild Things Are vibe right now, and I literally shake with giddiness when I see the trailer.

Moving on to a project I'm worried about, Benh Zeitlin is holding auditions for his next project, which is entitled Old Young.  The story is about a group of kids who are brought to a place where time and aging is suspended, so I guess they live forever or something like that.  I'm worried about Zeitlin.  I mean, this is a massive improvement on his last idea that thankfully hasn't been filmed yet, but this doesn't sound promising.  I really hope that Zeitlin doesn't become the next M. Night Shyamalan, but at this rate it sounds like that may be his career trajectory.  I ADORE Beasts of the Southern Wild, and I had such high hopes for where Zeitlin would go next, but this sounds...questionable.

Next, onto a project that I've already talked about and obviously await about as anxiously as my next breath.

Just look:



You know that this means!?!?!?!  Dolan is already back from pissing off the known world at Cannes and doing what he does best, making movies!!!  Love that we see a shot of Seydoux getting herself lost in Dolan's world...but show me Cotillard!!!

I need this movie in my life.

"Breathe, Andrew, breathe."

Ok, let's talk about Catherine Hardwicke for a second.  Do you remember thirteen?  Hardwicke's directorial debut was full of so much spark and gritty promise.  She completely owned the film, delivering something that felt so ingrained in who she was as a director, as a person.  It had a message, it had purpose and it showed promise.  Then she done fucked up.  She sold out to Hollywood, first attempting to deliver a biblical epic (that no one saw) and then directing Twilight...and then a fairy tale adaptation (that no one saw) and now she's back to courting Young Adult novels, planning on directing Love Letters to the Dead, which I hear is awful (albeit sounding slightly interesting in the right hands).  I don't understand what happened to Hardwicke's career, but maybe this speaks to the latent sexism in Hollywood.  I mean, what happened to her is basically exactly what happened to Kimberly Peirce.  She, too, burst onto the scene with such a tremendous example of real talent and vision with Boys Don't Cry...and then it was all snuffed out.  I hope that this works out for Hardwicke, but I'd really just love her to direct another original work, something that is close to her heart and reminds her WHY she started making movies.

And finally, let's talk about my beating heart.  Yup, Big Hero 6 is getting a sequel!  Yes, this was expected (like, can we talk about the perfect setup with that ending), but the news is coming sooner than I personally expected.  Big Hero 7 (as fans are calling it) has been confirmed, and speculation is already circulating as to rumors about the possible story line.  You can see those rumors and speculations here, if you want to possibly spoil the plot for yourself.

Not a day goes by where I do not wish that I was at Disney World, so this news has me all sorts of giddy with excitement!

Also...

Here's What I'll Be Reading Today:
Brittani reviews The Last of Robin Hood
Sati reviews Mad Max: Fury Road
Chris reviews Hunger (the novel)
Matt talks the shame in Oscar's snubbery of Shame
Jay reviews Mary and Max
Ruth reviews Time Lapse
Josh reviews Saving Grace
Mario reviews Zombeavers (yes, you read that right)
Maria reviews San Andreas
Wendell reviews Blended
Candice wants to know if we need to understand a film to enjoy it
That Moment In breaks down The Shining
Keith reviews Annabelle
Jenna and Allie give us a ton of movie trivia
Big Screen, Small Words welcomes the new month

Yeah, that's more links that normal, but I've been out of pocket for a few more days that I expected, so I have a lot to read today!

38 comments:

  1. Cool links! Thanks for sharing!
    You had me at Anne Hathaway. Can't wait to see The Lifeboat! :)

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    1. Yup, Hathaway snags my interest as well.

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  2. Oooohhhh, a sequel to Big Hero 6. Looking forward to that. It's very curious what's going on with young directors in general, but in particular, female directors. Just a guess, but I think they're suffering from having a reduced amount of creative control over the projects handed to them by the studio. The money might be too good to turn down, though.

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    1. Yeah, I think the struggle they're facing, also, is that no one is backing them to make the films they want to make. Independent film is hard to finance for a director without support, and female directors in general are disregarded so casually in the industry. It's a real shame.

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    2. And you're welcome for the link ;-)

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  3. Thanks for the link! A mix of Hitchcock's Lifeboat, Sophie's Choice and The Reader sound good to me! I also look forward to the next Dolan film.

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    1. Yeah, The Lifeboat sounds like it has the potential to be amazing!

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  4. I'm looking forward to The Lifeboat with reservations about Hathaway. I don't dislike her on the level of Kidman, Zellweger or Amy Adams but I do find her gushing false humility irksome and the project seems a perfect fit for Wright's muse Keira Knightley. Perhaps her just having a baby has led to her decision to take some time off, which is understandable, it's a shame though that she has to miss on something that seems so ideal. I did think of the Hitchcock's classic when I saw the title and was instantly horrified that anyone should attempt a remake or could replace Tallulah but was relieved to see that wasn't the case.

    With the female directors, really all directors except the hugely established like Spielberg etc, it seems to me this is where the loss of the studio contract system hits hard. During that time perhaps they had a bit less control over their films but they were constantly provided with scripts. Were all of them good? No, but it was in the studios interest to keep them busy and once a reputation was established to funnel better scripts their way, and with more opportunities one bad film didn't damage them as much. Also because of the continual activity they were able to refine their vision into an individual voice. Obviously it didn't work for all but for the greats like Ford, Stevens, Hitchcock and so forth it was a great boon.

    On a separate note, TCM released it schedule for their August Summer Under the Stars this weekend. There's some great days scheduled but I thought of you Drew when I saw that one of the stars scheduled to have her own day is Ingrid Bergman with a nice mix of her films including many of the Rossellini pictures. I'm pleased by it since there are four of hers I've never seen. Actually almost every day, except Katharine Hepburn's, contains at least one title that is new to me.

    Here's the link to the entire schedule, Ingrid's is the 28th:

    http://www.tcm.com/schedule/monthly.html?tz=est&sdate=2015-8-01



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    1. Yeah, I'd love to have seen Wright team up with Knightley for The Lifeboat, but I also love when a great director takes hold of other talents to make them great. I have faith that Wright can do wonderful things with Hathaway!

      And so there for catching up on the Rossellini/Bergman films I've missed! Thanks for the heads up!

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    2. You're welcome.

      Summer Under the Stars is perhaps my favorite feature that TCM does. 31 Days of Oscar is great but having seen most of the award winners by now it really only provides a chance to see a few new foreign films each year but more or less the rest is just a chance to revisit old favorites.

      With SUTS having each day devoted to one performer they have to dig deeper into their catalogs and even with a huge stars like Joan Crawford who has a silent scheduled that is new to me or Vivien Leigh where they are showing the rare 21 Days Together that she and Olivier made just after their marriage they find new items. Then there are the treasure trove days with Ingrid, Patricia Neal, Monty Woolley, Mae Clarke, Rex Ingram and Warren Oates where there are multiple titles to discover. I'm sure they won't all be winners, with titles like Watusi and The Road Builder I sincerely doubt it, but it's phenomenal that they provide the opportunity to find out.

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    3. Yeah, I love Summer Under the Stars...although it usually clogs my entire DVR!

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    4. I suffer the same DVR problem! There are so many great things they'll be showing but the two I really want to recommend to you are The Lusty Men directed by Nicholas Ray which they're showing on the 12th-Robert Mitchum day. It's my favorite film of '52 and Mitchum would be my best actor choice. Also The Breaking Point which shows on the 16th-Patricia Neal day where she costars with John Garfield. I love Garfield and to me this is his best film and Pat Neal's best early performance-it's based on the same Hemingway story that Bogie/Bacall's To Have and Have Not was, only it sticks much closer to the source material.

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    5. I'll be on the lookout for both!

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  5. Thanks for the link Drew! LOVE Big Hero 6, great to hear it's getting a sequel though I expected it. Speaking of sequel, saw a hilarious mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, hope there's a sequel to THAT!

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    1. I've heard of that, but haven't seen it. Consider my interest piqued.

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  6. Thanks for the link! I love Joe Wright's movies, even if I'm not dying to see Pan. I probably will eventually, but he and Hathaway could be a good fit.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one being obsessed with watching the Duggars burn lol

    What did Dolan do at Cannes to piss people off? I barely read anything on Cannes this year and I'm usually glued to it.

    I don't know wtf happened to Hardwicke. Thirteen was a masterpiece, Lords of Dogtown was great, everything after sucked.

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    1. Dolan apparently partied so much he missed some of the screenings and so people are irritated that he didn't take his judging responsibility seriously. There are also reports that he's a complete diva and made like hell for those responsible for putting Cannes on. He was a dick to a few fans (some of them are friends of mine who were there) and then there was his apparent insistence on awarding Bercot over Blanchett, which became a real sore spot since Bercot's film and performance were met with universal disappointment, and Blanchett's was one of the most lauded of the whole festival.

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  7. You had me at Cotillard. I'm not yet stoked about The Lifeboat as I am sure things will drift apart or sink altogether (see what I did there?). I'll stay hopeful though. It just seems rather early. I'll be honest and say I didn't much think Big Hero 6 was anything more than just another animated film. I watched it twice, really trying to let it get under my skin, but I don't even remember much about it. Thanks for the link, my friend. Great post, as always.

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    1. Yup, Cotillard puts my ass in that seat!

      I'm confident in The Lifeboat. Strong story, strong director, strong leading lady...I think it'll work!

      For me, Big Hero 6 is so much a set up film, and a fun one, but I'm really excited to see where they take it.

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  8. I love Anne Hathaway and I like the fact that she doesn't care how she acts publicly and such. Plus, she isn't afraid to make fun of herself. I just hope her collaboration with Joe Wright is a good one.

    Catherine Hardwicke, started off well and then.... eeeeerrrrrr....

    Look, I'm excited about Dolan's new film as you but I'm a patient man. Let him do his magic.

    I read Sofia Coppola has officially left the Little Mermaid project due to creative differences. Now it's going to suck.

    Speaking of disappointing filmmakers, have you read my review of Aloha?

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    1. Yeah, Wright and Hathaway should be a great combo!

      Hardwicke's case is so sad.

      And, I can wait for Dolan to make magic, but luckily for the rest of us, he makes that magic rather quickly (5 films in 4 years is quick work) so I know I won't have to wait too patiently! I mean, the man was already filming the day after he left Cannes!

      I'm sad Sophia left The Little Mermaid. I read that shortly after posting this, otherwise I would have included it. I was really looking forward to how she was going to handle that material. I'm glad, though, that she stuck to her guns as a filmmaker and didn't just go along with creating something she didn't believe in. Unlike Hardwicke, Coppola has it a little easier in the industry thanks to her father and well her entire family having the cred needed to actually do what they want, make what they want to make. If she was clashing with the studio over creative choices, it's best that she walks away and makes something true to herself and not just buckle and deliver something that her fans are going to be put off by.

      I'll be over to read your review of Aloha soon! If it's anything like every other review I've seen of the film, I'm glad that I have avoided it and don't plan on seeing it at all.

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  9. I like Anne Hathaway as long as she can keep her humbleness intact. Sometimes directors are one hit wonders so time will tell. I have not seen any of the Big Hero movies so slap my hands!:)

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    1. Her humbleness is hilarious though, because it feels so fake. I could care less about an actors off screen persona when it comes to their work though. If she can act, I love her. If she stops acting well and starts to allow her fakeness bleed into her performances, then I'll hate her.

      Besides, her hilariously fake persona made for the most entertaining awards run ever back in 2012. It was a double blessing, because she deserved that award SO MUCH, so her winning was deserved AND she entertained the hell out of me in the process.

      Apparently, she wins at life!

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  10. Thanks for the link Fisti. Yeah you know I don't know what happened to Hardwicke's career. I do agree that had she been male and directed hits like '13' and 'Twilight' perhaps things would have gone differently for her. However, there is no excuse for some of her directorial choices. The Red Riding Hood film was atrocious. She may need to return to her indie film roots. I'm not sure how Kathryn Bigelow did it. She's incredible.

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    1. Yeah, I think that these female directors with a very female narrative to their work fail to get the funding they need to tell their stories. I mean, look at what Hollywood handed her to make...a Red Riding Hood fairy tale adaptation and Twilight, because Hollywood thinks that those are the only types of women's stories that make any money. A movie like thirteen, which is so powerful and so female, doesn't make money and so Hollywood doesn't see a need to tell that story.

      It's ridiculous!

      Bigelow is at an advantage because she isn't set on telling women's stories. Her biggest success was a male-centric film about war, and her next film, while anchored with a female protagonist, was all about a very 'male' genre, war, and so she has that in her back pocket.

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  11. Mahalo for the link, my good man. Totally appreciate it.

    Holy shit, I'm so in for Big Hero 7. And 8. And maybe even 9. I loved everything about that movie.

    I'm kinda shocked that you're all in for the Pan preview, as I think that looks like it could be a bit of a mess. I'll see it, sure, but my confidence wanes every other time I see the trailer.

    Ah, the Duggars. F that whole scene, man. Seriously.

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    1. Yeah, I can't wait to see where Big Hero goes from here. They have a very solid base and so much promise, so hopefully it won't get messed up, but Disney is on a role, so I'm expecting great things.

      Pan looks like it could be really messy, but I have hope. Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories, because it captures the very reasons that childhood is so special, and I love Wright and every one of his films (The Soloist aside) and so I have faith that those trailers are just cut awkwardly in order to draw in a family crowd. I'm hoping that, in context, all that feels tacky and messy fits.

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  12. The Duggars ... so sad, but not surprising. When you create a repressive patriarchal environment, bad things happen. :-(

    I am definitely intrigued by The Lifeboat!

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    1. That Duggar crap is SO expected, which is so sad.

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  13. The Hathaway-Wright collaboration sounds good. I'm not sure about Pan but will probably watch it, it looks very visual. Big Hero 6 sequel is definitely expected and I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for the link!

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    1. So welcome on the link. Pan is something I really hope is great, since everyone in this house is impatiently waiting for it!

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  14. Oh my God stop watching hillbilly shite :P I lost touch so bad I have almost no idea about any of the films you mentioned, but I will see whatever new movie Dolan has out

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    1. Watching anything Dolan puts out is a pretty good rule to live by.

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  15. Benh Zeitlin is in such a tough position. The success of Beasts is a very difficult shadow to come out of. (Damien Chazelle is in the same position.) I really hope Old Young is good as well, but yeah, sounds iffy right now.

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    1. Oh yeah, he definitely could suffer from having such a successful and critically lauded debut. I think that Chazelle is in a safer position, mostly because he feels like he'll be more Hollywood than Zeitlin as well. I mean, he's already working with Gosling and Stone on his followup. Zeitlin seems very set to remain obscure and independent, which will limit his resources, which could make such broad ideas hard to deliver on.

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  16. Thanks for the link buddy!

    So many interesting projects! And I include Zeitlin's in there too. Though, I'm still awaiting Shyamalan's comeback. ;) Peirce and Hardwicke could use a comeback too.

    Ugh, Big Hero 6 was just so...ordinary. It almost felt like a throwaway DreamWorks entry. I love Baymax, but the film was too underdeveloped. Like, it was the WORST of the Oscar noms.

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    1. LOL, well I preferred it to Dragon and Boxcar, and I haven't seen the two foreigns (although I will soon)...but I can see feeling that way. I felt like it was a really sharp introduction to something grander, which is why I'm really excited for the sequel.

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