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August 20, 2017

Jerry Lewis, King of Comedy, Dies at 91

Jerry Lewis has died at age 91. The legendary actor, comedian, singer, producer, screenwriter, and director had a decades-long career that included a comic partnership alongside Dean Martin and a gut-busting presence in such films as “The Nutty Professor” and “The Bellboy.” The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s John Katsilometes reports that he passed away at 9:15 Sunday morning at his home in Las Vegas.

Lewis suffered from many health issues in recent decades; he underwent open-heart surgery in 1983, surgery for prostate cancer nine years later, had a heart attack in 2006, and dealt with pulmonary fibrosis for many years. He and Martin ruled the nightclub scene throughout the 1950s, though their eventual split wasn’t exactly amicable.

Born March 16, 1926 in Newark, New Jersey, Lewis was married to Patti Palmer from 1944-1980 and then to SanDee Pitnick from 1983 until his death. He had seven children, one of whom, Joseph Lewis, died in 2009. Lewis was also familiar for hosting the Labor Day telethon and received many humanitarian and lifetime achievement awards.


Source: IndieWire film

August 20, 2017

Billy Idol Almost Played the T-1000 in ‘Terminator 2,’ Robert Patrick Reveals

Well, everyone knows Robert Patrick played the T-1000 in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” What this new Hollywood Reporter interview presupposes…maybe he almost didn’t? The actor reveals that he wasn’t exactly the first choice to play the menacing, nigh-unstoppable cyborg in the 1991 sci-fi/action masterpiece, and in fact a rather different performer was: “Billy Idol was set to do the role of the T-1000, as I understand,” Patrick says.

“I can tell you that I saw Billy’s image when I went to Stan Winston after I got the role. Unfortunately, he got into a motorcycle accident and busted up his leg, so he wasn’t able to physically do what the role demanded.” That’s quite the “what if?” scenario, but few would complain about how things turned out — Patrick’s icy performance is part of what makes “T2” the classic it is.

The film is being re-released in 3D this week, marking 26 years since it first introduced us to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new-and-improved Terminator. Read Patrick’s full interview here.

Source: IndieWire film

August 20, 2017

‘Patti Cake$’ Opens Soft as ‘Ingrid Goes West’ and ‘Wind River’ Hold Strong

A slew of hit-and-miss indie films from Sundance and elsewhere continue to roll out at the specialty box office. Fox Searchlight took another blow as high-end Sundance acquisition “Patti Cake$” fell below the expectations set by its expensive $9.5 million price tag.

Gook” (Goldwyn) and “Crown Heights” (Amazon Studios/IFC) both enjoyed respectable initial limited responses ahead of other openers. A24’s Robert Pattinson actioner “Good Time” also showed some promise in its second weekend.

The most encouraging news comes from the second weekend of Neon’s “Ingrid Goes West” and third for The Weinstein Co. breakout “Wind River.” Both look positioned to dominate the specialized scene over the next few weeks in advance of upcoming fall post-festival releases.


Patti Cake$ (Fox Searchlight) – Metacritic: 65; Festivals include: Sundance, South by Southwest, New Directors/New Films 2017

$66,000 in 14 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $4,714

Fox Searchlight won an intense Sundance acquisition battle with its reported $9.5 million offer. After disappointing results for earlier high end Park City deals for “The Birth of a Nation” and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” this might be the most disappointing yet for the usually canny high-end specialized distributor.

While the urban/hip-hop story encouraged Searchlight to expand beyond core New York/Los Angeles arthouse theaters, those four high-end screens delivered most of the gross, while a range of others targeting younger urban audiences similar to its characters showed little initial response. The top-end figures themselves were nothing to cheer about, especially for such an expensive purchase.

What comes next: This will expand to around nine more cities this week, with a planned  expansion to hundreds of theaters on Labor Day weekend.



Courtesy of Sundance Institute, photo by Ante Cheng

Gook (Goldwyn) – Metacritic: 68; Festivals include: Sundance, Seattle 2017

$31,100 in 2 theaters; PTA: $15,550

This drama set in the Korean community, badly hurt during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, opened in two Los Angeles theaters (including the Arclight Hollywood) to quite decent initial results. This is a rare Sundance high-end film (it won an audience award) to not open in New York as well in its first week. The result in Los Angeles is decent, with interest elsewhere yet to be determined.

What comes next: This opens in other markets and broadens in the Los Angeles area this Friday.

“Crown Heights”

Crown Heights (IFC) – Metacritic: 59; Festivals include: Sundance, Seattle 2017

$27,552 in 3 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $9,184

This Amazon films released through IFC about the quest to free a wrongfully convicted man opened in three New York/Los Angeles theaters to mixed reviews and a respectable gross.

What comes next: The wider expansion starts this week.

Marjorie Prime (FilmRise) – Metacritic: 81; Festivals include: Sundance, Rotterdam, San Francisco 2017

$24,000 in 6 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $4,000

Excellent reviews and acclaim for veteran actress Lois Smith (costarring with Geena Davis, Jon Hamm and Tim Robbins) did not yield elevated results in initial multi-city dates. This Sundance premiere from veteran Michael Almereyda involves an older woman spending her dying days with a scientifically recreated version of her late husband.

What comes next: This expands to more cities starting this weekend.

Also available on Video on Demand

Dave Made a Maze (Gravitas Ventures/Slamdance 17) – $13,178 in 13 theaters

Lemon (Magnolia/Sundance 17) – (est.) $4,500 in 1 theater

Ingrid Goes West

“Ingrid Goes West”

Courtesy of Sundance

Week Two

Ingrid Goes West (Neon)

$265,567 in 26 theaters (+23); PTA: $10,214; Cumulative: $438,685

Excellent second weekend showing for this Sundance success now unlike some other strong Park City entries also well-received by regular audiences. It looks to be reaching its target younger audience (more interested in its social media sensation story), which could explain the disconcerting 27 per cent Saturday (the day after opening in most of these theaters) drop off. Still in a period where the majority of initially positive films had less of a response in as they played more cities this is a very positive result so far.

"Good Time"

“Good Time”

Good Time (A24)

$173,044 in 20 theaters (+16); PTA: $8,652; Cumulative: $349,007

The Safdie brothers well-received prison break story expanded into top markets in its second weekend with a showing ahead of two other recent A24 releases around this number of theaters (“A Ghost Story” and “The Lovers”) that didn’t realize results equal to their initial platform showings. This opened last week better than both. The Robert Pattinson starring film will need another weekend of expansion to indicate whether this has a chance to go beyond specialized theaters.

The Only Living Boy in New York (Roadside Attractions)

$84,910 in 66 theaters (+51); PTA: $1,286; Cumulative: $162,033

A rare disaster for the high-flying Amazon, Marc Webb’s saga of complicated young New York romance has found little interest in its second weekend expansion. Poor reviews killed this.

The Trip to Spain

The Trip to Spain (IFC); also available on Video on Demand

$70.889 in 19 theaters (+16); PTA: $3,731; Cumulative: $129,889

VOD was added this weekend, which makes the modest results for this second week expansion for the third Steve Coogan road trip movie somewhat more credible. The previous entry, “The Trip to Italy” grossed over $100,000 its second weekend in 10 theaters.

Whose Streets? (Magnolia)

$(est.) 26,000 in 26 theaters (+2); PTA: $(est.) 1,000; Cumulative: $(est.) 70,000

This acclaimed documentary about the impact of Ferguson in its second weekend is still struggling to find an audience in theaters.

jeremy renner elizabeth olsen wind river

“Wind River”

Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000 in under 1,000 theaters)

Wind River (Weinstein) Week 3

$3,025,000 in 694 theaters (+649); Cumulative: $4,139,000

Writer-director Taylor Sheridan’s Western drama in its third week is performing similar to CBS Films “Hell or High Water” (for which Sheridan earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay) late last summer in its early expansion. That film was a bit wider (909 theaters) with a gross of $3.5 million and managed to get to $27 million, a goal which Weinstein will pursue along with the eventual Oscar recognition that came its way. Jeremy Renner’s marquee draw from three studio franchises (“Avengers,” “Bourne,” and “Mission: Impossible”) may be boosting interest.

The Big Sick (Lionsgate) Week 9

$1,025,000 in 618 theaters (-91); Cumulative: $38,090,000

Still going strong, Amazon’s summer specialized hit is going to nearly equal their “Manchester by the Sea” with all its Oscar-related push (Kenneth Lonergan’s film topped out at just under $48 million).

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (Paramount) Week 4

$300,000 in 514 theaters (-42); Cumulative: $2,994,000

It’s the highest-grossing specialized documentary release of the year, mainly because of Paramount’s aggressive push to hundreds of theaters. But the sequel to the Oscar winning “An Inconvenient Truth” will end up far short of its predecessor, which (adjusted) grossed $32 million in 2006.

Menashe (A24) Week 4

$230,130 in 86 theaters (+39); Cumulative: $715,312

This Yiddish-language custody dispute in a New York orthodox community expands again with continued positive results among its core audience. Though not a foreign film, it looks headed to grosses among the best arthouse subtitled films of the year.


Step (Fox Searchlight) Week 3

$205,000 in 306 theaters (+121); Cumulative: $809,253

Fox Searchlight has given this Baltimore-set feel good competition documentary full support, but with minimal response from its wider break in theaters.

Menashe (A24) Week 4

$230,130 in 86 theaters (+39); Cumulative: $715,312

This Yiddish-language custody dispute in a New York orthodox community expands again with continued positive results among its core audience. Though not a foreign film, it looks headed to grosses among the best arthouse subtitled films of the year.

The Brigsby Bear (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4

$159,003 in 408 theaters (+371); Cumulative: $354,900

The per-theater attendance for this quirky independent comedy will be under 50 patrons each and will likely fall off quickly. This had a modest limited opening, but the broader interest seems much smaller.

Maudie (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 19

$124,541 in 124 theaters (-39); Cumulative: $5,639,000

The U.S. portion of this Canadian-Irish coproduction is now almost at $3 million, a decent mid-level result in a crowded adult market this summer.

Also noted:

Landline (Magnolia) – $43,000 in 60 theaters; Cumulative: $853,874

Columbus (Superlative) – $44,450 in 12 theaters; Cumulative: $152,761

The Midwife (Music Box) – $34,488 in 37 theaters; Cumulative: $397,886

The Little Hours (Gunpowder & Sky) – $33,290 in 39 theaters; Cumulative: $1,510,000

The Hero (The Orchard) – $17,631 in 39 theaters; Cumulative: $4,013,000

Lost in Paris (Oscilloscope) – $16,500 in 16 theaters; Cumulative: $507,778

Lady Macbeth (Roadside Attractions) – $ in 86 theaters; Cumulative: $





Source: IndieWire film

August 20, 2017

‘Mosaic’: Steven Soderbergh Reveals Plot Details About His Mysterious ‘Branching Narrative’ Project at HBO

Now that he’s returned to feature filmmaking, Steven Soderbergh already has his next project in mind. That should come as little surprise given how prolific the “Logan Lucky” director is, but “Mosaic” sounds ambitious even for him. In a new Film Comment interview, Soderbergh calls his mysterious HBO project starring Sharon Stone and Garrett Hedlund a “branching narrative” that will allow viewers to decide which character’s perspective they want to follow.

Sound confusing? Here it is from Soderbergh himself:

“It’s a branching narrative piece. Branching narratives have been around forever, but technology now allows, I hope, for a more elegant, intuitive form of engagement than used to be possible. We spent a lot of time on how you touch this thing. I wanted to make sure that it was beautiful and simple, so that when the opportunity arises for you to decide whose perspective you want to follow, it feels organic and not like an interruption — like the thing is just stopping cold. So there was just a lot trial and error about how that would work. I’m really happy with it now. The question now is if a million people log on at the same time, will it crash? It’s supposed to come out in November.”

Before it airs on HBO, “Mosaic” will first be unveiled as a free app. Despite what it sounds like, however, this isn’t a choose-your-own-adventure story; the narrative itself is set, and all that changes is how you experience it. And though it revolves around a murder, “Mosaic” is “not a murder mystery so much.” We’ll have a clearer sense of it all when, according to Soderbergh, it airs as a six-episode series on HBO next January. Read the full interview here.

Source: IndieWire film

August 20, 2017

Stunts 101: 3 Things You Should Know about Using Breakaway Glass

Are you itching to throw someone through a window? Here’s how to do it safely.

Though it’s tons of fun watching our favorite action stars take death-defying leaps through plate glass windows, these types of stunts, which utilize breakaway glass, are well-choreographed and executed by professional stunt performers to mitigate any real danger. If you’re interested in including a stunt like this in your own work, awesome, but before you go toss your lead actor through your living room window, check out this video from The Slanted Lens. In it, host Jay P. Morgan shares a few tips on how to pull it off safely and effectively, including 1.) how to prepare your set, 2.) how to install the glass, and 3.) how to toss a human being through it.

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Source: NoFilmSchool

August 19, 2017

What Picasso Can Teach Us About Being Filmmakers

Pablo Picasso is one of the greatest painters in human history, but as filmmakers, what can we learn from his philosophy on art?

As filmmakers, we tend to look within our own cinematic universe for inspiration and leadership, but when it comes to art, Spanish painter Pablo Picasso is one of the most important and influential creators of the 20th century. His radical exploration of style and knack for artistic innovation not only made him the most well-known artist of his time but left a legacy of adventurous creativity for future artists as well. In the video below, Sven Pape of This Guy Edits takes a look at Picasso’s famous philosophy on art and creativity to see what kinds of lessons filmmakers can learn from the father of modern art.

Picasso was a very outspoken individual, whether it was regarding art or politics. He

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Source: NoFilmSchool

August 19, 2017

‘Death Note’: Adam Wingard Defends Anime Adaptation Against Whitewashing Claims: ‘It Is a Whole New Thing’

Like a lot of movies made in the last year, “Death Note” has faced criticism for whitewashing its source material. The upcoming Netflix drama is based on a Japanese manga and, not unlike “Ghost in the Shell,” has changed Japanese characters into American ones: Nat Wolff plays Light Turner (the updated version of Light Yagami), while Margaret Qualley is Mia Sutton (Misa Amane).

Director Adam Wingard addressed those claims to Vulture, saying that his take on “Death Note” isn’t “just taking a character and trying to say a white kid is a Japanese kid. It is a whole new thing. The characters are all very different and it is a different kind of experience all together.”

Wingard, who also directed “You’re Next” and “Blair Witch,” got defensive about the same subject a couple months back: “Just clearing up misconceptions.No one has seen the film outside of 2 test screenings,” he tweeted. “Criticisms at this point are based on assumptions.”

Two of the film’s producers spoke up in defense of “Death Note” as well. “I think we got the right actors for the parts that were written,” said Roy Lee, whose prior credits include “The Departed” and “The Ring.” “We didn’t look at race as a factor. We just did the version that was set in the U.S. There are remakes of U.S. movies like ‘Sideways’ in Japan, but there was never a thought for them to bring in American actors to play the [characters] in the Japanese remake.”

“The whole idea of whitewashing is putting white people in roles that were meant to be a different race. But this wasn’t specifically a racially bound story, because it was set in America,” added Masi Oka, late of “Heroes.” “Anyone could have played that title role, whether it was white, African-American, Latino-American, or Asian-American. Anyone could have played that role.” Read their full comments here.

Source: IndieWire film

August 18, 2017

Watch: How 'Bonnie and Clyde' Birthed Graphic Violence and Changed American Cinema

50 years after its release, Bonnie and Clyde continues to influence generations of filmmakers. A new video essay from Screenprism takes a look at the reasons.

Bonnie and Clyde was a script that passed around Hollywood for several years—even going through the hands of Francois Truffaut—before ending up with Warren Beatty. Shirley Maclaine’s brother and a consummate Hollywood insider, Beatty agreed to take an upfront pay cut in order to get the film made. The result, directed by Arthur Penn and released in 1967, would have reverberations across America cinema forever more.

According to ScreenPrism, here are three things that Bonnie and Clyde changed in American film.

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Source: NoFilmSchool

August 18, 2017

Watch: When Video Games Are Better Than Movies

Sorry, film nerds: Naughty Dog, a video game company, is putting out the most exciting stories on the market.

You may recall that in our 2016 end-of-year trailer rankings, the #1 trailer we selected was not for a movie. It was—gasp!—for a video game. That video game is Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Pt. II, and to this day, it is still one of our most-anticipated upcoming releases.

This begs the question: What happens when video games reach the same level of technical acumen as films, while also delivering equivalent emotionally resonant experiences? Or, rather: What happens when playing a video game actually exceeds the cinematic experience?

There are a lot of great games out there, but there is one developer, in the opinion of both myself and Film Radar’s Daniel Netzel, that truly takes the cake. Of course, it’s Naughty Dog.

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Source: NoFilmSchool

August 18, 2017

me Convention Announces Keynote Hans Ulrich Obrist & Full Program

The full program for the me Convention is now live! Join us in Frankfurt from September 15 to 17 as we explore the future through a lens of technology, design and art with today’s makers and thought leaders.

We’re thrilled to welcome prolific curator and artistic director of the Serpentine Gallery Hans Ulrich Obrist for a keynote address on Saturday, September 16. He will present on “The Handwriting Project,” a digital protest promoting the preservation of this analog form of expression. The project has evolved into an open, ongoing public art exhibition called POST_, produced with Los Angeles organization ForYourArt.

The full me Convention program includes the Startup Cities pitching event as well as talks and workshops with the likes of astronaut and rocket scientist Buzz Aldrin, communication strategist Symone D Sanders, Head of Industrial Design at X – The Moonshot Factory, Nick Foster, avant-garde artist and cyborg Neil Harbisson, Director of Wikimedia Foundation Katherine Maher, Honest dollar founder whurley – plus these speakers you’ll recognize from past SXSW events:

Amber Valletta, Andrew Keen, Doug Newcomb, Dr. Sarah Richardson, Marta Riggins, Oliver Blank, Sasha Samochina, Bryan Lee Jr, Cristina Murphy, Dieter Zetsche, Amber Mac, Guy Kawasaki, Danny Shapiro, and many more.

Explore Frankfurt’s hip Bahnhofsviertel community during Urban Hot Spots – the evening program invites you to enjoy the coolest in bars, clubs, restaurants, arts and live music that the German metropolis has to offer. Don’t miss performances by cloud rapper Young Hurn and German’s famed hip-hop group Beginner.

Register today and book your hotel room.

Want to find out more? Checkout the me Convention website.

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Hans Ulrich Obrist – Photo by Wolfgang Tillmans

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Source: SxSW Film