All the News That’s Fit to Rank: Week of October 17
These are the top movie stories that got the Flickchart staff talking this week. We rank ’em, you read ’em.
1. Wes Anderson’s next movie will be stop-motion
Wes Anderson‘s first foray in the world of stop-motion animation, Fantastic Mr. Fox, was pretty much an unqualified success, so it’s pretty exciting to hear he’s returning to the medium with his next film. Something about the deliberate and careful style of stop-motion fits Anderson’s sensibilities perfectly. The next one will apparently be about dogs rather than foxes, and confirmed cast members include Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, and Bob Balaban. (via The AV Club)
2. Kathleen Kennedy hopes to have a female director in Star Wars’ future
So far it hasn’t seemed like having one of the most powerful woman in Hollywood be in charge of one of the biggest franchises in the world has done a WHOLE lot for women directors, but Kathleen Kennedy hopes to change that. Her concern is similar to that of many Hollywood execs, that there aren’t a lot of women who have experience directing bigger films to entrust with something like Star Wars (although sister company Marvel Studios seems to have no problem hiring inexperienced men over women regardless of their experience, but I digress), but she understands that studios need to do a better job to nurture female directors so they can GET that experience. Kennedy has the clout to do that, but it’s her move to put it into practice. (via Variety)
3. James Cameron producing live-action film version of Alita: Battle Angel with Robert Rodriguez (probably) directing
Alita: Battle Angel is based on a manga about a cyborg rescued from a junk heap who can’t remember anything but her martial arts training. So she takes on the criminal element while searching for who she is. I’m already on board. Although the story technically says that Rodriguez is “in negotiations” to direct, it sounds like he and Cameron are working pretty closely together to develop the film. Rodriguez mentioned in a statement that Cameron’s script is “terrific and visionary” and “character-driven”, which hopefully means “better than Avatar.” (via Variety)
4. Will Ferrell-themed bar opens in New York
I can think of a lot of fun themes for bars, but I confess, I’m not sure I would’ve thought of Will Ferrell as a theme, but two guys in New York did and their bar Stay Classy is dedicated to all things Will Ferrell – they’ve commissioned Will Ferrell art for decorations, named all their drinks after Will Ferrell references (the You’re My Boy Blue sounds particularly tasty), and presumably encourage non-stop quoting of Anchorman. (via /Film)
5. Long-lost Monty Python animation rediscovered
Despite having no actual training in animation, Terry Gilliam‘s deliberately jerky animations are a highlight of all the Monty Python films (and TV series). For the new 40th Anniversary edition of Monty Python and the Holy Grail coming to DVD and Blu-ray this year, a bunch of animation outtakes from the film were restored and put together with some delightful Gilliam commentary. “We took all this stuff out of the film so you wouldn’t have to watch it, but we do, and we’re tired of watching it.” Lots of self-deprecation, but also anecdotes about the film, which any Python fan will gobble up like candy. The best part? You don’t even have to buy the Blu-ray to watch it, because they’ve put it up on YouTube. (via /Film)
6. John Sayles and Franco Nero team up for new Django movie
The original 1966 Django is a cult classic (and at least some amount of inspiration for Quentin Tarantino), but Django hasn’t officially been seen onscreen since 1987’s Django Strikes Again (though there are plenty of knockoffs). Now a third official Django film is being planned, with Franco Nero returning in the titular role and John Sayles directing – probably one of the most spread apart trilogies in the history of film. Sayles is better known for smaller independent fare than action westerns, but that actually makes this potentially very interesting. (via The AV Club)
7. Judge upholds fair use defense for transformative works in YouTube viral video case
In the age of mashups and Let’s Plays, copyright law has never been more confusing. The fair use defense is supposed to protect creators of derivative content as long as their content is critique, parody, or sufficiently transformative, but it’s always kind of a crapshoot as to whether copyright holders will contest that, or exactly what constitutes critique, parody, or transformation. This week in a case regarding viral video content, a judge upheld the fair use defense, saying the works were sufficiently transformative due to voiceover commentary critiquing the original. This is good news for a lot of YouTubers, Let’s Players, and video essayists who depend on providing commentary over other people’s original content. (via Variety)
8. Jennifer Lawrence drops Linklater film, may pick up Aronofsky film
One of the hottest young actresses around, Jennifer Lawrence has her pick of projects, and looks like she’s ditching Richard Linklater (in a romantic drama called The Rosie Project – the studio plans to recast and move on soon) and may be heading in Darren Aronofsky‘s direction instead, for a film we basically know nothing about. Oh, and by the way, Lawrence would like to be paid the same as her male costars. Aronosfky? Ball’s in your court. (via /Film)
9. Lego Batman finds its Batgirl: Rosario Dawson
The Lego Movie spinoff starring Lego Batman is coming together, with Will Arnett back as Batman, and Michael Cera and Zach Galifianakis already confirmed. Now Rosario Dawson is joining the cast as Lego Batgirl. The film, directed by Chris McKay (animation supervisor on the first film), is due in early 2017, so don’t get your Lego Batsuits on just yet. (via Variety)
10. Kino Lorber to release new restoration of Jacques Rivette’s Out 1
Jacques Rivette‘s films are kind of a Holy Grail for fans of French cinema and the Nouvelle Vague – they’ve traditionally been VERY difficult to see, haven’t ever been released in the US on DVD, and are almost never screened. That makes some sense with regards to Out 1, his magnum opus that runs 12.5 hours in total (split up into 8 episodes). It’s certainly kind of daunting to think about, but having really enjoyed (if not quite understood) Celine and Julie Go Boating despite the shitty VHS I saw it on, I’m game to give Out 1 a try when Kino Lorber and Carlotta Films release it on DVD and Blu-ray in full 2K. Criterion has also started putting out some Rivette, so hopefully this underseen yet legendary filmmaker’s work is finally reaching accessibility after decades. (via Variety)
Top Trailers of the Week
Billed as “the loudest silent movie of all time”, Gotterdammerung got our attention back when it cast legend Iggy Pop as a fallen angel, and now we can actually see what that looks like. But, like, there are people talking in the trailer, so I’m confused on the whole “silent movie” thing. That aside, this looks pretty whackadoodle.
Though several Jesse Owens films are apparently in the works, Race (starring Stephan James as Owens) is out in front, focusing on Owens’ historic 1936 Olympics. Also, racism.
This year is Ingrid Bergman‘s centennial (she would’ve turned 100 back in August), so it makes sense to look out for a documentary this year, and Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words looks like a good one.
It’s hard to beat Charlotte Rampling in anything, and here’s a new trailer for the upcoming 45 Years starring Rampling and Tom Courtenay, which looks to be about an older couple discovering secrets from their past.