September 3, 2017
TELLURIDE – The exhibition tennis match in 1973 between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs was truly historic. Over 30,000 people were on hand in the Houston Astrodome and reportedly 50 million watched it on television in the U.S. and 90 million worldwide. It was a signature moment for the women’s liberation movement at the time and was a monster marketing opportunity for women’s tennis. Unknown to many, however, was the personal journey King was undertaking at the time. Continue reading ‘Battle Of The Sexes’: Emma Stone Holds Serve In Back And Forth Drama [Telluride Review] at The Playlist.
“I am cantankerous, greedy, fat. I am perhaps, disagreeably, attached to power. But I am anything but insane.” Even if she is cantankerous and grumpy and stubborn and disagreeable, there’s a sweet side to her, if only you can get close enough to experience it. Victoria & Abdul is the latest from veteran filmmaker Stephen Frears (who last made Florence Foster Jenkins). It tells the true story of an unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria of England and a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim around the end of the 19th century. They become very close friends and this brings her much joy, but upsets the predominantly racist royal household around her. It starts out a bit campy, but becomes very charming once it gets into it. Frears’ Victoria & Abdul stars the wonderfully talented Judi Dench as Queen Victoria, and she is splendid, as always. Her co-star is Ali Fazal as Abdul Karim, and he’s such a delight, carrying so much …
“I need to do what I need to do…” Oscilloscope Labs has debuted a trailer for a documentary titled Bobbi Jene, profiling the life and provocative work of famed dancer Bobbi Jene Smith. Bobbi is an American dancer who, after 10 years in a prominent position at the world-famous Batsheva Dance Company in Israel, decides to leave and head home to the US to create her own boundary breaking art. This premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year, where it won Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Doc overall. As described, the film “delves into what it takes for a woman to gain her own independence in the extremely competitive world of dance and to find self-fulfillment in the process.” Seems like a very promising and also important doc from the dance world, with plenty of “erotic energy” and much more to offer. Worth a watch. Here’s the official trailer (+ poster) for Elvira Lind’s documentary Bobbi Jene, direct from …
If you wanted to be glib and coarse, not to mention antithetical to the film’s convivial tone, you could describe “Victoria & Abdul” as the movie that finally lets a constipated Queen Victoria take a shit. It’s about a doodie dislodged that brings joy and liberation. Hear me out. In Stephen Frears’ agreeable period costume drama— which is engaging and charming thanks to Judi Dench, if too nonthreatening and ingratiating otherwise— the bowels are the window to the soul. Continue reading ‘Victoria & Abdul’: Judi Dench Elevates Stephen Frears’ Feel-Good Dramedy [Venice Review] at The Playlist.
We’re right on top of things calendar-wise, right?… A little late to the party, but, it’s become a recurrent trend every summer for journalists to look back at the movies that were released and, well, complain. The gist of some articles would be “don’t you remember the days when they used to release great movies in the summer”? 1982 and/or 1984 are usually mentioned and, in all honesty, those were pretty great years. Continue reading The Best Movies Of Summer 2017 at The Playlist.
The Academy Award-winning director behind La La Land and Whiplash, Damien Chazelle, is joining forces with Netflix and screenwriter Jack Thorne (Star Wars: Episode IX) for a musical called The Eddy. Chazelle will direct two of the eight episodes, which are all set in Paris, France. After how lavish and dreamy Chazelle made Los Angeles …
It’s been the worst box office summer in decades in 2017, and appropriately enough, it ends with a whimper. With no new major wide releases hitting cinemas, this was the worst Labor Day weekend at the movies in seventeen years, which led to some strange outcomes. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” stayed at the top of the box office with a surprising 0.1% drop in attendance since last weekend, earning $10.2 million. Continue reading ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ Leads Quiet Labor Day Weekend [Box Office] at The Playlist.
In an era of cinematic universes, expanded narratives, and multi-threaded storytelling, there is an attractive elegance in simplicity. For his debut feature, Jason Raftopoulos keeps things refreshingly clean with “West Of Sunshine,” but don’t mistake that for a lack of complexity. Even though the film runs under 80 minutes, the writer/director’s laser focus on his two leads creates a compelling portrait of fatherhood and the intergenerational burden of having to carry the past or the future of a family legacy. Continue reading ‘West Of Sunshine’ Puts A Warm Ray Of Light On Fatherhood [Venice Review] at The Playlist.