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‘Phantom Thread’ Review: Paul Thomas Anderson Fashions a Continually Surprising Relationship Drama

On a basic level, Paul Thomas Anderson makes films about magnetic presences — figures who emanate such greatness that it’s nearly as impossible for bystanders to be around them as it is to not be around them. Phantom Thread, Anderson’s ninth film, is of a piece with much of his career in that way, telling of a prodigal 1950s dressmaker, Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), who inspires equally rapturous reactions to his handiwork and his mercurial disposition.

Just as The Master unmasked a serious-man character study as a psychological survey of bullshit artists and Inherent Vice played dress-up as a noir story to spin a tale of immovable sadness, so too does Phantom Thread present itself as a rigorous biopic-like narrative while its interests are far less fussy or predicable. This is less an examination of a singular person than a look at the torturous and sublime experience of his
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Lion’ and Nicole Kidman Dominate Australia’s AACTA Awards

‘Lion’ and Nicole Kidman Dominate Australia’s AACTA Awards
Lion” picked up a further five prizes at the Australian Academy of Cinematic and Television Arts Awards. Its haul included best picture and best director for Garth Davis.

The prizes were presented Wednesday evening at the Star Event Centre in Sydney. Earlier in the week at a prize-giving lunch, “Lion” made a clean sweep of the technical awards, winning in all seven categories for which it was nominated. In total, the film, which was produced by The Weinstein Co., won 12 Aacta awards.

The cast of “Lion” was richly rewarded. Nicole Kidman was named best supporting actress, Dev Patel was named best supporting actor, and child star Sunny Pawar was named best actor, becoming the youngest-ever recipient. Kidman won a second acting prize, for best guest or supporting actress in a TV drama, with “Top of the Lake: China Girl.” The series also earned a best actress award for Elisabeth Moss and a best guest or supporting actor in
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Women Directors From Europe on Their Foreign-Language Films

Women Directors From Europe on Their Foreign-Language Films
With a record 27 women behind the 92 foreign-language film submissions, Variety posed the same questions to a selection of directors about their experiences. What was your biggest obstacle in making the film? What was the key to your breakthrough? What is your creative goal? Who are your filmmaking heroes? What would you like the world to know about being a woman film director and the message you want to send? Here are their stories.

Anahit Abad

Yeva” (Armenia)

“Funding the project is the biggest obstacle, just like for most filmmakers who are trying to make their first film. Particularly, I can say that some of the most important obstacles I faced during the production of my film are being a woman, being of Armenian descent and of course, the fact that I am shorter than average.

“With all the financial obstacles, the fact that I was raised in the Iranian cinema and the location was somehow unfamiliar … I used
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Focus Production Summit Lines Up Industry Speakers

Focus Production Summit Lines Up Industry Speakers
Focus, the international location event running Dec. 5/6 in London, has unveiled its free-to-attend program of panels, workshops and presentations. Variety is one of the event’s media partners.

It kicks off with an onstage interview with Andy Noble, co-producer of “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” which stars Annette Bening, and was produced by James Bond production company Eon Productions. The discussion will look at the project’s genesis and development, and the details of the shoot in Liverpool and London.

This is followed by a discussion about high-end TV that includes “Knightfall” writer Dominic Minghella, Carlo Dusi, head of business and commercial affairs at Scott Free, and an executive producer on Tom Hardy’s “Taboo,” and Robert Jones, CEO of the Fyzz Facility. The title of the discussion, “Do the Clever People Now Work in Television?,” is prompted by a Jane Campion quote: “The really clever people used to do film. Now the really
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Lady Bird Is Rotten Tomatoes' Best-Reviewed Movie of All Time

Lady Bird Is Rotten Tomatoes' Best-Reviewed Movie of All Time
Even if Lady Bird comes up short at the Academy Awards (which it likely won't) the movie can now claim the Rotten Tomatoes crown. Few movies have ever earned a 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but Lady Bird is one of those movies, which is very impressive in its own right. But now director Greta Gerwig's movie has officially become the best-reviewed movie in the history of Rotten Tomatoes. That's pretty impressive for a little independent movie like Lady Bird and it bodes well for the movie's chances as this current awards season moves along.

The previous record was held by Pixar's Toy Story 3, which also boasts the coveted 100 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Toy Story 3 has 163 reviews counted that make up its 100 percent rating. Lady Bird, as of this writing, has 170 reviews counted and not a single one of them is negative.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Jane Campion: “Women Are Being Believed And The Men Fired”

A large and looming question coming up as the curtain has been raised on sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, is how will this affect the future of the industry? Are these daily stories and public shamings of the aggressors enough to stop the decades old boys club? The question is unanswerable at the moment as we have never really witnessed this kind of seismic shift. Where do the years ahead lead? Are we entering a new phase where actresses and really just female industry players will finally be treated with, not just respect, but equality?

Continue reading Jane Campion: “Women Are Being Believed And The Men Fired” at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Quote of the Day: Jane Campion on Why the Post-Weinstein World Is a “Fairytale” for Women

Campion: cinematographos/YouTube

As accounts of sexual harassment and abuse continue to come out of Hollywood (and elsewhere), terms like “reckoning” and “long time coming” are being thrown around. And now, according to Jane Campion, we can add “fairytale” to the list of phrases.

Per Newshub, the writer-director described the post-Harvey Weinstein world as a “fairytale time” for women in the film industry. Speaking at a Spada industry conference, the Palme d’Or winner observed, “Women are being believed and the men fired. This is breathtaking. I have never seen anything like this solidarity and call to action in my life.” She added, “The more we speak out [about sexual harassment and abuse], the less it will happen.”

We absolutely agree with Campion that this is a watershed moment for women in show business and we, of course, support any woman who decides to come forward with her story. However, to quote Ava DuVernay,
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Jane Campion: It’s A “Fairy Tale” Time For Women In The Entertainment Business

Jane Campion: It’s A “Fairy Tale” Time For Women In The Entertainment Business
The Piano and Top Of The Lake filmmaker Jane Campion has said the sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood has made it a "fairytale" time to be a woman in the entertainment business. Speaking at the Screen Production and Development Association Conference in Wellington, New Zealand, Campion said, “Women are being believed and the men fired. This is breathtaking. I have never seen anything like this solidarity and call to action in my life.” “The more we speak out, the less…
See full article at Deadline »

The 20 Best Film Directors Who Came to TV in the 21st Century

The 20 Best Film Directors Who Came to TV in the 21st Century
While in recent years we’ve seen plenty of crossover between the film and television worlds, there have been a number of film directors whose engagement with this quasi-new medium has been truly groundbreaking, as they’ve found TV to be a far more creatively satisfying place than film. Thus, while they still may actively work in film from time to time, their TV efforts have proved unforgettable.

For the record, because we limited this to the 21st century, directors Nicole Holocenfer, Mimi Leder, David Lynch, and Tommy Schlamme were ineligible. But their accomplishments cannot be undersold.

Susanne Bier

Oscar winner Susanne Bier made her American television debut with the stylish and sexy John le Carré miniseries “The Night Manager.” Unlike Tomas Alfredson’s barren aesthetic for the Carré film “Tinker Tailor Solider Spy,” Bier opted instead to bring a golden-hued sensuality to nearly every frame of her Carré vision.
See full article at Indiewire Television »

The 20 Best Film Directors Who Came to TV in the 21st Century

  • Indiewire
The 20 Best Film Directors Who Came to TV in the 21st Century
While in recent years we’ve seen plenty of crossover between the film and television worlds, there have been a number of film directors whose engagement with this quasi-new medium has been truly groundbreaking, as they’ve found TV to be a far more creatively satisfying place than film. Thus, while they still may actively work in film from time to time, their TV efforts have proved unforgettable.

For the record, because we limited this to the 21st century, directors Nicole Holocenfer, Mimi Leder, David Lynch, and Tommy Schlamme were ineligible. But their accomplishments cannot be undersold.

Susanne Bier

Oscar winner Susanne Bier made her American television debut with the stylish and sexy John le Carré miniseries “The Night Manager.” Unlike Tomas Alfredson’s barren aesthetic for the Carré film “Tinker Tailor Solider Spy,” Bier opted instead to bring a golden-hued sensuality to nearly every frame of her Carré vision.
See full article at Indiewire »

Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Laura Fairrie — “Spiral”

“Spiral”: Cohen Media Group

Laura Fairrie is an award-winning documentary director with a background as a current affairs journalist and producer. At the beginning of her career she worked in the UK, Northern Ireland, China, and the United States making special reports and documentaries for BBC “Newsnight,” BBC 2, Channel 4 News, and Channel 4. She then went on to focus on directing feature documentaries. Her credits include “The Battle for Barking,” an observational film which followed the 2010 UK General Election campaign fight between the controversial far right BNP and Labour Party, and “Taking on the Tabloids,” an exploration of Hugh Grant’s Hacked Off campaign against the British Press.

“Spiral” will premiere at the 2017 Doc NYC film festival on November 14.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Lf: “Spiral” is a film about intolerance and fear told through the prism of resurging antisemitism in Europe
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Why This Could Be the Year That Best-Director Oscar Nominations Finally Tip Toward Women

Why This Could Be the Year That Best-Director Oscar Nominations Finally Tip Toward Women
Kevin Spacey’s Oscar chances, obliterated. Dustin Hoffman’s, gone. While we don’t yet have the hashtag, March 4, 2018 will be remembered as the year that the issue of sexual harassment took center stage at the Dolby Theatre.

If one of the historical perks of Hollywood stardom was the ability to misbehave without consequences, those days are over. Sony pulled Ridley Scott’s AFI Fest closer “All the Money in the World,” which was primed for an awards campaign around Spacey, now accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment and abuse.

While Hoffman presented a Hollywood Film Award Sunday night, it’s unlikely that his crusty New York patriarch will be in the running for “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” after multiple harassment claims — in addition to Meryl Streep’s own account of how he introduced himself by grabbing her breast. (Streep will move into Oscar mode as
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Why This Could Be the Year That Best-Director Oscar Nominations Finally Tip Toward Women

  • Indiewire
Why This Could Be the Year That Best-Director Oscar Nominations Finally Tip Toward Women
Kevin Spacey’s Oscar chances, obliterated. Dustin Hoffman’s, gone. While we don’t yet have the hashtag, March 4, 2018 will be remembered as the year that the issue of sexual harassment took center stage at the Dolby Theatre.

If one of the historical perks of Hollywood stardom was the ability to misbehave without consequences, those days are over. Sony pulled Ridley Scott’s AFI Fest closer “All the Money in the World,” which was primed for an awards campaign around Spacey, now accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment and abuse.

While Hoffman accepted a Hollywood Film Award Sunday night, it’s unlikely that his crusty New York patriarch will be in the running for “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” after multiple harassment claims — in addition to Meryl Streep’s own account of how he introduced himself by grabbing her breast. (Streep will move into Oscar mode as
See full article at Indiewire »

Re-Thinking the Canon

Monsoon Wedding

My recent tweet storm about the need to re-think the (overwhelmingly white and male) canon led The Guardian to invite me to elaborate on my thoughts. They’ve used my piece as an introduction for a feature that asks writers, directors, producers, actresses, and other women in the industry to imagine a new, more inclusive canon.

The Guardian sourced contributions from women like Lynne Ramsay, Gurinder Chadha, and Amma Asante, whose respective picks are Claire Denis’ “Beau Travail,” Mira Nair’s “Monsoon Wedding,” and Barbra Steisand’s “Yentl.” This is what the canon looks like when women have a voice.

Head over to The Guardian to check out the feature. I’m really excited about how it turned out, but I’m even more excited by the reaction it’s causing. This was intended to be a conversation-starter, and people are talking. I’m receiving lots of tweets about what the canon could and should look like.

Here are some of the suggestions:

The Piano” — Directed by Jane Campion

Pariah” — Directed by Dee Rees

Born in Flames” — Directed by Lizzie Borden

Clueless” — Directed by Amy Heckerling

“Girlhood” — Directed by Céline Sciamma

“Eve’s Bayou” — Directed by Kasi Lemmons

“Raw” — Directed by Julia Ducournau

Middle of Nowhere” — Directed by Ava DuVernay

Black Girl” — Directed by Ousmane Sembene

Strange Days” — Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

The Elements trilogy (“Earth,” “Fire,” and “Water”) — Directed by Deepa Mehta

I’d love to hear from more people and to expand this important list. Please tweet me your picks @melsil. As more titles get added we’ll compile them and make a permanent home for this radical new canon, a celebration of the films that have been undervalued for far too long.

Re-Thinking the Canon was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

7 Essential Debut Films Directed By Female Filmmakers, From ‘Ratcatcher’ to ‘The Virgin Suicides’

7 Essential Debut Films Directed By Female Filmmakers, From ‘Ratcatcher’ to ‘The Virgin Suicides’
When Greta Gerwig’s already-lauded “Lady Bird” hits limited release later this week, the actress-writer-director will join a long line of other female filmmakers who used their directorial debut (this one is Gerwig’s solo directorial debut, just for clarity’s sake) to not only launch their careers, but make a huge mark while doing it. Gerwig’s Saoirse Ronan-starring coming-of-age tale is an instant classic, and one that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has enjoyed Gerwig’s charming work as a screenwriter in recent years, bolstered by her ear for dialogue and her love of complicated and complex leading ladies.

While Hollywood still lags when it comes to offering up opportunities to its most talented female filmmakers, many of them have overcome the dismal stats to deliver compelling, interesting, and unique first features. In short, they’re good filmmakers who made good movies,
See full article at Indiewire »

Quote of the Day: Nicole Kidman Says Being an Advocate Means Putting Things Into Action

Kidman in “Big Little Lies

2017 saw Nicole Kidman working with two renowned women directors: Jane Campion for “Top of the Lake: China Girl” and Sofia Coppola for “The Beguiled.” Her upcoming projects include Rebecca Miller’s “She Came to Me,” a comedic drama following intertwined love stories, and Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer,” a crime drama where she’ll play an Lapd detective. It’s no coincidence that the Oscar winner is starring in so many women-helmed projects. The actress has pledged to work with a female director every 18 months, a decision she discussed with Miller in a recent Glamour feature.

“As an actor you’re only as good as the things you’re offered. And there just weren’t any women offering me things. So when you dissect that, you realize there aren’t women offering you things because they don’t have the opportunities,” Kidman explained. “I work to raise money for women’s cancers; I use my voice for violence against women. And so I was like, ‘I need to be part of the movement that will, hopefully, change the statistics in my field.’”

The “Big Little Lies” actress emphasized that talking about the issue isn’t enough. “Because, to be an advocate, you have to actually put things into action,” she observed. “It’s like, ‘Ok, Rebecca. You’re making a movie? Let’s go.’ ‘Ok, Karyn Kusama’ — I’m working with her next — ‘we may not have an enormous budget, but let’s go do it. I’ll get down in the trenches with you.’ My nine-year-old daughter wants to be a director right now. Her whole attitude is ‘The world’s my oyster.’ She doesn’t realize that it’s actually not.”

Kidman won an Oscar for her performance in “The Hours” and earned nods for “Lion,” “Rabbit Hole,” and “Moulin Rouge!” She just picked up Emmy Awards for starring in and producing “Big Little Lies,” HBO’s adaptation of Liane Moriarity’s bestselling novel of the same name. She played a talented lawyer who sacrifices her career to be a stay-at-home mom under pressure from her abusive husband. A second season has yet to be confirmed.

“The idea that women and men are equal is a part of my DNA,” Kidman recently wrote in Net-a-Porter’s Porter Magazine. In an open letter addressed to her “3.5 billion strong and beautiful sisters,” she said that she prides herself on portraying “strong, independent women that went against the expectations of society,” and it’s been her “driving force to make it in an industry that is still largely run by men.”

Quote of the Day: Nicole Kidman Says Being an Advocate Means Putting Things Into Action was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Four Mother-Daughter Movies Could Dominate Awards Season

Four Mother-Daughter Movies Could Dominate Awards Season
Mother-daughter relationships have always been the stuff of great drama. And the Oscars are no exception. Three decades ago the “Moonstruck” acting duo Olympia Dukakis and Cher both won gold for playing a strong-willed New York Italian mother and her feisty daughter. Six years later, as a mute Scottish teacher and her de facto interpreter in New Zealand, Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin repeated that twofer triumph with Jane Campion’s “The Piano.”

Onscreen mother-daughter conflict has resulted in other dual Academy Award nominations: selfless Barbara Stanwyck tricked Anne Shirley into marrying rich in tearjerker “Stella Dallas” (1937); Meryl Streep’s big mouth inspired a rebellious Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County” (2013); Piper Laurie was literally crucified by Sissy Spacek in “Carrie” (1976). At the start of this decade, Mo’Nique won an Oscar portraying the sexually abusive parent of fellow “Precious” nominee Gabourey Sidibe. Back in 1984, both Shirley MacLaine and
See full article at Indiewire »

Mia Wasikowska to Star in Mirrah Foulkes’ Live-Action Take on “Punch and Judy”

Wasikowska in “Tracks

Mia Wasikowska is bringing a famed puppet story to life. The “Alice in Wonderland” star will topline a live-action reinterpretation of the story of “Punch and Judy,” a play traditionally acted out with marionettes. Titled “Judy and Punch,” the project marks Mirrah Foulkes’ feature debut. A press release announced the news.

Described by Foulkes as “a crazy mix of fantasy, feminism, and fanaticism,” the film is set in the fictional town of Seaside, and according to its press release, “follows two puppeteers — the vain but charismatic Punch and his resilient and talented wife Judy — as they attempt to resurrect their show as a means of escaping their decrepit town.” The project is said to be “coarse and brutal, bubbling with violence, misogyny, and magic.”

“Judy and Punch” hails from Vice Media Australia and Blue-Tongue Films, and Vice Media (USA) and Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria, have invested funds. Michele Bennett (“Chopper”) is among its producers.

Mirrah Foulkes is one of the most original new voices in cinema we’ve seen — someone who is able to find the perfect balance of character and chaos, emotion and humor,” said Danny Gabai from Vice Media. “We’ve had the pleasure of watching her develop her talents as a filmmaker over the years, and we couldn’t be more excited to team up with our friends at Blue-Tongue and Screen Australia to help make her wildly inventive script into a reality.”

Dumpy Goes to the Big Smoke,” “ Florence Has Left the Building,” and “Trespass” are among the shorts Foulkes has directed, and they’ve screened at fests such as the Toronto International Film Festival, London Film Festival, and Sydney Film Festival.

Besides the “Alice” franchise, Wasikowska’s credits include “Crimson Peak,” “Jane Eyre,” and “The Kids Are All Right.” She’s set to star in “Bergman Island,” Mia Hansen-Løve’s upcoming English-language debut. The drama is set on the Swedish island of Faro — the home of the film’s namesake, late director Ingmar Bergman — and centers on a couple, both of whom are filmmakers.

Wasikowska has said that she’d like to work with more women directors because “people respond to females a little bit differently — there’s less of a hierarchy on set.” Her dream collaborators include Jane Campion and Sofia Coppola.

Mia Wasikowska to Star in Mirrah Foulkes’ Live-Action Take on “Punch and Judy” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Nicole Kidman’s Best Performances — IndieWire Critics Survey

Nicole Kidman’s Best Performances — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: In honor of “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” what is Nicole Kidman’s greatest performance?

Vadim Rizov (@VRizov), Filmmaker Magazine

I don’t know about “best” — I haven’t seen an embarrassing chunk of what are considered her most significant roles, and I’m weak on understanding acting — but the performance that sticks most in my mind (quite possibly because I saw it at impressionable high school age) is “Dogville.” Kidman is spookily withdrawn, like an observer alien in a human body dropped into a moral wasteland which she attempts to navigate with understanding and decorum until finally it’s just too much. As in “Birth,
See full article at Indiewire »

Canneseries TV Festival Details Competition Eligibility, and What’s In Store As It Launches Next April

Canneseries TV Festival Details Competition Eligibility, and What’s In Store As It Launches Next April
Canneseries, the new TV festival set to launch in April during the Mip TV market, will be open for submissions starting next month.

Organizers revealed plans and a timetable for the festival during a press conference Monday in Cannes. They also announced that Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen (“Borgen”) would serve as patron for the inaugural Canneseries event.

“It’s an exciting moment for us,” said artistic director Albin Lewi, who unveiled the setup for Canneseries along side president Fleur Pellerin and managing director Benoît Louvet. ” It was just ideas six months ago. Now we are real and really ambitious.”

Canneseries will run from April 4 to 11 next year in the city of Cannes, with the official competition set to take place between April 7 and 11 at the Auditorium Lumiére in the Palais des Festivals.

Read More:Cannes Tackles Television: Why a Global TV Festival Could Be a Gamechanger

The competition will present 10 world premiere series,
See full article at Indiewire Television »
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