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Todd Haynes on ‘Wonderstruck,’ Perceptions of Childhood, and David Bowie

It’s no small testament to Todd Haynes that this is the second interview this website’s conducted with him since August. Although the opening of his newest film, Wonderstruck, is a proper excuse, that’s only ostensibly the occasion; the truth is that we’d gladly go over his decades- and genre-spanning filmography any day of the week and still have plenty of ground to cover.

So it’s doubly to our fortune that Wonderstruck befits multiple rounds of discussion. A children’s adventure movie wrapped in a two-pronged period piece that can hardly conceal the tragedies this kind of work so often doesn’t want you to think about, it finds Haynes and the usual band of collaborators — Dp Ed Lachman, composer Carter Burwell, and costume designer Sandy Powell among them — working on their biggest canvas yet. For recalling the director’s artistic history as much as anything else,
See full article at The Film Stage »

New to Streaming: ‘Zodiac,’ ‘Dressed to Kill,’ ‘A Cure for Wellness,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

A Cure for Wellness (Gore Verbinski)

The asylum-based film is a fairly interesting mini-genre to deconstruct. These movies almost always deal with perceptions of reality, questions of the self, and an innate fear of those in positions of power who operate in worlds of the ethereal. The question of the protagonist’s madness is almost always central, and the uncertainty over whether their paranoia is unfounded or justified is
See full article at The Film Stage »

Todd Haynes, Cate Blanchett, and Rooney Mara Talk Body Language, Relationships, and Love Stories

In Todd Haynes’ exquisite Carol, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara play two women in 1952 New York, who fall in love and must face prejudice and societal conventions, but most importantly must face their own notions of what they’re allowed to desire. With its overpowering beauty, both dreamlike and earthly, the film presents us with a snapshot of a time and place that make a case for Haynes being one of the greatest anthropologists in all of cinema, a filmmaker whose attention to detail is surpassed only by his humanism.

At a press conference in New York, attended by Haynes, Blanchett, Mara, screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, and co-stars Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson and Jake Lacy, the director commented on one of the many qualities that attracted him to tell this love story, and how it reveals “a kind of expression of intimacy that is hard to find a parallel to among gay men,
See full article at The Film Stage »

"Bamako," "The Films of Morris Engel"

  • IFC
By Michael Atkinson

Malian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako may have made the one African film everybody needs to see . at least for its disarming fugue of frank political awareness and state-of-the-quotidian African life. In most other ways, though, "Bamako" (2006) is a challenge to orthodoxy, because it's not driven by its narrative, and hardly even provides an establishing context for itself. Before we know it, we're in a sun-dappled Mali courtyard (Sissako's family home, as it turns out), in which a kind of tribunal is going on, complete with black-robed jurists, waiting witnesses, anxious journalists and stacks of documentation. This is, we slowly realize, a fantasy trial in which the African people have taken civil proceedings against the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and American-led global capitalism in general, for the crime of exploiting and loan-sharking the continent and its peoples. The testimony is not from actors, but from real African citizens,
See full article at IFC »

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