Indie News

Jonas Mekas, Influential Experimental Filmmaker, Dies at 96

Jonas Mekas, Influential Experimental Filmmaker, Dies at 96
Jonas Mekas, the Lithuania-born filmmaker who started Film Culture magazine and the organization that became New York’s Anthology Film Archives, died Wednesday. He was 96.

Anthology Film Archives wrote on Instagram, “He will be greatly missed but his light shines on.”

He made works such as 1962’s "Guns of the Trees" and 1964’s “The Brig,” which won the Venice Film Festival’s Grand Prix. As a cinematographer, he shot avant-garde films including Andy Warhol’s “Empire.”

Mekas was a pioneer of trying new approaches to film as art, and in 2007 released one short film each day of the year on the internet. His other films include “Scene from the Life of Andy Warhol,” “Letter from Greenpoint” and “Out-takes From the Life of a Happy Man.” As late as 2013, the 90-year old was making films like “Reminiszenzen aus Deutschland.”

He worked with artists such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Allen Ginsberg,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Lorraine Toussaint To Portray Activist Flo Kennedy In Gloria Steinem Biopic

  • Deadline
Lorraine Toussaint To Portray Activist Flo Kennedy In Gloria Steinem Biopic
Exclusive: Lorraine Toussaint, who currently stars in AMC’s Into the Badlands, has been cast as the feminist, civil rights advocate and activist Flo Kennedy in the upcoming biopic on iconic women’s rights leader Gloria Steinem which is being directed by Julie Taymor. The Glorias stars Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander who are both playing Steinem at various stages of her life. The film is based on Steinem’s memoir.

Flo Kennedy was a powerhouse and somewhat flamboyant civil rights activist who often showed up in her cowboy hat, false eyelashes and pink sunglasses. She said that she liked to make white people nervous. She organized the protest against the Miss America contest and was arrested more than once in standing up for the rights of women and blacks. She later went on the lecture circuit with Steinem.

Alex Saks is producing the project via her Page Fifty-Four Pictures,
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Nicolas Cage Reteaming with 'Mandy' Producers for H.P. Lovecraft Adaptation

Nicolas Cage Reteaming with 'Mandy' Producers for H.P. Lovecraft Adaptation
There is never enough cosmic horror in film, but we're about to get one very exciting new addition to the subgenre. Nicolas Cage is set to star in an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's celebrated horror story Color Out of Space, with Hardware and Dust Devil helmer Richard Stanley directing -- his first feature in twenty years. Good lord, that's a mad and brilliant project, who could be behind such a thing? Why, the folks behind the mind-melting phantasmagoria that was Mandy, of course. Color out of Space comes from Ace Pictures and SpectreVision, the latter of …
See full article at Collider.com »

Sundance Poised for Dreamers-ice Showdown at Doc Premiere

Sundance Poised for Dreamers-ice Showdown at Doc Premiere
Is Sundance poised for ICE to crash its Park City party?

When the documentary/narrative hybrid The Infiltrators makes its world premiere Jan. 25 at the Library Center Theatre, at least two self-described Dreamers who are featured in the film plan to be on hand and are taunting Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to meet them there.

“I welcome any retaliation by the Trump Administration,” says Mohammad Abdollahi, an undocumented immigrant from Iran. “We've come to understand that the more out there in the open we are, the safer we are. If I were to get detained by immigration,...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

‘Queer Eye’ Is Heading to Japan for Collection of Special Episodes

The Fab Five are taking their show to the other side of the Pacific. Netflix announced on Wednesday that “Queer Eye” will be producing a group of special episodes in Japan, slated to launch at some point after the show’s upcoming Season 3. “Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!” will be a collection of four new installments of the series, each giving the show’s central quintet the chance to “forge relationships with four Japanese men and women from different backgrounds and cultures.”

Antoni, Bobby, Jonathan, Karamo, and Tan will first be venturing to Kansas City, Missouri for the next round of life reinventions. Those episodes will likely follow the familiar format set out in the show’s first two seasons, which each premiered in 2018 and helped grow the rebooted TV franchise into one of Netflix’s premier unscripted offerings.

According to Wednesday’s announcement, “Queer Eye: We’re in
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‘The Other Two’: How Writing For ‘SNL’ Inspired the Creators of Comedy Central’s New Pop Culture Comedy Series

  • Indiewire
On the surface, Comedy Central’s newest original series “The Other Two” – a show about the flailing older siblings of a pre-teen pop sensation – wouldn’t seem to have that much in common with “Saturday Night Live.” But its creators, Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, began coming up with the idea for the show during their second-to-last year as head writers of the iconic sketch comedy show, and in talking to them about it, the connections become quite clear.

“I think as you start to leave ‘SNL,’ you have to figure out what you’re gonna do next. ‘We should try to come up with some TV show,'” Kelly said. Kelly had been branching out already, making his film directorial debut with the Sundance favorite “Other People,” but to him returning to TV made sense: “I didn’t really think about it that way other than it seemed fun
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Rushes. R.I.P. Jonas Mekas, Shyamalan's Resurgence, New Trailers

Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.NEWSJonas Mekas (1922 — 2019)"I have never been able, really, to figure out where my life begins and where it ends. I have never, never been able to figure it all out, what's all about." We're sad to say that Jonas Mekas, considered the "godfather of avant-garde cinema," has passed away today at the age of 96. The Lithuanian filmmaker leaves behind a legacy of film criticism, programming, and lovingly, meticulously crafted cinema, often confronting and splicing through his own biography as a refugee and artist. In April of last year, Mekas was "rediscovering Virginia Woolf," and working on a compilation of 50 years' worth of diaries. After a number of health scares in the summer, he informed The New York Times that death is a "normal transition [...] It’s where the mystery begins, where it becomes interesting.
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Movies New to Netflix in February: ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ & ‘High Flying Bird’ Premiere, Plus Every ‘Jaws’

Netflix is having a very good start to 2019. In addition to landing its first Best Picture nomination for Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” (the film tied with “The Favourite” for most nominations — 10), the streaming service took another step towards industry legitimacy by officially joining the MPAA this week. The site’s original film slate continues to broaden and diversify, and the streamer seems to pull an infinite number of rabbits out of its expertly-branded red hat.

As the Sundance Film Festival kicks off this week, the Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle “Velvet Buzzsaw” will play in the Premieres section. But Netflix viewers won’t be missing out for too long; the art heist genre thriller debuts on Netflix on the first day of February. That might make a nice double feature with the Kristen Stewart-starring “Personal Shopper,” or Matt Tyrnauer’s impeccably made disco doc “Studio 54.”

Another exciting premiere with a charismatic male lead,
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‘Roma’ Actor Has Been Denied 3 Times For A U.S. Visa & Could Miss The Oscars Ceremony

After the Oscar nominations were announced yesterday, you have to believe that everyone involved with the Netflix film “Roma” had to be ecstatic. The streaming service made history with its first-ever Best Picture nomination and the film would go on to secure a total of 10 noms, including two for actresses Marina de Tavira and Yalitza Aparicio. However, there’s one person involved with “Roma” that would love to celebrate with his cast members and the filmmakers at the Oscars, but won’t get a chance due to numerous visa denials, which seem to point to a troubling stereotype.

Continue reading ‘Roma’ Actor Has Been Denied 3 Times For A U.S. Visa & Could Miss The Oscars Ceremony at The Playlist.
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Jonas Mekas, Rip: Why This 96-Year-Old Legend Was Our Most Important Cinephile

Jonas Mekas, Rip: Why This 96-Year-Old Legend Was Our Most Important Cinephile
Far from the factory of Hollywood, American film culture would never have made it this far without its greatest advocate. Jonas Mekas was the most important cinephile in film history. His legacy contained multitudes: wartime refugee, New York movie buff, daring exhibitor, revolutionary critic, boundary-pushing filmmaker, poet, musician, wine connoisseur, the center of every party. Until his death at the age of 96 this week, the Lithuanian-born immigrant remained a resilient embodiment of the essential link between creating, and advocating for creativity, in all facets of life.

At the closing-night party for the New York Film Festival in September, Mekas stuck around until 1 a.m., hanging with the likes of Julian Schnabel, Louis Garrel, and Ed Lachman. Mekas acolytes were everywhere, across multiple generations of film history, and they delighted at the opportunity to spend time by his side.

I once drank wine with Mekas for two hours in his Greenpoint
See full article at Indiewire »

Zachary Levi Says Henry Cavill Is Still The Dceu’s Superman & Explains Why He Intially Turned Down ‘Shazam’

When Zachary Levi was cast as the titular character in the upcoming DC superhero film, “Shazam,” fans were shocked. Up until that point, the actor was probably best known for playing the gangly nerd on the NBC series “Chuck.” He surely didn’t look like superhero material. And Levi would agree, as he talks about it in a new interview.

Read More: The 20 Best Movie Trailers Of 2018

Speaking to Collider, Levi recalls getting the audition for “Shazam” and immediately blowing it off because he never saw himself as the superhero type.

Continue reading Zachary Levi Says Henry Cavill Is Still The Dceu’s Superman & Explains Why He Intially Turned Down ‘Shazam’ at The Playlist.
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Sundance 2019: The Most Anticipated Lgbtq Films and Projects Heading to Park City

Sundance has always been pretty gay. Whether the festival was supporting queer filmmakers to lead the indie film boom of the ’90s, ushering in the dawn of the New Queer Cinema, or unofficially partnering with OutFest to share programmers and titles, Park City has always been fertile ground in which Lgbtq cinema can thrive. This year brings fewer solely queer offerings than previous years, but the program still has plenty to look forward to.

This year’s program marks the first in Kim Yutani’s new role as director of programming. Formerly a senior programmer for the festival, Yutani began her career at OutFest, where she lived and breathed queer films in her roles as artistic director and director of programming. Yutani reports to festival director John Cooper, another out and gay power player in independent film.

When Sundance released its first round of programming, it boasted that 40 percent, or
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‘The Magicians’ Review: Season 4 Enters Uncharted Territory but Hasn’t Lost Its Magic Touch

Syfy’s adaptation of Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians” fantasy novels finally goes off-book for a wholly original story in its fourth season, and the result is just as spellbinding as ever. That’s not entirely surprising since co-showrunners Sera Gamble and John McNamara had already demonstrated their ability to play fast and loose with the source material, yet stay true to its magical spirit. Despite exhausting all of Grossman’s major plots, the new adventure continues the show’s inspired storytelling, which is both a vindication and relief for longtime fans.

Season 4 picks up directly after the cliffhanger, in which the quest to restore magic has been successful, but it’s now strictly rationed between the Neitherworld librarians. Also, Dean Fogg (Rick Worthy) has successfully saved the lives of his erstwhile Brakebills magic students with a spell that acts as a witness protection program. Although Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley) hasn’t been affected,
See full article at Indiewire »

Sandra Bullock To Producer (And Possibly Star In) New Netflix Comic Book Adaptation From ‘Lego Batman’ Director

Sandra Bullock experienced unprecedented levels of meme with her latest film, “Bird Box.” Apparently, she enjoyed the experience of working with Netflix so much, that she’s coming back for another round. This time, she’s doing a comic book adaptation with the director of “The Lego Batman Movie.”

Read More; ‘Bird Box’: Netflix Says The Sandra Bullock Horror/Thriller Is Their Biggest First Week Release With 45 Million Viewers

Deadline reports that Bullock has signed on to produce and possibly star in the new film “Reborn.” The sci-fi/fantasy film follows the story of an 80-year-old woman that dies in a Manhattan hospital, only to be reborn in the afterlife in the prime of her life.

Continue reading Sandra Bullock To Producer (And Possibly Star In) New Netflix Comic Book Adaptation From ‘Lego Batman’ Director at The Playlist.
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Kate Winslet Joins Director Gavin O’Connor For New HBO Series ‘Mare Of Easttown’

Kate Winslet is the latest actor to join the ranks of the Peak TV era. And she’s doing so in style, with some serious talent behind the scenes.

Deadline is reporting that Winslet has signed on to star in the upcoming series “Mare of Easttown,” which will be released by HBO. Plot details are slim, but we do know that the actress will portray a detective in a small town in Pennsylvania that is investigating a local murder while her personal life seems to be crumbling around her.

Continue reading Kate Winslet Joins Director Gavin O’Connor For New HBO Series ‘Mare Of Easttown’ at The Playlist.
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‘Roma’ Actor Fears He’ll Miss the Oscars After Being Denied U.S. Visa Three Times

‘Roma’ Actor Fears He’ll Miss the Oscars After Being Denied U.S. Visa Three Times
Roma” is heading into the 91st Academy Awards tied for being the most nominated movie of the year. Along with “The Favourite,” Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece is nominated in 10 categories, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress. While nominees Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira have been a fixture on the awards circuit this year, their “Roma” co-star Jorge Antonio Guerrero has not participated in any U.S. press events because his visa has been rejected three times.

Guerrero spoke with Mexican publication El Sol de Acapulco after “Roma” received its handful of Oscar nominations and said his attempts to attend U.S. press events for the film have failed because he’s not being approved for a visa. With the Oscars taking place next month, Guerrero now fears he won’t be able to make it to the ceremony where his film is one of the biggest achievements being honored.
See full article at Indiewire »

Nicolas Cage Teams With ‘Mandy’ Producers For New Horror Film Based On H.P. Lovecraft Story

Normally, we wouldn’t be here for an announcement of the next Nicolas Cage film. Let’s be real, outside of a couple recent winners, “Mom and Dad” and, of course, “Mandy,” the actor’s output still leaves something to be desired. However, Cage’s latest film not only reunites the actor with the producers behind “Mandy,” SpectreVision, on a new horror film, but it also marks the return of cult-director Richard Stanley.

Continue reading Nicolas Cage Teams With ‘Mandy’ Producers For New Horror Film Based On H.P. Lovecraft Story at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

At Sundance 2019, Women Directors Push Beyond ‘Female Stories’

At Sundance 2019, Women Directors Push Beyond ‘Female Stories’
Despite directing less than 40 percent of the feature films at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, female filmmakers made off with all of the fest’s big awards. Now, in the wake of another dismal awards season that saw some of its best talents shut out from its biggest accolades, can Sundance 2019 offer similar hope?

This year, Sundance has no shortage of women behind the camera, but these directors are also veering from the tired trope of A Woman’s Movie. “There’s serious drama, and there’s comedies, and there’s big films and little films, and we also some really great discoveries in our international section,” said senior programmer Caroline Libresco. “I think there’s a beautiful outpouring of work by women, and we want to support that, and we feel really privileged to be able to create a platform where that work can be seen.”

At the 2018 edition of the festival,
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Paul Schrader Is Conflicted About His First Oscar Nomination: “I Have Never Really Respected The Academy For Their Choices”

Here’s a shocker – Paul Schrader has very specific, candid feelings on a topic. All kidding aside, the usually outspoken filmmaker that is responsible for some of the most classic examples of American cinema was honored with his very first Oscar nomination yesterday, earning recognition in the Best Original Screenplay category for his film “First Reformed.” And as a surprise to exactly no one, the filmmaker is having trouble coming to terms with his outsider stance on Hollywood and feeling gratified with a nomination.

Continue reading Paul Schrader Is Conflicted About His First Oscar Nomination: “I Have Never Really Respected The Academy For Their Choices” at The Playlist.
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Patty Jenkins’ ‘I Am The Night’ Makes A Fascinating True Crime Tale Woefully Tedious [Review]

Things I would rather be doing than reviewing “I Am the Night”: yoga, playing with my dog, my dishes, learning how to make a nice shakshuka, looking at messenger bags I can’t afford on Etsy, swiping mindlessly on Tinder. Yet there my dishes lie, and I’m tasked with trying to explain the exact nuances of mundanity that make this Chris Pine-led miniseries so goddamn boring that even Patty Jenkins’ direction can’t zhuzh it up.

Continue reading Patty Jenkins’ ‘I Am The Night’ Makes A Fascinating True Crime Tale Woefully Tedious [Review] at The Playlist.
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