Friday, January 29, 2021

Of Sundance and Supernovas

Hello one, hello all! A happy Friday in your general directions. In case you missed my heads-up yesterday, buried as it was in between gratuitous photographs of Miguel Angel Silvestre, well I understand you not noticing any words in such moments. So I'll repeat it here -- I am covering Sundance for the next several days (my first Sundance!) and so proper blogging now through oh I'd say Wednesday will be replaced by sporadic updates on what reviews have gone up where. A better more immediate place for such heads-up -- since you're surely hanging on my every opinion -- is to follow me on Twitter, but I will also make sure to eventually share links to everything here as well, I promise. 

But other things first, a non-Sundance review -- my thoughts on Supernova, the sad gay love story starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, also went online this afternoon over at Pajiba, read 'em and weep here. No seriously I made my own damn self cry writing this review, so maybe you'll squeeze one or two out as well. By which I mean tears. Whatever else you're squeezing out don't tell me. (I really ruined that mood didn't I?)

But back to Sundance. Utah, you know. As of now I've got two reviews up and out, both at The Film Experience. My first dispatch from Utah-you-know is for a film called Human Factors, right here, which I described as "Force Majeure by way of Haneke." And yes it stars German actor Mark Waschke seen above, although the film doesn't really let on that he is as hot as he looks above. It's not really that kind of role. So watching the movie I had no idea about... all that. Glad I do now, though. Glad I do now.

And my second Sundance review is of the documentary The Most Beautiful Boy in the World, which tackles the difficult life of Björn Andrésen, who played young Tadzio in Luchino Visconti's 1971 film Death in Venice (and who recently played a vital role in Ari Aster's Midsommar). You can read that review right here at this link, and below's the trailer for the movie. He has quite the story to tell.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Bones For My Beloveds

I know I literally just posted how I am super busy with Sundance and that you shouldn't expect a lot of not-Sundance-posts for the next several days, but as if to test me the world has flung news in my face that is simply un-ignorable (and I am not complaining, I will find the time for this even if I have to bargain it off my life by the devil) -- Timothee Chalamet is reuniting with Luca Guadagnino! (thx Mac) And for a Horror Movie! Written by Dave Kajganich, the screenwriter of Suspiria! OH MY GOD. You guys! My heart is literally singing! It could be my high blood pressure, but let's pretend it's this! (It's definitely both.) 

The project is apparently titled Bones & All, and all Deadline knows is it's a "horror love story" that is also set to co-star Taylor Russell, the young woman who was mind-blowingly best-in-show amazing in Waves last year. (ETA The Hollywood Reporter says it's based on this novel by Camille DeAngelis of the same name.) I... I thought I was excited when I began writing this post, but I must have just been stunned, because the more I type this all out the more crazy I feel with excitement. Like I might have to lay on the floor now. Oh my god this news!

Miguel Ángel Silvestre Two Times

Bless Miguel always coming through in a pinch (or is that a pickle) -- I have a heads-up! Yo. Today is the first day of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. And as momentarily mentioned a couple of weeks ago here on the site (I've been far more vocal about this news on Twitter, but of what is that not true) I will be covering Sundance this year for the first time! Huzzah! I am terribly excited. I will have reviews, lots and lots of them, being posted at both The Film Experience and Pajiba. I will no doubt link to each of my reviews from here on the site, and I will doubly no doubt share such information on Twitter. But what this also means is otherwise, Sundance reviews aside (and come on, that's a big aside), you shouldn't expect a lot of posting to be happening here on MNPP between today and Tuesday, February 2nd. I've got my noggin buried in new movies. But for Sundance stuff do stay tuned! On Sundance I'll have plenty. Well at least Miguel's excited. I can tell.

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

Until this morning when news of fresh  Alexander Skars-butt spread like wildfire across the gay internet, I had forgotten that I hadn't actually seen all of the episodes of the new take on The Stand. I totally thought I'd finished the series thanks to screeners and had fully moved on (tells you how impressed I was) and so this morning's news threw me -- I would remember seeing the Skars-butt. I have mental files devoted to such things. Well it turns out I only saw the first six episodes of The Stand, and there are still a couple more to go, and Alex got his primed possession out in the seventh one. Guess I know what I'm watching later! But I won't make you wait -- fresh Skars-butt after the jump...

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

Yesterday would've been that god-among-men Paul Newman's 96th birthday -- cue me running to my calendar to put "Paul Newman Centennial" in the January 26th 2025 square -- and as if speaking to me from beyond the grave Paul pushed a little something-something in front of me yesterday that I'd somehow never seen before! Talk about a gift -- in 1956 (the same year he played Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me) Newman starred in three episodes of "The United States Steel Hour," a TV anthology series transferred over from radio that put on little dramas for the folks at home. 

One of the three was Bang the Drum Slowly, an adaptation of a novel from the same year, about two baseball players, one of whom's dying from some unspecified illness. (It was also adapted into a 1973 movie starring Robert De Niro, which I have never seen.) Anyway thanks to the magic of the internet you can watch the entire hour-long play on YouTube! And yes, as seen here, it includes not just one, not just two, but several locker-room scenes. We are hashtag blessed. Hit the jump for more gifs and the video itself...

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Pic of the Day

Saw, Insidious, Aquaman and Conjuring director James Wan has a new single-word titled horror flick coming out this fall -- it's called Malignant, and he shared the above promotional image today on his Instagram, serving up some seriously sharp giallo vibes. (It's actually making me think of De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise the hardest though, haha.) Anyway alongside Edgar Wright's Last Night in Soho I've got hopes that we might be entering a New Giallo phase of horror this year, which would tickle me purple -- I do love that ridiculous genre so, and it's odd how few get made these days. Here's what Wan had to say on his movie, which stars Annabelle Wallis from Annabelle:

"MALIGNANT comes out September 10th. I finally wrapped it last week. This was supposed to be my “little horror thriller” I do between the big ones, but the pandemic pushed it as long the big ones. I’m super excited for this film. I don’t even know how to describe it. I wanted to do something original and genre-bending, and different to my other work, but still in the spirit of the horror-thrillers I grew up with. More to come."

Paul Bettany One Time

It's been a good few months for anyone -- i.e. anyone with eyes -- who appreciates the sight of Paul Bettany wearing tight 70s clothing, thanks to his gay uncle movie Uncle Frank (see more here)...

... and thanks to this past week's third episode of WandaVision, which was set in the 1970s. Or set in the sitcom version of the 1970s, or whatever you want to call it. All I know is it turns out Paul wears that era's ridiculous fashions maybe better than anyone I've ever seen, and should go looking for more 70s projects immediately. 

As for WandaVision this I suppose is my first admission here on the site proper that I am indeed actually watching that show -- are you? I was simultaneously bored and intrigued by its first episode but the second my beloved Emma Caulfield (aka Anya on Buffy) showed up as the queen bee neighbor I was all in, unreservedly. The show can do anything, literally anything, now -- it hired Emma Caulfield. It's gold. (Sidenote: really ashamed I didn't put together this bit of Buffy-adjacent geekiness.) 

As with most things Marvel I am only mildly involved with what I'm watching otherwise -- it's fun and a solid goofy distraction, and I do like falling down some of the nerdier rabbit-roles about what's going on (there's a massive piece in THR today that seems to think they've sorted out the next Big Bad for the MCU thanks to the show), but it's in one ear out the other for me, and I pretty much forget what happened ten minutes after it happened. That said if they want to fulfill my single Marvel Wish, I sure won't argue...

Double Back to Demonlover

How totally odd -- less than 24 hours after I did a post about Olivier Assayas' film Demonlover for his birthday comes word that Demonlover is getting a 4K restoration re-release next month thanks to the fine folks at Janus Films (and also Film at Lincoln Center here in NYC). I managed to avoid the subject yesterday but two dips into Demonlover territory so fast forces my hand, making me admit I have not ever seen Demonlover! I know! I am repulsive! The corporate spy thriller, which stars the killer trio of Gina Gershon, Chloë Sevigny, and Connie Nielson, will hit FLC's streaming service on February 12th, and they've dropped a new trailer, seen below. I suppose I've got to finally see it this time, huh? (And I wonder if this means it's getting a Criterion release?)

Pimps Don't Commit Suicide

In the run-up to today's drop of Arrow's fancy schmancy blu-ray of Richard Kelly's mucho maligned 2006 flick Southland Tales -- which includes the also mucho maligned longer "Cannes Cut" of the film -- there have been approximately eleventy billion interviews with Kelly talking about the movie (this has been compounded by the 20th anniversary of Donnie Darko). Far more than I could ever begin to link to. Just google his name, they'll all come up, I promise. And I even watched the "Cannes Cut" a few weeks ago hoping I'd have something to say about the movie here. But... this movie, man. This movie still defeats my ability to say anything coherent about it. I both hate it and love it in equal measure -- it confounds me. I thought it might be better, 15 years on, but...

... no. Nope. Nada. I still just kind of sit there dazed by the thing. (By the way that tweet above, if you click over to Twitter, will give you a Twitter thread from December when I re-watched all three of Richard Kelly's movies -- Tales, Darko, and The Box -- within a 24-hour span.) I feel like I could make two columns, a Love and a Hate column, and diagram Southland that way, and maybe that flatness might approach the actual way Southland makes me feel, but then I'd be no better than the Jim Cunninghams & Kitty Farmers of the world, would I?

I love that Kelly got to make Southland Tales more than I actually love the experience of sitting through it -- it's always inspirational when batshit of its magnitude gets funded. I just don't think Southland, and what it is about, speaks to me like Darko did and does and forever will -- even The Box on this re-watch felt like it had more to tell me than Tales does. But if Kelly ever does get to make the sequel like he keeps saying he wants to in all of these interviews (he will not) I will be there opening night, that I promise.

Taron Does Time

I was about to say "hot off his celebrated turn in Rocketman" but that was, what, one thousand months ago? I've lost tack of how time works. Anyway Rocketman's the last thing anybody saw Taron Egerton in and it was hot at the time -- especially when he listened to me dopily ask a couple of questions he's no doubt heard a thousand times and then posed for an awkward photo with me that once -- so the sentiment remains. Hot hot hot off Rocketman Taron's just signed up for a new project -- he's going to star in a six-part series called In With the Devil for Apple+ that will have him playing an ex-football star (!!!) sent to prison (!!!) who finds himself being used (!!!) in order to entrap another criminal (!!!). Unfortunately for all of those exclamatory marks it's not going to be that sexy probably, but it is being directed by Bullhead director Michael R. Rostkam, so maybe Taron will go the Matthias route and beef himself up for it. The role sounds beefy.

The Big Country

Two weeks ago I shared with y'all a link to the annual Nashville Scene Film Poll, which I participated in and which had some quotes about the movie year that was 2020 -- well if you'd like a little more from me and my poll-collaborators a bonus batch of answers has been dropped over here. One of the questions was "What 2020 film do you wish you'd seen on the big screen?" and I was surprised by my own answer, Chloé Zhao's Nomadland. I wasn't surprised in a bad way -- I agree with myself, funny that -- I just would think I'd normally answer something more bombastic. I must've been in a mood.

But that reminds me -- I never wrote a review of Nomadland! And I probably never will! Not with Sundance starting on Thursday anyway. So just let me say this movie will most definitely be in my Top 10 of 2020, I really love it, and you should find time for it. It's so good it wiped Frances McDormand's "Three Billboards" slate clean -- that's how good it is. And I'm not just saying that because they sent me a copy of that IMAX poster in the mail last week, either. How cheap do you think I am? (Don't answer that.)

Michelle Gonna Knock Us Out (Again)

A lovely little bit of movie-nerd news this Tuesday morning, as comes word that the actress (and queen) Michelle Williams will be re-teaming with the director (and queen) Kelly Reichardt for a new film! In their fourth collaboration together the two -- and we should've come up with a couple name for them by now... Reichiams? Willihardt? Melly? -- will be gifting us with a movie titled Showing Up, described thus:

"Reichardt’s latest film is a vibrant and sharply funny portrait of an artist on the verge of a career-changing exhibition. As she navigates family, friends, and colleagues in the lead up to her show, the chaos of life becomes the inspiration for great art."

No word on when this will be happening, but then there is no word on when anything, anything at all for anybody, will be happening, so we should just continue sitting in our rooms staring at the walls and today maybe dream a little about this movie happening somewhere eventually, down the road. That's called optimism! You should try it!

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

I can't imagine that any of you who fancy Joel Kinnaman haven't seen this already, it's been around since last week, but he was "caught" doing a Zoom interview for his latest flick Brothers By Blood (which I reviewed here; short version: could've used fewer pants) without pants on, much to the world's delight -- of course "caught" is the fantasy we have decided to structure together, Joel and those of us who care to, since he posted this video himself to his Instagram and he's very clearly aware he's being filmed, and this no doubt was constructed exactly for the type of breathless reporting I am currently engaging in. I know, such a cynic, I am! It's not like I don't enjoy this all the same. I just put far too much thought into it, and then force everyone else too as well. Tis my curse! Enjoy the video:

Monday, January 25, 2021

Yes, Queen

Heads-up on a creepy-crawly horror flick coming your way (as long as you've got Shudder, and you really should have Shudder) -- on January 28th y'all can see The Queen of Black Magic, the latest wowza coming out of Indonesia, a country that's really been bringing it to the genre over the past few years. And the biggest name in Indonesian horror is attached to this one to boot -- Joko Anwar, whose flick Impetigore (written on previously here) is Indonesia's submission for the Oscars this year, wrote its script. 

The flick was directed by Kimo Stamboel, who previously was one-half of The Mo Brothers, a horror directing duo. I reviewed The Queen of Black Magic last fall when it screened as part of the Nightstream Festival -- you can read it here -- although maybe just watch the movie, then read my review. Same goes for the trailer, seen below -- as with all horror movies it's better to just go in blind, says me! You decide!

Steven Yeun Eleven Times

I know it's technically part of "my job" to know when all the movies have been released, but well one it'd be nice to be paid if this is "a job" haha, sigh. And for second it's gotten too complicated in pandemic-times for me -- I have no idea at any time when something is out or not, I am sorry. I just do not. I know it for a split second when I post a trailer or something of the sort, and then after I actually get to see the movie for myself all the other information floats right away on the breeze. My priorities can be pencilled under right under "Other."

So is the lovely little movie Minari out now? On streaming, or in whatever theaters are open, or what? You tell me. I don't have that answer. What I do have is an interview with Minari's star Steven Yeun for Backstage magazine -- at this link -- as well as a photoshoot for the same (oh and you probably want to see these shots of Yeun & Riz Ahmed that I tweeted earlier), and that's just gonna have to do. So let's do it, after the jump...

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from: 

Demonlover (2002) 

Diane: You didn't see anything. No one sees anything. 
Ever. They watch... But they don't understand.

A happy 66 (!!!) to the great French director Olivier Assayas today! Every time I wish Assayas a happy birthday I am surprised all over again by his age because his films still don't feel like the films of an older man -- okay maybe Non-Fiction did a little bit, but I liked that about it. Clouds of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper, both out within the past six years, feel like films made by a person half his age, but then just goes to show ya, age ain't nothing but a yadda yadda. 

We were just talking about Assayas the other day here, twice actually -- for one we were talking about the actor Lars Eidinger, who's shown up in several of Assayas' recent films and who we've grown quite fond of, and for another we mentioned that Assayas' fantastic and strange 1996 film Irma Vep is getting the Criterion treatment in April! You can pre-order it here. How do you guys feel about Assayas? I wish he could drag Maggie Cheung out of retirement, that'd be a reunion for the ages.

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?