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Category: film

Ridley Scott blames oblong obsession for The Last Duel’s poor showing

It seems Ridley Scott’s latest feature The Last Duel isn’t doing too well at the box-office, and the celebrated director is pointing the finger of blame at smartphones, and millennials apparent obsession with them:

“I think what it boils down to – what we’ve got today [are] the audiences who were brought up on these fucking cell phones,” Scott said. “The millennian, [who] do not ever want to be taught anything unless you told it on the cell phone… This is a broad stroke, but I think we’re dealing with it right now with Facebook. This is a misdirection that has happened where it’s given the wrong kind of confidence to this latest generation, I think.”

By that rationale though wouldn’t most movies, not just historical dramas, be doing poorly at the box-office?

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JKF: why can’t we let him RIP?

JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass (trailer), is a documentary by American filmmaker Oliver Stone, a follow up of sorts to his 1991 drama feature JFK. “Conspiracy theories are now conspiracy facts,” Stone asserts, having presumably combed through many of the previously withheld papers in relation to the 1963 assassination of late US President John F. Kennedy, released by Donald Trump in 2018.

Not all film commentators are in agreement with the arguments Stone presents though. And for a cold light of day assessment of Kennedy’s murder: this 2003 article published in The Guardian, written by Kenneth Rahn:

The real story of the assassination is this: Kennedy was killed by one misfit guy, a cheap but effective rifle, a good vantage point from the building where he worked and a run of fortuitous events. It is over. We must realise that this horrible event was not some evil plot. It was the product of chance, not conspiracy.

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Don’t except to see Jane Campion directing a superhero film

You won’t catch Sydney based New Zealand born film director Jane Campion helming a superhero movie. She loathes them. It’s a good thing, there’s a tad too many superhero movies in the world anyway.

Campion is the latest acclaimed director to criticise superhero films, following on Martin Scorsese, who compared them to “theme parks” in 2019, and Ridley Scott, who called them “fucking boring as shit” earlier this month. Both Marvel and DC have tried to bring over more auteurs, most recently Chloé Zhao, the Oscar-winning Nomadland director who made this month’s Eternals. But the film has become the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s worst reviewed offering to date.

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Moonfall, by Roland Emmerich

Apollo 11 was apparently out of contact with Earth for two minutes shortly before the Moon landing in July 1969. You can only imagine what happened during that period of radio silence. But if you didn’t, plenty of others have. One “explanation” (of many) posits mission controllers pulled the plug on the public broadcast of the Apollo transmissions because the crew had sighted a space ship of unknown alien origin “parked” on the Moon. So that’s it. Do you think the vessel is still sitting there? Hmm, might be a novel idea in that…

The “break” in Apollo 11’s transmission forms one of the threads running through the plot of Moonfall (trailer) the new film by Roland Emmerich. Also in the mix, by the looks of it, are echoes of the idea the Moon is hollow (I don’t think it is…) and a book called Who Built the Moon. To get back to Moonfall though, long story short, an unknown force or event has sent the Moon on a collision course with Earth. A small group of people think they know what’s caused it, and how to stop it – the Moon that is – from crashing into our planet.

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Going Down, a 1982 film by Haydn Keenan

Made in 1982 and filmed on a micro-budget over the course of a few days, Going Down, directed by Australian filmmaker Haydn Keenan is a gritty, no holds barred, slice of life glimpse of a night out on the town in Sydney. While the pacing and narrative technique reminded me a little of something like American Graffiti, Going Down is far more in your face.

Karli (Tracy Mann) is about to fly to New York. Her friends Jane (Vera Plevnik), Jackie (Julie Barry), and Ellen (Moira MacLaine-Cross), take her out for one last night of revelry before she leaves. The result is chaotic. Parties and bars are gone to, drugs are taken, sex is had, and a large sum money is lost. In the middle of it all, one of Karli’s friend’s tries to find sex work, as the girls, individually and collectively, make their way around the inner suburbs of a now barely recognisable Sydney.

Check out a snippet of the film here (NSFW: profanity, drug references).

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Passing, a film by Rebecca Hall

We’re all passing for something, aren’t we? Passing (trailer) is the directorial debut of British actor and filmmaker Rebecca Hall, and is based on the 1929 book of the same name, written by late American author Nella Larsen. Clare (Ruth Negga) and Irene (Tessa Thompson), are old school friends who meet again by chance years after leaving school. While both women are mixed-race, Irene identifies as being African-American, while Clare’s light complexion allows her to “pass” as being white. But their obsessive interest in each other threatens to unravel both their lives.

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Last Night in Soho movie poster

Last Night in Soho, movie poster by James Paterson, book cover

I don’t know what the film itself is like, but Last Night in Soho (trailer) by English actor and filmmaker Edgar Wright (think Shawn of the Dead) brings the London of the swinging sixties in all its west-end nightclub glory to the big screen. But isn’t the vintage style movie poster, designed by British artist and portrait painter James Paterson, stunning?

Also: a selection of Edgar Wright’s favourite fan artworks based on his films.

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A Hero, a new film by Asghar Farhadi

A Hero (teaser) is the latest feature from Iranian film director Asghar Farhadi. Variety describes the new film thusly:

[A Hero] is the story of Rahim (Amir Jadidi), who is in prison for a debt that he was unable to pay. During a two-day leave, an act of kindness provides him with an opportunity to convince his creditor to withdraw the complaint so he can go free, but not everything goes as planned.

But not everything goes as planned… this is the hallmark of Farhadi’s work. A relatively minor incident occurs. Those in the vicinity scramble to cover their tracks because they have something to hide. But it’s too late, and from there things quickly spiral out of control. If you’re new to Farhadi’s films I suggest you look at About Elly, A Separation, and The Past to get started.

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