Even for a big-name auteur, there’s no shame in directing a commercial every now and then. Martin Scorsese shilled for casinos in Macau, David Lynch repped Calvin Klein, and Wes Anderson’s probably enjoying a lifetime supply of Stella Artois right about now. It’s a nice fat paycheck, and an easy way to keep busy between jobs. Nicolas Winding Refn has never been shy about corporate partnerships, agreeing to a spot for Gucci featuring Blake Lively, not to mention those stylish but inscrutable Lincoln advertisements with koan-dispensing Matthew McConaughey. Refn has now gotten back in the commercial game while his latest feature The Neon Demon (which, how has that not been the title of any of his films until now?) awaits release with a new spot for Hennessy.
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Sir Kenneth Adam, the celebrated production designer responsible for the iconic sets from the James Bond franchise, Dr. Strangelove, and a host of other fine films, has died. He passed away last night in his London home following a brief stay in the hospital. He was 95 year old.
On Tuesday, Lilly Wachowski, formerly known as Andy Wachowski of the filmmaking sibling duo behind ‘The Matrix’ trilogy and ‘Cloud Atlas,’ came out as transgender. In an letter published to Chicago LGBT newspaper Windy City Times, Wachowski shared an impassioned message about her journey, and the unfortunate circumstances that led to her coming out.
Sir George Martin, the legendary music producer colloquially known as the Fifth Beatle for his collaborations with the seminal rock group, has died. Though the cause of death has not been disclosed, a representative from Martin’s management company...
Sam Smith took home the Oscar for Best Original Song for his ‘Spectre’ theme ‘Writing’s On the Wall,’ something no one of saw coming.
At age 59, Carrie Fisher has been around the block a few times. She’s appeared in her fourth ‘Star Wars’ film with ‘The Force Awakens’ earlier this month, and frankly, she’s got no patience for haters. The woman has still got it and then some; she was riotous in her guest appearance on 30 Rock a few years back and she exuded pure screen presence in every frame of The Force Awakens. So when triflin’ suckas come at the queen, she delivers justice in a swift and merciless manner, and in 140 characters or less. Clearly fed up with insults being lobbed her way concerning her appearance in the latest Star Wars picture, Fisher took to Twitter to put it down.
With the official nomination announcement just a couple short weeks away, Oscar season is in full swing, and everybody loves a surprise category spoiler. In 2015, female performers had a particularly strong showing at the movies, leading to an overstuffed slate of potential Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominees. But actresses Kiki Kitana Rodriguez and Mya Taylor, the dark horses to end all dark horses, have recently taken on a champion of their cause who might just have the necessary public profile to push them over the top.
Jennifer Lawrence’s newest starring vehicle, the Joy Mangano sorta-biopic, sorta-a-bunch-of-other-movies-smashed-together Joy, went into wide release over this past weekend only to meet with a spate of middling reviews. Lawrence’s unquestioning and absolute allegiance to director David O. Russell would appear to suggest that audiences can look forward to lots more pictures in the vein of the not-quite-there Joy, the not-quite-there American Hustle, and the not-quite-there Silver Linings Playbook. But hop one parallel dimension over, and Lawrence is currently being showered with praise for one of her most memorable, risky roles in a film that’s generated quite a bit of awards buzz.
One of the most fascinating Oscar narratives to play out this season belongs to a curious film by indie stalwart Sean Baker titled Tangerine. Everything about it flips a big fat middle finger to convention: Baker cast Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, two non-professional transgender actresses, to star in the two lead roles. The film follows the pair over the course of a long Christmas Eve as they try to track down Sin-Dee Rella’s (Rodriguez) feckless boyfriend — word on the street is he shacked up with another woman while Sin-Dee was in the clink for a spell. And to top it all off, Baker shot this underground gem using an anamorphic lens hooked up to an iPhone. Tangerine is pretty much the anti-Oscar movie, and yet some are touting it as exactly the opposite of that opposite.
Jessica Chastain is the latest entertainer to stand up and note the ugly implication of unfair pay, that it clearly communicates a lessened value of a woman’s work relative to that of a man.