Donald Trump is the President of the United States now. Wily performance-art prankster Shia LaBeouf does not intend on taking that sitting down. The daring mind behind #ALLMYMOVIES (that time the Beef watched every single one of his movies back-to-back in reverse order at New York’s Angelika Film Center) and I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE (that other time when he put a paper bag over his head before walking the red carpet at the Berlinale) has unveiled his latest work of highly conceptual living art. And if you live in the New York metropolitan area and are willing to go to Queens, you could be part of it.
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Foreign films have historically done pretty well in the Best Animated Feature category at the Academy Awards, with at least one import usually squeezing into the nominations alongside the latest pictures from Disney or Pixar. Last year included Brazil’s Boy and the World as well as Japan’s When Marnie Was There, and while the likes of Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, Finding Dory and Zootopia have all but sewn up their nominations for the 2017 ceremony (check back on the 24th to find out!), that leaves room for one wild card. It could be The Red Turtle, the latest animated film with a Studio Ghibli pedigree, or it could be a poignant and sweet little Swiss picture My Life as a Zucchini.
Due to what I am choosing to diplomatically refer to as “recent political shake-ups,” the future of women’s health center Planned Parenthood looks dark and uncertain. New bills have placed their all-important federal funding in jeopardy, and not the fun kind, where you get to show off how many river names you remember from middle school. In addition to making it more difficult to procure safe abortions, the proposed changes would threaten the availability of birth control and the various medical services that Planned Parenthood offers. If they hope to survive in the years to come, they’ll need grassroots support, and today brings the new that they’ll get a helping hand from the good folks at A24.
Musician Steven Ellison first came to prominence under the moniker Flying Lotus, anointed as the toast of the hip-kid music blogs for his mind-expanding fusion of glitchy electronica and free jazz. He assumed the alias of Captain Murphy in 2012, pivoting from composing into rapping with the instant cult smash mixtape Du∆lity, a dense stew of stoner wordplay and snippets of audio from forgotten B-movies. His encyclopedic knowledge of bizarro cinema has evidently informed his newest career move — the poster for Ellison’s debut feature film Kuso simply reads “A film by Steve,” but the polymath’s latest project looks like anything but a return to basics. It’ll debut at the Sundance Film Festival in the days to come, and with a brief trailer now running online at Deadline, us folks at home can get a taste of the acid tab Ellison’s about to drop on Park City.
The 1988 caper comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a cracking good time, pairing Steve Martin and Michael Caine as a pair of no-good con men fleecing rich old ladies on the shores of the French Riviera. The mismatched duo — Caine’s the image of suave refinement, Martin’s an inveterate ham — team for one big score, but a mysterious rival con artist known as “The Jackal” complicates matters. Also a good time: the Broadway musical based on the film, the 1964 Marlon Brando picture Bedtime Story that inspired Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and now we can add to that list Nasty Women.
Anya Taylor-Joy has only starred in four feature films, all of which opened within the past year, and already she’s become one of the most exciting young actors in the industry. She brought a haunting innocence to Robert Eggers’ stunning debut The Witch, she wreaked havoc in last fall’s Morgan, played Barack Obama’s college girlfriend in Barry, and now she stars opposite James McAvoy (or more like nine James McAvoys) in the latest M. Night Shyamalan mind-bending thriller.
One of the apostles (I think it was Peter) once said that casting John C. Reilly covers over a multitude of sins. The Little Hours is basically a one-joke sketch — medieval nuns swearing like sailors — stretched out to feature length, but whenever the film starts to run out of gas or repeat itself a little too much, there’s Reilly, its rock and redeemer, turning watery jokes into a potent brew.
The Korean supernatural horror movie The Wailing made waves last year as yet another fantastic K-horror by a talented director to make its way overseas, so its no wonder an American remake is being discussed. When the announcement was made, many rolled their eyes at the prospect, some wishing that Hollywood would just leave a good thing alone. But for those of us who are unsure about the idea, here’s some possibly good news: reports say that Ridley Scott’s production company is eyeing the rights.
When it comes to ambitious, imaginative sci-fi, Nacho Vigalondo is one of those names people tend to mention. The Spanish director known best for time-travel head scratcher Timecrimes is back with a new movie, this time about a giant monster and the woman who can control it with her mind. Kinda.
If anything, the live-action Beauty and the Beast will give us all the urge to curl up with some nice, cozy nostalgia for a few hours. With its faithful-to-the-cartoon costumes and songs, it’ll be like a leveled-up version of the classic, and today Disney has doubled-down on the nostalgia factor: Celine Dion, who recorded her own version of the title tune “Beauty and the Beast” for the original movie, is returning to the story with a new original song “How Does a Moment Last Forever.”