I come bearing good news for all readers currently struggling to pull themselves out of the weekly Monday-morning existential spiral of perspective — what am I doing here, will this all amount to anything, what’s left, etc. etc. Those questioning the purpose of their labors here on Earth can take some small solace in a new report on Bong Joon-ho’s impending follow-up to Snowpiercer, the left-of-center creature feature titled Okja. In the period of grave self-doubt that begins every work week, it can be helpful to pin your hopes and sense of personal meaning on something greater than yourself. So, without further ado, to those feeling lost in the world and perhaps in need of a new god, I give you: BRACES TILDA.
Tilda Swinton is known for transforming herself for her roles. She aged herself a few decades for her part in The Grand Budapest Hotel, she went bald for Doctor Strange, and perhaps her weirdest look was the false-toothed Margaret Thatcher-type she played in 2014’s Snowpiercer. Well, weirdest until now, that is. Recent set photos from the Suspiria remake seem to show an older gentleman exiting his trailer — except, that’s no man, that’s Tilda Swinton.
Unless your name happens to be Kathryn Bigelow (and if it is, then may I say that it’s a pleasure, Ms. Bigelow, big Point Break fan), Hollywood has had a lot of trouble figuring out how to portray the Global War on Terror. The odd movies that have succeeded critically or financially — Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper — take an ambivalent stance on a complicated and nuanced geopolitical situation, but many more have attempted the same and floundered. So it’s with memories of the high-profile failure of one-time Oscar hopeful Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk that we greet the trailer for War Machine, Netflix’s latest foray into this risky genre.
At the risk of editorializing: Bong Joon-ho rules. The South Korean filmmaker has made a name for himself as a master of off-kilter takes on well-worn genres, most recently transforming the post-apocalyptic action flick into an intricately designed work of Communist agitprop with Snowpiercer. He took on the cop procedural with Memories of Murder, but his most beloved work may be the 2006 creature-feature The Host, in which a shaggy river monster terrorizes the citizens of Seoul. His newest feature will see him returning to the grandly ignoble tradition of movies about supernatural beasties, and with the first trailer having recently surfaced online, we’ve gotten a fleeting look at this lovable freak of nature.
What would an Oscars hosted by Jimmy Kimmel be without a new edition of Mean Tweets?
Doctor Who isn’t even beginning the search for Peter Capaldi’s replacement until sometime this summer, but that isn’t stopping overseas betting agencies from attaching major stars to the title role. After some initial oddsmakers’ bets, another agency is placing high odds on not only a female Doctor, but on Tilda Swinton at that.
When you get right down to it, there’s something delightfully surreal about watching our generation’s best actors tie themselves to the ceiling and spout metaphysical gibberish at the camera. Doctor Strange may not be my personal favorite superhero movie, but it’s undeniably the one with my favorite cast; Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Mads Mikkelsen would represent an embarrassment of riches for any movie, let alone one focused on time travel and temperamental capes.
2016 saw one of South Korea’s finest filmmakers resurface with a stone-cold masterpiece, as Oldboy and Stoker director Park Chan-wook demolished audiences at Cannes with his beguiling erotic drama The Handmaiden. In 2017, another one of South Korea’s proudest filmmaking sons will make a grand return, as Bong Joon-ho prepares to unveil his latest feature Okja. A master of blackly humorous genre work (the guy never met a B-movie he couldn’t make into high art), Bong last appeared on American shores in 2014 with Snowpiercer, his first foray into English-language filmmaking. To employ a critical parlance, it ruled, and with the first photos from Okja now trickling out in advance of its debut next year, we have every reason to believe Bong’s latest will rule just as hard.
Wes Anderson popped back up last month with a charming holiday-appropriate commercial for H&M, his first new work since 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. It was neat, but a pale substitute for a new feature. Fortunately, Anderson fans (or, as we’re more commonly called, Wes Fan-dersons) can take solace that his next major effort is well on its way: Anderson resurfaced today with a three-minute video in which he introduces the cast and first snippet of footage from his upcoming Isle of Dogs, a stop-motion animated project that returns to the talking-animal precocity of Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Long before Finn Jones was cast in the role of Netflix’s Iron Fist, Marvel made headlines with reports that it considered casting actors of Asian descent for the title character. That didn’t come to pass, nor did Marvel improve matters with certain Doctor Strange castings, to which Iron Fist star and Danny Rand auditionee Lewis Tan admits “I’m not the biggest fan of that casting choice.”