We are living in the peak era of Twin Peaks. In addition to David Lynch’s riveting television revival (which will inevitably become the best series of 2017, don’t @ me), the iconic filmmaker’s cult classic prequel film is coming to The Criterion Collection this October. Also joining the prestigious collection: Kristen Stewart’s spooky text messages, a murderous mermaid musical from Poland, Stanley Kubrick, and more.
You know Kristen Stewart from the Twilight franchise. But did you know she got the role of Bella Swan because of her work in another movie? In 2007, Stewart played a supporting role in Into the Wild starring Emile Hirsch. It was Hirsch who recommended Stewart to Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, and set the actress on the path to her most famous part. That’s just one of the facts in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
The latest Kristen Stewart project to finally hit our shores is Personal Shopper, a kind of ghost story that made waves at Cannes and the Toronto Film Festival last year. Stewart and director Olivier Assayas previously collaborated on 2015’s fantastic Clouds of Sils Maria, and their second project together has been pretty divisive, but Stewart made our Best of TIFF list for completely carrying this movie all on her own. A new trailer heralds the film’s US release, which opens next month.
If you look back on the last few years of the New York Film Festival, you’ll find a common, though unsurprising theme: a lot of male-dominated narratives, often about white men’s woes and triumphs. Last year’s line-up had The Walk, Steve Jobs and Miles Ahead, 2014 was notable for the premieres of Inherent Vice, Birdman, and Foxcatcher, and the 2013 fest debuted Her, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Captain Phillips. There have been some notable exceptions, like Carol, Clouds of Sils Maria, and Gone Girl, but overall stories about women have been a relegated to the background at the fest. That is, until this year.
I didn’t get to review Personal Shopper out of the Toronto Film Festival, so here’s the short short version: I liked it! Quite a bit actually; Kristen Stewart gives an outstanding performance as a young American living in Paris, who’s desperate to make contact with a ghost, and specifically with the ghost of her dead twin brother. To fund her quest, Stewart also works as the personal shopper for a fashion icon and socialite. It’s an unusual mix of elements, but a deeply engrossing one, with Stewart nodding at her celebrity status (and perhaps the loneliness of a certain kind of isolating fame) in interesting ways.
ScreenCrush’s Matt Singer and Erin Whitney are back from the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. You can read all of their coverage so far here, but if you want the digest version, they compiled this list of some of the fest’s highlights: the best performances, the biggest surprises, and the worst disappointments. What are the movies people are going to be talking about this fall? These. (Except the ones they didn’t like, of course.)
Kristen Stewart has done very well distancing herself from the Twilight saga with a series of roles proving her worth as a very talented actress — Still Alice, Camp X-Ray and Clouds of Sils Maria have showcased Stewart’s dramatic chops, but it’s the latter in which she gave her most impressive performance to date. So it’s definitely good news that the actress is reuniting with her Clouds of Sils Maria director for another project.