How 'The Terror: Infamy' Blends Real-Life and Supernatural Horror

Published on 13 Aug 1919
movie news How 'The Terror: Infamy' Blends Real-Life and Supernatural Horror

Alexander Woo jokes that if viewers enjoyed the first season of AMC's anthology series The Terror, "you'll get exactly none of it in the second season."

Which, of course, is not entirely true: The Terror: Infamy, which premiered Monday night, offers up a similar blend of a horrific real-life event &mdash the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II &mdash with elements of horror storytelling.

"I think we do share a lot of the DNA. The idea of The Terror as an overarching franchise is that we're telling an historical story using a genre vocabulary," Woo, the showrunner of Infamy, told The Hollywood Reporter. "Now that is a pretty broad definition. The tone is very different from season one to season two, but we do share some similarities in that both shows are about a group of people who are in a land where they're not welcome and that the horror is as much human-generated as it is supernaturally generated."

Monday's premiere lays the groundwork for both: It takes place in the days leading up to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, that marked U.S. entry into World War II, beginning with a woman's death and ending with the Japanese-born men of a community on Los Angeles' Terminal Island being loaded onto buses by members of the military while their families, including lead character Chester Nakayama Derek Mio, are held back by other soldiers.

Woo, who is Chinese American, said he was hesitant initially to take on the story he and fellow executive producer Max Borenstein are credited as creators of the season and "this is not historically my family's story."

"But as I steeped myself in the subject matter more and took a really deep dive into the internment, I recognize that this was the story of the Japanese Americans but not exclusively for Japanese Americans," he said. "It is a story that holds great relevance for anyone whose life has been shaped or touched by the immigrant experience, which frankly in this country is just about everyone."

Woo spoke to THR about shaping the story, populating the cast with actors of Japanese descent &mdash including George Takei, who was interned as a boy and is a consultant on the show &mdash and incorporating elements of contemporary Japanese horror into the show.

The premiere plays out mostly as a family drama, with the creepy opening and closing and a few other horror elements. How did you want to structure this story and balance the grounded and supernatural elements?

Because my background is in theater and I was a playwright, that's the only way I know how to approach telling a story, is through character. I think that's the great strength of television is that over an extended period of time, a relationship is built between the viewer and the characters. They feel real to you. And for anyone who has lived with a show for years, you feel a loss when characters die or when the show ends, you feel happy for them when good things happen or you're pissed off at them or fearful for their safety. It's a very powerful phenomenon of how these characters really come to life. So for me, always, the number one job is to build characters that feel real to the viewers so that they can engage with them &mdash and specifically in this show, feel like they are living in their skin.

And when you do a period piece, frequently it's easy to feel at a safe remove from the history because you think, "Oh, that  happened 75 years ago, that's nothing that could possibly affect us now." And I didn't want that feeling, I didn't want that docudrama feeling, because there have already been many wonderful documentaries made about the internment. But the strength of doing scripted television that is released episodically is that you can feel like you're really going on a journey with these people.

So for me, the first thing you have to do is create these three-dimensional characters that you feel connected to. And then the strategy of the show has been to use the vocabulary of kwaidan, Japanese ghost stories, and then by extension the Japanese horror movies that are descended from it, like The Ring and The Grudge, Dark Water, those kinds of movies, as an analogue for the terror of the historical experience so you really feel, using that horror, you really feel the horror of what these people are going through.

It seems that in addition to Chester and the younger generation that were born in the United States, the older characters also consider themselves Americans.

They consider themselves a part of this country. There is a recognition that I think is very poignant, that they also kind of know that they can never fully, fully assimilate. They legally cannot even become citizens. At this point legally it was impossible for these Japanese Americans to become citizens, the ones who were born overseas. But also culturally there as always going to be a divide.

And so in the case of our characters, they stay in this very insular community on this little island, which is a source of great frustration to Chester, who thinks I'm an American, you're in America, there's this whole country, you could be anywhere you want, why do you stay on this tiny little island? And that's part of the tension between generations that we start with.

Why was it important to you to cast exclusively Japanese-American and Japanese-Canadian actors playing Japanese characters?

It was important to me initially because we have a lot of characters speaking Japanese. And then during the casting process, it became evident that this is such a personal story to the Japanese-American community and so many Japanese Americans, unless their family moved here in the last 20, 30 years, you have immediate relatives who were interned.

And you had people like Derek Mio, who are telling the stories of their families. His grandfather was a fisherman from Terminal Island who was sent to Manzanar. His other grandfather served in the military, which is also a part of Chester's story in the course of our show. So he is telling the story of both of his grandfathers. &hellip By pure coincidence, this was not by design at all.

But we had so many members of our production, not just cast but crew as well, who were telling the stories of their ancestors, and there's no substitute for that.

What did George Takei bring to the show, both as an actor and as a consultant?

He brought so much. On a consultant level he told many stories of his day-to-day life in the camp. There's a movie-night scene at the beginning of the third episode it's a scene that he told us about. And because he is an actor and a storyteller himself, he gave us a perspective that is hard to glean from history books.

And it's not just George, it's a number of survivors of the internment that we spoke to who wanted to emphasize that the story of the internment wasn't just one of pure misery, though of course it was miserable. But it's also the story of the great resilience and resourcefulness of the Japanese Americans who were imprisoned. So you see scenes of people playing baseball, you see scenes of people persevering. &hellip We wanted to honor that as much as possible too, and George was a big part of that.

What was your level of knowledge of internment when you started on the season?

I felt like I knew a good amount. As I discovered, I barely scratched the surface, and in our 10 hours we barely scratched the surface as well. One big thing I knew nothing about was that there was a Japanese-Canadian Internment. And when we shot in Vancouver, that racetrack scene that you see in episode two is the exact racetrack, Hastings Park, where the Japanese Canadians were detained while the Canadian camps were being built.

And Jason Furukawa, our first AD, on the first day we shot there, at the end of the safety meeting, says, "And by the way, if you're curious, my parents were interned in stable seven and eight, right there."

We had a background actor who only told me at the end of the show that his parents, who were Japanese Canadian and were interned, didn't like to speak of it. And this was very common &mdash not to pass on the suffering to their children. But he never got to hear their story very much until he was working as background &hellip and he realized he was standing in the exact same spot that his parents were 75 years ago. He is in his 60s now. And he thought in that moment he understood what his parents went through.

Can you talk a little about the Japanese legends and ghost stories you researched?

The spirit world in our show is something that to the older generation, the Issei generation, is completely real, it's as real as you or I. The spirits are all around us. And we used the belief in spirits as a way to delineate the gap between that generation and Chester's generation, who believes that that's all old country superstition.

There's a number of words that the Issei generation used to describe what's going on. They used bakemono or obake or yurei, and they all mean slightly different things because they're not sure what it is yet. Bakemono is a general term for a somewhat malevolent spirit. I know obake is more general and could be benevolent or malevolent, we don't know. And then a yurei is a very specific spirit, a vengeful ghost of a human being who was wronged in life or did not receive a proper burial who is constantly hungry for vengeance and there is no way to satiate it. And that's a very specific thing. But no one is sure what it is at the beginning, so they bandy about a bunch of different terms.

How did you go about blending the historical setting and these legends with the call-outs to more modern Japanese horror?

A lot of these are homages to our favorite Japanese horror movies. We planted some Easter eggs, sometimes just in the very, very deep background. And if you miss it, you miss it, but the camera doesn't call attention to it and it's just there and maybe on a rewatch it's like oh my god, it was there, watching me the whole time. 

That's the vocabulary of that style of filmmaking that we used as a template to tell our story. Our DPs, John Conroy and Barry Dunleavy, and all of our directors, but starting with the director of our first two episodes, JosefWladyka, really embraced that storytelling style. And not necessarily horror even but Japanese filmmaking. So there's some framing that is a direct homage to Ozu, and there's some stuff from Kobayashi's Kwaidan.

What can you say about the rest of the season?

We are telling the scope of the historical story, which includes in large part the Internment, but also we're not locked into the camp the whole time because there were many Japanese Americans who went to war and served in the military, which is its own.. fraught with its own set of challenges.

And one thing that George really emphasized, and that many survivors of the internment emphasize as a huge part of the story, is the resettlement from the internment, that the internment wasn't over when the camps closed. In fact, if anything it was an even greater challenge to resettle back in America to a country that was still at war with Japan and a country that was still in large part hostile to Japanese Americans with no money, except for the $25 that was given. You were given $25 and a one-way ticket.

The Terror

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Published 5 hour ago on 21 Aug 1919
movie news How 'The Terror: Infamy' Blends Real-Life and Supernatural Horror

The ballroom lights have dimmed on the second season of Pose.

After nine episodes full of heartbreak and hope, exploring the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ ball scene in early ྖs New York &mdash including the impact of Madonna's "Vogue" and fatal attacks against trans women of color, among other topics &mdash the Janet Mock-directed finale, "In My Heels," returned its focus to Blanca Evangelista's HIV diagnosis, which had advanced to AIDS, as revealed by Nurse Judy Sandra Bernhard in the season premiere of FX's groundbreaking drama. 

"We love taking our audience on an emotional roller coaster, and I think we've accomplished that," Steven Canals tells The Hollywood Reporter of Tuesday night's concluding episode, which he wrote alongside fellow co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. "For us, it was about closing out a critical narrative that was the launching pad for the season. It felt important to us."

Following a medical setback in the spring of 1991, nine months after season two's penultimate episode took place, Mj Rodriguez's typically optimistic character, Blanca, reflects on her mortality and her role as mother to the now-dissipated House of Evangelista. But, after reuniting with her children, dancer Damon Ryan Jamaal Swain &mdash who has gone on to become an international choreographer &mdash and the newly engaged couple, model Angel Indya Moore and hustler-turned-businessman Lil Papi Angel Bismark Curiel, Blanca rediscovers her passion to perform and her will to leave a legacy behind.

"We also had to circle back because we have very sharp viewers and their question would inevitably be, 'What is going to happen with Blanca and her heh?'" adds Canals. "Now that we've addressed it, we can start telling new stories and begin new threads for season three."

Below, the writer-producer-director talks more with THR about the highs and lows depicted in season two of Pose, while also sharing his vision for the future of the Emmy-nominated series.

Pose scored an early season three renewal &mdash unlike last year, when it came after the season had already aired. How did a more certain future help you craft the season two finale? 

With the second season, we've proven &mdash or hopefully established with our audience &mdash that our approach is always going to be family first. It's always going to be about heart, connection, empathy and love. And you see that at the end of the second season. Maybe it's not in the way that one would have expected. Most people, probably, if they hear, "Oh, the second season ends on a happy note," you would assume that probably means the House of Evangelista comes back together again. And it does, but it's not in the way that we've seen it before.

The first season also ended on a very uplifting note. Was that purposeful in case the show hadn't been renewed?

It was purposeful, but it didn't have anything to do with us not knowing about a second season. Though we didn't know if we were coming back, we, as a writers' room, never write from a place of fear. The reason we ended the first season on a happy note was because that was the story that we were telling during the first season. We didn't shy away from the grittiness and the reality of what it meant to be an LGBTQ person of color living in New York in the ྌs. With that said, the show is aspirational, it's hopeful, it's about family and it's about resilience. And it would have felt disingenuous for us to tell this family drama, where at the end, we left you with a cliffhanger or a pit in your stomach.

The finale for season two featured a time jump to May 1991, after spending most of the season in 1990 when Madonna's "Vogue" was released. Will there be another time jump in season three?

I've thought a little bit about it. Right now, we're on our hiatus. As a writers' room, when we pick back up, that's when we'll dive into that discussion. Truth be told, between seasons one and two, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Janet Mock, Our Lady J and I had an email thread and we were constantly sending each other links to articles that we found and things that we thought would be interesting to explore during season two. We had a text chain where whenever we saw something fascinating, we made sure to share it. I'm certain that will happen for season three, that during this hiatus, we'll continue to share ideas with one another so that when we get back together in the room for season three, all of us will be on the same page and ready to go. But the short answer to your question is no, we haven't necessarily planted a flag yet as to whether or not we'll stick with a direct pickup from the finale or if we'll time-jump again.

The song "Vogue" almost acted as a secondary character in season two. Is there another event or theme that you'd like to center season three on?

There are two pretty big events that we've talked about in the writers' room. We're obviously not there yet, but it feels like we're working toward those moments. One of them is the AIDS Quilt, which was put out on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. That's one event that we've talked about and then the other is obviously the HIV/AIDS medication cocktail that came around 1996. Again, that's ྜ and I doubt we'd do such a dramatic time jump between seasons two and three. 

"Vogue" came out the same year as Jennie Livingston's ballroom doc Paris Is Burning, which I know has inspired your work on Pose &mdash and Livingston, herself, even directed episode 207, "Blow." Though the ballroom community was most likely talking about Paris Is Burning in 1990, the characters on Pose never mentioned it in season two. Was that intentional?

That's a great question. When we were first developing Pose, we did have conversations about Paris Is Burning and there was a version of the show where we had characters who were from the film. We were going to have Pepper LaBeija and Dorian Corey be characters on the show. Part of the reason we decided not to do that is that we would then be beholden to the truth. We still are, frankly, but the truth of a person's life is tough because there's always going to be some creative license. So, we felt it would make more sense to honor those folks' lives and tell a story about ballroom and what it meant to survive in New York in the ྌs and ྖs instead. When we went into season two, we were very aware of the fact that our show is in conversation with Paris Is Burning. We obviously wanted to pay homage to all the individuals who are in Paris Is Burning and Jennie's landmark work. For example, Elektra's narrative in the third episode with hiding the body in the closet is directly inspired by Dorian Corey's experience. There were ways that we gave a nod to the documentary without having to directly address it in the show.

The season two finale ends with Blanca seemingly interested in adopting two new house children, Quincy and Chilly, played by KJ Aikens and Gia Parr, respectively. Was this to set up a House of Evangelista 2.0 for season three?

That's how it feels, right? This is the next era for the House of Evangelista. The reality is &mdash and it's all in the setup of who Blanca is in the pilot &mdash that Blanca has a deep desire to leave a legacy behind. Blanca being a mother is such a large part of what Pose is about, and certainly, I would argue, the largest part of her character arc. The show is about motherhood and what it means to mother and to be mothered. Obviously, the last bit of the season we saw the dissolution of the House of Evangelista. Now, Blanca needs to figure out what her role is and who she is when her other kids have moved on. How does her mothering continue to evolve? Even if, moving forward, Quincy and Chilly aren't specifically her children or aren't in a revamped House of Evangelista, what we wanted the audience to take away from that moment is that Blanca isn't done being a mom and that it's a core part of who she is as a woman.

So, is it too early to say whether Aikens and Parr will return for season three as series regulars?

At this point, yes.

Pose made stars out of Mj Rodriguez and Indya Moore, and Billy Porter's portrayal of Pray Tell earned him an Emmy nom. By possibly expanding the House of Evangelista, are you looking for new talent to "discover" or give a platform to?

Absolutely. The opportunity to do that even extends beyond Pose. I'm going to speak for all of us and say every single one of us in that writers' room recognizes just how life-changing Pose has been &mdash for us, the cast and the audience. Every single one of us, beyond Pose and moving forward and thinking about other projects, will always consider centering people who often aren't centered. Speaking for myself as a queer person of color, holding those identities, I know that my work will in some way always resonate with those communities &mdash with the LGBTQ community and hopefully with black and brown folks &mdash because those are the boxes that I check. I grew up not feeling seen and I know how critical representation is, especially for young people growing up and, in this climate, in particular, where we are consistently having to fight to be seen and heard, and for people to know that our lives and our voices matter. I know that my work will always uplift the communities that matter the most to me.

What would you like to explore more of in season three?

I definitely would love to see Blanca find love. Something that I would really love for us to explore in season three would be Blanca in a relationship and how that affects the relationships she has with her kids. For example, Lil Papi is so protective of Blanca. How is he going to interact with Blanca having a lover? And if this lover moves into her home and, presumably, if there is a House of Evangelista 2.0 &mdash whatever that looks like, whatever shape that takes &mdash how are they now interacting with Blanca having this live-in lover? Those are some of the things that I think would be really fun and interesting to explore moving forward.

After leaving the Evangelista nest, how will Damon, Angel and Lil Papi fit into Blanca's new world?

What's important for the audience to remember is that Damon, Angel and Lil Papi will always be Evangelistas. They'll always be Blanca's children. They'll always have a special relationship with her. And I don't even know that we could say definitively that they won't ever be back in Blanca's house &mdash literally and figuratively. If we're thinking about actual ballroom, folks sort of go off and do other things with their lives and then they return. So, it's realistic for us to consider that Damon would go off to Europe to choreograph and then eventually rejoin the house a couple years later and bring all those new skills with him. We'll see once we get into talking about the story for season three.

Ryan Murphy recently said that Pose will ultimately end in 1996 when, as you mentioned, breakthroughs in HIV/AIDS medication were made. Can you tell me about the conversations you had with him about that? Why does that feel like a perfect place to put a period on Pose?

We always conceived the show to be grounded in what is happening culturally and socio-politically for this particular community that is living in New York City. And, so, our approach was never that we were telling a story about ballroom, it was never a story specifically about the plight of LGBTQ people of color. It was always a story about navigating living in New York as a queer or trans person of color, specifically in the ྌs or the ྖs. Looking at that whole arc and how we start that whole story &mdash Blanca finding out that she's HIV-positive and now having to navigate the world as a positive trans woman &mdash the HIV/AIDS cocktail seemed like a great destination. For us, narratively, it feels like the story we've been telling has been working toward that moment of relief. So many lives were saved. The government's response to people living with HIV/AIDS and the response from the medical community was so problematic for so long. That moment felt like such a victory for everyone. And, finally, the community went from just surviving to once again thriving. In terms of the greater story, we've been looking toward that moment of salvation. But now that we're two seasons in, we might get there and ask ourselves, "Is this really where we want to end the show? Or do we have more story to tell?" We've certainly done that with other arcs throughout the show. What's important is that we're open and flexible.

How does this loose idea for an ending impact the way you'll outline future seasons? Does it add pressure or is it more helpful?

I don't know if I would say it adds pressure. To be honest with you, that sense of pressure has always been there, and it's always been something that we've been hyper aware of. We have two of our main characters &mdash Blanca and Pray Tell, who are living as HIV-positive people &mdash and the audience has now fallen in love with those characters. And for us, as storytellers, we don't want to lose those characters and we certainly don't want to lose Mj and Billy as performers. But we also recognize that we have a responsibility to tell the truth. How realistic is it going to be to the audience if our characters are never affected by their statuses? You see that play out in the finale that it happens &mdash people get ill. We've been continuously cautious about how we use that narratively.

How many seasons do you see Pose going for?

When I was pitching Pose, I always envisioned that it would be a five-season show. With that said, could it be a four-season? Could it be a six-season? Sure. It could be more or less. What's really important for all of us &mdash and maybe more specifically for Ryan, Brad and I &mdash is that we felt we told the story that we intended to tell. Once we've hit that point, we'll know that it's time to end it. The thing that we don't want to do is continue to tell stories beyond the story that we intended to tell because a lot of shows do that. And then what winds up happening is that the work suffers, and the audience can mostly always feel it. There's a lack of narrative drive or there isn't that same passion for the narrative. I don't know how much longer it will take for us to get to the conclusion of the story. But we, in the writers' room, will certainly know once we've reached the end and so will our audience.

Interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Published 11 hour ago on 21 Aug 1919
movie news How 'The Terror: Infamy' Blends Real-Life and Supernatural Horror

Now that the news has been confirmed, everyone is trying to come to terms with the news that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man movies may no longer be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward. That’s because, per Deadline‘s original report and The Hollywood Reporter‘s subsequent confirmation, the carefully negotiated deal between Marvel Studios and Sony is no more. The former’s parent company, Disney, wanted a bigger share of the successful franchise’s box office profits and the latter said no.

On the one hand, that’s what Marvel gets for selling off so many licensing deals for its catalog of characters several decades ago. On the other hand, the MCU already contained an increasing weh of characters and stories before Peter Parker’s arrival in Captain America: Civil War, and thanks to Disney’s recent Fox acquisition, it’s likely going to include even more from the annals of the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties. But don’t try explaining the ins and outs of these matters to the Marvel stans on Twitter, because they are impressively unhappy right now.

Published 12 hour ago on 21 Aug 1919
movie news How 'The Terror: Infamy' Blends Real-Life and Supernatural Horror

Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Tuesday. The answer to the second, “What is the best show currently on TV?” can be found at the end of this post.

This week’s question: What’s your favorite anthology series of all time? Why?

Marisa Roffman @marisaroffman, Give Me My Remote

I have to go with the original “Twilight Zone,” because it is astonishing what the show was able to do. One of the beautiful things about television is following characters on an extended journey, but most of the best episodes of “Twilight” were wrapped up in under 30 minutes. That’s a plot/character/world introduction, story, and a twist/resolution in about half the length of a 2019 premium drama episode.

It also remains the only show I’m content to watch out of order a normal no-no for me, and the only series I try to not seek out via streaming services. I tend to get sucked into the holiday Syfy marathons, and it’s always a delight when a new to me episode pops up.

Also, even if you’ve never seen an episode of any version of “Twilight Zone,” if you consume pop culture, there’s virtually no way you’ve missed something inspired by it.

April Neale @aprilmac, Monsters & Critics

Currently “The Terror: Infamy” on AMC is living up to the excellence from last summer’s premiere season with Ciaran Hinds and Jared Harris, the captains of two doomed British ships locked in Arctic ice floes. This season’s focus on the Japanese-American internment camps and having George Takei he walked that fire as a five-year-old as a consultant and actor portraying an elder with a big fish tale was brilliant and timing spot-on for obvious reasons. Incorporating Japanese horror elements layered onto the real-life crimes against humanity just gives us viewers the massive chills when we need it these relentless dog days of August.

My past pick is purely sentimental, as spending every Friday night with my two sons watching HBO’s “Tales from the Crypt” all together is a treasured memory. This anthology series ran from 1989 to 1996 with the cackling Crypt-Keeper John Kassir voiced him and from the opening music to the end credits was brilliant, stuffed with a great array of actors and A-lister creatives behind the scenes. Popcorn, blankets to hide under during the scarier bits…I still miss it.

Derek Mio in “The Terror: Infamy”

Ed Araquel/AMC

Alan Sepinwall @sepinwall, Rolling Stone

How are we defining “anthology,” exactly? A show that tells a new story with new characters each season? In that case, it’s probably “Fargo,” even though I had issues with the third season. A show that tells a new story with new characters every episode? That’s almost certainly the original “Twilight Zone.” I’m going to stretch the definition, though, and go with “Quantum Leap.” Yes, that show had ongoing characters in time traveler Sam and his holographic advisor Al, and an ongoing story arc of sorts in Sam’s desire to return home. Mainly, though, it was a steh anthology, with a new set of characters each week &mdash one of them just happened to always be played by Scott Bakula as Sam, inhabiting the body of a black chauffeur or a beauty queen or a NASA chimp &mdash and a new genre. It could do hard-boiled detective fiction, domestic comedy, musical theater, and more. And because it always had Bakula and Dean Stockwell there, it got to pull the audience along from week to week, no matter their interest in this particular setting, genre, or group of new people. The best of all possible TV worlds.

Emily VanDerWerff @tvoti, Vox

The answer, of course, is “The Twilight Zone,” but that feels too easy, which is why I’m going to talk a little about “Playhouse 90.” It’s a show I haven’t seen that much of &mdash a lot of it has never been commercially available, due to the poor image quality of too much early TV stuff &mdash but the handful of installments I’ve seen from its four seasons which ran from 1956 to 1960 are wonderfully eclectic, ranging from stories for kids to searing social dramas to gloriously funny comedies. The idea of the show as expressed in its title was that every episode was 90 minutes long, a daunting prospect even in those days of more theatrically inclined TV productions. But boy would I love to see some enterprising broadcast network revive this show, at least in spirit. A new, stage-like story every week, all across 90-minute timeslots? It would be wonderful.

Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo”


Alec Bojalad @alecbojalad, Den of Geek

I'm tempted to go with Netflix's dubiously named “The Haunting of&hellip“ series even though it sits at only one installment so far. But for as much as I loved “Hill House,” I still need to see how “Bly Manor” and other future installments pan out. “Black Mirror” seems like a good candidate as well though I don't know how I feel about its “anthology“ status – it's more of a series of sci-fi films if anything.

That leaves Noah Hawley's “Fargo” as my ultimate answer. “Fargo's” three seasons have varied a bit in quality but in some sense that just makes an even better example of an anthology done right. Within the anthology format, some seasons will be better like Season 2 and some will be worse Season 3. What's important, however, is that each installment be united both narratively and thematically. Though the time periods and criminal schemes in every season of “Fargo” may change, each installment exists within a consistent world and is ultimately about how “normal people“ deal with forces beyond their control and understanding. Those forces might come in the form of a seemingly unstoppable hitman, a UFO, or even just humanity's maddening inability to communicate.

Hawley's ability to take the Coen Brothers' original format, find the soul of what made it unique, and adapt it to television has helped make the medium a more anthology-friendly place.

Clint Worthington @clintworthing, Consequence of Sound, The Spool

Call me basic, but I just don’t think anything will ever live up to the dynamism, craft, and social bite of Rod Serling’s original “Twilight Zone.” Independent of their objective quality which I’ll get to in a minute, they’re one of the shows that shaped not just my childhood, but my lifelong love of speculative fiction. Plus, the intermittent New Year’s marathons of old “Twilight Zone” episodes give me ample opportunity to tap back into that sense of childhood wonder.

There’s something intangible about their budget-friendly nature as modest teleplays, their ideas explored not by state-of-the-art visual effects but the power of scriptwriting and suggestion. It hearkens back to the imagination-heavy Golden Age of science fiction, a time when we finally understood the power of science but still needed to explore its implications. Serling’s stories were didactic in the best way, modern fables told through the language of the atomic era, and notably progressive for their time. Imitators like “Black Mirror” and I’ll say it Peele’s CBS reboot of “Twilight Zone” itself will never be able to match the timeless potency of images like Burgess Meredith breaking his glasses, or the pig-faces from “Eye of the Beholder.”

“Quantum Leap”


Damian Holbrook @damianholbrook, TV Guide Magazine

OK, I had to look this one up to make sure my pre-teen mind wasn’t messing with me, and it turns out that it wasn’t! In 1979, there was a show called “Cliffhangers!” that was anthology-ish, except it wasn’t a different story every season, it was three different serials and every episode featured 20-minute installments of each storyline that ended with, yes a cliffhanger, before a commercial break. When the show came back from commercials, the next serial’s chapter would air and you’d have to wait until the next week to see how each one resumed.

I remember being fascinated by a show that was three distinctly different shows instead of currently being annoyed by one particular series that becomes like four different shows over eight episodes and also being confused. The stories were such opposites! “Stop Susan Williams” starred Susan Anton as a female Indiana Jones, “The Secret Empire” was a Western with aliens and “The Curse of Dracula” was more of a romance than horror. Still, it was so different from anything I had seen in my 10 years of life at that point and a young Michael Nouri as a San Francisco vampire was all that little gay kid needed to be hooked. I don’t remember how it all tied up and according to Wikipedia, it never actually finished airing all of the parts. But it left its mark and is probably why I keep giving “American Horror Story” another chance. Even after that garbage “Hotel” season.

Joyce Eng @joyceeng61, GoldDerby

Can I say Harper’s Island even though it was, cruelly, unjustly canceled after one season? I know I kinda, sorta just name-checked in an answer last month, but it deserved better, OK? But I’ll go to my first true anthology love that lasted more than one season and is also in the horror/mystery vein: “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” That scared me sh–less when I was a kid, and I absolutely loved it. It went there with some truly disturbing stuff that you hardly ever see in children’s shows then or now. Hell, I still think about “The Tale of the Dollmaker” or “The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle” and shudder.

“Are You Afraid of the Dark?”


Eric Deggans @deggans, NPR

I feel this answer has to be divvied up into two eras, because the anthology series of yesteryear are a lot different than the anthologies today's TV talents are rolling out. So, in the category of historic anthology series, I'd have to go with Rod Serling's “The Twilight Zone.“ Created by Serling, a radio and TV writer eager to develop programs addressing deeper social issues, “The Twilight Zone“ aired for five seasons starting in 1959, featuring stand-alone stories every episode, often with a science fiction or fantastical theme and often with a telling twist at the end. Some classic “Twilight Zone” episodes included Billy Mumy “Lost in Space” as a super powered six year old who isolated a small town and ruled it with an iron fist Cloris Leachman played his mother William Shatner as a man recovering from a nervous breakdown who sees a gremlin on the wing of a passenger plane and Burgess Meredith as a henpecked, bookish bank teller who thinks he's in paradise when a nuclear war kills everyone but him, leaving him free to read all the books he wants the twist ending: his glasses fall off his face and shatter, leaving him unable to read. The series was so groundbreaking, it inspired three revival series, a movie, a radio series and even the Tower of Terror ride at W Disney theme parks. Most importantly, “Twilight Zone“ aired at a time when network TV was still largely escapist, avoiding direct mention of controversial events in the real world. Serling used the science fiction and fantastical settings of his episodes to talk about social issues like racism, war and poverty in ways the network executives and sponsors could accept.

Modern-day anthology series often avoid the heavy lifting of creating a new story every episode. Instead, they craft a new story every season, stretching the narrative over eight, ten or thirteen episodes. In this class, I'd name FX's “American Crime Story,“ mostly for the power of its first entry, “People v. O.J. Simpson.“ It was the first of two Simpson-oriented TV projects that year &ndash including ESPN's “O.J.: Made in America“ &ndash and the only scripted recreation of the murder trial which managed to tell viewers loads of new things about the most media-drenched prosecution in history, while also speaking to our current concerns about criminal justice, race and policing.

Daniel Fienberg @TheFienPrint, The Hollywood Reporter

Is there some trick answer that I’m missing here? Otherwise, it’s going to be an entire poll of people saying “The Twilight Zone,” plus Ben saying, “I’ve cheated and looked at everybody’s answers, so let me do something else. Is ‘Leftovers’ an anthology series?” I mean, I love “Fargo,” all three seasons. Yes. Even the third. But it’s only worthy of being a bonus answer here, because the real answer HAS to be “The Twilight Zone.” Classic flavor. Rod Serling. You know the one.

Diane Gordon @thesurfreport, Freelance

I know I’m cheating a bit but I’m going with “The Wire” for my favorite anthology series. Yes, I know it has characters that carry over from season to season thanks to Hanh for the reminder that both current series “AHS” and “Fargo” do this too but I’m choosing it anyway because when you look at the totality of the five seasons, it’s an anthology about the past and present of Bimore.

“The Wire” had a major impact on my storytelling brain as it incorporated Bimore civic history with larger themes about the problems American institutions cause and attempt to alleviate. Whether it was illegal drug trade, the seaport system, the city government and bureaucracy, the school system, or the print news media, David Simon and the series writers told stories on a granular level and the detail added to the charged emotional impact of each season. Because the same unit of officers and politicians recurred over the show’s five seasons, there was a sense of the need for change while also showing that progress is slow and often seems impossible.

Even though season four aired in 2006, I still haven’t forgotten how emotional the season about the Bimore school system made me feel. The outlook for some of the children was so bleak, and even when the writers offered a glimmer of hope, it was usually dashed by a part of the city bureaucracy.

It was often hard to reconcile my feelings about the show as it was such extraordinary, expansive storytelling and it was done so well, but watching it usually left me sad and wondering if any solutions were even possible. To this day, I marvel at “The Wire” for its outstanding casting, writing, vision and civic-minded soul.

Ben Travers @BenTTravers, IndieWire

All right, I really think “The Leftovers” could qualify as an anthology event of some kind, given the dramatic scenery and tonal shift seen between Seasons 1 and 2, as well as a series finale that functions beautifully as a standalone feature film, but I’ll relent to traditional thinking and choose something else. Inspired by my ever-inclusive colleague Dan “Mr. President” Fienberg, let me shout-out “Room 104,” “The Missing,” “Fargo,” and “The Twilight Zone,” before ultimately going with “True Detective” &mdash that all right with everyone? No? Well, even with the disastrous second season’s overreaching machoism, Nic Pizzolatto is two-for-three with his star-studded HBO anthology. My love for Season 1 is as endless as a flat circle, and Season 3’s ambitious structure and return to character-centric storytelling made for excellent TV. Plus, there’s Matt and Mahershala. Always Matt and Mahershala. All right, all right, all right.

Q: What is the best show currently on TV?*

A: “Succession” four votes

Other contenders: “Lodge 49” two votes, “The Boys,” “David Makes Man,” “GLOW,” “Hypnotize Me,” “Pose,” “The Terror: Infamy” one vote each

*In the case of streaming services that release full seasons at once, only include shows that have premiered in the last month.

Source: Indiewire

Published 14 hour ago on 21 Aug 1919
movie news How 'The Terror: Infamy' Blends Real-Life and Supernatural Horror

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles NFMLA will put the spotlight on the Latinx and Hispanic community this year at their annual festival on September 14 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

NFMLA has partnered with for their annual NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Film Festival InFocus: Latinx & Hispanic Cinema Festival. The fest will include a lineup of local and international films by world-class emerging filmmakers from Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Spain, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Australia, Canada and the United States across three short film programs.

The day-long event will include a pre-reception where attendees can meet the filmmakers and industry professionals. It will be followed by three film programs that will feature moderators Claudia Puig of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Rosy Cordero from Entertainment Weekly.

The complete lineup and details about the filmmakers for the program can be read below.

InFocus: Latinx & Hispanic Cinema Shorts Program #1

Argemira &ndash Directed by Bosco da Costa Brazil/Canada US Premiere A visually rich documentary narrating the life of an 85-year-old nun who had to overcome numerous obstacles to achieve her childhood dream.

About the Director – Bosco da Costa is a Brazilian filmmaker born in Recife, Pernambuco. Da Costa studied Law at Faculdade de Direito do Recife but decided to switch careers in order to follow his true passion in life: filmmaking. Da Costa moved to Toronto, Canada in 2017 to study Film and Television at Centennial College.

Taylor and Vanessa &ndash Directed by Christina Santa Cruz USATaylor and Vanessa examine what it means to be in danger.

About the Director – Christina Santa Cruz is a filmmaker and installation artist. She has showcased her work in various festivals and exhibitions, such as Chicago Underground Film Festival, Portland Unknown Film Festival, Norcal Nosiefest, Other Places Art Fair and Sunspots Cinema. Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in Film from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in Art and Technology from the California Institute of the Arts.

Insomniac &ndash Directed by Anna Victoria Salinas USAA journey through one sleepless night.

About the Director – Anna is a graduate of UCLA’s MFA program in screenwriting and a 2018 Sundance New Voice Lab Fellow. She’s produced numerous shorts and performs in the all-latina sketch duo John Baxter, whose film Sync has screened the LA Scripted Comedy Festival and the Funny Women Fest.

We Vanish &ndash Directed by Astrid Dominguez Mexico/AustraliaIn a country where violence against women has been normalised, a young mother will put her own life in danger to get legal justice over her daughter’s brutal murder.

About the Director – Astrid is a director and writer from the State of Mexico. Her career began in advertising, directing over seventy commercials. In 2018, she graduated with an MFA in directing at VCA in Melbourne, Australia, where she developed her graduate short film We Vanish/ Las Desaparecidas. Her recent work as a director is focused on female subjectivity, human rights, gender issues.

Something to Believe In Algo en lo Que Creer &ndash Directed by Fany de la Chica USA/SpainWorld Premiere Alba is about to make communion and asks Jesus Christ to kill her sick grandfather.

About the Director – Fany de la Chica is an award-winning filmmaker, singer and educator originally from Andalusia south of Spain and based in Harlem – New York. She studied the MFA in Directing/Screenwriting at Columbia University in New York. Her films have been selected in more than one hundred international film festivals, broadcast on television and awarded. Her work has been published in CINEWOMEN and The Hollywood Reporter. She won a College Emmy Award for her short film “Something to Believe in“ and the New View Award from Glamour Magazinefor her short film “The Looking Ceremony“.

InFocus: Latinx & Hispanic Cinema Shorts Program #2

Thank You for Calling &ndash Directed by Priscila Torres USAWorld PremiereTrapped in a never-ending immigration process, a Salvadoran immigrant makes a snap decision that could put her marriage and future in jeopardy.

About the Director – Priscila Torres was born and raised in El Salvador. In 2013, she earned a BFA in Graphic Design from Universidad Don Bosco in San Salvador, El Salvador. That same year, she was chosen as Robert Redford/Milagro Initiative Unique Voice recipient to study film in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During that time, she also volunteered on multiple occasions for the Sundance Film Festival and The Sundance Labs. She graduated in 2016 with a BFA in Film Production from Santa Fe University of Art & Design, and since then has worked on a number of productions as a production assistant, and as an assistant for Carmen Ejogo on The Girlfriend Experience S2 and Rattlesnake. Her feature screenplay “Undercurrent“ was selected for the Sundance Screenwriters Intensive Macon 2019.

La Casita Rosa &ndash Directed by Elvin Herrera Mexico/USAAn exploration of the humanitarian work done by Las Patronas, group of Mexican women determined to help feed the immigrants riding on top of cargo trains heading north to the U.S.

About the Director – Elvin Herrera is a documentarian and video editor. He received his B.A. in Cinema and Television Arts from California State University Northridge CSUN in 2015 and a M.F.A. in Film and Television from Mount Saint Mary’s University in 2017. Herrera has worked in post-production for the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Spotify, and Compathos TV.

This happened to you? Esto Le Paso a Usted &ndash Directed by Ana Maria Estrada PeruAn elderly couple coming back to their country thirty years after emigrating discovers how much everything has changed and how vulnerable they are.

About the Director – Peruvian by birth, Ana Maria Estrada currently resides between the cities of New York, Lima and Miami, which allows her to work on various artistic projects. Her love for the performing arts started at an early age and she decided to polish her talents by studying acting in New York, Los Angeles, and London. She also studied film at the prestigious New York Film Academy.

Finding Shelter &ndash Directed by Marissa Chibas USAThis documentary captures the stories of several unaccompanied minors seeking refuge in the United States and how their real-life experiences were made in to the 2016 internationally acclaimed play.

About the Director – Marissa Chibas is a writer, performer, filmmaker. Her solo show Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary, has toured the U.S., Europe, and Mexico. Her silent film/performance piece, Clara's Los Angeles, was presented at REDCAT's NOW festival and the San Diego Latino Film Festival. She conceived and wrote the play Shelter, which premiered in Lincoln Park and was presented at the Kennedy Center and has been made into a documentary, Finding Shelter.

Processing Station &ndash Directed by Rodrigo Espinosa USAWhen an optimistic man gets run over and dies, he finds the afterlife is run like the DMV, and a religion-based written test will determine his fate.

About the Director – Rodrigo is a Mexican director focused on comedy. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

InFocus: Latinx & Hispanic Cinema Shorts Program #3

Kiss Me Malibu &ndash Directed by Mikel Arraiz SpainA horror-comedy music video about the insecurities and overthinking that TV shows, religion, culture and belief systems create in us during male-female relationships and in courtship.

About the Director – Mikel Arraiz is a director and editor who studied Telecommunications at Public University of Navarre UPNA. He has created several music videos for Spanish bands, broadcast on MTV, and has written four scripts, which earned him several awards.

And The Brave Shall Rise &ndash Directed by Adam Schlachter USACindy Polo, stay-at-home mom and social activist, runs for office after the Parkland high school massacre to help inspire change in the Florida Legislature.

About the Director – Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami, Adam Schlachter graduated with an MFA in Directing from AFI, completed a Screenwriting Certificate at UCLA, and earned a BFA in Production from FSU. His thesis, “My Backyard Was A Mountain”, qualified for the Oscars, won an Imagen Award, earned grants from Kodak and Panavision, and screened at over two hundred film festivals. Adam was selected for the CBS Directing Initiative, the NBC-Universal Writers Showcase, the WGA IWC, the HSF/McNamara Arts Grant, the Caucus Foundation Grant, and the MMPA Diversity Scholarship. He is in post-production on a feature, “Hair In A Bag“.

Caminante, Caminante: La Leyenda del Huay Chivo &ndash Directed by Luis Quijano Mexico/USAIn a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, two young missionaries in search of the town’s religious conversion go against the people’s beliefs and awaken a monster from a folk legend.

About the Director – Luis Quijano is a Mexican filmmaker born and raised in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico. At the age of 18, he moved to Mexico City, to study “Media and Communication“ where he made his first short film “Me Gusta Más Crudo“ with two fellow students. In 2015, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in filmmaking, where he studied at the New York Film Academy in Burbank, CA and graduated in 2018. His latest project, the horror short film “Caminante, Caminante: La Leyenda del Huay Chivo“ is rounding up at film festivals around the world. Meanwhile, he is developing two feature films: “Caminante, Caminante“, based on this short film, and “Esto es lo que Somos“, a cannibal horror road film.

Until Dawn Comes &ndash Directed by Aaron Acuna Costa RicaAn unexpected message from the past makes Carmen get off a bus and rush to the city to sing a song to an old lover. With the reluctant help of her sister, she will embark looking for the pieces of her past she thought were behind her.

About the Director – Aaron earned a degree in Film and TV from Veritas Film School, a Bachelor’s in Psychology from University of Costa Rica and a Web Development Associate’s from CENFOTEC. Aaron has experience in filmmaking, producing, screenwriting and editing. He has directed and written 3 Award winning short films and produced several feature documentaries.

A Low-Budget Film &ndash Directed by Paulo Leierer Brazil West Coast Premiere A mixture of corporate film, archive footage, documentary and making of, the film is an attempt of the scientists from the “Brazilian Institute of Alternative and Secondary Importance Research” to fight the lack of funding, the closure of the institute and to keep their dreams alive.

About the Director – Paulo Leierer is a Brazilian director and scriptwriter who works developing and writing projects, especially comedies, with major Brazilian production companies. He directed a comedy series screened on Comedy Central and Netflix and has had short films screened at festivals such as the São Paulo International Film Festival, the Durban International Film Festival, Hanover International Film Festival, Bogotá Short Film Festival Oscar Qualifying and more.


Published 14 hour ago on 20 Aug 1919
movie news How 'The Terror: Infamy' Blends Real-Life and Supernatural Horror

Coming 2 America has lined up a stellar cast, exceeding the talent on display in the original 1988 Coming to America with a ton of names new to the franchise that now include Tracy Morgan. This will be the first time Tracy Morgan has appeared in a movie with Eddie Murphy, though the two are long-time friends.

It was announced earlier in the summer that Wesley Snipes has also joined the comedy as a new character. He will be joined by other newcomers Lesley Jones and Kiki Layne. The Tracy Morgan character will have ties to Prince Akeem's son, while Wesley Snipes is said to be playing the ruler of a neighboring nation that is in competition with Eddie Murphy's Prince Akeem named General Izzi.

Craig Brewer is directing the sequel to John Landis' blockbuster smash hit. Brewer most recently directed Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes in the upcoming Netflix biopic Dolemite is My Name. Returning from the original will be Arsenio Hall as Prince Akeem's assistant. James Earl Jones as Akeem's father from the fictional African nation of Zamunda. And Shari Headley as Akeem's wife.

Related: Coming 2 America Gets Superior Donuts Star Jermaine Fowler in Key Role

The original movie followed Prince Akeem coming to America to find a wife, while holding down a job at a McDonalds rip-off restaurant called McDowell's. Now, thirty years later, Akeem is set to become King of Zamunda. He discovers he has a long-lost son in Queens, a street smart New York native named Lavelle. Akeem must abide by his dying father's wish to groom his son to become the new crowned Prince, which once again sets him off to visit America.

Lesley Jones will be playing the mother of Lavelle, whom had a one-night stand with Prince Akeem. Tracey Morgan is playing Lavelle's Uncle, Jones' brother. He is described as a hustler named Reem.

Though it was previously believed that Coming 2 America had already begun shooting after a well-received teaser was shown during this year's CinemaCon, that was from early camera tests. Principle photograph is scheduled to begin later this month. The movie will be in theaters just in time for Christmas next year, arriving on December 18, 2020.

Eddie Murphy is producing the sequel alongside Kevin Misher and Kenya Barris. Coming 2 America will be the next live-action project Tracey Morgan takes on. He has two big animated films in the pipeline. He'll voice Captain Caveman in the upcoming big screen reboot of Scooby-Doo, which is just being called Scoob for now. It teams various Hanna-Barbera characters with Mystery Inc. for their greatest mystery. Morgan will also be lending his voice to Green Eggs and Ham, with the Dr. Seuss classic becoming a Netflix original. This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.

Source: Movieweb

movie news How 'The Terror: Infamy' Blends Real-Life and Supernatural Horror
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