|NEW YORK FILM FESTIVALFILM FESTIVALTHE IRISHMANFILM FESTFIRST COWNEW YORKIRISHMAN|
Let’s face it: The New York Film Festival has always been run by older white men, from its founder, the late great Richard Roud, through departing director Kent Jones, who now turns his focus to full-time filmmaking. New NYFF director Eugene Hernandez brings an exciting and welcome perspective to the 57-year-old festival, which is just five years older than he is. He’s an erudite cinema connoisseur, having scarfed up movies for decades at the major film festivals and beyond as a journalist mostly at IndieWire and, for the last decade, rising in the ranks at Film at Lincoln Center.
But he’s more than a passionate film lover. Hernandez will bring a change in focus to the NYFF in terms of long-term strategy, ongoing opportunism, and industry and filmmaker outreach. Dennis Lim will continue as the programming director for the October festival, which is the focal point of the Film at Lincoln Center’s year, as well as booking year-round repertory cinema at the Walter Reade Theatre and new films at the Elinor Bunin Center, and curating Rendezvous with French Cinema and Spring’s New Directors, New FIlms, in concert with the Museum of Modern Art.
The New York FIlm Festival has always been a fall gateway for emerging art films, but does so without a competition jury or awards. With more cinema venues, the festival has broadened its scope to VR and documentary showcases as well as more year-round events and retrospectives.
And going forward, given everything he has done so far, Hernandez will push for more inclusivity across the board. He knows the main film players in Hollywood and all over the world. He’s a charming, enthusiastic, embracing, bigger-than-life personality who brings the best out of everyone he meets, including me — he brought me into IndieWire just over 11 years ago, before he made his transition to run digital media at the Film Society under Rose Kuo.
Back then, Film Comment was locked into a strictly print focus, and the hidebound Film Society needed help bringing its programming and the festival into a larger conversation. Hernandez accomplished that and then some. When Lesli Klainberg joined the festival as managing director in 2011, she worked alongside Hernandez and when she ascended to executive director in 2014, she made Hernandez her deputy.
“Eugene was trying to do innovative things,” said Klainberg. “I saw what he had to offer. He has the deepest connections in the industry of anyone in the organization. He’s connecting us to the people who make...
Everything is delayed, canceled, or on hold at the moment due to the coronavirus COVID-19, which means that film festivals are having to make some tough choices. Cannes is postponed. SXSW was canceled, but they recently announced they would try to put together an online film festival with Amazon Prime Video. TIFF has yet to make a decision one way or another, but festival runners Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey mentioned last week that they were considering a potential digital festival. Digital film festivals are a distinct possibility in several locations, but there’s one fest that has flat-out refused to go digital: the Venice Film Festival.
With the coronavirus continuing to upend film festivals across the globe, some are wondering if virtual, online film festivals might be the solution for the time being. And while some fests – SXSW, TIFF – are open to this idea, the Venice Film Festival isn’t having it. Speaking with Variety, a Venice spokesperson said: “The Venice Film Festival cannot be replaced by an online event,” adding that “there is obviously the possibility that we use technology for some initiatives, [but] it’s too early for this to be decided.”
The Venice Film Festival is supposed to run in September, and as of now, everyone involved with the fest is still operating under the assumption that the festival is still on. Organizers have put out a call for “projects for its Final Cut in Venice co-production workshop dedicated to supporting works from the Middle East and Africa, currently scheduled to be held during the fest.”
Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera was quoted as saying he and his team “are working just the same as in past years” and that they “cannot provide specifics about the future.” The only thing they can confirm is that no matter what happens, the festival will not go digital. While some are more than happy to accept the idea of a digital festival – no travel fees! – not everyone is okay with the idea. For one thing, if a film without distribution were to debut digitally and then immediately be pirated, it would hurt its chances at eventual purchase. Plus, many filmmakers and producers long for that festival buzz that can only be achieved by screening titles for a live audience.
But we remain in uncharted territory for the moment, and it’s unclear just when the coronavirus situation will end. As of now, Italy remains in strict lockdown, and if that continues into the fall, there’s very little chance the Venice Film Festival will go off as planned....
Meanwhile six-time nominee 'Little Women' only won one award, for costume design, in an awards ceremony that featured numerous onstage comments praising the work of female directors.
The 2020 Oscars marked another disappointing awards ceremony for the team behind Netflix's Martin Scorsese-directed mob drama, The Irishman. After being shut out at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, the epic, decade-spanning and decade-in-the-making story starring Robert De Niro and Oscar nominees Al Pacino and Joe Pesci failed to win any of the 10 Oscars for which it was nominated.
Still, Scorsese got a few shout-outs from the stage, with Chris Rock and Steve Martin mentioning the film and the director in their monologue and best director winner Bong Joon Ho taking a minute to note how, as an aspiring director, he was particularly inspired by Scorsese, comments that prompted the Academy Awards audience to give Scorsese a standing ovation.
Meanwhile, other top nominees had a relatively disappointing night, with six-time nominees Jojo Rabbit, Marriage Story and Little Women only taking home one award each. Little Women's prize was arguably the lowest profile award of those one by Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story, only taking home the prize for best costume design. It's poor showing was somewhat ironic given that a theme throughout the show was praising the work of female directors, like Little Women helmer Greta Gerwig, despite the fact that none were nominated for best director again this year. Jojo Rabbit won best adapted screenplay while Marriage Story's Laura Dern won the best supporting actress award she was expected to take home
While Once Upon A Time in Hollywood won two awards, for production design and best supporting actor Brad Pitt, writer-director-producer Quentin Tarantino didn't win any of the awards for which he was nominated including high-profile prizes best original screenplay, best director and best picture.
Similarly, 11-time nominee Joker only won two awards, for best score and best actor Joaquin Phoenix, high-profile victories but a significant drop, numbers-wise, from its leading spot among nominated films.
Also while Parasite was predicted to do well at the 2020 Oscars, with the best picture race shaping up as a battle between the Bong Joon Ho film and Sam Mendes' 1917, many pundits expected 1917 to win best picture or for Mendes to win best director, if not both, particularly after 1917 won the top prizes at the BAFTA Awards last week, in the middle of Oscar voting, after winning the top prizes at the DGA Awards and PGA Awards. And while 1917 won three awards, all were in technical categories.
Other multiple Oscar nominees that were shut out included Harriet and The Two Popes.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Coronavirus aka COVID-19 fears continue to decimate the world of movies, resulting in low box office, theater closings, and more. Universal just made the game-changing decision to release films like Trolls World Tour and The Invisible Man on VOD, breaking the theatrical window. But indie darlings A24 are taking a different approach. The studio will instead re-release Kelly Reichardt’s acclaimed First Cow at a later date. I guess you could say they decided to mooooove the release.
First Cow, Kelly Reichardt’s new film, already opened in several cities. But its box office haul over the weekend was considerably smaller than anyone would’ve liked. The paltry box office is due to coronavirus fears, as some theaters cap the number of their attendees while other theaters are shutting down entirely. Rather than go the route of Universal Studios and release First Cow on VOD, A24 is going in the opposite direction and remaining committed to the theatrical experience…just at a later date. The studio released the following statement:
We are going to relaunch Kelly Reichardt’s highly acclaimed western FIRST COW later this year, once the marketplace has rebounded from the limitations presented by COVID-19.
While a part of me wishes A24 would just pull the trigger and release First Cow on VOD – I really want to see it and haven’t had the chance! – you have to appreciate their commitment to the big screen. Of course, all of this is predicated on the presumption that in a few months things will be back to normal, and we won’t all be living underground like Bruce Willis in the film 12 Monkeys.
Still, one can’t help but wonder where the theatrical landscape goes from here. A part of me feels like this is a Pandora’s Box situation, and once you open that box and debut new release movies on VOD, and ignore the theatrical window, it’s going to be very hard to go back to the way things are. My guess is that if Universal is successful with their plan to release titles like Trolls World Tour and The Invisible Man on VOD this month, other studios are going to start following suit. If not, they’d be losing out on potential earnings. And if more and more studios fall in line, what happens next? This is all uncharted territory, and we have no idea how it’s all going to shake out in the end. In the meantime, let’s all watch the trailer for First Cow, and pretend things are normal!First Cow!