|CHRISTOPHER NOLANTIME TRAVELBREAKDOWNTRAILERTENET|
In an op-ed for the Washington Post on Friday, the 'Dunkirk' director acknowledged the 'regular people' behind the glamor of the movie business and identified the reasons why theatergoing is a collective, cathartic experience.
In response to the film industry being threatened by the global coronavirus pandemic — and in particular, the massive toll its taking on movie theaters — Christopher Nolan addressed the issues in an op-ed for the Washington Post on Friday.
"Movie theaters are a vital part of American life," the headline declared. "They will need our help." In the op-ed, Nolan wrote about what the movie industry really means, beyond the superficial surface appearance that it generates.
"When people think about movies, their minds first go to the stars, the studios, the glamour. But the movie business is about everybody: the people working the concession stands, running the equipment, taking tickets, booking movies, selling and advertising and cleaning bathrooms in local theaters. Regular people, many paid hourly wages rather than a salary, earn a living running the most affordable and democratic of our community gathering places."
Nolan then referenced the immense challenges that the community now faces in the wake of the coronavirus, which has rapidly spread throughout the world, affecting over 300,000 people and causing over 12,000 deaths; as well as state-of-emergency declarations and "Safer at Home" orders from lawmakers. As part of Governor Gavin Newsom's directive that all non-essential businesses close to slow the spread of the virus and encourage social distancing, movie theaters have in California and New York have closed until further notice.
"In this time of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty, it's vital to acknowledge the prompt and responsible decisions made by all kinds of companies across our country that have closed their doors in full knowledge of the damage they are doing to their business," wrote Nolan.
He continued, "Our nation's incredible network of movie theaters is one of these industries, and as Congress considers applications for assistance from all sorts of affected businesses, I hope that people are seeing our exhibition community for what it really is: a vital part of social life, providing jobs for many and entertainment for all."
The Dunkirk director went on to say, "As a filmmaker, my work can never be complete without those workers and the audiences they welcome." While noting that entertainment, in its many forms, can provide catharsis, Nolan wrote that the past few weeks have been a reminder that "there are parts of life that are far more important than going to the movies." He then added, "But, when you consider what theaters provide, maybe not so many as you might think."
Movie theaters have "gone...
There's almost no way to talk about “Amazing Stories” without invoking “The Twilight Zone.” Both shows, with initial seasons released less than a year apart, are reworkings of TV anthologies of decades past, executive produced by household name filmmakers, and exist as a gambit to cement another corner of a potential subscriber base for a streaming service.
Both also launched with a single entry, intended to kickstart a place in the cultural consciousness. For “Amazing Stories,” that opening is “The Cellar,” a romantic time travel story designed to ease viewers into the show rather than take them to uncharted territory.
“The Cellar” cribs generously from time-travel rom-com premises — most recognizably the 1980 Jane Seymour-Christopher Reeve gem “Somewhere in Time” — perhaps for the sake of simplicity. Boy joins his brother on a fixer-upper house-flipping gig. Boy gets trapped in a storm cellar during a once-in-three-generations storm. Boy hurtles back a century. Boy meets girl he once saw in a photograph. Classic story.
Dylan O'Brien and Victoria Pedretti star as Sam and Evelyn, the era-scrambled pair trying to make sense of how they came into each other's lives. “A Simple Favor” writer Jessica Sharzer and director Chris Long follow a template that does away with nearly all the nuance that a time-travel romance could incorporate.
That extends to fashioning the 1919 that Sam ends up traveling to, a town with all necessary and expected period signifiers in place. There are superficial discussions of rigid gender roles, posters touting the institution of Prohibition, jokes centered on the limitations of past technology, and a bustling speakeasy to boot. Because this town does more light evoking of the early early 20th century than actually immersing a stranger within its ranks, most of the burden of generating wonder within the episode seems put squarely on O'Brien's shoulders. And Sam gets accustomed to his new environment pretty quickly.
It's part of an overall sense of comfort that undercuts most of the episode. Where “The Twilight Zone” 2019 — for all its social relevancy misfires — did succeed was drenching each of its episodes in the kind of anxiety that felt required for a modern-day update. Some that tension felt grafted on to certain episodes in increasingly clumsy ways while other installments built that more organically. The result was something that had all the trappings of nailbiting sci-fi even if the tales themselves never filled in the necessary gaps.
On Apple TV+, “Amazing Stories” seems to be striving for something with the same level of...
The penultimate episode of the penultimate arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars seemed like a small story, documenting the struggle of the Martez sisters and Ahsoka Tano to escape the Pyke Syndicate, but it opened up into a whole new world of Star Wars. It added context to stories we’d thought had been completed, added characters from Star Wars Rebels into the mix, and ties directly into the struggles of Mandalore. Let’s dive deeper into “Dangerous Debt”.The Hunt For Ziro
Trapped in a Pyke Syndicate cell in the captivity of the great Marg Krim, Ahsoka and Rafa Martez argue about the right course of action and where to lay the blame for their situation. As they fight, Rafa reveals why she and her sister stay away from topsiders, stick to each other, and generally distrust the Jedi. Then, she tells a tale that fits neatly between previously seen episodes of The Clone Wars. Rafa talks about Ziro the Hutt’s prison break, led by Cad Bane. We saw most of this in the season one finale of The Clone Wars, “Hostage Crisis.” That episode ends with Cad Bane leaving with Ziro the Hutt in speeders into Coruscant after holding a number of Senators, including Padmé Amidala, hostage.
Rafa’s story takes it a step beyond what we saw. The Martez family is impacted specifically by a bounty hunter that perfectly matches the description of Cad Bane. Her parents were killed when Bane shot a transport to create a distraction for his getaway with Ziro. The distraction worked and Bane and Ziro got away.
After the incident1, a green-skinned Jedi came to comfort the Martez sisters with a tone-deaf response. It seems as though this Jedi was likely Luminara Unduli, the master of Barris Offee, the padawan who framed Ahsoka for murder. Ahsoka offers a strong, heartfelt apology, realizing just how wrong the Jedi she left behind might have been.
It was a touching moment in the episode and a fascinating look at how Ahsoka views her experience.The Mandalorians
A delightful surprise in this episode was the inclusion of a trio of Mandalorians. Who were these mysterious warriors? We have the identities of two of them. The first is Bo Katan Katee Sackhoff who would eventually take possession of the Darksaber and become the leader of Mandalore in the final season of Star Wars Rebels. She mentions her interaction with Ahsoka on Carlac, which were events that occurred in the fourteenth episode of the fourth season of The Clone Wars, “A Friend in Need.” In that episode, Ahsoka saw herself up against Death Watch and Bo Katan was there as part of their cadre. Bo Katan left that organization after Maul killed her leader, Pre Vizsla voice by Jon Favreau, and her sister, the Duchess Satine. Katan ended up helping Obi-Wan Kenobi weather the conflict and didn’t otherwise appear again on the timeline until Star Wars Rebels....
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below: