If you've been able to stay at home and if you're smart, you've been quarantining for almost a week now, out of fear of not only catching COVID-19 but spreading it to others as well. It's not the most fun way to spend your time, to put it mildly, but it is the right thing. And it's comforting to see celebrities doing the same thing — and, in some cases, speaking out against misinformation. We're all in it together, as they say, and with that in mind, here's a little video project Gal Gadot launched using all of her famous friends to remind us of just that.
Gadot released the video on her Instagram, and it begins simple, with the actress talking into her iPhone or iPad. These past few days got me feeling a bit philosophical,” she said. “It doesn't matter who you are, where you're from. We're all in this together.”
To show she means business, she then pieced together a montage of her and her many, many famous friends taking a turn singing parts of John Lennon's “Imagine.” It's perhaps Lennon's most popular post-Beatles solo song, but it also offers a utopian vision, in which the people of the world aren't separated by nation, class, religion, etc.
How many famous does Gadot know? Well, here's the complete list of people who appear, and in under three minutes [deep breath]: Kristen Wiig, Jamie Dornan, Labrinth, James Marsden, Sarah Silverman, Eddie Benjamin, Jimmy Fallon, Natalie Portman, Zoë Kravitz, Sia, Lynda Carter, Amy Adams, Leslie Odom Jr., Pedro Pascal, Chris O'Dowd, Dawn O'Porter, Will Ferrell, Mark Ruffalo, Norah Jones, Ashley Benson, Kaia Gerber, Cara Delevingne, Annie Mumolo, and Maya Rudolph.
It's a nice gesture, even if not everyone has the vocal chops, nor even if it inadvertently reminds most of its viewers that each celebrity included probably has a nicer, more spacious home than they do. And yet we're all in the same position, fearing for our lives, waiting for tests to be made available, and hoping that things don't turn apocalyptic. Be safe, everyone, and, of course, continue to remain indoors.
EXCLUSIVE: Spotlight production co Topic Studios is teaming with journalism outfit Field of Vision to offer $250,000 in emergency financial help for struggling documentary freelancers during the coronavirus lockdown.
The two companies are divisions of First Look Media, the org set up by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar with doc heavyweights Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras.
Industry freelancers have been particularly hard hit by the economic aspects of the crisis, with film and TV production halted around the world. As such, the fund is aiming to support the most vulnerable by providing life assistance grants, such as for rent, healthcare, bills, groceries, for those who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity. The money comes from the operating budgets of the two companies.Field of Vision / Topic Studios
The fund will offer individual grants of up to $2,000 in two chunks, initially in April and then again in May, as the situation evolves. It will open for applications between April 8 and April 10 or until the companies receive 750 applications and then again between May 6 and May 8 or until a further 750 applications are received.
Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Field of Vision, Charlotte Cook said, “This is an incredibly hard time for the documentary field and we're hoping the fund is able to offer some relief. We started with our virtual mentorship and consultation service to try and be as available to filmmakers as possible, but felt it was vitally important to also provide financial assistance. We want to support the artists working in the documentary field every day, but especially now, and will continue to build and add more resources as we can over the next few weeks and months.”
Executive Vice President of Topic Studios, Maria Zuckerman added, “We at Topic Studios are proud to launch this initiative in partnership with our close colleagues at Field of Vision. We hope to respond to the needs of our collaborators in the documentary community and look forward to a time, hopefully soon, when our main focus will again be on making great work together.”
SPOILER ALERT: If you are among the few who haven’t actually watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, this review contains a lot of details about what goes down in the sad big cat saga.
With Netflix poised in the coming days to cash in and crank the base up a notch with more Tiger King, it's time to come out and say it: I hate the Red State porn that is the crash and burn of Joe Exotic
The initial seven episodes of this septic and shallow patchwork of trademark infringement, sex, guns, labor exploitation, song, drugs, mullets, betrayal, animal activism, revenge, and a lot of big cats may be much binged over these weeks of coronavirus lockdown, but that doesn't mean it's actually worth watching.
Now, I get it, I sound like I'm just a dour critic who hates anything that isn't prestige premium cable or aspirational. C'mon man, you want to say, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is just so unbelievable, I can't look away.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact, propose Tiger King isn't just bad, but dangerous in a divided America persistently looking to reduce the other side to caricature.
In a presently ailing nation where TV is more voluminous and vital than ever, the truth is the March 20 launched Tiger King is a clawed white trash misery index. Gawking at some clearly fragile and damaged people like would-be reality TV star Exotic and their below the Mason-Dixon line antics, the series subsequently provides a cultural circus for those smug bicoastals under stay at home orders and screaming to rise up in moral superiority.
Essentially, the tale of big cat collector, self-styled Oklahoma zoo proprietor and 2016 Presidential candidate Exotic AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage and his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to have rival Carole Baskin knocked off by a hitman hired for $3,000, Tiger King is in that context more a zero-sum game, literally and figuratively, than hitting the zeitgeist.
Obviously, Netflix are pretty damn good at gauging and dragging the public mood over the years, as the likes of the then phenomenon of 2015's Making A Murderer or 2018’s Wild Wild Country prove. Yet, for all the attention it has drawn, this unfocused murder for hire exploration of sorts emerges as a bastard child of Cops, a million Dateline segments from the 1990s and Fox’s short-lived Murder in Small Town X reality show from 2001.
Not exactly the prestige product that the home of Roma, The Irishman and American Factory likes to brag about at award shows. Then again, with the knowledge that the Romans sold out the Colosseum every night feeding Christians to the lions, the bottom line based House of Hastings surely loves the subscription sign up that the currently incarcerated Maldonado-Passage and the accompanying motley gaggle of...
In 1955, Oscar-winning actor Charles Laughton, who appeared in films like Witness for the Prosecution, Mutiny on the Bounty, and Spartacus, stepped behind the camera as a director for the first and only time. The result was The Night of the Hunter, a dark, moody thriller starring Robert Mitchum as a serial killer, and a movie that is beloved by cinephiles and has influenced generations of filmmakers and storytellers. It’s a stone-cold classic: not just one of the best films ever directed by an actor, but a movie that many including the revered film magazine Cahiers du cinéma consider to be one of the best films ever made, period.
So while it’s not exactly surprising to learn that Universal is developing a remake, the news does arrive with the same exhausted sense of, “But…why?” that always accompanies stories like this.The Night of the Hunter Remake
Variety broke the news about the remake, which is described as “a contemporary version of the original thriller, rather than a period piece.” Screenwriter Matthew Orton is developing the movie for Universal Pictures. Orton only has one produced credit to his name thus far: he wrote a 2018 spy thriller called Operation Finale which I have not seen but it looks pretty good. Peter Gethers Lay the Favorite and Amy Pascal Spider-Man: Homecoming, Little Women will serve as producers. Still, knowing how great this movie is makes news about a remake tough to swallow. There are thousands of middling movies with solid premises from the golden era of studio filmmaking – why mess with a classic?
The 1955 film, which is based on a novel by author David Grubb, follows a sociopathic preacher who travels the country marrying women for their money, murdering them, and then moving on to the next town. During a stint in jail, the preacher learns that his cell mate has $10,000 stashed somewhere; after the cell mate dies and the preacher gets out, he goes looking for the money, conning the cell mate’s widow into a relationship and trying to coax the location of the cash out of her two young children.
Mitchum’s preacher becomes increasingly unhinged as his patience wears thin, and his menacing performance scared the hell out of an entire generation of moviegoers, and many people have called The Night of the Hunter one of the scariest films they’ve ever seen. Here’s the very old-fashioned trailer with an introduction by Gremlins filmmaker Joe Dante explaining how it scarred him as a child, followed by a spoiler-heavy video in which Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro talks about how much the film means to him because of the way it blends horror and beauty on screen: