April 20, 2024 9:44 pm

#444 October 25, 2022

Matt writes: I recently had the great privilege of interviewing filmmaker Rodrigo García about his new movie, “Raymond & Ray,” as well as his 2005 masterwork, “Nine Lives,” which ranks among my favorite films of all time. The latter consists of nine short stories, each filmed in one continuous take and centering on a woman as she reaches a pivotal moment in her life. You can read my conversation with the director here, and read Roger Ebert’s review of “Nine Lives,” which is excerpted below, here.

There is notoriously not a market for short films. You can’t book them or advertise them, it’s impossible to try to review them (and besides, where can the readers see them?). But short films are a form with purpose, just as short stories are. Some stories need only introduce us to a character or two and spend enough time with them for us to discover something about their natures, and perhaps our natures. The greatest short story writers, like William Trevor and Alice Munro, can awe us; their stories are short but not small.

Here Rodrigo García does the same thing. The son of the novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, he has the same love for his characters, and although his stories are all (except for one) realistic, he shares his father’s appreciation for the ways lives interweave and we touch each other even if we are strangers. A movie like this, with the appearance of new characters and situations, focuses us; we watch more intently, because it is important what happens. These characters aren’t going to get bailed out with 110 minutes of plot. Their lives have reached a turning point here and now, and what they do must be done here and now, or forever go unknown.

Trailers

BARDO, False Chronicles of a Handful of Truths (2022). Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Nicolás Giacobone. Starring Daniel Giménez Cacho, Griselda Siciliani, Ximena Lamadrid. Synopsis: A renowned Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker who returns home and works through an existential crisis as he grapples with his identity, familial relationships, and the folly of his memories. Debuts on Netflix on December 16th, 2022.

A Man Called Otto (2023). Directed by Marc Forster. Written by David Magee (based on the novel by Fredrik Backman). Starring Tom Hanks, Rachel Keller, Mike Birbiglia. Synopsis: A grumpy widower whose only joy comes from criticizing and judging his exasperated neighbors meets his match when a lively young family moves in next door, leading to an unexpected friendship that will turn his world upside-down. Debuts in US theaters on January 13th, 2023.

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (2022). Directed by . Synopsis: Following the life of artist Nan Goldin and the downfall of the Sackler family, the pharmaceutical dynasty who was greatly responsible for the opioid epidemic’s unfathomable death toll. Debuts in the US on January 13th, 2022.

There There (2022). Written and directed by . Starring Jason Schwartzman, Lili Taylor, Molly Gordon. Synopsis: A lover’s doubt in the cold light of morning leads a chain of uneasy intimacies–counselors, disruptors, peacemakers and fire-starters–every one looking to have a little faith rewarded. Debuts in the US on November 18th, 2022.

The Son (2022). Directed by Florian Zeller. Written by Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton. Starring Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Anthony Hopkins. Synopsis: Peter has his busy life with new partner Beth and their baby thrown into disarray when his ex-wife Kate turns up with their teenage son, Nicholas. Debuts in the US on November 11th, 2022.

Sam & Kate (2022). Written and directed by Darren Le Gallo. Starring Dustin Hoffman, Sissy Spacek, Henry Thomas. Synopsis: A life affirming family dramedy that takes place in a small town in the heart of the country. Debuts in the US on November 11th, 2022.

Dylan & Zoey (2022). Directed by Matt Sauter. Written by Matt Sauter and Blake Scott Lewis. Starring Blake Scott Lewis, Claudia Doumit, Kim Hamilton. Synopsis: In Los Angeles for one more night, Zoey decides to reach out to her estranged best friend, Dylan. Dylan hesitates but ultimately accepts her proposal to meet up. From there, they embark on what will become the turning point of their lives. Debuts in the US on November 11th, 2022.

Soft & Quiet (2022). Written and directed by Beth de Araújo. Starring Jon Beavers, Stefanie Estes, Nina E. Jordan. Synopsis: The thriller, which plays out in real time, follows a single afternoon in the life of an elementary school teacher as she organizes a mixer of like-minded women. When the group heads home, the teacher encounters a woman from her past, leading to a volatile chain of events. Debuts in the US on November 4th, 2022.

Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues (2022). Directed by . Synopsis: Follow the life and legacy of the master and so-called founding father of jazz, America’s first pop star, and cultural ambassador. Debuts in the US on October 28th, 2022.

The People We Hate at the Wedding (2022). Directed by Claire Scanlon. Written by Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin (based on the novel by Grant Ginder). Starring Kristen Bell, Ben Platt, Allison Janney. Synopsis: Family tensions ramp up among siblings in the week leading up to their half-sister’s wedding in the country. Debuts in the US on November 18th, 2022.

Stutz (2022). Directed by . Synopsis: Follow Hill and his therapist as he has candid discussions of mental health and the progressively worsening anxiety attacks related to movie promotion that have turned his dream job into a nightmare. US release date is TBA.

Memories of My Father (2022). Directed by Fernando Trueba. Written by David Trueba (based on the novel by Héctor Abad Faciolince). Starring Javier Cámara, Nicolás Reyes Cano, Juan Pablo Urrego. Synopsis: The story about a Colombian writer’s father. His father was a professor who promoted tolerance and human rights in his country. Writer exposes his feelings related to his lovely father and he describes his family story and all drama related with the killing of his father. US release date is TBA.

Bar Fight! (2022). Written and directed by Jim Mahoney. Starring Rachel Bloom, Melissa Fumero, Vik Sahay. Synopsis: Nina and Allen split everything in their lives after their break-up and must compete in a ridiculous custody battle for their prized watering hole in which lines will be drawn, sides will be chosen, and beers will be drunken. Debuts in the US on November 11th, 2022.

Terror Train (2022). Directed by Philippe Gagnon. Written by Ian Carpenter and Aaron Martin. Starring Robyn Alomar, Mary Walsh, Nadine Bhabha. Synopsis: It follows a college student as she boards a party train for Halloween, and ends up fighting for her life when a mysterious assailant begins killing the people one-by-one. Now available on Tubi.

Something in the Dirt (2022). Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Written by Justin Benson. Starring Justin BensonAaron MoorheadSarah Adina Smith. Synopsis: When neighbors John and Levi witness supernatural events in their Los Angeles apartment building, they realize documenting the paranormal could inject some fame and fortune into their wasted lives. An ever-deeper, darker rabbit hole, their friendship frays as they uncover the dangers of the phenomena, the city and each other. Debuts in the US on November 22nd, 2022.

Roald Dah’s Matilda the Musical (2022). Directed by Matthew Warchus. Written by Dennis Kelly (based on the book by Roald Dahl). Starring Alisha Weir, Emma Thompson, Lashana Lynch. Synopsis: An adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical. Matilda tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand to change her story with miraculous results. Debuts on Netflix on December 25th, 2022.

Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania (2023). Directed by Peyton Reed. Written by Jeff Loveness (based on characters created by Jack Kirby). Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors. Synopsis: Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, along with Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, explore the Quantum Realm, where they interact with strange creatures and embark on an adventure that goes beyond the limits of what they thought was possible. Debuts in the US on February 17th, 2023.

Creed III (2023). Directed by Michael B. Jordan. Written by Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors. Synopsis: After dominating the boxing world, Adonis has been thriving in his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy resurfaces, the face off between former friends is more than just a fight. Debuts in the US on March 3rd, 2023.

Charlotte Wells on “Aftersun

Matt writes: Filmmaker Charlotte Wells recently spoke with Robert Daniels about her acclaimed debut feature, “Aftersun,” which received four stars from our critic Sheila O’Malley. You can read their complete conversation here.

Angela Lansbury (1925-2022)

Matt writes: Just days prior to her 97th birthday, Angela Lansbury passed away on October 11th. From the moment she first materialized onscreen in 1944’s “Gaslight,” Lansbury made a career out of bringing unforgettable characters to life. Her Nellie Lovett in “Sweeney Todd” is unmatched, as is her wicked mother in “The Manchurian Candidate.” She displayed great range in such classics as “National Velvet” and “Death on the Nile,” and delighted viewers for twelve straight seasons on “Murder She Wrote.” Yet the two performances that will forever be etched in my memory are her delightful portrayal of apprentice witch Miss Price in “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and her timeless vocal work as Mrs. Potts in the 1991 masterpiece, “Beauty and the Beast.” It was wonderful seeing her pop up at the end of “Mary Poppins Returns,” but perhaps her most indelible final bow occurred at the 25th anniversary screening of “Beauty and the Beast,” where she sang the title song once again (you can view her performance in the video embedded above). Be sure to read Dan Callahan’s tribute to this irreplaceable legend.

Free Movies

Swing High, Swing Low (1937). Directed by Mitchell Leisen. Written by Virginia Van Upp and Oscar Hammerstein II (based on the play by George Manker Watters and Arthur Hopkins). Starring Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Dorothy Lamour. Synopsis: A hair-dresser stranded in Panama moves in with an ex-soldier and his hypochondriac roommate; she and the former fall in love, but their romance is threatened by success and the arrival of his old flame.

Watch “Swing High, Swing Low”

Submarine Base (1943). Directed by Albert H. Kelley. Written by Albert H. Kelley and George M. Merrick. Starring John Litel, Alan Baxter, Eric Blore. Synopsis: Ship engineer Jim Taggert is rescued from a torpedoed tramp steamer by Joe Morgan, an American gangster that found New York too hot for him, and has become a fisherman operating from an out-of-the-way island off of the coast of South America.  

Watch “Submarine Base”

The Manster (1959). Directed by George P. Breakston and Kenneth G. Crane. Written by William J. Sheldon. Starring Peter Dyneley, Jane Hylton, Tetsu Nakamura. Synopsis: An American reporter in Japan is given a mysterious injection by a scientist, who turns him into a two-headed half-man half-monster, a.k.a. the Manster. Get it?

Watch “The Manster”

Matt writes: I recently had the great privilege of interviewing filmmaker Rodrigo García about his new movie, “Raymond & Ray,” as well as his 2005 masterwork, “Nine Lives,” which ranks among my favorite films of all time. The latter consists of nine short stories, each filmed in one continuous take and centering on a woman as she reaches a pivotal moment in her life. You can read my conversation with the director here, and read Roger Ebert’s review of “Nine Lives,” which is excerpted below, here. There is notoriously not a market for short films. You can’t book them or advertise them, it’s impossible to try to review them (and besides, where can the readers see them?). But short films are a form with purpose, just as short stories are. Some stories need only introduce us to a character or two and spend enough time with them for us to discover something about their natures, and perhaps our natures. The greatest short story writers, like William Trevor and Alice Munro, can awe us; their stories are short but not small. Here Rodrigo García does the same thing. The son of the novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, he has the same love for his characters, and although his stories are all (except for one) realistic, he shares his father’s appreciation for the ways lives interweave and we touch each other even if we are strangers. A movie like this, with the appearance of new characters and situations, focuses us; we watch more intently, because it is important what happens. These characters aren’t going to get bailed out with 110 minutes of plot. Their lives have reached a turning point here and now, and what they do must be done here and now, or forever go unknown. Trailers BARDO, False Chronicles of a Handful of Truths (2022). Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Nicolás Giacobone. Starring Daniel Giménez Cacho, Griselda Siciliani, Ximena Lamadrid. Synopsis: A renowned Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker who returns home and works through an existential crisis as he grapples with his identity, familial relationships, and the folly of his memories. Debuts on Netflix on December 16th, 2022. A Man Called Otto (2023). Directed by Marc Forster. Written by David Magee (based on the novel by Fredrik Backman). Starring Tom Hanks, Rachel Keller, Mike Birbiglia. Synopsis: A grumpy widower whose only joy comes from criticizing and judging his exasperated neighbors meets his match when a lively young family moves in next door, leading to an unexpected friendship that will turn his world upside-down. Debuts in US theaters on January 13th, 2023. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (2022). Directed by Laura Poitras. Synopsis: Following the life of artist Nan Goldin and the downfall of the Sackler family, the pharmaceutical dynasty who was greatly responsible for the opioid epidemic’s unfathomable death toll. Debuts in the US on January 13th, 2022. There There (2022). Written and directed by Andrew Bujalski. Starring Jason Schwartzman, Lili Taylor, Molly Gordon. Synopsis: A lover’s doubt in the cold light of morning leads a chain of uneasy intimacies–counselors, disruptors, peacemakers and fire-starters–every one looking to have a little faith rewarded. Debuts in the US on November 18th, 2022. The Son (2022). Directed by Florian Zeller. Written by Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton. Starring Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Anthony Hopkins. Synopsis: Peter has his busy life with new partner Beth and their baby thrown into disarray when his ex-wife Kate turns up with their teenage son, Nicholas. Debuts in the US on November 11th, 2022. Sam & Kate (2022). Written and directed by Darren Le Gallo. Starring Dustin Hoffman, Sissy Spacek, Henry Thomas. Synopsis: A life affirming family dramedy that takes place in a small town in the heart of the country. Debuts in the US on November 11th, 2022. Dylan & Zoey (2022). Directed by Matt Sauter. Written by Matt Sauter and Blake Scott Lewis. Starring Blake Scott Lewis, Claudia Doumit, Kim Hamilton. Synopsis: In Los Angeles for one more night, Zoey decides to reach out to her estranged best friend, Dylan. Dylan hesitates but ultimately accepts her proposal to meet up. From there, they embark on what will become the turning point of their lives. Debuts in the US on November 11th, 2022. Soft & Quiet (2022). Written and directed by Beth de Araújo. Starring Jon Beavers, Stefanie Estes, Nina E. Jordan. Synopsis: The thriller, which plays out in real time, follows a single afternoon in the life of an elementary school teacher as she organizes a mixer of like-minded women. When the group heads home, the teacher encounters a woman from her past, leading to a volatile chain of events. Debuts in the US on November 4th, 2022. Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues (2022). Directed by Sacha Jenkins. Synopsis: Follow the life and legacy of the master and so-called founding father of jazz, America’s first pop star, and cultural ambassador. Debuts in the US on October 28th, 2022. The People We Hate at the Wedding (2022). Directed by Claire Scanlon. Written by Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin (based on the novel by Grant Ginder). Starring Kristen Bell, Ben Platt, Allison Janney. Synopsis: Family tensions ramp up among siblings in the week leading up to their half-sister’s wedding in the country. Debuts in the US on November 18th, 2022. Stutz (2022). Directed by Jonah Hill. Synopsis: Follow Hill and his therapist as he has candid discussions of mental health and the progressively worsening anxiety attacks related to movie promotion that have turned his dream job into a nightmare. US release date is TBA. Memories of My Father (2022). Directed by Fernando Trueba. Written by David Trueba (based on the novel by Héctor Abad Faciolince). Starring Javier Cámara, Nicolás Reyes Cano, Juan Pablo Urrego. Synopsis: The story about a Colombian writer’s father. His father was a professor who promoted tolerance and human rights in his country. Writer exposes his feelings related to his lovely father and he describes his family story and all drama related with the killing of his father. US release date is TBA. Bar Fight! (2022). Written and directed by Jim Mahoney. Starring Rachel Bloom, Melissa Fumero, Vik Sahay. Synopsis: Nina and Allen split everything in their lives after their break-up and must compete in a ridiculous custody battle for their prized watering hole in which lines will be drawn, sides will be chosen, and beers will be drunken. Debuts in the US on November 11th, 2022. Terror Train (2022). Directed by Philippe Gagnon. Written by Ian Carpenter and Aaron Martin. Starring Robyn Alomar, Mary Walsh, Nadine Bhabha. Synopsis: It follows a college student as she boards a party train for Halloween, and ends up fighting for her life when a mysterious assailant begins killing the people one-by-one. Now available on Tubi. Something in the Dirt (2022). Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Written by Justin Benson. Starring Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Sarah Adina Smith. Synopsis: When neighbors John and Levi witness supernatural events in their Los Angeles apartment building, they realize documenting the paranormal could inject some fame and fortune into their wasted lives. An ever-deeper, darker rabbit hole, their friendship frays as they uncover the dangers of the phenomena, the city and each other. Debuts in the US on November 22nd, 2022. Roald Dah’s Matilda the Musical (2022). Directed by Matthew Warchus. Written by Dennis Kelly (based on the book by Roald Dahl). Starring Alisha Weir, Emma Thompson, Lashana Lynch. Synopsis: An adaptation of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical. Matilda tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand to change her story with miraculous results. Debuts on Netflix on December 25th, 2022. Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania (2023). Directed by Peyton Reed. Written by Jeff Loveness (based on characters created by Jack Kirby). Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors. Synopsis: Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, along with Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, explore the Quantum Realm, where they interact with strange creatures and embark on an adventure that goes beyond the limits of what they thought was possible. Debuts in the US on February 17th, 2023. Creed III (2023). Directed by Michael B. Jordan. Written by Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors. Synopsis: After dominating the boxing world, Adonis has been thriving in his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy resurfaces, the face off between former friends is more than just a fight. Debuts in the US on March 3rd, 2023. Charlotte Wells on “Aftersun” Matt writes: Filmmaker Charlotte Wells recently spoke with Robert Daniels about her acclaimed debut feature, “Aftersun,” which received four stars from our critic Sheila O’Malley. You can read their complete conversation here. Angela Lansbury (1925-2022) Matt writes: Just days prior to her 97th birthday, Angela Lansbury passed away on October 11th. From the moment she first materialized onscreen in 1944’s “Gaslight,” Lansbury made a career out of bringing unforgettable characters to life. Her Nellie Lovett in “Sweeney Todd” is unmatched, as is her wicked mother in “The Manchurian Candidate.” She displayed great range in such classics as “National Velvet” and “Death on the Nile,” and delighted viewers for twelve straight seasons on “Murder She Wrote.” Yet the two performances that will forever be etched in my memory are her delightful portrayal of apprentice witch Miss Price in “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and her timeless vocal work as Mrs. Potts in the 1991 masterpiece, “Beauty and the Beast.” It was wonderful seeing her pop up at the end of “Mary Poppins Returns,” but perhaps her most indelible final bow occurred at the 25th anniversary screening of “Beauty and the Beast,” where she sang the title song once again (you can view her performance in the video embedded above). Be sure to read Dan Callahan’s tribute to this irreplaceable legend. Free Movies Swing High, Swing Low (1937). Directed by Mitchell Leisen. Written by Virginia Van Upp and Oscar Hammerstein II (based on the play by George Manker Watters and Arthur Hopkins). Starring Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Dorothy Lamour. Synopsis: A hair-dresser stranded in Panama moves in with an ex-soldier and his hypochondriac roommate; she and the former fall in love, but their romance is threatened by success and the arrival of his old flame. Watch “Swing High, Swing Low” Submarine Base (1943). Directed by Albert H. Kelley. Written by Albert H. Kelley and George M. Merrick. Starring John Litel, Alan Baxter, Eric Blore. Synopsis: Ship engineer Jim Taggert is rescued from a torpedoed tramp steamer by Joe Morgan, an American gangster that found New York too hot for him, and has become a fisherman operating from an out-of-the-way island off of the coast of South America.   Watch “Submarine Base” The Manster (1959). Directed by George P. Breakston and Kenneth G. Crane. Written by William J. Sheldon. Starring Peter Dyneley, Jane Hylton, Tetsu Nakamura. Synopsis: An American reporter in Japan is given a mysterious injection by a scientist, who turns him into a two-headed half-man half-monster, a.k.a. the Manster. Get it? Watch “The Manster” Read More