Summary of “First Reformed review: bruising, vital, and one of the year’s best films”

For me watching First Reformed – first last autumn at the Toronto Film Festival, and then again a few weeks ago – was one of those experiences that critics rarely have, of feeling like a movie was made specifically for me.
Critics have rightly declared First Reformed to be one of the year’s best American films.
First Reformed ably dramatizes a church struggling for its life in the shadow of a megachurch Reverend Toller, played with chilling, muted, disintegrating fury by Hawke, is the minister of a small church maintained more for its historical significance – once a stop on the Underground Railroad, it’s about to celebrate its 250th anniversary – than its thriving ministry.
In a device that mimics Robert Bresson’s 1951 film Diary of a Country Priest, which Schrader’s film draws on structurally and thematically, Jeffers serves as a kind of mentor and guardian angel for Toller and for First Reformed.
First Reformed is about fear in an era of extremisms One afternoon at the Abundant Life youth group, a teen erupts into a startling and familiar-sounding rant against “Political correctness,” seemingly out of nowhere.
While Silence is powerful and elegiac, First Reformed, though smaller in scope – it’s more of a chamber piece than Scorsese’s sweeping epic – packs a punch that might be the more bruising of the two for its concentrated force.
The apocalypse is coming, and it’s being hastened by forces like Ed Balq, the local mogul and business owner who donates megabucks to Abundant Life and, because he is bankrolling the First Reformed 250th anniversary “Re-consecration” service, demands there not be “Anything political” during the ceremony.
“Will God forgive us?” is the film’s refrain – first from Michael to Toller, then from Toller to Balq, and finally in lettering Toller places on First Reformed’s church marquee.

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Summary of “The Fearless Cinema of Claire Denis”

Only as an adult did Claire Denis realize that she hadn’t been afraid of the lions all those years ago.
Alex Descas, one of the actors with whom Denis has worked longest, and who credits her with writing complicated, realistic roles for black actors at a time when few others did, described her artistic mode succinctly: “Film is not theatre,” he told me.
Last month, at a screening of her latest movie, “Let the Sunshine In,” at the IFC Center, in Manhattan, Denis said, “I once read that I like to film bodies. No! But, if you choose someone, that person has a body. They have feet, hands, hair, breasts, ass-all of that is part of what is important.” The film stars Juliette Binoche, as a divorced painter who dates men she shouldn’t: a married banker, a narcissistic actor, a standoffish curator.
Denis saw Pattinson in “Twilight,” she said, and was struck by his “Heartrending charisma.” She had wanted someone older for “High Life”-she thought at one point of Philip Seymour Hoffman-but after meeting with Pattinson in Los Angeles and Paris she realized that “He was already in the film.” She went on, “When he said to me, ‘Are you sure?’ I said, ‘It’s already too late. It’s you or nobody else.'” She chose “High Life” ‘s other stars, including Juliette Binoche and the English model and actress Mia Goth, with similarly instinctual possessiveness.
Claire Denis was eight weeks old when she and her mother moved from Paris to Cameroon, where her father was serving as a French colonial administrator.
In the early seventies, Denis began a traditional apprenticeship, assisting mostly on films shot in Paris.
After buying coffee and taking her seat, Denis began to talk about her mother, who had died, at the age of ninety-four, six months earlier, during the filming of “High Life.” Still in mourning, Denis seemed incapable of avoiding the topic, turning to it in many of our conversations, with little or no segue.
Hamilton recalled witnessing the initial meeting between Denis and Pattinson, in Los Angeles, and feeling like “These are two people on a date, and I really shouldn’t be here, maybe I should actually remove myself?” With obvious pride, Denis recounted how Pattinson took the train from London to visit her in Paris.

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Summary of “‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’: Inside the Director Swap, Re-Shoots & More – Variety”

With mere weeks left on the shooting schedule, producer Kathleen Kennedy fired directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and hired veteran Ron Howard to right the ship.
Howard shot about 70% of “Solo,” thus earning him sole director credit on the movie, with Lord and Miller receiving executive producer acknowledgments.
“Solo” is the fourth film in Disney’s revamped franchise machine to creatively malfunction: Director Josh Trank exited a still-unmade Boba Fett spinoff in 2015; Oscar-nominated filmmaker Tony Gilroy was brought in to save 2016’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” when director Gareth Edwards’ efforts missed the mark; and “Jurassic World” helmer Colin Trevorrow – who was originally hired to direct the next “Star Wars” movie, “Episode IX,” in 2019 – was shown the door following clashes over the script.
Howard’s work ultimately comprises 70% of the finished film.
A crew member who worked on the film under both Lord-Miller and Howard, but declined to be identified because he was not authorized to disclose the information, says Lord and Miller drew Kennedy’s ire for stretching days out with experimentation.
“You can totally see the love affair because Howard seemed super invested in how the film looked. Lord and Miller didn’t seem too fussed with that aspect, really.”
Howard worked with the Kasdans to further refine the script.
In conceiving his “Solo,” Howard thought back to his own films, like “Grand Theft Auto” and its muscle-car cool, and “Rush” and its story of racing driver James Hunt’s connection to the car that would make him a champion.

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Summary of “A dozen years after near-death, Star Trek’s future may be stronger than ever”

On May 13, 2005, Star Trek: Enterprise ended its four-season run with the controversial two-part finale, “These Are the Voyages” The finale infamously brought in cast members from The Next Generation to tell the final chapter in Enterprise’s story, and it was viewed by some as a disrespectful and ignominious end to 18 almost-unbroken years of Trek on the small screen.
With confirmed new films and seasons on the way, the future of Trek seems brighter today than perhaps at any other point in the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Even at the lows of the Enterprise end, most people assumed that Star Trek was too valuable an intellectual property to disappear forever.
Star Trek’s future faced complications that had nothing to do with scripts or a writer’s room.
As part of the separation, CBS would retain the rights to distribute existing episodic Star Trek material and develop new series, but Paramount would have the rights to past and future motion picture projects.
They amplified fan concerns that it would be years before we’d see an effort to launch a new Star Trek project.
After multiple rounds of discussions, it was announced in April 2006 that J.J. Abrams would develop the eleventh Star Trek feature film.
As far as Paramount was concerned, Abrams’ Trek would be the new Trek.

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Summary of “Cannes Interview: Christopher Nolan”

Though he’s still never been invited to present one of his own films at the festival, Christopher Nolan became the center of attention during the first weekend of Cannes this year.
Timed to the 50th anniversary of the film’s original theatrical release, the new print was struck from the original camera negative of the earliest screening version of a film that later underwent panicky last-minute edits.
In a moment of renewed interest in 70mm film, thanks to Nolan’s own ambitious large format release of Dunkirk, and auteurs such as Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino also working either directly with 70mm film or authorizing blow-ups, the time might be ripe for such an unconventional, stridently analog approach.
The day after the Cannes premiere, Nolan talked to Film Comment in a quiet, well-appointed hut on the roof of the Palais, where he talked about the genius of Kubrick’s film, elaborated on the thinking behind the 2001 re-release, and advocated for filmmakers to become more involved with the theatrical presentations of their work.
Why do you think that’s valuable? As someone who cares about film history, who practically fetishizes these things, I’m very much there for it.
Choosing to work on the massive, wide-format scale of 2001, a scale you’ve been working on in your most recent films, how do you reconcile the fact that these works also need to be seen on smaller formats? How do you work in such fine detail, as Kubrick did with multiple, detailed live action inserts within the same frame in certain sequences, knowing that these can’t really be appreciated unless you’re watching it on a big screen?
You could see why, considering the state of multiplex projection, and newer habits of viewing films on smaller screens, a filmmaker might say, from the outset, “I need to make films for this reality.” Instead of downshifting to that reality, you’re saying let’s upshift to meet these big screen films.
We went out with 138 70mm presentations of the film, including IMAX, and that’s the largest 70mm release for at least 25 to 30 years.

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Summary of “How Marvel Annihilated Counterprogramming”

In its third weekend of release, it’s still outpacing the opening weekend grosses of the five biggest non-Marvel movies of the year so far: A Quiet Place, Ready Player One, Fifty Shades Freed, Rampage, and A Wrinkle in Time.
Since Infinity War arrived, the major studios have released just two movies: Warner Bros.’ Melissa McCarthy comedy Life of the Party, which made $18.5 million in its opening weekend, the lowest total for a McCarthy vehicle since she became a movie star; and the $16.5 million-earning Breaking In, a Gabrielle Union thriller from Universal and Will Packer Productions, the company that has delivered two textbook counterprograms, Girls Trip and the Ride Along films.
Marvel has mastered movie blanketing, stretching the dominance of its products across a month-plus.
As a point of comparison, on the weekend when The Dark Knight was released, Fox also put an animated movie in 2,500 theaters.
Since Thanos disappeared half the competition, only three other movies besides Life of the Party and Breaking In have hit more than 1,000 theaters: the Charlize Theron dramedy Tully, the Overboard remake, and the utterly ignored action film Bad Samaritan.
The entire concept of counterprogramming hinges on seeing just one movie over a weekend, presenting an alternative to the noisiest release of the week.
Reitman suggests that-gasp-maybe some people want to see more than one movie in a weekend.
Though the ever-imperiled gambit of the ticket service MoviePass allows for more viewing opportunities for regular movie fans, the likelihood of an average person seeing two movies in a day, let alone a weekend, are small and dwindling.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the 50-mm Camera Lens Became ‘Normal'”

One lens in particular-the 50-mm lens-is often seen as the most objective of objectifs, and it is said to be the lens that best approximates human visual perspective.
The idea that a 50-mm best approximates human sight has more to do with the early history of lens production than any essential optical correspondence between the lens and the eye.
Like Verne’s character Herbert wondering about the speck on the photographic plate, 19th-century physicists found it difficult to conclusively prove what made a lens defective and what made a lens work.
Ensuring a constant measurement between the lens and the film stock was more important than the width of a lens, which might vary significantly at a given focal length.
Just as it had for film, the 50-mm became a normal lens for photography because it was a reliable lens for completely and sharply filling the frame of a 35-mm photographic negative.
Today, as images are increasingly captured on digital sensors rather than 35-mm film, the relationship between a 50-mm lens and normal vision has become more of a concept than an ideal physical correspondence.
Due to digital cropping and the presence of a mirror on contemporary DSLRs, to get the same kind of perspective found on a 50-mm, the most “Normal” lens for a DSLR is actually closer to 35 mm.
At another extreme, the rear lens on an iPhone X is a 4-mm lens.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why You Should Watch Silent Movies With Your Kid”

I’m not sure what this says about my aspirations as a parent, but one exciting thing about my kid getting older is that we can now watch more TV together.
Kids are drawn to these shows because the stories are relatively simple and told purely through physical theater-they can dive right in without much context.
Since there’s little or no dialogue, the films force kids to build their imaginations.
It’s absurd fun-I figured the kid might check out because the film is in black and white, but she didn’t.
As some viewers have pointed out, it’s important to guide kids through the adult themes that can appear throughout these old silent movies-some films show smoking, drunkenness, vandalism and theft.
A cool thing about watching these films now is that there’s all sorts of behind-the-scenes content that you can also show your kid if they’re curious-for instance, you can see how they filmed with famous rolling skating scene in Modern Times.
If you’re interested in watching silent films with your kid, here are some classic ones to start with.
The construction set scene is fun for kids and adults.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Johnny Depp: how Hollywood’s biggest star fell from grace”

It is Johnny Depp not Sparrow, who is accused of presiding over such mayhem in a drama playing out not on screen but in court.
Eugene Arreola and Miguel Sanchez alleged that a “Financial hurricane” and a “Toxic” environment enveloped Depp’s Hollywood Hills compound from 2016.
The suit alleges: “Often times plaintiffs were forced to protect Depp from himself and his vices while in public. An incident at a local nightclub involved plaintiffs alerting Depp of illegal substances visible on his face and person while preventing onlookers from noticing Depp’s condition.”
Profligacy barely counts as vice in Hollywood but Depp’s epic expenditure – in addition to fast cars and planes he bought a French village, a $22m yacht and a string of Caribbean islands while allegedly blowing through $2m a month, including $30,000 a month on wine – rivals that of the castle-collecting Nicholas Cage.
In recent years this has led to Depp clashing with, firing and suing a rotating retinue of managers and lawyers, who in turn have sued him over allegedly broken contracts and unpaid fees, draining more funds from the Depp treasure chest and dumping more revelations about his private life overboard into the public maw.
This did not appease Harry Potter fans, who launched petitions demanding that the makers of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, drop Depp as the film’s villain.
Warner Bros and JK Rowling have stuck with Depp for Fantastic Beasts, sparing him banishment to the ranks of #MeToo blackguards.
Depp’s career – and bank balance – will partly hinge on whether Disney gives Captain Sparrow a sixth Pirates film.

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Summary of “This Story Has Already Stressed Ryan Reynolds Out”

While “Deadpool” had less on the line, its runaway success meant that “Deadpool 2” will open to towering anticipation – it has already broken ticket presale records for an R-rated movie – and the bigger question of whether Mr. Reynolds can catch lightning in a bottle twice.
In March, FX canceled a Deadpool animated adult comedy series by Donald Glover, who created “Atlanta.” The show was not connected to the film, but Mr. Reynolds said he still lamented the news and considered Mr. Glover a genius.
Ryan Reynolds Aug. 7, 2016 On our 6am walk, my daughter asked where the moon goes each morning.
Ryan Reynolds Oct. 16, 2016 When someone asked in a tweet how his daughter might one day respond, Mr. Reynolds shot back, “Jokes on you. We’re not teaching her to read.”.
He grew up the youngest of four boys in Vancouver, British Columbia, in a home that was made volatile by his father, Jim Reynolds, a former police officer-turned-food wholesaler whom Mr. Reynolds calls “The stress dispensary in our house.” To head off screaming matches or any tumult, Mr. Reynolds tried to fix anything that might set his father off, be it by keeping the house immaculately clean or mowing the lawn.
His father also introduced him to comedy greats like Buster Keaton and Jack Benny, and could perfectly imitate Robert Goulet and Bill Cosby, or recite any episode of “Fawlty Towers.” Out of all this, Mr. Reynolds learned to be watchful, listen closely and to plumb tragedy for the absurd, traits he doesn’t think he’d have if he had come from an idyllic, placid home.
Mr. Reynolds is “Incredibly astute in the moment, and knows how to make a moment better,” said Morena Baccarin, who plays Deadpool’s girlfriend in both films.
The first time Mr. Reynolds remembers making a grown-up laugh was on the set of his first television show, a Canadian teen drama called “Hillside.” Vancouver-area high schools were asked to send their top drama students to audition, and though Mr. Reynolds was not picked, he went anyway and got the job.

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