great newsroom movies

In honor of Steven Spielberg‘s new newspaper drama The Post, we’ve combed through the archives, pounded the pavement, dusted off the typewriter and put together a list of some of the best newsroom movies fit to print. It’s a list comprised of both crusading, truth-seeking journalists and career opportunists willing to bend the truth as long as it makes for a great story. The connective tissue holding these films together is the ever-present newsroom, where typewriters sing and the truth lives or dies when a story goes to the presses.

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zodiac

Hello, /Film readers. It is I, Chris Evangelista. You may (or may not!) be familiar with my writing here, as I’ve been contributing to /Film since April. But now I’m part of the staff, and I’m very excited about that. I’m also very excited to tell you my 15 favorite movies. Some of these movies are downright masterpieces, others are like comforting junk food. I try not to limit myself in terms of “quality.” If a movie gets a reaction out of me, I consider it a success.  

I see a lot of movies. Too many, in fact. And what I’m always looking for is that spark. That feeling that I’m seeing something unique; something special; something to make me sit up and take notice.

This was a bit harder than I thought it would be, simply because there are so many movies I could include on this list, but these are the ones that I think are the most important. For now, at least. This list could easily change in a week.

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Moana

Now that the weather is getting hotter, there will be some days when the air-conditioned comfort of your own home will be infinitely better than roasting on the beach. Thankfully, Netflix has us covered with a batch of new movies, TV shows and comedy specials to provide a wide variety of entertainment.

Coming up on Netflix is a new season of Orange is the New Black, the latest season of Agents of SHIELD, the fifth season of Arrow, the new Netflix original series GLOW, and a second season of Flaked. Plus, there are a slew of new movies coming to the streaming service.

Below, we’ve compiled the list of TV shows and movies coming to Netflix in June 2017, starting with our personal recommendations.  Read More »

Now Stream this Zodiac

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)

June is approaching and what’s better than basking in the warmth and sunshine of summer? How about staying inside and streaming some great movies? In this latest edition of Now Stream This, we have the best film of 2016, one of the best films of the 21st Century, some peak David Lynch, a slice of grindhouse greatness and much more. There ain’t no cure for the summertime blues, but at least there are plenty of movies to watch.

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david fincher ranked

David Fincher began his directorial career making music videos for some of the biggest talents in pop music. Beginning with Alien³ in 1992, his work in features has combined a drive for technical achievement off-screen with a consistently recognizable interest in detail-oriented obsession on-screen. He is a consummate craftsman, but one with an uncanny ability to lay his finger right on the cultural pulse. Together, those talents result in films which have gone beyond reflecting cultural attitudes, to defining them.

With the release of his latest film, Gone Girl, we’ve taken the opportunity to revisit the director’s narrative works on film. (And, briefly, in television.) Below is a list of the films of David Fincher ranked by achievement. It’s a highly subjective effort, we realize. Where does Gone Girl fit in alongside Fight Club, Se7en, The Social Network, and Zodiac? What stands out as the best film in his career to date, and what virtues can we find even in his least successful efforts? As you’d expect with Fincher, the answer to that last question is a lot more detailed than it would be for many other filmmakers. Compare our list with your own after reading further.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

VOTD: The Films of David Fincher

The Films of David Fincher

Daniel Silva has edited a 17-minute tribute to filmmaker David Fincher, artfully splicing together the director’s nine feature films including Se7en, The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This video tribute does not include Fincher’s Alien 3 (because, you know why), his 1985 documentary The Beat of the Live Drum (probably because it isnt a narrative feature film) or his upcoming film Gone Girl. The edit is not just a music video like most of the tribute videos you see these days, including lengthy bits of scenes. That said, the short does include “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails and “Oraculum” by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross. Watch Daniel Silva’s The Films of David Fincher now embedded after the jump.

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You might not know the name Harris Savides, but you know his work as a cinematographer. An award-winning stretch of music videos, including R.E.M.’s ‘Everybody Hurts’ and Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer,’ led to an impressive his feature film debut, David Fincher‘s The Game, in 1997.

What followed was a long stretch of films with Gus Van Sant (Finding Forrester, Gerry, Elephant, Last Days, Milk) and feature work with directors such as Ridley Scott, Sofia Coppola, and Noah Baumbach, during which Savides mastered a distinctive style that defined a wonderful mid-point between realism and pure cinema. His twin recreations of ’70s San Francisco (in Zodiac and Milk) could be the new standard for integrating practical and digital effects to create a compelling recreation of a period location. Savides did some of the best digital work in the early days of the format, and was one of the cinematographers whose style could flow from film to digital with apparent ease.

Now we’ve learned that Savides died today at the age of 55. The cause of death is not widely reported, but there are hints of a serious illness faced by the cinematographer in the last few years. His last film work will be seen in Sofia Coppola’s next film, The Bling RingRead More »

red-riding_12

It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, excluding The Spy Next Door and The Tooth Fairy, that offer proof. /Film’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini review, or an interview. In this installment, new trailers and a review of the Red Riding Trilogy, a noirish triptych of serial killer dramas imported from British television and being released stateside in February by IFC Films.

During a screening of the entire Red Riding Trilogy, with one intermission allotted for lunch, I found myself pondering the irony in three directors, one screenwriter, one author, tens of actors and three separate crews realizing a project that depicts humanity and bureaucracy at its most foul and irreversibly corrupt. A recent poster for the trilogy forebodingly reads, “Evil Lives Here,” a tagline that would serve most of the work that exits Stephen King’s skull; instead the “here” in Red Riding is Northern England in the ’70s and early ’80s, when a serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper carved a trail of female victims and set a mood and mythos ripe for social reflection.

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Interview: Darren Aronofsky Part 5

Last month, I had another chance to sit down and talk with Darren Aronofsky, the director of Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and The Fountain, about his new film The Wrestler. We’re going to call this part five because it continues the series of interviews regarding The Wrestler that began at the Toronto International Film Festival (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). You can read the fourth part, which was on the site yesterday, at this link. In the fifth and final part of our Wrestler series, I talk to Aronofsky about 3D, IMAX, High Definition filmmaking, The Fighter, Robocop, Watchmen, hopes for a 5.1 audio remix of Pi and more.

Q: The crumbling ballroom, when and how did you find that place?

Darren Aronofsky: We were scouting Asbury Park. I was like Evan Rachel Wood in the movie. I looked through the crack. I said, “What the hell’s that space?” I could see it through the crack. I was, “Let’s get in there.” We actually never scouted it until we actually shot it. We didn’t have that type of budget. I saw it and  was like, “Get me permission to get in there. That’s the location. Let’s get in there.” On the day of we had permission to go in. I think actually Bruce [Springsteen] might own it. I think he’s bought up, through a corporation, a lot of Asbury Park and they’re redoing it. I don’t know. I’m not sure. You may have to fact check that. That’s what I’ve heard. It’s an old casino. It says casino on the outside. I don’t know if it was a gambling casino or what it was, but it’s just this beautiful space.

Q: It looks like a ballroom.

Darren Aronofsky: Yes. That’s why we improvised the dance. I walked in there and I said, “Mickey, are you going to ask Evan to dance?” Mickey doesn’t like to dance. I was like, “Are you going to waltz? You’re going to waltz. You’re going to waltz here.” He’s like, “I can’t waltz.” I’m like, “I’ll teach you how to waltz.” So there’s a video of me teaching Mickey how to waltz, which is a pretty embarrassing video. I said, “Let’s just give it a shot and see what happens.” I wanted something. It was very much like that scene in Requiem when they break into the building and they go to the roof and they set off the alarm and all that stuff. In the script it was actually, I think it was a snowball fight they had, something silly. I think originally in The Wrestler script they were going to go play skee-ball. Then we realized Asbury Park doesn’t have skee-ball. Then we turned it into a snowball fight. Then it didn’t snow. I was like, “Okay, they need to do something that’s kind of silly and endearing.” That night we saw that space and I said, “All right. They’ll just break in here and do something illegal and then do something touching.” I remember afterwards, Evan walked away and she was sobbing. She had some personal connection with her own life, which is her story to tell. But she really resisted at the beginning. But then afterwards really was glad that she did it. Those things happen.

Q: It seems like much of the process of making this film was you making Mickey do things that he doesn’t want to do and laughing about it.

Darren Aronofsky: There’s a certain amount of that. Mickey is definitely a coaster. He’ll put his feet up on the table and just sort of– He’s like that kid in high school who did no work and got B+’s the whole time, because he’s got so much talent that he’s able to do it. Yes, it was pushing Mickey a lot. My biggest accomplishment on the film was that he wears no sunglasses in the entire movie. Every day Mickey showed up with a pair of sunglasses and it was about convincing him that they don’t want to see the sunglasses. “Mickey, people want to look at your eyes. That’s why they’re paying money. That’s why they’re here.” He knows that. He’s so much armor and he’s so soft inside. Did you meet him yet?

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WARNING: This post (and potentially its title) contain MAJOR spoilers for David Fincher’s film, “Zodiac.”

Hot off the heels of Peter’s experience with a David Fincher tribute and his disappointing viewing of 20 minutes from Benjamin Button comes word that the storyline from Fincher’s last opus, Zodiac, may finally be reaching a resolution. According to CBS13 in Sacramento, the FBI is now running lab tests on the belongings of a man named Jack Tarrance, who died in 2006. Tarrance’s stepson, Dennis Kaufman, has spent eight years trying to prove that Tarrance was the Zodiac killer.

For those that don’t remember the film Zodiac, it chronicled the attempts of San Francisco Chronicle employees Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) and Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), in addition to detective Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo), to find the identity of a serial killer who brutally murdered several people in Northern California during the late 1960s. The killer sent letters to the Chronicle in the form of strange ciphers and codes, hence the Zodiac moniker. One of the main suspects of the film, Arthur Leigh Allen (who died in 1992) was positively identified in a mugshot by a Zodiac murder victim during the film’s closing scene. However, other elements implicating Allen never added up and the case has remained one of the country’s most infamous unsolved murders.

Perhaps no more. While going through his late stepfather’s belongings, Kaufman discovered a number of incriminating items, including a knife covered with what could be blood, a black hood with a zodiac on it (which conceivably could have been used in the 1968 Lake Berryessa murder) as well as rolls of film, at least one of which contained gruesome images that “[a]ppeared to be people who were murdered,” according to Kaufman.

Kaufman also believes that Tarrance’s handwriting and photo match the handwriting and composite sketch of the Zodiac killer. I’ve embedded the handwriting comparison and the headshot comparison in this post, but for the full write-up and some more photos, head on over to CBS13. According to the FBI, they could get the results of their tests any day. We’ll report more updates as they become available.