ang lee interview

Gemini Man may be Ang Lee‘s most existential action movie. Starring Will Smith as a hitman who becomes the target of a younger clone of himself, Gemini Man is a fairly straightforward sci-fi action flick that has famously become the vessel for Lee’s digital film innovations — shot digitally at an extra-high frame rate of 120 fps, modified for 3D, and featuring a fully CGI recreation of a younger Will Smith. But more than just presenting a new challenge for Lee, who has been experimenting with high frame rates since 2016’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime WalkGemini Man is an action movie that allows him to examine the endlessly fascinating “subject matter of nature versus nurture.”

“The two Will Smith’s coexisting, with one looking so much younger, in this medium the feeling is kind of existential,” Lee told /Film at a roundtable interview for Gemini Man in New York. “It really makes you wonder about your own existence and what would you tell your younger self. And also see your trajectory when you’re young.”

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A Hidden Life and Christianity

Ask any progressive Christian who their favorite filmmaker is, and more often than not, you’re likely to hear Terrence Malick’s name invoked in reverent tones. Of course, plenty of folks who rarely (or never) set foot in a church recognize Malick as a significant artist. However, to Christians who care a great deal about the nexus of faith and art, it’s almost impossible to have a conversation about movies without discussing Malick first.

The reasons for this may be readily apparent to anyone who’s familiar with the director’s work. Essentially, though, they come down to this: most media associated with Christianity (say, Left Behind, or Breakthrough, for a more recent example) is not good art. It’s preachy and explicit in its messaging, with no apparent care for craft. Malick is the polar opposite, concerned more with questions, poetry and introspection. He’s also obsessed with craft, seeing great art as an act of worship in and of itself. Especially from 1998’s The Thin Red Line onward, his films feel like authentic, conflicted expressions of a personal spiritual journey. 

Malick’s latest, A Hidden Life, is his most directly faith-oriented film to date. It’s the true story of Franz Jägerstätter (played by August Diehl), an Austrian farmer executed by the Nazis for refusing to swear an oath of loyalty to Hitler when called up to join the army. Jägerstätter is considered a martyr, and was beatified by the Catholic church in 2007. For Malick, he becomes a Christ figure, but also an allegory. He sees Jägerstätter’s life, and the lives of those around him, as examples of what happens when an ideology of hatred and fervent nationalism plants a stake in a community, and how people of faith are called to stand (and struggle to stand) against it. A Hidden Life’s WWII is a stand-in for the world right now. 

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Eyes Wide Shut - Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman

July 16, 1999.

That was the last day of my eighteenth year and the first day Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut was released into the world. As an eighteen-year-old kid obsessed with film still devastated by the loss of Kubrick just a few months prior, I was dying to see this film. I’d hardly seen anything in the theatre but The Phantom Menace since its release in May, so this was going to be a refreshing change of pace. 

Naturally, Eyes Wide Shut deals with themes that an eighteen-year-old kid ought to have very little frame of reference for. Jealousy was an abstract that I understood, but the intimate moments in a relationship recreated in the film were as much film fantasy as Star Wars was to me. I’d never been in a serious relationship to that point and the art of Eyes Wide Shut would help inform my understanding more than I would be able to decode anything from it.

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oogie boogie bash 2019

Peter & Kitra attend Oogie Boogie Bash 2019 opening night. Is Disneyland’s new Halloween party in Disney California Adventure better than Mickey’s Halloween Party? Watch our latest Ordinary Adventures vlog to find out!

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Paddington

One of the most sought after items Mondo creates are limited edition screen printed movie posters. If you’ve ever tried to purchase one on their website only to miss the opportunity seconds after they drop, you know what I mean. Mondo hires an array of extremely talented artists across the globe to illustrate alternate movie posters that lead fans to camp out for, fly cross country for, and save up paychecks months in advance hoping to secure a print they’ve had their eye on.

One of the greatest aspects of the annual MondoCon (and there are many) is the live draw panel which allows fans to witness three artists collaborate on a poster in real time right before your eyes.

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Fantastic Fest, the Austin, Texas-based, Alamo Drafthouse-hosted film festival celebrating the wildest and most unique genre movies from around the world, turns 15 this year. As someone who has been attending this event for literally a decade, I can say with utmost confidence that it is my favorite week of the year, every year. It’s eight days of shocks and surprises, with bold new discoveries lurking around every corner. It’s where I go to rekindle my love of movies. It’s where I go to discover gems that I continue to spring on friends and family to this day.

But not everyone can attend Fantastic Fest, so we wanted to give you a taste of what this festival is so you can play along at home. I teamed up with /Film contributors Meredith Borders, Matt Donato, Marisa Mirabal, Rafael Motamayor, and Meagan Navarro to list the movies that are essential to understanding what the fest is all about. We came up with 86 titles, all ranked based on our votes.

These are the most essential Fantastic Fest movies, the titles that sum up with the most exciting film festival in the world is all about.

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The Twentieth Century Review

The biopic genre is one of the more predictable out there. Even outside the musical-biopic subgenre, now so heavily coded that films functionally identical to parodies still get nominated for Academy Awards, there are expectations, and most of them are filled most of the time. Chief among them is fanatical reverence for their subjects, painting them as the most important figures in their respective fields through slick, gauzy, prestige-project filmmaking.

Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century, a biopic of legendary Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, doesn’t do any of that. It’s among the least-conventional biopics in existence – and it’s all the better for it. If you didn’t know the backstory, you’d never guess it’s even based on a true story, and if you do know the backstory, you might be furious at the liberal treatment of the subject. But The Twentieth Century being a biopic is merely the icing on the cake of Rankin’s incredible artistry, craft, and utterly bonkers comic and visual sensibility.

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Into the Dark Pure Review

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature the first Friday of every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

Into The Dark’s inaugural season concludes with a whimper in Hannah Macpherson’s Pure. August stole September’s “Back To School” relevance, which leaves Macpherson with a claws-out gender battle rooted in religious servitude. The issue is, Macpherson reveals her film’s hand and chucks the same cards our way until credits roll. What feels like a short film idea is elongated into a ninety-minute streaming feature, and we’re right back experiencing the same elongation issues Into The Dark hasn’t been able to overcome since “episode” numero uno. Not a promising end-note with Season 2 on the horizon.

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With 136 film and television credits to his name, Jeffrey Combs has proven himself to be one of the most reliable and fascinating character actors of the past few decades. But to horror fans, he’s nothing short of a legend. With credits that include Re-Animator, Bride of Re-Animator, From Beyond, The Frighteners and so much more, he’s a natural fit for Shudder’s revival of Creepshow. When we visited the set earlier this year, we were able to watch Combs at work in a story titled “Bad Wolf Down,” where he plays a Nazi officer who messes with the wrong squad of American G.I.s. Because they’re werewolves, you see.

We weren’t able to speak to Combs on the set (because he was too busy filming, including a particularly gnarly final showdown with a werewolf), but we were able to chat with him on the phone a few weeks later, were he dished about the new show and his long history with the horror genre.

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the terror infamy episode 5

The past two episodes of The Terror: Infamy have been all about answering questions. Episode 5, “Shatter Like a Peal”, involves a lengthy interrogation scene between two characters. And episode 6, “Taizo”, finally fills us in on the backstory of Yuko, the mysterious, ghostly demon that has been plaguing the show’s characters from the start.

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