(Welcome to The Streamer’s Guide, a new monthly feature recommending at-home viewing options from filmmakers with new movies arriving in theaters this month.)
March is when the movie year feels like it really kicks off in earnest. The studios start putting their best foot forward, not just taking out their trash. The indie labels put out some of prior year’s festival hits that weren’t quite built for an Oscar run – but are nonetheless incredibly impressive titles. Last year’s films finally start to surrender their screens at the multiplex and head to streaming, leaving audiences with many exciting new options.
This year, we’re getting two Cannes competition entries, a (potentially) bold reimagining of a Disney classic, a movie recently feared canceled, a sequel to one of 2018’s biggest original hits, a standout feature from an American indie legend and a movie about how a deerskin jacket turns a man on to crime. And that’s just what I covered here! Read on to find out not only what to see in March 2020 but also what you should be watching at home now to prepare for some of the month’s highest profile releases.
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Today is the 80th birthday of director Ken Loach, one of the most prolific and respected filmmakers of the past half-century. The breadth of his filmography is astonishing – between 1967 and 2016, there have only been a handful of years where he didn’t have a new film ready to go. Although he’s best known amongst cinephiles for his 1969 classic Kes, Loach has continued to earn accolades throughout his entire career, with his 2006 film The Wind That Shakes the Barley taking home the Palme d’Or at theCannes Film Festival.
And then he won the Palme d’Or for a second time earlier this year for his newest film, I, Daniel Blake, making him only the ninth filmmaker to achieve that honor. So happy birthday, Mr. Loach. Let’s celebrate it by watching the new trailer for his latest film.
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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we get political with Ken Loach, we shake a tail feather as we get down with Daptone, ponder a CIA’s reality show, get snatched in the dark, and get real with a teen who is just looking to get by.
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Jimmy’s Hall, from acclaimed director Ken Loach, begins with the story of an Irish community already feeling the tension that would shortly erupt as the Irish Civil War, and then picks up with that community a decade later, after the war divided the country. As the Jimmy’s Hall trailer shows, the focal point of the story seems innocuous: a dance hall on the edge of a rural community.
But what that hall means to people, the way that it threatens some in power, and the activism of its founder, real-world figure Jimmy Gralton, is the real core of this story. Is Jimmy’s Hall something like a version of Footloose? Perhaps, and with Ken Loach at the helm that sounds pretty alright. Read More »
The 2009 film Great Directors from doc filmmaker Angela Ismailos is a great introduction to the work, creative philosophies and personalities of ten directors: Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch, Liliana Cavani, Stephen Frears, Agnes Varda, Ken Loach, Todd Haynes, Catherine Breillat, Richard Linklater and John Sayles. The film presents conversations and clips from the work of those filmmakers, and is just the sort of thing to turn new audiences on to films from each of those filmmakers, or, if you’re already a fan of that crew, to bolster your knowledge of each. Watch the full Great Directors documentary below. Read More »
The image you see above is a custom drawing of Mike and Sully sent from Pixar editor Steve Bloom (Boundin’, La Luna, Monsters University) to noted British director Ken Loach. See, Loach is editing what he says will be his final film, and he ran into a spot of trouble. Having never gone digital, Loach still shoots film and cuts it by hand. Working on this film, he ran out of film numbering tape, which is used to catalog shots while cutting — with film disappearing from the motion picture landscape, the tape isn’t as plentiful as it once was.
Assistance, and that pleasant illustrated greeting, came from Loach’s cadre of fans on the Pixar campus. Read More »
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we’re uplifted by stories from disabled athletes who could handily beat me in every sport on parade, visit Britain for some jolly post-WWII reconstruction, look upon the visage of truly heinous animation that is not meant to be a joke, act like lecherous old men as a young boy spies on his best friend’s mother, and we all say it together when it comes to the Dark Knight when people ask what are you, “…I’m Batman…”
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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The primary lineup for the competition slate at the 2012 Cannes has been unveilend, and it is a very strong list of films. There are quite a few expected entries: David Cronenberg‘s Cosmopolis, Lee Daniels‘ The Paperboy, John Hillcoat‘s Lawless (formerly The Wettest County), and Andrew Dominik‘s Killing Them Softly (formerly Cogan’s Trade), and we already knew that Wes Anderson‘s Moonrise Kingdom would open the festival.
But the international lineup is even more exciting, with films such as Rust & Bone from Jacques Audiard, Amour from Micheal Haneke, The Hunt from Thomas Vinterberg, and Mekong Hotel from 2010 Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul. As is occasionally the case with Cannes, this year’s lineup features many returning Cannes award winners; it’s a world-class program.
The downside to all of that is that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master and Terrence Malick‘s as-yet untitled romance starring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem didn’t show up in the list. There is some time for them to be added to the festival lineup in some measure, but (as expected) we’ll likely have to wait until this fall for The Master. As for the Malick movie… well, it’s Malick, so who knows?
You’ll find the lineup as it has been announced so far after the break. Read More »
Hard-hitting social realist director Ken Loach took a break from sternly examining the injustices and hardships of the world a couple of years ago, delighting critics with the crowd-pleasing Looking for Eric. Now he’s back to business, at long last turning his political eye to the Iraq War in Route Irish.
Loach, whose Irish War drama The Wind That Shakes the Barley took home the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2006, once again teams with his regular writing collaborator Paul Laverty, bringing us the story of a British soldier-turned-security contractor in Iraq who rejects the official explanation of his friend’s death and sets out to discover the truth. The film premiered as a last minute addition at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival to middling reviews. A number of critics praised Loach’s intent, but felt it was a lesser work in his filmmography. Why take their word for it though? Watch the trailer after the break. Read More »