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2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Live Action Short

7 hours ago

Two American university film schools are represented on this year’s Oscar shortlist for Best Live Action Short Film, which have to win film festival awards to qualify. The Academy’s Short Films and Animation branch selected 10 live-action shorts (out of 165 qualified submissions) to contend for Oscar nominations. They will now vote for five nominees from the shortlist after attending January branch screenings in Los Angeles, London, New York and San Francisco.

The shorts are listed below in alphabetical order. No film will be deemed a frontrunner until I have seen it.

Contenders: 

DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk, director (UCLA)

“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, director (Finch)

Facing Mecca,” Jan-Eric Mack, director, and Joël Jent, producer (Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion)

Icebox,” Daniel Sawka, director, and Camille Cornuel, producer (Iceboxthefilmco)

Lost Face,” Sean Meehan, director, and Sam McGarry, producer (Soma Films)

My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr., director (New York University)

“Rise of a Star, »


- Anne Thompson

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Tig Notaro: Louis C.K.’s Forced Departure from ‘One Mississippi’ Was ‘A Huge Relief’

7 hours ago

While promoting “One Mississippi” during an appearance on “The View,” star and co-creator Tig Notaro reflected on losing Louis C.K. as a series executive producer last month, a consequence for the sexually harassing behavior he admitted to following a New York Times investigation quoting five accusers.

“It’s a huge relief,” Notaro told the hosts on December 11, explaining that she learned of C.K.’s alleged behavior soon after she sold the series with him attached. “I started publicly trying to distance myself from him almost two years [ago].”

On November 10, one day after the Times published their story — giving Notaro the last word — FX Networks and FX Productions cancelled its overall deal with C.K.’s production company, Pig Newton, Inc., meaning he would no longer oversee “Better Things,” “Baskets,” “One Mississippi,” and “The Cops,” a once-planned animated series he conceptualized with Albert Brooks. The deal was first announced in »


- Jenna Marotta

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‘Blade Runner 2049’: Inside Denis Villeneuve’s Holographic Joi of Sex

9 hours ago

Unlike the stunning CG recreation of Sean Young’s Rachael replicant in “Blade Runner 2049,” the Joi hologram played by Ana de Armas was more of an advanced analog creation. In fact, the directive from Denis Villeneuve was to have Joi alternate between looking realistic and artificial, depending on the emotional context for Ryan Gosling’s K, who customized her as more of a loving companion than pleasure model.

They recorded actress de Armas on set with Gosling from multiple angles with  GoPros and Hdri lighting set up by Roger Deakins. Then Double Negative made a CG version and went through a lot of testing. However, finding the right look was difficult.

“Joi is a volume, a projection, and we looked at conventional holograms and didn’t really like them that much,” said John Nelson, the production visual effects supervisor. “We had to come up with something more subtle yet cooler than that. »


- Bill Desowitz

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The Oscar Live-Action Short-Film Shortlist: 10 Are Chosen, 5 Will Receive Nomination Slots

9 hours ago

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Short Films and Animation branch has selected its shortlist of 10 live-action short films (out of 165 qualified submissions) to contend for five Oscar nominations.

American film schools UCLA and Nyu both landed films on the list. “DeKalb University,” directed by UCLA’s Reed Van Dyk, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences College Television Awards. “My Nephew Emmett,” from Nyu’s Kevin Wilson Jr., received the gold medal for narrative at the 2017 Student Academy Awards.

The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies:

DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk, director (UCLA)

“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, director (Finch)

Facing Mecca,” Jan-Eric Mack, director, and Joël Jent, producer (Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion)

Icebox,” Daniel Sawka, director, and Camille Cornuel, producer (Iceboxthefilmco)

Lost Face,” Sean Meehan, director, and Sam McGarry, »


- Anne Thompson

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The Black List 2017: Hollywood’s ‘Most Liked’ Unproduced Screenplays Revealed, Including 34 Centered on Women

12 hours ago

This year’s Black List — Hollywood’s “most liked” unproduced screenplays — was unveiled throughout the early part of the day, care of a massive Twitter-centric push led by some of the industry’s biggest talents. This year’s 76-screenplay-strong list was announced via the social media platform, with big stars like Jake Gyllenhaal, Margot RobbieRian Johnson, Don Cheadle, Lena Waithe, and many more pushing out quick videos revealing each title over the course of a three-hour event.

“Congratulations to all of the screenwriters who made this year’s list and all of the executives who contributed to it,” said Black List founder Franklin Leonard in an official statement. “In aggregate, they’ve assembled another remarkable survey of extraordinary storytelling that I hope we all get to benefit from on screen in the coming years.”

Read More: Attention, Female Filmmakers: The Black List and Women In Film Want You For »


- Kate Erbland

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Film Critics Pick Steven Spielberg’s Best Movies — IndieWire Critics Survey

12 hours ago

Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: In honor of “The Post,” which is set to hit theaters on December 20th, what is Steven Spielberg’s best film?

Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker), Freelance for Harper’s Bazaar, /Film, The Undefeated, Birth.Movies.Death

E.T.” There is really no other filmmaker who portrays wonder and innocence quite like Spielberg. While he’s done many great movies, “E.T.” not only captures the purity and curiosity of youth, but its beautiful effects and simple observations implore all of us to stop and take notice of the world around us and humanity itself.

Read More:  ‘The Post’ Review: Steven Spielberg’s Spectacularly Entertaining Journalism Thriller Is a »


- David Ehrlich

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‘Lady Bird’ No Longer Has a Perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes (and Nobody is Happy About It)

12 hours ago

If Greta Gerwig being shut out of the best director race at the Golden Globes wasn’t already frustrating enough, it’s with great sadness IndieWire reports that “Lady Bird’s” perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes is no more. After remaining at 100% through 196 reviews and setting the record for best-reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes, “Lady Bird” has been brought down to 99% thanks to a rotten tomato from film critic Cole Smithey.

Read More:Golden Globes Slammed For Shutting Out Women and Minorities in Best Director Race

Smithey posted the movie’s first bad review on Rotten Tomatoes on December 10, noting “Lady Bird” is “far from a perfect film” and giving it a backhanded compliment by writing, “It’s not the mumblecore disaster you’d expect from Greta Gerwig – one of the mumblecore movement’s prime progenitors.” Smithey runs his own film website, whose tagline refers to Smithey as “the smartest film critic in the world. »


- Zack Sharf

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The Best Female Movie Performances of 2017

12 hours ago

It’s been a difficult year for conversations about women in the film industry, with revelations about sexual assault changing conversations about the nature of the entertainment world that should’ve been resolved long ago. Fortunately, no matter the challenges facing the business of making movies, women get the last laugh in front of the camera. This has been a rousing year for female leads, and not only because we’re finally seeing a plethora of strong women characters dominating some of the best movies of the year. Setting aside that obvious need, some of the best performances of the year were simply memorable characters that looked and sounded like nothing we’ve seen before. Here are some of the biggest highlights.

16. Melanie Lynskey, “i don’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

A strong blend of dark comedy and crime thriller, Macon Blair’s directorial debut lives and »


- Eric Kohn, Kate Erbland and David Ehrlich

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‘Star Wars’: Behind the Scenes of a Galaxy Far, Far Away

13 hours ago

Movie magic takes a lot of hard work.

Related stories'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' First Reactions Are Highly Positive: 'It Will Shatter You -- and Then Make You Whole Again'Mark Hamill Seems to Think There Are Too Many 'Star Wars' Movies: 'Great Marketing There, Disney''Star Wars' Fans Are Already Lining Up for 'The Last Jedi,' and They've Got Stories »


- Michael Nordine

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Saudi Arabia Lifts 35-Year Cinema Ban, Plans to Open 300 Movie Theaters By 2030

13 hours ago

Saudia Arabia has officially lifted a ban on cinema that has been intact for the last 35 years. The move was expected after the country announced in October plans for the Future Investment Initiative, which included the building and opening of movie theaters across the country. Movie theaters have not been open in Saudi Arabia since 1982. The General Entertainment Authority has said it opens to create entertainment that “will be like 99% of what is going on in London and New York.”

Read More:IndieWire’s Favorite Middle Eastern Films of 2016

“Opening cinemas will act as a catalyst for economic growth and diversification; by developing the broader cultural sector we will create new employment and training opportunities, as well as enriching the Kingdom’s entertainment options,” said Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad. “This marks a watershed moment in the development of the cultural economy in the Kingdom.”

The ban »


- Zack Sharf

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‘Twin Peaks’: Kyle MacLachlan Thinks ‘The Return’ Is a Film, Even Though the Golden Globes Nominated Him for TV

14 hours ago

When Kyle MacLachlan won a Golden Globe award in 1991, he was nominated for the television series “Twin Peaks” in the role of Agent Dale Cooper. In 2018, when he attends the 75th Annual Golden Globes, he’ll again be nominated in the TV category for his portrayal of Dale Cooper.

But should he be nominated for film, instead?

Though no one debated what “Twin Peaks” was when it debuted on ABC in 1990, many consider its sequel, “The Return,” to be more of a film than a TV show. And MacLachlan is one of them.

Read More:Golden Globes 2018 TV Snubs and Surprises: ‘Mindhunter’ Shut Out as ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Makes a Splash

“I lean toward the film example only because it was written as one story,” MacLachlan said in an interview with IndieWire, shortly after the nominations were announced. “We were all encouraged not to refer to it as episodes, but as hours. »


- Ben Travers

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’13 Reasons Why’ Snags a Surprise Golden Globes Nomination Amidst Controversy for Its Treatment of Suicide

14 hours ago

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from the first season of “13 Reasons Why.”]

The teen drama “13 Reasons Why” sparked plenty of controversy when Netflix released it in March, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association saw fit to give it a nod on Monday. It’s a show that’s all but been forgotten and didn’t really show up on many critical prediction lists. Although the series overall didn’t get recognition, its star Katherine Langford snagged the nomination in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category.

“Words cannot express my sheer excitement and gratitude for being nominated by the HFPA this morning for portraying ‘Hannah Baker,’ a young woman whom I have come to truly love and understand,” Langford said in a statement. “Hannah’s story resonated with so many people, and I feel truly grateful to Netflix, Paramount TV, Brian Yorkey, Tom McCarthy, Selena Gomez, and all of our tremendous producers…and to our incredibly talented cast – who are also my dear friends, »


- Hanh Nguyen

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Golden Globes Slammed For Shutting Out Women and Minorities in Best Director Race

14 hours ago

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is facing backlash over this year’s Golden Globe nominations for Best Director. The five filmmakers who earned a nomination this year are all men: Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”), Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”), Ridley Scott (“All the Money in the World”), and Steven Spielberg (“The Post”).

Considering what a strong year it was for women and minority directors like Greta Gerwig, Jordan Peele, Dee Rees, and Patty Jenkins, it’s especially unfortunate how male-dominated the race is this year. Del Toro is the only minority nominated in what many people agree should’ve been a banner year for an inclusive Best Director race.

Read More:‘All The Money in the World’: Christopher Plummer Earns Golden Globe Nomination After Replacing Kevin Spacey

Many pundits expected at least Gerwig or Peele to earn a Best Director nomination at the Globes. »


- Zack Sharf

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Paul Schrader’s Secret New Movie: How the Director Resurrected a Wild Nicolas Cage Performance Without Permission

15 hours ago

In September 2014, veteran filmmaker Paul Schrader was livid. He had recently directed “Dying of the Light,” a grim thriller starring Nicolas Cage as CIA agent Evan Lake, who obsesses over tracking terrorists while suffering from a brain disease and losing his mind. The movie’s financiers wanted a more conventional espionage thriller than Schrader’s experimental, subjective narrative, so they took the movie away from Schrader, who sent an email explaining the conundrum to Cage. The actor struck a note or resignation.

“The unfortunate aspect to my having had so many careers in so many genres is that they can make a case to put me in box b instead of box a for money’s sake,” Cage wrote, in an email shared with IndieWire years later.

Schrader could relate. “Dying of the Light” arrived nearly 40 years after Schrader catapulted to fame with his screenplay for “Taxi Driver” and maintained »


- Eric Kohn

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‘Portlandia’ Season 8: Kath and Dave Highlight the Dos and Don’ts of Escape Rooms — Watch

15 hours ago

Kath and Dave are two of Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen’s most intense creations. Whether they’re trying to save the human race (after a local power outage) or going out for tapas (and dancing on the table), this couple doesn’t do anything half-assed.

Add escape rooms to the list.

In IndieWire’s exclusive video below, Kath and Dave team up with two strangers to work an escape room. Needless to say, they’re not the best team players, though one could argue their intensity only helps in the end.

Read More:‘Portlandia’: Carrie Brownstein Tackles Sexism at the Workplace in First Look at the Final Season — Watch

The video below is not only a new look at the final season, but the second in a series of videos premiering before the Season 8 debut. IFC and IndieWire are partnering to bring you exclusive sketches from “Portlandia” Season 8. Over the next six weeks, »


- Ben Travers

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Golden Globes 2018 Film Surprises and Snubs: ‘The Greatest Showman’ Lands 3, But ‘The Big Sick’ Is Shut Out

16 hours ago

Fox Searchlight had a lovely Golden Globes nominations morning, notching 15 nominations as Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” continued its Critics Choice surge with seven nominations, followed by Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” with six. The other expected drama nominations were Fox’s Steven Spielberg journalism valentine “The Post” (six), Sony Pictures Classics gay love story “Call Me By Your Name” (three), and Warner Bros.Christopher Nolan war movie “Dunkirk” (three).

Finally, Working Title/Focus Features’ other World War II drama, “Darkest Hour,” seems to be strictly a Gary Oldman Drama Actor play, while Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” landed nods for Daniel Day-Lewis and Johnny Greenwood for Score. Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” (A24) posted strong results on the Comedy side (four), but no director nod. In fact, the Globes gave all five director slots to men.

The typically idiosyncratic — and senior — Hollywood »


- Anne Thompson

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Netflix Reveals the Most Binge-Watched Shows of 2017: ‘American Vandal,’ ’13 Reasons Why,’ and More

16 hours ago

Netflix is notorious for keeping all streaming data hidden from public knowledge, but the company has broken its silence by revealing which shows were the most binged in 2017. Netflix looked at the average daily viewing hours per user from November 2016 to November 2017 to come up with its official “Shows We Devoured” list, which is surprisingly topped by the acclaimed true crime spoof “American Vandal.”

Read More:Why Netflix and Amazon Algorithms Are Destroying the Movies

Series viewed more than two hours per day were considered “devoured,” while those viewed less than two hours a day were categorized as “savored.” The Emmy-winning drama series “The Crown” topped the “Shows We Savored” list, which also included numerous comedy titles such as “Big Mouth,” “Neo Yokio,” “Disjointed,” “Dear White People,” and Glow.” The most-binged list included popular foreign titles like the Brazilian series “3%” and the Mexican political drama “Ingobernable.”

The full lists are below, »


- Zack Sharf

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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Star Kelly Marie Tran Warns Fans: The Film Will Be ‘Really Emotional for People to Watch’

16 hours ago

For “Star Wars” first-timer Kelly Marie Tran, every part of the making of Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” has been filled with crazy emotion, from her casting (something she had to hide from not just her friends and family, but also the day job she was gigging at when she first got the part) to learning about a franchise she didn’t initially have much attachment to (she knows something about fandoms though, as a devout “Harry Potter” fan herself) to this weekend’s star-studded Hollywood premiere of the film.

Few things, however, can top her first watch of the film itself.

“It was really emotional,” Tran told IndieWire when asked about her experience watching “The Last Jedi” alongside her cast, just two weeks before the film’s official premiere, so tight is security around it and all other “Star Wars” properties. In the film, Tran plays brand-new character Rose Tico, »


- Kate Erbland

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‘Big Little Lies’ May No Longer Be a Limited Series, But It Can Still Get Away With Competing As One — For Now

16 hours ago

This may be the biggest little lie of “Big Little Lies.” The show won eight Emmys this September, and now dominated this year’s Golden Globes TV nominations — but as a limited series. Now, with a second season on the horizon, “Big Little Lies” faces a category conundrum.

HBO said it hasn’t yet determined whether “Big Little Lies” will continue to be produced as a limited series, or if it will graduate to full drama series status. Much of that decision will now come down to episodic order, per TV Academy rules.

The org, which generally sets the standard that other awards shows then follow, classifies a “limited series” as “programs of two or more episodes with a total running time of at least 150 program minutes that tell a complete, non-recurring story, and do not have an ongoing storyline and/or main characters in subsequent seasons.”

Read More:Golden Globes »


- Michael Schneider

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Alec Baldwin Believes the Anti-Sexual Harassment Movement Is in ‘Jeopardy of Derailing’

17 hours ago

The #MeToo sexual harassment movement earned more attention last week when it was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, but not everyone is too happy with the some of the movement’s results. Alec Baldwin made headlines for telling Megyn Kelly that many sexual harassment and abuse accusations have not been proven yet, saying that he feared innocent men were being taken down by unfounded claims.

Read More:Spike Lee Weighs in on the Casey Affleck, Nate Parker Controversy: ‘It Was a Dirty, Low-Down Shame’

“You certainly want to see everybody who’s guilty of something, who’ve done bad things, wrong things and hurt people, you want to see those people get punished,” Baldwin said. “But I don’t want to see other people get pulled into that, who, there’s a lot of accusations and no proof yet.”

Baldwin reiterated his stance on Twitter over the weekend, »


- Zack Sharf

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