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James Gray is back in theaters with “The Lost City of Z,” a film at once markedly different from and right at home among the rest of his distinguished body of work. The “We Own the Night,” “Two Lovers” and “The Immigrant” director has spoken with Vulture about the financial realities of independent filmmaking, offering a number of candid — and sobering — statements: “You know, people assume that because I’m a director, I make tons of money. I am struggling financially,” he said.
Read More: How Can Middle-Class Filmmakers Make a Living?
“Now, I’m very lucky I get to do what it is I want to do,” Gray continued. “I’ve made, good or bad, very uncompromising movies, the movies exactly that I wanted to make, and that’s a beautiful gift, so I’m not complaining about that. But I struggle. I have a hard time paying my bills. »
- Michael Nordine
The slow specialty box office is picking up. “The Lost City of Z” (Bleecker Street) opened just below the numbers posted last week by “Colossal” (Neon) and “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer” (Sony Pictures Classics) also opened to over $20,000. And “Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary” (Abramorama) showed strong initial single-theater results, with Emily Dickinson story “A Quiet Passion” (Music Box) also showing some interest.
After a promising start, “Colossal” expanded quickly, showing strength among wider audiences, along with “Gifted” (Fox Searchlight) and “Their Finest” (Stx). And holocaust drama “The Zookeeper’s Wife” (Focus) passed the $10 million mark in only its third weekend.
Festival favorite “Maudie,” a Canadian-Irish coproduction set in a small Nova Scotia town, opened in four Canadian theaters ahead of its June stateside release from Sony Classics Pictures, with a three day total of around $60,000. It stars Sally Hawkins and »
- Tom Brueggemann
After James Gray finished reading David Grann’s book “The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon” – a nonfiction chronicle of British explorer Percy Fawcett’s obsessive quest to find a lost civilization buried deep in the Amazonian jungle – he was confused why Brad Pitt had sent it to him.
“I have absolutely no idea what they want me to do this,” said Gray when he was guest on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast. “There had been nothing in my career as a director that had shown I could do anything like this.”
Paramount had bought the book for Pitt , whose production company Plan B (“Moonlight,” “12 Years a Slave”) ultimately produced the film. Pitt had always wanted to work with Gray, and while it didn’t happen this time, Pitt will star in Gray’s Sci Fi film “Ad Astra,” which is shooting this summer. »
- Chris O'Falt
James Gray has a habit of digging up the past. Usually he does it by way of resuscitating unfashionable directorial techniques, genres, and aesthetics, but in The Lost City of Z, he’s found a subject that’s a natural fit for such treatment. Charlie Hunnam stars as Percy Fawcett, a British explorer who in the early 20th century made several expeditions to the Amazon in search of an ancient city he was certain was buried there. His archeological colleagues, steeped as they were in the idea of Western (and especially British) exceptionalism, are largely unsupportive both financially and emotionally of his endeavors, and these trips leave him estranged from his wife Nina (Sienna Miller) and son Jack (Tom Holland, for most of the film) back home. His sole sliver of support comes from the eternally indulgent Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson), a fellow adventurer who seems to have few dreams of glory, »
- Scott Nye
With its elevated Good Friday grosses, this weekend usually attracts multiple high-end releases, particularly those aimed at families. Not this year. Rival distributors ceded the ground to Universal’s “The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth entry in their wildly successful road-race franchise. What began in 2001 as a much simpler story about illegal street-car competitions has become a worldwide phenomenon that, by its seventh outing in 2015, grossed $1.5 billion.
“Furious 7” got unexpected traction with the tragic death of lead actor Paul Walker before that film completed production. But the series already had major momentum (2013’s entry opened around $100 million domestic and ended up about $550 million worldwide). But last time, domestic results increased by nearly 50 percent while the world doubled, with international returns to around 70 percent of the totals (and China leading the charge).
Don’t expect that trajectory to continue, but even if domestic results don’t quite match “Furious 7” ($147 million opening, »
- Tom Brueggemann
Read even just a couple of interviews with him and you’ll realize that James Gray — in his humor, candor, self-effacement, knowledge, and general kindness — is better at the process than almost anybody else. So I’d experienced twice over, and now a third time on the occasion of his latest picture, The Lost City of Z. Although I liked the film a whole lot upon seeing it at last year’s Nyff and found it a rich source of questions, our conversation proved too casual and genial to be intruded about with a query about sound mixing — which I, of course, just knew I’d ask before entering a hotel room and sitting at a tiny table, complementary chocolate cake between us, and realizing that my muse then and there was instead a question about Steven Soderbergh’s Twitter account.
It’s not every day you can bring it up, »
- Nick Newman
The Lost City of Z is an intriguing and well shot biography of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam). Based on the bestselling book by David Grann, the film is written and directed by James Gray (The Immigrant, We Own the Night). It is a moody, insightful portrayal of a man beckoned to the harsh Amazon jungle. Fawcett was a loyal soldier of iron countenance who placed duty above all else, but dared to dream of archaeological greatness. His story is both a warning and testament to dangerous pursuits.
The Lost City of Z begins with Fawcett at the turn of the 20th century. Fawcett is a major stationed in Ireland with his devoted wife, Nina (Sienna Miller), and their young son, Jack. His career has reached an impasse. He has no medals to adorn his red dress uniform. He struggles to clear his family name from the drunken failure of his father. »
For years, Brad Pitt and filmmaker James Gray (The Immigrant) have talked about working together. Pitt almost appeared in We Own the Night, as well as a scrapped project of Gray’s, The Grey Man. At one point, the actor was even going to star in the director’s new epic, The Lost City of Z, but he decided to remain behind-the-scenes as a producer with his […]
- Jack Giroux
James Gray makes films like an explorer, digging for the details that define character and art. The Lost City of Z doesn't look like Gray's other movies. Little Odessa, The Yards, We Own the Night, Two Lovers and The Immigrant mostly investigated the corners of his native New York. The Lost City of Z, set in Ireland, England and the Amazonian jungle at the start of the 20th Century, takes the Russian-Jewish Gray out of his comfort zone. His skilled screenplay, adapted from the 2009 book by David Gann, tells the story of Col. »
Guns, monsters, and self-realization come together in our most anticipated movies of the month.
Is April the beginning of the summer movie season? Universal has been making that case for a few years now by opening their Fast and the Furious movies this month, and you can’t argue with their summer-sized box-office results. Happily there are plenty of smaller films hitting theaters in the coming weeks too from all manner of genres including drama, horror, comedy, and the hybrid that is Nacho Vigalondo’s latest.
Keep reading to see which movies we’re most excited for this month!
https://medium.com/media/957a1e3bef7d512bffaa68ddd3ac8cda/href10. The Circle (4/28)
Pros: Has a film ever looked this good on paper? Director James Ponsoldt (The End of the Tour), writer Dave Eggers (Where the Wild Things Are), cinematographer Matthew Libatique (The Fountain), composer Danny Elfman, a cast that includes Tom Hanks, Emma Watson »
- Rob Hunter
The Fate of the Furious, Free Fire, Phoenix Forgotten and more movies you need to see this April The Fate of the Furious, Free Fire, Phoenix Forgotten and more movies you need to see this April Adriana Floridia4/6/2017 9:26:00 Am
It's April now, which means it's rainy, gloomy, and you may want a cozy place to escape to. Lucky for us, there are a bunch of great movies opening at Cineplex this month that you'll definitely want to see.
There's a grand variety of films to choose from--including monster movies, dystopian thrillers, family dramas, and found footage horror films. Check out our list of the eleven movies you need to watch this April!
Release Date: April 7th
See it with: Family
- Adriana Floridia
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveriesNEWSRadley Metzger's The Lickerish QuartetRadley Metzger, whose groundbreaking erotic films helped set standards of style for both mainstream and arthouse cinema, has died at 88. His classics Camille 2000 (1969) and The Lickerish Quartet (1970) were featured on Mubi last year. Critic and programmer Steve Macfarlane interviewed the director at Slant Magazine for the Film Society of Lincoln Center's 2014 retrospective devoted to Metzger.Recommended VIEWINGThe Cinémathèque française has been on a roll uploading video discussions that have taken place at their Paris cinema. This 34 minute talk is between Wes Anderson and director/producer Barbet Schroeder.The Criterion Collection has recently released a new edition of Michelangelo Antonioni's masterpiece Blow-Up, and has uploaded this stellar clip of actor David Hemmings speaking on a talk show about making the film.Recommended READINGHoward Hawks' ScarfaceHow does Chicago intertwine itself with crime and the culture created in the mix of the two? »
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveriesNEWS© Bronx (Paris). Photo: Claudia Cardinale © Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche/Getty ImagesThe Cannes Film Festival has released the vibrant poster for their 70th edition. Beautiful, definitely, but how much longer are they going to rely on their glorious past rather than pointing to the present and future?We are excited to announce a collaboration with the Filmadrid festival in Spain to bring you films from their new section, The Video Essay, this June. Submissions are now open, so for video essayists new and experienced we encourage you to send in your work for consideration. Those selected will be screened both at the festival in Madrid and on the Notebook.Recommended VIEWINGWe adored Terence Davies' by turns witty and austere Emily Dickinson biopic A Quiet Passion when it premiered last year at the Berlinale. With its U.S. release coming soon, we finally have a local trailer. »
We are a few months into 2017 and already we had a number of standout movies like Get Out, Logan, and The Lego Batman Movie. Hopefully that is just the start of what is to come. Considering that, myself and Kevin – the hosts of podcast Cinema Geeks – combine forces to put a list together of 20 movies to watch in 2017.
Let us know what you think of the list in the comments below. Did they leave any off? Are the rankings off base? Let your voice be heard!
What Can Go Right: A film with this type of setup sure would have to be bungled in order for it not to work. It describes the life of British explorer Percy Fawcett who made several attempts to find an ancient lost city in the Amazon and disappeared in 1925 along with his son. It should be in good hands »
- Dan Clark
Aside from the guaranteed global behemoth F8 of the Furious, a.k.a. Furious 8, a.k.a. All in the Fambly, this April is conspicuously blockbuster-lite. (Unless you count Smurfs: The Lost Village, and we do not.) No better time, then, to do a bit of exploring around the indie fringes. Offbeat genre pictures are abound this month, from a sleazy revenge picture to a slippery character study/kaiju movie combo to a virtuosic opera of gunfire. Elsewhere, Tom Hanks tackles a technothriller, Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson venture into »
James Gray‘s The Lost City of Z arrives in the United States in a few weeks and it’s certainly a 180-degree turn — in terms of a distributor that clearly cares about the film they are handling — when compared to his last drama, The Immigrant. After premiering at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, The Weinstein Company shelved the Joaquin Phoenix- and Marion Cotillard-led film until a small release a year later. Gray is never one to shy away from expressing his genuine opinion, and now that The Immigrant is behind him and he’s on the press circuit again, he’s much more open about what happened.
“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair,” he tells The Telegraph, when asked about Harvey Weinstein. “I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant »
- Jordan Raup
Harvey Weinstein‘s reputation as an overly hands-on producer and distributor has rightfully earned him the nickname “Harvey Scissorhands.” No shortage of directors including Martin Scorsese, Bong Joon-Ho, Billy Bob Thornton, Wong Kar-Wai, and more have tangled with the Hollywood veteran over the versions of their films, and James Gray is on that list too. Back in 2000, Weinstein forced Gray to shoot a new ending to “The Yards” (he didn’t have final cut) for the film’s theatrical release, but the filmmaker at least got his director’s cut released on DVD.
- Kevin Jagernauth
The Lost City Of Z, 2016.
Directed by James Gray.
The true-life story of early 20th century soldier-turned-explorer Percy Fawcett who discovered signs of an early civilisation in the Amazon basin. After serving in World War I, he made a final expedition, along with his teenage son, convinced that he would at long last find both the location and the proof he’d been searching for.
Think of a director who could make an epic movie, and somewhere at the foot of the list would be James Gray. Films like The Yards (2000) and Two Lovers (2008) earned him Palme D’Or nominations that didn’t translate into box office. The Immigrant (2013) fared even worse: not only was its distribution severely limited in America, it didn’t even make it into UK cinemas. Now, after working on essentially the fringes »
- Freda Cooper
Author: Jon Lyus
We’re huge fans of James Gray’s work on HeyUGuys. His work on films such as We Own the Night, Two Lovers and 2013’s under-seen (but often on Netflix) classic The Immigrant are stirring works of an assured cinematic hand. Next week his latest film, The Lost City of Z, arrives in UK cinemas, and is well worth your time.
The film tells the story, so vividly brought to life in David Grann’s 2009 bestseller, subtitled: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, of explorer Percy Fawcett. His journeys deep into the Amazon to uncover the secrets of a lost civilization were followed intently at the time, making his disappearance in 1925 of the most enduring mysteries of the 20th century.
- Jon Lyus
While those in the United States have to wait a little over a month for James Gray‘s Amazon-set (and -distributed, fittingly) epic The Lost City of Z, those in the United Kingdom will be able to see this month. We’ve had a few trailers already, but now another look at the film, starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland, has landed, and while it’s the briefest one yet, it does a strong job at selling the scope of the adventure that awaits.
We said in our review, “The lushness of its images, how they simultaneously recall and move forward, in concert with its confidence in its pacing, as a work of both writing and editing, are a powerful thing taken in-tandem, and it all brings us to a final image I can’t entirely make heads or tails of but will be turning over »
- Leonard Pearce
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