With the thirtieth anniversary for the release of Steven Soderbergh’s sex, lies, and videotape (1989) come upon us, the time is now to revisit the filmmaker’s feature-length narrative debut as well as its place in cinematic history, according to The Independent. It was the first independent film to succeed as much as it did, winning the Palme d’Or for a twenty-seven-year-old Soderbergh, the youngest director to do so, and grossing a hundred million worldwide on a million-dollar budget. Not only that, but it also laid the foundation for Soderbergh’s career, with his eclectic genres ranging from mainstream to arthouse sensibilities.
A seventy-nine-year-old Peter Fonda, the son of Academy Award-winning actor Henry Fonda and younger brother of Jane Fonda, died Friday, fifty years after the release of the film that made him a star, Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider (1969), which he co-scripted, according to Fox Business. Easy Rider grossed sixty million dollars worldwide against a budget of less than four hundred thousand, and Fonda went on to perform in: Victor Nuñez’s Ulee’s Gold (1997), sitting at a nine million-dollar gross; James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma (2007), with fifty three million dollars at the box office; and Kelly Asbury, Rich Moore, and Walt Becker’s Wild Hogs (2007), which took home four hundred twenty-one million. A nonconformist, countercultural icon, Fonda had forty-five acting credits to his name.
When the preview for Paul Feig’s Last Christmas (2019) dropped this week, dozens of film theorists took to Twitter to dissect the three-minute clip, according to The Guardian. The going consensus is that the final twist will reveal the leading man is either a ghost, an angel, or a dream, because his character always sneaks up on hers, delivers cryptic lines, never changes his outfit, and doesn’t interact with anybody else. The romantic comedy, written by Emma Thompson, stars Henry Golding and Emilia Clarke, and features the music of George Michael, sharing a title with the Wham! song, “Last Christmas.”
Beginning August 16, Criterion Channel will spotlight eleven films Barbara Stanwyck made between 1930 and 1934 before Hays Code-era restrictions censored the silver screen, according to Fox News. Imogen Sara Smith, the historian hosting the marathon, says Stanwyck (born Ruby Stevens in 1907 Brooklyn) was orphaned at the age of four, dropped out of school as a thirteen-year-old, performed for speakeasies at fifteen, became a Broadway star five years later, and found work in Hollywood in 1929. The actress did not retire until her late seventies, with more than eighty movie and television credits to her name when she died from congestive heart failure in 1990.
On Monday, Francis Ford Coppola debuted his three-hour Apocalypse Now Final Cut (1979), initially edited for the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, at the Hollywood Arclight Cinerama Dome, according to USA Today. Still longer than the original, the runtime is shorter than 2001’s Apocalypse Now Redux, which added forty-nine minutes of extended footage from scenes of the river, French plantation, Playboy Playmates, as well as Marlon Brando, with the auteur calling this latest incarnation “a version that I like.” The final cut will screen in select IMAX theaters Thursday and Sunday, and a home entertainment release is scheduled for August 27.
Film has the power to misrepresent history in the collective memory of its audience, especially for younger generations who have not lived through any past events portrayed onscreen, according to Psychology Today. Indeed, studies show how believable misinformation can change memories, and in persuasion and social psychology, the “sleeper” effect is able to make people believe something they didn’t agree with or believe earlier. Doctor Alan D. Castel writes that in a perfect world, a recent example of alternate history like Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) would inspire viewers to research the facts behind the fiction.
At a press conference in Moscow for his Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), Quentin Tarantino said Wednesday his tenth and final film will function as a “show-stopping climax” if you read his other nine movies as one story, according to Uproxx. Describing his filmography as “boxcars connected to each other,” the auteur did not mention whether his R-rated Star Trek screenplay will mark his grand finale, or if he will bow out with an original idea. In an interview with GQ Australia, Tarantino told the publication that while he plans to retire from theatrical filmmaking, he will still write books and plays.