The Guardian critic Erik Morse was twelve years old when he saw a heavily edited version of Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill (1980) for the first time on late-night television. According to Morse, in the decade before the film started appearing regularly on cable as well as video rentals, the Italian “giallo,” the genre from which De Palma borrows most heavily, had been followed up by low-budget slashers and erotic thrillers. Morse writes, “Dressed to Kill’s kaleidoscopic atmosphere – its watery, soft-focus lens, garish colour palette and flashy, optical tricks such as slow-motion, mirrored surfaces, split screens and dioptres – was a feast for my languorous, pre-teen senses.”
After meeting with a panel of five filmmakers yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced he will issue guidelines Monday for film and television companies to resume production in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to The Mercury News. Among those sitting on the panel were director-producer Ava DuVernay, as well as Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. DuVernay, who lost a family member and a crew member to COVID-19, says the quarantine has had positive impacts on the filmmaking process, such as virtual writers rooms, in addition to fewer cast and crew crowding together on sets.
After more than two years of campaigning on social media under the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut, fans of the DC Extended Universe will get to stream the director’s cut of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2017) on HBO Max in 2021, according to Fox Business. During the production of the film – which stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, uniting some of the world’s most famous characters to face an apocalyptic threat – Snyder’s daughter committed suicide, forcing him to leave the production while Joss Whedon reportedly reshot the movie. Snyder told The Hollywood Reporter today, “You probably saw one-fourth of what I did.”
Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989) – written as well as produced by the filmmaker, and starring Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, John Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson, and Lee himself – is one of the greatest films of all time, according to Far Out Magazine. Regardless, the racially charged release was only nominated in two categories at that year’s Academy Awards (Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay), winning neither. Some critics said the movie could “incite black audiences to riot,” to which Lee responded, “I don’t remember people saying people were going to come out of theatres killing people after they watched Arnold Schwarzenegger films.”
In celebration of Alien Day in April, The Guardian critic Ben Child ranked the eight films in the classic science fiction series from worst to best. Beginning with Paul W. S. Anderson’s Alien vs. Predator (2004) as well as Colin and Greg Strause’s Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) tied for last, Child argues James Cameron’s Aliens (1986) surpasses Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) as the greatest installment in the saga. Child writes, “Final mention, however, goes to Scott’s original Alien… At the time, there had simply been no more terrifying movie ever made by Hollywood, while [Sigourney] Weaver delivered a career-making performance.”
Luca Guadagnino, who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing his Call Me By Your Name (2017), is set to direct a remake of Scarface written by the Coen Brothers, according to The Guardian. Howard Hawks directed the 1932 original starring Paul Muni, while Brian De Palma directed the 1983 version starring Al Pacino. Back in 2011, Martin Bergman, who produced De Palma’s Scarface, was named as a producer for the remake, with David Yates lined up to direct a screenplay by David Ayer, until Bergman died in 2018 and Dylan Clark, producer of Matt Reeves’s The Batman (2021), took over.
Since Hayao Miyazaki announced in 2016 he was coming out of retirement to follow up The Wind Rises (2013) with How Do You Live?, Studio Ghibli producer and general manager Toshio Suzuki says a team of sixty animators finished thirty-six minutes of film, according to IndieWire. This is compared to Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro (1988), which took eight animators eight months to complete; Suzuki says at one minute of hand-drawn animation per month and twelve minutes’ worth of movie a year, How Do You Live? will be done in three years. It is an adaptation of Yoshino Genzaburo’s 1937 coming-of-age tale.
Lifetime unveiled this year’s “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” holiday film lineup, which includes a movie starring a ninety-eight-year-old Betty White, according to CBS News. In the movie, White will play a character who “helps whip would-be Santas into shape, spreading the true meaning of Christmas,” which leads the rest of the cast to wonder if she’s secret Mrs. Claus. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the twenty-eight holiday pictures are all in various stages of production, with the first set to premiere October 25 – Marie Osmond, Kelly Rowland, Melissa Joan Hart, as well as Mario Lopez will also appear in their own titles.
Pamela Hutchinson, writing for The Guardian, reviewed Federico Fellini’s 8½ (1963) after seeing it for the first time. According to Hutchinson, Fellini’s surrealist comedy-drama about a creatively blocked filmmaker named Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni) is inspired by the director’s own… well… lack of inspiration and it is “an easy film to admire from the off… fluid and dreamlike.” However, Hutchinson takes issue with the film’s representation of Guido’s mistress, wife, and star, “mostly buxom and/or bothersome,” who appear in one of his fantasies as a harem of women who bathe him like an infant until he attacks them with a whip.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine took to Twitter on Tuesday to confirm that Tom Cruise will shoot his next action blockbuster on the International Space Station, according to Business Insider. Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has been making strides toward sending private citizens to space (including the launch date for its first crewed mission to the station on May 27), will provide the flight, while NASA will charge a fee for independent astronauts to come aboard; Russia is the only country that can ship people to and from the station, where private citizen access will be granted to its facilities. No studio has officially greenlit the project as of yet.