Between the programming on Turner Classic Movies, the Columbia Noir series currently streaming on the Criterion Channel, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, film noir has found itself part of the contemporary critical conversation again, according to The New York Times. It is difficult, if not impossible, to define noir, if for no other reason than that it transcends genre, but critic Ben Kenigsberg says Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place (1950), which is streaming on Criterion’s Columbia Noir series, is a “place for getting a handle on what noir is.” Kenigsberg writes, “It has elements of murder mystery, melodrama and Hollywood insider scoop.”
James Parrott’s The Music Box (1932), a half-hour Laurel and Hardy short, premiered April 16, 1932, according to The Post-Standard. In the slapstick duo’s masterpiece, Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel play a couple of bumbling furniture movers who deliver a player-piano to a wealthy man’s house (Professor Theodore von Schwartzenhoffen, M.D., A.D., D.D.S., F.L.D., F-F-F-and-F (Billy Gilbert)). The film earned Stan and Ollie their first Academy Award, and it debuted almost thirty-two years to the day when a pair of Syracuse deliverymen brought down a chimney with the weight of their pulleys while delivering a piano on April 22, 1900.
With most of the world on lockdown due to coronavirus, filmmakers are finding themselves forced to pitch electronically for industry events such as Visions du Reel, Frontieres, as well as Sheffield Doc/Fest, which have all moved online, according to Screen Daily. United Kingdom-based script consultant and screenwriter David Pope says the COVID-19 pandemic will be an opportunity for more industry insiders to connect internationally. However, Annick Mahnert, the newly appointed market director at the Montreal-based genre forum Frontieres, says in-face meetings will still be crucial to collaboration, but online pitches will allow professionals to forge new relationships and discuss new content.
In an interview with Empire, Darren Aronofsky said Warner Bros. dismissed him from directing a Batman film in the early 2000s because he would have cast Joaquin Phoenix as Bruce Wayne whereas the studio wanted Freddie Prinze, Junior, according to New Music Express. Christopher Nolan ended up being hired to reboot the DC Comics franchise, while Phoenix would later go on to play the Caped Crusader’s archnemesis in Todd Phillips’s Joker (2019). Meanwhile, Matt Reeves’s The Batman (2021), starring Robert Pattinson, is currently in the works, with a release date scheduled for next summer (unless impacted by the coronavirus pandemic).
The eleventh annual TCM Classic Film Festival, a multi-venue Hollywood fan event, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Turner Classic Movies will broadcast a “Special Home Edition” of the festival from Thursday to Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Times. Lead programmer Charlie Tabesh says it would not have been possible to exhibit all the titles they had planned for the live festival over the same four days the festival was originally scheduled, so the “Special Home Edition,” with its highlight reels, will be a unique experience. Fans can win swag through Twitter giveaways under the hashtag #TCMFF.
Because Quentin Tarantino only has ten directorial credits to his name, ranking his films per their user ratings on IMDb divides the five “best” from the five “worst,” according to Screen Rant. Indeed, Dan Peeke writes that Tarantino fans tend to love his whole filmography, and the filmmaker has yet to release one “bad” movie. From lowest to highest, the IMDb scores for Tarantino’s pictures are as follows: Death Proof (2007), at seven-point-five out of ten; Jackie Brown (1997), at seven-point-five; Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), at seven-point-seven; The Hateful Eight (2015), at seven-point-eight; Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004), at eight-point-zero; Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003), at eight-point-one; Reservoir Dogs (1992), at eight-point-three; Inglourious Basterds (2009), at eight-point-three; Django Unchained (2012), at eight-point-four; and Pulp Fiction (1994), at eight-point-nine.
Video footage surfaced earlier this week of actor Ezra Miller, star of Andy Muschietti’s ill-fated The Flash (2022), allegedly choking a woman in Iceland, according to Out. During a live stream, Lords of the Long Box reported Mikey Sutton, who is known among superhero movie aficionados as a reliable source of leaked information, posted that Warner Bros. may cancel the film as well as reboot the entire DCEU pending an investigation into the clip. After appearing in David Yates’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), Miller confirmed they will be involved in a third installment of the series.