Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell” (2019) draws political controversy

Clint Eastwood’s latest film, Richard Jewell (2019), shows The Atlanta Journal-Constitution police reporter Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde) trading sex for tips from an FBI agent (Jon Hamm), which editor-in-chief Kevin G. Riley says is untrue, according to The Guardian. Riley says the movie is anti-media and anti-FBI, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has defended their naming of security guard Jewell as a suspect in the 1996 Olympics bombing that killed one and injured more than a hundred others based on the information they had at the time. Scruggs died in 2001, and Jewell in 2007; his libel lawsuit against The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was rejected by the Georgia court of appeals in 2011.

“Frozen II” to be a financial juggernaut for Disney

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Sequels are lucrative for Disney; Andrew Stanton’s Finding Dory (2016) garnered more than a billion dollars at the box office, Brad Bird’s Incredibles 2 (2018) holds the top ever opening for an animated movie in North America, and Frozen IIIncredibles 2, and Josh Cooley’s Toy Story 4 (2019) are all in the top three Atom Tickets pre-sales for animated flicks. (Image Courtesy: CNBC).

Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s Frozen II  (2019) is projected to be Disney’s sixth billion-dollar release of 2019; the studio has already earned more than eight billion dollars globally since January, breaking the record it set in 2016, according to CNBC. The film is estimated to make anywhere between a hundred twenty million and a hundred forty million its opening weekend, having already sold the most advance tickets on Atom Tickets of all time for an animated picture. Analysts say the coming-of-age sequel will pick up not long after its parent feature leaves off, with the cast of characters leaving Arendelle to save their kingdom.

US Justice Department strikes down landmark “Paramount Decree” after seventy years

As part of his review of legacy antitrust decisions (up next is a 1941 music royalties decree) since his appointment in 2017, Makan Delrahim, the chief of the United States Department of Justice’s antitrust division, struck down the Paramount Decree, according to the Financial Times. The 1948 competition case began as a 1938 price-fixing and monopolization lawsuit against eight Hollywood film companies; the outcome regulated the divestiture between distribution and theater ownership, as well as the practice of studios dictating minimum ticket prices. Delrahim told an American Bar Association antitrust conference in Washington online streaming services have changed exhibition over the last eighty years, but the Independent Cinema Alliance says this move will hurt smaller theater chains.

Composer discusses film scoring

On Wednesday, Branford College hosted a Residential College Tea with composer Howard Shore, who shared with conductor John Mauceri the technical method as well as the emotional artistry behind cinematic scoring, according to the Yale Daily News. Shore, who scored the likes of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, says one must be disciplined enough to write music bar by bar and page by page, while, at the same time, composing from the heart, rather than analytically or intellectually (which all comes later). Shore’s next project will be featured in François Girard’s The Song of Names (2019), with a Christmas Day release date.

This year’s Best Picture race

The male-dominated Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019) and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman (2019) and the female-led Jay Roach’s Bombshell (2019) and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women (2019) are all Best Picture contenders, according to The New York Times. If so, then Gerwig may be competing with boyfriend Noah Baumbach and his Marriage Story (2019), which represents Netflix alongside The Irishman as well as Fernando Meirelles’s The Two Popes (2019). Todd Phillips’s Joker (2019), Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (2019), Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit (2019), and Lulu Wang’s The Farewell (2019) will be up against the as of yet unreleased Sam Mendes’s 1917 (2019), Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell (2019), and Tom Hooper’s Cats (2019).

Film and native language preservation

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Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown’s SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna (Edge of the Knife) (2018) is the first motion picture ever to depict the language and culture of Haida Gwaii; fewer than twenty-four people speak Haida fluently. (Image Courtesy: The New Yorker).

One hundred sixty-five indigenous languages remain out of the three hundred spoken in North America before colonization, and tribal elders, humanitarians, as well as linguists are tapping into the power of film to preserve these dying tongues, according to The New Yorker. Following the release of Zacharias Kunuk’s Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) (2001), the first feature to be written, directed, and acted in the eastern Inuit dialect of Inuktitut, the likes of the Star Wars saga and Andrew Stanton’s Finding Nemo (2003) have been translated into Navajo. Iñupiaq filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean says, “In the academic space, the language survives; in the cultural space, the language lives.”

Agatha Christie’s cinematic renaissance

With the release of Rian Johnson’s Agatha Christie-esque whodunit Knives Out (2019) coming up November 29, the Queen of Crime is making a comeback after BBC One’s Miss Marple (1984-1992) and ITV’s Poirot (1989-2013) sanitized her writing, according to The Guardian. Johnson cites Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express (2017) as well as even Kyle Newacheck’s Christie parody, Murder Mystery (2019), as inspirations behind his own homage. David Brawn of HarperCollins, Christie’s publisher for the last twenty-five years, says the darker, more psychological crime authors of the 1980s are the reason audiences stopped taking her as seriously.