Opening: Corpses, Con Artists, and the New Cronenberg

This week, see Will Smith co-star with The Wolf of Wall Street's Margot Robbie in a romantic comedy/caper film, check out Canadian auteur David Cronenberg's latest, or watch Christopher Walken do a song and dance in a musical shot by the Prince of Darkness himself, the late Gordon Willis.


What's it about? Will Smith and Margot Robbie are con man and con woman in a twisty caper film. Who the devil made it? The directorial team of Glenn Ficarra and Jon Requa (Crazy, Stupid, LoveI Love You Phillip Morris) was in charge on set. Xavier Pérez Grobet, known for TV series including LookingMarco Polo, and Enlightened, is the DP. What are the tech specs? It was shot in "Hawk Scope" anamorphic with the ARRI Alexa XT and Hawk V-Lite 1.3x lenses. According to USA Today, it is the first "big Hollywood production" edited (by Jan Kovac) with Apple FCP X, and Apple has posted a detailed look at workflow for the show. The DCP is 2K with 5.1 and 7.1 sound. Is it any good? Rotten Tomatoes: 57%. Metacritic: 56/100. Where's it playing? Everywhere. Will it make any money? The R rating ("language, some sexual content and brief violence") may hold it back; analysts are expecting an opening in the low $20 million range.

The Lazarus Effect


What's it about? Precocious medical researchers (Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Donald Glover, et al.) discover a way to bring dead patients back to life. Who the devil made it? Director David Gelb is best known as the director and cinematographer of the hit 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of SushiWhat are the tech specs? DP Michael Fimognari (Oculus) shot with the Sony F65. Is it any good? Apparently so. Rotten Tomatoes: 15%. Metacritic: 32/100. Where's it playing? Everywhere. Will it make any money? Not a lot, but with a reported $5 million budget and a PG-13 rating, it will turn a profit before the weekend's over.

Maps to the Stars


What's it about? A Hollywood acting family has real problems. Who the devil made it? Director David Cronenberg, whose body of work runs the gamut from out-and-out horror to black comedy and satirical psychodrama, directed a screenplay by sardonic L.A.-based novelist Bruce Wagner. What are the tech specs? Cronenberg's longtime DP, Peter Suschitzky, ASC, BSC, shot 4K raw with the Sony F55 and Panavision PVintage lenses. It's being distributed as a 2K DCP. Is it any good? Rotten Tomatoes: 65%. Metacritic: 65/100. Where's it playing? Spotty limited theatrical release nationwide, plus VOD. Will it make any money? Negligible amounts, even with 2015 Oscar-winner Julianne Moore in the lead. Cronenberg told Indiewire, "It's not obviously a very big commercial movie, and even as an independent film it's difficult …. It's a hard sell."

L.A. Repertory and Offbeat: This Saturday night, director Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil) joins documentary filmmaker David Gregory at a Cinefamily screening of Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's "Island of Dr. Moreau", which tells the crazy behind-the-scenes story of the 1996 sci-fi/horror production starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer, from which Stanley was fired after just one day of shooting.


New York Repertory and Offbeat: Ever seen Christopher Walken do a song-and-dance striptease to "Let's Misbehave?" On Saturday or Sunday, trek to Astoria, Queens, to view a restored 35mm print of Pennies from Heaven from the Academy Film Archive. It's closing out the Museum of the Moving Image's See It Big! Gordon Willis series showcasing the cinematographer's finest work. 

The Oscars vs. The Guilds: How Their Awards Compare


It's no secret that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as a whole, is a very different beast from its component parts. Oscar nominees are generally chosen only by members of the corresponding branch of the academy, so that film editors nominate film editors, directors nominate directors, and so forth. But when it comes time to choose the winners, all voting members vote in all Oscar categories (unless they choose to abstain). If your peers recognize something especially difficult in your work that gets you on the ballot but earns only a shrug from the larger group, well, it really is a great honor just to be nominated.

We thought it would be interesting to put this year's Oscar-winners side by side in their respective categories with the different guild winners to see how often the collective wisdom of the Academy differs from the guild picks. The answer — this year at least — is not that often. All four acting categories matched up, which is the expected result since actors make up the dominant voting block inside the academy. But most other categories aligned as well, with cinematography, costume design, production design, and make-up and hairstyling matching up closely.

Where were the notable deviations? Well, the Visual Effects Society honored the groundbreaking CG character work of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes while the Academy was more wowed by the jaw-dropping outer-space simulations of Interstellar. The Writers Guild honored Wes Anderson's unexpectedly affecting screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel while the Academy endorsed the very meta artist-in-crisis scenario of Birdman. The American Cinema Editors picked Sandra Adair's decade-plus-spanning work on Boyhood and Barney Pilling's expert assemblage of The Grand Budapest Hotel as the winners, while the Academy as a whole went for Tom Cross's propulsive cutting of Whiplash. Whiplash drummed up an Oscar win in the sound mixing category, too, where Cinema Audio Society members picked Birdman (which, coincidentally, has its own jazz percussion score).

We've highlighted the Academy's major departures from the guild awards in teh handy chart below. You'll have to decide for yourself whether the guilds got those picks right or if the Oscars are more your tempo.

Award category Guild winner Oscar winner
Best Picture Birdman (PGA) Birdman
Best Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman (DGA) Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Best Actress Julianne Moore, Still Alice (SAG) Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Best Actor Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything (SAG) Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette, Boyhood (SAG) Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Best Supporting Actor J.K. Simmons, Whiplash (SAG) J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Best Original Screenplay Wes Anderson (Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness), The Grand Budapest Hotel (WGA) Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo, Birdman
Best Adapted Screenplay Graham Moore, The Imitation Game (WGA) Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Best Cinematography Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, Birdman (ASC) Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, Birdman
Best Film Editing Dramatic: Sandra Adair, Boyhood
Comedy/Musical: Barney Pilling, The Grand Budapest Hotel (ACE)
Tom Cross, Whiplash
Best Visual Effects Joe Letteri, Ryan Stafford, Matt Kutcher, Dan Lemmon, Hannah Bianchini, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (VES) Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, and Scott Fisher, Interstellar
Costume Design Contemporary: Albert Wolsky, Birdman
Period: Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel (CDG)
Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Make-up and Hair Styling Contemporary Make-up: Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, Guardians of the Galaxy
Contemporary Hair Styling: Jerry Popolis and Kat Drazen, Birdman
Period and/or Character Make-up: Frances Hannon and Julie Dartnell, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Period and/or Character Hair Styling: Frances Hannon and Julie Dartnell, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Special Make-up Effects: David White, Guardians of the Galaxy (MUAHS)
Frances Hannon and Julie Dartnell, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Production Design Period: Adam Stockhausen, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fantasy: Charles Wood, Guardians of the Galaxy
Contemporary: Kevin Thompson, Birdman (ADG)
Adam Stockhausen, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Sound Editing Dialogue/ADR: Unbroken
Effects/Foley: American Sniper
Music: Birdman (MSPE)
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, American Sniper
Sound Mixing Thomas Varga, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Gustavo Borner, Jason Oliver, John Sanacore, Birdman Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley, Whiplash
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What to See This Weekend: 2/20/15

This week's offerings include a sequel nobody really expected, an inspirational true story from Kevin Costner and Walt Disney Pictures, a Best Foreign Film Oscar nominee, and a little-seen alternate version of a 1980s classic.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

What's it about? More R-rated temporal hijinks propel a second sci-fi comedy with hot tub time travelers Jacob (Clark Duke), Nick (Craig Robinson) and Lou (Rob Corddry). Who the devil made it? Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink is back at the helm. Jamie Gross (MacGruber, Childrens Hospital) edited and Declan Quinn, ASC (Rachel Getting Married; Leaving Las Vegas), is the cinematographer. What are the tech specs? It was shot with the ARRI Alexa XT. Mitch Paulson was the colorist at Efilm. Is it any good? Well, shooting took place back in 2013 and the studio didn't exactly rush it into theaters. Furthermore—Rotten Tomatoes: 12%. Metacritic: 30/100. Where's it playing? Everywhere. Will it make any money? The first one was a minor box-office dud, fighting its way to $50 million domestic. But it was a hit on digital formats and became a cable-TV staple. The absence of co-star John Cusack from this film won't help any, but fans of goofy humor may drive another opening in the $13-$15 million range.

McFarland, USA

What's it about? In a true story given the Disney treatment, a coach (Kevin Costner) leads a Latino high school cross-country team from obscurity to championship status. Who the devil made it? Kiwi director Niki Caro is best-known for her 2002 feature debut, Whale Rider; she has been working with editor David Coulson ever since. Co-cinematographer Adam Arkapaw is coming off TV shows True Detective and Top of the Lake; co-cinematographer Terry Stacey, ASC, shot Adventureland, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad DayWhat are the tech specs? Befitting the late-1980s period setting, it's shot with the Arricam Lite on 35mm Kodak Vision3 50D 5203 and Vision3 500T 5219. (via IMDbIs it any good? Apparently so. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 59/100. Where's it playing? Everywhere. Will it make any money? The family-friendly PG rating will earn it some business as counterprogramming, especially since multiplexes are currently full of R-rated fare. The strong reviews won't hurt, either. 

Wild Tales (Relatos salvajes)

What's it about? It's a black-comic anthology film comprising six standalone narratives. Who the devil made it? Damián Szifrón, best-known for producing, writing and directing the hugely popular Argentinian TV series Los Simuladores, wrote, directed and edited. What are the tech specs? Lauded Argentine cinematographer Javier Julia shot mostly with the ARRI Alexa, framing for 2.40:1. The director favored shooting with wide-angle glass (20mm) and low-light scenes were captured with a very fast lens (F1.3). (via CinevivoIs it any good? It showed in competition at Cannes last year, when it was also selected for Telluride and Toronto, and it's nominated for a Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar. So yeah, probably. Also, Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 73/100. Where's it playing? At the Arclight Hollywood and The Landmark in L.A. and at the Lincoln Plaza and Landmark Sunshine in New York. Will it make any money? It's a pretty low-profile release but it'll get a boost — and a wider release — if it wins the Oscar on Sunday night. Will it win the Oscar? Maybe. The cinematographers' favorite, Ida, is the presumed front-runner, but buzz is building behind this one.


L.A. Repertory: You could do a lot worse than tonight's retro double feature of Back to the Future and Return to Oz at LACMA's Bing Theater, both part of an AMPAS series looking at costume design in adventure films from 1985. A box-office failure whose reputation has been slowly rehabilitated in the decades since its original release, Return to Oz is the sole feature directed by film-editing and sound-design giant Walter Murch. Admission is $3 for Academy members and a measly $5 for everyone else.


New York Repertory: Speaking of retro, New Yorkers get a shot at a rare Sunday-matinee screening of the 35mm preview cut of director Joe Dante's 1984 monster-movie classic, Gremlins, which runs five minutes longer than the finished film. (Two Judge Reinhold scenes were dropped completely and the ending was changed.) It's part of the annual Film Comment Selects series curated by the folks at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Film Comment magazine—you can read film critic Michael Sragow's all-about-Gremlins interview with Dante at the Film Comment website now.

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Casting Your Low-Budget Movie

There are several parts to the casting process. Putting out a cattle call is probably not for you on your first film. You don't really know what you'll get. You're better off identifying your principal actors in a more focused way. Sure, if you have a big budget you can go to an agent and bid for specific actors. But for low-budget films, casting can be a hit-or-miss affair, and it's usually collaborative. By that, I mean you need an actor for cheap, and they need exposure. They'll be evaluating your property—at least smart actors will—to see if it can be a vehicle for them.

But you don't want it to be hit or miss. This is your opportunity, and you want quality all the way.

You could, if you had a decent budget, hire a good casting director. Casting is an art and a science. It involves psychology and it can be delicate. It takes skill. Casting directors understand actors and know how to look past the slick photos and credits to the human beneath. That's important because every good actor uses who they are to interpret their character. A good casting director also interacts with the actor in readings. They will give them various bits of direction to see how the individual handles it.

But you don't have a decent budget, so you have to be your own casting director. If you take the job seriously, you can do it well. But it will take some preparation. You need to know what you're looking for in a performer, and how to elicit it. As a casting director you need to be an actor's director, one who has empathy and can reach inside an actor and help bring out their best. There is one very important advantage to doing your own casting: control with insight. One thing that will help is if you can muster confidence without arrogance.

Directing is what film making is all about. The director has a vision that is not imposed upon the actors, but is shared with them. The actor wants a lot of things—but mostly to be a good actor. Good actors want to give you what you need. Good directors are able to form a symbiotic relationship with each actor so that the final performance is a collaboration. During casting, your job is to find out if such a relationship is possible. At this stage of the game, we're not even thinking about all the technical responsibilities the director has. Too many “directors” spend little time thinking about the actors and most of their time concerned about the technical aspects of their job. That's poor form.


The Basics of Casting Your Film
There are a few key categories to consider when casting. There is overlap, but this breakdown can be helpful:

Celebrities. Sure, it would be cool to cast a well-known and well-loved actor. It will bring investors, credibility and fans to your project, and the actor will probably bring experience that you will learn from. But at least on my first film, I would avoid celebrities. Casting one has many inherent problems, not the least of which is your ability to direct them. How confident will you be in insisting that they do it your way, fitting the story and the project, rather than their way, which fits only their perception of their part. Symbiosis can be difficult to achieve with a star. If you're good, you can establish a rapport and help them. But I've also seen veteran actors give crap performances with a bad director. Also, you will find that celebrities are protected in many ways by their agents and lawyers, so it's unlikely that you will attract a celebrity the first time out. There are ways to do it, but we'll save that for another time. As producer and director on this low-budget film, you need to be the guy in charge.

Faces. There are hundreds of out-of-work faces—people we all recognize even though we don't know their names. Older actors who still like to dabble may be available, and they often bring a certain amount of respectability to your project. I'm thinking of some of the stars of past sitcoms and sci-fi TV series. Other familiar faces are usually supporting actors in TV series or movies. Faces work for a living, and it can be a tough business, with a long time between jobs. Several of my friends have had great success finding faces and getting them involved in their project. It can be a win-win. I recommend that you make some effort to find a face or two, or even more, to attach to your project. You can do this by offering them a great script, a role that will allow them to stretch beyond their stereotype, and, best of all, a competent director that they can relate to. More later on how to find faces.

Gary and Meridith

Local Colorado actors Gary and Meredith Daniel on-stage at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue. 

Established actors. Every community has actors that are well established and talented. You'll find them in local clubs and at community theaters. Here in my corner of the Colorado Rockies, we have the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, full of excellent actors. You can often find them online in local searches, but usually they're not hard to discover.

Emerging talent. There is a vast pool of fine new acting talent out there. Nobody knows their names. Most have played extras or small speaking parts, so we may have seen their faces but are unlikely to remember them. They have support groups where they gather and can be discovered via showcases, public readings, and YouTube reels. These are usually young people who are finding their legs in acting and might jump at a chance to act in a film so they can put it on their reel.

The Pre-Casting Process
​Be active. Good actors often put on showcases. Go to them because they're usually well done and very entertaining. As a director, you will get an opportunity to see several actors showing their best stuff. If you're like me, you'll find bits and pieces inspiring—and you might even steal some ideas—but most important is that you make contact with those actors whom you feel you can work with and afford. Make it a win-win as cleverly as you can.

Also, drama schools often organize year-end showcases for their better students. Actors' groups do them as well. I even found some very good actors by going to readings organized by Tulis McCall at a bar in Santa Monica. In L.A. and New York, we also have something called “fringe theater” that's about as low-budget as you can get, and yet, seriously, you can see some damn fine performances. It's another great place to find your actors. Your nearest city most likely has its own kind of fringe scene. I also subscribe to several actors' newsletters. Here's a video from Tulis about a great New York resource, just for example.


An individual casting pag efor an actress at

Casting Services
​These days, you can probably afford a professional casting service online. For example, Casting Networks Incorporated represents hundreds of fine, mostly established but often out-of-work actors. They work internationally as well. The actors pay a monthly fee for premium exposure (they do have free listings as well). You, as a casting director, create a webpage describing your project. Then you post it for free on their site, where thousands of hopefuls can see it. You will get the usual agent stuff—photos, CV, and for many, videos of performances—on those you select. Just remember that a great demo clip of an actor is really a collaborative effort. So what you see on the video may not be what you get or are capable of bringing out. But let's hope it is.

Studios_inside_web_2Another free and useful service that's international in scope is Spotlight: The Home of Casting. Check it out. They even have studio space that you can rent for a reasonable rate. (See the shot at right for an example.) They have a reputation and have been involved with some pretty big projects, like House of Cards, The Imitation Game and more, so they have credibility. These services often represent faces.

Here's another: Casting Frontier.

I like the idea of pre-casting, because you have an idea of what you'll be dealing with. If it's a small production, you may be able to find all your actors without an official cattle call. Those can be long and draining and often go not far. With a typical casting call, you will be astounded how many hopefuls have big hopes and little talent. But then you spot the one. He or she will stand out—that is, if you know talent when you see it. Many of us do not recognize actual talent. Again, let's hope you do.

You want to pick only a few candidates for each part. Send them a synopsis of the movie and the script section you want them to read.

The Process
Now you have the actor coming to your low-budget casting space. Don't feel bad about the space. Crappy spaces are not uncommon. It's good if you can get a backstage space or some other theatrical place. It lends credibility. So you, as director, must find a way to maintain your confidence, at least on the outside. First time out, all sides are a bit intimidated. It's your job to put everyone at ease (including yourself).

Make your actor feel wanted when he or she walks in the door. Smile, On a cold day, offer them hot cocoa. Seriously, reach inside yourself and pull out the kind, understanding and appreciative side. Do not be afraid to make them feel that you are honored by their presence. Why? Because this is not your time to establish yourself as the boss. You can do that later. This is the time for you to connect with the actor and find out who they are. You've looked at their reel, their stills, but now you find out who they really are.

During the reading, I recommend you forget about all the reasons you called in these particular actors. Use your instincts and get a feel for them. Ask for different interpretations of the character. See how they take direction. Do they get it? Are they versatile? Are they fun to work with? Do you like them? Do they look the part? You'll have an instinctive feel for these things if you pay attention.

Nina FochDuring this series, I will refer to the excellent Nina Foch Course For Filmmakers and Actors on DVD. Nina (pictured at left) was a legendary teacher at USC who passed away in December, 2008. A loss to our community. Fortunately, George Lucas and Randal Kleiser, as a labor of love, produced this wonderful DVD set. If you want to make a movie, get it, study it and believe what she tells you. Nina demonstrates how a casting director can best get a representative performance out of an actor. Randal Kleiser told me, “Nina Foch was my mentor. Most of what I know about directing I learned from her.” Randal is the fine director of my fave hits The Blue Lagoon and Grease, among many others.

Nina advises that you have each actor do two or three reads, changing the directions each time. In one instance, she tells the actress on the third read: “Okay, now I want you to beat the shit out of him.” She explains not physically, but verbally and emotionally. The actress tries but cannot do it. Nina explains that now we know she doesn't have access to that part of herself. But she makes it perfectly clear that that actress has it in her, she just doesn't know how to access it. So if you find an otherwise perfect actor who can't show anger? As a talented director, you must have the confidence to help her bring that out, or you must cast someone else.

Don't forget YouTube. Do a search for “Actor's Showcase” “New York” 2015, substituting your location and current year, to find a ton of good actors' reels. If you want tips on how to do casting, there are lots of video resources for both actors and directors. Please, use local talent when you can.

In the end, casting is both an art and a science. You have to use feel and observation, and you need to test your subjects under different conditions to see how they do. Don't think of this as a low-priority part of filmmaking. Like most parts of the job, it is critical. By taking the time to learn the ropes here, you further your chances of becoming a successful filmmaker. And remember the final print will show a performance that is a symbiosis of both you and the actor. I'll have more on directing soon.

If you're curious why I feel qualified to present this advice, just remember that I've been been a journalist in the industry for more than two decades and I've studied, interviewed, and spent a lot of time with filmmakers worldwide. I've seen the ups and downs and watched them jump willingly into pitfalls. I've made note of which people do well and which ones do not, and why. I'm also a writer and a psychologist—two allied fields to filmmaking, believe it or not. I also vet my thoughts through successful filmmakers that I know. So take from this series what you will.

What to See This Weekend: 2/13/15

Fifty Shades of Grey


2048_fifty-shadesWhat's it about? A literature student (Dakota Johnson) and a wealthy businessman (Jamie Dornan) have an unusual sexual relationship. Who the devil made it? Director Sam Taylor-Johnson (right) was an accomplished visual artist before she became a filmmaker, and ace cinematographer Seamus McGarvey (AtonementThe Avengers) knows his way around a movie camera. Danny Elfman contributed the score. What are the tech specs? Shot with the ARRI Alexa XT with Panavision C-Series and E-Series anamorphic primes plus AWZ2 and ATZ anamorphic zooms. Recorded in 2.8K ARRIRAW on the Codex system. Finished and distributed at 2K. (via IMDbIs it any good? Rotten Tomatoes: 34%. Metacritic: 47/100. Where's it playing? Everywhere, including, believe it or not, the huge IMAX theater at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square in New York City. Will it make any money? Yep. It will be one of the widest R-rated openings of all time, and many weekend showtimes are already sold out. A $60 million dollar opening over the four-day President's Day/Valentine's Day weekend seems likely as a floor, and some observers are speculating that box-office could approach the $100 million mark by Monday night. Two sequels are already in the works.

Kingsman: The Secret Service


What's it about? A secret spy program faces off against a tech magnate in an over-the-top action film The Guardian describes as a "thrillingly adolescent 007 pastiche." Who the devil made it? Director and co-screenwriter Matthew Vaughn, best-known for Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, adapts a comic book by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar. Who did the VFX? Prime Focus World, Nvizage, BaseBlack, Millennium FX, Blind, Nvizible, The Visual Effects Company, For Realise, BUF and Peanut Outsource. (via CinefexWhat are the tech specs? Shot with the ARRI Alexa XT and Hawk V-Lite anamorphic lenses. Recorded in 2.8K ARRIRAW on the Codex system. Finished and distributed at 2K. (via IMDbIs it any good? Rotten Tomatoes: 74%. Metacritic: 58/100. Where's it playing? Everywhere. Will it make any money? It seems likely. Expect a four-day opening in the $30-$40 million range.

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus


What's it about? A cursed artifact afflicts an anthropologist with an addiction to blood in this "reinterpretation" of the cult horror film Ganja & HessWho the devil made it? It's a Spike Lee joint. Who did the make-up FX? That would be Josh Turi, a multiple Emmy-winner for his work with Saturday Night Live. What are the tech specs? Cinematographer Daniel Patterson shot with the Sony F55. Lots of details are online at Deep Fried MoviesIs it any good? Rotten Tomatoes: 47%. Metacritic: 56/100. Where's it playing? New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Cleveland, OH, Detroit, MI, Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA, Lubbock, TX, and Phoenix, AZ. Also available on Vimeo and VOD platforms. Will it make any money? Not much, but if Spike Lee's fanbase turns out and word of mouth is good, it could do OK. See it this weekend if you want to catch it on the big screen.


L.A. Repertory: Catch director Bob Fosse's Lenny and All That Jazz, both screening at the 35mm-only New Beverly this weekend. The phenomenal All That Jazz — #4 on the Motion Picture Editors Guild's 2012 list of the best-edited films of all time — was spoofed in the second episode of Breaking Bad sequel/prequel Better Call Saul.


zardoz-1973-01-gNew York Repertory: Use Film Forum's John Boorman retrospective as an excuse to catch up on some movies you haven't seen, or revist an old favorite — like the amazing Lee Marvin revenge thriller Point Blank (above), a master class in widescreen cinematography that was shot while John Wick's Keanu Reeves was likely still in diapers, or the one-of-a-kind post-apocalyptic epic Zardoz, starring an early-1970s-era Sean Connery (right) in a fancy red loincloth. It's all a run-up to the release of the director's latest film, the Hope and Glory sequel Queen and Country, which opens exclusively at Film Forum on Wednesday, February 18.

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