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#266 November 27, 2015

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    By Entertainer

    Sheila writes: To all the American readers of The Ebert Club, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! To spread a little joy, here is a glorious and fun "dance mash-up" of classic dance scenes from Hollywood films, to the soundtrack of "Uptown Funk." Mark Ronson was the superb editor, and he has noted that none of these clips have been sped up or slowed down to match the music. Beautifully done! Enjoy!


    Sheila writes: For starters, the Sundance Film Festival has announced part of its 2016 lineup, the 9 movies that will make up the Midnight series. Fandor has a compilation of links and clips.

    Gods of Egypt (2016). Directed by Alex Proyas. Written by Matt Sazama,
    Burk Sharpless. Starring Gerard Butler,
    Courtney Eaton,
    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Synopsis: A common thief joins a mythical god on a quest through Egypt. Opens in US theaters on February 26, 2016.

    The Bronze (2015). Red band trailer Directed by Bryan Buckley. Written by Melissa Rauch,
    Winston Rauch. Starring Melissa Rauch,
    Gary Cole,
    Haley Lu Richardson. Synopsis: A foul-mouthed former gymnastics bronze medalist must fight for her local celebrity status when a new young athlete's star rises in town. Opens in US theaters on March 11, 2016.

    A Monster Calls (2016). Directed by J.A. Bayona. Written by Patrick Ness. Starring Liam Neeson,
    Felicity Jones,
    Sigourney Weaver . Synopsis: A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom's terminal illness. Opens in US theaters on October 14, 2016.

    Krisha (2015). Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults. Starring Olivia Grace Applegate,
    Bryan Casserly,
    Alex Dobrenko. Synopsis: Krisha returns for Thanksgiving dinner after ten years away from her family, but past demons threaten to ruin the festivities. Opens in US theaters in March 2016. Exact release date TBD.

    Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016). Directed by Malcolm D. Lee. Written by Kenya Barris. Starring Ice Cube,
    Anthony Anderson=. Synopsis: It's been more than 10 years since our last appointment at Calvin's Barbershop. Calvin and his longtime crew are still there, but the shop has undergone some major changes. Most noticeably, our once male-dominated sanctuary is now co-ed. Opens in US theaters on April 15, 2016.

    The Big Short (2015). Written and directed by Adam McKay (based on the book by Michael Lewis). Starring Brad PittChristian Bale
    Ryan GoslingSteve Carell. Synopsis: Four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s decide to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed. Opens in US theaters on December 23, 2015.

    Dirty Grandpa (2016). * Red band trailer * Directed by Dan Mazer. Written by John Phillips. Starring Robert De Niro,
    Julianne Hough,
    Zac Efron . Synopsis: Right before his wedding, an uptight guy is tricked into driving his grandfather, a perverted former Army general, to Florida for spring break. Opens in US theaters on January 22, 2016.

    The Huntsman Winter's War (2016). Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. Written by Evan Spiliotopoulos,
    Craig Mazin. Starring Jessica Chastain,
    Chris Hemsworth,
    Emily Blunt . Synopsis: As two evil sisters prepare to conquer the land; two renegades - Eric the Huntsmen - who previously aided Snow White in defeating Ravenna, and his forbidden lover, Sara set out to stop them. Opens in US theaters on April 22, 2016.

    Zoolander 2 (2016). Directed by Ben Stiller. Written by Ben Stiller, Justin Theroux. Starring Ben Stiller, Penélope Cruz, Owen Wilson. Synopsis: Derek and Hansel are modelling again when an opposing company attempts to take them out from the business. Opens in US theaters on February 12, 2016.

    A Very Murray Christmas (2015). Directed by Sofia Coppola. Written by Sofia Coppola, Mitch Glazer, Bill Murray
    . Starring Bill Murray,
    Paul Shaffer,
    Michael Cera. Synopsis: Bill Murray worries no one will show up to his T.V. show due to a terrible snow-storm in New York City. Premieres on Netflix on December 4, 2015.

    The Danish Girl (2015). New trailer Directed by Tom Hooper. Written by Lucinda Coxon . Starring Eddie Redmayne,
    Alicia Vikander,
    Amber Heard. Synopsis: The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer. Opens in US theaters on November 27, 2015.

    The Boss (2016). Directed by Ben Falcone. Written by Ben FalconeMelissa McCarthy
    , Steve Mallory . Starring Melissa McCarthy,
    Kristen Bell,
    Peter Dinklage. Synopsis: A titan of industry is sent to prison after she's caught for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America's latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget. Opens in US theaters on April 8, 2016.

    The Benefactor (2015). Written and directed by Andrew Renzi. Starring Theo James,
    Dakota Fanning,
    Richard Gere. Synopsis: A philanthropist meddles in the lives of newly-married couples in an attempt to relive his past. Opens in US theaters on January 15, 2016.

    Midnight Special (2016). Written and directed by Jeff Nichols. Starring Adam Driver,
    Kirsten Dunst,
    Joel Edgerton . Synopsis: A father and son go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers. Opens in US theaters on March 15, 2016.

    Fifty Shades of Black (2016). Directed by Michael Tiddes. Written by Rick Alvarez,
    Marlon Wayans. Starring Jane Seymour,
    Marlon Wayans,
    Kali Hawk . Synopsis: A parody of the popular film/novel 50 Shades of Gray. Opens in US theaters on January 29, 2016.

    Body (2015). Written and directed by Dan Berk,
    Robert Olsen. Starring Helen Rogers,
    Alexandra Turshen,
    Lauren Molina. Synopsis: A night out turns deadly when three girls break into a seemingly empty mansion. Opens in US theaters on December 29, 2015.

    Christmas, Again (2014). Written and directed by Charles Poekel. Starring Kentucker Audley,
    Craig Butta,
    Dakota Goldhor. Synopsis: A heartbroken Christmas-tree salesman returns to New York City hoping to put his past behind him. Living in a trailer and working the night shift, he begins to spiral downwards until the saving of a mysterious woman and some colorful customers rescue him from self-destruction. Opens in US theaters on December 4, 2015.

    Dixieland (2015). Written and directed by Hank Bedford. Starring Chris Zylka,
    Riley Keough,
    Faith Hill. Synopsis: A young, recently-released and unpredictable ex-con with bad luck, and a sexy, listless girl-next-door with a troubled family, become trapped in a downward spiral of crime and obsessive love, as they try to ditch their dead-end town for a better life. Opens in US theaters on December 11, 2015.

    Captain America: Civil War (2016). Directed by Anthony Russo,
    Joe Russo. Written by Christopher Markus ,
    Stephen McFeely. Starring Scarlett Johansson,
    Chris Evans,
    Robert Downey Jr.. Synopsis: Political interference in the Avenger's activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.  Opens in US theaters on May 6, 2016.

    Arabian Nights Trilogy (2015). Directed by Miguel Gomes. Written by Telmo Churro,
    Miguel Gomes. Starring Miguel Gomes,
    Carloto Cotta,
    Adriano Luz, Crista Alfaiate,
    João Pedro Bénard,
    Margarida Carpinteiro , Crista Alfaiate,
    Bernardo Alves,
    Chico Chapas . Synopsis: Some of the chapters from Arabian Nights are adapted to a modern Portugal in this epic. Volume I opens in US theaters December 4, 2015. Volume II opens in US theaters on December 11, 2015. Volume III opens in US theaters on December 18, 2015.

    Belgica (2016). Directed by Felix van Groeningen. Written by Arne Sierens,
    Felix van Groeningen. Starring Stef Aerts,
    Tom Vermeir,
    Stefaan De Winter. Synopsis: The drama follows two brothers who start a bar and get swept up in its success in the midst of Belgium's nightlife scene. Release dates TBD.

    AFI Fest Table of Contents

    Sheila writes: Far Flung Correspondent Jana Monji attended the AFI Fest from November 5-12, 2015, and wrote up reviews of many of the films featured. Here is the Table of Contents on Great job, Jana!

    Interview with Todd Haynes

    Sheila writes: Film critic Kim Morgan interviewed Todd Haynes about "Carol," his sublime film based on Patricia Highsmith's novel, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Morgan and Haynes discuss Phyllis Nagy's adaptation, as well as how the whole project came together, plus a discussion about the "women's picture." Haynes says, "I'm really more interested in how, particularly, women’s lives bear burdens that are different from the burdens men sometimes harbor. It’s often the institution of the family or motherhood, as Mildred Pierce explores. Or the sense of maintaining the institution of the home, that you feel Carol White [experience]. The same [goes] for Cathy Whitaker in Far From Heaven. There’s also a really interesting thing about how class designation is often almost always defined by mothers and women, who lead the household. It’s often women who are adhering to an idea of who they think they are in the class system, and they are there to uphold what that’s about." Read "The Masked Woman: Todd Haynes on 'Carol'."

    Interview with Hou Hsiao-Hsien

    Sheila writes: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's "The Assassin" has been racking up critical raves ever since its release. And Hou won Best Director at Cannes. The martial-arts epic had generated huge anticipation before it even opened. (You can check out Peter Sobczynski's 3-1/2 star review of "The Assassin" at For Bright Lights Film Journal, Michael Guillen interviewed the director about the development of the film. Hou says, "Several dynasties had novels that talked about martial arts, so the Tang Dynasty is not unique in that respect; but it is the dynasty that had, perhaps, the largest volume of that kind of literature. I made the film to talk about elements that I feel are quite relevant to today’s world, such as brutality, which I feel we should control. Just because some authority tells you to go kill somebody doesn’t mean you should go and kill somebody. I don’t believe that’s the right approach, which you see in my film. " You can read the full interview here.


    Lonely Are the Brave (1962). Directed by David Miller. Starring Kirk Douglas,
    Gena Rowlands,
    Walter Matthau. Synopsis: A fiercely independent cowboy arranges to have himself locked up in jail in order to then escape with an old friend who has been sentenced to the penitentiary.

    Watch "Lonely Are the Brave."

    My Six Loves (1963). Directed by Gower Champion. Starring Debbie Reynolds,
    Cliff Robertson,
    David Janssen . Synopsis: Successful Broadway star Janice Courtney collapses from exhaustion and is ordered to rest for six weeks at her country home in Connecticut. While there, she meets some people who change her life permanently, and discovers true love and happiness.

    Watch "My Six Loves."

    The Silver Whip (1953). Directed by Harmon Jones. Starring Dale Robertson,
    Rory Calhoun,
    Robert Wagner. Synopsis: Frustrated with the lack of opportunities in his hometown, young Jess Harker plans to leave, but sympathetic stagecoach armed guard Race Crim persuades his boss to give Jess the stage driver job.

    Watch "The Silver Whip."

    By: Sheila O'Malley
    Posted: November 27, 2015, 7:30 pm


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