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#415 September 14, 2021

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    By Entertainer

    Matt writes: Since last month marked the fortieth anniversary of Robert Redford's Sundance Institute, presented a special edition of Thumbnails featuring priceless articles penned by Roger Ebert, including the one he wrote about his first experience at the Institute in July of 1981. You can read an excerpt of that piece below and find the full roundup of Thumbnails here. Also be sure to view the video embedded below of Roger doing what he did best: passionately defending a film he believed in at the Sundance Film Festival.

    “Up here above Provo, in the resort he has carved out of a little mountain meadow, Robert Redford is conducting an experiment that Hol­lywood regards with a mixture of suspicion and curiosity. He has selected 10 low-budget films that are in the middle-to-late stages of prepara­tion and invited their directors to spend the summer at Sundance working on their scripts in the company of established directors, writers and editors. On the surface, this seems like an admirable and uncomplicated idea, a cinematic summer camp at which you bring home a screenplay instead of a woodcarving and an Indian belt. But the movie industry is not so sure. Rumors float around that Redford is starting his own studio, that his dream is to be a major producer of independent features, that just as Francis Ford Coppola wants his own major Hollywood studio, so does Redford want his own mini-­studio here on the mountain he is developing. The truth is apparently somewhere in be­tween. Redford says he has no desire to produce personally any of the movies that are under construction at Sundance. But he might hope that eventually the Sundance Institute, a non­profit foundation headquartered here, will be­come a clearinghouse for independent film­makers working outside the studio system. There are countless summer writers' workshops nestled away in the wilds of Vermont and Iowa - why not a workshop for filmmakers?”


    Don't Look Up (2021). Written and directed by Adam McKay. Starring Leonardo DiCaprioJennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep. Synopsis: The story of two low-level astronomers, who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth. Debuts on Netflix on December 24th, 2021.

    C'mon C'mon (2021). Written and directed by Mike Mills. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann, Woody Norman. Synopsis: A radio journalist embarks on a cross-country trip with his young nephew. US release date is TBA.

    Belfast (2021). Written and directed by Kenneth Branagh. Starring Jamie Dornan, Judi Dench, Ciarán Hinds. Synopsis: A young boy and his working class family experience the tumultuous late 1960s. Debuts in the US on November 12th, 2021.

    The Power of the Dog (2021). Written and directed by Jane Campion (based on the novel by Thomas Savage). Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Thomasin McKenzie. Synopsis: Charismatic rancher Phil Burbank inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love. Debuts on Netflix on December 1st, 2021.

    Titane (2021). Written and directed by Julia Ducournau. Starring Vincent Lindon, Agathe Rousselle, Garance Marillier. Synopsis: Following a series of unexplained crimes, a father is reunited with the son who has been missing for 10 years. Titane: A metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys. Debuts in the US on October 1st, 2021.

    Hive (2021). Written and directed by Blerta Basholli. Starring Yllka Gashi, Cun Lajci, Aurita Agushi. Synopsis: Fahrije's husband has been missing since the war in Kosovo. She sets up her own small business to provide for her kids, but as she fights against a patriarchal society that does not support her, she faces a crucial decision. US release date is TBA.

    Wife of a Spy (2021). Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Written by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi and Tadashi Nohara. Starring Yû Aoi, Issey Takahashi, Masahiro Higashide. Synopsis: A Japanese merchant who leaves his wife behind in order to travel to Manchuria, where he witnesses an act of barbarism. His subsequent actions cause misunderstanding, jealousy and legal problems for his wife. Debuts in the US on September 17th, 2021.

    Ron's Gone Wrong (2021). Directed by Sarah Smith, Jean-Philippe Vine and Octavio E. Rodriguez. Written by Sarah Smith and Peter Baynham. Starring Zach Galifianakis, Jack Dylan Grazer, Olivia Colman. Synopsis: The story of Barney, an awkward middle-schooler and Ron, his new walking, talking, digitally-connected device. Ron's malfunctions set against the backdrop of the social media age launch them on a journey to learn about true friendship. Debuts in the US on October 22nd, 2021.

    Wildhood (2021). Written and directed by Bretten Hannam. Starring Michael Greyeyes, Phillip Lewitski, Savonna Spracklin. Synopsis: A rebellious two-spirit teenager runs away from home to find his birth mother and reclaim his Mi'kmaw heritage. US release date is TBA.

    Encounter (2021). Directed by Michael Pearce. Written by Michael Pearce and Joe Barton. Starring Riz Ahmed, Janina Gavankar, Octavia Spencer. Synopsis: Two brothers embark on a journey with their father, who is trying to protect them from an alien threat. Debuts on Prime Video on December 10th, 2021.

    Birds of Paradise (2021). Written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith (based on the novel by A.K. Small). Starring Jacqueline Bisset, Diana Silvers, Caroline Goodall. Synopsis: Two girls at an elite Parisian ballet academy have their bond and bodies tested as they compete for a contract to join the company of the Opéra national de Paris. Debuts on Prime Video on September 24th, 2021.

    South of Heaven (2021). Directed by Aharon Keshales. Written by Aharon Keshales, Kai Mark and Navot Papushado. Starring Jason Sudeikis, Evangeline Lilly, Shea Whigham. Synopsis: Convicted felon Jimmy gets early parole after serving twelve years for armed robbery. Upon his release, he vows to give Annie, his childhood love, now dying from cancer, the best last year of her life - unfortunately it's not that simple. Debuts in the US on October 8th, 2021.

    Bergman Island (2021). Written and directed by Mia Hansen-Løve. Starring Tim Roth, Mia Wasikowska, Vicky Krieps. Synopsis: A couple retreat to the island that inspired Ingmar Bergman to write screenplays for their upcoming films when the lines between reality and fiction start to blur. Debuts in the US on October 15th, 2021.

    No One Gets Out Alive (2021). Directed by Santiago Menghini. Written by Fernanda Coppel and Jon Croker (based on the novel by Adam Nevill). Starring Cristina Rodlo, Marc Menchaca, Victoria Alcock. Synopsis: An immigrant in search of the American dream who, after being forced to take a room in a boarding house, finds herself in a nightmare she can't escape. Debuts on Netflix on September 29th, 2021.

    A Cop Movie (2021). Directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios. Synopsis: Two professional actors undergo an immersive process to find out what it takes to be a cop in Mexico City. Debuts on Netflix on November 5th, 2021.

    Last Night in Soho (2021). Directed by Edgar Wright. Written by Edgar Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Starring Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Diana Rigg. Synopsis: An aspiring fashion designer is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer. But the glamour is not all it appears to be and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something darker. Debuts in the US on October 29th, 2021.

    The Many Saints of Newark (2021). Directed by Alan Taylor. Written by David Chase and Lawrence Konner. Starring Michael Gandolfini, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga. Synopsis: A look at the formative years of New Jersey gangster, Tony Soprano. Debuts on HBO Max on October 1st, 2021.

    The Matrix Resurrections (2021). Directed by Lana Wachowski. Written by Lana Wachowski, David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon. Starring Keanu Reeves, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Carrie-Anne Moss. Synopsis: The latest installment of "The Matrix" franchise. Debuts in the US on December 22nd, 2021.

    Telluride Film Festival 2021

    Matt writes: At the 2021 Telluride Film Festival, our Managing Editor Brian Tallerico joined critics Monica Castillo and Tomris Laffly in covering all of the enticing selections, including Pablo Larraín's highly anticipated biopic, "Spencer," starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana. You can find the full table of contents here.

    Venice Film Festival 2021

    Matt writes: At the 2021 Venice Film Festival, our critic Glenn Kenny provided us with his annual coverage of the numerous exciting selections, including Denis Villeneuve's long-awaited screen version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi epic, "Dune," starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya. You can find the full table of contents here.

    Free Movies

    The Sundowners (1950). Directed by George Templeton. Written by Alan Le May. Starring Robert Preston, Robert Sterling, Chill Wills. Synopsis: Brother is pitted against brother in this tale of feuding ranchers in the old west.

    Watch "The Sundowners"

    Kansas Pacific (1953). Directed by Ray Nazarro. Written by Daniel B. Ullman. Starring Sterling Hayden, Eve Miller, Barton MacLane. Synopsis: With the Civil War about to begin, Southern saboteurs attack frontier railroad construction.

    Watch "Kansas Pacific"

    Red Roses of Passion (1966). Written and directed by Joseph W. Sarno. Starring Judson Todd, Jean James, Carol Holleck. Synopsis: Jaded Carla drugs her stuck up aunt and her daughter with mind-altering aphrodisiac concocted from a rose by an ominous Pan sex cult. The women become crazed nymphos and the only way to cure them is for Carla to give herself to "Pan."

    Watch "Red Roses of Passion"

    By: Matt Fagerholm
    Posted: September 14, 2021, 5:01 am


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