“It’s rare to see a filmmaker who doesn’t have a movie here in Cannes do a press conference,” said Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Frémaux as he introduced Quentin Tarantino to journalists this afternoon. But Cannes loves Tarantino and the feeling is clearly mutual. His Pulp Fiction Palme d’Or is “my single, absolutely, positively greatest achievement,” the director said. Besides, even if he doesn’t have a new movie here, Pulp Fiction is screening tonight in celebration of the 20th anniversary of winning that Palme. Tarantino is also hosting the Closing Night screening of Sergio Leone’s A Fistful Of Dollars. That film, he said, marked “the birth of genre action cinema as it’s become to be known ever since.” Otherwise, there was plenty to discuss. In a wide-ranging chat with the press, Tarantino waxed on the rise of digital projection as the “death of cinema”; the status of The Hateful Eight; and possibly revisiting Django Unchained as a miniseries, among other topics.
Tonight’s Pulp Fiction showing will be the only time during this two-week event that a movie will be screened in 35mm, Frémaux noted. Later queried about that, Tarantino said, “The fact that now most films are not shown in 35mm means the war is lost. The death of 35mm is the death of cinema.” He allowed that the “good side of digital is the fact that a young filmmaker can now just buy a cell phone, and if they have the tenacity… can actually make a movie” to help start them on their way. But, he thundered, “Why would an established filmmaker shoot on digital? I just don’t get it.” He likened seeing movies digitally projected in a theater to watching “television in public.” Perhaps as we’re in the waning days of May, he did allow for some optimism to spring. “I’m hopeful that we’re going through a woozy, romantic period with the ease of digital, and I’m hoping that while this generation is completely hopeless, the next generation will come out and demand the real thing.”
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EXCLUSIVE: Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman are confirmed to attend a special celebration of Pulp Fiction here in Cannes tomorrow night. Now I’m hearing word that Vincent Vega himself will join his director and co-star in the festivities. John Travolta is not yet set in stone, but he’s been in town this week and I’m told the festival is hoping to confirm his attendance tonight with the actor keen to take part. The plan as it stands thus far is for the Pulp Fiction posse to walk the red carpet at the Palais at 6:30 PM on Friday night, then head off to a cocktail ahead of the film’s special beach screening which the director will introduce. Miramax is presenting and hosting all the Pulp Fiction activities.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Pulp Fiction won the Palme d’Or. But that was not the first film Tarantino ever had in Cannes — two years earlier in 1992 his Reservoir Dogs was an Official Selection title that ran out of competition. Since then, movies he’s directed that have appeared at the Palais include Kill Bill Vol 2, Death Proof and Inglourious Basterds. Tarantino is already in Cannes this week and will host the closing-night screening of Sergio Leone’s 1964 Spaghetti Western A … Read More »
The Library of Congress has unveiled its annual list of 25 films that will join the National Film Registry. The movies are culled from the period 1919-2002 and include classics like Rita Hayworth-starrer Gilda; sci-fi pic Forbidden Planet; western The Magnificent Seven; war drama Judgment At Nuremberg; Mary Poppins (fitting in a year where Saving Mr Banks, the story of that film’s genesis, is playing in movie theaters); astronaut epic The Right Stuff; Michael Moore’s Roger & Me; and Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Each of the 25 films will be preserved as cinematic treasures for generations to come. “The National Film Registry stands among the finest summations of more than a century of extraordinary American cinema,” said Librarian of Congress, James H Billington. “This key component of American cultural history, however, is endangered, so we must protect the nation’s matchless film heritage and cinematic creativity.” There are also some silent films on the list including Daughter Of Dawn, featuring an all-Native-American cast; 1919′s A Virtuous Vamp, starring Constance Talmadge; and 1926′s Ella Cinders. Earlier this month, the Library of Congress released a survey that found that 70% of American silent movies have been lost. In all, this year’s additions bring the number of films in the registry to 625. The complete 2013 list is below:
Bless Their Little Hearts (1984)
Part of the vibrant New Wave of independent African-American filmmakers to emerge in the 1970s and 1980s, Billy Woodberry became a key figure in the movement known as the L.A. Renaissance. Woodberry crafted his UCLA thesis film, “Bless Their Little Hearts,” which was theatrically released in 1984. The film features a script and cinematography by Charles Burnett. This spare, emotionally resonant portrait of family life during times of struggle blends grinding, daily-life sadness with scenes of deft humor. Jim Ridley of the “Village Voice” aptly summed up the film’s understated-but- real virtues: “Its poetry lies in the exaltation of ordinary detail.”
Brandy in the Wilderness (1969)
This introspective “contrived diary” film by Stanton Kaye features vignettes from the relationship of a real-life couple, in this case the director and his girlfriend. An evocative 1960s time capsule—reminiscent of Jim McBride’s “David Holzman’s Diary”—this simulated autobiography, as in many experimental films, often blurs the lines between reality and illusion, moving in non-linear arcs through the ever-evolving and unpredictable interactions of relationships, time and place. As Paul Schrader notes, “it is probably quite impossible (and useless) to make a distinction between the point at which the film reflects their lives, and the point at which their lives reflect the film.” “Brandy in the Wilderness” remains a little-known yet key work of American indie filmmaking.
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Target Presents AFI Night at the Movies screens a dozen classic films with stars in attendance on one night, Wednesday April 24. This year’s line-up includes Cher in person presenting Moonstruck, Harrison Ford presenting Blade Runner: The Final Cut, and Samuel L. Jackson screening Pulp Fiction. Tickets go on sale on April 11. All screenings take place at the Arclight Hollywood. Here’s the full slate of confirmed films and special guests:
Kathy Bates presenting Misery (1990)
Cher presenting Moonstruck (1987)
Sally Field presenting Norma Rae (1979)
Peter Fonda presenting Easy Rider (1969)
Harrison Ford presenting Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Samuel L. Jackson presenting Pulp Fiction (1994)
Shirley MacLaine presenting Terms Of Endearment (1983)
Demi Moore presenting Ghost (1990)
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With a filmography that includes roles in some of the highest-grossing movies of all time including The Avengers, Iron Man and the Star Wars series Samuel L. Jackson clearly knows how to pick ‘em. And that is entirely intentional. His current film Django Unchained, in which he is reunited with frequent director Quentin Tarantino opened to strong grosses on Christmas Day and is already looking like another solid box office hit.
In the film he plays Stephen, the conniving house slave for Leonardo DiCaprio‘s despicable character Calvin Candie. As the manipulative slave, Jackson says he is playing perhaps the most hated negro in cinematic history. He’s fine with that. “At least he’s a memorable character. I mean Quentin writes interesting characters. I’ve been pretty despicable in most of his films. People loved Jules (Pulp Fiction) but he’s a murderer. People loved Ordell (Jackie Brown) but he’s a murderer. Stephen has an unusual take on slavery. He’s okay with it,” he says and is not worried about what African American audiences might think (Spike Lee has already chimed in to express his displeasure with the film’s depiction of slaves). “I hope he’s reviled, and people want to see him die. People enjoy him, but it’s strange. He’s a funny guy in a way, despicably funny. People laugh at Stephen and what he does, but you know they do want to see him dead.” But still slavery is a serious subject and Jackson … Read More »
Film editor Sally Menke, who edited most of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, was found dead this morning this morning in the Beachwood Canyon area of the Hollywood Hills a day after she was reported missing when she didn’t come home after a hike with her dog in blistering heat conditions. She was 56. Menke edited Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, the Kill Bill duo, and Inglourious Basterds. She was nominated for an Oscar for her work on Pulp Fiction and Basterds. In addition to her collaborations with Tarantino, Menke also edited Oliver Stone’s Heaven & Earth, Lee Tamahori’s Mulholland Falls and Billy Bob Thornton’s All the Pretty Horses.