Sometime in the late ’90s, Harmony Korine — whose new film Spring Breakers is the subject of the current Scene cover story — was kicked off the set of the Late Show With David Letterman, prior to what would have been his fourth appearance on the show. For years, legend had it that he had shoved Meryl Streep backstage, and was banned from Letterman forever. But last night, James Franco got the real story. Roll the tape ...
And at about 5:35 in this longer video from last night's show, Letterman rescinds the ban and even invites Korine back on the show. Stay tuned for developments.
After the jump, Korine's three appearances on Letterman:
There’s no way a photograph can convey the grotesque hilarity of Cathy McClure’s creatures. That’s why I’ve begun this Studio Visit post with a video I borrowed from her website instead of delving headfirst into the shots I took last week at her studio. She calls her sculptures “bots,” but if you ask me that’s way too cute a word for these rascally terrors. McClure is first and foremost a metalsmith, and she also makes zoetrope installations that are breathtaking and strange. But it’s the bots that are all over the East Nashville space that she and her husband are staying in through May.
Her process for creating the bots is deceptively simple — by taking the fur off of the battery-powered toy animals and recasting them in silver or bronze, McClure can reassemble them into little metallic clanking gargoyles. Without their fur and with metal bones instead of plastic, the movements become stiffer and audibly rickety, like the cymbal-banging monkey in a Stephen King story. McClure leaves certain elements intact in their original material — baby-doll eyes that peek out at you like a scene from House of Wax, or extremities like a tail or a trunk that seem to be shaped like spinal columns. I find them terrifying, but a co-worker whom I sent the above video to thought they were hilarious. Our final consensus: a little from column A, a little from column B.
Most networks that don't have many hits, especially those with NBC's recent track record, would be doing everything possible to keep those shows going. Instead, the good folks at The Peacock got carried away by inflated NFL ratings and decided to give a lengthy rest to the only new show that could be deemed a hit in Revolution. They also yanked Grimm and The Voice, though the latter has always been a seasonal proposition.
Four months later, tonight's return of Revolution (WSMV-Channel 4, 9 p.m.) signals both a new creative direction and the start of a referendum on whether the time off was a savvy or ultra-dumb gamble. The thematic stakes have been raised considerably with bad boy Monroe (David Lyons) now in possession of power and technology, and anxious to use them. His viciousness towards the rebels will trigger a host of reactions, among them a split between Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) and his son Jason (JD Pardo).
Jason will try to find solace and align himself with the rebels and Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos), who is both attracted and repelled by someone formerly in the opposition camp. The producers are branding this a Romeo and Juliet scenario — Shakespeare for the post-electrical age — but one thing is certain. There will be far more action (or violence if you prefer) in the remaining episodes, as well as a companion love story designed to bring back the youthful viewers who've gone on to other things during Revolution's absence.
Laugh if you want at the shrieking title, but the movie itself is a wonder — the most cosmic and visionary of ’50s sci-fi films, and the flip side of Nicholas Ray’s Bigger Than Life as an expression of the decade’s dominant male fear of becoming small, insignificant and emasculated. Grant Williams plays the hero, reduced by a strange mist and a dusting of insecticide to a Ken-sized pocket warrior — prey for the family cat and a hungry spider in a dollhouse-scaled surrealist doomscape.
But in a staggering ending, the movie makes a leap into the realm of metaphysics as the hero becomes infinitesimal, and hence infinite: “The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet — like the closing of a gigantic circle.” The words are those of the legendary Richard Matheson, who adapted his own novel; Jack Arnold directed. Part of The Belcourt’s 100th anniversary celebration of Universal Pictures.
Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone opens tonight at The Belcourt. In January, Scene editor Jim Ridley, a fan of the movie, questioned whether Marion Cotillard was robbed of an Oscar nod.
Stop me if you've seen this before: A woman suffers a devastating injury, struggles with subsequent depression, and mopes in misery until a hunky new love teaches her to live again. If you're avoiding Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone for precisely that reason, don't: The director of A Prophet and the underrated James Toback reworking The Beat That My Heart Skipped has a pulpy sensibility that wards off maudlin movie-of-the-week sleeve-tugging. What could have been a triumph-over-adversity weepie becomes a raw, bluntly erotic character study of two damaged people: a broke single dad turned underground boxer (Matthias Schoenaerts, in a star-making role) and a killer-whale trainer (Marion Cotillard) left a double amputee after an accident at Marineland.
Read the rest here.
I'm the only one at Scene headquarters who hasn't yet seen Spring Breakers, so the duty to attend tonight's in-theater premiere falls squarely on my fashion-conscious shoulders. Luckily, Opening Ceremony totally has my back. The New York-based shop also has outposts in L.A. and Tokyo, as well as a strong Web presence. And they've just launched an exclusive collection inspired by the subject of this week's Scene cover story, Spring Breakers. And NYLON mag has curated its own collection of wares to fill in the gaps.
Scroll through some of our favorite looks after the jump, and grab what you can on the shops' websites.
Berg (Deliver Us From Evil, Bhutto) examines the case of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., the West Memphis, Ark., teenagers who in 1994 were found guilty of killing three 8-year-old boys on the flimsiest of evidence. The men were released from prison in 2011 after mounting public uproar, first ignited by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's 1996 doc Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.
Last year, Scene writer Adam Gold had a chance to speak with Echols, Baldwin and Berg. An excerpt, after the jump:
Harmony Korine, getting his game face on during the photo shoot for this week's Scene cover story on Spring Breakers. Cinematographer Benoit Debie did terrific work on the film, but he's got nothing on Scene art director Elizabeth Jones, who shot this video on her iPhone.
In last week's Scene, we previewed the upcoming 2013 Nashville Film Festival's special presentations (led by Jeff Nichols' coming-of-age drama Mud with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, a favorite from this year's Sundance). We also mentioned a few selections in various programs, from new films by Alain Resnais, Carlos Reygadas, Xavier Dolan and Apichatpong Weerasethakul to the much-buzzed horror title Here Comes the Devil, along with some encouraging words about the slate to come:
If last year's festival was marked by a noticeable uptick in Tennessee-generated features — which contributed to an opening night that demolished previous attendance records — this year NaFF artistic director Brian Owens is encouraged by the number of female directors represented in the festival lineup, with four of the 13 films so far in the narrative competition alone made by women. That's four more than Cannes had in its 2012 competition lineup — for which the prestigious festival was criticized the world over.
"This wasn't us reaching out," says Owens, who regularly attends the Toronto and Sundance festivals searching for selections. "I think it really is starting to happen: Women are kicking ass this year." Noting that the NaFF's New Directors program will also have an impressive number of entries by women, he credits the Sundance labs and other outreach programs with progress in nurturing and developing female filmmakers.
Like most festivals, NaFF holds its cards close to its chest about visiting talent and selections until shortly before the event, the better to safeguard against last-minute cancellations and films withdrawn by distributors or snatched by other fests (damn you, Tribeca!). Until last week, the fest's sole announcement for 2013 was a locally unprecedented sidebar program on Kurdish cinema from France to Iran, anchored by Rhino Season, the new film by the Kurdish director best known in the West, Bahman Ghobadi (Turtles Can Fly).
This week the NaFF formally announced its selections in the narrative, documentary, special presentations and music films slots. You'll find established narrative directors such as Joe Swanberg (Hannah Takes the Stairs), Matthew Porterfield (Putty Hill), Hiner Saleem (Vodka Lemon) and Tom Gilroy (Spring Forward); a Roberto Bolano adaptation featuring Rutgar Hauer; and music films concerning everyone from Jim Lauderdale and the St. Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig to Memphis musical outlaw Jerry McGill.
Watch Country Life in coming weeks for more festival announcements and trailers. In the meantime, below you'll find the films announced thus far with festival synopses. Remember those titles when tickets go on sale next month.
[In a new weekly feature for Country Life, James Cathcart, DJ, cinephile and now programmer of Third Man Records' new Light and Sound Machine film series, shares finds from the dusky celluloid recesses and online frontiers of cinema.]
I’ve rarely found much pleasure in watching films on the principle of being “so bad they’re good,” and for the sake of this column, I’d never recommend a movie that had to be viewed through a tinted lens of condescension or irony to be appreciated. That said, I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a particular charm I find in a film that only reveals its merits once a viewer accepts its flaws. So if you should ever have the opportunity to be befuddled by the likes of Thomas McGuane’s 92 in the Shade, you won't accuse me of having promised Casablanca. Besides, after last week’s post on Frank Perry's Rancho Deluxe, it would be a grave omission not to shed light on its sister-film-of-sorts from the same year.
By the early 1970s, McGuane had established himself as a major new literary talent, drawing comparisons to Faulkner with his novels The Sporting Club and The Bushwhacked Piano by way of his grimly comic observations of corroded American idealism. But shortly after the publication of his third novel, Ninety-Two In The Shade, he became the narrow survivor of a grisly car accident, flipping his Porsche on an icy highway at 140 m.p.h. The event triggered the arrival of an audacious, puerile version of his former self, which he christened “Captain Berserko.”
This new McGuane acclimated to the decadent climate of 1970’s Hollywood all too well. His new persona allowed his on-set life to collide with his personal life, to spectacularly disastrous effect. The affair he started with Elizabeth Ashley on the set of Rancho Deluxe carried over to this film, but once he divorced his wife — Becky Crockett, descendant of Davy — he remarried not to Ashley but to co-star Margot Kidder.
Not one to leave home empty-handed, Crockett made off with 92 in the Shade leading man Peter Fonda, to whom she was married until 2011. McGuane and Kidder would not be as enduring an institution. They divorced a year later, with McGuane next settling down with Laurie Buffett, sister of his beach-bum drinking buddy and sometimes housemate Jimmy. Meanwhile, Ashley would chronicle the tumultuous details of their sordid tryst in her 1978 biography Actress: Postcards from the Road.
Suffice to say that while making 92 in the Shade, McGuane may have been more than a little distracted.
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