Even with last week’s major release becoming the second highest opening weekend gross of all time and Cannes just a week away, much of this week’s focus seemed to lie squarely on today’s major release: Baz Luhrmann’s heavily anticipated/derided “Great Gatsby” 3D extravaganza. Throughout the week, we took a look at the buzz surrounding the film, with IW’s Eric Kohn chiming in with his own take on the divisive release. Trailers for two of the fall’s most curiously anticipated releases managed to also sneak into the spotlight, one giving us its first glimpse and the other leading up to a Cannes premiere. Meanwhile, we took one final look at the Zach Braff Kickstarter controversy, previewed two upcoming series at New York’s BAM, and looked ahead at which independent releases have the biggest chance of becoming this year’s breakout hit.
Whether you love him or hate him, Baz Luhrmann has an undeniable flair for visual extravagance, but whereas trailers for “The Great Gatsby” were quick to reaffirm that he remains as stylish as ever, many questioned his ability to translate the classic novel as little more than visual fluff. Collecting together the week’s first reviews of the film, it seemed many of these fears were realized with most critics panning the film for the empty emotions behind its flashy style.
With The Great Gatsby, Does Baz Prove He’s More Gratuitous Than Michael Bay
Taking the criticisms on the film’s flashiness one step further, Eric Kohn chose to look at Luhrmann’s film through another lense: the oft-criticized films of Michael Bay. While Luhrmann’s films act as sluggish slaves to their source material, Kohn argues that Bay owns up to the emptiness of his films, taking style-over-substance to cartoonish heights. “Gatsby”‘s visual craft is undeniable, but in failing to find the novel’s emotional core it abandons itself as little more than “a glitzy misfire.”
Watch: The Coen Brothers’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ Gets a Red Band Trailer Ahead of Its Cannes Debut
With Cannes now just a week away, CBS Films released a new red band trailer for the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn David,” continuing its early push for the eventual Oscar hopeful. While the red band trailer may seem a strange choice for the film (no nudity or extreme violence, sorry), it does still give us a further look at the film in advance of its May 19 premiere.
Watch Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Robin Williams, Jane Fonda and Pretty Much Half of Hollywood in The Trailer For Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler’
After his sweaty misfire “The Paperboy,” director Lee Daniels seems to be stepping back into traditional Oscar-bait territory with his latest, and he’s got one hell of a cost to back him up. Starring Forrest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, and every other Oscar nominee of the last 30 years, the film wears its earnestness on its sleeve, and is clearly aiming for Daniels’ second best picture nomination come February.
Why Do Films Get Booed at Cannes? New BAM Series Investigates
Against the backdrop of next week’s festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is holding its own festival or favorites from Cannes, albeit with its own unique twist. While Cannes has gained a reputation as the premier art film festival, it has also notoriously left many great films booed, from Antonioni’s “L’avventura” to Lynch’s Palme D’or winner “Wild At Heart.” Throughout the month, BAM will be playing every film booed at the festival, showcasing many cult-favorites and revolutionary works in the process.
BAMcinemaFest Announces Full 2013 Lineup; ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ and ‘Short Term 12’ Will Bookend
In the same week, BAM also announced the lineup to its annual summer festival BAMcinemaFest, bringing with it the New York premieres of many of the festival circuits biggest films. Running from June 19-28, the festival will feature screenings of “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “Short Term 12,” “Drinking Buddies,” and many more with special screening and event lineups coming soon, solidifying its place after five years as one of the city’s most exciting summer festivals.
Summer Indie Box Office Preview: The 15 Films With the Most Breakout Potential
The knockout successes of last summer’s “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “Moonrise Kingdom” have left many wondering what indies this summer may have similar breakouts. With a summer packed with releases like “Only God Forgives,” “Before Midnight,” and “The Bling Ring,” many seem to stand a good chance at taking home grosses above the $10 million point, giving more proof that this summer may be as strong for the indies as it is for the studios.
After All That Hubbub, What’s the Final Verdict on Zach Braff Kickstarter Controversy?
It seems that every week since Zach Braff launched his controversial Kickstarter campaign he once again finds his way back into the conversation. We chimed in this week for (hopefully) the final world on the issue, collecting both the detractors and supporters and looking at what this may actually mean for crowd-funding going forward. That is, until Braff’s campaign takes any next steps towards production and sets the argument back to square one.
Is Direct Distribution the Future for Indie Film? Notes From A2E at the 2013 San Francisco International Film Festival
Continuing our coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival, Alison Willmore took a look at the inaugural Artist to Entrepreneur (A2E) direct distribution labs. The four day conference looked at new projects, established models, and the rise of crowd-sourced projects to determine how direct distribution may be shaping the future of independent film, and we came away with the five key themes to take from the event.
With a similar focus on the A2E event, producer Ted Hope, who now acts as the Director of the San Francisco Film Society, took to his blog following the events launch to explain the 17 things about the film industry that all filmmakers need to know. It’s a largely disheartening list but mandatory read, eventually aiming to encourage rather than push away, and in line with Soderbergh’s “State of Cinema” address from the same festival, ends with a focus on the massive change the industry could, and should, be facing.