Hello Film Fans! Welcome to the Fall film News from 6 Degrees of Film. This edition is chock full of news you can use. The fall films that are opening soon are featured, as well as some of the top issues we have discussed in past newsletters and throughout the pandemic. Sign up to receive 6 Degrees Round up in your box each month. Here’s what’s happening:
About Hollywood & the Chinese Fandom
Hollywood studios are hoping to be able to incorporate the growth of the burgeoning middle class of Chinese and Eastern countries with films such as the latest Marvel offering “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Chloe Zhao, the first woman of color to win an Oscar for Best Director, will debut as the director of the new Marvel film, The Eternals, opening in November. ScreenRant offers their theory of why it took 20 years to make the latest Marvel comic film.
The Great White Hope
The Question is this. If there was a vote among top critics and fans, who might be the greatest American actor making films in the 21st Century? After passing the mantle of Nicholson and De Niro, there really is only one choice. Leonardo Di Caprio is the obvious pick. Nicolas Cage is a contender for the title, as Tom Hanks is really the everyman’s answer to the quintessential all-American film star. Hanks is a great actor, probably more in the mold of Jimmy Stewart.
The Motion Picture Museum opens in L.A!
Excitement for the Motion Picture Academy’s new Museum surrounds the iconic memorabilia on display such as Dorothy’s slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” and all the costumes from classics like “Gone with the Wind” or the original “Star Wars.” Read more about the September 30th opening in the LA Times’ “The Ultimate Film Lovers’ guide to the Academy.”
- Martin Scorsese talks about his favorite filmmaker (Spoiler: It’s Stanley Kubrick…Me Too, Martin!)
- AFI (American Film Institute) has honored the legendary film director Billy Wilder. Check out some of his films listed on TCM such as “The Apartment” and “Some Like it Hot.”
- Clint Eastwood is also being honored. Some of his best roles are celebrated, including the iconic Spaghetti Westerns like ‘The Good, The Bad & the Ugly” as well as his Dirty Harry series.
- Films that fit well together: We can’t help noticing that the concept of the idea of double features of similar themes runs parallel in some ways to the concept of 6 Degrees Films. Films that go together are part of the 6 Degrees of Film book (Sign up to download “The List of 100 Films”)
Hayley Mills, a huge favorite child star of mine and countless other teenagers from the fifties and sixties, has written a memoir of her life as a Disney starlet entitled “Forever Young.” Other books of note include, “How 1940’s critics changed Film Culture,” which is reviewed on David Bordwell’s site. Out of the Past website recommends “Cecil B DeMille’s Hollywood.” Finally there is a book coming out about another huge favorite of mine entitled: “Steve McQueen: In his own Words”
The Multiverse within the Universe
The Eternals debut will again set off debates within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For one thing, there are certain rules that apply within the Cinematic Universe. And they are rules that we apparently need to know!; The Multiverse rules include the recent fact that (Spoiler here!)…the Sacred Timeline was split into multiple directions, thus causing the creation of a multiverse. Apparently, there’s no one to stop it now!
The Streaming Wars
Streaming vs In-person premieres is an ongoing debate within Hollywood. We also have come to terms with how the movie industry has been changed forever…by the Pandemic and COVID. Forbes critic Scott Mendelson takes a look at “Tenet” and it’s disappointing box office returns. Yet somehow “Tenet” has become a benchmark for new releases to aspire to! Finally in the streaming wars, the gross for Black Widow further muddies the waters of the theater vs streaming debate.
Here’s a quote on the Future of Film
The following quote about the future of film-making comes from my 2013 book, 6 Degrees of Film: “...The Industrial Light & Magic studios sprang from the creative genius of George Lucas. ILM was all about technology, and using it as a tool. Their future technology dream was “…of an interactive experience that would enable participants to explore virtual worlds or even inhabit the form of computer graphics characters. controlling the action with a joystick. “ ILM veterans also projected that in the future, theaters would “be able to use an electronic or laser-light projection system.” There was speculation that the many theaters would not be able to afford such an expensive process. However, the post-Covid world is not going to be one where there is a movie theater on every corner!
Another article asks: Is Cinema Dead Again?.... and goes on to add, “…’no other art form has died as consistently as the cinema.’ Critics are always proclaiming it dead… Another post talks of changes in how cinema works. For example, there are ways in the future of making the Marvel films more interactive. What does that mean? We could, in essence, ‘live’ inside the movies! Virtual models and 3D Renderings are explored in another piece on the future of film-making, and it sounds very similar to the predictions that we saw from ILM over a decade ago!
Pioneering women of #MeToo: The Strong women
In my book, I write quite a bit about the many strong and pioneering women in Hollywood who stood up to the ‘man’ and were able to make their voices heard. This article from Entertainment Weekly talks about Olivia de Havilland and her fight from the 1940’s where she took on the all-powerful studio system in Hollywood-and won. Here’s a quote from 6 Degrees of Film: “Olivia de Havilland also fought studio bosses, winning a landmark decision against onerous hiring practices in what became known as the de Havilland Decision….The de Havilland Decision paved the way for better treatment for actors from the omnipotent studio bosses.”
(BTW: Each month in the Round-up, the pioneering women of film are featured in Turner Classic Movies on 6 Degrees! See the group appearing this month below…and to learn more, sign up here for monthly news about the pioneers of #MeToo!)
The Engineering of our past in Films
Director DW Griffith has long been held to be one of the fathers of modern cinematography and film-making. Recently, as with Robert E Lee, he has been summarily pushed off his pedestal. Does he deserve a shove? Read this thought-provoking piece to make up your mind, titled “The Racist in the Room.”
The Fall Films List
No Time to Die is scheduled to open Sept 30th: Daniel Craig is back for his last outing as Bond. The hunt is on for the new Bond. He surprised himself as he’s quoted as saying after Spectre that he was not physically capable of doing another
Dune opens on October 22nd. Timothee Chalamet plays the lead. The plot revolves around a gifted young man Paul Atreides, and his adventures to a dangerous planet with a highly coveted substance. The planet is the source of this , and it has the power to prolong human life!
The French Dispatch from Wes Anderson was highly controversial at its debut. There were reportedly lots of walkouts during the premiere at Cannes. It’s billed as a comedy/drama set in mid 20th century France. The story concerns journalists working at an outpost of an American newspaper, The movie officially opens October 22nd and Bill Murry is among the cast of regular Anderson stars.
The Eternals debuting November 5th, is the long-awaited film that will continue the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Angelina Jolie is among the star-studded cast of superheroes, and as mentioned, the director is the Academy-Award winning director, Chloe Zhao.
The Power of the Dog is a drama from director Jane Campion and it premieres on Netflix on November 17th with Benedict Cumberbatch.
King Richard stars Will Smith as the famous father of Venus & Serena Williams. It opens November 19th.
House of Gucci , opening November 24th, stars Lady Gaga and Adam Driver. They play the power couple of the famed fashion house. This one is based on a true story of the ill-fated marriage.
Steven Spielberg’s long-awaited remake of West Side Story will open on December 10th.
Joel Coen directs The Tragedy of Macbeth with Denzel Washington in the lead.
Pedro Almodovar directs Parallel Mothers premiering on December 24th
Turner Classic Movies in September
Recommended to Record:
Comedy at TCM:
To Be or not to Be with Jack Benny is a must-see, and very appropriate for these this day and age! The Freshman, with Harold Lloyd, is probably the funniest silent film I’ve ever seen.
Strong Women on Film
Ninotchka with Greta Garbo was billed simply as “Garbo Laughs!” Garbo was one of the most original and strong-willed actresses to ever appear on film. To Have & Have Not & The Big Sleep are two of the best Bogey & Bacall flicks. Lauren Bacall plays strong female characters in both of these. Must-see features for all millennials looking for examples of strong females in film that paved the way!
Also recommended recording:
- On the Waterfront: One of Brando’s best performances that is not “Streetcar” or The Godfather stereotypes…
- A Hard Day’s Night: The Beatles at the beginning of their fame on tour in a mock documentary style film…
- Forbidden Planet is loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, The Science-fiction classic stars Walter Pidgeon and a young Leslie Nielsen. But the most memorable star was “Robby the Robot.”
Well, that’s all for now film fans! There’s a lot to choose from this fall, from remakes like Dune and West Side Story to sequels such as The Eternals from the never-ending Marvel Cinematic Universe! There’s something for everyone here. See you at the movies!-ML