Hello film fans! The month of July brings us the reopening of the country and with movie theatres beginning to open their doors, there is much excitement around the big premieres set for Cannes Film Festival in France this month. Along with the reopening is the lingering questions that theatres and movie chains face: What is the future of Hollywood?
Hollywood has long struggled with diversity issues and problems with ‘whitewashing’ stories and characters in film. That struggle continues this summer movie season. In addition, the summer movie season is full and along with the big question of how in-person movie theatres will survive is another one: Streaming or at the movies?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe became a ‘thing’ with the advent of the comic-book movie genre….and in keeping with the most popular box office hits of the past decade, Marvel is introducing another slate of superheroes this November with the introduction of “The Eternals.”
Finally this month at Turner Classic Movies, there’s a few films that stand out. The Pioneers of #MeToo are featured in one of Gregory Peck’s best films, The Big Country. Jean Simmons co-stars as the woman who befriends Peck and finally falls in love with him as they fight for water rights in the old west. And in “Rachel and the Stranger,” Loretta Young is a real pioneer woman who takes on two men, William Holden & Robert Mitchum, as they fight over her in this tale of the hardships of life in the backwoods of America before there were large towns and cities. These films and more are recommended viewing this month on TCM.
The top six stories in film today:
Number One: Cannes Film Festival begins!
At Cannes, apart from the glamour of the red carpet, the excitement is around the fact that the films and stars are going to be available in-person rather than through streaming! Some of the notable premiere films are Everything Went Fine, from the novel, Annette, with Adam Driver, and some Italian notables are “Futura” a documentary, and Europa.
Number Two: Reopening of movie theatres & the future of Hollywood films.
Forbes’ critic Scott Mendelson speculates on the future of the Hollywood star system, particularly the notion that they wasted twenty years ‘trying to turn every vaguely talented and handsome white guy into the next Tom Cruise.’ Mendelson argues that movie stars still matter, and sums it up by saying that there is no good solution, but if they can’t figure out how to add star power to the films that they are making, Hollywood may not be able to survive. Another Hollywood veteran, Barry Diller, is even more pessimistic about the long-term survival of the Hollywood era. In a recent interview, Diller declared, “The movie business is over...” He argues that streaming services don’t really create ‘movies’ as they were in another era. “They are some weird algorithmic process’ is how he describes them!
There is more hope for the movies when we look at the work of new and emerging stars and creative directors that are currently working in Hollywood. And even Scott Mendelson admits that if Leonardo DiCaprio opens a film, people will come!
Number Three: Hollywood’s continuing struggle with diversity
There was a good article in last week’s online post about the struggle that Hollywood has had with ‘whiteness’ and diversity. Rogerebert.com also has written extensively on this, and even Turner Classic Movies has acknowledged the change with new openings to old classic films that try to give short explanations of the time period and places that created these films and their definitely non PC dialogue and plot points.
Number Four: The Summer movie season: Streaming vs Live
This is another ongoing debate in the world of film and in so many creative circles. As we mentioned above, there are those like Diller who don’t really consider streaming movies the same genre or form of art that the traditional film was created in. So whether you do see a movie for the first time, or even at a later time, in a darkened movie theater, you have to acknowledge that the experience is a different one.
Number Five: The Marvel Cinematic Universe reinvented
With the release this week of “The Black Widow”, there is increasing interest in the premier of the new Marvel characters. The Eternals will not be released until November, and in the meantime, there is one more premiere. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will open in September. Shang-Chi is a master of Kung Fu, from a character that was introduced in comics in 1973.
Number Six: Turner Classics & The Pioneering women of Hollywood who preceded #MeToo
This month, Turner Classics has a couple of great films that feature women who paved the way for the strong, confident and inspirational role models that star in films today.
The Pioneers of #MeToo are featured in one of Gregory Peck’s best films, The Big Country. Jean Simmons is the woman who befriends Peck and finally falls in love with him as they fight for water rights in the Old West. And in “Rachel and the Stranger,” Loretta Young is a real pioneer woman who takes on two men, William Holden & Robert Mitchum, as they fight over her in this tale of the hardships of life in the backwoods of America before there were large towns and cities.
He stars in some of his best films this month on Turner Classic. If you have not seen GI Blues or Jailhouse Rock, be sure to hit record for these recommended Elvis vehicles.
The ones that got away:
Elvis starred in another quirky comedy called “Follow that Dream” and along with Tequila Sunrise, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Mel Gibson, and To Live and Die in LA, these three make up the films we recommend as the ones that got away.
Director’s Cut of Bladerunner
From the mind of Philip K Dick– Finally, the director’s cut of Bladerunner is a must-see for those who have never seen director Ridley Scott’s dark and haunting version of the story that came from sci-fi writer Philip K Dick.
Well, that’s all folks! At least, until next week as we premiere new ideas and reviews on the 6 Degrees Writer Facebook page and in 6 Degrees of Film online. Our list of films that are recommended at the movies this summer is found in Summer Film News. Until next time, have a great month of July and see you at the movies!-ML