The 70th Cannes Film Festival wrapped Sunday with jury prizes, including best director Sofia Coppola for her film “The Beguiled.” The Palme d’Or went to “The Square,” a Swedish satire set in the art world. See the full list of winners here.
Charles Ealy, who attended his 20th Cannes Film Festival this year, wrote about the challenges facing the storied event as it reacts to changes in viewing habits and technology. There were no high-profile studio films to draw mass attention, but Ealy says the lineup, with an emphasis on arthouse and European titles, was one of the fest’s strongest in its 70 years. Read that story on MyStatesman.com.
Also on MyStatesman.com, Ealy writes about going through a virtual reality installation by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu, titled “Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible).” The experience puts participants with migrants on a journey across a desert border. From Ealy’s story: “They’re old and young. Some are injured and tired. Most are scared of what lies ahead. You can’t make conversation with them, but you can go up to them, and if you get close enough, you can see their hearts beating.”
Sophie Turner’s blond hair might be a “Game of Thrones” spoiler revealing the fate of the elder Stark sister.
At least, that’s what Maisie Williams, who plays the younger Stark sister, Arya, would have you believe.
“Her hair is still blond, so she’s dead,” Williams said during Sunday’s South by Southwest Conference panel with “Thrones” showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff.
Williams and Turner moderated the panel introduced as the “Holy Grail” of Game of Thrones panels. Williams’ theory came about while Benioff and Weiss griped about how the Stark sisters have a tendency to dye their hair between seasons.
Shooting for season seven has wrapped up, and the show’s penultimate season is set to premiere July 18.
But it was the beginnings of the show that concerned Turner and Williams as they asked questions of Benioff and Weiss.
Arya was the hardest character to cast, the show creators said. Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage were the only two actors picked before casting began. And Mark Addy was the only actor to impress so well on the first take that he became a shoo-in for Robert Baratheon.
Toughest character to kill? Jason Momoa’s Khal Drogo.
Speaking of, Momoa is rumored to reprise his role in the upcoming season. The speculation is fueled by Momoa’s Instagram photo of a much talked about bar outing with Benioff and Weiss.
But what hasn’t been publicized about their visit to the Belfast bar is a slap game Benioff had with Momoa that led to Benioff being taken to the hospital. After repeated slaps to the hand, Benioff said his hand swelled up and looked like a catcher’s mitt. “The doctors said ‘Your friend squished your hand.’ That was the medical term they used,” Benioff said.
“I thought, he’s big, but I think I’m quicker,” he said. “I’m not.”
And apparently the showrunners are practically George Clooney when it comes to pranks on set.
They once told Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) at one point that HBO thought he looked too much like a character out of Harry Potter for the gritty show. Their solution was to write a scene in which Snow’s hair is completely burned away and his upper lip permanently mangled.
“It was great acting by him pretending he wasn’t disappointed,” Weiss said.
The rainy weather has moved the planned 20th anniversary screening of grunge documentary “Hype!” inside, starting at 7 p.m. at the Rollins Theatre in the Long Center. Seattle band Naked Giants will play before the movie starts.
By Alyssa Vidales, American-Statesman staff (and resident “Star Wars” expert)
Want to join the Rebellion? Your mission awaits at South by Southwest.
A little piece of the Star Wars universe has popped up at Grimes Studio on 500 E. Fifth St. during the South by Southwest Conference and Festival. The space has been transformed into an immersive experience inspired by 2016’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the latest film in the Force-filled franchise.
“Rebel Mission – Escape from Scarif” is open to SXSW badgeholders and offers the opportunity to channel your inner Rogue One crew member to steal the plans to the Death Star and transmit them back to the Rebel Alliance before time runs out.
No blasters required for this mission— participants need only brainpower to save the rebellion from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday this weekend.
The SXSW installation is an escape room-like experience in which small groups of participants must solve a series of puzzles in order to progress through the course. Sights and sounds from the planet Scarif add to the immersive problem-solving mix.
Be careful not to choke on your aspirations – like all escape experiences, the Rebel Mission is timed. Taking too long to steal the plans to the Death Star just might put you face-to-face with the destiny you weren’t looking for.
Some Rebel intelligence worth keeping in mind before venturing out:
Choose your crew wisely. The tasks aren’t easy and take some teamwork to work though. Don’t get cocky, kid.
Think outside the box. Jedi mind tricks won’t work in this mission, but the cellular one in your pocket just might. That is, if you’re like me and aren’t a math wiz.
Trust the Force. Always.
May the Force of others be with you. You’re gonna need it.
This year, wristbands are $95 for all film screenings, all nine days of the fest, or $65 for the beloved-by-locals second half of the film festival, March 14-18.
Here is the new wrinkle: In keeping with SXSW’s idea of conference convergence, music and interactive badge holders can now get in line with film wristband holders. Which means film badge holders get top priority, then wristbands/music and interactive badge holders.
To the extent that this diminishes the value of the wristband, nobody can yet say. But if you plan carefully, don’t expect to get into marquee stuff can utilize the screens that are not downtown and can go to movies all five days, the film wristband is still a decent deal and the second half wristband remains one of the great bargains in Austin.
The Alamo Drafthouse released a statement regarding the closure of its South Lamar location Sunday. The company writes:
Late last night, a staff member who has been with the Alamo Drafthouse Lamar for nearly a decade was killed in an accident. We have closed the Lamar theater for the day so that the rest of the team can be with their families and friends. If you have tickets for today, we will automatically be issuing refunds to everyone later this week. If you purchased through Fandango, they will have to issue the refund. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We apologize for the inconvenience.
That’s what the fictional (or is it real?) online game Nerve asks curious millennials in the upcoming film starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. The two “players” get caught up in a string of increasingly menacing dares that drive them deeper and deeper into the game.
The film won’t be officially released until July 27, but we’re giving away passes to an advance screening two days earlier. To enter the contest, check us out on Instagram at @austin360, find the post with the promo code and enter that code at LionsgateScreenings.com.
Fifty lucky winners will be given admit-two first come, first serve passes to attend the screening of ‘Nerve’ at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 25 at AMC Barton Creek Square 14. You can hope to be a watcher, but first, you have to play.
“Two Birds, One Stone.” In this French film, the sibling dynamics of an enormous first generation Algerian-French family are tested when their 75 year old mother goes on an unexpected journey. 8 to 10 p.m.June 3. $10. AFS at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road. austinfilm.org.
“Keeper.” A 15 year old Francophone Swiss teen couple discovers their accidental pregnancy and feel compelled to keep the baby. 8 to 10 p.m.June 4. $7-$10. AFS at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road. austinfilm.org.
“The Good Life.” Two brothers are raised in the beauty of the remote French countryside by their poor ascetic father. When the police come knocking, they are faced with critical choices about making their own way in teh world. 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.June 5. $7-$10. AFS at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road. austinfilm.org.
“Next Year.” Clotilde and Aude are best friends, attached at the hip, in their last year of high school in a small French village. When Paris beckons after graduation, they discover they aren’t quite ready for the next big step. 7 to 9 p.m.June 6. $7-$10. AFS at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road. austinfilm.org.
“The Other Side.” Roberto Minervini, the Texas-based Italian filmmaker, is on the forefront of artistic innovation with docufiction. This film, following an impoverished Louisiana couple with a drug problem, explores the hidden world of low-income America. 7:30 to 9 p.m.June 8. $7-$10. AFS at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road. austinfilm.org.
“Diary of a Lost Girl.” Louise Brooks stars in this silent film from 1929, exemplifying “the subversive violence inherent in beauty and a light heart.” 7:30 to 10 p.m.June 9. $7-$10. AFS at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road. austinfilm.org.
“Being Charlie” has a strong autobiographical component. According to the production notes, Nick Reiner (the director’s son) wrote the screenplay with Matt Elisofon, whom he met in rehab. Charlie, like Elisofon, is an aspiring stand-up comedian. And the brief scenes of Charlie on the stage reveal him to be a brash showoff with at least a modicum of talent.
Let’s assume that Rob Reiner made a movie peopled with disagreeable characters to transcend the feel-good clichés of the nostalgic family entertainments for which he’s known with a more realistic film about contemporary issues. But the movie’s refusal to abandon commercial formulas and examine its characters’ inner lives suggests that the director’s years inside the Hollywood bubble may have prevented him from recognizing the degree to which independent films and television are already overrun with deeper, more sensitive explorations of addiction and recovery.
The smooth, cozy charm of writer-director Lorene Scafaria’s “The Meddler” offers considerable seriocomic satisfaction in its story of a mother and a daughter, the meddler and the meddled with, respectively. I don’t get the high-end praise for this medium entity. But as a performance vehicle it’s nice and spacious.
Susan Sarandon is Marnie Minervini, recently widowed New Jersey transplant, whose late husband left her with plenty of money to go with her generous and compulsive instincts. She has moved to Los Angeles to be near her TV writer daughter, Lori, a romantically thwarted workaholic played by Rose Byrne. Shrewdly, “The Meddler” refuses to gin up major-league conflict and resolution in its central relationship. The tensions come and go; they’re plausible and human-scaled.