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Kate Levasseur

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Kate LeVasseur is a large animal specialist who manages the health and well-being of horses. She was passionate about equine health from an early age, she work with private breeders, race horse owners, or research facilities to improve the quality of life and provide the utmost care for horses. She is licensee veteran to practice veterinary medicine in the State of Minnesota. She is specialized in the diagnosis, care, and treatment of horses.

Sex: Male
Birthday: 1-1-1986
Language: English
Relationship Status: Single
Interested In: Men and Women

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Mobile phone: 970-824-5964
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      • Kate Levasseur
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        Kate Levasseur
        • Entertainer
          • 5/5 (1 votes)
          Blog by Entertainer

          Thumb yearofspectacular 2

          Two of the best roles in the career of Lea Thompson revolve around characters who are haunted by their past. The first is a film practically everyone knows: Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 classic, “Back to the Future,” which remains one of the all-time great entertainments and served as the career launching pad for Thompson. She played Lorraine, the mother of Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), whose meddling with time travel has forced him to play matchmaker to his teenage mom and dad (Crispin Glover). 

          The second film may be the finest acting showcase to date for Thompson, though it still has yet to receive the audience it deserves. In Jim Hemphill’s marvelous 2011 two-hander, “The Trouble with the Truth,” she plays Emily, a woman who reunites with her ex-husband (John Shea) for a dinner where they end up confronting their own beliefs regarding relationships, as well as their ever-simmering feelings for one another. In one of his final reviews, Roger Ebert awarded the film three-and-a-half stars, writing, “Part of the greatness of this film is that it not only avoids any simple answers, but it also takes us into the awkward contradictions and internal dishonesties that help us look at the mirror each day. […] It's a conversation that many of us should have, but never will.”

          After helming several episodes of her long-running series, “Switched at Birth,” Thompson has directed her first feature, “The Year of Spectacular Men,” which is about a young woman very much preoccupied with her future. She’s played by Thompson’s daughter, Madelyn Deutch, who also penned the script as well as several songs on the film’s soundtrack. For much of the picture, Madelyn’s protagonist strives to find her match—whether it be a role in front of the cameras (the cult horror comedy “Zombeavers” proves less than ideal) or a boyfriend behind the scenes. Madelyn’s own real-life sibling, Zoey Deutch, co-stars as her sister, and the ensemble includes some inspired comic turns from Jesse Bradford, Cameron Monaghan, Brandon T. Jackson and Nicholas Braun as the heroine’s potential flames. Prior to the film’s premiere on June 16th at the LA Film Festival, Thompson spoke with RogerEbert.com about her experience in the director’s chair, the joy of collaborating with her daughters and her greatest mission as an artist.

          What has it been like having a place in the collective nostalgia of people all over the world for the past few decades?

          It’s incomprehensible. I’ve heard that a person can only imagine seven items at a time, and that’s about it. When you realize that at least half of the people in America have seen “Back to the Future,” and that it is very important to so many of them, it’s such an honor. This movie is unique because it is spanning generations now. People who saw it in the theater as children were enjoying their parents’ nostalgia for the ’50s. Now those same people are showing the film to their own children, who are enjoying their parents’ nostalgia for the ’80s as well as their grandparents’ nostalgia for the ’50s. Many of the kids watching the film now have already seen me at an older age, so they’re not as freaked out when they see me in the earlier scenes. It’s easier for them to imagine me in different time periods. I couldn’t have asked to have been known for a better part. It was a great part in a great movie, and it still really holds up. I’m just so happy that I didn’t blow the audition. [laughs]

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          Your daughters are now around the age you were when you made “Back to the Future.” How do you see yourself reflected in their own artistic journeys?

          I am so proud of them. There are a lot of genetics involved, since their grandparents were also performers. I really do appreciate their journeys, which are so different from my own, but for the most part, I can understand how they are feeling, no matter what they are going through. I really understand the rejection as well as the wonderful moments, and how most of those wonderful moments in our lives are tinged with some kind of disappointment or sorrow. There is always that double-edged sword except for when you are really in the art and you are creating in the moment. But when you are at a premiere, you feel super-insecure and it doesn’t feel like a victory. You’re often having two feelings conflicting within you at the same time. 

          There’s no substitute for working towards a common goal artistically with someone, and to really get to know them. Working with my daughters on “The Year of Spectacular Men” made the project extra-special. It all started after Maddie had endured a difficult year. She had just come back from college and didn’t really know what she wanted to do, so I told her, “Why don’t you write about that?” She was already a great songwriter and very capable of exposing herself. What’s hard about writing is the challenge of showing people what you’re really feeling and what you’ve went through. Whether it’s in a fictional context or not, you’re still exposing yourself, and I already knew that she could do that. It’s not something that I can do myself. I can act and direct, but it’s always behind someone else’s words. This script was a really personal mode of expression for Maddie, and her story is one that everyone in her generation can relate to in some way, shape or form. When I read the first draft, I was blown away by how honest it was and how funny and unique her voice was. 

          It was really fun to develop a way of communicating with her during the production. It’s hard to say, “Maybe you should try this,” or, “That part I don’t really get,” to any fellow artist, but even moreso when it’s your own daughter. Oftentimes daughters will be like, “MOOOOM! You don’t know anything!” [laughs] But Maddie and I really connected as artists, and it was such a special experience to work together. The whole process of making an independent film required so much tenacity and belief in the project. After having worked with so many different people in the industry, this film feels like the first piece of art that I’ve actually created myself, which is a great thing to have after all these years.

          How did your previous collaborations with directors, as well as your own experience directing television, influence your approach to this film?

          I feel like I have a unique perspective as an artist because I started out as a dancer. I grew up artistically adapting to different styles—from ballet to modern dance—and I felt like that was a mark of a really good artist. You had to be versatile in order to switch from Martha Graham to Marius Petipa choreography. I aspired to have that sort of versatility, and eventually aimed for that as an actress as well as a director. For this movie, I had very strong ideas of the images that I wanted to create—how I wanted them to look and feel. What was so wonderful about the producers that I had at Parkside Pictures was that they went along for the ride. They were down for allowing me to make the movie that I wanted to make. 

          Television informed me in the sense that it already gave me the chance to try different styles of directing and not feel hemmed in. Each story demands its own style that helps tell that story better, and that’s what is wonderful about being a part of so many stories. The nine million episodes that I’ve done of TV and the nine million independent and big studio movies that I’ve done have taught me that it’s ultimately all about telling the story in the best way possible. It’s not about showing off with fancy shots or big emotions. It’s about telling a story that people can relate to—taking the source material and doing it justice, while making it just a little bit better and clearer. That’s how I always approach my work as a director or as an actor.

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          There’s a Woody Allen-esque sensibility to the film’s opening scenes, with a jazzy score accompanying the rat-a-tat rhythm of the dialogue, which has a musical quality of its own.

          I’m glad you saw that because that’s what we were going for. I’m really into finding the right rhythm, especially when I’m doing a comedy, but it was already in Maddie’s writing. She has a very specific voice and a specific style of comedy, so the rhythm came from how she wrote the script. The editing and the music were also important components of the movie, in terms of its rhythm. We wanted to reflect the youth of the movie in its soundtrack, and that led us to include over 20 songs, which is in itself very hard to put together on an independent budget. Since Maddie and I both have a background in music, it just felt natural for us to gauge the film’s pace. I always wanted the film to start out with a certain pace and then slow down at the end to show the growth of the character. She finds her center by the end, which causes the film to slow down and breathe more.

          How did Maddie’s songs, performed with her group, “Bleitch,” inform the tone of the film?

          It was interesting because while there are three songs in the movie that she had written prior to the project, she wrote two songs specifically for the film’s ending. They were directly inspired by the ideas that she had written for the last few scenes. It’s very rare that you have the lead actress/screenwriter of a film writing the songs and then performing them at the end, enabling her to say more than she had written for those moments. During the scoring of the movie, Maddie took the themes that she had written for the ending and had them performed by a jazz band for the opening scenes. The final themes are already in the movie at the beginning, but in a jazz form. Only the biggest music nerd would get that, but it made me happy and it made Maddie happy too. We didn’t have much time or money to make this film, so I was thrilled when she wrote those songs for the end. They fit the footage beautifully, and were written almost as score, which I think enriches the overall piece. 

          One of the pleasures of this movie is seeing you portray Maddie and Zoey's mother. To what extent did your characters spring from your own bond with one another?

          Maddie had always wanted to write a part for me and a part for Zoey, so when she started writing this movie, she basically tried to think about what parts we usually don’t get. That’s why it tickled her to write Zoey the way that she did and me the way I was. We’ve been acting around one another for years because we are always working together on auditions. They do self-tapes all the time now, so we’re always taping each other, and we had already worked out a lot of kinks in our collaborations. The character that Zoey plays in Maddie’s film is so funny and kind of unexpected. You don’t think of a movie star being super-domestic and so warm that she’s even nice to the little posse of super fans out in her front yard. It’s a fun and surprising take on stardom and Hollywood.

          I’m not sure if I’ve ever played a lesbian before, but I was certainly fond of kissing my beautiful co-star, Melissa Bolona. She’s awesome and hilarious. I honestly didn’t think about my acting so much on this film, because I was concerned more with directing and getting the movie done. The difficult thing about directing myself, which I have done a lot of in the past, is that I always shortchange myself as an actor because I’m more worried about my directing duties. As you saw with this movie, there are so many locations and I was such a stickler about the look of each scene. Every single day, we were in a new set and I was trying to help the poor set-dresser because the locations are very complicated and rich.

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          One of your films that I grew up with was Nick Castle’s 1993 comedy, “Dennis the Menace,” where you played a woman who balances her role as a mother with her career. You’ve mentioned in interviews that you were essentially playing yourself in that film.  

          Yes, achieving that balance is difficult, and the challenge doesn’t go away. My kids are women now, and I still obviously spend a lot of time with them, considering I’ve made them make a movie with me. [laughs] I do feel, as a director, that I am benefiting from all the female directors who have gone before me. I really don’t feel much prejudice except occasionally from the older DPs, who can be difficult when working with female directors. But I feel like it’s easier now to work and to be a mother. I know my daughter Zoey has worked with a lot of female directors—maybe more than men—and right now she’s working with a director who’s pregnant and has a two-year-old. That’s really hard, but the world is kind of waking up to the fact that it’s okay to balance a career with motherhood. I was very adamant with myself to not act guilty that I was going to work when I was around my children. Even if I felt guilty, I never acted like it, and I think that was really beneficial to my children in helping them to grow up to be strong women. It’s obviously a juggling act and I feel like I did it mostly well.

          Zoey recently worked with director Ry Russo-Young on “Before I Fall,” which could be linked with “Back to the Future” while using “Groundhog Day” as a connecting thread. All three films utilize time travel as a method to correct the past. It's also worth noting how both "Back to the Future" and "Before I Fall" serve as a rebuke against bullying. 

          I thought that “Before I Fall” was really beautiful and I loved the timing of its release. There’s so much bullying going on right now, as if meanness has suddenly become an acceptable thing in our society. It was around last November when I started thinking, ‘All these people are being so mean. That gives me permission to be mean now, too. Doesn’t that feel great?’ It felt great for about half a second. Then I remembered that I have values, and that there is a way I have learned to live my life, which is, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” That movie came along to remind us that it’s much better to be kind. We were put on this earth to take care of each other and be of service. 

          I think Zoey did a wonderful job in the movie. You can tell what’s going on in her mind without her having to say anything because she is so expressive. I don’t think that’s just coming from a mother’s perspective, I think that comes from a director’s perspective. One reason why people love the series “The Is Us” is because it’s really a show about time travel. People are fascinated by the idea of looking back at themselves and seeing what was really going on from the outside or even from the inside. That kind of retrospection is very powerful. “This Is Us” is a lot like “Back to the Future,” because you’re seeing your parents when they were young and understanding them in a whole different way.

          The bullying these days has gotten so bad that many people have been comparing President Trump to Biff (Thomas F. Wilson) in “Back to the Future.”

          I know. Poor Tom Wilson. [laughs] He’s the best guy ever.

          When I interviewed Jim Hemphill about directing you in “The Trouble with the Truth,” he told me about your concept of “emotional improv.” Was that something you utilized while making “The Year of Spectacular Men”?

          Yeah, absolutely. I didn’t have the luxury of having two cameras, which is the best way to engage in emotional improv, because you can get both sides of a conversation with the camera at the same time and you don’t have to match it. But I definitely tried to create a space where the actors could feel free to try different emotions and different ways to play each scene. I love all of the men that we cast in the film. They were so brave and funny and I owe them such a deep debt of gratitude because I had to pay them less than a million dollars each. They were such beautiful men and so willing to make fun of their own gender. I tried to create a space where they would be willing to let go of their “machoness,” particularly when we shot the film’s three completely weird and embarrassing love scenes.

          You’ve said that your daughters were uncomfortable watching you make out with other men in films. What was it like directing Maddie in those sex scenes?

          Poor Maddie. [laughs] On the very first day, she had to do the film’s last love scene with Nick Braun in front of her mother and her father—we were both sitting there behind the monitor. But Maddie is a pro, and so is Nick Braun, and they were frickin’ hilarious. Maddie hadn’t really done scenes like these before, and we didn’t have any time for rehearsal. She knew Nick, but she didn’t know Jesse Bradford or Brandon T. Jackson at all, so she had to just jump into her intimate scenes with them. She was a champ and they were champs too. I can’t express my adoration and love for those actors enough. Filming those scenes was really hard on them as well. Not only am I Maddie’s mom, but I’m also Lorraine McFly from “Back to the Future.” I’m always carrying that character around with me, and so for at least the first few minutes, it was a bit of a thing for them to get past. 

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          Those scenes prove that you have the same gift as a director that you have as an actor—taking a scenario that could be creepy or repellant and making it human. When Lorraine is about to unknowingly make out with her son in “Back to the Future,” your performance brings such endearing innocence to that moment. 

          It’s a very human moment. I think that the greatest gift that we have as artists is the ability to remind us all of how similar we are and how we’re all in the same boat. Helping people to gain compassion and understanding of each other is our greatest mission as artists and I know Maddie is really proud of our movie for doing just that. It’s really about loving all the foibles and problems and pettiness and ugly little bits that make up every human being. All of those little things are what make people lovable in a lot of ways. You know how when you get a new iPhone and it seems so dumb at first? As soon as it starts to get a little broken down and develops weird quirks—like the number of times it requires you to turn it off and on again—you suddenly start to get a little affectionate towards it. It’s not the perfection in people that we actually love. It’s the little quirks and cracks and Crow’s-feet that we end up loving about each other, and that’s what I love about human beings. I like to show the little cracks in them.

          What spoke to me in the film was this idea of finding closure not in a relationship but in yourself. Making this film seemed to offer Maddie closure about her own experiences.

          There were two overarching themes in the film that we tried to tackle as subtly as possible, one of which was about how secrets can destroy your life—either by keeping them or feeling them but not knowing them. As we were making the movie, we were surrounded by some really tragic deaths, and it got us thinking about how death effects us. Our memories of people who’ve passed away and our own fear of death are with us at all times. Those were the deeper themes of the film that we were thinking about while we were making it. I’ve noticed that keeping secrets in families really hurts people and it’s important to have closure on them. You have to be open and honest about things. 

          When I was having my kids, I read Dr. Spock’s Baby & Child Care, which is an old book, but it was written by a great guy. Dr. Spock talks about how it’s really important that kids feel things. If you lie and hide what’s actually happening, all that will do is inform your kids that you’re lying to them and they’ll make up their own stories. But if you tell them the truth—whatever is age-appropriate—your kids will know that they can count on you, and they won’t drive themselves crazy thinking that they are feeling something that doesn’t exist. So I took that to heart and I think it’s really important. In the film, we try to convey how once you’ve embraced the truth, you can find solid ground and see your path more clearly. 

          Too many teen-centric movies center on female protagonists who are defined by the men in their lives, but this film is about a young woman finding herself. There’s a real sense of gratitude at the end. It’s not about what Maddie’s character has lost, but what she has gained within the losses.

          It’s really lovely that you saw that in the film. Maddie was very adamant about what she wanted. Of course, we were all like, “We better shoot a different ending just in case.” Luckily it didn’t work out because the other actor turned out to be unavailable, and Maddie knew exactly where she wanted her character to be in the end. We still had to finesse it in a way that hopefully feels satisfying. The belief that everything in your life, good and bad, makes you who you are is a very spiritual perspective. You are the sum total of all the people that you’ve loved or that you’ve met. In order to find peace, you have to feel grateful for all the things that make you who you are and have taken you to the spot where you are right now. We didn’t want the film to be man-hating in any way. Maddie really tried in the writing to be as culpable for the problems with the guys as they were. They were all kind of self-absorbed and just not on the same track. Maddie came up with such interesting details—like the fact that Nick’s character can only talk to his phone, which makes her character go, “Forget it, I don’t want to be with you. I’m right here! You can’t talk to me?” What we aimed to do was make a nontraditional traditional movie, and I think we accomplished that goal. 

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          I must also ask you about the experience of making “The Trouble with the Truth.” Your performance in that film is just incredible.

          Thank you! I love that movie so much. I had been an actor for so long, and I had never seen myself be so honest—like even close—before on film. It’s all about the writing and the directing. It’s not like I decided, “Oh gee, I’ll be dishonest while I’m acting.” I’m trying to service whatever the piece is. The film is so unusual and the way he shot it with two different cameras was so great. It really allowed for the emotional improv that I was talking about earlier. I could laugh on one take at a certain line or I could cry on the next take at the same line. I didn’t have to worry about the other actor being mad because he wasn’t reacting to the same thing that I was doing. It was such an opportunity for us to be free and honest in the same moment. There’s an alchemy that happens where everything clicks into place, and it is rare. It happened on “Back to the Future,” and it also happened on “The Trouble with the Truth” as well. Without any rehearsal, we all got into the same flow and created something together that was unique and special in that moment. It’s super-rare for actors to all line up and be comfortable with the writing. 

          I didn’t even know John Shea at all. I’d worked with him on the miniseries, “A Will of Their Own,” but he was playing my evil husband and I was busy with other stuff. Before starting “The Trouble with the Truth,” I bumped into John at an event where he was talking about his theater company. I could see that he was awesome and that he was unafraid of memorizing lines. If I hadn’t bumped into him that day, I’d never have thought of suggesting him for the role in Jimmy’s film. Jimmy immediately loved the idea, John got on a plane and I was acting with him the next day. It was crazy. Sometimes you get into a certain flow as an athlete or an artist or a writer—I’m sure you’ve felt this before. Sometimes you sit down at your typewriter and all of a sudden, it just comes out, and an hour later, you’ve got something really great. When you’re in that flow, it’s like magic, and I feel like that happened with this movie. 




          Original: http://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/emotional-improv-lea-thompson-on-the-year-of-spectacular-men
          By: Matt Fagerholm
          Posted: June 13, 2017, 12:34 pm

          • Entertainer
            • 5/5 (1 votes)
            Blog by Entertainer

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            We are pleased to feature an excerpt from the June 2017 edition of the online magazine Bright Wall/Dark Room, which is focused on the concept of The Hero's Journey on film. Along with this essay by Kelsey Ford about "Personal Shopper" and "Raw," the issue also features essays on "Superman" (1978), "Logan," "Labyrinth," "The Fisher King," "Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal," 'The Wizard of Oz" and more

            You can read previous excerpts from the magazine by clicking here. To subscribe to Bright Wall/Dark Room, or purchase a copy of their current issue, click here.


            Even though you won’t believe me
            my story is beautiful
            And the serpent that sang it
            Sang it from out of the well.

            - Leonora Carrington

            1.

            Medusa wasn’t always a monster.

            Before she became cursed with a halo of snakes and a gaze that could turn strangers to stone, Medusa was beautiful. Poseidon wanted her, but she didn’t return his affections; he cursed her. Medusa’s luscious blonde hair became angry snakes; her roseate cheeks became a sickly green; her gentle eyes became furious and blood-shot.

            Her desires didn’t match the desires expected of her. She had a body a man could not claim.

            She became a monster.

            2.

            Female monsters in movies are historically villains. They’re the thing to be defeated, the final feat on a quest. But recently, we’ve seen films that center the story around this monster. They are no longer the hero’s obstacle; they are their own obstacle, trying to understand the danger implicit in their existence. Under the Skin’s alien tries to contend with the boundaries of her new skin. The violent, selfish sister in Crimson Peak is ready and willing to fight anything that comes between her and the only love and comfort she’s known, no matter how twisted that love may be.

            Two recent films, Raw and Personal Shopper, tease these elements out. In each, by the end of the film, you feel you know the character’s fears, their monstrous wants and needs, and the ways they fight the snowballing desire within.

            In a speech Margaret Atwood gave in 1994, she said of female bad characters that they can “act as keys to doors we need to open, and as mirrors in which we can see more than just a pretty face.” She goes on: “if you’re a woman, the bad female character is your shadow.” They explore their subterranean depths, and you do along with them.

            Telling their story is like seeing the dark side of the moon.

            3.

            Justine (Garance Miller) is a vegetarian and about to begin her first year at veterinary school. She’s petite with broad, cowering eyes, a prominent collarbone. Her actions, angular and careful, accentuate her bones, her sinew, her skeleton. Raw, the 2016 French film from Julia Ducournau, watches as Justine tries to hide from the incessant appetite unfurling inside her.

            Her first night at the school, she’s woken by her disoriented roommate, Adrien (Rabah Nait Oufella). He’s carrying a ski pole. Loud noises filter through the hallway until fervent, masked men break in, yelling in their faces, tossing mattresses out windows. The intruders herd Justine and Adrien out into the hallway, into a line of other cowering first years. It becomes clear, quickly, that this is Rush Week. The second years take their hazing seriously. If anyone backs down, they’re expelled, their faces scratched from the class photo. 

            With her new classmates, Justine crawls along concrete, slowly, one of a herd, toward a rager hidden at the end of a long corridor. The next day, blood is dumped over the first years, just before the class photo. After, the first years are lined up. When Justine and Adrien reach the front, they realize that they’ve been waiting to ingest a raw rabbit liver. Justine protests. She’s a vegetarian. She pulls her sister, Alexia (Ella Rumpf), over to vouch for her. Alexia, however, is a second year. She ate the liver the year before and doesn’t want her sister to chicken out. 

            Justine, faced with expulsion or meat, chooses the meat. She nearly retches, but the liver doesn’t come up and, like that, the maw of Justine’s desire has been pushed open.

            She does her best to ignore it, but she can’t. She tries to steal a beef patty. Adrien catches her and takes her to a truck stop to eat shawarma. Later, back in their dorm, when Adrien isn’t looking, she chomps into a raw chicken breast. It’s an escalation that reaches its peak in an amazing, delirious scene that begins with Alexia preparing to trim Justine’s pubic hair, and ends with Alexia passed out across the floor and Justine chomping into a severed toe, her sister’s blood coating her chin.

            Afterwards, when Alexia pins the toe’s disappearance on their dog, their dad says they’ll have to put it down. Justine protests. The dog didn’t cut the toe off himself! But her father stays firm: “An animal that has tasted human flesh isn’t safe.”

            Justine looks up at him. She can’t tell him the truth. She has tasted human flesh. She’s no longer safe.

            4.

            Personal Shopper, Olivier Assayas’s latest, opens with Maureen (Kristen Stewart) walking through an empty home in the French countryside. As she wanders through rooms, shadow gives way to more shadow. The space seems anathema to electricity. Tentative, Maureen whispers: “Lewis?” She spends the night in the house, curled in on herself. The sign she’d been hoping for didn’t come, but as she explains to her former sister-in-law the next morning: “There was a presence. I felt something. I just can’t tell. It was too far.” There could be no one, she says. But there could be something.

            Maureen is stuck in limbo. Her twin brother, Lewis, recently passed away from a rare heart defect that she shares with him. They also shared a gift toward the paranormal, and so, promised each other: if one of them died first, the other would wait for a sign—any sign—as proof of an afterlife. Maureen refuses to leave Paris until she hears from Lewis. Stuck between one place and another, she’s taken a job as a personal shopper for the famous and fashionable Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten). Maureen spends much of the film motoring around Paris on her moped, picking up expensive outfits, deftly driving as shopping bags hang from either shoulder.

            The movie is sincere about its world. Maureen doesn’t dance around the implication of ghosts. The spirit in the house vomits ectoplasm; it’s female and angry and violent, and now it’s gone. Maureen does research, tries to understand the bounds of her own talent. She researches the painter Hilma af Klint, who said that spirits commissioned her paintings, and researches Victor Hugo’s communication with the other side.

            Maureen seems outside of the story—waiting to receive word from Lewis, from anyone, waiting,

            taking clues from long-dead artists—until she receives a text from an unknown number. Whoever is sending these texts needles her. Her fingers shake over her phone as she types out, “R u alive or dead?” and then, “Lewis?” It’s not Lewis, but whoever it is they open up a canal of want inside Maureen. They probe at her desires. Does she want to be someone else? Yes. Who? She doesn’t know.

            She admits to trying on Kyra’s shoes. She types out: “No desire if it’s not forbidden.” Unknown pushes her. Try on a dress. Go on. Curl up on her bed. Be someone else for the night. It’s what you really want. She can’t deny the desire. She strips in Kyra’s walk-in closet, more open and welcoming than the humble pied-à-terre she’s been living in. She chugs vodka, zips herself into a luminescent dress, and wakes hours later, fur blankets pulled across her legs.

            Maureen knows she shouldn’t participate in this story, but she can’t help it. There is an answer at the other end of these texts. Lewis may not be reaching out to her, but Unknown is. Unknown slips a hotel key into Maureen’s mailbox. She cringes, but she goes. She pulls a trench coat over a spangled, armored dress she’d borrowed for Kyra. 

            There’s no one in the room. Unknown tells her to take a picture. She does. She doesn’t feel like herself, but as she types this out, she doesn’t pull on the trench coat or make a move to leave. She may not understand or agree with why, but she wants to be seen.

            She wants a place in her own story.

            5.

            Medusa isn’t the hero in her own myth. She doesn’t get her own Hero’s Journey; she’s the villain in Perseus’s story, the head he has to deliver as a trophy to a king.

            These monsters are not femme fatales. They’re not desirable or seductive. They are sexuality fanged. Their desire is unkempt, undone, cannot be bounded by their bodies. They don’t know where to point it or how to unspool it. In their weaker moments, it manifests in ways they can’t control. They snarl and bleed. They bite, chafe, need. After, the hangover from their desires undoes them. They insist: it won’t ever happen again. They won’t let anyone else die, anyone else hurt. But, inevitably, the threat resurfaces. They can’t control their own wants in a world that tells them these wants should never exist, that they should interact passively with the violence around them.

            In her essay, “Monsters and Mad Women,” Karen Stein writes about how, in Gothic narratives, women often fight an acceptable feminine exterior and “a suppressed, monstrous hidden self”:

            These heroines experience madness as a stage on the journey toward self-knowledge. In these inner journeys—the female equivalent of the male adventure—the heroines learn to identify with their hidden selves and to reaffirm the values which had previously been denied. By this means they reintegrate split selves, restore their fragmented identities and return to sanity and social acceptance with open-ended possibilities before them.

            For Justine and Maureen, this re-centering is not a return to normal, but rather a stepping into a new mode of being, where they accept their unruly insides. There is nothing polite or normal about what they require from the world. 

            If ghost stories are about the lingering presence of loss, perhaps these stories of monsters are about the secrets and desires we keep in our veins and the place they force you to take in the world. 

            In Personal Shopper, Maureen gives up, finally, following her boyfriend into the mountains, but her brother follows. In an alien landscape, he reaches out, his message an earthquake through the ground. Possibilities she wrote off reopen. A chasm of frightening hope.

            In Raw, Justine, painted yellow, is thrust into a room with a male student, painted blue. They’re told not to come out until they’re both green. When the boy emerges, his face is splattered with red.

            We are not safe.

            We are monsters.




            Original: http://www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/bright-walldark-room-june-2017-of-meat-and-mediums-by-kelsey-ford
            By: The Editors
            Posted: June 13, 2017, 12:33 pm

            • Kate Levasseur
              Kate Levasseur rated #304 June 13, 2017's Rating with 5 stars
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                • 5/5 (1 votes)
                Blog by Entertainer

                Matt writes: We are certain that Roger Ebert would've been thrilled by director Patty Jenkins' recent record-shattering triumph. Her superhero blockbuster, "Wonder Woman," had the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film directed by a woman, and has earned widespread acclaim from both audiences and critics (including our own). It is only Jenkins' second feature, arriving 14 years after her astonishing debut, "Monster," which was hailed by Ebert as the best film of 2003, containing a performance by Charlize Theron that was dubbed by the critic as one of the greatest in cinema history (Theron went on to win the Best Actress Oscar). For more articles on "Wonder Woman," check out our recent Thumbnails section, as well as the following two articles: Jessica Ritchey's "Wonder Women of a Certain Age" and Brian Tallerico's report on seeing the film in 4DX.

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                Trailers


                Murder on the Orient Express (2017). Directed by Kenneth Branagh. Written by Michael Green (based on the memoir by Agatha Christie). Starring Johnny DeppKenneth BranaghDaisy Ridley. Synopsis: A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish & suspenseful mystery. Opens in US theaters on November 10th, 2017.



                Endless Poetry (2017). Written and directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Starring Adan JodorowskyBrontis JodorowskyLeandro Taub. Synopsis: Charts the years of a Chilean artist's youth during which he liberated himself from all of his former limitations. US release date is TBA.



                The Putin Interviews

                 (2017). Directed by Oliver StoneSynopsis: Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone interviews the Russian president Vladimir Putin about divisive issues related to the US-Russia relations. Premieres on Showtime on June 12th, 2017.





                Logan Lucky (2017). Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Written by Rebecca Blunt. Starring Katherine WaterstonRiley KeoughDaniel Craig. Synopsis: Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. Opens in US theaters on August 18th, 2017.



                Tiger Girl (2017). Directed by Jakob Lass. Written by Jakob Lass, Eva-Maria ReimerInes SchillerHannah Schopf and Nico Woche. Starring Ella RumpfMaria-Victoria DragusEnno Trebs. Synopsis: Tiger gets what she wants. Vanilla does not know what she wants. Apart from one important thing: a uniform. US release date is TBA.



                The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017). Directed by Patrick Hughes. Written by Tom O'Connor. Starring Salma HayekRyan ReynoldsSamuel L. Jackson. Synopsis: The world's top bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time. Opens in US theaters on August 18th, 2017.



                Landline (2017). Directed by Gillian Robespierre. Written by Elisabeth Holm and Gillian Robespierre. Starring Jenny SlateFinn WittrockJohn Turturro. Synopsis: In 1995, a teenager living with her sister and parents in Manhattan discovers that her father is having an affair. Opens in US theaters on July 21st, 2017.



                Mary and the Witch's Flower (2017). Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Written by Riko Sakaguchi and Hiromasa Yonebayashi (based on the novel by Mary Stewart). Starring Hana SugisakiRyûnosuke KamikiYûki Amami. Synopsis: The first feature film from Studio Ponoc. US release date is TBA.



                Unforgiven (1992), restoration. Directed by Clint Eastwood. Written by David Webb Peoples. Starring Clint EastwoodGene HackmanMorgan Freeman. Synopsis: Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man. US release date is TBA.



                The Mountain Between Us (2017). Directed by Hany Abu-Assad. Written by J. Mills Goodloe and Chris Weitz (based on the novel by Charles Martin). Starring Idris ElbaKate WinsletDermot Mulroney. Synopsis: Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness. Opens in US theaters on October 6th, 2017.



                Ripped (2017). Directed by Brad Epstein. Written by Billiam Coronel and Brad Epstein. Starring Alex MenesesFaizon LoveBridger Zadina. Synopsis: Comedy that tells the story of two free spirited stoners who, after smoking some top secret pot created by the CIA in 1986, find themselves catapulted into 2016. Opens in US theaters on June 23rd, 2017.



                Victoria & Abdul (2017). Directed by Stephen Frears. Written by Lee Hall (based on the novel by Shrabani Basu). Starring Judi DenchOlivia WilliamsMichael Gambon. Synopsis: Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim. Opens in US theaters on September 22nd, 2017.



                American Made (2017). Directed by Doug Liman. Written by Gary Spinelli. Starring Tom CruiseCaleb Landry JonesJesse PlemonsSynopsis: A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s. Opens in US theaters on September 29th, 2017.



                Professor Marston & The Wonder Women (2017). Written and directed by Angela Robinson. Starring Luke EvansBella HeathcoteRebecca Hall. Synopsis: Details the unconventional life of Dr. William Marston, the Harvard psychologist and inventor who helped invent the modern lie detector test and created Wonder Woman in 1941. US release date is TBA.



                Seven Sisters (2017). Directed by Tommy Wirkola. Written by Max Botkin and Kerry Williamson. Starring Noomi RapaceWillem DafoeGlenn Close. Synopsis: In a world where families are limited to one child due to overpopulation, a set of identical septuplets must avoid being put to a long sleep by the government and dangerous infighting while investigating the disappearance of one of their own. US release date is TBA.



                Killing Ground (2017). Written and directed by Damien PowerStarring Stephen HunterAaron PedersenTiarnie Coupland. Synopsis: A couples camping trip turns into a frightening ordeal when they stumble across the scene of a horrific crime. Opens in US theaters on July 21st, 2017.



                First Kill (2017). Directed by Steven C. Miller. Written by Nick Gordon. Starring Bruce WillisHayden ChristensenGethin Anthony. Synopsis: A Wall Street broker is forced to evade a police chief investigating a bank robbery as he attempts to recover the stolen money in exchange for his son's life. Opens in US theaters on July 21st, 2017.



                Coco (2017). Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina. Written by Adrian Molina. Starring Alanna UbachBenjamin BrattGael García Bernal. Synopsis: A 12-year-old boy named Miguel sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery, leading to an extraordinary family reunion. Opens in US theaters on November 22nd, 2017.


                Gabriela Cowperthwaite on "Megan Leavey"


                Matt writes: Nell Minow chats with director Gabriela Cowperthwaite about her new movie, "Megan Leavey." Minow's fellow critic, Sheila O'Malley, awarded the film three-and-a-half stars.

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                Cannes Film Festival 2017


                Matt writes: Check out all seven of Chaz Ebert's video dispatches from this year's Cannes Film Festival, including a critic's roundtable featuring Jason Gorber and Lisa Nesselson.

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                Free Movies


                The World's Greatest Lover (1977). Written and directed by Gene Wilder. Starring Gene WilderCarol KaneDom DeLuise. Synopsis: A neurotic baker travels to Hollywood to attend a talent search for an actor to rival the great Valentino. Although not an actor, through blind luck he succeeds - to a certain degree!

                Watch "The World's Greatest Lover"



                Better Off Dead (1985). Written and directed by Savage Steve Holland. Starring John CusackDavid Ogden StiersKim Darby. Synopsis: A teenager has to deal with his girlfriend dumping him among family crises, homicidal paper boys, and a rival skier.

                Watch "Better Off Dead"



                Gotti (1996). Directed by Robert Harmon. Written by Steve Shagan (based on the book by Jerry Capeci and Gene Mustain). Starring Armand AssanteAnthony QuinnWilliam Forsythe. Synopsis: John Gotti rises to head the powerful Gambino crime family before being convicted in 1992 of racketeering and murder. 

                Watch "Gotti"





                Original: http://www.rogerebert.com/ebert-club/304-june-13-2017
                By: Matt Fagerholm
                Posted: June 13, 2017, 5:01 am

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