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    • Entertainer
      Entertainer uploaded 8 images to an album Lucy Hale [249 images]
      Born: Karen Lucille Hale June 14, 1989 Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. Other names: Lucy Kate Hale Occupation: Actress singer Karen Lucille Hale (born June 14, 1989) is an American actress...
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        • Mahila Mahi
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          Blog by Mahila Mahi

          Hello Everyone, I am here to show you the design of Chocolate Day Images Let me check.

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            Entertainer published a blog post Feral

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            The cold open of this movie is unpleasantly eye-filling. In individual shots we see a woman’s bloodied-up hands and bloodied-up feet tied to a bedspring; gagged, she screams as she strains. A male figure in a sleeveless t-shirt, his face invisible, stands nearby, holding a firearm. At the bound woman grows more violent, her pupil changes to that of something not human. The man in the t-shirt adopts his “badass with a gun” pose (what is it with movies, that every time someone’s gonna pull a trigger, he’s gotta assume some dumb “I’m gonna pull the trigger” position?) and fires, killing the bound woman.

            The good news is that “Feral,” directed by Mark H. Young from a script he co-wrote with Adam Frazier, is not a horror movie about a guy in a sleeveless t-shirt who binds women to box springs and shoots them. Not per se, at any rate. No, “Feral” is about a group of college students (no!!!) who venture out into the woods (no!!!!) only to get lost and find themselves beset by creatures…help me, I can’t go on.

            And yet I must. Three couples, one of them same-sex, make their way through a wood, and say things like “Are we lost?,” “Are we going in the right direction?” and “I haven’t been here since I was a kid.” They’re heading for a lake, apparently. Giving up, they set up camp, and as night falls, discuss their med school thangs. When Matt (George Finn) reveals he’s going to be a urologist, one of the other guys taunts “Matt’s gonna be a penis doctor. He loves the D.” Oh my. One of the same-sex couple, Alice (Scout Taylor-Compton) reveals her passion for epidemiology. And so. Once in their respective tents, the kids plod through some of the worst screenwriting-workshop character-establishment bits of dialogue I’ve heard in some time, for instance, “I’m from the Bible Belt, not the Big Apple.”

            After proposing to his own squeeze, Matt leaves the tent to take a pee (ironic, when you think about it) and is promptly set upon by a creature sputtering what sound like free use library “Beast” sound effects. This thing disembowels poor Matt with haste. We only see it fleetingly, a savage-looking thing with a very bald pate. “Man, the singer from Classix Nouveaux is looking kinda rough,” I said to myself. Matt’s girl Brienne (Renee Olstead), despite having not heard his very, very loud screams, goes looking for him and gets swatted by the creature, badly.

            When daylight comes, the traumatized kids find a cabin occupied by an older gent named Talbot. He’s willing to help the kids out, but within limits. Turns out there’s some kind of virus about, an agent that Talbot calls “the feral virus,” that kills you, then reanimates you as a hairless human-flesh eating grotesque. An undead zombie, or not.

            And so the standoff goes: taciturn Talbot (whose secret explains the film’s prologue) acting for and against the victims, the potential victims at internecine odds with each other (the guy who mocked poor Matt for wanting to be a urologist gets his foot caught in a bear trap after lesbian-baiting one of the girls, serves him right) and feral creatures coming around to break up the monotony, only they don’t. And if you were wondering that the movie ever does answer the question, “Where’s an epidemiologist when you need one,” no it does not, even though it clearly gives itself every opportunity to do just that. 

            Director Young shoots his unimaginative opus with an eye of getting all the value of the gore makeup department’s work on screen. In this respect, he does a bang-up job. As for everything else, well, this movie does answer the question “What if Eli Roth’s ‘Cabin Fever’ had zero sense of humor?” very satisfactorily.

            By: Glenn Kenny
            Posted: May 25, 2018, 1:31 pm

            • Entertainer

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              The best parts of John Cameron Mitchell's films have a barely-contained energy, turning relatable emotion into cinematic (and often musical) expression in movies like the masterful “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and often-fascinating “Shortbus.” When he delivered the more dramatically sincere heartbreak of “Rabbit Hole,” he proved how deft he was at handling trauma and directing performers (it remains one of Nicole Kidman’s best performances). It’s taken eight years for his fourth film to hit theaters, a full year after it premiered to very mixed reviews at Cannes, and this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s short story feels like it shares some of the best elements of Mitchell’s previous work. There’s the punk rock expression of “Hedwig,” the sexual exploration of “Shortbus” and even some family drama that recalls “Rabbit.” And yet these elements slip through Mitchell’s fingers in the second half, as the various themes and subplots of “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” sort of just smash into each other instead of coalescing into something satisfying. Ultimately, “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” is like a hyperactive kid at a punk rock show—full of great energy and ambition, but not too sure what to do with it.

              The dramatic conceit of “Parties” is a clever one, contrasting punk youth culture in ‘80s England with, well, an alien race built around conformity, one that literally eats its children to sustain itself. One such child is the wide-eyed Zan (a perfectly-cast Elle Fanning), who meets punk kid Enn (Alex Sharp) one night after the latter gets lost looking for a punk show after party. With his equally punk buddies, they stumble into what is basically the Airbnb for a bunch of aliens on holiday. Zan is instantly fascinated by Enn, and a star-crossed Romeo and Juliet starts to play out. Given 48 hours of freedom to explore the city with Enn, Zan realizes the power of youth rebellion, and meets the Queen of the local punk movement, played by Nicole Kidman. “Do more punk to me,” she tells Enn.

              The use of punk culture and alien culture to parallel youth passion and rebellion is clever. For young men who still hang out in treehouses, pretty girls, especially those from L.A., seem like aliens. Boys who are different and don’t conform seem pretty punk rock to young women. When “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” focuses on Enn and Zan, it really works, particularly because Fanning is her typically-great self and Sharp is impressively committed to all of it. When “Parties” captures some of that “Hedwig” energy in a story of literally star-crossed lovers, it also really works. When it doesn’t, especially in flat attempts at humor, it reminded me of “3rd Rock From the Sun.”

              Enn’s two buddies—one is sexually awakened by another race of aliens led by Ruth Wilson while the other becomes obsessed with the impact the music the aliens play has on him—are distracting more than entertaining, a quality Pere Ubu joke not withstanding. And then the final act kicks in and “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” totally gets away from Mitchell. It becomes an alternately talky and crazy movie that comes apart at the seams tonally. Most shockingly, it actually leaves Enn and Zan for long stretches. As much as I love Kidman and Wilson, this is the kind of movie that demands a forced perspective on the two kids at its center. Without them, it’s clearer how silly the whole thing is and harder to stick with it. Viewers will put up with the pursuit of young love more than the dissection of interstellar rituals.

              Despite that, there’s a laudable lunacy to “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” that makes it hard to hate. Rarely has a character within a movie summed up how I felt about its tonal inconsistencies as much as when Zan turns to Enn after a particularly funny discussion and says, “There are contradictions in your metaphor … but I am moved by it.”

              By: Brian Tallerico
              Posted: May 25, 2018, 1:32 pm

              • Entertainer
                Entertainer published a blog post In Darkness

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                This movie begins cleverly. After the opening credits, we see a shot of a woman being strangled. Seems a POV shot from the perspective of the strangler; film buffs will recognize the camera’s positioning as similar to that used in more than one scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1972 “Frenzy.” Chilling, string-driven music accompanies the violence. But the camera dollies back from the POV and we see a screen; this is a film within a film, and the music is being provided by an actual orchestra. We’re in a large recording studio during a film-scoring session. Nice. Once the conductor breaks up the session, we meet the pianist Sofia, played by Natalie Dormer, who co-wrote the film with its director, Anthony Byrne. (The two are married.) Sofia is blind, and following the session, Byrne does a resourceful job of not evoking her sightless world but of demonstrating how Sofia negotiates it. The upshot being that she’s rather self-sufficient.

                Once at her apartment building, she runs into Veronique, a neighbor. Played by Emily Ratajkowski, who speaks in an accent that’s as outlandish as it is geographically unidentifiable, the character is plainly an extrovert. She thanks Sofia for agreeing to play at “my father’s benefit,” and when asked by Sofia about the perfume she’s wearing tells her it’s her little secret.

                At this point the movie shifts gears. Sofia’s night of unusual dreams gives way to a following day conveyed in a speedy, disconcerting montage, during which Sofia trips on the stairs of her building, brought low by a short scarf of Veronique’s that’s fallen off the woman. Offering the scarf back to her neighbor in the lift, Veronique instructs her to keep it. Then she reveals that her scent is “Liquid Gold.” Now this bit of information turns out to be a plot point, but I wonder if the phrasing would have stayed put if anyone had told Ms. Dormer and Mr. Byrne that in the United States the phrase is used in the advertising for Velveeta Cheese.

                Later that evening, Veronique falls to her death. Or was she pushed?

                At this point there’s still a chance that the movie will be an interesting and perhaps Hitchcockian thriller based on the premise of a murder heard but not seen. But Byrne and Dormer have something far more ambitious in mind. Hints of which start cropping up as Detective Mills (Neil Maskell) begins making inquiries. Sofia claims not to have been aware of Veronique’s’ surname; and yet, she is scheduled to play at a benefit held by her father, whose surname she surely knows.

                That father, it happens, is named Radic, and is a Bosnian businessman in London who’s likely on the verge of being busted big time for war crimes. And there is the rub. As we see Sofia receiving single cards filled with braille messages in her mail box, and her burning them after reading, we get the sense that she’s not just a musical whiz minding her own business.

                It’s here that the movie reveals its more expansive ambitions. And I think it bites off more than it can chew. The evocation of Bosnian war crimes is on the glib side, I think. And as much as the narrative wants to construct Sofia as a punishingly strong woman, the movie goes against that by having her get rescued by Batman at least twice. Okay, it’s not really Batman, but the whose-side-is-he-on hunk played by Ed Skrein gets to do his thing in scenes that sure look like Christopher Nolan homages. And finally, the movie’s approach to violence, offering moralistic portentousness in tandem with what sure feels like sadistic relish, suggests that its makers have been watching too much “Game of Thrones.” (N.B., that last line was a jest. I know that Ms. Dormer is famed for her work on that show. Saved you a comment there.)

                That said, I did find myself wishing that all films this narratively misguided were so directorially sure-footed. Makes getting through them a lot less painful. 

                By: Glenn Kenny
                Posted: May 25, 2018, 1:32 pm

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                  Entertainer published a blog post Summer 1993

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                  In every family, there’s a precocious little kid who is always lurking around amongst the adults. They’re often within earshot of things they may not understand and to which they should definitely not be privy. I was one of these kids, and in the more comprehensive glow of my adulthood, I realized I’d gained quite an education while hanging out with the adults. But as a kid, I was clueless, entangled in my own narcissistic wavelength of childhood goings-on to truly appreciate the nuggets of truth, wisdom and trouble falling all around me. Looking back, I feel a sense of bemused frustration that I didn’t catch on to things earlier.

                  Writer/director Carla Simón’s autobiographical film “Summer 1993” understands this feeling. It’s told from the perspective of six-year-old Frida (Laia Artigas), though “perspective” may be too misleading as a  description. This is not a film for children, but the camerawork and the emotional undercurrents most often evoke the physical viewpoint, level of understanding and sensory processes of a child. We as adults must deduce the film’s most crucial pieces of information as they fly over Frida’s head. Simón does a good job training our eyes and hearts to once again engage the childhood perceptions that were shutdown by our own ascent into maturity. For example, an early bathtub scene between Frida and her cousin Anna (Paula Robles) frames Frida’s uncle Esteve (David Verdaguer) as the “villain” spoiling their  fun. You can practically feel the disappointment beaming off the screen.

                  Esteve and his wife, Marga (Bruna Cusí) are the caretakers who have moved Frida from Barcelona to a rural village that registers as a bit of culture shock for the young girl. Frida’s parents are both deceased, and their cause of death is never explicitly stated. However, the foreboding sense of shame whenever they are mentioned, and the film’s reliance on blood as a repeated visual motif, leads us to infer that Frida’s parents succumbed to AIDS-related illnesses. Simón isn’t stingy with the details; rather, she parses them out in a way that requires viewing “Summer 1993” in a different manner than most movies. Frida is in her own little world and we are primarily there with her, so it’s up to us to catch what’s on the fringes of this universe.

                  One of the ways “Summer 1993” crafts its overall feel is the casual manner in which events unfold. Several scenes ramble on with a lackadaisical pacing of an afternoon of youthful play. It evokes memories of one’s own past summers, when school was out and the time before the streetlights came on seemed infinite. Anna and Frida bicker and play while the adults cater to far more important matters that will invade and corrupt their bubbles of innocence later. For now, adulthood—or the kids’ imitation of it—intervenes in a much sweeter, more humorous manner in a well-crafted scene of dress-up featuring Frida as a diva caricature barking out orders and basking in her own imagined greatness.

                  Of course, all idylls are temporary. Simón bypasses most of the sentimentality normally associated with a film like this, opting instead for a mature exploration of grief and its aftereffects. One gets the sense that Simón is inspecting her childhood processing of loss onscreen through the filter of the reminiscing adult behind the camera. “Summer 1993” dissects Frida’s concept of what happened to her parents and why she is now her aunt’s ward so as to better understand how she developed into the adult she became.  

                  This idea really spoke to me; at one point, I gravitated toward my memories of losing my grandmother when I was four, and how I had no understanding of what that meant nor why everyone was crying. My cousin, who was not much older than me, gave me my first lesson on what losing someone meant. That experience shook me enough to etch itself into my memory so well that I could currently reach back into myself to feel the scar it left, forcing me to reconcile the original feeling through a far more adult definition.

                  “Summer 1993” feels like that, most notably in late scenes where Frida suddenly becomes antagonistic toward her playmate. She abandons Anna in the woods and makes plans to run away from her aunt’s stricter household. At first, I thought Frida was being a ripe pain in the ass, but then I figured out what Simón was showing me. A bit of worry accompanies these scenes, as we are so conditioned as viewers to expect the worst in situations like this. But Simón defies our expectations yet again, acknowledging the darkness without ignoring the light. There’s an old saying about kids that goes “little pitchers have big ears.” “Summer 1993” is all about the emotions that get poured into those pitchers.

                  By: Odie Henderson
                  Posted: May 25, 2018, 1:33 pm

                  • Entertainer
                    Entertainer published a blog post Mary Shelley

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                    Early on in “Mary Shelley,” a muddled biopic about the early 19th-century British teen-ager who would conceive “Frankenstein,” her soon-to-be-lover and future husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, flirtatiously inquires if she is a writer. She coyly answers, ”Not really. Nothing substantial.” He then asks her to define substantial. Her breathless reply: “Anything that curdles the blood and quickens the beatings of the heart.”

                    There is little chance of either biological reaction being triggered during the course of this misguided effort to once more stage the fateful stormy summer night at Lord Byron’s Lake Geneva villa in 1816 that would give birth to a tale that continues to spark our imaginations today. For that sort of response, you would have to turn to Ken Russell’s “Gothic” from 1986. A diabolical master of pungently alluring visual cinema, the twisted British auteur served up a ghoulish goulash of gushing blood and heaving bosoms that delivered the eerie and the erotic in unrestrained doses. But director Haifaa Al-Mansour and screenwriter Emma Jensen seem more intent in turning their blossoming literary heroine into an inspiration for young girls as she challenged the social norms of male dominance. That’s fine. But what results is a tepid soap-operatic battle of the sexes that drains passion rather than enflames it. 

                    For her first feature, 2013’s much-admired “Wadjda,” Al-Mansour picked a subject that hit close to home for her: a Saudi Arabian girl enters a school competition so she can use the prize money to buy a bicycle, a mode of transport deemed improper for females. Al-Mansour would go on to make history as the first woman to direct a full-length Saudi film, one that became her country’s only entry so far in the foreign-language Oscar sweepstakes. That it didn’t make the cut as a nominee is an afterthought, since it opened doors on the world stage for the woman behind the camera.

                    But as all too often happens after a filmmaker’s debut makes a big splash, finding a worthy sophomore effort can be a daunting task. So let’s cut Al-Mansour a little slack for misfiring with “Mary Shelley”—but not too much. It’s all well and good to stand up for the creator of “Frankenstein,” who initially wasn’t even given authorial credit for what is considered the prototype for all sci-fi novels to come. It was assumed by most that her better-known spouse wrote the tale since he penned a preface for it—until her influential father, writer and bookseller William Godwin, reprinted the book with her name on the cover years later. But this portrait of an unconventional historical figure is burdened rather than liberated by its too conventional framework.

                    Also problematic are the actors playing both Mary and Percy. Usually, the comely presence of Elle Fanning would be a plus but, for some reason, I found it hard to buy her as this artist-on-the-cusp who grew up under tragic circumstances. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was ahead of her time as the firebrand writer of A Vindication for the Rights of Woman which argued that women were not inferior to males. This supporter of free love and equal rights would die mere days after giving birth to her namesake daughter, one of several untimely demises that would plague the younger Mary, including two of her own children.

                    Mary, as well as the story itself, should be haunted by such losses, especially given that she liked nothing more than hanging out at her mother’s gravesite while scribbling in her notebooks. Instead, the movie, as picturesque as it is, only skims the surface of such complex emotions. Both Fanning and Douglas Booth (“Loving Vincent”) as Percy are exceedingly pretty to behold and wear their period garb well. But they never feel fully settled into their roles or engaged in their scandalous liaison (he was married with child— actually, two—when they met). Not helping matters is that far too much of Booth’s dialogue consists of lines from Percy’s poems, as if he is riffing on his own greatest hits.

                    Instead, the most fascinating couple in the movie turns out to be Bel Powley (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”) as Claire Clairmont, Mary’s younger half-sister. The high-spirited, natural-born rebel falls for Tom Sturridge’s self-adoring Byron, a study in rakish foppery, excessive eyeliner, swishy tapestry robes and  vulpine-like leering as he lasciviously flicks his tongue at a willing Claire, who is pregnant with his baby. The twist and turns in their toxic tango are far more intriguing than Percy and Mary’s travails.

                    Another sin: Why hire such TV favorites as Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates on “Downton Abbey’s”) as Mary’s disagreeable stepmother and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark on “Game of Thrones") as her loyal Scottish chum and never give them anything memorable to do?

                    Don’t expect anyone to shout, “It’s alive!” as they depart the theater. It’s a shame that this rather dreary and excessively talky account underplays its primary draw: Finding a fresh way to show how the original goth girl modernized the myth of a mad scientist who dares to play God. Not even a jolt of electricity could spark this overlong timeline of events in its subject’s life that are ticked off like items on a to-do list. Mary Shelley and her monster fable deserve better than a treatment that is basically DOA.     

                    By: Susan Wloszczyna
                    Posted: May 25, 2018, 1:33 pm

                    • Entertainer
                      Entertainer published a blog post The Misandrists

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                      Radical Queer Canadian filmmaker Bruce LaBruce is these days making films with more visual polish than such early fare as 1993’s “No Skin Off My Ass” (a piece of subversion beloved of Kurt Cobain and Gus Van Sant) but as “The Misandrist” sometimes quite rudely testifies, he’s far from domesticated.

                      LaBruce, who frequently works in Germany for reasons business-related (I presume) and maybe on account of aesthetic affinities (the late Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Rosa von Praunheim are perhaps kindred spirits), casts German actress and frequent collaborator Susanne Sachße as Gertrude, aka Big Mother. The founder of the Female Liberation Army, a small radical separatist group, she presides over a house full of teachers and younger women who dress as nuns and schoolgirls whenever the local authorities drop in. When local authorities aren’t dropping in, the girls are given lessons in parthenogenesis (look it up) and “Herstory.” (One of the teachers is played by Kembra Pfahler, who rocked the nation and world as lead singer of The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black). The students also study cis-male gay porno films (this movie is very invested in compelling trigger warnings specially designed for people who turn up their nose at trigger warnings, considering them for snowflakes, as in its generous on-screen samplings of the aforementioned gay porn; don’t say I didn’t warn you, non-radicals!) in preparation for making their own porno, which will serve as propaganda for the anti-male movement.

                      Into this Eden of Estrogen, a snake is introduced. While out romping in the fields, students Hilde (Olivia Kundisch) and Isolde (Kita Updike) come upon young Volker (Til Schindler), a male radical who’s limping though the forest after having vandalized the Stock Exchange. Isolde insists on taking him in and hiding him in the residence’s basement to heal up.

                      This plot sounds like “The Beguiled,” right? Trust me, this movie is NOTHING like “The Beguiled,” For one thing, it’s not nearly as plot-driven. LaBruce takes things slowly, letting his dialogue drawl languidly and with little affect from his performers’ mouths; the style of acting here, as in other LaBruce pictures, seems heavily influenced by the ‘60s sci-fi oddity “Creation of the Humanoids.”

                      The dialogue, while not always so clever (the adaptation of prayers and salutations to remove reference to the male gender is milked a little overmuch), is almost always amusingly provocative, as when Big Mother muses “Only nuns and prostitutes can escape man while still being subjected to him.”

                      LaBruce also celebrates female solidarity with a pillow fight lovingly shot but not indulging the standard Male Gaze. As we await the inevitable discovery of Volker, characters give their back stories, rivalries come into focus, and problems of identity intensify in interesting ways. I suppose I should give a second trigger warning and reveal that in the film’s climax, there’s a whole bunch of unsimulated footage of an actual vaginoplasty. Not unseeable. 

                      If you think you can handle these sights, however, “The Misandrists” presents an unusual atmosphere, one mainstream cinema can not even conceive of, let alone get on a screen. Which in this era of cookie-cutter corporate quasi-mythmaking has to count for something. 

                      By: Glenn Kenny
                      Posted: May 25, 2018, 1:33 pm

                      • Entertainer
                        Entertainer published a blog post The Tale

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                        "Can you just let me sit with my own memories?" This plea, from Jennifer (Laura Dern) to her mother (Ellen Burstyn), is a key moment in "The Tale," an extraordinary and disturbing new film directed by Jennifer Fox, based on Fox's own experience with childhood molestation. It's key because "The Tale" is, in many ways, about memory, and memory's unreliability and slipperiness. Memory can cloak trauma in another "better" narrative, sparing us until we're ready to deal. Joan Didion famously wrote "We tell ourselves stories in order to live" (Jennifer quotes this in "The Tale" during a lecture to her film students). Didion's words are often recast as some self-help "all of our stories matter" pablum, but that's not what Didion was getting at at all. Storytelling can be a healthy thing, or it can be a sinister thing. Everyone wants their own narrative to "make sense." But our mind plays tricks on us, and what was used as protection for a traumatized child can begin to destroy the adult. What is amazing about Fox's film (her first narrative feature, although she's been making documentaries for years) is how it shows—visually—how memory operates, what it's like to remember something. Normally, in films like this, you get flashbacks unfurling in a linear way, and the flashbacks, bit by bit, lead us up to the present. But that's not how memory works. It's much much messier than that.

                        In the film, Jennifer is also a documentary filmmaker, and so her whole life is about finding frameworks for complex narratives. But when her mother calls her one day, deeply upset about a story she just unearthed from a box, something Jennifer wrote in middle school, Jennifer doesn't know what the big deal is. At first. 13-year-old Jennifer wrote of a summer spent with her horseback riding teacher "Mrs. G" (Elizabeth Debicki) and her running coach "Bill" (Jason Ritter). In it, she details her "relationship" with the 40-year-old Bill, whom she considers her first love. Jennifer's elderly mother is horrified by what she has read. She had no idea her daughter was raped by her running coach. But that's not how Jennifer remembers it. She remembers it as something beautiful.

                        The unnerving power of "The Tale" is in Fox's approach. In the first flashback, Jennifer is 15 years old (played by Jessica Sarah Flaum), starting her first day at a horseback riding camp. It could be the opening to a bittersweet coming-of-age story, which is how Jennifer has seen it all her life. But while going through some photo albums with her mother, Jennifer comes across a photo of herself that summer. She doesn't remember herself as being that little. Suddenly, we see the same flashback, only now her younger self is 13 (Isabelle Nélisse). It's extremely effective in its queasy-making clarity. It's not that the events of the summer would be excusable if she had been 15 years old. It's that her mind has tricked herself into thinking she was older. But the photo of her prepubescent self hammers a crack into her romantic narrative. She goes on a quest to try to piece together that summer, tracking down other students from the riding camp, even paying a visit to a now elderly Mrs. G (a terrifying Frances Conroy).

                        The film is one long interrogation, not only from Jennifer the character's standpoint, but from a directorial standpoint. Characters look straight at the camera, dead-on, standing in eerie tableaux, caught as though for a camera, photos trapped in an album, telling no tales. Time folds in on itself, as Jennifer moves through her own past. She sees the same event from different perspectives, adding shadings as more information becomes available to her. Jennifer questions the current-day Mrs. G, but she also interrogates the younger Mrs. G, or the younger Bill, or even her younger self. Her younger self says to her, point-blank, "I'm not the victim of this story. I'm the hero." 

                        As 13-year-old Jenny gets sucked into the charismatic personalities of Mrs. G and Bill, we the audience can see that they are predators in the process of grooming her. "The Tale" is an unblinking portrait of how grooming works. The tiny boundary-breaches. The testing of the waters. The subtle wedge Mrs. G and Bill put between Jenny and her parents ("Your parents are afraid of becoming free," Bill tells the child). The creation of a conspiratorial "let's tell each other secrets" atmosphere. It's chilling. A body double was used for the sexual scenes (and it's obvious it's a body double, a good choice: it distances us enough so we don't worry about the child actress). 

                        Catharsis and confrontation is not what "The Tale" is about (which is why the main confrontation feels like it's slipped in from another movie altogether). "The Tale" is also not about mother-daughter conflict along the lines of "Why didn't you protect me?" On the contrary: Jennifer truly believes she remembers that summer accurately. When her mother yells, "Why are you not angry?" Jennifer doesn't have an answer. (Fox has said she didn't classify what happened to her as "sexual abuse" until she was 45 years old. It sometimes takes that long.) All of the actors are in a beautiful zone here, including the young Nélisse, whose solemn face takes in the lit-from-within figures of Mrs. G and Bill and it's clear she feels anointed, chosen, by these two glamorous adults with burnished skin, intimate eyes, languid body language weaving a hypnotic spell. 

                        In The Expelled, Samuel Beckett writes, "Memories are killing. So you must not think of certain things, of those that are dear to you, or rather you must think of them, for if you don’t there is the danger of finding them, in your mind, little by little." Dern plays a woman who, on a level so deep it's out of reach, cannot "think of certain things." Jennifer is not an avenging angel. She's a confused woman trying to remember. "What do you remember of that summer?" "What did you think, Mom, when Bill picked me up at the door?" "Who is that in the picture? Why don't I remember her?" Because Jennifer has never seen herself as a "victim," because she resists the term altogether, it's difficult for her to even look at other possibilities.

                        The final moment of "The Tale" is devastating and also ambivalent. It shows what has been lost, but it also shows what has been gained.

                        By: Sheila O'Malley
                        Posted: May 25, 2018, 1:33 pm

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                          Entertainer published a blog post Future World

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                          James Franco’s filmography as a director fascinates me. He uses his weight as a power player to get projects to the big screen that clearly interest him, often giving off the impression that he read a book he liked and just called up some friends to make a movie of it. There’s something admirable about that kind of passionate, instinctual way of making movies, and it has led to adaptations of work by Cormac McCarthy, John Steinbeck, and William Faulkner. And this kind of DIY passion made him the perfect fit for “The Disaster Artist,” his most successful directorial effort to date, and a film that's essentially about a DIY filmmaker who became an icon. This approach to filmmaking also leads to a number of misfires because one can often sense that initial passion dissolving on the screen. That’s certainly what happens early in his latest co-directorial credit, the abominable “Future World.” One can imagine Franco and his buddies seeing “The Bad Batch” or watching “Mad Max: Fury Road,” renting some motor bikes and dirtying some clothes, and then realizing they forgot to write an actual movie.

                          To say that “Future World” borrows liberally from George Miller’s milieu would be an understatement. He may want to look into royalty checks (although that implies this will make money, which seems unlikely). This ticks SO many of the “Fury Road” boxes, from extended sequences of masked men on motor bikes to the story of a kept woman who becomes empowered to a mythical place in this barren landscape that promises a better future called Paradise Beach. That’s where our hero Prince (Jeffrey Wahlberg) wants to get, believing that he will find there the medicine to save to his dying mother (Lucy Liu).

                          Prince’s journey takes him to a place called Love Town, run by futuristic pimp Love Lord, played by, of course, Snoop Dogg (casting is the most/only creative thing about “Future World”). In one of the film’s very few brief glimpses of creativity, the dancers and prostitutes of Love Town are literally controlled by clients and the Love Lord through the use of what looks like shock collars around their necks. And yet Franco and co-director Bruce Thierry Cheung don’t have much to say about controlling women in this future vision. It’s just an interesting concept/visual for them, and then they move on. Everything in “Future World” is skin-deep, shallow versions of deeper material from other films.

                          This is certainly the case with Ash (Suki Waterhouse), an android first awoken by the evil Warlord (James Franco) but who eventually escapes with Prince. Why? Because the movie says so. She has an awakening and revolts against her captor and those who would use her for sex or violence and she takes off with Prince to the find the medicine. Along the way, they run into mostly bad guys, including a scene-stealing turn from Milla Jovovich, who looks like she came from a more interesting movie but shows up way too late into this one to save it.

                          Most of “Future World” is incoherent and boring. A typical “action sequence” consists of men riding motor bikes over hills or a poorly-choreographed fight. There’s a non-stop obtrusive, “futuristic” score to try and keep you awake but even that starts to become numbing. Among many problems, perhaps the biggest is that Ash and Prince are deadly dull as leading characters. There’s a scene after they take off together in which they talk about whether or not she has a soul during which I swear I felt mine leaving my body.

                          Despite the number of times I’ve been burned by James Franco’s directorial efforts (check out my review of “The Institute,” a movie stolen by Franco’s mustache, for another example), I’m still eager to see what he does next. He often takes risks that other directors wouldn’t and I’m always interested in filmmakers who seem to be making what they want to make regardless of concern about the bottom line. The problem here is that while Franco probably wanted to make his own “Mad Max” at one point, by the time the initial buzz of the project faded and he got to the desert, you can tell that even he just wanted to go home. 

                          By: Brian Tallerico
                          Posted: May 25, 2018, 4:42 pm

                          • Entertainer

                            Thumb screen shot 2018 05 25 at 12.32.29 pm

                            Here is Chaz Ebert's seventh video dispatch from the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, featuring a rountable discussion between Ben Kenigsberg, Jason Gorber and Lisa Nesselson...

                            Cannes 2018 with Chaz Ebert, Critic Roundtable from The Mint on Vimeo.

                            By: Chaz Ebert
                            Posted: May 25, 2018, 5:39 pm

                            • Entertainer

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                              In addition to our full table of contents, we are highlighting some of our coverage from the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in this special edition of Thumbnails. Included below are daily dispatches by Barbara Scharres and Ben Kenigsberg as well as video dispatches by Chaz Ebert.


                              Cannes 2018 with Chaz Ebert, Segment 5 from The Mint on Vimeo.

                              "Capharnaüm, The First of Many and More": Chaz Ebert's fifth video dispatch from Cannes 2018 features interviews with filmmakers Pamela Guest and Pamela Green, producer Matthew Helderman, production coordinator and Ebert Fellow Sue-Ellen Chitunya and Gary Novak, Dean of DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts.

                              “While it’s wonderful to see a female director like Nadine Labaki succeed so admirably here in Cannes, the industry still has a long way to go towards equality as evidenced by the protests earlier in the festival calling for 50/50 by 2020: Equal representation of women by the year 2020. And the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements remain at the forefront of conversation here on the Croisette. One woman active in that movement is talented actress and casting director, Pamela Guest. She was raped in the 1970’s and only realized many years later that the rapist was Oscar winning composer and filmmaker Joseph Brooks who ironically composed the song ‘You Light Up My Life.’ Guest was brave enough to make a short film about her ordeal called ‘The First of Many.’ Her role is played, and co-directed, by her daughter Elizabeth. It’s a powerful statement that really felt like a punch to the gut when I watched it.Other women filmmakers are on display here in Cannes as well. A documentary about the mother of cinema called ‘Be Natural’ and directed by Pamela Green played in Cannes Classics. It tells the forgotten story of Alice Guy Blaché, a woman who directed over a thousand films in the early silent era, and even pioneered techniques like color tinting and synchronized sound, and working with an all black cast. Despite her vast contributions to the history of film, and even owning her own movie studio, she’s been largely left out of cinema history. This film aims to change that.”



                              "Edward Lachman, an honoree at the festival, discusses the past and future of cinematography": In conversation with Ben Kenigsberg.

                              “Already a recent honoree of the American Society of Cinematographers and the Telluride Film Festival, the cinematographer Edward Lachman (‘Wonderstruck,’ ‘Carol’) received a tribute ceremony at Cannes on Friday. ‘I’m waiting for the afterlife achievement award,’ he joked when we met on Friday at a beachfront pavilion hours before the event. It may not have been his first tribute, but cinematographer, 72, clad in his trademark black hat, showed no signs of tiring when it came to sharing thoughts on his craft or his teachers, who go beyond the world of cinematography. He began with the photographer Robert Frank. He was ‘the first image maker that got me interested in images,’ Lachman said. ‘To look at 'The Americans,' I realized that here were documented images that he imbued with a certain subjectivity and poetics, in the language and also the visual metaphors and how he represented what he saw.’ His other formative influences included the writer Dwight Macdonald, with whom he took a course at Harvard, and Vittorio De Sica's movie ‘Umberto D.,’ which taught him how a film could be constructed primarily with images, not sound.”



                              "'The House That Jack Built,' 'At War,' 'Asako I & II'": Barbara Scharres reviews three selections at Cannes including the latest from Lars von Trier. 

                              “For three-quarters of the running time, ‘The House That Jack Built’ is a clunky rambling film with a homemade look. The whole point seems to be von Trier’s relish of the details of the grisly murders of women, an exercise in pure savagery, with Jack later storing up the corpses in a walk-in freezer and sometimes posing them for photos. Inserted into the narrative of the murderer’s adventures in gratuitous violence are ponderous asides in the form of art reproductions, animation, diagrams, and text, as if reflecting upon Jack’s malformed psyche within the greater scope of art, religion, and world history. There’s even a YouTube clip of pianist Glenn Gould playing Bach like a madman. Von Trier increasingly aims for the metaphysical, but at its center his film contains one small and sniveling statement, an ironic aggrieved cry that cuts through the bogus intellectualism of ‘The House That Jack Built’ to reveal the glaring foundation of this film. After verbally abusing a buxom blonde, he mutilates and kills her, whining to Verge, ‘Why is it always the man’s fault? Women are always victims … to be born male is to be born guilty.’ ‘Why are they [women] always so stupid?’ commiserates Verge.”



                              "Hirokazu Kore-Eda wins Palme d'Or; Gilliam's Man Who Killed Don Quixote Film Closes the Fest": As reported by Ben Kenigsberg.

                              Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Palme d'Or at the 71st Cannes Film Festival for ‘Shoplifters,’ which observes the dynamics of a peculiar Japanese family, while Spike Lee won the second-place Grand Jury Prize for ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ the dramatized true story of an African-American police officer in Colorado Springs who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. Both awards were milestones, in their ways: This was Cannes regular Kore-eda's first Palme and Japan's first since ‘The Eel’ in 1997. Lee, returning to competition for the first time since ‘Jungle Fever’ in 1991, had been infamously passed over by the awards jury for ‘Do the Right Thing’ in 1989. Lee accepted the prize on ‘behalf of the people’s republic of Brooklyn, New York.’ But the moment of the evening was clearly Asia Argento's speech before the presentation of the Best Actress award. She acknowledged the Harvey Weinstein scandal that has hovered over the festival. ‘In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes,’ Argento said at the ceremony, reiterating what she had told The New Yorker in a report published last fall. ‘I was 21 years old. This festival was his hunting ground. I want to make a prediction: Harvey Weinstein will never be welcomed here ever again.’ She said that sitting among the audience members were others who had not been held accountable for their conduct against women.”


                              "Palme des Whiskers": Barbara Scharres presents her amusing coverage of the best cat performances from Cannes 2018.

                              “The champion bull of ‘3 Faces’ has pledged to block the street with his considerable bulk if there are any threats. It’s a veritable Peaceable Kingdom of inter-species cooperation. My own Miss Kitty, Mistress of Ceremonies, takes the precaution of inspecting the lineup, especially relishing the sight of the honor guard of French Army cats with their titanium-tipped claws and jaunty berets. Before the official fun begins, some catfights are assured. Let’s sneak into the jury’s inner sanctum as quiet as mice, and find out what’s happening. Mimi, last year’s Palme des Whiskers winner, and the venerable feline French New Wave star of Agnes Varda’s ‘Faces Places,’ is ready to defend herself with a threatening paw, as pointy-faced Lola, screeches, ‘I’m here to support #MeToo, and you said it was going to be a majority-female jury, like that other one headed by Cat Blanchett.’ ‘That’s Cate, you birdbrain,’ smirks slinky Siamese Nico, ‘And I know on the best authority that it’s a pinky-skin human, not a cat, because my butler John Powers, who I let moonlight at Vogue, told me.’”

                              Image of the Day


                              Chaz Ebert's third video dispatch from the 2018 Cannes Film Festival features exclusive footage of the women's protest, pictured above.

                              Video of the Day

                              Cannes 2018 with Chaz Ebert, Critic Roundtable from The Mint on Vimeo.

                              Our annual critics roundtable features Ben Kenigsberg, Jason Gorber and Lisa Nesselson, who share with us their favorite films of the festival.

                              By: The Editors
                              Posted: May 25, 2018, 6:23 pm

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                                  Todd Tomasella: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the...