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How ‘The Night Of’ Became a Cinematic Quality Procedural and Hitchcockian Thriller

1 hour ago

Richard Price and Steven Zaillian’s “The Night Of” balanced cinematic production values with the miniseries capacity to dig deeper into details that are necessary for delivering the procedural goods.

The HBO miniseries was like “The Verdict” meets “Law and Order,” with its cultural and political overtones, exploring the ugliness of New York City’s criminal justice system, where it’s a matter of survival for everyone.

The Night Of” is also Hitchcockian in its destruction of innocence and freedom. What starts as a sexual fantasy for Pakistani-American college student Naz Khan (Riz Ahmed) – who picks up an alluring young woman, Andrea (Sofia Black-d’Elia), in his father’s cab – ends in a surreal nightmare when he wakes up and finds her brutally stabbed to death. Khan is an easy suspect for Detective Box (Bill Camp) and a gift for struggling attorney John Stone (Emmy-nominated John Turturro).

The Night Of »


- Bill Desowitz

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‘Mister Universo’ Review: You’ll (Almost) Want to Run Away and Join the Circus

2 hours ago

The circus isn’t as romantic as it used to be. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey recently closed their tent for the final time after 146 years, the plight of animal performers is much too sad to ignore, and anyone with an affinity for peanuts can go to the ballpark instead. At the margins, though, there’s still a world of acrobats, bearded ladies, and lion tamers trekking from town to town as they eke out an existence at risk of fading away entirely — a world given beautiful expression in “Mister Universo.”

Not since “Big Fish” have we seen this world onscreen in such vivid detail, though Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s scope isn’t as grandiose or fantastical as Tim Burton’s. A docudrama that in its early scenes feels like a documentary — the co-directors have a nonfiction background, and the actors are actual carnival performers — the film plays »


- Michael Nordine

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‘Midnight, Texas’: How the Author Behind ‘True Blood’ Rewrote Her Own Vampire Rules to Create a More Tolerant World

2 hours ago

It’s a cool February day in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a group of misfits are striding with purpose across the small town set of “Midnight, Texas.” Since the events of the shoot are for the series’ season finale, details can’t be divulged about the group’s purpose or destination yet, but what’s important is that they’re doing it as a team. With so many of vampire and supernatural shows ending in the past few years, the NBC series is looking to revitalize the genre with its emphasis on inclusion, not division.

From the author behind “True Blood,” comes “Midnight, Texas,” which shares more than a few hallmarks of HBO’s ultra racy vampire show. Besides featuring a mix of supernatural beings, including one sexy vampire main character, the NBC show is also inspired by author Charlaine Harris’ experiences with southern living. Well, Texan living, in this case. »


- Hanh Nguyen

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Comic-Con 2017 Winners & Losers: ‘Westworld,’ ‘Archer,’ Halle Berry, ‘Mr. Robot’ and More

5 hours ago

The anticipation that surrounds the lead-up to the San Diego Comic-Con is always intriguing, because there’s a legitimate potential for things to fall apart. You can’t always anticipate how fans will react to big reveals or changes, not to mention new properties that are hoping to gain traction with the convention’s geek-inclined audience.

Read MoreComic-Con Stunts Prove That The Future of Entertainment Isn’t Technology, But Live Interaction

In this week’s Very Good Television Podcast, Liz and Ben are joined by IndieWire executive editor Michael Schneider, as the three of them spent the last several days running around San Diego (literally) to check out all of the excitement to be had at Comic-Con.

While there was so much to experience — in the podcast above, the trio mentions a ton of things they enjoyed over the course of the convention — there were even more notable winners and losers. »


- Liz Shannon Miller and Ben Travers

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Revenge of the Auteur: As Bloated Franchises Bomb, Original Stories Own the Box Office

6 hours ago

When it comes to the summer movie season, late July is the new August. Now that blockbusters jockey for attention in early May, we already feel wrung out by the barrage of spectacle. And with that, an exciting new box office trend has begun to make itself known: franchise fatigue, with a twist. Audiences seem to be rejecting force-fed franchises, and instead opt to check out original material.

The numbers don’t lie. While films designed to launch brand-new franchises like “The Mummy” and “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” burned out at the domestic box office, original offerings are making big bucks. Even more compelling? Those would-be one-offs could start their own franchises.

This past weekend was won by a pair of original projects that couldn’t be more different: Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic “Dunkirk” and Malcolm D. Lee’s uproarious girls-gone-wild comedy “Girls Trip. »


- Kate Erbland

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The 50 Best War Movie Posters

7 hours ago

From “All Quiet on the Western Front” to “Dunkirk,” we gathered the most iconic and dynamic images that showed another side of combat.

Related storiesChristopher Nolan Easter Eggs: The 7 Best Hidden Gems in 'Inception,' 'Dunkirk,' and MoreThe Best War Movies Ever Made -- IndieWire Critics SurveyDunkirk Veteran on Christopher Nolan's World War II Drama: 'It Was Just Like I Was There Again' »


- William Earl

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Christopher Nolan Easter Eggs: The 7 Best Hidden Gems in ‘Inception,’ ‘Dunkirk,’ and More

8 hours ago

Christopher Nolan loves a good easter egg. Whether it’s a sly bit of casting, the use of subliminal imagery, or a line of dialogue with deeper implications then you may realize, Nolan often hides clues and secret messages in his films that are just waiting to be discovered. Of course the internet has devoted a ton of time searching for Nolan’s best easter eggs over the years, and we’ve rounded up 7 of the best hidden gems to look for in his filmography.

Read More: ‘Dunkirk’ Review: Christopher Nolan’s Monumental War Epic Is The Best Film He’s Ever Made

Nolan is currently riding high off the success of “Dunkirk,” his WWII drama that exceeded expectations at the box office by opening to $50.5 million this weekend. The film should enjoy a healthy run thanks to strong word of mouth and critical acclaim. IndieWire named “Dunkirk” the best »


- Zack Sharf

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The Best War Movies Ever Made — IndieWire Critics Survey

8 hours ago

Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: In honor of Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” what is the best war movie ever made?

Read More‘Dunkirk’ Review: Christopher Nolan’s Monumental War Epic Is The Best Film He’s Ever Made Richard Brody (@tnyfrontrow), The New Yorker

Howard Hawks’ “The Dawn Patrol,” from 1930, shows soldiers and officers cracking up from the cruelty of their missions — and shows the ones who manage not to, singing and clowning with an exuberance that suggests the rictus of a death mask. There’s courage and heroism, virtue and honor — at a price that makes the words themselves seem foul. John Ford’s “The Lost Patrol, »


- David Ehrlich

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‘Full Metal Jacket’ Set for Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration at HollyShorts — Exclusive

9 hours ago

Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam war masterpiece “Full Metal Jacket” will open this year’s HollyShorts Film Festival, care of an opening night celebration on August 10. The opening night festivities will coincide with the iconic feature’s thirtieth anniversary — the film first bowed back in June of 1987 — and star Matthew Modine will be on hand to participate in a special post-screening Q&A.

Kubrick’s instant classic depiction of Vietnam — and really, war in general — was based on Gutav Hasford’s novel “The Short-Timers,” which Kubrick sparked to after seeking material for a war film for years. The film stars Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D’Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Dorian Harewood, Arliss Howard, Kevyn Major Howard, and Ed O’Ross and follows a motley crew of Marines as they train for and eventually go to battle in Vietnam. The film was a lauded success, and earned an Oscar nod for Best Adapted Screenplay. »


- Kate Erbland

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‘Logan Lucky’ Review: Steven Soderbergh Returns From Retirement with a Silly Heist Movie That Has Real Soul

10 hours ago

Don’t call it a comeback (he’s been here for years), but Steven Soderbergh’s self-imposed exile from film directing is officially over, and his inevitable return to the big screen confirms what most of us have known all along: The guy is a lot better at making movies than he is at not making movies.

Hollywood’s most restless iconoclast, Soderbergh couldn’t take a vacation if his life depended on it; his “retirement” was shorter than the break that many major directors routinely take between projects, and during that time he directed two staggeringly great seasons of “The Knick,” executive produced both “Red Oaks” and “The Girlfriend Experience,” and shot one of the defining cinematic experiences of this or any other century, “Magic Mike Xxl” (just kidding, he also edited it). He really likes to work, and he’ll go wherever he can work in peace.

Read »


- David Ehrlich

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Comic-Con Stunts Prove That The Future of Entertainment Isn’t Technology, But Live Interaction

10 hours ago

A warning: Show up late for your appointment to visit “Westworld,” and you might have to spend 20 minutes making small talk with a Host.

That was IndieWire’s experience, when dropping by the marketing activation created by HBO at this weekend’s Comic-Con to promote the cerebral Emmy-nominated sci-fi drama. In the show, mega-conglomerate Delos Destinations has built realistic, artificially intelligent robots to populate a vast theme park that emulates the experience of visiting the Old West. In real-life San Diego, while waiting in a faux Delos Destinations lobby for the next available “trip,” we filled the time by chatting with “John.”

John asked what kind of experience we were looking for during our stay in Westworld, as well as which of the weapons laid out in the display case in front of us were the most intriguing. Meanwhile, we asked if he could identify the song tinkling out from »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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9 Films New to Netflix to Watch in August 2017, Including ‘The Matrix’ Trilogy and ‘Jackie Brown’

10 hours ago

Netflix may have cancelled the Wachowski’s cult hit “Sense 8,” but its adding two of their defining works to its streaming library next month. All three entries in “The Matrix” trilogy are heading to Netflix, as is the ambitious “Cloud Atlas,” which means you’ll be able to bring summer to an end by bingeing mind-melting science fiction.

Read More: Netflix Is Not the Problem: Why Bad Theatrical Presentations Are Destroying the Experience

Other titles joining the streaming service include underrated gems from Quentin Tarantino and Michael Haneke, plus two of the year’s most exciting documentary films. Check out a complete list of all the new movies joining Netflix in August 2017 below, including our 7 must-binge choices.

The Matrix” Trilogy (August 1)

August kicks off with “The Matrix,” “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions” all becoming available to stream on Netflix. Say what you want about the two sequels, but »


- Zack Sharf

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Sigourney Weaver Modeled Her Icy ‘Defenders’ Villain on Wealthy Trump Supporters

11 hours ago

Outspoken activist and celebrated actress, Sigourney Weaver did not mince words when it comes to politics. Without naming names, she made it quite clear what she thinks of wealthy businessmen who pat themselves on the backs for supporting the arts while profiting off of the planet’s demise. Like all great actors, she channeled that anger into her her latest role as Alexandra in “Marvel’s The Defenders,” coming to Netflix in August.

Read More‘Marvel’s The Defenders’: Watch the Action-Packed Comic-Con Trailer That Even Makes Iron Fist Look Cool

Speaking to Inverse at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, Weaver said:

“My role models for this were all men in business, men I’ve met who are great patrons of the arts, but all their money comes from burning fossil fuels or some awful other thing. They think they’re terrific, they love what they’re doing, »


- Jude Dry

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Barry Jenkins Will Return to SXSW As 2018’s Film Keynote Speaker

11 hours ago

Moonlight” filmmaker and Oscar winner Barry Jenkins’ very well-deserved victory lap is about to come full circle. While next year’s SXSW Conference and Festivals is nearly nine months out, the director has been tapped to deliver the 2018 Film Keynote speech, returning him to the festival that helped launch his career.

Jenkins premiered his debut film, “Medicine for Melancholy,” at the festival back in 2008. It went on to screen at Laff and Tiff and helped launch Jenkins’ career.

Read MoreBarry Jenkins Sets James Baldwin Adaptation ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ As First Post-‘Moonlight’ Feature

“We are overjoyed to invite Barry Jenkins back to SXSW as a Film Keynote having presented the world premiere of his first feature, ‘Medicine for Melancholy,’ in 2008,” said Janet Pierson, Director of Film, in an official statement. “’Moonlight; is a magnificent piece of work, transcendent, and made on his own terms. We couldn’t be »


- Kate Erbland

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How Luc Besson’s ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ Was Inspired by His Trippy Sci-Fi ‘The Fifth Element’

11 hours ago

Luc Besson was born to make “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” Based on the influential French comics series “Valérian and Laureline” (written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières), it’s sci-fi on steroids with a multitude of exotic aliens and baroque environments. Very French and very weird.

But before Besson could tackle his ambitious passion project about a pair of “spatio-temporal agents” (Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne) protecting the intergalactic city of Alpha, he first had to make “The Fifth Element.” That was 20 years ago, at the dawn of CG, and his experimental tune-up for “Valerian” became a cult classic.

Bruce Willis played a flying taxi driver in futuristic New York who goes on a wild adventure with the orange-haired, humanoid savior of the universe (Milla Jovovich). Besson even hired Mézières as an uncredited designer because it was easier than just ripping off his comic series. »


- Bill Desowitz

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Spike Jonze is Filming A Secret Project With Frank Ocean and Brad Pitt — Watch

11 hours ago

The wait for a new project from Spike Jonze might be over sometime soon. The Oscar winner was spotted at Fyf Fest in Los Angeles over the weekend filming portions of Frank Ocean’s appearance.

The R&B singer performed covers of Carpenters’ “Close to You” and the Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye.” Brad Pitt appeared just off stage and was filmed miming a telephone conversation. The live shoot is the second time Jonze has appeared filming Frank Ocean this month. He was at the Lovebox festival in London two weekends ago.

Read More: Spike Jonze Had Margaret Qualley Dance Like a Tree During Kenzo Commercial Audition

Jonze has not announced any official new project in the works, but clearly him and Frank Ocean are cooking up something. Jonze got his start making music videos for the likes of Beastie Boys, Weezer, and Sonic Youth, among many others, »


- Zack Sharf

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‘Dolores’ Trailer: Feminist Pioneer Dolores Huerta Finally Gets Her Due in Peter Bratt’s Wide-Ranging Documentary

12 hours ago

After a successful run around the film festival circuit — including a premiere at Sundance and award-winning screenings at San Francisco, Montclair, and SeattlePeter Bratt’s essential new documentary “Dolores” is gearing up for a fall release. The doc follows “iconic labor leader and feminist pioneer Dolores Huerta, who fought for racial and economic justice alongside Caesar Chavez but has never enjoyed the same recognition — until now.”

Read MoreThe 25 Best Documentaries of the 21st Century, from ‘Amy’ to ‘The Act of Killing

The film puts a spotlight on Huerta, one of America’s most important — and often overlooked — activists who fought alongside Cesar Chavez as an equal partner in the country’s first farm workers unions. Huerta, now in her late eighties, is only continuing to fight, and the film presents a vital and energetic look at an equally as vital and energetic crusader.

Bratt and his team were granted unprecedented access to Huerta, »


- Kate Erbland

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IndieWire Fall Film Festival Wish List: The 56 Movies We Want to See Most

12 hours ago

Dunkirk” aside, deep summer looks like a fallow season for major films — but appearances are deceiving. This is perhaps their most-essential moment on the movie calendar, as it’s when distributors huddle, haggle, and negotiate to determine which movies will head for the almighty awards-season launch festivals of Venice, Telluride, Toronto, and New York.

From the festivals’ perspectives, they’re vying for the starriest red-carpet gala world premieres. (The exception is Telluride, which doesn’t have to vie; it gets to cherry pick its impeccably curated four-day Labor Day Weekend selection in secret.) Ahead of next week’s rollout of announcements, we called around for intel on what we can expect to see.

Read MoreRichard Linklater’s ‘The Last Detail’ Sequel ‘Last Flag Flying’ to Open New York Film Festival

Of course, some films either won’t be ready to screen until year’s end, or will skip festivals and go straight to audiences. »


- Anne Thompson and Dana Harris

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‘Wonder Woman’ Star Gal Gadot Inspired A Little Girl To Tears at Comic-Con

12 hours ago

Hearts melted over the weekend when a video circulated of Gal Gadot comforting a tiny “Wonder Woman” fan. The girl, named Ashley, was overcome with emotion when meeting her favorite superhero — one who looked just like her. Ashley arrived head to toe in “Wonder Woman” garb to meet Gadot, who was signing autographs with other members of the “Justice League” at San Diego Comic-Con.

Read More‘Spider-Man’ vs. ‘Wonder Woman’: In the Summer Box-Office Battle, the Lady Wins

When she began to cry, Gadot reached across the table and took her hand. “There’s no reason to cry, all right,” Gadot said. “Here we are together.”

“She was so happy to meet her that she was tearing up,” said Ashley’s mother, Christine Keller, on Twitter. She later wrote on her Facebook page: “These characters matter and can have a huge influence on young people. What a great role model and genuine, »


- Jude Dry

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The Rock and Siri Made a Short Film That’ll Make You Wish Your iPhone Was This Badass — Watch

13 hours ago

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has shared the screen with the likes of Kevin Hart, Zac Efron, Mark Wahlberg and Vin Diesel, but no one compares to his brand new co-star: Siri. That’s right, Apple’s artificial intelligence assistance is top-billed in “Dominate the Day,” a short film in which The Rock and everyone’s fun-to-mess-around-with iPhone voice team up to prove that Johnson can do just about anything in a single day.

Read More: Dwayne Johnson Isn’t Your Average Superstar: How The Rock Has Built a Career With Smart Choices

“I partnered with Apple to make the biggest, coolest, sexiest, craziest, dopest, most over the top, funnest (is that even a word?) movie ever made,” Johnson wrote on Instagram about the short film. “And I have the greatest co-star of all time, Siri. I make movies for the world to enjoy and we also made this one to »


- Zack Sharf

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