Biopic of "little old lady" folk artist a hit in theaters

Canadian artist Maud Lewis lived in a tiny house covered in her paintings, which she sold door to door in Nova Scotia. A biopic of her life, Maudie, is a surprise hit in theaters, reports the BBC.

The film's success has also been spurred by a rather serendipitous find: an unknown Maud Lewis painting found in a thrift shop is being auctioned off for charity, with bids topping C$125,000 ($91,500, £70,685). The work was authenticated by Mr Deacon, a retired school teacher who is now somewhat of a Maud Lewis sleuth. ...

Typically characterised as a "folk artist", Lewis was self-taught and lived her whole life in poverty. Unable to afford things like canvas, she'd paint on anything from scraps of wood and plywood to thick card stock. Her subjects were the things she saw in her everyday life - fishermen, wildlife, flowers and trees. "Maud was not a person who travelled to other galleries or saw other art, so there's a kind of naivete to it," Noble told the BBC.

Here's the trailer:

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Review: High-Rise (2016)

High-Rise, directed by Ben Wheatley, brings J.G. Ballard's classic novel to the screen after a long wait.

It's set almost entirely in a residential tower, a massive brutalist edifice inhabited by thousands of early-1970s Britons eager for a new life. The ultimate product of mid-century urban planning, the concrete building is designed to take care of all its occupants' needs: there's a supermarket, a swimming pool, even a primary school, all tucked away deep within its forty stories.

Robert Laing, an introverted young doctor, moves in hoping to become an anonymous nobody amid this monument to the bland excellence of modern life. But he commits the critical error of making friends, and is slowly consumed by the building's odd psychic character, its microcosmic reflection of the divisions in society at large.

He notices that the lower levels are first to suffer when the power fails; then that the higher echelons enjoy special amenities of their own. And then, when the lights go out, everything goes to hell.

A little awareness of British life in the 1970s helps contextualise details that might otherwise baffle—in particular, skyscraper-happy Americans should know that residential towers there were always a controversial novelty, that garbage collecters were perpetually on strike, and that in British engineering, corners are always cut. But Ballard's sinister geometry of modernity, hiding an emotional suppression ready to explode into violence, is a language universal to all employed westerners.

It's an intriguing, sophisticated and handsome movie made excellent by Wheatley's skill and its cast: Tom Hiddleston as the skeptical middle-class everyman driven to madness by his environment's awful sanity, Jeremy Irons as the tower's vicious yet uncannily humanist architect, Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid's Tale) as society's hope, and Luke Evans (Bard from The Hobbit) as the agent of chaos. Read the rest

Silence of the Lambs bloopers reel

In honor of the great director Jonathan Demme who died yesterday, please enjoy this bloopers reel from his classic film Silence of the Lambs.

More horror film blooper reels at TVOvermind.

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Jonathan Demme, director of "Silence of the Lambs" and "Stop Making Sense," RIP

Jonathan Demme, the talented director of Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Something Wild, Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense, and numerous other great films, has died at 73. His death was caused by esophageal cancer. From the New York Times:

A personable man with the curiosity gene and the what-comes-next instinct of someone who likes to both hear and tell stories, Mr. Demme had a good one of his own, a Mr. Deeds kind of tale in which he wandered into good fortune and took advantage of it. A former movie publicist, he had an apprenticeship in low-budget B-movies with the producer Roger Corman before turning director...

Mr. Demme’s other films include documentaries about the folk-rock singer and songwriter Neil Young; concert films featuring the country singer Kenny Chesney and the pop star Justin Timberlake; and “Swimming to Cambodia” (1987), Spalding Gray’s monologue ruminating about Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge and his experience appearing in the film “The Killing Fields.”

Mr. Demme was a member of the alternative arts scene of Lower Manhattan, which included Mr. Gray, who died in 2004, as well as Mr. Byrne and the composer and performer Laurie Anderson, who scored “Swimming to Cambodia.”

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Key to surviving movie gunfight is to not be in a movie

In Would You Survive a Movie Gunfight?, Shea Serrano offers a thorough look at the form and function of movie gunfights and what it takes to get through one alive.

The Best Times to Movie-Shoot Someone • When it’s a revenge thing. • When you’re a law-enforcement officer and they’re a bad guy. • When you’re a bad guy and they’re a law-enforcement officer. • When it’s the Wild West and someone is riding toward you on horseback. (This one is great because they always roll off the back of the horse, or, if you’re lucky, they get their foot trapped in one of the stirrups and then the horse drags ’em a good ways.) • When they’re standing on top of a building and you shoot them and they fall off very dramatically. (They have to crash through an awning.)

I have so many problems with Serrano's top list of movie gunfights, but I'm busy finishing up a nice piece about the shortcomings of Smurfs 3: The Lost Village as revolutionary praxis. Read the rest

Sorry, David Lynch's Dune sucks (or does it?)

David Lynch's 1982 Dune wasn't well-received at the time, but over the years has become a cult classic—perhaps even a good film. With a few nods to the lavish sets and striking set-pieces, Emily Asher-Perrin takes a weirding module to the latter claim: David Lynch’s Dune is What You Get When You Build a Science Fictional World With No Interest in Science Fiction.

Any attempt at cohesion on a more granular level, which is where worldbuilding is most essential in science fiction, is shrugged off in favor of another inexplicable style choice that brings a bit of form and zero function. With the exceptions of military collars and crests, there is nothing that communicates how these things and people connect—some have tried to christen it “noir-baroque” which is a cute thought, but it’s hard to believe that any detailed reasons for the aesthetics were considered beyond “this looks cool.”

Dune wants to be phantasmagorical and it wants to be offensive to your senses, and those things can work in cinema, as Lynch’s career communicates incredibly well. But this film does not carry off that off-kilter creepiness as anything more than a parlor trick. It fails to be authentic because these cues are not entrenched in the universe projected on screen. They are there to shock the viewer, to disgust them, but they don’t mean anything. The Guild member floating in its chamber of gas is strange and otherworldly and grotesque, but communicates nothing besides that. It is not integrated into its setting, its surroundings.

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Thor: Ragnarok gets a bonkers teaser trailer

One of the most exciting things Marvel Studios has ever done is hire Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt For The Wilderpeople) to direct Thor: Ragnarok.

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Shia LaBeouf's new film's gross in the UK: $26

Shia LaBeouf's new movie Man Down grossed just $26 during its UK run which, in fairness, was only playing at one theater once each day. But still. From the Hollywood Reporter:

"I think we've sold three tickets in total," the cinema manager told the Hollywood Reporter, adding that she hadn't "experienced anything like it before."

The manager said Man Down would end its weeklong run in Burnley's Reel Cinema this Thursday, "highly likely" without any further purchases being made, a move that would see the film's U.K. theatrical total max out at £21 ($26.20), rather less than the $454,490 it earned following a limited theatrical run in the U.S. last December. Read the rest

"I didn't know there was this much green in the whole galaxy"

Anyone familiar with Star Wars or even the modern art of movie-making will know what's coming as soon as Rey says it, but it's a brilliantly effective joke. Read the rest

How Darth Vader's amazing final scene in Rogue One happened

Star Wars: Rogue One director Gareth Edwards tells the fascinating backstory behind Darth Vader's brutal stroll down the hallway in Rogue One. (Wired)

And if you missed it yesterday, check out the Star Wars: Rogue One ending flow into A New Hope beginning.

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Traceroute: now on demand!

Johannes writes, "Finally! My award-winning nerd culture documentary TRACEROUTE (previously) can be downloaded on Vimeo On Demand. It was quite a challenge to create it, and huge thanks to all the folks who supported me... including, of course, the Boing Boing crew. I hope you consider buying or renting it. And in case you want a DRM-free option, just contact me." Read the rest

Mr Bean recut to be a creepy thriller

"Mean Bean" isn't coming to theaters this summer, but it might be coming to your nightmares tonight. John Loberger's recut of Rowan Atkinson's "great TV, ghastly movie" classic becomes genuinely terrifying when you're invited to take his antics seriously.

Previously: 50 Shades of Bean. Read the rest

Superhero portraits composited from faces of actors who played them

Posted to r/interestingasfuck by redditor Got2ReturnVideoTapes. Read the rest

Excellent breakdown of LoTR's amazing Helm's Deep battle sequence

How can a film's 40-minute battle scene hold its tension? Nerdwriter breaks down the Battle of the Hornburg (aka the Helm's Deep battle sequence) into 24 beats to show why it works so well. Read the rest

The Resistance, 1941 style: the poster for Mister V

Robbo Mills writes, "Here's the poster for the 1941 film 'Mister V,' directed by and starring Leslie Howard. I love the look of it with his defiant pose and the big red iconic V. Mister V was the title used for the US release of the film. It's best known by the original British title: 'Pimpernel Smith' - being a riff on a previous Leslie Howard film 'The Scarlett Pimpernel.' Read the rest

Animated interview with Alfred Hitchcock

"We all have fear in us and we like to enjoy a vicarious, shall we say, toe in the water of fear," said Alfred Hitchcock in 1957. (Blank on Blank)

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"To the Right": hypnotizing supercut of lateral movement in movies

"To The Right" by Candice Drouet. With scenes from:

The Shining / The Darjeeling Limited / Holy Motors / Inherent Vice / Jackie Brown / Juno / Drive Ex Machina / Delicatessen / American Psycho / 2046 / Rebel Without A Cause / Little Miss Sunshine 1984 / The Neon Demon / The Big Lebowski / Collateral / Donnie Darko / Bronson / Catch Me If You Can Marie-Antoinette / It Follows / Lost River / Trainspotting / Still Alice / Cape Fever / Amelie Poulain The Grand Budapest Hotel / Blue Is The Warmest Color / Nightcall / Only God Forgives On the road / Boogie Nights / One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest / Saint-Laurent Reservoir Dogs / Wild Tales / O’ Brother, Where art Thou ? / Fight Club / Black Mass Twelve Years A Slave / Memento / Hail, Caesar ! / Upstream Color / La La Land

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