Connect with us

Films

Few Words: Joan Didion Knew How To Report A Malibu Fire

H W Chiu/Shutterstock

Red dawn in Santa Monica. No, not a John Milius movie, but anothe..

H W Chiu/Shutterstock

Red dawn in Santa Monica. No, not a John Milius movie, but another fire in Malibu. The sun has color from a high smoke layer. Still, theres no ash fall, and it doesnt smell like a tri-tip barbecue, so the wind must be blowing out to sea.

Apparently, Malibu has to burn every seven-to-fifteen years, depending on rainfall patterns and whom you believe. When it does, the story always gets tied up with the movies. This time, the Paramount Ranch Western set in Agoura Hills burned down, and Lady Gaga, Martin Sheen, Rainn Wilson and Alyssa Milano were among hundreds of thousands of regional evacuees. Thanks to Twitter, we know that Wilsons dogs and pigs are safe, and Milano rescued her Doc Martens.

On an earlier round, rumor had it that a famous action director hired a helicopter and banked spectacular footage of burning houses, for use when the cinematic occasion arose. I spent two nights watching the glow behind a ridge where Martin Brest then had a house above Sunset Blvd. Mercifully, the flames stopped short.

But mostly, these Malibu fires make me think of Joan Didion. At the tail end of The White Album, in a piece called “On The Morning After The Sixties,” she described the big fire of 1978. It took her all of one paragraph, just 349 words. But I never forgot it, especially that sentence in the middle: “Horses caught fire and were shot on the beach, birds exploded in the air.”

No Twitter. No Facebook. That sentence had fewer words than the writing credits on this years version of A Star Is Born, wherein Didion and her late husband, John Gregory Dunne, share the honors with seven fellow contributors. But it said everything you needed to know about the ferocity of a fire that started in Agoura, got whipped by a Santa Ana wind, and then pushed across the hills toward Zuma Beach, burning 25,000 acres and 197 homes—remarkably like the current fire storm.

“Houses did not explode but imploded, as in a nuclear strike,” wrote Didion. Few words, and mostly short ones. But enough.

Original Article

Continue Reading

Films

Capernaum Director On The High Price Children Are Paying For Societys Mistakes — Awardsline Screening Series

Watching Capernaum, Lebanons entry in 2018 for Best Foreign Language Film, one point becomes immedia..

Watching Capernaum, Lebanons entry in 2018 for Best Foreign Language Film, one point becomes immediately clear: Only a truly dedicated, humanistic director could make such a film, experiencing first-hand so many sorrows so that others around the world might understand. In the case of the Cannes title, which won the fests Jury Prize, that director is Nadine Labaki, an esteemed Lebanese filmmaker who had already made her way down the Croisette a number of times before. Based on the directors experiences in her home country, seeing children become a ubiquitous presence on the street, the social drama follows 12-year-old Zain (played by real-life Syrian refugee Zain Al Rafeea), an abused and neglected child who has had to grow up much too fast, serving a five-year sentence for a violet crime, while suing his own parents for the very act of bringing him into the world.

Sitting down with her young star last night—along with producer/composer Khaled Mouzanar—following an Awardsline screening of the film, Labaki reflected on the anger, frustration and sense of responsibility that pushed her forward in her work. “At the end of the day, those children are really paying a very high price for our conflicts, and our wars, and our systems, and our stupid decisions, and governments,” she said. “I felt the need to talk about the problem, and I was thinking, if those children could talk, or could express themselves, what would they say? What would they tell us, this society that ignores them?”

One of many stunning non-pressional actors that populate the film, Al Rafeea was feeling the pain and suffering of his character (who took his own name) precisely because he had been in the exact same places himself. “Zain…never went to school because his parents couldnt put him in school. The only difference from the film is that he has loving parents. But still, they couldnt give him what he needed,” Labaki said. “Zain grew up on the streets; his school was those streets, [and] he knows the violence of the streets.”

Using street casting for the sake of authenticity, producer Mouzanar found that the main challenge the production posed was time. “We knew from the beginning that we needed a lot of time to reach this result, so thats why we decided to produce the film ourselves,” he noted. “We had six months of shooting. We are still not out of it, I think.”

A quiet presence throughout much of the nights panel, Al Rafeea also made one of the nights most important points, courtesy of Labakis translation. “If parents are not able to raise their children properly, they shouldnt have them—and the government should also help,” he said. “Because its also the governments fault.”

For more from our conversation, click above.

Original Article

Continue Reading

Films

Bert & Bertie Attached To Direct & Write Eurydice For Amazon Studios

EXCLUSIVE: After directing Amazons Troupe Zero, Bert & Bertie are set to direct and write Eurydice f..

EXCLUSIVE: After directing Amazons Troupe Zero, Bert & Bertie are set to direct and write Eurydice for the studio.

We hear that the story is inspired by the Greek mythological daughter of Apollo and oak nymph, but the script is still in the works and described as an inventive female-driven sci-fi thriller. We hear other deals on the project are still being worked on before its a complete go.

Troupe Zero is currently in post-production. Lucy Alibar wrote and Oscar-winners Viola Davis and Allison Janney star. Plot details on the Todd Black production are being kept under wraps. Bert & Bertie are repped by Verve and Hirsch Wallerstein.

Bert & Bertie are recognized by the DGA as one of the few female directing teams. The duo have credits in film, animation, fashion, documentaries, video games, and commercials.

Original Article

Continue Reading

Films

EastEnders spoilers: Passion for Louise Mitchell and Keegan Baker but Phil walks in

(Picture: BBC)
EastEnders fans have, for a long time, been calling for a romance for Louise Mitchell..

Phil returns and finds Louise and Keegan
(Picture: BBC)

EastEnders fans have, for a long time, been calling for a romance for Louise Mitchell and Keegan Baker – ever since he arrived in Walford, Keegan has been harbouring feelings for his friend and in the wake of Shakil Kazemis death, they grew closer still.

In upcoming scenes, the pair will declare their feelings for one another and take things to the next level – but when Phil suddenly returns home without warning while they are getting passionate, will they be caught in the act? And will Keegan be facing serious harm?

Louise faced a horrible experience earlier in the year when Hunter Owen used her for sex and took her virginity all to wind Phil up. Keegan however, has much deeper feelings for Louise and she is beginning to reciprocate.

(Picture: BBC)

Its actually Ray Kelly who encourages Louise to speak to Keegan so she invites him round. Unaware that Sharon is, umm, busy with Keanu upstairs, Louise has a heart to heart with Keegan and they declare their feelings for one another before kissing.

Advertisement Advertisement

Soon one thing leads to another but as things heat up, Phil rocks up for a surprise early return home.

But which couple will he catch in the act – and is the earth about to move in a way that the couples were not expecting?

One to watch: Thursday 22nd November at 7:30pm on BBC One.

Advertisement Advertisement

Original Article

Continue Reading

Trending