Mia Goth Says That Creepy Smile Scene in Pearl Wasn't Scripted
Mia Goth in Pearl courtesy of A24

A first look at Brendan Frasier as The Whale; Mia Goth plays Pearl in a quick-turnaround prequel to Ti West’s X, Ethan Hawke looks for a Paul Newman scandal and comes up blank. Plus: Netflix plans a huge Venice Film Festival showing with Blonde, White Noise and the latest from Alejandro González Iñárritu. All in today’s Rundown.

But First: Our list of the 40 Best Film Schools in the U.S. and Canada will be out tomorrow. We tried to balance schools famous for producing Oscar winners with schools that are surprisingly affordable. We hope you like it.

Brendan Frasier as The Whale; Mia Goth in Pearl

Brendan Frasier as The Whale: A24 tweeted the first look at Brendan Frasier in Darron Aronofsky’s The Whale, in which Frasier plays a 600-pound-man given that not-very-nice nickname. It was as part of an announcement about all the A24 film’s debuting at the Venice Film Festival, which runs from August 31 through September 10.

Pearl Also Looks Good, Right? Yes! More on that in a moment.

Netflix at Venice: Netflix plans a massive presence at Venice. Its premieres include the opening night film White Noise, starring Adam Driver and directed by Noah Baumbach, based on the chilly Don DeLillo novel; Andrew Dominik’s Blonde, starring Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe and based on the Joyce Carol Oates novel; and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Mexican epic Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, his first film since he won the Best Director Oscar for The Revenant. 

Paul Newman’s Non-Scandal: Paul Newman burned all the audio tapes that became the basis for Ethan Hawke’s new HBO docuseries The Last Movie Stars, about the love affair of Newman and Joanne Woodward. At first Hawke thought Newman must be hiding some scandal — but no. “I scoured everything for what the scandal was, and I realized that it was much simpler and much more beautiful — which is that he got bored with the celebration of the individual,” Hawke told MovieMaker‘s Margeaux Sippell. You can read more here.

Breaking In: We’re big on New Mexico — Albuquerque is the No. 1 city on our list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker, and Santa Fe is No. 3 among smaller cities and towns. One thing we like about the state is its dedication to training residents to join the film and TV industry — and that dedication continued with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s announcement yesterday that the first satellite campus for New Mexico’s Next Generation Media Academy will be co-located with Doña Ana Community College and New Mexico State University at the NMSU Arrowhead Center in Las Cruces. The academy is a certificate program that fast-tracks people into in-demand jobs with training and on-set, paid apprenticeships. Job opportunities abound in New Mexico: Last year the state had a record $855 million in film spending.

Better Call Saul: There’s a law that anytime someone mentions New Mexico’s film and TV industry, they also have to mention how great Better Call Saul is, and Monday’s episode was one of my all-time favorites — a deep look into Saul’s post-Breaking Bad life that we’ve been waiting years for. And we finally found out who Carol Burnett is playing, weeks after MovieMaker broke the news of her casting.

X Woman Origins: Pearl: A24’s Venice tweet also included Pearl, a prequel to Ti West’s X being released Sept. 16 even though hey-no-fair some of us haven’t even seen X yet. (It only came out in March.) I wonder if I should just see Pearl first and do the movies in the order they take place? I don’t know, but Pearl, with all its creepy Wizard of Oz Technicolor mischief, looks fantastic.

Main image: Mia Goth in Pearl, coming soon from Ti West.