The new Warner Bros. Discovery bosses eye an overhaul of their DC Entertainment brand; after many serious roles, The Northman lead Alexander Skarsgård eyes comedy; a look back at the visuals of The Godfather and David Lynch’s Inland Empire; what the box office numbers for 1978’s The Deer Hunter can teach us about today’s moviegoing culture. All in today’s Movie New Rundown.
But First: Paris, 13th District Jacques Audiard turns 70 in a few weeks, but is creatively invigorated by the world of online dating and digital communication. “Imagine this: You’re on the street and you’re talking to someone. And all of a sudden that person takes up their phone to look at a message. Are they making an appointment for a romantic rendezvous?” Audiard tells MovieMaker.
Lucie Zhang is a Revelation: The first-time actor was nominated for a Cesar (among other French awards) for her role in Paris, 13th District, and I can confirm that she is the major highlight among many in Audiard’s look at young people in contemporary Paris.
Continue: In our latest podcast, we talk with Nadine Crocker, writer-director-star of Continue, a film she made to open up discussion of mental illness and suicide. Her hope is that people will hold on long enough to see their lives turn around. She knows a change can happen — because it happened to her. You can listen on Apple or Spotify or here:
That Was Fast: Variety reports that Warner Bros. Discovery executives are exploring a complete overhaul of the DC Entertainment segment of their business, just a week after Discovery closed its $43 billion deal for WarnerMedia. Variety cites sources who say top executives “have been toying with the idea of turning DC into its own solidified content vertical.”
This Is About Marvel, Right?: If this was your first reaction you’re probably not wrong. DC is perceived as “punching up” at Marvel, Variety says, and they’d like to level the playing field and compete more directly.
Does This Mean Another Batman? Let’s hope Robert Pattinson makes a good impression on his new bosses, for the sake of a little continuity.
Timing is Everything: David Leitch, stuntman-turned-director extraordinaire, backed out of directing Will Smith in Netflix’s Fast and Loose a week before the Oscars, Kim Masters writes for The Hollywood Reporter. Now in the wake of The Slap, that project has been paused, along with Smith projects at other studios.
Alexander Skarsgård’s Pivot: The Northman leading man Alexander Skarsgård tells the New York Times that he gravitates toward serious subject matter, but “I might have to do a comedy soon.” He adds that he would like to work with the satirist Armando Iannucci or the British comic actor Steve Coogan.
The Godfather‘s Visual Impact: Continuing the celebration of The Godfather‘s 50th anniversary, IndieWire talked with 17 cinematographers about DP Gordon Willis’ impact on the form. When I talked to Paul Schrader for last year’s The Card Counter, he told me that Willis was the only DP at the time who was allowed to shoot his films so darkly. “A normal film, you would get a call the next day after dailies from the studio yelling at you that everything is too dark,” Schrader said.
While We’re Talking Cinematography: David Lynch’s 2006 Inland Empire was shot on low-grade digital video (or DV) and a new restoration is playing theaters. Lynch spoke with IndieWire about the impetus behind the restoration and his thoughts on digital cinematography, including drones. With all things Lynch, it’s a must-read.
Weekend Short Read: Little Fish director Chad Hartigan is hands down one of the best follows on Letterboxd, and his recent review of Michael Cimino’s 1978 The Deer Hunter is a must-read. Hartigan spares no one, including his younger brother, who is hilariously shamed for his desire to watch Morbius and Sonic ahead of anything remotely resembling independent cinema.
Hartigan Says: “Somehow we went from a world where 1 in 10 Americans went to see The Deer Hunter, a movie with a plotless 41- minute wedding sequence, to a generation of incurious, infantilized, slave-to-the-brand consumers, and it’s obvious I feel like we’re worse off for it.”
Agree or Disagree?: Read Hartigan’s full review and let us know your thoughts on what film studios produce now versus back in the ’70s.
Main image: Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves on the set of The Batman, a DC Entertainment property at Warner Bros. Photo by Jonathan Olley / DC Comics