Harrison Ford gets emotional about Indiana Jones 5, Steven Spielberg unveils The Fabelmans trailer (and the whole film at TIFF), and congratulations to the winners of the Indie Street Film Festival, which we highly recommend. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
Box Office: The new horror thriller Barbarian, starring Bill “Pennywise from It” Skarsgård, beat expectations to sell $10 million in tickets and score the top spot this weekend. It’s about a young woman (Georgina Campbell) who makes a late-night arrival to a rental home in a dicey neighborhood, only to find it occupied by someone else, played by Skarsgård. What might sound like an obvious rom-com setup turns out to be quite scary.
‘This One Is Fantastic’: Harrison Ford , 80, got a bit choked up while promoting Indiana Jones 5 to the audience at Disney’s D23 conference this weekend. “We have a really human story to tell, as well as a movie that will kick your ass,” Ford said. James Mangold is directing the movie, which also stars Mads Mikkelsen and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. This is the first Indiana Jones movie not directed by Steven Spielberg.
What’s Steven Spielberg Been Up To? Dreaming up new ways to make us cry, judging by this trailer for The Fabelmans, a story inspired by his own childhood:
More Fabelmans: And here’s the Fabelmans Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it just premiered. I’m personally going to skip watching it until I see the movie. But I did appreciate Spielberg’s promise, via France24, that The Fabelmans is not his goodbye to Hollywood. “It is not because I have decided to retire and this is my swan song… don’t believe any of that!” Spielberg said.
I’m Curious: How this film will pair with James Gray’s outstanding Armageddon Time, another very personal film inspired by the director’s own childhood. Both are about struggling but hopeful Jewish families, and both are set against a backdrop of prejudice. Armageddon Time takes place in Queens, New York in 1980, roughly two decades later than The Fabelmans, which is set largely in Arizona and California. Armageddon Time is masterful, but subtle, and it seems very possible that both could be Best Picture candidates. I hope Spielberg’s film doesn’t overshadow Gray’s.
So Much Water: Here’s MovieWeb on why Avatar: The Way of Water took so long.
How Was Your Weekend? I attended the Indie Street Film Festival in beautiful Red Bank, New Jersey, where I served on the narrative jury and was blown away by the winners:
Best Narrative Feature: Love Tasting, a Polish film directed by Dawid Nickel. Imagine a blend of Less Than Zero, Kids and Euphoria, but set in a part of modern-day Poland where “LGBTQ+ free zones” are a grim reality and everything has a veneer of religiosity. Wise, tragic and darkly funny, the movie never underlines its observations, instead just inviting us to hang with a band of young students approaching the last days of school. It’s a magnificently made movie — every frame holds nuance and surprise.
Best Narrative Short: “Warsha,” a Lebanese film directed by Dania Bdeir. I don’t want to spoil anything about this awe-inspiring short, which does everything cinema can do in a remarkably tight, well-paced period of time. It takes audiences from claustrophobic squalor to a delirious celebration of freedom. Please go see it whenever you can, on the largest possible screen. You will not regret it.
Jury Prize: “NYC Tips and Tricks,” by director Amber Schaefer, a very funny, very sad, wincingly well-told story of a dad melting down at Coney Island as he tries to become a YouTube influencer. You can watch the whole thing here.
Best Animated Short: “The Seine’s Tears,” an animated film with groundbreaking technique and astonishing artistry. It reimagines the murder of Algerian demonstrators in Paris in 1961 with love, empathy, and fury. Even if you’ve never heard of the attack — I hadn’t — the film’s spirit of collaboration between a large team of student directors feels like a call for new generations never to forget the worst moments of our past. The most pivotal, devastating scene is accompanied by “True Sorry,” a soaring, searing instrumental piece by jazz artist Ibrahim Malouf that I had never heard before the film and have played countless times since. You can listen to it here, since it isn’t in the trailer below:
Also: I’ll post the documentary winners later in the week, but huge congratulations to all the narrative winners!
Main image: The Fabelmans trailer.