Louis C.K. Fourth of July; Dario Argento Returns

Louis C.K. suddenly has a new movie called Fourth of July; Suspiria director Dario Argento returns with his first film in years; new and noteworthy films out now include Down With the King, Acceptance and the Leonard Cohen doc Hallelujah. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.

But First: Are you an environmental filmmaker? BIPOC filmmaker? Woman? Student? All of the above? None of the above? Whoever you are, there’s an opportunity for you in our new list of 15 Film Festivals You Can Enter for Free, presented by FilmFreeway.

Out Today: Here’s an exclusive clip from the new doc Acceptedabout an unconventional Louisiana school called T.M. Landry. It’s known for sending kids to universities like Harvard, Yale and Stanford — but is scrutinized for its methods. The man speaking is the school’s founder, Mike Landry, and students Alicia Simon, Isaac Smith and Aighty Sabatier are also featured in the clip.

Also Out Today: Down With the King, a cinéma vérité-style drama about a rapper (Freddie Gibbs) who abandons the rap game to try out rural life, is a gorgeous watch for anyone who loves film, hip-hop and the great outdoors. I talked recently with director Diego Ongaro and cinematographer Daniel Vecchione about how they achieved the “aggressive naturalism” of the film. You can listen on Apple or PlayerFM or wherever else you get podcasts or here:

Is It Good Though? I think so, but don’t take my word for it. Down With the King is a New York Times critic’s pick that A.O. Scott says is “likely to resonate with anyone who has ever felt trapped, overwhelmed or just plain tired out by work.”

Also, Also Out Today: Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song is out in select Los Angeles and New York theaters today. It’s a beautiful documentary about the unlikely trajectory that Cohen’s most beloved song took to find success and it will definitely warm your heart. Check out Margeaux Sippell’s interview with directors Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller and find tickets here. Also in theaters today is Minions: Rise of Gru, the fifth installment in the Despicable Me franchise; The Forgiven, starring Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain, and a heartwarming period drama called Mr. Malcolm’s List that’s perfect for the Bridgerton crowd (though perhaps a little less steamy).

Louis C.K.: The comedian has a new, self-financed film, Fourth of July, and The Hollywood Reporter has a good writeup of its first public screening, to a sold out audience last night at the Beacon Theatre in New York. C.K. explained to his fans that the film is about feeling out of place, even with your family, and telling your loved ones, “you hurt me and I hurt you. Let’s have some pizza. It’s like – it’s gonna be okay.”

Louis C.K. Has a Complicated Niche: It’s been almost five years since The New York Times exposed him for masturbating in front of women without their consent. He acknowledged it and apologized, and plenty of his fans — the Beacon seats more than 2,800 people — have decided to forgive him and move on. But his future fame has a ceiling, because it feels unlikely that anyone will ever give him another major platform, like he had on his standup specials and FX series Louie. (THR predicts that Fourth of July will have “a very limited release” and who can argue?) He’s in a curious place — persona non grata to corporate entities afraid to offend the many people who understandably despise him, but still supported by plenty of ticket buyers. He’s unwelcome on almost every digital stage, but doing OK on real ones.

May I Editorialize More?: I’ve spent a good 10 minutes here trying to decide if I would pay to see Louis C.K.’s work again, and I just don’t know. I used to like him a lot. Part of me thinks his apology seemed sincere, and it’s been years since he committed the offenses, and at some point people deserve a second chance. But the other part of me would be really suspicious of anyone saying that, and not want to be grouped in with them. And I have zero patience with Louis C.K. defenders who continue to doubt the accusations against him, or who think the accusations aren’t that bad, despite C.K.’s own admission that “these stories are true” and that “I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought” on the women. I wish C.K. would have more of a long, public dialogue with fans and critics alike about what he did wrong and how he’s trying to improve himself. We could all learn from that. Sorry this post wasn’t very funny.

Cinerama Dome Rebirth: One of the world’s most revered theaters is making a comeback. Variety reports that the owners of the Cinema Dome and the former Arclight Hollywood have obtained a liquor license, allowing them to open a restaurant and two bars as part of a grand reopening plan. The license application also says the new complex shall henceforth be known as the Cinerama Hollywood, though I’ll bet Angelenos will keep calling it the Arclight for a while.

Here’s a Tweet We Like: For you Cinerama Hollywood fans.


P.S. Clark Collis wrote a terrific book last year called You’ve Got Blood on You: How Shaun of the Dead Was Brought to Life.

Dario Argento Returns: Fantasia, one of our 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, just announced the latest films for its upcoming edition from July 14-August 3. Among them is Dark Glasses, Dario Argento’s first feature in a decade. Back in giallo mode, he and his frequent writing partner Franco Ferrini tell the story of a blinded sex worker (Ilenia Pastorelli) who finds herself targeted by a psychopath. The film, which was an official selection at the Berlin International Film Festival, also features Andrea Gherpelli and Asia Argento.

Dark Glasses by Dario Argento

A scene from Dark Glasses by Dario Argento, one of the films playing at Fantasia this month

What Else Is Coming to Fantasia? Among the festival’s closing night films will be Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, by Halina Reijn, in which a party game at a remote mansion leads to murder. The stars include Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give), Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) Myha’la Herrold (Industry), Rachel Sennott (Shiva Baby) and Pete Davidson. The film will be released to the masses August 5. Here are many more details on Fantasia, which we’ll be covering extensively from Montreal, because we are lucky.

Recommendation: Ryan Ward, the visual trailblazer who designs every issue of MovieMaker Magazine, recommended I check out the Argento film Inferno and my gosh, what a great suggestion. It’s the second film in a trilogy that began with Argento’s much better known Suspiria. If you like keyboard opulence and spectacularly lit gory silliness at the perfect intersection of ’70s and ’80s genre cinema, Inferno is perfect for you. The cat attack is a showstopper. Here’s the trailer: