In todays’ Movie News Rundown: A wave of theater closings in the U.S. and UK, Mean Girls reminisce and want you to vote; 20 great Latino filmmakers talk about their films; and learn more about rising writer-director Nicole L. Thompson. Plus: A doctor’s rebellious CNN backdrop.
Meet Nicole L. Thompson: Our new feature The New School profiles striking new talents coming out of top film schools. Today we focus on Nicole L. Thompson, whose short film “Blackbird” is about a woman who cleans planes while dreaming of being a pilot. Thompson says her grandmother’s sacrifice has helped her to soar.
Theater Closures: Cineworld will temporarily shut down all of 536 of its Regal theaters in the U.S. and its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the U.K. because of… well, you know. Variety has more.
‘You Don’t Have to Be British to Enjoy James Bond’: Carlos Aguilar wrote a magnificent list for the New York Times of essential Latino films of the last 20 years, and the best part is that he also talked to the moviemakers behind them. Robert Rodriguez says he was pressured to make the kids in Spy Kids couldn’t be “American.” Here’s his response: “I said, ‘They are American, in fact they’re all based and named after my family, and even my uncle Gregorio actually is a special agent in the F.B.I.’ … I finally argued, “You don’t have to be British to enjoy James Bond.”
Mean Girls Reunite: Did anyone else get scary junior-high flashbacks from those words? Fortunately it’s about the movie. Katie Couric fetched Tina Fey, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert and more to share their memories of the film and encourage voting. Are they up for a sequel? Tim Meadows says yes, if it’s the same cast but they all play different parts.
R.I.P. Thomas Jefferson Byrd: The 70-year-old actor, who appeared in many Spike Lee films including Clockers, He Got Game, Red Hook Summer, Chi-Raq, Get On the Bus and Girl 6, was fatally shot in Atlanta over the weekend, The Associated Press reported. Byrd was nominated in 2003 for a Tony for his performance in the Broadway revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. “Tom Is My Guy,” Lee wrote. “May We All Wish Condolences And Blessings To His Family. Rest In Peace Brother Byrd.”
Anyone Watch CNN This Weekend? Yeah, I didn’t watch it for 48 hours either. One moment of levity came from the backdrop behind Dr. James Phillips of Walter Reed Medical Center, who seems to believe in a healing force from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Comment of the Day: “Motherless Brooklyn,” writes Film Guy in response to this piece about Aaron Sorkin discussing how there’s never been a Robert Moses movie. It’s true that there are some hints that Alec Baldwin’s Motherless Brooklyn villain is based on the influential New York City builder. For example: He’s named Moses Randolph.