In today’s Movie News Rundown: George Lucas likes The Mandalorian; R.I.P. to Chariots of Fire star Ben Cross; Netflix is testing a shuffle mode so you can finally find a movie before your ice cream melts; and some very dark thoughts about our screens spying on us. Also: Puppets.
George Lucas on The Mandalorian: Dave Filoni, one of the executive producers of the Emmy-nominated drama, shares this detail in a new Hollywood Reporter interview: “He’s been very complimentary. I think he’s enjoyed the show, and he said once now he gets to watch it as a fan and watch it as a viewer.” Mandalorian executive producer Jon Favreau posted the above photo of Lucas and Baby Yoda earlier this year.
R.I.P. Ben Cross: Cross, who played Olympic sprinter Harold Abrahams in the 1981 Oscar Best Picture winner Chariots of Fire, has died at 72 of an unspecified illness, his daughter Lauren said on his Facebook page. Cross said his character, a Jewish runner battling anti-Semitism, resonated across cultures — Chariots of Fire “was about minorities going against the flow,” he told The Jewish Chronicle in 2012. Though he was not Jewish, he always took it as a compliment when fans assumed he was.
Netflix Tests Shuffle: That’s it, that’s the news. The “shuffle” option would play something based on what you’ve watched previously, what genres you’ve viewed, and what you’ve saved, Variety says.
In Soviet Russia, TV Watches You: Remember that great joke? It’s come true everywhere – our online screening services, from Netflix to YouTube, are monitoring what we like and giving us more of the same. The New York Times’ Rabbit Hole podcast, which I started listening to yesterday, does an excellent job of explaining how this is making us a more divided country.
Marionette Land: If all this makes you long for very offline entertainment, check out this trailer for Marionette Land, the new documentary from At the Drive-In director Alexander Monelli. (Here’s our interview with Monelli about At the Drive-In.)
Speaking of Drive-Ins: Birmingham, Alabama’s Sidewalk Film Festival is switching to drive-in mode next week, and will feature a spectacular and varied lineup ranging from Alice Gu’s documentary The Donut King to Amy Seimitz’s anxiety-driven new horror film She Dies Tomorrow to 1985’s very-popular-at-my-elementary school Teen Wolf. Here’s the full schedule and where to buy tickets if you’re within driving range.
Yesterday’s Movie News: Is here.