In today’s Movie News Rundown: 40-Year-Old Version star Radha Blank says you’re never too old; advice from Charm City Kings director Ángel Manuel Soto on riding with a big studio; and some thoughts on a recent mistake. Plus: a talk with the most optimistic man in Louisiana — and perhaps the world.
This is 40: Radha Blank wrote a great piece about her journey as a rapper, playwright and filmmaker, and why 40 isn’t too old to do any of them. You can also listen to our MovieMaker Interviews podcast with her on Apple or Spotify or here:
More Forty-Year-Old Version: Way back in January, the film’s director of photography, Eric Branco, wrote about the tools he used to achieve the cool, black-and-white look of the film.
‘It’s Been a Really Good Year for Us’: Gregory Kallenberg, founder and executive director of the Louisiana Film Prize, says the pandemic has, in completely unexpected ways, inspired new creativity and innovation among the entrants in this year’s short-film contest.
SAG-AFTRA Layoffs: The union has cut 45 staffers due to COVID-19, bringing to 171 the number of staffers who have lost jobs since March, Variety reports.
Soul to Disney+: The upcoming Pixar film Soul, originally scheduled for theatrical release, will instead debut exclusively on Disney+ on December 25. It will still get a theatrical release in some countries where Disney+ isn’t available. Soul comes from Inside Out and Up director Pete Docter and and co-director/writer Kemp Powers, playwright and screenwriter of One Night in Miami. It includes the voices of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Angela Bassett and Daveed Diggs and features original jazz music Jon Batiste and a score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
Deadline Oops: The entertainment site accidentally published a story it had pre-written about Vice President Pence testing positive for COVID-19, just in case he tests positive. (There’s no evidence he has.) I have a couple thoughts, which you’ll want to skip if you don’t come here for my silly opinions.
Everyone Does It: Every news outlet writes these kinds of “just in case” stories so they’re ready to publish quickly, and sometimes they get published prematurely, like that time Bob Hope died five years before his death. I used to work at a very large news organization that kept a massive cache of obituaries for then-troubled celebrities, as well as famous people getting up in years. The obit for Kurt Vonnegut, written years before he died, was especially great: It ended with the line, “And so it goes.” Unfortunately, whoever ultimately published the obit cut that perfect ending, because they missed the Slaughterhouse-Five reference or thought it was tasteless or whatever.
And So It Goes: The real problem isn’t that an entertainment site accidentally published a story about a political figure — we’re all human. It’s that entertainment sites cover political figures so breathlessly in the first place. Almost every site, whatever its original mission, has been infected by a click-driven mission creep into politics. They’re trying to urgently race the actual experts at The Associated Press and New York Times and Washington Post, and of course things go awry. At best, their unnecessary stories add to internet clutter and keep people from finding stories that have deeper reporting and depth. Of course entertainment sites should acknowledge the world we live in — when filmmakers comment on politics in interesting ways, I think that’s worth covering — but I don’t really care what Hollywood sites think about the Supreme Court or viral morbidity rates, unless there’s a direct link to the entertainment industry. Can we all get back in our lanes?