Some Oscar honesty; some Oscar Isaac honesty about Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law; two cool festivals on opposite sides of the country; tell us your favorite movies of 2021. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
O Pioneers! You know how sometimes you hear about a new film festival and you think: perfect location — why hasn’t anyone thought of that before? That’s how it is with the new Pioneertown Film Festival, coming this May to the Western town near Joshua Tree built by Roy Rodgers and Gene Autry in the 1940s. Here’s Margeaux Sippell with more.
BUFF: The Boston Underground Film Festival, which has the best abbreviation of any film festival, starts today at Cambridge’s charming Brattle Theatre. This year’s event includes the New England premieres of Goran Stolevski’s You Won’t Be Alone, Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr, and The Innocents, by Eskil Vogt, co-writer of the breathtaking The Worst Person in the World. It also includes the East Coast premiere of Gaspar Noé’s Vortex and the East Coast premiere of Chloe Okuno’s Watcher, both of which figure prominently in the upcoming issue of MovieMaker Magazine. If you’re anywhere near Boston, pay it a visit.
Disney Walkouts: LGBTQ Disney employees and their supporters walked out yesterday to protest what they say is the company’s inadequate reaction to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prohibits teaching around gender identity and sexual orientation. The demonstrators also want Disney to oppose similar bills in neighboring states. Variety has more details.
Meanwhile at the Moon Knight Premiere: Oscar Isaac, star of the new Disney+ series, said while walking the red carpet that he hopes “Disney as a company comes out as forcefully as possible” against the law. “It’s an absolutely ridiculous law. It’s insane,” he said. “It’s astounding that it even exists in this country.” He also sang the word “gay” many times.
Yes. I’m Serious: According to Variety, he started his answer to a question about the Florida law by saying, “I guess my comment would be gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gay gayyyyyy!”
Another Oscar Isaac Thing: Showbiz 411 reports that he will pass on starring in Francis Ford Coppola’s planned $120 million film Megalopolis. Generally speaking, I don’t put much weight on casting news unless it’s also confirmed by one of the major trades, or a very cautious outlet like The New York Times or The Associated Press. But you should read the original report and gauge it for yourself. Curiously, Isaac is also expected to play Coppola in the upcoming Francis and The Godfather, so also appearing in Coppola’s movie might have been weird.
Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot: Now’s the time of year — just ahead of the Oscar ceremony — when The Hollywood Reporter starts rolling out its Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot feature, in which real Oscar voters reveal why they voted as they did. I like this feature because it reveals that Oscar voters aren’t necessarily brilliant film scholars towering above the rest of us, but rather, fallible people susceptible to whims and biases. The voter featured today is a big CODA fan, and voted for Diane Warren in the best song category because 1. the voter “wasn’t particularly enamored with the other nominees” and 2. considers Warren a friend.
More Oscar Honesty: I just don’t care that much about Oscars. No one really believes that the Oscars, or any award ceremony, can name the “best” anything because it’s all subjective. Anyone who makes any movie deserves a lot of credit, because making movies is very hard.
Oscars Aside, What Were Your Favorite Movies Last Year? Tell us in the comments. Mine were Power of the Dog and Red Rocket, and The Worst Person in the World is right up there, too. You can also tell us on Twitter if that’s your thing. Please don’t leave me hanging here as the only one who responds. Help me out here.
What were your favorite movies of 2021, Oscar nominated or not?
— MovieMaker Magazine (@moviemakermag) March 23, 2022
Dinosaur Jr.: Here’s maybe my favorite cover of all time, today:
Main image: Dinosaur Jr. covers The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”