Simon Rex plays a washed-up porn star in Sean Baker’s Red Rocket; a strike that would shut down Hollywood could be imminent; a new appreciation of Michael Mann’s Miami Vice movie on its 15th anniversary. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
But First: William Shatner, 90, is going to space before Tom Cruise.
So… Strike?: More than 98 percent of eligible IATSE members have voted to authorize a strike. The union bargains on behalf of roughly 150,000 cinematographers, operators, grips, editors, costumers and writers assistants, among others, so a strike could shut Hollywood down. But the fact that the voters have authorized a strike doesn’t mean it will happen – it just means IATSE president Matthew Loeb has a stronger hand as he goes into today’s resumed negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. IATSE is seeking, among other things, higher wages and less-intense hours on sets.
Heartland: A recent conversation with Heartland International Film Festival director Greg Sorvig made it apparent that this is shaping up to be an unexpectedly great year for movie releases. Heartland is celebrating its 30th year with an insanely stacked lineup that includes King Richard, Spencer, The French Dispatch, Belfast, and 10 other major studio films. We also talk with Sorvig about the festival’s connection to Jimmy Stewart, and a few of the reasons Heartland is one of our 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee. You can listen on Apple or Spotify or here:
Red Rocket Trailer: One of the other new films we’re most excited about is Red Rocket, Sean Baker’s follow-up to the magnificent The Florida Project. Actor, comedian, rapper and former MTV VJ Simon Rex stars in the A24 comedy-drama as a porn star who returns defeated to his small Texas town… where he meets a teenager (Suzanna Son) he thinks could be his ticket back into the industry. It premiered to acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival. Like Baker’s brilliant Tangerine, Red Rocket one gives proper respect to donuts. Here’s the brand-new trailer:
In the Air Tonight: Vulture critic Bilge Ebiri marks the 15th anniversary of Michael Mann’s Miami Vice with a reappraisal of the film, including a punchy description of its opening scenes. “All throughout these frenetic opening passages, scenes start too late and end too early,” he writes.
But This Is the Best Part: Ebiri notes that some films are initially considered misses because they don’t follow the rules we expect. He quotes Whit Stillman from the Cows in the Field film podcast, talking about his 1998 film Last Days of Disco (one of my favorite movies ever) was initially considered a miss because of what Stillman calls its “not-very-normalness.” Ebiri argues that Miami Vice was similarly dismissed because of this quality — even though he liked it all along. (That’s how I feel about Last Days of Disco.)
TL;DR: Time to rewatch Miami Vice and Last Days of Disco.
Here’s My Favorite-Ever Dialogue: From Last Days of Disco. It’s kind of a spoiler because it encapsulates all of the characters and relationships in the film based on a disco discussion of cute cartoon dogs.
Main image: Simon Rex in the poster for Red Rocket. Here’s the full poster: