Woody Allen and Alec Baldwin discussed retirement, foul language, jazz and W.C. Fields; Quentin Tarantino reviews grindhouse films; Pedro Almodóvar is shooting a western with Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, but there’s a catch; some streaming and theatrical recommendations. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
Nantucket: The Nantucket Film Festival, which MovieMaker editor-in-chief Tim Molloy attended this weekend, just announced its audience winners: Sean Mullin’s It Ain’t Over, a Yogi Berra documentary won the Feature Film Audience Award, while Alex and Paul Cannon’s “The F Word,” took home the Short Film Audience Award. It Ain’t Over and Grace Bartlett’s Bartlett’s Ocean Farm were among NFF’s Best of Fest selections granted special repeat screenings due to popular demand. In the Tony Cox Screenplay Competition, Michael Lei won for the Feature Screenplay The Rift, while the Episodic 60 Minute Screenplay Competition winner was Elisabeth Hayward for Murder-in-Marsh. Congratulations to all the winners!
Pedro Almodóvar Plots a Western: The Spanish moviemaker has teamed with fashion label Saint Laurent for an upcoming short film starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal “as a pair of middle-aged gunslingers,” IndieWire reports. The fashion label has previously worked with Gaspar Noé on Lux Æterna and “Summer of ’21.”
Speaking of Hawke: Check out The Black Phone which stars Hawke in a rare role as the villain. Scott Derrickson’s “stranger danger” period piece is very dark at times and very corny at others — it’s a fun combo. Most of the film’s violence comes not from Hawke’s The Grabber character, but rather from teenage boys pounding on each other’s faces. Madeleine McGraw is a major standout.
Mini Tarantino Reviews: Ahead of the October publication of his new book Cinema Speculation, Quentin Tarantino has written a handful of mini reviews of some grindhouse films on the New Beverly Cinema’s website. These include 1977’s Death Promise, Trackdown and more. On 1975’s No Way Out, Tarantino begins his mini-review with: “A pasta-land violent crime picture where visiting French superstar Alain Delon blasts his way through an assortment of famous Euro film faces.” Of Trackdown, he says, “If after I describe the plot of Richard Heffron’s Trackdown it sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a cross-between both of Paul Schrader’s screenplays, Taxi Driver and Hardcore.” I caught the Trackdown trailer multiple times when it played at Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema a few months back and can confirm my first thought each time was “Isn’t this just Hardcore?”
Tuesday Stream: It’s June 28, meaning a new season of the very funny Only Murders in the Building is here for your streaming pleasure. Hulu isn’t on that “release the full season all at once” kick that Netflix popularized, but did release three episodes today. We’ll get one a week going forward.
Also on Hulu: The Old Man, the first episode of which I watched and quite liked. The episode, directed by Jon Watts (Spider-Man: No Way Home), ends with an elaborate car crash action sequence that was movie-quality impressive. I’m excited to find time to watch more (after Only Murders, of course).
Trailer Watch: Ron Howard’s latest is a dramatized look at the brave cave divers who rescued the 12 boys and one adult stranded in a cave in Thailand.
Alec Baldwin interviews Woody Allen on Instagram: Here’s our writeup of the tech-plagued event, in which neither man mentioned the scandals that have come to define their public lives. But Molloy writes that we did learn that Hollywood millionaires are as bad as the rest of us at Instagram Live. Viewership hovered around 2,700 people throughout.
Woody Allen discussed his clarinet career: “I’m an amateur jazz musician and I’m terrible at it. I’m not even good at my hobby. … I found myself playing in for 1,000s of people in opera houses in Europe and and then 5,000 people will be standing in the rain to hear us and it was a phenomenal experience.”
Baldwin asked Allen the question on everyone’s mind: “Has a character in a movie of yours ever said the F word?” Allen said it’s happened once or twice, adding: “I feel you should use whatever language you need freely to make any point you need. I just object to it when it’s gratuitous.”
Allen shared his pandemic routine: “exercise, practice the clarinet, and write.” He also said he enjoyed staying home and not waking up at 5 a.m. Now 86, he said the pandemic made him consider pivoting to a more solitary writing life.
Baldwin said he is confused by Westworld before professing his affection for Bill Hader’s Barry. Allen said he doesn’t watch anything streaming —”not out of any statement,” but because he simply doesn’t have the time. Instead Allen opts to watch the Yankees, the Knicks, the news and Turner Classic Movies. Sounds like a great routine to me.
Finally, Baldwin asked Allen who he’d want to work with from the Turner Classic Movies period. Allen listed W.C. Fields, The Marx Brothers, Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope. On Lewis, Allen said he “was a great talent who always squandered it on silliness.”
Here’s the full Woody Allen x Alec Baldwin talk:
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Speaking of Baldwin: I recently rewatched The Departed with some friends who had somehow never seen it. Watching them watch something I’ve seen a million times, my takeaway was that Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg’s characters are the clear highlights. Their banter is unmatched, with Baldwin’s “Normally, he’s a very, uh, nice guy,” getting the biggest laugh.
Main image: Pedro Almodóvar at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Courtesy of Shutterstock