ENJOY THE SHOW
"If you're ever making any piece of art, you've gotta be challenging while you're doing it and making sure that it's not something anyone's seen before, otherwise you're wasting everyone's time." One of my favorite films from the 2019 Venice Film Festival was Babyteeth, an exquisite Australian coming-of-age dramedy marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Shannon Murphy. Before she got into filmmaking, she was a theater director - starting her career on stage in Australia. She then moved over to television and has been directing episodes of shows like "Offspring", "Sisters", "On the Ropes", and "Killing Eve". Babyteeth is also originally from the stage - it's a play adapted by its own playwright for the screen. And Shannon jumped at the opportunity to direct it, later ending up in the Venice Film Festival main competition selection as one of two female filmmakers chosen that year (the other being Haifaa Al-Mansour with The Perfect Candidate).
"We're truly one big family. It's a celebration of filmmakers and movies." The We Are One Global Film Festival held online through YouTube is wrapping up after almost 10 days of events & premieres. With so many film festivals cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, a batch of them got together to host this special "online film festival" event - programming short films, features, Q&As, conversations, and much more. To wrap up, We Are One released six videos of acclaimed filmmakers talking about why they love film festivals so much and how important they are to the world of cinema – including Darren Aronofsky, Ang Lee, Mary Harron, David O. Russell, and Julian Schnabel. We also love film festivals here at FS and have been proud to cover festivals all over the world for the last 14 years. It's heartening to hear these artists talking about what makes festivals so impactful and meaningful – celebrating cinema & storytelling. Enjoy.
Even without Cannes this year, we Cannes still have our own festival anyway. Even without film festivals, we can still experience the excitement of cinema watching films at home. The 2020 Cannes Film Festival was supposed to take place from May 12th to May 23rd, and this would've been my 11th year attending. But the festival has "postponed", although it seems like it's cancelled for 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. They decided not to host a virtual festival and instead are considering some kind of online offering and/or a partnership with another festival in the fall. So what else is there to do during these 11 days in May? Watch more films anyway! I wouldn't want to be anywhere else besides in Cannes anyway, so in the spirit of the festival, I decided to host my own version at home and watched 15 extraordinary films over the last 11 days.
Thank You, Movies. Movies are always there for us, ready to be watched anytime, ready to make us laugh and cry. We're living in unprecedented times, in a changed world due to a pandemic that has taken over the entire planet. Even though we've all been doing our best to stay at home in quarantine, and stop the spread of the coronavirus, it hasn't been easy. But thank goodness for movies! The Academy writes: "Grateful for the movies that have lifted us up, made us laugh and transported us during these unsettling times." They've published a short video capturing some of the wonderful movie moments from social media over these last few months. And it's a beautiful reminder of how much movies mean to us - to each and every last one of us.
"You can be poetic and you don't have to answer anything. You can make whatever you want. You have creative freedom [making a] short film." (-Taika Waititi) We love short films! Ever since this coronavirus pandemic shut down cinemas worldwide, we've been doing our best to keep sharing worthwhile film content every day. There aren't many new trailers yet, and Hollywood is waiting to figure out their next step, so I've been finding the best short films to feature as well. Every single weekday since March, FirstShowing has featured one new short film on the site. All of them are worth watching. But not everyone has time to watch all of them. So I've put together this post highlighting my 10 favorite recent short films to watch and enjoy anytime. Today, tomorrow. Bookmark this page and stop by whenever to watch all these shorts below.
"It can't be reasoned with, it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop until you are dead!" Grab a pint and stay at home and wait for all of this to blow over. Ever since a few months ago when the coronavirus pandemic put the entire world into lockdown, everyone has been watching the classic "virus" movies - Outbreak, Contagion, 12 Monkeys, The Andromeda Strain, 28 Days Later. Some are more realistic than others, some are totally ridiculous Hollywood fun. But there's always important lessons for us to learn – like listening to Ripley yell about "if we break quarantine we could all die!" in Alien. Filmmaker Mike Dougherty & editor Evan Gorski have made an amazing mashup video of all the various clips & quotes about survival from sci-fi & horror movies. This is a must watch. "Social de-evolution appears complete."
"One simple question. A world of emotions." While everyone waits patiently at home all over the world for movie theaters to reopen, Lost in Film has put together a video tribute to the importance of cinema. They reached out to various cinephiles across the world and asked them to answer this simple question: "Why do you love cinema?" They then edited a video together featuring footage from various films and the answers they received, highlighting different perspectives and points of view about the importance of cinema in our lives. The result is something that will certainly make you emotional, and remind you why you love movies and keep watching them. That's why you read this site anyway, right? I always love watching these rousing video tributes to the magic of movies & the power of visual storytelling, and this one is especially wonderful.
Need some recommendations? Not sure what to watch tonight? Start with these! You never know where they might lead you… With everyone around the whole world staying at home during this coronavirus pandemic lockdown / quarantine, many have been spending the time watching / reading / listening to as many movies / books / albums as they can. Guillermo del Toro went on Twitter this week to encourage his filmmaker friends to speak up and speak up about what they've been watching, and reading, and listening to – as long as they're "things we love". He ended up getting a whole bunch of fascinating and intriguing responses from filmmakers including: Darren Aronofsky, Sarah Polley, Edgar Wright, Ari Aster, Brad Bird, Ava DuVernary, and a few others. We've compiled most of the responses below to peruse and add to your queue. Have a look.
"We just need to make sure that nobody knows until everybody knows." First things first, please stay safe. Stay home. Keep your distance from others. Support the health care workers and service workers and food workers who are all still putting themselves in harms way to keep the world turning. It's tough times… For everyone. Pretty much every cinema around the world has shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hollywood has responded by shifting many upcoming releases to digital / VOD offerings. Our focus here at FirstShowing has been, and will always be, the theatrical experience. Many of us miss going to the cinema. And with time, hopefully things will return to normal and the cinemas will re-open. Until then, we're doing our best to keep the website going including regularly updating the release schedule. It's our way to survive.
"Let Neptune strike ye dead Winslow! HAAARK!" Another year, another Top 10. And although we're already well into 2020, it's never too late to share this list. Better late than never, as they say! It's time to present my personal list of my Top 10 Favorite Films of 2019. I really wish I had more time to revisit all of these, and so many other films, but there's never enough time. Most of these I really wanted to see again before writing about them, but, I went with my gut feeling. With every film below, as soon as I finished watching it, I knew it would be on my Top 10. There is that feeling deep down that I have seen something extraordinary and I just know it won't be topped. And my final three, same as last year, I kept switching around because they're masterpieces. With that said, I am more than happy to reveal my faves, the films that left me floored.
The 2020 Sundance Film Festival has finally come to an end and to put a wrap on the fest and finalize our nearly two weeks of coverage, it's time to present our Best of the Fest list. I was able to see a total of 40 films across 10 days, but I couldn't catch everything and missed a few films getting lots of good buzz from critics (e.g. Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Kajillionaire, I Carry You with Me). I saw a good chunk of documentaries this year, so instead of separating docs and features, I am presenting one big list of my 10 favorite films - a mix of docs and features. All of these below are worth watching, and I highly recommend seeking them out. I'm glad Sundance continues to program some of the best films all year, as well as more innovative, unique, challenging, fascinating, and thrilling features from all around the world. Below are my favorites, the films that connected with me and have remained on my mind throughout the festival. Dive in.
Back to Sundance we go for another year of discovery. What's on the line-up this year? Out of the 120+ films showing at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, I've chosen 10 that I'm looking forward to seeing the most. To keep things well balanced, I've chosen 5 feature films and 5 documentaries from the line-up. There are so many films playing at the fest, and so many I'll end up seeing (30+), that this is a quick list to get everyone acquainted with some of the work premiering in 2020 (I just want to go see everything). There are new films from filmmakers like Dee Rees, Benh Zeitlin, and tons of fascinating documentaries that are also worthy of attention, plus many other films. You never really know what will good or bad, but here's my first few picks.