Darren Aronofsky finds his softness

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Good morning: In today’s edition of The Industry, we look at:

Darren Aronofsky’s swan, Andrea Arnold’s bird, Chris Rock’s drinking, and our favorite tramp.

Let’s go!


DARREN ARONOFSKY FINDS HIS SOFTNESS

Little Death is an experiment in extreme psychosis.

The Darren Aronofsky-produced Sundance feature film, which just clinched the Innovator Award and was directed by first-timer Jack Begert, is exceptional in two categories.

The first is its ultra-impressionistic stylization of a writer’s psychosis, and although indicative of Requiem for a Dream, finds its own kind of beautiful maximalist voice pounded through David Schwimmer’s sweaty, hyperactive persona as he pushes through roadblocks in pursuit of his first feature film.

The movie also finds its softness.

As the film gravitates toward the second half, we see a hyperreal, ultra-mellow version of a Los Angeles experience played out by 20-something troublemakers.

This beautiful turning of a coin where each set of characters in the movie is ensconced in separate dilemmas came out of an unexpected place.

At the Sundance Q&A, Begert recounted an incident about his friend going ballistic after being charged extra for tartar sauce at a fish taco stand:

“I remember standing there being like, this is like ruining his entire month. Like, this is crazy. Like, I can’t believe this, that he’s living in this reality… And then I remember thinking, you know what? That’s not fair. There’s definitely stuff that would like make me spiral for a month.”

Begert continued:

“That was like a big crystallization point of the sort of point in the movie, which was kind of like, you know, to shift the perspective, to kind of get out of your own head, to sort of show how different people are all dealing with like these crises, but different people are sort of living in their own movies…”

In Little Death, which currently has no release date, we find something of a new directorial voice.

Although unclear if each half adds up, the film is a beautiful experiment in filmmaking.

For More:

The Requiem for a Dream trailer. We Got a Winner!

Richard Linklater was a big influence on director Jack Begert. Watch the trailer for Linklater’s Before Sunrise (1995). It’s still as magical as ever.

First-look image of Little Death. Schwimmer + pills.


THE INDUSTRY NEWS

Chris Rock goes Another Round with the director’s chair. Chris Rock will be directing an adaptation of Thomas Vinterberg‘s Danish-language film Another Round (2020), which starred Mads Mikkelsen. The original centered on four downtrodden teachers who make a pact to stay continually drunk to fuel their creativity. The film, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, is messy and profound (trailer).​

Rock has directed:

While Rock will nail the outsized joy the perpetually tipsy friends have, it’s tougher to envision him achieving the same level of despair that allows the original film to resonate.​

Appian Way (Killers of the Flower Moon) and Makeready (A Thousand and One) are producing Rock’s Another Round for Fifth Season, which is financing.

The first draft has been completed.​

Miramax CEO Jon Glickman? Miramax, the company founded by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, which produced some of the strongest art-house films of the 90s from Pulp Fiction (1994), Shakespeare in Love (1998), and The Cider House Rules (1999), is currently owned by Paramount Global (49%) and beIN (A Qatari-owned global media network). In October 2023, Miramax let their CEO’s contract lapse, and the position has been vacant ever since.

Glickman has an impressive pedigree:

​If Glickman becomes CEO, he will help focus Miramax, whose current release, The Beekeeper just became 2024’s top-grossing film with $103 M worldwide, on their untapped treasure trove of IP.

Severance Season 2. Production has re-started after much fanfare about a potential stoppage altogether. Series director Ben Stiller shared a first-look BTS photo.​

Apple TV+’s acclaimed Severance is about a man (Adam Scott) who has his work and home memories surgically separated.

Stiller discussed his fascination with the show’s core concept:

“Where are these people? Who are they? What are they doing? They don’t know. They don’t know they’re kind of living this life and, you know, speaking in this sort of rhythm and making these workplace comedy jokes, but they don’t know who they are or where they are or why they’re there or what they’re doing. And that, that, that general idea to me is sort of like, well, that’s kind of like, you know, life in a way.”

It’s a brilliant show, and we can’t wait for the second season to start.

Three exciting actors will be co-starring in the new season.


THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Milly Alcock (House of the Dragon) has landed the role of Supergirl in James Gunn’s DC Universe project. Alcock previously portrayed young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones spinoff, House of the Dragon. The internet had a bit of a row a few weeks ago when it was revealed that another potential supergirl was Meg Donnelly, who had previously voiced the superhero in a variety of animated shows. Both actresses looked the part, but Alcock seemed to nail the role. See you up there in a few years, Milly.​

Sandra Milo, who lit up the screen in Fellini’s 8 ½, has passed away at 90. Here are some clips of her iconic performances:

Italian Deputy Culture Minister Lucia Borgonzoni said:

“The small and big screen are losing a great talented artist with overwhelming charisma, a unique interpreter, capable of changing register with extreme simplicity, going from interpreting complex characters to lighter ones.”

Although her career peaked in the mid-60s, she made an indelible mark on Italian cinema.

​She will be missed.


FESTIVALS AND RESOURCES

Developing and Pitching an Hour Long Drama Series, a virtual masterclass hosted by the accomplished writer and producer Dean Carpentier (Limitless – Relativity TV), will share his extensive experience. The session offers invaluable insights into creating and selling one-hour drama series for TV and streaming platforms. There will also be a Q&A, group networking, post-session access to a recording, and a private LinkedIn Networking Group for further professional development.

This is an unmissable event for those looking to break into the world of drama series writing.

The virtual event will take place on Thu, Feb 1st, from 11 am to 12 pm EST.

Order tickets here ($24).


TECH SECTION

The Make-Up in Maestro is a masterpiece. Master makeup artist Kazu Hiro (Darkest HourBombshellThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button) spent three years with Bradley Cooper developing the looks so Copper wouldn’t, in his own words, look like:

“An SNL sketch.”

Hiro discussed the pain-staking process:

“The youngest look took about 2 hours and 15 minutes, and the last stage was about 5 hours. It was completely covered with including arm and body suits and everything because we had to also change the posture of the body too.”

Watch this entrancing BTS video here.


INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

Andrea Arnold’s cinema is raw and biting. Wasp, her 2003 short film that won the Academy Award, is a roller coaster ride of intensity (watch the first two minutes)Fish Tank (2009) is a kinetic, aggressive, coming-of-age story (trailer) co-starring Michael Fassbender. It took the Jury Prize at Cannes. While her first films stifled her characters in constricting environments, her most recent film, American Honey (2016), set them free. It is perhaps the best road movie of the 2010s. It also took the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes (trailer).​

Her latest project is Bird, which will look for distribution at the European Film Market in Berlin.

There is no word yet on plot details, but it stars Barry Keoghan (Saltburn).

The Coen Brothers are back! At a recent masterclass in Norway, Ethan Coen teased re-uniting with his brother Joel, as the two have been on a creative hiatus since The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018).

Ethan’s wife, Tricia Cooke, edited O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and co-wrote and produced his latest Drive-Away Doll, spoke about the new Coen brothers film:

“It’s a pure horror film, and it gets very bloody. If you like Blood Simple (1984), I think you’ll enjoy it.”

It is said to be horribly funny.

After eighteen films together, spanning from Blood Simple (1984) to The Big Lebowski (1998) to No Country for Old Men (2007), their cinema has always blended surrealism, dark humor, and authentic drama.

It’ll be great to see what the Coen brothers create next.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Fast Forward to Channel 4. The preeminent UK broadcast television conglomerate is looking ahead to 2030. They unleashed a massive plan:

  • 18% layoffs (200 jobs)
  • Moving out of Channel 4’s London main office
    • 600 roles outside London by 2025
  • Closing small linear channels (Box)
  • Merging Departments:
    • TV drama + Film4

CEO Alex Mohan stated that she was:

“Very sad that some of our excellent colleagues will lose their jobs because of the changes ahead… The reality of the rapid downshift in the U.K. economy and advertising market demand that we must change structurally. As we shift our center of gravity from linear to digital, our proposals will focus cost reductions on legacy activity.”

After years of financial hardship, Channel 4 will become a “Digital-First public service streamer.”


ON THIS DAY

1931. City Lights, an American silent romantic comedy film directed by Charlie Chaplin, starring himself and Virginia Cherrill, premieres at Los Angeles Theater.


See you Wednesday.



Written by Gabriel Miller and Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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