Glazer’s Zone of Interest Exposes a Heart of Darkness

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

Jonathan Glazer’s zones of darkness, Alison Brie the action hero, Gal Gadot’s heart of stone, and a dancing gorilla mask.

Let’s Go!

JONATHAN GLAZER’S ZONES OF DARKNESS

Zone of internet

There’s something revelatory about each piece of cinema Jonathan Glazer directs.

For example, the anti-Gandhi performance of Ben Kingsley as a high-octane gangster in Sexy Beast, the ultra-realistic presentation of reincarnation in Birth, and the poetic emptiness of Scarlett Johansson’s alien in Under the Skin.

In his latest masterwork, The Zone of Interest **NO SPOILERS, I promise** Glazer depicts the Holocaust.

The trailer is stark and scant, but one image shook us to our core. A little boy, presumably the son of a Nazi officer, playing with gold teeth.

Glazer’s uncanny ability to make the pedestrian extraordinary, even surreal, seems well suited to expose the banality of evil.

Variety’s chief film critic, Owen Gleiberman, lauded Glazer’s film as:

“chilling and profound, meditative and immersive, a cinematic examination that exposes human darkness with meticulous scrutiny.”

Prompted by the surge of global political extremism, Glazer, at a press conference at Cannes, where his film took the 2nd prize Grand Prix award, emphasized:

“The profound tragedy lies in the fact that one group of humans inflicted such atrocities upon another.”

[And that’s as much as we’re comfortable sharing about the film. Spoilers often create sketches of movies in our minds, and reality seldom matches the film we’ve envisioned.]

Cannes, in general, is no stranger to auteurs depicting the Holocaust. In 2002, Polanski’s The Pianist took the Palm d’Or.

In 2015, Son of Saul also won the Grand Prix for depicting the horrors of Auschwitz from the viewpoint of a member of the sonderkommando, the Jewish work unit.

And just this year at Cannes, Steve McQueen’s Occupied City juxtaposed images of COVID-era Amsterdam with accounts of Nazis seizing the city.

The Zone of Interest is scheduled for its US premiere by A24 on December 8th.

For more:

Kubrick’s Holocaust film The Aryan Paper remains unmade because his exhaustive research was debilitating. Spielberg’s Schindler’s List presented him and Warner Brothers with an easy out.

Not everyone liked Glazer’s 2nd feature, Birth. The film stirred up quite the controversy at the 2004 Venice Film Festival due to one particular scene with Nicole Kidman in a bathtub

THE INDUSTRY NEWS

Austin Butler and Jodie Comer in 'The Bikeriders' 20TH CENTURY STUDIOS / COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION

The Bikeriders are hitting the brakes. The New Regency film, directed by Jeff Nichols‘ (Midnight SpecialMud), is being pushed back from its original award-season-primed date of December 1st.

That’s due partially to the ongoing actor’s strike, where a vast $480M chasm still stands between SAG/AFTRA and the AMPTP closing a deal.

New Regency believes The Bikeriders will have the strongest chance of profitability if its stars (Tom HardyAustin ButlerMichael Shannon) are promoting it.

When the strike is over, I propose a three-way race down the 405. I’d buy tickets just for that.

Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé may also be to blame for The Bikeriders pushed release date, as it’s also slated for December 1st. Given Taylor Swift’s meteoric Eras Tour, we can see why New Regency might hesitate to compete with the “Bey Hive.”

If you caught The Bikeriders at Telluride, we’re a little jealous. For the rest of us, Hardy’s accent in the trailer is all sorts of sensational. We’re fine just looping that until 2024.

“Stone by day, warriors by night…” goes a quote from the original Disney cartoon Gargoyles. And if you caught the original 90’s cartoon, you’re in for a treat: Disney+ has decided to give its beloved Saturday morning cartoon another prowl through New York.

This time, the show will appear as a live-action series helmed by James Wan (AquamanFurious 7Saw). Gary Dauberman acts as the showrunner, writer, and EP.

Everything will be done under Wan’s Atomic Monster Production Company. Will Goliath and the gang fly high in this modern retelling? Or sink like a stone?

THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Timothée Chalamet

“I don’t even know if I want to share this with you because it’s quite intimate, but as an actor, you sort of live at a dining room table in your head, and you have about 30 personalities at the table, and you’re trying to attend to them, without going crazy.”

Timothée Chalamet said in a recent GQ profile that revolved around him meandering through the streets of NYC, bombarded by NYU students clambering for selfies. According to GQ, that’s a role he seems to be comfortable in: the “man-child” celebrity.

But Chalamet wants to go electric. After prepping for three years to play Bob Dylan, he’s ready to explore a different side of his personality. As Plan B founder Dede Gardner put it:

“His ability is just prismatic—in a way that it would, by definition, take him years for all the sides to show.”

No official release date for “Complete Unknown,” but when it’s released in 2024, we’re taking Highway 61 straight to the theater.

John Cena meets Alison Brie in the upcoming FreelanceThis action-comedy directed by Pierre Morel (Taken) casts Cena as Brie‘s bodyguard as she travels to the fictitious country of “Paldonia” to interview a bent dictator.

From what we can see in the trailer, the film feels like a missed opportunity to have Allison Brie play against type and transform into the action star we always believed she could be.

Instead, she’s underutilized, often seen capturing missile strikes and helicopter crashes on her cell phone while John Cena saves her from danger.

If the John Wick casting director is still on this list, give Brie’s agent a ring.

Maybe she can replace Keanu.

TECH SECTION

Heart of Stone trailer, Netflix

Gal Gadot has an impeccable sense of screen-direction. Her break-out performance in Wonder Woman sells the VFX because she knows precisely where to look.

Framestore, the VFX company, behind Gadot’s latest, Heart of Stone, launches her into a snow-covered world of espionage.

A standout scene involves Agent Stone (Gadot) attempting to breach a dirigible 30,000 feet in the air.

Framestore’s modeling team studied the material properties of each element of the airship to better understand the physical ways it would fragment.

“Setting everything we had created on fire and making it explode was quite challenging but also a lot of fun.”

Explained CG Supervisor Hitesh Solanki (The Incredible HulkSnow White and the Huntsman).

Check out the trailer, here!

INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

indie filmmaking mask

Eddie Alcazar was listed on Indiewire’s 25 New Faces list. Perhaps that’s why he showed up to the Sundance premiere of his film Divinity in a gorilla mask.

No joke. I sat watching the Q&A, both astonished and impressed. His film, EP’d by Steven Soderbergh, who commended his immense vision, delves into a cerebral, B&W dystopian world where a mogul main-lines eternal life drugs.

And it gets weirder from there. No spoilers; I’ll let you check out the trailer. For my taste, the story is very thin, but the visuals and the universe are promising.

The Australian director, Jeffrey Darling who had quite a substantial career as a commercial director, joins Kubrick in the morose club of director’s passing away before their final picture is released.

Interestingly, He Went That Waya serial killer film starring Zachary Quinto and Jacob Elordi (Sofia Coppola’s Elvis in Priscilla), is also Darling’s first feature.

Picked up at Tribeca by Vertical (Rebecca Miller’s She Came to MeJeanne du Barry – starring Johnny Depp), the film centers on a serial killer (Elordi) who picks up a celebrity chimpanzee handler (Qunito) for a tense road trip thriller.

The producing team noted:

“It’s been an eighteen-year journey to bring this story to life, and now stands as a legacy to our director, the late Jeffrey Darling, who passed away during post-production.

From YouTube nerd to Sundance king. After a series of Andrew Bowser’s videos of him playing the lovable turbo nerd character “Onyx” went viral, he launched a Kickstarter campaign, raising $610,467 for a feature-length film.

Now, after a much-praised film festival circuit where Bloody Disgusting said:

“Impressive production design and practical creature effects while doubling as an endearing gateway horror film.”

Onyx the Fortuitous has been given one night of screenings in theaters on 10/19 to bolster the campaign. Bowser has released a series of fake interview shorts, which have also gone viral.

It’s fairly unprecedented for a film to have a one-night-only distribution, and it’s cool to see that opportunity afforded to a film raised from the ground up.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Mami Wata, Dekanalog

“A mesmerizing African dreamscape”

– Jacob Oller, Paste Magazine.

Nigeria’s submission to the 2023 Oscars and Sundance World Cinema cinematography winner, Mami Wata, centers on the mermaid goddess of West Africa.

The high-contrast ritualistic trailer is stark and alluring. The film is inspired by West African mermaid folklore. And a big win for African Filmmaking.


ON THIS DAY

1922 British Broadcasting Company (BBC) founded, later called British Broadcasting Corporation

Today’s edition was written by: Gabriel Miller and Spencer Carter.

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