Back in the day — think late ’90s, early 2000s — romantic comedies and dramas with black ensembles were around every release corner.
Stella Meghie’s “The Weekend,” premiering Tuesday at the Toronto International Film Festival, revives the tradition.
Starring “Saturday Night Live” alum Sasheer Zamata, “The Weekend” follows a comedian who takes a weekend trip to her parent’s bed-and-breakfast with her ex (Tone Bell, “Disjointed”) and his new girlfriend (DeWanda Wise, “She’s Gotta Have It”) in tow. While there, she meets a new potential bae in another guest, played by Y’lan Noel (“Insecure,” “The First Purge”).
Natalie Portman and Brady Corbet discuss "Vox Lux," their heady poem of celebrity, violence and pop music.
Writer-director Brady Corbet’s “Vox Lux” is a dizzyingly ambitious project, in which a girl becomes a pop star after being a victim in a school shooting only to find herself years later again inexplicably touched by violence.
Natalie Portman plays the adult version of the girl, named Celeste, with Stacy Martin playing her sister and confidant and Jude Law her longtime manager. Raffey Cassidy plays both young Celeste and older Celeste’s daughter
Taken alongside Portman’s Oscar-nominated role in “Jackie,” her performance in “Vox Lux” is another fascinating look at the private lives of public figures. One of Celeste’s songs, co-written by real-life pop star Sia, is about being “a private girl in a public world.”
"Boy Erased" star, writer and director Joel Edgerton and author Garrard Conley talk about their film based on Conley's memoir about surviving a so-called gay conversion therapy camp.
It took Garrard Conley almost 10 years before he could write about being sent to a gay conversion therapy camp by his parents “because I was terrified of what had happened to me,” he said.
“I was either too angry or too upset to write any of it,” he said. “Then I read several blogs of survivor stories and saw mine reflected.”
What Conley ended up penning became “Boy Erased,” a 2016 memoir recounting his childhood in a fundamentalist Arkansas family. The book made its way to Joel Edgerton’s hands, who adapted it for the screen, with the film premiering last week at the Toronto International Film Festival.
"American Dharma" filmmaker Errol Morris discusses the factors behind the 2016 election, why he made a film focused on Steve Bannon, the question he hopes it will answer and what he hopes it will accomplish.
Sunday afternoon at the Toronto International Film Festival saw the North American premiere of Errol Morris’ documentary “American Dharma” — which is essentially an extended interview with controversial political advisor Steve Bannon.
The movie arrived at TIFF after playing at the Venice Film Festival and not long after a public outcry over Bannon being announced to appear at, and then disinvited from, the New Yorker Festival. Morris’ film has become the subject of heated debate even before most people have had a chance to see it. Some say that even making it gives former Trump administration official Bannon too much of a platform.
Morris stopped by the Los Angeles Times studio in Toronto for a video interview on making the movie and whether he expected the mere fact of its existence to become a flashpoint.
There are more than a few love stories being told in Barry Jenkins’ exquisite new movie, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” which had its world premiere Sunday night at the Toronto International Film Festival. First and foremost, there is the romance of 19-year-old Clementine “Tish” Rivers (KiKi Layne) and 22-year-old Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt (Stephan James), who grew up together in Harlem and have recently become engaged, sometime during the early 1970s.
There is also the steadfast loyalty that binds family members together, even under the direst circumstances. Tish is loved most ferociously and unconditionally by her mother, Sharon (a magnificent Regina King), who intervenes forcefully on Fonny’s behalf when he is falsely accused of rape and thrown in jail, just a few months before Tish realizes she is pregnant with his child.
But “If Beale Street Could Talk” might just as well be described as a love letter to the color spectrum — to the ravishing visual possibilities of gold autumn leaves and dusky-blue New York streets. It’s about Jenkins’ love for his myriad influences, among them writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin, who wrote the 1974 novel on which the picture is based, and filmmakers such as Douglas Sirk, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Wong Kar-wai.
Director Steve McQueen ("Shame," "12 Years a Slave") and co-writer Gillian Flynn ("Gone Girl") on why they transplanted the setting of "Widows" to modern-day Chicago, and how they bonded over a shared love of movies.
When London-born filmmaker Steve McQueen (“Shame,” “12 Years a Slave”) and Missouri native Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl,” “Sharp Objects”) first met to work on crime thriller “Widows,” about four women who attempt to pull off a heist planned by their late husbands, they connected over a shared love of movies.
The co-screenwriters met in New York, bouncing ideas off each other for how to update crime novelist Lynda La Plante’s 1983 British miniseries of the same name.
“I thought there was so much to be done [with the source material] – plus I just wanted to work with him,” Flynn said of McQueen at the Los Angeles Times studio at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the highly anticipated Nov. 16 release had a world premiere.
Colin Farrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daniel Kaluuya and Kelly Marie Tran are just a select few of the big names who have dropped by the L.A. Times’ photo and video studio at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
In addition to studio portraits, The Times is taking advantage of the A-list access to request that the talent sign special instant-print photos.
So what does 11-year-old Jacob Tremblay’s penmanship look like? How does Natalie Portman shorten her last name? And what special additions did Brian Tyree Henry and Dev Patel make to their autographs?
Writer-director Barry Jenkins had never participated in a prayer circle before a movie. At the world premiere of “If Beale Street Could Talk,” his much-anticipated follow-up to the Oscar-winning “Moonlight,” he took part in two — one ahead of the Sunday screening at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre and another before the Q&A after the film.
Both were convened by actor Colman Domingo, and both ended with the words of James Baldwin, author of the novel on which “Beale Street” is based: “Love brought you here.”
Speaking at a celebratory party following the Q&A, Jenkins remembered the emotional night two years ago when “Moonlight” screened at the festival. Nobody had seen it, and tears flowed freely.
In director Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer” — a restless, brutal piece of hard-boiled neo-noir that blazes across a Los Angeles only real Angelenos might recognize — an LAPD detective haunts the city in search of answers, maybe even something resembling peace, long buried far beneath the surface.
But the path to justice is dark and twisty, traversing the underbelly of modern-day L.A. to the desert, where once, years ago, an undercover job gone wrong changed everything. In Kusama’s “Destroyer,” the City of Angels is littered with physical carnage, spiritual decay, corruption, violence and neglect, and the only way forward is a reckoning with the past.
At the heart of it all, in a transformative performance already garnering Oscar buzz, is Nicole Kidman as the dogged and dangerous Det. Erin Bell. It’s not just a rare story centered on a female lead in the crime genre — think Al Pacino in “Heat” or Denzel Washington in “Training Day” — but it’s also the kind of character rarely written for women, period.
"Widows" stars Liam Neeson, Daniel Kaluuya and Brian Tyree Henry discuss taking on Steve McQueen's timely heist thriller.
Ahead of the Saturday night premiere of “Widows” at the Toronto International Film Festival, the men of the cast stopped by the Los Angeles Times studio to discuss their turns in Steve McQueen’s heist thriller, a film Daniel Kaluuya calls “an incredible snapshot of modern society.”
“With this narrative and this plot, you’re able to see every part of Chicago and how Chicago speaks to all Western cities and what moves people and what certain people are allowed to rise and certain people aren’t and why that is,” said the actor known for his Oscar-nominated turn in “Get Out.” “It raises more questions, which I always find really rewarding.”
The film is about a group of women who come together after their husbands die. Faced with paying off their debt, the widows band together to complete a $5-million job their husbands left behind. Viola Davis leads the cast along with Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Erivo. The men of the cast include Kaluuya, “Atlanta” Emmy nominee Brian Tyree Henry, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell and Liam Neeson.