In the opening scene of “Gloria,” by Chilean writer-director Sebastián Lelio, the film’s eponymous star is alone at a nightclub. Gloria (Paulina García) makes eye contact with a few romantic prospects— middle-aged men from Santiago, Chile— but, mostly, she navigates independently, hovering on the dance floor’s peripheries. Everything about Gloria is familiar— her guts and vulnerability, her passions and instincts for self-preservation. She is a refreshing reminder that young people do not have a monopoly on the aches and ecstasies of falling in love.
The Stanford Design Initiative (SDI), along with the San Francisco chapter of Women in Animation, co-hosted a panel event in Annenberg Auditorium entitled “Scare School 101” on Monday night, during which the filmmaking team of Pixar Animation Studios guided over 200 attendees through the production process of their movie “Monsters University.”
According to columnist Gillie Collins, renowned documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman has done it again — and, this time, his focus is closer to home. Wiseman’s 38th documentary, “At Berkeley,” exposes the entrails of Stanford’s nearby rival, University of California at Berkeley.
The Toronto International Film Festival screens many of the finest documentaries of the year, including those that can only be done full justice on the big screen. The Daily presents reviews of three of the most exciting documentaries at the festival.
Still from “When Jews Were Funny”. Courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival.
“When Jews Were Funny”
There’s an interesting film somewhere inside Alan Zweig’s documentary “When Jews Were Funny,” but it has little to do with his thesis statement that Jews make the best comedians and that Jewish comedy is dying as Jewish oppression fades. The film is at its best when it starts to probe at what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century, now that secular Jews are more common than religious ones, Jews aren’t isolated in their own communities, and it’s fairly common for Jews to marry the “goyum”. Will this mean that the younger generation is less Jewish or unable to pass on the traditions? Through interviews with various Jewish comedians about their culture and what is special about Jewish comedy, the film suggests that it might just be the brand of Jewish comedy that keeps the culture alive. Unfortunately, the film gets bogged down by the director’s own personal issues – he’s 61 with a two-year-old daughter from a “gentile” wife and is concerned that his daughter won’t be a real Jew – and with a question that can’t be answered definitively, especially when the subjects interviewed are exclusively Jews, ignoring the broader context of 21st-century comedy.
What is art, and what Olson does want to be known for, are his films. After watching a few, one can easily begin to understand Olson’s desire to push all focus onto his work. Olson is extremely good at creating a mood through profound lines, arresting imagery and exaggerated dramatics.
There aren’t many film series quite like director Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, which left plenty of room for discussion when The Daily talked with Wright and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in advance of the concluding film’s premiere later this month.
Each of the three films — “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End,” out Aug. 23 — represents a collaboration between Wright, Pegg and Frost, but feature different characters, are situated in a different genre and tell a different story.
The glamour that is the Cannes International Film Festival kicked off at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, off the coast of the French Riviera, on Wednesday. The massive event, widely considered to be the granddaddy of film festivals, will showcase several of the works already thought to be in the running for various awards next winter. Here are a few of the best Cannes will offer.