May 28, 2024

The soundtrack for Martin Scorsese’s Apple Original film “Killers of the Flower Moon,” composed by the late Robbie Robertson, is now available everywhere, the same day as the film’s theatrical release. Robertson died in August at the age of 80.

In addition to the original score he created for the film, the soundtrack includes six additional tracks featured in the film that are true to its 1920s Oklahoma backdrop. This was the eleventh collaboration between Robertson and Scorsese, who had worked together over the span of more than 40 years.

Robertson spent much of his childhood on the Six Nations Reserve through his mother’s Mohawk community; he thus had personal ties to “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which centers on the Osage Nation of the Midwest.

Before his passing, Robertson commented on his work and relationship with Scorsese: “I feel that the score is unexpected in many ways and authentic to the heart of the story. For me, it’s kind of perfection to be able to go all the way around this big circle. Starting at Six Nations when music comes along in my life, and then to my history with Martin Scorsese and all the movies leading up to ‘Killers of the Flower Moon.’ The fact that we’re getting to do a Western in our own way, you really couldn’t have written this. We’re in awe ourselves that our brotherhood has outlasted everything. We’ve been there, we’ve been through it. I am so proud of both our friendship and our work. They have been a gift in my life.”

Robertson spoke more of his creative process: “I was gathering pictures in my head of music I heard as a child at the Six Nations Indian Reserve,” he said. “My relatives are all sitting around with their instruments, and one guy would start a rhythm, and then somebody would start singing a melody to that, and it was just haunting. The feeling of the music beside you like that, humming and droning – the groove and the feel of it got under my skin and it lives there forever.”

Bradley Cooper’s ‘Maestro’ to Receive Cultural Icon and Creator Tribute At Gotham Awards

Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro” will receive the Cultural Icon and Creator Tribute at this year’s Gotham Awards ceremony.

The tribute was created for this year’s awards in order to recognize cultural icons and the filmmakers responsible for bringing that icon’s story to life. In creating the award, the tribute will honor legendary composer and musician Leonard Bernstein who Cooper portrays in the film.

“With’ Maestro,’ Bradley Cooper and the film’s entire creative team have vividly brought to life the story of an almost mythical figure in popular culture,” said Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of The Gotham Film & Media Institute. “Cooper has crafted a powerful story that highlights the ecstatic highs and anguished lows that come with a life pursuing love, family, and art. It is our privilege to honor Bernstein, Cooper, and this spectacular film.”

The film opens in select U.S. theaters on Nov. 22 and globally on Netflix on Dec. 20.

This year’s Gothams will be the first since the organization announced the removal of the $35 million budget cap. The nominations will be announced on Oct. 24, with the ceremony scheduled for Nov. 27 in New York.

NewportFILM announces return of Cinematography Lab

NewportFILM is bringing back its Cinematography Lab, which provides creative support and mentorship to six emerging documentary cinematographers. This year’s lab will be held Oct. 20 – 22. 

Robb Moss (Harvard University, Department Chair, Visual and Environmental Studies), Bing Liu (Director of Photography, All These Sons, Minding the Gap), and Alex Pritz (Director of Photography, The Territory, The First Wave) will serve as mentors. Accepted participants in this year’s program include MacPherson Christopher, Danielle Bryant, Gideon Elron, Matteo Moretti, Jonathas Nazareth and Satya Sullivan.

“I look forward to connecting this incredible trio of nonfiction filmmakers, all creative leaders in the industry, with the exceptional, New England-based talent included in this year’s cohort,” newportFILM Artistic Director Andrea van Beuren stated. “We are aspirational in our vision to provide an experience that elevates the lives and careers of our 2023 fellows.”

“The newportFILM Cinematography Lab, now in its third year, is an extraordinary opportunity for a group of talented filmmakers to gather, look at work, and imagine the visual quality and energy that cinematography can bring to a project,” Moss said. “The mood is informal, rigorous, and imbued with a love of filmmaking.”

‘American Fiction’ Trailer: Jeffrey Wright Writes a Satirical Take on the Black Experience

When a literary book agent tells his brilliant but less exciting author to write about “Black stuff,” he writes a successful novel titled “My Pafology” full of “dead beat Dads, rappers and crack.”

That’s the premise of the new comedy MGM and Orion Pictures film, “American Fiction” from writer, director and producer Cord Jefferson, and the recent winner of the Toronto Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award.

Based on the novel “Erasure” by Percival Everett, the film stars Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison,” a frustrated novelist who is fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment that relies on tired narratives and themes. After he writes an outlandish book making fun of the offensive tropes, his success propels him into the center of hypocrisy. The film also stars Sterling K. Brown as Monk’s gay brother, who recently came out of the closet, Issa Rae as a successful and respected Black author whom Monk resents, and Erika Alexander as his neighbor and love interest. Also among the ensemble cast are John Ortiz, Adam Brody and Leslie Uggams.

In his review, Peter Debruge of Variety wrote that “American Fiction” is about the unfairness of asking individual artists to represent the entire Black experience. As such, it’s better to read the film as a window into Monk’s white-collar reality.”

Under the production banners of MRC, T-Street Production, An Almost Infinite and 3 Arts, “American Fiction” is also produced by Jefferson, Ben LeClair, Nikos Karamigios and Jermaine Johnson. Oscar-nominee Rian Johnson, Ram Bergman, Percival Everett and Michael Bowes serve as executive producers.

“American Fiction” will open in select theaters on Dec. 15 before expanding on Dec. 22.

Searchlight Pictures and L.A. Times Studios Acquire ‘The Last Repair Shop,’ Co-Directed by Kris Bowers and Ben Proudfoot

Searchlight Pictures and the L.A. Times Studios have boarded the award-winning documentary short film “The Last Repair Shop,” the latest from Kris Bowers and Ben Proudfoot (Oscar nominees for “A Concierto is a Conversation”). The film will be released Nov. 8th on the Los Angeles Times’ YouTube channel and latimes.com as part of the paper’s Short Docs series, making it accessible globally for free.

“The Last Repair Shop” shines a light on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s instrument repair program. “Once commonplace in the United States,” the film’s synopsis explains, “today Los Angeles is by far the largest and one of the last American cities to provide free and freely repaired musical instruments to its public schoolchildren, a continuous service since 1959.” More than 800,000 student instruments make use of this unique service, critical to making the arts accessible to all.

Produced by Proudfoot’s Breakwater Studios, the documentary had its world premiere at the 2023 Telluride Film Festival and subsequently made its international premiere at the Calgary International Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary short. Earlier this week, “The Last Repair Shop” landed two Critics Choice nominations for best short documentary and best score, and was included on DOC NYC’s 15-film short list.

“We’ve discovered such a special film with The Last Repair Shop, and we’re thrilled to be working with Ben and Kris,” stated Searchlight presidents David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield announcing the acquisition. “This is the kind of story we need right now, and we are proud to shed light on these extraordinary personal journeys.”

Adds Leslie Lindsey, director of development of L.A. Times Studios and supervising producer of L.A. Times Short Docs: “Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers are masterful directors who have captured this stunning story about the people whose craftsmanship helps keep instruments in the hands of the city’s students. We can’t wait for people to see it.”

The deal was negotiated by Searchlight Pictures’ Paul Hoffman and Chan Phung and Breakwater Studios’ Sam Widdoes.

Eva Longoria to Receive Icon Award at National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Impact Awards Gala

Eva Longoria will receive the Icon Award at the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s annual Impact Awards Gala on Oct. 27. The event, held at the Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles, “honors the incredible contributions of Latine individuals creating a more inclusive society.”

Longoria was named of one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch this year. She recently directed the 2023 drama “Flamin’ Hot,” about the Mexican American janitor who came up with the idea for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Additionally, Longoria is co-founder of the Latino Victory Fund as well as Poderistas. She recently teamed up with entertainment executive and entrepreneur Cris Abrego to start Hyphenate Media Group, a media holding company and content studio which intends to offer greater financial participation for creators while spotlighting inclusive stories.

Additional honorees at the Impact Awards Gala include Aarón Sánchez, Ángel Manuel Soto, Eugenio Derbez, Gina Torres, Jharrel Jerome, Jessica Sarowitz, Julissa Prado and Miguel.

Francia Raisa and MJ Acosta-Ruiz will host the event.

Ava DuVernay’s ‘Origin’ To Release in New York and Los Angeles for One Week Only

Ava DuVernay’s film “Origin,” starring Oscar-nominated Aunjanue Ellis Taylor (“King Richard”), will have a one-week exclusive engagement in New York and Los Angeles starting Dec. 8. DuVernay serves as writer, director and producer.

Adapted from Isabel Wilkerson’s bestselling book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” the story follows journalist Isabel (Ellis-Taylor) as she traces “the global phenomenon of caste and its dark influence on society,” as per the teaser poster. The film previously premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on Sep. 6.

“[‘Origin’] will get people thinking and talking,” wrote Peter Debruge in his review of the film for Variety. “The way [Ava] DuVernay directs it, ‘Origin’ is a swirling tornado of ideas.”

“Origin” will be in theaters in select cities starting Jan. 19. 

Netflix Announces New Kevin Hart and Chris Rock Documentary

Netflix has announced its new documentary, “Kevin Hart and Chris Rock: Headliners Only,” and released an accompanying teaser trailer.

Directed by Rashidi Harper (“Hip Hop Uncovered”), the documentary follows the two comedians on tour together during a week of sold-out shows in New York City. As per the film’s description, the film will “give audiences a behind the scenes glimpse into the lives of two comedy titans.” Viewers can expect to see Hart and Rock “give first hand accounts of their early lives, struggles, triumphs and their unbreakable brotherhood.”

“This is a story about two separate journeys, but somehow align and end up at the same intersection at the top,” Hart says in the teaser. The video clip sees the two on stage together, hugging each other and participating in a joint interview.

“Kevin Hart and Chris Rock: Headliners Only” premieres Dec. 12, streaming on Netflix.

Watch the teaser below.

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