Cary Fukunaga

David Fincher

David Fincher likes his TV. First came his executive producer stint on House of Cards, then that film noir series he’s been bandying about with James Ellroy. And here comes another- Fincher’s just announced that he’ll be doing the director’s version of a TV bingewatch through the entirety of 2015- directing every episode of his planned remake of the BBC conspiracy thriller, Utopia. Please, for yours and everyone else’s sakes, do not confuse the Fincher-approved Utopia (coming to HBO) with the Fox reality series that puts the immense responsibility of building a perfect society in the hands of a group that contains a raw vegan chef, a tantric sex enthusiast and the “Hillbilly MacGuyver” (good luck with that).

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True Detective 1

Your theories were wrong. Well, probably. HBO’s latest opus of small screen cinema, the Nic Pizzolatto-created, Cary Fukunaga-directed, and Matthew McConaughey- and Woody-Harrelson-starring True Detective, ended its first season last night (unless you were trying to watch the season finale on HBO GO, in which case you might still be watching the flat circle of time known as the loading screen endlessly unspool) and after eight weeks of obsessive viewing, the first season finale is already the subject of intense hyperbole. The final episode, “Form and Void,” is less than a day old, and it’s already fiercely divisive – it was either the best possible ending or a tremendous letdown. The truth is, of course, somewhere in the middle – though that doesn’t mean that True Detective is not, on a whole, great entertainment. And although True Detective is the kind of often dense programming that benefits from closer reading and a few outside sources (“The Yellow King” post over at io9 remains essential), it’s also the kind that has suffered at the hand of relentless fan theorizing – because it’s those people who are most let down by its final conclusions.

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Ursula in The Little Mermaid

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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trailer true detective

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are taking the leap to HBO like so many great Buscemis and Daniels and McBrides and Jessica Parkers before them, for True Detective, a gritty and sprawling crime drama helmed by Cary Fukunaga. Though many of you probably saw the trailer after the season premiere of Boardwalk Empire last night, those who missed it can check it out right now. McConaughey and Harrelson play Rust Cohle and Martin Hart, respectively, two Lousiana detectives entwined in a 17-year chase for a serial killer. A freakish murder in 1995 that would not look out of place on the set of NBC’s Hannibal is the basis for their investigation; the series appears to jump back and forth between their initial finding and 2012, when the case is reopened. Watch the trailer here:

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LUTHER Series 3

Uzodinma Iweala is a Washington DC-born author with close familial ties to Nigeria, so it makes sense that he’d be interested in writing about the various goings on in Africa. And his 2006 novel, “Beasts of No Nation,” is such a stirring tale and was such a success with readers, that it makes sense Hollywood would want to turn it into a movie—and they’ve been trying to, for a few years now. A new report from Deadline says that the story looks like it’s finally going to be coming to the big screen for real though, because not only does it now have an exciting name attached to come on and direct, but it’s also got an exciting name attached to one of its lead acting roles as well. As we’ve seen time and time again while monitoring the developmental phase of upcoming film projects, it’s when all of those pieces fall into place together that a movie actually gets made.

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It’s been a long time since Stephen King fans had any reason to be excited for an upcoming film adaptation of his work. Bag of Bones was made into a mediocre mini-series last year, but the last King-based feature to hit theaters was Frank Darabont’s excellent and underrated The Mist five years ago. Between then and now the only other completed productions were several short films (usually independent “dollar babies”). It’s telling that the best film/TV entity bearing his name in the past five years is a syfy series that bears absolutely zero connection to its supposed source material (King’s short novel, The Colorado Kid). Recent announcements haven’t been all that exciting either. The Dark Tower from the poop-filled pen of screenwriter Akiva Goldsman? The Ten O’Clock People from the director of the worst King mini-series, The Langoliers? Remakes of Firestarter, Carrie, and Pet Sematary? Aside from a tease that Ben Affleck may develop The Stand as an upcoming directorial project the news has been fairly grim. Which is why what follows is so damn exciting (and unexpected).

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Culture Warrior

Usually I’m quite cynical about end-of-year lists, as they demand a forced encapsulation of an arbitrary block of time that is not yet over into something simplified. I typically find end-of-year lists fun, but rarely useful. But 2011 is different. As Scott Tobias pointed out, while “quiet,” this was a surprisingly strong year for interesting and risk-taking films. What’s most interesting has been the variety: barely anything has emerged as a leading contender that tops either critics’ lists or dominates awards buzz. Quite honestly, at the end of 2010 I struggled to find compelling topics, trends, and events to define the year in cinema. The final days of 2011 brought a quite opposite struggle, for this year’s surprising glut of interesting and disparate films spoke to one another in a way that makes it difficult to isolate any of the year’s significant works. Arguments in the critical community actually led to insightful points as they addressed essential questions of what it means to be a filmgoer and a cinephile. Mainstream Hollywood machine-work and limited release arthouse fare defied expectations in several directions. New stars arose. Tired Hollywood rituals and ostensibly reliable technologies both met new breaking points. “2011” hangs over this year in cinema, and the interaction between the films – and the events and conversations that surrounded them – makes this year’s offerings particular to their time and subject to their context. This is what I took away from this surprising year:

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Cary Fukunaga will no doubt have a long and steady career because the young director came right out of the gate with the beautifully brilliant Sin Nombre and followed it up with a more than capable period piece in Jane Eyre. He’s an auteur who 1) is still building his style and 2) refuses to work within one genre. Even if he’s still developing his signature, hopefully Fukunaga will bring his sense of atmosphere and environment to his forthcoming sci-fi drama. Spaceless, according to The Hollywood Reporter, tells the story of “an assassin who wakes up inside a spacesuit tumbling helplessly through space, with a computer designed to keep him company until his air runs out. He must try to solve the mystery of his death, which began when he broke into an orbiting space station to carry out a hit. The man, however, begins to question his reality, unsure if he is succumbing to madness or in an artificially created environment.” It’s a fun idea (that certainly borrows from other ideas), and it’s great to see Fukunaga continue to elude definition. The director will also rework the spec script written by Jeff Vintar (no stranger to sci-fi himself), Gore Verbinski will produce, and it seems like the only actor not up for the role would be Sam Rockwell because, well, you know. There’s no way they could hire Sam Rockwell for this. They’re going to, aren’t they?

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a movie news column that wonders: “does your daddy know that it sneaks into your room every night?” In a slightly less creepy description, it’s a column that, as of tonight, is of two minds: one that thinks about movie news and is seemingly on vacation, and another that is all about television. Like The Adventures of Pete and Pete. No, seriously. Tonight’s top story is an imperfect first look at Colin Farrell in the Len Wiseman directed reboot of Total Recall. Some sites are dedicating primo space to such an image, so I thought I’d throw it up there because it’s a decent sized fish on a day where news has been flowing into our nets plentifully. In other non-fishing references, the Total Recall character looks a lot like plain old Colin Farrell. Nothing to see here, I suppose.

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This isn’t what I expected Jane Eyre to look like. This may be from my own ignorance of not having read Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, but where’s the standard period piece fluff? To my (great) surprise, director Cary Fukunaga is bringing Jane Eyre more into the suspense and supernatural world; the eerie score from Suspiria makes this a dead giveaway. This doesn’t look like the usual period piece we get, and having the director of Sin Nombre makes that no shock. Fukunaga seemed like an odd choice for Eyre, but it’s now apparent the strange pick was for the better.

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Sin Nombre

Sayra (Paulina Gaitan) is a teenage girl reuniting with her father to join him on a trek from Honduras to a dream life in the United States. Willy (Edgar Flores) is a member of Mara Salvatrucha, a ruthless Mexico City gang trying to escape.

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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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published: 12.05.2014
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