Rejoice, film enthusiasts! Oscar Season is upon us once again. March 4th marks the 90th Academy Awards, a night of celebrating some of the most critically acclaimed films of the previous year. The Academy Awards (AKA The Oscars) is the artistic event of the season, where lovers of the medium gather around the television to watch cringey, topical humor – Jimmy Kimmel, unfortunately, returns as this year’s emcee – inspirational speeches, and debate on whether or not certain movies deserve to win certain awards. More importantly, it is a night that recognizes achievements in filmmaking. Whether it be the less flashy technical awards like Best Sound Mixing, or much grander awards like Best Director, the importance of the event is to recognize fine works of art and all those that worked on them. While the winners should be applauded for their hard work, it is important to not forget that cinema is a transformative art and that the greatest prize of all is what a film could mean to someone as a personal level. That being said: if Roger Deakins doesn’t win Best Cinematography for Blade Runner 2049, the Academy must be blind.
Janurary 29th marked the Phantom Thread – Fashion and Film discussion panel, hosted through a collaboration between the Coral Gables Art Cinema and Books & Books, moderated by Nat Chediak, the Director of Programming of the Coral Gables Art Cinema, and featuring special guest Christian Garcia, one of the last true bespoke tailors. Much like the Monsters in the Shape of Water discussion that was hosted earlier this month, the panel was packed, with many guests standing to join in on the conversation on the latest Paul Thomas Anderson film, Phantom Thread (2017). Throughout our discussion, our panel covered topics such as some of the interesting conditions that brought the film to fruition, the themes of the movie, as well as the real-world fashion industry and the experiences Christian Garcia has had throughout his fashion career.
One of the greatest tragedies that can fall on a film is being forgotten in the shadow of a remake or a reinterpretation with a greater relevance in popular culture. Such a phenomenon happens equally with both great films and terrible films, such as John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) or Rupert Wainwright’s The Fog (2005) – both of which are remakes which have overshadowed their predecessors in mainstream consciousness. Such a fate may soon fall on Dario Argento’s unnerving and influential horror film, Suspiria (1977). With a remake slated for release this year, and a screening of the recently discovered uncut version of the film coming to the Coral Gables Art Cinema, now’s a better time than ever to examine why this film from the creator of 1978’s Dawn of the Dead has developed its persistent cult following.
The opening titles of Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, Phantom Thread, enthrall the viewer into a tale of twisted love and obsessive passions through the delicacy and precision of the musical score – written by former guitarist of the band Radiohead, Johnny Greenwood. In Daniel Day Lewis’ final performance before retirement, he plays Reynolds Woodcook, a fashion designer consumed by his work. He dresses heiresses and princesses in his elegant and impressive London townhouse alongside his loyal sister Cyril, played by Leslie Manville, and together they preside over their team with fanatical efficiency. He is a man too preoccupied with his own work to worry about the trivial feelings of others, like the women he sees before meeting Alma.
Spring is a time for renewal and new beginnings. As you, our readers, might already know, FIU’s Film Studies Program has been working with the Film Initiative Underground and Sigma Tau Delta on developing the first annual Panther Film Festival (PFF) — a celebration of the creativity and imagination within our Panther filmmaking community. We are excited to announce that the first Meet & Greet of the Spring semester will be held next Friday, January 26th at GC 316 from 3 to 5 PM. Stop by to meet the members of our wonderfully diverse filmmaking community as you look to round out your crews ahead of the looming application deadlines, which have been extended.
Another school year, another endless stream of papers, exams, and stresses. It’s a good thing that the Film Initiative is back with a whole new slate of events ready to bring some well-needed escapism into your life. From weekly movie screenings – starting with a screening of “Back To The Future” January 18th in GL100A at 7:00 pm – to watching newly released films in theaters to game nights. All culminating with our major event at the end of the semester, The Panther Film Festival.
Are you an Outlaw or a Regulator? Christian Gudegast’s Den of Thieves (2018) pushes the viewers to choose. The movie premiered at Regal Cinemas of South Beach with noteworthy appearances from stars O’Shea Jackson Jr., Pablo Schreiber, Curtis “50 cent” Jackson, and Gerard Butler. Before the picture began, Butler, who also produced the film, discussed the feature’s six-year filmmaking process. Comedically, 50 cent continued with explaining their two weeks of military and police tactical training. As the laughter and applause slowly diminished simultaneously with the lights, the widescreen lit with the viewer promptly thrown right into the action.