Halston

Halston : Roy Halston Frowick, known simply as Halston, was an American fashion designer who rose to international fame in the 1970s. His minimalist, clean designs often made of cashmere or ultrasuede were a new phenomenon in the mid-1970s discotheques and redefined American fashion. Halston was known for creating a relaxed urban lifestyle for American women. He was frequently photographed at Studio 54 with his close friends Liza Minnelli, Bianca Jagger and artist Andy Warhol.

His name swept through fashion in the 1970s on waves of cha-ching commercial success and celebrity adulation. That was Halston, born Roy Halston Frowick in Des Moines, Iowa, whose dream of “dressing everybody in America” made him a one-name sensation like Chanel, Dior, Valentino. Of course, Halston began by dressing the rich and famous, from the pillbox hat he put on the head of Jackie Kennedy for her husband’s inauguration to the flowing fabrics he draped on the celebrated women who swanned through Studio 54, Halston soon became as famous as the luminaries who lined up to wear his designs. And then the bottom dropped out.

Since Halston’s story has all the elements — glamor, sex, drugs and a precipitous rise and fall — it’s surprising that it took so long for a Halston documentary to reach the screen. For French-born writer-director Frederic Tcheng, who made his solo debut with 2014’s Dior & I, mystery is at the heart of the Halston story. Sadly, that mystery leads Tcheng to make a major misstep, which is structuring his doc as a film noir. Tcheng invents an unnamed employee at Halston’s company, played by actress/fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson, who takes on the role of detective as she tries to pull together the puzzle pieces of Halston’s life (he died in 1990 of complications from AIDS-related lung cancer at the age of 57).

Ignore the film’s foolish framing device and Halston emerges as a fascinating study of a fashion artist who allowed women to live an idealized vision of themselves. But not my making them over into flashy parodies of femininity. Simplicity was the keynote of Halston’s approach. As his friend Liza Minnelli points out, “his clothes danced with you.”

Tcheng is best at examining the designer’s process, making tactile the cashmeres, silks and suedes that became the building blocks of Halston’s style. This gay boy from the Midwest was awed by the Hollywood elite. His marketing genius came in enlisting them — Minnelli, Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca Jagger — to wear his clothes on assorted red carpets and public events and become, in effect, unpaid acolytes. He was with them at parties, traveling with his own entourage of models called Halstonettes. He also indulged in the excess of the time, snorting cocaine that caused his temper to flare. Much is made of his damaging relationship with Venezuelan artist Victor Hugo, a lover that fashion illustrator Joe Eula implies started as a street hustler.

Perhaps Halston’s worst decision was signing a $1 billion deal with JC Penney to design a ready-to-wear collection. Halston’s defection “from class to mass” caused snob stores and clients to drop him. The film gets bogged down in discussions of unwise business alliances that resulted in Halston losing control of his company and the use of his name. Tcheng compensates by interviewing Halston’s niece, Lesley Frowick, who adds a welcome humanity, notably in her descriptions of how her uncle found comfort in family in his final days.

There is little surprising or mysterious (that word) in the oft-told tale of a talent who lost his way in a tangle of compromise, bad judgment and deal-making with corporate devils. What made Halston distinctive as a designer was his ability to create clothes that defined an era and to do it with the kind of startling originality that leaves a lasting impact. As a film, Halston captures the exhilarating thrum of that creation. And it takes your breath away.

The year is 1968, and we’re on 68th and Madison. A tall, lean man in a turtleneck and blazer skips down the street toward a sign that bears his namesake: “Halston Limited.” That location would serve as an incubator for much grander things to come: a fashion show at Versailles, a promotional trip to China, and imposing headquarters at Olympic Tower. This was before Studio 54 came into the picture, before excessive evenings spent with the likes of Cher and Bianca Jagger. Roy Halston Frowick wasn’t just creating flowing silk gowns and jumpsuits that stood out from the rest of ‘60s fashion with their minimalist decadence. This was where he started to carve out a salon for the in-crowd of the day. Halston drew inspiration from everyone he let into his world, from his troupe of models dubbed the “Halstonettes” to his creative coterie of Andy Warhol, Elsa Peretti, and Liza Minnelli. As the ‘70s approached, he was primed to become a prolific, enduring name in American fashion.

So what happened to Halston? Framed like a noir, the documentary Halston, directed by Frédéric Tcheng (who also made the fashion documentaries Dior and I and Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel), seeks to illuminate what occurred between the designer’s heyday and his ultimate fall from grace by the time of his death in 1990. It’s a project that might have never come to be — the more than 200 tapes that make up the bulk of the film’s archival footage were nearly erased by the people who took over Halston’s company in the ‘80s. Tcheng creates a fictional detective story to frame the film, featuring writer/actress Tavi Gevinson as a woman working in an archive who stumbles upon the tapes. These scenes add a campy layer that’s fitting for a movie about an artist who shunned convention. Gevinson’s character is positioned as one of the few people to care about keeping Halston’s story alive, perhaps acting as a stand-in for Tcheng.

Halston wanted his clothing to look effortless, which paradoxically takes a lot of work. He was inspired by designer Charles James, who like him was simultaneously brilliant and difficult. But instead of overworking his fabric like James, he opted for simplicity. His flowing chiffon and silk silhouettes were often cut on the bias from a single piece of fabric to encourage movement and make them easy to slip on and off. In interviews, the women who wore his clothes attest to their brilliance. “They danced with you,” Minnelli gushes. “He took away the cage,” model Pat Cleveland says, “You didn’t need the structure as much as you needed the woman.” His gowns, jumpsuits, and hot pants became a staple of the disco scene, and Halston likewise became a fixture of New York nightlife.

Halston’s brand followed the same trajectory as disco, skyrocketing to a level of popularity that was too much to maintain. “When something becomes so big and so successful that the business thinks it’s got to move on, it milks it for all it’s worth,” critic Vince Aletti said of the death of disco. Tcheng explores the myriad factors that contributed to Halston’s undoing without blaming one in particular. Perhaps it was his nights at Studio 54, which fed a drug habit that affected his productivity. Maybe his mistake was selling his brand to Norton Simon in 1973, inviting global recognition but sacrificing much of his autonomy in the process. Or was it all a matter of ego? Tcheng looks at Halston’s attachment to his image by showing pristine press footage of the designer surrounded by doting, glamorous models out on the town, then having Gevinson’s character press “rewind” to show the reality of the behind-the-scenes bullying they endured.

The real enemy may have been the rampant corporatism that seeped into the US in the ‘70s and took over in the ‘80s. Gevinson narrates “It’s morning again in America,” a nod to Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection campaign. For designers, the Reagan-era emphasis on profit above all else meant the rise of fast fashion and a waning appreciation for the kind of artistry that Halston was known for. Halston takes a stand against this kind of thinking, attempting to resurrect the designer’s legacy by giving him a glamorous, multilayered portrait.

Brightburn

Brightburn : Brightburn is a 2019 American superhero horror film produced by James Gunn and Kenneth Huang. The film is directed by David Yarovesky from a screenplay by Mark and Brian Gunn, and stars Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones, and Meredith Hagner. It is produced and financed by Screen Gems, Stage 6 Films, Troll Court Entertainment, and The H Collective, and will be distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. This is, more or less, the idea that animates David Yarovesky’s Brightburn. The film riffs on Superman’s iconic origin story, Although Brightburn doesn’t fully deliver on the pitch-black promise of its setup, it’s still enough to offer a diverting subversion of the superhero genre.

A Kansas farm couple is trying to make a baby. The spoons start rattling, the earth moves — but not how you’d think — and the next thing you know they have a son on the brink of adolescence. One night his bed starts shaking — but not how you’d think — and the next thing you know he’s out in the barn scaring the chickens. Also hovering above the ground, speaking in tongues, and throwing vehicles and people through the air.

The boy’s name is Brandon Breyer. That’s his earthly name, anyway. On his home planet, they called him something else. Brandon’s resemblance to another young Kansan of extraterrestrial background, with an alliterative moniker and remarkable abilities, is surely no accident. “Brightburn” (the title refers to the Breyers’ hometown), is a superhero origin story reimagined as a horror movie. What if Clark Kent, instead of being grateful to the parents who raised him and a defender of truth, justice and the American way, had been a power-hungry sociopath whose motto was “take the world”?

It seems plausible. Skinny, smart and easily picked on at school, Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn) comes to believe that he’s not simply special, but “superior.” Finding less and less reason to play along with the pathetic human creatures who never understood him in the first place, he devises ever more elaborate and bloody ways of messing with them. The soundtrack hums with deep, tooth-rattling vibrations and the prairie sky is full of portents. It’s scary whenever you see the kid on screen, and even scarier when you don’t.

The gore and the scares work pretty well. The director, David Yarovesky, and the screenwriters, Mark Gunn and Brian Gunn, hit the genre beats cleanly and efficiently. What makes “Brightburn” a little better than average is the time it spends observing Brandon with Tori and Kyle, his loving, increasingly alarmed mom and dad, who are played with excellent game faces by Elizabeth Banks and David Denman.

Before the bodies start piling up, they act as if they’re in a dark, perverse comedy about parenthood. What happens when your sweet little child starts acting weird and doing things you don’t understand, like filling notebooks with creepy drawings and disappearing in the middle of the night? “He’s not our son, he’s some thing we found in the woods,” Kyle shouts at Tori at an especially stressful moment. It feels that way sometimes. You get through it.

Or not. I don’t know if “Brightburn” will be the start of a franchise, but I kind of hope so. Not that I’m necessarily rooting for this humorless little dude with a knit mask and a dumb logo to grow big muscles, acquire sidekicks and all the rest. It’s about time that someone understood superheroism as a dangerous pathology. What I mean is: It’s much too late.

Aladdin

Aladdin 2019: Full movie Will Smith Moments is an Adventure, Comedy, Disney’s New Live Action Movie Is Much Better Than Its Trailers It can be debated whether live-action–or CGI/live-action hybrid–adaptations of Disney’s animated classics are needed. The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, and the rest of the studio’s library of iconic cartoon films typically stand the test of time.

They’re inevitable at this point, though, thanks to the money they earn at the box office. Given that, though, they should at least be good, right? That’s the mindset I had before screening the studio’s latest adaptation, Aladdin, fully expecting to hate it.

The trailers for Aladdin have not been kind, making it look like a pale imitation of a nearly 30-year-old film. Thankfully, though, the picture they paint isn’t accurate. Aladdin is, by and large, a good movie. If you love the original, it does more than enough to tickle your nostalgia bone, while adding more depth to the characters and giving some of them a bit of a modern spin.

All of your favorite songs are there, a lot of the jokes remain, and the cast does more than their fair share of singing and dancing, along with acting. What’s more, Director Guy Ritchie (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) has recreated several visuals from the animated film in a way that makes them even more breathtaking in live-action.

The Cave of Wonders, as seen in the trailers, is incredibly designed, as is the kingdom of Agrabah.Of course, the biggest worry from the trailers was Genie, who was originally voiced by Robin Williams in the animated film. Will Smith plays the character in the live-action Aladdin, and what was shown of him in the trailers wasn’t great. The CGI was hit-and-miss, and he didn’t seem to spend much time in the character’s signature blue form. It just didn’t seem right.

However, you’ll be happy to know that Smith’s take on the character works. He’s not trying to capture the essence of Robin Williams in playing Genie, but instead relies on his comedic sensibilities–something we don’t see nearly enough from the former Fresh Prince of Bel Air. He also delivers big on song numbers “Friend Like Me” and “Prince Ali.” And if you’re worried about it, Genie also spends a lot of the movie with blue skin.

The only real knock against Smith is how much bigger his character is than anyone else in the film–physically and charismatically. Then again, that’s the same problem the Aladdin animated film had with Williams’ take, so it’s not a bad problem to have.Still, the cast of Aladdin is mostly well-suited for their roles. Mena Massoud is easy to love as the homeless thief Aladdin, and the friendships he forges with Genie and the magic carpet–as well as his relationship with pet monkey Abu–are fun to see develop.

Naomi Scott, meanwhile, elevates the role of Jasmine beyond standard Disney princess fare–and the chemistry Scott and Massoud share makes the love story between Aladdin and Jasmine work well. Jasmine’s story features the most important changes to the Aladdin story. In this adaptation, she has a sense of ambition and wants to follow in her father’s footsteps to lead her people and become the next Sultan of Agrabah, even if tradition doesn’t allow it.

When it comes to Disney remaking its movies, it’s these changes that make the new adaptations a useful tool. While 1992’s animated Aladdin featured a Jasmine who was eager to reject the idea of an arranged marriage to find a new sultan, the new film exploring the princess’s own ambition to lead her people is a wonderful change to make.

Booksmart

Booksmart : Booksmart is a 2019 American coming-of-age comedy film directed by Olivia Wilde (in her directorial debut), from a screenplay by the writing team of Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, and Katie Silberman. On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.

The opening moments of Booksmart, the directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde, present a question, just by force of viewing habit: What kind of cinematic high-school girl type is this?

Played by Beanie Feldstein, Molly begins her day listening to affirmations about achieving greatness. She goes off to school, where she’s class president. She suffers no fools, gladly or otherwise. From these hints, you might guess that in the world of high school movies, she is an Election Tracy Flick type: driven, insufferable, unpopular. But you also see her dance like a goofball with her best friend Amy (Kaitlyn Dever), and then you think … maybe not. Maybe she is a warm and likable nerd, the underdog type. And at some point, it comes into focus: Neither she nor Amy is any cinematic type at all.

Molly and Amy are best friends who love each other more than anything, who are about to graduate from high school and head off to college. They have both — Molly especially — focused on school, believing (or perhaps telling themselves?) that they were not partying much, not getting too wild, not having the wrong kind of fun, because they were academically driven. But then, Molly learns that some of the kids she’s always thought she wouldn’t want as friends because they don’t care about school are about to go to colleges as good as hers. This shakes her. Perhaps high school, she realizes, is not a choice between academic success and social immersion. Perhaps she has abstained from much of party life for no real reason.

That sets off the main section of the film, which grows out of Molly and Amy’s decision to have a lot of fun on their last night of high school before graduation, to make up for all the things they thought they had to skip.

This somewhat surprising swerve, in which the script from four women (Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins and Katie Silberman) rejects the idea that smart kids are un-fun and fun kids are un-smart, proves critical. Molly and Amy are not really victims of a social pecking order. They have largely isolated themselves unnecessarily, and the insight here is that that, in fact, is many people’s great high school regret. It’s not the things you couldn’t have, but the things you thought you couldn’t have.

For Amy, the stakes are particularly high, because Amy is a lesbian who’s been too shy to date. Molly keeps trying to get her to take some risks, but she doesn’t want to, and who can blame her? The story of Amy’s queer-kid journey is wonderful in that it is both a specifically and assertively queer-kid story and a story that anyone shy, anyone uncertain, can understand. Diana Silvers (most recently credited in Glass as “Cheerleading Girl”) is dynamite as Hope, an unfriendly girl whose precise connection to this story takes a while to develop, and skateboarder Victoria Ruesga — in her first acting job — is perfectly, cheerfully inscrutable as Ryan, the object of Amy’s crush and one of her reasons for venturing out at Molly’s suggestion.

(A note: Ruesga, like the rest of the ensemble, was cast by the superb casting director Allison Jones, whose resume is long and celebrated, including Freaks and Geeks, Parks and Recreation, Superbad, Eighth Grade, Lady Bird, Veep, Bridesmaids … there’s a decent argument to be made that few people have been more important to the last 25 years of American comedy. The cast here, full of unknowns and little-knowns, is one of her best.)

At heart, Booksmart, while it looks like an examination of high-school social survival, is about the profound bond between these two girls and how nervous they are about getting by without each other. Underneath the story of Amy’s crush on Ryan is Molly’s overbearing “support” of her queer friend. And then underneath the story of that support lies Molly’s frustration that she winds up responsible for making all the decisions for her less adventurous friend. They are not only feeling the strain of a looming separation as Amy heads off for a trip to Africa; they are feeling the strain of adjusting to adulthood and figuring out what their friendship will look like when they’re not joined at the hip in a way that tends to paper over conflict.

Feldstein and Dever are just sublime at giving these girls the depths of feeling as well as the comic flair that they need. While it is a relationship film, Booksmart also functions as a one-crazy-night comedy, and it benefits from wonderful touches like a fine and weird performance from Billie Lourd as a mysterious classmate who somehow is both everywhere and nowhere. And for a party movie, it also makes some marvelously creative cinematic choices, including an underwater sequence involving Amy and an argument between the two girls that wisely conveys that it is not just what is said in this moment that matters, but the feel of it. It matters how everything explodes at once, and you realize you can learn how these girls fight without even knowing every word they’re saying.

The writers, the cast, and Wilde have made a film that’s a celebration of teenage girls, of teenage best friends, and even of popular kids who would rather not be thought of as meatheads and airheads simply because they like to go to parties. It’s a humane and heartfelt film without a mean bone in its figurative body, truly, and Feldstein and Dever are not even the only ones in the cast who deserve to be called revelations.

The comedy “Booksmart” follows two soon-to-be high-school graduates, Molly and Amy (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever), who have spent too much time studying and no time partying. They’re correcting that in one wild night before graduation. This scene has them arriving at a party they’ve been trying to find for much of the film.

Molly spots her school crush, Nick (Mason Gooding), and the scene transitions into a fantasy musical sequence showing Molly’s inner thoughts. In her narration, the director Olivia Wilde discusses using classic Hollywood musicals as inspiration, what it took to pull off this sequence in one shot, and how she and her choreographer, Denna Thomsen, got great work out of Gooding, who hadn’t danced before this.

Echo in The Canyon

Echo in the Canyon  :  Features Full Movie 2019 highlights Echo in the Canyon from that concert, it devotes Movie most of its running time to interviews Dylan conducted before and Echo in the Canyon Full Movie 2019 after the live event with Roger McGuinn and Echo in the Canyon Full Movie David Crosby of the Byrds music producer Echo in the Canyon  Lou Adler.

There are probably four or five documentaries’ worth of material to pull from the Laurel Canyon music scene and the cultural movements of late 1960s Los Angeles, but even if “Echo in the Canyon” feels slightly anemic at 85 minutes or so, there are worse ways to revisit this epochal artistic moment than via Andrew Slater’s affectionate, intimate documentary.

Though Wallflowers frontman Jakob Dylan is not an especially warm or generous interviewer, anecdotes and observations from musical luminaries past and present help paint a vivid portrait of the impact of that time and place upon the sound of popular music and the industry as a whole.

Combining reminiscences from the likes of Stephen Stills, Brian Wilson, Eric Clapton and the late Tom Petty with insights, opinions, and eventually, performances from contemporary figures such as Cat Power, Beck and Fiona Apple, “Echo in the Canyon” offers a halcyon survey of the major players of the Laurel Canyon music scene, along with the feverish creativity that produced some of the best and most adventurous music of the time.

Framed by footage from Jacques Demy’s 1969 movie “Model Shop,” which the filmmakers suggest embodies the look and feel of the era, Dylan and former Capitol Records president Slater dive into those fertile years where singers and songwriters nestled into the Hollywood Hills to create fantastic music in a communal environment.

What’s immediately evident from the stories told by Petty, Roger McGuinn and others is the reflexive and inspirational nature of that community; after the Beatles recorded “Rubber Soul,” inspiration struck Wilson to create the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds,” which in turn influenced “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and so on.

These were people with a strong sense of musicianship, who identified influences, absorbed them into their own work as it formed, and then produced something that occasionally echoed the work of their predecessors. Ultimately, it pushed forward the whole folk-rock-into-rock genre as a whole.

Unlike many rose-colored journeys down music’s memory lane, there’s a surprising amount of corroboration between the various stories told about an era where people were experimenting with mind-altering substances.

And while libertine behavior has over the years occasionally been revised or erased to make the participants involved seem more appealing, here, Michelle Phillips talks openly and unapologetically about her affairs, for example.

The Lovin’ Spoonful frontman John Sebastian confirms the time McGuinn, after picking up folk-music chord changes in the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” went down New York’s Playhouse Café and performed the song to considerable criticism and derision.

Petty describes the happenstance of George Harrison receiving the second Rickenbacker 12-string guitar instead of John Lennon, for whom it was meant, and using it to steal riffs from The Byrds’ “The Bells of Rhymney” for “If I Ever Needed Someone.”

This respectful collaborative environment produced some of the most enduring and influential music ever recorded. When Beck and Apple and mesmerizing former Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros member Jade Castrinos perform at a 2015 concert, those songs from that era mostly sound as vivid and evocative today as they did then.

But the cumulative effect feels slightly more like a long-form promotional vehicle for Dylan’s companion album, also entitled “Echo in the Canyon,” than a proper chronicle of the musical movement that inspired it.

Meanwhile, Dylan has an impenetrability on camera, sitting stoically as David Crosby recounts the time Stephen Stills dove out a window to avoid getting nabbed by cops responding to a noise complaint, that leaves his contributions largely inert.

Thankfully, when you have old-school hippie musicians waxing poetic about their foibles, there isn’t much need for active interviewing, but it feels like Crosby’s overdue, candid observations about his culpability in being kicked out of the Byrds should be met with more than low-key acceptance.

Still, the juxtaposition of folks like Beck and Regina Spektor offering insights about why that music resonates, alongside stories about how it was originally made, is consistently some fascinating stuff. Slater’s access feels somewhat unprecedented both in terms of the number of interviewees and their willingness to be completely open.

He taps into some great threads about the overlapping creativity of these bands and, crucially, the musicianship that enabled them to receive the torch passed by somebody with the magnitude of talent of the Beatles or the Mamas and the Papas and just run with it. But at less than 90 minutes, no particular narrative spine ever clearly emerges, leaving these revelations floating in a warm and welcoming lazy river of remembrance.

Mind you, there are worse things than hanging out with and listening to a whos-who of 1960s musical icons reflecting on the motivations, mechanics and mischief involved in creating some of their most famous songs. But given the seemingly unlimited volume of talent on screen and available to the filmmakers, “Echo in the Canyon” slightly wastes an opportunity to showcase the multigenerational reverberations of that movement because it never settles on a strong voice and specific vision to tie together their recollections into a cohesive story.

Arguably the most sturdily crafted and entertainingly anecdotal documentary of its kind since Denny Tedesco’s “The Wrecking Crew,” a similarly nostalgic celebration of artists who generously contributed to the soundtrack of the baby boomer generation, Andrew Slater’s “Echo in the Canyon” offers a richly evocative and star-studded overview of the 1960s Laurel Canyon music scene.

Audiences old enough to have many of the epochal LPs referenced here stashed in their closets will know they’re in good hands right from the start, as the iconic first chords of the Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn!” resound during the darkness of the film’s opening moments.

But wait, there’s more: The songs of Buffalo Springfield, the Mamas and the Papas, the Beach Boys and other L.A.-based hitmakers of the era are also featured in a doc that shows how music that defined the California Sound of a half-century ago continues to inspire and influence contemporary artists. It’s a package that not only will delight viewers of a certain age but also folks who weren’t introduced to the songs until decades after the fact.

The movie marks the directorial debut for Slater, a former journalist and music industry veteran who collaborated with Jakob Dylan on a 2015 tribute concert in Los Angeles that showcased Dylan and other artists of his generation — including Fiona Apple, Beck, Cat Power, Norah Jones and Jade Castrinos — performing songs recorded more than 50 years earlier by the aforementioned legendary artists.

While “Echo in the Canyon” features highlights from that concert, it devotes most of its running time to interviews Dylan conducted before and after the live event with Roger McGuinn and David Crosby of the Byrds; music producer Lou Adler; Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas; Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys; Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield; and other primary sources from the era (including Ringo Starr, John Sebastian and Eric Clapton).

The Proposal

The Proposal : The Proposal is a 2009 American romantic comedy film directed by Anne Fletcher and written by Peter Chiarelli. It stars Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds with Betty White, Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson.Faced with deportation to her native Canada, high-powered book editor Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) says she’s engaged to marry Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), her hapless assistant. Andrew agrees to the charade, but imposes a few conditions of his own, including flying to Alaska to meet his eccentric family. With a suspicious immigration official always lurking nearby, Margaret and Andrew must stick to their wedding plan despite numerous mishaps.

“The Proposal,” Jill Magid’s captivatingly wily documentary about her attempt to liberate the archives of the renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragán, wears many faces. Detailing at once an art project and a rescue mission, a love triangle and an elaborate, outlandish bargain, the movie has a surface serenity that belies its fuming emotions.

In this, it mirrors the three-year correspondence between Magid (a writer and artist who once trained as a spy), and the controller of the archives, Federica Zanco. Rumored to have acquired them in the mid-1990s as an engagement gift from her fiancé, the owner of a Swiss design conglomerate, Zanco rigidly guards them from all but limited public access in her foundation near Basel. Faced with major obstacles to mounting her own exhibition on Barragán (who died in 1988), Magid embarks on an epistolary seduction of increasing flattery and desperation.

As Magid putters around Barragán’s Mexico City studio, researching and plotting and painting her toenails, her voice-over pleas to Zanco — and the creamily polite rebuffs — turn the movie into a delicate duel between two women armed with obsessions for the same man. They will finally meet in a Swiss cafe, filmed hazily through a window (Jarred Alterman’s cinematography is consistently dreamy); yet Zanco’s romantically fuzzy aspect is fitting in a film that feels only tangentially concerned with corporate control of art.

Culminating in a brilliantly appropriate stunt (labeled a “ghoulish plot” by one news outlet), “The Proposal” meditates on the meaning of artistic legacy and hums with the fear of being wiped from public memory. Most of all, it shines an ingeniously media-savvy spotlight on Barragán’s work — and, not incidentally, on that of the filmmaker herself.

As Romeo and Juliet knew, quite a lot. Called “the artist among architects,” Luis Barragán brought his eye-catching colorful Modernism to Mexico, becoming one of the country’s most renowned artists and cultural touchstones. His personal home in Mexico City is a UNESCO World Heritage site, requiring reservations weeks in advance to visit. Casa Luis Barragán houses his personal art collection, but his entire professional archive lives in Switzerland, where it is owned and strictly monitored by a single corporation. The Swiss design company Vitra controls the access and rights to all of Barragán’s work, including any photographs of his buildings. It also owns his name.

Jill Magid’s provocative new film “The Proposal” both uncovers this travesty and actively seeks to challenge it, with the ultimate goal being to return the Barragán archives to Mexico. The film is itself a provocation; a fascinating document of a years-long conceptual project as well as the final (or next) piece of the complicated puzzle. Magid appears in the film, though we mostly hear her in placid expository voiceover. The film is structured around her correspondence with Federica Zanco, an architectural historian whose husband, Vitra owner Rolf Fehlbaum, gifted her the archive upon proposing marriage. Magid crafts her crowning provocation (and the film’s title) from this rather tragic romantic tale — much like Shakespeare’s two teenagers separated by a name.

Whether by a cruel twist of fate or poetic justice, Vitra trademarked the name “Luis Barragan” without the accent, a stark reminder of who is being taken from and who is doing the taking. Mexican Barragán experts explain in the film that when Vitra bought the archive 22 years ago, they assumed it would be shared, as is common for artistic institutions to do. But Zanco has maintained a tight grip on the archive, severely limiting outside access and making Barragán her life’s work. As one man says, it amounts to “active censorship perpetuated by capitalism.”

An internationally recognized conceptual artist who has exhibited at the Whitney and the Tate Modern, Magid was able to negotiate a stay at Casa Luis Barragán for the film — a once in a lifetime opportunity. Though she isn’t allowed to sleep in the bed where he died, she is assured that her room is where all of Barragán’s lovers slept. As she eats at his table and gently pours water over a collection of clay pots in the courtyard, she reminds the viewer that even these images are subject to Vitra’s copyright, and could easily result in a lawsuit. (Even images taken of his work before the sale of the archive are not safe.)

Because of this, admirers of Barragán will have to look elsewhere for a more thorough portrait of his work or even the man himself. Magid’s focus is singularly on the archive and her own project. “The Proposal” could have benefitted from even a short detour into Barragán’s personal history, architectural influences, and contributions, which surely could have been done without stoking Vitra’s ire. The film is not a conventional documentary in that way, which is no doubt one of its many strengths. But by centering herself a little too much, Magid obscures Barragán. This may be the point, that no one can learn anything substantial about this giant of the form as long as his work is locked up, but it does the film a disservice.

Magid makes the most of the visuals available to her, however limited they may be by the patent. As part of her grand plan, the details of which are a mystery until the final moment of reckoning with Federica, Magid convenes the Barragán family to excavate Barragán’s ashes. As men chip away at the plaque bearing his name, stripes of grey slate and chalky red clay are framed in close-up, bearing an uncanny resemblance to a Mark Rothko painting, much like one Barragán had in his house. The film’s climactic meeting with Federica is shot from outside a café, surreptitiously and sans audio out of necessity. Reflected greenery on the café’s glass windows obscure the figures in a shroud of mystery, just visible enough to read their dynamic facial expressions.

Throughout the film, Magid guides the viewer from a cool remove. (Part of this is due to her overly measured delivery of the script, an unfortunate side effect of directing yourself). It is only in the culminating scene that she reveals some emotion, describing the complex rush of feelings upon finally meeting Federica. Through their interactions, “The Proposal” becomes a film about two women’s quest to understand an artist who inspires them, though their methods are wildly different and diametrically opposed. The conflict makes for an extremely absorbing story — one we can all share.

The Tomorrow Man

The Tomorrow Man : Full Movie 2019 English The Tomorrow Man full movie The Tomorrow Man full movie English The Tomorrow Man 2019 full John Lithgow and Blythe Danner in The Tomorrow Man Full Movie. Sometimes you’d think there was a conspiracy among The Tomorrow Man movie stylists to turn older to look quirky instead, she just looks like she doesn’t own a full-length mirror.

Sometimes you’d think there was a conspiracy among movie stylists to turn older female characters into a combination of sister-wife and refugee from a Laura Ashley sample sale. As Ronnie in the late-life romance “The Tomorrow Man,” the lovely Blythe Danner is their latest victim. Swathed in mismatched separates, shapeless woolens and schoolgirl ankle socks, Ronnie is supposed to look quirky; instead, she just looks like she doesn’t own a full-length mirror.

Written and directed by Noble Jones, “The Tomorrow Man” is a cloying, at times disturbing tale of two dotty seniors whose eccentricities unexpectedly mesh. Ronnie’s issues, though — she’s a timid hoarder who likes war documentaries — are mild compared to the aggressively paranoid lens through which Ed (John Lithgow) views the world. An apocalypse-obsessed retiree whose time is spent stocking his fallout shelter and communing online with fellow doom-and-gloom survivalists, Ed stalks Ronnie at the supermarket until she agrees to have coffee with him.

Ignoring the fact that Ed should scare, rather than charm, most women like Ronnie, “The Tomorrow Man” wends its whimsical way toward love, using physical objects as metaphors for psychological baggage. There is a market for this kind of low-key pablum — especially with such fine leads — where characters are little more than bundles of idiosyncrasies. Yet it’s precisely because Lithgow is so good that Ed’s alarming mental problems resist the movie’s pressure to turn them into comic relief.

It’s never too late to fall in love. The Tomorrow Man is a charming, uplifting film about two small-town senior citizens who manage to do just that, against formidable odds. It’s not a movie for the immature. If you’re a member of the Marvel comics brigade, move along. Nothing for you here. But if you cherish the rare opportunity to watch magnificent actors as perfect as Blythe Danner and John Lithgow giving it all they’ve got, in a film about grown-ups, then the line starts here.

Ed Hemsler (Lithgow) is a retired ball bearings analyst in his mid-70s and a lonely widower with a grown son he can barely tolerate who shows only a passable interest in his father’s welfare. In the six years since he’s been inactive, Ed is convinced the end of the world is on its way. He even has a secret supply room where he stores everything from Cheerios to bottled water in case the apocalypse arrives sooner than expected and he’s unable to leave the house. Ed’s every waking moment is spent preparing for tomorrow.

Ronnie Meisner (Danner) is an equally eccentric widow of the same vintage who likes to sew and is addicted to watching WWII documentaries on television. She lost her only daughter when the girl was only 13 and her husband died of cancer. A hoarder and a compulsive shopper, Ronnie lives alone in a house so cluttered with useless junk she can’t even find an ashtray.

These two odd social misfits are the last couple on the planet who seem like a possible romantic duo, yet they meet at the supermarket and slowly discover they like each other. You probably wouldn’t notice them if you passed them on Main Street, but first-time director Noble Jones, who also wrote the sensitive screenplay and photographed the film with finesse, makes Ed and Ronnie less simplistic than they appear on the surface.

Except for an awkward Thanksgiving dinner at Ed’s son’s house where nothing goes right, these are two senior citizens who learn to live with and for each other, falling slowly and insecurely in love. There are problems. One night of intimacy gives Ed a mini-stroke. And revealing personal details or sharing feelings don’t come easy for either of them. But The Tomorrow Man is an endearing movie about life’s second chances, and the finale, when both Ed and Ronnie learn to make difficult compromises to move in the direction of happily ever after, is nothing less than heartbreaking. Maybe living for tomorrow is not what it’s cut out to be. Maybe living for today is better.

The Tomorrow Man is a mature and radiant love story filled with intelligence, tenderness and joy that will warm your heart. Danner and Lithgow are simply miraculous!

“The Tomorrow Man” sounds like a 1970s sci-fi film about a guy who predicts the future, but Noble Jones’ feature debut is kind of exactly the opposite, the story a guy whose fixation on the future keeps him from fully experiencing the present.

It’s a mostly thoughtful character study that falters only by failing to scrutinize fully the central character’s toxic, paranoid worldview. Nevertheless, the film makes some astute observations about the coping mechanisms we use to protect ourselves from the world, with Jones eliciting solid performances from John Lithgow and Blythe Danner as two troubled senior citizens embarking on a tenuous courtship.

Lithgow plays Ed, a lonely forced retiree who fills his days preparing for a sociopolitical apocalypse both physically (filling a hidden panic room with canned goods and gasoline) and philosophically, presiding over dark-web chatrooms with ominous declarations. Desperate for real-world interaction after exhausting even his son Brian (Derek Cecil, “House of Cards”) with endless, hectoring conspiracies, Ed crosses paths at the grocery store with Ronnie (Danner), a quirky, withdrawn clerk at a local collectibles store who lost her daughter to an incurable disease. After staging an innocent meet-cute between them in a parking lot, Ed asks Ronnie out, and after getting to know one another, they soon find common ground in the achievements and losses of their professional and personal lives.

Though a romance quietly emerges during their time together, Ed and Ronnie run into roadblocks as a couple thanks to Ed’s interior world of fears and anxieties, not to mention the secrets Ronnie keeps hidden behind her front door. But after a health scare lands Ed in the hospital, he and Ronnie both are forced to consider how much their lives are keeping them from experiencing the joys of the present.

I’m not sure whether there’s an untapped niche of viewers who will identify with Ed or just an uphill battle for mainstream ones, but Jones’ film — which he also wrote and beautifully shot — dances sometimes too gingerly around the more questionable elements of the sexagenarian’s point of view. Mind you, he’s never openly racist or hateful, but Ed’s clearly unsure what to do with the influx of people of color into his small community, even when they’re wearing suits and friendly smiles. Thankfully, his early encounters with Ronnie arrive at a place where he begins to realize that their conversations are mostly one-sided, but Jones chronicles Ed’s self-righteous suspicions about the world with both honesty and sensitivity.