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Rushes. “Moonlight” at the Oscars, Bill Paxton, Malick’s Perfume, Bong & Fincher Teasers

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Poster for a Wordless Music performance of Moonlight. Design by Midnight Marauder.
  • The Academy Awards on Sunday were mostly a by-the-books affair—notably with an increase in the number of black artists being recognized and awarded—...that is, until the ending when La La Land was mistakenly awarded Best Picture when in fact the far more deserving Moonlight actually won.
  • American actor Bill Paxton, whose career ranged from beloved character (Aliens) actor to terrific lead (Big Love), died during complications due to heart surgery. Keyframe has gathered remembrances.
  • The influence of "high art" filmmakers like Stan Brakhage on popular culture is something few acknowledge, so it's particularly interesting to see this perfume ad starring Angelina Jolie that was directed by Terrence Malick. It feels at once utterly of the filmmaker's past work, but also almost entirely in the language of modern advertising. Which leads us to wonder the full extend of Malick's influence on mainstream imagemaking.
  • A very teasing teaser for Okja, Bong Joon-ho's eagerly awaited follow-up to Snowpiercer.
  • Speaking of teasers of Netflix productions, David Fincher's new show Mindhunter looks predictably sleek, dark and tantalizing.
  • And now that we've successfully segued into the mainstream, Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant also looks darn good—and hopefully the final film will be better than Prometheus.
  • Frequent Notebook contributor Mayukh Sen has surveyed Cher's run of film hits from the 1980s for Hazlitt:
  • In the 1980s, Cher staged a dazzling coup, leaping successfully from the world of music to cinema, inspiring both professional reverence and audience affection. She made six films that decade, working with a cabal of cool kid male auteurs, from Robert Altman to Peter Bogdonavich to Mike Nichols, and amassed a coterie of awards for them: an Oscar, two Golden Globes, and a Cannes Best Actress award, perhaps the most coveted award an actress could receive.
  • Though the Harry Potter series isn't normally something that swings into our view, smart design in cinema always piques our interest. Khoi Vinh has pointed us to an exhibition showcasing the sharp thinking behind "hundreds of seen and unseen props from the Harry Potter series, including packaging for potions and poisons, newspapers, magazines, adverts, posters and letters."
  • The Barbican has generously hosted the audio recordings from its series "The Craft of Film", including talks with the production designer of Lavs von Trier's Melancholia, Béla Tarr's cinematographer Fred Keleman, Pedro Costa on directing, and  Anamaria Marinca on acting in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 days.
  • Haitian director Raoul Peck, whose recent documentary on James Baldwin, I Am Not Your Negro, has been a critical hit, and whose latest film, The Young Karl Marx, premiered earlier this month at the Berlinale, is on Marc Maron's WTF podcast.
Near Dark poster
  • In this poster-filled Rushes, one to more to round us out and to honor one of Bill Paxton's greatest films, Near Dark.
• Lars von Trier's name is misspelled. • The "von" in "Lars von Trier" should not capitalized.
Malick has become a real simp. I watched Days of Heaven recently and I can't believe that the man who made the above perfume ad made what I consider the most perfect movie of the 70s. His obsession with billowy curtains and smug women walking languorously across sun-dappled tree-lined streets and wheat fields is confusing to me. I thought he was a genius, but now he's just starting to look like a bimbo. The only movie with a more obvious take on Los Angeles than Knight of Cups is La La Land. Malick is exhibit 'a' in the case that too much success and sex curdles the creative mind.
I think Malick recently is more interested in form than content. While he was always leaning more toward style, he is now more than ever trying to capture movement and moments. I think it's a philosophy that guides him. In a way he has become more extreme. I tend to love that, but it's hit and miss in the same movie.
I'm starting to think that Malick has gone full Zaha Hadid mode and it is now a computer that composes his works.

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