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Cannes Film Festival 2013: The Bling Ring Review

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Cannes Film Festival 2013: The Bling Ring Review

Sofia Coppola’s fascination with the young and over-privileged reaches a logical plateau with The Bling Ring, a hyperaware consideration of celebrity intrigue and idolization. Based on the semi-recent wave of burglaries perpetrated by a group of high school kids on the unsuspecting gossip-rag regulars residing in the Hollywood Hills, the film depicts, with an alternately implicating and critical eye, the rise and fall of adolescent naïveté and entitlement. It’s a subject that Coppola has spent much of her career dramatizing across various milieus, from the suburban daydreams of The Virgin Suicides to the ornate, 18th-century re-imaginings of Marie Antoinette to the Los Angeles summertime sprawl of Somewhere. She’s remained in the City of Angels for her latest, but this is anything but a tale of wayward cherubs. Fueled by the very lifestyle they’re nonchalantly pillaging, this band of smalltime crooks have learned that actions rarely have consequences, and spend the entire film putting this theory, propagated and sustained by the media, to the fullest possible test.

Starring Katie Chang and Israel Broussard as Rebecca and Marc, two idle teens with ample spare time and an eye for fashion, but bereft of the resources to actually adopt such costly interests, The Bling Ring moves fleetly, gathering momentum as this pair of unassumingly ambitious thieves go from swiping purses from unlocked cars to breaking into million-dollar mansions within the span of a few days. Once they’ve successfully outlined the ease with which they can access such presumably secure homes (all it apparently took was a Google search and a couple of gossip websites), Rebecca and Marc bring three equally greedy friends in their mounting cabal: Nicki (Emma Watson) and Sam (Taissa Farmiga), two friends turned adopted sisters, and Chloe (Claire Julien), a smart-mouthed blonde who spends more time talking on her cellphone than with her parents. (The real-life Bling Ring is responsible for having stolen over three million in cash and clothing.)

Coppola’s ear for contemporary adolescent dialogue and eye for picaresque West Coast locales curtail here into what’s certainly her most accessible and quite possibly her most beautiful work yet; the film was shot by the late Harris Savides (with additional work by Christopher Blauvelt), and its diamond studded and gold-accented interiors speak accurately to the film’s glitzy title. Her aesthetic, particularly after the austere, almost static procession of Somewhere, is restless and eye-popping, mirroring the adopted lifestyle of the five Bling Ringers as they rip off and assume the glamorous looks of their victims, who in real life included Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, and Audrina Patridge. If she’s set aside, however briefly, the patient, observational tact of her prior work, it’s not at the expense of style, which the film absolutely bathes in. Frankly, it’s a breath of fresh air for an artist seemingly content in her serene stylistic surroundings.

But like all stories of criminal activity and monetary gain, pride cometh before the fall, and this quasi-gang ends up splintering as quick as it came into being. The problem when commenting on such selfish, shallow human beings and the arc they inevitably follow is the instinct on behalf of the artist to both romanticize and implicate their characters. Coppola doesn’t totally sidestep this tendency, though the involvement she offers the audience seems intentional. The film’s characters talk in both voiceover and interview segments throughout, commenting on their crime spree in the wake of their sentencing. Some are regretful, others in denial—another yet utilizes the platform to launch her own celebrity campaign. The Bling Ring can’t couch its message in subtly since there’s nothing subtle about the world it depicts—and that’s both a hindrance to its impact and an aid to its entertainment value. In this sense it’s both of a piece and something completely new for Coppola, who’s thematic purview may be narrow, but one she’s continually proven to have reach far exceeding that of the laconic characters she depicts.

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15—26.

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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

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Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

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Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

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