1. “Pixar to Make Toy Story 4.” And why John Lasseter is returning to direct.
“Lasseter told The Times that Toy Story 4 will be a love story and will pick up where Toy Story 3 left off, when Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the series’s toy chest of characters were handed down to a little girl named Bonnie. ’A lot of people in the industry view us doing sequels as being for the business of it, but for us it’s pure passion,’ said Lasseter, who directed the first two Toy Story films. ’We only make sequels when we have a story that’s as good as or better than the original. We don’t just, because of the success of a film, automatically say we’re going to do a sequel and then figure out what we’re going to do.’ That philosophy sets an awfully high bar for a Toy Story sequel—the first three have grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide and collected uniformly positive reviews for their storytelling and technique. The third, directed by Lee Unkrich in 2010, won Oscars for animated feature and original song, and became only the third animated movie in history to be nominated for best picture.”
2. “Here’s the Cast for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.” It’s a Reservoir Dogs reunion, with the surprise addition of Channing Tatum.
“Looks like the movie will be a Reservoir Dogs reunion, with Tim Roth and Michael Madsen returning to the Tarantino universe, in addition to perennial Tarantino favorite Samuel L. Jackson. Plus, Channing Tatum is a total out-of-left-field choice, in a role we know nothing about as of yet. The cast largely mirrors the lineup Tarantino had for his live-reading of the script back in April. Aside from Tatum’s addition, Jennifer Jason Leigh replaces Amber Tamblyn in the role of Daisy, and Demian Bichir replaces Denis Ménochet as Bob.”
3. “10 wonderful women of sci-fi.” With the results of BFI’s poll seeking to find Greatest Sci-Fi Character of All Time not far off, the site wondered: How will women fare in the voting?
“No list of women in sci-fi would be complete without Maria. However, right from the off we have to decide exactly which Maria we mean. Are we talking about the human Maria, here to lead her people into the light with promises of a better future? Or do we mean the machine, given the likeness of Maria by a man driven mad by the memory of his dead love? It must be the robot for its cinematic legacy alone. The designs for Star Wars’ C-3P0 are a direct homage to her sleek deco lines. And yet Maria herself, played with tremulous intensity by Brigitte Helm, has life of her own to spare. The silent accusation of her gaze begs questions of the luxury found on the surface of Metropolis. Her heavily symbolic status in the film robs her of some of the agency one would expect from a modern hero. But the two different Marias ask questions about the role of women in our storytelling: exploring the contrast between real women and the fantasies authored by man and his hubris.”
4. “How All Those Intern Lawsuits Are Changing Hollywood.” The Black Swan case sparks a movement as NBCUniversal and Viacom begin to pay all their interns, film companies associated with Fox drop programs and others decry the end of an industry tradition.
“The second big criticism isn’t really a legal concern, but rather a social one that examines the flip side of unpaid internships—not that they are exploitative, but that they are too advantageous, at least for the select few who come from affluent backgrounds and can afford to work for no pay. Some even trace Hollywood’s diversity problems to internships. It’s a reason why Justin Swartz, a lawyer who has represented many ex-interns, has considered the lawsuits to be a ’social justice issue.’ To that end, [Eric] Glatt says his Black Swan suit didn’t come easy. He tried to get his alumni networks interested, but nobody wanted to rock the boat. He contacted the New York State Department of Labor but says the agency just referred him to a list of law firms. He was also presented with a chance to file a complaint, but Glatt wanted to do something bigger. Colleagues and friends attempted to dissuade him from raising a voice by pointing to potential consequences of being a noisemaker.”
5. “The Emptiness of Days to Come.” Charles Nash on gender stereotypes and sex in White Bird in a Blizzard.
“This final revelation—in which the viewer witnesses Brock strangling Eve after she catches him having an affair with Phil—not only effectively pulls the rug out from underneath the viewer in terms of its plot structure (along with clarifying why the film takes place from 1988-1991, a pivotal period of time during the rise of the AIDS epidemic), but powerfully clarifies exactly what the film is examining: people using sex as a method to block out the pain of their loneliness while conforming to gender stereotypes.”
Video of the Day: Errol Morris and James Marsh discuss Stephen Hawking, Frederick Wiseman, serial killers, early photography, attacking Donald Rumsfeld and more:
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