We’ve talking to Richard Linklater about Apollo 10½, perhaps the most Richard Linklater of all Richard Linklater films; Oscar producer Will Packer says the LAPD was ready to arrest Will Smith after The Slap, but Chris Rock prevented it; filming sex scenes is as awkward as you might expect; a new poll ranks 1970s cinema. All in today’s movie news overview.
Moon children: “I’ve been accused of being the hangout movie guy, and that’s fine. Because the cinema can do that really well, ”says Richard Linklater, whose latest film is The Beautiful Hang from 1969. Apollo 10½. Lately Movie Maker podcast, he amicably asks our questions about how his beloved Austin has changed, the importance of 70s cartoons, the dumbest conspiracy theory, and the state of the film. Apollo 10½ is out today on Netflix and you can listen to our interview on Repod, Apple, Spotify or here:
Stakes: Tarik Saleh, director of the new Chris Pine and Ben Foster action movie The contractor, wrote this provocative piece to us about the problem with so many action movies: The effort feels fake. His film is about a US Special Forces sergeant (Pine) who is thrown out of the military and has to take a job that is not what it seems. Saleh’s favorite scene does not take place on a battlefield, but in a bathtub. The contractor is also out today – both in cinemas and on demand.
Claps: That’s what Oscar producer Will Packer said today on ABC’s Good morning America that LAPD officers were ready to arrest Will Smith for battery charges after he beat Chris Rock at the Oscars, but that Rock said no. “They said, ‘This is battery. We need to get him. We’re prepared. We’re ready to have him right now. You can file charges. We can arrest him,” Packer said. GMA. “While they were talking, Chris was very dismissive of these options. He was like, ‘No, I’m fine.’
Smith’s apologies continue: Packer also said Will Smith reached out to him Monday morning after the Oscars and told him, ‘This should have been a gigantic moment for you. He added that Smith “expressed his embarrassment and that was the extent of it.” Smith apologized to Rock via Instagram earlier this week and to the academy during his acceptance speech for best actor.
Do not film TV: I learned from Matthew Belloni’s excellent The city podcast that the Oscars are unique in that filmmakers run the show instead of traditional live TV producers. One wonders if that tradition will continue in the wake of The Slap.
More Smith: “A previously unknown brief virtual meeting between Will Smith and Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson on March 29 could cause a new crisis to hit the Oscars,” Deadline reports. The Academy’s board members and insiders are not happy that this six-minute Zoom call was not revealed earlier, as the Academy is in the process of deciding exactly what consequences Smith will face.
Filming sex scenes can be awkward: Contrary to Will Smith’s arrest news, this does not come as a revelation. But it’s still fun to read Buzzfeed‘s collection of actor anecdotes about how intimate moments on the set are filmed. Dakota Johnson reveals that sometimes several pairs of underwear were literally glued to her body to prevent them from moving. Sarah Silverman once filmed a scene with an extra who was “completely naked except not even the thickness of a sock.”
A director weighs in: Mother’s Sunday has her fair share of random nudity (including male full-frontal), and sex and director Eva Husson discussed these elements with Movie Maker‘s Margeaux Sippell.
Flying high: This week, Sippell and I participated in a special screening of HBO’s documentary Tony Hawk: Until the wheels fall off. The highlight of the event for me was watching eight skateboarders fly high on Tony Hawk’s personal host ramp, which was transported from his home in San Diego to LA and assembled again for the event. The highlight of the documentary was watching the iconic footage of Hawk attempting and eventually landing a 900 (two and a half rotation in the air) at the 1999 X Games. Here is our report on the event.
Once upon a time: I was a skateboarder (albeit a very bad one) who had to record the X Games at night as they premiered too late on the East Coast for me to stay up and watch. I would eagerly reunite the next morning and fast-forward through ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series, which inevitably ran too late and bled over in X Games time. So I had a worn VHS tape by Hawk who became the first person to land the trick after 10 failed attempts.
Sonoma Wraps: In the heart of California’s wine country, the Sonoma International Film Festival ended its 25th anniversary this week. Beautiful problems, Open season (Jagdeit), Come back anytime, Blind Ambitionand Róise and Frank are the winners of the feature award.
Eddie Murphy is the godfather of funk: In an upcoming biopic for Amazon, Murphy will play George Clinton, leader of Parliament-Funkadelic, Deadline reports. This is the first film in a three-image deal with Amazon to come after the success of Coming 2 America.
Best from the 70s: Over on the World of Reel, Jordan Ruimy, as asked, has nearly 150 critics to compile a ranked list of the best films of the 70s. As number one is Francis Ford Coppolas The Godfather. It’s interesting to see The Godfather achieve first place above The Godfather Part II, as the sequel is widely regarded as the masterpiece of the trilogy. I love both, but also prefer the first. One has to wonder about the recent 50th anniversary of the original Godfather last month, critics reconsidered its place among the trilogy and 70s cinema as a whole.
Other thoughts: It’s great to see Terrence Malick with two films in the top 20, and it’s humorous to see his Badlands get the same number of votes as Star wars. It’s still almost unbelievable to think that Francis Ford Coppola has four movies in the top 10 with Apocalypse now and The protection along with the first two The Godfather movie.
Tell us: What is your favorite movie from the 1970s? Tell us in the comments.
Main picture: Oscar producer Will Packer joins Good Morning America to reflect on Sunday’s Oscars, where Will Smith beat Chris Rock.