Documentary Now! and TÁR updates
Posted on
Aug 24, 2022

Documentary Now! and TÁR updates

Hi, Blanchett fans!

Here’s a few updates on Documentary Now! and TÁR.

Documentary Now

TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) has released their schedule. Documentary Now! premieres on September 10th at 9:15pm. Watch the trailer below.

Three new episodes from season four of the mockumentary series Documentary Now! — created by SNL alumni Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, and Rhys Thomas — receive their World Premiere.

In this world premiere, TIFF audiences will be the first to see three episodes from the upcoming season of Documentary Now! First up is a take on My Octopus Teacher, only this version stars English comedian Jamie Demetriou (Fleabag) as an animal-obsessed filmmaker in the episode titled “My Monkey Grifter.” Second is a warm-hearted homage to Agnès Varda, starring French actor Liliane Rovère (Call My Agent) portraying an aging director trying to recapture the thrills of her youth in “Trouver Frisson.” Third is a pet project of Cate Blanchett, who fell in love with the 1990s BBC documentary Three Salons at the Seaside, which she and co-star Harriet Walter fondly lampoon in “Two Hairdressers at Bagglyport,” about a beauty parlour full of secrets (that simultaneously evokes the Anna Wintour/Vogue doc The September Issue).

— Thom Powers, TIFF Docs Programmer

Documentary Now! TIFF Schedule. Click image to book tickets. Tickets go on sale for public on September 5th

TIFF Trailer

TÁR

According to La Biennale, press conference begins approximately at 11AM CEST. There will be two films in competition on September 1st, TÁR being the first to premiere. Todd Field has also released a director’s statement on La Biennale’s website about TÁR.

This script was written for one artist, Cate Blanchett. Had she said no, the film would have never seen the light of day. Filmgoers, amateur and otherwise, will not be surprised by this. After all, she is a master supreme.

Even so, while we were making the picture, the superhuman-skill and verisimilitude of Cate was something truly astounding to behold. She raised all boats. The privilege of collaborating with an artist of this caliber is something impossible to adequately describe.
In every possible way this is Cate’s film.

Source: TIFF, La Biennale

Lip Maestro Shade 214 & Oggi Magazine Scans
Posted on
Aug 21, 2022

Lip Maestro Shade 214 & Oggi Magazine Scans

Hi, Blanchetters!

Another video from Armani Beauty for their LIP MAESTRO Campaign has been released, this time Cate Blanchett wears shade 214 of the lipstick. We also have magazine scans from Oggi No. 34 issue.

A full length trailer for TÁR was recently rated and the length of the trailer is 2 minutes and 25 seconds. It will likely be released this week or the week after which coincides with the world premiere of the movie at Venice Film Festival.

Lip Maestro

LIP MAESTRO Shade 214

Magazine Scans

Below is a part of the magazine article that is a google translated version from Italian to English. Original text can be found on the scans.

CATE THE WOMAN WHO LOVES WOMEN

At the Venice Film Festival, Blanchett will play Lydia Tár, a conductor who falls in love with two musicians. For other performances as a lesbian she has become a gay icon. But she says: “I also played an elf, yet I’m not immortal”.

Ferragamo shoes, tailor-made suits, scarf, Van Cleef & Arpels jewels, vintage handbag on the arm, chic, unresolved and courageous, yet also revolutionary: Cate Blanchett in Carol is a bourgeois close to divorce who falls in love with a saleslady, aspiring photographer, Therese, in the 50s. No wonder that they are waiting for her at the Venice Film Festival (31 August – 10 September): critics and cinephiles and the LGBTQ + community – all of them curious and anxious for her new film Tár, in competition at #Venezia79. Blanchett is Lydia Tár, one of the greatest conductors in the world and certainly the greatest in Germany. The environment is competitive and male chauvinistic. She must always prove that she is good, that she is up to the role, that she really knows the music. Plus she falls in love with two musicians. The trailer, recently posted on the web, does not speak of all this. On the contrary, it speaks of a pandemic, of bees, of the challenges that await us. There is no life of Lydia Tár who in the trailer dresses simple, in light green and appears unadorned, the opposite of Carol, with her wavy hairstyle. Biennale Cinema keep their mouths sewn together, but there is certainly this – that Blanchett will be very good in this new role of hers with (also) a homosexual theme.

Blanchett has been a gay icon since Carol’s day, very proud of it. When she posed with Nicole Kidman in a jacket and boyish pants in 2019, the web appreciated it a lot, they had butterflies in their stomachs, loving what is called her “lesbian aesthetics”. In a video from 2020, Blanchett jokingly said aloud: “I’m a lesbian.”. It happened during Instagram live with Sarah Paulson, a pansexual, star of American Horror Story, and co-star in Mrs America. Moreover, speaking of Mrs America (which tells the story of the US feminist movement), Blanchett has remained a gay icon, although in the series she plays the ultraconservative, Phyllis Schlafly, married for 44 years to the same man and mother of six children. Practically it is the only point of contact between the two. Blanchett has been married since 1997 (25 years of marriage) to playwright Andrew Upton, a bearded gentleman who looks like everyone’s neighbor, they have four children and live at Highwell House. They also have a wing dedicated to their art collection. One of the many times she was asked about her marriage, she replied: “With my husband I won the lottery and consequently with my family.”

Oggi No. 34 – August 25th 2022
Source: Alberta Film Ratings

TÁR Premiere on September 1st #Venezia79
Posted on
Aug 16, 2022

TÁR Premiere on September 1st #Venezia79

Ciao!

Biennale Cinema has released the full schedule for this year’s film festival. TÁR will have two public screenings on September 1st — at 17:15 (Sala Grande), which marks its world premiere, and 19:00 (Palabiennale). Earliest screening is on August 31st for press and industry members only. The ticket will go on sale at 15:00 (Venice time), August 17th. You can go here to book tickets and you can check the screening schedule below.

The movie is also competing for Queer Lion’s 16th Edition. The Queer Lion Award was created as a collateral prize for the “Best Film with Homosexual & Queer Culture Contents”. Here’s an updated synopsis of the movie:

Lydia Tár is an acclaimed composer who rose to become the first female chief conductor of a German orchestra. We follow Tár during her daily life living in Berlin, leading up to the recording of her latest symphony, while her sentimental life (including a complicated tormented affair with a female cellist) clashes with and threatens her burning ambitions. Tár’s adopted daughter, the exeptionally brilliant six-year-old Petra, will turn out to be the rock Lydia needs, when everything in her life seems to start going wrong.

Screening Schedule

Public Screening

 

Press-Industry Screening

UK/Australia Season

Cate has sent another short message as ambassador of UK/AU Season.

 

Source: Biennale Cinema, Queer Lion

 

TÁR at 60th New York Film Festival
Posted on
Aug 9, 2022

TÁR at 60th New York Film Festival

Hello, everyone!

TÁR has been selected as part of the main slate lineup of the 60th New York Film Festival. The festival which is presented by Film at Lincoln Center runs from September 30th through October 16th 2022. It will take place at Lincoln Center and other venues across New York City.

The charisma and emotional precision of Cate Blanchett are put to astounding use in this deft showcase for the actor’s nearly musical artistry, a stinging portrait of a world-famous orchestra conductor’s gradual unraveling that is the first film in sixteen years from director Todd Field (In the Bedroom, Little Children).

Click image for higher resolution

It was previously announced that the movie is also part of the main competition lineup at 79th Venice Film Festival. And while there is no official announcement yet from Telluride Film Festival, Alberto Barbera, who is the artistic director at Venice Film Festival, has mentioned on an interview that TÁR is also going to that festival.

Source: NYFF

TÁR Teaser
Posted on
Jul 26, 2022

TÁR Teaser

Ciao!

We finally have a teaser for TÁR which is set to premiere at the 79th Venice Film Festival (running from August 31st-September 10th) and will be released in the US on October 7th 2022 and in the UK on January 20th 2023. The film has been selected as part of the main competition category of the festival. The other cast in the film are Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Julian Glover, Allan Corduner, and Mark Strong. The films has a running time of 158 minutes. You can watch the enigmatic teaser below.

TÁR to go to Venice & The School for Good and Evil Release Date
Posted on
Jul 22, 2022

TÁR to go to Venice & The School for Good and Evil Release Date

Happy Friday!

Some great news today, our most anticipated Cate movie this year – TÁR, will have it’s world premiere at the 79th Venice Film Festival. You can also follow the movie’s official social media accounts below. The School for Good and Evil where Cate is the narrator will drop on Netflix on October 21st 2022.

Cate Blanchett Set to Bring New Movies to Venice

Focus Features will be on the Lido with Todd Field’s “Tár,” which teams the “In the Bedroom” director with Cate Blanchett as the fictional Lydia Tár, one of the world’s greatest conductors and the first female conductor of a major German orchestra. Blanchett is a Venice regular who presided over the festival’s main jury in 2020.

Full line up of movies premiering at this year’s festival will be unveiled on July 26th with screening schedule to be released at the middle of August. The festival will run from August 31st to September 10th 2022.

You can followmovie for updates on both instagram and twitter.

Click image to follow

The School for Good and Evil

 

First look at TÁR and Borderlands shown at CinemaCon
Posted on
Apr 29, 2022

First look at TÁR and Borderlands shown at CinemaCon

Happy Friday, everyone!

Attendees of CinemaCon 2022 in Las Vegas were treated to a first look at TÁR and Borderlands which will be both released this year. There is also an additional article with interview with Cate from The Hollywood Reporter for Chaplin  Awards.

TÁR Reaction

First footage of TÁR was specifically created to be shown at the event on Wednesday (April 27th). The movie is on the upcoming slate of Focus Features and is schedule to be released on October 7th 2022.

Cate Blanchett Smokes The Competition As A World-Famous Conductor

According to Deadline, the film will follow Blanchett’s Lydia Tár, a (fictional) renowned and groundbreaking conductor who becomes the first woman to lead a major German orchestra. “Joker” composer Hildur Guðnadóttir will score the picture, while Field is writing and producing in addition to directing. Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, Julian Glover, Mark Strong, Allan Corduner, Sylvia Flote, and cellist and Royal Academy of Music alum Sophie Kauer are among the announced cast.

The film is in post-production, but CinemaCon audiences were treated to an exclusive first look at the footage so far.

The footage shown at CinemaCon was brief, albeit striking. A woman (Cate Blanchett with her face obscured) stands against a black background, slowly opening her mouth to let smoke pour out. I know, I know, smoking is bad, but Blanchett makes it look like the coolest, sexiest thing in the world. The shot is presented with a narration discussing how the pandemic has had a massive impact on our culture and belief systems.

“But there are other plagues,” the narrator says.

The narration continues, talking about nature, but the camera remains on this single shot of smoke leaving her lips, and pulsating into a strange form that continues obscuring her face. The narration takes a turn for the intense, and says that you must “stand in front of God and obliterate yourself.” Finally, the camera cuts to a different image, one of a woman conducting the orchestra. Lydia Tár may not be a real person, but whomever this woman is that Blanchett is bringing to life, seems like an absolute badass.

Official plot details about “TÁR” are scarce, but Focus Features says it’s “set in the world of classical music, starring the incomparable Cate Blanchett.”

Focus Features shows the new Todd Field movie at CinemaCon

Audiences got a look at TÁR, the first film from Todd Field (Little Children) in 16 years. Not much is known about the film just yet, only that it takes place in the world of classical music and stars Cate Blanchett. That should be enough. The footage shown at CinemaCon was created exclusively for the event and consisted of Blanchett exhaling smoke in slow motion while a monologue about the nature of power played underneath. 

Borderlands Reaction

On the last day of CinemaCon 2022, Lionsgate has presented their 2022 slate which includes Borderlands starring Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jack Black, Ariana Greenblatt and Florian Montaneau. There is no release date for the yet. Based on the reports from the attendees, a clip for Borderlands that run for one minute was shown during Lionsgate sizzle reel.

IGN Southeast Asia — The first look at the Borderlands movie was revealed at CinemaCon 2022, and it looks to be a faithful adaptation of the beloved video game franchise. While we only saw about a minute of footage, it was immediately clear that this film is set in the Borderlands universe. From the artstyle to hearing Jack Black as Claptrap to seeing Cate Blanchett as Lilith, Jamie Lee Curtis as Dr. Patricia Tannis, and Kevin Hart as Roland, all the familiar beats from Borderlands are being hit, albeit with a bit of Hollywood starpower being thrown in.

The Hollywood Reporter — The first footage for Borderlands has arrived — and just like the immensely popular video game series, it was spectacular.

The highly-anticipated film, based on the blockbuster gaming series developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K, got a sneak peek Thursday during the Lionsgate panel at CinemaCon.

Lionsgate showed approximately a minute of electric footage that showcased Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett as she’s never been seen before, in a fire-engine-red wig, toting a gun and fighting her way through a vibrantly colored cityscape. Kevin Hart also appeared as did Jack Black voicing the robot Claptrap that unexpectedly takes a bullet from Blanchett’s gun with a punchline to follow.

SlashFilm — The “Borderlands” footage came as part of a sizzle reel from Lionsgate, which also showcased footage from “The Hunger Games” prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” and the upcoming “Dirty Dancing” sequel. In the footage, we see Cate Blanchett as Lilith in a killer bright red wig, which seems worth the price of admission alone. Kevin Hart’s character Roland says, “Nothing better than a little wham, bam, thank you, man.” There’s a robot (fans of the games will recognize as Claptrap) voiced by Jack Black, who says, “Whoopsie, you accidentally shot me in the face again.”

And that’s about all there was to see! It isn’t much, just enough to give a little tease of the upcoming “Borderlands” movie, which looks like it will maintain the humorous tone of the game.

JoBlo — A small amount of footage from the live-action adaptation of Borderlands was also teased, with Bumbray saying that the colour scheme looks insane. Cate Blanchett stars as Lilith, an infamous treasure hunter with a mysterious past who reluctantly returns to her home planet to find the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B. The footage showcased Blanchett fighting across a cityscape, gun in hand, with Kevin Hart also appearing as Roland and Jack Black voicing Claptrap.

Cate Blanchett “Completely and Utterly Overwhelmed” by Chaplin Award Honor

On Monday night Cate Blanchett became the second-youngest recipient of Film at Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award. And though Blanchett is a two-time Oscar winner and has worked with Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Wes Anderson, among other luminaries, she was “completely and utterly overwhelmed,” she told The Hollywood Reporter, to have received this year’s honor.

“I don’t even know how to express it because you look at the look of previous honorees, and they’re so eclectic, but to a woman, they’re all of them are people who’ve had a deep influence on the American cultural landscape and on filmmaking at large internationally,” she added. “They’re people who I have individually revered, but collectively it’s like entering some sort of strange pantheon.”

She continued, laughing, “Hopefully, I can make it out of the building without them taking the award away from me.”

The honor is Film at Lincoln Center’s second Chaplin Award to be presented in the past 12 months, with Spike Lee receiving his honor in a delayed ceremony that took place in September.

Yet Monday night’s proceedings weren’t totally unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was announced at the top of the gala that director Todd Haynes, who was set to conduct a Q&A with Blanchett, would not be there since he had tested positive for COVID that morning. Then, the audience was told, presenter Bradley Cooper, who recently starred with Blanchett in Nightmare Alley, was also “not feeling well.” These two announcements, greeted with groans from the audience, were quickly followed by Blanchett shouting from the audience, “I’m here,” which prompted cheers.

The evening featured tributes from Scorsese, Richard Linklater, Hugh Jackman and producer Christine Vachon, who presented Blanchett with her award and shared with the audience that Haynes, though “devastated” not to be there, was apparently still feeling well enough to be frequently texting her throughout the event, wondering what they were doing. Film Comment co-deputy editor Devika Girish filled in for Haynes.

Prior to the gala, Film at Lincoln Center president Lesli Klainberg shared that despite Blanchett perhaps not being old enough for a lifetime achievement award, she had amassed enough impressive, diverse work over her nearly 30 years in the industry to make her worthy of this honor.

“I think Cate really embodies a really extraordinary artist of this time who has worked in independent films; she has worked on studio films; she works on blockbuster studio films,” Klainberg told THR. “The extraordinary variety of directors that she’s worked with, it’s just amazing to think about how many of the finest directors of our time she has been able to work with and all of her projects — we felt that she was also a person who was so active still, still working—this is not intended as an end of your career award.”

As for what’s next for her, Blanchett said she doesn’t have a particular type of project she hasn’t done that she wants to do, but she looks forward to getting a “strange ask.”

“I always think that the job I just finished is my last, and I will finally go and grow orchids in my greenhouse,” she said of her career plans. “I guess if I look back, it’s that I’ve always gravitated towards the strange ask or the ask that’s just an antidote to what I’ve done in some way. It’s an undeniable ask, and the directors I’ve worked with have usually made those asks of me. Not necessarily that I’ve achieved what I’ve wanted to achieve through that role or that production or that they have either, but the ask has been really undeniable.”

Sources: SlashFilm-TAR, JoBlo-TAR, THR-Borderlands, IGN, SlashFilm-Borderlands, JoBlo-Borderlands, THR

Stateless wins at Screen Producers Australia Award; & New Magazine Scan
Posted on
Mar 30, 2022

Stateless wins at Screen Producers Australia Award; & New Magazine Scan

Hi, everyone!

Slow news day on Cate but Stateless won at this year’s (SPA) Screen Producers Australia’s Award. Stateless is based on the idea by Cate, she is a co-creator and co-executive producer on the series. The series is available to stream on Netflix (outside Australia). There’s also a new magazine scan from Palace Scope.

Screen Producers Australia Awards 2022 Winners

“Every year, the SPA Awards are an acknowledgement of Australian screen industry excellence, uplifting diverse, locally-made productions with cultural impact and worldwide reach. Alongside the Queensland Government as Principal Partners, Screen Queensland is proud to have brought Screen Forever back to the Gold Coast — a globally renowned screen industry hub and a dazzling setting for tonight’s celebrations,” said Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich.

“SPA members continuously raise the global bar for creativity and skillful producing, and tonight that talent was on full show. The task at hand is storytelling, and the winners of our 2022 Awards take this task seriously. They understand the significance of their work and the contribution it makes to the Australian economy, generating jobs for local creatives, and showcasing Australia and its unique heritage to millions around the world,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.

Telemovie or Mini-Series Production of the Year (Tie)
• A Sunburnt Christmas – Every Cloud Productions
• Alice-Miranda Friends Forever – SLR Productions
• Hungry Ghosts – Matchbox Pictures
• Operation Buffalo – Porchlight Films
Stateless – Matchbox Pictures
• The Gloaming – The Two Jons
• The Secrets She Keeps – Lingo Pictures
• The Unusual Suspects – Aquarius Films

Palace Scope – March 23rd 2022

Source: TVTonight

Cate Blanchett on Perfect Magazine
Posted on
Mar 22, 2022

Cate Blanchett on Perfect Magazine

Hi, everyone!

Cate has been featured as one of the covers on Perfect Issue Two. You can read the accompanying interview with the photoshoot below. A few film posters are also made. The magazine is available to purchase here.

Perfect Issue Two


Perfect Issue Two – 2022 (Scans)

Towards the end of a brief, if instructive, telephone exchange with Cate Blanchett, the actress drops in a small life detail which explains a sizeable corner of her story. Blanchett has an unblemished media profile. She is loved by audiences and industry alike for her work, while left alone to her private life without seeming either cautious or guarded. She has spoken up on weighty issues while appearing neither sanctimonious nor overly punctilious. She is allowed both a sense of humour and circumspect seriousness, knowing as if by instinct exactly when to powerfully deploy both.

So our conversation begins with a genial exchange about her loyal, old, incontinent dog, Fletcher, who is starting to develop some other old-man issues.

‘I watched The Father again the other day,’ she says breezily. ‘It’s such a beautiful film and the performances are all so perfect. I’ve started to call our Labrador Anthony because he has dementia. As in Hopkins.’

He doesn’t sound like the easiest pet.

‘I know. But I love him. I adore him. Now that we’ve all turned our Zoom cameras off and resorted to the old-fashioned telephone – which is a relief, frankly – I was having quite a high-powered conversation with someone. It went silent and so I had to ask, “What has happened to you?’”And she had to say, “The cat’s just been sick in my hand.”’

It is the week before Christmas, 2021. Blanchett has just wrapped Todd Field’s Tár, an experimental film about the first German female orchestra conductor, a script she describes as ‘undeniable’. Her latest theatrical release, Don’t Look Up, a talking-point satire on the climate catastrophe with a peerlessly starry cast, is about to drop onto Netflix on Christmas Eve. It has yet to split opinion directly down the middle. Within seven days of talking to her, it turns into the cultural touchstone of this year’s festivities, the film on which everyone must have an opinion. Again, it is the kind of perfect social media storm from which Cate Blanchett has somehow managed to stay eternally, imperviously at arm’s length.

I’d asked the actor if she kept a journal throughout her work, making personal records of her professional experience. Blanchett has been central to some of the most profound cinema of the late movie age, her portfolio taking in both epic blockbusters and arthouse curios with an even hand, bringing something unique and imperceptible to both. Her best performances, in Todd Haynes’ Carol, for which she was Oscar-nominated, and Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, for which she won, mine a tricky vein of human behaviour, lodged somewhere at the sticking point between repression and expression, a point where neither quite triumphs.

She is one of the big screen’s few certainties at a time when cinema’s crown is slipping, as the medium resistantly twists from collective, committed experience to more spurious, dip-in-dip-out home entertainment. Blanchett is primed to have documented this epoch in detail. Her production company moved deftly into television with the startling birth-of-US-feminism story, Mrs America, and she has enjoyed a five-year tenure as an artistic director at the Sydney Theatre Company. Yet she will always be most revered for becoming as trusted a pair of performance hands as Hollywood knows.

Has she kept a diary throughout it all?

She laughs aloud. ‘Hahaha, I wish.’

One of Blanchett’s great professional skills is to give complicated material a strangely relatable twist, to find the human burrowed away in the emblematic. I first noticed her do it in The Talented Mr Ripley, when she played romantic deception and being taken for a fool with skittish ire rather than boo-hoo breakdown. The script could have gone either way.

In Don’t Look Up she plays a daytime TV host with toxic bleached hair and figure-hugging scarlet skirt suit who treats the impending end of the earth as oddly sexual. The film has been criticised for some of its broadsides. Blanchett is categorically not one of them. It is Blanchett’s character who notices the hotness of Leonardo DiCaprio’s space scientist behind the beard, christening him an AILF (‘astronomer I’d like to fuck’). With finely honed, demented determination, she manifests the action speedily, decisively and with some enviable truculence. Again, it feels like a new performance route, underlining the transactional nature of sex among high-flying professionals.

‘I have an actor friend,’ she says, on the subject of keeping a personal record of work. ‘A male friend. He was very studious about that. Back in the days when you put cuttings in scrap books, he was always about recording the things that he had done, probably to make them real for himself. In a way, it was controlling it.’ She doesn’t specify who the actor was. ‘Ultimately, I think he was quite interested in legacy. Whereas I’m more interested in the experience. I don’t know. I think it’s all quite ephemeral and random. It’s not for me to record those things.’

She pauses politely, but the point is made. Her career is about getting good work done, not celebrating the fact that good work has been done.

‘Maybe I should?’ she asks, flipping into the conversation the possibility that she might have been getting her attitude to work wrong all this time. To which one can only respond: as if.

For awards season 2022, Cate Blanchett has two steady horses in the race. The first is Don’t Look Up, the first full commercial crossover from the politically minded director, Adam McKay. Its contention has been utterly delightful, suggesting it will be the one film from 2021’s patchy cinema sketchbook that we may still be talking about in 2041. McKay uses some of his collaged, found-material signature style and abstract taste for pricking pomposity to propel an energetic story about a meteorite heading towards earth.

McKay’s move to major-league director has had deep audience repercussions, which may yet come to help or hinder its reception at The Academy. It hardly matters. Whichever side of the Don’t Look Up fence you sit on – for what it’s worth, I loved it – the film’s prominence during a cultural year dominated with the reheated leftovers of the late 20th-century mass market (Abba, West Side Story, The Beatles, Dune, James Bond etc) arrived like a breath of fresh air. As another year trundled to its slow, diseased end, at least someone was talking about something that mattered in the here and now.

Blanchett’s second awards contender is the delightfully prickly Nightmare Alley, a story of one man’s complete moral collapse – already notorious prior to release for a brief first cinematic sighting of leading man Bradley Cooper’s penis in an early bathtub scene. It is the virtuoso cineaste Guillermo del Toro’s follow-up to his atypically sweet-natured fantasia The Shape of Water, the last Oscar-winning Best Picture prior to Covid. Del Toro is back to his noir finest with the picture, letting his visual imagination run wild, this time in the mis-en-scène of a mid-century circus.

Blanchett’s co-stars in both, besides Cooper and DiCaprio, read like a roll-call of modern screen celebrity: Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Kid Cudi, Tyler Perry, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Defoe, Ron Perlman, David Strathairn. The actress says she selects work starting with the director.

‘In the end, when people ask “what sort of roles do you want to play?” I have no idea,’ she notes. ‘It’s about the arc and what comes along. If Guillermo asks you to do something, you say “absolutely – what do you want me to do?” It’s about being part of that conversation, you know?’ She felt the same about McKay. ‘I thought that was a story that I wanted to be a part of telling. That was a director I wanted to work with. The cast evolved to be, like Nightmare Alley, extraordinary. But it all starts with the director. It’s a double whammy.’

Del Toro had been attached to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the films which sent Blanchett’s star astral in the early 2000s, before being replaced by Peter Jackson. ‘By the time I came along it was back in the hands of Peter, so I don’t know what happened there,’ she says. ‘But I think that Guillermo had been there for a while, that was the early stages. We’d been talking for a while about working together. There was talk of a television series, one thing and another several years ago, which didn’t come about. It was so wonderful to finally make something together. Without wanting to sound pretentious, I was so excited to be a part of Guillermo’s cinematic vision.’

She describes Nightmare Alley as ‘first and foremost about this self-made monster’. Cooper plays Stanton Carlisle, a hot, shady brute with Indiana Jones headgear and a past, who arrives at a carnival to teach himself the skills of the circus. As he leaves the fair to make his way in the city with his belle on his arm, he encounters Blanchett’s Lilith, a sly, vampish psychoanalyst who spots a phoney. She determines to untangle the immaculately ruthless showman Stan has become; to reveal, like the Wizard in Oz, the charlatan beneath.

‘There are three very different types of women that Stan encounters,’ says Blanchett. ‘He encounters almost a mother figure [Colette], an innocent [Mara] and then an ambiguous, unknowable, world-weary woman [Blanchett] with dark secrets and untold damage. Each of the women and each of those relationships are quite particular. I hope I fulfilled that function.’

She says the moment she stepped on set she was absorbed into the world of Del Toro’s twisted imagination. ‘Oh, totally. I spent all my time, really, with Bradley in one room. That room, when the doors shut, was just us.’ They make spectacular sparring partners, attempting to outsmart one another in a series of balletically choreographed psychosexual set-pieces. ‘There was no need for bits of green-screen. No wondering how the film might come to life. No worrying that you might not feel it. It’s intimate. All of those details are there for you. It’s not like somebody else comes along and inspects the set. Guillermo is over every single detail.’

Even at script-reading stage, the wonderfully dystopian world of Nightmare Alley was alive to her. ‘The thrust of the scenes and their function within the whole narrative is really clear. You get the reader’s script and [are] compelled by the narrative. In terms of the detail of the dialogue, that was finessed on the set.’ She describes working for Del Toro as a surprisingly fluid affair. ‘Really, he’s incredibly open to seeing how the actors might want to move in the space. For Bradley and I, all of our stuff happens in that one office. It was a luxury in a way. We got to work it out. There were a specific number of scenes we had together – how does that feel? How does it move? How does it look?’ Hearing her process is both engaging and informative. ‘We were constantly playing and rehearsing, even when we were shooting.‘

Blanchett is gifted the best line of the film as her exit, while wrapped in a telephone wire. ‘From memory, I think that came up on the day,’ she says. ‘I was being strangled by a cord but not wanting to make it a purely violent scene, to make it complicated. The character of Lilith really pushes Stan to the edge. She wants him to reveal the things that make him who he truly is so that he can see who he truly is. He can’t hide from himself any more. When he starts to really become that weak, that’s the most terrifying part of the journey for him. But she has to push him that far at her own peril.’ Viewers will be routinely forgiven for spotting an allegory for old Hollywood in the story.

The part of Lilith is almost quintessentially Cate Blanchett, feeling at once as if it is lifted from another time and place, a golden age of cinema which she could have quite happily glided through; hair set just so, red lips immaculately applied. She avers at the observation. ‘I don’t know what that is. What does that mean?’

It’s almost super-you.

‘Super-me? I don’t know if that’s an insult or a compliment.’

Rarely does Blanchett sound as in control of a conversation than when she undercuts herself. It’s quite the skill.

Cate Blanchett was one of the earliest voices in cinema to speak up on the disasters of the environment. As her fame escalated, she brought her conscience along for the ride. Her role in Don’t Look Up brings with it a depth and acuity few others could offer in her steely interpretation of the tin-eared newscaster. ‘I think actors are hungry for big stories,’ she says. ‘I think audiences are, too. I don’t mean big stories that are long. I just mean high stakes. Big images where you can dispense with language. In a way, narrative can be suspended, almost.’

Few issues come bigger than the climate, yet so little art is made about it. ‘Yes,’ she says conclusively. ‘I don’t know that there’s been a moment in history that has been this collectively faced, where culturally it hasn’t been addressed.’

The great abandonment of the climate by the arts might be attributable to the idea of the end of the world being such a trope in film already. Every superhero narrative follows an arc of a threat to the world and the superpower who can save it. ‘The end of the world has always been shrouded in notions of the future, whereas the end of the world now feels possible in the near present. It’s very hard to find a laugh or be transported by it. And Adam has somehow been able to.’

With Don’t Look Up, McKay has fashioned the definition of an iron fist in a velvet glove. It has tapped nerves for all the right reasons. ‘Climate change itself gets addressed in essays and long-form journalism and journals, but artists themselves have not yet addressed it through narrative or fiction or works of cinema.’ Cate Blanchett understands the reasoning. ‘I think it’s because it’s become, unfortunately, a political battleground. So somehow, if you discuss it or imagine a way of setting a story within that landscape, it automatically becomes agit-prop.‘

Protesting war is sexy. Protesting injustice and prejudice is righteous. Protesting the planet is complicated, murky and enormous. ‘Where Adam has come so far is by making a film that’s about climate change that is not about climate change. And it’s funny and it’s witty and it’s really, ultimately incredibly moving.’

It is also prescient. ‘Every two or three weeks I’d text him when something new happened,’ she explains. ‘You know, there was a point where a meteorite was coming close to the earth’s orbit? And I said, “Did you have a crystal ball?” He wrote this and we were meant to film it pre-pandemic. Then it got pushed and pushed and pushed. He imagined all of this. He had this in his mind for quite some time. I find that kind of incredible, actually.’

The reason Cate Blanchett has a blemish-free media slate is mostly because she has a blemish-free belief in the power of storytelling.

What has acting taught her about the extremes of the human condition?

‘That you can’t rule anything out. You know, we often behave in quite unexpected ways in extreme conditions.’

She plucks an example from the air. ‘It’s like when the car’s about to crash. You expect screaming and yelling, but everyone is suddenly quite calm. There’s quiet. Often, we behave in polar opposite ways than we would anticipate. I think that everything’s up for grabs at the moment, because we are in such an unprecedented world. Though we should have seen it coming, of course, the situation of a species that we have all been through, no matter what our socioeconomic standing or our economic loss or our uncertainty. I think we’re all alive to behaving in ways that are surprising to other people, but also to ourselves.’

Perfect Issue Two – Film Posters

Source: Perfect

Cate Blanchett podcast interviews; & conversation with Bradley Cooper
Posted on
Jan 21, 2022

Cate Blanchett podcast interviews; & conversation with Bradley Cooper

Happy Friday, blanchetters!

We continue to get awesome interviews with Cate as part of promotion for Nightmare Alley. Searchlight Pictures released new interview with Cate and Bradley Cooper. She also talked about Don’t Look Up and her upcoming projects. Sirius XM uploaded another short video which was part of the podcast interview with them. Listen to the podcast interviews below. Beware of spoilers, especially at the second half of the conversation with Bradley Cooper!

Cate Blanchett on playing a murderous psychoanalyst in Nightmare Alley

‘It’s about unlocking the human monster’: The actor discusses her role in Guillermo del Toro’s new film noir, which takes us into the bizarre world of carnivals

Guillermo del Toro is known for his grotesque creations. In Pan’s Labyrinth, the Mexican director dreamed up a child-eating demon with eyes in its palms; in Cronos, a vampire licks blood off a public bathroom’s floor. For his 11th feature, Nightmare Alley, his first without fantastical elements, del Toro deploys the noir genre to showcase a new type of monster: Cate Blanchett as a psychoanalyst with a murderous edge.

Mixing fraud with Freud, Lilith Ritter (Blanchett) upends the 1940s-set thriller on its painterly head. For the first hour, Stan (Bradley Cooper) toils at a carnival before fleeing with a romantic partner, Molly (Rooney Mara). He then moonlights as a mentalist, faking an ability to read wealthy minds – except Lilith can out-scheme a schemer. In 1999, Blanchett depicted a naïve socialite who’s duped in The Talented Mr Ripley; two decades later, Lilith may as well be renamed The Talented Ms Ritter.

“Guillermo, more than any other director, is fascinated by monsters,” Blanchett, 52, tells me over the phone from London in mid-January. “But in this one, it’s about unlocking the human monster. There’s a dark, monstrous creature inside Bradley that he’s in absolute denial of. My character encourages him to face that monster. It’s a dance of death. She knows that one of them’s going to be destroyed by it.”

Del Toro is the second director to adapt William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel for the screen. In the book, Gresham wrote that Lilith bears “the smile of a well-fed kitten” and laughs with “the bark of a fox”; in del Toro’s screenplay, which he penned with Kim Morgan, Lilith is “an icy woman of indeterminate age”. Helen Walker’s interpretation in the 1947 movie is more of a fake friend – a nightmare ally, if you will.

“Hopefully Lilith is an enigma,” Blanchett says. “Someone who’s completely unknowable. Anyone who’s been in psychoanalysis is desperately trying to unlock the recesses of their therapist’s mind. It’s a magnetic pull, because they seem to be like the Sphinx – they hold the answer to all the riddles they ask you. But in the end, they hold a mirror up to yourself.”

In a jagged, microphone-rigged office decorated like an image from a captcha test, Lilith welcomes Stan into her lair. As she treats numerous upper-class patients, Lilith provides Stan with their deepest, most sordid secrets, enabling him to continue his con; often these exchanges unfold in whispers, both leaning in for a kiss but settling for a flirtatious, breathy conversation that, coincidentally, propels the story along. At circuses, a geek – a performer who bites live chickens – is typically an alcoholic in need of booze; here, the psychoanalyst drip-feeds Stan with sex and romance, knowing he’ll do anything if the affection suddenly evaporates.

Then again, Lilith feeds off Stan, too, because everyone in Nightmare Alley self-medicates. It could be opium, it could be love. “Or maybe it’s acting!” Blanchett interjects. “The set was incredibly claustrophobic. I didn’t leave that office for four weeks. It’s like I was in the Amber Room, buried three storeys underground. Apart from the Copacabana, you never see her outside, whereas Stanley’s out in the world. He’s an instrument. A blunt instrument, unfortunately. She’s hoping he’s a Stradivarius, but it turns out he’s just an Okie with straight teeth.”

Blanchett is both a modern A-lister – her recent credits include a Leo DiCaprio-seducing TV host in Don’t Look Up, and the CGI-contorting Hela in Thor: Ragnarok – and a performer suited to period pieces. Comfortable as a young Bob Dylan in I’m Not There and Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator, Blanchett inhabits Lilith as a classical femme fatale of the black-and-white era. “But normally the motivations of a femme fatale are in service of the plot, whereas I felt with Lilith there’s a higher purpose to it. Stan believes his lies, and my character is trying to unlock the truth in all its terrifying hideousness.”

Because I welcomed Blanchett “into my office” at the start of the phone call, the interview is littered with references as to how I’m the Lilith Ritter of our chat – until I describe Lilith’s voice as seductive and motherly. “Ooh, seductive and motherly,” she says. “Does that say more about you or me? Who’s on the couch now! Well, I think the room’s a psychic space as much as a physical office. It was important to have a voice that felt like it was inside Stan’s head, because he’s in such denial about who he is, what’s motivating him, and his ineptitude.” She also sought to create a hybrid between how people speak now and in the forties. “Hopefully the voice is timeless.”

In 2019, Stanley Kubrick’s assistant, Leon Vitali, revealed that Blanchett did uncredited voice work on Eyes Wide Shut. When Tom Cruise attends the orgy, the masked woman played by Abigail Good was overdubbed by Blanchett. “That happened after the fact,” she recalls. “I wasn’t allowed to see the film. It’s always a strange thing, when you’re asked to voice somebody else.”

So were Cruise and Nicole Kidman, who both recommended Blanchett, searching for someone vocally seductive (the character is nude) and motherly (she also rescues Cruise)? “They didn’t use the word ‘motherly’.” So just seductive? “Yeah. I mean, if you look at the sequence, it’s very strange and dreamlike and otherworldly – and a psychic space. Maybe that’s what they were after.”

In Britain, BAFTA longlisted Blanchett for Don’t Look Up; in America, SAG nominated her for Nightmare Alley. When I ask if there’s a cultural divide, she opts to skip the question and instead emphasise that Nightmare Alley is intended for the big screen. “It’s cinematic,” she continues. “There’s nothing like sitting with strangers in the dark, watching things. A master like Guillermo, having big, big, epic thoughts, in all of this glorious visual wonderment? It’s delicious.” Do people in the UK have a moral duty to see it in theatres? “A moral duty? Uh… OK, I’ll let you say that. That’s a good one.”

However, Blanchett describes Nightmare Alley, and its deconstruction of the American Dream, as a topical film, even if it’s set in the forties. “But it couldn’t be further from agitprop. It’s set in a circus and a world that feels familiar but strange. It provides us with a space, in an entertaining way, to reflect on what’s going on, without having it banged over our heads.”

So if it gets remade in 50 years’ time when the planet is underwater, will it still resonate? “Guillermo might be right for that remake – he’s good with underwater creatures. Look, you can’t view anything at the moment without reflecting on what we’re going through as a species. But this had been brewing for Guillermo and Kim for quite a long time. He’s really obsessed with how monstrous we’ve become when we start to believe our own lies. And that feels like an incredibly resonant theme to explore.”

The Pat Kenny Show

5 Minutes On – Cate Blanchett – “how we’ve lost the meaning of truth”

The Australian’s latest role as a psychoanalyst in Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’ has already secured her a nomination at next month’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. The film is a neo-noir psychological thriller set in the 1940s about a conman, played by Bradley Cooper, who starts believing his own lie. Cate Blanchett thinks it’s a theme that will resonate in today’s world, in which she says the truth has been politicised – and the confusion between fact and fiction has created a challenging environment for us all. For 5 Minutes On, she’s been talking to our entertainment correspondent, Colin Paterson, about the film, the future of cinema – and how during lockdown the only way she could engage her seven-year-old in home schooling was to dress up as her teacher and impersonate her voice.

 

BBC

Cate Blanchett on Her Double Oscar Buzz, Skipping ‘Ricardos’ and New Pedro Almodóvar Movie

Cate Blanchett delivers two outstanding performances that are both in the awards conversation this year: “Don’t Look Up” and “Nightmare Alley.” The star shepherds grace and a hypnotic trance that has the viewer hanging on every single word she releases.

With another impressive turn in Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up,” Blanchett is a contender in what is easily our strongest field of supporting actress contenders in the last 30 years. Blanchett was shortlisted at BAFTA for “Don’t Look Up,” and also picked up a SAG Award nod for Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley.”

Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast recently spoke with Blanchett about her double dip in the awards arena this season, and having to turn down the role of Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos,” which ultimately went to Nicole Kidman. Plus, the Australian actor talks about her next project with Pedro Almodóvar and why she thinks it’s important to get back to movie theaters.

In what was reported exclusively on Variety, Blanchett will next work with Almodóvar on “A Manual for Cleaning Women,” his first English-language feature, which she will star in and also produce.

She also discusses her other upcoming movies like “TÁR” from Todd Field, “Pinocchio” from Guillermo del Toro and “Borderlands” from Eli Roth. Another possible project in the works is Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis,” which she’s been rumored to be circling alongside other stars such as Oscar Isaac and Zendaya. Isaac was said to be in discussions to play Desi Arnaz in Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos” around the time that Blanchett was being eyed to play Lucille Ball.

“It became the movie it needed to be,” she says of what ultimately transpired with “Ricardos.” “Those things happen in the right way, at the right time. In the best possible way, you don’t always envisage the same thing; and then it goes on to become a different entity.” As for the possibility of working with Coppola she says, “When Francis calls, you just have to say yes. Because you’re on the epic, life-changing adventure ride. You’re on that roller coaster. I’m ready for that.”

“Don’t Look Up” is distributed by Netflix and is now streaming on the platform. “Nightmare Alley” is distributed by Searchlight Pictures and is now playing in theaters.

 — Variety

Sirius XM