Category: TV Shows

Documentary Now! episode starring Cate Blanchett: New content

Documentary Now! episode starring Cate Blanchett: New content

Hello everyone!

We have a new still and a couple of details about the Documentary Now episode starring Cate Blanchett entitled “Waiting for the artist”. Enjoy! The episode “Waiting for the Artist,” is set to air on IFC, March 6.



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[…] In the case of “Waiting for the Artist,” a riff on the Marina Abramovi? documentary “The Artist Is Present,” the process involved coming up with several decades’ worth of performance-art pieces, replete with photographs and performance videos shot on period equipment. Ms. Blanchett went through 13 wigs in four days.

“She provided some of her own costumes,” says Mr. Thomas. “She really met us on the plane of obsessive detail.”
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MEYERS: Yeah! They said, “Who is your dream for this?” and that was the answer, and they came back and said she was in (laughs). That was surreal. But because we all of a sudden weren’t just picking things that we thought Bill and Fred could be good at, we could just take any documentary and just cast based on what fit best. Obviously no one has more range than Bill and Fred, but there are still limits to that range and certainly Cate Blanchett’s a good example of how it would not have been the same if it was still a Bill and Fred only show.

It’s worked out. I miss Bill and I miss Fred in half the episodes, but it’s great to see people like Cate Blanchett or Michael Keaton in this. What’s the process of choosing the documentaries like? Does that happen before you cast the people I guess?

MEYERS: Yeah I mean Far Side was a holdover from Season 2 as far as an idea, but then everything else was new business. And then it was just trying to find things that felt unique versus previous seasons, so we’d never done a sports documentary which led to bowling, and we felt the art world would be a fun place to look which led to Waiting for the Artist.

I wanted to get into a couple of the episodes specifically. Without spoiling the ending, I’ll just say that Waiting for the Artist is very carefully constructed and the punchline is amazing. How did you hit upon the ending, and how was that one put together?

MEYERS: I really like The Artist Is Present, but there’s not really a narrative thrust other than just, “Here’s her career. Here’s the show.” And in the early drafts of it we felt it was lacking a narrative arc, because the reality is a lot of Abramovic’s art is pretty hilarious to begin with, so to do different versions of it felt a little one for one (laughs). We started watching other art documentaries and building out the character of Fred and sort of making that a character that, while you were paying attention to one thing, we managed to lay in that there was another thing happening, which is it wasn’t just a retrospective but it was also sort of a story about how even women who are incredible artists and you think have power, there’s always gonna be some guy who’s fucking it up for them (laughs). And again it was a perfect role for Fred to bring alive.

I’m fascinated by selling Cate Blanchett on this. I know she’s done comedy before, but this is such a silly and funny idea. Were there any discussions beforehand or anything?

MEYERS: I only heard she said yes (laughs). Really, three days after I said her name she said she was in. I had never met her and we sat down in New York for coffee one morning. I had heard she wanted to have coffee and so I went into it prepared to get her notes and hear what she wanted to do with it, but the only way to describe it was totally game. She had a take on how to play it, but she didn’t have any issues or suggestions for the script. Obviously if you watch it it’s like your dream for being a writer on it or for the directors of it, she just jumped in with both feet. It’s just a joy to watch. You think that there has to be this really protracted negotiation to get somebody like Cate Blanchett, but one of the things she told me was, “No one really asks me to do stuff like this.” And you realize sometimes you’ve just gotta take a risk and realize that somebody like Cate Blanchett’s just waiting for the day to go to Budapest and shoot for five days to make a fake documentary (laughs).

I mean she seemed to have a blast making Thor: Ragnarok. I think it’s funny that a lot of people think actors of her caliber aren’t interested in silly comedy, but clearly this shows her range.

MEYERS: It’s really true. There is something similar with the way she performs in Thor, which is, “Oh this is somebody who really likes to have fun.” Sometimes people who are as great an actor as she is, people just assume, “Oh what she does must be so arduous,” but the reality is to get a part like this or to get a part in Thor must just be such a relief to her to just let loose and have a great time.
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[…]the episode from this season that I will re-watch, and that deepened my engagement with the documentary form, is “Waiting for the Artist,” in which Cate Blanchett guest-stars as the performance artist Izabella Barta. Blanchett perfectly captures an essence of Marina Abramovic, who allowed a crew to follow her as she staged her MoMA retrospective for the 2012 film The Artist Is Present. The self-aggrandizing mission statements, the anxiety meltdowns as the show nears, the abstruse declarations about the purpose of performance art—Blanchett mimics all of these. Famous Barta pieces include “Gender Roles on Spin Cycle,” in which she sits inside an industrial dryer; “Domesticated,” in which she drinks from a bowl of milk on the floor while she screams “I am human!” over and over to a cat; and “Ein Tag, Ein Frankfurter,” in which she eats only one hot dog, very slowly, every day for a year as a way to process a breakup.
These pieces seem absurd, but no more than many that Abramovic really staged throughout her career. Consider “Carrying the Skeleton,” in which she hoisted a skeleton on her back and walked around with it as a way to show that she was confronting grief. In her real MoMA show, Abramovic sat in a gallery of the museum all day, allowing members of the public to sit across from her and experience her presence. Many cried, or said they had spiritual revelations. In Documentary Now!, Blanchett stages the same sort of experience, except it takes place in a sculpture of a public bathroom, in which patrons pass toilet paper to her underneath a stall (many cry, many have spiritual revelations). It is not that the episode doesn’t take performance art seriously; it simply suggests that perhaps Abramovic’s work has always been in dialogue with comedy.?

In real life, Abramovic often worked with her longtime lover, Ulay. When they broke up, they made the separation official by staging a grand performance of meeting each other to say goodbye in the middle of the Great Wall of China. In “Waiting for the Artist,” Armisen plays the Ulay character, here named Dimo, a provocateur who is constantly trying to take credit for Izabella’s work and admits that he was cheating on her while she was ascetically devoted to her art. Abramovic had an emotional reunion with Ulay in her documentary, when he sat across from her and grabbed her hand in the museum. The parody offers no such closure. Instead, it allows Barta to humiliate Dimo in such a public and emasculating way (which I won’t spoil here) that the episode almost doubles as a radical work of feminist art.[…]

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[…] Take the season’s biggest swing in terms of guest star casting: Two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, playing a variant of performance artist Marina Abramovi? in “Waiting For The Artist.” Armisen and Hader have both demonstrated that they can play women at a level that defies easy labels like “parody,” but it’d still be hard to swallow a tale of female artistic empowerment like this—especially from a creative team so overwhelmingly white and male—without a woman of commanding skill in the leading role. And because we haven’t seen Blanchett play any other characters on the show, it short-circuits the little voice in the back of your head that whispers “That’s such a Hader part” every time he shows up on the screen. Instead, she simply is Abramovi?—or rather, Izabella Barta, creator of such modern-art masterpieces as the blatantly self-harming “Bucket” series. (It doesn’t hurt that Blanchett is unsurprisingly gifted at feeding the silliness of her characters’ artistic ideas without ever sacrificing her dignity and humanity in the process.) Buono and Thomas frequently discuss pulling their writers back from the urge to make the show a cavalcade of jokes, ruining the reality of its carefully crafted universes. Casting an actress of Blanchett’s skill in the part achieves a similar effect: By forcibly giving up the comfort of Hader’s comic skills, the show’s third season of fake documentaries feels “realer” than anything that’s come before.
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Some Reviews

The New Season of Documentary Now! Is So Canny, You Might Forget It’s Satire

*Documentary Now! Is So Much More Than Parody

*‘Documentary Now!’ Season 3 Review: Musicals, Cults, and Bowling Make for a Hilarious, Diverse Run

*With Season 3, ‘Documentary Now’ Continues to be the Best (and Most Sorely Overlooked) Television Comedy for Cinephiles
Huge thanks to the fans from CBF Chat for sharing these infos with us!!!

*IFC’s Basically Perfect ‘Documentary Now!’ Is Back For Season 3, Thank God

*Documentary Now! An ode to the funniest spoof on television

*TV Review: Documentary Now! Season 3 Presents Another Festival of Uproarious Mockumentaries

*How Documentary Now! Spoofs Male Genius

Documentary Now! episode featuring Cate Blanchett to air March 6

Documentary Now! episode featuring Cate Blanchett to air March 6

Hi everyone!

We have few updates on Documentary Now!. The episode “Waiting for the Artist,” featuring Cate Blanchett and Armisen in a spoof of “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present” is set to air on IFC, March 6 at 11 p.m. Also there is new footage available (check below) and few comments from the directors. Special thanks for CBF Chat members for sharing these infos with us!


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Whether jumping onto canvas covered in blue paint, screaming “I AM HUMAN” while eating off the floor, or writhing blindly across broken glass and barbed wire with a bucket on her head, Izabella Barta (Cate Blanchett) is the most acclaimed performance artist of our generation. Now, on the eve of a career retrospective, she faces her greatest challenge: a signature performance worthy of her storied career. With weeks to go before opening, a provocative figure in her life returns to complicate things: her former collaborator and lover Dimo (Fred Armisen), the so-called “prankster of the art world.”

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[…] Thomas says Cate Blanchett also enjoyed the fast pace of “Documentary Now!” shooting. Instead of waiting for hours in her trailer while technicians changed the light, for example, Blanchett would “just come and do it, put this wig on, get in there, we’re done. It’s just very fast.”

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Documentary Now! – Premiere Date and New Stills

Documentary Now! – Premiere Date and New Stills

Hello Everyone!

We have news from “Documentary Now!”, the first two episodes of the new season will have their premiere during Sundance Film Festival on Sunday January 27, 2019 and will later be released on IFC on February 20, 2019. We have also added two new stills to our gallery, enjoy!

About

An anthology of lovingly crafted homages to documentary films ranging from esoteric niche works to beloved cultural touchstones, Documentary Now! has perfected the art of capturing the details, tone, and characters that set their source material apart. After the screening, cast and creators will share their insights into these two episodes from the upcoming season and about the game of paying loving homage to documentary filmmaking.

Documentary Now! Waiting for the Artist
Internationally acclaimed performance artist Izabella Barta is preparing for a major career retrospective in “Documentary Now! Waiting for the Artist,” with Cate Blanchett channeling Marina Abramovi?. As she works to create a worthy centerpiece, Barta surprises both her critics and supporters by inviting her former lover and collaborator to the exhibit’s premiere.

Documentary Now! Original Cast Album: Co-Op
Taking on both Pennebaker and Sondheim, “Documentary Now! Original Cast Album: Co-Op” chronicles the all-night recording of a cast album for the ill-fated 1970 Broadway musical Co-Op. Taran Killam, John Mulaney, and James Urbaniak play producers overseeing the session, with a cast determined to do right by a musical about tenement housing.

CATEGORY Special Events

RUN TIME 82 min

Click on the image to download the HQ version available in the gallery

Click on the image to download the HQ version available in the gallery

For tickets and more information, visit the Sundance Film Festival website by clicking here.

Documentary Now: Poster, Stills and Sundance Preview

Documentary Now: Poster, Stills and Sundance Preview

Hello dear Blanchetters, we have the first images from Documentary Now! The episode featuring Cate – Waiting for the Artist – will debut at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival to be screened later on IFC on February 20, 2019. Enjoy!




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Documentary Now! Season 52 Preview
The documentary series returns. Celebrate the art of nonfiction storytelling as the creators of Documentary Now! present two new films: “Waiting for the Artist”, starring Cate Blanchett and Fred Armisen, and “Original Cast Album: Co-op”, starring John Mulaney, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Alex Brightman, Paula Pell, Richard Kind and Taran Killam. Post screenings, they will share their insights into these two episodes from the upcoming season and about the game of paying loving homage to documentary filmmaking.

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The festival program will be revealed soon on the official site.

First Look: Cate Blanchett as Izabella Barta in “Documentary Now!”

First Look: Cate Blanchett as Izabella Barta in “Documentary Now!”

Hello Blanchetters!

As we previously announced, Cate will start in an episode from the upcoming season of “Documentary Now!“; she will guest star as a Marina Abramovic-type performance artist in the episode titled “Waiting for the Artist”. IFC has released a small clip where we can see Cate as “Izabella Barta“. The new season is set to premiere on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 10 pm.

Here are some behind the scenes pictures taken in Budapest last July.

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Cate Blanchett to Star as Anti-Feminist Phyllis Schlafly in Limited Series ‘Mrs. America’ for FX

Cate Blanchett to Star as Anti-Feminist Phyllis Schlafly in Limited Series ‘Mrs. America’ for FX

Hello Blanchetters!

Cate Blanchett is finally heading to television! After guest starring as a Marina Abramovic-type performance artist in an upcoming episode of IFC’s Documentary Now! Cate is set to play Phyllis Schlafly, conservative anti-feminist activist, in a limited series by FX. Read full article below:

In a coup for FX, Cate Blanchett is set to star as conservative firebrand Phyllis Schlafly in the limited series “Mrs. America,” recounting the modern history of the women’s movement.

“Mad Men” and “Halt and Catch Fire” alum Dahvi Waller is spearheading the project for FX Productions. Waller and Blanchett will exec produce alongside Stacey Sher and Coco Francini. FX has ordered nine episodes with production set to begin next year.

“Cate Blanchett is one the great actors of our time — and we are truly honored to have her star in “Mrs. America,’ ” said FX CEO John Landgraf. “We have no doubt that Cate is the perfect actor to play the role of Phyllis Schlafly, who was one of the most polarizing and fascinatingly complex figures of the ‘70s for her opposition to and role in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment, which to this day has never been ratified. Dahvi Waller’s scripts are extraordinary, and I’m thrilled to re-unite with my former Jersey TV partner Stacey Sher, and commend her on assembling such a dynamic foursome of gifted, female, artist-producers to take on this timely story.“

FX said the series would explore the rise of feminism and the push for the Equal Rights Amendment through the eyes of both Schlafly, who led the backlash to the work of second-wave feminists including Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, and Jill Ruckelshaus. The show promises to look at how the tension over the female empowerment movement helped changed the political and cultural landscape.

Schlafly waged a campaign against the passage of the ERA as well as against the legalization of abortion and the burgeoning gay rights movement. She was a self-described housewife activist from Illinois who wound up earning a law degree and remained active as a conservative commentator for decades. She died in 2016 at the age of 92.

The high-wattage “Mrs. America” is a notable get for FX at a time when the TV business is riveted to the growth and influence of Netflix as it seeks out A-listers for exclusive programming deals. “Mrs. America” marks Blanchett’s first U.S. TV series role.

The greenlight for “Mrs. America” also comes at a time when women’s empowerment and gender parity concerns have been making headlines for more than a year. The outpouring of testimonials about sexual harassment and assault in the workplace has heightened the national focus on issues of equality and diversity in the workplace, particularly in the entertainment industry.

“I feel privileged to have this opportunity to collaborate with Dahvi, Stacey, and Coco under the robust and fearless FX umbrella,” said Blanchett. “I am extremely excited about delving into the material as there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to peel back the layers of this recent period of history, which couldn’t be more relevant today.”

Blanchett is a six-time Academy Award nominee and two-time winner, known for the wide range of material she has tackled since her career took off in the early 1990s. Blanchett got her start on stage and on TV in her native Australia. She won the supporting actress Oscar for 2005’s “The Aviator” and lead actress for 2014’s “Blue Jasmine.”

She was most recently on screen this summer in Warner Bros.’ heist movie “Ocean’s 8” and the family-friendly thriller “The House With a Clock in Its Walls.” She also served as president of the jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

“It is a thrill to have the extraordinary Cate Blanchett bring this controversial woman to life, and I can’t think of a better network for this bold series than FX.” Waller said.

Waller worked on three seasons of AMC’s “Mad Men” and two seasons of another AMC period drama, the 1980s-set “Halt and Catch Fire.” Her other credits include Netflix’s “Bojack Horseman,” ABC’s “Eli Stone” and “Desperate Housewives” and NBC’s “American Odyssey.”

Sher previously worked with Landgraf at Danny DeVito’s Jersey Films. She was a partner and Landgraf ran the television wing before he took the helm of FX in 2004. Francini is a movie veteran who at present serves as VP of Activision Blizzard Studios, where she’s spearheading the effort to develop films and TV shows based on the video game giant’s trove of IP.

“Mrs. America” is another sign of FX’s expansion of its programming slate amid TV’s heightened competition. The cabler, which is poised to change hands from 21st Century Fox to Disney next year, has increasingly been freshening its schedule on a year-round basis with limited-run series and anthology dramas that reinvent themselves every season. There’s no word yet on a target airdate for the series.

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