Cate Blanchett interviews and magazine covers
Posted on
Nov 18, 2022

Cate Blanchett interviews and magazine covers

Ciao!

Cate Blanchett is featured on the cover of Financial Times’ How to Spend It weekly magazine. It will available on UK newsstands this Saturday and Sunday. The latest issue of Pianist Magazine where Cate is on the cover too is out now.

Beware of spoilers!

The revelations of Cate Blanchett

For her next role, Cate Blanchett is… “Oh God,” cries the Australian actress, “I look like a vampire! I look like I’m about to play the organ!” She is sitting late one night in the study of her home in the English countryside, and it’s true, the mood is gothic with a touch of eco-spiritual, with two small owl totems looming behind her. The surroundings are very dark, and more to the point, she is wearing black, pointed, thick-rimmed glasses that make the actress, one of Hollywood’s most beautiful women, look like she’s auditioning for a highbrow reboot of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. Luckily, she’s smiling.

Blanchett will star in two films this season, one of which has already placed her as a leading contender in the annual awards-season circuit. Tár is a virtuoso piece written and directed by Todd Field that showcases the actress as Lydia Tár, a complicated music conductor who, approaching 50 and preparing a seminal performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, is also careening towards a gigantic personal reckoning. It really is a showcase: Blanchett is in every single scene. “Look,” she admits, “it was one of the most extraordinarily intense and revelatory experiences I have ever had.”

You can read the full interview on Financial Times.

Pianist Magazine

The December 2022 and January 2023 issue of Piano Magazine is out now. You can purchase a copy here.

Cate Blanchett casts a spell over any role she takes, whether on stage or screen, indie of blockbuster. She has played a 16th-century monarch (Elizabeth), an ageless princess (Lord of the Rings), a predatory Nazi collaborator (The Good German), Katharine Hepburn (The Aviator), a British schoolteacher who has an affair with a teenage student (Notes on a Scandal), even a version of Bob Dylan, complete with big hair and sideburns (I’m Not There). In each case, she is fully them, and fully herself before our eyes.

After such a breathtaking gallery of characters, perhaps the backstage conflict, onstage triumphs, sublime highs and soul-searching lows of the music world are not so impossible a leap for Blanchett to take in her latest film, TÁR.

It comes as a no surprise to learn that Blanchett has assumed the character of Lydia Tár by dint of meticulous preparation. She has learnt how to give a convincing upbeat in font of a hundred musicians. She has also brushed up her childhood German and piano studies in order to show Tár behind the scenes, doing the hard yards of private study which make every conductor’s life an essentially lonely one.

Blanchett meet two days after a private screening of Tárm in company with the film’s writer, producer, and director, Todd Field.

From early on, Field had his lead role fixed in the mind’s eye. ‘I wrote the script for Cate,’ he says. ‘I’ve never written for an actor, ever. And I guess I painted myself into a deadly corner, because if she had said no, I’ have been in a sticky situation,’ he laughs. ‘Tár is a very particular character, and I knew that it had to be Cate. So I was lucky: this is one of the most creative experiences I’ve had.’ Blanchett jumps in: ‘Likewise — I feel lucky too! I’d never read such a script… it was speaking a language that I did not speak, so there was a lot of research to do.’

‘The music world is so insular and so hierarchical,’ continues Blanchett. ‘I knew I had to get to a point where you didn’t need to be from, or live inside, the classical music world in order to know what the character was talking about. It’s like if you watch a film about rocket scientist, it has to be about something else. That was just the language she spoke. It’s masterful in that it’s so specific yet so universal.’ Evidently well advised, Blanchett studied masterclasses given by the Russian conducting guru Ilya Musin, looked at films of Claudio Abbado, Carlos Kleiber, Emmanuelle Haïm, and Bernard Haitink in performance, and took practical lessons with the conducting coach, Natalie Murray Beale.

Playing a pianist — and the piano

When it comes to the piano, lessons from Blanchett’s Melbourne childhood were buried somewhere in the muscle memory, but they needed digging up. Again her role model was a shrewdly chosen one: ‘When I started thinking about the demeanour or the deportment of what the character might be, I watched a lot of interviews with Imogen Cooper. There’s no parallel between her and the character at all, or what the character says or does. It was more about her intelligence and the way that she could talk about what it is that she does – the years of work and practice that she did.’

Blanchett was filming in Budapest as she was beginning to prepare for Tár. ‘I was worried because I knew I had to play these bits and pieces, and I thought, “I have to get some lessons”. I was lucky to find Emese Virág, who teaches at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. She would come to see me once a week.’

At one point in the film, Tär sits down to play Bach’s familiar C major Prelude. She plays it romantically at first, then more analytically in the style of Glenn Gould, and carries on a conversation, as any practised musician might. Blanchett reflects on the challenge: ‘Emese taught me how to play the piece, but I also had to understand how to play Bach – the kind of freedom that the rules give you. I had to treat playing the piano like dialogue, like a language.’

‘Emese would play,” Blanchett continues, ‘and then I’d ask, “How would you play it as if you were trying to play it like this person or that person?” She was amazing. She’d probably be horrified if she heard me!’ It is, all the same, quite a feat. ‘It was scary but it was also fun,’ says Blanchett. ‘I love an impossible challenge. And you know if you fail at it, then you fail at it. But you have to give it a go.’

Field’s camera shows Blanchett’s face rather than her fingers during the scene, but he insists that she is playing every note. “We had a long talk about this. I didn’t focus on her hands for a reason.’ He explains: ‘You master something, and you want someone to see it, right? But what if you were Leonard Bernstein? Would I show his hands? No. With films of Bernstein, his Harvard lectures and so on, you see his facial expressions. You don’t have to prove that he can conduct. I wanted the same for this character.’

Has her work on the film made Blanchett more fascinated with the piano? ‘Oh, I have always been,’ she replies. ‘People who are astonishing musicians and who can do magic make me want to scream with joy. It’s like when you ride a horse, you have a symbiotic relationship with the horse. By watching Emese play, I glimpsed that you become one with that instrument. It’s magic.’

You can read the full article on the scans below.

Additional Photos from Pinocchio London Film Festival premiere
Posted on
Oct 16, 2022

Additional Photos from Pinocchio London Film Festival premiere

Hello, Blanchett fans!

We have added more photos from the world premiere of Pinocchio.

On October 17th, Cate Blanchett is set to participate at AIB Sustainability Conference. You can find the info on how to register for the virtual event here.

BFI London Film Festival – Pinocchio Premiere

66th BFI London Film Festival – Pinocchio Premiere Red Carpet
 
66th BFI London Film Festival – Pinocchio Premiere
 

Cate Blanchett at the BFI London Film Festival premiere of Pinocchio
Posted on
Oct 15, 2022

Cate Blanchett at the BFI London Film Festival premiere of Pinocchio

Happy weekend, folks!

Cate Blanchett is at the 66th BFI London Film Festival today for the world premiere of Pinocchio. It will be released in select theatres in November then on Netflix on December 9th this year. It is a stop-motion animated movie directed by Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Gustafson.

Here’s our first look at Cate at the premiere.

 

Movie Premieres and Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit
Posted on
Sep 22, 2022

Movie Premieres and Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit

Good day, everyone!

We are now nearing the US release of TÁR, the movie will have limited release on October 7th before it goes wide on October 28th. The tickets are now on sale. Meanwhile, a new still from Documentary Now! “Season 53” has been released ahead of its TV premiere. Pinocchio will have it’s US premiere on November 5th as part of AFI Fest.

Yesterday, Cate Blanchett, who is a founding member of Earthshot Prize made an appearance at the first Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit.

TÁR

Documentary Now

Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport is the third episode of “Season 53”. It premieres on AMC+ on October 19th then on IFC on October 26th.

Cate Blanchett and Harriet Walter in Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport. Click image for higher resolution.

Pinocchio

Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit 2022

 

Source: The Playlist

Interviews, Magazine Scans, and other project updates
Posted on
Sep 15, 2022

Interviews, Magazine Scans, and other project updates

Good day, Blanchett fans!

We have compiled updates on other Cate Blanchett-related projects and causes she supports, ranging from interviews, magazine scans, and recent or upcoming event appearances. You can check them below.

 

— UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Cate Blanchett has penned an piece for Politico urging global leaders to do more for the Rohingya refugees.

It’s more important than ever that we don’t look away, despite other emerging humanitarian and refugee crises in the world.

Gul Zahar, a young Rohingya woman, was forced to flee her home in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Escaping brutality and widespread abuse, she and around 200,000 fellow Rohingya refugees sought safety in Bangladesh. That was in 1978.

After returning home, another wave of violence against the Rohingya forced her to seek safety in Bangladesh once more. That was in 1992.

Many years later, Gul and her four-generation family were among the 720,000 Rohingya who made that same desperate journey to safety, yet again forced from their homes by violence. Trekking through jungles and mountains and crossing the river, it was one of the largest and fastest refugee influxes the world had seen for decades.

That was five years ago, in 2017.

Today, over 925,000 Rohingya refugees live in the densely populated camps near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Over 75 percent are women and children.

The Rohingya are the largest stateless community in the world.

Although they have lived in Myanmar for generations, they aren’t recognized as citizens. And they face a host of discriminatory practices limiting their daily lives, in addition to the violence and persecution carried out against them.

When I visited Bangladesh in 2018 in my role as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR), I was not prepared for the depth of suffering that I saw.

I witnessed mothers enduring the unending pain of seeing their children live through these experiences. I sat with countless refugee children who had endured brutality and uncertainty, as I pictured my own children safe at home, joyful and carefree.

Following the influx in 2017, the emergency response to the refugee crisis, led by the government and people of Bangladesh, was exemplary. With the help of the international community, they provided medical assistance, food and relief items, and built makeshift shelters. Rohingya refugees were registered and issued with identity documentation — the first many had received in their lives.

Over time, however, the camps have developed their own fragile ecosystem, with their health care, water and sanitation facilities becoming severely challenged.

Rohingya refugees themselves play a vital role as the first responders in their community, including in the areas of emergency preparedness and disaster response, health, education, as well as community response and mobilization. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, refugee volunteers took the lead in informing their community about health and hygiene, monitored signs of illness and connected refugees with critical health services. Their ingenious efforts saved countless lives.

Five years since that latest mass influx from Myanmar to Bangladesh, the collective effort in responding to the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis — and the role undertaken by Rohingya refugees themselves — should be commended.

But despite this acknowledgment, we mustn’t be allowed to forget that the Rohingya shouldn’t be refugees at all — not the women, men and children who fled in 2017, nor those who fled in the successive waves of violence in previous decades.

The protracted exile of the Rohingya is simply unacceptable and unsustainable.

Diminishing hopes of returning home are pushing increasing numbers of Rohingya refugees, including children, to undertake perilous boat journeys in search of a future. Placing themselves at the mercy of smugglers and the treacherous waters of the Bay of Bengal, they are at risk of dehydration, starvation, physical and sexual abuse, and death. They do so, as many feel that they have little choice.

Today, it is more important than ever that we don’t look away from Rohingya, despite other emerging humanitarian and refugee crises in the world.

We must continue to support Bangladesh and other host communities in enabling Rohingya refugees to live full and dignified lives in exile. This includes providing them with greater access to education, skills training and opportunities for earning livelihoods.

Rohingya refugees, in particular the large proportion of youth among them, are resilient and resourceful. They want to rebuild their lives and ensure they are prepared for the future — including a return to their homes.

It is vital the international community continues to press for the rights of Rohingya in Myanmar.

They long for their homeland. They want to return but cannot do so unless conditions are safe, unless they can exercise their fundamental human rights — the right to move freely within their own country, the right to services such as education, livelihood and health care, and a clear pathway to citizenship — the rights so many of us take for granted.

In a conversation she had with the UNHCR in 2018, Gul had made clear what her wishes were: “I want to die on my soil,” she said.

Heartbreakingly, Gul passed away last year at the age of 94 in Bangladesh, her deepest yearning unrealized.

A life lived in limbo.

 

— Cate is also a council member of Earthshot Prize, which is “a global prize for the environment, designed to incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years”. There is going to be a summit in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies where Cate is confirmed as a speaker. It will be held on September 21st from 8:00am-12:30pm ET at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.

The Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit

The Earthshot Prize and Bloomberg Philanthropies previewed confirmed speakers and programming for The Earthshot Innovation Summit, which will take place on the morning of September 21, 2022 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. The Summit, hosted by Michael R. Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, will bring together heads of state, government and civil society leaders, philanthropists, business executives, and grassroots climate activists from around the world to spotlight emerging, systems-changing solutions and showcase the critical need to turbocharge ground-breaking climate innovations to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

Global Australian Awards 2022

Cate alongside her friend and co-host of Climate of Change podcast, Danny Kennedy, were presenters at this year’s Global Australian Award. You can watch them present at around 43:19.

Global Goals Yearbook 2022

Vanity Fair European Edition

Click images for higher resolution

Click the images to open the scans.

Vanity Fair France – September 2022

Vanity Fair Italy – September 2022

Vanity Fair Spain – September 2022

Film Updates

— Another movie with Cate that will be released this year is the stop-motion version of Pinocchio directed by Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Gustafson. Three episodes of Documentary Now premiered at Toronto International Film Festival last weekend.

On a sadder news, Pedro Almodóvar has pulled out of directing job in A Manual for Cleaning Women but Cate is still attached to star and produce under Dirty Films.

Meanwhile, TÁR continues to be part of film festival lineups. It will have it’s Australian premiere at Adelaide Film Festival, US West Coast premiere at Mill Valley Film Festival, it is also part of Orcas Island Film Festival lineup. There is a concept album to be released in October 2022 where Cate can be seen and heard conducting a rehearsal of Dresden Orchestra. Cate also did an interview with Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter while she was in Venice at the beginning of this month, the movie will be released on October 23rd in Sweden.

Pinocchio

Cate voiced the monkey, Spazzatura. The movie will have it’s world premiere at London Film Festival on October 15th. You can buy tickets here.

Documentary Now

Over the weekend, three episodes from the new season of IFC’s iconic mockumentary series Documentary Now! premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).  And during a post-screening Q&A, it was revealed that we have Australia’s own Cate Blanchett to thank for its long awaited return.

In front of a sold out audience at the Scotiabank Cinemas, directors Alex Buono, Rhys Thomas, and co-creator and series regular Fred Armisen – all of whom met in the writer’s room on Saturday Night Live – talked about how Cate, who also appeared in the third series of the mockumentary, reached out expressing her interest in parodying an obscure British TV documentary.

Cate had taken a shining to the 1994 BBC documentary, Three Salons at the Seaside, which she discovered with her hair & makeup team while filming her FX series Mrs. America in Toronto, Canada.

The Cate Blanchett episode in question – “Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport”, which screened at TIFF – was filmed over four days at the original location of the documentary in Blackpool – redressed to match its original time period.

Having seen the episode, which unfolds like a beautifully written stage play, I can safely say that the persistence of Blanchett paid off – it’s one of the finest of the series to date. And, simultaneously, may be the most obscure documentary they’ve lovingly parodied.

Pedro Almodóvar departs A Manual for Cleaning Women

Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar will not be making his first English-language feature directorial debut with A Manual for Cleaning Women, which has Cate Blanchett set to star and produce under her Dirty Films, Deadline has learned.

The filmmaker finally had all the elements to realize the magnitude of this future production. However, he came to the decision that he’s not ready to tackle such a monumental project in English. A search for another director is underway.

The feature project was first announced back in January based on Lucia Berlin’s 43-part collection of short stories, examining the lives of women working a wide variety of demanding jobs.

“It has been a very painful decision for me,” Almodóvar tells Deadline. “I have dreamt of working with Cate for such a long time. Dirty Films has been so generous with me this whole time and I was blinded by excitement, but unfortunately, I no longer feel able to fully realize this film.”

Dirty Films producers Blanchett, Andrew Upton, and Coco Francini tell us, “We have the utmost respect for Pedro and his extraordinary body of work, and while the stars may not have aligned this time, we hope to collaborate with Pedro and El Deseo on another project in the future. Dirty Films’ passion for A Manual for Cleaning Women and Lucia Berlin’s unique and searing voice – full of danger, joyousness and loss – has not dimmed, and we are excited to continue this project with our partners at New Republic.”

TÁR at Film Festivals

Mill Valley Film Festival World Cinema Lineup. Showings on October 7th and 8th, tickets can be booked here.

Australian premiere on October 21st as part of Adelaide Film Festival Special Presentation lineup. Tickets here.

Orcas Island Film Festival runs from October 6th-10th, festival passes are now on sale but no scheduled showing yet for TÁR.

TÁR (Music from and inspired by the motion picture)

TÁR concept album is set to be released on October 21st, an LP version will be released on January 20th 2023. You can pre-order at Deutsche Grammophon, JPC, Roan Records or Amazon.

Deutsche Grammophon presents Hildur Guðnadóttir’s exciting new film project – a groundbreaking concept album for Todd Field’s new movie TÁR, starring Cate Blanchett in the title role.

The multi-faceted concept album features music from and inspired by the movie, including a series of stunning new tracks by Guðnadóttir, as well as extracts from major works by Elgar and Mahler. It complements the film by presenting completed, real-life versions of the music on which we see the fictional protagonist Lydia Tár working. One of the aims of the album is to reveal something of the complex process that goes on behind orchestral rehearsals and recordings.

“The tracks, like the film, are meant to invite the listener to experience the messiness involved in the making of music.” Todd Field

Written and directed by three-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Field, TÁR tells the story of high-powered composer-conductor Lydia Tár, played by Cate Blanchett. The two-time Oscar winner immersed herself in every aspect of her character’s life and can be seen – and heard on the DG album – conducting rehearsals of a Mahler symphony with extraordinary skill. Her fellow cast members include talented young British-German cellist Sophie Kauer, whose playing also features on the concept album.

This is a Google translated interview from Swedish to English.

Cate Blanchett: “There’s a lot of unresolved anger in the wake of MeToo”

Almost 25 years ago, Cate Blanchett came to Venice for the first time with “Elizabeth”, where she made an unforgettable portrait of the 16th-century regent who “married England”. Now the Australian Hollywood star is back at the Lido with another majestic full-length portrait of a woman with enormous power in her world.

In Todd Field’s magnetic “Tár”, Blanchett plays a fictional star conductor who has mentor Leonard Bernstein at her back, stands at the peak of her career as a celebrated composer and is the first female chief conductor of the prestigious Berlin Symphony Orchestra. A demanding recording of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony is at hand. Lydia Tár is certainly married to the orchestra’s female concertmaster (played by the German Nina Hoss) but is much more loyal to her position of power – which she exploits wildly in private – than her wife.

Learning to conduct believably was the least of the challenges with “Tár”, says Blanchett.

– For me, “Tár” is not really so much about the conducting itself. For Lydia, it’s like breathing. It was simply about finding the right way to breathe. But it’s clear that I studied many conductors that I became quite obsessed with, from Carlos Kleiber who had such a tormented and ambivalent approach to his work – to women like Antonia Brica, Marian Alsop and my compatriot Simone Young, says Cate Blanchett at a hotel room with sea view on the festival island Lido.

She is dressed in a white summer suit that elegantly mirrors the expensive tailored suits her character wears in the film. Speaks enthusiastically in a voice that is slightly higher than Lydia’s deep voice.

– The most important thing was to understand the structures of the classical world and how orchestras work. It was so interesting to follow the development, from the autocratic times when the conductor’s word was law and then over the fall of the Berlin Wall when more democratic tendencies began to seep into this world as well. It’s clear that the classical music world is still very much about canon and hierarchies, but the dynamic has clearly changed.

Her character Lydia Tár stands in the middle of that process, and not unexpectedly ends up in a storm when she not only manipulates younger women for her own needs, but also suppresses students who question the canon, like Bach, for reasons of identity politics.

Was it time for a reverse method drama?

– There is a lot of unresolved anger to explore in the wake of MeToo, and it is something we are far from done with. The system still needs to be fundamentally changed. The cancel culture is part of this process. But for me it is still only one aspect of “Tár”. Todd, who also wrote the screenplay, did a huge amount of research for the film and I think he has found mined ground that is very exciting.

To the now classic question of whether you can separate the author from the work, Blanchett answers with an anecdote from the early nineties when she had just graduated from acting school in Australia.

– It is in many ways a generational issue. At 22, I was cast in a production of David Mamet’s “Oleanna” and was full of strong opinions about gender and power. The first time I read the play I threw it at the wall. Second and third time too. When we finally played it, it became an incredibly exciting and challenging debate among the audience. And probably a lot of divorces, laughs Blanchett.

– The lesson from that is that if we are to avoid everything that is controversial or disturbing in art, or authors who have behaved questionably, then we miss out on a lot, both experiences and a significant critical debate. God knows what went on in Picasso’s studio, but “Guérnica” is still one of the world’s most important works of art, and so on.

What is “Tár” above all about, for you?

– It’s almost hard to say, there are so many layers to it. Lydia is both perpetrator and victim of a system where men have been kings for so long that she constantly has to prove that she is capable. But I woke up this morning and thought that it is above all a meditation on power, she says and elaborates:

– It is not only about institutional power but also creative power. Conductors often call the orchestra their instrument, but at the same time it’s about many different individuals, says Blanchett, who received praise for her interpretation of the role.

– “Tár” depicts the trend breaking that takes place in a world where the collective has been hierarchically controlled but where the individual and how one identifies oneself has become a new factor of power, she says.

Having long run theater in Sydney with her husband Andrew Upton, she can easily identify with institutional power, but personally she is more interested in creative power and how to convey it to others.

– Often the most creative thing you can say is “I don’t know, yet” when people demand answers. But there’s a funny difference depending on who’s saying it. If a male director says it, people find it exciting. But if it’s a female director, people just get nervous, ha ha.

– That’s one thing I really appreciate about “Tár”. It asks questions, but does not judge.

Cate Blanchett and Nina Hoss

 

Sources: Politico, Bloomberg, The AU Review, Dagens Nyheter

Saturn Awards Nominations
Posted on
Aug 12, 2022

Saturn Awards Nominations

Hi, everyone!

Cate has been nominated at Saturn Awards for her performance in Nightmare Alley. The movie itself garnered 10 nominations: Thriller Film, Actress, Supporting Actor, Direction, Writing, Music, Editing, Production Design, Costume, and Make-up.

The Saturn Awards have unveiled nominations for their 50th anniversary edition, with organizer the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films saying that the ceremony to reveal winners is set for October 25 in an event that will be livestreamed on ElectricNOW.

Actress in a Film

• Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures)

• Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place Part II (Paramount Pictures)

• Zoe Kravitz, The Batman (Warner Bros. Pictures)

• Keke Palmer, Nope (Universal Pictures)

• Emma Stone, Cruella (Walt Disney Studios)

• Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

• Zendaya, Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony Pictures / Marvel)

Source: Deadline

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio Teaser
Posted on
Jul 27, 2022

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio Teaser

Hi! Another day, another teaser trailer of a film that Cate worked on.

We also have great news! We are able to keep the site open for another year with the donation we have received from kind fans. We would like to send our deepest gratitude to the following people who donated to the website: Jessica, Frauke, Murtada, Kelly, Joseph, Jade, Yutao, Bronte, Erzsébet, Victoria, Irina, Dolores, Marise.

Netflix has released the teaser for Guillermo Del Toro’s stop-motion animated version of Pinocchio. Cate voiced the monkey, Spazzatura. The film will be released in select theatres in the US in November 2022 before it drops on Netflix in December 2022. Check the teaser below.

Source: Variety

Cate Blanchett on ABC 90 Celebrate
Posted on
Jun 16, 2022

Cate Blanchett on ABC 90 Celebrate

Good day, Blanchett fans!

Cate Blanchett is set to be featured in the live two-hour entertainment TV event, ABC 90 Celebrate! She has appeared in a few of ABC programmes: Police Rescue, G.P., Heartland, Rake, and most recently in #StatelessTV which she co-created and co-produced.

A first look footage for Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio was shown at Annecy Film Festival and VR project, Evolver is still showing at Tribeca Film Festival. Read a review on Evolver from Independent below.

ABC 90 Celebrate!

ABC has announced a stellar lineup of famous faces set to feature in the live two-hour entertainment television event, ABC 90 Celebrate! Airing Thursday, 30 June at 8.00 pm on ABC TV and ABC iview.

Hosted by Zan Rowe, Tony Armstrong and Craig Reucassel, the broadcast will feature an exciting list of performers and presenters who are set to celebrate the value and role the ABC has held in connecting Australians for 90 years.

Throughout the evening, audiences can expect live crosses to different locations, studios and community events across the country.

Taking audiences through a nostalgic journey of the programmes and people that have made an impact across the 90 years will be an abundance of Australian entertainment legends.

The list includes Adam Liaw, Amy Shark, Annabel Crabb, Bjorn Ulaveus, Bryce Mills, Cate Blanchett, Christine Anu, Daniel Browning, Hunter Page-Lochard, Ebony Boadu, Kev Carmody, Leah Purcell, Leigh Sales, Magda Szubanski, Michael Hing, Molly Meldrum, Namilla Benson, Richard Roxburgh, Roy & HG, Ross Wilson, Steph Tisdell, Wil Anderson, and many more.

Pinocchio

Guillermo Del Toro world premiered eight minutes of footage, finished and unfinished, from his stop-motion fable about a wooden boy with a borrowed soul.

Even without the full title “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” the film’s artistic voice would be unmistakable. In the first excerpt screened we find Geppetto encountering the newly living Pinocchio for the first time. The characters are unlike any versions we’ve seen prior. The inventor, for one, seems thoroughly soused (or at least terribly hung-over), picking himself off the floor and stumbling across his creaky workshop with bloodshot eyes.

Only something is stirring, something is upstairs, and that something announces itself with a fright. As the wooden puppet moves out of the shadows, it does so not with the upright footing of a boy but with the spindly movements of a bug. Newly brought to life, Pinocchio moves at first like a spider, using his arms as two extra legs before (presumably) learning that in order to be a real boy one should aim to be bipedal.

Cate Blanchett takes us inside the human body in an epic VR experience

Stepping through a blacked-out revolving door in Manhattan’s Financial District and into Evolver, a virtual reality exhibit about human breath, the audience is confronted by a dark concrete room. There’s an eerie, amplified natural soundscape of babbling brooks and passing storms and enormous backlit pictures that feel familiar, but with closer scrutiny prove ineffable. An indistinct image could be a Hubble telescope capture of the stars or maybe a tree’s underground roots, or even a network of human capillaries, magnified to a scale that renders the mundane fact of circulation alarming. This is, of course, the point.

Created by the London-based art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast, luxuriously narrated by Cate Blanchett, and co-executive produced by Terrence Malick, Evolver drops its audience inside the human body on the journey of an inhale. Here we follow the flow of oxygen from the outside world, through our lungs, and eventually to our distant cells. But the impression of the exhibit – which had its world premiere last week at the Tribeca Film Festival – is far less sterile than its brief. Though based on biologically accurate renderings, the result is closer to painterly mimesis than precise simulation. There’s no way the inside of my body looks this spectral and astonishing.

The exhibit acknowledges that’s a trippy question to ask, and so our first ten minutes are spent in deliciously enveloping zero gravity chair sacs, functioning like a palate cleanser. Instead of bulky VR headsets, attendees are outfitted with pillowy headphones and invited to close their eyes. Cate Blanchett then huskily murmurs in your ear about the relationship between your body and the world beyond it.

Transitions are always messy in big, interactive exhibits, but being roused from Cate Blanchett’s seductive whisper to be tightly fitted with futuristic goggles was particularly unwelcome but quickly forgotten. In the main presentation, Blanchett’s voice is replaced by a moody, natured-inflected soundtrack by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, avant-garde artist Meredith Monk, late Icelandic composer Jo?hann Jo?hannsson and experimentalist Howard Skempton. It starts aloof and electronic and grows triumphantly grandiose. Visually, human breath streams and swirls around you like the Milky Way; blood vents as explosively as lava. The path of the molecules that appear to surround you can be modestly altered by swooping your hand across your body.

Virtual reality on this scale is disorienting; a watchful exhibition assistant had to save me from walking into a wall and later, another participant. It’s also stupefying – I struggled for words in the minutes immediately after and I’m told some visitors even cried. But Steel’s impossible question occasionally revisited me. Are you breathing the air, or is the wild world remaking itself in miniature inside you? Is circulation anything less beautiful than a brook that babbles within us?

Evolver won’t improve your anatomical understanding. Instead, it elevates the simple and involuntary fact of human respiration into something as extraordinary to look at as the world outside us. It accomplished something more startling than making me think about my own breath. It made me gasp.

Sources: MediaWeek; Variety; Independent

First Look at Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Posted on
Jun 14, 2022

First Look at Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Hello! Vanity Fair has released the first look at Guillermo Del Toro’s stop-motion animated version of Pinocchio. Cate is voicing a monkey named Spazzatura, the lead puppeteer of one of the main villains in the movie, Count Volpe.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio tells this truth about its otherworldly title character: he can be a little unsettling, or even scary, before you get to know him. In the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s upcoming stop-motion animated movie from Netflix, even Geppetto gets the willies when he first encounters the cheerful wooden boy clamoring around his workshop. A hallmark of del Toro’s storytelling, from Pan’s Labyrinth to Hellboy to his best-picture-winning The Shape of Water, is that beings who are initially seen as freakish, or frightening or unnatural, are often even more humane and sympathetic than the seemingly normal people who fear or scorn them.

The director always brings a slight chill before warming the heart, so his take on the living puppet comes from a gothic direction. “I’ve always been very intrigued by the links between Pinocchio and Frankenstein,” del Toro tells Vanity Fair for this exclusive first look. “They are both about a child that is thrown into the world. They are both created by a father who then expects them to figure out what’s good, what’s bad, the ethics, the morals, love, life, and essentials, on their own. I think that was, for me, childhood. You had to figure it out with your very limited experience.”

Despite that monstrous inspiration, Del Toro’s movie was crafted to be family friendly. He knows it will be challenging, but hopes his Pinocchio connects across generations and brings out a sense of compassion. “These are times that demand from kids a complexity that is tremendous. Far more daunting, I think, than when I was a child. Kids need answers and reassurances.… For me, this is for both children and adults that talk to each other. It tackles very deep ideas about what makes us human.”

His approach to this story is a significant departure from what audiences have seen previously in movies about the puppet who yearns to be a real boy.  In this version, “real” is a given. “To me, it’s essential to counter the idea that you have to change into a flesh-and-blood child to be a real human,” del Toro says. “All you need to be human is to really behave like one, you know? I have never believed that transformation [should] be demanded to gain love.”

The formally titled Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio aims to stand apart. For one thing, the production quality of his film is self-evident in the ornate detail of the sets and textures of the characters. And he has reinterpreted Collodi’s tale in a way that distances it from the formidable Disney adaptations. “I have been very vocal about my admiration and my great, great love for Disney all my life, but that is an impulse that actually makes me move away from that version,” del Toro says. “I think it is a pinnacle of Disney animation. It’s done in the most beautiful, hand-drawn 2D animation.”

By contrast, he notes that his own film is “a story about a puppet, with puppets—trying to seek acting from the animators in a different medium completely. We couldn’t be more different than any other version of Pinocchio in our spiritual or philosophical goals, or even the setting.”

Del Toro’s Pinocchio takes place not in a fairy-tale world, but in Italy between World War I and World War II, during the rise of fascism and authoritarian rule in the country. The wooden boy happens to come to life “in an environment in which citizens behave with obedient, almost puppet-like faithfulness,” del Toro says.

Pinocchio (voiced by newcomer Gregory Mann) is a silly, sunny personality, eager to learn about the world and meet the people who inhabit it. But his roots, quite literally, are in sadness. In del Toro’s retelling, he is carved from a tree that grew over the grave of Geppetto’s son, Carlo, whose life was cut agonizingly short years before. (In the shot at the top in which del Toro is peeking through the window, you can see the lost child’s photo in a frame on the woodcarver’s workbench.)

The heartbroken Geppetto (voiced by David Bradley of Game of Thrones and the Harry Potter movies) is still too blinded by grief to realize that his wish has come true. “He begs for another chance at being a father, but he doesn’t recognize that the essence of his own child comes back in the form of this indomitable boy,” the filmmaker says. “The main conflict within Geppetto and Pinocchio is that Geppetto wanted Carlo, who was a very well-behaved, very docile kid, and he doesn’t quite get Pinocchio, who is rowdy and wild and exuberant.”

A creature who does understand Pinocchio’s heart is Sebastian J. Cricket (voiced by Ewan McGregor), the eloquent purple insect who built a home in his trunk and continues to reside there when he comes to life. In the image below, you see not just the erudite insect, but also the tree still standing over the lost child’s resting place. “That’s the arrival of the cricket, who has been crisscrossing the world, and this is where he discovers the perfect home,” del Toro says.

Once the tree becomes a living puppet, Sebastian aspires to be a conscience for the boy (just like his alter ego in the Disney version, Jiminy Cricket) But in del Toro’s adaptation he more or less…bugs the kid. “In the beginning of the story, the cricket is full of self-importance,” the director says. “And towards the end, he’s movingly humbled and he understands that it’s not about teaching Pinocchio how to behave, but about himself learning how to behave.”

Sebastian will need more than one lesson about getting out of the way—and he gets more than one lesson. Fortunately for him he is a survivor. “One of the things I liked in the book when I read it as a kid is that the cricket keeps getting killed over and over again and crushed and maimed,” del Toro says. “In our story, the cricket gets smushed often, but it’s a journey also for the cricket to find love and humility.”

The cricket is one of the only other mystical beings in the story. “I didn’t want magical creatures other than the wood spirit that gives him life, and Pinocchio himself,” del Toro says. “I didn’t want a talking fox and a talking cat and the magic of transforming him into a donkey. I wanted everything else to feel as close as we can to the real world.”

With that in mind, one of the story’s main villains, Count Volpe (voiced by Christoph Waltz), is not an actual anthropomorphic fox, but a human whose wing-like sideburns flare up like a fox’s ears. Del Toro describes him as “a grand aristocrat that has fallen into misfortune.”

“The three main villains in the original story are the cat, the fox, and the puppeteer, and we wanted to fuse them into one,” the director says. “This is a puppeteer that has regaled the courts of Europe, and now is traveling in a down and dirty little carnival. In Pinocchio, he finds the hope to be a king, again, you know? To recreate his grand, golden years.”

He fashions an ironclad and lengthy contract, then recruits Pinocchio to join his act, performing alongside other marionettes who are controlled by Volpe’s lead puppeteer—a monkey named Spazaturra, voiced by Cate Blanchett, worships Volpe, even though he is awful to her.

Source: Vanity Fair

 

 

 

Cate Blanchett: “I want to spend more time being myself”
Posted on
Mar 13, 2022

Cate Blanchett: “I want to spend more time being myself”

Happy Sunday, everyone!

A new interview with Cate has been released. This is a Google translated interview from Spanish to English.

Cate Blanchett: “I spend most of my time being someone else. I want to spend more time being myself.”

Other than her two Oscars, Cate has added in recent weeks from Europe the first International Goya and a César for her entire career. Actress, producer, and farmer, the versatile Australian performer, also an ambassador for Armani fragrances, she confesses that with age she feels more limitations when it comes to acting. She laments that she is sometimes still the only woman on a shoot and she fears that the platforms will become monopolies.

Cate Blanchett (Melbourne, 52 years old) thinks there are too many awards. And she knows what she’s talking about. Because she has almost all of them: two Oscars, three Baftas, three Golden Globes and three from the Screen Actors Guild. As if they weren’t enough, she has now embarked on the conquest of Europe. She has just received an Honorary César in Paris and a month ago she picked up the International Goya from Pedro Almodóvar, with whom she is going to shoot the first film in English by the Spanish director, A Manual for Cleaning Women. She welcomes us in Valencia, hours before hugging him and thanking him for a recognition that serves to strengthen ties with the Latin film industry. She wears trainers and a metallic pink suit by Giorgio Armani, the firm whose line of fragrances is an ambassador. Under the jacket, the skin, and around her neck, several golden chains with padlocks and snake heads that she plays with as she speaks. After premiering Nightmare Alley last February under the direction of Guillermo del Toro and dazzling the world with her false teeth in Don’t Look Up, she says she wants to spend more time playing herself. Normal: the character is exciting.

In an interview Julia Roberts did for Interview Magazine, you said that as you gets older, you find acting more and more humiliating.

It gets more difficult. Why? I think that when you work in the artistic field — also if you are, for example, a writer—, this field becomes more and more entangled in your life. I spend most of my time being someone else, and I think I want to spend more time being myself. Also, as an actor you are very exposed. I do not know how to explain it. Six years ago [photographer and artist] Cindy Sherman started using digital effects to create her works [in which she often appears]. And people threw their hands in their heads because she had always used prosthetics and had worked her body as if it were a malleable object. She simply explained that she had reached an age where she was less malleable. And that she had to resort to digital technology to maintain the same skill.

Is it the same as an actor?

You feel a bit the same, that your palette is getting smaller and smaller. But the truth is that I am not very interested in digital advances. What I like are magic tricks, I still scream when someone does one in front of me. Because with magic you become an accomplice: you know you are being deceived, but in the digital universe you don’t know what is real and what isn’t. It’s like when you see Gary Oldman without prosthetics or digital treatment, the interpretation of him is something that he builds from the inside and you believe it. He is really inspiring. I’ve worked with digital retouching on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and, yes, it can be liberating, but in the end, as you get older, you face more and more of your limitations, and that’s humbling.

Is the film industry easier for women now than when you started?

If we keep talking about it, the problem still exists. But we have to keep talking and working on it until it is no longer a topic of conversation. Sometimes I keep walking on set and there are 30 men and I’m the only woman, and I think, “This is so out of sync with what’s going on in society. How is it possible for us to connect with the audience like this?” When you’re in a predominantly male or white work environment, it feels old-fashioned and you feel like it’s also starting to be irrelevant. I think there has been a big change. But you have to stand firm and understand that changes are very fragile, as is democracy. So you have to persevere.

You were artistic director of the Sydney Theater Company. Has that experience influenced your way of understanding her work as an actress?

We were not only artistic directors [and her husband, screenwriter and playwright Andrew Upton], but also CEO, so we were responsible for the financial and creative health of the company. And many times these two aspects are conceived as mutually exclusive. But they don’t have to be: throughout my career I’ve worked with producers who are amazing at keeping finances in order while also helping with creative decisions.

Is that producer profile in danger of extinction?

Yes, unfortunately, because it is something I aspire to. It’s not all about being in front of the camera. I don’t feel obligated. No longer. I’ve already done it. I’ve bored the audience enough already. I do not need it. No more.

Throughout your career you have played everything from action characters to femme fatales, through comedic roles or even men, such as Bob Dylan. How do you choose your characters? Is there any kind of woman you would never play?

Many decisions are based on instinct and timing. I have a wonderful and great life, with a lot of commitments and things that interest me, starting with my farm, with my sheep, my pigs, my cows, and with my children, of course. So sometimes not all projects fit into my schedule. But nothing happens. There is no need to bleed for it. You have to let them go. It’s one of the best things the film industry has taught me.

The fact that?

You make a film and you let it go because after your work comes post-production work and finally, if you’re lucky, it reaches the public. And by that time you will have already done one or two other things. And that film happens to become a kind of second cousin. And then, hopefully, you can see it again with fresh eyes and appreciate it.

What do you expect now from A Manual for Cleaning Women, your project with Almodóvar?

We had talked many times about working together, but it was never the right time. He is a man of incredible taste and insight. He is very precise and, like his films, very free. We are very aligned and excited about the project. I love it because he works with his heart and with his hands. And with his head, of course. He is a person very connected with what happens in the world, but at the same time someone who follows his own path. So I think this project will be unique. His work has a clearly Spanish framework, but it has always transcended and has been recognized internationally because it connects very well with American concerns: the family, being outside the majority culture, being an outcast. I think it’s going to be a fascinating journey in search of that hybrid between the American and the Latin experience.

You have a master’s degree in that Latino perspective. You have worked with Alejandro Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and now Almodóvar. Is there something that differentiates Latino directors from the rest?

They all have incredible hearts and a certain brutality, but not in the bad sense of the word. I mean they don’t run away from things that others prefer not to name. And they are profoundly plastic artists. His intellectual pursuits are very sumptuous to digest visually. Latino and Australian directors have a very special, unique vision of the world, and that is why they have more and more weight in the US film industry.

I said before that Almodóvar was a very precise director. Is he the kind of director you like to work with, someone who gives a lot of directions and controls every detail?

I think the project is what dictates how you have to work. For me, the perfect thing is to have a clear line of communication with the director based on trust, because there are moments in the shoot when you have to say that something is rubbish, and you have to know that it comes and is said from respect. Rehearsals and filming are not always friendly. They are not disrespectful, but sometimes you have to fight a thing to the bottom and it’s not comfortable.

Woody Allen even told you on the first day of shooting Blue Jasmine that the take was horrible, and so were you.

But in the end I realized that the location was wrong, the camera was wrong… so we changed everything. And then the scene was cut, it was never in the final footage. You can’t take it personally, you have to listen to it and think that it’s teamwork, that sometimes a director can say something challenging but it doesn’t necessarily have to be about you, but about the product.

How do you feel that the film and fiction industry has changed in recent years with the emergence of platforms and the rise of series? Are you interested in that new channel?

Well, I did Mrs. America (Hulu) with a group of fabulous women. And there are a couple of projects in development that look very good. But in the end, what interests me are really lasting experiences, although only time can tell which ones will be. On the one hand, streaming platforms represent a wonderful opportunity for the audience and also for a lot of people in the industry who have stayed afloat for these two years thanks to them. But this model cannot go forward without being examined.

What is the perceived risk?

It is necessary to analyze the potential monopolies that are emerging from this format, and that are not good for anyone. They are not good creatively and neither for the public. And, of course, they have never been good for the industry. We do not want to replicate the old studio system in a more radical and irrevocable way. I am worried about this. Very worried.

Do you think this system of monopolies is accelerating?

Yes, and I think the public can perceive it. Because everything looks alike. The offer is uniform. There is nothing special anymore. However, going to the movies is still an event.

But after the pandemic, due to fear or routine, cinemas continue to lose viewers, at least that is what is happening in Spain.

Yes, and also in the United States there are a lot of small theaters that have been acquired by the platforms to project their content. But there are still places like a small theater in Pittsburgh called Row House and that has only 50 seats where retrospectives of Tarkovsky, of Wes Anderson are shown… I am confident in that differential value that the cinema can continue to offer and that people appreciate you can still be interested.

The pandemic has changed our consumption patterns, but also other industry tools such as awards and red carpets. Do they still make sense?

I think there are too many prizes. They all look the same and people are tired. But this was already happening before the pandemic. So I think we have to be critical. We have a very good opportunity to change things: to ask ourselves what we want to do, what we want it to look like and, above all, if bigger is always synonymous with better. And I’m not just talking about red carpets, but events in general. We don’t want to go back to that old narrative. I personally don’t want to go back to the good old days because I think they weren’t really that good.

But in the end the old physical events have their magic. Even Giorgio Armani, the first designer to suspend a show due to COVID, has returned to the physical catwalk with guests.

It is a live event. That is why the performing arts are so special. When you walk into a room and you can see the fabrics, hear the music, you are there. You remember. But I think the key is the same in fashion as it is in film. Mr. Armani is always aware of every detail. Even at his age, he is a tireless worker and his control over the quality of the products is incredible. He thinks the more you do, the less special he is. And this happens in all industries, including the film industry.

Source: EL PAÍS