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

Interviews and Magazine Scans
Posted on
Mar 12, 2022

Interviews and Magazine Scans

Hi, Blanchetters!

Cate has shown her support for flood appeal telethon to help those who have been devastated by the flooding in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. She has also given interviews to Variety and Io Donna plus a podcast interview which can be listened on Amazon Music for free and will be available on Apple and Spotify on March 14th. We’ve also added some magazine scans from the recent releases.

 

Video link

In a rare move, tonight Seven Network, Nine Network and Network 10 will jointly present Australia Unites: Red Cross Flood Appeal to help the people and communities who have suffered from the devastating floods across Queensland and New South Wales.

All of the funds raised during the Telethon will go to people affected by the floods.

Kym Pfitzner, Australian Red Cross CEO, said: “Red Cross is delighted and grateful to join with the major TV networks to raise money for flood-affected areas. We have all seen the enormity of the flood damage across large parts of New South Wales and Queensland, and these communities now face a long and tough road to recovery.

“Everyone coming together during this telethon will help Australian Red Cross provide financial assistance to people at a time when they really need it.

“We can only give out what we raise, so we ask everyone to dig deep and really come together to support the people who have lost so much.”Whenever disaster strikes, Australian Red Cross works side by side with organisations such as the St Vincent de Paul Society, The Salvation Army, Lifeline, and GIVIT to get help to where it’s needed most. They do an incredible job and the Red Cross is grateful to work alongside all of them.”

Donations to the Telethon will help Red Cross teams provide humanitarian support to people and communities smashed by the floods, which may include:

  • Enabling volunteers and staff to help with evacuation and relief centres and outreach services
  • Supporting people and communities to recover and build resilience to disasters

So far, 468 Red Cross emergency response team members and volunteers have provided support in 49 evacuation centres – and donations help to make that support possible.

Apart from the Telethon, Australian Red Cross has already launched a flood appeal. You can donate to it now at redcross.org.au/floodsappeal or by calling 1800 733 276.

Tonight’s Telethon will also be highlighting the great work from organisations such as the Foodbank, Rotary, Good Food 360, Koori Mail Flood Appeal, and Rural Aid.

7:30pm AEDT tonight on Seven, Nine and 10 (7plus, 9Now, 10Play)*
* check local guides.

This is a Google translated interview

Cate Blanchett: “The time has come to banish fears and face reality”

Oscar-winning actress, Cate Blanchett, just made two films about greed and selfishness. But she is preparing to celebrate “what unites us”. She is ironic and a bit philosophical, for the directors she has the energy of “a 12-year-old bad boy”. And here she tells us how she faces life on this complicated planet every day.

Six in the morning in Los Angeles, early afternoon in England: Cate Blanchett calls me from her “manor”, the manor house in East Sussex – once home to Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle – where she lives with her children Dashiell, 20 years old , Roman, 17, Ignatius, 13, little Edith of 7 and husband Andrew Upton. We have had several encounters in recent years, in person, on the phone, during photo shoots or at international festivals, and they have been promptly animated: we discuss cinema, the conditions of immigrants, refugees (she produced the TV series Stateless) and women’s wage equality, with some ironic allusion to our respective roles in Hollywood as well.

In short, each of her films becomes a reason or an excuse to pick up the thread of our discussion: “What’s new in this world of ours? Is it possible to participate, to make it better for us and for future generations?”. I have always spoken with Blanchett as if she were a guru, an enlightened soul: her interests range in the most diverse fields, from art to history, to economics. She is informed and curious, but she is also generous and helpful, she knows how to manage fame and success with completely unusual naturalness and spirit.

As an eclectic and courageous actress perhaps, the most acclaimed and coveted on the current international scene – she has never lost the pleasure of having fun and playing with even the slightest tones : she is there to comment on the color of my socks or the cut of a jacket, to indicate as icons of style Iris Apfel, the famous American interior designer who has passed the century of age, and Fran Lebowitz, the 70-year-old writer to whom Martin Scorsese has dedicated two works. She says: “Please remind me of the name of that extraordinary restaurant in Turin…” and then she cites the latest essay by a sociologist, that of a physicist expert on climate and the talk of an economist who studies mathematical models of productivity and wages.

The tone of the conversation today is calm, thoughtful, reflective. Two years of Covid also leave their mark on an incurable optimist like her. We have just seen the Oscar-winning actress in two films, Nightmare Alley, film noir with Bradley Cooper directed by Guillermo del Toro, and Don’t Look Up, a catastrophic-political-ecological satire directed by Adam McKay. In the coming months we will see her in Tár, the story of the first female German conductor, Pinocchio, the animated film directed by del Toro, and Borderlands, based on the popular video game. A few days ago, the news came that the director Alfonso Cuaròn managed to grab her for his first series for Apple, Disclaimer, with Kevin Kline.

Good morning Cate. The last time we spoke we were at the beginning of the pandemic, singing on the balconies and switching from one zoom to another with friends and family. Today, after two years of forced isolation, we are all a little tired, empty. How can we find ourselves? What to rely on, who to rely on to recover strength, hope and face the world? Art and creativity have been a healthy refuge for many…

I feel exactly this emotions and feelings. But I don’t think we can tell stories, read books, listen to music or walk down the street and walk in a park without thinking about what happened, and it’s still happening in a global sense. Even if you don’t make a film about the pandemic, that’s the thing we talk about or keep quiet about. I believe the time has come to put it out of mind and celebrate what unites us. It is interesting, however, that my last two films, Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up, instead tell precisely what separates us from one another.

Meaning what?

Both speak of our spiritual dryness, greed, selfishness, and the need to believe our own lies. In the case of Nightmare Alley, then, there is a very strong desire to ignore the truth. My truth? Let’s focus instead on what unites us, otherwise everything becomes only debilitating, tiring, exhausting. Because life is exhausting.

We generally find relief in movies, in stories.

Yes, many have taken refuge in cinema and books, especially during the first months of the pandemic, but now I want to face reality. I found myself reflecting on what is important and what is not, what is broken and what must be resolved, on a personal and systemic level. We are not only experiencing the reality of the pandemic, there are other relevant movements for which we should move and intervene. Having said that, I am also convinced that films, in a period like the one we are experiencing, offer the possibility of reading and understanding reality better.

Cinema as therapy?

Of course, to recharge and forget our worries for a while, but above all to communicate with each other. If you think of the films of 1945, and after the Second World War, you find great works of art that helped to process terrible catastrophes and crises. A film like Nightmare Alley, it forces you to reflect on what it means to be corrupt: you see a man who does not respect any rules, shows no empathy or compassion of any kind and a weak social system that allows him to get away with it. Just recently I read in The Guardian an article that, to report the growth in wealth of the richest men in the world as a percentage, cited a billionaire whose wealth had increased by 1006 percent in the last 12 months, that is, by 1.3 billion a day. A financial disparity of this kind is impossible to digest, not even the most amazing film can make you forget it.

You are active in various social and environmental organizations. You now collaborate with activist Danny Kennedy on the Climate Change podcast, on Amazon. Is the climate issue the most urgent problem to face and solve today?

Ours is a complicated planet, isn’t it? Everything is connected, but what is striking in the world, everywhere, is the disproportionate number of refugees due to the climate and certain political realities, and this will have a ripple effect. Insisting on protecting borders is pure folly: we need an international strategy that allows us to work together. This is my answer.

Don’t you think that the world, on the other hand, is closing up and not opening up to others?

Violence is perhaps more active, but it is motivated by fear, and fear takes shape and action when the truth has flown away. I think of Bradley Cooper’s character in Nightmare Alley and what happens to those who lose the sense of who he is, to situations without any underlying truth. Lies never got the human race anywhere.

You have three teenage children. How do you deal with these issues with them?

Bits and bits, sometimes with deeper conversations, often with brief hints. Taking it for granted that everything is working well doesn’t lead to substantial changes, but at the same time you can’t get caught up in the mud. You have to give yourself a move and move forward, with attention, respect for others, and never forgetting the sense of humor. Whatever your ideology or religion, what matters is to be human, tolerant and humble.

Immediately after Nightmare Alley you wanted to work with Guillermo del Toro again.

Yes, yes, I’ll be one of the voices in his version of Pinocchio, a monkey actually (laughs). One day on the set I ask him: «When is it that we will work together again, Guillermo?». “I don’t know, now I’m doing Pinocchio” … then he looks at the producer, Miles, and blurts out: “That monkey, for example… You know what, Cate, everyone has this idea of you as a great lady when in reality you are a rascal, a dirty, cheeky 12-year-old bad boy! ” Yes, you see, he is someone who knows me well (laughs). I ended up in his next movie for this reason, probably (winks).

What else can you tell us about Guillermo?

If Guillermo asks me to work with him, I don’t hesitate for a moment: in common we have the same love for horror, and a sort of obsession for the human animal, its unpleasant and sublime complexity. Besides, he has crazy, fantastic ideas, nothing is too much for him and he keeps a flawless sense of history. In short: his is a truly stimulating space in which to work, not counting the actors and the cast that he brings together. But do you know that thanks to him I was able to work twice with Ron Perlman? (legendary American actor, favorite of John Frankenheimer and Joe Dante, ed).

How Cate Blanchett’s Dirty Films Production Company Is Making a Global Impact

Cate Blanchett, who recently appeared front of the camera in “Don’t Look Up” and “Nightmare Alley,” has been busy behind the scenes developing film and TV projects through the Dirty Films banner she co-founded with her husband, Andrew Upton.

Among those in the works: “A Manual for Cleaning Women,” her first collaboration with Pedro Almodóvar in his English-language debut; Indigenous Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton’s “The New Boy”; and the Apple TV Plus series “Disclaimer” from Alfonso Cuarón.

Blanchett will star in each in addition to producing, building on her résumé of dual credits that includes “Carol,” “Stateless” and “Mrs. America.” Similar to how she chooses acting roles, the Dirty Films team (which also includes Coco Francini and Georgie Pym) takes a “filmmaker-driven” approach.

“No matter the budget or the genre, films are born out of interesting conversations, so that’s where we begin,” Blanchett tells Variety over the phone, chalking up the company’s “incredibly eclectic” selections to its principals’ Australian heritage.

“It’s a small country in terms of population, but we individually punch above our cultural weight, because we have such a mix of cultural influences, in a great way — also in a painful way,” she explains, alluding to the country’s birth by colonial invasion. “We have a very interesting perspective on the world.”

For her, the appeal of producing is less about finding a role to perform than about having a creative stake in the project.

“People often assume that when you have a production company, you are simply trying to develop materials for yourself. Sometimes that’s the case, and you do need to be in something,” Blanchett says, pointing to the “Stateless” as an example. The two-time Oscar-winner appeared in all six episodes of the miniseries that ultimately landed at Netflix. “I knew that I had to be in it in some way because of the material. No one wanted to make a project that was ostensibly about refugees and asylum seekers.”

Among other accolades, the drama earned 13 awards from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. But she’s also found that an actor’s ability to work behind the scenes can be underestimated.

“Oftentimes, people think, as an actor, that you don’t have that perspective on the whole thing — that you don’t understand how a film is put together,” she observes. “After years and years and years of doing this, it’s not just sitting in your trailer, waiting for your hair and makeup call.”

Pointing to her contemporaries who also produce — including her Oscar-nominated “Nightmare Alley” producer and co-star Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Reese Witherspoon — she adds, “You get involved in a project because you’re interested in the whole thing.”

“You’re involved from soup to nuts; you’re invested in that experience,” Blanchett explains. “So you get to understand how all of those cogs come together and you can see a way that they might be put together slightly differently, or what didn’t work, because you’re inside the experience. And that is what I find increasingly exciting. Acting, less and less so, frankly.”

As for stepping behind the camera to direct, Blanchett acknowledges she’s been “spoiled by some of the most astonishing directors of all time, so it feels like an act of hubris to think that I could or would.”

But she won’t count out the possibility entirely. “If it was material that took me by the short and curlies, it could happen. But just because you’re opinionated, as I painfully am, doesn’t mean you are a director.”

Last month, Blanchett accepted the 47th annual Honorary Ce?sar award, presented by French film icon Isabelle Huppert, and became the inaugural recipient of Spain’s International Goya award, given by Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz. Both prizes celebrated the actor and producer for her contributions to cinema on a global scale.

“I’ve known Isabelle for a while now; we’re both theater animals who also work in cinema, and she’s such a legend,” Blanchett says, reflecting on the “huge” honor. “Penélope’s work is constantly inspiring and [Cruz and Almodóvar] is a historic partnership. To be in Spain, presented by both of them, you die and go to heaven. I can’t work out why [they awarded me], but I didn’t say no.”

In her acceptance speeches, Blanchett shared how she’d been influenced by the great cinematic artists of those countries, including Spain’s Luis Buñuel and France’s Robert Bresson.

“Watching a Bresson film, when I was in my early teens, it blew the back of my head off. I’d never seen anything like it,” she recalls. “There’s so many Russian filmmakers that have been deeply influential on me, not only working in the cinema, but also as an actor on stage. One of my favorite films this year was Sean Baker’s ‘Red Rocket”; Janicza Bravo’s ‘Zola’ was profound. I consider American filmmakers ‘international.’”

Beyond her own range of influences and collaborations with international filmmakers, the awards represent Dirty Films’ penchant to think globally. The company is in pre-production on “Disclaimer” with Cuaro?n and will then go straight into Thornton’s “The New Boy” and, later, Almodóvar’s “A Manual for Cleaning Women.” Also, following their partnership on the critical-acclaimed “Apples,” which Dirty Films executive produced, they’ll team up with filmmaker Christos Nikou again for “Fingernails.”

According to Blanchett, their greatest strength as producers lies in their understanding of the creative process and “knowing where to cut corners and where that will enhance the ultimate, individual creative flourish of the product itself.”

“We can all find money; but money is more difficult to come by without any creative strings attached,” she says. “To find the right rhythm, the right wave, the right budget ties and the best way to film, it’s not a science, it’s an art.”

Blanchett also credits her and Upton’s time heading the Sydney Theatre Company with helping to hone their skills, particularly in reference to getting a production off the ground quickly instead of languishing in development hell.

“We have a much quicker rhythm. If we committed to an idea, we could get it on,” she says and between 2008-2013, the duo produced between 19 and 20 shows a year. In 2015, they officially awoke Dirty Films from its dormancy with Todd Haynes’ critically acclaimed “Carol” and it’s been full steam ahead ever since.

“We want to be nimble,” she explains. “There’s a lot of stuff being developed that may never see the light of day. We’re not into over-developing or over-committing. You can get the thing up eight years later, but you’ve lost the reason why [that story needed to be told]. That’s something that carried from working at the theater company.”

In recent years, Blanchett has headed the juries at the Cannes and Venice film festivals and relished watching the definition of “cinema” morph as boundaries between the big and small screens — as well as those between streaming and theatrical — blur.

“The streaming platforms have shaken things up,” she comments, regarding the way the distribution and windowing have shifted. “We don’t want them to calcify and reform and imitate the worst sides of studios in terms of monopolies, but it does mean that you don’t have to think of things in terms of length.”

Plus, she says, “Streaming platforms and series have kept us afloat, frankly, mentally and psychologically over the last two years.”

While Blanchett believes that “big ideas happen in a cinematic form,” she notes that, “There’s a lot of options there in the way we think about stories, and the possibility of how we realize those narratives. The idea of making a short film or a long masterwork — those definitions are much more nebulous now. And I think that’s really exciting.”

Additionally, the business itself has become more international and likewise has a wider reach with its themes.

“We’re finding we’re much more amoeba-like in terms of cultural boundaries. That’s where the cinematic arts are a real bridge between this surge of ridiculous, antiquated nationalism that’s happening,” Blanchett says, relating the conversation to the news of the day. “There aren’t closed borders because we are all communicating. So, this rubbish that is going on in the Ukraine — this horrendous, disgusting rubbish — is totally antithetical to the way human beings are actually communicating.”

The actor and producer, who is also a Global Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, adds: “I think cinema can, through the lens of metaphor and allegory, help audiences. Without wanting to sound too pretentious, I think it can help society to comprehend and possibly make some kind of sense of issues that we all have a stake in.”

SmartLess Podcast

We roll up our sleeves and get down to business with none other than Cate Blanchett. She reveals her aspirations to make cheese, Sean fans-out on Lord of the Rings, Will explains his rich history in lowered expectations, and Jason explores his elasticity challenges. Pass the honey butter; it’s SmartLess.

Click the image below to listen to the podcast. This episode will be available on Apple and Spotify on March 14th.

Magazine Scans

Paris Match No. 3798 – February 23rd 2022

Entertainment Weekly – March 2022

Variety -Match 9th 2022

Io Donna – March 12th 2022


Source: IoDonna, Variety, TV Tonight

Nightmare Alley available now to stream on HBO Max and Hulu
Posted on
Feb 5, 2022

Nightmare Alley available now to stream on HBO Max and Hulu

Great day, everyone!

Nightmare Alley is now available to stream on HBO Max and Hulu in the US. We have updated the gallery with some behind the scenes photos, FYC campaign posters, and screencaptures from the movie and behind the scene look. The black and white version of Nightmare Alley is also playing nationwide in the US and selected theatres in UK and Mexico. Check out some interviews as well.

Screencaptures

Behind the Scenes


4K Trailer Screencaptures

On the Red Carpet Presents: Nightmare Alley Behind the Scenes

FYC Campaign

Black and White version release

Interview

Star-Gazing: In Conversation With Cate Blanchett

It’s a strange feeling to stare into the void of a Zoom loading screen, waiting for a two-time Oscar winner to join the call. But that’s what I did one Sunday morning, counting the seconds until my interview with Cate Blanchett began. Her schedule was packed—plenty of news services wanted interviews regarding her recent roles in Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up, two movies considered likely to receive Oscars nominations—but she found the time for a half-hour audio call.

I take a deep but not quite calming breath as she joins; knowing time is limited, we briefly exchange greetings and begin. The first thing I want to know is how she was cast in Nightmare Alley, a film noir about the rise and fall of Stan Carlisle, a carnival mentalist in 1940s America. In the movie, Blanchett plays Dr. Lilith Ritter, a cunning psychologist who seems to partner with Stan, but has an agenda of her own.

She tells me that she and director Guillermo del Toro had previously spoken about working on a project together; while that original project never bore fruit, he kept her in mind when it came time to cast Nightmare Alley. “I read the script, and was blown away by it, because it felt so distinct and obviously was drawing from deep recesses of not only the novel,” she says (referring to the 1946 novel by William Lindsay Gresham which the movie adapts), “but things that Guillermo and [co-writer] Kim Morgan had been thinking about for a long time.” I agree with her, saying that the movie’s clearly inspired by del Toro’s personal interests, such as his fondness for filming weird things in jars.

Laughing, she tells me that she and del Toro have a shared love of the horror genre—“I was gripped by that all through my adolescence…I now can’t watch a horror movie without peeing my pants”. But Nightmare Alley doesn’t just rely on the sinister visuals that del Toro is often associated with; rather, halfway through the film the setting shifts from a seedy, exploitative carnival to the elegant ballrooms and offices of New York. While beautiful, it’s ultimately an equally dark and destructive realm—“there’s blood in the panels of those walls,” Blanchett says of that setting.

So what makes film noir relevant as a genre these days? There are so many archetypes of the genre that can be used in a sloppy way, Blanchett notes, and a mere replica of its conventions can just end up being a “cinematic history lesson”. But what del Toro has done is to harness the tropes of the genre—characters haunted by a dark past, spaces that are claustrophobic and confining—and show how they remain pertinent to the psychology of the modern world.

Gresham’s novel was previously adapted as a black-and-white film in 1947 by director Edmund Goulding, and while Blanchett likes the film and had seen it prior to signing on to this project, she does point out a limitation in its storytelling. For her, the 1947 adaptation’s characterization of Dr. Ritter felt “hazy”, less memorable than some of its other components—but this, in a way, was useful.

Without the fear of being held back by Dr. Ritter’s portrayal in the previous version, she could put her own spin on the character. “She had to be a little Sphinx-like, in the sense that she’s asking the question, but you sense that there’s a power and weight of experience behind those questions,” she says. Del Toro prepared a detailed biography for the character, which Blanchett tells me was headed by a quote from Hamlet: “I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in”.

However, because she knew that to explicitly show her character’s past would be saying too much, the movie only hints at her true self and history. Blanchett especially praises the film’s production design, by Tamara Deverell, as a means of implying Dr. Ritter’s true nature—“I’ve never walked onto a set that so absolutely represented the character I was playing”. Ultimately, she didn’t want the character to be a stereotypical femme fatale, who sought to destroy men “simply because”; rather, Dr. Ritter had been physically and mentally scarred by a cruel world, and was trying to bring about a twisted form of justice.

But that goal wouldn’t be achieved without Stan Carlisle, played by Bradley Cooper, who her character simultaneously works with and undermines. “I adore Bradley”, she says, as an actor as well as a producer and director. They found that they had similar rhythms as actors, so that performing alongside him was enjoyable even in the darkest and most complex scenes—“it’s a dance of death…it’s a matador and a bull,” she says of their characters’ dynamics.

On the topic of the actor’s craft, does she see acting more as telling the truth or telling lies? She reflects on the question, telling me that for her, ultimately, “acting is revealing”. The things revealed can range from being pleasant to repulsive—“but it’s never, ever telling an audience what to think…I suppose that’s what art is, isn’t it? It does more and resonates more than what it seems to do on the surface.” Maybe that’s why some people think that art and acting is deception, she says.

With this film and Don’t Look Up (a disaster movie by Adam McKay that satirizes the inaction and misinformation surrounding the climate crisis) speaking to the uncertainty of the modern world, I ask her what it’s like to try and make sense of truth in a time where nothing seems to be known. She agrees that it’s become difficult to hunt the truth out, to get at the things that are foundational to a democracy. “I feel for students at the moment,” she says, wondering when it was that truth became degraded into nothing more than competing information sources—in the last six years? since the Cold War? “Certainly in the last four years, that word itself has been so destroyed”.

As for the function of art in general, she says, “I don’t think art is political; it’s wilfully not”. Whereas politics focuses on the here and now, artists have the freedom to look backwards or forwards in time, such as how del Toro’s film uses the 1940s to reflect modern cultural questions back at us. For her, art is a provocation, a space for dangerous ideas: “art is a much more irresponsible medium—it has to be”.

This leads the conversation to current affairs, specifically the experience of making movies during COVID–apart from her two aforementioned projects, last year she finished filming TÁR, a drama film by Todd Field, and is about to begin filming Disclaimer, a seven-part series by Alfonso Cuaron, as well as an adaptation of Lucia Berlin’s short stories, directed by Pedro Almodóvar, next year. Noting the importance of how stories and films provided escapism amidst the pandemic’s stresses, Blanchett tells me that she felt privileged to be part of the film industry. However, she also notes that “there are millions of out-of-work performers, particularly in the live performing arts” who’ve not been as lucky as her and have struggled because of the pandemic.

Blanchett also stresses that the film industry also hasn’t fully processed other key cultural moments such as Black Lives Matter or MeToo, and the need to address these systemic issues in an uncompromising way. “The pandemic revealed just how broken everything was,” she concludes this train of thought by saying, “as you put the pieces back together, the upside is that there’s an understood necessity in our industry to fix it.”

My final question for her is to ask, on behalf of our readers (and myself), for any film recommendations she might have. She replies that while she hasn’t been able to see anything in a cinema yet, she rewatched the 1981 TV miniseries adapting the novel Brideshead Revisited, singling out Jeremy Irons’ performance for particular praise. More recent works she singles out for praise include Long Day’s Journey Into Night, by Bi Gan—recommended to her by her son—the movies of Josephine Decker and Lucrecia Martel, and Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers. It’s clear from how she speaks that these are movies she genuinely feels passionate about.

With that, she answers my final question—or so I assume. Because, later that day, she messages me with one final recommendation: “The other film to see is RED ROCKET. Unforgettable”.

Note: We have added the countries where the black and white version of Nightmare Alley is released.

Source: Nightmare Alley, Cherwell

 

Cate Blanchett will live with the femme fatale label
Posted on
Jan 28, 2022

Cate Blanchett will live with the femme fatale label

Happy Friday!

Here’s a new interview that Cate did with Sydney Morning Herald. Nightmare Alley is now out in Australian cinemas.

From the moment Cate Blanchett’s Dr Lilith Ritter glides into the frame of Guillermo del Toro’s noir masterpiece Nightmare Alley, she easily takes her place alongside film’s greatest femmes fatales: Mary Astor in The Maltese Falcon (1941), Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity (1944) and Ava Gardner in The Killers (1946).

It’s a stunning performance, make no mistake. Perhaps even a career-best. In a richly detailed, delicately stitched study of human horror, as carny-turned-conman Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) masters the art of stage clairvoyance and is quickly consumed by his ambition and greed.

Carlisle thinks he’s playing games with Blanchett’s Dr Lilith Ritter but in truth, he’s met his match. And while femme fatale seems at first flush to be a somewhat dated way of framing a woman whose characteristics seem no more complicated than intelligence, ambition and agency, Blanchett says she’ll live with the label.

“Barbara Stanwyck is one of my all-time favourites, so yes, [it’s] wonderful company; I’ll take that on the chin,” Blanchett says. “But it is more complex than that, and if you look at femmes fatales traditionally, they have been driven to destroy men. A siren draws boats onto the rocks because, in a way, they’re enigmatic and they’re mysterious and they’re unknowable. Lilith is all of those things.

“But the wonderful thing about Guillermo is that he loves all the characters, he loves their quirks, their strangeness, their monstrousness, but he’s interested in revealing those inner machinations,” Blanchett adds. “Even though Lilith is in that enigmatic space as a femme fatale, hopefully you understand that she has a higher purpose.”

Nightmare Alley is based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, and follows an earlier screen adaptation of the same book, in 1947, starring Tyrone Power and Helen Walker in the roles now played by Cooper and Blanchett.

Under the guiding hand of del Toro – the man who made the Oscar-winning films Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and The Shape of Water (2017) – Nightmare Alley becomes a study of the darkness within human nature, a de facto horror film that meshes the colourful whimsy of a backwater carnival with the knife’s edge suspense of a thriller. And if awards season buzz is to be taken seriously, Nightmare Alley is a genuine Oscar contender.

Speaking to this masthead in a separate interview, del Toro said he took great delight in pairing Blanchett and Cooper, whom he considered to be two extraordinary actors. “When I took Bradley to Cate Blanchett, I said, hey, King Kong, you’re about to meet your Godzilla.”

“So, I’m Godzilla, am I?” laughs Blanchett when I relate the story to her. I ask her whether del Toro is a genius, monster-tamer, cuddly bear or madman?“ He is, of course, all of those things,” Blanchett replies. “But the thing that you find with Guillermo, apart from his unparalleled ability as cinema artist, is this incredible, incredible heart.

“When we say that a director holds your hand through an experience, the feeling is somehow [that the actors are being] mollycoddled, but he doesn’t do that.

“He can be brutally honest, but it’s always done from a place of wanting to make things better. And this story, which has been brewing for a really long time, [is about] the monster within, that sort of extreme-sport aspect of our emotional, dark recesses that we keep in check by being, quote-unquote, civilised.”

In a sense, Blanchett’s dance with the dark side is an exercise in wilful pretence. Were she the sort of actor who inhabited a noisy social media life, she says, the idea of a double identity might be more everyday. And perhaps, she adds, fraught with greater risk.

“In a social media sphere where the wholesaling of oneself and one’s day-to-day identity gets morphed with one’s exterior persona … some people would be very good at navigating that, but I know [for me] it would be disastrous,” Blanchett says. “I feel very lucky to have a space to do that that is not enmeshed in my day to day.

“And of course, that’s the joy of being an actor; a little bit like a carnival performer, you get to do that, to investigate the monstrous, freakish, dark side of being alive in a hermetically sealed environment that is adjacent to one’s life, and then you step out and live your real life.”

Though the film resides in the shadows on the edge of del Toro’s unbridled love of the horror genre – though it is, strictly speaking, more traditional noir than explicit horror – it also serves as a chilling polemic on the danger of charlatanism, in an era where the political discourse seems to have been infected by hollow, performative showmen.

“It’s unbridled, unfettered charlatanism,” Blanchett says. “When it’s the circus and the carnival, where you’re told a lie and you know that you’re being lied to, it’s for fun, it’s for pleasure. It doesn’t affect the way our society is structured or who has the power, and who doesn’t have the power, and how people get treated. That’s a safe place to do it.

“But it’s when the people start believing their lies, and they’re running the country and, as you say, those charlatans are just celebrated. When the people in the corridors of power celebrate the fact that they’re not even bothering to dance with the truth, that’s where we’re in real trouble, and that’s the space we find ourselves in.”

Though they are profoundly different films, we’re not in so different a place to another recent film of Blanchett’s – Netflix’s monster hit Don’t Look Up – in which she plays newsreader Brie Evantee.

“It’s a climate-change film, but it’s not about climate change,” she says.

“In the same way, [Nightmare Alley] is about the era in which we live, yet it’s set back in time and it’s ostensibly set in the world of spiritualism and mentalism and in the world of the carny and monsters and monstrousness and the noir. It runs parallel to the world in which we live now, so people are free to make those associations, but those associations are not laboured upon.

“I think, really, the world is so unbearable for so many millions of people right now that it’s the only way we can talk about it.

“You open the proverbial newspaper and it’s a shit show, so you need to escape into a dream state, in a way. And that’s the space that Guillermo’s provided with Nightmare Alley. So all of those associations and textures are alive, but they’re there for the audience to make those connections, rather than being told to.”

Cate Blanchett podcast interview and Netflix’s Pinocchio Teaser and Release Date
Posted on
Jan 24, 2022

Cate Blanchett podcast interview and Netflix’s Pinocchio Teaser and Release Date

Hello, blanchetters!

France Inter has released the podcast interview with Cate. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, where Cate is voicing Sprezzatura (a monkey) will be released in December 2022.

Cate Blanchett in all facets

Some call her “the chameleon” and consider her one of the greatest actresses in the world. Cate Blanchett is the guest of Augustin Trapenard.

Double Oscar winner, on the big screen, she played Elizabeth I, Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings , Katherine Hepburn in Scorsese, Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes and many others. She is currently starring in ” Nightmare Alley”, Guillermo del Toro ‘s new film , and will soon receive an honorary César for her entire career.

Excerpts from the show

“I’m a complete fan of Bette Davis. It’s no matter how much we claim our individuality, when we see an extraordinary actor or when we are crossed by a superb film, we are inevitably influenced. We actors are porous creatures”

“In ‘Nightmare Alley’, the three main characters are archetypal women, but they are imagined as parts of a whole. movie”

“The camera can lay bare something of our humanity. Indigenous peoples were afraid that the camera would steal a part of their soul. There is an essential truth here that even the actor is not aware of, and which is reveals in spite of himself

“Truth has become a modifiable, switchable and highly politicized product. Five years ago, truth was based on established, verified facts, and suddenly it became something vague, moving. I find that terrifying “

“You are the product of your habits. You can never really escape from yourself. But the privilege of the actor is to be able to slip into different lives and escape your own habits”

Pinocchio Teaser Trailer and Release Date

Netflix has announced the director’s stop-motion, musical adaptation of “Pinocchio” is set for release in December 2022. Del Toro co-directs this long-in-the-works passion project with Mark Gustafson. To mark the date announcement, Netflix unveiled a brief teaser with the first footage of Ewan McGregor voicing Cricket.

Starring opposite McGregor in “Pinocchio” is David Bradley as Geppetto, Gregory Mann as Pinocchio, Finn Wolfhard, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, Burn Gorman, Christoph Waltz and Tilda Swinton. Del Toro’s adaptation is set in Italy during the 1930s, a time when fascism is on the rise and Benito Mussolini is consolidating control of the country.

Source: France Inter; Variety

Cate Blanchett talks Nightmare Alley and A Manual for Cleaning Women
Posted on
Jan 23, 2022

Cate Blanchett talks Nightmare Alley and A Manual for Cleaning Women

Happy Sunday!

El Pais published a new interview they did with Cate ahead of the release of Nightmare Alley in Spain on January 28th. Here’s a google translated interview.

The actress premieres ‘Nightmare Alley’, by Guillermo del Toro, while leading the pre-production of ‘A Manual for Cleaning Women’, by Almodóvar. “I want to enjoy Pedro’s passion,” she says.

The deep, unique voice of Cate Blanchett (Melbourne, 52 years old), resounds on the other end of the phone: “What if I am Pedro Almodóvar’s new boss? Noooo [laughter]. We are fellow adventurers, I don’t believe in hierarchical structures”. The actress is promoting Nightmare Alley, by Guillermo del Toro, but A Manual for Cleaning Women appears on the horizon , the 43 stories of Lucia Berlin, who died in 2004, which Almodóvar has written script. For four years, the Spaniard has been working on the project. But before the doubt of whether it would go ahead or not, in his production company, El Deseo, they did not renew the adaptation rights. To the rescue of the film appeared Blanchett, its possible protagonist, who is passionate about the script, and who therefore bought the rights. Now, her production company, Dirty Films, is leading a work that will feature that script and be directed by Almodóvar and will be filmed in 2023. “We are collaborators, something I look for in my films. I had been wanting to work with Pedro for a long time, enjoy his passion”, she says.

About her character, she explains: “It’s fascinating how Berlin explored herself from many different perspectives: love, addictions, the creative process… All the women in the stories are, deep down, herself. And that Pedro has grasped, because he knows what the primary mechanisms of relationships between human beings are like. In his films there is heart and at the same time a profound reflection on aesthetics”.

Blanchett finds a quick connection between Almodóvar and del Toro: “Both are deeply humanistic filmmakers. You can see it in Parallel Mothers, in its final interweaving between History and the deepest human feelings. He loves people.” And she explains that next week they will meet again: “On Wednesday I will present a screening of her film in London and Pedro and Penélope Cruz will be there. There is no plan that I want more”. It is a pass for members of the Hollywood Academy, since until February 1 they can vote for the Oscar nominations, and it coincides with the premiere, on Friday the 28th, of Parallel Mothers in the United Kingdom.

The excuse for the interview, held last Tuesday, is her work in Nightmare Alley, in which she plays a psychiatrist, Lilith Ritter, without any scruples to swindle people and who will find in the protagonist – who is brought to life by Bradley Cooper—, a trickster hardened in local fairs who now acts for rich people, his best possible ally. A femme fatale manual. “Well, it is that usually in film noir there are. And her wardrobe and her office provide many common elements of these women. But I also think that part of that type of character is made up of their body, and here that beautiful body is provided by Bradley. Guillermo has shunned the traditional image and planted elements of corruption and perdition for all the characters.” Is it a movie without monsters, unlike almost all of Del Toro’s previous films? “Ugh, the no monster thing is indeed moot, because some of the characters are demeaned in ways that you might think they are. The promises of power and money push them into an amorality that is as frightening as the monsters. Those behaviors are also terrifying.”

Production on Nightmare Alley was halted for six months during the lockdown, time Blanchett spent gardening. “It was frustrating for all of us, because we had very little left to finish, but at the same time it helped us reflect on what we had filmed.” For the actress, there is no one comparable to the Mexican director. “It’s unique. Not only is he a great lover of film history, as is obvious, but he is also fascinated by acting, production design, photography. He is constantly creating and is an artist who drives those of us who work to be better.” And that is why she will also be with him in Pinocchio, an animation project that will finally be released in September, produced by Netflix. An hour after this interview, Del Toro himself explained to EL PAÍS: “I know that I always say that the monsters that scare me the most are human beings. But Cate, no [laughs]. Our relationship has been explosive and joyful. It has been like discovering a friend who was already a friend before I met him. Years ago we developed a television series that was never shot and I was captivated by its humor and depth. Now my challenge is how to write roles for Cate in my future films.”

Blanchett has launched numerous messages in favor of movie theaters in recent years. When in September 2020 she attended the Venice festival, as president of its jury, he pointed out: “We have to go back to the theaters. We are coming out of a streaming monoculture that has lasted six months. This is the opportunity to re-examine how this technology changes the way of seeing and making cinema”. Now she explains, after being part of the success of Netflix Don’t Look Up: “I am passionate about getting involved in fascinating stories that force me to take risks. And in this case, I loved joining the world of Adam McKay, I’ve been in that project for years, before Netflix came on. Adam’s way of telling it in a documentary style is shocking… Because we actually live in a world where populism rules, where arguments are not listened to.” Due to these interests, she jumped from the cinema to the theater and although she has directed on stage, she does not think he will soon do it for the big screen: “I have always been interested, but you need a lot of patience and time. I have a couple of ideas, and at the same time four children. Too much hassle for now.”

On the element that unites both films, Don’t Look Up and Nightmare Alley, which reflect on what is true or false and the triumph of fake news, she points out: “The global level of distrust and fear is incredible. I am still amazed at the widespread corruption that we have accepted. We should reflect more on it and that is why it is pertinent to make these types of films, to debate about it”. Do those who best manipulate the rest of human beings win? “It infuriates me to see where the world is going because of this constructed fear, created by some.”

Source: El Pais

Nightmare Alley Streaming Release Date; Behind the scenes and featurette
Posted on
Jan 22, 2022

Nightmare Alley Streaming Release Date; Behind the scenes and featurette

Hello!

Nightmare Alley will soon be released on streaming services in the US. A special behind the scenes look on the movie which is almost 23 minutes long and the featurette on the movie’s cinematography were released. Martin Scorsese also wrote on an op-ed on LA Times on why you should give Nightmare Alley a watch. Like we always remind, beware of spoilers if you have not seen the movie. Enjoy!

Nightmare Alley Will Be Streaming on Hulu and HBO Max in February

Guillermo del Toro’s R-rated thriller “Nightmare Alley” is heading to streaming sooner than many expected. The film, which stars Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett, will be available to stream on both Hulu and HBO Max starting February 1, 2022.

The streaming release comes less than two months after the Searchlight Pictures film was released exclusively in theaters, on Dec. 17.

Nightmare Alley Cinematography FYC

In the video, del Toro even offers a clue to his motivation for releasing the whole film, which also stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Richard Jenkins, in a black-and-white version, which opened in select Los Angeles theaters last week. Del Toro and Laustsen shared their thoughts on this version with TheWrap: “I kept saying, ‘Oh, my God, I wish I could do both releases,’” the director raved.

Cinematography FYC Featurettes Screencaptures

Behind the Scenes

Martin Scorsese wants you to watch ‘Nightmare Alley.’ Let him tell you why

A few weeks ago, I caught up with Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley.” I was impressed and moved. I look forward to watching anything that Guillermo does, but this particular picture had a special power and resonance for me.

Then I came to realize that people just weren’t coming out for it, which was distressing. Obviously, this past holiday season was a tricky moment to release any movie. But I also wonder if there has been a real appreciation of Guillermo’s accomplishment.

I would bet that the term “noir” has appeared in most of the reviews and comments about “Nightmare Alley,” and with good reason. The characters are all haunted, many are doomed, and the film is based on a novel with the kind of wild labyrinthine plot that is a hallmark of film noir. On top of that, the novel was filmed once before, right after its publication in 1946, and the earlier version directed by Edmund Goulding has long been considered a classic of the genre.

But the term “noir” has been used so often and in such a cheeky way that it seems more like a flavor than anything else, and it might just lead someone seeking information about the picture in the wrong direction. They might be expecting a noir “pastiche,” of which there have been many. That doesn’t even begin to do justice to Guillermo and Kim Morgan’s adaptation.

The majority of the picture takes place in the ‘30s, and it seems to grow out of the bitterness and despair of the depression: You can feel it in the images and in the body language of the actors. All the characters in this film are feeling real pain, a sense of spiritual desolation rooted in everyday life. This isn’t just a matter of “style” or “visuals,” exquisite as the film is. It’s a matter of Guillermo’s complete commitment to the material, to bringing his vision to life with his production designer, his costume designer, his DP and his amazing cast, led by Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett. They work together to create a dead-end universe from out of the American past, and they do it inside and out, through and through.

In that sense, the film is truer to the animating spirit of film noir than the many “homages” that have been made over the years and are still being made now. Guillermo is certainly speaking from and to his own time, but he’s doing so in the idiom of a time gone by, and the urgency and despair of then overlaps with the urgency and despair of now in a way that’s quite disturbing. It’s like a warning bell.

Disturbing, but exhilarating at the same time. That’s what art can do.

COVID-19 has also been extremely tough on the cinema in general. It’s added time-consuming protocols and extremely expensive insurance packages to the budgets of all films, big and small. It’s resulted in the closure of many theaters and a resistance to going back to the ones that are still open. And on top of everything else … Omicron.

If you decided to just file “Nightmare Alley” away under “noir” or some other category, I would urge you to take a second closer look. And if you decided to skip it altogether, for whatever reason, please reconsider. In essence, what I’m trying to say is that a filmmaker like Guillermo, who gives us pictures this lovingly and passionately crafted, doesn’t just need our support: he deserves it.

Source: The Wrap, The Wrap FYC, ABC7, LA Times