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tv   Talking Movies  BBC News  August 20, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

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northern ireland. ahead of it, for much of the country and much of the day, mainly dry with spells of sunshine. a bit coolerfurther west with rain pushing its wake eastwards. southern england particularly overnight, beginning to weaken. some mist and fog over northern ireland overnight, but dry over scotland. a milder night than the one just over scotland. a milder night than the onejust gone. over scotland. a milder night than the one just gone. the over scotland. a milder night than the onejust gone. the band of rain stretching across central and eastern england, fizzling out but continuing across northern ireland, eventually pushing into north—west england and western parts of scotla nd england and western parts of scotland through the afternoon. elsewhere it is looking mainly dry with spells of sunshine fine to come through the cloud, and it will feel a little bit warmer. hello, this is bbc news.
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the headlines: spain's king and queen attend special mass in barcelona to honour those killed in the catalonia attacks. police say they do not know if the man suspected of driving the van used in the attack in las ramblas is still in spain. and catalonian police say investigators have identified two people from remains found in a house which exploded on wednesday night in alcanar. in other news, fraudsters aiming to scam people out their pension could soon face fines of up to £500,000, as the government introduces new measures to tackle cold callers. some breaking news coming into our
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newsroom. the police service of northern ireland are telling us they are investigating the deaths of two males in ballymena in county antrim. the bodies were found in the front tyre area of the town this morning, we have been told. —— the drum tara area. the investigation is of a very early stage and postmortems will be carried out to determine the cause of death. we havejust carried out to determine the cause of death. we have just been told about that discovery in county antrim in the last two moments. —— the last few moments. the rest of today's news after talking movies. hello, and welcome to talking movies. i'm tom brooke. in today's programme: as people here in new york gather to watch a movie outdoors, we report on america's blockbuster season, as the finish line approaches. what were the successes?
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wonder woman, guardians of the galaxy vol 2, and spider—man: homecoming must count among them. but, with so many uninspiring sequels, there was a lot of franchise fatigue. it seems like lately that is the only thing that is coming out, and i want to see more creative content. and, among the summer movies inspired by real events, detroit — a report on the debate it revived over who was really qualified to tell black stories. directors from other races don't know how to properly showcase black men and women living full lives. then, this summer's sleeper hits at the american box office. we look at one film that really broke new ground, as well as the sleeper hits of yesteryear. all that and more in this special blockbuster season review edition of talking movies. the big story at the american box
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office this summer was wonder woman, the first superhero blockbuster to be directed by a woman and make more money than any other summer film. before we delve deeper into the picture, let's cast our minds back to wonder woman, with this review from bbc culture film critic caryn james. she is an anti—war feminist. she deflects bullets with her bracelets. she has a sword tucked into the back of her evening gown. all that, and she's the superheroine of a thoroughly entertaining action movie. she's a princess named diana, raised on an island of amazon warriors. when a plane crashes, she reinvents the princess myth, rescuing her prince charming, an american intelligence officer played by chris pine. gal gadot is terrific as diana, charismatic and fierce. she and pine bring a lot of deadpan
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wit to their romance. but what really sets this wonder woman apart from other superheroes is the sense of pure idealism and wonder gadot brings to the role. whether her action sequences are set in the trenches of world war i or a bomb factory, they are crisp and lucid, dynamic, such a relief from the dark muddle of so many superhero movies. why has wonder woman been such a big success, and will it leave a lasting impact on the movie landscape? to find out, i sought the opinion of buzzfeed film news critic alison willmore. well, it was the first hugely successful female superhero movie. there have been ones in the past, attempts like catwoman and electra. but this was the first one to be an unqualified financial success. it has been proof, if proof is required,
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that a female—led superhero movie can have mass appeal. many women reported having quite an emotional response when they watched wonder woman. what did the film give them that perhaps other films had not given them? i think that what wonder woman has given audiences, particularly female audiences, is this representation of themselves on screen. to be able to see this character kind of step onto a battlefield, in the best scene in the movie, and commit herself to this act of kind of unqualified heroism. and there is something that is very moving about seeing a female character be put in the spotlight like that, in a genre that we have gotten very familiar with. so i think that there is certainly this feeling of a boundary being crossed. how instrumental was pattyjenkins, the director of wonder woman, to its success? one of the things that's really refreshing about this movie is not
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just that it is so grounded in a female character and female experience, but that it looks at her without having to kind of, like, filter her through a male perspective, orfilter her through the experiences of her love interest, played by chris pine. so i think that that is something that you really sense with having a female director behind the camera. how can a woman fight in this? many hollywood executives used to say that men would not go to a superhero movie if there was a female protagonist. but they have been proved wrong with wonder woman, haven't they? you always see that female—led movies, and movies with actors of colour, there is this burden on them, that they have to prove every time that these properties are viable, that they are not niche. there is a lot of pressure put on movies like this, that you are proof of a basic concept, not just the film succeeding in its own right. so i was really excited to see the success of wonder woman, and i am really interested to see where that leads. but i always think about something like bridesmaids, which was a film
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which was supposed to usher in a new era of female—led superhero films, and it didn't really. hollywood has been taught many lessons before about this, and it never seems to stick. what will be the lasting impact of wonder woman? there is going to be a sequel, but will it increase opportunities for women in the film business, across the board, do you think? i think that wonder woman is a big lesson. ijust hope it is one that studios take, both in terms of its director and in terms of its main character. i think thatjust continued pressure from fans, to say that this is important to them, as important as seeing as female superhero in front of the camera, i think that is what would make sure that that continues to happen. this summer at the box office, there were several films inspired by real events,
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from director christopher nolan's dunkirk to al gore's documentary on climate change. then there was detroit, a film based on the 1967 detroit riots, directed by kathryn bigelow. it sparked a fair bit of debate, which is still ongoing. tristan daily reports. in detroit, a city at war, violence continues. what is a black film? is it possible for white filmmakers in hollywood to adequately tell stories from a black respective? the film detroit, set in detroit, michigan and directed by a kathryn bigelow, has reignited this debate. the film depicts the algiers motel incident, where the cops during the riot thought there was a sniper in the motel, and they went and lined a bunch of people up against the wall, and kept them there for hours, and terrorised them. and, by the time the incident was over, three african—americans were dead. i got all night, people.
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the centrepiece of the movie is the 45—minute—long motel sequence. some have said that this is the most powerful part of the film, as it gives a window into the nature of police brutality, which is still present to this day. others have said it is a nearly pornographic lynching sequence, and has little value. let's not be stupid in this situation. the film was put together by a white director, kathryn bigelow, and a white writer, mark boal. so it didn't feature any black americans on the production team. some people really take issue with that. i think the issue of who made this film, and whether it should have been black filmmakers, is on the one hand an important one to discuss, and to the extent that we need more talented people who are african—americans behind the camera. 0n the other hand, it is a very dicey issue, and i think a very slippery slope when you have some people saying that a film of this subject should not be made
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by white filmmakers. it seems like freedom of expression means, to me, that people should be able to make works of art about people of different races. it's a warzone out there. while there has been a backlash about the race of the creative team behind detroit, white american filmmakers producing what may be considered black films is not uncommon. one of the most notable examples is steven spielberg's 1985 film the colour purple. it was adapted from alice walker's novel, and is accepted as a black film. however, there are those who are upset that white filmmakers seem fixated on the oppression and struggle of black people. i think sometimes directors from other races don't know how to properly showcase black men and women living full lives, outside of the racism
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and trauma that we endure. can a white director properly do that correctly? i don't doubt it. but it seems as if hollywood only knows us for a few things, and trauma and endurance is one of them. kathryn bigelow and anthony mackie, who appears in the film, both agree that the goal of the project was to start a conversation. this film is a lot of black tragedy. and i don't know if african—americans, people of colour, need to see any more tragedy in order for us to have a conversation about the very undeniable, systemic racism that has built this country. although detroit has not performed as well as expected at the box office this summer, it did cause controversy about representation in film. there is no guarantee that the movie would have been more successful if they were black filmmakers behind the camera, but one could speculate that much more of the conversation about the film would be focused
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on the quality of the filmmaking, and the message it attempts to convey. now, let's move on to some of the other summer films. 0ne sad reality is just how bad they were, a fact reflected in seasonal box office revenues, which were several percentage points down on last year. the big problem — franchise fatigue. more and more sequels underperforming. before we investigate franchise fatigue further, let's look at one franchise sequel which it is generally agreed worked well. spider—man: homecoming. the people behind spider—man: homecoming have remembered something that makers of almost every other recent superhero film have forgotten — that if you are going to tell a story about someone in a colourful costume, who can throw bad guys
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around like they are frisbees, then it should probably be fun for all the family. so never mind all the mass destruction and cosmic doomsday devices that we usually get. this is a warm, fast—paced coming—of—age comedy about a group of teenagers, one of whom happens to have been bitten by radioactive arachnid. spider—man has to struggle with the vulture, played by michael keaton, who clears up all the debris after the avengers? city—wrecking battles. he built himself a gigantic and surprisingly sinister set of robotic wings, and goes into the supervillain business. the fact he is a savage killer, but also an ordinary, downtrodden working man, makes him one of the best baddies in the marvel rogues gallery. the only problem is that there is too much crammed into a two—and—a—quarter—hour film. it has too many characters, and too many action set pieces, none of which is as spectacular
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as their equivalent in the sam raimi films. like its eager young protagonists, spider—man: homecoming tries a bit too hard, and it sometimes stumbles. well, what did spider—man get right that enabled it to satisfy audiences, while other franchise films fell short? to investigate franchise fatigue, we put together our own panel. spider—man: homecoming works really well, because it almost plays like a john hughes comedy. tom holland, for one, almost is of high school age, so he really can capture teenage peter parker, something that andrew garfield and toby maguire, who were pushing into their 30s, couldn't quite capture. but it's also a wonderfully diverse cast and there are even some interesting political points to it. zendaya, who plays m], has this great moment when she says —
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when they're on a school field trip to washington, dc and they're about to visit washington monument and she says, "i don't want to go there because it was built by slaves". it's like, this is a movie by disney. they didn't have to put that line in there. i think it's important to point out that while spider—man: homecoming has done well, it's also as of now considered the lowest grossing spider—man movie out of all of them. so even with that movie, that's a hit, there's still a bit of franchise fatigue. but the thing that's drawing people into these franchises that are doing well, like wonder woman, like spider—man, it's the diversity. sometimes i feel like washington monuments thing was a bit too easy, sort of thing. at the same time, seeing these movies tend to appeal even more to people who are typically under—represented, all of that is contributing and those other movies did not have that. i think you're right.
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with the mummy, this isn't a franchise yet, but all of the press leading up to it has been that they are starting a franchise and you just can feel audience members being like, gosh, another one? and it's called the dark universe. it's going to be just drawing from universal‘s classic horror movie characters — frankenstein, dracula, drjekyll appears in the mummy, played by russell crowe. i mean, who wants to see that? i don't think anyone's asking for that. no, i mean, it was the original...one of the original franchises. that was the thing back in the '205, 305 and '405. but, yeah, we already saw the brendan fraser versions. i do wonder if the rock was in this mummy it might have done better. itjust seems it just seems a little weird. i think we all agree franchise fatigue is a problem. i went down to the local cinema and asked some moviegoers what they think. what do you think about the fact
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that there are so many franchises and sequels in cinemas right now? i think it's a little bit lazy. it seems like lately that's the only thing coming out and i want to see more creative content. things like girls trip have been really interesting to me, so i want to see more of that next summer. if you were in charge of hollywood, is there one change you would you make that you think would make blockbusters better? make it so that women feel more impacted by it and maybe racial diversity within blockbusters. i think that might widen the span. do you think people have franchise fatigue? i think mainstream america does not, but those who actually appreciate cinema and what the movies are or used to be, definitively yes. has there been any blockbuster this season that has delivered for you? no. there just isn't really a lot of enthusiasm there. that's the thing. even with us talking about spider—man: homecoming, we all said we liked it, but none of us would say we loved it. going into this year, i'm just really getting tired of the marvel cinematic universe, i have to say. i think maybe some
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of these blockbusters are a little too male—centric. if you look at the top grossing films of the year, you've got beauty and the beast and wonder woman at number one and two, but we're not seeing many of them in this blockbuster season. i wonder if that's something that hollywood might want to change in the future. i certainly would hope so, but hollywood is also very slow on the up take with these things. they did announce a wonder woman sequel, so we'll see about that. but a different kind of blockbuster you have ava duvernay's a wrinkle in time. that i can see being a really huge deal, especially with the cast that they have. you have 0prah, you have chris pine, who is all over these blockbusters, and you have ava duvernay. black women will go out and support her. do you think with these franchises flagging, hollywood's going to change course at all, or are we going to be seeing transformers movies until the end of time? i don't think anything in hollywood is ever truly dead.
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everything comes back to life at some point. we are in a circle now where it might take five years or a decade. i think with spider—man it only took three years. it felt like a long time! yeah. so i think that so long as they're familiar properties and they're familiar to a modern audience, we are still going to keep getting these. i love that basically you are saying the plot of the mummy is a metaphor for hollywood. basically, any property, no matter how dead it may seem, can come back to life at some point. hollywood loves familiarity, no question about it. america in summertime nearly always yields a super hit and this year the one that can claim that title is the big sick. it's the first us romantic comedy to have a muslim—american leading man. it's a film that entertains, as it breaks new ground. i have to tell you something.
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i've been dating this girl. she's white. a white girl?! the big sick is based on the true romance of pakistani—american actor, writer and comedian kumail nanjiani. it follows his courtship with his future wife, his parents‘ efforts to force him into an arranged marriage with other women, and his wife—to—be‘s grave illness. it's co—written by nanjiani and his real—life wife, emily gordon. it's a blend of tragedy, humour and cross—cultural interaction. so, 9-11. i've always wanted to have a conversation with...people. you've never talked to people about 9—11? in many ways, kumail is like the lead in any other american romantic comedy. if the film helps to destigmatise muslim americans in the eyes of the public, the cast would be pleased. that would be ideal. it would be great because muslims need to be normalised. i feel like we've taken a bunch of steps back. so that would be a great, happy side—effect of our movie. after years of negative media
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portrayals of muslims in cinema, there seems to be an evolution in representation. the on—screen image of muslims in american entertainment is changing. the summer hit the big sick is playing a role. what has been lacking is nuance. only one time of muslim has been represented in the media for a long time. the terrorist, the bad guy. what the big sick represents is the nuance that already existing the country and, by seeing that on the big screen, it's going to have a tremendous effect in the way we view ourselves as a nation. i think i screwed up with your daughter. yeah, you did. the big sick is one of this summer's sleeper hits, but what about years past? well, we've been looking back at some of the sleeper surprises that have emerged over the decades. the summer blockbuster roll—out
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every year is pretty standard. audiences are bombarded with a barrage of promotional trailers, teasers and merchandise to promote big budget, larger—than—life movies, specifically reserved for a summertime release. but not for this type of movie. well, a sleeper hit is a movie that opens quietly. it doesn't come in with a lot of publicity, with a lot of buzz. it often doesn't have huge stars in it. and it gains its popularity slowly, but steadily, and itjust grows and grows and stays in theatres for a long, long time. 0pa! and sometimes it's a very little movie, like my big fat greek wedding, which a lot of people remember, which got to theatres and everyone loved it and it stayed for a long, long time. but they're movies that people just loved and went to see and continue to go and see and over a period of time built up this myth about them.
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are there any similarities between movies that become sleeper hits? one thing that always helps sleeper hits is if it's serving an audience that's really not being served by most of the movies out there. 0rmamma mia. mamma mia had money behind it. that was a broadway musical, so people had heard of that. but they opened it opposite the dark knight and people thought, this movie is going to get killed. nobody will see this musical opposite the dark knight, but it was just that. all of the people who didn't want to see the dark knight and wanted to see a movie about older women, who wanted to see a musical, something comical, it really appealed to them. and over the years, some of the sleeper hits have really appealed to audiences and stayed in our hearts. some critics think that the most successful sleeper hits just have heart. it feels like it's one person's story, one person's vision,
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whether that's the director or the writer. you can feel m night shyamalan‘s personality in the sixth sense. you can feel kumail nanjiani's personality, and you can see it on the screen, in the big sick. fast times at ridgemont high, that movie had a real persona, a human touch. even when these movies tend to be more on the slick, hollywood, professional side, you're feeling something come through on the screen, sort of from behind the screen, through the screen to you. well, that's it. just to say, if you enjoyed those short reviews from bbc culture earlier in the programme, you can find more of the same at the bbc website. this month there are reviews of the dark tower and detroit. so, from me and the rest
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of the talking movies production team, here in new york, it's goodbye. we leave you with a music sequence from baby driver, another sleeper hit that emerged during blockbuster season. hello again. it looks like temperatures will be on the rise slowly over the coming days. the system approaching the uk today has with in it some moist, tropical air which is the remnants of x hurricane which is the remnants of x hurricane which has been whizzing across the atlantic. it means there is a lot more moisture in this system and hence more cloud. eventually, slightly higher temperatures. the cloud has been making its presence felt across the south—west. much cloudier here compared to areas further east, where we have seen plenty of sunshine, which we will hold onto through this evening, although the club will slowly start to fill in. through this evening, the rain band extends into the southern counties of england, it may just brush the midlands and extend
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across wales into northern ireland with mist and fog. for northern england and scotland, it is looking mainly dry. it will be a milder night than the one just gone andy moore dew midfield across wales and southern england. tomorrow morning, mist and fog to content with in the cell. a band of rain extending across wales into northern ireland. it tends to dissipate across england and wales but pushes into north—west england and western scotland later in the afternoon, still affecting parts of northern ireland. away from the rain band, temperatures up to 21 celsius, maybe a degree or so higher if we get lengthy spells of sunshine. 0ur if we get lengthy spells of sunshine. our system is still with us sunshine. our system is still with us into tuesday. it is fairly slow moving, but by tuesday we start to see further rain affecting northern ireland and showers across scotland as well. we are also drawing up warm and humid airfrom the near continent. again, a lot of cloud across much of the country, but there will be dry weather away from there will be dry weather away from the showers and in scotland. in any
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sunshine, up to 25—26 al sears on tuesday. 0n sunshine, up to 25—26 al sears on tuesday. on wednesday, slow changes from the west because there is a cold front pushing across. behind it there is fresh air and rain for northern ireland on wednesday, some of that getting into scotland, and maybe stretching down into north—west england as well. away from this band of rain, again, a lot of dry weather, some spells of sunshine, and we are still in the warm air across central and eastern areas. we will see 25—26 al sears, and a fresher feel further west is the front slide through. —— celsius. there will be a period of warmth midweek. the drier weather once we lose the rain overnight will be in the cell. the wettest conditions in the cell. the wettest conditions in the north ——. this is bbc news.
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the headlines at 3pm: police in spain investigating the terror attacks that claimed 1a lives say they've seized more than 120 gas canisters in the house which exploded in alcaner on wednesday. police say they do not know if the man suspected of driving the van used in the attack on las ramblas is still in spain. and spain's king and queen attend a special mass in barcelona to honour those killed in the catalonia attacks. fraudsters aiming to scam people out their pension could soon face fines of up to £500,000, as the government moves to tighten restrictions on cold callers. 500 people are thought to be dead after floods across south asia. the red cross say five million
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people have been affected in bangladesh alone. and around the world in much more than 80 days —

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