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Quendrith Johnson


Everything happening in film covered from LA...
@Quendrith I Facebook I screenmancer.tv


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15 Tech Things to Know Before Watching THE GREAT HACK on Netflix

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Maybe we need a creation myth for Social Media? Hey, don’t hashtag eyeroll: ’In the beginning was rumor and innuendo, but a hand swiped right across the metadata…’ Okay, before you WTF that, IRL consider “The Great Hack” coming from Netflix on July 24. It’s a documentary about how the Cambridge Analytica (CA) data hijinx not only took $30 B USD out of the stuffing of Facebook’s stock value, but crea...

Judy, Judy, Judy: Comedian Judy Jean Kwon’s 7 Steps to Being Woke

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent One good thing about asking blunt instrument questions is getting surgical replies: meet Judy Jean Kwon known for MILFriend. More about that show later. Meanwhile, the following interview is so good for you that the Surgeon General has listed it for required reading. Okay, that’s fake news, but what’s real news is that this look-back inside Old Hollywood from new Hollywood is important, even if seems more like an editorial bitch-sla...

Will Lynn Shelton’s SWORD OF TRUST Starring Marc Maron Be a Runaway Hit?

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Shot in 12 days in the heat of Alabama, SWORD OF TRUST, co-written and directed by Lynn Shelton and starring Marc Maron (GLOW) in his first outing as lead actor in a movie, may just be the viral comedy hit of 2019. Opening July 12 from IFC Films, it’s a smart conspiracy-themed jaunt that presents every con of ripped-from-the-fake-news headlines, but also gives love to the Second Amendment, the LGBTQ crowd, flat-earthers, and the once...

Who Says Don’t Be Shia, He’s Awesome in Peanut Butter Falcon

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent All of us hoping the best for Shia LaBeouf are about to be rewarded. Say what you will about his bag-over-the-head former anti-fame performance art campaigns, Shia remains a bare knuckle talent on the screen. And you’ll see it for yourself on Aug. 9, when he stars with Dakota Johnson and newcomer Zack Gottsagen in THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON, a movie about doing crazy shit and making it up as you go along. Or you can go by the official descr...

World Book Day & College Cheating Scandal Had a Love Child, BOOKSMART

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Apologies for that misleading and crass headline, but it worked, right? BOOKSMART is actually Olivia Wilde’s directorial film debut from Annapurna that opens on Memorial Day, May 27. And it’s as wild as you would suppose it would be, in a good way. “From the beginning, my take on the story was that high school has extremely high stakes,” notes director Olivia Wilde. “When you’re in it, high school feels like lif...

If Your Smartphone’s Full of Reveals, Imagine PERFECTOS DESCONOCIDOS

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Yes, we’ve all heard smartphones called the “black box” of our lives, but Mexican director Manolo Caro has adapted an award-winning Italian film that really speaks to the mobile handheld-driven times we live in.  Caro's new film PERFECTOS DESCONOCIDOS, or PERFECT STRANGERS to be released Jan. 11 from Pantelion Films, is literally powered by involuntary phone reveals. It’s full of “textual tension,&quo...

All You Need To Know Is LOVE, GILDA Is Radner’s Codex of Comedy

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent If you do an internet search for Gilda Radner, at least one thing comes up that would have made her laugh - a ridiculously maudlin celebrity website that asks “Dead or Alive? - Gilda Radner.” Well, the documentary LOVE, GILDA will bring her back to life in an endearing and lump-in-the-throat kind of way on Sept. 21, when Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films release it in theaters. This is a comedian even comedians revere beyond all ratio...

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot… But Joaquin Did Get to the Party Last Night

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Don’t you love hearing about a Hollywood party after it happens? Oh wait, an afterparty, after it happens? C’mon, saves you time and a hangover. Meanwhile last night was the LA premiere of DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT from Amazon Studios, a curious biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix that opens July 13. Jack Black and glasses, Joaquin Phoenix and cigarette during, not after, the afterparty This adapted screen story...

How Harvey Made Sexual Harassment Personal, Not Business, TWC & #RoseArmy Backfire

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent When Harvey Weinstein turned 66 on Monday, March, 19, his battered old haunt The Weinstein Company (TWC) also made headlines seeking bidders to shield itself from bankruptcy court. This is six months after the sexual harassment scandal broke wide. Specifically they announced a “stalking horse bidder,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, like we’re all supposed to know what that means. Basically it’s a favored bidder out...

Joan Kron's TAKE MY NOSE...PLEASE! is Kinda Fonda Plastic Surgery

Intro by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Sometimes a film comes along that is so unusual you have to sit up and take note. Such is the case with TAKE MY NOSE... PLEASE! It's a debut documentary by Joan Kron, an 89-years-young journalist and comedian who took up filmmaking in her mid-80's. It opens Oct. 6 at Village East in NY and Oct. 13 at Laemmle Santa Monica. I've picked up the interview below from Screenmancer.tv for you, and you'll notice they discuss the Ja...

There’s a Sphinx in Santa Barbara Thanks to Cecil B. DeMille, Wander Into THE LOST CITY Sept. 23

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent When THE LOST CITY OF CECIL B. DEMILLE screens at The Egyptian Theatre Sept. 23, and the documentary’s full 30 years of footage finally gets a proper showing, it will be in the mythical city of its origin, Hollywood. Scroll back in time to 1923, the Great Director DeMille stands in blowing sand, turning back the hands of time to a Biblical Age when “The Ten Commandments” made for cinematic chaff. Pardon the “outdoor voice&r...

Harry Dean Stanton Was LUCKY & Best Three Obits

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Harry Dean Stanton, who died Friday, Sept. 15 at age 91, was in the first movie I ever covered as a film reviewer. On Monday, Feb. 2, 1985, the New Mexico Daily Lobo in Albuquerque published a halting, lukewarm review of Wim Wenders' PARIS, TEXAS. It was a college try at doing this sort of thing, but years later, what strikes me about Harry Dean Stanton is that a lot of us  lived the quirky way he did on screen....

LA LA LAND for Shoes, That’s FOOTNOTES Plus a Social Message

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Damien Chazelle should be thrilled that his movie LA LA LAND has joined the serious ranks of American films that have opened up global audiences to a renewed appreciation of singing and dancing films. The proof? French film FOOTNOTES, originally titled “Sur Quel Pied Danser,” that “opens” on VOD, Tues. Sept. 19. Although the press notes assure all that its inspiration comes from the movies of Jacques Demy and Stanley D...

Crazy Little Thing Called DOWNSIZING from Payne with Damon, Wiig, Waltz & Hong Chau

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent For everybody who loved the DESCENDANTS with George Clooney, but thought it was too sad, or loved SIDEWAYS with Paul Giamatt but not that comedic mean streak of Alexander Payne, here comes something to really love. It’s called DOWNSIZING from Paramount, directed by Payne and co-written with Jim Taylor. This new comedy stars Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Kristen Wiig and Hong Chau from INHERENT VICE. If it sounds like “Honey, I ...

DADDY’S HOME 2: Mel’s Like Team Spirit, That’s Gibson, Wahlberg, Ferrell & Lithgow

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Mel Gibson comes back from traffic court, lol, okay too soon. Mulligan. Mel Gibson comes back from his Hollywood resurrection this year with his six-pack Oscar-nominated movie HACKSAW RIDGE (2016), that won two Oscars for sound mixing and editing, to join son of anarchy Mark Wahlberg and deviant nice guy Will Ferrell in DADDY’S HOME 2, their hit franchise reteam. But he’s not alone in the father-figure star power value-add. Beloved ...

Mumblecore No More, Greta Gerwig’s Debut Directing Film LADY BIRD Is Picture Perfect

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Raise your hand if you think Soairse Ronan should have won Best Actress for BROOKLYN. Anyone?  Yes, it’s an exercise in futility since Ronan was only a nominee in 2016. Lucky for her, Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut LADY BIRD, from A24 films and just shown at the Telluride Film Festival, is where Soairse gets redeemed. Or, you could say given a second chance to make a first impression as an emerging woman trapped ins...

Not Seeing Double, Clooney Has Twins & Two Bros Coen movie SUBURBICON

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Guess what George Clooney and wife Amal named their twins? Romulus and Screamus. Just kidding, actually they have normal names: Ella (think Fitzgerald) and Alexander. But that’s old news. The breaking news is the images coming out of the Venice International Film Festival. It's not kid pics so much as the SUBURBICON photo call and red carpet shots. SUBURBICON is Clooney’s new adventure in filmmaking. It stars Matt Damon as ...

Why You & Oscar Voters Have to See WIND RIVER, Renner & Gil Birmingham

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Jeremy Renner so far, except for his turn in Affleck’s THE TOWN where he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2011, has not been known for switching up his game. Until WIND RIVER, co-starring Elizabeth Olsen with Graham Greene that is.  Even as Renner received a Best Actor Oscar nom for HURT LOCKER in 2010, there was almost a built-in plausibility to that character. In WIND RIVER, there’s a built-in implausibility to...

Anatomy of a Remake: D.O.A. 1950 to DEAD ON ARRIVAL 2017 with Emmy Nom Billy Flynn

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent   Ever wonder how much the world has changed since the half century mark? Take the case of the Edmond O’Brien noir D.O.A, released in 1950, then jump to the Dennis Quaid-Meg Ryan remake in 1988. Now step into the 2017 reboot, DEAD ON ARRIVAL. Written and directed by Stephen C. Sepher, this is one of the independent films that debuted at this year’s Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF).     DEAD ON ARRIV...

Focus Features Turns 15 & Gifts Freebie Movies for You on FB Live thru Sept. 8

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Friday night for the next three weeks just got a little more exciting now that Focus Features is a teenager. The Comcast-owned movie label plans to gift the public three great first-run features from the past on Aug. 25, Sept. 1, and Sept. 8. All in celebration of their 15th anniversary in the business, the trio of star-vehicles will be shown for free on Facebook LIVE. Big names include Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey, Elijah Wood, Mar...

What If There’s No Back to School or Normal: Ai Weiwei’s HUMAN FLOW for UN’s WHD

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Maybe you’ve never heard of Ai Weiwei, who turns 60 on Aug. 28. Once a pro blackjack player, Weiwei still takes huge gambles as China’s best-known living artist, conceptual artist, and filmmaker who is often jailed or at odds with his government. There’s a link to his timeline and bio below. But for tomorrow Aug. 19, which the United Nation declared “World Humanitarian Day” back in 2003, Weiwei’s new fil...

Picture Is Worth a 1000 Words, But a Picture Distributor Speaks Volumes at First Run Features

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Who will never look at tiki torches the same? Oh, it’s #Charlottesville flashbacks, that mob who tried to destroy the reputation of the Commonwealth of Virginia, home to more US Presidents than any other state . That old tourist ad slogan “Virginia Is For Lovers” has now been flipped on its head. What are we to do? Well, First Run Features President Seymour Wishman has a few ideas. This came to my inbox this morning, likely sa...

Batman & Spiderman Walk Into MOLLY’S GAME, But Jessica Chastain Doesn’t Cave to Superheroes

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Holy Toledo, sometimes an insider Hollywood story is so good, you see how the game is played. Jessica Chastain in MOLLY'S GAME So once upon a Batman, and a few-movies-ago Spiderman, the caped one and the web slinger became poker fanatics, like super fanatics, in a snake-pit-named Hollywood club’s back room, a club once owned by a Pirate. True story, plus there’s an ex-Olympic skier with the same name as a character from James ...

Joe Bang Gives Up James Bond for Channing Tatum in Tenn., LOL, for LOGAN LUCKY

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Some good news Down South as Channing Tatum, who stars in LOGAN LUCKY directed by Steven Soderbergh, has gotten James Bond to dye his hair blonde — "Dye Another Day" would be a great 007 title -- wait, that's not real news. Even though Daniel Craig’s surprise Hillbilly-meets-Okie mega-cameo as Joe Bang in this movie is quite a towhead, the real news? Well, over a ways yonder in Tennessee the cast of LOGAN, which will b...

You Think Google Has Issues: Rachel Feldman Has Something To Say About Women & Directing, Okay?

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent One hot week in August leading up to a full moon, from Aug. 1 to Aug. 7, there was a kind of ground zero for the D-word from Hollywood to Silicon Valley. We’re talking hot-button issues inclusion, fairness, and equity under the heading of Diversity. If you haven’t heard what happened, a recap is in order. Here’s a timeline: on July 31 “CBS This Morning” covers a new USC Annenberg study that cites “inclusion c...

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About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith
LA Correspondent for fest21.com & filmfestivals.com

United States



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