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Director Tom Hardiman on Buzzy Locarno Hairytale ‘Medusa Deluxe’

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Tom Hardiman becomes a director to track with “Medusa Deluxe,” a deliciously dark murder mystery set in the competitive hairdressing competition which is about to bow at Locarno.

MUBI holds the rights to U.K./Ireland, France,Latin America, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, India and Southeast Asia. The film was developed and financed by the BFI and BBC Film.

“I really care about hairdressing, it’s something I am really passionate about,” admits Hardiman, who “picked up their language” over time.

“When they talk about Russian weaves [in the film], that came from a hairdresser in Peckham. A lot of them say: ‘I am a hairdresser first, counsellor second.’ It’s a unique territory, but there is an acting side to it too. They listen to someone’s problems and then bitch about them around the corner.”

Hardiman, who tells the story of a broken community which finds its way back through their shared passion, worked with celebrity hairstylist Eugene Souleiman on the film’s elaborate hairdos.

“He lets you peek behind the curtain, which is why I approached him – so many hairstyles are shown mid-style in the film,” he says, comparing Souleiman’s work to “modern sculpture.”

Medusa Deluxe
Courtesy of Tom Hardiman

“There is this cathartic moment at one point, two people genuinely caring about each other, and you have this hairstyle with a boat on the top. It’s utterly ridiculous,” he notes.

“To care about almost anything, including film, is absurd and it’s funny. I just really value people who are passionate to the point of obsession.”

Envisioning a character-led drama in the vein of Altman and Linklater, Hardiman decided to eavesdrop on his cast in “places of vulnerability,” in dingy rooms and dark corridors – far away from the glamour and glitz. Never really focusing on the actual investigation, even though the unexpected tragedy constantly looms over everyone’s hair-sprayed head.

“Something happens when you have a policeman coming. It changes the atmosphere. I prefer people who just fade into the background. Security guards or, yes, hairdressers, who are much more interesting than they give themselves credit for.”

While he wanted his feature debut to feel authentic and touching, it sizzles with humorous exchanges and mentions of “cheeky chignons.”

“My first short film was about carpets and my second about lazy eyes. I just like comedy,” he laughs.

“Hair is culturally important; it’s about how you want to present yourself to the world. But there is also the backroom gossip, the fun side of it. When I look at Altman or Loach, or even [Sean Baker’s] ‘Tangerine’ more recently, I honestly believe that in their darkest moments, people still crack a joke. Genuine realism needs humor.”

Shot by acclaimed cinematographer Robbie Ryan, nominated for an Academy Award for “The Favourite” and granted Camerimage’s prestigious Golden Frog for “C’mon C’mon,” “Medusa” might surprise the audience with the duo’s visual choices.

“I used to babysit my nieces and they were happy to watch a YouTuber walking around their flat for a solid hour. I felt there was something there that felt unique,” says Hardiman.

“We wanted this film to feel joyful, obviously, but we wanted it to feel now. There is a reason why we shot digitally. Robbie has a gift – you really ‘feel’ a person properly through his images. When I would look at him during the shoot, I could just see him smiling. We both set out to do the same thing: To bring love and enjoyment into people’s lives.”

Currently working on a new film about finance, diving into the world of economists and financial academics, Hardiman will stay close to his “obsessive” interests for now, he states.

“Once you get drawn into something, that level of passion is really interesting. It drives you to do crazy things. Trying to unravel why people are pushed to that point is the basis for storytelling.”

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Tom Hardiman
Courtesy of Tom Hardiman



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‘Parasite’ Star Song Kang-ho Races to Contact His Wife After an ‘Emergency Declaration’ (Exclusive)

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Parasite star Song Kang-ho leads the cast of the South Korean thriller, Emergency Declaration, which hits U.S. theaters this Friday, and only ET exclusively premieres an intense first look from the pandemic drama.

The film, which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last year, kicks off when a terroristic threat that goes viral online and Korean authorities discover that a suspect has recently boarded an international flight bound for the United States. When a healthy passenger on the same flight suddenly dies a gruesome death of unknown cause, panic erupts both in-flight and on the ground. With decreasing fuel and international refusals to offer aid, the captain and crew will be forced to take unprecedented emergency measures in an attempt to save the lives of their passengers.

Song plays Detective In-ho, who races to get in contact with his wife (played by Secret Sunshine‘s Jeon Do-yeon) in ET’s exclusive clip. After canceling a trip to Hawaii with his wife due to work, In-ho reports to the station as usual. But after coming across a video message in English threatening a terrorist attack on a plane, he prays that the suspect isn’t on the same Hawaii-bound flight as his wife.

Unfortunately, as the devastating clip scene unfolds, his worst fears come true and with the plane already en route to its intended destination, In-ho is fighting against the clock as he vows to resolve the impending emergency and keep it from becoming a tragedy so everyone aboard — and his wife — can return safely.

Squid Game‘s Lee Byung-hun also stars in the thriller, alongside Kim Nam-gil (Those Who Read the Hearts of Evil), Kim So-jin (The King) and Im Si-wan (Run On, Misaeng). The King‘s Han Jae-rim directed the film.

Emergency Declaration hits U.S. theaters Friday, Aug. 12.

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‘South Park’ Creators Developed an Entire Deepfake Donald Trump Movie That Never Got Made: ‘It’s Sort of On Hold’

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“South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker went viral during the pandemic thanks to their surprise deepfake video, “Sassy Justice,” which has earned over 2 million views on YouTube since its Oct. 2020 debut. The 14-minute short finds a deepfake Donald Trump, voiced by Peter Serafinowicz, reporting news out of Cheyenne, Wyoming under the eponymous moniker. The project was the first bit of content to come out of Deep Voodoo, Stone and Parker’s deepfake production studio.

Stone and Parker said at the time that “Sassy Justice” came about because “we just wanted to make fun of [deepfakes] because it makes it less scary,” but it turns out the project had its roots in a full-length Donald Trump deepfake movie that Parker and Stone were working on and then scrapped because of the pandemic. The duo revealed the project’s existence in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times.

“Not a lot of people know that we were a day away from starting production on the first feature movie we had done since ‘Team America: World Police,’” Parker said. “We were going to start shooting on the day that the pandemic shut everything down. It was months and months of getting ready for that movie, to just being like, ‘Nope, it’s over.’ I went to the office to start packing up my things because I was just kind of in shock.”

Stone said the deepfake movie is “sort of on hold.” Why? “It was very timely and the timeliness of it has passed,” Parker added. “We’d have to majorly rethink it to do it now.”

Stone and Parker founded Deep Voodoo because of the movie they planned to make. “It was going to be ‘Deep Fake: The Movie,’” Parker said. “It was about this guy who looked exactly like Trump because we deep fake Trump’s face onto him. And it was this whole funny thing because, of course, it ends up with Trump just naked and getting run through the wringer and everything, and that’s why it was so funny and so timely.”

Peter Serafinowicz was going to voice the Trump deepfake, just as he did in “Sassy Justice.” Stone added, “Even though the script was sort of timely, we ended up keeping the deep fake part of the studio going.”

Deep Voodoo ended up working on “Sassy Justice” instead once the feature-length deepfake project fell through because of the pandemic. The studio would later join forces with Kendrick Lamar for his “The Heart Part 5” video, which went viral for using deepfake technology to put the faces of Will Smith and more on Lamar’s body. The video, which debuted May 8, has earned over 38 million views on YouTube.

As for the scrapped deepfake movie, will it ever end up being made? “I don’t know, [Trump] could be running again,” Stone said, noting a timely window could end up opening for the project to be made.



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Jamie Foxx Recalls Almost Spoiling No Way Home’s 3 Spider-Man Reveal

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Jamie Foxx opens up about almost spoiling Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s return for Marvel Studios and Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Jamie Foxx opens up about almost spoiling Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s return in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Directed by Jon Watts, Tom Holland’s third standalone film as the web-slinger released in December 2022 and became a massive critical and commercial hit. Spider-Man: No Way Home has since been widely praised for its strong performances, as well as its surprising emotional ending, which saw Holland’s Peter Parker forgotten by everyone he loves.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

Aside from wrapping up Peter Parker’s first MCU trilogy, Spider-Man: No Way Home also functioned as the culmination of all Spider-Man movies. Despite vehement denials from people involved, the threequel ultimately featured the return of Maguire and Garfield as they reprised their respective versions of the wall-crawlers. Some of their movies’ notable villains were also brought in, including Foxx’s Electro. On the heels of reports about Maguire and Garfield’s returning Spider-Men breaking out, the actor took to his official social media and posted fan art that depicted his Marvel bad guy looming over the three live-action versions of Spider-Man. Many took this as Foxx confirming Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s surprise cameos ahead of time.


Almost eight months after Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s release, Foxx opens up about this snafu in a new interview with CinemaBlend. Calling the experience of filming the movie “a rock concert,” the actor went on to address nearly blowing the surprise. Not thinking that Maguire and Garfield’s returns were meant to be secret, Foxx also almost snapped a picture of the Spider-Man trio before being chastised by someone on set. Read Foxx’s story below:

It was crazy. It was like a- it was like a rock concert, when we did that film. And I thought Sony did a fantastic job of mystique. You know what I’m saying? Holding things, keeping things – you know, I kind of almost blew it. … As soon as I got on the set and there was all three Spider-Mans, I was like this (picks up cell phone). ’Oh, we up in here, baby, ‘bout to go live…’ And somebody just dove on me like I was a fire. I was like, ‘What the hell?’ ‘Shh! No one’s supposed to know.’ ‘Okay, my bad. Okay, we ain’t supposed to know that all three of them are here!’ But I think they did a great job in doing that, bringing some mystique. And I think that that’s what was needed to get people back in the theater.

Of course, Foxx’s actions would likely not have changed much, as Maguire and Garfield’s return in Spider-Man: No Way Home was an open secret in Hollywood for months. Once it was confirmed that the threequel would be tied to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and tackle a multiversal story, and feature Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, it was largely expected that other characters from previous Spider-Man films would be appearing. The casting report about Foxx’s reprisal of Electro further solidified this idea, so even if the actor didn’t post his near-spoiler image, most of the fanbase was already convinced that Maguire and Garfield would be joining Holland in Spider-Man: No Way Home.


Despite the persistent rumors, Sony and Marvel Studios opted to save Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s biggest surprise for the film itself. Even amid trailer gaffes that implied Maguire and Garfield had been cut out with VFX, the secrecy was maintained. In fact, MCU architect Kevin Feige even warned the public that having preconceived assumptions based on rumors could ruin their movie-going experience. In the end, however, Foxx’s social media post would have been spot on, and all three Spider-Man joining forces proved a major nostalgic highlight for audiences. Clearly, even the villain actors themselves knew they were part of something special, and were very eager to share it.


Source: CinemaBlend

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