Filmmaker Rebeca Huntt’s Debut Documentary BEBA Is an Intimate Self-Portrait

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With the autobiographical documentary BEBA, filmmaker Rebeca Huntt crafts a story that feels universal while remaining all hers. The movie, Huntt’s debut feature, explores her identity through an intimate moving self-portrait.

Huntt, whose mother is Venezuelan and father Dominican, walks viewers through a coming-of-age tale in BEBA. The film follows her life as an Afro-Latina child growing up in New York as one of “the poorest people on the Upper West Side.” Through BEBA (“Beba” is Huntt’s nickname) she explores the universal truths that connect us, and the intimacies most families try to keep secret. As she navigates everything from love and death to mental illness and violence, Huntt anchors the story of searching for a path forward.
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Nominated for the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, BEBA is out on June 24. Below, Huntt speaks with TIME about her identity, family, and what’s ahead for her career.

BEBA is a cinematic memoir that chronicles your life—from childhood to early adulthood—detailing both the intimate life experiences of you, and your loved ones, while also exploring your identity as an Afro-Latina growing up in New York City. What initially made you want to tell this story?

The space and time I was in, it was a very specific moment in New York and I felt very isolated. And I just wanted to really connect with people. That was like the main drive for making a film like this. You feel more loved when someone loves you, when you can be your honest self. And I felt like if I could, maybe if I could be honest, that other people would be able to feel like they could be too.

At 32-years-old, why did you decide to release BEBA now? Why not continue to chronicle your life for years to come?

Because it’s torture. But also because it serves a specific purpose, the fact that it’s a sort of existential coming of age, in this moment, where we’re thrust into adulthood, and to an absurd society. We live in absurdity at all times. To go from that moment in your early 20s, when you’re constantly going through quantum leaps, but also having to navigate being fully responsible for yourself is fascinating.

NEONRebeca Huntt in BEBA
The film does not shy away from detailing incidents many people, and families, might try to hide from the world—especially as it relates to mental health and …read more

Source:: Time – Entertainment

      

In The Man from Toronto, Kevin Hart Makes the Most of Lackluster Material

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The Man From Toronto, a Netflix action-comedy starring Woody Harrelson and Kevin Hart, is the kind of movie you forget almost the minute the end credits have rolled, two hours of moderate laughs rolled up in a tissue-thin plot that just barely qualifies as a distraction from the dreariness of life. This isn’t the sort of movie you would, or should, go out of your way to see. But if nothing else, it’s a showcase for one small blessing: the minor modern miracle of Hart’s timing.

Hart plays Teddy, an average guy from a place the movie calls Yorktown, USA, who just can’t get a break. He adores his wife, Lori (Jasmine Mathews). But he’s one of those men who can just never follow through on anything; he always neglects some minor but essential detail. His latest scheme is a fitness regimen he calls no-contact boxing, a discipline that’s heavy on cardio but doesn’t actually involve punching anyone. It’s not such a terrible idea, but Teddy has almost willed himself into failure, and he fears that Lori, as much she loves him, is losing patience.
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For her birthday, he books a getaway weekend in Virginia. But he screws up even that: when he prints out the location of the Airbnb cabin he’s rented, the ink is so faint he can’t read the address. This leads him to the wrong cabin, and causes him to be mistaken for the ill-tempered hitman we’ve already met in the movie’s first scene, the killer-for-hire who goes by the moniker the Man from Toronto (Harrelson). When the FBI bursts onto the scene, Hart stammers his feeble excuse: “It was a low-toner situation.”

Sabrina Lantos/Netflix—© 2022 Netflix, Inc.Kevin Hart and Ellen Barkin in The Man From Toronto

What follows is a nearly impossible-to-follow caper in which the two men, adversaries at first, are forced to work together to bring down a Venezuelan baddie who’s trying to sabotage his own country. Harrelson’s character, who strides through the movie in trim black assassin’s gear, is one of those cartoonishly enigmatic loners whose prized possession is a 1969 Dodge Charger. He takes his orders from a handler he’s never met in real life, a mystery woman with an ice-white bob (Ellen Barkin). He adores 19th-century poetry and hopes to leave the hired-killer life to …read more

Source:: Time – Entertainment

      

Jenny Slate on the Unifying Power of a Well-Heeled Shell Named Marcel

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Twelve years ago, the internet fell instantly in love with Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, the adorable stop motion mollusk voiced by Jenny Slate. The little shell with one googly eye and a pair of pink tennis shoes was the creation of Slate and her then romantic partner, director Dean Fleischer-Camp (The two got married in 2012, but divorced four years later). Marcel was an early YouTube sensation for his can-do attitude and his remarkable resourcefulness. (He uses a Dorito to hand glide, for example). After two equally popular YouTube videos and as many best-selling children’s books, Marcel is now making his long-awaited big screen debut in Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, in select theaters on June 24. (The A24 film will get a wider release on July 15.)
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The world has changed a lot since Marcel first went viral in 2010, but so has the anthropomorphic shell. “When Dean and I first created Marcel, we were kind of stunned by his confidence in his own smallness,” Slate tells TIME. “The novelty of that has worn off. Now we see his life philosophy.”

Marcel’s ability to soldier on, even through the most difficult of times, is at the center of his rather poignant full-length feature. “I tend to use him as an example for myself of what to believe in during times that are unsettling or strenuous or stressful,” Slate says.

The heavily improvised documentary-style film, which took seven years to make, follows Marcel on his journey to find his family, who disappeared while Marcel and his grandma, Nana Connie (voiced by Isabella Rossellini), were watching their favorite show, 60 Minutes. That show’s legendary anchor Lesley Stahl plays herself in the movie and becomes an important player in his search for his lost loved ones. Below, Slate discusses how they got Stahl to agree to be in the film, the surprising familial inspiration for Marcel, and why a divorce couldn’t stop her from finishing this movie.

TIME: In 2014, when you started working on the Marcel the Shell with Shoes On movie, you and Dean Fleischer-Camp were married. Two years into the process, you separated and later divorced. What effect did that have on your working relationship?

Slate: Strangely, I don’t really feel that our working relationship changed very much. That was something we both really needed [at that time]. Working together …read more

Source:: Time – Entertainment

      

Amazon’s Psychological Thriller Chloe Is a Riveting Twist on the Scammer Show

Becky Green doesn’t want to be Becky Green anymore. And who could blame her? The protagonist of Chloe, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is a study in abjection. Played with protean inscrutability by Erin Doherty (The Crown’s Princess Anne), Becky works a demeaning temp job and lives in a shabby apartment with a mother (Lisa Palfrey) who’s sinking into early-onset dementia. Social media is her escape. She scrolls endlessly through posts by a childhood friend, Chloe Fairbourne (Poppy Gilbert), who lives a glamorous life surrounded by her ascendant-politician husband (Billy Howle) and a tight clique of photogenic bourgeois-bohemian pals.
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Then Chloe dies, in an apparent suicide, and Becky discovers that one of the last things her estranged pal did was try to call. Using internet research to fake her way into fancy events, Becky reinvents herself as Sasha Miles, an art-world type fresh off a stint in Tokyo, and infiltrates her late friend’s inner circle. In this perfectly paced psychological thriller, all it takes to blend in is a posh accent, keen social media stalking skills, and a lot of nerve.

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Will Becky get found out? The suspense generated by that question alone would be enough to propel viewers through the show’s six tightly edited episodes. What elevates Chloe above the typical prestige mystery is the care it takes in concealing not just the events of the title character’s final night on earth, but also Becky’s own motives. Is she investigating Chloe’s death, or is she indulging a long-running fantasy of becoming Chloe? Is she a heartless opportunist, or is she simply a broken person seeking justice in the only way she knows how?

The story takes some genuinely unexpected, yet never ridiculous, turns, each one grounded in Becky’s evolving relationships with Howle’s Elliot, Chloe’s queen-bee best friend Livia (Pippa Bennett-Warner), and their musician buddy Richard (Jack Farthing), who seems to be grieving more intensely than anyone. The result is an unusually human grifter story. Instead of diving into the trite subject of sociopathic behavior, like Inventing Anna or Dirty John, Chloe finds depth, authenticity, and even compassion in its profile of a scammer.

…read more

Source:: Time – Entertainment