DID YOU READ

Kenneth Lonergan reveals just which cut of “Margaret” got released

Kenneth Lonergan reveals just which cut of “Margaret” got released (photo)

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After six years and three lawsuits, Kenneth Lonergan‘s “Margaret” finally opened in theaters earlier this fall. And after less than $50,000 at the box office, it closed, quickly and quietly. But a funny thing happened to poor little “Margaret” — who, if you go by the film, pronounces her name “Mar-Gar-ETTE” — on the way to obscurity: its fans haven’t let it be forgotten.

Though many of the first wave of critics to see “Margaret” wrote it off, perhaps because they were understandably distracted by the details of its notoriously protracted post-production, a second wave of reviewers found the film to be a brilliant (if very messy) slice of life in post-9/11 New York City (you can find my very positive review, written about a week after the film opened, here). With the film opening this week in England to almost universal ecstatic praise, people are talking about “Margaret” again. Some folks, myself included, think the film has a real shot at placing highly in the annual indiewire and Village Voice film critics polls, if only enough people could see it. And that’s been the problem: you couldn’t. Fox Searchlight pulled the film from theaters after four weeks of release and hadn’t scheduled any screenings for critics for year-end awards consideration.

That’s why film critic Jaime Christley launched an online petition, aimed at getting Searchlight to screen the film for members of the press. At almost 500 signatures and counting — pretty remarkable, given that there aren’t 500 employed film critics in the entire world, which means a lot of hardcore cinephiles are supporting this movement too — there’s already a lot of people on what’s being dubbed #teamMargaret. And they’re getting results too: Searchlight’s already scheduled press screenings in several major markets, with more supposedly to come.

#teamMargaret also led to a fine piece of reporting by Mary Pols of Time, who decided to track Lonergan down and interview him about the film and about its groundswell of online support. And she wrote a really good piece too, despite the fact that Lonergan, still a defendant in a lawsuit over the film, had to conduct the interview within earshot of his attorney. She also scored some interesting info regarding exactly which cut of the film unspooled in theaters.

To explain a convoluted backstory as unconvolutedly as possible: Lonergan could never finish editing the movie to his satisfaction, which led to all sorts of legal battles between him and the producers over the control of the picture. It’s been unclear which version of the movie audiences saw, a fact Lonergan clarified in a statement to Pols:

“I support this Cut wholeheartedly and want people to see and like it, because the actors deserve to be seen and appreciated for their amazing work. But while I fully support the released Cut, it’s also no secret that I tried to get a subsequent version released, which Marty Scorsese very graciously helped with, which even more fully executes my complete intentions — a cut that I still hope will someday, somehow see the light of day.”

All right so it’s not the director’s cut, which apparently was also the same cut that Martin Scorsese worked on (previously, it had been rumored that Scorsese had edited his own separate cut of the film). Which begs the question: when are we going to see that version of the movie? Looks like #teamMargaret still has its work cut out for them.

Did you catch “Margaret” in theaters? Do you think it’s one of the best movies of the year? Tell us in the comments below or write to us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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