Tag: Film

Summer Blockbusters of Yore: The Twentieth Anniversary of an Overshadowed Trilogy

By Pallavi Yetur

Early this year, New York magazine published a feature entitled “We Are Living in the Matrix.” The February 4, 2019 issue included several pieces about the lasting impressions left by The Matrix on everything from the way we think about and engage with the internet, to how it inspired fashion houses to send tiny-lensed sunglasses and billowing leather coats down the runways, to the film’s role in the propulsion of Keanu Reeves to the top of the A-list. The whole editorial undertaking was meant to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the launch of the iconic sci-fi trilogy. But there was another iconic trilogy that launched just three months after The Matrix and has not received the same level of attention. On May 4, 1999, Universal Pictures gave us The Mummy.

The Mummy was conceived by writer and director Stephen Sommers as a remake of the 1932 Karl Freund film starring the OG king of horror, Boris Karloff. In keeping with the original, Sommers sets his film in 1920s Egypt. Where Sommers begins to depart from the earlier film is in choosing a female protagonist. Rachel Weisz plays Evie, a librarian desperate to be taken seriously in male-dominated academia. Her awkward Egyptology geek is a charming foil and unlikely love interest for the muscly and sarcastic gunslinger-for-hire Rick O’Connell, played by the beefy Brendan Fraser. In their search for the lost city of Hamunaptra, Rick and Evie become entangled in the vengeance quest of an ancient Egyptian priest, Imhotep, who had been cursed to mummyhood after having an illicit affair with the queen and murdering the pharaoh.

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Scripting an Off-Beat Love

by Amy Boutell
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Linklater at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

After a whirlwind ten days watching several films a day, attending panels with Oscar-nominees, and developing infatuations during celebrity tributes—I confess a two-hour interview with Robert Redford nearly sent me to the blue velvet fainting couch in the lobby of the Arlington—I forced myself to get dressed up one more time, to put on the black 1930s evening jacket my great-grandmother had worn to the Chicago World’s Fair. Admittedly, I was fashioning myself less for Ethan Hawke than for Julie Delpy, the luminous, brilliant, French feminist goddess my friends and I have been admiring since the 1990s.

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