Connect with us

Published

on

[ad_1]

With Old Hollywood sensibilities and contemporary writing, “Mank” is truly the best of both worlds. David Fincher’s new Netflix film, following Herman “Mank” Makowitz (Gary Oldman) as he writes the screenplay of “Citizen Kane” is a stunning piece of cinema and a must-watch for anyone who loves old movies.

Along with the sequences of Mank struggling to write the script while combatting his alcoholism, the film contains many flashbacks to his time as a successful writer, his friendships with William Randolph Hearst (the ultimate inspiration for Kane) and Hearst’s mistress Marion Davies, and their subsequent fallout surrounding Upton Sinclair’s bid for governor of California.

If you’re searching for a wholly factual depiction of Mankowitz’s life or the making of “Citizen Kane,” then you should look elsewhere, and stop believing that biopics will ever be historically accurate. However, what it lacks in accuracy is more than made up for by the film’s capturing of the feel of classic movies.

Fincher is one of the most talented and engaging directors working today. His meticulous shots and enthralling storytelling draw you in, making what could have been an isolating tale of 1930s political power brokers and their Hollywood connections into a character study of fascinating and relatable individuals.

Every technical aspect of the film is exemplary, with the cinematography, lighting, costume, hair, editing, and score all contributing to the potent atmosphere. I regret not having been able to see the film in a theater, to fully enjoy the visuals. They were gorgeously detailed without becoming overly busy or distracting.

An especially exciting Easter egg was the presence of cue marks, the black dots that briefly appear twice in the top right corner of the screen, to indicate a film reel would soon require switching (now unnecessary due to the switch to digital).

Those who grew up when digital had already replaced film — myself included — were first introduced to the existence of these “cigarette burns” in the cult classic that launched a thousand dorm room posters, “Fight Club,” also directed by Fincher, adding to the meta excitement as well as the period accuracy.

To clarify the timelines, due to the nonlinear narrative structure employing many flashbacks, the year is given at each era transition, in the form of a screenplay. While announcements such as time and location can be frustrating and lazy, the framing as part of the script allows the narrative cheat to add to the film.

Yet none of this style is empty spectacle. It serves to augment a compelling story led by interesting characters. The cast is exceptional, with nearly no weak links. They play off each other exceptionally, with the lived-in chemistry of longtime associates. One scene midway through the film sees most of the main characters at a dinner party, laughing, drinking too much, and talking politics, all scored live by a pianist using his instrument to punctuate the conversation.

Advertisement

Watching the scene transported audiences directly into the party, watching jokes, subtextual tensions, and complications in relationships ebb and flow through fabulously witty dialogue and well-realized characters. I could have watched an entire film set just at that party.

The only misstep in the cast was Bill Nye as Upton Sinclair, an uninspired bit of stunt casting gone awry. The children’s entertainer and scientist does not have the acting chops to make anything of the mercifully small role. Sinclair’s failed gubernatorial race is a notable subplot, due to Hearst and Louis B. Mayer’s fears of his socialist past contrasted with Mank’s sympathies.

Gary Oldman is predictably brilliant as the eponymous writer. He is fun and charming, but the cruelty of his alcoholism always lurks beneath the surface (except when it explodes in a powerful and climactic scene). Charles Dance is likewise charismatic yet dangerous as communications magnate Hearst, upon whom Charles Foster Kane is based.

However, by far the high point in a cast filled with highs was Amanda Seyfried as Hearst’s lover, actress Marion Davies, giving the performance of both the film and her career. Seyfried brings depth to the seemingly vapid woman, subtly indicating a complicated woman underneath the flighty, fun surface. When award season eventually arrives, Seyfried ought to be a major contender for the supporting actress statue.

She likewise effortlessly handles the period slang naturally strewn throughout the dialogue, earnestly exclaiming words like “Jeepers” as if they were staples of her vocabulary. Often in period pieces, actors stumble over an antiquated lexicon, calling undue attention to the outdated words. The entire cast, but Seyfried in particular, breezes through the dialogue with grace.

Far too many movies about making movies become either self-indulgent odes to the importance of the Hollywood, such as “La La Land” and Netflix’s miniseries “Hollywood.” “Mank,” in contrast, is clearly a love letter to the films, not the industry. Every frame is imbued with a passion for cinema, which is infectious to the audience. In exploring the creation of an exceptional film, Fincher has created one himself.

Paulina Enck is an intern at the Federalist and current student at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service. Follow her on Twitter at @itspaulinaenck



[ad_2]

Advertisement
Comments

Politics

Convicted fundraiser who tried to work his way into Biden’s inner circle sentenced to prison

Published

on

Amajor Democratic bundler, who raised large sums for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and consorted with Joe Biden, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for what prosecutors said was a “mercenary” political influence scheme.

Imaad Zuberi, a Californian businessman was sentenced Thursday for schemes to funnel foreign money into U.S. political campaigns, then take millions of dollars for himself.

The Los Angeles Times reported that U.S. Assistant Attorney Daniel J. O’Brien said Zuberi was “purely a mercenary, funneling money to whomever he believed would do his bidding.”

Among the many unsealed court records, Zuberi was seen photographed with Joe Biden and Barack Obama when they were Vice President and President. He was also pictured with former President Bill Clinton and former presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. He took pictures with former Republican Rep. Paul Ryan when he was speaker of the House as well as the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Also included in the Times report was a hacked email chain released on WikiLeaks. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook messaged colleagues saying, “I’m OK taking the money and dealing with any attacks.” Jennifer Palmieri responded saying, “Take the money!”

He also attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party in New York City in 2016 as well as serving as a co-chair of The Trump Presidential Inauguration Committee.

Advertisement

Zuberi made more than $950,000 in unlawful donations to the political committees of Obama, Clinton, McCain and others. Zuberi’s activities extended as far as a recent attempt to work his way into the Biden circle, according to Politico.  

In addition to the money he made, Zuberi also raised $270,000 for Hillary Clinton and $1.3 million for President Obama.

Zuberi, 50, pleaded guilty to a “three-count information charging with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)” for making false statements on a FARA filing as well as tax evasion and illegal contributions to political campaigns. He also pleaded guilty in a separate case earlier in June 2020 to a count of obstruction of justice.

“Zuberi turned acting as an unregistered foreign agent into a business enterprise,” Assistant Attorney General for National Secretary John C. Demers said in a Department of Justice news release.

Continue Reading

Politics

Cruz responds to pictures of him on Mexico flight, with Texas struggling from deadly winter storm

Published

on

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz confirmed Thursday that he flew earlier this week to Mexico with family members, following the emergence of pictures appearing to show him in an airplane cabin and at a check-in counter, as fellow residents to recover from a deadly winter storm.

Cruz said in a statement that he accompanied his daughters on a flight Wednesday night to Mexico because they had the week off with school canceled.

“Wanting to be a good dad,” said Cruz, who also stated he is returning to Texas on Thursday afternoon.

The storms has been connected to at least seven deaths in Texas and knocked out power to as many as 2.5 million residents. The number of residents without electricity as of Thursday morning was down to less than 1 million, officials said.  

Advertisement

“My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas,” Cruz also said. “We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm.”

Continue Reading

Politics

South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

Published

on

The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 79-35 to pass legislation that would prohibit most abortions. 

The bill must pass through a procedural vote in the House on Thursday prior to heading to GOP Gov. Henry McMaster who has indicated that he will sign it, according to the Associated Press. Two Republicans voted against the legislation while two Democrats voted for it. The state Senate passed the measure last month. 

The bill requires doctors to carry out an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and if a heartbeat is identified an abortion can only be performed in certain circumstances.

The legislation would not penalize a woman for obtaining an unlawful abortion, though the individual responsible for performing the abortion could face consequences.

Advertisement

The outlet reported that other states have approved similar or even more stringent abortion prohibitions which could be implemented if the Supreme Court throws out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. All of the other states’ abortion bans are currently entangled by court challenges and if the South Carolina bill is approved it will likely face litigation that prevents it from going into effect, according to the AP.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Uncategorized5 hours ago

School Board members caught mocking parents over lockdown — They thought their Zoom call was private…

Politics16 hours ago

Convicted fundraiser who tried to work his way into Biden’s inner circle sentenced to prison

Politics1 day ago

Cruz responds to pictures of him on Mexico flight, with Texas struggling from deadly winter storm

Fox news1 day ago

‘A lot of people don’t know the severity of what’s going on’

Politics2 days ago

South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

Politics2 days ago

Son of prominent conservative leader Bozell arrested in connection with Capitol siege

News2 days ago

Seven shot in Philadelphia near SEPTA station, according to police

Politics2 days ago

Trump calls Limbaugh ‘legend,’ in first TV interview since Senate trial

News3 days ago

CNN’s Stelter,’ ‘Saturday Night Live’ this weekend didn’t mention Cuomo’s nursing home COVID story

Politics3 days ago

Rep. Bennie Thompson targets Trump, Giuliani, Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in Capitol riot lawsuit

Donald Trump3 days ago

Trump unleashes scathing statement blasting Sen. Mitch McConnell

Politics3 days ago

Judicial Watch sues U.S. Capitol Police in pursuit of emails and videos pertaining to Jan. 6 riots

Bannon3 days ago

Bannon — ‘Trump may run for Congress in 2022 and lead impeachment against Biden’…

Donald Trump6 days ago

Trump acquitted in impeachment trial; 7 GOP Senators vote with Democrats to convict

Candace Owens7 days ago

Candace Owens post photo of her son with a message to all young feminist.

Facebook

Facebook

Trending

Copyright © 2021 By TSD