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Quendrith Johnson


Quendrith Johnson is filmfestivals.com Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
@Quendrith I Facebook I screenmancer.tv


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Interview: Director Robert Clem on insider Gospel music for doc HOW THEY GOT OVER

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent After watching documentary HOW THEY GOT OVER, directed by Robert Clem, more than the music of the Soul Stirrers, Dixie Hummingbirds, Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, Sensational Nightingales, the Davis Sisters, and other featured artists stays with you. There’s Sister Rosetta Tharpe in all her glory, guitar on the lap, kind of changing the world for all to see. Released this month from First Run Features, Clem’s sonic odyssey is a his...

THE NORTHMAN is a stunner, plus LA premiere is here

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent You could say Alexander Skarsgård has gone to ‘rack and rune’ in THE NORTHMAN, but puns aside, this is the Viking epic Robert Eggers hinted at during production. Skarsgård literally breaks himself for this role, changes his body posture even, and just destroys his civilized inner self. Also starring Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Björk, and Willem Dafoe, this movie rips through the screen an...

26th Satellites: Mira Sorvino’s loving tribute to Tom Skerritt, Mary Pickford winner & more

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent At the W Hotel Hollywood this past weekend, the 26th Satellite Awards capped off one of the most protracted Award Seasons in Hollywood history with a touching and emotional tribute from Oscar winner Mira Sorvino for honoree Tom Skerritt (TOP GUN, ALIEN), who recalled that he “started out in $1.98 movies,” joking about the low budget beginnings of a fantastic career on screen. His top honor, The Mary Pickford Award for Outstanding Art...

TOP GUN: MAVERICK, or adrenaline on tap right now watch

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Hello Aviators, actually earlier today Paramount led with “Good Morning Aviators” as they dropped a new poster and trailer for the long-awaited Navy ace flier sequel to the iconic TOP GUN. There aren’t enough adjectives for the much-needed adrenaline feel-good boost in the footage. But seat yourself for the ride, on this Tom Cruise 2.0 starrer, as David Ellison's Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films offer up a new teaser fo...

The Gong Show: Should Will Smith’s Oscar go down to a vote?

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent UPDATE: We were way ahead on this one, as The Academy is holding emergency meetings about a vote on all this... On Japanese TV they carried the entire unedited melee when KING RICHARD’s Will Smith crossed from his front row seat at the 94th Academy Awards to clock comedian Chris Rock in a knee-jerk reaction to a G.I. Jane joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, the f-bomb’s flew with an open-hand crescendo to the presenter’s face that ...

MIPTV 22 Stands with Ukraine's Media Creatives in Cannes on April 4

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Ironic to hear about a French event all the way in Los Angeles, but this just in about MIPTV 22, from Screenmancer... NEWS: Leading Ukrainian media companies and creative powerhouses, including Starlight Media, 1+1 media, Ukraine TV Channel, and FILM.UA Group have united their efforts to support Ukraine’s struggle for freedom, defending the democratic values and human rights of all the civilized world, threatened by Russian aggression. Wi...

Guess this year’s Best Pics from wonky titles with Oscar Nominees

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent In the run up to Sunday, March 27, which is known as Oscar Sunday, we thought it would be fun to join the guessing gang from The Academy. All you have to do is name the actual movie from the Working Title. All this in the company of  Questlove (Summer Of Soul), Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Lost Daughter), Andrew Garfield (tick, tick...BOOM!) and 94th Academy Awards Executive Producers Shayla Cowan & Will Packer. Plus Dan Lausten & Luis Se...

Get Ready: Drew Barrymore, Henry Thomas, Spielberg open TCM Fest with E.T.

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Yes, you can still get tickets, and TCM Classic Film Festival 2022 has kind of outdone itself for movie fans with E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial's original cast kids, now grown up Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas, plus Director Steven Spielberg and Producer Kathleen Kennedy for this year's red carpet opening ceremony. Not to mention the screening of ET is on the 40th anniversary of the seminal lovable alien film. Here's all the news ...

DON’T LOOK UP, CODA, and all the big winners at Writers Guild Awards

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent While it is the longest-ever Award Season, with delays and reschedules during these trying times, there are still some surprises to behold on the Award Show front. CODA, about a 17 year old named Ruby in a coastal Massachusetts town who is the only "hearing" member of her family, has truly become a darling of 2022 with a another big win tonight at the 74th Writers Guild Awards.(Last night's PGA Awards named this charmer Best Pictur...

Escape behind THE LOST CITY scenes with Sandy, Channing… and Brad Pitt?

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Sandra Bullock fans can rejoice that America’s Sweetheart is back in a pure escapism romp for these tough times; that would be THE LOST CITY from Paramount Pictures. Opening this coming week, with March dates below, THE LOST CITY is sort of “Romancing the Stone” meets Indiana Jones meets a Harlequin romance novel. Just Watch the Trailer First       But the personality driving this project is all Sandy a...

Oscar nom Kristen Stewart just brought a red carpet thrill to SBIFF

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Last night at the 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) when Kristen Stewart arrived, you could actually hear the crowd roar outside in the light rain behind the makeshift metal gates along the street outside the Arlington Theater. And that’s how #KStew, in her fan shorthand, brought the post-pandemic thrill back to SBIFF when she accepted the American Riviera Award. Part of the magic was a black and white feathery mini...

SBIFF in Tweets: Outstanding Director Award last night

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Not to say that Steven Spielberg phoned it in last night, but the WEST SIDE STORY teller had to appear by video link at the 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) due to what Executive Director Roger Durling said was? "They tested positive for Covid." Did he mean Spielberg, who looked healthy as a peach on the link? Or Jane Campion on the screen from New Zealand? Perhaps DRIVE MY CAR's Ryusuke Hamaguchi is the only ...

Film Fest 919 celebrates NC’s Ariana DeBose, her Oscar nom for WEST SIDE STORY & Contenders

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent During Award Season, no doubt it's the worldwide circuit of film festivals that helps shape predictions and forecasts for feature film (and TV) standouts that will resonate each year, and Film Fest 919 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina has become one of the key indicators to watch for trends leading up to the biggest show of all, The Oscars. Founders Randi Emerman and Carol Marshall hit the target again this time, with their 2021 choices ringi...

Your Annotated Nom Score Card for the 94th Academy Awards

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) sent out a notice to remind us entertainment journalists to use only their official list of nominees. Which begs the question, who flubbed the list previously? (Double-take not required, lol.) But those are insider thoughts as the 94th Nominee Show from The Academy flickered onto small screens, from handhelds to tablets, this morning with about a 10 minute delay from the original 5:18 am ...

SALT IN MY SOUL about CF Warrior Mallory Smith will make you cry and love it

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent When the documentary SALT IN MY SOUL directed by Will Battersby drops Jan. 21, in the first round of screenings, the life of Cystic Fibrosis Warrior Mallory Smith will be shared and her journey with this condition bared. Diagnosed at age 3, and given heartbreaking news of a predicted short life at age 9, Mallory put punctuation on her own death sentence by journaling about it. She also did yoga, became a surfer, writer, podcaster, even a Sta...

Okay, so here are the winners from the (No-Show) 79th Golden Globes

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent No, it was not a good night for darling film Licorice Pizza, widely tipped to win at least something tonight at the unusual un-televised 79th Golden Globes. But Jane Campion’s odd prairie saga The Power of the Dog made no bones about it, picking up Best Director for Campion, Best Supporting Actor for Kodi Smit-McPhee and his brooding breakout star turn in this film. West Side Story topped the Best Comedy category with wins for Best Com...

Tom Skerritt to get top honor at the 26th Satellite Awards for 2022

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent This just in: a quick news item from The International Press Academy about their 2022 Satellite Awards show, in a year when some Award Season regulars won't even have a red carpet or an event... Los Angeles, CA: The International Press Academy (IPA) has named Tom Skerritt, indelibly famous for his TOP GUN franchise run, as the recipient of one its highest honors. Skerritt will received the “Mary Pickford Award for Outstanding Artist...

Spotlight: Riz Ahmed & Aneil Karia’s “The Long Goodbye” from the 2022 Oscar Shortlist

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent If we wind the clock back to last year’s Award Season, SOUND OF METAL starring Riz Ahmed as a hearing-impaired rock drummer blew away the uninitiated as the band-fronter film picked up six Oscar®️ nominations and won two for Best Editing and Best Sound. Notable among the nominations was Riz Ahmed himself as Best Lead Actor. Hard to believe this British former rapper named Riz MC went from being kicked off airplay for being 't...

Gotham Award sweep for THE LOST DAUGHTER ignites Award Season lift-off

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Most popularly known for that face-off with the Joker in smash hit THE DARK KNIGHT as “Batman’s girlfriend,” Maggie Gyllenhaal has come so very far from the bat cave. While Gyllenhaal’s first feature THE LOST DAUGHTER just swept the Gotham Awards, including top gongs for best screenplay and director and a tie for lead Olivia Colman, the momentum for this stunner began back in festival rotation at the Venice Film Festival ...

C’MON C’MON is a black-and-white gem from Director Mike Mills, Joaquin Phoenix and cast

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Writer-director Mike Mills’ black-and-white film C’MON C’MON is a gorgeous essay on parenting starring Joaquin Phoenix in a role as Johnny, uncle to Jesse (Woody Norman) whose mother Viv (Gaby Hoffmann) is facing down a mental health challenge with the boy’s father, her ex-husband Paul (Scoot McNairy). This is one of the most poetic releases of the year, a showcase for all involved, as complex layers build throughout the...

SPENCER, the sticky wicket of portraying Princess Diana for her stans

by Quendrith Johnson, Film Critic  Finally Kristen Stewart has had a real sunrise since the early Twilight of her career. That would be SPENCER, her peckish portrait of Princess Diana from Director Pablo Larrain. This is the “hellish Christmas” Princess Diana moment of thirty years ago, set in 1991, that released Nov. 5 from NEON.  Now playing up to six times a day, viewers can see the grandeur and the grotesque in “Peaky Blinders” screenwriter Steven Knight...

Ripples peeks inside the hem of Yiwu to Xinjiang China’s cotton production circuit

Reviewed by Quendrith Johnson “You know brands such as H&M, all those famous marks use Xinjiang cotton. Now Xinjiang cotton cannot go to foreign countries,” explains Amani Shahan in RIPPLES, a 27-minute short film exploration currently on the film festival circuit. From co-directors Benoit Lelievre and Huaqing Jin, this documentary subject peeks into the lives of those families connected to the cotton-growing industry. Chronicled here are the interconnected lives of four wome...

RED ROCKET rendezvous with screenwriter Chris Bergoch

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent RED ROCKET shot off as a commando Award Season contender this year on the film festival circuit, and you’ll really be in for a ride on Dec. 3 when this new film from Director Sean Baker hits the multiplex. Baker is known for THE FLORIDA PROJECT and TANGERINE, both of which were co-penned with Screenwriter Chris Bergoch, who also co-wrote RED ROCKET, which is handy because we buttonholed him for this quick hit-and-run encounter. ...

C’MON C’MON, KING RICHARD tie for Film Fest 919 crowd pleasers

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent     Posting this from the airport back to LA from Randi Emerman and Carol Marshall, co-founders of Film Fest 919 in Chapel Hill, NC, more to come on closing film SPENCER.   For now, news from #FF919 on which films won the most popular votes. Read on...   Chapel Hill, NC: The 2021 Film Fest 919 was enthusiastically received this week as audiences began to venture out to the movies to enjoy 6 da...

Diane Warren brings smash-hit feel to open Film Fest 919 in Chapel Hill, NC

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent   Smoke machines opened last night’s 2021 Spotlight Award for Diane Warren in advance of the 12-time Best Song Oscar nominee’s arrival at the Caraway Village Drive In. Then, against the eerie artificial atmosphere, a sky-wide laser show tore open Warren’s lyrics sung by Celine Dion, Cher, Lady Gaga, Steven Tyler, and Rita Ora in a weave of colors above the marquee at the fourth annual Film Fest 919 in Chapel Hill.  ...

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About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith

LA Correspondent for filmfestivals.com


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