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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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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.  ...

What jumped off the page for Matt Damon in THE LAST DUEL & red carpet footage

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent   Ridley Scott is back in action again as helmer of THE LAST DUEL, and this weekend at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater re-teamed stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck from GOOD WILL HUNTING walked the red carpet with Jodie Comer and Harriet Walter, to lift the curtain on this “based on actual events” period action thriller. The film opens from 20th Century Studios on Oct. 15 and features Adam Driver at his very best....

Tennis saga KING RICHARD opens Film Fest 919, plus Kristen Stewart in SPENCER & more gems

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Four years ago, Hollywood insiders Carol Marshall and Randi Emerman founded a film festival in Chapel Hill, NC that somehow survived the Pandemic, lockdowns, and general upheaval in the entertainment industy to bring forth a little cinematic sunshine in these cloudy times for movies. The dynamic duo rides again this year with honored guests, and literally the top-curated slate of films heading into Award Season. First-time director Reb...

BRITNEY VS SPEARS, the Conservatorship Curtain comes to an end

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent     Singer Britney Spears has been in the news for years, for all the wrong reasons, you could say. Her private life has been easy material for comedians and mainstream news anchors alike. But what if everything we thought we knew about her so-called meltdowns is, at the very least, less than accurate.   As a child star on the Mickey Mouse Club, this is a pre-teen brought up in a very strange world of on-demand performances wi...

Bittersweet SPLENDID LAND plays a new tune for some of China’s 55 ethnic minorities

By Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent     In the short film SPLENDID LAND, an ethnomusicologist muses on Tajik, Khazak, India-influenced Mukam musicians, and Uyghur song and dance culture in a Marcel Proust-like reminiscence of Northwestern China, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.    During the Pandemic as a bookend for the film, a kaleidoscope of multicultural sights and wonders light up a rolling vast swath of grasslands to the Gobi desert, as recalled...

Spotlight Award for Grammy Legend Diane Warren at Film Fest 919

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Diane Warren is often cited as among the most distinguished and awarded songwriters of all time, with hits from Aerosmith "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" to Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me," not to mention Toni Braxton's "Un-break My Heart." With a dozen Oscar nominations, Warren will be honored with a sweeping career award from Film Fest 919 in October. Here are the details for the celebration: CH...

R-E-S-P-E-C-T premiere in Los Angeles with stunning Jennifer Hudson

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent All you need to know is one quote from Aretha Louise Franklin, the subject of biopic RESPECT starring Jennifer Hudson from United Artist Releasing that opens on Friday the 13th. “Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.” Those words truly capture the fierce energy that was Aretha, from her top charting Billboard hits, “...

Out of a hidden holster comes Clint Eastwood’s CRY MACHO

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Maestro of Hollywood Cinema Clint Eastwood just pulled a fast one by directing and acting in CRY MACHO at age 91. Set for a Sept. 17 release date from HBO Max and Warner Bros, croak-voiced Eastwood plays Mike Milo, a broken down-and-out “rodeo star” who failed at his last resort vocation, breeding horses. Dwight Yoakam’s Howard Polk is the former employer who rides him hard, and tasks the calcified cowboy-wonder with an ...

Dusty Hill of ZZ Top bows out at age 72

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent One of the brightest lights of Classic Rock left the planet on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, and this is Dusty Hill from ZZ Top. Recently it was reported that Hill was stepping back from the band for health-related reasons, and now the gravity of those complications is clear. Co-head of the band Billy Gibbons announced the band will mourn but go on in his honor. Because the news is just breaking wide, here's a tribute that suits a legend. From...

A look-back on OBAMA: IN PURSUIT OF A MORE PERFECT UNION from HBO

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent For many in America, the 2008 election seems like a lifetime ago, maybe even a different country ago. Since the 2016 election seems to have left an indelible mark on politicians and their constituency alike, perhaps a glance in the rear-view mirror of US politics is in order. Former President Barack Obama (b. 1961) turns 60 on Aug. 4, and HBO’s three-part documentary, OBAMA: IN PURSUIT OF A MORE PERFECT UNION, will debut Aug. 3, fro...

JOE BELL rings true, somber for an America in transition

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent While Mark Wahlberg as JOE BELL, the grieving father who was initially ambivalent about his gay son Jadin, might seem a curious casting choice to some on the topic of bullying, it makes sense from the standpoint of where “Marky Mark” started out in life. Wahlberg, who turned 50 this year, is from Winter Hill gang-boss Whitey Bulger's birthplace Dorchester, Mass. The place was a notorious 1970's hotbed of racial and homoph...

Vidiots funders Rian Johnson and Karina Longworth, Eagle Theatre redo & more

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent KNIVES OUT's Rian Johnson and exceptional Hollywood podcaster/author Karina Longworth have just made a pledge to restore an unforgettable movie house in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles. It's being done with iconic Vidiots Foundation. If you're not familiar with Karina Longworth’s podcast “You Must Remember This” - check it out on Youtube. Read on for news... LOS ANGELES, CA: Vidiots, the iconic L.A. ...

We still heart Spike Lee & NEON nabs Jonas Carpignano

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Never mind the recent Spike Lee leak that named “Titane” as a winner as NEON took their second Palme d’Or in a row, just off the heels of Parasite, with Julia Ducournau’s new film. NEON also announced that it has taken North American rights to Jonas Carpignano’s festival favorite A Chiara... CANNES FRANCE: NEON just announced that it has taken North American rights to Jonas Carpignano&rsq...

E is for EMMYS livestream here, even if you catch it after the fact

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent In case you missed it, The 2021 EMMY® Awards were just announced in Los Angeles and New York via livestream from the Television Academy. Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us) and his daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones (Blindspotting) co-hosted in tandem with Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma, as he describes "tender moments and news... it's so good to be getting back on a set. I can't tell you how much I missed it.&q...

Dark Slope CEO Raja Khanna wants to give you a Reality TV grant

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Some exciting news is coming out of BANFF World Media Festival, which runs through July 16. Toronto-based Dark Slope Studios just added to the adrenaline with an unscripted fellowship open to all with a deadline of July 19. Read on... From Screenmancer Dark Slope Studios, the Toronto-based virtual production and metaverse gaming company, today announces the launch of their virtual production fellowship. Announced by CEO Raja Khanna at the ...

THE BODY FIGHTS BACK takes on lockdown weight gain, dysmorphia

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Unless you’ve been part of an anti-dieting rally in London, you may not have known that the pounds (or stones) quietly gained in lockdown for COVID19 reasons are not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is to rank diet as the biggest priority, so says THE BODY FIGHTS BACK, a new documentary out on July 13. The film puts diet struggles in the rear view mirror. Written and directed by Marian Võsumets, the film t...

LFG on HBOMax spotlights US Women’s Soccer saga for pay

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Let's face it, the difficulties with women in sports remain a worldwide theme in terms of recognition and money. That said, LFG is a rundown on US Women's Soccer as seen by the players. And it isn't for the glory, it's a run for the same opportunities the US Men's Soccer team get offered in general. LFG is an acronym for sports rallying cry "Let's F*cking Go," and Academy Award-winning filmmakers A...

AFI DOCS 2021 engages us in many conversations

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent From Anthony Bourdain exploration film ROADRUNNER to MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAY, American Film Institute’s AFI DOCS 2021 has brought many issues and discussions to light this year. Now they offer a way for us as audience to engage with filmmakers to join the conversation. See info and link to connect below. AFI DOCS is where connections make meaningful art into action. Read on… Sunday, June 27, 2021 — AFI DOCS presents a ...

Palm Springs heat won’t stop ShortFest 2021

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Here’s the schedule for Palm Springs International ShortsFest 2021 including ticket information and viewing options. Let’s all support short films. Virtual viewing available too.    SHORTSFEST 2021   All film programs are listed in chronological order by date and time.  View additional programs by clicking, 1,2,3 at the bottom of the page.   Tickets available June 9, 9am PT |...

ROBOTS from Cannes: Shailene Woodley, Jack Whitehall wind up in new Anthony Hines film

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent Shailene Woodley's viral headlines have mostly been about the unlikely pairing with Green Bay Packers football player Aaron Rodgers, but she does have a career in Hollywood. Her latest outing is set for ROBOTS, from Rocket Science, to be written and co-directed by Borat scribe Anthony Hines. [Shailene Woodley photo credit: L. Clendenin, Getty Images.] From Screenmancer LONDON, UK: Rocket Science announced today that Shailene Woodl...

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About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith

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