Editor’s note: Deadline presents the fifth episode of Two Shot, a video series in which Pete Hammond and Todd McCarthy tackle the artistry of films. Each has reviewed and written about the craft for decades and built a remarkable breadth of knowledge of films past and present. What we hoped for when we asked them to do this was a concise, mature, thoughtful conversation comparable to what we saw when Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel were alive.
This week we remember two highly influential and extraordinarily successful filmmakers who sadly left us late last week: Sidney Poitier and Peter Bogdanovich. The latter had a significant impact on McCarthy’s own career as he explains, and Poitier was simply a historic and towering presence in the industry and the world.
We share our thoughts on both, but first we dive into the depressing effects of the pandemic on the business, and particularly the festival circuit and the movie-awards season which is such an important part of promoting and keeping adult-targeted smarter movies alive. Will the pandemic, and now Omicron in particular, kill these films off once and for all? Theatres seem only to be doing business for superhero fare, awards shows are being postponed, canceled, or in the case of the Golden Globes wholly ignored, while festivals like Sundance are forced to again go virtual which may lessen their impact in promoting the kind of independent smaller films so dependent on this kind of attention.
Check out our conversation in the video above.
Hammond has been Deadline’s Awards Columnist for the past decade, covering what now seemingly is the year-round Oscar and Emmy seasons. He is also Deadline’s Chief Film Critic, having previously reviewed films for MovieLine, Boxoffice magazine, Backstage, Hollywood.com and Maxim, as well as Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, for which he was a contributing editor. In addition to writing, Hammond also hosts KCET Cinema Series and the station’s weekly series Must See Movies.
McCarthy is a veteran trade publication film critic, columnist and reporter who has also written several acclaimed books and documentary films. He served two stints on the staffs of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and extensively covered film festivals internationally for both publications. His film Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography won the best documentary prizes from the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics associations, and he won an Emmy for writing the documentary Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer. He also directed the documentaries Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient and Forever Hollywood.
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