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Film

So wide is the fame-gap stretching between filmmaker Brian De Palma and Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola that the new feature-length profile De Palma makes a point of reminding us that the four pals were in more or less the same place at the dawn of the 1970s: trying to make personal statements amid what remained of the studio system.

There are six giant superhero movies out this year: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse, Doctor Strange, Deadpool and Suicide Squad.

Now guess how many are directed by women.

If you guessed zero, you're correct!

X-Men: Apocalypse, the sixth X-movie in 16 years (give or take a couple of Wolverine solo flicks and the breakout spinoff Deadpool) begins and ends with wearying campaigns of computer-animated mayhem. Pyramids, then skyscrapers dissolve. The body count must be high, but the stakes feel low.

There's No Wonder Left For 'Alice'

May 26, 2016

We're not in Wonderland anymore, if indeed we ever were. Most likely, we'd already left it far behind with the 2010 Tim Burton reshuffling of Alice in Wonderland. That smash hit repurposed elements from both of Lewis Carroll's Alice books, including sequel Through the Looking-Glass, while setting the action around a 20-year-old Alice (brave soldier Mia Wasikowska) returning to the land of her childhood dreams.

20th Century Fox

 The Briscoe Western Art Museum may not come to mind when movies do, but maybe it  should. Jenny Chowning heads Education and Programs at the Briscoe and says their third annual summer film series is dedicated to award-winning Westerns.

Jodie Foster has entertained audiences on screen for decades, but more recently, she's been behind the camera, directing. And in her newest film, Money Monster, it's a behind-the-scenes character who gets to call the shots.

George Clooney plays financial guru Lee Gates, who dishes out stock market tips and money advice on his hit TV show. It's business as usual until an intruder arrives on set and takes Gates hostage during a live broadcast. From that point on, it's his longtime producer Patty Fenn — played by Julia Roberts — who's really in charge.

San Antonio Film Commission

A San Antonio filmmaker just got a big boost in his efforts to produce his film.  That boost is in the form of a grant he got from a group that likes films to be shot in South Texas. Here's prize winner Fidel Ruiz-Healy.

"The San Antonio Film Commission, through the local filmmaker's grant, awarded me $25,000 in matching funds for a script I submitted to shoot in San Antonio and the South Texas region."

The key phrase there is "matching funds"--Ruiz-Healy has already raised $25,000 towards completing his film. He clearly already has some skin in the game.

Marvel Studios

With its gothic-inspired Gotham sets and brooding hero, Tim Burton’s “Batman” (1989) may have been the first modern superhero film, but really the current tidal wave we’ve been riding didn’t get started until after the advent of CGI special effects. By the time the 2000 film “X-Men” came out, filmmakers had the visual tools needed to create mass destruction onscreen, and with few exceptions they’ve been going to town ever since.

With Monty Python as the exception that proves the rule, the big screen has been historically unkind to sketch comedy teams hoping their offbeat sensibility will survive the leap from five-minute bits to 90-minute features — and from cult fervor to mainstream success. Some fail outright, like Mr. Show's Run Ronnie Run or The Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy, while others are embraced by fans after tanking, like The Lonely Island's Hot Rod or The State's Wet Hot American Summer.

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