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    ‘Dune’ and Princess Diana Biopic to Debut at a Starry Venice Film Festival

    Hollywood blockbusters are back on the program after a less celebrity-driven edition last year, but the event will still be far from business as usual.“Dune,” Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated science-fiction epic starring Timothée Chalamet, and Pablo Larraín’s “Spencer,” which dramatizes Princess Diana’s decision to divorce Prince Charles, are among the movies that will premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival.The festival, scheduled to run from Sept. 1-11, will also see the presentation of new films by Pedro Almodóvar (“Madres Paralelas,” starring Penélope Cruz), Ridley Scott (“The Last Duel,” with Matt Damon) and Jane Campion (the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring “The Power of the Dog”), as well as Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, “The Lost Daughter,” based on a novel by Elena Ferrante and starring Olivia Colman.The star-studded lineup, announced at a news conference on Monday, suggests that this year’s festival will be a more glamorous affair after last year’s scaled-down pandemic edition, which featured few celebrity names.The presence of some Hollywood blockbusters on the program shows that “Americans have emerged from the lockdown and they are ready to restart,” Alberto Barbera, the festival’s artistic director, said at the news conference.Some of the most anticipated U.S.-funded movies will appear out of competition, including “Dune,” the latest attempt to adapt that Frank Herbert novel following efforts by David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Scott’s “The Last Duel,” starring Damon as a knight who challenges his squire, played by Adam Driver, to a duel after his wife (Jodie Comer) accuses the sidekick of rape.“Halloween Kills,” the latest movie in the “Halloween” horror franchise, will also premiere out of competition. It stars Jamie Lee Curtis, who will receive the festival’s lifetime achievement award.In the competition, Almodóvar’s “Madres Paralelas” (“Parallel Mothers”), about two women who meet in a hospital where they are about to give birth, is one of 21 films that will compete for the Golden Lion, the festival’s main prize.It will be up against Larraín’s “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana; Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” about a sadistic ranch owner; and Paul Schrader’s “The Card Counter,” about a gambler caught in a revenge plot.Five of the 21 competition films are directed by women, Barbera said — down from eight last year. “It might seem a step backward, but that is just a partial point of view,” he added. Female directors appeared to have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic more than their male counterparts, he said, adding, “I really hope they will have a comeback.”Bong Joon Ho, the director of “Parasite,” will chair the competition jury that also includes the British actress Cynthia Erivo and Chloé Zhao, the director of “Nomadland,” which won last year’s Golden Lion and went on to win the Academy Award for best film.This year’s festival may see the return of blockbusters to Venice, but it will still be far from business as usual. Roberto Cicutto, the festival’s president, said at the news conference that rules introduced last year to limit the spread of the coronavirus, such as compulsory seat reservations and masks for indoor screenings, would likely continue.In line with Italian government regulations coming into force Aug. 6, anyone attending screenings, or even eating indoors at the festival site, will be required to show proof of having received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, a recent negative test result or a certificate showing proof of having recovered from the illness in the past six months.Italy’s government announced the requirements this month as virus numbers rose across the country. On Sunday, the public health authorities reported new 4,742 cases. That is far down from this year’s peak of over 25,000 new daily cases in March, but the rise in cases has caused concern in a country that the pandemic hit hard last year.“This year, we hoped we could be more relaxed,” Cicutto said. “For the time being, it isn’t so. But we continue to hope.” More

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    Pulitzer-Winning Critic Wesley Morris Captured the Moment

    For his piercing insights on race and culture, Wesley Morris recently received his second Pulitzer Prize. But he won over colleagues long before that.Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.Wesley Morris was ready for his medal.In 2012, he had just won his first Pulitzer Prize for criticism, as a writer for The Boston Globe, and was at the ceremony at Columbia University with his mother. But when he wondered out loud where he could pick up the award, he got a surprise.“Oh, sweetie,” Tracy K. Smith, that year’s poetry winner, told him. “We don’t get a medal, only the public service winner gets that. We get a paperweight.” (OK, she was exaggerating a little.)“My mom was like, ‘Oh my God, Wesley,’” he said, laughing.It was the rare oversight for Mr. Morris, a deep thinker and New York Times critic at large who recently won his second Pulitzer Prize for criticism, the only person to receive that award twice.He was recognized for an ambitious body of work over the past year on race and culture that included not only incisive essays about the racial justice movement and the impact of cellphone videos on Black Americans, but poignant personal pieces like a Times Magazine story about how growing a mustache was connected to his sense of Blackness.“I love important, weighty ideas,” he said, though he added that he also likes considering topics that are lighthearted and frivolous.Gilbert Cruz, The Times’s culture editor, said Mr. Morris’s pieces stood out for their scope and accessibility.“He has a unique ability to step back, look across the cultural and social landscape and speak to us in a way that makes it seem as if we’re engaged in a conversation,” Mr. Cruz said. “A funny, smart, sometimes emotional and always riveting conversation.”Sia Michel, The Times’s deputy culture editor who has edited Mr. Morris’s work for three years, similarly praised both Mr. Morris’s intellect and his common touch. “He has an imposing sense of critical authority and moral authority but always invites the reader in,” she said.Mr. Morris said his dreams of becoming a critic dated back to when he received an assignment in eighth grade: Write a report after either reading Howard Fast’s 1961 novel “April Morning” or watching the TV movie version of it. He decided to do both, then wrote a scathing critical review.“You didn’t really do what I asked you to do,” he recalls his teacher, John Kozempel, telling him. “But you did do a thing that exists in the world. It’s called criticism, and this is a good example of it.”Of course, not everyone can write elegant essays that educate even when they excoriate, and which provide an entry point to a conversation rather than closing a door to opposing views. But when Mr. Morris begins to put words on a page, the ideas flow.“I don’t know how I feel about a lot of things until I sit down to write about them,” he said. “That’s my journey as a writer — to figure out where my brain, heart and moral compass are with respect to whatever I’m writing about.”When Mr. Morris files a story, Ms. Michel said, she always knows she’ll get four things: surprising pop cultural and historical connections; a brilliant thesis; at least one “breathtaking” passage that reads like poetry; and a memorable, revised-to-perfection ending.“He always reworks his last graph until it slays,” she said.Mr. Morris said his biggest challenge is that he has so many ideas, he never has time to pursue all of them.“I can be paralyzed by my glut of ideas,” he said, “which often means I wait to write things until the last minute.” He added that he’s been known to write 3,000-word pieces on a same-day deadline.Yet somehow, amid writing for the daily paper, the Sunday Arts & Leisure section and The Times Magazine, as well as co-hosting the weekly culture podcast “Still Processing,” Mr. Morris manages to make time for everyone, his podcast co-host, Jenna Wortham, said.When Mr. Morris won his first Pulitzer in 2012, Mx. Wortham, who uses she/they pronouns, was a newly hired Business reporter for The Times who had been assigned to write a story about him. They left a voice mail message and sent an email to Mr. Morris.Thinking he would be too busy to respond right away, Mx. Wortham went out for coffee but after returning found a long, thoughtful voice mail from Mr. Morris with “more information than I needed.”“It left the deepest impression on me,” Mx. Wortham said. “And I remember thinking I would strive to be someone who always made time for other reporters.”Their friendship, which began six years ago, has only blossomed and deepened since then, Mx. Wortham said.“I’ve seen Wesley give a barefoot unhoused man money for a pair of shoes and absolutely demolish a dance floor with equal amounts of grace,” she said. “There’s no one like him, and we are all so lucky to exist in this iteration of life alongside him.”Although Mr. Morris’s profile is much higher now, he said he intended to respond to every one of the hundreds of congratulatory emails, texts, calls and Twitter messages he received after this year’s win — a goal that’s still in progress.“I’m still not done,” he said recently. “Even with strangers, if someone took a second out of their life to congratulate me for this, it’s important to me to say thank you.” More

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    What’s on TV This Week: The N.B.A. Draft and Cesar Millan

    The N.B.A. hosts its 75th draft and Cesar Millan returns to TV with a new show focused on rescue dogs and their owners.Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, July 26-Aug. 1. Details and times are subject to change. More

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    I’m Obsessed With ‘Old.’ The Twist: I Won’t See It.

    M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie has a trailer that eerily resonates with our strange times; and that’s enough for me.Let me say up front that I do not expect to see M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie, “Old,” which arrived in theaters last week, for no other reason than that I am traveling and haven’t set foot in a theater in almost two years. But in the past few weeks, I have watched its trailer over and over, enthralled by its combination of existential horror and unintended humor. The trailer introduces us to some people who become trapped on a remote beach, where they begin to age at an insanely accelerated pace. Naturally, they try to figure out what’s happening, floating theories and freaking out. This being a Shyamalan film, the trailer promises they will spend a lot of time looking confused and concerned — the same facial feat Mark Wahlberg sustained across the running time of “The Happening” — and yelling at one another, demanding explanations.This is a familiar, Manichaean, Shyamalan-ish universe: A diverse group of bewildered souls, alone in a menacing void, earnestly playing out whatever endgame logic the scenario dictates. (It’s as though the director were compelled to continually make big-budget versions of “Waiting for Godot” — you think he can’t go on, but he’ll go on.) So we see a family on vacation, headed to the beach. The cast is soon filled out by others: a couple, a 6-year-old girl, a woman in a bikini making smoochie faces at her phone, two more men. Soon enough, the kids find things in the sand: rusted items from their hotel, cracked sunglasses, late-model iPhones. A young bleach-blonde corpse bobs toward a boy in the water. (She did not die of old age, but will decompose in hyperlapse.) Then the real aging begins. Parents confront their kids’ sudden adolescence. The 6-year-old girl grows up, becomes pregnant and gives birth on the beach. Some greater force is afoot, be it fate, God, time, Facebook or nature. Whatever it is, it clearly doesn’t care how many travel rewards points or memory-making family vacations you had in real life.Near the start of the trailer, Vicky Krieps’s character dreamily tells her impatient children: “Let’s all start slowing down.” Then everything starts speeding up. At some point she turns to her husband and exclaims, “You have wrinkles!” (The horror!) But of course “Old” will not be an allegory about the importance of sunscreen. What we’re being shown here looks far more like a meditation on mortality wrapped in a cautionary tale about our accelerated lives — about the scariness of time flying and kids growing up too fast, of bodies going to hell and the inescapability of death, and about the ravages we’ve visited upon the Earth, which will remain blanketed in all our fancy garbage long after it has turned us to dust.Part of what’s so captivatingly strange about the trailer is the way it takes a movie that compresses life into a couple of hours and then compresses that into a galloping two-and-a-half-minute highlight reel. Its breakneck, parodic pace calls to mind Tom Stoppard’s “15-Minute Hamlet,” in which all the most famous scenes from Shakespeare’s play are crammed (twice!) into a quarter of an hour. (In a film adaptation I once saw, Ophelia drowned herself by plunging her head into a bucket.) The title alone reduces the existential horror of the premise to a midlife freakout.The graphic novel from which this movie is adapted — “Sandcastle,” written by Pierre Oscar Lévy and illustrated by Frederik Peeters — was inspired by Levy’s memories of childhood holidays. “He used to travel a lot to a beach exactly like this one, in the north of Spain,” Peeters told the comics site CBR. “Later, he went back with his own children, and one day he had this idea.” The beach could serve as a microcosm of Western society, “with some of its strong basic figures.” This was not a thriller, Peeters said — “it’s a fable.”It takes a movie that compresses life into a couple of hours and then compresses that into two and a half minutes.Shyamalan may be best known for his last-minute twists, but this was an option the “Sandcastle” authors ultimately decided against. According to Peeters, Levy had written a resolution to the story, a final twist — “but we finally decided it was useless, and would have destroyed the frightening dimension of the book.” The frightening dimension, of course, is that there is no escaping time, or death — and neither is there any simple revelatory twist in life that will explain what you’re meant to be doing with your time here.Anyone converting this source material into a movie has a choice to make: Either you embrace the terrifying meaninglessness of our short lives, or you try to offer consolation with a resolution to the story. The trailer tips its hand that Shyamalan has chosen the latter: The last words we hear are Gabriel Garcia Bernal’s character saying, “We’re here for a reason!” Maybe we are and maybe we are not, but my time on Earth is limited, and any story that attempts to wrap up the problem of life will feel like a waste of it.As I watched this trailer over and over, I was also, coincidentally, in Spain, where I lived for many years while growing up. I am writing from my brother’s new apartment in Madrid, which happens to be next door to the childhood home of a childhood friend. Walking my dog past her building, then meeting with her later, I find myself dwelling on the trailer, on the nature of time passing, on how compressed and accelerated it can feel. It’s strange to sit across from people you met in elementary school but haven’t seen in years. It makes you feel like the couples in the trailer, watching their spouses transform into their future selves. Time seems to pass at an accelerated rate when you return to a place periodically, over a long period, with large gaps in between.During the past year and a half of paralysis — this remote, isolated, slowed-down time, during which some of the most privileged among us were able to isolate in safety and comfort — it could seem as if the future were on hold. (It was not.) Time felt endless and slow until, for me, it accelerated significantly. I lost my mother suddenly. After 18 months of not traveling anywhere, I came back to the city where I lost my father, where my nephews were born, where my parents’ still-living friends have become elderly. It is funny to see how much has changed, and which things never change. I met a friend at a gallery opening and mentioned on arrival that I’d forgotten to iron my dress. He seemed happy to hear this: “You’re still you!” he said.Perhaps, for some of us, last year felt like a pause. But there was no pause. There never is. You look away for a moment, and your kid is tall. Your dog is old. Friends move away. You begin to wonder where this is all going. What’s the twist? When will it arrive? And then maybe you realize where you are, which may be a very old city — old to you and old in history, though not as old as some — and here you are, repeatedly watching a trailer for a movie, feeling a strange feeling.Carina Chocano is the author of the essay collection “You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks and Other Mixed Messages” and a contributing writer for the magazine. More

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    Vladimir Menshov, Surprise Russian Oscar Winner, Dies at 81

    His “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears” was named best foreign-language film in 1980, beating Truffaut and Kurosawa. U.S. critics demurred.Vladimir Menshov, a prolific Soviet actor and director whose film “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears” won the Academy Award in 1980 for best foreign-language film, surprising the many American critics who had panned it, died on July 5 in a hospital in Moscow. He was 81.Mosfilm, the Russian film studio and production company, said the cause was complications of Covid-19.“Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears,” a soapy, melodramatic crowd-pleaser, attracted some 90 million moviegoers in the Soviet Union even after it had been broadcast on television, not long after it was released theatrically in 1980. Its theme song, “Alexandra,” written by Sergey Nikitin and Tatyana Nikitina, became one of the country’s most beloved pieces of movie music.Even so, when “Moscow,” only the second film Mr. Menshov had directed, won the Oscar, many moviegoers and critics were taken aback, given the competition that year. It was chosen over François Truffaut’s “The Last Metro” and Akira Kurosawa’s “The Shadow Warrior” as well as the Spanish director Jaime de Armiñán’s “The Nest” and the Hungarian director Istvan Szabo’s “Confidence.”“There was more condescending good will than aesthetic discrimination behind the Oscar voted to ‘Moscow,’” Gary Arnold of The Washington Post wrote when he reviewed the film, which was released in the United States after its Oscar victory.The film follows three girls quartered at a Moscow hotel for young women in the late 1950s as they hunt for male companionship, and then revisits them 20 years later. It starred Vera Alentova, the director’s wife and the mother of their daughter, Yuliya Menshova, a television personality. They both survive him, along with two grandchildren.From left, Aleksey Batalov, Vera Alentova and Natalya Vavilova in “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears.”SputnikMr. Arnold noted that Mr. Menshov’s movie “revives a genre Hollywood has failed to sustain, reliable as it would seem: the chronicle of provincial girls, usually a trio, in pursuit of careers and/or mates in the big city” — a genre that ranged chronologically at the time from “Stage Door” (1938) to “Valley of the Dolls” (1967).Vincent Canby of The New York Times conceded that the film was “decently acted” but wrote that at two and a half hours, it “seems endless.”“There are suggestions of social satire from time to time,” Mr. Canby wrote, “but they are so mild they could surprise and interest only an extremely prudish, unreconstructed Stalinist.”While he considered it understandable that “Moscow” was one of the Soviet Union’s most successful films, Mr. Canby concluded, “One can also believe that portion of Mr. Menshov’s biography (contained in the program) that reports he failed his first three years at the Cinema Institute in Moscow and wasn’t much more successful as an acting student with the Moscow Art Theater.”He added tartly, “I assume we are told these things to underscore the lack of meaning in these early failures, which, however, appear to be summed up in his Oscar winner.”Vladimir Valentinovich Menshov was born on Sept. 17, 1939, to a Russian family in Baku (now in Azerbaijan). His father, Valentin, was an officer with the secret police. His mother, Antonina Aleksandrovna (Dubovskaya) Menshov, was a homemaker.As a teenager, Vladimir held blue-collar jobs as a machinist, a miner and a sailor before being admitted to the Moscow Art Theater School. After graduating from the school in 1965 and from the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in 1970, he worked for the Mosfilm, Lenfilm and Odessa Film studios.He had more than 100 credits as an actor, including in the hit “Night Watch” (2004), and was also a screenwriter. He made his debut as a director in 1976 with the film “Practical Joke.” More

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    ‘Black Widow’ | Anatomy of a Scene

    Film directors walk viewers through one scene of their movies, showing the magic, motives and the mistakes from behind the camera.Film directors walk viewers through one scene of their movies, showing the magic, motives and the mistakes from behind the camera. More

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    HBO and HBO Max Subscribers Seen Reaching 73 Million in 2021

    AT&T may not want HBO Max anymore, but the streaming platform is gaining traction with customers.HBO and HBO Max, home to genre-bending franchises such as “Game of Thrones” and “The Sopranos” and Hollywood blockbusters like “Wonder Woman 1984,” have added 10.7 million customers in a little over a year, with 2.8 million coming in the three months ending in June, AT&T reported on Thursday. Those figures include both HBO Max and the HBO TV channel.The company has 67.5 million subscribers to HBO and HBO Max, with 47 million in the United States. AT&T, which has struck a deal to sell its media businesses, expects HBO and HBO Max will have between 70 million and 73 million customers by the end of the year, exceeding earlier predictions.Netflix, the most popular streaming service, has 209 million subscribers, with about 66 million in the United States. It gained customers in the second quarter, but growth has considerably slowed and it lost 430,000 subscribers across the United States and Canada, a sign that cracks are beginning to show in the streamer’s long-held dominance.Speaking on the broader streaming industry, Jason Kilar, the chief executive of AT&T’s media arm, WarnerMedia, said in an interview: “The only thing I can promise you is change. There is no doubt that change is coming, and that’s appropriate because we live in a dynamic time.”WarnerMedia, which includes CNN, the Warner Bros. film and television studios and the Turner cable networks, is about to become the property of Discovery Inc., as media companies continue to gobble each other up in an effort to take on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. The deal, which is expected to close around the middle of next year, will create the second-largest media business in the United States, behind the Walt Disney Company and ahead of Netflix and NBCUniversal.Mr. Kilar, who learned of the acquisition only weeks before it would be announced, could be out of a job after the deal closes.Both companies are prohibited from working together until the merger is approved by government regulators, including striking any employment agreements. Still, such deals often involve tacit arrangements about leadership. Mr. Kilar said that he had met socially with David Zaslav, the head of Discovery, but that he hadn’t broached the topic of his employment.“David and I have known each other for a long time,” he said, “and I think it’s fair to say there’s a lot of shared respect between the both of us.”Mr. Kilar, who took charge of the company only 15 months ago, said he did not have plans to step away. “There will be a point where I pick my head up next year where I think about this topic,” he continued. “But I certainly don’t intend to do it until 2022.”Jason Kilar, the chief executive of WarnerMedia, in Dallas last December.Allison V. Smith for The New York TimesMr. Kilar, who was the founding chief executive of Hulu, is considered within Hollywood to be a bit of an iconoclast. In 2011, he broadsided the industry with a now-famous manifesto on the future of entertainment that, to many, came across as a blistering critique of Hulu’s corporate ownership.The post panned traditional TV for running far too many commercials. Mr. Kilar also blasted cable, predicting that viewers would eventually drop expensive packages.After Mr. Kilar joined WarnerMedia, he quickly shuffled the executive ranks and cut costs in an effort to streamline the business.Then he angered Hollywood (again) by breaking with tradition and releasing the entire 2021 lineup of Warner Bros. films on HBO Max on the same day they were scheduled to appear in theaters. The move would have cost some of Hollywood’s biggest players back-end profits — the commission that top-flight producers and stars earn based on box office receipts — but the company quickly worked out deals to make sure they would be paid.Unlike Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max and other new entrants into streaming have legacy agreements with cable distributors and Hollywood studios that prevent a more full-throated approach to making films and TV shows immediately available online.For Mr. Kilar, the move wasn’t about upsetting Hollywood, but rather was part of a larger strategy to goose HBO Max.It seems to have worked. The release of made-for-the-big-screen spectacles like “Godzilla vs. Kong” on HBO Max helped to increase the service’s customer rolls.Mr. Kilar intends to keep up that strategy through 2022. Warner Bros. will release 10 films exclusively for the streaming platform. And big-budget films like “The Batman,” a reimagining of the comic book character starring Robert Pattinson, will have relatively short windows in theaters of 45 days before they show up on HBO Max, according to Mr. Kilar.“That’s very, very different than the way the world operated in 2019,” he said. “Ultimately, I do think that as long as you’re thoughtful about it, change could be very, very good for not only the customers but also the people we get to work with.” More

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    ‘Old’ Review: They Say Sun Can Age You, but This Is Ridiculous

    A half-hour at the beach costs vacationers a year in this disquieting new horror puzzler, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.In the opening pages of “Dino,” a 1992 biography of Dean Martin by Nick Tosches, the author cites a haunting Italian phrase: “La vecchiaia è carogna.” “Old age is carrion.”When some vacationing families are deposited on a secluded beach recommended to them by a smarmy resort manager in “Old,” the new movie written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, we see a trio of vultures atop a tree take to the sky.Not long after that, unusual things begin happening. The young children of Guy and Prisca (Gael García Bernal and Vicky Krieps, both superb, as is the entire cast) feel their bathing suits tightening. An epileptic psychologist (Nikki Amuka-Bird) unexpectedly finds herself without symptoms. The elderly mother of the trophy wife of a tetchy physician just up and dies. A moderately famous rap star (Aaron Pierre), who had come to the beach some hours before, wanders around befuddled, with an incurable nosebleed. The corpse of his female companion is discovered in the water, prompting the physician (Rufus Sewell) to accuse the rapper of murder.In time — not too much time, because, as it happens, it is of the essence in this situation — the beachgoers figure out that they are aging at an accelerated rate. One half-hour equals about a year.And the beach that is aging them won’t let them leave.Some vacation. Shyamalan adapted his disquieting tale from the graphic novel “Sandcastle,” by the French writer Pierre Oscar Lévy and the Swiss illustrator Frederik Peeters. As is frequently the case with French-produced bandes dessinées, “Sandcastle” is a stark existentialist parable. (It is perhaps no coincidence that the book Krieps’s character attempts to read on the beach is a dual biography of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.) Shyamalan expands on the book in the way one would expect an American filmmaker to — among other things, eventually offering a sort-of explanation that the source material doesn’t.Being PG-13, “Old” does not dwell, as the graphic novel does, on how rapid aging affects the children of this ensemble in the hormonal department once they hit their teens, although one pregnancy does occur during the victims’ shared life-in-a-day. Instead, the movie buckles down on the considerable anxiety and dread felt, and amplified, by the frequently bickering adults. Because time is accelerated here, wounds heal incredibly quickly. The director exploits this for a couple of weirdly harrowing knife fights and an impromptu surgery scene. The horrific potential of bones breaking, then instantly resetting themselves incorrectly, does not go unnoticed.Shyamalan’s fluid filmmaking style, outstanding features of which are an almost ever-mobile camera and a bag of focus tricks, serves him especially well here. Sometimes the camera will pan back and forth in a ticktock pendulum fashion (get it?) and return to its starting point to reveal a terrifying change. The way he switches out his actors as their characters age is seamless. (The filmmaker’s work in the verbal department is not so felicitous. He names Pierre’s rap star “Mid-Sized Sedan”; early on one character complains to another, “You’re always thinking about the future, and it makes me feel not seen.”)If old age is carrion, it’s also, as a “Citizen Kane” character put it, the one disease you don’t look forward to curing, which provides the impetus for the movie’s finale. While Shyamalan is often cited for his tricky endings, it’s arguable that he doesn’t quite stick the landing with this one. He adds to the story a dollop of that much-venerated Hollywood commodity, hope, and also doles out some anti-science propaganda that couldn’t be more unwelcome at this particular time in the real world.OldRated PG-13 for horrific imagery, language and aging. Running time: 1 hour 48 minutes. In theaters. More