April 2013 - Posts

Watch: David Gordon Green Goes Back to His Roots (Kind Of) in 'Prince Avalanche' Trailer

It's been a rough couple of years for fans of director David Gordon Green. He surprised many with his initial success in the comedy genre via "Pineapple Express," but quickly fell off the rails with the poorly received medieval stoner-comedy "Your Highness" and Jonah Hill-starring "The Sitter." But while still veering more towards comedy than the tragedy of some of his earlier work, his upcoming "Prince Avalanche," does mark a clear step back from his recent studio-driven comedies and if the reception from recent screenings at Sundance, Berlin, and Tribeca are to be believed, a welcome return to form for the director many had feared would never return to his dramatic roots. With a summer release date quickly approaching, Magnolia Pictures has released the film's first trailer. The film, itself an adaptation of the Icelandic film "Either Way," stars Paul Rudd as Alvin, a man who leaves his city home behind for a summer in the country repainting traffic lines along with his...
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Keanu Reeves Gives His Weirdest and Most Distinctive Performance In Years In 'Generation Um...'

Few actors carry over their onscreen persona from one project to another like Keanu Reeves. In recent years, however, his subdued demeanor has been virtually absent from American cinema, save for a handful of supporting roles and one vaguely interesting change of pace in the heist movie "Henry's Crime." Writer-director Mark Mann's "Generation Um…," a bafflingly irreverent, meandering character study, resurrects Reeves' trademark inscrutable delivery, providing the actor with his most characteristic performance in years. It's almost enough to salvage the scraps of ideas that constitute Mann's story -- but not quite. The movie belongs to Reeves more than anyone else. In "Generation Um…," which hits video-on-demand platforms today ahead of its theatrical release next week, Reeves plays a cryptic loser named John. Though the conditions of his employment are unclear for most of the running time, John's life is defined by the time he wastes with two bubbly young women, the vulgar-mouthed...
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Cannes Adds Jim Jarmusch's Tilda Swinton-Starring Vampire Tale to Competition Among Other New Titles

Among the many surprises when the announcement of the Cannes Film Festival competition came out last week was the omission of Jim Jarmusch's Tilda Swinton-starring vampire tale "Only Lovers Left Alive" in the competition category -- a film that many pundits predicted would vie for the Palme d'Or. As it turns out, they were right. At a recent press conference, Cannes officials confirmed that the film has been added last-minute to the competition, along with a number of other titles playing in different sections, including Claude Lanzman's latest Holocaust documentary "Le Dernier Des Injustes," playing out of competition. Below find a list of the new films included in the lineup. Completion "Only Lovers Left Alive," Jim Jarmusch Out of Competition "Le Dernier Des Injustes," Claude Lanzmann Un Certain Regard "My Sweet Pepperland," Hiner Saleem "Tore Tanzt," Katrin Gebbe "Wakolda," Lucia Puenzo
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Summer Movie Preview: The 50 Indies You Must See (Part 5)

Indiewire's epic summer movie preview is completed today with part 5 of our series highlighting 50 indie films we think you should see this summer. Head back over to part 1 for a full introduction and the first batch of films and to part 2 and part 3 and part 4 for the previous sets (all of which are, like below, listed in alphabetical order). The Spectacular Now (August 2) Director: James Ponsoldt Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler Distributor: A24 Criticwire Average: 23 critics gave it an A- average. Why is it a "Must See"? This Sundance alum -- one of the definite highlights of the fest -- features an intriguing collaboration between James Ponsoldt, whose “Off the Black” and “Smashed” were keenly observed dramas, and screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, whose “(500) Days of Summer” brought true independent spirit to the romantic comedy genre. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley...
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Randy Ostrow Speaks On The Passing of Filmmaker, Producer and Friend Stuart Kleinman

Filmmaker and lawyer Stuart Kleinman passed away this Monday at the age of 57 of a heart attack in his New York home. After going to law school in the wake of a brief career in graphic design, Kleinman became Vice President of ICM and President of Jodie Foster's Egg Pictures, where his love of film led to him fostering the early careers of filmmakers such as Mathieu Kassovitz and Shunji Iwai and producing such films as "Waking the Dead" and "Home for the Holidays." In 2004, five years after becoming a Partner at New York's Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein & Selz, Kleinman returned to the writing and producing, spending much of his time focussing on political topics over a broad range of issues, and continued to work on such discussions in recent years Randy Ostrow met Stuart when they both attended Scarsdale Junior High in the late '60s, quickly becoming friends over shared interests in film, among many other things. While they didn't plan on it, the two attended NYU's graduate film...
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Amy Seimetz Discusses Her Busy Year and Why She Hates Being Labeled a 'Breakout'

Amy Seimetz is having a moment. The writer-actress-filmmaker has for the better part of a decade been making a name for herself on the indie film circuit by working with everyone from Lena Dunham on "Tiny Furniture" to Joe Swanberg" in "Alexander the Last" to anchoring Megan Griffith's acclaimed Sundance character study "The Off Hours." This year, however, marks Seimetz biggest one yet. First came Shane Carruth's "Upstream Color," in which she co-starred with the writer-director in one of the most perplexing indies to come along in ages. Friday sees the theatrical release of her directorial debut "Sun Don't Shine," a 16mm shot, micro-budget portrait of a couple (Kentucker Audley and Kate Lyn Sheil) on the run for murder. In August you can catch her in Adam Wingard's acclaimed horror pic "You're Next," opposite Ti West and Swanberg. And on the small screen, she can soon be seen in Christopher Guest's anticipated HBO comedy series "Family Tree," in addition to the surprise third season...
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Riveting Strip Club-Set Family Saga 'The Manor' Opens Hot Docs In Style

After spending a decade as a film animator, Shawney Cohen got burnt out and decided it was time to take a break from his career to spend some time working at the family business. It just so happens that business was The Manor, a strip club located 40 miles west of Toronto, Canada. "I reached a point in my early thirties where I was just kind of trying to figure out what to do," Cohen said. "But I always kind of avoided the strip club. It was part of my life, but I just reached a point where my parents were in their sixties and I didn't spend much time with my brother, so it seemed like a good idea to try working there. In retrospect, just jumping into that business was a bit naive because I had no experience. I thought it would be an easy gig, but it wasn't. It was tricky." The first week Cohen worked there he tried to break up a fight in the champagne room and got pushed through a plate glass window.  "It occurred to me then that maybe this was a mistake," he...
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James Ellroy is Shopping Around a TV Series Sequel to 'L.A. Confidential'

Uniting "Mad Men"-type period stylings and the crime solving fundamental to half of network television, a television series sequel to 1997's "L.A. Confidential" seems like it'd be a solid small screen bet. Which may be why, according to Deadline, James Ellroy and New Regency are shopping around a drama series set to follow after the Curtis Hanson-directed noir. Ellroy wrote the 1990 novel on which the film was based -- the feature, which was produced by Regency, starred Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger and won two Oscars, one for Kim Basinger's supporting role and another for Hanson and Brian Helgeland's screenplay. The project is being pitched to cable, broadcast and streaming platforms, though it's not the first time a TV adaptation of the property has been attempted. You can watch a 2003 "L.A. Confidential" pilot starring Kiefer Sutherland in the Spacey role as Detective Jack Vincennes, Josh Hopkins as Officer Bud White and David Conrad as Detectie Ed Exley on...
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Corey Stoll Cast in Lead Role of Guillermo Del Toro's FX Vampire Pilot 'The Strain'

Earlier this week, news broke that Guillermo Del Toro is working on adapting the manga series "Monster" into a potential HBO series. Today, FX announced that the busy filmmaker and producer has found a lead for the pilot of another TV series he has in the works. Corey Stoll, who's coming off a high profile role in Netflix's "House of Cards" as the well-intentioned but weak-willed political pawn Peter Russo, will headline "The Strain," a drama being adapted from a trilogy of vampire novels co-written by Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Stoll will play Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are brought in to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak that turns out to be a strain of vampirism -- and not the sexy, glittery, "Twilight" variety, as the novels present a grim, unromanticized vision of vampirism as a humanity-stripping infection akin to the type displayed by those with the Reaper virus in Del Toro's...
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'The Rocket,' 'The Kill Team' and 'Broken Circle Breakdown' Top 2013 Tribeca Film Festival Awards

The 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival presented the winners of its competition categories with awards tonight in New York City. Topping the night with two awards each were Kim Mordaunt's Australian drama "The Rocket" and Felix Van Groeningen's German romance "The Broken Circle Breakdown." "The Rocket" nabbed Best Narrative Feature and Best Actor for Sitthiphon Disamoe, while "Broken Circle" walked away with Best Screenplay for a Narrative Film for Carl Joos and Van Groeningen, and Best Actress for its star Veerle Baetens. The locally shot "Stand Clear of Closing Doors," from Sam Fleischner, got a Special Jury Mention in the Narrative category. Over in the World Documentary Competition, Best Documentary Feature went to the war film "The Kill Team," directed by Dan Krauss, with a Special Jury Mention for Sean Dunne's "Oxyana," which went on to win Best New Documentary Director. Below, find the full list of winners. World Narrative Competition The Founders Award for Best Narrative...
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MTV Greenlights a Pilot for a TV Series Based on 'Scream,' with Wes Craven to Potentially Direct

Over 16 years after self-referential horror comedy "Scream" first opened in theaters, MTV is ready to see how the franchise it started works on the small screen. The network will announce at its upfront today that it has ordered a one-hour pilot based on Wes Craven's 1996 film -- which starred Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette -- and the three sequels that followed. Despite already been greenlit, the pilot, which will produced by DiGa Vision in partnership with MTV and "Scream" movie studio Dimension Films, does not yet have a writer attached, though Craven is in talks with Dimension to potentially direct. How the "Scream" concept will be translated to television form is also not yet clear, though MTV vows to "reinvent the successful horror comedy franchise that spawned three sequels and unleashed 'Ghostface' to a legion of unsuspecting fans" and is aiming for a summer 2014 premiere. MTV currently has a genre hit in its darker and soapier adaptation of...
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AMC Has Ordered a Pilot for Sci-fi Drama 'Line of Sight'

Two of AMC's flagship dramas are approaching their end -- "Breaking Bad" has eight episodes left, while "Mad Men," currently in the midst of its sixth season, will likely come to a close after its seventh. Today, the network announced a new candidate that could serve as a replacement -- "Line of Sight," a drama from creator, writer and executive producer Blake Masters ("Brotherhood"), has been given a pilot order by AMC. "Line of Sight" is a scripted drama about Lewis Bernt, a National Transportation Safety Board whose survival of a mysterious plane crash leads him on a quest to discover its cause. In the announcement, AMC describes it as the network's first science fiction venture, welcoming geeks everyone to quibble over whether or not "The Walking Dead" could be considered sci-fi if it presents some kind of biological explanation for its zombie apocalypse, and what the hell "The Prisoner" was anyway. AMC's Joel Stillerman says that the show "defies the traditional boundaries of...
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Watch: Brit Marling Dyes Her Hair and Gets Hot and Heavy With Alexander Skarsgard in New 'East' Trailer

Two years after "Another Earth" and "Sound of My Voice" catapulted her to indie-icon status at Sundance, Brit Marling is back this summer with her latest writing-acting effort, "The East." Directed and co-written by her "Sound of My Voice" collaborator Zal Batmanglij, the Fox Searchlight thriller centers on an ex-FBI agent (Marling) who infiltrates an anarchist collective known as The East suspected of attacking corporate CEOs. Once embedded within the group (led by Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard), however, she soon finds herself on their side. Watch the latest trailer for the film below. "The East" opens May 31 in select theaters. READ MORE: Brit Marling and Ellen Page Deconstruct 'The East' and Explain Why Robert Redford is an "Anarchist Thinker"
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Why Documentary Profiles Should Have Had Their Own Section at Tribeca

Film festivals are not necessarily the sum of their parts, but they tend to be viewed that way. From Sundance to Cannes, audiences delve into discussions of the films that stood out in competition versus what belonged in it, which countries produced the best work, the themes that dominated the lineup, and so on. While the Tribeca Film Festival's program has steadily improved in recent years, these types of conversations are still difficult to pin down -- partly due to the volume of films (even as it has shrunk), but also because many of its best movies are buried in sections that don't allow the quality to stand out. This year, the festival screened a hefty amount of documentary profiles featuring notable figures finally receiving their due. Rather than lumping the films together in a program that would allow exemplars of the approach to stand out, however, these movies are scattered throughout the program. A number of non-fiction gems have surfaced in the massive "Spotlight"...
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Attention Filmmakers! Free Access to Filmmaker Social Network Cinely and Chance to Win $1000

Cinely, the networking site for filmmakers of all sorts to get together to collaborate and show off their work is currently hosting a short film contest for short films made in the last 5 years. The entries, which are listed on the contest's page on Cinely.com, are all available to be viewed during the next few weeks, and some of those of which are not tied to prohibitive distribution deals are going to be streamed online after the contest ends. The contest, which has already attracted Oscar nominees and Sudance alums, is open only to Cinely members and films that are between 5 and 30 minutes in length.  The entries so far can be viewed on the contest site.  The second part, we can't help you with; to become a member of Cinely, you usually need to be invited by the company or by another member.  For the remainder of the contest, Indiewire readers will be able to join Cinely by entering the following code: C_INDIE. Once submissions are closed, former Academy...
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