May 2015 - Posts

Review: 'Veep' Season 4 Episode 8 'B/Ill' Pits All But One Against Each Other

LAST WEEK'S REVIEW: ‘Veep’ Season 4, Episode 7 'Mommy Meyer' Nails It ('Like Streisand Hitting a High C') Immediate ReactionHow, after a week aptly described by Tom as "a long glass of frozen strawberry ***-up," are the Presidential staffers expected to survive a congressional investigation? They can't stay on the same page when they're in control of the questions, so I can't imagine they'll survive this unscathed. If Season 4 was the last season of "Veep," I'd be expecting a "Seinfeld"-like finale where everyone ended up in jail as a fitting moral to the story. After all, if Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer did enough damage to justify a jail sentence, this crowd would be put away for life. But despite everything going on in "B/Ill" — a title that, unlike the insults hurled between characters, feels like it's trying a little too hard to be clever — the episode felt a little too slow, overall. With the exception of Kent and Bill's early...
Posted by Indiewire

Top Takeaways from IFP's Amy Dotson's Catalyst 'Anti-Keynote': 'You Are Not a Filmmaker'

Amy Dotson, Deputy Director and Head of Programming for the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), delivered the SIFF Catalyst Keynote on May 30 at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). In her keynote, which she dubbed "the anti-keynote," she urged filmmakers not to limit themselves by boxing themselves into the traditional term "filmmaker." Filmmaker Magazine published her talk in its entirety, but below are highlights from the keynote: READ MORE: Seattle Film Fest Programs 6 American Indies in Catalyst Lineup You are not a filmmaker. "What makes that thing – and its creator – important is how others perceive it," said Dotson. In this age where filmmakers are creating content and telling stories on a variety of platforms, limiting oneself with labels no longer makes sense. "Labeling things, staying within the reasonable expectations of others, following the set path and asking artists to color within in the lines are struggles that have...
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Watch:: Hailee Steinfeld is a High School Freak Show in Exclusive 'Barely Lethal' Clip

[Editor's Note: This post is presented in partnership with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand in support of Indie Film Month. "Barely Lethal," is available now On Demand. Need help finding a movie to watch? Let TWC find the best fit for your mood here.] READ MORE: Watch: New Trailer, Poster and Images For 'Barely Lethal' With Hailee Steinfeld, Jessica Alba and Samuel L. Jackson  Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld ("True Grit") stars as Megan Walsh and gets a serious wake up call in this clip from "Barely Lethal", as she tries her very best to fit in at high school and brutally fails (it must've had something to do with the double forehead braid). Her ill-tempered first-day buddy (Dove Cameron) is just one of the many obstacles Megan faces as she tries to maintain normalcy in her not-so normal life by faking her death to attend high school instead of training to become an international assassin.  Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba...
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'Aquarius' Creator John McNamara on Rebelling Against Broadcast Standards, Season 2 Plans And Binge-Viewing

"Aquarius" is unlike anything you've ever seen before. Okay, that's not entirely true. We've seen historical fiction on television before, as well as more cops and criminals than anyone can count. Even the stars of the new NBC drama are all TV veterans in one way or another, with series lead David Duchovny well-known from "The X-Files" and "Californication," Gethin Anthony — who plays Charles Manson — a former "Game of Thrones" star, and a couple of "Friday Night Lights" stars handling supporting roles (Grey Damon and Gaius Charles). But what it all adds up to is truly unique. A serialized story with procedural elements, "Aquarius" is a bold take on its subject with an even bolder release strategy from NBC. You can watch all episodes of the drama right now on NBC.com, various VOD outlets and Hulu, despite the fact it only released its first two episodes last Thursday (and will air the rest one-by-one on Thursdays this...
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Review: 'Orphan Black' Season 3, Episode 7, 'Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate': Life With the Hendrixes

PREVIOUSLY: 'Orphan Black' Season 3, Episode 6, 'Certain Agony of the Battlefield': In Which We Say Goodbye Cloning Around After last week's heart-wrenching episode, it was time for a little bit of a breather. And a breather certainly came, in the form of soccer mom clone Alison Hendrix. As the character's election campaign kicked off in full gear, she was also dealing with several hiccups along the way. Such as random panic attacks from her mother (guest star Sheila McCarthy), Donnie dim-wittingly switching up the envelopes with the drug money and her campaign signatures, Cosima attempting to get her urine and a certain former flame continuing his hot pursuit of her affections. Not to mention having to actually deliver a campaign speech and deal with frenemy Marci. Really, it was quite the week for the image-conscious mom, and we loved every stressful minute of it. Especially when it led to another clone-imitating-clone moments, when Cosima was forced to impersonate...
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Watch: Milla Jovovich Gets Scolded in Exclusive 'Survivor' Clip

READ MORE: Watch: Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan are Divorcées Turned Crime Capers in New 'Love Punch' Clips [Editor's Note: This post is presented in partnership with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand in support of Indie Film Month. "Survivor," is available now On Demand. Need help finding a movie to watch? Let TWC find the best fit for your mood here.]   You could be forgiven for confusing James McTeigue's new film "Survivor" with the long-running reality television series of the same name. Watch the clip from the film above to clear that all up. It features Milla Jovovich being scolded by a U.K. bureaucrat for unorthodox work tactics. In the film, Jovovich ("The Fifth Element," "Resident Evil") stars as a security officer who is forced to go on the run after accidentally uncovering a terrorist conspiracy at the U.S. embassy in London. Pierce Brosnan ("Goldeneye," "The World Is Not...
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'Halt and Catch Fire' Showrunner Jonathan Lisco on Season 2 Changes and Joe's 'Fluid Sexuality'

When I sat down with "Halt and Catch Fire" showrunner Jonathan Lisco at the TCA Press Tour this January, I couldn't help but tell him about some of the research I'd done in preparing for our interview: talking to my parents. "Halt and Catch Fire" chronicles the rise of Texas' "Silicon Prarie" computer industry in the 1980s, through the eyes of its eclectic cast of characters; my parents were both Silicon Prarie computer engineers during that time period and were able to give me some insider knowledge about how very well the show captures the time and place. READ MORE: SXSW: Is AMC's New Drama 'Halt and Catch Fire' the Network's Next 'Mad Men'? Lisco credited this to both technical advisors Bill Lowden and Carl Ledbetter, as well as the show's co-creator Chris Cantwell's similar background. (Cantwell's father also worked in Silicon Prairie as a software salesman.) But with a show like "Halt," the details are important, but the...
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'Nightingale' Review: David Oyelowo Goes 'Psycho' in Uneven HBO Character Study

Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters — these are the relationships given preferential treatment in the film world. But when those pairings are switched, danger lurks around the corner. Be it horror films like "Sleepwalkers" and "Psycho" or lighter fare like "The Graduate" and "Throw Momma From the Train," strong bonds between mothers and sons or fathers and daughters can lead to complications later on for both parties. "Nightingale" — the new film acquired by HBO from director Elliott Lester ("Blitz") and first-time screenwriter Frederick Mensch — fits snugly into this latter grouping, as half a film filled with volatile relieved repression and half without any new ground to cover. READ MORE: 'Selma' Star David Oyelowo Gets Frank About Race in Hollywood It's fitting, really, that only one of two offending parties is shown throughout the 82-minute feature. "Nightingale" is a one-man show, with 2014 breakout...
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What Did Cannes 2015 Teach Us About the Oscar Race? (Podcast)

READ MORE: Can You Trust the Hype From Cannes? If you've been paying attention to Indiewire over the past few weeks, you know that the Cannes Film Festival consumed a lot of our time lately. While the festival finally ended over the weekend, however, there are still many reasons to discuss its lineup. Many of the more notable titles from the program scored distribution, and a lot of them are surefire bets for the fall season circuit. But does that automatically make them Oscar contenders? Not so fast. While Jacques Audiard's immigration drama "Dheepan" won the Palme d'Or, that doesn't guarantee it will automatically make its way into the foreign language race. In fact, there are other Cannes contenders that may already be ahead in that regard. Meanwhile, Todd Haynes' "Carol" seems like a strong contender for Best Picture -- but "seems" is the operative word here. We're still not sure just how well these movies will be able to sustain their post-Cannes...
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How This First-Time Director Made One of the Most Authentic Female Coming-of-Age Films in Recent Memory

As Leah Meyerhoff was beginning production on "I Believe in Unicorns," her first feature film, she reached out to other female filmmakers to get their advice and support. Before long, the group morphed into Film Fatales, a loose network of female filmmakers who meet regularly to mentor each other and collaborate on projects. Meyerhoff's film is one of three new and recent indies, along with Eliza Hittman's "It Felt Like Love" and Marielle Heller's "Diary of a Teenage Girl," to tell a coming-of-age story from a female perspective (all three directors are members of Film Fatales). "Unicorns" focuses on Davina (Natalia Dyer), an imaginative teenage girl who escapes life with her disabled mother (played by Meyerhoff's mother, Toni Meyerhoff) by diving into an intense and volatile relationship with an older boy (Peter Vack). The film was inspired by Meyerhoff's own life experiences. Indiewire recently spoke to the writer-director about...
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Brooklyn Film Festival Announces Lineup for 18th Edition, Will Open with 'Manson Family Vacation'

The Brooklyn Film Festival, now in its 18th year, has announced their lineup of narrative and documentary films. 108 features and shorts were selected, from 26 countries and five continents. The festival will open with the East Coast premiere of J. Davis' "Manson Family Vacation," starring Jay Duplass and Linas Phillips.  READ MORE: Duplass Brothers' 'Manson Family Vacation' To Open 18th Annual Brooklyn Film Fest The theme of this year's festival, "Illuminate," was described by BFF executive director Marco Ursino as an attempt to "spotlight storytelling without boundaries and welcome multi-layered stories, including the abstract and the inspirational, the intriguing and the ironic. The festival is simply looking for projects that reflect a creative, furious, explosive, and uncontainable intelligence." Many of the films screening at BFF also have a New York connection, including Ryan Carmicheal's "But Not For Me," the only...
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HBO Orders Two Seasons of Duplass Brothers' Animated Series 'Animals' Following Sundance Debut

Behold the power of Sundance. Or the Duplass brothers. Or "Animals" itself. HBO has ordered the Duplass-produced Sundance entry to series with a two-season commitment. Though the network does dabble in animated comedy, it's only released two in the last 15 years — "The Ricky Gervais Show" and "The Life & Times of Tim" — and neither lasted longer than three seasons.  READ MORE: 'Animals' Creators on Mark Duplass and If Film Fests are the Future of Indie TV "Animals" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past January, generating good word-of-mouth from a screening of two episodes and Q&A immediately after. Matarese and Luciano's half-hour comedy features different animals living in New York City, personifies their problems and presents each with a stark, grey color palette with voices from an exceptional cast. Mark Duplass — who executive produces the series with his brother Jay, both of whom created the HBO...
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The Word 'Mumblecore' Turns 10 Years Old This Year. Can We Stop Using It Now?

READ MORE: Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders Take Center Stage in Posters for Sundance Hit 'Results' Almost exactly 10 years ago, Andrew Bujalski was being interviewed by Indiewire contributor Michael Koresky when the filmmaker made an off-the-cuff remark that would haunt him. Shortly after the premiere of Bujalski's sophomore feature "Mutual Appreciation" at the South by Southwest Film Festival, the same week that his debut "Funny Ha Ha" landed on DVD, Bujalski was asked about other contemporary filmmakers whose work — as Koresky put it — "harmonized" with his own. Bujalski recalled rumblings of a "movement" at SXSW, the same year that Joe Swanberg's debut "Kissing on the Mouth" premiered and the Duplass brothers' "The Puffy Chair" won an audience prize.  "My sound mixer named the movement 'mumblecore,'" Bujalski said, "which is pretty catchy." In short order, Bujalski wouldn't think so. Two years...
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Watch: 'Kung Fury' Short Will Make Your Brain Explode With '80s Nostalgia

READ MORE: The 2015 Indiewire Cannes Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item Posted During Run of Festival The production history of Stockholm-based filmmaker David Sandberg's sensational '80s-themed action short "Kung Fury" is a tale for the ages. Sandberg's idea developed its initial momentum when he launched a Kickstarter campaign for his "Kung Fury" idea and uploaded a trailer for the concept that caught people's attention. Within 24 hours, he had raised $200,000 and by the end of the campaign one month later, Sandberg had raised $630,000 from 17,713 backers. Couple the success of the crowdfunding campaign with the film's Cannes Film Festival debut for the film and you've got a legend in the making. As previously announced, following its Cannes debut, the full short premiered on YouTube on May 28 and we have embedded it at the top of this page for you to watch. Pro tip: If you go fullscreen for this one, you won't regret it. READ MORE: The...
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Watch: Bruce Campbell is Back in Bloody New 'Ash vs. Evil Dead' Teaser

Though there's no sign of the boom stick, Ash seems well-prepped to again take on the Deadites in this brief but bloody new teaser. From the minds of original creator Sam Raimi, star Bruce Campell and producer Rob Topert comes "Ash vs. Evil Dead," the Starz horror series set to pick up 30 years after we last saw the chainsaw-wielding monster murderet do what he does best. Reprising his role as the titular Ash, Campbell resurfaces in the series as an aging stockboy who's been trying to avoid anything meaningful since he last conquered evil. But when a Deadite plague threatens mankind, out comes Ash's most lethal weapons: the chainsaw, boom stick and sarcastic comments.  "Ash vs. Evil Dead" premieres this fall on Starz with Lucy Lawless as a mysterious figure who suspects Ash is the source of all evil. Pablo Simon Bolivar becomes our hero's new sidekick, but Jill Marie Jones co-stars as a cop trying to prove Ash killed her partner. Looks like Ash is...
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