13 items from 2015
By any measure, television’s renaissance has been good for women. But the long list of compelling female characters gets shorter when drama series are taken out of the mix.
Across broadcast, cable and digital, traditional half-hour comedies don’t pack the same pop-culture punch as the antics of Olivia Pope, Carrie Mathison, Alicia Florrick or Daenerys Targaryen. It’s harder to generate consistent laughs than it is consistent gasps, based on the ratio of dramas to comedies across the dial these days.
The only thing harder, it seems, than fielding a fresh comedy hit is for an actress to become a breakout star in a new comedy. This is where a little Emmy attention could offer a big boost to a promising show and budding talent. But Emmy voters are inclined to favor incumbents, which leaves little room for fresh faces.
Since 2010, at least three of the nominees in »
- Cynthia Littleton
Film festivals are for everyone. Whether it’s the Tribeca Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival or even Raindance, festivals are exciting events for the community and are designed to bring you and other lovers of cinema together to experience extraordinary stories that ordinarily may never be seen in the mainstream.
In particular, the sometimes-overlooked Short Film program is one experience audiences should make sure to acquaint themselves with and not miss out on. Not only is it an opportunity for you to be one of the first people to discover incredible work from perhaps a top filmmaker of the future but it is also an opportunity to be regaled, beguiled and mesmerised by fulfilling stories told to you in less than a third of feature time. They’re short and sweet – little engines that could – and more often than not, thought provoking in a totally unpredictable way.
The shorts »
- Sacha Hall
Long before he scored his big break as one of the original Not Ready for Primetime Players on “Saturday Night Live,” Garrett Morris, a New Orleans native, was treading the boards in New York. He racked up mentions in Variety throughout the ’60s, but his first was for the recording of a musical called “The Bible Salesman.” Now, at 78, he’s a regular on CBS’ “2 Broke Girls.”
What do you remember about “The Bible Salesman”?
It was the first official Off Broadway show I did with Rosetta (LeNoire) way back when. A very talented composer by the name of Jay Thompson had written this piece, and it was marvelous to work with Rosetta, a great lady and great performer. At a certain time, she was the only black lady on Broadway.
What were your career ambitions?
My degree officially is in music, with a minor in composition but I always wanted to be an actor, »
- Geoff Berkshire
SXSW 2015 Film Review
complete coverage of the SXSW Film Festival 2015
Director/Screenwriter: Patrick Brice
It’s hilarious. The boundaries of bromance, marriage, friendship and even penis comedy are pushed to a very funny limit with this film. It’s great to see Schilling doing great work outside of “Orange is the New Black.”
Final Score: 8/10
Reclusive small town locksmith, A.J. Manglehorn, who has never recovered from his losing his true love embarks on a new tenuous relationship with a local woman he meets at the bank. Cast: Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine, Chris Messina. (U.S. Premiere)
(film synopsis from sxsw.com)
You probably »
- Jeff Bayer
“She’s the Best Thing in It” is an affectionate portrait of Mary Louise Wilson, the Tony-winning actress who’s spent more than a half-century as a highly versatile staple of the stage and screen. An infrequent directorial exercise for veteran scenarist and producer Ron Nyswaner, the docu focuses primarily on Wilson’s late-in-life first stab at teaching an acting class. The result is pleasant enough without revealing as much as probably intended about the subject’s craft or profession — or about her, period. This lightweight portrait will be best suited to broadcasters of the PBS ilk, for whom its modicum of human interest and showbiz lore will suffice.
Wilson is introduced finally winning her Tony in 2007 for the musical “Grey Gardens” — an honor she herself thinks is long overdue, given a diverse career we glimpse in a montage of stills and clips. But she ruefully reports its effect was »
- Dennis Harvey
The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival announced this week its line-up for the short film program. Presented by At&T, the 60 films selected from 3076 submissions this year will be presented in nine programs made up of five narratives, three documentaries, and one combined. The program includes a record 40 world premieres and shorts from 18 countries including Argentina, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, German, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Norway, Sweden, the UK, and the Us.
Several Tff Alumni return this year as part of the short film program including filmmaker Stefan Nadelman, who screened his short film Terminal Bar at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2003, with his short film Last Call and producer Ellen Bar with her narrative Early Sunday Morning starring American Ballet Theatre dancers Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside. Bar produced the documentary feature Ballet 422 which premiered at Tff 2013. Also returning is Andrew Jenks with the short documentary film All American Family, »
- Sacha Hall
Exclusive: Christmas in April? Why not — if it’s got Dick Van Dyke and Valerie Harper? Here’s a sneak peek at their new short film Merry Xmas, which is set to unwrap, er, unspool at the Tribeca Film Festival next month. Glenne Headly and Matthew Modine co-star in director Boman Modine’s comic look at how the holidays can be murder. Expect danger! romance! tragedy! and … junks. Joe D’Angerio and Matthew Modine produced the short. Have a look, but beware the “Jingle Bell… »
Tribeca has established an Oscar track record with its short film selections, with last year’s competition winner for narrative short, “The Phone Call,” going on to win the Academy Award for live-action short. As was the case last year, winners of Tribeca’s 2015 awards for narrative short and documentary short will qualify for consideration in the Oscars’ short film categories.
Tribeca has broken down this year’s lineup of shorts into nine programs — five narrative, three documentary and one combo section — with names such as “Fml,” “Tightrope,” “Interference” and “NY — Double Espresso.”
- Gordon Cox
Created by Eileen Heisler and DeAnne Heline
Produced by Blackie and Blondie productions, NBC Television
Aired on NBC for 1 season (13 episodes) from Jan 4 – March 15, 2005
Josh Cooke as Nate Solomon
Jennifer Finnegan as Marni Fliss
Darius McCrary as Bowie James
Tammy Lynne Michaels as Tess
Tom Poston as Dying Clown
RonReaco Lee as Todd
Meet Nate and Marni, two complete opposites that have one thing in common: they are both eccentrically unable to find someone that they believe is “The One.” That is, until they mistakenly meet on a blind date that they go on together instead of with the dates they were set up with. After establishing a connection with each other that neither has felt before, they defy logic and reason to date one another even after sharing quirks that would normally send any sane person running for the hills. Now, together they »
- Jean Pierre Diez
Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in TrainwreckPhoto: Universal Pictures With Sundance just wrapping up and Berlin starting up in a few days, we are now immersed in the year-long barrage of film festivals. One such festival in South By Southwest. A few weeks back they announced the first seven films of their program, including the opening night film Brand: A Second Coming. Today, they have revealed the rest of the features to be shown in March (except for the midnight program), and some of it has me very excited. The bigger titles announced do not do much for me. Paul Feig's Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy, and the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart starrer Get Hard leave a lot to be desired in terms of anticipation, as does a work in progress cut of Judd Apatow's latest film Trainwreck. I'm guessing an Apatow work in progress is probably around three and a half hours. »
- Mike Shutt
South by Southwest, the multi-faceted film, music and technology festival held annually in Austin, TX will feature such upcoming films as Paul Feig’s Spy, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, and Ondi Timoner’s Russell Brand profile Brand: A Second Coming as headliners in this year’s film festival lineup.
SXSW runs from March 13 to 21 in Austin and is now in its 22nd year. Variety has details of the 145 films and 100 world premieres bowing at this year’s festival. Brand, as previously reported, will be the festival’s opening night film.
Other notable titles on the list are the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, a rough cut of Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, the directorial debut of 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland, Ex Machina, and a new comedy by Michael Showalter, Hello, My Name is Doris.
On the small screen, »
- Brian Welk
Top brass at the 22nd South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival have announced the feature line-up for the upcoming festival, set to run from March 13-21 in Austin, Texas.
SXSW will showcase 145 features. The line-up includes 60 films from first-time film-makers and comprises 100 world premieres, 13 North American premieres and 11 Us premieres.
Head of film Janet Pierson and her team of programmers culled selections from a record 2,385 feature-length submissions composed of 1,614 Us and 771 international features. The record of 7,335 total submissions marks a 13% gain on 2014.
For the first time the number of films in the juried Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature selections have risen from eight to ten. The complete Conference line-up and schedule will be released on February 17.
Besides the Narrative Feature Competition and Documentary Feature Competition selections listed below, feature entries include Judd Apatow’s work-in-progress comedy Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer in Special Events, music film 808 (pictured) in 24 Beats Per Second and Alex Garland’s sci-fi »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Valerie Harper could have easily had just three months to live. But now, more than two years after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, the actress tells People "things are good." Harper, 73, credits acupuncture and exercise as two of her preferred therapies and says, "I'm exploring everything." Harper spoke to People at the 14th Annual Aarp Movies for Grownups Awards Monday night. "I'm not doing everything," she said. "You do what feels right for you. It's very important to follow your intuition and I have a husband who encourages me to exercise all the time and I do and I feel better for it. »
- Alexandra Zaslow, @alexandrazaslow
13 items from 2015
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