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4 items from 2008


Handling the 'Truth'

11 December 2008 12:59 AM, PST | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

Kate Beckinsale is "a little bit of a genius," according to Nothing but the Truth writer-director Rod Lurie. Known for crafting fiercely intelligent female characters in films such as The Contender and on ABC's Commander in Chief, Lurie was unprepared for just how prepared Beckinsale was on the first day of Truth's five-week shoot. "Kate's rather remarkable because she will come on any day and the script pages will be covered in notes," he says. "From every point of view, she has consulted with people that are experts in the field. There was almost nothing to tell her." Genius might not be the first word that comes to mind upon seeing the stunning Beckinsale as a leather-clad bloodsucking warrior in the Underworld series, a sword-swinging vampire killer in Van Helsing, or the innocent Hero in her breakthrough film, Much Ado About Nothing. But even in a bodysuit that leaves little to fanboys' imaginations, »

- Lauren Horwitch

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Interview: Whit Stillman on "Metropolitan"

13 August 2008 7:24 PM, PDT | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

By Stephen Saito

It's been nearly 17 years since "Metropolitan" aired for free on PBS's "American Playhouse." On the surface, the placement would seem appropriate for a comedy set amidst the afterparties of New York debutante balls, one that popularized the term Uhb (Urban Haute Bourgeoisie, of course) and created a superhero for the Park Avenue set in Nick Smith (Chris Eigeman, in his first starring role), the party gadfly who wielded words as if they were daggers. Incidentally, had "American Playhouse" not kicked in some money during the production of "Metropolitan," Whit Stillman's brilliant first film might not have been completed, the beginning of a trilogy that was as formative an experience for some during the '90s (this writer included) as John Hughes' films were for those growing up in the '80s.

So it should be considered a great triumph that "Metropolitan" is now once again available for the masses gratis, »

- Stephen Saito

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Chris Eigeman on "Turn the River"

8 May 2008 2:25 PM, PDT | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

By Stephen Saito

One of Chris Eigeman's favorite performances in his directorial debut, "Turn the River," comes from an actor who has all of three lines and plays a pimply faced donut shop employee who tells his potential customers that he already drank the coffee. It's the kind of droll one-liner that one could easily imagine rolling off Eigeman's tongue during his heyday as the quick-witted star of Noah Baumbach's "Kicking and Screaming" and Whit Stillman's trilogy of "Metropolitan," "Barcelona" and "The Last Days of Disco." But "Turn the River" isn't the intellectual yukfest one might expect from an actor with a reputation for snark and smarts, but rather the heartfelt character study of Kailey (Famke Janssen), a mother forced to give up her son Gulley (Jaymie Dornan), who attempts to raise enough money through hustling at pool and poker to steal him away from his father. »

- Stephen Saito

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Directors on task at Hamptons fest

6 May 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Directors Ira Sachs, Maria Maggenti and Whit Stillman will mentor young scribes at the Hamptons International Film Festival's eighth annual Screenwriters' Lab this weekend.

New scripts from Off the Black director James Ponsoldt (Refresh, Refresh), Alex R. Johnson (La Sobrina) Bradford Tatum (Book of Water) and Avi Weider (Zeroes and Ones) will be workshopped in East Hampton from May 9-11.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is co-sponsoring the event with HIFF, which is slated for Oct. 15-19 in New York. »

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4 items from 2008


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