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On TV this final night of May Sweeps: Criminal Minds unmasks The Replicator; The Middle, Modern Family, Chicago Fire, Nashville and Svu sign off; and Masterchef turns up the heat once more. Here are 8 programs to keep on your radar.
8 pm MasterChef (Fox) | Season 4 premiere: The best home cooks, culled from a nationwide search, prepare their signature dishes for judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Eliot in hopes of earning a white apron and moving to the next round. (Take a peek at a tasty preview.)
8 pm The Middle (ABC) | Season finale: Axl dodges Frankie’s questions about the »
- Kimberly Roots
It’s fitting that Sleepwalk with Me should play at Sundance London. It’s the kind of film which is reminiscent of the intimate, warmly humorous and sharply perceptive indie cinema which really came to personify the festival during the early 90s.
The brainchild of Us comedian Mike Birbiglia, it’s a film whose cinematic roots actually reach even further back than that Sundance era. It uses a similar template of surrealist fantasy interludes combined with achingly honest and all-too-painful moments of relationship fragility found in Woody Allen’s earlier work, particular his 1977 masterpiece Annie Hall.
Like Allen, Birbiglia places himself front and centre as both the main star and narrator (this is via a frequently amusing cutaway device of having his character comment on the story, whilst he’s driving). He goes even further in aping his idol by making the character a stand up, although when we first meet him in the film, »
- Adam Lowes
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Comic Mike Birbiglia has adapted his 2008 one-man show into a riveting, hilarious and clearly somewhat autobiographical venture that, at 81 minutes long, doesn’t outstay its welcome for even a second.
Sleepwalk with Me focuses on long-time couple Matt (Birbiglia) and Abby (Lauren Ambrose), who despite being together for almost a decade, still haven’t tied the knot. Matt is a comedian who works as a bartender to make ends meet, while struggling to light up comedy lounges with barely 10 minutes of sub-standard material. Abby, meanwhile, knows what she wants – to get married, and then have a baby – but doesn’t want to have to beg Matt for it.
The irony is that as Matt fesses up to the difficulties facing his relationship, his comic routine improves, as he begins to incorporate anecdotes about himself and Abby into his shtick. The opposition is clear; Matt’s career »
- Shaun Munro
Sleepwalk with Me, 2012
A burgeoning stand-up comedian struggles with the stress of a stalled career, a stale relationship, and the wild spurts of severe sleepwalking he is desperate to ignore.
As someone who suffers from a mild version of Rem Sleep Disorder, the idea of Sleepwalk with Me appealed. It tells the story of struggling stand-up comedian Matt Pandamiglio (writer/director Mike Birbiglia, who based the character on himself) who doesn’t have the confidence or material to make it big with his dream profession. Not only that, but he’s unsure about his relationship with long-time girlfriend Abby and he has started acting out his dreams.
Some people will tell you that using narration is a lazy form of script writing »
Day 2 and romance was in the air. Co-written with Ira Glass of This American Life fame Sleepwalk With Me is yet another off-kilter romantic comedy, translated from the drawled musings of stand-up comedian Mike Birbiglia. At something of an impasse in his life Mike tends bar whilst nurturing a tentative stand-up career, as he watches all his friends and family marry and progress in their respective professions. He’s been seeing his hippyish girlfriend Abby (Lauren Ambrose) for eight years and everyone is expecting him to pop the question soon, but a bought of dangerous, deteriorating sleepwalking and dream reenactments manifest due to his deeply submerged anxieties. Shot in a confessional style with Birbiglia breaking the fourth wall to directly address the audience one can’t help but think that this is a This American Life monologue stretched out to an admittedly brisk 80 minute feature, and it lacks the charm »
Some of this year’s Sundance comedy-dramas have had their narratives plucked from the wellspring of their director’s personal experience, though that should never excuse any shortcomings. Yesterday, I wrote a negative review of Francesca Gregorini’s treatment of motherhood in Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes. My primary beef was less with the inherent trauma at the centre of the story, and more to do with the formal missteps that, regrettably, had a few critics in my screening snickering quietly to themselves. Their mockery was, again, not directed at the content but its aesthetic delivery, deemed preposterous once the third act indulged in a questionable surrealistic abandon.
Stand-up comedians can rarely be accused of surrendering to melodramatic impulses of the like seen in Gregorini’s feature. Us comic Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk with Me leaps into fantastical dream sequences that illustrate his subconscious fears of marriage and fatherhood, »
- Ed Doyle
On the surface, this idea seems, well, sorta nuts. Despite five recent-ish seasons of Ghost Whisperer, Hewitt hasn’t been particularly relevant since her Party of Five days, and her brief early-aughts singing career was unmemorable at best. (Though you’ve got to admit, “BareNaked” is still pretty catchy.)
Dig a little deeper, though, and suddenly the rumor starts making a weird kind of sense. Hewitt’s certainly as famous as, say, Paula Abdul »
- Hillary Busis
Director: Mike Birbiglia.
Running Time: 81 minutes.
Synopsis: An underachieving comedian, stressed out by his lack of work and his long-running relationship with his girlfriend, finds himself sleepwalking, leading to all manner of problems with his personal life.
A funny and poignant film about love, honesty and fulfilment (or lack of), Sleepwalk With Me tells the story of Matt (Mike Birbiglia), a budding comedian who lacks confidence and funny material, but has a great relationship with his girlfriend, Abby (played by Six Feet Under’s Lauren Ambrose). However, Matt has a sleepwalking problem; a disorder which is a catalyst for the events of the film, testing Matt’s commitment, responsibilities and relationships to breaking point.
Sleepwalk With Me boasts some fine comic performances from its cast, especially Birbiglia who has instant rapport with the audience from his opening address to camera. There are some great characters here, »
- Matt Dennis
The Sundance London Film and Music Festival returns to the capital this weekend and the lineup of film and music events looks to build on the solid foundation established last year.
It’s an exciting time for Independent film with the trailblazing success of the Sundance festival in Utah sparking off dozens of initiatives, the Raindance festival is a notable and vibrant example, and Sundance London is looking to do more than replicating the success of its American cousin.
When we reported on the lineup we singled out Michael Winterbottom’s The Look of Love, a biopic of self-styled King of Soho Paul Raymond, and Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, his highly anticipated follow-up film to 2004′s Primer. However there are many more excellent films playing across the various strands and we wanted to shine our spotlight on some of the films to look forward to.
All the films playing »
- Jon Lyus
This confirms what Universal Pictures has said all along that "...the scene was shot a bunch of different ways, and we have the best possible version."
The original scene featured Aniston going topless in front of TV news cameras.
"...'George' and 'Linda' are an overextended, stressed out Manhattan couple. After George is downsized out of his job, they find themselves with only one option: to move in with George’s awful brother in Atlanta.
"On the way there, they stumble upon 'Elysium', an idyllic community populated by colorful characters who embrace a different way of looking at things. »
- Michael Stevens
The Sundance Institute and London’s O2 venue announced this week the programme of panels, feature films and short films for the second Sundance London film and music festival which is schduled to run from the 25-28 April. The Sundance Institute, which annually presents the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A., selected the film and panel programming, bringing its unique blend of indepedeant cinema and music to the heart of London. The programme continues its 2012 focus on presenting new work by independent filmmakers and exploring the interplay between independent film and music.
The programme announced today includes 18 feature films and nine short films across four sections, including a new UK Spotlight. Twenty-three films will make their international, European or UK premieres at Sundance London. Ten are by female filmmakers and six are by first-time feature filmmakers. The films collectively received 12 awards when they premiered at the »
Now that this year’s Tribeca Film Festival has unveiled their feature slate (to remind you of the great lineup, check out Here, Here, and Here), the fest has now rolled out their ironically huge short film slate, which includes a massive sixty films, including thirty world premieres (a new record for the festival), along with one special screening. This year, Tribeca has divided their giant shorts program into eight thematic programs – including five narrative categories, two documentary categories, and one experimental category – with sections dedicated to New York City and vampire and werewolf themes (juicy). Some of the shorts also include performances by such recognizable talents as Lauren Ambrose, Kevin Corrigan, Elle Fanning, Jessica Hecht, Nastassja Kinski, Julian Sands, Jay O. Sanders, Dominic West, and Elijah Wood. With such a depth of theme and talent, Tribeca looks to be offering a short for everyone. And, hey, if you don’t like them, they »
- Kate Erbland
The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival will screen 60 short films as part of the annual Big Apple gathering for movie lovers. Thirty of those films will be world premieres, which the festival's backers say represents a new record. Though short films are not usually mainstream in their appeal, this year's lineup includes some big names, such as Lauren Ambrose ("Six Feet Under"), Elle Fanning ("Somewhere"), Dominic West ("The Wire") and Elijah Wood ("Lord of the Rings"). Their subject matter is also eclectic, ranging from a documentary about the life of basketball »
- Brent Lang
The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival (Tff), presented by founding sponsor American Express, today announced its lineup of 60 short films, 30 of which are world premieres a record number for the Festival and a special screening. The recipients of the Tribeca Film Festival?s Best Narrative Short award and Best Documentary Short award will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules. The 2012 Tff Narrative Short Winner Asad and competition short Curfew were nominated for best Live Action Short at this year’s Annual Academy Awards, with Curfew taking home the coveted honor. Curated from more than 2870 submissions, the 2013 roster represents 19 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Cyprus, Finland, France, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Palestine, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom. The 2013 shorts program will be presented in 8 thematic programs — 5 narrative categories, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Josh Abraham)
The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival (Tff), presented by American Express®, is happy to announce its lineup of 60 short films, 30 of which are world premieres (a record number for the Festival), and a special screening. This year's program is curated from more than 2870 submissions and includes films from 19 countries. The 2013 shorts program will be presented in 8 thematic programs - 5 narrative categories, 2 documentary categories and 1 experimental category. One documentary section, 'History Lesson,' consists entirely of world premieres - a first for the Festival. The lineup features powerful performances by a range of emerging and established talent such as Lauren Ambrose, Kevin Corrigan, Elle Fanning, Nastassja Kinski, Julian Sands, and Elijah Wood. Shawn Christensen, Academy Award-winning director of Curfew, returns to Tff with Grandma's Not a Toaster. Besides Christensen, the 2013 shorts program is proud to welcome a number of returning filmmakers including Keir Burrows, Matthew Bonifacio, David Darg, »
At the end of April Sundance London returns to the O2 for another festival celebrating the best of independent film and music.
There is the same diverse range of films which made up the inaugural festival last year with a number of UK premieres including Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely, Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color and our first look at Steve Coogan in Film4′s The Look of Love.
The festival runs from the 25th to the 28th of April at London’s O2. We’ll be taking a more in depth look at the lineup up later in the week and this afternoon we have an exclusive interview with the festival directors.
Here’s the full line up of films, all the rest of the festival’s content (shorts, music and special events) can be found here at http://www.sundance-london.com which is also where you can buy tickets. »
- Jon Lyus
This week's News Bits, which collects the smaller news pieces and interesting articles from all over the net, features a release date change, a powerful editorial, and some other juicy nerd tid-bits.
If you've got a story or news scoop you think we should feature on News Bits, drop us a line at email@example.com and we'll be sure to get to it.
* The upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot (which just cast Megan Fox as April O'Neil) has been pushed back again. Originally the film was set to hit around Christmas time of this year, but got pushed to May of 2014. Now it's been moved again, but only a couple weeks (likely so it won't be competing with Godzilla). Ninja Turtles will hit theaters on June 6, 2014.
* Our buds over at SlashFilm wrote a very interesting article about how Disney should consider remaking the Star Wars Prequels. He even »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Maison)
Tags: Jordana BrewsterEllen DeGeneresKristen WiigJennifer LawrenceOlivia WildeArrested DevelopmentIMDb
Good afternoon and happy hump day!
Photo by Dan MacMedan/Getty Images
Jennifer Lawrence is reteaming with her Silver Linings Playbook director for The Ends of the Earth. The drama is "a fact-based love story about a powerful oil tycoon who has everything stripped from him after he is caught in an affair."
Comedic genius Catherine O’Hara might be taking her talents to the small screen. O’Hara is in talks to star in the Fox comedy My Future Assistant, based on Lydia Whitlock’s blog and soon-to-be book To My Assistant.
- Bridget McManus
When it comes to acting categories, especially supporting, predicting who’s going to come away with the Academy Award is always a much easier bet than, say, Best Picture or Director. Looking over the past few years, there haven’t been many upsets when it comes to supporting categories. Based on this year’s list of nominees, expect the same results. All the critically lauded films are represented here. So, before we get into the breakdown of the nominees, here is a shout out to a few actresses who were overlooked during this awards season: Emily Blunt (Looper), Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), Ann Dowd (Compliance), and Lauren Ambrose (Sleepwalk with Me). Whether it’s because they’re in sci-fi film or a little seen indie, none of them received the recognition they deserved. But these actresses did. Here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actress with my predicted winner in red… Amy Adams »
- Jack Giroux
Tired of life in the city, stressed-out couple Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd quit the rat race for a rural commune where society's normal rules don't apply. But despite guru Justin Theroux and his flock extolling the virtues of free love (and other 'spiritual' enhancements), the gobsmacked squares find it hard to lose their inhibitions. Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman and Six Feet Under's Lauren Ambrose let their hair down for a happy-clappy, hippy-trippy romp from the director of Role Models. »
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