10 items from 2015
"I fucking hate this city, man. Sometimes I feel like Jo-burg is trying to kill me." So it goes for the millennials of "Necktie Youth" as they wander Johannesburg with hedonistic apathy. Twenty-year-old Shongwe-La Mer directs a vibrant debut with audacity unique to a young first-timer, allowing his characters to inhabit the cityscapes with no discernible agenda except to capture a societal moment. The result is a one-of-a-kind fever dream of post-Apartheid South Africa. The opening scene: a high school girl hangs herself and live-streams the event on the internet. "Necktie Youth" then explores the reverberations of this nihilism, which rattles the foundations of a social fabric already fraught with racial tension and murky politics. We're in the richest section of the country, and in the tradition of a Bret Easton Ellis novel, the teenagers cope with ennui by immersing themselves in drugs, sex, and frantic socializing that only serves to. »
- Emily Buder
Veteran director and screenwriter Paul Schrader will receive the San Francisco International Film Festival's Kanbar Award for storytelling. He will be honored alongside fellow Sfiff awardees Richard Gere and Guillermo del Toro on Film Society Awards Night, which goes down Monday, April 27 at The Armony on Mission Street. Schrader's long and storied career began with writing Sidney Pollack's 1974 "The Yakuza" before Martin Scorsese's Palme d'Or winner "Taxi Driver." As a director his films have included "American Gigolo," "Affliction," "Auto Focus, "Light of Day" and more recently "The Canyons," written by Bret Easton Ellis and starring Lindsay Lohan, and "The Dying of the Light," which the director washed his hands of after losing final cut. Read More: Warning: "Dying of the Light" Is Not a Paul Schrader Movie Paul Schrader will also be honored at An Evening with Paul Schrader at the Sundance »
- Ryan Lattanzio
In a world where few cinematic taboos remain, previously ‘unfilmable’ projects like J.G. Ballard’s High Rise (2015, adapted by cult director Ben Wheatley) are belatedly brought to the screen – long anticipated by Ballard’s controversial Crash (1996, believed too obscene to film for two decades but successfully transplanted by David Cronenberg) and The Atrocity Exhibtion (2000, a literary nightmare of clinical surrealism turned into a languid exploitation movie).
So what makes a literary property untouchable in an age where people can obtain almost any feature uncut on DVD? It’s not what you might think: explicit sex and extreme violence are not the no-nos they once were (though combining the two is still problematic). But the deranged viewpoint of a mad or antisocial narrator can still be regarded as dangerous territory – especially if their version of reality demands a big budget…
Ballard’s novel of urban dystopia (abandoned by »
- Paul Woods
With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to nail auditions so you have something to talk about when Aunt Vera or Uncle Miguel ask how the acting is going! Here are nine from this past week on Backstage for you to consider: “American Psycho: A New Musical”Think you can play Patrick Bateman better than Christian Bale? Now’s your chance, albeit in a bit of a different setting: a musical. Producers are casting the entire cast for the musical version of the disturbing film based on the book by Bret Easton Ellis. Auditions for the Equity production are April 16, 21, and 22. Rehearsals begin January 2016 with a mid-March 2016 opening. “Charlie”This student film is casting the role of Ron, a hardworking father, in a story about his family’s discovery of his passion for ventriloquism after his untimely death. Shooting in NYC, meals and transportation will be provided. »
Read More: Bret Easton Ellis and Rob Zombie Team Up for Manson Family Murders Drama Project at Fox Alchemy has acquired all North American rights to "31," a horror film by Rob Zombie, Deadline has reported. The film has just begun production in Los Angeles and stars Zombie, Sheri Moon, Richard Brake, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lawrence Hilton-Jones, Lew Temple, Meg Foster and Malcolm McDowell. Deadline's synopsis of the film, which features a script written by Zombie, reads: "Five unwitting friends are plucked from their lives and plunged into a terrifying game of death. It unfolds on Halloween as the victims are pursued by a band of scarily costumed killers." "Rob Zombie is a true artist and master filmmaker at the height of his game," said Alchemy CEO Bill Lee. "With '31' he's creating yet another terrifyingly immersive and twisted world that will delight audiences. Alchemy's mission is to connect »
- Casey Cipriani
When Charlie Sheen was fired from Two and a Half Men, many commentators were quick to latch onto his increasingly bizarre antics. In his upcoming memoir So That Happened (April 7, New American Library), Sheen's Men star Jon Cryer writes about the disappointing way the media tried to elevate a guy who, he says, just needed help. "A curious phenomenon was bubbling up in the media," writes Cryer, in a passage excerpted by The Hollywood Reporter. "Entertainment culture had become so stultifyingly repetitive and predictable that Charlie's antics felt like a breath of fresh air." "To some authors, commentators and bloggers »
- Lynette Rice, @lynetterice
NBC has set a May 28th start date for the Charles Manson miniseries Aquarius, which stars David Duchovny as a Los Angeles police officer in pursuit of the Helter Skelter cult leader in the period leading up to the Sharon Tate murder. Game of Thrones actor Gethin Anthony will portray Manson on the 13-episode "event series." Aquarius takes place in 1967 Los Angeles and follows Duchovny's Sgt. Sam Hodiak and a counterculture-infiltrating undercover cop played by Gray Damon as they investigate Manson and his "Family," the Wrap reports.
NBC's Aquarius miniseries, »
Cinema deviants can come in all forms or variety. It is just a matter of taking your pick as to what kind of deviant you consider. Perhaps your preference of deviant is of the sexual or molesting persuasion? Or maybe in the arena of hustlers or swindlers or cheaters? Will notorious gangsters and corrupt officials fit the bill for your definition of legitimate deviant sources?
The one type of deviant prototype that no one can question or disregard in terms of an impacting impression is the serial killer…or any killer where the impulse to slaughter is mindless fun or in some cases a perverse release to punish society for their own inner psychological demons and despair.
In “Killer Instinct”: Top Ten Disturbed Deviants in the Movies we will look at the selections of twisted individuals whose overwhelming passion for the pleasure of pain and punishment against their fellow »
- Frank Ochieng
“God, family, country.” After the awkward dysrhythmia of Jersey Boys (a musical with a tin ear for its tunes), Clint Eastwood is back in the saddle with this bleak western-inflected thriller. Adapted from the autobiography of Chris Kyle, a navy Seal (nicknamed “the Legend” – really) who racked up more than 160 confirmed kills as a marksman in Iraq, American Sniper finds Eastwood returning once again to Unforgiven’s thorny themes of guns and retribution in tensely cinematic fashion. That the title (taken from the book) should ironically echo Bret Easton Ellis’s satirically vitriolic portrait of male psychosis is appropriate, the film allowing its audience to view Kyle as either hero or villain – or both.
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Well, here’s some good old heebie jeebie juice for you. Or, you know, brilliant marketing—depending on how you look at it. In the month leading up to the April 14, 2000 release of “American Psycho,” Patrick Bateman emailed fans eagerly awaiting the adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ book. That’s right, the homicidal, investment banking, psychopathic protagonist of Mary Harron’s film (played by Christian Bale) helped promote the movie by sharing his inner musings with anyone who wanted. The emails were a unique, creative, and quite creepy strategy Lions Gate Films employed starting March 15th of that year. The correspondences, which were approved, but not written by Ellis, find Bateman sharing his thoughts in the then-present of 2000, a decade-plus later than when “American Psycho” takes place. And they run the gamut of topics. What does the Huey Lewis fan think of other musical acts? Tue 4/4/00 1:21 Pm Subject: The »
- Zach Hollwedel
10 items from 2015
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