10 items from 2015
After working with Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Todd Field, and more, the talented Jackie Earle Haley has completed his directorial debut, Criminal Activities. Assembling quite a cast, including John Travolta, Dan Stevens, Michael Pitt, Christopher Abbott, Rob Brown and Edi Gathegi, we now have the first trailer for the mob ahead of a November release.
The story follows four old friends who act on an inside stock tip and invest in a “sure thing,” only to discover the deal going south while putting them in trouble with the mob. Considering the caliber of the cast (notably Stevens and Abbott, who have excelled in the last few years) and Haley’s acting pedigree, we’re intrigued, but unfortunately the trailer sells a bit of a cheap-looking crime drama, one that’s arriving with little buzz. Nonetheless, check out the preview below.
Criminal Activities hits theaters and VOD on November 20th.
- Leonard Pearce
No film buff wants to see a promising, or prominent filmmaker pull a disappearing act a la Terrence Malick, (though it seems he isn’t keen to repeat another lapse like the one between Days of Heaven to The Thin Red Line), but whether they’re dealing with unforeseeable professional (endless pre-production woes, writer’s block) or personal issues, sometimes there is a considerable time between projects.
With John Cameron Mitchell, Charlie Kaufman, Rebecca Miller, Patty Jenkins, Kenneth Lonergan and more recently, Barry Jenkins recently moving out of the so called “inactive” period, we decided to compile a list of the top ten American filmmakers who, for the most part, we’ve lost sight of and would like to see get back in the director’s chair again. Most of the filmmakers listed below have gone well over half a decade without a substantial movement in this category. Here is »
- Nicholas Bell
Nearly one year after the immensely popular podcast Serial first launched, producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller are teaming with Fox 21 Productions (Homeland), to create a TV series adaptation. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that series creator Sarah Koenig, who hosted the weekly podcast that was a spinoff of This American Life, sparked to Phil Lord and Chris Miller's pitch for a TV adaptation, which will chronicle the process of making the successful podcast instead of the case it chronicled. The producers will start pitching to cable networks once a team of writers are in place.
The series will not focus on the murder case that made the series so popular, involving Adnan Syed, who was convicted of killing his former girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 2000. The podcast's 12-episode first season explored the case as Sarah Koenig and her team conducted their own investigation, which cast doubt on Adnan Syed's conviction. »
Good Time Gal: Barthes’ Sensible Remake of Flaubert’s Classic Novel
Few literary protagonists have reached the heights of notability as the infamous Madame Bovary, from the proto-feminist novel written by French author Gustave Flaubert in 1857. Examining the selfish and inevitably tragic actions of a discontented wife, the titular character is also rather hard to sympathize with considering a multitude of understandable yet frustrating actions. As many literary figures, she’s been resurrected for the big and small screen on multiple occasions over the decades, generally to troubled critical reception. Though Claude Chabrol’s 1991 adaptation is somewhat regarded as the definitive film version, this latest examination is the first to be directed by a woman, a detail being used as a selling point for tuning in. But even if you can ignore the fact that a notoriously bi-sexual French man originally penned the material inspiring this English language co-production, it »
- Nicholas Bell
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. "Mulholland Drive." "Donnie Darko." "Spirited Away." "Ghost World." "The Royal Tenenbaums." "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring." "Wet Hot American Summer." "Pulse." "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." If you're not stunned by the sheer variety of greatness in the above list of films, you probably won't be on board with my argument for 2001 as the greatest year in movie history. And if you're puzzled by the exclusion of "A Beautiful Mind," then you might as well stop reading now. "A Beautiful Mind," of course, won Best Picture at the Oscars the following year, an honor that felt undeserved at the time and positively baffles in hindsight. The Ron Howard-directed drama was an ephemeral triumph, the kind of middle-of-the-road Hollywood »
- Chris Eggertsen
In today's roundup of news and views: Agata Pyzik for frieze on Vera Chytilová's Daisies; a history of censorship and the movies in Iran after the Islamic Revolution; Jonathan Rosenbaum on Alain Resnais and Chris Marker's Statues Also Die and Roberto Rossellini's Rome Open City (1945) plus a speech by Pere Portabella; Matt Connolly on Andy Warhol’s Vinyl, Fernando F. Croce on Pier Paolo Pasolini's Il vangelo secondo Matteo, Francine Prose on David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars, Peter Hogue on Raoul Walsh, Danny King on James B. Harris, Todd Field's interview with Sissy Spacek, Michael Tully's with James Gray—and more. » - David Hudson »
For the longest time it seemed like Kathryn Bigelow's next film would be the border zone thriller Triple Frontier, but Deadline now says that film has been pushed aside. So what's nextc Is it that adaptation of Anand Giridharadas' non-fiction book "The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas" starring Tom Hardyc Nope, it's going to be the one we learned about last June, bringing Bigelow back together with screenwriter Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) to tell the story of Taliban Pow Bowe Bergdahl. Megan Ellison's Annapurna is producing and studios are expected to begin bidding soon. As I wrote back in June, I would rather see a story of the late "Rolling Stone" reporter Michael Hastings whose article on Bergdahl, "America's Last Prisoner of War" is being adapted for Todd Field to direct. We've heard enough about Bergdahl and I also wish Bigelow would »
- Brad Brevet
Leonardo DiCaprio has signed on to both star in and produce a film adaptation of "The Crowded Room," New Regency's long in gestation film adaptation of the acclaimed 1981 book "The Minds of Billy Milligan" by Daniel Keyes.
Billy Milligan was a man tormented by twenty-four distinct personalities battling for supremacy over his body. It was a battle that culminated when he awoke in jail, arrested for the kidnap and rape of three women on the Ohio State University campus in the 1970s.
In a landmark trial, Billy was acquitted of his crimes by reason of insanity caused by multiple personality - the first such decision in history. The personalities included a petty criminal, a drug dealer, an affection-starved lesbian, an eight-year-old sadist, a con man, a snobby Englishman, a Yugoslavian communist, and an escape-artist. Each of the people play a distinct role in this often shocking true story.
The likes »
- Garth Franklin
Seven-year-old Ceg has invested in “The King’s Speech,” “Drive,” “Looper” and “End of Watch” in exchange for music publishing rights. It handles scoring, clearances and music supervision in a film, then recoups from soundtrack and sheet-music sales; licensing and royalties from international ticket sales and TV deals; and rights in TV commercials.
Cross Creek’s future slate includes “Everest,” based on the tragic 1996 Mt. Everest climbing expedition; Brian Helgeland’s “Legend,” starring Tom Hardy; Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass,” starring Johnny Depp; and Burr Steers’ “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” Projects in development include Mel Gibson’s World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge” and Todd Field’s “Beautiful Ruins. »
- Dave McNary
Veteran independent producer Ted Hope has stepped down as CEO of streaming platform Fandor and is being replaced on an interim basis by lead investor Chris Kelly, former Facebook general counsel and chief privacy officer.
Hope will be pursuing a new film production venture and remain a close adviser to the company, which specializes in independent and international titles.
“Fandor is keenly situated now for real growth; Ted and the Fandor team have positioned us very well for continued expansion in 2015,” Kelly said. “While Fandor represents the next evolution of the film industry that Ted has been advocating for years, he was very eager to get back to making movies.”
Hope joined Fandor a year ago after departing as head of the San Francisco Film Society, which runs the San Francisco Film Festival. He has produced or exec produced nearly 70 films, including Todd Solondz’s “Dark Horse,” Sean Durkin’s »
- Dave McNary
10 items from 2015
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