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Anthony Stokes on the unfair criticism of Gone Girl…
Every once in a while a movie comes out that not only appeals tremendously to your tastes on a cinematic level but also relates to things going on in your personal life. No, my wife has not gone missing, but Gone Girl’s ambiguous message on marriage spoke to me. I’m also a huge David Fincher fan and think even given his accolades and massive fanbase he’s still underrated as a director. And while Gone Girl is getting good reviews, I’ve been hearing some quite baffling complaints that don’t make sense to me. It’s not a flawless film, but certainly less flawed than other many movies with equal or more accolades.
Most of the negative views on Rotten Tomatoes that caught my attention mention Fincher by name. To be fair a lot of the positive reviews did too, »
- Gary Collinson
Jason Reitman's L.A. Live-Read series is kicking off its new season with a cast swap. Each year, The Young Adult and Up in the Air filmmaker hosts a series of one-night-only live performances of classic movie scripts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and a new round begins Oct. 17 with Alan Ball's Oscar-winning screenplay for American Beauty. The readings are like artistic science experiments, following the recipe of a previous film but mixing in new ingredients, so the twist this time is that Reitman has filled the roles with actors from his latest film, Men, »
- Anthony Breznican
Director-cowriter Alexander Payne didn't intend to start a wine revolution in America by adapting Rex Pickett's book into 2004's Sideways, but we bet you haven't looked at a bottle of merlot the same way since. The acclaimed film about two middle-aged friends, Miles and Jack (Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church, respectively), who make a road trip to the Santa Ynez Valley wine country north of Santa Barbara, California and wrestle with their shortcomings, won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay thanks to its richly drawn characters. To toast Sideways' lingering impact on wine culture, a special screening took place on Sunday at Santa Barbara's historic Arlington Theatre, where the film had its premiere 10 years earlier. "I liked wine, but I...
- Robert B. DeSalvo
God save us from old coots and the actors who play them. Is that a terrible thing to say? Actors, like the rest of us, grow old, and there aren’t a whole lot of good roles available to them. But do we really need to see Robert Duvall playing a withered grouch for the millionth time? There’s only so much squintin’ and grousin’ an audience can bear, and in David Dobkin’s The Judge — a Midwestern drama in which bits and pieces of John Grisham courtroom showmanship bump up against Alexander Payne–style family angst — Duvall reaches new, exhausting depths of cootery.
He plays crabby patriarch Joseph Palmer, a respected small-town Indiana judge who has raised three sons, two of whom he seems to not actually hate. Palmer tre »
Reese Witherspoon proved that she was one of Hollywood.s most promising young talents with her stupendous turn as the devilishly ambitious Tracy Flick in Alexander Payne.s 1999 drama-comedy, Election. But what does she think would have happened to Flick if her story had continued? Well, it turns out, Witherspoon actually has a pretty good idea of where her character might have ended up. During a chat with Vogue.s video series, 73 Questions, which also saw the actress shamelessly show-off her 2006 Academy Award for Best Actress, Witherspoon was asked, "What do you think ever happened to Tracy Flick?" and without skipping a beat she declared, "I think she probably runs the Tea Party now." That.s both a pretty stellar guess and dig. The last that we saw of Flick was in the final scene of Election, which took place several years after Broderick.s Jim McAllister had been forced »
Three major cinematographers – Janusz Kaminski (“Lincoln”), Phedon Papamichael (“Nebraska”) and Wally Pfister (“The Dark Knight Rises”) – have teamed to present Advanced Filmmaking, a series of online instructional videos for aspiring filmmakers.
“We conceived Advanced Filmmaking as a way to communicate lessons that aren’t normally covered in film school,” says Papamichael. “In our interactions with students and young filmmakers around the world, we saw a thirst for information about other topics like successful collaboration, making good career decisions and managing your personal life.”
Course modules vary in length, averaging about a half hour, and can be can be rented for one week via video sharing site Vimeo for $3.95.
The d.p. trio know one another well, having met at the beginning »
- Peter Caranicas
Reese Witherspoon thinks that Tracy Flick, that eager student politician she played in Alexander Payne's Election back in 1999, would probably be in charge of the Tea Party today. She revealed that and more in a 73 Questions video for Vogue, which she also covers for October, continuing to make the case, as she did for EW, that she is "a lot of fun to hang out with." What are some other things we learned about Witherspoon from this video? Well, she can do a backflip on a trampoline, and the following: She would invite "all the female senators" over if »
- Esther Zuckerman
Broadway’s most exhilarating rock concert burst onto the boards earlier this year when Neil Patrick Harris stepped into the silky fishnets of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, earning a Tony for the role and ushering the East German rocker into the hands of a new generation of fans. After Harris departed the show in August, The Book of Mormon veteran Andrew Rannells was tapped to fill Hedwig’s high heels. To say his turn is electric, heartbreaking, and wholly different from Harris’ would still be underselling the performance.
- Marc Snetiker
Shailene Woodley can afford to take risks. The actress first earned attention in Alexander Payne's "The Descendants," kept the buzz going with a tender turn in "The Spectacular Now" and proved she could sell tickets at the box office with the double whammy of "Divergent" and "The Fault In Our Stars" this year. So yes, the actress has been afforded some flexibility in her career choices, and coming up next is Gregg Araki's "White Bird In A Blizzard." The drama co-stars Eva Green, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Christopher Meloni and more, and follows a seventeen year-old girl whose life starts spinning out of control when her mother disappears. It's a dream-like movie (read our review), heavy on style and atmosphere, but also comes with a sharp, distinct tone. And you can see them in these two clips, which find Woodley and Green going head-to-head. "White Bird In A Blizzard »
- Kevin Jagernauth
This weekend gives you two chances to see Bill Hader stretch his acting muscles. In dark comedy The Skeleton Twins, Hader and his former Saturday Night Live co-star Kristen Wiig play siblings who reunite after suicide attempts. Meanwhile, in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, Hader has a supporting role as the best friend of James McAvoy’s Conor, who is going through a pretty rough time in his relationship with Jessica Chastain’s titular character.
Saturday Night Live actors taking on dramatic—or, rather, serious—roles is nothing new. Wiig has steadily been putting films with weighty themes onto her resume, »
- Esther Zuckerman
Once again today I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be truing to do that, time will still tell. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more. Alright, here goes nothing: Best Picture – Moneyball The nominees here for this ceremony were The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse. »
- Joey Magidson
Martin Scorsese-founded The Film Foundation will partner with India's Film Heritage Foundation for a course entitled "Film Preservation and Restoration School India." The first of its kind intensive film preservation course in the country will be held Feb. 22-28, 2015 in Mumbai. Other collaborators include The Film Foundation's affiliate World Cinema Project, Italy's Fondazione Cineteca Di Bologna and Italian film restoration laboratory L’immagine Ritrovata. The Film Foundation board includes such big-name filmmakers as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, Alexander Payne, Ang Lee and Peter Jackson,
- Nyay Bhushan
Have you ever wondered what are the films that inspire the next generation of visionary filmmakers? As part of our monthly Ioncinephile profile (read this September), we ask the filmmaker the incredibly arduous task of identifying their top ten list of favorite films. Craig Johnson (who sees his The Skeleton Twins receive its theatrical release on September 12th) put together this top 10 (as of September 2014).
Carrie - Brian De Palma (1976)
“Freaky, funny, arty, beautiful, … and fucking scary. Sissy Spacek breaks your heart. And that seventies split screen action? Badass. This movie delivers on all levels at all times.”
“Every moment of this movie rings true. Painfully funny, painfully smart and so perfectly constructed. My sister and I quote it whenever we see each other. Might be a perfect film.”
“The look on Mrs. Robinson’s face when Benjamin leaves her in the hallway. »
- Eric Lavallee
Justin Chang: How was your Telluride, Scott? Mine was terrific — though I should note that I don’t really have a frame of reference, being a first-timer at this annual mountainside mecca for movie lovers. Still, I’m happy to report that just about everything I’ve heard is true: the unbeatable backdrop, the near-unbeatable films, above all that wondrous sense that the usual barriers separating filmmakers, journalists and audiences have magically melted away for one long weekend, uniting us all in one collective cinephile bliss-out. This is a festival where you’re as likely to pass Alexander Payne, Mike Leigh or the Dardenne brothers in the street as you are to make it into your next screening, and where a Megan Ellison sighting can send a momentary hush through a screening queue. (“You’re a rock star,” someone told her as we waited in line for Jon Stewart’s “Rosewater, »
- Justin Chang and Scott Foundas
Telluride — Mr. Stewart, if you read this article I believe the first few paragraphs may make you chuckle. Now, it's not because I'm a master wordsmith or unheralded comedic voice waiting to be discovered. No, after saying goodbye after our memorable interview on the patio of a Telluride restaurant Sunday afternoon, I turned and walked toward the street with my iPhone in hand. I'd stopped the recording of our chat and two choices appeared before me: delete or save. And, perhaps like a crazy person, I hit delete. Then I realized I hit delete. At that point, it was a mad dash back to my accommodations to jot down as much as I remembered from our conversation. Granted, this is something that has happened to the best reporters and journalists out there. Many times readers will read stories online or in print without realizing the content came from immediate memory. »
- Gregory Ellwood
Main Street during The Telluride Film Festival
The Telluride Film Festival seemingly appears overnight against the gorgeous backdrop of rugged mountains. It lasts just four days but in fact it takes more than a month of intensive labor to transform the elementary school, high school, hockey rink, library, the park in the middle of town and a masonic temple into theaters. Now in its 41st year,up until recently this hallowed Labor Day weekend event has long been a quiet fixture on the festival circuit. As most of the festival world knows, the escalating word of mouth about the quality of Telluride’s unofficial premieres caused the Toronto International Film Festival to issue an ultimatum to those hoping to land choice spots in the fall line-up: if you choose to screen at Telluride first, your film will be pushed back on Tiff’s slate. Realistically- Toronto has little to fear from Telluride besides buzz. »
- Lane Scarberry
Kevin McCallister is all grown up now. Macaulay Culkin celebrates his 34th birthday today (August 26), so what better time to take a trip down memory lane to find out what happened to the cast of Culkin's greatest work: Home Alone.
Digital Spy goes 'then & now' with the cast of the comedy classic below...
The biggest child star of the '90s, Culkin spent almost a decade away from screen acting following 1994's Ri¢hie Ri¢h. After a stint on London's West End in Madame Melville, he returned to TV and film in 2003 with roles in Will & Grace and Party Monster. His acting parts since have been sparse - a 2010 Robot Chicken Christmas special is his last (voice only) credit - but Culkin seems to have found his calling as the frontman of a Velvet Underground pizza-themed cover band.
A 2013 YouTube video titled simply 'Macaulay Culkin Eating a »
Another print icon bites the dust.
Leonard Maltin’s 2015 Movie Guide will be the final edition of this film lovers’ guide, which started in 1969 under the title TV Movies. But in recent years, the annual guide, which now numbers 1,611 pages and features nearly 16,000 capsule movie reviews, has become a victim of the changing times and the way information is consumed by a new generation. The new edition, which comes out Sept. 2, is the last, bad news for many industry-ites and film lovers who used it religiously.
“An entire generation has been raised to acquire all their information online from their mobile devices or computers,” Maltin told me this morning. “These are not the likely customers for a physical paperback reference book. Our sales have sharply declined in recent years.”
The virtual death of bookstores likely didn’t help the cause either. “We still have a loyal readership,” Maltin said. “It »
- Pete Hammond
Good news, Netflix’s very funny looking original animated show BoJack Horseman featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Aaron Paul and Alison Brie will appear on Netflix on Friday 22nd August just in time to binge watch over the bank holiday weekend.
From what I have seen so far it looks promising but then so did Hemlock Grove. Expect a full report next week. In related news, Netflix have announced a whole slate of stand-up comedy exclusive to its service after the success of the recent Aziz Ansari special. So the likes of Chelsea Handler, Jim Jefferies, Bill Cosby, Bill Burr and Chelsea Peretti will be adding stand up shows to streaming between now and December. I have only heard of a couple of these acts but there again one of the best things to do with an hour to spare is browse Netflix for its plentiful supply of stand-up »
- Chris Holt
Confusing a magazine coupon for a million-dollar lottery ticket, septuagenarian Woody (Bruce Dern) is hell-bent on heading 800 miles north to claim his winnings - even if it means walking. So his son David (Will Forte) feels obliged to take the old man on a road trip via his old hometown. Alexander Payne - acclaimed writer-director of Sideways and The Descendants - comes up with the bittersweet goods once again with another comedy drama touched by brilliance, particularly in the Oscar-nominated performances of Dern and June Squibb as his straight-talking wife. »
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