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While (some) filmmakers will certainly open up to journalists, there’s the sense that they are more willing to greater discuss their process with a fellow colleague in the field. The smart folks over at Empire went all-out with this idea and recruited Spectre director Sam Mendes to reach out to a wide array of friends to get their tidbits when it comes to their specific filmmaking process.
Including Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Ang Lee, Edgar Wright, Alfonso Cuarón, Joe Wright, Paul Greengrass, Joss Whedon, Steven Soderbergh, Susanne Bier, Alexander Payne, George Clooney, and more, the full Q&A’s are in Empire’s latest issue, but we’ve selected some of the best responses below for your viewing pleasure. Let us know your favorites answers in the comments and pick up the full issue here.
Have You Ever Walked Off A Set In A Temper?
Ang Lee: I only Hulked out once. »
- Leonard Pearce
'Million Dollar Baby' movie with Hilary Swank and Clint Eastwood. 'Million Dollar Baby' movie: Clint Eastwood contrived, overlong drama made (barely) watchable by first-rate central performance Fresh off the enthusiastically received – and insincere – Mystic River, Clint Eastwood went on to tackle the ups and downs of the boxing world in the 2004 melo Million Dollar Baby. Despite the cheery title, this is not the usual Rocky-esque rags-to-riches story of the determined underdog who inevitably becomes a super-topdog once she (in this case it's a “she”) puts on her gloves, jumps into the boxing ring, and starts using other women as punching bags. That's because about two-thirds into the film, Million Dollar Baby takes a radical turn toward tragedy that is as unexpected as everything else on screen is painfully predictable. In fact, once the dust is settled, even that last third quickly derails into the same sentimental mush Eastwood and »
- Andre Soares
For a while there, Alexander Payne's Downsizing sounded like one of those great sci-fi projects that was never going to happen. Between his acclaimed films Sideways and The Descendants, Payne was working on a sci-fi satire where the less wealthy are given the opportunity to shrink themselves. It makes perfect sense when you think about it; with property prices shooting up all the time, wouldn't it make better economic sense to shrink yourself to fit a small property instead of paying a fortune in rent for somewhere larger?
Paul Giamatti, Reese Witherspoon (both Payne collaborators, from Election and Sideways respectively) were set to star alongside Sacha Baron Cohen. It all sounded promising, but little more was heard about Downsizing until 2014, when Matt Damon was attached.
Now, it looks as though »
Director Alexander Payne carved out his niche as a chronicler of the mundane, a filmmaker who mines comedy and drama from high school elections and road trips across the midwest. So the fact that his next movie, Downsizing, is a high-concept science fiction comedy should come as a bit of a surprise. Yet he’s the kind of guy […]
- Jacob Hall
Downsizing will begin production next spring.
Written by Payne with his Sideways collaborator Jim Taylor, Downsizing tells the story of an Omaha man who undergoes a process that reduces people to a fraction of their normal size and moves to one of the many communities of small people sprouting up around the world.
The film will be produced by Payne and Mark Johnson and is expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Brad Grey, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, which previously worked with Payne on Nebraska and Election, said: “Alexander will once again bring to audiences a uniquely original film, one that showcases his tremendous skill as a storyteller. We are absolutely thrilled to be working with him again.”
Said Payne: »
The film tells the story of “an Omaha man who joins the throngs of people undergoing a new process that reduces them to a tiny fraction of their size…and then moves in to one of the many communities of small people that are sprouting up around the world”
The studio is aiming for production to start next Spring, with a release around the final months of 2017.
- Scott J. Davis
In development for several years already, Alexander Payne is finally ready to push ahead with sci-fi comedy Downsizing, with Nebraska distributors Paramount stepping in to handle the film.Payne wrote the script with Sideways partner Jim Taylor, and the plot will see an Omaha man (Matt Damon) low on money who decides that life would be a lot cheaper and easier if he underwent a procedure to shrink himself. Travelling through life as a tiny person, he meets a woman (Reese Witherspoon). In a previous incarnation, the film also boasted Sacha Baron Cohen and Paul Giamatti in the cast, but the Hollywood Reporter’s story on the new development doesn’t mention them, so we’ll assume for now they’re no longer aboard, but could always make new deals. While the idea of an Alexander Payne VFX film does somewhat boggle our minds, we’re excited to see what he’ll do with technology. »
He then moves to one of the many communities of small people that are sprouting up around the world.
Payne and Mark Johnson will produce the film with shooting to begin in the spring ahead of a Q4 2017 release.
Source: Variety »
- Garth Franklin
The film tells the story of an Omaha man who joins the throngs of people undergoing a new process that reduces people to a tiny fraction of their size and then moves to one of the many communities of small people that are sprouting up around the world.
“Alexander will once again bring to audiences a uniquely original film, one that showcases his tremendous skill as a storyteller,” said Brad Grey, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures. “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with him again.”
The film will be produced by Payne and Mark Johnson and will begin production in the spring of 2016. The »
- Justin Kroll
Alexander Payne is teaming with Paramount for the third time, with the studio signing on to produce and distribute his next directorial effort, Downsizing. Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon will star in the film, which tells the story of an Omaha man who joins the throngs of people undergoing a new process that reduces people to a tiny fraction of their size and who move to one of the many communities of small people that are sprouting up around the world. Paramount previously distributed Payne's black-and-white film Nebraska and 1999's Election. "Alexander will once again bring to audiences
- Rebecca Ford
Alexander Payne is heading back to Nebraska and to Paramount for his next film, Downsizing. The project was previously set up at Fox and the project (and trio) was reported exclusively by Deadline several months ago here. In what marks the third collaboration with the studio, Payne, Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon will pull together to do the story about an Omaha man who joins the throngs of people undergoing a new process that reduces them to a tiny fraction of their… »
Paramount Pictures has finalized a deal to produce and handle worldwide distribution for Oscar-winning filmmaker Alexander Payne‘s next movie “Downsizing,” which will starring Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon, the studio announced Friday. The film marks the third collaboration between Payne and Paramount, which most recently distributed his Oscar-nominated comedy “Nebraska.” There was no word on whether Alec Baldwin, Neil Patrick Harris or Jason Sudeikis would co-star in the film, as previously rumored. “Downsizing” tells the story of an Omaha man who joins the throngs of people undergoing a new process that reduces people to a tiny fraction of their size and. »
- Jeff Sneider
The New York Film Festival has always been one of the classiest, most finely curated stops on the global festival circuit. But it wasn’t until five years ago that the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which puts on the annual showcase, really capitalized on its position in the film awards season.
That year, David Fincher brought “The Social Network” as a world premiere to open the 48th annual event. The splash was considerable, and soon after, the fest adopted an understanding that two of its three major galas — opened night, centerpiece and closing night — had to be world premieres. Suddenly, a new launching pad was born for movies looking to springboard into the Oscar conversation.
In 2011, Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” kicked things off, while Simon Curtis’ “My Week with Marilyn” served as the centerpiece. Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” wrapped things up after bowing in Telluride and screening in Toronto as well. »
- Kristopher Tapley
This high-school reunion comedy entertainingly skewers male midlife breakdown and bromantic anxiety
There’s something entertainingly incorrect in this very funny and critically undervalued high-school reunion comedy starring Jack Black and James Marsden: satirising male midlife breakdown and bromantic anxiety in a way that brings a certain subtext up to the surface. Writer-directors Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel might have taken something from Alexander Payne. Dan Landsman (Black) is an officious nerd in a boring job and the self-appointed chairman of his high school’s 20th anniversary reunion party committee. In a desperate attempt to make this event a success, Dan travels all the way to Hollywood to speak to the one real winner in his graduating class: super-cool Oliver Lawless (Marsden) an actor who landed a national TV ad. At first, Oliver is politely embarrassed, and a little irritated by this cringing beta-male, but agrees to meet for »
- Peter Bradshaw
★★★☆☆ When it comes to the Holocaust, remembering is a serious matter: a moral imperative in fact. However, as the years pass, living memory inevitably diminishes with the death of the survivors, witnesses and the perpetrators. That which must not be forgotten, never forgotten, eventually will be. Life becomes history. In Canadian director Atom Egoyan's Remember (2015) the imperative to remember is all the more urgent as the elderly protagonist, a 90-year-old Jew and survivor of the camps Zev Gottman (Christopher Plummer), also suffers from senile dementia. We first meet Zev in the up-scale nursing home where he lives comfortably as a resident.
Zev has recently lost his wife, Ruth, but her death spurs him on to complete a mission known only to him and his wheelchair-bound friend Max (Martin Landau, pictured right). To be more precise, it is only intermittently known to him as each morning he awakes, calling for his wife, »
- CineVue UK
Telluride, Co – What a first day at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival. There was a lot going on, but let’s get to the story that made national news: Ms. Franklin had her day in court. At the last minute, lawyers for Aretha Franklin landed an injunction in Federal Court stopping the 7:30 world premiere of “Amazing Grace" at Telluride. In fact, her lawyers cut it very close going before the judge around 3 Pm Mt. Just a few hours before, the heads of the festival were convinced they would prevail with any potential court action. Instead, Ms. Franklin (who reportedly testified by phone) was able to stop the documentary chronicling the live recording of her legendary 1972 album “Amazing Grace” from being seen. It appears Franklin believes she’s not being properly compensated for the use off her likeness and performance although we’re wondering if she realizes how little music documentaries make these days. »
- Gregory Ellwood
Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera has been assembling film events for more than 30 years, during which he’s scoured the planet seeking fresh fare, and seen the global fest circuit become much more competitive, impersonal and beholden to marketing machines. His first mention in Variety dates to 1989, the year he was appointed head of what was then known as the Turin Young Cinema Festival, now the Turin Film Festival.
Turin rapidly became a standout on Italy’s then proliferating fest circuit.
At the time, Turin was one of the few true metropolitan festivals with real local audiences. And the formula was totally new. It was partly dedicated to first and second works, and then it had an open space where anyone could bring their movie or video on a first-come, first-served basis. So auteurs had a dedicated space, and the press loved it because the whole festival was dedicated to new directors. »
- Nick Vivarelli
Last year Graham Moore won Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars for turning the biography "Alan Turing: The Enigma" into "The Imitation Game." That marked the third year running that a non-fiction book had been the source material for the winning screenplay following victories by "Argo" (2012) and "12 Years a Slave" (2013). This marks a new trend in the history of this award, which dates back to the first Oscars in 1928, as only 11 such books have been the basis for the winning scripts. -Break- Rather, it is novels that have dominated as source material. Works of fiction have been the basis of 46 of the winners of this race over the years. The most recent of these was in 2011 when Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash won for their adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemming's novel "The Descendants." While adaptations of stage works have won 14...' »
This Labor Day weekend the 42nd Telluride Film Festival will host a crop of films and filmmakers that hope to be in the hunt for Oscar gold later this season. The most coveted slot in is the “Patron Preview”, a special screening open only to the festival’s biggest spenders who generally do not know which film will be shown until they have already taken their seats. Past success of films that have premiered to the patron crowd has made the slot a hot commodity and rumors and speculation as to what film will play this year are swirling about.
Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation, the studio’s first foray into feature films, stars Idris Elba, is directed by True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga, who helmed the critically acclaimed series’ first season, and is a possible strong contender for the patron slot. Another possibility is Steve Jobs, »
- Patrick Shanley
Read More: 9 Indie Tearjerkers Now Streaming on Netflix "Netflix giveth, and Netflix taketh away." It's never a good day when some of our favorite titles on Netflix say goodbye, but September will be a bit more painful than usual, as Epix has closed a multi-year deal with Hulu and will be pulling some of their biggest blockbusters from Netflix starting September 30. That means if you haven't yet watched some great works by Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street), Alexander Payne ("Nebraska") and Richard Linklater ("School of Rock"), now is the time to start streaming! Check out all of the titles leaving Netflix next month below. Synopses provided by Netflix. Leaving 9/1 "Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London" (2014) "Better Than Chocolate" (1999) "Bratz: Rock Angelz" (2005) "Care Bears: Big Wish Movie" (2005) "Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-Lot" »
- Zack Sharf
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