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Focus Features has just released five new pictures from Michael Cuesta's upcoming dramatic thriller Kill the Messenger starring Jeremy Renner. Based on the true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb (played by Renner), Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation's streets...and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Despite warnings from drug kingpins and CIA operatives to stop his investigation, Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications. His journey takes him from the prisons of California to the villages of Nicaragua to the highest corridors of power in Washington, D.C. - and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but his family and his life. »
- Brad Brevet
Covering Fantasia for the first time was a hectic, enjoyable experience. They give you a badge with your name on it and everything. However, as for this year’s lineup, I have a little trouble being enthusiastic. With some major exceptions like Guardians of Galaxy, not listed here only because it’s appearance at the Festival seemed more coincidental than prestigious, a lot of the hyped up releases played weakly. Also, I’ve been no stranger to openly criticizing Fantasia audiences as a whole, more than willing to behave as sheep (or, in this case, cats) and applaud even the weakest of films due to a genre-note or laugh –however unintentional. So I found respite in some of the quieter films, and maybe a few major ones. No matter; Here are five things that truly deserve to gain wider audiences.
The Top Five Films of Fantasia
Written by »
- Kenny Hedges
On the occasion of the Karlovy Vary Film festival tribute to Anonymous Content's Steve Golin and Michael Sugar, I sat down with the veteran manager who handles the careers of Joe Wright, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Winona Ryder, Richard Linklater, Marc Webb, Gavin Hood, Patty Jenkins, Scott Burns, Cary Fukunaga and Steven Soderbergh, among others. As we talked, HBO's "True Detective," entirely directed by Fukunaga, is competiing for multiple Emmys and coming up was Soderbergh's elegant new Cinemax series "The Knick," starring Clive Owen as a forward-thinking surgeon in 1900 trying to save lives under primitive conditions at New York's Knickerbocker Hospital. How long have you been working with Steven Soderbergh? I’ve been working with him… it’s now been six years. And so you’ve navigated this interesting career trajectory. Soderbergh is like the canary in the coal mine: someone who sees the future sooner than others. What did he go. »
- Anne Thompson
From writer/director Jesse Zwick, the indie dramedy About Alex follows a group of 20-something friends who reunite for a weekend aware after one of them suffers an emotional breakdown. While these young people clearly care about each other, their differences, old jealousies and unrequited love will become more apparent. The film stars Aubrey Plaza, Max Greenfield, Maggie Grace, Max Minghella, Nate Parker, Jason Ritter and Jane Levy. During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Jane Levy talked about how she got involved with About Alex, what attracted her to this script, how her character is the outsider among this group of friends, her own complex and complicated relationship with technology, how much fun they all had living and working together, and that they got to do some improv. She also talked about her experience on the live-action/CG hybrid film Monster Trucks, not knowing what she’s going to do next, »
- Christina Radish
The calls have been heard loud and clear, both on stage and off at the Oscars or in the annals of the web and at the box office: the world demands more movies with women, about women, by women and for women.
Every week a movie seems to be failing the Bechdel test, and every week a separate movie ends up walking away with the lion’s share at the box office. From hits like Maleficent, The Fault in Our Stars and Lucy to monster franchises like The Hunger Games, the old notion that teenage boys are the ones driving the demand at the movies is rapidly eroding. The Hollywood Reporter pointed out that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy opened to a 44 percent female audience on the film’s opening weekend, the highest share for any Marvel movie to date.
And although they’ve taken their sweet time, Hollywood »
- Brian Welk
Apparently, the thing TV schedules most desperately need right now is another post-apocalyptic alien drama. So says USA Network, who have issued powerhouse producer Carlton Cuse with his second pilot order of the season, for Colony.
Former Lost writer, showrunner and executive producer Cuse counts Bates Motel, The Strain and The Returned among his post-island projects, as well as the recent pilot ordered by Amazon – Point Of Honor. Colony is his latest creation, which he will executive produce alongside Ryan Condal (Hercules). Described as a ‘naturalistic drama’, the show will follow a family in near-future Los Angeles, trying to stay together and survive under the occupation of external forces. It seems that some members of their community choose to collaborate with the occupiers, while others rebel and risk punishment.
Casting choices have yet to be announced for Colony, but the projects of Carlton Cuse have a tendency to attract impressive names. »
- Sarah Myles
Written and directed by Riley Stearns
The essence of a confidence game is as follows: the con artist describes a terrific bargain in which the mark is offered a chance in which to invest. Due to the mark’s own greed, he hands over whatever personal assets he must to the confidence man, expecting a greater return that he never receives. Though, as Joe Mantegna’s hustler points in House of Games, it is called a confidence game because they are giving their confidence to you. Not the other way around. This is why, throughout history, people have been known to lose articles of clothing and even their houses.
Riley Stearns’s Faults, an understated dramatic-comedy, raises the stakes and the number of games being played at once. Everything is a con and a fickle negotiation. As nebbish, squirrelly Dr. Ansel Roth (Leland Orser) gives hotel room lectures »
- Kenny Hedges
Written and directed by Riley Stearns
The irony of the penniless cult and mind-control expert is not lost on us. Ansel Roth’s got the tools to get your loved ones back within your grasp, he’s written them down for all to read, but here he is selling copies of his latest book one hotel conference room at a time, living out of an AMC Gremlin, fishing meal vouchers out of the trash, and shoveling ketchup in his mouth with a fork. He used to be a big shot with a bestselling book and a TV show, but that doesn’t stop him from getting beat senseless in front of a half-full room at a regional hotel. Nor will it stop The Wire and Toys R Me’s own Lance Reddick from showing up in the parking lot afterward, smilingly vicious as ever, asking for money his boss is owed. »
- David Bradford
The third week of July beckons and, if one is a genre film lover in the city of Montreal, Canada, that really means only one thing: the return of the Fantasia International Film Festival. Like Michael Myer, Freddy Krueger and zombies, Fantasia keeps coming back for more action time and time again, always promising the best and brightest that genre cinema from the world over has to offer.
In the preceding few weeks a litany of announcements were made, titillating fans like few movie-themed festivals can, such as Tobe Hooper’s presence for an honorary award (as well as a screening of the newly re-mastered 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and a screening of the highly anticipated Marvel Studios mega production Guardians of the Galaxy a few days before it opens wide. Both will rightfully garner much attention as shall a host of other special events and screenings. That said, each patron »
- Edgar Chaput
Following previous announcements of their film lineup, the Fantasia International Film Festival has released their full lineup of movies to be shown at the 18th Annual festival, starting July 17.
New additions to the lineup include 2014 Cannes Selection When Animals Dream, directed by Jonas Alexander Amby and the return of Fantasia’s showcase of animated films, Axis.
Tickets for the festival go on sale starting July 16, and the festival runs through August 5.
View the whole press release of additional announcements below:
Fantasia Celebrates Its 18th Birthday
With Over 160 Feature Films Montreal, Thursday July 10, 2014 – 2014 is the year that Fantasia turns 18. We can’t believe it either. Fantasia’s 18th birthday means over 160 features and something in the neighborhood of 300 shorts, many being shown for the first time on this continent, a good number screening here for the first time anywhere in the world.In addition to being stacked with a multitude of breathtaking debut filmmaker discoveries, »
- Brian Welk
The line-up for this year's Film4 FrightFest in London has just been announced – and boy, is it a doozy! Sporting a record-breaking 38 UK/European premieres and 11 world premieres, this August is going to be an exciting time in the genre calendar.
Check it all out right here, including lots of new images!
This year Film4 FrightFest will be moving from its previous home at Leicester Square's Empire Cinema to the nearby Vue Cinema (also on Leicester Square), prompting an ingenious reshuffle of the screening arrangements.
All main screen films will be presented at different times across three different screens, with two extra screens reserved for single-slot screenings of the various films hitting this year's Discovery Screens.
Here's the full list of goodies:
Main Screens (5, 6, 7)
Thursday Aug 21
Opening Night Film - The Guest (UK Premiere)
- Gareth Jones
Film4 FrightFest 2014, returning for its 15th year, unveils its biggest line-up ever. From Thurs 21 August to Monday 25 August, the UK’s leading event for genre fans will be at the Vue West End, Leicester Square, to present sixty-four films plus twenty shorts across five screens. There are sixteen countries representing five continents with a record-breaking thirty-eight UK or European premieres and eleven world premieres.
Are you ready for a monstrous and memorable mayhem of killer claws, cannibalism, cult classics, murderous musicals, chiller thrillers, graphic novel action and sick celluloid masterpieces? Then prepare yourself for the biggest, strongest and most eclectic must-see programme in Film4 FrightFest’s history.
From the opening night turbo-driven thrill-ride The Guest to the UK premiere of the closing night mesmeric sci-fi fantasy The Signal, FrightFest has netted the latest works from genre big-hitters such as Eli Roth (The Green Inferno), Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins (Show »
- Phil Wheat
A&E's The Returned redo has booked a supporting player. Alias alum Carl Lumbly is joining the ensemble cast of the 10-episode suspense series in a recurring capacity, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Based on the French series by Fabrice Gobert, The Returned focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people, who have long been presumed dead, suddenly reappear, bringing them into positive and detrimental consequences. Lumbly will play Pastor Leon Wright, a kindly, perceptive man, the minister of a local church. Radiating compassion, he tries to guide Rowan (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) through
- Philiana Ng
If you've watched Mary Elizabeth Winstead in "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" or "Smashed," you know that the 29-year-old can act. But, did you know that she could sing too? Read More: Mary Elizabeth Winstead Discusses Why She Took on 'Smashed': "I wasn't feeling good about what I was doing." In collaboration with hip-hop producer Dan the Automator, Winstead has just released the music video for her single "Did We Live Too Fast." The duo (similar to actress Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) go by the name Got a Girl. Winstead has done some singing in the past, most noticeably in Quentin Tarantino's 2007 film "Death Proof." In the black-and-white video we see Winstead playing a 60s housewife character who is in a contentious relationship with who we presume is her husband. It's a sexy, retro track, something that we could see Matthew Weiner ending one of his "Mad Men" episodes with. »
- Eric Eidelstein
Following in the relatively recent footsteps of Scarlett Johnasson and Zooey Deschanel, Mary Elizabeth Winstead has moved into the music world as part of the duo Got a Girl alongside celebrated hip-hop producer Dan the Automator. The twosome recently released their single and a black-and-white Winstead-starring (obviously) music video to go along with it. Not only is the song itself very retro-leaning, but the video for “Did We Live Too Fast” doubles down on the '60s vibe with the actress wearing costumes that wouldn’t look out of place on Megan Draper in “Mad Men.” Got a Girl’s debut album, I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now, will be out on July 22nd. Watch the video below. On the other end of the spectrum, “Palo Alto” director Gia Coppola has reunited with Dev Hynes—who, along with Robert Schwartzman, created the terrific synth-laden score »
- Cain Rodriguez
With oodles of familiar faces already attached to star, today comes even more casting news for the A&E series "The Returned" so read on for the latest!
Per Deadline, Leah Gibson (pictured; "Rogue") and Rhys Ward ("The Strain") have been cast in recurring roles. Gibson will play Lucy, a sexy, free-spirited traveler who works as a waitress at the local bar, The Dog Star Tavern. Ward plays Adam, an expert hunter with a dark nature and a complicated family history that he’s struggling to overcome.
As previously announced, Mary Elizabeth Winstead portrays Rowan, the girlfriend of late musician Simon (Mat Vairo), who had a very difficult time getting past his death 10 years ago and now will have to adjust to his return.
Also cast in Carlton Cuse’s 10-episode adaptation of »
- John Squires
Casting news for A&E's upcoming series "The Returned" has been coming hot and heavy in the past week with all sorts of familiar faces being added to the roster of attached talent. Today comes yet another new addition, and you "True Blood" fans out there are going to like it!
Per Variety, Michelle Forbes has joined the cast, set to play Helen Goddard, a mysterious woman who is one of the returnees. You may remember Forbes as the evil Maryann Forrester, the main antagonist of the second season of "True Blood." Currently she can be found in "Orphan Black."
Mary Elizabeth Winstead will portray Rowan, the girlfriend of late musician Simon (Mat Vairo), who had a very difficult time getting past his death 10 years ago and now will have to adjust to his return.
Also cast in Carlton Cuse’s 10-episode adaptation of the acclaimed French series "Les Revenants »
- John Squires
The redo of French drama “Les Revanants” hails from A&E Network Studios and FremantleMedia North America. Series has generated heat on both sides of the Atlantic for its moody take on a story of a small town upended when several people presumed dead return without any awareness that they were gone.
SundanceTV has aired subtitled episodes of the original series that aired on Canal Plus.
Forbes will play Helen Goddard, a mysterious woman who is one of the returnees. Carlton Cuse, exec producer of A&E’s “Bates Motel,” is shepherding “Returned” with Raelle Tucker (“True Blood”). Series has a 10-episode order from A&E. Jeremy Sisto, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Mark Pellegrino and Kevin Alejandro are also set to star.
Forbes is becoming a go-to player for cult-fave genre properties. She was most recently seen in »
- Cynthia Littleton
Directed by Edgar Wright
For those familiar with the work of English director Edgar Wright, saying he is adept at bending various genres should not come as a surprise. It would appear easy to label both Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End as spoofs, but each is boosted by genuine storytelling and character development which elevates them above the fray, whereas spoofs are primarily content with poking fun at the genres they tackle. In 2010 Edgar Wright chose to flex some directorial muscles in rather unorthodox ways with a silver screen adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Speaking of things unorthodox, the titular character’s universe is nothing like the what regular humans understand Nay, what appears on the surface to be a familiar pasture is in fact a candy-coloured »
- Edgar Chaput
From A+E Studios and FremantleMedia, the series revolves around the disruption that occurs in a small town when people who are thought to be long dead suddenly reappear.
Winstead plays Rowan, the girlfriend of musician Simon (Mat Vairo), who has to deal with her late boyfriend’s return.
Winstead is repped by Anonymous Content, Wme and lawyer Karl Austen. Sisto is repped by Gersh and the Schiff Co.
Deadline first reported the news of Winstead and Sisto’s casting.
- Nikara Johns
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