11 items from 2015
Along with Sandi Sissel, Ellen Kuras, Lisa Rinzler and Nancy Schreiber, Maryse Alberti was a groundbreaking female cinematographer at a time when the field was overwhelmingly male (more so than today). Even as more women have steadily entered the field, Alberti still stands out for her versatility and inventiveness. Since starting out in the late 1980s working on a short film with Christine Vachon, Alberti has worked steadily with some of the boldest directors of our time. She's shot a wide range of films, alternating between nonfiction and fiction, with directors including Todd Haynes ("Velvet Goldmine," "Poison"), Darren Aronofsky ("The Wrestler"), Terry Zwigoff ("Crumb"), Michael Apted ("Moving the Mountain," "Incident at Oglala") and Liz Garbus ("Love, Marilyn") and Amy Berg ("West of Memphis"), among others. She received Sundance Film Festival Best Cinematography honors for documentaries »
- Paula Bernstein
30. Lady Snowblood Part 1 and Part 2
While American comic books have struggled for legitimacy as adult entertainment for decades, their Japanese counterparts have long enjoyed acceptance as legitimate elements of mainstream culture. So while the American comic book movie only properly took off in the last fifteen years, jidaigeki adaptations of popular manga have been a staple of Japanese pulp cinema since the early 1970s. The best of these remains Lady Snowblood, director Toshiya Fujita’s two part revenge opera of a woman checking off a kill list of the gangsters who killed her family and left her for dead. Any familiarity to Kill Bill is entirely intentional, with multiple visuals, soundtrack elements and plot points lifted whole cloth by Tarantino. But even for those only familiar with the update, Fujita’s films remain feats of hard edged efficiency, actress Meiko Kaji a goddess of death in a world of opposing colors and sudden violence. »
Ok, it’s not an Alexander Payne project as it once was which is slightly less exciting, but we’re still looking forward to Fox Searchlight’s upcoming, “Wilson,” an adaptation of celebrated work by graphic novelist Dan Clowes. His dark, hilarious cynical touch begat many terrific graphic novels and so far, two solid film adaptations: “Ghost World” and “Art School Confidential,” both directed by Terry Zwigoff. Payne was supposed to direct the adaptation of Clowes’ “Wilson,” the script of which he wrote himself, but it appears he’s been caught up with other work. But in his stead is Craig Johnson, who won critical plaudits from Sundance 2014 with the indie “The Skeleton Twins.” “Wilson” already features Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern and joining the cast announced today are Judy Greer (“Arrested Development”) and Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”). Harrelson stars as Wilson, a lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged misanthrope who reunites with his. »
- Edward Davis
Eccentric author and illustrator Daniel Clowes twice adapted his own funny-sad comic books to the screen for director Terry Zwigoff. Before 2006's "Art School Confidential," there was "Ghost World," the 2001 cult classic starring Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson as a pair of misanthropic misfits drifting out of high school and through their hilariously pathetic suburban wasteland world. Well, in a new interview with The Guardian, Clowes admits that he may want to revisit the beloved "Ghost World" characters that got him a screenplay Oscar nom (which, by the by, he should have won). Before appearing in book form in 1997, the "Ghost World" story was serialized throughout the '90s in his "Eightball" series, which gets the anthology treatment this July. "I’ve thought about doing the 'Ghost World' girls as adults," Clowes says. "I think one day I may just revisit all the characters. I may do something. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Nine years on from the last comic-to-screen adaptation of Daniel Clowes' work, things are finally coming together for Wilson. Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern are in talks to star in the film, which Clowes himself has scripted and Craig Johnson will direct. Sam Raimi is among the producers.The 2010 graphic novel revolves around the titular misanthrope: an opinionated loner who loves his dog but finds people harder to get along with. He tries though, often haranguing total strangers on a variety of subjects. But when his father dies, leaving him completely starved of human relationships, he sets out to find his junkie ex-wife, learns he has a teenage daughter he never knew about, and tries for a last haphazard stab at family life. Harrelson will play Wilson, with Dern his ex-wife. Clowes' previous excursions into film were Ghost World and Art School Confidential, both of which had Terry Zwigoff calling the shots. »
Dylan Leiner has extended his contract as executive vice president at Sony Pictures Classics for another three years. The pact keeps Leiner at the company he has called home since 1994. He started as an assistant to co-president and Spc co-founder Marcie Bloom, rising up the ranks and forming key relationships with filmmakers such as Terry Zwigoff, Todd Solondz and Wim Wenders.
It’s a period of time that’s seen enormous changes across the indie space, with many major studios such as Paramount and Warner Bros. shuttering their specialty labels. Yet Sony Pictures Classics has endured, Leiner said, because it has remained filmmaker-focused and committed to being economical. At the most recent Oscars, Sony Pictures Classics scored 18 nominations, the most in company history, for the likes of “Whiplash,” “Foxcatcher,” and “Mr. Turner.”
“We always stuck to our knitting, »
- Brent Lang
More than a decade on from Bad Santa, and a good two years since we last heard anything about it, Bad Santa 2 may finally be ready to slouch into some more curmudgeonly seasonal shenanigans. Writer/director Doug Ellin (Entourage) has revealed that, all being well, it could be in the can before the year is out.Original star Billy Bob Thornton remains attached as the washed-up Willie. "He's back and good to go," says Ellin. "The exact status is we're working on the script right now, and if we get it right, we'll shoot in September or October." He also confirms that the project remains, of course, in the R-rated zone, with "hopefully a similar tone to the first one".That tone came courtesy of a fractious post-production period between director Terry Zwigoff, uncredited co-writers the Coen Brothers, and the Weinstein Company. Cracking the misanthropic code ultimately involved reshoots that Zwigoff didn't participate in, »
I’m a little wary of Bad Santa 2 because not only are comedy sequels tough; the original felt like lightning in a bottle. No one expected something that was so delightfully mean-spirited yet had a heart buried somewhere deep beneath its cynical exterior. It’s hard to shock people twice, and it can’t just be with naughty language. A Bad Santa sequel has been in development hell for years, but Entourage writer/director Doug Ellin is aiming to finally get it in front of cameras this year. Here’s the video of Ellin talking to Steve about the film: [complextv contentid="BtdTI1dTpYYaAyfaQ6ucc5DSQxip23lv" sitename="collider" playerid="26aa5f02d93f4c05a4546f6d5ecb59b7" adsetid="67a3ff9d3a842ae818bb9de1badc5b0" width="600" height="360" keywords=""] The big comment from Ellin is his revelation that he’s supposed to start shooting the movie in either September or October, but they’re currently working on the script. If they’re happy with the script, then Billy Bob Thornton is already on board. Unsurprisingly, they’re aiming for a similar tone, »
- Matt Goldberg
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
By Anjelica Oswald
After narrowing the Oscar documentary feature shortlist to five at the 87th Academy Award nominations Jan. 15, a number of notable exclusions were featured, particularly Al Hicks‘ Keep on Keepin’ On, which documents the mentorship and friendship of a jazz legend and a blind piano prodigy, and Steve James‘ Life Itself, about the life and career of famed film critic Roger Ebert. (James is no stranger to snubs and the exclusion of his 1994 film Hoop Dreams led to rule reform within the documentary category.) Both films hold 97 percent positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.
Some films surprised when they didn’t even land a spot on the shortlist, such as Red Army, which examines the rise and fall of the Soviet Union’s hockey team from the perspective of its coach. That film holds a 100 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In light of these best documentary feature snubs, »
- Anjelica Oswald
We started this website back in 2007, and since then, the names of some sequels seem to come up with reasonable regularity, albeit with no sign of the film itself. And in the time we've been going, yet more names have added themselves to the list of follow-ups that are seemingly stuck in development hell.
With the new Ghostbusters film set to escape and become a real thing in the next year or two, here's just a sample of the other projects struggling to get off the ground (with one or two edging closer to a greenlight than others...)
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11 items from 2015
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