1-20 of 73 items from 2017 « Prev | Next »
The Emmy weekend Grand Prix got off to a busy start on Friday as industryites raced around the Westside to eat, drink, schmooze and be merry in advance of Sunday’s big show.
The weather cooperated with balmy temperatures just right for outdoor gatherings, and for the most part, so did the traffic and the valet lines. However, a regular sight outside of every event was a partygoer or two struggling to communicate with Uber and Lyft drivers.
The annual gathering at the Brentwood home of Jay Sures was the first stop of the night for many. By 7:45 p.m., Sures’ spacious backyard was packed with executives including ABC’s Ben Sherwood, Channing Dungey and Patrick Moran, NBC’s Bob Greenblatt, Jennifer Salke and Bruce Evans, AMC’s Josh Sapan and Charlie Collier, FX’s Nick Grad, Paramount’s Brian Robbins, Amazon’s Roy Price, Netflix’s Bela Bajaria, Discovery »
- Cynthia Littleton and Alex Stedman
The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony isn’t until Sunday, but the celebration has already begun. The weekend kicked off in style Friday night at Variety and Women in Film’s annual nominee party, presented by Halo Top Creamery.
Emmy nominees including Viola Davis, Samira Wiley, Claire Foy, Alexander Skarsgard and Cicely Tyson walked the gray carpet before entering the party held again at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood. Many attendees also stopped to pose with, or simply marvel at, the Mercedes Benz on display before moving on to enjoy mini bean burgers, fig appetizers and the Halo Top Creamery ice cream bar that awaited them inside. (Mercedes was one of the sponsors of the night’s event.)
- Danielle Turchiano
Talk to anyone who has played in a band, and they will tell you it’s like a marriage. The creative process means becoming intimate and sharing a level of trust with your collaborators, and that closeness can just as often lead to friction. Those truths are at the heart of the indie comedy “Band Aid,” and today we have copies of the charming film to give to some lucky readers.
Continue reading Contest: Win ‘Band Aid’ On Blu-ray at The Playlist. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Gifted Youth, the Los Angeles-based commercial division of Funny or Die, has added Zoe Lister-Jones to its growing roster.
The division is meant to help create content for television, the web, and mobile devices while also helping rising talents learn to hone their skills behind the camera. Lister-Jones joins a team that includes Jake Szymanski, Evan Silver, and Funny or Die co-founder Adam McKay.
While Lister-Jones is best known for her starring role in the CBS comedy “Life in Pieces,” she’s been developing her indie feature slate for years. Aside from her numerous acting roles, she also co-wrote and produced such films as “Breaking Upwards,” “Lola Versus,” and “Consumed.”
“She understands that storytelling is full of life, and that means there is comedy and drama all the time,” said »
- Justin Kroll
With respect to those most Righteous of Brothers, this new film could’ve been title, “They’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin””. Yes, it’s an “anti-rom-com.”. It covers what happens long after the “meet cute”, the “mis-communications”, and the “reconciliations after the misunderstandings” that lead right to the fade-out proposal or nuptials (or both). These two have definitely “hit the skids”, but instead of “turning into said skid”, they take an unusual detour. Rather than undergoing major marriage “surgery”, like a gold band extraction, they believe that the way to heal old emotional may only require a simple Band Aid.
Married thirty-somethings (er…late thirty-somethings) Anna (Zoe Lister-Jones) and Ben (Adam Pally) seem to be stuck into a deep, deep, rut. A failed writer, Anna earns a buck now by being a Uber driver (cue the montage of zany, obnoxious passengers), while Ben designs company logos and corporate art from home on his laptop (ah, »
- Jim Batts
Band Aid, 2017.
Written and Directed by Zoe Lister-Jones.
A couple who can’t stop fighting embark on a last-ditch effort to save their marriage: turning their fights into songs and starting a band.
It should go without saying, but music has a much more profound purpose than simply being labeled as mere entertainment. Lyrics especially can be meditative and allow a greater range of personal expression to cope during negative times. Case in point, we have Anna (played by Zoe Lister-Jones also producing, writing, and directing her debut feature) and Ben (typical supporting player Adam Pally getting an opportunity at a leading role) introduced to us mid fairly heated argument (about something as silly and pointless as cleaning dishes nonetheless). The words hurled at each other are often nasty and borderline offensive, initially »
- Robert Kojder
Band Aid, the refreshingly raw, real, and hilarious feature debut from Zoe Lister-Jones, is the story of a couple, Anna (Zoe Lister-Jones) and Ben (Adam Pally), who can’t stop fighting. Advised by their therapist to try and work through their grief unconventionally, they are reminded of their shared love of music. In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, they decide to turn all their fights into song, and with the help of their neighbor Dave (Fred Armisen), they start a band. A story of love, loss, and rock and roll, Band Aid is a witty and perceptive view of modern love, with some seriously catchy pop hooks to boot.
Sundance Film Festival 2017 Official Selection
Wamg invites you to enter for the chance to win Two (2) seats to the advance screening of Band Aid on Thursday, June 15 at 8pm in the St. »
- Movie Geeks
Girl Talk is a weekly look at women in film — past, present, and future.
Audiences will have to draw their own conclusions about the eponymous character at the center of Roger Michell’s “My Cousin Rachel” — that’s the whole point of the tricky Gothic thriller, after all — but star Rachel Weisz has no time for such speculations. As the mysterious woman at the center of the Roger Michell film, based on the 1951 Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name, Weisz made an early decision about Rachel’s motivations, and used that concealed knowledge to fuel her performance in the purposely deceptive film. It’s a perfect fit for a film that’s all about a woman bent on being unabashedly herself in a world that’s unwelcoming to such desires.
“It’s a really vivid, interesting role for a woman,” Weisz said in a recent interview. “She’s definitely very contradictory, »
- Kate Erbland
Zoe Lister-Jones’ latest movie was made with an all-female crew.“Band Aid,” the Sundance darling, also featured an almost-all-female cast and was “all-female enough that the financiers, a bunch of dudes, were respectfully told from the start they would be barred from visiting.” Get it, girl. (Vulture) “Come From Away,” Bette Midler, and Andy Karl win at 2017 Drama Desk Awards.The 62nd annual Drama Desk Awards honored Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway, or as emcee and Drama Desk Award winner Michael Urie put it, “way the F-Off-Broadway,” on Sunday, June 4. (Backstage) “Black Girls,” the web series you should be watching, is being developed for HBO.Writer Fatimah Asghar and director Samantha Bailey have signed a development deal with HBO to create an untitled show based on the series. (Elle) 17 years later, Terry Gilliam has finally finished his passion project.The director started shooting “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” in 2000 (though »
Hot on the heels of Zoe Lister-Jones’ boundary-busting “Band Aid,” which features an all-female crew, Jenée Lamarque’s upcoming “The Feels” boasts some impressive numbers of its own. With an 80% female cast and a 68% female crew, the raunchy, female-driven comedy is hopefully just the next step in an ever-evolving entertainment industry.
The film, which will bow at the Seattle International Film Festival later this week, also features a decidedly lady-friendly bent, as it is set during a lesbian bachelorette weekend which takes a totally wild turn when the attendees discover one of their own has never experienced an orgasm. Hi jinks, of course, ensue.
In her director’s statement on the film’s Kickstarter page (just a little over a day to go!), Lamarque explains, “‘The Feels’ is an »
- Kate Erbland
Zoe Lister-Jones is an actress, writer, and producer. And now she’s a director. “Band Aid,” her directorial debut, is a terrific story about a couple who decide to turn their epic fights into songs. She’s a true talent and I look forward to seeing what the “Life in Pieces” star does next.
“Band Aid” is in theaters now and will be available on VOD June 9. Head over Fandango to find tickets and screening info.
W&H: I loved your movie. It’s so current and meaningful, yet funny. It’s just wonderful. Congratulations.
Zlj: Thank you so much.
W&H: I’ve seen many of your movies, and we’ve had several conversations and interviews together. This feels like a big step for you as a writer-director. Do you feel that way too?
Zlj: Yes, absolutely. It’s the first film that I’ve written independently of Daryl Wein, who’s both my husband and writing partner of many years. It’s my first feature as a director. It does feel different and exciting.
In retrospect, it was one of the most creatively enriching experiences of my life.
W&H: What made you decide to work independently from Daryl on this piece?
Zlj: I think we were both looking to stake more independence in our creative pursuits. This is not to say that we won’t collaborate again — it can obviously be incredibly fulfilling to work with your romantic partner on art. But, it can also be difficult to create boundaries between the personal and professional. I think we were both excited to have space in our home life; it felt a little more free of the work itself.
W&H: You have written movies before, but you’ve never directed before. What went off in your head and said, “I’m ready to direct and star in this”?
Zlj: Well, when I wrote it, I knew I would star in it. I didn’t yet know that I was set to direct it.
Once I finished the script, it just felt like the story that I wanted to tell as a director. I was excited about the creative autonomy that this would endow to the project. I was really excited about the intersection of those varying responsibilities. I was excited about directing while acting and directing my own writing.
At this stage in my life, both personally and artistically, it just felt like the next logical step.
W&H: Your lead actor, Adam Pally, is so good in this. I feel like it’s his moment, too. You two seem to have a great rapport; it really seemed like you had been married for a long time. Did you know each other before this?
Zlj: We actually had — only very briefly — met twice before I offered him the role in the film. I was an admirer of his work, and in the brief interactions that we’d had, there was an ease between us.
There’s sort of this shared sensibility in terms of humor, so I was excited to work with him. I actually didn’t know how well he played guitar, so that was an added bonus since we played all of the music live in the film. It was a really amazing collaboration. I really love working with him as both an actor and director.
W&H: When we’ve spoken previously, you’ve talked about wanting to make films on your own terms — and that’s why you’ve made small films. I don’t know the difference in terms of funding and budget, but this one seems different in terms of its Sundance and IFC distribution journey. Talk a bit about how this process was different than your previous films.
Zlj: Well, I asked Natalia Anderson, who produces “Life in Pieces,” if she wanted to produce this film with me. She had an existing relationship with a company called QC Entertainment that just executive produced Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.” She brought them the script.
In a totally rare turn of events, they got the script on a Friday, and on Monday they signed on to finance the film.
W&H: That never happens.
Zlj: It never happens, no. The rest wasn’t so different from my past independent films. We got it on its seat relatively quickly — the day we began production was five months to the day from when I asked Natalia to get on board. We worked really hard to get it up quickly.
We shot last June, edited over the summer, submitted to Sundance in September, and premiered in competition in January.
W&H: That sounds like a dream story. For some people, Sundance is a little overwhelming. As a first-time female filmmaker, do you have any advice? Can you share lessons you learned from that experience?
Zlj: I think the important thing is to not get too caught up in sales. We were a film that premiered later — on the Tuesday following the opening weekend. As a filmmaker, you’re reading about all of the sales that have already happened and the films that are getting all of this buzz. It’s easy to get a little caught up in those elements.
From the beginning of the writing stages of this film, I’ve tried to really focus on the process almost exclusively — on finding the joy in the work itself and not letting those elements of industry and commerce be that experience. Of course it proves very challenging when you’re at Sundance, but I would advise to try your best to live in the moment and enjoy how exciting it is to be there, regardless of what happens with your movie.
W&H: That’s good advice. So, you had pretty much all women working on this film.
Zjl: It was an entirely female crew.
W&H: Right. Talk about why this was a deliberate choice for you.
Zlj: On a personal level, I’ve always felt that something very special happens when women come together. I’d only really experienced that in social circumstances, and I wanted to see what it would feel like if that experience was translated in the context of making art.
Through my own experience both in front of the camera and behind it, I’m incredibly aware of the underrepresentation of women on film and television crews. I wanted to create opportunities in departments where they’re rarely afforded to them.
W&H: While working on your television show, “Life in Pieces,” how many female directors have you seen per season?
Zlj: I think that television is actually in better shape than the film industry in terms of diverse hiring, especially when it comes to directors. On crews, it’s a very different thing. We’ve had a number of awesome female directors on “Life in Pieces,” and I’m proud of the show for doing that, but I do think that on the crew women are few and far between.
I think that was why it wasn’t just about department heads for me. It was really about creating an environment where women could feel their most confident and could gain the experience necessary to open more doors in the future.
W&H: Wow. That’s amazing and wonderful. Congratulations for that. Are there any women directors who inspire you or who inspired your directing?
Zlj: There are plenty. I love Miranda July; I love her as an artist in general and as a director. Patty Jenkins is an amazing example of someone whose career I admire, and I’m so excited to see “Wonder Woman.” Helen Hunt has also been directing many episodes of “Life in Pieces,” and I really admire her and her work.
W&H: Do you and your friends or colleagues talk about the dire straits for women directors? Is that something you think about and discuss?
Zlj: Totally. My female friends who work in the industry are all too aware of the double standards that exist. After working on “Band Aid,” a number of my crew members wrote to me afterwards about their subsequent projects and how they’re the only woman on their respective crew.
The reality is still pretty bleak. I think a lot needs to happen to effect change.
W&H: If you had one thing that you would tell someone to do to make the change, what would it be?
Zlj: Hire all-female crews. I just knew that if I set out to hire as many women as possible, I would basically end up with the same ratio we see on day-to-day sets. Even as a woman at the helm, you’re still faced with similar pitfalls or biases in terms of perceived lack of experience or existing relationships.
In order to really effect change, you have to subvert the paradigm completely.
W&H: I totally agree. At Cannes, Jane Campion was suggesting that they have all-female juries.
Zlj: That would be amazing.
W&H: What do you read, watch, or listen to that inspires you as an artist?
Zlj: I’ve been so consumed by my own movie that I haven’t been a good consumer of popular culture lately.
W&H: How about when you were thinking of writing the movie? You’re a songwriter. That’s part of who you are. How do you find that spark?
Zlj: I came of age in the ’90s, so a lot of my favorite musicians come from around that time. Matador Records was big for me: bands like Pavement, Yo La Tengo, and Liz Phair were all pretty transformative in terms of my musical sensibility.
I went to college in New York in 2000, and that was an amazing moment for music. The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Liars came onto the scene. In terms of my own songwriting, those bands are pretty influential.
In terms of television and film, I love “Broad City”; it’s one of my favorite shows. I’m a big “Homeland” watcher. In television, there is a more space for complicated and unapologetic female protagonists, so I tend to be drawn to a lot of those stories.
Zoe Lister-Jones on Hiring an All-Female Crew for Her Directorial Debut “Band Aid” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Melissa Silverstein
IFC Films’ Sundance comedy “Band Aid” just released a hilarious new music video in which Fred Armisen subtly tries to make himself the centerpiece of the band. The video begins with writer-director-star Zoe Lister-Jones and co-star Adam Pally being interviewed by a journalist immediately before shooting a music video, when Armisen joins and suggests some last minute changes to the shoot.
“Band Aid” tells the story of a dysfunctional married couple whose shared love of music leads to an unconventional form of couple’s therapy when they form a band with their neighbor (Armisen). The film is Lister-Jones’ feature directing debut.
- Graham Winfrey
It seems like everybody and anybody has an Instagram account nowadays, from friends and family to some of the hottest A-List stars out there today. If you don’t want your feed overloaded with updates each day, and you are looking to follow only a handful of celebrities and Hollywood showbiz types, then you’ll want to take a look at this list of people worth following on Instagram.
Royalty Free Photo
Meghan Markle – Instagram Lifestyle Blogger
Anyone with even a passing interest in the Royal family will want to start checking out Meghan Markle’s feed. No, you’re not going to find candid shots of the Royals here, but you will get a glimpse into Markle’s international lifestyle. Of course, she is also dating Prince Harry so one can only hope that she may include a photo of him! Markle is a lifestyle blogger, which means you »
- The Hollywood News
After two weeks of slim pickings during the Cannes Film Festival, the floodgates opened on the art house release slate as several new titles arrived in theaters. Among them, two single-digit-screen releases, A24’s “The Exception” and IFC’s “Band Aid,” had the highest per-screen-averages this weekend. “The Exception,” which is directed by David Leveaux, stars Jai Courtney as a WWII German soldier tasked with investigating the exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer). Released on two screens, the film made $23,337 and has a 78 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. “Band Aid,” which was directed, written by, and starring Zoe Lister-Jones, follows a feuding. »
- Jeremy Fuster
“Wonder Woman” captured the weekend zeitgeist with reviews as good as any new adult-appeal specialized opener — and gobbled up potential audience. But that’s not the sole reason the specialty box office went to hell this weekend.
“Churchill” (Cohen), with the pedigree of an arthouse crossover winner, went nationally in top theaters but failed to capture more than desultory business. A trio of niche releases showed some mid-level interest in New York and Los Angeles — “The Exception”(A24), “Letters from Baghdad” (Vitagraph), and “Band Aid”(IFC) — but none looks likely to cross over beyond the big-city arthouse market.
The scariest weekend news: the total lack of response to Ken Loach’s Cannes 2016 Palme d’Or-winner “I, Daniel Blake.” While it’s been a long wait after a year-end qualifying run, it’s shocking that the well-reviewed BAFTA-winner met with near total disinterest.
- Tom Brueggemann
In a busy weekend of new Specialty releases, A24's The Exception and IFC Films' Band Aid topped out with the highest per theater averages, while documentary Letters From Baghdad followed fairly closely behind. Nothing proved spectacular, even though about a dozen new limited release titles gave audiences plenty of options. Period drama The Exception starring Christopher Plummer grossed $23,337 in two locations, while Band Aid by Zoe Lister-Jones took in $31,500 from three… »
A24 heads out with period drama The Exception starring Lily James, Jai Courtney, Janet McTeer and Christopher Plummer this weekend. There are a fair number of new specialties opening Friday, including Zoe Lister-Jones’ directorial debut Band Aid, in which she also stars alongside Adam Pally. IFC Films is opening the title in New York before heading to additional theaters as well as on-demand next week. Demetri Martin directs and also stars in Dean, rolling out via CBS Film… »
The history of pop music is littered with couples whose eventual marital rifts made their way into the music. (Where would Fleetwood Mac have been with two happy marriages?) In her directorial debut “Band Aid,” Zoe Lister-Jones flips the script (she’s also the screenwriter, incidentally), looking at a miserable husband and wife who decide to channel their arguments into songs. And if misery is the motor for their songwriting, Anna (Lister-Jones) and Ben (Adam Pally) have enough material for several double albums. She’s a frustrated writer working days as an Uber driver, while he has given up on the visual. »
- Alonso Duralde
You had to be there. Zoe Lister-Jones, a talented actress, was premiering her directorial debut, the musical “Band-Aid,” at the legendary Eccles theater this past January during the Sundance Film Festival. To say the screening was a success would be an understatement. At the end of each song the audience was applauding, there were laughs, courtesy of funnyman Fred Armisen, and tears as well.
- Jordan Ruimy
Girl Talk is a weekly look at women in film — past, present, and future.
Long-time actress, writer, and producer Zoe Lister-Jones had a big idea when she decided to move behind the camera to direct her first film: she wanted an all-female crew to assist her. On her directorial debut, “Band Aid,” Lister-Jones was joined on set by producer Natalia Anderson, director of photography Hilary Spera, and a team that included female art directors, camera operators, electricians, sound editors, and many more. It was a revolutionary idea that the filmmaker found essential to execute, if only to prove that such a move was indeed possible.
While the lack of female filmmakers working in the industry has become a firebrand topic over the past couple of years, diversity is also severely lacking in other areas of the crew. The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San »
- Kate Erbland
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