7 items from 2015
Joe Swanberg is 33. I don't know whether to be amazed by how high or low that number is. On one hand, that's ridiculously young for a filmmaker who broke out back in 2006 and 2007 with "Lol" and "Hannah Takes The Stairs" and has been absurdly prolific since then. On the other hand, though, the filmmaker who made his name -- and, depending on your generosity, made a genre -- chronicling the dramatically limited foibles of recent college graduates has reached the "thirtysomething" phase of his career. The erratic and misdirected youths at the center of Swanberg's earlier films have become the pesky nubiles who show up to make Swanberg's new leads feel either old or optimistically mature. It's a transition that has been in the works for a little while. Last year's Swanberg Sundance entry "Happy Christmas" featured the director and Melanie Lynskey as a grown-up, responsible couple whose house nearly »
- Daniel Fienberg
Joe Swanberg continues his march toward the mainstream even as he deepens his signature brand of hangout film in “Digging for Fire,” a lovely slice of everything and nothing centered on a housesitting couple who discover possible evidence of a murder. There are feints toward a bona fide mystery plot, but that genre element is just a pretext for a stealth marital drama. The film is held together through strong improv, tight editing (by Swanberg himself), moody cinematography and a synth score (from Dan Romer) that parties like it’s 1991. This is Swanberg’s starriest picture to date — even if some appearances, like Jenny Slate’s, amount to glorified walk-ons — making breakout success eminently possible.
Concerning the adventures of married parents Tim (co-screenwriter Jake Johnson) and Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt), “Digging for Fire” opens with the two of them and their son, Jude (played by Swanberg’s toddler, Jude, the finest »
- Ben Kenigsberg
Comedy is one of those magical things that can bring complete strangers together, all laughing as an instinctual response to a stand-up comedian, an online sketch, a motion picture, or a television series. And while we all know what we find funny, it's seemingly impossible to truly pinpoint just where the comedy comes from. These comedians, writers, actors, etc. all know how to make us laugh, but how do they know? Actor and first-time filmmaker Kevin Pollak sets out to answer the question of whether or not comedians have to be miserable in order to be funny, based on the frequency of talents with tragedy early in their lives. Misery Loves Comedy is a simple and straightforward comedy that lets the parade of incredible comedic talent take the spotlight. Stand-up comedians like Jim Gaffigan, Maria Bamford, Jimmy Fallon and Mike Birbiglia, actors like Tom Hanks and Sam Rockwell, directors like Jason Reitman, »
- Ethan Anderton
His most recent film, “In a Valley of Violence,” marks his fourth collaboration with West and stars Ethan Hawke and John Travolta. The film, which is in post-production, was produced with Blumhouse and Universal Pictures.
Jaffke will produce and oversee all development and production of feature films for the company, including “Revenge,” written by John Hlavin, and “Life and Death in Eden,” written by Black List screenwriter Kristina Lauren Anderson.
“In the increasingly challenging world of film production, where both budgets and distribution opportunities are decreasing, Jacob’s taste, relationships and hands-on experience producing films at a variety of budgetary levels are invaluable, »
- Dave McNary
We reported that it finished filming last year and this one stars Jake Johnson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick and Mike Birbiglia. This one sounds like another fun outing as it centres around the discovery of a bone and a gun which, in turn, sends a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.
It was co-written by Swanberg and Johnson and will debut at the upcoming Sundance:
Source: TheWrap »
- Dan Bullock
Buyers will be out in full force this week in Park City but with so many options to choose from, it helps to have a cheat sheet to prioritize the must-see acquisition titles at Sundance. After talking to buyers and sellers alike, here are the 10 most promising titles with the loudest buzz heading into this year’s festival.
The Bronze (WME)
What’s the Deal?: The highlight of Sundance’s opening night lineup is this raunchy comedy from director Bryan Buckley featuring co-writer Melissa Rauch in what could prove to be a star-making performance. The “Big Bang Theory” actress plays a washed-up Olympic gymnast whose local celebrity is threatened by the arrival of a promising young gymnast seeking a mentor. Sundance describes the foul-mouthed protagonist as “a lovably loathsome character who makes Tonya Harding look like Grace Kelly,” so perhaps this will be the next “Bad Words?”
First Screening: Thursday, Jan. 22, 9:30 p.m. – Eccles
What’s the Deal?: Jake Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt play East L.A. parents on the verge of a nervous breakdown as they juggle marital and parenting duties. Things get weird when she enjoys a night on the town with her girls and he takes the opportunity to invite his buddies over for smoking, drinking and carousing. Joe Swanberg’s latest may be his most commercial film yet, and it certainly features his most high-profile cast. Between Anna Kendrick, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, Chris Messina, Jenny Slate, Melanie Lynskey, Timothy Simons, Ron Livington, comedian Mike Birbiglia and veterans Sam Elliott and Judith Light, there’s someone for everyone.
First Screening: Monday, Jan. 26, 9:45 p.m. – Eccles »
- Jeff Sneider
Joe Swanberg’s “Digging for Fire” debuts at Sundance this week and TheWrap has exclusively obtained a new image of star/co-writer Jake Johnson enjoying himself while his wife (Rosemarie DeWitt) is away.
In “Digging for Fire,” the discovery of a bone and a gun sends a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.
Johnson and DeWitt are joined in the film by Anna Kendrick, »
- Jeff Sneider
7 items from 2015
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