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Montreal — Michael (Peter Vack) might be the most handsome ghost you’ll see in the movies this year. When he first meets Ruth (Lindsay Burdge) in the guest house of a large Hamptons home, he’s covered head to toe in burlap, and warns her he looks ghoulish underneath, but that couldn’t be further from the […]
The post ‘Lace Crater’ Is A Surprising & Clever Spectrally Transmitted Disease Horror Comedy [Review] appeared first on The Playlist. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Movie ghosts usually represent something more than just specters from the beyond. You don’t have to look too far into the recent past to find examples of spooky phantoms that represent some kind of real-world anxiety: grief (“The Babadook”), burgeoning sexuality (“It Follows”) and franchises built on justice meted out by revenge-seeking spirits. In that context, Harrison Atkins’ “Lace Crater” is out of sync with its times, since it takes the existence of an undead corporeal entity at face value.
Here, that ambiguous entity visits Ruth (Lindsay Burdge), a recently single woman on a Hamptons vacation with a cadre of supportive friends. On a drug-laced evening in upstate New York, Ruth retreats to her room in the guest cottage, which a member of the group jokes is haunted. When a creaking door yields a mysterious, soft-spoken figure clad in burlap sacks, Ruth’s initial fright gives way to an eerie sense of understanding. »
- Steve Greene
To help sift through the increasing number of new releases (independent or otherwise), the Weekly Film Guide is here! Below you’ll find basic plot, personnel and cinema information for all of this week’s fresh offerings.
For July, we’ve also put together a list for the entire month. We’ve included this week’s list below, complete with information on screening locations for films in limited release.
See More: Here Are All the Upcoming Movies in Theaters for July 2016
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, July 29. All synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.
Synopsis: A woman with a seemingly perfect life – a great marriage, overachieving kids, beautiful home, stunning looks and still holding down a career. »
- Steve Greene
In a moment of vulnerability — to put it mildly — a young woman has a sexual encounter with a ghost and contracts an Std that can’t be Googled in “Lace Crater,” a deeply strange and intermittently creepy micro-indie that’s as inscrutable as its title. Threading a “Repulsion”-like portrait of female trauma and alienation through the sort of ambling relationship study associated with his producer, Joe Swanberg, first-time director Harrison Atkins never quite finds his own distinct voice. He dabbles in horror and deadpan comedy, experiments in discordant jags on the soundtrack, and suggests a more fluid boundary between the living and the dead, but the film remains stubbornly hazy and obscure in its intentions. Atkins’ audaciousness marks him as a filmmaker to watch, but few can be expected to pick up this calling card.
On a getaway to the Hamptons with friends, Ruth (Lindsay Burdge) numbs the ache »
- Scott Tobias
Partying, drugs, drinking, and a little casual sex….for some it’s a routine to blow off steam, but for one young woman, it’s a way to get over a break-up. Unfortunately, those choices are going to lead some unlikely consequences. Directed by Harrison Atkins, produced by Joe Swanberg, and starring Lindsay Burdge, Peter Vack, Chase Williamson, and Keith Poulson, the […]
- Kevin Jagernauth
“Lace Crater” follows twenty-something Ruth (Lindsay Burdge) who’s just getting over a breakup as she and her friends head to the Hamptons for a weekend of mild debauchery at their friend Andrew’s parents’ summer home. With all the bedrooms in the main house taken, Ruth agrees to sleep in the guest house that is supposedly haunted. One night while everyone is having a good time, Ruth stumbles to her bed and ends up encountering a mysterious figure – a burlap sack-wearing, light-sensitive otherworldly entity, Michael (Peter Vack). Ruth and Michael have a one-night stand, but when she returns home, she develop a ghostly Std, with symptoms that include frequent vomiting, light sensitivity, and spewing black ooze. When her friends all but abandon her, she’s left in isolation to deal with her problems and must decide on her own whether she wants to return to normal society. The film »
- Vikram Murthi
I wouldn't be surprised to discover that the idea for Harrison Atkins' feature film debut Lace Crater has some seedling of birth drawn from Japanese horror. The concept just seems like something to have emerged from the folks who also brought us a killer VHS, killer sushi and killer hair extensions.
A night of drinking leads to a sexual encounter with Michael. All well and good except for the fact that Michael is not a regular guy. Michael's a ghost.
You read right. She has sex with a ghost. No big deal. Except Ruth's one night stand leaves her with an Std and the side effects include everything from ni [Continued ...] »
Damien Bonnard, who stars in Cannes competition film “Staying Vertical” and appears next in Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” and Lindsay Burdge (“The Invitation”) have signed on to co-star in Nathan Silver’s “Thirst Street.”
The film, written and produced by Silver and Chris Wells, is scheduled to shoot in Paris this summer. A darkly funny neurotic thriller “Thirst Street” tells the twisted story of Gina, an American flight attendant who falls in with a Parisian bartender on a layover only to find herself tangled in a web of deception, delusion and unrequited l’amour fou.
The film will also feature Roxane Mesquida (“Kiss of the Damned”), Alice de Lencquesaing (“Summer Hours”), Lola Bessis (“Swim Little Fish Swim”) and Silver’s mother, Cindy Silver, who has appeared in most of Silver’s films to date. Sean Price Williams is set to lens the pic.
The film will be jointly produced by Claire-Charles Gervais, »
- Leo Barraclough
There are indie film scenes like the one chronicled in Actor Martinez everywhere, ones where those with a day job have ambitions that cannot and never will pay the rent. Surely, Actor Martinez is a little cruel to these micro industries of regional film bolstered by film clubs that support each other regardless of just how poor the acting, directing and cinematography can be.
Enter Nathan Silver and Mike Ott, filmmakers that seem obsessed with the freedom such non-traditional, off-the-map filmmaking offers. Who knows, a masterpiece may exist somewhere in Denver’s amateur film community, kept from us by John Cooper and Janet Pierson. Actor Martinez, like Nathan Silver’s previous feature Stinking Heaven, also feels like an artifact, documenting the process of a process: here the every day life of Arthur Martinez, an professional computer repairman by day and actor/film producer by night.
The result is a comedy »
- John Fink
Prolific indie filmmakers Mike Ott and Nathan Silver team up for the experimental and meta “Actor Martinez,” an exploration into the oftentimes difficult process of unearthing the honesty in acting. They take an interesting route to the truth, deliberately obfuscating the line between fiction and nonfiction in a film within a film, lulling the audience into one reality and then abruptly jarring you out of one scenario and into another. It’s a process that mirrors the psychological journey of the subject/protagonist, Arthur Martinez. The premise is that Ott and Silver are making a semi-autobiographical film about Martinez, who is a Denver-area actor/local film promoter/computer repairman. The film nested inside “Actor Martinez” follows the life and routine of Martinez, until Ott and Silver decide to push their performer by casting him a girlfriend, in order to draw out any residual emotions about his ex-wife. They land on Lindsay Burdge (“Mistress America, »
- Katie Walsh
After a man opens his life up to a pair of indie filmmakers, Actor Martinez cunningly navigates between documentary and narrative to question its star’s true nature, as well as the concept of self-presentation in life as well as film. Arthur Martinez first appears in Nathan Silver and Mike Ott’s new film as the subject, but through the co-directors’ persistent manipulation, Arthur seems increasingly at the whim of this fascinating, perplexing film experiment.
From the opening frame, co-directors Ott and Silver appear on-screen to interrogate Arthur. They’re out of focus and their voices are laid on top of the opening shot in a way that alludes to their influence on the rest of this film; though Ott and Silver won’t always be visible, their presence adds a layer of subjectivity to any character’s portrayal. Mostly, that character is Arthur.
Designed to fudge the gaps between fiction and reality, »
- Zachary Shevich
Returning to her roots, Karyn Kusama‘s The Invitation is a dark and moody drama that deals with depression, loss, and more as we follow a dinner party that is just slightly off-kilter at the outset. Our eyes and ears, Will (Logan Marshall-Green), is supported by a strong cast, including Tammy Blanchard as his ex-wide Eden, Michiel Huisman as the mysterious and low-key new husband David, and Lindsay Burdge as the free-spirited Sadie.
I saw the film back during SXSW last March and with it now out on VOD and in limited release, I had the opportunity to talk with Kusama. We discussed some of my favorite aspects of the film, including the diverse cast, how she shot in one actual home and even set up offices there, giving us an unreliable narrator, and even a spoiler at the end that you can check out after seeing the film. It »
- Bill Graham
The innovative Viewpoints section celebrates the distinctively bold visions of underrepresented perspectives, styles and characters. Featuring 25 unique and fascinating viewpoints from 15 countries, films in this category vary from realised, hyperreal worlds such as in High-Rise, Equals, Nerdland and The Loner to real world perspectives including Syrian refugees in After Spring, solitary confinement inmates in Solitary and adult students at Night School.
Here are the films selected in this year’s Viewpoints:
Chris Prynoski (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative
Nerdland is an R-rated cartoon comedy about celebrity, excess, and two showbiz nobodies, John (Paul Rudd) and Elliott (Patton Oswalt), with a plan to become famous—or even infamous—by the end of the night. Featuring an army of comedy cameos including Hannibal Buress, Laraine Newman, Mike Judge, Kate Micucci, »
- Sacha Hall
"I'm so glad you're here! We've got a lot to talk about... So much to celebrate tonight." Drafthouse Films has unveiled a new trailer for Karyn Kusama's creepy horror-thriller The Invitation, about a dinner party that isn't exactly what it seems. The cast includes Michiel Huisman, John Carroll Lynch, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Tammy Blanchard, Mike Doyle and Lindsay Burdge. Following up the first teaser, this trailer finally gives us more of a look at what's waiting these guests of the party. "Don't tell me that this is normal!" There's some really eerie, unsettling stuff going on and the reviews seem to indicate it's wild. Rob Hunter from Fsr says: "In addition to being a suspenseful and well-acted ride the film also looks fantastic." Here's the new trailer for Karyn Kusama's The Invitation, direct from Drafthouse's YouTube: Will and Eden were once a loving couple. After a tragedy took their son, »
- Alex Billington
Girlfight and Jennifer’s Body director Karyn Kusama is back this year, returning to her low-budget roots with The Invitation, a taut psychological thriller which follows a dinner party with many twists and turns. We’ve heard the less the known is better, but if one would like to indulge further, a full-length trailer has now arrived, along with a great poster.
We said in our review at SXSW, “When you play in the midnight slot of a film festival nowadays, audiences can expect something to go horribly wrong within the world of the movie. So going into The Invitation, without even knowing what it is about, there’s the impending sense things aren’t going to turn out well. Yet even in that environment, it becomes painfully clear that director Karyn Kusama’s latest feature is going to make audiences outside of that context aware of the stakes. As »
- Leonard Pearce
I almost want to tell you not to watch this trailer. One of the pleasures of going into "Girlfight" director Karyn Kusama's thriller "The Invitation" is watching it unfold into unexpected directions, and knowing as little as possible as such will reap the biggest rewards when checking out this mostly single-location picture. But if you need just a little bit more to convince you to check it out, then by all means watch it. Read More: Fantasia Review: 'Girlfight' Director Karyn Kusama's Tense, Single Setting Thriller 'The Invitation' Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Lindsay Burdge, John Carroll Lynch, Mike Doyle, Michelle Krusiec, Marieh Delfino and Jay Larson star in a movie following a group of old friends and a couple of oddball newcomers who get together for dinner. But it's soon revealed that there are deadly ramifications for all involved. Here's »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Derek Lam with Ava Raiin: "I would say, all the Robert Altman movies." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Catfish and the upcoming Nerve (starring Emma Roberts, Juliette Lewis and Dave Franco) co-directors, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman of Supermarché, hosted a cocktail party and special screening at the Angelika Film Center of 10 short films, written by Rightor Doyle, that were inspired by Derek Lam’s upcoming fragrance line 10 Crosby.
Derek Lam 10 Crosby fragrances Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Benjamin Dickinson's Rain Day (Jennifer Westfeldt, Greta Lee), Ellipsis (Langston Kerman, Alia Shawkat), 2am Kiss (Aya Cash, Josh Safdie, Eva Tolkin, Kelsey Lu, Sam Jacober, Jen Kim, Lee, Kerman); Celia Rowlson-Hall's Silent St (Paul Lazar, Hailey Gates, Anthony Ramos, Westfeldt, Cash), Afloat (Jason Kittleberger, Xavier) and Looking Glass (Rowlson-Hall, Kittleberger); Andrew Zuchero's Drunk on Youth (Sofia Black-d'Elia, Christopher Trinidade), Blackout (Devhynes, Lindsay Burdge, Kate Lyn Sheil, Kevin Barnett, Kim, Jacober) Something Wild (Celia Rowlson-Hall »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The major retrospective of the 2016 International Film Festival Rotterdam is dedicated to the Barcelona school of filmmaking in the 1960s and 1970s, with Catalonian master Pere Portabella’s body of work—and his new film—serving as a figurehead. Nearly completely unknown in the United States—where critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has been a beacon of support and revelation—insomuch as Portabella is known in the film community it is for his film Vampir-Cuadecuc, which hijacks the production of Christopher Lee and Jesús Franco’s Count Dracula (1970) for its own ends and exhilaratingly exposes this documentarian’s acute analysis of and play with the subject of his films. (I will note here that Mubi has shown a great deal of Portabella’s work in the past, including this 1970 horror film.) This is hardly a lone accomplishment; in 1961 he helped produce Luis Buñuel's masterpiece Viridiana, and the director has been a strident voice in documentary, »
- Daniel Kasman
After breaking out with Girlfight, which we recently named as one of the great boxing movies, Karyn Kusama‘s career has been a curious one, including the Charlize Theron-led Æon Flux and the Diablo Cody-scripted Jennifer’s Body. She now seems to be returning to her low-budget roots with The Invitation, a taut psychological thriller which follows a dinner party with many twists and turns. We’ve heard the less the known is better, but if you must indulge, the first trailer has landed.
We said in our review at SXSW, “When you play in the midnight slot of a film festival nowadays, audiences can expect something to go horribly wrong within the world of the movie. So going into The Invitation, without even knowing what it is about, there’s the impending sense things aren’t going to turn out well. Yet even in that environment, it »
- Jordan Raup
I was a bit surprised that "Girlfight" director Karyn Kusama's "The Invitation" didn't inspire more buzz across the festival circuit last year. It's a taut thriller that rewards patience in the first half with an electric back half that pays off the preceding character building. Luckily, the movie has found a home with the folks at Drafthouse, who will get this in front of people who will best appreciate it. The first teaser trailer for the film has landed. Read More: The 100 Most Anticipated Films Of 2016 Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Lindsay Burdge, John Carroll Lynch, Mike Doyle, Michelle Krusiec, Marieh Delfino and Jay Larson star in a movie revolving around the sinister intentions lurking behind a dinner party in a fancy Los Angeles home. Here's the synopsis: In this taut psychological thriller by Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer’s Body), the tension is palpable when Will (Logan. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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