7 items from 2014
This weekend’s onslaught of smaller new films will have awards contenders and big names to jostle with at the box office. Awards hopefuls Foxcatcher and The Homesman begin their theatrical runs in limited New York and L.A. rollouts, with the former a likely winner in the first weekend when the numbers come in Sunday. The films from Sony Pictures Classics and Roadside Attractions, respectively, tell particularly American stories, though from very different eras. The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart took time off in 2013 to work on his directorial debut. Open Road’s Rosewater, starring Gael García Bernal, will begin its theatrical rollout this weekend. It will be the biggest opener of this weekend’s cadre of specialty newcomers, playing in several hundred locations in the U.S. and Canada. Actor Chris Lowell also makes his filmmaking launch with Beside Still Waters. The project had smooth sailing until it came time for distribution, »
- Brian Brooks
It’s a known fact that one out of every three indie films is essentially a low budget riff on The Big Chill — a group of childhood friends reunite to memorialize the passing of someone or some place and end up ruminating on the passing of their shared youth as revelations and truths come to light. It’s an easy formula in addition to being easy on the budget, but the risk is that your film will get lost amid the crowd of similar ensemble pieces without ever finding its own voice. Daniel (Ryan Eggold, The Blacklist) recently lost his parents in a car accident, and after their lakeside cabin is foreclosed upon he plans one last blow-out for the friends who spent time with him there before splitting and going their separate ways. One by one they arrive for the weekend, each with their own memories and baggage. Tom (Beck Bennett, Saturday Night Live »
- Rob Hunter
The group of friends who return to the cabin in the woods for a weekend genre is one that gets its share of entrants, though they are often spaced out to a degree, but Beside Still Waters is getting more attention than most, and is getting first-time director Chris Lowell‘s name mentioned quite a bit.
Lowell’s most recent acting effort was the show Enlisted, but many may remember him from Private Practice, or Veronica Mars. Now he’s taking on directing, and co-writing, and this is certainly an interesting choice for a first move.
The movie also stars The Blacklist‘s Ryan Eggold, and a diverse group that you’re likely to recognize. The general premise may sound familiar, but this one has a few new spins to throw at you, including Whiskey Slaps.
Take a look at the trailer, and keep this one in mind.
Mourning the sudden death of his parents, »
- Marc Eastman
You've heard of a slap bet. But what--you may well ponder--is a whiskey slap? The trailer for Beside Still Waters tells us. Take a shot of whiskey; get a slap in the face. It's like a pickle back, but one in which the pickle brine chaser is substituted with a slap in the face. Feel free to bust it out at social events this weekend. I intend to. (Look out bar patrons of New York!) Beside Still Waters is the directorial debut of actor turned-writer/director Chris Lowell, who you recognize from his recurring roles on Veronica Mars as Stosh "Piz" Piznarski or William "Dell" Parker on Private Practice and Grey's Anatomy. After co-writing the ensemble dramedy with producer Mohit Narang, Lowell resisted the temptation to also star in the film. Instead, he cast recent Saturday Night Live castmember Beck Bennett, Not Fade Away's Will Brill, Agents of S. »
Chris Lowell ran a somewhat unconventional ship for his directorial debut Beside Still Waters, a highly personal, contained tale about childhood friends reuniting at a lake house years later. The Veronica Mars star shot on film, raised most of his budget by basically pounding the pavement and began each day by taking a bare leap into the lake with his cast outside the house where they shot. "It’s unbelievably, terribly unprofessional," he tells EW, laughing. "But it was a great start. It really got us in the zone." So far, Lowell has had an interesting 2014 with the quick ascent »
- Lindsey Bahr
Exclusive: Tribeca Film has acquired actor-director Chris Lowell’s indie dramedy Beside Still Waters. The picture marks the directorial debut of TV and film thesp Lowell, who’s best known for his acting turns on Veronica Mars, Private Practice, and Enlisted. Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist) stars as Daniel Thatcher, a young romantic who has fallen on hard times and enlists his childhood friends to relive the glory days of their youth, whether they like it or not.
After the huge success of the Veronica Mars movie campaign on Kickstarter, Lowell and his fellow filmmakers took to the platform to raise $63,000 in finishing funds. The project collected over $207,000, more than tripling its funding goal, and became the 13th most-funded narrative film in Kickstarter’s history. In addition to directing, Lowell scripted with Mohit Narang and produced the dramedy which blends 16mm, Super 8, and his own black and white photography. Saturday Night Live‘s Beck Bennett, »
- Jen Yamato
Chris Lowell may be the less popular Veronica Mars boyfriend, but the Enlisted star clearly has his fair share of fans. Lowell raised over $78,000 on his first day on Kickstarter. His goal was only $63,021.
No, it’s not for a Veronica and Piz spinoff. Lowell, also a prolific photographer, directed his first feature Beside Still Waters. Lowell writes that it’s “a movie about drinking and dancing. Laughter and secrets. Sex, drugs, mischief and regret. A movie about friendship.” Over the past two years, Lowell cast, shot, and edited the movie and needs to raise funds for ”deliverables,” which, he explains, »
- Lindsey Bahr
7 items from 2014
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