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Over the past month, we polled 116 culture creators, mavens, and movers and shakers about the year in movies, TV, books, music, memes, and more. The wide-ranging results showed that the respondents were just as bedazzled by their cohorts’ output as we were—and, sometimes, just as rankled, too.Respondents: Christopher Abbott, Jack Antonoff, Patricia Arquette, Michael Barker, Robert Battle, Leslie Bibb, Michael Bierut, Lisa Birnbach, André Bishop, Kate Bosworth, Katrina Bowden, Lorraine Boyle, Rachel Brosnahan, Amy Brownstein, Mika Brzezinski, Gemma Burgess, Jenna Busch, Robert Caro, Wyatt Cenac, Michael Chernus, Olivia Cheng, Anna Chlumsky, Ellar Coltrane, Ruth Connell, Brady Corbet, Katie Couric, Sloane Crosley, Tyne Daly, Adam David Thompson, Lea DeLaria, Jacopo Della Quercia, Laura Dern, Anna Deavere Smith, Eamon Dolan, Jane Dystel, Scott Eastwood, Mona Fastvold, Chaz Ebert, Louise Erdrich, Julia Fierro, Rupert Friend, Cary Fukunaga, Willie Geist, Betty Gilpin, Jon Glaser, Andy Grammer, Lev Grossman, Chin Han, Jon Hamm, »
- Vulture Editors
While a newly released trailer for the upcoming fourth season of Girls shows Shoshanna and Marnie venturing into frenemy territory, there’s no such enmity offscreen. At last night’s Giorgio Armani–sponsored premiere of J.C. Chandor’s ‘80s-set epic A Most Violent Year (which features former Girls star Christopher Abbott as a young rough), Zosia Mamet lit up when asked if she caught Allison Williams's performance in NBC’s Peter Pan. “I thought she sung the shit out of it! It was great to see her doing something that clearly brought her so, so much deep joy,” she said. Marnie and Shoshanna, take notes! »
- Adrienne Gaffney
Brady Corbet, who pops up in Bertrand Bonello's exquisite portrait of the tortured artist Saint Laurent, Mia Hansen-Løve's Eden and the incisive Clouds Of Sils Maria by Olivier Assayas, talked about the banality of evil and the evil of banality, as our Sleepwalker conversation turned to Amy Berg's An Open Secret. Mona Fastvold and Corbet's upcoming project, The Childhood of a Leader, which he is going to direct, will star Bérénice Bejo, Tim Roth, Stacy Martin and Robert Pattinson. The script is influenced by everyone from John Fowles and Jean-Paul Sartre, to Volker Schlöndorff's Young Törless. I suggested checking out Christian Kracht's cinematic novel Imperium in the Norwegian translation for last minute reading, as pre-production begins next week.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Among 2014′s class of best new voices in the film landscape (which includes Eliza Hittman (It Felt Like Love), Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night), Miroslav Slaboshpitsky (The Tribe) and Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), we easily include writer-director Norwegian important Mona Fastvold. Described as a “moody and mysterious in a Lynchian sense and Bergmanesque in design,” the Sundance preemed The Sleepwalker left quite the impression on us. Prior to her debut, the Scnadi-born, American based filmmaker learned her craft via acting gigs and music video directing, and it is somewhere in that timeline she met up with creative partner in actor turned writer-director Brady Corbet. Having worked with the likes Haneke, von Trier and Campos, a film history savant Corbet has been stepping into the creative process since his Sundance preemd 2009 short, Protect You + Me.
This past January, I had the chance to sit down with the »
- Eric Lavallee
Director/writer Mona Fastvold and co-writer/actor Brady Corbet of The Sleepwalker, starring Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott, Stephanie Ellis and Corbet, connect Michael Haneke's Caché and Funny Games, in which Corbet starred with Naomi Watts, Tim Roth and Michael Pitt, to Ingmar Bergman's Hour Of The Wolf and Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris. We discussed Borderline Films' productions of Sean Durkin's Martha Marcy May Marlene and Simon Killer by Antonio Campos and how it began for Corbet. Lars von Trier's love of Douglas Sirk and Melancholia led the discussion to the films of Claire Denis, Bruno Dumont, Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne. Scarlett Johansson's performance in Jonathan Glazer's Under The Skin in contrast to an Aki Kaurismäki film conjures up choices for all filmmakers to consider. »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
In The Sleepwalker (Sundance Selects / limited release 11.21), filmmaker Mona Fastvold sequesters her quartet of players in mostly volatile sibling, lover and fighter pairings. Architecturally speaking, the setting is a particular one. An under repair, posh yet isolated million plus dollar refuge in the woods acts as a sort of centrifuge system for dysfunctionality. Archetypally speaking, we find the protective nurture in the sisterly bound, romantically fused couples and a testosterone-filled joust between classes in this over-reaching air/atmosphere of unconscious and subconscious behaviours.
Christopher Abbott (Martha Marcy May Marlene, Carlos Puga’s All That I Am (aka “Burma”), Josh Mond’s short film, 1009) had arrived at Sundance having just completed filming on Mond’s feature debut, James White (we briefly discuss this at the tail-end of the interview) plays Andrew, the sort of blue collar hammer and nail kind of New Englander with a pit-bull like short fuse, while Gitte Witt plays girlfriend Kaia, »
- Eric Lavallee
The fine line of a repressed memory can get especially fuzzy when what is factual, what is imagined, what is suggested and what is fable is pushed way back, pad locked and bolted into the psyche. This becomes further complicated when that past experience is a shared one. Mona Fastvold’s The Sleepwalker (Sundance Selects / limited release 11.21) adds severe twists to the stepsisterly bond and suggests that we might unconsciously crave for the unresolved. Relative newcomer Stephanie Ellis plays Christine, a sort of last minute party guest invitee and a “missing” piece of the puzzle whose physical and non-physical presence intangibly puts a wrench in festivities. Arguably the most grounded of the quartet of players yet the one who might be missing the most mental marbles, she is more than just a symbolic shit disturber to her sister’s psyche.
While at Sundance this past January, I had the chance »
- Eric Lavallee
In sleepy rural Massachusetts, the illusory nature of domestic bliss fractures easily like the first frost of a winter chill. 20-somethings Kaia (Gitte Witt) and her boyfriend Andrew (ex “Girls” star Christopher Abbott) live a quiet life, renovating her late father’s isolated and modern estate. If famed architect Le Corbusier once said, “the home should be the treasure chest of living,” then the structural marvel that is this domicile is more of a hollowed out trunk that contains plenty of dark skeletons. Beautiful on the outside, the inside is gutted and needs much repair. A dissonant chord interrupts the fragile harmony in the form of Kaia’s estranged sister Christine (Stephanie Ellis), a peculiar girl who arrives unannounced in the middle of the night after not having been in contact for years. A further fissure appears at breakfast, Christine’s Waspy, seemingly uptight fiancé Ira (Brady Corbet), worried sick »
- Rodrigo Perez
Despite the lottery-esque sounding odds, the U.S Dramatic Competition section which produces the finest American indie specimens such as Frozen River, Winter’s Bone, Blue Valentine, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station and Whiplash is fairly consistent in terms of quality. Last year’s crop of sixteen have almost all had their theatrical releases with Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter being the last one out of the gates (pegged with an early 2015 release). Last week we individually looked at our top 80 Sundance Film Fest Predictions (you’ll find 30 other titles worth considering in our intro) and below, we’ve split the list into narrative and non-fiction film items and have both identified and color-coded our picks in an AtoZ cheat sheet. You’ll find 2015′s answer to Whiplash located somewhere in the stack below. Click on the individual titles below, for the film’s profile. »
- Eric Lavallee
Just in time for Thanksgiving, it's your yearly "hell is family members" film. However, The Sleepwalker distinguishes itself from most entries in this angst-ridden genre by way of superb writing, smoldering performances, and hauntingly beautiful imagery from first-time director Mona Fastvold. Kaia (Gitte Witt) and boyfriend Andrew (Christopher Abbott) are in the midst of renovating her father's remote, fire-destroyed house when half-sister Christine (Stephanie Ellis) suddenly reappears after a long absence. The two sisters awkwardly attempt to reconnect, an effort complicated by Christine's erratic behavior (her new pregnancy prevents her from taking her usual meds) and her wealthy, U.N. human rights officer beau, Ira (Brady Corbet). Like any crazy girl who's ma »
Family secrets, dysfunction, and tension — no, we're not describing your upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Instead, these are the feelings bubbling beneath the surface of "The Sleepwalker," the unique and carefully calibrated upcoming drama that sets the mood on simmer. Directed by Mona Fastvold (making her debut), and featuring Gitte Witt, former "Girls" star Christopher Abbott, Stephanie Ellis, and Brady Corbett (who also co-wrote the film with Fastvold), the story follows Kaia and Andrew, a young couple renovating her old family estate. A surprise visit from Kaia's sister Christine and her fiancée Ira opens doors to the past that some would rather keep closed. And the uneasiness is right out in the open in this clip from the film, when Ira's attempts to make peace aren't welcomed by Andrew. "The Sleepwalker" hits VOD and opens in limited release on November 21st. Read our review and watch below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Whether you are a filmmaker, or one of the Sundance programmers whose task it is to identify the films that make up a line-up, it is indeed the most wonderful, panic-filled and nerve racking time of the year. The 31st edition of the Sundance Film Festival kicks off on January 22nd with Park City and Salt Lake City playing host to some of the more innovative, thought-provoking narrative and non-fiction films of 2015. Last year, a Jenga tall order of 4,057 features and 8,161 shorts were submitted. Now let’s think about those numbers for a second.
Twenty years ago, Terry Zwigoff’s Crumb claimed the Grand Jury Prize Documentary award, Living in Oblivion‘s Tom Dicillo was honored with the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, and Edward Burns’ micro-budgeted The Brothers McMullen (there is a read-worthy, lively, eleventh hour account on how it was submitted to the fest in Ted Hope’s “Hope »
- Eric Lavallee
In their decade long journey of indie film craftsmanship, the creative producing-directing trio of Josh Mond (see picture above) Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin (otherwise known as the Borderline Films crew) have shared a special bond with two essential film fest stops: one is located on the Croisette, and the other in Park City. So on practical terms, it would almost be fitting that a film about family bonds, made by a family of three filmmaker friends finds a launchpad with the larger Sundance family as we’ve seen now seen a mix of their features (Simon Killer, Martha Marcy May Marlene) and shorts premiere in the snow. Mond’s James White began production sometime late last year with Christopher Abbott leading a cast comprised of Cynthia Nixon, Ron Livingston, Scott Mescudi, David Call and Mackenzie Leigh, and they brought in some key post-production ingredients with a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. »
- Eric Lavallee
No one could accuse writer-director J.C. Chandor of going an easily predictable route with his filmography to date. Margin Call, his 2011 feature debut that earned him an Oscar nomination, was an ensemble piece about the recent financial crisis, and he followed that with 2013′s All Is Lost, which only featured one actor (Robert Redford, giving a largely wordless performance). His new effort, A Most Violent Year, sees him venturing into period crime drama territory, with a story mostly centered on a husband and wife pairing played by Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain.
Co-starring David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Christopher Abbott, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Albert Brooks, A Most Violent Year is set in 1981 and concerns the ambitious immigrant head of an oil business clashing with the criminal underworld of New York City in 1981. One of the more appealing elements of the film’s second trailer, which you can view below, is »
- Josh Slater-Williams
It's tough getting acclimated to new roommates, as seen in the new theatrical trailer for The Sleepwalker. The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past January, follows young couple Kaia (Gitte Witt) and Andrew (Christopher Abbott), whose renovations of Kaia's isolated family estate are interrupted by Kaia's troubled sister Christine (Stephanie Ellis) and Christine's fiance, Ira (Brady Corbet). As Christine and Ira spread their battles in the household, deep-seated issues bubble to the surface. And it all gets worse when Christine starts sleepwalking again. Take a look at the elevated drama of youth in the haunting trailer. »
- Teresa Jue
A Most Violent Year Trailers. J.C. Chandor‘s A Most Violent Year (2014) Us movie trailer 2, UK teaser trailer stars Elyes Gabel, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Peter Gerety, Christopher Abbott, and Ashley Williams. A Most Violent Year‘s plot synopsis: “A Most Violent Year is a thriller set in New York City [...]
Continue reading: A Most Violent Year (2014) Us Movie Trailer 2 + UK Teaser Trailer »
- Rollo Tomasi
Norwegian actress and filmmaker Mona Fastvold’s first feature, “The Sleepwalker,” was a minor hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It tells the story of Kaia (Gitte Witt) and Andrew (Christopher Abbott), a young couple renovating her old family estate when they get an uninvited visit from her sister Christine (Stephanie Ellis) and her fiancée Ira (Brady Corbett, who also co-wrote the film with Fastvold). As disturbing family secrets between the sisters begin to resurface, the tension gradually rises to the boiling point. Our own Rodrigo Perez praised the film, likening it to an Ingmar Bergman chamber drama with hints of David Lynch’s intensity. A couple of other critics, including Variety’s Dennis Harvey, admired Fastvold’s slow yet gripping build-up, while pointing out a dissatisfying third act and a lack of consistency in tone. The recently released trailer does an excellent job of building tension, which »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
There's still a few films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year that haven't hit theaters yet. One such thriller is The Sleepwalker, marking the directorial debut of actress Mona Fastvold from a script she wrote with actor Brady Corbet (Simon Killer), who also stars in the film. Now the theatrical trailer for the fall release that also stars Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott and Stephane Ellis, and it's not much different than the trailer that popped up before the film even premiered at Sundance. But we wanted to highlight this strange, mysterious thriller on the way later this month. Watch! Here's the theatrical trailer for Mona Fastvold's The Sleepwalker from IFC Films: The Sleepwalker is directed by Mona Fastvold (making her feature directorial debut) from a script she co-wrote with Brady Corbet (Simon Killer). A young couple, Kaia and Andrew (Gitte Witt and Christopher Abbott »
- Ethan Anderton
LevelK handles international sales on Brady Corbet thriller.
Brady Corbet, Christopher Abbott and Norway’s Gitte Witt star in the story of a young couple on a secluded family estate whose lives are disrupted by the arrival of her sister and the sister’s fiance. One of the four characters goes missing.
Fastvold wrote the script with Corbet.
Producers are Karin Juhlsrud & Turid Øversveen for 4 ½ Films Norway. The Sleepwalker is co-produced by Julie Christeas and Schuyler Weiss for Tandem Pictures, and has been supported by Norwegian Film Institute, Norsk filmdistribusjon, 4 ½ Film and LevelK.
The film premiered at Sundance and international sales are handled by LevelK. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
IFC Films have picked up U:s. rights to The Sleepwalker, the debut feature from Norwegian writer-director Mona Fastvold. Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet and Gitte Witt star in the down-beat drama, set in rural Massachusetts. Fastvold and Corbet co-wrote the screenplay to Sleepwalker. Read more Afm: Keanu Reeves to Star in Sci-Fi Film 'Replicas' The film, which premiered at Sundance, was produced by Karin Juhlsrud and Turid Oversveen for Norway's 4 ½ Films. IFC will release the film Nov. 21 in the U.S. Level K is handling international sales on The Sleepwalker and will be present
- Scott Roxborough
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