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SXSW 2015 Interview: Julien Temple On Life, Death, And The Ecstacy Of Wilko Johnson

28 March 2015 9:00 AM, PDT

Julien Temple, with his numerous music documentaries behind him - many involving his pals, The Sex Pistols - may be no stranger to the rock documentary, but there is nothing quite like his new film, The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson. For one, even though the film is about his dear friend Wilko Johnson, with its meditation on life, death, and the meaning we assign to this thing we call living, Ecstasy is Temple's most personal film to date.The project arose upon receiving the tragic news that his good friend Wilko Johnson, former Dr. Feelgood front man, had been told he had only 10 months to live. His initial interviews with Johnson had less to do with making a film than they did documenting the final...

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New Directors/New Films 2015: 10 Notable Selections From An Impressive Slate

28 March 2015 8:00 AM, PDT

As this year's edition of New Directors/New Films, co-programmed by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art, winds up (it closes tomorrow), the festival once again confirms its stellar reputation for introducing New Yorkers to audacious and vital new talent. Even the most jaded moviegoer could find plenty of fresh perspectives and approaches to filmmaking. Below are 10 of the most notable titles I was able to catch at this year's festival. For more information, and to purchase tickets for the remaining screenings, visit the festival's website....

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Crowdfund This! The Devil On Wheels Wants To Take A Drive With Spielberg's Duel

28 March 2015 7:00 AM, PDT

With the recent success of both Jodorowsky's Dune and Lost Soul, the documentary on the never-made feature is alive and well. This success has, in some small part, fueled the desire to know more about certain cult films that were such unlikely successes. Director Enric Folch and his team want to examine in detail the cult-curio that launched Steven Spielberg's feature film career: Duel. A lowly TV Movie-Of-The-Week shot in 1971 over 13 days with no film stars, the visceral idea of a terrifying truck, whose driver we never see, for no apparent reason chases a lone driver along the desert roads of Southern California. Years before The Road Warrior, Jaws, and even The Hitcher, this tiny-budgeted film has planted deep roots of influence across genre cinema,...

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Spectre: 007 Will Tangle With The Crime Syndicate In Teaser Trailer

27 March 2015 7:00 PM, PDT

The first teaser trailer for Spectre has arrived and it is very much a moody affair. It is limited in action but heavy in atmosphere. Just as the production has been mum on the plot details so is this trailer light on action. In fact it is mostly just a lot of people standing, including a brief glimpse of Bond Girl Monica Bellucci. But there is good old Christoph Waltz at the end, waiting for Bond in the shadows. A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind Spectre.I am sure that the action will come...

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Pilgrimage: Next Film From Love Eternal Director Begins Shoot

27 March 2015 2:30 PM, PDT

Irish filmmaker Brendan Muldowney (Love Eternal) will begin production in April on Pilgrimage, an action film set in 13th Century Ireland. Filming will happen on the west coast of Ireland and in the Ardennes region of Belgium. The cast includes Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead and Fury), Richard Armitage (The Crucible) and Tom Holland (The Impossible) who will wrap up shooting Backcountry in Northern Ontario, Canada this weekend. Pilgrimage follows a small group of monks as they undertake a treacherous pilgrimage to escort their monastery's holiest relic to Rome. Love Eternal producer Conor Barry will produce again, alongside John Keville from Savage Productions. While in Belgium they will be helped by Benoit Roland from Wrong Men North. Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian from Xyz Films will executive produce. Xyz...

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The Magnificent Seven: Vincent D'Onofrio In Talks To Be The Villain

27 March 2015 1:30 PM, PDT

Variety is reporting that Vincent D'Onofrio is in talks to play the bad guy in Antoine Fuqua's interpretation of the western The Magnificent Seven. Fuqua is shoring up his cast as production is expected to begin within the next month. Denzel Washington has been attached from the get-go. Then Chris Pratt was hired followed by Washington's Training Day partner Ethan Hawke. Haley Bennett landed the lead female role. ...

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Things Get Creepy In Norway's Villmark 2 Trailer

27 March 2015 1:00 PM, PDT

Norway's Pål Øie made huge waves with his 2003 horror effort Villmark (Dark Woods) but despite a significant box office success Øie has helmed only one feature since - 2009 effort Hidden - and now returns with a sequel to his early success.An old sanatorium is deteriorating in an isolated forest in the mountains. The elderly janitor is still living there to ensure that no one access the dangerous building. Five contract workers have taken on the task of tracking the huge building for hazardous waste before it's demolished. Over 300 rooms and kilometres of pipelines have to be screened in three days. They realize that the job is more than a search for asbestos and mercury when they encounter the building's frightening past. Water...

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Fight The Communist Threat With New Capitao Falcao Trailer

27 March 2015 11:30 AM, PDT

When traditional fascist values are under attack Portugal knows where to turn: Capitao Falcao will save them! Joao Leitao's tongue in cheek deconstruction of the Salazar years hits Portuguese screens April 23rd and has just released a new trailer for the film on its official Facebook page. An explosion of color and luxurious Marxist beards, we've been tracking the Batman - of the Adam West variety - inspired for ages now and it looks like a gloriously good time. Check out the trailer below....

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Deadpool Bears It All In First Still

27 March 2015 11:15 AM, PDT

Yup, after much talk the Ryan Reynolds starring big screen outing for Deadpool is under way and the Merc With A Mouth is doing his very best Burt Reynolds impression in the first released image from the set.Based upon Marvel Comics' most unconventional anti-hero, Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.Tim Miller directs with Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, and Gina Carano also starring. Check out the image below and remember you can click to enlarge....

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Time Lapse: U.S. Release Date For Bradley King's Time Travel Thriller

27 March 2015 11:00 AM, PDT

XLrator Media has set a date for Bradley King's time travel thriller Time Lapse. The film will release in cinemas and on VOD on May 15th. But you already knew that. Yesterday.When you watch King's film you will get that. When three friends discover this mysterious machine in their neighbor's apartment, they encounter a number of pressing questions, not least of which is the whereabouts of their neighbor. Realizing the potential impact of the machine, Finn (Matt O'Leary), Jasper (George Finn), and Callie (Danielle Panabaker) attempt to cash in on their discovery.  But, when a dangerous criminal learns their secret, the friends must set aside their differences and confront the paradox of a future that was once predetermined and entirely uncertain. XLrator is releasing the film through their...

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Review: Erbarme Dich - MATTHÄUS Passion Stories Targets The Purpose Of Sadness

27 March 2015 10:00 AM, PDT

(Don't feel bad, feel worse! Then, listen to exquisite music...) A documentary about classical music does, on paper, not seem to be a crowd-pleaser. Yet Ramón Gieling's Erbarme Dich - Matthäus Passion Stories was one of the big surprises at this year's International Film Festival Rotterdam, becoming one of the highest-rated films by audiences and critics alike. It also got a theatrical release, something pretty unusual for a Dutch documentary, especially one planned to be released on DVD mere weeks later. Then again, Erbarme Dich - Matthäus Passion Stories may not actually be a documentary. Despite its title, it doesn't tell you much about the 'Matthäus Passion', or its composer Johann Sebastian Bach. It doesn't show the history behind the piece, and it doesn't tell...

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Sahamongkol Blocks Furious 7 From Release In Thailand Over Tony Jaa Contract Dispute

27 March 2015 9:30 AM, PDT

The ongoing drama between Thai star Tony Jaa and Sia Jiang - the head of Thailand's Sahamongkol studio for whom Jaa starred in Ong Bak and Tom Yum Goong - continues with word that Jiang has been granted a court injunction blocking the release of Furious 7 in Thailand pending resolution of an ongoing contract dispute between the Thai studio and the star.For those needing a primer on the dispute - we first reported on it here with a response from Jaa's management here - what it boils down to is this. When he initially joined Sahamongkol, Jaa signed a highly restrictive 10 year contract with the studio that prevented him from doing any work with anyone else anywhere in the world without the permission...

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Interview: Co-Director Juliano Salgado Talks Trials And Tribulations Of Making The Salt Of The Earth

27 March 2015 9:00 AM, PDT

Making The Salt of the Earth was a labor of love for co-director Juliano Salgado. If you've seen the film, then you know the subject, Sebastião Salgado, is his father. Interviewing Juliano was one of the most surreal experiences I've had as a journalist -- you could, at moments, see the pain in his eyes and how much he wears his heart on his sleeve when talking about his father -- who's known for his amazing work as a humanitarian photographer -- and the struggles of making the film. This is a very long interview, but folks who've seen this film will surely finish to the last word. There's a lot discussed here: from the difficulties of working with his estranged father, to bringing acclaimed filmmaker Wim Wenders on...

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The Many Faces Of Ray Stevenson

27 March 2015 8:00 AM, PDT

Currently number one in Us cinemas, Divergent: Insurgent shows there can still be some financial life in young-adult franchises. A look at its cast list reveals an impressive list of supporting actors, including Ray Stevenson, so let's make him the subject of this week's quiz! Ray Stevenson is often cast as a brute, be it a hero or a villain, and it's easy to see why: the man has a certain violent charisma, as if he promises to explode any minute, and he has the physique to make good on that promise too. Being pegged like that might be a death-knell for an actor, but instead, Ray Stevenson has built an impressive resumeé of memorable roles over the years. In fact, seeing his name attached...

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SXSW 2015 Interview: On The Offspring Of Monsters, Morgan Krantz Talks Babysitter

27 March 2015 7:00 AM, PDT

There is a scene very early in Morgan Krantz's Babysitter that made me shut my eyes. Sitting there, eyes closed, I was no longer hearing the young mother, played by Valerie Azlynn, frantically telling her ex-husband it's time to play hardball now that he's turned off the family's cable and cell phones. I was back in Virginia, barely eleven, in my bedroom hearing my mother yell at my father for a similar act of petty financial aggression. That was when I started to realize that our parents aren't always the ones who protect us from monsters, sometimes our parents are the monsters and at times, we have to protect ourselves from them anyway we know how. In Babysitter, we meet high schooler Ray (Parenthood's Max...

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SXSW 2015 Interview: The Implicit Politics of Jay Dockendorf's Naz & Maalik

27 March 2015

The two kids pictured above, the leads in Jay Dockendorf's Naz & Maalik, are Muslim, gay, and black -- in Bed-Stuy, no less. As an audience member you fear for them. Only to realize that they are one step ahead of you. To embody all three of these identities is to walk with a strength only fear can grant you. Yet, Jay Dockendorf doesn't give the beautiful young men at the center of Naz & Maalik any chance to register that fear as they move through the city hawking their wares, saving up for a chance to get away. Around every corner is a threat that could dismantle their lives: an FBI agent who has been following them for days, a family member who may...

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Terminator Genisys Living Poster Makes Schwarzenegger's Head Explode

27 March 2015 1:30 AM, PDT

Speaking frankly, Terminator Genisys is struggling to arouse any genuine interest in me right now. Obviously I loved the first two, thought the end of Rise of the Machines excused everything that came before it, and - hey! - actually kind of enjoyed Terminator: Salvation the one time I watched it. So what gives this time round?Perhaps it's because it doesn't feel like it is really trying anything new. I know they want us to forget about the Bale/McG outing, and that's fine, but this just screams remake while simultaneously employing icons from the original like Arnold Schwarzenegger, as if to say "We have nothing new to add, so here's some of the shit you loved".I have no problem with a sequel, remake or reboot...

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Check Out The Full Trailer For Sono Sion's Shinjuku Swan

26 March 2015 11:30 PM, PDT

Well, it was only a matter of time before Sony Pictures Japan would reveal the first full Shinjuku Swan trailer. They've done so by unleashing a truly badass trailer for Sono Sion's highly anticipated live-action crime drama. The trailer comes with plenty of new footage showing off additional cast members, new locations, beautiful girls, tough guys, and of course, fighting.The maverick Japanese helmer is going to explore some of the deepest corners of Kabukichō, Tokyo's infamous entertainment district, and he's brining young stars Go Ayano (Rurouni Kenshin, Gatchaman), Sawajiri Erika (Ghost Train, Helter Skelter), Yamada Takayuki (Ikigami, Crows Zero), Iseya Yusuke (Casshern, Sukiyaki Western Django) and others along for the crazy and bloody ride.Here's a short spoiler-free synopsis of the picture:Shiratori Tatsuhiko works as a scout...

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Toronto Japanese Film Fest Announces 2015 Lineup

26 March 2015 6:00 PM, PDT

The 2015 edition of the Toronto Japanese Film Fest runs from June 11th through 26th this Summer. The festival is announcing their lineup tonight at a monthly screening and we get to be the first to share it with you as well. The festival is also announcing that they will be screening film in Vancouver as well, at the National Nikkei Heritage Museum and Cultural Centre. Toronto screenings will be held again at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.What will attendees get to see this year? A geisha version of My Fair Lady. A number of period films. One of the latest films from perennial TwitchFilm fave Asano Tadanobu. In all there will be 19 films screened during the festival, many will have their Canadian or North...

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Sundays: Warner Bros Gets Rights To Make Micha Rozema's Short Into A Feature

26 March 2015 5:30 PM, PDT

Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. has won the rights to turn Micha Rozema's short film Sundays into a feature film. Rozema shared his short film with the world on Monday and at least three major studios were reported to bid for a chance to turn it into a full length film. As the story goes Sundays was originally pitched as a feature length film. Rather than do that Rozema was persuaded to create a short film version first. Then a successful Kickstarter campaign was launched to crowdfund the short verison. Though Rozema may already have an idea what a feature length Sundays film will look like, he is reportedly meeting with Warner Bros. in a couple weeks to discuss the next step, where WB will...

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