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Saturday Morning Cartoon: ‘Storytime’ with Terry Gilliam

15 hours ago

Happy birthday, Terry Gilliam! Today the director, writer, animator and erstwhile-American turns 74 years old. It’s certainly cause for celebration. Even as a septuagenarian he’s still working. The Zero Theorem only recently opened in the United States, his twelfth feature film as director. There are plenty of ways to pay tribute to the artist and his work with your Saturday, though I’d imagine it’s hard to make the time to watch each of his dozen movies in a row. Instead, if you can carve out just under ten minutes, here’s a more practical option. It’s got more laughs per minute than most of his feature work as well. Storytime is cobbled together from two separate cartoons that Gilliam made for two different TV shows. The first, the diptych of “Don the Cockroach” and “The Albert Einstein Story,” aired on The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine in 1971. Gilliam also did the opening titles for »

- Daniel Walber

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The Uncanny Connections Between This Year’s Best Picture and Best Documentary Oscar Contenders

21 November 2014 11:00 AM, PST

A lot of Best Picture hopefuls each year have documentary counterparts. It makes sense, because biopics and other true stories are great fodder for Oscar bait. Some are as easy as Monster and Milk being linked to Nick Broomfield’s Aileen Wuornos films and The Times of Harvey Milk, respectively, in part because the dramas were directly influenced by their doc predecessors. Others, like Dallas Buyers Club and How to Survive a Plague and Captain Phillips and Stolen Seas are not as officially linked but certainly go together by being about the same real-life subject matter. Occasionally even the fictional contenders are informed by docs, as was Gravity heavily modeled after footage from the IMAX movie Hubble 3D. Lately I’ve noticed a phenomenon where a lot of the 2014 Best Picture candidates are not just easily tied to past documentaries but specifically correspond quite perfectly with docs that are also in contention for Academy Awards this year »

- Christopher Campbell

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7 Glorious Uses of Nick Cave Music in Movies

21 November 2014 10:00 AM, PST

By most accounts, Nick Cave is a particular taste, only occasionally entering pop culture by covering iconic songs or collaborating with pop superstars like Kylie Minogue. Yet the man who “sings every line like a Batman villain” thrives on film. His idiosyncratic brand of storytelling songwriting morphs to the occasion. It’s a strange phenomenon of film – that particular songs about particular experiences can become so universal in the right filmmaker’s hands. But this isn’t merely a songwriter whose early work is continually reembraced and reimagined like Leonard Cohen. Nick Cave is a ghost who haunts cinema with his melancholy and anger, and a noticeable presence within it – creating, scoring and performing for the camera. 20,000 Days on Earth, out this week, reinforces his image as the cinematic preacher, depicting 24 fictional hours of his life, but his life on screen stretches much farther – especially in these 7 glorious uses of his music and presence. Wings of Desire »

- Monika Bartyzel

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7 Things We Need From ‘Zoolander 2′

21 November 2014 9:16 AM, PST

We’ve been hearing rumors about a second Zoolander feature for what seems like years now — hey, it has actually been whole years! — and while we never exactly gave up hope that we would (one day!) suck back another hot batch of orange mocha Frappuccinos with the gang again, we haven’t been holding our breath on the feature. Turns out, that’s a good thing! We, like, totally would have died! But Zoolander 2 does apparently live, and it’s started casting to prove it. Deadline reports that Zoolander 2, set to be directed by star Ben Stiller and with a script by Justin Theroux (remember, he penned Tropic Thunder for Stiller), will feature a part for Penelope Cruz of all starlets, with Stiller back as the Blue Steel-faced model moron, and rumors that we can expect to see both Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell back for more vigorously persisting. There »

- Kate Erbland

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‘Reach Me’ Review: Crowdfunding Gone Horribly Wrong

21 November 2014 8:00 AM, PST

The majority of Reach Me writer/director John Herzfeld‘s credits involve television, from TV series like Rob Lowe’s Dr. Vegas to TV films such as 1997’s Emmy-nominated Don King: Only in America. He’s done a bit of film work, notably 15 Minutes and 2 Days in the Valley, both films with enormous, famous casts that follow the lives of many supporting characters – falling in line closely with his latest. More importantly, he’s buds with Sylvester Stallone, who helped him crowdfund this project. In the movie, a mysterious author (Tom Berenger) has written a self-help book, entitled “Reach Me,” that’s found its way into the hands of many unsuspecting Californians, slowly changing their lives and bringing them together in ways they could not have imagined. Its themes are relevant to all: freed inmates (Kyra Sedgwick), rich rappers (Nelly), and the journalists who pursue its elusive author (Kevin Connolly and Sylvester Stallone). The book will cause »

- Emily Estep

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‘The Frame’ Review: A Sci-Fi Miracle Among the Chaos of Indie Filmmaking

21 November 2014 7:00 AM, PST

Like Christopher Nolan on a budget, writer/director Jamin Winans (Ink) creates worlds where imagination and emotion trump logic and traditional cohesion. That’s not a criticism of either man’s talents — instead it’s just to say that both place a high premium on the way their films make us feel and the ideas we’re left to mull over in our minds once the credits have rolled. Winans’ latest film, The Frame, continues that theme as it presents viewers with a beautiful, sci-fi tinged love story fueled by fate, forgiveness and wonder. Alex (David Carranza) is a criminal with a conscience, but his desire to escape the life puts a target on his back. Sam (Tiffany Mualem) spends her days saving lives as an Emt, but her lonely nights are filled with guilt and shame over past deeds. They lead separate lives where co-workers take the place of real friends, where »

- Rob Hunter

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Broken Projector: Mike Nichols, The Populist Auteur

21 November 2014 6:18 AM, PST

This week the world lost a peerless filmmaker (and Egot winner) who delivered a hot tub full of fantastic films. Mike Nichols put Dustin Hoffman in a compromising position, tortured Meryl Streep and found a grounding commonality even with his most extraordinary characters. We’ll celebrate his work with Professor John Whitehead, author of “Mike Nichols and the Cinema of Transformation,” and try to recapture what made his stories so moving. Plus, Geoff answers your screenwriting questions about third person expository openings (so to speak), the new trend in query letters and whether you should get a script consultant. Double plus, we’ll chat briefly about Bill Cosby and the question of enjoying good art from bad people. You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. Please review us on iTunes Download Episode #77 Directly Or subscribe through iTunes On This Week’s Show: What We Learned »

- Scott Beggs

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Timeliness or Obviousness, Or Do We Need Another ‘1984’ Movie Now?

20 November 2014 2:00 PM, PST

Unless you’re a superhero movie with a release date set way in advance, it’s not easy these days to know when your movie will wind up produced let alone released. A good example is Selma, which despite being about one of history’s greatest real-life superheroes, Martin Luther King Jr., had initially been slated to shoot back in the Spring of 2010. Four years later it finally went in front of cameras, by this time with a new director and distributor attached, as well as an additional producer by the name of Oprah Winfrey. It opens this Christmas, a few months ahead of the 50th anniversary of the landmark events it depicts, the protest marches in support of voting rights in Alabama, and of course it now seems as perfectly timed as can be. Not just because of the anniversary, either. There are plenty factors that make a movie like Selma relevant today. Many »

- Christopher Campbell

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How Movies Like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Sell Sex in Their Trailers

20 November 2014 12:00 PM, PST

Denigrate Fifty Shades of Grey all you want. Call it smut; argue that those who read it are “at increased risk of engaging in binge drinking and having multiple sex partners.” Decry it, for as a piece of Twilight fan-fiction that (as a series) spent 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, it’s literal masturbation material being eaten up to a mass audience. Go ahead and say it right now, if you’d like (I’ll probably agree with you). But for all the flack thrown Fifty Shades‘ way, there’s something curiously admirable about it. Not necessarily to do with the movie, but with its marketing: how a few brave souls have been tasked with repackaging cut-and-paste Twilight fan porn into something appropriate for a prime-time TV spot. To that, a new trailer for Fifty Shades dropped last week. It’s steamy, but also weirdly cold and emotionless. It »

- Adam Bellotto

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This ‘Pitch Perfect 2′ Trailer Is Our Everything Right Now

20 November 2014 11:04 AM, PST

As a large, bearded man whose wardrobe consists of many hooded sweatshirts and whose primary occupation includes typing words into the void, I’m not ashamed of many things. I’m certainly not ashamed of my unabashed love for Pitch Perfect, the 2012 musical comedy about the highly competitive world of collegiate acapella. It starred the adorable Anna Kendrick alongside a host of comedic and musical talents such as Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson and that guy from Workaholics whose name I always get confused with the guy from Maroon 5 (Adam DeVine). If you’ve seen the first film, you know that it’s about as infectious and fun as any movie we, the collective of moviegoers, have seen in the last half decade. And now there’s making a sequel. As a teenaged girl might say, Squeee!! The first Pitch Perfect 2 trailer is now online following a debut at a quote-a-long event in Los Angeles last »

- Neil Miller

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34 Things We Learned from the ‘Housebound’ Commentary

20 November 2014 10:00 AM, PST

One of the more refreshing horror movies to come out lately is the New Zealand comedy Housebound. After an exciting film festival run, the movie has gotten a U.S. home video release. The story is an homage to various horror films, including The Legend of Hell House, The Changeling, and The Evil Dead. Spinning off the ghost hunting craze and borrowing from some home invasion thrillers, Housebound is one of those movies worth seeking out. Recorded in August 2014, before the actors actually saw the final version of the film, the production brain trust took some time to drink beer and watch the movie together. Here is the result. Housebound (2014) Commentators: Gerard Johnstone (writer/director), Ant Timpson (executive producer), Luke Sharpe (producer) 1. The opening of the movie was originally conceived to be much longer with some backstory to Kylie’s (Morgana O’Reilly) friend, but it was edited out for the Atm robbery to be the first »

- Kevin Carr

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Discover Your City Through Its Movie Landmarks

20 November 2014 9:07 AM, PST

Have you ever explored the places where movies were made in your city? We partnered with car2go to explore our own local movie landmarks and we think you should do the same. Click here to see our photo tour of Austin’s most famous movie locations.

"Discover Your City Through Its Movie Landmarks" was originally published on Film School Rejects for our wonderful readers to enjoy. It is not intended to be reproduced on other websites. If you aren't reading this in your favorite RSS reader or on Film School Rejects, you're being bamboozled. We hope you'll come find us and enjoy the best articles about movies, television and culture right from the source. »

- Neil Miller

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Let’s Just Leave That Sony-Dumped Steve Jobs Project in the Big Screen Recycling Bin

20 November 2014 9:00 AM, PST

On the surface, the news is strange: an Aaron Sorkin-penned script — an ambitious one, to boot! — about one of the modern world’s great visionaries just can’t get made. But upon closer examination, it seems clear that Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic was never going to pan out. With the news (via Variety) that Sony has effectively tossed their long-gestating project into a teensy, tiny trash can somewhere (perhaps someone just slid their mouse over an icon, clicked, held, and moved?), it seems as if this feature may never come to fruition. News that Universal may pick up the feature is initially heartening, but we’ve got a better idea: just don’t make it. Or, perhaps more accurately — and yes, far less salaciously — just don’t make it as is. We’ve previously covered the film’s long and winding road to the big screen, and you can refresh yourself with that right here »

- Kate Erbland

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6 Filmmaking Tips from Jean-Luc Godard

20 November 2014 8:00 AM, PST

Jean-Luc Godard’s career has been devoted to both honoring and destroying cinema, to taking it apart and refitting it anew, and to making it speak against those who most often speak for it. Godard’s film’s have addressed a wide range of subjects – from Vietnam to prostitution to revolution to Jane Fonda – but they are, invariably, about cinema. From his Molotov cocktail of a debut, Breathless, to his latest push at the boundaries of form, Goodbye to Language 3D, the former Cahiers du Cinema scribe and New Wave pioneer has made a career out of exploring what can be done with a device as powerful as cinema. At age 83, he remains a tireless essayist of the medium, constantly provoking , questioning and challenging, searching for new ways to redefine and deconstruct what makes cinema work. So upon the release of his latest, here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from »

- Landon Palmer

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First Trailers for ‘American Heist,’ ‘The Age of Adaline,’ ‘Peanuts’ and More

20 November 2014 7:00 AM, PST

New movie trailers drop every day, and it’s not always all that easy to keep up with them. Okay fine, it is easy, but sometimes there just isn’t a lot to say about a film that’s still many months away from release. We covered a few of this week’s offerings already — the big ones (Cinderella), the unfortunate ones (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2), the ones that just annoy us (The Duff) — but there are more that either by accident or intention managed to slip between the cracks. So allow me to bring you up to speed with the rest of this week’s new trailers for movies due out in the months to come. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, but one of them just might just be for a certain upcoming film starring Harrison Ford. Yeah, that’s right. Keep reading for your first look. The »

- Rob Hunter

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What Would It Take to Become ‘The Invisible Man’?

20 November 2014 6:00 AM, PST

One of the most common fantasy powers to have – arguably right up there with flying and super strength – is the power of invisibility. Long before Harry Potter got his invisibility cloak or Susan Storm was given the ability to make herself invisible, H.G. Wells introduced modern popular culture to the double-sided coin this power could hold. Years after Wells wrote his book “The Invisible Man,” Universal Studios adapted the story into a film with Claude Rains, which spawned several inferior sequels. Throughout the years, our fascination with invisibility continued to show, in modern versions of the story by John Carpenter (Memoirs of an Invisible Man) and Paul Verhoeven (Hollow Man) as well as elements of other films like the goofy sci-fi invisible Aston Martin in Die Another Day. In fact, invisibility shows up so much in movies that it got me thinking about it more than I ever did walking past the girls’ shower room while I »

- Kevin Carr

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The Oscar Hopefuls: The Case for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

19 November 2014 12:00 PM, PST

James Gunn’s Marvel space opera Guardians of the Galaxy might just now be making it into our homes — via Digital HD this week and Blu-ray/DVD in a few weeks — but it’s long been on our minds. In fact, Gunn’s foray into massively budgeted comic book territory (namely the far reaches of space) still sits at the top of the 2014 box office rankings, having brought in over $330 million to date. This isn’t always a recipe for success during award season. And seeing as this is a column about award season, you might be wondering why we’re even talking about Marvel’s monster hit of the summer. Well, because this is an award season column that focuses on the movie itself and whether it’s deserving of recognition. And big box office or not, Mr. Gunn’s film has plenty to offer those who hand out golden statues at the end of the »

- Neil Miller

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Bill Cosby and The Problem of Good Art From Bad Artists

19 November 2014 11:05 AM, PST

Yesterday, Roxane Gay published a passionate, compelling and provocative piece on the recent rape accusations that have re-surfaced against Bill Cosby. In the piece, Gay recounts how meaningful The Cosby Show was to her as a child growing up in a black middle-class family, when she was unable to find representations of her world onscreen. She brings this up to demonstrate how Cosby, who has refused to even respond to the accusations except through a lawyer, is hiding behind the goodwill he has earned through his career. As a response, Gay has a clear and simple wish: “We have to demand that his show be taken off the air.” If she was referring to his upcoming show for NBC or his new Netflix comedy special, her words had an immediate impact: both were canceled within 24 hours. But it stands to reason she is also referring to reruns of The Cosby Show. After »

- Noah Gittell

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5 Bad Guys Who Deserve Their Own Movies

19 November 2014 10:00 AM, PST

This year we had Maleficent, and Sony is working on a Sinister Six movie. Wicked has been on the verge of being made for years. Now is the age of the villain film. They’ve moved beyond the horror genre (where Jason and Freddy are the real stars) and now anyone is fair game. I, for one, am stoked. Let’s get some bad guy movies for… 5. Roy Batty from Blade Runner We all know the line. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhauser gate, yada yada. Let’s see those things! Let’s get a tragic story of the life and death of Roy Batty. What did he (and the other replicants, why not) do before Deckard came for them? I would absolutely love to see a movie about Roy from birth to death. There’s a lot that can happen in four years, and »

- Ashe Cantrell

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‘The Duff’ Trailer and The Breakdown of the Cinematic Parody Cycle

19 November 2014 9:00 AM, PST

You’d be forgiven if you watched the first trailer for Ari Sandel‘s The Duff and believed that you were watching a trailer for a new parody feature, in the vein of Not Another Teen Movie or Epic Movie. After all, this first trailer hits all the beats of parody, filled with the kind of worn-out tropes and flaccid observations about teen life that would not be out of place with a poorly received nineties teen comedy or a tongue-in-cheek send-up from the aughts. The problem, of course, is that The Duff is a straightforward feature. In short terms, it’s all real. As our friends over at UpRoxx note, “someone has made an unsatirical Not Another Teen Movie,” one that even uses the old “this girl who wears overalls is unattractive and we know that because she wears overalls” trick. And it’s certainly an old trick. It’s just too bad it hasn’t »

- Kate Erbland

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