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10 Minutes With 80s Icon Debra Winger at the Provincetown Film Festival

26 June 2014 11:00 AM, PDT

If you were watching films in the 80s, chances are, you're a fan of Debra Winger. A relative unknown (save for her appearance as Wonder Girl in the "Wonder Woman" TV series), Winger kicked off the decade with a trifecta of hits -- "Urban Cowboy" (1980), "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982) and "Terms of Endearment" (1983) -- that made her a major Hollywood force in the short span of three years. Unfortunately for cinemagoers, that is no longer the case. Fortunately for Winger, that's of her own doing and not because Hollywood stopped fielding her offers. At 40, after a slew of commercial and art house successes, Winger stopped considering parts altogether, favoring a quieter life with her husband (Arliss Howard, who directed her in "Big Bad Love") and three children. She still acts from time to time on projects she's especially passionate about, such as Jonathan Demme's "Rachel Getting Married" and HBO's show "In. »


- Nigel M Smith

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Watch: There's Life After 'Parks and Recreation' for Aubrey Plaza in New 'Life After Beth' Trailer

26 June 2014 10:49 AM, PDT

April Ludgate is going to be up on the big screen! Well, sort of. "Parks and Recreation" breakout and film star in the making Aubrey Plaza is starring in a upcoming zomcom (zombie/romantic comedy) "Life After Death." Jeff Baena's film, following in the undead footsteps of "Warm Bodies," stars Plaza, Dane DeHaan, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Gray Gubler, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines and Paul Reiser. It tells the story of heartbroken Zach (DeHaan), whose girlfriend Beth (Plaza) unexpectedly dies and then mysteriously comes back to life. Read More: Exclusive: Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan in Posters for Zombie RomCom 'Life After Beth' The film premiered at Sundance earlier this year and A24 films will release it theatrically on August 15 in select theaters. Check out the trailer below: »


- Oliver MacMahon

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What Makes a Good Horror Story? Indie Games Have the Answer

26 June 2014 9:40 AM, PDT

Look at the world of both film and indie games, and you’ll find a startling similarity between the two when it comes to creating the perfect horror story. The tricks storytellers pull to make your blood run cold never change; a creaking floorboard, the eerie feeling of being watched, wandering into a world filled with unspeakable terror. In games, however, you cannot simply look away as the basement door slowly creeks open. Every step and every decision rest upon your sweaty fingers. Read More: Why You Need to Pay Attention to the Video Game Industry (In Case You Weren't Already) Indie games allow developers to explore new ways to send a shiver down your spine without having to worry about the bottom line. The games often focus on stories where the main character isn't a gun-toting badass, but simply an ordinary person with a dark past. Many of the »

- Rob Manuel

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The 6 Best Performances by Musicians in Film (Plus the 6 Worst)

26 June 2014 9:19 AM, PDT

This Friday, Maroon 5 frontman and "The Voice" judge Adam Levine will make his feature film debut. Having rock stars, pop stars and musicians appear in movies is nothing new, but what's always up in the air is how good their performance will be. Will Levine's first film turn out to be a strong performance like Eminem in "8 Mile"? Or will he fall into Madonna's "Swept Away" category? We'll find out this weekend, but for now let's take a look at some of the best and worst performances by music artists in film. Let us know if you agree and if we've left anyone out in the comments. Read More: Watch: Adam Levine Asks Everyone How To Act in Featurette for 'Begin Again' Björk in "Dancer in the Dark" (2000)We get that not everybody is a fan of Björk's brand of Icelandic pixie pop. But »


- Indiewire

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How Indie DVD Label Shout! Factory Has Survived the Digital Age

26 June 2014 8:54 AM, PDT

If physical media is dying, as the business pundits have been telling us for years, then someone forget to send the memo to Shout! Factory. Born ten years ago out of the DNA of the original Rhino Records crew, Shout! Factory is the pop culture geek squad of home video and it has carved out a niche in the home video industry—actually, a few niches, from horror and science fiction to cult movies to classic TV. Last year, the company released over 300 titles on Blu-ray and DVD, including a handful of remastered John Carpenter special editions and an impressive box set of Bruce Lee films (everything but "Enter the Dragon") on Blu-ray and DVD. Coming up in 2014 is a deluxe set of 16 Werner Herzog films on Blu-ray (slated for the end of July) and a complete "Halloween" box set, from Carpenter's original to Rob Zombie's revivals, produced in »


- Sean Axmaker

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How Indie DVD Label Shout! Factory Has Survived the Digital Age

26 June 2014 8:54 AM, PDT

If physical media is dying, as the business pundits have been telling us for years, then someone forget to send the memo to Shout! Factory. Born ten years ago out of the DNA of the original Rhino Records crew, Shout! Factory is the pop culture geek squad of home video and it has carved out a niche in the home video industry—actually, a few niches, from horror and science fiction to cult movies to classic TV. Last year, the company released over 300 titles on Blu-ray and DVD, including a handful of remastered John Carpenter special editions and an impressive box set of Bruce Lee films (everything but "Enter the Dragon") on Blu-ray and DVD. Coming up in 2014 is a deluxe set of 16 Werner Herzog films on Blu-ray (slated for the end of July) and a complete "Halloween" box set, from Carpenter's original to Rob Zombie's revivals, produced in »


- Sean Axmaker

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10 Social Media Do's and Don'ts for Filmmakers

26 June 2014 8:51 AM, PDT

Kristin McCracken helped to develop best practices for social media at the Tribeca Film Festival before becoming a social media and content strategist working with individual film and festival clients. Below, in a post originally published on Seed&Spark, McCracken shares helpful social media tips for filmmakers. Last week, Seed&Spark introduced the updated Social Media Handbook 2.0  and focused on 10 Tips For Crowdfunding Filmmakers. By now, maybe you've diligently printed out the Pdf, worked your way through the "Initiate" section, and thought carefully about which platforms to focus on. You've chosen consistent handles, uploaded profile pics and cover photos that reflect your key art, etc.  Read More: 10 Social Media Tips for Filmmakers So now what? What exactly do you talk about every day? Maintaining social media platforms for your film is not entirely different from running your own personal account. The key difference is in your »

- Kristin McCracken

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Music Box Acquires Belgian Online Dating Horror Flick 'Alleluia'

26 June 2014 8:44 AM, PDT

Music Box, the Chicag-based arthouse distribution company, has picked up the U.S. rights to upcoming Belgian horror film "Alleluia," reports Variety.  Director Fabrice du Welz premiered "Alleluia" at The 2014 Cannes Film Festival as part of the Directors' Fortnight section. The film follows a single mother and a gigolo who meet on a dating site and embark on a dark and passionate relationship. The movie is loosely inspired by the story of Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez, which made headlines in the late 40's. "Music Box" also handles distribution for "Ida" and "Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas." "Alleluia" will play at the Karlovy Film Festival on July 4th. A U.S. release date has yet to be announced.  »


- Eric Eidelstein

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Review: Does the Keira Knightley-Starring 'Begin Again' Celebrate the Music Industry or Critique It?

26 June 2014 8:28 AM, PDT

John Carney's low budget 2006 musical romance "Once" was a breakout hit that foregrounded the emotional complexities of its central lovers with delicate tunes. By contrast, "Begin Again" -- which originally featured the more revealing title "Can a Song Save Your Life?" -- revolves around the exploitation of that very same feeling. The story centers on forlorn aspiring British songwriter Gretta (Keira Knightley), who's adrift in Manhattan after getting dumped by her philandering rock star boyfriend (Adam Levine) and being discovered by struggling music producer Dan (Mark Ruffalo). Eager for fresh talent, Dan pushes Gretta to sign with him and record an ambitious outdoors album across the city. She's initially reticent; songwriting is just something that she does. "Begin Again" explores this tension with a blithe attitude that foregrounds several enjoyable melodies performed throughout the movie, but it also feels every bit as commercial as the »


- Eric Kohn

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Watch: Dan Stevens Goes from 'Downton Abbey' to Terrorizing a Family in Trailer for 'The Guest'

26 June 2014 8:11 AM, PDT

Dan Stevens' departure from "Downton Abbey" at the end of Season 3 left fans distraught -- how would the show survive without the beloved Matthew Crawley? (In truth, Season 4 was a bit dull.) But Stevens wanted to pursue other acting projects, one of which is Adam Wingard's "The Guest." Read More: Watch: This Uber Short 'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Teaser Lets Us Know That Change is Coming Stevens plays a soldier who introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action in Afghanistan. But after the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.  From the looks of this trailer, Stevens has left nice guy Matthew behind for good, and has embraced a bit of the bad boy inside. "The Guest" will be released by Picturehouse in September. »


- Casey Cipriani

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IFC Center Takes A Look At Time in Honor of Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood'

26 June 2014 8:09 AM, PDT

Richard Linklater's much-anticipated "Boyhood," which was filmed over 12 years, is a continuation of the director's fascination with time. In honor of the film, IFC Center will host a series of film screenings, all of which focus on the role between people and time.  Beginning July 4th and lasting until the 11th, IFC Center will host "Time Regained: Cinema's Present Perfect," showing 36 films. Among these are all eight Harry Potter adaptations, "The 400 Blows, "Citizen Cane," "Groundhog's Day" and Linklater's own "Before" trilogy.  "Time Regained" will finish up on July 10 with special screenings of two films, Gabe Klinger's upcoming "Double Play," which is a glance at the almost thirty-year friendship between Linklater and experimental filmmaker James Benning and a sneak preview of Linklater's "Boyhood." The "Boyhood" screening will feature a »


- Eric Eidelstein

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Review: David Wain's 'They Came Together,' With Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, is a Hilarious Knock on Romcoms

26 June 2014 8:05 AM, PDT

David Wain's goofy, playful filmmaking approach was first successful with "Hot American Summer," but despite solid work on television ("Childrens Hospital"), he hasn’t made a film that hits that sweet spot of mirthful humor since "Role Models."  Fortunately, he more or less returns to form with "They Came Together," a takedown of romantic comedy traditions of chaotic, irreverent proportions. Reuniting with "Wet Hot American Summer" alums Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd along with co-writer Michael Showalter, Wain has shot a comedy that hits the ceiling of silliness and bursts through the plaster for a view of the upper floor. Every romantic comedy trope is roasted here, mocked and emulated with a wink; the only thing they’re missing to complete this maniacal medley is Kate Hudson. Poehler and Rudd star as Molly and Joel, a seemingly blissful couple regaling an equally blissful married couple (Bill Hader and Ellie Kemper) with the story. »


- Robert Cameron Fowler

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L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Trouble Dolls' Shows You What Happens When Comedy Goes Awry

26 June 2014 7:44 AM, PDT

Some of the most arresting moments in "Trouble Dolls" feature cats. One of them is a house pet named Seagull who dies 10 minutes into the movie. The other, hairless and curiously expressive, is the kind of creature the ancient Egyptians would have rescued first during a fire. The strange contours of its nimble frame stand out even more than they usually would, as it's being held by a woman in desperate need of a friend, its appearance serving as the culmination of an unexpectedly moving scene. Co-writers/directors/stars Jennifer Prediger and Jess Weixler's film is bookended by shots of these two felines, the entire plot branching out of Seagull's untimely passing and leading toward the unnamed other's appearance. Prediger and Weixler play Olivia and Nicole, respectively, two roommates who briefly say goodbye to all that and flee New York for a few days in L.A. This comes after their landlord, »


- Michael Nordine

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The 7 Most Wonderful Things Chaz Ebert Said About Roger Ebert at a 'Life Itself' Screening

26 June 2014 7:24 AM, PDT

New York's Museum of the Moving Image held a screening of "Life Itself," the documentary focusing on late film critic Roger Ebert, followed by a chat with his wife Chaz Ebert, film critic Scott Foundas and filmmaker Ramin Bahrani. Among Bahrani and Foundas praising his work and discussing his influence, Chaz Ebert offered a few insights into his private life, their relationship and Roger's quirks. Here are the seven most charming, wonderful and touching things that Chaz had to say about her late husband. "Life Itself" opens in limited release on July 4. Read More: Roger Ebert's Widow Reveals That the Critic Wanted Philip Seymour Hoffman to Play Him in a Film The Eberts and director Steve James had originally envisioned another angle for the documentary. "Roger said, 'If it's going to be a movie, I want it to be a movie that I would want to see.' So »


- Casey Cipriani

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Heroines of Cinema: 9 Things We Could Learn From Taking a Global Perspective on Women Directors

26 June 2014 7:02 AM, PDT

The level of public consciousness about the barriers faced by female filmmakers is higher than it has ever been. Despite this, the discussion more often than not centres around North America and to a lesser extent, Europe, Australia and New Zealand (and I am guilty as charged). This is perfectly understandable, but clearly women do make films outside of these countries, and it can be illuminating to consider how their experiences reflect or differ from those with which we are more familiar. To this end, the arrival of a new book, "The Celluloid Ceiling," could not be more timely. Edited by Gabrielle Kelly and Cheryl Robson, it takes a purposefully global overview of the status quo and in doing so provides some fascinating stories and insights, reminding us of what is lost when we limit the discussion to Anglophone directors. While there can be no substitute to reading the book »


- Matthew Hammett Knott

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Project of the Day: 'After Spring'

26 June 2014 6:41 AM, PDT

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite. In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments. After Spring Tweetable Logline: Documentary about a Taekwondo school in a Syrian Refugee Camp. Elevator Pitch: A South Korean humanitarian teaches the art of taekwondo to the Syrian children at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Through discipline, structure, and spirituality, Mr. Lee's taekwondo school helps these displaced kids become empowered and find peace as they await their country's future.  This film will follow Charles, his students, and their families by documenting an intimate portrait, showing the diverse complications and challenges millions of people face as refugees. Production Team: Ellen Martinez - Director Stephanie Ching - Producer Jason Howell - Cinematographer Frank Weiss - Cinematographer Brian Kang - Translator About the. »


- Indiewire

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Watch: What America Means To 21 Playwrights in Hal Hartley's 'My America'

25 June 2014 1:20 PM, PDT

Director Hal Hartley ("Simple Men," "The Unbelievable Truth" ) brings us "My America," a film that compiles monologues from 21 playwrights about the collective American identity. Read More: Fandor to Exclusively Stream World Premiere of Hal Hartley's 'My America' The monologues are written by some of America's most renowned playwrights, including Neil Labute, Danny Hoch, Dan Dietz and Marcus Gardley, and are read by actors including Jefferson Mays and Kathleen Chalfant, plus Hartley regular Thomas Jay Ryan. Check out the trailer for the film below, which will be available on Fandor on the Fourth of July.  »


- Eric Eidelstein

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New Institute Announced by Provincetown Film Society Honors Longtime Festival Leader

25 June 2014 1:16 PM, PDT

The Provincetown Film Society, which operates the annual Provincetown International Film Festival, will expand its services to independent filmmakers through the newly announced Gabrielle A. Hanna Provincetown Film Institute. Named for longtime festival director Gabby Hannah, the institute will offer filmmakers an environment for creative exploration with the background of Provincetown's long and colorful history in the arts and culture. Read More: 'One Chance' and 'Alive Inside' Top Provincetown International Film Festival Audience Award Winners Gabby Hanna served as festival director for 13 years, in which time she took the Provincetown International Film Festival from a little-known local showcase to a great stop on the festival circuit. The announcement was made on Sunday at the conclusion of this year's festival. "We created the Institute to support year-round programmatic elements for filmmakers and artists in what is the oldest known artist colony in the U.S.," »

- Brandon Latham

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Watch: Explosive First Look at New Wgn America Series 'Manhattan' is the Bomb

25 June 2014 1:04 PM, PDT

Wgn America has just released a "First Look" video featuring its upcoming original drama series "Manhattan." Created by Sam Shaw ("Masters of Sex"), the show is set in a mysterious 'classified' town in the New Mexico desert, where Frank Winter (John Benjamin Hickey) and his team of brilliant but flawed scientists work on a project they had to keep incredibly secret -- because it would lead to the creation of the atom bomb. The clip, combining first-look footage, behind-the-scenes interviews and commentary, features Shaw, Emmy Award-winning director Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”), along with stars Hickey ("The Big C," "The Good Wife"), Olivia Williams ("Rushmore," "The Ghost Writer"), Ashley Zukerman ("Rush") and Rachel Brosnahan ("House of Cards") revealing why this will be the show that finally puts a human face on the Manhattan Project.  "Manhattan" premieres Sunday »


- Oliver MacMahon

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Opinion: The Thigh Gap is Dead, and 'Orange is the New Black' Killed It

25 June 2014 12:44 PM, PDT

It seems unlikely that I would look to television for affirmations about my body image, especially since just last Wednesday night I watched while a reality housewife got plastic surgery so she could get the "coveted" thigh gap.  A thigh gap, in its most literal sense, is a space between your upper legs, but it has evolved into a mass cultural delusion that suggests the presence of one means you are thin enough to be pretty, while the absence of one means you need to put the pizza down, fattie, and go for a run. However, when you flip through your channels -- network, cable, or otherwise -- you aren't always seeing the types of female characters that would waste precious time worrying about arbitrary beauty standards meant to undermine our images of ourselves. What you do see, instead, is a pushback against this inane delusion. Shows like Netflix's "Orange is the New Black, »


- Sundi Rose-Holt

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