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Famed Whistleblowers Speak Out at Tribeca Film Festival Screening of 'Silenced'

10 hours ago

Despite currently serving a thirty-month prison sentence, John Kiriakou’s presence was deeply felt this weekend during Tribeca Film Festival's screening of "Silenced," a documentary by Oscar-nominated filmmaker James Spione. The film follows Kiriakou’s account of learning of and exposing the CIA’s use of torture as well as his subsequent trial and guilty verdict for disclosing classified files to a reporter. His wife was present at the post-screening panel to read, on his behalf, a statement in which he maintains his unstirred devotion to his country and its democratic ideals.In addition to providing the significant details on his case as well as those of fellow whistleblower Thomas Drake and their legal advisor Jesselyn Radack, the film gives a personal context to the process and aftermath of whistleblowing. It felt fitting, then, to have Kiriakou’s wife become emotional at the letter’s mention of their son’s »


- Melina Gills

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Tribeca Film Festival: Bryan Cranston on the Grossest Scene in 'Breaking Bad' & Why Audiences Loved Walter White

10 hours ago

It's only fitting that Bryan Cranston would appear on the Tribeca Innovation Week panel devoted to "Psychos We Love," because, after all, who makes a more lovable psycho than "Breaking Bad's" Walter White as personified by Cranston? Playing White was "catnip...You get a character like this once in a career, if you're lucky," said Cranston, who thinks that audiences were drawn to the chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin because he's "relatable. The more complex a character is and the more honestly a character is depicted, it touches people and it resonates through them." Walter is much more nuanced and even sympathetic than your typical archetypical bad guy. "It was done very craftily so a psychopath is more interesting to watch in a drama because they are just more interesting," said Cranston. "In days gone by, there were the bad guys of poorly written material who were just bad -- no reason, »


- Paula Bernstein

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Watch Griffin Dunne Trek To A Weird Woodsy Reenactment Camp in 'The Discoverers' Trailer

11 hours ago

"The Discoverers" is Justin Schwarz's feature debut, a dysfunctional family road trip tale with some quirky, unprecedented elements. Griffin Dunne stars as tired history professor, who is faced with the challenge of bringing together his disconnected family, including but not limited to his deadpan teen kids (Madeleine Martin from "Californication" and Devon Graye of "American Horror Story") and his crazed Lewis-and-Clark-obsessed father (Stuart Margolin). The film will be released in NYC May 16 and in La May 30. If you think you'll find a standard array of caricatures in this bittersweet comedy, check out the trailer: you'll be pleasantly surprised. »


- Taylor Lindsay

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Tribeca: Kevin Spacey on Why Theater Will Always Trump Film, and how Shakespeare Prepped Him For 'House of Cards'

11 hours ago

"I am a theater rat," announced Kevin Spacey last night to a Tribeca Film Festival crowd gathered for a festival panel centered on the making of "Now: In The Wings On A World Stage," a documentary chronicling the first trans-Atlantic theater troupe, the Bridge Project Company, as they took "Richard III" around the world. After viewing the film, two things became very clear: 1) "World Stage" is no understatement, as the 20 British and American actors and director Sam Mendes traveled and performed in Greece, Italy, Beijing, Australia, New York, and beyond, and 2) that being a "theater rat" involves grueling work, vivid adventures, pain, passion, humor, and verve. Spacey, director Jeremy Whelehan, and company members Jeremy Bobb, Hadyn Dwynne and Gemma Jones sat down following the film and talked about traveling the world, "House of Cards," and why theater will always trump film for Spacey. Here are fun facts from the event: »


- Taylor Lindsay

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Watch: The Final Episode of 'The It Crowd' is Finally Available in the U.S. Thanks to Hulu

12 hours ago

After debuting internationally in 2013, the final episode (and "season") of "The It Crowd" has finally made its way over to the United States thanks to Hulu. The television streaming giant and one of the early internet adopters of original programming has made the 46-minute final episode of Britain's hit sitcom available on Hulu and Hulu Plus beginning today, April 22nd. "The Internet is Coming" is the first, last, and only episode of what can only loosely be called "The It Crowd's" fifth season. After premiering in 2006, the comedy created by Graham Linehan took a few years off in between its third, fourth, and fifth season, but still won the BAFTA award for Best Situaion Comedy in 2009. It stars Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson as technical support workers spending their day's as slaves to the man, aka Delightful Industries.  Starring Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson, "The It Crowd »


- Ben Travers

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Bennett Miller's 'Foxcatcher' Will Head From Cannes to Theaters On November 14th

12 hours ago

A week after it made the lineup for the Cannes Film Festival's Official Competition, Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" officially has a release date. Distributor Sony Pictures Classics has set an awards season-hungry date of November 14th for the film, roughly a year after it had originally been set for release. But while those kind of delays often bring bad buzz, its Cannes berth and new date clearly suggest there's a lot of potential for the film, the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and their relationship with the eccentric John du Pont (Steve Carell), heir to the du Pont Chemical fortune that led to murder. The film is produced by Megan Ellison under her company Annapurna Pictures, as well as, Miller, Jon Kilik, and Anthony Bregman. The cast also includes Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, and Anthony Michael Hall. Notably, Miller's »


- Peter Knegt

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Tribeca: Rory Culkin on Giving His Everything to 'Gabriel' and Why He Always Views His Own Films

13 hours ago

Ever since memorably appearing as Mel Gibson's son in M. Night Shyamalan's 2002 hit "Signs," Rory Culkin has shied away from big projects, favoring indies with roles he can sink his teeth into. He had a great run as a teen actor, impressing in "Mean Creek," "Down in the Valley" and "Lymelife." Now 24, Culkin shows he has what it takes to lead a film in Lou Howe's assured feature film debut "Gabriel" (currently screening at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival). In "Gabriel," Culkin stars as the titular character, a young man struggling with mental issues in the wake of his father's suicide. It's a performance that Indiewire's Eric Kohn praised as Culkin's "best." "Appearing in every scene," Kohn wrote, "the actor imbues Gabriel with a wily attitude; while recovering from a meltdown that precedes the start of the story, he's always on the brink of another one." Indiewire sat »


- Nigel M Smith

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Rooftop Films Reveals Lineup For 18th Summer Series; 'Obvious Child' to Open

14 hours ago

Rooftop Films has announced the feature film lineup for their 18th annual summer series. This year's lineup of outdoor screenings will feature over 45 films. The event kicks off May 16 with a series of shorts followed the next night by a special sneak preview of Gillian Robespierrre's hit Sundance comedy "Obvious Child." Other highlights include other festival hits like Craig Johnson's "The Skeleton Twins," starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, Michael Winterbottom's sequel to "The Trip," "The Trip to Italy," Michael Tully's coming-of-age comedy "Ping Pong Summer," and the oddball "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter," from the Zellner brothers. "This is a tremendous year in independent cinema," said Dan Nuxoll, Program Director for Rooftop Films, "and I am particularly impressed by how many of the year’s breakthrough works are also tremendously entertaining films. Many of the films in this year’s Rooftop slate technically exist within the boundaries of traditional mainstream genres, »


- Nigel M Smith

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The 20 Highest Grossing Indies of 2014 (A Running List)

14 hours ago

Here's a chart of 2014's twenty highest grossing films (so far, clearly) tracked by Indiewire's box office charts. It's not exactly an impressive list just yet, with Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" easily at the top, though "Gloria,"" Tim's Vermeer" and the 2014 Oscar short film program all warrant mention as success stories. The list should evolve drastically into the Spring, with a much more aggressive specialty release schedule in place (compared to January and February, when most specialty distributors were still focused on their 2013 Oscar hopefuls). Note this list only includes North American grosses for specialty films -- indie, foreign and/or documentary -- that opened in limited release (initially under 500 screens) in 2014 and were released by an independent distributor or a studio specialty division. It also includes films that screened only as an Academy-qualifier in 2013 ("Tim's Vermeer,"  etc). Grosses as of April 22, 2014. 1. The Grand »


- Peter Knegt

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Tribeca Review: How the Anton Yeltchin Drama '5 to 7' Represents the Worst Aspects of the 'Famous Writer' Genre

15 hours ago

There is an entire genre of films about a young man yearning to be a famous writer. A blank, unpublished slate at the film's beginning, these mild-turning-bold characters lose their innocence and find a topic — usually heartbreak — discovering themselves by the end credits. Perhaps it's ripe fodder for cinema because people are reading fewer books these days? "5 to 7" represents the worst scenario of the genre. It opens unpromisingly with the hero, Brian Bloom (Anton Yeltchin) announcing in a precious voice-over that the best writing can be found on the benches of Central Park. The worst writing is in the rejection letters he pins to his walls from magazines to which he has submitted his work. (Apparently, no one in this film communicates via email). Such are the quirky writer-ly details that inform his character. With no identifiable job, this 24 year-old would-be writer meets Arielle (the stunningly beautiful Bérénice Marlohe), an attractive 33 year-old French woman. »


- Gary M. Kramer

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How Did the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival Filmmakers Crowdfund (If At All?)

15 hours ago

Nowadays, it's not surprising for the bulk of films screening at top film festivals to have turned to crowdfunding for at least part of their budget. Of course, some films used crowdfunding for finishing funds while others used the platforms to raise the entire budget -- and projects' goals varied dramatically (in the case of Tribeca films, they ranged from just above $15,000 to nearly $250,000). Below we break down which films at Tribeca used which crowdfunding platforms (and include links to the original campaign pages), as well as how much they raised. The experience of crowdfunding was "Wonderful, loads of work, love our supporters for helping us get the film made," said "An Honest Liar" director Justin Weinstein. "I would like to have a big party just to thank them, but I don't think that's how they want us to spend their money." Meanwhile, Kickstarter has published a blog post which »


- Paula Bernstein

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Women & 'Game of Thrones': How 'Breaker of Chains' Broke the Bechdel Test

16 hours ago

HBO's massive medieval hit "Game of Thrones" gets plenty of attention for a variety of qualities. Its shocking twists, gruesome deaths, and many battle scenes -- sometimes all arriving at once -- are trademarks. Heck, Indiewire even has a weekly power ranking of who's most likely to die next. In the midst of all this madness are the oft-ignored women who populate the show. From Daenerys Targaryen to Cersei Lannister to Sansa Stark to the countless naked prostitutes, the women of "Game of Thrones" play an integral role in a show that often treats them like pieces of meat. While gender inequality may be an accepted custom of the invented time period -- Daenerys is certainly working to change that -- it isn't for the viewers who watch every week. This column will serve as a recap and analysis of what Daenerys, Cersei, Sansa, and the lesser known ladies go through each week, »


- Ben Travers

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Aaron Sorkin On Why He Could Never Write An Episode of 'Breaking Bad' and 6 More Highlights from His Tribeca Film Festival Talk

16 hours ago

Aaron Sorkin kicked off the Tribeca Film Festival's Tribeca Talks: Future of Film series last night with a conversation with President Obama's former speechwriter Jon Favreau ("the other Jon Favreau") that encompassed his work on films such as "A Few Good Men" and "The Social Network" as well as TV series "The West Wing" and "The Newsroom" and issues of heroism and storytelling. Sorkin came off as surprisingly humble. "I haven't become an expert in anything," he told the audience. "I'm not sophisticated when it comes to politics, when it comes to journalism. I'm not as smart as the characters are - or, as you can see - as articulate." Here are some highlights from the talk: 1. He could never write an episode of "Breaking Bad." "I tend to write very idealistically and very romantically," said Sorkin. "I have a very bad time with bad guys -- almost as soon as I write one, »


- Paula Bernstein

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Watch: 'Blue is the Warmest Color' Star Adele Exarchopoulos Seems Anything But 'Insecure' in New French Trailer 'Qui Vive'

16 hours ago

Adele Exarchopoulos seems destined to be unlucky in love. After her breakout role in last year's Cannes' winner "Blue is the Warmest Color," the French actress has taken on another romantic story in which her character faces real issues with her partner.  Though the trailer below is entirely in French with no subtitles, it seems fairly easy to pick out plot points in "Qui Vive," or its English title, "Insecure." "Zero Dark Thirty" and "A Prophet" star Reda Kateb works either as security or as a store manager where he has to interact with some low life, possibly gang-affiliated hoodlums. After the incident, he meets a gorgeous woman (Exarchopoulos) and continues on with his life until the same troublemakers start things up again in front of his lady. Kateb's character reacts violently, causing relationship issues and more trouble with those damn youths. While gang culture and anger management seem like themes of "Insecure, »


- Ben Travers

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Nantucket Film Festival Announces Lineup, Including 'Skeleton Twins,' 'I Origins,' and Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood'

16 hours ago

The 2014 Nantucket Film Festival has announced the centerpiece, opening and closing films to be featured at the festival, which runs June 25-30. The festival will open with "The Skeleton Twins," starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as estranged siblings with a new bond. The opening day will also include a screening of Pixar shorts. The festival will also screen Mike Cahill's "I Origins," a drama sci-fi mystery with Michael Pitt and Brit Marling, as its centerpiece. Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," a coming-of-age epic from Richard Linklater will serve as its closing night entry. The full feature film lineup is also complete: check out the list below. 112 Weddings Documentary Feature Director: Doug Block Director Doug Block’s previous films, 51 Birch Street and The Kids Grow Up, explore universal themes of love, marriage, and family as revealed through his personal experiences. For the past two decades, Block has supported his filmmaking career by documenting the. »


- Taylor Lindsay

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Tribeca Review: How Italian Box Office Hit 'Human Capital' Addresses the Financial Crisis

16 hours ago

If you ascribe to the theory that European films have to be twice as good to get half as far in America — or to get here at all -- then some of the better filmmakers in Europe are currently on an angry tear about economic malpractice, privileged elites, cultural degradation and soulless capitalism. The Greeks, with no money to speak of, are in the middle of a cinematic insurgency. The French, always conflicted about money and power, have become more so. And this year's foreign language Oscar went to a film – Paolo Sorrentino's "The Great Beauty" -- that was nothing if not a condemnation of trash-and-trauma years of Silvio Berlusconi, and the spiritual blight he carried like a virus. Sorrentino's fellow Italian Paolo Virzi is not quite as overtly indignant as his Oscar-winning compatriot. And his "Human Capital" works as an intricately structured soap opera. But it is also »


- John Anderson

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Tribeca Review: Legos Are Hotter Than Ever. This New Documentary Tells You Why.

17 hours ago

Documentaries about fan cultures tend to stem from the same impulses that give rise to their subjects — which is to say, they celebrate more than they analyze, rarely questioning the marketing forces behind the groups in question. From "Star Trek" fandom overview "Trekkies" to "We Are Wizards," which gives the same treatment to Harry Potter acolytes, these movies survey the sheer power of super fans to wrestle control of the products they love — but rarely address how they’re inadvertently providing free promotional duties. But since the fans don’t ask the hard questions, why should the documentaries about them? It’s no surprise, then, that "Beyond the Brick: A Lego Brickumentary" has many of the ingredients of a glorified infomercial, particularly given the keen timing of its film festival premiere just a few months after the release of mega-hit "The Lego Movie." But directors Daniel Junge and Kief Davidson »


- Eric Kohn

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Cannes Reveals 2014 Directors' Fortnight Lineup; 'Whiplash' and 'Cold in July' Make the Cut

18 hours ago

Today the 2014 Cannes Film Festival revealed the Cannes Directors' Fortnight lineup. Among this year's highlights are "Queen and Country," John Boorman's first feature film in eight years, Frederick Wiseman's new documentary "The National Gallery," Bruno Dumont's police procedural "Li'l Quinquin," this year's Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner "Whiplash" and Jim Mickle's Texan noir "Cold in July," which also premiered at Sundance. The newly restored version of Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," which premiered at SXSW, will also screen. Read More: Trailers for Cannes 2014 Titles Including 'Maps to the Stars,' 'Foxcatcher' and 'The Rover'Full lineup below: Special Screenings The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Tobe Hooper Li’l Quinquin Bruno Dumont Feature Competition Halleluiah Fabrice Du Welz (Belgium/France) Next to Her Asaf Korman (Israel) Catch Me Daddy Daniel Wolfe (UK) Cold in July Jim Mickle (USA) Fighters Thomas Cailley (France) Gett Le Proces de »


- Indiewire

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8 Tips About How to Make a Micro-Budget Action Film

18 hours ago

As indie filmmakers, we're often limited to shooting in contained spaces with no extras, no stunts, no effects, and no elaborate props or design -- great limitations that have made for some incredibly brilliant films throughout the years.But as filmmakers continue to embrace technology, I’ve developed an itch to direct an action-adventure micro-budget blockbuster, and am currently raising funds on Kickstarter to shoot MacK Luster. Having spent the last handful of years in development, I have learned a few things about how to get a micro-budget action film off the ground. Some may seem obvious at first, but you'd be surprised how many people dive right in before taking the time to prepare.Below are 8 tips for those of you looking to blow the roof of your next indie: 1. Take time with your script.This applies to anyone making a film and it doesn’t change for those »

- Jared Drake

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'Die Hard,' '8 Mile' and 'Alice in Wonderland': Here Are the Films That Inspired This Year's Tribeca Filmmakers

18 hours ago

With the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival in full swing, we sent out a questionnaire to filmmakers with films in competition in which they tell us all the significant details of how their films came to be created. Among the questions asked was the inspiration behind each of their films, leading to a wide variety of answers that range from documentaries ("Salesman," "War Room") to foreign films ("Breathless," "La Dolce Vita"), from big-budget studio blockbusters ("Jaws," "Die Hard") to micro-budget indies ("El Mariachi," "Halloween"), from stark high-brow dramas ("Network," "Mean Streets") to lovably goofy comedies ("Caddyshack," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"). Here are some of the most eclectic selections from the 2014 Tribeca filmmakers: Onur Tukel ("Summer of Blood"): There are four movies that inspired "Summer of Blood." Robert Bierman's "Vampire's Kiss," Mary Harron's "American Psycho," Larry Fessenden's "Habit," and Rick Alverson's "The Comedy." For the record, my favorite horror. »


- Ziyad Saadi

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