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Jason Segel Channels David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour'

4 hours ago

"The End of the Tour" opens as David Lipsky hears about the death of David Foster Wallace, unearths the audiotapes he used to record an earlier interview with Wallace and puts fresh batteries into his Sony Tape Recorder (the same model I still own). The journalism rings true, as do the debates between two wily writers. Jesse Eisenberg plays the alert and slightly envious novelist Lipsky opposite lanky Jason Segel as Wallace, who was uncomfortable with all the kudos he was getting for his postmodern novel "Infinite Jest."  Lipsky told me at Sundance that he was relieved at the time that he didn't have to write the feature, as other things came up and pushed it aside. Segel says the movie is like the trajectory of a relationship as they first meet, start to know each other, get comfortable, then intimate, then angry, and break up. They never met again. »


- Anne Thompson

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First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films

6 hours ago

It's a joyous day for lit buffs as not one, but two Emily Dickinson projects are coming up. While director Terence Davies beavers away at his long-awaited Dickinson biopic "A Quiet Passion" starring Cynthia Nixon—and readies another film, "Sunset Song," for Tiff this September—the film's team is working on a doc about the poet. UK production company, Hurricane Films is looking to release "Phosphorescence: Words Into Shining Light" by 2016 through the help of a new Kickstarter campaign. Starting today, and ending August 28, the crowdfunding effort hopes to raise enough money to cover both the feature's production and post-production costs. It's directed by Davies' longtime producer Sol Papadopoulos, and set to be narrated by Nixon. Meanwhile, Terence Davies' highly anticipated Dickinson biopic, "A Quiet Passion," starring Nixon as the reclusive American poet opposite Jennifer Ehle, has wrapped filming in Belgium. Produced by Papadopoulos, the »


- Ruben Guevara

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Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated)

7 hours ago

Update: Relativity Media officially filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday after laying off 75 staffers yesterday and extricating "Jane Got a Gun" from its slate. More titles, outlined below, are also up for grabs. Ryan Kavanaugh's 11-year-old indie-studio-that-couldn't will now be up for sale. Kavanugh proposes that the auction be supervised by bankruptcy court. Though Relativity is reportedly selling a bulk of its film and TV units, it wants to hold onto divisions including Relativity Sports, Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution and Relativity Education. The company, which hopes to close a deal by early October 2015, is also chasing $45 million in financing to cover the cost of the Chapter 11 procedure. Here's Kavanaugh in a statement: “Relativity continues to pursue its mission as a next-generation global media company, and we remain firmly committed to our film and television businesses. The actions we are announcing today will protect our valuable franchise and allow »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies

7 hours ago

August means its 24-hour tribute season on TCM. In his monthly column, director and movie doyen (and, it turns out, witty columnist) Martin Scorsese singles out a few actresses whose work has affected him over the years, to complement Turner Classics' programming. On Gene Tierney, whose career is highlighted on August 1: Looking back at the pictures of the '30s and '40s, the period now known as the Golden Age of Hollywood, you can feel, more and more, just how controlled many of the performances were, especially in relation to movies made after the arrival of Brando and James Dean in the '50s. There's a tension between directors and actors that I find extremely interesting now. It's there in Tierney's performances for Preminger, Lubitsch and Mankiewicz, and in John Stahl's "Leave Her to Heaven" (not included in this tribute). In those pictures, her beauty was a kind of mask. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Will 'True Detective' Revive Vince Vaughn? Actor Joins Mel Gibson Drama

9 hours ago

If you're watching "True Detective," it's hard to buy that Vince Vaughn's performance as crooked Vinci ringleader Frank Semyon could put the defibrillators on his career. The actor, long known for his goofy comic turns, postures a faux-seriousness that whiffs of Matthew McConaughey's brooding season one turn, and a face that says, "I'm thinking about Emmys." (When "Delivery Man" opened in 2013, we called him a "toxic comedian" who "has burned many smart moviegoers over the years.") But Vaughn clearly wants to buff his dramatic chops. After "True Detective," he will usher into Mel Gibson's World War II drama "Hacksaw Ridge," Deadline reports. He's set to star opposite Andrew Garfield and Sam Worthington in Gibson's first film since 2006's "Apocalypto." Distributed by Lionsgate, "Hacksaw" will shoot in Australia. Read More: Lionsgate Nearing Mel Gibson's 'Hacksaw Ridge,' Starring Andrew »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Horror Fans: Don't Miss Arthouse Shocker 'Goodnight Mommy' (Trailer)

9 hours ago

I saw "Goodnight Mommy" completely cold in 2014, when Fantastic Fest's Tim League dropped this shocking piece of auteur horror like a bomb onto the fest's secret screening-goers. It's best to enter this film tabula rasa, but watch the trailer below if you dare. It's a sick movie, with no hope or redemption. The film opens with plenty of atmospheric portent, as the camera slithers through a cornfield in an isolated natural world suggestive of a fairy tale, before introducing Elias and Lukas (Elias and Lukas Schwarz), identical adolescent twins who look like the pin-up children of the Third Reich, who aren't convinced that their chilly, (also) blonde mother (Susanne Wuest) is really who she says she is. Read More: "Goodnight Mommy" Review While garden variety American horror movies aren't prude about turning children into harbingers of evil (take for example, uh, any contemporary Us horror movie) "Goodnight Mommy" goes to even further, »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Netflix's Oscar Hopeful 'Beasts of No Nation' Books Theatrical Release (Trailer)

10 hours ago

Netflix dropped a whopping $12 million on rights to "Beasts of No Nation," its first original film, back in Spring 2015, and is following through on its intent to back a proper, albeit technically limited, release alongside the film's global streaming premiere. (Watch the first teaser below.) Netflix is partnering with indie film distributor Bleecker Street and exhibitor Landmark to release the film day-and-date on Friday, October 16, 2015 in 19 markets. Clearly, awards are in view and theatrical is needed to achieve that. The film has already booked a Venice competition premiere, followed by a Canadian premiere in Toronto. Which means we should expect "Beasts" to pop up in the secret Telluride lineup. Written and directed by "True Detective"'s super-busy Fukunaga, the film centers on Idris Elba as a warlord who takes in a child soldier torn from his family to fight in the civil war of an African country. It's based on the celebrated novel by Nigerian. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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New Beverly Reveals a Very Tarantino August Calendar

11 hours ago

Quentin Tarantino's 35mm movie haven, now 37 this year, ditched digital last Fall when he took over programming. Despite skepticism of this celluloid model, Tarantino's $8 35mm double features work with La audiences. He kicks off August at the all-celluloid New Beverly with a print of "For a Few Dollars More" and will close the month with "A Fistful of Dollars," another classic Leone western Tarantino presented at Cannes 2014. Read More: Quentin Tarantino Enjoys Running the New Beverly, Even When He's Shooting a Movie In spirit of Summer smash "Mad Max: Fury Road," Tarantino presents a double feature of "Mad Max" and "The Road Warrior" in mid-August, followed by Charlie Chaplin double bills, and back-to-back Hitchcock classics "Notorious" and "Suspicion," both starring Cary Grant. Read More: Alfred Hitchcock's Top 25 Films, Ranked And of course, as you'll see in the calendar, there are plenty of Westerns »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution

29 July 2015 3:08 PM, PDT

As Warner Bros. distribution veteran Dan Fellman leaves the fray after four decades, as planned, the studio has named Sue Kroll, a 21-year-studio veteran who currently runs worldwide marketing and international distribution, to run North American distribution as well. This secures Kroll's position as an effective executive during a time when Warners has suffered at the box office, from femme comedy “Hot Pursuit" and HBO sequel "Entourage" to the sequel to "Magic Mike," "Xxl," and the Wachowskis' sci-fi epic "Jupiter Ascending." Recent hits include Dwayne Johnson actioner “San Andreas” and comedy “Get Hard," while George Miller's “Mad Max: Fury Road” was a too-expensive success d'estime beloved by critics that may show legs at Oscar time. Sequel "Vacation" is expected to perform this weekend.  In fact, it's international distribution head Veronika Kwan Vandenberg who will assume Fellman’s job (now »


- Anne Thompson

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Why 'Phoenix' Finally Makes Christian Petzold a New Arthouse Auteur

29 July 2015 2:06 PM, PDT

If "Phoenix" can harness the steam off its first weekend in New York, where the postwar drama earned nearly $30,000 at two theaters, it could become a runaway arthouse hit a la last year's Polish-language "Ida." In the Us, German cinema is carried by its more broadly known, art-household names such as Michael Haneke (who is Austrian), Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders, who often co-produce with other countries and rarely work in their native tongue anymore. Christian Petzold, after two decades of work, stands to be the country's latest candidate for an art film figurehead as "Phoenix" expands this weekend in Los Angeles. Petzold's longtime muse Nina Hoss changed his tune as a director, yielding a collaboration on six features together—and all about women. His 2012 wartime melo "Barbara," starring Hoss as a hardened doctor transplanted from East Germany to a provincial country hospital in the 1980s, sent critics in raptures. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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DGA Honors Ron Howard, Tyler Perry, Thelma Schoonmaker and More

29 July 2015 11:39 AM, PDT

Director/producer Ron Howard, Teamsters Local 817 President Thomas J. O’Donnell, director Tyler Perry, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and film editor/Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker will be honored at the 2015 DGA Honors, to be held at the Directors Guild of America Theater in New York City on Thursday, October 15, 2015. The red-carpet event fetes individuals and institutions that have made distinguished contributions to American culture through film and television, while recognizing the diversity required to produce entertainment. Past DGA Honors recipients have included Nora Ephron, Robert Altman, Jonathan Demme, Milos Forman, Curtis Hanson, Spike Lee, Mike Nichols, Arthur Penn, Sydney Pollack, and Martin Scorsese. Read More: How Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker Restored the Luster of Michael Powell and 'The Tales of Hoffmann' »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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'The Danish Girl' and 'A Bigger Splash' Join 'Everest' and 'Black Mass' at Venice Film Festival

29 July 2015 11:32 AM, PDT

The fall awards season is starting to take shape. Already announced were the Venice International Film Festival ( Sept. 2-12) opener, Baltasar Kormakur's mountain saga “Everest," starring Jake Gyllenhaal (Working Title/Universal) and Johnny Depp-starrer “Black Mass” (Warner Bros.). Now Venice confirms what we figured out from Tuesday's Toronto program: World premieres include “The Danish Girl" starring Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne (Focus Features), Charlie Kaufman's Kickstarter-financed animated feature for adults, "Anomalisa," starring Jennifer Jason LeighCary Fukunaga’s African actioner “Beasts of No Nation," starring Idris Elba (Netflix), Atom Egoyan’s “Remember,” starring Christopher Plummer, and Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” starring Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton, which are also playing Toronto.  Read More: Toronto Film Festival Lineup:  What Did They Get? Artistic director Alberto Barbera has booked three »


- Anne Thompson

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The Future of Empathy-Generating Virtual Reality Is Here

29 July 2015 10:41 AM, PDT

In "Henry," the second Vr short from Oculus following its robotic Sundance premiere, "Lost," we now experience a sense of intimacy and empathy by sitting next to a lonely yet huggable hedgehog, who lights up during his birthday celebration when balloon creatures deliver the best possible present: a companion. It's an important baby step in the continuing evolution of Virtual Reality. "The only way to do this is to build it from the ground up," proclaimed Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, who presided over Tuesday's "Henry" premiere at the swanky Pantheon Mansion in Beverly Hills. He said it's important to test the strengths and limitations of the medium as a proof-of-concept. Which is why it's not enough to merely provide the Oculus Rift headset and the rest of the hardware. Oculus also wants to help incubate Vr content creation with its in-house Story Studio (located in San Francisco, where it can »

- Bill Desowitz

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HBO's 'Very Semi-Serious' Sketches 'Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists'

29 July 2015 10:15 AM, PDT

Temperamentally, geographically and/or demographically, there’s seldom been a film that seemed a better fit for the Tribeca Film Festival than Leah Wolchok’s “Very Semi-Serious,” about the cartoons of the New Yorker magazine. Sophistication without constipation. Humor without frivolity. Punchlines. Fun. Characters? Wolchok’s got characters. Central to her offbeat crew is Bob Mankoff, the New Yorker’s current cartoon editor, who also drew what may be the greatest cartoon of the modern era. (Exec on phone: “No, Thursday’s out. How’s never – is never good for you?”). But they also include the wry veteran Mort Gerberg and – in a field that includes the venerable 88-year-old George Booth, of the dogs, cats and flea-ridden humans – such relative newcomers as Emil Flake, Liana Finck and Zach Kanin, all of whom joined Calvin Trillin Sunday for a panel after the movie. Mankoff is a garrulous sort who, as the movie shows, »


- John Anderson

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Watch: Get Extremely "Close-Up" with Paul Thomas Anderson

29 July 2015 9:58 AM, PDT

Here's another home-run from Vimeo-maker Jacob T. Swinney, a supercut collage of Paul Thomas Anderson's extreme close-ups, which bring his films vibratingly, immediately alive. They create tension, and rhythm, from "Hard Eight" to "Inherent Vice." While PTA's films can feel like living, breathing almanacs of his favorite directors, you know you're in a PTA movie when you see one of these. Read More: Paul Thomas Anderson Tackles "Pinocchio" »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Netflix and Marvel Shake Up TCAs, Amazon Rescues Bryan Cranston Pilot

29 July 2015 9:09 AM, PDT

Netflix kicked off the Summer TV Critics Association yesterday with a bounty of good news for "Arrested Development," "BoJack Horseman" and Marvel fans, and some not-so-good news for "Lilyhammer" fans. Marvel will release a new Netflix series every six months. Marvel and Netflix are teaming to roll out five separate superhero shows. The first, "Daredevil," already premiered in April to strong reviews. Krysten Ritter, previously confirmed, will headline "Aka Jessica Jones" as the titular superhero turned detective in 2015, making this the first female-led Marvel project in the pack. Netflix also has slated treatments of "Iron Fist" and "Luke Cage." Eventually, all four will join forces in a series of "The Defenders." Read More: Netflix and Amazon Are Rewriting Hollywood with Angelina Jolie, Spike Lee and More Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos has hopes for a fifth season of "Arrested »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Check Out Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy as WWII Paratroopers in 'Anthropoid'

29 July 2015 8:07 AM, PDT

The first image is up from writer/director/cinematographer Sean Ellis' ("Metro Manila," "Cashback") "Anthropoid," now filming in Czech Republic. Set in 1941, the World War II picture stars Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan and centers on the real-life assassination attempt on SS general and Holocaust engineer Reinhard Heydrich. The film follows two Czech paratroopers tasked with taking out Reinhard, known in their homeland as "The Butcher of Prague." Read More: Netflix War Drama 'Jadotville' Lines Up Macho Cast "Anthropoid" is written by Ellis and Anthony Frewin ("Colour Me Kubrick") and produced by 22h22's Leonard Glowinski, Anita Overland, Chris Curling, Krystof Mucha and David Ondricek. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film

28 July 2015 1:44 PM, PDT

The best film I saw at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival was Robert Eggers' "The Witch," a super-stylish, super-scary, witchy brew of madness that bears the mark of a seasoned auteur. It made total sense that the Sundance Dramatic jury, including member Cary Fukunaga, wanted to anoint fledgling Eggers. Now the director has set up an untitled remake of "Nosferatu" under (ex-Warner Bros. chief) Jeff Robinov's budding Studio 8, reports Deadline. "This will be a visceral adaptation of F.W. Murnau's 1922 silent film masterpiece that brings the horrific vampire of Eastern European folklore back to the screen." Jan Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen's Parts and Labor, for whom Eggers is also directing "The Knight," will produce. Here is a remake that could actually work, with Eggers once again burnishing classical horror elements with his modern touch. Read More: 5 Films That Influence 'The Witch,' Sundance's Scariest Horror Movie Painterly images, »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Watch: Intense 'Maryland' Trailer Stars Matthias Schoenaerts and Diane Kruger

28 July 2015 11:52 AM, PDT

Parisian writer/director Alice Winocour followed up her 2012 Cannes Critics' Week entry "Augustine" with 2015 Un Certain Regard premiere "Maryland (Disorder)," which Sundance Selects picked up. While her moody period debut "Augustine" turned on a 19th-century case of female "hysteria," Winocour's second film pivots on Matthias Schoenaerts as Vincent, a French Special Forces soldier reeling from Ptsd who's hired to protect Jessie (Diane Kruger), the wife of a wealthy Lebanese businessman. Holed up in her Maryland villa, Vincent's obsession unfurls into increasing paranoia. The film opens in France September 30th, but has yet to get a stateside date from Sundance Selects. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for La Critics?

28 July 2015 11:46 AM, PDT

Sad news for La film press: Now run by the 100-year-old Charles' grandson Josh, the Charles Aidikoff Screening Room closed Tuesday night after a press screening of "The End of the Tour." Whether the closing is permanent remains unknown, though sources told TheWrap that "the popular screening venue is shutting down due to a court order. While details remain vague, the problem involves the lease..." Will the Screening Room—also a popular invite-only platform to debut films during awards season—reopen? (There's word of two new rooms coming soon across the street on Rodeo.) The venue's website has already shuttered. Charles Aidikoff, a famed projectionist who'd been screening films for press and industry insiders since 1967, tweeted a picture of himself (and Arnold Schwarzenegger) with the message "I'll be back." Ask any Los Angeles Film writer and they'll have something sweet to say about the Screening Room (amid complaints about the rake, »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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