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Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass Reveal Why Making ‘Don’t Think Twice’ is Even Harder Than Improv (Video)

22 July 2016 2:35 PM, PDT

Ira Glass thinks it’s crazy for anyone to make a film. Ever.

But when his “This American Life” contributor Mike Birbiglia wanted to follow their 2012 collaboration “Sleepwalk with Me” with a film about an improv comedy troupe, Glass went along for another ride.

“It’s very hard for anybody who tries to make things for a living,” Glass said in our video interview at SXSW the morning after the film’s rousing premiere. “It’s hard to make anything that’s good… It struck me even more this time how many things have to go right, in every scene, every sound cue, it’s almost like every minute of the film is another 15 things that you can screw up.”

But Birbiglia, who learned a lot writing, directing, starring, and releasing “Sleepwalk with Me,” was up for the challenge. “It’s like nine art forms — you’ve got photography, acting, »


- Anne Thompson

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IndieWire’s Movie Podcast: Screen Talk (107): Trekking Towards Comic-Con

22 July 2016 8:32 AM, PDT

This week, Kate Erbland joins Anne Thompson for a look at the summer movies. Does a single-star beach horror flick signal a return to mid-budget hits? Can a “Star Trek” movie find something new to offer? How does Mike Birbiglia’s latest, “Don’t Think Twice” stack up against its blockbuster competition?

Read More: ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Director Justin Lin Finds the Human in the Epic 

Plus, a preview of this year’s #Sdcc, a quick post-dust-settling chat about Paul Feig’s femme “Ghostbusters” vs. the Ivan Reitman/Harold Ramis original, and some thoughts on the rapidly accelerating career of Margot Robbie. All that and more on this week’s episode of Screen Talk.

Listen to the full episode above.

Screen Talk is available on iTunes. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, »


- Indiewire Staff

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‘Star Trek Beyond’ Director Justin Lin Finds the Human in the Epic

22 July 2016 8:15 AM, PDT

Justin Lin didn’t realize he was a Trekkie until J.J. Abrams called him out of the blue. Between a Thursday phone call and what ended up a Monday meeting, Lin had dinner with his family, who had emigrated from Taiwan to run an Anaheim grocery store when he was 8 years old. That’s when it hit him that between age 8 and 18 he had grown up with Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek” TV series. It was embedded deep inside him.

 

Lin had turned away from directing the seventh installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, which grew from 3-6 with worldwide grosses of $158 million for “Tokyo Drift,” $363 million for “Fast & Furious” and $626 million for “Fast Five” to $789 million for “Fast & Furious 6.” (James Wan continued the trajectory when the seventh film earned $1.52 billion.) He was producing and directing TV (“Community,” the “Scorpion” pilot and “True Detective”) and exploring production in China, »


- Anne Thompson

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Recapping the Nominations: Surprises, Lags and Network Power Shifts — Screen Talk, Emmys Edition

20 July 2016 1:58 PM, PDT

Now that we’ve sifted through the Emmy nominations, Anne and Michael discuss the biggest surprises, head-scratching inclusions and the stars that were recognized a year too late. As streaming services continue to claim their share of the overall nods, where does this leave the broadcast networks?

Listen to the full episode above.

Screen Talk is available on iTunes. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Schneider on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on  and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of Indiewire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Festivals newsletter here. Related stories'Homeland' Director Lesli Linka Glatter »


- Indiewire Staff

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Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival 2016: Why Every Movie In Competition is Directed by a Woman

20 July 2016 1:52 PM, PDT

This year, Michael Moore will use his Traverse City Film Festival to throw down the gauntlet for women filmmakers. The official selection — not the sidebar, not a spotlight — is comprised of 32 films, and every one is directed by a woman.

“Every film in our Official Selection (Us), fiction and nonfiction, is directed or co-directed by a woman,” Moore told IndieWire in an email. “And they’re all incredible movies. As an expression of tokenism usually reserved for women, I am bringing five films by American men in a sidebar called, ‘Men Make Movies —The Struggle Continues.'” There are other movies in the lineup directed by men, of course, whether foreign or classic.

Compiling the list took some digging, as Moore, admits in his Traverse City Film Festival welcome letter. But the results are impressive, ranging from Sundance hits (Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady’s documentary  “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, »


- Anne Thompson

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The Broad Green Layoffs: Why Good Movies Aren’t Enough to Avoid The Startup Curse

20 July 2016 11:11 AM, PDT

When Wall Street billionaires Gabriel Hammond, 37, and his brother, Daniel, 33, launched independent producer-distributor Broad Green Pictures two summers ago, Hollywood was skeptical about its prospects. In a time when even the Weinsteins are struggling to survive, it was a strange time to reinvent a dying economic model.

Now Broad Green is laying off around 6 percent of its staff, all of whom work in the publicity department, the company confirmed to IndieWire. Broad Green’s publicity head Adam Keen, a former Warner Bros. publicity exec, has resigned. Marketing and communications personnel are traditionally the first casualties of cutbacks in Hollywood.

The layoffs were unsurprising. Ken Kwapis’s Sundance comedy “A Walk in the Woods” starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte managed $30 million, but that couldn’t counterbalance films like Ramin Bahrani’s well-reviewed real estate thriller “99 Homes” ($1.7 million domestic) and Sarah Silverman’s depressive drama “I Smile Back” ($58K). Now, the »


- Graham Winfrey and Anne Thompson

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Is Warren Beatty’s Alden Ehrenreich-Starrer ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ Too Funny for Oscar?

20 July 2016 6:11 AM, PDT

Warren Beatty is a known entity in Hollywood. He’s a brilliant and controlling writer-director-producer-star who will talk anyone’s ear off. He’s indecisive. He will take as much time as he can get to burnish a movie to glossy perfection. And he’s hell-bent on success. That’s why he’s Warren Beatty.

But he’s less well known to the general moviegoing public.

While he’s consistently brilliant, from “Heaven Can Wait” and “Bonnie and Clyde” to “Dick Tracy,” he’s also known for dramatic box office highs and lows. He’s had amazing successes, such as 1982 classic period romance “Reds,” which won three Oscars (including Beatty’s only win, as Best Director). Over the decades Beatty has been nominated for 14 Oscars, and received the Thalberg Award. But he also starred in such over-budget flops as $90-million “Town and Country” (2001, $6 .7 million domestic), which was “directed by Peter Chelsolm, »


- Anne Thompson

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Emmy Voters Suffer from Awards Lag Syndrome

18 July 2016 3:36 PM, PDT

“You were robbed,” I told Jay Duplass at Amazon Studios’ “Gleason” premiere last week. He was a tad crestfallen about not landing a supporting actor Emmy nomination for his excellent performance as Josh Pfefferman on “Transparent,” until I reminded him how hard it is to get nominated for the first time. There’s often a lag.

Look at “The Americans.” It took four seasons of campaigning and increasingly positive reviews for it to finally land a Best Drama slot this year. The TV Academy turns to the same old popular favorites so often that it’s tough for someone new to break into the ranks.

This year, during the intense campaigning for the Emmy Awards, I realized that my hard-won understanding of how Oscar voters think does not apply to the TV Academy. I felt out of step with some of the Emmy pundits on Gold Derby who were picking »


- Anne Thompson

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Denzel Washington’s ‘Fences’ Lands Oscar-Friendly December Dates

18 July 2016 2:56 PM, PDT

As expected, Paramount has booked the Denzel Washington film version of the Tony-winning 2010 revival of August Wilson’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning drama “Fences” for December 16 limited release in Los Angeles and New York, followed by a national expansion on December 25.

This marks Washington’s third outing as a director, following well-received indie dramas “Antwone Fisher” and “The Great Debaters.” He’s been in the Oscar derby six times as an actor, winning twice, for “Glory” and “Training Day.” And he headlines Antoine Fuqua’s western remake “The Magnificent Seven” this fall.

Produced by Scott Rudin, “Fences” tells the story of retired baseball player Troy Maxson (Tony-winner Washington), who is now a garbage man looking regretfully back on his past while tangling with his wife Rose (Tony-winner Viola Davis). Mykelti Williamson and Russell Hornsby also reprise their stage roles.

Washington wrapped the ’50s-era film in Pittsburgh in June, when Viola Davis tweeted: “It’s a wrap! »


- Anne Thompson

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Steven Spielberg and Laura Dern Join Motion Picture Academy Board of Governors, Elected Under New Rules

18 July 2016 12:21 PM, PDT

Thanks to new rules, this year’s Academy Board of Governors race was more intense than usual. The Academy’s 17 branches each has three governors on the board; they can serve three consecutive three-year terms. One seat is up for reelection every year. The Board of Governors actually runs the show at the Academy, determining the strategy and mission, and keeping tabs on its financial health.

(The full list of Governors is here.)

This year, the race was opened up to allow any of the 6200-plus Academy members to run for the board. Before, the membership voted for 50% of a nominating committee that selected candidates to present to the Board. This yielded the same favorites over and over again.

Now, members of each branch can pick their own contenders. Academy CEO Dawn Hudson clearly sees the benefit of a more diverse board of Governors. In an email to members announcing »


- Anne Thompson

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