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James Franco Explains Why He Couldn’t Stop Working, Slowed Down, and Got Better As a Result

James Franco Explains Why He Couldn’t Stop Working, Slowed Down, and Got Better As a Result
James Franco is one of the six names in entertainment being celebrated at the inaugural IndieWire Honors on Nov. 2. Franco is recognized here for his transformative portrayal of the star and director of “The Room” in A24’s upcoming “The Disaster Artist” (In theaters nationwide December 8), which Franco also produced and directed. He will receive the IndieWire’s Vanguard Award (Film).

For a few years, James Franco was everywhere: Hosting the Oscars. Getting college degrees. Teaching college courses. Directing movies. Acting in movies. Writing about movies. Making art. Writing novels. Starting a band. Every now and then, he would penetrate the mainstream, with commercial releases like “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “The Interview.” By and large, however, the affable face from “Freaks and Geeks,” Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” movies, and “127 Hrs” had grown so ubiquitous it had become difficult to discern the big picture.

Now, he’s
See full article at Indiewire »

Inside the Life of River Phoenix, the Beloved Actor Who Died at 23

Inside the Life of River Phoenix, the Beloved Actor Who Died at 23
Tuesday marks the 24th anniversary of River Phoenix’s untimely death on Oct. 31, 1993.

The actor was just 23 when he died outside the Viper Room in West Hollywood due to a drug overdose, but made his mark on the world after starring in beloved films Stand By Me (1986), Running on Empty (1988) and My Own Private Idaho (1991). His final film, Dark Blood, was completed in 2012.

In Phoenix’s honor, we’re taking a look back at his quick rise to fame and the best work of the gone-but-never-forgotten star.

An Unusual Childhood

Phoenix was born on August 23, 1970 in Madras, Oregon. His family
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

First Person: Sexual Harassers Are Poisonous, and So Are the Companies That Protect Them

First Person: Sexual Harassers Are Poisonous, and So Are the Companies That Protect Them
The day The New York Times broke the Harvey Weinstein story, I found myself choking back bile all day.

In the weeks since, it has become resoundingly clear that Weinstein is a virulent serial predator, and has earned whatever hell rains down on him. But Harvey Weinstein isn’t the problem, and bringing him down — while satisfying, necessary, and just — will be far from sufficient if we don’t simultaneously tear down our rotten corporate culture and reckon with our own complicity in propping it up.

As democracy derives its consent from the governed, tyranny derives its consent from the tyrannized. And while it’s long overdue, I no longer consent to being tyrannized.

I wasn’t sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein. I worked with him briefly, consulting on “sex, lies, and videotape,” the film that changed the independent film business, Sundance, and Harvey forever; the film whose prescient title
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Replicas’ Trailer: Keanu Reeves Is a Sad Scientist Trying to Bring His Family Back From the Dead — Watch

  • Indiewire
‘Replicas’ Trailer: Keanu Reeves Is a Sad Scientist Trying to Bring His Family Back From the Dead — Watch
Here’s one for the Sad Keanu file: “Replicas,” an upcoming sci-fi thriller in which our man plays a scientist attempting to bring his family members back to life after they die in a car accident. Since such endeavors tend to be incident-free, we’ve no reason to think that this won’t end in a total success and a happy reunion. Watch the trailer, which just debuted at New York Comic-Con, below.

Read More:‘Swedish Dicks’ Review: Keanu Reeves is a Rare Highlight in a Detective Series Too Goofy for its Own Good

Here’s the synopsis: “Neuro-scientist William Foster (Reeves) is on the verge of successfully transferring human consciousness into a computer when his family is tragically killed in a car crash. Desperate to resurrect them, William recruits fellow scientist Ed Whittle (Middleditch) to help him secretly clone their bodies and create replicas. But he soon faces a
See full article at Indiewire »

Italian Movies Are Struggling in U.S. Theaters, But This Distribution Experiment Could Change That

Italian Movies Are Struggling in U.S. Theaters, But This Distribution Experiment Could Change That
When “Indivisible” screened for a crowd at Lincoln Center as the opening night selection of its annual “Open Roads: New Italian Cinema” series, it had no U.S. distribution plan. In late 2016, it had screened in higher-profile slots in Venice and Toronto, where buyers paid no heed. But at Lincoln Center, the movie — a seriocomic story about 18-year-old conjoined twins pursuing a music career (real-life twins Angela and Marianna Fontana) — played through the roof.

That was when Ira Deutchman saw its potential.

“I just fell in love with it,” the veteran distribution executive said. “It’s got everything in it. The movie is not a depressing, severe art film that requires people to look at it like work. Maybe distributors didn’t see the commerciality in a story about conjoined twins, but the women are beautiful and the movie is surprisingly entertaining.”

Read More:Ira Deutchman Receives First Annual Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award

Now,
See full article at Indiewire »

Whoa Is Me: Keanu Reeves’ Saddest Roles, From ‘My Own Private Idaho’ to ‘John Wick’

Whoa Is Me: Keanu Reeves’ Saddest Roles, From ‘My Own Private Idaho’ to ‘John Wick’
We’ve all seen the Sad Keanu memes, and a number of details from the “Point Break” and “Matrix” star’s biography do indeed point toward tragedy. The actor is known for thrilling us rather than saddening us nevertheless, not that there aren’t a few exceptions to prove the rule (even if none of them involve him eating a sandwich on his lonesome).

With “To the Bone” premiering on Netflix this Friday, take a moment to relive some of Keanu’s saddest performances.

My Own Private Idaho

Maybe it’s the fact that he’s acting opposite River Phoenix, a friend who died just two years after Gus Van Sant’s early classic was released, but it’s hard not to feel for Keanu in “My Own Private Idaho.” A soon-to-be-wealthy heir, his Scott is always looking after his narcoleptic best friend (Phoenix, whose character is also in love
See full article at Indiewire »

SXSW Film Review: ‘The Disaster Artist’

SXSW Film Review: ‘The Disaster Artist’
Like such kindred spirits in quantity over quality as Tyler Perry and Joe Swanberg, James Franco has made a crapload of movies. Sooner or later, he was bound to deliver a good one. But who would have thought his adaptation of Greg Sestero’s “The Disaster Artist,” an outrageous blow-by-blow account of the actor-turned-author’s friendship with the aggressively untalented and infinitely enigmatic creator of one of the worst movies of this century — “The Room” writer-director-star Tommy Wiseau — would turn out to be the best and most professional entry on his own résumé?

That’s a claim not without caveats, mind you. The version that world premiered at the South by Southwest film festival was presented as a “work in progress” — where it killed to a room full of “The Room” obsessives, many of whom stuck around for a midnight screening of Wiseau’s disasterpiece. And even though IMDb lists
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Tao of Keanu Reeves, From 'Whoa!' to 'John Wick'

The Tao of Keanu Reeves, From 'Whoa!' to 'John Wick'
The appeal of Keanu Reeves – philosopher, lover, martial artist, musician, motorcycle enthusiast, movie star – is that he carries himself lightly, even in the movies that require him to turn from "cool breeze" (the Hawaiian translation of his first name, for those of you playing at home) to howling tempest. He's the type of guy who's had to deny being Buddhist, even though he's played the Buddha onscreen – because it's just widely assumed that he would swing that way religiously. ("I haven't take refuge in the dharma," he has assured us.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Celebrating the movies of Keanu Reeves

Kirsten Howard Feb 17, 2017

Keanu Reeves, as much as any actor of his generation, has left a legacy to be proud of. We take a look back at his career.

Much like his character in the John Wick films, Keanu Reeves is a man with very little to lose.

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Often maligned for his lack of range as an actor, or dismissed as merely a vaguely goofy action star, every misstep that Reeves has taken throughout his career has come from an enviable ability to consistently take risks. Despite every effort to pigeonhole him, Keanu Reeves just won’t be told what he can and can’t do.

Born in Beirut to a showgirl and a geologist, Reeves is also a rabid
See full article at Den of Geek »

From Sean Connery to Harrison Ford: actors who secretly played roles gay

The sexual orientation of film characters isn’t always what it first seems – some leading men have reinterpreted their parts as they move from page to screen

Gus van Sant’s feel-good drama Finding Forrester, which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD this month, has been forgotten with good reason. It recycles from his earlier film Good Will Hunting the story of a wayward teenage genius nurtured by an older mentor, only this time the boy’s talents are literary, not mathematical. But it does have some curiosity value thanks to its title character.

The reclusive novelist William Forrester, played by Sean Connery, has a secret that is never mentioned on screen. I discovered it by accident when I met Van Sant in 2008 while he was editing Milk, his film about the openly gay politician Harvey Milk. It was odd, I suggested, that despite being out himself, Van Sant hadn’t
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Ira Deutchman Receives First Annual Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Indiewire
Ira Deutchman Receives First Annual Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award
Independent film veteran Ira Deutchman has received the first annual Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the distribution and exhibition of independent films. The award was created by advertising company Spotlight Cinema Networks in partnership with the Art House Convergence.

Read More: Why Indie Producing Veteran Ira Deutchman Is Moving From Films to Broadway

Deutchman has been distributing, marketing and making independent films for more than 40 years, working on some of the most successful and acclaimed indie titles of our time. He received the award Tuesday night at a dinner following Art House Convergence’s annual conference.

Ira Deutchman is a legendary figure in the world of independent film distribution, marketing and production,” Spotlight Cinema Networks chief executive officer Jerry Rakfeldt said in a statement. “His creativity, passion and business acumen have helped shape, nurture and expand the independent film industry.”

Deutchman has worked on more than 150 films,
See full article at Indiewire »

‘I Am Michael’ Trailer: James Franco Stars as a Gay Activist Who Rejects Homosexuality

  • Indiewire
‘I Am Michael’ Trailer: James Franco Stars as a Gay Activist Who Rejects Homosexuality
In 2011, Benoit Denizet-Lewis published an article in the New York Times Magazine entitled “My Ex-Gay Friend,” about Michael Glatze, a former gay activist and co-founder of the Young Gay America magazine who eventually denounced homosexuality after a health scare. Now, Justin Kelly’s new film “I Am Michael” tells Glatze’s story as he transforms from an openly gay man spouting queer theory to rejecting his whole personal identity. James Franco (“127 Hours”) stars as Glatze alongside Zachary Quinto (“Star Trek Beyond”) as Glatze’s former boyfriend and Emma Roberts (“Palo Alto”) as a young Christian woman who falls for Glatze. Watch a trailer for the film below.

Read More: Sundance Review: James Franco Excels in ‘I Am Michael,’ a Provocative Look at ‘Ex-Gay’ Activist Michael Glatze

The film is executive produced by Gus Van Sant. His previous films include “Drugstore Cowboy,” “My Own Private Idaho,” “Gerry,” “Elephant” and most recently,
See full article at Indiewire »

Recommended New Books on Filmmaking: ‘Twin Peaks,’ James Dean, ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Aliens,’ and More

It’s time to head back to Twin Peaks, salute some major names (Gus Van Sant, James Cameron, Hal Ashby, Guillermo del Toro, Orson Welles), icons (James Dean), and (former) power players (Mike Ovitz). Plus, Harry Potter, Seinfeld, and McDonald’s! Let’s start with a loving look back at 50 years of the starship Enterprise.

Star Trek: 50 Artists 50 Years (Titan Books)

There have been a number of interesting books released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, but there’s no question that 50 Artists 50 Years is the handsomest. As the title makes clear, the premise is simple: 50 respected artists, all with wildly unique styles, were tasked with creating a work of art highlighting some element of the Trek universe. There’s plenty of original series — Glen Brogan’s jaunty representation of the bridge of the Enterprise is my personal favorite — and lots of Spock. Plus, Leonard Nimoy himself
See full article at The Film Stage »

James Franco Directs Short Film ‘Do it Right’ Starring Gigi Hadid — Watch

James Franco Directs Short Film ‘Do it Right’ Starring Gigi Hadid — Watch
James Franco is currently working on a few upcoming films that he will star in and direct, including “Zeroville,” based on Steve Erickson’s 2007 book by the same name, and “The Masterpiece” about the making of Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room.” Though busy with many projects, Franco also directed a black-and-white short film entitled “Do It Right” starring fashion model Gigi Hadid. The film promotes a collaboration between Hadid and fashion designer Stuart Weitzman on new footwear “The Gigi Boot,” which is featured prominently in the video. Watch it below.

Read More: James Franco Endorses ‘Most Interesting Woman in the World’ Hillary Clinton in Funny Video

In the video, Hadid stars as a boxer who strikes poses as well as she spars against her masked opponents in the ring. All the while, she’s wearing The Gigi Boot while she’s taking down the men who enter into battle with her.
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The Sea of Trees’ Review: Matthew McConaughey Set Adrift in Gus Van Sant’s Listless Bummer

  • The Wrap
‘The Sea of Trees’ Review: Matthew McConaughey Set Adrift in Gus Van Sant’s Listless Bummer
The Sea of Trees” is a movie about guilt and grief that elicits just that in its viewers: guilt and grief. Because for every ephemeral moment to admire in Gus Van Sant‘s latest film, there are about a half-dozen more that make you wonder what went wrong. Like the central character in “My Own Private Idaho,” “Sea of Trees” snaps in and out of consciousness. It’s alternately spirited and narcoleptic. The film opens with adjunct professor Arthur Brennan (Matthew McConaughey) in an airport purchasing a one-way ticket to Japan’s serene Aokigahara Forest. “Are you checking in any luggage?
See full article at The Wrap »

Gus Van Sant’s ‘The Sea Of Trees’ With Matthew McConaughey Is A Contrived & Phony Drama [Review]

This is a reprint of our review from the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. There appear to be two Gus Van Sants. There’s the groundbreaking indie/arthouse guy, who kicked off his career with “Drugstore Cowboy” and “My Own Private Idaho,” directed the enormously entertaining “To Die For,” and won the Palme D’Or at Cannes for “Elephant,” one […]

The post Gus Van Sant’s ‘The Sea Of Trees’ With Matthew McConaughey Is A Contrived & Phony Drama [Review] appeared first on The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

‘Stand by Me’ Oral History: Rob Reiner and Cast on River Phoenix and How Coming-of-Age Classic Almost Didn’t Happen

‘Stand by Me’ Oral History: Rob Reiner and Cast on River Phoenix and How Coming-of-Age Classic Almost Didn’t Happen
It’s been three decades since “Stand By Me” became the little drama that could, catapulting River Phoenix to stardom, establishing Rob Reiner as a director on the rise, and racking up big ticket sales on a paltry budget.

The story of four friends from small town in Oregon, hiking into the countryside in search of the body of a boy who has been hit and killed by a train, is an unlikely coming-of-age tale. Yet in Reiner’s sensitive hands, it becomes a meditation on mortality — one that transcends its 1950s setting to have a universal appeal.

Stand By Me” is unique in other ways. For one thing, it rivals “The 400 Blows” in its ability to evoke complex characterizations from young actors. Not only Phoenix as spiritual leader Chris Chambers, but co-stars Wil Wheaton as sensitive Gordie Lachance, Jerry O’Connell as wisecracking Vern Tessio, and Corey Feldman as hot-tempered Teddy Duchamp,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Academy’s 2016 Summer Screening Series Includes West Side Story And My Own Private Idaho

The Academy celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Academy Film Archive with the screening series “Archival Revival – 25 years of the Academy Film Archive,” curated from the extensive, diverse collection of motion pictures that the archive has restored and preserved. The series, which runs fromJuly 18 through September 12, will showcase a broad range of titles – musicals, documentaries, silent films, Pre-Code comedies, experimental films and horror classics.

In 1991 the Academy’s Board of Governors made a commitment to create a world-class archive for the preservation, restoration, documentation and study of motion pictures. The Academy Film Archive currently holds more than 190,000 elements, including trailers, feature films, and the film collections of such artists as Alfred Hitchcock, Penelope Spheeris, James Wong Howe, Albert Maysles and Su Friedrich. It also holds the collections of such institutions and programs as the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and the Student Academy Awards.

Take
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

John Cusack: examining his recent straight-to-dvd movies

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John Cusack has made 17 films in four years. We've found the ones that have gone all-but straight to DVD and watched them...

John Cusack is a bit of a Hollywood oddity. There’s no pattern to the type of movie he will choose to do, so he’s always kept us on our toes. Sure, he’ll make a dumb action movie, but that will often afford him the chance to make a few smaller gambles later on. Up until the last few years he’s played the system very well, but recently his ethic appears to have, um, waned? A little?

Since the heady days of Say Anything and Sixteen Candles he’s come to represent a sort of slightly weird-looking, awkwardly charming, offbeat everyman that men aged 18-49 can look at and go 'me'” - which is fine. There’s a place for that, as
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘Carol’ Leads the Top 30 Lgbt Films of All-Time, According to BFI Poll

Todd Haynes‘ filmography is often overwhelming in its intellectual acumen and emotional devastation,” we noted upon the release of his latest film this past fall. “This is true of Carol, which is at once a return to the deconstruction of femininity, social mores, and mild anarchy of privilege, as well as an honest and heartbreaking story about falling in love and the trepidation therein.” Over 100 film experts, ranging from critics to writers to programmers, agree on the emotional power of the drama, as they’ve voted it the best Lgbt film of all-time.

Conducted by BFI ahead of the 30th BFI Flare: London Lgbt Film Festival, they note this is the “first major critical survey of Lgbt films.” Speaking about leading the poll, Haynes said, “I’m so proud to have Carol voted as the top Lgbt film of all time in this poll launched for the Fest’s 30th edition.
See full article at The Film Stage »
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