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11 strange or ill-advised abandoned movie sequels

27 June 2016 7:34 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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Jessica Rabbit kidnapped by Nazis. Costner rescuing Princess Diana. We look back at a few strange movie sequels that were never made…

The multi-million dollar success of any movie will inevitably leave Hollywood executives clamouring for a sequel. And while there are plenty of movies whose stories are open-ended enough to warrant a return to the creative well, there are many times when coming up with a follow-up idea requires all sorts of imaginative leaps. Just look at something like Alien: Resurrection, which had to come up an elaborate reason why Ripley had (spoiler alert) managed to survive a swan-dive into a lead foundry in Alien 3.

Which brings us to this list, which is devoted to a few of the weirder sequel ideas that never made it to the big screen. An E.T. sequel in which little Elliott gets tortured by aliens? Forrest Gump dancing with Princess Diana? »

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Sony Domestic Marketing President Dwight Caines to Step Down This Fall

24 June 2016 10:04 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Sony Motion Picture Group President of Domestic Marketing Dwight Caines will leave his post after 19 years this fall, TheWrap has learned. Christine Birch will be promoted to president, and Andre Caraco will be named co-president. They’ll roll out upcoming slate titles like “Inferno,” “Magnificent Seven” and the Jennifer Lawrence-Chris Pratt space romance “Passengers.” “I am especially proud of launching our digital marketing efforts on a global basis, and to have been the first digital marketer to be appointed head of marketing at a major studio,” Caines wrote in a farwell note to staff obtained by TheWrap. Also Read: Sony Names Sanford Panitch. »

- Matt Donnelly

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Watch ‘Se7en’ Screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker Break Down the Making of David Fincher’s Film

20 June 2016 1:41 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

David Fincher’s second feature, the seminal mid-90’s crime thriller Se7en, has been poured over and picked apart for the past 20-odd years. Now, a new talk from On Story finds the film’s own screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (Sleepy Hollow, 8Mm) looking back on his collaboration with Fincher. Upon release, Se7en left upset audiences guessing over, in Walker’s own words, its intentionally unsatisfactory — and now infamous — second-act close. The film divided critics and audiences alike, with test screenings leaving viewers 50/50. Since then, the lens of retrospection has relabeled it a fundamental film of the 90’s, one embedded in the zeitgeist with its simple question, “what’s in the box?”

In the talk, Walker covers a range of topics on what is arguably his magnum opus, including the importance of research to drive content and putting his own troubles into his characters. According to him, his own limbo »

- Mike Mazzanti

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‘Let Me Make You A Martyr’ Exclusive Trailer: Marilyn Manson Plays A Hit Man On A Mission From Mark Boone Junior

15 June 2016 1:25 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

 

Let Me Make You a Martyr” follows Larry Glass (Mark Boone Junior), an abusive father, drug dealer, and pimp who hires hit man Pope (Marilyn Manson) to kill his rebellious adopted son Drew (Niko Nicotera) and his lover and adopted sister June Glass (Sam Quartin). The film also stars Michael Potts (“Conspiracy Theory”), Slaine (“The Town”), William Lee Scott (“Pearl Harbor’), Michael Shamus Wiles (“Fight Club”), and more. Watch the exclusive new trailer above.

Read More: 19th Fantasia International Film Festival Announces 2015 Winners

Marilyn Manson is best known as the frontman of the Marilyn Manson band, whose music garnered much controversy from politicians and the public for their nihilistic lyrics, graphic imagery, and provocative statements. Manson got tied up in the aftermath of the deadly Columbine shooting when he was blamed by politicians and the media for inciting the violence with his music. Manson has appeared in many films including David Lynch’s “Lost Highway,” Michael Moore’s “Bowling For Columbine,” in which he discussed the media’s interest in scapegoating rather than focusing on broader societal issues, and a recurring role on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.”

Mark Boone Junior is best known for his role on “Sons of Anarchy,” along with his performances in Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” and “Batman Begins,” Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line,” and David Fincher’s “Seven.” He will soon appear in Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation,” about Nat Turner, the leader of a slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia in 1831.

Let Me Make You a Martyr” will premiere at Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal next month. Manson will be in attendance.

Read More: Marilyn Manson Confirmed As Star Of Quentin Dupieux’s Cannes Short Film ‘Wrong Cops

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Related storiesFirst Reviews: 'The Birth of a Nation' Electrifies SundanceWatch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del ReyMarilyn Manson Heads To 'Californication'; Kristin Schaal Voices 'Cloudy 2'; Cobie Smulders Finds 'Safe Haven' & Christopher Meloni Joins 'They Came Together' »

- Vikram Murthi

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13 great modern thriller directors

14 June 2016 9:59 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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They’ve made some of the best thrillers of the past six years. We list some of the best modern thriller directors currently working...

Director Guillermo del Toro once described suspense as being about the withholding of information: either a character knows something the audience doesn’t know, or the audience knows something the character doesn’t. That’s a deliciously simple way of describing something that some filmmakers often find difficult to achieve: keeping viewers on the edges of their seats.

The best thrillers leave us scanning the screen with anticipation. They invite us to guess what happens next, but then delight in thwarting expectations. We can all name the great thriller filmmakers of the past - Alfred Hitchcock, Carol Reed, Brian De Palma - but what about the current crop of directors? Here’s our pick of the filmmakers who’ve made some great modern thrillers over the past six years - that is, between the year 2010 and the present.

Jeremy Saulnier - Blue Ruin, Green Room

To think there was once a time when Jeremy Saulnier was seriously quitting the film business.

“To be honest," Saulner told us back in 2014, “Macon and I had really given up on our quest to break into the industry and become legitimate filmmakers. So what we were trying to do with Blue Ruin was archive our 20 year arc and bring it to a close. Really just revisit our stomping grounds and use locations that were near and dear to us and build a narrative out of that.”

Maybe this personal touch explains at least partly why Blue Ruin wound up getting so much attention in Cannes in 2013, signalling not the end of Saulnier and his star Macon Blair’s career, but a brand new chapter. But then again, there’s more than just hand-crafted intimacy in Saulnier’s revenge tale; there’s also its lean, minimal storytelling and the brilliance of its characterisation. Blue Ruin is such an effective thriller because its protagonist is so atypical: sad-eyed, inexperienced with guns, somewhat soft around the edges, Macon Blair’s central character is far from your typical righteous avenger.

Green Room, which emerged in the UK this year, explores a similar clash between very ordinary people and extraordinary violence. A young punk band shout about anarchy and aggression on stage, but they quickly find themselves out of their depth when they’re cornered by a group of bloodthirsty neo-Nazis. In Saulnier’s films, grubby, unseemly locations are matched by often beautiful locked-off shots. Familiar thriller trappings are contrasted by twists of fortune that are often shocking.

Denis Villeneuve - Sicario, Prisoners

Here’s one of those directors who can pack an overwhelming sense of dread in a single image: in Sicario, his searing drug-war thriller from last year, it was the sight of tiny specks of dust falling in the light scything through a window. That single shot proved to be the calm before the storm, as Villeneuve unleashed a salvo of blood-curdling events: an attempted FBI raid on a building gone horribly awry. And this, I think, is the brilliance of Villeneuve’s direction, and why he’s so good at directing thrillers like Sicario or 2013’s superb Prisoners - he understands the rhythm of storytelling, and how scenes of quiet can generate almost unbearable tension.

Another case in point: the highway sequence in Sicario, where Emily Blunt’s FBI agent is stuck in a traffic jam outside one of the most violent cities in the world. Villeneueve makes us feel the stifling heat and the claustrophobia; something nasty’s going to happen, we know that - but it’s the sense of anticipation which makes for such an unforgettable scene.

Prisoners hews closely to the template of a modern mystery thriller, but it’s once again enriched by Villeneuve’s expert pacing and the performances he gets out of his actors. Hugh Jackman’s seldom been better as a father on the hunt for his missing child, while Jake Gyllenhaal mesmerises as a cop scarred by his own private traumas.

Lynne Ramsay - We Need To Talk About Kevin

Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin may be the most effective psychological thriller of recent years. About the difficult relationship between a mother (Tilda Swinton) and her distant, possibly sociopathic son (Ezra Miller), Ramsay’s film is masterfully told from beginning to end - which is impressive, given that the source novel by Lionel Shriver is told via a series of letters. Ramsay takes the raw material from the book and crafts something cinematic and highly disturbing: a study of guilt, sorrow and recrimination. Tension bubbles even in casual conversations around the dinner table. Miller is an eerie, cold-eyed blank. Swinton is peerless. One scene, in which Swinton’s mother comes home in the dead of night, is unforgettable. Here’s hoping Ramsay returns with another feature film very soon.

Morten Tyldum - Headhunters

All kinds of thrillers have emerged from Scandinavia over the past few years, whether on the large or small screen or in book form. Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters is among the very best of them. The fast-paced and deliriously funny story of an art thief who steals a painting from the wrong guy, Headhunters launched Tyldum on an international stage - Alan Turing drama The Imitation Game followed, and the Sony sci-fi film Passengers is up next. It isn’t hard to see why, either: Headhunters shows off Tyldum’s mastery of pace and tone, as his pulp tale hurtles from intense chase scenes to laugh-out-loud black comedy.

Joel Edgerton - The Gift

Granted, Joel Edgerton’s better known as an actor, having turned in some superb performances in the likes of Warrior, Zero Dark Thirty and Warror. But with a single film - The Gift, which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in - Edgerton established himself as a thriller filmmaker of real promise. About a successful, happily married couple whose lives are greatly affected by an old face from the husband’s past, The Gift is an engrossing, unsettling movie with superb performances from Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall as well as Edgerton.

A riff on the ‘killer in our midst’ thrillers of the 80s and 90s - The Stepfather, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and so on - The Gift is all the more effective because of its restraint. We’re never quite sure who the villain of the piece is, at least at first - and Edgerton’s use of the camera leaves us wrong-footed at every turn. The world arguably needs more thrillers from Joel Edgerton.

If you haven’t seen The Gift yet, we’d urge you to track it down.

David Michod - Animal Kingdom

The criminals at play in this true-life crime thriller are all the more chilling because they’re so mundane - a bunch of low-level thieves, murderers and gangsters who prowl around the rougher parts of Melbourne, Australia. Writer-director David Michod spent years developing Animal Kingdom, and it was worth the effort: it’s an intense, engrossing film, for sure, but it’s also a believable glimpse of the worst of human nature. Ben Mendelsohn and Jacki Weaver play villains of different kinds; the latter a manipulative grandmother who looks over her brood of criminals, the former a spiteful thief. Crafting moments of incredible tension from simple exchanges, Michod launched himself as a formidable talent with this feature debut.

Ben Affleck - The Town, Argo

Affleck’s period drama-thriller Argo won all kinds of awards, but we’d argue his earlier thrillers were equally well made. Gone Baby Gone was a confident debut and an economical adaptation of Dennis LeHane’s novel. The Town, released in 2010, was a heist thriller that made the most of its Boston setting. One of its key scenes - a bank robbery in which the thieves wear a range of bizarre outfits, including a nun’s habit - is masterfully staged. With Affleck capable of teasing out great performances from his actors and staging effective set-pieces, it’s hardly surprising he’s so heavily involved in making at least one Batman movie for Warner - as well as playing the hero behind the mask.

Anton Corbijn - The American, A Most Wanted Man

The quiet, almost meditative tone of Anton Corbijn’s movies mean they aren’t necessarily to everyone’s taste, but they’re visually arresting and almost seductive in their rhythm and attention to detail. Already a celebrated photographer, Corbijn successfully crossed over into filmmaking with Control, an exquisitely-made drama about Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis. Corbijn took a markedly different direction with The American, a thriller about an ageing contract killer (George Clooney) who hides out in a small Italian town west of Rome. Inevitably, trouble eventually comes calling.

Corbijn’s direction remains gripping because he doesn’t give us huge action scenes to puncture the tension. We can sense the capacity for violence coiled up beneath the hitman’s calm exterior, and Corbijn makes sure we only see rare flashes of that toughness - right up until the superbly-staged climax.

A Most Wanted Man, based on the novel by John le Carre, is a similarly astute study of an isolated yet fascinating character - in this instance, the world-weary German intelligence agent Gunther Bachmann, brilliantly played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Tragically, the film proved to be one of the last before Hoffman’s death in 2014.

Paul Greengrass - Green Zone, Captain Phillips

Mention Greengrass’ name, and the director’s frequent use of handheld cameras might immediately spring to mind. But time and again, Greengrass has proved a master of his own personal approach - you only have to look at the muddled, migraine-inducing films of his imitators to see how good a director Greengrass is. Part of the filmmakers’ visual language rather than a gimmick, Greengrass’ camera placement puts the viewer in the middle of the story, whether it’s an amnesiac agent on the run (his Bourne films) or on a hijacked aircraft (the harrowing United 93). While not a huge hit, Green Zone was an intense and intelligent thriller set in occupied Iraq. The acclaimed Captain Phillips, meanwhile, was a perfect showcase for Greengrass’ ability to fuse realism and suspense; the true story of a merchant vessel hijacked by Somali pirates, it is, to quote Greengrass himself, “a contemporary crime story.”

John Hillcoat - Lawless, Triple 9

We can’t help thinking that, with a better marketing push behind it, Triple 9 could have been a much bigger hit when it appeared in cinemas earlier this year. It has a great cast - Chiwetel Ejiofor, Norman Reedus, Anthony Mackie and Aaron Paul as a group of seasoned thieves, Kate Winslet cast against type as a gangland boss - and its heist plot rattles along like an express train.

Hillcoat seems to have the western genre pulsing through his veins, and he excels at creating worlds that are desolate and all-enveloping, whether his subjects are period pieces (The Proposition, Lawless) or post-apocalyptic dramas (The Road). Triple 9 sees Hillcoat make an urban western that is both classic noir and entirely contemporary; his use of real cops and residents around the film’s Atlanta location give his heightened story a grounding that is believable in the moment. Nowhere is this more in evidence than in the scene in which Casey Affleck’s cop breaches a building while hunkered down behind a bullet-proof shield. Hillcoat places us right there in the scene with Affleck and the cops sneaking into the building behind him; we sense the claustrophobia and vulnerability.

Hillcoat explained to us in February that this sequence wasn’t initially written this way in the original script; it changed when the director and his team discovered how real-world cops protect themselves in real-world situations. In Triple 9, research and great filmmaking combine to make an unforgettably intense thriller.

Jim Mickel - Cold In July

Seemingly inspired by such neo-Noir thrillers as Red Rock West and Blood Simple, 2014‘s Cold In July is a genre gem from director Jim Mickle (Stake Land, We Are What We Are). Michael C Hall plays an ordinary guy in 80s America who shoots an intruder who breaks into his home, and becomes drawn into a moody conspiracy that takes in crooked cops, porn and a private eye (who's also keen pig-rearer) played by Don Johnson. Constantly shifting between tones, Mickel’s thriller refuses to stick to genre expectations. In one scene, after Hall shoots the burglar dead, Mickel’s camera lingers over the protagonist as he cleans up the blood and glass. It’s touches like these that make Cold In July far more than a typical thriller.

Mickel’s teaming up with Sylvester Stallone next; we’re intrigued to see what that partnership produces.

Martin Scorsese - Shutter Island

As a filmmaker, Scorsese needs no introduction. As a director of thrillers, he’s in a class of his own: from Taxi Driver via the febrile remake of Cape Fear to the sorely underrated Bringing Out The Dead, his films are full of suspense and the threat of violence. Shutter Island, based on the Dennis LeHane novel of the same name, saw Scorsese plunge eagerly into neo-noir territory. A murder mystery set in a mental institution on the titular Shutter Island, its atmosphere is thick with menace. Like a combination of Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man and Adrian Lyne’s cult classic Jacob’s Ladder, Shutter Island’s one of those stories where we never know who we can trust - even the protagonist, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.

David Fincher - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl

After the trial by fire that was Alien 3, David Fincher found his footing in the 90s with such hits as Seven and The Game. In an era where thrillers were in much greater abundance, from the middling to the very good, Seven in particular stood out as a genre classic: smartly written, disturbing, repulsive and yet captivating to look at all at once. Fincher’s affinity for weaving atmospheric thrillers continued into the 2010s, first with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, a superb retelling of Stieg Larsson’s book which didn’t quite find the appreciative audience deserved, and Gone Girl, an even better movie which - thankfully - became a hit.

Based on Gillian Flynn’s novel (and adapted by the author herself), Gone Girl is both a gripping thriller and a thoroughly twisted relationship drama. Fincher’s mastery of the genre is all here: his millimetre-perfect composition, seamless touches of CGI and subtle yet effective uses of colour and shadow. While not a straight-up masterpiece like the period thriller Zodiac, Gone Girl is still a glossy, smart and blackly funny yarn in the Hitchcock tradition. If there’s one master of the modern thriller currently working, it has to be Fincher.

See related  John Hillcoat interview: Triple 9, crime, fear of comic geniuses Jim Mickle interview: Cold In July, thrillers, Argento Jeremy Saulnier interview: Green Room, John Carpenter Jeremy Saulnier interview: making Blue Ruin & good thrillers Denis Villeneuve interview: Sicario, Kurosawa, sci-fi, ugly poetry Morten Tyldum interview: The Imitation Game, Cumberbatch, Headhunters Paul Greengrass interview: Captain Phillips & crime stories Movies Feature Ryan Lambie thrillers 15 Jun 2016 - 06:11 Cold In July Triple 9 Shutter Island Gone Girl David Fincher Martin Scorsese John Hillcoat Directors thrillers movies »

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30 Best 'Game of Thrones' Villains

13 June 2016 5:38 AM, PDT | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

The game of thrones may be dizzyingly complex, but there's one simple rule that still holds true: Like any competition, it requires people to root against. That's where the characters on our list of the HBO show's greatest villains come in. Sure, the story prefers to color its conflicts in shades of gray rather than black and white, but that doesn't stop it from boasting some of the best worst people the small screen has ever seen.

Some are complicated characters who've revealed both good and bad sides of themselves over time. »

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Music and Sex #11: Music, Music, and More Music

5 June 2016 10:25 PM, PDT | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Music and Sex: Scenes from a life - A novel in progress (first chapter here).

Walter had been so busy with midterms that he hadn't gone record-shopping recently. Neither had he spent his income on anything else, other than eating on the weekends, though he'd eaten better than usual. He'd wandered into a fast-food place on Broadway called Amy's and, for the first time in his life, had tried a falafel sandwich. Well, not really a sandwich, at least not as he thought of a sandwich, which was (mostly) meat between two separate pieces of bread, but he didn't know what else to call these things stuffed into pita bread. He'd liked it, not least because just one sandwich was very filling, so he had gone back regularly for lunch on weekends. It was a nice change of pace from the food at John Jay cafeteria. There never seemed to be many customers, »

- RomanAkLeff

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Cool Stuff: ‘Se7en’ Poster Inspired by Detective Somerset’s “Dream”

19 May 2016 4:00 AM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

Following up the disastrous experience of making Alien 3, director David Fincher made the uncompromising and unforgettable thriller, Se7en. Instead of directing a butchered version of Andrew Kevin Walker‘s hot spec script, Fincher and the film’s stars, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, fought to preserve one of the script’s most defining scenes–the ending. Fincher was initially sent an old draft of the script, […]

The post Cool Stuff: ‘Se7en’ Poster Inspired by Detective Somerset’s “Dream” appeared first on /Film. »

- Jack Giroux

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Italy’s Colorado Films Launches New Thriller Shingle With Best-Seller ‘The Whisperer’ (Exclusive)

16 May 2016 9:02 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Italy’s Colorado Films is teaming up with bestselling Italo author Donato Carrisi, whose serial killer thriller “The Whisperer” has sold millions of copies around the world, to form a new company specialized in producing Italian thrillers for the international film and TV market.

The core of shingle, which will be called Gavila, are two Carrisi properties, “The Whisperer,” which takes its cue from six severed arms found arranged in a circle in a forest clearing, and “The Girl in the Fog,” about the disappearance of a teen girl in the Alps.

Gavila is in advanced talks for German production powerhouse Constantin Films to board both projects; it’s also in talks with Zodiak France on “Whisperer” and with Universal/Focus Features on “Fog,” which Carrisi will direct.

Carrisi will be the head writer on the “The Whisperer” skein, which will be shot in English. Cranky criminologist Goran Gavila is »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Italy’s Colorado Films Launches New Thriller Shingle With Best-Seller ‘The Whisperer’ (Exclusive)

16 May 2016 9:02 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Italy’s Colorado Films is teaming up with bestselling Italo author Donato Carrisi, whose serial killer thriller “The Whisperer” has sold millions of copies around the world, to form a new company specialized in producing Italian thrillers for the international film and TV market.

The core of shingle, which will be called Gavila, are two Carrisi properties, “The Whisperer,” which takes its cue from six severed arms found arranged in a circle in a forest clearing, and “The Girl in the Fog,” about the disappearance of a teen girl in the Alps.

Gavila is in advanced talks for German production powerhouse Constantin Films to board both projects; it’s also in talks with Zodiak France on “Whisperer” and with Universal/Focus Features on “Fog,” which Carrisi will direct.

Carrisi will be the head writer on the “The Whisperer” skein, which will be shot in English. Cranky criminologist Goran Gavila is »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Mfr Explores The Dceu's Road To Ruin: Column #2

13 May 2016 12:30 PM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

Concept Art for "Superman: Flyby"

Welcome back to a special ongoing look at Warner Bros. and how it's handled its DC Comics properties. It's going to be a weekly, ongoing miniseries here at Lrm. This entry will look at what into relaunching the Batman and Superman franchises, and more. We'll explore all of the interesting parallels and forks in the road that brought us to where the Dceu is today. 

Last week, we left off in 1997. Batman And Robin came out and was a huge black eye for Warner Bros., effectively turning what was a once promising franchise into a punchline. It was the fourth installment of that series, and it killed Batman almost as definitively as the fourth Superman film had grounded the Man of Steel exactly 10 years earlier. 

But before we can look at how Warner Bros. planned to rebound its DC properties post-1997, we have to »

- Mario-Francisco Robles

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Michael Fassbender Teams With ‘Se7en’ Producer on Serial Killer Tale ‘Entering Hades’

3 May 2016 12:43 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Michael Fassbender is being eyed to play Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger in “Entering Hades,” a Broad Green Pictures project that the “X-Men” star is teaming with “Se7en” producer Richard Saperstein, among others, to produce. Broad Green has closed a deal for rights to “Entering Hades,” which is based on John Leake’s true crime novel. Bill Wheeler wrote the original script, which Oscar winner Alexander Dinelaris (“Birdman”) is rewriting with Fassbender in mind for the creepy lead role. Unterweger was a celebrated Austrian journalist and best-selling author who led a double life, investigating murders by day and killing by night. »

- Jeff Sneider

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‘Entering Hades’ With Michael Fassbender

3 May 2016 10:06 AM, PDT | bloody-disgusting.com | See recent Bloody-Disgusting.com news »

Broad Green Pictures has closed the rights to Entering Hades, a project based on John Leake’s true crime novel, Bloody Disgusting learned. Storyscape Entertainment’s Bob Cooper (AmistadJohn Tucker Must Die) and Richard Saperstein (Se7enHancock, 1408) have teamed up with Conor McCaughan (Assassin’s Creed, Slow West) and Daniel Emmerson (Assassin’s Creed) of Academy Award nominee Michael Fassbender’s Dmc Film to produce […] »

- MrDisgusting

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Preview of Howard the Duck #7

2 May 2016 2:10 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Howard heads into the Savage Land this Wednesday with the release of Howard the Duck #7, and we have a preview of the issue for you here…

When a case takes Howard and Tara to the Savage Land, they need all the help they can get! But instead, they make do with Spider-Man, She-hulk, Daredevil and Steve Rogers! Join Chip and special guest artist Kevin Maguire (!!!!) for an issue we like to call “Howard the Duck Volume Six, Issue Seven!”

Howard the Duck #7 is out on May 4th, priced $3.99.

»

- Amie Cranswick

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Get a Good Look: Supercut Vid of David Fincher's Extreme Close-Ups

1 May 2016 2:17 PM, PDT | firstshowing.net | See recent FirstShowing.net news »

David Fincher is one of my favorite filmmakers still working today. He's a master of style and storytelling, with ten excellent films under his belt so far. Video editor Jacob Swinney has put together a new video essay taking a closer look at Fincher's extreme close-ups (he's made videos on Tarantino's "ECUs" and PTA's "ECUs", too). Featuring footage from all ten of Fincher's films, from Alien 3 to Se7en to Fight Club to Zodiac to The Social Network to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to Gone Girl, it shows how Fincher uses these close-ups to add extra context to the stories he's telling and the characters he's following. They're sometimes subtle or they can be quite powerful, focusing on a very important detail at the moment. Take a look below. Full description directly from Vimeo: "The extreme close-up may not be the first thing that comes to »

- Alex Billington

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Cell: first trailer for upcoming Stephen King adaptation

26 April 2016 10:14 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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Samuel L Jackson and John Cusack star in Cell, from Stephen King. Here's the first trailer...

The next Stephen King-based project to make it to the big screen will be Cell, which is heading our way from Paranormal Activity 2 director Tod Williams.

Cell stars John Cusack, Samuel L Jackson and Isabel Fuhrman, and it tells the story of a strange signal that goes out across mobile phone networks, that consequently turns people into zombie-like savages.

Based on Stephen King’s novel, the author co-wrote the screenplay with Adam Alleca, and Cell heads to UK cinemas on August 26th.

We’ve got a trailer for the film and synopsis here, so as tradition dictates, we shall do them in turn.

Trailer first….

And here’s the synopsis…

In this highly anticipated adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling apocalyptic thriller, John Cusack (1408), Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained »

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[Tribeca Review] Nerdland

22 April 2016 7:29 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Providing an escape valve for Andrew Kevin Walker, known for far more serious films about would-be serial killers (8Mm, Seven), Nerdland is an almost biting commentary on Hollywood that would appear to be more at home on the small screen (had it not been crudely drawn for Cinemascope).

The animation chronicles  the adventures of two deranged dudes, John (voiced by Paul Rudd), a freelance writer for Concessioner Monthly, a trade magazine for movie exhibitors, and Elliot (Patton Oswalt), a budding screenwriter who finds time between videos games and nothing else to write a D-grade flick with gratuitous T & A. If the picture sounds bleak already, don’t worry it gets worse, even if it does come with a warning: the song that plays in the title sequence tells us to “get our hopes up.”

A parody of low-level Hollywood and the quest for instant stardom forces John and Elliot to »

- John Fink

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Nerdland Fails To Get The Best Out Of Paul Rudd And Patton Oswalt

21 April 2016 8:33 AM, PDT | cinemablend.com | See recent Cinema Blend news »

The rabid response to Sausage Party.s trailer and first screening at South By Southwest proves that there is a desire for raunchy, adult-themed animated feature films. Nerdland.s own trailer suggested that it might rival Sausage Party in this field. Especially since it features the undeniably talented pairing of Paul Rudd and Patton Oswalt in its leading roles. Unfortunately it doesn.t deliver the consistent, hearty laughs that you.d expect. Instead, it plays out like a lame and crude joke that you can.t wait to come to an end. Which is especially disappointing considering the esteemed talent that brought the film to life both on and off screen. As the writer of Se7en and Sleepy Hollow, Andrew Kevin Walker has proven that he has a unique but beguiling path into the morbid and bleak, while director Chris Prynoski.s past as the creator of Motorcity and »

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‘Magnificent Seven’ trailer shows off gunslinging Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington

20 April 2016 7:26 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Seven men on horseback will again ride through the Old West to save the day, and this time, they’re led by Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt. The two actors saddled up for The Magnificent Seven remake opening in theaters later this year. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), the film’s first trailer hit the web today. You can watch it below: Based on the 1960 Western The Magnificent Seven, which itself was based on Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, the new film also stars Peter Sarsgaard as industrialist Bartholomew Bogue, who’s ruthlessly taken control of the small town of Rose Creek. The desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers, and hired guns — Sam Chisolm (Washington), Josh Farraday (Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). HitFix was among a small group »

- Emily Rome

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2016 Illuminate Film Festival Announces Exciting Lineup and Events for Its 3rd Edition

18 April 2016 1:33 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

The 2016 Illuminate Film Festival, which will take place June 1 – 5, 2016 in Sedona, Arizona has announced the official line up of films for the 3rd annual event. The only film festival of its kind, the Illuminate Film Festival offers a collection of over 20 feature length and short films from around the world, exploring the year’s best in conscious cinema, as well as eye opening and thought provoking panels and conversations that will expand minds and inspire dialogue.

“We are proud to be the world’s premier film festival for conscious cinema” said the festival’s Executive Director Danette Wolpert, “and continue to attract movie-lovers, spiritual seekers and conscious lifestyle enthusiasts from over 25 states and 8 countries. In our third year, we will offer audiences the opportunity to enjoy the world’s best life-affirming, mind-body-spirit focused films, experience radical transformation together and meet trailblazers in the emerging genre of conscious cinema.”

Illuminate will begin on June 1st, 2016 with a pre-Festival Launch Party and Free Outdoor Screening of work-in-progress "Be More," a stirring documentary film narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, about seven activists who make it their mission to create a more compassionate world. Their goal: To transform the lives of seventeen teenagers in seven days. Filmmaker Justin Haulbrook will be in attendance.

Opening Film on June 2nd, 2016 will be "Maya Angelou and Still I Rise," which portrays the vibrant spirit of an American Legend - author, poet, Grammy-winner, civil rights activist and shining example of what it is to be empowered moment by moment in one’s life. Directed by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack, the film features interviews with Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones, Alice Walker and Hillary Clinton. Filmmaker Rita Coburn Whack will be in attendance.

The Festival’s Spotlight will be the emotional tour de force "Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru," directed by Academy Award® nominated Joe Berlinger. This film pulls back the curtain on the internationally renowned life and business strategist and his mammoth annual seminar, capturing the life changing transformations of the participants in real time. The Closing Film event will be a Sneak Peek of "Mantra: Sounds Into Silence," a film about the revolution underway in world Kirtan, yoga's call-and-response form of devotional music. Sneak peek clips of the film will be followed by a Q&A and live concert with world-renowned Kirtan sensation Jai Uttal. Filmmaker Georgia Wyss will be in attendance.

The Illuminate Film Festival will introduce the inaugural Conscious Visionary Award, an award honoring a pioneer in the world of conscious cinema, spirituality, and life achievement as a teacher and facilitator of human transformation. The award will be presented to the Hon. Dr. Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith for his unparalleled record of bringing hope, love and encouragement to millions of spiritual seekers, creating the Agape worldwide community of faithful parishioners, students, healers and teachers who carry his message forward, and his complete dedication to uplifting and inspiring humanity through his church, books, audio recordings and numerous film appearances.

Chaz Ebert has signed on as the keynote speaker for the Conscious Film Convergence and will speak on the role of transformational entertainment and its potential impact on humanity.  Chaz, wife of the late Roger Ebert, is the CEO of several Ebert enterprises, including President of Ebert Productions and Chairman of the Board of The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, and Co-Founder and Producer of Ebertfest, the film festival now in its 18th year.

Other films in the lineup include:

"A New High" (2015), directed by Samuel Miron and Stephen Scott Scarpulla - Everyone defines their mountain. For the residents of a Seattle homeless shelter, it’s homelessness, addiction, abuse.... and the 14,400-foot Mt Rainier.

"The Connected Universe" (2016), directed by Malcom Carter – Returning after its sold out Sneak Peek at Illuminate 2015, this documentary featuring Nassim Haramein discovers the science behind the interconnection of all things in a magnificent, groundbreaking union of science and spirituality. (Private screening)

"From This Day Forward" (2015), directed by Sharon Shattuck – Filmmaker Sharon Shattuck examines the mystery at the heart of her upbringing – How her transgender father Trisha and her straight-identified mother Marcia stayed together against all odds – depicting a love that survived the most intimate of transformations.

More information Here

"Home Care" (2015), directed by Slávek Horák – The official 2016 Oscar entry for the Czech Republic, this appealing humanist tale follows Vlasta, a dedicated home nurse whose entire life is devoted to saving others, as she reluctantly ventures into spirituality and alternative medicine to find salvation for herself.

More information Here

"Icaros: A Visions" (2016), directed by Leonor Caraballo and Matteo Norzi - A film shaped like a shamanic journey utilizing the unique qualities of plant medicine, steeped in a psychoactive brew exploring fear and destiny in the jungle of the mind and the Amazon. (Southwest Premiere)

More information Here

"Love, Sweat & Tears" (2016), directed by Scott Jacobs – Dr. Pamela Dee Gaudry is on a mission to “Save The Menopausal Vaginas of America!” In this documentary, Gaudry marries medical facts with profound insights from some of today’s influential spiritual leaders such as Hon. Dr. Rev. Michael Beckwith and Rev June Gatlin, as well as riotous comedians Joan Rivers and Jenny McCarthy. (World Premiere)

More information Here

"Teal" The Making of a Spiritual Teacher"  (2016), directed by Paola Marino – Referred to as “The Spiritual Catalyst” and dubbed the next Wayne Dyer, Teal Swan’s extrasensory gifts and connection to the spiritual realm are a light in the perpetual darkness of the modern age. (Work-In-Progress World Premiere)

More information Here

"Orange Sunshine" (2016), directed by William A. Kirkley – During the early 1960’s, a group of family, friends, and surfers formed a church centered around psychedelics. For The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the mission was to enlighten the world, and the law was but a mere interference. (Arizona Premiere)

More information Here

"Planting Seeds of Mindfulness" (2016), directed by Gregory Kennedy-Salemi and Stuary Jolley –Based on the teachings of world renowned Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, and featuring riveting music by Tina Turner, this live action-animated film about a teenager’s mindful journey is a powerful tool to help children, parents, teachers and communities develop the skills to promote peace within themselves and in the world around them.  (World Premiere)

More information Here

"Pursuing Happiness" (2015), directed by Adam Shell – The desire to be happy is so intense that we spend an immeasurable amount of time and money in an effort to obtain it. This enchanting, revelatory documentary explores the happiest people in America and uncovers the secrets to their happiness.   

More information Here

"Thank You For Your Service" (2016), directed by Tom Donahue – This gripping documentary about four Iraq War veterans struggling with Ptsd explores the healing aspects of meditation, native ceremony and equine therapy.  Impactful interviews include former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, General David Petraeus and Mayor Rudy Guiliani. (Southwest Premiere)

More information Here

"The C Word" (2016), directed by Meghan O’Hara – Cancer is no laughing matter – but the archaic way we are battling it is. Executive produced and narrated by Morgan Freeman, this film explores hidden science, the absurdity of the status quo, and introduces a vibrant cast of characters changing the cancer game. (Southwest Premiere)

More information Here

"The Highest Past" (2011), directed by Jon FitzgeraldSeven motorcycle riders share the journey of a lifetime along some of the most dangerous roads in the world, guided by a modern yogi and guru. (Cinema Revisited)

More information Here

"Tree Story"  (2015), directed by Ward Serrill – A series of short documentary films that explore the relationship between humans and trees from every conceivable angle: the scientific, the mythical, the practical, the cultural, and the spiritual. (Festival World Premiere)

"Vegan" Everyday Stories"  (2016), directed by Glenn Scott Lacey – Explore the lives of four remarkably different people who share a common thread – they’re all vegan. Follow an ultramarthon runner, a cattle rancher’s wife and an 8 year-old girl through their profound transformations. Featuring interviews with Moby, Russell Simmons and Ed Begley Jr. (World Premiere)

More information Here

Short Films: 

"The Avadhut" directed by Jonathan Dubsky, Fenulla Jiwan, Zottomer Kenatarac (World Premiere)

"Catching Fire" directed by Ward Serrill (World Premiere)

"Forgotten Ritual" directed by Mirjam Hlastan (Us Premiere)

"Holistic Life Foundation" directed by Chris Farina (Southwest Premiere)

"Sister Jaguar's Journey" directed by Sande Zeig

"Today I Acknowledge" directed by Jessica Hahner (Arizona Premiere)

Conscious Film Convergence Panels and Workshops: 

Spotlight Conversation: Norman Seeff On Creativity: The Power of A Dream

As a photographer for the most prolific artists of our time - Tina Turner, Johnny Cash, Jim Henson, Steve Jobs, Martin Scorsese and Will.I.Am, to name a few, Norman Seeff knows something about the creative process. Through his innovative methodology, he has developed a body of content exploring the roots of creativity, innovation and optimal performance and has identified schematics describing the archetypes of the creative process that function across all creative disciplines.

Behind The ‘Seen’ – Investing In Transformational Entertainment

Through this intimate dialogue on film finance moderated by Simon Kilmurry (Executive Director, International Documentary Association), hear from three savvy individuals who are committed to bringing transformational entertainment to mainstream audiences about the art and science of financing conscious and cause-based cinema. Guests include Geralyn Dreyfous of Impact Partners/Gamechangers, and producers Jane Charles of Greater Good Entertainment ("Sold") and Ilan Arboleda of CreativeChaos (Thank You For Your Service).

Conscious Media & The Mainstream: Finding Your Audience

Media, industry outlets and tastemakers play an essential role in building buzz and excitement around new cinema titles as they seek to find their audiences, often defining their position in the marketplace. Join Corrine Bourdeau, President of 360 Degree Communications, Bill Goodykoontz, Film Critic Az Republic & Gannett News Service, Maya Zuckerman, Huffington Post writer, and Mark DeNicola of Collective Evolution as they reveal how to best leverage the media and how conscious cinema can be branded, marketed and presented to engage audiences and maximize box office.

Act of Transformation - A Screenwriter's Workshop

Emmy Award winning screenwriter Dev Ross conducts a workshop focused on the act of transforming a conscious concept into an engaging screenplay. First, Dev will discuss how a screenplay that sets out to raise consciousness can face inherent story problems, using Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” as a reference on how to avoid this mistake. Then, by using the model discussed in the first half, the audience will have the opportunity to participate in the creation of a three-act story outline based on audience-contributed ideas.

Distribution Therapy

Disabuse yourself from assumptions about what it’s like to tie the knot with a distributor!  Get a rare chance to observe a series of conversations between filmmakers and their distributors. Join facilitator Shaeri Richards as she helps distributor-filmmaker pairs share their feelings in an entertaining format that will provide abundant wisdom on setting expectations, keeping the flame alive and when to call it quits with your distributor.  Panelists: Nancy Gerstman, Co-founder/Co-president of Zeitgeist Films & filmmaker Jeremy Frindel ("One Track Heart"); Richard Lorber, CEO of Kino Lorber & producer Peter Rader ("Awake: The Life of Yogananda"); Richard Cohn, President of Beyond Words & filmmaker Patrick Solomon ("Finding Joe").

**New workshop announced!

Tools of Immersive Cinema – Virtual Reality Workshop with Sandy Smolan

Virtual Reality workshop by filmmaker Sandy Smolan entitled "Going Deep: Diving into Virtual Reality Content Creation." It will be an overview and demonstration of the technology used to create The Click Effect (Sundance 2016), a live-action, immersive Vr experience that follows two renegade marine science researchers as they attempt to free-dive a hundred feet below the ocean’s surface in a single breath to capture the “click” communication of dolphins and sperm whales.

The Launch Party and Free Outdoor Screening will take place at The Collective in the Village of Oak Creek.  Festival screenings will take place at the Sedona Performing Arts Center and the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.  Festival parties will be hosted by Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, the Lodge at Sedona and Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen.

Illuminate Film Festival Major Sponsors 

Principal:  Science of Mind Magazine, ChocolaTree Organic Oasis & Sedona Chamber of Commerce

Producing:  The Collective, The Lodge at Sedona, Sedona Real Inn & Suites, International Documentary Association, Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen & Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village

Supporting: Sedona Elite Properties, Javelina Leap Vineyard & Winery,

Alive Mind Cinema, and Centers for Spiritual Living

Media Sponsors:  Spirituality & Health Magazine, Om Times, Conscious Life News,

Collective Evolution and Sedona Now TV.

VIP All-Access passes offer unlimited access to all events, including opening and closing night gala presentations, spotlight screenings, Reel Healing “View & Do” screenings, VIP parties and receptions, and Conscious Film Convergence panels and conversations, and provide priority ticketing access into theaters. Early Bird passes on sale now! Cost until April 20 is $349 and $444 after. Conscious Film Convergence passes are $249. 

To purchase passes, visit www.illuminatefilmfestival.com. Starting May 6, individual tickets can be purchased on a space-available basis. The full schedule of films exhibiting at the 2016 Illuminate Film Festival will be posted April 19. For more information, visit www.illuminatefilmfestival.com »

- Peter Belsito

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