6 items from 2015
London — The Munich Film Festival is to pay tribute to Alexander Payne with a complete retrospective of his movies.
Payne’s last visit to the event was in 1997 when he won the High Hopes Award for “Citizen Ruth,” the predecessor of the festival’s CineVision Award. The film starred Laura Dern as a white trash antihero who becomes a cause celebre when she gets pregnant with her fifth child.
Among the movies to play in Munich this year are “Election,” which was the international breakout role for Reese Witherspoon, “About Schmidt,” starring Jack Nicholson, “Sideways,” which stars Paul Giamatti, “The Descendants,” starring George Clooney, and “Nebraska,” with Bruce Dern toplining.
The Munich retrospective will show all Payne’s shorts, features and TV films. On June 26, there will be a gala held in his honor, and the director will also speak about his life and movies at Filmmakers Live in the Gasteig Black Box. »
- Leo Barraclough
When you imagine growing up in Texas, there’s the idealized Terrence Malick version of things, as seen in “The Tree of Life,” and there’s the casual, down-to-earth sort captured by Richard Linklater in such pics as “Dazed and Confused” and “Boyhood.” But for the truest depiction of how it feels to come of age in the Lone Star state, look no farther than Micah Magee’s “Petting Zoo,” a piercingly authentic, diamond-in-the-rough debut inspired by its director’s San Antonio upbringing, shaped by her personal experience with unplanned pregnancy and rendered poignant by whatever distance she’s since managed to put between herself and those teenage memories. Following screenings in Berlin and SXSW, Magee’s all-American indie is well poised for acquisition and further festival interest on both sides of the Atlantic — no small feat for a starless first feature.
Neither as witty as Juno nor as woebegone as Precious, »
- Peter Debruge
Read More: 'The Intruder' and 'I Believe in Unicorns' Among Winners at First Time Fest Harvey Weinsten is known for taking chances on first-time filmmakers, having helped launch the careers of Quentin Tarantino ("Reservoir Dogs"), Steven Soderbergh ("Sex, Lies and Videotape"), Baz Luhrmann ("Strictly Ballroom") and Alexander Payne ("Citizen Ruth") during his time at Miramax and now The Weinstein Company. Naturally then, Weinstein was an honoree at this year's third annual First Time Fest, a festival designed to showcase and discover first-time feature filmmakers. During the closing night discussion and throughout the festivities, The Hollywood Reporter was able to nab a few details about what Weinstein looks for from collaborators and first-time directors. Want to work with Harvey Weinstein one day? Here are the four tips Indiewire was able to cull from the piece. Write Your Own ScriptWhen asked what gives him the confidence to »
- Casey Cipriani
During his time running Miramax and The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein has released a number of movies directed by first-time filmmakers including Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, Steven Soderbergh's Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Rob Marshall's Chicago, Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom, Alexander Payne's Citizen Ruth, Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station and George Clooney's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. This background made Weinstein an ideal honoree for the third annual First Time Fest, designed to discover, showcase and celebrate first-time feature filmmakers. Weinstein was honored during the closing night of this year's festivities, participating in a discussion with First Time Fest's director
- Hilary Lewis
More than 15 years ago, Reese Witherspoon gave her first really impressive performance as an ambitious, overachieving high school student in the indie comedy Election. She’d shown talent before then, but this was the moment we knew she would grow as an actress as she aged further into adulthood (she was 22 at the time, playing a teenager). Later came Legally Blonde and cemented her as a movie star, one who would go on to additional rom-com fluff like Sweet Home Alabama while only occasionally mixing in more substantial fare — enough to win an Oscar in 2005 for Walk the Line, at least. Now she appears to be focused on the latter in what some have called a career resurrection or (to borrow an idea from her Mud co-star) “Reese-enaissance” or (via the Fighting in the War Room podcast) “Reese-urgence.” And with this new era comes a reunion with her Election director, Alexander Payne »
- Christopher Campbell
Reese Witherspoon has signed on to follow up her critically-acclaimed performance in Wild with Downsizing. Ironically, the actress was initially attached way back in 2009 when we first reported on the project. Paul Giamatti and Sacha Baron Cohen were also attached to star at the time for director Alexander Payne, but it never moved forward, as the filmmaker went on to make Best Picture nominee The Descendants just a few years later. Matt Damon signed on to star back in November, playing a man who believes his life would be far better off if he shrunk himself, in what is described as a social satire.
Back in 2009, Reese Witherspoon was set to play a woman who met the shrinking man, then played by Paul Giamatti. It isn't known if she will still play the same role in this incarnation. Deadline reports that timing may be an issue with Reese Witherspoon, since »
6 items from 2015
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