18 items from 2015
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, here’s a Wet Hot American kick-off to your summer.
Netflix on Friday released the first images from its prequel to the 2001 cult comedy film, and Camp Firewood is definitely open for the season.
Per Netflix, its forthcoming First Day of Camp 8-episode series will bring us the opening of the camp’s “famous summer season, now 14 years after the film’s debut.”
The gallery below features all of your favorites — including camp director beth (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce‘s »
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Check here for a complete list of our essays. Just one glance at the Oscar nominees for 1998 might make it seem less a questionable choice for “best year in film” — and more an insane one. Instead of a 1974 – The Godfather II, The Conversation, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc – or even a 1994, where Shawshank, Quiz Show, and Pulp Fiction lost to Gump – you choose a year where the Oscars would allow Roberto Benigni to climb atop both the figurative and literal chairs of the Shrine? Fine, step away from the Oscars. Would you still celebrate a year that saw not one, but two movies about asteroids threatening the Earth? A year that saw such scars carved across cinematic history as Patch Adams, My Giant, Stepmom, and Krippendorf’s Tribe? It bears repeating: Krippendorf’S Tribe? »
- Michael Oates Palmer
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
Filmmaker Wes Anderson has, over the years, infused his features with a very distinct style, one that not only sets him apart from other directors in the medium, but also makes his works instantly recognisable. Anderson’s distinctiveness also extends to the way he goes about shooting action scenes, which often pop up in his features, be they fights between siblings, as in The Darjeeling Limited, or full-scale shootouts between multiple people, such as in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Now Vimeo user Dávid Velenczei has made a supercut examining the myriad ways in which Anderson portrays different violent encounters, from the preparation to the actual action to the aftermath. The video, titled “Wes Anderson’s Violence”, can be seen below, with the following message attached.
- Deepayan Sengupta
When Wes Anderson released his 1998 sophomore feature “Rushmore” to almost universal acclaim, it was clear that the seeds of his now-trademark style had not yet fully blossomed. Yet they had certainly been planted: the perfectly symmetrical frames, meticulous color schemes and abundant doses of melancholia and deadpan humor all began to take root in Anderson’s quietly mesmerizing film, a funny and evocative look at young manhood and the perils of idealism. This was a decided point of contrast from his more naturalistic debut film “Bottle Rocket,” a picture every bit the equal of “Rushmore” in its own humble way. Anderson’s particular style of filmmaking would extend to polarizing extremes in his next few features, most notably his “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” which has grown in stature and emotional resonance since its 2004 release to become perhaps the director’s most overlooked film. But one could argue “Rushmore »
- Nicholas Laskin
Jason Schwartzman made the transition that some teen actors can’t broker. His first film, Wes Anderson's "Rushmore," was a big hit and launched his career. But the years after were a bit lean and or unremarkable. It wasn’t until six years later, with David O. Russell’s “I Heart Huckabees,” that the actor proved he was more than a one-hit wonder (though those that remember know he was pretty hilarious in his small “Cq” role). On a Marc Maron podcast from earlier this year, the actor revealed that before ‘Huckabees’ he almost starred in another David O. Russell movie, an unnamed mystery film that Schwartzman wrote some of the music score for, and that the director pulled the plug on very shortly before filming was set to begin. “Before [‘Huckabees’] there was another movie we were supposed to make,” he explained. “Right after ‘Rushmore’ I met him and he said, »
- Edward Davis
Remember the days before wi-fi? Well, thanks to Wes Anderson's former assistant, screenwriter Mike Le, we got to time travel back to 1999, when the Internet was still a new concept and people regularly used fax machines. On Thursday, Le shared the handwritten note via Twitter, noting that it was from "circa 1999." "Why don't you see if you can get this fax machine working," Anderson writes. "It's much better than the other one. Also, any word on our computer system?" "Let's get extra phone line for Internet," he adds. A handwritten note from Wes Anderson when I was his personal assistant circa 1999: pic. »
- Alexandra Zaslow, @alexandrazaslow
Remember the days before WiFi? Well, thanks to Wes Anderson's former assistant, screenwriter Mike Le, we got to time travel back to 1999, when the Internet was still a new concept and people regularly used fax machines. On Thursday, Le shared the hand-written note via Twitter, noting that it was from "circa 1999." "Why don't you see if you can get this fax machine working," Anderson writes. "It's much better than the other one. Also, any word on our computer system?" "Let's get extra phone line for Internet," he adds. A handwritten note from Wes Anderson when I was his personal assistant circa 1999: pic. »
- Alexandra Zaslow, @alexandrazaslow
The Austin Film Society, organizers of the Texas Film Awards, have more than a few milestones to celebrate this year. Not only the 30th anniversary of the Society and the 15th anniversary of the Awards themselves, it’s also the capper on a banner year for Texans in film, with Lone Star natives Wes Anderson and Society cofounder Richard Linklater both nominated for director at last month’s Oscars.
As part of the Texas Film Hall of Fame induction ceremony, hosted by Mike Judge, Variety executive editor Steven Gaydos will present a creative achievement award to Linklater’s “Boyhood,” along with posthumous honors to Christopher Evan Welch and L.M. Kit Carson.
Variety Creative Impact in Cinema Award
- Andrew Barker
How time flies. It might be hard to believe, but “Rushmore” —Wes Anderson’s sophomore feature, and Jason Schwartzman’s first ever screen credit— opened wide sixteen years ago last month. Thanks to a two-part, behind-the-scenes documentary, fans can revisit the making of the film. In the run-up to filming, Anderson asked his brother Eric Chase Anderson to make an electronic press kit for the film. Traditionally, the press crew is only on set for a few days, but Wes asked his brother to remain present for the duration of production. Eric’s sustained presence provided for some entertaining if not earth-shattering cinematic history. Much time is dedicated to the casting of Schwartzman in the role of Max Fischer. “Rushmore is his first movie, and he was discovered after an exhaustive casting search in England, Canada, and the United States,” says Eric Chase Anderson. During the second part of the doc, »
- Zach Hollwedel
The past thirty years has seen an increased in use of slow-motion, whether it’s more professional sports leagues getting with the times and implementing new technologies, or in movie theaters by directors to mark an important moment. Invenire Films has made a supercut of the 20 greatest slow-mo scenes, so cue the music and start walking slow. Running just under three minutes, the supercut is heavy on recent genre movies like “Zombieland” and “Judge Dredd.” Before you ask, yes, Zack Snyder is represented with both “Watchmen” and “300.” Fellow slow-mo aficionado, Wes Anderson gets a couple of shots in with both “Rushmore” and “The Darjeeling Limited.” Watch the supercut of the 20 greatest slow-mo scenes below, and let us know some of your favorites that we've left out. A great recent one, to start some conversation, is the hit of Ray Liotta in “Killing Them Softly.” [Live For Films] »
- Cain Rodriguez
Diehard Wes Anderson fans and "X-Men" acolytes might not have much in common at first glance, but this parody video reveals the twee side of our beloved superheroes. Patrick (H) Willems made "When Wes Anderson Meets 'X-Men," and it's smarter and more well-made than your typical online video satire. Besides, aren't most Wes Anderson heroes sort of mutants anyway?
The video primarily riffs on "The Royal Tenenbaums," but there's a touch of "Moonrise Kingdom," "Rushmore," and even "Bottle Rocket" in there. Plus, there are loads of "X-Men" references, like "Hope you survive the experience." Let's face it; giving Margot Tenenbaum the mutant powers of Jean Grey is both inspired and scary.
Willems has a ton of other videos available, including some rather inspired director/genre mash-ups like Ingmar Bergman and "The Flash," and Tommy Wiseau and "Batman." Check 'em out. [Via The Hollywood Reporter] »
- Jenni Miller
Here.s something you almost certainly never noticed: Wes Anderson has a slight obsession with the colors red and yellow. You probably don.t believe that.s true. Joking aside, there.s a handy video now available that showcases just how often he uses these colors, and it.s pretty damn wonderful. Watch it below! See, what did I tell you? Kudos to Rishi Kaneria for creating Red & Yellow: A Wes Anderson Supercut, which divinely brings together and amalgamates footage from the likes of Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, along with the short films Hotel Chevalier and Castello Cavalcanti. Just in case you didn.t know, that.s all of Anderson.s movies - which suggests that he might have a problem. Could be a medical reason for Wes Anderson »
Wet Hot American Summer just added a whole bunch of very impressive bunkmates.
Per our sister site Deadline, which first reported the news, Hamm will play a spy, Pine’s role simply will be “mysterious,” and Wiig will play a counselor at the prepster Camp Tigerclaw (Firewood’s rival). All of the roles are either guest star or recurring.
The newbies join most of the 2001 cult film »
The 87th Academy Award nominations for 2015 were recently released on January 15, 2015 representing the excellence in film for the previous year. Naturally there was the standard controversy regarding those films and performances that got unfairly overlooked. Unfortunately, the perceived snubs do happen from year to year so this goes along with the territory. Nevertheless, the lucky selections that do manage to grab Oscar’s attention are understandably grateful and psyched to see if the golden statuette will in fact go home with them on the film industry’s biggest and most elegant evening.
With the obvious crankiness of Oscar omissions aside and the injustices that go with these “reel” deals has anyone ever considered the Academy Award nominees that are surprisingly recognized that could have gone unnoticed for whatever reasoning? After all there are films and exceptional performances that get lost in the shuffle but manage to get the accolades it »
- Frank Ochieng
Oscar voters don’t tend to have long memories, but this week they proved that “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” a film that debuted nine months ago, had lingered in their minds long after the credits rolled.
The story of a concierge (Ralph Fiennes) and his pupil (Tony Revolori) who become entangled in a struggle over a painting hadn’t been expected to be a major awards contender, primarily because it had been out of theaters for so long. But it bucked the odds, nabbing a leading nine nominations, including bids for best picture and director for Wes Anderson.
Fox Searchlight, the indie label behind the whimsical comedy, maintains that time was on “The Grand Budapest Hotel’s” side.
“It was a strong and resonant film that stood the test of time,” said Nancy Utley, president of Fox Searchlight. “It’s not a movie you watch and forget about. It’s »
- Brent Lang
Michael C here. Wes Anderson’s films haven’t been ignored by awards season in the past, so much as they have been relegated to flitting around the edges. His films have received three total Oscar nods, two for Original Screenplay for Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom and one animated film nod for Mr. Fox. His most high profile wins have been a Gotham Award for Best Film for Moonrise and two Indie Spirit wins for Rushmore for Best Director and for Best Supporting Actor for Bill Murray who is in nearly all of his films.
Wes & Tilda on the set
Now that has all changed with Grand Budapest Hotel. No longer the strange side dish, Anderson’s nostalgic remembrance of a Europe that never quite existed has just finished a rampage through the precursors that culminated with Anderson’s first DGA nomination. Over the past few weeks buzz for »
- Michael C.
Chicago – One of the specialities of HollywoodChicago.com is the film and personality interview. The majority of these chats came through me, Patrick McDonald, and I couldn’t narrow it down to a top 10 or even a top 20. For 2014, there were 25 top interviews, and it is a diverse range of voices.
It is a privilege to get the opportunity to participate in the promotional tours, awards ceremonies, film festivals, book appearances, phoners and other lucky happenstances that feature the notable among us. To whittle down the list, I mostly thought about what was said in these interviews, whether inspirational or provocative – plus the status of the participants, whether they are up-and-coming or established.
The interview highlights are broken down by “Background and Behind-the-Scenes” and the “Memorable Quote” associated with each subject, and are often accompanied with exclusive photography by Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com. Four notables who just missed the »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
18 items from 2015
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