10 items from 2016
Richard Linklater’s latest film “Everybody Wants Some!!” follows a group of college baseball players over the course of one weekend in 1980. Our audience surrogate is Jake (Blake Jenner), a hotshot high school pitcher, who soon meets his rambunctious teammates, who include the smooth-talker Finnegan (Glen Powell), cocky star pitcher Glen McReynolds (Tyler Hoechlin), stoner transfer student Willoughby (Wyatt Russell), and more. During his introduction to the campus lifestyle, Jake eventually meets Beverley (Zoey Deutch), an outgoing performing arts major, who shows him the ways of the artsy side of college life.
Amidst all the drinking and competition, Jake witnesses how a malleable environment can beget individual adaptation, and how the mix-and-match qualities of college all but beg a student to embrace their own fluidity of self. Watch an exclusive clip from the “Everybody Wants Some!! More Stuff That’s Not In The Movie” special feature off the upcoming Blu-ray »
- Vikram Murthi
Richard Linklater has enjoyed an enviably idiosyncratic career since his 1991 Sundance breakout "Slacker." He's moved through a wide range of budgets and subjects, from animated "Waking Life" and the walking and talking, Oscar-nominated "Before Sunrise" series to "Dazed and Confused." Back in 1993 Universal couldn't figure out how to sell a Texas coming-of-age film with a young indie filmmaker and no-name cast (including Ben Affleck and Matthew "all right, all right" McConaughey) at the box office. "Dazed and Confused" eventually emerged as a cult midnight movie that stayed in theaters for over a year as well as a double Platinum album and homevideo classic that keeps selling new DVD and Blu-ray editions. Linklater estimates that finally Universal made more than $50 million on the film. After Linklater made commercial hit "School of Rock" in 2003 at Paramount, the studio developed the 1980 Austin college comedy »
- Anne Thompson
Utilizing an engaging mix of newly filmed footage rotoscoped à la Waking Life, archival materials, and interviews, Tower employs a verbatim style to capture the harrowing events of August 1, 1966, in which a sniper opened fire at the University of Texas, killing 16 and wounding 32 others. Almost never referring to the shooter by name, director Keith Maitland captures the terror of the day told through newsreel footage and animated sections, following several key figures of the drama, including a young pregnant undergrad Claire Wilson, her unborn baby, and her boyfriend, Tom Eckman, who were the first to lose their lives that day.
By exploring the sheer panic, we can follow the heroes of this tragedy: Allen Crum, the manager of the local campus Co-Op who headed towards the tower while others took cover; Austin police officers Ray Martinez and Houston McCoy, who did exactly what they had to without the kind of »
- John Fink
In this special episode of Off The Shelf, Ryan and Brian take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for Tuesday, March 15th, 2016.
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Follow-Up Target: Star Wars The Force Awakens exclusive supplements are download-only News Kino Lorber: My Bodyguard, Sam Fuller’s Fixed Bayonets, Yellow Sky, The Legend of Hillbilly John, Daddy Long Legs Warner Archive: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf Milestone: Losing Ground Vinegar Syndrome: Dolemite Misc Links Dan Trachtenberg’s post Delicious Library Links to Amazon Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip The Big Short Braddock: Missing in Action III Brooklyn Carol The Centurions: Part Two Burden of Dreams Game of Thrones: Season 5 Invasion U.S.A. Just Visiting Love The Manchurian Candidate Monster Dog My Boyfriend’s Back Rage of Honor Rocco and His Brothers Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine Sun, Sand and Sweat 4 Pack »
- Ryan Gallagher
★★★★★ Richard Linklater may have received the best notices of his career for Boyhood (and rightly so) but it's easy to forget previous to that film, he'd played around with the elasticity of storytelling in film, to equally stunning effect. Perhaps given the ostensibly bookish subject matter, Waking Life has seldom been acknowledged as a legitimate innovator of the medium. Subsequently deployed on a larger, more polished scale (but no less effective) in the director's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, the film's use of rotoscoping is nothing short of wondrous.
- CineVue UK
The night before the SXSW Film Festival got under way, Michael Barker, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, defended his communal love of film in theaters. "In pursuing the new future, we cannot decimate the past," he said in his acceptance speech as one of the honorees at the Texas Film Awards, the annual benefit for Richard Linklater's now 30-year-old Austin Film Society.
Watching the Sony Classics reel, the crucial art films I grew up on over the decades sped past. From Truffaut's "The Last Metro" and Merchant/Ivory's "Howards End" to more recent Oscar-winners "Blue Jasmine," "Alice" and "Son of Saul," I felt a twinge of loss. SXSW is all about change, and forward motion. But in our rush toward digital immediacy, we lose something too.
While Barker and partner Tom Bernard's Sony Classics remains the very model of a theatrically driven and adaptive studio specialty subsidiary, the world is changing around them. 35 mm is no longer a viable exhibition format, directors have to fight to shoot with celluloid, and distributors are increasingly challenged to lure consumers away from mobile and home-viewing options in favor of a theater.
Also fighting the good fight is Linklater. He announced construction on the Austin Film Society's new two-screen theatre, "showing repertory, international and arthouse films every day of the week," which will boast a 35 mm projector. Meanwhile, more local exhibitors are turning to alternative content like TCM Classic Movies to grab their customers—most of whom are well over 30, if not 60.
Linklater has enjoyed an enviably idiosyncratic career since his pre-sxsw 1991 Sundance breakout "Slacker" (picked up by Barker and Bernard). He's moved through a wide range of budgets and subjects, from animated "Waking Life" and the walking and talking "Before Sunrise" series to "Dazed and Confused," which Alphaville's Sean Daniel and Jim Jacks made with Universal chairman Tom Pollock. Universal couldn't figure out how to sell a Texas coming of age film with a young indie filmmaker and no-name cast (including Ben Affleck and Matthew "all right, all right" McConaughey) at the box office; "Dazed and Confused" eventually emerged as a cult homevideo classic.
After Linklater made commercial hit "School of Rock" in 2003 at Paramount, the studio developed the 1980 Austin film that became "Everybody Wants Some!!" And, as he said at his New York pre-sxsw party, it was still tough to get it made. The film took a decade to go into production, just as "Boyhood" hit big and headed for awards contention. However, it may be deja vu all over again: Cast with unknowns, the movie is hugely entertaining, shot with the same "Dazed and Confused" aesthetic (and many of the same crew, including long-time Linklater editor Sandra Adair), and Paramount is hedging its bets: "Everybody Wants Some!!" will go out via platform release April 1.
It's a struggle that speaks to why, these days, emerging film directors tend to find more work in television, from SXSW stars the Duplass brothers, who keep their film budgets low, to director-actress Amy Seimetz ("The Killing," "The Girlfriend Experience") and Lena Dunham, whose HBO series "Girls" launched SXSW Film's move into television premieres. These are now major draws, from "Broad City" panels to the outdoor preview exhibit “Welcome to Annville," which ties to AMC’s supernatural comic-book drama, "Preacher" (November) starring Dominic Cooper (from executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg); that will premiere at SXSW March 14.
As for the movies at SXSW, buzz has started as film buffs spread the word on opening-night titles like Joey Klein's bleak romance "The Other Half," starring real-life couple Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen. But it can be tough for the film side of SXSW to grab attention from the rest of the festival — even after President Obama had left town.
At SXSW 2016, everyone hovers on street corners searching for their Uber or Lyft drivers. Downtown Austin resembles San Diego's Comic-Con with its countless showrooms, meet-up tables, and brand marketing opportunities like the "Mr. Robot" ferris wheel, Capital One House, and pedicabs bedecked with HBO's "Game of Thrones.
As at Comic-Con and Sundance, the noise of the corporate world trying to nab a piece of the smart digital-driven demo at SXSW has gotten a lot louder. Interactive was SXSW's growth engine for four years, but attendance stabilized in 2015 and 2016 (2015 attendance included 30,000 music, 33,000 interactive and 20,000 film participants). "'Twas the night before SXSW and all through this hotel lobby bar there are Interactive nerds drinking wine talking about Macs and Minecraft," tweeted The Daily Beast's @jenyamato.
SXSW attendees lined up around the block to get into fashion and lifestyle site Refinery29's opening night high-school-themed "The School of Self Expression" party, serving miniaturized high school snacks on molded cafeteria trays to guests including Kate Bosworth.
"SXSW is about youth and the future," eight-year SXSW veteran and Refinery29 cofounder Philippe von Borries told me. "It's forward looking, but it's a dude-centric world. SXSW events used to attract diehard geeks who love technology. It then became about big marketing events, as brands started coming in. That's blown up in the last few years. Now there’s a much larger female presence, more style, more creativity in the air."
Targeted to millennial women, Refinery29 lures 150 million visitors a month with content ranging from horoscopes to in-depth interviews with Hillary Clinton, pushed out via social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. "It's about self-expression and empowering women, bringing content from incredible female voices from around the world: style, fashion, beauty, global issues, health, wellness," said Von Borries.
And it may be companies like Refinery29 that will shape the future of SXSW. Video is driving Refinery29's next evolution; at Sundance, it announced the "Shatterbox Anthology," a 12-part series of shorts directed by women. Produced by Killer Films' Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler, it will debut this spring with "Kitty," the directing debut of actress Chloe Sevigne. And Von Borries is proud of Jill Soloway's darkly irreverent six-part comedy series "The Skinny," about a young woman with an eating disorder, which "goes to places other media companies are not going."
- Anne Thompson
Premiering at Sundance 25 years after his seminal second feature film, Slacker, Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny, produced for the PBS series American Masters, is the kind of documentary that requires little introduction. Borrowing its title from the opening moments of his Waking Life — a film that itself represented a rebirth for the Austin-based filmmaker following his second studio feature The Newton Boys — and combining behind-the-scenes footage from many of Linklater’s films (from Slacker to his upcoming Everybody Wants Some) with a history of Austin’s independent film scene, as developed by Linklater and the Austin Film Society, the picture reflectively weaves together a history of a master filmmaker whose work is squarely interested in the passage of time. The picture includes commentary by the late Siskel and Ebert, along with critic / scholar Kent Jones and, very briefly, Kevin Smith.
- John Fink
In this special episode of Off The Shelf, Ryan and Brian take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for Tuesday, January 19th 2016.
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Follow-Up Ryan screwed up in discussing Arrow’s Fassbinder titles News HBO airs Godfather “Epic” Kino Studio Classics: Freleng DePatie Cartoons Covers & Dates Masters of Cinema: Eureka & Rocco Arrow low-quantity warnings Waking Life cover Links
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12 Monkeys: Season 1 All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records American Gigolo Adventure Time – Stakes! Miniseries Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (Arrow) Christmas Eve The Diary of a Teenage Girl Everest Gilda The »
- Ryan Gallagher
Vic chats with Tommy Pallotta (A Scanner Darkly, Waking Life) about his phenomenal new movie The Last Hijack and gives an incredible insight into the animation process, Somali pirates and all things movies! Subscribe on iTunes – Click here (Click view in iTunes and the click Subscribe) If you’re already a subscriber, the latest episode is ready to download. iPhone / iPad Users– Click here to open your iTunes podcast app and click Subscribe! Stitcher Users Click here – iOS / Android This is our latest, epic, episode! »
- email@example.com (Vic Barry)
This week on Off The Shelf, Ryan is joined by Brian Saur to take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for the month of December 2015, and chat about some follow-up and home video news.
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Follow-Up Black Friday / Holiday Disc Purchases Mystery Science Theater Kickstarter Star Wars: The Force Awakens DVD Beaver Blu-ray and DVD of the Year: 2015 News CES: Ultra HD Blu-ray News Disney: Snow White Signature Collection Warner Archive Blu-ray releases January 2016: The Ice Pirates, The Wrong Man, A Mighty Wind, Flicker Alley: L’inhumaine Thunderbean: Yuletide Flickers Arrow Video: Waking Life, Cult Cinema: An Arrow Video Companion Twilight Time: March/April titles. January pre-orders Olive Films: March Titles Disney Movie Club: Blackbeard’s Ghost Milestone: Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema, Volume 1 Episode Links & Notes
- Ryan Gallagher
10 items from 2016
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