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16 items from 2011


‘Spellbound’ Director Jeffrey Blitz to Direct ‘Table 19,’ Scripted by the Duplass Brothers

31 October 2011 5:00 AM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

Jeffrey Blitz, who made his debut with the award-winning 2002 spelling bee documentary Spellbound, and his dramatic feature debut in '07 with Rocket Science, is lining up a new movie. Table 19 is a script by Jay and Mark Duplass, who were once going to direct the film. But they've moved on to other things and now Blitz is in talks to make the movie, which Shawn Levy will produce. Variety [1] says the script is an ensemble "singles-at-the-wedding pic" with "a group of strangers who meet at the "losers" table at a wedding. Told from their perspective, the story explores what marriage means to those on the sidelines." The script has been at Fox Searchlight since 2009 [2], and I would have liked to see what the Duplass brothers might have done with it. Especially in light of their last two films, Cyrus and Jeff Who Lives at Home, which have moved into »

- Russ Fischer

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'Spellbound' Director Jeffrey Blitz Takes Over 'Table 19' From The Duplass Brothers

29 October 2011 9:18 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Writer/directors Jay and Mark Duplass have slowly been moving up the ladder from their lo-fi indie beginnings, delivering last year's "Cyrus" and following it up with "Jeff Who Lives At Home," hitting theaters next spring. They still have their long-forgotten sports-comedy "The Do-Deca-Pentathalon" sitting somewhere waiting to get released, but another film they had written and were lined up to helm has found another director. "Spellbound" and "Rocket Science" helmer Jeffrey Blitz will now take on "Table 19," set up at Fox Searchlight under Shawn Levy's 21 Laps production shingle. Written by the Duplass bros, the comedy is an ensemble… »

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‘Spellbound’ Director Jeffrey Blitz To Set Duplass Brothers’ ‘Table 19’ For Producer Shawn Levy

28 October 2011 4:04 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Jeffrey Blitz, the Oscar-nominated director of the spelling bee documentary, Spellbound, is in negotiations to direct Table 19.

The script was written by brothers Mark and Jay Duplass (Baghead, Cyrus) and originally had them set to direct. According to Variety, Blitz is now the leading contender for director, with Shawn Levy as producer. Levy is known for directing various TV shows and more recently Date Night.

Table 19 tells the story of individuals who have met at the designated “loser table,” aka the singles table, at a wedding reception. The story develops into the true meaning of marriage to those on the periphery, which is told through each character’s point of view.

Although the structure of the movie hasn’t really been revealed yet, it could easily have a documentary type feel, which Blitz is no stranger to. He has most recently directed episodes of The Office, which is »

- jpraup@gmail.com (thefilmstage.com)

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Gillespie Quits Zombie Pride & Prejudice

27 October 2011 5:01 PM, PDT | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

Lots of films lumber through Development Hell, but Pride And Prejudice And Zombies seems to be suffering more than most on the Production Plains of Dis. The undead literary comedy-horror mash-up has just lost Craig Gillespie, who's the third director to decide he's had enough.Gillespie (Lars And The Real Girl, Fright Night) had inherited the film from Mike White, who'd had to drop out due to a commitment at HBO. White in turn had picked up the project when David O Russell dropped it, favouring a trip to Old St Louis with Vince Vaughn. Other names in the hat previously included Neil Marshall (The DescentCenturion) and Jeffrey Blitz (Spellbound), but whether this news puts them back in the running (or whether they're still interested) remains to be seen.Deadline cite Gillespie's departure as an amicable one to do with casting issues. This is a polite way of saying »

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Jeffrey Blitz in Talks to Direct Table 19 for Fox Searchlight

27 October 2011 4:36 PM, PDT | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Jeffrey Blitz, the director behind the 2002 Spelling Bee documentary Spellbound, is currently in negotiations to helm the comedy Table 19. The story, written by Jay and Mark Duplass, follows a group of strangers who meet at the “singles” table at a wedding.  The so-called “losers” make running commentary about the ongoing wedding as Table 19 explores the ideologies of marriage from an outsider looking in. Variety reports that although Jay and Mark Duplass were originally attached to direct, Blitz should easily be able to handle the awkward comedy that will certainly run rampant in Table 19. He also directed Rocket Science, a pic about a stuttering high school student who joins the debate team, and has directed episodes of Parks and Recreation and The Office. Shawn Levy (Real Steel) is attached to produce through his 21 Laps outfit.   »

- Dave Trumbore

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Wedding Comedy Table 19 Lands Jeffrey Blitz To Direct!

27 October 2011 2:58 PM, PDT | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Filmmaker siblings Jay and Mark Duplass recently gave up directing duties on their forthcoming wedding comedy Table 19 and Rocket Science director Jeffrey Blitz officially took their place today. Variety reported that Blitz, who also directed the docs Spellbound, about teen contestants at the 1999 National Spelling Bee, and Lucky, about the lives of big lottery winners experiencing turmoil in life, agreed to replace the Duplass bothers on the comedy. Real Steel and Date Night director Shawn Levy joined the comedy as producer via his company 21 Laps. The Duplass brothers wrote the comedy about a group of date-less losers placed at a far-removed table at a wedding who come to understand the meaning of marriage and relationships while at the party. »

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Wedding Comedy Table 19 Lands Jeffrey Blitz To Direct!

27 October 2011 2:58 PM, PDT | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Filmmaker siblings Jay and Mark Duplass recently gave up directing duties on their forthcoming wedding comedy Table 19 and Rocket Science director Jeffrey Blitz officially took their place today. Variety reported that Blitz, who also directed the docs Spellbound, about teen contestants at the 1999 National Spelling Bee, and Lucky, about the lives of big lottery winners experiencing turmoil in life, agreed to replace the Duplass bothers on the comedy. Real Steel and Date Night director Shawn Levy joined the comedy as producer via his company 21 Laps. The Duplass brothers wrote the comedy about a group of date-less losers placed at a far-removed table at a wedding who come to understand the meaning of marriage and relationships while at the party. »

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When Can I Watch 'Spellbound' With My Kids?

13 September 2011 3:00 PM, PDT | Movies.com | See recent Movies.com news »

  I’ve been dying to get a documentary into the When Can I Watch With My Kids column. And now, as we’re celebrating back-to-school-type films like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Mean Girls, this seems like the ideal time to showcase one of my all-time favorite films, an inspirational tribute to academic achievement and the fortitude of the adolescent spirit.    I’m not sure which came first: Espn’s extensive coverage of the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee; or Spellbound, Jeffrey Blitz’s spirited and appropriately spellbinding spelling-bee documentary which added intrigue and heartbreak to the annual event.    Either way, I know I paid little attention to the enthusiastic spellers descending on Washington, D.C. each...

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- Sean O'Connell

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I Am Number Eleven

12 July 2011 1:18 AM, PDT | FilmInk.com.au | See recent FilmInk.com.au news »

Back in 2003, at the Melbourne International Film Festival, young Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey remembers being captivated by a screening of Jeffrey Blitz's Oscar-nominated documentary, Spellbound. The film follows eight young contenders, of varied ethnicity and social status, competing at the top annual Spelling Bee in the Us. Gripping, funny and poignant, the film was a critical hit when it was released, and really struck a chord with Bailey, who cites it as a large part of the inspiration behind her documentary, I Am Eleven, which is appropriately set to premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival. »

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Make Believe Review

19 June 2011 5:36 PM, PDT | FilmJunk | See recent FilmJunk news »

Make Believe Directed by: J. Clay Tweel Written by: Cleven S. Loham Starring: Lance Burton, Bill Koch, Krystyn Lambert, Derek McKee The art of magic has been around for centuries, and while the promise of seeing someone perform seemingly impossible feats will probably always draw a crowd, today's audiences are more wise, savvy and cynical than ever before. Nowadays, I think a lot of people take magic for granted, which is why modern magicians like Criss Angel and David Blaine need to put on a rock and roll attitude in order to get some attention. Still, with talented new magicians coming out of the woodwork all the time, it poses an interesting question: where do all these magicians get their start and how do they hone their skills? Make Believe is a documentary that purports to answer that question by focusing on the Teen Championship at the World Magic Seminar, »

- Sean

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[Review] Jig

17 June 2011 8:09 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

There are certain conventions all sports movies must require. In documentary it’s considerably more difficult, as a filmmaker must make choices on who to follow with your camera. In any documentary (or even in any film if we shall get truly technical) the pressure is mounting even more so when it is for a finite. You only get this one shot: a season and/or the tension building to the final round.

Jig, an audience award finalist from this year’s crowd HotDocs, making its way to theaters in New York and Los Angeles, is not exempt from the conventions that make a sports film crowd pleasing – a tense competition. This time, the sport is Irish Dancing. The film follows several young dancers competing for gold including an American from California who has been transplanted to Ireland by his parents when they discover he has a talent.

There are also the Russians, »

- John Fink

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DVD: DVD: Lucky

3 May 2011 10:01 PM, PDT | avclub.com | See recent The AV Club news »

Documentarian Jeffrey Blitz makes nice movies. With his crossword puzzle documentary Spellbound and now the lottery documentary Lucky, Blitz shows a fascination with the mysteries of human nature, but his films sometimes communicate that interest in pleasing little anecdotes rather than heavy emotional stories that convey something profound about the world. That breeziness is both a strength of Blitz’s oeuvre and its greatest weakness, especially when he’s faced with a subject as rich as the strange fortunes of people who’ve won the lottery. The subject might just be too broad for a single film, especially one this »

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This Week on DVD: Blow Out, The Holy Mountain, Bunny and the Bull

26 April 2011 10:40 AM, PDT | FilmJunk | See recent FilmJunk news »

It's an absolute wasteland out there on store shelves this week, as studios are offering virtually no major releases to speak of and instead we are left to sort through a pile of pathetic-looking direct-to-dvd titles. Believe it or not, South Park: Season 14 is probably the only high profile release out today, but if that's not your bag, you can always check out Sniper: Reloaded starring Billy Zane, Blood Out starring Val Kilmer and 50 Cent, or Sacrifice starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Christian Slater! A couple of potential hidden gems include British comedy Bunny and the Bull from the makers of The Mighty Boosh and the lottery winner doc Lucky from director Jeffrey Blitz (Spellbound). Fortunately, Criterion also has Brian De Palma's Blow Out and Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on Blu, while Anchor Bay is releasing high-def versions of Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain and El Topo. »

- Sean

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Craig Gillespie Could Fight The Undead

8 February 2011 4:04 PM, PST | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

The struggle to find a director who can handle genre mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has been tougher than the fight against a particularly vicious brain-guzzler. Many have flirted with the role, a few have sat in the chair only to leave, and now Lionsgate is hoping that Lars and the Real Girl’s Craig Gillespie might just be the man to finally wrangle the project.Seth Grahame-Smith’s blending of Jane Austen’s romantic ruminations with a sudden outbreak of flesh-craving zomboids has been a ripe project for a while, but seemingly cursed when it comes to finding someone who can call the shots. Among those who’ve been considered are Mike Newell, Neil Marshall, Spellbound’s Jeffrey Blitz and Let Me In’s Matt Reeves. David O. Russell was in line to make the movie, but dropped out over budget concerns and because he had the likes »

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White Off Pride, Prejudice & Zombies

19 January 2011 4:01 PM, PST | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

Back in November he won the high-profile gig over a couple of other high-profile directors. But now writer / director / actor Mike White has had to pull out of directing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, due to a pre-existing commitment at HBO. "Grrr, aarggh," he said in a statement.*White, who wrote School of Rock, directed Year of the Dog and died on the toilet in Zombieland, landed the project after David O Russell moved on. Lionsgate will be taking P&P&Z back out to potential directors again now, in order to maintain momentum.Names in the hat previously were Neil Marshall (The Descent, Centurion) and Jeffrey Blitz (Spellbound), but whether this news puts them back in the running (or whether they're still interested) remains to be seen. Whoever ends up helming Seth Graeme-Smith's literary classic / zom-com mash-up will need to get cracking casting an Elizabeth Bennett and a Mr Darcy, »

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Sundance juries announced, include America Ferrera and Jason Reitman

18 January 2011 9:11 AM, PST | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

The juries awarding prizes at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday in Park City, Utah, have been announced: The U.S. dramatic jury includes America Ferrera, who made her debut at the fest in 2002 with Real Women Have Curves, Hollywood Reporter chief film critic Todd McCarthy, cinematographer Tim Orr, Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce, and Up in the Air director Jason Reitman. The U.S. documentary jury consists of Spellbound director Jeffrey Blitz, The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening, My Country, My Country’s Laura Poitras, Jess Search of the Channel 4 Britdoc Foundation, and editor Sloane Klevin. »

- Mandi Bierly

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16 items from 2011


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