19 items from 2014
By Anjelica Oswald
Justin Simien’s feature debut Dear White People is a satirical comedy that deals with intra- and inter-race relations at a fictional Ivy League university after a group of white students throw a “black-themed” party. The film — which has been critically acclaimed and holds a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes — opened this weekend in limited release, receiving an average of $31,273 from 11 theaters. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival and won a Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the festival. Simien, who wrote and directed the film, used to work on studio publicity and is now getting his own Oscar campaign from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, the distributors for Dear White People. The film covers social issues that people often choose not to acknowledge and does so in a smart, humorous way. Though these types of films may cover topics the Academy is often wary of, »
- Anjelica Oswald
While We’re Young
Written and directed by Noah Baumbach
At age 45, it feels like writer-director Noah Baumbach is getting soft. Best known for his caustic tragicomedies like Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg, and Margot at the Wedding, he took a turn in tone for his 2012 feature Frances Ha, which starred and was co-written by Greta Gerwig. So, though the warmth of that film might surprise someone familiar with his work, that it’s a collaboration with Gerwig explains at least part of that tone. While We’re Young, though, Baumbach’s newest film which premiered at Tiff this year and made a surprise appearance at the New York Film Festival, manages to carry that affection. It’s hard to top Frances Ha, but his newest is pleasant and impressive all the same.
- Kyle Turner
Hipsters: you love to hate them and hate to love them. These uber-chic, urban-dwelling, subclass of twenty-somethings are usually defined by their originality through unoriginality, absurd style of fashion, “meta” sense of humor, and pop culture-referencing like there is no tomorrow. Hipsters’ unabashed preciousness and self-awareness rub many the wrong way to the point where anything with the slightest whiff of Hipster-ism is like presenting garlic to vampires, but for those with enough patience to swallow the twee self-indulgence prevalent in all hipster culture, often there is something of substance beneath all the excessive posturing.
Case in point, director Noah Baumbach. Whether Baumbach regards himself as a hipster or not, Baumbach, along with his friend and sometimes writing partner Wes Anderson, are associated with cinematic Hipster-ism. This makes Baumbach’s newest feature, While We’re Young, a very interesting film indeed, for the movie is essentially a satire of Hipster culture. »
- Christopher Lominac
Box office is one way a film makes its cash: but what are the others?
I know you’ll have noticed this by now, but it’s definitely called show business for a reason. It’s not show show art, show entertainment or even show exhibitionist impulse. Unless movies make money, the money to make movies would dry up pretty quickly. But where does this money come from?
Actually, that’s an easy one. It comes, almost entirely, from you and me and people like us. The real question should be how does this money get from our back pockets and into the coffers of the big movie studios.
Some of the pathways are incredibly obvious, some perhaps a little less so. Let’s take a look at 16 of the ways that movies make money.
1. Ticket sales
I had just started working in a cinema when Jurassic Park was released. »
Miranda Bailey’s Cold Iron Pictures has come on board to finance and produce the Sundance Lab project “Swiss Army Man,” written and directed by the filmmaking team the Daniels.
The duo — Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — recently won the best direction award at the MTV Video Music Awards for “Turn Down for What.” Bailey and Amanda Marshall of Cold Iron Pictures will produce, alongside Blackbird Films’ Lawrence Inglee and Jonathan Wang.
The absurdist comedy, launched at the Sundance screenwriters lab, centers on a hopeless man stranded in the wilderness who befriends a dead body and together they go on a journey. It will shoot in November with ICM Partners handling sales.
Cold Iron is also producing and »
- Dave McNary
Televisa USA has woken Anne Rice’s “The Sleeping Beauty” books from their slumber and has acquired the English-language television and digital rights to the author’s popular erotica series.
The books, which were published in the 1980s under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure and went mainstream after the success of E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, follows a beautiful young princess who is awakened from her long sleep in a much more provocative way than the traditional fairytale.
“I wrote this to be fun, in the belief that dominance and submission can be romantic and delightful as well as erotic,” said Rice.
She will executive produce in partnership with producer Rachel Winter (“Dallas Buyers Club”), who first approached the famous “Interview With the Vampire” author about adapting the project in 2012. Endemol North America co-chairman-ceo Charlie Corwin (“Half Nelson,” “The Squid and the Whale”) and former CAA motion picture »
- Whitney Friedlander
While I'm always up for watching a new film by Noah Baumbach, I'm fairly sure I wouldn't want to spend any time in the real world with the characters in his movies. Take "While We're Young," for example, his latest film which just premiered here at the Toronto Film Festival. In it, Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are a couple who have reached that point in life where all of their friends are having babies and they seem fairly sure that's not something they want. Josh is a documentary filmmaker who is coming up on his tenth year of tinkering with the same project, and Cornelia is a producer who works for her father (Charles Grodin), a successful older documentarian who used to be Josh's mentor. If they were the only three main characters in the film, there's still enough angst and tension and underlying pathology in the »
- Drew McWeeny
Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young, which stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a Brooklyn married couple stuck in a rut who are revitalized when they befriend a much younger couple (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried), was acquired by A24 at the Toronto Film Festival. The U.S. distribution rights went for $4 million, according to Deadline.
“We are enormous fans of Noah’s and were completely won over by While We’re Young,” said A24, in a statement. “Noah delivered a multi-generational comedy that is smart, extremely funny, and incredibly insightful, and which audiences across the country will embrace. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Following news that Anna Kendrick's latest musical endeavor, the film adaptation of the Off-Broadway production The Last 5 Years, was picked up by TWC-Radius, another promising film has been picked up from Tiff. Deadline has word that A24 has picked up the Us rights to Noah Baumbach's latest film While We're Young, starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Driver, Charles Grodin and more. The film follows a free-spirited Brooklynite twenty-something couple (Seyfried and Driver) who inspires an uptight documentarian and his wife (Stiller and Watts) to loosen up. Read on! Here's the first photos from Noah Baumbach's While We're Young from the Tiff program guide: Thrilled to be releasing Noah Baumbach’s film While We’Re Young. It is unrelentingly funny & special & we want to watch it 100 more times!— A24 (@A24Films) September 8, 2014 While We're Young is written and directed by Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha, »
- Ethan Anderton
Bill Hader has come a long way since his stint on Saturday Night Live, creating many popular characters and impersonations such as Stefon, Vincent Price and CNN’s Jack Cafferty. He is one of the highlights in such films as Adventureland, Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express, and so it is easy to see why author Mike Sacks interviewed him for his new book Poking A Dead Frog. In it, Hader talks about his career and he also lists 200 essential movies every comedy writer should see. Xo Jane recently published the list for those of us who haven’t had a chance to read the book yet. There are a ton of great recommendations and plenty I haven’t yet seen, but sadly my favourite comedy of all time isn’t mentioned. That would be Some Like It Hot. Still, it really is a great list with a mix of old and new. »
Jon Stewart's directorial debut Rosewater, Reese Witherspoon's naturalist weepie Wild and Jake Gyllenhaal's noirish character study Nightcrawler are among the big films premiering at the Toronto Film Festival this year. The venerable festival, long considered a key stop for Oscar hopefuls, announced its Galas and Special Presentations lineup this morning, thus signaling the kick-off to this year's awards season.
It's a shock to go back and watch "Midnight Cowboy" 45 years after its debut (on May 25, 1969) and see how raw and otherworldly it looks. After all, the X-rated Best Picture Oscar-winner has been so thoroughly assimilated into American pop culture that even kiddie entertainments like the Muppets have copied from it.
The tale of the unlikely friendship between naïve Texas gigolo Joe Buck (Jon Voight) and frail Bronx con man Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), "Midnight Cowboy" was initially considered so risqué that it's the only X-rated movie ever to win the Academy's top prize (though after it won, the ratings board reconsidered and gave the film an R). Still, the film featured two lead performances and a few individual scenes that were so iconic that homages (and parodies) have popped up virtually everywhere. (Most often imitated is the scene where Ratso, limping across a busy Manhattan street, is nearly »
- Gary Susman
X-Men: Days of Future Past review - "Nostalgia and new frontier" ★★★★
The seventh film in the franchise, X-Men: Days of Future Past, opens in cinemas today and brings back the bulk of the original film's cast for an epic time travel saga that also incorporates the cast of prequel First Class.
Like Wolverine in Days of Future Past, we've hooked ourselves up to Kitty Pryde's psychokinetic superpowers to get a glimpse into the past. Below we take a look at the film's cast from the original red carpet premiere in 2000, and see what they look like now.
Has the current gaggle of cinematic releases gotten you down? Perhaps it’s time for a small screen pursuit.
Set in the early 1980′s, The Americans follows two deep-cover Kgb spies posing as ordinary suburbanites, Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell). The pair, who are part of an arranged marriage, have also raised two children as part of their cover and over the years have seen their Russian identities wither away. While they continuously risk their lives for the Motherland, and do so while sporting some fabulous disguises, the two have found that their faux relationship has grown into something authentic.
These real feelings pose a grave threat to the two, who must brush emotions aside when they’re killing and/or bedding a string of different people. The Jennings must also be extra cautious as they live next door to Stan (the magnificent Noah Emmerich), an FBI agent. »
- Justine Browning
So rueful and wise is writer-director Alex Ross Perry’s “Listen Up Philip” about artistic ambition, youthful arrogance and middle-aged regrets, it comes as a shock to discover that Perry himself is not yet even 30. That gives this remarkably achieved feature a precocity nearly equal to that of the prodigal fiction writer who rests at its center, honing his craft at the expense of any and all meaningful relationships in his life. It’s a familiar tale, but one told by Perry with immense filmmaking verve and novelistic flourish, and acted by an exceptional ensemble cast. “Philip” won’t curry much favor with those critics and auds who routinely castigate the Coen brothers and Noah Baumbach for their dearth of “likable” characters, but those with slightly more jaundiced eyes will feel right at home. By any measure, the pic formally announces Perry as one of the most promising young talents on the indie scene. »
- Scott Foundas
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 16 Jan 2014 - 06:20
Another 25 unsung greats come under the spotlight, as we provide our pick of the underappreciated films of 2005...
It's underappreciated films time again, and this week, we delve deep into the year 2005 - a collection of months dominated by the likes of Star Wars: Episode III, another Harry Potter, Steven Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, Peter Jackson's King Kong, and CG family movie Madagascar.
It was also the year Pierce Brosnan formally bowed out of his role as James Bond, and Martin Scorsese's The Aviator was hyped to win the director his first Oscar, but didn't. Still, the contents of this list received nothing like the acclaim of The Aviator, nor the financial pickings of a Star Wars or Harry Potter. As ever, we've focused on 25 films which we think deserve a bit more love.
So with apologies to »
From director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg) comes Frances Ha (2012), a joyous rites of passage journey of one hapless New Yorker (Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig) cast adrift on a voyage of friendship, dating, dead-end jobs and dancing. To celebrate the long-awaited DVD and Blu-ray release of Baumbach's sweet and brilliantly funny indie comedy this coming Monday (6 January), we have Three DVD copies of Frances Ha to give away to our readers, courtesy of Metrodome Distribution. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
- CineVue UK
• Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) is reportedly interested in portraying Spanish explorer Hernando Cortés in Montezuma, a nearly 50-year old Dalton Trumbo (Spartacus) script that Oscar-winner Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List) is updating. Steven Spielberg may have his sights on directing the project for DreamWorks, who currently owns the rights. Trumbo had apparently written the original script (one draft was 205 pages long!) for Kirk Douglas and director Martin Ritt. [Deadline]
- Lindsey Bahr
Daniele Watts continues to quietly book work, building her resume, so take note, especially as when the inevitable question about who the upcoming young black actors and actresses are that we should be paying attention to. In addition to being recently cast in FX's new comedy series Braddock & Jackson, as a series regular, Watts has landed a starring role, opposite Max Burkholder in an untitled coming-of-age indie comedy from writter/director Morgan Krantz. The film's story, which is said to be similar in tone to Noah Baumbach's 2005 dramedy The Squid And The Whale, comes from Watts (so she's doing more than just starring in it), who developed it with Krantz. it centers »
- Tambay A. Obenson
19 items from 2014
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