18 items from 2015
Read More: Watch: Gorgeous Supercut Puts the First and Final Shots of Movies Side-by-Side What happens when you compile a bunch of dance scenes from various films together into one video, along to the catchy Walk the Moon song, "Shut Up and Dance"? The result is impressively joyful. This video features a number of indie and classic films where characters, well, just shut up and dance. Academy Award favorites like "Silver Linings Playbook," "American Beauty" and "Slumdog Millionaire" get some attention. Then there's smaller indies like the relationship deconstructing "Blue Valentine," the Coen Brothers' crime-comedy "Burn After Reading," the delightful "Little Miss Sunshine," the unconventional romantic comedy "(500) Days of Summer" and the 2014 UK comedy "Pride," about gay activists helping miners during a 1984 strike. Will you shut up and dance along to the video? Watch and find out. Read »
- Travis Clark
After a brief delay, this series has returned. Yes, once again I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be truing to do that, time will still tell. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more. Alright then, here goes nothing folks…behold my picks: Best Picture – The Social Network The nominees here for this ceremony were 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, »
- Joey Magidson
This review was originally published during Fantastic Fest 2014.
Since festival audiences have already exhausted the “Spring is like…” comments over every form of social media (Spring is like Before Sunrise meets H.P. Lovecraft, for example), I’ll just plainly say that Spring is romantically horrific bliss, achieving perfection through tragedy and soul. Is there a subgenre of horror equatable to the “Mumblecore” scene yet? If not, filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have pioneered it, throwing together a loving tale that’s aided by a creature-feature subplot akin to a Troma production on super-steroids.
There’s something so primal and affectionate about Spring. It strikes an honesty that’s notably reminiscent to Richard Linklater’s or Joe Swanberg’s crowning work. It’s the most regal of Shakespearean epics meets the most sinister Joe Dante feverdream, striking a wealth of emotional riches while also utilizing beastly effects reminiscent of Landis »
- Matt Donato
The Tribeca Film Festival announced this week that audiences will have an opportunity to hear panel and one-on-one conversations with some of the industry’s most critically and commercially successful filmmakers, artists, and executives during this year’s Tribeca Talks series including Christopher Nolan with Bennett Miller, George Lucas with Stephen Colbert, Cary Fukunaga with James Schamus, Brad Bird with Janeane Garofalo, Harvey Weinstein, Gus Van Sant, Courtney Love, Catherine Martin, and Christiane Amanpour.
Unique programs in the 2015 series include the Tribeca Talks: Directors Series sponsored by Warner Bros. Pictures where an acclaimed director participates in an intimate one-on-one conversation, Tribeca Talks: Master Class conversations focusing on a specific sector of the filmmaking process, Tribeca Talks: Script & Screen hosted by Barnes & Noble which explores topics related to screenwriting, as well as the previously announced special Tribeca/Espn Sports Film Festival Conversations which presents conversations relating to sports and competition in film, »
- Sacha Hall
If Robert Durst is indeed convicted of first-degree murder, in a way, he'll have All Good Things to thank. Durst was such a fan of the 2010 film based on his life that he offered its director, Andrew Jarecki, an exclusive sit-down interview. That interview became The Jinx, which (Lapd aside) almost certainly uncovered the evidence that led to Durst's arrest on Saturday for the murder of his friend Susan Berman. That's a better legacy than most movies with a 32 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating can manage.All Good Things had the bad fortune to come out around the same time as Blue Valentine, and the two movies were superficially similar enough (Ryan Gosling, class tensions, love gone wrong) that Good Things got slept on a bit, at least until The Jinx premiered and reminded everyone of its existence again. But that TomatoMeter score doesn't lie — it is not a very »
- Nate Jones
Editor Jacob T. Swinney has created a fascinating five minute video featuring the first and final shots from 55 different films. In some cases we can attempt to draw meaning from what we're seeing and in others there doesn't appear to be much rhyme or reason, but that in itself can offer a window into what the director was attempting to achieve. My only complaint with the video is the fact Swinney didn't include the film titles in the actual video, opting instead to list them in the film's description. While the majority of the images are recognizable enough, I did find myself looking at the descriptions here and there, taking me out of the video for a second and ultimately causing me to have to pause the video overall. Not a major complaint, just more a compliment in fact to the engrossing nature of what was created. I personally find the images of Birdman, »
- Brad Brevet
Having explored an illicit affair between a high-school instructor and student in “A Teacher,” writer-director Hannah Fidell focuses on a doomed relationship of a rather more banal (if age-appropriate) sort in “6 Years.” Although shot and performed in a determinedly raw, naturalistic register, this emotionally roiling portrait of two twentysomething Texas sweethearts too often veers toward melodramatic overstatement, inspiring little empathy or understanding despite the committed performances of promising young leads Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfield. The backing of exec producers Mark and Jay Duplass will draw a measure of attention, but not enough to distinguish this low-budget effort in the indie marketplace.
Staggering home drunk one night from a party, Mel (Farmiga) awakens her boyfriend, Dan (Rosenfield), their groggy banter suddenly exploding into an argument; the scuffle that ensues leaves Dan with a bump on the head, and Mel aghast and apologetic. They’re quick to make up, but the »
- Justin Chang
“A Dark ‘Goonies.’ Cool, I’m in.” That was the reaction given in text message by Chromatics member/composer Johnny Jewel to Ryan Gosling, when the actor gave him the script for his first directorial project, “Lost River” (previously titled “How To Catch A Monster”). An apt summation for Gosling to hear, it proved a worthy touchpoint for the “Blue Valentine” actor to focus the swarm of ideas in his writing and directing debut, a self-described “neon-colored fairy tale” that stars Ian De Caestecker, Saoirse Ronan, Christina Hendricks, and Matt Smith as citizens of a bizarro urban wasteland. Held under strict secrecy during its production, the film finally premiered at Cannes last year to a particularly scathing reaction — it fell prey to the most exaggerated dismissals available, while others like us saw it as a greatly flawed but ambitious venture worth a look. It’s been mostly silence from Gosling in the year that followed, »
- Charlie Schmidlin
Legendary Entertainment has tapped Clint Kisker as executive VP of business development.
In the new post, Kisker will oversee Legendary’s acquisition and corporate development activities, especially when it comes to digital media and technology, virtual and augmented reality content, and sports.
He reports to Legendary chairman-ceo Thomas Tull.
Legendary has investments in Magic Leap, a tech startup behind a wearable device that will provide 3D augmented reality content. Tull was also an early investor in Oculus Vr, before it was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion.
Kisker previously founded and served as CEO of One Media, a media and entertainment company specializing in film, TV and sports content, founded in conjunction with Abry Partners. The company operated Incentive Filmed Entertainment, a $100 million film production and financing entity, in collaboration with Screen Capital Intl., Aramid Entertainment Fund and the William Morris Agency.
Ife’s library includes “Blue Valentine” and “The Strangers, »
- Marc Graser
Michelle Williams is a work in progress! The actress covers the April issue of Elle UK, where she opens up about balancing motherhood and her career, supporting Kristen Bell's "No Kids Policy" and reveals her love of poetry. While the "Dawson's Creek" alum looks stunning in the cover shot -- rocking newly-dyed platinum tresses and a retro A-line dress -- Williams says most days she's exhausted. "I feel like I’m so good at raising a kid when I’m not working. I don’t forget anything. I’ve got everything covered. It’s a real luxury to have a moment when I’m not scrambling," she tells the mag. "I feel like most of my life, I’m trying to do two things at once, both to the best of my abilities. So that leaves me feeling pretty exhausted. I’m the person who falls asleep all the time, »
- tooFab Staff
Kristen Stewart joins Untitled Kelly Reichardt Project (photo: Kristen Stewart in 'Clouds of Sils Maria') This news bit has been everywhere online, but just in case you've missed it: History-making César Award winner Kristen Stewart has joined three-time Oscar-nominee Michelle Williams and two-time Oscar nominee Laura Dern in an as yet untitled drama set in Montana and to be directed by Kelly Reichardt.* Deadline.com first broke the story last week (Feb. 27, 2015). If all goes as planned, Kristen Stewart will play Boise lawyer Beth, who, nervous after accepting a teaching position in a small Montana town, befriends a local woman, Jamie, auditing her class.† Kelly Reichardt's usual partners Neil Kopp and Anish Savjani are producing the project, which is supposed to consist of a series of vignettes based on short stories by Maile Meloy. Also in the cast: James Le Gros (Point Break), Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows »
- Zac Gille
Subscription video-on-demand service Stan expects to announce at least two more development deals with Australian producers in the next couple of months.
The platform co-owned by Nine Entertainment Co (NEC) and Fairfax Media sees Australian original content as a key point of differentiation with competitors Presto Movies/Presto TV and with Netflix, which is due to launch in Australia/New Zealand on March 28.
The number of Aussie projects it will commission will depend partly on its ability to raise finance from other sources including international broadcasters or co-producers.
.We have a fixed amount to spend so the key will be to find overseas partners for co-funding at an early stage,. Nick Forward, Stan.s director of content and product, tells If.
.That may mean more reliance on international cast or co-commissions with subscription VoD and premium cable players who make a lot of this sort of content..
Last month Stan »
- Don Groves
"Fifty Shades of Grey" is not a good movie. The script is clunky, the tone is inconsistent. Jamie Dornan is a snooze-fest. Its source material was poor literature, even as harlequin and romance writing traditions go, and the film's loyalties to the book's structure and characters is a real detriment. The film -- now a massive box office success after its opening weekend -- does have its redeeming qualities. For one, Dakota Johnson is a trooper, providing some much-needed fun to the frequently strained story. Also, even and especially as large-scale release geared toward women, "Fifty Shades" treats sex differently than many commercial dramas and rom-coms (and not just because of the Bdsm). For all its controversies, the film purposely eschews some of the book's pitfalls to hint at a much more complicated tale about the bedroom and consenting adults. Below I outline some things the "Fifty Shades of Grey »
- Katie Hasty
It has not been an easy week. At the start of the week, we had our editorial meeting here at HitFix, as we do every Monday, to talk about both the week ahead and longer-term projects as well. For fairly obvious reasons, there was a fair amount of talk about Valentine's Day content, and I mentioned a few different ideas that I might write about, including one that I'll end up publishing at some point about Steve Martin. But even as I pitched a few ideas, I found myself uncomfortable with the entire idea of writing about romantic films right now. Honestly, I was hoping to spend this week with my head down and then just sail right through this weekend without writing about love at all, because for the first time in my adult life, I am no longer sure what I think about it. After all, I was with my wife for 14 years. »
- Drew McWeeny
After having created his own cult of indie thrillers with Drive, Only God Forgives, Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines, actor Ryan Gosling is stepping behind the camera for his latest project Lost River. Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for this thriller, which stars Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan and Eva Mendes. And it looks like another underground masterpiece for the burgeoning filmmaker.
Lost River weaves elements of fantasy noir and suspense into a modern day fairytale. Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive.
Lost River is coming to select theaters this April, and will be made available on Digital HD the same day. »
Exclusive: Crybaby Pictures plans project with The Bureau, Steel Mill Pictures.
Rachel Dargavel’s Crybaby Pictures, a newly launched UK production outfit, arrives at International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr) (Jan 21-Feb 1) with its first feature Norfolk in the Tiger Competition.
Martin Radich’s tense father-son story is part of Creative England’s iFeatures programme, and is produced by Dargavel alongside Finlay Pretsell of Sdi Productions. [Click here for Martin Radich interview]
Dargavel now has an active slate of projects in development for Crybaby, which is based in both London and Nottingham.
The projects include:
The love story is about a couple who have a whirlwind romance, but cracks start to show in the relationship when they try to have a baby and can’t conceive. Dargavel says references for that film include Blue Valentine or Blue is the Warmest Colour.
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
Executives “have a brilliant eye for the exact caliber of film and television content,” Harvey Weinstein said
The Weinstein Company has promoted Negeen Yazdi to president of International Production and Dan Guando to executive vice president of Acquisitions, Production & Development, the company announced Friday.
“Negeen and Dan have a brilliant eye for the exact caliber of film and television content that fits with the TWC name. We’re so proud to have had them here over the years and look forward to continuing »
- Matt Donnelly
Derek Cianfrance surfaced to the forefront of the best new American directors with his 2010 film Blue Valentine, which saw him swiftly reunite with Ryan Gosling for a slow-burning crime saga The Place Beyond the Pines in 2012. His fourth feature, The Light Between Oceans, is an adaptation of the bestselling and critically acclaimed novel by M.L. Stedman. We’re curious to see what Cianfrance does with such a hot commodity, as Dreamworks snapped up the rights back in 2012. He was able to amass an exciting cast, with Michael Fassbender and leading ladies Rachel Weisz and Swedish beauty Alicia Vikander (last seen in Anna Karenina and The Fifth Estate, but due for a fantastic 2015 with seven or eight new releases due to hit theaters). The tale concerns a lighthouse keeper that survived the ravages of Wwi, living on the remote »
- Nicholas Bell
18 items from 2015
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