13 items from 2014
"There's no tricks in the photography of Blue Valentine... the artifice of the movie-making isn't getting in the way of the experience, it's allowing for it." This is an excellent and informative filmmaking video that is a must-watch for any filmmaker. One name that many are already familiar with in the movie world online is Kees van Dijkhuizen, a young editor who was crafted some of the best cinematic montages and year-end recaps we've ever featured. His latest work is a video called Insight: Derek Cianfrance, looking at how Cianfrance constructs scenes in his films Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines. Kees uses commentary voiceover and sleek editing to make everything fascinating to listen to and learn from. Enjoy! This combines excerpts from two audio commentary tracks on the DVDs of both films, with video examples from each. The "original cut" has spoilers from Place Beyond the Pines and violence, »
- Alex Billington
Filming has wrapped on indie drama “The Secret Place,” starring Taylor Spreitler (“Melissa & Joey”), Peter Coyote, Gil Bellows, Mackenzie Phillips, Rex Lee, Elizabeth Pena, Amy Davidson and Amy Price Francis.
Keefe Kaupanger-Swacker and Will Newman produced and Bethany Cerrona co-produced for Jay Silverman Prods. Production on “The Secret Place” took place at locations in and around Los Angeles and Moab, Utah.
“In all honesty, choosing to shoot in Los Angeles helped keep production costs down,” Silverman told Variety. “We capitalized on a great horse ranch location within the zone and didn’t have one bad weather day in January or February. Additionally, most all of the cast lives in L.A. so we avoided traveling them to another state plus all the associated costs.”
Based on a true story, »
- Dave McNary
Rose Leslie, Ygritte from Game of Thrones, is accustomed to working in severe locales, like Iceland, so she’s only half joking when she says that one of the things that drew her to Honeymoon, the creepy romantic thriller that debuts on March 7 at SXSW, was the North Carolina weather. “I was very happy that I was allowed to wear t-shirts and shorts… and no more fur,” she says. “I was very happy that I wasn’t freezing.”
- Jeff Labrecque
Celebrating its thirtieth year back in January, the success of Sundance is perhaps most impressively illustrated in its ability to cross the Atlantic for the third year running, bringing Sundance London to our shores once more next month.
This morning Sundance London announced there were screening a series of films from the Sundance Collection, details of which can be found here. Showing films which were discovered at the festival, and those films including the early work of Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino among others, is testament to the importance of the festival – both for audiences and directors.
Every year it’s easy to mark out the filmmakers who have gone above and beyond their peers in bringing some of the finest work to the festival, but it’s not always quite so easy to see who among them will continue to tell greater and greater stories. This year, for example, »
- Kenji Lloyd
“Can this marriage be saved?” isn’t a question that needs asking, since it’s all too apparent the young newlyweds of “Another Year” are on mutually exclusive paths. Oxana Bychkova’s character study plays out over the course of a calendar cycle, charting the wife’s steady progress toward self-realization while hubby remains stuck in a sullen, unambitious immaturity — genus, male; species, Russian. Although comparisons with “Blue Valentine” won’t be favorable, “Another Year” benefits enormously from newcomer Nadya Lumpova’s standout performance, and while overextended, this solid relationship drama could draw niche Euro arthouse auds, spurred by Rotterdam’s Big Screen prize.
Based on a play by Soviet-era author Alexander Volodin, the pic begins on Dec. 27 and ends a year and a day later. Yegor (Alexey Filimonov) and Zhenya (Lumpova) are fresh out of college, married and in love. Despite a degree, he’s driving a gypsy cab, »
- Jay Weissberg
Did you know that over the past seven years, six films that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival have been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars? Or, that last year "Beasts of the Southern Wild's" Benh Zeitlin became only the third Sundance helmer after Peter Cattaneo ("The Fully Monty") and Lee Daniels ("Precious") to earn a Best Director nod? Were you aware of the impressive number of nominated actors whose performances first played Park City, including Melissa Leo ("Frozen River"), Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone"), Mo'Nique ("Precious"), Terrence Howard ("Hustle & Flow"), Michelle Williams ("Blue Valentine"), Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Laura »
- Gregory Ellwood
The film has opened to positive early buzz amongst festivalgoers, and it’s now officially amongst the early acquisitions. Fox Searchlight has announced that it has acquired worldwide rights to the existential drama, with Deadline hearing that the deal impressively closed around the $3m. mark.
Ian Gray, a PhD student studying molecular biology with a specialty in eye evolution, leaves his lab to go to a party and has an intense, but fleeting, encounter with a mysterious, masked model who escapes into the night. With only a picture of her stunning and iconic eyes, he tracks her down, and they fall in love. Their fundamentally different beliefs about life only serve to intensify their connection, and they vow to spend forever together. »
- Kenji Lloyd
The 2014 Academy Award nominations were announced this week and the relative snubbing of Captain Phillips, Saving Mr Banks, Inside Llewyn Davis and GI Joe: Retaliation is going to have us all cursing the Academy and discussing the actual quality of American Hustle until about May.
Nonetheless one of the great tragedies of my life is that I cannot actually watch absolutely everything ever that comes out and try as I might to rectify this, there simply are not enough hours in the day. There are a couple of films available on the streaming services that have just been nominated for academy awards this week which I have not had a chance to see thus far.
Those films are; The Square, nominated for Best Documentary Feature and now available on Netflix. The Square is about the uprising in Egypt in early 2011 that made the news around the world and the circumstances around this. »
- Chris Holt
The Hollywood producer explained that he had hoped to secure the British actress to promote The Weinstein Company, which he runs with his brother Bob.
He told Shortlist magazine: ''For whatever reason, somehow, we've done controversial movies and you end up being the face of your company.
"We desperately tried to get Keira Knightley to be the face of our company, but so did Chanel, and they paid better.''
He said: ''Michelle Williams got two Oscar nominations in the last two movies I did with her, and she chose Louis Vuitton. We couldn't find anybody else so me and my brother do it. We work for cheaper - not for free, »
Just ahead of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, AMC and Regal-owned indie distributor Open Road Films is replacing Ben Cotner, its departing senior VP of acquisitions, with new executive vice president of production and acquisitions, Peter Lawson. He'll have a chance to check out the Sundance world premiere of "The Case Against 8," which Cotner co-directed, which has already been acquired by HBO and will screen in competition in Park City. Lawson reports to Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films. Lawson was president of production for two years at Thunder Road, before which he was exec VP acquisitions and co-productions at The Weinstein Company, working on such films as "Lawless," the Oscar-winning "The Iron Lady," "Blue Valentine" and "Company Men." Before that he worked on the acquisition teams at Miramax Films and First Look Pictures. Lawson executive produced Thunder »
- Anne Thompson
Exclusive: A week before Sundance, Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road Films is strengthening its film acquisition team by hiring Peter Lawson and giving him the newly created title of executive vice president of Productions and Acquisitions. Lawson is a top-flight acquisitions exec who served stints most recently at The Weinstein Company and before that Miramax. He left to get a taste of production experience in big-sized studio films by joining Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road as production president. After two years, I’m hearing that he has shaken up his career Gps and is taking the exit from Thunder Road onto Open Road. Before he left TWC, Lawson worked on such films as the John Hillcoat-directed Lawless, The Iron Lady, The Company Men, Blue Valentine, The Intouchables and the docus Undefeated, Bully and The Tillman Story. At Miramax, his acquisition deals included The Diving Bell And The Butterfly. Before that at First Look Pictures, »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Odd List Ivan Radford 7 Jan 2014 - 06:37
Last year may only be a memory, but its film themes linger in the mind. Here's Ivan's pick of 2013's best soundtracks...
Just a quick scan down the list below reveals an extraordinary breadth of genres and subject matters, from imposing, expensive science fiction films to quiet, intimate stories about men at sea on boats or outlaws breaking out of prison to be with their wives. Disparate though the films are, they're all linked by at least one common motif: their music is utterly brilliant.
So with 2014 already well underway, and an entire new wave of films with great music in them beckoning, join us as we look back to the movies of last year, their finest soundtracks, and the must-listen pieces of music you can dig out on each one.
Must-listen track: Don't Let Go
When does sound »
Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Actress (photo: Meryl Streep in ‘August: Osage County’) (See also: "Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Actor.") Compared to the vibrant Best Actor field, the 2014 Academy Awards’ Best Actress category looks somewhat anemic. Not in terms of quality, but in terms of quantity. Whereas ten actors could be called strong competitors for the Oscar 2014 shortlist, only five actresses can be considered truly strong candidates for this year’s Best Actress shortlist. Besides these five, there are three unlikely runners-up and a handful of long shots — and we mean "long" as in "light-years-away long." Note: Exact SAG Award and Academy Award matches are actually less common than you might think for the reasons mentioned in our previous Oscar 2014 predictions post (see link in the paragraph above). For instance, last year Marion Cotillard and Helen Mirren were both shortlisted for the Best Actress SAG Awards for, respectively, Jacques Audiard’s »
- Steve Montgomery
13 items from 2014
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