4 items from 2014
The Sundance Film Institute announced the U.S. dramatic, world dramatic, U.S. documentary, world documentary and Next selections for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival today. The premier film festival in the United States, Sundance is coming off a banner 2014 edition that brought films earning year-end kudos such as "Whiplash," "Boyhood," "Dear White People," "Obvious Child" and "The Skeleton Twins" into the world. The 2015 slate just looks just as intriguing and, according to the festival, perhaps more emotional and challenging. In a statement from the Institute, the festival's director, John Cooper, remarked, "The selections for our 2015 Festival will take audiences on a wild ride of emotional extremes. With approaches ranging from comedic to dramatic, genre to documentary, experimental to short, independent filmmakers are bravely illuminating new opportunities for understanding and empathy.” Festival founder and cinema icon Robert Redford added, "The work of independent artists inevitably reflects the state of our culture »
- Gregory Ellwood
Exclusive: Jemaine Clement, best known as one half of the comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, has linked up with Grace Is Gone helmer James C. Strouse for indie feature People Places Things. New Zealander Clement stars as a newly single, under-employed graphic novelist navigating life, his young twin daughters, a case of writer’s block, a classroom full of students, and a new love while letting go of the woman who left him.
Strouse recently wrapped principal photography, directing from his own script. Regina Hall, Stephanie Allynne, and Jessica Williams round out the cast of People Places Things. Michael B. Clark and Alex Turtletaub are producing for Big Beach spin-off shingle Beachside. Beachside’s Tim Foley is exec producer alongside Summer Shelton. Sundance award-winner Strouse, a recipient of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, made his writing debut with 2005’s Lonesome Jim for director Steve Buscemi and also penned Grace Is Gone »
- Jen Yamato
The Office alum John Krasinski directed his first feature film, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, in 2009, and will be stepping behind the camera once more for a drama called The Hollars. Deadline reports that the actor will star in the movie as well, and has enlisted Anna Kendrick, Richard Jenkins, and Margo Martindale to round out the cast.
The film is described as Steel Magnolias meets Garden State, and tells the tale of a NYC artist named John Hollar (Krasinski), who takes his girlfriend (Kendrick) back to his Middle America hometown on the eve of his mother’s (Martindale) brain surgery. There, he comes face to face with the crazy life he left behind, as he deals with his dysfunctional family, high school friends, his father (Jenkins), and his over-eager ex.
- James Garcia
John Krasinski has signed on to direct his second feature, The Hollars. Krasinski will also star and recruited a great supporting cast in Anna Kendrick, Margo Martindale, and Richard Jenkins. Per Deadline, Krasinski plays an aspiring artist who takes his girlfriend (Kendrick) back to his Middle America hometown shortly before his mother (Martindale) is scheduled to have brain surgery: "There he’s forced to navigate the crazy life he left behind as his dysfunctional family, high school pals, his father (Jenkins), and his over-eager ex flood back into his life ahead of the operation." James C. Strouse (The Winning Season) scripted The Hollars, described as a "blend of Steel Magnolias and Garden State." The Garden State comparison is striking given the shared NBC sitcom roots of Krasinski and Zach Braff. Then again, dramas love to send the protagonist back home to create conflict. I love this cast, so I hope »
- Brendan Bettinger
4 items from 2014
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