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Written & Directed by Matthew A. Brown
Not all movies have a grand message or thought-provoking theme. Some movies are satisfied with being a beautiful orgy of sex and madness. Matthew A. Brown’s debut film, Julia, is a stylized bloodletting that pushes the limits of good taste and tests your allegiance to its heroine. A delightfully sordid affair that leaves you feeling all kinds of icky, this is a must-add to your October calendar.
Julia is the perfect companion piece to another wonderfully-dark 2014 revenge thriller, Blue Ruin. Only, instead of the protagonist being completely inept at the deadly arts, Julia Shames (Ashley C. Williams) was born to play the part. Wrapped beneath three layers of clothing and hiding behind giant “grandma” glasses, Julia is a cute but awkward girl who tries her best to be invisible. When she finally musters the courage to accept a date with the »
- J.R. Kinnard
Earlier this week came news of WB/DC’s Suicide Squad, and the sparkly list of celebs wanted to play various morally murky supervillains. And right afterward came an update from Deadline- yes, Tom Hardy, Will Smith and Margot Robbie are super interested in pursuing some supervillainy (save for Ryan Gosling, who’s being all finicky). But in one throwaway sentence of that Deadline piece was something even more shocking (more shocking than Will Smith playing an outright villain, if you can believe it). It seems Robbie was free to pursue Suicide Squad because her previous target, the live-action Ghost in the Shell adaptation, had ditched her to pitch woo at Scarlett Johansson. Savor those words: Scarlett Johansson. Ghost in the Shell. Perfect, no? Because Johansson would almost certainly (it’s not been said outright, but we can assume) be playing Ghost in the Shell protagonist Motoko Kusanagi, a future cop with hacking skills and also a »
- Adam Bellotto
If you're looking for the biggest star of the year of either gender when it comes to science fiction, look no further than Scarlett Johansson. Even before you get to her reprising the role of Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, her 2014 double bill of Under The Skin and Lucy has given her critical acclaim and a big box office hit. Unsurprisingly, whenever a major sci-fi project arises now, she's going to be on the list.
The latest example? The long mooted live action adaptation of manga Ghost In The Shell. The tech crime thriller had been linked with The Wolf Of Wall Street's Margot Robbie, but it's now being reported that Johansson has been offered the lead role. Robbie »
Have you seen any movie, at home or in theaters, more than once this calendar year? I was looking over my Letterboxd account and realizing how useful it would be to track my viewing if I actually updated it daily. But I don't rewatch a lot of stuff. From January 1st through the right now, that's only five for me: Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Gone Girl (twice each in theaters), Under the Skin (once in theaters, once at home) and Burlesque (two days in a row on cable. shut up, I love it).
How about you? And if you haven't what are you dying to see again?
- NATHANIEL R
From Marvel to Star Wars and Universal's monsters, Hollywood's become obsessed with universe building. Mark takes a closer look...
It feels weird to open with a spoiler warning for a medical drama from the 1980s, but if you're particularly sensitive to plot details from St. Elsewhere, you might wish to skip to the first sub-heading.
The infamous season finale placed all of the characters and events that had preceded it in the imagination of one of the doctors' autistic sons, Tommy Westphall, who dreamt it all up while staring into a snow globe that contained a replica of the hospital where it all took place. The funny thing is, St. Elsewhere had crossed over with other American TV shows, including Homicide: Life On The Street and Cheers, meaning they also potentially took place in Tommy's imagination.
Extrapolating on an argument advanced by the late, great comics and television writer Dwayne McDuffie, »
Nyff coverage continues with Michael C on Mike Leigh's latest
When a film like Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner comes along you find yourself wishing you could take back all the “great cinematography” praise you tossed around so cavalierly on other films so that the words can carry more weight now that you really need them. Ideally, so far in 2014, one would have only applied the same praise to Darius Khondji’s work on The Immigrant. Ok, yes, Under the Skin’s Daniel Landin also. It’s been an exceptional year.
Not content to merely display his paintings, Leigh and cinematographer Dick Pope manage to permeate the air with the aura of J. M.W. Turner’s art. Some of the film’s images produced audible gasps at the screening I attended. The glory of the visuals grant Leigh and company the freedom to dispense with the many of »
- Michael C.
Alongside Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures, A24 has been one of the most interesting film production and distribution studios of the last couple years. Not all its films have been successful, but the company takes risks on compelling adult dramas and otherwise non-mainstream fare, films that may not traditionally find a home at many other studios with the ability to get them in front of wider audiences. And while A24 has been busy building a name for itself, it has also been looking to expand its initiative, a goal the studio has seemingly achieved by way of a $50 million line of credit from Comerica and Union Bank of California. These institutions' entertainment finance groups have provided capital for films such as Rush, End of Watch, and The Fighter, among others. The move is a vote of confidence for the upstart studio, whose filmography includes a range of pictures and genres »
- Jordan Benesh
News was released just yesterday that indie distributor A24 secured a $50 million line of credit, which it will use "to build out its film distribution business and finance initiatives in complementary industry verticals, it said." This is a studio responsible for films such as Under the Skin, Enemy, The Rover, Locke and more from this year alone. And while there may have been some misses in their lineup, they are a studio showing they aren't afraid of a little risk. While A24 isn't distributing Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler, they are one of the few younger studios along with Nightcrawler distributor Open Road willing to release features that might otherwise be forgotten. Already this year Open Road has brought us Chef and will later deliver Jon Stewart's Rosewater and while they are more likely to also bring us something like A Haunted House 2 than A24, they also distributed Steven Soderbergh »
- Brad Brevet
In a vote of confidence in the specialty film business, distributor A24 has secured a $50 million line of credit from Comerica and Union Bank of California.
The two-year-old company said it will use the funds to build out its core film distribution business and finance initiatives in “complimentary” areas.
A24’s top grosser this year is Jenny Slate’s “Obvious Child” with $3.1 million at the U.S. box office. It also has released Scarlett Johansson’s “Under the Skin” with $2.6 million, Kevin Smith’s “Tusk” and Tom Hardy’s “Locke.”
Comerica Bank structured the facility and will act as its administrative agent. Union Bank will serve as a co-syndication agent.
“This credit facility represents the next logical step in the evolution of our business and provides A24 the capital and flexibility necessary to continue to drive value for all of our stakeholders,” A24’s Matthew Bires said. “Comerica and Union »
- Dave McNary
The National Film Development Corporation (Nfdc) has announced the nine scripts selected for the second edition of the National Script Lab to be held from October 2014 – March 2015.
The first screenwriting workshop will be held from October 12 – 17, 2014 at the Courtyard Marriott, Chakan, Pune, followed by two more workshops and one-to-one consultation sessions over the next six months.
Marten Rabarts (Senior Consultant, Training and Development, Nfdc), Olivia Stewart (Producer of The House of Mirth, Brassed Off, and script consultant on The Lunchbox), and Rajat Kapoor, writer-director of Ankhon Dekhi will mentor these scriptwriters.
Also as part of the National Script Lab program, the screenwriters will also attend Nfdc Film Bazaar 2014 (Nov 20–24) to network and introduce their upcoming projects to both the Indian and international film industry delegates attending the market.
This year the Script Lab »
In a new interview promoting the Blu-Ray release of the film, Favreau mentioned he's toying with the idea of opening up a restaurant inspired by the film. “I love sharing the food with people, so that they could see that food really is as good as it looks,” Favreau told Yahoo movies about the restaurant. “It’s not the wisest business venture, but for me it’s a way to let the movie live on and connect with the fans.” Not since Ratatouille has a foodie movie made me so crave the various dishes in front of me. Favreau's idea of letting the film live on and connect with the fans sounds like the type of menu and drink options that movie theaters like the Alamo Drafthouse (where you can get »
- Manuel Betancourt
What a busy busy month that was. We were overachievers here, really. I'm so exhausted I'm hoping to prick my finger on a cursed spindle for a little R&R. Traffic always picks up in the fall when the adult movies arrive so if you're just rejoining us we welcome you back with slighly chilled affection (this place is hopping all year round!) by pointing out what you may have missed.
Neo, Cheryl and Rocky hike the Pct
Index of Goodies
Toronto was a blast! - a handydandy guide (and prizes) for everything I saw there
Nyff - in progress but we've already talked about a bunch of foreign films as well as Maps to the Stars, Gone Girl & Whiplash
- NATHANIEL R
*Editor’s note- Noam Little was nice enough to write this very thought provoking article regarding the state of horror and how a combination of marketing, dumping films to VOD and horror fandom might be incredibly detrimental to the genre. Give it a read, it’s a good one!-Jerry
The year is 1931. Although the American Public at large is greatly affected by The Great Depression, a line of people stand outside New York’s Roxy Theatre with cash in hand. None of these people knew they were contributing to American Cinematic History, but by the end of the decade, an entire film studio would become a box office tyrannosaur thanks to several refined, masterful depictions of the horror genre. And yet staring at that line of people is a man of supposed high social standing, uninterested by the fascinating in immoral and undignified cinema as he makes his way to his local library. »
- Jerry Smith
Beverly Hills — I absolutely love talking to Sir Ben Kingsley. He has a cadence, a swagger, a rhythm of speech that I find easy to tap into, understand, and bounce off of, like a surfer off waves. His passion for his craft is always on the surface. He delights in its specificity. And with "The Boxtrolls," he has carved out another memorable piece of work in one of cinema's most laureled filmographies. Nominated for four Oscars, having won the first time out for his iconic "Gandhi" performance, Kingsley continues to impress with his versatility. When Laika came calling, he discovered an opportunity to dive headlong into an extreme, manic, villainous character, Archibald Snatcher, and come away with the most memorable beats of the film. It's enough to make you wonder what other characters he might be able to manifest from those vocal chords, because he's certainly not lazily going through the celebrity voice motions here. »
- Kristopher Tapley
The incoming British comedy drama, What We Did On Our Holiday, boasts a terrific ensemble cast. But perhaps the standout is Billy Connolly. He takes on the role of Gordy in the film, primarily working with the film's young cast. And on a British Monday morning, we found ourselves opposite an apparently jetlagged Billy Connolly, sipping away at his tea, and in fine form. Here's how our chat went...
Nice to meet you.
Consider yourself met!
I've been told that to knock you off kilter for the rest of the interview that I should ask you something random right at the start. So: have microwave ovens been a good thing for modern cooking?
Nooooo! No! It's been crap! They can't handle pastry. It's its great failing!
It's true. Plus »
Filmmaker editor Scott Macaulay interviews kogonada, "the somewhat mysterious, Nashville-based film essayist whose works have scored hundreds of thousands of views on Vimeo and other platforms." Among his subjects: Robert Bresson and Stanley Kubrick. Tonight, he'll be presenting work on Steven Soderbergh and Yasujiro Ozu. Also in today's news roundup: James Lattimer on Eric Rohmer's Love in the Afternoon and Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin, Jeff Reichert on Martin Scorsese's Italianamerican, Ron Rosenbaum on Al Pacino and more. Plus remembering George Sluizer (The Vanishing) and German screenwriter Wolfgang Held. » - David Hudson »
This year’s European Film Awards are officially out of the gates with a not so lean 50 film submissions to select from. The 27th edition collects titles that date back to last year’s Venice and Toronto Int. Film Festivals moving into Sundance-Rotterdam-Berlin and finally Cannes of ’14. Among the 31 European countries represented, we’ve got likes of the Palme d’Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan leading the huge pack of contenders including Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin and Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida. Here’s the complete list of 50!:
Directed By: Milko Lazarov
Produced By: Veselka Kiryakova
Written & Directed By: Jessica Hausner
Directed By: Jaime Rosales
Produced By: Jaime Rosales, »
- Eric Lavallee
Sometimes you just gotta pay the bills. While we'd rather see these three filmmakers working on feature films, if the advertising world gives them money to play, we're all for it. And big brands know if you want your product to shine, sometimes you need to put it into the right hands. So let's see what Jonathan Glazer ("Under The Skin," "Birth"), Mark Romanek ("Never Let Me Go," "One Hour Video") and Floria Sigismondi (countless music videos, the underrated "Runaways") have been up to. First up, Glazer goes to Florence for Canon where he documents the vicious, annual game of Calcico Storico, a crude historic version of football played with no protective equipment, and seemingly little regard for any kind of rules. So yes, there is a ball and scoring, but there is also barefist punching body slams. But it's not the violence that concerns Glazer — though it's there — so »
- Kevin Jagernauth
More than 30 European countries represented in the line-up.Scroll down for list in full
The 50 films recommended for a nomination for the European Film Awards (EFAs) have been unveiled.
The European Film Academy and Efa Productions revealed the titles at a press conference in Riga, Latvia where this year’s 27th EFAs will take place on Dec 13.
A total of 31 European countries are represented. In the 20 countries with the most Efa members, these members have voted one national film directly into the selection list.
To complete the list, a selection committee consisting of Efa Board Members and invited experts have included further films. Those experts include Screen International chief film critic and reviews editor Mark Adams (UK), Marit Kapla (Sweden), Stefan Kitanov (Bulgaria), Paz Lázaro (Spain), Christophe Leparc (France) and Elma Tataragic (Bosnia & Herzegovina).
In the coming weeks, more than 3,000 members of the European Film Academy will vote for the nominations in the categories European Film, Director »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Roadside/Lionsgate opened its Sundance prize-winner The Skeleton Twins to robust numbers in a five-city platform debut across 15 theaters, taking one of the highest theater averages of the year among limited releases. In a much broader release, Fox Searchlight edged The Drop to a near-wide release over the weekend, landing sixth in overall box office. American Experience/PBS Films‘ doc Last Days In Vietnam, meanwhile held over solidly, adding one theater in its second week, while China Lion maintained some momentum with the Stateside release of Chinese-language entry But Always, also adding a single location. Sony Pictures Classics expanded Love Is Strange with momentum. Comedy-drama Skeleton Twins starring Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig grossed nearly $411K in 15 theaters in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington D.C., for a very solid $27,383 PTA. The film, directed by Craig Johnson about long-estranged and troubled twins reuniting was No. 1 in a dozen locations, »
- Brian Brooks
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