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Anomalisa, the stop-motion-animated feature from Oscar-winning writer Charlie Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson, is currently enjoying a 100% score on review aggregate site, Rotten Tomatoes, ahead of its release in theaters next January. The film, which focuses on a bored author (voiced by David Thewlis) whose chance run-in with a strange woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh) changes his life and is based on a play written by Kaufman, is a serious contender for the best animated feature Oscar this year.
The genre of stop-motion animation can trace its roots all the way back to 1933’s King Kong, when the technique was used to create a rampaging 200-ft. tall ape that wreaked havoc throughout New York City. As the years progressed, stop-motion slowly began to emerge as its own genre, with particular help from legendary visual effects artist Ray Harryhausen, who worked on such films as 1981’s Clash of the Titans »
- Patrick Shanley
After wowing audiences with his stop-motion animated horror film ParaNorman three years ago, Sam Fell is ready to make his live-action debut with Croak. Switching formats but remaining firmly in the same genre, the project is said to be one peppered with supernatural goodness – and fine actors – with The Hollywood Reporter revealing that Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Jemaine Clement and Stanley Tucci are all on board to star.
Supplanting Kodi Smit-McPhee in Fell’s comedy feature, Butterfield – best known for his roles in Ender’s Game and Martin Scorsese’s delightful Hugo – plays a young grim reaper, haunting the everyday folk as he controls the flow of souls from our world to the next. Beyond that, there’s really not an awful lot to go on, though it seems safe to assume that the likes of Anderson, Clement and Tucci will form the living component of the director’s new picture. »
- Michael Briers
Paranorman director Sam Fell knows a thing or two about spooky stories. And he’s sticking with tales of the other side for his next film, but switching to live action. Fell has Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Jemaine Clement and Stanley Tucci set to star in Croak. Written by Lucy Moore, and called Teen Reaper earlier in its development, the plot finds Butterfield as a young Grim Reaper straddling the worlds of the living and the dead as he shepherds souls on to the afterlife. Not much else is known about the film, as it’s being kept mostly under wraps, but Fell and his producers will soon be spilling more details when they take the project to next month’s American Film Market to drum up distribution business.Butterfield is inheriting the role from Kodi Smit-McPhee, who voiced the lead in Paranorman, and who we can only assume has dropped out for scheduling reasons. »
by Seth Metoyer
The first round of horror films have been announced for the Colorado based horror festival Telluride Horror Show. This years lineup looks sweet and includes premieres and a special screening of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas with director Q&A! Check the list of films below.
From The Press Release
The first wave of films is now live for the 2015 Telluride Horror Show, October 16-18 in picturesque Telluride, Colorado (elevation 8,750 ft.).
Most of the films will make their Colorado premieres at this year's festival or will screen fresh off their Fantastic Fest debuts. The festival will also feature a special screening of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas followed by a director Q&A.
Here's the complete lineup, which can also be found at http://telluridehorrorshow.com/films.html
Henry Selick is an American stop-motion director, producer and writer »
Halloween is in less than two months, and Cavity Colors wants to help you get an early start on the festivities. Also: the lineup at the 2015 Telluride Horror Show and four posters from American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire.
Lucy found herself constantly daydreaming about candy corn, jack-o-lanterns, and paper skeletons... 1 day a year was not enough.... The giant pumpkin hovered over her head constantly... There was no escape.
Limited Edition of 100 Signed and numbered by Aaron Cavitycolors 17 x 22 inches (will fit any 18 x 24 frame) Printed with Archival inks on Velvet Cotton Paper Please allow 1 - 2 days for shipping (each print is made to order)
"Xenofloss" T-Shirt / Tanktop ($25.00)
In space, no one can hear you eat Halloween candy. But if you're an alien, you should always floss! There's no time for cavities!
Designed by Hillary White. Pre-order »
- Tamika Jones
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed today a list of 322 artists and executives who have been invited to join. These selections are people that have distinguished themselves by their contributions to the world of film, and those lambasting the Academy for being full of old white men will be happy to see it’s a pleasantly diverse list. Assuming they all accept the invitation, of course. On the actor side of things, highights include David Oyelowo, Tom Hardy, Rosamund Pike, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Carroll Lynch, Emma Stone, Jason Segel, Martin Freeman, and last year’s Best Actor winner Eddie Redmayne. As for directors, the Academy is expanding its reach to a much broader group with selections like Edgar Wright, James Gunn, Lynn Shelton, F. Gary Gray, Ira Sachs, Joe Wright, and Whiplash helmer Damien Chazelle. [caption id="attachment_310166" align="alignright" width="360"] Image via PBS[/caption] Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have »
- Adam Chitwood
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
“Spain has one thing that really gives it an industry edge: its talent,” said Ignacio Perez Dolset, at Ilion Animation Studios.
Below, profiles of 16 young – or young-ish – animation talents who have broken through in the last years and either feature in the Annecy Festival’s “From Doodles to Pixels” program strand, or have projects at the market, or, in the case of five, are Icaa Annecy attendance grant winners bought to the Festival by Spain’s 3D Wild Animation Fest. Or combinations of all three. Variety originally aimed to profile ten talents, but it agrees with Perez Dolset.
Rocio Alvarez, ”Street Driver”
Painter, illustrator, graphic designer, finally toon director,. a true multi-hyphenate artist, Alvarez was the first Spanish woman to be nominated for a Cartoon d’Or, for her graduation short, “Ecart de conduite” Its TV-series spin-of sorts, “Street Driver”, will be pitched at Mifa. “Driver” depicts hilarious situations sparked by driving exams. »
- John Hopewell and Emilio Mayorga
Animation already sold to more than 170 territories.
Munich-based sales company Studio 100 Film has closed a deal for the UK and Scandinavia to the German/Australian 3D animation Maya The Bee with London-based Primal Screen.
The deal includes all rights for the UK, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.
Studio 100 Film has sold the adventure feature in more than 170 territories so far, including North America.
Voice talent includes Coco Jack Gillies (Mad Max: Fury Road), Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom), Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter), Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge!), Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones), Kodi Smit-McPhee (ParaNorman) and Justine Clarke.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Exclusive: Cornerstone to sell comedy from ParaNorman director.
Smith-McPhee is in final negotiations to star in Croak, which would reunite him with his ParaNorman director. The young actor, seen opposite Michael Fassbender in Sundance title Slow West, was recently cast as Nightcrawler in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse.
Also cast is newcomer Tilda Cobham-Hervey (52 Tuesdays).
Nicole Carmen-Davis, Rebekah Gilbertson and Philippa Campbell are producing the film, written by Lucy Moore, which centres on a world-weary 17-year-old Jenny (Cobham-Hervey) and mysterious, geeky Marcus (Smit-McPhee) - a young grim reaper living somewhere between the land of the living and oblivion.
Anderson is to play the character of the grim “Mistress” who keeps a watchful eye over »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Winners of animated edition of Viewster Online Film Fest (#Voff) revealed.
Online video series Viewster has announced the winners of the animation edition of its Viewster Online Film Fest, titled #VOFF5: Animated Worlds.
First place and the top prize of $30,000 was awarded to Ira Elshansky of Israel for Warm Snow, a surrealist claymation short about a father and daughter’s relationship, set in a domestic setting.
Ira said about making her film: “I’ve been working with clay since I was a child and for me it is the material where I can express myself the best. It is a very honest material and people have been using it for centuries. Warm Snow is a very personal movie; I’m sure many of us have this feeling of being not fair to our parents, and this was my way to apologise and to show them my love.“
Second place and $15,000 was awarded to Mehdi Alibeygi of Iran »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Kids and parents across North America will soon be enamored by the world famous little bee named Maya and her insect friends when the international smash hit Maya The Bee Movie makes its buzz-worthy debut on DVD and on two-disc Blu-Ray 3D Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D and 2D, DVD and digital) from Shout! Factory Kids on May 19, 2015.
Already a great box office success in much of the world, Maya The Bee Movie, based on the well-known children’s novel and popular animated series in Europe, Australia and Asia, offers an immersive cinematic adventure into a spectacular macroscopic world. This highly anticipated animated feature brings to life an enchanting story of »
- Michelle McCue
Welcome to another horror/sci-fi round-up! We have news on who will play the marvelous mutant Nightcrawler in X-Men: Apocalypse, a look at four new fright-styled T-shirts from Fright Rags (including an ’80's-esque Freddy Krueger), and home media release details for 20th Century Fox's The Pyramid.
Nightcrawler: He can teleport with his unique dimension-hopping ability, he's extremely agile, he knows how to handle a saber with expert ease, and he at times has a gleeful sense of humor. The X-Men mutant Nightcrawler has many admirable traits and was memorably portrayed by Alan Cumming in Bryan Singer's X2. With Singer back behind the camera for X-Men: Apocalypse, a film that will introduce more mutants to the growing ranks of the X-Mansion, it's been revealed by the director on his Instagram page that Kodi Smit-McPhee will play a young Nightcrawler.
- Derek Anderson
What's the best way to up your follower count on Instagram? If you're Bryan Singer, you use your account to tease your upcoming movie. Yesterday he dropped some concept art for "X-Men: Apocalypse," and late last night, Singer revealed his new Nightcrawler. Singer posted a professional-looking headshot of Kodi Smit-McPhee, with the caption, " Excited to welcome @kodismitmcphee to the cast of #XmenApocalypse as young #Nightcrawler." Smit-McPhee doubled up on the message by posting a similar Instagram announcement.
Kodi Smit-McPhee first snagged our attention as the nameless young boy in "The Road," followed by roles in "Let Me In," "ParaNorman," and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." However, the character of Nightcrawler, a fuzzy blue mutant with a prehensile tail, is probably the weirdest of them all. Alan Cumming transmogrified into a super creepy Nightcrawler in "X-Men 2," complete with yellow eyes, two-fingered hands, and scarred blue skin.
Smit-McPhee is joining »
- Jenni Miller
“Excited to welcome @kodismitmcphee to the cast of #XmenApocalypse as young #Nightcrawler,” Singer said in a posting to his Instagram account on Tuesday night.
Smit-McPhee’s credits include “The Road,” the lead voice in the animated “ParaNorman” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” In the X-Men universe, Nightcrawler is a mutant with adhesive hands and feet and the ability to teleport.
Alan Cumming played the role in 2003’s “X-Men 2.”
Patrick Stewart has confirmed that he and fellow first generation mutant Ian McKellen will not appear in the upcoming film because it is set in the 1980s and explores the earlier lives of the characters.
Fox has dated “X-Men: Apocalpyse” for May 27, 2016.
- Dave McNary
Once again, director Bryan Singer has utilised his social media tentacles to release a fresh piece of casting news for his next film, X-Men: Apocalypse. And in this instance, it's the role of Nightcrawler that's been revealed.
Singer has used Nightcrawler in one of his X-Men films before, with Alan Cumming playing the character in X-Men 2. However, the role is now being taken on by Kodi Smih-McPhee. His highest profile role to date has been Alexander in Dawn Of the Planet Of The Apes, and the young actor has also lent his voice to ParaNorman, and appeared in Let Me In too.
Smit-McPhee, a name that's harder to type than it looks, joins a cast that includes James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, Oscar Isaac and Tye Sheridan. »
The “X-Men: Apocalypse” universe just got a bit bigger, as director Bryan Singer announced Kodi Smit-McPhee will join the all-star cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender. “Excited to welcome @kodismitmcphee to the cast of #XmenApocalypse as young #Nightcrawler,” Singer posted to his Instagram account on Tuesday evening. Also Read: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Adding Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp Smit-McPhee is best known for another apocalyptic film, an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” as well as the lead voice in the animated “ParaNorman” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” Also Read: Rose Byrne Returning for ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Nightcrawler, »
- Matt Donnelly
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