19 items from 2017
Averting the bigger is better approach that plagues most franchises, The Trip series is attuned to life’s simple pleasures: cuisine, comedy, and companionship. For Michael Winterbottom, Steve Coogan, and Rob Brydon, their third outing, The Trip to Spain, refreshingly doesn’t stray from the charismatic formula that has resulted in perhaps the most delightful series of films this decade.
Sparing little narrative formalities, as has become part and parcel for these expeditions, Coogan, having concluded a series with Martin Scorsese, and Brydon, eager to take a break from child-rearing duties, set off on another assignment, this time heading to the southwest of Europe. Coogan takes on a Cervantes-inspired “Don Quixote”-esque journey as he reads Laurie Lee’s “As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning” and attempts to write his own book about his voyage, while Brydon is once again filing restaurant reviews. Aside from the expected, but still as-hilarious-as-ever host of impressions, »
- Jordan Raup
“The Trip to Spain” is the third movie in a series starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as versions of themselves. (It has also played as an expanded group of episodes on television.) In their first film from 2010, “The Trip,” they toured restaurants in Northern England and did many impressions of actors, most notably dueling impersonations of Michael Caine so stingingly accurate that it will probably be impossible to watch Caine ever again without thinking of Coogan and Brydon and their send-up of him. They took “The Trip to Italy” in 2014 and reprised their Caine impersonations amid many »
- Dan Callahan
The Trip to Italy, Michael Winterbottom's second improvised travelogue starring Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, was the Godfather II of food-porn comedies that revolve around impressions of Michael Caine: It offered all the pleasures of the original (2010's The Trip) while deepening its themes and giving viewers more to look at.
The good news for fans is that The Trip to Spain is no Godfather III. The moderately bad news is that this sometimes hilarious outing is the one in which the conceit comes to resemble a lushly produced, irregularly broadcast TV series, each episode built of recombinations of now-familiar »
- John DeFore
In its 16th year, Tribeca has become the Duane Reade of film festivals. There’s something for everyone, but you can’t always find the right aisle. As the Manhattan gathering has expanded into TV and virtual reality, with panels featuring the likes of Barbra Streisand and Kobe Bryant, it’s still most closely associated with a sprawling lineup of indie films. Here are nine titles that, at least on paper, look the most promising.
Zoey Deutch, resident “it girl” and Lea Thompson offspring, stars as a sexually promiscuous teenager who takes her psychologically damaged stepbrother under her wing with disastrous consequences. The pitch-black drama could be a hot sales title at the market given Deutch’s rabid social media following and a supporting cast that includes Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn. Max Winkler, son of Henry “The Fonz” Winkler, directs.
(2) “The Trip to Spain”
- Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh
“The Departure”: Drifting Cloud Productions
Lana Wilson is an Emmy-winning filmmaker based in New York. Her first film, “After Tiller,: co-directed by Martha Shane, went inside the lives of the four most-targeted abortion providers in the country. Wilson recently wrote and produced “Jacked,” the premiere episode of the National Geographic Channel miniseries “I Am Rebel.”
“The Departure” will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on April 21.
W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.
Lw: “The Departure” is about a Japanese punk rocker-turned-Buddhist priest who’s renowned for his work in suicide prevention. This work, though, has come at the increasing expense of his own physical and mental health, and the film captures him at a transformational moment in his life, when he has to ask himself the same question his patients ask him: What makes life worth living?
W&H: What drew you to this story?
Lw: I read a New Yorker article about the subject, Reverend Ittetsu Nemoto, and was immediately fascinated by him. I was especially captivated by one part of the article — a description of a retreat Nemoto leads in which he has a group of suicidal people imagine their own deaths.
On blank pieces of paper, they write down the three most important objects in their life, the three most important people, and three dreams they have for the future. Then Nemoto leads them through a role play, where they crumple and throw each one of these things away — because when we die, we have to say goodbye to everything that we have. The idea is that if you experience “dying,” you remember what’s most valuable about being alive.
Right away, I wondered, “What do they write down?” And then I asked myself, “What would I write down?” It was powerful just to think about. I realized that this exercise was something that could be captured in an incredibly cinematic way, to give each person who sees it a very personal experience. I wanted the film to feel like a sit-down session with Nemoto for every single member of the audience.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
Lw: I want them to think about the meaning and value of their own lives. What’s most important. What there is to be grateful for. What it is that we’re seeking out when we try to connect with other people. Where that impulse to “do good” comes from. How we can both forget and remember our sense of self when we’re immersed in the experiences of others.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
Lw: The language barrier. Nemoto doesn’t speak a word of English and when I started making the film I was just beginning to learn Japanese. In some ways this was actually helpful — for example, I found that I could consistently get much better access to filming subjects in sensitive situations because I couldn’t speak Japanese.
I would have our Japanese-speaking field producer leave the room while my non-Japanese-speaking cinematographer and I shot, because subjects felt so much more comfortable talking freely without extra people “listening” to them. Many people told me this, and I could see it on their faces, too.
There was also a big down side to this, of course. I often had no idea what was important and what wasn’t in any conversation. My cinematographer and I were working “blind” in a way because there was a whole set of senses, rhythms, and instincts that we no longer had access to. We had to guess, and we developed a rigid shooting style partly in response to this challenge.
I was also very aware that I was going into a culture that was not my own, and I wanted to exercise the utmost sensitivity. Working with Japanese co-producer Eri Yokoyama and a team of Japanese field producers from all different backgrounds — including one who is herself a Buddhist priest — was extremely important.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
Lw: I funded the film through a co-production partnership with Itvs, several smaller grants and donations, and by running up an uncomfortable amount of personal credit card debt, which I am still trying to pay off. I worked a full-time job for most of the time that I was making “The Departure” to cover my living expenses, and extra money was funneled directly into the film.
It was a difficult subject to get support for. It’s not the most commercial topic — as my father keeps saying, “Please consider making your next movie about a rock band!” But despite the inherent challenges of the material, there were a few brave funders who stood behind the film, and who I am so grateful for.
They’re people who believed in me and the movie because they thought it would be a transformational experience for everyone who watched it. If they hadn’t gone out on a limb to support this film, it would never exist today. Credit cards can only get you so far!
W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Tribeca?
Lw: It’s a huge deal for me. New York has been my home for 12 years, and so many people who I love and who were part of the film are here. My subject, Nemoto, is incredibly excited to come to New York. And Tribeca is a great festival. My jaw dropped when I saw their lineup this year — it’s so eclectic and ambitious and bold.
Above all, I’m thrilled beyond belief to be playing at the same festival as “The Trip to Spain.” I’ve gone to see Steve Coogan speak publicly three times, and I think Rob Brydon’s “Marion and Geoff” is one of the most brilliant and moving television shows ever created. So to be in the company of people like them — not to mention Nick Broomfield, Laurie Simmons, Sam Pollard, and so many other artists I admire — is a great honor.
W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?
Lw: Best advice: I read an interview with George Saunders and he said, “Steer towards the rapids.”
Worst advice: A man who came up to me after a screening of “After Tiller” said, “The only problem with this movie is that it’s all about emotions.”
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
Lw: The fact is that you’re going to be judged more harshly for your ambitions and your ideas, and there will be less opportunities available to you because you’re female. But the more you can let those judgments roll off your back, and the more you can simply persist, and keep working, and create your own opportunities, the better off you’ll be.
There will be some people who believe in and respect you. Fight to keep those people close to you. Feel sorry for everyone else. Convince yourself that it’s more fun to be the underdog.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
Lw: This is tough, but at the moment, I’d say Elaine May’s “The Heartbreak Kid” — it is hilarious, strange, and moving, and Elaine May is one of the great overlooked artists of our time. I want to make a documentary about her. Elaine, if you’re reading this, please contact me.
W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.
Lw: I have to be optimistic. There is no other option. There’s a lot of excitement and so many great people trying to create more opportunities for women directors right now. But I think the biggest problem isn’t with the women — it’s with the men.
Many male decision-makers have trouble trusting a female director to “pull it off.” I loved this article about that. That’s partly because of the closely held assumptions we all have, to various degrees, about what women can and can’t do. But it’s also because people often feel most comfortable hiring people who are a lot like them.
Almost all decision-makers are men. So many of them have the inherent bias of wanting to hire someone who looks like them — or who reminds them of themselves 15 years ago. I had one frank conversation with a very smart and frustrated woman who brokers deals with commercial clients. She told me that over and over again, the clients can only “see” a 35-year-old white man as the director.
Honestly, I think a lot of those people aren’t going to change. We have to wait for that generation to die off, and we have to educate our young men and boys differently in the meantime — which includes making different kinds of movies, and telling different kinds of stories — so that they grow up seeing women as powerful leaders and brilliant artists just like men.
And men need to step up and be vocal advocates for this too. This is a problem that affects everyone. It’s not just a specialized issue, or something where men can say, “Well, sounds like the ladies have got that covered, since they’re all talking about it.” They need to be an active part of publicly calling attention to this problem and doing things to fix it.
Until then, women directors have to keep making movies so good, they’re undeniable. Our talent has to be undeniable. We don’t have the option of failing or doing mediocre work like men do. The situation is so dire that there’s no room for error.
Tribeca 2017 Women Directors: Meet Lana Wilson — “The Departure” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Joseph Allen
The Tribeca Film Festival is presenting 98 feature films over 12 days in New York City. Our list just scratches the surface, but here are some of the Tribeca world premieres that caught our eye. “The Trip to Spain” Great food, beautiful locations, funny guys and Michael Caine impersonations – those are the ingredients of all the films Michael Winterbottom has made with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. And there’s no reason to think they won’t be just as appetizing as ever as our boys hit Spain. “La 92” One of six current docs on the L.A. riots of 1992, this gripping work. »
- Steve Pond
Every year, celebrities, filmmakers, journalists and movie fans flock to the Tribeca neighborhood in lower Manhattan for the Tribeca Film Festival, an illustrious celebration of film and television that features some of the most exciting projects and panel discussions of any media festival in the country.
Founded by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff in 2001, shortly after the attacks of 9/11, the festival has helped revitalize the city and remind both filmmakers and fans alike of New York City’s valued place in film and TV while becoming a welcoming community for voices and perspectives from all over the world. “It’s also a fabric of our city. So whether or not it’s a film from Israel or Palestine or something for kids, our festival was about community and it still is,” Rosenthal tells Et. “It’s about bringing community together.”
The 2017 festival, which runs April 19-30, continues to expand beyond film and TV with »
Author: James Kleinmann
The Tribeca Film Festival hits New York next week and runs from April 19 – 30 th. Now in its sixteenth year, the annual event was co-founded by screen legend Robert De Niro in the wake of the September 11th attacks in an effort to revitalise Lower Manhattan. Retaining an element of its original commitment to Us indie cinema, it has evolved to encompass TV, Vr, online work, music and gaming. As ever, the festival will welcome a dizzying array of big name guests including Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, Jon Favreau, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Quentin Tarantino, Scarlett Johansson and Ron Howard. Here are just some of the highlights, for the full line up and to buy tickets check out the official festival website here.
Opening and Closing night Galas at Radio City Music Hall
Kicking off the festival is the world premiere of music doc Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives. »
- James Kleinmann
Coogan and Brydon made magic of middle age on the road in Spain, 10 lost Britons appeared on a Tuscan hilltop, and Sharon Horgan reached for the loo roll
Second Chance Summer (BBC2) | iPlayer
Child of Our Time (BBC) | iPlayer
There was a hearty amount of green-toad jealousy squatting on this sofa over the past few days. Not quite the shouty hissy-fit kind, more a slow-bubbling resentment as my eyes forced themselves from the window – curtains of April rain, gulls blowing backwards, masonry toppling into rivers – back to screens on which too many people seemed to be enjoying themselves rather hugely in the sun.
All British life is here, in its myriad glories and smallnesses. I wonder when the first murder might occur
Continue reading »
- Euan Ferguson
Two middle-aged men meander through the country having existential crises and doing impressions. It’s brilliant, hilarious and with a bit of Cervantes thrown in for good measure
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now reached 50 – 51, in fact. Which seems to bring a whole new level of issues – existential crises, death obsessions, career insecurities, lies (to themselves, to each other) etc – to their new midlife adventure. Some of which – quite a lot, I suspect – may be real. Plus there are jokes and impressions too, of course.
Continue reading »
- Sam Wollaston
How did Coogan and Brydon become ‘the funniest couple since Laurel and Hardy’? As The Trip returns, we rank all their world-beating comedies to find out
Even though it’s squirrelled away behind a paywall, The Trip to Spain looks set to be one of the best shows of the year. As an idea, The Trip has now solidified into a format – Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon competitively impersonate celebrities in nice restaurants then go and be sad in their hotel rooms – that manages to capture the poignancy of middle age like few others before it.
Crucial to this is the partnership between Coogan and Brydon. Coogan is presented as pompous and self-congratulatory, straining to make something more of himself, while Brydon is a facile people-pleaser. Clive James called them “the funniest couple since Laurel and Hardy” a couple of weeks ago, and you can’t deny how special their chemistry is. »
- Stuart Heritage
Rob Leane Apr 6, 2017
Earlier this year, we were lucky enough to get early access to the first two episodes of The Trip To Spain, and to partake in a pair of group Q&A sessions with Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, who continue reviewing restaurants and relentlessly ribbing each other in this third series of the show. (If you’re unfamiliar: series 1 was called The Trip and series 2 was The Trip To Italy.)
The episodes, to put it simply, were great; The Trip’s familiar blend of melancholy, meals and mockery slots seamlessly into this new Spanish locale, which serves up some idyllic landscapes to compliment the edibles, the impressions and the introspection.
Creator, writer and director Michael Winterbottom has found a winning formula here, and his stars seem to have an »
The extras do uncanny impersonations of corpses, and sometimes can’t keep it up
Anyone who relishes what happens when Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon sit opposite each other in a restaurant will know that the real focus of the entertainment is on the actors at the other tables who are pretending not to laugh. While Coogan and Brydon do uncanny impersonations of 007, the extras have to do uncanny impersonations of corpses, and sometimes they can’t keep it up. They crack a rib. And they are, of course, quite right. Coogan and Brydon are the funniest couple since Laurel and Hardy.
Continue reading »
- Clive James
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are teaming up again in “The Trip to Spain,” and a new trailer teases more of the same pithy conversations fans love. The duo reunited with director Michael Winterbottom for the series, which will air in the UK, and the subsequent feature-length edit that’s headed to America, set to premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. “Spain” is the third entry in the series, following 2010’s “The Trip” and 2014’s “The Trip to Italy.”
Coogan recently spoke to UK publication The Version about how growing older is a central theme in “Spain.”
“There are a lot of universal issues,” he said. “If it were just about Rob and me it wouldn’t be as strong. It has to mean something to other people, so yes it »
- William Earl
While the northeast of the country digs out from a massive blizzard this week, hope remains in the fact that we’re in the back half of March, spring will soon be here, and hopefully some trips on the road. And we hope everyone has as good a time out there as Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
Read More: 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Lineup Includes ‘The Trip To Spain,’ ‘Flower,’ ‘The Clapper’ And More
- Kevin Jagernauth
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon will make more impersonations and maybe have another personal revelation or two in The Trip to Spain. They’re once again again playing versions of themselves for director Michael Winterbottom, who directed them in The Trip and The Trip to Italy. For their next adventure, they’ll perhaps get on each other’s nerves now and then (and make us laugh) while drinking some […]
- Jack Giroux
"Roll-around-on-the-floor-funny." The first teaser trailer has debuted for the latest sequel to The Trip, the road trip comedy starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. This latest film is titled The Trip to Spain and it's literally about, as the title says, their trip to Spain. This is fun teaser trailer because it introduces the sequel ever-so-perfectly, not only with quotes and footage of them driving and singing (like idiots), but with the title cards explaining where each film premiered. I wish there was more footage in this teaser, but maybe it's best that we don't see anything else. Better to just go in and experience this. If you loved The Trip or The Trip to Italy before this, make sure you catch this film when it arrives. Hopefully it's just as funny. Dive in. Here's the first teaser trailer for Michael Winterbottom's The Trip to Spain, direct from YouTube: »
- Alex Billington
There are few traveling companions worth taking multiple road trips with, but we’d go anywhere with Steven Coogan and Rob Brydon. The duo left audiences in stitches with “The Trip” and “The Trip To Italy,” and now they’re back for another journey in “The Trip To Spain.”
Read More: The 100 Most Anticipated Films Of 2017
Michael Winterbottom is back behind the camera, and nobody is messing with a formula, as Coogan and Brydon are once again having great meals and volleying one-liners back and forth.
- Kevin Jagernauth
There will be no shortage of franchise films arriving this year, but perhaps our most-anticipated is the latest entry into The Trip series. Made for television in the U.K. then released as films over here, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are now back with their third entry, The Trip to Spain. Ahead of a premiere at Tribeca Film Festival next month, the first teaser trailer has now been released.
This preview for Michael Winterbottom‘s latest is a simple one, finding the duo making melodies on a drive as quotes flash by along with a brief series recap. Despite being quite the tease, this (and the first clip) is more than enough to sell us on what’s sure to be one of the most enjoyable viewing experiences of the year. Also starring Marta Barrio, Claire Keelan, and Margo Stilley, check out the trailer below.
- Jordan Raup
19 items from 2017
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