13 items from 2016
Neal Huff, who plays Phil Saviano in Tom McCarthy's Spotlight, co-written by Josh Singer, discussed working with Wes Anderson on The Grand Budapest Hotel with Mathieu Amalric's sister's head, over breakfast at Cafe Orlin. We talked about Moonrise Kingdom with a thread of Bob Balaban to Kent Jones' documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut, which screens at this year's Glasgow Film Festival. Plus a family connection to Kimberly Levin's Runoff and an encounter with Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.
Anne-Katrin Titze: Let's start with Wes Anderson. You said you were in Berlin while filming The Grand Budapest Hotel?
Neal Huff: I was in Görlitz. We filmed The Grand Budapest Hotel there, which is about two and a half hours south of Berlin and two and a half hours north of Prague. »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The Fire Last Time: Lonergan’s Austere Portrait of Razed Emotions in Chilly New England
Kenneth Lonergan musters yet another masterful portrait of pervasive trauma with his third feature, Manchester by the Sea, a muted New England melodrama which feels like a brotherly companion piece to the director’s feature debut sixteen years prior, You Can Count on Me (2000). Considering the dramatic development of his sophomore feature, the superb Margaret (which filmed in 2005, and after several publicized edits, at last received a release in 2011), we should be thankful his latest hasn’t been subjected to similar agitation. Commanded by a profound, melancholy performance from Casey Affleck, this latest is a subdued, languorous drama exploring the troubled future of a Boston family when a recent death in the family causes floundering skeletons to surface. Though this isn’t nearly as emotionally thorough or ambitiously monumental as either of the auteur’s first two titles, »
- Nicholas Bell
Focus Features’ ongoing identity crisis worsened Thursday, as the specialty unit behind “The Theory of Everything,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Moonrise Kingdom” underwent its second major management shakeup in less than three years.
Focus CEO Peter Schlessel, who replaced founder James Schamus in 2013, is being ousted as part of a drastic housecleaning by parent Universal Pictures. The studio is merging the label with Universal Pictures International Productions (Upip), in an attempt to make the unit more global and artistically relevant after a series of highly touted awards-season pictures such as “The Danish Girl” and “Suffragette” collapsed at the box office. Upip Managing Director Peter Kujawski will now be tasked with being chairman of the global unit.
The bloodletting, which is also resulting in the loss of COO Adrian Alperovich, marketing president Christine Birch and acquisitions chief Lia Buman, seems to be an acknowledgment by Universal’s brass that it erred in »
- Brent Lang
From Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel, through Kimberly Levin's Runoff, hosted by Robert Kennedy Jr. and Philippe de Montebello, to starring with Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d'Arcy James with Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Len Cariou, Neal Huff has a pivotal role in Tom McCarthy's Spotlight (co-written with Josh Singer).
The opening scene at a police precinct, Boston, 1976, sets the tone for Tom McCarthy's astutely paced newsroom thriller, edited rigorously by longtime collaborator Tom McArdle. Fast forward to 2001 and The Boston Globe Spotlight team headed by Walter 'Robby' Robinson (Keaton) with Mike Rezendes (Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (McAdams) and Matt Carroll (d'Arcy James) are appointed by new executive »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
As co-founder and former CEO of Focus Features, James Schamus was responsible for releasing some of the most elegant and stylish independent films of the past 15 years. Look closely at his similarly tony directorial debut, “Indignation,” and you can see traces of that prestigious lineup, from the detail-perfect period recreation of Todd Haynes’ “Far From Heaven” to the existential angst of the Coen brothers’ “A Serious Man” — connections that affirm both the quality of Schamus’ taste and the fact that the Columbia U. prof had been diligently studying the artists he’d championed. With “Indignation,” instead of handing the screenplay off to frequent collaborator Ang Lee, Schamus opted to make Philip Roth’s 29th novel his own first feature, choosing an emotional and incredibly personal piece of material (it fictionalizes Roth’s own early-’50s college experience) that adapts well to his polite, polished and reasonably old-fashioned aesthetic.
Though the »
- Peter Debruge
With his unassuming, quietly affecting films leaving such a distinctly indelible impact long after the credits roll, we may only have three films from Kenneth Lonergan across sixteen years, but they provide a lifetime’s worth of human experience. His latest, Manchester By the Sea, finds him in the quaint northeastern Massachusetts town as he immaculately constructs a layered, non-linear exploration of the ripple effects of loss and grief.
Appearing in nearly every scene of the drama is Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler, living out his lonely life in Boston working as a handyman for a group of four apartment buildings. A phone call from his hometown informs him that his brother Joe’s (Kyle Chandler) long-diagnosed congestive heart failure finally caught up with him. Passing away before Lee makes it home, he must now deal with the aftermath of his brother’s death and the ocean of grief that it brings, »
- Jordan Raup
The persistence of grief and the hope of redemption are themes as timeless as dramaturgy itself, but rarely do they summon forth the kind of extraordinary swirl of love, anger, tenderness and brittle humor that is “Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan’s beautifully textured, richly enveloping drama about how a death in the family forces a small-town New Englander to confront a past tragedy anew. That rather diagrammatic description does little justice to Lonergan’s ever-incisive ear for the rhythms of human conversation, as he orchestrates an unruly suite of alternately sympathetic and hectoring voices — all of which stand in furious contrast to Casey Affleck’s bone-deep performance as a man whom loss has all but petrified into silence. Giving flesh and blood to the idea that life goes on even when it no longer seems worth living, “Manchester” may be too sprawling a vision for all arthouse tastes, »
- Justin Chang
Deadline is reporting that Ruth Wilson (The Affair) will lead the cast in I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House, the next horror film from February's Osgood Perkins. She will be joined by Bob Balaban (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom) and Lucy Boynton (February, Miss Potter)I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House follows Lily (Wilson), a young nurse hired to care for elderly Helen Bloom, a best-selling author of ghost stories who has chosen to live out her final days in her beloved country home - a home that holds an horrific ghost story of its own.Perkins is directing his own script and shooting will begin conveniently enough in February just over in Ottawa, Canada. He is working with...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (“The Affair”) is set to star in Osgood Perkins’ supernatural thriller “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House.” Oscar-nominated actor Bob Balaban (“Moonrise Kingdom”) will co-star alongside Lucy Boynton, who co-starred in Perkins’ directorial debut “February.” “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House” follows Lily (Wilson), a young nurse hired to care for elderly Helen Bloom, a best-selling author of ghost stories who has chosen to live out her final days in her beloved country home — a home that holds a horrific ghost story of its own. Also Read: Emma. »
- Jeff Sneider
In this special episode of Off The Shelf, Ryan and Brian take a look at the best DVD and Blu-ray 2015.
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Follow-Up Ryan buys the Ernest and Celestine Blu-ray from Plain Archive Ultra HD Blu-ray Pre-orders Live, March 1st release: Fox, Sony, WB, Shout! and now Lionsgate Curzon Tarkovsky Ryan’s Top 10 List of 2015 Classics from the Van Beuren Studio (Thunderbean Animation) Thunderbirds: The Complete Series (Timeless Media Group / Shout! Factory) The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (Arrow UK) Twice Upon A Time (Warner Archive Collection) Journey to the Center of the Earth (Twilight Time) Watership Down (The Criterion Collection) Walt Disney Animation Studios: Short Films Collection (Disney) 3-D Rarities (Flicker Alley) Spartacus: Restored Edition (Universal) The Apu Trilogy (The Criterion Collection)
- Ryan Gallagher
We all have predisposed notions about the infamous “romantic comedy.” As with other genres, there’s a large subsection of offerings, giving it a bad name. But, for every tired, cliché-driven comedy, there is another impressive offering that redefines the genre, garners plenty of laughs, and tells an honest story about love and relationships, however warped they may be. In the coming weeks, we’ll take a look at the fifty romantic comedy films that should be seen. These may not all be classic films, but they certainly put a stamp on the industry and the genre we affectionately call “rom-coms.”
#50. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Most of Wes Anderson’s films could be described as romantic comedies, but his 2012 effort stands out, as its central story focuses on young love and the need to find acceptance. In Anderson’s world, while quirks abound, true connections between characters are commonplace. With Moonrise Kingdom, »
- Joshua Gaul
When things go wrong on a cinema trip, from bad customer service, noisy audiences, to, er, 'other things'...
As part of our survey on the behaviour of audiences in British cinemas, and how well cinema chains respond to it, we asked a couple of open questions. In this post, we're looking at where we asked for specific examples of good or bad behaviour and practice you've experienced from your cinema visits. We had over 2000 responses, so we've had to pick and choose. But here's a flavour of what you told us.
We've quoted verbatim, save for correcting the odd typo...
"We went to see The Martian at Cineworld in Nottingham recently. The first ten minutes of the movie was unwatchable, as the projector wasn't in focus. We went to alert the staff, who, while very off-hand and disinterested, did get the problem fixed. People arrived »
Last August, Aaron West and Mark Hurne, two of our friends online teamed up to create the Criterion Close-Up podcast. As we do with the CriterionCast, the Criterion Close-Up highlights the various releases in The Criterion Collection, as well as producing discussions on news and has interviews.
Aaron writes at Criterion Blues and Mark has worked on a number of podcasts over the years, including First Time Watchers and InSession Film. Aaron and Mark both joined us on recent episodes of the CriterionCast, on our Criterion Favorites of 2015 and Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2016 episodes. Over the five months that they’ve been producing Criterion Close-Up, they’ve released twenty one episodes, covering films such as Moonrise Kingdom (which David Blakeslee guested on), Mulholland Drive, 12 Angry Men and have recently interviewed Alex Cox.
Aaron was also involved with the recent Criterion Collection blogathon, which brought together dozens of writers around the Internet. »
- Ryan Gallagher
13 items from 2016
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