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Chris Messina has had a very busy year — he's popped up in movies like Argo, Ruby Sparks, and The Giant Mechanical Man while juggling TV arcs on The Newsroom and Damages — and he'll finish out 2012 the way he began it: At the same time Messina is starring opposite Mindy Kaling on Fox's The Mindy Project, he's starring in the new indie 28 Hotel Rooms, where he and Marin Ireland play two people who continue their sexually charged relationship over a long span of time in various hotels, even though both have significant others at home. Messina rang us up the other day to discuss his onscreen love scenes, and he also revealed a secret connection to Kaling's favorite film that she may not even know about.You were naked in your first high-profile role on Six Feet Under, and you're naked throughout 28 Hotel Rooms. Is it fair to »
- Kyle Buchanan
The recently released 28 Hotel Rooms injects originality and vitality into the tried and true secret tryst genre. Written and directed by Matt Ross (an actor known primarily for his roles in American Psycho, Last Days of Disco, and Big Love), this intimate portrait of an affair that spans many years - through the couple's career disappointments, personal triumphs and marriages - provides a stunning look into the hidden lives of others. Chris Messina (The Giant Mechanical Man, Fairhaven) and Marin Ireland (Mildred Pierce, Homeland) play the unnamed pair that stumble into a physical affair that, to their shared surprise, turns into something emotionally tangible. Naturalistic in style, the film benefits from its non-linear editing, with the camera focusing on hotel numbers to signify a progression of stolen nights. In that way, audiences must piece together the segments of this rare love story to arrive at a unified whole. Anchored by »
Day five of the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival promises a smorgasbord of great films and there are still 6 days to go!
Sliff’s main venues are the the Hi-Pointe Theatre, Tivoli Theatre, Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium, Washington University’s Brown Hall Auditorium and the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, Il
The entire schedule for the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival be found Here.
Here is what will be screening at The 21st Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival today, Monday, November 12th
Doc Shorts – Longevity plays at 5:00pm at the Tivoli Theatre
A quintet of shorts exploring issues of aging and persistence.
Free To Attendees 50 And Older
- Tom Stockman
I have a lot of respect for street performers. From music to magic and everything in between, street performer add a level of artistic vibrancy to areas otherwise typically bogged down in the dry, monotone corporate atmosphere. Have you ever been having a bad day, been walking along sulking in your grumpiness, then come upon a street performer who actually made you smile, even for a moment? If not, I hope you do, because it works… and, this is where The Giant Mechanical Man succeeds.
For a feature film debut, writer and director Lee Kirk does play it safe on some level. The Giant Mechanical Man certainly follows a fairly standard format of the romantic comedy genre. The humor is offbeat, quirky but never heavy-handed. The film may be playing itself safe structurally, but the content is what makes the film enjoyable. How many romantic comedies have we seen that »
- Travis Keune
I participated in a Dreamago panel moderated by WGA-West VP and USC film writing prof and an artistic director at the Sundance Institute Wrting Labs, Howard Rodman.
Other panelists included Vince Fischer who, having been educated and working in Paris, Montreal, New York in business and advertising, event production, and creating the endorsement agency GlamCom which initiates deals between celebrities and products, such as he did with George Clooney and Nespresso, has gone on to create Artistic Alliance Eci which represents screenwriters, directors and actors with offices in Beijing, L.a. and Paris, to match people and projects abroad. Daniel Hsia, the writer/ director of Shanghai Calling, (Isa: Aldamisa) a U.S. - China co-production distributed in China by China Film Group and in So. Korea by Sookie and due to be released in Norht America in 2013 works with Janet Yang and is eager to do more co-productions in China though he admits to difficulties with censors, etc. You can see the trailer of Shanghai Calling here.
Neil Landau who wrote Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, the 3D animated feature Tad: The Lost Explores from Paramount which is the highest grossing animated film in Spain's history and the #1 Spanish box ofice movie of the year, is now working on its sequel and another animated feature by the same director. His latest screenplay is being produced by Cary Brokaw for Avenue Pictures (The Player, Closer, Angels in America). He is curretnly developing an original miniseries for HBO for the Russian Market and a crime drama for Sreda in Moscow.
Paula Manzanedo-Schmitt is VP of Film Finances Inc. the world leader in completion guarantees. She has been involved in more than 1,000 films and TV programs internationally and in U.S. She spoke of the various cross-cultural requisites in film production abroad.
The discussion centered around whether filmmakers could make a film without the notorioius interference of studios (they should all be so lucky as to have this problem). In other words, the panelists discussed their experiences making films with Russians and Chinese. All agreed that working abroad, and especially with international sales agents who also produce allows for greater freedom of vision (although in China the reward is writng so that China censorship does not interfere because one has written to their specifications). All agreed also that there is a certain cross-cultural divide one must discover in order to work effectively.
My suggestions for finding a way to create without corporate interferences are listed below:
** Coproduce with Canada who has the most coproduction treaties in the world, or go directly to producers or sales agents who do not rely on treaties.
** Work with international sales agents who produce international coproductions which include U.S., or with the producers of those films who now have established track records.
Take a look at Level K, Tine Klint's relatively new Danish company which is preselling films from U.K., Canada and Australia:
Not Another Happy Ending by Brit John McKay 33 Liberty Lane by Canadian Peter Hewitt The Turning by Australian Cate Blanchett and Robert Connelly starring Emily Watson The Last Ocean by New Zealander Peter Young
French sales agent Films Distribution is selling
Marina Zenovich's doc Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out which Showtime acquired for U.S. TV. Citadel from Ireland has sold to Cinedigm/ New Video for U.S. and Mongrel for Canada. 30 Beats from the U.S. sold to Roadside Attractions for U.S. and Codex Media And Advertising Corporation for Turkey.
Other French companies are doing likewise.
Studio Canal is selling
Celluloid Dreams is selling
Greetings From Tim Buckley--U.S.-Tiff 12 Special Presentations World Premiere - Director: Daniel Algrant The Comedian a U.K. comedy by Tom Shkolnik Francis Ha - U.S. - Tiff 12. by Noah Baumbach Satellite Boy - Australia The Conspiracy - U.K.
Snd is preselling The Love Punch an English language French comedy
Wild Bunch is selling
Blood Ties written by James Gray, directed by Guillaume Canet, Cast : Billy Crudup, Clive Owen, Marion Cottillard, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana, Producers: Alain Attal (Les Productions du Tresor), Hugo Selignac, John Lesher.
This very American sotry takes place in New York, 1974. Chris Pierzynski has just been released after years in prison for his part in a gangland murder. Waiting reluctantly outside the prison gates is his younger brother, Frank, a cop with a bright future. Chris and Frank have always been different, and their father, who raised them alone, has always favored Chris - despite all his troubles. Frank has known this since they were kids, and it eats at him like nothing else.
Maniac by Franck Khalfoun U.S. English Horror, Writers : Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur, Cast : Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder, America Olivo, Producers : Thomas Langmann (La Petite Reine), Alexandre Aja. It has presold to Germany -Ascot Elite, Japan - Comstock Only God Forbids by Nicolas Winding Refn from Denmark, in English has been selliing since Berlin 2012 and has sold to Bulgaria-A Plus Films Ltd., Germany-Tiberius Film Gmbh & Co. Kg, Hungary-Budapest Film (Distributor), Hungary-Mtva, Italy-Italian International Film, Korea (South)-Daisy & Cinergy Entertainment, Poland-Gutek Film Ltd, Romania-Independenta Film, Turkey-Calinos Films
Global Screen (Germany) has many English language films, some originating from U.S. and English speaking countries and others from non-English speaking countries.
• No Place on Earth (The Cave) by Emmy Award winning director Janet Tobias a U.S., U.K., German co-production. the doc tells the longest recorded underground survival story in human history, when 5 Jewish families descended into a pitch black cave to escape the Nazis for 511 days.
Hungaricom Ltd (Hungary) has the English language animated comedy feature The Secret of Moonacre and Immigrants - L.A. Dolce Vita both produced by Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo, and Gabor Kalomista, a Los Angeles based company with Hungarian born principals. The synopsis of Immigrants is worth repeating: More people immigrate to America than to all other countries in the whole world combined. Why? Is it because they love hot dogs and hamburgers? Or because they want to meet Snoop Dogg or have a close encounter with Pamela Anderson? Maybe. But the real reason is – immigrants go to the U.S. to chase the American dream. Immigrants is the story of Vladislav (a Russian), and Joska (a Hungarian). Both are immigrants and best friends, living and chasing the American dream together. Vlad has a daughter, Ana, who’s adapting to life in America at the speed of light, while her dad is in complete culture shock. They stay at the Vista del Mar, an apartment complex run by an old failed actress, Greta Knight, who is always after Vlad for sexual favors. The building is home to immigrants from all over the world: Flaco, a friend from Mexico; Mr. Chea, who runs a Chinese family restaurant; Nazim, a former Pakistani nuclear scientist who drives a tour bus; and Mr. Splits, an old black pimp. We follow Vlad and Joska in their adventures… through their encounter with the American capitalist company Glut-co, through their attempt to open a Russian/Hungarian restaurant, and as their friendship is put in jeopardy when they hit the L.A. night scene. All the while Vlad is looking for a way to make a life for himself and his daughter; and Joska… well, Joska is mainly looking for women.
If Niel Landau's adventures in Russia appeal to you, but you don't have the connections there, visit Rosskino and the L.A. based Eleonora Granata Russian Film Commissioner or produce in Russia through international sales agents which were founded by Russian-Americans who know both cultures such as Aldamisa (where longtime Disney acquisitons VP Jere Hausfater is now looking for projects), 108 Media who has Myn Bala the Kazahkistan submission for Best Foreign Language Academy Award nomination is Canadian owned, or Red Sea, all of whom are Russian – American and/ or Canadian owned.
Singapore is looking for Looking for copros and Icon has stepped up to the plate with James Wan Presents House of Horrors, an English language U.S. horror film now in pre-productions. In the aftermath of a horrific massacre, lead Detective, Mark Lewis, and the police department’s psychologist, Dr. Elizabeth Klein, question a suspect for the brutal murder of five college students. This has been preselling at Cannes 2012 (Line up), Afm 2011, Cannes 2011 and Berlin Efm 2012. Directed by Javier Guttierrez, written by James Wan and Max La Bella it will be distributed in Singapore by Cathay.
British companies are also packaging and preselling U.S. films:
Bankside has a deal with New York based Killer Films for Innocence, now in post. This thriller is a modern-gothic vampire story where a recently bereaved teenage girl finds herself the focus of everyone’s attention at her elitist private school where life is steeped in tradition and ceremony.It has been preselling this at Afm 2011 and 2012, Toronto and Cannes 2011 and it has presold to Le Pacte for France, Videovision for So. Africa, Umut Sanat Filmcilik for Turkey, Shooting Stars for UAE.
Ealing Metro is preselling
Nina directed and written by Cynthia Mort, a U.S. production, a biopic about Nina Simone, a tormented genius who eventually finds love and peace. Produced by Barnaby Thompson, Stuart Parr, Mark Burton and Ben Latham Jones, it has presold since Toronto 2011 to Orlando for Israel, Entertainment One for Benelux, Cinesky has U.S. Better Living Through Chemistry directed and written by David Posamentier, a U.S. comedy now in post-production.A straight-laced pharmacist's uneventful life spirals out of control when he starts an affair with a dangerously seductive customer who takes him on a joyride with explosive consequenses involving sex, drugs and possibly murder. Starring Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan and Ray Liotta, produced by Felipe Marino, Joe Neurater and Keith Calder, it has presold to Metro Pictures of India. Bailout is being presold. One morning Matt Prior wakes up to find himself jobless, crippled with debt, convinced his wife is having an affair and six days away from losing his home. Bailout is a hysterical, heartfelt tale of how we can reach the edge of ruin and begin to make our way back.
Salt is preselling Welcome to the Jungle, a U.S. comedy directed by Rob Meltzer, written by Jeff Kauffman, produced by Justin Kanew and Luillo Ruiz and starring Adam Brody, Dennis Haysbert, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Kristen Schaal, Megan Boone and Rob Huebel. A group of co-workers including Chris (Adam Brody) get stranded on a desert island when their nutty teambuilding coach (Jean Claude Van Damme) is mauled by a wild cougar. in the spirit of "lost in the wilderness" comedies such as Tropic Thunder and workplace comedies like The Office, Welcome to the Jungle is a rare beast in today's market: a comedy that delivers on the laughs - both the high and the lowbrow. It has already presold to Front Row for the Middle East.
Westend is preselling Joe which will start shooting this month be delivered in 2013. It is to be directed by David Gordon Green, produced by lisa Muskat and stars Nicholas Cage. Joe is the story of a man who becomes the unlikeliest of role models to 15-year-old Gary Jones, the oldest child of a family ruled by a worthless father. Together they try to find a path to redemption and the hope for a better life in the rugged, dirty world of a small Southern town. Joe is the story of the last hold-out of the cowboy age, when it was okay to shoot up a bar room or tell a lady what to do.
- Sydney Levine
New: What Jenna Fischer Does Outside of The Office One of my favorite films from this spring’s USA Film Festival was the charming romance The Giant Mechanical Man (New Video/Tribeca Film; now available), a passion project for Jenna Fischer, best known for her role in The Office. Actually, “passion project” takes on multiple meanings — not only did she shepherd the film throughout the process in her role as producer, but she fell in love with and married writer-director Lee Kirk along the way. Fischer stars as Janice, who’s struggling with love and adulthood in general; left with no choice but to move in with her sister (Malin Akerman), Janice eventually finds romance with street performer Tim...
- Alonso Duralde
Exclusive: Topher Grace has signed on to star opposite Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan in A Many Splintered Thing, the Justin Reardon-directed film for McG’s Wonderland Sound & Vision and Voltage Pictures. Production begins October 26. In the vein of Amelie and (500) Days Of Summer, the film tells the story of a young man disillusioned by love who meets a breathtaking young woman at a charity dinner by pretending to be a philanthropist. Turns out that she’s engaged to a guy who doesn’t like her going on dates. Challenged by the chase, and egged on by his eclectic friends, he feigns a platonic relationship in order to keep seeing her as he tries to conquer her heart. Grace will play the poser’s best friend. The film is being produced by Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores and Wonderland’s McG and Mary Viola. Wonderland initially optioned »
- MIKE FLEMING
In Ruby Sparks, the latest feature from Little Miss Sunshine's Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the impossible comes true. The film stars Paul Dano as Calvin Weir-Fields, a writer who experienced Salinger-like success at a young age and has been suffering from writer's block and various heartbreaks ever since. A writing assignment from his trusted therapist (Elliott Gould) provides inspiration in the form of Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan), an imaginary dream girl he creates and compulsively writes about. Much to his surprise, Calvin stumbles across Ruby in the flesh and seeks counsel from his reluctant brother, Harry (Chris Messina, Fairhaven and The Giant Mechanical Man, Tff 2012). Calvin soon ecstatically comes to terms with this miracle: Ruby is real, unaware of her origins, and in love with him. It's not all a bed of roses for these two lovebirds, as Calvin must find the balance between keeping control of his »
July 12-15, Tribeca is heading to the Jersey Shore for four nights of fun in Atlantic City! With our partner Caesars Atlantic City, we'll be showing four movies on the beach - one a night, for Free - and everyone's invited! Friends of Tribeca are even entitled to 10-15% off the prevailing rate when using the special code Triwd (weekdays) and Triwe (weekends) - click the links to get the discounts. But that's not all! We've got a super prize package for one lucky winner. The Caesars Atlantic City/Tribeca Movies on the Beach package includes: ♣ one night in a deluxe room (double occupancy) at Caesars Atlantic City (on Saturday, July 14, 2012); ♥ a $175 credit to the Atlantic Grill, where Soho meets the Shore; and ♦ VIP seating at the Saturday, July 14, screening on the Caesars Beach of The Giant Mechanical Man, starring Jenna Fischer and Topher Grace Entries must »
The Giant Mechanical Man (Tgmm), the Lee Kirk film starring Jenna Fischer (The Office) and Chris Messina (Six Feet Under), is for audiences who have a yen for a true romantic comedy, one that feels gentle and real, but lacks the heroine getting the runs in the middle of traffic. Or a scene where a man's chest hair is pulled off. Or a finale where an overweight, pothead/pornographer gets the beautiful blonde. It's also one, thankfully, that's never been in the vicinity of Nicholas Sparks.
If you have to place this delightful offering anywhere, Tgmm is much closer in sensibility to (500) Days of Summer than to any Apatow commodity. That has a lot to do with Kirk's effortless direction, the impressive casting, cinematographer Doug Emmet's superb take on the Detroit locale, and the oddball trajectory of the love story.
This "tall" tale begins with Tim (Messina) being dumped by »
- Brandon Judell
Jenna Fischer's TV counterpart Pam Halpert may have come into her own over the seven seasons of The Office, but she's still not a whole lot like the bubbly, energetic actress Fischer is in real life. At the same time, remember the episode when Pam talked her way into becoming Dunder-Mifflin's office manager, taking over all the tiny details of the office that no one else remembered to handle? Turns out that's exactly something FIscher would do-- and what she did when she signed on as the producer of her husband Lee Kirk's film The Giant Mechanical Man. Sometimes when actors sign on as producers, it's a glorified title that basically means they helped get the money to make it. But Fischer, who also stars in the film as a shy woman who falls for a street performer (Chris Messina), was doing plenty of the grunt work-- filling out paperwork, »
Chicago – Don’t let the awful title fool you — “The Giant Mechanical Man” is not sci-fi. This cute dramedy tackles well-trod ground in the world of indie film but Lee Kirk conveys enough honest affection for his well-crafted characters that the piece works. With a very strong ensemble portraying interesting, believable characters, “The Giant Mechanical Man” isn’t a breakthrough film but is an entertaining slice of life nonetheless.
“What’s the point of you? Why should anyone care about you?” These are the kind of questions that face most of us at one point or another. For some people, they get tackled early in life and, however honestly, those people know the track they want to be in through life. Not everyone figures it out at the same time, however. And why should they have to? Why do we live in a society that demands standard, typical, defined roles? »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
There are a few movies that can lead to more than a good acting turn and accolades. Natalie Portman met her partner, got pregnant and also got an Oscar, all from doing the movie “Black Swan.” Jenna Fischer’s in the same boat: Everyone’s favorite Everywoman — Pam Halpert from “The Office” — met her husband on the set of her new film, “The Giant Mechanical Man, »
- Julie Steinberg
The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival opened and closed with two glossy, star-studded premieres, as the raunchy rom-com "The Five-Year Engagement" and the surefire summer blockbuster "The Avengers" bookended the event.
But it was the far more modestly budgeted films in between that made the 11th annual Tribeca fest a success, with audiences and critics alike discovering gems you probably won't see plastered on the side of a bus anytime soon.
Our 10 favorites ranged from music documentaries ("Searching for Sugar Man") to quote-unquote mumblecore ("Your Sister's Sister"), but they share one common thread, at least in our eyes: They deserve a much wider audience. Maybe even on bus ads. – By Jason Guerrasio, Kevin Polowy, Nigel Smith and Brooke Tarnoff
- NextMovie Staff
Though she's appeared in movies like "Blades of Glory" and "Hall Pass," you know Jenna Fischer best for her part in NBC's perennially popular sitcom, "The Office." Fischer is the heart of the show, unique among a cast of fantastically bizarre characters for her mundane, relatable humanity.
It's the same sensibility she brings to her leading role in "The Giant Mechanical Man," a charming, peculiar indie written and directed by Fischer's husband, Lee Kirk. As Janice, a woman in her 30s lacking anything resembling direction, Fischer taps into a question both terrifying and universal: How do we know where we're going when our lives deviate from well-worn paths?
With Fischer in town for the Tribeca Film Festival, we spoke about her own life path, how producing her husband's movie nearly cost her the acting gig, and how she wants to see "The Office" end, if and when it does.
- Brooke Tarnoff
As the end of Tff 2012 fast approaches, we are already beginning to go through Festival withdrawal. Luckily, we can help you with yours. Four acclaimed titles from the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival - The Giant Mechanical Man, Death of a Superhero, Sleepless Night and Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story - are available on nationwide VOD via Tribeca Film. Keep the Festival going from the comfort of your own home! The Tribeca Film slate on VOD will allow viewers across the country to experience the Festival, through availability on cable, telco and satellite systems, in addition to digital VOD services such as iTunes, Amazon Watch Instantly, Vudu and Samsung Media Hub, a new distribution partner of Tribeca Film. Death Of A Superhero Dir. Ian Fitzgibbon (Ireland, Germany) U.S. Premiere, Tff 2012 Viewpoints section Donald is a teenager with extraordinary talents, wild daydreams, and a bright future as an artist of fantastical graphic novels. »
We have a couple of new posters to show you tonight in order to give you a break from the relentless superhero news. Take a deep breath, have a quick read, and then hit the jump to check them out: 2012 Sundance darling, Beasts of the Southern Wild is, as our own Matt Goldberg calls it: "a must-see movie...unlike anything you've seen in years." You can check out his review here. The Giant Mechanical Man stars Jenna Fischer and Chris Messina in "an offbeat romantic comedy about a silver-painted street performer and the soft spoken zoo worker who falls for him." Watch the quirky trailer here. Hit the jump to check out the posters and synopses. First up is Beasts of the Southern Wild: In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. »
- Dave Trumbore
Tribeca Episode Four: The quirky and the cynical in Us indie romcoms
I'd like to introduce you to romantic protagonists Lola (Lola Versus), Jillian (Free Samples) and Janice (The Giant Mechanical Man). But first, let's consider the environment they are borne into...
The world of Us indie film has always been a spawning ground for offbeat romcoms and romantic dramas. After all, there are few easier set-ups than a love triangle and shooting in the streets of New York or La or in a pal or parents' loft space is a comparatively cheap option. Somewhere along the line, sparky »
- Amber Wilkinson
Even after embodying the awkward but likeable Harry Crane for five seasons (and counting) on AMC's "Mad Men," Rich Sommer knows the '60s will have to come to an end eventually, so he's girding himself for the inevitable day when he leaves the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce for good. The actor has augmented his growing resume with guest spots on TV shows like "The Office" and "Ugly Betty" and appearances in web videos for "Funny or Die"; he is now in New York rehearsing for this summer's Broadway revival of "Harvey," while also attending the world premieres of his new films "Fairhaven" and "The Giant Mechanical Man" at the Tribeca Film Festival.In the final chapter of our three-part Q&A with Sommer, Back Stage asked the actor about preparing for life after "Mad Men," how fictional onscreen friendships become real off-screen relationships, and his tweet heard 'round the world. »
- email@example.com (Daniel Lehman)
It's a pretty wide open box office race this weekend as we have four new movies in wide release plus a plethora of other options in select theatres as well. The heavy favourite would have to be The Five-Year Engagement starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, but we also have a new Jason Statham action flick called Safe, The Raven starring John Cusack, and a new animated flick from Aardman in The Pirates! Band of Misfits. In limited release look for Richard Linklater's Bernie starring Jack Black, the sci-fi cult drama Sound of my Voice and the Scandinavian crime thriller Headhunters. What will you be watching this weekend? The Raven Safe The Five-Year Engagement The Pirates! Band of Misfits Bernie (limited) Sound of my Voice (limited) Headhunters (limited) The Giant Mechanical Man (limited) The Broken Tower (limited) Elles (limited) Warriors of the Rainbow: Seddiq Bale (limited) Mamitas (limited)
For More Daily Movie Goodness, »
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